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The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

Uncle Blair Comes Home

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"You see, father, the Awkward Man won't mind us, because we're only children and he knows us well," explained the Story Girl, "but if he sees you, a stranger, it might confuse him and we might spoil the homecoming, and that would be such a pity."

So we went to Golden Milestone, laden with all the flowery spoil we could plunder from both gardens. It was a clear amber-tinted September evening and far away, over Markdale Harbour, a great round red moon was rising as we waited. Uncle Blair was hidden behind the wind-blown tassels of the pines at the gate, but he and the Story Girl kept waving their hands at each other and calling out gay, mirthful jests.

"Do you really feel acquainted with your father?" whispered Sara Ray wonderingly. "It's long since you saw him."

"If I hadn't seen him for a hundred years it wouldn't make any difference that way," laughed the Story Girl.

"S-s-h-s-s-h--they're coming," whispered Felicity excitedly.

And then they came--Beautiful Alice blushing and lovely, in the prettiest of pretty blue dresses, and the Awkward Man, so fervently happy that he quite forgot to be awkward. He lifted her out of the buggy gallantly and led her forward to us, smiling. We retreated before them, scattering our flowers lavishly on the path, and Alice Dale walked to the very doorstep of her new home over a carpet of blossoms. On the step they both paused and turned towards us, and we shyly did the proper thing in the way of congratulations and good wishes.

"It was so sweet of you to do this," said the smiling bride.

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"It was lovely to be able to do it for you, dearest," whispered the Story Girl, "and oh, Miss Reade--Mrs. Dale, I mean--we all hope you'll be so, so happy for ever."

"I am sure I shall," said Alice Dale, turning to her husband. He looked down into her eyes--and we were quite forgotten by both of them. We saw it, and slipped away, while Jasper Dale drew his wife into their home and shut the world out.

We scampered joyously away through the moonlit dusk. Uncle Blair joined us at the gate and the Story Girl asked him what he thought of the bride.

"When she dies white violets will grow out of her dust," he answered.

"Uncle Blair says even queerer things than the Story Girl," Felicity whispered to me.

And so that beautiful day went away from us, slipping through our fingers as we tried to hold it. It hooded itself in shadows and fared forth on the road that is lighted by the white stars of evening. It had been a gift of Paradise. Its hours had all been fair and beloved. From dawn flush to fall of night there had been naught to mar it. It took with it its smiles and laughter. But it left the boon of memory.

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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