The Price of Love
"Yes, the best judges say he showed very remarkable promise. It's fading, I fear. I ought to cover it up, but somehow I can't fancy covering it up--"
The hand that had so remarkably promised had lain mouldering for a quarter of a century. Mrs. Maldon sometimes saw it, fleshless, on a cage-like skeleton in the dark grave. The next moment she would see herself tending its chilblains.
And if she was not peculiar, neither was she waning. No! Seventy-two--but not truly old! How could she be truly old when she could see, hear, walk a mile without stopping, eat anything whatever, and dress herself unaided? And that hair of hers! Often she was still a young wife, or a young widow. She was not preparing for death; she had prepared for death in the seventies. She expected to live on in calm satisfaction through indefinite decades. She savoured life pleasantly, for its daily security was impregnable. She had forgotten grief.
When she looked up at Rachel and benevolently nodded to h