Chapter XXII.
 

The wedding morning dawned bright and clear. All the invited guests who had passed the night on shore were early arrivals upon the yacht, which then immediately started across the lake, heading for Michigan City.

The crew had outdone themselves in making everything about the vessel even more than ordinarily clean and bright, and everyone was arrayed in holiday attire. The young men of the party had taken care to provide abundance of flowers, especially for the saloon where the ceremony was to take place.

There they all assembled, drawn by the familiar strains of the Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin," played by Violet on the small pipe organ which the captain's thoughtfulness had provided for his wife's amusement and his own pleasure, as well as that of his daughters.

A hush fell upon them as Cyril entered and took his appointed place, followed closely by the bridal party, which consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore and the bride and groom; Annis preferring to be without bridesmaids, and Mr. Dinsmore having expressed a desire to take a father's part and give her away.

The short and simple ceremony was soon over, and after the customary congratulations and good wishes, all repaired to the dining saloon where they partook of a delicious breakfast.

All this time the vessel was speeding on her way, and the lake being calm, and such breeze as there was favorable, she made excellent headway, carrying them into their port in good season for catching their trains without being unpleasantly hurried.

Then the Dolphin turned and retraced her course, arriving at her old station near the Peristyle before nightfall; so that the returned passengers were able to spend their evening, as usual, in the beautiful Court of Honor.

Captain Raymond and his wife and daughters returned to the yacht rather earlier than was their wont, and sat on its deck awaiting the coming of the others.

"Papa," said Lucilla, breaking a momentary silence, "I have been wondering why you took the cousins to Michigan City rather than to Pleasant Plains as you did before."

"Because it would have taken a good deal longer to go to Pleasant Plains; for which reason they preferred Michigan City, not wishing to take the cars here because of the great crowds about the stations, causing much inconvenience and some peril to those who must push their way through them."

"I wondered that the bride and groom were willing to go on the cars at all after hearing of the many accidents on the trains of late, papa," said Grace.

"I trust they will not meet with any," said her father. "The crowds are coming in this direction, and I think it is on those trains that most of the accidents occur. But we will all pray for them, asking the Lord to have them in his kind care and keeping."

"Yes, indeed, papa!" she replied, in earnest tones. "I am so glad that we may, and that we know--because he has told us so--that he is the hearer and answerer of prayer. Still I am glad we are not going home by rail."

"So am I," he said; "yet yachts are sometimes wrecked; and in fact there is no place where we could be certain of safety except as our heavenly Father cares for and protects us; and in his kind care and keeping we are safe wherever we may be."