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The Three Cities Trilogy: Lourdes, Volume 4 by Émile Zola
page 2 of 124 (01%)
slipping from its place, she asked: "What day is it, madame?"

"Monday, my dear child."

"Ah! true. One so soon loses count of time. And, besides, I am so happy!
It is to-day that the Blessed Virgin will cure me!"

She smiled divinely, with the air of a day-dreamer, her eyes gazing into
vacancy, her thoughts so far away, so absorbed in her one fixed idea,
that she beheld nothing save the certainty of her hope. Round about her,
the Sainte-Honorine Ward was now quite deserted, all the patients,
excepting Madame Vetu, who lay at the last extremity in the next bed,
having already started for the Grotto. But Marie did not even notice her
neighbour; she was delighted with the sudden stillness which had fallen.
One of the windows overlooking the courtyard had been opened, and the
glorious morning sunshine entered in one broad beam, whose golden dust
was dancing over her bed and streaming upon her pale hands. It was indeed
pleasant to find this room, so dismal at nighttime with its many beds of
sickness, its unhealthy atmosphere, and its nightmare groans, thus
suddenly filled with sunlight, purified by the morning air, and wrapped
in such delicious silence! "Why don't you try to sleep a little?"
maternally inquired Madame de Jonquiere. "You must be quite worn out by
your vigil."

Marie, who felt so light and cheerful that she no longer experienced any
pain, seemed surprised.

"But I am not at all tired, and I don't feel a bit sleepy. Go to sleep?
Oh! no, that would be too sad. I should no longer know that I was going
to be cured!"
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