“Yes, I can see,” he said. “The sight has been slowly coming during the last month, and I have dimly discerned things around me. Yesterday Mrs. Minturn made a startling statement regarding sight being ’spiritual perception’—that ’it is not dependent upon the physical eye, the optic nerves, etc., but upon Mind, the all-seeing God,’ and I caught a glimpse of something I had not comprehended before. To-day I found I could read my ’Science and Health’ clearly, with both eyes; but I have not spoken of it to anyone until now—’twas you who first assured me that such a boon could be conferred. Miss Minturn”—he removed his hat and bowed his head reverently—“all honor to the ‘Science of sciences’ and to her, the inspired messenger through whom it has been given to a needy world.”
The traveler returns.
One evening Sadie was sitting by herself upon the veranda that overlooked the ocean, and where she was watching a glorious full moon which seemed to be rolling straight out of the glimmering sea into the cloudless vault above. It was unusual for her to be alone, but Mrs. Minturn had slipped away for a chat with Mrs. Seabrook, and Katherine, at the invitation of Dr. Stanley, had gone for a walk to the library in search of an interesting book for Dorothy.
Sadie had changed much during her summer with her friends. She had grown more thoughtful, more self-poised, more orderly and systematic in her ways; while, it goes without saying, she had become deeply attached to every member of the family.
Just now she was absorbed in a mental discussion with herself regarding what would be the most acceptable and appropriate gift she could offer each one, to attest her appreciation of their united kindness and unrivaled hospitality in taking her so lovingly into their household for the long vacation.
Without having heard a step or a movement, without a suspicion that any living being was near, her name was suddenly pronounced in familiar tones directly behind her.
She sprang to her feet and faced the intruder.
“Oh, Ned! Why have you come? Why cannot you let me alone?” she cried, in a startled tone.
“I have come to make you take back your ring,” and he held out the box to her. “And I cannot ‘leave you alone,’ because—you know why, Sadie.”
“No, I shall not take back the ring,” she replied, waving it away, “and I wrote you that everything was at an end between us; that I would not be bound to you any longer.”
“But you are bound—you have given me your promise.”
“I have taken back that promise.”
“Because—oh! for many reasons. I have my course to finish; I mean to put my best work into the coming year, and I will not be hampered in any such way,” resolutely returned Sadie, who was fast recovering tier self-possession.