“All ready for a walk on the Cliff?” asked Leopold, as he raised his hat and extended his hand to Rosa. She shook hands with him and then with Quincy. She opened the little gate, placed her hand on Leopold’s arm and they walked on up the Cliff Road.
As Quincy entered the little parlor, Alice sprang toward him with a cry of joy. He caught her in his arms, and this time one kiss did not suffice, for a dozen were pressed on hair and brow and cheek and lips.
“It is so long since you went away,” said Alice.
“Only one short week,” replied Quincy.
“Short! Those six days have seemed longer than all the time we were together at Eastborough. I cannot let you go away from me again,” she cried.
“Stay with Me, My Darling, Stay,” sang Quincy, in a low voice, and Alice tried to hide her blushing face upon his shoulder.
Then they sat down and talked the matter over. “I must leave you,” said Quincy, “and only see you occasionally, and then usually in the presence of others, unless—”
“Unless what?” cried Alice, and a sort of frightened look came into her face.
“Unless you marry me at once,” said Quincy. “I don’t mean this minute; say Wednesday of this coming week. I have a license with me I got in Boston yesterday morning. We’ll be married quietly in this little room, in which you first told me that you loved me. We could be married in a big church in Boston, with bridesmaids, and groomsmen, and music on a big organ. We could make as big a day of it as they did down to Eastborough.”
“Oh, no!” said Alice; “I couldn’t go through that. I cannot see well enough, and I might make some terrible blunder. I might trip and fall, and then I should be so nervous and ashamed.”
“I will not ask you to go through such an ordeal, my dearest. I know that we could have all these grand things, and for that reason, if for no better one, I’m perfectly willing to go without them. No, Alice, we will be married here in this room. We will deck it with flowers,” continued Quincy. “Leopold will go to Boston to-morrow and get them. Rosamond’s Bower was not sweeter nor more lovely than we will make this little room. I will get an old clergyman; I don’t like young ones; Leopold shall be my best man and Rosa shall be your bridesmaid. Mrs. Gibson and her brother, who I see is still here, shall be our witnesses, and we will have Tommy and Dolly for ushers.”
Both laughed aloud in their childish glee at the picture that Quincy had painted. “I could ask for nothing better,” said Alice; “the ceremony will be modest, artistic, and idyllic.”
“And economical, too,” Quincy added with a laugh.
And so it came to pass! They were married, and the transformation in the little room, that Quincy and Alice had seen in their mind’s eye, was realized to the letter. Flowers, best man, bridesmaid, witnesses, ushers, and the aged clergyman, with whitened locks, who called them his children, and blessed them and wished them long life and happiness, hoped that they would meet and know each other some day in the infinite—all were there.