Monday, May 18, 2009

Chapter 25 - The Leatherman's Journal - November 4, 1875

Our wedding was a secret. We were married in the small town of Ste. Lucie. Neither Marie's father, nor my father knew. We were married amongst strangers. Strangers for attendents. Strangers for witnesses. And a sleepy-eyed priest with two hundred francs in his pocket performed the ceremony.

Once we were married, I do not recall how we reasoned that we should keep our marriage a secret. But we came to decide that we would reveal our bond slowly to our families so that they could accept the facts of our marriage. We were naïve to believe they would accept us as a couple.

We made it back to Lyon by nightfall. Marie's aunt was waiting at the door. Smiling as usual. I believe that she knew.

No one waited for me, but the house burned bright when I arrived. It was always so. A light was kept burning by the servants for the last person to extinguish when he arrived.

I sat by a window and let the flames burn for a marriage unconsummated. I sat until the sun rose and put to shame all the tiny flames that burned.

I wish to God that we had run. I wish now that we had worried only of ourselves.

It was our secrecy that was our undoing.

It was our separation that abetted the plotting.

In the end, it was my foolish fear that killed Marie.

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