THE SHIPWRECKED LIFE.
OFTEN, during that morning, did the name of Irene come to their lips, for the thought of her was all the while present to both.
“You must win her heart back again, Rose,” said Mr. Delancy. “I will lure her to Ivy Cliff often this summer, and keep her here as long as possible each time. You will then be much together.” They had risen from the dinner-table and were entering the library.
“Things rarely come out as we plan them,” answered Rose. “But I love Irene truly, and will make my own place in her heart again, if she will give me the key of entrance.”
“You must find the key, Rose.”
Miss Carman smiled.
“I said if she would give it to me.”
“She does not carry the key that opens the door for you,” replied Mr. Delancy. “If you do not know where it lies, search for it in the secret places of your own mind, and it will be found, God helping you, Rose.”
Mr. Delancy looked at her significantly.
“God helping me,” she answered, with a reverent sinking of her voice, “I will find the key.”
“Who is that?” said Mr. Delancy, in a tone of surprise, turning his face to the window.
Rose followed his eyes, but no one was visible.
“I saw, or thought I saw, a lady cross the portico this moment.”
Both stood still, listening and expectant.
“It might have been fancy,” said Mr. Delancy, drawing a deep breath.
Rose stepped to one of the library windows, and throwing it up, looked out upon the portico.
“There is no one,” she remarked, coming back into the room.
“Could I have been so mistaken?”
Mr. Delancy looked bewildered.
Seeing that the impression was so strong on his mind, Miss Carman went out into the hall, and glanced from there into the parlor and dining-room.
“No one came in, Mr. Delancy,” she said, on returning to the library.
“A mere impression,” remarked the old man, soberly. “Well, these impressions are often very singular. My face was partly turned to the window, so that I saw out, but not so distinctly as if both eyes had been in the range of vision. The form of a woman came to my sight as distinctly as if the presence had been real—the form of a woman going swiftly past the window.”
“Did you recognize the form?”
It was some time before Mr. Delancy replied.
“Yes.” He looked anxious.
“You thought of Irene?”
“We have talked and thought of Irene so much to-day,” said Rose, “that your thought of her has made you present to her mind with more than usual distinctness. Her thought of you has been more intent in consequence, and this has drawn her nearer. You saw her by an inward, not by an outward, vision. She is now present with you in spirit, though her body be many miles distant. These things often happen. They startle us by their strangeness, but are as much dependent on laws of the mind as bodily nearness is dependent on the laws of matter.”