“Major Cameron’s Wife” Pt III, By M.C. Ramsay

This is the final part of “Major Cameron’s Wife” by M.C. Ramsay, first published in “The People’s Friend” in 1915.

If you missed part one, click here.

If you missed part two, click here.

Yet she went through her work unflinchingly all through the long, trying day.

They could hear the great guns booming not many miles away. She wondered if the Indian troops were under fire. She could not brace herself to ask.

Just after sundown she knew. An ambulance wagon stopped at the door. Marjory, who chanced to be in the hall, moved swiftly forward, even as a soldier was lifted carefully, tenderly out.

Bending over him, she caught her breath.

Despite his bandages, she had instantly recognised Dick’s devoted servant, Ram Das.

She whispered a few words in Hindustani. The wounded man’s eyes flew open. A smile crossed his face. He tried to raise one bandaged hand to the salute.

“It is the little Mem-Sahib,” he whispered hoarsely. “The Major-Sahib’s adored one. And the Major-Sahib — ah!”

“The Major-Sahib, Ram Das?” said Marjory quickly. “Tell me, what of him?”

“He is dead! For my sins I saw him die!” answered Ram Das, and shuddering, closed his eyes.

With a strange cry, like that of an animal wounded unto death, Marjory turned, and stumbled through the wide open door into the dark street.

The ambulance wagons were coming thick and fast now. Every doctor and nurse would be needed. But she had no thought but to get to the battlefield, there to seek her beloved dead.

An empty wagon, returning, was stopped. The driver, who had somehow heard the news, offered her a lift.

“You’re going where the Indian troops fought?” she asked, and he simply nodded his assent.

The came to the place where a strong position had been captured, but only at a fearful cost. She looked around her despairingly. Which way should she go first?

A tall figure loomed before her in the darkness. She gave a little cry when the soldier spoke.

“Harry! Harry Carnegie! I—I have come for Dick! Do—do you know where he fell?”

The boy’s voice shook when he answered.

You—you are too late, Mrs Cameron. I saw him fall. A sharpshooter was picking off officers. The—the bullet went straight to his heart. If you wait here—”

“Take me to him,” said Marjory imperiously, and the young officer, after a moment’s hesitation to find his bearings, drew her hand through his left arm, for his right hung helpless by his side.

“Half a mile or so to our left, I think,” he said, quietly, and guided her with marvellous precision, to the spot.

She was happily blind to the many sad sights they encountered on the way. A doctor, looking up to seek her aid, let them pass without uttering a word. He knew instinctively that this nurse in her indoor uniform was seeking for her own amongst the wounded or the dead!

The moon had risen in her full glory, and her light fell upon Dick Cameron’s face, ashen pale indeed, but not with the pallor of death. With a muffled sob, Marjory dropped on her knees, tore open his blood-stained tunic, and placed her hand against his heart.

“Thank God!” burst from her bloodless lips. “His heart still beats, though faintly!”

And as she began, with feverish haste, to render what aid she could, Harry Carnegie bent and thrust his hand into the breast pocket through which the bullet had passed.

He whistled softly as he drew out a leather case, opened it, and found, as he had expected, a gold-framed miniature of Marjory, with the beautiful brow and eyes intact, the lower part of the face smashed.

“Look,” he whispered, holding it out. “Your portrait. I learned by accident that he always carried it. It has turned the bullet aside, and please God, has saved his life!”

But if Marjory heard, she heeded not. Dick had opened his eyes. He was gazing at her in bewildered fashion. Was this yet another of his cruel dreams in which she visited him, only to vanish when he awoke?

But the hot tears which fell upon his face, the passionate kisses which were showered upon his lips, told Dick that this was no dream, even before Marjory spoke.

“Dick, oh, Dick,” she said brokenly, “it has been all a terrible mistake. I have loved you all the time, though I never knew how much till they told me you were dead! I came to seek you, to lie down beside you and die too!

“But God has been kinder far than I deserved! Won’t—won’t you try to forgive me — to take me back into your heart and life?”

And Dick, severely wounded though he was, laughed softly as he tried to draw her a little closer.

“Take you back into my heart?” he said. “Why, little wife, you have never been out of it since the first moment I looked upon your dear face!”

And even as the ambulance men approached, Marjory bent over him until — upon that hard-won battlefield — their lips could meet in the kiss of perfect peace which would know no end!

Click here to read more of our fantastic Fiction content.

Click here to delve into our dramatic Daily Serial.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.