The Chase of Saint-Castin and Other Stories of the French in the New World
Mary Hartwell Catherwood
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It was anguish to look into the faces of her kindred and friends as into the faces of hounds who live, it is true, but a lower life, made up of chasing and eating. She wondered why she was created different from them. A loyalty of race constrained her sometimes to imitate them; but it was imitation; she could not be a savage. Then Father Petit came, preceding Saint-Castin, and set up his altar and built his chapel. The Abenaqui girl was converted as soon as she looked in at the door and saw the gracious image of Mary lifted up to be her pattern of womanhood. Those silent and terrible days, when she lost interest in the bustle of living, and felt an awful homesickness for some unknown good, passed entirely away. Religion opened an invisible world. She sprang toward it, lying on the wings of her spirit and gazing forever above. The minutest observances of the Church were learned with an exactness which delighted a priest who had not too many encouragements. Finally, she begged her father to let her make