Thus and so on it has oftentimes seemed to me sang and planned and labored the hearty snow-flower crusaders; and nothing that I can write can possibly exaggerate the grandeur and beauty of their work.
Only death would show the perfect completeness of the lie. Till death, she was his white snow-flower. He had subdued her, and her subjugation was to him an infinite chastity in her, a virginity which he could never break, and which dominated him as by a spell. She had let go the outer world, but within herself she was unbroken and unimpaired.
Within, Kate had finished her selections from opera and bouffe, and out into the soft evening drifted her rich contralto in the yearning strains of the "Blumenlied." "I long to lay in blessing My hands upon thy hair, Praying that God may preserve thee So pure, so bright, so fair!" I bent over and touched my lips to Amy's forehead reverently. "God keep you, my snow-flower!" I whispered.
And he thought of her as pure, chaste; the white flame which was known to him alone, the flame of her sex, was a white flower of snow to his mind. She was a wonderful white snow-flower, which he had desired infinitely. And now he was dying with all his ideas and interpretations intact. They would only collapse when the breath left his body. Till then they would be pure truths for him.
All the affection of his strong nature found its outlet in this little soul this motherless little waif, who likewise found in the old man that rare comradeship of extremes the inexplicable law of the physical world which brings the snow-flower in winter. The one real serious quarrel the old man had had with his stubborn and ignorant old wife had been when Shiloh was sent to the factory.