She rose from her knees again, still silent, and stood looking down on him, and he looked back at her. There was no need of speech. It was one of those moments in which one does not even say that there are no words to use; one just regards the thing, like a stretch of open country. It is contemplation, not comment, that is needed.
Her eyes wandered away presently, with the same tranquility, to the brightening garden outside; and her slowly awakening mind, expanding within, sent up a little scrap of quotation to be answered.
“While it was yet early ... there came to the sepulcher.” How did it run? “Mary...” Then she spoke.
“It is Easter Day, Laurie.”
The boy nodded gently; and she saw his eyes slowly closing once more; he was not yet half awake. So she went past him on tiptoe to the window, turned the handle, and opened the white tall framework-like door. A gush of air, sweet as wine, laden with the smell of dew and spring flowers and wet lawns, stole in to meet her; and a blackbird, in the shrubbery across the garden, broke into song, interrupted himself, chattered melodiously, and scurried out to vanish in a long curve behind the yews. The very world itself of beast and bird was still but half awake, and from the hamlet outside the fence, beyond the trees, rose as yet no skein of smoke and no sound of feet upon the cobbles.
For the time no future presented itself to her. The minutes that passed were enough. She regarded indeed the fact of the old man asleep in the inn, of the old lady upstairs, but she rehearsed nothing of what should be said to them by and by. She did not even think of the hour, or whether she should go to bed presently for a while. She traced no sequence of thought; she scarcely gave a glance at what was past; it was the present only that absorbed her; and even of the present not more than a fraction lay before her attention—the wet lawn, the brightening east, the cool air—those with the joy that had come with the morning were enough.
* * * * *
Again came the long sigh behind her; and a moment afterwards there was a step upon the floor, and Laurie himself stood by her. She glanced at him sideways, wondering for an instant whether his mood was as hers; and his grave, tired, boyish face was answer enough. He met her eyes, and then again let his own stray out to the garden.
He was the first to speak.
“Maggie,” he said, “I think we had best never speak of this again to one another.” She nodded, but he went on—
“I understand very little. I wish to understand no more. I shall ask no questions, and nothing need be said to anybody. You agree?”
“I agree perfectly,” she said.
“And not a word to my mother, of course.”
“Of course not.”
* * * * *
The two were silent again.