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to do with the girl. She came bounding up to my bed
this morning with a spring as high as the ceiling, cry-
ing, "Godber has come ;" so that I, poor old woman,
feel the shock still in every limb ; now there she sits
ever since I came back from the shore, in the very same
comer, crying and sobbing because she fancies that the
strange town lady, who looks so oddly in our dress, has
turned his head with her long locks. As if such a ship-
wrecked chalk-face could cut the grass under the feet of
the handsomest and cleverest girl on the whole hallig."
Now she related, turning at every pause toward the
weeping Maria, all that she had been able to learn by
degrees from her, which indeed was not very consistent,
and which, in her mouth, with the softening construc-
tion put upon the conduct of Godber, failed to convince
the pastor of his unfaithfulness. But he was so much
surprised and grieved to find the heart, whose joy he
had wished to lead to an ardent thanksgiving, rather
standing in need of consolation, that he entered more
than he otherwise would have done into Maria's views.
At the same time, he believed that his efforts to console
her would be more successful if he made no direct at-
tempt to oppose the current of her agitated feelings,
and so he said to her,
  "Even supposing, dear Maria, that your love for God-
ber has not found in his conduct more than there really
was in it ; that the sympathy, naturally felt for one
whose life he had just saved, goes further than you
could wish ; will he not, when the first lively impression
is over, return to the faith he plighted you ? Will he
not soon recover the affection which, as you know from
his letters, he preserved for you through nine years of