Ellen went on shelling peas for a few minutes. Then she suddenly put her hands up to her own face. There were tears in her black-browed eyes.
“I—I hope we’ll all be happy,” she said between a sob and a laugh.
Down at the manse Una Meredith, warm, rosy, triumphant, marched boldly into her father’s study and laid a letter on the desk before him. His pale face flushed as he saw the clear, fine handwriting he knew so well. He opened the letter. It was very short—but he shed twenty years as he read it. Rosemary asked him if he could meet her that evening at sunset by the spring in Rainbow Valley.
“And so,” said Miss Cornelia, “the double wedding is to be sometime about the middle of this month.”
There was a faint chill in the air of the early September evening, so Anne had lighted her ever ready fire of driftwood in the big living room, and she and Miss Cornelia basked in its fairy flicker.
“It is so delightful—especially in regard to Mr. Meredith and Rosemary,” said Anne. “I’m as happy in the thought of it, as I was when I was getting married myself. I felt exactly like a bride again last evening when I was up on the hill seeing Rosemary’s trousseau.”
“They tell me her things are fine enough for a princess,” said Susan from a shadowy corner where she was cuddling her brown boy. “I have been invited up to see them also and I intend to go some evening. I understand that Rosemary is to wear white silk and a veil, but Ellen is to be married in navy blue. I have no doubt, Mrs. Dr. dear, that that is very sensible of her, but for my own part I have always felt that if I were ever married I would prefer the white and the veil, as being more bride-like.”
A vision of Susan in “white and a veil” presented itself before Anne’s inner vision and was almost too much for her.
“As for Mr. Meredith,” said Miss Cornelia, “even his engagement has made a different man of him. He isn’t half so dreamy and absent-minded, believe me. I was so relieved when I heard that he had decided to close the manse and let the children visit round while he was away on his honeymoon. If he had left them and old Aunt Martha there alone for a month I should have expected to wake every morning and see the place burned down.”
“Aunt Martha and Jerry are coming here,” said Anne. “Carl is going to Elder Clow’s. I haven’t heard where the girls are going.”
“Oh, I’m going to take them,” said Miss Cornelia. “Of course, I was glad to, but Mary would have given me no peace till I asked them any way. The Ladies’ Aid is going to clean the manse from top to bottom before the bride and groom come back, and Norman Douglas has arranged to fill the cellar with vegetables. Nobody ever saw or heard anything quite like Norman Douglas these days, believe ME. He’s so tickled that he’s going to marry Ellen West after wanting her all his life. If I was Ellen—but then, I’m not, and if she is satisfied I can very well be. I heard her say years ago when she was a schoolgirl that she didn’t want a tame puppy for a husband. There’s nothing tame about Norman, believe ME.”