Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/118

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113
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

"'Leave off, Spountus.[1] I hear my mother weeping and sobbing between the boards of the narrow house.'

"'It is the sighing of the waves in the narrow fissures of the rock, my sweet Genossa.'

"'Listen, listen, Spountus! my mother speaks from under the consecrated earth!'

"'What says she, then, from under the consecrated earth, Genossa?'

"'She says that her daughter is not to give herself up body and soul without the show of consecrated altar-lights, and without the priest's holy chants.'

"'Be it, then, as she wishes, Genossa, my beloved; I honor the dead!'

"Then the handsome stranger made a sign, and suddenly there rose out of the darkness priest and choristers, and surrounded the rock that rises in the little island in the midst of the grotto. They covered the rock with a cloth of scarlet silk embroidered in silver, and kindled around it tall wax lights in golden candlesticks. The marriage ceremony began. But at the moment when the priest spoke the blessing, and placed the ring upon her finger, Genossa screamed aloud till the whole grotto rang with the sound. The ring burned her finger like fire. She tried to tear herself away—to fly, but it was

  1. Spountus, the Terrible, is one of the names given to the Evil Spirit by the Armorican Celts.