Maggie Miller Part 26

Jeffrey, too, was busy. In secret she had labored at the rent made by her foot in the flag of bygone days, and now, perspiring at every pore, she dragged it up the tower stairs, planting it herself upon the housetop, where side by side with the royal banner it waved in the summer breeze. And this she did, not because she cared aught for the cable, in which she "didn't believe" and declared "would never work,"

but because she would celebrate Margaret's wedding-day, and so make some amends for her interference when once before the "Stars and Stripes" had floated above the old stone house.

And thus it was, amid smiles and tears, amid bells and drums, and waving flags and merry song, amid noisy shout and booming guns, that double bridal day was kept; and when the sun went down it left a glory on the western clouds, as if they, too, had donned their best attire in honor of the union.

It is moonlight on the land--glorious, beautiful moonlight. On Hagar's peaceful grave it falls, and glancing from the polished stone shines across the fields upon the old stone house, where all is cheerless now, and still. No life--no sound--no bounding step--no gleeful song.

All is silent, all is sad. The light of the household has departed; it went with the hour when first to each other the lonesome servants said, "Margaret is gone."

Yes, she is gone, and all through the darkened rooms there is found no trace of her, but away to the eastward the moonlight falls upon the sea, where a n.o.ble vessel rides. With sails unfurled to the evening breeze, it speeds away--away from the loved hearts on the sh.o.r.e which after that bark, and its precious freight, have sent many a throb of love. Upon the deck of that gallant ship there stands a beautiful bride, looking across the water with straining eye, and smiling through her tears on him who wipes those tears away, and whispers in her ear, "I will be more to you, my wife, than they have ever been."

So, with the love-light shining on her heart, and the moonlight shining on the wave, we bid adieu to one who bears no more the name of Maggie Miller.

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