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- Marguerite Verne - 71/71 -


The fond mother does not regret her loss for she knows that the young man is possessed of all those traits of character which are truly noble and elevating, and which cannot fail to bring happiness to her whose happiness is his only concern.

Ah! yes, in Jennie Montgomery's face one can read her secret. She loves and is loved in return and that is all we wish to know.

A few minutes later, by a happy coincidence, there is a quartette grouped together in careless but artistic style.

"This reminds me of a morning at 'Sunnybank.' Do you remember it Madge?"

A slight quiver of the pretty lips was followed by a faint blush-- Helen Rushton raised her hand as if to gain audience.

"That is intended for me girls. I am the only one who is not engaged. I was at 'Sunnybank' on the morning to which Miss Louise refers, and certainly I was the one who made the remark."

"Helen is mistaken, I think," said Marguerite in her soft, sweet way.

"She is indeed," said Louise, with much earnestness. "It was while we were in the library, and all sitting together Josie Jordan suddenly called out: 'Girls where will we all be two years from now? That two years expired yesterday, and the thought now occurred to me as we became grouped together in the old familiar way."

"Forgive me, Louise, darling, I am too impulsive. Let us now take on two more years and hope that when the time expires we will be as happy then as now."

"Heaven grant it thus," was the fervent prayer of each, though the words were unsaid, and as the merry party returned homeward full of life and gaiety there were none who felt happier than Marguerite Verne and her three companions.

* * * * *

A glorious autumn day in 1886 brings together a joyous and happy group--the old familiar one. The hostess of the luxurious home is the wife of Phillip Lawson. Ah! Marguerite you can never lose your angelic beauty and softness of expression. In the violet eyes there is a light that sheds a radiance over the little household, and imparts a warmth to each suffering heart that has been chilled by contact with the selfish and calculating world.

"Helen you are a darling! you are true blue!" were the words which greeted the smiling visitor as she pounced in upon the fair young matron, with the flush of excitement upon her fair, broad forehead and oval cheeks.

"Girls you look charming! One would think you were expecting your beaux instead of a few old married men! Why I thought when folks got married they did not primp at all."

"I'm glad that you are agreeably mistaken, my dear," said Mrs. Noyes, her charms enhanced by the rich bronze silk de Lyons, that set off her faultless form to advantage.

Mrs. Arnold now entered, followed by Mrs. Verne and a host of hearty congratulations were passed around within a very short time.

Mrs. Phillip Lawson's boudoir was a perfect gem in itself, its pale blue and silver draperies harmonizing with the taste of its mistress, while the delicate and artistic touches of the graceful hand were proof of the labors of love there performed.

"Madge! you old dear, the only thing I envy you is this charming spot," said Helen as she stood admiring the pretty work while the others are reclining upon the inviting ottomans, and cosey chairs of the most unique designs.

"The very words I said when I first entered it," said Cousin Jennie, looking as youthful as when we met her at "Sunnybank."

"The effect of mind upon mind," said Mrs. Noyes, with a sly, roguish smile upon the red pouting lips.

Helen Rushton threw herself into a handsomely carved fauteuil with cushion of pale blue satin, embroidered with a wreath of lily of the valley and soft cream roses.

"How time flies!--two years girls, since we made our promise--and I am the only old maid left in the crowd. What a world of consolation is in that thought!"

"Helen Rushton this is a fit place for your confession, and you shall not stir until you have made it, my precious one."

The speaker was Cousin Jennie, now Mrs. Leslie Graham.

Mrs. Lawson sat for a moment as if buried in earnest thought, and as her companions glanced at the sweet, sympathetic face they were also affected in turn.

The past with all its light and shade was lovingly touched upon, and as the gentle Marguerite's eyes were dimmed with tears her heart was full of gratitude.

Helen Rushton _did_ make a full confession of her love affairs, expressly for Cousin Jennie. What that confession was we will not say, but presume upon the imagination of the reader. It is several hours later. Helen has retired to her own room, and her old friend lingers lovingly beside her. They chat of other scenes and other days, and the hour flies too quickly.

A step is heard coming through the hall. Ah! the magic of that step.

"It is Phillip, Helen," and a gleam of love lights up the angelic face.

"Good night, dearest," exclaimed Marguerite, embracing her friend in the old school-girl fashion.

"Good night, Marguerite, if my life be indeed half as happy as yours; it is all I ask."

"Yes, Helen, I am truly happy," and the young wife went forth to meet the loving embrace of a tender, true and devoted husband.

"Ah! my darling, where is to be found such happiness as ours?"

Phillip Lawson needed no reply--no other language than the depths of those violet eyes.


Marguerite Verne - 71/71

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