Page:A New England Tale.djvu/284

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273
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

an alarming fluttering in her pulse. "You are not well," said she.

"No, I am not well," Bet refilled, in a low plaintive tone; "but I shall be soon—here," said she, placing Mary's hand on her heart—"do not you feel it struggling to be free."

Mary was startled—the beating was so irregular, it seamed that every pulsation must be the last. "Oh!" she exclaimed, "poor creature, let me put you in bed; you are not fit to be sitting here."

"Oh, no!" Bet replied, in the same feeble, mournful tone; "I cannot stay here. The spirits of heaven are keeping a festival by the light of the blessed moon. Hark! do you not hear them, Mary?"—and she sung so low that her voice sounded like distant music:

"Sister spirit, come away!"

"And do you not see their white robes?" she added, pointing through the window to the vapour that curled along the margin of the river, and floated on the bosom of the meadow.

Mary called to her husband, and whispered, "The poor thing is near death; let us get her on the bed."

Bet overheard her. "No, do not touch me," she exclaimed; "the spirit cannot soar here." She suddenly sprang on her feet, as if she had caught a new inspiration, and darted towards the door. Mary's infant, sleeping in the cradle, ar-