Thus Violet’s memory was stored with texts, and these words from Isaiah suggested themselves as a fit comment upon Isadore’s last remark. “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
“But all’s not true
that supposition saith,
Nor have the mightiest arguments most faith.”
“Examples I could cite you more;
But be contented with these four;
For when one’s proofs are aptly chosen,
Four are as valid as four dozen.”
Isa’s perversion, Isa’s secret, weighed heavily upon the heart and conscience of poor Violet; the child had never been burdened with a secret before.
She thought Aunt Louise ought to know, yet was not at all clear that it was her duty to tell her. She wished it might be discovered in some way without her agency, for “it was a dreadful thing for Isa to be left to go on believing and doing as she did. Oh, if only she could be talked to by some one old enough and wise enough to convince her of her errors!”
Isadore with the zeal of a young convert, had set herself the task of bringing Vi over to her new faith. The opportunity afforded by the absence of the vigilant parents was too good to be lost, and should be improved to the utmost.
She made daily errands to Ion, some trifling gift to Molly often being the excuse, was sweet and gracious to all, but devoted herself especially to Violet, insisting on sharing her room when she staid over night, coaxing her out for long walks and drives, rowing with her on the lake, learning to handle the oars herself in order that they might go alone.
And all the time she was on the watch for every favorable opening to say something to undermine the child’s faith, or bias her mind in favor of the tenets of the church of Rome.
Violet grew more and more troubled and perplexed and now not on Isa’s account alone. She could not give up the faith of her fathers, the faith of the Bible (to that inspired word she clung as to the rock which must save her from being engulfed in the wild waters of doubt and difficulty that were surging around her) but neither could she answer all Isadore’s questions and arguments, and there was no one to whom she might turn in her bewilderment, lest she should betray her cousin’s secret.
She prayed for guidance and help, searching the Scriptures and “comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” and thus was kept from the snares laid for her inexperienced feet; she stumbled and walked with uncertain step for a time, but did not fall.
Those about her, particularly Eddie and her old mammy, noticed the unwonted care and anxiety in her innocent face, but attributed it wholly to the unfavorable news in regard to Lily’s condition, which reached them from time to time.