Then she thought of the danger of directing Lady Belamour’s wrath on her father, and leading to his expulsion and destitution. She had been sent from home, and bestowed in marriage to prevent his ruin, and should she now ensure it? Her return to him or even her disappearance would no doubt lead to high words from him, and then he would be cast out to beggary in his old age. No, she could only save him by yielding herself up, exonerating him from all knowledge of her strange marriage, far more of the catastrophe, and let my Lady do her worst! She had, as she knew, not been going on well lately, but she had confessed her faults, and recovered her confidence that her Heavenly Father would guard her as long as she resolutely did her duty. And her duty, as daughter and a wife, if indeed she was one, was surely to return, where her heart was drawing her. It might be very terrible, but still it was going nearer to him, and it would save her father.
The door was still open; she wrote a few words of gratitude and explanation to Dame Wheatfield, on a piece of a torn book, wrapped a couple of guineas in it, and laid it in the basket, then kneeling again to implore protection and safety, and if it might be, forgiveness and reconciliation, she set forth. “Love is strong as death,” said Mary Sedhurst’s tomb. She knew better what that meant than when her childish eyes first fell upon it. A sense of Divine Love was wrapping her round with a feeling of support and trust, while the human love drew her onwards to confront all deadly possibilities in the hope of rejoining her husband, or at least of averting misfortune from her father.
CHAPTER XXV. VANISHED.
Where there is no place
For the glow-worm to lie,
Where there is no space
For receipt of a fly,
Where the midge dares not venture
Lest herself fast she lay,
If Love come, he will enter
And find out the way.—OLD SONG.
Major Delavie and his eldest daughter were sitting down to supper in the twilight, when a trampling of horses was heard in the lane a carriage was seen at the gate, and up the pathway came a slender youthful figure, in a scarlet coat, with an arm in a sling.