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|Anne's House of Dreams||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
Captain Jim Crosses The Bar
|Page 2 of 2||
"I wonder how he will like the ending--the ending I suggested," said Leslie.
She was never to know. Early the next morning Anne awakened to find Gilbert bending over her, fully dressed, and with an expression of anxiety on his face.
"Are you called out?" she asked drowsily.
"No. Anne, I'm afraid there's something wrong at the Point. It's an hour after sunrise now, and the light is still burning. You know it has always been a matter of pride with Captain Jim to start the light the moment the sun sets, and put it out the moment it rises."
Anne sat up in dismay. Through her window she saw the light blinking palely against the blue skies of dawn.
"Perhaps he has fallen asleep over his life-book," she said anxiously, "or become so absorbed in it that he has forgotten the light."
Gilbert shook his head.
"That wouldn't be like Captain Jim. Anyway, I'm going down to see."
"Wait a minute and I'll go with you," exclaimed Anne. "Oh, yes, I must--Little Jem will sleep for an hour yet, and I'll call Susan. You may need a woman's help if Captain Jim is ill."
It was an exquisite morning, full of tints and sounds at once ripe and delicate. The harbor was sparkling and dimpling like a girl; white gulls were soaring over the dunes; beyond the bar was a shining, wonderful sea. The long fields by the shore were dewy and fresh in that first fine, purely-tinted light. The wind came dancing and whistling up the channel to replace the beautiful silence with a music more beautiful still. Had it not been for the baleful star on the white tower that early walk would have been a delight to Anne and Gilbert. But they went softly with fear.
Their knock was not responded to. Gilbert opened the door and they went in.
The old room was very quiet. On the table were the remnants of the little evening feast. The lamp still burned on the corner stand. The First Mate was asleep in a square of sunshine by the sofa.
Captain Jim lay on the sofa, with his hands clasped over the life-book, open at the last page, lying on his breast. His eyes were closed and on his face was a look of the most perfect peace and happiness--the look of one who has long sought and found at last.
"He is asleep?" whispered Anne tremulously.
Gilbert went to the sofa and bent over him for a few moments. Then he straightened up.
"Yes, he sleeps--well," he added quietly. "Anne, Captain Jim has crossed the bar."
They could not know precisely at what hour he had died, but Anne always believed that he had had his wish, and went out when the morning came across the gulf. Out on that shining tide his spirit drifted, over the sunrise sea of pearl and silver, to the haven where lost Margaret waited, beyond the storms and calms.
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|Anne's House of Dreams
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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