The Little Red Doctor rose. “When some brutal and needless tragedy of the sort that we medical men witness so often shakes my faith in my kind, I turn to think of those two in the splendor of their last meeting on earth, the man with the courage to face death, the woman with the courage to face life.”
He strode over to the table and lifted the newspaper, which had slipped to the floor unnoticed. The girlish face turned toward us its irresistible appeal, yearning out from amidst the lurid indignities of print.
“You heard from her afterward?” I asked.
“Often. The sister died and left her nothing to live for but her promise. Always in her letters sounded the note of courage and of waiting. It was in the last word I had from her—received since her death—set to the song of some poet, I don’t know who. You ought to know, Mr. Sheldon.”
His deep voice rose to the rhythm.
“Ah, long-delayed to-morrow!
Hearts that beat
Measure the length of every moment gone.
Ever the suns rise tardily or fleet
And light the letters on a churchyard stone.—
And still I say, ‘To-morrow we shall meet!’”
“May Probyn,” the librarian identified. “Too few people know her. A wonderful poem!”
Silence fell again, folding us and our thoughts in its kindly refuge. Rising, I crossed to the window and drew the curtain aside. A surging wind had swept the sky clear, all but one bank of low-lurking, western cloud shot through with naming crimson. In that luminous setting the ancient house across Our Square, grim and bleak no longer to my eyes, gleamed, through eyes again come to life, with an inconceivable glory. Behind me in the shadow, the measured voice of the witness to life and death repeated once more the message of imperishable hope:
“And still I say, ‘To-morrow we shall meet.’”