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´╗┐Title: Added Upon - A Story
Author: Anderson, Nephi, 1865-1923
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Added Upon - A Story" ***

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ADDED UPON

A Story

by

NEPHI ANDERSON

Author of "The Castle Builder,"
"A Daughter of the North,"
"John St. John," "Romance of a Missionary," etc.



  "_And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon;
  ... and they who keep their second estate shall have glory
  added upon their heads for ever and ever_."



Ninth Edition
The Deseret News Press
Salt Lake City, Utah
Copyright 1898
By Nephi Anderson.
Copyright 1912
By Nephi Anderson.
All Rights Reserved.



PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.


A religion, to be worth while, must give satisfactory answers to the
great questions of life: What am I? Whence came I? What is the object of
this life? and what is my destiny? True, we walk by faith, and not by
sight, but yet the eye of faith must have some light by which to see.
Added Upon is an effort to give in brief an outline of "the scheme of
things," "the ways of God to men" as taught by the Gospel of Christ and
believed in by the Latter-day Saints; and to justify and praise these
ways, by a glance along the Great Plan, from a point in the distant past
to a point in the future--not so far away, it is to be hoped.

On subjects where little of a definite character is revealed, the story,
of necessity, could not go into great detail. It is suggestive only; but
it is hoped that the mind of the reader, illumined by the Spirit of the
Lord, will be able to fill in all the details that the heart may desire,
to wander at will in the garden of the Lord, and dwell in peace in the
mansions of the Father.

Many have told me that when they read Added Upon, it seemed to have been
written directly to them. My greatest reward is to know that the little
story has touched a sympathetic chord in the hearts of the Latter-day
Saints, and that it has brought to some aching hearts a little ray of
hope and consolation.

Nephi Anderson.

Liverpool, November 5, 1904.



PREFACE TO THE FIFTH AND ENLARGED EDITION.


This story of things past, things present, and things to come has been
before the Latter-day Saints for fourteen years. During this time, it
seems to have won for itself a place in their hearts and in their
literature. A reviewer of the book when it was first published said that
"so great and grand a subject merits a more elaborate treatment." Many
since then have said the story should be "added upon," and the present
enlarged edition is an attempt to meet in a small way these demands. The
truths restored to the earth through "Mormonism" are capable of
illimitable enlargement; and when we contemplate these glorious
teachings, we are led to exclaim with the poet:

  "Wide, and more wide, the kindling bosom swells,
  As love inspires, and truth its wonders tells,
  The soul enraptured tunes the sacred lyre,
  And bids a worm of earth to heaven aspire,
  'Mid solar systems numberless, to soar,
  The death of love and science to explore."

  N.A.

  Salt Lake City, Utah,
     May, 1912.



PART FIRST.


  "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of
  old.

  "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth
  was.

  "When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no
  fountains abounding with water.

  "Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought
  forth:

  "While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest
  part of the dust of the world.

  "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon
  the face of the depth:

  "When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the
  fountains of the deep:

  "When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his
  commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

  "Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his
  delight, rejoicing always before him."--_Prov. 8:22-30._



ADDED UPON

  "Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?...
  When the morning stars sang together, and all the Sons
  of God shouted for joy?"--_Job 38:4,7._


The hosts of heaven--sons and daughters of God--were assembled. The many
voices mingling, rose and fell in one great murmur like the rising and
falling of waves about to sink to rest. Then all tumult ceased, and a
perfect silence reigned.

"Listen," said one to another by his side, "Father's will is heard."

A voice thrilled the multitude. It was clear as a crystal bell, and so
distinct that every ear heard, so sweet, and so full of music that every
heart within its range beat with delight.

"And now, children of God," were the words, "ye have arrived at a point
in this stage of your development where a change must needs take place.
Living, as ye have, all this time in the presence of God, and under the
control of the agencies which here exist, ye have grown from children in
knowledge to your present condition. God is pleased with you--the most
of you, and many of you have shown yourselves to be spirits of power,
whom He will make His future rulers. Ye have been taught many of the
laws of light and life, whereby the universe is created and controlled.
True, ye have not all advanced alike, or along the same lines. Some have
delighted more in the harmonies of music, while others have studied the
beauties of God's surrounding works. Each hath found pleasure and profit
in something; but there is one line of knowledge that is closed to you
all. In your present spiritual state, ye have not come in contact with
the grosser materials of existence. Your experiences have been wholly
within the compass of spiritual life, and there is a whole world of
matter, about which ye know nothing. All things have their opposites. Ye
have partly a conception of good and evil, but the many branches into
which these two principles sub-divide, cannot be understood by you.
Again, ye all have had the hope given you that at some time ye would
have the opportunity to become like unto your parents, even to attain to
a body of flesh and bones, a tabernacle with which ye may pass on to
perfection, and inherit that which God inherits. If, then, ye ever
become creators and rulers, ye must first become acquainted with the
existence of properties, laws, and organization of matter other than
that which surround you in this estate.

"To be over all things, ye must have passed through all things, and have
had experience with them. It is now the Father's pleasure to grant you
this. Ye who continue steadfast, shall be added upon, and be permitted
to enter the second estate; and if ye abide in that, ye shall be further
increased and enlarged and be worthy of the third estate, where glory
shall be added upon your heads forever and ever.

"Even now, out in space, rolls another world--with no definite form, and
void; but God's Spirit is there, moving upon it, and organizing the
elements. In time, it will be a fit abode for you."

The voice ceased. Majesty stood looking out upon the silent multitude.
Then glad hearts could contain no more, and the children of God gave a
great shout of joy. Songs of praise and gladness came from the mighty
throng, and its music echoed through the realms of heaven!

Then silence fell once more. The Voice was heard again:

"Now, how, and upon what principles will your salvation, exaltation, and
eternal glory be brought about? It has been decided in the councils of
eternity, and I will tell you.

"When the earth is prepared, two will be sent to begin the work of
begetting bodies for you. It needs be that a law be given these first
parents. This law will be broken, thus bringing sin into the new world.
Transgression is followed by punishment; and thus ye, when ye are born
into the world, will come in contact with misery, pain, suffering, and
death. Ye will have a field for the exercise of justice and mercy, love
and hatred. Ye will suffer, but your suffering will be the furnace
through which ye will be tested. Ye will die, and your bodies will
return to the earth again. Surrounded by earthly influences, ye will
sin. Then, how can ye return to the Father's presence, and regain your
tabernacles? Hear the plan:

"One must be sent to the earth with power over death. He will be the
Son, the only begotten in the flesh. He must be sinless, yet bear the
sins of the world. Being slain, He will satisfy the eternal law of
justice. He will go before and bring to pass the resurrection from the
dead. He will give unto you another law, obeying which, will free you
from your personal sins, and set you again on the way of eternal life.
Thus will your agency still be yours, that ye may act in all things as
ye will."

       *       *       *       *       *

A faint murmur ran through the assembly.

Then spoke the Father: "Whom shall I send?"

One arose, like unto the Father--a majestic form, meek, yet noble--the
Son; and thus he spoke:

"Father, here am I, send me. Thy will be done, and the glory be thine
forever."

Then another arose. Erect and proud he stood. His eyes flashed, his lip
curled in scorn. Bold in his bearing, brilliant and influential,
Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, spoke:

"Behold I, send me. I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind,
that not one soul shall be lost; and surely I will do it; wherefore,
give me thine honor."

Then spoke one as with authority:

"Lucifer, thy plan would destroy the agency of man--his most priceless
gift. It would take away his means of eternal advancement. Your offer
cannot be accepted."

The Father looked out over the vast throng; then clearly the words rang
out:

"I will send the first!"

But the haughty spirit yielded not. His countenance became fiercer in
its anger, and as he strode from the assembly, many followed after him.

Then went the news abroad throughout heaven of the council and the
Father's proposed plan; of Christ's offer, and Lucifer's rebellious
actions. The whole celestial realm was agitated, and contention and
strife began to wage among the children of God.

Returning from the council chamber of the celestial glance through the
paths of the surrounding gardens, came two sons of God. Apparently, the
late events had affected them greatly. The assembly had dispersed, and,
save now and then a fleeting figure, they were alone. They were engaged
in earnest conversation.

"But, Brother Sardus," said one, "how can you look at it in that light?
Lucifer was surely in the wrong. And then, how haughty and overbearing
he was."

"I cannot agree with you, Homan. We have a right to think and to act as
we please, and I consider Lucifer in the right. Think of this
magnificent offer, to bring back in glory to Father's presence, every
one of His children, and that, too, without condition on their part."

"There! He, and you with him, talk about your rights to think and act as
you please. Have you not that right? Have you not used it freely in
refusing to listen to Father's counsel? Do not I exercise it in that I
listen and agree with Him? But let me tell you, brother, what your
reasoning will lead to."

"I know it--but go on."

"No, you do not; you do not seem to understand."

"Perhaps you will explain," said the other haughtily.

"Brother, be not angry. It is because of my love for you that I speak
thus. It is evident that we, in that future world of experience and
trial, will retain our agencies to choose between the opposites that
will be presented to us. Without that privilege, we should cease to be
intelligences, and become as inanimate things. How could we be proved
without this power? How could we make any progress without it?"

"I grant it all."

"Then, what would Lucifer do? He would save you from the dangers of the
world, whether you would or not. He would take away any need of volition
or choice on our part. Do what we would, sink as deep into sin as we
could, he would save us notwithstanding, without a trial, without a
purging process, with all our sins upon us; and in this condition we are
expected to go on to perfection, and become kings and priests unto God
our Father, exercising power and dominion over our fellow creatures.
Think of it! Evil would reign triumphant. Celestial order would be
changed to chaos."

The other said not a word. He could not answer his brother's array of
arguments.

"Dear brother," continued Homan, "never before have I received such
sorrow as when I saw you follow that rebellious Son of Morning.
Henceforth quit his company. I fear for him and his followers."

"But he has such power over me, Homan. His eloquence seems to hold me,
and his arguments certainly convince me. But I must go--and brother,
come with me to the assembly which we are to hold. Many will be there
from far and near. Will you come?"

"I cannot promise you, Sardus. Perhaps I may call and see what is said
and done."

Then they parted.

Homan went to the gathering of which Sardus had spoken, and as had been
intimated, he met many strange faces. Everywhere in the conversation,
serious topics seemed to be uppermost. The singing was not as usual. The
music, though always sweet, was sadder than ever before, and a discord
seemed to have crept into the even flow of life's sweet strain. Homan
had no desire to talk. He wandered from group to group with a smile for
all. Sardus was in a heated discussion with some kindred spirits; but
Homan did not join them. Under the beautiful spread of the trees and by
the fountains, sat and walked companies of sons and daughters of God.
Ah, they were fair to look upon, and Homan wondered at the creations of
the Father. No two were alike, yet all bore an impress of the Creator,
and each had an individual beauty of his own.

Strolling into an arbor of vines, Homan, did not observe the fair
daughter seated there until he turned to leave; and then he saw her. She
seemed absorbed in thought, and her eyes rested on the shiftings
throngs.

"A sweet face, and a strange one," thought he, as he went up to her and
spoke:

"Sister, what are you thinking about?"

She turned and looked at him, and then a pleased smile overspread her
face.

"Shall I tell you?"

"Do, I beg of you. May I sit here?" He seated himself opposite.

"Yes, brother, sit. My thoughts had such a strange ending that I will
tell you what they were. I have been sitting here looking at these many
faces, both new and old, and studying their varied beauties; but none
seems to me to answer for my ideal. So I have been taking a little from
each face, putting all together to form another. I had just completed
the composition, and was looking admiringly at the new form when you
came and--and--"

"Drove away your picture. That I should not have done."

"No; it was not exactly that. It is so odd." She hesitated and turned
away her head. Then she looked up into his face again and said: "My
dream face seemed to blend with yours."

They looked at each other strangely.

"Do you often make dream pictures?" asked he.

"Yes, of late; but I sometimes think I should not."

"Why?"

"Because of them any great events that are taking place around us daily
which need our careful thought and consideration. I have been trying to
comprehend this great plan of our Father's in regards to us. I have
asked Mother many questions, and she has explained, but I cannot fully
understand--only, it all seems so wonderful, and our Father is so good
and great and wise;--but how could He be otherwise, having Himself come
up through the school of the eternities?"

Her words were music to Homan's ear. Her voice was soft and sweet.

"Yet it is very strange. To think that we shall forget all we know, and
that our memories will fail to recall this world at all."

"Yes, it is all strange to us, but it cannot be otherwise. You see, if
we knew all about what we really are and what our past has been, mortal
experiences would not be the test or the school that Father intends it
to be."

"That is true; but think of being shut out, even in our thoughts, from
this world. And then, I hear that down on earth there will be much sin
and misery, and a power to tempt and lead astray. O, if we can but
resist it, dear brother. What will this power be, do you know?"

"I have only my thoughts about it. I know nothing for a certainty; but
fear not, something will prompt us to the right, and we have this hope
that Father's Spirit will not forsake us. And above all, our Elder
Brother has been accepted as an offering for all the sins we may do. He
will come to us in purity, and with power to loose the bands of death.
He will bring to us Father's law whereby we may overcome the world and
its sin."

"You said the bands of death. What is death?"

"Death is simply the losing of our earthly tabernacles for a time. We
shall be separated from them, but the promise is that our Elder Brother
will be given power to raise them up again. With them again united, we
shall become even as our parents are now, eternal, perfected,
celestialized beings."

As they conversed, both faces shone with a soft, beautiful light. The
joy within was traced on their countenances, and for some time it was
too deep for words. Homan was drawn to this beautiful sister. All were
pleasing to his eye, but he was unusually attracted to one who took such
pleasure in talking about matters nearest his heart.

"I must be going," said she.

"May I go with you?"

"Come."

They wandered silently among the people, then out through the
surrounding gardens, listening to the music. Instinctively, they clung
to each other, nor bestowed more than a smile or a word on passing
brother or sister.

"What do you think of Lucifer and his plan?" asked she.

"The talented Son of the Morning is in danger of being cast out if he
persists in his course. As to his plan, it is this: 'If I cannot rule, I
will ruin.'"

"And if he rule, it will still be ruin, it seems to me."

"True; and he is gaining power over many."

"Yes; he has talked with me. He is a bewitching person; but his
fascination has something strange about it which I do not like."

"I am glad of that."

She looked quickly at him, and then they gazed again into each other's
eyes.

"By what name may I call you?" he asked.

"My name is Delsa."

"Will you tell me where you live? May I come and talk with you again? It
will give me much pleasure."

"Which pleasure will be mutual," said she.

They parted at the junction of two paths.



II.

  "How art thou fallen from heaven, O, Lucifer, son of the
  morning."--_Isaiah 14:12._


Never before in the experiences of the intelligences of heaven, had such
dire events been foreshadowed. A crisis was certainly at hand. Lucifer
was fast gaining influence among the spirits--and they had their agency
to follow whom they would. The revolting spirit had skill in argument;
and the light-minded, the discontented, and the rebellious were won
over.

To be assured eternal glory and power without an effort on their part,
appealed to them as something to be desired. To be untrammeled with
laws, to be free to act at pleasure, without jeopardizing their future
welfare, certainly was an attractive proposition. The pleasures in the
body would be of a nature hitherto unknown. Why not be free to enjoy
them? Why this curb on the passions and desires? "Hail to Lucifer and
his plan! We will follow him. He is in the right."

Many of the mighty and noble children of God arrayed themselves on the
side of Christ, their Elder Brother, and waged war against Lucifer's
pernicious doctrine. One of the foremost among them was Michael. He was
unceasing in his efforts to bring all under the authority of the Father.
The plan which had been proposed, and which had been accepted by the
majority, had been evolved from the wisdom of past eternities. It had
exalted worlds before. It had been proved wise and just. It was founded
on correct principles. By it only could the spiritual creation go on in
its evolution to greater and to higher things. It was the will of the
Father, to whom they all owed their existence as progressive, spiritual
organizations. To bow to Him was no humiliation. To honor and obey Him
was their duty. To follow the First Born, Him whom the Father had chosen
as mediator, was no more than a Father should request. Any other plan
would lead to confusion. Thus reasoned the followers of Christ.

Then there were others, not valiant in either cause, who stood on
neutral ground. Without strength of character to come out boldly, they
aided neither the right nor the wrong. Weak-minded as they were, they
could not be trusted, nor could Lucifer win them over.

Meanwhile, the earth, rolling in space, evolved from its chaotic state,
and in time became a fit abode for the higher creations of God.

Then the crisis came. The edict went forth that for many of the sons and
daughters of God the first estate was about to end, and that the second
would be ushered in. Lucifer had now won over many of the hosts of
heaven. These had failed to keep their first estate. Now there would be
a separation.

A council was convened, and the leading spirits were summoned. All
waited for the outcome in silent awe.

Then came the decision, spoken with heavenly authority:

"Ye valiant and loyal sons and daughters of God, blessed are ye for your
righteousness and your faithfulness to God and His cause. Your reward is
that ye shall be permitted to dwell on the new earth, and in tabernacles
of flesh continue in the eternal course of progress, as has been marked
out and explained to you."

Then, to the still defiant forms of Lucifer and his adherents this was
said:

"Lucifer, son of the morning, thou hast withdrawn from the Father many
of the children of heaven. They have their agency, and have chosen to
believe thy lies. They have fallen with thee from before the face of
God. Thus hast thou used the power given thee. Thou hast said in thy
heart, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will be like
the Most High! Thou hast sought to usurp power, to take a kingdom that
does not belong to thee. God holds you all as in the hollow of His hand;
yet He has not restrained thine agency. He has been patient and
longsuffering with you. Rebellious children of heaven, the Father's
bosom heaves with sorrow for you; but justice claims its own--your
punishment is that you be cast out of heaven. Bodies of flesh and bones
ye shall not have; but ye shall wander without tabernacles over the face
of the earth. Ye shall be 'reserved in everlasting chains under darkness
unto the judgment of the great day.'"

Thus went forth the decree of the Almighty, and with it the force of His
power. Lucifer and many of the hosts of heaven were cast down. The whole
realm was thrilled with the power of God. The celestial elements were
stirred to their depths. Heaven wept over the fallen spirits, and the
cry went out, "Lo, lo, he is fallen, even the Son of the Morning."



III.

  "For thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."--_John
  17:24._


There was a calm in heaven like unto that of a summer morning after a
night of storm.

Throughout the whole strife, the dark clouds of evil had been gathering.
In the fierce struggle, the spirits of heaven had been storm-tossed as
on two contending waves; but when Lucifer and his forces were cast out,
the atmosphere became purged of its uncleanness, and a sweet peace
brooded over all. Save for sorrow for the lost ones, nothing marred the
perfect joy of heaven. All now looked forward to the consummation of
that plan whereby they would become inhabitants of another world, fitted
for their school of experience in the flesh. All prepared themselves
with this end in view.

None was more grateful to his Father than Homan. In the midst of the
strife, he had done what he could for what he thought was right. All his
influence had been used with the wavering ones, and many were those who
owed him a debt of gratitude. But his greatest reward was in the peace
which dwelt within him and the joy with which he was greeted by all who
knew him.

Through it all, Homan's thoughts had often been with the fair sister
Delsa; and often he had sought her and talked with her. It pleased him
greatly to see the earnestness and energy with which she defended the
cause of the Father. He was drawn to her more than to the many others
who were equally valiant. As he thought of it, its strangeness occurred
to him. Why should it be so? He did not know. Delsa was fair; so were
all the daughters of God. She had attained to great intelligence; so had
thousands of others. Then wherein lay the secret of the power which drew
him to her?

The vastness of the spiritual world held enough for study, research, and
for occupation. None needed to be idle, for there were duties to be
performed, as much here as in any other sphere of action. In the
Father's house are many mansions.

In the one where Delsa lived, she and Homan sat in earnest conversation.
Through the opening leading to the garden appeared the stately form of
Sardus. Homan sprang to meet him and greeted him joyously:

"Welcome, Brother Sardus, welcome!"

Delsa arose.

"This is Brother Sardus," said Homan, "and this is Sister Delsa."

"Welcome, brother," said she. "Come and sit with us."

"Sardus," continued Homan, "I thought you lost. I have not met you for a
long time. You remember our last conversation? Sardus, what joy to know
that you are on the safe side, that you did not fall with Lucifer--"

"S--h, that name. Dear brother, he tempted me sorely, but I overcame
him."

"But we are shortly to meet him on new ground," continued Homan. "As
seducing spirits, he and his followers will still fight against the
anointed Son. They will not yield. Not obtaining bodies themselves, they
will seek to operate through those of others."

"Now we know how temptation and sin will come into the world," said
Delsa. "God grant that we may overcome these dangers again, as we once
have done."

They conversed for some time; then Sardus departed to perform some duty.

"I, too, must go," said Delsa. "A company of sisters is soon to leave
for earth, and I am going to say farewell to them."

"Delsa, you do not go with them? You are not leaving me?"

"No, Homan, my time is not yet."

"May we not go together?--but there--that is as Father wills. He will
ordain for the best. There are nations yet to go to the earth, and we
shall have our allotted time and place."

       *       *       *       *       *

A group of persons was engaged in earnest conversation, when a messenger
approached. He raised his hand for silence, and then announced:

"I come from the Father on an errand to you."

The company gave him close attention, and he continued: "It is
pertaining to some of our brothers and sisters who have gone before us
into earth-life. I shall have to tell you about them so that you may
understand. A certain family of earth-children has fallen into evil
ways. Not being very strong for the truth before they left us, their
experiences in the other world have not made them stronger. This family,
it seems, has become rooted in false doctrine and wrong living, so that
those who come to them from us partake also of their error and unbelief
of the truth. As you know, kinship and environment are powerful agencies
in forming character, and it appears that none of the Father's children
have so far been able to withstand the tendency to wrong which is
exerted on all who come to this family."

The messenger paused and looked around on the listening group. Then he
continued: "The Father bids me ask if any of you are willing to go in
earth-life to this family, become kin to those weak-hearted ones--for
their salvation."

There was a long pause as if all were considering the proposition. The
messenger waited.

"Brother," asked one, "is there not danger that he who goes on this
mission might himself come under the influence you speak of to such an
extent that he also would be lost to the good, and thus make a failure
of his mission?"

"In the earth-life, as here," replied the messenger, "all have their
agency. It is, therefore, possible that those who take upon themselves
this mission--for there must be two, male and female--to give way to the
power of evil, and thus fail in their errand. But, consider this: the
Father has sent me to you. He knows you, your hearts, your faithfulness,
your strength. He knows whom He is asking to go into danger for the sake
of saving souls. Yes, friends, the Father knows, and this ought to be
enough for you."

The listeners bowed their heads as if ashamed of the doubting, fearful
thought. Then in the stillness, one spoke as if to herself: "To be a
savior,--to share in the work of our Elder Brother! O, think of it!"
Then the speaker raised her head quickly. "May I go, may I?" she
questioned eagerly.

"And I," "and I," came from others.

"Sister, you will do for one," said the messenger to her who had first
spoken. "And now, we need a brother--yes, you, brother, will do." This
to one who was pressing forward, asking to be chosen.

"Yes, yes," continued the messenger, as he smiled his pleasure on the
company, "I see that the Father knows you all."

"But," faltered the sister who had been chosen, "what are we to do? May
we not know?"

"Not wholly," was the reply. "Do you not remember what you have been
taught, that a veil is drawn over the eyes of all who enter mortality,
and the memory of this world is taken away; but this I may tell you,
that by the power of your spiritual insight and moral strength you will
be able to exert a correcting influence over your brothers and sisters
in the flesh, and especially over those of your kin. Then again, when
you hear the gospel of our Elder Brother preached, it will have a
familiar sound to you and you will receive it gladly. Then you will
become teachers to your households and a light unto your families.
Again, not only to those in the flesh will you minister. Many will have
passed from earth-life in ignorance of the gospel of salvation when you
come. These must have the saving ordinances of the gospel performed for
them, so that when they some time receive the truth, the necessary rites
will have been performed. This work, also, is a part of your mission--to
enter into the Temples of the Lord, male and female, each for his and
her kind, and do this work."

A sister, pressing timidly forward near to him who had been chosen, took
his hand, and looked pleadingly into the face of the messenger. "May not
I, too, go?" she asked. "I believe I could help a little."

The messenger smiled at her, seeing to whose hand she clung. "I think
so," he said; "but we shall see."

"When do we go?" asked the brother.

"Not yet. Abide the will of the Father,--and peace be with you all."

He left them in awed silence. Then, presently, they began to speak to
each other of the wonderful things they had heard and the call that had
come to some of them.

Times and seasons, nations and peoples had come and gone. Millions of
the sons and daughters of God had passed through the earthly school, and
had gone on to other fields of labor, some with honor, others with
dishonor. God's spiritual intelligences, in their innumerable gradations
were being allotted their times and places. The scheme of things
inaugurated by the Father was working out its legitimate results.

Homan's time had come for him to leave his spiritual home. He was now to
take the step, which, though temporarily downward, would secure him a
footing by which to climb to greater heights. Delsa was still in her
first estate. So also was Sardus. They, with a company, were gathered to
bid Homan farewell, and thus they spoke:

"We do not know," Homan was saying, "whether or not we shall meet on
the earth. Our places and callings may be far apart, and we may never
know or recognize each other until that day when we shall meet again in
the mansions of our Father."

"I am thankful for one thing: I understand that a more opportune time in
which to fill our probation has never been known on the earth. The
Gospel exists there in its fulness, and the time of utter spiritual
darkness has gone. The race is strong and can give us sound bodies. Now,
if we are worthy, we shall, no doubt, secure a parentage that will give
us those powers of mind and body which are needed to successfully combat
the powers of evil."

It was no new doctrine to them, but they loved to dwell upon the
glorious theme.

"We have been taught that we shall get that position to which our
preparation here entitles us. Existence is eternal, and its various
stages grade naturally into one another, like the different departments
of a school."

"Some have been ordained to certain positions of trust. Father knows us
all, and understands what we will do. Many of our mighty ones have
already gone, and many are yet with us awaiting Father's will."

"I was once quite impatient. Everything seemed to pass so slowly, I
thought; but now I see in it the wisdom of the Father. What confusion
would result if too many went to the earth-life at once. The experience
of those who go before are for our better reception."

"Sardus," said Homan, "I hear that you are taking great delight in
music."

"That is expressing the truth mildly, dear Homan. Lately I can think of
nothing else."

"What is your opinion of a person being so carried away with one
subject?" asked one.

"I was going to say," answered Homan, "that I think there is danger in
it. Some I know who neglect every other duty except the cultivation of a
certain gift. I think we ought to grow into a perfectly rounded
character, cultivating all of Father's gifts to us, but not permitting
any of them to become an object of worship."

"Remember, we take with us our various traits," said Delsa. "I think,
Homan, your view is correct. It is well enough to excel in one thing,
but that should not endanger our harmonious development."

"I have noticed, Delsa, that you are quite an adept at depicting the
beautiful in Father's creations."

"I?" she asked; "there is no danger of my becoming a genius in that
line. I do not care enough for it, though I do a little of it."

Thus they conversed; then they sang songs. Tunes born of heavenly melody
thrilled them. After a time they separated, and Homan would have gone
his way alone, but Delsa touched him on the arm.

"Homan, there is something I wish to tell you," she said. "May I walk
with you?"

"Instead I will go with you," he replied.

They went on together.

"I, too, soon am going to earth," she said.

"Is it true?"

"Yes; Mother has informed me and I have been preparing for some time.
Dear Homan, I am so glad, still the strange uncertainty casts a peculiar
feeling over me. Oh, if we could but be classmates in the future
school."

"Father may order it that way," he replied. "He knows our desires, and
if they are righteous and for our good He may see that they are
gratified. Do you go soon?"

"Yes; but not so soon as you. You will go before and prepare a welcome
for me. Then I will come." She smiled up into his face.

"By faith we see afar," he replied.

"Yes; we live by faith," she added.

Hand in hand, they went. They spoke no more, but communed with each
other through a more subtle channel of silence. Celestial melodies rang
in their ears; the celestial landscape gladdened their eyes; the peace
of God, their Father, was in their hearts. They walked hand in hand for
the last time in this, their first estate.



PART SECOND.

  "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
  The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
      And cometh from afar.
    Not in entire forgetfulness
    And not in utter nakedness,
  But trailing clouds of glory do we come
    From God who is our home."

--_Wordsworth._

  "Two shall be born the whole wide world apart,
  And speak in different tongues and have no thought
  Each of the other's being, and no heed;
  And these o'er unknown seas and unknown lands
  Shall cross, escaping wreck, defying death;
  And all unconsciously shape every act
  And bend each wandering step to this one end--
  That, one day, out of darkness they shall meet
  And read life's meaning in each other's eyes."

--_Susan Marr Spalding._



I.

  "Even a child is known by his doings."--_Prov. 20:11._


How it did rain! For two long months the sky had been one unchangeable
color of blue; but now the dark clouds hung low and touched the horizon
at every point dropping their long-accumulated water on the thirsty
barrens, soaking the dried-up fields and meadows. The earth was thirsty,
and the sky had at last taken pity. It rained all day. The water-ditches
along the streets of the village ran thick and black. The house-wife's
tubs and buckets under the dripping eaves were overrunning. The dust was
washed from the long rows of trees which lined the streets.

It rained steadily all over the valley. The creek which came from the
mountains, and which distributed its waters to the town and adjacent
farm-lands, was unusually muddy. Up in the canyon, just above the town,
it seemed to leap over the rocks with unwonted fury, dashing its brown
waters into white foam. The town below, the farms and gardens of the
whole valley, depended for their existence on that small river. Through
the long, hot summer its waters had been distributed into streams and
sub-streams like the branches of a great tree, and had carried the
life-giving element to the growing vegetation in the valley; but now it
was master no more. The rain was pouring down on places which the river
could not reach. No wonder the river seemed angry at such usurpation.

About two miles from town, upon the high bench-land which lay above the
waters in the river, stood a hut. It was built of unhewn logs, and had a
mud roof. Stretches of sagebrush desert reached in every direction from
it. A few acres of cleared land lay near by, its yellow stubble drinking
in the rain. A horse stood under a shed. A pile of sagebrush with ax and
chopping block lay in the yard.

