the earth around, on the light above. I let her come back to me. Oh, my love! my love! my heart may speak to you now! It is yesterday again, since we parted—yesterday, since your dear hand lay in mine—yesterday, since my eyes looked their last on you. My love! my love!
Time had flowed on; and Silence had fallen, like thick night, over its course.
The first sound that came, after the heavenly peace, rustled faintly like a passing breath of air, over the grass of the burial-ground. I heard it nearing me slowly, until it came changed to my ear—came like footsteps moving onward—then stopped.
I looked up.
The sunset was near at hand. The clouds had parted; the slanting light fell mellow over the hills. The last of the day was cold and clear and still in the quiet valley of the dead.
Beyond me, in the burial-ground, standing together in the cold clearness of the lower light, I saw two women. They were looking towards the tomb; looking towards me.
They came a little on; and stopped again. Their veils were down, and hid their faces from me. When they stopped, one of them raised her veil. In the still evening light, I saw the face of Marian Halcombe.
Changed, changed as if years had passed over it! The eyes large and wild, and looking at me with a strange terror in them. The face worn and wasted piteously. Pain and fear and grief written on her as with a brand.
I took one step towards her from the grave. She never moved—she never spoke. The veiled woman with her cried out faintly. I stopped. The springs of my life fell low; and the shuddering of an unutterable dread crept over me from head to foot.
The woman with the veiled face moved away from her companion, and came towards me slowly. Left by herself, standing by herself, Marian Halcombe spoke. It was the voice that I remembered—the voice not changed, like the frightened eyes and the wasted face.
"My dream! my dream!" I heard her say those words softly, in the awful silence. She sank on her knees, and raised her clasped hands to heaven. "Father! strengthen him. Father! help him, in his hour of need."