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The White People Frances Hodgson Burnett

Chapter VI

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"A beautiful young stranger, with soft, dark eyes, appeared once not far from Muircarrie, and he married a boatman's daughter. He was very restless one night, and got up and left her, and she never saw him again; but a few days later a splendid dead seal covered with wounds was washed up near his cottage. The fishers say that his people had wanted to keep him from his land wife, and they had fought with him and killed him. His wife had a son with strange, velvet eyes like his father's, and she couldn't keep him away from the water. When he was old enough to swim he swam out one day, because he thought he saw some seals and wanted to get near them. He swam out too far, perhaps. He never came back, and the fishermen said his father's people had taken him. When one has heard stories like that all one's life nothing seems very strange."

"Nothing really IS strange," said Hector MacNairn. "Again and again through all the ages we have been told the secrets of the gods and the wonders of the Law, and we have revered and echoed but never believed. When we believe and know all is simple we shall not be afraid. You are not afraid, Ysobel. Tell my mother you are not."

I turned my face toward her again in the darkness. I felt as if something was going on between them which he somehow knew I could help them in. It was as though he were calling on something in my nature which I did not myself comprehend, but which his profound mind saw and knew was stronger than I was.

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Suddenly I felt as if I might trust to him and to It, and that, without being troubled or anxious, I would just say the first thing which came into my mind, because it would be put there for me by some power which could dictate to me. I never felt younger or less clever than I did at that moment; I was only Ysobel Muircarrie, who knew almost nothing. But that did not seem to matter. It was such a simple, almost childish thing I told her. It was only about The Dream.

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The White People
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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