Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Oldport Days Thomas Wentworth Higginson

An Artist's Creation

Page 8 of 10

Table Of Contents: Oldport Days

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Another year, and her forebodings had come true. It is needless to dwell on the interval. Since then I have sometimes felt a regret almost insatiable in the thought that I should have been absent while all that gracious loveliness was fading and dissolving like a cloud; and yet at other times it has appeared a relief to think that Laura would ever remain to me in the fulness of her beauty, not a tint faded, not a lineament changed. With all my efforts, I arrived only in time to accompany Kenmure home at night, after the funeral service. We paused at the door of the empty house,--how empty! I hesitated, but Kenmure motioned to me to follow him in.

We passed through the hall and went up stairs. Janet met us at the head of the stairway, and asked me if I would go in to look at little Marian, who was sleeping. I begged Kenmure to go also but he refused, almost savagely, and went on with heavy step into Laura's deserted room.

Almost the moment I entered the child's chamber, she waked up suddenly, looked at me, and said, "I know you, you are my friend." She never would call me her cousin, I was always her friend. Then she sat up in bed, with her eyes wide open, and said, as if stating a problem which had been put by for my solution, "I should like to see my mother."

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

How our hearts are rent by the unquestioning faith of children, when they come to test the love that has so often worked what seemed to them miracles,--and ask of it miracles indeed! I tried to explain to her the continued existence of her mother, and she listened to it as if her eyes drank in all that I could say, and more. But the apparent distance between earth and heaven baffled her baby mind, as it so often and so sadly baffles the thoughts of us elders. I wondered what precise change seemed to her to have taken place. This all-fascinating Laura, whom she adored, and who had yet never been to her what other women are to their darlings,--did heaven seem to put her farther off, or bring her more near? I could never know. The healthy child had no morbid questionings; and as she had come into the world to be a sunbeam, she must not fail of that mission. She was kicking about the bed, by this time, in her nightgown, and holding her pink little toes in all sorts of difficult attitudes, when she suddenly said, looking me full in the face: "If my mother was so high up that she had her feet upon a star, do you think that I could see her?"

This astronomical apotheosis startled me for a moment, but I said unhesitatingly, "Yes," feeling sure that the lustrous eyes that looked in mine could certainly see as far as Dante's, when Beatrice was transferred from his side to the highest realm of Paradise. I put my head beside hers upon the pillow, and stayed till I thought she was asleep.

I then followed Kenmure into Laura's chamber. It was dusk, but the after-sunset glow still bathed the room with imperfect light, and he lay upon the bed, his hands clenched over his eyes.

Page 8 of 10 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Oldport Days
Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004