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´╗┐Title: John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment
Author: Brummitt, Dan B.
Language: English
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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 "John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment" ***

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JOHN WESLEY, JR.

The Story of an Experiment

BY

DAN B. BRUMMITT

1921

TO
THOMAS KANE, "LAYMAN,"
WHOSE LONG LIFE OF NOBLE SERVICE
IS BEARING FRUIT IN A NEW CHRISTIAN
CONSCIENCE TOWARDS THE SUPPORT OF
THE WORK OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM IN
ALL THE WORLD
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE
EDUCATIONAL, MISSIONARY
AND BENEVOLENT
WORK OF THE CHURCH



CONTENTS

CHAPTER

THE GENESIS OF THE EXPERIMENT
I. AN INSTITUTE PANORAMA
II. JOHN WESLEY, JR.'S BRINGING UP
III. CAMPUS DAYS
IV. EXPLORING MAIN STREET
V. HERE THE ALIEN; THERE THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH
VI. "IS HE NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?"
VII. THE FIRST AMERICAN CIVILIZATION
VIII. CHRIST AND THE EAST
THIS EXPERIMENT TEACHETH--?



ILLUSTRATIONS


THE CARTWRIGHT INSTITUTE
THE WESLEY FOUNDATION SOCIAL CENTER
(This one is at Illinois University)
MAIN STREET
THE TENEMENTS OF MANY DELAFIELDS
ONE OF THE HIGH LIGHTS OF MAIN STREET
ONE OF THE CANNERY COLONY
THERE'S HOPE FOR THE NEGRO IN A SCHOOL LIKE THIS
THE MEXICAN'S HOME IN THE SOUTHWEST
THE MEXICAN'S CHURCH IN THE SOUTHWEST
DR. JOE CARBROOK DOES SUCH WORK AS THIS IN CHINA



THE GENESIS OF THE EXPERIMENT


After years of waiting for time and place and person,
the Rev. Walter Drury, an average Methodist
preacher, was ready to begin his Experiment.

The process of getting adjusted to its conditions was ended. He believed
that, if he had health and nothing happened to his mind, he might count
on at least eight years more at First Church, Delafield--a ten-year
pastorate is nothing wonderful in to-day's Methodism. The right preacher
makes his own time limit.

He would not think himself too good for Delafield, but neither did he
rate himself too low. He just felt that he was reasonably secure against
promotion, and that he need not be afraid of "demotion." There are such
men. They are a boon to bishops.

The unforeseen was to be reckoned with, of course, the possible
shattering of all his plans by some unimagined misfortune. But the man
who waits until he is secure against the unknown never discovers
anything, not even himself.

Walter Drury had at last found his man, or, rather, his boy, here in
Delafield. It was necessary to the Experiment that its subject should be
a decent young fellow, not particularly keen on formal religion, but
well set-up in body and mind; clean, straight, and able to use the
brains he had when need arose.

John Wesley, Jr., was such a boy.

Would the result be worth what he was putting into the venture? That
would depend on one's standards. The church doesn't doubt that the more
than twice ten years' experiment of Helms in the south end of Boston has
been worth the price. And Helms has for company a few pioneers in other
fields who will tell you they have drawn good pay, in the outcomes of
their patience.

Still, Walter Drury was a new sort of specialist. The thing he had in
mind to do had been almost tried a thousand times; a thousand times it
had been begun. But so far as he knew no one preacher had thought to
focus every possible influence on a single life through a full cycle of
change. He meant his work to be intensive: not in degree only, but in
duration.

At the end of ten years! If, then, he had not shown, in results beyond
question, the direction of the church's next great advance, at least he
would have had the measureless joy of the effort. No seeming failure
could rob him of his reward.

Now, do not image this preacher as a dreaming scattergood; he would do
as much as any man should, that is to say, his utmost, in his pulpit and
his parish. The Experiment should be no robbing of collective Peter to
pay individual Paul.

But every man has his avocation, his recreation, you know--golf, roses,
coins, first editions, travel. Walter Drury, being a confirmed bachelor,
missed both the joys and the demands of home life. No recluse, but,
rather, a companionable man, he cared little for what most people call
amusement, but he cared tremendously for the human scene in which he
lived and worked. He would be happy in the Experiment for its sheer
human fascinations. That it held a deeper interest, that if it succeeded
it would reveal an untapped reservoir of resources available for the
church and the kingdom of God, did but make him the more eager to be at
it in hard earnest.

The church to whose work he had joyfully given himself from his youth
had grown to be a mighty and a highly complex machine. Some thought it
was more machinery than life, more organization than organism. But
Walter Drury knew better. It _was_ a wonderful machine, wheels within
wheels, but there was within the wheels the living spirit of the
prophet's vision.

Partly because the church was so vast and its work of such infinite
variety, very few of its members knew what it did, or how, or why. It
was all over the land, and in the ends of the earth, for people joined
it; and they lived their lives in the cheerful and congenial circle of
its fellowship. But the planetary sweep of its program and its
enterprises was to most of them not even as a tale that is told. They
were content to be busy with their own affairs, and had small curiosity
to know what meanings and mysteries might be discovered out in places
they had never explored, even though just 'round the corner from the
week-by-week activities of the familiar home congregation.

Walter Drury, at the end of one reasonably successful pastorate, had
stood bewildered and baffled as he looked back over his five years of
effort against this persistent and amiable passivity. It was not a
deliberate sin, or he might have denounced it; nor a temporary numbness,
or he might have waited for it to disappear. All the more it dismayed
him.

At the beginning of his ministry he had set this goal before him, that
every soul under his care might see as he saw, and see with him more
clearly year by year, the church's great work; its true and total
business. He had not failed, as the Annual Conference reckons failure.
But he knew he had been less than successful. The people of his
successive appointments were receptive people as church folk go. Then
who was to blame, that sermons and books and Advocates and pictures and
high officials and frequent great assemblies, always accomplishing
something, always left behind them the untouched, unmoved majority of
the people called Methodists?

It was all this and more of the same sort, which at last took shape in
Drury's thought and fixed the manner and matter of the Experiment. This
boy he had found, with a name that might be either prophecy or mockery,
he would study like a book. He would brood over his life. Mind you, he
would take no advantage, use no influence unfairly. He would neither
dictate nor drive. He would not trespass even so far as to the outer
edges of the boy's free personality. For the most part he would stay in
the background. But he would watch the boy, as for lesser outcomes
Darwin watched the creatures of wood and field. Without revealing all
his purpose he would set before this boy good and evil; the lesser good
and the greater. He would use for high and holy ends the method which
the tempter never tires of using for confusion. He would show this boy
the kingdoms of the children of God, and the glories of them, and would
promise them to him, not for a moment's shame but for a life's devotion.

As to the particular form in which the result of the Experiment might
appear he cared little. He had a certain curiosity on the subject
naturally, but he knew well enough that the Experiment would be useless
if he laid interfering hands on its inner processes. That would be like
trimming a whitethorn tree in a formal garden, to make it resemble a
pyramid. He was not making a thorn pyramid in an Italian garden; he
wanted an oak, to grow by the common road of all men's life. And oaks
must grow oak-fashion, or not at all.

       *       *       *       *       *

Four years of the ten had passed. That part of the history of John
Wesley, Jr., which is told in the following pages, is the story of the
other six years.



CHAPTER I


AN INSTITUTE PANORAMA

"If anybody expects me to stay away from Institute this year, he has got
a surprise coming, that's all."

The meeting was just breaking up, after a speech whose closing words had
been a shade less tactful than the occasion called for. But the last two
sentences of that speech made all the difference in the world to John
Wesley, Jr.

The Epworth League of First Church, Delafield, was giving one of its
fairly frequent socials. The program had gone at top speed for more than
an hour. All that noise could do, re-enforced by that peculiar emanation
by youth termed "pep," had been drawn upon to glorify a certain
forthcoming event with whose name everybody seemed to be familiar, for
all called it simply "the Institute."

Pennants, posters, and photographs supplied a sort of pictorial noise,
the better to advertise this evidently remarkable event, which, one
might gather, was a yearly affair held during the summer vacation at the
seat of Cartwright College.

The yells and songs, the cheers and games and reminiscences, re-enforced
the noisy decorations. At the last, in one of those intense moments of
quiet which young people can produce as by magic, came a neat little
speech whose purpose was highly praiseworthy. But, to John Wesley, Jr.,
it ended on the wrong note. Another listener took mental exception to
it, though his anxiety proved to be groundless.

It was a recruiting speech, directed at anybody and everybody who had
not yet decided to attend the Institute.

The speaker was, if anything, a trifle more cautious than canny when he
came to his "in conclusion," and his zeal touched the words with
anti-climax.

"Of course," he said, "since ten, or at most twelve, is our quota, we
are not quite free to encourage the attendance of everybody,
particularly of our younger members. They have hardly reached the age
where the Institute could be a benefit to them, and their natural
inclination to make the week a period of good times and mere pleasure
would seriously interfere with the interests of others more mature and
serious minded."

Now, the pastor of the church, the Rev. Walter Drury, would have put
that differently, he said to himself. If it produced any bad effects it
would need to be corrected, certainly.

Just then, amid the inevitable applause, and the dismissal of the brief
formal assembly for the social half-hour, something snapped inside of
John Wesley, Jr., and it was the feeling of it which prompted him to
say, "If anybody expects me to stay away from Institute this year, he
has got a surprise coming, that's all."

You see, John Wesley, Jr., had just been graduated from high school,
and his family expected him to go to college in the fall, though he
faced that expectation without much enthusiasm. He felt his new freedom.
He addressed his rebellious remark to the League president, Marcia
Dayne, a sensible girl whom he had known as long as he had known anybody
in the church.

"Last year everybody said I was too young. They all talked the way he
did just now. But they can't say I am too young now," and with that easy
skill which is one of the secrets of youth, he managed to contemplate
himself, serenely conscious that he was personable and "right."

The girl turned to him with a gesture of surprise.

"But I thought your father had agreed to let you take that trip to
Chicago you have been saving up for. Will he let you go to the Institute
too?"

"Chicago can wait," said John Wesley, Jr., grandly. "Dad did say I could
go to Chicago to see my cousins, or I could go anywhere else that I
wanted. Well, I am going to the Institute. It's my money, and, besides,
I am tired of being told I am too young. A fellow's got to grow up some
time."

"That's all right," said Marcia, "but what's your special interest in
the Institute? Do you truly want to go? How do you know what an
Institute is like?"

Her voice carried further than Marcia thought, and a man who seemed a
little too mature to be one of the young people, turned toward her. He
was smiling, and any time these four years the town would have told you
there wasn't a friendlier smile inside the city limits. He was in
business dress, and suggested anything but the parson in his bearing,
but through and through he looked the good minister that he was.

Marcia moved toward him with an unspoken appeal. She wanted help. He was
waiting for that signal, for he depended a good deal on Marcia. And he
was still worried about that unlucky speech.

"Well, Marcia, are you telling J.W. what the Institute really is?" he
asked.

"No, Mr. Drury, I'm not. I'm too much surprised at finding that he's
about decided to go. You're just in time to tell him for me. I want him
to get it right, and straight."

"Well," the pastor responded, "I'm glad of that. If he's really going,
he'll find out that definitions are not descriptions. Now, our Saint
Sheridan used to say that an Institute was a combination of college,
circus, and camp meeting. I would venture a different putting of it. An
Institute is a bit of young democracy in action. Its people play
together, for play's sake and for finding their honest human level. They
study together, to become decently intelligent about some of the real
business of the kingdom of God, and how the church proposes to transact
that business. They wait for new vision together, the Institute being a
good time and a good place for seeing life clear and seeing it whole."

"Yes," said Marcia, "that's exactly it, only I never could have found
quite the right words. Do you think J.W. will find it too poky and
preachy?"

"Tell him to try it and see, as you did last year," said Pastor Drury.

"I'll risk that," said John Wesley, Jr., in his newly resolute mood.

He knew when to stop, this preacher. Particularly concerned as he was
about John Wesley, Jr., he saw that this was one of the many times when
that young man would need to work things out for himself. Marcia would
give what help might be called for at the moment. The boy was turning
toward the Institute; so far so good.

To-night was nearly four years from the beginning of his interest in
this young fellow with the Methodist name. He was a special friend of
the family, though no more so than of every family in the town which
gave him the slightest encouragement. To a degree which no one suspected
he shared this family's secret hopes for its son and heir; and he
cherished hopes which even the Farwells could not suspect. Unless he was
much mistaken he had found the subject for his Experiment.

That mention of the Farwells needs to be explained. Of course "John
Wesley, Jr.," was only part of the boy's name. In full he was John
Wesley Farwell, Jr., son of John Wesley Farwell, Sr., of the J.W.
Farwell Hardware Co. As a little fellow he had no chance to escape
"Junior," since he was named for his father. There were many Jacks and
Johns and Johnnies about. His mother, good Methodist that she was,
secretly enjoyed calling him "John Wesley, Jr.," and before long the
neighbors and the neighborhood children followed her example.

A little later he might have been teased out of it, but at the
impossible age when boys discover that queer names and red hair and
cross-eyes make convenient excuses for mutual torture, it happened that
he had attained to the leadership of his gang. For some reason he took
pride in his two Methodist names, and made short work of those who
ventured to take liberties with them. In all other respects he played
without reserve boyhood's immemorial game of give and take; but as to
his name or any part thereof he would tolerate no foolishness and no
back talk. When he reached the high school period, however, most of his
intimates rarely called him by his full name, having, like all high
school people, no time for long names, though possessed of infinite
leisure for long dreams. Straightway they shortened his name to "J.W.,"
which to this day is all that his friends find necessary.

Very well, then; this is J.W. at eighteen; a young fellow worth
knowing. Take a look at him; impulsive, generous, not what you would
call handsome, but possessed of a genial eye and a ready tongue, a
stubby nose and a few scattered freckles. A fair student, he is yet far
from bookishness, and he makes friends easily.

Of late he has been paying furtive but detailed attention to his hair
and his neckties and the hang of his clothes, though still in small
danger of being mistaken for a tailor's model.

With such a name you will understand that he's a Methodist by first
intention; born so. He is a pretty sturdy young Christian, showing it in
a boy's modest but direct fashion, which even his teammates of the
high-school football squad found it no trouble to tolerate, because they
knew him for a human, healthy boy, and not a morbid, self-inspecting
religious prig. Pastor Drury, you may be sure, had taken note of all
that, for he and J.W. had been fast friends since the day he had
received the boy into the church.

The morning after the Institute social J.W. announced at breakfast his
sudden change of plan.

"If you don't mind, Dad, I've about decided to go to the Institute
instead of Chicago. There is a bunch of us going, and Mr. Drury will be
there. Uncle Henry's folks might not want to be bothered with me now,
and anyway I don't know them very well. But I can go to the Institute
with the church crowd; and there will be tennis and swimming and plenty
of other fun besides the big program." Which was quite a speech for J.
W.

John Wesley, Sr., didn't know much about the Institute, but he had an
endless regard for his pastor, and the mother was characteristically
willing to postpone her boy's introduction to the unknown and, in her
thought, therefore, the menacing city.

So, after the brief but unhurried devotions at the breakfast table,
which had come to serve in place of the old-time family prayers,
parental approval was forthcoming. And thus it befell that J.W.
selected for himself a future whose every experience was to be affected
by so slight a matter as his impulsive choice of a week's holiday. That
choice expressed to him the new freedom of his years, for he had not
even been conscious of the quiet influence which had made it easier than
he knew to decide as he had done.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a mixed and lively company that found itself crowded around the
registrar's table at the Institute one Monday evening in July, with J.
W. and his own particular chum, Martin Luther Shenk, better known as
"Marty," right in the middle of it.

J.W. wondered where so many Epworthians could have come from. Did they
really hanker after the Institute, or had they come for reasons as
trivial as his own? He put the question to Martin Luther Shenk.

"Marty, do you reckon these are all here for real Epworth League work,
or does the Institute want anybody and everybody?"

Marty had been scouting a little, and he answered: "No, to both
questions, I should say. Some have come just to be coming, and others
seem to be here for business. But I saw Joe Carbrook just now, and if he
is an Epworth Leaguer I am the Prince of Puget Sound. You know how he
stands at home. Wonder what he came for."

Just then Joe Carbrook himself came up. He was from Delafield too,
member of the same League chapter as the two chums, but he had rarely
condescended to league affairs. Having had two rather variegated years
at college, he felt he must show his sophistication by holding himself
above some of those simple old observances.

"S'pose you are here for solemn and serious work, you two," he remarked
mockingly, as he saw the boys. "I just met Marcia Dayne, and she told me
you were registering. Well, I'm here too--drove up in my car--but you
don't catch me tying myself down to all that study stuff. I'm looking
for fun, not work."

"Nothing new for you in that, Joe," said Marty. "But I should think you
might try the study stuff, if only for a change, after you have spent
good money on gas and tires. And you have to pay for your meals, you
know."

"Well, I studied hard enough last month in college cramming for the
final exams, so I could get within gunshot of enough sophomore credits,
and I'm through; with study for a while. If I find a few live ones in
this crowd, I guess we can enjoy ourselves without interfering with any
of you grinds, if you must study," and Joe Carbrook went off in search
of his live ones.

J.W. and Marty were in no hurry to register. The crowd milling around
in the office was interesting, and J.W. was still wondering how many of
them, himself included, would get enough Institute long before the week
was over. Besides, it was yet an hour before supper.

"Think of it, Marty. All these people come from Epworth Leagues just
like ours, from Springfield, and Wolf Prairie and Madison and all over
this part of the State. What for, I'd like to know? Will you look at
those pennants? Wish we had brought one or two of ours; we could add to
the display, anyway."

"I have two in my suitcase," said Marty. "We'll have them out this
evening at the introduction meeting. And maybe you'll find out 'what
for' by that time."

The introduction meeting in the chapel after supper was for the most
part informal. Yells and songs and the waving of pennants punctuated the
proceedings, as is quite the proper thing in an Epworth League
gathering. Some people, who see only what is on the surface, cannot
wholly understand the exuberance of an Epworth League crowd. But it has
roots in something very real.

The dean of the Institute managed, amid the roystering and the intervals
of attention, to set things up for the week. A few regulations would
need to be laid down; and these would be fixed, not by the faculty or by
the dean, but by the Student Council. Would each district group please
get together at once, and select some one to represent the group on this
council?

This request being obeyed amid considerable confusion, with Marcia Dayne
appointed from the Fort Adams District, and the council excused to draft
the basic laws for the week, the faculty was introduced, one by one.

Each teacher was given the opportunity to describe his or her course, so
that out of the eight or nine courses offered every delegate might
select two besides the two which were required of all students, and so
qualify for an Institute diploma.

J.W. found himself enjoying all this hugely. It appealed to his growing
sense of freedom from schoolboy restraint. If he did go to any of the
classes, it appeared that he could pick the ones he liked. Up to now he
had entertained no thought of any serious work, but the faculty talks
about these courses made him think there might be worse ways of spending
the week than qualifying for an Institute diploma. The whole thing
seemed to be so easy and so friendly. Of course he could see that the
study would not be much, even if he signed up for it, being just for a
week, but it might not be bad fun.

Morning Watch was an experience to J.W. He was surprised to find
himself staying awake in a before-breakfast religious meeting, and was
even more surprised to be enjoying it. Something about this big crowd of
young people stirred all his pulses, and the religion they heard about
and talked about seemed to J.W. something very real and desirable. He
thought of himself as a Christian, but he wondered if his Christian life
might not become more confident and productive. In this atmosphere one
almost felt that anything was possible.

Meal times turned out to be times of orderly disorder. J.W. and his
friends were at a table with other groups from the Fort Adams District,
and he quickly mastered the raucous roar which served the District for a
yell. Before the end of the second day his alert good nature made him
cheer leader, and thereafter he rarely had time to eat all that was set
before him, though possessed of a boy's healthy appetite. It was simply
that the other possibilities of the hour seemed more alluring than mere
food.

From the first day of the class work J.W. found himself keen for all
that was going on. There was variety enough so that he felt no
weariness, and the range of new interests opened up each day kept him at
constant and pleasurable attention. Without knowing just how, he was
catching the Institute spirit.

He walked away from the dining hall one noon with his pastor-friend, and
he talked. He had to talk to somebody, and Walter Drury contrived to
know of his need.

"Why, Mr. Drury," he said, eagerly, "I'm just finding out how little I
know about the church and real Christian work. I thought I was something
of an average Methodist boy, but if the people at home are no better
than I am, I can see how being a preacher to such a bunch is a man's
job."

"Correct, J.W." said the minister. "I find that out many a time, to my
humbling. But honestly, now, are you learning things you never knew
before?"

"Ye-es, I am," J.W. answered, "and then, again, I'm not. It seems to me
as if I had always known a lot of what we are getting in these classes,
though there is plenty of new stuff too. But until now I didn't get much
out of what I knew. I've always liked to hear you, but you're different.
As for most of the things I've heard, I just thought of it as religious
talk, church stuff, you know. It didn't seem to matter, but here it is
beginning to matter in all sorts of ways, and I can see that it matters
to me."

"How, for instance?"

Well, take the class in home missions; Americanization, they call it.
Maybe you noticed that the first thing the teacher did was to divide the
class right down the middle, and tell those on the left hand--yes, I'm
one of the goats--that for the rest of the week they were to consider
themselves aliens. The others were to play native-born Americans. And so
the study started, but believe me, we aliens have already begun to make
it interesting for those natives. Some of 'em want to come over on our
side already, but they can't. A few of us have found some immigration
dope in the college library, and it is pretty strong. We'll show up
those Pilgrim Fathers before the week is out. They think they have done
everything an alien could ask when they let him into the country, and
then they work him twelve hours a day, seven days a week, or else let
him hunt the country over for any sort of a job. They rob him by making
him pay higher prices than other people for all he has to buy. They
force him to live in places not fit for rats, and on top of everything
else they call him names, so that their kids stick up their noses at his
children in the school grounds. After all that they expect he'll become
a good citizen just by hearing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at the movies
and watching the flag go by when there's a parade.

"Say, Mr. Drury, it makes me sick, and, if I feel that way just to be
pretending I'm a 'Wop' for a week, how do you suppose the real aliens
feel? Excuse me for talking like this, but honestly, something like that
is going on in all these classes; I wish we could take up such things in
the League at home." And he forced an embarrassed little laugh.

Pastor Drury laughed too, and said of course they could, as he linked
arms with J.W., and they passed on down the road. The preacher talked
but little, contriving merely to drop a question now and then; and J.W.
talked on, half-ashamed to be so "gabby," as he put it, and yet moved by
an impulse as pleasant as it was novel.

"And foreign missions, Mr. Drury. You won't be offended, I hope, but
somehow as far back as I can remember I have always connected foreign
missions with collections and 'Greenland's Icy Mountains' and little
naked Hottentots, and something--I don't know just what--about the River
Ganges. But here--why, that China class just makes me want to see China
for myself and find out how much of the advantages of American life over
Chinese has come on account of religion."

"Well, why not, J.W.? Maybe you will go to China some day, and have a
hand in it all," suggested the pastor, to try him out.

The boy shook his head.

"No, I don't think so. I am certainly getting a new line on foreign
missions, but I don't think there's missionary stuff in me. I'll have
to go at the proposition some other way."

Then Pastor Drury set him going on another subject.

"What do you think of the young folks who are here?" he asked.

"Well, at first I thought they were all away ahead of our bunch at home,
and some of them are; but you soon find out that the majority is pretty
much of the same sort as ours. I think I've spotted a few slackers, but
mighty few. Most of the crowd seems to be all right, and I've already
made some real friends. But do you know which one of them all is the
most interesting fellow I've met?"

The pastor thought he did, but he merely asked, "Who?"

"Why, that Greek boy, Phil Khamis. He is from Salonika, you know. He
knows the old country like a book, and he's going back some day, maybe
to be some kind of missionary to his people, in the very places where
the apostle Paul preached. Honest, I never knew until he told me that
his Salonika is the town of those Christians to whom Paul wrote two of
his letters; those to the Thessalonians--'Thessalonika,' you know. Well,
you ought to hear Phil talk. He came over here seven years ago, and
learned the English language from the preacher at Westvale."

"Yes, I have heard about him," said Mr. Drury. "They say he lived in the
parsonage and paid the preacher for his English lessons by giving him a
new understanding of the Greek New Testament. Not many of us have found
out yet how to get such pay for being decent to our friends from the
other side."

"Well, he is a thoroughbred, anyway; and do you notice how he is right
up in front when there is anything doing? The only way you can tell he
isn't American born is that he is so anxious to help out on all the
unpleasant work. When I look at Phil it makes me boil to think of
fellows like him being called 'Wop.'"

By this time the two had swung back into the campus, and J.W. found
himself drafted to hold down second base in the Faculty-Student ball
game. But that is a story for others to tell.

On the steps of the library Marcia Dayne and some other girls were
holding an informal reception. Joe Carbrook, with one or two of his
friends, was finding it agreeable to assume a superior air concerning
the Institute. The impression the boys gave was that their coming to the
Institute at all had been a great concession, but that they were under
no illusions about the place.

"All this is all right," Joe was saying, "for those who need it, but
what's the good of it all to us? For instance, what do you get out of
it, Marcia?"

"What do you think I want to get out of it? If you cared for the young
people's work at home, I should think you could see how 'all this,' as
you call it, would help you to do better work and more of it at
Delafield."

"As you ought to know pretty well, Marcia," Joe replied, "back home they
think I don't care much for the young people's work. It is a little too
prim and ready-to-wear for me, if you'll excuse me for saying so. No fun
in it at all, though I'll admit some of the classes here have more life
in them than I looked for."

One of the other girls, who knew him well enough to speak with large
frankness, came to the defense of them all, saying: "Well, Joe, I don't
see that you get very far with what you call fun. It's mostly at the
expense of other people, including your father, who pays the bills.
Besides, since you came home from college this spring, you seem to have
run out of nearly all the bright ideas you started with. I wonder if it
ever strikes you that being a sport, as you call it, is mostly being a
nuisance to everybody? Some of us long ago got over thinking you clever
and original. You must be getting over it yourself, by now, surely."

"Many thanks, dear lady, for them kind words," Joe responded, as he
bowed low in mock acknowledgment; "you make yourself quite plain, Miss
Alma Wetherell." He flung back the insult jauntily, as he and his
companions moved on, but at least one of the group suspected that the
words had struck home.

You who know the General Secretary could easily forgive J.W. his
delight in the class of which the program said the subject was
"Methods." This is the only hour in an Institute which the Epworth
League takes for its own work. Rightly enough, it is a crowded hour,
with the whole Institute present, and usually it is an hour of
unflagging interest.

J.W. and Marty were enjoying their first Institute too much to be late
at any classes. They were merely a little earlier at this class; to miss
any of it would be a distinct loss.

Now, what the General Secretary talked about was no more than the
everyday work of the League--how it meant the young people of the church
and their work for and with young people for the sake of the future. But
he had a way with him. He said the League was a great scheme of self,
with the "ish" left off. In the League one practiced self-help, and
enjoyed the twin luxuries of self-direction and self-expression, and
came sooner or later to that strange new knowledge which is
self-discovery. He explained how Epworthians as such could live on
twenty-four hours a day, the plan being an ingenious and yet simple
financial arrangement for keeping the League work moving, both where you
are and where you aren't, even around the world. He had innumerable
stories of the devotional meeting idea, the Win-My-Chum idea, the
stewardship idea, the Institute idea, the life service idea, the
recreation idea, the study-class idea, and every other League idea so
far invented.

But all this is merely a hint of what the General Secretary meant to the
Institute, and particularly to the delegates from Delafield. Even Joe
Carbrook had been impressed. He heard the General Secretary the morning
after that little exchange of compliments on the library steps, and for
an hour thereafter let himself enjoy the rare luxury of thinking. The
results were somewhat disconcerting.

"It's funny," said Marty, as the four of them, the other three being
Joe, Marcia, and J.W., sat under a tree in the afternoon, "but I believe
that man could make even trigonometry interesting. I thought I'd heard
all that could be said about the devotional meeting; but did you get
that scheme for leaders he sprung this morning? Watch me when we get
back home, that's all."

"You needn't suppose you are the only one who got it," said Marcia.
"Everybody was trying to watch the General Secretary and to take notes
at the same time, and I don't believe you are any quicker at that than
the rest of us. Of course all of us will use as many of his ideas as we
can remember, when we get home again."

Joe Carbrook, with a new seriousness which sat awkwardly on him,
confessed that he could not understand just what was happening. It was
evident that he was ill at ease; Marcia had noticed it every time she
had seen him since that encounter with Alma Wetherell.

"I guess you folks know I am not easily caught; but I'm ready to admit
that man has hold of something. Yes, and I'm half convinced that this
Institute has hold of something. I wish I knew what it is. If I could
really believe that all I hear and see at this place is part of being
young and part of being a Christian, I might be thinking before long
about getting into the game myself. The trouble is you three and the
other Leaguers I've watched at home are just you three and the others,
and that's all. I know, and you know, what you can do. You'll take all
these ideas of League work and use them, maybe; but what I can't see is
how you will pick up the Big Idea of this place and get back home
without losing it."

"We can't," said Marcia, "not without all sorts of help, visible and
invisible. You, for instance; if you would really get into the game, as
you say, nobody could guess how much it would mean to our League. And it
might mean more to you."

"Marcia's right about that," said J.W. "The Big Idea of this place, that
you speak of, is a lot too big for us to take home alone. Maybe you'll
think I'm preaching, but I don't care, if I say that for God to handle
alone, it is not big enough. He makes the stars, and gives us his Son,
without any help from us. Nobody else can do that. But he won't make our
League at home a success without us; and all of us together can't do it
without Him. I'm not saying I know how to do it, even then, but that's
the way it looks to me. Why, Joe," he said with sudden intensity as he
faced Joe Carbrook, "if you ever get hold of the Big Idea, and the Big
Idea gets hold of you, something is sure to happen, something bigger
than any of us can figure out now. I know you have it in you."

All four showed a surprised self-consciousness over J.W.'s unexpected
venture into these rather deeper conversational waters than usual, and
there was more surprise when Joe Carbrook began to talk about himself.

He laughed to hide a touch of embarrassment, but with little mirth; and
then he said, "Well, J.W., that's not all foolishness, though I don't
see why you should pick on me. Why not Marty? Of course, I came here for
fun, and I have had some, though not just the sort I expected. And I've
had several jolts too. I might as well admit that if I could just only
see how you hitch all of this League and church business to real life, I
would be for it with all I've got. The trouble is, while I've never been
especially proud of my own record, neither have I seen much excuse yet
for what you 'active members' have been busy with. I have been playing
my way, and you have been playing yours; but it all seems mostly play to
me. All the same, I guess I am getting tired of my kind." If Joe could
ever have spoken wistfully, you might have suspected him of it just
then.

Clearly, thought Marcia Dayne, in the silence that followed, something
big was already happening. But how to help it on she could not tell; so,
with a desperate effort to do the right thing, she contrived to turn the
subject It seemed to her it had become too difficult to go further just
now without peril to Joe's strange new interest, as well as to a very
new and tremulous little hope that had begun to sing in her own heart.

The shift of the talk was a true Institute change, and would have been
most disconcerting to anyone unfamiliar with the ways of young
Christians; but Marcia was sure that what had been said would not be
forgotten, and she knew there would be another time.

It was this that made her say, "I wish you boys would suggest what sort
of stunt our district should give on stunt night; you know the time is
getting short."

"That's a fact," exclaimed Marty, sitting up. "Stunt night is to-morrow,
and our delegation has to fix up the stunt for the Fort Adams District.
Let's get to work on something. We've been mooning long enough."

For though Marty never thought as quickly as Marcia, he too felt some
instinct of fear lest by an unfortunate word they should break the spell
of Joe Carbrook's interest in the "Big Idea," and promptly the four were
deep in a study of stunts.

To the uninitiated, stunt night at the Institute is without rime or
reason, but not to those in charge who are looking ahead to Sunday. They
know that the converging and cumulative psychic forces which the
Institute invariably produces must be tempered, along about midway of
the week, by some sharp contrast in the communal life. Otherwise, the
group, like over-trained athletes, will grow emotionally stale before
the week is done, and at the end of that is let-down and flatness. Hence
"stunt night."

In the early Institute years it was easy, as in some places it still is,
for stunt night to be no more than clowning, witless and cheap; but
there is a distinct tendency to exercise the imagination in producing
more self-respecting efforts.

Cartwright, happily, is one of the forward-looking Institutes, and stunt
night, crowded with most excellent fooling, produced two or three
creditable and thought-provoking performances. One of them deserves
remembering for its own sake. Besides, it is a part of this story.

The home missions class furnished the inspiration for it, and called it
"Scum o' the Earth," an impromptu immigration pageant. A boy who had
memorized Schauffler's poem stood off stage and recited it, while group
after group of "immigrants" in the motley of the steerage passed slowly
through the improvised Ellis Island sifting process. It was all
make-believe, of course, all but one tense moment. Then Phil Khamis
stepped on the platform, incarnating in his own proper person the poet's
apostrophised Greek boy:

"Stay, are we doing you wrong,
  Young fellow from Socrates' land?
You, like a Hermes so lissome and strong,
  Fresh from the master Praxiteles' hand?
So you're of Spartan birth?
  Descended, perhaps, from one of the band--
Deathless in story and song--
Who combed their long hair at Thermopylae's pass?
Ah, I forget the straits, alas!
  More tragic than theirs, more compassion-worth,
That have doomed you to march in our 'immigrant class'
 Where you're nothing but 'scum o' the earth!'"

The audience was caught unaware. It had been vastly interested in the
spectacle, as a spectacle, the more because the unusual Americanization
class which produced it had attracted general attention. But, Phil
Khamis, everybody's friend, standing there, an immigrant of the
immigrants, smiling his wistful friendly smile, was a picture as
dramatic as it was unexpected. First there were ejaculations of
astonishment and surprise. Then came the moment of understanding, and a
shining-eyed stillness fell on all. Then, what a shout! J.W. led off,
the unashamed tears falling from his brimming eyes.

On Saturday morning J.W. was sitting beside Phil Khamis at Morning
Watch. The leader had asked for answers to the question "Why did I come
to the Institute?" getting several responses of the conventional sort.
Suddenly Phil nudged J.W. and whispered, "Shall I tell why I came?" and
J.W. with the memory of stunt night's thrill not yet dulled, said
promptly, "Sure, go ahead."

When Phil got up an attentive silence fell upon them all. The Greek boy
had made many friends, as much by his engaging frankness and anxiety to
learn as by his perpetual eagerness to have a hand in every bit of hard
work that turned up. Since the stunt night incident he was everybody's
favorite.

"Friends," he said, in his rather careful, precise way, "I am here for a
different reason than any. When I was in America but a little time a
Methodist preacher made himself my friend. I could not speak English,
only a few words. He took me to his home. He taught me to talk the
American way. He find me other friends, though I could do nothing at all
for them to pay them back. Now I am Christian--real, not only baptized.
The young people of the church take me in to whatever they do. They
call me 'Phil' and never care that I am a foreigner, so when I heard
about this Institute I say to myself, 'It is something strange to me,
but I hear that many people like those in my church will be there.' I
cannot quite believe that, but it sounded good, and I wanted to come and
see. And now I know that many people are young people like those I first
knew. They treat me just the same. It makes me love America much more;
and if I could tell my people in the old country that all this good has
come to me from the church, they could not believe it. Still, it is
true. Everything I have to-day has come to me by goodness of Christian
people."

There were some half-embarrassed "Amens," and more than one hitherto
unsuspected cold required considerable attention. All the way to
breakfast Phil held embarrassed court, while his hand was shaken and his
shoulder was thumped and he was told, solo and chorus, by all who could
get near him, that "He's all right!"--"Who's all right?" "Phil Khamis!"

But J.W. was walking slowly toward the dining hall, alone. As he had
listened to Phil, at first he thought, "Good old scout, he's putting it
over," but by the time the Greek's simple words were ended, J.W. was
looking himself straight in the eye. "Young fellow," he was saying, "you
have come mighty near feeling glad that you have had so many more
advantages than this stranger, and yet can't you see that what he says
about himself is almost as true about you? All you have to-day--this
Institute, your religion, your church, your friends, the kind of a home
you have and are so proud of--everything has come to you by what Phil
calls the goodness of Christian people."

And then it was breakfast time, with an imperative call on J.W. from the
Fort Adams table for "that new yell we fixed up last night," and the
minutes in which he had talked with himself were for the time forgotten.
But the memory of them came back in the days after the Institute was
itself a memory.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Saturday night camp fire at this Institute, contrary to the usual
custom, was not co-ed. The boys went down to the lake shore and sat
around a big fire on the sand. The girls had their fire on the slope of
a hill at the other edge of the campus.

Nor does this Institute care for too much praise of itself. Its
traditional spirit is to work more for outcomes than for the devices
which produce complacency. It stages only a few opportunities of telling
"Why I like this Institute."

So, at the camp fires a man talked to the boys and a woman to the girls,
not about the Institute, but about life. These speakers knew the strange
effect an Institute week has on impressionable and romantic youth; they
knew that by this time scores of the students were either saying to
themselves, "I've got to do something big before this thing's over," or
were vainly trying to put the conviction away.

The woman who talked to the girls happened to be a preacher's wife.
This gave her a certain advantage when she told the listening girls that
the greatest of all occupations for them was not some special vocation,
but what Ida Tarbell has called "the business of being a woman." It was
good preparation for the next day's program, with its specific and
glamorous appeal, for it put first the great claim, so that special
vocations could be seen in clear air and could be fairly measured.

Pastor Drury, who talked to the boys, was talking to them all, as J.W.
very well knew, but every word seemed for him; as, indeed, it was, in a
sense that he did not suspect. He was not surprised that his pastor
should present the Christian life as effectively livable by bricklayers
and business men as surely as by missionaries. He had heard that before.
But to J.W. the old message had a new setting, a new force. And never
before had he been so ready to receive it.

The songs had sung themselves out, as the fire changed from roaring
flame and flying sparks to a great bed of living coals. From the world's
beginning a glowing hearth has been perfect focus for straight thought
and plain speech. The boys found it so this night.

The minister began so simply that it seemed almost as if his voice were
only the musings of many, just become audible. "I know," said he, "that
to-morrow some of you will find yourselves, and will eagerly offer your
lives for religious callings. We shall all be proud of you and glad to
see it. But most of you cannot do that. You are already sure that you
must be content to live 'ordinary Christian lives,' It is possible that
to-morrow you may feel a little out of the picture. And those who are
hearing a special call might regard you, quite unconsciously, of course,
as not exactly on their level."

"Now, suppose we get this thing straight to-night. There is no great nor
small, no high nor low, in real service. The differences are only in the
forms of work you do. The quality may be just as fine in one place as in
another. The boy who goes into the ministry, or who becomes a medical
missionary, will have peculiar chances for usefulness. So also will the
boy who goes into business or farming or teaching, or any other
so-called secular occupation. Just because he is not called to religious
work as a daily business he dare not think that he has no call. God's
calling is not for the few, but for the many. And just now the man who
puts his whole soul into being an out-and-out Christian in his daily
business and in his personal life as a responsible citizen must have the
genuine missionary spirit. He must live like a prophet, that is, a
messenger from God. He must know the Christian meaning of all that
happens in the world. And he must stand for the whole Christian program.
Otherwise, not all the ministers and missionaries in the world can save
our civilization. It is your chance of a great career. You who will make
up the rank and file of the Christian army in the next twenty-five
years--do you know what you are? _You are the hope of the world!"_

As the group broke up in the dim light of the dying embers, J.W.
stumbled into Joe Carbrook, and the two headed for the tents together.
They had been on a much more friendly footing since Thursday.

