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oFOR better or worse.
My True Wife.” BY MRS. MARY W. LOUGHBOROUGH. CHAPTER XII. “ Heart, heart, lie still; Heaven’s sweet grace alone Can keep in peace its own ! “ Let that me fill And I am still/’ For four weeks since the close of our summer journey we had been the guests of Judge Pryor. Nuw, our little resi dence all arranged, the two servants of the establishment having entered upon their duties, we were to take our 6 o’clock dinner for the first time under our own roof-tree. The pleasant fall afternoon was closing as, making our adieus for the time being to Miss Ethel and Judge Pryor, we walked out by the river to the cottage which was to be our future home. The golden sunshine glowed here and theie upon the yellow and scarlet foliage of the Autumn ; the air was mild and clear, but at our feet there rustled leaves, the harbinger of nature’s season of dormant vitality. “And so, Trecha,” I said, putting my arm about her, “you are leaving your father’s home, setting out in the world with only your husband?” “And I am going to hold fast to my husband’s hand,” she said, looking up with a smile. “What a pretty walk this will be for us along the river, as we go to and from town. Only think,” she continued, “I am going to be one of papa’s nearest and best neighbors.” “Do you think, lady bird, you can be happy without a carriage?” I queried. “Philip, you are laughing at me,” she said. “I can always use papa’s carriage, if I wish; but I prefer this lovely walk to driving. Look, Philip, how the light varies over the sail of the little boat across the water. The wind is shifting; and do you notice how like a fine etch, ing the canvas appears, with shadows thin or heavy as the motion changes and the light shades or brightens?” “Yes, it is a study. A more practical thought suggests itself,” I said, “in view of that boat. Trecha; what elegant fish we can secure from the watermen over there! They can bring them fresh from the stream. We will find them far bet ter flavored.” “Yes,” she said, “they will seem al most like our own possession, will they not? And I think, dear, we will enjoy the portico from the dining-room, with its outlook over the water. Oh, Philip, how happy we are, and how blest.” “Y es, lady mine; but doubtless there is many a march in life for us less pleas ant than a walk along this shady road way.” “How can anything be less pleasant when we will be always together?” “Ah, but there are such things as sick ness and death. Pardon me, sweet one, my heart is as happy as your own. And why should I croak.” She laughed gaily, exclaiming, “Ah, why, my Lord Hamlet, but that ‘The time has grown so picked,’ and your philosophy but seldom seeks repose.” There were a few maples and some handsome oaks upon the lawn.before our house. The mellow sunshine cast level lines across their trunks, and along the variegated leaves that scattered over the still green grass. As we walked around a little flower circle fronting the door way a robin and an oriole honored our arrival by a cheerful burst of music, keeping up the carol and cadence until we passed within the doorway.” Within the room there were warmth and brightness everywhere, while the smiling, gracious mistress ceased not to express her pleasure in the pretty gifts and possessions that adorned the cosy mansion. The 6 o’clock dinner, at which my lady love presided with con scious pride, was a pretty and recherche affair. Beatrice served deftly and with grace the dessert from the bright service of silver, expressing with smiles and happy words her joy in the possession of our snug home nest. On leaving the table Beatrice remained to speak with a servant, while I stepped out on the small portico fronting the river. The stars had come out, though there still lingered a light across the western heavens. Supreme peace and happiness filled my soul—that happiness which pervades the mind with a dreamy con tent in all things. How long I had desired with infinite longing this home peace and comfort. Now it is mine, and with it the contin ued presence of the woman who is dearer than all else in the world, more precious by far than my own life. “Philip, are you smoking?” “I am just about to smoke, sweet heart.” “Shall I come with you?” “Yes; get your shawl, and we will go down by the river.” For some time we walked up and down the garden pathway along the river. The changing water, reflecting the stars that seemed to float along the ripples of its surface. Here and there shone the light of passing schooners or small fishing boats as they sailed or drifted by. “lam going to make a very.pretty garden here in the spring,” Beatrice said. “And, Philip, I must have some chickens; they are such aids to a house keeper.” I was amused at the dear woman, and I laughed softly, saying: “Indeed, our housekeeper must have every aid possible. I think Aunt Chloe will be pleased in sending us some of the chickens from Cedarcroft.” “What pretty ducks and chickens she has. Do you think Gen Eldon would object to my having some from there?” “No, I think not. Aunt Chloe’s ducks and bantams are of small interest to him. Really, Trecha, I think that his malady gains upon him. He seems so restless and irritable. I am in favor of his going again to the Mediterranean. He has always liked being there at this season. The climate is so mild that he cruises about, living out of doors on the deck of his yacht, and gaining the tone that salt air always gives him. And now, lady mine, we must go in; the night is growing heavy and damp. You will sing some for me in that pretty bijou of a sitting-room, will you not?” “Philip, I want to show you the com fortable lounge I have arranged for you, where you can lie when you have on your dressing jacket and slippers, with your tired feet to the fire.” “And this is my lounge!” I said, after I had opened the little upright piano in the sitting-room and placed the music. “If ever a man was a fortunate creature I’ve come to that estate. And this soft, 'pretty thing, with the dainty pillow, is mine? Sweetheart, 0, but I’ll try it. Where is my dressing jacket and slip- I pers?” “You shall have them in a moment!” and, laughing, she ran to our bedroom adjoining, and brought them; helping me off with my coat, which she carefully placed away—and then she clapped her hands with pleasure as she saw me ex tended on the delightful resting place, with my feet toward the cheerful wood fire. “And now what shall I sing? 0, I have it—the ‘lngle Side,’ for our home i coming.” She seated herself at the instrument, I and began the low prelude to the old > Scotch song. 5