"Go now, child, and thou shalt tease me as thou wilt another
time," cried Hester Prynne. "But do not stray far. Keep where
thou canst hear the babble of the brook."
The child went singing away, following up the current of the
brook, and striving to mingle a more lightsome cadence with its
melancholy voice. But the little stream would not be comforted,
and still kept telling its unintelligible secret of some very
mournful mystery that had happened--or making a prophetic
lamentation about something that was yet to happen--within the
verge of the dismal forest. So Pearl, who had enough of shadow
in her own little life, chose to break off all acquaintance with
this repining brook. She set herself, therefore, to gathering
violets and wood-anemones, and some scarlet columbines that she
found growing in the crevice of a high rock.