Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Dorian
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 "Dorian" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



DORIAN


By

Nephi Anderson


Author of "Added Upon," "Romance of A Missionary," etc.



    "The Keys of the Holy Priesthood unlock the Door of Knowledge and
    let you look into the Palace of Truth."

    BRIGHAM YOUNG.



Salt Lake City, Utah

1921



Other books by Nephi Anderson.


"ADDED UPON"--A story of the past, the present, and the future stages of
existence.

"THE CASTLE BUILDER"--The scenes and incidents are from the "Land of the
Midnight Sun."

"PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE"--A love story of a Mormon country girl.
Illustrated.

"STORY OF CHESTER LAWRENCE"--Being the completed account of one who
played an important part in "Piney Ridge Cottage."

"A DAUGHTER OF THE NORTH"--A story of a Norwegian girl's trials and
triumphs. Illustrated.

"JOHN ST. JOHN"--The story of a young man who went through the
soul-trying scenes of Missouri and Illinois.

"ROMANCE OF A MISSIONARY"--A story of English life and missionary
experiences. Illustrated.

"MARCUS KING MORMON"--A story of early days in Utah.

"THE BOYS OF SPRINGTOWN"--A story about boys for boys and all interested
in boys. Illustrated.



CHAPTER ONE.


Dorian Trent was going to town to buy himself a pair of shoes. He had
some other errands to perform for himself and his mother, but the reason
for his going to town was the imperative need of shoes. It was Friday
afternoon. The coming Sunday he must appear decently shod, so his mother
had told him, at the same time hinting at some other than the Sunday
reason. He now had the money, three big, jingling silver dollars in his
pocket.

Dorian whistled cheerfully as he trudged along the road. It was a scant
three miles to town, and he would rather walk that short distance than
to be bothered with a horse. When he took Old Nig, he had to keep to the
main-traveled road straight into town, then tie him to a post--and worry
about him all the time; but afoot and alone, he could move along as
easily as he pleased, linger on the canal bank or cut cross-lots through
the fields to the river, cross it on the footbridge, then go on to town
by the lower meadows.

The road was dusty that afternoon, and the sun was hot. It would be
cooler under the willows by the river. At Cottonwood Corners, Dorian
left the road and took the cut-off path. The river sparkled cool and
clear under the overhanging willows. He saw a good-sized trout playing
in the pool, but as he had no fishing tackle with him, the boy could
only watch the fish in its graceful gliding in and out of sunshine and
shadow. A robin overhead was making a noisy demonstration as if in
alarm about a nest. Dorian sat on the bank to look and listen for a few
moments, then he got up again.

Crossing the river, he took the cool foot-path under the willows. He
cut down one of the smoothest, sappiest branches with which to make
whistles. Dorian was a great maker of whistles, which he freely gave
away to the smaller boys and girls whom he met. Just as it is more fun
to catch fish than to eat them, so Dorian found more pleasure in giving
away his whistles than to stuff them in his own pockets. However, that
afternoon, he had to hurry on to town, so he caught no fish, and made
only one whistle which he found no opportunity to give away. In the
city, he attended to his mother's errands first. He purchased the few
notions which the store in his home town of Greenstreet did not have,
checking each item off on a slip of paper with a stub of a pencil. Then,
there were his shoes.

Should he get lace or button, black or tan? Were there any bargains in
shoes that afternoon? He would look about to see. He found nothing in
the way of footwear on Main street which appealed to him. He lingered at
the window of the book store, looking with envious eyes at the display
of new books. He was well known by the bookseller, for he was a frequent
visitor, and, once in a while, he made a purchase; however, to day he
must not spend too much time "browsing" among books. He would, however,
just slip around to Twenty-fifth street and take a look at the
secondhand store there. Not to buy shoes, of course, but sometimes there
were other interesting things there, especially books.

Ah, look here! Spread out on a table on the sidewalk in front of this
second-hand store was a lot of books, a hundred or more--books of all
kind--school books, history, fiction, all of them in good condition,
some only a little shopworn, others just like new. Dorian Trent eagerly
looked them over. Here were books he had read about, but had not
read--and the prices! Dickens' "David Copperfield", "Tale of Two
Cities", "Dombey and Son", large well-printed books, only a little
shopworn, for thirty-five cents; Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", twenty-five
cents; books by Mrs. Humphrey Ward and Margaret Deland; "Robinson
Crusoe", a big book with fine pictures. Dorian had, of course, read
"Robinson Crusoe" but he had always wanted to own a copy. Ah, what's
this? Prescott's "Conquest of Peru", two volumes, new, fifty cents each!
Dorian turned the leaves. A man stepped up and also began handling the
books. Yes, here were bargains, surely. He stacked a number together as
if he desired to secure them. Dorian becoming fearful, slipped the other
volume of the Conquest under his arm and made as if to gather a number
of other books under his protection. He must have some of these before
they were all taken by others. The salesman now came up to him and
asked:

"Find something you want?"

"O, yes, a lot of things I like" replied Dorian.

"They're bargains."

Dorian needed not to be told that.

"They're going fast, too."

"Yes, I suppose so."

His heart fell as he said it, for he realized that he had no money to
buy books. He had come to town to buy shoes, which he badly needed. He
glanced down at his old shoes. They were nearly falling to pieces, but
they might last a little longer. If he bought the "Conquest of Peru" he
would still have two dollars left. Could he buy a pair of shoes for that
amount? Very likely but not the kind his mother had told him to get, the
kind that were not too heavy or "stogy" looking, but would be "nice"
for Sundays. He held tightly on to the two books, while Dickens and
Thackeray were still protectingly within his reach. What could he do?

Down there in Peru there had been a wonderful people whom Pizarro, the
bad, bold Spaniard had conquered and abused. Dorian knew about it all
vaguely as a dim fairy tale; and here was the whole story, beautifully
and minutely told. He must have these books. This bargain might never
come again to him. But what would his mother say? She herself had added
the last half dollar to his amount to make sure that he could get the
nicer kind.

"Well, sir, how many of these will you have?" asked the salesman.

"I'll--I'll take these two, anyway"--meaning Prescott's Conquest--"and
let me see", he looked hungrily over the titles--"And this one 'David
Copperfield'." It was hard to select from so many tempting ones. Here
was one he had missed: "Ben Hur"--, a fine new copy in blue and gold. He
had read the Chariot Race, and if the whole story was as interesting as
that, he must have it. He handed the volume to the salesman. Then his
hand touched lovingly a number of other books, but he resisted the
temptation, and said: "That's all--this time."

The clerk wrapped the purchase in a newspaper and handed the package to
Dorian who paid for them with his two silver dollars, receiving some
small silver in change. Then, with his package under his arm, the boy
walked on down the street.

Well, what now? He was a little afraid of what he had done. How could
he face his mother? How could he go home without shoes? Books might be
useful for the head, but they would not clothe the feet. He jingled the
coins in his pocket as he walked on down to the end of the business
section of the city. He could not buy any kind of shoes to fit his big
feet for a dollar and twenty cents. There was nothing more to do but to
go home, and "face the music", so he walked on in a sort of fearsome
elation. At a corner he discovered a new candy store. Next to books,
Dorian liked candy. He might as well buy some candy for the twenty
cents. He went into the store and took his time looking at the tempting
display, finally buying ten cents worth of chocolates for himself and
ten cents worth of peppermint lozenges for his mother.

You see, Dorian Trent, though sixteen years old, was very much a child;
he did many childish things, and yet in some ways, he was quite a man;
the child in him and the man in him did not seem to merge into the boy,
but were somewhat "separate and apart," as the people of Greenstreet
would say.

Dorian again took the less frequented road home. The sun was still high
when he reached the river. He was not expected home for some time yet,
so there was no need for hurry. He crossed the footbridge, noticing
neither birds nor fish. Instead of following the main path, he struck
off into a by-trail which led him to a tiny grass plat in the shade of a
tree by the river. He sat down here, took off his hat, and pushed back
from a freckled, sweating forehead a mop of wavy, rusty-colored hair.
Then he untied his package of books and spread his treasures before him
as a miser would his gold. He opened "David Copperfield", looked at the
frontispiece which depicted a fat man making a very emphatic speech
against someone by the name of Heep. It must all be very interesting,
but it was altogether too big a book for him to begin to read now. "Ben
Hur" looked solid and substantial; it would keep until next winter when
he would have more time to read. Then he picked up the "Conquest",
volume one. He backed up against the tree, settled himself into a
comfortable position, took from his paper bag a chocolate at which he
nibbled contentedly, and then away he went with Prescott to the land of
the Inca and the glories of a vanished race!

For an hour he read. Then, reluctantly, he closed his book, wrapped up
his package again, and went on his homeward way.

The new canal for which the farmers of Greenstreet had worked and waited
so long had just been completed. The big ditch, now full of running
water, was a source of delight to the children as well as to the more
practical adults. The boys and girls played on its banks, and waded and
sported in the cool stream. Near the village of Greenstreet was a big
headgate, from which the canal branched into two divisions. As Dorian
walked along the canal bank that afternoon, he saw a group of children
at play near the headgate. They were making a lot of robust noise, and
Dorian stopped to watch them. He was always interested in the children,
being more of a favorite among them than among the boys of his own age.

"There's Dorian," shouted one of the boys. "Who are you going to marry?"

What in the world were the youngsters talking about, thought the young
man, as the chattering children surrounded him.

"What's all this?" asked Dorian, "a party?"

"Yes; it's Carlia's birthday; we're just taking a walk by the canal to
see the water; my, but it's nice!"

"What, the party or the water?"

"Why, the water."

"Both" added another.

"We've all told who we're going to marry," remarked a little rosy-faced
miss, "all but Carlia, an' she won't tell."

"Well, but perhaps Carlia don't know. You wouldn't have her tell a fib,
would you?"

"Oh, shucks, she knows as well as us."

"She's just stubborn."

She who was receiving these criticisms seemed to be somewhat older
and larger than her companions. Just now, not deigning to notice the
accusation of her friends, she was throwing sticks into the running
water and watching them go over the falls at the headgate and dance on
the rapids below. Her white party dress was as yet spotless. She swung
her straw hat by the string. Her brown-black hair was crowned by an
unusually large bow of red ribbon. She was not the least discomposed by
the teasing of the other children, neither by Dorian's presence. This
was her party, and why should not she do and say what she pleased.

Carlia now led the way along the canal bank until she came to where a
pole spanned the stream. She stopped, looked at the somewhat insecure
footbridge, then turning to her companions, said:

"I can back you out."

"How? Doin' what?" they asked.

"Crossing the canal on the pole."

"Shucks, you can't back me out," declared one of the boys, at which he
darted across the swaying pole, and with a jump, landed safely across.
Another boy went at it gingerly, and with the antics of a tight-rope
walker, he managed to get to the other side. The other boys held back;
none of the girls ventured.

"All right, Carlia," shouted the boys on the other bank.

The girl stood looking at the frail pole.

"Come on, it's easy," they encouraged.

Carlia placed her foot on the pole as if testing it. The other girls
protested. She would fall in and drown.

"You dared us; now who's the coward," cried the boys.

Carlia took a step forward, balanced herself, and took another. The
children stood in spell-bound silence. The girl advanced slowly along
the frail bridge until she reached the middle where the pole swayed
dangerously.

"Balance yourself," suggested the second boy.

"Run," said the first.

But Carlia could neither balance nor run. She stood for a moment on the
oscillating span, then threw up her hands, and with a scream she plunged
into the waters of the canal.

No thought of danger had entered Dorian's mind as he stood watching the
capers of the children. If any of them fell in, he thought, they would
only get a good wetting. But as Carlia fell, he sprang forward. The
water at this point was quite deep and running swiftly. He saw that
Carlia fell on her side and went completely under. The children
screamed. Dorian, startled out of his apathy, suddenly ran to the canal
and jumped in. It was done so impulsively that he still held on to his
package of books. With one hand he lifted the girl out of the water, but
in her struggles, she knocked the bundle from his hand, and the precious
books splashed into the canal and floated down the stream. Dorian made
an effort to rescue them, but Carlia clung so to his arms that he could
do nothing but stand and see the package glide over the falls at the
headgate and then go dancing over the rapids, even as Carlia's sticks
had done. For a moment the young man's thoughts were with his books, and
it seemed that he stood there in the canal for quite a while in a sort
of daze, with the water rushing by his legs. Then mechanically he
carried the girl to the bank and would have set her down again with her
companions, but she clung to him so closely and with such terror in her
eyes that he lifted her into his arms and talked reassuringly to her:

"There, now," he said, "you're only a bit wet. Don't cry."

"Take me home. I--I want to go home," sobbed the girl.

"Sure," said Dorian. "Come on everybody."

He led the way, and the rest of the children followed.

"I suppose the party's about over, anyway," suggested he.

"I--I guess so."

They walked on in silence for a time; then Carlia said:

"I guess I'm heavy."

"Not at all", lied the young man bravely, for she was heavier than he
had supposed; but she made no offer to walk. By the time they reached
the gate, Carlia was herself again, and inclined to look upon her
wetting and escape as quite an adventure.

"There," said Dorian as he seated the girl on the broad top of the gate
post; "I'll leave you there to dry. It won't take long."

He looked at his own wet clothes, and then at his ragged, mud-laden
shoes. He might as well carry the girl up the path to her home, but
then, that was not necessary. The day was warm, there was no danger of
colds, and she could run up the path in a few minutes.

"Well, I'll go now. Goodby," he said.

"Wait a minute--Say, I'm glad you saved me, but I'm sorry you lost your
package. What was in it?"

"Only books."

"I'll get you some more, when I get the money, yes I will. Come here and
lift me down before you go."

He obeyed. She put a wet arm about his neck and cuddled her dark, damp
curls against his russet mop. He lifted her lightly down, and then he
slipped a chocolate secretly into her hand.

"Oh girls," exclaimed one of the party, "I know now."

"Know what?" asked Carlia.

"I know who you are going to marry."

"Who?"

"You're going to marry Dorian."



CHAPTER TWO.


The disposition to lie or evade never remained long with Dorian Trent;
but that evening as he turned into the lane which led up to the house,
he was sorely-tempted. Once or twice only, as nearly as he could
remember, had he told an untruth to his mother with results which he
would never forget. He must tell her the truth now.

But he would put off the ordeal as long as possible. There could be no
harm in that. Everything was quiet about the house, as his mother was
away. He hurriedly divested himself of his best clothes and put on
his overalls. He took the milk pail and hung it on the fence until he
brought the cows from the pasture. After milking, he did his other
chores. There were no signs of mother. The dusk turned to darkness, yet
no light appeared in the house. Dorian went in and lighted the lamp and
proceeded to get supper.

The mother came presently, carrying a bag of wool. "A big herd of sheep
went by this afternoon," she explained, "and they left a lot of fine
wool on the barbed-wire fences. See, I have gathered enough for a pair
of stockings." She seated herself.

"You're tired," said Dorian.

"Yes."

"Well, you sit and rest; I'll soon have the supper on the table." This
was no difficult task, as the evening meal was usually a very simple
one, and Dorian had frequently prepared it. This evening as the mother
sat there quietly she looked at her son with admiring eyes. What a big
boy he was getting to be! He had always been big, it seemed to her. He
had been a big baby and a big little boy, and now he was a big young
man. He had a big head and big feet, big hands. His nose and mouth were
big, and big freckles dotted his face--yes, and a big heart, as his
mother very well knew. Along with his bigness of limb and body there was
a certain awkwardness. He never could run as fast as the other boys,
and he always fumbled the ball in their games though he could beat them
swimming. So far in his youthful career he had not learned to dance. The
one time he had tried, his girl partner had made fun of his awkwardness,
so that ended his dancing. But Dorian was not clumsy about his mother's
home and table. He handled the dishes as daintily as a girl, and the
table was set and the food served in a very proper manner.

"Did you get your shoes, Dorian?"

Dorian burned his fingers on a dish which was not at all hot.

"Mother, sit up; supper is ready."

They both drew up their chairs. Dorian asked the blessing, then became
unusually solicitous in helping his mother, continually talking as he
did so.

"That little Duke girl was nearly drowned in the canal, this afternoon,"
he told her, going on with the details. "She's a plucky little thing.
Ten minutes after I had her out of the canal, she was as lively as
ever."

The mother liked to hear him talk, so she did not interrupt him. After
they had eaten, he forced her to take her rocking-chair while he cleared
the table and washed the few dishes. She asked no more questions about
shoes, but leaned back in her chair with half-closed eyes. Dorian
thought to give her the mint lozenges, but fearing that it might lead to
more questions, he did not.

Mrs. Trent was not old in years, but hard work had bent her back and
roughened her hands. Her face was pleasant to look upon, even if there
were some wrinkles now, and the hair was white at the temples. She
closed her eyes as if she were going to sleep.

"Now, mother, you're going to bed", said Dorian. "You have tired
yourself out with this wool picking. I thought I told you before that I
would gather what wool there was."

"But you weren't here, and I could not stand to see the wind blowing it
away. See, what a fine lot I got." She opened her bundle and displayed
her fleece.

"Well, put it away. You can't card and spin and knit it tonight."

"It will have to be washed first, you foolish boy."

Dorian got his mother to bed without further reference to shoes. He went
to his own room with a conscience not altogether easy. He lighted his
lamp, which was a good one, for he did a lot of reading by it. The
electric wires had not yet reached Greenstreet. Dorian stood looking
about his room. It was not a very large one, and somewhat sparsely
furnished. The bed seemed selfishly to take up most of the space.
Against one wall was set some home-made shelving containing books. He
had quite a library. There were books of various kinds, gathered with no
particular plan or purpose, but as means and opportunity afforded. In
one corner stood a scroll saw, now not very often used. Pictures of a
full-rigged sailing vessel and a big modern steamer hung on the wall
above his books. On another wall were three small prints, landscapes
where there were great distances with much light and warmth. Over his
bed hung an artist's conception of "Lorna Doone," a beautiful face,
framed in a mass of auburn hair, with smiling lips, and a dreamy look in
her eyes.

"That's my girl," Dorian sometimes said, pointing to this picture. "No
one can take her from me; we never quarrel; and she never scolds or
frowns."

On another wall hung a portrait of his father, who had been dead nine
years. His father had been a teacher with a longing to be a farmer.
Eventually, this longing had been realized in the purchase of the twenty
acres in Greenstreet, at that time a village with not one street which
could be called green, and without a sure water supply for irrigation,
at least on the land which would grow corn and potatoes and wheat. To
be sure, there was water enough of its kind down on the lower slopes,
besides saleratus and salt grass and cattails and the tang of marshlands
in the air. Schoolmaster Trent's operations in farming had not been very
successful, and when he died, the result of his failure was a part of
the legacy which descended to his wife and son.

Dorian took a book from the shelf as if to read; but visions intruded
of some beautiful volumes, now somewhere down the canal, a mass of
water-soaked paper. He could not read. He finished his last chocolate,
said his prayers, and went to bed.

Saturday was always a busy day with Dorian and his mother; but that
morning Mrs. Trent was up earlier than usual. The white muslin curtains
were already in the wash when Dorian looked at his mother in the summer
kitchen.

"What, washing today!" he asked in surprise. Monday was washday.

"The curtains were black; they must be clean for tomorrow."

"You can see dirt where I can't see it."

"I've been looking for it longer, my boy. And, say, fix up the line you
broke the other day."

"Sure, mother."

The morning was clear and cool. He did his chores, then went out to his
ten-acre field of wheat and lucerne. The grain was heading beautifully;
and there were prospects of three cuttings of hay; the potatoes were
doing fine, also the corn and the squash and the melons. The young
farmer's heart was made glad to see the coming harvest, all the work of
his own hands.

For this was the first real crop they had raised. For years they had
struggled and pinched. Sometimes Dorian was for giving up and moving
to the city; but the mother saw brighter prospects when the new canal
should be finished. And then her boy would be better off working for
himself on the farm than drudging for others in the town; besides, she
had a desire to remain on the spot made dear by her husband's work; and
so they struggled along, making their payments on the land and later on
the canal stock. The summit of their difficulties seemed now to have
passed, and better times were ahead. Dorian looked down at his ragged
shoes and laughed to himself good-naturedly. Shucks, in a few months he
would have plenty of money to buy shoes, perhaps also a Sunday suit for
himself, and everything his mother needed. And if there should happen to
be more book bargains, he might venture in that direction again.

Breakfast passed without the mention of shoes. What was his mother
thinking about! She seemed uncommonly busy with cleaning an uncommonly
clean house. When Dorian came home from irrigating at noon, he kicked
off his muddy shoes by the shanty door, so as not to soil her cleanly
scrubbed floor or to stain the neat home-made rug. There seemed to be
even more than the extra cooking in preparation for Sunday.

The mother looked at Dorian coming so noiselessly in his stocking feet.

"You didn't show me your new shoes last night," she said.

"Say, mother, what's all this extra cleaning and cooking about?"

"We're going to have company tomorrow."

"Company? Who?"

"I'll tell you about it at the table."

"Do you remember," began the mother when they were seated, "a lady and
her little girl who visited us some two years ago?"

Yes, he had some recollection of them. He remembered the girl,
specially, spindle-legged, with round eyes, pale cheeks, and an
uncommonly long braid of yellow hair hanging down her back.

"Well, they're coming to see us tomorrow. Mrs. Brown is an old-time
friend of mine, and Mildred is an only child. The girl is not strong,
and so I invited them to come here and get some good country air."

"To stay with us, mother?" asked the boy in alarm.

"Just to visit. It's terribly hot in the city. We have plenty of fresh
eggs and good milk, which, I am sure is just what the child needs. Mrs.
Brown cannot stay more than the day, so she says, but I am going to ask
that Mildred visits with us for a week anyway. I think I can bring some
color into her cheeks."

"Oh, gee, mother!" he remonstrated.

"Now, Dorian, be reasonable. She's such a simple, quiet girl. She will
not be in the way in the least. I want you to treat her nicely."

Dorian had finished his dinner and was gazing out of the window. There
was an odd look on his face. The idea of a girl living right here with
them in the same house startled and troubled him. His mother had called
her a little girl, but he remembered her as being only a year or two
younger than he. Gee!

"That's why I wanted you to get a pair of decent shoes for tomorrow,"
said the mother, "and I told you to get a nice pair. I have brushed and
pressed your clothes, but you must get a new suit as soon as possible.
Where are your shoes! I couldn't find them."

"I--didn't get any shoes, mother."

"Didn't get any! Why not?"

"Well, you see--I didn't know about these visitors coming, mother, and
so I--bought some books for most of my money, and so; but mother, don't
get mad--I--"

"Books? What books? Where are they?"

And then Dorian told her plainly the whole miserable story. At first the
mother was angry, but when she saw the troubled face of her boy, she
relented, not wishing to add to his misery. She even smiled at the
calamitous ending of those books.

"My boy, I see that you have been sorely tempted, and I am sorry that
you lost your books. The wetting that Carlia gave you did no harm ...
but you must have some shoes by tomorrow. Wait."

The mother went to the bureau drawer, opened the lid of a little box,
drew from the box a purse, and took from the purse two silver dollars.
She handed them to Dorian.

"Go to town again this afternoon and get some shoes."

"But, mother, I hate to take your money. I think I can black my old ones
so that they will not look so bad."

"Blacking will not fill the holes. Now, you do as I say. Jump on Nig and
go right away."

Dorian put the money in his pocket, then went out to the yard and
slipped a bridle on his horse, mounted, and was back to the house.

"Now, Dorian, remember what I say. Get you a nice pair, a nice Sunday
pair."

"All right, mother, I will."

He rode off at a gallop. He lingered not by creeks or byways, but went
directly to the best shoe store in the city, where he made his purchase.
He stopped neither at book store or candy shops. His horse was sweating
when he rode in at the home yard. His mother hearing him, came out.

"You made quick time," she said.

"Yes; just to buy a pair of shoes doesn't take long."

"You got the right kind?"

"Sure. Here, look at 'em." He handed her the package.

"I can't look at them now. Say, Dorian--" she came out nearer to
him--"They are here."

"Who, mother?"

"Mrs. Brown and her daughter. They got a chance to ride out this
afternoon, so they did not wait until tomorrow. Lucky I cleaned up this
morning. Mildred is not a bit well, and she is lying down now. Don't
make any more noise than you can help."

"Gee--but, mother, gosh!" He was very much disturbed.

"They are dear, good people. They know we are simple farmers. Just you
wash yourself and take off those dirty overalls before you come in. And
then you just behave yourself. We're going to have something nice for
supper. Now, don't be too long with your hoeing or with your chores,
for supper will be early this evening."

Dorian hoed only ten rows that afternoon for the reason that he sat down
to rest and to think at the end of each row. Then he dallied so with his
chores that his mother had to call him twice. At last he could find no
more excuses between him and the strange company. He went in with much
fear and some invisible trembling.



CHAPTER THREE.


About six o'clock in the afternoon, Mildred Brown went down through the
fields to the lower pasture. She wore a gingham apron which covered her
from neck to high-topped boots. She carried in one hand an easel and
stool and in the other hand a box of colors. Mildred came each day to a
particular spot in this lower pasture and set up her easel and stool in
the shade of a black willow bush to paint a particular scene. She did
her work as nearly as possible at the same time each afternoon to get
the same effect of light and shade and the same stretch of reflected
sunlight on the open water spaces in the marshland.

And the scene before her was worthy of a master hand, which, of course,
Mildred Brown was not as yet. From her position in the shade of the
willow, she looked out over the flat marshlands toward the west. Nearby,
at the edge of the firmer pasture lands, the rushes grew luxuriously,
now crowned with large, glossy-brown "cat-tails." The flats to the left
were spotted by beds of white and black saleratus and bunches of course
salt grass. Openings of sluggish water lay hot in the sun, winding in
and out among reeds, and at this hour every clear afternoon, shining
with the undimmed reflection of the burning sun. The air was laden
with salty odors of the marshes. A light afternoon haze hung over the
distance. Frogs were lazily croaking, and the killdeer's shrill cry came
plaintively to the ear. A number of cows stood knee-deep in mud and
water, round as barrels, and breathing hard, with tails unceasingly
switching away the flies.

Dorian was in the field turning the water on his lucerne patch when he
saw Mildred coming as usual down the path. He had not expected her that
afternoon as he thought the picture which she had been working on
was finished; but after adjusting the flow of water, he joined her,
relieving her of stool and easel. They then walked on together, the
big farm boy in overalls and the tall graceful girl in the enveloping
gingham.

Mildred's visit had now extended to ten days, by which time Dorian had
about gotten over his timidity in her presence. In fact, that had not
been difficult. The girl was not a bit "stuck up," and she entered
easily and naturally into the home life on the farm. She had changed
considerably since Dorian had last seen her, some two years ago. Her
face was still pale, although it seemed that a little pink was now
creeping into her cheeks; her eyes were still big and round and blue;
her hair was now done up in thick shining braids. She talked freely to
Dorian and his mother, and at last Dorian had to some extent been able
to find his tongue in the presence of a girl nearly his own age.

The two stopped in the shade of the willow. He set up the easel and
opened the stool, while she got out her colors and brushes.

"Thank you," she said to him. "Did you get through with your work in the
field?"

"I was just turning the water on the lucerne. I got through shocking the
wheat some time ago."

"Is there a good crop! I don't know much about such things, but I want
to learn." She smiled up into his ruddy face.

"The wheat is fine. The heads are well developed. I wouldn't be
surprised if it went fifty bushels to the acre."

"Fifty bushels?" She began to squeeze the tubes of colors on to the
palette.

Dorian explained; and as he talked, she seated herself, placed the
canvas on the easel, and began mixing the colors.

"I thought you finished that picture yesterday," he said.

"I was not satisfied with it, and so I thought I would put in another
hour on it. The setting sun promises to be unusually fine today, and I
want to put a little more of its beauty into my picture, if I can."

