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Title: A California Girl
Author: Eldridge, Edward
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A California Girl" ***

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A CALIFORNIA GIRL

BY EDWARD ELDRIDGE


The Abbey Press
PUBLISHERS

114 FIFTH AVENUE
NEW YORK

London Montreal


Copyright, 1902
by The Abbey Press



     CONTENTS


     CHAPTER                                                   PAGE
              Prologue                                            5

          I.  Clara Lawton                                        7

         II.  Ranch Talk                                          9

        III.  The Marriage of Charles Herne                      21

         IV.  Julia Hammond                                      25

          V.  Ben West                                           35

         VI.  Stella Wheelwright                                 39

        VII.  Penloe                                             43

       VIII.  Ben West's Experience in the Klondike              54

         IX.  An Arrival                                         63

          X.  Mrs. Marston                                       70

         XI.  Saunders' Customers                                85

        XII.  Penloe's Sermon                                    88

       XIII.  Return of Ben West                                104

        XIV.  Five Years After Marriage                         113

         XV.  A Conversation on the Porch                       116

        XVI.  Tiestan                                           124

       XVII.  Penloe's Original Address                         143

      XVIII.  Letters Received by Penloe                        163

        XIX.  Mrs. West Relates Her Dream                       170

         XX.  In the Mountains                                  174

        XXI.  A Wedding in Orangeville                          184

       XXII.  The Herne Party                                   201

      XXIII.  A Visit from Barker and Brookes                   218

       XXIV.  Out of Bondage                                    233

              Epilogue                                          248



PROLOGUE.


This book is not written for the specialist, but for that restless,
seething multitude known as "the masses." It is written for busy people,
for workers, such as the shop-girl, the factory-girl, the clerk, the
mechanic, the farmer, the merchant, and the busy housewife; but
ministers, lawyers, and doctors may find food for thought within its
covers.

My heart goes out to God's secular army, composed of those who have
neither time nor opportunity to go through learned treatises and
scholarly essays, yet whose natures are hungering for something better
than they see and hear about them. So I have tried to weave into this
story the best and latest thought that has been given to the world,
believing it to be what the workers most need in the performance of
their daily duties, and what will help them out of bondage.

People whose reading and observation have been limited may think that I
have drawn on my imagination altogether for most of the material in this
book. I can assure them that such is not the case; much of it is real.

In regard to Penloe, there have been men who had greater spiritual gifts
than he, and I call to mind one, still living, whose illuminated
countenance and remarkable personality are superior to his. In Penloe is
seen the interior life of the Hindu combined with the best practical
thought of the West.

Let a youth or maiden commence to live the life described by the man who
won the heart of the "Oriental Lady," related by Penloe in his
"Original Address," and he or she will then realize the facts which have
made the characters of Penloe and Stella.

To any sensitive, fastidious reader I would say, it becomes an author,
in order to be true to life, to present certain characters as they
really are, and put into their mouths the language they actually use.

Whatever there is of error in the book is the result of egoism; whatever
of truth and love is the work of Him who has brought me up out of the
marshes and lowlands, and caused me to drink at the crystal fountains of
the hills.
                                                THE AUTHOR.



A CALIFORNIA GIRL.



CHAPTER I.

CLARA LAWTON.


"Well, dear," said Mrs. Lawton to her daughter Clara, "the home you will
enter to-morrow as a bride is very different from the home that I
entered as your father's bride. Our home was a log cabin in the Michigan
woods, with only an acre of clearing, where the growing season is only
about four months long and the winter eight. Snow lay on the ground six
months of the year, from one to three feet deep. In our cabin, we had
the bare necessaries and your father had to work very hard cutting
cord-wood for a living; but we were very happy, for we had love and
health; and need I say, dear, what a joy it was to us when you entered
our cabin as a passenger on the journey of life.

"My wish for you now is, that you may find as much happiness in the
companionship of Charles Herne as I have had in your father's, and as
much joy in the advent of a little one in your home as I did in you."

"You have always been one of the kindest and best mothers a girl ever
had," said Clara, warmly.

"I have tried to be," said Mrs. Lawton, simply.

Clara Lawton was twenty-two years of age, prepossessing in appearance,
with a bright, happy expression. Her nature was deep and affectionate,
her tastes domestic and social. When she was twenty, Mr. and Mrs. Lawton
had moved to California and settled in the pretty little city of
Roseland, which nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

At a camping party Clara had first met Charles Herne, and the outcome of
that meeting was that to-morrow would be Clara's wedding day.

Who can describe the thoughts that filled the mind of Clara the night
previous to her marriage? Who, indeed, can describe the thoughts that
fill the mind of any maiden as she lays her head on her pillow the night
previous to her marriage?

All her life she had been taught to consider this the most important
event of her life, the acme of happiness, the end and aim of her
womanhood. The thought of her own little world and the decrees of the
great world at large alike hold her to that belief. That she is a soul
in process of development; that marriage is only one step towards
something higher; that the true union is the joining of hands to work
for humanity, are doctrines which would sound strange in her ears. She
feels that great change that is coming into her life, and her thoughts
are in accordance with her character and circumstances. One bride may be
filled with the sadness of unwilling acquiescence, another with the joy
of complete absorption, a third with the excitement incident upon an
entire change of environment. Clara Lawton's sweet nature prompted only
tender thoughts of the parents she was leaving, strong love for the man
who was to be her husband and the desire to be a true wife and make
their union a happy one.



CHAPTER II.

RANCH TALK.


The road going north from the beautiful little city of Roseland to the
mountains is known as the Walnut road. Six miles from Roseland, on the
Walnut road, is "Treelawn," the home of Charles Herne. A modern
two-story house is built well back from the road, and between the house
and road are lawns decorated with flower-beds, some tall oleanders,
several banana plants, and choice varieties of roses, vines, and
shrubbery. On one side of the house there is a thriving orange and lemon
orchard; on the other fig, almond, and walnut trees; while back of the
house are other extensive orchards of the finest fruits. The house is
very comfortably furnished, much better than most houses in the country;
its arrangement being very convenient and modern.

Charles Herne, the owner of this property was, at the time our story
opens, a young man of twenty-eight, tall, well built, with a pleasant
open countenance which was a true index of his character. He always
looked closely after his business interests, but at the same time
allowed his generous, kindly spirit full scope.

When Charles was eighteen his father thought it would be well for him to
go out to work a year or so on other ranches, that he might gain more by
experience, get more ideas and know what it was to depend on himself and
make his own way in the world. After an absence of two years, came the
welcome summons home. On the evening of his return, when Charles and Mr.
Herne were seated comfortably on the porch, the father said:

"Well, Charles, relate some of your experiences while working on
different ranches."

"Though I did not speak of it in my letters, father," said Charles, "I
have had a pretty tough time of it since I left home."

"I thought so," said his father, "and I wish you had written
particulars."

"I should have done so," replied Charles, "but I wanted to see if there
was any sand in me and what staying qualities I possessed. Well, the
first job I struck was at the Funson ranch, driving a six-mule team
plowing. The leaders were the most contrary animals that ever had
harness on, the swings never would keep in their places, and the near
wheeler was so ugly that Pete, the man who had been driving the team,
said, 'the Devil couldn't hold a candle to him for pure meanness.' He
told me he used to swear at them all day and then lie awake nights
cursing himself for being such a fool as to drive them. He said, one
morning he took the team out to work, and after he had been working them
about an hour, the off mule began to cut up, backing, bucking, and
refusing to pull with the near one. At last Pete lost his temper and
began laying the whip on him, saying he would 'whale the stuffing out of
him'; then the mule got mad, broke the harness and the whole team became
unmanageable and got away from him. He let them go and started toward
the house, pouring out a steady stream of oaths as he went. Just at the
gate he met the boss and greeted him with, 'I'll see that team in Hell
before I'll ever draw another line over their backs.' Funson asked him
what was the trouble, and Pete said, 'that off mule has been raising
hell, and the Devil has got into 'em all, breaking the harness and
running away.' The boss told Pete not to make a fool of himself, but to
go back to the field and get his team together. Pete said, 'I'll see you
in Hell before I'll ever touch that team again. You haven't a well broke
team on the ranch for a man to handle. You buy a lot of half-broken,
bucking, balky teams because you can get 'em cheap. You don't care how
much hell it gives a man to drive 'em.' Funson told him to go and hunt
up some cattle, and sent another man to drive the mules. It's an actual
fact, father, that if a man had told the boss in polite and correct
language what had happened to the team, he would have stared in utter
astonishment and surprise."

"Quite true, my son, quite true," said the old gentleman.

"The man that took Pete's place," continued Charles, "drove the team two
days and that let him out. Then I came along and got the job. Didn't
Pete laugh when he came through the field with a bunch of cattle and saw
me trying to take the contrariness out of the leaders. He called out,
'Give 'em hell, give 'em hell!'

"When I came up to the barn at night, Pete was there putting up his
broncho, and he greeted me with, 'Well, Charles, how do you like your
job?'

"I said I wasn't stuck on it.

"'It's hell, ain't it?' said he; then added, 'the only way you can ever
get that team to pull steady is to get right in and cuss 'em good; they
are broke to cussing.'

"After supper the boys got together in the barn and played cards for two
hours. When they were tired of card-playing, they interested each other
by telling yarns about experiences with women, each striving to make his
story more thrilling than the last, and this entertainment continued
until they were ready to spread out their blankets and sleep.

"It is pretty cold sleeping in a barn December nights, even in our
California climate; but, as you know, there are few ranches where the
men are allowed to sleep in the house.

"I had to be up before it was light in the mornings and clean off those
mules, feed and harness them, and then have my breakfast. After
breakfast, just as it was getting light, we started to work. The
mornings were very cold. About dark I would bring my team in and by the
time I had unharnessed them, fed them, and had my supper, I was ready
for bed.

"After a man has put all his energy into a long, hard, tedious day's
work, he feels more like a worn-out old plug than a man. He has no
surplus force left to expend in elevating mental pursuits, for it has
been all exhausted in severe physical labor.

"Such labor continually kept up, has a tendency to dull what few good
aspirations a man may have had to bring his animal nature under control.
Therefore, after such a day's work, if he has any desires, they are
those of the brute, and it is no wonder that men should want something
of a sensational, exciting nature at night to keep their minds off
themselves and relieve the monotony of their toil.

"Well, father, I did lots of thinking when night came, about such
subjects, and came to some very decisive conclusions; but to return to
my story.

"One night when I was taking the harness off him, the near leader kicked
me on the leg. The pain was so severe that I scarcely slept any that
night. They say a mule will be good and gentle in the barn three hundred
and sixty-four days in the year, for the sake of getting a chance to
kick a man on the three hundred and sixty-fifth day, and I believe it is
so.

"After dinner one day, we had just left the house when one of the men
said, 'Didn't the old woman give the boss hell, this noon? I tell you
she's got a temper.' 'Yes,' said Pete, 'but she's not very old, not
forty yet. She's always firing up about something; she keeps him in hell
most of the time. The trouble is,' continued he, 'he's got nothing broke
on his ranch; his mules are not broke, his broncho cows are not broke,
his wife is not broke, and the old cuss himself is not broke.'

"After enduring all the torment and petty aggravation that a man could
stand for three months, I left and went to work at the White Oak Ranch.
The boss there set me to grubbing out oaks, and I can assure you it was
a relief after driving those mules.

"The third night I was at this place, I was the last to join the men at
the barn, and when I got there I found the teamsters, George and Harry,
making the air blue with oaths. They were giving it to the boss because
he would not get new harnesses, the old ones being mended all over with
wire and baling rope and the lines rotten. Harry's leaders had broken
their lines twice that day, it seemed, and he had nearly lost control of
them in consequence. 'The old fool keeps a-promising and a-promising to
get new harness,' said George, 'but he never gets it; and he hasn't got
a harness on his whole darn ranch that's worth a whoop in hell.' 'My old
plugs broke their harness five times to-day,' said Harry. 'Since I've
been here, the teams have done more damage and lost more than would pay
for a new harness ten times over.'

"When I had been there about a month, the hot weather began to come on,
and the feed to dry up, and I had to help clean the ditches out, ready
for irrigating. It was a big job, so many willows to grub out, and it
took much longer to finish it because we were so constantly called away
to drive out cattle and hogs that had broken into the orchard and grain
fields. You see, the feed was getting scarce, there was more stock than
there was feed for, and the fences were very shaky. The boss kept
talking about new fences, but he never had them built, he was satisfied
with patching the old ones.

"Well, we got the ditches cleaned out and commenced to irrigate, using
all the water we could get. I was one to help irrigate and look after
the ditches. The work would have been really pleasant if we could only
have kept the band of hogs out. They would get in after the green feed
and break the ditches, causing the water to wash the soil away. That
band of hogs began to torment me as much as the mules had done. They
were so hungry you could not keep them out. I didn't blame them, poor,
lank, starved creatures, for getting in and getting something to eat. I
would have done the same in their case.

"At last the boss thought he would shut them up in the barnyard and feed
them. Well, he had forty starved hogs shut up, and he gave them about as
much food each day as ten hogs could eat. Of course, they became like a
pack of wolves, and it was all a man could do to get through the yard.
Forty hogs would come all around him, squealing and yelling as though
they were being butchered, and you had to keep moving lively or they
would bite your legs. Henderson, one of the men, told me they ate up
four cats and three kittens and more chickens than had been on the table
for a year.

"One Sunday morning, after breakfast, I commenced to wash my shirt and
overalls, when Henderson called to me, 'Cattle in the peach orchard!'
Now, at the further end of the peach orchard there were a hundred nice
young trees, covered with tender foliage, looking fine. It seems the
cattle got into the orchard in the night and ate all the growth off
them, so they looked just like sticks. It really was a shame to see such
fine trees damaged in that way, but the boss would not take time to
build a good fence around them. That afternoon I went to lie down in the
barn; it was hot, the mosquitoes and flies were getting in their best
licks at me. I was trying to sleep, and just as I was about succeeding
Henderson called out: 'Charles, get your shovel and come quick.' 'What's
the matter?' I asked. 'Why, the hogs have played the devil and broke the
ditches and the water is running all over Hell.' Mad as I felt about
being disturbed, I could not help smiling within at the thought of water
running all over hell, and I said to him: 'If those hogs can flood hell
with water they ought to be sent to a dime museum.' We went on in
silence till we reached the orchard gate, when Henderson said: 'Do you
know, I would rather take a licking than open that gate, for it's a
back-breaker. It hasn't got a hinge, and is as heavy as an elephant; you
have to lift it up and drag it along the ground. It takes more time to
hang a gate that way with a band of iron to a post or a bent stick in
the place of the iron, than it would to buy two pairs of hinges; and yet
that is the only kind he has on the place. It seems as if everything on
the place was devised to make work as hard, unhandy, and wrong-end-to as
possible.'

"That evening when we had gathered together as usual, Harry opened the
conversation by saying: 'What a racket there was to-night at supper! It
seems to me the whole family is raising hell all the time, but I don't
blame the old woman much for giving the boss a jawing about throwing his
old broken harness on her bedroom floor, when he came home in the light
rig this afternoon.' 'He is always doing such things,' said George. 'The
front room is more like an old store-room than anything else. He don't
deserve a house; that man ought to live in a barn.'

"Another of the men said: 'If ever there was any attraction between the
boss and his wife, it has long ago disappeared; and the children! What a
quarreling gang they are.' Then they proceeded to discuss at length each
member of the family, and I must say, father, that although I had become
accustomed to much of the roughness of the life of these ranches, I was
so shocked over some of the things they said that it took me a long time
to get over it. I was not surprised that the boys should be little
reprobates, because I didn't see how they could be otherwise, living
with such a crew of men around them all the time, but was shocked to
hear what they said about the girls. There were two of them: one fifteen
years old, the other eighteen. Rather pretty girls they were, too. I had
talked with them several times and they seemed modest and quite shy with
me. I hadn't seen them much with the other fellows. Well, father, when
those men had finished talking, they hadn't left those girls a shred of
what the world calls a reputation, and the worst of it was that their
stories were for the most part true, as I afterward ascertained. I could
scarcely speak to the girls for several days; for somehow one expects
more of a girl than of a boy, though I don't know why one should," he
added, thoughtfully. "I'm sure I'd want to be as pure as the girl I
married.

"Well, I studied over the thing a good deal, and I finally came to this
conclusion: Those girls were not bad; they were simply curious. They led
such narrow, cramped lives that there was nothing for their active
brains to feed on, so they naturally turned to the most interesting
thing at hand, themselves, their physical selves. A superabundance of
vitality overshadowed their small mental equipment. In the absence of
suitable entertainment the physical part of their being had fatally
asserted itself. Ignorant of consequences, they sinned innocently. I
felt sorry for them, and during the rest of my stay there, I tried to
give them some glimpses of a more intellectual life.

"Well," continued Charles, "I stayed in that hell over a year, then left
and went to the Lonsdale ranch. There we did not use the barn to sleep
in; each man had a bunk to himself in the bunk-house. The interior of
the bunk-house was decorated with several choice works of art, one
representing three young ladies, in abbreviated costumes, enjoying wine
and cigarettes; another showed several men lifting from the water the
nude form of a beautiful young woman who had committed suicide; while a
third was an exciting picture of a jealous woman, in a much torn
garment, holding a pistol to the head of her faithless lover. Some
pictures of Fitzsimmons, Jeffries, and Sharkey also adorned the walls.
Much time was spent in the evenings discussing the various merits and
demerits of the pugilists. I was often surprised at the able and
exhaustive manner in which they would handle the subject, and showed
some remarkable ability in treating of the qualities of the prize
fighting gentlemen. If the same amount of brain power had been turned in
other directions, how useful to their country those men might have
become. I do not wish to convey the idea that they were always handling
such great and momentous topics as the fighting qualities of those noted
gentlemen. Very often, by way of variation, they would talk of those
feminine types of beauty which appeared so conspicuously in the _Police
Gazette_ and the _Sporting Times_.

"It was astonishing the amount of information they displayed concerning
women, what retentive memories they had, and how very familiar they were
with the subject of woman, her ways, and her sex nature. Their mental
horizon was bounded on the north by the affairs of the ranch, on the
east by the boss and his domestic concerns, on the south by woman as
manifested by the various phases of her sexual nature, and on the west
by the gentry of the prize ring. Within these boundaries was their
mental world, their minds never reaching out and beyond these subjects.

"The reading matter on the table was the sensational weekly papers.

"I remember one Sunday to my surprise I saw one of the men reading a
book. On looking at the title, it read: 'The Life of Rattlesnake Pete,'
and another man had a book lying on his blankets, entitled 'The
Adventures of Coyote Bill.' Gambling was their favorite pastime. It was
one round of card playing nights and Sundays. When I first went to work
on the Lonsdale ranch, the boss put me to cutting oak wood. After I had
been at work awhile, he came along and told me that I did not hold the
handle of my axe right. The next day he found fault with me for the way
I used a cross-cut saw. A week later I was piling brush to burn, and the
way I laid the brush did not suit him. He was everlastingly blowing
about himself and telling how he did things. I did not seem to be able
to do anything right. One night after supper we had all assembled in the
bunk-house, when Parsons said: 'I tell you boys, hell went pop this
morning. Plaisted gave the boss hell because he commenced to growl at
him for the way he held the lines. Plaisted told him he was the greatest
old crank that ever run a ranch, and that the devil himself couldn't
suit him. He left the team right in the field and called for his money.
I tell you the boss's face was as red as a beet. He had to give Simmons
six dollars a month more to take the team.'

"Hendricks said, 'I gave the boss a piece of my mind this morning when I
tried to open the gate leading into the garden. It is a rod long, and as
heavy as hell; the whole weight was on the ground. I told him any man
that had such a gate as that on his ranch never ought to own a ranch. I
said, 'Why in the devil don't you get some hinges and hang your gates?'
Ambrose spoke up, and said, 'Sometimes the boss seems pleasant enough,
but he does like to find fault and tell you what big things he has
done. To hear him talk you would think that his ranch was the only ranch
that was worth anything. He told his visitors to-day that his place
would pay the interest on one hundred thousand dollars. You know, boys,
it wouldn't sell for twelve thousand.'

"Parsons said: 'The boss has been growling at me ever since I have been
with him, but I pay no attention to him. He thinks if you don't do a
thing as he does, you don't do it right, and any idea that does not
originate in his brain is not worth anything. To hear him talking to
that lady visiting here to-day you would think he was a perfect man
living on a model ranch.' I will never forget how mad Hendricks was with
the boss one Saturday evening. We had just come from supper when
Hendricks lit his pipe and gave vent to his feelings, as follows: 'If I
had had a four-year-old club at the supper table to-night, I felt so
boiling mad that I would have knocked hell out of him. To hear him go on
a nagging and fault-finding with that little woman of his. There she has
been a-working hard all day, set three good meals, doing the churning
and all the housework besides; and all she gets for her patient labor is
a growl.' 'Yes,' said another man, 'she has been working like a slave
all the week and to-morrow is Sunday, and it will be to her just the
same as any other day.' Hendricks said: 'The boss thinks more of his old
plugs than he does of his wife. See what care he takes of his horses.
One lot is resting while the other lot is working; then those that have
been working are put in the pasture, and those that have been resting
are put to work. But he never seems to think that poor worn-out woman of
his needs a rest and change.'

"Parsons added: 'That is not the worst of it. His wife is a cook-stove
slave, and a wash and butter-making machine. It does not matter how
tired she is or otherwise physically unfit, he demands his marital
privileges as a right, regardless of her wishes or protests. I know it
is a fact, for he brags about it.' Parsons continued: 'When a boy I
used to hear preachers talk about hell, and I could not see what was the
use of sending millions and billions of people to eternal torments, so I
thought there ought to be no such place as hell; but if there is a hell,
then I think the boss deserves to go there.'

"An intelligent young man from the East by the name of Travers joined in
the conversation by saying: 'When I was a boy I remember how serious my
good father felt because he thought a neighbor had died without his sins
being forgiven, and had gone to hell. At that time the word _hell_ used
to have some meaning on the minds of the people, and produced on my mind
a feeling of fear and awe. But how different it is now. If a minister
was to preach now about all wicked people going to hell, it would
produce no more effect on their minds than water on a duck's back, for
the word hell is now a spent thunderbolt, used uselessly by the mouths
of so many. It may be well for theologians to know (if any of them
believe in hell as preached) whether or not they have got through
discussing hell; their views have no weight whatever on the minds of the
masses, for they are all the time making light, fun, and sport of the
word _hell_.' 'That's so,' joined in the men, and they all laughed.

"I had been at the Lonsdale ranch about three or four months when I
received your letter asking me to return home."

"Well, Charles," said the old man Herne, "if I had not worked out for
several years on ranches, I should think your stories slightly colored,
but from my own experience I should say the half has not been told."

"That is so, father," said Charles. "I have not stated what I have seen
and heard half strongly enough."

The father said: "When I bought this ranch, the first thing I did was to
build solid fences, raise lots of feed and hang gates on hinges so that
a child could open them with its finger. I always make my plans so that
I have more feed than stock. I did not set out an orchard till the
fences were finished, so that nothing could get in. I made it a point
to avoid losing a lot of work through bad management. My hired men have
always had a good house to sleep in, each man having a room to himself.
The house is cool in the summer through having double porches all round
it, and warm in winter because it is well furnished. Men and teams never
go out to work in the winter till the sun is up. Every man sits down to
supper at six, during the summer months, and they have two hours'
nooning. What is the result? I have always had the best men to work for
me, and they never want to leave. Each man is put upon his honor, and
takes as much interest in doing his best for me as if the place belonged
to him. Everything goes on the same at the ranch when I am away as when
I am there. No man has used anything but the most respectful language to
me. I have heard no swearing at teams. In fact, I have heard no swearing
or low stories at all. I never would allow it. Every day the work is
done well and without friction."

"Yes," said his son, "I used to think your place was heaven while I was
away."

Two years from the time this conversation took place, the father died,
leaving the property and some money to his son, Charles, and seven
thousand dollars to his daughter Lena.

Charles Herne was not a student of political economy nor a reader of
sociology, but what he did was done through an innate sense of justice,
with a spirit of generosity, and the munificent treatment of his men was
the manifestation of his noble, free spirit. To-morrow will be the
greatest event so far in the life of Charles Herne, for he brings to his
home his bride.



CHAPTER III.

THE MARRIAGE OF CHARLES HERNE.


Two miles from the Herne ranch, toward Roseland, lived the Holbrooke
family.

On the afternoon of the day which was of such importance in the lives of
two of our characters, Mr. Holbrooke returned from a survey of his
orchard, to be met by his wife with a face full of mysterious
importance.

"I've got some news, James," she said. "Now guess what it is--

"Sophia has heard from one of her old beaux," said her husband
immediately.

"Get a pail of water and throw it over your dad, Sophia," said Mrs.
Holbrooke. "He's always joking you about your beaux. Well," she added,
"I see I'll have to tell you, you'll never guess. Charles Herne has just
gone by here with a bran-new suit of clothes, a bran-new matched team, a
bran-new harness, a bran-new buggy, and a bran-new wife. There! What do
you think of that?"

"Why," said her husband, "I think you may see them go by here some day
with a brand-new baby."

"The idea of your talking that way before Sophia; that's the way with
you men, your mind is always run on such things."

"Well," said her husband, "I don't think such a subject is very foreign
to your mind or Sophia's either."

"Sophy, let's you and I take your dad and throw him. We can do it," said
Mrs. Holbrooke.

Since the newly-married couple that caused so much interest in the
Holbrooke family had gone by, Sophia had laid down her novel, "The
Banker's Daughter," and was gazing dreamily out of the window. The young
lady being of a rather romantic turn of mind, had just been saying to
herself, "What a perfect day to be married. Will everything be as
beautiful on my wedding day, I wonder?"

"Well," said Mrs. Holbrooke, "whoever the lady may be, she has got a
good man and a lovely home."

"Yes," said her husband, "a good job was done when Charles Herne came
into the world."

"Don't talk so rough, James. I never saw a man like you in all my life,"
said his wife.

"The old man Herne had a long head on him when he sent Charles out into
the world to cut his own fodder," added Holbrooke, reflectively.

"Yes," said his wife, "those hired men of his wouldn't be acting like
gentlemen the way they are now if Charles had not gone out and rustled."

"Two years ago," he continued, "he devoted the entire proceeds from his
orchard for one year, after paying expenses, to fixing up the cottage
for his men. He had it painted and papered; had good carpets laid down
on the floors; large mirrors and pictures on the walls; put in two large
bathrooms with hot and cold water; a billiard table, lots of small
games, all the leading papers and magazines. Bought them a fine piano,
also an organ, and a lot of music, sacred and sentimental. He also
bought a fine matched team with a two-seated buggy, and said: 'Boys, I
want you to keep this team for your own riding out evenings, Saturday
afternoons and Sundays. Take care of it among yourselves, and I hope you
all may have many pleasant rides. There isn't a team in the country gets
more grooming than those colts, and not a man has been known to
overdrive them. I never see anything like it, those hired men at Herne's
live and act as if they were members of some gentlemen's club. They
always wash their hands in warm water in the winter, and are particular
about keeping their finger-nails clean. On Sundays to see those men
dressed up, you would think they had never seen dirt. You don't see
Herne's men on a Sunday morning spending their time in washing overalls,
shirts, and socks. Herne keeps a Chinaman to do that in the week day.
Why, if I was to go and offer one of those men a steady job at ten
dollars a month more than Herne pays, he would turn his nose up at me.
You can't get a man to leave; they stick to him closer than a brother.
He has ten standing applicants to fill the next vacancy he may have. And
did you ever see a place where men worked so orderly, harmoniously, and
thoroughly as they do on the Herne ranch? You don't see any of the trees
in his orchard barked through having careless, mad teamsters while
harrowing and cultivating. Herne's horses, harness, and machinery look
better and last more than twice as long, because the men take great
interest in caring for them. It's not all go out of pocket with Herne in
what he does for his men. Some pretty big returns come back."

"Yes," said Mrs. Holbrooke, "Lena Herne told me that her brother and
herself were sitting on the porch one evening, and she was talking to
Charles about the men and what he had done for them, when he said,
'Lena, I would not give up the love and respect which these men have for
me, and I for them, and the quiet, peaceful understanding that exists
between us, for all the ranches in the county.' She said that she and
her brother very often spent their evenings with the men in games,
singing and a general social time, and there are lots of young people in
the neighborhood that call on them to play croquet and lawn-tennis of a
Saturday afternoon or to spend a pleasant evening. Just think,"
continued Mrs. Holbrooke, "those men at Herne's only work five and a
half days in the week, and those days are short ones. I tell you,
Holbrooke, those men have a far better time than you do, though you own
a ranch and they don't; you are a slave compared to them."

"Some of the men say that Herne don't talk Christianity to them, but he
puts some mighty big Christian principles in practice," said her
husband.

It was as Sophia had mentally said, "A perfect day to be married on."

The newly married couple, as they journeyed from Roseland to Treelawn,
found the sun just warm enough to be pleasant, for it was in the early
part of March. The road was in fine condition, for there was neither mud
nor dust. A gentle breeze wafted the sweet scented odors from the
flower-decked fields, with their carpets of green. All nature seemed
smiling, for was it not its mating season? What was all the chattering
going on in the trees and the songs in the bushes, but the feathery
tribe making love to each other. It seemed as if on this day all Nature
was singing one grand anthem with a hallelujah chorus.

As the happy pair looked at the scene, they forgot for the moment their
own happiness in the contemplation of Nature's grandeur.

Before them rose the variegated hills of the Sierras, the sun bringing
out the brilliant coloring of the rocks; higher behind these the
glittering snow-covered peaks, and above all the matchless blue of the
heavens.

To them the world seemed indeed all joy and beauty, and a home together,
a paradise. And so they entered upon the new life.



CHAPTER IV.

JULIA HAMMOND.


The settlement in which Treelawn was located was called Orangeville, and
covered a large area of country. It had a general store--post-office,
church, school-house, hall, blacksmith-shop, and two saloons.

For reasons best known to himself, Charles Herne had kept his wedding a
secret from all his neighbors, and it was really more by intuition than
by actual knowledge that Mrs. Holbrooke came into possession of the
fact.

On the morning after the wedding, Sam Gilmore, like a good husband, had
quietly risen and dressed himself, leaving his spouse to finish her nap.
After seeing that the fire in the kitchen stove was burning brightly and
the tea-kettle set on, he went to the barn. After a short time he
returned to the house, and putting his head into the bedroom, said with
some excitement, "Sarah, I've got some news for you. Charles Herne has
got him a wife."

When Sarah Gilmore received that piece of astounding intelligence, the
mental shock seemed to produce paralysis, for the garment she was about
to put on remained suspended in the air as she exclaimed: "Well, I swan!
I thought he was married to his hired pets. How did you hear the news,
Sam?"

"Nettleton told me. He was over to see if I would let him have the bays
to-day."

"Did you let them go?" asked his wife.

"No, I told him I was going to use them on the ranch to-day," said Sam,
closing the door and going back to the barn.

As Sam went out of the bedroom door the paralysis went, too, for no
woman ever moved more quickly in putting on the rest of her garments
than did Sarah Gilmore that morning.

There was a very good breakfast waiting for Sam when he came in from the
barn, and above all Sarah had made him a plate of light, rich
batter-cakes, which he always relished very much. They were set a little
way into the oven with the door open, to keep warm, his good wife having
buttered and sugared them, all ready for Sam to pour rich cream over
them.

After breakfast, as Sam was on his way to the barn, he said to himself,
"My! Sarah is a fine cook. I would be willing to bet ten dollars she can
knock the spots out of Charles Herne's wife in cooking; and she is so
cheerful while getting up good meals, and don't make any fuss about it,
either."

Sam and the bays worked well that morning in doing a little light work.

Sarah lost no time in putting the breakfast dishes into the dish-pan,
but instead of washing them immediately, as was her way, she was seen
going over a well-beaten trail toward a house where smoke was coming out
of the chimney. When she opened the door, she found Mrs. Green just
wiping a mush-bowl which had been used at breakfast.

"Well, Carrie," said Sarah Gilmore to Mrs. Green, "what do you think has
happened? Charles Herne has come home with a bride."

"There, now, Sarah, you surprise me," said Mrs. Green.

"I guess every body is surprised," said Mrs. Gilmore.

After a few minutes' more conversation, she hurried back to wash her
dishes and get dinner.

When Sam came to dinner he found his wife in the best of spirits, with a
big dinner for him to enjoy. Sam's alimentive faculty being in a state
of great activity, he ate heartily, finishing up with two pieces of
Sarah's extra rich peach cobbler. After dinner Sam went to the
fire-place where he sat rocking himself, and soon was enjoying a smoke.
He had been smoking about five minutes when his wife said: "I really
like the smell of the tobacco you smoke, but if you were to smoke such
stinking stuff as Horace does, I would get up and leave you. But yours
does smell real sweet."

"Horace Green is too stingy to smoke good tobacco," said Sam, after
which remark he brought his hand to the side of his leg each time he let
the smoke curl out of his mouth, feeling well satisfied with himself and
all the world beside.

Did you ever have the experience of passing through a large barnyard,
and going from one end to the other with a lean, hungry hog after you,
yelling and squealing, trying to eat you up by snapping first at one of
your legs and then at the other? You kick at him with first one foot,
saying, "Sooy, sooy;" then you, with the other foot, kick backwards,
saying, "Sooy, sooy." And after going through this performance many,
many times, you reach the gate and shut it between yourself and the hog,
leaving him on the inside, amidst deafening noise made by his hungry
squeals. After you have left, he does his best to tear down the fence,
so strong are the pangs of hunger in him.

A few minutes after that you take him a pail of rich buttermilk, then a
large pail of fresh ripe figs, and two dozen ears of sweet corn. You go
out in that barnyard an hour afterwards and you don't hear any hog
noise. You don't see a hog even moving, for he is lying down in the
greatest state of quiet. He will let you do just what you have a mind to
do to him. You can scratch him and you will find him good-natured and he
seems to enjoy your attentions. He is in such a contented, happy state,
that you can roll him or do anything you wish to him.

