Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/50

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

she lies at last on her "clean bed," some good angel will repay these ninety-two hard years with the youth and beauty, happiness and rest, which nothing can destroy.

Not only did the women manage the affairs of this world, but had more influence than men with the good powers of heaven. A long drought parched France that year, and even fertile Brittany suffered. More than once processions of women, led by priests, poured through the gates to go to the Croix du Saint Esprit and pray for rain.

"Why don't the men go also?" Miss Livy asked.

"Ah! they pray to the Virgin, and she listens best to women," was the answer.

She certainly seemed to do so, for gracious showers soon fell, and the little gardens bloomed freshly where the mother's hard hands had planted cabbages, onions, and potatoes to feed the children through the long winter.

Nor were these the only tasks the women did. The good ladies had a hospital and a neater, cheerier place was never seen; few invalids, but many old people sitting in the sunny gardens, or at work in the clean rooms. La Garaye is in ruins now, but the