He made an acquaintance with her uncle, who liked him, and he saw at last with joy that her eye loved to dwell upon him when she thought he did not observe her. It was three months after the Box Tunnel that Captain Dolignan called one day upon Captain Haythorn, R.N., whom he had met twice in his life, and slightly propitiated by violently listening to a cutting-out expedition; he called, and in the usual way asked permission to pay his addresses to his daughter. The worthy captain straightway began doing quarter-deck, when suddenly he was summoned from the apartment by a mysterious message. On his return he announced, with a total change of voice, that it was all right, and his visitor might run alongside as soon as he chose. My reader has divined the truth; this nautical commander, terrible to the foe, was in complete and happy subjugation to his daughter, our heroine.
As he was taking leave, Dolignan saw his divinity glide into the drawing-room. He followed her, observed a sweet consciousness deepen into confusion; she tried to laugh, and cried instead, and then she smiled again; when he kissed her hand at the door it was “George” and “Marian” instead of “Captain” this and “Miss” the other.
A reasonable time after this (for my tale is merciful and skips formalities and torturing delays) these two were very happy; they were once more upon the railroad, going to enjoy their honeymoon all by themselves. Marian Dolignan was dressed just as before–duck-like and delicious, all bright except her clothes; but George sat beside her this time instead of opposite, and she drank him in gently from her long eyelashes.
“Marian,” said George, “married people should tell each other all. Will you ever forgive me if I own to you; no–”
“Well then, you remember the Box Tunnel?” (This was the first allusion he had ventured to it.) “I am ashamed to say I had three pounds to ten pounds with White I would kiss one of you two ladies,” and George, pathetic externally, chuckled within.
“I know that, George; I overheard you,” was the demure reply.
“Oh! you overheard me! Impossible.”
“And did you not hear me whisper to my companion? I made a bet with her.”
“You made a bet? how singular! What was it?”
“Only a pair of gloves, George.”
“Yes, I know; but what about it?”
“That if you did you should be my husband, dearest.”
“Oh! but stay; then you could not have been so very angry with me, love. Why, dearest, then you brought that action against me.”
Mrs. Dolignan looked down.
“I was afraid you were forgetting me! George, you will never forgive me?”
“Sweet angel! why, here is the Box Tunnel!”
Now, reader–fie! no! no such thing! you can’t expect to be indulged in this way every time we come to a dark place. Besides, it is not the thing. Consider–two sensible married people. No such phenomenon, I assure you, took place. No scream in hopeless rivalry of the engine–this time!