So it is with some men. By making love to them through their stomachs,
you will find them in as happy a frame of mind as Sam Gilmore was as he
finished his pipe. His wife saw that he was taking his last puffs, so
she said, "Sam, can I have the bays to go over to the Henshaws' this
afternoon?"

"Well," replied Sam, "I was going to haul wood, but I guess I can let
that go. What time do you want them?"

"Two o'clock," said his wife.

Sarah said that Sam brought the bays around to the front door and was as
lively round her and the team as he was twenty years ago when she was a
maiden and he came courting her at her father's.

Talk about the diplomacy of Bismarck, d'Israeli, and the Russian
Ambassador in settling the Eastern question at the close of the
Russo-Turkish war; why there are women in Orangeville who can give them
pointers on diplomacy.

The bays thought that either a peddler or minister was driving them that
afternoon, they made so many short calls. There was one thing
certain--Sarah Gilmore was not to blame if the people of Orangeville did
not know Charles Herne was married.

When Green entered the house his wife said: "Horace, what do you think?
Charles Herne has brought home a bride."

"A what?" said her husband.

"A bride," said his wife. "May be it's so long since you saw a bride,
you have entirely forgotten how one looks. You had better hustle round
and pony up that seventy-five dollars you are owing him. He will need it
to buy silks, satins and laces for the bride."

"Hell's to pay," said Green.

Early the same morning Henry Storms entered the "Crow's Nest" saloon in
Orangeville, where two men were talking over the bar to the
saloon-keeper. Storms, walking up to where they were, saluted them by
saying: "Hell's broke loose."

"What's up now?" said one of the men.

"Why," said Storms, "Charles Herne has got a running mate."

"Drinks for four," called out another man.

When the drinks were ready four men raised their glasses, one saying,
"Drink hearty to Charles Herne and his partner."

At the conclusion of the toast four glasses of whiskey were emptied down
four men's throats.

A man went down from his house to the road where his mailbox was nailed
to a redwood post. The stage was just coming in.

"Any news?" asked the man of the stage-driver as he took his mail.

"News!" said the driver. "I should say there was. They tell me that
Charles Herne has been, and gone, and done it."

Saunders, the merchant of Orangeville, told his customers that day that
"Charles Herne had got spliced."

Tim Collins took a span of kicking mules to Pierce, the blacksmith, to
be shod.

"Well, Tim, I got some news for you," said Pierce.

"What is it?" said Tim.

"Charles Herne has got hitched up."

Now one could not discern any perceptible change in Charles Herne, if it
were true that he had done all the many and varied things which his
neighbors stated he had; such as "Brought home a brand-new wife," "Got
him a woman," "Got a bride," "Got a running mate," "Been, gone, and done
it," "Got spliced," "Got hitched up," and so on.

The waves of ether in the atmosphere of Orangeville were pregnant with
all these sayings and produced such an effect on a number of ladies as
to make them call at different times at the Treelawn home.

When some of the ladies had made a call and had seen Mrs. Herne, and
these ladies saw some others in Orangeville who had not seen Mrs. Herne,
conversation did not drag. And as for speculation. Why the amount of
speculative genius displayed by certain ladies of that locality would
eclipse all speculative talent of Kant, Spencer and Mill. Listen to some
of the inquiries: "Is she proud?" "Is she pretty?" "Has she much style
about her?" "Do you think they will get along well together?" "Is she
fond of children?" "Will they have any babies?" "Is she fond of dress?"
"Is she a society lady?" "Do you think she will get lonesome?" "Can she
do housework?" "Is she much account with a needle?" "Is she close and
saving?" "Is she extravagant?" "Do you think she will put her foot down
on Charles Herne furnishing his men with so many luxuries?" "Is she
happy?" "Is she a scold?" "Will she wear the breeches?" and numerous
other questions which, like problems concerning the Universe, will take
time to solve.

Clara Herne was very happy in her new home as the wife of Charles Herne.
She found her duties light and pleasant. Everything in the house and
about the house was order and system, no friction, all harmony. She
remarked to her husband one evening: "It pays to have good help. Every
one here takes an interest in what he has to do and does it the very
best he knows how, cheerfully and willingly."

She respected her husband exceedingly for the generous way in which he
treated his men, and she helped him to still further their comforts.

On retiring one night after they had both spent the evening with their
men, which they often did, she said to her husband: "How good it is to
have love and respect between employers and employed. Every one speaks
in such a kind way; so considerate for the feelings and interests of
each one."

"Yes," said her husband, "it makes life worth living to treat your hired
help not as if they were merely machines for the use of getting so much
work out of them, but to live and act towards them as if they were men.
Better still to realize the thought always, that they are our brothers."

Charles and Clara Herne were very happy as man and wife, because they
were a social unit. They were one in their domestic and social natures;
they were fond of going out to parties, suppers and dances, and enjoyed
entertaining company; they were strictly moral, though not religious,
and occasionally attended church.

One evening about a year after they had been married, they were sitting
in front of the open fire, interesting themselves in talking about some
of the people in Orangeville who were at the party they had attended the
evening previous.

"I think last night's party was one of the best we have attended," said
Mrs. Herne.

"Yes," said her husband, "the Hammonds are great entertainers. They
always make it interesting and pleasant for every one who comes."

"Of course, their daughter Julia has a tact for receiving company and
making delicacies for a party," added Clara. "What taste she displayed
in the arrangement of the table. Then she herself is personally a great
attraction to the young men. I consider her the belle of Orangeville.
Her age I think is about twenty-one."

"Yes, but she has a most unusual development for that age. She has such
a commanding form, so erect; there is something very fascinating about
her expression; and those black eyes of hers denote a powerful
magnetism. No wonder she attracts men so strongly."

"She seemed to pay more attention to that young Webber, I thought, than
to any one else. Certainly, she smiled very sweetly upon him."

"You don't know Julia," said Mr. Herne, decidedly. "She is like a cat,
as meek as Moses or as full of deviltry as Judas Iscariot. She is just
playing with Webber and he is too vain and foolish to see it. Why, Julia
Hammond would not marry Webber if he were the last man in Orangeville.
The man she wants is Ben West, and she scarcely spoke to him during the
evening; in fact, did not pay him as much attention as she would have
paid to the merest stranger. In most girls such an action would be the
result of shyness and the desire to avoid observation; in Julia, I think
it arises from an inborn, stubborn pride which prevents her from
yielding even to such an uncontrollable feeling. She has an iron will
and though she knows she must yield eventually, she holds herself
defiantly as long as she can."

"I don't blame her for wanting Ben West, for he is the finest looking
and most popular young man in Orangeville," said Clara.

"He is, indeed," replied her husband. "Almost any girl in Orangeville
would be glad to marry him, but Julia wants him and she will get him. He
has not lost his heart so far, but Julia has not played her cards yet.
She knows her power and loves to use it. She would do anything to gain
her end."

"Why, dear, you seem to be well posted on Julia's disposition," said his
wife.

"You see," he replied, "I have known her ever since she has lived in
Orangeville, which has been twelve years. And now I am going to tell you
something that will surprise you. I got it straight from Hammond
himself, and he and I are close friends, as I have helped him
financially out of some hard places. Several times he has made me a
confidant. Only one or two in Orangeville know what I am going to tell
you.

"It seems that about four years after Mr. and Mrs. Hammond were married,
Mrs. Hammond received a letter from her cousin, Mrs. Featherstone,
saying that Nat Harrison, a mutual friend, had been shot dead in a
dispute over a faro game. He was under the influence of liquor at the
time of the trouble. He left a wife and a girl baby eighteen months old,
without any means of support, the mother being incompetent to take care
of either herself or the child, and the letter asked would Mrs. Hammond
like to adopt the baby. If so, Mrs. Featherstone was coming to San Diego
in about a month's time and would bring the child (the Hammonds lived at
San Diego then). The mother would make her home with her aunt.

"Mrs. Hammond said, after reading the letter, 'Poor Annie Harrison. Only
think. I sat beside her at the graduating exercises of Nat Harrison's
class, and remember how pleased she was at the applause which greeted
the oration delivered by Nat, "American Commerce." So many
congratulated him on his talent and thought he would become a rising
member of the bar, and his voice would be heard in the halls of
legislation of the nation.

"'Annie looked so pretty and sweet that day, you could not have bought
her prospects in life for a million dollars. She thought she had a jewel
of a lover, poor thing, she was so innocent of the nature of men. She
knew nothing of the world, for her mother always treated her as a baby,
never teaching her any self-reliance, and had kept her as a hot-house
plant. She grew up with no higher ideal in life for herself than to be
some rich man's toy and pet, under marriage. She was more adapted to be
a flower in the "Garden of Eden" than to fight the battle of life in the
present state of society.'

"Nat Harrison had money and was doing well when he married Annie, but
being a man of strong passions and appetites, Annie's freshness and
bloom soon wilted. Then he sought other pastures for his carnal
pleasures, and with that came drinking and gambling. When his estate was
settled up after his death they found he was in debt.

"Mr. and Mrs. Hammond talked the matter over and decided to adopt the
child. They were both much pleased when they received the baby from Mrs.
Featherstone and saw what a fine child she was. They have loved her and
done everything that parents could do for a child of their own to make
her happy. Julia brought lots of sunshine into their home, and
everything went all right and they took a great deal of comfort with her
till she got to be about fourteen and then she seemed to become
stubborn, grew inattentive to her studies, seemed to care less for her
girl companions, but was always with the boys. All she appeared to care
for was to be in their company. She took less interest in things in the
house, did not care about helping her mother, and would have odd spells.
Sometimes she took a notion to do up the work, and it was then done
quickly and well. Then for quite a time it would be like pulling teeth
to get her to do anything. She has the ability if she would only use
it. The last four years she has given Mr. and Mrs. Hammond many an
anxious thought, and they have wished that Ben West or some other such
man would marry her. They see the older she grows the more the hot blood
of her father shows in her. Hammond told me last night at the party that
Julia was great on dress parade, but was not there when it came to doing
the common every day duties of life with no excitement."

"Why, Charles, the narrative concerning Julia's life is very
interesting. Some of the people around us would be just as good material
for a novel as those we read about in fiction."



CHAPTER V.

BEN WEST.


About a week after Mr. Herne had told his wife the history of Julia
Hammond, Mr. Hammond, on going to the store for some trifle, was saluted
by Saunders, the merchant, with, "Heard the news, Hammond?"

Hammond said: "No. What is it?"

"Why, Ben West is going to the Klondike," said Saunders.

"Going to the Klondike!" said Hammond. "Why, I don't see what he has to
go there for. He is the only child, his father owns a fine ranch, and he
is always getting big jobs on roads and ditches, making three to four
dollars a day, because he can go ahead and knows just what to do and how
to do it. He has great muscular strength and can lift about twice as
much as any ordinary man."

"Oh, he wants to make a stake," said Saunders. "He is ambitious."

Wescott spoke up and said: "Ben is a rustler; he will get there every
time."

Hammond said: "He has lots of vim and pluck; has got sand and backbone
to him."

"Yes, he is a hummer," said Saunders.

"I tell you he has got some ambition and grit," said Stearns,
admiringly.

It was not long before the news spread all over Orangeville, that Ben
West was going to the Klondike, and the abilities which he possessed as
a worker and money maker, and an all round good fellow were the theme of
conversation in many a household and on many a ranch.

When the news reached the ears of the young ladies of Orangeville, most
of them felt a shade of disappointment, because Ben had been good to
them.

Not having shown any decided preference for one, he devoted his
attentions to many, and having a good fast team he was able to give the
young ladies many a pleasant ride to dances, parties and church, so he
was a great favorite with them all.

Just previous to Ben West's leaving Orangeville, a great farewell supper
and dance was given him. The attendance was very large. The young ladies
appeared in their best toilets. Julia looked superb and was very
graceful in her deportment. This evening she "played her cards" with
evident success, and the result was that as Ben West went home the
feeling that had been flickering for some time had now broken out into a
flame that fired his blood. Julia did indeed know her power and how to
use it, and she intended that some one else should be restless and
disturbed as well as herself. So that night there were two persons in
Orangeville who tried to sleep but could not. Ben West realized that
night that he had become a willing slave. Sometimes the thought seemed
pleasant, then again it would be galling in the extreme.

A few of the boys went to Roseland to see Ben off, and they had a time
"all to themselves" as they called it in Roseland, the night previous to
his departure. Ben West left with the best wishes and prayers for good
luck following him from all his friends.

When a rising, popular young man leaves his home and neighborhood for
the purpose of making his fortune, he is full of great expectations, and
this thought is shared by all his friends. He departs with the best
wishes following him, for his companions say: "If a man can strike it
rich he can." There does not seem the least doubt in their minds
regarding his success, for they have unbounded confidence in him. Now
the young man leaving is exceedingly alive to the expressions and
sentiments of his friends, and he feels that he must succeed or die in
the attempt. His attachment to name and fame and his personal self is so
strong, and he is so susceptible and negative to the good opinion of
those around him, that he feels he will never want to come back and show
himself among his friends unless he has struck it rich, for he knows
there is nothing that succeeds like success.

Talk about the idolatry of the heathen! Is there any idolatry in the
world that is stronger than that which is found in the so-called
"Christian" world in the year 1900? Where do you find any greater
idolatry than that which is bestowed on money and on woman? There are
more devotees at these two shrines than are to be found worshipping the
Divine. Look at a young man fortunate in the financial world. The first
year in speculations he makes fifty thousand dollars. The second year he
is worth two hundred thousand dollars. The third year he has made half a
million. The fourth year he has become a millionaire. Now listen to the
eulogies and encomiums passed upon him. He is the lion of the hour, the
hero of the day, for he has won the victory that to win fifty thousand
other men had tried and failed. He has attained the great end for which
most men think they were born, money making. What a number of young
ladies see so many excellent qualities in the rising young millionaire,
the "Napoleon of Finance." Note how his faults are all glossed over by
their mammas, who are ready to act as if they had received a retaining
fee as his attorneys, so ready are they to defend him at all times to
their daughters and friends. It seems to matter little about his
intellectual gifts or moral character. His financial success covers a
multitude of sins and weaknesses. Should a young lady raise one or two
slight objections in regard to the young millionaire's character, her
mother says: "Why, dear, all young men must sow their wild oats. You
must not expect to find a pure young man. All young men are fast more or
less. It would be hard to find an unmarried man that is moral. After
they are married they get steady and settle down."

Should a young lady of moderate means marry a young man who has made a
million dollars, there is more rejoicing by the members of her family
than if she had become a saint or a great angel of light. She thinks she
has attained the great end of her existence in marrying a millionaire
and making for herself name and fame and family position.

Should the young millionaire be a little liberal to a few of his
friends, he becomes more to them than the Lord himself. Other young men,
seeing and knowing all this, are putting forth every effort and
straining every nerve to be successful financiers. They realize that the
power of money is so great to-day in the eyes of many, that unless they
are successful money getters, they are no good to themselves or their
friends. They parody the verse in Proverbs something like this: "With
all thy getting, get money; get it honestly if you can, _but get it
anyway_."

Such is the gospel that is acted out in the commercial world to-day. All
good intentions, all right convictions, all wise counsels of religious
teachers, are side-tracked and become as a dead letter if they stand in
the way to successful money making.

Ben West knew what the sentiment of the people of Orangeville was
towards himself, and it fired his ambition to think of the expressions
conveyed to him by his friends, and his heart was fired still more when
he thought of the possibility of possessing the fine form of Julia
Hammond. He made up his mind that he would be willing to endure all
hardships, that he would leave no stone unturned in order to be
successful; for he saw before him the chance of getting a fortune and
the praise, adoration and admiration of the people of Orangeville.

The form of Julia Hammond seemed to float before the eyes of his mind
day and night; and when he saw, in his imagination, that face with its
sparkling black eyes, and the finely poised head, with its wavy black
hair, her well-rounded bust, and the handsome figure, it made him feel
like removing a mountain of dirt or penetrating the bowels of the earth,
to get the shiny metal which was to open for him the gates of his
earthly paradise.



CHAPTER VI.

STELLA WHEELWRIGHT.


One afternoon two men were digging post-holes and setting in redwood
posts on the side of one of the main roads in Orangeville. Everything
had been exceedingly quiet, not a team was seen since dinner. Nothing in
the way of excitement had happened to relieve the monotony of their
work. They were interested and delighted when they heard a noise, and,
looking down the road, saw a vehicle coming, but it was not near enough
to tell whose it was. When it got a little nearer one of the men said:
"Why, Alfred, it is the old man Wheelwright and his girl Stella."

Alfred replied to James, the man who has just spoken: "Stella was to
school at San José, and her father has been to Roseland to meet the
train which arrived this morning and bring her home."

"How she has grown," remarked James, "since she went away. She has
improved in her looks very much."

"Yes," said Alfred, "I think she will make a fine woman, for she has a
bright, intelligent eye, and they say she is real smart in her studies,
away ahead of most of the girls round here. She seems so different to
them. She comes of good stock; her mother is the brightest and best
woman in Orangeville, and her father is a well-posted man."

"You must be kind of stuck on her and her folks," replied his companion.
"I don't go so much myself on girls who have their heads in books all
the time. What does a fellow want with such a girl as that? She may be
all right to be a school marm, or woman's rights talker, but I don't
want any of them. I say to hell with book women. Give me a girl like
Nance Slater. She is round and plump, don't care much for books or
papers, but is bright and laughing all the day. She is the girl to have
lots of fun with, and when it comes to making a man a good wife, why,
she is the best cook in Orangeville. I was over to Slater's on an errand
the other morning about ten o'clock, and Nance was looking as pretty as
a picture; her cheeks had the blush of the peach on them; her eyes were
sparkling bright, her lips red, and when she laughed, her teeth looked
like the best and whitest ivory you ever saw. She had on such a pretty,
light, calico wrapper, and a white apron with a bib, and was busy taking
out of the oven some mince pies and just putting in some apple pies. She
had a kettle of doughnuts a frying, and a whole lot of cookie paste
ready to cut out and bake. She said: 'James, you must sample my
doughnuts. Mother, give James a cup of coffee to go with them; there is
some hot on the stove.' Nance is a trump. She is straight goods. The
trouble with those Wheelwrights is they live awful close, and instead of
cooking good meals, spend their time in reading books. They starve in
the kitchen to sit in the parlor. The devil take the books, I say. I
wouldn't give a book girl barn room for all the good she would be to
me."

Alfred replied: "That's all right; every fellow to his own girl, I say.
It would not do for all to be after the same one. As for me, I like
Stella. She has some stability of character. There is something
interesting about a girl like that, and if she don't care about doing
all the cooking, why, I can help her, if she will only let me enjoy her
company."

The sun went down and the men went each to his own home, being content
in their mind that each man should have his own choice.

Stella was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright, she being the
only child they ever had had. At the time she returned from school she
was sixteen and would have one year more in school. She was very
precocious, a thorough student, and would allow nothing to divert her
from her studies. She was at that age when the intellectual part of her
nature predominated, though the spiritual was just beginning to tinge
her mind with its coloring. She possessed a strong individuality; she
was a born investigator; would accept no statements without examining
them, and rebelled against a great many of the customs and usages of
society. She did her own thinking, and nothing seemed to please her more
than to take her investigating axe and cut away some of the roots which
held her free spirit in bondage. Problems seemed to be crowding on her
mind thick and fast, and she could not take the time from her studies to
do the necessary amount of reading and thinking to resolve them, and she
was looking forward to the time when her last year would expire. During
this vacation she took much physical exercise, for she did not believe
in developing one side of her nature at the expense of the other. She
rode horseback and climbed the sides of steep mountains, mixed with the
young people in their recreations, such as camping parties, picnics, and
social entertainments. In company she was bright, witty, and
entertaining. She had no fear; was full of confidence, and was better
balanced than her companions in that she was not carried away by
pleasures and the company of the opposite sex.

When she was not away from home on camping or picnic excursions, she
would find time to visit the cabin of an old man who lived alone, and
had sore eyes so that he could not see to read. She would read to him
whatever he liked, cheer him up by her bright, happy talk, and when she
left the old man often thought to himself that her comings were like
angels' visits, for she seemed to lift him up completely out of himself
into a new world. When she laid her head on her pillow at night, after
having spent the evening with old Andrews, she thought how much greater
a satisfaction she derived from hearing that old man say, on her leaving
him: "God bless you, Stella, you always bring sunshine to me," than she
did from even the most enjoyable pleasure excursion.

She bestowed the attractions and charm of her social and intellectual
nature less on those outside than those inside her home. You saw her at
her best when talking to her father and mother.

Some parents let their children outgrow them intellectually, so that
there is a great gulf fixed between parents and children, the latter
having nothing in common with the former. Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright tried
as much as possible to keep themselves in advance of their daughter's
intellectual growth, so that they might always command her respect for
their opinions, and that she might realize that in them she found two
interesting, intelligent companions, whom she could love and confide in.

The relationship between many parents and their grown children is very
unsatisfactory; for being on the material plane, there is nothing very
permanent in their relationship. The grown son and his father have only
in common business and social interests; that is their world; outside of
that neither one has any life that he realizes.

It is the same with the grown daughters and their mother. Their life is
mainly in the social and domestic world. Outside of that they apparently
have no existence; but the true ideal parents and children are those
whose life is in the intellectual and spiritual world. They cease to
exist in each other's minds as parents and children, and realize a
stronger and more permanent tie, and intellectual and spiritual union,
which is blessed, glorious, and eternal. They realize daily that "In Him
they live, and breathe, and have their being"; that they are immersed in
an ocean of Divine love, and that Divine love permeates them all through
and through; and that it is in that ocean of Divine love that they
realize that they are one. They feel a blessed nearness and dearness and
oneness to each other, though separated by oceans and continents, for
they have realized through sweet experience that the same intelligent
spiritual thought and love pulses through them all as if they were one
organism.



CHAPTER VII.

PENLOE.


One afternoon Mrs. Herne received a caller. It was Mrs. Cullom. She had
met Mrs. Herne twice at parties and promised to call on her each time,
but for various reasons she had not been able to fulfil her promise.

After the usual introductory talk, Mrs. Cullom said:

"Did you ever see Penloe or his mother, Mrs. Lanair?"

"No," said Mrs. Herne, "who are they?"

Mrs. Cullom replied: "They live up about a mile above where I do. It's
rather lonesome where I live, but it is a very lonesome place where they
live. It is not a good road over there. I don't suppose you were ever on
that road were you?"

"No," said Mrs. Herne, "I have never been over there. Charles said it
was out of the way and a poor road, being muddy in winter and very dusty
in summer."

"Well," said Mrs. Cullom, "Mrs. Lenair has been on that place about two
years. She seems pleasant, but so different from most women. The second
time I called on her, I got there about two o'clock, and I thought I
would have a nice afternoon chat. So I began talking to her about my
work, and telling her how I worked my butter, and talking to her about
my cooking, and I tried to get her to talk, but she would only say a few
words about such things. About five minutes was as long as I could get
her to talk about her butter and cooking. Why, some women would talk by
the hour on such subjects. Now, she did not appear stuck up or proud,
she seemed so pleasant, her face being very bright and pleasing; and
there seemed to be such a feeling of restfulness about her that I liked
to be with her; but she seems to have so little to say about matters we
are all so much interested in. I could not get her to talk about
herself, so I asked about Penloe, if he was at home. She said, yes, he
had returned from San Francisco last week; that he had been away three
months. That surprised me, Mrs. Herne, because I did not think they were
people who had money to spend in visiting and seeing the sights of a
great city. Why, look at their place, it is not much; she sold the fruit
on the trees for two hundred dollars, and outside of the orchard they
have only pasture enough for four head of stock. Their house has four
rooms, the kitchen is the only room I have been in, but it is kept very
neat. I said to her: 'Does Penloe have much business in San Francisco?'
She smiled and said he had business as long as he washed dishes in a
restaurant. That just took my breath away, for to see Penloe you would
think he would be the last man in the world to do work like that. I
cannot tell you how he looks, but he looks so different from the young
men about here; nothing like them at all. He has a face that I like, but
I don't know him enough to say much to him.

"Well, after they had been on that place about eighteen months or so, I
said to Dan one morning after breakfast, that I did not feel like going
out to-day, but I wanted some one here to talk to, and I wished him to
hitch up Puss and Bess and go right up and get Mrs. Lenair to come down
and spend the day with me, and to tell her that when she wished to go
home I would take her back. 'Now, if you don't get a move on you, Dan,'
I said, 'you will come home and find a cold stove and no dinner and your
cook gone.' Dan moved round like a cat on hot bricks. That kind of talk
fetches men to time. I did not have to cook much for dinner because the
day before was Dan's birthday. Dan had killed a veal two days previous
and I made two kinds of rich cake, two kinds of pies, and some cream
puffs. They were very rich. Dan is fond of high living, and he ate very
heartily of it all. I laughed at him, and said I never saw a man that
liked to dig his grave with his teeth so well as he did. So you see I
could get up a good dinner for Mrs. Lenair without having to cook much.
It was not long after Dan left before Mrs. Lenair was with me. Well,
after she had taken off her things and we chatted awhile, I thought I
would tell her the news, as she never goes out anywhere. So I said: 'Did
you hear what a hard time Mrs. Dunn had in confinement? The doctor
thought he would have to take the child with instruments;' but Mrs.
Lenair kept looking out of the window, and all she said was, 'Is that
so?' So I said: 'I suppose you have heard about Mrs. Warmstey's case.
She had a doctor from Orangeville and two from Roseland.' Just as I said
that, she rose from her chair and said so sweetly: 'Mrs. Cullom, I do
want to go out and look at your flowers; they look beautiful from the
window.'

"Well, I was clean took off my feet, because I was just beginning to
tell the most interesting part of Mrs. Warmstey's case. I said: 'Why,
yes, Mrs. Lenair,' and I went out with her. She began to be so chatty I
thought she was some one else for awhile. She appeared delighted with my
flowers, and called them such crack-jaw names, and told me all about
their families, and what relation they were to each other. Why, to hear
her talk, you would think flowers had babies, she went on so about male
and female plants. Then she told me that flowers breathed, and told me
all about their coloring, and how they attracted the bee and dusted
themselves on him, and much more I cannot remember. She talked to and
petted them as if they were alive. You would have thought she had been a
flower herself, the way she went on. She said something about the
pencilings and colorings of the Almighty being in the tulips.

"When we returned to the house my back was feeling kind of lame, and
gave me one or two of those twister pains. I said: 'Oh, my back! It has
got one of its spells on.' Mrs. Lenair said it would soon go away, and,
to my surprise, it did. Only had it about half an hour, and generally
those spells last me all day. I said: 'Mrs. Lenair, do you have any
ailments? I never hear you complain, if you do.' She said she had not
an ache nor pain in her body for a number of years. I threw my hands up
in astonishment, and said: 'You don't say so?' 'That is the truth,' she
said. And I believe her, for she looks ten years younger than she really
is. 'Why,' I said, 'how different you are from the girls and women
around here. Most all the girls not married are ailing more or less, and
about every married woman has her aches and pains. I can't make you
out.'

"Mrs. Lenair laughed, and said: 'If I were like other women I should be
ailing as they are.' Well, I got up just as good a dinner as I knew how.
I put on the table fried ham and eggs, baked veal, potatoes, peas,
canned tomatoes, red currant jelly, fig preserve, canned nectarines,
cream puffs, grape pie, lemon pie, plain cake, and frosted cake; and we
had coffee, chocolate, and milk to drink. I did want her to make out a
good meal, because I thought she never cooked much at home. Well, what
do you think? I could not get her to eat any meat. 'Why,' I said, 'I
would starve if I did not have meat two or three times a day with my
meals.' She said she had not eaten meat for seventeen years, and was
much better without it. She just ate a little potatoes, one egg, some
nectarines, bread and butter, and drank a little milk. I told her she
must try my cream puffs if she would not eat any cake or pie. At last I
did get her to eat a cream puff. That woman don't eat much more than
would keep a mouse alive, and yet she is so hearty and well. I told her
as she ate so little, Dan and I would have to make up for her. And we
did, for we ate as if it were a Thanksgiving dinner. Dan and I say it is
our religion not to die in debt to our stomachs. After dinner I felt
more like sleep than anything else, and I said, 'Mrs. Lenair, let you
and me take a nap.' That seemed to please her, so she laid down on the
lounge and I went and laid on my bed. About an hour later I returned to
the room where I had left Mrs. Lenair.

"'Well,' I said, 'I have just had the boss sleep and feel so much
better. I hope you had a good nap.'

"Mrs. Lenair said, 'I have had a pleasant time lying here, though I did
not sleep any.'

"'Why,' I said, 'I could not lie that way. If I was not sleeping I would
be nervous, and want to be sitting up or moving about.'

"Then I said to her: 'I should think you must get terribly lonesome up
at your place, your son having been away so much, and you all alone with
no one to talk to.'

"She said: 'I haven't known what it was to be lonesome since I have
lived on the place.'

"'Why,' I said, 'I would not live like you do for ten dollars a day.'
She smiled, and said, 'You could not.'

"'I don't see how you can stand it,' I said, 'for it is all I can do to
keep from being lonesome here with Dan, and a team to take me anywhere.
I have more callers in a week than you have in a year. I am fond of
company and so is Dan.'

"Mrs. Lenair said: 'All you have just said, Mrs. Cullom, shows your
life, your world; we all have different worlds,' she added.

"I could hardly understand just what she meant, so I changed the subject
and thought I would talk to her about Penloe.

"'Is he home now,' I asked.

"She said, 'Yes,' he had got through his work and would be at home most
of the time.

"I said: 'Did he ever do any of the kind of work he has been doing at
the different places he worked at before he came to Orangeville? For he
don't look to me,' I said, 'as if he had worked on a ranch or done road
work much.'

"She said, 'He never had done hard work till we came to Orangeville,
having only returned to this country from India about a month before
coming here, and when we were in India, Penloe went to the University of
Calcutta as soon as he was ready to enter as a student. I lived in that
city nineteen years.'

"'Why, have you lived in India,' I said.

"Yes,' she answered. 'I left New York a year after I was married. My
husband represented a New York company in India. He died six years ago,
but we continued to reside there until Penloe finished his University
course.'

"I was clean taken back by what she said. I said, 'It's none of my
business, Mrs. Lenair, but I don't see why a fine looking young man like
Penloe, with the education you say he has had, don't get light, pleasant
work, if he has to work out, instead of working at such hard places with
the toughest crowds of men.'

"All she said was: 'That is his work.'

"Why, Mrs. Herne, do you know that he worked on the streets of the city
of Chicago, and for three months with a gang of a thousand men on the
Coast Railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco! Then he was at the
Oakdale cattle ranch, cowboying it, with that fast gang of boys that
they keep there. Then he worked for awhile at the Simmons ranch, which
is four miles from Roseland, and Simmons always keeps the hardest crew
of men on his place. They go to Roseland every other night or so and
dance at those low dancing-houses with bad women. They get drunk, fight,
and swear all the time. Simmons' ranch has got the name of being the
toughest place to work anywhere round here.

"One day when Dan was in Roseland, he saw a man he knew from the Simmons
ranch, so he thought he would hear what the fellow had to say about
Penloe, as we both are curious to find out all we can about that
singular young man.

"Dan said: 'Is Penloe working on the Simmons ranch?'

"The man said: 'Yes.'

"Dan said: 'How does he get along?'

"'Get along!' the man said. 'All I have to say is I wish I could get
along as well.'

"Dan said: 'What kind of a chap is he, anyway? I kind of want to know,
as he is a neighbor of mine.'

"'Well,' the man said, 'I will tell you, and then you can judge for
yourself. I never heard him swear or knew of his telling a lie; he don't
drink or tell smutty yarns, or have anything to do with bad women. The
boss says he works well, and when he is not at work he never joins the
boys in their foolish talk. He is by himself a great deal, praying, I
reckon, but he is very sociable if any one will talk sense. Let me tell
you what he did which will show you what kind of a man he is. One cold,
chilly night in December, when we were all sleeping in the barn, each
man having his own blankets, the boys had just turned in when a tramp
came in and asked if he could sleep in the barn. One of the boys said,
'Yes.' The fellow lay down on the hay without any blankets, and as soon
as he was laid down his teeth began to chatter and he shook all over,
for he had a chill. Penloe instantly got up and lit a lantern, took his
blankets over to the tramp and said: 'Here, brother, you have got a
chill. Take my blankets and roll yourself up in them; you will be better
in the morning.' From where I lay I could just see the tramp's face, for
Penloe was holding the lantern so the light went on his face. The fellow
looked up at Penloe thunderstruck. I guess he never had a man speak to
him that way before. He said: 'Well, stranger, you are mighty kind.' So
Penloe helped him to roll the blankets round him, and then he went and
lay down on the hay himself without any covering. The boys did a heap of
thinking that night, but said nothing. The next morning Penloe asked the
tramp how he was, and he said he slept pretty well, but he looked real
miserable, as though he had not had a good square meal for a month and
was weak from chills. Penloe said to the tramp: 'You stay here till I
come back,' and he went to see the boss and told him there was a sick
tramp in the barn, and would he let him stay there and eat at the same
table with us till he got well and strong, and that the boss should take
the tramp's board out of his wages. The boss asked a few questions,
studied awhile, then said, all right, he didn't care. Penloe went back
to the tramp and told him he had seen the boss and he could stay there
till he got well and strong, and to eat his meals with them and it would
not cost him a cent. Tears came in the tramp's eyes, and he tried to
say, 'Thank you, stranger.'

"During the day one of the men told the boss what Penloe had done last
night; about giving his blankets up to a tramp and laying all night
himself without any covering. After supper the boss called Penloe and
told him there was a bed for him in the house, and he wanted him to
sleep in it as long as the tramp was here, and as for the tramp, he
would let the fellow stay here and board till he got a job in the
neighborhood. He would not charge a cent for his board to Penloe. He
himself had no work for the tramp.

"When the boys heard what Simmons said and did in regard to the tramp
and Penloe, one of them said he was more taken back than if he had seen
the devil come out of hell.

