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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

An Interlude

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But, as has been stated before, the laws of the Brotherhood did not permit of the marriage of any of its members without the direct sanction of Natas, and therefore it had been necessary to wait until now.

As Radna and Colston were two of the most trusted and prominent members of the Inner Circle, it was fitting that their wedding should be honoured by the presence of the Master in person. An added solemnity was also given to it by the fact that, in all human probability, it was the first time since the world began that the mighty hills which looked down upon Aeria had witnessed the plighting of the troth of a man and a woman.

Like all other formal acts of the Brotherhood, the ceremony was simple in the extreme; but, in this case at least, it was none the less impressive on that account. In a lovely glade, through which a crystal stream ran laughing on its way to the lake, Natas sat under the shade of a spreading tree-fern. In front of him was a small table covered with a white cloth, on which lay a roll of parchment and a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures.

At this table, facing Natas, stood the betrothed pair with their witnesses, Natasha for Radna, and Arnold for Colston, or Alexis Mazanoff, to give him his true name, which must, of course, be used on such an occasion. In a wide semicircle some four yards off stood all the members of the little community, Louis Holt and his faithful servitor not excepted.

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In the midst of a silence broken only by the whispering of the warm, scented wind in the tree-tops, the Master of the Terror spoke in a kindly yet solemn tone--

"Alexis Mazanoff and Radna Michaelis, you stand here before Heaven, and in the presence of your comrades, to take each other for wedded wife and husband, till death shall part the hands that now are joined!

"Your mutual vows have long ago been pledged, and what you are about to do is good earnest of their fulfilment. But above the duty that you owe to each other stands your duty to that great Cause to which you have already irrevocably devoted your lives. You have already sworn that as long as you shall live its ends shall be your ends, and that no human considerations shall weigh with you where those ends are concerned. Do you take each other for husband and wife subject to that condition and all that it implies?"

"We do!" replied the lovers with one voice, and then Natas went on--

"Then by the laws of our Order, the only laws that we are permitted to obey, I pronounce you man and wife before Heaven and this company. Be faithful to each other and the Cause in the days to come as you have been in the days that are past, and if it shall please the Master of Destiny that you shall be blessed with children, see to it that you train them up in the love of truth, freedom, and justice, and in the hatred of tyranny and wrong.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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