“Was Priscilla your wife—is your name Louis?” Boy cried, breathless with anticipation.
“Yes, how you know?” wide open eyes gazing on Boy with earnest surprise.
“Because—I have the ring!!”
Louis nodded excitedly when Boy showed him the gold ring. He wrapped two spindly arms around Louis neck in an instant, and burst into thankful, overflowing tears. “My son—my long lost son!! Thank God!!” Louis cried brokenly. Boy too, was openly weeping—weeping with JOY! Elizabeth, who had been a silent, curious, and sympathizing listener during the touching discovery, tiptoed to Louis’ side, and, stroking the trembling head, whispered,” thank god. You have found each other.” A joyful smile rested on her face. Alexander, on hearing thee loud cries form outdoors, rushed in, alarmed. To his surprise, he saw his daughter and Boy around an old beggar, sobbing!! He was about to speak, but Boy was too quick for him. “Alexander, this is my long lost father!!”
With an exclamation of joy, Alexander heartily grasped Louis’ hand. When their excitement was sufficiently subdued, Elizabeth brought out the delayed luncheon. Father and son shared their story, filling missing bits and pieces as each unraveled the years of their lives. Tears overflowed form each grateful eye in the homey little kitchen. It was decided that Louis would live with them, and immediately Elizabeth ran off to clear an unused room.
A great doubt was lifted for Boy’s mind by this finding of his father. Into boy’s heart, peace and joy settled slowly. He’d always thought of his parents were honorable or not—perhaps they were criminals. Who knew? If they were dishonorable, so will he be—under suspicion.
Now a looming obstacle had been removed from his path to begin his task of winning Elizabeth. He gave her his life’s history through his father—something he could not have told her himself. He could now, if need be, prove his identity in the world, and not have to always be an unexplained, unloved, and unknown wanderer.
He could be somebody.
One beautiful afternoon, boy took Elizabeth aside as she was exiting the well-kept kitchen.
“Elizabeth, could you meet me in the orchard after sunset?” he asked abruptly. There was one, only one single, uninvited note of tenderness in his voice. “Why?” Elizabeth turned a pair of half- bewildered, half vulnerably fearful eyes on his smiling face.
“I have something—something to tell you.” He knew that his eyes were shining, bright and golden, but he could not control them in the least.
She stared at him for a minute, blushing and silent. She could but guess what she was to be told. She turned away.
With the fervor of desperate man, boy grasped her arm, detaining her. Feeling his touch for the first time, she immediately paused in her hurried escape. She trembled slightly.
Boy felt her shiver, and dropped her arm in an instant. “Will you be there?” hope despair, and love ere all in his hoarse whisper. “Yes” she flashed him one last frightened glance, and she was gone. With a hopeful heart, filled with renewed love, he returned to his work.
Elizabeth was still blushing brightly during dinner. So much so, that Alexander asked her if her work was especially hard that day, or if the weather was too humid for her. Her eyes were suspiciously moist. Noticing boy’s unnatural nervousness, he guessed the truth. “Well, it’s only natural, and if I could make my poor motherless Lizzy happy, why, I would not hinder anything. Boy will make a great son in law, too.” Thus the shrewd man thought to himself.
Boy asked for a private interview with Alexander, to which he agreed with an inward chuckle.
Ten minutes later, the setting sun saw a young man leap out through the front door of a small cottage with a mile-long smile on his handsome face, while a slip of a girl slipped through the back door into the house.
“Did he ask for me, father?” Elizabeth asked her father tremblingly, her eyes on the ground. Alexander smiled, albeit with tears. “Yes…” “Oh, father…” she breathed, hiding her face in his chest. “Oh father…”
“Will you accept him, Lizzy?”
“Father,” she looked into his kind face with wet eyes, “if you… you do not approve, then… I would not either.” A tear slowly traveled down her cheek.