"'For you know, Dan,' the man said, 'Old Simmons is a hard nut and as
close-fisted as he can be. Some of the boys think now he has got the
Penloe fever. I think he got a straight look into Penloe's eyes and saw
and felt something he never had seen and felt before. Penloe is a power
when you know him.

"The tramp stayed three days and got well. We thought it would be a
month before he would be well enough to go to work, but it is that
Penloe's doings, I know. He must have some power for healing like they
say Christ had. Penloe is never sick. Heat or cold, dry or wet, seem
just the same to him.

"'The boss got the tramp a job at Kent's ranch. When he left he gave
Penloe his hand, seemed to tremble a moment, tried to speak, but walked
away without uttering a word. Penloe told the boss that the way the
tramp bid him good-bye and thanked him was eloquently touching and
powerful. The boss is very much changed; he is not so close and hard,
and you now see a few smiles on his wife's face, where before you only
saw lines of sadness; and the children, instead of being scared, as they
used to be when they heard his footsteps coming, now run to meet him and
hang around him.

"'Simmons says Penloe was the making of him and family. Simmons has a
high-priced fancy mare that the boys always have said he thought more of
than he did of his family, and no one ever drove her but himself. He
would not loan her out to any one for a day for fifty dollars, yet now
the boys say 'he would let Penloe have the mare to go to hell and back.'

"'Some of the boys also seem to have caught the fever, and it has made a
great change in their lives. Penloe will leave the Simmons ranch soon,
but his influence is there to stay. The man said, 'If you have any more
men like Penloe in Orangeville, send them down this way, for these God
forsaken ranches need men like him!'

"Dan says Penloe is like his mother in regard to tramps. Why, that woman
was all alone, and a tramp called at her house to get a job of work. He
said work was scarce and he had no money and needed some food; that he
was hungry. He told Dan some time afterwards that before she replied she
gave him a close look all over. He said her eye seemed to penetrate him,
and after scrutinizing him very closely, she said: 'Come in, friend, you
can stay here till you can find work.' She set before him plenty of
good, hearty food, put a napkin to his plate, and talked to him
interestingly about matters which seemed to make him feel that he was a
better man. What do you think Mrs. Lenair had him do, Mrs. Herne? Why,
he was shown into the bathroom, and given one of Penloe's night-gowns,
and after he had taken his bath she had him sleep in her spare bedroom.
'Why,' I said to Mrs. Lenair, 'how could you do such a thing? I would no
more have done it than I would have slept in a room with a rattlesnake.'

"She said, 'Mrs. Cullom, that man is my brother, and I treated him as
such, and that thought was so impressed on his mind that it touched his
better nature, and he could only think of me with the best and purest of
feelings. I know that it was impossible for that man to hurt me. I fear
no human being in this world.' The tramp stayed at her house for five
days, and at the end of that time he got a chance at harvesting on the
Thornton ranch. When he came to take leave of Mrs. Lenair, she said to
him: 'You have put in five good full days' work, and here is five
dollars for you'--handing him a five-dollar gold piece. He said: 'You
did not hire me to work, and for what little I have done you have paid
me a thousand times more than it is worth, in your conduct towards me.
You took me, a poor, miserable, worthless, homeless tramp into your
home, as if I had been your own brother, and you acted the true sister
towards me. Now I wish to play the brother's part by giving you my work.
It is the only thing I can do to show you how I appreciate your sisterly
kindness toward me. I can earn all the money I need now at the Thornton
ranch. I shall never forget you, because you are the only woman I ever
met that received me and treated me as a sister would her brother; and
if you ever need any work done on your place, and you have not the money
to pay for its being done, remember I am your brother, and will do it
gladly; more so than if you paid me two dollars a day.' She thanked him
and said he had better take the five dollars, and laid it down on the
table for him to take. He said he never would take it, and left it
there. His last words to her were, 'I am going to be a new man.'

"Dan was on an errand to her place while the tramp was there. He saw him
working in the orchard as if he was trying to do two days' work in one.
Dan said he couldn't hire a man to work as he was working.

"I was rather amused at Dan," continued Mrs. Cullom. "When I returned
from having taken Mrs. Lenair home in the evening (on the day that I
told you that Dan went and brought her in the morning to spend the day),
Dan came and took the team. 'Caroline,' he said, 'if you send me after
Mrs. Lenair many times more I shall be falling in love with her, for I
think she is real good, as well as being smart and bright.' 'What! Dan
Cullom,' I said. 'She wouldn't have an awful talking man like you, even
if you had a diamond on the end of every hair on your head.'"

When Mrs. Cullom was about to leave, Mrs. Herne said: "I have enjoyed
your visit so much, Mrs. Cullom. You have got me interested in Penloe
and his mother. I do so want to see them."

That evening Mrs. Herne related part of Mrs. Cullom's conversation to
her husband and asked him if he knew Penloe or his mother.

"Penloe I have seen a few times, but his mother I have never seen,"
replied he.

"What kind of a man is he?" asked his wife.

"Well," said Charles, "I hardly know him. He is certainly a remarkable
appearing young man. He is so different in his looks and expression from
any man I have ever met or seen; so different from the kind that I have
always associated with, that I could be no judge of such a man any more
than I could be a judge of millinery or silks and satins, for I have had
just about as much to do with one as I have with the other."

"Well," said his wife, "I want you to arrange in some way so we can meet
them, for I am all worked up over them after what Mrs. Cullom has told
me, and am very curious to see them."

"Something will happen in some way, so that we will meet them," he
replied.



CHAPTER VIII.

BEN WEST'S EXPERIENCE IN THE KLONDIKE.


At the time Ben West went to the Klondike, a long tedious journey on a
trail had to be made. He realized that whatever ability he possessed for
making his way in that country, he lacked experience as a miner. So he
was on the lookout to see if he could find one or two men of experience.
He met many men on his journey, some of them having had most remarkable
experience in mining and everything else. He met a man by the name of
Adams that he thought would fill the bill; for he said he had mined in
Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada. From the talk Ben West had with
different men, he knew now that he was in a country where men had no
known reputations to back them; where every man was looked upon by every
other man as being "on the make," without any scruples of conscience;
where you would be laughed at if you took in all men said about
themselves; where a man's word was worth very little and the only thing
that counted was "something was in sight."

Adams told Ben West if he wished to secure his services, he would have
to pay his expenses to Dawson City and give him five hundred dollars in
cash before leaving Dawson City to go prospecting, and furnish him all
supplies, and he, in return, would give Ben West half of whatever he
found. Ben West, having several thousand dollars with him, was willing
to take chances, and hired Adams. He also met another man in his travels
who had had some experience, but was "dead broke." His name was Dickey,
and he told Ben West if he would grub and stake him and give him one
hundred dollars in cash when in Dawson City, he would give him half of
what he found. Ben West agreed to Dickey's proposition, and the three
men traveled together to Dawson City.

Their journey was of a most tedious, trying character, the weather being
disagreeable in the extreme. It rained more or less every day, making
the travel exceedingly slow and difficult; it being so muddy and
slippery, you seemed as if you went two steps backward to every one you
went forward. The trail in many places was washed out and had to be
repaired before they could proceed. In some places land-slides had
blocked the trail, and it involved a great amount of labor to clear them
off. Everything around Ben West was of a most discouraging nature. What
with being cold and wet all day; leg weary in the extreme when night
came; bill of fare very meagre, consisting of bread, beans, bacon, and
coffee, the men he hired sometimes felt like throwing up the sponge. For
they met many returning who said the country was hell and no good; many
were sick lying along the side of the trail; some were dying, and they
saw some dead; also a good many dead pack animals were seen. His
surroundings were certainly blue.

One morning he awoke very early, long before it was time to rise. It was
raining hard, and the thought came to him, another long tedious wet
day's journey; how much longer would this fearful traveling last? Would
they ever reach Dawson City, or would they, like many others, die on the
road? Then he thought, why was he here? He could not help contrasting
the difference between his environments here and those in Orangeville.
Here all around him was black, barren, cold, wet, and dismal; with
nearly every one cursing the country and calling it hell; and some felt
like calling for some small boy to kick them because they were fools
enough to come here.

Then he thought of his parents in Orangeville with every comfort inside,
and a perfect paradise of fruits and flowers outside. He thought of
California's lovely skies, its balmy, invigorating breezes, and its
many, many sunny days. He said, what would the people who are
journeying along here think if they had a climate like that in
Orangeville, which is matchless this side of heaven? He continued
interrogating himself. Why did I come here? Did I not always have more
of the very best and greatest variety of food than I could eat? Yes. Did
I not always have more fine clothes than I could wear? Yes. Did I not
always have more money than I needed to spend? Yes. Could a man be more
popular than I was in Orangeville? No. In short, could a man have a much
better all round time anywhere than I had in Orangeville? No. Then why
am I here in this strange country, away from friends and loved ones? A
small voice whispered to Ben West, and said: "It is because of your love
for popularity, your greed, and because you are a slave to Julia
Hammond." It was the name of Julia Hammond that roused Ben West from his
reverie, that caused him to be restless, to rise, to proceed on his
journey, and bring his iron will to bear, to overcome all obstacles.

After enduring over thirty days of disagreeable, rainy, muddy weather,
it changed to cold, freezing weather, with snow falling. Many more
hardships the party endured before reaching Dawson City.

When they arrived at Dawson City they felt very rocky and completely
played out. The first week they were in Dawson City, they just rested
and took care of themselves and got well and recuperated. Then Adams
said to Ben West he wanted his money. So Ben gave him his five hundred
dollars, and he also paid Dickey one hundred.

So, after Adams got his money, he said: "Come West, let's see the
sights."

Ben said: "I am here to make money, not to fool it away."

Adams said: "Why, West, we have had hell enough in getting here; let's
have some fun to-night. Come, West, and see the show and take in the
elephant."

Ben West said: "Adams, I know now where most of your money goes that
you have made mining; but women and whiskey will not get mine."

"Go slow, West, these girls are not respectable according to rules and
regulations of society, and I don't say they are, but look out and see
_that some one woman_ does not get away with your money. She may be
considered respectable as the world goes, but there may not be a great
difference between the one woman and these girls. I have seen the world,
West, and men like you before."

Adams' remark had the effect of taking the sails out of Ben West's
self-righteous spirit, and he said nothing more.

It was agreed among the three that they would remain in Dawson City
another week and then they would go prospecting.

The day before starting to go, Ben West thought he had better get his
men, so he went round to the saloons, dives and dance-houses. After
searching about all such places, he found Adams in a dance-house, and
Dickey in the corner of a saloon. Both men were busted and seemed glad
to have Ben come and take care of them. By the next day he got both men
straightened out, and they proceeded on their prospecting tour. Ben West
was determined to learn from Adams all he could in the way of mining.
After they had been out about a week, Ben sent Dickey in one direction
while he and Adams went in another. He watched Adams very closely and
learned lots from him. When they had been together about a month, Ben
West was getting tired of Adams for several reasons. One day he was
prospecting about a quarter of a mile from Adams, when he found
something rich. He brought a few samples to camp at night and showed
them to Adams. When Adams looked at the samples, he said: "West, you
have struck it." So the next day Adams went with Ben to see the mine,
and by doing more work it proved to be all that Ben West had expected.
Now that a mine had been found, Adams wanted to get a settlement with
Ben West, as he had been away some time and wanted to get back to Dawson
City. Ben West did not think he owed Adams anything, as Adams had not
found the mine, but for some reason Adams thought he ought to have an
interest in what West found; so they had some wordy trouble. After many
hot words, Ben West agreed to give Adams two thousand dollars, which
offer Adams accepted and then returned to Dawson City to see and enjoy
more fun as he called it. Two weeks later an agent representing the
North American Mining Syndicate bought Ben West's claim for fifty
thousand dollars, giving him a draft for forty thousand and ten thousand
in gold coin.

For a few weeks afterwards Ben West felt rich, then, strange to relate,
a feeling came over him that he was poor, and must make at least half a
million. About a month after he had sold his claim, he met three men
from his native State, California. He was glad to see men from his
State, and they were glad to see him, when they heard him say that he
had sold a claim, as they had very little money and might need some
financial help. Ben West found their company very entertaining and liked
to be with them. After awhile it was decided that all of them should go
in as partners. When they had been out prospecting a few weeks as
partners, it is singular to have to state that there was trouble over
every little show of a claim, and many other matters caused
unpleasantness, though before they became partners they were all great
friends. But the partnership business seemed to make them all at outs
with each other. After they had been out awhile prospecting, Ben West
found out that two of his partners were tender-footed men, never having
had any experience as miners, though they at first tried to make Ben
think they had.

"I have got through with partners," said Ben West, "and from this time
on I will prospect alone; then what I find will belong to me, and no
second party can claim a share and growl because he can't have it all.
Besides, this partnership is a failure after all. There is more or less
trouble all the time about cooking, packing, getting the fuel for fire,
cleaning up, and putting the things away afterwards. Then how will it
be if a good prospect is found? I shall have all the work to do and only
get half." This resolve was made after a long hard journey of several
days, over a rough slippery trail with now and then deep snow to wade
through, and also over rocky points that one is almost sure to find in
the mountains.

The two tender-footed men were good fellows, but, like too many others,
when the novelty of the enterprise began to develop into a stern
reality, and there was manual labor to be performed, and hardships to be
endured, and some personal sacrifices to be made, they began to lose
heart, get homesick and weary, and to shirk their part; also to be surly
and disagreeable. "We won't quarrel," said Ben West, "but when we get to
Antelope Springs we will divide our stores and then each one will 'shift
for himself,' as the saying is."

In a few days they arrived at the Springs and at once divided the
supplies. After a couple of days' stay, Ben West started out again
prospecting, and slow tedious work he found it. He toiled day after day,
tired and weary at night, but blessed with a night of sweet sound sleep
so that in the morning he was fresh and ready for another day's work.
Things went on in this way for awhile, then he came to a place that had
been tried but abandoned. Here he worked for about two days and found
what he was looking for. But it was not rich, though his hopes seemed to
revive once more. Here he brought his camping outfit and went to work in
good earnest for about ten days. He took out from fifteen to thirty
dollars per day, and the prospect looked favorable. A party offered him
twenty thousand dollars for his claim, but he refused it, and after some
bargaining he sold it for thirty thousand dollars.

He decided now to not only prospect himself but to stake others for a
half interest in what they found. Amongst them was a young fellow by the
name of Lane, of doubtful reputation, and his partner Bruce. Ben West
gave them a six weeks' outfit to go to a part of the country that had
not been looked over at all. After they had been gone about four weeks
Bruce, Lane's partner, came into camp and wanted Ben West. He was out in
the hills looking for another claim, but Bruce went after him to get him
to go with him to where Lane was, for they had found a good prospect
that was very rich. After getting together the few necessary things that
they needed, off the two men went, and sure enough it was a rich mine,
one that was paying three to six hundred dollars per day. "Now," said
Ben West, "I am opposed to any partnership business, and will sell or
buy. Just one half of this claim is mine. I will take twenty-five
thousand dollars or agree to give you the same amount for your half; and
would like an answer at once or as soon as you can decide."

Lane and Bruce talked the matter over and finally concluded to sell. "It
is a bargain," said Ben West, "and we will now go back to town and I
will give you your money."

It looked stormy before bedtime and next morning the snow was quite
deep. Though the snow was still falling, they were anxious to get to
town; so they started on the tedious journey of sixty miles through the
snow, then over a foot deep. Their progress was slow and they did not
make half the distance; being exhausted, they stopped for food and rest.
After eating a cold lunch, they fixed a place and spread their slender
allowance of bedding and turned in for the night. It was bitter cold,
but they were tired; so it was not long before they were all soundly
sleeping. When they awoke in the morning they realized that a very hard
day's travel was before them, having about forty miles to make before
supper.

When Ben West got up he did not feel quite right, for one of his feet
felt kind of odd. It did not take Lane long to find out the foot had
been slightly frozen. So to work they went and thawed it out, wrapped it
up well and started. It did not snow now, but it was cold. Their
progress was slow. When they had traveled about ten miles, Bruce said:
"I will push ahead and get a sled and some of the boys to come and meet
you, so make all the distance you can."

"All right," said West, "send four men with a sled and something to eat.
I will pay the bill and the men for coming."

Bruce arrived in town some time after dark, but though very tired and
hungry he did not eat until he had started four good stout men after his
comrades, whom they met some nine or ten miles out. Poor Ben West could
go no further, for his foot was quite painful, and he and Lane both
waited and watched for relief, which came at last. It was almost
midnight when the relief party arrived. They brought a fine lunch and a
bottle of wine, which both enjoyed very much. After the lunch was eaten
all hands started for the town, where they arrived just as the day was
breaking. The frozen foot proved to be worse than at first supposed to
be. It would keep the owner an invalid for at least two weeks. Ben West
said: "Here is a pretty mess. My fortune just at my fingers' end and a
frozen foot tied up for half a month, when I have so much to do. Why did
I not take better care of myself?"

At this time Bruce came to see how Ben West was getting along. He found
him nervous and a little feverish. "Just be quiet," said Bruce, "it is
the best medicine you can have." After Ben West had paid Lane and Bruce
for their claim, Bruce said to West: "If you like I will go with another
man, that you may name, and work in your mine until you come to us. For
my pay I want fourteen dollars per day and I'll furnish my own grub."
The bargain was made. Bruce and the man started the next day, and just
sixteen days after Ben West was at his mine.

They had a large pile of pay dirt ready for a clean-up; it was
exceedingly rich and several claim buyers had heard about the rich mine
and were on the ground to buy it from West. After a great deal of talk
West said: "The mine is worth a million, but I want to get out of this
country, and the man that pays me five hundred and fifty thousand
dollars gets the mine."

An hour afterwards the agent for an English syndicate purchased the
mine. Ben West having now made his pile determined to lose no time in
getting back to Orangeville, but he intended to stay in San Francisco
till he was thoroughly recuperated before going home.



CHAPTER IX.

AN ARRIVAL.


George Combe has said, "Mankind love their young and take charge of them
with common accord, yet the love of offspring is much more intense in
the female than in the male, and this difference is manifested from
earliest infancy. The boy wants his whip, horse, drum, top or sword, but
observe the little girl occupied with her doll. She decks it in fine
clothes, prepares for it night linen, puts it into the cradle, rocks it,
takes it up, feeds it, scolds it, and tells it stories. When she grows
older she takes charge of her younger brothers and sisters. Nothing
possesses, in her estimation, greater charms than babies. When she has
grown to maturity and become herself a mother, with what sweet emotion
and gushing tenderness does she caress her little ones."

While the love of offspring is more or less strong in all, yet it does
not manifest itself if there are other tendencies predominant in the
character. Take a woman in whom the love of dress and society is most
active; she will not care for offspring, if her circumstances are such
that it would debar her from enjoying style or society; or if the
artistic inclination is the strongest in her character she would not
want offspring; or if great intellectual tastes are very strong and love
of children only moderate, she would not want offspring; or where
persons have consecrated themselves fully and unreservedly to a
spiritual life in order to become spiritual parents to many, to them
offspring would be a hindrance in their work. But where the domestic
faculties are the strongest, the home is lonesome without children. In
some the maternal instinct is exceedingly strong, for it manifests
itself to such an extent as to become the ruling passion; nothing else
but offspring can satisfy them. And this maternal passion is expressed
in matchless language by Mr. Stephen Phillips:[1] "Lucrezia's sudden
outburst of grief and rage against her lonely fate is, poetically
speaking, one of the finest passages in the play:"

[Footnote 1: Literary Digest, Dec., 1899.]

    GIOVANNI.
            Lucrezia! this is that old bitterness.

    LUCREZIA.
            Bitterness--am I bitter? strange, oh strange!
            How else? My husband dead and childless left.
            My thwarted woman--thoughts have inward turned,
            And that vain milk like acid in me eats.
            Have I not in my thought trained little feet
            To venture, and taught little lips to move
            Until they shaped the wonder of a word?
            I am long practiced. Oh, those children, mine,
            Mine, doubly mine; and yet I cannot touch them.
            I cannot see them, hear them--Does great God
            Expect I shall clasp air and kiss the wind
            Forever, and the budding cometh on?
            The burgeoning, the cruel flowering;
            At night the quickening splash of rain, at dawn
            That muffled call of babes how like to birds;
            And I amid these sights and sounds must starve
            I with so much to give perish of thrift!
            Omitted by His casual dew!

    GIOVANNI.
            Well, well,
            You are spared much; children can wring the heart.

    LUCREZIA.
            Spared! to be spared what was I born to have,
            I am a woman, and this very flesh
            Demands its natural pangs, its rightful throes,
            And I implore with vehemence these pains.
            I know that children wound us, and surprise
            Even to utter death, till we at last
            Turn from a face to flowers; but this my heart
            Was ready for these pangs, and had foreseen
            Oh! but I grudge the mother her last look
            Upon the coffined form--that pang is rich--
            Envy the shivering cry when gravel falls
            And all these maimed wants and thwarted thoughts,
            Eternal yearning, answered by the wind,
            Have dried in me belief and love and fear.
            I am become a danger and a menace,
            A wandering fire, a disappointed force,
            A peril--do you hear, Giovanni? Oh,
            It is such souls as mine that go to swell
            The childless cavern cry of the barren sea,
            Or make that human ending to night wind.

In Mrs. Charles Herne, this feeling was not quite as strong as that
expressed in the play, but after they had been married two years, she
did some quiet thinking in that line. She would sit alone at times, and
let her imagination be active in the thought, what delight it would give
her if when her husband came in the room where she was, she could take
him over to a little crib and turn back the corner of a fancy worked
cover and show him such a sweet, wee, little face nestled on the pillow,
and what joy it would give her, when her husband came in from his work
to put a little one into his arms and see how delighted he would be to
take the child, and then see him sit down and hear him use language
which belongs to baby talk. Again she thought what pleasure it would
give her to start a little toddling form down the pathway to meet her
husband, and to see the little one stand still when it met its father,
and raise its little arms to be taken up. All these thoughts and many
more passed through the mind of Mrs. Herne, for she now knew for a
certainty that such joys would be hers, and many a pleasant laugh and
joke she and her husband had over the coming of a little tot.

One day a little later there was started in the most sacred room in the
house a vibration by the doctor which reached the auditory nerve of the
nurse conveying to the brain a most joyous statement, "It is a boy." The
nurse carried it to the kitchen, "It is a boy." The Chinaman cook
carried it to the Jap chore boy, "It is a boy." The Jap chore boy
carried it to the teamsters, "It is a boy." The teamsters carried it to
the men on the ditches, "It is a boy." The ditch men carried it to the
men in the orchard, "It is a boy." The prune trees took up the glad news
and whispered it to the apricot trees, "It is a boy." The apricot trees
whispered it to the peach trees, "It is a boy." The peach trees
whispered it to all the other fruit trees, "It is a boy."

When Pet, Bell, Blanche and Daisy, with their large udders full of rich
lacteal fluid, heard the news, "It is a boy," they gave forth an extra
flow of milk that night. When the frisky mules in the barn lot heard the
joyful tidings, "It is a boy," they just cut up and threw their hind
feet higher than ever. You could not see them for the dust they made.
The roosters crowed, "It is a boy," and the hens cackled, "It is a boy."
The orioles in the mulberry trees warbled out the song, "It is a boy."
The dogs, Dash and Rover, in their play that evening barked at each
other, "It is a boy." The cats Tom and Malty purred, "It is a boy." It
seemed as if the vibrations in all the buildings and all over the ranch
rang out the glad tidings, "It is a boy."

In the evening when all Mr. Herne's men congregated in their fine
quarters to have some music, Osborn sat down to the piano and played
while all the men sang, that old negro song:

   "Give 'em more children, Lord,
    Give 'em more children;
    Give 'em more children, Lord,
    Give 'em more children."

Osborn said to the boys when retiring, "What a feeling of joy the advent
of a little boy has brought to us all on the ranch. Mr. and Mrs. Herne
have got their wish now, for they both wanted a son."

Barnes said: "What a fine time we will have with the little fellow, when
he is old enough to toddle. We will have him over here most of the
time."

One day after dinner when the baby was about a month old, a man standing
six feet three inches and weighing two hundred and twenty-five pounds,
came on the porch where Mrs. Herne was sitting with the baby, and said:
"Mrs. Herne, the boys want me to take the baby to them. They are all
sitting under the mulberry trees."

Mrs. Herne said: "All right, Frank." But the nurse seemed to be alarmed
lest he might hurt the infant, as he was so large and awkward, not used
to handling a baby four weeks old, so she followed Frank and the baby to
where the boys were. Frank said: "Here boys, each one of you can hold
him just long enough to pass your opinion upon him." The men seemed to
take as much pride and interest in the child as if he were their own.
After the boy had been in each of the men's arms and they had passed
their judgment on him, the nurse wanted to take the child back, but tall
Frank said: "No, I took the baby from Mrs. Herne and I am going to see
the child in her arms safe again." When putting the baby in her lap he
said: "The boys all think he is the brightest baby they ever saw."

After he was gone the nurse said: "You ought to see how gentle those
great men handled that baby."

Every day the men always inquired and talked about the baby, and were
eager to watch its growth.

If you entered the house of an evening about the time the baby was put
to bed, you would hear a very sweet, soft voice singing:

   "Hush! my child, lie still and slumber,
      Holy angels guard thy bed.
    Heavenly blessings without number
      Cluster round thy sacred head."

There is great talk made among many persons about catching different
kinds of disease and sickness, but how seldom you hear people talk about
the contagious qualities of hope, joy and love. Supposing on a ranch the
owner gets up in the morning and starts the vibrations going, "That All
is life, All is love, All is joy, and All is God," and there is a hearty
response by his wife who takes up the invocation, "All is life, All is
love, All is joy, and All is God." And carrying them into the kitchen,
she adds to them by singing this song:

    "The thorns that pester and vex my life
       Have changed to the flowers in June,
     All sounds, disorders, pain and strife
       Have rounded into tune."

From the kitchen the chore boy takes up the sayings to the teamsters,
"All is life, All is love, All is joy, All is God." The teamsters take
up those life-giving words, and instead of swearing at their teams all
day, and talking about hell, their thoughts and talk is, "All is life,
All is love, All is joy, All is God." The men on the ditches and in the
orchards echo the glad thought, "All is life, All is love, All is joy,
All is God." And the birds in the trees sing with gladness, "All is
life, All is love, All is joy, All is God," and that very interesting
ring-neck bird, the kildee, as it runs along the ditches and moist
places in the orchards, speaks in its peculiar way that, "All is life,
All is love, All is joy, All is God." And the music of the waters as it
flows along, rippling in the ditches, sings "All is life, All is love,
All is joy, All is God." The winds talk it to the trees, "All is life,
All is love, All is joy, All is God." The trees whisper it to each
other, "All is life, All is love, All is joy, All is God," and the music
of the insects say the same thing, "All is life, All is love, All is
joy, and All is God." When the God of day, with his effulgent
brightness, rises over the hills in the morning and scatters his
luminous rays on the ranch, and writes in lights and shadows his
hieroglyphics that "All is life, All is love, All is joy, All is God."
And the one grand anthem that is being sung in the hearts and lives of
all on the ranch is, "All is life, All is love, All is joy, All is God."

With an aspiration like that on the ranch, all cursing and swearing
would disappear; smallness, meanness, jealousy, covetousness and greed
could not live in that atmosphere. That spiritual air in circulation
would kill out all lustful thoughts, pride, vanity, love of strong
liquors, and of coarse animal food. Everything would manifest the fruits
of the Spirit, which are peace, joy and love. All sickness and disease
would disappear, because those life-giving, purifying thoughts would
become incorporated and assimilated in the mind, nerve force, and enter
into the blood, flowing through its veins and arteries all over the
whole system, making the entire organism sound and pure, a fit temple
for the dwelling of the Eternal One.



CHAPTER X.

MRS. MARSTON.


In the last three years the beautiful little city of Roseland with its
avenues of palms and magnolias had a boom. Large substantial brick and
granite blocks were erected. Very many new and handsome residences were
built, besides putting a new appearance on some of the old buildings.
The commercial, professional and mechanical classes were all doing well,
and living in expectation of doing still better.

Among those who had prospered by the rise in real estate was a Mrs.
Marston, who owned one of the finest residences in Roseland. At the time
that she enters our story her age was about forty and she had a son who
was twenty years old, a month before he left for Paris, and he had been
gone away four months. Why he had gone to Paris, the stories concerning
his mission to that gay city did not quite harmonize. His father came to
the conclusion ten years ago that his mother was too much like himself,
in being a positive, dominant character; that she was a little too
masculine in her makeup, and he thought he would prefer a lady for a
wife who did not weigh quite as much, and one that was a little sweeter
in disposition, and more playful. When he reflected that he was worth
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, he thought that some of the joys
of having a sweet wife should be his, and particularly when he had seen
Josephine Stearns, whom he thought would more than meet his most
sanguine expectations, for to his mind, she seemed to possess all those
very desirable qualities of disposition which he so much admired. In a
very indirect way he made his mind known to Mrs. Marston, who pretended
she did not like such a proposition, but if he would give her fifty
thousand dollars and let her have the boy, she would consent to a
divorce. Her husband thought it over in this way. He said, "I am not
happy in living with my wife, don't like my home at all, and what good
does it do a man to be worth one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, if
he is not enjoying some of the greatest pleasures in life. Better have
only a hundred thousand dollars with a pretty sweet young lady like
Josephine, than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars with my present
wife." Next morning he scratched his head, and said in a slow kind of a
way, "I think fifty thousand dollars rather steep, but I do not wish to
have any fuss or quibbling, and you can have the boy, and I will give
you twenty-five thousand dollars in cash, and twenty-five thousand in
real estate," which she accepted. To look at her you could not tell what
her feelings were, but way down deep in her heart she was overflowing
with gladness to think she was free.

The rise in real estate made her worth in all as much as her husband was
when he left her. She was known in Roseland as being a lady that was
fond of young people's company, and she was great on entertaining. She
was one of those ladies who are proud, fond of dress and style, very
particular about moving in the upper circles of society, but she had no
interest or sympathy with plain, poor people. She loved to dress young
for her years, was fond of going with young ladies and gentlemen bicycle
riding. She generally had as guests one or two very pretty young ladies,
and another of her fads was to make pets of a few sons of rich men. As
she had a fine large house and loved to entertain, the leading young men
in Roseland, and some of the prettiest and most stylish young ladies,
were very often seen in her parlors and on her well-kept lawn. The
lunches and suppers she served to her guests were the talk of the town.
She had a sister who lived in Orangeville, but who was so different in
her tastes and circumstances that there was nothing in common between
them.

One day she was out driving, and her eyes caught the sight at a little
distance of two persons walking on the sidewalk. She made the team walk
slow when she saw them. They did not see her, but she took in at a
glance what a clear complexion, bright eyes, and lovely form the young
lady had. She said to herself, "How beautiful Stella has grown, but what
plain clothes she has on." She reined the team towards the sidewalk and
said, "Why, Stella, I did not know you had returned from school. Good
morning, David," she said to her sister's husband. "Wont you both come
to the house?" David said that Stella had just come in on the train and
they had been doing a few errands and were expected back by Bertha at a
certain time and could not stop now.

Mrs. Marston said to Stella, "I want you to come and make me a long
visit. I will be out to-morrow at your house and arrange with your
mother for your coming to visit me." She thanked her aunt for her
invitation and said she would tell her mother.

Mrs. Marston had remarked on more than one occasion to her sister
Bertha, that she would die if she had to stay in a place like
Orangeville over night. As that lady did not feel she was ready to quit
her material form with all its attachments and desires, she decided to
leave Roseland at eight in the morning and that would give her ample
time to have a long chat with her sister, and she could then be home by
five in the evening in time to dress for dinner and receive whoever
might call. She telephoned to her caterer to have ready next morning at
eight, one quart of orange sherbet and one quart of vanilla ice cream,
put into two nice dishes and packed in a box with ice, then put two wet
sacks over the box and set it in another box with a cover. She
telephoned to the livery stable to have her span of handsome chestnuts
brought to her house next morning at eight. The next morning she was up
bright and early and put on just a good plain dress, and was ready to
take the lines promptly at eight from the man who had brought her team.
She drove round to the caterer's and got her box, then she went to the
meat market and told the man to put up six pounds of steak, she called
at the bakery and had the man put in her buggy one frosted fruit cake,
one plain cake, one lemon pie, and a peach cobbler, and one dozen fresh
baked Astor House rolls. After she had got a little way out from
Roseland she stopped at a Chinaman's garden and purchased a few early
vegetables. When she reached her sister's home it was about ten, and
after a few minutes' chat she said to her sister, "Bertha, I have come
out to have a visit with you and Stella, and I did not want you to be
giving yourselves a lot of work in the way of getting up a big dinner,
so I bought a few things on my way out, and all they need is to set them
on the table, except the vegetables and meat, and I will attend to the
vegetables; the pies and rolls may need just a little warming."

Mrs. Marston was one of those ladies of skill and ability who could do
anything in the kitchen equal to any hired help when she wished, and
this morning she seemed to be so different to what she generally was,
that her sister Bertha thought she either had improved greatly, or she
had not judged her rightly. She seemed this morning so kind and
thoughtful and so sisterly in her conversation and so ready to assist in
getting dinner. Bertha said to Mrs. Marston, "Why, Helen, you have more
steak here than we can eat in a week." To which Mrs. Marston replied,
that she had brought lots of ice to keep it.

When David was called to dinner, it certainly did his eyes and stomach
good to see on the table such a spread of luxuries and dainties, which
were so seldom partaken of by the Wheelwright family, as they lived very
simply. All enjoyed the new bill of fare very much, and the repast was
seasoned by a very pleasant family conversation. David seemed to open
his eyes several times at the turn things were taking, because there had
been times when his wife and her sister did not harmonize at all.

During the morning when not observed, Mrs. Marston feasted her eyes on
Stella's beautiful form in her new cut wrapper, and mentally said to
herself, "When I get some new stylish gowns on that handsome figure, and
that beautiful face under a becoming hat wont those Roseland dudes just
go wild over her?" She laughed to herself and thought what fun she would
have with her pets.

