"Flowers never quite close their eyes," said Beatrice, with a smile. "I shut mine, but my brain is active, it seems, even in sleep. I was dreaming of the lake, Lady Helena. Dreams are very wonderful; do they ever come true?"
"I knew one that did," replied Lady Earle. "When I was young, I had a friend whom I loved very dearly--Laura Reardon. A gentleman, a Captain Lemuel, paid great attention to her. She loved him--my poor Laura--as I hope few people love. For many months he did everything but make an offer--saw her ever day, sent her flowers, books, and music, won her heart by a thousand sweet words and gentle deeds. She believed he was in earnest, and never suspected him of being a male flirt. He left London, suddenly, saying goodbye to her in the ordinary way, and speaking of his return in a few weeks.
"She came to me one morning and told me a strange dream. She dreamed she was dead, and lay buried in the center aisle of an old country church. At the same time, and in the usual vague manner of dreams, she was conscious of an unusual stir. She heard carriages drive up to the church door; she heard the rustling of dresses, the sound of footsteps above her head, the confused murmur of a crowd of people; then she became aware that a marriage was going on. She heard the minister ask:
"'George Victor Lemuel, will you have this woman for your lawful wedded wife?'
"The voice she knew and loved best in the world replied:
"'Alice Ferrars, will you take this man for your lawful wedded husband?"
"'I will,' replied the clear, low voice.
"She heard the service finished, the wedding bells peal, the carriages drive away. I laughed at her, Beatrice; but the strange thing is, Captain George Lemuel was married on the very day Laura dreamed the dream. He married a young lady, Alice Ferrars, and Laura had never heard of the name before she dreamed it. The marriage took place in an old country church. That dream came true, Beatrice; I never heard of another dream like it."