Marcia Schuyler (Chapter 6, page 1 of 9)

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Chapter 6

He stood a moment by the door looking at her, half startled. Then he came over beside her, put his hands upon her shoulders, looking down into her upturned, veiled face.

"My child!" he said tenderly, "my little Marcia, is this you? I did not know you in all this beautiful dress. You look as your own mother looked when she was married. I remember perfectly as if it were but yesterday, her face as she stood by your father's side. I was but a young man then, you know, and it was my first wedding in my new church, so you see I could not forget it. Your mother was a beautiful woman, Marcia, and you are like her both in face and life."

The tears came into Marcia's eyes and her lips trembled.

"Are you sure, child," went on the gentle voice of the old man, "that you understand what a solemn thing you are doing? It is not a light thing to give yourself in marriage to any man. You are so young yet! Are you doing this thing quite willingly, little girl? Are you sure? Your father is a good man, and a dear old friend of mine, but I know what has happened has been a terrible blow to him, and a great humiliation. It has perhaps unnerved his judgment for the time. No one should have brought pressure to bear upon a child like you to make you marry against your will. Are you sure it is all right, dear?"

"Oh, yes, sir!" Marcia raised her tear-filled eyes. "I am doing it quite of myself. No one has made me. I was glad I might. It was so dreadful for David!"

"But child, do you love him?" the old minister said, searching her face closely.

Marcia's eyes shone out radiant and child-like through her tears.

"Oh, yes, sir! I love him of course. No one could help loving David."

There was a tap at the door and the Squire entered. With a sigh the minister turned away, but there was trouble in his heart. The love of the girl had been all too frankly confessed. It was not as he would have had things for a daughter of his, but it could not be helped of course, and he had no right to interfere. He would like to speak to David, but David had not come out of his room yet. When he did there was but a moment for them alone and all he had opportunity to say was: "Mr. Spafford, you will be good to the little girl, and remember she is but a child. She has been dear to us all."

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