It was just past the middle of the week, a Thursday night. The moon was so bright the colors of the lilies could be seen, and the singing, so sweet, so far-reaching—it was the essence of the longing of love. Then it was that the miracle happened to her. Miracles are always happening to the Acadians. She could not sleep, she could not stay in bed. Her heart drove her to the window, and kept her there, and—among the civilized it could not take place, but here she could sing as she pleased in the middle of the night; it was nobody’s affair, nobody’s disturbance. “Saint Ann! Saint Joseph! Saint Mary!” She heard her song answered! She held her heart, she bent forward, she sang again. Oh, the air was full of music! It was all music! She fell on her knees; she listened, looking at the moon; and, with her face in her hands, looking at Zepherin. It was God’s choir of angels, she thought, and one with a voice like Zepherin! Whenever it died away she would sing again, and again, and again—
[Illustration: “HER HEART DROVE HER TO THE WINDOW".]
But the sun came, and the sun is not created, like the moon, for lovers, and whatever happened in the night, there was work to be done in the day. Adorine worked like one in a trance, her face as radiant as the upturned face of a saint. They did not know what it was, or rather they thought it was love. Love is so different out there, they make all kinds of allowances for it. But, in truth, Adorine was still hearing her celestial voices or voice. If the cackling of the chickens, the whir of the spinning-wheel, or the “bum bum” of the loom effaced it a moment, she had only to go to some still place, round her hand over her ear, and give the line of a song, and—it was Zepherin—Zepherin she heard.
She walked in a dream until night. When the moon came up she was at the window, and still it continued, so faint, so sweet, that answer to her song. Echo never did anything more exquisite, but she knew nothing of such a heathen as Echo. Human nature became exhausted. She fell asleep where she was, in the window, and dreamed as only a bride can dream of her groom. When she awoke, “Adorine! Adorine!” the beautiful angel voices called to her; “Zepherin! Zepherin!” she answered, as if she, too, were an angel, signaling another angel in heaven. It was too much. She wept, and that broke the charm. She could hear nothing more after that. All that day was despondency, dejection, tear-bedewed eyes, and tremulous lips, the commonplace reaction, as all know, of love exaltation. Adorine’s family, Acadian peasants though they were, knew as much about it as any one else, and all that any one knows about it is that marriage is the cure-all, and the only cure-all, for love.
[Illustration: “ALL THAT DAY WAS DESPONDENCY, DEJECTION.”]
And Zepherin? A man could better describe his side of that week; for it, too, has mostly to be described from imagination or experience. What is inferred is that what Adorine longed and thought and looked in silence and resignation, according to woman’s way, he suffered equally, but in a man’s way, which is not one of silence or resignation,—at least when one is a man of eighteen,—the last interview, the near wedding, her beauty, his love, her house in sight, the full moon, the long, wakeful nights.