The young man seated himself on the grass well toward the rear where he
could see her at work. He thought it wonderful to be able thus to make a
beautiful picture out of such a commonplace thing as a saleratus swamp.
But then, he was beginning to think that this girl was capable of
endless wonders. He had met no other girl just like her, so young and so
beautiful, and yet so talented and so well-informed; so rich, and yet
so simple in manner of her life; so high born and bred, and yet so
companionable with those of humbler station.

The painter squeezed a daub of brilliant red on to her palette. She
gazed for a moment at the western sky, then turning to Dorian, she
asked:

"Do you think I dare put a little more red in my picture?"

"Dare?" he repeated.

The young man followed the pointing finger of the girl into the flaming
depths of the sky, then came and leaned carefully over the painting.

"Tell me which is redder, the real or the picture?" she asked.

Dorian looked critically back and forth. "The sky is redder," be
decided.

"And yet if I make my picture as red as the sky naturally is, many
people would say that it is too red to be true. I'll risk it anyway."
Then she carefully laid on a little more color.

"Nature itself, our teacher told us, is always more intense than any
representation of nature."

She worked on in silence for a few moments, then without looking from
her canvas, she asked: "Do you like being a farmer?"

"Oh, I guess so," he replied somewhat indefinitely. "I've lived on a
farm all my life, and I don't know anything else. I used to think I
would like to get away, but mother always wanted to stay. There's been a
lot of hard work for both of us, but now things are coming more our way,
and I like it better. Anyway, I couldn't live in the city now."

"Why?"

"Well, I don't seem able to breathe in the city, with its smoke and its
noise and its crowding together of houses and people."

"You ought to go to Chicago or New York or Boston," she replied. "Then
you would see some crowds and hear some noises."

"Have you been there?"

"I studied drawing and painting in Boston. Next to farming, what would
you like to do?"

He thought for a moment--"When I was a little fellow--"

"Which you are not," she interrupted as she changed brushes.

"I thought that if I ever could attain to the position of standing
behind a counter in a store where I could take a piece of candy whenever
I wanted it, I should have attained to the heights of happiness. But,
now, of course--"

"Well, and now?"

"I believe I'd like to be a school teacher."

"Why a teacher?"

"Because I'd then have the chance to read a lot of books."

"You like to read, don't you? and you like candy, and you like
pictures."

"Especially, when someone else paints them."

Mildred arose, stepped back to get the distance for examination. "I
don't think I had better use more color," she commented, "but those
cat-tails in the corner need touching up a bit."

"I suppose you have been to school a lot?" he asked.

"No; just completed the high school; then, not being very strong, mother
thought it best not to send me to the University; but she lets me dabble
a little in painting and in music."

Dorian could not keep his eyes off this girl who had already completed
the high school course which he had not yet begun; besides, she had
learned a lot of other things which would be beyond him to ever reach.
Even though he were an ignoramus, he could bask in the light of her
greater learning. She did not resent that.

"What do you study in High School!" he asked.

"Oh, a lot of things--don't you know?" She again looked up at him.

"Not exactly."

"We studied algebra and mathematics and English and English literature,
and French, and a lot of other things."

"What's algebra like?"

"Oh dear, do you want me to draw it?"

"Can you draw it?"

"About as well as I can tell it in words. Algebra is higher mathematics;
yes, that's it."

"And what's the difference between English and English literature?"

"English is grammar and how sentences are or should be made. English
literature is made up mostly of the reading of the great authors, such
as Milton and Shakespeare,"

"Gee!" exclaimed Dorian, "that would be great fun."

"Fun? just you try it. Nobody reads these writers now only in school,
where they have to. But say, Dorian"--she arose to inspect her work
again. "Have I too much purple in that bunch of salt-grass on the left?
What do you think?"

"I don't see any purple at all in the real grass," he said.

"There is purple there, however; but of course, you, not being an
artist, cannot see it." She laughed a little for fear he might think her
pronouncement harsh.

"What--what is an artist?"

"An artist is one who has learned to see more than other people can in
the common things about them."

The definition was not quite clear to him. He had proved that he
could see farther and clearer than she could when looking at trees or
chipmunks. He looked critically again at the picture.

"I mean, of course," she added, as she noted his puzzled look, "that an
artist is one who sees in nature the beauty in form, in light and shade,
and in color."

"You haven't put that tree in the right place," he objected! "and you
have left out that house altogether."

"This is not a photograph," she answered. "I put in my picture only that
which I want there. The tree isn't in the right place, so I moved it.
The house has no business in the picture because I want it to represent
a scene of wild, open lonesomeness. I want to make the people who look
at it feel so lonesome that they want to cry!"

She was an odd girl!

"Oh, don't you understand. I want them only to feel like it. When you
saw that charcoal drawing I made the other day, you laughed."

"Well, it was funny."

"That's just it. An artist wants to be able to make people feel like
laughing or crying, for then he knows he has reached their soul."

"I've got to look after the water for a few minutes, then I'll come back
and help you carry your things," he said. "You're about through, aren't
you?"

"Thank you; I'll be ready now in a few minutes. Go see to your water.
I'll wait for you. How beautiful the west is now!"

They stood silently for a few moments side by side, looking at the glory
of the setting sun through banks of clouds and then down behind the
purple mountain. Then Dorian, with shovel on shoulder, hastened to his
irrigating. The blossoming field of lucerne was usually a common enough
sight, but now it was a stretch of sweet-scented waves of green and
purple.

Mildred looked at the farmer boy until he disappeared behind the willow
fence, then she began to pack up her things. Presently, she heard some
low bellowing, and, looking up, she saw a number of cows, with tails
erect, galloping across the fields. They had broken the fence, and were
now having a gay frolic on forbidden grounds. Mildred saw that they were
making directly for the corner of the pasture where she was. She was
afraid of cows, even when they were within the quiet enclosure of the
yard, and here was a wild lot apparently coming upon her to destroy her.
She crouched, terror stricken, as if to take shelter behind the frail
bulwark of her easel.

Then she saw a horse leap through the gap in the fence and come
galloping after the cows. On the horse was a girl, not a large girl, but
she was riding fearlessly, bare-back, and urging the horse to greater
strides. Her black hair was trailing in the wind as she waved a willow
switch and shouted lustily at the cows. She managed to head the cows off
before they had reached Mildred, rounding them up sharply and driving
them back through the breach into the road which they followed quietly
homeward. The rider then galloped back to the frightened girl.

"Did the cows scare you?" she asked.

"Yes," panted Mildred. "I'm so frightened of cows, and these were so
wild."

"They were just playing. They wouldn't hurt you; but they did look
fierce."

"Whose cows were they?"

"They're ours. I have to get them up every day. Sometimes when the flies
are bad they get a little mad, but I'm not afraid of them. They know me,
you bet. I can milk the kickiest one of the lot."

"Do you milk the cows?"

"Sure--but what is that?" The rider had caught sight of the picture.
"Did you make that?"

"Yes; I painted it."

"My!" She dismounted, and with arm through bridle, she and the horse
came up for a closer view of the picture. The girl looked at it mutely
for a moment. "It's pretty" she said; "I wish I could make a picture
like that."

Mildred smiled at her. She was such a round, rosy girl, so full of
health and life and color. Not such a little girl either, now a nearer
view was obtained. She was only a year or two younger than Mildred
herself.

"I wish I could do what you can," said the painter of pictures.

"I--what? I can't do anything like that."

"No; but you can ride a horse, and stop runaway cows. You can do a lot
of things that I cannot do because you are stronger than I am. I wish I
had some of that rosy red in your cheeks."

"You can have some of mine," laughed the other, "for I have more than
enough; but you wouldn't like the freckles."

"I wouldn't mind them, I'm sure; but let me thank you for what you did,
and let's get acquainted." Mildred held out her hand, which the other
took somewhat shyly. "Don't you have to go home with your cows?"

"Yes, I guess so."

"Then we'll go back together." She gathered her material and they walked
on up the path, Mildred ahead, for she was timid of the horse which the
other led by the bridle rein. At the bars in the corner of the upper
pasture the horse was turned loose into his own feeding ground, and the
girls went on together.

"You live near here, don't you?" inquired Mildred.

"Yes, just over there."

"Oh, are you Carlia Duke?"

"Yes; how did you know?"

"Dorian has told me about you."

"Has he? We're neighbors; an' you're the girl that's visiting with the
Trent's?"

"Yes."

"Well, I'm glad to meet you. Dorian has told me about you, too."

Thus these two, meeting for the first time, went on chatting together;
and thus Dorian saw them. He had missed Mildred at the lower pasture,
and so, with shovel again on shoulder, he had followed up the homeward
path. The girls were some distance ahead, so he did not try to overtake
them. In fact, he slackened his pace a little, so as not to get too
close to them to disturb them; but he saw them plainly walk close
together up the road in the twilight of the summer evening, the tall,
light-haired Mildred, and the shorter, dark-haired Carlia; and the child
in Dorian seemed to vanish, and the man in him asserted himself in
thought and feelings which it would have been hard for him to describe
in words.



CHAPTER FOUR.


Indian summer lay drowsily over the land. It had come late that season,
but its rare beauty compensated for its tardiness. Its golden mellowness
permeating the hazy air, had also, it seems, crept into the heart of
Dorian Trent. The light coating of frost which each morning lay on the
grass, had by noon vanished, and now the earth was warm and dry.

Dorian was plowing, and he was in no great haste with his work. He did
not urge his horses, for they also seemed imbued with the languidness of
the season. He let them rest frequently, especially at the end of the
furrow where there was a grassy bank on which the plowman could lie
prone on his back and look into the dreamy distances of the hills or up
into the veiling clouds.

Dorian could afford to take it a little easy that afternoon, so he
thought. The summer's work was practically over: the wheat had been
thrashed; the hay was in the stacks; the potatoes were in the pit;
the corn stood in Indian wigwam bunches in the yard; the fruit and
vegetables, mostly of the mother's raising, had been sufficient for
their simple needs. They were well provided for the winter; and so
Dorian was happy and contented as everyone in like condition should be
on such an Indian summer afternoon.

Mildred Brown's visit to the farm had ended some weeks ago; but only
yesterday his mother had received a note from Mrs. Brown, asking if her
daughter might not come again. Her former visit had done her so much
good, and now the beautiful weather was calling her out into the
country. It was a shame, Mildred had said, that Indian summer should
"waste its sweetness on the desert air of the city."

"What do you say?" Mrs. Trent had asked Dorian.

"Why--why--of course, mother, if she doesn't make too much work for
you."

And so Mildred had received the invitation that she was very welcome to
come to Greenstreet and stay as long as she desired. Very likely, she
would be with them in a day or two, thought Dorian. She would draw and
paint, and then in the soft evening dusk she would play some of those
exquisite melodies on her violin. Mildred did not like people to speak
of her beloved instrument as a fiddle, and he remembered how she had
chastised him on one occasion for so doing. Yes, she would again enter
into their daily life. Her ladylike ways, her sweet smile, her golden
beauty would again glorify their humble home. Why, if she came often
enough and remained long enough, she might yet learn how to milk a cow,
as she had threatened to do. At the thought, the boy on the grass by the
nodding horses, laughed up into the sky. Dorian was happy; but whether
he preferred the somewhat nervous happiness of Mildred's presence or the
quiet longing happiness of her absence, he could not tell.

The plain truth of the matter was, that Dorian had fallen deeply in love
with Mildred. This statement may be scoffed at by some people whose eyes
have been dimmed by age so that they cannot see back into that time of
youth when they also were "trailing clouds of glory" from their heavenly
home. There is nothing more wholesomely sweet than this first boy and
girl affection. It is clean and pure and undefiled by the many worldly
elements which often enter into the more mature lovemaking.

Perhaps Mildred Brown's entrance into Dorian's life did not differ from
like incidents in many lives, but to him it was something holy. Dorian
at this time never admitted to himself that he was in love with the
girl. He sensed very well that she was far above him in every way. The
thought that she might ever become his wife never obtained foothold in
him more than for a fleeting moment: that was impossible, then why think
of it. But there could be no harm in loving her as he loved his mother,
or as he loved the flowers, the clear-flowing water, the warm sun and
the blue sky. He could at least cast adoring eyes up to her as he did to
the stars at night. He could also strive to rise to her level, if that
were possible. He was going to the High school the coming winter, then
perhaps to the University. He could get to know as much of school
learning as she, anyway. He never would become a painter of pictures
or a musician, but surely there were other things which he could learn
which would be worth while.

There came to Dorian that afternoon as he still lay on the grass, his
one-time effort to ask a girl to a dance. He recalled what care he
had taken in washing and combing and dressing, how he had finally cut
cross-lots to the girl's home for fear of being seen, for surely he had
thought, everybody must know what he was up to!--how he had lingered
about the back door, and had at last, when the door opened, scudded back
home as fast as his legs could carry him! And now, the finest girl he
had ever seen was chumming with him, and he was not afraid, that is, not
very much afraid.

When Mildred had packed up to go home on the occasion of her former
visit she had invited Mrs. Trent to take her pick of her drawings for
her own.

"All but this," Mildred had said. "This which I call 'Sunset in the
Marshland' I am going to give to Dorian."

The mother had looked over the pile of sketches. There was a panel in
crayon which the artist said was the big cottonwood down by the Corners.
Mrs. Trent remarked that she never would have known it, but then, she
added apologetically, she never had an eye for art. There was a winter
scene where the houses were so sunk into the earth that only the roofs
were visible. (Mrs. Trent had often wondered why the big slanting roofs
were the only artistic thing about a house). Another picture showed a
high, camel-backed bridge, impossible to cross by anything more real
than the artist's fancy. Mrs. Trent had chosen the bridge because of its
pretty colors.

"Where shall we hang Dorian's picture?" Mildred had asked.

They had gone into his room. Mildred had looked about.

"The only good light is on that wall." She had pointed to the space
occupied by Dorian's "best girl."

And so Lorna Doone had come down and Mildred's study of the marshlands
glowed with its warmer colors in its place.

The plowboy arose from the grass. "Get up there," he said to his horses.
"We must be going, or there'll be very little plowing today."

Carlia Duke was the first person to greet Mildred as she alighted at the
Trent gate. Carlia knew of her coming and was waiting. Mildred put her
arm about her friend and kissed her, somewhat to the younger girl's
confused pleasure. The two girls went up the path to the house where
Mrs. Trent met them.

"Where's your baggage?" asked the mother of the arrival, seeing she
carried only a small bag and her violin case.

"This is all. I'm not going to paint this time--just going to rest,
mother said, so I do not need a lot of baggage."

"Well, come in Honey; and you too, Carlia. Dinner is about ready, an'
you'll stay."

By a little urging Carlia remained, and pretty soon, Dorian came
stamping in to be surprised.

"Yes; we're all here," announced Carlia, as she tossed her black curls
and laughed at his confusion.

"I see you are," he replied, as he shook hands with Mildred. After which
ceremony, it did not just look right to slight the other girl, so he
shook hands with her also, much to her amusement.

"How do you do, Mr. Trent" she said.

"Carlia is such a tease," explained the mother.

"For which I like her," added Mildred.

"We all do. Even Dorian here, who is usually afraid of girls, makes
quite a chum of her."

"Well, we're neighbors," justified the girl.

After dinner Carlia took Mildred home with her. It was not far, just
around the low ridge which hid the house from view. There Mildred met
Pa Duke, Ma Duke and Will Duke, Carlia's older brother. Pa Duke was a
hard-working farmer, Ma Duke was likewise a hard-working farmer's wife,
and Will Duke should have been a hard-working farmer's boy, but he was
somewhat a failure, especially regarding the hard work part. Carlia,
though so young, was already a hardworking farmer girl, with no chance
of escape, as far as she could see, from the hard-working part. The Duke
house, though clean and roomy, lacked the dainty home touches which
mean so much. There were no porch, no lawn, no trees. The home was bare
inside and out.

In deference to the "company" Carlia was permitted to "visit" with her
friend that afternoon. Apparently, these two girls had very little in
common, but when left to themselves they found many mutual interests.

Toward the close of the afternoon, Dorian appeared. He found the girls
out in the yard, Carlia seated on the topmost pole of the corral fence,
and Mildred standing beside her.

"Hello girls," Dorian greeted. "I've come to give you an invitation."

"What, a party!" exclaimed Carlia, jumping down from her perch.

"Not a dancing party, you little goose--just a surprise party."

"On who?"

"On Uncle Zed."

"Uncle Zed. O, shucks!"

"Well, of course, you do not have to go," said Dorian.

"I think you're mean. I do want to go if Mildred is going."

"I don't know Uncle Zed," said Mildred, "but if Mrs. Trent and Dorian
wish me to go, I shall be pleased; and of course, you will go with us."

"She's invited," repeated Dorian. "It's Uncle Zed's seventy-fifth
birthday. Mother keeps track of them, the only one who does, I guess,
for he doesn't do it himself. We're just going down to visit with him
this evening. He's a very fine old man, is Uncle Zed," this last to
Mildred.

"Is he your uncle?"

"Oh, no; he's just uncle to everybody and no one in particular. He's all
by himself, and has no folks?"

Just before the dusk of the evening, the little party set out for the
home of Zedekiah Manning, generally and lovingly known as Uncle Zed. He
lived about half a mile down the road in a two-roomed log house which
had a big adobe chimney on one side. His front yard was abloom with the
autumn flowers. The path leading to his door was neatly edged by small
cobble stones. Autumn tinted ivy embowered his front door and climbed
over the wall nearly to the low roof.

Uncle Zed met the visitors at the door. "Well, well," he exclaimed,
"come right in. I'll light the lamp." Then he assisted them to find
seats.

Mildred looked keenly at Uncle Zed, whom she found to be a little frail
old man with clean white hair and beard, and kindly, smiling face. He
sat down with his company and rubbed his hands in a way which implied:
"And what does all this mean?" Mildred noted that the wall, back of his
own chair, was nearly covered with books, and a number of volumes lay
on the table. The room was furnished for the simple needs of the lone
occupant. A fire smouldered in the open grate.

"Now, Uncle Zed, have you forgotten again?" inquired Mrs. Trent.

"Forgotten what? I suppose I have, for my memory is not so good as it
used to be."

"Your memory never was good regarding the day of the year you were
born."

"Day when I was born? What, has my birthday come around again? Well,
sure; but I had quite forgotten. How these birthdays do pile up on one."

"How old are you today?" asked Dorian.

"How old? Let me see. I declare, I must be seventy-five."

"Isn't he a funny man," whispered Carlia to Mildred, who appeared not to
hear the comment, so interested was she in the old man.

"And so you've come to celebrate," went on Uncle Zed, "come to
congratulate me that I am one year nearer the grave."

"Now, Uncle Zed, you know--"

"Yes; I know; forgive me for teasing; I know why you come to wish me
well. It is that I have kept the faith one year more, and that I am
twelve months nearer my heavenly reward. That's it, isn't it?"

Uncle Zed pushed his glasses up on his forehead to better see his
company, especially Mildred. Mrs. Trent made the proper introduction,
then lifted the picnic basket from the table to a corner.

"We're just going to spend an hour or so with you," explained Mrs.
Trent. "We want you to talk, Mildred to play, and then we'll have a bite
to eat. We'll just sit about your grate, and look into the glow of the
fire while you talk." However, Dorian and Mildred were scanning the
books.

"What's this set?" the young girl asked.

Dorian bent down to read the dim titles. "The Millennial Star" he said.

"And here's another set."

"The Journal of Discourses" he replied.

"My, all sermons? they must be dry reading."

Uncle Zed heard their conversation, and stepped over to them. "Are
you also interested in books?" he asked. "Dorian and I are regular
book-worms, you know."

Oh, yes, she was interested in books.

"But there are books and books, you know," went on Uncle Zed. "You like
story books, no doubt. So do I. There's nothing better than a rattling
good love story, eh, young lady?"

Mildred hardly knew just how to take this remark, so she did not reply.

"Here's the most wonderful love story ever written." He took from
the shelf a very ordinary looking volume, called the "Doctrine and
Covenants." Carlia and Mrs. Trent now joined the other three. They also
were interested.

"You wouldn't be looking in the 'Doctrine and Covenants' for love
stories, would you; but here in the revelation on the eternity of
the marriage covenant we find that men and women, under the proper
conditions and by the proper authority, may be united as husbands and
wives, not only for time, but for eternity. Most love stories end when
the lovers are married; but think of the endlessness of life and love
under this new and everlasting covenant of marriage--but I mustn't
preach so early in the evening."

"But we like to hear it, Uncle Zed," said Dorian.

"Indeed, we do," added Mildred. "Tell us more about your books."

"Here is one of my precious volumes--Orson Pratt's works. When I get
hungry for the solid, soul-satisfying doctrines of the kingdom, I read
Orson Pratt. Parley Pratt also is good. Here is a book which is nearly
forgotten, but which contains beautiful presentations of the gospel,
'Spencer's Letters'. Dorian, look here." He handed the young man a
small, ancient-looking, leather bound book. "I found it in a second-hand
store and paid fifteen cents for it. Yes, it's a second edition of
the 'Doctrine and Covenants,' printed by John Taylor in Nauvoo in 1844.
The rest of my collection is familiar to you, I am sure. Here is a
complete set of the 'Contributor' and this is my 'Era' shelf, and here
are most of the more modern church works. Let us now go back to the
fire."

After they were again seated, Mildred asked him if he had known Brigham
Young. She always liked to hear the pioneers talk of their experiences.

"No" replied Uncle Zed, "I never met President Young, but I believe I
know him as well as many who had that pleasure. I have read everything
that I could get in print which Brigham Young ever said. I have read
all his discourses in those volumes. He was not a polished speaker, I
understand, and he did not often follow a theme; but mixed with the more
commonplace subjects of irrigation, Indian troubles, etc., which, in his
particular day had to be spoken of, are some of the most profound gospel
truths in any language. Gems of thought shine from every page of his
discourses."

Carlia was nodding in a warm corner. Uncle Zed rambled on reminiscently
until Mrs. Trent suddenly arose, spoke sharply to Carlia, and lifted the
basket of picnic on to the table.

"We'll have our refreshments now," she said, "and then we must be going.
Uncle Zed goes early to bed, and so should we."

The table was spread: roast chicken, brought by Carlia; dainty
sandwiches, made by Mildred; apple pie from Mrs. Trent's cupboard; a jar
of apricot preserves, suggested by Dorian. Uncle Zed asked a blessing
not only on the food, but on the kind hands which had provided it. Then
they ate heartily, and yet leaving a generous part to be left in Uncle
Zed's own cupboard.

Then Dorian had a presentation to make. He took from the basket a small
package, unwrapped it, and handed a book to the man who was seventy-five
years old.

"I couldn't do much by way of the eats," said Dorian, "so my present is
this."

"'Drummond's Natural Law in the Spiritual World'" read Uncle Zed. "Why,
Dorian, this is fine of you. How could you guess my wishes so nicely.
For a long time, this is just the book I have wanted."

"I'm glad. I thought you'd like it."

"Fine, fine," said the old man, fondling the volume as he would some
dear object, as indeed, every good book was to him.

Then Mildred got out her violin, and after the proper tuning of the
strings, she placed it under her shapely chin. She played without music
some of the simple heart melodies, and then some of the Sunday School
songs which the company softly accompanied by words.

Carlia poked the log in the grate into a blaze, then slyly turned the
lamp wick down. When detected and asked why she did that she replied:

"I wanted to make it appear more like a picnic party around a camp fire
in the hills."



CHAPTER FIVE.


Dorian's high school days in the city began that fall, a little late
because he had so many things to set right at home; but he soon made up
the lost time, for he was a student not afraid of hard work. He walked
back and forth the three miles. Mrs. Brown offered him a room at her
large city residence, but he could not accept it because of his daily
home chores. However, he occasionally called on the Brown's who tried to
make him feel as much at home as they did at Greenstreet.

Never before were days so perfect to Dorian, never before had he so
enjoyed the fleeting hours. For the first week or two, he was a little
shy, but the meeting each morning with boys and girls of his own age and
mingling with them in their studies and their recreations, soon taught
him that they were all very much alike, just happy, carefree young
people, most of them trying to get an education. He soon learned, also,
that he could easily hold his own in the class work with the brightest
of them. The teachers, and students also, soon learned to know this.
Boys came to him for help in problems, and the younger girls chattered
about him with laughing eyes and tossing curls. What a wonder it was! He
the simple, plainly-dressed country boy, big and awkward and ugly as he
thought himself to be, becoming a person of some importance. And so
the days went all too swiftly by. Contrary to his younger boyhood's
experience, the closing hour came too soon, when it was time to go home
to mother and chores and lessons.

And the mother shared the boy's happiness, for she could see the added
joy of living and working which had come into his life by the added
opportunities and new environment. He frequently discussed with his
mother his lessons. She was not well posted in the knowledge derived
from books, and sometimes she mildly resented this newer learning which
he brought into the home and seemed to intrude on her old-established
ideas. For instance, when the cold winter nights came, and Dorian kept
open his bedroom window, the mother protested that he would "catch his
death of cold." Night air and drafts are very dangerous, especially if
let into one's bedroom, she held.

"But, mother, I must have air to breathe," said Dorian, "and what other
kind of air can I have at night? I might store a little day-air in my
room, but I would soon exhaust its life-giving qualities at night.
You know, mother," he went on in the assurance of his newly acquired
knowledge, "I guess the Lord knew what He was about when He enveloped
the earth with air which presses down nearly fifteen pounds to the
square inch so that it might permeate every possible nook and corner of
the globe." Then he went on to explain the wonderful process of blood
purification in the lungs, and demonstrated to her that the breath is
continually throwing off foul matter. He did this by breathing into a
fruit jar, screwing on the lid for a little while, and then having the
nose make the test.

"Some bed rooms I've gone into smell just like that," he said.

"Here, mother is a clipping from a magazine. Listen:

"'Of all the marvels of God's workmanship, none is more wondrous than
the air. Think of our all being bathed in a substance so delicate as to
be itself unperceived, yet so dense as to be the carriage to our senses
of messages from the world about us! It is never in our way; it does not
ask notice; we only know it is there by the good it does us. And this
exquisitely soft, pure, yielding, unseen being, like a beautiful and
beneficent fairy, brings us blessings from all around. It has the skill
to wash our blood clean from all foulness. Its weight keeps us from
tumbling to pieces. It is a reservoir where the waters lie stored, until
they fall and gladden the earth. It is a great-coat that softens to us
the heat of the day, and the cold of the night. It carries sounds to
our ears and smells to our nostrils. Its movements fill Nature with
ceaseless change; and without their aid in wafting ships over the sea,
commerce and civilization would have been scarce possible. It is of all
wonders the most wonderful.'"

At another time when Dorian had a cold, and consequently, a loss of
appetite, his mother urged him to eat more, saying that he must have
strength to throw off his cold.

"What is a cold?" he smilingly asked.

"Why, a cold is--a cold, of course, you silly boy."

"What does it do to the activities of the body?"

"I'm not a doctor; how can I tell."

"All mothers are doctors and nurses; they do a lot of good, and some
things that are not so good. For instance, why should I eat more when I
have a cold?" She did not reply, and so he went on: "The body is very
much like a stove or a furnace; it is burning material all the time.
Sometimes the clinkers accumulate and stop the draft, both in the human
as well as the iron stove. When that happens, the sensible thing to do
is not to throw in more fuel but to clean out the clinkers first."

"Where did you get all that wisdom, Dorian?"

"I got it from my text book on hygiene, and I think it's true because it
seems so reasonable."

"Well, last night's talk led me to believe that you would become a
philosopher; now, the trend is more toward the doctor; tomorrow I'll
think you are studying law."

"Oh, but we are, mother; you ought to hear us in our civil government
class. We have organized into a Congress of the United States, and we
are going to make laws."

