`The sun is setting,' said Lady Muriel, rising and leading the way to the open window. `Just look at the western sky! What lovely crimson tints! We shall have a glorious day to-morrow--' We had followed her across the room, and were standing in a little group, talking in low tones in the gathering gloom, when we were startled by the voice of the sick man, murmuring words too indistinct for the ear to catch.

`He is wandering again,' Lady Muriel whispered, and returned to the bedside. We drew a little nearer also: but no, this had none of the incoherence of delirium. `What reward shall I give unto the Lord,' the tremulous lips were saying, `for all the benefits that He hath done unto me? I will receive the cup of salvation, and call--and call--' but here the poor weakened memory failed, and the feeble voice died into silence.

His wife knelt down at the bedside, raised one of his arms, and drew it across her own, fondly kissing the thin white hand that lay so listlessly in her loving grasp. It seemed to me a good opportunity for stealing away without making her go through any form of parting: so, nodding to the Earl and Eric, I silently left the room. Eric followed me down the stairs, and out into the night.

`Is it Life or Death?' I asked him, as soon as we were far enough from the house for me to speak in ordinary tones.

`It is Life!' he replied with eager emphasis. `The doctors are quite agreed as to that. All he needs now, they say, is rest, and perfect quiet, and good nursing. He's quite sure to get rest and quiet, here: and, as for the nursing, why, I think it's just possible--' (he tried hard to make his trembling voice assume a playful tone) `he may even get fairly well nursed, in his present quarters!'

`I'm sure of it!' I said. `Thank you so much for coming out to tell me!' And, thinking he had now said all he had come to say, I held out my hand to bid him good night. He grasped it warmly, and added, turning his face away as he spoke, `By the way, there is one other thing I wanted to say, I thought you'd like to know that--that I'm not--not in the mind I was in when last we met. It isn't--that I can accept Christian belief--at least, not yet. But all this came about so strangely. And she had prayed, you know. And I had prayed. And--and' his voice broke, and I could only just catch the concluding words, `there is a God that answers prayer! I know it for certain now.' He wrung my hand once more, and left me suddenly. Never before had I seen him so deeply moved.

So, in the gathering twilight, I paced slowly homewards, in a tumultuous whirl of happy thoughts: my heart seemed full, and running over, with joy and thankfulness: all that I had so fervently longed for, and prayed for, seemed now to have come to pass. And, though I reproached myself, bitterly, for the unworthy suspicion I had for one moment harboured against the true-hearted Lady Muriel, I took comfort in knowing it had been but a passing thought.

Not Bruno himself could have mounted the stairs with so buoyant a step, as I felt my way up in the dark, not pausing to strike a light in the entry, as I knew I had left the lamp burning in my sitting-room.

But it was no common lamplight into which I now stepped, with a strange, new, dreamy sensation of some subtle witchery that had come over the place. Light, richer and more golden than any lamp could give, flooded the room, streaming in from a window I had somehow never noticed before, and lighting up a group of three shadowy figures, that grew momently more distinct--a grave old man in royal robes, leaning back in an easy chair, and two children, a girl and a boy, standing at his side.

`Have you the Jewel still, my child?' the old man was saying.

`Oh, yes!' Sylvie exclaimed with unusual eagerness.

`Do you think I'd ever lose it or forget it?' She undid the ribbon round her neck, as she spoke, and laid the Jewel in her father's hand.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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