After dinner was through they sat at the table resting and talking, when
David said he would like to have Stella come out and help him a few
minutes.

Mrs. Marston spoke up and said, "Yes, dear; you go out and help your
father. Your mother and I will wash the dishes."

Mrs. Marston thought now is the time to speak to Bertha about Stella
making me a visit. She opened the conversation by saying: "Bertha, I
have seen so little of Stella for several years, that I do wish you
would let her come next week and make me a visit. Not having a daughter,
I feel as if I would like to do something for Stella, that is to give
her a good chance. She is a bright girl and has an exceedingly fine
form, and about all she has ever seen of society are cow-boys and ranch
men, and may be a few ordinary respectable fellows; but I want to
introduce her to bankers' sons, young lawyers, and rich merchants' sons,
and give the girl a show. You see, she is going on eighteen, and if ever
she is going to have an opportunity now is the time. After a young lady
gets past twenty, her chances with the young bloods are not so good."

"Well," said her sister, "you are very kind, Helen, and I don't know but
what it might be a chance that she needs. You have my consent for her to
make you a visit, and when you give her the invitation you can tell her
what I say."

"There is one matter, Bertha, that you will pardon me for speaking to
you about, and I hope you will let me do as I wish, and that is in the
matter of fixing up Stella's wardrobe."

Bertha said: "Helen, she is your girl while she is with you, and you can
do whatever you think best."

So when Stella came in from helping her father, Mrs. Marston said:
"Stella, I have been talking to your mother about your coming to make me
a visit next week, and she has given her consent and I do hope you will
come and be my daughter for awhile. We will have a fine time, I can
assure you. Only bring the clothes you come in. I will rig you out from
head to foot."

Stella in her own mind felt this way: that she never had any personal
experience of the circle that her aunt was a prominent figure in, and
all she knew about the young men and young ladies connected with the
swim, was only what she had heard and read. She felt that by personally
coming in contact with those of different environments, it would widen
her experience and give her a better knowledge of the world. So she very
kindly thanked her aunt and it was decided that she would come on
Thursday of the following week.

When she arrived Stella was warmly welcomed into the elegantly furnished
home of Mrs. Marston. Her aunt kissed her and seemed delighted to have
her niece with her. The bedroom that her aunt said would be hers was a
gem of beauty, being furnished with one of those fine enameled brass
bedsteads, a fine dresser with a long bevel plate French mirror, and on
the dresser was an elegant toilet set. The curtains, carpets and
draperies matched the tints of the ceiling and walls. Fine costly
pictures hung on the walls representing mostly scenes of festivities in
baronial halls and castles, also in modern Fifth Avenue palaces; showing
up so well the gay brilliant throng of ladies and gentlemen in the
height of their enjoyment. The decorations and furnishings of the room
were well in keeping with the lovely figure that was to occupy it.

Mrs. Marston had a great deal of personal pride, and she did not care
about taking Stella out till her wardrobe had been replenished. After
breakfast next morning the door-bell rang and a minute or two afterwards
Mrs. Rogers, the dressmaker, was announced by the servant to Mrs.
Marston. When Mrs. Marston went in to see her she said: "Good morning,
Mrs. Rogers; my niece is here and I would like you to see her so you can
help me to select what you think would be suitable in the way of dresses
and other garments for her."

Mrs. Marston called Stella in and introduced her to Mrs. Rogers and
said: "Mrs. Rogers will go with me to do some shopping, and we want you
to leave entirely to us the matter of selecting your dresses. I am sure
you will be pleased when we get through."

Stella laughed and said: "If you show as much good taste in selecting my
dresses as you have in the furnishing and decorating of my very pretty
room, I am sure I shall be more than pleased." Her aunt was delighted
with the compliment.

Mrs. Marston said to Mrs. Rogers: "Did you come over on your bicycle?"

"Yes," said that lady.

"Well," said Mrs. Marston, "I will get mine and we will go now and do
the shopping."

At the Marston mansion towards evening several large packages arrived.
Mrs. Marston opened two large ones, looked them over, then said: "Here,
Stella, these are for you."

After Stella had looked at them she said: "Why, aunt, dear, they are
beautiful, but I am not going to be married now; they are pretty enough
for the most charming bride in Roseland."

While handling the fancy worked underskirts and nightdresses, the fine
silk underwear and costly fancy silk hosiery, she remarked: "It is very
kind of you, aunt, to get all these fine things." Then a box was opened
and there was a great assortment of the best shoes, so that Stella might
select several pair from it. She was quite pleased with the different
materials her aunt had selected for her dresses, and Mrs. Rogers would
be up next morning to take her measurement. She was going to put on a
force of assistants for completing them as soon as possible.

Stella was about the same as a prisoner in her aunt's house for a week.
But she had a most enjoyable time in reading some very costly
illustrated books of travel which her aunt had purchased more for style
and appearance than for anything else.

Her aunt said one day, she did not get any time to look at books, but
she was glad Stella could amuse herself in that way so that she might
not find the time long.

"No, indeed, aunt," said Stella, "I have enjoyed every minute of the
time I have been with you."

The week that Stella was a prisoner her aunt had so arranged matters
that there were few callers and Stella did not see them. And she herself
was out most of the time. Stella was not the least sensitive in regard
to the matter of not going out with her aunt till her new dresses were
made, because she saw that she would be a very conspicuous figure among
the well-dressed young ladies of her aunt's circle. She would look like
a speckled bird among a flock of white pigeons.

After the dress-making was completed Mrs. Rogers went with Mrs. Marston
to the milliner's and purchased a pretty hat, Mrs. Marston saying she
would bring Stella and let her select what more she might need in the
line of millinery.

The week following was one of excitement for Stella, for every day she
was out riding once or twice with her aunt, and meeting so many young
ladies, and the well-dressed young men were very particular when bowing
to Mrs. Marston to recognize the pretty young face at her side. Towards
the end of the week Mrs. Marston gave a swell reception in honor of her
niece. The very élite of Roseland were there, also a few from other
places who were on a visit to friends in Roseland, and all made a very
gay and brilliant party. But if any young lady that evening looked
attractive, bewitching, fascinating, and possessed the power of making
the blood in some of the dudes present tingle from the roots of their
hair to the end of their toes, it was that fresh young girl from the
country, with her sparkling eye, her ready wit; with resources that
seemed inexhaustible for sustaining interesting conversation together
with a manner so simple, so unconscious in all she said and did and so
unassuming, which added much to the charm of her personality. All these
characteristics were manifested in fine well rounded form. Is it any
wonder that some young gentlemen saw a certain form floating before
them after they had put their heads to their pillows that night, and
their brains were active in planning for further acquaintance with that
young lady?

Some of Mrs. Marston's pets lost no time in availing themselves of the
standing invitation to call any time. Other parties were soon given by
young ladies in Roseland, at which Stella had very pressing invitations
to be present. The young ladies liked her very much; she was so natural,
so sweet, so unaffected; they observed she was not what is called
"fellow-struck;" while she seemed to enjoy and be perfectly at home in
the society of young gentlemen, the young ladies saw no signs of her
flirting with any of them. There is that peculiarity in the character of
a certain class of young ladies, that while they may think it is their
privilege to flirt and carry on with the young men they know, yet when a
strange young lady is introduced into their circle of gentlemen friends,
they have more respect for her if she shows some originality and does
not behave just exactly as they do.

Mrs. Marston was delighted at the impression Stella made on her circle
of acquaintances, and now the dudes of Roseland paid Mrs. Marston extra
attention and politeness since they had the pleasure of meeting her
niece.

Young Ryland, the banker's son, said to Barker, the rising young
attorney at the Arlington Hotel, "Say, Barker, what do you think of that
new flower which Mrs. Marston has put into our garden?"

"I think," said Barker, "she is the prettiest and most fragrant bud I
have seen; a very rare specimen."

Ryland said: "She is quite a study; the more you see of her, the more
interesting she grows."

After Stella had been at her aunt's about a month she was seen less in
her aunt's company riding out, but more in the company of the most
stylish men in the city. Her aunt encouraged her in going out with these
young gentlemen. She talked very much to her about how rich young
Ryland's father, the banker, was; and she expected Barker to become one
of the most brilliant lights at the bar. To-day he was worth twenty-five
thousand dollars in his own name. Then there was young Westbrooke, son
of the leading merchant in Roseland, the only son. He was home from
college, with bright prospects. There was young Brookes, who owned fifty
thousand dollars in real estate, and had traveled in Europe and seen
lots of the world. He was a very great catch, her aunt said. These four
young men, who always dressed with great taste, were Mrs. Marston's
favorite pets. For a while Stella favored each one of these young men
with her company, in buggy riding, but towards the end of the second
month Westbrooke was the only one with whom she was seen riding.

She never took her aunt into her confidence by relating her experience
in going out with these various young gentlemen. She thought it policy
not to; but to be pleasant to each one of them, even if she had decided
not to keep company with some of them. She remembered she was her aunt's
guest, and should make herself agreeable to her aunt and her aunt's
friends. What she did not relate to her aunt she did to her mother, when
she returned home from her visit the week after the second month of her
stay in Roseland. In conversation with her mother, Stella said, "I am
really glad I went to Aunt Helen's, for I have lived in two months a
year of my life. I have seen so much of a world concerning which I
previously knew nothing only by hearsay. I feel it has done me good in
many ways. Aunt was kind to me, and made everything very pleasant, and
so did her friends. I do say I am glad that I have lived in her world
and tasted of its pleasures, because I don't go now on what I hear about
that world. I know from my own personal experience. It has given me much
to think about, and furnished a great deal of mental food for the study
of character, and I have learned more about my own self. I know better
now than I ever did before my strong points and weak ones." She told her
mother what fine piano players the Miller girls were, what sweet
singers Dr. Lacy's daughters were, and the male quartette was very fine.
Ryland and Westbrooke are members of it, and after relating a number of
other things which she heard and saw, she told her mother she could not
tell her all now, but would some other time.

So one afternoon, when they were alone, Stella said: "Well, mother, I
will relate to you now some of my funny experiences with some of the
swell young gentlemen of Roseland. They were all aunt's special pets. I
had been out riding with young Ryland, the banker's son, several times,
besides sometimes meeting him at parties. He is very dudish, and dresses
very extravagantly. He is labeled as catch number one, because his
father has said his son should take his place in the bank some day, and
on his wedding day he gets a gift from his father of twenty-five
thousand dollars, with the promise of the bulk of his father's fortune
when he dies. On the first few occasions when I met young Ryland he
seemed reserved and quiet, but the more I went out riding with him I
found he was getting rather soft. He did not seem to show any other
traits of character, and his company was dull, but he made it more
sickening each time with soft, slobbering talk. I only went out with him
to please aunt. The last time I rode out with him he plead so hard for
me to allow him to kiss my hand that I consented grudgingly just to
quiet him, but after he kissed it instead of his being quiet, as I
supposed he would be, it seemed to fire him all the more, so that he
wanted to kiss my cheek. You ought to have heard the way he talked; you
would think he was about to die, and the only remedy there was for him
was to kiss my cheek. If he could only kiss me on the cheek, life would
come back to him and he would feel a new man. In my own mind, I said to
myself, 'This is the last time I ride out with you.' The more I tried to
show how foolish he was to want to kiss a young lady that did not want
any such manifestation of affection, the more he persisted, and said, 'I
must kiss you.' I said, 'If I loved you, it would be a real pleasure to
receive a kiss from you, but instead of loving you I lose all the
respect I ever had for you because you try to force me to accept a kiss
from you when I don't want it.' But he persisted, and said, 'I must kiss
you, it will do me lots of good, and won't hurt you.' I said, 'Have you
no respect for me or yourself to act so senselessly?' He replied, 'It
may appear senseless to you, but I can assure you it would be bliss to
me.' I tried to turn the subject of kissing me to something else, and
did the best I could to entertain him in conversation on other subjects,
but no; he was more stubborn than ever to think of nothing and talk of
nothing but kissing me on the cheek. Not wishing to have any
unpleasantness with him on aunt's account, I said to myself, 'You are
nothing but a simple, little, contrary, foolish child, in a man's form,
and I shall have to humor you as I would a little boy, for you have only
the mind of one.' I told him if he, as a young gentleman of honor, would
never say one word more to me about kissing, he could kiss my cheek just
once, which he did and was quiet afterwards. He was very pleasant during
the remainder of our ride, and when I got out of the buggy I was glad he
did not ask if he could call again on me. When I think of him I cannot
keep from laughing, the foolish simpleton. I would not have him for all
the gold in California. I must tell you about another of aunt's pets I
went out riding with several times. There was more to him than there was
to Ryland; his name is Barker, and he is worth twenty-five thousand
dollars, and aunt says he will become one of the leading lights of the
legal profession. Well, he was full of humor and jokes disposed to be a
little gay in his talk, and from what he related concerning himself one
might infer he had been at times a little swift. One afternoon we were
out in the country riding and he became very animated in his
conversation about taste and style of young ladies' dresses, and from
that went on to say what a fad it was among young men to notice and
admire the bright hosiery which young ladies wore when bicycle riding,
and continued in that style of talk, saying what good taste I displayed
in my dress; he was sure that the pretty, bright hosiery, which he
supposed I wore, would do his eyes good to behold. Just as he was
apparently making a motion as if to inspect my hosiery, his nigh colt
shied at an old post that was leaning over at the side of the road. He
had all he could do to manage the horse. I laughed, and told him 'He had
better keep his mind on the team, and not think about such things as the
kind of hosiery I was wearing, that he must not look upon me as a
dry-goods window.' He acted kind of mad with the colt, and said no more
about ladies' hosiery. That was the last ride we had together.

"Well, one evening young Brookes, who was said to be worth fifty
thousand dollars in real estate, and had seen much of Europe in his
travels, called to take me to the theater. I had been out riding with
him several times, and met him at every party. After the play was over,
it being rather a warm night, he asked me if I would not like an
ice-cream, and I agreed; so we went into a café, and the waiter showed
us into one of the private boxes. After bringing ice-cream, cake and
soda-water, he drew the curtains. We had a very pleasant chat while
partaking of the refreshments.

"Brookes asked me if I had any objection to his enjoying a cigarette.

"I said 'No.'

"Then he asked me if I would have one with him.

"I laughed, and said I had not become fashionable enough for that yet. I
would have to live longer in the city.

"He said, 'Why, the Paris young ladies smoke.'

"'Yes,' I said, 'but I am not a Paris young lady.'

"In looking around the little compartment I observed some pictures on
the walls, but I perceived that the artist was not a Rubens or a
Raphael, and they belonged to that class of pictures that one would not
see on the walls of a Sunday-school room.

"I saw Mr. Brookes was looking at them, and then he started a
conversation about his travels in Europe, which was very interesting,
saying he was a great lover of art and speaking of works of art he saw
there. He said it was astonishing the genius that had been displayed in
marble and on canvas to represent the beautiful form of woman.
Continuing in that strain, and being free in his expressions, he
finished by saying how lovely must be the beautiful work of nature which
was covered up here, putting his hand on my shoulder. I smiled, and
said, 'This work of Nature is not on exhibition this evening; when it
is, I will send you a complimentary ticket.' He took the remark in good
part, and laughed. We got up and went out, and he saw me to aunt's door
in a very pleasant, gentlemanly way.

"Westbrooke, the merchant's son, was the most sensible young man I met.
He appeared greatly interested in his college studies, and we had lots
of good talks on school studies and other subjects.

"He asked me if he could come out to see me.

"I told him 'yes' for I should be pleased to see him.

"I want to tell you, mother, that when I was out and passing through
those funny experiences with the three different gentlemen, I never felt
in the least timid or scared. I felt just as calm and collected as I do
now. I felt this way about the matter: While I have long ago lost all
prudishness, yet I did not wish to stimulate their over-excited
imaginations of sensuous things."

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Well, Stella, if you had not been well balanced,
I should have some doubt about it being best for you to go to your
aunt's. But I knew, dear, your tastes and inclinations were not on the
sense plane, and I thought the opportunity of living in another world
for a while would do you good, for it would be the means of giving you a
better knowledge of yourself than you could get in any other way."

Stella said: "Mother, the cow-boys and hired ranch hands have a hard
name. Now, I know this class of men well, and my experience with and
observation of them has taught me that any girl who behaves herself when
in their company will always be treated with respect. There is some
manhood about them in that way. But those fine city dudes have such a
polished, underhanded, deep, sly, foxy way of attaining their ends. Dr.
Lacy's girls told me that those fine, city young gentlemen loved nothing
better than to get acquainted with some pretty, young, green, innocent
girl and enjoy the fun of breaking her in. They are skilled in that
art."



CHAPTER XI.

SAUNDERS' CUSTOMERS.


One day, when business was very quiet in the store in Orangeville, the
following conversation took place: "Who is that young man of striking
appearance, talking to that old man in the road there?" said Hammond to
Saunders, the merchant.

"That young man," said Saunders, "why, his name is Penloe."

Hammond said: "Penloe, why that must be the fellow I have heard my wife
talk about. Has he any other name?"

"That is all," said Saunders. "He does not wish to be called anything
else but Penloe. All his mail comes addressed just 'Penloe, Orangeville,
California.' No. Mr., nor Esquire, nor Rev. nor Dr. nor Prof., nor
anything else. He and his mother are my best customers, in one way. Not
that they buy much, but they never ask my price for the purpose of
beating me down. Nor do they grumble about the quality of my goods. Why,
those two have bought more from this store to give away to those in poor
circumstances, than they have for themselves. And they keep very still
about what they do in giving. There is the Jones family, who have more
children than dollars; they live in that cabin under the hill, on the
Squirrel Creek road. All Jones has is what he knocks out by hard day's
work, and he don't always have work, either.

"Well, last winter, when his wife was in confinement and had a long sick
spell of two months, and Jones had typhoid fever about the same time,
they were about down to their last dollar and were in debt. When Penloe
and his mother heard about them, they both went down to Jones' house.
Penloe cut some stove-wood and helped round, and his mother took care of
Mrs. Jones. Also, Penloe paid me $37.50 for merchandise, which I had
furnished them. The doctor had been to Jones' about twice before they
came to take care of him and his wife. They paid the doctor, and told
him (to his surprise, as both his patients were very sick) that he need
not come any more. And they cured them without any medicine. When Jones
got well, they told him he could work on their place till he got work
elsewhere. And they gave him his board and one dollar a day in cash for
a month, and then he went to work on the Kelly ranch.

"Jones and his wife have turned over a new leaf since Penloe and his
mother were with them. They look differently, act differently, and talk
differently. Penloe's mother gave them a little sound talk on family
matters. I feel a better man myself when they are round me.

"Penloe's mother is away now, and Penloe is not seen much about here; he
is home most of the time, since he quit going out to work."

"That is a very different story from what you can tell about most of the
young men in Orangeville," said Hammond. After which remark Hammond
walked out of the store, apparently in a deep study.

Yes, he had much to think about, for he had seen a young man about
twenty-two years of age giving himself, his labor, his money, and his
best thought to help a poor family; to heal them of their sicknesses, to
help them to become self-supporting and independent, by furnishing them
work, and, above, all, to lift them to a higher plane of life, thus
helping them to find within, the "kingdom of Heaven." Yes, he thought of
Penloe's age, it was twenty-two; the very age when most young men think
only of gratifying themselves in every little whim and fancy, of
catering to their pride and vanity, and spending all their time, all
their thought, and all their money on themselves; being lovers of
themselves more than lovers of God or any one else. Or they have become
absorbed in some girl, not because she touches their better nature and
does what she can to lift them to a higher plane, but because she
stimulates the activity of their sensual natures, causing them to live
in bondage to their lower selves. Deluding themselves with the idea that
they are enjoying life, they become so engrossed in the pursuit of
'sense-plane' pleasures that they realize no other life than the
animal-plane of their existence, seeming apparently to be dead to all
high motives, grand ideals and nobleness of purpose.



CHAPTER XII.

PENLOE'S SERMON.


The Rev. B.F. Holingsworth was the Congregational minister in Roseland,
but he used to come out every Sunday afternoon to Orangeville and hold
preaching service in the only church there. One Thursday he received
word that his sister, in Oakland, was very sick, and wanted him to come
and see her, and he would have to be away over the Sabbath; so he wished
to get a supply for the two churches, but could not find any one to fill
his place. In talking to the deacons of his Roseland church about the
matter, they told him they would conduct the services at their church if
he could find some one to fill his place at Orangeville.

It was customary for the Rev. B.F. Holingsworth to spend one day in the
week in visiting the good people of Orangeville. Among the pastoral
calls, he visited the home of Penloe and his mother. He was very much
impressed with the spiritual thought and talk of both, and while neither
were members of his congregation he well understood their position. He
saw that for a man like Penloe to come and listen to the sermons he gave
to the people of Orangeville would be like expecting a student in
Harvard College to attend a kindergarten school, with the expectation of
receiving instruction. The minister was broad-minded enough to perceive
that the spiritual food he gave to his flock was kindergarten talk to
Penloe; it was only milk, it was not meat; not the strong spiritual meat
that Penloe lived on. It was all right for babies, but it was not fit
for men who had attained divine realization in the universal Christ. The
Rev. B.F. Holingsworth was too liberal and charitable to think less of
Penloe for not attending his church. He was glad he had the courage of
his convictions instead of masquerading, as some do, with the appearance
of assent to all that is said and taught; but, being at the same time,
within, at variance and holding views entirely different; but for
policy, business interest, family peace, social position and standing,
love of name and fame or salary, acting the hypocrite because they are
arrant cowards.

When thinking of some suitable person to fill the Orangeville pulpit on
the Sunday afternoon of his absence, he could find no one so well
adapted by natural talents, education, experience, and deep spiritual
insight, combined with an irreproachable life, as Penloe. So he went out
to Orangeville to see him. Finding Penloe at home, he made known the
object of his visit. Penloe did not answer him at once, but was silent
for a few minutes; he was thinking that this was a call to a work which
was not of his own seeking, and, as the call to the work had come to
him, he decided to accept it and told the Rev. B.F. Holingsworth so.

The minister then went to Deacon Allen, of Orangeville, and explained
matters to him, telling him that Penloe would select one of the hymns to
sing before the sermon, but Penloe wished Deacon Allen to conduct all
the other parts of the service, including the reading of the hymns. The
minister desired the Deacon not to tell any one who was going to preach
next Sunday, but to explain to the congregation why he was absent, and
then to introduce Penloe. Deacon Allen had only seen Penloe once or
twice, and while he liked the appearance of the man yet he knew very
little about him. But, under the circumstances, he thought the minister
had done the best he could.

It so happened it was the time of year when there was a number of
visitors in Orangeville, which brought out an unusually large audience,
for it included not only the regular attendants and the visitors, but
those who seldom went to church but did so to-day because they had
company. Mr. and Mrs. Herne, who seldom went, attended to-day, and took
the baby with them, this being the first Sunday of the child being in
short clothes. Of course, some of Herne's hired men had to go, to see
how the baby behaved.

Stella was another irregular attendant at church, but young Mrs. Sexton,
whose husband was away, came round in her buggy and wanted Stella to go
for company's sake.

Stella, through being away at school so much and having gone to Roseland
for a while, had only heard about there being such a young man as Penloe
in Orangeville, but had never seen him; neither had her parents.

Penloe was about the first person at church that Sunday afternoon, and
took a seat in the front pew, next to the pulpit with his back to the
congregation, so, as the people assembled, they saw the back of some one
but did not know who it was. When it was time for the service to
commence the church was about full, but the people all seemed surprised
not to see the minister present. Deacon Allen came forward, and opened
service by giving out a hymn, which was followed by prayer. Then the
choir sang, sweetly, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest." Then reading from the Scriptures,
which was followed by the singing of a hymn that Penloe had selected,
and Deacon Allen gave out. The hymn was as follows:

   "See Israel's gentle shepherd stands
    With all engaging charms,
    Hark, how he calls his tender lambs,
    And folds them in his arms.

  "'Permit them to approach,' he cries,
    Nor scorn their humble name,
    For 'twas to bless such souls as these
    The Lord of angels came."

After singing the hymn, Deacon Allen explained to the congregation the
cause of the minister's absence, and introduced Penloe, to the great
surprise of those present. Penloe, in a simple, unassuming manner,
stepped up to the desk and faced the audience. Casting his eyes over the
mass of upturned faces, he said, in a very pleasant, musical voice:

"Dear friends, I will speak to you from the following words, 'Suffer
little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the
Kingdom of Heaven.'"

The sermon was a most remarkable and original discourse. It held the
close attention of every one present, and at its end the congregation
sang:

   "I think, when I read that sweet story of old,
    When Jesus was here among men,
    How he called little children as lambs to his fold,
    I should like to have been with him then.

   "I wish that his hands had been placed on my head,
    That his arms had been thrown around me,
    And that I might have seen his kind look when He said,
    'Suffer the little ones to come unto me.'"

Penloe's sermon we will give, as told to her mother by Stella, and also
the version published in the Roseland _Weekly Gazette_.

When Stella arrived home from church her mother noticed that her
countenance was all animation, and her bright eyes seemed to glisten and
sparkle brighter than ever; but she said nothing, knowing Stella would
relate all she had seen and heard of any interest.

"Well, mother," said Stella, "I have had the greatest surprise and the
greatest pleasure I ever had in my life."

"Why, Stella," said her mother, "I am very pleased to see and hear that
something has delighted you so much."

"Who do you think I saw, and heard preach this afternoon?" said Stella.

"Why, I suppose the minister," said her mother, which was the same as
saying, "I don't know, but want you to tell me."

"Well, mother," said Stella, "it was Penloe. I do wish you had been
there to have seen and heard him. His face, when speaking, at times
looked angelic. His eyes are so clear and bright, his voice sweet and
musical, and he is so graceful in his movement, at the same time so
simple and unassuming in his manner. He is symmetrical in his build, and
as handsome as a picture."

"Is he really all that?" said her mother, with a smile.

"Yes," said Stella, "and there is something about him that is a thousand
times more than all that; for there is an earnestness and sincerity of
purpose and a power, such as I have never seen or felt before, in all he
says and does. I don't know how to describe it, for he is so different
to any man I ever met or saw; and, as for his subject, why, it was just
grand. But I cannot help laughing when I think of the feelings of
horror, and so much mocked modesty which I saw and heard expressed by
many who were there this afternoon."

"Well, whatever could his subject have been about, to cause those
feelings?" said her mother.

"It was this mother; he took for his text, 'Suffer little children to
come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of
Heaven.'

"He said it was not his purpose this afternoon to describe in detail the
circumstances which led Jesus to utter those words, nor to enter in full
into the history of those people at that time, nor to describe the way
in which they were raised by their parents in those days, nor how
children were treated in general at the time Jesus walked on the earth,
but to dwell on the thought more particularly about how to bring the
children to Jesus now, and how to help them find the Kingdom of Heaven
within. He said the subject was such a large one that he could only
dwell for a short time on one method for bringing the children to
Jesus, and that was how to bring them up pure and make pure men and pure
women of them. For purity of life and thought was one of the first steps
in coming to Jesus, and finding the Kingdom of Heaven within.

"Penloe said such an innovation introduced into our society would be a
God-send to us all, for it would bring about a change in so many ways
for the advancement of the race, as to make the mind almost bewildered
in the contemplation of the giant strides that humanity would make. I
cannot begin to tell you all he said, mother, and I don't think the
congregation took in the full sweep of his great thought.

"I will tell you one thing Penloe has done for me. He has cut what few
strings there were which kept me in bondage to my sexual nature. I am
free." And here the beautiful and intellectually bright girl laughed,
and shouted again, "I am free! Free from that awful superstition of
sexual bondage. Bless Penloe for helping me to my freedom," said Stella.

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Stella, there have been millions of women who
have _died deaths of untold agony_ through being in bondage to their
sexual natures."

"Mother," said Stella, laughing again, "I give you notice that on and
after this I shall speak and act just the same when members of the other
sex are present as I would with my own sex, I don't care what they may
think. I will not be negative to their ideas, for I am free;" and here
she clapped her hands, and said, "I intend to have the courage of my
convictions under all circumstances.

"I must tell you, mother, there were a number there who were perfectly
disgusted that Penloe should have introduced such a subject. You just
ought to have seen the faces on some of the congregation.

"The dressmaker, Mrs. Hopkins, and her daughter, said they would not
have come to church if they had known the indecent talk that a strange
man was going to make. The two May girls, with their beaux, were there,
and after the service they acted as if they were afraid to speak to each
other. They went out of the church with their heads down and seemed
afraid to look anywhere; till they saw Deacon Tompkins' wife get in the
buggy, and then the Deacon got in and took the reins and started the
horse. But he had omitted untying the animal from the post, and they all
had a laugh, and that broke the strain they were under, and they were
seen talking to their beaux after that.

"After service I went up to the desk and gave Penloe my hand and thanked
him for the help he had given me in breaking my bondage. I told him he
had cut the last string of sex superstition for me. He smiled and
pressed my hand and said he was glad to hear it.

"Mother, I did not know that Orangeville had such a young man as that.
Why, just think of it! A fine Sanskrit scholar; he can read Bengali just
as well as I can English, and by his reference to the Old and New
Testament he shows he understood Hebrew and Greek. And think of it; he
is only twenty-two years of age! He is a fine orator, very eloquent, and
has such a command over himself and his audience.

"But, mother, great as his scholarship may be, he has a power that is
greater; it is seen in his eyes and in every feature of his handsome
countenance, and felt in the touch of his hand. Its source is not purely
intellectual. I perceive it intuitively, but cannot explain it.

"Why, mother, I never thought Penloe was the kind of man he is. From
what I had heard about him, I thought he was one of those quiet,
goody-goody men, but instead of that he is a scholar of the most
advanced school of thought."

Her mother said: "Stella, do you know why Penloe took the subject he did
to-day and spoke from it? I think I know; it was this: not that he liked
such subjects more than any others, and perhaps not so much; but he knew
that if such ideas were presented to the public, it had to be done by
those who were not in bondage to name and fame and salary. It had to be
done by those bold, fearless thinkers who will speak the truth
regardless of frowns and smiles. And Penloe did it because he knew there
was no one else that would do it. It was pioneer work."

Stella said: "I think so, mother, and he certainly seems well qualified
to do such noble pioneer work."

Mr. and Mrs. Herne, on their way home from church, talked the matter
over. Mr. Herne said: "Penloe is the most remarkable man I have seen; so
young and yet so gifted in every way. The secret of his power I do not
know anything about, but he possesses a power such as no other man I
have ever seen. I could not keep away from church if he was going to
speak every Sunday."

Mrs. Herne said: "He has the clearest and brightest eyes I ever saw. I
never get tired of looking into them. At times his face brightened so
much during his speaking it looked angelic."

They were both very much impressed with the sincerity and earnestness of
the man, but were not prepared to pass an opinion on the subject of his
discourse. They thought well of his ideas, but did not know how they
would work. It set them both to thinking, and it was their intention to
try if possible to cultivate the acquaintance of Penloe.

The Roseland _Gazette_, which was published every Saturday, had the
following:

"Last Monday and Tuesday strange stories began to be circulated through
this city by persons coming in from Orangeville, concerning what was
said in the Congregational Church there last Sunday. It seems that the
Rev. B.F. Holingsworth, of this city, was called away to see a sick
sister, and he got a man who goes by the name of Penloe to fill his
place. The stories that were put in circulation are of a wild and varied
character. Some started the rumor that Penloe preached that we all ought
to go naked. Another story was, that he said we all ought to bathe
together, regardless of sex, in a nude state. Then some said, he told
the people that all families ought to sleep in one large room, to appear
as much in a nude condition as possible, so as to satisfy all curiosity.
These and other like stories aroused so much interest among the people
of this city, that it has been the upper-most topic of conversation
among them, and led to the inquiry whether it was so, and was the man a
crazy crank or a fool, and how came such a man to be asked to preach.

"Our reporter went out to Orangeville to learn what he could concerning
the matter. He first of all went to see Penloe to get a certified
statement, but that gentleman could not be found anywhere. He had an
interview with Mr. Saunders, the merchant of Orangeville, who said he
was at church last Sunday and heard the sermon.

"When asked if the stories which were circulated in Roseland concerning
Penloe's sermon were correct, he replied that in part they were, and in
part they were not.

"When asked to state as near as he could remember just what was said:

"'Well,' said the merchant, 'I am not used to that kind of business,
but, as near as I can remember it now, it was something like this:

"'In order for children to come to Jesus, they must be pure; that purity
was the basis of all religious growth, and he thought the present mode
of maintaining purity had the very opposite effect to what it was
intended for.'

"Here Mr. Saunders stopped and told the reporter he had better go and
see Deacon Allen, who would give him a better account than he could.

"'But I tell you,' continued Mr. Saunders, 'there has been more talk
over this sermon this week in this store, by every one that has come in,
than all other talk put together. This is the first time in the twelve
years that I have kept store, that I ever heard any one talk about any
sermon they heard.'

"'Well, Mr. Saunders,' said the reporter, 'what seems to be the judgment
of the people about Penloe and the sermon? You have had an opportunity
of hearing all kinds of opinions.'

"'Well,' said Mr. Saunders, 'I heard the old lady Eastman say, that the
next time she sees her minister, she is going to lecture him for getting
that low-down, vulgar man in the pulpit. Why, his talk was awful. Mrs.
Reamy and Mrs. Roberts said they would have both got up in church and
walked out, only it would cause so much disturbance. Two girls came in
to get a spool of thread. While I was waiting on them one said to the
other, "My mother said this morning that she would never again go to
church, if that nasty talking man was going to preach." The other girl
said, "My father says he is the smartest man that ever spoke in
Orangeville or any other part of California. He wished he would preach
every Sunday. Then, I saw Miss Stella Wheelwright go up to Penloe at the
close of the service and give him her hand, and I was told she thanked
him for helping her to cut the last cords of bondage to sex
superstition. She seemed really delighted with his talk."

"'I cannot help laughing when I hear a number of persons who were not at
church last Sunday, say, "I wish I had been to meeting last Sunday and
heard the talk."

"The reporter next called on Deacon Allen and found that gentleman ready
to relate a portion of the sermon.

