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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER XXVII. REVELATIONS.
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 After this little conversation with Mme. Malet Cecile's sojourn in the land of Beulah seemed to come to an end. Not that she was really unhappy, but the peace which gave a kind of unreal sweetness to this time of convalescence had departed; her memory, hitherto so weak, came back fully and vividly, she remembered all that dreadful conversation with Joe, she knew again and felt it through and through her sensitive heart that her Joe had proved unfaithful. He had stolen the piece of paper with the precious address, he had given over the purse of gold into the hands of the enemy. Not lightly had he done this thing, not lightly had he told her of his wrongdoing. Could she ever forget the agony in his eyes or the horror in his poor voice as he told her of the life from which he had thus freed himself. No, all through her illness she had seen that troubled face of Joe's, and now even she could scarcely bear to dwell upon it. Joe had been sorely tempted, and he had fallen. Poor Joe! No, she could not, she would not blame Joe, but all the same her own life seemed ended; God had been very good. The dear Guide Jesus, when He restored to her little Maurice, had assuredly not forsaken her; but still, all the same, she had been faithless. Her dying stepmother had put into her hands a sacred trust, and she never now could fulfill that trust.  
"Though I tried to do my best—I did try to do my very, very best," sighed the poor little girl, wiping the tears from her eyes.
Cecile was now sufficiently recovered to leave her pretty and bowery bedroom and come down to the general living room. This room, half kitchen, half parlor, again in an undefined way reminded her of the old English farmhouse where she and Maurice had been both happy and unhappy not so long ago. Here Cecile saw for the first time young Mme. Malet's husband. He was a big and handsome fellow, very dark—as dark as Joe; he had a certain look of Joe which rather puzzled Cecile and caused her look at him a great deal. Watching him, she also noticed something else. That handsome young matron, Mme. Malet, that much idolized wife and mother, was not quite happy. She had high spirits; she laughed a full, rich laugh often through the day; she ran briskly about; she sang at her work; but for all that, when for a few moments she was quiet, a shadow would steal over her bright face. When no one appeared to notice, sighs would fall from her cherry lips. As she sat by the open lattice window, always busy, making or mending, she would begin an English song, then stop, perhaps to change it for a gay French one, perhaps to wipe away a hasty tear. Once when she and Cecile were alone, and the little girl began talking innocently of the country where she had been brought up, she interrupted her almost petulantly:
"Stop," she said, "tell me nothing about England. I was born there, but I don't love it; France is my country now."
Then seeing her husband in the distance, she ran out to meet him, and presently came in leaning on his arm, but her blue eyes were wet with sudden tears.
These things puzzled Cecile. Why should Mme. Malet dislike England? Why was Mme. Malet sad?
But the young matron was not the only one who had a sad face in this pretty French farm just now; the elderly woman, the tall and upright old Frenchwoman, Cecile saw one day crying bitterly by the fire. This old woman had from the first been most kind to Cecile, and had petted Maurice, often rocking him to sleep in her arms, but as she did not know even one word of English, she left the real care of the children to her daughter-in-law Suzanne. Conseque............
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