is the old mill of Bindon Abbey, situated on the Frome,

2023-11-30 08:16:24source:newsClassification:system

"But, Majella," said the logical Alessandro, "it was because I could not leave my father that I did not come. As soon as he was buried, I came."

is the old mill of Bindon Abbey, situated on the Frome,

"If it had not been for the Virgin, you would never have come at all," said Ramona, confidently.

is the old mill of Bindon Abbey, situated on the Frome,

For the first hour of this sad journey it seemed as if the child were really rallying; the air, the sunlight, the novel motion, the smiling mother by her side, the big black horses she had already learned to love, all roused her to an animation she had not shown for days. But it was only the last flicker of the expiring flame. The eyes drooped, closed; a strange pallor came over the face. Alessandro saw it first. He was now walking, Ramona riding Benito. "Majella!" he cried, in a tone which told her all.

is the old mill of Bindon Abbey, situated on the Frome,

In a second she was at the baby's side, with a cry which smote the dying child's consciousness. Once more the eyelids lifted; she knew her mother; a swift spasm shook the little frame; a convulsion as of agony swept over the face, then it was at peace. Ramona's shrieks were heart-rending. Fiercely she put Alessandro away from her, as he strove to caress her. She stretched her arms up towards the sky. "I have killed her! I have killed her!" she cried. "Oh, let me die!"

Slowly Alessandro turned Baba's head homeward again.

"Oh, give her to me! Let her lie on my breast! I will hold her warm!" gasped Ramona.

Silently Alessandro laid the body in her arms. He had not spoken since his first cry of alarm, If Ramona had looked at him, she would have forgotten her grief for her dead child. Alessandro's face seemed turned to stone.

When they reached the house, Ramona, laying the child on the bed, ran hastily to a corner of the room, and lifting the deerskin, drew from its hiding-place the little wooden Jesus. With tears streaming, she laid it again in the Madonna's arms, and flinging herself on her knees, sobbed out prayers for forgiveness. Alessandro stood at the foot of the bed, his arms folded, his eyes riveted on the child. Soon he went out, still without speaking. Presently Ramona heard the sound of a saw. She groaned aloud, and her tears flowed faster: Alessandro was making the baby's coffin. Mechanically she rose, and, moving like one half paralyzed, she dressed the little one in fresh white clothes for the burial; then laying her in the cradle, she spread over it the beautiful lace-wrought altar-cloth. As she adjusted its folds, her mind was carried back to the time when she embroidered it, sitting on the Senora's veranda; the song of the finches, the linnets; the voice and smile of Felipe; Alessandro sitting on the steps, drawing divine music from his violin. Was that she, -- that girl who sat there weaving the fine threads in the beautiful altar-cloth? Was it a hundred years ago? Was it another world? Was it Alessandro yonder, driving those nails into a coffin? How the blows rang, louder and louder! The air seemed deafening full of sound. With her hands pressed to her temples, Ramona sank to the floor. A merciful unconsciousness set her free, for an interval, from her anguish.

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