“You must be very calm,” said the nurse; for it was with her she was talking. “The least excitement may be fatal.”
“Oh, I will be calm and prudent.” Yet, even while she spoke, her frame quivered with excitement.
But she controlled herself when the moment of meeting came, and, though her unexpected appearance produced a shock, it was salutary rather than injurious.
“My dear, dear Agnes!” said Edward Marvel, a month from this time, as they sat alone in the chamber of a pleasant house in New York, “I owe you my life. But for your prompt resolution to follow me across the sea, I would, in all probability, now be sleeping the sleep of death. Oh, what would I not suffer for your sake!”
As Marvel uttered the last sentence, a troubled expression flitted over his countenance. Agnes gazed tenderly into his face, and asked–
“Why this look of doubt and anxiety?”
“Need I answer the question?” returned the young man. “It is, thus far, no better with me than when we left our old home. Though health is coming back through every fibre, and my heart is filled with an eager desire to relieve these kind friends of the burden of our support, yet no prospect opens.”
No cloud came stealing darkly over the face of the young wife. The sunshine, so far from being dimmed, was brighter.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” said she, with a beautiful smile. “All will come out right.”
“Right, Agnes? It is not right for me thus to depend on strangers.”
“You need depend but a little while longer. I have already made warm friends here, and, through them, secured for you employment. A good place awaits you so soon as strength to fill it comes back to your weakened frame.”
“Angel!” exclaimed the young man, overcome with emotion at so unexpected a declaration.
“No, not an angel,” calmly replied Agnes, “only a wife. And now, dear Edward,” she added, “never again, in any extremity, think for a moment of meeting trials or enduring privations alone. Having taken a wife, you cannot move safely on your journey unless she moves by your side.”
“Angel! Yes, you are my good angel,” repeated Edward.
“Call me what you will,” said Agnes, with a sweet smile, as she brushed, with her delicate hand, the hair from his temples; “but let me be your wife. I ask no better name, no higher station.”