Hetty was silent, but she shuddered again, as if there was still something behind; and Dinah waited, for her heart was so full that tears must come before words. At last Hetty burst out, with a sob, “Dinah, do you think God will take away that crying and the place in the wood, now I’ve told everything?”
“Let us pray, poor sinner. Let us fall on our knees again, and pray to the God of all mercy.”
The Hours of Suspense
On Sunday morning, when the church bells in Stoniton were ringing for morning service, Bartle Massey re-entered Adam’s room, after a short absence, and said, “Adam, here’s a visitor wants to see you.”
Adam was seated with is back towards the door, but he started up and turned round instantly, with a flushed face and an eager look. His face was even thinner and more worn than we have seen it before, but he was washed and shaven this Sunday morning.
“Is it any news?” he said.
“Keep yourself quiet, my lad,” said Bartle; “keep quiet. It’s not what you’re thinking of. It’s the young Methodist woman come from the prison. She’s at the bottom o’ the stairs, and wants to know if you think well to see her, for she has something to say to you about that poor castaway; but she wouldn’t come in without your leave, she said. She thought you’d perhaps like to go out and speak to her. These preaching women are not so back’ard commonly,” Bartle muttered to himself.
“Ask her to come in,” said Adam.
He was standing with his face towards the door, and as Dinah entered, lifting up her mild grey eyes towards him, she saw at once the great change that had come since the day when she had looked up at the tall man in the cottage. There was a trembling in her clear voice as she put her hand into his and said, “Be comforted, Adam Bede, the Lord has not forsaken her.”
“Bless you for coming to her,” Adam said. “Mr. Massey brought me word yesterday as you was come.”
They could neither of them say any more just yet, but stood before each other in silence; and Bartle Massey, too, who had put on his spectacles, seemed transfixed, examining Dinah’s face. But he recovered himself first, and said, “Sit down, young woman, sit down,” placing the chair for her and retiring to his old seat on the bed.
“Thank you, friend; I won’t sit down,” said Dinah, “for I must hasten back. She entreated me not to stay long away. What I came for, Adam Bede, was to pray you to go and see the poor sinner and bid her farewell. She desires to ask your forgiveness, and it is meet you should see her to-day, rather than in the early morning, when the time will be short.”
Adam stood trembling, and at last sank down on his chair again.
“It won’t be,” he said, “it’ll be put off—there’ll perhaps come a pardon. Mr. Irwine said there was hope. He said, I needn’t quite give it up.”