"You'll be elected President, I suppose."

"I'm one of the candidates."

"Well, my boy" she smiled happily at him, "I hope you will be elected to
every good thing, and that you will fill every post with honor; and now,
I would like you to read to me from the 'Lady of the Lake' while I darn
your stockings. Your father used to read the story to me a long, long
time ago, and your voice is very much like his when you read."

And thus with school and home and ward duties the winter passed. Spring
called him again to the fields to which he went with new zeal, for life
was opening to him in a way which life is in the habit of doing to the
young of his age. Mildred Brown and her mother were in California. He
heard from her occasionally by way of postcards, and once she sent him
one of her sketches of the ocean. Carlia Duke also was not forgotten by
Mildred. Dorian and Carlia met frequently as neighbors will do, and they
often spoke of their mutual friend. The harvest was again good that
fall, and Dorian once more took up his studies at the high school in the
city. Carlia finished the grades as Dorian completed his second year,
and the following year Carlia walked with Dorian to the high school.
That was no great task for the girl, now nearly grown to young
womanhood, and it was company for both of them. During these walks
Carlia had many questions to ask about her lessons, and Dorian was
always pleased to help her.

"I am such a dunce," she would say, "I wish I was as smart as you."

"You must say 'were' when you wish. I were as smart as you," he
corrected.

"O, yes: I forgot. My, but grammar is hard, especially to a girl
which--"

"No--a girl who; which refers to objects and animals, who to persons."

Carlia laughed and swung her books by the strap. Dorian was not carrying
them that day. Sometimes he was absentminded regarding the little
courtesies.

The snow lay hard packed in the road and it creaked under their feet.
Carlia's cheeks glowed redder than ever in contact with the keen winter
air. They walked on in silence for a time.

"Say, Dorian, why do you not go and see Mildred?" asked Carlia, not
looking at him, but rather at the eastern mountains.

"Why? Is she not well?"

"She is never well now. She looks bad to me."

"When did you see her?"

"Last Saturday. I called at the house, and she asked about you--Poor
girl!"

"What do you mean by that?"

"You are very smart in some things, but are a stupid dunce in other
things. Mildred is like an angel both in looks and--everything. I wish I
was--were half as good."

"But how am I such a dunce, Carlia?"

"In not seeing how much Mildred thinks of you."

"Thinks of me? Mildred?"

"She just loves you."

Carlia still looked straight ahead as though fearful to see the
agitation she had brought to the young man; but he looked at her, with
cheeks still aflame. He did not understand Carlia. Why had she said
that? Was she just teasing him? But she did not look as if she were
teasing. Silently they walked on to the school house door.

But Dorian could not forget what Carlia had said. All day it intruded
into his lessons. "She said she loves me" he whispered to his heart
only. Could it be possible? Even if she did, what final good would come
of it? The distance between them was still too great, for he was only a
poor farmer boy. Dear Mildred--his heart did not chide him for thinking
that--so frail, so weak, so beautiful. What if she--should die! Dorian
was in a strange state of mind for a number of days. He longed to visit
the Brown home, yet he could not find excuse to go. He could not talk
to anybody about what was in his mind and heart, not even to his mother
with whom he always shared his most hidden thoughts.

One evening he visited Uncle Zed, ostensibly, to talk about a book.
Uncle Zed was deep in the study of "Natural Law in the Spiritual World"
and would have launched into a discussion of what he had found, but
Dorian did not respond; he had other thoughts in mind.

"Uncle Zed," he said, "how can I become something else than a farmer?"

The old man looked questioningly at his young friend. "What's the matter
with being a farmer?" he asked.

"Well, a farmer doesn't usually amount to much, I mean in the eyes of
the world. Farmers seem to be in a different class from merchants, for
example, or from bankers or other more genteel workers."

"Listen to me, Dorian Trent." Uncle Zed laid down his book as if he had
a serious task before him. "Let me tell you something. If you haven't
done so before, begin now and thank the Lord that you began life on this
globe of ours as a farmer's child and boy. Whatever you do or become in
the future, you have made a good beginning. You have already laid away
in the way of concepts, we may say, a generous store of nature's riches,
for you have been in close touch with the earth, and the life which
teems in soil and air and the waters. Pity the man whose childish eyes
looked out on nothing but paved streets and brick walls or whose young
ears heard nothing but the harsh rumble of the city, for his early
conceptions from which to interpret his later life is artificial and
therefore largely untrue."

Uncle Zed smiled up into the boy's face as if to ask, Do you get that?
Dorian would have to have time to assimilate the idea; meanwhile, he had
another question:

"Uncle Zed, why are there classes among members of our Church?"

"Classes? What do you mean?"

"Well, the rich do not associate with the poor nor the learned with
the unlearned. I know, of course, that this is the general rule in the
world, but I think it should be different in the Church."

"Yes; it ought to be and is different. There are no classes such as you
have in mind in the Church, even though a few unthinking members seem to
imply it by their actions; but there is no real class distinction in the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, only such that are based on
the doing of the right and the wrong. Character alone is the standard of
classification."

"Yes, I see that that should be true."

"It is true. Let me illustrate: The presiding authority in the Church
is not handed down from father to son, thus fostering an aristocratic
tendency; also this authority is so wide-spread that anything like a
"ruling family" would be impossible. In a town where I once lived, the
owner of the bank and the town blacksmith were called on missions. They
both were assigned to the same field, and the blacksmith was appointed
to preside over the banker. The banker submitted willingly to be
directed in his missionary labors by one who, judged by worldly
standards, was far beneath him in the social scale. I know a shoemaker
in the city who is a teacher in the theological class of his ward,
whose membership consists of merchants, lawyers, doctors, and the like.
Although he is poor and earns his living by mending shoes, he is greatly
respected for his goodness and his knowledge of Scriptural subjects and
doctrine."

"So you think--that a young fellow might--that it would not be wrong--or
foolish for a poor man to think a lot of--of a rich girl, for instance."

Uncle Zed peered at Dorian over his glasses. The old man took him gently
by the shoulders. Ah, that's what's back of all this, he thought; but
what he said was:

"My boy, Emerson said, 'Hitch your wagon to a star,' and I will add,
never let go, although the rocks in the road may bump you badly. Why,
there's nothing impossible for a young man like you. You may be rich, if
you want to; I expect to see you learned; and the Priesthood which you
have is your assurance, through your diligence and faithfulness, to any
heights. Yes, my boy; go ahead--love Mildred Brown all you want to;
she's fine, but not a bit finer than you."

"Oh, Uncle Zed," Dorian somewhat protested; but, nevertheless, he went
home that evening with his heart singing.



CHAPTER SIX.


Some days later word came to Mrs. Trent that Mildred was very ill. "Call
on them after school," she said to Dorian, "to see just how she is, and
ask Mrs. Brown if I can do anything for her."

Dorian did as he was directed. He went around to the back door for fear
he might disturb the sick girl. Mrs. Brown herself, seeing him coming,
met him and let him in.

Yes, Mildred was very ill. Mrs. Brown was plainly worried. Could he
or his mother do anything to help? No; only to lend their faith and
prayers. Would he come into the sick room to see her for a few minutes?
Yes, if she desired it.

Dorian followed the mother into the sick room. Mildred lay well propped
up by pillows in a bed white as snow. She was thinner and paler than
ever, eyes bigger, hair heavier and more golden. When she saw Dorian,
she smiled and reached out her hand, letting it lie in the big strong
one.

"How are you?" she said, very low.

"Well and fine, and how are you?"

She simply shook her head gently and closed her eyes, seeming content to
touch the strong young manhood beside her. The mother went quietly from
the room, and all became quite still. Speech was difficult for the sick
girl, and equally hard for the young man. But he looked freely at the
angel-like face on the pillow without rebuke from the closed eyes. He
glanced about the room, beautifully clean and airy. All her books and
her working material had been carried away as if she were through with
them for good. In a corner on an easel stood an unfinished copy of
"Sunset in Marshland." Dorian's eyes rested for a moment on the picture,
and as he again looked at the girl, he saw a smile pass over the
marble-like face.

That was all. Presently, he left the room, and without many words, the
house.

Each day after that Dorian managed to learn of the girl's condition,
though he did not go into the sick chamber. On the sixth day word came
to Dorian at school that Mildred was dying. He looked about for Carlia
to tell her, but she was nowhere to be found. Dorian could not go home.
Mildred was dying! The one girl--yes, the only one in all the world who
had looked at him with her heart in the look, was leaving the world, and
him. Why could she not live, if only for his sake? He sat in the school
room until all had gone, and he was alone with the janitor. His open
book was still before him, but he saw not the printed page. Then the
short winter day closed. Dusk came on. The janitor had finished sweeping
the room and was ready to leave. Dorian gathered up his books, put on
his overcoat, and went out. Mildred was dying! Perhaps she was about to
begin that great journey into the unknown. Would she be afraid? Would
she not need a strong hand to help her? "Mildred," he whispered.

He walked on slowly up the street toward the Brown's. Darkness came
on. The light gleamed softly through the closed blinds of the house.
Everything was very still. He did not try to be admitted, but paced back
and forth on the other side of the street. Back and forth he went for a
long time, it seemed. Then the front door opened, and the doctor passed
out. Mildred must either be better or beyond all help. He wanted to ask
the doctor, but he could not bring himself to intercept him. The house
remained quiet. Some of the lights were extinguished. Dorian crossed the
street. He must find out something. He stood by the gate, not knowing
what to do. The door opened again, and a woman, evidently a neighbor,
came out. She saw the young man and stopped.

"Pardon me," said Dorian, "but tell me how Mildred--Miss Brown is?"

"She just died."

"Thank you."

The woman went into a nearby house. Dorian moved away, benumbed with the
despair which sank into his heart at the final setting of his sun. Dead!
Mildred was dead! He felt the night wind blow cold down the street, and
he saw the storm clouds scudding along the distant sky. In the deep blue
directly above him a star shone brightly, but it only reminded him of
what Uncle Zed had said about hitching to a star; yes, but what if the
star had suddenly been taken from the sky!

A form of a girl darted across the street toward him. He stopped and saw
that it was Carlia.

"Dorian" she cried, "how is she?"

"She has just died."

"Dead! O, dear," she wailed.

They stood there under the street light, the girl looking with great
pity into the face of the young man. She was only a girl, and not a very
wise girl, but she saw how he suffered, and her heart went out to his
heart. She took his hand and held it firmly within her warmer grasp; and
by that simple thing the young man seemed again to get within the reach
of human sympathy. Then they walked on without speaking, and she led him
along the streets and on to the road which led to Greenstreet.

"Come on, Dorian, let's go home," she said.

"Yes; let's go home, Carlia."



CHAPTER SEVEN.


The death of Mildred Brown affected Dorian Trent most profoundly. Not
that he displayed any marked outward signs of his feelings, but his very
soul was moved to its depths, sometimes as of despair, sometimes as
of resentment. Why, he asked himself, should God send--he put it this
way--send to him this beautiful creature who filled his heart so
completely, why hold her out to him as if inviting him to take her, and
then suddenly snatch her away out of his life--out of the life of the
world!

For many days Dorian went about as if in a pained stupor. His mother,
knowing her boy, tried in a wise way to comfort him; but it was not
altogether a success. His studies were neglected, and he had thoughts of
quitting school altogether; but he did not do this. He dragged through
the few remaining days until spring, when he eagerly went to work on the
open reaches of the farm, where he was more away from human beings and
nearer to that something in his heart. He worked long and hard and
faithfully that spring.

On the upper bank of the canal, where the sagebrush stood untouched,
Dorian that summer found the first sego blossoms. He had never observed
them so closely before nor seen their real beauty. How like Mildred they
were! He gathered a bouquet of them that Saturday afternoon as he went
home, placed them in a glass of water, and then Sunday afternoon he
wrapped them in a damp newspaper and took the bouquet with him to town.
His Sunday trips to the city were usually for the purpose of visiting
Mildred's grave. The sun shone warm that day from a blue sky as Dorian
came slowly and reverently to the plot where lay all that was earthly of
one whom he loved so well. The new headstone gleamed in white marble and
the young grass stood tender and green. Against the stone lay a bunch of
withered wild roses. Someone had been there before him that day. Whom
could it be? Her mother was not in the city, and who else would remember
the visit of the angel-being who had returned to her eternal home? A
pang shot through his heart, and he was half tempted to turn without
placing his own tribute on the grave, then immediately he knew the
thought was foolish. He took off the wrapping and placed his fresher
flowers near the more withered ones. Later that summer, he learned
only incidently that it had been Carlia who had been before him that
afternoon.

During those days, Carlia kept out of Dorian's way as much as possible.
She even avoided walking to and from school with him. He was so
absentminded even with her that she in time came to resent it in her
feelings. She could not understand that a big, very-much-alive boy
should have his mind so fixed on a dead girl that he should altogether
forget there were living ones about, especially one, Carlia Duke.

One evening Dorian met Uncle Zed driving his cow home from the pasture,
and the old man invited the younger man to walk along with him. Dorian
always found Uncle Zed's company acceptable.

"Why haven't you come to me with your trouble?" abruptly asked Uncle
Zed.

Dorian started, then hung his head.

"We never have any unshared secrets, you know, and I may have been able
to help you."

"I couldn't talk to anybody."

"No; I suppose not."

The cow was placed in the corral, and then Uncle Zed and Dorian sat
down on a grassy bank. The sun was painting just such a picture of the
marshlands as Dorian knew so well.

"But I can talk to you" continued the old man as if there had been no
break in his sentences. "Death, I know, is a strange and terrible thing,
for youth; when you get as old as I, I hope you will look on death as
nothing more than a release from mortality, a moving from one sphere to
another, a step along the eternal line of progress. I suppose that it
is just as necessary that we pass out of the world by death as that we
enter it by birth; and I further suppose that the terror with which
death is vested is for the purpose of helping us to cling to this
earth-life until our mission here is completed."

Dorian did not speak; his eyes were on the marshlands.

"Imagine, Dorian, this world, just as it is, with all its sin and misery
and without any death. What would happen? We would all, I fear, become
so self-centered, so hardened in selfishness that it would be difficult
for the gentle power of love to reach us; but now there is hardly a
family that has not one or more of its members on the other side. And
these absent loved ones are anchors to our souls, tied to us by the
never-ending cords of love and affection. You, yourself, my boy, never
have had until now many interests other than those of this life; now
your interests are broadened to another world, and that's something
worth while.... Now, come and see me often." They arose, each to go to
his home.

"I will, Uncle Zed. Thank you for what you have said."

Dorian completed his four years high school. Going to the University
might come later, but now he was moved by a spirit of activity to do
bigger things with his farm, and to enlarge it, if possible.

About this time, dry-farming had taken the attention of the farmers
in his locality, and many of them had procured lands on the sloping
foothills. Dorian, with a number of other young men had gone up the
nearby canyon to the low hills of the valley beyond and had taken up
lands. That first summer Dorian spent much of his time in breaking up
the land. As timber was not far away, he built himself a one-roomed log
house and some corrals and outhouses. A mountain stream rushed by the
lower corner of his farm, and its wild music sang him to sleep when he
spent the night in the hills. He furnished his "summer residence" with a
few simple necessities so that he could live there a number of days at a
time. He minded not the solitude. The wild odorous verdure of the hills,
the cool breezes, the song of the distant streams, the call of the
birds, all seemed to harmonize with his own feelings at that time. He
had a good kerosene lamp, and at nights when he was not too tired, he
read. On his visits to the city he usually had an eye for book bargains,
and thus his board shelving came to be quite a little library. He had no
method in his collecting, no course of connected study. At one time he
would leisurely read one of Howell's easy-going novels, at another time
he would be kept wide-eyed until midnight with "Lorna Doone" or with
"Ben Hur."

Dorian had heard of Darwin, of Huxley, of Ingersol and of Tom Payne, but
he had never read anything but selections from these writers. Now he
obtained a copy of the "Origin of Species" and a book by Ingersol.
These he read carefully. Darwin's book was rather heavy, but by close
application, the young student thought he learned what the scientist was
"driving at." This book disturbed him somewhat. There seemed to be much
truth in it, but also some things which did not agree with what he had
been taught to be true. In this he realized his lack of knowledge. More
knowledge must clear up any seeming contradiction, he reasoned. Ingersol
was more readable, snappy, witty, hitting the Bible in a fearless way.
Dorian had no doubt that all of Ingersol's points could be answered, as
he himself could refute many of them.

One day as Dorian was browsing as usual in a book store he came across a
cheap copy of Drummond's "Natural Law in the Spiritual World," the book
which he had given Uncle Zed. As he wanted a copy himself, he purchased
this one and took it with him to his cabin in the hills. Immediately he
was interested in the book, and he filled its pages with copious notes
and marks of emphasis.

It was Sunday afternoon in mid-summer at Greenstreet. The wheat again
stood in the shock. The alfalfa waved in scented purple. Dorian and the
old philosopher of Greenstreet sat in the shade of the cottonwood and
looked out on the farm scene as they talked.

"I've also been reading 'Natural Law in the Spiritual World'" said
Dorian.

"Good," replied Uncle Zed. "I was going to lend you my copy, so we could
talk about it intelligently. What message have you found in it for you?"

"Message?"

"Yes; every book should have a message and should deliver it to the
reader. Drummond's book thundered a message to me, but it came too late.
I am old, and past the time when I could heed any such call. If I were
young, if I--if I were like you, Dorian, you who have life before you,
what might not I do, with the help of the Lord!"

"What, Uncle Zed?"

"Drummond was a clergyman and a professor of natural history and
science. As such, he was a student of the laws of God as revealed both
through the written word of inspiration and in nature about him. In his
book he aims to prove that the spiritual world is controlled by the same
laws which operate in the natural wold; and as you perhaps discovered in
your reading, he comes very nearly proving his claim. He presents some
wonderfully interesting analogies. Of course, much of his theology is
of the perverted sectarian kind, and therein lies the weakness of his
argument. If he had had the clear truth of the restored gospel, how much
brighter would his facts have been illumed, how much stronger would have
been his deductions. Why, even I with my limited scientific knowledge
can set him right in many places. So I say, if I were but a young man
like you, do you know what I'd do?"

"What?" again questioned Dorian.

"I would devote all my mind, might and strength to the learning of
truth, of scientific truth. I would cover every branch of science
possible in the limits of one life, especially the natural sciences.
Then with my knowledge of the gospel and the lamp of inspiration which
the priesthood entitles me to, I could harmonize the great body of truth
coming from any and every source. Dorian, what a life work that would
be!"

The old man looked smilingly at his companion with a strange, knowing
intimation. He spoke of himself, but he meant that Dorian should take
the suggestion. Dorian could pick up his beautiful dream and make it
come true. Dorian, with life and strength, and a desire for study and
truth could accomplish this very desirable end. The old man placed his
hand lovingly on the young man's shoulder, as he continued:

"You are the man to do this, Dorian--you, not I."

"I--Uncle Zed, do you believe that?"

"I do. Listen, my boy. I see you looking over the harvested field. It is
a fine work you are doing; thousands can plant and harvest year after
year; but few there are who can and will devote their lives to the
planting of faith and the nourishing and the establishing of faith in
the hearts of men; and that's what we need now to properly answer the
Lord's cry that when He cometh shall He find faith on the earth?... Let
the call come to you--but there, in the Lord's own good time. Come into
the house. I have a new book to show you, also I have a very delicious
cherry pie."

They went into the house together, where they inspected both book and
pie. Dorian weakly objected to the generous portion which was cut for
him, but Uncle Zed explained that the process of division not only
increased the number of pieces of pie, but also added to its tastiness.
Dorian led his companion to talk about himself.

"Yes," he said in reply to a question, "I was born in England and
brought up in the Wesleyan Methodist church. I was a great reader ever
since I can remember. I read not only history and some fiction, but
even the dry-as-dust sermons were interesting to me. But I never seemed
satisfied. The more I read, the deeper grew the mysteries of life.
Nowhere did I find a clear, comprehendible statement of what I, an
entity with countless other entities, was doing here. Where had I come
from, where was I going? I visited the churches within my reach. I heard
the preachers and read the philosophers to obtain, if possible, a clue
to the mystery of life. I studied, and prayed, and went about seeking,
but never finding."

"But you did find the truth at last?"

"Yes; thank the Lord. I found the opening in the darkness, and it came
through the simple, humble, and not very learned elders of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

"What is the principle trouble with all this learning of the world that
it does not lead to the truth?"

"The world's ignorance of God. Eternal life consists in knowing the only
true God, and the world does not know Him; therefore, all their systems
of religion are founded on a false basis. That is the reason there is so
much uncertainty and floundering when philosophers and religionists try
to make a known truth agree with their conceptions of God."

"Explain that a little more to me, Uncle Zed."

"Some claim that Nature is God, others that God only manifests Himself
through nature. I read this latter idea many places. For instance, Pope
says:

  "'All are but parts of one stupendous whole
  Whose body nature is, and God the soul.'

"Also Tennyson:

  'The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and plains
  Are not these, O soul, the vision of Him who reigns?
  Speak to Him there, for He hears, and spirit with spirit can meet,
  Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.'

"This, no doubt, is beautiful poetry, but it tells only a part of the
truth. God, by His Spirit is, and can be all the poet here describes.
'Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy
presence?' exclaims the Psalmist. 'In him we live and move and have our
being' declares Paul; but these statements alone are not enough for our
proper understanding of the subject. We try to see God behind the veil
of nature, in sun and wind and flower and fruit; but there is something
lacking. Try now to formulate some distinct idea of what this universal
and almighty force back of nature is. We are told that this force is
God, whom we must love and worship and serve. We want the feeling
of nearness to satisfy the craving for love and protection, but our
intellect and our reason must also be somewhat satisfied. We must
have some object on which to rest--we cannot always be floating about
unsuspended in time and space.

"Then there is some further confusion: Christian philosophers have tried
to personify this 'soul of the universe,' for God, they say, thinks and
feels and knows. They try to get a personality without form or bounds or
dimentions, but it all ends in vagueness and confusion. As for me, and I
think I am not so different from other men,--for me to be able to think
of God, I must have some image of Him. I cannot think of love or good,
or power or glory in the abstract. These must be expressed to me by
symbols at least as eminating from, or inherent in, or exercised by some
person. Love cannot exist alone: there must be one who loves and one
who is being loved. God is love. That means to me that a person, a
beautiful, glorified, allwise, benevolent being exercises that divine
principle which is shed forth on you and me.

"Now, if the world would only leave all this metaphysical meandering and
come back to the simple truth, what a clearing of mists there would
be! All their philosophies would have a solid basis if they would only
accept the truth revealed anew to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith
that God is one of a race, the foremost and first, if you wish it, but
still one of a race of beings who inhabit the universe; that we humans
are His children, begotten of Him in the pre-mortal world in His image;
that we are on the upward path through eternity, following Him who has
gone before and has marked out the way; that if we follow, we shall
eventually arrive at the point where He now is. Ignorance of these
things is what I understand to be ignorance of God."

"In England I lost my wife and two children. The gospel came to me
shortly after, I am sure, to comfort me in the depths of my despair. Not
one church on earth that I knew of, Catholic or Protestant, would hold
out any hope of my ever being reunited with wife and children as such.
There is no family life in heaven, they teach. At that time I went about
listening to the preachers, and I delved into books. I made extensive
copyings in my note books. I have them yet, and some day when you are
interested I will show them to you."

"I am interested now," said Dorian.

"But I'm not going to talk to you longer on this theme, even though it
is Sunday and time for sermonizing. I'm going to meeting, where you also
ought to go. You are not attending as regularly as you should."

"No, but I've been very busy."

"No excuse that. There is danger in remaining away too long from the
established sources of spiritual inspiration and uplift, especially when
one is reading Ingersol and Tom Paine. I have no fault to find with your
ambition to get ahead in the world, but with it 'remember thy creator in
the days of thy youth.' Are you neglecting your mother?"

"No; I think not, Uncle Zed; but what do you mean about mother?"

"You are all she has. Are you making her days happy by your personal
care and presence. Are you giving of yourself to her?"

"Well, perhaps I am not so considerate as I might be; I am away quite a
lot; thank you for calling my attention to it."

"Are you neglecting anybody else?"

"Not that I know."

"Good. Now I must clear away my table and get ready for meeting. You'll
go with me."

"I can't. I haven't my Sunday clothes."

"The Lord will not look at your clothes."

"No; but a lot of people will."

"We go to meeting to worship the Lord, not to be looked at by others. Go
home and put on your Sunday best; there is time." The old man was busy
between table and cupboard as he talked. "Have you seen Carlia lately?"

"No," replied Dorian.

"The last time she was here I thought she was a little peaked in the
face, for you know she has such a rosy, roly-poly one."

"Is that so? She comes to see you, then?"

"Yes; oftener than you do."

"I never meet her here."

"No; she manages that, I surmise."

"What do you mean?"

"I tell you Carlia is a lovely girl," continued Uncle Zed, ignoring his
direct question. "Have you ever eaten butter she has churned?"

"Not that I know."

"She used to bring me a nice pat when my cow was dry; and bread of her
own baking too, about as good as I myself make." He chuckled as he wiped
the last dish and placed it neatly in the rack.

Dorian arose to go. "Remember what I have told you this evening" said
Uncle Zed. The old man from behind his window watched his young friend
walk leisurely along the road until he reached the cross-lots path which
led to the Duke home. Here he saw him pause, go on again, pause once
more, then jump lightly over the fence and strike out across the field.
Uncle Zed then went on finishing his preparations for meeting.

As Dorian walked across the field, he did think of what Uncle Zed had
said to him. Dorian had built his castles, had dreamed his dreams; but
never before had the ideas presented to him by Uncle Zed that afternoon
ever entered in them. The good old man had seemed so eager to pass on
to the young man an unfulfilled work, yes, a high, noble work. Dorian
caught a glimpse of the greatness of it and the glory of it that
afternoon, and his soul was thrilled. Was he equal to such a task?... He
had wanted to become a successful farmer, then his vision had gone on
to the teaching profession; but beyond that he had not ventured. He was
already well on the way to make a success of his farms. He liked the
work. He could with pleasure be a farmer all his life. But should a
man's business be all of life? Dorian realized, not of course in its
fuller meaning, that the accumulating of worldly riches was only a means
to the accomplishing of other and greater ends of life; and here was
before him something worthy of any man's best endeavors. Here was a
life's work which at its close would mean something to him and to the
world. With these thoughts in his mind he stepped up to the rear of the
Duke place where he saw someone in the corral with the cows, busy with
her milking.



CHAPTER EIGHT.


"Hello, Carlia", greeted Dorian as he stopped at the yard and stood
leaning against the fence.

Carlia was just finishing milking a cow. As she straightened, with a
three-legged stool in one hand and a foaming milk pail in the other, she
looked toward Dorian. "O, is that you? You scared me."

"Why?"

"A stranger coming so suddenly."

The young man laughed. "Nearly through?" he asked.

"Just one more--Brindle, the kickey one."

"Aren't you afraid of her?"

Carlia laughed scornfully. The girl had beautiful white teeth. Her red
cheeks were redder than ever. Her dark hair coiled closely about her
shapely head. And she had grown tall, too, the young man noticed, though
she was still plump and round-limbed.

"My buckets are full, and I'll have to take them to the house before I
can finish," she said. "You stay here until I come back--if you want
to."

"I don't want to--here, let me carry them." He took the pails from her
hand, and they went to the house together.

The milk was carried into the kitchen where Mrs. Duke was busy with pots
and pans. Mr. Duke was before the mirror, giving the finishing touches
to his hair. He was dressed for meeting. As he heard rather than saw his
daughter enter, he asked:

"Carlia, have you swilled the pigs?"

"Not yet," she replied.

"Well, don't forget--and say, you'd better give a little new milk to the
calf. It's not getting along as well as it should--and, if you have time
before meetin', throw a little hay to the horses."

