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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER XXIX. THE WORTH OF THE JOURNEY.
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 That same night, just when Cecile had laid her tired head on her pillow, there came a soft tap to her door, and young Mme. Malet, holding a lamp in her hand, came in.  
"Ah, Madame," said Cecile, "I am so glad to see you. Has it not been wonderful, wonderful, what has happened to day? Has not Jesus the Guide been more than good? Yes. I do feel now that He will hear my prayer to the very end; I do feel that I shall very soon find Lovedy."
"Cecile," said Mme. Malet, kneeling down by the child's bed, and holding the lamp so that its light fell full on her own fair face, "what kind was this Lovedy Joy?"
"What kind?" exclaimed Cecile. "Ah, dear Mme. Suzanne, how well I know her face! I can see it as her mother told me about it-blue eyes, golden hair, teeth white and like little pearls, rosy, cherry lips. A beautiful English girl! No-I never could mistake Lovedy."
"Cecile," continued Mme. Malet, "you say you would know this Lovedy when you saw her. See! Look well at me—the light is shining on my face. What kind of face have I got, Cecile?"
"Fair," answered Cecile—"very fair and very beautiful. Your eyes, they are blue as the sky; and your lips, how red they are, and how they can smile! And your teeth are very white; and then your hair, it is like gold when the sun makes it all dazzling. And—and——"
"And I am English—an English girl," continued Madame.
"An English girl!" repeated Cecile, "you—are—like her—then!"
"Cecile, I am her—I am Lovedy Joy!"
"You! you!" repeated Cecile. "You Lovedy! But no, no; you are Suzanne—you are Mme. Malet."
"Nevertheless I was—I am Lovedy Joy. I am that wicked girl who broke her mother's heart; I am that wicked girl who left her. Cecile, I am she whom you seek; you have no further search to make—poor, brave, dear little sister—I am she."
Then Lovedy put her arms round Cecile, and they mingled their tears together. The woman wept from a strong sense of remorse and pain, but the child's tears were all delight.
"And you are the Susie about whom Mammie Moseley used to fret? Oh, it seems too good, too wonderful!" said Cecile at last.
"Yes, Cecile, I left Mammie Moseley too; I did everything that was heartless and bad. Oh, but I have been unhappy. Surrounded by mercies as I have been, there has been such a weight, so heavy, so dreadful, ever on my heart."
Cecile did not reply to this. She was looking hard at the Lovedy she had come so many miles to seek—for whom she had encountered so many dangers. It seemed hard to realize that her search was accomplished, her goal won, her prize at her feet.
"Yes, Lovedy, your mother was right, you are very beautiful," she said slowly.
"Oh, Cecile! tell me about my mother," said Lovedy then. "All these years I have never dared speak of my mother. But that has not prevented my starving for her, something as poor Joe must have starved for his. Tell me all you can about my mother—-more than Alphonse told downstairs tonight."
So Cecile told the old story. Over and over again she dwelt upon that deathbed scene, upon that poor mother's piteous longing for her child, and Lovedy listened and wept as if her heart would break.
At last this tale, so sad, so bitter for the woman who was now a mother herself, came to an end, and then Lovedy, wiping her eyes, spoke:
"Cecile, I must tell you a little about myself. You know the day my mother married your father, I ran away. I had loved my mother most passionately; but I was jealous. I was exacting. I was proud. I could not bear that my mother should put anyone in my place. I ran away. I went to my Aunt Fanny. She was a vain and silly woman. She praised me for running away. She said I had spirit. She took me to Paris.
"For the first week I got on pretty well. The new life helped to divert my thoughts, and I tried to believe I could do well without my mother. But then the knowledge that I had done wrong, joined to a desperate mother-hunger, I can call it by no other word, took possession of me. I got to hate my aunt, who led a gay life. At last I could bear it no longer. I ran away.
"I had just enough money in my pocket to take me to London; I had not one penny more. But I felt easy enough; I thought, I will go to our old home, and make it up with mother, and then it will be all right............
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