Read CHAPTER XLII - THE PATHOS OF LIFE of Uncle Terry A Story of the Maine Coast , free online book, by Charles Clark Munn, on

When June had again clad Sandgate’s hills and village with green, and spangled its meadows with daisies, there occurred two events of sacred import to four young people, but of little interest to the rest of the world.

The first was a wedding in the village church where the sweet voice of Alice Page had oft been heard, and where now as a bride she walked timidly to the altar.

Her pupils, aided by their parents, had turned the church into a bower of green, brightened by every colored flower that grew in field or garden. Even the old mill-pond contributed its share, and the altar was white with lilies. Almost every resident of the town was present, and the aged miller sat in one corner and watched with wistful eyes. The Nason family, with Aunt Susan and Albert, shared the front pew, and the little girl who once upon a time had said, “Pleath may I kith you, teacher,” was accorded the proud privilege of strewing roses and violets along the aisle in front of the bride.

When the parting came, Aunt Susan made a brave effort to bear up until the train carried the wedding-party away, and the little miss who scattered flowers was inconsolable after Alice kissed her good-by. The old miller returned to his toil with a heavy heart, for he had known Alice since, as a child, he held her up that she might see the wheel go around and laugh and crow at its splashing. Many times each summer she had come there to gather lilies, and now she had gone, perhaps never to return. One by one the summer days would come and go, the mill-stone rumble, the big wheel splash, the old boat float idly beneath its willow, and the water-lilies bloom and fade; for sweet Alice would come no more to pluck them.

Two weeks later occurred the other event, when the ‘Gypsy’ steamed into the Cape harbor and a select party became the guests of honor at Uncle Terry’s home. Long tables decked with flowers and loaded with the best that Aunt Lissy could prepare stood under the trees in front; the little porch was a bower of ferns and clusters of red bunch-berries, and every man, woman, and child that dwelt on the island was there.

Then after Albert and Telly had halted in the fern-covered porch to utter the simple but sacred words that bound them for life, the gladsome party gathered and made merry at the tables.

The sun was low in the west ere Telly kissed the tear-wet faces of Uncle Terry and Aunt Lissy and the ‘Gypsy’ sailed away. Far to seaward the purple line of coming night was slowly creeping in, and side by side on the little knoll where stood a low white headstone, those two sat and watched her pass out of their lives. When only the wide ocean was visible and the line of shadow had crept up to the wave-washed rocks beneath them, Uncle Terry arose.

“We’d best go in, Lissy,” he said.

And looking into his saddened face she saw that she must lead him, for he was blinded with tears.