Mary stood with her right hand entwined with Richard’s and her left stroking her belly. Richard winked at her, as if he knew how bored she was listening to the magistrate instruct them on the purpose of marriage. Mary let her mind wander until Richard turned her to face their family as the magistrate introduced them as Captain and Mrs. Richard Derby.
After signing the magistrate’s book, Richard and Mary joined her family for wine and cake before going to their own small house. At the threshold, Richard lifted his wife’s hand and kissed her fingers.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “I’m not a penniless orphan anymore. I have your love. I will be forever in your debt.”
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