Jean had never been beside a death-bed, but she did not hesitate.
Maggie was lying, white and thin, upon the pillow. She looked eagerly toward the door. Her eyes lit with a lingering light, and a faint smile came around the corners of her drawn mouth when she saw that it was Jean. She spoke slowly and softly, without much effort, and quite distinctly.
"I'm going pretty soon, Miss Thorn, and I wanted to see you. You've been so good to us€"God will bless you for it. When I am gone, don't forget poor mother. Please don't, Miss Thorn! She will be sad. I'm the only one that remembered the other days, and we used sometimes to talk of them and pray that they might come back. Maybe God will send them back some day€"but I will not be here. I'm not afraid to die. Christ died for the drunkard's child€"I'm sure he did. I'm so glad to go. In my Father's house are many mansions€"many mansions€"one for us."
She closed her eyes as she repeated the words softly.
"When I am gone, do not feel sad, mother€"not too sad," she continued in a moment. "Think that I have only gone to sleep to wake up where there is no more sorrow. I'll be waiting in our mansion, mother, and there we will be happy, for the Book says he will not be there who puts the bottle to his neighbor's lips."
She stopped to rest. The room was very quiet.
"When my father comes," a look of intense longing came into her sunken eyes, and for a moment she struggled to force back the great sob of sorrow that seemed choking her, "tell him 'goodby' for Maggie. Perhaps he will be sorry€"not like he once would have been€"just a little. Don't let the children forget me. Dear children! How I wish I could take them all to the mansion. And Cora, poor Cora€"€""
The last tears that ever shone in Maggie's eyes filled them now.
"God knows about Cora," said Jean, tenderly, while the mother wept in silence.
The dying girl lay quite exhausted, and, while she rested, her eyes wandered from one to the other of the few around the bed and rested lovingly on her mother's face. Her minutes were numbered. Mortality was ebbing away. When she spoke again it was with more of an effort, pausing now and then for breath.
"Stoop over, mother; let me put€"my arms around€"your dear, kind neck. Put your face down€"so I can put my cheek€"against yours€"as I did when we were happy. I'm going back€"to it. I smell the roses. I hear the pigeons€"on the roof. Lift me€"mother€"gently. I am€"tired. Sing€"my€"good night€"song€"I'll€"go€"to€"sleep."
Mrs. Crowley drew the dying girl's head close to her heart and tried to sing; but her voice failed. Then, in the presence of the death angel, Jean sang for the girl's long sleeping.
Suddenly a clear, happy, childish voice rang out on the stillness€""Papa's coming!"