Four years have passed since we last saw Dr. Lotus Stone and Regenia Underwood renewing their vows of undying affection at Breeze Nook. During the following summer they were quietly married and took up life's joys and sorrows at Mt. Clare. Nothing particularly noteworthy has occurred since their marriage to distinguish them from the thousand and one happy families that pass unnoticed day by day.
The doctor has unostentatiously followed his profession; while his loving wife has spent much of her time in relieving the wants of the poor, carrying the sunshine of Christian sympathy where it is oftener needed than received. One child, a boy, has come to bless their home. He bears the name of Dr. Stone's best friend, Clement.
Clement and Lucile still live at Minton. Mr. St. John, in the midst of an unusually busy life, finds time to pull himself away from his paper and his politics each year, to steal away to Mt. Clare and spend two or three weeks at the "Elms."
As we finish our story, Lucile and Clement are at the "Elms," Mt. Clare again echoes to the tread of marching men. This time it is the "Convocation" instead of the "Conclave;" the Patriarchie instead of the Knights Templars. Clement and Lucile, with their little girl, Regenia, in company with Dr. Stone and family, have just returned from Recreation Park.
Again they have lived over the events of a summer long ago and sitting on the spacious veranda, are interested observers, as company after company of the tired Patriarchies alight from the cars in front of the "Elms" and make their way to the city.
Mrs. Levitt, a pleasant smile on her broad, loving face, is sitting on the steps. Regenia, as much of a child as ever when in the company of her foster mother, sits at her feet, Lucile, with her arm around Regenia's waist, sits beside her, talking incessantly. Clement and Lotus are standing on the porch, while little Regenia St. John and Clement Stone, hand in hand, are observing from the yard, with wild-eyed delight, the soldiers who from high private, to self important captain, wear the sword and uniform of an officer.
As the happy friends sit talking, the last rays of the sun slowly setting, falls in trembling reflections through the waving branches overhead, softening and retouching the picture with tints of purest gold. Clement and Lotus, inspired by the sight, instinctively turn toward each other. Lotus said: "After the clouds, sunshine, after the darkness, light, after sorrow, joy."
"I was just thinking that the sight of such contentment is ample pay for all of the struggles and sorrows of the past," responded Clement sol-
The two men stood for some time silently contemplating the picture before them, as they looked at the children hand in hand, Lotus turned to Clement and taking the hand of his friend said:
"May the Lord be between me and thee and between mine and thine forever."