Kilmeny of the Orchard
XIX. Victor From Vanquished Issues
Now that everything was settled Eric wished to give up teaching and go back to his own
place. True, he had "signed papers" to teach the school for a year; but he knew that the
trustees would let him off if he procured a suitable substitute. He resolved to teach until
the fall vacation, which came in October, and then go. Kilmeny had promised that their
marriage should take place in the following spring. Eric had pleaded for an earlier date,
but Kilmeny was sweetly resolute, and Thomas and Janet agreed with her.
"There are so many things that I must learn yet before I shall be ready to be married,"
Kilmeny had said. "And I want to get accustomed to seeing people. I feel a little
frightened yet whenever I see any one I don't know, although I don't think I show it. I am
going to church with Uncle and Aunt after this, and to the Missionary Society meetings.
And Uncle Thomas says that he will send me to a boarding school in town this winter if
you think it advisable."
Eric vetoed this promptly. The idea of Kilmeny in a boarding school was something that
could not be thought about without laughter.
"I can't see why she can't learn all she needs to learn after she is married to me, just as
well as before," he grumbled to her uncle and aunt.
"But we want to keep her with us for another winter yet," explained Thomas Gordon
patiently. "We are going to miss her terrible when she does go, Master. She has never
been away from us for a day--she is all the brightness there is in our lives. It is very kind
of you to say that she can come home whenever she likes, but there will be a great
difference. She will belong to your world and not to ours. That is for the best--and we
wouldn't have it otherwise. But let us keep her as our own for this one winter yet."
Eric yielded with the best grace he could muster. After all, he reflected, Lindsay was not
so far from Queenslea, and there were such things as boats and trains.
"Have you told your father about all this yet?" asked Janet anxiously.
No, he had not. But he went home and wrote a full account of his summer to old Mr.
Marshall that night.
Mr. Marshall, Senior, answered the letter in person. A few days later, Eric, coming home
from school, found his father sitting in Mrs. Williamson's prim, fleckless parlour. Nothing
was said about Eric's letter, however, until after tea. When they found themselves alone,
Mr. Marshall said abruptly,
"Eric, what about this girl? I hope you haven't gone and made a fool of yourself. It
sounds remarkably like it. A girl that has been dumb all her life--a girl with no right to her