"The Scarlet Letter"
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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     Hester turned again towards Pearl with a crimson blush upon her cheek, a conscious glance aside clergyman, and then a heavy sigh, while, even before she had time to speak, the blush yielded to a deadly pallor.

     "Pearl," said she sadly, "look down at thy feet! There!--before thee!--on the hither side of the brook!"

     The child turned her eyes to the point indicated, and there lay the scarlet letter so close upon the margin of the stream that the gold embroidery was reflected in it.

     "Bring it hither!" said Hester.


     "Come thou and take it up!" answered Pearl.

     "Was ever such a child!" observed Hester aside to the minister. "Oh, I have much to tell thee about her! But, in very truth, she is right as regards this hateful token. I must bear its torture yet a little longer--only a few days longer--until we shall have left this region, and look back hither as to a land which we have dreamed of. The forest cannot hide it! The mid-ocean shall take it from my hand, and swallow it up for ever!"

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