Unlike what I have painted him to you in everything, my child. In everything.'
'Oh why,' cried the Blind Girl, tortured, as it seemed, almost beyond endurance, 'why did you ever do this! Why did you ever fill my heart so full, and then come in like Death, and tear away the objects of my love! O Heaven, how blind I am! How helpless and alone!'
Her afflicted father hung his head, and offered no reply but in his penitence and sorrow.
She had been but a short time in this passion of regret, when the Cricket on the Hearth, unheard by all but her, began to chirp. Not merrily, but in a low, faint, sorrowing way. It was so mournful that her tears began to flow; and when the Presence which had been beside the Carrier all night, appeared behind her, pointing to her father, they fell down like rain.
She heard the Cricket-voice more plainly soon, and was conscious, through her blindness, of the Presence hovering about her father.
'Mary,' said the Blind Girl, 'tell me what my home is. What it truly is.'
'It is a poor place, Bertha; very poor and bare indeed. The house will scarcely keep out wind and rain another winter. It is as roughly shielded from the weather, Bertha,' Dot continued in a low, clear voice, 'as your poor father in his sack-cloth coat.'
The Blind Girl, greatly agitated, rose, and led the Carrier's little wife aside.
'Those presents that I took such care of; that came almost at my wish, and were so dearly welcome to me,' she said, trembling; 'where did they come from? Did you send them?'
Dot saw she knew, already, and was silent. The Blind Girl spread her hands before her face again. But in quite another manner now.
'Dear Mary, a moment. One moment? More this way. Speak softly to me. You are true, I know. You'd not deceive me now; would you?'
'No, Bertha, indeed!'
'No, I am sure you would not. You have too much pity for me. Mary, look across the room to where we were just now--to where my father is--my father, so compassionate and loving to me--and tell me what you see.'
'I see,' said Dot, who understood her well, 'an old man sitting in a chair, and leaning sorrowfully on the back, with his face resting on his hand. As if his child should comfort him, Bertha.'
'Yes, yes. She will. Go on.'
'He is an old man, worn with care and work. He is a spare, dejected, thoughtful, grey-haired man. I see him now, despondent and bowed down, and striving against nothing. But, Bertha, I have seen him many times before, and striving hard in many ways for one great sacred object. And I honour his grey head, and bless him!'
The Blind Girl broke away from her; and throwing herself upon her knees before him, took the grey head to her breast.
'It is my sight restored. It is my sight!' she cried. 'I have been blind, and now my eyes are open. I never knew him! To think I might have died, and never truly seen the father who has been so loving to me!'
There were no words for Caleb's emotion.
'There is not a gallant figure on this earth,' exclaimed the Blind Girl, holding him in her embrace, 'that I would love so dearly, and would cherish so devotedly, as this! The greyer, and more worn, the dearer, father! Never let them say I am blind again.