|Chapter Title||SOMETHING LIKE A PRESENT.|
|Newspaper Title||Liverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Marian Gonisby|
SOKHTHINO LIEB A PEBSBNT.
Love's boHlo nhould end so, Peaceful the after-glow, Fraught ¡with true love Bleased from above.
Two months after Marian's arrival it was' ] arranged that the wedding should take plaoo ; an j there was no one to eay them
Before they left England, Marian's father had written to notify the tenants of * Fair- leigh' that he would require his house, and it waa now vacant. Not knowing rightly to whom it belonged, it was yet thought improbable that there would be any trouble about its being oooupied by Marian when she became Mrs Whiddon ; and to that end things wore being arranged. Towards tho furnishing Marian found that she could help, as the ready money which her father had in his possession at the time of his death some JÊ1G0-- had been handed to Marian ; and even in a large, roomy house, such a sum, judiciously expended, can be spread out to great advantage.
Sir Douglas and Lady Whiddon could not do much for tho yonng couple in this direction, but were able to do one thing which gave Marian more honest pleasure than many silk dresses or chining gems : they presented her with that well-loved piano whioh they had become possessed of at the time of tho sale, and which, as the reader knows, waa associated with many happy hours in years gone by:
With what energy and light-heartedness Marian worked about the rooms of the old home, dusting and dearing with her own little white hands, and making the halls ring with the voice whioh had got back the oheeriest notes ; with good Lilian's willing assistance, curtains and carpets were arranged, and suoh furniture as ? would be required by the young couple disposed of to the best advantage.
* Thia was your own room, Marie P' .Yes, dear.'
'Aud i-I am helping you^some, ami not?' ._ '?'
4 Of oourae you are, /ove ; bnt what a funny .question. What is the relevanoy, Lil, between the two questions ?'
* Ah ! you forget some trifles, dear, whioh I happen to remember. Do you forget, Marie, that ic was just here yon once tear- fully deolared-and, oh, you looked so sad ! --that I could not help you : nobody contd help you I'
* I do remember it. I have lived through much since then, Lily. But the mists have olearod away, thank God, and the world is again a bright and beautiful place-Lilian, I am eo happy I'
* And at peaoe ?'
4 Yes, at peaoe ; I never thought to know suoh blessed peaoe. If this is not the Book of Ages on whioh I stand-on which we stand, dear sister,' and Bhe took Lilian's hand-4 then it is. at least the sublimest apex on whioh the human soul can rest. Jf it is a delusion, then it ÍB the happiest poasible
' But it is not a delusion, Lilian 1'
' No, it is not a delusion ; Christ is real, and His testimony is true. Soienoe cannot remove the figure of Christ from history : He is historically true. Infidelity cannot undermine His teachings : for they answer to every human longing, and they fill the thirsty soul.'
* Marian, when you talk so, even with thiB dust-rag in your hand, you look angelic'
4 But I'm not, Lilian.'
* George thinks you ate, at any rata.*
4 Dear. George, he has waited. so long, yet I. am afraid some.,of onr friends will talk about our marriage taking place so soon.' (She made reference to. her father's death;) * It is only three monthB, you know.'
4 Let them talk. The world's conventional
respects .do noe often amount to much.*
* » * »
It was decided that the wedding should be of the quietest. Oaly the immediate family relations were present. It was a bright Maroh morning-the sun's rays were not penetratingly hot-a* two carriages drove up to the St..Kilda Church. Sweetly pretty did the graoeful girl look as she stood arrayed in her wedding gown of soft, white, Indian Bilk, prettily trimmed .with meohlin .lace ; her hat being of the same lace, drawn and tet off with white tips and stephanatis, and a lovely bouquet of bridal flowers, tied with long Btrcams of broad, white, satin ribbon. Lilian, as bridesmaid, wore a girlish frock of embroidered muslin, set off by a broad sash of Australian blue liberty silk, the flowers in her hat being blue forget-me nots, while similar flowers adorned the floral
horseshoe she carried.
A featuro in tho ooremony was the appear- ance of Mr Benzimmon as "beet man.'
4 Love's beaming brightness never made a sweeter wedding,' was Lilian's vordiot upon the affair ; while Miss Luoy took no small credit for superintending tho 'luck-throwing' portion of the ooremony. There was little rice, but many roBO-loavcB.
