Bedient was aroused at last in the silence and in the dark.... He knelt in a passion of tribute to his immortal heroine, whose spirit had danced with him above the flesh and the world. He saw again that he was ordained to look within for the woman; that his heart was his mother’s heart; his spirit, her spirit—this twain one in loving and giving.
THE GREAT PRINCE HOUSE
There were calms and conquests on the brow of Vina Nettleton. She had been in Nantucket one whole day alone, before David Cairns came. Such a day availeth much, but she shuddered a little at the joy she took in the prospect of his coming. Vina had learned what his absence meant a month before, when three entire days elapsed without a call from Cairns at the studio. He had been away on a certain happiness venture.... There had been no word yet, but here, Nantucket—Vina breathed deeply at the name. Almost every day their thoughts had turned a sentence upon this meeting.... He stepped forth from the little steamer late in the afternoon in a brisk proprietory fashion, but the treasures of boyhood were shining in his eyes; and he searched her face deeply, as if to detect if mortal illness had begun its work amid the terrible uncertainties of separation.
“Do you remember, at first, I was to find you down among the wharves with Moby Dick?” she said.
“To-morrow morning—for that,” he replied.
She showed him the way to his hotel, and the house where she was a guest. But they supped together.
... They walked in Lily Lane in the dusk.
“It’s too dark to see the Prince Gardens,” she told him. “They’re the finest on the Island, and the house is the finest in Lily Lane.... There doesn’t seem to be a light. I wonder if the old sisters are gone?... The Princes were a great family here years and years ago, but gradually they died out and dwindled away, until last summer there were only two old maiden-aunts left—lovely, low-voiced old gentlewomen, whom it was so hard to pay for their flowers. But they lived from their gardens and now they’re gone, it seems. I must ask to-morrow what has become of them. And yet, the gardens are kept up. Can you see the great house back in the shadows among the trees?”
Cairns believed he could make out something like the contour of a house in denser shadow.