1 One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark, his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had heard her speak from the bed behind him.
2 A moment later he heard the jingle of departing sleigh bells and discerned a figure advancing alone toward the empty expanse of snow before the church.
3 The night was so still that they heard the frozen snow crackle under their feet.
4 Her husband hardly heard what she was saying.
5 His mother had been a talker in her day, but after her "trouble" the sound of her voice was seldom heard, though she had not lost the power of speech.
6 It was only when she drew toward her last illness, and his cousin Zenobia Pierce came over from the next valley to help him nurse her, that human speech was heard again in the house.
7 Suddenly he heard the brisk play of sleigh-bells and a cutter passed him, drawn by a free-going horse.
8 As they sat thus he heard a sound behind him and turned his head.
9 She answered "All right, Ethan," and he heard her singing over the dishes as he went.
10 He stopped short, not grasping what he heard.
11 As the shrill words shot out Ethan heard a tap on the door, which he had drawn shut when he turned back from the threshold.
12 Mattie lifted her hand with a quick gesture, and he heard his wife's step behind him.
13 As he stood there he heard a step behind him and she entered.
14 Beaming maternally on Ethan, she bent over to add: "I on'y just heard from Mr. Hale 'bout Zeena's going over to Bettsbridge to see that new doctor.'"
15 She had not heard Ethan's call because she was sobbing and she did not hear his step till he stood close behind her and laid his hands on her shoulders.