dreaming of a madman. You know I had brain fever, and that is to be mad. The secret is
here, and I do not want to know it. I 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 awakes."
"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, and perhaps, write you very soon again. I must stop, for Jonathan is
waking. I must attend my husband!