They brought before me more graphically than ever the thought that I'd been trying to get out of my head, the picture of a huddled small body, with a tear-washed face, growing colder and colder, until the solitary little flame of life went completely out in the midst of that star-strewn darkness.
The hand left her shoulder and fumblingly touched her face, feeling blindly over its tear-washed surface. "I'm not going to die," came the feeble whisper. "I can live now." Half an hour later when Daddy John came in he found her sitting on the side of the bunk, a hunched, dim figure against the firelight. She held up a warning hand, and the old man tiptoed to her side and leaned over her to look.
I kept thinking of Bobs, more than of anything else, and wondering why Whinnie was so slow in getting back with his broken wagon, and worrying over when the men would come. I told myself to be calm, to be brave, and the next moment was busy picturing a little dead body with a tear-washed face. But I went on, calling as I went. Then suddenly I thought of praying.
Petersburg to Tiumen, as the crow flies, the distance is 1150 English miles, and nine hours after she had passed over the Capital of the North, the Ariel had winged her way over the Ourals and the still snow-clad forests of the eastern slopes, past the tear-washed Pillar of Farewells, and had come to a rest after her voyage of two thousand two hundred miles, including the delay at Kronstadt, in twenty hours almost to the minute, as her captain had predicted.
Her breast heaved as the storm departed. And she looked so charming, so soft, so desirable, as she sat there in her white dress, with her great tear-washed eyes and fluttering breath, that the youth was really touched and carried off his feet; and the rest of his task was quite easy. All the familiar things that had to be said were said, and with all the proper emphasis and spirit.
"Y-yes." "Not when we all were! No!" Maudie's tear-washed eyes were regaining a dangerous brightness. "I wanted him to come with me. He wouldn't, and we quarrelled." "We didn't." "You didn't quarrel?" put in the Judge. "We did," said Maudie, breathless. "Not about that. It was because she wanted another feller to come, too." Again he shot an angry glance at the Kentuckian.
I am sure we all thought that it was the eleventh commandment, "Not to say anything more about it." Now every one of us suffered more or less from our encounters with the multiplication table. Of course fives and tens were at a premium even very stupid little girls could get through them, and twos were not so bad, but the rest of the tables were tear-washed daily.
She began to watch the robin, and to note how it glanced sidelong at her and appeared to meditate further approaches. She made an almost imperceptible movement, and straightway the little creature was in a projecting spray of berried hawthorn overhead. Her tear-washed mind became vaguely friendly. With an unconscious comfort it focussed down to the robin.
His heart beat hard. Each time he had seen the vision of the flame he had been instantly impressed with a sense of strange mystery, as if at the vision of some holy thing, a flame upon a prayer-blessed altar, a flame ascending from a tear-washed sacrifice. And now he saw this thing that he fancied holy burning behind the tears in Cuckoo's eyes! Cuckoo got up. "Come on," she said, abruptly.