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The Going of the White Swan
y he had touched the garment of the Master of Souls. As though a voice said to him there, "Some one hath touched me," he got to his feet, and, with a sudden blind humility, lit two candles, and placed them on a shelf in a corner before a porcelain figure of the Virgin, as he had seen his wife do. Then he picked a small handful of fresh spruce twigs from a branch over the chimney, and laid them beside the candles. After a short pause he came slowly to the head of the boy's bed. Very solemnly he touched the foot of the Christ on the cross with the tips of his fingers, and brought them to his lips with an indescribable reverence. After a moment, standing with eyes fixed on the face of the crucified figure, he said, in a shaking voice:
"Pardon, bon Jésu! Sauves mon enfant! Ne me laissez pas seul!"
The boy looked up with eyes again grown unnaturally heavy, and said:
"Amen!... Bon Jésu!... Encore! Encore, mon père!"