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Francis Kelley
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 111 pages of information about The City and the World and Other Stories.
and other sounds, like the gentle tones of harps, were wafted over us, swelling louder and louder till all seemed changed to a thousand organs, with every stop attuned to the praying.  They were the voices of the children from parts and regions where we had lifted the Cross.  One by one they joined the mighty music till on the wings of the melody the master was borne aloft, higher and higher as new voices coming added of their strength.  I watched till he was far above and still rising to heights beyond the ken of dreams.

An Angel touched me.

“Be thou clean,” he said, “and go, I charge thee, to thy work.  Thy master is not dead, but only begins his joy.  While time is, thou shalt work for him and thy deeds of good shall be his own.  Wherever thou shalt go let the Cross arise that, under its shadow, the children may gather and the song find new strength and new volume to lift him nearer and nearer the Throne.”

So I am happy that I have learned my real power; that I can do what alone is worth doing—­for His sake.

LE BRAILLARD DE LA MAGDELEINE[1]

This is the story that the old sailor from Tadousac told me when the waves were leaping, snapping, and frothing at us from the St. Lawrence, and over the moan of the wind and the anger of the waters rose the wail of the Braillard de la Magdeleine.

“You hear him?  Every storm he calls so loud.  I think of my own baby when I hear him, always the same, always so sorrowful.  Poor baby!

“Yes, it is a baby.  Across there you might see, but the storm darkens everything, yonder toward Gaspe, where the little mother lived—­pauvre mere.  She was only a child, innocent and good and happy, when he came—­the great lord, the Grand Seigneur, from France—­came with the Commandant to Quebec and then to Tadousac.

“She loved him, loved him and forgot—­forgot her father and mother—­forgot the good name they gave her—­forgot the innocence that made her beautiful—­forgot the pure Mother and the good God, for him and his love.  She went to Quebec with him, but the Cure had not blessed them in the church.

“Then the baby came.  That is the baby who cries out there in the storm.  The Grand Seigneur killed the little baby, killed it to save her from disgrace, killed it without baptism, and it cries and wails out there, pauvre enfant.

“The mother?  She is here, too, in the storm.  She has been here for more than two hundred years listening to her baby cry.  Poor mother.  The baby calls her and she wanders through the storm to find him.  But she never sees, only hears him cry for her—­and God.  Till the great Day of Judgment will the baby cry, and she—­pauvre mere—­will pay the price of her sin, pay it out of her empty mother heart and hungry mother arms, that will not be filled.  You hear the soft wind from the shore battle with the great wind from the Gulf?  Perhaps it is she, pauvre mere—­perhaps.

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