Darkness and Daylight eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 378 pages of information about Darkness and Daylight.
A plunge—­a fearful struggle—­and he held the limp, white object in his arms; he bore it to the shore; he heard them say that he had saved its life, and then he turned aside to change his dripping garments and warm his icy limbs.  This was the first picture brought to his mind by Edith Hastings’ voice.  The second was a sadder one, and he groaned aloud as he remembered how from the time of the terrible cold taken then, and the severe illness which followed, his eyesight had begun to fail—­slowly, very slowly, it is true—­and for years he could not believe that Heaven had in store for him so sad a fate.  But it had come at last—­daylight had faded out and the night was dark around him.  Once, in his hour of bitterest agony, he had cursed that Swedish baby, wishing it had perished in the waters of the Rhine, ere he saved it at so fearful a sacrifice.  But he had repented of the wicked thought; he was glad he saved the pretty Petrea’s child, even though be should never see her face again.  He knew not where she was, that girlish wife, speaking her broken English for the sake of her American husband, who was not always as kind to her as he should have been.  He had heard no tidings of her since that fatal autumn.  He had scarcely thought of her for months, but she came back to him now, and it was Edith’s voice which brought her.

“Poor blind man,” he whispered aloud.  “How like that was to Petrea, when she said of my father, ‘Poor, soft old man;’” and then he wondered again who his visitor had been, and why she had left him so abruptly.

It was a child, he knew, and he prized her gift the more for that, for Richard Harrington was a dear lover of children and he kissed the fair bouquet as he would not have kissed it had he known from whom it came.  Rising at last from his seat, he groped his way back to the house, and ordering one of the costly vases in his room to be filled with water, he placed the flowers therein, and thought how carefully he would preserve them for the sake of his unknown friend.

Meantime Edith kept on her way, pausing once and looking back just in time to see Mr. Harrington kiss the flowers she had brought.

“I’m glad they please him,” she said; “but how awful it is to be blind;” and by way of trying the experiment, she shut her eyes, and stretching out her arms, walked just as Richard, succeeding so well that she was beginning to consider it rather agreeable than otherwise, when she unfortunately ran into a tall rose-bush, scratching her forehead, tangling her hair, and stubbing her toes against its gnarled roots. “’Taint so jolly to be blind after all,” she said, “I do believe I’ve broken my toe,” and extricating herself as best she could from the sharp thorns, she ran on as fast as her feet could carry her, wondering what Mrs. Atherton would say when she heard Richard was blind, and feeling a kind of natural delight in knowing she should be the first to communicate the bad news.

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Darkness and Daylight from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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