ADAM EXPLAINS 211
anything; when he knows he does not understand, that is his first tottering step—not toward understanding, but toward the capability of one day understanding. To such things as these you are not used, therefore you do not fancy you understand them. Neither I nor any man can here help you to understand; but I may, perhaps, help you a little to believe ! '
He went to the door of the closet, gave a low whistle, and stood listening. A moment after, I heard, or seemed to hear, a soft whir of wings, and, looking up, saw a white dove perch for an instant on the top of the shelves over the portrait, thence drop to Mr. Raven's shoulder, and lay her head against his cheek. Only by the motions of their two heads could I tell that they were talking together; I heard nothing. Neither had I moved my eyes from them, when suddenly she was not there, and Mr. Raven came back to his seat.
' Why did you whistle ? ' I asked. ' Surely sound here is not sound there !'
' You are right,' he answered. ' I whistled that you might know I called her. Not the whistle, but what the whistle meant reached her.—There is not a minute to lose : you must go ! '
'1 will at once! ' I replied, and moved for the door.
' You will sleep to-night at my hostelry! ' he said —not as a question, but in a tone of mild authority.
I My heart is with the children,' I replied. ' But if you insist-----'
'I do insist. You can otherwise effect nothing.—I will go with you as far as the mirror, and see you off.'
He rose. There came a sudden shock in the closet.