Pages 41-44 Summary

Celestine watches from behind as Mary slides face first down the icy slope. Everything happens so quickly as Mary hits the ice and rolls twice; her face bloodies and one of the nuns runs to help her immediately. Celestine hears a scream and sees Sita trying to draw attention to herself by staggering dizzily at the sight of her cousin’s blood and crying out feebly (but piercingly) for help. Celestine knows Sita is much stronger even than she is, so Celestine ignores Sita.

Celestine follows Mary and the nun but is shooed away at the infirmary door. Sister Hugo’s voice is shaking as she tells Celestine to hurry to the convent and get one of the nuns with a camera because “it may not last.” Celestine is confused but does as she is told. By the time she reaches the convent, Celestine realizes Mary’s fall has caused a miracle and shouts it loudly to the sisters.

The schoolyard is in chaos and later the photograph (taken by Sister Leopolda) of the face in the ice will be referred to in textbooks as The Manifestation At Argus. Mary’s story will be written about as a miracle, but there will be no mention of Sister Leopolda who scourges herself bloody near the site one night.

Amid the confusion, Celestine sneaks back into the school and finds Mary, her face already turning purple with bruises. She tells Celestine that the image is a miracle, but it is Karl’s image. She is annoyed that her brother will not leave her alone. Celestine leaves the infirmary and goes to look at the face. Although she kneels for a long time trying to see Christ’s face, she does not see it. She looks again in the morning; her brother Russell sees it, but she still does not.