The mother came to her husband’s arms, laughing and weeping, and an instant afterwards was pouring out her love and anxiety over her child.
Father Corraine now faced the man, and with a soft exaltation of voice and manner said:
“John Bagot, in the name of Christ, I demand twenty years of your life—of love and obedience of God. I broke my vow; I perjured my soul; I bought your wife with ten kegs of rum.”
The tall hunter dropped again to his knees, and caught the priest’s hand to kiss it.
“No, no—this!” the priest said, and laid his iron crucifix against the other’s lips.
Dominique’s voice came clearly through the room:
“Mother, I saw the white swan fly away through the door when you came in.”
“My dear, my dear,” she said, “there was no white swan.” But she clasped the boy to her breast protectingly, and whispered an ave.
“Peace be to this house,” said the voice of the priest.
And there was peace—for the child lived, and the man has loved, and has kept his vow, even unto this day.
For the visions of the boy, who can know the divers ways in which God speaks to the children of men!
NOVELS BY SIR GILBERT PARKER
The Going of the White Swan The Seats of the Mighty The Trail of the Sword The Trespasser The Translation of a Savage Mrs. Falchion
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, NEW YORK