About this time there went a rumour throughout the valley that the great man, who was to bear a resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at last. It seems that, many years before, a young man had left the valley and settled at a distant seaport. Gathergold, which was his name, had set up as a shopkeeper and, being sharp in business matters, had become so very rich that it would have taken him a hundred years only to count his wealth. In time he thought of his native valley, and decided to go back there, and end his days where he had been born.
Ernest had been deeply stirred by the idea that the great man, the noble man, the man of prophecy, after so many ages of delay, was at length to be seen in his native valley. While the boy was still gazing up the valley one day and imagining that the Great Stone Face returned his gaze, the noise of wheels was heard, and a crowd of people cried. “Here comes the great Mr Gathergold.”
A carriage, drawn by four horses, dashed round the turn of the road. Within it, thrust partly out of the window appeared the face of an old man with yellow skin.
“The very image of the Great Stone Face!” shouted the people. “Sure enough, the old prophecy is true. Here we have the great man, at last!”
And, what greatly puzzled Ernest, they seemed actually to believe that here was the likeness which they spoke of. He turned away sadly from the wrinkled shrewdness of that unpleasant face, and gazed up the valley, where the Stone Face seemed to say: He will come! Fear not, Ernest; the man will come!
When Earnest turned to be a youth, there seemed to be a rumour in the valley, related to the Great Stone Face's legend. A rich man who left this valley when young started his career as a shopkeeper and turned wealthy in a short duration with his effort and intelligence. He wished to spend his last days in his birthplace and so returned to the valley.
The Rich Man
This aroused Earnest's expectation and desire with which he waited for all these days, that he is about to see a great and noble person much awaited for all these generations. One day, when Earnest, as usual, was staring at the Great Stone Face, he heard people shouting, announcing someone's arrival. He is none but the so-called Great Stone Faced man of the Prophecy. His name was Gathergold and he arrived in a horse-drawn carriage.
People shouted while looking at him (Gathergold) claimed to be the Great Stone Face's exact resemblance, quoting its old prophecy.
Though people accepted him (Gathergold) resembling The Great Stone Face's appearance, it didn't win Earnest's heart, as he couldn't relate Mr.Gathergold with the features of the Great Stone Face. As usual, his intention made him feel that the Great Stone Face was replying to his confusion. The reply was to wait patiently for Great Stone Face, for it will surely come one day.
Meanings of difficult words:
Something that caused to work on the action
Looking deeply at something for a longer period
Something that cause to make a thing happen
Repeating something that has been said earlier
In a state of confusion
Clear decision or judgement of a situation
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. The Great Stone Face I - Nathaniel Hawthorne (pp. 120-125). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.