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- The Reign Of Terror - 50/50 -


not been that I did so when it seemed that in five minutes we should neither of us be alive. If it hadn't been for that I should have brought her home and waited till I was making my own way in life."

"I do not blame you, Harry, my boy," his father said heartily. "Of course you are very young, and under ordinary circumstances would not have been thinking about a wife for years to come yet; but I can see that your Jeanne is a girl of no ordinary character, and it is certainly for her happiness that, being here with her sister alone among strangers, she should feel that she is at home. Personally she is charming, and even in point of fortune you would be considered a lucky fellow. What do you say, mother?"

"I say God bless them both!" Mrs. Sandwith said earnestly. "After the way in which Providence has brought them together, there can be no doubt that they were meant for each other."

"Do you know I half guessed there was something more than mere gratitude in Jeanne's heart when she flamed out just now; did not you, mother?"

Mrs. Sandwith nodded and smiled. "I was sure there was," she said.

"I did not say anything about it when we came in," Harry said, "because I thought it better for Jeanne to have one quiet day, and you know the young ones will laugh awfully at the idea of my being engaged."

"Never you mind, Harry," his father said; "let those laugh that win. But you are not thinking of getting married yet, I hope."

"No, no, father; you cannot think I would live on Jeanne's money."

"And you still intend to go into the army, Harry?"

"No, father; I have had enough of bloodshed for the rest of my life. I have been thinking it over a good deal, and I have determined to follow your example and become a doctor."

"That's right, my boy," Dr. Sandwith said heartily. "I have always regretted you had a fancy for the army, for I used to look forward to your becoming my right hand. Your brothers, too, do not take to the profession, so I began to think I was going to be alone in my old age. You have made me very happy, Harry, and your mother too, I am sure. It will be delightful for us having you and your pretty French wife settled by us; will it not, mother?"

"It will indeed," Mrs. Sandwith said in a tone of deep happiness. "You are certainly overworked and need a partner terribly, and who could be like Harry?"

"Yes, I have been thinking of taking a partner for some time, but now I will hold on alone for another three years. By that time Harry will have passed."

The next morning the young ones were told the news. The elder girls were delighted at the thought of Jeanne becoming their sister, but the boys went into fits of laughter and chaffed Harry so unmercifully for the next day or two that it was just as well that Jeanne was up in her room. By the time she came down they had recovered their gravity. Mrs. Sandwith and the girls had already given her the warmest welcome as Harry's future wife, and the boys received her so warmly when she appeared that Jeanne soon felt that she was indeed one of the family.

Three years later, on the day after Harry passed his final examination, Jeanne and he were married, and set up a pretty establishment close to Cheyne Walk, with Virginie to live with them; and Harry, at first as his father's assistant, and very soon as his partner, had the satisfaction of feeling that he was not wholly dependent on Jeanne's fortune.

They had received occasional news from Marie. Victor had steadily recovered his strength and memory, and as soon as the reign of terror had come to an end, and the priests were able to show themselves from their hiding-places in many an out-of-the-way village in the country, Marie and Victor were quietly married. But France was at war with all Europe now, and Victor, though he hated the revolution, was a thorough Frenchman, and through some of his old friends who had escaped the wave of destruction, he had obtained a commission, and joined Bonaparte when he went to take the command of the army of Italy. He had attracted his general's attention early in the campaign by a deed of desperate valour, and was already in command of a regiment, when, soon after Jeanne's marriage, Marie came over to England by way of Holland to stay for a time with her sisters. She was delighted at finding Jeanne so happy, and saw enough before she returned to France to feel assured that before very long Virginie would follow Jeanne's example, and would also become an Englishwoman, for she and Harry's next brother Tom had evidently some sort of understanding between them. It was not until many years later that the three sisters met again, when, after the fall of Napoleon, Jeanne and Virginie went over with their husbands and stayed for some weeks with General De Gisons and his wife at the old chateau near Dijon. This the general had purchased back from the persons into whose hands it had fallen at the Revolution with the money which he had received as his wife's dowry.


The Reign Of Terror - 50/50

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