Whose Bride Was Mary?

ETHEL PENMAN HOPE November 15 1921

Whose Bride Was Mary?

ETHEL PENMAN HOPE November 15 1921

Whose Bride Was Mary?


THOUGH it was Boyd Anderson’s wedding day, he was taking it calmly. Why worry?

Why flurry? “Keep cool,” he advised himself—and others; yet there was not an hour left in which to meet the train, and dress for the wedding.

"Loads of time,” he assured his mother as, anxious-eyed, she waved him off at the gate.

“You should have been ready,” she told him, “for I fear as usual, you have left too much to crowd into the last few moments. The ceremony begins at a quarter past four, sharp, on the minute.

This is one occasion in your life, Boyd, when you must not be late. Your clothes are laid out on the bed for you—buttons ready—everything just so. Nothing to do but step into them.

Now be off, for you have only one hour to meet Lloyd, dress, and get to the Church.”

“Mother— -mother!” he laughed back as his car sped out on the street. “Don’t fear, trust me, I’ll be there, waiting at the church.”

T LOYD his twin ' brother whom he had not seen for some years, was to arrive that day just in time for the wedding. The town was situated two miles from the station, but with a motor car that had never failed him during five years of pretty constant use, Boyd considered the little jaunt to the station and back a matter of half an hour at most—even allowing for a few moments delay. Boyd loved his motor car, as some men love their horses. To him there was not another to equal it. His neighbors were constantly changing theirs, buying new ones or trading the old, for modern makes. But not Boyd—what was good enough for him five years ago was gQod enough for him now, and that settled the matter.

As children, he and Lloyd had been exactly alike. So much so that even their mother found difficulty in telling them apart. However, when the puzzle became too much for her, she resorted to the one and only mark of identification—a little brown mole under Boyd's right arm. The one with the mole was Boyd—the other Lloyd. That settled it.

'T'HE TRAIN was ten minutes late but Boyd didn’t A worry—what was ten minutes? It might easily have been half an hour. Yet, as it whistled beyond the bend, he confessed to feeling a bit relieved.

In a moment he was shaking Lloyd’s hand and looking into his brother’s face, which was exactly like his own.

“Say, can you believe it?” said Boyd, after their first greeting. “Lloyd made in the image of Boyd— Boyd made in the image of Lloyd. We’ve grown up the same and I’ll bet we’ll die the same.” Then, observing

his brother’s dress-“Same duster too, by jove—same taste in everything.”

“Alike as two peas,” agreed Lloyd, “no doubt about that. We look alike—we dress alike—same taste in everything except perhaps girls—eh, Boyd? And that remains to be seen. Perhaps when I appear she’ll choose me instead of you.”

“No,—she’s mine—and mine alone,” said Boyd laughing, “that is, if she doesn’t get us mixed.”

“What if she did?” laughed Lloyd. ' “Say—what a howling joke.”

“Not as I see it,” the prospective groom replied somewhat seriously. “But it’s great to see you Lloyd—great to have you back. Mother’s all stirred up with joy about it—but I say, we’ll have to be off. This your luggage? that’s easy—we’ve just time to make it nicely, and a few minutes to spare.”

They were both tall—same height—thin—same figure— same dark hair and blue eyes. Even to the dimple

in each square chin— as God made them— exactly alike.

Lloyd had left the town ten years before to seek his fortune in the city, and was now president of the Ogden Chocolate Company, an old, wellestablished concern. At twenty-nine he was still unmarried—though not so much from choice as circumstance He had loved unwisely or, at least, so said rumour.

Although alike in appearance, in character they were quite opposite. Lloyd knew how to live and considered that Boyd merely existed. Lloyd plucked from the vine —Boyd waited till the fruit fell. Naturally Lloyd had spirit and according to him Boyd was entirely without it.

“Yes,” answered Boyd in reply to Lloyd’s question. "Same old car I wrote you about— good enough for me. Same old town—same old home—same old car. All first quality—nothing better.” “Tis well to be content,” remarked Lloyd. “I’ve too much spirit for it sometimes.”

“Yes,” said Boyd, "you always were restless.”

BANG!!! It was the front tire. “What rotten luck!” deplored Boyd, “it will only take a minute to fix. However, keep cool, I’ve everything right at hand—can mend à puncture in quicker time than most men. Watch me.”

Out he scrambled. Lloyd watched—and was glad that he had not promised to be best man and had dressed for the wedding on board train, or there might have been a fevered scamper awaiting him.

