A fictional romance of North Canada about immigrants from Scotland, with a few reports of reading incorporated into the novel.
p. 125-26. The little maid is vigorous in her pantomime, and Holdfast looks wonderingly at her. “Thou remindest me of the bewitched children of Salem, of which I have read!”—says Holdfast— “What dost thee ail, that thou drivest thine arm back, and in, like the neck of an angry gander?” She mimics the motion, her eyes following the pointing finger as she talks; and she stops with mouth wide open in the middle of a word, her arm extended in imitation of the girl’s action. In this position she walks slowly forward; her startled gaze fixed upon the figure in the chair; and she goes timidly toward him as though fearful that this man upon whom her gaze is fixed may vanish. She touches with her fingers the head above the chair-back, when, feeling real hair, she whispers, as though in terror of her own voice; “George, is it truly thou?” “Yes, Holdfast, it is myself and no other!”— assures George, his eyes shining with delight and mischief.
p. 227-28: It is to Donald’s door, Margaret comes, to read aloud, from the Book of Books; and it is here she kneels in prayer; asking the All in All to guide her in every right way; to keep her from thought of self; from unholy, and unlawful desires and aspirations. She prays that Donald may be restored to his right mind; that the Mighty Master may lift the gloom now enshrouding its splendor; and heal his mortal frame; keeping his soul clean, and blame-free, of all wrongs committed, while disease has governed to the glooming of right; and to the shadowing of all joy and peace. She thanks Him, that through His watchful care, Donald was brought across the water safe; that he was not left to the care of strangers, who could give but grudging service; and begs that she be given strength, and right impulse, to do, in the tenderest lift: father-lone; mother-lone; brother-lone; and sister-lone: his entire earthly dependence, upon one weak woman. She also prays that Donald may win comfort and peace, in leaning upon the God and All Father; and that he may feel that God’s mercy is in his affliction. Donald’s hands clutched and pulled, as Margaret sat or knelt; and he would glare at her fiercely, as he moved slowly, and slily, toward her; his head outstretched, as though he would tear her with his teeth; were his hands withheld from her. He showed, by every look, and act, that he hungered to do her harm; and the change has been so gradual, that no one has noticed it, until after the episode of the dinner; when all watch for signs of improve Inent.