ADAM EXPLAINS 209
her absorbing charge, and never children were better mothered. Her authority over them is without appeal, but it is unknown to herself, and never comes to the surface except in watchfulness and service. She has forgotten the time when she lived without them, and thinks she came herself from the wood, the first of the family.
' You have saved the life of her and their enemy; therefore your life belongs to her and them. The princess was on her way to destroy them, but as she crossed that stream, vengeance overtook her, and she would have died had you not come to her aid. You did; and ere now she would have been raging among the Little Ones, had she dared again cross the stream. But there was yet a way to the blessed little colony through the world of the three dimensions ; only, from that, by the slaying of her former body, she had excluded herself, and except in personal contact with one belonging to it, could not re-enter it. You provided the opportunity: never, in all her long years, had she had one before. Her hand, with lightest touch, was on one or other of your rnumed feet, every step as you climbed. In that little chamber, she is now watching to leave it as soon as ever she may.'
' She cannot know anything about the door-!—she cannot at least know how to open it!' I said; but my heart was not so confident as my words.
' Hush, hush !' whispered the librarian, with uplifted hand; ' she can hear through anything!—You must go at once, and make your way to my wife's cottage. I will remain to keep guard over her.'
' Let me go to the Little Ones ! ' I cried.
' Beware of that, Mr. Vane. Go to my wife, and do as she tells you.'