"All right, father, I'll see to all of it. As I'm not going to meeting,
I'll have plenty of time."

"Not goin'?" He turned, hair brush in hand, and saw Dorian. "Hello,
Dorian," he greeted, "you're quite a stranger. You'll come along to
meetin' with Carlia, I suppose. We will be late if we don't hurry."

"Father, I told you I'm not going. I--" she hesitated as if not quite
certain of her words--"I had to chase all over the hills for the cows,
and I'm not through milking yet. Then there are the pigs and the calves
and the horses to feed. But I'll not keep Dorian. You had better go with
father"--this to the young man who still stood by the kitchen door.

"Leave the rest of the chores until after meetin'," suggested the
father, somewhat reluctantly, to be sure, but in concession to Dorian's
presence.

"I can't go to meeting either," said Dorian. "I'm not dressed for it, so
I'll keep Carlia company, if you or she have no objections."

"Well, I've no objections, but I don't like you to miss your meetin's."

"We'll be good," laughed Dorian.

"But--"

"Come, father," the mother prompted, "you know I can't walk fast in this
hot weather."

Carlia got another pail, and she and Dorian went back to the corral.

"Let me milk," offered Dorian.

"No; you're strange, and she'd kick you over the fence."

"O, I guess not," he remarked; but he let the girl finish her milking.
He again carried the milk back; he also took the "slop" to the pigs and
threw the hay to the horses, while the girl gave the new milk to the
butting calf; then back to the house where they strained the milk. Then
the young man was sent into the front room while the girl changed from
work to Sunday attire.

The front room was very hot and uncomfortable. The young man looked
about on the familiar scene. There were the same straight-backed chairs,
the same homemade carpet, more faded and threadbare than ever, the
same ugly enlarged photographs within their massive frames which the
enterprising agent had sold to Mrs. Duke. There was the same lack of
books or music or anything pretty or refined; and as Dorian stood and
looked about, there came to him more forcibly than ever the barrenness
of the room and of the house in general. True, his own home was very
humble, and yet there was an air of comfort and refinement about it. The
Duke home had always impressed him as being cold and cheerless and ugly.
There were no protecting porches, no lawn, no flowers, and the barn yard
had crept close up to the house. It was a place to work. The eating and
the sleeping were provided, so that work could be done, farm and kitchen
work with their dirt and litter. The father and the mother and the
daughter were slaves to work. Only in work did the parents companion
with the daughter. The visitors to the house were mostly those who came
to talk about cattle and crops and irrigation.

As a child, Carlia was naturally cheerful and loving; but her sordid
environment seemed to be crushing her. At times she struggled to get out
from under; but there seemed no way, so she gradually gave in to
the inevitable. She became resentful and sarcastic. Her black eyes
frequently flashed in scorn and anger. As she grew in physical
strength and beauty, these unfortunate traits of character became more
pronounced. The budding womanhood which should have been carefully
nurtured by the right kind of home and neighborhood was often left to
develop in wild and undirected ways. Dorian Trent as he stood in that
front room awaiting her had only a dim conception of all this.

Carlia came in while he was yet standing. She had on a white dress and
had placed a red rose in her hair.

"O, say, Carlia!" exclaimed Dorian at sight of her.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"Here you go dolling up, and look at me."

"You're all right. Open the door, it's terribly stuffy in here."

Dorian opened the tightly stuck door. Then he turned and stood looking
at the girl before him. It seemed to him that he had never seen her so
grown-up and so beautiful.

"Say, Carlia, when did you grow up?" he asked.

"While you have been away growing up too."

"It's the long dress, isn't it?"

"And milking cows and feeding pigs and pitching hay." She gave a toss to
her head and held out her roughened red hands as proof of her assertion.
He stepped closer to her as if to examine them more carefully, but she
swiftly hid them behind her back. The rose, loosened from the tossing
head, fell to the floor, and Dorian picked it up. He sniffed at it then
handed it to her.

"Where did you get it?" he asked.

She reddened. "None of your--Say, sit down, can't you."

Dorian seated himself on the sofa and invited her to sit by him, but she
took a chair by the table.

"You're not very neighborly," he said.

"As neighborly as you are," she retorted.

"What's the matter with you, Carlia?"

"Nothing the matter with me. I'm the same; only I must have grown up, as
you say."

A sound as of someone driving up the road came to them through the
open door. Carlia nervously arose and listened. She appeared to be
frightened, as she looked out to the road without wanting to be seen. A
light wagon rattled by, and the girl, somewhat relieved, went back to
her chair.

"Isn't it warm in here?" she asked.

"It's warm everywhere."

"I can't stay here. Let's go out--for a walk."

"All right--come on."

They closed the door, and went out at the rear. He led the way around to
the front, but Carlia objected.

"Let's go down by the field," she said. "The road is dusty."

The day was closing with a clear sky. A Sunday calm rested over meadow
and field, as the two strolled down by the ripening wheat. The girl
seemed uneasy until the house was well out of sight. Then she seated
herself on a grassy bank by the willows.

"I'm tired," she said with a sigh of relief.

Dorian looked at her with curious eyes. Carlia, grown up, was more of a
puzzle than ever.

"You are working too hard," he ventured.

"Hard work won't kill anybody--but it's the other things."

"What other things?"

"The grind, the eternal grind--the dreary sameness of every day."

"You did not finish the high school. Why did you quit?"

"I had to, to save mother. Mother was not only doing her usual house
work, but nearly all the outside choring besides. Father was away most
of the time on his dry farm too, and he's blind to the work at home. He
seems to think that the only real work is the plowing and the watering
and the harvesting, and he would have let mother go on killing herself.
Gee, these men!" The girl viciously dug the heel of her shoe into the
sod.

"I'm sorry you had to quit school, Carlia."

"Sorry? I wanted to keep on more than I ever wanted anything in my life;
but--"

"But I admire you for coming to the rescue of your mother. That was fine
of you."

"I'm glad I can do some fine thing."

Dorian had been standing. He now seated himself on the bank beside
her. The world about them was very still as they sat for a few moments
without speaking.

"Listen," said he, "I believe Uncle Zed is preaching. The meeting house
windows are wide open, for a wonder.

"He can preach," she remarked.

"He told me you visit him frequently."

"I do. He's the grandest man, and I like to talk to him."

"So do I. I had quite a visit with him this afternoon. I rather fooled
him, I guess."

"How?"

"He told me to go home and change my clothes, and then go to meeting;
but I came here instead."

"Why did you do that?"

"To see you, of course."

"Pooh, as if I was anything to look at."

"Well, you are, Carlia," and his eyes rested steadily on her to prove
his contention. "Why didn't you want to go to meeting this evening?"

"You heard me tell father."

"That wasn't the whole truth. I was not the reason because you had
decided not to go before I came."

"Well--how do you know that? but, anyway, it's none of your business,
where I go, is it?" She made an effort to stare him out of countenance,
but it ended in lowered head and eyes.

"Carlia! No, of course, it isn't. Excuse me for asking."

There was another period of silence wherein Dorian again wondered at the
girl's strange behavior. Was he annoying her? Perhaps she did not care
to have him paying his crude attentions to her; and yet--

"Tell me about your dry farm," she said.

"I've already plowed eighty acres," he informed her. "The land is rich,
and I expect to raise a big crop next year. I've quite a cosy house, up
there, not far from the creek. The summer evenings are lovely and cool.
I can't get mother to stay over night. I wish you would come and go with
her, and stay a few days."

"How could I stay away from home that long? The heavens would fall."

"Well, that might help some. But, honestly, Carlia, you ought to get
away from this grind a little. It's telling on you. Don't you ever get
into the city?"

"Sometimes Saturday afternoons to deliver butter and eggs."

"Well, some Saturday we'll go to see that moving picture show that's
recently started in town. They say it's wonderful. I've never been.
We'll go together. What do you say?"

"I would like to."

"Let's move on. Meeting is out, and the folks are coming home."

They walked slowly back to the house. Mr. and Mrs. Duke soon arrived and
told of the splendid meeting they had had.

"Uncle Zed spoke," said Mr. Duke, "and he did well, as usual. He's a
regular Orson Pratt."

"The people do not know it," added Dorian; "perhaps their children or
their children's children will."

"Well, what have you two been doing?" enquired the father of Carlia.

"We've just been taking a walk," answered Dorian. "Will it be alright
if Carlia and I go to the new moving picture theatre in town some
Saturday?"

Neither parent made any objection. They were, in fact, glad to have this
neighbor boy show some interest in their daughter.

"Your mother was at meeting," said Mrs. Duke; "and she was asking about
you."

"Yes; I've neglected her all afternoon; so I must be off. Good night
folks."

Carlia went with him to the gate, slipping her arm into his and
snuggling closely as if to get the protection of good comradship. The
movement was not lost on Dorian, but he lingered only for a moment.

"Goodnight, Carlia; remember, some Saturday."

"I'll not forget. Goodnight" she looked furtively up and down the road,
then sped back into the house.

Dorian walked on in the darkening evening. A block or so down the road
he came on to an automobile. No one in Greenstreet owned one of
these machines as yet, and there were but few in the city. As Dorian
approached, he saw a young man working with the machinery under the
lifted hood.

"Hello," greeted Dorian, "what's the trouble?"

"Damned if I know. Been stalled here for an hour." The speaker
straightened from his work. His hands were grimy, and the sweat was
running down his red and angry face. He held tightly the stump of a
cigarette between his lips.

"I'm sorry I can't help you," said Dorian, "but I don't know the first
thing about an automobile."

"Well, I thought I knew a lot, but this gets me." He swore again, as if
to impress Dorian with the true condition of his feelings. Then he
went at the machinery again with pliers and wrenches, after which he
vigorously turned the crank. The engine started with a wheeze and then a
roar. The driver leaped into the car and brought the racing engine to a
smoother running. "The cursed thing" he remarked, "why couldn't it have
done that an hour ago. O, say, excuse me, have you just been at the
house up the road?"

"The Duke house? yes."

"Is the old man--is Mr. Duke at home?"

"Yes; he's at home."

"Thank you." The car moved slowly up the road until it reached the Duke
gate where it stopped; but only for a moment, for it turned and sped
with increasing hurry along the road leading to the city.

Dorian stood and watched it until its red light disappeared. He wondered
why the stranger wanted to know why Mr. Duke was at home, then on
learning that he was, why he turned about as if he had no business with
him.

Later, Dorian learned the reason.



CHAPTER NINE.


Dorian was twenty-one years old, and his mother had planned a little
party in honor of the event. The invited guests were Uncle Zed, Bishop
Johnson and wife, the teacher of the district school, and Carlia Duke.
These arrived during the dusk of the evening, all but Carlia. They
lingered on the cool lawn under the colored glow of the Chinese
lanterns.

Mrs. Trent realized that it would be useless to make the party a
surprise, for she had to have Dorian's help in hanging out the lanterns,
and he would necessarily see the unusual activity in front room and
kitchen. Moreover, Dorian, unlike Uncle Zed, had not lost track of his
birthdays, and especially this one which would make him a full-fledged
citizen of these United States.

The little party chatted on general topics for some time until Mrs.
Trent, in big white apron, announced that supper was ready, and would
they all come right in. Mrs. Trent always served her refreshments at the
regular supper time and not near midnight, for she claimed that people
of regular habits, which her guests were, are much better off by not
having those habits broken into.

"Are we all here?" she asked, scanning them as they passed in. "All but
Carlia," she announced. "Where's Carlia?"

No one knew. Someone proffered the explanation that she was usually late
as she had so many chores to do, at which the Bishop's wife shook her
head knowingly, but said nothing.

"Well, she'll be along presently," said Mrs. Trent. "Sit down all of
you. Bishop, will you ask the blessing?"

The hostess, waitress, and cook all combined in the capable person of
Mrs. Trent, sat at the table with her party. Everything which was to be
served was on the table in plain sight, so that all could nicely guage
their eating to various dishes. When all were well served and the eating
was well under way, Mrs. Trent said:

"Brothers and sisters, this is Dorian's birthday party. He has been a
mighty good boy, and so--"

"Mother," interrupted the young man.

"Now, you never mind--you be still. Dorian is a good boy, and I want all
of you to know it."

"We all do, Sister Trent," said the Bishop; "and it is a good thing to
sometimes tell a person of his worthiness to his face."

"But if we say more, he'll be uncomfortable," remarked the mother, "so
we had better change the subject. The crops are growing, the weather is
fine, and the neighbors are all right. That disposes of the chief
topics of conversation, and will give Uncle Zed a chance. He always has
something worth listening to, if not up his sleeve, then in his white
old head. But do not hurry, Uncle Zed; get through with your supper."

The old man was a light eater, so he finished before the others. He
looked smilingly about him, noting that those present were eager to
listen. He took from his pocket a number of slips of paper and placed
them on the table beside his plate. Then he began to talk, the others
leisurely finishing their dessert.

"The other evening," he said, "Dorian and I had a conversation which
interested us very much, and I think it would interest all of us here.
I was telling him my experience in my search for God and the plan of
salvation, and I promised him I would read to him some of the things I
found. Here is a definition of God which did not help me very much." He
picked up one of the slips of paper and read: "'God is the integrated
harmony of all potentialities of good in every actual and possible
rational agent.' What do you think of that?"

The listeners knitted their brows, but no one spoke. Uncle Zed
continued: "Well, here is a little more. Perhaps this will clear it up:
'The greatest of selves, the ultimate Self of the universe, is God....
My God is my deeper self and yours too. He is the self of the universe,
and knows all about it.... By Deity we mean the all-controling
consciousness of the universe, as well as the unfathomable, all
unknowable, and unknowable abyss of being beyond'."

Uncle Zed carefully folded his papers and placed them back in his
pocket. He looked about him, but his friends appeared as if they had had
a volley of Greek fired at them. "Well" he said, "why don't some of you
say something?"

"Please pass the pickles," responded Mrs. Trent.

When the merriment had ceased, uncle Zed continued: "There is some truth
in these definitions. God is all that which they try to express, and
vastly more. The trouble is these men talk about the attributes of God,
and confound these with the being and personality of the Great Parent.
I may describe the scent of the rose, but that does not define the rose
itself. I cannot separate the rose from its color or form or odor, any
more than I can divorce music from the instrument. These vague and
incomplete definitions have had much to do with the unbelief in the
world. Tom Paine wrote a book which he called the 'Age of Reason' on the
premise that reason does away with God. Isn't that it, Dorian?"

"All agnostic writers seem to think that there is no reason in religion,
and at times they come pretty near proving it too," replied Dorian.

"That is because they base their arguments on the religions of the
world; but the restored gospel of Jesus Christ rests largely on reason.
Why, I can prove, contrary to the generally accepted opinion, by reason
alone that there must be a God."

"We shall be glad to hear it," said the school teacher. The eating was
about over, and so they all sat and listened attentively.

"We do not need to quote a word of scripture," continued Uncle Zed. "All
we need to know is a little of the world about us, a little of the race
and its history, and a little of the other worlds out in space, all of
which is open to anybody who will seek it. The rest is simply a little
connected thought. Reason tells me that there can be no limits to time
or space or intelligence. Time always has been, there can be no end to
space, and intelligence cannot create itself. Now, with limitless time
and space and intelligence to work with, what have we? The human mind,
being limited, cannot grasp the limitless; therefore, we must make
arbitrary points of beginning and ending. Now, let us project our
thought as far back into duration as we can--count the periods by any
thinkable measurements, years, centuries, ages, aeons, anything you
please that will help. Have we arrived at a point when there is no
world, no life, no intelligence? Certainly not. Somewhere in space, all
that we see here and now will be seen to exist. Go back from this point
to a previous period, and then count back as far as you wish; there is
yet time and space and intelligence.

"There is an eternal law of progress which holds good always and
everywhere. It has been operating all through the ages of the past. Now,
let us take one of these Intelligences away back in the far distance
past and place him in the path of progress so that the eternal law of
growth and advancement will operate on him. I care not whether you apply
the result to Intelligences as individuals or as the race. Given time
enough, this endless and eternal advancement must result in a state of
perfection that those who attain to it may with truth and propriety be
called Gods. Therefore, there must be a God, yes, many Gods living and
reigning throughout the limitless regions of glorified space.

"Here is corroborative evidence: I read in the Doctrine and Covenants,
Section 88: 'All kingdoms have a law given; and there are many kingdoms;
for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is
no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser
kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there
are certain bounds also and conditions.'

"There is a hymn in our hymn book in which W.W. Phelps expresses this
idea beautifully. Let me read it:

  'If you could hie to Kolob,
    In the twinkling of an eye,
  And then continue onward,
    With that same speed to fly.

  'Do you think that you could ever,
    Through all eternity,
  Find out the generation
    Where Gods began to be?

  'Or see the grand beginning
    Where space did not extend?
  Or view the last creation,
    Where Gods and matter end?

  'Methinks the Spirit whispers:
    No man has found "pure space,"
  Nor seen the outside curtains,
    Where nothing has a place.

  'The works of God continue,
    And worlds and lives abound;
  Improvement and progression
    Have one eternal round.

  'There is no end to matter,
    There is no end to space,
  There is no end to spirit,
    There is no end to race.

  'There is no end to virtue,
    There is no end to might,
  There is no end to wisdom,
    There is no end to light.

  'There is no end to union,
    There is no end to youth,
  There is no end to priesthood,
    There is no end to truth.

  'There is no end to glory,
    There is no end to love,
  There is no end to being,
    Grim death reigns not above.'

"The Latter-day Saints have been adversely criticized for holding out
such astounding hopes for the future of the human race; but let
us reason a little more, beginning nearer home. What has the race
accomplished, even within the short span of our own recollection? Man is
fast conquering the forces of nature about him, and making these forces
to serve him. Now, we must remember that duration extends ahead of us in
the same limitless way in which it reaches back. Give, then, the race
today all the time necessary, what cannot it accomplish? Apply it again
either to an individual or to the race, in time, some would attain to
what we conceive of as perfection, and the term by which such beings are
known to us is God. I can see no other logical conclusion."

The chairs were now pushed back, and Mrs. Trent threw a cloth over the
table just as it stood, explaining that she would not take the time from
her company to devote to the dishes. She invited them into Dorian's
little room, much to that young man's uneasiness.

His mother had tidied the room, so it was presentable. His picture,
"Sunset in Marshland" had been lowered a little on the wall, and
directly over it hung a photograph of Mildred Brown. To Dorian's
questioning look, Mrs. Trent explained, that Mrs. Brown had sent it just
the other day. Dorian looked closely at the beautiful picture, and a
strange feeling came over him. Had Mildred gone on in this eternal
course of progress of which Uncle Zed had been speaking? Was she still
away ahead of him? Would he ever reach her?

On his study table were a number of books, birthday presents. One was
from Uncle Zed's precious store, and one--What? He picked it up--"David
Copperfield." He opened the beautiful volume and read on the fly leaf:
"From Carlia, to make up a little for your loss." He remembered now that
Carlia, some time before, had asked him what books were in the package
which had gone down the canal at the time when he had pulled her out of
the water. Carlia had not forgotten; and she was not here; the supper
was over, and it was getting late. Why had she not come?

The party broke up early, as it was a busy season with them all. Dorian
walked home with Uncle Zed, then he had a mind to run over to Carlia's.
He could not forget about her absence nor about the present she had
sent. He had never read the story, and he would like to read it to
Carlia. She had very little time, he realized, which was all the more
reason for his making time to read it to her.

As every country boy will, at every opportunity, so Dorian cut crosslots
to his objective. He now leaped the fence, and struck off through the
meadow up into the corn field. Mr. Duke had a big, fine field that
season, the growing corn already reaching to his shoulder. The night was
dark, save for the twinkling stars in the clear sky; it was still, save
for the soft rustling of the corn in the breeze.

Dorian caught sight of a light as of a lantern up by the ditch from
which the water for irrigating was turned into the rows of corn and
potatoes. He stopped and listened. A tool grated in the gravelly soil.
Mr. Duke was no doubt using his night turn at the water on his corn
instead of turning it on the hay-land as was the custom. He would
inquire of him about Carlia.

As he approached the light, the scraping ceased, and he saw a dark
figure dart into the shelter of the tall corn. When he reached the
lantern, he found a hoe lying in the furrow where the water should have
been running. No man irrigates with a hoe; that's a woman's tool. Ah,
the secret was out! Carlia was 'tending' the water. That's why she was
not at the party.

He stood looking down into the shadows of the corn rows, but for the
moment he could see or hear nothing. He had frightened her, and yet
Carlia was not usually afraid. He began to whistle softly and to walk
down into the corn. Then he called, not loudly, "Carlia".

There was no response. He quickened his steps. The figure ran to another
shelter. He could see her now, and he called again, louder than before.
She stopped, and then darted through the corn into the more open potatoe
patch. Dorian followed.

"Hello, Carlia," he said, "what are you doing?"

The girl stood before him, bareheaded, with rough dress and heavy boots.
She was panting as if with fright. When she caught a full sight of
Dorian she gave a little cry, and when he came within reach, she grasped
him by the arm.

"Oh, is it you, Dorian?"

"Sure. Who else did you think it was? Why, you're all of a tremble. What
are you afraid of?"

"I--I thought it was--was someone else. Oh, Dorian, I'm so glad it is
you!"

She stood close to him as if wishing to claim his protection. He
instinctively placed his arm about her shoulders. "Why, you silly girl,
the dark won't hurt you."

"I'm not afraid of the dark. I'm afraid of--Oh, Dorian, don't let him
hurt me!" There was a sob in her voice.

"What are you talking about? I believe you're not well. Are your feet
wet? Have you a fever?" He put his hand on her forehead, brushing back
the dark, towsled hair. He took her plump, work-roughened hand in his
bigger and equally rough one. "And this is why you were not to my
party," he said.

"Yes; I hated to miss it, but father's rheumatism was so bad that he
could not come out. So it was up to me. We haven't any too much water
this summer. I'd better turn the water down another row; it's flooding
the corn."

They went to the lantern on the ditch bank. Dorian picked up the hoe and
made the proper adjustment of the water flow. "How long will it take for
the water to reach the bottom of the row?" he asked.

"About fifteen minutes."

"And how many rows remain?"

Carlia counted. "Twelve," she said.

"All right. This is a small stream and will only allow for three rows at
a time. Three into twelve is four, and four times fifteen is sixty. It
is now half past ten. We'll get through by twelve o'clock easy."

"You'd better go home. I'm all right now. I'm not afraid."

"I said we will get home. Sit down here on the bank. Are you cold?"
He took off his coat and placed it about her shoulders. She made no
objections, though in truth she was not cold.

"Tell me about the party," she said.

He told her who were there, and how they had missed her.

"And did Uncle Zed preach?"

"Preach? O, yes, he talked mighty fine. I wish I could tell you what he
said."

"What was it about?"

"About God," he answered reverently.

"Try to tell me, Dorian. I need to know. I'm such a dunce."

Dorian repeated in his way Uncle Zed's argument, and he succeeded fairly
well in his presentation of the subject. The still night under the
shining stars added an impressive setting to the telling, and the girl
close by his side drank in hungrily every word. When the water reached
the end of the rows, it was turned into others, until all were
irrigated. When that was accomplished, Dorian's watch showed half past
eleven. He picked up the lantern and the hoe, and they walked back to
the house.

"The party was quite complete, after all," he said at the door. "I've
enjoyed this little after-affair as much as I did the party."

"I'm glad," she whispered.

"And it was wonderfully good of you to give me that present."

"I'm glad," she repeated.

"Do you know what I was thinking about when I opened the book and saw it
was from you?"

"No; what?"

"Why, I thought, we'll read this book together, you and I."

"Wouldn't that be fine!"

"We can't do that now, of course; but after a while when we get more
time. I'll not read it until then.... Well, you're tired. Go to bed.
Good night, Carlia."

"Goodnight, Dorian, and thank you for helping me."

They stood close together, she on the step above him. The lamp, placed
on the kitchen table for her use, threw its light against the glass door
which formed a background for the girl's roughened hair, soiled and
sweat-stained face, and red, smiling lips.

"Goodnight," he said again; and then he leaned forward and kissed her.



CHAPTER TEN.


That goodnight's kiss should have brought Dorian back to Carlia sooner
than it did; but it was nearly a month before he saw her again. The fact
that it was the busiest time of the year was surely no adequate excuse
for this neglect. Harvest was on again, and the dry-farm called for much
of his attention. Dorian prospered, and he had no time to devote to the
girls, so he thought, and so he said, when occasion demanded expression.

One evening while driving through the city and seeing the lights of the
moving picture theatre, he was reminded of his promise to Carlia. His
conscience pricked him just a little, so the very next evening he drove
up to Farmer Duke's. Seeing no one choring about, he went into the house
and inquired after Carlia. Mrs. Duke told him that Carlia had gone to
the city that afternoon. She was expected back any minute, but one could
never tell, lately, when she would get home. Since this Mr. Lamont had
taken her to the city a number of times, she had been late in getting
home.

"Mr. Lamont?" he inquired.

"Yes; haven't you met him? Don't you know him?"

"No; who is he?"

"Dorian, I don't know. Father seems to think he's all right, but I don't
like him. Oh, Dorian, why don't you come around oftener?"

Mrs. Duke sank into a chair and wiped away the tears from her eyes with
the corner of her apron. Dorian experienced a strange sinking of the
heart. Again he asked who this Mr. Lamont was.

"He's a salesman of some kind, so he says. He drives about in one of
those automobiles. Surely, you have seen him--a fine-looking fellow with
nice manners and all that, but--"

"And does Carlia go out with him?"

"He has taken her out riding a number of times. He meets her in the city
sometimes. I don't know what to make of it, Dorian. I'm afraid."

Dorian seemed unable to say anything which would calm the mother's
fears. That Carlia should be keeping company with someone other than
himself, had never occurred to him. And yet, why not? she was aid enough
to accept attention from young men. He had certainly neglected her, as
the mother had implied. The girl had such few opportunities for going
out, why should she not accept such as came to her. But this stranger,
this outsider! Dorian soon took his departure.

He went home, unhitched, and put up his horse; but instead of going into
the house, he walked down to the post office. He found nothing in his
box. He felt better in the open, so he continued to walk. He had told
his mother he was going to the city, so he might as well walk that way.
Soon the lights gleamed through the coming darkness. He went on with his
confused thoughts, on into the city and to the moving picture show. He
bought a ticket and an attendant led him stumbling in the dark room to a
seat.

It was the first time he had been there. He and Carlia were going
together. It was quite wonderful to the young man to see the actors
moving about lifelike on the white screen. The story contained a number
of love-making scenes, which, had they been enacted in real life, in
public as this was, they would certainly have been stopped by the
police. Then there was a comic picture wherein a young fellow was
playing pranks on an old man. The presentation could hardly be said to
teach respect for old age, but the audience laughed uproariously at it.

When the picture closed and the lights went on, Dorian turned about to
leave, and there stood Carlia. A young man was assisting her into her
light wraps. She saw him, so there was no escape, and they spoke to each
other. Carlia introduced her escort, Mr. Lamont.

"Glad to know you," said Mr. Lamont, in a hearty way. "I've known of you
through Miss Duke. Going home now?"

"Yes," said Dorian.

"Drive?"

"No; I'm walking."

"Then you'll ride with us. Plenty of room. Glad to have you."

"Thank you, I--"

"Yes, come," urged Carlia.

Dorian hesitated. He tried to carry an independent manner, but Mr.
Lamont linked his arm sociably with Dorian's as he said:

"Of course you'll ride home with us; but first we'll have a little ice
cream."

"No thanks," Dorian managed to say. What more did this fellow want of
him?

However, as Dorian could give no good reason why he should not ride home
with them, he found no way of refusing to accompany them to a nearby
ice-cream parlor. Mr. Lamont gave the order, and was very attentive to
Carlia and Dorian. It was he who kept the flow of conversation going.
The other two, plainly, were not adept at this.

