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The Two Destinies

6. Her Story
WHAT I have now to tell you of Mary is derived from information obtained at a date in
my life later by many years than any date of which I have written yet. Be pleased to
remember this.
Dermody, the bailiff, possessed relatives in London, of whom he occasionally spoke, and
relatives in Scotland, whom he never mentioned. My father had a strong prejudice against
the Scotch nation. Dermody knew his master well enough to be aware that the prejudice
might extend to him, if he spoke of his Scotch kindred. He was a discreet man, and he
never mentioned them.
On leaving my father's service, he had made his way, partly by land and partly by sea, to
Glasgow--in which city his friends resided. With his character and his experience,
Dermody was a man in a thousand to any master who was lucky enough to discover him.
His friends bestirred themselves. In six weeks' time he was placed in charge of a
gentleman's estate on the eastern coast of Scotland, and was comfortably established with
his mother and his daughter in a new home.
The insulting language which my father had addressed to him had sunk deep in
Dermody's mind. He wrote privately to his relatives in London, telling them that he had
found a new situation which suited him, and that he had his reasons for not at present
mentioning his address. In this way he baffled the inquiries which my mother's lawyers
(failing to discover a trace of him in other directions) addressed to his London friends.
Stung by his old master's reproaches, he sacrificed his daughter and he sacrificed me--
partly to his own sense of self-respect, partly to his conviction that the difference between
us in rank made it his duty to check all further intercourse before it was too late.
Buried in their retirement in a remote part of Scotland, the little household lived, lost to
me, and lost to the world.
In dreams, I had seen and heard Mary. In dreams, Mary saw and heard me. The innocent
longings and wishes which filled my heart while I was still a boy were revealed to her in
the mystery of sleep. Her grandmother, holding firmly to her faith in the predestined
union between us, sustained the girl's courage and cheered her heart. She could hear her
father say (as my father had said) that we were parted to meet no more, and could
privately think of her happy dreams as the sufficient promise of another future than the
future which Dermody contemplated. So she still lived with me in the spirit--and lived in
hope.
The first affliction that befell the little household was the death of the grandmother, by
the exhaustion of extreme old age. In her last conscious moments, she said to Mary,
"Never forget that you and George are spirits consecrated to each other. Wait--in the
certain knowledge that no human power can hinder your union in the time to come."
 
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