"In reply to a question put by the reporter, Deacon Allen said: 'Well,
there is one thing I liked about Penloe's sermon, instead of talking
about the sins of the wicked people in Chicago, New York, London or
Paris, he talked straight and square to the people he was facing, about
their own sins, which were keeping them out of the Kingdom of Heaven,
for it acted like a curtain over the windows of the soul so that one
could not see the Divine, and feel the sacred presence of his power
within. They had polluted the Temple of the Living God, and their eyes
became blinded so that they could not see that they were heirs to a
rich spiritual inheritance.'

"The reporter asked the Deacon what Penloe said in regard to the best
way of bringing about the new method of raising all children up, as if
they were one sex.

"The Deacon replied, saying: 'He said: "Character and environments are
so different that each must work from the plane he or she is on. Nothing
but the best judgment and experience will be able to grapple
successfully with the problem, but it can be done; it has been done. And
it will be comparatively easy for the next generation to put into
practice, if it is done by the present. Avoid all kinds of food and
drinks that stimulate the passions. And, above all, keep the mind
interested in pure, elevating thoughts and engage in hearty wholesome
recreations, so that the love for the pure and good in time will
predominate, and the angel rule the animal."

"'I shall never forget,' continued the Deacon, 'how Penloe's clear,
musical voice rang out through the church, how his brilliant eyes seemed
to penetrate through every one present as he looked them in the face and
put this serious question to them, "What victories have you gained over
yourselves?"

"The Deacon said: 'It makes me feel disgusted to hear some persons who
were at church on Sunday last talk about Penloe being low and vulgar,
when a purer or more spiritual man never walked in this country; while
their own characters are tarnished by being connected with numerous
scandals. While Penloe is not a member of the same church as I am, yet I
know a good man when I meet him and hear him talk.'

"Our reporter left Orangeville greatly regretting he did not have the
honor to meet so distinguished a man as Penloe."

Mrs. Trask, wife of Dr. Trask, of Roseland, called on Stella's aunt,
Mrs. Marston, and after a little general conversation, Mrs. Trask said:
"Mrs. Marston, have you heard or read anything about the horrid talk
that some crank preacher made in Orangeville last Sunday?"

"Why, no," said Mrs. Marston, "I have not looked at the _Gazette_ and I
have been out but little the past few days, for I have not felt very
well lately, having had a bilious attack."

Mrs. Trask said: "I know, Mrs. Marston, you will be perfectly shocked
when I tell you. Why, it's all the talk of the town; just think of it; a
man getting up in the pulpit and telling the people that boys and girls
should appear before each other naked, and that they all should be
brought up as if they were one sex."

Mrs. Marston said: "It's perfectly awful to think about such a thing.
Why, it would be dreadful. The preacher must have come from Paris with
French ideas. According to what my son writes me, I should say that is
just about what they do over there."

Mrs. Trask said that her husband said, speaking as a medical man, he
would consider it the greatest step towards the downfall of the human
race. Every one would become so corrupt and depraved sexually that the
race would become weak and puny, with no moral stamina.

After Mrs. Trask had gone, Mrs. Marston got the Roseland _Gazette_ to
see what it said about the matter. When she came to the part where it
stated that her niece had gone up to the desk and given her hand to the
preacher and thanked him for helping her out of sexual bondage, she was
completely overcome and just felt like having a fit. She would rather
have paid a thousand dollars than to have that appear in the paper.
"What a disgrace this is to me, after all I have done for her,
ungrateful hussy! She doesn't think about the shame she brings upon me
by her bold actions, with that vulgar crank." While she was smarting
from the effects of wounded pride, her door-bell rang and soon the
servant came in and told Mrs. Marston that Mr. Barker was in the parlor.
Mrs. Marston kept him waiting a few minutes, till she had composed
herself. Soon she came in, bright, smiling and cordially greeted the
rising young attorney who had manifested so much interest in Stella's
hosiery.

Mr. Barker was a perfect Chesterfield in dress and manners, and knew
exactly what part of Mrs. Marston's nature to touch to make her feel
good, and to raise himself one hundred per cent. in her estimation.

Mr. Barker felt as if he had a little grudge against Stella, ever since
the day his wish was not gratified, and now he thought this was his
opportunity to pay her back.

In course of conversation Mr. Barker said: "Mrs. Marston, have you been
to Orangeville lately?"

"No," said Mrs. Marston, "I have not been there since Stella returned
home."

"How is your niece, Mrs. Marston?" said Mr. Barker.

"The last I heard from her she was very well," said Mrs. Marston.

Mr. Barker said: "By the way, Mrs. Marston, is there another Miss Stella
Wheelwright in Orangeville besides your niece?"

"I have not heard of any other young lady by that name," replied Mrs.
Marston.

"Well," said Mr. Barker, "I was hoping there was, for I did not want to
think it was your niece that the _Gazette_ said went up and gave that
vulgar preacher her hand."

"I think it must be," replied Mrs. Marston. Continuing, she said: "Of
course, I am greatly shocked over the matter and feel that my niece has
hurt me by her foolish conduct. I blame her mother more than I do her,
for she has encouraged Stella in radical ideas."

Mr. Barker said: "I don't understand what the man can be thinking about
to talk such vulgar nonsense. He ought to be sent to Stockton Insane
Asylum."

Mrs. Marston said: "As for the subject he had under discussion, I could
not think of talking about it to a gentleman. I intend to go to
Orangeville to-morrow and see my sister about the matter. I do wish
Stella would come and live with me; where she would be in the company of
well-bred, well-behaved society people, who have common-sense ideas."

It was always customary for Mrs. Marston when she went to Orangeville to
take a great variety of table dainties, and never mention the real
purpose of her visit till after dinner. Mrs. Marston had been so well
disciplined in the art of concealment through living so much in
fashionable society, that she could put on a very pleasant exterior,
when really she was very much disturbed within.

So to-day when she visited her sister Bertha, everything was exceedingly
pleasant, and the topics under discussion were such that there was
perfect harmony in all that was said. Mrs. Marston presented the bright
side of everything in regard to Roseland when talking to Stella, telling
her how certain young gentlemen were continually inquiring after her,
and how her young lady friends were wishing she would return to Roseland
soon, for they did want her to come and visit them so much.

Stella was interested to hear about her friends in Roseland, and enjoyed
her Aunt Helen's talk.

After dinner was over and settled a little, Mrs. Marston took the
opportunity to say to her sister Bertha (while Stella and her father
were out for awhile): "Is it really true, Bertha, what the Roseland
_Gazette_ says in regard to Stella's going up to that crank preacher at
the close of the service and giving him her hand and saying a lot of
queer stuff about sexual bondage?"

"I was not there myself, Helen," said her sister, "but this I do know,
that when Stella returned home she told me herself she did such a
thing."

"Well," said Mrs. Marston, "I always knew Stella was a strange kind of
girl, but I never thought she would disgrace herself and her relatives
in that manner. Why," continued Mrs. Marston, "it's all the talk in
Roseland and among Stella's friends, about the disgrace she has brought
on me and herself in talking to such a vulgar man."

Stella's mother could not help smiling within herself at her sister
calling Penloe a vulgar man, when she thought of what her daughter
related to her in regard to her experience with some of the "upper ten"
gentlemen.

Continuing, Mrs. Marston said: "It will never do for Stella to associate
with such an indecent man, who preaches French ideas from the pulpit.
Why, Bertha, it will never do. You had better let Stella come and stay
with me till she is married. She is a great favorite with the young
people in Roseland and there are some splendid catches for her there."

"Well," said Bertha, "I have no control over her; she can go to Roseland
if she wishes."

"But," said Mrs. Marston, "it becomes your duty as her mother to show
her the danger of speaking to a man like Penloe. You should keep her
away from his influence and do what you can to encourage her to marry
well."

Bertha looked her sister Helen in the face and said: "Helen, I have
decided to let Stella choose her own path in life and select her own
mate. If she asks my advice I will give it. She has her own life to
lead, and it does not become me to mark it out for her. She must hew the
way. And, supposing I wanted to, do you think it would do any good?
Helen, you know better than that. Could you keep your son from getting
that waiter girl in trouble? And now the poor girl is homeless and
penniless, with a baby, in a hospital, without a friend to keep her,
while your son is walking the streets of Paris as a well dressed
gentleman." Here Mrs. Marston interrupted her and said: "Oh, my poor
boy! It makes my blood boil when I think how that nasty, dirty hussy got
my poor Henry into disgrace. Don't mention her, Bertha. It would have
served her right to have died before the child was born."

Bertha said: "Helen, you can invite Stella to Roseland, and if she
wishes to go it is just the same to me as if she stayed here, for I will
not be in Stella's way of exercising her freedom."

So when Stella came into the house her aunt said: "Stella, I do wish you
would come to Roseland and stay with me."

"Thank you, Aunt, you are very kind, but I have certain subjects I wish
to study and I want to be where I can be quiet; but, Aunt, dear, I will
return with you and stay a week, if you will bring me back home at the
end of that time."

"All right, Stella, get yourself ready and we will leave right away."



CHAPTER XIII.

RETURN OF BEN WEST.


About two months before Ben West returned to Orangeville, Mr. Hammond
took a letter out of the Orangeville post-office, which read as follows:

             "_Kohn & Kohn, Bankers and Brokers, Stillman Block._
                                   "SAN FRANCISCO, April 7, 1899.

    "_Harrison Hammond, Esq.,
             "Orangeville, Calif._

     "DEAR SIR: We have been instructed by Benj. West, Esq.,
      one of the leading capitalists of the Klondike, to send
      you a draft for five hundred dollars, with a letter
      from that gentleman to you, both of which we have
      enclosed.

                     "Yours resp't'y,
                                         "KOHN & KOHN."

The letter from Ben West to Mr. Hammond was as follows:

                         "DAWSON CITY, KLONDIKE, Feb. 12, 1899.
    "_H. Hammond, Esq.,
            "Orangeville, Cal._

     "FRIEND HAMMOND: After sending Julia the jewelry, I
      realized that I had got my foot in it, in this way: She
      thinks she must have a costly bridal outfit to match
      the jewelry. Now, I have written her that as we will be
      married in Orangeville, she need not get anything very
      extra fine; that what she thinks she may need in the
      way of costly dresses, she can get in San Francisco
      after we are married, but I realize she might like a
      few good clothes, so I send you five hundred dollars to
      buy her what she may need in that line, which I hope
      you will accept, as I know the income from a ranch
      cannot stand any such extravagance. You will receive
      the money from my brokers, Kohn & Kohn. Please keep
      this confidential and not let Julia know a word about
      it.

                     "Your friend,
                                       "BEN WEST."

After reading the letters Mr. Hammond had a good opportunity of talking
the matter over with his wife, as Julia had gone out for the day.

They both took a sensible view of the matter and thought that under the
circumstances it would be proper to accept the five hundred dollars, as
Julia would wear the clothes as Ben West's wife, and said it was very
thoughtful in him to send the money.

Mrs. Hammond said, as Julia was going to San Francisco as soon as she
was married, she thought it would be best to go to Fresno and select her
bridal trousseau there. Continuing, she said: "Julia knows you have
money in the bank, but how much she has no idea; therefore, she will not
suspect but you are paying for her bridal outfit yourself."

So Mrs. Hammond and Julia went to Fresno. On their return Julia seemed
more than pleased with her purchases. It is not to be expected that each
kind of garment that was bought will be mentioned here, neither will we
go into a minute description of the amount of lace, embroidery,
insertion and scallop work on the various garments.

In the four weeks previous to Julia's wedding day she had numerous
callers to see her jewelry and her bridal trousseau.

The amount of close inspection, quick observation, speculative thought
and general talk that was given to all articles pertaining to the
bride's wardrobe and jewelry, if devoted to some of the serious social
problems of the nation, would have settled them thoroughly for all time.

"Is it not strange," remarked Mr. Hammond one evening after some
callers had gone and Julia had retired, "the amount of interest and
thought people take in things that are really of so little consequence
to them; but things which are of the greatest importance to their own
welfare it is hard to get them to give two minutes' consideration to
them? They want excitement, and love it a great deal more than an
intelligent understanding of such issues as are to them of vital
importance. For instance, government ownership of railroads, telegraphs
and telephones to be operated at cost for the benefit of the people; the
issuing and loaning of money by the government to the people, instead of
by the banks to the people; also the adoption by the nation of the
Initiative and Referendum."

Some of the elderly ladies in Orangeville who had lived in the east many
years before coming to California, brought to Orangeville some of their
old sayings, and one of these sayings began to float through the
atmosphere of Orangeville and was whispered from one to another; namely,
that Julia Hammond had fallen into a tub of butter. Now, on first
hearing such a statement one would think a sad calamity had happened to
the young lady, especially when taking into consideration that in a few
weeks' time she expected to change her name. But upon making an
examination of her wearing apparel, one saw no sign of such an accident,
and when she appeared at the table in her elegant morning wrapper you
could not see any grease spots on her well-fitting garment, and when you
began to wonder what they could mean by saying that Julia Hammond had
fallen into a tub of butter, you resolve you will make a further and
closer scrutiny of that young lady's person. At last it begins to dawn
upon your mind, for you notice that when she puts her elbow on the table
and her hand up to the side of her face, your eyes are almost dazzled by
seeing something on her finger which are brilliant stones set in gold.
When Julia Hammond appeared at the ball the other night, the main talk
of the evening was about her diamond ring, her gold watch set with
diamonds, and her elegant diamond necklace, making that swan-like neck
simply superb.

As she drove her span of matched bays one morning she passed two young
men in a buggy. Then the following conversation took place between the
men:

Fred said to Henry, who was a stranger in Orangeville and was making him
a visit:

"Henry, just look at that in her back hair."

"That is just elegant," said Henry, as his eyes rested on a very rich
gold hairpin set with diamonds which were sparkling in their beauty, as
the rays of the sun brought out their brilliancy.

Fred said: "That's Julia Hammond, the bethrothed of Ben West, who went
to the Klondike and struck it rich, having made a little over half a
million dollars."

The last day Ben West was in Orangeville before leaving for the
Klondike, he had a private talk with Mr. Hammond concerning Julia. Mr.
Hammond gave his consent and wished him prosperity. So it was arranged
that, owing to the long and uncertain carrying of the mails out of the
Klondike country, he would write a letter to Julia as if he had made a
stake, and in the letter make her an offer of marriage, and give it to
Mr. Hammond to hand to Julia when Mr. Hammond received word from Ben by
telegram, saying, "Stake made, give the letter to Julia," and Mr.
Hammond was to wire Ben Julia's answer so he would not be kept long in a
state of suspense. This was all carried out to the letter, and Ben West
received a telegram which read: "Yes. Have written in full. Julia
Hammond."

Continuing, Fred said: "When Ben West was in San Francisco on his way to
the Klondike, he went into the store of Stein & Co., jewelers, and
selected the jewelry he might want, should he make a stake. So when he
received Julia's answer of acceptance he ordered by wire a diamond ring,
a gold watch set in diamonds, a diamond necklace, and a gold hairpin
set with diamonds. Stein & Co. sent them to Julia with Ben West's love.
He wired Kohn & Kohn, the bankers, to pay Stein & Co.

"Ben's mother said: 'Those jewels for that girl cost Ben twenty thousand
dollars.'"

Henry said: "Just think of that fellow's luck. Some men are born rich,
some acquire riches and some have riches thrust upon them."

Fred said: "Some men are lucky sure. There's Ben West, who is coming to
Orangeville in a week. All the people will just go wild over him and
lionize him. And won't Julia be sweet to him after giving her all that
jewelry. They say, 'If you want honey you must have money.' Ben has got
the money and now he is going to have the honey; and just think, in
three weeks' time he is going to be married, going to have that pretty,
handsome, fresh young girl all to himself. Isn't she a beauty! My! Ben
will be in clover; he will have a picnic sure."

Henry said: "If I could be in Ben West's shoes for just two months, I
would be willing to spend the balance of my life in hell. I would have
one comfort in thinking what a fine time I had had."

Fred said: "Ben West will be here to-morrow and he will take good care
to see that not you nor any other man will be in his shoes for two
months from the time he is married."

When Ben set his foot in Orangeville on his return from the Klondike,
the news flew all over the locality, as if the wind had made it its
mission to carry the intelligence all over the country into every home.
Those who knew him least were just as anxious to see him as those who
had always known him. They did want to see, to talk to and shake hands
with the lion of the day, the hero of the hour, the man whose name was
in every one's mouth. If a man had arrived in Orangeville who had saved
twenty persons from drowning, there would not have been half the desire
to see him or hear him talk on how the persons were saved. Why, Ben West
received nothing but one continued round of hearty hand-shaking and
warm greetings, and his ears heard nothing but eulogies and encomiums
and general admiration for the man who had made himself the owner of the
two great idols that are worshipped by the Western world.

Ben West had got what most men are seeking but few finding. If you were
in Orangeville you would be told that it was a Christian community; but
if you squared them by the command given by Jesus, "Seek ye first the
Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, and all these shall be added
unto you," you would find them sadly wanting, for the Kingdom of Heaven
is the last thing they want. It is, "These things which shall be added
unto you" is what they want. For they want their heaven to be in the
possession of things outside of themselves.

A great dance was given in honor of Orangeville's coming man.
Predictions were heard that it would not be long before he would be
Governor of California, with a good show for a seat in the United States
Senate.

Most of the people of Orangeville were great on dances. If they had a
sociable it had to close with a dance; if a political meeting was held,
they had a dance afterwards; a spelling bee wound up with a dance. If
you would let them, they would dance after Sabbath School and preaching.
If you want a big crowd at a meeting, just give out there will be a
dance at the close, and teams will come for miles from all over the
country. Dance; why they want to dance all the time. They simply become
intoxicated with dancing. There is no moderation about it. They leave
the dance hall about four or five o'clock in the morning. Does that kind
of recreation help them physically? How do they feel during the next
day? Does it help them intellectually? Does it help them spiritually?
Then why pursue a course of recreation _so immoderately_ as to be
detrimental to their highest interests?

When Mr. Hammond heard about the great dance that was coming off in
honor of Ben West, he said it did seem to him as if a dance was the only
thing the people of Orangeville could get up. He had never known them
as a community to get up anything else but a dance, and yet, he said,
there are some very fine people who attend these country dances. Persons
of noble character, who live lives of self-denial in their homes and
meet trials and misfortunes bravely and heroically, I am glad to say.

Julia did not attend the dance because it was too near her wedding day;
but Ben West had a very enjoyable time, for the leading young ladies in
Orangeville were delighted at having the opportunity of dancing once
more with their old friend. But now a new interest had centered in him,
in the fact of his being the rising man and soon to be married.

There was a very large crowd at the dance. A number came from Roseland;
in fact, there were more than the hall could accommodate. There were a
number of men wanting to see Ben West a few minutes on the side, to talk
with him about what show there would be for them at the Klondike, as
each of them wished to be successful like Ben West.

For three weeks previous to his being married, Ben did not know whether
he was afoot or on horseback. What with the joy his father and mother
manifested at having him back again in their home, and the real, sweet,
loving and delightful hours he spent with Julia, who was free in her
demonstrations of affection, he being so worthy of it.

At last that day which always seems so long in coming, but which always
comes, came to Ben West and Julia Hammond. They had a quiet wedding in
the morning; then came the wedding dinner, after which they went to
Roseland, taking in the theater in the evening and stopping at the
Arlington Hotel that night. The next day they took the Flyer for San
Francisco. On arriving in that city they went to the Clifton Hotel. In
the evening they attended the opera.

As Julia had never been to San Francisco, they decided to spend a week
in sight-seeing. The second week they spent in looking at elegant
houses. After looking round for six days they bought a mansion on Van
Ness avenue for eighty thousand dollars. It originally cost one hundred
and thirty thousand. Then, the third week they spent in selecting
furniture, which cost them twenty thousand dollars. The fourth week they
bought a fine matched team and a carriage, for which they paid fifteen
hundred dollars, and kept them at a livery stable. They also purchased
two bicycles and an automobile, and got three servants, a maid for
Julia, a woman to do the housework, and a Chinese cook. All laundry work
was done out of the house. The second month was spent in going to many
interesting places outside of San Francisco as well as taking in more of
the city. Everything so far had run very smoothly.

Then a conversation arose regarding what business Mr. West had better
turn his attention to to occupy himself. After a little talk, Julia
said: "You have now about four hundred thousand dollars. I do wish you
could make it a million. How proud I should be of you, Ben, to have a
millionaire for a husband. Just think what the people of Orangeville
will say when they hear you have become a millionaire. Why, dear, I
should just worship you to think that I had got a husband that was such
a successful man as to make a million dollars in so short a time. When
you become a millionaire, Ben, we will go to Europe in style, and what a
gay time we will have in Paris, dear."

What a power some women's soft words and smiles have on a man; he is
owned by them, and it was so in the case of Ben West.

Ben said: "Well, dear Julia, I suppose I will have to go to the Klondike
again to make my pile a million."

Julia pouted and looked her prettiest and said: "I do hate to have you
go to that cold and disagreeable country, Ben, and it will be so
lonesome for me without you, dear; but, Ben, make your pile quick and
come home."

Ben West did not express all he felt in having to go back to the
Klondike, but he had such a pretty, handsome woman for a wife, who
pleased him so much and he was so proud of her, and he loved her
admiration and approval of himself as much as he did his life. So he
decided to return to the Klondike in a month's time. That would give
him, in all, three months of honeymoon. Then he would leave for the cold
regions of the Klondike.

The last week Ben West was with his wife she seemed at times so sad
about his leaving, and would pet him and make so much of him, that she
became doubly dear to him. He said, "This is bliss, indeed."

At last the sad day for his parting came. They did the best they could
by cheering each other up, with the expectation of Ben's quick return
and coming back as a millionaire.

Now, when a handsome young bride is left with an eighty-thousand-dollar
house and twenty thousand dollars worth of furniture, three servants, a
carriage and a handsome span of horses, two bicycles and an automobile,
with a good fat bank account to draw on, she is not going to spend many
sad days in the house alone, longing for the return of her husband. Nor
will she be contented to remain at home and become fascinated in reading
Milton's "Paradise Lost" or Moody's sermons. No. She is going to have
company, and gay companions, and they will not be all of her own sex
either. About a month after Ben West had returned to the Klondike, Julia
had made new acquaintances of persons who had time, money, and elegant
leisure. Returning home from a swell party one evening, Julia said to
herself, "What freedom there is in being married. Your market is made,
and you can have lots of fun dancing, flirting, and so on; while a girl
that is unmarried has to be more careful of herself and her conduct,
because it might hinder her making a desirable match. It is fine to be
married to a good-natured man."



CHAPTER XIV.

FIVE YEARS AFTER MARRIAGE.


It was one of those lovely days in March when nature is decorated in her
best; for each day she adds to her wreath of glory new beauties in the
form of buds and flowers. The trees in the orchard were a sight to
behold in their beautiful and variegated colors. The soft, balmy air
coming up the cañon was full of the perfume of flowers. The birds were
warbling their sweetest notes in the mulberry and walnut trees, and the
hum of the bees were heard around the flowers. All Nature sang through
these various forms, that All is life, All is love, All is joy, and All
is God.

On this day two ladies were sitting out on the porch of the Herne
residence, one was a lady with gray hair, the other was her daughter.
Both were sitting in silence. The younger was thinking how very much
like this beautiful day was, to the one five years ago when she entered
her new home as the wife of Charles Herne. Many thoughts were crowding
upon her mind; she was thinking how perfectly, supremely happy she was
on that occasion. Every thing about her seemed to respond to the happy
thought within, and her cup of joy was overflowing. Then the thought
came to her why was it not so to-day? Nature seemed just as beautiful,
her home was more beautiful, and the returns from the sale of their
fruit each year had exceeded their expectations. Her health was good,
she was in harmony with her neighbors, and enjoyed her life among the
people in Orangeville. And above all she had experienced the joys of
motherhood, having a son two years old, and her husband was just as kind
and attentive to her as ever, and yet--and yet--and yet, must she
confess, yes, she very reluctantly told her thoughts to her mother to
see if she could explain and give her light on those feelings which had
come to the surface many a time, only to be suppressed. But they would
rise again, and the more they were put down, the more they would rise,
till at last she would relieve her mind by telling her mother, who she
knew had had more experience.

"Mother," said Clara, "why is it, when everything about me is as good
and some things much better than when I was married, and Charles is just
as kind, thoughtful, and loving as a husband and father can be, and yet
after five years of happy, harmonious life, there is less attraction
between us, than when we were first married? Of course, I have never let
Charles think that I felt this way, but I noticed that after we had been
married two months, Charles' kisses, touches, and pettings did not
produce that pleasurable thrill they once did, and it has been growing
more and more that way ever since. Why, even when he kisses my hand, it
does not produce any more pleasure than if I had kissed my own hand. I
remember the time when Charles' kisses used to send an electric thrill
of joy through me; the sound of his coming footsteps was a delight which
gave me more pleasure than a kiss does now."

"Well, Clara," said her mother, "you don't expect to have the
high-strung, pleasurable excitement of a bride all the time, do you? I
know my experience was like yours, Clara, and I think from all those I
have heard talk about such matters that theirs is also the same. So I
take it for granted that is how it should be, and cannot be made
different. I would not let my mind dwell on it if I were you, Clara; for
you have got one of the best men for a husband, a fine boy, and a very
comfortable home."

After hearing what her mother had to say, Clara thought it best not to
say any more, for her mother had given her no satisfactory answer, and
seemed to know no more about such matters than she herself did. But she
kept thinking, "Did it have to be so?"

During the time that Clara was busy with these thoughts and talks with
her mother, there was a man walking through his orchard, apparently
looking at the fruit buds, but his mind was pre-occupied with another
subject. He was thinking that it was five years ago since he and Clara
were married, and he was thinking how happy he was when he brought her
to his home. He was thinking also of the thrills of joy and pleasure her
presence gave him before marriage, and for a month or two afterwards,
when she took his hand in hers and then kissed it; how soothing and
delightful it was; and what an attractive power she had. But now, how
different.

"It is just the same as if I kissed myself. She is just as good, just as
loving a wife, so kind and thoughtful, and we never have had any words,
but there is something. I cannot find words to express what I mean. Is
it tameness? Are other married persons like that?" And he began to think
about the married life of some of his friends. "There was Winchester and
his wife, I remember them when they were courting, they seemed
inseparable, and for a while after they were married they could not see
any one else but each other. If they were out anywhere they would sit
together holding each other's hands, and not wishing to say much to any
one else. After they had been married six months I notice they have quit
holding each other's hands, and now you seldom see them together much.
With how few married couples who have been married six years do you see
that suppleness and alertness, that zeal to please each other, and be
with one another that you see in couples about to be married."

Charles Herne thought, "Why is this so?" Why could not the same
attractive power which exists between some couples when they are married
be continued? Charles Herne did not know, his wife Clara Herne was no
wiser than he on that subject, though neither of them had made their
feelings known to the other.



CHAPTER XV.

A CONVERSATION ON THE PORCH.


Penloe had heard several times in regard to Charles Herne being an
exceptionally fine man, liberal in thoughts, as far as he went, very
just and generous to his men, so that the day that Penloe received a
very kind invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Herne to be their guest for a few
days, he accepted it knowing intuitively that he had a work to do there.
As a guest Penloe was not always talkative, but what he did say was very
interesting. He made himself one with men and they all took a great
liking to him; Mr. and Mrs. Herne were very much impressed with the
personality of their distinguished guest, and they enjoyed his visit
with them. He had been several times there since his first visit, and
they had become great friends.

Charles Herne remarked to his wife one day: "What a genial, sociable,
humorous companion Penloe is; while of course, he is thoroughly in
earnest and has but one purpose in all he does, which is to manifest
what he calls the Divine, yet he is not serious, sober, and grave all
the time; he is so joyous, hopeful, and full of good-natured fun, but he
never lets it overcome him. I like him because he never says and does
anything for effect or to be considered smart; he is so simple, humble,
and unassuming in his manners, keeping himself in the background. His
influence on me is so different to that of any other man, and impresses
me very deeply. I always feel a better man after a talk with him. In
short, I feel his fine influence in the room even when he is silent. He
gave the men a powerful talk in their parlors the other evening. He has
a faculty for adapting himself to each one; just knows what to say, when
to say it, and how to say it. Several of the men have made the remark
to me that he is a very dear brother to them."

He had visited the men several times since, and they had become great
friends. Any one in a very short acquaintance with Penloe could not help
being impressed with his sincerity of character, his genuineness and
honesty of purpose, as well as his deep spirituality. Therefore, it
naturally follows that he would attract the confidence of his friends.
It was so natural for them to give him their confidence, they could not
withhold it from him, for it seemed to belong to him. Then again, there
are some persons who possess that power of discernment, that spiritual
insight for seeing through and through any one; nay, more, they appear
to have the power of entering into your most secret thoughts, they enter
as if by right, the rooms of your soul and see all its furniture; they
open even the secret chambers, and enter as if they had been there
before many a time, and when you think you are about to take them into
your confidence, you find that they know what you are about to tell
them.

Penloe possessed that gift, and Mrs. Herne realized that he had read her
book of secrets, that he knew all, and, therefore, when she took him
into her confidence, she did so with the half thought that he was there
some time before. She knew that Penloe was competent to give information
on any subject, and he was her true friend, and, therefore, she could
trust him fully.

One day when Penloe and Mrs. Herne were sitting on the porch admiring
the beauties of Nature all around them, Mrs. Herne said: "Penloe, don't
you think this is a beautiful place?"

When she made that remark, he knew what she was going to speak to him
about.

Penloe replied: "There is not a ranch in Orangeville that has so much in
the way of the expression of fine taste and natural beauty as your
home."

Mrs. Herne said: "I shall never forget how delighted I was when I came
here as a bride, and thought could I wish for more, for my cup seemed
full to overflowing. With this comfortable house and beautiful grounds,
and such a feeling of brotherhood existing between my husband and the
men, and everything running so harmoniously, nothing appeared to be
wanting."

"Yes," said Penloe. "You certainly have an exceptionally fine man in
some respects for a husband; I admire him very much."

"And I know he does you," replied Mrs. Herne; continuing, she said:
"Since you have favored us with your company and he has been with you
more, I can just begin to see some kind of change come over him; I
hardly know how to describe it; for it is only just commencing; I notice
it a little at times."

Penloe seemed to be absorbed in thought and made no reply.

Mrs. Herne waited a minute or two, and then said: "I often think how
thankful I ought to be that I have such a fine man for a husband, and
yet, in one way, I have not realized my ideal, even with all these fine
surroundings, and such a good husband."

"Do you think that is strange?" asked Penloe.

"Well," said Mrs. Herne, "that is what I don't know; it is a query with
me, whether any one realizes her ideal in marriage; what do you think
about the matter, Penloe?"

"Well, I think there are quite a number who realize their ideal in
marriage," replied Penloe.

Mrs. Herne said: "Please, Penloe, describe those kind of marriages to
me, for I am interested; it being a matter I have thought a great deal
about."

"Certainly," said Penloe, "but which is it you wish me to describe: What
is an ideal marriage? or what are the ideals of those who get married,
and who realize them?"

"It is the first I am most interested in now, Penloe," said Mrs. Herne,
"because I know that is your ideal, and therefore, would be the correct
one to aim for, but Penloe, while I hope you will tell me that, yet, I
ask you as a trusted friend, can you tell me why I have not realized my
ideal?" said Mrs. Herne.

"I can when you tell me what your ideal is like," said Penloe.

"I am afraid you will laugh when I tell you for I know it is so
different from yours," replied Mrs. Herne.

"One need never fear a true friend," said Penloe. "To a true friend, if
it is necessary, one can speak of his ignorance or weaknesses, and it
may be a great help to him, because a true friend has only one motive in
friendship, and that is to lift the other up to a higher plane of
thought; I mean that is the highest kind of friendship, and is a good
test with which to gauge friendship."

Mrs. Herne was very much impressed with Penloe's idea of friendship; so
high and pure.

Mrs. Herne said: "Penloe, you are so near and dear to me as a friend,
that I don't fear to tell you anything, and to show my confidence in
your friendship, I am going to reveal to you something, that I have
never thought it best to tell my husband."

"Your confidence shall never be betrayed by me," said Penloe.

"Thank you, Penloe," said Mrs. Herne. "Now, let me tell you what it is.
Previous to my marriage to Charles Herne there was something in addition
to his true worth and genuine character that attracted me to him;
something about his personality, for I always felt a thrill of joy when
with him; even if I only heard the sound of his coming footsteps, or he
happened to touch my dress, there was a sensation of pleasure; and when
he took my hand, and pressed it and kissed me, it was bliss. Well, I
married him and we came to this beautiful home, and that thrill of
delight continued between me and Charles for about two months, and
during that time I was living in my ideal world. But after two months I
noticed a little less of that feeling, and it kept growing less and
less, till now there is none at all. I love him with my whole heart, and
am devoted to him, my environments are the same, or better in many ways,
seeing that I am a happy mother, and the place has now more comforts and
conveniences than when I came here as a bride; yet that attraction has
gone so that when Charles kisses me or touches me it seems as if it was
my own self kissed me and touched me--to make the union a perfect one,
the delight of attraction should always be present; in that way I have
not realized my ideal."

Penloe said: "Do you know, Mrs. Herne, there are more than a million
couples whose experience is exactly like your own; and if your
environments had not been so pleasant, and both of your dispositions
well blended, and well balanced, you would have separated long ago, as
many have done, not knowing the real cause, and thinking it was
something else. You see," continued Penloe, "before you were married,
you and your husband had both led pure, virtuous lives; and each of you
was like a strong electric battery, charged with the life forces of the
body, which produced this pleasant feeling of attraction, and when you
were married both of you thought and acted like most other married
people."

Mrs. Herne said: "Thank you, Penloe; the ideas you have advanced should
become common property of the many."

Penloe replied: "Yes; but there are some who have these ideas, but don't
wish to put them in practice."

Mrs. Herne said: "Penloe, suppose that two married persons having been
living as most married persons do, and one of the two wished to live the
better way which you have just described, while the other wished to live
as they have been doing, what would be best to do in a case like that?"

