The hills beyond Marsh Glen sent the answer faintly back -- "Where are you?" I listened. The wind sighed low in the firs: all was moorland loneliness and midnight hush.
"Down, superstition!" I commented, as that spectre rose up black by the black yew at the gate. "This is not thy deception, nor thy witchcraft: it is the work of Nature. She. was roused, and did -- no miracle -- but her best."
I broke from St. John; who had followed, and would have detained me. It was my time to assume ascendancy. My powers were in play, and in force. I told him to forbear question or remark; I desired him to leave me: I must and would be alone. He obeyed at once. Where there is energy to command well enough, obedience never fails. I mounted to my chamber; locked myself in; fell on my knees; and prayed in my way -- a different way to St. John's, but effective in its own fashion. I seemed to penetrate very near a Mighty Spirit; and my soul rushed out in gratitude at His feet. I rose from the thanksgiving -- took a resolve -- and lay down, unscared, enlightened -- eager but for the daylight.
T HE daylight came. I rose at dawn. I busied myself for an hour or two with arranging my things in my chamber, drawers and wardrobe, in the order wherein I should wish to leave them during a brief absence. Meantime, I heard St. John quit his room. He stopped at my door: I feared he would knock -- no, but a slip of paper was passed under the door. I took it up. It bore these words.
"You left me too suddenly last night. Had you stayed but a little longer, you would have laid your hand on the Christian's cross and the angel's crown. I shall expect your clear decision when I return this day fortnight. Meantime, watch and pray that you enter not into temptation; the spirit, I trust, is willing, but the flesh, I see, is weak. I shall pray for you hourly. -- Yours.
" ST. JOHN."