Rioo-throwing at Colonial, weddings seen upon a hundred platforms, espooially, at oountry stations-has grown into an abom- inable nnisanco-certainly into a .blinding'
Tho breakfast was, of oourse, at .Lady Whidden'B ; and aB tho party, with less of flutter and excitement than ia incidental .to most nuptials, sat down at tablo a marvel- lous surprise was launohod upon thom.
Luoy carno last into tho room, tho nnoon soious boaror of a letter of tho utmost im Sortance. 4 Marian-I bog pardon, Mrs teorge Whiddon-horo'fl a lottor addressed for a Miss Gonisby ! I understand there ain't no sion person I What shall we do
with lt P'
* Here, Miaa Mischief, none of your larks f Give it to Marian," oame imperatively from George.
* It is from England ! It is in my unole'fl handwriting, too, George, will yon Qpon it f You have that right now, I enppopa^ I smiling with all the devotion that was pa
j ' Have I really tha* presumptuous rightF j It Booms impudent. I shall, I .hope, usa 'ft
' Cannot you &eep your correspondence - till you are out of oompany, young people tf* demanded Sir Douglas.
' I think you are right, sir/ replied' George, as he laid tho letter, half-opened, bi.
front of Marian.
Marian's impatience was, perhaps, greater. As she perused the first page her cheeks colored, and the oompany could not fail to notice her intent reading of the lotter. Jt was from uncle GoniBby ; and when after four or five minutes (which seemed much longer to those who, in mute surprise, watched the silent reader), she rose hurriedly and threw her arms exoitedly about.George^i neok, they looked on and laughed, demand« lng an explanation of suoh an effusion of feeling.
'George will tell you what it means-; what this letter means to ns. Read thei' first page, GeorgeV l
He did, and the reader must, also know
» My very dear Niece,-I should have written before this date, but certain legal matters were attended with the usual law's delays. The sad news of my brother's death, and of your own lonely and trying time upon the high seas, affected ns deeply. The one pleasing relief which I have, and , which ia fully shared in by jour aunt, ' is
that in the last hour of your father's life he relented towards you, his only child. Be- lieve me, dear Marian, it makes easier and pleasanter our duty towards you. Erom the first my determination was to aot only as yonr guardian, when your father gave me to understand (and it waa much againit my will he so devised matters) that I should become possessed of his fortune. You will aee by the enclosed document that I have transferred to you, the proper party, the whole of your father's fortune, eave and exoept the sum of £5.000 whioh he willed to the Zion fund. You will therefore do right in tabing immediate possession of tho house, and in due course will be in possess- ion of tho money whioh, by all that is right and just, should oome to you.'
Honest and hearty were the company's
felioitationB. . . _
. * Something like a.wedding present,', said - Mr Benzioomon ; and, with deliberation, .' I really-never-saw- any thing-BO -~. Oppor- tune ! Just like one of those things you read about ÍH fiction, you know.'
* Yes ; just fancy that it was lying hero for some hours and we did not so muph,as dream of it!' said the happy Lilian-h^ppy in sharing other's happiness. ' .
iLuoy, who had really, a clever, knack oi turning a scene to melo.dramatio account, broke in with : °
V Who touched Aladdin's lamp and made it
Who touohed the rookB and made :tLe,.,w»tera
Arabian knights ,have, brought' thia , lnokrl
. trow, }.....
And now the bridal partyrwiUproceedto;go!'
* Whare did you get < hat,Luoy ?", demanded Sir Douglas. ' ' ,
f Ifs my very own, papa. . lfm;igjp&ag.,to send ic to .Punoh.' Quite an invitation, don't you think so ?' . >
»You will get punohed lfr you do^Mhts Minx,'replied her brother. '
' Yet we thank you for the last line, little sister,* came sweetly from« Marian, ,.as. she rose and begged leave to go. George ^fol- lowed Buit, and withdrew with his bride upon his arm.
They spent a delightful honeymoon,' first at Macedon, and then upon our own Bhio
* * « * *
We could not leave them under, happier circumstances. The things that wera wrong have , righted themselves. The long tangle became unravelled. As wisdom is justified of her children, BO perfect ^,love, whioh oaBtoth out all fear in its, highiet development, has brought to George,t'and Marian Whiddon peace, content, and jpeifgot confidence-ono in hope and faith , ^nd charity.