"Say, J.W.," said Joe, abruptly, "what's the matter with me? I came to
this place without knowing just why; thought I'd just have a good time,
I suppose; but here I am being bumped up against something new and big
every little while, until I wonder if it's the same world that I was
living in before I came. Do you suppose anybody else feels that way? Is
it the place? Or the people? Or what?"

"I don't just know," said J.W., trying to keep from showing his
surprise. "I feel a good deal that way myself. I think it's maybe that
this is the first time we've ever been forced to look squarely at some
of the things that seem so natural here. At home it's easy to dodge. You
know that, only you've dodged one way and I've done it another."

"But do you feel different, the way I do, J.W.? Do you feel like saying
to yourself: 'Looka here, Joe Carbrook, quit being a fool. See what you
could do if you settled down to getting ready for something real. Like
being a doctor, now.' Do _you_ feel that way? You don't know it, but
I've always thought I could be a doctor, if I could see anything in it.
And then the other side of me speaks up and says: 'Joe Carbrook, don't
kid yourself. You know you haven't got the nerve to try, even if you had
the grit to stick it through.' Is it that way with you, J.W.? You've
paid more attention to religion and all that than I ever did. And what
you said on Thursday about the 'Big Idea' has kept me guessing ever
since."

"No, Joe, my trouble's not like yours. I know I can't be a doctor, nor a
preacher, nor a missionary. I've got nothing of that in me. But what we
heard to-night at the camp fire came straight at me. As I tried to say
the other day, if you get the 'Big Idea' of the Institute, Christian
service looks like a great life. But me--I've no hope to be anything
particular; just one of the crowd. And I never quite saw until to-night
how that might be a great life too."

As they were parting, J.W. ventured a bold suggestion. "Say, Joe, if you
think you could be a doctor, _why not a missionary doctor?"_

Joe's answer was a swift turning on his heel, and he strode away with
never a word.

"Probably made him mad," thought J.W. "I wonder why I said it. Joe's the
last boy in the world to have any such notion. But--well, something's
already begun to happen to him, that's sure--and to me too."

On Sunday the little world of the Institute assumed a new and no less
attractive aspect. Everybody was dressed for Sunday, as at home. Classes
were over; and games also; the dining room became for the first time a
place of comparative quiet, with now and then the singing of a great old
hymn, just to voice the Institute consciousness.

The Morning Watch talk had been a little more direct, a little more
tense. And before the Bishop's sermon came the love feast. Now, the
Methodists of the older generation made much of their love feasts, but
in these days, except at the Annual Conference, an occasional Institute
is almost the only place where it flourishes with something of the
ancient fervor.

Many changes have come to Methodism since the great days of the love
feast; changes of custom and thought and speech. But your ardent young
Methodist of any period, Chaplain McCabe, Peter Cartwright, Jesse Lee,
Captain Webb, would have understood and gloried in this Institute love
feast. It spoke their speech.

Our group from Delafield will never forget it.

Nearly all of them spoke; Marcia Dayne first because she was usually
expected to lead in everything of the sort, then Marty, then J.W., and,
last of all and most astounding, Joe Carbrook.

Marty looked the soldier, and he put his confession into military terms.
He spoke about his Captain and waiting for orders, and a new
understanding of obedience.

Before J.W. got his chance to speak, the leader read a night letter from
an Institute far away, conveying the greetings of six hundred young
people to their fellow Epworthians.

J.W. could not bring himself to speak in terms of personal experience.
He was still under the spell of last night's camp fire, and his brief
encounter with Joe Carbrook, but without quite knowing what could
possibly come of all that. And the telegram gave him an excuse to speak
in another vein. You must remember that up to now he had been wholly
local in his League interests. He had gone to no conventions, he was not
a reader of _The Epworth Herald_, and to him the Central Office was as
though it had not been.

"I wonder if anybody else feels as I do," he said, "about this League of
ours? Until this last week I never thought much about it. But we've just
heard that telegram from an Institute bigger than this, a thousand miles
off. And there's fifty-five or sixty Institutes going on this year,
besides the winter Institutes, the conventions, and all the other
gatherings. We seem to belong to a movement that enrolls almost a
million young people, with all sorts of chances to learn how it can do
all sorts of Christian work by actually _doing_ it. This isn't the only
thing I've found out here, but it makes me want to see the whole League
become as good as it is big. I don't want to be dazzled by the size of
it, because I know how many other members are just as little use as I've
been. Only when I get home I hope I'm going to be a different sort of an
Epworthian, and I can't help wishing that we all felt that way about
being more good in the League. We can make it a hundred times more
useful to the church and to our Master."

Many others spoke like that, some of them because they could find
nothing more intimate to say, some here and there those who, like J.W.,
could not quite trust themselves yet to talk of their deeper personal
experiences.

And then Joe Carbrook arose. He spoke easily, as Joe always did, but it
was a new Joe Carbrook, and only the Delafield delegation understood how
amazing was the change.

"This Institute has made me all sorts of trouble," he said. "I had
nothing else to do, and without caring anything about it, except to get
some new fun out of it, I came along, intending to stir up some of you
if I could, and I knew I could. But I've seen what a fool I was. Every
day I've seen that a little more distinctly. And last night, just as I
was leaving one of the boys after the camp fire he said something about
what I might do with my life. I don't know how seriously he meant it.
Maybe he doesn't, either. I went off without answering him. There wasn't
any answer, except that I knew I wasn't fit even to think about it. And
then, thank God, I met a man who understood what was wrong with me. He's
our pastor. I haven't been anything but trouble to him at home, but that
made no difference to him. And he introduced me, down yonder by the
lake, to a Friend I had never known before, some one infinitely
understanding, infinitely forgiving. He showed me that before I could
find what I ought to be I'd have to come to terms with that Friend. And
I have. Whatever happens to me, whatever I may find to do, I want now
and here for the first time in my life to confess Jesus Christ as my
Saviour and Lord!"

The Bishop preached a great sermon, but it is doubtful whether the
Delafield delegation rightly appreciated it. They were too much
occupied with the incredible fact that Joe Carbrook had been converted,
and had openly confessed it.

More was to come. The afternoon meeting, long established in the
Institute world as the "Life Work Service," was in the hands of a few
leaders who knew both its power and peril. An invitation would be given
for all to declare their purpose who felt called to special Christian
work. The difficulty was to encourage the most timid of those who,
despite their timidity, felt sure of the inner voice, and yet prevent a
stampede among those who, without any depth of desire, were in love with
emotion, and would enjoy being conspicuous, if only for the brief moment
of the service.

For once a woman made the address--a wise woman, let it be said, who
made skillful and sure distinctions between the Christian life as a life
and the work of the Christian Church as one way of living that life.

It would have been a successful afternoon in any case, but three
incidents helped the speaker. When she asked those to declare themselves
who had decided for definite Christian work, young people in all parts
of the room arose, and one after another they spoke, for the most part
simply and modestly, of their hope and purpose. And Joe Carbrook was
among them!

He said very little, the nub of it being that he had always thought of
being a doctor, but not until a chance remark made by John Wesley, Jr.,
last night had the idea appeared to him important. Just to make one more
among the thousands of doctors in America was one thing, he said. It
was quite another to think of being the only physician among a great,
helpless population. But to be a missionary doctor a man had to be first
a missionary. And how could he be a missionary if he were not a
Christian? Well, as he had confessed at the love feast, that was settled
last night, and as soon as it had been attended to be knew there was
nothing else in the way. So he must work now toward being a medical
missionary.

Joe's declaration stirred the whole assembly. And while the influence of
it was still on them, J.W. saw Martin Luther Shenk, his classmate and
doubly his chum since a memorable day of the preceding October, get up
and quietly announce his purpose of becoming a minister. "And I hope,"
said Marty, "that I may find my lifework in some of the new home mission
fields we have been learning about this week."

At that point the leader felt more than a little anxious. These two
decisions, with all their restraint, had in them something infectious,
and she feared lest some young people, not holding themselves perfectly
in hand, might be moved to sentimental and unreflecting declaration.

If there had been any such danger, Marcia Dayne dispelled it. She was
all aglow with a new joy of her own, whose secret none knew but herself,
though one other had almost dared to hope he could guess.

"May I speak?" she asked. "I have no decision to make for myself. Last
year I took the 'Whatever, whenever, wherever' pledge, and I intend to
keep it, though I am not yet sure what it will mean. But I know a boy
here who will not talk unless somebody asks him, and there's a reason
why I think he should be asked. Please, mayn't we hear from John Wesley
Farwell, Jr., about _his_ kind of a call?"

J.W., taken unawares at the mention of his name, was still at a loss
when the leader seconded Marcia's invitation; and the knowledge that he
was expected to say something unusual did not make for self-control. But
he understood Marcia's purpose, and tried to pull himself together.

"Miss Dayne is president of our home Chapter, and she had a lot to do
with my coming to the Institute," he began. "She has heard me talk since
I found out a little about the Institute, and I told her this morning
something of what Joe Carbrook and I had discussed last night after the
camp fire."

Well, to get to the point, I think she wants me to say, and I'm saying
it to myself most of all, that for nearly all of us young people,
Christian lifework must mean making an honest living, doing all we can
to make our religion count at home, and then backing up with all we've
got, by prayer and money and brains, all these others like Joe Carbrook
and Marty Shenk, who are going into the hardest places to put up the
biggest fight that's in them. We've just got to do it, or be quitters.
As Phil Khamis said at Morning Watch yesterday, 'Everything we have has
come to us by the goodness of Christian people.' We aren't willing to be
the last links of that chain.

We don't want any special recognition, but I hope the Bishop and the
General Secretary and the Dean and all the rest of the League leaders
will know they can count on us just as we know they can count on these
friends of ours who have just become life service volunteers.

Nobody knows what might have happened if some one had not spoken like
that, but as the group of new volunteers stood about the platform at the
close of the meeting, the other young people, instead of wandering off
and feeling themselves of no significance, came crowding about them, to
say to them, boy-and-girl fashion, something of what J.W.'s little
speech had suggested. Out of some four hundred Epworthians enrolled in
the Institute, about forty had made definite decisions; but certainly
not less than two hundred more had also faced the future, and in some
sort had made a new contract with themselves and with God.

The Institute ended there, except for a simple vesper service after the
evening meal, and on Monday morning the whole company was homeward
bound.

The Delafield delegation had separated. The larger group went home by
train, but Joe Carbrook's insistence was not to be withstood, so J.W.
and Marty, Marcia Dayne and Pastor Drury were Joe's passengers for the
fifty-odd miles between Institute and home.

They sang, they cheered, they yelled the Institute yells. They lived
over the crowded days of the week that had so swiftly passed. But most
of all they deeply resolved that so far as they could help to do it
while they were at home the League Chapter of Delafield should be made
over into something of more use to the church to which it belonged.

It was Marty who put their purpose into the fewest words. "We, and the
others who have been to the Institute, don't think we know every little
League thing," said he, "and we don't think we are the whole League
either. But every time anybody in our Chapter starts anything good, he's
going to have more and better help than he ever had before."

Which thing came to pass, as may one day be recorded. The Rev. Walter
Drury kept his own counsel, but he knew that more had happened than the
putting of new life into the League. The Experiment had progressed
safely through some most difficult stages.



CHAPTER II


JOHN WESLEY, JR.'S BRINGING UP

Those words of Phil Khamis at Morning Watch kept popping into J.W.'s
head in the days following the Institute--"Everything I have to-day has
come to me by the goodness of Christian people."

"I know that must be true," he would say to himself, "but it's worth
tracing back."

The preacher was coming over to supper one night, as he loved to do; and
J.W. made up his mind to bring Phil's idea into the table talk. He was
on even better terms with the preacher than he used to be.

J.W.'s mother hadn't said much about the Institute, though she had
listened eagerly to all his talk of the crowded week, and she was
vaguely ill at ease. She had hoped for something, she did not know just
what, from the Institute, and she was not yet sure whether she ought to
feel disappointed.

But she provided a fine supper, to which the menfolk paid the most
practical and sincere of all compliments. And since nobody had anything
else on for the evening, there was plenty of time for talk.

The mother had a moment aside with the minister, and there was a touch
of anxiety in her question: "Do you think the Institute helped my boy?"

And the pastor had just time to whisper back, "It helped him much, but
he gave even more help than he got You have reason to be proud of him. I
am. He's growing."

It was not very definite, but it brought no small comfort to the
mother's heart.

"This Institute idea seems to be everywhere," said J.W., Sr., to the
pastor, "but how did it get started? I used to be in the Epworth League,
but we had nothing like it then."

"That's not so very much of a story," said the pastor. "We have the
Institute idea because we had to have it. And so the League gave it form
and substance."

"Well," J.W., Jr., chimed in, "I think it's about time more people knew
about it. I've wanted to ask you to explain it ever since we came back
from the Institute."

The pastor nodded. "I know; but remember even you were not really
interested until you had been at an Institute. Do you think our
Institute just happened, J.W.?"

"I know it didn't," J.W. replied. "Somebody did a lot of planning and
scheming."

"Yes," returned the pastor, "but did you notice that a large part of its
work touched subjects familiar to you, the local League activities, for
instance--the devotional meeting, and Mission Study, and stewardship,
and the scope of the business meeting which not so long ago elected you
to membership?"

"Yes, you're right, though I don't see anything remarkable in that. It
was a League Institute, wasn't it?"

"Certainly. But still, if there had not been any local Chapter, there
could have been no Institute, don't you see? What I mean is that the
Institute came because your Chapter needed it, and you needed it; not
because the Institute needed you. It's merely a matter of tracing
things back."

J.W., Jr., thought of Phil's words. "Sure enough," he responded,
"tracing things back makes a lot of difference. I've been going over
what Phil Khamis said at the Morning Watch--you remember? How everything
he has to-day has come to him by the goodness of Christian people. At
first I thought that was no more than a description of his particular
case, because I knew how true it was. But when you begin to trace things
back, as you say, what's true about Phil is true about all of
us--anyway, about me."

"How is that, son?" Mrs. Farwell asked gently.

"Well, I mean," J.W. smilingly answered her, though flushing a little
too, "the Institute, that seemed to me something new and different, is
really tied up to what you folks and the whole church have been doing
for me as far back as I can remember."

And so they talked, parents and pastor and J.W., quite naturally and
freely, of the long chain of interest which had linked his life to the
church's life, back through all the years to his babyhood.

J.W. had been in the League only a year or two, but it seemed to him
that he had been in the church always. And the memories of his boyhood
which had the church for center, were intimately interwoven with all his
other experiences.

As his father said, "I guess, pastor, if you tried to take out of J.W.'s
young life all that the church has meant to him, it would puzzle a
professor to explain whatever might be left."

J.W. had been born in the country, on a farm whose every tree and fence
corner he still loved. His first recollections of the church as part of
his life had to do with the Sunday morning drive to the little
meetinghouse, which stood where the road to town skirted a low hill. It
had horse-sheds on one side, stretching back to the rear of the church
lot, and some sizeable elms and maples were grouped about its front and
sides. It was a one-room structure, unless you counted the space
curtained off for the primary class, as J.W. always did. For back of
this curtain's protecting folds he had begun his career as a Sunday
school pupil and had made his first friends. At that time even district
school was yet a year ahead of him, with its wider democratic joys and
griefs, and its larger freedom from parental oversight.

When J.W. was six, going on seven, the family moved to Delafield,
though retaining ownership of the farm, and for years J.W. spent nearly
every Saturday on the old place, in free and blissful association with
the Shenk children, whose father was the tenant. It was here that he and
Martin Luther Shenk, already introduced as "Marty," being of the same
age, had sworn eternal friendship, a vow which as yet showed no sign
whatever of the ravages of time. There were three other children, Ben
and Alice and Jeannette. Now, Jeannette was only two years younger than
J.W. and Marty, but through most of the years when J.W. was going every
week to the farm, she was "only a girl," and far behind the two chums by
all the exacting standards which to boys are more than law. But there
came a time----

J.W., Sr., reveling in reminiscences before so patient a listener as the
preacher, though it was an old story, rehearsed how he had served for
years as superintendent of the country Sunday school, and how Mrs.
Farwell was teacher of the Girls' Bible Class. Their home had always
been Methodist headquarters, he said, as old-time Methodists usually
say, and with truth.

When they moved to town the change brought no loss of church interest;
the Farwells merely transferred it entire to Delafield First Church
("First" being more a title than a numeral, since there was no second).

But First Church had not a few progressive saints. They wanted the best
that could be had, so J.W., Sr., Sunday school enthusiast that he was,
found himself in a new place of opportunity. The Board of Sunday Schools
at Chicago had been asked to help Delafield get itself in line with the
best ideas and methods, and J.W., Sr., found the beginnings, at least,
of Sunday school science in active operation. At first, like a true
country man, he was a little inclined to counsels of caution, but in
his country Sunday school work he had acquired such strong opinions
about old fogies that he dreaded being thought one himself.

"And that's how it happened," he said with a laugh, "that I was soon
reckoned among the progressives. In that first year I helped 'em win
their fight for separate departments, and before long we had the makings
of a real graded Sunday school. Don't you remember, mother, how proud
you were when young J.W. there was graduated from the Primary into the
Junior Department?"

All this was before Pastor Drury's time, of course, but he had gone
through the same experiences in other pastorates, and needed not to have
anything explained.

"How long have we had a teacher-training class in our Sunday school?" he
asked.

That called out the story of the struggles to set up what many openly
called a useless and foolish enterprise. The Sunday school was
chronically short of teachers, and yet J.W., Sr., and the other
reformers insisted on taking out of the regular classes the best
teachers in the school, and a score of the most promising young people.
This group went off by itself into a remote part of the church. It
furnished no substitute teachers. It wasn't heard of at all. And loud
were the complaints about its crippling the school.

"But, pastor, you should have seen the difference when the first dozen
real teachers came out of that class; we were able to reorganize the
whole school. Our John Wesley got a teacher he'll never forget. And, of
course, we kept the training class going; it's never stopped since. The
Board of Sunday Schools has given us the courses and helped us keep the
class up to grade in its work, and you know what sort of teachers we
have now."

The pastor did, and was properly thankful. In some of his other
pastorates it had been otherwise, to his sorrow.

"Speaking of the Board of Sunday Schools," the elder Farwell resumed,
for this was a hobby he missed no chance to ride, "it made all the
difference with us in our work for a better Sunday school--gave us
expert backing, you know. And I notice by its latest annual report--yes,
I always get a copy, though J.W. thinks it dry reading--that it is
helping Sunday schools by the thousand, not in this country only, but
wherever in the world our church is at work. Of course you know how it
starts Sunday schools, and how often they grow into churches. Well, it
didn't quite do that here, but this church is a sight better and bigger
because we began to take the Board's advice when we did. It was a good
thing for our boy, and many another boy and girl, that the Board woke us
up."

"It hasn't all been easy work, though," the minister suggested. "I
remember that when I came I found there was a good deal of discontent
over the Graded Lessons."

"Sure there was," said J.W., Sr. "We had all been brought up on the
Uniform Lessons, and most of us thought they were just right. Besides,
we rather enjoyed thinking of ourselves as keeping step with the whole
Sunday school world--all over the wide earth everybody studying the same
scripture on the same Sunday. And that was a big idea to get into the
minds of Christians of every name everywhere."

"Yes, but, Dad," put in J.W., "what was the good of it if the lessons
didn't fit everybody? Did people think that the kids in the primary and
their mothers in ma's class ought to study the same lesson? or did they
think they could fit the same lesson to everybody by the different notes
they put into the Quarterlies?"

"Well, son," his father replied, "I reckon we thought both ways. And I'm
not so sure yet that it can't be done. But if one thing more than
another reconciled me to the Graded Lessons, it was that they made being
a Sunday school teacher a good deal bigger job than it had ever been. It
was harder work, because every lesson had to be studied by the teacher,
and in a different way from what was thought good enough in the old
days. And I'm for anything, Graded Lessons or whatever, that'll make
people take Sunday school teaching more seriously."

Then Mrs. Farwell ventured to take up the story. It was about that time,
in the very beginning of the Drury pastorate, that J.W. joined the
church on probation; much to her surprise and humbling.

"I hadn't even thought of it," she said, "though I should have been the
first one. He had been getting ready in the Junior League, as I very
well knew, but one day, as you may remember"--Brother Drury did, for
that day was the real beginning of this story--"you made an invitation
at the end of a real simple sermon, and if J.W., Jr., didn't get right
up from my side and walk straight to the front!"

After that there had been a probationers' class, with J.W. and perhaps
twenty others meeting the pastor every week for straight religious
teaching, so that at Easter, when they came up for membership, what with
their Sunday school and Junior League training, and what with the
pastor's more personal instruction, they were able to pass a pretty fair
examination on the great Christian truths, and on the general scheme of
the church's work.

"For a time mother was a trifle disappointed that J.W. hadn't waited for
the big revival we had the next year," said J.W., Sr., "but I think she
was glad afterward."

"Yes, I was," the mother said. "You see, I had been brought up to
believe in revivals, and I do yet, but we had no such chance to get the
right Christian start when we were little children, as J.W. has had, if
you'll let his mother say so, and that made a revival a good deal more
important to us when our church did get ready for one. But the other way
is all right too. I'm mother enough to be glad J.W. hasn't known some of
the experiences the boys of my time went through, and the girls as well.
He's no worse a Christian for having been right in the church ever since
I put him in short dresses, are you, son? And I will say that his father
was always with me in holding to the promises we made when he was
baptized. We've not done what we might, but we've never forgotten that
those promises were made to be kept."

J.W. felt none of his old shrinking from such talk, especially since the
Institute, and yet he had the healthy boy's reluctance to discuss
himself in company. But this was interesting him, outside himself.

He turned to the pastor. "That's what I meant when I told you what Phil
said. I'm all for the church, and church people and church ways; why
shouldn't I be? I've never known anything else. I remember well the one
thing I didn't like when it first came along; and that was the new sort
of Christmas celebration Dad and the others planned when I was ten or
eleven. You know what Christmas means to such kids, and I guess we were
all selfish together, because we didn't use our heads. Well, the Sunday
school proposed that instead of us all getting something we should all
give something. It looked pretty cheap to us little fellows at first,
and our teacher had all he could do to hold us in line. But let me tell
you, every boy was for it when the time came. We found that we could
have as much fun giving things away as we could grabbing things, and,
anyway, nobody really cared for those mosquito net stockings filled with
nuts and candy and one orange. It was only the idea of getting something
for nothing. That first 'giving Christmas,' I remember, our class
dressed up as delivery boys, and we came on the platform with enough
groceries for a small truck load, that we had bought with our own money.
The orphanage got 'em next day. And one class was dusty millers,
carrying sacks of flour, and another put on a stunt of searching for
Captain Kidd's treasure, and they found a keg of shining coins (new
pennies, they were)--more than a thousand of 'em. Everything went to the
orphanage, or the hospital; and then when the Board of Sunday Schools
began to get us interested in other Sunday schools and in missions--I
remember a scheme they call a 'Partnership Plan' that was great; I don't
know what happened to it--I got right into the game every time."

"How do you happen to know so much about the Board of Sunday Schools,
J.W.?" asked Mr. Drury.

"Oh, that's easy. You know how it is in our Sunday school: they don't
make one or two of us young fellows serve as librarians and secretaries
and such and miss all the class work: they have more help, and we all
get into class for the lesson. Well, two years ago Dad told me you had
nominated me for something at the annual Sunday school meeting. It was
only a sort of assistant secretary's job, but very soon I began to catch
on, and I've seen a lot of the letters and leaflets that come from the
Board in Chicago. Well, let me tell you that Board of Sunday Schools is
a whale of a machine. Why, it's the whole church at work to make better
Sunday schools, and more of 'em. They have Sunday school workers in all
sorts of wild places, and Sunday school missionaries in foreign lands.
Yes, and last year I happened to meet one of their secretaries, at your
house, you may remember. But you'd never think he was just a secretary,
he was so keen and wide awake. He knew the Boy Scouts from A to Z, and
that got me, 'cause I'm not so old that I've forgotten my scouting. And
he knew baseball, and boys' books, and all that. Don't you think,
Brother Drury, if more of the fellows knew what the real Sunday school
work is they would take to it like colts to a bran mash?"

"They couldn't help it," said the pastor. "And you may have noticed that
your father and the other people of our Sunday School Board are trying
to get them to find out some of the things you have found out. For
instance, you know what the two organized classes of high-school
freshmen are doing, and the other organized classes. Seems to me their
members are finding out that Sunday school is something big and fine."

"That they are," Mrs. Farwell agreed, "and you mustn't forget my
wonderful class of young married women, and the men's class of nearly a
hundred. I think our Sunday school has really begun to change the ideas
of a lot of people. Just think how little trouble we have now with what
Graded Lessons we have, and how happy all our teachers are because they
have the helps they need for just the sort of pupils that are in their
classes."

"That's so," said J.W., Sr. "I don't suppose even old Brother Barnacle,
'sot' as he is, would vote to go back to the times when the
superintendent reviewed the lesson the same way the teachers taught it,
from a printed list of questions. Seems as if I can hear Henry J. Locke
yet--his farm joins ours down by the creek--when he conducted the
reviewing at Deep Creek. He would hold his quarterly at arm's length to
favor his eyes, and then look up from it to the school and shoot the
question at everybody, 'And what did Peter do _then_, HEY?' He sure did
come out strong on Peter; but I'll say this for him, that he never
skipped a question from start to finish."

All three laughed a little over Henry J. Locke, and then the pastor said
he mustn't stay much longer. But he did want to back up J.W.'s belief
that what Phil Khamis had said was true of everybody--we are all
debtors.

"Look at this young J.W. here, will you," he said to the father and
mother, for once letting himself go, "with a name he's proud of, and a
home life that many a Fifth Avenue and Lake Shore Drive family would be
glad to pay a million for, if such goods were on sale in the stores. I'm
going to tell him something he already knows. Young man," and there was
a gleam in the pastor's eye that was not all to the credit of the work
he was praising, "you owe a big debt to the Sunday school. I'm not
jealous for the church, or for any other part of it, but by your own
admission the Sunday school has had a lot to do with your education.
Very well; remember it is a part of what Phil said, and what you are
because of the Sunday school you have become by the goodness of
Christian people. I don't think you'll forget it, seeing that you have
two of that sort of people in your own home all the time."

And then, with a fine naturalness the little group knelt by the chairs,
and two of the four, he who was pastor of the whole flock and he who
with simple dignity was priest in his own household, gave thanks to God
for the manifold goodness of Christian people, of which they were all
partakers every day.

As he went home, Walter Drury thought of the long days that stretched
out ahead before he could see the outcomes of the great Experiment, but
this night had seen a good night's work done in the laboratory, and he
was content.

One tale of the past had been much in J.W.'s thought that night, but
nothing on earth could have induced him to talk about it, especially
since the happenings at the Institute. Only one other person knew all of
its inwardness, though the preacher guessed most of the secret pretty
shrewdly, and everybody was familiar with its outcome.

It was the story of Marty Shenk's conversion.

These two had been David and Jonathan from their little boy days, no
less friends because they were so unlike; Marty, a quiet, brooding,
knowledge-hungry youngster, and J.W. matter-of-fact, taking things as
they came and asking few questions, but always the leader in games and
mischief; each the other's champion against all comers.

Marty's father, tenant-farmer on the Farwell farm, was steady enough and
dependable, but never one to get ahead much. Before the Farwells moved
to town he had rarely stayed on the same farm more than a year or two,
but, as he said, "J.W. Farwell was different, and anybody who wanted to
be decent could get along with him." So, for many Saturdays and
vacations of boyhood years J.W. and Marty had roamed the countryside,
and were letter-perfect in their boy-knowledge of the old farm.

Marty came in to high school from the farm, and often he stayed with
J.W. over the weekend. His school work was uneven--ahead in mathematics,
and the sciences, and something below the average in other studies.
That, however, has no place in this story.

Of course he and J.W. were thick as thieves. Except when class work made
temporary separations necessary, they lived the high-school life
together. That meant also, for these two, the social life of the church,
which occasionally paid special attention to the students.

So you might find them at Epworth League socials, Sunday school class
doings, in the Sunday school orchestra--violin and b-flat cornet
respectively--and, most significant of all in its effect on all the
later years, they went through Win-My-Chum week together. The hand of
the pastor was in that, too.

Marty was not a Christian. J.W. had been a church member for years, and
early in his course he had faced and accepted all that being a Christian
seemed to mean to a high-school boy.

There had been hard places to get over; some of the boys and girls were
merciless in their unconscious tests of his religion. Some were openly
scornful, and others sought by indirect and furtive means to break his
influence in the school. For he had no small gift of leadership, and he
cared a good deal that it should count for the decencies of high-school
life. By senior year the sort of trouble that a Christian boy encounters
in school was almost all ended, but it had been more through his dogged
resistance to opposition than because of any special zest in Christian
service.

And then came the announcement of Win-My-Chum week, with J.W.
confronted by two stubborn facts. He had only one real chum, and that
chum was not a Christian. Pastor Drury had let fall a remark, a month
before the Week, to the effect that any Christian who had a chum could
dodge Win-My-Chum week, but he couldn't dodge his chum. When the week
was past, the chum would still be on hand.

Think as he would, there was no honest way of escape from whatever those
facts might require of him, so J.W., long accustomed to go ahead and
take what came, had known himself bound by the obligations of this
matter also, days and days before the activities of Win-My-Chum week
began.

The two were out one Saturday on the north road. They had been up to the
woods on Barker's Hill for nuts, and with good success. The day was
warm, the way was long, and there was no hurry. When they came to the
roadside at the wood's edge they sat on a fallen tree and talked. At
least Marty did. For J.W. was not himself.

It was his chance, and he knew it. But a thousand impulses leaped to
life within him to make him put off what he knew he ought to say. The
fear of being misunderstood--even by Marty--the knowledge that Marty, in
the qualities by which boys judge and are judged, was quite as "good" as
himself; and, above all, his sense of total unfitness to be a pattern of
the Christian life to anybody, filled him with an uneasiness that
actually hurt.

And Marty soon discovered that something was amiss. Willing as he was to
do his full share of the talking, he became aware that except for
inarticulate commonplaces he was having to do it all.

"What's the matter with you all at once, J.W.?" he asked. "You're not
taken suddenly sick, are you? You were all right when we were among the
trees. _Are_ you sick?"

J.W. laughed shortly. "No, old man, I'm not sick. But I'm up against a
new game, for me, and I'm not in training."

"Sounds interesting," said Marty, "but sort of mysterious. Is it
anything I can do team-work on?"

"It surely is, but first I've got to say something, and I want you to
promise that you won't think I'm putting on, or butting in, because I'm
not; nothing like it. Will you?"

"Will I promise?" said Marty, much bewildered. "Course I'll promise not
to think anything about you that you don't want me to think, but I must
say I don't know within a thousand miles what you're driving at. Out
with it, and even if you're the train bandit who held up the Cannonball
or if you've plotted to kidnap the Board of Education, I'll never tell."

Marty's quizzical humor was not making J.W.'s enterprise any easier. He
had always supposed that what the leaflets called "personal evangelism"
had to be done in a spirit of solemnity. But how was he to acquire the
proper frame of mind? And certainly there was nothing solemn about Marty
just now. Yet the thing had gone too far; it was too late to retreat. He
tried to think how Mr. Drury would do it, but saw only that if it was
Mr. Dairy's business he would go straight to the center of it.
Desperately, therefore, he plunged in.

"Well, Marty," he said, speaking now with nervous haste, "what I'm up
against is this. What's the matter with your being a Christian?"

He will never forget the swift look of blank amazement that Marty turned
on him, nor the slow-mounting flush that followed the first astonished
start. For Marty did not answer, and turned his face away. J.W. was sure
that in his blundering bluntness he had offended and probably angered
his closest friend. The distress of that thought served at least to
drive away all the self-consciousness which thus far had plagued him.

"Say, Marty," he pleaded, putting his hand on the other's arm, "forget
it, if I've hurt your feelings. I know as well as you do that I'm not
fit to talk about such things to anybody, and, honest, I meant nothing
but to say what I knew I'd got to say."

Then Marty turned himself back slowly, and J.W. saw the troubled look
in his eyes. In a voice that trembled despite his proud effort at
control, he said, "Old man, you needn't apologize. You did surprise me,
I'll admit; I wasn't looking for anything like this. It's all right,
though, and I'm certainly not mad about it. But, say, J.W., let me put
something up to you. Why did you never think to ask me that question
before?"

"Why, it was this way," J.W. began, somewhat puzzled at the form of the
question, and still thinking he must set himself right with Marty. "You
know the Epworth League is planning for those special meetings
soon--'Win-My-Chum Week'--and I've been asked to lead one of the
meetings. But you can see that I wouldn't be ready to lead a meeting
like that unless I had put this thing of being a Christian up to you,
anyway. You're the only real chum I've got. Mr. Drury said something a
little while ago that made it mighty plain."

"Yes," said Marty, "I can see that. But why did you never say anything
to me about it when there wasn't any meeting coming? Haven't we always
shared everything else, since away back? This is the one subject that
you and I have kept away from in our talk of all we've ever thought
about, and I was wondering why."

"Well, I don't exactly know," J.W. replied. "It may have been that it
never seemed to be any of my business; that it was the preacher's
business, or the Sunday school teacher's, or somebody's. And you know
I've always been surer of what you really are than I have of myself. I
think I was always afraid you would either make fun of me or believe I
was letting on to be better than you were. But when the League got into
this Win-My-Chum plan, why, the name itself was an eye-opener. And I've
seen lately that a fellow's got to be a Christian, out and out, or his
religion is no good. And when I heard the preacher say, not long ago,
that a fellow might dodge Win-My-Chum week, but he couldn't forever
dodge his chum, I knew I had to speak to you. But you're sure you're not
offended?"

"Let me admit a thing to you, J.W. I've never said so before, but I've
been wanting somebody to ask me to be a Christian for a long time. I was
a coward about it, and wouldn't let on. I've been wanting to find out
what I've got to do, but I wouldn't ask. Do you think I _could_ be a
Christian?"

"I know you could be a long way better Christian than I am," J.W.
answered with unwonted feeling. "And if you did take Jesus Christ to be
your Master, it would be more than just your getting religion. You would
be the biggest kind of stand-by for me and for other people I know of.
It's the one thing you need to be a hundred per cent right. I'm a pretty
poor Christian, myself, Marty, partly because I don't know how to think
much about it, but you'd be dead in earnest to get all that there is in
the Christian life, and maybe I could follow along behind. You've always
helped every other way, and I've always wanted you to help me be a
genuine Christian."

Marty put his hand on J.W.'s shoulder and looked him straight in the
eye: "You've got me rated a lot too high," he said. "How can I help you?
But we two have been pretty good chums so far, haven't we? Well, there's
a lot to settle before I can be sure I'm a Christian, but it means
everything for you to think I can be of some use. And I promise you
this, J.W., I'll not let up until I am a Christian, and we'll stick
together all the more, when I am, us two. Is that ago?"

It was a go. J.W. was ready and far more than ready to call it a go. It
had been easier than he had expected, but then it had all been so
different from the vague and formal thing he had been afraid of. He
could hardly believe, but he had one request to make. "I know you'll
settle whatever has to be settled," he said, a bit unsteadily, "but when
it's all done, and you tell people about it, as I know you will, please,
Marty, don't bring me into it. Publicly, I mean. Let's just have this
understanding between ourselves. I can lead my meeting now, but there's
no need to say anything about me. Besides, I made a mess of it."

"It may be the best mess anybody ever stirred up for me, J.W., but I
won't say anything to worry you, if the time comes for me to say
anything at all. And I believe it will."

It did. Marty and the pastor had two or three long interviews. From the
last of them the boy came away with a new light on his face and a new
spring in his step. Evidently whatever needed to be settled, had been
settled.

He kept his promise to his chum, but that did not prevent him from
choosing the night when J.W. led the meeting to stand up at the first
opportunity and make his straightforward confession of love and loyalty,
since God had made him a sharer in the life that is in Christ. Then for
a moment J.W. feared Marty might forget their agreement, but Marty said
simply, "And part of the joy that is in my heart to-night is because
there is a new tie, the only other one we needed, between myself and my
old-time chum, the leader of this meeting."

In the back of the room Walter Drury, quietly looking on, sent up a
silent thanksgiving. The great Experiment was going well.



CHAPTER III


CAMPUS DAYS

So it was that J.W. and Marty had come into the inner places of each
other's lives. Of all the developments of Institute week, naturally the
one which filled J.W.'s thoughts with a sort of awed gladness was
Marty's decision to offer himself for the ministry. Joe Carbrook's
right-about-face was much more dramatic, for J.W. saw, when the decision
was made, that Marty could not have been meant for anything but a
preacher. It was as fit as you please. As to Joe, previous opinion had
been pretty equally divided; one side leaning to the idea that he might
make a lawyer, and the other predicting that he was more likely to be a
perpetual and profitable client for some other lawyer.

In the light of the Institute happenings, it was to be expected that the
question of college would promptly become a practical matter to four
Delafield people. Marty was greatly troubled, for he knew if he was to
be a preacher, he must go to college, and he couldn't see how. J.W. felt
no great urge, though it had always been understood that he would go.
Marcia Dayne had one year of normal school to her credit, and would take
another next year, perhaps; but this year she must teach.

Joe Carbrook spent little time in debate with himself; he let everybody
know that he was going to be a missionary doctor, and that he would go
to the State University for the rest of his college course.

"But what about the religious influence of the University?" Marcia Dayne
had ventured to ask him one evening as they walked slowly under the elms
of Monroe Avenue.

"I don't know about that," Joe answered, "and maybe I'm making a
mistake. But I don't think so. To begin with, there isn't any question
about equipment at the State University. They have everything any church
school has, and probably more than most church schools, for what I want.
And they work in close relationship to the medical school. That's one
thing. The big reason, though--I wonder if you'll understand it?"

"I believe I could understand anything you might be thinking about--now,
Joe." And Marcia's voice had in it a note which stirred that usually
self-possessed young man out of all his easy composure.

"I'll remember that, Marcia," he said in the thrill of a swift elation.
"I'll remember that, because I think you do--understand, and some day
I--but I've got at least five years of plugging ahead of me, and----"

"You were going to tell me about your big reason for going to the State
University," Marcia broke in, though she wondered afterward if her
instinct had not played her false.

"Yes," Joe said, with a little effort. "Well, this is it. You know I
didn't make much of a hit at college; I pulled through sophomore year,
but that's about all, and I doubt if the faculty will pass resolutions
of regret when I don't show up there in the fall. The religious
influences of a church school didn't prevent me from being a good deal
of a heathen, though I will say that was no fault of the school. Maybe I
ought to go back and face the music. It wouldn't be so bad, I guess. But
I feel more like making a clean, new start, in a new place. The State
University wouldn't be any worse for me than I should be for it, if
nothing had happened to change my point of view. So, that isn't the
issue. But if the State University life is able to beat me before I get
to sawing bones at all, I'd make a pretty missionary doctor if I ever
landed in foreign parts, wouldn't I?"

Marcia could find nothing to say; perhaps because her thoughts were busy
with other and more personal aspects of Joe's plans for the future.

And as Joe's people were completely oblivious to everything except the
startling change that had come over him, and were abundantly able to
send him to three universities at once if necessary, Joe Carbrook was as
good as enrolled.

Marty and J.W. did not find the future opening up before them so easily.
Marty, for all he could not imagine the way opening before such as
himself, was all eagerness about the nearest Methodist school, which
happened to be the one where the Institute had been held, Cartwright
College. It was named, as may be supposed, in honor of Peter Cartwright,
that pioneer Methodist preacher who became famous on the same sort of
schooling which sufficed for Abraham Lincoln, and once ran against
Lincoln himself for Congress. J.W. was not specially eager to look for a
college education anywhere. Why should he be, since he was expecting to
go into business?

