|Chapter Title||DEREK AND RUTH.|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||Wedded to Death|
DEBEK AND EUTH.
A year has passed away, and the school-house is decked in snch gala colouring as was never beforo seen on the green at Paddington.
A flag is flying over the front gate, and all the windows are adorned with flowers, while, as for the large yard at the baok, which is generally used as a playground, it has been transformed by the joint effects of the children into a perfect bower ofi flowers.
<*-»I ' ?
Their beloved teacher, " Miss Ruth" as theyfor .the most part called her, ÍB going to be married, and there is not one inharmonious note in the joy «ry that the universal delight at this marriage has
gf,0f course, Derek Home is the bridegroom, and he has won for himself the golden opinions of all the
A certain amount of regret is mixed with their gladness, since Ruth will no longer be their school ?mú-tiess 5 but they are all very fond of Fergie, who is to carry on the school with a young lady aBsis -fcant, and Ruth has promised to come very often and look after them. She had tried very hard to per- suade Derek to let her go on with her work, till he fully explained to her that the money which, thanks to Grayling, he was making in the City quite ob- viated all necessity for her to go on teaching, and that Bhe could not go about with him or be the through companion he expected his wife to be if
she still had the school on her shoulders. , I
So she gave in, though parting with the little ,
ones was a sorrow to her.
There waa no conventional body of bridesmaids, but Rosie and Mike, dresBed in old-time costumes of Ruth's design, were to be her tiny attendants, and really proud they were of the honour.
Fergie in the quietest of soft grey costumes, looked the sweet, kindly little gentlewoman that she was, smiles wreathing her face as she thought in gratitude of her dear Ruth's well-merited happi-
For Ruth was truly, thoroughly happy, though even on their wedding day both Bhe and Derek felt ead when they thought of Dorothy, whom they had both so fondly loved, and felt that it was only through her death that they had come together.
The guests at the wedding were numerous, and in very truth socially disjointed. How could they be otherwise considering the different positions in life in which the contracting parties had hitherto
Of course Dick Churchill and his " Siren" wife were very much to the front, since, as Derek laugh- ingly told everyone, he had come to town ex- pressly to give away his eldest daughter ; the youngest being represented by a bundle in long clothes that a smartly-dressed nurse was holding in her arms as she stood in the church porch watch ing the wedding party defile past her.
A little bit to Ruth's dissatisfaction, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lovatt arrived from the States ex- pressly to put in an appearance.
Ruth had conceived one of those strong anti- pathies to Vera which even thoroughly good people cannot always overcome, and this antipathy had not been lessened by the knowledge that Vera was in some way connected with poor Dorothy's sad falling away from the right path. However, since she could not raise an objection to her presence
without telling Derek her reasons, for his sake she ( reeolved to put up with her, more especially since she knew it would be a pleasure to him to have his old friend Frank Lovatt by his side.
Marriage, and dollars, and a trip to the States where she had been feted te death, had all com- bined to Vera's deterioration 5 her head evidently could not stand much spoiling, she waB noisier than ever, and as for her dress, it was beginning to
-verge on the loud.
She managed, moreover, to jar considerably on Ruth's sensibilities by talking in a very haphazard, flippant way about Dorothy, alluding to what she was pleased to call the mystery of her life os if it wero a good story-book tale, instead of a ead, sad life-history, which all who loved her should keep
Atogether, the new Mrs. Derek Home hoped that her path and Vera's would diverge widely.
And, verily, n» two more dissimilar women ever lived to walk side by side, even for a short space.
As to whether Frank Lovatt was happy, no one enquired. He was joyous and noisy, full of joke and dash, so the inference was that he was perfectly
The scho»l children thought him quite delightful, even liked him better for the moment than their dear Mr. Home, for he played with them, chaffed them, and behaved as if he were once more a boy
Thoroughly good fellow as Frank Lovatt was, he iras more than moderately delighted at Derek's good fortune, believing firmly as he did that Ruth was quite the right wife for him, incomparably superior as she was to all the Da Costas and Dorothys in creation.
So the merry bells rang «ut, and the two whom circumstances had kept apart for a while were at
Only one among the guests felt a little bit aggrieved and left out in the cold, and he was a really saint-like, uncomplaining man as a rule.
The Reverend John Eagle felt that the pleasure it would have given him to be the officiating minister on this occasion would have compensated for many of the sacrifices which his life of penance entailed; but this could not be. John Eagle's creed carried him outside the pale of the Church of England, and Derek and Ruth both wished to remain within its fold ; so Derek's uncle, the vicar, performed the service, and John Eagle was com- pelled to look silently on, and breathe unheard his heartfelt prayers for the temporal and eternal
welfare of the two in whom he took so keen an interest.
Much woFk he and Ruth would do together in the future, and it is probable that his turbulent fanaticism would very frequently be checked by means of her moderation and good Christian
Derek had taken a modeBt but ci»mfortuble house not half a mile from her old home, to which he intended latter on to conduct his beloved Ruth.
To-day they were going to Scotland for the honey-moon, since both had a longing for keen air and grand scenery wherewith to brace their nerveB.
The carriage which was to take them to the station was already at the door when a man arrived with a tiny parcel addressed to "Mrs. Derek Home."
" Old Blatthcrwaite's writing," cried Vera, and she obtained leave to open it.
A bracelet for Ruth, with Mr. and Mrs. Blatter waite's compliments ; and such a bracelet-a go'd band in which were large costly sapphires !
"In perfect taste. Why, old B. is turning over a new leaf," Vera said to her husband ; " he never gave me anything like that, eh, Frank ?"
But Derek was scarcely pleased ; favours from Joe Blattherwaite were little to his liking, and as for Ruth, for preference she would have sold all the gems she possessed to feed the starving.
At last, the bracelet having been finally dis- cussed and handed over to Fergie's keeping, they were in the carriage, «n route to the station, followed by the conventional shower of rice and such a shout of loud huzzas as had never before been heard on Paddington Green.
[Tbe tale " WEDDED TO DEATH," being now completed, we shall next Saturday begin the publication In its place of a story entitled " A WOMAN'S VOW," a narrative full of interest, and abounding In surprising Changes.]