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THE TALE OF
AUNT MARGARET'S TROUBLE.

IN SIX WEEKLY PORTIONS. THIRD PORTION.

CHAPTER VI.

ONLY a short time intervened between that
evening when Anna sang so wonderfully, and
quitted the room so strangely, and the period
fixed for Miss Wokenham's marriage. The
approaching departure of our good friend naturally
occupied our thoughts very much. It was a
great event and excitement in the even tenor of
our lives; and going to America was a much
more serious matter in those days than it is now.

Miss Wokenham, however, was as brave and
bright as possible; it was not until the very
night before she went away, that she broke
down, or lost the cheerful front we were familiar
with.

"It isn't that I'm at all afraid, my dears,"
she sobbed out, " or that I have the least
distrust of Lewis; but I am so fond of you all,
and home is very dear, and everything is strange
before me, and, of course, one must be a callous
bruteand I hope I'm not quite thatto be
able to take it all composedly, andand I can't
find my pocket-handkerchief!"

My heart warmed to Monsieur De Beauguet,
when I saw him draw a bright-coloured bandana
from his pocket, and gently wipe the little
woman's streaming eyes, as if she had been a
child. I could have hugged him when he afterwards
applied the handkerchief to his own eyes
with the utmost simplicity. Somehow I felt
then, that our dear little governess was safe
with him.

They had at first intended to be married in
Liverpool, and to spend a few days there before
leaving England. But the merchantman they
were going out in, was to sail sooner than had
been expected, and they would have no time to
spare. So Miss Wokenham bade us good-bye
in her maiden character that last evening, and
was married early the following morning. Dear
uncle gave the bride away. He and my aunt
were the only guests present in the church, by
Miss Wokenham's expressed desire.

She had some relatives second cousins, I
believewho lived in a tall brick house just
outside the town, and were very stiff and
stately. Not the less so, I dare say, that they
had no particular reason for stiffness and stateliness.
They were a childless old couple, sufficiently
well-to-do in the world, and were mysteriously
aggrieved by the fact of their relative's
keeping a school. This injury, however, they
kindly condoned, finding, possibly, some
consolation in the reflection that her keeping a school
relieved her friends from the necessity of keeping
her. But the announcement of Miss
Wokenham's intended marriage had shocked them
Mrs. Parker especiallyto a frightful extent.

"You would have thought I had confessed to
some awful crime, to hear cousin Sarah," said
Miss Wokenham to my aunt. " She talked to
me more like a jail chaplain than anything
else. And after all, I should like to know
what difference it can make to them? They
insinuated that I must not expect now, to
inherit any of their moneyjust as if I ever had
expected it! and they talked vaguely of ruin and
disgrace in store for the family. However, I
kept my temper pretty well till they began to
be impertinent about Lewis, when I fired up,
and told them he was a Gentleman whose shoes
none of the Parkers were worthy to wipe.
Therefore, you see, it would have been of no
use asking cousin Sarah and her husband to my
wedding. And indeed they shouldn't have come
if they had wanted to, unless they made a
handsome apology to M'sieu'."

So our little schoolmistress became a wife,
unillumined by the lustre of the Parkers'
presence or patronage. The breakfast was given
at the Gable House, and, at the last moment,
when it was time for the travellers to depart,
Horace Lee came hurrying in, flushed and
panting, with a great nosegay of hothouse flowers
in his hand, which he presented to the bride.
The poor little soul was in a sad state of
agitation by this time, and was clinging to my
aunt as if she could never part from her, but
she smiled through her tears when she saw
Horace. He was always a great favourite of
hers. " My goodness!" said she, with a spark
of her wonted vivacity, " where did you get
those glorious flowers? But your face is as
bright as they are. I scarcely hoped to see you
again. I thought you were at your father's
for the week."

"Did you suppose I would let you leave
Willborough without saying good-bye?" returned
Horace. " I was up at six o'clock this morning

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