"What did you think of the show, Mr. Trent?"

"The moving pictures are wonderful, but I did not like the story very
much."

"It was rotten," exclaimed the other in seeming disgust. I did not
know what was on, or I should not have gone. Last week they had a fine
picture, a regular classic. Did you see it?

"No; in fact, this is my first visit."

"Oh, indeed. This is Miss Duke's second visit only."

Under the bright lights Carlia showed rouge on her cheeks, something
Dorian had never seen on her before. Her lips seemed redder than ever,
and he eyes shone with a bright luster. Mr. Lamont led them to his
automobile, and then Dorian remembered the night when this same young
man with the same automobile had stopped near Carlia's home. Carlia
seated herself with the driver, while Dorian took the back seat. They
were soon speeding along the road which led to Greenstreet. The cool
night air fanned Dorian's hot face. Conversation ceased. Even Carlia
and the driver were silent. The moon peeped over the eastern hills. The
country-side was silent. Dorian thought of the strange events of the
evening. This Mr. Lamont had not only captured Carlia but Dorian also.
"If I were out with a girl," reasoned Dorian, "I certainly wouldn't want
a third person along if I could help it." Why should this man be so
eager to have his company? Dorian did not understand, not then.

In a short time they drove up to Carlia's gate, and she and Dorian
alighted. The driver did not get out. The machine purred as if impatient
to be off again and the lamps threw their streams of light along the
road.

"Well, I shall have to be getting back," said Mr. Lamont. "Goodnight,
Miss Duke. Thanks for your company. Goodnight, Mr. Trent; sure glad to
have met you."

The machine glided into the well-worn road and was off. The two stood
looking at it for a moment. Then Carlia moved toward the house.

"Come in" she said.

He mechanically followed. He might as well act the fool to the end of
the chapter, he thought. It was eleven by the parlor clock, but the
mother seemed greatly relieved when she saw Dorian with her daughter.
Carlia threw off her wraps. She appeared ill at ease. Her gaiety was
forced. She seemed to be acting a part, but she was doing it poorly.
Dorian was not only ill at ease himself, but he was bewildered. He
seated himself on the sofa. Carlia took a chair on the other side of the
room and gazed out of the window into the night.

"Carlia, why did you--why do you," he stammered.

"Why shouldn't I?" she replied, somewhat defiantly as if she understood
his unfinished question.

"You know you should not. It's wrong. Who is he anyway?"

"He at least thinks of me and wants to show me a good time, and that's
more than anybody else does."

"Carlia!"

"Well, that's the truth." She arose, walked to the table in the middle
of the room and stood challengingly before him. "Who are you to find
fault? What have you done to--"

"I'll admit I've done very little; but you, yourself."

"Never mind me. What do you care for me? What does anybody care?"

"Your mother, at least."

"Yes, mother; poor, dear mother.... Oh, my God, I can't stand it, I
can't stand it!" With a sob she broke and sank down by the table, hiding
her face in her arms. Dorian arose to go to her. The door opened, and
the mother appeared.

"What is it, Carlia," she asked in alarm.

The girl raised her head, swiftly dashed the tears from her eyes, then
with a sad effort to smile, said:

"Nothing, mother, nothing at all. I'm going to bed. Where's father?"

"He was called out to Uncle Zed's who is sick. Dorian's mother is there
with him too, I understand."

"Then I'd better go for her," said the young man. "I'll say goodnight.
Poor Uncle Zed; he hasn't been well lately. Goodnight Sister Duke,
goodnight Carlia."

Carlia stood in the doorway leading to the stairs. "Goodnight, Dorian,"
she said. "Forgive me for being so rude."

He stepped toward her, but she motioned him back, and than ran up the
carpetless stairs to her room. Dorian went out in the night. With a
heavy heart he hurried down the road in the direction of Uncle Zed's
home.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.


Uncle Zed's illness did not prove fatal, though it was serious enough.
In a few days he was up and about again, slowly, quietly providing for
his simple needs. However, it was plainly evident that he had nearly
come to the end of his earthly pilgrimage.

After the most pressing fall work had been disposed of, Dorian spent as
much of his spare time as possible with the old man, who seemed to like
the company of the younger man better than anyone else in the village;
and Dorian, for his part, took delight in visiting with him, in helping
him with the heaviest of his not heavy chores. Especially, was it
pleasant during the lengthening evening with a small fire and the lamp
newly trimmed. Uncle Zed reclined in his easy chair, while Dorian sat by
the table with books and papers. Their conversations ranged from flower
gardens to dry-farms, and from agnosticism to the highest degrees of the
celestial glory. And how they both reveled in books and their
contents on the occasions when they were alone and unhampered by the
unsympathetic minds of others.

"As you see, Dorian," said Uncle Zed on one such Sunday evening, "my
collection of books is not large, but they are such that I can read and
read again."

"Where is your 'Drummond's Natural Law'?" asked Dorian.

Uncle Zed looked about. "I was reading it this morning. There it is on
the window." Dorian fetched him the volume.

"When I read Drummond's work," continued the old man, "I feel keener
than ever my lack of scientific knowledge. I have always had a desire
to delve into nature's laws through the doors of botany, zoology,
mineralogy, chemistry, and all the other sciences. I have obtained a
smattering only through my reading. I realize that the great ocean of
truth is yet before me who am now an old man and can never hope in this
life to explore much further."

"But how is it, Uncle Zed," enquired Dorian, "that so many scientists
have such little faith?"

"'The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life,' The Spirit has taught
us Dorian, that this world is God's world, and that the laws which
govern here and now are the same eternal laws which have always been in
operation; that we have come to this world of element to get in touch
with earthly forms of matter, and become acquainted with the laws which
govern them. Drummond has attempted to prove that the laws which prevail
in the temporal world about us also hold good in the spiritual world,
and he has made out a very good case, I think; but neither Drummond nor
anybody else not endowed by the gift of the Holy Ghost, can reach the
simple ultimate truth. That's why I have been looking for some young man
in the Church who could and would make it his life's mission and work to
learn the truths of science and harmonize them where necessary with the
revealed truth--in fact, to complete what Henry Drummond has so well
begun." The old man paused, then looking steadily at Dorian, said:
"That's what I expect you to do."

"I? Oh, do you think I could?"

"Yes; it would not be easy, but with your aptness and your trend of
mind, and your ability to study long and hard, you could, with the
assistance of the Spirit of God, accomplish wonders by the time you are
as old as I."

The young man mildly protested, although the vision of what might be
thrilled his being.

"Don't forget what I am telling you, Dorian. Think and pray and dream
about it for a time, and the Lord will open the way. Now then, we are to
discuss some of Drummond's problems, were we not?"

"Yes; I shall be glad to. Are you comfortable? Shall I move your
pillow?"

"I'm resting very easily, thank you. Just hand me the book. Drummond's
chapter on Biogenesis interests me very much. I cannot talk very
scientifically, Dorian, on these things, but I hope to talk
intelligently and from the large viewpoint of the gospel. Here is
a paragraph from my book which I have marked and called 'The Wall
Between.' I'm sure you will remember it. Let us read it again:

"'Let us first place," he read from the book, 'vividly in our
imagination the picture of the two great Kingdoms of Nature, the
inorganic and the organic, as these now stand in the light of the Law
of Biogenesis. What essentially is involved in saying that there is no
Spontaneous Generation of Life? It is meant that the passage from the
mineral world is hermetically sealed on the mineral side. This inorganic
world is staked off from the living world by barriers which have never
yet been crossed from within. No change of substance, no modification of
environment, no chemistry, no electricity, nor any form of energy, nor
any evolution can endow any single atom of the mineral world with the
attribute of life. Only by bending down into this dead world of some
living form can these dead atoms be gifted with the properties of
vitality, without this preliminary contact with life they remain fixed
in the inorganic sphere forever. It is a very mysterious Law which
guards in this way the portals of the living world. And if there is
one thing in Nature more worth pondering for its strangeness it is the
spectacle of this vast helpless world of the dead cut off from the
living by the law of Biogenesis and denied forever the possibility of
resurrection within itself. So very strange a thing, indeed, is this
broad line in Nature, that Science has long sought to obliterate it.
Biogenesis stands in the way of some forms of Evolution with such stern
persistency that the assaults upon this law for number and thoroughness
have been unparalleled. But, as we have seen, it has stood the test.
Nature, to the modern eye, stands broken in two. The physical laws
may explain the inorganic world; the biological laws may account for
inorganic. But of the point where they meet, of that living borderland
between the dead and the living, Science is silent. It is as if God had
placed everything in earth and in heaven in the hands of Nature, but
reserved a point at the genesis of Life for His direct appearing.'

"Drummond goes on to prove by analogy that the same law which makes such
a separation between the higher and the lower in the natural world holds
good in the spiritual realm, and he quotes such passages as this to
substantiate his argument: 'Except a man is born again, he cannot enter
the kingdom of God'. Man must be born from above. 'The passage from
the natural world to the spiritual world is hermetically sealed on the
natural side.' that is, man cannot by any means make his own unaided way
from the lower world to the higher. 'No mental energy, no evolution, no
moral effort, no evolution of character, no progress of civilization'
can alone lift life from the lower to the higher. Further, the lower can
know very little about the higher, for 'the natural man receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him;
neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned'. All
of which means, I take it, that the higher must reach down to the lower
and lift it up. Advancement in any line of progress is made possible by
some directing power either seen or unseen. A man cannot simply grow
better and better until in his own right he enters the kingdom of God'."

"But, Uncle Zed, are we not taught that we must work out our own
salvation?" asked Dorian. "That is also scriptural."

"Yes; but wait; I shall come to that later. Let us go on with our
reasoning and see how this law which Drummond points out--how it fits
into the larger scheme of things as revealed to us Latter-day Saints.
You remember some time ago in our talk on the law of eternal progress we
established the truth that there always have been intelligences evolving
from lower to higher life, which in the eternity of the past would
inevitably lead to the perfection of Gods. This is plainly taught in
Joseph Smith's statement that God was once a man like us, perhaps on an
earth like this, working out His glorious destiny. He, then, has gone on
before into higher worlds, gaining wisdom, power, and glory. Now, there
is another law of the universe that no advancing man can live to himself
alone. No man can grow by taking selfish thought to the process. He
grows by the exercise of his faculties and powers for the benefit of
others. Dorian, hand me the 'Pearl of Great price'."

Dorian found the book and handed it to the old man, who, finding the
passage he wanted, continued: "Listen to this remarkable statement by
the Lord: 'For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass
the immortality and eternal life of man.' Just think what that means."

"What does it mean?"

"It means, my boy, that the way of progress is the way of unselfish
labor. 'This is my work,' says the Lord, to labor for those who are yet
on the lower rungs of the ladder, to institute laws whereby those below
may climb up higher; (note I used the word climb, not float); to use His
greater experience, knowledge, and power for others; to pass down
to those in lower or primary stages that which they cannot get by
self-effort alone. Let me say this in all reverence, they who attain to
All Things do not greedily and selfishly cling to it, but pass it on
to others. 'As one lamp lights another nor grows less, So kindliness
enkindleth kindliness.' Yes; through great stress and sacrifice, they
may do this, as witnessed in what our Father has done by endowing His
Beloved Son with eternal life, and then giving Him to us. That Son was
the 'Prince of Life.' He was the Resurrection and the Life.' He brought
Life from the higher kingdom to a lower, its natural course through the
ages. That is the only way through which it can come. And herein, to
my humble way of thinking is the great error into which the modern
evolutionist has fallen. He reasons that higher forms evolve from the
initial and unaided movements of the lower. That is as impossible as
that a man can lift himself to the skies by his boot-straps."

Dorian smiled at the illustration.

"Now, my boy, I want to make an application of these divine truths to us
here and now. I'm not going to live here much longer."

"Uncle Zed!"

"Now, wait; it's a good thing that you nor anybody else can prevent me
from passing on. I've wanted to live long enough to get rid of the fear
of death. I have reached that point now, and so I am ready at any time,
thank the Lord."

Uncle Zed was beautiful to look upon in the clear whiteness of his
person and the peaceful condition of his spirit. The young listener
was deeply impressed by what he was hearing. (He never forgot that
particular Sunday afternoon).

"You asked me about working out our own salvation," continued Uncle Zed.
"Let me answer you on that. There are three principles in the law of
progress, all of them important: First, there must be an exercise of the
will by the candidate for progression. He must be willing to advance and
have a desire to act for himself. That is the principle of free agency.
Second, he must be willing to receive help from a higher source; that
is, he must place himself in a condition to receive life and light from
the source of life and light. Third, he must be unselfish, willing,
eager to share all good with others. The lack of any of these will prove
a serious hindrance. We see this everywhere in the world.

"Coming back now to the application I mentioned. If it is God's work
and glory to labor for those below Him, why should not we, His sons
and daughters, follow His example as far as possible in our sphere of
action? If we are ever to become like Him we must follow in His steps
and do the things which He has done. Our work, also must be to help
along the road to salvation those who are lower down, those who are more
ignorant and are weaker than we."

"Which, Uncle Zed, you have been doing all your life."

"Just trying a little, just a little."

"And this will be as it already has been, your glory. I see that
plainly."

"Why shouldn't it be everybody's work and glory! What a beautiful world
this would be if this were the case!"

"Yes, truly."

"And see, Dorian, how this principle ties together the race from the
beginning to the end, comparatively speaking. Yes, in this way will men
and families and races and worlds be linked together in chains of love,
which cannot be broken, worlds without end."

The old man's voice became sweet and low. Then there was silence for a
few minutes. The clock struck ten.

"I must be going," said Dorian. "I am keeping you out of bed."

"You'll come again?"

"Oh, yes."

"Come soon, my boy. I have so much to tell you. I can talk so freely to
you, something I cannot do to all who come here, bless their hearts. But
you, my boy--"

He reached out his hand, and Dorian took it lovingly. There were tears
in the old man's eyes.

"I'll not forget you," said Dorian, "I'll come soon and often."

"Then, good night."

"Good night," the other replied from the door as he stepped out into the
night. The cool breeze swept over meadow and field. The world was open
and big, and the young man's heart expanded to it. What a comfort to
feel that the Power which rules the world and all the affairs of men is
unfailing in its operations! What a joy to realize that he had a loving
Father to whom he could go for aid! And then also, what a tremendous
responsibility was on him because of the knowledge he already had and
because of his God-given agency to act for himself. Surely, he would
need light from on High to help him to choose the right!

Surely, he would.



CHAPTER TWELVE.


At the coming of winter, Uncle Zed was bedfast. He was failing rapidly.
Neighbors helped him. Dorian remained with him as much as he could. The
bond which had existed between these two grew stronger as the time
of separation became nearer. The dying man was clear-minded, and he
suffered very little pain. He seemed completely happy if he could have
Dorian sitting by him and they could talk together. And these were
wonderful days to the young man, days never to be forgotten.

Outside, the air was cold with gusts of wind and lowering clouds.
Inside, the room was cosy and warm. A few of the old man's hardiest
flowers were still in pots on the table where the failing eyes could see
them. That evening Mrs. Trent had tidied up the room and had left Dorian
to spend the night with the sick man. The tea-kettle hummed softly on
the stove. The shaded lamp was turned down low.

"Dorian."

"Yes, Uncle Zed."

"Turn up the lamp a little. It's too dark in here."

"Doesn't the light hurt your eyes!"

"No; besides I want you to get me some papers out of that drawer in my
desk."

Dorian fetched a large bundle of clippings and papers and asked if they
were what he wanted.

"Not all of them just now; but take from the pile the few on top. I want
you to read them to me. They are a few selections which I have culled
and which have a bearing on the things we have lately been talking
about."

The first note which Dorian read was as follows. "'The keys of the holy
priesthood unlock the door of knowledge to let you look into the palace
of truth'."

"That's by Brigham Young. You did not know that he was a poet as well as
a prophet," commented the old man. "The next one is from him also."

"'There never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when
men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing
through. That course has been from all eternity and it is and will be to
all eternity'."

"Now you know, Dorian, where I get my inspiration from. Read the next,
also from President Young."

"'The idea that the religion of Christ is one thing, and science is
another, is a mistaken idea, for there is no true science without
religion. The fountain of knowledge dwells with God, and He dispenses it
to His children as He pleases, and as they are prepared to receive it;
consequently, it swallows up and circumscribes all'."

"Take these, Dorian; have them with you as inspirational mottoes for
your life's work. Go on, there are a few more."

Dorian read again: "'The region of true religion and the region of a
completer science are one.'--Oliver Lodge."

"You see one of the foremost scientists of the day agrees with Brigham
Young," said Uncle Zed. "I think the next one corroborates some of our
doctrine also."

Dorian read: "'We do not indeed remember our past, we are not aware of
our future, but in common with everything else we must have had a past
and must be going to have a future.'--Oliver Lodge."

Again he read: "'We must dare to extend the thought of growth and
progress and development even up to the height of all that we can
realize of the Supreme Being--In some part of the universe perhaps
already the ideal conception has been attained; and the region of such
attainment--the full blaze of self-conscious Deity--is too bright for
mortal eyes, is utterly beyond our highest thoughts.'--Oliver Lodge."

Uncle Zed held out his hand and smiled. "There," he said in a whisper,
"is a hesitating suggestion of the truth which we boldly proclaim."

"Now you are tired, Uncle Zed," said Dorian. "I had best not read more."

"Just one--the next one."

Dorian complied:

  "'There are more lives yet, there are more worlds waiting,
    For the way climbs up to the eldest sun,
  Where the white ones go to their mystic mating,
     And the holy will is done.
  I'll find you there where our love life heightens--
     Where the door of the wonder again unbars,
  Where the old love lures and the old fire whitens,
     In the stars behind the stars'."

Uncle Zed lay peacefully on his pillow, a wistful look on his face. The
room became still again, and the clock ticked away the time. Dorian
folded up the papers which he had been told to keep and put them in his
pocket. The rest of the package he returned to the drawer. He lowered
the lamp again. Then he sat down and watched. It seemed it would not be
long for the end.

"Dorian."

"Yes, Uncle Zed, can I do anything for you?"

"No"--barely above a whisper--"nothing else matters--you're a good
boy--God bless you."

The dying man lay very still. As Dorian looked at the face of his friend
it seemed that the mortal flesh had become waxen white so that the
immortal spirit shone unhindered through it. The young man's heart was
deeply sorrowful, but it was a sanctified sorrow. Twice before had death
come near to him. He had hardly realized that of his father's and he was
not present when Mildred had passed away; but here he was again with
death, and alone. It seemed strange that he was not terrified, but he
was not--everything seemed so calm, peaceful, and even beautiful in its
serene solemnity.

Dorian arose, went softly to the window and looked out. The wind had
quieted, and the snow was falling slowly, steadily in big white flakes,
When Dorian again went back to the bedside and looked on the stilled
face of his friend, he gave a little start. He looked again closely,
listening, and feeling of the cold hands. Uncle Zed was dead.

The Greenstreet meeting house was filled to overflowing at the funeral.
Uncle Zed had gone about all his days in the village doing good. All
could tell of some kind deed he had done, with the admonition that it
should not be talked about. He always seemed humiliated when anyone
spoke of these things in his hearing; but now, surely, there could be no
objection to letting his good deeds shine before men.

Uncle Zed had left with the Bishop a written statement, not in the form
of a will, wherein he told what disposition was to be made of his simple
belongings. The house, with its few well tilled acres, was to go to the
ward for the use of any worthy poor whom the Bishop might designate.
Everything in the house should be at the disposal of Dorian Trent. The
books, especially, should belong to him "to have and to hold and to
study." Such books which Dorian did not wish to keep were to be given
to the ward Mutual Improvement Library. This information the Bishop
publicly imparted on the day of the funeral.

"These are the times," said the Bishop, "when the truth comes forcibly
to us all that nothing in this world matters much or counts for much in
the end but good deeds, kind words, and unselfish service to others. All
else is now dross.... The mantle of Brother Zed seems to have fallen on
Dorian Trent. May he wear it faithfully and well."

A few days after the funeral Dorian and his mother went to Uncle Zed's
vacant home. Mrs. Trent examined the furnishings, while Dorian looked
over the books.

"Is there anything here you want, mother? he asked.

"No; I think not; better leave everything, which isn't much, for those
who are to live here. What about the books?'

"I'm going to take most of them home, for I am sure Uncle Zed would not
want them to fall into unappreciating hands; but there's no hurry about
that. We'll just leave everything as it is for a few days."

The next evening Dorian returned to look over again his newly-acquired
treasures. The ground was covered with snow and the night was cold. He
thought he might as well spend the evening, and be comfortable, so he
made a fire in the stove.

On the small home-made desk which stood in the best-lighted corner, near
to the student's hand were his well-worn Bible, his Book of Mormon, and
Doctrine and Covenants. He opened the drawers and found them filled with
papers and clippings, covering, as Dorian learned, a long period of
search and collecting. He opened again the package which he had out the
evening of Uncle Zed's death, and looked over some of the papers. These,
evidently, had been selected for Dorian's special benefit, and so he
settled himself comfortably to read them. The very first paper was in
the old man's own hand, and was a dissertation on "Faith." and read
thus: "Some people say that they can believe only what they can perceive
with the senses. Let us see: The sun rises, we say. Does it? The earth
is still. Is it? We hear music, we see beauty. Does the ear hear or the
eye see? We burn our fingers. Is the pain in our fingers? I cut the
nerves leading from the brain to these various organs, and then I
neither hear nor see nor feel."

"How can God keep in touch with us?" was answered thus: "A ray of light
coming through space from a star millions of miles away will act on a
photographic plate, will eat into its sensitive surface and imprint the
image of the star. This we know, and yet we doubt if God can keep in
touch with us and answer our prayers."

Many people wondered why a man like Uncle Zed was content to live in the
country. The answer seemed to be found in a number of slips:

  "How peaceful comes the Sabbath, doubly blessed,
  In giving hope to faith, to labor rest.
  Most peaceful here:--no city's noise obtains,
  And God seems reverenced more where silence reigns."

Once Dorian had been called a "Clod hopper." As he read the following,
he wondered whether or not Uncle Zed had not also been so designated,
and had written this in reply:

"Mother Earth, why should not I love you? Why should not I get close to
you? Why should I plan to live always in the clouds above you, gazing at
other far-distant worlds, and neglecting you? Why did I, with others,
shout with joy when I learned that I was coming here from the world of
spirits? I answer, because I knew that 'spirit and element inseparately
connected receiveth a fullness of joy.' I was then to get in touch with
'element' as I had been with 'spirit.' This world which I see with my
natural eyes is the 'natural' part of Mother Earth, even as the
flesh and bones and blood of my body is the element of myself, to be
inseparately connected with my spirit and to the end that I might
receive a fullness of joy. The earth and all things on it known by the
term nature is what I came here to know. Nature, wild or tamed, is my
schoolroom--the earth with its hills and valleys and plains, with its
clouds and rain, with its rivers and lakes and oceans, with its trees
and fruits and flowers, its life--about all these I must learn what I
can at first hand. Especially, should I learn of the growing things
which clothe the earth with beauty and furnish sustenance to life. Some
day I hope the Lord will give me a small part of this earth, when it is
glorified. Ah, then, what a garden shall I have!"

No one in Greenstreet had ever known Uncle Zed as a married man. His
wife had died long ago, and he seldom spoke of her. Dorian had wondered
whether he had ever been a young man, with a young man's thoughts and
feelings; but here was evidence which dispelled any doubt. On a slip of
paper, somewhat yellow with age, were the following lines, written in
Uncle Zed's best hand:

  "In the enchanted air of spring,
  I hear all Nature's voices sing,
        'I love you'.

  By bursting buds, by sprouting grass,
  I hear the bees hum as I pass,
        'I love you'.

  The waking earth, the sunny sky
  Are whispering the same as I,
        'I love you'.

  The song of birds in sweetest notes
  Comes from their bursting hearts and throats,
        'I love you'."

"Oh, Uncle Zed!" said Dorian, half aloud, "who would have thought it!"

Near the top of the pile of manuscript Dorian found an envelope with "To
Dorian Trent," written on it. He opened it with keen interest and found
that it was a somewhat newly written paper and dealt with a subject they
had discussed in connection with the chapter on Death in Drummond's
book. Uncle Zed had begun his epistle by addressing it, "Dear Dorian"
and then continued as follows:

"You remember that some time ago we talked on the subject of sin and
death. Since then I have had some further thought on the subject which I
will here jot down for you. You asked me, you remember, what sin is, and
I tried to explain. Here is another definition: Man belongs to an order
of beings whose goal is perfection. The way to that perfection is long
and hard, narrow and straight. Any deviation from that path is sin. God,
our Father, has reached the goal. He has told us how we may follow Him.
He has pointed out the way by teaching us the law of progress which
led Him to His exalted state. Sin lies in not heeding that law, but in
following laws of our own making. The Lord says this in the Doctrine and
Covenants, Section 88:

'That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to
become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether
abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice,
nor judgement. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.'

"Now, keeping in mind that sin is the straying from the one straight,
progressive path, let us consider this expression: 'The wages of sin is
death'. This leads us to the question: what is death? Do you remember
what Drummond says? He first explains in a most interesting way what
life is, using the scientist's phrasing. A human being, for instance,
is in direct contact with all about him--earth, air, sun, other human
beings, etc. In biological language he is said to be 'in correspondence
with his environment,' and by virtue of this correspondence is said to
be alive. To live, a human being must continue to adjust himself to his
environment. When he fails to do this, he dies. Thus we have also a
definition of death. 'Dying is that breakdown in an organization
which throws it out of correspondence with some necessary part of the
environment.'

"Of course, these reasonings and deductions pertain to what we term he
physical death; but Drummond claims that the same law holds good in the
spiritual world. Modern revelation seems to agree with him. We have an
enlightening definition of death in the following quotation from the
Doctrine and Covenants, Section 29: 'Wherefore I the Lord God caused
that he (Adam) should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my
presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually
dead, which is the first death, even that same death, which is the last
death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked
when I shall say Depart ye cursed'.

"It seems to me that there is a most interesting agreement here.
Banishment from the place where God lives is death. By the operations
of a natural law, a person who fails to correspond with a celestial
environment dies to that environment and must go or be placed in some
other, where he can function with that which is about him. God's
presence is exalted, holy, glorified. He who is not pure, holy,
glorified cannot possibly live there, is dead to that higher world.
A soul who cannot function in the celestial glory, may do so in the
terrestrial glory; one who cannot function in the terrestrial, may in
the telestial; and one who cannot 'abide the law' or function in the
telestial must find a place of no glory. This is inevitable--it cannot
be otherwise. Immutable law decrees it, and not simply the ruling of an
all wise power. The soul who fails to attain to the celestial glory,
fails to walk in the straight and narrow path which leads to it. Such a
person wanders in the by-paths called sin, and no power in the universe
can arbitrarily put him in an environment with which he cannot function.
'To be carnally minded is death', said Paul. 'The wages of sin is
death', or in other words, he who persistently avoids the Celestial
Highway will never arrive at the Celestial Gate. He who works evilly
will obtain evil wages. Anyway, what would it profit a man with dim
eyesight to be surrounded with ineffable glory? What would be the music
of the spheres to one bereft of hearing? What gain would come to a man
with a heart of stone to be in an environment of perfect and eternal
love!"

Dorian finished the reading and laid the paper on the desk. For some
time he sat very still, thinking of these beautiful words from his dear
friend to him. Surely, Uncle Zed was very much alive in any environment
which his beautiful life had placed him. Would that he, Dorian, could
live so that he might always be alive to the good and be dead to sin.

