He let his eyes, shining with a quiet light of joy, rest upon her, and said:
'Dear sister, why did you wish to ruin your immortal soul? Temptations must come into the world, but woe to him by whom temptation comes. Pray that God may forgive us!'
She listened and looked at him. Suddenly she heard the sound of something dripping. She looked down and saw that blood was flowing from his hand and down his cassock.
'What have you done to your hand?' She remembered the sound she had heard, and seizing the little lamp ran out into the porch. There on the floor she saw the bloody finger. She returned with her face paler than his and was about to speak to him, but he silently passed into the back cell and fastened the door.
'Forgive me!' she said. 'How can I atone for my sin?'
She dressed hurriedly and silently, and when ready sat waiting in her furs. The sledge-bells were heard outside.
'Father Sergius! I will change my life. Do not forsake me!'
'Forgive me--and give me your blessing!'