So it was on account of Yann’s childishness that Gaud had been languishing, forsaken for two long years, and had longed to die.
At first Yann laughed, but now he looked at Gaud with kind eyes, questioning deeply. Would she forgive him? He felt such remorse for having made her suffer. Would she forgive him?
“It’s my temper that does it, Gaud,” said he. “At home with my folks, it’s the same thing. Sometimes, when I’m stubborn, I remain a whole week angered against them, without speaking to anybody. Yet you know how I love them, and I always end by doing what they wish, like a boy. If you think that I was happy to live unmarried, you’re mistaken. No, it couldn’t have lasted anyway, Gaud, you may be sure.”
Of course, she forgave him. As she felt the soft tears fall, she knew they were the outflow of her last pangs vanishing before Yann’s confession. Besides, the present never would have been so happy without all her suffering; that being over, she was almost pleased at having gone through that time of trial.
Everything was finally cleared up between them, in a very unexpected though complete manner; there remained no clouds between their souls. He drew her towards him, and they remained some time with their cheeks pressed close, requiring no further explanations. So chaste was their embrace, that the old grandam suddenly awaking, they remained before her as they were without any confusion or embarrassment.
CHAPTER VI—THE BRIDAL
It was six days before the sailing for Iceland. Their wedding procession was returning from Ploubazlanec Church, driven before a furious wind, under a sombre, rain-laden sky.
They looked very handsome, nevertheless, as they walked along as in a dream, arm-in-arm, like king and queen leading a long cortege. Calm, reserved, and grave, they seemed to see nothing about them; as if they were above ordinary life and everybody else. The very wind seemed to respect them, while behind them their “train” was a jolly medley of laughing couples, tumbled and buffeted by the angry western gale.
Many people were present, overflowing with young life; others turning gray, but these still smiled as they thought of their wedding-day and younger years. Granny Yvonne was there and following, too, panting a little, but something like happy, hanging on the arm of an old uncle of Yann’s, who was paying her old-fashioned compliments. She wore a grand new cap, bought for the occasion, and her tiny shawl, which had been dyed a third time, and black, because of Sylvestre.
The wind worried everybody; dresses and skirts, bonnets and coiffes, were similarly tossed about mercilessly.
At the church door, the newly married couple, pursuant to custom, had bought two nosegays of artificial flowers, to complete their bridal attire. Yann had fastened his on anyhow upon his broad chest, but he was one of those men whom anything becomes. As for Gaud, there was still something of the lady about the manner in which she had placed the rude flowers in her bodice, as of old very close fitting to her unrivalled form.