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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about The Dark Flower.
her away.  With perfect distinctness he could still see the group before the altar rails, just as if he had not been a part of it himself.  Cis in her white, Sylvia in fluffy grey; his impassive brother-in-law’s tall figure; Gordy looking queer in a black coat, with a very yellow face, and eyes still half-closed.  The rotten part of it all had been that you wanted to be just feeling, and you had to be thinking of the ring, and your gloves, and whether the lowest button of your white waistcoat was properly undone.  Girls could do both, it seemed—­Cis seemed to be seeing something wonderful all the time, and Sylvia had looked quite holy.  He himself had been too conscious of the rector’s voice, and the sort of professional manner with which he did it all, as if he were making up a prescription, with directions how to take it.  And yet it was all rather beautiful in a kind of fashion, every face turned one way, and a tremendous hush—­except for poor old Godden’s blowing of his nose with his enormous red handkerchief; and the soft darkness up in the roof, and down in the pews; and the sunlight brightening the South windows.  All the same, it would have been much jollier just taking hands by themselves somewhere, and saying out before God what they really felt—­because, after all, God was everything, everywhere, not only in stuffy churches.  That was how he would like to be married, out of doors on a starry night like this, when everything felt wonderful all round you.  Surely God wasn’t half as small as people seemed always making Him—­a sort of superior man a little bigger than themselves!  Even the very most beautiful and wonderful and awful things one could imagine or make, could only be just nothing to a God who had a temple like the night out there.  But then you couldn’t be married alone, and no girl would ever like to be married without rings and flowers and dresses, and words that made it all feel small and cosy!  Cis might have, perhaps, only she wouldn’t, because of not hurting other people’s feelings; but Sylvia—­never—­she would be afraid.  Only, of course, she was young!  And the thread of his thoughts broke—­and scattered like beads from a string.

Leaning out, and resting his chin on his hands, he drew the night air into his lungs.  Honeysuckle, or was it the scent of lilies still?  The stars all out, and lots of owls to-night—­four at least.  What would night be like without owls and stars?  But that was it—­you never could think what things would be like if they weren’t just what and where they were.  You never knew what was coming, either; and yet, when it came, it seemed as if nothing else ever could have come.  That was queer-you could do anything you liked until you’d done it, but when you had done it, then you knew, of course, that you must always have had to . . .  What was that light, below and to the left?  Whose room?  Old Tingle’s—­no, the little spare room—­Sylvia’s!  She must be awake, then!  He leaned far out, and whispered in the voice she had said was still furry: 

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