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Timothy Shay Arthur
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about The Hand but Not the Heart.

From that period a change in Jessie Loring was visible to all eyes.  There came into her countenance a warmer hue of health; her bearing was more erect, yet not self-confident; her eyes were brighter, and occasionally the flash of old-time thought was in them.  Everywhere she went, she attracted; and all who came into familiar intercourse with her, felt the sweetness of her lovely character.  The secret of this change was known to but few, and they kept it sacred.  Not even Mrs. Loring, the good-hearted aunt, who loved her with a mother’s maternal fondness, was admitted into her confidence, for she felt that mere worldliness would bruise her heart by contact.  But the change, though its causes were not seen, was perceived as something to love, by Aunt Phoebe, who felt for her niece a daily increasing attachment.

And so the weeks moved on; and so the years came and went.  Little change was seen in Jessie Loring; except, that the smile which had been restored, gradually grew less, though it did not bear away the heavenly sweetness from her countenance.  In all true charities that came within her sphere of action, whether the ministration were to bodily necessities, or moral needs, she was an angel of mercy; and few met her in life’s daily walk, but had occasion to think of her as one living very near the sources of Divine love.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

TEN years had glided away, yet not in all that time had Jessie Loring received a word of intelligence from Paul Hendrickson.  He had passed from sight like a ship when darkness falls upon the ocean—­the morning sees her not again, and the billows give no record of the way she went.  But still Jessie bore his image at her heart; still her love was undimmed, and her confidence unshaken—­and still she felt herself bound by the old shackles, which no human hand could break from her fettered limbs.

One day, about this time, as Mrs. Denison sat reading, a servant came into her room and handing her a card, said: 

“There is a gentleman waiting in the parlor to see you.”

She looked at the card, and started with surprise.  It bore the name of PAUL HENDRICKSON.

“My dear friend!” she exclaimed, grasping both of his hands, as she stood facing him a few moments afterwards.

“My best friend!” was the simple response, but in a voice tremulous with feeling.

A little while they stood, gazing curiously yet with affectionate interest, into each other’s face.

“You are not much changed; and nothing for the worse,” said Mrs. Denison.

“And you wear the countenance of yesterday,” he replied, almost fondly.  “How many thousands of times since we parted, have I desired to stand looking into your eyes as I do now!  Dear friend! my heart has kept your memory fresh as spring’s first offerings.”

“Where have you been, in all these years of absence?” Mrs. Denison asked, as they sat down, still holding each other’s hands tightly.

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