“The dickens is in it,” muttered Boyd, his fingers mostly thumbs, and something the matter with the rubber. “Keep cool,” said he to Lloyd, who showed little sign of agitation.

“I’m all right—it’s you I am thinking of.”

111 make it,” declared Boyd. "Luck’s always with

“Well to be you,” replied the other, more to himself than aloud.

“Now,” said Boyd, “everything’s O.K. we’ll be off in a minute—trouble’s over. It just takes a minute to fill the tire.” Then springing in, he pressed the button. No spark—again—still no answer from the “good old engine—none better made.”

“Well now,” ruminated Boyd, attempting to smile, “what the devil’s the matter with it?” He considered a moment—then: “I’ve got it—just a jiffy.”

Out he tumbled again, took down the engine hood and worked away for a moment—then relieved: “I

told you so. Now we’re off.”

In he climbed—pressed the button—“What!!!”

he looked behind—no sign He stared in front—empty road.

“Well I’ll be blowed, of life.

“What’s the time Lloyd?”

“Four o’clock, Say man—haven’t you to be at the church at 4.16?”

“You’ll have to get away from here then.”

“I will,” Boyd was paralyzed—he seemed to have lost the power of action. “The first time she ever failed me like this,” he lamented.

“Oh,” laughed Lloyd, “this girl will be allright with a little overhauling, but what about the other one?” “Say, don’t rub it in?” Boyd was desperate.

“What can we do!” asked Lloyd. “Man—this is

“See that house—down yonder,” answered Boyd talking fast, “at the fork in the roads? They have a ’phone. Ring up West 98. Ask them to send for me at once. I’ll perhaps get her to spark before you come back —and if so I’ll go ahead. It can’t be helped.”

But Lloyd was off without taking time to reply. Down the road he flew. In a moment the house would be reached—then to ’phone for a car—and Boyd might yet be there on timeHe knew not that the prospective groom must yet don wedding attire—that point had slipped his notice.

Just as he reached the bend a car coming from the other direction bore down upon him. His coat-tails were flying to the wind, and he waved frantically to it.

WJiat luck—it stopped at his side.

“ TUMP IN” a voice called. “I’ll get you there all“ right old man.” Off it flew, into the ruts, over the bumps at break-neck speed towards the town.

“But,—I say—” yelled Lloyd, “Go back—say, stop—go back—the car.”

“That’s all right.” yelled the Good Samaritan at the wheel, “Don’t worry about that. Bad day for a break down—if it hadn’t been for me, eh?” the man laughed.

They were in the town.

“Say,” called Lloyd, truly panic-stricken, leaning and shouting into the man’s ear, “I want to ’phone.”

“You won’t have to,” answered the jovial one.

“You’ll be there in time, thanks to a new car new engine—improved

model —old one’s bound to trip you—when a holdup means something—”

He drew up at the Anderson home.

“Now bolt," said he,

“and keep cool—you’ll need to.”

Lloyd had barely strength to step out. “Go back please at once,” he said in a broken voice,

"go back—and get him.”

But the jovial one was off—waving his hand,— all unconscious of the terrible tragedy he was helping to bring about.

Lloyd stumbled hurriedly up the steps, grasping at the last ray of hope.

The door opened—a neat little maid met him with an anxious face.

“Oh you are late, Mr.

Boyd,” she exclaimed breathlessly. “Did your brother not come? Your mother was almost in tears, she just left five minutes ago with the best man. They were afraid the people in the church and the bride would wonder what was the matter.

But they are sending a car back for you in five minutes and if you were not here I was to tell the boy at once so that they could go out and look for you—Oh, won’t you hurry —fast—please?” She looked at him appealingly.

He stammered out something that sounded like,

“But—I—he—” She was excitedly pinning on her hat and would not listen.

“Please don’t wait to explain," she urged, turning her back on him, “Everything is in your room, your mother said—I’m going to steal out the back now—perhaps I won’t be too late to see the bride arrive if I hurry—” And with this off she flew, leaving him alone.

This was embarrassing—what would he do? What was left to do? He thought of the phone—rushed around till he found it and ’phoned 98 to go at once for Mr. Anderson who was stalled on the way from the station.

This done, he sat down on the stairs to think.

He must compose himself. There was nothing to be gained by losing his head. Boyd was a fool, but some one must be wise. The man on the road, the maid, everyone, took him for Boyd. That was why they did not listen or heed.

