“Goin’ to pass right through my nest, Mr. Minot, and I tell you it aint so easy to think of that spot of ground as a grave-yard. ’Twont be nothin’ else to me, never. Oh, the years I bury there!”
Father ventured to suggest remuneration.
“No, no, nothin’ can’t pay; they don’t know it, Mr. Minot, but it’s a bitter pill.” And a shadow overspread her resolute features. She determined on making our house her home “forever and a day arter” she said, and bore it as patiently as she could; but I saw great drops fall from her eyes as she looked over to that little home and watched its demolition. She said she had prayed for a strong wind to do the work, but this was not granted. My own heart leaped to my throat in sympathy, but knowing her so well I said nothing.
Louis was more than busy. I wondered when my birthday came if he would remember it. He did, and all the evening of that day we sat together and talked of our future.
“Emily, I am feeling glad to-night; my heart sings loud for joy. You cannot think how beautiful you have grown in my eyes; even though you filled my heart long days ago, that heart-room does expand with growth, and your queenly beauty still fills it to completeness. Let your hair fall over your shoulders; look out over the future days with your speaking eyes as if you were a picture, my Emily.” And as he said this my shell-comb was in his hand and my long and heavy hair lay about me like a mantle. He liked to see it so, and I sat as if receiving a blessed benediction.
“Can you see nothing before you?” he asked.
“Mists, like drapery curtains, shade the days,” I said: “What is it you would have me find?”
“Find the month of June’s
Find a trellis and a vine;
Ask your heart, my queenly darling,
If the sun will on us shine,
And my heart, love’s waiting trellis,
Then receive its clinging vine.
Have I spoken well and truly?
Does your soul like mine decide?
And, with June’s dear wealth of roses,
Shall I claim you for a bride?
Do the old hills answer, darling?
Unto me they seem to say:
’Two young hearts in truth have waited;
Emily may name the day.’”
As the words of his impromptu verse died away, the moon, looking through the rifted clouds, beamed an affirmation, and I said:
“Let June be the month, Louis; the day shall name itself.”
Clara called: “It is nine o’clock, my dear ones;” and we said “good night.”
Louis’ birthday came on the 24th of June, and it seemed very appropriate to me that this should be the day of our wedding, and, as I said to him; the day named itself, and it also came on Sunday. I had no thought of being married in the old church, but Louis was positive that it would be best.