came aware that the tears were streaming from her eyes. For a moment or two it seemed to her that all was still hopeless. If he had no more to say than that, certainly she had not a word. He had made her no tender of his love. He had not told her that in very truth she was his chosen one. After all, she was not sure that she understood the meaning of those words, 'I would it were I.' But the tears were coming so quick that she could see nothing of the things around her, and she did not dare even to put her hand up to her eyes. If he wanted her love,--if it was possible that he really wished for it,--why did he not ask for it? She felt his footsteps close to hers, and she was tempted to walk on quicker even than before. Then there came the fingers of a hand round her waist, stealing gradually on till she felt the pressure of his body on her shoulders. She put her hand up weakly, to push back the intruding fingers,--only to leave it tight in his grasp. Then,--then was the first moment in which she realised the truth. After all, he did love her. Surely he would not hold her there unless he meant her to know that he loved her. 'Mary,' he said. To speak was impossible, but she turned round and looked at him with imploring eyes. 'Mary,--say that you will be my wife.'
'MY OWN, OWN HUSBAND'
YES;--it had come at last. As one may imagine to be the certainty of Paradise to the doubting, fearful, all but despairing soul when it has passed through the gates of death, and found in new worlds a reality of assured bliss, so was the assurance to her, conveyed by that simple request, 'Mary, say that you will be my wife.' It did not seem to her that any answer was necessary. Will it be required that the spirit shall assent to its entrance into Elysium? Was there room for doubt? He would never go back from his word now. He would not have spoken the word had he not been quite, quite certain. And he had loved her all that time,--when she was so hard to him!