A car shrieked at the door. By jove!—it was back for him. What would he do?

In a moment it all came to him.

Let them think he was Boyd!

It was the only way to save him. He would go to the church, find something to delay them there—hold off the ceremony, without letting the cat out of the bag—until Boyd turned up. He’d be sure to be along soon. That was the thing to do. Then he and Boyd would just exchange places, and things would go on smoothly. It would be far ahead of letting everyone think Boyd late.

The car horn wailed again. His mind was made up. In a moment he had his duster off. He mopped his face with his handkerchief, tugged down his vest, straightened his hat, and opened the door.

“Thought you’d never come,” said a friendly voice,

some youngster he probably had known years ago, and had forgotten.

“I’m alright," He stepped into the car with as much dignity as possible.

“Drive slow,” he requested. That would give Boyd a little extra time.

“Drive slow,” repeated the youngster, in comic bewilderment. Then his expression brightening: “Oh,

that’s you all over again Boyd. I’ll bet you never hurried in your life— and ain’t agoin’ to now.”

Lloyd had nothing with which to answer this smalltown impudence, and so remained silent. An idea came to him. His wits were beginning to work. Quickly he turned the hands of his watch back, ten—fifteen minutes— to precisely a quarter past four. That gave him confidence He felt better. After all, was he not merely acting a part to relieve what might have been without him a most embarrassing situation?

Of late years, he had taken part in private theatricals in the city and enjoyed it—in fact, his friends still dubbed him “Sir Hugh,” a role he had given much prominence to, because of his clever acting in the last comedy, the small dramatic club to which he belonged had staged a few months previous.

/"\N REACHING the church he mounted the steps

' calmly—or at least apparently 30— pulled out his watch, and seemed satisfied.

But this state of affairs lasted only a moment. At the door the ushers seized him. “Say, Boyd, another minute and I’d be a dead man. Mary’s almost in tears.”—“For two cents I’d have married her myself.”—“Face the music man”-*-“We’re all ready for the hospital”—“Your mother fainted twice”—“You’re a cool one,” and other like pleasantries were flung at him from figures which seemed a bit blurred, as they mopped their faces, and seemed to stagger towards him.

“Just a minute,” hesaid, making for a door somewhere—in pretence.

“No you don’t,” said a voice in his ear, while his arm was seized and he felt himself led towards another door.

Great Scott!!!

What could he do? If only the floor would open and swallow him up— an earth-quake—a fire— anything to bring abou t delay. Boyd might even now be mounting the step s outside. But what were they doing?

This was awful!

The door had opened— and in a muddle, like L Chinese puzzle, without form or substance, the waiting congregation appeared before^ his swimming vision.

His feet moved automatically—his hair seemed standing on all ends— his heart was a ceaseless drum-beat. The aisle swayed before him. He had the presence of mind to look back at the door— Boyd might even yet walk up the aisle to relieve him. But he walked on and

The aisle seemed endless—the church a limitless cavern.

He came to a halt, before a pair of faded blue eyes, arched above spectacles, and they seemed to pierce him through and through. The hand that held the prayer-book trembled. There was still a moment left.

He thought as he stood and waited -waited for the bride—that all would yet be well. Boyd would rush in, relieve him— and everyone would laugh, thinking it a good joke— a clever piece of acting.

Continued on page 36

Whose Bride Was Mary?

Continued, from page 17

He turned slightly and strained his eyes over the sea of muddled faces—to the door. He would smile at Boyd—and Boyd would understand. They were twins and twins always understood.

The organ pealed out. The door opened.

In walked the bride.

He turned to the man at his side. He must try to make him understand—but the cold, steely eyes of the best man only rested on him appraisingly for a second, while he nodded his head, as if in approval of what he observed.

Yes, he could yell out—or sham a faint—but what a sensation!!!

No, there must be some other way. He had walked into the trap; now he must extricate himself with dignity. A little more acting and it would be over.

Married by “proxy”—why not? No one would ever know.

Boyd would thank him for saving the situation—take the bride, and the secret would be their’s alone.

There was a movement near him. He felt rather than saw her presence by his

The minister’s eyes over his spectacles looked gravely into his. “Wilt thou— Boyd Anderson—have this woman— Mary Strong—”

The arched eye-brows above theTserious eyes grew dim. Everything went blurry again. What an age he lived through. Would the man’s voice never cease?

