Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/376

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334
ALICE B. NEAL.

calling them by that holiest and dearest of titles, “man and wife,” and, for the first time in many years, the missionary had a home.

You will wonder if there was no sad awaking when the romance of youthful girlhood had passed, and Miriam knew that the step was irrevocable. You would need no other answer than a glance at the peace and happiness which sprung up in that quiet dwelling, a light that was diffused among all his little flock; for he had found the key to their hearts—his creed was no longer gloomy and morose, looking coldly on all their social joy. And every one loved Miriam, who became, young as she was, a guide and a friend to many beside her husband.

But did she truly love him?

Her father, happy in his serene old age, did not doubt it, as he saw her place their first born, Paul, in his arms, and look up to him with the trusting confidence of old, mingled with a deeper, because wifelike, tenderness.