Before he was aware of it, his thoughts returned to Madge. In fancy he saw the gray farmhouse on the lonely mountain-side, with a sweet face at the window, the dark, sympathetic eyes now looking out on the silent, moonlit landscape, and again at the thin, white face of a dying girl. “Poor, poor child!” he thought, reverting to the patient. “Well, for once, at least, she has had a good angel watching over her. I would like to see Madge’s face framed by the open window in this witching light. Would to Heaven that Stella was more like her! Yet Stella was beautiful as a dream to-night, and it seemed that my vision of happiness was on the very eve of fulfilment.”
Early in the beautiful morning of the following day Graydon was out securing a light carriage, for he reasoned that after watching all night Madge would be too weary to enjoy horseback exercise. He first called on the doctor, and obtained careful directions as to the locality of Madge’s sojourn. “The best I can do is to go with you as guide this afternoon to the trout-stream, and then drive back by moonlight,” the doctor added.
Within an hour Graydon reached the cottage, and Madge ran out to welcome him. “Now, this is kind and thoughtful of you,” she said, and there was unmistakable gladness in her face.
“Dear Madge, you have had a long, dismal night, I fear. I can see it from the lines under your eyes.”
“It has been a sad night, Graydon, yet I am very glad I came, and you have now rewarded me. The poor girl is sleeping, and I can slip away.”
Mr. and Mrs. Wendall parted from her feelingly and gratefully. Madge promised to come again soon.
For a few moments they drove in silence, and then Madge sighed: “How young, fresh, and full of beautiful life the world seems this morning! The contrast with that poor, suffering, dying girl is too great. Nature often appears strangely indifferent.”
“I am not indifferent, Madge. I kept a sort of watch with you for an hour or two last night in the wee, sma’ hours, and tried to imagine you sitting in just such an open window as I saw there, with the moonlight on your face; and I thought that the poor girl had one good angel watching over her. You know I am a man of the world, but an act of ministry like this touches me closely.”
“No, Graydon; not a good angel, but a very human creature was the watcher.”
“Tell me about it—that is, continue the story from the point where Mary left off;” and he explained about Mrs. Muir’s account of the previous evening.
“Well, you know what a wilful creature I am?” she began, with the glimmer of a smile.
“Oh, yes; I’ve learned to understand that feature of your royal womanhood. You are trying to be a woman, Madge. Well, you are one—the kind I believe in. See how much faith I have—I believe, yet don’t understand.”