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Ms A 20r

[20r°] two more days. It could have been about two or three o’clock in the afternoon; the sun was shining brightly and all nature seemed to be rejoicing. I was all alone at the window of an attic which faced the large garden; I was looking straight ahead, my mind occupied with joyful thoughts, when I saw a man dressed exactly like Papa standing in front of [5] the laundry which was just opposite. The man had the same height and walk as Papa, only he was much more stooped. His head was covered with a sort of apron of indistinct color and it hid his face. He wore a hat similar to Papa’s. I saw him walking at a regular pace along [10] my little garden. Immediately a feeling of supernatural fright invaded my soul, but in an instant I reflected that surely Papa had returned and was hiding to surprise me; then I called out very loudly—“Papa! Papa!”—my voice trembling with emotion. But the mysterious personage, appearing not to hear, continued his steady pace without [15] even turning around. Following him with my eyes, I saw him go toward the grove that divides the wide path in two, and I waited to see him reappear on the other side of the tall trees, but the prophetic vision had vanished! All this lasted but an instant but was engraved so deeply on my heart that today, after fifteen years, it is as present to me as though I were still seeing the vision [20] before my eyes.

Marie was with you, Mother, in a room adjoining the one where I was; hearing me call Papa, she experienced fright also, feeling, as she told me later, that something extraordinary must have happened. Without allowing me to see her emotion, she ran to me and asked what possessed me to call Papa, who was still at Alençon. I

 

 

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