The two had many a discussion, Marty arguing in favor of college for
everybody, and J.W. admitting that for preachers and teachers and
lawyers and doctors it was necessary, but what use could it be in
business?

"But say, J.W., you're not going to be one of these 'born a man, died a
grocer' sort of business men," urged Marty. "Broad-minded--that's your
future, with a knowledge of more than markets. And look at the personal
side of college life. Haven't you heard Mr. Drury say that if he hadn't
anything else to show for his four years at college than the lifelong
friendships he made there it would have been worth all it cost? And you
have reason to know he doesn't forget the studies."

"That's all right, Marty," J.W. rejoined. "I don't need much convincing
on that score. I can see the good times too; you know I'd try for all
the athletics I could get into, and I guess I could keep my end up
socially. But is all that worth my time for the next four years,
studying subjects that would be no earthly good to me in business, in
making a living, I mean? The other boys in hardware stores would have
four years the start of me."

"But don't you remember, J.W., what our commencement speaker said on
that very point? He told us we had to be men and women first, no matter
what occupations we got into. And he bore down hard on how it was a good
deal bigger business to make a life than to make a living. In these days
the most dangerous people, to themselves and to all of us, are the
uneducated people."

"Yes, I remember," J.W. admitted. "'Cultural and social values of
education,' he called that, didn't he? And that's what I'm not sure of.
It seems pretty foggy to me. But, old man, you're going, that's settled,
and maybe I'll just let dad send me to keep you company, if I can't find
any better reason."

"That's all very well for you to say, J.W.," Marty retorted, with the
least little touch of resentment in his tone. "You'll _let_ your dad
send you. My dad can't send me, though he'll do all he's able to do, and
how I can earn enough, to get through is more than I can see from here."

But J.W. asserted, confidently: "There's a way, just the same, and I
think I know how to find out about it. I haven't been a second assistant
deputy secretary in the Sunday school for nothing. You reminded me of
the commencement address; I'll ask you if you remember Children's Day?
It came the very next Sunday."

"Yes, I remember it; but what of it?"

"Well, my boy, we took up a collection for you!"

"We did? Not much we did, and anyway, do you think I'd accept that sort
of help? I'm not looking for charity, yet," and Marty showed the hurt he
felt.

"Steady, Martin Luther! I wouldn't want you to get that collection
anyway; it wasn't near big enough. But don't you know that every
Children's Day collection in the whole church goes to the Board of
Education, and that it has become a big fund, never to be given away but
always to be loaned to students getting ready to be preachers and such?
It's no charity; it's the same broad-minded business you want me to go
to college for. I can see that much without getting any nearer to
college than the Delafield First Church Sunday School. You borrow the
money, just as if you stepped up to a bank window, and you agree to pay
it back as soon as you can after you graduate. Then it goes into the
Fund again, and some other boy or girl borrows it, and so on. More than
twenty-five thousand students have borrowed from this fund. About
fifteen hundred of 'em got loans last year. Ask the preacher if I'm not
giving you this straight."

Marty had no immediate way of testing this unusual wealth of
information, so he said, "Well, maybe there's something in it. I'll talk
to Brother Drury about it, anyway."

That observing man was quite willing to be talked to. When Marty
presented himself at the study a few days later he found the pastor as
well prepared as if he had been expecting some such interview, as,
indeed, he had.

He told Marty the story of the Student Loan Fund--how it originated in
the celebration of the Centenary of American Methodism, in 1866, and how
it had been growing all through the years, both by the annual Children's
Day offering and by the increasing return of loans from former students.

Then he explained that this Fund, and many other educational affairs,
were in the hands of the Church's Board of Education. This Board, Marty
heard, is a sort of educational clearing house for the whole church, and
especially for Methodist schools of higher learning. It helps young
people to go to college, and it helps the colleges to take care of the
young people when they go, of course always using money which has come
from the churches. It has charge of a group of special schools in the
South, and it sets the scholastic standards to which all the church's
schools and colleges must conform. Besides looking out for these
interests it helps the school to provide courses in the Bible and
Christian principles, and it furnishes workers to serve the colleges in
caring for the religious life of the students.

Marty listened carefully, and with no lack of interest, but when the
minister paused the boy's mind sprang back to his own particular
concern.

"But, Mr. Drury, can any student borrow money from that fund?"

"Well, no," said the preacher, "not every student. Only those who are
preparing for the ministry or for other careers of special service. They
have to show that the loan will help them in preparing to be of some
definite Christian value when they graduate. That won't affect you; you
can borrow, not all you could use, perhaps, but enough to be a big help.
How much do you expect to need?"

"Why," answered Marty, "I hardly know. I hadn't really thought it
possible I could go. But dad says he'll let me have all he can, and they
tell me a fellow can get work to do if he's not particular about easy
jobs. I'm pretty sure I could manage, except for tuition and books,
but----"

"Then you may as well consider it settled," said the pastor, "Cartwright
College will welcome you on those terms, or I'll know the reason why.
And I think you can count on J.W. going with you."

J.W. was not hard to convince. His parents were all for it. The pastor
had no intention of overdoing his own part in the affair, and contented
himself with a suggestion that disposed of J.W.'s main objection.

J.W. had been saying to him one day, "I know I should have a good time
at college, but I should be four years later getting into business than
the other boys."

"That depends on what 'later' means," replied Mr. Drury. "You would not
need four years to catch up, if college does for you what I think it
will. Besides, you're intending to be a Christian citizen, I take it,
and that will be even more of a job than to be a successful hardware
man. Colleges have been operating these many years, to give young people
the best possible preparations for a whole life. Remember what John
Milton said: I care not how late I come, so I come fit.' You want to
come to your work as fit as they make 'em, don't you?"

And J.W. owned up that he did. "I don't mean to be a dub in business,
and I've no right to be a dub anywhere. Me for Cartwright, Brother
Drury!"

Another day's work in the laboratory. Walter Drury knew how to be
patient, yet every experience like this was a tonic to his soul. And now
he must be content for a time to let others carry the work through its
next stages, though he would hold himself ready for any unexpected
development that might arise.

So it befell that J.W. and Marty started to Cartwright, and a week later
Joe Carbrook went off to the State University.

The day after they had matriculated, J.W. and Marty were putting their
room to rights--oh, yes, they thought it would be well to share the same
room--and as they puttered about they reviewed the happenings of the
first day. They had made a preliminary exploration of the grounds and
buildings, revisiting the places which had become familiar during
Institute week, and living over that crowded and epochal time.

Marty, scouting around for something to do, had discovered that he could
get work, such as it was, for ten hours a week, anyway, and maybe more,
at thirty to fifty cents an hour. He had a little money left after
paying his tuition, and the college registrar assured him that the loan
from the Board of Education would be forthcoming. Therefore the talk
turned on money.

"That tuition bill sure reduced the swelling in my pocketbook, Marty,"
remarked J.W., as he examined his visible resources.

"What do you think it did to mine?" Marty observed quietly. "I'm still
giddy from being relieved of so much money in one operation. And yet I
can't see how they get along. Look at the big faculty they have, and all
these buildings to keep up and keep going. When I think of how big a
dollar seems to me, the tuition looks like the national debt of Mexico;
but when I try to figure out how much it costs the college per student,
I feel as though I were paying lunch-counter prices for a dining-car
dinner. How _do_ they do it, J.W.?"

"Who told you I was to be looked on in the light of a World Almanac, my
son? I could give you the answer to that question without getting out of
my chair, but for one small difficulty--I just don't know. Tell you
what--it's a good question--let's look in the catalogue. I'd like to
find information in that volume about something besides the four
centuries of study that loom before my freshman eyes."

So they looked in the catalogue and discovered that Cartwright College
had an endowment of $1,750,000, producing an income of about $80,000 a
year, and that the churches of its territory gave about $25,000 more.
They learned also that most of the buildings had been provided by
friends of the college, with the Carnegie Library mainly the gift of the
millionaire ironmaster. They learned also that about $500,000 of the
endowment had been raised in the last two years, under the promise of
the General Education Board, which is a Rockefeller creation, to provide
the last $125,000. The college property was valued at about half a
million dollars.

"And there you are, Martin Luther, my bold reformer," said J.W.,
cheerfully. "The people who put up the money have invested about two and
a half millions on you and me, and the other five hundred students, say
about $250 a year per student. And we pay the rest of what it costs to
give us a college career, $125 to $175 a year, depending on our taste in
courses. I remember I felt as if the John Wesley Farwell family had
almost gone broke when dad signed up for $1,000 on that last endowment
campaign. I thought the money gone forever, but I see now he merely
invested it. I've come to Cartwright to spend the income of it, and a
little more. Five or six people have given a thousand dollars apiece to
make a college course possible for each of us. There's some reason in
college endowments, after all."

And Marty said, "One good I can see in this particular endowment is that
anybody but a selfish idiot would be glad to match four years of his
life against all the money and work that Christian people have put into
Cartwright College."

"I hope you don't mean anything personal by that remark," J.W. said,
with mock solemnity, "because I'm inclined to believe you're more than
half right. It reminds me again of what Phil Khamis said. I'm beginning
to think I'll never have a chance to forget that Greek's Christian
remark about Christians."

By being off at school together J.W. and Marty gave each other
unconfessed but very real moral support in those first days when a lone
freshman would have known he was homesick.

But another antidote, both pleasant and potent, was supplied by the
Epworth League of First Church. It had allied itself with the college
Y.M.C.A.--and for the women students, with the Y.W.C.A.--in various
ways, but particularly it purposed to see that the first few Sundays
were safely tided over.

So the two chums found themselves in one of the two highly attractive
study courses which had been put on in partnership with the Sunday
school. It was in the early afternoon of one of the early Sundays that
J.W. called Marty's attention to a still more alluring opportunity.

"Looky here, Marty, it's raining, I know, but I've a feeling that you'd
better not write that letter home until a little further on in the day.
What's to stop us from taking a look at this League fellowship hour
we're invited to, and getting a light lunch? We don't need to stay to
the League meeting unless we choose, though we're members, you know."

Marty picked up the card of invitation which J.W. had flipped across the
table to him, and read it.

"Well," he commented, "it reads all right. Let's try it."

Out into the rain they went and put in two highly cheerful hours,
including one in the devotional meeting, so that when Marty at last sat
down to write home, he produced, without quite knowing how, a letter
that was vastly more heartening when it reached the farm than it would
have been if he had written it before dark.

Joe Carbrook set out for the State University in what was for him a
fashion quite subdued. Before his experience at the Institute he would
have gone, if at all, in his own car, and his arrival would have been
notice to "the sporty crowd" that another candidate for initiation into
that select circle had arrived.

But Joe was enjoying the novelty of thinking a little before he acted.
Though he would always be of the irrepressible sort, he was not the same
Joe. He had laid out a program which surprised himself somewhat, and
astonished most of the people who knew him.

He knew now that he would become, if he could, a doctor; a missionary
doctor. No other career entered his mind. He would finish his college
work at the State University, and then go to medical school. He would
devote himself without ceasing to all the studies he would need. Not for
him any social life, any relaxation of purpose. Grimly he told himself
that his play days were over. They had been lively while they lasted;
but they were done.

Of course that was foolish. If he had persisted in any such scholastic
regimen, the effort would have lasted a few days, or possibly weeks; and
then in a reaction of disgust he might easily have come to despair of
the whole project.

Fortunately for Joe and for a good many other people, his purpose of
digging into his books and laboratory work and doggedly avoiding any
other interest was tempered by the happenings of the first week.
Doubtless he would have made a desperate struggle, but it would have
been useless. Not even conversion can make new habits overnight, and in
his first two years at college Joe had been known to teachers and
students alike as distinctly a sketchy student, wholly inexpert at
concentrated effort.

And so, instead of becoming first a grind and then a discouraged rebel
against it all, he had the immense good fortune to be captured by an
observant Junior whom he had met while they were both registering for
Chemistry III.

"You're new here," said the Junior, Heatherby by name, "and I've had two
years of it. Maybe you'll let me show you the place. I'm the proud
half-owner of a decidedly second-hand 'Hooting Nanny,' you know, and I
rather like bumping people around town in it."

That was the beginning of many things. Joe liked it that Heatherby made
no apologies for his car, and before long he discovered that the other
half-owner, Barnard, was equally unaffected and friendly. It was
something of a surprise, though, to learn that Barnard was not a
student, but the youthful-looking pastor of the University Methodist
Church, of late known as the Wesley Foundation.

"I'm not up on Methodism as I should be," said Joe to Barnard, a day or
two later, "and I may as well admit that I never heard before of this
Wesley Foundation of yours. Is it a church affair?"

"Well, rather," Barnard answered. "It is just exactly that. You know, or
could have guessed, that a good many of the students here are from
Methodist homes--about a fourth of the whole student body, as it
happens. And our church has been coming to see, perhaps a bit slowly,
that although the State could not provide any religious influences, and
could certainly do nothing for denominational interests, there was all
the more reason for the church to do it. That's the idea under the
Foundation, so to speak, and the work is now established in nine of the
great State Universities."

"Yes, I see," Joe mused, "but just what is the Foundation's duty, and
how do you do it?"

Barnard laughed as he said, "We do pretty near everything, in this
University. We have a regular Methodist church, with a membership made
up almost entirely of faculty and students. The town people have their
own First Church, over on the West Side. Our church has its Sunday
school, its Epworth League Chapter, and other activities. We try to come
out strong on the social side, and in a little while, when our Social
Center building is up--we're after the money for it now--we can do a
good deal more. There is plenty of demand for it."

"That's all church work, of course. I suppose you have no relation to
the University, though," Joe asked, "studies and all that?"

"Yes, indeed, and we're coming to more of it, but gradually. We are
already offering courses in religious subjects, with teachers recognized
by the University, and credit given. It's all very new yet, you know,
but we're hoping and going ahead."

"I should think so," said Joe with emphasis. "But where does the money
come from for all this? It must be Methodist money, of course; who puts
it up?"

"Oh, the usual people," said Barnard. "A few well-to-do Methodists have
provided some of it, but the really big money has to come from the
churches--collections and subscriptions and all that. This sort of work
is being done in forty-odd other schools, where the Wesley Foundation is
not organized. The money comes officially through two of the benevolent
boards."

"Yes?" queried Joe. "I've often heard of 'the benevolences,' but I never
thought of them as meaning anything to me. How do they hook up to a
proposition like that?"

"Well," said Barnard, "the Board of Education, naturally, is interested
because of the Methodist students who are here. And the Board of Home
Missions and Church Extension is interested because at bottom this is
the realest sort of home mission and church extension work."

"Do these boards supply all the money you need?" was Joe's next
question.

"No, not all at once, anyway," Barnard answered. "We're needing a good
deal more before this thing really gets on its feet; and when our people
know what work can be done in State schools, and what a glorious chance
we have, I think they'll see that the money is provided. The students
are there, half a hundred thousand of them, and the church must be there
too."

"Well," Joe said, "I admire the faith of you. And I want to join. You
know, although I'm a mighty green hand at religious work, I've got to go
at it hard. There's a reason. So please count me in on everything where
I'm likely to fit at all. I didn't tell you, did I, that I'm headed for
medicine?--going to be a missionary doctor, if they'll take me when I'm
ready. Maybe your Foundation can do something with me."

Barnard thought it could, and the next two years justified his
confidence. Joe Carbrook, as downright in his new purpose as he had been
in his old scornful refusal to look at life seriously, quickly found a
place for himself in the church and the other activities of the
Foundation. It saved him from his first heedless resolution to study an
impossible number of hours a day, and from the certain crash which would
have followed. It gave him not a few friends, and he was soon deep in
the affairs of the League and the church. Besides, it made possible some
special friendships among the faculty, which were to be of immense value
in later days.

While Joe Carbrook was fitting himself into the life of the University
and the Wesley Foundation, the chums at Cartwright were quite as busy
making themselves a part of their new world. As always, they made a
good team, so much so that people began to think of them not as
individuals, but as necessarily related, like a pair of shoes, or collar
and tie, or pork and beans. And, though the old differences of
temperament and interest had not lessened, the two had reached a fine
contentment over each other's purposes. J.W. was happy in Marty's
preacher-plans, and Marty believed implicitly in the wisdom of J.W.'s
understood purpose to be a forthright Christian layman.

But it was not all plain sailing for J.W. Nobody bothered Marty; he was
going into the ministry, and that settled that. Among the students who
went in for religious work were several who could not quite share
Marty's complacence over J.W.'s program. They thought it strange that so
active a Christian, with the right stuff in him, as everybody
recognized, should not declare himself for some religious vocation.

And from time to time men came to college--bishops, secretaries,
specialists--to talk to the students about this very thing. There was a
student volunteer band, in which were enrolled all the students looking
to foreign mission work. The prospective preachers had a club of their
own, and there was even a little organized group of boys and girls who
thought seriously of social service in some form or another as a career.

Now, J.W., before the end of sophomore year, had come to know all, or
nearly all, of these young enthusiasts. Some of them developed into
staunch and satisfying friends. If he had run with the sport crowd,
which was always looking for recruits, or if he had been merely a hard
student, working for Phi Beta Kappa, he might have been let alone. But,
without being able to wear an identifying label, he yet belonged with
those who had come to college with a definite life purpose.

Just because nobody seemed to realize that being a Christian in business
could be as distinct a vocation as any, J.W. was at times vaguely
troubled, in spite of his confident stand at the Institute. He wondered
a little at what he had almost come to feel was his callousness. Not
that he was uninterested; for Marty he had vast unspoken ambitions which
would have stunned that unsuspecting youth if they had ever become
vocal; and he never tired of the prospects which opened up before his
other friends. He kept up an intermittent correspondence with Joe
Carbrook, and found himself thinking much about the strange chain of
circumstances which promised to make a medical missionary out of Joe. He
more than suspected that Joe and Marcia Dayne were vastly interested in
each other's future, and he got a lot of satisfaction out of that. They
would have a great missionary career.

No; he was not unfeeling about all these high purposes of the boys and
girls he knew; and if he could just get a final answer to the one
question that was bothering him, his college life would need nothing to
make it wholly satisfying. He had early forgotten all his old reluctance
to put college before business.

Marty knew something of what was passing in J.W.'s mind, and it
troubled him a little. He thought of tackling J.W. himself, and by this
time there was nothing under the sun they could not discuss with each
other freely. But he did not quite trust himself.

At last he made up his mind to write to their pastor at home. He knew
that for some reason Mr. Drury had a peculiar interest in J.W. and was
sure he could count on it now.

"I know J.W.'s bothered," he wrote, "but he doesn't talk about it. I
think he has been disturbed by hearing so much about special calls to
special work. We've had several lifework meetings lately, and the needs
of the world have been pretty strongly stated. But the stand he took at
the Institute is just as right for him as mine is for me. Can't you
write to him, or something?"

Walter Drury could do better than write. He turned up at Cartwright that
same week.

It happened that three or four prospective preachers and Christian
workers had been in their room that afternoon, and J.W. was trying to
think the thing through once more. He recalled what his pastor had said
at the camp fire, and his own testimony on Institute Sunday in the
life-service meeting, after Marcia Dayne had put it up to him. But he
was making heavy weather of it. And just then came the pastor's knock at
the door.

There was a boisterous welcome from them both, with something like
relief in J.W.'s heart, that he would not, could not speak. But he could
get help now. For the sake of saying something he asked the usual
question. "What in the world brings you to Cartwright?"

"Oh," said Pastor Drury, "I like to come to Cartwright. Your President's
an old friend. Besides, why shouldn't I come to see you two, if I wish?
You are still part of my flock, you know."

So they talked of anything and everything. By and by Marty said he must
go over to the library, and pretty soon J.W. was telling his friend the
pastor all that had been disturbing him.

"It all began in the summer before I came to college, at the Institute
here, you know, when you spoke at the camp fire on Saturday night."

"I remember," the pastor replied. "You hadn't taken much interest in
your future work before that?"

"No real interest, I guess," J.W. admitted. "I'd always taken things as
they came, and didn't go looking for what I couldn't see. I was enjoying
every day's living, and didn't care deeply about anything else. Why,
though I've been a Methodist all my life, you remember how I knew
nothing at all about the Methodist Church outside of Delafield, except
what little I picked up about its Sunday schools by serving as an
assistant to our Sunday school secretary. And when I began to hear, at
the Institute, about home missions and foreign missions, about Negro
education and other business that the church was doing, I saw right off
that it was up to us young people to supply the new workers that were
always needed. But, even so, only those who had a real fitness for it
ought to offer themselves, and I thought too that something else would
be needed. I wasn't any duller than lots of other church members--even
the older ones didn't seem to know much more about the church outside
than I did. You would take up collections for the benevolences, but if
you told us what they meant, we didn't pay enough attention to get the
idea clearly, so as to have any real understanding. I suppose the
women's societies had more. I know my mother talks about Industrial
Homes in the South, and schools in India--she's in both the societies,
you know--but that is about all."

"And it seemed when I began to find out about things, Mr. Drury, that if
our whole church needed workers for all these places, it needed just as
much to have in the local churches men and women who would know about
the work in a big way, and who would care in a big way, to back up the
whole work as it should be backed up. So, when you spoke at the camp
fire it was just what I wanted to hear, and when I was called on, I made
that sort of a declaration the next day at the life decision services."

"Yes I remember that too," said Mr. Drury, "and I remember telling Joe
Carbrook that you had undertaken as big a career as any of them."

"That's what I kind of thought too," said J.W., simply, "but rooming
with Marty Shenk--he's going to make a great preacher too--keeps me
thinking, and I know about all the students who are getting ready for
special work, and lately I've been wondering----"

"About some special sort of work you'd like to do?" Mr. Drury prompted.

"No; not that at all. I'm just as sure as ever I'm not that sort. If
only I can make good in business, there's where I belong. But can a
fellow make good just as a Christian in the same way I expect Marty
Shenk to make good as a Christian preacher?"

The pastor stood up and came over to J.W.'s chair. "My boy, I know just
what you are facing. It is a pretty old struggle, and there's only one
way out of it. God hasn't any first place and second place for the
people that let him guide them. A man may refuse his call, either to go
or to stay, and then no matter what he does it will be a second best.
But you--wait for your call. For my part, I think probably you've got
it, and it's to a very real life. If you and those like you should fail,
we should soon have no more missionaries. And if the missionaries should
fail, we should soon have no more church. God has little patience with a
church that always stays at home, and I doubt if he has more for a
church that doesn't stand by the men and women it has sent to the
outposts. It is all one job."

There was much more of the same sort, and when J.W. walked with his
pastor to the train the next morning, the only doubt that had ever
really disturbed him in college was quieted for good.

Walter Drury went back to Delafield and his work, surer now than ever
that the Experiment was going forward. He knew, certainly, that all this
was only the getting ready; that the real tests would come later But he
was well content.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was early football season of the junior year. The State University
took on Cartwright College for the first Saturday's game, everybody well
knowing that it was only a practice romp for the University. Always a
big time for Cartwright, this year it was a day for remembering. Joe
Carbrook, who had been graduated from the University in June, and was
now a medical student in the city, drove down to see the game. For
loyalty's sake he joined the little bunch of University rooters on the
east stand. Otherwise it was Cartwright's crowd, as well as Cartwright's
day.

To the surprise of everybody, neither side scored until the last
quarter, and then both sides made a touchdown, Cartwright first! A high
tricky wind spoiled both attempts to kick goal, and time was called with
a score at 6-6. Cartwright had held State to a tie, for the first time
in history!

Joe came from the game with the chums and took supper with them. The
whole town was ablaze with excitement over its team's great showing
against the State, and the talk at table was all of the way Cartwright's
eleven could now go romping down the schedule and take every other
college into camp, including, of course, Barton Poly, their dearest foe.

The boys were happy to have Joe with them, he looked so big and fine,
and had the same easy, breezy bearing as of old. Nor had he lost any of
that frank attitude toward his own career which never failed to
interest everybody he met. After supper they had an hour together in the
room.

"Those boys in the medical school surely do amuse me," he laughed. "When
I tell 'em I'm to be a missionary doctor, which I do first thing to give
'em sort of a shock they don't often get, they stand off and say, 'What,
you!' as if I had told 'em I was to be a traffic cop, or a trapeze
artist in the circus. Some of 'em seem to think I'm queer in the head,
but, boys, they are the ones with rooms to let. When the others talk
about hanging out a shingle in Chicago or Saint Louis or Cleveland or
some other over-doctored place, I tell 'em to watch me, when I'm the
only doctor between Siam and sunrise! Won't I be somebody? With my own
hospital--made out o' mud, I know--and a dispensary and a few native
helpers who don't know what I'm going to do next, and all the sick
people coming from ten days' journey away to the foreign doctor!" And
then his mood changed. "That's what'll get me, though; all those
helpless, ignorant humans who don't even know what I can do for their
bodies, let alone having any suspicion of what Somebody Else can do for
their souls! But it will be wonderful; next thing to being with him in
Galilee!"

There was a pause, each boy filling it with thoughts he would not speak.

"Where do you expect to find that work, Joe?" J.W. asked him.

The answer was quick and straight: "Wherever I'm sent, J.W., boy," he
said. "Only I've told the candidate secretary what I want. I met him
last summer in Chicago, and there's nothing like getting in your bid
early. He's agreed to recommend me, when I'm ready, for the hardest,
neediest, most neglected place that's open. If I'm going into this
missionary doctor business, I want a chance to prove Christianity where
they won't be able to say that Christianity couldn't have done it alone.
It _can_!"

Then, with one of those quick turns which were Joe Carbrook's devices
for concealing his feelings, he said, "And how's everything going at
this Methodist college of yours? Your boys put up a beautiful game
to-day, and they ought to have won. How's the rest of the school?"

Both the boys assured him everything was going in a properly
satisfactory fashion, but Marty had caught one word that he wanted Joe
to enlarge upon.

"Why do you say 'Methodist college'? It is a Methodist college; but is
there anything the matter with that?"

Joe rose to the mild challenge. "Don't think I mean to be nasty," he
said, "but I can't help comparing this place with the State University,
and I wonder if there's any big reason for such colleges as this. You
know they all have a hard time, and the State spends dollars to the
church's dimes."

"Yes, we know that, don't we, J.W.?" and Marty appealed to his chum,
remembering the frequent and half-curious talks they had on that very
contrast.

J.W. said "Sure," but plainly meant to leave the defense of the
Christian college to Marty, who, to tell the truth, was quite willing.

"There's room for both, and need for both," said that earnest young man.
"Each has its work to do--the State University will probably help in
attracting most of those who want special technical equipment, and the
church colleges will keep on serving those who want an education for its
own sake, whatever special line they may take up afterward: though each
will say it welcomes both sorts of students."

This suited Joe; he intended Marty to keep it up a while. So he said,
"But why is a church college, anyway?" And he got his answer, for Marty
too was eager for the fray.

"The church college," he retorted with the merest hint of asperity, "is
at the bottom of all that people call higher education. The church was
founding colleges and supporting them before the State thought even of
primary schools. Look at Oxford and Cambridge--church colleges. Look at
Harvard and Yale and Princeton and the smaller New England
colleges--church colleges. Look at Syracuse and Wesleyan and
Northwestern and Chicago. Look at Vanderbilt, and most of the other
great schools of the South. They are church colleges, founded, most of
them, before the first State University, and many before there was any
public high school. The church college showed the way. If it had never
done anything else, it has some rights as the pioneer of higher
learning."

J.W. had been getting more interested. He had never heard Marty in
quite this strain, and he was proud of him.

"That's a pretty good answer he's given you, Joe," he said with a
chuckle. "Now, isn't it?"

"It is," admitted Joe. "I reckon I knew most of what you say, Marty, but
I hadn't thought of it that way before. Now I want to ask another
question, only don't think I'm doing it for meanness; I've got a reason.
And my question is this: granting all that the church schools have done,
is it worth all they cost to keep them up now; in our time, I mean?"

"I think it is," Marty answered, quieter now. "They do provide a
different sort of educational opportunity, as I said. Then, they are
producing most of the recruits that the churches need for their work.
Since the churches began to care for their members in the State
Universities, a rather larger number of candidates for Christian service
are coming out of the universities, but until the last year or two
nearly all came, and the very large majority still comes, and probably
for years will come, from the church colleges. And there's another
reason that you State advocates ought to remember. Our Methodist
colleges in this country have about fifty thousand students. If these
colleges were to be put out of business, ten of the very greatest State
Universities would have to be duplicated, dollar for dollar, at public
expense, to take care of the Methodist students alone. When you think of
all the other denominations, you would need to duplicate all the State
Universities now in existence if you purposed to do the work the church
colleges are now doing. And if you couldn't get the money, or if the
students didn't take to the change, the country would be short just that
many thousand college-trained men and women. The whole Methodist Church,
with the other churches, is doing a piece of unselfish national service
that costs up into the hundreds of millions, and where's any other big
money that's better spent?"

When Marty stopped he looked up into Joe's good-natured face, and
blushed, with an embarrassed self-consciousness. "You think you've been
stringing me, don't you?"

"Now, Marty," Joe spoke genially, "don't you misunderstand. I said I had
a reason. I have. My folks have some money they want to put into a safe
place. And they like Cartwright. I do too, but--you know how it is. I
want to be sure. Anyhow I'm glad I asked these questions. You've given
me some highly important information; and, honestly, I'm grateful. You
surely don't think I'm small enough to be making fun of you, or of
Cartwright. If I seemed to be, I apologize on the spot. Believe me?" and
there was no mistaking his genuine earnestness.

"Of course I believe you, old man," Marty rejoined, just a wee bit
ashamed. "Forgive me too, but I've been reading up on that college thing
lately, and it's a little different from what most people think. So you
got me going."

"I'm glad he did," said J.W. "It makes me prouder than ever of
Cartwright College." And, as he got up he said, as though still at the
game, "The 'locomotive' now!" and gave Cartwright's favorite yell as a
solo, while Marty and Joe grinned approval and some students passing in
the street answered it with the "skyrocket."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is material for a book, all mixt of interest varying from very
light comedy to unplumbed gloom, in the life of two boys at college--any
two; and some day the chronicles of the Delafield Duo may be written;
but not now.

Senior year, with its bright glory and its seriously borne
responsibilities. It found Marty a trifle less shy and reticent than
when he came to Cartwright, and J.W., Jr., a shade more studious. Marty
would miss Phi Beta Kappa, but only by the merest fraction; J.W. would
rank about number twenty-seven in a graduating class of forty-five.
Marty had successfully represented his college twice in debate, and J.W.
had played second on the nine and end in the eleven, doing each job
better than well, but rarely drawing the spotlight his way.

Curiously enough, you had but to talk to Marty, and you would learn that
J.W., Jr., was the finest athlete and the most popular student in
school. Conversely, J.W., Jr., was prepared to set Cartwright's debating
record, as incarnated in Marty, against that of any other college in the
State. What was more, he cherished an unshakable confidence that the
"Rev. Martin Luther Shenk" would be one of the leading ministers of his
Conference within five years.

And so they came to commencement, with the Shenk and the Farwell
families, Pastor Drury, and Marcia Dayne in the throng of visitors. Mr.
Drury rarely missed commencements at Cartwright, and naturally he could
not stay away this year. The Farwells thought Marcia might like to see
her old schoolmates graduate, and the boys had written her that they
wanted somebody they could trot around during commencement week who
might be trusted to join in the "I knew him when" chorus without being
tempted to introduce devastating reminiscences. And Marcia, being in
love with life and youth, had been delighted to accept the combined
invitation. She was not at all in love with either of the boys, nor they
with her. They thought they knew where her heart had been given, and
they counted Joe Carbrook a lucky man.

"Tell us, Marcia," said J.W., Jr., one afternoon, as the three of them
were down by the lake, "how it happens you went to the training school
instead of the normal school last year."

"That's just like a man," said Marcia. "Here am I, your awed and
admiring slave, brought on to adorn the crowning event of your
scholastic career, and you don't even remember that I finished the
normal school course in three years, and graduated a year ago!"

Marty rolled over on the sand in wordless glee.

"Aw, now, Marcia, why----" J.W., Jr., boggled, fairly caught, but soon
recovering himself. "You must have been ashamed of it, then. I do
remember something about your getting through, now you mention the fact,
but why didn't I receive an invitation? Answer me that, young lady!"

"Oh, we educators don't think commencement amounts to so much as all
that. With us, you know, life is real, life is earnest, and so forth.
But I'll tell you the truth, J.W. I knew you couldn't come, either of
you, and I was saving up a little on commencement expenses; so I left
you--and a good many others--off the list. I needed the money, that's
the simple fact; And the reason you didn't see me at home last summer
was because I was busy spending the money I had saved on your
invitations and other expensive things."

Marty usually waited for J.W., but the idea which now occurred to him
demanded utterance. "Say, Marcia, I think it's fine of you to be
studying dispensary work and first aid."

"How did you know?" Marcia demanded.

"Never mind; I saw Joe Carbrook in Chicago when we went through on our
way to the Buckland-Cartwright debate, and I guessed a good deal more
than he told me, which wasn't much."

"Marty," said Marcia, her face aglow and her brave eyes looking into
his, "there's nothing secret about it. When Joe gets through medical
school we shall go out together to whatever field they choose for him.
The least I can do is to get ready to help."

"Is that why you've been going to training school?" asked J.W. They had
so long been used to such complete frankness with each other that the
question was "taken as meant."

"Yes, J.W., it is," said Marcia. "Joe has been doing perfectly splendid
work in his medical course, and they say he will probably turn out to be
a wonderful all-round doctor--everybody is surprised at his
thoroughness, except me. I know what he means by it. But, of course, he
has little time for training in other sorts of religious work, and so,
ever since last June, I've been dividing my time between a settlement
dispensary and the training school. Why shouldn't I be as keen on my
preparation as he is on his, when we're going out to the same work?"

"You should, Marcia--you should," J.W. agreed, vigorously, "and we're
proud of you; aren't we, Marty? I remember thinking two years ago what
fine missionary pioneers you two would make. Only trouble is, we'll
never know anything about it, after we've once seen your pictures in
_The Epworth Herald_ among the recruits of the year. If you were only
going where a feller could hope to visit you once every two years or
so!"

Marcia looked out across the lake, but she wasn't seeing the white sails
that glided along above the rippling blue of its waters. In a moment she
pulled herself together, and observed that there had been enough talk
about a mere visitor. "What of you two, now that your student
occupation's gone?"

"Tell her about yourself, Marty," said J.W. "She knows what I'm going to
do." And for the moment it seemed to him a very drab and unromantic
prospect, in spite of his agreement with Mr. Drury that all service
ranks alike with God.

Marty was always slow to talk of himself. "It isn't much," he said. "The
district superintendent is asking me to fill out the year on the Ellis
and Valencia Circuit--the present pastor is going to Colorado for his
health. So I'm to be the young circuit-rider," and he smiled a wry
little smile. He had no conceit of himself to make the appointment seem
poor; rather he wondered how any circuit would consent to put up with a
boy's crude preaching and awkward pastoral effort.

But J.W., Jr., was otherwise minded. A country circuit for Marty did not
accord with his views at all. Marty was too good for a country church,
he argued, mainly from his memories of the bare little one-room
meetinghouse of his early childhood. In his periodical trips to the farm
he had seen the old church grow older and more forlorn, as one family
after another moved away, and the multiplying cars brought the town and
its allurements almost to the front gate of every farm.

So J.W. had tried to say "No," for Marty, who would not say it for
himself. It was one of the rare times when they did not see eye to eye.
But it made no difference in their sturdy affection; nothing ever could.
And Marty would take the appointment.

Commencement over, for the first time in many years the chums went their
separate ways, Marty to his circuit, and J.W. home to Delafield. Then
for a little while each had frequent dark-blue days, without quite
realizing what made his world so flavorless. But that passed, and the
young preacher settled down to his preaching, and the young merchant to
his merchandising; and soon all things seemed as if they had been just
so through the years.

To J.W. came just one indication of the change that college had made.
Pastor Drury, though he found it wise to do much of his important work
in secret, thought to make use of the college-consciousness which most
towns possess in June, and which is felt especially, though not
confessed, by the college colony. The year's diplomas are still very new
in June. So a college night was announced for the social rooms, with a
college sermon to follow on the next Sunday night. The League and the
Senior Sunday School Department united to send a personal invitation to
every college graduate in town, and to every student home for the
vacation. They responded, four score of them, to the college-night call.

As J.W. moved about and greeted people he had known for years he began
to realize that college has its own freemasonry. These other graduates
were from all sorts of schools; two had been to Harvard, and one to
Princeton; several were State University alumni. Cartwright was
represented by nine, six of them undergraduates, and the others
confessed themselves as being from Chicago, Syracuse, De Pauw, three or
four sorts of "Wesleyan," Northwestern, Knox, Wabash, Western Reserve,
and many more.

Not even all Methodist, by any means, J.W. perceived; and yet the
fellowship among these strangers was very real. They spoke each other's
tongue; they had common interests and common experiences. He told
himself that here was a suggestion as to the new friends he might make
in Delafield, without forgetting the old ones. And the prospect of life
in Delafield began to take on new values.

On the next Sunday night not so many college people were out to hear Mr.
Drury's straight-thinking and plain-spoken sermon on "What our town asks
of its college-trained youth"; and a few of those who came were inclined
to resent what they called a lecture on manners and duty.

But to J.W. the sermon was precisely the challenge to service he had
been looking for. It made up for his feeling at commencement that he was
"out of it." It completed all which Mr. Drury had suggested at the
Institute camp fire four years ago, all that he himself had tried to say
at the decision service on the day after the camp fire; all that the
pastor had urged two years ago when J.W., Jr., confessed to him his new
hesitations and uneasiness.

The pastor had not preached any great thing. He had simply told the
college folk in his audience that no matter where they had gone to
school, many people had invested much in them, and that the investment
was one which in its very nature could not be realized on by the
original investors. The only possible beneficiaries were either the
successive college generations or the communities in which they found
their place. If they chose to take as personal and unconditional all the
benefits of their education, none could forbid them that anti-social
choice; but if they accepted education as a trust, a stewardship,
something to be used for the common good, they would be worth more to
Delafield than all the new factories the Chamber of Commerce could coax
to the town.

And to those who might be interested in this view of education, Pastor
Drury said: "Young people of the colleges, you have been trained to some
forms of laboratory work, in chemistry, in biology, in geology--yes,
even in English. I invite you to think of your own town of Delafield as
your living laboratory, in which you will be at once experimenters and
part of the experiment stuff. Look at this town with all its good and
evil, its dying powers and its new forces, its dullnesses and its
enthusiasms, its folly and wisdom, its old ways and its new people, its
wealth and want. Do you think it is already becoming a bit of the
kingdom of God? Or, if you conclude that it seems to be going in ways
that lead very far from the Kingdom, do you think it might possess any
Kingdom possibilities? If you do, no matter what your occupation in
Delafield, Delafield itself may be your true vocation, your call from
God!"

For John Wesley Farwell, Jr., it was to become all of that.



CHAPTER IV


EXPLORING MAIN STREET

J.W., Jr., found small opportunity to make himself obnoxious by becoming
a civic missionary before the time. He was busy enough with his
adjustment to the business life of "Delafield and Madison county," this
being the declared commercial sphere of the John W. Farwell Hardware
Company. J.W. always had known hardware, but hitherto in a purely
amateur and detached fashion. Now he lived with it, from tacks to
tractors, ten or twelve hours a day. He found that being the son of his
father gained him no safe conduct through the shop or with the
customers. He had a lot to learn, even if he was John Wesley Farwell,
Jr. That he was the heir apparent to all this array of cast iron and
wrought and galvanized, of tin and wire and steel and aluminum and
nickel, did not save him from aching back and skinned knuckles, nor from
the various initiations staged by the three or four other employees.