Evening came on and still it rained. A woman often appeared at the door
of the hut, and a pale, anxious face peered out into the twilight. She
looked out over the bench-land and then up to the mountains. Through the
clouds which hung around their summits, she could see the peaks being
covered with snow. She looked at the sky, then again along the plain.
She went in, closed the door, and filled the stove from the brush-wood
in the box. A little girl was sitting in the corner by the stove, with
her feet resting on the hearth.

"I thought I heard old Reddy's bell," she said, looking up to her
mother.

"No; I heard nothing. Poor boy, he must be wet through."

The mud roof was leaking, and pans and buckets were placed here and
there to catch the water. The bed had been moved a number of times to
find a dry spot, but at last two milk pans and a pail had to be placed
on it. Drip, drip, rang the tins--and it still rained.

The mother went again to the door. The clang of cow-bells greeted her,
and in a few minutes, a boy drove two cows into the shed. The mother
held the door open while he came stamping into the house. He was a boy
of about fifteen, wearing a big straw hat pressed down over his brown
hair, a shabby coat, blue overalls with a rend up one leg, ragged shoes,
but no stockings. He was wet to the skin, and a pool of water soon
accumulated on the floor where he paused for an instant.

"Rupert, you're wet through. How long you have been! You must get your
clothes off," anxiously exclaimed his mother.

"Phew!" said he, "that's a whoopin' big rain. Say, mother, if we'd only
had this two months ago, now, on our dry farm, wouldn't we have raised a
crop though."

"You must get your clothes off, Rupert."

"Oh, that's nothin'. I must milk first; and say, I guess the mud's
washed off the roof by the looks of things. I guess I'll fix it."

"Never mind now, you're so wet."

"Well, I can't get any wetter, and I'll work and keep warm. It won't do
to have the water comin' in like this--look here, there's a mud puddle
right on Sis's back, an' she don't know it."

He laughed and went out. It was quite dark, but the rain had nearly
ceased. With his wheel-barrow and shovel he went to a ravine close by
and obtained a load of clay, which he easily threw up on the roof of the
low "lean-to"; then he climbed up and patched the holes. A half hour's
work and it was done.

"And now I'll milk while I'm at it," he said; which he did.

"I've kept your supper warm," said his mother, as she busied with the
table. "It's turned quite cold. Why did you stay so long today?"

Rupert had changed his wet clothes, and the family was sitting around
the table eating mush and milk. A small lamp threw a cheery light over
the bare table and its few dishes, over the faces of mother, boy, and
girl. It revealed the bed, moved back into its usual corner, shone on
the cupboard with its red paint nearly worn off, and dimly lighted the
few pictures hanging on the rough whitewashed wall.

It was a poor home, but the lamplight revealed no discontent in the
faces around the table. True, the mother's was a little pinched and
careworn, which gave the yet beautiful face a sharp expression; but the
other two countenances shone with health and happiness. The girl was
enjoying her supper, the bright sagebrush fire, and the story book by
the side of her bowl, all at the same time. She dipped, alternately,
into her bowl and into her book.

The boy was the man of that family. He had combed his hair well back,
and his bright, honest face gleamed in the light. He was big and strong,
hardened by constant toil, matured beyond his years by the
responsibility which had been placed upon him since his father's death,
now four years ago. In answer to his mother's inquiries, Rupert
explained:

"You see, the cows had strayed up Dry Holler, an' I had an awful time a
findin' them. I couldn't hear any bell, neither. Dry Holler creek is
just boomin', an' there's a big lake up there now. The water has washed
out a hole in the bank and has gone into Dry Basin, an' it's backed up
there till now it's a lake as big as Brown's pond. As I stood and looked
at the running water an' the pond, somethin' came into my
head--somethin' I heard down town last summer. An' mother, _we_ must do
it!"

The boy was glowing with some exciting thought. His mother looked at him
while his sister neglected both book and bowl.

"Do what, Rupert?"

"Why, we must have Dry Basin, an' I'll make a reservoir out of it, an'
we'll have water in the summer for our land, an' it'll be just the
thing. With a little work the creek can be turned into the Basin
which'll fill up during the winter an' spring. There's a low place which
we'll have to bank up, an' the thing's done. The ditch'll be the biggest
job, but I think we can get some help on that--but we must have the land
up in Dry Holler now before someone else thinks of it an' settles on it.
Mother, I was just wonderin' why someone hasn't thought of this before."

The mother was taken by surprise. She sat and looked wonderingly at the
boy as he talked. The idea was new to her, but now she thought of it, it
seemed perfectly feasible. Work was the only thing needed; but could she
and her boy do it?

Five years ago when Mr. Ames had moved upon the bench, he had been
promised that the new canal should come high enough to bring water to
his land; but a new survey had been made which had left his farm far
above the irrigation limit. Mr. Ames had died before he could move his
family; and they had been compelled to remain in their temporary hut
these four long, hard years. Rupert had tried to farm without water. A
little wheat and alfalfa had been raised, which helped the little family
to live without actual suffering.

       *       *       *       *       *

That evening, mother and son talked late into the night. Nina listened
until her eyes closed in sleep. The rain had ceased altogether, and the
moon, hurrying through the breaking clouds, shone in at the little
curtained window. Prayers were said, and then they retired. Peaceful
sleep reigned within. Without, the moonlight illumined the mountains,
shining on the caps of pearly whiteness which they had donned for the
night.



II.

  "He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread; but
  he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding."--_Prov. 12:11._


Widow Ames had homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of government
land in Dry Hollow. That was a subject for a two days' gossip in the
town. There was speculation about what she wanted with a dry ravine in
the hills, and many shook their heads in condemnation. However, it set
some to thinking and moved one man, at least, to action. Jed Bolton,
the same day that he heard of it, rode up into the hills above town.
Sure enough, there was a rough shanty nearly finished; some furrows had
been plowed, and every indication of settlement was present. Mr. Bolton
bit his lip and used language which, if it did not grate on his own
ears, could not on the only other listener, his horse.

Rupert was on the roof of his shanty, and Mr. Bolton greeted him as he
rode up.

"Hello, Rupe, what're ye doin'?"

"Just finishin' my house. It looks like more rain, an' I must have the
roof good an' tight."

"You're not goin' to live here?"

"Oh, yes, part of the time."

"What's that for?"

"To secure our claim. Mother's homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres
of this land."

"What in the world are you goin' to do with it?"

"We'll farm some of it, of course, an' we'll find some use for another
part after awhile, I guess."

Then Mr. Bolton changed his tactics. He tried to discourage the boy by
telling him that it was railroad land, and even if it wasn't, his own
adjacent claim took it all in anyway; Rupert did not scare, but said, "I
guess not," as he went on quietly fitting and pounding.

The man had to give it up. "That Ames kid" had gotten the best of him.

This was four years ago, and wonderful changes had taken place since
then. Rupert had begun work on his reservoir the spring after they had
taken possession. He had a most beautiful site for one; and when the
melting winter snows and spring rains filled Dry Hollow creek, most of
it was turned into the Basin. It slowly spread out, filled the deep
ravines, and crept up to Rupert's embankment. Then he turned the stream
back into its natural channel again. Many came to look at the wonder.
Some of his neighbor "dry-benchers" offered to join him and help him for
a share in the water. The reservoir could be greatly enlarged, and the
canal leading from it around the side-hills to the bench had yet to be
dug; so Rupert and his mother accepted the offers of help and the work
went on rapidly. The next year Dry Bench had water. New ground was
broken and cleared. Trees were set out. There was new life on the farm,
and new hopes within the hearts of Widow Ames and her children.

Dry Bench farm had undergone a change. A neat frame house stood in front
of the log hut, which had been boarded and painted to match the newer
part. A barn filled with hay and containing horses and cows stood at a
proper distance back. A granary and a corn-crib were near. The new
county road now extended along the fronting of the Ames place, and a
neat fence separated the garden from the public highway. On the left was
the orchard, a beautiful sight. Standing in long, symmetrical rows were
peaches, apples, pears, and a dozen other varieties of fruit, now just
beginning to bear. At the rear, stretching nearly to the mountains, were
the grain and alfalfa fields. Neighboring farms also were greatly
improved by the advent of water, but none showed such labor and care as
the Ames farm. Rupert grew with the growth of his labors, until he was
now a tall, muscular fellow, browned and calloused. Nina was fast
outgrowing childish things and entering the young-lady period. A
beautiful girl she was, and a favorite among her schoolmates. She had
attended school in town for the past three winters, and her brother was
talking of sending her to the high school.

Practically, Rupert was the head of the family. Always respectful to his
mother, and generally consulting with her on any important matter, he
nevertheless could not help seeing that everything depended on him, and
that he was the master mind of Ames farm. And then the neighbors came to
him for advice, and older and presumably wiser men counseled with him,
and so it suggested itself to Rupert that he was the master mind of all
Dry Bench besides. Everybody called him a "rustler." When he had leisure
for school, he was beyond school age; so, nothing daunted, he set out to
study by himself. He procured the necessary books, and went to them with
an energy that made up for the lack of a teacher. Nina kept pace with
him for a time, but the ungraded village school curriculum was too slow
for Rupert; and when one spring the young reservoir projector appeared
at the county teachers' examination and passed creditably, all, as he
said "just for fun and practice," the people talked again--and elected
him to the board of trustees.

A beautiful spring morning dawned on Dry Bench. A cool breeze came from
the mountains and played with the young leaves of the orchard. The
apricots were white with blossoms, and the plums and peaches were just
bursting into masses of pink and white. The alfalfa and wheat fields
were beautifully green. Blessed Morning, what a life promoter, what a
dispeller of fears and bringer of hopes, thou art!

Rupert was out early. After tossing some hay to the horses and cows, he
shouldered his shovel and strode up the ditch, whistling as he went. His
straw hat set well back on his head. His blue "jumper" met the blue
overalls which were tucked into a pair of heavy boots. His tune was a
merry one and rang out over the still fields and up to the hills.

Rupert's thoughts were a mixture that morning, and flew from one thing
to another: the ditch which he was to clean and repair; the condition of
the reservoir; the meeting of the school board; the planting of the
garden; the dance at the hall in town; the wonderful spreading
properties of weeds--so on from one subject to another, until he came to
a standstill, leaning on his shovel and looking over his farm and down
to the town, fast growing into a city. From a hundred chimneys smoke was
beginning to come, befouling the clear air of the valley.

"It is a beautiful sight," said he to himself. "Six years ago and what
was it? Under whose hand has this change grown? Mine. I have done most
of the work, and I can lawfully claim most of the credit. Then it was
worthless, and just the other day I was offered five thousand dollars
for the place. That's pretty good. Father couldn't have done any
better."

Rupert was not given to boasting, but it did seem lately that everything
he set his hand to prospered exceedingly. This had brought some
self-exalting thoughts into his mind; not that he talked of them to
others, but he communed with them to himself, nevertheless.

That morning, as he rested his chin on his hands that clasped the end of
his shovel, such thoughts swelled the pride in his heart, and his work
was left undone. The sun came suddenly from behind the peak and flooded
the valley with light; still Rupert stood looking over the fields. In
the distance towards the left he caught sight of a horse and buggy
coming at a good pace along the new country road. He watched it drawing
nearer. A lady was driving. Her horse was on its mettle this morning and
the reins were tight. They were at that ugly place where the road
crosses the canal--he was to repair it that morning--He awoke from his
dreaming with a start, but too late; the horse shied, a wheel went into
the ugly hole, and the occupant was pitched into the dry bottom of the
canal. Rupert ran down the road shouting "whoa" to the horse which
galloped past him. The lady scrambled up before Rupert reached her.

"Are you hurt?" he inquired.

"No--no, sir," she managed to say. She was pale and trembling. "Can you
catch my horse? I think he will stop at that barn."

"I'll get your horse, never fear; just so you're not hurt. Let me help
you out of the ditch."

She held out a gloved hand and he assisted her up the bank. She was just
a girl, and he could have carried her home, had it been necessary.

"Thank you, sir, but could you get my horse, please? There, he is
stopping at that house."

"That is where I live. I'll bring him to you, if you will wait."

"Oh, thanks; but I can walk that far. The fall has just shaken me up a
little. I shall soon get over it."

They walked down the road to the gate.

"You must come in and rest," said he, "and I'll take care of your
horse." She remonstrated, but he insisted, and brought her into the
kitchen where his mother was busy with breakfast. Rupert explained, and
his mother instantly became solicitous. She drew a rocking chair up to
the fire and with gentle force seated the stranger, continuously asking
questions and exclaiming, "Too bad, too bad."

Rupert readily caught the runaway animal, and, leading him into the
yard, fastened and fed him.

"Take off your hat, Miss," said Mrs. Ames, "your head'll feel easier. I
know it must ache with such a knock as that. I believe you're cold, too.
Put your feet on the hearth--or here, I'll open the oven door--there!
You must take a cup of coffee with us. It'll warm you. You haven't had
breakfast yet, I dare say."

The stranger thanked her and leaned back in the chair quite content. The
fall had really shaken her severely and a pain shot, now and then, into
her head. Rupert foolishly fidgeted about outside before he could make
up his mind to come in. Nina now made her appearance. The coffee was
poured out and the stranger was invited to sit up. Once, twice, Mrs.
Ames spoke to her, but she sat perfectly still. Her face was pale, her
eyes half closed.

"What's the matter, Miss?" asked the mother, looking into the girl's
face.

"Mother, I believe she has fainted," said Nina.

The three bent over the still form. Mrs. Ames rubbed the cold hands,
Nina became nervous, and Rupert looked down into the pale, beautiful
face.

"Yes, she has fainted. It is too warm in here. We must get her in the
sitting-room on the sofa. Rupert, help us."

Rupert stood at a distance. The mother and Nina tried to lift her, but
they failed.

"You'll have to carry her in, Rupert. Come, don't stand there as if you
couldn't move. It's too close in this kitchen."

But the young fellow still hesitated. To take a strange, fair girl in
his arms--such a thing he had never done--but he must do so now. He put
his strong arms under her and lifted her as he would a child, and
carried her into the next room, where he laid his burden on the sofa.
The cool air had its effect, and she opened her eyes and smiled into the
faces that were bent over her.

"Lie still, my dear," said Mrs. Ames. "You have been hurt more than you
think."

"Did I faint?--yes, I must have--but I'm not hurt." She tried to rise,
but with a moan she sank back on the pillow which Nina had brought.

"I'll go for the doctor," said Rupert, and off he went. When he and
Doctor Chase came in an hour later, the girl was again sitting at the
table with Mrs. Ames and Nina.

"I met with a slight accident down the road," she explained to the
doctor. "I wasn't quite killed, you see, but these good people are
trying to finish me with their kindness;" and she laughed merrily.

Her name was Miss Wilton. She was a school teacher, and was on her way
to answer an advertisement of the Dry Bench trustees for a teacher. She
hoped the doctor would pronounce her all right that she might continue
her journey, as she understood it was not far.

"You have had a severe shaking up, Miss Wilton, but I don't think you
need to postpone your journey more than a few hours," was the doctor's
decision.

About noon, Rupert drove Miss Wilton's horse around to the front door
and delivered it to her. With a profusion of thanks, she drove away in
the direction of the chairman of the school trustees. Neither Nina nor
her mother had said anything about Rupert's being on the board. Mrs.
Ames had once seemed to broach the subject, but a look from Rupert was
enough to check her. When the school teacher disappeared down the road,
Rupert again shouldered his shovel, and this time the ugly hole where
the road crossed the canal was mended. That done, he returned home,
hitched a horse to his cart and drove to town.



III.

  "Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain."--_Psalms 31:30._


Miss Virginia Wilton was engaged to teach the spring term of school at
the Dry Bench schoolhouse. Why that upland strip bordering the mountains
should be called "Dry Bench," Miss Wilton, at first, did not understand.
If there was a garden spot in this big, ofttimes barren Western country,
more beautiful than Dry Bench, she had in all her rambles failed to find
it. But when the secret of the big reservoir up in the hills came to her
knowledge, she wondered the more; and one member of the school board
from that moment rose to a higher place in her estimation; yes, went
past a long row of friends, up, shall it be said to the seat of honor?

Miss Wilton gave general satisfaction, and she was engaged for the next
school year.

For one whole year, the school teacher had passed the Ames farm twice
each day. She called often on Mrs. Ames, and Nina became her fast
friend. During those cool May mornings and afternoons, when the sky was
cloudless and the breeze came from the mountains, the young school
teacher passed up and down the road and fell to looking with pleasure on
the beautiful fields and orchards around her, and especially at the
Ames farm the central and most flourishing of them all. Perhaps it would
not be fair to analyze her thoughts too closely. She was yet young, only
twenty-two--Rupert's own age; yet Miss Wilton's experiences in this
world's school were greater than that of the simple young farmer's.

Had she designs on the Ames farm and its master? She had been in the
place a year only. How could such thoughts arise within such a little
head? How could such serious schemes brood behind such laughing lips and
sparkling eyes? Strange that such should be the case, but truth is
ofttimes strange.

Since the railroad had been extended through the valley, the town of
Willowby had grown wonderfully. Its long, straight streets enclosing the
rectangular squares, had not crept, but had sped swiftly out into the
country on all sides, and especially towards the mountains, until now
the Ames place was within the corporated city limits. Willowby soon
became a shipping point for grain and fruits to the markets which the
mining towns to the north afforded. The Ames orchard consisted of the
finest fruits which commanded a high price. Yes, the property was fast
making its owners rich.

Rupert Ames was a "rising young man," lacking the finished polish of a
higher education, no doubt, but still, he was no "green-horn." Even Miss
Wilton had to acknowledge that, when she became acquainted so that she
could speak freely with him. He was a shrewd business man and knew how
to invest his growing bank account. It was no secret that city lots and
business property were continually being added to his possessions.

As to home life at the farm, Miss Wilton was always charmed with the
kind hearted mother, the bright, cheerful Nina, and the handsome, sober
head of the family. Such a beautiful spirit of harmony brooded over the
place! Even within the year, the observant young woman could see signs
of culture and coming wealth. The repairing of old buildings, and the
erecting of the new ones; the repainting and decorating of rooms; the
addition of costly pictures and furniture; the beautifying of the
outside surroundings--all this was observed, and a mental note taken.

For a time Rupert Ames was quite reserved in the presence of the young
school teacher. Naturally reticent, he was more than ever shy in the
company of an educated lady from the East. Rupert never saw her but he
thought of the day of her arrival on Dry Bench and the time when he held
her in his arms. Never had he referred to the latter part of the
episode, though she often talked of her peculiar introduction to them.

At the end of the first year, Miss Wilton had so far shown that she was
but common flesh and blood that Rupert had been in her company to a
number of socials, and they had walked from church a few times together.
Dame gossip at once mated the two, and pronounced it a fine match.

Early in September they had a peach party at the Ames farm. Willowby's
young folks were there, and having a good time. When the sun sank
behind the hills on the other side of the valley, and the cool air came
from the eastern mountains, Chinese lanterns were hung on the trees, and
chairs and tables were placed on the lawn. There were cake and ice-cream
and peaches--peaches of all kinds, large and small, white and yellow,
juicy and dry; for this was a peach party, and everybody was supposed to
eat, at least, half a dozen.

The band, with Volmer Holm as leader, furnished the music; and beautiful
it was, as it echoed from the porch out over the assembly on the lawn.
When the strains of a waltz floated out, a dozen couples glided softly
over the velvety grass.

"That's fine music, Volmer," Rupert was saying to the bandmaster, as the
music ceased.

"Do you think so? We've practiced very much since our new organization
was effected. Will it do for a concert?"

"You know I'm no judge of music. I like yours, though, Volmer. What do
you say about it, Miss Wilton? Mr. Holm wishes to know if his music is
fit for a concert?"

"Most certainly it is," answered the young lady addressed, as she
stepped up with an empty peach basket. "Mr. Holm, I understand that last
piece is your own composition? If so, I must congratulate you; it is
most beautiful."

"Thank you," and he bowed as he gave the signal to begin again.

"Mr. Ames, more peaches are wanted--the big yellow ones. Where shall I
find them?"

"I'll get some--or, I'll go with you." He was getting quite bold.
Perhaps the music had something to do with that.

He did not take the basket, but led the way out into the orchard. It was
quite a distance to the right tree.

"That is beautiful music," said she. "Mr. Holm is a genius. He'll make
his mark if he keeps on."

"Yes, I understand that he is going East to study. That will bring him
out if there is anything in him."

There was a pause in the conversation; then Rupert remarked carefully,
as if feeling his way:

"Yes, there's talent in Volmer, but he makes music his god, which I
think is wrong."

"Do you think so?" she asked.

What that expression meant, it was hard to say.

"Yes, I think that no man should so drown himself in one thing that he
is absolutely dead to everything else. Mr. Holm does that. Volmer
worships nothing but music."

Rupert filled the basket and they sauntered back.

"A more beautiful god I cannot imagine," she said, half aloud.

Rupert turned with an inquiring look on his face, but he got nothing
more from her, as she was busy with a peach. Her straw hat was tilted
back on her head, and the wavy brown hair was somewhat in confusion.
School teaching had not, as yet, driven the roses from her cheeks, nor
the smiles from her lips. There was just enough of daylight left so
that Rupert could see Miss Wilton's big eye looking into his own. How
beautiful she was!

"Mr. Ames, before we get back to the company, I wish to ask you a
question. Mr. Holm has asked me to sing at his concert, and I should
like to help him, if the school trustees do not object."

"Why should they, Miss Wilton?"

"Well, some people, you know, are so peculiar."

"I assure you they will not care--that is, if it will not interfere with
your school duties."

"As to that, not a moment. I need no rehearsals as I am used to--that is
I--you see, I will sing some old song."

Miss Wilton's speech became unusually confused, and Rupert noticed it;
but just then Nina and her escort joined them, and they all went back to
the lawn.

"Miss Wilton's going to sing at the concert," Volmer told Rupert later
in the evening. "'Twill be a big help. She's a regular opera singer, you
know. She's been in the business. I heard her sing in Denver two years
ago, and she was with a troupe that passed through here some time since.
I remember her well, but of course I wouldn't say anything to her about
it. No doubt she wishes to forget it all."

"What do you mean?" asked Rupert, quite fiercely.

"I mean that her company then was not of the choicest, but I believe
she's all right and a good enough girl. Rupe, don't bother about that.
Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything to you."

"Oh, that's all right. I'm glad you mentioned it."

Still a dull, miserable pain fastened itself in Rupert Ames' heart the
rest of the evening; and even when the company had gone, and Miss Wilton
had lingered and sweetly said "Good-night," and the lights were out,
strange thoughts and feelings drove from his eyes the sleep that usually
came peacefully to him.

Rupert Ames was in love. The fact became the central idea of his
existence.

During Rupert's busy life, love affairs had not occupied much of his
attention. Of course, he, in common with the rest of young mankind,
thought that some day he would love some girl and make her his wife; but
it was always as a far-away dream to him, connected with an angelic
perfection which he always found missing in the workaday world. His wife
must be a pure, perfect creature. Marriage was a sacred thing--one of
the great events in a person's life. Not that these views had now
changed altogether, for Miss Virginia Wilton came nearer his ideal than
anyone he had yet met. Still, there was considerable of the tangible
present about her. She was educated, businesslike, and a leader, and he,
ambitious of attaining to something in the world, would need such a
woman for his wife. But that sting which Volmer Holm had given him! His
wife must be beyond suspicion. He could not afford to make a mistake,
for if he did, it would be the mistake of his life. But was it a sin for
a girl to sing in an opera? Certainly not. Anyway, he would not condemn
her unheard--and then, he was sure he loved her. It had come to him
unbidden. It was no fault of his that this girl should have come into
his common life, and, seemingly, completely change it.

The autumn days passed. With the work of harvesting and marketing there
was no time for social gatherings. The school teacher had changed her
boarding place, and her path lay no longer past the Ames farm. So Rupert
mingled his thoughts with his labors, and in time there emerged from
that fusion a fixed purpose.

That fall Rupert's time as school trustee expired. At the first meeting
of the new board, Miss Wilton's position was given to a male teacher.
The reason given for the change was that "It takes a man to govern
boys." Other reasons, however, could be heard in the undercurrent of
talk.

The first Sunday after he heard of it, Rupert found Miss Wilton, and
together they walked up the canyon road. It was a dull, cloudy day, and
not a breath moved the odorous choke-cherry bushes which lined the dusty
road. Never mind what was said and done that afternoon. 'Tis an old, old
story. Between woman's smiles and tears, the man gained hope and
courage, and when that evening they came down the back way through the
fields and orchards, Virginia Wilton was Rupert Ames' promised wife.



IV.

  "O Lord, lead me in a plain path."--_Isaiah 27:11._


The scene shifts to a land afar off toward the north, Norway--away up
into one of its mountain meadows. The landscape is a mixture of grandeur
and beauty. Hills upon hills, covered with pine and fir, stretch away
from the lowlands to the distant glacier-clad mountains, and patches of
green meadow gleam through the dark pine depths.

The clear blue sky changes to a faint haze in the hilly distance. The
gentle air is perfumed with the odor of the forest. A Sabbath stillness
broods over all. The sun has swung around to the northwest, and skims
along the horizon as if loth to leave such a sweet scene.

Evening was settling down on the Norwegian _saeter_, or summer herd
ground. Riding along the trail through the pines appeared a young man.
He was evidently not at home in the forest, as he peered anxiously
through every opening. His dress and bearing indicated that he was not a
woodsman nor a herder of cattle. Pausing on a knoll, he surveyed the
scene around him, and took off his hat that the evening breeze might
cool his face. Suddenly, there came echoing through the forest, from
hill to hill, the deep notes of the _lur_. The traveler listened, and
then urged his horse forward. Again and again the blast reverberated,
the notes dying in low echoes on the distant hills. From another rise,
the rider saw the girl who was making all this wild music. She was
standing on a high knoll. Peering down into the forest, she recognized
the traveler and welcomed him with an attempt at a tune on her long,
wooden trumpet.

"Good evening, Hansine," said he, as his horse scrambled up the path
close by, "your _lur_ made welcome music this evening."

"Good evening, Hr. Bogstad," said she, "are you not lost?"

"I was, nearly, until I heard you calling your cows. It is a long way up
here--but the air and the scenery are grand."

"Yes, do you think so? I don't know anything about what they call grand
scenery. I've always lived up here, and it's work, work all the
time--but those cows are slow coming home." She lifted her _lur_ to her
lips and once more made the woods ring.

Down at the foot of the hills, where the pines gave place to small,
grassy openings, stood a group of log huts, towards which the cows were
now seen wending.

"Come, Hr. Bogstad, I see the cows are coming. I must go down to meet
them."

They went down the hill together. The lowing cows came up to the
stables, and as the herd grew larger there was a deafening din. A girl
was standing in the doorway of one of the cabins, timidly watching the
noisy herd.

"Come, give the cows their salt," laughingly shouted Hansine to her.

"And get hooked all to pieces? Not much."

"You little coward. What good would you be on a _saeter_? What do you
think, Hr. Bogstad?"

As the girl caught sight of the new arrival she started and the color
came to her face. He went up to her. "How are you, Signe?" he said. "How
do you like life on a _saeter_?"

"Well, I hardly know," she said, seemingly quite embarrassed.

"Oh, I'll tell you," broke in the busy Hansine, as she came with a pail
full of salt. "She just goes around and looks at and talks about what
she calls the beauties of nature. That she likes; but as for milking, or
churning, or making cheese, well--"

Then they all laughed good naturedly.

Hansine was a large, strong girl, with round, pleasant features. She and
the cows were good friends. At the sound of the _lur_ every afternoon
the cows turned their grazing heads towards home, and, on their arrival,
each was given a pat and a handful of salt. Then they went quietly into
their stalls.

It was quite late that evening before the milk had been strained into
the wooden platters and placed in rows on the shelves in the milk house.
Hr. Bogstad and Signe had proffered their help, but they had been
ordered into the house and Signe was told to prepare the evening meal.
When Hansine came in, she found the table set with the cheese, milk,
butter, and black bread, while Signe and Hr. Bogstad sat by the large
fireplace watching a pot of boiling cream mush.

The object of Hr. Bogstad's visit was plain enough. He had been devoting
his attentions to Signe Dahl for some time, and now that he was home
from college on a vacation, it was natural that he should follow her
from the village up to the mountains.

Hr. Bogstad, though young, was one of the rich men of Nordal. He had
lately fallen heir to a large estate. In fact, Signe's parents, with a
great many more, were but tenants of young Hr. Henrik Bogstad; and
although it was considered a great honor to have the attentions of such
a promising young man--for, in fact, Henrik was quite exemplary in all
things, and had a good name in the neighborhood--still Signe Dahl did
not care for him, and was uneasy in his company. She would rather sail
with some of the fisher boys on the lake than be the object of envy by
her companions. But Signe's slim, graceful form, large blue eyes, clear,
dimpled face, light silken hair, combined with a native grace and
beauty, attracted not only the fisher boys but the "fine" Hr. Bogstad
also. She was now spending a few days with her cousin Hansine in the
mountains. Her limited knowledge of _saeter_ life was fast being
augmented under her cousin's supervision, notwithstanding Hansine's
remarks about her inabilities.

The cabin wherein the three were seated was of the rudest kind, but
everything was scrupulously clean. The blazing pine log cast a red light
over them as they sat at the table.

"So you see nothing grand in your surroundings?" asked Hr. Bogstad of
Hansine.

"How can I? I have never been far from home. Mountains and forests and
lakes are all I know."

"True," said he, "and we can see grandeur and beauty by contrast only."

"But here is Signe," remarked Hansine; "she has never seen much of the
world, yet you should hear her. I can never get her interested in my
cows. Her mind must have been far away when she dished up the mush, for
she has forgotten something."

"Oh, I beg pardon," exclaimed the forgetful girl. "Let me attend to it."

She went to the cupboard and brought out the sugar and a paper of ground
cinnamon, and sprinkled a layer of each over the plates of mush. Then
she pressed into the middle of each a lump of butter which soon melted
into a tiny yellow pond.

"I should like to hear some of these ideas of yours," remarked the
visitor to Signe, who had so far forgotten her manners as to be blowing
her spoonful of mush before dipping it into the butter.

"I wish I were an artist," said she, without seeming to notice his
remarks. "Ah, what pictures I would paint! I would make them so natural
that you could see the pine tops wave, and smell the breath of the woods
as you looked at them."

"You would put me in, standing on The Look-out blowing my _lur_,
wouldn't you?"

"Certainly."

"And I have no doubt that we could hear the echoes ringing over the
hills," continued Hansine, soberly.

