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An Orkney Maid by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

I remember papa and mamma making up their little tiffs


It

led her to a handsome mansion overlooking the Venice of the Orcades, the village and the wonderful Bay of Kirkwall, into which

... by night and day, The great sea water finds its way Through long, long windings of the hills.

The house had a silent look, and its enclosure was strangely quiet, though kept in exquisite order and beauty. As she approached, a lady about fifty years old came to the top of the long, white steps to meet her, appearing to be greatly pleased with her visit.

"Only at dinner time Max was speaking of thee! And Eric said his sweetheart had forgotten him, and wondering we all were, what had kept thee so long away."

"Well, then, thou knowest about the war and the enlisting--everyone, in some way, has been touched by the changes made."

"True is that! Quickly thou must come in, for Eric has both second-sight and hearing, and no doubt he knows already that here thou art----" and talking thus as she went, Mrs. Beaton led the way up a wide, light stairway. Even as Mrs. Beaton was speaking a thin, eager voice called Sunna's name, a door flew open, and a man, beautiful as a dream-man, stood in the entrance to welcome them. And here the word "beautiful" need not to be erased; it was the very word that sprang naturally from the heart to the lips of every one when they met

Maximus Grant. No Greek sculptor ever dreamed of a more perfect form and face; the latter illumined by noticeable grey eyes, contemplative and mystical, a face, thoughtful and winning, and constantly breaking into kind smiles.

He took Sunna's hand, and they went quickly forward to a boy of about eleven years old, whom Sunna kissed and petted. The little lad was in a passion of delight. He called her "his sweetheart! his wife! his Queen!" and made her take off her bonnet and cloak and sit down beside him. He was half lying in a softly cushioned chair; there was a large globe at his side, and an equally large atlas, with other books on a small table near by, and Max's chair was close to the whole arrangement. He was a fair, lovely boy, with the seraphic eyes that sufferers from spinal diseases so frequently possess--eyes with the look in them of a Conqueror of Pain. But also, on his young face there was the solemn Trophonean pallor which signs those who daily dare "to look at death in the cave."

"Max and I have been to the Greek islands," he said, "and Sunna, as soon as I am grown up, and am quite well, I shall ask thee to marry me, and then we will go to one of the loveliest of them and live there. Max thinks that would be just right."

"Thou little darling," answered Sunna, "when thou art a man, if thou ask me to marry thee, I shall say 'yes!'"

"Of course thou wilt. Sunna loves Eric?"

"I do, indeed, Eric! I think we should be very happy. We should never quarrel or be cross with each other."

"Oh! I would not like that! If we did not quarrel, there would be no making-up. I remember papa and mamma making-up their little tiffs, and they seemed to be very happy about it--and to love each other ever so much better for the tiff and the make-up. I think we must have little quarrels, Sunna; and then, long, long, happy makings-up."


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