'Agnes! Sister! Dearest! What have I done?'
‘Darling—my own darling Letitia! Oh, when she looked so happy, did she not see the angels—or her beloved Father—or the Bedwells and old Rodman whom she had so tended,—perhaps all coming to welcome her,—or the loving Saviour Himself? I do not grudge her to Him; but oh, what a wealth of love I have (apparently) lost in that one young heart! Her last parcel of letters to me contained sweet commissions for her poor.... I dare say that I shall hear from you to-morrow; but it is a relief to me to write now to you, who were so kind and dear to her. I went out before breakfast this morning. A thrush was singing so sweetly. I saw the first crocus of the year. My flower,—my lovely one,—she may now be singing in joy, while we sit in sorrow.’
Under the influence of the Friends and the growing danger from Russia, four North American states, Canada, the Atlantic Republic, the Mississippi Republic, and the Pacific Republic, were once more unified. North America became once more a great, though not the greatest, power. For a while, moreover, it looked as though North America would become the model community, destined to save mankind by example and by leadership. Here at last, it seemed, was the true though inarticulate and undoctrinal faith in the spirit. Here was the true liberalism of self-disciplined free citizens, the true communism of mutually respecting individuals. Rumour of this new happy society began to spread even in conquered Europe in spite of the Russian imperial censorship, and to hearten the many secret opponents of the dictatorship. Between the new North America and the new India there was close contact and interchange of ideas. From the Indian wisdom the Friends learned much, and they gave in return much American practical skill.
'Mr. Dick,' said my aunt, 'what shall I do with this child?'
'Tell me what it is,' she said, in a low voice.
'Now,' said Mathis, 'to business. Who killed Le Chiffre?'