She was a child-woman a child in her primitive feelings that threw aside all convention, because there was no wrong in her heart; a woman, because she was possessed by a jealousy which shamed and angered her, because its very existence put him on trial, condemned him.
And this divine contralto, full, yet penetrating, Dame Nature had inspired her to lower when she was moved or excited, instead of raising it; and then she was enchanting. All unconsciously she cast this crowning spell on Alfred, and he adored her. In a word, he caught a child-woman away from its mother; his fluttering captive turned, put on composure, and bewitched him.
She was three years older than Beverly, and although she was no taller than he, she seemed like a woman to me, a keen-witted, good-natured child-woman, neat, cleanly, and contented. I wonder if many women get more out of life in these days of luxurious comforts than she found in the days of frontier hardships. "Well, it's this way, Gail.
I did not know the English language perfectly, but Yolanda, who spoke it as if it were her mother tongue, translated as she read. I had always considered the island language harsh till I heard Yolanda speak it. Even the hissing "th" was music on her lips. Had I been a young man I would doubtless have made a fool of myself for the sake of this beautiful child-woman.
"How all that is best in womanhood," wrote the old man, with the enthusiasm which no time had reft from his hearty, healthful genius, "how all that is best in womanhood is here opening fast into flower from the bud of the infant's soul! The atmosphere seems to suit it, the child-woman in the child-world!"
Two months before and he would not have hesitated to smooth these shining tresses, but the question of his sister, "Do you love her?" had produced upon him a curious effect, making him half afraid of the child-woman who sat before him, and who, after waiting a time for him to speak, looked up into his face, and said, "Do you want me for anything in particular, Mr. Hastings?" "Want you, Dora?
There was a strange, fierce light in his bright blue eyes, which the child-woman did not see, and which, if she had perceived, she would not have understood any more than he understood it himself for no concrete thought had yet come to him about the future.
Then suddenly she saw emerge from a little group at the steps of a car a child in a long dress so it seemed to her, the being was so small and delicate and come forward, having hastily said good-bye to her fellow-passengers. As the Young Doctor said afterwards, "She wasn't bigger than a fly," and she certainly was as graceful and pretty and piquante as a child-woman could be.
We saw nothing of Golden Star the next day, nor yet for many days afterwards, for, in spite of our impatience, Ruth would not permit us to do so. What her brother had said had speedily proved itself to be true. She had come back to life a child-woman.
It was an act totally unexpected by Blanche, but it was done with such a noble grace by the boy, and with an air of such delicate refinement, while a glow of boyish bashfulness swept over his fine face, that the most fastidious could not have found in it just cause for resentment, much less the guileless and innocent child-woman before him.