"Never mind, you needn't make fun. Yes, Hr. Bogstad, I think we have
some grand natural scenes. I often climb up on the hills, and sit and
look over the pines and the shining lake down towards home. Then,
sometimes, I can see the ocean like a silver ribbon, lying on the
horizon. I sit up there and gaze and think, as Hansine says, nearly all
night. I seem to be under a spell. You know it doesn't get dark all
night now, and the air is so delicious. My thoughts go out 'Over the
high mountains,' as Bjornson says, and I want to be away to hear and see
what the world is and has to tell me. A kind of sweet loneliness comes
over me which I cannot explain."

Hr. Bogstad had finished his dish. He, too, was under a spell--the spell
of a soft, musical voice.

"Then the light in the summer," she continued. "How I have wished to go
north where the sun shines the whole twenty-four hours. Have you ever
seen the Midnight Sun, Hr. Bogstad?"

"No; but I have been thinking of taking a trip up there this summer, if
I can get some good company to go with me. Wouldn't you--"

It was then that Signe hurriedly pushed her chair away and said: "Thanks
for the food."

Next morning Signe was very busy. She washed the wooden milk basins,
scalded them with juniper tea, and then scoured them with sand. She
churned the butter and wanted to help with the cheese, but Hansine
thought that she was not paying enough attention to their visitor, so
she ordered her off to her lookout on the mountain. Hr. Bogstad would
help her up the steep places; besides, he could tell her the names of
the ferns and flowers, and answer the thousand and one questions which
she was always asking. So, of course, they had to go.

But Signe was very quiet, and Henrik said but little. He had come to the
conclusion that he truly loved this girl whose parents were among the
poorest of his tenants. None other of his acquaintances, even among the
higher class, charmed him as did Signe. He was old enough to marry, and
she was not too young. He knew full well that if he did marry her, many
of his friends would criticise; but Henrik had some of the Norseman
spirit of liberty, and he did not think that a girl's humble position
barred her from him. True, he had received very little encouragement
from her, though her parents had looked with favor upon him. And now he
was thinking of her cold indifference.

They sat down on a rocky bank, carpeted with gray reindeer moss.

They had been talking of his experiences at school. He knew her desire
to finish the college education cut short by a lack of means.

"Signe, I wish you would let me do you a favor."

She thought for a moment before she asked what it was.

"Let me help you attend college. You know I am able to,
besides--besides, some day you may learn to think as much of me as I do
of you, and then, dear Signe--"

Signe arose. "Hr. Bogstad," she said, "I wish you would not talk like
that. If you do, I shall go back to Hansine."

"Why, Signe, don't be offended. I am not jesting." He stood before her
in the path, and would have taken her hand, but she drew back.

"Signe, I have thought a great deal of you for a long time. You know we
have been boy and girl together. My absence at school has made no
difference in me. I wish you could think a little of me, Signe."

"Hr. Bogstad, I don't believe in deceiving anyone. I am sorry that you
have been thinking like that about me, because I cannot think of you
other than as a friend. Let us not talk about it."

If Henrik could not talk about that nearest his heart, he would remain
silent, which he did.

Signe was gathering some rare ferns and mosses when Hansine's _lur_
sounded through the hills. That was the signal for them, as well as the
cows, to come home.

Early the next morning Hansine's brother came up to the _saeter_ to take
home the week's accumulation of butter and cheese. Signe, perched on the
top of the two-wheeled cart, was also going home. Hr. Bogstad, mounted
on his horse, accompanied them a short distance, then rode off in
another direction.



V.

  "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"--_Amos 3:3_


It was nearly noon when Signe Dahl sprang from the cart, and with her
bundle under her arm, ran down the hillside into the woods, following a
well-beaten trail. That was the short cut home. Hans had found her poor
company during the ride, and even now, alone in the woods, the serious
countenance was loth to relax. A ten minutes' walk brought her to the
brow of a hill, and she sauntered down its sloping side. Signe had
nearly reached home, and being doubtful of her reception there, she
lingered. Then, too, she could usually amuse herself alone, for she
always found some new wonder in the exhaustless beauty of her
surroundings.

She threw herself on a green bank, and this is the picture which she
saw: Just before her, the greensward extended down to a lake, whose
waters lost themselves behind cliffs and islands and pine-clad hills.
Here and there in the distance towards the north, there could be seen
shining spots of water; but towards the south the hills closed in
precipitously, and left room only for the outlet of the lake to pour
over its rocky bed into another valley below. On the farther shore, five
miles distant, a few red farm houses stood out from the plats of
green--all the rest was forest and rock. The sky was filled with soft,
fleecy clouds, and not a breath stirred the surface of the lake. Signe
gazed towards a rocky island before her. Only the roof of the house
upon it could be seen, but from its chimney arose no smoke. That was
where Signe had been born, and had lived most of the eighteen years of
her life. The girl walked down the hillside to the lake and again seated
herself, this time on a rock near the edge of the water. She took a book
from her bundle and began to read; but the text was soon embellished
with marginal sketches of rocks and bits of scenery, and then both
reading and drawing had to give place to the consideration of the
pictures that came thronging into her mind.

Hr. Bogstad had actually proposed to her--the rich and handsome Hr.
Bogstad; and she, the insignificant farmer girl, had refused him, had
run away from him. Signe Dahl, she ruminated, aren't you the most
foolish child in the world? He is the owner of miles and miles of the
land about here. The hills with their rich harvest of timber, the rivers
with their fish, and even the island in the lake, are his. To be
mistress over it all--ah, what a temptation. If she had only loved Hr.
Bogstad, if she had only liked him; but she did neither. She could not
explain the reason, but she knew that she could not be his wife.

How could such a man love her, anyway? Was she really so very good
looking? Signe looked down into the still, deep water and saw her own
reflection asking the question over again. There! her face, at least,
was but a little, ordinary pink and white one. Her eyes were of the
common blue color. Her hair--well, it was a trifle wavy and more glossy
than that of other girls, but--gluck! a stone broke her mirror into a
hundred circling waves. Signe looked up with a start. There was Hagbert
standing half concealed behind a bush.

"Oh, I see you," she shouted.

He came down to the water, grinning good-naturedly.

"Well," said he, "I didn't think you were so vain as all that."

"Can't a person look at the pebbles and fish at at the bottom of the
lake without being vain?" and she laughed her confusion away. "Say,
Hagbert, is your boat close by?"

"Yes, just down by the north landing."

"Oh, that's good. I thought I would have to wait until father came this
evening to get home. You'll row me across, won't you?"

"Why, certainly; but I thought you had gone to the _saeter_ to stay, at
least a week."

"Yes, but--but, I've come home again, you see."

"Yes, I see," and he looked oddly at her. He had also seen Hr. Bogstad
set out for the mountains two days before, and now he wondered.

Hagbert fetched the boat, took in his passenger, and his strong arms
soon sent the light craft to the other bank.

"A thousand thanks, Hagbert," she said, as she sprang out, and then
climbed up the steep path, and watched him pull back. He was a strong,
handsome fellow, too, a poor fisherman, yet somehow, she felt easier in
his company than in Hr. Bogstad's.

Signe found no one at home. Her mother and the children had, no doubt,
gone to the mainland to pick blueberries; so she went out into the
garden to finish her book. She became so absorbed in her reading that
she did not see her mother's start of surprise when they came home with
their baskets full of berries.

"Well, well, Signe, is that you? What's the matter?" exclaimed her
mother.

"Nothing, mother; only I couldn't stay up there any longer." And that
was all the explanation her mother could get until the father came home
that evening. He was tired and a little cross. From Hans he had heard a
bit of gossip that irritated him, and Signe saw that her secret was not
wholly her own. She feared her father.

"Signe," said he, after supper, "I can guess pretty well why you came
home so soon. I had a talk with Hr. Bogstad before he went to the
_saeter_."

The girl's heart beat rapidly, but she said nothing.

"Did he speak to you about--why did you run away from him, girl?"

"Father, you know I don't like Hr. Bogstad. I don't know why; he is nice
and all that, but I don't like him anyway."

"You have such nonsensical ideas!" exclaimed the father, and he paused
before her in his impatient pacing back and forth. "He, the gentleman,
the possessor of thousands. Girl, do you know what you are doing when
you act like this? Can't you see that we are poor; that your father is
worked to death to provide for you all? That if you would treat him as
you should, we would be lifted out of this, and could get away from
this rock-ribbed island on to some land with soil on? Our future would
be secure. Can't you see it, girl? O, you little fool, for running away
from such a man. Don't you know he owns us all, as it were?"

"No, father, he does not."

"The very bread you eat and the water you drink come from his
possessions."

"Still, he does not own us all. He does not own me, nor shall he as long
as I feel as I do now, and as long as there is other land and other
water and other air to which he can lay no claim."

It was a bold speech, but something prompted her to say it. She was
aroused. The mother came to intercede, for she knew both father and
daughter well.

"I tell you, girl, there shall be no more foolishness. You shall do as I
want you, do you hear!"

Signe arose to go, but her father caught her forcibly by the arm.

"Sit down and listen to me," he said.

The girl began to cry, and the mother interposed: "Never mind, father;
you know it's useless to talk to her now. Let her go and milk the cow.
It's getting late."

So Signe escaped with her pail into the little stable where the cow had
been awaiting her for over an hour. But she was a long time milking,
that evening.



VI.

  "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy
  father's house, into a land that I will show thee."--_Gen. 12:1_.


Signe Dahl sat in the little coupe of the railroad train which was
carrying her to Christiania. She was the sole occupant of the
compartment, her big valise resting on the opposite seat. Out through
the lowered window she looked at the flying landscape, a mingling of
pine hills, waters, and green meadows. An hour ago she had boarded the
train at Holmen, the nearest station to Nordal. Early that morning she
had tearfully kissed them all good-by and had begun her journey to that
haven of rest from old country oppressions--America. She and her mother
had planned it, and the father had at last given his consent. It was all
the outcome of Hr. Bogstad's persistent devotions to the family on the
island in the lake.

Tiring of the scenery, Signe took from a bundle a letter. It had been
handed her by the postmaster at Nordal that morning as she drove past,
and was from Hr. Bogstad, who was in the North with a party of tourists.
She opened it and read:

"I wrote you a letter about a week ago, describing our trip up to that
time. I hope you have received it. You know I have no eye for the
beautiful, but I did the best I could. You should have been along and
seen it all yourself.

"And now I write you again, because, dear friend, I have heard a rumor
from home that you are going to America. It is news to me if it is true.
Dear Signe, don't. Wait, at least, until I can see you again, because I
have something to tell you whether you go or stay. I am coming home as
fast as steam can carry me. Please, don't run off like that. Why should
you? I ask myself. But there, it's only rumor. You're not going, and
I'll see you again in a few days, when I shall tell you all about the
rest of the trip."

A smile played on Signe's face, but it soon changed to a more sober
expression. What was she to cause such a commotion in the life of a man
like Hr. Bogstad? That he was in earnest she knew. And here she was
running away from him. He would never see her again. How disappointed he
would be! She could see him driving from the station, alighting at the
ferry, springing into a boat, and skimming over to the island. Up the
steep bank he climbs, and little Hakon runs down to meet him, for which
he receives his usual bag of candy. Perhaps he gets to the house before
he finds out. Then--?

Surely the smile has changed to a tear, for Signe has wiped one away
from her cheek.

To Signe, the journey that day was made up of strange thoughts and
experiences. The landscape, the stopping at the stations, the coming and
going of people, Hr. Bogstad's letter, the folks at home, the uncertain
future,--all seemed to mingle and to form one chain of thought, which
ended only when the train rolled into the glass-covered station at
Christiania.

With a firm grasp on her valise, she picked her way through the crowd
with its noise and bustle, and placed herself safely in the care of a
hackman, who soon set her down at her lodgings.

At the steamship office she learned that the steamer was not to sail for
three days. So Signe meant to see what she could of the city. It was her
first visit to the capital, and perhaps her last. She would make the
best of her time. She had no friends in the city, but that did not
hinder her from walking out alone. In the afternoon of the second day,
Signe went to the art gallery, and that was the end of her sightseeing
to other parts. She lingered among the paintings of the masters and the
beautiful chiseled marble--the first she had seen--until the attendant
reminded her that it was time to close.

That evening the landlady informed her that a visitor had been inquiring
for her during the day, a gentleman. Who could it be? He was described,
and then Signe knew that it was Hr. Bogstad. He had said that he could
call again in the evening.

Signe was troubled. What should she do? He was following her, but they
must not meet. It would do no good. The steamer was to sail tomorrow,
and she would go on board that night. She called a carriage and was
driven to the wharf. Yes, it was all right, said the steward, and she
was made comfortable for the night.

Among the crowd of people that came to see the steamer sail, Signe
thought she caught sight of Hr. Bogstad elbowing through the throng to
get to the ship. But he was too late. The third bell had rung, the
gangplank was being withdrawn, and the vessel was slowly moving away.
Signe had concealed herself among the people, but now she pressed to the
railing and waved her handkerchief with the rest.

Farewell to Norway, farewell to home and native land. Signe's heart was
full. All that day she sat on deck. She had no desire for food, and the
crowded steerage had no attractions. So she sat, busy with her thoughts
and the sights about the beautiful Christiania fjord.

Early the next morning they steamed into Christiansand, and a few hours
later, the last of Norway's rocky coast sank below the waters of the
North Sea.

All went well for a week. Signe had not suffered much from seasickness,
but now a storm was surely coming. Sailors were busy making everything
snug and tight; and the night closed in fierce and dark, with the sea
spray sweeping the deck.

Signe staggered down into the dimly lighted steerage. Most of the poor
emigrants had crawled into their bunks, and were rolling back and forth
with each lurch of the ship. Signe sat and talked with a Danish girl,
each clinging to a post.

"I don't feel like going to bed," said the girl.

"Nor I. What a night it is!"

"Do you think we shall get safely across?"

"Why, certainly," replied Signe. "You mustn't be frightened at a
storm."

"I try not to be afraid, but I'm such a coward."

"Think about something pleasant, now," suggested the other. "Remember
where you're going and whom you are going to meet."

The girl from Denmark had confided to Signe that she was going to join
her lover in America.

The girl tried to smile, and Signe continued: "What a contrast between
us. I am running away; you are going to meet someone--"

Crash! A blow struck the ship and shook it from end to end; and
presently the machinery came to a full stop. Then there was hurrying of
feet on deck, and they could hear the boatswain's shrill pipe, and the
captain giving commands. The steerage was soon a scene of terror. Those
who rushed up the stairs were met with fastened doors, and were
compelled to remain below. Women screamed and prayed and raved. Then the
steward came in, and informed them that there was no danger, and the
scene somewhat quieted down. On further inquiry it was learned that they
had collided with another ship. Some damage had been done forward, but
there was no further danger. However, very few slept that night, and
when morning broke, clear and beautiful, with glad hearts they rushed up
into the open air.

The second class was forward. Three of the passengers had been killed
and quite a number injured.

If Signe had not been so poor, and had not refused help from Hr.
Bogstad, she would have taken second class passage. But now, thank God
for being poor and--independent!

In another week they landed at New York, and each went her own way.
Signe Dahl took the first train for Chicago.



VII.

  "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away."--_Job 1:22_.


The news startled the young city of Willowby from the Honorable Mayor to
the newest comer in the place. The railroad company had found a shorter
route to its northern main line, and it had been decided to remove, or,
at least, to abandon for a time, the road running through the valley.
The short cut would save fifty miles of roadbed and avoid some heavy
grades, but it would leave the town of Willowby twenty-five miles from
the railroad. Everybody said it would be a death-blow to the place.
Petitions and propositions from the citizens to the railroad company
availed nothing.

The most diresome predictions came true. After the change, the life of
the young town seemed to wither away. Its business almost ceased. The
speculator whose tenement houses were without roof, hurriedly closed
them in, and so let them stand. Safer is the farmer, in such times. His
fields will still yield the same, let stocks and values in real estate
rise and fall as they will.

Alderman Rupert Ames had been attending the protracted meetings of the
city council; this, with other business, kept him away from home for a
week. This was the explanation which he gave to his mother when he at
last came home.

"Rupert," she said to him, "you must not worry so. I see you are
sick--you're as pale as death now. Is there anything the matter, my
boy?"

Rupert seated himself on the sofa, resting his face in his hands, and
looked into the fire. He was haggard and pale.

"Mother--yes, mother, something's the matter but I cannot tell you, I
cannot tell you."

The mother sank beside him. "Rupert, what is it, are you sick?"

"No, dear mother, I'm not sick--only at heart." He put his arms around
her neck and resting his head on her shoulder, began to sob.

It had been a long time since she had seen her boy shed tears.

"Mother," he sprang to his feet and forced himself to talk, "I must tell
you. The bank has failed and--and--I have not always told you of my
business transactions, mother. I now owe more than we are worth in this
world. I have been investing in real estate. I paid a big price for the
Riverside Addition, and the paper I asked you to sign was a mortgage on
the farm to secure a loan. Mother, I thought it was a good investment,
and it would have been had the railroad remained, but now property has
sunk so low that all we own will not pay my debts. And the bank has
failed also--O mother!"

"My son, do not carry on like that. If the worst comes, we still have
the farm, haven't we?"

"You do not understand, mother; our creditors can take that, too."

Then she also broke down, and at sight of her tears the son gained
control of his own feelings, and tried to comfort his mother. She should
never want as long as he had two strong hands with which to work, he
assured her. All would be right in the end. "What I have done, I can do
again, mother; and though if it comes to the worst, it will be hard, I
am young yet, and have life before me."

For an hour they sat on the sofa with their arms around each other,
talking and planning; and then when they became silent, the pictures
they saw in the glowing coals partook of a log house, a dreary sagebrush
plain, and the building of canals and reservoirs.

The worst did come. They could, perhaps, have retained a part of Ames
farm, but they decided to give up everything, pay their debts, and face
the world honorably. So, before Christmas, everything had been cleared
up, and Widow Ames was installed in a neat three-roomed house nearer
town, for which they paid a monthly rental.

Miss Virginia Wilton was on a visit to her "folks in the East." Rupert
both longed and feared for her return. In his letters he had said
nothing about the change in his affairs. He would wait until her return,
and then he would explain it fully to her. He had decided, for her sake,
to propose to her the postponement of their marriage until spring. He
would certainly be better prepared then. It would be a sacrifice on his
part, but Virginia would be wise enough to see its advisability. Yes,
they would counsel together, and Virginia's love would be the power to
hold him up. After all, the world was not so dark with such a girl as
Virginia Wilton waiting to become his wife.

The day after her return to Willowby, Rupert called on her. Mrs. Worth,
the landlady, responded to his knock, and said that Virginia had gone
out for the day. She was, however, to give him this note if he called.

Rupert took the paper and turned away. He would find her at some
neighbor's. He carefully broke the envelope and read:

  _Dear Mr. Ames_:

  As I have accepted a position to teach in another state, I shall
  have to leave Willowby tomorrow. I shall be too busy to see you, and
  you have too much good sense to follow me. Forget the past. With
  kindest regards, I am,                _Virginia Wilton_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nina was married on the first of the year. Widow Ames died about two
weeks after.

And so life's shifting scenes came fast to Rupert Ames; and they were
mostly scenes of dreariness and trial; but he did not altogether give
up. Many of his friends were his friends still, and he could have
drowned his sorrow in the social whirl; but he preferred to sit at home
during the long winter evenings, beside his fire and shaded lamp, and
forget himself in his books. He seemed to be drifting away from his
former life, into a strange world of his own. He lost all interest in
his surroundings. To him, the world was getting empty and barren and
cold.

The former beautiful valley was a prison. The hills in which his boyhood
had been spent lost all their loveliness. How foolish, anyway, he began
to think, to always live in a narrow valley, and never know anything of
the broad world without. Surely the soul will grow small in such
conditions.

Early that spring, Rupert packed his possessions in a bundle which he
tied behind the saddle on his horse and bade good-bye to his friends.

"Where are you going, Rupe?" they asked.

But his answer was always, "I don't know."



VIII.

  "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
  nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
  righteousness unto them that are exercised
  thereby."--_Heb. 12:11_.


Rupert Ames had ridden all day, resting only at noon to permit his horse
to graze. As for himself, he was not tired. The long pent-up energy had
begun to escape, and it seemed that he could have ridden, or walked, or
in any way worked hard for a long time without need of rest. Move, move
he must. He had been dormant long enough; thinking, thinking, nothing
but that for months. It would have driven him mad had he not made a
change. Where was he going? No one knew; Rupert himself did not know;
anywhere for a change; anywhere to get away, for a time, from the scenes
and remembrances of the valley and town of Willowby.

At dark he rode into a village at the mouth of a gorge. Lights gleamed
from the windows. A strong breeze came from the gorge, and the trees
which lined the one stony street all leaned away from the mountain.
Rupert had never been in the place before, but he had heard of Windtown.
Was there a hotel? he asked a passer-by. No; but they took lodgers at
Smith's, up the hill. At Smith's he, therefore, put up his horse and
secured supper and bed. Until late at night he walked up and down
Windtown's one street, and even climbed the cliffs above the town.

Next morning he was out early, and entered the canyon as the sun began
to illumine its rocky domes and cast long shafts of light across the
chasm. A summer morning ride through a canyon of the Rockies is always
an inspiration, but Rupert was not conscious of it. Again, at noon, he
fed his horse a bag of grain, and let him crop the scanty bunch-grass on
the narrow hillside. A slice of bread from his pocket, dipped into the
clear stream, was his own meal. Then, out of the canyon, and up the
mountain, and over the divide he went. All that afternoon he rode over a
stretch of sagebrush plain. It was nearly midnight when he stopped at a
mining camp. In the morning he sold his horse for three twenty-dollar
gold pieces, and with his bundle on his back, walked to the railroad
station, a distance of seven miles.

"I want a ticket," said he to the man at the little glass window.

"Where to?"

"To--to--well, to Chicago."

The man looked suspiciously at Rupert, and then turned to a card hanging
on the wall.

"Twenty-eight-fifty," he said.

Two of the gold pieces were shoved under the glass, and Rupert received
his ticket and his change.

In the car, he secured a seat near the window that he might see the
country. It was the same familiar mountains and streams all that day,
but the next morning when he awoke and looked out of the car windows, a
strange sight met his gaze. In every direction, as far as he could see,
stretched the level prairie, over which the train sped in straight lines
for miles and miles. "We must be in Kansas," he thought. "What a sight,
to see so much level land."

But what was he going to do in Chicago? To see the world, to mingle in
the crowd, to jostle with his fellow-beings--what else, he did not know.

Chicago! What a sight to the man of the mountains! Streets, houses,
people and the continuous din and traffic of the city nearly turned his
head for a time. What an ideal place in which to lose one's self. Rupert
had a bundle no longer, but in his pocket just fifteen dollars and ten
cents. He kept well out of the clutches of the sharpers in the city,
and lived quite comfortably for a week, seeing the sights of the
wonderful city. Then, when his money was getting low, he tried to get
work, as he wished to remain longer. But Rupert was a farmer, and they
were not in demand within the city limits. Outside the city, Rupert fell
in with a body of travelers who were going West--walking, and riding on
the trains when they had a chance. He joined them. Somehow, he had
ceased to consider what his doings might lead to, and as for misgivings
as to the company he was keeping, that did not trouble him. For many
days there was more walking than riding. Rupert was not expert at
swinging himself under the cars and hanging to the brakebeams, so he
traveled with the more easy-going element, who slept in the haylofts at
night and got what food they could from farmhouses, though Rupert
hoarded his little store of money and usually paid for what he got. Then
he lost all track of time. It must have been far into the summer when
Rupert separated from his companions, and found himself at the base of
the mountains. Here he spent his last cent for a loaf of bread.

That night Rupert felt a fever burning within him, and in the morning he
was too weak to travel. He, therefore, lay in the hay which had served
him for a bed until the sun shone in upon him; then he again tried to
get out, but he trembled so that he crawled back into the loft and there
lay the whole day. Towards evening he was driven out by the owner of the
barn. Rupert staggered along until he came to another hayloft, which he
succeeded in reaching without being seen. All that night he tossed in
fever and suffered from the pains which racked his body. The next day a
farmer found him, and seeing his condition, brought him some food. Then
on he went again. His mind was now in a daze. Sometimes the mountains,
the houses, and the fences became so jumbled together that he could not
distinguish one from the other. Was he losing his mind? Or was it but
the fever? Was the end coming?--and far from home, too--Home?--he had no
home. One place was as good as another to him. He had no distinct
recollection how he got to the usual hayloft, nor how long he lay there.
It was one confused mass of pains and dreams and fantastic shapes. Then
the fever must have burned out, for he awoke one night with a clear
brain. Then he slept again.

On awakening next morning and crawling out, he saw the sun shining on
the snow-tipped peaks of the mountains. He had dreamed during the night
of his mother and Virginia and Nina, and the dream had impressed him
deeply. His haggard face was covered with a short beard; his clothes
were dirty, and some rents were getting large. Yes, he had reached the
bottom. He could go no further. He was a tramp--a dirty tramp. He had
got to the end of his rope. He would reach the mountains which he still
loved, and there on some cliff he would lie down and die. He would do
it--would do it!

All that day he walked. He asked not for food. He wanted nothing from
any man. Alone he had come into the world, alone he would leave it. His
face was set and hard. Up the mountain road he went, past farmhouse and
village, up, farther up, until he reached a valley that looked like one
he knew, but there was no town there, nothing but a level stretch of
bench-land and a stream coursing down the lower part of the valley.
Groves of pines extended over the foothills up towards the peaks. Up
there he would go. Under the pines his bones would lie and bleach.

He left the wagon road, and followed a trail up the side of the hill.
The sun was nearing the white mountain peaks. An autumn haze hung over
the valley and made the distance dim and blue. The odor from the trees
greeted him, and recalled memories of the time when, full of life and
hope, he had roamed his native pine-clad hills. He was nearing home,
anyway. The preacher had said that dying was only going home. If there
was a hereafter, it could be no worse than the present; and if death
ended all, well, his bones would rest in peace in this lone place. The
wolf and the coyote might devour his flesh--let them--and their night
howl would be his funeral dirge.

Far up, he went into the deepest of the forest. The noise of falling
waters came to him as a distant hymn. He sat on the ground to rest,
before he made his last climb. Mechanically, he took from his pocket a
small book, his testament--his sole remaining bit of property. He opened
it, and his eyes fell on some lines which he had penciled on the margin,
seemingly, years and years ago. They ran as follows:

  "'Tis sorrow builds the shining ladder up,
  Whose golden rounds are our calamities."

And the passages to which they pointed read:

  "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint
  when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he
  chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye
  receive chastenings, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what
  son is he whom the father chasteneth not?"

The book dropped from the reader's trembling grasp. It was then that the
Angel of Mercy said, "It is enough," and touched the young man's heart.
The long pent-up spring burst forth, and Rupert sobbed like a child. By
a huge gray rock sheltered by the pines, he uttered his first prayer to
God. For a full hour he prayed and wept, until a peaceful spirit
overpowered him, and he slept.

Rupert awoke with a changed heart, though he was weak and faint. Evening
was coming on and he saw the smoke curling from the chimney of a
farmhouse half a mile below. Painfully, he made his way down to it.

A young man was feeding the cows for the night, and Rupert went up to
him, and said:

"Good evening, sir; have you any objection to my sleeping in your barn
tonight?"

The man eyed him closely. Tramps did not often come to his
out-of-the-way place.

"Do you smoke?"

"No, sir."

"Then I have no objection, though I don't like tramps around the place."

"Thank you, sir."

The man moved off, but turned again. "Have you had any supper?" he
asked.

"No; but I do not care for anything to eat, thank you."

"Strange tramp, that," said the man to himself, "not to want anything to
eat. Well, go into the shanty and warm yourself, anyway."

In the shanty, Rupert found an old stove glowing with a hot fire, by the
side of which he seated himself. The night was chilly in that high
altitude, and Rupert spread out his palms to the warmth. Inside the
house, he heard the rattle of dishes and the voices of women. Then
strains of songs floated out to him, and he became an intent listener.
Soon from out the humming came two sweet voices, singing. Rupert sat as
one spellbound, as the song seemed to melt into his soul:

  "O my Father, thou that dwellest
    In the high and glorious place!
  When shall I regain thy presence,
    And again behold thy face?
  In thy holy habitation,
    Did my spirit once reside;
  In my first primeval childhood,
    Was I nurtured near thy side.

  "For a wise and glorious purpose
    Thou hast placed me here on earth,
  And withheld the recollection
    Of my former friends and birth;
  Yet ofttimes a secret something
    Whispered, You're a stranger here;
  And I felt that I had wandered
    From a more exalted sphere.

  "I had learned to call thee Father,
    Through thy Spirit from on high;
  But until the Key of Knowledge
    Was restored, I knew not why.
  In the heavens are parents single?
    No; the thought makes reason stare.
  Truth is reason; truth eternal
    Tells me I've a mother there.

  "When I leave this frail existence,
    When I lay this mortal by,
  Father, mother, may I meet you
    In your royal courts on high?
  Then, at length, when I've completed
    All you sent me forth to do,
  With your mutual approbation
    Let me come and dwell with you."

The door opened, and a young woman came out with a small tin pail in her
hand. At sight of Rupert she gave a startled cry and backed to the door.
Just then the young farmer passed through the shanty and explained that
it was only a "traveler" warming himself. The young woman looked
steadily at Rupert. The fire shone out from the open door of the stove,
and the light danced on the rough board walls, throwing a halo of red
around the girl.

"What a sweet picture," instantly thought Rupert.

Then she slowly advanced again, and, instead of pouring the contents of
the pail into a larger dish as was her errand, she placed it on the
table by Rupert, and said, smilingly:

"Vil you have a drink of varm milk?"

"Thank you, thank you."

Then she went back.

Warm milk! What could be more delicious? Rupert sipped the sweet fluid.
How it invigorated him and surcharged him with new life. And given by
such hands, with such a smile! It was a glimpse of past glories.

In the morning Rupert was asked if he wanted a job.

"Yes," was the answer.

"Can you work on a farm?"

"I've been a farmer all my life," was the reply. "I'm not a tramp, as
you understand that term."

"Well, stay around today and I'll see what I can do. I want some help,
but I cannot pay high wages."

"Never mind the wages," said Rupert, "we'll agree on that after a
while."

