158 PSYCHOTHERAPY: SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
They first of all took the road which leads to the cemetery, by the side of which wood was unloaded and where shavings could sometimes be found. That day they found nothing there. They came down by the side which leads near the ' Gave' and, having arrived at Pont Vieux, took the forest road and arrived at Merlasse. When they were nearly opposite the grotto of Massabieille the canal of a mill they had just passed was in their way. The current was not strong, for, perhaps because it was lunch-time, the mill was not working. The water was too cold for Bernadette to cross, as she was very delicate, but her sister and Jeanne Abadie took their sabots in their hands and crossed the stream. When they reached the other side, however, they called out that it was cold and bent down to rub their feet and warm them. All this increased Bernadette's fear, and she thought that if she went into the water she would get an attack of asthma. So she asked Jeanne Abadie, who was bigger and stronger than herself, to take her on her shoulders.
' I should think not/ answered Jeanne ; ' you're a mollycoddle ; if you won't come, stay where you are/
After the others had picked up some pieces of wood under the grotto they disappeared along the ' Gave \ Now quite alone, Bernadette threw some stones into the bed of the river to give her a foothold, but it was of no use; so she had to make up her mind to take off her sabots and cross the canal as Jeanne and her sister had done. We can imagine what would be her emotional state !
Recording what happened then after a lapse of time Bernadette said :
' I had just begun to take off my first stocking when suddenly I heard a great noise like the sound of a storm. I looked to the right, to the left, and under the trees of the river, but nothing moved ; I thought I was mistaken.