But he was getting his bearings, and not from the store and the
warehouse only. A good hardware store in a country town is a center of
democracy for town and country alike. In what other place do farmers and
artisans, country women and city women meet on so nearly equal terms?
Not in the postoffice, nor in the bank; and certainly not in the
department store. But the hardware store's customers, men and women all,
are masters of the tools they work with; and whoso loves the tools of
his craft is brother to every other craftsman.

It was in the store, therefore, that J.W. began to absorb some of the
knowledge and acquire some of the experiences that were to make his work
something to his town.

For one thing, he got a new view of local geography, in terms of tools.
All the farmers from the bottoms of Mill Creek called for pretty much
the same implements; the upland farms had different needs. The farmers'
wives who lived along the route of the creamery wagon had one sort of
troubles with tinware; the women of the fruit farms another. J.W. knew
this by the exchange of experiences he listened to while he sold milk
strainers and canning outfits. He found out that the people on the edge
of town who "made garden" were particular about certain tools and
equipment which the wheat farmer would not even look at.

And the townpeople he learned to classify in the same way. He was soon
on good terms with those store clerks who were handy men about the
house, with women who did all their own work, with blacksmiths and
carpenters, with unskilled laborers and garage mechanics. In time he
could almost tell where a man lived and what he did for a living, just
by the hardware he bought and the questions he asked about it.
Heretofore J.W. had thought he knew most of the people in Delafield.
But the first weeks in the store showed him that he knew only a few. Up
to this time "most of the people in Delafield" had meant, practically,
his school friends, the clerks and salespeople in certain stores--and
the members of the First Methodist Church.

That is to say, in the main, to him Delafield had been the church, and
the church had been Delafield. But now he realized that his church was
only a small part of Delafield. The town had other churches. It had
lodges. When the store outfitted Odd Fellows' Hall with new window
shades he learned that the Odd Fellows shared the place with strong
lodges of the Maccabees and Modern Woodmen. And there were other halls.
J.W. Farwell, Sr., was a Mason, but these other lodges seemed to have as
many members as the Masons, and one or the other of them was always
getting ready for a big public display.

The same condition was true of the country people. He began to hear
about the Farm Federation, and the Grange, and the Farmers' Elevator,
and the cooperative creamery, for members of all of these groups passed
in and out of the store.

One day J.W. remarked to the pastor who had dropped into the store: "Mr.
Drury, I never noticed before how this place is alive with societies and
clubs and lodges and things. Everybody seems to belong to three or four
organizations. And they talk about 'em! But I don't hear much about our
church, and nothing at all about the old church out at Deep Creek. Yet
I used to think that the church was the whole thing!"

The older man nodded. "It's true, J.W.," he said, "all the churches
together are only a small part of the community. They are the best, and
usually the best-organized forces we have, I'm sure of that; but the
church and the town have to reckon with these others."

"What good are they all? They must cost a pile of money. What for?"

"That's what you might call a whale of a question, J.W." John W.
Farwell, Senior, who had been standing by, listening, essayed to answer.
"And you haven't heard yet of all the organizations. Look at me, for
example. I belong to the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. I'm on
the Executive Committee of the Madison County Horticultural Society, and
I've just retired from the Board of Directors of the Civic League. Then
you must think of the political parties, and the County Sunday School
Association, and the annual Chautauqua, and I don't know what all."

"Yes, and I notice, dad, that a good many of these," said J.W., Jr.,
"are just for the men. The women must have nearly as many. Why,
Delafield ought to be a model town, and the country 'round here ought to
be a regular paradise, with all these helpers and uplifters on the job.
But it isn't. Maybe they're not all on the job."

"That's about it, my boy," his father agreed "I sometimes think we need
just one more organization--a society that would never meet, but between
the meetings of all the other societies would actually get done the
things they talk about and pass resolutions about and then go off and
forget until the next meeting."

"Well, dad, what I want to find out," J.W. said, as he started off with
Mr. Drury to the post office, "is where the church heads in. Mr. Drury
is sure it has a big responsibility, and maybe it has. But what is it
willing to do and able to do, and what will the town let it do? It seems
to me that is the question."

J.W. heard his father's voice echoing after him up the street, "Sure,
that is the question," and Mr. Drury added, "Three questions in one."

J.W. found himself taking notice in a way he had not done before through
all his years in Delafield. As might be expected, he had come home from
college with new ideas and new standards. The town looked rather more
sordid and commonplace than was his boy's remembrance of it. Of late it
had taken to growing, and a large part of its development had come
during his college years. So he must needs learn his own town all over
again.

Cherishing his young college graduate's vague new enthusiasm for a
better world, he had little sympathy with much that Delafield opinion
acclaimed as progress.

The Delafield Daily Dispatch carried at its masthead every afternoon one
or more of such slogans as these: "Be a Delafield Booster," "Boost for
more Industries," "Put Delafield on the Map," "Double Delafield in Half
a Decade," "Delafield, the Darling of Destiny," "Watch Delafield Grow,
but Don't Stop Boosting to Rubber."

These were taken by many citizens as a sort of business gospel; any
"theorist" who ventured to question the wisdom of bringing more people
to town, whether the town's business could give them all a decent living
or not, was told to sell his hammer and buy a horn. J.W. said nothing;
he was too young and too recent a comer into the town's business life.
But he could not work up any zeal for this form of town "loyalty."

A big cannery had been built down near the river, where truck gardens
flourished, and there was a new furniture factory at the edge of the
freight yards. Hereabouts a lot of supremely ugly flats had gone up, two
families to each floor and three stories high; and in J.W.'s eyes the
rubbish and disorder and generally slattern appearance of the region was
no great addition to Delafield's attractions.

Still more did the tumbledown shacks in the neighborhood of the cannery
offend the eyes and, to be frank, the ears and nose as well. It was a
forlorn-looking lot of hovels, occupied by listless, frowsy adults and
noisy children. Here existence seemed to be a grim caricature of life;
the children, the only symbol of abundance to be seen, continued to be
grotesque in their very dirt. What clothes they had were second or
third-hand garments too large for them, which they seemed to be
perpetually in danger of losing altogether.

To J.W., Delafield had always been a town of homes; but in these dismal
quarters there was little to answer to the home idea. They were merely
places where people contrived to camp for a time, longer or shorter;
none but a Gradgrind could call them homes.

One of the factory foremen was a great admirer of Mr. Drury, who
introduced him to J.W. one day when the foreman had come to the store
for some tools. He had talked with J.W., and in time a rather casual
friendliness developed between them. It was this same Foreman Angus
MacPherson, a Scot with a name for shrewdness, who gave the boy his
first glimpse of what the factory and the cannery meant to
Delafield--especially the factory.

J.W. was down at the factory to see about some new band-saws that had
been installed; and, his errand finished, he stopped for a chat with
Angus.

"This factory wasn't here when I went off to college," he said. "What
ever brought it to Delafield?"

At that MacPherson was off to a perfect start.

"Ye see, my boy," he began, "Delafield is so central it is a good town
for a good-working plant; freights on lumber and finished stuff are not
so high as in some places. And then there's labor. Lots of husky fellows
around here want better than farm wages, and they want a chance at town
life as well. Men from the big cities, with families, hope to find a
quieter, cheaper place to live. So we've had no trouble getting help.
Skill isn't essential for most of the work. It's not much of a trick
nowadays to get by in most factories--the machines do most of the
thinking for you, and that's good in some ways. Only the men that 'tend
the machines can't work up much pride in the output. Things go well
enough when business is good. But when the factory begins to run short
time, and lay men off, like it did last winter, there's trouble."

J.W. wanted to know what sort of trouble.

"Oh, well," said MacPherson, "strikes hurt worst at the time, but
strikes are just like boils, a sign of something wrong inside. And
short-time and lay-offs--well, ye can't expect the factory to go on
making golden oak rockers just to store in the sheds. Somebody has to
buy 'em. But the boys ain't happy over four-day weeks, let alone no jobs
at all."

His sociology professor at Cartwright, J.W. recalled, had talked a good
deal about the labor question, but maybe this foreman knew something
about it too. So J.W. put it up to him: "What is at the bottom of it
all, MacPherson? What makes the thing the papers call 'labor unrest'?"

MacPherson hesitated a moment. Then he settled himself more comfortably
on a pile of boards and proceeded to deliver his soul, or part of it.

"I can tell you; but there's them that would ship me out of town if I
talked too much, so I'll have to be careful. John Wesley, you've got a
grand name, and the church John Wesley started has a good name, though
it's not my church. I'm a Scot, you know. But I know your preacher, and
he and I are of the same mind about this, I know. Well, then, if your
Methodist Church could find a method with labor, it would get hold of
the same sort of common people as the ones who heard Jesus gladly. These
working-men are not in the way of being saints, ye ken, but they think
that somewhere there is a rotten spot in the world of factories and
shops and mills. They think they learn from experience, who by the way,
is the dominie of a high-priced school, that they get most of the losses
and few of the profits of industry. They get a living wage when times
are good. When times are bad they lose the one thing they've got to
sell, and that's their day's work; when a loafing day is gone there's
nothing to show for it, and no way to make it up. Maybe that's as it
should be, but the worker can't see it, especially if the boss can still
buy gasoline and tires when the plant is idle. Oh, yes, laddie, I know
the working man is headstrong. I'll tell you privately, I think he's a
fool, because so often he gets into a blind rage and wants to smash the
very tools that earn his bite and sup. He may have reason to hate some
employer, but why hate the job? It's a good job, if he makes good
chairs. He goes on strike, many's the time, without caring that it hurts
him and his worse than it hurts the boss. And often the boss thinks he
wants nothing bigger than a few more things. Maybe he _is_ wild for a
phonograph and a Ford and golden oak rockers of his own in the parlor,
and photographs enlarged in crayon hanging on the walls--and a steady
job. But, listen to me, John Wesley, Jr., and you'll be a credit to your
namesake: these wild, unreasonable workers, with all their foolishness
and sometimes wickedness, are whiles dreaming of a different world, a
better world for everybody. 'Twould be no harm if some bosses dreamed
more about that too, me boy. Your preacher--he's a fine man too, is Mr.
Drury--he understands that, and he wants to use it for something to
build on. That's why I tell folks he's a Methodist preacher with a real
method in his ministry. Now I'll quit me fashin' and get back to the
job. I doubt you'll be busy yourself this afternoon."

He gripped J.W.'s hand, so that the knuckles were unable to forget him
all day, but what he had said gripped harder than his handshake. If the
furniture factory was a mixed blessing, what of the cannery?

Somewhat to his own surprise, J.W. was getting interested in his town,
but if at first he was inclined to wonder how he happened to develop all
this new concern, he soon ceased to think of it. So slight a matter
could not stay in the front of his thinking when he really began to know
something of the Delafield to which he had never paid much attention.

It was through Joe Carbrook that he got his next jolt. Joe, now spending
his vacations in ways that amazed people who had memories of his wild
younger manner, was in and out of the Farwell store a good deal. Also he
spent considerable time with Pastor Drury, though there is no record of
what they talked about.

"J.W., old boy," Joe asked one day, coming away from the pastor's
study, "have you ever by any chance observed Main Street?"

"Why, yes," J.W. answered, "seeing that two or three or four times a day
I walk six blocks of it back and forth to this store door, I suppose I
have."

"Oh, yes, that way," Joe came back at him, "and you've seen me, a
thousand times. But did you ever observe me? My ears, for instance," and
he put his hands over them. "Which one is the larger?"

Without in the least understanding what his friend was driving at, and
stupidly wondering if he ever had noticed any difference in Joe's ears,
J.W. stared with inane bewilderment. "Is one really larger than the
other?" he asked, helplessly.

Joe took his hands down, and laughed. "I knew it," he said. "You've
never observed my ears, and yet you think you have observed Main Street.
As it happens, each of my ears takes the same-sized ear-muff. But you
didn't know it. Well, never mind ears; I'm thinking about Main Street.
What do you know of Main Street?"

J.W. thought he could make up for the ear question. So he said, boldly,
"Joe Carbrook, I can name every place from here to the livery barn
north, and from here to the bridge south, on both sides of the street.
Want me to prove it?"

"No, J.W., I don't. I reckon you can. But I believe you're still as
blind as I've been about Main Street, just the same. I know Chicago
pretty well and I doubt if there's as big a percentage of graft and
littleness and dollar-pinching and going to the devil generally on
State Street or Wabash Avenue as there is an Main Street, Delafield."

"You're not trying to say that our business men are crooks, are you,
Joe?" J.W. asked, with a touch of resentment. "You know I happen to be
connected with a business house on Main Street myself."

"Sure, I know it, and there's Marshall Field's on State Street, and Lyon
& Healy's on Wabash Avenue, and Hart, Schaffner & Marx over by the
Chicago River; just the same as here. But I--well, of course, there's a
story back of it all. Mother heard a couple of weeks ago that one of our
old Epworth League girls was having a hard time of it--she's working at
the Racket store, helping to support her folks. They've had sickness,
and the girl doesn't get big wages. So mother asked me to look her up.
Mother can't get about very easily, you know, and since I'm studying
medicine she seems to think I'm the original Mr. Fix-It. I made a few
discreet inquiries, discreet, that is, for me, and can you guess who
that girl is? You can't, I know. Well, she's Alma Wetherell, and that's
the identical girl who gave me such a dressing down one day at the
Cartwright Institute four years ago. Remember? Say, J.W., that day she
told me so much of the deadly truth about myself that I hated her even
more for knowing what to say than I did for saying it. But she had a big
lot to do with waking me up, and I owe her something."

J.W. had not remembered the Institute incident. But he recalled that
Alma was at Cartwright that summer, and he had seen her at church
occasionally since he came home from college. She was living in town and
working in some store or other he knew, but that was all.

"What did you find out?" he asked Joe.

"I found out enough so that Alma has a better job, and things are going
easier at home. But that was just a starter. My brave John Wesley, do
you remember your college sociology and economics and civics and all the
rest? Never mind confessing; you don't; I didn't either. But I began to
review 'em in actual business practice. First I told the right merchant
what sort of a bookkeeper I had found slaving away for ten dollars a
week on the dark, smelly balcony of the Racket--and he's given Alma a
job at twenty in a sun-lighted office. Then I told Mr. Peters of the
Racket what I had done, and why. He didn't like it, but it will do him
good. That made me feel able to settle anything, and I'm looking around
for my next joy as journeyman rescuer and expert business adjuster.
Honest, J.W., I've not seen near all there is to see, but I'm swamped
already. You've got to come along, you and some others, and see for
yourself what's the matter with Main Street."

Not all at once, but before very long, J.W. shared Joe's aroused
interest. Pastor Drury was with them, of course; and the three called
into consultation a few other capable and trustworthy men and women.
Marcia Dayne had come home for a few weeks' holiday, and at once
enlisted. Alma Wetherell was able to give some highly significant
suggestions.

There was no noise of trumpets, and no publicity of any sort. Mr. Drury
insisted that what they needed first and most was not newspaper
attention, and not even organization, but exact information. So for many
days a group of puzzled and increasingly astonished people set about the
study of their own town's principal street, as though they had never
seen it before. And, in truth, they never had.

It was no different from all other small town business districts. The
Gem Theater vied with the Star and the Orpheum in lavish display of
gaudy posters advertising pictures that were "coming to-morrow," and in
two weeks of observation the investigators learned what sort of moving
pictures Delafield demanded, or, at least what sort it got. They took
note of the Amethyst Coterie's Saturday night dances--"Wardrobe, 50
cents, Ladies Free"--and of the boys and girls who patronized the place.
The various cigar and pocket-billiards combinations were quietly
observed, some of the observers learning for the first time that young
men are so determined to get together that they are not to be deterred
by dirt or bad air or foul and brainless talk.

The candy stores with soda fountains and some of the drug stores which
served refreshments took on a new importance. Instead of being no more
than handy purveyors of sweets, of soft drinks and household remedies,
they were seen to be also social centers, places for "dates" and
telephone flirtations and dalliance. Much of their doings was the merest
silly time-killing, but generally the youthful patrons welcomed all this
because it was a change from the empty dullness of homes that had missed
the home secret, and from the still duller and wasting monotony of
uninteresting toil.

It was Pastor Drury who suggested the explanation for all these forms of
profitless and often dangerous amusement. He was chatting with the whole
group one night, and merely happened to address himself first to J.W.,
Jr.

Your great namesake, J.W., was so much a part of his day that he
believed with most other great religious thinkers of his time that play
was a device of the devil. His belief belonged to eighteenth-century
theology and psychology. But even more it grew out of the vicious
diversions of the rich and the brutalizing amusements of the poor. Both
were bad, and there was not much middle ground. But here on Main Street
we see people, most of them young, who feel, without always
understanding why, that they simply must be amused. They feel it so
strongly that they will pay any price for it if circumstances won't let
them get it any other way. And Main Street is ready to oblige them.
There could be no amusement business if people were not clamoring to be
amused. And we know now why we have no right to say that all this clamor
is the devil's prompting. Isn't it queer that the church is only now
beginning to believe in the genuineness and wholesomeness of the play
instinct, though it is a proper and natural human hunger? Literally
everybody wants to play.

"People pay more for the gratification of this hunger than they do for
bread or shoes or education or religion. They take greater moral risks
for it than they do for money. We have seen people who undoubtedly are
going to the devil by the amusement route, unless something is done to
stop them. They go wrong quicker and oftener in their play than in their
work. Are we going to be content with denouncing the dance hall and the
poolroom and the vile pictures and the loose conduct of the soft-drink
places and Electric Park? Haven't we some sort of duty to see that every
young person in Delafield has a chance at first-hand, enjoyable, and
decent play?"

All agreed that the pastor was right, though they were not so clear
about what could be done.

But commercialized amusement was not all they found in their quiet
voyages of discovery up and down Main Street.

The chain stores had come to Delafield--not the "5 and 10" only, but
stores which specialized in groceries, tobacco, shoes, dry goods, drugs,
and other commodities. Alongside of them were the locally owned stores.
Altogether, Main Street had far too many stores to afford good service
or reasonable prices. With all this duplication on the one hand, and
absentee-control on the other, Main Street was a street of
underlings--clerks and salespeople and delivery men. That condition
produced low wages and inefficient methods, many of the workers being
too young to be out of school and too dense to show any intelligence
about the work they were supposed to do. Cheap help was costly, and the
efficient help was scarcely to be found at any price.

The investigators were frankly dismayed at the extent and complexity of
the situation. They had thought to find occasional cases calling for
adjustment, or even for the law. But instead they had found a whole
fabric of interwoven questions--amusements, wages, competition,
cooperation, ignorance, vulgarity, vice, cheapness, trickery, "business
is business." True, they had found more honest businesses than shady
ones, more faithful clerks than shirkers, more decent people in the
pleasure resorts than doubtful people. But the total of folly and evil
was very great; could the church do anything to decrease it?

And that question led the little company of inquisitive Christians into
yet wider reaches of inquiry. J.W. and Joe and Marcia at Mr. Drury's
suggestion agreed to be a sort of unofficial committee to find out about
the churches of Delafield. He told them that this was first of all a
work for laymen. The preachers might come in later.

Joe invited the others to the new Carbrook home on the Heights into
which his people had lately moved. The Heights was a new thing to
J.W.--a rather exclusive residential quarter which had been laid out
park-wise in the last four or five years; with houses in the midst of
wide lawns, a Heights club house and tennis courts and an exquisite
little Gothic church.

"When our folks first talked about moving out here I thought it was all
right; and I do yet, in some ways," explained Joe. "But the Heights is
getting a little too good for me; I'm not as keen about being exclusive
as I used to be. I've thought lately that exclusiveness may be just as
bad for people inside the gates, as for the people outside. But here we
are, as the Atlantic City whale said when the ebb tide stranded it in
front of the Board Walk. What are we up to, us three?"

"We're up to finding out about the town churches," said J.W. "Maybe they
can help the town more than they do, but we don't know how, and so far
we haven't found anybody else who knows how."

And Marcia said: "At least we know some things. We have the figures.
About one Delafield citizen in seven goes to church or Sunday school on
Sunday. Church membership is one in ten. And as many people go to the
movies and the Columbia vaudeville and the dance halls and poolrooms on
Saturday as go to church on Sunday, to say nothing of the crowds that go
on the other five days."

Joe Carbrook whistled. "That's a tough nut to crack, gentle people," he
said, "because you've simply got to think of those other five days. The
chances are that four times as many people in Delafield go to other
public places as go to church and Sunday school."

"What can the churches do?" asked J.W. "You can't make people go to
church."

"No," assented Marcia, "and if you could, it would be foolish. We want
to make people like the churches, not hate them. One thing I believe our
churches can do is to put their public services more into methods and
forms that don't have to be taken for granted or just mentally dodged.
Half the time people don't know what a religious service really stands
for."

"Meaning by that----?" Joe queried, as much to hear Marcia talk as for
the sake of what she might say.

"Well, they have seen and heard it since they were children. When they
were little they didn't understand it, and now it is so familiar that
they forget they don't understand it," Marcia responded, not wholly
oblivious of Joe's strategy, but too much in earnest to care. "I've
heard of a successful preacher in the East who seems to be making them
understand. He says he tries to put into each service four
things--light, music, motion; that is, change--and a touch of the
dramatic. Why not? I think it could be done without destroying the
solemnity of the worship. They did it in the Temple at Jerusalem, and
they do it in Saint Peter's at Rome and in Westminster Abbey and Saint
John's Cathedral in New York. Why shouldn't we do it here in our little
churches?"

"Make a note of it, J.W.," ordered Joe. "It's worth suggesting to some
of the preachers."

J.W. made his note, rather absently, and offered a conclusion of his
own:

"The church must take note of the town's sore spots too. I've found out
that crowding people in tenements and shacks means disease and
immorality. Isn't that the church's affair? Angus MacPherson has taught
me that when the jobs are gone little crimes come, followed by bigger
ones; and sickness comes too, with the death rate going up. Babies are
born to unmarried mothers, and babies, with names or without, die off a
lot faster in the river shacks and the east side tenements than they do
up this way. Maybe the church couldn't help all this even if it knew;
but I'm for asking it to know."

"I'll vote for that," Joe asserted, "if you'll vote for my proposition,
which is this: our churches must quit trying just to be prosperous; they
must quit competing for business like rival barkers at a street fair;
they must begin to find out that their only reason for existence is the
service they can give to those who need it most; they've got to believe
in each other and work with each other and with all the other town
forces that are trying to make a better Delafield."

"That's right," said J.W. "I was talking to Mr. Drury this morning, and
I asked him what he would think of our starting a suggestion list. He
said it ought to be a fine thing. But he wants us to do it all
ourselves. Just the same, we can take our suggestions to him, and then,
if he believes in them, he can talk to the other preachers about them,
and, of course, about any ideas of his own. Because you know, I'm pretty
sure he has been thinking about all this a good deal longer than we
have."

It was agreed that the list should be started. Marcia was not willing
to keep it to themselves; she wanted to have it talked about in League
and Sunday school and prayer meeting, and then, when everybody had been
given the chance to add to it, and to improve on it--but not to weaken
it--that it be put out for general discussion among all the churches.

"And then," said Joe Carbrook, "we might call it 'The Everyday Doctrines
of Delafield,' If we stick to the things every citizen will admit he
ought to believe and do, the churches will still have all the chance
they have now to preach those things which must be left to the
individual conscience."

That was the beginning of a document with which Delafield was to become
very familiar in the months which followed; never before had the town
been so generally interested in one set of ideas, and to this day you
can always start a conversation there by mentioning the "Everyday
Doctrines of Delafield," The Methodist preacher gave them their final
form, but he took no credit for the substance of them, though, secretly,
he was vastly proud that the young people, and especially J.W., should
have so thoroughly followed up his first suggestion of a civic creed.

THE EVERYDAY DOCTRINES OF DELAFIELD

1. Every part of Delafield is as much Delafield as any other
part We are citizens of a commonwealth, and Delafield should
be in fact as well as name a democratic community.

2. Whenever two Delafield citizens can better do something
for the town than one could do it, they should get together.
And the same holds good for twenty citizens, or a hundred, or
a thousand. One of the town's mottoes should be, "Delafield
Is Not Divided."

3. Everything will help Delafield if it means better people,
in better homes, with better chances at giving their children the
right bringing-up, but anything which merely means more people,
or more money, or more business is likely to cost more than it
comes to. We will boost for Delafield therefore, but we will
first be careful.

4. Every part of Delafield is entitled to clean streets and plenty
of air, water, and sunlight. It is perhaps possible to be a Christian
amid ugliness and filth, but it is not easy, and it is not
necessary.

5. Every family in Delafield has the right to a place that can
be made into a home, at a cost that will permit of family self-respect,
proper privacy, and the ordinary decencies of civilized living.
Every case of poverty in Delafield should be considered as
a reflection on the town, as being preventable and curable by
remedies which any town that is careful of its good name
can apply.

6. Delafield believes that beauty pays better than ugliness.
Therefore she is for trees and flowers, green lawns, and clean
streets, paint where it properly belongs, and everybody setting
a good example by caring for his own premises and so inciting
his neighbor to outdo him.

7. The only industries Delafield needs are those which can
provide for their operation without forcing workers to be idle
so much of the time as to reduce apparent income, and so to
cause poverty, sickness, and temptation to wrongdoing. The
standard of income ought to be for the year, and not by the
day; in the interest of homes rather than in the interest of lodging
houses and lunch rooms.

8. Delafield can support, or should find ways to support, the
workers needed in her stores, shops, and factories, at fair pay,
without making use of children, who should continue in school,
and without reckoning on the desperation of those made poor
by their dependence on a job.

9. Amusements in Delafield can be and ought to be clean,
self-respecting, and available for everybody. This calls for playgrounds
and weekday playtime, as well as plenty of recreational
opportunities provided by the churches, without money-making
features.

10. The forms of amusement provided for pay can be and
should be influenced by public opinion, positively expressed,
rather than by public indifference. Any picture house would
rather be praised for bringing a good picture to town than condemned
for showing a bad one. Picture people enjoy praise as much as preachers
do.

11. Delafield's many organizations should tell the whole town
what they are trying to do, so that unnecessary duplication of
plan and purpose may first be discovered and then done away with.

12. Whenever a Delafield church, or club, or society, proposes
to engage in a work that is to benefit the town, the plan ought
to be made known, and in due time the results should be published
as widely as was the plan. This will help us to learn by
our Delafield failures as well as by our Delafield successes.

13. The churches of Delafield are Delafield property, as the
schools are, though paid for in a different way. Neither schools
nor churches exist for their own sakes, but for Delafield, and
then some.

14. Every church in Delafield should have a definite parish,
and every well-defined section or group should have a church.
The churched should lead in providing for the unchurched, and
the overchurched might spare out of their abundance of workers
and equipment some of the resources that are needed.

15. The first concern of all the churches should be to reach
the unchurched and to make church friends of the church-haters.
This goes for all the churches; it is more important to get the
sense of God and principles of Jesus into the thought of the
whole town than to set Protestant and Roman Catholic in mutually
suspicious and hateful opposition; devout Jew and sincere
Christian must realize that righteousness in Delafield cannot be
attended to by either without the other.

16. The churches of Delafield believe that all matters of social
concern--work, wages, housing, health, amusement, and morals--are
part of every church's business. Therefore they will not
cease to urge their members always to deal with these matters as
Christian citizens, not merely as Christians.

17. Every child and young person in Delafield ought to be in
the day school on weekdays, and in Sunday school on Sunday.
Delafield discourages needless absence from one as much as
from the other.

18. Delafield wants the best possible teachers teaching in all
her schools. She insists on trained teachers on week days, and
needs them on Sundays. Therefore she believes that teacher-training
is part of every church's duty to Delafield.

"There's one thing about all this that bothers me," said J.W. when they
had finished the final draft of the Every Day Doctrines, "not that it's
the only one; but some of these Doctrines stand small chance of being
put into practice until the church people are willing to spend more
money on such work. It can't be done on the present income of the
churches, or by the usual money-raising methods."

"That's a fact," Joe Carbrook agreed. "I'd already made up my mind that
the Carbrooks would have to dig a little deeper, and so must everybody
else who cares."

"Yes, but how to get everybody else to care; that's the trouble," J.W.
persisted. "Dad's one of the stewards, you know, and they find it no
easy job to collect even what the church needs now. They have a deficit
to worry with every year, almost."

Marcia Dayne was the only other member of the "Let's Know Delafield"
group who happened to be present at this last meeting. She had been
waiting for a chance to speak. "I'm surprised at you two," she said.
"Don't you know the only really workable financial way out?"

"Well, not exactly," J.W. admitted. "I suppose if we could only get
people to care more, they would give more. It's a matter of letting them
know the need and all that, I guess. For instance--"

Marcia was not ready for his "for instances." "John Wesley, Jr.," she
interrupted with mock severity, "as a thinker you have shone at times
with a good deal more brilliance than that. If you had said it just the
other way 'round you would have been nearer right. People _will_ give if
they care, of course, but it is even more certain that they will care if
they give. The thing we need is to show them how to give."

Joe Carbrook broke into an incredulous laugh. "In other words, my fair
Marcia, you want Christians to give before they care what it is they are
giving to, or even know about it. Don't you think our church will be a
long time financing the Every Day Doctrines on that system?"

Joe and Marcia never hesitated to take opposite sides in a discussion,
and always with good-humored frankness. So Marcia came back promptly: "I
know you think it unreasonable," she said, "but there's a condition you
overlook. We became Christians long before any of us thought about
studying Delafield's needs. And if we and all the rest of the Christians
of the town had accepted our financial relation to the Kingdom and had
acted on it from the start, there would always be money enough and to
spare."

"Oh, yes," Joe said understandingly, "I see now. You mean the tithe."

Marcia knew, no matter how, that Joe had begun to think about tithing,
and this seemed the opportune time to stress it a little more. It could
help the Every Day Doctrines, and both Joe and J.W. were keen for that.

So Marcia admitted that she did mean the tithe. "I don't pretend to know
how it began, any more than I know how real homes were established after
the Fall, or how keeping Sunday began; I do know these began long before
there was any fourth or fifth commandment, or any Children of Israel.
And I've gone over all the whole subject with Mr. Drury--he has a lot of
practical pamphlets on the tithe. I believe that it is the easiest,
surest, fairest and cheerfulest way of doing two Christian things at
once--acknowledging God's ownership of all we have, and going into
partnership with God in his work for the world, what the books sometimes
call Christian Stewardship."

"I'd like to see those pamphlets," said J.W.

"It's queer you haven't seen them before this," said Marcia. "Mr. Drury
has distributed hundreds of them. But maybe that was when you were away
at Cartwright. Anyway, I'll get some for you."

Joe was holding his thought to the main matter. "Marcia," said he, "if
you can make good on what you said just now, pamphlets or no pamphlets,
I'll agree to become a tither. First, to start where you did, how is
tithing easier than giving whenever you feel like giving?"

Now, though Marcia expected no such challenge, she was game. "I'm not
the one to prove all that, but I believe what I said, and I'll try to
make good, as you put it. But please don't say 'give' when you talk
about tithing, or even about any sort of financial plan for Christians.
The first word is 'pay,' Giving comes afterward. Well, then; tithing is
the easiest way, because when you are a tither you always have tithing
money. You begin by setting the tenth apart for these uses, and it is no
more hardship to pay it out than to pay out any other money that you
have been given with instructions for its use."

"Not bad, at all," said Joe. "Now tell us why it is the surest way of
using a Christian's money."

By this time Marcia was beginning to enjoy herself. "It is the surest
because it almost collects itself. No begging; no schemes. You have
tithing money on hand--and you have, almost always--therefore you don't
need to be coaxed into thinking you can spare it. If the cause is a real
claim, that's all you need to find out. And when you begin to put money
into any cause you're going to get interested in that cause. Besides,
when all Christians tithe there will be more than enough money for every
good work."

J.W. had not thought much of the tithe except as being one of those
religious fads, and he knew that every church had a few religious
faddists. But he had long cherished a vast respect for Marcia's good
sense, and what she was saying seemed reasonable enough. He wondered if
it could be backed up by evidence.

Joe smilingly took up the next excellence of the tithe which Marcia had
named. "Let me see; did you say that the tithe is the fairest of all
Christian financial schemes?"

"Not that, exactly," Marcia corrected. "I said it was the fairest way of
acknowledging God's ownership and of working with him in partnership.
And it is. It puts definiteness in the place of whim. It is proportional
to our circumstances. It is not difficult. Mr. Drury says that forty
years' search has failed to find a tither who has suffered hardship
because of paying the tithe."

"Well, Joe," J.W. put in, "if Marcia can produce the evidence on these
three points, you may as well take the fourth for granted. If tithing is
the easiest, surest and fairest plan of Christian Stewardship, seems to
me it's just got to be cheerful. I'm going to look into it, and if she's
right, as I shouldn't wonder, it's up to you and me to get our finances
onto the ten per cent basis."

Joe was never a reluctant convert to anything. When he saw the new way,
his instinct was for immediate action. "Let's go over to Mr. Drury's,"
he proposed, "and see if we can't settle this thing to-day. I hope
Marcia's right," and he looked into her eyes with a glance of something
more than friendly, "and if she is I'm ready to begin tithing to-day."

Pastor Drury, always a busy man, reckoned interviews like this as urgent
business always. Not once nor twice, but many times in the course of a
year, his quiet, indirect work resulted in similar expeditions to his
study, and as a rule he knew about when to expect them. He produced the
pamphlets, added a few suggestions of his own, and let the three young
people do most of the talking. They stayed a long time, no one caring
about that.

As they were thanking the pastor, before leaving, Joe said with his
usual directness, "Marcia _was_ right, and here's where I begin to be a
systematic Christian as far as my dealings with money are concerned."

J.W., not in the least ashamed to follow Joe's lead, said, "Same here.
Wish I'd known it sooner. Now we've got to preach it."

And Joe said to Mr. Drury, in the last moment at the door, "Mr. Drury,
if we could all get a conscience about the tithe, and pay attention to
that conscience, half the Everyday Doctrines would not even need to be
stated. They would be self-evident. And the other half could be put into
practice with a bang!"

The Delafield _Dispatch_ got hold of a copy of the "Everyday Doctrines"
and printed the whole of it with a not unfavorable editorial comment,
under the caption "When Will All This Come True?"

But Walter Drury, when he saw it, said to himself, "It has already come
true in a very real sense, for John Wesley, Jr., and these others
believe in it." And he knew it marked one more stage of the Experiment,
so that he could thank God and take courage.



CHAPTER V


HERE THE ALIEN; THERE THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH

It was all very well to work out the "Everyday Doctrines of Delafield."
To secure their adoption and application by all the churches of
Delafield was another matter. The unofficial committee scattered, for
one thing. Joe Carbrook went back to medical school, and Marcia to the
settlement and the training school. Marty was traveling his circuit. J.
W. and the pastor and a few others continued their studies of the town.
Nobody had yet ventured to talk about experts, but it began to be
evident that the situation would soon require thoroughgoing and skilled
assistance. Otherwise, all that had been learned would surely be lost.

One day in the late fall a stranger dropped in at the Farwell Hardware
Store and asked for Mr. J.W. Farwell, Jr. He had called first on Pastor
Drury, who was expecting him; and that diplomat had said to him, "Go see
J.W. I think he'll help you to get something started."

J.W., with two of the other clerks, was unloading a shipment of
stovepipes. The marks of his task were conspicuous all over him, and he
scarcely looked the part of the public-spirited young Methodist. But
the visitor was accustomed to know men when he saw them, under all
sorts of disguises.

J.W., called to the front of the store, met the visitor with a
good-natured questioning gaze.

"Mr. Farwell, I am Manford Conover, of Philadelphia. Back there we have
heard something of the 'Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' and I've been
sent to find out about them--and their authors."

"Sent?" J.W. repeated. "Why should anybody send you all the way from
Philadelphia to Delafield just for that?" He could not know how much
pastoral and even episcopal planning was back of that afternoon call.

"Don't think that we reckon it to be unimportant, Mr. Farwell," said Mr.
Conover, pleasantly. "You see I'm from a Methodist society with a long
name and a business as big as its name--the Board of Home Missions and
Church Extension. The thing some of you are starting here in Delafield
is our sort of thing. It may supply our Board with new business in its
line, and what we can do for you may make your local work productive of
lasting results, in other places as well as here."

J.W. did not quite understand, but he was willing to be instructed, for
he had found out that the effort to promote the "Everyday Doctrines" was
forever developing new possibilities and at the same time revealing new
expanses of Delafield ignorance and need. Anybody who appeared to have
intelligence and interest was the more welcome.

They talked a while, and then, "I'll tell you what," proposed J.W.
"How long do you expect to be in town?" Mr. Conover replied that as yet
he had made no arrangement for leaving.

"Then let's get together a few people to-night after prayer meeting. Our
pastor, of course, and the editor of the _Dispatch_--he's the right
sort, if he does boost 'boosting' a good deal; and Miss Leigh, of the
High School--she's all right every way; and Mrs. Whitehill, the
president of the Woman's Association of our church--that's the women's
missionary societies and the Ladies' Aid merged into one--she's a
regular progressive; and Harry Field, who's just getting hold of his job
in the League; and the Sunday school superintendent. That's dad, you
know; he's had the job for a couple of years now, and he's as keen about
it as Harry is over the League."

They got together, and out of that first simple discussion came all
sorts of new difficulties for Delafield Methodism to face and master.

       *       *       *       *       *

Manford Conover was a preacher with a business man's training and
viewpoint. He may have mentioned his official title, when he first
appeared, but nobody remembered it. When people couldn't think of his
name he was "the man from the Board," which was all the same to him.

After that first night's meeting Conover gave several days to walks
about Delafield. J.W. had found the shacks and the tenements, and Joe
Carbrook had introduced J.W. to Main Street, but it was left to
Conover to show him Europe and Africa in Delafield.

There's a certain town in a Middle Western State, far better known than
Delafield, rich, intelligent, highly self-content. Its churches and
schools and clubs are matters for complacent satisfaction. And you would
be safe in saying that not one in five of its well-to-do people know
that the town has a Negro quarter, an Italian section, a Bohemian
settlement, a Scandinavian community, a good-sized Greek colony, and
some other centers of cultures and customs alien to what they assume is
the town's distinctive character.

They know, of course, that such people live in the town--couldn't help
knowing it. Their maids are Scandinavian or Negro. They buy vegetables
and candy from the Greeks. They hear of bootlegging and blind tigers
among certain foreign groups. The rough work of the town is done by men
who speak little or no English. But all this makes small impression. It
is a commonplace of American town life. And scarcely ever does it
present itself as something to be looked into, or needing to be
understood.

So Conover found it to be with Delafield. The "Everyday Doctrines" were
well enough, but he knew a good deal of spade work must be done before
they could take root and grow. He fronted a condition which has its
counterpart in most American towns, each of which is two towns, one
being certain well-defined and delimited areas where languages and
Braces live amid conditions far removed from the American notion of
what is endurable, and the other the "better part of town," sometimes
smugly called "the residence section," where white Americans have homes.

Conover and Pastor Drury compared notes. They were of one mind as to the
conditions which Conover had found, conditions not surprising to the
minister, who knew more about Delafield than any of his own people
suspected.

One afternoon they met J.W. on the street, and he led them into a candy
store for hot chocolate.

As they sipped the chocolate they talked; J.W., as usual, saying
whatever he happened to think of.

"Say, Mr. Conover," he remarked, "I notice in all your talk about the
foreigner in America you haven't once referred to the idea of the
melting pot. Don't you think that's just what America is? All these
people coming here and getting Americanized and assimilated and all
that?"

"I'd think America was the melting pot if I could see more signs of the
melting," Conover answered. "But look at Delafield; how much does the
melting pot melt here?"

Then he looked across the store. "Do you know the proprietor, Mr.
Farwell?" he asked.

"Yes, indeed; Nick and I are good friends," answered J.W.

