He saw her as she might travel with him comfortably toward the sand-hills, in a schooner-wagon made for her use, fitted with certain luxuries of cushions and rugs. He saw her with him in deep still groves, coming at last to that circle of young pines where he preached, meeting his people, supplementing his labor with her loveliness. He saw—oh, dream of dreams—he saw a little white church among the sand-hills, a little church with a bell, such a bell as the boy had not heard before Whittington rang them all for him. Later, perhaps, there might be a rectory near the church, a rectory with a garden—and Mary in the garden.
So, tired after his journey, he sat with unseeing eyes, needing rest, needing food, yet feeling no fatigue as his soul leaped over time and space toward the goal of happiness.
He was aroused by the appearance of Aunt Chloe, the cook.
“I’se jus’ been lookin’ fo’ you, Mr. Roger,” she said. “A telegraf done come, yestiddy, and I ain’t knowed what to do wid it.”
She handed it to him, and watched him anxiously as he opened it.
It was from Cousin Patty.
“Mary has had sad news of Barry. We need you. Can you come?”
In Which Little-Lovely Leila Looks Forward to the Month of May; and in Which Barry Rides Into a Town With Narrow Streets.
It was when Little-Lovely Leila was choosing certain gowns for her trip abroad that she had almost given away her secret to Delilah.
“I want a yellow one,” she had remarked, “with a primrose hat, like I wore when Barry and I——” She stopped, blushing furiously.
“When you and Barry what?” demanded Delilah.
Leila having started to say, “When Barry and I ran away to be married,” stumbled over a substitute, “Well, I wore a yellow gown—when—when——”
“Not when he proposed, duckie. That was the day at Fort Myer. I knew it the minute I came out and saw your face; and then that telephone message about the picture. Were you really jealous when you found it on my table?”
“Dreadfully.” Leila breathed freely once more. The subject of the primrose gown was shelved safely.
“You needn’t have been. All the world knew that Barry was yours.”
“And he’s mine now,” Leila laughed; “and I am to see him in—May.”
In the days which followed she was a very busy little Leila. On every pretty garment that she made or bought, she embroidered in fine silk a wreath of primroses. It was her own delicious secret, this adopting of her bridal color. Other brides might be married in white, but she had been different—her gown had been the color of the great gold moon that had lighted their way. What a wedding journey it had been—and how she and Barry would laugh over it in the years to come!
For the tragedy which had weighed so heavily began now to seem like a happy comedy. In a few weeks she would see Barry, in a few weeks all the world would know that she was his wife!