Chapter 37814649

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37814649
Full Date1908-12-19
Page Number71
Corrections0
Word Count1240
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWestern Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)
Trove TitleThe Honeymoon
article text

CHAPTER III.

Che excuisioiiK began next moi nmg, and in an mteilude while they weie waiting foi the hainpei to be stowed away m the inevitable "tiap," the piettv mtiudei took the oppoitunity of whispenng to Mav

"Are you realh mai ned 01 not? It is so awkwaid I don't know whether to call >ou Mis 01 Miss I said it was Miss but auntie was scandalised and said it must be Mi s othei w ise she wouldn't think of allowing me to go about with such an equivocal peisonage as y oui self "

May's head went up two inches, and a hot spot burnt m each cheek On îeflection she decided not to satisfy the cunosity of hei mtenogatei

The position vv as made moi e aw kvv ard aftei then îetuin in the evening, by

Charlie handing her a let- ter, which had come en- closed in one to himself. It was from her father.

My dear daughter (it said),

I have just heard the news, and, though it first I was a little an- noyed at your subterfuge, I am now quite reconciled to your marriage; in- deed, I think Charlie had suffered quite enough at your hands, and it was high time you repaid him for his devotion. I cer- tainly have no cause to complain, as you have saved me no end of ex- pense, and I herewith send you the blessing of -Your loving

Father.

May read this missive through several times, with a sinking at her heart. She had had a horrid day, and was contemplating bi inging the honeymoon to an early conclusion. This letter of her father's stag- gered her. He believed her to be married, and how

could she undeceive him? There was only one thing to be done, she must suggest an immediate marriage to

Charlie.

She approached him on the subject di ling the evening, when the pretty intruder was in attendance cn her aunt. He twisted his absent mous- tache medicatively.

"The fortnight isn't up yet," he said. "Charlie, doa't be absurd," cried May. "We can't go on like this for a fortnight-I should go mad."

"It was your own suggestion,*' he reminded her. "You be.-, one might change their mind in a fortnight-meet somebody else they liked better-you

never know,"

"Well. I shall drown myself, that's all," said May, dissolved in a deluge of

tears.

"IWouldn't if I were you."' said Char- lie, unsmilingly, from his position ot aloofness near the mantelpiece. "It's a horribly disfiguring death, and you know you're not bad looking."

'It's that horrid girl." sobbed May. "I knew directly I saw her that she had set herself to catch you. I wish I was dead-I wish I'd never seen this place I wish I'd never seen you. I'll go and marry the f-first m-man that asks

m-ine."

"That's a good suggestion.'' said Charlie, reflectively. T would if I were you."

"So I will." cried May. rising, her eyes ablaze. "The very first man that

asks me."

"Seriously then. May. how will I do?"' asked Charlie, leaving the mantel- piece and coming close enough to take her hands. "Once more I ask you May Rolf, will you have me for your

wedded husband-and, as you have promised to marry the first man who asks you. you are bound to say yes."

"But that horrid girl?" sobbed May, her face very close to his shoulder.

"Well, of course, there is no knowing what my fancy for her might develop into. We have promised to see a good deal of one another when we get back to town, but in the meantime, if you and I were safely married-"

"When shall it be?" asked May, humbly.

"I think vie could arrange it for the morning," said Charlie, m a matter-of fact voice, but it was well that May could not see his face.

It was arranged for the morning, when the young pair tied the blissful but old-fashioned knot, with the aid of a country parson, in a little church that had climbed half-way up a hill and then sat down unevenly in a tangle of bracken and gum saplings.

So engrossed was May in the cere- mony that, although she was conscious of other persons following them into the church, she did not turn to inquire as to their identity, until the minister asked: "Who giveth this woman?" and her father's voice said : "I do,"' and then she looked around to see her mother and father, Aunt Dora, and that "horrid girl."

There was, of course, no opportunity for explanations then. They drove back to the "Mountain Hut" after the ceremony, and partook of refreshments, and for some reason no questions were asked. Everyone seemed in the best

of spirits, or so it appeared to May. ' She herself was reflective.

At the first opportunity she whisper- ed to her husband : "Don't you think we've had enough of the 'Mountain Hut?' "

"We'll go on to the Summit this af- ternoon," he. a"ns\vered, reassuringly.

"But the accommodation?"

"I ananged for it a week ago," he said, with a twinkle in his eye. "1 only took rooms here until to-night. I guessed you'd have had enough of it by then."

May said na more, but she thought a great deal, and when good-byes had been said and she and Charlie were driving on to the Summit, she intro- duced the subject again.

"There are a great many things I don't understand with regard to to- day's doings," she said. "Firstly, how carne mother and father to turn up at the church just at the right moment?"

"The caine up yesterday expressly to be present," said Charlie, coolly.

"But I got a letter from father only last night, and he distinctly under- stood that I was married. You gave me the letter youftelf. Charlie."

"Yes, I also wrote it myself. I thought things had hung fire long enough. And now, May, let me make matters plain. You don't suppose for one moment that I was going to accede unconditionally to your original honey- moon scheme P I took your mother into my confidence and she agreed that you should accompany me to the 'Mountain Hut,' and that your Aunt Dora should chaperone you."

"Which she didn't."

"Excuse me, she did, but for certain reasons she remained in her own room, and you were chaperoned by proxy in the person of Miss Lizzie Ford, a.cousin whom fortunately you had never seen, and whom we found doubly useful for

that reason. I was sure I could ar-

range, with their assistance, to have the marriage this morning, so your father and mother came np last night."

"Well, of all the deceit-"

"Oh, don't call it by such a hard name as that. Remember, that your supposed visit to your Aunt Dora, and your intended honeymoon with me, was merely to be called an original scheme, and deceit was never so much as nam- ed. Now. your parents have been too good to me to allow of my being so original towards them, and I had to devise a counter-scheme, which has an- swered admirably. After all, my dar- ling, our honeymoon has proved much more original than even you anticipa ted. and there are still ten days left."'

The kiss of peace was here given and exchanged, and the honeymoon advan- ced another stage.