Penloe replied: "That is a matter that requires the best judgment
possible, so as not to give offence. Great diplomacy must be used where
hard feelings are liable to be produced; but there is one thing that
must always be kept in view and that is that the one who wishes to live
the better way must be true to himself or herself. The matter should be
presented in a very kindly way, showing that it is as much for the
interest of the one not wishing to live the new way as it is for the one
desiring it. Patience must be used, and, above all, kindness and love.

"I am going to ask you now, Penloe," said Mrs. Herne, "to tell me from
your standpoint, what kind of unions would you consider the best ones?"

To Mrs. Herne's astonishment, Penloe replied: "All marriages are the
best ones; even where they are so unhappy as to separate the next day.
The two can only work out their unfoldment from the plane they are now
on, and not from any other plane or place."

"Yes," said Mrs. Herne, "but supposing I am living the old way, and
after hearing you explain the new way, I wish to live that way."

Penloe said: "That would show that you were tired of living on your old
plane, and you were now ready to leave a lower plane for the higher one.
But, supposing I had seen you a week before you were married to Charles
Herne, and explained to you the new way, do you think you would have
been ready to commence your married life by living the new way?"

Mrs. Herne laughed, and said: "I see it all now; I had to go through
this experience in marriage in order to be ready for the better way. But
are there not some who are ready to live the better way without having
any experience?"

"Yes," said Penloe, "because they were already on a higher plane.
Supposing I take a watch and explain its works to you and your husband;
after I get through, you understand all about its movements because you
were on the mechanical plane to receive the instruction, but your
husband does not, because he has not reached the mechanical plane to
receive it. So it is in regard to receiving ideas on any social, moral,
or spiritual plane."

"I understand it now," said Mrs. Herne, "for you have the faculty of
making any subject very clear; but I am going to push my question and
get you to describe the grades of the higher planes in marriage."

Penloe replied: "There are very, very few persons who are living the
pure life in marriage who have not reached that plane through
experience. Now, it is possible that of two who are about to be
married, one previous to that union may have reached the plane of purity
through experience; while the other, not having had any such experience,
and intending in the main to live purely under marriage, but for several
reasons desires to have some experience before living the pure life.

"Again, where the purpose of the union is to live the pure life, then
the union belongs to the higher plane. But the highest plane of all is
where the two, at the time of marriage, consecrate themselves to each
other and to the service of the Lord in His humanity, keeping their
bodies, as the temples of God, pure and sacred; where both live above
all lustful desires for each other, keeping the life forces for making
the mind and body strong, and fitting themselves to be instruments of
the Divine. Such a union brings the highest bliss to each of them, and
the greater good to the world at large. They do not require children to
make them happy, for their life is in the Divine One. They fully realize
that in Him they live, move, breathe, and have their being, and they
forego for themselves the pleasures of parentage in order to become a
spiritual father and a spiritual mother to the many."

Mrs. Herne gave Penloe her hand, and said: "I sincerely thank you for
the light you have this day given me."

That evening Clara Herne told her husband Penloe's ideas on the marriage
relationship. After listening very closely to all she said, Mr. Herne
sat thinking for a while, then said: "Clara, for a long time I have been
reflecting on that subject, and it perplexed me much, but now that
Penloe has made it so very clear, it seems like so many other things
which are hard to find out and understand, but when explained by a
master mind like Penloe, appear simple.

"Clara, can you estimate what a great gift Penloe gave you in imparting
those very important truths? and the knowledge he gave you, he knew you
would tell me; therefore, I feel he has given us both a precious gift,
more than if we had received a present of five thousand dollars. We
cannot prize such a dear friend too highly."

They had an hour's very agreeable talk on the matter, and they were both
of one mind, and decided that there and then they would live the new
way; and they both sealed their sacred vow with a pure love kiss.



CHAPTER XVI.

TIESTAN.


A few days after Stella had returned home from her visit to her aunt in
Roseland, she and her mother went to call on Penloe; for Mrs.
Wheelwright was as anxious to see such an original man, as Stella was to
set her eyes on a face that had such a beautiful expression.

As we have said, Penloe was living all alone, his mother's work being
for the present in Chicago.

When Penloe came to the door he received Stella in such an agreeable way
as to make her feel perfectly at ease.

Taking his hand, she said: "Penloe, this is my mother, Mrs. Wheelwright;
my name is Stella."

With the same grace and ease did he welcome Mrs. Wheelwright, and the
two ladies had not sat in his library more than five minutes before they
felt as if they had known Penloe all their lives, and they seemed to
have a consciousness as if Penloe had known them always. And as wave
after wave of thought came to their minds, Penloe met it and gave them
just what information and truth each one needed in chaste and polished
language; and yet there was no effort at studied phrases on his part,
for it was his natural mode of expression. When talking on certain
subjects and to an interested listener, his discourse seemed like a
string of sapphires, diamonds, pearls, and rubies.

Stella and her mother had sat there looking into those deep, luminous,
spiritual orbs, while the conversationalist was interesting them, so
that two hours had flown before they thought an hour had passed.

As they were about to leave Penloe saw Stella's longing, wistful eyes
glancing over the rows of books. He anticipated the wish by saying:
"Stella, any book or books you see here you are at liberty to take
home."

If Penloe had made her a present of a thousand dollars in actual gold
coin, she could not have felt as grateful as she did when he gave her
the use of his whole library. It was like pouring water on thirsty land.
Stella was thirsting for information on so many subjects, and now her
wish was gratified. She had the opportunity of getting the reading
matter she longed for so much, but did not have the means to purchase.
And, above all, when Penloe told her he would be pleased to help her in
any line of thought she might wish to investigate, it seemed to her as
if her happiness was complete. Her eyes and her hand expressed it all on
taking leave of Penloe.

The ladies said little in going home. It seemed mutually understood that
they would not give expression to their thoughts till they were home and
sitting together in the evening.

When Stella entered the house she had in her possession three of
Penloe's books. One was "Macomber's Oriental Customs," another "Woman's
Freedom in Tiestan" by Burnette, and the third was "Woman's Bondages" by
Stuart.

After supper was over and the dishes washed and put away, Stella and her
mother sat down and Stella said somewhat abruptly: "Mother, sometimes I
wish I had never seen Penloe." Her mother was not very much surprised to
hear her express herself in that way, for she had observed that Stella's
mind was somewhat agitated.

Her mother said: "Why, dear, what do you mean?"

Stella said: "Mother, I mean this: that I can never be contented and
happy in the society of any young man other than Penloe. How can I?"

It was a very hard question for her mother to answer, who knew full well
that Penloe had unintentionally made an impression on her daughter's
heart that time could never efface, and she had refrained from saying
much in praise of Penloe, for she knew that it would only be adding fuel
to a very great flame, which it would be impossible for Stella to
quench. She knew that Stella had seen in Penloe a young man greatly
beyond her expectations; even beyond her ideal. Penloe lived in a world
that Stella had only just a faint conception of. It was his intellect,
his exceptionally fine personality, manifested in such a fine, manly
form she admired. But, above all, Stella could see that he had emptied
himself of all save love. And that was so broad, so deep, so far
reaching, so universal in its sympathies, that it stirred her whole
nature.

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "I think my daughter has lost something."

"Yes," said Stella, "I lost it when Penloe delivered his sermon on that
Sunday at church, for I saw in him more than I ever dreamed of seeing in
any man, and when I went up and thanked him for his address, and those
discerning spiritual eyes of his looked so deeply and searchingly into
mine, that he read my secret."

Mrs. Wheelwright went to Stella and pressed her to herself, and kissed
her many times. After awhile Stella said:

"Mother, what I want to find in a man is true companionship. Now, look
at the young men in Orangeville. There are a very few that are kind,
steady young men, but then not one of them would be any companion to me.
I don't want to listen to horse talk, or cattle talk, or hog talk, or
some old back East yarns all the time. They all live in the social and
domestic world; there is nothing intellectual about them; they are not
moved by any broad, grand, sweeping, noble impulses. Their ranch, their
home, and the excitement of their barterings and dickerings, and the
doings of a few of their neighbors constitute the world they live in.
And most of them think all that a woman is good for, is to cook, wash,
and raise babies. And mother, I told you what kind of young men I met in
Roseland; now, they are a sample of the top notch of society. All that
many of them want is just the use of a young lady as a toy. And when
they use up the flower, like the bee, they go to another. As for real
manly worth, interesting, intelligent companionship, it is badly wanting
in many of them. Some very few are much better than the rest.

"You know, dear mother, it is not that I want to know a man as a man,
but it is natural that I should want and love an interesting male
companion. When I think what Penloe is, and then think how little and
insignificant I am, a mere child beside him, and only about four years
difference in our ages, it makes me feel discouraged."

"Penloe's talk this afternoon," said her mother, "shows that he does not
look at it in that way. Don't you remember his saying, 'I have traveled
much, been among people of royalty, title and nobility, have lived among
the rich, and great society leaders, also among great politicians,
learned men, spiritual giants, business people, also among the poor,
also the illiterate, the abandoned, the offscouring, and the outcasts of
society; and I have yet to see the person that is not as good as I.' So
you see he thinks that you are just as good as he. Now, dear, don't be
discouraged in the least. I know just how my daughter feels; she wants
Penloe as her life companion and wishes she could be to Penloe what he
is to her. Stella, dear, calm your mind and remember that if Penloe is
for you, you need not have the least anxiety about the matter; for there
is no power in the universe that can hinder your being made one. But if
he is not for you, then it does not matter how good or great, how grand
or noble he may be, how intellectually brilliant he may shine, he should
be the last man in the world you should think of as a life companion.
For if there is anything that is true it is those lines of Emerson:

  "'Whate'er in Nature is thine own,
    Floating in air or pent in stone,
    Will rive the hills and swim the sea,
    And like thy shadow follow thee.'

"Also remember the saying, 'My own will come to me.'"

Nothing more was said. Stella commenced reading "Woman's Freedom in
Tiestan," by Burnette. It occupied most of her spare time the next day,
and she finished it before supper, so that evening after supper Stella
said: "O, mother, I have finished reading 'Woman's Freedom in Tiestan.'
It is most interesting. Tiestan is a place little known to the Western
world, very few travelers having ever visited the country. I want to
read a little of it to you."

Her mother replied: "I shall be delighted to have you," for she always
interested herself in anything her daughter was pleased with, so that
she might be her companion and confidant when needed.

Stella opened at page 79, and read, as follows:

"When the traveler arrives in the city of Semhee, which is the most
important in the country of Tiestan, his guide asks him whether he would
like to go to the Menegam, which means Foreigners' Home, or to the
Eshandam, which means Natives' Home. I told my guide I would go to the
Menegam, which would be conducted after the manners and customs of the
other parts of the Orient, which I had visited. Then, when I had become
accustomed to the ways and manners of the people of Tiestan, I would go
to the Eshandam. Now, while it is very true that very few travelers from
the Western world have ever visited Tiestan, yet the travel from the
other parts of the Orient is great and the people of Tiestan are
familiar with the ideas of the Western world, through the Oriental
travelers. They also have many of the modern improvements from thence,
which they have purchased from Bombay and Calcutta. After making the
necessary arrangements for a week's stay at the Menegam, I took a walk
through some of the most important streets of the city of Semhee. The
first impression which a traveler received in making a tour through the
city is from the fine physique of the girls and women. One is struck
with their independence, graceful carriage, and, as they only wear two
or three garments, it is self evident that they are not dependent on
corsets or waist stiffening for their erect bearing. I noticed there
were very few doctors, and what few there were of the medical profession
were equally divided between the sexes, there being three women and
three men doctors. The city educates them and pays them to keep the
people well. More than two-thirds of the people they heal without
medicine. The profession of dentistry is represented by four women and
four men. They receive their education at the public expense, and their
business is to keep the teeth of the people sound, and put in new ones
where required. Even the judges, lawyers, and city officials are equally
divided between the sexes. I noticed the same rule prevailed in
merchandise, hairdressing, and all kinds of business. There was not a
single employment that was distinctively male or female, for no
distinction was made between them. The same custom prevailed in all
kinds of ball games and sports.

"Another impression one quickly notices is that the extremes of riches
and poverty are not seen among the people, for there are no very rich or
very poor; everyone having all the necessary comforts of life and many
of its luxuries.

"After staying a week at the Menegam, I felt I was prepared to adopt the
customs of the people of Tiestan; so I engaged a room and board at the
Eshandam, or Natives' Home. Most of those who stop at the Eshandam are
natives who live in the province of Tiestan, they having come to Semhee
either on business or pleasure. Only two meals a day are served:
Breakfast from 7.30 to 9 a.m., and dinner from the hours of 1 to 3 p.m.

"I arrived in time for dinner. Persons staying at the Eshandam are all
looked upon while there as members of one family, and it becomes the
duty of the manager to see that all persons sitting at the same table
have been introduced. It would be considered a breach of etiquette to
eat the meal quickly and in silence. I never was in a hotel dining room
where there seemed to be so much freedom and enjoyment among the guests
while taking their meals. Everyone has plenty of time to eat his meal
leisurely. Most of the guests coming from the different parts of the
province of Tiestan, and being well informed, and all able to converse
in two languages, and all having their minds free from uncertain
business enterprises, made their conversation very interesting and
elevating, and their company a pleasure to enjoy. Meat is never seen on
the table. They would feel indignant and be as much disgusted if meat
were set before them, as we would be to have a cooked baby brought to
the table. Eggs are used in some of their cooking; they are also served
in various ways. Their bread and pastry cannot be excelled anywhere. The
dessert consists of a large variety of nuts, confectionery, and fruits.
From two to five o'clock guests are entertained with music in the
beautiful hotel gardens, where fountains are playing, sending water out
in the form of leaves, umbrellas, hats, rings, and other interesting
forms. After the music is over some indulge in games, others read or
write, others chat. In the evening for those who wish to attend are
classes for literature, science, and spiritual philosophy. It is the
business of the hotel to supply all the wants of its patrons; to see
that the intellectual and spiritual natures are fed as well as to see to
the wants of the body. The reason that the people in the city of Semhee
have so much time, is that all labor and business is performed in six
hours. Six hours make a day's work. No one is idle, every well person is
busy at some productive employment. At the hotel they have no such room
as 'Ladies' Parlor,' the parlor being equally for the use of both sexes,
for the ladies are willing that the men hear any subject they are
talking to each other about. No one smokes in that country. The bedrooms
have two doors. One door leads from the hallway into the bedroom, the
other leads from the bedroom into the bath department, which was twelve
feet wide and was as long as the row of bedrooms. Opposite each room was
a bath-tub and a large movable basin, so that a guest could take a
sponge bath or immerse himself.

"The first thing every well person does on rising in the morning is to
go into the bath department and take a cold bath. On my right was a
newly married couple whom I had the pleasure of conversing with at the
dinner yesterday, and on my left was a young lady and her mother with
whom I had the pleasure of enjoying a conversation in the hotel gardens
the day before. I exchanged greetings with all of them in the bath
department, and the feeling was exactly the same as if we all had been
dressed and met at the breakfast. As my room was about the center of the
row I could look each way, and perhaps there were over twenty persons of
both sexes and all ages taking their bath. On the door leading from the
bedroom to the bath department was a writing in hieroglyphics
illuminated and framed, which when deciphered read: 'Sex is an illusion,
illusion is a bondage, break the bondage and be free. The truth shall
make you free.'

"After we had taken our baths those who wished were shown into the room
for devotion. When I had entered the room and had sat for a few minutes
I began to realize what a sacred, peaceful influence was in the place.
It seemed to come up from the floor, down from the ceiling, and out from
the walls, and from everything in the room. No talking is allowed in the
room. It is used only for devotion. I performed my devotions and gave
the room my hearty benedictions. I noticed that the forms of devotion
were not all the same, some using one kind of form and some another, but
they all led to the same goal. The devotions were all carried on in
silence. They consisted first of all of breathing exercises; then
bringing the mind to a state of calmness, by repeating mentally, looking
to the East, 'May all beings be happy. May all beings be peaceful. May
all beings be blissful.' Then looking to the South, repeat the same;
then looking to the West, repeat the same, and looking to the North,
repeat the same. After which some of them say mentally: 'Help me to
meditate upon the glory of Him who projected this universe. May He
enlighten my mind.' Then they pray in silence for light and knowledge;
also they repeat in silence: 'May I this day live without discontent,
without self-seeking, and without anxiety.' Then follow concentration
and meditation.

"After the devotional exercises we had breakfast. I cannot help
remarking that the mind is in a better condition spiritually for
performing and enjoying sacred devotions before breakfast than it is
after it. To have family prayers after breakfast, as many do in the
Western world, hinders the freedom and adaptation that the Orientals
have in their devotion. In the Western world many are present out of
respect or rule, having no sympathy with the devotions, sending out
antagonistic aura which neutralizes the effect of worship, and makes it
cold, formal, flat, dead, and dull, for there is not the right
concentrated spiritual thought in the room, which is very essential for
profitable spiritual exercises.

"On leaving the devotional room for breakfast, I could not help thinking
what a fine preparation for the day! With such a commencement as that,
no wonder the day's work is done well, without friction and in perfect
harmony.

"The people in Semhee being of a social nature and free from all
conventionalities of modern society, it was not long before I made the
acquaintance of many very interesting families.

"I received an invitation to make my home with one of them during my
stay in the city of Semhee, which I was glad to accept. I found the life
in the home to be very much like that in the hotel, so far as bathing,
devotions, and meals were concerned. One evening a young lady called at
the house to see a young man who is a son of my host. The young lady
stayed about two hours, making herself very agreeable to the young man,
and upon taking her leave she invited him to accompany her the next
evening to a concert. He accepted. The next evening she came and called
for him, took him to the concert and saw him home. It seemed she had
been very friendly with him for about two months. The following Sunday
afternoon the young lady called for the young man and took him to the
park, and as I was informed afterwards when the two were in a very
secluded place, surrounded by shrubbery, she, in a very pretty way, told
him that the more she was with him and the more she saw of him, the more
she felt impressed that she loved him, and had found in him a true
companion, and wished to know how he felt towards her. As he was in
exactly the same state of mind towards her as she was towards him, they
were engaged to be married. I became interested in this couple, and
observed that sometimes the young lady would call and see him and take
him out, and sometimes the young man would call and see the young lady
and take her out. I do not wish to give the reader the impression that
the young ladies of Tiestan always commence the courtship, for it is as
customary for a young man to commence a courtship as for a young lady.
The privilege and pleasure of commencing a courtship belongs as much to
one sex as the other.

"One afternoon I was walking along the banks of the beautiful river
which flows through the suburbs of the city of Semhee, and saw a number
of boys and girls, also men and women, all enjoying themselves swimming.
They would swim awhile and then come out, stand or sit on the bank of
the river for another while. Sometimes there would be seen several
hundred persons of all ages on the banks of the river. They no more
thought about their respective natures than they did about the number of
hairs on their head. Among those I saw on the banks of the river was
this very young man and young lady who were engaged to be married. They
were standing up side by side ready to take a plunge in the river, and
in they went and swam about very gracefully. While they were in the
water they both saw me standing on the bank opposite to where they had
stood on the other. They swam to where I was, and came out of the water
to me, and we had a little chat.

"If the young lady was invited to stay over night at the young man's
house, she would take her bath with the other members of the family in
the morning, and if the young man received an invitation to stay all
night at the home of the young lady, he, in the morning, would take his
bath with the members of her family.

"About a month after the engagement the two were married. The city
Semhee employs four persons who can perform the marriage ceremony, two
men and two women. They were married at the home of the young man. A
lady came to perform the ceremony. She told the couple to stand up and
take hands, and then she asked the young man--calling him by name--if he
would have this woman--calling her by name--to be his wife, and he
answered, 'Yes.' Then she asked the young lady--calling her by her
name--would she have this man--calling him by his name--as her husband,
and she answered, 'Yes.' Then she said: 'In the presence of these
witnesses I declare you to be man and wife.' The two then signed a
document stating they were man and wife, which was put on record, and
that ended the ceremony. They were very happy, for each one found in the
other a true, loving companion, and they were one intellectually and
spiritually.

"As women are engaged in the professions, in business, and perform all
kinds of service as men do, receiving the same compensation, they are
just as financially independent as men are, and, therefore, have no
other motive for marrying than that of true, pure love, finding in each
other a true intellectual and spiritual companion. Of children they have
few, for they believe in quality, and not quantity.

"The intellectual and spiritual life predominates over the animal in all
its inhabitants. Do not think from what I have written about the ladies
of Tiestan that they are masculine women. Far from it. They are just as
sweet, pretty, entertaining, attractive, and graceful as any women to be
found in the world. Yes, far more so, for their hours of duty are short.
They have no care, anxiety or sickness to speak of, and their
environments are such as to bring to the surface all that is pure, good,
noble, and sweet; and, above all, the traveler finds the ladies of
Semhee to be _real_, genuine, and sincere in character."

When Stella had finished reading her selection from Burnette's book, her
mother had a big laugh, and asked her if she wanted to go to Semhee.

"No, mother, it is not Semhee I wish to visit just now, though some day
I certainly would like to see the city of Semhee and meet the
accomplished, enlightened, and free women of Tiestan. What I do want to
see is the women of this country, where there is so much boast of
liberty and freedom, free themselves from the awful bondage of sex
superstition, and all other bondages that have been heaped upon them by
people of the Dark Ages because they are women. Even those who talk so
much about woman's rights, are in bondage up to their necks. Look at
Laura Stevenson in Orangeville; a fine bright young girl, who makes a
hobby of woman's rights, and yet see the bondage she is in. A fine young
man whom she was supposed to respect very much, lay sick in his cabin
all alone, and with all her talk about her independence and freedom, she
never went to see him because he was alone and there was no woman there.
She being a young woman, thought it would not be proper for her to do
it. Laura Stevenson's independence and liberty consist in having her own
way in a few things. She does not know what freedom is. Her freedom is
all sham, and with no reality in it. Then there is Nora Parks, who is
supposed to be advanced, and talks much on woman's freedom; but watch
her how very particular she is in her conduct with young men who are
good, lest she should excite the jealousy of her husband. Therefore, she
is not free, but in bondage to his foolish, uncalled for jealous
feelings. Talk about women being free, they don't know anything about
freedom, for they are all in bondage of some kind or other."

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Stella, among the many fine thoughts which
Burnette brings out in the description of the women of Semhee, that is a
great one _which shows woman to be financially independent of man,
previous to marriage and after marriage, too_. Therefore, she can have
no other motive for marrying a man than that of mating herself to a true
companion. When that is done the two act as one light, whose rays reach
out and shine on all around them. Blessed is such a life."

"Mother," said Stella, "I do not fully understand the meaning of the
writing on the bedroom door, which Burnette describes. You remember that
part which reads: 'Sex is an illusion.' I understand too well the
meaning of being in bondage to sex, but that sex is an illusion I do not
see the meaning of, because we know that sex is real and has its use and
purpose."

"I cannot enlighten you, my dear," said her mother. "You will have to
ask Penloe when you return the books."

"Well, mother," said Stella, "I am going to put some of my theories into
practice. I say my theories, but I do not exactly mean that; but I am
going to put some advanced ideas into practice in regard to woman's
freedom. I will now tell you one of them, and another later on.

"Mother," continued Stella, "when a man lives alone and a woman wishes
to go to his house to see him, she has to take another woman with her
because it is not thought proper for a woman to be seen going alone
calling at a house, particularly where a young man lives by himself. But
if a woman lives alone and a man wants to see her he does not get some
other man to go with him. No, he goes alone, and it is thought all
right. Now, mother, I will be free, and, therefore, when I return the
books to Penloe I will go alone."

"All right, my dear," said her mother. "I am glad, Stella, you have the
courage to practise your convictions. This talk of woman's rights and
freedom we hear so much about and woman's liberty that we read of in the
newspapers, is just so much evasion. A woman who may have known a good
man for several years dare not call on him if he lives alone. One ounce
of practice, Stella, is worth a thousand tons of big talk. Go ahead, my
daughter, I am proud of you," said Mrs. Wheelwright.

The week after Stella went to the house of Penloe to return the books.
Penloe was in his library writing. When he heard a knock he arose and
went to the door in a mechanical kind of way, his mind being more on the
subject of his writing than upon who might be at the door. When he
opened the door Stella said:

"Good morning, Penloe; I have come to return your books."

Stella's voice seemed to recall Penloe to where he was, and to notice
who had come to see him.

In a soft, musical voice, he said: "Glad to see you, Stella; walk in,"
giving her his hand, and Stella was shown in to the library.

When she was seated Penloe said: "Excuse me for a minute or two," and
Stella was pleased to do so, for she wanted to be in the room alone and
take notes. But no sooner had Penloe left the room when a different
state of mind came over her, and she did not feel like giving her
attention to anything in the room. For such a wave of peace came over
her mind as she had never experienced before, so that the room seemed to
be full of peace. It was not a dead, sleepy peace, nor a dreamy peace,
but a peace that was refreshing, strengthening, and was exactly what her
mind needed. She sat in perfect bliss drinking in all she could, when
Penloe came into the room. He seemed to her to be all peace. This
delightful condition put her mind in a state of equipoise, such as she
had never felt before; for it was a peace that was tinged with a Divine
quality; and it was about to awaken her more than ever to the
possibilities of the real world, the Divine world, the spiritual world,
the world whose realization so far she had not a knowledge of. For her
supreme life was in her intellectual tastes and in her deep, loving,
true nature, which loved to see what was fitting, right, and just,
actually lived; possessing at the same time the boldness and courage to
be a pioneer of advanced thought, and, above all, she loved to live her
ideas.

On returning to the room Penloe opened the conversation by saying:
"Well, Stella, could you find anything interesting in the books?"

"Interesting, Penloe," said Stella. "Why, I have had a very rich treat
in the perusal of them. I felt as if I could not put them down till I
had finished them, for they contain just the light I have been seeking,
and now they have become a part of my own mentality. But I wish you
would explain the meaning of the expression, 'Sex is an illusion.'"

"Why, certainly, Stella, I will be glad to do so, for if there is
anything that appears real it is what is known as sex, the qualities of
male and female, we see in all nature. It is said to exist in some
precious stones, and we know it exists in the vegetable world, and in
all animal life. And if there is anything that is real to a boy or girl,
it is that he or she is a boy or girl, and if there is anything that is
real to a man or a woman, it is that he or she is a man or woman. So
strongly has this thought become the life thought of the human race,
that the members of each sex look upon themselves as being just what
their material forms stand for. That is, a woman believes that she will
be a purified woman through all eternity, that the woman is permanent,
real, immortal, and that she will continue on, as a woman, with her
womanly traits of character greatly expanded. While man thinks that as a
man he is real, permanent, and immortal; that he will continue his
existence as a man through all eternity, and that he will always be
known as a man, and always look upon woman as woman. Any thought
contrary to the reality of sex, the masses in the Western world will not
accept, for they live in a sex world, and at present do not wish to rise
above it, for they are in bondage to the reality of sex. In the
prehistoric period of humanity there lived a race of gods, that is, a
race whose members were intellectual and spiritual giants, many of them
spending their whole life in thought, living on a very meagre diet,
needing very little in the way of clothing and shelter, having no
material desires or ambitions to gratify. They, therefore, had an
abundance of time for searching for and investigating spiritual truths.
They were fitted by nature and by their environments for that life, and
they were gifted with revelations of the unseen.

"They were called seers or sages, because they could see spiritual
truths which others could not, and it was at this period and through one
of these seers that a voice spoke, 'That which exists is one, men call
it by various names.' That was the conclusion that many other eminent
seers and sages had come to. For they saw that there was one great
Infinite Life Force manifesting itself in all and through all. That
there is a correlation of spiritual forces, and that all the various
phenomena are the one manifestation of this Infinite Life, which is
called by some God, by others Lord, by others Brahma, by others Jehovah,
by others Allah, the meaning of them all being exactly the same as that
expressed in the Bible by the name of God, in whom we live, move, and
breathe and have our being; that we are the manifestation of Him. In
short, our real entity, our real life, our real self (the Atman), our
soul (the Purusa) is Spirit eternal and immortal. Now the life of the
Spirit has no sex in it, but the spirit manifests itself in these
various forms of male and female. The sexual form is only the
instrument, not the Being. For the Being is not sex, and, therefore,
there is nothing connected with sex, that is spiritual and eternal. It
belongs to the external world and the material plane, and is, therefore,
a temporary manifestation suitable to the earth plane. It becomes
necessary, in order to get a true conception of what we really are (that
we are spiritual beings, being neither male nor female) that we get away
from the illusion of sex, and not be in bondage to it. But the man must
look upon the woman as a spiritual being and not think of her only for
what her material form stands for. If he does he is under an illusion,
being in bondage to her body, which becomes a barrier to realizing the
Divine within, and if the woman looks upon the material form of the man
as being the man and that for which he stands, then she is under an
illusion and is in bondage to his material form, looking upon his male
body as the all of man. And such a thought becomes a hindrance to her
realizing her Divine nature.

"Remember, Stella, that sex is only apparent, not real. It belongs to
the phenomenal world."

Stella said: "To accept the idea you have just advanced I shall have to
begin and lay a new foundation to build upon, for you have swept away
many things I considered truths."

Penloe said: "Stella, you are merely casting off old garments that you
have outgrown, and you are now ready for a new robe that fits you. But
remember never to quarrel with the old clothes you once wore. They have
served their purpose and should always be respected."

Stella said: "Penloe, the truth you have advanced regarding sex will
take me some time to fully digest."

"Certainly," said Penloe, "but it will not be long before you will
comprehend it fully in all its relativity and make it a part of your own
mentality."

Stella said: "Have you any reading matter to lend me which touches on
this subject, Penloe?"

"Yes," said Penloe, "here are some lectures by the Swami Vivekanada; one
is 'The Real and the Apparent Man,' another is 'Reincarnation,' and two
lectures on the 'Cosmos.' And here are also two books for you to read."

Stella was delighted to receive the lectures and books. After thanking
Penloe she gave him her hand, and said: "I must go, now."

Penloe held her hand, and said: "Stella, I see you are very fond of
books, and they are a very great help, and I prize my library very, very
much; but remember, Stella, the whole library of the universe is within
you. Stella, accept a suggestion from one who is your true friend. Be
much in prayer; let your prayer be for light and knowledge; meditate
much on Divine things; and you will be surprised how a flood of light
will sweep over you at times. Pray that the Divine, which was manifested
in such a degree in Jesus, may be manifested in you." Pressing her hand,
he said: "God bless you, Stella, and may you ever feel the presence of
your own Divine nature."

Stella will never forget that warm hand grasp and those spiritual words.
For it seemed to her at that very moment that that spiritual fire, which
was always burning with such a glow in Penloe and shining so brightly
through his angelic face, had caused the spark which had been growing
brighter and stronger within her, to burst into a flame, and what sweet
season of soul experience did she realize on her way home.

Stella had much to think about that evening. She said little to her
parents; her mind was so pre-occupied she could not give attention to
much else. She realized she must make the matter thoroughly clear to
herself so as to have all her thoughts and ideas harmonize, before
communicating them even to her parents. She did not even look into the
literature which Penloe had lent her that evening. She felt like
retiring and thinking. When she laid her head on the pillow that night
it seemed as if it was not to sleep; it was to think. The leaven was
working in Stella's mind. The truths which she had just received were
powerful; it seemed as if she could not get away from them, even if she
wished, for truths possess us, we do not possess them. Nothing in the
universe is more powerful than truth.

After the first wave of the novelty, the beauty, the grandeur and the
thrilling depth of the truth had subsided only temporarily (to be
superseded by a far more powerful wave of the same character), there
came over Stella's mind during this lull, a strong feeling of attachment
to some of the old ideas she had held. It was very easy for her to let
some of her garments drop from her mental form, and be clothed with new
ones, but there were some that seemed rather hard to loosen; and which
were they? One was this: While it cannot be said that Stella was vain or
self-conceited, there was that strong attachment to the personal I,
which is generally seen in positive dominant characters in the Western
world. And as a woman she had everything to make her feel proud of her
form and beauty, with a graceful carriage, combined with a bright mind
and noble purpose. She had realized her power over the opposite sex. Her
dominant thought had been, that as a woman she was going to lead her
sisters out of bondage; that because she was a woman she had a right to
vote; because she was a woman she should not be in bondage to forms,
ceremonies, and customs; because she was a woman she should not be a
slave to sex superstition. But now all this had been swept away, and it
was hard for her to let go all the grand thoughts she had entertained
about woman as woman. But, blessed, noble, courageous girl, she said: "I
will follow truth whithersoever it may lead," and she inscribed truth on
her banner, saying, "That will I follow."

So she let the last of her old garments drop from her, saying: "I will
clothe myself with the garment of truth." The battle had now been fought
and the victory won; and now a wave came sweeping over her mind, more
powerful, with more beauty, with greater grandeur, penetrating far
deeper, stirring the very depths of her nature, and she felt such
freedom as she had never realized in her life before. With this rock,
the corner-stone of truth, she commenced to lay a foundation which is
eternal and immortal.



CHAPTER XVII.

PENLOE'S ORIGINAL ADDRESS.


The Roseland _Gazette_ was very pleased to get something of a
sensational character in its columns, like the different stories which
had been brought to that city concerning Penloe's sermon delivered in
Orangeville. The State Legislature not being in session (to see how much
money they could get out of the pockets of the people for the benefit of
its members and their friends), there were no sensational charges of
bribery or boodle to report; and as Congress had closed there was no
news concerning laws passed in the interests of bankers, railroad
corporations, sugar trusts, whiskey and other trusts which are able to
furnish members of Congress with funds to carry their schemes through.
It happened to be at a time when news was scarce and dull, and therefore
the press made the most of the matter by writing an editorial on the
subject of sex relationship, which appeared in the paper the following
week, and was as follows:

"In our last issue we gave as correct a report of the remarkable sermon
preached by Penloe in the church at Orangeville, as our reporter could
get. Since then most all other subjects of conversation have subsided in
this county and the main topic of conversation has been Penloe and the
sex question. As to Penloe, it is not our purpose in this article to
discuss the man, but some of his ideas. The sex question is a very
peculiar one to the minds of many. Penloe's ideas are so radical that it
gives us a shock all over even to think of attempting to bring the
people to that mode of living. The thought we have concerning our sex is
instilled into us by custom, precept and example, so that from earliest
infancy to introduce such an innovation as Penloe proposes would
apparently, to our minds, seem like undermining our social structure and
its very foundations. While we admit the state of society is morally
low, yet what can be done to improve it? Can we ever reconcile ourselves
to persons of both sexes and all ages undressing in the presence of each
other and all bathing together naked? We question whether society is
ready for such a change? Penloe's theories are like many other theories,
very fine on paper but when you put them in practice they won't work.
What say you, readers? We would like to hear also from our brothers of
the press."

