Page:A Leaf in the Storm.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
30
A DOG OF FLANDERS.

out into the air, his face was wet with tears, and he looked up at the veiled places as he passed them, and murmured to his companion:—

"It is so terrible not to see them, Patrasche, just because one is poor and cannot pay! He never meant that the poor should not see them when he painted them, I am sure. He would have had us see them any day,—every day: that I am sure. And they keep them shrouded there,—shrouded in the dark, the beautiful things!—and they never feel the light, and no eyes look on them, unless rich people come and pay. If I could only see them, I would be content to die."

But he could not see them, and Patrasche could not help him, for to gain the silver piece that the Church exacts as the price for looking on the glories of the "Elevation of the Cross" and the "Descent of the Cross" was a thing as utterly beyond the powers of either of them as it would have been to scale the heights of the cathedral-spire.

They had never so much as a sou to spare: if they cleared enough to get a little wood for the stove, a little broth for the pot, it was the utmost they could do. And yet the heart of the child was set in sore and endless longing upon beholding the greatness of the two veiled Rubens.