Book the Second - the Golden Thread
21. XXI. Echoing Footsteps
A wonderful corner for echoes, it has been remarked, that corner where
the Doctor lived. Ever busily winding the golden thread which bound
her husband, and her father, and herself, and her old directress and
companion, in a life of quiet bliss, Lucie sat in the still house in the
tranquilly resounding corner, listening to the echoing footsteps of years.
At first, there were times, though she was a perfectly happy young
wife, when her work would slowly fall from her hands, and her eyes
would be dimmed. For, there was something coming in the echoes,
something light, afar off, and scarcely audible yet, that stirred
her heart too much. Fluttering hopes and doubts--hopes, of a love as
yet unknown to her: doubts, of her remaining upon earth, to enjoy that
new delight--divided her breast. Among the echoes then, there would
arise the sound of footsteps at her own early grave; and thoughts of
the husband who would be left so desolate, and who would mourn for
her so much, swelled to her eyes, and broke like waves.
That time passed, and her little Lucie lay on her bosom. Then,
among the advancing echoes, there was the tread of her tiny feet and
the sound of her prattling words. Let greater echoes resound as they
would, the young mother at the cradle side could always hear those
coming. They came, and the shady house was sunny with a child's laugh,
and the Divine friend of children, to whom in her trouble she had
confided hers, seemed to take her child in his arms, as He took the
child of old, and made it a sacred joy to her.
Ever busily winding the golden thread that bound them all together,
weaving the service of her happy influence through the tissue of all
their lives, and making it predominate nowhere, Lucie heard in the
echoes of years none but friendly and soothing sounds. Her husband's
step was strong and prosperous among them; her father's firm and equal.
Lo, Miss Pross, in harness of string, awakening the echoes, as an
unruly charger, whip-corrected, snorting and pawing the earth under
the plane-tree in the garden!