"Little Joe's face brightened at once.
"Dear father," cried he, skipping cheerily to and from, "that strange man
is gone, and the sky and the mountains all seem glad of it!"
"Yes," growled the lime-burner, with an oath, "but he has let the fire go
down, and no thanks to him if five hundred bushels of lime are not spoiled.
If I catch the fellow hereabouts again, I shall feel like tossing him into
the furnace!" With his long pole in his hand, he ascended to the top of the
kiln. After a moment's pause, he called to his son.
"Come up her Joe!" said he.
So little Joe ran up the hillock, and stood by his father's side. The marble
was all burnt into perfect, snow-white lime. But on its surface, in the midst
of the circle,--snow-white too, and thoroughly converted into lime,--lay a
human skeleton, in the attitude of a person who, after long toil, lies down
to long repose. Within the ribs-strange to say-was the shape of a human heart.
"Was the fellow's heart made of marble?" cried Bartram, in some perplexity
at this phenomenon. "At any rate, it is burnt into what looks like special
good lime; and, taking all the bones together, my kiln is half a bushel the
richer for him."
Little Joe's face brightened at once.