"Then I wish you'd introduce me," returned Conover.

"Oh, Nick," J.W. called, "will you come over here a minute?"

Nick came, wiping his hands on his apron.

"Nick," said J.W., doing the honors, "you know Mr. Drury, the pastor of
our church. And this is Mr. Conover from Philadelphia, a very good
friend of ours. He's been looking around town, and wants to ask you
something."

Nick's brisk and cheerful manner was at its best, for he liked J.W.,
besides liking the trade he brought.

"Sure," said he, "I tell him anything if I know it. Glad for the
chance."

"Mr. Dulas," said Conover--he had taken note of the name on the window,
"you know the East Side pretty well, do you? Then, you know that many
Italians live just north of Linden Street, and there's a block or so of
Polish homes between Linden and the next street south?"

"Sure I do," said Nick, confidently, "I live on other side of them
myself. See 'em every day."

"Very well," Conover went on. "What I want to know is this: how do the
Italians and the Poles get along together?"

"They don't have nothing much to do with one another," Nick replied.
"It's like this, the Poles they talk Polish, and maybe a little English.
The Italians, they speak Italian, and some can talk English, only not
much. But Poles they can't talk Italian at all, and Italians can't talk
Polish. So how could they get together?"

"That's just the question, Mr. Dulas," Conover agreed. "I'm telling
these gentlemen that it is harder for the different foreign-born people
to know one another and to be friendly with one another than it is for
them to know and associate with Americans."

"Sure, Mister," Nick said, with great positiveness. "Sure. Before I
speak English I know nobody but Greeks, and when I start learning
English I got no time to learn Polish, or Italian, or whatever it is.
English I got to speak, if I run a candy store, but not those other
languages."

And he went off to serve a customer who had just entered.

"There you have that side," said Conover to the minister and J.W. "The
need of English as an Americanizing force, and the meed of it as a
medium of communication between the different foreign groups. Looks as
though we've got to bear down hard on English, don't you think?"

"As Nick says, 'Sure I do,'" Mr. Drury assented. "It will come out all
right with the children, I hope; they're getting the English. But it
makes things hard just now."

"What can the church do?" J.W. put in. "Should it undertake to teach
English, as that preacher taught Phil Khamis, you remember, Mr. Drury;
or Americanization, or what?"

"I think it should do something else first," said Conover. "Why should
we Americans try to make Europeans understand us, unless we first try to
understand them? Isn't ours the first move?"

"But this is the country they're going to live in," returned J.W. "They
can't expect us to adjust ourselves to European ways. They've got to do
the adjusting, haven't they?"

"Why?" Conover came back. "Because we were here first? But the Indian
was here before us. We told him he needn't do any adjusting at all, and
see what we've made of him. Maybe these Europeans can add enriching
elements to our American culture."

"I guess so, but"--and J.W. was evidently at a loss--"but they've got
to obey our laws, you know, and fit into our civilization. The Indian
was different. We couldn't make Indians of ourselves, and he wouldn't
become civilized."

"Americanized, you mean?" and Conover laughed a little at the irony of
it.

"No, no; not that. But he wouldn't meet us half way, even," J.W. said.

"I think," suggested Pastor Drury, "that what Mr. Conover means is that
we'd better be a little less stiff to newcomers than the Indian was to
us. Am I right?"

"Exactly right," returned Conover. "Europe is in a general way the
mother-land of us all. But many of her children were late in getting
here. The earlier ones have made their contributions; why may not the
later ones also bring gifts for our common treasure?"

"Well, what in particular do you mean?" asked J.W., who was finding
himself adrift. He had been quite willing in the Institute days to be an
admirer of Phil Khamis, and to forget that Phil was of alien birth; but
this was something more complicated.

"Particulars are not so simple," Conover said. "But, for instance: some
European peoples have a fine musical appreciation. Some delight in
oratory. Some are mystical and dreamy. Some are very children in their
love of color. Some are almost artists in their feeling for beauty in
their work. Some do not enjoy rough play, and others cannot endure to be
quiet. Some have inherited a passionate love of country, and great
traditions of patriotism."

"We can't value all these things in just the way they do, but at least
we can believe that such interests and instincts are worth something to
America. Then our Americanization work will be not only more intelligent
but far more sympathetic."

"If I may turn to the immediate business," Mr. Drury said with a smile
of apology, "suppose you tell J.W. what your Board has to suggest for us
here in Delafield, Mr. Conover?"

Conover turned to J.W. "I wonder if you know anything about Centenary
Church?" he asked.

"That little old brick barn over in the East Bottoms? Why, yes, or I
used to; if was quite a church when I was a youngster, but I haven't
been that way lately. I guess it's pretty much run down, with all those
foreigners moving in. Most of the old members have probably moved away.
I know there were two Methodist boys with me in high school who lived
down there, but they've moved up to the Heights. One of them lives next
to the Carbrooks."

"Mr. Drury should take you down that way one of these days," said
Conover, "and you'd find that when your friends moved out of the church
the foreigners who live nearby did not move in. Centenary Church is run
down, as you say."

Mr. Drury added, "And the few members who are left don't know which way
to turn. They have a supply pastor, who isn't able to do much. He gets a
pitiful salary, but they can't pay more, and there's no money at all,
nor any accommodations, for any special attention to the newcomers."

"Well," said Conover, "I'm instructed to tell you Delafield Methodists
that the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension is ready to help
make a new Centenary Church, for the people who now live around it. We
have a department that pays special attention to immigrant and alien
populations. Our workers know, in general, what is needed. We can put
some trained people into Centenary, with a pastor who knows how to
direct their work. I should not be surprised to see a parish house
there, and a modernized church building, and a fine array of everyday
work being done there."

"My, but that sounds great, Mr. Drury, doesn't it?" asked J.W., in a
glow of enthusiasm. Then he checked himself. "It sounds well enough," he
said, "but all that means a lot of money. Where's the money to come
from?"

"From you, of course," Conover replied, "but not all or most from you.
My Board is a benevolent board--that is to say, it is the whole church
at work in such enterprises as this. That's one way in which its share
of the church's benevolent offerings is used"

"But you don't mean to tell us," said J.W., incredulously, "that you can
drop in on a place like Delafield, make up your mind what is needed, and
then dump a lot of money into a played-out church, just like that?"

"Oh, it's not so informal as all that," Conover said, "The thing has to
go through the official channels, of course. Your district
superintendent and Brother Drury and the Bishop and several others have
had a hand in it already. All concerned have agreed as to the needs and
possibilities. But Delafield is also a good place to put on a
demonstration, an actual, operating scheme. I have been making ready for
a survey of the whole East Side, just a preliminary study, and before
anything positive is done we must make a more thorough inquiry. We
expect to find out everything that needs to be known."

"There was only one anxiety I had about it," Pastor Drury said, "and
that has been all taken away. I was keen to have this be a truly
Christian demonstration--not just a settlement or a parish house or
night school classes, but a real demonstration of Christian service
among people who now know little about it. In some places these
activities are being set going because church people know they ought to
do something, and it is easier to give money and have gymnasiums and
moving pictures than to make real proof of partnership with Christ by
personal service and sacrifice. Take your old friend Martin Luther
Shenk, J.W.--do you know that he's working at this very difficulty? And
I hear he's finding, even in the country, that some people will really
give themselves, while others will give only their money and their
time."

J.W. thought of Win-My-Chum week, and how he had had to drive himself to
speak to Marty, so he knew the pastor was right. And he went home with
all sorts of questions running through his mind, but with no very
satisfying answers to make them.

Coming back in a wakeful night to Mr. Drury's casual mention of Marty,
the thought of his chum set him to wondering how that sturdy young
itinerant was making it go on the Ellis and Valencia Circuit, just as
the pastor guessed it might. To wonder was to decide. He would take a
long-desired holiday. A word or two with his father in the morning gave
him the excuse for what he wanted to do. Then he got Valencia on the
long distance, and the operator told him she would find the "Reverend"
Shenk for him in a few minutes. He had started out that morning to visit
along the State Line Highway, as it was part of her business to know. At
the third try Marty was found, and he answered J.W.'s hail with a shout.

After the first exchange of noisy greetings, "Say, Marty, dad's asked me
to run down in your part of the world and look at some new barn
furniture that's been put in around Ellis--ventilators and stanchions
and individual drinking cups for the Holsteins--not like the way we used
to treat the cows on our farm, hey? Well, what do you say if I turn
fashionable for once and come down for the week-end--not this week, but
next?"

No need to ask Marty a question like that. "Come on down. Make it Friday
and I'll show you the sights. We've got something doing at the Ellis
Church, something I want you to see."

Then Marty thought of a few books that he had left at home--"And--hello,
J.W., are you listening? Well, how'd you like to go out to the farm
before you come down here? Jeanette has gathered a bundle of my books,
and I need 'em. Won't you get 'em for me and bring them along?"

Certainly, J.W. would. The farm was home to both the boys, and J.W. was
almost as welcome there as Marty; to one member of the family quite so,
though she had never mentioned it.

On the next Sunday morning J.W. drove out of town in time to get to the
little old church of his childhood for morning service. Then he would go
home with the Shenks for dinner, spend the afternoon, get the books and
come home when he was ready. There was no hurry. J.W., Sr., had given
him two Sundays' leave of absence from Sunday school. The next Sunday
would be his and Marty's, but this would be his and Jeannette's.

Not that he needed to make any special plans for being with Jeannette
Shenk; of late he had found the half hour drive down to the old farm the
prelude to a pleasant evening. Sometimes he would make the round trip
twice, running out to bring Jeanette into town, when something was
going on, and taking her home afterward in the immemorial fashion.

As J.W. turned to the church yard lane leading up to the old horseshed,
he noticed that there were only two cars there besides his own--and one
old-time sidebar buggy, battered and mud-bedaubed, with a decrepit and
dejected-looking gray mare between the shafts.

It was time for meeting, and he contrasted to-day's emptiness of the
long sheds with the crowding vehicles of his childhood memories. In
those days so tightly were buggies and surries and democrats, and even
spring wagons and an occasional sulky wedged into the space, that it was
nothing unusual for the sermon to be interrupted by an uproar in the
sheds, when some peevish horse attempted to set its teeth in the neck of
a neighbor, with a resultant squealing and plunging, a cramping of
wheels and a rattle of harness which could neutralize the most
vociferous circuit rider's eloquence.

At the door, J.W. fell in with the little group of men, who, according
to ancient custom, had waited in the yard for the announcement of the
first hymn before ending their talk of crops and roads and stock, and
joining the women and children within.

Inside the contrast with the older day was even more striking. The
church, small as it was, seemed almost empty. The Shenks were there,
including Jeannette, as J.W. promptly managed to observe. Father Foltz
and his middle-aged daughter stood in their accustomed place; they had
come in the venerable sidebar buggy, just as for two decades past.
Mother Foltz hadn't been out of the house in years, and among J.W.'s
earliest recollections were those of the cottage prayer meetings that he
had attended with his father in Mrs. Foltz's speckless sickroom. Then
there were the four Newells, and Mrs. Bellamy, and Mr. and Mrs. Haggard
with their two little girls, and a few people J.W. did not know--perhaps
twenty-five altogether. No wonder the preacher was disheartened, and
preached a flavorless sermon.

Where were the boys and girls of even a dozen years ago? where the
children who began their Sunday school career in the little recess back
of the curtain? and where the whole families that once filled the place?
Surely, old Deep Creek Church had fallen on evil days.

It was a dismal service, with its dreary sermon and its tuneless hymns.
After the benediction J.W. shook hands with the preacher, whom he knew
slightly, and exchanged greetings with all the old friends.

"Well, John Wesley," said Father Foltz, with glum garrulity, "this ain't
the church you used to know when you was little. I mind in them times
when you folks lived on the farm how we thought we'd have to enlarge the
meetinghouse. But it's a good thing we never done it. There's room
enough now," and the old man indulged in a mirthless, toothless grimace.

The Shenks didn't invite him to dinner; their understanding was finer
than that. Pa Shenk just said, "Let me drive out first, John Wesley;
I'll go on ahead and open the gate," And J.W. said to Jeannette, "Jump
into my car, Jean; it isn't fair to put everybody into Pa Shenk's Ford
when mine's younger and nearly empty."

So that was that; all regular and comfortable and proper. If Mrs. Newell
smiled as she watched them drive away, what of it? She was heard to say
to Mrs. Bellamy, "I've known for three years that those two ought to
wake up and fall in love with each other, and they've been slower than
Father Foltz's old gray mare. But it looks as though they were getting
their eyes open at last."

At the farm Mrs. Shenk hurried to finish up the dinner preparations,
with Jeannette to help. Ben and little Alice contended for J.W.'s favor,
until he took Alice on his knee and put one arm about her and the other
about her brother, standing by the chair. And Pa Shenk talked about the
church.

"I reckon I shouldn't complain, John Wesley," he said, "seeing that our
Marty is a country preacher, and maybe he'll be having to handle a job
like this some time. But I can't believe he will. His letters don't read
like it."

"But, Pa Shenk," said J.W., "don't you suppose the trouble here in Deep
Creek is because you're so near town? Nine miles is nothing these days,
but when you first came to the farm there was only one automobile in the
township. Now everybody can go into town to church."

"They can, boy," Pa Shenk answered, "but they don't. Not all of 'em.
Some don't care enough to go anywhere. One-year tenants, mostly, they
are. Some go to town, all right enough, but not to church. A few go to
church, I admit, but only a few."

J.W. started to speak, hesitated, then blurted it out. "Maybe dad and
others like him are responsible for some of the trouble. They've pulled
out and left just a few to carry the load. You're all right, of course;
you really belong here. But a lot of the farmers who have moved to town
have rented their places to what you call one-year tenants, and it seems
to me that's a poor way to build up anything in the country, churches or
anything else. Tenants that are always moving don't get to know anybody
or to count for anything. It's not much wonder they are no use to the
church."

"There's a good deal in that, John Wesley," said Pa Shenk. "Your father
and me, we get along fine. We're more like partners than owner and
tenant. But it isn't so with these short-term renters. The owner raises
the rent as the price of land rises, and the tenant is mostly too poor
to do anything much after he's paid the rent. Besides, he's got no stake
in the neighborhood. Why should he pay to help build a new church, when
he's got to move the first of March? And the church has been as careless
about him as he has been about the church."

"That's what bothers me," J.W. commented. "But even so, I should think
something could be done to interest these folks. They've all got
families to bring up."

"Something can be done, too," said Pa Shenk. "You remember when the
people on upper Deep Creek used to come here to church, four miles or
so? Well, now they are going to Fairfield Church--owners, renters,
everybody. It's surprising how Fairfield Church is growing. That's going
away from town, not to it, and they're as near to town as we are."

"Then," persisted J.W., "how do you account for it?"

"Only one way, my boy," said Pa Shenk. "I'm as much to blame as any, but
we've had some preachers here that didn't seem to understand, and then
lately we've had preachers who stayed in town all the time except on
preaching Sunday, and we scarcely saw or heard of 'em all the two weeks
between. They haven't held protracted meetings for several years, and I
ain't blaming 'em. What's the use of holding meetings when you know
nobody's coming except people that were converted before our present
pastor was born?"

"You say some people are going over to Fairfield?" asked J.W. "Why do
they go there, when they could go to town about as easy?"

"Well, John Wesley," Pa Shenk answered, soberly. "I think I know. But
you say you're going to spend next Sunday with Marty. From what Marty
writes I've a notion it's much the same on his work as it is at
Fairfield, except that Marty has two points. Wait till next week, and
then come back and tell us how you explain the difference between Deep
Creek Church and Ellis."

In the afternoon Jeannette and J.W. took a ride around the
neighborhood, whose every tree and culvert and rural mail-box they knew,
without in the least being tired of seeing it. Their talk was on an old,
old subject, and not remarkable, yet somehow it was more to them both
than any poet's rhapsody. And their occasional silences were no less
eloquent.

But in a more than usually prosaic moment Jeannette said, "John Wesley,
I wonder if there's any hope to get the Deep Creek young people
interested in church the way they used to be? I'm just hungry for the
sort of good times the older boys and girls used to have when you and
Marty and I were nothing but children. They enjoyed themselves, and so
did everybody else. What's the matter with so many country churches,
nowadays?"

To which question J.W. could only answer: "I don't know. I didn't
realize things were so bad here. Maybe I'll get some ideas about it next
Saturday and Sunday. Your father seems to think Marty is getting started
on the right track. And that reminds me; don't let me go away without
those books he wants, will you?"

This is not a record of that Sunday afternoon's drive, nor of the many
others which followed on other Sundays and on the days between. Some
other time there may be opportunity for the whole story of Jeannette and
J.W.

       *       *       *       *       *

As J.W. drove up to Ellis Corners post office late the next Friday
afternoon Marty waylaid him and demanded to be taken aboard. "Drive a
half-mile further east," he said after their boisterous greetings.
"That's where we eat to-night--at Ambery's. Then just across the road to
the church. We've got something special on."

"A box supper," asked J.W., "or a bean-bag party?" But he knew better.

Marty told him to wait and see. Supper was a pleasant meal, the Amberys
being pleasant people, who lived in a cozy new house. But J.W. was
mystified to hear Marty speak of Henry Ambery as a retired farmer. He
knew retired farmers in town, plenty of them, and some no happier for
being there. But in the country?

"Oh," said Marty, "that's easy. Our church is the social hub of all this
community, and I told the Amberys that if they built here they would be
as well off as in town. I'm right too. They bought two acres for less
than the price of a town lot, and they have most of the farm comforts as
well as all the modern conveniences. You didn't notice any signs of
homesickness, did you?"

No, J.W., hadn't, though he knew the retired-farmer sort of homesickness
when he saw it.

"And the Amberys are worth more to the church than they ever were,"
Marty added. "I'm thinking of a scheme to colonize two or three other
retiring farmers within easy reach of this church. Why not? They've got
cars, and can drive to the county seat in an hour if they want to.
That's better than living there all the time, with nothing to do."

By this the two were at the church, a pretty frame building, L-shaped,
with a community house adjoining the auditorium. People were beginning
to arrive in all sorts of vehicles--cars, mostly. J.W. looked for signs
of a feed, but vainly. No spread tables, no smell of cooking or rattle
of dishes from the kitchen.

"What is it, Marty?" he asked. And Marty laughed as he answered,
"Old-fashioned singing school, with some new-fashioned variations,
that's all." Certainly it was something which interested the
countryside, for there was every indication of a crowded house.

J.W. heard the singing and noted with high approval the variations which
modernized the old order. He thought the idea plenty good enough even
for Delafield, which, for him, left nothing more to be said. And there
_was_ a feed, after all; but it was distinctly light refreshments, such
as J.W. was used to at Delafield First Church.

On the way back to the Amberys', and well into the night in Marty's
room, they talked about the circuit and its work.

"It isn't a circuit, rightly, you know," Marty said. "I preach every
Sunday at both places, and for the present"--J.W. grinned--"I can get
across the whole parish every day if necessary. But I'm working it a
little more systematically than that."

"You must be. I can hardly believe even what I've seen already," J.W.
replied. "When I was at Deep Creek last Sunday I was sure it was all
off with the country church, and on the way down here I passed three
abandoned meetinghouses. So I made up my mind to persuade you out of it.
You know I wasn't much in favor of your coming here in the first place.
But maybe that's a bigger job than I thought."

"You're right, John Wesley, about that. I don't budge, if I can make
myself big enough for the job. It's too interesting. And things are
happening. There's no danger of this church being abandoned."

"But what do you do, Marty, to make things happen? I know they don't
just happen. I'm from the country too, remember that."

"What do I do? Not 'I' but 'we.' Well, we work with our heads first, and
our hearts. Then we get out and go at it. Take our very first social
difficulty; in Delafield you have a dozen places to go to. Here it's
either the church or the schoolhouse--that's all the choice there is.
And the schoolhouse has its limitations. So our folks have decided to
make the church, both here and at Valencia, the center of the community.
That explains the social hall; we call it 'Community House.' Everything
that goes on, except the barn dances over east that we can't do much
with so far, goes on in the church, or starts with the church, or ends
at the church. That's the first scheme we put over. It was fairly easy,
you know, because all our country people are pretty much one lot. We
have no rich, and no really poor. And they're not organized to death,
either, as you are in Delafield."

"Do you try to have something going on every night, and nearly every
day, as Brother Drury does with us?" J.W. asked.

"Not quite," replied Marty; "we can't. We're too busy growing the food
for you town folks. But we keep up a pretty stiff pace, for the
preacher; I have no time hanging on my hands."

"I should think not," J.W. commented, "if you try to run everything.
Mr. Drury always seems to have lots of time, just because he makes the
rest of us run the works in Delafield First."

"Oh, he does, does he?" said Marty, shortly, who knew something of the
older minister's strategy. "That's according to how you look at it. I'm
not above learning from him, and I don't run everything, either. But I'm
there, or thereabouts, most of the time."

"How do you get time for your study and your sermons, then," queried J.
W., "if you're on the go so much?"

Marty turned a quizzical look at J.W. "My beloved chum, how did you and
I get time for our studies at Cartwright?" he said. "Besides, I'm making
one hand wash the other. The social life here, for instance, used to be
pretty bad, before Henderson came--that's the preacher whose place I
took. It was pulling away from the church; now it draws to the church.
Henderson started that. The people who are my main dependence in the
other affairs are mostly the same people I can count on in the Sunday
school and League and the preaching service. The more we do the better
it is for what we do Sundays."

"Then, there's another Because these people and I know one another so
well, I couldn't put on airs in the pulpit if I wanted to. I've just got
to preach straight, and I won't preach a thing I can't back up myself. I
use country illustrations; show them their own world. It's one big white
mark for the Farwell farm, as you might suppose, that I know the best
side of country life, though I don't advertise your real estate."

"I know," said J.W. "But don't you find country people pretty hard to
manage? That's our experience at the store. They are particular and
critical, and think they know just what they want."

"They do too," Marty asserted, "Why shouldn't they? I believe I can tell
you one big difference between the city boy and the country. You've been
both; see if I'm right. The country boy minds his folks, and his
teacher. But everything else minds him. He is boss of every critter on
the place, from the hens to the horses, whenever he has anything to do
with them at all. So he learns to think for them, as well as for
himself. In the city the boy has no chance to give orders--he's under
orders, all the time; the traffic cop, the truant officer, the boss in
the shop or the office, the street car conductor, the janitor--everybody
bosses him and he bosses nothing, except his kid brothers and sisters.
So he may come to be half cringer and half bully. The country boy is not
likely to be much afraid, and he soon learns that if he tries to boss
even the boys without good reason it doesn't pay. Maybe that's the
reason so many country boys make good when they go to the city."

"And the reason why a city boy like me," suggested J.W., "would be a
misfit in the country."

"Oh, you," scoffed Marty. "You don't count. You're a half-breed. But, as
I meant to say, you're right about country folks. They are a little
close, maybe. They are more independent in their business than town
people, but they learn how to work together; they exchange farm work,
and work the roads, and they are fairly dependent on one another for all
social life."

"On Deep Creek the tenant farmers are the biggest difficulty, your dad
told me last Sunday," said J.W. "They go to town when they go anywhere,
and not to church, either."

"I know," said Marty. "And I don't much blame 'em, from all I hear. But
Henderson changed that considerably in this community. He found out that
the tenants were just as human as the others, only they had the idea
that nobody cared about them, because they might be here to-day and gone
to-morrow. And, what do you think? I find tenant farmers around here are
beginning to take longer leases; one or two are about like dad's been
with your father--more partners than anything else. Every renter family
in this neighborhood comes to our church, and only three or four fight
shy of us at Valencia."

"All right," said J.W., drowsily. "Go to sleep now; I've got to inspect
that Holstein hotel in the morning, and I know what country hours are."

The next day J.W. drove off toward the big barns of his customer, and
left Marty deep in the mysteries of Sunday's sermon. Marty was yet a
very young preacher, and one sermon a week was all he could manage, as
several of his admirers had found out to his discomfiture, when one
Sunday they followed him from Ellis in the morning to Valencia at night.
But the "twicers" professed to enjoy it.

J.W.'s farmer was quite ready to talk about the new barn equipment and
how it was working, and he had remarkably few complaints, these more for
form's sake than anything else. That business was soon out of the way.

But Farmer Bellamy was interested in other things besides ventilators
and horse-forks.

"So you're a friend of our preacher," he said, in the questioning
affirmative of the deliberate country. "Well, he's quite a go-ahead
young fellow; you never get up early enough to find him working in a
cold collar. Maybe he's a mite ambitious, but I don't know."

J.W., as always, came promptly to Marty's defense. "He's not ambitious
for himself, Mr. Bellamy; I'll vouch for that. But I shouldn't wonder he
is ambitious about his work, and maybe that's not a bad thing for a
country preacher in these days."

"That's so," Mr. Bellamy assented. "But I doubt we keep him. He'll be
getting a church in town before long."

Now J.W. had no instructions from Marty, but he thought he might
venture. And he had been introduced to a few ideas that he had never met
in the days when he objected to Marty's taking a country circuit.

"I'll tell you something, Mr. Bellamy," he said. "Marty is a farmer's
boy who loves the country. If he has the right sort of backing, I
shouldn't wonder he stayed here a good long time. He's got enough plans
ahead for this circuit of his."

Mr. Bellamy laughed. "He has that; if he waits to get 'em all going
we're sure of him for a while. Why, he wants to make the church the most
important business in the whole neighborhood; and, what's more, he's
getting some of us to see it that way too."

"Yes, I guess that's his dream," J.W. said. "And it's so much better
than the reality up around where I used to live that I wouldn't head him
off if I were you."

"Head him off!" Mr. Bellamy laughed again. "Why, do you know what he did
in the fall, when some of us told him we couldn't do much for missions?
He phoned all over the neighborhood the day before he set out with a
ton-and-a-half truck he had hired for the job. Told us to put into the
truck anything we could spare. And what do you think? Before night he
drove into Hill City with a big overload, even for that truck, of wheat,
corn, butter, eggs, chickens, sausage, apples, potatoes, and dear knows
what. Sold the lot for sixty-nine dollars. He paid nine dollars for the
truck--got a rate on it--and turned in for missions sixty dollars. We've
never given more than twenty, in cash."

"But that wasn't all. Next Sunday he reported, and before any of us
could say 'Praise the Lord!' says he, 'Don't think the Lord's giving any
of us much credit for that stuff. We owe him a good deal more than a few
eggs that we'll never miss. I just wanted to show you that when we
country people really start paying our tithe to the Almighty our
missionary and other offerings will make that truckload look like the
crumbs from our tables. I've proved that we're rich, instead of being
too poor to provide for missions. And it's all our Father's, you know.
When we pay him our tithe we admit that in the only practical way,'
Funny thing was the whole business had been so queer, nobody got mad
over his plain talk. Some of us have begun to tithe, and to enjoy it.
Yes; that young feller is quite a go-ahead young feller."

J.W. rather admired the tale of the truck; it was like Marty, right
enough, to get his tithing talk illustrated with a load of produce; but
there was more than a hint of a new Marty, with a new directness and
confidence.

So he asked, "What else is he doing that's making a difference?"

And the floodgates were lifted. The Bellamy gift of utterance had a
congenial theme. For an hour the stream ran strong and steady, and when
it would have stopped none could tell. But J.W. remembered he had
promised to be back with Marty for dinner, and so, in the midst of a
story about Marty's Saturday afternoon outings with the boys, highly
reminiscent of their own old-time Saturdays in the Deep Creek timber,
J.W. made his excuses and hurried away.

In that hour he had heard of the observing of special days, Thanksgiving
and Christmas particularly; of the rage for athletic equipment on every
farm which had youngsters, so that the usual anaemic croquet outfit had
given place to basketball practice sets, indoor-outdoor ball,
volley-ball nets, and other paraphernalia. Some of it not much used now,
since winter had come, but under Marty's leadership, a skating rink
construction gang had thrown up a dirt embankment in a low spot near the
creek and then cut a channel far enough upstream to flood about four
acres of swamp. Mr. Bellamy told about the skating tournaments every
afternoon of the cold weather for the school children, and Saturday
afternoons for the older young folks. More people went than skated too,
the garrulous farmer asserted. It was just another of that young
preacher's sociability schemes, and there was no end to 'em, seemed like
to him.

There was even more on the business side of country life: how Marty had
joined forces with the Grange and the county agent and the cooperators
of the creamery and the elevator and the school teachers. And so on, and
so on.

J.W. would be the last to worry about such a program; it just fitted
his ideas. But it made him a little more interested in the Sunday
services. Would Marty's preaching match his community work?

But before Sunday morning came J.W. had other questions to ask. He put
them to Marty in intervals of the skating races; and again after supper,
before going over to the church to meet a little group of Sunday-school
folk--"my teacher-partners" Marty called them--who were learning with
him how to adapt Sunday school science and the teaching art to the
conditions of the open country.

All of J.W.'s questions were really one big question: "Say, Marty, boy,
I always knew you had something in you that didn't show on the surface,
but I never thought it was exactly the stuff they need to make
up-to-date country preachers. How does it happen that you've blossomed
out in these few months as a Moses to lead a 'rural parish'--if that's
the right scientific name--out of such a wilderness as I saw at Deep
Creek last Sunday?"

Marty made a pass at his chum in the fashion of the Cartwright days, and
waited for the return punch before answering. "Don't you 'Moses' me,
John Wesley. Besides, this circuit was no wilderness. Henderson, the
preacher who was here before me, was just the man for this work. He knew
the country, and believed it had the makings of even more attractive
life than the town. Too bad he had to quit. But he started these folks
thinking the right way. And then, don't you remember I wrote last
summer that I was spending two weeks at a school for rural ministers?"

"Oh, yes, I remember that," J.W. answered, "but that's no explanation. I
spent four years at a college for town and country boys, and now look at
me! Two weeks is a little too short a course to produce miracles, even
with such an intellect as yours, notwithstanding your name is bigger
than mine, Martin Luther! Now, if you'd said four weeks, I might almost
have believed you, but two weeks--well, it just isn't done, that's all!"

"Make fun of it, will you!" said Marty, with another short-arm jab.
"Now, listen to me. That thing is simple enough. First off, I'd been
thinking four years about being a preacher. On top of that, I'd been a
country boy for twenty-three years. I know the Deep Creek neighborhood
better than you do, because I had to live there. You were just visiting
the farm your father paid taxes on. When I came here I found that
Henderson had set things going. He told me what his dream was. So, when
I went to that two-weeks' school I was ready to take in every word and
see every picture and get a grip on every principle. Maybe you don't
know that it was one of many such schools set up by the rural work
leaders of our Home Missions Board, and it was a great school. They had
no use for rocking-chair ruralists, so the faculty, instead of being
made up of paper experts, was a bunch of men who _knew_. It was worth a
year of dawdling over text-books. You see, I knew I could come back here
and try everything on my own people. It was like the Squeers school in
'Nicholas Nickleby,' 'Member? When the spelling class was up, Squeers
says to Smike, the big, helpless dunce, 'Spell window,'" And Smike says,
'W-i-n-d-e-r,' 'All right,' Squeers says, 'now go out and wash 'em,'
Well, I hope I got the spelling a little nearer right, but I came home
and began washing my windows. That's all.

J.W. said "Huh!" and that stood for understanding, and approval, and
confidence.

As to Marty's preaching, it was a boy's preaching, naturally, but it was
preaching. And the people came for it; J.W., remarked to himself the
contrast between the close-parked cars around Ellis church and the
forlornly vacant horse-sheds he had seen at Deep Creek the Sunday
before.

The hearty singing of people glad to be singing together, the contagious
interest of a well-filled house, and the simple directness of the
preacher were all of a piece. Here was no effort to ape the forms of a
cathedral, but neither was there any careless, cheap slovenliness. And
assuredly there were no religious "stunts."

Marty preached the Christian evangel, not moralized agriculture. He made
the gospel invitation a social appeal, without blinking its primary
message to the individual to place himself under the authority of
Christ's self-forgetting love. He put first things in front--"Him that
cometh unto me," and then with simple illustrations and words as simple
he showed that they who had accepted Christ's lordship were honor bound
to live together under a new sort of law from that of the restless,
pushing, self-centered world: "It shall not be so among you." Besides,
he told them they could not separate service from profit. They knew, for
instance, that their farm values were a third higher because of the
presence of the church and its work, but they would find that the profit
motive was not big enough to keep the church going. They had to love the
work, and do it for love of it.

That afternoon the friends drove over to Valencia, where at night Marty
would preach again this his one sermon of the week; and J.W. left him
there, turning his car homeward for the fifty-two miles to Delafield.

As they parted, J.W. gripped Marty's hand and said: "Old man, I own up.
I thought you ought not to bury yourself in the country, but I had no
need to worry. I know preachers who are buried in town all right; you
have a bigger field and a livelier one than they will ever find. And
I'll never say another word about your two-weeks' school. If the Home
Missions Board had nothing else to do, such work as it showed you how to
do would be worth all the Board costs. I'm going to make trouble for Mr.
Drury and the district superintendent and the bishop and the Board and
anybody else I can get hold of, until Deep Creek gets the same sort of
chance as this circuit of yours. If only they knew where to find another
Martin Luther Shenk--that's the rub!" And with a last handclasp the
chums went their separate ways.

On Monday J.W. called up Pastor Drury and gave that gentleman, who was
expecting it, a five-minute summary of his day with Marty. "I'm awfully
glad I happened to think of going over there," he said, "not only for
the sake of being with the old boy again, but because I've got some new
notions about the country church, and about what we Methodists are
beginning to do for the places where Methodism got its start."

And Walter Drury said, "Yes, I'm glad, too." So he was; he could put
down a new mark on the credit side of the Experiment.



CHAPTER VI


"IS HE NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?"

The colored Methodists of Delafield, who called their church "Saint
Marks," had always been on good terms with their white co-religionists.
Mr. Drury and the pastor of Saint Marks found many occasions of helping
each other in their work. The single way in which these two showed
themselves conscious of the color line was that while the pastor of
First Church often "preached" in Saint Marks, when the pastor of Saint
Marks appeared in the pulpit of First Church, it was "to speak on some
aspect of his work."

J.W. knew Saint Marks of old. In his high-school days that church had
for its preacher one of a fast-vanishing race, a man mighty in
exhortation, even though narrowly circumscribed in scholastic equipment.
His preaching was redolent of the camp meeting, and he counted that
sermon lost which did not evoke a shout or two from the front benches.

A few of First Church's younger people often went to sing at Saint Marks
on special occasions, and went all the more cheerfully because of the
chance it afforded to hear Brother King Officer preach. Where he got
that name is not known, but he had no other.

Do not think the young people either went to scoff or remained to pray.
If at times they were amused at Brother Officer's peculiarities, so
were some members of his own flock, and Brother Officer was wise enough
to assume that no disrespect was intended. And if the white visitors
treated his fervent appeals to the unconverted and backsliders as part
of the program, but having no slightest application to them, this was
also the regular thing, and nobody was troubled thereat.

But while J.W. was away at college a new pastor had come to Saint Marks,
a college and seminary graduate. And he had come just in time. Brother
Officer was getting old, but the determining factor which made the
change necessary was that Delafield happened to be near one of the
general routes by which thousands of colored people were moving
northward. "Exoduses" have been before; Kansas still remembers the
exodus from Tennessee of forty years ago; but this latest exodus had no
one starting-point nor any single destination. It was a vast shifting of
Negro populations from below Mason and Dixon's line, and it swept
northward toward all the great industrial centers. Its cause and
consequences make a remarkable story, for which there is no room in this
chronicle.

Delafield thought it could not absorb many more Negroes, but before the
exodus movement subsided the stragglers who had turned aside at
Delafield had more than doubled the Negro population of the town.

A heavy burden of new responsibility was on the young pastor of Saint
Marks. The newcomers had no such alertness and resourcefulness as his
own people. They were helpless in the face of new experiences. Soon
they became a worry and an enigma to the town authorities; but
especially and inevitably they turned to the churches of their own
color, of which Delafield could boast but two, a Methodist and a
Baptist. So Saint Marks and its pastor found both new opportunity and
new troubles.

One day in the early spring Mr. Drury dropped in to the Farwell store
and asked J.W. if he would be busy that night. The road to Deep Creek
was at its spring worst, and J.W. had nothing special on. He said as
much, and answering his look of inquiry the pastor said, "There's a man
speaking at Saint Marks to-night who's a Yale graduate and a Negro. He's
also a Methodist. Does the combination interest you?"

"Why, yes," J.W. answered, "it might. You know I used to go with the
bunch to Saint Marks when Brother Officer was pastor, but I haven't been
since he left. I'd like to see what the new preacher is doing, and it
ought to be worth something to hear a Negro alumnus of Yale."

William Hightower, it seemed, was the speaker's name--a strong-voiced;
confident man in his thirties. As J.W., soon discovered, Hightower was a
distinctively modern Negro. Where King Officer had been almost cringing,
Hightower's thought, however diplomatically spoken, was that of an
up-standing mind; where Officer accepted as part of the social order the
colored man's dependence on the white, Hightower spoke of something he
called racial solidarity. It was plain that he meant his Negro hearers
to make much of the Negro's capacity for self-direction.

There was little bitterness and no radicalism in the speech, but to J.W.
it had a queer, new note. He said as much to Mr. Drury, on the way home.
"Why, that Hightower hardly ever mentioned the church, although he was
speaking at a church meeting. And how independent he was!"

"So you noticed that, did you?" the pastor responded. "To me it is one
of the signs of a new day."

"But do you think it is a good day, Mr. Drury?" queried J.W.

"Yes--perhaps; I don't know. Anyhow, it is new, and some of the blame
for it is on our shoulders. The way the Negro thinks and feels to-day is
a striking proof of the fact, often forgotten, that when you settle old
questions you raise new ones."

"Maybe," said J.W. doubtfully, "but I didn't know we had settled the
Negro question."

"Nor I," agreed Mr. Drury. "What we--I mean, we Methodists--settled when
we began to deal with the Negro right after emancipation was not the
race question. It was not even a missionary question, in the old sense,
but it was the question of the nature of the education we should give
the young colored people. For we set out deliberately to give them
schooling first, with evangelism as an accompaniment. The stress was on
education, and we decided at the outset on a certain sort of education."

"I should think," ventured J.W., "that any old sort of education would
serve; the first teachers had to begin at the bottom, didn't they?"

"Yes, and lower than any beginnings you know anything about," the pastor
replied. "Our first workers began without equipment, without
encouragement, and without everything else except a great pity for the
freedman. Did you notice, by the way, that the speaker to-night never
said 'freedman' or mentioned slavery? It is a new day, I tell you."

"I wish you'd explain just what you mean by that, Mr. Drury," J.W. said.
"I don't seem to get it."

"I mean," said Mr. Drury, "that as soon as our church had decided to do
something for the emancipated slaves, it began to work out a scheme of
Negro education. That was before Tuskegee, and even before Hampton
Institute. Maybe we never thought of the Booker Washington idea, or
purely industrial education, but at any rate we went on the theory that
the Negro deserved and in time could take as good an education as any
other American. So we started academies and colleges and even
universities for him, and a medical school and a theological seminary."

"I can see myself that there's a difference between that and the
industrial idea," said J.W.

"Decidedly, there is," answered the minister; "all the difference which
has helped to bring this new day I'm talking about, and to produce such
Negro leaders as William Hightower. You see, J.W., it's this way: Booker
Washington believed that after the Negro had been taught to read and
write and cipher, his next and greatest educational need was to learn
to make a living."

"Well, what's the matter with that?" retorted J.W. "Seems to me it's
common sense."

"Possibly," Mr. Drury answered, dryly. "But what would you say was the
first thing needed in the fight against the almost total illiteracy of
the freedmen?"

"Why, teachers, I suppose," said J.W. "And it would sure take a lot of
teachers, even to make a start."

