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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
|Page 3 of 3||
"You ain't sure he was drowned."
"Well, he disappeared, and that is worse."
"How do you know? Disappearing might be real easy."
"It's not very easy for your family."
"Hush, let's hear the rest of the predictions," said Cecily.
"Felicity," resumed the Story Girl gravely, "will marry a minister."
Sara Ray giggled and Felicity blushed. Peter tried hard not to look too self-consciously delighted.
"She will be a perfect housekeeper and will teach a Sunday School class and be very happy all her life."
"Will her husband be happy?" queried Dan solemnly.
"I guess he'll be as happy as your wife," retorted Felicity reddening.
"He'll be the happiest man in the world," declared Peter warmly.
"What about me?" asked Sara Ray.
The Story Girl looked rather puzzled. It was so hard to imagine Sara Ray as having any kind of future. Yet Sara was plainly anxious to have her fortune told and must be gratified.
"You'll be married," said the Story Girl recklessly, "and you'll live to be nearly a hundred years old, and go to dozens of funerals and have a great many sick spells. You will learn not to cry after you are seventy; but your husband will never go to church."
"I'm glad you warned me," said Sara Ray solemnly, "because now I know I'll make him promise before I marry him that he will go."
"He won't keep the promise," said the Story Girl, shaking her head. "But it is getting cold and Cecily is coughing. Let us go in."
"You haven't told my fortune," protested Cecily disappointedly.
The Story Girl looked very tenderly at Cecily--at the smooth little brown head, at the soft, shining eyes, at the cheeks that were often over-rosy after slight exertion, at the little sunburned hands that were always busy doing faithful work or quiet kindnesses. A very strange look came over the Story Girl's face; her eyes grew sad and far-reaching, as if of a verity they pierced beyond the mists of hidden years.
"I couldn't tell any fortune half good enough for you, dearest," she said, slipping her arm round Cecily. "You deserve everything good and lovely. But you know I've only been in fun--of course I don't know anything about what's going to happen to us."
"Perhaps you know more than you think for," said Sara Ray, who seemed much pleased with her fortune and anxious to believe it, despite the husband who wouldn't go to church.
"But I'd like to be told my fortune, even in fun," persisted Cecily.
"Everybody you meet will love you as long as you live." said the Story Girl. "There that's the very nicest fortune I can tell you, and it will come true whether the others do or not, and now we must go in."
We went, Cecily still a little disappointed. In later years I often wondered why the Story Girl refused to tell her fortune that night. Did some strange gleam of foreknowledge fall for a moment across her mirth-making? Did she realize in a flash of prescience that there was no earthly future for our sweet Cecily? Not for her were to be the lengthening shadows or the fading garland. The end was to come while the rainbow still sparkled on her wine of life, ere a single petal had fallen from her rose of joy. Long life was before all the others who trysted that night in the old homestead orchard; but Cecily's maiden feet were never to leave the golden road.
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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