Marcia Schuyler (Chapter 8, page 1 of 6)

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Chapter 8

Owing to the horse's nap by the roadside, it was quite late in the evening when they reached the town and David saw the lights of his own neighborhood gleaming in the distance. He was glad it was late, for now there would be no one to meet them that night. His friends would think, perhaps, that they had changed their plans and stopped over night on the way, or met with some detention.

Marcia still slept.

David as he drew near the house began to feel that perhaps he had made a mistake in carrying out his marriage just as if nothing had happened and everything was all right. It would be too great a strain upon him to live there in that house without Kate, and come home every night just as he had planned it, and not to find her there to greet him as he had hoped. Oh, if he might turn even now and flee from it, out into the wilderness somewhere and hide himself from human kind, where no one would know, and no one ever ask him about his wife!

He groaned in spirit as the horse drew up to the door, and the heavy head of the sweet girl who was his wife reminded him that he could not go away, but must stay and face the responsibilities of life which he had taken upon himself, and bear the pain that was his. It was not the fault of the girl he had married. She sorrowed for him truly, and he felt deeply grateful for the great thing she had done to save his pride.

He leaned over and touched her shoulder gently to rouse her, but her sleep was deep and healthy, the sleep of exhausted youth. She did not rouse nor even open her eyes, but murmured half audibly; "David has come, Kate, hurry!"

Half guessing what had passed the night he arrived, David stooped and tenderly gathered her up in his arms. He felt a bond of kindliness far deeper than brotherly love. It was a bond of common suffering, and by her own choice she had made herself his comrade in his trouble. He would at least save her what suffering he could.

She did not waken as he carried her into the house, nor when he took her upstairs and laid her gently upon the white bed that had been prepared for the bridal chamber.

The moonlight stole in at the small-paned windows and fell across the floor, showing every object in the room plainly. David lighted a candle and set it upon the high mahogany chest of drawers. The light flickered and played over the sweet face and Marcia slept on.

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