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Newspaper Page Text
THE INDIAN ADVOCATE
with a sigh, "Will morning soon be here? Our Lord is com
ing!" It was Sunday morning. There was no mistake now, Bes
sie was dying. I went early to her bedside. Her face was
white as marble, and her pinched features told how she had
suffered during the night. A table was ready, and some of
the nuns and more of the patients knelt there while I gave her
Holy Viaticum and anointed her. When I was leaving her
she tried to clasp her poor little twisted hands together, and
whispered, "Come back, Father; it won't be long now." I
went back as soon as I could. She was sinking rapidly, but
the pinched features had disappeared, and her face glowed as
it did when the news of her brother's conversion first reached
her. Everyone was impressed by the beauty of her countenance,
and yet death was there. I rtad the solemn prayers of the
Church, so majestic and so consoling. As I paused I heard
her say, softly: "Only fifteen years; so short a time for such
a greet reward."
In an instant that long stretch of days and nights came be-"
fore me, with their torture and their weariness, and 1 felt some-'"
thing rising in my throat which threatened to choke my utter
ance: "Only" fifteen years. "Only I"
She was dying now, and as her eyes closed, and as the last
faint gasps succeeded each other, the silence was intense.
Suddenly her eyes opened wide and a beautiful smile passed
over her face. It faded into marble white. I raised my hand
in absolution and then, and as if it were so ordained, it seem
ed as if every church bell in the city began to ring. Sweet,
loud and strong the Sunday chimes pealed forth. The effect
was electrical. It was like a paeon of triumph.
Bessie was dead! Her apostolate for one single soul was
over. Sister and brother were with God.
1 shall never forget the beauty of that death-bed.