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In Chapter 2, Lucy Gayheart, an athletic girl,has taken advantage of the good ice skating available on the river while she has been home for Christmas vacation. Even when she should be packing for her return, she remains on the ice and skates with Harry Gordon, who has arrived not long before the crimson sunset. Then, as she and Harry return home in his horse-drawn sleigh, Lucy sees the first star appear, and it brings her "heart into her throat" as this point of "silver light spoke to her like a signal."
- Lucy has skated on the icy river for hours, neglecting her packing. At the end of the chapter, the swift ice skater, Lucy, drowsy from ice skating all afternoon and evening, snuggles under the warm buffalo robes, Harry is quiet, believing that she will drift off to sleep.
- However, suddenly, Lucy stirs at the appearance of the first star, as though it has beckoned her. As it seems to speak to her, it releases in her another "kind of feeling which did not belong here" [in Haverford, her hometown].
- Lucy's thoughts "reach" the star and it "answers." There is a recognition in Lucy of something more, something lasting forever, yet "[T]he flash of understanding lasted but a moment." For Lucy, there is a momentary experience of pathetic fallacy; that is, a moment in which nature is in emotional sympathy with her and she senses her future.
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