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and permitting me to retain her woman with eyes and hair like ungloved hand in mine.
(At that moment I quite forgot “Yes; I am just twenty-three. how fatuously I had worshipped
'The number of the old corps, the thick golden tresses, the snowWinifred—the number, see it when white skin, and deep black eyes of he may, a soldier never forgets. Valerie. And it was for me that
'But I hope you have bidden Winny had declined poor Phil, Sir good-bye to it for ever.
Watkins, and some one else! O, I 'Too probably; and you cannot certainlyowed her some reparation!) know, dear Winifred, how deep is 'Bless you, darling, for your the pleasure I feel in being here love,' said I; "and I think our again, after all I have undergone marriage will make good Sir Madoc here in pleasant Craigaderyn; and so happy.' more than all with you — hearing “You were ever his favourite, your familiar voice, and looking Harry.' into your eyes.'
“And you have actually loved Why?' she asked, looking out me, Winny on the sunlit chase.
“Ever since I was quite a little 'Can you ask me why, when you girl,' she replied in a low voice, know that I love you, Winny, and while blushing deeply now. have always loved you?
"Ah, how blind I have been to As a friend, of course,' said she, the best interests of my heart! I trembling very much ; 'yes- but always loved you, Winifred; but I nothing more.'
never knew how much until now.' 'I repeat that I love you tenderly 'I am sure, Harry, that I—that and truly; have I not ever known I shallyour worth, your goodness—
“What, love ?' 'Is this true, Harry Hardinge? •Make you a very, very good she asked in a low voice, as my little wife, and be so kind to you arm encircled her, and she looked after all you have undergone.' coyly but tremblingly down.
As she said this, with something True as that God now hears us, between coyness and artlessness my darling, whom I hope yet to that proved very bewitching, I call my wife !
pressed her close to me, and there "O, say it again and again, dear flashed upon my memory the dream Harry,' said she, in a low voice of her, as I lay wounded and athirst like a whisper; 'I did so doubt it near the ditch of the Redan, and once—did so doubt that you would also the singular coincidence of her ever, ever love me who-who- pet goat leading to my discovery loved you so,' she continued, grow. when lying half buried under the ing very pale. It may be unwo- dead horse and cannon-wheel on manly in me to say this, Harry; the field of Inkermann. but I am not ashamed to own it 'Papa and Dora,' said she, in a now.'
low broken voice, 'on that day "To a poor cripple, a warlike when my great grief came-'. fragment from the Crimea,' said I "Which grief? with a smile, as caressingly I drew “The tidings of your being her head down on my shoulder; drowned,' she continued, weeping and while I toyed with her dark- at the recollection, and when I brown hair, and gazed into her ten- let out the long-hidden secret of der violet-coloured eyes, I thought, my heart, told me not to weep for "How can a man love any but a you, Harry; that you were far happier elsewhere than on earth; that made us both so radiantly happy, you were in Heaven; and poor that Sir Madoc's rubicund face papa said over and over again the wore a comical and somewhat perWelsh prayer which ends Gogoniant plexed expression, till we had our ir Tad ac ir Mab, ac ir Yspryd postprandial cigar together in the Glan.'
conservatory. So the whole affair "What on earth is all that?' I came about in the fashion I have asked, smiling.
narrated; yet but a day or two be"Glory to the Father, the Son, fore I had been affecting a desire and so on. Well, Harry, it was to visit the Russian prisoners at all in vain. I felt that in losing Lewes ! you I had lost the desire of my At table, of course, I required eyes, the love of my girl's heart— much assistance, and though I for I always did love you, and I urged that Owen Gwyllim or one care not to tell you so openly of the footmen should attend me, again,' she added, as the tenderarms there was often a friendly contenwent round me, and the loving lips tion among the three girls to cut sought mine. 'My crave for news my food for me, as if I were a great from the seat of war, and the terror baby; and like something of that with which I read those horrible kind, I was flattered, petted, and lists, Harry, are known to myself made much of; and there was only; yet why should I say so? something so pleasant in being many others, whose dearest were thus made a fuss with, and viewed there, must have felt and endured as a 'Crimean hero,' that I scarcely as I did.'
regretted the bones I had left at All that is over now, pet Winny.' the Redan.
And you are here with us again, "And so, poor Harry,' said Dora, Harry'
after hearing the story of that affair, ‘And am yours—yours only! you had no brave beautiful Sister
* But there is the bell to dress of Mercy to nurse you ?' for dinner, Harry—and here come “No; I had only Corporal MulDora and Gwenny Vaughan,' she ligan, a true and brave-hearted added, giving a hasty smooth to Irishman, who lost an eye at Alma; her hair, which somehow had been and a kind - hearted fellow he a little rumpled during the preced- was!' ing conversation.
Winifred did not talk much ; but The two girls came in for a in her place as hostess seemed minute or so, in their hats and brilliantly happy, and quite her old riding habits; the last-named was self. a very beautiful and distinguished We had all a thousand things to looking blonde, who could talk talk of, to tell, and to ask each about hunting like an old whipper- other; and the fate of that strange in, and who received me with kind creature Guilfoyle, or rather the interest, while Dora did so with her mystery which then attended it, usual gushing empressement.
excited almost the commiseration The dinner, which came subse- of Sir Madoc, who, once upon a quently in due course, was rather time, was on the point of horsea tame affair to Winny and me, whipping him.' On certain points when contrasted with our recent connected with my residence at interview in the drawing-room; but Yalta, I was, of course, as mute as the tender secret we now shared, a fish. and the perfect consciousness that Of Caradoc he spoke with genno obstacle existed to our marriage, uine sorrow—the more so, as he was the last of an old, old Welsh in the long, long coat, assisted by line.