Mr. Drury said, "That's exactly the fact. It has called for so many that
to this day there isn't anything like enough teachers, although some of
our schools and those of other churches have been at work for fifty
years. And, remember, that practically all of these teachers, except in
a few advanced schools, must be black teachers, themselves brought up
out of ignorance."

"Well," said J.W., "that's my point. The quicker we could teach the
teachers, the sooner they would be ready to teach others."

"That is to say," Mr. Drury interpreted, "the less we taught them, the
better? Seems to me I heard something of a small revolt in your time at
Cartwright because it seemed necessary that a young tutor should be
temporarily assigned to the class in sophomore English."

J.W. chuckled. "It was my class. Why, that fellow was never more than
two jumps ahead of the daily work. We knew he had to study his own
lesson assignments before he could hear a recitation. We weren't
getting anything out of it except the bare text. So some of the boys
made things lively for a few days, and he asked to be relieved."

"Quite so. Your class had every imaginable advantage over the colored
boys and girls in our schools--just one teacher below par. And yet you
think it would be all right to have all colored teachers no more than
two jumps ahead of their pupils."

"Well, yes, I see," J.W. said, with a touch of thoughtfulness. "I
suppose a good teacher needs more than the minimum text-book knowledge.
Is that the Methodist theory?"

"Now you're talking like yourself," Mr. Drury told him. "Yes, that's the
Methodist theory. For the fifty years of the old Freedmen's Aid
Society--now the Board of Education for Negroes--it has run these
schools, eighteen of them now, with five thousand seven hundred and two
earnest students enrolled, on a double theory. The first part of the
theory is that every child--black, white, red or yellow--ought to have
all the education he can use. Anything less than that would be as good
as saying that America cares to develop its human resources only just so
far, and not to the limit. The other part of the theory is that the last
person in the world to be put off with half an education is a preacher
or a teacher. The best is just good enough for all teachers, whether
they teach from a desk or from a pulpit."

"I guess that's so too," said J.W. "You're getting me interested. Now go
on and tell me some more."

"The new pastor of Saint Marks told me," said Mr. Drury, irrelevantly,
"that they would be wanting some new roofing for the barn they're
turning into a community house. I shouldn't be surprised if you sold the
church a nice little bill of goods. And while you are at it, you might
talk to the pastor--Driver's his name--about this thing from his side of
the road. He knows more than I do."

J.W. said he would. And, though he would have meant it in any case, the
hint about roofing made certain that "Elder" Driver would have a call in
the morning from a rising young hardware salesman.

By this time they were at the Farwell gate, and J.W. said goodnight. Mr.
Drury walked home, but before he got ready for his beloved last hour of
the day, with its easy chair and its cherished book, he called up his
colored colleague, and they had a brief talk over the 'phone.

Now, Walter Drury had taken no one into his confidence about the
Experiment, nor did he intend to; he had the best of reasons for keeping
his own counsel, through the years. So Elder Driver could not know the
true inwardness of this telephone call; indeed, it was so casual that he
did not even think to mention it to J.W. when that alert roofing
specialist turned up next morning.

"I heard you were going to put new roofing on that barn you are fixing
up, Mr. Driver, and I thought I might get your order for the job. Maybe
you know that we do a good deal of that sort of work, and we can give
you expert service; the right roofing put on to stay, and to stay put."

Yes, they were thinking of that roof; had to, because it leaked like a
market basket, and they needed the place right now, what with the many
colored Methodists who had come to town and had no home--only rooms in
the little houses of the colored settlement that had been too small for
comfort even before the exodus. But the place would be worth a lot to
their work when they got it.

"About how much do you think of spending, Mr. Driver?" J.W. asked.
Knowing the limited means of Saint Marks, he expected to supply the
cheapest roofing the Farwell Hardware Company had in stock, but Pastor
Driver had a surprise for him.

"Why," he said, "we want the best there is. That building was a barn,
I'll admit, but it is strongly built, and we expect to fix it pretty
thoroughly. We have a gift from the Board of Home Missions and Church
Extension, and we match that with as much again of our own money, enough
in all to swing the building around off the alley, put it on a new
foundation next to the church, and remodel it for our needs."

"That's news to me," said J.W., "though of course I'm glad to hear it.
But I didn't know that the Board put money into such work as this.
Somehow I supposed you were under the Board of Education for Negroes."

"No, not for this sort of church work," the colored pastor answered. "I
was 'under' the Board of Education for Negroes, as you put it, for a
long time myself, in the days when it was called the Freedmen's Aid
Society. And so was my wife. But now we're doing missionary work, and
that's the other Board's job."

"Oh, yes," J.W. assented. "I might have known that. And you mean that
you were under the Freedmen's Aid Society when you were going to
school--is that it?"

"That's it," said Pastor Driver, with a gleaming smile. "I was in two of
the schools. Philander Smith College, at Little Rock, Arkansas, and
Clark University, at Atlanta, Georgia. Then I got my theological course
at Gammon, on the same campus as Clark."

"You say your wife was in school too?"

"Yes"--with an even brighter smile--"she was at Clark when I met her.
Like me, she attended two schools on that campus. The other was Thayer
Home, a girls' dormitory, supported by the Woman's Home Missionary
Society."

"A home? Then how could it be a school?" J.W. asked.

"That's just it, Mr. Farwell," the minister explained. "It was a school
of home life, not only cooking and sewing and scrubbing, and what all
you think of as domestic science, but a school of the home spirit--just
the thing my people need. Thayer was, and is, a place where the girl
students of Clark University learn how to make real homes. And in the
college classes they learn what you might suppose any college student
would learn. That's why I said Mrs. Driver went to two schools."

J.W. recalled the Hightower speech of the night before, and the
discussion with Mr. Drury on the way home. He wanted to go into it all
with this pastor, who wasn't much past his own age, and evidently had
some ideas. For the first time he wondered too how it happened that in
that draft of the Everyday Doctrines of Delafield they had altogether
ignored the Negro. Was that a symptom of something? Then he remembered
his errand, and the work which was waiting up at the store.

So he said: "Excuse me, Mr. Driver, for being so inquisitive. I've never
thought much about our church's colored work, but what I heard at last
night's meeting started me. Rather curious that I should be here talking
about it with you the very next morning, isn't it? But about that
roofing, now. Of course you'll look around and get other estimates, but
anyway I'd be glad to take the measurements and give you our figures. I
promise you they'll be worth considering."

"I'm sure of that, Mr. Farwell," said the other, heartily, "and if I
have any influence with the committee--and I think I have--you needn't
lose any sleep over any other figures we might get. As for being
inquisitive about our work here, I wish more of this town's white
Methodists would get inquisitive. And that reminds me: there's to be an
Epworth League convention here week after next, and I've been told to
invite one of the League leaders in your church to make a short address
on the opening night. You're a League leader, I know, and the first one
I've thought about. So I'm asking you, right now. Will you come over and
speak for us?"

Now, though J.W. always said he was no speaker, he had never hesitated
to accept invitations to take part in League conventions. But this was
different. He made no answer for a minute. And in the pause his mind was
busy with all he knew, and all he had acquired at second hand, about the
relations of colored Christians and white, and particularly about what
might be thought and said if it should be announced that he was to speak
at a Negro Epworth League convention. And then he had the grace to
blush, realizing that this colored pastor, waiting so quietly for his
answer, must infallibly have followed his thoughts. In his swift
self-blame he felt that the least amends he could make for his unspoken
discourtesy was a prompt acceptance of the invitation.

So he looked up and said, hurriedly: "Mr. Driver, forgive me for not
speaking sooner. I'll do the best I can"; and then, regaining his
composure, "Have you any idea as to the subject I'm supposed to talk
about?"

"Yes," the colored minister replied, not without a touch of curious
tenseness in his voice. "The committee wanted me to get a representative
from your Chapter to make a ten-minute address of welcome on behalf of
the Epworthians of First Church!"

Again J.W. was forced to hesitate. Here he was an Epworthian, but
knowing nothing at all about the work of these other young Methodists.
Until to-day he scarcely knew they existed. And now he was asked to
welcome them to town in the name of the League!

But once again shame compelled him to take the bold course. With an
apologetic smile he said, "Well, that's the last subject I could imagine
you'd give to any of us at First Church. Your young people and ours have
hardly been aware of each other, and it seems queer that you should ask
me to make an address of welcome in your church. But as I think of it,
maybe this is just what somebody ought to do, and I might as well try
it. Trouble is, what am I going to say?"

"We'll risk that, Mr. Farwell," said Pastor Driver, confidently. "Just
say what you think, and you'll do all right."

J.W. was by no means sure of that, and the more he thought about his
speech in the next few days, the more confused he became. Any ordinary
speech of welcome would be easy--"Glad you were sensible enough to come
to Delafield," "make yourselves at home," "freedom of the city," "our
latch strings are out," "command us for anything we can do,"
"congratulate you on the fine work you are doing," "know when we return
this visit and come to the places you represent you will make us
welcome"--and so on. But it was plainly impossible for him to talk like
that. It wouldn't be true, and it would certainly not be prudent.

He put the thing up to J.W., Sr. "What'll I say, dad?" he asked. "You
know we haven't had much to do with the people of Saint Marks, and maybe
it wouldn't be best for us to make any sudden change as to that, even
if some of us wanted to. But I've got to talk like a Christian, whether
I feel like one or not."

"My son," his father answered him, sententiously, "it's your speech, not
mine. But if an old fogy may suggest something, why not forget all about
the usual sort of welcome address? Why not say something of the whole
program of our church as it affects our colored people? It touches the
young folks more than any others. Welcome them to that."

"That's all very fine," J.W. objected. "Everybody who's on for an
address of welcome is advised by his friends to cut out the old stuff,
but it means work. And you know that I don't know the first thing about
what you call the whole program of our church for the colored people.
That man Driver knows, but I can't ask him."

"Of course not," assented J.W., Sr., "but you can ask somebody else.
I'll venture Mr. Drury can tell you where to find all you would want to
talk about. Ask him. You're never bothered by bashfulness with him, if I
remember right."

J.W. admitted he had already thought of that. "He and I were talking
about this very thing the night before I went to see about that roofing.
But here's the point--I'm not to represent the pastor, but the young
people. And I'm not so sure that what Mr. Drury might give me, if he
were willing, could be made to fit into a League speech, under the
circumstances."

"I'd try it anyway," said the elder Farwell. "He's nearly always
willing, seems to me, and a pretty safe adviser most of the time."

"All right," agreed J.W., "I'll see him, but he'll probably tell me to
find things out for myself. He's a good scout, is Mr. Drury; the best
pastor I ever knew or want to know, but sometimes he has the queerest
streaks; won't help a fellow a little bit, and when you're absolutely
sure he could if he would. It won't be enough to see him, though; even
if he is in a generous mood and gives me more dope than I can use. I'd
better talk to some of the League people." And still he gravitated
toward the pastor's study. It was the easiest way.

The pastor was always in a more generous mood than J.W. gave him credit
for. It was only that he never supplied crutches when people needed to
use their legs, nor brains when they needed to use their heads, nor
emotions when they needed to use their hearts.

He told J.W. to rummage through the one bookshelf in the study which
held his small but usable collection of books and pamphlets on the
Negro, and see what he might find. And, as always, they talked.

"I can tell by that preacher at Saint Marks," said J.W., "how I had the
wrong end of the argument that night we came from Hightower's address. A
man with a big job like his has to be a pretty big man, and he needs all
the education he can get."

"There's a principle in that, J.W.," suggested Mr. Drury; "see if this
seems a reasonable way to state it: In dealing with any people, the
more needy they are, the better equipped and trained their leaders
should be."

"Yes, sir, it sounds reasonable enough," J.W. admitted. "And yet I never
thought of it until now. But you said something the other night that I
don't see yet."

"That may be no fault of yours, my boy," said the minister, with a
laugh. "What was it?"

"Why, you said men like Hightower are inclined to overlook the work of
the church, and that it was the church's own fault; something about
raising new questions when you settle old ones."

"Oh, yes," said Mr. Drury, "I remember. Maybe saying it's the church's
own fault is not just the way to put it. Say instead that you can't
educate children, nor yet races that are developing, and expect them to
turn out exactly according to your notions of the future. Because, when
their minds are growing they are developing, not according to something
in you, but according to something in them. So every teacher, and I
suppose every parent, has moments of wondering how it ever happens that
young people learn so much that is not taught them. And it's the same
way with races."

"You mean," inquired J.W., "that Hightower is like that?"

"I mean," Pastor Drury replied, "that everybody is like that. If we had
given the Negro no education at all, we could probably have kept him
contented for a good many years with just being 'free.' If we had given
no Negro anything but a common-school chance, the race would have been
pretty slow to develop discontent. But Hightower went to Yale, and Du
Bois went to Harvard and Germany, and Pickens went to Yale, and so on.
Thousands of colored men and women have been graduated from colleges of
liberal arts. And so they are not satisfied with conditions which would
have been heavenly bliss to their grandfathers and grandmothers."

"I know I'm stupid," said J.W., a trifle ruefully, "but I've always
supposed that education was good for everybody. Now you seem to say that
education makes people discontented."

"Of course it does," said Mr. Drury, "that's the reason it is good for
them. Would you be content to call a one-room shack home, and live as
the plantation hand lives? If you would, the world's profit out of you,
and your own profit out of yourself, wouldn't be much. Real education
does exactly mean discontent. And the people who are discontented may be
uncomfortable to live with, if we think they ought to be docile, but
they get us forward."

"Maybe you're right," J.W. conceded, "and the church is not to be
blamed. Still, if our work for the black man has made him troublesome,
and given him ideas bigger than he can hope to realize, how does that
fit in with our Christianity? Shouldn't the church be a peacemaker,
instead of a trouble-maker?"

"Now, John Wesley, Jr.," the other said, in mock protest, "that sermon
of mine on 'Not Peace, but a Sword' must have been wasted on you. Our
Lord most certainly came to make peace, and he spoke a great blessing on
peacemakers. But he was himself the world's greatest disturber. Peace
while there is injustice, or ignorance, or any sort of wickedness, has
nothing to do with Christ's intentions. I know that the old-time
slave-traders of the North, and the more persistent slave-buyers of the
South, were always asking for that sort of peace. But they couldn't have
it. Nobody ever can have it, so long as Jesus has a single follower in
the world."

"Well, what has all this to do," asked J.W., "with our church's special
work for the colored people?"

"Ah, yes," the pastor answered, "that's the very thing you must find out
before you make that address of welcome."

By this time J.W. had gathered up a pile of books, pamphlets, reports,
and papers--enough, he thought, to serve as the raw material of a Ph.D.
thesis, and he said to Mr. Drury, "Would you mind if I took this home?
I'll bring it all back, and it's not likely I'll damage it much.".

The asking was no more than a form; for years the people of First Church
had known themselves freely welcome to any book in the preacher's
shelves. An interest in his books was passport to his special favor. His
own evident love for books had been the best possible insurance that
these particular borrowers would be more scrupulous than the general.
This bit of pastoral work, it should be said, with the frequent
book-talk that grew out of it, was not least among all the reasons why
First Church people thought their bachelor minister just the man for
them.

So off went J.W. with his armful, and for a week thereafter you might
have supposed he was cramming for a final exam of some sort. Early in
his preparation he decided that his father's advice was wise, and he put
the stress of his effort on the church's work and how Negro youth had
responded to it. The other matter was too delicate, he felt, for his
amateur handling, and, besides, he was not altogether sure even of his
own position.

On the convention night Saint Marks was crowded with young colored
people, some of whom came from places a hundred miles away. They were
badged and pennanted quite in the fashion to which J.W. was accustomed.
But for their color, and, to be frank, for a little more restraint and
thoughtfulness in their really unusual singing, they were just young
Methodists at a convention, not different from Caucasian Methodists of
the same age.

When J.W.'s turn came to speak, the chairman introduced him in the
fewest possible words, but with the courtesy which belongs to
self-respect, saying, "Mr. Farwell will make the delegates welcome in
the name of the First Church Epworthians."

And he did. He had his notes, pretty full ones, to which he made
frequent references, but the quality in his speech which drew the
convention's cheers was its frank and natural simplicity.

"I would have begged off from this duty, if I could," he began, "but I
knew from the moment I was asked that I had no decent excuse. But I knew
so little of what I ought to say that it was necessary for me to dig,
just as I used to do at school."

The result of my digging is that I know now and I want you to know that
I know, why First Church young people should join in welcoming you to
Delafield. Some of them don't know yet, any more than I did ten days
ago; but I intend to enlighten them the first chance I get.

We First Church Epworthians might welcome you for many reasons, but I
have decided to stick to two, because, as I have said, I have just been
learning something about them.

We welcome you, then, because you represent the most eager hunger for
complete education that exists in America to-day, unless our new Hebrew
citizens can match it. No others can. The record of our church's schools
for your race prove that it simply is not possible to keep the Negro
youth out of school. They will walk further, eat less, work harder, and
stay longer to get an education than for anything else in the world.

Not so many days ago I ignorantly thought that the 'three R's' was all
that ought to be offered, partly because the need is so great. I hope
you will forgive me that thought, when I tell you that now I know what
ignorance it revealed in me. The great need is the strongest argument
for the highest education. Because of your great numbers, and because
of your ever intenser racial self-respect, the Negro must educate the
Negro, be physician for the Negro, preach to the Negro, nurse the Negro,
lead the Negro in all his upward effort. Otherwise these things will be
done badly, or patronizingly, or not at all.

But if you are to do your own educational work, your educators must be
fully equipped. It is not possible to send the whole race to college,
but it is possible to send college-trained youth to the race. For this
reason our church has established normal schools, colleges of liberal
arts, professional schools, homes for college girls, so that the coming
leaders of your people may have access to the best the world offers in
science and literature, in medicine and law, in business and religion.

You will not mistake my purpose, I am sure, in saying that you know
better than we can guess how your people, through no fault of theirs,
have been long in bondage to the unskilled hand, the unawakened mind,
and the uninspired heart. But it is more and more an unwilling bondage.

And our church, your church, has set up these schools and these
training homes I have mentioned, as though she were saying, in the words
of one of your own wonderful songs, 'Let my people go!' And the results
are coming. Your two bishops, one in the South and one in Africa, your
leaders in the church's highest councils, your educators, your
far-seeing business men, your great preachers, are part of the answer
to your church's passion to give full freedom to all her people.

For you are _her_ people, the people of the Christian Church; we are
all God's people. It seems to me that just now God is interested in
bringing to every race in the world the chance of liberty for hand and
head and heart. God has greater things for us all to do than we can now
understand, but all his purposes must wait on our getting free from
everything that would defeat our work.

Our First-Church young people welcome you because with all else you
represent a great purpose to make religion intelligent. You know, as we
do, that piety to be vital must be mixed with sound learning. You have
the missionary spirit, which never thrives in an atmosphere of
resistance to education. You are 'fellow Christians,' fellow workers. We
are sharers with you in personal devotion to our Lord, and in the common
purpose to make him Master of all life.

And, finally, let me say it bluntly, we welcome you because we believe
in your pride of race, and honor it in you as we honor it in our fellow
citizens of other races. They and you have some things in common, but
you will not misunderstand me when I congratulate you on what is
peculiar to you. You have been fully Americanized for more generations
than most other Americans. You have no need to strive after the American
spirit. I have a friend of Greek birth, who thinks pridefully back to
the Golden Age of Greece, and I envy him his glorying. But your pride
of race, turning away from the unhappy past, sees your Golden Age in
the days to come, not in the dim yesterdays. You are the makers, not the
inheritors, of a great destiny.

"For that noble future which is to be yours in our common America, you
do well to hold as above price the purity and strength of your racial
life. Better than we of Caucasian stock, you know that only so may all
the values be fully realized which are to be Africa's contribution to
the spiritual wealth of America and the world."

There was a moment of silence, for the implications of the last sentence
were not as plain as they might have been. But when the audience caught
J.W.'s somewhat daring appeal to its racial self-respect it broke into
such cheers as are not given to the polite phraser of conventional
commonplaces.



CHAPTER VII


THE FIRST AMERICAN CIVILIZATION

The full record of J.W.'s commercial career must he left to some other
chronicler, but an occasional reference to it cannot be omitted from
these pages.

Pastor Drury's brother Albert, a Saint Louis business man who knew the
old city by the Mississippi from the levees to the University, was a
citizen who loved his city so well that he did not need to join a
Boosters' Club to prove it. The two Drurys saw each other, as both
averred, all too seldom. On the infrequent occasions when they met, as,
for instance, during a certain church federation gathering which had
brought the minister down to Saint Louis from Delafield, their
"visiting" was a joyous thing to see.

Lounging in the City Club one day after lunch, with every other subject
of common interest at least touched on, Brother Albert turned to Brother
Walter: "And how goes the church and parish of Delafield? You told me
long ago that you wanted to stay there ten years; it's more than eight
now. Does the ten-year mark yet stand?"

"Yes, Al., it still stands, if nothing should interfere," said Walter.
He had never told his brother the reason back of that ten-year mark, and
he was not ready, even yet, for that. Of late he had taken to wondering
when and how the Experiment would come to its crisis. He wanted some
help just now, and here might be an opening. So he went on, "I've been
working away at several special jobs, as you know I like to do, and one
of them has a good deal to do with a young fellow named Farwell, John
Wesley Farwell, Jr., who'll be the mainstay of the best hardware store
in Delafield before long if he sticks to it. Everybody calls him 'J.W.,'
and he's the sort of boy that has always interested me, he's so
'average,'" He paused; his thoughts busy with the Experiment.

"Well," his brother broke in, after a moment, "what's this young John
Wesley Methodist been doing?"

"It isn't altogether what he has been doing, but it's what I'd like to
see him get a chance to do," explained the preacher. "He's tied to the
store and to Delafield, so far, and I've reasons for wanting him to see
some parts of this country he'll never see from Main Street in our
town."

"Well, brother mine, maybe he could be induced to leave that particular
Main Street. There's where we get the best citizens of this village. Has
he any objections to making a change--to travel, for instance?"

"I don't know," said Walter; "probably not. He's young, and has a pretty
good education. I do know that he's ambitious to make himself the best
hardware man in our section, and I believe he'll do it, in time.
Personally, I _want_ him to travel. But how would anybody go about
getting him the chance?"

Albert Drury laughed. "That's easy, only a preacher couldn't be
expected to see it. If any country boy really knows the stuff he
handles, whether it is hardware or candy or hides, he can get the chance
all right. This town wants him. Don't you know that the big wholesale
houses recruit their sales forces by spotting just such boys as your
John Wesley Farwell may be? But what do you mean by calling him average,
if he's such a keen judge of hardware?"

"Oh, well, he _is_ more than average on hardware, but he's so
beautifully average human; one of those chaps who do most of the real
work of the world."

"All right, old man; I'm not sure that I follow you; but, anyway, I may
be of some use. I'll tell you what I'll do; I know the very man. Peter
McDougall, who's a friend I can bank on, is sales manager of the
Cummings Hardware Corporation. Nothing will come of it if Peter is not
impressed, but all I need to do is to tell him there's a prospective
star salesman up at Delafield, and his man who has that territory will
be looking up your John Wesley before you have time to write another
sermon. By the way," he added, "what part of the country did you say you
wanted young Farwell to see?"

"I didn't say," the preacher admitted, "but I would like him to see
something of the Southwest. I want to see what will happen when he bumps
up against the sort of civilization that followed the Spanish to
America."

"Well, of course, you know that wholesale hardware houses don't run
salesmen's excursions to help Methodist preachers try out the effect of
American history on their young parishioners, no matter how lofty the
motive," and Albert Drury poked his brother in the ribs. "But supposing
this boy is otherwise good stuff he'll be in the right place, if he goes
with the Cummings people. A big share of their business is in that end
of the world."

If J.W. had been told of this conversation, which he wasn't, he might
not have been quite so mystified over the letter from the great Peter
McDougall, which came a few weeks after the preacher's return from Saint
Louis. McDougall he knew well by reputation, having heard about him from
every Cummings man who unpacked samples in Delafield. And to be invited
to Saint Louis by the great man, with the possibility of "an opening,
ultimately, in our sales force," was a surprise as interesting as it was
unexpected. Naturally, J.W. could not know how much careful
investigation had preceded the writing of that letter. The Cummings
Corporation did not act on impulse. But he would have accepted the
invitation in any case.

And that is enough for the present purpose of the story of J.W.'s first
business venture away from Delafield. Not without some hesitation did he
close with the Cummings offer; but after he had talked it all over with
the folks at home, and then all over again out at Deep Creek with
Jeannette Shenk, who was both sorry and proud, it was settled. Reaching
Saint Louis, the canny McDougall looked him over and thought him worth
trying out; so over he went to the stock department. Then followed busy
weeks in the buildings of the Cummings Hardware Corporation down by the
river, learning the stock. He discovered before the end of the first day
that he had never yet guessed what "hardware" meant; he wandered through
the mazes of the vast warehouses until his legs ached much and his eyes
ached more.

At last came the day when he found himself on the road, not alone, of
course, but in tow of Fred Finch, an old Cummings salesman who had
occasionally "made" Delafield. The Cummings people did not throw their
new men overboard and let them swim if they could. They had a careful
training system, of which the stockroom days were one part, and this
personally conducted introduction to the road was another.

Albert Drury had been sufficiently interested in his brother's wish to
drop a hint to McDougall, to which that hard-headed executive would have
paid no attention if it had not fitted in just then with the
requirements of his sales policy. But the hint sent J.W. out with Finch
over the longest route which the house worked for trade. On the map this
route was a great kite-shaped thing, with its point at Saint Louis, and
the whole Southwest this side of the Colorado River included in the
sweep of its sides and top.

To Fred Finch it was a weary journey, but J.W. gave no thought to its
discomforts. He was seeing the country, as well as learning to sell
hardware, and both occupations were highly absorbing. Before long he
found too that he was seeing a new people. Storekeepers he knew, as
being of his own guild; the small towns were much like Delafield, when
you had become used to their newer crudeness of architecture and their
sprawling planlessness; and the people who used hardware were very much
like his customers at home.

He had no fear of failing to become a salesman, after the first few
experiences under Finch's watchful eye; his father had taught him a sort
of salesmanship which experience could only make more effective. He knew
already never to sell what he could see his customer ought not to buy,
and he knew always to contrive as much as possible that the customer
should do the selling to himself. The elder Farwell used to say, "Let
your customer once see the advantage that buying is to him, and he won't
care what advantage selling is to you."

Now, as has been said before, this is not a salesman's story. Let it
suffice to say that before the two got back to Saint Louis J.W. knew he
had found his trade. He was a natural salesman, and so Fred Finch
reported to Peter McDougall. "If it's hardware," he said, "that boy can
sell it, and I don't care where you put him. He can sell to people who
can't speak English, and I believe he could sell to deaf mutes or the
blind. He knows the line, and they know he knows it. Why, this very
first trip he's sold more goods on his own say-so than on the house
brand. Said he knew what the stuff would do, and people took that who
usually want to know about the guarantee." All of which Peter McDougall
filed where he would not forget it.

But to go back to the trip itself. Along the railway in Kansas J.W.
began to see box-cars without trucks, roughly fitted up for dwellings.
Dark-skinned men and women and children were in occupation, and all the
household functions and processes were going on, though somewhat
primitively.

"Mexicans," said Finch, as J.W. pointed out the cars. "Section hands;
when I first began to make this territory you never saw them except
right down on the border, but they have moved a long way east and north.
I saw lots of them in the yards at Kansas City last time I was there."

J.W. watched the box-car life with a good deal of curiosity. Here and
there were poor little attempts at color and adornment; flowers in
window boxes and bits of lace at the windows. Delafield had plenty of
foreigners, but these were foreigners of another sort. They seemed to be
entirely at home.

"I suppose," he said to Finch, "these Mexicans have come to the States
to get away from the robbery and ruin that Mexico has had instead of
government these last ten years and more."

"Yes," Finch answered, "thousands of 'em. But not all. Some of these
Mexicans are older Americans than we are. We took 'em over when we got
Texas and New Mexico and California from Old Mexico. They were here
then, speaking the Spanish their ancestors had learned three hundred
years ago and more. But they're all the same Mexicans, no matter on
which side of the Rio Grande they were born. Of course those born on
this side have had some advantages that the peons never knew."

"But do you mean," J.W. wanted to know, "that they are not really
American citizens?"

Fred Finch said no, he didn't mean exactly that. Certainly, those born
on this side were American citizens in the eyes of the law, and those
who came across the Rio Grande could get naturalized. But that made
little real difference. A Mexican was a Mexican, and you had to deal
with him as one.

J.W. was not quite satisfied with that explanation, but he preferred to
wait until he had seen enough so that he could ask his questions more
intelligently. So he kept relatively still, but his eyes did not cease
from observing.

As the trip progressed, and the jumps between towns became longer, the
young salesman had time to see a good deal. In the far Southwest he
became aware that the increasingly numerous Mexican population was no
longer a matter of box-car dwellers, more or less migratory. It was a
settled people. Its little adobe villages, queer and quaint as they
seemed to Middle-Western eyes, were centers of established life. And he
discovered that in these villages always one building overshadowed all
the rest.

One day as they were headed towards El Paso he ventured to mention this
to his traveling companion. "Seems to me," he said, "that none of these
little mud villages is too poor to have a church, and mostly a pretty
good church too. How do they manage it?"

Now Finch was no student of church life, but he did know a little about
the country. "That's the way it is all over this Southwest, my boy, and
across the line in Old Mexico it's a good deal more so. My guess is that
the churches and the priests began by teaching the people that whatever
else happened they had to put up for the church, and from what I've
noticed I reckon that now nothing else matters much to the church. It
has become a kind of poor relation that's got to be fed and helped,
whether it amounts to anything or not. But it's a long way from being as
humble and thankful as you would naturally expect a poor relation to
be."

During the El Paso layover the two of them took a day across the
International Bridge. J.W. had watched the Mexicans coming over, and he
wanted to see the country they came from.

"You'll not see much over there," a friendly spoken customs official
told him. "It's a pretty poor section of desert 'round about these
parts. You ought to get away down into the heart of the country."

"Yes, I suppose so," J.W. responded, "but there isn't time on this trip.
Are such people as these coming over to the United States right along?"

"I should say they are," said the man of authority with emphasis. "In
the last four or five years the Mexican population of the United States
has about doubled; three quarters of a million have crossed the Rio
Grande somewhere, or the border further west. You people from the East
make a big fuss over immigration from Europe, but you hardly seem to
know that a regular flood has been pouring in through these southwestern
gateways. You will some day."

What they saw on the Mexican side of the bridge was, as the customs man
had said, nothing much. But J.W. came away with a strange sense of
depression. He had never before seen so much of the raw material of
misery and squalor; what he had observed with wondering pity in the
villages on the American side was as nothing to the unrelieved
hopelessness of the south bank of the river.

That night in the hotel lobby J.W. noticed a fresh-faced but rather
elderly man whom he recognized as one whom he had seen over in Mexico
earlier in the day. With the memory of what he had seen yet fresh upon
him, J.W. ventured a commonplace or two with the stranger, and found him
so genial and interesting that they were still talking long after Fred
Finch had yawned himself off to bed.

"I thought I remembered seeing you over there," said the unknown, "and
you didn't look like a seasoned traveler; more like the amateur I am
myself, though I do get about a little."

"I'm no seasoned sightseer," said J.W.; "this is my first time out. And
that's maybe the reason I've developed so much curiosity about the
people we saw to-day. Do you know much about them?"

"Who? the Mexicans?" The other man smiled, and then was suddenly
serious. "My friend, I begin to think I'm making the Mexicans my hobby.
I don't know who you are, but if you are really interested in the
Mexicans as human beings I'd rather tell you what I know than do
anything else I can think of to-night. It isn't often I find a traveling
man who cares."

"Well, I do care," J.W. asserted, stoutly. "They're people, folks,
aren't they? And it looks as though they could stand having somebody get
interested in them a little."

"Ah, I see now what you are; you are that remarkable combination, a
traveling man and a Christian. Am I right?"

"Why, I suppose so," said J.W., with a smile and a touch of the old
boyish pride in his name. "My initials, as you might say, are 'John
Wesley,' and I'm not ashamed of them."

"And that means you are not only a Christian, but a Methodist? My dear
man, we must shake on that. I'm a Methodist myself, as the stage robber
said to Brother Van, with the romantic name of Tanner. Got my first
interest in Mexico and the Mexicans when my daughter married a young
Methodist preacher and they went down there as missionaries. I make a
trip to see them and the babies about once a year. But now I am getting
interested in these people as an American and, I hope, a Christian who
tries to work at the business. What did you say your other name was?"

J.W. hadn't said, but now he did, and the two settled to their talk.
This William Tanner, some sort of retired business man, certainly seemed
to know his Mexico. And he had that most subtle of all stimulants
to-night, a curious and sympathetic hearer. By consequence he was eager
to give all that J.W. would take.

Before long J.W. had edged in a question about the church. He said, "You
know, Mr. Tanner, we have a pretty good Roman Catholic church in my home
town, though Father O'Neill doesn't tie up much to what the other
churches are trying to do, and some of his flock seem to me pretty wild,
for sheep. Now, these churches down here are all Roman Catholic too, yet
they certainly don't look any kin to Saint Ursula's at Delafield. Are
they?"

It was the sort of question which William Tanner had asked himself many
a time when he first came to Mexico. "This is the way of it, Mr.
Farwell," he said. "The church came to Mexico, and to all Latin America,
from Spain and Portugal. It had a few great names, we must acknowledge,
in those early times. But in a little while it settled down to two
activities--to make itself the sole religious authority and to get rich.
It was a church of God and gold, and as a matter of course it preached
that it was the supreme arbiter of life and death in matters of faith,
and extended its authority into every relation of life. It brought from
the lands of the Inquisition the idea of priestly power, and there was
none to dispute it in Latin America, as there was in the colonies of our
own country. It gave the people little instruction, and no
responsibility or freedom. It made outward submission the test of piety
and faith. And so when Spain lost its grip on the western hemisphere the
church found itself with nothing but its claim of power to fall back on.
Well, you know that would work only with the ignorant and the
superstitious."

"Mexico, and all Latin America for that matter, clear to the Straits of
Magellan, is a land of innumerable crosses, but no Christ. The church
has had left to it what it wanted; that is, the priestly prerogatives;
it marries, baptizes, absolves, buries, where the people can pay the
fees, and the people for various reasons have not cared that this is
all. If they are afraid, or want to make a show, they call in the
church; if they don't care, or if they are poor, they go unbaptized,
unmarried, unshriven, and do not see that it makes any difference. They
have no understanding of the church as a Christian institution; in fact,
I think it would puzzle most of them to tell what a true church ought to
be. Now, all this is the church's reward for its ancient choice, which,
so far as I can see, is still its choice. To the average Latin American
the church is, and in the nature of things must be, a demander of pay
for ceremonial, and a bitterly jealous defender of all its old
autocratic claims. That is of the nature of the church."

"But I don't understand," interposed J.W. "If the people have no real
use for the church, why do they support it? It certainly is supported."

"That, Mr. Farwell, is the tragedy of the church in all these lands,"
said Mr. Tanner, soberly. "The church began by looking to its own
interests first. It wanted great establishments and a docile people. It
found the gospel hard to preach to the natives--the real gospel, I mean.
The cruelties and greed of the conquest had made impossible any
preaching of a ministering, merciful, and unselfish Christ. In fact, the
vast majority of the priests who came over from Europe brought with them
no such ideas. The church was ruler, not missionary. And so far as it
dares it sticks stubbornly to that notion even to this day. So it has
had to make practical compromise with the paganism and superstition it
found here. Many of its religious observances are the aboriginal pagan
practices disguised in Christian dress and given Christian names. The
church has sold its birthright for the privilege of exploiting the
credulity and the fears of the people. It has made merchandise of all
its functions. Now, after the centuries have come and gone, both church
and people through long custom are willing to have it so. The people
have their great churches, with incense and lights and all the pomp of
medaeival days. But they have no living Christ and no thought of him. The
priests have their trade in ceremonial and their perquisites, but they
have no power over the hearts of men."

As his new acquaintance paused for breath after this long answer to a
short question, J.W., remembering something Fred Finch had said, brought
the remark in: "The man who is showing me the ropes as a hardware man
tells me that all over Latin America the church is likely to be the one
real building in every town and village. Is that also something that
the people are so used to that they don't notice it any more?"

"Oh, yes," Mr. Tanner assented. "I suppose the contrast between the
church and the miserable little hovels around it never occurs to any of
them. It has always been so. The church has built itself up out of the
community, and for the most part it puts very little back. It conducts
schools, to be sure; and yet eighty per cent of the Mexican people are
illiterate, it has some few institutions of help and mercy; but the
whole land cries out for doctors and teachers and friendly human
concern."

"Is that really so?" J.W. asked. "Do the people really want our
missionaries, or are we Protestants just shoving ourselves in? I can see
that something is desperately wrong, but we are mostly Saxon, and they
are Latins. Do these people want what to them must seem a queer religion
and a lot of strange ideas?"

"So long as they do not understand what we come for, naturally they are
suspicious. When they find out, they take to mission work and
missionaries with very little urging. I wish you would meet my
son-in-law," Mr. Tanner said with positiveness. "Why, the one tormenting
desire of that man's life is to see more missionaries sent down into
Mexico; more doctors, more teachers, more workers of every sort. He
writes letters to the Board of Foreign Missions that would make your
heart ache. The church at home couldn't oversupply Mexico with the sort
of help it desperately needs if it should turn every recruit that way,
and disregard all the rest of the world's mission fields."

"Do you mean," asked J.W., who was seeing new questions bob up every
time an earlier one was answered, "do you mean that so many missionaries
could be used on productive Christian work right away? Or is it that we
ought to have a big force to prepare for the long future of our work in
Mexico?" Now, J.W. was not so sure that this was an intelligent
question, but he had heard that in some mission fields it was necessary
to wait years for real and permanent results.

His companion saw nothing out of the way in the question. It was part of
the whole problem. "I mean it both ways," he said. "What I've seen of
our Methodist work down in these parts, particularly its schools and one
wonderful hospital, makes me sure we could get big harvests of interest
and success right off. We're doing it already, considering our
relatively small force and our limited equipment."

"But all Latin American work takes patience. I've made one trip down as
far as Santiago de Chile, and what is true in Mexico is, I guess, about
as true in other parts. The Roman Catholic Church has been here four
hundred years, and its biggest result is that the people who don't fear
it despise it. Latin America is called Christian, but it is a world in
which what you and I call religion simply does not count. Well, then,
that's what makes me talk about the need of persistence and patience.
The bad effects of three or four hundred years of such religion as has
been taught and practiced between the Rio Grande and Cape Horn can't be
got rid of in a hurry. Wait till Mexico has had a real chance at the
Christ of the New Testament for three hundred years, and then see!"

J.W. had yet another question to ask before he was ready to call it a
day. "If all that you say is so--and I believe it is, Mr. Tanner--why
should so many of the Mexicans hate the United States? They do, for I've
heard it spoken of a good deal lately, and I remember what was always
said when some one proposed that we should intervene to make peace and
restore order in Mexico. It would take ten years and a million men, and
all Mexico would unite to oppose us. You talk about how much the
Mexicans need us and want us. But a great many of them surely don't want
us at all."

"I know what that means," Mr. Tanner admitted. And it is true. We are
all influenced by the past. Look at the history of our dealings with
Mexico. The very ideas we fought to establish as the charter of our own
freedom we repudiated when we dealt with Mexico three quarters of a
century ago. We had every advantage, and what we wanted we took.
Certainly, we have done better by it than Mexico might have done, but I
never heard that reason given in a court of law to excuse the same sort
of transaction if it touched only private individuals. Then, in late
years big business has gone into Mexico. It has had to take big chances.
It has paid better wages than the peon could earn any other way. It has
a lot to its credit; but it has been much like big business in other
places, and, anyway, the admitted great profits have enriched the
foreigner, not the Mexican.

