Epilogue

I shall not dwell on the lovers' bliss, nor on the bachelor's solitude, but say that they were all of them just where they ought to be in life, and that their happiness was complete, as they had nothing more to wish for in life. The news was received exultantly on all sides – from Joseph Plympton to his sister, who had finally been able to see Catherine, and speak to her as if they had known each other for years.

The morning after Catherine's return home, the Plympton siblings, who saw her to her advantage – for never had she looked so happy and healthy during all the times they had seen her – visited her. Their conversation was lively and unguarded, and Mr. Plympton surprised Catherine as they spoke of Cambridge by recalling the night she had heard strange noises, and been anxious to know what they were, and who had been making them. He was joking about his dogs, when he mentioned that very night, saying how one of them had somehow managed to trot out of his room one night during his stay at the Abbey, frightening Lady Dent senseless.

"She had the advantage of knowing what it was," said Catherine, whose surprise induced her to be more candid. "I never did."

"You heard it then! Oh, how amusing! I am sorry for not making it public. I suppose I had not thought it worth mentioning." Catherine was pleased to have been disappointed in the belief of its being a ghost, for she had often thought of it during the night, dreading an encounter with a real ghost. To think that all this time, it had only been Mr. Plympton's dog!

There is not much else to be told in these young people's lives. There are but a few things to be summed up. Catherine married Albert on August 10th, 1865, and Sarah and Edwin joint hands on the same day, by the same clergyman, and in the same chapel. They travelled to Brighton in a group to commence their honeymoons, and then parted at Portsmouth, where the Musgraves went on to France and the Northams to Germany. As for Miranda Slater – she had spoken the truth to Catherine, that she would go live with her brother; her daughter, now Lady Henrietta Kinney, was miserable when forced to live in the country, but ecstatic when asked to accompany her husband to London. Mr. Borne remained an old bachelor, for he soon saw that he was better paired with solitude than with a woman, and Poppy Plympton married the Scottish Mr. Elliot Crimp, for Mrs. Plympton's father had died, and Mr. Crimp was found to be a very charming young man with very pleasing manners and a fortune to boot. Henry Slater never married, and his uncle's estate went to a distant relation in the North.

To come to the point, Catherine's happiness was fully restored – and most importantly, she was no longer dressed in black.

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T H E E N D