Then Jordan came forward. Sedgwick presented the two elder ladies to him, and all greeted him most cordially. In response he said:
“It’s the whitest kind uv a day. I’m glad ter know yo’ all; glad ter congratulate yo’, and I wanter say ter Mrs. Sedgwick—Grace grew rosy red on hearing the appellation—that I’ve know’d her husband a long time, and he’s true blue, sho’; there’s not a better or a braver man on either side o’ ther ocean.”
With that he drew a package from his pocket, and tendered it to Grace, saying: “I wanter give yo’ a little keepsake fo’ yo’ husband’s sake.”
It was a jewel case and contained a diamond cross worth L300.
At the church door the good-byes were spoken. Browning and his bride entered one carriage and were driven away to Jack’s home. The two elder ladies and Sedgwick’s bride entered the other carriage.
True to her promise, Grace gave to her husband, who stood near, a smiling good-bye, but when the carriage was driven away, she broke into uncontrollable sobs, wrung her hands piteously, and not until she reached home did the paroxysm of grief subside. She went to her room, laid by all her bright dresses and ornaments, robed herself in simple black—“in mourning,” she said, “for my lost honey-moon.”
Sedgwick and Jordan entered a carriage, and from it boarded the Dover train. Not a word was spoken until the train had passed beyond the great city’s outermost limit, when at last Jordan said:
“Cum, Jim, brace up. It’ll be all the sweeter when this accursed bitter cup shall be passed.”
And Sedgwick answered: “You are right, old friend, but the dear girl will suffer. That last smile was such as is given when hearts break.”
When the old men, Jenvie and Hamlin, reached their homes that evening and learned what had transpired during the day, they were dumfounded. Hardly tasting any dinner, Hamlin arose from the table and sought the house of Jenvie. He met Jenvie at the door who was just going out to find Hamlin. They went at once to Jenvie’s library, and when Jenvie motioned Hamlin to a seat and took another himself, it was a long time before either spoke.
At last Hamlin said: “A bad business, Jenvie.”
“I do not see how it could be worse,” was the reply.
“I am too confused to think,” said Hamlin.
“We got Jack’s money from him, and yet he and Rose are married, and it seems with Rose’s mother’s full consent,” said Jenvie.
“And a stranger of whom we know almost nothing has married Grace and left her at the church door, and it was with her mother’s full consent, also,” said Hamlin.
“And neither you nor myself is in a position to complain; I have not the courage to even storm about it,” said Jenvie.
“Nor have I,” responded Hamlin. “I did not intend to keep Jack’s money. I wanted to break off his engagement, and then offer him a little fortune if he would marry Grace.”