"Besides, Mexico is not the States. As you say, it is Latin in its
civilization, not Saxon. It does not want our sort of culture. And some
of our missionaries, both of the church and of industry, have thought
that the Mexican ought to be 'Americanized.' That's a fatal mistake in
any mission field outside the States. All in all, you can see that it
isn't entirely inevitable that the Mexican should understand our
motives, or appreciate them when he does understand. But that's all the
more reason for bearing down hard on every form of genuine missionary
work. It's the only thing that we Americans can do in Mexico with any
hope of avoiding suspicion or of our presence being acceptable to the
Mexicans in the long run. We've got to fight the backfire of our
American commercialism, and the prejudice which is as real on the Texas
side of the river as it is on the other; for if the Mexican thinks in
terms of 'gringo,' the American of the Southwest is just as likely to
think in terms of 'greaser.'"

When J.W. and Mr. Tanner parted for the night it was with the mutual
promise that they would have another talk some time the next day, but
the promise could not be kept. The retired business man heard from some
of his business in the early morning, and had just time to say a hurried
farewell. As he put it, "I thought I had retired, but unless I get back
to look after this particular affair I may have to get into the harness
again, and that is not a cheerful prospect at my age. So I go to
business to avert the danger of going back to business."

A little later the two hardware salesmen were in El Paso again, after a
couple of side trips. J.W. took advantage of a long train wait to hunt
up the city library. He wanted to know whether Mr. Tanner was right in
saying that the Latin-American question was much the same everywhere.

He wrote a letter to Mr. Drury that night, having thus far used picture
postcards until he was ashamed. In the letter he took occasion to
mention his talk with the "missionary father-in-law," and his own bit of
reading up on the subject.

Said he: "I guess that man Tanner was right. He did not speak much of
the difference between the people of one country and those of another,
which rather surprised me. He said nothing of the two great classes, the
rulers with much European blood, and the peons, largely or altogether
Indian. There must be all sorts of Latin Americans, rich and poor, mixed
blood of many strains, Castilian and Aztec and Inca, and whatever other
people were here when Columbus set the fashion for American voyages. But
this is where this 'missionary father-in-law' hit the heart of the
trouble: Latin America has all sorts and conditions of men, but
everywhere it has the same church. And it is a church that can't ever
make good any more. It might, at the beginning, but it can't now. It has
a reputation as fixed as Julius Caesar's. I'm hardly ready to set up as
an expert observer, being only a cub salesman on his first trip, but,
Mr. Drury, I believe I can see already that the only chance for these
people to get religion and everything else which religion ought to
produce, is for us to send it to them. Maybe that would stir up the
church down here, and help to give it another chance at the people's
confidence, though I'm not sure."

Our church ought to send doctors; the amount of fearful disease that
flourishes among the poorer people is just frightful. If Joe Carbrook
were not so set on going to the Orient, he could do a big work here, and
so could a thousand other doctors. It would be so much more than mere
doctoring; it would be the biggest kind of preaching.

And the church should send teachers. You know I believe in conversion;
but if the Mexicans I have seen are samples of Latin America's common
people, they need teachers who have the patience of Christ a good deal
more than they need flaming evangelists who make a big stir and soon
pass on. Because these folks have just _got_ to be made over, in their
very minds. They are not ready for the preaching of the gospel until
they have seen it lived. Long experience has made them doubtful of
living saints, though plenty of them pray to dead ones.

This is the whole trouble, Mr. Drury, it seems to me. They've known
only a church that had got off the track. Any religious work that
reaches them now has almost to begin all over again. It has to undo
their thinking about prayer and faith and God's love and human conduct
and nearly every other Christian idea. They have a Christian vocabulary,
but it means very little. They think they can buy religion, if they want
it--any kind they want. And if they can't afford it, or don't want it,
they don't quite think they'll be sent to hell for that, in spite of
what the priest says. They think enough to be afraid, but not enough to
be sure of anything. The missionaries have to teach them a new set of
religious numerals, if you get what I mean, before it is any use to
teach them the arithmetic of the gospel.

"I'm beginning to see that everything among the Latin Americans runs
back to the need of Christian living. The wrong notion of religion has
got them all twisted. I know Delafield is a long way from being
Christian, but the difference between Delafield and such a pitiful mud
village as I've seen lately has more to do with the sort of Christianity
each place has been taught than with anything else whatever. But I never
thought of that before."

As Pastor Drury read that letter his heart warmed within him. He said to
himself, "John Wesley, Jr., is 'beginning to see,' he says. Please God
he musn't stop now until he gets his eyes wide open. The thing is
working out. He's groping around for something, and some day he'll find
it."



CHAPTER VIII


CHRIST AND THE EAST

For a first trip the Southwestern expedition under Fred Finch's tutelage
had been something of an exploit. Finch's report to Peter McDougall was
more than verified by the order sheets, and the observant Peter, keeping
track of things during the succeeding weeks, noticed with quiet
satisfaction that not a single order Was canceled.

To himself he said, "The lad's a find, I'm thinking. From Finch's talk I
should say he has not only a natural knack of selling, but he sells for
keeps. And that's the idea, Peter. Anybody can sell if the buyer means
to call off the order by the next mail. This John Wesley boy may go far,
and I'll have to tell Albert Drury the next time I see him that he's
done the house of Cummings a real favor."

The months went by. J.W. kept his wits about him, and on the road he
stuck to his salesman's faith that goods are better sold by those who
know exactly how they may be used and that they are never sold until
they are bought. So he found favor in the sight of Peter McDougall. The
proof of that is easy. Peter gave him a week off before the end of his
first year.

Delafield looked better to the homecoming salesman than it had to the
boy coming back from college. And the town was glad to see him. He
meant something to not a few of its people, altogether outside the
interest of the Farwells--and Pastor Drury--and Jeannette!

Deep Creek was his first port of call, after his first half-day at home.
He had been welcomed with deep, quiet gladness by the home folks, and he
had talked a little over the telephone with the preacher. Then time was
a laggard until he could head the Farwell car toward Deep Creek and the
old farm.

Jeannette's welcome was all that even he could ask, though, of course,
just precisely what it was is none of our business. In the car, and by
the fireplace in the Shenk living room, and around the farm, they
considered many things, some of them not so personal as others. J.W.
told the story of his life in Saint Louis and on the road; Jeannette
listening like another Desdemona to the recital. And once again it was
not the adventure which supplied the thrill, but the adventurer.

And Jeannette told him the news of Delafield. How Joe Carbrook and
Marcia Dayne's wedding had been the most wonderful wedding ever seen in
Delafield, with the town as proud of its one-time scapegrace as it was
of the beautiful bride. How brother Marty had been finding many excuses
of late for driving up from his circuit, and how he managed to see Alma
Wetherell a good deal. How Alma was now head bookkeeper and cashier of
the Emporium, the town's biggest store, and how she was such a dear
girl. How Pastor Drury and Marty had become great friends. How the
minister was not so well as usual, and people were getting to be a
little worried about him. How the Delafield church had taken up tithing,
and was not only doing a lot better financially, but in every other way.
How Deep Creek was going to have a new minister, a friend whom Marty had
met at the summer school for rural ministers, who would try to help the
Deep Creek people get an up-to-date church building and learn to use it.
How the Everyday Doctrines of Delafield had been first boosted and then
forgotten, and now again several of them were being practiced in some
quarters. And much more, though never to the wearing out of J.W.'s
interest. Certainly not, the news being just what he wanted to know, and
the reporter thereof being just the person he wanted to tell it to him.

One bit of news Jeannette did not tell, for the sufficient reason that
she did not know it. Pastor Drury and Brother Marty _had_ become great
friends, but what Jeannette could not tell was the special bond of
interest which was back of the fact. Marty had long been aware that for
some reason the Delafield pastor was peculiarly concerned about J.W.
Never did he guess Walter Drury's secret, but he knew well enough there
was one.

These two, the town preacher and the young circuit rider, read to each
other J.W.'s letters, and talked much about him and his experiences, and
made J.W. in general the theme of many discussions.

"It has been good for the boy that he has had that border trip," said
the pastor to Marty a few days before J.W. got back. "Don't you think
so?"

Marty was, as ever, J.W.'s ardent and self-effacing chum. "I certainly
do," he said. "He's growing, is J.W., and growing the right way. We need
business men of just the quality that's showing in him."

The pastor hesitated a moment. Then he spoke: "Marty, when J.W. comes
home I hope something will set him thinking about the outer world that
has no word of our Christ. He hasn't seen it yet, not clearly; and you
know that there isn't any hope for that world to get out of the depths
until it gets the news of a Helper. I'm counting on you to help me with
J.W. if the chance comes. Just between ourselves, you know."

"I'll do all I can, Mr. Drury; you may be sure of that," said Marty. And
he did.

J.W.'s holiday brought several young people together who had not met for
a long time. Marty came up again, and spent the day with J.W., all over
town, from the store to the house and back again. In the evening Mrs.
Farwell made a feast, to which, besides Marty, Jeannette and Alma and
Pastor Drury were bidden. Mrs. Farwell was much more to Delafield than
the best cook and the most remarkable housekeeper in the place, but her
son insisted that she was these to begin with. Certainly, she had not
been experimenting on the two J.W.'s all these years for nothing.

After dinner--talk. No need of any other game in that company at such a
time. There was plenty to talk about, and all had their reasons for
enjoying it. Naturally, J.W. must tell about himself. Letters are all
very well, but they are no more than makeshifts, after all. He was
modest enough about it, not having any special exploits to parade before
their wondering eyes, but quite willing. His Western experiences being
called for, he was soon telling, not of desert and cactus and
irrigation, but of the people who had so taken his attention, the
Mexicans.

"I believe," said he, "that we can do something really big down there.
And it's our business. Nobody except American Christians will do it;
nobody else can. Besides, the Mexicans are Christians in name, now. What
they need is the reality. They are not impossible--just uncertain. All I
heard and what little I saw made me believe they are suffering from bad
leadership and ignorance more than from anything hopelessly wrong. They
seem easy to get along with. The women are the most patient workers I
ever heard of. And the poor Mexicans, the 'peons,' do want an end to
fighting and banditry."

"Well, J.W.," Marty asked, "what's the first thing we ought to think
about for Mexico?"

"I told you I don't know anything about Mexico, except at second-hand.
But, I should say, schools. Schools are good for any land, don't you
think, Mr. Drury? And in Mexico they are such great disturbers of the
old slouching indifference. They will make the right kind of
discontent. Schools bring other things; new ideas of health and
sanitation, home improvement, social outlook, and all that. Then, with
the schools, I guess, the straight gospel. The Mexicans won't get
converted all at once, and they won't become like us, ever. But I'm
about ready to say that whether missions are needed anywhere else or
not, they surely are needed in Mexico. And Mexico is the first
stepping-stone to South America; which is next on my list of the places
that ought to have the whole scheme of Christian teaching and life."

"Yes," said Alma, "and you know, I suppose, that the beginning of our
Panama Mission was an Epworth League Institute enterprise? Well, it was.
California young people assumed the support of the first missionary sent
there, and later he went on down to South America, with the same young
people determined to take him on as their representative, just as they
did in Panama."

"Where did you get that story?" J.W. wanted to know.

"Oh, I forgot," Alma answered him, laughing. "You haven't had time to
read The Epworth Herald in Saint Louis."

"Yes, I have, young lady," J.W. retorted, "but I missed that. Anyway,
it's on the right track. I think we've got to change the thinking of all
Latin America about Christianity, if we can. Most of the men, they say,
are atheists, made so very largely by their loss of faith in the church;
and many of the women substitute an almost fierce devotion to the same
church for what we think of as being genuine religion."

The minister spoke up just here. "I should think it would be pretty
difficult to treat our United States Mexicans in one way, and those
across the Rio Grande in another. We must evangelize on both sides of
the river, but only on this side can we even attempt to Americanize."

"That's right," J.W. affirmed. "And even on this side we can't do what
we may do in Delafield. The language is a big question, and it has two
sides. But no matter what the difficulties, I'm for a great advance of
missions and education, starting with Mexico and going all the way to
Cape Horn."

"That's all very fine," interposed Marty, "but what about the rest of
the world, J.W.? What about the world that has not even the beginning of
Christian knowledge?" Marty had put the question on the urge of the
moment, and not until it was out did he remember that Mr. Drury had
asked him to help raise this very issue.

"Well," J.W. answered, slowly, "maybe that part of the world is worse,
though I don't know. But we can't tackle everything. Latin America is an
immense job by itself, and we have some real responsibility there; a
sort of Christian Monroe Doctrine. Ought we to scatter our forces? The
non-Christian world has its own religions, and has had them for
hundreds, maybe thousands of years. What's the hurry just now? If we
could do everything, we Protestant Christians, I mean, in this country
and Britain, it might be different, but we can't. Why not concentrate?"

"Yes," Marty came back, "but not because Latin America is so nearly
Christian. What about this atheism and superstition and ignorance; isn't
it just a non-Christian civilization with Christian labels on some parts
of it?"

"One thing I've heard," put in Jeannette, not that she wanted to argue,
but she felt she ought to say something on J.W.'s side if she could,
"that the religions of the Orient, at least, are really great religions,
more suited to the minds of the people than any other. 'East is East,
and West is West,' you know. But, of course, the people don't live up to
the high levels of their beliefs. Americans don't, either."

Mr. Drury shot an amused yet admiring glance at Jeannette. What a loyal
soul she was! Then said he: "The religions of the East _are_ great
religions, Jeannette. They represent the best that men can do. The
Orient has a genius for religion, and it has produced far better systems
than the West could have done. Some of the truth that we Western people
get only in Christianity the thinkers of Asia worked out for themselves.
But God was back of it all."

That suited J.W.'s present mood. "All right, then; let's clean up as we
go--Delafield, Saint Louis, the Southwest, Mexico, Latin America; that's
the logical order. Then the rest of the world."

Marty put in a protest here: "That won't do, old man. Your logic's lame.
You want us to go into Mexico now, with all we've got. Your letters
have said so, and you've said it again to-night. But we're not 'cleaning
up as we go.' Look at Delafield; the town you've moved away from. Look
at Saint Louis; the town where you make your living. Are they
Christianized? Cleaned up? Yet you are ready for Mexico. No; you're all
wrong, J.W. I don't believe the world's going to be saved the way you
break up prairie sod, a field at a time, and let the rest alone. We've
got to do our missionary work the way they feed famine sufferers. They
don't give any applicant all he can eat, but they try to make the supply
go 'round, giving each one a little. Remember, J.W., the rest of the
world is as human as our western hemisphere."

"I know," admitted J.W. "And I don't say I've got the right of it. I'd
have to see the Orient before I made up my mind. But those countries
have waited a long while. A few more years wouldn't be any great
matter."

Alma Wetherell now joined the opposition. It looked as though J.W. and
Jeannette must stand alone, for the old people said nothing, though they
listened with eager ears. Said Alma, "I think it would matter a lot. The
more we do for one people, while ignoring all the others, the less we
should care to drop a developing work to begin at the bottom somewhere
else."

"There's something in that," J.W. conceded. "I'm not meaning to be
stubborn. But I've had just a glimpse of the size of the missionary job
in one little corner of the world. Even that is too big for us. We could
put our whole missionary investment into Mexico without being able to do
what is needed."

"The missionary job, as you call it, is too big, certainly, for our
present resources," said the pastor. "Everybody knows that."

"Yes," said Marty, who wondered if Mr. Drury had forgotten their compact
about J.W., "but why limit ourselves to our present resources? They are
not all we could get, if the church came to believe in the bigness of
her privilege. I'd like to see for myself, as J.W. says, but I can't.
Why don't you get a real traveling job, and go about the world looking
things over for us, old man?"

"Me?" J.W. said, sarcastically; "yes, that's a likely prospect. Just as
I'm getting over being scared by a sample case. I'll do well to hold the
job I've got."

Alma didn't know what Marty's game was, but she played up to his
suggestion. "Why shouldn't you go?" she asked. "You've told us that
Cummings hardware and tools are sold all over the world. Doesn't that
mean salesmen? And aren't you a salesman? They have to send somebody;
why shouldn't they pick on you some time?"

J.W. rose to the lure, for the moment all salesman. "Nothing in it,
Alma; no chance at all. But I would like to show the world the
civilizing values of good tools, and I'd go if I got the chance."

Jeannette's reaction was quicker than thinking; "Would you go half way
around the world just for that?" she asked, with a hint of alarm.

"Why, yes, I would," said J.W., "that is, if you were willing."

Whereupon everybody laughed but Jeannette, whose pale cheeks flamed into
sudden rosiness.

The minister came to her rescue. "It would be a good thing every way, if
more laymen would see the realities of Oriental life and bring back an
impartial report. Suppose you should be right, J.W., and we found that
the Orient could wait until the western hemisphere had been thoroughly
Christianized. Think how many thousands--perhaps millions--of dollars
could be directed into more productive channels. I can see what a great
influence such reports would have if they came from Christian laymen. We
have learned to expect stories of complete failure when the ordinary
traveler comes back; and maybe the missionaries have their bias too. But
business men with Christian ideals--that would be different."

Now, all this was far from unpleasant to J.W. He detested posing, but
why wouldn't it be worth something to have laymen report on missionary
work? Of course, though, if the time ever came when the firm was willing
to trust him abroad, he wouldn't have much chance to study missions.
Business would have to come first. It was no less a dream for being an
agreeable one.

"There's no danger of my going," he told them. "The Cummings people are
not sending cub salesmen to promote their big Asiatic trade. What could
they make by it?"

Then the talk drifted to the Carbrooks. Marty said, "Well, we've spoiled
your scheme a little, J.W., right here in Delafield. Joe Carbrook and
Marcia are in China by now, and I'd like to see both of 'em as they get
down to work. You can't keep all our interest on this side of the
Pacific so long as those two are on the other."

"No," said J.W., warmly, "and I don't want to. I'll help to back up
those two missionaries wherever they go." And his thoughts went back to
camp fire night at Cartwright Institute, when he had said to Joe
Carbrook without suspecting the consequences, "Say, Joe; if you think
you could be a doctor, why not a missionary doctor?"

Then he asked the company, "Just where have these missionary infants
been sent?"

Nobody knew, exactly. They had the name of the town and the province,
but the geography of China is not as yet familiar even to those who
support the missions and missionaries of that vast, mysterious land.

The pastor thought it was two or three hundred miles inland from
Foochow. "Anyhow," said he, "it is a good-sized town, of about one
hundred thousand people or more, and Joe's hospital is the only one in
the whole district. The man whose place he takes is home on furlough,
and I've looked up his work in the Annual Report of the Foreign Missions
Board. Six or eight years ago the hospital was a building of sun-dried
brick, with a mud floor and accommodations for about seventy-five
patients. He was running it on something like five dollars a day. But it
is better now, costs more too. And there's a school attached, where
Marcia has already begun to make herself necessary, or I'm much
mistaken."

So the talk ran on, until the evening was far spent, and everybody
wished there could be half a dozen such evenings before J.W. must go
back to Saint Louis and the road.

No other opportunity offered, however, and all too soon for some people
J.W. was gone again from Delafield.

Walter Drury, seeing his chance, set himself to follow up the talk of
that one evening. It had given him a lead as to the next phase of the
Experiment, and he wanted to try out the idea before anything else might
happen.

So he wrote to his brother Albert in Saint Louis. "I know I'm a bother
to you," the letter ran, "but you have always been generous, being your
own unselfish self. It's about young Farwell, 'John Wesley, Jr.,' you
know. I judge he's a boy with a fine business future, and I've found out
from his father some of the reasons why he is making good. Now, I don't
know much about business, but it seems to me that the very qualities
which make J.W. a good salesman for a beginner would be profitable to
his company if they sent him to their Oriental trade. He's young enough
to learn something over there. My own interest is not on that side of
the affair, but I know it would be out of the question to suggest his
going unless the Cummings people could see a business advantage in it.
If you think it is not asking too much, I wish you would talk to Mr.
McDougall about it. Tell him what I have written, and what I told you
long ago about J.W."

Albert Drury had unbounded confidence in his brother's sincerity and
sense, so he lost no time in getting an interview with his friend
McDougall.

"See here, Peter," said he, "I'll be frank with you; I know you think
I'd better be if I'm to get anywhere."

"That's very true," said McDougall, with assumed severity.

"Well, then, read my brother's letter; and then tell me if he's wanting
the impossible."

Peter McDougall read the letter twice. "No," he said, when he handed it
back, "he's not wanting the impossible. He's given me an idea. I owe you
something already, for finding this young fellow, and I'll tell you what
I'm thinking of. Of course the boy isn't seasoned enough yet, but he's
getting there fast. A couple of long trips, a few months under my own
eye here in the office, and he'll be ready. Now, your brother has hinted
at exactly what young Farwell is good for. That boy sells goods by
getting over onto the buyer's side. And he knows tools--knew 'em before
we hired him. Well, then, here's the idea; one big need of our foreign
trade is to show our agencies what can really be done with American
hardware and tools. It takes more than a salesman; and Farwell has the
knack. So there you are. Tell your brother the boy shall have his
chance."

A few months later McDougall sent for J.W. and put the whole proposal
before him.

"But I'm not an expert, Mr. McDougall," J.W. protested. "I haven't the
experience, and I might fall down completely in a new field like that."

"We're not looking for an expert," said McDougall, shortly. "You know
what every user of our stuff ought to know; you can put yourself in his
place; and you'll be a sort of missionary. How about it?"

At the word J.W.'s memory awoke, and he heard again what had been said
in the living room at Delafield when he was last at home. A missionary!
And here was the very chance they had all talked about.

"Of course I should like to go, if you think I'll do," he said.

Peter looked at him more kindly than was his wont. "My boy," he said, "I
know something about you outside of business, though not much. And I
think you'll do. Mind you, your missionary work will be tools and
hardware, not the Methodist Church. You will have to show people who
have their own ideas about tools how much more convenient our goods are;
handier, lighter, more adaptable. What they need over there is modern
stuff. It will help them to raise more crops and do better work and earn
a better income. You've nothing to do with selling policies, finance,
credits, and all that. Just be a tool and hardware missionary."

"Where had you thought of sending me?" asked J.W., still somewhat
dazed.

"Oh, wherever we have agencies that you can use as bases: China, the
Philippines, Malaysia, India. You will have to figure on a year or
nearly that. And you mustn't stick to the ports or the big cities. Get
hold of people who'll show you the country; the places where our goods
are most needed and least known. Study the people and their tools. Work
out better ways of doing things. Don't try to hustle the East, but
remember that the East is doing a little hustling on its own account
these days. And talk turkey to our agencies--when you're sure you have
something to talk about."

The rest is detail. The trip determined on, preparations were hastened.
A month before the date of starting J.W. had time for no more than a
hurried visit to Delafield, to say good-by to the home folk and to the
preacher whom he had come to think of as Timothy might have thought of
Paul. Then he had something else to say to Jeannette. His prospects were
becoming so promising that he could ask her a very definite question,
and he dared to hope for a definite answer.

Jeannette, troubled at the thought of his long absence in strange lands,
consoled herself by her promise, which was his promise also. As soon as
he came home again they would be married. Brother Drury should
officiate, assisted by "the Rev. Martin Luther Shenk, brother of the
charming bride," as J.W. put it.

Walter Drury was not his usual alert self, J.W. thought, and it hurt him
to see his much-loved friend touched even a little by the years. But
the pastor brightened up, and grew visibly better as J.W. told him all
his plans.

"Just think, Mr. Drury," he said with animation, "I'm to be a
missionary, after all. Once long ago I remember you suggested I might go
to China and see for myself the difference between their religion and
ours; and now I'm going to China. Who knows, maybe I'll see Joe Carbrook
at his work. And then I'm to go all over the East, to preach the gospel
of better tools." Then he became thoughtful. "Don't you think that's
almost as good as the gospel of better bodies--Joe's gospel?"

"Surely, I do," said the pastor, "if you and Joe preach in the same
spirit, knowing that China won't be saved even by hospitals and modern
hardware. They help. But remember our understanding; you have your
chance now to see the religions of the East. Going right among the
people, as you will, you can find out more in a week than the average
tourist ever discovers. I'll give you the names of some people who will
gladly help you. And we shall want a full report when you come back. God
bless you, J.W."

It was a tired preacher who went to bed that night. This new adventure
of his boy's; what would it mean to the Experiment? He had done his best
to keep that long-ago pledge to himself. Not always had the project been
easy; he could not control all its circumstances, but in the main it had
gone well.

And now J.W. was in the last stage of the Experiment Walter Drury had
contrived to shape its larger conditions, with the help of many friendly
but unsuspecting conspirators. This tour in the interest of better tools
was due mainly to his initiative. But he could do nothing more. The
event was now out of his hands. The relaxed tension made him realize
that his nerves were shaky, and he had a sense of great depression. But
before he went to bed he pulled himself together long enough to write to
five missionaries, including Joe Carbrook, whose fields were on or near
the route J.W. would travel. He had told J.W. that he would let these
men know of his coming, but he did more. To each one he said a word of
appeal. "Don't argue much with this boy of mine; I want him to see it
without too many second-hand opinions. Explain all you please, and let
him get as near as he can to the people you are dealing with. If, as I
hope, he gets a glimpse of the work's inner meaning, I shall be
satisfied."

       *       *       *       *       *

The first day which J.W. spent in Shanghai was a big day for him. Even
amid the strangeness of the scene he felt almost at home. The people who
had the Cummings agency had received their instructions, and were
prepared to help him every way. He could begin an up-country trip at
once if he wished. Then he met the first of the men to whom Pastor Drury
had written, Mark Rutledge, and at once he saw that this well-groomed,
alert young missionary, who used modern speech in deliberate but direct
fashion, would be of immense service to him.

Rutledge received J.W.'s gospel of tools with almost boyish
enthusiasm. "I've always said," he exclaimed, "that if the other
business men of America had as much sense as the tobacco folks they
would hasten the Christianizing of China by many a year. Not that
tobacco is helping; far from it. But it's the idea of fitting their
product to this particular market. And your house has evidently caught
that idea. You must have a real sales manager in Saint Louis! Of course
I'll help you all I can."

Some of the help which Mark Rutledge gave him was of a sort that J.W.
could not rightly estimate at the time, but he knew it was good. As long
as he stayed in Shanghai, and as often he came back to the city as a
base, he and Rutledge were pretty frequently together. The missionary
kept his own counsel as to the Drury letter, merely dropping a hint now
and then, or a suggestion which fitted both the Cummings agency's
program and the pastor's desire.

The inland trips for business purposes kept J.W. busy for weeks; he
found himself in so utterly novel a situation that he saw he could not
work out anything without careful study and expert Chinese cooperation.
As he came and went he saw, under Rutledge's guidance, much of the
inside of mission work. In Shanghai he found a Methodist publishing
house, sending out literature all over China, as well as two monthly
papers, one in Chinese and one in English. Many missionary boards had
headquarters here. From Shanghai as a business center every form of
missionary work was being promoted, reaching as far as the foothills of
the Thibetan plateau. Hospital equipment was distributed, and school
equipment, and supplies of every variety. He saw that it was the
financial center too, and mission finance is a special science. Shanghai
seemed to J.W. to be one of the great capitals of the missionary world.

Rutledge's own work, many sided as J.W. saw it was, had two aspects of
special significance. Rutledge was sending back to America all the
information he could gather from the whole field. With the skill of a
trained reporter he showed the missionaries how to write so as to make a
genuine story seem convincing, and how to subordinate the details to the
importance of making a clear and single impression.

The other work of Rutledge's which caught J.W.'s eye was his activity
in behalf of the young people of China. Until lately nothing at all had
been done comparable to the specialized development of young people's
work in America, but now the Epworth League was beginning to be utilized
and adapted to Chinese ways. Funds were available--not much, but a
beginning. Leaders were being trained. A larger measure of local,
Chinese help was being employed.

J.W. asked Mark Rutledge about all this one day. "Isn't it going to
make a difference with the work by and by, if you get so many natives
into places of responsibility? Are they ready for it?"

"No," said Rutledge, "they're not. But we must make them ready. You
haven't begun to see China yet, but already you can see that the
country could never be 'evangelized,' even in the narrowest use of that
word, by foreign missionaries. And it ought not to be."

"You mean that we Americans ought to consider our work in China as
temporary?" J.W. asked.

Rutledge answered, "Frankly, I do, if you let me put my own meaning into
'temporary,' We must start things. And much that must be done in the
long run has not yet been started. We must stay here beyond my life
expectation or yours. But China will be Christianized by the Chinese,
not by foreigners. As far ahead as we can see the work will have help
from outside, but I honestly want the time to come when we missionaries
will be looked upon as the foreign helpers of the Chinese Church; not,
as now, controlling the work ourselves and enlisting the services of
'native helpers.'"

"Then tell me another thing," J.W. persisted. "Is our Christianity, as
the Chinese get it, any advance on their own religion? Or is their
religion all right, if they would work it as we hope they may work the
Christian program?"

"That's two questions," said Rutledge, dryly, "but, after all, it is
only one. Our Christianity as the Chinese get it is far ahead of the
best they have, in ideals, in human values, everything, even if they
were more consistent in responding to its claims than Christians are.
The old religions--and China has several--are helpless. We are not
killing off the old faiths. If we should get out to-morrow these would
none the less die out in time, but then China would be left without any
religion at all. Instead, she's going to have the Christian faith in a
form that will accord with the genius of the Chinese mind. That's my
sure confidence, or I wouldn't be here."

It was necessary that J.W. should run down the coast to Foochow, the
base for his next operations in the hardware adventure. "I know I'm
green," he said to Rutledge, "and I may be thinking of impossibilities,
but do you suppose there'll be any chance for me to get up to Dr.
Carbrook's place from Foochow? I've told you about him and his wife, and
I'd rather see those two than anybody else in all the East."

"It's not impossible at all," Rutledge assured him. "Carbrook's post is
not so very far from Foochow, as distances go in China, and Ralph Bellew
at the college will help you."

"Yes, my pastor at home told me to be sure and call on him," said J.W.,
and took his leave of a man he would long remember.

The call of Professor Bellew was not delayed long after J.W. had found
his bearings in Foochow, and the Professor's welcome was even more
cordial than that of the Cummings agency, though these gentlemen were,
of course, the soul of courtesy. If they were not so sure as Peter
McDougall that J.W. or any other American could teach them anything
about selling the Cummings line in China, at least they would not put
anything in his way.

One important interior town, Yenping, they had hoped J.W. might visit,
but unfortunately there was no one connected with the agency who could
be sent with him. They understood that some of his missionary friends
were ready to help him in the general enterprise, and perhaps they might
be able to suggest something.

When the difficulty was stated to Professor Bellew he said: "Why, that's
one of our stations. It is a little out of the way to go up to Dr.
Carbrook's place on the way to Yenping, but we'll see that you get to
both towns."

"That's certainly good of you, Professor," said J.W., gratefully. "I've
told you about Joe Carbrook, and I can hardly wait until I get to him."
As a matter of fact, he had told everybody about Joe Carbrook.

Professor Bellew was sympathetic. "I know," he said, "and I understand.
When you come back, if we can manage the dates, you may find something
here which you ought to see."

The Carbrook Hospital--it has another name in the annual reports, but
this will identify it sufficiently for our purposes--spread itself all
over the compound and beyond in its welcome to J.W. Joe and Marcia were
first, and joyfullest. The school turned out to the last scholar, and
even the hospital's "walking cases" insisted on having a share in the
welcome to the foreign doctor's friend.

"Tell us what you are up to," said the Carbrooks, when they were back in
the house after a sketchy inspection of the whole establishment;
hospital, dispensary, school, chapel, and so forth. And, "Tell me what
you are doing with it, now that you have the hospital you have been
dreaming about so long," said J.W.

But J.W. told his story first, just to get it out of the way, as he
said. Then he turned to Marcia and said, "How about it, 'Mrs.
Carbrook'?"

"Well, J.W.," said Marcia, "that name is not so strange as it was. I'm
feeling as if I had been married a long time, judging by the
responsibilities, that are dumped on me just because I am the doctor's
wife. And this doctor man of mine hardly knows whether to be happy or
miserable. He's happy, because he has found the very place he wanted.
And he's miserable because he ought to be learning the language and
can't get away from the work that crowds in on him."

"And you yourself, Marcia," J.W. asked, "are you happy or miserable, or
both?"

"She's as mixed up as I am, old man," Joe answered for her. "Talk about
the language! I don't hanker after learning it, but I've got to, some
time. If they would just let me be a sort of deaf-mute doctor I'd be
much obliged. The work is fairly maddening. You know, it was a question
of closing up this hospital or putting me in as a green hand. Of course
there are the nurses, and a couple of students. But I'm glad they put me
in; only, look at the job! Never a day without new patients. A steady
stream at the out-clinic. Why, J.W., I've done operations alone here
that at home they'd hardly let me hold sponges for. Had to do 'em."

"Well," J.W. commented, "isn't that what you came for?"

"It is," Marcia answered--these two had a queer way of speaking for each
other--"and it would be a good plenty if the hospital were all. But we
are putting up a new building to take the place of an adobe horror, and
Joe has to buy bricks and deal with workmen and give advice and dispense
medicine and do operations, all with the help of a none too sure
interpreter. He's the busiest man, I do believe, between here and
Foochow."

J.W. wanted to draw Dr. Joe out about the work in general. What of the
evangelistic work, and the educational work, and all the rest.

But Dr. Joe would not rise to it. "I'll tell you honestly, J.W., I just
don't know. Haven't had time to find out. When I got here I found people
standing three deep around the hospital doors, some wanting help for
themselves, and some anxious to bring relatives or friends. I was at
work before anything was unpacked except my instruments. And I've been
at it ever since. Everything else could wait, but all this human misery
couldn't. And I don't know much of what the evangelistic value of it all
will be. We have a Bible woman and a teacher in the school who are very
devoted. They read and pray every day with the patients, and as for
gratitude, I never expected to be thanked for what I did as I have been
thanked here. I'll tell you one thing; I didn't dream a man could be so
content in the midst of such a hurricane of work. I'm done to a
standstill every day; I bump into difficulties and tackle
responsibilities that I hadn't even heard of in medical school, though I
haven't killed anybody yet. And all the time I remember how I used to
wish I might be the only doctor between Siam and sunrise. I'm plenty
near enough to that, in all conscience. The only doctor in this town of
one hundred thousand, and a district around us so big that I'm afraid to
measure it. On one side the next doctor is a good hundred miles away.
Now, do you know how I feel? Oh, yes; insufficient until it hurts like
the toothache, yet somehow as though I were carrying on here, not in
place of the man who has gone home on furlough, but in place of Jesus
Christ himself. You know I'm not irreverent; I might have been, but this
has taken all of the temptation out of me. It is his work, not mine."

J.W. turned to Marcia again. "I thought you said this Joe of yours was
miserable, I've seen him when he was enjoying himself pretty well, but I
never saw him like this."

"I know," Marcia admitted, "and I didn't mean he was really unhappy. But
it is a big strain, and there's no sign of its letting up until the
regular doctor gets back."

The next day J.W. watched his old friend amid the press of duties which
crowded the hours, and he marveled as much as the wretchedness of the
patients as he did at the steady resourcefulness of the man whom he had
known when he was Delafield's adventurous and spendthrift idler.

As he looked on, J.W. could understand something which had been a closed
book to him before. No one could stand by and see this abjectness of
need, this helplessness, this pathetic faith which was almost fatalistic
in the foreign doctor's miraculous powers--it recalled that beseeching
cry in the New Testament story, "Lord, if thou _wilt_ thou
_canst_"--without being deeply, poignantly glad that there were such men
as Joe Carbrook. It was all very well to talk at long range about
letting China and other places wait. But on the spot nobody could talk
that way.

The visit might have lasted two weeks, instead of two days, and then the
Carbrooks would have hung on and besought him to stay a little longer.
Torture would not have drawn any admission from them, but back of all
the joy in the work was a something that left them without words as J.W.
and his little group from Foochow set out for the next stopping place.
Just before the last silent hand-grips, J.W. told his friends about
Jeannette and himself, and promised Joe a wedding present. "You see," he
said, "I never sent you one when you were married, and I'd like to send
you a double one now, for yourselves and for us. You send me word what
it is you most need for the hospital, an X-ray outfit, or a sterilizer,
or a thingamajig for making cultures, microscope included, and Jeannette
and I will see that you get it. I'm a tither, you know, and my salary's
been raised, and I want to do something to show what a fool I was before
I knew what sort of a business you were really in out here. So don't be
modest; you can't hurt my feelings!"

Back at Foochow in the course of the slow days which Chinese travel
gives to those who go aside from the beaten path, Professor Bellew
welcomed J.W. with eager warmth. "You're back just in time, if you can
stay a few days; the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the
college begins to-morrow."

J.W. had at least a week's business with the Cummings agents. He had
found some conditions on his inland journey which called for much
discussion. So he had time for sharing in a good deal of the
celebration. It was something to marvel at, that a Christian college had
been at work in this great city for forty years.

The president of the college and his wife started the proceedings with a
formal reception, at which a Chinese orchestra furnished music outside
the house, and Western musicians rendered more familiar selections in
the parlors. Alumni flocked to the reception, men of every variety of
occupation, but all one in their devotion to their Alma Mater. The next
afternoon was given over to athletics, and the evening to a lecture,
quite in the American fashion.

The third day being Sunday, J.W. listened to an American missionary in
the morning, who spoke boldly of the prime need for a college like this
if the youth of China were to be trained for the highest service to
their country. At night he sat through nearly three hours of the most
amazing testimony meeting he had ever seen. It was led by a Chinese who
had been graduated from the college thirty years before. The eagerness,
almost impatience, to confess what Jesus Christ and Christian education
had meant to these Chinese leaders--for it was evident they _were_
leaders--was a thing to stir the most sluggish Christian pulse. J.W.'s
mind took him back to a memorable love feast at Cartwright Institute,
when Joe Carbrook had made his first confession of and surrender to
Jesus Christ, and it seemed to him that the likeness between these two
so different gatherings was far more real than all their contrasts.

On Monday the anniversary banquet brought the American consul, a
representative of the provincial governor, and many other dignitaries.
And on Tuesday the students put on a pageant which illustrated in
gorgeousness of color and costume and accessories the history of the
college. Besides all this pomp and circumstance there was a wonderful
industrial exhibit. The president of China sent a scroll, as did also
the prime minister. Former students in the cities of China, from Peking
to Amoy, sent subscriptions amounting to twenty-five thousand dollars
for new buildings, and other old students in the Philippines sent a
second twenty-five thousand dollars.

All of which stirred J.W. to the very soul. Here was a Christian college
older than many in America. Its results could not be measured by any
visible standards, yet he had seen graduates of the school and students
who did not stay long enough to graduate, men of light and leading, men
of wealth and station, officials, men in whom the spirit of the new
China burned, Christian workers; and all these bore convincing testimony
that this college had been the one great mastering influence of their
lives. A Christian college--in China!

J.W. thought of it all and said to himself: "I wonder if I am the same
individual as he who not so many months ago was talking about the good
sense of letting China wait indefinitely for Christ? Anyhow, somebody
has had better sense than that every day of the last forty years!"

The "tour of the tools" was teaching J.W. more than he could teach the
merchants of Asia. And yet he was doing no little missionary work, as
evidenced both in his own reports to Peter McDougall, and still more in
the reports which went to that observant gentleman after J.W. had moved
on from any given place. The Cummings Hardware Corporation may be
without a soul, as corporations are known to be, but it has many eyes.

