“Fully. He may not be strong for a year or two, and must be careful not to overtask himself, but John made him see one of the greatest physicians in New York, to whom Dr. Medlicott had sent letters of introduction-as if they were needed, he said, after Jock’s work at Abville. He said, as John did, there was no lasting damage to the heart, and that the attack was the consequence of having been brought so low; but he will be as strong and healthy as ever, if he will only be careful as to exertion for a year or so. This appointment is the very thing to save him. I know his friends will look after him and keep him from doing too much. Dr. —– was quite grieved that he had no notion how ill Jock had been, or he would have come to Ashton. Any of the faculty would, he said, for one of the ’true chivalry of 1878.’ And he was so excited about the Magnum Bonum.”
“Do you think you and he can bear to crown our great thanksgiving feast?”
“My dear, my heart is all one thanksgiving!”
“Cecil’s rejoicing is quite as much for Jock’s sake as over his boy. He told me how they had been pledged as brothers in arms, and traces all that is best in himself to those days at Engelberg.”
“Yes, that night on the mountain was the great starting-point, thanks to dear little Armine.”
“I am writing to him and to Allen,” said Barbara from a corner.
“My love a thousand times, and we will meet at home!”
“Then our joy will not feel incongruous to you?” said Mrs. Evelyn.
“No, I am too thankful for what I know of my poor Janet. She is mine now as she never was since she was a baby in my arms. I scarcely grieve, for happiness was over for her, and hers was a noble death. They have placed her name in the memorial tablet in Abville Church, to those who laid down their lives for their brethren there. I begged it might be, ’Janet Hermann, daughter of Joseph Brownlow’-for I thank God she died worthy of her father. In all ways I can say of this journey, my children were dead and are alive again, were lost and are found.”
“Ah! I was sure it must be so, if such a girl as Miss Ashton could accept Robert.”
“I am happier about him than I ever thought to be. I do not say that his faith is like John’s or Armine’s, but he is striving back through the mists, and wishing to believe, rather than being proud of disbelieving, and Primrose knows what she is doing, and is aiding him with all her power.”
“As our Esther never could have done,” said Mrs. Evelyn, “except by her gentle innocence.”
“No. She could only have been to him a pretty white idol of his own setting up,” said Babie.
“Now,” added her mother, “Primrose is fairly on equal grounds as to force and intellect. She has been all over Europe, read and thought much, and can discuss deep matters, while the depth of her religious principle impresses him. They fought themselves into love, and then she was sorry for him, and so touched by his wretchedness and longing to take hold of the comfort his reason could not accept. I wish you could have seen her. This photograph shows you her fine head; but not the beautiful clear complexion, and the sweetness of those dark grey eyes!”