As he ended, from another room somewhere up-stairs, came a child’s clear voice singing,
God west you, mer-wy gentle-men, Let nossing you dismay; For Jesus Chwist our Sa-wiour Was born this ve-wy day.
Livingstone looked at Mrs. Shepherd.
She was standing under the long evergreen festoons just where they met and formed a sort of verdant archway. Two of the children of the house, attracted by Livingstone’s story, had come and pressed against her as they listened with interested faces, and she had put her arms about them and drawn their curly heads close to her side. A spray of holly with scarlet berries was at her throat and one of the children had mischievously stuck a sprig of mistletoe in her hair. Her face was turned aside, her eyes were downcast, the long, dark lashes drooping against her cheek, and on her face rested a divine compassion; and as Livingstone gazed on her he saw the same gracious figure and fine profile that he had seen the night before outlined against the light in the archway of the gate of the Children’s Hospital. It was the reflective face of one who has felt; but when she raised her eyes they were the eyes of Catherine Trelane. And suddenly, as Livingstone looked into them, they had softened, and she seemed to be standing, as she had stood so long ago, in the Christmas evening light in a long avenue under swaying boughs, in the heart of the land of his youth.
While still, somewhere above, the child’s voice carolled,
For Jesus Christ our Sa-wiour
Was born this ve-wy day.