Dorcas nourished her apprehensions in silence till one afternoon when Reuben awoke from an unquiet sleep, and seemed to recognize her more perfectly than at any previous time.
Dorcas wept when her fears were thus confirmed; but the shock, as it had been long anticipated.
All acknowledged that he might worthily demand the hand of the fair maiden to whose father he had been "faithful unto death;" and, as my tale is not of love, it shall suffice to say that in the space of a few months Reuben became the husband of Dorcas Malvin.
In the course of a few years after their marriage changes began to be visible in the external prosperity of Reuben and Dorcas.
The only child of Reuben and Dorcas was a son, now arrived at the age of fifteen years, beautiful in youth, and giving promise of a glorious manhood.
Dorcas, while she wept abundantly over the broken ties by which her simple and affectionate nature had bound itself to everything, felt that the inhabitants of her inmost heart moved on with her, and that all else would be supplied wherever she might go.
Dorcas and the boy went on joyously, and even Reuben's spirit shone at intervals with an outward gladness; but inwardly there was a cold cold sorrow, which he compared to the snowdrifts lying deep in the glens and hollows of the rivulets while the leaves were brightly green above.
Reuben and his son, while Dorcas made ready their meal, proposed to wander out in search of game, of which that day's march had afforded no supply.
Pray Heaven, Dorcas," said Reuben, in a broken voice,--"pray Heaven that neither of us three dies solitary and lies unburied in this howling wilderness
Reuben Bourne's rapid pace gradually slackened as the pang, unintentionally inflicted by the words of Dorcas, became less acute.
If old Dorcas could have had some of that she probably would not have eaten the little pig.
You are like old Dorcas," she once told her husband, driven desperate by the exhausted, harrowed look that was becoming habitual in Bill's face.