The young farmer saw that he had no common tramp to deal with, although
he looked rough and travel-stained.

"I have been sick for the past few days," explained Rupert, "and if you
can trust me, I should like to rest up a bit before I go to work. I'm
too weak to do you much good yet."

"That'll be all right," was the answer. "I see you need something to eat
this morning, even if you weren't hungry last night. Come with me to the
house."

So Rupert Ames remained with the farmer and did the chores around the
house until he became stronger, when he helped with the harder work. He
was treated kindly by them all, and it was not long before he mingled
freely with the family.

During this time Rupert realized that his right senses, as he called
them, were coming back to him, and every night he thanked God in vocal
prayer for his deliverance from a dark pit which seemed to have yawned
before him.

The Jansons were newcomers in the West, and had much to learn about
farming. Mr. Janson was a Swede who had been in the country twenty
years. His wife and her cousin were from Norway, the former having been
in the country long enough to become Americanized; it was two years only
since the latter had emigrated from her native land, so she spoke
English with a foreign accent. Her name was Signe Dahl (first name
pronounced in two syllables, Sig-ne). She attracted Rupert's attention
from the first. She had a complexion of pink and white, blue eyes, soft,
light hair; but it was not her peculiar beauty alone that attracted him.
There was something else about her, an atmosphere of peace and assurance
which Rupert could feel in her presence. Naturally, she was reticent at
first, but on learning to know Rupert, which she seemed to do
intuitively, she talked freely with him, and even seemed pleased with
his company.

Two weeks went by, and Rupert proffered to remain with Mr. Janson and
help him with his harvesting. The latter gladly accepted the offer, for
he had by this time learned that Rupert Ames could give him many
practical lessons in farming.

The song that Rupert heard that first evening continually rang in his
ears. He remembered some of the words, and, as he thought of them,
strange ideas came to him. One evening they were all sitting around the
fire in the living room. Rupert had been telling them some of his
history, and when the conversation lagged, he asked the two cousins to
sing that song about "O my Father." They readily consented.

"A most beautiful song," said Rupert at its close; "and so strange. It
seems to bring me back for an instant to some former existence, if that
were possible. What does it mean:

  'In thy holy habitation,
    Did my spirit once reside;
  In my first primeval childhood
    Was I nurtured near thy side.'

"What does it mean?"

"Signe, you explain it," said Mr. Janson. "You know, you're a better
preacher than I am."

Signe made no excuses, but went to the little bookshelf and took from it
two books, her English and her Norwegian Bibles. She read for the most
part from the English now, but she always had the more familiar one at
hand to explain any doubtful passage.

"I vill do wat I can, Mr. Ames. I cannot read English good, so you must
do de reading." She opened the book and pointed to the fourth verse of
the thirty-eighth chapter of the book of Job. Rupert read:

  "Where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth?
  declare, if thou hast understanding. * * * When the morning
  stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

"Yes," said the reader, "that is a great question, indeed. Where was
Job? Why, he was not yet born."

"Who are de sons of God?" asked Signe.

"I suppose we--all of us, in a sense."

"Of course; and ve all shouted for joy when God He laid de foundation of
de earth; so, ve must have been der, and known someting about it."

"Yes, but how could we? We were not yet born."

"No; not in dis world; but ve lived as spiritual children of our Fader
in heaven."

"I don't know about that," remarked Rupert, doubtfully.

"Of course you don't. Dat's why I tell you."

They all smiled at that. Signe again turned the leaves of her Bible.
"Read here," said she.

This time it was the first chapter of St. John. He read the first
fourteen verses.

"Dat vil do; now read here." She returned to the sixth chapter,
sixty-second verse, and he read:

  "What and if ye see the Son of man ascend up to where He was before."

She turned to another. It was the twenty-eighth verse of chapter
sixteen:

  "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again,
  I leave the world and go to the Father."

Still she made him read one more, the fifth verse of the seventeenth
chapter:

  "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the
  glory which I had with thee before the world was."

"Now, vat does it all mean, Mr. Ames?"

"I see your point, Miss Dahl. Christ certainly existed as an intelligent
being before He came to this earth--yes, even before the world was."

"Certainly; our Savior vas himself as ve. He vas born, He had a body as
ve, and He also had a spirit. God is de Fader of His spirit and it
existed long ago, as you said. Christ is our Elder Broder. Ve are of de
same family. If He existed before de vorld, why not ve? Dat's right,
isn't it?"

"But couldn't Christ have been the only one who had a pre-existence? I
believe something is said in your book about the Savior being the only
begotten of the Father."

"Yes, in de flesh; dat is true, but God is de Fader of all spirits who
have come to dis world to take a body. I can find you many passages to
prove it."

"Well, I have never thought of these things before, but it must be true
if the Bible means what it says. That's a grand principle, Mr. Janson."

"It certainly is, Mr. Ames. Many people object to it; but I cannot see,
if we are to exist in a spiritual state after we leave this body, why we
could not have existed before we entered it--but Signe, here, is the
preacher. Her only trouble is with the w's and th's. She can't get them
right yet."

Signe smiled. "No, Mr. Ames, I'm no preacher. It's all so plain to me.
De Bible says ve have a Fader in heaven, and I believe it. I also
believe ve have 'a moder der,' as de song says. I can't prove it from de
book, but I just use my reason on dat."

It was a new experience for Rupert to hear a fair lady expound such
doctrine. The whole thing charmed him, both the speaker and that which
was spoken. A new light seemed to dawn upon him. What if this life was
but a school, anyway, into which eternal souls were being sent to be
proved, to be taught.

"Have you any other quotations on the subject?

"Oh, yes; it is full," said she. "When you get time read Heb. 12:9,
Jer. 1:4-5, Eph. 1:3-5 and John 9:1-3. I do not remember more now."

Rupert took them down, and read them that night before he went to bed.
And each day he saw a new horizon; and the sweet-faced Norwegian was not
the least factor in this continued change of mental vision. "God bless
her," he said to himself, "God has sent her to me for a purpose;" and he
began to add to his prayers that he might so live that he would be
worthy of the blessings which, seemingly, were coming his way.



IX.


  "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being
  alone"--_James 2:17._

Chamogo Valley lies on the edge of the great arid region of America. At
the time of Rupert Ames' arrival in the valley, full crops were never
certain, and during some years, rain was so scarce that there were no
crops at all. The Chicago real estate dealer who had sold Mr. Janson his
land had not enlightened him on this fact, and so he had already lost
the best part of two years' work by failure of crops. Rupert Ames
learned of all this from Mr. Janson, and then he wondered why advantage
was not taken of the stream in the bottom of the valley for irrigation
purposes.

One day--it was near the end of the harvest, and they were pitting their
last potatoes--Rupert asked Mr. Janson if the adjoining lands could be
bought.

"Why, yes," was the reply. "I was offered nearly the whole valley for a
small sum, but I have all the land I care to handle. You see, this
region would be different if we could rely on the moisture, but we
can't, and I am nearly tired of it myself. Do you want to buy me out?"
This with a laugh.

"Can you raise money enough to buy this whole valley?" asked Rupert
seriously.

"Yes; I could get it."

"Then I am going to propose something to you."

Whereupon Rupert pointed out that the rich bench lands on each side of
the river could be brought under cultivation, and crops secured every
year by bringing the water from the stream in canals, and watering, or
irrigating them. Mr. Janson listened with wonder at Rupert's description
of Dry-bench reservoir, and how simple it would be to construct canals
by which to water Chamogo valley.

"This valley can be made to support a good-sized population," said
Rupert. "By securing the land and digging canals to it, and then
selling it out in farms again--well, if you don't make a hundred per
cent on your investment, I am mistaken."

They had many talks on the scheme, and at last it was decided to try it.
Rupert would supervise the construction of the canals. He would remain
during the winter, do what work could be done before the snow came, and
then continue the work in the spring.

The land was secured at a small outlay. The canal was surveyed and a
little digging was done that fall. When the snow came, Rupert rode
twenty-one miles to the county seat, took the teachers' examination,
received a certificate, and obtained the Chamogo district school for the
winter. It was a new experience for him, and a trying one at first. The
big boys came to school to get out of the storm, and incidentally, to
learn something of the three R's. They were often wild, but Rupert
managed them without doing any "licking," the usual mode of discipline.
He now wrote to his sister Nina, and told her that he was located for
the winter; that he expected to get back to Willowby, but not for a
time.

So the winter months passed. Rupert studied his own lessons when he was
not preparing for his day's work. He made frequent visits to the
Jansons, though it was a good three miles' drive. He was always received
as a friend, and, indeed, was treated as one of the family.

Was it strange that a tie should grow between Rupert Ames and Signe
Dahl? Was it anything out of the way that Rupert's trips became more
frequent, and that the fair-haired Norwegian looked longingly down the
road for the school-master's horse?

Rupert did not try to deceive himself. It had been a year only since his
experience with Virginia Wilton. He had thought that he never would get
over that, but even now he could look back on it with indifference, yes,
even with thankfulness. This love which seemed to be coming to him was
different from that first experience. He could not explain this
difference, but he knew that it existed. Rupert had no misgivings. Signe
did not thrill him, did not hold him spell-bound with her presence. No;
it was only a calm, sweet assurance that she was a good girl, that he
loved her, and that she thought well of him. Their conversations were
mostly on serious, but deeply interesting subjects. Signe, in common
with her cousin and Mr. Janson, had religious views of her own, which
were peculiar, at least to Rupert. Nothing more than the common
doctrines of the Christian denominations had Rupert ever heard. Signe
knew her Bible well, and she could find wonderful things within its
lids, teachings which were new to Rupert, but which opened to him a
future, a bright, glorious future, full of possibilities. Besides, they
explained to him many of the mysteries of life and answered many of its
hard questions.

Thus one evening--it was Friday, and he lingered longer on that
evening--Mr. and Mrs. Janson were visiting neighbors, and Rupert and
Signe were alone. They sat by the kitchen stove, and the blazing pine
wood made a lamp unnecessary. Signe had received a letter from home
which she had translated to Rupert. Her father had long since forgiven
her. The few dollars she sent home now and then multiplied to quite a
few _kroner_ by the time they reached Norway, and they helped the
struggling family. After old country topics had been exhausted, the
conversation had drifted to religious themes, and especially to the
doctrine expressed in the song "O my Father;" but they now sat silently
looking into the fire. Their chairs were not far apart, and it was an
easy matter for Rupert to lay his hand over Signe's fingers that rested
on the arm of her chair and draw them closely into his big palm.

"Signe," he said, "if we ever lived as intelligent beings in a
pre-existent state--and I now can not doubt it,--we two knew each other
there. Perhaps we were the closest friends, and I have just been letting
my imagination run wild in contemplating the possibilities."

"Let me tell you someting--thing. Did I get tha-at right?"

"You get the th as well as I, and the w's trouble you no more."

"Only sometimes I forget, I was going to say, you remember the first
night you came here?"

"I certainly do;" and he pressed her fingers a little closer.

"Well, I seemed to know you from the first. Though you looked bad and
like a tramp, I knew you were not, and I felt as if I had known you
before."

They were silent again, "reading life's meaning in each other's eyes."

Signe filled the stove from the box beside it.

"You remember that book you gave me to read the other day, Signe?"

"Yes; what do you think of it?"

"I have been thinking considerably about it. It sets forth gospel
doctrine altogether different from what I have ever heard; still it
agrees perfectly with what Christ and His disciples taught. You know, I
have always been taught that man is a kind of passive being, as regards
the salvation of his soul; that everything has been done for him; that,
in fact, it would be the basest presumption on his part to attempt to do
anything for himself; that man is without free agency in the matter;
that he is simply as a lump of clay, and with little more intelligence
or active powers."

"I know all about such teachings," said Signe, as she went for her
Bible. "They were drilled into me in the old country."

"Now," continued he, "I see that such doctrines lower man, who is, in
fact, a child of God. I cannot perceive that an Allwise Parent would
thus take away the agency of His children. We have a motto in school
which says: 'Self effort educates,' and I believe that to be the only
principle upon which we can safely grow, if we are to become like unto
our Eternal Father."

"Yes," answered Signe, "but you must remember one thing, that 'as in
Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' The
resurrection from the dead comes through Christ without any effort on
our part. We were not responsible for Adam's transgression, therefore we
are redeemed from its effects through the atonement of Christ, all
mankind are, both good and bad--all will arise and stand before God to
be judged by the deeds done in the body."

"Yes; I admit all that; but it is hardly plain to me what we must do to
be freed from our individual sins. We are in the midst of sin. We are in
a mortal state and partake of our surroundings. Now, there must be a
plan by which we may be rid of these imperfections, for if we are ever
to live in the presence of God, it seems to me that we must be pure and
holy, without sin."

Signe had her book open. "I will read here an answer to your question,"
she said. "You remember that on the day of Pentecost when the Holy
Spirit was given, Peter preached to a large crowd of people. Many of
them believed, and being pricked in their hearts, they said: 'Men and
brethren, what shall we do?' You know they are not the only ones who
have asked that question."

"No, you are right."

"'And Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive
the gift of the Holy Ghost.' That's plain enough, isn't it? Words can
make it no clearer. When Peter saw that they had faith, he told them to
repent, then be baptized for the remission of their sins, then they
would get the Holy Ghost."

"And the promise was to them and to their children and to them that were
afar off. Signe, is it not to us also?" Rupert asked, eagerly, "why
shouldn't it be?"

"The promise is not limited--it is to you and to me. I, Rupert, have
obeyed Peter's word, and have received the promise. You may do the same,
and the same blessings will follow. The gospel is a law, a natural law,
and oh, such a beautiful one!"

"Why haven't I heard this before?" exclaimed he. "Why isn't it written
in our books, and taught us in our childhood? Signe, I am a bit
bewildered yet."

"Rupert," said she, with a smile that had something of sadness in it,
"the world is 'Ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of
the truth.' 'Darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness the
people.' 'And as with the people, so with the priest.' 'The earth also
is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed
the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.' Is
there any wonder that you have not heard these doctrines before? Though
you may read about them in the Bible, the world has been without their
living presence for many hundreds of years. But a new time has come to
the world. The gospel in its fulness and purity has been restored. We
read here that John, on the Isle of Patmos, saw that in the latter days
an angel would 'fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting
gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth.' That angel has come,
Rupert, that gospel has been restored; and what I have been telling you
are the teachings of that gospel. Man is again endowed with power from
on high to preach the gospel and administer its ordinances to those who
believe."

Rupert listened with deepest interest. He became as a disciple at her
feet. They talked far into the night, and when Mr. and Mrs. Janson came
home they found them bending low over the fire reading from the "good
old book." Their heads were close together, the dark-brown one and the
one of soft, silken tresses.



X.

  "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept
  the faith."--_II Tim. 4:7._


Rupert was now continually thinking of the great questions of life.
Never before had he been so stirred in his feelings; never before had he
contemplated life in the light which now came to him. His heart was full
of love, gratitude, and praise which swelled within him, and seemed to
take possession of his whole being.

The winter passed, and Rupert closed his school. He came to the
conclusion that school teaching was not his forte, though the people
were satisfied with his work. He longed to be out digging ditches. He
liked it far better, and conjectured that in this world his mission was
to make the physical deserts to blossom as the rose.

During the summer, Chamogo valley did undergo a change. One side of the
valley was brought under irrigation, and a number of farms were sold at
a good profit. Mr. Janson did right by Rupert, and together they worked
and prospered.

And that which now filled Rupert's cup of happiness was the fact that he
had rendered obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and had received
the promised gifts and blessings following. The light that leadeth into
all truth was his. With Signe and her co-religionists, he could now see
eye to eye, all having the same glorious hope for the future.

One more winter passed; and when nature had spread her robe of green
over Chamogo valley, preparations were made for the ceremony that would
make Rupert and Signe husband and wife. Rupert longed to see Willowby
and Dry Bench once more, so it was decided that after they had visited
the Temple of God and had been sealed to each other for time and all
eternity, they would take a trip to Rupert's old home. They were married
in the Temple. Within its sacred walls they experienced more fully than
ever before what still sweetness there is in the ministrations of the
Spirit of God.

They reached Willowby late in September. He had written Nina when he
would be there, and she and her husband were at the station to meet
them.

There were tears in their eyes at the meeting.

"Nina, this is my wife," said Rupert. "Signe, my sister, Mrs. Furns."

A number of Rupert's old friends were there who now came forward and
welcomed him home.

Then they rode through the valley behind two spirited grays. Nina had
not changed much, but she declared that had she met her brother on the
street, she would not have known him.

"What has changed you so, brother?" asked she.

"Experience, Nina, experience with the world I have lived a long time in
the two and a half years that I have been away--but never mind that now.
Everything looks the same hereabouts. I seem to have been absent but a
few days. How strange it is! Signe, there you see Willowby, on that
rise; quite a town yet. How's Dry Bench, James?"

"Much the same, Rupe. No improvements since you left."

"And the reservoir?"

"As you left it, though it needs repairing badly."

In the few moments of silence that followed, Rupert contrasted his
condition now with what it was when he left the place. What a change! He
was wiser if not much older. And then he had a wife--and he looked
lovingly at her as he thought of all she had done for him. As they drove
into town, friends greeted him and seemed pleased at his return.
Married? Yes; that is his wife. Not so dashing as Miss Wilton, but far
more charming, was the general expression.

That evening there was quite a social gathering at Nina's.

Early next morning, before others of the household were astir, Rupert
and Signe went up to Dry Bench. A beautiful morning greeted them. They
walked up towards the hill that they might get a good view of the farm,
and when they turned, Dry Bench was before them. The trees had grown,
but otherwise it was the same scene that he had looked upon many and
many a time. The memory of a particular morning came to him--the morning
when Miss Wilton's horse had run away. Miss Wilton had never been heard
of since she left Willowby.

"How beautiful!" exclaimed Signe. "Do you know, Rupert, it reminds me of
a scene in Norway. I must make a sketch here before we leave."

"Sit down on this rock," said he, "while I tell you something. Here's my
overcoat." He made a seat for her and he stood by her side.

"Signe, nearly six years ago, I stood here on this spot. I was the owner
of the farm that you see. In fact, I dug this ditch. I set out that
orchard, I planned and built the reservoir that has made all this
possible; and then I stood here, and in the pride of my heart I said:
'All this is mine. I have done it all.' Now I understand that God put me
on trial, lent me some of His riches to try me, and then, seeing that I
was not in a condition to stand such favors, took them all from me. Yes,
it was a blessing in disguise. Darling, for this knowledge I am indebted
to you," and he leaned over and kissed her.

"There you are wrong again," she said; "what about God above?"

"You are right. 'Tis He only who should have our gratitude. You have
been but an instrument in His hand. I see it all. O Father, forgive my
foolish thoughts." He uncovered his head, as if in prayer.

He sat down with her on the stone. The smoke began to rise from the
chimneys of the town below, and soon the Dry Bench farm-houses showed
signs of life. He pressed her cheek against his own.

"Sweetheart," said he, "'When love has blended and molded two beings in
an angelic and sacred union, they have found the secret of life;
henceforth they are only the two terms of the same destiny, the two
wings of one mind. Love and soar.' That is from Victor Hugo; how true it
is."

After a time they went down to the old home. A Mr. Temming was living
there, as a renter. He was not acquainted with Mr. Ames, and was not
disposed to show much courtesy, so they left.

"What do you think of the place?" he asked.

"I like it."

"Could you live there?"

"All my life, I could. Rupert, I see you in every tree, fence, and
ditch."

He laughed at that.

"I can now buy the place. Shall I?"

"Yes, do."

"You don't object? Would you really like to live there?"

"I think, my dear, that you can do much good here. We ought to live
where we can do the most good."

And so it was settled. Next day Rupert inquired after the owner of the
farm which once was his, and learned that it was in the hands of a real
estate dealer. He made his way to the office and knocked at the door,
which was partly open. A man was sitting at a desk, but he evidently did
not hear, so Rupert stepped into the room, at the same time giving the
door another loud rap. Still the man did not hear.

"Good morning, sir," said Rupert.

The man turned.

"Volmer, Volmer Holm, is it you?"

"Rupert Ames, I'm pleased to see you. When did you come to town? Have a
chair."

"Are you in the real estate business?"

"I can't hear very well, and you'll have to speak at close range, Rupe."

So they put their chairs close together, and Rupert repeated his last
question.

"Yes, a man must do something; but there's nothing going on now--nothing
in our line."

Rupert looked in pity at his friend. Quite shabbily dressed he was, and
a careworn expression on his face made him look ten years older. He wore
glasses, which he pushed up on his forehead, and then took a good look
at Rupert.

"Well, well, Rupe, and where have you been keeping yourself? An' I've
had luck, I tell you--you haven't heard, perhaps?"

"No; I haven't. What's it been, Volmer?"

"Was getting fifty dollars a week leading the orchestra at the Grand in
Chicago, when I got sick. Don't know what it was, Rupe--the doctors
didn't know. Got into my ears, and that knocked me--couldn't tell one
note from another; so, of course, that let me out. Hard luck, Rupe, hard
luck. Tough world this, Rupe. Why God Almighty crams a fellow's head
full of music, and then disables him so's he can't make use of it, I
don't know--I don't know."

Rupert sympathized with his friend, and then told him of his errand. A
ray of sunshine seemed to enter the musician's life. The property was
for sale, yes, and cheap, dirt cheap; so the transaction was partly
arranged, and Volmer Holm went home to his wife and four children with
quite a happy heart that day.

"It's too bad about Volmer Holm," said Rupert to his sister. "I had not
heard of his misfortune. Such a genius in music, too."

"Well, I don't know," answered Nina, "it may be all for the best. Rumor
had it that he was fast getting into bad ways in Chicago; and some men
are better off by being poor, anyway."

"Yes, that's so," was all he said.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rupert Ames was again the owner of Dry Bench farm, and the next spring
they moved into the old home. Mr. and Mrs. Janson came with them to
visit, but their interests in Chamogo would not allow of a protracted
stay. Signe was already in love with her new home. With her taste for
the artistic, she soon had the place comfortable, and Rupert was never
more satisfied than when he came in where his wife's adept fingers had
been at work to adorn. It was the dear old home to him with an added
beauty, lacking only his mother's presence to make it perfect.

Then they sent for Signe's family. It was hard for the father to make
ends meet in his native land, and Rupert needed just such help as Hr.
Dahl could give. In due time they arrived, and were installed in a
cottage near Rupert's farm.

In peace and prosperity, the days, months, and years went by; and
Rupert Ames became a light to the surrounding world, and a teacher of
righteousness to his brethren.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was the sixth year after Rupert's return that the citizens of the
Bench decided to enlarge the reservoir in Dry Hollow. Rupert was given
the work to supervise, and he entered upon the task with his usual
energy.

That morning in September, when he gave his wife the usual departing
kiss, the children--four of them, were hanging about his legs and
clinging to his coat in great glee.

"Now papa must go," said he, as he tried to shake them off.

"A kiss, another kiss," "A tiss, some more tisses," they shouted.

So he lifted them up, one by one, and kissed them again. Then his arm
went around his wife's neck, and he drew her face to his.

"Goodbye, sweetheart," said he, "take care of the children, and don't
forget me," and he tried to hum a song as he walked to the gate. Signe
stood watching him. The tune which floated back to her was, "O, my
Father." Then a peculiar feeling came over her, and she sat down crying,
while the children climbed over her with questions and comforting words.

       *       *       *       *       *

Terrible news from Dry Hollow! A blast, prematurely exploded, had
seriously injured some of the workmen, and Rupert Ames had been
killed--hurled down the ravine and nearly buried under falling rock.

Break the news gently to his wife and children. Do not let them see that
bruised, bleeding form. Spare them all you can.

Yes; it was all done--all that lay in human power was done; and hundreds
of people to whom Rupert Ames had opened up new light, and in the
providence of God, had given them a tangible hope of the future,
gathered around his body and mingled their tears with those of his
children's.

Another immortal soul's earthly mission was ended. Life's school had
closed for him. Into another sphere he had gone. The Great Schoolmaster
had promoted him.

And Mrs. Signe Ames, after it all, simply said:

"God knows best. He has but gone before. He was my husband for time, he
is my husband for eternity. His mission is there, mine is here. In the
morrow, we shall meet again."



XI.

  "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
  creature."--_Mark 16:15._


Hr. Henrik Bogstad leaned back in his chair before the fire in great
relief. He had just shown out a young man who was distributing religious
tracts dealing with some "new-fangled religion" lately imported from
America, that land of all new-fangled things. All the day, Hr. Bogstad
had been adjusting some difficulties among his tenants, and that evening
he was somewhat ill-humored. His treatment of the missionary, was,
therefore, harsher than he was wont to treat either strangers or
friends.

His conscience smote him a little as he thought of what the young
American had said. He could find no fault with the religious doctrines
advanced, but why should he be bothered with religion anyway? He had
cares enough; for a great responsibility had come to him since he had
been put in charge of the estate left by his father's death. Just now
was the season of gaiety in Christiania, and here he was missing a good
many things by his enforced visit to his country home.

After musing for some time, he got up and went to the window. Outside,
the snow covered everything--the fields, the roads, the frozen lake and
river. The houses were half hidden, and the pines on the hill bore up
great banks of snow. From the window the view was beautiful in its
solemn whiteness. From the white level of the distant frozen lake,
broken patches of brown protruded. These were the islands on one of
which Signe Dahl had lived. Henrik wondered what had become of her, and
where in the big America she had taken up her abode. He had heard that
she was well and happy, but further than that he had not set himself to
learn. Long ago he had put behind him philosophically his affair with
Signe. He had ceased to think of her as anything more than a sweet, yet
strange girl who could resist such an offer as he had extended to her.

As Henrik was looking out of the window, he saw the young stranger who
had visited him less then an hour ago, returning down the road. Just as
he was about to pass, Henrik hailed him and asked him to come in again,
meeting him at the door.

"Come in," he said; "I want to talk with you."

The missionary placed his grip on a chair and seated himself on another.

"I was somewhat cross with you when you called," said Henrik. "I don't
want you to think that I am rude, especially to strangers."

"I was not the least offended," smiled the other.

"I'm glad to hear it. Now I want you to tell me something about America.
I've never been there, though I expect to go some day. I have some
friends and a good many relatives over there. From what part do you
come?"

"I am from Wyoming."

"That's away out west, isn't it?"

"Yes."

"Two uncles of mine live in Minnesota, but that's a long way from
Wyoming. Where are you staying here, for the night?"

"I am a traveling minister of the gospel and I stay wherever there is an
opportunity."

"Then you'll stay with me tonight. I am not much on religion, but if you
will mix a little information about America with your preaching, I shall
be pleased to listen to you."

These conditions were easily agreed to. So, after a good supper, the two
young men seated themselves comfortably by the shaded lamp on the
library table. The missionary spread out his book of views and explained
each of the pictures. He told of the great stretch of arid land in
western America, of the ranches, of the high mountains, of the fertile
valleys made fruitful by irrigation, and of the wonders of the great
Salt Lake.

"This is the Temple."

"Yes; and what is that for?"

The purposes of temples were explained.

"You say you baptize for the dead?" enquired Henrik, "How is that?"

"Well, as I was telling you when I called on you some time ago--"

"Pardon me, but I must confess that I did not pay enough attention to
what you said to remember. I was thinking about those quarreling tenants
of mine. Tell me again."

The other smiled good-naturedly, and did as he was asked. Henrik
listened this time, and was indeed interested, asking a good many
questions.

"Now, about the Temple," continued the missionary--"we believe that
every soul that has ever lived on the earth, that is living now, or that
will ever live must have the privilege of hearing this gospel of Jesus
Christ. There is only one name given under heaven by which men may be
saved, and every creature must hear that name. Now, the great majority
of the human race has never heard the gospel; in fact, will not hear it
in this life."

"Where, then, can they hear it?"

"In the great spirit world. Christ, when He was put to death went and
preached to the spirits in prison--those who were disobedient in the
days of Noah and were destroyed in the flood; and no doubt the saving
power of Christ has been proclaimed in that spirit world ever since.
Among those who hear, many will believe. They have faith, they repent of
their sins, but they can not be baptized in water for the remission of
their sins."

"No; of course not."

"And yet Christ definitely said that unless a man is born again of water
and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What is to be
done?"

The listener, leaning over the table, merely shook his head.

"Paul speaks in I Cor. 15:29 of some who were baptized for the dead--and
that is a correct principle. The living may be baptized for the dead, so
that those who have left this world may receive the gospel in the spirit
world and have the birth of the water done for them vicariously by
someone in the flesh."

"This is strange doctrine."

"Temples are used for these baptisms. The Latter-day Saints are busy
tracing back as far as possible their lines of ancestry, and then they
are going into their temples--for they have already four of them--and
are doing this work for their dead. In this way is being fulfilled
Malachi's prediction that Elijah the Prophet should come before the
great and dreadful day of the Lord, 'and He shall turn the heart of the
fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their
fathers,' lest the Lord come and smite the earth with a curse. You will
find this in the last chapter of the Old Testament."

The lamp burned late into the night as these two men sat by it talking;
and the conversation was not, as one of them had planned, for the most
part about the land of America and its material opportunities.



XII.

  "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he
  cannot be my disciple."--_Luke 14:33._


"I cannot understand him," Frue Bogstad was saying. "His actions are so
strange."

"It's simply wicked of him," added Froken Selma Bogstad. "He is bringing
the whole family into disrepute."

The mother did not reply, but turned her face thoughtfully away from the
angry daughter.

"The boy is completely carried away with this American religion,"
continued the girl, pacing nervously back and forth in the room. "Pastor
Tonset called to see him the other day, and you ought to have heard
them! The pastor, as our friend, came to advise him; but do you think
Henrik would take any advice? Why, he even argued with the pastor,
saying that he could prove the truth of this religion from the
Scriptures."

"Has he talked to you about it?"

"Yes; and he wanted me to accompany him to Osterhausgaden where these
people hold meetings. I told him definitely and forcibly that I didn't
want him to mention religion to me."

"He seems to be in such deep earnest."

"And that's the pity of it. It does no good to talk to him. He takes it
for granted that he should be persecuted. I believe he is ready to give
up everything for this creed that has him in its grasp."

A violent ringing of the bell brought Selma to the door. It was Henrik,
who had forgotten his latch key. He hung up his hat, wiped the
perspiration from his face, for it was a warm evening; then he said
cheerily:

"Spring is coming; I feel it in the air. I'll be glad to get out to
Nordal--there is so much to do this summer--"

"Young man," interrupted the sister, "we have been talking about you."