At last it came his turn. What was he

saying?......“I—Boyd Anderson—(but

he wasn’t Boyd, he was Lloyd)—take thee —Mary Strong—to be my wedded wife—• to have and to hold—for better—for worse—”

On and on—and on—would the thing never end-?

It was over—her hand stole through his

They were walking—walking then—. Great Heavens, what next!!!!

THEY entered the vestry—everyone was smiling—

When in through the door walked the ghost of Boyd, the first-born, right up to the groom, on whose arm the happy bride still leant. In a moment the inspiration came.

“Why Lloyd,” said Lloyd, grasping the ghost’s hand. “In time for the finish.” He even grinned. This was the grand climax, and, he must carry the day.

The bride turned to the register. The white-haired old preacher beside her, smiled on benignly.

Lloyd grasped the first-born’s arm and drew him aside.

“I’ve saved you, old man. Spunk up, no one will know the difference. You are Boyd—I am Lloyd. What else could I do? No harm’s done. I saved you Boyd

_she’s yours—we’re twins—as much

alike as two peas—can’t tell us apart.

Come, walk to the window with me, then turn about—sign the register. She’ll take your arm and never know the difference. You are the groom—I only helped you out of a hole. Come on—grin. For God’s sake play up—they’re waiting.”

Boyd, still more like a ghost than a man, stood bewildered. What else was there for him to do? It was all surely a terrible nightmare..

As he turned from the window, Mary advanced toward him, smiling. The sight of her cheered him—started the blood circulating again through his benumbed body.

She took his arm—looked up at him and spoke. “You’re so white, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing—nothing at all, dear,” he whispered, smiling-—or trying to.

' “It’s your turn to sign,” she said then softly whispered: "your brother is

exactly like you, isn’t he? No one could possibly tell you apart; only, he looks sick, or just tired, perhaps.”

Boyd nodded. Gradually he became more confident. It was Fate—he had to accept it. Nothing would be gained by making a fuss—perhaps all might be

In this spirit he got through the balance of the ceremony, feeling considerably re-assured when, .later on, at the reception, he overheard Lloyd explaining to a group of interested listeners just how it happened that he, Lloyd, was late, and laughingly related the experience on the road-side, Boyd’s flight into town, and the assistance that came for him later—hoping all the time that luck would be with him, in describing fairly accurately, what he thought must have been Boyd’s experience after he left him.

Later on, Boyd had the presence of mind to mention to Lloyd the fact that he got the car to spark before long, and came into town on his own steam.

“Glad to know it,” said Lloyd, “and trust me to make out such an easy story that no one will ever think another thing about it. Have a good time. She’s yours—I’m you—and you’re me—all the same—and when you come back we’ll have a long talk about it.”

Certainly there was no chance for explanations. Barely time to change before the rash to the train—the good-byes— confetti over everything. Then the quiet hour, when he and his bride were at last alone.

His bride—?

No—she was Lloyd’s bride.—What nonsense—not a bit of it, she was his, and he wasn’t going to worry about that.

Like a dash of cold water in the face it came, later, with Mary in his arms—her head on his shoulder, and her hand in his when she whispered: “Never did you

look so manly and masterful dear, as when you stood waiting for me. There

was an air about you I never noticed before—something I can’t describe—rather distinctive—not like anybody else—not even your brother. You look so alike. No one could tell the difference, but I can feel it. And I just discovered it in you today—a little of something grand I’ve always wanted you to have, and it came today.”

Happily, her head was snuggled on his shoulder, so that she could not notice the pain that registered itself in his eyes. He forced himself to speak; “It came with the ceremony, dear—and pray God, it may stay, whatever it is.”

“It’s a thing of the spirit,” she told him softly.

What was it Lloyd had that he had not— that subtle something that could only be felt? Would that it might be his, too, so that this new beautiful adoration of hers, would always remain for him.

Then the next day she mentioned it again: “You’re tired, aren’t you dear?

It’s an awful flurry—a church wedding, isn’t it? You’ll feel better when we get to the sea and rest,”

Could he get “it” at the sea—that spirit she counted so much on his having? This thought obsessed him continually, Another time—the first that she had referred to his tardiness —“If you had not come, wouldn’t it have been terrible? People would have thought it intentional —my heart would be broken.” Then, so sweetly that his heart ached: “but you

did come in time—a little late, of coursebut you got there didn’t you? I was a bit mad, I must confess, but when I saw you, I forgot to be cross any longer—and we’re married now, aren’t we?”

He loved her and she was his—because she loved him.

