Sameen now found the difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event, however certain the mind may be told to consider it, and certainty itself. She now found, that in spite of herself, she had always admitted a hope, while Root remained single, that something would occur to prevent her marrying Leon; that some resolution of her own, some mediation of friends, or some more eligible opportunity of establishment for the gentleman, would arise to assist the happiness of all. But Root was now married; and Sameen condemned her heart for the lurking flattery, which so much heightened the pain of the intelligence.
That Root should be married soon, before (as Sameen imagined) she could be in orders, and consequently before she could be in possession of the living, surprised her a little at first. But she soon saw how likely it was that Leon, in his self-provident care, in his haste to secure Root, should overlook everything but the risk of delay. They were married, married in town, and now hastening down to her uncle's. What had Root felt on being within four miles from the subway station, on seeing Mr. Finch’s servant, on hearing Leon's message!
They would soon, she supposed, be settled at Long Island.—Long Island,—that place in which so much conspired to give her an interest; which she wished to be acquainted with, and yet desired to avoid. She saw them in an instant in their parsonage-house; saw in Leon, the active, contriving manager, uniting at once a desire of smart appearance with the utmost frugality, and ashamed to be suspected of half his economical practices;—pursuing his own interest in every thought, courting the favour of Colonel Reese, of The Machine, and of every wealthy friend. In Root—Sameen knew not what she saw, nor what she wished to see;—happy or unhappy,—nothing pleased her; she turned away her head from every sketch of her.
Sameen flattered herself that some one of their connections in Brooklyn would write to them to announce the event, and give farther particulars,—but day after day passed off, and brought no text, no e-mail. Though uncertain that any one were to blame, she found fault with every absent friend. They were all thoughtless or indolent.
"When do you write to Colonel Reese, Mr. Finch?" was an inquiry which sprung from the impatience of her mind to have something going on.
"I wrote to him, Miss Shaw, last week, and rather expect to see, than to hear from him again. I earnestly pressed his coming to us, and should not be surprised to see him walk in today or tomorrow, or any day."
This was gaining something, something to look forward to. Colonel Reese must have some information to give.
Scarcely had she so determined it, when the figure of a person on horseback drew her eyes to the window. He or she stopt at their gate. It was a gentleman, it was Colonel Reese himself. Now she could hear more; and she trembled in expectation of it. But—it was NOT Colonel Reese—neither his air—nor his height. Were it possible, she must say it must be Root. She looked again. She had just dismounted;—Sameen could not be mistaken,—it WAS Root. Sameen moved away and sat down. "She comes from Mr. Elias's purposely to see us. I WILL be calm; I WILL be mistress of myself."
In a moment she perceived that the others were likewise aware of the mistake. She saw Mr. Finch and Fusco change colour; saw them look at herself, and whisper a few sentences to each other. She would have given the world to be able to speak—and to make them understand that she hoped no coolness, no slight, would appear in their behaviour to Root;—but she had no utterance, and was obliged to leave all to their own discretion.
Not a syllable passed aloud. They all waited in silence for the appearance of their visitor. Her footsteps were heard along the gravel path; in a moment she was in the passage, and in another she was before them.
Her countenance, as she entered the room, was not too happy, even for Sameen. Her complexion was white with agitation, and she looked as if fearful of her reception, and conscious that she merited no kind one. Mr. Finch, however, conforming, as he trusted, to the wishes of that asset, by whom he then meant in the warmth of his heart to be guided in everything, met with a look of forced complacency, gave Root his hand, and wished her joy.
Root coloured, and stammered out an unintelligible reply. Sameen's lips had moved with Mr. Finch's, and, when the moment of action was over, she wished that she had shaken hands with Root too. But it was then too late, and with a countenance meaning to be open, she sat down again and talked of the weather.
Fusco had retreated as much as possible out of sight, to conceal his distress; and Bear, understanding some part, but not the whole of the case, thought it incumbent on him to be dignified, and therefore took a seat as far from Root as he could, and maintained a strict silence.
When Sameen had ceased to rejoice in the dryness of the season, a very awful pause took place. It was put an end to by Mr. Finch, who felt obliged to hope that Root had left Mr. Groves very well. In a hurried manner, Root replied in the affirmative.
Sameen resolving to exert herself, though fearing the sound of her own voice, now said,
"Is Mr. Groves at the safe house?"
"At the safe house!" Root replied, with an air of surprise.— "No, my father is in Texas."
"I meant," said Sameen, taking up some work from the table, "to inquire for Mr. SAMANTHA Groves."
She dared not look up;—but Finch and Fusco both turned their eyes on Root. Root coloured, seemed perplexed, looked doubtingly, and, after some hesitation, said,—
"Perhaps you mean—my brother—you mean Mr.—Mr. Samuel Groves."
"Mr. Samuel Groves!"—was repeated by Fusco and Mr. Finch in an accent of the utmost amazement;—and though Sameen could not speak, even HER eyes were fixed on Root with the same impatient wonder. Root rose from her seat, and walked to the window, apparently from not knowing what to do; took up a pair of scissors that lay there, and while spoiling both them and their sheath by cutting the latter to pieces as she spoke, said, in a hurried voice,
"Perhaps you do not know—you may not have heard that my brother is lately married to—to the youngest—to Mr. Leon Tao."
Her words were echoed with unspeakable astonishment by all but Sameen, who sat with her head leaning over her work, in a state of such agitation as made her hardly know where she was.
"Yes," said Root, "they were married last week, and are now at Dallas."
Sameen could sit it no longer. She almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease. Root, who had till then looked anywhere, rather than at her, saw her hurry away, and perhaps saw—or even heard, her emotion; for immediately afterwards she fell into a reverie, which no remarks, no inquiries, no affectionate address of Mr. Finch could penetrate, and at last, without saying a word, quitted the room, and walked out towards the village—leaving the others in the greatest astonishment and perplexity on a change in Root’s situation, so wonderful and so sudden;—a perplexity which they had no means of lessening but by their own conjectures.
Inspired by this post
I just needed some fluffy "Shoot" fan fiction because...well, you know.