“All true, Harry,” called back the colonel from the top of the coach (nobody alighted but the grooms—there wasn’t time—) “Your mother wouldn’t wait another hour and sent me for you, and Teackle said St. George could go, and we bundled him up and brought him along and you are all going to stay a month. No, don’t wait a minute, Kate; I want to get home before dark. One of my men will be in with the carryall and bring out your mammy and your clothes and whatever you want. Your father is away I hear, and so nobody will miss you. Get your heavy driving coat, my dear; I brought one of mine in for Harry—it will be cold before we get home. Matthew, your eyes are better than mine, get down and see what the devil is the matter with that horse. No, it’s all right—the check-rein bothered him.”
And so ended the day that had been so happily begun, and the night was no less joyful with the mother’s arms about her beloved boy and Kate on a stool beside her and Talbot and St. George deep in certain vintages—or perhaps certain vintages deep in Talbot and St. George—especially that particular and peculiar old Madeira of 1800, which his friend Mr. Jefferson had sent him from Monticello, and which was never served except to some such distinguished guest as his highly esteemed and well-beloved friend of many years, St. George Wilmot Temple of Kennedy Square.
It would be delightful to describe the happy days at Moorlands during St. George’s convalescence, when the love-life of Harry and Kate was one long, uninterrupted, joyous dream. When mother, father, and son were again united—what a meeting was that, once she got her arms around her son’s neck and held him close and wept her heart out in thankfulness!—and the life of the old-time past was revived—a life softened and made restful and kept glad by the lessons all had learned. And it would be more delightful still to carry the record of these charming hours far into the summer had not St. George, eager to be under his own roof in Kennedy Square, declared he could stay no longer.
Not that his welcome had grown less warm. He and his host had long since unravelled all their difficulties, the last knot having been cut the afternoon the colonel, urged on by Harry’s mother—his disappointment over his sons’s coldness set at rest by her pleadings—had driven into town for Harry in his coach, as has been said, and swept the whole party, including St. George, out to Moorlands.
Various unrelated causes had brought about this much-to-be-desired result, the most important being the news of the bank’s revival, which Harry, in his mad haste to overtake Kate, had forgotten to tell his uncle, and which St. George learned half an hour later from Pawson, together with a full account of what the colonel had done to bring about the happy result—a bit of information which so affected Temple that, when the coach with the colonel on the box had whirled up, he, weak as he was, had struggled to the front door, both hands held out, in welcome.