It was love that bound hearts together —a ceremony here or there, did not matter anyway—or did it?

He was thankful to Lloyd for what he had done—or was he?

Was Lloyd married to Marv—or was he?

Lloyd didn’t want her—didn’t love her —and he did.

His—Boyd’s name—was on the register, on the marriage license. What did the ceremony in between matter. Not a row of figs—or, did it?

Was he married, or was he not?

If he was, all was well—but if he was not, had he any right to have Mary? Was Lloyd really and truly married to her just on account of the ceremony—was she Lloyd’s instead of his?

I_lE WORRIED himself sick. “I’ll _ -*■ have to go home dear,” he told Mary, his spirit, all his thoughts a stupid muddle from trying to solve the riddle. Was it right for him to live with Mary? Was he committing a terrible sin? His old-fashioned, provincial, small-town conscience gave him no rest.

Was he a black sinner, or a real husband? It had to be settled—if it wasn’t he would surely go crazy.

So they went home, after three days’ stay at the sea—and life, instead of being sunshine and love, was clouded and sad. Nothing had ever bothered him very much before, but this worry ate his heart out. Mary wrote home that Boyd was sick—

■ had taken sick on the train and she didn’t know what was the matter. He didn’t eat, he didn’t sleep. She had never seen him look so before, and it worried her. “He seemed fevered all the time,” she added in her letter.

They stayed with his mother for the first week, till Boyd hoped to be well enough to go to their own new home. His mother was worried about him, and wanted to try her hand at nursing him.

Poor Mary cried often. Boyd’s continual depression of spirit made her feel miserable. On the other hand, she was at a loss to know what ailed herself. She was always lonesome—Why should she be so? Had she not Boyd—and didn’t she love him?

But he was not the same—something had changed him.

Had marriage with her made him sad— was there really anything unlucky about a “larte” wedding?

“I just want to see Lloyd,” Boyd told his mother. “He’ll make me better.” And the fond mother’s heart told her that they were twins—each part of the other. Meeting after so many years had spiritually re-united them again, as they had been, when tiny children together— one never happy without the other. And Boyd allowed her to think so.

To Lloyd he told the truth: “I

have no peace day or night. Is Mary mine—or is she yours? Is it wrong for me to live with her, or is it right? If I don’t settle this question I shall lose my mind.”

Lloyd made light of the whole affair. “There is certainly nothing to worry about, as I see it. I did the only thing possible to avert a scene. No one would have believed me to be other than you, no matter what I might have affirmed to the contrary. Quick action saved the whole situation from becoming burlesque or tragic. Certainly, if I had not taken things in hand, and acted your part— when I did—half the women would have been hysterical. Mother was almost be• side herself with worry about Mary, and what people would think—one did not need two eyes to see that. Here, perk up old man, I’ll have to leave in a couple of days and let you two enjoy yourselves. Don’t be so tender-hearted—God isn’t going to punish you for living with Mary when you love each other—whether you are married or not.”

“Oh, I say,” cried Boyd, “that’s too much for me—I haven’t sunk that far morally yet.”

Lloyd colored up. “Well, when you get down to brass tacks, what makes marriage decent anyway? Is it love or a ceremony?”

“Love and the ceremony,” emphasized Boyd. “We’re getting so confoundedly broad-minded today, that we’re leaving responsibility out of the question entirely. We don’t just love for ourselves and today, do we? Aren’t there others and tomorrow to think of?”

“Small-town puritanism—narrow-

mindedness,” discounted Lloyd. "I’m simply looking at things sensibly—from the right angle. However, if it is impossible to convince you of that I’m at a loss to know how to help unless you can change your thought in regard to it. Evil is to him that evil thinketh, you know old top. Get your mind right about it and you’ll not worry.”

“That’s just what I can’t do—my conscience is small-town calibre if you like— not as elastic as some, I grant you. Now, if I had your mind and conscience I’d not worry. But, having my own, I feel miserable; and no amount of talking or argument will give me the peace I must experience, before I can go on living with Mary—and be happy with her—as God only knows I want to.”

BOYD’S distress was genuine—his misu ery pathetic. “Can’t I be married to her some way, Lloyd? Can nothing be done about it? Are you married to her?” “Guess I am,” his brother granted. “Look here Boyd—if you don’t cheer up I’ll take her from you.”

Boyd’s eyes flashed. “Would you play a dirty trick like that?”

