darkness came on, the impressions of the day did but return again more vividly and concentrate  themselves upon the inward sense. Observance, loyal concurrence in some high purpose for him, passive waiting on the hand one might miss in the darkness, with the gift or gifts therein of which he had the presentiment, and upon the due acceptance of which the true fortune of life would turn; these were the hereditary traits alert in Gaston, as he lay awake in the absolute, moon-lit, stillness, his outward ear attentive for the wandering footsteps which, through that wide, lightly-accentuated country, often came and went about the house, with weird suggestions of a dim passage to and fro, and of an infinite distance. He would rise, as the footsteps halted perhaps below his window, to answer the questions of the travellers, pilgrims, or labourers who had missed their way from farm to farm, or halting soldier seeking guidance; terrible or terror-stricken companies sometimes, rudely or piteously importunate to be l
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