“Great guns!” exploded Owen, as he retreated into the conservatory and shut the door.
The next night was the sixth of June and the night of my wedding eve. All Bess’s bridesmaids and groomsmen were dining with her to rehearse her wedding and to have a sort of farewell bat with Matthew and me.
“What about your and Ann’s wedding to Matthew, Miss Polly?” I heard Cale Johnson ask Polly as she and Matthew were untangling a bolt of wide, white-satin ribbon that I had tangled. “All the show to be of rustics?”
“Nobody but Polly is going to stand by us,” said Matthew, looking cautiously around to see if I was listening. “Ann doesn’t believe in making much fuss over a wedding.”
“I didn’t know I was to be in it until Miss Bess took me to be fitted—oh, it is a dream of a dress, isn’t it, Mr. Matthew?” said Polly, with her enthusiasm also tempered by a glance in my direction.
“It sure is,” answered Matthew, with the greatest approval, as he regarded Polly with parental pride.
“Well, I’m glad I’m invited to see it,” said Cale as he glanced at Polly tenderly. “I mean to be at the wedding, Matt,” he added politely. Cale was to be best man with Polly as maid of honor at Bess’s wedding, and he had been standing and sitting close at Polly’s side for more than ten days.
“Let’s try it all over again, everybody,” called Bess’s wearied voice, interrupting Polly’s enthusiastic description of ruffles.
The wedding day was a nightmare. Annette and the housemaid and Bess and a girl from Madame Felicia’s packed up three trunks full of my clothes and sent them all to the station.
“I wish I never had to see them again,” I said viciously under my breath as the expressmen carried out the last trunk.
“Now, dear, in these two suitcases are your wedding things and your going-away gown. Your dress is in the long box and we will send them all out early in the morning in my car. Matthew will drive us out as soon as we can get ready,” Bess had said the night before, as she sank on my bed and spread out with fatigue.
The next morning it took Annette until ten o’clock and a shower of tears to get Bess and me to sit up and take our coffee. She said the decorators were downstairs beginning on Bess’s wedding decorations and that the sun was shining on my wedding-day.
“Well, I wish it had delayed itself a couple of hours. I’m too sleepy to get married,” I grumbled as I sat up to take the tray of coffee on my knees.
“Owen is a darling,” I heard Bess murmur from her bed, which was against the wall and mine as our rooms opened into each other. I also heard a rustle of paper and smelled the perfume of flowers.
“This is for Mademoiselle from Monsieur Berry,” said Annette, as she triumphantly produced a white box tied with white ribbons that lay in the center of a bunch of wild field-roses.