Marcia Schuyler (Chapter 4, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 4

The wedding was set for ten o'clock in the morning, after which there was to be a wedding breakfast and the married couple were to start immediately for their new home.

David had driven the day before with his own horse and chaise to a town some twenty miles away, and there left his horse at a tavern to rest for the return trip, for Kate would have it that they must leave the house in high style. So the finest equipage the town afforded had been secured to bear them on the first stage of their journey, with a portly negro driver and everything according to the custom of the greatest of the land. Nothing that Kate desired about the arrangements had been left undone.

The household was fully astir by half past four, for the family breakfast was to be at six promptly, that all might be cleared away and in readiness for the early arrival of the various aunts and uncles and cousins and friends who would "drive over" from the country round about. It would have been something Madam Schuyler would never have been able to get over if aught had been awry when a single uncle or aunt appeared upon the scene, or if there seemed to be the least evidence of fluster and nervousness.

The rosy sunlight in the east was mixing the morning with fresher air, and new odors for the new day that was dawning, when Marcia awoke. The sharp click of spoons and dishes, the voices of the maids, the sizzle, sputter, odor of frying ham and eggs, mingled with the early chorus of the birds, and calling to life of all living creatures, like an intrusion upon nature. It seemed not right to steal the morning's "quiet hour" thus rudely. The thought flitted through the girl's mind, and in an instant more the whole panorama of the day's excitement was before her, and she sprang from her bed. As if it had been her own wedding day instead of her sister's, she performed her dainty toilet, for though there was need for haste, she knew she would have no further time beyond a moment to slip on her best gown and smooth her hair.

Marcia hurried downstairs just as the bell rang for breakfast, and David, coming down smiling behind her, patted her cheek and greeted her with, "Well, little sister, you look as rested as if you had not done a thing all day yesterday."

She smiled shyly back at him, and her heart filled with pleasure over his new name for her. It sounded pleasantly from his happy lips. She was conscious of a gladness that he was to be so nearly related to her. She fancied how it would seem to say to Mary Ann: "My brother-in-law says so and so." It would be grand to call such a man "brother."

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