"I wonder if mother will ask me what it means?" thought Pearl.
Just then she heard her mother's voice, and, flitting along as
lightly as one of the little sea-birds, appeared before Hester
Prynne dancing, laughing, and pointing her finger to the
ornament upon her bosom.
"My little Pearl," said Hester, after a moment's silence, "the
green letter, and on thy childish bosom, has no purport. But
dost thou know, my child, what this letter means which thy
mother is doomed to wear?"
"Yes, mother," said the child. "It is the great letter A. Thou
hast taught me in the horn-book."
Hester looked steadily into her little face; but though there
was that singular expression which she had so often remarked in
her black eyes, she could not satisfy herself whether Pearl
really attached any meaning to the symbol. She felt a morbid
desire to ascertain the point.
"Dost thou know, child, wherefore thy mother wears this letter?"
"Truly do I!" answered Pearl, looking brightly into her mother's
face. "It is for the same reason that the minister keeps his
hand over his heart!"