Ann’s interest began to waver. They were silent awhile, and then, “Bart, do you know where you are?” she asked.
“I don’t seem to care much where I am, as long as you are here.” There was a touch of shyness in the tone of the last words that made all that he had said before human to her.
“If it hadn’t been that I thought it was father, I’d have taken you home.” She told him how she had brought him. “If it had been a boat,” she said, “I’d have found out who it was before we got here, but the canoe was too narrow.”
Ann dosed where she sat. Toyner slept again. At length they were both aware that the level light of the sun was in the room.
Ann sat up, looking at the door intently. Then her eyes moved as if following some one across the room.
“What is it?” asked Toyner.
Ann started up with one swift look of agonised entreaty, and then it seemed that what she had seen vanished, for she turned to Bart trembling, unable to speak at first, sobs struggling with her breath.
“It was father—I saw him come to the door and come in. He’s dead now.”
“What did he look like?” Toyner’s voice was very quiet.
“He looked as if he was dead, but as if he was mad too—his body as if it was dead, and himself wild and mad and burning inside of it.” She was crouching on the floor, shaken with the sobs of a new and overwhelming pity. “O Bart! I never cared—cared anything for him before—except to have him comfortable and decent; but if I thought he was going to be—like that—now I think I would die to save him if I could.”
“Would you die to save him? So would God; and you can’t believe in God at all unless you know that He does what He wants to do. And God does it; dies in him, and is in him now; and He will save him.”
Bart’s eyes were full of peace.
“Can’t you trust God, Ann? When He is suffering so much for love of each of us? He could make us into good machines, but He won’t. Can’t you begin to do what He is doing for yourself and other people? Ann, if He suffers in your father and in you, He is glad when you are glad. Try to be glad always in His love and in the glory of it.”
Ann’s mind had reverted again to the traditions of which she knew so little. “I don’t want to go to heaven,” she said, “if father is in some place looking like he did just now.”