FROM MADEMOISELLE MARGUERITE BORIKE TO THE
COUNTESS ILSE VON JAROMAR.
|A Fellowe and his Wife||
MADAME: Although Count Odo answered quite heartily, " Of course, of course, child," when I asked him this morning if I might venture to send one little word to meet you, I suspect he did not see me or hear a word I said, he was so glad, so glad! For it was the hour that he received the good tidings, and his eyes were flashing, and his face looked as I never saw it, and he was giving orders to everybody at once, and holding the telegram tight in his hand wherever he went, and so eager to be off, I could not disturb him again. For there was indeed little time to catch the train, and presently he mounted Baldur and rode away like the wind, and Ete galloping behind on Puck, with the valise, could scarcely keep him in sight---even down the beech-avenue.
Yet, madame, I hope it is not unfitting that the strange young girl whom you will find in your house should long to lay her houmages and her whole heart at your feet. For she has dared to love you from afar, she thanks Count Odo and you every hour of her life for the loveliest and most precious gift on earth ---a home, ---- and she has prayed unceasingly to the blessed Sainte Marguerite to give you courage during the long and sorrowful time of your absence, and to restore you safe to your dear ones.
It is beautiful, madame, to be like you --- to come like the sunshine bringing sweetness and joy. Sorrow came with me, yet I found such pity, such angel-goodness here, that I wonder if heaven itself can be kinder than this kind world. And if people are so good to me, what must they be to you? Every morning when I brought fresh flowers to your beautiful picture, I have remembered this.
Ah, madame, I cannot wait for your home-coming, for the banners, and bells, and flowers, for the smiles and happy tears, and most of all for the great joy in Count Odo's face.
It is good to see him glad, when one has always known him sorrowful and lonely be-hind all the happiness that he gives others. It is beautiful to be the one who alone can give him happiness, to be great and good and wise like you, and to be able to stand beside Count Odo.
Pardon me, madame, that I do not know how to say it better, my deep, deep devotion, my tender thoughts, my gladness ---but since I, in the whole multitude of loving waiting ones, have most reason to love and bless you both, I would, if I could, make my welcome ring out above all the rest, like one little joy-bell from the loving heart of