Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/159

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To revert to the old life as far as possible under changed circumstances, to pass a sponge over a terrible succession of pictures, to brush out the vision of horrors from her eyes, and shake the burden of the past off her head—if for a while only—was a joy to Judith. She had been oppressed with nightmare, and now the night was over, her brain clear, and should forget its dreams.

She and Jamie were together, and were children once more; her anxiety for her brother was allayed, and she had broken finally with Cruel Coppinger. Her heart bounded with relief. Jamie was simple and docile as of old; and she rambled with him through the lanes, along the shore, upon the downs, avoiding only one tract of common and one cove.

A child's heart is elastic; eternal droopings it cannot bear. Beaten down, bruised and draggled by the storm, it springs up when the sun shines, and laughs into flower. It is no eucalyptus that ever hangs its leaves; it is a sensitive plant, wincing, closing, at a trifle, feeling acutely, but not for long.

And now Judith had got an idea into her head, that she communicated to Jamie, and her sanguine anticipations kindled his torpid mind. She had resolved to make little shell baskets and other chimney ornaments, not out of the marine shells cast up by the sea, for on that coast none came ashore whole, but out of the myriad snail-shells that strew the downs. They were of all sizes, from a pin's head to a gooseberry, and of various colors—salmon-pink, sulphur-yellow, rich brown and pure white. By judicious arrangement of sizes and of colors, with a little gum on cardboard, what wonderful erections might be made, certain to charm the money out of the pocket, and bring in a little fortune to the twins.

"And then," said Jamie, "I can build a linney, and rent a paddock, and keep my Neddy at Polzeath."