And whether it was father’s being so hard and saying what he did about me before all those men, or whether it was me knowing that mother had stood up for us secret all the time, or whether it was because I loved William so much, or because he loved me so much, I don’t know. But I didn’t say another word, only began to cry, and we got downstairs and straight home to William’s mother, and we told her all about it; and we was cried in church next Sunday, and I stayed with the old lady until we was married, and many a year after; and a good mother she was to me, though only in law, and a good granny to our children when they come. And I wasn’t so unhappy as you may think, because mother come to see me directly, and she was at our wedding; and father, he didn’t say anything to prevent her going.
When I was churched after my first, and the boy was christened—in our own church, for I had made William promise it should be so if ever we had any—mother was there, and she said to me: ’Take the child,’ she said, ’and go to your father at home; and when he sees the child, he’ll come round, I’ll lay a crown; for his bark,’ she says, ‘was allus worse than his bite.’
And I did so, and the pears was hard and red on the wall as they was the night William climbed up to my window, and I went into the kitchen, and there was father sitting in his big chair, and the Bible on the table in front of him, with his spectacles; but he wasn’t reading, and if it had been any one else but father, I should have said he had been crying. And so I went in, and I showed him the baby, and I said—
’Look, father, here’s our little baby; and he’s named James, for you, father, and christened in church the same as I was. And now I have got a child of my own,’ says I, for he didn’t speak, ’dear father, I know what it is to have a child of your own go against your wishes, and please God mine never will—or against yours either. But I couldn’t help it, and O father, do forgive me!’
And he didn’t say anything, but he kissed the boy, and he kissed him again. And presently he says—
’It’s ’most time your mother was home from church. Won’t you be setting the tea, Kate?’
So I give him the baby to hold, for I knew everything was all right betwixt us.
And all the children have been christened in the church. But I think when father is taken from us—which in the nature of things he must be, though long may it be first!—I think I shall be a Roman Catholic too; for it doesn’t seem to me to matter much one way or the other, and it would please William very much, and I am sure it wouldn’t hurt me. And what’s the good of being married to the best man in the world if you can’t do a little thing like that to please him?