And they did hear from their brethren of the press. For other county
papers took the matter up, being very glad to get something sensational
for their columns; and from county papers the subject got into the big
city dailies throughout California, and they printed very sensational
articles concerning Penloe and his sermon, discussing the sex question
at great length. It was not very long before the Eastern papers had long
articles about Penloe and his sermon, and they wrote much on the
subject. Then the matter reached the magnitude of what is known as a
wave; which swept through the press all over the continent, causing as
much comment and talk as Markham's poem, "The Man with the Hoe."

Penloe's mail increased in size rapidly, and he was now receiving twenty
times more letters than all the other mail in Orangeville combined. It
was amusing to see how the letters were addressed. They read, "Dr.
Penloe, Rev. Dr. Penloe, Rev. Penloe, Penloe, Esq., Prof. Penloe, D.D.,
and LL.D." Letters came to him from every state in the Union. Here is
one:

     "MR. PENLOE:

     "DEAR SIR:--I am shocked and disgusted with you. You
      never ought to be allowed to talk from the pulpit in
      such a way. The people of Orangeville ought to tar and
      feather you and ride you on a rail out of the county."

Another letter was as follows:

     "CRANK PENLOE:

     "Of all the cranks I ever did read about or hear tell
      on, you are the darndest. The women folks in my house
      are as hot as hell, ever since they read in the paper
      what you talked in church. My wife said, 'What a crank
      you must be,' and my mother-in-law said hell is too
      good for such as you. What a rumpus you have made all
      over the country; it seems as if hell is to pay for all
      this."

Penloe also received some powerful scorching letters from orthodox
ministers, while on the other hand the liberal and radical elements of
society poured forth eulogies and commendations for his bold original
utterances, for his fearlessness in treating the subject in the
courageous way he did; calling him a brave pioneer and they themselves
would start Penloe Clubs for putting his ideas in practice. He received
many letters from churches in some of the large cities, like the
following:

     "REV. DR. PENLOE:

     "DEAR SIR:--Our church in this city is an elegant
      structure and will seat twelve hundred persons. For
      some months we have been looking for a popular young
      man to fill our pulpit. It has been very difficult to
      find an up-to-date man, one that will draw a
      congregation to fill our church, for the audience keeps
      growing less every Sunday, because we have not got a
      real, live smart man to preach to us. We think if we
      could secure your services you would draw the largest
      congregation in this city, for your popularity has
      swept the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and
      we feel sure you are the right man. Our people are very
      sociable and well to do, many of our members being
      rich. We are willing to pay you a salary of seven
      thousand dollars a year, and the use of a handsome
      house elegantly furnished, and will allow you two
      months' vacation, besides paying your expenses to come
      here. We will say that, should you accept our offer,
      our people will be glad to receive you into their
      hearts and homes."

Penloe always answered all such communications, but as for accepting one
of them it was out of the question; for he knew it was not his field of
labor, and if the salary had been a hundred thousand dollars a year, it
would have been no temptation or an inducement to him to accept the
offer. For money, name and fame touched him not; and nothing could
induce him to leave his path of labor for the sake of going into some
new field of work which only held out large material rewards. He also
received many offers from the owners of papers and magazines, asking him
to write his views. The New York _Monthly Magazine_ offered him one
thousand dollars for an eight-page article on the sex question; provided
he would not write on the subject for any other magazine or paper.
Penloe accepted the offer because he considered that was the best
channel to communicate to the world his views on the sex question. Its
readers were of a class that could comprehend the subject in the spirit
in which it was offered. And as for the thousand dollars Penloe had a
sacred purpose he wished to use that money for. A man wrote to Penloe
offering him forty thousand dollars if he would consent to lecture for
one year in all the large cities in the United States. The man told a
friend of his, he was sure after paying Penloe his forty thousand
dollars and all other expenses, he would clear about sixty thousand
dollars himself.

How true it is that a prophet is not without honor, save in his own
country. For Orangeville was the last place to feel the Penloe wave
which swept over all the country. At last the people of Orangeville
reading so much about him in their papers and magazines, began to think
he was something more than a crank, that they must have a great man
amongst them, or else he would never have received such big offers of
money for his services as the papers stated he had, and there would not
have been so much written about him if he was of no account.

Quite a change had come over the people in Roseland concerning Penloe,
and they began to feel differently towards him since his wave of
popularity had swept over the country. Even Stella's aunt had
experienced a change of heart towards him, for she was heard to say,
"People's ideas are changing now in regard to the sex question. They
look at the subject so differently now from what they did when I was a
girl. I did not think Penloe was such a smart man as the papers say he
is. He must be, or else he never would have received an offer of forty
thousand dollars to lecture for one year."

A man may possess all the characteristics of a saint and a martyr
combined, and yet the average person is not attracted to him; but as
soon as money and popularity flow towards him, then in his eyes he
becomes next to a God; for people love to be touched on the material
side of their nature rather than on the spiritual. They consider the
spiritual well enough to talk about, and when a friend of theirs dies
they may love to sing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and "Safe in the Arms of
Jesus," but what they really desire for themselves and families, above
everything else, is a rich blessing of material things; that which makes
well for the body and which puts them in a position to have full play of
the emotional and sensational part of their natures.

So great was the desire among the people of Orangeville and Roseland,
and in fact the whole county, to hear Penloe speak, and to see the man
that so much had been said and written about, that a committee was sent
to him with a request signed by the leading citizens, asking him to
deliver an address to them in Roseland. Penloe accepted the invitation
to speak. The committee secured the use of a large packing house for the
meeting, and fixed it up so that it seated a very large audience, for
they knew that the Penloe wave was at its height, and about every team
from every ranch in the county would be out on that occasion. As the
committee had well advertised more than a week ahead, that Penloe would
deliver a public address, the news reached to many parts outside the
county, so that when the day came for the meeting to be held a number
of strangers from different parts of the state were seen in Roseland.

We will copy from a San Francisco paper a report of the meeting, as that
paper had a special reporter there who gave a full report of the
address.

-----------

AN IMMENSE CROWD

LISTENS

TO PENLOE'S ORIGINAL ADDRESS.

Meeting Opened by the Mayor of Roseland.

-----------

If a stranger had been in Roseland to-day he certainly would have
thought from seeing the livery stables crowded with teams from the
country, and every vacant lot and square also filled with teams, and the
crowds of people on the streets all going in one direction, that some
great attraction was going on, and he would be under the impression that
if he went out into the country he would not expect to see a person or a
team, for there never was any occasion before that brought such a large
gathering of people to Roseland. Long before the time of commencement,
the seating capacity of the building was taxed to its utmost. Promptly
at 2 P.M. the Mayor of Roseland and Penloe appeared on the platform. The
Mayor opened the meeting by introducing Penloe in the following words:
"Ladies and gentlemen:--It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you
this afternoon a gentleman whom you all have heard and read so much
about. Whatever your views may be about his teaching, I can positively
assert the lecturer is a scholar and a gentleman, every inch of him.
Very often a speaker's remarks fail to have the full weight they are
entitled to because persons say he has an axe to grind, or, he is paid
to talk that way. Now I have not the least idea of the subject the
speaker is going to talk to you upon, but this I can say, he is here
this afternoon only because he was invited to come and speak. He refused
all offers of money for his services, saying, he wished his labors to be
a free will offering to you. Therefore I hope you will give him your
closest attention, remembering he gives you the best product of his mind
acquired through years of study, thought and observation; and that is
the richest gift one can give another.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I now have the honor of introducing to you the
speaker, known as Penloe."

Penloe rose and came forward to the front of the platform; first bowing
to the Mayor and then to the audience; and as he did so he faced a sea
of upturned faces, who gazed upon one of the most remarkable men this
country has produced. Not very many of the audience had seen Penloe
before, and they were agreeably surprised to see on the platform before
them, so distinguished a personality. It seemed a delight to look upon
him. But few present could begin to size up such a man as he was. Some
of the remarks which one could hear whispered were like the following:

A young lady said: "What beautiful clear eyes he has. It seems as if you
could see his soul in them."

A gentleman was heard to say: "He has the most striking personality of
any one I have ever seen."

A lady remarked: "Is he not handsome?"

A man said: "What a fine head and noble countenance he has. It seems as
if the Almighty had stamped himself on him."

"Yes," said his wife who was sitting at his side. "And did you ever see
a more perfect specimen of physical manhood than he is, so symmetrical
in his build?"

Such was the man who faced the large audience and opened his address by
saying:

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR FRIENDS:

"The Mayor was correct in calling what I am about to say to you 'a
talk,' for if any one has come here expecting a grand oration, with
flowery language, rounded periods, and finished diction, he will be
disappointed.

"Now, dear friends, I love you all, and that is why I call you dear
friends, and that is why I am here this afternoon to talk to you,
because I love you all. Yes, every one of you. I don't care what you
apparently are. Some of you may be greedy and grasping, and some may be
tyrannical and overbearing, or weak and negative; with no backbone or
grit or will; or you may be vain, selfish, ambitious, self-conceited,
carrying your head too high; or you may be one who lives to dance; loves
the whirl and excitement of pleasure; or you may be one who loves to
enjoy eating and drinking and sensual delights. I say, and I repeat it
again, I don't care what you apparently are, I love you all just the
same. I look at you from an entirely different standpoint from which you
look at yourselves. Now you all look at yourselves and at others
according to sex and your environments. Before me I see men who say of
themselves, I am a lawyer; I am a preacher; I am a banker; I am a
doctor; I am a merchant; I am a mechanic; I am an artist; I am a
musician; I am a farmer; I am a common laborer. Before me I see women
who say, I am a dressmaker; I am a milliner; I am a teacher; I am a
clerk; I am a bookkeeper; I am a typewriter; or I am a lawyer's wife, or
banker's wife, or doctor's wife, or merchant's wife, or preacher's wife,
or mechanic's wife, or farmer's wife. You think of yourselves according
to that position you occupy to make your living, or according to the
relationship you hold as wife, mother, daughter, or according to the
family you are a member of. Then again you all esteem yourselves
according to the degree of comfort, luxuries, health, money or property
which each of you may or may not possess. Also whether you are young,
middle aged or old.

"Dear brothers and sisters, I do not rate you nor judge you nor look at
you in any way according to your conditions, age, sex or environments. I
look at you to-day not as you look at yourselves, but I look at you all
as spiritual beings, pure and perfect; nay, I look upon you all as
being still more than that, for I look upon you all as being the
manifestation of the One great Infinite Spirit.

"Let me make it clearer to you by an illustration: In a certain province
of an Oriental country it was customary at one time for any young lady
who was distinguished in any way for her beauty or her riches or her
titles or her accomplishments, to set a day for receiving her suitors,
and grant each an opportunity to tell what he had to offer her as an
inducement to her to become his bride. In this province there was a
young lady whose beauty of countenance and lovely form, language is
inadequate to describe. In addition to that, her sweet souled character
exceeded her beautiful form and her many accomplishments. So superior
had that character become in its spiritual manifestation, that many
stories were told of her healing the sick, of her spiritual words and
presence reforming the lives of many; and of her having knowledge of
things, persons and subjects that she had neither heard nor read about.
Her youth, her beauty, her spiritual gifts and her many accomplishments
became known throughout the length and breadth of the province, and she
had many suitors for her heart and hand. So a day was set for her to
receive them all, to hear what each one had to offer, and select the one
of her choice. A suitable room was prepared for receiving them. At the
farther end the floor was raised two feet and on this raised part she
took a seat in the centre and near the front, with all her suitors on
her right seated on the lower floor and facing her.

"The first suitor that had a hearing was a rich merchant. He said to
her, 'Dearest lady, I have heard much of thee and it now does my eyes
good to behold thee in all thy beauty. I am glad you have consented to
give me the opportunity of telling you what I have to offer you to
become my bride. I am a rich merchant and have a palatial home on the
borders of a beautiful lake. Inside my home is a collection of the
riches and products of skill from all lands that I have traded in. I
have gold and ivory, laces, shawls, silks, fancy wares, rugs, mattings,
spices and perfumes; and I have brought with me some as an offering to
you' (and here he ordered his servants to bring the presents in and
display them before her). 'Be my bride, most gracious lady, and the
wealth from all lands shall be thine.'

"The lady smiled on him and told him to take a seat on her left and have
his servants remove the presents.

"The next that appeared before the lady was a great warrior.

"He said, 'Lovely lady, I am a great warrior. I have led to battle large
armies, and have always been victorious. I have met hand to hand
captains and generals, and have slain them with one blow from my sword'
(and here he drew it out of its sheath and showed it to her. It was a
fine piece of skilled workmanship). 'Should you become my bride no harm
shall ever befall you, no enemy shall come nigh you, and no serpent or
wild beast shall hurt you; for I have killed all kinds of animals and
reptiles. Most lovely one, if thou wilt become my bride, all my soldiers
shall obey thy word, and I will be thy true protector.'

"With a smile she motioned him to a place on her left.

"The next that appeared as her suitor, said, 'Dear lady, I have a
beautiful home and all it needs is thee, and shouldst thou see fit to
become my bride, you will be a happy and a joyous mother, and in the
love of each other, and in our home, and in our children, will our
happiness be found. Dearest lady, become my bride and thou shalt be the
head of the happiest home in the land.'

"She smiled and motioned him to a seat on her left.

"The next suitor that came forward was attired in rich cloth trimmed
with lace and gold.

"He said, 'Most charming lady, I am a Prince, and if thou wilt become my
bride, I will make thee a Princess. Thou shall have a lovely court, many
servants, costly robes to wear, and millions of people to worship thee,
and do thee homage.'

"She smiled and motioned him to a seat on her left.

"Other suitors made offers to her. The last suitor that appeared before
the sweet lady was different from all the rest. He was dressed plainly;
he needed nothing to improve his natural appearance, for his majestic
form, his noble countenance and lustrous eyes, surpassed in
attractiveness all the other suitors. When you once saw him you felt as
if you wished to take another look at him, for it seemed to do one's
eyes good to feast them on so grand a man.

"He said, 'Thou pure, sweet one. When a youth I was wandering through a
forest and saw a man sitting under a tree. He had a sweeter countenance
than I had ever seen before. He said, "My youthful friend, if thou wilt
learn from me thou shalt become good, wise and very happy."

"'I thought of my companions and myself in regard to what he said, and
the more I thought about us all, I could not think of one that was
becoming good and wise, or was truly happy. For we were all restless,
going here, and going there, trying this and doing the other to find
happiness. So I thanked him and said, I will be thy pupil, for I wish to
become good, wise and truly happy. He said, "Commence to-morrow morning,
and as soon as you awake rise immediately; never lay after you are
awake, for it is not good for one of your age. Then when you rise bathe
in cold water. After you have dressed," he said, "read out of this book
which I give you; read every morning for fifteen minutes or half an
hour; then spend a little time in prayer and meditation." And he gave me
instructions in such and said, "Live on plain food, eat no meat, avoid
bad companions as you would a Bengal tiger, and before going to rest at
night spend half an hour in prayer and meditation. Continue faithfully
in the performance of these practices for three months, and then come
here to me." I did so, carrying them out to the letter, and at the end
of three months I returned to him. He looked at me and said, "I see by
your countenance you have changed." I replied, "Yes, I feel changed
altogether." "Tell me," he said, "in what way do you feel different?"

"'I said, "When you saw me three months ago my mind was confused more or
less, my imagination ran too much after vain and sensuous objects. I
had too much personal sensitiveness, being attached to myself so much. I
was easily irritated, and always restless, wanting something I did not
have. But now my mind is calm and peaceful, my imagination dwells on the
pure, the good and the beautiful. I no longer feel envious or jealous or
greedy; for love seems to be taking the place of those feelings."

"'Continuing, my teacher said, "Let your prayer be for light and
knowledge, and ask the Blessed Infinite One to help you to love all; let
love rule; never mind what others may say about you, or how meanly they
may treat you. Be in earnest to love all. Rise every morning with this
thought: 'How beautiful my brother is; how precious is my sister.' You
may not love a person's ways, but you should always love the person.
Separate the two in your mind and it will help you much. Start the day
with this thought, 'I will live this day without discontent, without
self-seeking, and without anxiety.' Say, 'Lord, deliver me from all
selfish ambitions, and from pride and vanity, and may I become teachable
as a little child.'"

"'I did so, for I was very desirous of advancing in the Divine life.

"'In six months' time I returned to him. He said, "Why, brother, how
happy you look; how clear and bright your eyes are; how sweet your
expression has become."

"'"Yes," I said, "I am becoming like you." He said, "God bless your
efforts in living the Divine life. Let your prayer be: Do thou manifest
thyself in me, thou Blessed Infinite One. See that I want Thee and
nothing else."

"'I did so, for the more I followed his instructions the more of the
Divine life did I realize, and I knew that the angel was ruling the
animal within me. After being his disciple for several years, he said,
"Thou art ready now to become a teacher like myself."

"'I replied, "Dear Guru, my prayer is that in becoming a teacher like
thee, I may be able to lead others in the Divine life as thou hast led
me." I kissed the holy man and he gave me his blessing which has
followed me ever since, and it is with pleasure that I can say in the
spirit of thankfulness and humility, there have been those whose lives
are all the sweeter and brighter through my life and instructions. Sweet
lady, you know what I mean when I say, having obtained freedom through
renunciation I realized illumination, and through the light which I have
received I am in the possession of knowledge which the many know little
about, and through the light and knowledge which I have received I came
to know you long before seeing you to-day. I have seen you many, many
times though you were hundreds of miles away from me, and I seem to have
been in communication with you, though I never have spoken or written a
word to you. Not only so, sweet lady, but it has been my happiness to
receive from you many uplifting thoughts and I felt as if I was led by
the Divine Spirit which is in us all to come here to-day and say to you:
Thou sweet spirit, I have no houses nor lands, no money nor wealth, no
name nor fame, but I have attained realization, and through that
attainment I see the Divine in you; and its manifestation to such an
eminent degree in you has attracted me towards you, and I say to you
now, sweet one, that in your becoming my bride our lives will be
expanded, and we will attain unfoldment that we could obtain in no other
way. Thou bright one, what sweet communings of soul with soul, we will
have; for having consecrated our bodies to the Eternal One, we will each
day manifest a brighter light, and both of us shine as one in our love
for each other, and for all. And, dear one, in that beautiful light and
life will our cup of bliss be filled, and many besides ourselves will
drink therefrom.'

"The lady smiled very sweetly on him and bade him take a seat on her
right. Then rising and facing her other suitors she said, 'Friends, I
thank you for the interest and kindness you have shown towards me, but
you all made one mistake, and that is in thinking I am merely just what
this material form stands for, in thinking I am a woman and only a
woman, and nothing but a woman. And in thinking so you come, one with
gifts of silks, laces, gold, ivory, spices and many other things, as if
that was all I needed. Another offers bravery and protection for me,
thinking I was a weak woman and could not take care of myself; another
wants to make me a Princess, so as to excite my pride and vanity, by
causing so many to bow down to me, as if my joy consisted in having my
pride and vanity fed, and in looking upon my fellow beings as my slaves,
whose whole life is to contribute to my enjoyment. Then another offers
me a home and to make me the mother of many children; as if that was the
highest attainment for a spiritual being; while still another offers me
money, good things to eat and drink and wear, only what this body of
mine seems in his eyes. No, I will have to decline all your offers,
because you are under the illusion that I am only a woman.'

"Turning to the one on her right she said, 'By a life of self-denial and
discipline through prayer and meditation, and in cultivating the spirit
of love for all, and in making your life a free will offering to
humanity, you attained illumination. The angel now rules the animal and
you have arrived now to the state of realization of the Divine within
you. Not being in bondage to either the man or the woman, for you see
that each is a spiritual being like the other, therefore you look upon
me as a spiritual being manifested in the form of a woman. You have seen
that my wants and desires are spiritual, not material. All that I need
in the material world is very little and comes to me; for as Jesus has
said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all these things
(material) shall be added unto you."

"'Dear friend, you have appealed to my self, my spiritual nature. I now
respond, and, dear one, what I possess in the way of love shall be
yours, for I love you so dearly it will be a joy for me to give you my
love and live in your love, and we will both consecrate ourselves to
each other and to the Lord, in His humanity.'"

Penloe, looking earnestly at his audience, said: "That is the way, dear
friends, I look on you all this day; not for what your material forms
stand for, not for the environments each of you is placed in, but I look
upon you all as spiritual beings. I look upon you as Divine, and it is
this great, grand and glorious thought that each one of you is Divine. I
want you to take it home with you; I want you to repeat it over and over
again, '_I am Divine_'; I want you to think about it till it becomes
part of your own mentality, till it becomes part of the cells of your
brain, till it becomes a part of the life blood of your body, flowing
through your arteries and veins; and all your actions shall have their
source in the grand thought that you are Divine. When you reach to that
plane, your whole course in life will change, and each one of you before
me here will become so changed that you or your neighbors will hardly
know yourselves. For you have been going about with this thought, 'I am
a poor, weak human being.' That man over there says, 'All there is to me
is this body with its appetites and desires. I drink, I swear, I live a
life of lust and that is what I am.' I say no! a thousand times no! All
the qualities of the Divine are within you; but you have not realized
them. Don't look upon yourself any longer as being that drinking,
swearing, lustful man. But look upon yourself as being Divine; that all
the qualities of the universe are within you, and in you are all the
powers of the universe. That poor woman over there whose life is one of
hard, monotonous toil in the house; you are the mother of too many
children. Your life is one round of work, care and anxiety, and when you
look in the glass you see that work, worry and passion have taken the
bloom off your cheeks, the brightness out of your eyes; you are faded;
and it seems as if the light and life of the world had left you, and you
see no bright future. Hardly anything in it for you worth the having.

"It is to you I bring this grand message, my discouraged sister, wake up
and get out of the illusion that you are what that poor worn-out body of
yours stands for. No, dear sister, a thousand times no; for you are
'Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, and Bliss Absolute.'

"The reason that you and your sex are where you are to-day, is because
you are in bondage to your material forms, looking upon yourselves and
wishing men to look upon you also for what you are in body, instead of
women looking upon themselves as spiritual beings and having men do the
same. The reason that men are where they are to-day is because they are
in bondage to their material forms, looking upon themselves as being
men, and also expecting women to look upon them as such, instead of men
looking upon themselves as pure spiritual beings possessing the
qualities of the Divine, and looking upon women as being exactly the
same spiritually as themselves.

"You have all drawn veils over your Divine nature through this illusion,
and from this illusion springs all the acts which keep you from
realizing your Divine nature. Your greed, your vanity, your
self-conceit, your love of praise, your love of self, your attachment to
yourself, and all that is yours, your appetites all act as shades over
the windows of the soul. When will you break these various bonds and be
free?

[2]"There is a story that the king of gods, 'Indra,' once became a pig,
wallowing in mire. He had a she pig and a lot of baby pigs and was very
happy. Then some other angels saw his plight, came to him and told him,
'You are the king of the gods, you have all the gods to command. Why are
you here?' But Indra said, 'Let me be. I am all right here, I don't care
for the heavens while I have the sow and little pigs.' The poor gods
were at their wits' end what to do. After a time they decided to come
now and again and slay one of the little pigs and then another, until
they had slain all the pigs and the sow, too. When all were dead Indra
began to weep and mourn. Then the gods ripped his pig body open and he
come out of it, and began to laugh. What a hideous dream he had had. He,
the king of gods, to have become a pig and to think that pig life was
the only life. Not only so but to have wanted the whole universe to come
into the pig life.

[Footnote 2: Vivekananda in Raja Voga.]

"The soul when it identifies itself with nature forgets that it is pure
and Infinite. The soul does not live, it is life itself. It does not
exist, it is existence itself. The soul does not know, it is knowledge
itself. It is an entire mistake to say the soul lives, or knows, or
loves. Love and existence are not the qualities of the soul, but its
essence. When they get reflected on that something you may call them the
qualities of that something. Remember what you read in Hindu philosophy,
that the finer body, and what is called in Christian theology the
spiritual body, is not the soul. The soul is beyond them all. It is this
soul which is Divine.

"Now let us follow out this thought that all of you are Divine and that
each one of you looks upon himself as being Divine, and that you look
upon all others as being Divine also. What is the result? Let's see. The
Divine nature is one of love, one of purity, one of justice, one of
harmony, one of peace. As a Divine being you are looking within for all
your happiness and are not dependent on things outside of yourself to
make you happy. As a Divine being you are not grasping and wanting
things that don't belong to you, and making yourself and others
miserable by wishing you were where you cannot go, or you want things
you cannot have. As a Divine being your conduct towards others under all
circumstances is one of love. Therefore you are not stirring up
contentions and strifes and you are trying, as far as possible, to make
those around you happy, and are yourself striving to be the same under
all circumstances. All things which disturb you keep you from realizing
the Divine. Therefore you have control over your temper and are
manifesting peace and harmony. As you are Divine, you should do your
work in the world without attachment to things of the world. You should
not be owned by the external world, for all forms and things perish, but
the life of the spirit is eternal.

"As a Divine being you will be honest and truthful to yourself and
others; you will practise no deception; you will not want what belongs
to others; and try in trade or barter to cheat another, for you look
upon all as Divine like yourself. As a Divine being you will want to
earn your living by the sweat of your own brow, instead of by the sweat
of others as many do to-day.

"Let that thought enter the life of the family and instead of the
husband and father being cross and cranky at times, he will always be
the same; trying each day in some new way to make his wife and children
better and happier, and they in return will be a joy to themselves and a
comfort to him. What a happy home where that thought reigns.

"Let that thought be carried into the affairs of the County, State and
Nation, and see what a revolution of peace and happiness it would bring.
The first change would be that all women would have the same right to
vote as men have; not because they are women, but because they are
Divine, like man. In short because they are spiritual beings like men.

"The aphorism, 'Equal rights to all and special privileges to none,'
will be lived out, because no one who is living the thought that all are
Divine, will wish to have opportunities that they deny to others.

"'An injury to one is the concern of all,' is a maxim that would be put
into practise. 'All for one and one for all' would be acted out in all
the business of life, for all are Divine. All persons in office would
see how best they can serve the public, instead of seeing, as is done
now, how best they can feather their own nests, at the expense of the
public.

"State legislators would meet, not to see how much there is in it for
themselves, in passing laws, but would pass laws in the interest of the
masses. All forms of corruption would cease, and bribery would
disappear, because all are looked upon as one, and that one is Divine;
and _Greed_ cannot live where that thought predominates. Congress,
instead of passing laws in the interest of bankers, railroad
corporations, manufacturers, and trust companies, would be there for
one purpose, that of making laws in the interest of the whole nation,
and what is known as class legislation would disappear.

"All persons engaged in adulterating merchandise would cease their
disgraceful and dishonest business. For, realizing their Divine nature,
they would only make pure articles, and everything would be what it is
marked. All business would be done with honesty of purpose and love of
justice; in fact the character of the Divine would be seen in all
dealings. No longer would the great dailies be owned by the money power,
and intellectual prostitutes write the editorials of their columns,
blinding and deceiving the minds of the people that the classes may
fleece them. In short the ethics of Christ would enter into the
industrial and social systems. Usury would be abolished. Instead of
having Christ so much in prayer and song, in poetry and prose, in marble
and on canvas, we would have him in the halls of legislation, in
railroad operations, in manufactories, in stores, on farms and in the
home. In short he would enter into all the walks of life, and men's
actions would be governed by his teachings, viz.: 'Whatsoever ye would
that men should do unto you do ye also unto them; and as we all wish to
have love and justice shown us, realizing our Divine nature, we would
show it unto others.

"Now, I beseech each one of you, I beseech you because I love you, start
to-day with the soul elevating thought, with this grand truth, that 'You
are the Divine,' and live according to your Divine nature and not be
ruled by your animal instincts. If ever you are in doubt about what you
should do and what you should not do, I would say, do whatever would
make you strong physically, whatever would make you strong
intellectually, whatever would make you strong spiritually, and do not
do what would make you weak physically, intellectually, or spiritually.
In living the pure Christ life you always will be well. Remember the
body is the instrument through which the Divine manifests itself;
therefore take care of the body and don't abuse it by too much work or
too much social excitement, or too much of anything. Be moderate and
temperate in all your actions, bathe every morning and have times for
meditation and prayer, and it will not be long before you will make the
whole State of California what it ought to be, a heaven on earth. For
having heaven within, you will make all about you heaven; and let me
tell you that when you leave your material bodies, the only heaven you
will find is that which you will take with you."



CHAPTER XVIII.

LETTERS RECEIVED BY PENLOE.


While Penloe was delivering his address there was a man in the audience
who sat near the platform, following the remarks of the speaker very
closely. Looking in his face you could see the marks of dissipation; the
color and lines which drink and carnality leave on the countenance. To
judge his age by his face you might take him to be a man of fifty, but
he was only about thirty years old; for he had lived twenty years in
five. His form was large and well proportioned; naturally he was a
strong man. His clothing consisted of a shirt, a pair of overalls, both
dirty, a pair of suspenders and a pair of shoes.

When Penloe finished his address, and the audience was about to leave,
this man made a rush for the platform, and going up to Penloe under
great emotion, he said in broken utterances with tears in his eyes: "God
bless you for showing me that my real nature is Divine. I have been
living the life of a beast, but now I will live the Divine life." That
man afterwards said: "The look that Penloe gave me and the way he
pressed my hand will be with me as long as I live."

Penloe saw that if he stayed on the platform or did not leave the
building, he would have a crowd round him. Not wishing to give a
reception and thinking it best to keep the people's minds on what he
said, instead of having them diverted from the subject to him
personally, he hastily left the building. But he received a number of
letters from persons who heard his address. We will copy three as
samples.

The first letter we have copied was from the wife of the leading lawyer
in Roseland and read as follows:

                                                   "ROSELAND.
     "DEAR MR. PENLOE:

     "I would very much have liked to have had an
      opportunity of meeting you, that I might tell you what
      I am about to write and very much more. Since I heard
      your address I so wanted to have a talk with you, as I
      have so many questions to ask you, and above all to
      tell you what your message has done for me.

     "I am the wife of a lawyer, and at the age of
      twenty-two I graduated from college. A year afterwards
      I married Mr. Horton and have been married seven years.
      My tastes have always been intellectual with a strong
      desire to lead and to be above those around me. I had
      little sympathy for the poor and ignorant, and those I
      had little in common with I kept aloof from. My friends
      looked to me as an authority on most subjects, as I
      travelled in Europe two years after I was married. It
      will do me good now to confess to you and tell you, I
      was cold, vain, self-conceited and my purpose in
      reading and travelling was not to help those around me,
      but to add glory and fame to myself, and to be thought
      a very superior minded person. I carried my head very
      high and associated with but few. After seeing you and
      listening to your address, I can hardly describe the
      state of mind it left me in. But it was something like
      a lady might feel when she is dressed in her best and
      is very proud of her attire. While she is in that frame
      of mind she meets some one who has garments much
      superior to hers, and she sees that the clothes she is
      wearing are unbecoming and do not fit her, and that she
      has been under an illusion in thinking they were so
      rich and fine. For when the other garments are shown
      her, she feels she had been the most mistaken person in
      the world and longs to cast off the garments she is
      wearing, that she may put on these superior ones.

     "Now that was my case exactly. I was the woman attached
      to what I thought were my fine clothes. You were the
      one with the elegant new gowns, and when you showed me
      so clearly that my own costume was nothing but filthy
      rags, I was ready to take the superior garments with
      which you presented me.

     "When I think what a foolish, proud, vain woman I have
      been, I feel like covering my face with shame; like
      hiding my head somewhere. I intend that these feelings
      of remorse shall stimulate me towards manifesting the
      Divine, in love, in patience, in humility, and in
      meekness.

     "I will go among the poor and ignorant and become one
      with them, in order to raise them to the realization of
      their Divine nature.

     "May they see in me that love for them which I saw in
      you for all, and it will give me pleasure to tell those
      of my own circle how sweet the Divine life has become
      to me, and may I be a spiritual help to them.

     "My husband was touched by your words, I am glad to
      say, and we are both trying to live the Divine life.

     "When you come to Roseland, be sure and come to our
      home. We shall be very pleased to see you and have you
      stay with us as long as you can.

                                         "Your friend,
                                             "CARRIE HORTON."

Another letter we will copy was from the leading banker of Roseland:

                           "First National Bank.
           "G. Holmes, President.             R. Wells, Cashier.
                                                 "ROSELAND, Cal.
     "DEAR BROTHER PENLOE:

     "It gives me great pleasure to address you as such,
      though I am a perfect stranger to you; but after
      hearing your address I feel at liberty to call you
      brother. I felt your great heart of love throbbing
      through all you said in your lecture. Now I must tell
      you that a man entered the building to hear you speak
      just out of curiosity. He would have laughed if any
      one had told him that he might hear something that he
      had not heard before or might be impressed by the
      lecture, for he felt settled, sure and certain in his
      own mind concerning all subjects of interest to him.
      But when he heard your clear and forcible remarks, it
      knocked him off his feet, taking the last prop away he
      leaned on, and there was nothing left for him to do but
      to get on the same foundation that you are on. Bless
      God, I have done so, and now I am beginning to live as
      a new man, the Divine man.

