When she sat up and brushed away her tangled hair and gazed about her, everything in the house was silent. She herself was exhausted, but she rose, and after pacing up and down the room a few minutes, seated herself at the writing desk, and in spite of her trembling fingers, wrote a short note to Mr. Gerald Harrison; then with a deep breath of relief, she rose, and going to the window knelt down in front of it and gazed out.
The moon was high in the sky by that time, and the landscape about her was flooded with its light. Everything was so calm and still that the girl held her breath as she watched it; but suddenly she gave a start, for she heard the sound of a violin again, so very faint that she at first thought she was deluding herself. As she listened, however, she heard it more plainly, and then she realized in a flash that Mr. Howard must have heard her long-continued sobbing, and that he was playing something for her. It was Schumann’s “Traumerei;” and as the girl knelt there her soul was borne away upon the wings of that heavenly melody, and there welled up in her heart a new and very different emotion from any that she had ever known before; it was born, half of the music, and half of the calm and the stillness of the night,—that wonderful peace which may come to mortals either in victory or defeat, when they give up their weakness and their fear, and become aware of the Infinite Presence. When the melody had died away, and Helen rose, there was a new light in her eyes, and a new beauty upon her countenance, and she knew that her soul was right at last.
“Our acts our angels are, or good
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”
Naturally there was considerable agitation in the Roberts family on account of Helen’s strange behavior; early the next morning Mrs. Roberts was at her niece’s door, trying to gain admittance. This time she did not have to knock but once, and when she entered she was surprised to see that Helen was already up and dressing. She had been expecting to find the girl more prostrated than ever, and so the discovery was a great relief to her; she stood gazing at her anxiously.
“Helen, dear,” she said, “I scarcely know how to begin to talk to you about your extraordinary—”
“I wish,” interrupted Helen, “that you would not begin to talk to me about it at all.”
“But you must explain to me what in the world is the matter,” protested the other.