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I now write my crowning confession to one I know to be dead and beyond the reach of words. I obtained permission from Bob to inclose in your hand a document before the lid of your coffin shut you out of my sight, but not out of my heart, forever. I told him it was a paper I wanted you to hand to God for me. He looked as if he feared for my mind. I have feared for it often since, but he gave his permission to me, — to me, a finished failure.
There are times when those who have been very near and necessary to us on earth leave us without sufficient imagination to picture them as disembodied spirits. They seem to us to carry with them into the realm of the intangible all their material properties. I don't know how I know, but I am sure somehow, somewhere, you will read this letter with enough knowledge left, of all things human and imperfect, to understand my apparently crazy wish to communicate with God through you.
He may be Love, He may be Mercy, but He could never listen to me. The first part of my letter is for you alone, for He, of course, knows. For His ears is simply a little humble hope expressed at the end.
This is what happened after I wrote you the letter that murdered you. The woman we both loved wrote and told me what I had done, and said you wanted to see me. I came to you. She met me at the door of your room, and said:
“Go see your work — the work of God cheated of its happiness by the hand of a man unworthy." You may remember
asked me before her, with your last breath, to look into your eyes and read what was there written. Were ever a man's words turned back upon him in such a kindly but final way? For there I read, as if they were letters dotted out upon the sky with stars, the words, “Truth, innocence, and love." Oh, God! as this tidal wave of conviction swept over and engulfed me, how I pitied myself, and envied a few shattered bones, sealed and expressed to the shelter of God's almighty wing! She tells me that she handed my letter to you herself, as you sat bathed in light by your study window. clutched it from her, with the words:
“Don't be jealous; this is a letter from one I also love well."
That as you read you smiled, and, turning to her, said, with a note of command in your
voice: “Burn this in my presence. It is only
a letter from a friend that the 'gods have first made mad.'
She did so. Then turning to her, you added: “I knew this cup of happiness placed so close to my lips was not for me, but it was placed so close that I, poor mortal, was deceived. Still, I have had, thanks to your presence, my little vision of happiness on earth. You have burned something that, could I live, would make not our union, but your care of me, impossible. I might have known, but I was dull with happiness it had been so long in coming. Kiss me once before the touch of my lips turns you to ice,' and send for the man we both love, quick, for I feel God's wings closing about me,” and then you slept and waited, and I came. We knelt by either side of your chair, for you would not trust a bed until I came. You
told her dying was too easy when the comfort was so great; you must die with your boots on, as befitted a soldier of the Lord," and then you smiled, as only the " chosen ones " can do.
“Do you forgive?” you murmured. “Let my life prove it,” I answered.
Then turning to her, you said: "Save me a little love, for even heaven would be cold without it.”
Then the Lord called and you answered and were gone.
Now what I have to tell you is this: she and I have separated as completely as you and I have, for all eternity, unless unless you can make my peace with God. Please try
please try — this is my prayer. Ask Him to forgive me, even as you have done. Yours gratefully,