A Journey in Other Worlds
Cassandra And Cosmology
The water-jug being empty, Ayrault took it up, and, crossing the ridge of a small hill,
descended to a running-brook. He had filled it, and was straightening himself, when the
stone on which he stood turned, and he might have fallen, had not the bishop, of whose
presence he had been unaware, stretched out his hand and upheld him.
"I thought you might need a little help," he said with a smile, "and so walked beside you,
though you knew it not. Water is heavy, and you may not yet have become accustomed to
its Saturnian weight."
"Many thanks, my master," replied Ayrault, retaining his hand. "Were it not that I am
engaged to the girl I love, and am sometimes haunted by the thought that in my absence
she may be forgetting me, I should wish to spend the rest of my natural life here, unless I
could persuade you to go with me to the earth."
"By remaining here," replied the spirit, with a sad look, "you would be losing the most
priceless opportunities of doing good. Neither will I go with you; but, as your distress is
real, I will tell you of anything happening on earth that you wish to know."
"Tell me, then, what the person now in my thoughts is doing."
"She is standing in a window facing west, watering some forget-me-nots with a small
silver sprinkler which has a ruby in the handle."
"Can you see anything else?"
"Beneath the jewel is an inscription that runs:
'By those who in warm July are born
A single ruby should be worn;
Then will they be exempt and free
From love's doubts and anxiety.'"
"Marvellous! Had I any doubts as to your prescience and power, they would be dispelled
now. One thing more let me ask, however: Does she still love me?"
"In her mind is but one thought, and in her heart is an image--that of the man before me.
She loves you with all her soul."
"My most eager wish is satisfied, and for the moment my heart is at rest," replied
Ayrault, as they turned their steps towards camp. "Yet, such is my weakness by nature,
that, ere twenty-four hours have passed I shall long to have you tell me again."