When it fell to him to read the lesson towards the close of the office he read it in a veiled voice, lulling his conscience to its music. His soul sank back deeper into depths of contrite peace, no longer able to suffer the pain of dread, and sending forth, as he sank, a faint prayer. But he said: --Gentlemen, the happiest day of my life was the day on which I made my first holy communion. " "Came how--from where?" "From where they come from! She just appeared and stood there-- but not so near.