The bride and most of the wedding guests arrived at Sir Hugh’s country residence on the evening before the wedding. As the house filled up with laughter and bustle, Hugh and Letty repaired to the library. The two sat together on the little button-backed sofa drawn up to the fireside. Hugh took Letty’s hands in his. He took a slender leather case from a side-table.“A little gift for my bride.”Opening it, she gasped.“Hugh, diamonds!”She gazed at the exquisite necklace.“To match your eyes.” He smiled. “Now, may I claim a kiss as my reward?”Happily, Letty nodded.She, in turn, claimed another after giving him her gift, a handsome gold pocket-watch with a moonstone fob. They sat for a while in silence. When Hugh began to speak, Letty reached up and put her finger on his lips.“Tonight it is enough that we are here, Hugh. Tomorrow we begin a new life together. We should make a little space between our two lives, so that one can end and another begin.” She held his hands tightly for a moment, then looked up at him, eyes shining.“Dear Hugh, I give you my love. Now . . . and always.”Nothing more was said for a long time as they sat there, entwined in each others’ arms.“Tomorrow is almost here, my dear Letitia. Permit me to escort you to the upper landing so that you will have pleasant dreams.”They parted company at the top of the stairs.“Until tomorrow.” Hugh gave a little bow. “Don’t be late.” The bride bobbed a little curtsy and smiled a roguish smile.****From the moment Constance began her duties as bridesmaid by bringing Aunt Letty her breakfast tray, the day was a whirl of activity. Louisa, William and Emmeline had arrived the previous night, but Josh was late. Sir Hugh went off for a walk round the estate while Constance helped the bride to dress.“Aunt Letty, you look beautiful!” She was beautiful a vision in her favourite misty blue, wearing a hat trimmed in bride’s blossom with a fetching eye veil. At her throat were Hugh’s diamonds.“I can hear dear Louisa tutting about these. You know, pearls in daytime, diamonds for evening wear. But I wanted to please dear Hugh.” Her eyes twinkled mischievously.After Constance had gone off to get ready, a parlourmaid delivered an exquisite posy of freesias and maidenhair fern.“From Sir Hugh, for the bride.” She bobbed a curtsy.From that moment, Letty felt as if she was walking in a dream. Escorted down the sweeping staircase by Constance, pretty as a picture in rose pink with burgundy banding, she was greeted by a burst of applause from an assembled staff. Outside stood another of Hugh’s surprises a shining little carriage decked out in white ribbons and drawn by a splendid bay, its mane plaited with bridal white.“I feel like a queen,” Letty whispered to Constance as they were driven to the little church not far from the gates of the estate.Sir Hugh Glenavon was waiting outside the church door. He handed Letty down from her carriage and shooed Constance into the church.“Josh is here at last!” He smiled. “Now both of you can wait at the chancel while bride and groom make their grand entrance.” With that, he tucked Letty’s arm into his and they looked into each other’s eyes as if, at that particular moment, there were no-one else in the world.