|Back at Shell House the last minute decorations were still going
into place. Miss Lavender had just left for the little Anglican
Chapel to help Grandmother Halifax light the candles. The baker
and the butcher were shuffling over right behind Miss Lavender
and they were rehearsing how the baker was to give away his
daughter to the butcher's son. The two of them looked quite
comical in their food spattered white aprons with their arms flailing
about. Fabian had his kitchen back to himself and Mrs. Nolan, on
her way out, peeped her head in through the kitchen door to
remind Chef Fabian that the Wedding would be starting soon.
" Don't be late, Chef Fabian! The Bride starts down the aisle at
one O'clock sharp!"
Then she dashed off toward the Bridal Suite to round up Mr.
" A Wedding is all about syntax and semantics. " Mr. Nolan told
Gillan in his usual congenial manner.
" Syntax are the tools you use and semantics is what you build
using those tools."
"I'm afraid I still don't understand?" Gillan protested.
"Tell him, Sean." Mr. Nolan ordered, with no change in the smile
on his genteel and slightly aged face.
Shelly thought to herself, "This should be interesting."
Without raising his eyes from the lily arrangement he was
positioning on the coffee table, Sean's lips began to move and he
"Well, it's like when you're going to build a fire in your fireplace
during the middle of winter."
"Yes." Gillan replied while tying another white paper wedding
bell onto the balcony railing.
"Syntax would be the fire burning, semantics would be the
warmth it produces."
"That figures." Shelly thought to herself. Sean always said
whatever it was he had to say in as few words as possible. He
cast a glance in Shelly's direction, as if he knew what she was
Just then Mrs. Nolan walked through the door. "Knock, Knock,
everybody, it's almost time!", Mrs. Nolan covertly summoned
Gillan to step out into the hall with her.
"Gillan!", she whispered, "Did you give Grandmother Halifax the
"Yes ma'am, I did.", Gillan was whispering too.
"And did she send anything back with you along with the extra
"A silver colored bag, it had a ribbon holding the top closed. I left
it in the banquet hall with the extra table cloths."
"Fetch it for me right away!" Mrs. Nolan instructed without raising
her voice above a whisper. "Hurry now!"
Gillan rushed off down the hall with no more sound than a mouse
scurrying in the night.
Mrs. Nolan stepped back into the Bridal Suite. The spacious room
was elegantly adorned. As she surveyed the enchanting quarters
she breathed deeply. The air of the Bridal Suite was rich and
sweet with the fragrance of the lovely flower arrangements which
Shelley had so attentively prepared.
"It will be a most memorable honeymoon for the Bride and
Bridegroom.", she said with her eyes still scanning the
compartment which was the pride of Shell House.
"Mr. Nolan!" she chirpped. "Come here and let me have a look at
Mr. Nolan stepped from the balcony, where he had been watching
Sean tying the last of the white paper wedding bells along the
balcony railing, and walked right up in front of Mrs. Nolan just as
she had commanded.
"You look very handsome, but your tie is crooked, here, let me
straighten if for you." As his loving wife adjusted his broad
bow~tie Mr. Nolan asked a favor of Mrs. Nolan.
"Call me Poppa Nolan."
"Call you what?" Mrs. Nolan jerked harder on his bow~tie causing
him to wince and sway to and fro like a mighty oak in a summer
"Call me Poppa Nolan...please, dear. And I shall call you Mamma
"Whatever for? What's come over you?"
"I read a novel last night, well, more of a short story really, but
anyway the main characters were husband and wife and they had
a child and they called each other Mamma Bear and Poppa Bear."
"Short story, eh?" Mrs. Nolan cooed as she raised her right
"Yes, a delightful tale and it is quite charming and endearing, the
way they doted on each other so, and, since you and I love each
other so very much it will give us more opportunity to dote if we
call each other an affectionate pet name like Mamma & Poppa
"Dear me, if it means so much to you then I shall indeed start
calling you Poppa Nolan and you may most certainly call me
Poppa Nolan smiled and wrapped his arms around Mamma
Nolan's shoulders and she smiled likewise wrapping her arms
around his waist, pressing the side of her face against his big,