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(Reading time: 6 - 12 minutes)
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The Priceless Pearl
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The Priceless Pearl - 14 - Alice Duer Miller - Web Novel

In the few weeks of Pearl's stay she had become attached to the little wooden church on the dunes. She always sat so that she could look out through the door of the south transept, the upper half of which was usually open, and see the ocean; when it was rough it seemed to roll out a deeper accompaniment than the organ's to:


     _Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,_


     _For those in peril on the sea._


There was a tradition that this was always sung.


Sometimes an impatient dog would stand on its hind legs and look in, seeking a praying master; and once a wolfhound had bounded over the half door of one transept and, not finding his owner, had bounded out at the other.


During the sermon Pearl, it must be confessed, was engaged in composing her daily report to Anthony. At last she had accomplished the great achievement--at last she could tell him the thing he most wanted to hear. She made up her mind that she would begin: "All through church I looked at Antonia's pretty little profile under a black hat trimmed with pink roses----" Life presented itself to her in the form of her letters to Wood, thus offsetting the sense of loneliness that Mrs. Conway's mocking aloofness caused her. She was still composing when, after church was over, they walked--Mrs. Conway and Williams ahead and Pearl with Durland on one side and Antonia on the other--the few yards that separated the church from the public

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