“Don’t be insulting,” flared his twin. “Haven’t I a right to her—if I’m married to her? Besides—I’ve taken quite a fancy to Mary. You are making her so miserable she’d welcome a happy husband for a change.”

Poor Boyd was white. “You’re jok1 ing—surely—” huskily.

“Well,” replied Lloyd, “coming down to brass tacks again—if marriage means ceremony, she’s mine—and I’m the only one who has a right to her.”

“But I love her—and she loves me— and that does not apply to either of you, besides—you would never tell her. That would be worse than this. We can’t undo what has been done—that’s impose^ ible, but can’t we do something more?” “You take Mary and make her happy,” Lloyd advised, “or I’ll try my hand at it—she’d never know the difference anyway.”

That set Boyd thinking harder than ever. He was now afraid of Lloyd.

What if Lloyd should make love to Mary? He had deceived her once— might he not try it again? And with that subtle something—that spiritual distinction that had so attracted her the day she married him, thinking he was Boyd— might Lloyd not further attract her now? That thought roused him to action.

He must shake off this depression, and attend to Mary or he might lose her. Like a blow it had brought all his numbed faculties alert.

That day, Mary thought he seemed better. He acted more like his old self, jolly and care-free. He deceived everyone but himself. With the night, it all came back again—the doubts and the worry. He had achieved no permanent

peace—no victory over his own inward misgivings. The next morning, he told Lloyd that it was no good—something had to be done, and done quickly.

Then Lloyd had an inspiration. “Leave it to me,” he urged. “Keep cool— and all will yet be well.”

This was all very vague and uncertain, but it let in a ray of hope.

Followed days—and it added to Boyd’s distress of mind—when Lloyd spent much of his time with Mary. They went on long walks together—stole out on the lawn in the evening—and it was quite evident there was some secret between them.

Boyd thought he would lose his mind. At times he saw all red—could have strangled his brother. But that small-town uprightness, regard for the laws of God and man, saved him.

“Give me some rope,” Lloyd demanded in that cool way of his when questioned by Boyd. “Can’t you trust your twin? Though' I do believe that love joins hearts in marriage, more than ceremony, I am not a cur anyway, didn’t I marry her?” This last, accompanied by a smile and a wink, only worried poor Boyd more than ever. Lloyd was enjoying himself. He found Mary good company—so good,— that he sometimes wished that instead of twins, there had been only one, and he that one.

Mary was happy again. The little time she spent with Boyd was used in trying to cheer him up, but her new-found bliss only made him yearn for her more than ever.

“Do you love me, Mary?” he asked for the thirtieth time one day. “

“Silly—you know I do.”

“Lloyd isn’t turning your head is he?” “What if he is? It’s my heart that counts', and that’s yours Boyd,” she whispered; close to him.

A T LAST, Lloyd took pity on him.

J*■ “Mary and I”, he said, “have arranged a little party for tonight, and

also a surprise. I have discovered that Mary has quite a bit of dramatic ability, and I determined to make use of it to give you back your peace of mind, Boyd.

I played the part of Sir Hugh in a comedy entitled “Fools” last winter for our club— and—listen—raise your head old man, and cheer up, your soul will soon be freed from its shackles. There is a mock marriage ceremony in it—more or less interesting—especially the lines which lead up to it. I’ve written to a chum of mine just graduated, and last month ordained into his first charge. Mother thinks he’s passing through and stopping off a day with us. He’s promised to keep it secret—as long as he lives—so that’s sealed. Mary and I will play the little scene—just to entertain you all—and before the ceremony, you’ll take my place. My friend, who will wear ordinary clothes, and leave his ‘Reverence’ at home— | has promised to do the real thing, instead of the mock. Result—you will be Mary’s, and Mary yours—forever.”

It sounded well, but needed explanation.

That was easy, and Lloyd determined nothing should happen to hinder the carrying out of this happy idea of his.

Such a simple solution to the whole matter. And nothing did. While the guests laughed and enjoyed the little comedy, Mary was married to Boyd. She had now two husbands—but, of course was unaware of it. The truth was kept secret from her and what she did not know, did not oppress her.

Lloyd went back to the city, wondering a bit whether he was married or not— but what did it matter anyway?

However, he determined that if he ever married again, his second wife should never hear about his first.

Boyd was happy—radiantly so—Mary was now his according to God’s holy ordinance.

“Mary,” he whispered, as she'lay in his arms—all his own, “Pray that we may never have twins”—(but cross my heart, they did).