So speaking, Hester undid the clasp that fastened the scarlet homemade mask, and, taking it from her face, threw it to a safe distance among the withered leaves. The mystic token that she had spent hours sewing in her place of confinement alighted on the hither verge of the stream. With a hand’s-breadth further flight, it would have fallen into the water, and have given the little brook another woe to carry onward, besides the unintelligible yet viral tale which it still kept murmuring about. But there lay the embroidered mask, which some ill-fated wanderer might pick up, attracted by its uncanny corona.
By another impulse, she took off the formal cap that confined her hair, and down it fell upon her shoulders, dark and rich. A crimson flush was glowing on her cheek, that had been long so pale. She began to cough. Dimmesdale was near, dangerously near. Then all was spluttered.