The stillness of the night was about him. The lamplight grew dim,
showing the oil to be gone, so he blew out the smoking wick. He opened
the stove door, and by the light of the dying fire he gathered up some
books to take home. He heard a noise as if someone were outside. He
listened. The steps were muffled in the snow. They seemed to approach
the house and then stop. There was silence for a few minutes, then
plainly he heard sobbing close to the door.

What could it mean? who could it be? Doubtless, some poor soul to whom
Uncle Zed had been a ministering angel, had been drawn to the vacant
house, and could not now control her sorrow. Then the sobbing ceased,
and Dorian realized he had best find out who was there and give what
help he could. He opened the door, and a frightened scream rang out from
the surprised Carlia Duke who stood in the faint light from the open
doorway. She stood for a second, then as if terror stricken, she fled.

"Carlia," shouted Dorian. "Carlia!"

But the girl neither stopped nor looked back. Across the pathless,
snow-covered fields she sped, and soon became only a dark-moving object
on the white surface. When she had entirely disappeared, Dorian went
back, gathered up his bundles, locked the door, and went wonderingly and
meditatingly home.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.


It is no doubt a wise provision of nature that the cold of winter closes
the activity in field and garden, thus allowing time for study by the
home fire. Dorian Trent's library, having been greatly enlarged, now
became to him a source of much pleasure and profit. Books which he never
dreamed of possessing were now on his shelves. In some people's opinion,
he was too well satisfied to remain in his cosy room and bury himself in
his books; but his mother found no fault. She was always welcome to come
and go; and in fact, much of the time he sat with her by the kitchen
fire, reading aloud and discussing with her the contents of his book.

Dorian found, as Uncle Zed had, wonderful arguments for the truth of
the gospel in Orson and Parley P. Pratt's works. In looking through
the "Journal of Discourses," he found markings by many of the sermons,
especially by those of Brigham Young. Dorian always read the passages
thus indicated, for he liked to realize that he was following the
former owner of the book even in his thinking. The early volumes of the
"Millennial Star" contained some interesting reading. Very likely, the
doctrinal articles of these first elders were no better than those of
more recent writers, but their plain bluntness and their very age seemed
to give them charm.

By his reading that winter Dorian obtained an enlarged view of his
religion. It gave him vision to see and to comprehend better the whole
and thus to more fully understand the details. Besides, he was laying a
broad and firm foundation for his faith in God and the restored gospel
of Jesus Christ, a faith which would stand him well in need when he came
to delve into a faithless and a Godless science.

Not that Dorian became a hermit. He took an active part in the
Greenstreet ward organizations. He was secretary of the Mutual, always
attended Sunday School, and usually went to the ward dances. As he
became older he overcame some of his shyness with girls; and as
prosperity came to him, he could dress better and have his mass of
rusty-red hair more frequently trimmed by the city barber. More than
one of the discerning Greenstreet girls laid their caps for the big,
handsome young fellow.

And Dorian's thoughts, we must know, were not all the time occupied with
the philosophy of Orson Pratt. He was a very natural young man, and
there were some very charming girls in Greenstreet. When, arrayed in
their Sunday best, they sat in the ward choir, he, not being a member of
the choir, could look at them to his heart's content, first at one and
then at another along the double row. Carlia Duke usually sat on the
front row where he could see her clearly and compare her with the
others--and she did not suffer by the comparison.

Dorian now begin to realize that it was selfish, if not foolish, to
think always of the dead Mildred to the exclusion of the very much alive
Carlia. Mildred was safe in the world of spirits, where he would some
day meet her again; but until that time, he had this life to live and
those about him to think of. Carlia was a dear girl, beautiful, too, now
in her maturing womanhood. None of the other girls touched his heart as
Carlia. He had taken a number of them to dances, but he had always come
back, in his thought, at least, to Carlia. But her actions lately had
been much of a puzzle. Sometimes she seemed to welcome him eagerly when
he called, at other times she tried to evade him. No doubt this Mr. Jack
Lamont was the disturbing element. That winter he could be seen coming
quite openly to the Duke home, and when the weather would permit, Carlia
would be riding with him in his automobile. The neighbors talked, but
the father could only shake his head and explain that Carlia was a
willful girl.

Now when it seemed that Carlia was to be won by this very gallant
stranger, Dorian began to realize what a loss she would be to him. He
was sure he loved the girl, but what did that avail if she did not love
him in return. He held to the opinion that such attractions should be
mutual. He could see no sense in the old-time custom of the knight
winning his lady love by force of arms or by the fleetness of horse's
legs.

However, Dorian was not easy in his mind, and it came to the point when
he suffered severe heartaches when he knew of Carlia's being with the
stranger. The Christmas holidays that season were nearly spoiled for
him. He had asked Carlia a number of times to go to the parties with
him, but she had offered some excuse each time.

"Let her alone," someone had told him.

"No; do not let her alone," his mother had counseled; and he took his
mother's advice.

Carlia had been absent from the Sunday meetings for a number of weeks,
so when she appeared in her place in the choir on a Sunday late in
January, Dorian noticed the unusual pallor of her face. He wondered if
she had been ill. He resolved to make another effort, for in fact, his
heart went out to her. At the close of the meeting he found his way to
her side as she was walking home with her father and mother. Dorian
never went through the formality of asking Carlia if he might accompany
her home. He had always taken it for granted that he was welcome; and,
at any rate, a man could always tell by the girl's actions whether or
not he was wanted.

"I haven't seen you for a long time," began Dorian by way of greeting.

The girl did not reply.

"Been sick?" he asked.

"Yes--no, I'm all right."

The parents walked on ahead, leaving the two young people to follow.
Evidently, Carlia was very much out of sorts, but the young man tried
again.

"What's the matter, Carlia?"

"Nothing."

"Well, I hope I'm not annoying you by my company."

No answer. They walked on in silence, Carlia looking straight ahead, not
so much at her parents, as at the distant snow-clad mountains. Dorian
felt like turning about and going home, but he could not do that very
well, so he went on to the gate, where he would have said goodnight had
not Mrs. Duke urged him to come in. The father and mother went to bed
early, leaving the two young people by the dining-room fire.

They managed to talk for some time on "wind and weather". Despite the
paleness of cheek, Carlia was looking her best. Dorian was jealous.

"Carlia," he said, "why do you keep company with this Mr. Lamont?"

She was standing near the book-shelf with its meagre collection. She
turned abruptly at his question.

"Why shouldn't I go with him?" she asked.

"You know why you shouldn't."

"I don't. Oh, I know the reasons usually given, but--what am I to do.
He's so nice, and a perfect gentleman. What harm is there?"

"Why do you say that to me, Carlia?"

"Why not to you?" She came and sat opposite him by the table. He was
silent, and she repeated her question, slowly, carefully, and with
emphasis. "Why not to you? Why should you care?"

"But I do care."

"I don't believe it. You have never shown that you do."

"I am showing it now."

"Tomorrow you will forget it--forget me for a month."

"Carlia!"

"You've done it before--many times--you'll do it again."

The girl's eyes flashed. She seemed keyed up to carry through something
she had planned to do, something hard. She arose and stood by the table,
facing him.

"I sometimes have thought that you cared for me--but I'm through with
that now. Nobody really cares for me. I'm only a rough farm hand. I know
how to milk and scrub and churn and clean the stable--an' that's what I
do day in and day out. There's no change, no rest for me, save when he
takes me away from it for a little while. He understands, he's the only
one who does."

"But, Carlia!"

"You," she continued in the same hard voice, "you're altogether too good
and too wise for such as I. You're so high up that I can't touch you.
You live in the clouds, I among the clods. What have we two in common?"

"Much, Carlia--I--"

He arose and came to her, but she evaded him.

"Keep away, Dorian; don't touch me. You had better go home now."

"You're not yourself, Carlia. What is the matter? You have never acted
like this before."

"It's not because I haven't felt like it, but it's because I haven't had
the courage; but now it's come out, and I can't stop it. It's been
pent up in me like a flood--now it's out. I hate this old farm--I hate
everything and everybody--I--hate you!"

Dorian arose quickly as if he had been lifted to his feet. What was she
saying? She was wild, crazy wild.

"What have I done that you should hate me?" he asked as quietly as his
trembling voice would allow.

"Done? nothing. It's what you haven't done. What have you done to
repay--my--Oh, God, I can't stand it--I can't stand it!"

She walked to the wall and turned her face to it. She did not cry. The
room was silently tense for a few moments.

"I guess I'd better go," said Dorian.

She did not reply. He picked up his hat, lingered, then went to the
door. She hated him. Then let him get out from her presence. She hated
him. He had not thought that possible. Well, he would go. He would never
annoy any girl who hated him, not if he knew it. How his heart ached,
how his very soul seemed crushed! yet he could not appeal to her. She
stood with her face to the wall, still as a statue, and as cold.

"Good night," he said at the door.

She said nothing, nor moved. He could see her body quiver, but he could
not see her face. He perceived nothing clearly. The familiar room,
poorly furnished, seemed strange to him. The big, ugly enlarged
photographs on the wall blurred to his vision. Carlia, with head bowed
now, appeared to stand in the midst of utter confusion. Dorian groped
his way to the door, and stepped out into the wintry night. When he had
reached the gate, Carlia rushed to the door.

"Dorian!" she cried in a heart-breaking voice, "O, Dorian, come
back--come back!"

But Dorian opened the gate, closed it, then walked on down the road into
the darkness, nor did he once look back.



CHAPTER FOURTEEN.


Carlia's ringing cry persisted with Dorian all the way home, but he
hardened his heart and went steadily on. His mother had gone to bed, and
he sat for a time by the dying fire, thinking of what he had just passed
through.

After that, Dorian kept away from Carlia. Although the longing to see
her surged strongly through his heart from time to time, and he could
not get away from the thought that she was in some trouble, yet his
pride forbade him to intrude. He busied himself with chores and his
books, and he did not relax in his ward duties. Once in a while he saw
Carlia at the meeting house, but she absented herself more and more from
public gatherings, giving as an excuse to all who inquired, that her
work bound her more closely than ever at home.

Dorian and his mother frequently talked about Uncle Zed and the hopes
the departed one had of the young man. "Do you really think, mother,
that he meant I should devote my life to the harmonizing of science and
religion?" he asked.

"I think Uncle Zed was in earnest. He had great faith in you."

"But what do you think of it, mother?"

After a moment's thought, the mother replied.

"What do you think of it?"

"Well, it would be a task, though a wonderfully great one."

"The aim is high, the kind I would expect of you. Do you know, Dorian,
your father had some such ambition. That's one of the reasons we came
to the country in hopes that some day he would have more time for
studying."

"I never knew that, mother."

"And now, what if your father and Uncle Zed are talking about the matter
up there in the spirit world."

Dorian thought of that for a few moments. Then: "I'll have to go to the
University for four years, but that's only a beginning. Ill have to go
East to Yale or Harvard and get all they have. Then will come a lot of
individual research, and--Oh, mother, I don't know."

"And all the time you'll have to keep near to God and never lose your
faith in the gospel, for what doth it profit if you gain the whole world
of knowledge and lose your own soul." The mother came to him and ran her
fingers lovingly through his hair. "But you're equal to it, my son; I
believe you can do it."

This was a sample of many such discussions, and the conclusion was
reached that Dorian should work harder than ever, if that were possible,
for two or perhaps three years, by which time the farms could be rented
and the income derived from them be enough to provide for the mother's
simple needs and the son's expenses while at school.

Spring came early that year, and Dorian was glad of it, for he was eager
to be out in the growing world and turn that growth to productiveness.
When the warm weather came for good, books were laid aside, though not
forgotten. From daylight until dark, he was busy. The home farm was well
planted, the dry-farm wheat was growing beautifully. Between the two,
prospects were bright for the furthering of their plans.

"Mother, when and where in this great plan of ours, am I to get
married?"

Dorian and his mother were enjoying the dusk and the cool of the evening
within odorous reach of Mrs. Trent's flowers, many of which had come
from Uncle Zed's garden. They had been talking over some details of
their "plan." Mrs. Trent laughed at the abruptness of the question.

"Oh, do you want to get married?" she asked, wondering what there might
be to this query.

"Well--sometimes, of course, I'll have to have a wife, won't I?"

"Certainly, in good time; but you're in no hurry, are you?"

"Oh, no; I'm just talking on general principles. There's no one who
would have me now."

The mother did not dispute this. She knew somewhat of his feelings
toward Carlia. These lovers' misunderstandings were not serious, she
thought to herself. All would end properly and well, in good time.

But Carlia was in Dorian's thought very often, much to his bewilderment
of heart and mind. He often debated with himself if he should not
definitely give her up, cease thinking about her as being anything
to him either now or hereafter; but it seemed impossible to do that.
Carlia's image persisted even as Mildred's did. Mildred, away from the
entanglements of the world, was safe to him; but Carlia had her life to
live and the trials and difficulties of mortality to encounter and to
overcome; and that would not be easy, with her beauty and her impulsive
nature. She needed a man's clear head and steady hand to help her, and
who was more fitting to do that than he himself, Dorian thought without
conscious egotism.

If it were possible, Dorian always spent Sunday at home. If he was on
his dry farm in the hills, he drove down on Saturday evenings. One
Saturday in midsummer, he arrived home late and tired. He put up his
team, came in, washed, and was ready for the good supper which his
mother always had for him. The mother busied herself about the kitchen
and the table.

"Come and sit down, mother," urged Dorian.

"What's the fussing about! Everything I need is here on the table.
You're tired, I see. Come, sit down with me and tell me all the news."

"The news? what news!"

"Why, everything that's happened in Green street for the past week. I
haven't had a visitor up on the farm for ten days."

"Everything is growing splendidly down here. The water in the canal is
holding out fine and Brother Larsen is fast learning to be a farmer."

"Good," said Dorian. "Our dry wheat is in most places two feet high,
and it will go from forty to fifty bushels, with good luck. If now, the
price of wheat doesn't sag too much."

Dorian finished his supper, and was about to go to bed, being in need of
a good rest. His mother told him not to get up in the morning until she
called him.

"All right, mother," he laughed as he kissed her good night, "but don't
let me be late to Sunday School, as I have a topic to treat in the
Theological class. By heck, they really think I'm Uncle Zed's successor,
by the subjects they give me."

He was about to go to his room when his mother called him by name.

"Yes, mother, what is it?"

"You'll know tomorrow, so I might as well tell you now."

"Tell me what?"

"Some bad news."

"Bad news! What is it?"

The mother seemed lothe to go on. She hesitated.

"Well, mother?"

"Carlia is gone."

"Gone? Gone where?"

"Nobody knows. She's been missing for a week. She left home last
Saturday to spend a few days with a friend in the city, so she said.
Yesterday her father called at the place to bring her home and learned
that she had never been there."

"My gracious, mother!"

"Yes; it's terrible. Her father has inquired for her and looked for her
everywhere he could think of, but not a trace of her can he find. She's
gone."

Mother and son sat in silence for some time. He continued to ask
questions, but she know no more than the simple facts which she had
told. He could do nothing to help, at least, not then, so he reluctantly
went to bed. He did not sleep until past midnight.



CHAPTER FIFTEEN


Dorian was not tardy to Sunday School, and, considering his mental
condition, he gave a good account of himself in the class. He heard
whispered comment on Carlia's disappearance.

After Sunday school Dorian went directly to Carlia's home. He found the
mother tear-stained and haggard with care. The tears flowed again freely
at the sight of Dorian, and she clung to him as if she had no other
means of comfort.

"Do you know where Carlia is?" she wailed.

"No, Sister Duke, I haven't the last idea. I haven't seen her for some
time."

"But what shall we do, Dorian, what shall we do! She may be dead, lying
dead somewhere!"

"I hardly think that," he tried to comfort her. "She'll turn up again.
Carlia's well able to take care of herself."

The father came in. He told what had been done to try to find the
missing girl. Not a word had they heard, not a clue or a trace had been
discovered. The father tried hard to control his emotions as he talked,
but he could not keep the tears from slowly creeping down his face.

"And I suppose I'm greatly to blame" he said. "I have been told as much
by some, who I suppose, are wiser than I am. The poor girl has been
confined too much to the work here."

"Work doesn't hurt anybody," commented Dorian.

"No; but all work and no play, I was plainly reminded just the
other day, doesn't always make Jack a dull boy: sometimes, it makes
dissatisfaction and rebellion--and it seems it has done that here.
Carlia, I'll admit had very little company, saw very little of society.
I realize that now when it may be too late."

"Oh, I hope not," said Dorian.

"Carlia, naturally, was full of life. She wanted to go and see and
learn. All these desires in her were suppressed so long that this is the
way it has broken loose. Yes, I suppose that's true."

Dorian let the father give vent to his feelings in his talk. He could
reply very little, for truth to say, he realized that the father was
stating Carlia's case quite accurately. He recalled the girl when he and
she had walked back and forth to and from the high school how she had
rapidly developed her sunny nature in the warm, somewhat care-free
environment of the school life, and how lately with the continual
drudgery of her work, she had changed to a pessimism unnatural to one
of her years. Yes, one continual round of work at the farm house is apt
either to crush to dullness or to arouse to rebellion. Carlia was of the
kind not easily crushed.... But what could they now do? What could
he do? For, it came to him with great force that he himself was not
altogether free from blame in this matter. He could have done more,
vastly more for Carlia Duke.

"Well, Brother Duke," said Dorian. "Is there anything that I can do?"

"I don't think of anything," said he.

"Not now," added the mother in a tone which indicated that she did not
wish the implied occasion to be too severe.

The father followed Dorian out in the yard. There Dorian asked:

"Brother Duke, has this Mr. Lamont been about lately?"

"He was here yesterday. He came, he said, as soon as he heard of
Carlia's disappearance. He seemed very much concerned about it."

"And he knew nothing about it until yesterday?"

"He said not--do you suspect--he--might--?"

"I'm not accusing anybody, but I never was favorably impressed with the
man."

"He seemed so truly sorry, that I never thought he might have had
something to do with it."

"Well, I'm not so sure; but I'll go and see him myself. I suppose I can
find him in his office in the city?"

"I think so--Well, do what you can for us, my boy; and Dorian, don't
take to heart too much what her mother implied just now."

"Not any more than I ought," replied Dorian. "If there is any blame to
be placed on me--and I think there is--I want to bear it, and do what
I can to correct my mistakes. I think a lot of Carlia, I like her more
than any other girl I know, and I should have shown that to her both by
word and deed more than I have done. I'm going to help you find her, and
when I find her I'll not let her go so easily."

"Thank you. I'm glad to hear you say that."

Monday morning Dorian went to the city and readily found the man whom he
was seeking. He was in his office.

"Good morning. Glad to see you," greeted Mr. Lamont, as he swung around
on his chair. "Take a seat. What can I do for you?"

As the question was asked abruptly, the answer came in like manner.

"I want to know what you know about Carlia Duke."

Mr. Lamont reddened, but he soon regained his self-possession.

"What do you mean!" he asked.

"You have heard of her disappearance?"

"Yes; I was very sorry to hear of it."

"It seems her father has exhausted every known means of finding her, and
I thought you might, at least, give him a clew."

"I should be most happy to do so, if I could; but I assure you I haven't
the least idea where she has gone. I am indeed sorry, as I expressed to
her father the other day."

"You were with her a good deal."

"Well, not a good deal, Mr. Trent--just a little," he smilingly
corrected. "I will admit I'd liked to have seen more of her, but I soon
learned that I had not the ghost of a chance with you in the field."

"You are making fun, Mr. Lamont."

"Not at all, my good fellow. You are the lucky dog when it comes to Miss
Duke. A fine girl she is, a mighty fine girl--a diamond, just a little
in the rough. As I'm apparently out of the race, go to it, Mr. Trent and
win her. Good luck to you. I don't think you'll have much trouble."

Dorian was somewhat nonplused by this fulsome outburst. He could not for
a moment find anything to say. The two men looked at each other for a
moment as if each were measuring the other. Then Mr. Lamont said:

"If at any time I can help you, let me know--call on me. Now you'll have
to excuse me as I have some business matters to attend to."

Dorian was dismissed.

The disappearance of Carlia Duke continued to be a profound mystery. The
weeks went by, and then the months. The gossips found other and newer
themes. Those directly affected began to think that all hopes of finding
her were gone.

Dorian, however, did not give up. In the strenuous labors of closing
summer and fall he had difficulty in keeping his mind on his work. His
imagination ranged far and wide, and when it went into the evil places
of the world, he suffered so that he had to throw off the suggestion by
force. He talked freely with his mother and with Carlia's parents on all
possible phases of the matter, until, seemingly, there was nothing more
to be said. To others, he said nothing.

Ever since Dorian had been taught to lisp his simple prayers at his
mother's knee, he had found strength and comfort in going to the Lord.
With the growth of his knowledge of the gospel and his enlarged vision
of God's providences, his prayers became a source of power. Uncle
Zed had taught him that this trustful reliance on a higher power was
essential to his progress. The higher must come to the help of the
lower, but the lower must seek for that help and sincerely accept it
when offered. As a child, his prayers had been very largely a set form,
but as he had come in contact with life and its experiences, he had
learned to suit his prayers to his needs. Just now, Carlia and her
welfare was the burden of his petitions.

The University course must wait another year, so Dorian and his mother
decided. They could plainly see that one more year would be needed,
besides Dorian was not in a condition to concentrate his mind on study.
So, when the long evenings came on again, he found solace in his
books, and read again many of dear Uncle Zed's writings which had been
addressed so purposely to him.

One evening in early December Dorian and his mother were cosily "at
home" to any good visitors either of persons or ideas. Dorian was
looking over some of his papers.

"Mother, listen to this," he said. "Here is a gem from Uncle Zed which I
have not seen before." He read:

"'The acquisition of wealth brings with it the obligation of helping
the poor; the acquisition of knowledge brings with it the obligation of
teaching others; the acquisition of strength and power brings with it
the obligation of helping the weak. This is what God does when He says
that His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and
eternal life of man'."

"How true that is," said the mother.

"Yes," added Dorian after a thoughtful pause, "I am just wondering how
and to what extent I am fulfilling any obligation which is resting on me
by reason of blessings I am enjoying. Let's see--we are not rich, but we
meet every call made on us by way of tithing and donations; we are not
very wise, but we impart of what we have by service; we are not very
strong--I fear, mother, that's where I lack. Am I giving of my strength
as fully as I can to help the weak. I don't know--I don't know."

"You mean Carlia?"

"Yes; what am I doing besides thinking and praying for her?"

"What more can we do?"

"Well, I can try doing something more."

"What, for instance!"

"Trying to find her."

"But her father has done that."

"Yes; but he has given up too soon. I should continue the search. I've
been thinking about that lately. I can't stay cosily and safely at home
any longer, mother, when Carlia may be in want of protection."

"And what would you be liable to find if you found her?"

That question was not new to his own mind, although his mother had not
asked it before. Perhaps, in this case, ignorance was more bliss than
knowledge. Whatever had happened to her, would it not be best to have
the pure image of her abide with him? But he know when he thought of it
further that such a conclusion was not worthy of a strong man. He should
not be afraid even of suffering if it came in the performance of duty.

That very night Dorian had a strange dream, one unusual to him because
he remembered it so distinctly the day after. He dreamed that he saw
Mildred in what might well be called the heavenly land. She seemed busy
in sketching a beautiful landscape and as he approached her, she looked
up to him and smiled. Then, as she still gazed at him, her countenance
changed and with concern in her voice, she asked, "Where's Carlia?"

The scene vanished, and that was all of the dream. In the dim
consciousness of waking he seemed to hear Carlia's voice calling to him
as it did that winter night when he had left her, not heeding. The call
thrilled his very heart again:

"Dorian, Dorian, come back--come back!"



CHAPTER SIXTEEN.


The second week in December Dorian went into action in search of Carlia
Duke. He acknowledged to himself that it was like searching for the
proverbial needle in the haystack, but inaction was no longer possible.

Carlia very likely had no large amount of money with her, so she would
have to seek employment. She could have hidden herself in the city, but
Dorian reasoned that she would be fearful of being found, so would have
gone to some nearby town; but which one, he had no way of knowing.
He visited a number of adjacent towns and made diligent enquiries at
hotels, stores, and some private houses. Nothing came of this first
week's search.

A number of mining towns could easily be reached by train from the city.
In these towns many people came and went without notice or comment.
Dorian spent nearly a week in one of them, but he found no clue. He went
to another. The girl would necessarily have to go to a hotel at first,
so the searcher examined a number of hotel registers. She had been gone
now about six months, so the search had to be in some books long since
discarded, much to the annoyance of the clerks.

Dorian left the second town for the third which was situated well up in
the mountains. The weather was cold, and the snow lay two feet deep over
the hills and valleys. He became disheartened at times, but always he
reasoned that he must try a little longer; and then one day in a hotel
register dated nearly five months back, he found this entry:

"Carlia Davis."

Dorian's heart gave a bound when he saw the name. Carlia was not a
common name, and the handwriting was familiar. But why Davis? He
examined the signature closely. The girl, unexperienced in the art of
subterfuge, had started to write her name, and had gotten to the D in
Duke, when the thought of disguise had come to her. Yes; there was an
unusual break between that first letter and the rest of the name. Carlia
had been here. He was on the right track, thank the Lord!

Dorian enquired of the hotel clerk if he remembered the lady. Did he
know anything about her? No; that was so long ago. His people came and
went. That was all. But Carlia had been here. That much was certain.
Here was at least a fixed point in the sea of nothingness from which he
could work. His wearied and confused mind could at least come back to
that name in the hotel register.

He began a systematic search of the town. First he visited the small
business section, but without results. Then he took up the residential
district, systematically, so that he would not miss any. One afternoon
he knocked on the door of what appeared to be one of the best
residences. After a short wait, the door was opened by a girl, highly
painted but lightly clad, who smiled at the handsome young fellow and
bade him come in. He stepped into the hall and was shown into what
seemed to be a parlor, though the parlors he had known had not smelled
so of stale tobacco smoke. He made his usual inquiry. No; no such girl
was here, she was sorry, but--the words which came from the carmine lips
of the girl so startled Dorian that he stood, hat in hand, staring at
her, and shocked beyond expression. He know, of course, that evil houses
existed especially in mining towns, inhabited by corrupt women, but this
was the first time he had ever been in such a place. When he realized
where he was, a real terror seized him, and with unceremonious haste he
got out and away, the girl's laughter of derision ringing in his ears.

Dorian was unnerved. He went back to his room, his thoughts in a whirl,
his apprehensions sinking to gloomy depths. What if Carlia should be in
such a place? A cold sweat of suffering broke over him before he could
drive away the thought. But at last he did get rid of it. His mind
cleared again, and he set out determined to continued the search.
However, he went no more into the houses by the invitation of inmates of
doubtful character, but made his inquiries at the open door.

Then it occurred to Dorian that Carlia, being a country bred girl
and accustomed to work about farm houses, might apply to some of the
adjacent farms down in the valley below the town for work. The whole
country lay under deep snow, but the roads were well broken. Dorian
walked out to a number of the farms and made enquiries. At the third
house he was met by a pleasant faced, elderly woman who listened
attentively to what he said, and then invited him in. When they were
both seated, she asked him his name. Dorian told her.

"And why are you interested in this girl?" she continued.

"Has she been here?" he asked eagerly.

"Never mind. You answer my question."

Dorian explained as much as he thought proper, but the woman still
appeared suspicious.

"Are you her brother?"

"No."

"Her young man?"

"Not exactly; only a dear friend."

"Well, you look all right, but looks are deceivin'." The woman tried to
be very severe with him, but somehow she did not succeed very well. She
looked quite motherly as she sat with her folded hands in her ample lap
and a shrewd look in her face. Dorian gained courage to say:

"I believe you know something about the girl I am seeking. Tell me."

"You haven't told me the name of the girl you are looking for."

"Her name is Carlia Duke."

