“You were not very cordial, dear,” she said, as they rolled along through the early winter landscape.
“Confound them all. I hated to see them near you”—and then, in answer to her questioning gaze—“because I love you so much, darling. I hate to see anyone touch you.”
The trees were bare; the fields stretched away brown and flat, like the folds of a shroud, and the sun was veiled by lowering clouds of gray. It was not a cheerful day for a wedding.
“Lennox, did you remember that this is Friday? And I have on a black dress.”
“And now that Mrs. Lennox has settled the question of to wed or not to wed, by wedding—behold, she is worrying herself about her frock and the color of it, and the day of the week and everything else. Was there ever such a dear little goose?” He pinched her cheek, and she—she smiled up at him, her fears allayed.
“And why don’t you ask where we are going, least curious of women?”
“I forgot; indeed I did.”
“We are going to the White Rose Inn. Ideal name for a place in which to spend one’s honeymoon, isn’t it?”
“Any place would be ideal with you Lennie,” and she slipped her little hand into his ruggeder palm.
At last the White Rose Inn was sighted; it was one of those modern hostelries, built on an old English model. The windows were muslined, the rooms were wainscoted in oak, the furniture was heavy and cumbersome. Anna was delighted with everything she saw. Sanderson had had their sitting-room filled with crimson roses, they were everywhere; banked on the mantelpiece, on the tables and window-sills. Their perfume was to Anna like the loving embrace of an old friend. Jacqueminots had been so closely associated with her acquaintance with Sanderson, in after years she could never endure their perfume and their scarlet petals unnerved her, as the sight of blood does some women.
A trim English maid came to assist “Mrs. Lennox,” to unpack her things. Lunch was waiting in the sitting-room. Sanderson gave minute orders about the icing of his own particular brand of champagne, which he had had sent from Boston.
Anna had recovered her good spirits. It seemed “such a jolly lark,” as her husband said.
“Sweetheart, your happiness,” he said, and raised his glass to hers. Her eyes sparkled like the champagne. The honeymoon at the White Rose Tavern had begun very merrily.
A little glimpse of the garden of Eden.
“The moon—the moon, so
silver and cold,
Her fickle temper has oft been told,
Now shady—now bright and sunny—
But of all the lunar things that change,
The one that shows most fickle and strange,
And takes the most eccentric range
Is the moon—so called—of honey.”—Hood.