another (as if aid in such cases ‘Poor fellow ! said he; Phil were necessary); and amid the was a man of whom we may say summer sounds that came floating that which was averred of Colonel through the open porch and pointMountain, of the Cameronians, ed windows, with the yellow flakes “ that though he were cut into of hazy sunshine, when I heard the twenty pieces, yet every piece voice of the pastor uniting us, I rewould be a gentleman”!
membered the Sunday we were all Over our cigars, I told Sir Madoc last in the same place, and the dayall that had passed between Wini dreams in which I had indulged fred and me, and begged his ap- during the prosy sermon, when I probation; and I have no words to fancied the same solemn service express how enthusiastic the large- being said, and when, by some hearted and jolly old man became; magic, the image of Winifred would how rejoiced, and how often he ever come in the place of another. shook my hand, assuring me that Sir Watkins Vaughan, a purposehe had ever loved me quite as much like and gentlemanly young fellow, as if I had been a son of his own; a prime bat and bowler, a good that his Winny was one of the best shot and good horseman, a thorough girls in all Wales-true as steel, Englishman and lover of all field and one who, when she loved, did sports, and who acted as my so for ever.
groomsman, was so intent on look'I thank Heaven,' he added, ing at Dora-radiant in white crape you didn't get that slippery eel, and tulle as one of her sister's my Lady Aberconway !
bridesmaids—that he made, as he "So do I now, Sir Madoc,' was said, 'a regular mull of drawing my earnest response.
off my glove, an office which I could But I had not yet seen quite the not have done for myself. last of Estelle Cressingham.
At last the whole was over; the Of her Winifred must, at times, golden hoop had been slid on the have been keenly and bitterly jeal- slender finger of a tremulous little ous, yet she was too gentle, too hand; we were made one 'till lady-like and enduring, to pernit death do us part;' and after the such an emotion to be visible to usual kisses and congratulations, others.
came forth into the glorious sunshine, while overhead the marriage
chimes rang merrily in the old CHAPTER LX.
square tower which Jorwerth ap
Davydd Lloyd had founded in A HONEYMOON.
honour of St. David five hundred AND so it came to pass, as per years ago. Then came the cheers haps Sir Madoc had foreseen, by in the churchyard — cheers that the doctrine of chances, and with might wake the dead below the out any romance or sensationalism, green turf; the guttural Celtic that in the bright season of summer, voices of the tenants and peasantry, Winifred and I-after a short en- the general jollity, with much twangagement, and many a delicious · gle-dangling of harps borne by cerramble by the Elwey and Llyn tain itinerant and tipsy bards, atAled, in the Martens' dingle and by tracted thither by the coin and the the old rocking-stone-were mar well-known Cymric proclivities of ried in Craigaderyn Church, by her Sir Madoc; and loud on all hands secret admirer, the tall pale curate were praises of the beauty of the Briodasferch (Welsh euphony for may be pleased, the vanity flatterbride), with prayers for her future ed, and ambition excited by a wohappiness, as we drove away to man of beauty, especially if she is luncheon.
one of rank; yet the heart may be All the household held high fes- won by one her inferior. But I tival. Owen Gwyllim wept in his considered my little wife inferior to glee, and drank our healths in mull- none and second to none. ed port with Mrs. Davis (for whom After all my wild work in the field he had a tenderness) in her room; and trenches, there was something and Bob Spurrit and Morgan Roots, wonderfully refreshing, bewitching, and all the valets and gamekeepers, and attractive in having her hoverdid ditto with mulled ale in the ing and gliding about me, and all 'servants' 'all,' while we, leaving all her sweet companionship; and it to feast and speechify at Craiga- was so delightful and novel to have deryn, were speeding, as fast as those quick and white and fairy-like four horses could take us, to hide fingers to adjust one's necktie, to our blushes at Brighton. ..... settle one's collar, and give, per
After the stormy life I had led, haps, just a finishing touch with a how sweet and blessed was home- carved ivory brush to the back-partrest with Winifred! No tempests ing of one's hair. of thought, of pique or jealousy, of It had seemed odd to me, at first, disappointment or bitterness, agi- those bracelets, tiny rings, and hairtated me now. It was all like first pins at times on my toilet table; love, and as calmly as the summer and equally odd to her my collars, gloaming among the mountains, ties, studs, and razors sometimes the joyous time glided away with left on hers : and we were laughing us.
and chatting merrily of this comI felt how truly she had clung munity in matters one lovely mornto me, and loved me as only those ing at Brighton, when the sun was who have long been loved in secret, shining on the sea, that was dotted and whose value, to the heart at by a thousand pleasure-boats, and least, has been ascertained, by hav- was all rippling in golden light from ing been to all appearance lost in the snow - white cliffs of Beachy life, and lost in death too,—for had Head to Selsea Bill, and while the I not been so to her ?-and been merry voices of children came pleasmourned for as only the dead, who antly on the warm air from the can return no more, are mourned. Marine Parade, as we were seated Yet I had survived all the perils of at breakfast with the hotel windows war, and her arms were round me open. now.
Winifred was looking as only a How strange it seemed that I young bride in her first bloom can should once have been so indiffer- look. She was more radiant than ent to all the graces of her mind she had ever seemed even at Craigand person ; that I had been wont aderyn; and through the frills of to quiz poor Caradoc about her, her morning dress, a marvel of white and had more than once actually lace and millinery, her slender suggested that he should pro- throat and delicate arms, without pose ;' and so, when I looked into necklet or bracelet, were seen to her tender and loving eyes, I re- perfection, and I thought she never called her words on that day when, seemed so charming, as she sat on a time that seemed so long ago, smiling at me over the silver urn. we had a ramble by the rocking. Thus one quite forgot the fragrant stone, and when she said, 'the eye coffee, the French rolls that lay