"That isn't what she called herself."

"Oh, then you do know."

"This girl was Carlia Davis."

"Yes--is she here!"

"No."

"Do you know where she is?"

"No, I don't."

Dorian's hopes fell. "But tell me what you know about her--you know
something."

"It was the latter part of August when she came to us. She had walked
from town, an' she said she was wanting a place to work. As she was used
to farm life, she preferred to work at a country home, she said."

"Was she a dark-haired, rosy-cheeked girl?"

"Her hair was dark, but there was no roses in her cheeks. There might
have been once. I was glad to say yes to her for I needed help bad. Of
course, it was strange, this girl comin' from the city a' wanting to
work in the country. It's usually the other way."

"Yes; I suppose so."

"So I was a little suspicious."

"Of what?"

"That she hadn't come to work at all; though I'll say that she did her
best. I tried to prevent her, but she worked right up to the last."

"To the last? I don't understand?"

"Don't you know that she was to be sick? That she came here to be sick?"

"To be sick?" Dorian was genuinely at loss to understand.

"At first I called her a cheat, and threatened to send her away; but the
poor child pleaded so to stay that I hadn't the heart to turn her out.
She had no where to go, she was a long way from home, an' so I let her
stay, an' we did the best for her."

Dorian, in the simplicity of his mind, did not yet realize what the
woman was talking about. He let her continue.

"We had one of the best doctors in the city 'tend her, an' I did the
nursing myself which I consider was as good as any of the new-fangled
trained nurses can do; but the poor girl had been under a strain so long
that the baby died soon after it was born."

"The baby?" gasped Dorian.

"Yes," went on the woman, all unconsciously that the listener had not
fully understood. "Yes, it didn't live long, which, I suppose, in such
cases, is a blessing."

Dorian stared at the woman, then in a dazed way, he looked about the
plain farm-house furnishings, some details of which strangely impressed
him. The woman went on talking, which seemed easy for her, now she had
fairly started; but Dorian did not hear all she said. One big fact was
forcing itself into his brain, to the exclusion of all minor realities.

"She left a month ago," Dorian heard the woman say when again he was in
a condition to listen. "We did our best to get her to stay, for we had
become fond of her. Somehow, she got the notion that the scoundrel who
had betrayed her had found her hiding place, an' she was afraid. So she
left."

"Where did she go? Did she tell you?"

"No; she wouldn't say. The fact is, she didn't know herself. I'm sure
of that. She just seemed anxious to hide herself again. Poor girl." The
woman wiped a tear away with the corner of her apron.

Dorian arose, thanked her, and went out. He looked about the
snow-covered earth and the clouds which threatened storm. He walked on
up to the road back to the town. He was benumbed, but not with cold. He
went into his room, and, although it was mid-afternoon, he did not go
out any more that day. He sat supinely on his bed. He paced the floor.
He looked without seeing out of the window at the passing crowds. He
could not think at all clearly. His whole being was in an uproar of
confusion. The hours passed. Night came on with its blaze of lights in
the streets. What could he do now? What should he do now?

"Oh, God, help me," he prayed, "help me to order my thoughts, tell me
what to do."

If ever in his life Dorian had need of help from higher power, it was
now.



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.


Dorian had not found Carlia Duke; instead, he had found something which
appeared to him to be the end of all things. Had he found her dead, in
her virginal purity, he could have placed her, with Mildred, safely away
in his heart and his hopes; but this!... What more could he now do? That
he did not take the first train home was because he was benumbed into
inactivity.

The young man had never before experienced such suffering of spirit. The
leaden weight on his heart seemed to be crushing, not only his physical
being, but his spirit also into the depths of despair. As far back in
his boyhood as he could remember, he had been taught the enormity of
sexual sin, until it had become second nature for him to think of it as
something very improbable, if not impossible, as pertaining to himself.
And yet, here it was, right at the very door of his heart, casting its
evil shadow into the most sacred precincts of his being. He had never
imagined it coming to any of his near and dear ones, especially not
to Carlia--Carlia, his neighbor, his chummy companion in fields and
highways, his schoolmate. He pictured her in many of her wild adventures
as a child, and in her softer moods as a grown-up girl. He saw again her
dark eyes flash with anger, and then her pearly teeth gleam in laughter
at him. He remembered how she used to run from him, and then at other
times how she would cling to him as if she pleaded for a protection
which he had not given. The weak had reached out to the strong, and the
stronger one had failed. If 'remorse of conscience' is hell, Dorian
tasted of its bitter depths, for it came to him now that perhaps because
of his neglect, Carlia had been led to her fall.

But what could he now do? Find her. And then, what? Marry her? He
refused to consider that for a moment. He drove the thought fiercely
away. That would be impossible now. The horror of what had been would
always stand as a repellent specter between them.... Yes, he had loved
her--he knew that now more assuredly than ever; and he tried to place
that love away from him by a play upon words in the past tense; but deep
down in his heart he knew that he was merely trying to deceive himself.
He loved her still; and the fact that he loved her but could not marry
her added fuel to the flames of his torment.

That long night was mostly a hideous nightmare and even after he awoke
from a fitful sleep next morning, he was in a stupor. After a while,
he went out into the wintry air. It was Sunday, and the town was
comparatively quiet. He found something to eat at a lunch counter, then
he walked about briskly to try to get his blood into active circulation.
Again he went to his room.

Presently, he heard the ringing of church bells. The folks would be
going to Sunday school in Greenstreet. He saw in the vision of his mind
Uncle Zed sitting with the boys about him in his class. He saw the
teacher's lifted hand emphasize the warning against sin, and then he
seemed to hear a voice read:

"For the Son of man is come to save that which is lost.

"How think ye if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone
astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the
mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

"And if so be that he find it, verily, I say unto you, he rejoiceth more
of that sheep than of the ninety and nine which went not astray."

Dorian seemed to awaken with a start. Donning coat and hat, he went out
again, his steps being led down the country road toward the farmhouse.
He wanted to visit again the house where Carlia had been. Her presence
there and her suffering had hallowed it.

"Oh, how do you do?" greeted the woman, when she saw Dorian at the door.
"Come in."

Dorian entered, this time into the parlor which was warm, and where a
man sat comfortably with his Sunday paper.

"Father," said the woman, "this is the young man who was here
yesterday."

The man shook hands with Dorian and bade him draw up his chair to the
stove.

"I hope you'll excuse me for coming again," said Dorian; "but the fact
of the matter is I seemed unable to keep away. I left yesterday without
properly thanking you for what you did for my friend, Miss Carlia. I
also want to pay you a little for the expense you were put to. I haven't
much money with me, but I will send it to you after I get home, if you
will give me your name and address."

The farmer and his wife exchanged glances.

"Why, as to that," replied the man, "nothing is owing us. We liked the
girl. We think she was a good girl and had been sinned against."

"I'm sure you are right," said Dorian. "As I said, I went away rather
abruptly yesterday. I was so completely unprepared for that which I
learned about her. But I'm going to find her if I can, and take her home
to her parents."

"Where do you live!" asked the man.

Dorian told him.

"Are you a 'Mormon'?"

"Yes, sir."

"And not ashamed of it!"

"No; proud of it--grateful, rather."

"Well, young man, you look like a clean, honest chap. Tell me why you
are proud to be a 'Mormon'."

Dorian did his best. He had had very little experience in presenting the
principles of the gospel to an unbeliever, but Uncle Zed's teachings,
together with his own studies, now stood him well in hand.

"Well," commented the farmer, "that's fine. You can't be a very bad man
if you believe in and practice all what you have been telling us."

"I hope I am not a bad man. I have some light on the truth, and woe is
me if I sin against that light."

The farmer turned to his wife. "Mother," he said, "I think you may
safely tell him."

Dorian looked enquiringly at the woman.

"It's this," she said. "My husband brought home a postcard from the
office last evening after you had left--a card from Miss Davis, asking
us to send her an article of dress which she had forgotten. Here is the
card. The address may help you to find her. I am sure you mean no harm
to the girl."

Dorian made note of the address, as also that of the farmer's with whom
he was visiting. Then he arose to go.

"Now, don't be in such a hurry," admonished the man. "We'll have dinner
presently."

Dorian was glad to remain, as he felt quite at home with these people,
Mr. and Mrs. Whitman. They had been good to Carlia. Perhaps he could
learn a little more about her. The dinner was enjoyed very much.
Afterward, Mrs. Whitman, encouraged by Dorian's attentiveness, poured
into his willing ear all she had learned of the girl he was seeking; and
before the woman ceased her freely-flowing talk, a most important item
had been added to his knowledge of the case. Carlia, it seems, had gone
literally helpless to her downfall. "Drugged" was the word Mrs. Whitman
used. The villainy of the foul deed moved the young man's spirit to a
fierce anger against the wretch who had planned it, and the same time
his pity increased for the unfortunate victim. As Dorian sat there and
listened to the story which the woman had with difficulty obtained from
the girl, he again suffered the remorse of conscience which comes from a
realization of neglected duty and disregarded opportunity. It was late
in the afternoon before he got back to the town.

The next day Dorian made inquiries as to how he could reach the place
indicated by the address, and he learned that it was a ranch house well
up in the mountains. There was a daily mail in that direction, except
when the roads and the weather hindered; and it seemed that these would
now be hinderances. The threatened storm came, and with it high wind
which piled the snow into deep, hard drifts, making the mountain road
nearly impassible. Dorian found the mail-carrier who told him that it
would be impossible to make a start until the storm had ceased. All day
the snow fell, and all day Dorian fretted impatiently, and was tempted
to once more go out to Mr. and Mrs. Whitman; but he did not. Christmas
was only three days off. He could reach home and spend the day with his
mother, but there would be considerable expense, and he felt as if he
must be on the ground so that at the soonest possible moment he could
continue on the trail which he had found. The pleasure of the home
Christmas must this time be sacrificed, for was not he in very deed
going into the mountains to seek that which was lost.

The storm ceased toward evening, but the postman would not make a start
until next morning. Dorian joined him then, and mounted beside him. The
sky was not clear, the clouds only breaking and drifting about as if in
doubt whether to go or to stay. The road was heavy, and it was all the
two horses could do to draw the light wagon with its small load. Dorian
wondered how Carlia had ever come that way. Of course, it had been
before the heavy snow, when traveling was not so bad.

"Who lives at this place?" asked Dorian of the driver, giving the box
number Carlia had sent.

"That? Oh, that's John Hickson's place."

"A rancher?"

"No; not exactly. He's out here mostly for his health."

"Does he live here in the mountains the year around?"

"Usually he moves into town for the winter. Last year the winter was so
mild that he decided to try to stick one through; but surely, he's got a
dose this time. Pretty bad for a sick man, I reckon."

"Anybody with him?"

"Wife and three children--three of the cutest kiddies you ever saw. Oh,
he's comfortable enough, for he's got a fine house. You know, it's great
out here among the pine hills in the summer; but just now, excuse me."

"Is it far?"

"No." The driver looked with concern at the storm which was coming again
down the mountain like a great white wave. "I think perhaps we'll have
to stop at the Hickson's tonight," he said.

The travelers were soon enwrapped in a swirling mantle of snow. Slowly
and carefully the dug-ways had to be traversed. The sky was dense and
black. The storm became a blizzard, and the cold became intense. The men
wrapped themselves in additional blankets. The horses went patiently on,
the driver peering anxiously ahead; but it must have been well after
noon before the outlines of a large building near at hand bulked out of
the leaden sky.

"I'm glad we're here," exclaimed the driver.

"Where?" asked Dorian.

"At Hickson's."

They drove into the yard and under a shed where the horses were
unhitched and taken into a stable. A light as if from a wood fire in a
grate danced upon the white curtain of the unshaded windows. With his
mail-bag, the driver shuffled his way through the snow to the kitchen
door and knocked. The door opened immediately and Mrs. Hickson,
recognizing the mail-driver, bade him come in. Two children peered
curiously from the doorway of another room. Dorian a little nervously
awaited the possibility of Carlia's appearing.

It was pleasant to get shelter and a warm welcome in such weather. After
the travelers had warmed themselves by the kitchen stove, they were
invited into another room to meet Mr. Hickson, who was reclining in a
big arm chair before the grate. He welcomed them without rising, but
pointed them to chairs by the fire. They talked of the weather, of
course. Mr. Hickson reasoned that it was foolish to complain about
something which they could not possible control. Dorian was introduced
as a traveler, no explanation being asked or given as to his business.
He was welcome. In fact, it was a pleasure, said the host, to have
company even for an evening, as very few people ever stopped over night,
especially in the winter. Dorian soon discovered that this man was not
a rough mountaineer, but a man of culture, trying to prolong his
earth-life by the aid of mountain air, laden with the aroma of the
pines. The wife went freely in and out of the room, the children also;
but somewhat to Dorian's surprise, no Carlia appeared. If she were there
in the house, she surely would be helping with the meal which seemed to
be in the way of preparation.

The storm continued all afternoon. There could be no thought of moving
on that day. And indeed, it was pleasant sitting thus by the blazing log
in the fireplace and listening, for the most part, to the intelligent
talk of the host. The evening meal was served early, and the two guests
ate with the family in the dining room. Still no Carlia.

When the driver went out to feed his horses and to smoke his pipe, and
Mr. Hickson had retired, the children, having overcome some of their
timidity, turned their attention to Dorian. The girl, the oldest, with
dark hair and rosy cheeks, reminded him of another girl just then in his
thoughts. The two small boys were chubby and light haired, after the
mother. When Dorian managed to get the children close to him, they
reminded him that Christmas was only one day distant. Did he live near
by? Was he going home for Christmas? What was Santa Claus going to bring
him?

Dorian warmed to their sociability and their clatter. He learned from
them that their Christmas this year would likely be somewhat of a
failure. Daddy was sick. There was no Christmas tree, and they doubted
Santa Claus' ability to find his way up in the mountains in the storm.
This was the first winter they had been here. Always they had been in
town during the holidays, where it was easy for Santa to reach them; but
now--the little girl plainly choked back the tears of disappointment.

"Why, if it's a Christmas tree you want," said Dorian, "that ought to be
easy. There are plenty up on the nearby hills."

"Yes; but neither papa nor mama nor we can get them."

"But I can."

"Oh, will you? Tomorrow?"

"Yes; tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We'll have to have it then."

The children were dancing with glee as the mother came in and learned
what had been going on. "You mustn't bother the gentleman," she
admonished, but Dorian pleaded for the pleasure of doing something for
them. The mother explained that because of unforeseen difficulties the
children were doomed to disappointment this holiday season, and they
would have to be satisfied with what scanty preparation could be made.

"I think I can help," suggested the young man, patting the littlest
confiding fellow on the head. "We cannot go on until tomorrow, I
understand, and I should very much like to be useful."

The big pleading eyes of the children won the day. They moved into the
kitchen. All the corners were ransacked for colored paper and cloth, and
with scissors and flour paste, many fantastic decorations were made to
hang on the tree. Corn was popped and strung into long white chains. But
what was to be done for candles? Could Dorian make candles? He could do
most everything, couldn't he? He would try. Had they some parafine, used
to seal preserve jars. Oh, yes, large pieces were found. And this with
some string was soon made into some very possible candles. The children
were intensely interested, and even the mail-driver wondered at the
young man's cleverness. They had never seen anything like this before.
The tree and its trimmings had always been bought ready for their use.
Now they learned, which their parents should have known long ago, that
there is greater joy in the making of a plaything than in the possession
of it.

The question of candy seemed to bother them all. Their last hopes went
when there was not a box of candy in the postman's bag. What should they
do for candy and nuts and oranges and--

"Can you make candy?" asked the girl of Dorian as if she was aware she
was asking the miraculous.

"Now children," warned the happy mother. "You have your hands full" she
said to Dorian. "There's no limit to their demands."

Dorian assured her that the greater pleasure was his.

"Tomorrow," he told the clammering children, "we'll see what we can do
about the candy."

"Chocolates?" asked one.

"Caramels," chose another.

"Fudge," suggested the third.

"All these?" laughed Dorian. "Well, we'll see-tomorrow," and with that
the children went to bed tremulously happy.

The next morning the sun arose on a most beautiful scene. The snow lay
deep on mountain and in valley. It ridged the fences and trees. Paths
and roads were obliterated.

The children were awake early. As Dorian dressed, he heard them
scampering down the stairs. Evidently, they were ready for him. He
looked out of the window. He would have to make good about that tree.

As yet, Dorian had found no traces of the object of his search. He had
not asked direct questions about her, but he would have to before he
left. There seemed some mystery always just before him. The mail-driver
would not be ready to go before noon, so Dorian would have time to get
the tree and help the children decorate it. Then he would have to find
out all there was to know about Carlia. Surely, she was somewhere in the
locality.

After breakfast, Dorian found the axe in the wood-shed, and began to
make his way through the deep snow up the hill toward a small grove of
pine. Behind the shoulder of a hill, he discovered another house, not so
large as Mr. Hickson's, but neat and comfortably looking. The blue
smoke of a wood fire was rising from the chimney. A girl was vigorously
shoveling a path from the house to the wood-pile. She was dressed in big
boots, a sweater, and a red hood. She did not see Dorian until he came
near the small clearing by the house. Straightening from her work,
she stood for a moment looking intently at him. Then with a low, yet
startled cry, she let the shovel fall, and sped swiftly back along the
newly-made path and into the house.

It was Carlia.



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.


Dorian stood knee-deep in the snow and watched the girl run back into
the house. In his surprise, he forgot his immediate errand. He had found
Carlia, found her well and strong; but why had she run from him with a
cry of alarm? She surely had recognized him; she would not have acted
thus toward a stranger. Apparently, she was not glad to see him. He
stood looking at the closed door, and a feeling of resentment came
to him. Here he had been searching for her all this time, only to be
treated as if he were an unwelcome intruder. Well, he would not force
himself on her. If she did not want to see him, why annoy her? He could
go back, tell her father where she was, and let him come for her. He
stood, hesitating.

The door opened again and a woman looked out inquiringly at the young
man standing in the snow with an axe on his shoulder. Dorian would have
to offer a word of explanation to the woman, at least, so he stepped
into the path toward the house.

"Good morning," he said, lifting his hat. "I'm out to get a Christmas
tree for the children over there, and it seems I have startled the young
lady who just ran in."

"Yes," said the woman.

"I'm sorry to have frightened her, but I'm glad to have found her. You
see, I've been searching for her."

The woman stood in the doorway, saying nothing, but looking with some
suspicion at the young man.

"I should like to see her again," continued Dorian. "Tell her it's
Dorian Trent."

"I'll tell her," said the woman as she withdrew and closed the door.

The wait seemed long, but it was only a few minutes when the door opened
and Dorian was invited to come in. They passed through the kitchen into
the living room where a fire was burning in a grate. Dorian was given a
chair. He could not fail to see that he was closely observed. The woman
went into another room, but soon returned.

"She'll be in shortly," she announced.

"Thank you."

The woman retired to the kitchen, and presently Carlia came in. She had
taken off her wraps and now appeared in a neat house dress. As she stood
hesitatingly by the door. Dorian came with outstretched hands to greet
her; but she was not eager to meet him, so he went back to his chair.
Both were silent. He saw it was the same Carlia, with something added,
something which must have taken much experience if not much time to
bring to her. The old-time roses, somewhat modified, were in her cheeks,
the old-time red tinted the full lips; but she was more mature, less of
a girl and more of a woman; and to Dorian she was more beautiful than
ever.

"Carlia," he again ventured, "I'm glad to see you; but you don't seem
very pleased with your neighbor. Why did you run from me out there?"

"You startled me."

"Yes; I suppose I did. It was rather strange, this coming so suddenly on
to you. I've been looking for you quite a while."

"I don't understand why you have been looking for me."

"You know why, Carlia."

"I don't."

"You're just talking to be talking--but here, this sounds like
quarreling, and we don't want to do that so soon, do we?"

"No, I guess not."

"Won't you sit down."

The girl reached for a chair, then seated herself.

"The folks are anxious about you. When can you go home?"

"I'm not going home."

"Not going home? Why not? Who are these people, and what are you doing
here?"

"These are good people, and they treat me fine. I'm going to
stay--here."

"But I don't see why. Of course, it's none of my business; but for the
sake of your father and mother, you ought to go home."

"How--how are they!"

"They are as well as can be expected. You've never written them, have
you, nor ever told where you were. They do not know whether you are dead
or alive. That isn't right."

The girl turned her bowed head slightly, but did not speak, so he
continued: "The whole town has been terribly aroused about you. You
disappeared so suddenly and completely. Your father has done everything
he could think of to find you. When he gave up, I took up the task, and
here you are in the hills not so far from Greenstreet."

Carlia's eyes swam with tears. The kitchen door opened, and the woman
looked at Carlia and then at Dorian.

"Breakfast is ready," she announced. "Come, Miss Davis, and have your
friend come too."

Dorian explained that he had already eaten.

"Please excuse me just now," pleaded Carlia, to the woman. "Go eat your
breakfast without me. Mrs. Carlston, this is Mr. Trent, a neighbor of
ours at my home. I was foolish to be so scared of him. He--he wouldn't
hurt anyone." She tried bravely to smile.

Alone again, the two were ill at ease. A flood of memories, a confusion
of thoughts and feelings swept over Dorian. The living Carlia in all
her attractive beauty was before him, yet back of her stood the grim
skeleton. Could he close his eyes to that? Could he let his love for her
overcome the repulsion which would arise like a black cloud into his
thoughts? Well, time alone would tell. Just now he must be kind to her,
he must be strong and wise. Of what use is strength and wisdom if it is
unfruitful at such times as these? Dorian arose to his feet and stood in
the strength of his young manhood. He seemed to take Carlia with him,
for she also stood looking at him with her shining eyes.

"Well, Carlia," he said, "go get your breakfast, and I'll finish my
errand. You see, the storm stopped the mail carrier and me and we had
to put up at your neighbour's last night. There I found three children
greatly disappointed in not having their usual Christmas tree. I
promised I would get them one this morning, and that's what I was out
for when I saw you. You know, Carlia, it's Christmas Eve this morning,
if you'll allow that contradiction."

"Yes, I know."

"I'll come back for you. And mind, you do not try to escape. I'll be
watching the house closely. Anyway," he laughed lightly, "the snow's too
deep for you to run very far."

"O, Dorian--"

"Yes."

He came toward her, but she with averted face, slipped toward the
kitchen door.

"I can't go home, I can't go with you--really, I can't," she said. "You
go back home and tell the folks I'm all right now, won't you, please."

"We'll talk about that after a while. I must get that tree now, or those
kiddies will think I am a rank impostor." Dorian looked at his watch.
"Why, it's getting on toward noon. So long, for the present."

Dorian found and cut a fairly good tree. The children were at the window
when he appeared, and great was their joy when they saw him carry it to
the woodshed and make a stand for it, then bring it in to them. The mail
carrier was about ready to continue his journey, and he asked Dorian if
he was also ready. But Dorian had no reason for going on further; he had
many reasons for desiring to remain. And here was the Christmas tree,
not dressed, nor the candy made. How could he disappoint these children?

"I wonder," he said to the mother, "if it would be asking too much to
let me stay here until tomorrow. I'm in no hurry, and I would like to
help the children with the tree, as I promised. I've been hindered some
this morning, and--"

"Stay," shouted the children who had heard this. "Stay, do stay."

"You are more than welcome," replied Mrs. Hickson; "but I fear that the
children are imposing on you."

Dorian assured her that the pleasure was his, and after the mail carrier
had departed, he thought it wise to explain further.

"A very strange thing has happened," said Dorian. "As I was going after
the tree for the children, I met the young lady who is staying at Mrs.
Carlston."

"Miss Davis."

"Yes; she's a neighbor of mine. We grew up together as boy and girl.
Through some trouble, she left home, and--in fact, I have been searching
for her. I am going to try to get her to go home to her parents.
She--she could help us with our tree dressing this evening."

"We'd like to have both our neighbors visit with us," said Mrs. Hickson;
"but the snow is rather deep for them."

By the middle of the afternoon Dorian cleared a path to the neighboring
house, and then went stamping on to the porch. Carlia opened the door
and gave him a smiling welcome. She had dressed up a bit, he could
see, and he was pleased with the thought that it was for him. Dorian
delivered the invitation to the two women. Carlia would go immediately
to help, and Mrs. Carlston would come later. Carlia was greeted by the
children as a real addition to their company.

"Did you bring an extra of stockings?" asked Mrs. Hickson of her. "An
up-to-date Santa Claus is going to visit us tonight, I am sure." She
glanced toward Dorian, who was busy with the children and the tree.

That was a Christmas Eve long to be remembered by all those present in
that house amid solitude of snow, of mountain, and of pine forests. The
tree, under the magic touches of Dorian and Carlia grew to be a thing
of beauty, in the eyes of the children. The home-made candles and
decorations were pronounced to be as good as the "boughten ones." And
the candy--what a miracle worker this sober-laughing, ruddy-haired young
fellow was!

Carlia could not resist the spirit of cheer. She smiled with the older
people and laughed with the children. How good it was to laugh again,
she thought. When the tree was fully ablaze, all, with the exception of
Mr. Hickson joined hands and danced around it. Then they had to taste
of the various and doubtful makings of candies, and ate a bread-pan of
snow-white popcorn sprinkled with melted butter. Then Mr. Hickson told
some stories, and his wife in a clear, sweet voice led the children
in some Christmas songs. Oh, it was a real Christmas Eve, made doubly
joyful by the simple helpfulness and kindness of all who took part.

At the close of the evening, Dorian escorted Mrs. Carlston and Carlia
back to their house, and the older woman graciously retired, leaving the
parlor and the glowing log to the young people.

They sat in the big armchairs facing the grate.

"We've had a real nice Christmas Eve, after all," said he.

"Yes."

"Our Christmas Eves at home are usually quiet. I'm the only kid there,
and I don't make much noise. Frequently, just mother and Uncle Zed and
I made up the company; and then when we could get Uncle Zed to talking
about Jesus, and explain who He was, and tell his story before He came
to this earth as the Babe of Bethlehem, there was a real Christmas
spirit present. Yes; I believe you were with us on one of these
occasions."

"Yes, I was."

Dorian adjusted the log in the grate. "Carlia, when shall we go home?"
he asked.

"How can I go home?"

"A very simple matter. We ride on the stage to the railroad, and then--"

"O! I do not mean that. How can I face my folks, and everybody?"

"Of course, people will be inquisitive, and there will be a lot of
speculation; but never mind that. Your father and mother will be mighty
glad to get you back home, and I am sure your father will see to it that
you--that you'll have no more cause to run away from home."

"What--what?"

"Why, he'll see that you do not have so much work--man's work, to do.
Yes, regular downright drudgery it was. Why, I hardly blame you for
running away, that is, taking a brief vacation." He went on talking, she
looking silently into the fire. "But now," he said finally, "you have
had a good rest, and you are ready to go home."

She sat rigidly looking at the glow in the grate. He kept on talking
cheerfully, optimistically, as if he wished to prevent the gloom of
night to overwhelm them. Then, presently, the girl seemed to shake
herself free from some benumbing influence, as she turned to him and
said:

"Dorian, why, really why have you gone to all this trouble to find me?"

"Why, we all wanted to know what had become of you. Your father is a
changed man because of your disappearance, and your mother is nearly
broken hearted."

"Yes, I suppose so; but is that all?"

"Isn't that enough?"

"No."

"Well, I--I--"

"Dorian, you're neither dull nor stupid, except in this. Why did not
someone else do this hunting for a lost girl? Why should it be you?"

Dorian arose, walked to the window and looked out into the wintry night.
He saw the shine of the everlasting stars in the deep blue. He sensed
the girl's pleading eyes sinking into his soul as if to search him out.
He glimpsed the shadowy specter lurking in her background. And yet,
as he fixed his eyes on the heavens, his mind cleared, his purpose
strengthened. As he turned, there was a grim smile on his face. He
walked back to the fire-place and seated himself on the arm of Carlia's
chair.

