CHAPTER 6 - THE SECOND VISIT


                                                                                                                                      
The longed-for day had come, and noon found the three young friends waiting, joyous and expectant, a short distance from the green oak tree. There were also about sixty onlookers whom curiosity had drawn to the spot. Neither the Santos nor the Martos were there. In fact, for long thy had forbidden their offspring to come but, finally, puzzled by the candour and the confidence with which the children expected the mysterious lady, they had weakened to their entreaties and granted permission to revisit the Cova.

While waiting, they recited the rosary. At the end, Lucy rose and began to arrange more neatly the kerchief she wore on her hair. Someone asked if it would be much longer and she replied, "No." The younger children had just begun another rosary when the older girl cried: "The light! She is coming!"

All three ran closer to the oak tree and there she was, mantled in the same lovely light, radiant and good to see!

Lucy was terribly affected by this warning of the padre. The sinister question haunted her mind ~ could it be the devil's work? She began to have horrible dreams during the night, and became sick at heart. So great was the torment that she was driven to a resolve not to go to the Cova da Iria the next time. Jacinta wept and Francis pleaded, but all to no avail. The ten-year old child was drinking deep of the chalice of suffering, which the plans of God and of the Immaculate Virgin entailed for her.

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