The Trumpet-Major HTML version

'Upon The Hill He Turned'
Having entered into this solemn compact with his son, the elder Loveday's next action
was to go to Mrs. Garland, and ask her how the toning down of the wedding had best be
done. 'It is plain enough that to make merry just now would be slighting Bob's feelings,
as if we didn't care who was not married, so long as we were,' he said. 'But then, what's to
be done about the victuals?'
'Give a dinner to the poor folk,' she suggested. 'We can get everything used up that way.'
'That's true' said the miller. 'There's enough of 'em in these times to carry off any extras
'And it will save Bob's feelings wonderfully. And they won't know that the dinner was
got for another sort of wedding and another sort of guests; so you'll have their good-will
for nothing.'
The miller smiled at the subtlety of the view. 'That can hardly be called fair,' he said.
'Still, I did mean some of it for them, for the friends we meant to ask would not have
cleared all.'
Upon the whole the idea pleased him well, particularly when he noticed the forlorn look
of his sailor son as he walked about the place, and pictured the inevitably jarring effect of
fiddles and tambourines upon Bob's shattered nerves at such a crisis, even if the notes of
the former were dulled by the application of a mute, and Bob shut up in a distant
bedroom--a plan which had at first occurred to him. He therefore told Bob that the
surcharged larder was to be emptied by the charitable process above alluded to, and
hoped he would not mind making himself useful in such a good and gloomy work. Bob
readily fell in with the scheme, and it was at once put in hand and the tables spread.
The alacrity with which the substituted wedding was carried out, seemed to show that the
worthy pair of neighbours would have joined themselves into one long ago, had there
previously occurred any domestic incident dictating such a step as an apposite expedient,
apart from their personal wish to marry.
The appointed morning came, and the service quietly took place at the cheerful hour of
ten, in the face of a triangular congregation, of which the base was the front pew, and the
apex the west door. Mrs. Garland dressed herself in the muslin shawl like Queen
Charlotte's, that Bob had brought home, and her best plum-coloured gown, beneath which
peeped out her shoes with red rosettes. Anne was present, but she considerately toned
herself down, so as not to too seriously damage her mother's appearance. At moments
during the ceremony she had a distressing sense that she ought not to be born, and was
glad to get home again.