"About my wickedness, I suppose."

"About your foolishness. It isn't very pleasant for us--what you're
doing."

"What am I doing? That which is unkind to you, mother?" He placed his
arms lovingly around her shoulders, but she sat without replying, her
face in her handkerchief. He turned to Selma.

"What have I done?" he asked. "Do I drink? Do I gamble? Do I steal? Do I
lie? Do I profane? Do I treat any of you unkindly? Am I disrespectful to
my mother or my sister?"

"You associate with a people known everywhere as the scum of the earth,"
snapped the sister, as she stood in front of him. "You are disgracing
us--the whole Bogstad family--you--but what's the use of talking to
you."

"Not a bit of use that way, dear sister. Suppose you answer some of my
questions. You accuse, but never bring proof. You would rather believe
uninformed people than me. You accept hearsay, but will not listen to
the truth I wish to tell you. I have asked you to point out some of the
bad things taught by the Latter-day Saints, but so far you have never
tried. I have invited you to go with me--"

"Do you think I would thus disgrace myself to appear in their meetings!"

"You will not even read a simple tract; you close your eyes and ears.
You push God from you when you say that He does not reveal Himself any
more; and so does Pastor Tonset and all his followers. Because I am
willing to receive light, even though it comes from a 'sect everywhere
spoken against,' I am a bad man. I tell you, my sister, and also you, my
mother, I may be looked upon as a disgrace to the Bogstad family, but
the time will come when you and all that family will thank the Lord that
one member of the family heard the truth, and had courage enough to
accept it!"

Selma walked to the door, and now passed out without replying. Henrik
sat down by his mother, and the two continued to converse in low, quiet
tones.

The mother's hair was white, the face pinched from much suffering, the
hands shrunken. Selma's talk disturbed her, as did that of a score or
more of interested relatives; but when she talked with Henrik alone she
was at peace, and she listened quietly to what he told her. She was so
old and weak and traditionated in the belief of her fathers that she
could grasp but feebly the principles taught her by Henrik; but this she
knew, that there was something in his tone and manner of speech that
soothed her and drove away the resentment and hardness of heart left by
the talk of others.

"You know, mother," Henrik was saying, "this restored gospel answers so
many of life's perplexing questions. It is broad, full of common sense,
and mercy. Father, as you well know, was not a religious man. When he
died, Pastor Tonset gave it as his opinion that father was a lost
soul--"

"Father was a good man."

"I know he was, mother; and to say that because he could not believe in
the many inconsistencies taught as religious truths, he is everlastingly
lost, doesn't appeal to me--never did. Father, as all of us, will
continue to learn in the spirit world to which all must go; and when the
time comes, he will, no doubt, see the truths of the gospel and accept
them. And here is where the beauty of true religion comes in: it teaches
that there is hope beyond the grave; that salvation is not limited to
this life; that every soul will have a chance, either here or hereafter.
You, mother, have worried over father's condition. Don't do it any more;
he will be all right." He felt like adding that she had more reason to
worry over the living, but he said no more.

Selma came in with the coffee, and no further discourse was had on
religious topics. Although Henrik had quit using coffee with his meals,
he occasionally sipped a little in the company of his mother. This
evening he took the proffered cup from his sister, who soon withdrew
again, and then Henrik and his mother continued their talk. It was along
the lines of the old faith, grounded into them and their forefathers
since Christianity had been "reformed" in their country. As a boy,
Henrik had not been religious, as that term was understood by his
people, but nevertheless he had in him a strain of true devotion which
the message of the American missionary had aroused. However, this
revival within the young man did not meet with the favor of his friends,
and he was looked upon as having come under the influence of some evil,
heretical power, much to their regret.

"Marie is here," announced Selma from the door.

Henrik arose. "Where is she? I did not know she was in town."

"She is in the east room."

"Tell her to come in."

"She says she wants to see you alone."

"All right. Good night then, mother. Pleasant dreams to you."

Henrik found Marie sitting by the open window looking over the tops of
the shrubbery in the garden. The light from the setting sun bathed her
in its glow, increasing the beauty of an already beautiful face. Henrik
stepped up behind the girl and placed his hands under her chin. She did
not turn her head.

"This is a surprise," he said, "but I am _so_ glad to see you. Did you
have a pleasant time at Skarpen?"

There was no reply. The young woman still surveyed the garden and the
darkening shadows on the lawn.

"What is the matter, little girl?" he asked. He felt the trembling of
her chin as she removed his hands.

"No," she replied, "I did not have a good time."

"I'm sorry. What was wrong?"

"You were not there--you were somewhere else, where your heart is more
than with me--you were, no doubt at Osterhausgade." She hardened her
tone as she proceeded.

"Oh, I'm not there all the time," he laughed.

"You think more of the people you meet there than you do of me, at any
rate."

"What makes you think so?"

"You, and your actions. O, Henrik, could you but hear the talk--I hear
it, and people look so strangely at me, and pity me ... I can't stand
it!" She arose as if to escape him, walked across the room, then sat
down by the center table. He closed the window blind, then lighted the
gas, and seated himself opposite her by the table. There was a pause
which she at last broke by saying:

"I hear that you are actually going to join those horrid people--is that
true?"

There was another long silence as they looked at each other across the
table.

"Yes," he said.

"Next week?"

"That was my intention--yes."

"And we were to be married next month?"

"Yes--"

"Well, I want to tell you, Henrik, that if you join those people the
wedding day will have to be postponed."

"For how long?"

"For a long, long time."

"Well--I had thought to be baptized next week; but, of course, I can
postpone it."

"For good, Henrik--say for good."

"No; I can't say that; for a little while--to please you, to let you
think a little longer on the matter. I want you to choose deliberately,
Marie. There need be no undue haste. I don't want you to make up your
mind unalterably to reject me because of the step which I am going to
take."

"I have already made up my mind."

"Marie!"

"You must choose between me or--"

"Don't say it, don't; you'll be sorry some day, if you do; for the less
said, the less there is to retract."

Marie arose. "I'm not going to take anything back," she answered with
forceful anger. "I thought you loved me, but--I--have been mistaken. I
shall not annoy you longer. Good night."

He arose to follow her. "You need not come with me," she added. "I
shall see Selma, and she will accompany me home--not you."

"Very well, Marie."

She turned at the door. "Will you not promise?"

"Promise what?"

"Not to do as you said--not to disgrace--"

"Marie, where the light shines, I must follow; where the truth beckons,
I must go. I--"

With a low cry the girl turned and fled from the room.



XIII.

  "The Lord alone did lead him."--_Deut. 32:12_.


One beautiful summer evening, Henrik Bogstad was baptized in the waters
of the Christiania fjord. After that, the truths of the gospel appeared
clearer than ever, and still whisperings of the Spirit, to which he now
had legal right, testified to his spirit that he was in the way of
salvation, narrow and straight perhaps, but glowing with a light that
comforted and cheered.

He told none of his family or friends of his baptism. They had already
rejected him as far as they could, and they asked him no questions. His
sister would hardly speak to him, and Marie cut him openly. His many
uncles, aunts, and cousins were cold and unfeeling. His mother, though
feeble, and sinking slowly, was the only one of his family that he could
talk to. She seemed to understand and believe him. He felt that in
spirit they were one, and he received great comfort from the thought.

About Midsummer the mother died. Then Henrik spent most of his time at
Nordal. There was peace in the solitude of the pine-clad hills, there
was comfort in the waving fields of grain and the clear-flowing streams.
The lake spread out to his view from his window, and he gazed at its
beauty, sometimes his mind wandering from the Dahl home on the island
westward to unknown America. And America had a new meaning for him now.
Before, it had been simply a new wonder-land, with untold possibilities
in a material way; but added to this there was now the fact that in
America the Latter-day Zion was to be built; there the people of God
were gathering, were building temples, preparatory to the glorious
coming of the Lord.

Henrik soon caught the spirit of gathering, but he quenched it as much
as possible. His brethren in the gospel advised him to remain where he
was and do his full duty to his sister and their interests. This he
tried to do. He would not quarrel with Selma, but was exceedingly
patient and considerate. He would "talk religion" with any of his
friends who expressed a desire to do so, but he would not contend.

Henrik mingled more freely with his tenants at Nordal, and they soon
became aware of a change in him. He gave them good treatment. Sometimes,
there were Sunday services in the large parlor of the Bogstad residence,
and the people were invited to attend. They turned out, it must be
admitted, more because of Hr. Bogstad's invitation than because of any
enthusiasm on their part.

Henrik, during this period of comparative loneliness, read much. He
always carried a book in his pocket when out among the hills and fields,
and many a moss-covered stone became his reading table. He had procured
a number of English books which he delighted in, for they brought to him
much that had not yet been printed in his own language.

After the harvesting was over that summer, Henrik directed his attention
to another line of work, pointed out to him by the New Light. He
gathered the genealogy of his forefathers. His was a large family, and
when he searched the old church records at Nordal, at Christiania, and
at a number of other places he found that the family was an old and
prominent one, reaching back to the ancient Norsemen. He derived a
peculiar satisfaction in this work, and he extended his researches until
he had a large list of names on his mother's side as well as on his
father's. "Among these there are many noble and true," thought Henrik.
"Many will receive the gospel in the spirit world, and all will have the
opportunity. I shall have the necessary earthly work done for them. If
my labors for the living will not avail, my dead ancestors shall have
their chance. Who knows but even now the gospel is being preached to
them, and many of them are looking eagerly for someone to do their work
for them." The thought filled him with enthusiasm.

The following spring Selma married, which left Henrik quite alone. He
met Marie at the wedding festivities. She was silent and quiet. He made
no strong efforts to win her back to him, so they drifted apart again.
Then Henrik arranged his affairs so that he could remain away for some
months. He said he was going to America to visit his uncles in
Minnesota,--and yes, very likely he would go farther west. His friends
shook their heads misgivingly, but he only smiled at their fears.

Henrik sailed from Christiania in company with a party of his
fellow-believers, and in due uneventful time, landed in the New World.
He found America a wonderfully big and interesting country. He went
directly westward first, crossing the great plains and rugged mountains
to the valleys beyond. Here he found and visited many of his former
friends. He lived with the Latter-day Saints in their homes, and learned
to know their true character and worth.

Then he saw the temples in which the Saints were doing a saving work
both for the living and the dead. While in conversation with some of the
temple workers, he told them of what he had in the way of genealogy,
which they commended highly, telling him that he had an opportunity to
do much good for his family.

"I am glad to hear you say that," replied he, "for you know, this work
for the dead was what first impressed me in the gospel. It came to me
naturally, it seems, for I had no trouble in accepting it."

Henrik learned much regarding the manner of procedure in this temple
work. He could do the work for the male members of his family, but a
woman must officiate for the female members. This was the true order,
he found.

"Your sister or your wife or any other near relative would be the person
to help you in this," said his informant.

Henrik shook his head. "I am the only member of the family that has
received the gospel," he replied.

"Then, of course, any other sister in the faith will do; but the
blessings for doing this work belongs to the nearest kin, if they will
receive it. Have you no relatives in America?"

"Yes; a lot of them are up in Minnesota, but none that I know are
Latter-day Saints--but I'll go and find out," he added as an
afterthought.

And that is what Henrik did. Within a month he was on his way. He found
his Uncle Ole living not far from St. Paul. He was a prosperous farmer
with a family of grown-up sons and daughters who were pleased to see
their kinsman from the homeland. All the news from all the family had to
be told from both sides. Henrik was shown the big farm with its
up-to-date American machinery and methods. He was driven behind blooded
horses to the city and there introduced to many people. They knew that
Henrik was a person of some importance back in Norway, and they wanted
to show him that they also were "somebody." That seemed to be the
principle upon which they lived. The father and mother still belonged to
the Lutheran church. The three daughters had joined a Methodist
congregation because their "set" was there. The two boys attended no
church.

Henrik was disappointed. He saw plainly that here was no help for him.
All these were entrapped by the world. At first, Henrik said nothing
about his own religious faith, but after a time he spoke of the subject
to one of his girl cousins. She was not the least interested. He tried
another with the same result. Then, one day at the table, he told them
all plainly what he believed and what he was called. They were merely
surprised. "That's all right," said his cousin Jack who voiced the
universal opinion, "we live in a free country, you know, where one's
religion isn't called into question."

Henrik's other uncle lived in the city. He was a mechanic, having worked
for years in the railroad shops. Some months previous he had been
discharged, and since then he had operated a small "tinker" shop of his
own. Uncle Jens lived in a small rented house. Uncle Ole's visits to his
brother were far between. "Brother Jens is shiftless," Uncle Ole said.

Henrik was, however, made welcome in the humble home, and he soon found
the family a most interesting one. His uncle was a religious man,
having, as he put it, "got religion" some years ago at a Baptist
revival. He had joined that church and was an active member in it. The
wife and some of the children were devout believers. They indulged in
long family prayers and much scriptural reading. This branch of the
Bogstad family called the wealthy farmer and his children a "godless
lot."

Uncle Jens' oldest daughter, one about Henrik's own age, did not live
at home, therefore he did not see her. He was getting well acquainted
with the others, but Rachel he did not know.

"I must meet Rachel, too," he said one day to his uncle. "Where can I
find her?"

"She works in a down-town department store; at night she stays with some
friends of hers. The fact is that Rachel is peculiar. She is not one
with us. She has been led astray--"

"Oh!" cried Henrik.

"She is not a bad girl--no, no; but she has been led away into a false
religion, and as she will talk and argue with us all, I thought it best
that she stay away from our home until she comes to her senses; but--"

"What is this religion that has caused her to err so badly?"

"Why, she calls herself a Latter-day Saint."

"What!"

"Yes; I've tried to reason with the girl, but it's been no use."

"I want to see her--now, today," said Henrik. "Give me her address."

"Shall I go with you?"

"No, I can find her,--you need not bother."

Henrik obtained the proper directions, and set out immediately. Was
there then one other of his family that had received the gospel--one
that could help him? He boarded a car, getting off at the store. Going
to the department in which she worked, he asked the floor-walker where
he could find Miss Bogstad. Then he saw her behind a counter, resting
for a moment, unoccupied. Though she was an American, Henrik could see
the Norwegian traits in his fair cousin. She was of the dark type, with
round, rosy lips and cheeks, and heavy, brown hair.

"I am your cousin Henrik from Norway," he said as he shook her hand.

Her smile burst into a soft, merry laugh as she greeted him. "I am glad
to see you," she said. "I heard you were here, but thought perhaps I
might not get to meet you."

He held her hand a long time, as he looked into the pretty, sweet face.
Had he been an American, he would, no doubt, have kissed her then and
there; but being a Norwegian, he only looked his wonder and pleasure.

They could not talk much because customers had to be served; but Henrik
lingered until closing time, saying he would walk home with her that
they might talk. She expressed her pleasure at the proposition; and
promptly at the closing gong, she donned her wraps and joined him. The
day was warm, and he suggested a walk around by the park, where they
might sit down on a bench under the trees.

It was a difficult matter for seriously minded Uncle Jens and his family
to laugh, and even a smile was seldom seen on their faces; but here was
one who seemed bubbling over with merriment--one whose countenance shone
as if from an inner light of happiness.

"Rachel," said Henrik, "your father has told me about you."

"Yes," she replied with sobering face, "they think I am a very bad
girl,--but--"

"Look here cousin, don't make any apologies. I know, and understand."

He asked her some questions about herself, all of which she answered
frankly. Then he told her about himself, which she first met with an
astonished stare. He narrated his experiences in Norway, of his trip
westward, and the real purpose of his coming to Minnesota. She heard his
story with alternating smiles and tears, as it touched her heart. They
sat thus for a long time, oblivious to the singing birds above, of the
curious passers-by, or the fast falling night. They walked home in the
lighted streets, and it was late when he bade her goodnight at the gate.

The next day Henrik had a talk with Uncle Jens which ended in the
uncle's closing with a bang the open Bible on the table out of which
they had been reading, and then in uncontrolled rage ordering his nephew
out of the house. Henrik tried to make peace with his uncle, but it
proved useless, so he took his hat and left.

Henrik met Rachel again that evening, and again they sat on the bench
under the trees. Once again they became lost to all outward disturbances
in the deep concerns which brooded in their hearts and found utterance
in their speech.

"I shall remain here a few days more," said he in conclusion, "because I
want to get better acquainted with you; and then we must talk over our
plans further. Then I shall go back to Norway. In a few months I shall
come back, and we two shall go westward where the Temples are, and there
begin the work that is ours--the work that the Lord has called us to do.
What do you say to that?"

"Thank you," she replied simply, and with her usual smile; "I shall be
ready."



XIV.

  "Rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your
  God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great
  kindness."--_Joel 2:13._


On Henrik's arrival in Norway, the harvesting was in full swing, and he
busied himself with that. His friends, some of whom were surprised at
his return, asked him what he had found in America, and he told them
freely. Had he discovered the delusion in his American religion? No, he
replied, his faith had been made stronger. Selma had relented somewhat,
she making him welcome at her home in Christiania. Here he also met
Marie. Henrik treated her as a friend with whom he had never had
differences. When she saw him back again, browned and hardy, but the
same gentle Henrik, Marie wondered, and by that wonder her resentment
was modified, and she listened to his accounts of America and his
relatives in Minnesota with much interest. As he spoke with an added
enthusiasm of his cousin Rachel, the listeners opened their ears and
eyes. He told them freely of his plans, and what he and Rachel were
going to do.

"Yes," he said, "I can see the hand of the Lord in my finding
Rachel."--Marie had her doubts, but she said nothing.--"It is all so
wonderful to me, and I am only sorry that you folks can't see it!" But
they replied nothing.

Henrik wrote often to Rachel, and the letters which he received in reply
he usually handed to Selma, and Marie, if she was present. They
pronounced them fine letters. "She must be a jolly girl," they said.

"She is," he affirmed; "the most religious and yet the merriest girl I
have ever met. That seems a contradiction, but it isn't." Then he went
on explaining, and they could not help listening. Henrik studied the two
young women to see what impression he might be making. On Selma there
was very little, but he believed Marie was overcoming some of her
prejudice. Selma told him that Marie loved him as much as ever, and that
if he deserted her, it would break her heart.

"But Selma," he exclaimed, "I have never deserted her. It was she who
broke the engagement."

"How could she do otherwise;--but she has been waiting, and will still
wait in hope."

"I, too, shall do that," he said.

       *       *       *       *       *

That fall Henrik again sailed for America. Going westward by way of
Minnesota, he called for Rachel and took her with him. In one of the
Temple cities they found lodgings with some of his friends, and then
they entered upon their work for their ancestors. Henrik had a long list
of them, and so they were kept busy nearly all the winter. At the end
of three months, Henrik asked Rachel if she was tired and wanted a rest.

"Oh, no," she said; "I believe I can do this work all my life. It isn't
always easy, but there is so much joy and peace in it. I believe the
angels are with us, and I don't want better company."

And so these two were very much contented. They sent letters home
telling of the "glorious" time they were having, and the work they were
doing. At the opening of spring, Henrik left Rachel to continue the
work, he having to go back to Norway. He asked her if she desired to
return to her folks in Minnesota, but she said no, not yet.

The early spring months found Henrik in Christiania. He made a trip to
Denmark on genealogical research which proved quite successful. The
first of June found him back to Nordal.

Midsummer Night came clear and cool. Henrik was in Christiania, and was
to be one of a party to spend the night on the hills above the city.
Marie was not with them, and Henrik enquired the reason.

"She is ill," said Selma.

"Ill? Where is she?"

"At home. I think you should go and see her."

"Does she want me?"

"Yes."

Henrik excused himself from the party and went immediately to Marie. He
found her on the veranda, reclining on a couch. The lamp-light from an
open window fell on a pale face, startling in its changed expression. He
silently took her hand, her fingers tightening in his grasp. She looked
him steadily in the face, her swimming eyes not wavering. Then Henrik
knew that he loved this girl yet. For a long time he had tried to forget
her, tried to root out his love for her, tried to think that she was not
for him. "I'll not try again," he had thought, "for twice now have I
been disappointed;" but now a flood of compassionate love engulfed him,
and he, too, clung to the fingers in his grasp.

"I am sorry to see you like this," he said, "what is the matter?"

"I don't know."

"Doesn't the doctor know?"

She shook her head with a faint smile. "Sit down, Henrik, I want to talk
to you," she said.

He took the low chair by her side. The mother looked at them from the
door-way, but did not come out.

"I want you to forgive me," she said.

"That has been done long ago."

"Thank you--now listen. I have been wrong, wickedly wrong, it seems to
me--listen! I have not been honest, neither with you, nor myself, nor
with the Lord--which is the worst of all. I understood much that you
taught me of the restored gospel--It seemed so easy to my understanding;
but my pride was in the way, and I would not accept the light. I pushed
it away. I kept saying to myself, 'It isn't true,' when I knew all the
time that it was. That's the sin I have committed."

"My dear--"

"You remember that book you asked me to read? Well, I read it through,
though I led you to believe that I did not. It is a beautiful book, and
true, every word. * * * Perhaps you will not believe me when I tell you
that I have been a number of times to your meetings in Osterhausgade.
Once when you were there--I thought you would see me," she smiled. "And
I could find no faults, though at first I went looking for them * * *
Now, I've told you. You have forgiven me, you say; but will the Lord?"

"Yes; the Lord is good."

"When I get better--if I do--I am going to join the Church as you have
done. That is the right thing to do, isn't it?"

"Yes."

"And then, may I go to where you and your cousin Rachel are working for
the dead? When--when are you to be married?"

"Married? To whom?"

"Why, to your cousin Rachel. Are you not going to marry her?"

"Certainly not--never thought of it for a moment."

"Oh, dear, I must have made another mistake. Forgive me." She lay back
on her cushions.

"Marie, when I get married, it's you I want for my wife. I have told you
that before, and I haven't changed my mind. You shall be mine, if you
will come back to the sweet days of long ago. Will you?"

He leaned over the couch, and she drew his face to hers. "Yes," she
whispered.

At the end of an hour's conversation wherein much had been said, Marie
asked: "May I go with you to the temple and there help you in the work
you are doing? I believe I could help a little."

It was at that moment that the curtain lifted from the eyes of the
mortal, and Henrik saw for an instant into the pre-existent world. A
group of spiritual beings was eagerly engaged in conversation, and from
out that group he heard the voice of one answering Marie's question.

"Yes; I think so; but we shall see."



XV.

  "A friend of mine in his journey is come to me."--_Luke 11:6._


The next time Henrik went to the valleys of the mountains in western
America, Marie accompanied him. They were married in the Temple, made
man and wife for time and eternity by the authority of the Priesthood.
That event was among their supremely happy ones. Rachel witnessed the
ceremony, and the smile on her face was sweeter than ever.

After that, Marie helped in the temple work as she had desired. The
three then labored together until Henrik's list of names was nearly
exhausted. After a very pleasant visit among friends, Henrik and Marie
went back to Norway and to Nordal. They made a new home from the ancient
one on the hillside by the forest, and for them the years went by in
peace and plenty. Sons and daughters came to them, to whom they taught
the gospel. In time many of his kin also believed the truth and
accepted it, and thus the seed that was sown in humility, and at first
brought but small returns, gave promise of a bounteous harvest.

Once every four or five years, Henrik and Marie visited the Saints in
the West, and spent some time in the temple. These were happy times for
Rachel, who continued to live alone, not making many intimate
acquaintances. Henrik was glad to provide for her simple necessities, so
that she could continue her life's work in behalf of the dead.

Rachel did not marry. Once in Minnesota, a young man had made love to
her, but she could not return that love, so she was in duty bound not to
encourage him. Rachel was hard to get acquainted with, a number of young
men had said. She was always happy and smiling, and yet a closer
knowledge of her character disclosed a serious strain that puzzled her
admirers--for Rachel had admirers. A number of times good men had been
about to make love to her in earnest, but each time some strange feeling
had checked them. The young woman was "willing" enough but what could
she do? There was without doubt a "man" for her, but she could not go in
search of him. As the years went by, and with them her youth and
somewhat of her beauty, she was often sad, and sometimes heart-hungry;
and at such times she found no peace until she had poured out her heart
to her heavenly Father, and said, "Thy will be done--but make me
satisfied."

After an absence of three years Rachel visited her home in Minnesota.
She was received kindly, the parents being no doubt grateful that she
had escaped alive from the clutches of those "terrible people" whom she
had been among. She could still smile and be happy, be more patient than
ever, taking in good part the ridicule and sometimes the abuse directed
toward her. She talked on the gospel with those who would listen, and
after a time she found that she was making a little headway. Her father,
at the first, told her emphatically that she was not to "preach her
religion" in his house; but he would sometimes forget himself and ask
her a question, which in being answered would lead to a gospel
discourse. Then, awakening to what was going on, he would say, "That
will do. I thought I told you that we wanted none of your preaching," at
which Rachel would smilingly look around to the others who were also
smiling at the father's inconsistencies.

During this visit the good seed was planted, from which in due time the
Lord gave an abundant harvest from among the Bogstad family and its many
ramifications.

One day in the temple Rachel met Signe Dahl Ames. It was Rachel's custom
to keep a lookout for sisters who were new to the work that she might
assist them. Signe had not been in the Temple since the day she was
married, and now she had come to do some work for her family. Rachel met
her in the outer room with a pleasant greeting.

"I am Sister Bogstad," she said; "and what is your name?"

"Bogstad, did you say--why--why, my name is Ames."

"Yes, Bogstad," replied Rachel, noticing the sister's surprise. "We
haven't met before, have we?"

"No; I think not. The name is not common, and I used to know a gentleman
by that name--that's all."

"You're a Norwegian," said Rachel.

"Yes."

"So am I; though I was born in this country, it may be possible that I
belong to the family which you know."

"I used to know Henrik Bogstad of Nordal, Norway."

"That's my cousin. We have been doing work here in the temple."

Signe was greatly surprised, and Rachel led her to a corner where they
talked freely for some time. During the day they found occasion to
continue their conversation, and that evening Signe went home with her
new-found friend.

This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Rachel knew enough of
Henrik's little romance with Signe to make the acquaintanceship
unusually interesting; besides, there came to be a strong affinity
between the two. Rachel accompanied her friend to Dry Bench, and there
soon became "Aunt Rachel" to Signe's four beautiful children. Then she
wrote to Henrik, telling him of her wonderful "find." He replied that at
their next visit to America, they would surely give Dry Bench a call.

Henrik, Marie, and two of the older children came that fall when the
peaches were ripe and the alfalfa fields were being cut. And such
delicious peaches, and such stacks of fragrant hay they found! Amid the
beautiful setting of the harvest time, their several stories were told,
in wonder at the diverging and the meeting of the great streams of Life.
The Bogstad children practiced their book-learned English, while the
Ames children were willing teachers. The boys bathed in the irrigation
canal, rode on the loads of hay, and gorged themselves with peaches. The
girls played house under the trees. And were it part of this story, it
might be here told how that, later, Arnt Bogstad and Margaret Ames loved
and mated--but it is not.

Henrik and Marie lived happily together for twelve years, and then Marie
was called into the spirit world. Henrik was left with five children,
the youngest but a few months old. With ample means, he could obtain
plenty of household help, but money could not buy a mother for his
children. A number of years went by, bringing to Henrik new and varied
experiences. Then on one of his visits to the West he found another
helpmate for himself and children--a kind-hearted, sweet-souled young
woman, born of Danish parents, and reared among the Saints in the
valleys of the mountains. Then the westward call became so strong that
Henrik disposed of most of his interests in Norway and moved with his
family to America, taking up his abode in a town not far from Dry Bench.
Here they enjoyed the association of the Saints, and his children had
the advantage of companionship of children of the faith.

Time, and the world with it, sped on. Peace and prosperity came to the
people of this story. As years were added to years, their good works
increased, until the Lord said to each of them, Enough. Then in their
own time and place, they passed into the Paradise of God.



PART THIRD

  Ye worlds of light and life, beyond our sphere;
  Mysterious country! Let your light appear.
  Ye angels, lift the veil, the truth unfold,
  And give our seers a glimpse of that bright world;
  Tell where ye live, and what is your employ,
  Your present blessing, and your future joy.
  Say, have you learned the name, and tuned the lyre,
  And hymn'd the praise of Him--the great Messiah?
  Have love's emotions kindled in your breast,
  And hope, enraptured, seized the promised rest?
  Or wait ye still the resurrection day,
  That higher promise of Millenial sway?
  When Saints and angels come to earth again,
  And in the flesh with King Messiah reign?
  The spirits answered as they soared away--
  "We're happy now, but wait a greater day,
  When sin and death, and hell, shall conquered be,
  And earth, with heaven enjoy the victory."

  --_Parley P. Pratt._



I.

  "They shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit,
  and shall be shut up in prison, and after many days shall they be
  visited."--_Isaiah 24:22._


The Lord God created all things "spiritually before they were naturally
upon the earth." He created "every plant of the field before it was in
the earth, every herb of the field before it grew." Before this
"natural" creation "there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in
the water, neither in the air;... but spiritually were they created and
made according" to the word of God. In this second or "natural" creation
all things were clothed upon by earthly element, or in other words, the
spiritual was materialized so that it became discernible to the natural
senses. The spiritual and the natural are, therefore, but different
states of the same forms of life. In the natural world there are men,
women, beasts of the field, fowls of the air, and vegetation in
boundless and varied forms. These exist before the natural is added upon
them; they exist after the natural is laid down by the death of the
body.

In like manner we find in the spirit world men, women, beasts of the
field, fowls of the air, and vegetation in boundless and varied forms.
These things are as natural there as they are in earth-life. They
appeal to spirit nature the same as the "natural" prototype appeals to
the mortal senses; and this is why we may speak of our earth-known
friends who are in the spirit world and of their surroundings in the
manner of mortality.

And what a big world it is! Here are nations, tribes, races, and
families much larger than in earth-life, and just as varied in all that
made them different in mortality. Here, as in all of God's creations,
like assemble, dislike keep apart; "for intelligence cleaveth unto
intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue
loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on
mercy, and claimeth her own." The righteous in Paradise have no desire
to mingle with the wicked in the regions of darkness; therefore they go
there only as they may be called to perform some duty.

