“Indeed it is a wild mistake; I would to God it were otherwise.”
“By what authority do you make this assertion?” continued Judge Le Grande, evidently aroused by the dawning truth.
“By the confession of my daughter, left in her room, and written a short time before her flight.”
“Where is that confession? Let me see it.”
“Here,” replied the banker, drawing the crumpled missive from his pocket. “There, read the mischief for yourself.”
With trembling hand Judge Le Grande smoothed out the crushed paper, and eagerly, fearfully, scanned the contents that were to crush his hopes, as they had crushed those of the banker. Silently, carefully, he read it, read it till the story was told, and then, brushing away a tear from his eye he said, with emotion:
“Mordecai, forgive her! Forgive her, as I shall forgive him; and now that it is done, let us make the best of it.”
“Forgive!” hissed the banker; “forgive such an act of disobedience as that? Such disgrace to my name and people? Never, while there is a drop of Hebrew blood in Benjamin Mordecai’s veins, will I forgive it!”
“It’s no more a disgrace to your name and people than it is to mine; but I consider that people are fools, who make disgrace of family troubles, by obstinately parading them before the world.”
“Then I shall delight in being a fool, if so you deem it,” replied Mr. Mordecai, with kindling emotion.
“Alas! I had great plans for Emile,” said Judge Le Grande sadly, as he turned away from Mr. Mordecai; “and his mother too; she had fondly hoped he would marry Belle Upton. Now, all is disappointment. I do not know how she will bear it. As for myself, I shall make the best of it. I hope they may be happy.-I say, Mordecai,” looking steadily at the banker, “they have my forgiveness and my blessing too. You may do as you please.”
“Well, I curse them,” the banker answered bitterly; “and I swear they shall never see my face again, living or dying. Not one dollar from my purse shall they ever receive, even though want and beggary come upon them. Think not I can ever change, Judge Le Grande. As my people and my people’s God, the Eternal Father, are unchangeable, so is my purpose concerning these disobedient children. Good morning.” Mr. Mordecai then turned slowly from the office, and as the judge beheld the receding form, and remembered the fierce flash of his dark eye, he unhesitatingly exclaimed, “Poor old man! I pity you. And,” he added after a moment’s pause, “Heaven pity us both!”
As a bird floats safely upon the bosom of the blue sky and finds at last her leafy home, so the little vessel that bore the fugitive lovers, found safe and speedy anchorage in the quiet harbor of the sea-girt isle that was to be their future home. The young, ardent husband, and the fair, gentle wife, gazed with delight upon the cloudless skies and bright waters, and thought hopefully of the future. Only one shadow darkened their horizon. It was a fearful thought, to Leah, that her father’s anathema might ever rest upon her. But the future was veiled, and the voice of Hope whispered, “his blessing may come by and by. Wait.”