These eyes followed J.W.'s progress from Shanghai to Foochow, to Hong
Kong, to Manila. They observed how he studied artisans and their ways
with tools, and the ways of builders with house fittings, and the
various devices with which in field and garden the toilers set
themselves to their endless labor. As the eyes of the Cummings
organization saw these things, the word went back across the water to
Saint Louis, and Peter McDougall took credit to himself for a
commendable shrewdness.

But the ever-watchful eyes had no instructions to report on the tool
missionary's other activities, and therefore no report was made. None
the less they saw, and wondered, and thought that there was something
back of it all. There was more back of it than they could have guessed.

For J.W. had come to a new zest for both of his quests. The business
which had brought him into the East was daily becoming more fascinating
in its possibilities and promise. In even greater measure the interests
which belong especially to this chronicle were taking on a new
importance. Everywhere he went he sought out the missions and the
missionaries. He plied the workers with question on question until they
told him all the hopes and fears and needs and longings which often they
hesitated to put into their official letters to the Boards.

In Manila he saw, after a little more than two decades of far from
complete missionary occupation, the signs that a Christian civilization
was rising. The schools and churches and hospitals and other
organization work established in Manila were proof that all through the
islands the everyday humdrum of missionary service was going forward,
perhaps without haste, but surely without rest.

When he came to Singapore, that traffic corner to which all the sea
roads of the East converge, he heard the story of a miracle, and then
he saw the miracle itself, the Anglo-Chinese College.

They told him what it meant, not the missionaries only, but the Chinese
merchants who controlled the Cummings line for all the archipelago, and
Sumatra planters, and British officials, and business men from Malaysian
trade centers whose names he had never before heard.

The teacher who put himself at J.W.'s service was one of the men to
whom Pastor Drury had written his word of appeal on J.W.'s behalf. He
respected it altogether, and the more because he well knew that here was
no need for mere talk. A visitor with eyes and ears could come to his
own conclusions. If the college were not its own strongest argument, no
words could strengthen it.

The college had been started by intrepid men who had no capital but
faith and an overmastering sense of duty. That was a short generation
ago. Now J.W. saw crowded halls and students with purposeful faces, and
he heard how, at first by the hundreds and now by thousands, the product
of this school was spreading a sense of Christian life-values through
all the vast island and ocean spaces from Rangoon to New Guinea, and
from Batavia to Sulu.

But it may as well be told that, even more than China, India made the
deepest impress on the mind and heart of our tool-traveler. From the
moment when he landed in Calcutta to the moment when he watched the low
coasts of the Ganges delta merge into the horizon far astern, India
would not let him alone. He saw poverty such as could scarcely be
described, and religious rites the very telling of which might sear the
tongue. If China's poor had a certain apathy which seemed like poise,
even in their wretchedness, not so India's, but, rather, a slow-moving
misery, a dull progress toward nothing better, with only nothingness and
its empty peace at last.

Once in Calcutta, and his business plans set going, he started out to
find some of the city's Christian forces. They were not easy to find. As
in every Oriental city, missionary work is relatively small. Indeed, J.
W. began to think that this third city of Asia had little religion of
any sort.

He had been prepared in part for the first meager showing of mission
work. On shipboard he had encountered the usual assortment of missionary
critics; the unobservant, the profane, the superior, the loose-living,
and all that tribe. The first of them he had met on the second day out
from San Francisco, and every boat which sailed the Eastern seas
appeared to carry its complement of self-appointed and all-knowing
enemies of the whole missionary enterprise. While steaming up the Bay of
Bengal, the anti-mission chorus appeared at its critical best. J.W. was
told as they neared Calcutta that the Indian Christian was servile, and
slick and totally untrustworthy. Never had these expert observers seen a
genuine convert, but only hypocrites, liars, petty thieves, and
grafters.

In spite of it all, at last he found the Methodist Mission, and it was
not so small, when once you saw the whole of it. By great good fortune
his instructions from home ordered him up country as far as Cawnpore.
And to his delight he met a Methodist bishop, one of the new ones, who
was setting out with a party for the Northwest. So, on the bishop's most
cordial invitation, he joined himself to the company, and learned in a
day or two from experts how to make the best of India's rather trying
travel conditions.

Benares, Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow--J.W. came to these cities with a
queer feeling of having been there before. Long ago, in his early Sunday
school days, the names of these places and the wonders of them had been
the theme of almost the only missionary book he had at that age cared to
read.

At Allahabad, said his companions of the way, an All-India Epworth
League convention was to be held, and J.W. made up his mind that a
League convention in India would be doubly worth attending. He did
attend it too, but it left no such memory as another gathering in the
same city; a memory which he knows will last after every other picture
of the East has faded from his recollection.

The party had reached Allahabad at the time of the Khumb Mela, a vast
outpouring of massed humanity too great for any but the merest guesses
at its numbers. This "Mela," feast, religious pilgrimage, whatever it
might mean to these endless multitudes, is held here at stated times
because the two sacred rivers, the Jumna and the Ganges, come together
at Allahabad, and tradition has it that a third river flows beneath the
surface to meet the others. So the place is trebly sacred, its waters
potent for purification, no matter how great one's sin.

With the others J.W. set out for an advantageous observation point, on
the wall of the fort which stands on the tongue of land between the two
streams. On the way J.W. assured himself that if Calcutta seemed without
religion, here was more than enough of it to redress the balances. In
the throng was a holy man whose upraised arm had been held aloft until
it had atrophied, and would never more swing by his side. And yonder
another holy one sat in the sand, with a circle of little fires burning
close about him. The seeker after he knew not what who made his search
while lying on a bed of spikes was here. And once a procession passed,
two hundred men, all holy after the fashion of Hindu holiness, all
utterly naked, with camels and elephants moving in their train. As if to
show how these were counted men of special sanctity, the people fell on
their faces to the ground beside them as they passed, and kissed their
shadows on the sand.

The point of vantage reached, J.W.'s bewildered eyes could scarce make
his brain believe what they saw. He was standing on a broad wall, thirty
feet above the water, and perhaps a hundred feet back from it. Up and
down the stream was an endless solid mass of heads. J.W. looked for some
break in the crowd, some thinning out of its packed bodies, but as far
as he could see there was no break, no end. Government officials had
estimated the number of pilgrims at two millions!

A signal must have been given, or an hour had come--J.W. could not tell
which--but somehow the people knew that now was the opportunity to enter
the water and gain cleansing from all sin. A mighty, resistless movement
carried the human stream to meet the river. Inevitably the weaker
individuals were swept along helpless, and those who fell arose no more.
Horrified, J.W. stood looking down on the slow, irresistible movement
of the writhing bodies, and he saw a woman drop. A British police
officer, standing in an angle of the wall beneath, ordered a native
policeman to get the woman out But the native, seeing the crush and
unwilling to risk himself for so slight a cause, waited until his
superior turned away to another point of peril, and then, snatching the
red-banded police turban from his head, was lost in the general mass.

The woman? Trampled to death, and twenty other men and women with her,
in sight of the stunned watchers on the wall, who were compelled to see
these lives crushed out, powerless to help by so much as a finger's
weight.

What was it all for? J.W. asked his companions on the wall. And they
said that the word went out at certain times and the people flocked to
this Mela. They came to wash in the sacred waters at the propitious
moment. Nothing else mattered; not the inescapable pollution of the
rivers, not the weariness and hunger and many distresses of the way. It
was a chance, so the wise ones declared, to be rid of sin. Certainly it
might not avail, but who would not venture if mayhap there might be
cleansing of soul in the waters of Mother Ganges?

On another day J.W. came to a temple, not a great towering shrine, but
a third-rate sort of place, a sacred cow temple. Here was a family which
had journeyed four hundred miles to worship before the idols of this
temple. They offered rice to one idol, flowers to another, holy water
from the river to a third. No one might know what inner urge had driven
them here. The priest, slow to heed them, at length deigned to dip his
finger in a little paint and with it he smeared the caste mark on the
foreheads of the worshipers. It was heartless, empty formality.

J.W. watched the woman particularly. Her face was an unrelieved
sadness; she had fulfilled the prescribed rites, in the appointed place,
but there was no surcease from the endless round of dull misery which
she knew was her ordained lot. Thought J.W.: "I suppose this is a sort
of joining the church, an initiation or something of that sort. Not much
like what happened when I joined the church in Delafield. Everybody was
glad there; here nobody is glad, not even the priest."

At Cawnpore J.W. was able to combine business with his missionary
inquiries. Here he found great woollen and cotton mills, not unlike
those of America, except that in these mills women and children were
working long hours, seven days a week, for a miserable wage. It was
heathenism plus commercialism; that is to say, a double heathenism. For
when business is not tempered by the Christian spirit, it is as pagan as
any cow temple.

In these mills was a possible market for certain sorts of Cummings
goods, as J.W. learned in the business quarter of the city. He wanted
more opportunity to see how the goods he dealt in could be used, and,
having by now learned the path of least resistance, he appealed to a
missionary. It was specially fortunate that he did, for the missionary
introduced him to the secretary of the largest mills in the city, an
Indian Christian with a history.

Now, this is a hint at the story of--well, let us call him Abraham. His
own is another Bible name, of more humble associations, but he deserves
to be called Abraham. Thirty years ago a missionary first evangelized
and then baptized some two hundred villagers--outcasts, untouchables,
social lepers. Being newly become Christians, they deposed their old
village god. The landlord beat them and berated them, but they were done
with the idol. Now, that was no easy adventure of faith, and those who
thus adventured could not hope for material gain. They were more
despised than ever.

Yet inevitably they began to rise in the human scale. The missionary
found one of them a young man of parts. Him he took and taught to read,
to write, to know the Scriptures. He began to be an exhorter; then a
local preacher; and at last he joined the Conference as a Methodist
itinerant at six dollars a month. Now this boy was the father of
Abraham.

As a preacher he opened village schools, and taught the children their
letters, his own boy among them. Abraham learned quickly. A place was
found for him in a mission boarding school. Thence he moved on and up to
Lucknow Christian College. It was this man who escorted J.W. through the
great mills of which he was an executive. He had a salary of two hundred
dollars a month. If his father had been an American village preacher at
twelve hundred dollars a year, Abraham's salary, relatively, would need
to be twenty or thirty thousand dollars.

Abraham was the superintendent of a Sunday school in Cawnpore. He was
giving himself to all sorts of betterment work which would lessen the
misery of the poor. He had a seat in the city council. A hostel for boys
was one of his enterprises. Here was a man doing his utmost to
Christianize the industry in which thousands of his country men spent
their lives; a second-generation Christian, and a man who must be
reckoned with, no longer spurned and despised as a casteless nobody.

J.W. followed Abraham about the mills with growing admiration. Inside
the walls, light, orderly paths, flowers, cleanliness. Outside the gate,
to step across the road was to walk a thousand years into the past,
among the smells and the ageless noises of the bazaar, with its
chaffering and cheating, its primitive crudities, and its changeless
wares. Certainly, a Cawnpore mill is not the ideal industrial
commonwealth, but without men like Abraham to alleviate its grimness the
coming of larger opportunities through work like this might well lay a
heavier burden on men's lives than the primitive and costly toil which
it has displaced.

There was just time for a visit to Lucknow, a city which to the British
is the historic place of mutiny and siege; to American Methodists a
place both of history and of present-day advance. J.W. worshiped in the
great Hindustani Methodist church, the busy home of many activities. In
the congregation were many students, girls from Isabella Thoburn
College, and boys from Lucknow Christian College. Lifelong Methodist as
he was, J.W. quickly recognized, even amid these new surroundings, the
familiar aspects of a Methodist church on its busy day. The crowding
congregations were enough to stir one's blood. A noble organ sounded out
the call to worship and led the choir and people in the service of
praise. There was a Sunday school in full operation, and an Epworth
League Chapter, completely organized and active. His guide confided to
J.W. that this church had yet another point of resemblance to the great
churches at home; it was quite accustomed to sending a committee to
Conference, to tell the bishop whom it wanted for preacher next year!

J.W. was not quite satisfied. The days of his wanderings must soon be
over, but before he left India he wanted to see the missionary in actual
contact with the immemorial paganism of the villages, for he had
discovered that the village is India. How was the Christian message
meeting all the dreary emptinesses and limitations of village life?

Once more he appealed to his missionary guide; this latest one, the last
of the five men to whom Pastor Drury had written before J.W. had set out
on his travels. Could he show his visitor a little of missionary work in
village environment?

"Surely. Nothing easier," the district superintendent said. "We'll jump
into my Ford--great thing for India, the Ford; and still greater for us
missionaries--and we'll go a-villaging."

The village of their quest once reached, the Ford drew up before a neat
brick house built around three sides of a courtyard, with verandas on
the court side. This was no usual mud hut, but a house, and a parsonage
withal. Here lived the Indian village preacher and his family. The
preacher's wife was neatly dressed and capable; the children clean and
well-mannered. The room had its table, and on the table books. That
meant nothing to J.W., but the superintendent gave him to understand
that a table with books in an Indian village house was comparable in its
rarity to a small-town American home with a pipe organ and a butler!

The lunch of native food seemed delicious, if it was "hot," to J.W.'s
healthy appetite, and if he had not seen over how tiny a fire it had
been prepared he would have credited the smiling housewife with a
lavishly equipped kitchen.

People began to drop in. It was somewhat disconcerting to the visitor,
to see these callers squatting on their heels, talking one to another,
but watching him continually out of the corners of their eyes. One of
them, the chaudrie, headman of the village, being introduced to J.W.,
told him, the superintendent acting as interpreter, how the boys' school
flourished, and how he and other Christians had gone yesterday on an
evangelizing visit to another village, not yet Christian, but sure to
ask for a teacher soon.

The preacher, in a rather precise, clipped English, asked J.W. if he
cared to walk about the village. "We could go to the _mohulla_ [ward],
where most of our Christians live. They will be most glad to welcome
you."

The way led through dirty, narrow streets, or, rather, let us say,
through the spaces between dwellings, to the low-caste quarter. Here
were people of the bottom stratum of Indian life, yet it was a Christian
community in the making. The little school was in session--a group of
fifteen or twenty boys and girls with their teacher. It was all very
crude, but the children read their lessons for the visitor, and did sums
on the board, and sang a hymn which the pastor had composed, and recited
the Lord's Prayer and the Twenty-third psalm.

"These," said the pastor, "are the children of a people which for a
thousand years has not known how to read or write. Yet see how they
learn."

"Yes," the superintendent agreed, "but that isn't the best of it, as you
know. They are untouchables now, but even caste, which is stronger than
death, yields to education. Once these boys and girls have an education
they cannot be ignored or kept down. They will find a place in the
social order."

"I can see that," J.W. said, thinking of Abraham. "But education is not
a missionary monopoly, is it? If these children were educated by Hindus,
would not the resulting rise in their condition come just the same?"

"It would, perhaps," the missionary answered, "but your 'if' is too big.
For the low caste and the out-caste people there is no education unless
it is Christian education. We have a monopoly, though not of our
choosing. The educated Hindu will not do this work under any
circumstances. It has been tried, with all the prestige of the
government, which is no small matter in India, and nothing comes of it.
Not long ago the government proposed a wonderful scheme for the
education of the 'depressed classes.' The money was provided, and the
equipment as well. There were plenty of Hindus, that is, non-Christians,
who were indebted to the government for their education. They were
invited to take positions in the new schools. But no; not for any money
or any other inducement would these teachers go near. And there you are.
I know of no way out for the great masses of India except as the gospel
opens the door."

"Is there no attempt of any sort on the part of Indians who are not
Christians? Surely, some of them are enlightened enough to see the need,
and to rise above caste." J.W. suspected he was asking a question
which had but one answer.

"Yes, there is such an effort occasionally," the superintendent
admitted. "The Arya Samaj movement makes an attempt once in a while, but
it always fails. If a few are bold enough to disregard caste, they are
never enough to do anything that counts. The effort is scarcely more
than a gesture, and even so it would not have been made but for the
activities of the missionaries."

       *       *       *       *       *

And so ended J.W.'s Indian studies. Before many days he was retracing
his way--Calcutta, Singapore, Hongkong, Shanghai, Yokohama. And then on
a day he found himself aboard a liner whose prow turned eastward from
Japan's great port, and his heart was flying a homeward-bound pennant
the like of which never trailed from any masthead.



THIS EXPERIMENT TEACHETH--?

For the first day or so out from Japan J.W. behaved himself as does any
ordinary American in similar case; all the sensations of the journey
were swallowed up in the depths of his longings to be home. The voyage
so slow; the Pacific so wide!

But shortly he resigned himself to the pervading restfulness of
shipboard, and began to make acquaintances. Of them all one only has any
interest for us--Miss Helen Morel, late of Manila. Her place was next
to his at the table. Like J.W., she was traveling alone, and before they
had been on board twenty-four hours they had discovered that both were
Methodists; he, from Delafield in the Middle West, she from
Pennsylvania. J.W. found, altogether to his surprise, that she listened
with flattering attention while he talked. For J.W. is no braggart, nor
is he overmuch given to self-admiration; we know him better than that.
But it was pleasant, none the less, on good days to walk up and down the
long decks, and on other days to sit in comfortable deck chairs, with
nothing to do but talk.

Miss Morel, being a teacher going home after three years of steady,
close work in a Manila high school, was ready to talk of anything but
school work. She found herself immensely interested in J.W.'s
experiences. He had told her of the double life, so to say, which he
had led; preaching the good news of better tools, and studying the work
of other men and women, as truly salesmen as himself, who preached a
more arresting and insistent gospel.

"I'm glad to meet some one who knows about missions at first hand," Miss
Morel began one morning, as they stepped out on the promenade deck for
their constitutional. "You know, I think people at home don't understand
at all. They are so absorbed with their little parish affairs that they
can't appreciate this wonderful work that is being done so far from
home."

J.W. agreed, though not without mental reservations. He knew how true
it was that many of the home folks did not rightly value mission work,
but he was not so sure about their "little parish affairs." He watched
to see if Miss Morel meant to expand that idea.

But she evidently had thought at once of something else. Said she,
"Sometimes I think that if the gossip about missionaries and missions
which is so general in the Orient gets back home, as it surely does in
one way or another, it must have a certain influence on what people
think about the work."

"Oh, that," said J.W., with no little scorn. "That stuff is always
ignorant or malicious, and I doubt if it gets very far with church
people. Of course it may with outsiders. I've heard it, any amount of
it; you can't miss it if you travel in the East And there's just enough
excuse for it to make it a particularly vicious sort of slander. You
could say as much about the churches at home, and a case here and there
would not be lacking to furnish proof."

"Certainly," said the teacher. "And yet missions are so wonderful; so
much more worth while than anything that is being done at home, don't
you think?"

There it was again. "I'm afraid I don't follow you, Miss Morel," J.W.
said, with a puzzled air. "Do you mean that the churches at home are not
onto their job, if you'll excuse the phrase?"

His companion laughed as she answered, "Maybe not quite as strong as
that. But they are doing the same old thing in the same old way. Going
to church and home again, to Sunday school and home again, to young
people's meeting and home again. But out here," and her hand swung in a
half circle as though she meant to include the whole Pacific basin, "out
here men and women are doing such splendid pioneer work, in all sorts of
fascinating ways."

"True enough," J.W. assented. "I've seen that, all right. But the home
church isn't so dead as you might think. Just before I left Delafield to
go to Saint Louis, for instance, a new work for the foreign-speaking
people of our town was being started, with the Board of Home Missions
and Church Extension backing up the local workers. They were planning to
make a great church center for all these people, and I hear that it is
getting a good start."

"Oh, yes, I can well believe that, Mr. Farwell," Miss Morel hastened to
say. "I think work for the immigrant is so very interesting, don't you?
But, of course, that's not quite what I meant. The usual dull things
that churches do, you know."

"Well, take another instance that I happen to remember," J.W. had a
touch of the sort of feeling he used to delight in at Cartwright, when
he was gathering his material for a debate. "My first summer after
leaving college, a few of us in First Church got busy studying our own
town. We found two of the general church boards ready to help us with
facts and methods. The Home Missions people gave us one sort of help,
and another board, with the longest name of them all, the Board of
Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals, showed us how to go about an
investigation of the town's undesirable citizens and their influence. It
is in that sort of business for all of us, you know."

"That must have been exciting," said Miss Morel. "I know I should enjoy
such work. What did you find out, and what could you do about it?"

That was a question not to be glibly answered, J.W. knew. But he meant
to be fair about it. "We found out plenty that surprised us; a great
deal," he added, "that ought to be done, and much more that needed to be
changed. We even went so far as to draw up a sort of civic creed, 'The
Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' The town paper printed it, and it was
talked about for a while, but probably we were the people who got the
most out of it; it showed us what we church members might mean to the
town. And that was worth something."

Miss Morel was sure it was. But she came back to her first idea about
the home churches. "Don't you think that much of the preaching, and all
that, is pretty dull and tiresome? I came from a little country church,
and it was so dreary."

J.W. thought of Deep Creek, and said, "I know what you mean; but even
the country church is improving. I must tell you some time about Marty,
my chum. He's a country preacher, helped in his training by the Rural
Department of the Home Missions Board, and his people come in crowds to
his preaching. Country churches are waking up, and the Board people at
Philadelphia have had a lot to do with it."

"Well, I'm glad. But anyway, home missions is rather commonplace,
haven't you noticed?" and Miss Morel looked almost as though she were
asking a question of state.

"I can't say I've found it so," J.W. said, stoutly, "I was some time
learning, but I ran into a lot of experiences before I left home. Take
the work for colored people, for instance. I had to make a speech at a
convention, and I found out that our church has a Board of Education for
Negroes which is doing more than any other agency to train Negro
preachers and teachers and home makers, and doctors and other leaders.
That's not so very commonplace, would you say so?"

"Well, no," the young lady admitted. "It is very important work, of
course; and I'd dearly love to have a share in it. I am a great
believer in the colored races, you know. But you are making me begin to
think I am all wrong about the church at home. I don't mean to belittle
it. Perhaps I appreciate it more than I realized. Anyway, tell me
something else that you have found out."

"There isn't time," J.W. objected. "But if you won't think me a
nuisance, maybe I can tell you part of it. For example, Sunday school.
Long ago I discovered that the whole church was providing for Sunday
school progress through a Board of Sunday Schools, and there isn't a
modern Sunday school idea anywhere that this Board doesn't put into its
scheme of work. I was a very small part of it myself for a while, so I
know."

"Yes, and even I know a little about the Sunday School Board," confessed
Miss Morel. "It has helped us a lot in the Philippines. And so I must
admit that the church does try to improve and extend Sunday school work.
What else?"

J.W. told about his experiences on the Mexican border, where home
missions and foreign missions came together. Then, seeing that she was
really listening, he told of his and Marty's college days, how Marty had
borrowed money from the Board of Education, and how the same Board had a
hand in the college evangelistic work. He told about the deaconesses who
managed the hospital at Manchester, and the training school which Marcia
Dayne Carbrook had attended when she was getting ready to go to China.
That school had sent out hundreds of deaconesses and other workers.

The thought of Marcia made him think of Joe, and he told what he knew of
how the Wesley Foundation at the State University had helped Joe when he
could easily have made shipwreck of his missionary purpose. Of course
the story of his visit to the Carbrooks in China must also be told.

Miss Morel changed the subject again. "Tell me, Mr. Farwell," she asked,
"were you in the Epworth League when you were at home?"

"I surely was," said J.W. "That was where I got my first start; at the
Cartwright Institute." And the story jumped back to those far-off days
when he was just out of high school.

As he paused Miss Morel said, "I was an Epworthian, too, and in the
young women's missionary societies. We had a combination society in our
church, so I was a 'Queen Esther' and a 'Standard Bearer' as well. Those
organizations did me a world of good. You know, when I think of it, the
women's missionary societies have done a wonderful work in America and
everywhere."

"I guess they have," said J.W. "I know my mother has always been a
member of both, and she's always been the most intelligent and active
missionary in the Farwell family."

The talk languished for a while, and then Miss Morel exclaimed, "I know
why we've stopped talking; we're hungry. It is almost time for luncheon,
and if you have an appetite like mine, you're impatient for the call."

J.W. looked at his watch and saw that there was only ten minutes of the
morning left. So they separated to get ready against the sounding of the
dinner gong.

But J.W. was not hungry. He was struggling with an old thought that to
him had all the tantalizing quality of novelty. The talk of the morning
had become a sort of roll-call of church boards. How did it happen that
the church was busy with this and that and the other work? Why a Board
of Hospitals and Homes? Why a Deaconess Board, even though deaconess
work happened to be merciful and gentle and Christlike? What was the
church doing with a Book Concern? How came it that we had that board
with the long name--Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals? He had
traveled from Yokohama to Lucknow and back, and everywhere he had found
this same church doing all sorts of work, with no slightest suspicion
but that all of it was her proper business.

So picture after picture flickered before his mind's eye, as though his
brain had built up a five-reel mental movie from all sorts of memory
film; a hundred feet of this, two hundred of that, a thousand here,
there just a flash. It had all one common mark; it was all "the church,"
but the hit-and-miss of it, its lightning change, bewildered him. The
pictures leaped from Cartwright to Cawnpore, from the country church at
Ellis to Joe Carbrook's hospital in China; from New York and
Philadelphia and Chicago and Cincinnati and Washington to the ends of
the country and the ends of the earth; and in and through it all, swift
bits of unrelated yet vivid hints of _Advocates_ and _Heralds_, of
prayer meetings and institutes, of new churches and old colleges, of
revivals and sewing societies, of League socials and Annual Conferences,
of deaconesses visiting dreary homes, and soft-footed nurses going about
in great hospitals; of beginners' departments and old people's homes; of
kindergartens and clinics and preparatory classes. There seemed no end
to it all, every moment some new aspect of the church's activity showed
itself and then was gone.

It was a most confused and confusing experience; and all through the
rest of the day J.W. caught himself wondering again and again at the
variety and complexity of the church's affairs.

Why should a church be occupied with all this medley? Why should it be
so distracted from its main purpose, to be a Jack of all trades? Why
should it open its doors and train its workers and spend its money in
persistent response to every imaginable human appeal?

Perhaps that might be it; "_human_." Once a philosopher had said, "I am
a man, and therefore nothing human is foreign to me." What if the church
by its very nature must be like that? what if this really were its main
purpose--all these varied and sometimes almost conflicting activities no
more than its effort to obey the central law of its life?

J.W. was in his stateroom; he paced the narrow aisle between the
berths--three steps forward, three steps back, like a caged wild thing.
Something was coming to new reality in his soul; he was scarce conscious
of the walls that shut him in. Once he stopped by the open port. He
looked out at the tumbling rollers of the wide Pacific. And as he looked
he thought of the vastness of this sea, how its waters washed the icy
shores of Alaska and the palm-fronded atolls of the Marquesas; how they
carried on their bosom the multitudinous commerce of a hundred peoples;
how from Santiago to Shanghai and from the Yukon to New Zealand it was
one ocean, serving all lands, and taking toll of all.

In spite of all the complexities and diversities of the lands about this
ocean, they had one possession which all might claim, as it claimed
them--the sea. It gave them neighbors and trade, climate and their daily
bread. In the sociology and geography and economics of the Orient this
Pacific Ocean was the great common denominator. _And in the geography
and economics and sociology of the kingdom of God? Might it not be--must
it not be, the church_!

Not only the Pacific basin, but the round world was like that, every
part of it dependent on all the rest, and growing every day more and
more conscious of all the rest. Railways helped this process, and so did
steamships and air routes and telegraph and wireless. More than that,
all the world was becoming increasingly related to the life of every
part. With raw material produced in Brazil to make tires for the
limousines of Fifth Avenue and the Lake Shore Drive, what of the new
kinship between the producers in Brazil and the users in the States? All
good was coming to be the good of all the earth; and all evil was able
to affect the lives of unsuspecting folk half the earth's circumference
away.

In such a time, what an insistent call for the program and power of the
Christian faith! And the call could be answered. J.W. had seen the
church applying the program as well in a Chinese city and in an Indian
village as in his home town and on the Mexican border. He was sure that
the power that was in the Christian message could heal all the hurts of
the world, and bring all peoples into "a world-commonwealth of good
will."

This was what Jesus meant to do; not just to save here and there a
little group for heaven out of the general hopelessness, but to save and
make whole the heart of mankind. The church was not, first of all,
seeking its own enlargement, but extending the reach of its Founder's
purpose. It did all its many-sided work for a far greater reason than
any increase in its own numbers and importance; in a word, for the
Christianizing of life, Sunday and every day, in Delafield as well as in
the forests of the Amazon and the huddled cities of China.

J.W. sat on the edge of his berth. In the first glow of this new
understanding his nerves had steadied to a serenity that was akin to
awe. Yet he knew he had made no great discovery. The thing he saw had
been there all the time.

Then his mind set to work again on that motley procession of pictures
which he had likened to a patchwork film. Was it as disjointed as it
seemed? Could it not be so put together as to make a true continuity,
consistent and complete?

Why not? In the events of his own life, strangely enough, he had the
clue to its right arrangement. By what seemed to be accidental or
incidental opportunity it had been his singular fortune to come in
contact with some aspect or another of all the work his church was
doing. And every element of it, from the beginners' class at Delafield
to the language school at Nanking, from the college social in First
Church to the celebration at Foochow--it was all New Testament work. Its
center was always Jesus Christ's teaching or example, or appeal. There
was in its complexity a vast simplicity; each was a part of all, and all
was in each.

"John Wesley Farwell, Jr.," said that young man to himself, "this thing
is not your discovery--but how does that bit of Keats' go?"

'Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
   When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
   He stared at the Pacific--and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise--
   Silent, upon a peak in Darien,'

There you have it! But I might have known. Cortez, if it _was_ Cortez,
could not have guessed the Pacific. He had nothing to suggest it. But I
might have guessed the singleness of the church's work. What is my name
for, unless I can appreciate the man who said 'The world is my parish,'
and who would do anything--sell books, keep a savings bank, open a
dispensary--for the sake of saving souls? That's the single idea, the
simple idea. It makes all these queer activities part of one great
activity; and rests them all on one under-girding truth--'The Church's
one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.'

But the wonderful thing to me is that, after all this time, I should
suddenly have found this out for myself!

"What a story to take home to Delafield! Pastor Drury is going to have
the surprise of his life!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Three people met J.W. as his train pulled in to the station at
Delafield. The other two were his father and mother.

After the first tearfully happy greetings, J.W. looked around the
platform. "I rather thought Brother Drury might have come too," he said.

The others exchanged meaning glances, and his father asked, "Then you
didn't get my second letter at San Francisco?"

"No," said J.W., in vague alarm, "only the one. What's wrong? Is Mr.
Drury--"

"He's at home now, son," said the elder Farwell, gravely. "He came home
from our Conference hospital at Hillcrest two weeks ago. We hope he's
going to gain considerable strength, but he's had some sort of a
stroke, we don't rightly know what, and he's pretty hard hit. He's
better than he was last week, but he can't leave his room; sits in his
easy chair and doesn't say much."

J.W.'s heart ached. Without always realizing it, he had been counting
on long talks with the pastor; there was so much to tell him. And
especially so since that wonderful day out in the middle of the Pacific,
when he had seen what he even dared to call his 'vision' of the church.

So he said, "You and mother drive on home; I'll walk up with Jeannette."

For lovers who had just met after a year's separation these two were
strangely subdued. They had everything to say to each other, but this
sudden falling of the shadow of suffering on their meeting checked the
words on their lips.

"Will he get better?" J.W. asked Jeannette.

"They fear not," she answered. "The doctors say he may live for several
years, but he will never preach again. He just sits there; he's been so
anxious to see you. You must go to-day."

"Of course. And what shall I say about the wedding? If he can't leave
his room----"

Jeannette interrupted him: "If he can't leave his room, it will make no
difference. Church wedding or home wedding I should have chosen, as I
have told you; but you and I, John Wesley, are going to be married by
Walter Drury, wherever he is, if he's alive on our wedding day."

"Why, yes," said J.W., with a little break in his voice, "it wouldn't
seem right any other way. We can have the dinner, or breakfast or
whatever it is, just the same, but we'll be married in his room. I'm
glad you feel that way about it too; though it's just like you."

And it was so. J.W. went up to the study as soon as he could rid himself
of the dust of the day's travel, more eager to show Walter Drury he
loved him than to tell his story or even to arrange for the wedding.

As to that ceremony, the plans had long ago been understood; nothing
more was needed than to tell Walter Drury his study afforded a better
background and setting for this particular wedding than a cathedral
could provide.

J.W. was prepared for a great change in Pastor Drury, but he noticed no
such signs of breakdown as he had expected to see. He did not know that
the beloved pastor was keyed up for this meeting. He could not guess
that the beaming eye, the old radiant smile, the touch of color in a
face usually pale, were on special if unconscious display because the
pastor's heart was thanking God that he had been permitted to welcome
home his son in the gospel.

Those had been dreary days, in the hospital, despite the ceaseless
ministries of nurses and doctors and friends from Delafield. This
hospital was a place of noble service, one of many such places which
have arisen in the Methodism of the last forty years. It was a hospital
through and through--the last word in equipment and competence, but not
at all an "institution." It was at once a home for the sick and a
training school of the Christian graces, where the distressed of body
and mind could be given the relief they needed--all of it given gladly,
in Christ's name.

Walter Drury was not unmindful of the care and skill which the hospital
staff lavished on him, though no more faithfully on him than on many an
unknown or unresponsive patient. But he was in a pitifully questioning
mood. The doctors had told him he could not expect to preach again. When
the district superintendent had come to visit him, he carried away with
him Walter Drury's request for retirement at the coming session of the
Annual Conference.

In his quiet moments--there were so many of them now--the broken man
counted up his years of service, all too few, as it seemed to him, and
lacking much of what they might have shown in outcomes for the church
and the kingdom. His Conference was one of the few which paid the full
annuity claim of its retired preachers, but even so he had not much to
look forward to. His twenty-five years in the active ranks meant that he
could count on twenty-five times $15 a year, $375, on which to live,
when he gave up his work.

Perhaps he could live on this, with what little he had been able to put
aside; at any rate he could be glad now that there was none but himself
to think about. But was it worth all he had put into his vocation? His
brother in Saint Louis, not remarkably successful in his business, had
been able at least to make some provision for his old age. He too might
have been a moderately successful business or professional man. Truly it
was more than the older preachers had, this Conference annuity, which
would keep him from actual want; so much, surely, had been gained by the
church's growing sense of responsibility for its veterans.

But had it really paid? Was all the gentle efficiency of the hospital,
and all the church's money which would come to him from the Conference
funds and the Board of Conference Claimants, enough to compensate him
for the long years when he had been spendthrift of all his powers for
the sake of his work?

He knew, of course, the answer to his questions; no one better. But he
was a broken-down preacher, old before his time; and knowing the answer
was not at all the same as _having_ the answer. So he had been brought
home from Hillcrest, mind-weary and much cast down. Nor did he regain
any of his old buoyancy of spirit until the day when they told him J. W,
would be home next week.

It was then that he told himself, "If J.W. has come back with only a
story to tell"--and gloom was in his face; "But if he has come back with
_the_ story to tell"--and his heart leaped within him at the thought.

The pastor and J.W. were soon talking away with the old familiarity,
but mostly about inconsequentials. Neither was quite prepared for more
intimate communion; and, of course, the returning traveler had much to
do. The wedding was near at hand, and everybody but himself had been
getting ready this long time. So the call was too brief to suit either
of them, with the longer visits each hoped for of necessity deferred to
a more convenient season.

J.W. must make a hurried journey to Saint Louis to turn in his report
to Peter McDougall, which report Peter was much better prepared to
receive than J.W. suspected. And a highly satisfactory arrangement was
made for J.W.'s continued connection with the Cummings Hardware
Corporation.

Doubtless all weddings are much alike in their ceremonial aspects; short
or long, solemn-spoken ancient ritual or commonplace legal form, the
essence of them all is that this man and this woman say, "I will." So it
was in Walter Drury's study. And then the little group seated itself
about the pastor; Marty with Alma Wetherell, soon to become Mrs. Marty;
all the Shenks, the elder Farwells, John Wesley, Jr., and Jeannette. The
dinner would not be for an hour yet, and this was the pastor's time.

Pastor Drury could not talk much. He had kept his chair as he read the
ritual, and now he sat and smiled quietly on them all. But once and
again his eye sought J.W. and the look was a question yet unanswered.

"What sort of a voyage home did you have?" Mrs. Farwell asked her son,
motherlike, using even a query about the weather to turn attention to
her boy.

"A good voyage, mother," said J.W. "A fine voyage. But one day--will
you let me tell it here, all of you? I've hardly been any more eager
for my wedding day than for a chance to say this. I won't tire you, Mr.
Drury, will I?"

"You'll never do that, my boy," said the preacher. "But don't bother
about me, I've long had a feeling that what you are going to say will be
better for me than all the doctors." For he had seen the eager glow on
J.W.'s face, and his heart was ready to be glad.

Thus it was that J.W. told the story of his great moment; how he had
talked with Miss Morel one morning of the many-sided work of the church,
and how in the afternoon he had looked through the open port of his
stateroom and had seen an ocean that looked like the church, and a
church that seemed like the ocean.

"I shall remember that day forever, I think," he said. "For the first
time in my life I could put all the pieces of my life together; my home,
my church, the Sunday school, the League, college, the needy life of
this town, your country work, Marty, Mexico, China, India--everything;
and I could see as one wonderful, perfect picture, every bit of it
necessary to all the rest. Our church at work to make Jesus Christ Lord
of all life, in my home and clear to the 'roof of the world' out yonder
under the snows of Tibet. Can you see it, folks? I think _you_ always
could, Mr. Drury!" and he put his hand affectionately on the pastor's
knee.

Pastor Drury's face was even paler than its wont, but in his eyes glowed
the light that never was on sea or land. He was hearing what sometimes
he had feared he might not last long enough to hear. The Experiment was
justified, and he was comforted!

He picked up the Bible that lay near his hand, and turned to the Gospel
by Luke. "I hope none of you will think _I_ wrest the Book's words to
lesser meanings," he said, "but there is only one place in it that can
speak what is in my heart to-day." And he read the song of Simeon in the
temple: "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine
eyes have seen thy salvation," and so to the end.

It was very still when his weak voice ceased; but in a moment the
silence was broken by a cry from J.W.

"Why, Mr. Drury, it has been _you_, all these years!"

"What do you mean, J.W.?". said Marty, somewhat alarmed and thoroughly
mystified.

"Exactly what I say, Marty. Can't you see it too? Can't all of you see
it?" and J.W. looked from one face to another around the room.
"Jeannette, _you_ know what I mean, don't you?"

And Jeannette, at once smiling and tearful, said, "Yes, J.W., I've
thought about it many times, and I know now it is true."

Marty said, "Maybe so; but what?" for he was still bewildered.

"Why," J.W. began, with eager haste, "Mr. Drury planned all this--years
and years ago. Not our wedding, I don't mean that," and he paused long
enough to find Jeannette's hand and get it firmly in his own, "we
managed that ourselves, didn't we, dear? But--I don't know why--this
blessed minister of God began, somewhere far back yonder, to show me
what God was trying to do through our church, and, later, through the
other churches. He saw that I went to Institute. He steered me through
my Sunday school work. He showed me my lifework. He made me want to go
to college. He introduced me to the Delafield that is outside our own
church. He got me my job in Saint Louis--don't you dare to deny it," as
the pastor raised a protesting hand. "I've talked with our sales
manager; he put the idea of the Far Eastern trip into Mr. McDougall's
mind--and, well, it has been Pastor Drury all these years, _and he knew
what he was doing_!"

Pastor Drury had kept his secret bravely, but there was no need to keep
it longer, and now he was well content that these dear friends should
have discovered it on such a day of joy. After all, it had been a
beautiful Experiment, and not altogether without its value. So he made
no more ado, and in his heart there was a great peace.





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