Life, of course, went on in spite of its dreadfulness. The routine o_xistence doesn't stop because one is miserable. There were even some moment_hat were not altogether bad. Emily again measured her strength with pain an_gain conquered. With the Murray pride and the Starr reserve at her elbow sh_rote Ilse a letter of good wishes with which nobody could have found fault.
If that were only all she had to do! If only people wouldn't keep on talkin_o her about Ilse and Teddy.
The engagement was announced in the Montreal papers and then in the Islan_nes.
"Yes, they're engaged and heaven help every one concerned," said Dr. Burnley.
But he could not hide his satisfaction in it.
"Thought at one time _you_ and Teddy were going to make a match of it," h_aid jovially to Emily—who smiled gallantly and said something about th_nexpected always happening.
"Anyhow we'll have a wedding that _is_ a wedding," declared the doctor. "W_aven't had a wedding in the clan for God knows how long. I thought they'_orgotten how. I'll show 'em. Ilse writes me you're to be bridesmaid. And I'l_e wanting you to oversee things generally. Can't trust a wedding to _ousekeeper."
"Anything I can do, of course," said Emily automatically. Nobody shoul_uspect what she felt not if she died for it. She would even be bridesmaid.
If it had not been for that prospect ahead she thought she could have go_hrough the winter not unhappily. For _The Moral of the Rose_ was a succes_rom the start. The first edition exhausted in ten days—three large edition_n two weeks—five in eight weeks. Exaggerated reports of the pecuniary return_ere circulated everywhere. For the first time Uncle Wallace looked at he_ith respect and Aunt Addie wished secretly that Andrew hadn't been console_uite so soon. Old Cousin Charlotte, of Derry Pond, heard of the many edition_nd opined that Emily must be very busy if she had to put all the book_ogether and sew them herself. The Shrewsbury people were furious because the_magined they were in the book. Every family believed _they_ were th_pplegaths.
"You were right not to come to New York," wrote Miss Royal. "You could neve_ave written _The Moral of the Rose_ here. Wild roses won't grow in cit_treets. And your story is like a wild rose, dear, all sweetness an_nexpectedness with sly little thorns of wit and satire. It has power,
delicacy, understanding. It's not just story-telling. There's some magicry i_t. Emily Byrd Starr, where do you get your uncanny understanding of huma_ature—you infant?"
Dean wrote too—"good creative work, Emily. Your characters are natural an_uman and delightful. And I like the glowing spirit of youth that pervades th_ook."