To the industrious there can be no true pleasure or rest in idleness;
therefore, Paradise furnishes employment to all its inhabitants. A world
of knowledge is open to them into which they may extend their
researches. Thus they may continue in the ever-widening field of
learning, finding enough to occupy their time and talents.

An arrival in the spirit world brings with him just what he is when he
leaves mortality. The separation of the spiritual part of the soul from
the earthly body does not essentially change that spirit. A person takes
with him the sum total of the character he has formed up to that time.
Mortal death does not make a person better or worse; it simply adds to
him one more experience which, no doubt, has a teachable influence on
him. At death, no person is perfect, even though he is a Saint, and
passes into the Paradise of God. There he must continue the process of
eliminating the weaknesses which he did not wholly overcome in
earth-life. Death will not destroy the tendency to tell untruths, or
change the ungovernable temper to one which is under perfect control.
Such transformations are not of instant attainment, but are the result
of long, patient endeavor.

As there are gradations of righteousness and intelligences in the spirit
world, there must be a vast field of usefulness for preaching the
gospel, training the ignorant, and helping the weak. As in the world of
mortality, this work is carried on by those who have accepted the gospel
and who have conformed their lives to its principles; so in the spirit
world, the righteous find pleasant and profitable employment in working
for the salvation of souls.

And as they work they must needs talk of the glories of the great plan
of salvation, made perfect through the atonement of the Lord Jesus. That
which they look forward to most keenly, that about which they talk and
sing most fervently is the time when they also shall follow their Savior
through the door of the resurrection which He has opened for them,--when
their souls shall be perfectly redeemed, and they shall be clothed upon
with a body of the heavenly order, a tabernacle incorruptible and
immortal with which to go on into the celestial world.

Though the future is most glorious to these people, the past is also
bright. The hopes of the future are well grounded on the facts of the
past. An ever-present theme is that of Christ's first visit to the
spirit world, when, having died on the cross, He brought life and light
and immortality to the world of spirits, entering even into the prison
house where the disobedient had lain for a long time, and preached the
gospel to them.

And among these who gloried both in the past and in the future were
Rupert and Henrik. Often they conversed on themes near to their hearts:

"It must have been a place of darkness, of sad despairing hearts, that
prison house, before Christ's visit to it," said Rupert. "There, as in a
pit, dwelt those who in earth-life had rejected the truth, and who,
sinking low in the vices of the world, permitted themselves to be led
captive by the power of the evil one. Noah in his day preached to them,
but they laughed him to scorn and continued in their evil ways. Others
of the prophets in their generations had warned them, but without avail;
so here were found Satan's harvest from the fruitful fields of the
earth."

"I can well imagine that long, long, night of darkness," added Henrik.
"No ray of hope pierced the gloom of their abode. The prison walls
loomed around and above them, shutting out any glimpse of heaven. These
had rejected the truth, which alone can make men free. They themselves
had shut out the light when it would have shone in upon their vision.
They had chosen the evil, and the evil was claiming its own. Outside the
prison were their fellows who had chosen to do the right, basking in the
light of a clear conscience, enjoying the approval of the Lord. These
faithful ones were going on to eternal perfection. How long would it
take the prisoners, if they ever were released, to overtake those ahead?
Between these was a great gulf fixed, which, in the ordinary order of
things, could never be lessened or bridged."

"But at last the time of mercy and deliverance came. I remember how the
events of the time have been described to me. Just before the coming of
the Lord, a peculiar, indescribable tremor ran through this spirit world
as if one pulse beat through the universe and that pulse had been
disturbed. The spirits in prison looked in awe at one another, many
crouching in terror, fearful that the day of judgment had come. The vast
multitude of the ignorant wondered what the 'peculiar feeling' could
mean. The righteous, who had been looking wistfully for some
manifestation of the coming of the Lord, whispered to each other, 'The
Lord is dying for the sins of the world!'

"Yes; the prophets of every dispensation had labored faithfully to
prepare the world of spirits among whom they lived for the coming of the
Lord and Savior. There were Adam, Noah, Abraham, with those who followed
them; there were Lehi, Nephi, Mosiah, and the others of their race;
there were the prophets who had lived among the lost Ten tribes; these
had all been valiant in earth-life, and were faithful yet in the spirit
world. The burden of their message in mortality had been the coming of
Christ the Redeemer, and now they still looked forward with the eye of
faith to Him who should die for the sins of the world, and who should
deliver them from the bondage of the grave. They understood that the
body of flesh which had been given them in mortality was necessary for
their full salvation. Christ would bring to pass the resurrection, so
that bodies would be restored to them, not corruptible as before, but
perfected, immortal and glorious, a fit tabernacle for the immortal
spirit with which to go on into the eternal mansions of the Father."

"But oh, that time, brother, when the Son of God was dying on the cross!
While the earth was shrouded in darkness, and the bulk of it trembled in
sympathy with the death throes of its Maker, the spirit world also
received the imprint of the terrible event on Calvary as for a moment
the whole spiritual creation lay in tense expectancy. The usual
occupations were suspended. Speech became low and constrained. Songs
ended abruptly, and laughter ceased. There were no audible sobs, neither
sighing. Bird and beast were stilled, as if the end had come, and
nothing more mattered. Then, in a little while, the tenseness relaxed,
and everything went on as before, though much subdued. The righteous in
the Paradise of God quietly gathered themselves together in their usual
places of worship. They clasped each other's hands, and looked with
trembling gladness into each other's faces. There was no fear here: they
were ready."

"And then His actual coming! That which had been fore-ordained from
before the foundation of the world was about to be fulfilled; that which
had been the theme of the prophets from the beginning was at the door;
that which the seers of all times and nations had beheld in vision was
now to be realized; that about which poets had sung; that for which
every pure heart had yearned; that for which the ages had waited, was
now here! A feeling of sweet peace filled the righteous, which expressed
itself in songs of praise and gladness. Thus they watched and waited."

"Then Jesus stood in their midst, and they beheld the glorious presence
of their Lord. Then there came to their hearts a small, sweet,
penetrating voice, testifying that this was Jesus Christ the Son of God
who had glorified the name of the Father; who was the life and the light
of the world; who had drunk of the bitter cup which the Father had given
him; and had glorified the Father in taking upon Himself the sins of the
world, in which He had suffered the will of the Father in all things
from the beginning. The multitude fell down at his feet and worshiped."

"I have been told that as Jesus entered the prison of the condemned in
the spirit world, a murmur of greeting welcomed Him. It was timid and
faint at first, but it increased in volume and force until it became a
shout.

"'Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting
doors.'"

"'Hail, hail, to the Lord.'"

"'And the King of Glory shall come in.'"

"'Who is the King of Glory?'"

"'The Lord, strong and mighty.'"

"'The Lord, will not cast off forever; but though He cause grief, yet
will He have compassion, according to the multitude of His mercies.'"

"'I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth.'"

"'Come and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn and He will
heal; He hath smitten and He will bind us up.'"

"'I will heal their back slidings, I will love them freely; for mine
anger is turned away.'"

"'Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity. He retaineth not
His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.'"

"'Say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, show
yourselves. I am He that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive
forevermore, anew: and I have the keys of hell and death.'"

"And thus the gates were lifted, and the King of Glory entered. And what
a radiance shone in the gloom! The shades of darkness fled, the chains
of error dropped asunder, the overburdened heart found glad relief, for
the Lord brought the tidings of great joy to the spirits in prison,
offering them pardon and peace in exchange for their broken hearts."

"Then they sang:

  '"Hark, ten thousand thousand voices
    Sing a song of Jubilee!
  A world, once captive, now rejoices,
    Freed from long captivity.
  Hail, Emanuel! Great Deliverer!
    Hail, our Savior, praise to thee!
  Now the theme, in pealing thunders,
    Through the universe is rung;
  Now in gentle tones, the wonders
    Of redeeming grace is sung."'

"For three days, as counted by earth-time, the Redeemer ministered in
this spirit world, preaching the gospel, giving instructions, and making
plain the way of His servants to follow. Joy and gladness filled many
hearts. Then, when the time had fully come, the great Captain of
Salvation led the way against the enemy of men's souls. He laid low the
Monster that had for ages kept grim watch at the Gates of Death. He
broke through the grave to the regions of life and light and
immortality. The Hope of Ages thus went forth conquering; and those who
followed Him through the resurrection from the dead sang:

  "'Death is swallowed up in victory! O, death, where is thy sting? O
  grave, where is thy victory?'"



II.

  "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that
  soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he
  that soweth to   the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life
  everlasting."--_Gal. 6:7, 8_.


In the spirit world are Rupert, Signe, Henrik, Marie, Rachel and all
our friends in their time and place. These are employed in joyous
activity, as they see their field of usefulness continually widen.
Rupert had done a great work before the others had come. He had preached
the gospel to many people, mostly his ancestors, among whom there had
been at the time of his arrival among them an awakening and a desire for
the truth. He had traced his family back to those who on earth had been
known as the Pilgrim Fathers, thence through many generations to the
Norsemen of northern Europe. His wife's family he had also searched out,
and he had discovered, greatly to his delight, that her family and his
met in a sturdy, somewhat fierce, Viking chief. Rupert had sought him
out, and had told him of Christ and His gospel--and the Viking had been
willing to be taught. When Signe had come, Rupert had brought her to
visit her many-times-great-grandmother, who was a beautiful
flaxen-haired, blue-eyed woman, whom Signe herself somewhat resembled.

Then when Rupert met and became acquainted with Henrik, Marie, and
Rachel, he told them of what he had done, and how that their vicarious
work for the dead had fitted so nicely in with his preaching, in that
many of those for whom they had been baptized were those whom he had
converted. "We have been working in harmony and in conjunction,"
exclaimed Rupert, "and God's providence is even now clearly justified."
What joy was there when Henrik and his friends met those for whom they
had performed the necessary earthly rites! Many of these had long ago
believed the gospel, and their hearts had been turned to their
children--their descendants living on the earth--that they would
remember their fathers who had gone before; and these were overjoyed
when they met their "saviors," as they called them. Then, there were
others who had not accepted the work done for them, and these were,
naturally, not so enthusiastic in their greetings. Others there were who
were yet in ignorance of Christ, of His plan of salvation, and the work
that had been done for them. These would have to be taught and given a
chance to accept or reject what had been done.

"You enjoy a happiness that does not come to me," said a brother to
Henrik, "in that you receive the love and joyous greetings of those for
whom you did work in mortality."

"Had you no opportunity to do such work?" asked Henrik.

"Yes; but I had no names of ancestry, and the truth is, I did not try to
get any."

"You did not do all in your power?"

"No; I was careless in the matter."

"If you had only tried, the way would have been opened. That is a true
principle. We do not know what regions of usefulness lie before us if we
do no exploring."

Signe and Rachel were closely associated, and they performed missions
together to their less enlightened sisters whose condition was not so
favorable. These were of the frivolous and foolish women who had been
taken captive by earthly things. All their treasures had been of earth,
so on earth they had to be left, for none could be taken into the spirit
world; these, therefore, were poor indeed. They had nothing with which
to occupy themselves: in earth-life, wealth, fashion, the gratification
of depraved appetites and passions, and the pampering of worldly
vanities had been their chief concern; and now that earthly things were
no more, these women were as if lost in a strange world, having no sure
footing, groping about in semi-darkness, hungering and thirsting, but
finding no means by which they might be satisfied. They laughed and
appeared to make merry because it was their nature so to do, but their
laugh was empty, and their merriment rang hollow and untrue.

"I am more than ever thankful," said Signe to Rachel when they had
labored long with a group of frivolous women, "that the gospel reached
us in earth-life."

"And that we accepted it," added Rachel.

"Yes; many of these sisters of ours are not evil; they are just
weak,--empty of good. Their earthly training was at fault. And then some
of them have told me that they were very much surprised to find that
death had not worked a transformation in them: they have still the same
feelings, desires and thoughts as before."

"Some foolish things were taught in earth-life," said Rachel, "one of
them being deathbed repentance. Common sense, if not reason, ought to
have told us that a change of heart coming when a person is in full
possession of his faculties is far better than the confessions made in
fear of death. Repentance should have come further back, for the sooner
we turn about on the right way, the further we get on the road to
perfection."

Rachel finished her little speech with a smile--the simple sweet smile,
fixed into her nature for all time. A strange sister came up to her, who
was greeted pleasantly.

"I want to know more of you two," she said. "There is something about
you different from me or my mates. When you mix with us and talk with
us, I can feel it, but I don't know what it is. You appear to me to be,
lilies-of-the-valley among weeds--yes, that's it."

"And isn't a weed just a useful plant grown wild?" asked Signe. "All it
needs is careful cultivation. Come with us as we walk along. We shall be
pleased to talk with you. We are not very wise, but we may always ask
the brethren who are wiser, for more light."

And so these three went slowly along the beautiful paths of spirit-land,
conversing as they went. The hazel eyes of the brown-haired stranger
opened in wide astonishment at what her sisters told her. Sometimes she
asked questions, sometimes she shook her head in disbelief. She had been
a "worldly" woman, she told them, never thinking that there would be any
life other than the one she was living while on the earth; and so she
had shaped her daily conduct by that narrow standard. Her earth-life had
ended sadly, and existence had been bitter ever since, "Restless and
hopeless, I have wandered for a long time," she said. "I have seen you
two a number of times and have heard you talk to the women. Your words
seemed to bring to me a glimpse of something better, but I never had the
courage to speak to you until now."

Signe put her arms around her, drew her close, and kissed her cheek.
"Let us do you all the good we can," she said. "We are going now to
attend a meeting where my husband is to speak. Come with us."

Rachel linked her arm into that of the stranger's who willingly
accompanied them. "Is your husband also a preacher?" she asked of
Rachel.

"I have no husband," was the reply. "I did not--I mean, he did not find
me, has not found me yet." Rachel was somewhat confused but she smiled
as ever.

"She means," explained Signe, "that she did not marry while in
earth-life, for the very good reason that she had no chance--"

"None such that I could accept," added Rachel. Then as the newly-found
friend looked at her inquiringly, she continued:

"I have always believed, and I believe now, that I have a mate
somewhere, but he has not yet been revealed. Frequently I asked the Lord
about it in earth-life, and the answer by the spirit always was 'Wait,
patiently wait'; so I am still waiting."

"And you still have faith," asked the stranger, "that the God of heaven
will answer your prayers and bring about all things for the best?"

"Why, certainly."

"I wish I could believe that. Had I in earth life had some such belief
to anchor to, perhaps I would not have made so many mistakes. I married
twice, and they were both mistakes. The one chance I had of getting a
man--I mean, one who does not belie the word--I threw away, because he
was poor in worldly goods; but I suffered through my foolish errors....
I have heard of people praying about many things, but never have I heard
of the Lord being asked about love affairs."

"That may be true," said Signe; "and it shows how foolish we were. Why
should people importune the Lord about small trials and petty ailments,
and at the same time neglect to ask His guidance on matters of love and
marriage which make or mar one's life?"

There seemed to be no immediate answer to this query, so the three
passed along in silence. Presently the newcomer spoke again:

"I am getting more light and hope since I associate with you two. I
believe my faith is being kindled, and O, it feels so good to get a
little firm footing."

"Yes, dear sister," said Rachel. "The tangled threads of earth-life are
not all straightened out yet. It will take time, and we must have
patience."

Arriving at the place of meeting, the three women took positions near
the platform upon which the speakers sat. Rupert was the principal
speaker. He began by telling his listeners something about his
experiences in earth-life. He spoke of his boyhood days, of the trials
and difficulties he had encountered, and how near he had come to being
lost to all good. Then he told how the Lord had rescued him, and brought
him to a knowledge of the gospel of salvation. "And the Lord's chief
instrument in this work of rescue," the speaker said, "was a beautiful,
good woman, who became my wife. O, you women, what power you have for
good or evil! See to it that you use your powers for the purposes of
good."

Rachel smiled at Signe while they listened, for Rupert's and Signe's
story was quite familiar to her. All the time Rupert had been speaking,
the woman who had come with them sat as if spellbound, her big eyes
fixed on the speaker. When Rupert closed, Signe said to her friend:

"That is my husband. Let us go up to him; he will be glad to meet you."

But the woman drew back as if afraid. "I can't," she whispered. "Forgive
me, but I must go"--and with a faint cry she retreated and disappeared
in the crowd, the two women looking after in wonder and astonishment.

Just then Rupert stepped up to them. Seeing their wonder, he asked the
reason. Signe explained.

"I think I can guess who it was," said Rupert. "Well, well," he murmured
as if to himself, "I had nearly forgotten her."

"Yes, I believe it was she," added Signe.

"Was who?" inquired Rachel.

But Rupert stopped any reply that his wife might wish to make by
interrupting with:

"I saw an impressive sight not long ago--Come let us be getting on our
way home, and I shall tell it to you."

They were willing to listen as they journeyed. "We were out," began
Rupert--"a brother and I--getting some information needed in one of the
temples on earth for a brother who had gone as far as he could with his
genealogy. As we were talking to a group of sisters a man rushed in upon
us. With quick, eager words he asked us if we had seen someone whom he
named and described. At the sight of him, one of the women shrunk back
as if to hide in the crowd, but he saw her, and exclaimed:

"'Is that you? Yes--Oh, have I found you at last!'"

"The sister put forth her hand as if to ward him off, as he pressed
through the crowd to her. 'How did you get here?' she asked. 'Keep
away--you are unclean--keep away.'

"He paused in some astonishment at this reception. Then he pleaded with
her to let him accompany her; but she retreated from him, crying, 'You
are unclean; do not touch me.'

"'Yes,' he acknowledged, 'I suppose I have been a sinner; but listen to
my justification: I sinned to drown my sorrow when you died. I, also,
wanted to die. My heart was broken--I could not stand it--it was because
I loved you so--'

"'No; you did not love me. Love is pure--made purer by sorrow. Had you
truly loved, you would not have sinned so grievously. Your sorrow needed
to be repented of. Sorrow cannot be drowned in sin--no, no; go away.
Please go; you frighten me.'

"The man stood rigid for some time, and the expression on his face was
something terrible to see. The cold, clear truth had for the first time
burst upon him to his convincing. He had a 'bright recollection of all
his guilt,' and his torment was 'as a lake of fire and brimstone.' The
woman, recovering somewhat from her fright, stood before him with
innocent, clear-shining eyes, with half pity and half fear showing in
her beautiful countenance--for the woman was beautiful. The man stood
for a moment, which seemed a long time to all who witnessed the scene,
then his head dropped, his form seemed to shrivel up as he slouched out
of our company and disappeared from sight."

There was silence. Then Rupert added, "And yet some people tried to make
us believe that there is no hell."

Rachel, even, forgot to ask further questions regarding the identity of
the woman with hazel eyes and auburn hair, for just then Henrik and
Marie appeared. With them was another woman, and the three were so
preoccupied that they were oblivious to all others.

"You are too late for the meeting," said Rupert.

"I did intend to get there in time," replied Henrik, "but don't you see
who is here?"

Rupert did not recognize the woman who stood by Marie with arms about
each other, but Signe cried in joyous greeting, "Clara, Clara, is that
you?"

"This is Clara," said Marie to Rupert, "she who came to Henrik after I
left him,--who helped him so much, and who was so good to my children.
She has just come, and has brought us much good news from them. I am so
glad." Marie's arm drew tight around the newcomer as she kissed her
cheek.

"I, also, am glad to welcome you," said Rupert. "Brother Henrik," he
added, "your excuse for non-attendance at our meeting is accepted."



III.

  "The Lord ... will fulfill the desire of them that fear him;
  he will also hear their cry."--_Psalms 156:19._


Rachel found continual delight in all the wonders of spirit-land. Her
circle of acquaintances enlarged rapidly, as those for whom she had done
temple work were glad to know her, and to know her was to love her.
These brought her in touch with many others; thus her sphere of
usefulness extended until she, too, could say that she was busier than
ever in joy-giving activities.

Sometimes Rachel went on what she called "excursions of exploration."
Usually she went alone, for the habit of doing things of herself still
clung to her. Frequently, in the throngs of people with whom she
mingled, she was accosted by someone who recognized her. Rachel did not
remember faces easily, but (she was on one of her excursions) she knew
this woman who touched her on the arm, and said:

"You are Sister Rachel, are you not?"

"Yes; and you--yes, I know you. I am glad to meet you. How are you? Has
the Lord shown you,--has He satisfied you? You see I remember you well."

The woman showed her gladness at Rachel's recognition. "The Lord has
shown me abundantly and graciously," she replied; "but come with me away
from the crowd. I shall be pleased to tell you all about it." Rachel
accompanied the woman, who led her out into some quieter streets, thence
to a beautiful home under tall trees. Flowers bloomed and birds sang in
the garden. The two women seated themselves by a playing fountain.

"I am glad you have not forgotten me. My name you may not remember--it
is Sister Rose."

"Your face, dear sister, your beautiful face marked with that deep
sorrow, no one could forget;" said Rachel, "but now the sorrow is gone,
I see, and the beauty remains."

Sister Rose took the other's hand caressingly. "That day in the temple,"
she said, "I came there as a place of last resort. I was suffering, and
had tried everything that I could think of to ease my troubled soul. I
had prayed to God to give me some manifestation regarding my boy. I came
to the temple to get a great favor, and I obtained a blessing. Instead
of receiving some miraculous manifestation, you came to me and led me
gently to a seat by ourselves. And there you talked to me. It was not so
much what you said, but the spirit by which you said it that soothed and
quieted and rested me. You repeated to me some verses, do you remember?
I had you write them out, and I committed them to memory."

"Do you remember them yet?"

"Listen:

  "Thou knowest, O my Father! Why should I
    Weary high heaven with restless prayers and tears!
  Thou knowest all! My heart's unuttered cry
    Hath soared beyond the stars and reached Thine ears.

  Thou knowest--ah, Thou knowest! Then what need,
    Oh, loving God, to tell Thee o'er and o'er.
  And with persistent iteration plead
    As one who crieth at some closed door."

"That day I went away comforted and strengthened. Do you recollect?"

"Yes; but what was your trouble? I do not remember that."

"My son, my only child, was taken so cruelly from me. He was the hope of
my life, and when he answered the call to go on a mission to the islands
of the sea, I let him go gladly, because it was on the Lord's business.
Then some months later the news came that he had died. I was crazed with
grief. I could not understand why the Lord would permit such a thing to
take place. Was my boy not in His service? Why did not the Lord take
care of His own?"

"And so you suffered, both because of your loss and because of your
thoughts," said Rachel. "Poor sister,--but now?"

"He is with me now, and it has all been explained. We live in this
house. Do you care to hear the story?"

"If you desire to tell it, yes."

"You seem so near and dear to me that I may tell it to you. My boy,
while on his mission, was tempted. He has told me all about it--he was
tempted sorely. He was in great danger, and so the Lord, to prevent him
from falling into the mire of sin, permitted him to be taken away. They
brought his lifeless body home to me, but his spirit went back to its
Maker pure and unspotted from the sins of the world,--and thus I found
him here, a big, fine-looking man as he was. You ought to see him."

"Mother," someone called from the direction of the house.

"That is he now," said the mother, rising.

"Mother, where are you? Oh!" the son exclaimed as he caught sight of the
two women. He came up to them and rested his arm tenderly on his
mother's shoulder. He was big and handsome, and Rachel's eyes dropped
before his curious gaze.

"David, this is Sister Rachel, whom I first met in earth-life in the
temple. I think I have told you about her and what a comfort she was to
me."

"I am very glad to know you," said he, as he clasped Rachel's hand. Then
there was a pause which promised to become awkward, at which David said:

"Mother, I want to show you something in the back garden. You know I
have been experimenting with my roses. I believe I have obtained some
wonderful color effects. You'll come also?" he asked Rachel.

The three walked on together into the garden where David exhibited and
explained his work. When, at length, Rachel said it was time she was
going, the mother urged her to come again.

"I'm going along with Sister Rachel to her home, and to find out where
she lives," explained David, as he stepped along, unbidden, by Rachel's
side.

And so these two walked side by side for the first time. They talked
freely on many topics, she listening contentedly. They smiled into each
other's eyes, and at the end of that short journey, something had
happened. True love had awakened in two hearts. Through all the shifting
scenes of earth-life, nothing like this had ever come to this man and
this woman. Love had waited all this time. The power that draws kindred
souls together is not limited to the few years of earth-life. While time
lasts, God will provide sometime, somewhere, in which to give
opportunity for every deserving soul. Here were two whose hearts beat as
one; but one must needs have left mortality early in his course, while
the other went on to the end alone. The reason for this was difficult to
see by mortal eyes, but now--

"I'm coming again to see you," said David, as he prepared to depart. "I
have so much to tell you; and you,--you have said very little. I must
hear your story too."

"I have no story," said she. "My earth-life was very uneventful. I just
seemed to be waiting--"

"Yes?"

But Rachel was confused. Her simple heart had spoken, and true to
earthly habit, she now tried to cover up her tell-tale words; but he saw
and understood, and as they stood there, his heart burned with a great
joy.

"Good-bye," he said, as he took her hand, "may I come again soon?"

"Yes;" she answered. "I shall be pleased to see more of your beautiful
flower garden."

This was the beginning of a courtship, not the less sweet because it had
been postponed for so long; not the less real, from the fact that the
man and the woman were spiritual beings. "Sin," said the apostle, "is
without the body;" so love and affection are attributes of the spirit,
whether that spirit is within or without a tabernacle of flesh. And this
courtship did not differ to any great extent from all others which had
taken place from the beginning of time. There were the same timid
approaches and responses; the getting acquainted with each other,
wherein each lover's eyes glorified every act in the other; the
tremulous pressure of hands; the love-laden looks and words; the thrill
of inexpressible joy when the two were together. Neither was this
courtship exceptional. Among the vast multitude in the spirit world
there are many who did not mate in the brief time allotted to them in
the earth-life; therefore, congenial spirits are continually meeting and
reading "life's meaning in each other's eyes."

Rachel, though she claimed to have no "story" to tell, interested David
greatly in her account of how the Lord had chosen her as one of a family
to become a savior on Mt. Zion. The work for the dead had not interested
him. He, in connection with the youth of his time, had neglected that
part of the gospel plan; and now, of course, he saw his mistake.

"Yes," David acknowledged to Rachel, "I see my error now, as usual, when
it is too late to remedy it. You who were faithful rank above me here."

"Don't say that," she pleaded.

"But it is true. Your good deeds came before you here and gave you a
standing. Some of the treasures you destined for heaven were detained
here, and you are now reaping benefits from them. Do I not see it all
the time? When we meet new people, you are received with delight--I am
unknown."

"David, what comes to me, you partake of also, because--"

"Because you shall belong to me. Yes, dear one; that is the blessed
truth. The Lord has brought us together, and all else should be
forgotten in our gratitude to Him.... Rachel, we would have known each
other in earth-life had I behaved myself. Our lives were surely trending
toward each other, and our paths would have met. We would have loved and
have wedded there, had it not been for my--"

"Say no more. Let us forget the past in thinking of and planning for
the future. I am happy now, and so is your mother."

"And so am I."



IV.

  "Whatsoever God doeth it shall be forever."--_Eccl. 3:14._


David and Rachel were out walking when they saw another couple whose
lovelike actions were noticeable. As they met, the couple stopped and
the man said, "Pardon me, but we are somewhat strange in this new world.
May we ask you some questions?"

"Let us sit down here together," suggested David, and he led the way to
a place where they could sit quietly. "Are you in trouble?"

"Well, I hardly know," replied the man. "Anna and I are together, and
perhaps we ought to be satisfied; but somehow we are not. There is
something lacking."

"Yes?"

"You see, we left the earth-life, so suddenly--we were so poorly
prepared for this." His companion clasped his arm as if to be protected
from some impending danger. "We were boating on the lake, the boat
overturned, and here we are.... We were to have been married the next
day, but now--now what is our condition? We are not husband and wife;
neither, I suppose, can we be, for we were taught back in that world
from where we came, that there is no married condition here. Yet you
two are husband and wife, are you not?"

"Not yet," replied David, "but we expect to be."

"I don't understand; you seem to know; teach us. May we be married
here?"

David explained the principle of celestial marriage as it had been
revealed to them in earth-life, and contrasted that doctrine with what
was usually taught. "So you see," said he, "even if you had been married
on that day appointed in mortality, it would have been only until death
did you part. You have passed through death, and so, the contract
between you would have come to an end, and you would not now be husband
and wife."

"But you said that you two were to be married. How?"

"Had we been married in earth-life, it would have been for time and
eternity, because it would have been performed by the authority of the
Lord. What God does, is forever. Marriage must be solemnized on the
earth. As our earth-days are past, we cannot go back, so the ceremony
must be done for us by someone else living on the earth. Sister Rachel
here, while in earth-life, did for thousands who had gone before what
they could not do for themselves. Now, someone, in the Lord's own due
time, will stand for her, and do for her what she did not do for
herself."

The two new acquaintances listened attentively while David and sometimes
Rachel instructed them on the principles of the gospel, and their
application to those who were in the spirit world. They spoke to them
of faith and repentance, principles which all men everywhere could
receive and exercise. They explained the ordinance of baptism for the
remission of sins, an earthly rite, which could be believed in and
accepted by those in the spirit world, but would have to be performed
for them vicariously by someone on earth. Marriage for eternity was also
further explained.

"It is true," concluded David, "that in the resurrection there is
neither marrying nor giving in marriage. All that must be attended to
before the resurrection, which for all of us--luckily--is yet in the
future. We know for a surety that if we do our part the best we know,
the Lord will take care of the rest."

These four people did not part until David and Rachel had promised to
meet their friends again soon, and continue the talk which had so
favorably begun. When the two had left, David turned to Rachel and said:

"Did you see the lovelight glowing in their eyes when their hearts were
touched with the truth?"

"Yes, as it did in yours when you were speaking."

"And in yours, too, my dear, when it was your turn."

"It's good to be a missionary--always a missionary, isn't it, as long as
there is one being in need of guidance and instruction."

"It is very good, indeed, David."