"Carlia," he said, "I may be stupid--I am stupid--I've always been
stupid with you. I know it. I confess it to you. I have not always
acted toward you as one who loves you. I don't know why--lay it to my
stupidity. But, Carlia, I do love you. I have always loved you. Yes,
ever since we were children playing in the fields and by the creek and
the ditches. I know now what that feeling was. I loved you then, I love
you now."

The girl arose mechanically from her chair, reached out as if
for support to the mantle. "Why, Oh, why did you not tell me
before--before"--she cried, then swayed as if to a fall. Dorian caught
her and placed her back in the seat. He took her cold hands, but in a
moment, she pulled them away.

"Dorian, please sit down in this other chair, won't you?"

Dorian did as she wanted him to do, but he turned the chair to face her.

"I want you to believe me, Carlia."

"I am trying to believe you."

"Is it so hard as all that?"

"What I fear is that you are doing all this for me out of the goodness
of your heart. Listen, let me say what I want to say--I believe I can
now.... You're the best man I know. I have never met anyone as good as
you, no, not even my father--nobody. You're far above me. You always
have been willing to sacrifice yourself for others; and now--what I fear
is that you are just doing this, saying this, out of the goodness of
your heart and not because you really--really love me."

"Carlia, stop--don't."

"I know you, Dorian. I've heard you and Uncle Zed talk, sometimes when
you thought I was not listening. I know your high ideals of service, how
you believe it is necessary for the higher to reach down to help and
save the lower. Oh, I know, Dorian; and it is this that I think of. You
cannot love poor me for my sake, but you are doing this for fear of not
doing your duty. Hush--Listen! Not that I don't honor you for your high
ideals--they are noble, and belong to just such as I believe you are.
Yes, I have always, even as a child, looked up to you as someone big and
strong and good--Yes, I have always worshiped you, loved you! There, you
know it, but what's the use!"

Dorian moved his chair close to her, then said:

"You are mistaken, of course, in placing my goodness so high, though
I've always tried to do the right by everybody. That I have failed with
you is evidence that I am not so perfect as you say. But now, let's
forget everything else but the fact that we love each other. Can't we be
happy in that?"

The roses faded from Carlia's cheeks, though coaxed to stay by the
firelight.

"My dear," he continued, "we'll go home, and I'll try to make up to you
my failings. I think I can do that, Carlia, when you become my wife."

"I can't, Dorian, Oh, I can't be that."

"Why not Carlia?"

"I can't marry you. I'm not--No, Dorian."

"In time, Carlia. We will have to wait, of course; but some day"--he
took her hands, and she did not seem to have power to resist--"some day"
he said fervently, "you are going to be mine for time and for eternity."

They looked into each others faces without fear. Then: "Go now, Dorian"
she said. "I can't stand any more tonight. Please go."

"Yes; I'll go. Tomorrow, the stage comes again this way, and we'll go
with it. That's settled. Goodnight."

They both arose. He still held her hands.

"Goodnight," he repeated, and kissed her gently on the cheek.



CHAPTER NINETEEN.


The sudden return of Carlia Duke to her home created as much talk as
her disappearance had done. Dorian was besieged with enquirers whom he
smilingly told that he had just come across her taking a little vacation
up in the hills. What, in the hills in the depths of winter? Why, yes;
none but those who have tried it know the comfort and the real rest one
may obtain shut out by the snow from the world, in the solitude of the
hills. He told as little as possible of the details of his search, even
to Carlia's parents. Any unpleasant disclosures would have to come from
her to them, he reasoned. Not being able to get Dorian talking about the
case, the good people of Greenstreet soon exhausted their own knowledge
of the matter, so in a short time, the gossip resumed its every-day
trend.

Hardly a day passed without Dorian spending some time with Carlia. She
would not go to Sunday School or to Mutual, and it was some time before
he could convince her that it was a matter of wisdom as well as of right
that she should attend some of the public ward meetings. Frequently,
he took his book to the Duke home and read aloud to Carlia. This she
enjoyed very much. Sometimes the book was a first class novel, but
oftener it was a scientific text or a religions treatise. Carlia
listened attentively to his discussion of deep problems, and he was
agreeably surprised to learn that she could readily follow him in the
discussion of these themes; so that the long winter evenings spent
with her either at her home or at his own became a source of great
inspiration to the young man who had not lost sight or the mission
assigned to him by the beloved Uncle Zed. Dorian talked freely to Carlia
on how he might best fulfill the high destiny which seemed to lay before
him; and Carlia entered enthusiastically into his plans.

"Fine, fine," she would say. "Carry it out. You can do it."

"With your help, Carlia."

"I'll gladly help you all I can; but that is so little; what can I do?"

"Trust me, have faith in me; and when the time comes, marry me."

This was usually the end of the conversation for Carlia; she became
silent unless he changed the subject.

Dorian, naturally undemonstrative, was now more careful than ever in
his love making. The intimacy between them never quite returned to the
earlier state. Complete forgetfulness of what had been, was, of course,
impossible, either for Carlia or for Dorian; but he tried manfully not
to let the "specter" come too often between him and the girl he loved.
He frequently told her that he loved her, but it was done by simple word
or act. Dorian's greater knowledge gave him the advantage over her. He
was bound by this greater knowledge to be the stronger, the wiser, the
one who could keep all situations well in hand.

One evening, when Carlia was unusually sweet and tempting, he asked if
he might kiss her goodnight. She set her face as if it were hard to deny
him, but she finally said:

"No; you must not."

"Why not, Carlia?"

"We're not engaged yet."

"Carlia!"

"We are not. I have never promised to marry you, have I?" She smiled.

"No; I guess not; but that's understood."

"Don't be so sure."

"There are some things definitely fixed without the spoken word."

"Good night, Dorian." She was smiling still.

"Good night, Carlia." Their hands met and clasped, atoning the best they
could for the forbidden kiss.

One evening when the feeling of spring was in the air, Dorian was going
to call on Carlia, when he heard the approach of an automobile. As it
turned into the bystreet, leading to the Duke home, Dorian saw the
driver to be Mr. Jack Lamont. Dorian kept in the road, and set his face
hard. As the machine had to stop to prevent running over him, Dorian
turned, walked deliberately to the side of the car, and looking steadily
into Mr. Lamont's face, said:

"I'm going to Mr. Duke's also. If I find you there, I'll thrash you
within an inch of your life. Drive on."

For a moment, the two glared at each other, then the automobile went
on--on past the Duke house toward town. When Dorian arrived at his
destination, Carlia greeted him with:

"Dorian, what's the matter?"

"Nothing," he laughed.

"You're as pale as a ghost."

"Am I? Well, I haven't seen any ghosts--Say, mother wants you to come to
supper. She has something you specially like. Can you?"

"Sure, she can," answered her mother, for she was glad to have Carlia
out away from the work which she was determined to stick to closer than
ever. Carlia was pleased to go, and kept up a merry chatter until she
saw that Dorian was exceptionally sober-minded. She asked him what was
the matter with him, but he evaded. His thoughts were on the man whom
he had prevented from calling at her home that evening. What was his
errand? What was in the scoundrel's mind? Dorian struggled to put away
from him the dark thoughts which had arisen because of his recent
encounter with Mr. Lamont. All the evening at home and during their walk
back he was unusually silent, and Carlia could only look at him with
questioning anxiety.

Spring, once started, came on with a rush. The melting snow filled the
river with a muddy flood; the grass greened the slopes; the bursting
willows perfumed the air; the swamp awakened to the warm touch of the
sun. Dorian's busy season also began.

As soon as the roads were passible, Dorian drove up to his dry-farm. On
one of these first trips he fell in with a company of his neighboring
dry-farmers, and they traveled together. While they were stopping for
noon at a small hotel in the canyon, a rain storm came up, which delayed
them. They were not impatient, however, as the moisture was welcome; so
the farmers rested easily, letting their horses eat a little longer than
usual.

The conversation was such which should be expected of Bishop's
counselors, president of Elders' quorums, and class leaders in
the Mutual, which these men were. On this occasion some of the
always-present moral problems were discussed. Dorian was so quiet that
eventually some one called on him for an opinion.

"I don't think I can add anything to the discussion," replied Dorian.
"Only this, however: One day in Sunday school Uncle Zed painted the
terrors of sin to us boys in such colours that I shall never forget it.
The result in my case is that I have a dreadful fear of moral wrong
doing. I am literally scared, I--"

Dorian turned his eyes to the darkened doorway. Mr. Jack Lamont stood
there with a cynical expression on his face. His hat was tilted back on
his head, and a half-smoked cigarette sagged from his lips. The genial
warmth of the room seemed chilled by the newcomer's presence.

"G'day, gentlemen," said Mr. Lamont. "Mr. Trent, here, is afraid, I
understand."

The men arose. Outside the clouds were breaking. Dorian stepped forward,
quite close to Jack Lamont.

"Yes, I am afraid," said Dorian, his face white with passion, "but not
of what you think, not of what you would be afraid, you dirty, low,
scoundrel!"

Lamont raised a riding whip he had in his hand, but the men interfered,
and they all moved outside into the yard. Dorian, still tense with
anger, permitted himself to be taken to the teams where they began
hitching up. Dorian soon had himself under control, yet he was not
satisfied with the matter ending thus. Quietly slipping back to where
Mr. Lamont stood looking at the men preparing to drive on, he said, "I
want a word with you."

The other tried to evade.

"Don't try to get away until I'm through with you. I want to tell you
again what a contemptible cur you are. No one but a damned scoundrel
would take advantage of a girl as you did, and then leave her to bear
her shame alone."

"Do you mean Carlia--"

"Don't utter her name from your foul lips."

"For if you do, I might say, what have I got to do with that? You were
her lover, were you not? you were out with her in the fields many times
until midnight, you--"

The accusing mouth closed there, closed by the mighty impact of Dorian's
fist. The blood spurted from a gashed lip, and Mr. Lamont tried to
defend himself. Again Dorian's stinging blow fell upon the other's face.
Lamont was lighter than Dorian, but he had some skill as a boxer which
he tried to bring into service; but Dorian, mad in his desire to
punish, with unskilled strength fought off all attacks. They grappled,
struggled, and fell, to arise again and give blow for blow. It was all
done so suddenly, and the fighting was so fierce, that Dorian's fellow
travelers did not get to the scene before Jack Lamont lay prone on the
ground from Dorian's finishing knockout blow.

"Damn him!" said Dorian, as he shook himself back into a somewhat normal
condition and spat red on the ground. "He's got just a little of what's
been coming to him for a long time. Let him alone. He's not seriously
hurt. Let's go."



CHAPTER TWENTY.


On a Saturday afternoon in early July Dorian and a neighbor were coming
home from a week's absence up in the hills. They were on horseback,
and therefore they cut across by way of the new road in course of
construction between Greenstreet and the city.

The river was high. The new bridge was not yet open for traffic, but
horses could safely cross. As the two riders passed to the Greenstreet
side, they saw near the bridge down on the rocks by the rushing river,
an automobile, overturned and pretty well demolished. Evidently, someone
had been trying to reach the bridge, had missed the road, and had gone
over the bank, which at this point was quite steep.

The two men stopped, dismounted, and surveyed the wreck. Someone was
under the car, dead or alive, they could not tell. Dorian unslung his
rope from his saddle, and took off his coat. "I'll go down and see," he
said.

"Be careful," admonished the other, "if you slip into the river, you'll
be swept away."

Dorian climbed down to where the broken machine lay. Pinned under it
with his body half covered by the water was Mr. Jack Lamont. He was
talking deliriously, calling in broken sentences for help. Dorian's
hesitancy for an instant was only to determine what was the best thing
to do.

"Hold on a bit longer, Mr. Lamont," said Dorian; but it was doubtful
whether the injured man understood. He glared at his rescuer with
unseeing eyes. Part of the automobile was already being moved by the
force of the stream, and there was danger that the whole car, together
with the injured man, would be swept down the stream. Dorian, while
clinging to the slippery rocks, tried to pull the man away, but he was
so firmly pinned under the wreck that he could not be moved. Dorian then
shouted to his companion on the bank to bring the rope and come to his
assistance; but even while it was being done, a great rush of water
lifted the broken car out into the stream. Lamont was released, but he
was helpless to prevent the current from sweeping him along.

Dorian reached for the man, but missed him and stepped into a deep
place. He went in to his arms, but he soon scrambled on to a shallower
point where he regained his balance. The unconscious Lamont was
beginning to drift into the current and Dorian knew that if he was to
be saved he must be prevented from getting into the grasp of the
mid-stream. Dorian took desperate chances himself, but his mind was
clear and his nerves were steady as he waded out into the water. His
companion shouted a warning to him from the bank, but he heeded it not.
Lamont's body was moving more rapidly, so Dorian plunged after it, and
by so doing got beyond wading depths. He did not mind that as he was a
good swimmer, and apparently, Mr. Lamont was too far gone to give any
dangerous death grip. Dorian got a good hold of the man's long hair and
with the free arm he managed to direct them both to a stiller pool lower
down where by the aid of his companion, he pulled Lamont out of the
water and laid him on the bank. He appeared to be dead, but the two
worked over him for some time. No other help appeared, so once more they
tried all the means at their command to resuscitate the drowned.

"I think he's gone," said Dorian's companion.

"It seems so. He's received some internal injury. He was not drowned."

"Who is he, I wonder."

"His name is Jack Lamont."

"Do you know him?"

"I know him. Yes; let's carry him up the bank. We'll have to notify
somebody."

The man was dead when he was laid on the soft warm grass. Dorian covered
the lifeless form with his own coat.

"I'll stay here," suggested Dorian's companion, "while you go and
telephone the police station in the city. Then you go right on home and
get into some dry clothes."

Dorian did as he was told. After reaching the nearest telephone, and
delivering his message, he went on home and explained to his mother what
had happened. Then he changed his clothes.

"What a terrible thing!" exclaimed his mother. "And you also might have
been drowned."

"Oh, no; I was all right. I knew just what I could do. But the poor
fellow. I--I wish I could have saved him. It might have been a double
salvation for him."

The mother did not press him for further explanations, for she also had
news to tell. As soon as Dorian came from his room in his dry clothes,
she asked him if he had seen Brother Duke on the way.

"No, mother; why?"

"Well, he was here not long ago, asking for you. Carlia, it seems, has
had a nervous break down, and the father thinks you can help."

"I'll go immediately."

"You'll have some supper first. It will take me only a moment to place
it on the table."

"No, mother, thank you; after I come back; or perhaps I'll eat over
there. Don't wait for me." He was out of the house, and nearly running
along the road.

Dorian found Carlia's father and mother under great mental strain.
"We're so glad you came," they said; "we're sure you can help her."

"What is the matter!"

"We hardly know. We don't understand. This afternoon--that Mr. Jack
Lamont--you remember him--he used to come here. Well, he hasn't been
around for over a year, for which we were very thankful, until this
afternoon when he came in his automobile. Carlia was in the garden, and
she saw him drive up to the gate. When he alighted and came toward her,
she seemed frightened out of her wits, for she ran terror stricken into
the house. She went up to her bedroom and would not come down."

"He did not see her, then, to talk to her?"

"No; he waited a few moments only, then drove off again."

"Where is Carlia now?"

"Still up in her room."

"May I go up to her?"

"Yes; but won't you have her come down?"

"No, I'd rather go up there, if you don't mind."

"Not at all. Dorian, you seem the only help we have."

He went through the living room to the stairway. He noticed that the
bare boards of the stairs had been covered with a carpet, which made his
ascending steps quite noiseless. Everything was still in Carlia's room.
The door was slightly ajar, so he softly pushed it open. Carlia was
lying on her bed asleep.

Dorian tiptoed in and stood looking about. The once bare, ugly room had
been transformed into quite a pretty chamber, with carpet and curtains
and wall-paper and some pretty furniture. The father had at last done a
sensible thing for his daughter.

Carlia slept on peacefully. She had not even washed away the tear-stains
from her cheeks, and her nut-brown hair lay in confusion about her head.
Poor, dear girl! If there ever was a suffering penitent, here was one.

In a few moments, the girl stirred, then sensing that someone was in the
room, she awoke with a start, and sprang to her feet.

"It's only Dorian," said he.

"Oh!" she put her hand to her head, brushing back her hair.

"Dorian, is it you?"

"Sure, in real flesh and blood and rusty-red hair." He tried to force
cheerfulness into his words.

"I'm so glad, so glad it's you."

"And I'm glad that you're glad to see me."

"Has he gone? I'm afraid of him."

"Afraid of whom, Carlia?"

"Don't you know? Of course you don't know. I--"

"Sit down here, Carlia." He brought a chair; but she took it nearer the
open window, and he pushed up the blind that the cool air might the more
freely enter. The sun was nearing the western hills, and the evening
sounds from the yard came to them. He drew a chair close to hers, and
sat down by her, looking silently into the troubled face.

"I'm a sight," she said, coming back to the common, everyday cares as
she tried to get her hair into order.

"No, you're not. Never mind a few stray locks of hair. Never mind that
tear-stained face. I have something to tell you."

"Yes?"

"You said you were afraid, afraid of Mr. Jack Lamont."

"Yes," she whispered.

"Well, you never need be afraid of him again."

"I--I don't understand."

"Jack Lamont is dead."

She gave a startled cry.

"Dorian--you--?"

"No; I have not killed him. He was and is in the hands of the Lord."
Then he told her what had happened that afternoon.

Carlia listened with staring eyes and bated breath. And Dorian had
actually risked his life in an attempt to save Jack Lamont! If Dorian
only had known! But he would never know, never now. She had heard of the
fight between Dorian and Lamont, as that had been common gossip for a
time; but Carlia had no way of connecting that event with herself or her
secret, as no one had heard what words passed between them that day, and
Dorian had said nothing. And now he had tried to save the life of the
man whom he had so thoroughly trounced. "What a puzzle he was! And yet
what a kind, open face was his, as he sat there in the reddening evening
light telling her in his simple way what he had done. What did he know,
anyway? For it would be just like him to do good to those who would
harm him; and had she not proved in her own case that he had been more
patient and kind to her after her return than before. What did he know?

"Shall I close the window?" he asked. "Is there too much draught?"

"No; I must have air or I shall stifle. Dorian, tell me, what do you
know about this Mr. Lamont?"

"Why, not much, Carlia; not much good, at any rate. You know I met him
only a few times." He tried to answer her questions and at the same time
give her as little information as possible.

"But Dorian, why did you fight with him?"

"He insulted me. I've explained that to you before."

"That's not all the reason. Jack Lamont could not insult you. I mean,
you would pay no attention to him if only yourself were involved."

"Now, Carlia, don't you begin to philosophize on my reasons for giving
Jack Lamont a licking. He's dead, and let's let him rest in as much
peace as the Lord will allow."

"All right."

"Now, my dear, you feel able to go down and have some supper. Your
father and mother should be told the news, and perhaps I can do that
better than anybody else. I'll go with you, and, if your mother has
something good for supper, I'll stay."

But the girl did not respond to his light speech. She sat very still
by the window. For a long, long time--ages it seemed to her, she had
suffered in silent agony for her sin, feeling as if she were being
smothered by her guilty secret. She could not bring herself to tell it
even to her mother. How could she tell it to anyone eke, certainly not
Dorian. And yet, as she sat there with him she felt as if she might
confide in him. He would listen without anger or reproach. He would
forgive. He--her heart soared, but her brain came back with a jolt to
her daily thinking again. No, no, he must not know, he must never know;
for if he knew, then all would surely be over between them, and then,
she might as well die and be done with it!

"Come, Carlia."

She did not even hear him.

But Dorian must know, he must know the truth before he asked her again
to marry him. But if he knew, he would never urge that again. That
perhaps would be for the best, anyway. And yet she could not bear the
thought of sending him away for good. If he deserted her, who else would
she have? No; she must have him near her, at least. Clear thinking was
not easy for her just then, but in time she managed to say:

"Dorian, sit down.... Do you remember that evening, not so long ago,
when you let me 'browse', as you called it, among Uncle Zed's books and
manuscripts?"

"Yes; you have done that a number of times."

"But there is one time which I shall remember. It was the time when I
read what Uncle Zed had written about sin and death."

"O, I had not intended you to see that."

"But I did, and I read carefully every word of it. I understood most of
it, too. 'The wages of sin is death'--That applies to me. I am a sinner.
I shall die. I have already died, according to Uncle Zed."

"No, Carlia, you misapply that. We are all sinners, and we all die in
proportion to our sinning. That's true enough; but there is also
the blessed privilege of repentance to consider. Let me finish the
quotation: 'The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord'; also let me add what the Lord said
about those who truly repent; 'Though your sins be as scarlet, they
shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be
as wool'. That is a great comfort to all of us, Carlia."

"Yes; thank you, Dorian.... but--but now I must tell you. The Lord may
forgive me, but you cannot."

"Carlia, I have long since forgiven you."

"Oh, of my little foolish ways, of course; but, Dorian, you don't
know--"

"But, Carlia, I do know. And I tell you that I have forgiven you."

"The terrible thing about me?"

"The unfortunate thing and the great sorrow which has come to you, and
the suffering--yes, Carlia, I know."

"I can't understand your saying that."

"But I understand."

"Who told you?"

"Mrs. Whitman."

"Have you been there?"

"Yes."

"Dorian!" She stared past him through the open window into the western
sky. The upper disk of the sun sank slowly behind the purple mountain.
The flaming underlining of a cloud reflected on the open water of the
marshland and faintly into the room and on to the pale face of the
girl. Presently, she arose, swayed and held out her arms as if she was
falling. Dorian caught her. Tears, long pent up, save in her own lonely
hours, now broke as a torrent from her eyes, and her body shook in sobs.
Gone was her reserve now, her holding him away, her power of resistance.
She lay supinely in his arms, and he held her close. O, how good it was
to cry thus! O, what a haven of rest! Would the tears and sobs never
cease?... The sun was down, the color faded from the sky, a big shadow
enveloped the earth.

Then when she became quieter, she freed her arms, reached up and clasped
her hands behind his neck, clinging to him as if she never wanted to
leave him. Neither could speak. He stroked her hair, kissed her cheeks,
her eyes, wiped away her tears, unaware of those which ran unhindered
down his own face....

"Carlia, my darling, Carlia," he breathed.

"Dorian, Oh, Dorian, _how_--_good_--_you_--_are_!"



CHAPTER TWENTY ONE.


It was a day in June--nearly a year from the time of the
"understanding"--a day made more beautiful because of its being in the
mountains and on a Sunday afternoon. Dorian and Carlia lived in the
midst of its rarity, seated as they were on the grassy hill-side
overlooking the dry-land farms near at hand and the valley below,
through which tumbled the brook. The wild odor of hill plants mingled
with the pungent fragrance of choke-cherry blossoms. The air was as
clear as crystal. The mountains stood about them in silent, solemn
watchfulness, strong and sure as the ages. The red glowed in Carlia's
lips again, and the roses in her cheeks. The careworn look was gone from
her face. Peace had come into her heart, peace with herself, with the
man she loved, and with God.

Dorian pointed out to her where the wild strawberries grew down in the
valley, and where the best service berries could be found on the hills.
He told her how the singing creek had, when he was alone in the hills,
echoed all his varied moods.

Then they were silent for a time, letting the contentment of their love
suffice. For now all barriers between these two were down. There was no
thought they could not share, no joy neither trouble they could not meet
together. However, they were very careful of each other; their present
peace and content had not easily been reached. They had come "up through
great tribulation," even thus far in their young lives. The period of
their purification seemed now to be drawing to a close, and they were
entering upon a season of rest for the soul.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This promise is
surely not limited to that hoped-for future time when we shall have laid
aside mortality, but the pure in heart see much of God here and now--see
Him in the beauty of hill and dale, in cloud and blue sky, in placid
pool and running water, in flowers and insect, and in the wonderful
workings of the human heart! And so Dorian Trent and Carlia Duke, being
of the pure in heart, saw much of God and His glory that afternoon.

Then they talked again of the home folks, of Mildred Brown, and of Uncle
Zed; and at length came to their own immediate affairs.

That fall Dorian was to enter the University. The farm at Greenstreet
would have to be let to others, but he thought he could manage the
dry-farm, as most of the work came in vacation season. Mrs. Trent did
not want to leave her home in the country; but she would likely become
lonesome living all by herself; so there would always be a room for her
with Dorian and Carlia in the little house they would rent near the
school. Then, after the University, there would be some Eastern College
for a period of years, and after that, other work. The task Dorian had
set before him was a big one, but it was a very important one, and no
one seemed to be doing it as yet. He might fail in accomplishing what
he and Uncle Zed and perhaps the Lord had in mind regarding him, but he
would do his very best, anyway.

"You'll not fail," the girl at his side assured him.

"I hope not. But I know some men who have gone in for all the learning
they could obtain, and in the process of getting the learning, they have
lost their faith. With me, the very object of getting knowledge is to
strengthen my faith. What would it profit if one gains the whole world
of learning and loses his soul in the process. Knowledge is power, both
for good and for ill. I have been thinking lately of the nature of
faith, the forerunner of knowledge. I can realize somewhat the meaning
of the scripture which says that the worlds were framed and all things
in them made by the power of faith. As Uncle Zed used to say--"

"You always put it that way. Don't you know anything of your own?"

"No; no one does. There is no such thing as knowledge of one's own
making. Knowledge has always existed from the time when there has been a
mind to conceive it. The sum of truth is eternal. We can only discover
truth, or be told it by someone who has already found it. God has done
that. He comprehends all truth, and therefore all power and all glory is
found in Him. It is the most natural thing in the world, then, that we
should seek the truth from the fountain head or source to us, and that
is God."

Although it was after the usual time of the Sunday sermon, Dorian felt
free to go on.

"'When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?' I hope
to help a little to make the answer, Yes. I know of nothing which the
world needs more than faith. Not many are specializing in that field.
Edison is bringing forth some of the wonders of electricity; Burbank
is doing marvelous things in the plant world; we have warriors and
statesmen and philosophers and philanthropists and great financiers
a-plenty; we have scientists too, and some of them are helping. Have you
ever heard of Sir Oliver Lodge and Lord Kelvin?"

No; she never had.

"Well"--and Dorian laughed softly to himself at the apparent egotism of
the proposition--"I must be greater than either of them. I must know
all they know, and more; and that is possible, for I have the 'Key
of Knowledge' which even the most learned scholar cannot get without
obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel."

Carlia silently worshiped.

"Now," he continued in a somewhat lighter vein, "do you realize what
you are doing when you say you will be my wife and put up with all the
eccentricities of such a man as I am planning to be? Are you willing to
be a poor man's wife, for I cannot get money and this knowledge I am
after at the same time? Are you willing to go without the latest in
dresses and shoes and hats--if necessary?"

"Haven't I heard you say that the larger part of love is in giving and
not in getting?" replied she.

"Yes, I believe that's true."

"Well, then, that's my answer. Don't deny me the joy I can get by the
little I can give."

The sun was nearing the western mountains, the sharpest peaks were
already throwing shadows across the valley.

"Come," said Dorian. "We had better go down. Mother has come out of the
cabin, and I think she is looking for us. Supper must be ready."

He took Carlia's hand and helped her up. Then they ran like care-free
children down the gentler slopes.

"Wait a minute," cried Carlia, "I'm out of breath. I--I want to ask you
another question."

"Ask a hundred."

"Well, in the midst of all this studying, kind of in between the
great, serious subjects, we'll find time, will we not, to read 'David
Copperfield'--together?"

He looked into her laughing eyes, and then kissed her.

"Why, yes, of course," he said.

Then they went on again, hand in hand, down into the valley of sunshine
and shadow.


THE END.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dorian" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home