want to take up my life here, with our marriage.' For, my dear, we had decided to
be married as soon as the formalities are complete. `Are you willing, Wilhelmina,
to share my ignorance? Here is the book. Take it and keep it, read it if you will,
but never let me know unless, indeed, some solemn duty should come upon me
to go back to the bitter hours, asleep or awake, sane or mad, recorded here.' He
fell back exhausted, and I put the book under his pillow, and kissed him. have
asked Sister Agatha to beg the Superior to let our wedding be this afternoon, and
am waiting her reply. . ."
"She has come and told me that the Chaplain of the English mission church has
been sent for. We are to be married in an hour, or as soon after as Jonathan
"Lucy, the time has come and gone. I feel very solemn, but very, very happy.
Jonathan woke a little after the hour, and all was ready, and he sat up in bed,
propped up with pillows. He answered his `I will' firmly and strong. I could hardly
speak. My heart was so full that even those words seemed to choke me.
"The dear sisters were so kind. Please, God, I shall never, never forget them, nor
the grave and sweet responsibilities I have taken upon me. I must tell you of my
wedding present. When the chaplain and the sisters had left me alone with my
husband-- oh, Lucy, it is the first time I have written the words `my husband'-- left
me alone with my husband, I took the book from under his pillow, and wrapped it
up in white paper, and tied it with a little bit of pale blue ribbon which was round
my neck, and sealed it over the knot with sealing wax, and for my seal I used my
wedding ring. Then I kissed it and showed it to my husband, and told him that I
would keep it so, and then it would be an outward and visible sign for us all our
lives that we trusted each other, that I would never open it unless it were for his
own dear sake or for the sake of some stern duty. Then he took my hand in his,
and oh, Lucy, it was the first time he took his wifes' hand, and said that it was the
dearest thing in all the wide world, and that he would go through all the past
again to win it, if need be. The poor dear meant to have said a part of the past,
but he cannot think of time yet, and I shall not wonder if at first he mixes up not
only the month, but the year.
"Well, my dear, could I say? I could only tell him that I was the happiest woman in
all the wide world, and that I had nothing to give him except myself, my life, and
my trust, and that with these went my love and duty for all the days of my life.
And, my dear, when he kissed me, and drew me to him with his poor weak
hands, it was like a solemn pledge between us.
"Lucy dear, do you know why I tell you all this? It is not only because it is all
sweet to me, but because you have been, and are, very dear to me. It was my
privilege to be your friend and guide when you came from the schoolroom to
prepare for the world of life. I want you to see now, and with the eyes of a very
happy wife, whither duty has led me, so that in your own married life you too may
be all happy, as I am. My dear, please Almighty God, your life may be all it
promises, a long day of sunshine, with no harsh wind, no forgetting duty, no
distrust. I must not wish you no pain, for that can never be, but I do hope you will
be always as happy as I am now. Goodbye, my dear. I shall post this at once,