"Rachel, glad news for us. We, you and I, are soon to follow our
parents and our older brothers and sisters, up through the gates of the
resurrection, which our Lord so graciously opened.... Yes, yes, it is
true.... Into the celestial kingdom, with bodies of celestial glory and
go on to our exaltation.... And, dear, the work is being done for us in
the Temple of our God.... Yes, right now, it is being done. Come,
Rachel, let us go and be as near as we can.... Yes, we have
permission.... This is the Temple. God's messengers are here, and His
Spirit broods in and around the holy place. That Spirit we also in
common with mortality, may feel. You, Rachel, ought to be at home here,
more so than I. Let us follow the man and the woman who are doing the
work for us.... Do you see them clearly, Rachel?... Yes; we shall not
forget them when they, too, come to us in the spirit, but we shall give
them a welcome such as they have never dreamed of.... Now they are by
the altar. Kneel here by me, Rachel,--your hand in mine, like this.
Listen, can you hear? 'For and in behalf of,'... you and me.... It is
done. We are husband and wife. You are mine for eternity, mine, mine....
O, Eternal Father, we thank Thee!"

David holds the fair form of his wife in his arms. He kisses her cheeks,
her eyes, her lips. Then there is silence.



PART FOURTH.

  Freedom waves her joyous pinions
    O'er a land, from sea to sea,
  Ransomed, righteous, and rejoicing
    In a world-wide jubilee.

  O'er a people happy, holy,
    Gifted now with heavenly grace,
  Free from every sordid fetter
    That enslaved a fallen race.

  Union, love, and fellow feeling
    Mark the sainted day of power;
  Rich and poor in all things equal,
    Righteousness their rock and tower.

  Mountain peaks of pride are leveled,
    Lifted up the lowly plain,
  Crookedness made straight, while crudeness
    Now gives way to culture's reign.

  Now no tyrant's sceptre saddens;
    Now no bigot's power can bind.
  Faith and work, alike unfettered,
    Win the goal by heaven designed.

  God, not mammon, hath the worship
    Of His people, pure in heart:
  This is Zion--oh, ye nations,
    Choose with her "the better part!"

  Crown and sceptre, sword and buckler--
    Baubles!--lay them at her feet.
  Strife no more shall vex creation;
    Christ's is now the kingly seat.

  Cities, empires, kingdoms, powers,
    In one mighty realm divine.
  She, the least and last of nations,
    Henceforth as their head shall shine.

  'Tis thy future glory, Zion,
    Glittering in celestial rays,
  As the ocean's sun-lit surging
    Rolls upon my raptured gaze!

  All that ages past have promised,
    All that noblest minds have prized,
  All that holy lips have prayed for,
    Here at last is realized.

  --_Orson F. Whitney._



I.

  "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is
  risen upon thee. * * * And the Gentiles shall come to thy light and
  kings to the brightness of thy rising."--_Isaiah 60:1, 3._


The sun in its downward course had reached the hazy zone, which, bounded
by the clear blue above and the horizon below, extended around the green
earth; in the west, the round disk of the sun shone through it, and
tinged the landscape with a beautiful, mellow light.

It was midsummer. The sun had been hot all the day, and when on that
evening two men reined in the horses they were driving, and paused on
the summit of a small hill, a cool breeze reached them, and they bared
their heads to the refreshing air. Not a word was spoken as they gazed
on the scene before them; its grandeur and beauty were too vast for
words.

Before them, to the west, lay the city, the object of their long
journey--before them, it lay as a queen in the midst of her
surroundings. At first sight, it seemed one immense palace, rather than
a city of palaces, as the second view indicated. Street after street,
mansion after mansion, the city stretched away as far as the eye could
reach, mingling with trees and gardens.

Rising from the center of the city was the temple. Its walls shone like
polished marble, and its towers seemed to pierce the sky, as around
about them a white cloud hung. This cloud extended from the temple as a
center, over the whole city, and seemed as it were a covering.

The sun sank behind the horizon; still the cloud glowed with light, as
if the sun's rays still lingered there.

For ten minutes the carriage had paused on the elevation, and the two
men had gazed in silence. Then the driver, as if awakening from a dream,
gave the horses the word to go, as he said:

"We must drive on."

"Yes; night is coming on."

The second speaker was a middle aged man of commanding bearing. He
leaned back in the carriage as they sped onward.

"So this is the world renowned city," he said, "the new capital of the
world to which we all must bow in submission; within whose borders sit
judges and rulers the like of which for power and wisdom have never yet
appeared. Truly, she is the rising light of the world. What say you,
Remand?"

"'Tis indeed a wondrous sight, your majesty. The reality far exceeds any
reports that have come to us."

"It is well, Remand, that we chose this slower mode of coming into the
city. Electricity would have brought us here in a fraction of the time;
but who would miss this beautiful drive?"

They were already within the outskirts of the city. Although all that
day they had driven through a most beautiful region of cities and fields
and gardens, the latter being gorgeous with flowers and fruit, yet the
glory of this city far surpassed anything they had yet beheld. Over the
smooth, paved roadway, their carriage glided noiselessly. The blooming
flowers and trees shed sweet odors in the air. Buildings and gardens,
arranged in perfect symmetry, delighted the eye. The song of birds and
the hum of evening melodies charmed the ear. Men, women and children and
vehicles of all kinds were continually passing.

The shades of night crept over the landscape; still the cloudy covering
of the city glowed with brilliant light. The darker the night became,
the brighter became the cloud, until the palace, built of marble and
precious stone, appeared in its soft, clear light like the colors of the
rainbow.

"Your majesty, must we not soon seek some place to rest for the night?"

"Yes, you are right. Do you think anyone will suspect our true
character?"

"No one save ourselves, within thousands of miles, knows that you are
the king of Poland."

"I do hope so, Remand, for I wish to see these things from the point of
view of a commoner. See, there is the pillar of fire spoken about.
Truly, my good friend, the glory of the Lord is risen upon this place."

Hardly were the words spoken before the carriage drew up to a gateway,
or open arch, which spanned the road. A man appeared and inquired of the
travelers where they were going. On being informed that they were
strangers come to see the city, the man bade them wait a few minutes.
Soon he returned.

"As you are strangers and wish to rest for the night, you will please
alight and receive that which you need. Your horses will be taken care
of. Come." They drove along a road leading to a large house. Grooms took
charge of the horses, and they themselves were ushered into a room,
which, for convenience and beauty of finish, was not surpassed even by
the king of Poland's own palaces. Soon fruits and bread were placed
before them, and they were shown couches where they would rest for the
night.

Though weary with their day's journey, the travelers could not sleep.
The strangeness of it all bewildered them, and they talked about it far
into the night.

Next morning they were awakened by song birds that had taken position in
a tree near their open window, and were now pouring forth a chorus of
welcome. How beautiful was the morning! Earth and sky were full of the
perfume of flowers and the song of birds. The cloud still hung over the
city.

From the garden they were called into the dining room, where a meal was
spread before them. Fruits and fruit preparations of a dozen kinds;
breads, cakes and vegetables, drinks from the juice of fruits: this was
the bill of fare.

After they had eaten, the person who had met them the evening before,
entered, and announced that their carriage was ready for their drive;
or, if they chose to take the cars, they would get within the city much
quicker, but, of course, would miss some interesting sights.

"We prefer to see all," replied the king.

"Then come with me."

The king and Remand followed into another room where they met a young
man who was to be their escort. The first now retired, and the young man
advanced and shook their hands.

"Be seated for a moment," said he. "My name is Paulus. I am to conduct
you into the city, and be your guide for the day. Such is the rule
here." The speaker also took a seat by the table. The king and his
companion sat opposite.

"In this city," continued Paulus, "there can be no hypocrisy, no deceit
of any kind. I am instructed, therefore, to tell you that your true
name, character, and mission is known. You are the king of Poland, and
you his counselor and friend."

The king started, changed color, and looked towards Remand.

"How--how is that?" he stammered.

Paulus smiled. "Do not be alarmed, my dear sir. You were known before
you entered the first gate yesterday. These people have entertained you
with a full knowledge of what you are; nevertheless, the treatment you
have received has been in no wise different from that which is given to
every honest man who comes to this city for righteous purposes, no
matter be he high or low, rich or poor, in the estimation of the world.
You see, true worth and righteousness are the only standards of judgment
here. Again, you are safer here than in the house of your best friend
in Poland, or surrounded by your old-time host of armed warriors; for
violence is no more heard in this land, neither wasting nor destruction
within our borders. Our walls are Salvation; our gates, praise; and the
inhabitants of this city are all righteous. It is their inheritance
forever, for they are a branch of the Lord's planting, the work of His
hands, wherein He is glorified."

Neither of the strangers spoke. The words seemed to thrill them into
silence.

"Come, then, let us be going."

The carriage was awaiting; but it was not the travelers' own.

"No," was Paulus' answer to their inquiry, "your horses will rest. This
is our equipage."

They drove into the city.

"'Walk about Zion, and go round about her; tell the towers thereof. Mark
ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that ye may tell it to the
generations following,'" said Paulus.

"You quote from the writings of the ancient Hebrews," said Remand.

"Yes; these 'holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Ghost,'" was the answer.

An hour's drive through indescribable grandeur brought them to a gate in
the wall which surrounded the temple, where they alighted. An attendant
took charge of the horses. Paulus led the way. A word to the keeper of
the gate, and they were permitted to pass. Surrounding the central
building, was a large open space laid out in walks, grass plats,
ornamental trees, and flowers. People were walking about. Guides and
instructors were busy with strangers, who seemed to have come from all
nations, by the varied manner of dress displayed, and the different
languages spoken.

"This," said Paulus, "is the sanctuary of freedom, the place of the
great King. From this center go the righteous laws that govern nations
and peoples. It is not time yet to proceed further, so we will walk
about the gardens."

"Is the great King here today?" asked Poland's ruler.

"I do not know; but the council will sit and transact all needed
business. And now I will tell you another thing: All whom you have met
or seen have appeared to you as mortal beings, as you or I; but in
reality, in our drive through the city, you have seen many immortal,
that is, resurrected, men and women; for you must remember that now the
righteous live to the age of a tree, and when they die, they do not
sleep in the dust, but are changed in the twinkling of an eye. These
visit with us, abide with us for a time to instruct us. Because you are
a ruler among the nations, you will be permitted to see the assembling
of the council, and receive instruction from it. The time is drawing
nigh. Let us be going."

Great crowds of white-robed men were flocking into the temple. The three
followed. The king and Remand gazed in wonder at those who had been
pointed out as being resurrected beings, and their wonder increased when
they could see no marked difference between them and the rest of
mankind, save perhaps in the calm, sweet expression of the face, and
the light which appeared to beam from the countenances of the immortals.
They certainly were not unreal, shadowy beings.

Entering a wide hallway, they soon arrived at the council chamber. Its
glory dazzled the beholders. In the midst of this room was a vast throne
as white as ivory, and ascended by seventy steps. On each side of the
throne were tiers of seats, rising one above the other. The seats were
rapidly being filled, but the throne remained vacant.

"The King is not here today," whispered Paulus.

Then a soft, sweet strain of music was heard. It increased in volume
until a thousand instruments seemed to blend into one melody. Suddenly,
the vast assembly arose as one man and joined in a song of joy and
thanksgiving.

"Guide--dear friend," whispered the king of Poland, "I am overcome, I
cannot remain."

"I feel faint," said Remand, "I fear I shall perish."

"Come, then, we had better go," answered Paulus. "This is all we shall
see at present. We shall now go into another room and wait the council's
adjournment; then you will have an interview with one delegated to talk
with you."

From the hallway they entered a smaller room, decorated with beautiful
pictures and adorned with statuary. Books, newspapers and magazines were
at hand, and when the visitors were tired of gazing, they sat down by a
table.

They had not long to wait before word came that the king and his
friends should enter another room close by. Paulus would wait for their
return. The two found a venerable looking man awaiting them, who, upon
their entrance, arose and said:

"Welcome, welcome, to the Lord's house. I may not call you king of
Poland--there is but one King on this earth--but I will call you
servants of the King, as we all are. Be seated.

"I am instructed to tell you that, as a whole, the King is pleased with
the manner you are conducting your stewardship. The Spirit of our Lord
moved upon you to take this journey to his capital, and you chose to
come as you did. That is well enough. Tyrants do not enter this city,
and your presence here is assurance to you that you are justified.

"It is well that you have disbanded your armies, and that your
instruments of war have been made into plows and pruning hooks. Remember
the law that the nation and kingdom that will not serve the Lord shall
perish. The King grants to all His subjects their free agency in the
matter of religion, forcing no one to obey the gospel law; still He is
the King of the earth; it is His, and He made it, and has redeemed it;
and He now wills that all nations shall come under one government
organized by Him in righteousness. For a thousand years the earth must
rest in peace; then comes the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

"And now, another thing. There have been some complaints from your
country that the servants of the Lord who have been sent to preach the
gospel to your people, have not had that perfect freedom which is
desired. Please see to it that they are not molested while peaceably
promulgating religious doctrines."

"I shall see to it," answered the king of Poland.

For some time they counseled together; then the two withdrew, and joined
Paulus, who conducted them out into the city.



II.

  "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie
  down with the kid; * * * and a little child shall lead them. They
  shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain for the earth shall
  be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the
  sea."--_Isaiah 11:6-9._


The next day Paulus with his two visitors walked about the city. He
described and explained the many deeply interesting scenes, and answered
the numerous questions directed to him. The foreigners did not fail to
note the wonderful advances made in the arts and sciences and their
practical application to everyday affairs. They had thought their own
country not behind in improvements, but here their own were far
surpassed.

"We will ride out on the ether-line to one of our schools," remarked
Paulus. "You will be pleased with the children."

"This is an improvement on electricity," said their director, as seated
in an elegant car, they were carried through the city without noise or
jostle. "This line is rather crude yet. I was reading in the newspaper
the other day that some very important improvements were shortly to be
made. You have noticed, ere this, our method of heating and lighting.
Don't you think it is an advancement on the old way?"

"It certainly is, though we use some steam and considerable electricity
yet in our country."

"I suppose so--but here we are."

Although nothing in the city was cramped or crowded for room, the place
where they now alighted was planned on an unusually large scale. Immense
buildings stood upon a large tract of land, planted with trees, grass,
and flowers. Here were breathing room and playground. A number of
streams of clear water flowed through the grounds, and small ponds were
alive with fish and swimming birds. Fountains played, and statues of
marble gleamed through the foliage.

"See, what is that?" exclaimed Remand, as he caught sight of a huge,
shaggy beast lying under a tree.

"Just a brown bear," said Paulus. "We have some lions and few of the
rarest animals on these grounds--but I am forgetting that these scenes
must be strange to you. In Poland you have not wholly shaken off the old
world and its way. It takes time of course."

"Well," replied Remand, "although the enmity between man and beast is
nearly gone, we have not yet adopted bears and lions as pets for our
children to play with."

"Well, we have, you perceive."

A bevy of children came dancing through the grounds. Beautiful children
they were, full of life and gladness. They caught sight of bruin,
stretched under the tree, and with a shout they stormed him. The animal
saw them coming, and extending himself at full length on the ground,
seemed to enjoy the children's tumbling over his shaggy sides. When they
patted him on the head and stroked his nose, he licked their hands.

"We haven't reached quite that far," remarked the king.

"Neither do we behold such sights," added his companion, as he pointed
to a tiger crouching on the grass, and gazing with no evil intention at
a lamb quietly feeding by.

"You will in time," said Paulus. "The earth is being filled with the
knowledge of God. Hate, envy, and destruction are fast disappearing, and
you see the natural results: the wolf lying down with the lamb, and
children playing with once savage beasts. In this way, Satan is being
bound, and the whole earth will soon be released from his power."

They came to another group of children, gathered on the shore of a small
lake, who were eagerly listening to a man in their midst.

"We will hear what the lesson is today," said Paulus, and they went up
to the group. The instructor was holding up a flower which he had
plucked from the margin of the water, and was illustrating some
peculiarity of vegetable formation to the class.

"It is botany today," said Paulus. "I hoped that it would be his
favorite theme."

"And what is that?"

"The improvements on these grounds are the work of his planning and
supervision, and he delights to give lessons on earth and water
formations. He often sets a class to digging trenches and waterways. He
says that he learned all about such things when he went to school,
meaning when he was on the earth before."

"Is he a resurrected being?" asked Remand in a low voice.

"He is," was the reply. "Many of our instructors are. You will
understand without argument the advantages they have over others."

"Certainly, certainly."

"I see he is through with the recitation. Let us speak to him."

As they came up, the children recognized them with a smile and a salute,
and the instructor said:

"Welcome, brothers, welcome, Brother Paulus."

"You are dismissed. Go to your next lesson," he said to the children,
and they quietly walked away.

"Now," said he, "I have some leisure. Will you all come with me into the
reading room? I have something to show you, Paulus, and it may interest
our visitors."

"Need we no introduction?" asked the king, as they followed into a large
building.

"Not at all. He knows who you are."

The reading room was a compartment beautifully adorned and furnished. It
was filled with tables, chairs, bookracks, etc. Hundreds of children
were there reading. Perfect order reigned, though no overseers or
watchers were seen. The three followed the instructor into a smaller
room, seemingly arranged for private use. Chairs were placed, and then
he opened a newspaper which he spread on the table.

"Have you seen the last edition of today's paper?"

None of them had.

"Well, I found something here of more than usual interest. It seems that
some workmen, excavating for a building, came across the ruins of a
nineteenth century city. In a cavity in a stone they found some coins of
that period, also a number of newspapers. It was a common practice in
those days to imbed such things in the corner stones of buildings.
Extracts from those papers are reproduced here, and they are of interest
to the children of today in showing the condition of the world when
under the influence of that fallen spirit who rebelled against God in
the beginning. Let me read you a few extracts, principally headings
only."

"'Yesterday this city was visited by a most destructive fire. One-half
of the business part was swept away. Thousands of dollars of property
were lost, and it is supposed that about fifty persons have perished in
the flames.'

"'The great strike. Thousands of workmen out of employment. Children
crying for bread. Mobs march through the streets, defying the police,
and demolishing property. The governor calls out the state militia.'

"Here is another:

"'War! War! England, Germany, France, Russia and the United States are
preparing!'

"Yes, you have read your histories. You know all about that. What do you
think of this?"

"'Millions of the people's money have been expended by those in office
to purchase votes. A set of corrupt political bosses rule the nation.'

"Still another:

"'A gang of tramps capture a train--'"

The reader did not finish, but laid the paper down and looked out of the
open door. He did not speak for some time; then turning, said:

"Brothers, thank God that you live in the Millennium of the world. My
heart grows sick when my mind reverts back to the scenes of long ago. I
passed through some of them. I learned my lessons in a hard school; but
God has been good to me. He has known me all along, and has given me
just what I needed. Shall we visit the buildings? Shall we see the
children who grow up without sin unto salvation? Come with me."

From room to room, from building to building, they went. Children,
children, everywhere--bright, beautiful children. Oh, it was a grand
sight! Hark! They sing--a thousand voices; and such music!

"Are there special visitors today?" asked Paulus.

"Yes; come let us go outside and see them."

They stepped out on to a portico where they could see the throng of
children standing on a large lawn outside. They were singing a song of
welcome, and through the trees could be seen three men approaching. The
children made way for them, and they walked through towards the
building.

"Look well at them as they pass," said the instructor; "you may
recognize them."

They walked with the sprightliness of youth though their hair was white
as snow. They smiled at the children as they passed.

"Two of the faces are familiar," remarked Remand, "but the third is
strange. Surely, surely--"

"Surely you did not expect to see George Washington and Martin Luther in
the flesh, walking and talking as other men?"

"Never."

"It is they."

"And the third?"

"The third is Socrates of old."

"What is their mission?"

"They are about to speak to the children. They have been at the school
of the prophets all morning, and now they come from the high school
yonder. You see what advantages today's students of history have."

"Has the knowledge of God exalted men to the society of resurrected
beings?"

"Your senses do not deceive you," was the reply.

"Now I must go," said the instructor. "Farewell, and peace be with
you."

He went into the house again, the three following directly, but they saw
nothing more of him.



III.

  "Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand
  hills * * * for the world is mine, and the fulness
  thereof."--_Psalms 50:10, 12_.


The King of Poland and his counselor lodged that night in the city.
Early next morning, Paulus came again for them.

"What do you wish to see, today?" he asked.

"Take us to some or your workshops and mills," replied the King; "we
would like to learn more of your social and industrial conditions, about
which we have heard."

A car soon took them to a part of the city where the workshops were
situated. The buildings were not great, black-looking structures with
rows of small windows in the walls; but they were handsome, spacious
buildings, resembling somewhat the finest of the public buildings with
which the visitors were acquainted in their own country. Remand noted
the absence of smoking chimneys, and inquired about them.

"We have done away with all that," explained Paulus. "Pure air is one of
the essentials to life. One of the crudest imperfections of the past was
the wilderness of smoking chimneys which belched forth their blackness
and poison into the atmosphere. As you have noticed, our city is clean,
and the air above us is as clear as that above forests or fields."

"I suppose you use electricity for light and power," remarked Remand;
"but you need heat, too."

"We use electricity for heat also," was explained. "We get it direct
from the earth, also have it generated by water power, both from falls
and the waves of the sea, and transmitted to us. Some of these power
stations are hundreds of miles away among the mountains, and by the sea.
We have also learned to collect and conserve heat from the sun; so, you
see, we are well supplied for all purposes. This building," said the
instructor, pointing to the one in front of which they had stopped, "is
a furniture factory. Would you like to see it in working operation?"

"Yes; very much," said the King.

They entered clean, well-lighted, airy rooms where beautiful machinery
was being operated by well-dressed and happy-looking workmen. The
visitors passed from section to section, noting, admiring, and asking
questions.

"Whose factory is this?" asked Remand of the guide.

"You mean who has charge--who is the steward?" corrected Paulus.

"No; not exactly that. This magnificent plant must have an owner, either
an individual or a corporation. I asked for the ownership of the
property."

The guide looked strangely at his companions. Then he realized that
these men had come from the parts of the earth where the celestial order
had not yet been established. The old ideas of private property rights
were still with them.

"My friends," he said, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness
thereof. He is the only proprietor. How can weak, mortal man own any
part of this earth! No, ownership is for a future time, a future state.
Now we are only stewards over the Lord's possession."

"But someone must have charge here," said the king.

"Certainly. A master mechanic is steward over this factory, and he
renders an account of all its doings to the Bishop, who is the Lord's
representative. In this building, as you have seen, are many
departments, and these are also stewardships, given to those in whose
charge they are. Likewise, each workman has a stewardship for which he
is responsible and accountable to the Lord."

They came to the wood-carving department where beautiful designs were
being drawn and executed.

"Each man, as far as possible, does the kind of work best suited to his
tastes and abilities. Here, for instance, those who are skilled carvers
of wood find employment for their talent, and they turn out some fine
articles of furniture. Of course, we have machines that stamp and carve
wood; but the pleasure derived from the use of the skilled hand is not
to be denied the well-trained mechanic and artist."

"I don't quite understand what you mean by stewardships," said Remand
as they passed into a rest room.

"Let us sit down here," replied Paulus, "and I shall try to explain
further. You must know that all this order, beauty, peace, and plenty
has been attained by an observance of celestial law. And the celestial
law as pertaining to temporal things is that no man shall have more than
is required for his and his family's support. In this respect all men
are equal according to their needs. In olden times, this law was called
the order of Enoch, because we are informed that Enoch and his city
attained to a high degree of righteousness through its observance. Later
it was called the United Order. It has been revealed to and tried by men
in various periods of the earth's history, but never has it had such a
chance to redeem the world as it is having now. According to this law,
no man can accumulate unto himself the wealth created by the work of
others, as was the case in former times with us, and still prevails to
some extent among other nations. All surplus which a worker accumulates
beyond his needs is turned into the general storehouse of the Lord. Thus
each man becomes equal in temporal things as well as in spiritual
things. There is no rich or poor: each man obtains what he requires, and
no more."

"What is the extent of this surplus?" asked the King. "Is it large?"

"Yes; because of the nearly perfect condition of our industrial system,
a great amount of wealth flows into the general storehouse. You will
understand, of course, that all public institutions receive their
support from this fund, so that the old order of taxes is done away
with. You have noticed our beautiful city. You have not seen palaces of
the rich and hovels of the poor, but you have seen magnificent public
buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. These institutions that are for all
alike have been built and are sustained by the surplus; and this city
does not represent all of what the people of the Lord are doing. The
Lord's work is being extended throughout this land and to lands beyond
the sea. Not the least of our duties is the building of temples and the
performing of the work for our dead in them. So you see, we have need of
much wealth to carry on our work."

"Yes; I understand," remarked Remand; "but in our country and time, as
indeed, it has been in the past, many have tried plans of equality, but
they have been more or less failures. Why have you succeeded so well?"

"The chief cause for the past failures of the world in this industrial
order lies in the supposition that unregenerated men, who have not
obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ, and who are, therefore, full of
weaknesses and sins incident to human nature without the power to
overcome them--I say the mistake lies in the supposition that such men
can come together and establish a celestial order of things, an order
wherein the heart must be purged from every selfish thought and desire.
No wonder that a building erected on such a poor foundation could not
stand. We have succeeded because we have begun right. We have had faith
in the Lord and His providences, have repented of our sins, have been
born again of water and of the Spirit, and then we have tried to live by
every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We have done this pretty
well, or we could never have succeeded in this work of equality that you
see and admire. People who do the things that you observe around you
must have the Spirit of God in their hearts. This celestial order is
God's order, and those who partake of its blessings must be in harmony
with God's mind and will. High law cannot be obeyed and lived by
inferior beings who are not willing to submit to the first principles of
salvation and power."

The three sat in quiet contemplation for a time. Then the King said:
"Tell us about the wages of these workmen. The proper adjustment of
wages has always been a source of much trouble with us."

"Yes, in the days when every man had to look out for himself and had no
thought for his neighbor, it was a continual struggle to get as much as
possible for one's work and to give as little as possible for the work
of another. Such conditions were natural under a system of greed and
selfishness, and they brought on much contention and trouble, which,
happily are now ended. In the beginning," explained the speaker, "those
who enter this order of equality are required to consecrate all their
property to the Lord. Then each is given a stewardship according to his
needs and his ability to manage and to work. Children have a claim upon
their parents for support until they are of age, when they also are
given a stewardship."

"Are the wages equal to all?"

"No; and for the very good reason that the needs of all are not alike.
According to the old order, the superintendent of these works, for
instance, would draw a salary of perhaps $5000.00 a year, while the men
who do the manual labor would get less than a tenth of that sum."

"True," remarked Remand, "supply and demand regulates these things.
Superintendents are scarce, but common workmen are plentiful."

"But, my dear friend, we have no common workmen. It is just as important
that a table should be put together properly, and that it be well
finished as that there should be a superintendent of the works. No man
in our industrial system can say to another, 'I have no need of thee.'
Each is important, each has his place, each supports the other. The
polisher or the sawyer, therefore, should have his needs supplied, and
so should the overseer--but no more. What would he do with more, anyway?
Tell me."

"Why, why," replied Remand, "He could save it, put it in the bank,
invest it."

Paulus smiled. "What good would hoarded wealth be to a man whose needs
are all provided for as long as he lives, as also his children after
him. We have but one bank here--the Lord's storehouse, and all profits
derived from investments are there deposited. But speaking again of
wages, I happen to know that the superintendent of this factory is a
man with a wife only to support, and they are very simple in their
tastes. The wood-carver whom we spoke of has a large family of children.
His needs are greater than the superintendent's, therefore he receives
more for his portion. That is just, is it not?"

"Yes," replied Remand, "the theory seems to be all right but its
application, among us at least, would bring endless complications to be
adjusted."

"Perhaps so," replied Paulus. "We are not perfect, even here. While we
are in mortality, we have weaknesses to contend with; but you must
remember that we look on every man as a brother and a friend, and as I
have stated, we have the spirit of the Master to help us. When this help
proves insufficient by reason of our own failure to do the right, and in
our weakness we are unjust or overbearing, or oppressive, then there is
the Lord Himself whose throne is with us. He balances again the scales
of justice, and metes out to every man his just deserts."

Paulus arose, and the others followed him reverently out into the
park-like space surrounding the factory. They walked slowly along the
paths as they talked.

"The argument usually urged against all orders of equality," remarked
Remand, "is that it takes away man's incentive to work."

"Have you seen any idle men in or about Zion?" asked the guide.

They acknowledged that they had not.

"The new order has not taken away incentives to work; it has simply
changed the incentive from a low order to a higher. We can not afford to
work for money as an end. Wealth, with us, is simply a means to an end,
and that is the bringing to pass of saving righteousness to the race,
individually and collectively. Wealth is not created to be used for
personal aggrandizement; and, in fact, its power to work mischief is
taken away when all men have what they need of it. The attainment of
worldly wealth was at one time the standard of success. It was, indeed,
a low standard."

"What is your standard?" asked the king.

"Among us the greatest of all is the servant of all. He who does his
best along the line of his work, and contributes the results of his
efforts to the general good, is successful. Quantity is not always the
test, for the gardener who supplies us with the choicest vegetables is
counted just as successful as he who digs from the mountain his
thousands in gold.... Who, in your country, is counted the greatest
success in history?"

Neither Remand nor the King replied to this query.

"I will not confuse you by urging a reply," said Paulus. "You, of
course, understand our view of that matter. He who did the greatest good
to the greatest number made the greatest success. That was the Lord and
Master. 'If I be lifted up, I shall draw all men to me,' he said; and
that is being fulfilled. In like manner the greatest among us is he who
serves us best."

They seated themselves on a bench and watched the workers flock from
the workshop homeward to their mid-day meal. It was an interesting sight
to the two visitors. The people appeared so happy and contented that the
king noticed it and commented on it.

"Yes," replied Paulus; "why should they not be happy? When I think of
the times in the past--how so many of the human race had to struggle
desperately merely to live; how men, women and children often had to beg
for work by which to obtain the means of existence; how sometimes
everything that was good and pure and priceless was sold for bread;
while on the other hand many others of the race lolled in ease and
luxury, being surfeited with the good things of the world--I say, when I
think of this, I can not praise the Lord too much for what He now has
given to us."

"What are these men's working hours?" asked Remand.

"The hours vary according to the arduousness of the work, though it is
now much more easy and pleasant, owing to our labor-saving machinery.
From three to four hours usually constitute a day's work. Some prefer to
put in their allotted time every day, and then spend the remainder in
other pursuits. Others work all day, perhaps for a week, which would
give them a week to do other things. Others, again, who wish more
leisure for their self-appointed tasks, keep steadily on for a year,
thus earning a year for themselves."

"And what is done with this leisure?" asked the king.

