THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

it not in accord with your station, or compatible with your rank;

yet, “sub loc signo vinces.” You know I cannot resume my visits,

in consequence of the utter hostility that your father has to me;

therefore the consummation of our union will have to be sought

for in a more sublime sphere, at the residence of a respectable

friend of this village. You cannot have an scruples upon this

mode of proceeding, if you will but remember it emanates from one

who loves you better than his own life–who is more than anxious

to bid you welcome to a new and happy home. Your warmest associates

say come; the talented, the learned, the wise, and the experienced

say come;–all these with their friends say, come. Viewing these,

with many other inducements, I flatter myself that you will come

to the embraces of your Elfonzo; for now is the time of your

acceptance of the day of your liberation. You cannot be ignorant,

Ambulinia, that thou art the desire of my heart; its thoughts

are too noble, and too pure, to conceal themselves from you.

I shall wait for your answer to this impatiently, expecting that you

will set the time to make your departure, and to be in readiness

at a moment’s warning to share the joys of a more preferable life.

This will be handed to you by Louisa, who will take a pleasure in

communicating anything to you that may relieve your dejected spirits,

and will assure you that I now stand ready, willing, and waiting

to make good my vows.

I am, dear Ambulinia, your

truly, and forever,

J. I. Elfonzo.

Louisa made it convenient to visit Mr. Valeer’s, though they

did not suspect her in the least the bearer of love epistles;

consequently, she was invited in the room to console Ambulinia,

where they were left alone. Ambulinia was seated by a small table–

her head resting on her hand–her brilliant eyes were bathed in tears.

Louisa handed her the letter of Elfonzo, when another spirit animated

her features–the spirit of renewed confidence that never fails

to strengthen the female character in an hour of grief and sorrow

like this, and as she pronounced the last accent of his name,

she exclaimed, “And does he love me yet! I never will forget

your generosity, Louisa. Oh, unhappy and yet blessed Louisa! may you

never feel what I have felt–may you never know the pangs of love.

Had I never loved, I never would have been unhappy; but I turn to Him

who can save, and if His wisdom does not will my expected union,

I know He will give me strength to bear my lot. Amuse yourself

with this little book, and take it as an apology for my silence,”

said Ambulinia, “while I attempt to answer this volume of consolation.”

“Thank you,” said Louisa, “you are excusable upon this occasion;

but I pray you, Ambulinia, to be expert upon this momentous subject,

that there may be nothing mistrustful upon my part.” “I will,”

said Ambulinia, and immediately resumed her seat and addressed the

following to Elfonzo:

Cumming, Ga., January 28, 1844.

Devoted Elfonzo–

I hail your letter as a welcome messenger of faith, and can now

say truly and firmly that my feelings correspond with yours.

Nothing shall be wanting on my part to make my obedience your fidelity.

Courage and perseverance will accomplish success. Receive this

as my oath, that while I grasp your hand in my own imagination,

we stand united before a higher tribunal than any on earth.

All the powers of my life, soul, and body, I devote to thee.

Whatever dangers may threaten me, I fear not to encounter them.

Perhaps I have determined upon my own destruction, by leaving

the house of the best of parents; be it so; I flee to you; I share

your destiny, faithful to the end. The day that I have concluded

upon for this task is SABBATH next, when the family with the citizens

are generally at church. For Heaven’s sake let not that day

pass unimproved: trust not till tomorrow, it is the cheat of life–

the future that never comes–the grave of many noble births–

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Categories: Twain, Mark