“Gabriel,” said Father Paul, in a voice which trembled a little for the first time that night—“Gabriel, it has pleased God to grant the perfect fulfillment of the purpose which brought me to this place; I tell you this, as all that you need—as all, I believe, that you would wish—to know of what has passed while you have been left waiting for me here. Such words as I have now to speak to you are spoken by your father’s earnest desire. It is his own wish that I should communicate to you his confession of having secretly followed you to the Merchant’s Table, and of having discovered (as you discovered) that no evidence of his guilt remained there. This admission, he thinks, will be enough to account for his conduct toward yourself from that time to this. I have next to tell you (also at your father’s desire) that he has promised in my presence, and now promises again in yours, sincerity of repentance in this manner: When the persecution of our religion has ceased—as cease it will, and that speedily, be assured of it—he solemnly pledges himself henceforth to devote his life, his strength and what worldly possessions he may have, or may acquire, to the task of re-erecting and restoring the road-side crosses which have been sacrilegiously overthrown and destroyed in his native province, and to doing good, go where he may. I have now said all that is required of me, and may bid you farewell—bearing with me the happy remembrance that I have left a father and son reconciled and restored to each other. May God bless and prosper you, and those dear to you, Gabriel! May God accept your father’s repentance, and bless him also throughout his future life!”
He took their hands, pressed them long and warmly, then turned and walked quickly down the path which led to the beach. Gabriel dared not trust himself yet to speak; but he raised his arm, and put it gently round his father’s neck. The two stood together so, looking out dimly through the tears that filled their eyes to the sea. They saw the boat put off in the bright track of the moonlight, and reach the vessel’s side; they watched the spreading of the sails, and followed the slow course of the ship till she disappeared past a distant headland from sight.
After that, they went into the cottage together. They knew it not then, but they had seen the last, in this world, of Father Paul.
The events foretold by the good priest happened sooner even than he had anticipated. A new government ruled the destinies of France, and the persecution ceased in Brittany.