"Most of it is devoted to working in the temples of the Lord, where the
saving ordinances of the gospel are performed for those who had not the
privilege to do them for themselves in this life; but many other things
are done. For instance, he who thinks he is an inventor, devotes his
time to perfecting his invention; those who wish to pursue a certain
line of study, now have time to do so; some spend time in traveling."

"Is there no competition among you?" said Remand. "Such a condition, it
seems to me, would bring stagnation."

"We have the keenest kind of competition," was the reply--"a competition
of the highest order that brings the most joyous life-activity into our
work. Each steward competes with every other steward to see who can
improve his stewardship the most and bring the best results to the
general storehouse. For example, you noticed as you came into the city
the beautifully kept gardens and farms lying for miles out into the
country. These are all stewardships, and there is the keenest
competition among the farmers and gardeners to see who can make the land
produce--first the best crops, and then the most of that best. One man
last year who has a small farm turned into the storehouse as his surplus
one thousand bushels of wheat. It was a remarkable record which this
year many others are trying to equal or exceed. This sort of rivalry is
found among all the various businesses and industries in Zion and her
stakes; so you see, that even what you term the wealth producing
incentive is not lost to us, but is used as an end to a mighty good,
and not to foster personal greed."

       *       *       *       *       *

The three strolled farther away from the large factory building, out
into a section where residences stood here and there among the trees in
the park-like grounds. Approaching a beautiful sheet of water bordered
by flowering bushes, lawns, and well-kept walks, they saw a man sitting
on a bench by the lake. As his occupation seemed to be throwing bread
crumbs to the swans in the water, the King and his companion concluded
that here, at last, they had discovered one of the idle rich, whom they
still had in their own country. Remand expressed his thought to the
guide.

"He idle?" was the reply. "Oh, no; he is one of our hardest working men.
That is one of our most popular writers, and in many people's opinion,
our best. We must not disturb him now, but we will sit down here and
observe him. We are told that when he is planning one of his famous
chapters of a story, he comes down to this lake and feeds the swans."

"And do you still write, print, and read stories?" asked Remand.

"Certainly. Imaginative literature is one of the highest forms of art.
This man has most beautifully pictured the trend of the race, his
special themes being the future greatness and glory of Zion. Why should
he not paint pictures by words, as well as the artist who does the same
by colors and the sculptor by form? If you have not read any of his
books, you must take some of them home with you. See, he is moving
away. Would you like to meet him?"

They said they would. The author was soon overtaken, and he received his
visitors graciously.

"Yes," he laughingly acknowledged to Paulus, "you caught me fairly. I
was planning a most interesting scene of the book on which I am now
engaged, and the swans are a great help."

He led his visitors into the grounds surrounding his home, and then into
his house. He showed them his books, his studio, and his collection of
art treasures. From an upstairs balcony he pointed out his favorite bit
of landscape, a mixture of hill and dale, shining water, and purple haze
in the distance.

"Yes," he said, in answer to an inquiry, "I have read how, in former
times, the workers in art, and especially the writer were seriously
handicapped. The struggle for bread often sapped the strength which
ought to have gone into the producing of a picture, a piece of statuary,
or a book. Fear of some day wanting the necessities of life drove men to
think of nothing else but the making of money; and when sometimes men
and women were driven by the strong impulse of expression to neglect
somewhat the 'Making a living,' they nearly starved. How could the best
work be produced under such conditions? I marvel at what was done,
nevertheless."

After spending a pleasant and profitable hour with the writer, the three
visitors went on their way. They partook of some lunch at one of the
public eating houses, then they went out farther into the country to
look at the farms and gardens. Lines of easy and rapid transit extended
in every direction, so that it took but a few minutes for Paulus and his
friends to arrive at the place they desired. They alighted at an
orchard, looked at the growing fruit and listened to the orchardist's
explanations. After they had been left to themselves, Paulus continued:

"I want you to see and taste a certain kind of apple that this man has
produced. Apples are his specialty." He led the way to another part of
the orchard, and found a number of ripening apples which he gave his
friends. "What do you think of them?" he asked.

"Most delicious!" they both exclaimed. "This might be the identical
fruit that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden," remarked Remand.

As they walked amid the trees, the conversation reverted again to the
writer of books whom they had just left.

"This author's royalties must be very great--" began the King's
counselor, and then checked himself when he remembered the conditions
about him.

"Royalties?" replied Paulus; "yes, they are great; but they are not in
money or material wealth. They consist in the vast amount of help,
encouragement, hope, and true happiness he brings to his readers."

"But do not men like treasure for treasure's sake? Have your very
natures changed?" asked the King.

"To some extent our natures have changed, but not altogether in this.
Men and women still like to lay up treasures. It is an inevitable law
that when men do some good to others, credit is given them for that
good in the Book of Life. This wealth of good deeds may accumulate until
one may become a veritable millionaire; and this treasure can never be
put to an unrighteous use; moth can not corrupt it, nor thieves break
through and steal."

"One more question," asked Remand. "I observed that your novelist had a
beautiful house, many rare books, and some priceless paintings and
pieces of sculptured marble. Are these among the 'needs' that you have
spoken of so many times?"

"To him, certainly. Each man gets that which will aid him most in his
particular line of work. Those things are not needless luxuries or
extravagances. The writer is surrounded by beautiful things that he may
be influenced by them to produce the most beautiful literature, just the
same as any other laborer is provided with the best tools, helps, and
environments that he may produce the best work."

From the orchard they went to the gardens and other workshops, closing
the day with a visit to one of the large mercantile establishments of
the city.

The next morning Paulus was on hand again to be their guide, but the
King said:

"We must now return home. Much as we would like to remain--to take up
our permanent abode here, I see that my duty calls me home. The Great
King has something for me to do, and I shall try to do it. Let us be
going."

Then the two visitors thanked their guide most graciously as he set them
on their homeward way.



IV.

  "In my Father's house are many mansions. * * * I go to prepare a place
  for you."--_John 14:2_.


Two men were walking in the grounds surrounding a stately residence on
the outskirts of the city.

"I told you some time ago of the king of Poland's visit," said the one
who had been instructor at the school. "Did you see that item in the
paper this morning?"

"Yes," replied the other. "The visit must have made a great impression
on him, judging by what he is doing."

"He was much interested. He is a good man, and is carrying out the
instructions which he received while here. You have not been here
before?"

"No; this is my first visit."

"This house is being built for a descendant of mine who is yet in
mortality. I visit with him frequently, and he has asked me for
suggestions as to its construction. I have had much pleasure in giving
them. Soon he is to bring a wife into his new home, a dear good girl
whom I am pleased to welcome in this way into our family. The workmen
have nearly finished their labors and I am devoting some time to the
preparation of the grounds. Will you have time to look around with me?"

"I have time today, brother."

They walked towards the house. It stood on the slope of a gentle
elevation which furnished a view of the country westward.

"Here you see what I am doing. I am departing somewhat from the usual
form of lawn plans, but I want this place to have a special feature. You
see, I have led this stream of water around the hill-side and made it
fall over this small precipice into this tiny lake. What do you think of
it?"

"It is beautiful and unique."

"You see, brother, I have a liking for streams of water. They always
please my eye, and their babble and roar is music to my ears. And then,
someone else will soon be visiting with me here. I call this my
temporary Earth-home; and brother, nothing can be too beautiful for my
wife."

His companion looked at him and smiled. The speaker smiled in return.
They understood each other.

"Yes, she is coming soon--at any time, now."

They walked into the house and inspected the building. It was no
exception to the other houses in the city, as beautiful as gold, silver,
precious stones, fine woods, silks, and other fabrics could make it.
Most of the rooms were furnished, as if in readiness for occupancy.

"I delight in statuary," was explained to the visitor, "and my wife
delights in paintings. You see, I have catered to both our tastes, and
especially hers. Those panels are the work of the famous Rene, and this
ceiling was painted by the best artist in the city. Here, what do you
think of this?"

They paused before a large painting hung in the best light. It showed
traces of age, but the colors indicated the hand of a master. It
represented a scene where grandeur and beauty mingle; in the distance,
blue hills; nearer, they became darker and pine clad; in the foreground
loomed a rocky ledge; encircled by the hills, lay a lake, around whose
shores were farms and farm houses with red roofs; and in the foreground
of the lake was an island.

"A fine picture," said the visitor, "and an old one."

"It is a scene in old-time Norway, by one of Europe's best painters.
Here is another. This is new, hardly dry, in fact. You observe that
there are no pines on those hills. The farm house and the orchard in the
foreground are as natural as life. She will recognize them at once."

They passed out.

"I have not had time to collect much in the way of statuary. I work a
little at that art myself. Here is an unfinished piece, a model for a
fountain."

They sat on a bench within sight of the falling water.

"Tell me about your family."

"I have a wife and four children yet in the spirit world. It is not long
as we count time since I left them, and they are soon to follow; but I
am impatient, I think. Oh, but she is a good woman, brother, good and
true and beautiful; and my children are noble ones--two boys and two
girls--even if one has been wayward. He will come back in time. Yes, my
wife first taught me the knowledge of God, in the second estate, and
opened to me the beauties of our Fathers' great plan. I had fallen low,
and was in danger of going lower, when she came--God sent her--and with
her pure, strong hand drew me up from the mire, God bless her." And the
speaker smiled at the splashing waters.

"Then in earth-life I left them so suddenly, and she struggled bravely
on to the end. It was all for the best--we know that now. I had a work
to do in the spirit world, and God called me to it. I did it, and was
accepted of the Master. We all met in the spirit world, and there
continued our labors of love for the glory of God and the salvation of
His children. Then my time came to pass through the resurrection, and
here I am.--Hark, what is that? Someone is calling."

They listened. From the house came a voice, a low, sweet voice, calling.

"Brother, I must go," said he who had been talking. "Someone calls my
name."

He disappeared hurriedly within the door-way; and the visitor went on
his way.



V.

  "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall
  be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there by
  any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

  "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God
  and he shall be my son."--_Rev. 21:4-7._


A sound, a whispered word echoes through the air and enters the ear. It
touches the chords and finds them tuned to its own harmony. It plays
tenderly on responsive strings, and what an awakening is within that
soul! What rapture in the blending, what delight in the union! From it
is born a joy of the heavenly world.

A sight, a glimpse of a form--a certain form or face; the rays of light
entering the eye meet with something keenly sympathetic, and the soul
leaps in ecstasy.

A touch, a gentle pressure of the hand; the union is complete.

What was that voice that reached him--a voice love-laden, full to
over-flowing from the regions of the past? Ah, what sweetness courses
through his veins, what joy leaps in his heart!

Within, he sees her. She stands in the middle of the room, with her eyes
upon the open door. She does not move. Her beautiful robe of shining
white clings about her form or falls in graceful folds to the floor. Her
hair, light as of old, now glistens like silken threads. Her face shines
with the indescribable glow of immortality.

She sees her husband. She raises her arms, and takes a step forward. She
smiles--such a smile!

"Homan--Rupert."

"Delsa--Signe."

He takes her in his arms. He kisses her and holds her to his breast....

Presently strains of music came from another room. He listened as if
surprised, but she looked up into her husband's eyes and smiled. The
music ceased and a little girl appeared in the doorway.

"May I come in?" she asked.

"Alice, my darling."

She runs towards them.

"Papa, papa, oh, how glad I am!"

He lifted her up and she threw her arms about his neck and kissed him
again and again.

"What a beautiful place this is!" she said. "O, mamma, I am very happy!"

"Yes, Alice, we are all happy--happy beyond expression. We now can
partly understand that glorious truth taught us, that 'spirit and
element, inseparably connected, receiveth a fulness of joy.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

Alice was playing with the fishes and the swans in the garden, and the
husband and wife were sitting by an open window, gazing out upon the
city.

"Brother Volmer has not been to see us yet," said he. "You remember he
was our brother Sardus?"

"I remember him well," she answered.

"His musical talent is now of great blessing to himself and to the cause
of God, as he is a musical director in the Temple. He understands now
why he lost his hearing while in mortality, and he praises God for his
then seeming misfortune."

"Husband," said she, "I am thinking again about our children. How long
will it be before we shall receive them all?"

"Not long now; but each in his order. Leave that to the Lord."

They looked out at Alice. The swans were eating from her hand, and she
was stroking their curved necks.

"To look back," said he, "and see the wonderful ways through which the
Lord has brought us to this perfection, fills my heart with praise to
Him. Now we are beyond the power of death and the evil one. Now the
pure, life-giving spirit of God flows in our veins instead of the blood
of mortality. Now we can know the two sides of things. We understand the
good, because we have been in contact with the evil. Our joy is perfect,
because we have experienced pain and sorrow. We know what life is,
eternal life, because we have passed through the ordeal of death."

"Yes, Father teaches a good school."

"And we have learned this truth," said she, "that existence itself is a
continuous penalty or reward. The children of God reap as they sow from
eternity to eternity."

"Yes; then dwell on this thought for a moment: Our lives have just
begun, as it were. We have eternity before us, and we are only now
equipped to meet it."

"I am lost in the thought. But tell me about this thousand years of
earthly peace and the last great change. Husband, I am a pupil now, and
you the teacher."

"There is much to tell in contemplating not only the realities but the
possibilities of the future. This earth has for some time been enjoying
its Sabbath of peace and rest. He who rebelled in the beginning and
fought against God is bound, and Christ is sole King of the earth. His
laws go to the ends thereof, and all nations must obey them. The Saints
are building holy places, and working for the living and the dead. No
graves are now made, as the bodies of the Saints do not sleep in the
dust. Thus it will go on until the thousand years are ended. Then Satan
will be loosed for a little season; but his time will be short. Then
comes the last great scene. The Lord will finish His work. In the clouds
of heaven, with power and great glory, He will be seen with all His
angels. The mortal Saints yet on the earth will be instantly changed and
caught up to meet Him. The holy cities will be lifted up. Then the
elements will melt with fervent heat. The earth will die as all things
must, and be resurrected in perfection and glory, to be a fit abode,
eternally, for celestial beings. All things will become new; all things
will become celestial, and the earth will take its place among the
self-shining stars of heaven. Then shall we receive our eternal
inheritance, with our children and our families. Then shall we be in
possession of that better and more enduring substance spoken of by the
prophets. All things shall be ours, 'whether life or death, or things
present, or things to come;' all are ours, and we are Christ's and
Christ is God's."

"Why, then we will be like unto God."

"And is it strange that children should become like their father?"

"I remember now," said she, "as distinctly as though it were yesterday,
what Father promised us in our first estate, that if we were faithful,
we should be added upon, and still added upon. Do you remember it?"

"Distinctly," he answered. "It was to be 'glory added upon our heads for
ever and ever.' Father is fulfilling his promise."

Then they sat still, not being able to speak their thoughts, but looked
out towards the cloud-encircled towers of the city.

Alice came running in. "The people are coming," she said.

They looked out of the window and saw two persons approach, viewing the
grounds with interest.

"It is Henrik and Marie," exclaimed Signe. The newcomers were greeted
rapturously.

"Come in and see the results of my husband's planning," said Signe.

       *       *       *       *       *

The visitors were led through the house, and shown the gardens
surrounding it. As they had been separated for a time from their friends
they had many things to tell each other.

"Do you know," said Henrik, as they were all sitting by the playing
fountain, "on our way here, we met Rachel!"

"Is she also risen?" asked Signe. "Oh, why did you not bring her with
you?"

"Well," said Henrik with a smile, "I told her where we were going and
asked her to come along. But she naturally preferred to stay with her
husband who was taking her to see some of his own people; so she
graciously declined, but said she would visit with us some other time."

"Right away?"

"I can't say. She clung pretty closely to her husband. They are a
splendid pair. I am glad, for I will admit that I once thought Rachel's
case was hopeless."

"We couldn't see very far, could we, brother?" remarked Rupert.

"Our faith was weak, and we did not trust the Lord enough."

"Yes; I used to wonder how the Lord would ever straighten out the mass
of entanglements that seemed to exist in the world. We failed to
comprehend the providences of the Lord because we could not see beyond
the narrow confines of the world in which we were living; we could see
only a small part of the circle of eternity; we could not see how that
visible portion, which was often rough and unshapely, could fit into
anything beautiful; but now our vision is extended, and we have a
larger, and therefore, a more correct view."

"And this I have found," said Henrik, smiling at Signe and Marie as with
arms around each other, they sauntered down the garden path, "I have
found that our work never ends. While in earth-life my mission was to
seek after those of my people who had gone before me, and to do a work
of salvation for them in the temples. In the spirit world, I continued
my work preaching to my fellowmen, and preparing them to receive that
which was and is being done for them by others. And now, I find, that I
am busier than ever. We are teachers, directors, leaders, judges, and
our field is all the earth."

"Yes," replied Rupert, "I attended the laying of the corner-stone of the
one-hundredth temple the other day; and we have only just begun. The
time, talent, wealth, and energy that formerly went to the enriching of
a few and that was spent to build and sustain armies and navies, now
are directed to the building of temples and the carrying on the work in
them. I used to wonder how the needed temple work could ever be done for
the millions of earth's inhabitants, but now I can see how simple it is.
Tens of thousands of Saints, in thousands of temples, in a thousand
years of millenium can accomplish it. Every son and daughter of Adam
must have a chance; every tangled thread must be straightened out; every
broken link must be welded; every wrong must be righted; every created
thing that fills the measure of its creation must be perfected;--all
this must be before the 'winding-up scene' comes. All this can be
accomplished, for now we have every force working to that end. The earth
is yet teeming with our brothers and sisters in mortality; there is
continual communication between the spirit world and this world, and
then here are we, with our kind; we have passed through the earth-life,
through the spirit world, through the resurrection--and we, as you said,
are busier than ever, because with our added knowledge and wider view
comes greater power. Our services are needed everywhere. And what a
blessed privilege we have in thus being able to help the Lord in the
salvation of His children and the hastening to its destined end of
celestial glory this world of ours."

Alice was playing with some birds, which she seemed to have well
trained, as they were flying back and forth from her hand to the bushes.
The two women now came back along the path, stopping now and then to
listen to a bird or to look at a flower. They joined Rupert and Henrik.

"I have quite a lot of names from the spirit world to bring to the
Temple today," said Rupert, "among them fifteen couples to be made
husband and wife."

"I have heard it said," remarked Marie, "that in heaven there is neither
marrying nor giving in marriage."

"Neither is there," answered Rupert, "any more than there is baptism for
the remission of sins. Neither this world nor the world of spirits,
where live the contracting parties, is heaven."

"Isn't this heaven?" asked Marie, looking around on the beauty with
which she was surrounded.

"As far as we resurrected beings are concerned," replied Rupert, "we
have heaven wherever we go; but this earth is only being prepared for
its heavenly or celestial state. Until that is finished, there shall be
marrying and giving in marriage."

"I'm glad of it," said Signe; "for there is--"

She was interrupted by Alice, who came in with the announcement that
others were coming up to the house. Henrik and Marie were greeted for
the first time by visitors who continued to gather. For some time,
white-clothed persons had been directing their steps towards the Temple.
Now they were hurrying.

"It is time to go," said Rupert.

In a few moments they had changed their clothing, and with the speed of
thought, they were within the Temple grounds. Entering, they took their
places. Volmer passed, and he paused to speak to them. Soon the hall
was filled.

The Lord of Life and Light was there, and lent of His light to the
scene.

Brilliancy pervaded everything, shone from everything. It was not the
sun, there being no dazzle; it was not the moon, but a clearness as of
noonday. The whole Temple shed forth a lustre as if it were built of
some celestial substance. The marble, the precious stones, the gold,
seemed changed into light--light, pure, calm, and consolidated into
form. It radiated from the throne, and from Him who sat upon it. "Around
His head was as the colors of the rainbow, and under His feet was a
paved work of pure gold in color like amber."

Hark! the music! How it fills the Temple, how it thrills the souls
assembled. A thousand instruments blend in exquisite harmony, ten
thousand voices join in the song:

  "The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength,
  And truth is established in her bowels;
  And the heavens have smiled upon her;
  And she is clothed with the glory of her God;
  For He stands in the midst of His people.
  Glory, and honor, and power, and might
  Be ascribed to our God; for He is full of mercy,
  Justice, grace, and truth, and peace,
      Forever and ever, Amen."



PART FIFTH

  The rise of man is endless. Be in hope.
  All stars are gathered in his horoscope.
  The brute man of the planet, he will pass,
  Blown out like forms of vapor on a glass.
  And from this quaking pulp of life will rise
  The superman, child of the higher skies.
  Immortal, he will break the ancient bars,
  Laugh and reach out his hands among the stars.
                               --_Edwin Markham._


I.

  Old things have passed away, all now are new;
  Its measure of creation Earth has filled;
  The law of a celestial kingdom it
  Has kept, transgressed not the law;
  Yea, notwithstanding it has died, it has
  Been quickened once again; and it abides
  The power by which that quick'ning has been done.
  Wherefore, it now is sanctified from all
  Unrighteousness, and crowned with glory, e'en
  The presence of the Father and the Son.

  Immortal Earth on wings of glory rolls,
  Shines like unto a crystal sea of glass
  And fire, whereon all things are manifest:
  Past, present, future,--all are clear to those
  Who live upon this glorious orb of God.

  Upon this globe, God's children glorified
  Are no more strangers, wand'ring to and fro
  As weary pilgrims; now they have received
  Possessions everlasting on the Earth--
  A portion of a glorified domain
  On which to build and multiply and spread--
  A part of Earth to call always their own.
  Eternal mansions may they now erect:

  Make them of whatsoe'er their hearts' desire;
  For gold and silver, precious stones and woods,
  And fabrics rare, and stuffs of every hue,
  All plentiful in Nature's store-house lie,
  For them to freely draw upon and use.
  Masters of all the elements are they;
  And Nature's forces are at their command.

  The man and woman, in the Lord made one,
  Eternally are wedded man and wife.
  These now together make their plans, and build
  A lovely, spacious home wherein to dwell,
  A place for work, for rest, for new-found joys,
  A peaceful habitation, one beyond
  The power of evil ever to destroy.


II.

    In their primeval childhood--first estate--
  These once had lived within their Father's home.
  Out from that home they had been sent to Earth
  To have their spirit bodies clothed upon
  With element, to come in contact with
  Conditions which were needful for their growth,
  And learn the lessons of mortality.
  There they had overcome temptation's wiles,
  There had obeyed the gospel of their Lord
  And worked out their salvation by its power.

    These two had met and mated, had fulfilled
  The first great law: "Give bodies clean and strong
  To Father's spirit-children from above."
  The time allotted they had lived on Earth,
  Had died the mortal death, had gone into
  The spirit world; from there they had come forth
  With resurrected bodies from the grave.
  Thus they had kept their first and second estates,
  And now were counted worthy to receive
  Their portion 'mong the exalted ones of God.


III.

  Celestial man and woman now do live
  The perfect life; for every faculty
  Of heart and brain is put to highest use.
  The appetites and passions purged are
  From dross that fallen nature with them mixed.
  The will is master now, and every sense
  Is under absolute control, and gives
  Perfected service to perfected souls.

  These two have come into their very own.
  They walk by sight; and yet the eye of faith
  Sweeps out to future time and distant space
  And leads them on and on. They lay their plans
  And execute these plans to perfectness.
  Eternal Glory-land is their abode,
  So beautifully clothed in Nature's best,
  And basking in the pleasing smile of God;
  No need of light of sun or moon or stars;
  The glory of the Father and the Son
  Eclipses all such lights of lesser ray.
  Although with godlike powers they rule and reign,
  Yet are they Father's children, and to Him
  All loving honor and obedience give.
  And then that Elder Brother who has done
  So much for all, He also here abides,--
  The Savior of the world and souls of men,
  The Lord of lords, the King of all the Earth,
  Yet ever-present Comforter and Friend.


IV.

  And now they learn the things they could not know
  On mortal earth. They learn the secrets of
  All things that are in space above, or in
  The Earth beneath: the elements which form
  The air that man did breathe, and where obtained,
  And how composed. They learn of primal rocks,
  Foundations of the new-formed worlds in space,
  And how these worlds evolve into abodes
  For man. The source of light and heat and power
  They find, and grasp the laws by which they may
  Be rightly used and perfectly controlled.
  And then, most precious gift! they learn of life:
  What makes the grass to grow, what gives the flowers
  Their fragrance and their many-colored hues.
  They comprehend all life in moving forms,--
  In worm, in insect, fish, and bird, and beast;
  And knowing this, they have the power to draw
  Life from its store-house, and to make it serve
  The highest good in never-ending ways.


V.

  The truth has made these holy beings free.
  They having overcome all evil powers,
  Unfettered now they are and free to go
  Where'er they wish within the heavenly spheres.
  They're not alone on this perfected world,
  Here other children of the Father dwell,
  Who also have obeyed celestial law.
  All these are of the Father's household, and
  Are numbered with the just and true, of whom
  'Tis written, "They are God's," and they shall dwell
  Forever in the presence of their God.

  What bliss to mingle with such company!
  To taste the joys of friendships perfected,
  And feel to fulness that sweet brother-love
  Which binds in one the noble race of Gods!

  And other worlds may now be visited;
  For end there's none to matter and to space.
  Infinitude holds kingdoms, great and small,--
  Worlds upon worlds, redeemed and glorified,
  And peopled with the children of our God,
  Who also have evolved from lower things.
  What opening visions here for knowledge rare!
  What sciences, what laws, what history!
  What stories of God's love in other worlds!
  Exhaustless themes for poets' sweetest songs;
  For painters, sculptors, every science, art
  Has never-ending fields of pure delight.
  To them "the universe its incense brings"--
  Distilled from all the sweetness of the spheres.


VI.

  Earth's loveliest flow'r, the love 'tween man and wife,
  Transplanted is to this most holy sphere.
  Through all the toiling years of earth-life, it
  Had grown; and now, instead of dying with
  The mortal death, its roots are firmly fixed
  In the eternal soil of Glory-land.
  And blessed man! now at his side there stands
  A woman, one of heaven's queens, a wife,
  A mother to his children of the Earth,
  And yet to be a mother of a race.
  Her beauty rare surpasses power of words.
  Her purity, her sweetly gentle ways
  Rest as a crown of glory on her brow.
  Her love transcendent fills his heart with joy,
  And now he fully realizes that
  "The woman is the glory of the man."

  Here in thy Home, O Woman all divine,
  Thy measure of creation thou doest fill!
  Intelligences come from out the womb
  Of Time, into thine own; thence are they born
  With spirit bodies, to thy loving care.
  Now thou art Mother, and doest know in full
  A mother's joy--a joy untinged by pain,
  And with thy Husband thou hast now become
  Creator, fellow worker with thy Lord.
  Celestial Father, Mother at the head
  Of parentage they stand, the perfect type
  Of that eternal principle of sex
  Found in all nature, making possible
  For every living thing to multiply
  And bring increase of being of its kind.
  In this celestial world, the fittest have
  Survived. To them alone the pow'r is given
  To propagate their kind. 'Twas wisely planned.
  The race of Gods must not deteriorate.
  Thus everlasting increase is denied
  To those who have not reached perfection's plane.
  Herein is justice, wisdom all-divine,
  That every child born into spirit world
  Has perfect parentage, thus equal chance
  Is given all to reach the highest goal,
  And win the race which runs up through the worlds.

  And children fill the household of these Two--
  And children bring perpetual youth, renew
  The tender sentiments, and firmly knit
  The heart of Father, Mother close in one.
  Thus do they work, and thus they follow in
  The footsteps of their Father; and they spread
  Out o'er the land of their inheritance.
  Masters of all, joint owners of the spheres,
  Eternal increase of eternal lives
  Is theirs; and this their work and glory is
  To bring to pass the immortality
  And life eternal to the race of men.


VII.

  Time passes as an ever-flowing stream.
  The many mansions teem with offspring fair,--
  The spirit children of this heavenly world.
  Varied are they, as human beings are
  In form, in likes, in capabilities.
  Here love, combined with justice, rules;
  Here truth is taught, the right and wrong are shown;
  Yet agency is given all, and they
  May choose the way selected by desire.
  Thus some more faithful are than others, and
  Advance more rapidly along the great
  Highway that leads among the shining stars.

  Time passes,--and the time has fully come
  When spirits must be clothed upon with flesh,
  Must follow in the footsteps of their Sire,
  Must go to mortal earth and there work out
  Their soul's salvation in the self-same way
  That all perfected beings once have done.

  Far out in space where there is ample room
  And where primeval element abounds,
  This Father has been working, and still works,
  Fashioning a world on which to place
  His children. Without proper form, and void,
  In the beginning, this new world has passed
  From one stage to another, until now
  It rolls in space, an orb in beauty clad,
  A world on which a human race may dwell.
  This Father to his children thus doth speak:
  "The time has come for you to leave this home--
  This first estate, and take another step
  Along progression's path. A new-formed world
  Is ready to receive you, and to clothe
  You in another body. You will then
  Learn many things you cannot here receive.
  A veil will then be drawn before your eyes
  That you will be unable to look back
  To us. Alone you'll have to stand; be tried
  To see if faithful you will still remain.
  There's darkness in that world; and sin will come
  And pain and suffering such as now you know
  Not of. But these will only clearly show
  How good is righteousness, and how much more
  To be desired the light than darkness is.
  Yet, you shall not be wholly left alone;
  My ministering angels shall keep watch,
  And near you all the time my power shall be,
  To help you in your direst hours of need.
  My sons and daughters, as you now do live
  Within your Father's ever-watchful care,
  Know this that always shall his loving arm
  Extended be to you; the Father-heart
  And Mother-heart eternally do yearn
  And feel for you in sorrow or in pain.
  Where'er you are, you're still within my reach.
  If you'll but turn to me, I'll hear your cries
  And answer you in my good time and place.
  Go forth as you are called, the lessons learn
  Of earthly school; fear only sin; abide
  By law, nor seek to be a law unto
  Yourselves, for by eternal law the worlds
  Are formed, redeemed, and brought to perfectness,
  Together with all flesh which on them live.
  Go forth. Be worthy to come back again
  And be partakers of all heights and depths,
  Things present, things to come, yea, life or death,
  And it shall be my pleasure to bestow
  Upon you _all there is eternally_."

    Joy fills this Father's children, and with one
      United voice of gladness do they sing:
    "Thanks, Father, kind and good for what you've done;
      Thanks for the added blessings which you bring.
    O glorious, wond'rous truth that we have found:
      The course of Gods' is one eternal round!"





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