     "I used to walk the streets thinking I was a great man,
      the leading financier in Roseland, and the grand
      thought I had of myself was that I was a banker, being
      looked up to by those around me because of my financial
      standing. But those thoughts are now to me hay and
      stubble, and I have burned them.

     "From this time forth my money and myself will be
      consecrated to the service of manifesting the Divine,
      and in helping others to do the same. As a proof of my
      sincerity I enclose a check for five thousand dollars
      for you to use as you think best in spreading the grand
      truth which you presented so clearly in your address.
      May you, my dear brother, always realize in the highest
      degree the presence of your Divine nature.

                                         "Your brother,
                                               "GEORGE HOLMES."

The following letter is one that is prized very much by Penloe. It came
from the wife of a poor ranchman and bore the marks of its proximity to
the wash-tub, the churn, a child's dirty finger marks, and the hot tears
of a woman overcome with joy:

                               "TANGLEWOOD RANCH, ORANGEVILLE ...
     "MR. PENLOE:

     "DEAR SIR:--O, I have so much to say and don't know
      where to begin. I don't get any time to write, have
      been waiting for a spell, but don't get any, for one
      thing after another keeps crowding me. I have just
      wiped the suds from my hands, having left the wash-tub
      for a few minutes, saying I would not put off writing
      to you any longer.

     "Well, we went to your meeting and never heard any one
      talk like you did before.

     "My husband and I have not much learning, but you made
      it so simple and plain that we could not help
      understanding what you meant. I want to say how glad we
      both are that we went, because our lot in life has been
      dark and hard. I married my husband when a girl of
      seventeen. I knew so little, was so green, but was full
      of hope and expectations. What a hard experience I have
      had, for I have been married ten years and have six
      small children; so much sickness, so much hard work. O,
      dear! my life has been so hard. I cannot write any more
      now, as I must finish getting my washing out.

     "Well, my clothes are on the line and I am going to
      take a few minutes' rest and write a little more. Yes,
      life has been hard. How little a poor ignorant girl
      thinks or knows what is before her when she gets
      married. My husband has felt all discouraged, so many
      babies, so much hard work, such hard times to get a
      dollar, always in debt to doctors; it made us both grow
      cross and cranky and just as soon die as live. Our love
      for each other grew cold, and the attraction we had for
      each other died out. I told my husband he must take me
      out somewhere or else I would go crazy. Every day the
      same thing over again from morning to night, tending
      babies, standing over a cook-stove, then over a
      wash-tub, then churning, no end of dish-washing and
      washing babies' clothes. I am going to churn now, when
      I take a rest again I will write more.

     "Well, the butter has come, I will rest and write you
      more.

     "I was telling you how dark our married life has been.
      We heard there was going to be a big meeting in
      Roseland, and my husband said he would go and see what
      it was like. So we went and heard you talk. What you
      said made us look at the world and ourselves different
      to what we ever did before. We both liked your talk
      very much; we talked lots about what you said. When we
      got home that day after supper my husband said: 'If I
      am Divine, I don't need to chew tobacco, and I quit
      right now and will put what tobacco I have got in the
      stove.' I said, 'O, Charles, how glad I am.' 'Yes,
      Maud,' said Charles, 'I am going to live the Divine
      life. Will you help me?' I said, 'Yes, dear Charles,
      you know I will.' 'Well, Maud,' said he, 'we thought
      our life hard and bitter, but I see now it was through
      our not living the Divine life. Maud, I will try and
      make your life a little better than I have done,' and
      he kissed me. The children looked at us both with great
      surprise, for they had never seen my husband kiss me
      before. It seemed as if the same feelings had come back
      that we had in our courting days. He said, 'You have
      the hardest time of it, let me put the children to bed
      and you rest; for if I am Divine I must live a life of
      love and show my love in helping you all I can.' I
      cannot help it, sir, but hot tears are falling fast on
      this letter, for the light and love have entered our
      home, where before it was darkness and despair. How
      sweet it is trying to live the Divine life. I am doing
      my best to live that life. We are not going to worry
      any more. My husband now is so bright and hopeful, does
      all he can to cheer me up, and I am the same for it is
      catching like a fever.

     "Well, my object in writing this to you is to tell you
      what your talk has done for us. My husband said, 'If
      ever a man had a heart full of love for all, he knows
      it is you, and your great heart has touched our hearts.
      How can I thank you for what you have done for us? May
      God bless you. I shall always pray that you may help
      others as you have us. My husband said, 'Tell him I am
      a changed man;' and I know he is, and I am a changed
      woman.

     "Excuse this letter for having dirt marks on it. While
      I was tending the baby one of the children put its
      dirty fingers on the letter, but I am going to send it
      just as it is.

                                         "Your friend,
                                               "MAUD NEVE."

Mrs. Marston for several reasons went to hear Penloe deliver his
address. One reason was curiosity to hear and see the man that had
caused so much talk everywhere, and another one that the newspapers from
the Atlantic to the Pacific had printed so much about him. Still another
reason was she knew that about all her friends would be there, and they
would be talking about him, and she wished to be posted on a subject
that her friends would be conversing about and to be able to take her
part in the conversation. If there was anything that Mrs. Marston
admired and loved, it was a handsome man. She took great pride in the
fine appearance of her four Roseland young gentlemen guests. A look of
astonishment came over that lady's face when Penloe appeared at the
front of the platform, and she turned her eyes for the first time on
that fine physique, with its symmetrical form and noble countenance. She
was heard to say, "That is the handsomest man I have ever seen in my
life." She thought her favorites could not compare with Penloe. She
remarked to a friend of hers: "I was surprised when I saw Penloe, for I
thought of him as being a man past middle age, with long hair, unkempt
beard and slovenly dress; but when I saw the best looking young man I
have ever looked upon in my life, and finely dressed, too, I could not
help thinking what a fine society man he would make. I am not surprised
that Stella is taken with him. Why, if that man would only put his time
into making money, he could have his pick of any of our best society
young ladies. What a fine lawyer he would make."

Mrs. Marston thought Penloe a very fine, interesting speaker, but that
lady was not prepared, at present, to give up her sense-plane
enjoyments, in order to live the Divine life.



CHAPTER XIX.

MRS. WEST RELATES HER DREAM.


Mrs. West, the mother of Ben West, had breakfast ready just as her
husband came in from doing the chores about the barn. After Mrs. West
had poured out two cups of Mocha and Java for her husband and herself,
Mr. West, like a good husband, had his wife help herself first and then
himself, after which he began to enjoy the good things she had prepared
for their morning meal.

He noticed that Mrs. West only sipped her coffee occasionally and did
not touch the food on her plate. Seeing in her face that something was
not quite right, he said: "What is the matter, dear, you look as if
something troubled you? Have you lost your appetite?"

His wife replied: "No, William, but I had a dream that disturbed me."

"Why, what could it be to affect you in that way?" said her husband.

"Well, I will tell you," said his wife. "I dreamt I saw our colt Prince;
he seemed as if he did not eat the grain hay you gave him. Then seeing
he did not eat the grain hay, you gave him some alfalfa hay. He did not
eat much of that either, so you thought you would give some crushed
barley. When you saw that he did not eat that, you turned him out of the
barn into your fine alfalfa pasture. He ate a little of the green feed,
but was still very restless and discontented. So you turned him out
where he could get wild feed and have plenty of chance to run. After you
turned him out he just browsed a little, and ran up the road and down
the road snorting and arching his neck very prettily; his smooth, sleek,
glossy, black coat shining in the sun made him look fine and handsome.
You could not make out what was the matter with him, for he seemed well
but was so restless; not contented in any place or liking any kind of
feed. So you thought he might be lonesome and you turned out some horses
to run with him. But he seemed to pay no attention to them, ate little
and was getting more restless and discontented all the time, not even
enjoying his freedom nor knowing what to do with it. He would every now
and then run up and down the road as if not knowing what to do with
himself.

"Once in his restless mood he went down the road, and there was a
beautiful young lady sitting near the gate leading to her house. She saw
him coming and noticed how handsome he was, and she thought how fine it
would be to have that noble looking horse to ride and keep it for her
use. So she opened the gate and came to the road and stood waiting for
the colt. When he came to where she was, he looked at her and arched his
neck, and she thought he was handsome; and smiling she went up to him
and just placed her hand on his neck and patted him: then she talked
sweetly to him and passed her hand over his face several times, and he
seemed so quiet and gentle that you would have thought that it was her
he had been wanting, and she seemed to know by intuition that she had
got him in her power; so she opened the gate and he followed her in.
Then she knew she had got him sure, and he was just what she had wanted.
She petted him a little more, then put a bridle on him and then a
saddle. Then she mounted him and off they went and you could not tell
which was the most delighted the colt or the young lady. At first she
was very good to him, and only rode him short distances and fed him
high. He was perfectly docile and she had full control over him.
Afterwards she exacted more service from him, would ride him longer
distances, and later along she not only rode him long distances but rode
him hard and fast and fed and petted him less. Sometimes the horse was
exhausted and about to give out, but in order to revive him all she had
to do was to make a little of him, talk coaxingly and pet him; and
instantly his eye would brighten, animation would come back to him, and
he would do his best to travel. But this kind of usage was telling on
the horse and he was growing poorer all the time. Still she was exacting
and demanded as much from him as ever. After awhile, he could not begin
to travel as he once did, for he was getting weaker and weaker, and even
her pettings were losing power to put life into him, for it seemed at
times as if it had all gone out of him.

"One hot day when she was riding him and he seemed very much fatigued,
they were going along the road where there was a fine rich pasture well
fenced, with some fine young horses feeding in it. When they saw Prince
and his mistress they ran round the field, then along the fence where
the road was, and every now and then would look at the poor worn-out
colt carrying his mistress. Then they would run a piece, throw up their
hind legs, toss their heads, showing how much freedom they enjoyed.
Again they would run along the fence and look at him. One of the horses
in the field said to the other, "Why, there is our old companion Prince.
I would not have known him, he looks so old and poor. How thin he has
become. Why don't he throw that woman off and be free like ourselves?
Don't you see how she is wearing him out by inches?" "Ah!" said another
horse, "He was free like ourselves at one time. There is not a horse in
this pasture that looks as handsome and fat as he did, but he could not
enjoy his freedom. He was restless, till he became a willing slave to
that woman's smiles, caresses and pettings. He won't live long; she is
too hard and makes too many demands on him. But notice even now his eye
will brighten if she pats him on his neck a little and says a few kind
sweet words to him, how he tries to go faster, but it is only for a very
few yards; then he is back again to his old gait, more tired than
before. Do you notice how fresh and fine she looks, but how poor and
worn out he is? She knew her power and has used it for her self
gratification regardless of what might become of him. Poor fool, he
could not see that her kind talk and pettings were only a means
employed to gain her end. She cared nothing for him, only as he
contributed to her pleasure; _and there are so many many more very green
colts just like him_. One day the young lady had been out with Prince on
a long hard ride, and they were coming home. Prince could hardly put one
foot before the other, so weak and tired was he. At last when she got
him to the stable he fell down and seemed to be in much pain. She called
in assistance and men came with medicine and used much of it on him, but
it was no good; he gave one look at her and died. She cried over him and
put her head on his body and said, "He was the best horse that ever was
and I will never have any other horse. I can never love another as I did
him." About a month afterwards she was seen riding on a fine young bay
colt, and both seemed just as happy as Prince and she did the first time
she rode him."

Here Mrs. West stopped.

Her husband said: "That was a very strange dream, but I don't see why
that should affect you, for I was out to the barn this morning and
Prince was all right, with a big appetite for his breakfast."

No, Mr. West could not see why that dream could make her feel sad, but
Mrs. West knew, for there was a portion of the dream she did not relate,
and that was, when Prince gave the lady a look just as he was about to
expire, that look on his face Mrs. West saw to be the look and face of
her son Ben West, and the young lady that rode him was Julia Hammond
West, his wife. A short time afterwards Mr. West saw more in his wife's
dream, for he received word stating that his son had died from exposure
in the Klondike. Mr. West saw the notice in a paper about a month later,
of the marriage of their son's wife.



CHAPTER XX.

IN THE MOUNTAINS.


One afternoon Penloe was expected to take supper with the Wheelwrights.
He had had a standing invitation for some time, but for certain reasons
had not accepted it till now. The last time he saw Stella, he said: "If
it will be agreeable to you all, I will take supper at your house next
Tuesday evening." They were all in high spirits at the thought of his
coming, for a more agreeable, interesting, and intelligent visitor could
not be found.

What little time there was between the time of his arrival and supper,
he kept them laughing by relating some very interesting experiences.

At the supper table he was given the seat of honor, Mrs. Wheelwright
being on his right and Stella on his left. Stella had on a fine, white
dress, with white satin ribbon at the neck and sleeves, and, as her
complexion was dark and her hair jet black, it became her exceedingly
well. There are some young ladies who need to have very fine dresses to
make them at all presentable; they are so dependent on the style of the
dress for giving them a good form and fine appearance, but it was not so
with Stella. Her fine form and graceful movements would make any dress
look well; she set off the dress. The table was laid with a snowy-white
damask tablecloth, moss-rose pattern, with napkins to match. Also a
moss-rose tea set. The table did not groan with a lot of heavy, greasy
food; no, there was very fine bread, good sweet butter, nectarine sauce
and blackberry jelly, cake, pineapple sherbet, vanilla ice-cream, milk,
weak tea, and some sweetmeats, and nuts.

The meal was eaten very leisurely, for the conversation was very
interesting, all taking part in it. Penloe had that rare gift of a good
conversationalist, being able to make others talk their best instead of
doing all the talking himself. Stella and Penloe were both good at
repartée. The ladies talked more than Penloe, and there seemed to be a
real genuine feeling, as if one spirit pervaded them all.

After supper, Mr. Wheelwright had an opportunity of talking to Penloe,
on the porch, about subjects that he was most interested in, while the
ladies washed the dishes. Later on, the ladies joined them, and a most
agreeable evening was spent. Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright excused themselves
when their regular time for retiring came, and as it was such a lovely
moonlight evening, Stella invited Penloe to keep her company on the
porch, saying, "The evening is so beautiful." Yes, it was beautiful. It
was one of those matchless evenings in California that must be seen and
enjoyed to be fully appreciated, and by a soul in touch with the
sublime. To realize the grandeur of the sky, with its clear atmosphere,
on those fine evenings, is to experience one of the richest joys of
existence. Language is inadequate to describe such beauty.

The two souls on the porch were in touch with the Divine, which
manifested Itself in all these glories, and they were drinking it in to
their fullest capacity. They had sat in silence for a while, when Penloe
said: "Stella, I have not had anything that has given me more
satisfaction, or that has pleased me more, and given me encouragement in
my work, so much as the courageous spirit manifested by you on the day
that you in a public way freed yourself from bondage. You taught the
people a lesson they will never forget. That was a grand act, Stella,
and you built into your character on that day qualities which will stand
all trials and temptations; you made a good karma for yourself. Think
how your act has helped others out of bondage."

Stella said: "Penloe, it gives me pleasure to hear your approval of what
I have done. But is it not only the fruits of your own work, after all?
Did you not take Stella, a green, ignorant girl as she was, and lead her
to her freedom?"

Penloe said: "Yes, Stella, I did one kind of work, and you did another;
my work was easy compared to yours. I instructed you, but it was you who
put the instruction in practice, and that counts."

"Penloe," said Stella, taking his hand in hers, "I realize that fully,
for no one but you could have taught me as you did. No one but you could
have given me the light and knowledge I so much needed, no one but you
could help me open the door which led me into the spiritual world, and
when I entered that world, you were there as my spiritual companion.

"Penloe, you have been my very dear social companion, you have been my
very dear intellectual companion, and you have been my very dear
spiritual companion. Your companionship has been that of the truest
friendship, for your every act and thought has been to raise me up to a
higher plane, and I would not be true to my highest and best nature if I
did not tell you that I love you as I can love no other man. You
possessed my heart long before to-night. Do you love Stella, Penloe, and
do you want her to be your life companion, to help you in your noble
work, to love you, and to live the Divine life with you?"

Penloe said: "Stella, dear, what I have done for you I would do for any
one; but darling, I love you intensely. Yes, dear one, your love to me
is bliss, and there is no one whose companionship I love and enjoy more
than yours, dear Stella, for I see so much of the Divine manifested in
you." And here Penloe took the dear girl to him, and they were both lost
in bliss.

I looked at the moon just then in its silvery brightness, and as it
looked down on that hallowed scene it sent forth such a glow of light as
illuminated the whole heavens and earth. I looked at the planets
witnessing that blissful scene. They were more brilliant than ever, and
vied with each other in sending forth their bright lights. I looked at
the whole canopy of the heavens and, just as the two embraced, an
unusual number of stars of the first magnitude appeared and the whole
sky was decked with millions of fiery worlds. And why should the
heavens not be brilliant on an occasion when the love in two divine ones
is plighted?

Their little whisperings at intervals during the silence, which they are
enjoying, are too sacred to record here; and while they are in that
exceedingly blissful state of mind the thought came to me to note the
nature of kisses. There is the cold kiss, which upon receiving one
wishes he had not been kissed. Then there is the average common kiss.
Then there is the kiss of friendship. Then there is the ordinary love
kiss. Then there is the warm, passionate kiss. But superior to them all
is the pure, spiritual kiss, so intensely sweet, but so very, very rare.
To give such a kiss, and even to enjoy receiving it, one must have a
very high quality of organism. The cells of the brain, the blood which
flows through the arteries and veins, the tissues of the whole body must
have been formed and built up by that all powerful agent, thought. And
that thought must be of the highest order; it must have emptied itself
of all but love, that love which takes in all, and from that thought and
life comes the manifestation of harmony, purity, sweetness, truth and
love. Blessed, thrice blessed indeed, is such a person.

When two persons of that type of character come together in love, giving
each other through kisses, the expression of their affection, that
kissing is bliss indeed.

After the silence and whisperings of deep love thoughts were over,
Stella with her face looking so beautiful, being flushed from the
realization of her love, said: "Penloe, dear, I knew that you were
different from most men in not being dependent on the love of a woman
for your happiness; for you had within you a deep well of living water
from whence came all your joy, and you drank deep draughts from it
daily. Yes, dear, I knew your thoughts, your hopes, your happiness was
centered in that Blessed Infinite One and He was the source of your
peace, your joy and your love. Though I loved you so much, the question
arose in my mind whether you needed my love and companionship."

Penloe said: "Stella, darling, it is all true, what you say about my
living in the Eternal One, and that from Him springs all my strength, my
hope and my love; but if that Blessed Infinite One brings another joy to
me in the form of dear Stella's love, why should I not accept it gladly?
Yes, dear, your interesting self, your love is all a gift to me from the
Infinite Spirit. It is an additional joy and pleasure which He has
bestowed upon me, and my prayer is that I may always and fully meet your
expectations, and my self and my love may give you as much joy as yours
gives me."

Stella said: "Penloe, dear, my cup is full to overflowing; how good God
is to me."

Penloe said: "Stella, darling, I wish to express a thought concerning
love, and it is this. Many times you see two persons in love, and
instead of that experience broadening and intensifying their love and
sympathies, it has a tendency to narrow them down and contract them and
bring them to a very small selfish life, causing them to take no thought
or interest in any one but themselves. They seem to form a mutual
admiration society, and live to gain the praise of each other. After
all, when you analyze them, it is not so much love of each other as it
appears to be, but love of each one for himself. Then there is that kind
of love union which exists between two where, instead of narrowing and
contracting the lovers, it has a tendency to broaden them out in their
love, and make their sympathies universal in their scope; their love
being of that high order which seems to quicken all that is grand and
noble in their natures; and their lives seem to be those of intense love
for each other, and intense love for the Lord in His humanity."

Then they sat in blissful silence for a little while, when Penloe said:
"Stella, darling, have you thought over what you may have to give up
through becoming a life companion to me? Of course, dear, you know I
have consecrated my life and my endeavors as a free will offering to the
world, and it is not my work nor mission to raise a family. Now, the
instinct to become a mother is very strong in some women's natures."

Stella said: "Why, Penloe, dear, I do not have to give up anything in
becoming a life companion to you, for instead of being a material mother
I will become a spiritual mother to many, which is a far higher joy, and
the world has too few spiritual mothers, but too many material ones of a
low grade."

Penloe said: "Have you thought over the practical side of our union? You
see, I am not a man that is rustling for dollars from morning till
night, and in my life and work we may, at times perhaps, only have a log
cabin to live in, with bare walls and floors; and our food may be of the
plainest kind, and not much of that either. Your wardrobe may consist of
only one cotton wrapper and flour-sack underwear."

Penloe could not say any more, for Stella put her hand over his mouth
and said, laughingly: "You cannot scare me so easily, for it will take
more than only having in my possession one cotton wrapper and wearing
flour-sack underwear, and living in a log cabin with bare walls and
floors, to discourage me. Those things are not of my world; all I hope
is that if I shall have to put on such garments as flour-sack underwear,
it will not offend your artistic eye."

They both had a good laugh, for they feared nothing in this Universe;
least of all that great bugaboo, poverty.

Penloe said: "Well, Stella, to be serious, I have made arrangements for
leaving Orangeville for six months. In about a week's time I will go up
into the mountains and live in a log cabin in the pines. I will be six
miles from any human being, and twenty-five miles from Orangeville. It
is necessary that I should be away for awhile from all psychological
influences and cross-currents, and live in the silence. I realize that I
need it to fit me for my work. It is necessary for my spiritual
unfoldment. Christ went up into the mountains and out on the plains to
be alone, so he might gain spiritual strength. All great spiritual
teachers have times for being alone. As I said, I need to make this
change to fit me for my work, for I want to get my mind freed from all
individuality and relativity, so as to see more clearly the Oneness
throughout the Universe. For, as the Swami Vivekananda has said in his
lecture on 'Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God': 'He who
sees in this world of manifoldness that One running through it all; in
this world of death, he who finds that one infinite life; and in this
world of insentience and ignorance, he who finds that one light and
knowledge, unto him belongs eternal peace.' It is more of that light and
knowledge that I need, Stella. In short, it is to commune more with the
Father; it is to realize in a greater degree the presence of the Divine
within, and to have my mind freed from the illusion of the phenomenal
world; for by so doing I become qualified to become a healer of disease,
and also fitted to help many a poor sin-sick life. Now, Stella, having
clearly made known my purpose to you; I want to tell you that it is
better for you that I leave this time. It will enlighten you more
spiritually in this way. Most persons would think that it should be the
greatest pleasure to us both to be together now as much as we can, so as
to see and enjoy the society of each other. That thought is all right
for the many, but not for you and me. It is better for us both that we
do not hear from one another for three months, and at the end of that
time I want you to come up and live three months with me in that cabin.
At the end of that time we will come back to the world and be made man
and wife in the eyes of the law.

"All this to some may seem strange and hard, but not to you, Stella, for
I think you have already attained to that plane where you can see the
great good to you which will come from following such a course. If you
follow certain instructions which I will give you, after we have been
separated two weeks, you will have a feeling of my presence with you,
and you will not feel the need of correspondence, for we will be
independent of all letter writing, because we can be in communion with
each other at any time we may wish it."

Stella said: "Through you, dear, I have attained to that plane where I
can see it all true what you have said and all for the best; and,
Penloe, dear, Stella will be with you in your cabin at the end of the
first three months," and here she kissed him and he returned the same.
After a little more talk they bid each other farewell.

The next morning after the most eventful evening in Stella's life, when
that young lady kissed her mother good-morning, Mrs. Wheelwright did not
need to be told what had happened on the previous night, for the way
Stella kissed her mother, and the way she moved about to get breakfast
made Mrs. Wheelwright smile inwardly. Just as the three were about
finishing their morning meal, Stella told her parents all that had
happened. They were both delighted in the extreme and Stella received
their blessings and kisses.

Mrs. Wheelwright said to Stella: "I am so glad you found a man worthy of
your love, and he certainly is. I could not have made one to order to
suit you as well. All I feared was that he would live without a wife,
because I knew how much you loved him, and no one else would ever fill
his place in your affections. I rejoice daily that we have such a dear
daughter; one that Penloe has seen fit to love and cherish as a life
companion."

"Mother," said Stella, "there is no such thing as disappointment in love
to those who are living on the plane that Penloe and I are on, for we
are led by the promptings of the Blessed Infinite One, to each other."

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Oh, if more would only live on the spiritual
plane, how much happier they would be in all that pertains to this
life."

Stella said: "I am going to write to aunt to-day and tell her of my
engagement to Penloe." So later in the day she sat down and wrote the
following letter:

   "MY DEAR AUNT: As you have always taken so much
    interest in my future happiness, I think it no more
    than right that I should inform you of my engagement to
    Penloe. Yes, dear Aunt, I proposed to him last evening
    and he accepted me and has given me his love in return.

   "Let me thank you, dear Aunt, for your kindness to me,
    and I hope that our being engaged may meet with your
    approval. Penloe is going to live in the pines for the
    next six months. After he has been there three months I
    am going up there to live with him, and will be his
    log-cabin companion for three months. After that we
    will be united in marriage.

   "Mother and father join me in love to you. As ever,

                   "Your Affect. Niece,
                                       "STELLA WHEELWRIGHT."

From that time till Stella went to the mountains to live with Penloe,
she was busy in two ways. Her time was occupied in one direction in
writing a little book on the sex question. Barker and Brookes told her
if she would write the book they would pay for having it printed and
would circulate thousands of copies free. Those two young men were now
Stella's co-workers in the grand field of removing bondage. The other
way in which Stella was very busy was in following a certain course of
mental and spiritual exercise as marked out for her by Penloe.

When the three months had expired, Mr. Wheelwright took Stella up to the
pines within one mile of Penloe's cabin. They arrived there at four in
the afternoon. Stella told her father to satisfy him that she would go
up to Penloe's cabin, and then come right back and stay with him over
night, and in the morning after he was gone Penloe would come down and
take her and her valise up with him.

Her father not being sure about the mental telegraphy carried on
between Stella and Penloe, wanted to make sure Penloe was there and all
right before he left his daughter.

It was Penloe's wish for no person to come near his cabin except Stella.

When Stella returned to her father, after having gone up to Penloe's
cabin to see if he was all right, she told her father Penloe was well,
and he could see by his daughter's face that everything was all right.

On the next morning Mr. Wheelwright wished his daughter good-bye,
leaving her where they had camped over night.

A few minutes afterwards Penloe appeared, and taking Stella's valise
they both walked up to the cabin. Stella was perfectly charmed with the
beautiful spot where the cabin was located. Some large pines were in
front of the cabin and some very handsome redwoods a few rods in the
rear. A sparkling, rippling brook flowed near the cabin, singing merrily
as it went along.

They lived on two meals a day and found that was all the nourishment
they needed, as they were doing no manual labor, and there was no great
strain on their nervous system.

They spent their time in the following manner: Part of the day was
devoted to prayer, meditation and concentration, and part of the time in
the practise of mental telegraphy; and the balance of the time in doing
what little work there was to do and in walks and talks.

Stella did enjoy the life so very much, and she was rapidly advancing
physically, intellectually and spiritually. As for lonesomeness, she and
Penloe did not know what that was, their minds being too active to be
lonesome. They seemed to be new to each other every morning and fresh
every evening, their life being a perfect joy and delight in its highest
sense; for they realized each day more and more of their Divine natures.
Each day they came in touch with the Infinite, and when they came down
from the mountain their faces shone as Moses' did of old; for they had
walked and talked with God.



CHAPTER XXI.

A WEDDING IN ORANGEVILLE.


After Mrs. Marston had been in San Francisco about a month, she received
a cablegram from Paris stating that her son had been shot by a jealous
Frenchman and died two hours afterwards. When she had recovered from her
first grief she thought it best to stay in San Francisco two weeks
longer and then return to Roseland. She had not been home long when she
realized how great the change had been on the sex question, and how
Stella's popularity had risen, and of course Mrs. Marston's mind had to
conform to the new thought, which her circle of friends and most of the
community had accepted. It was that lady's creed to have her ideas in
style as much as her dress. It seemed to please her greatly to hear her
niece praised and looked up to as a leader of the new thought on the sex
question; for deep down in her heart she loved Stella, even if she did
not understand some of her strange ways, and now that her son was dead
her affections went out more towards her niece.

When she received the letter from Stella stating she was engaged to
Penloe, she had a good laugh about her proposing to him, and said the
next thing she would hear would be that Stella had bought a wedding-ring
to put on Penloe's finger. Since Mrs. Marston had seen Penloe there was
no man she admired more than him; not on account of his spiritual
thought, but for his distinguished personality, his graceful manners,
and his polished expressions. So when she read about her niece being
engaged to him, she was delighted, for she felt proud of them both and
remarked, "They would make the finest appearing couple to be seen
anywhere."

And she now looked forward to the time when they would be married, that
she might have the pleasure of seeing them again. She was forming plans
as to what she would do for Stella. She felt that she was able to do
much for her, as her property was rising in value all the time, and her
income far exceeded her expenditures. Her idea was that a couple, to be
in style when they are married, should visit Europe or some other
country; and, furthermore, it would be also nice for her to be able to
say her niece had gone abroad on her wedding tour. She also remembered
how delighted Stella was to read books of travel when she was at her
house, and she heard her say, "I do hope some day I will be able to see
my own and other countries, for the extent of my travel has only been
from Orangeville to San José and return."

About a week before the day set for Stella's wedding, Mrs. Wheelwright
went to Roseland and called on her sister, Mrs. Marston. In course of
conversation, Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Well, Helen, it is Penloe's and
Stella's wish to have no one invited to the wedding but yourself; for,
if they invited friends, they could not draw the line and they could not
invite all, and not only so but they think it far better to have a quiet
wedding. Their marriage is so different to that of any other couple,
there being none of that peculiar excitement connected with their
marriage."

Mrs. Marston said: "I thought that would be about the kind of wedding
they would have. What I would have liked would be to give Stella a big
wedding at my own house, with all her friends present, but I knew she
would wish to be married at her home in a very quiet way."

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Well, Helen, we shall look for you on Wednesday
of next week. They will be married at eleven in the morning, by the Rev.
B.F. Holingsworth."

On the morning of the wedding, Stella's aunt arrived at ten, Penloe and
the minister came half an hour later. At eleven Penloe and Stella stood
up to be made one in the eyes of the law. The Blessed Infinite Spirit
had made them one some time ago. It is not necessary to remark how
lovely the bride looked, for she always looked lovely, and she did not
wear at her wedding a white silk or satin gown; for she wore a rich
white dress, and it was one that she could wear any time; it became her
exceedingly well. After the usual marriage ceremony was over, the
minister offered a short fervent prayer, after which Penloe and Stella
stood in silent prayer for about two minutes, then Penloe kissed Stella.
The joyful couple then received the congratulations of their relatives.
When Mrs. Marston kissed Stella, she gave her a little package. A few
minutes later Stella excused herself and went to her room, to open the
package her aunt had given her. On opening the package, she found it
contained a small, light-brown covered book, with a note which read as
follows:

                                        "SUNNYDOWN, Roseland, Calif.

   "MY DEAR NIECE:--Knowing you had always a strong desire
    to travel and see something of the world, I know of no
    better time for you to travel than now, on your wedding
    tour.

   "In the bank book you will see a sum deposited in your
    name, sufficient to take you and Penloe around the
    world in first-class style.

   "Wishing you much joy, dear, with love to you both,

                                       "YOUR AUNT HELEN."

Stella opened the bank book to see the amount deposited to her credit,
and to her joy and surprise there were five figures in the amount. Such
a handsome gift touched Stella very much. She realized then the
genuineness of her aunt's interest in her material welfare and the love
she bore her.

When Stella returned to the room where the company was she went to her
aunt, and put her arms round her and kissed her affectionately, and
said: "How good you have been to me." Her aunt looked at the beautiful
girl with pride, and seemed delighted to see her so happy. She said:
"Stella, dear, I have only you to love, and you deserve all I can do for
you."

Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright were very much gratified by the handsome gift
Stella received from her aunt, and Penloe, whose face was always the
picture of repose, had now an unusual bright smile as he saw Stella's
delight. He went and sat beside Mrs. Marston, and entertained her with
his brilliant conversation, much to that lady's pleasure, for she
enjoyed receiving attention from Penloe.

In course of conversation with Mrs. Marston (while Stella was absent
from the room), in a very becoming and graceful way, he paid a glowing
tribute to Stella's nobility of character and her intrinsic worth, which
pleased Mrs. Marston greatly. Stella's aunt could not think of sitting
down to a very plain meal on such an occasion as her niece's marriage,
neither did she wish to see her sister or Stella with flushed faces
through being over a hot cook-stove. So she had her caterer come from
Roseland, with everything necessary, and take charge of the wedding
dinner. They all had a very sociable time at the table, the topics of
conversation being general, such as Mrs. Marston would be interested in.

After dinner, Stella had a few words in private with her aunt before
leaving for Roseland. The gist of the talk was that she, when speaking
of them, was not to say, "'Mr. Penloe Lenair' or 'Mrs. Penloe Lenair,'
or have inserted in the newspapers 'Penloe Lenair, Esq., and wife, are
visiting you, but always speak of us as 'Penloe and Stella,' because we
wish to live in the realization that we are all members of one family,
and to say Mr. or Mrs. is cold, formal and distant; but in being called
by our given names we come near to those who are talking to us, and they
come near to and in touch with us."

After the minister and Mrs. Marston had left, Stella said to Penloe: "I
may just as well begin to initiate you into the new order of things now
as any other time, for you are my husband. So I am going to tell you
that we are living in a new age, and instead of the wife obeying her
husband the husband has to obey the wife."

Penloe smiled, and said: "I am perfectly willing to obey such a wife as
you are. What are your orders, my dear?"

Stella laughed, and said: "Well, Penloe, I have been thinking that I
would like to take you over to see an old friend of mine, who has sore
eyes. You have never seen him, and he would be so pleased to have us
come; for he must have many lonely times, because very few persons ever
call on him, and, Penloe, dear, we have such a lot of good things left
from aunt's big wedding dinner that she gave us, and I thought we would
take some of the nice things along with us for the old man to enjoy. He
seldom has anything very good to eat."

Penloe said: "So you are going to make a ministering angel of me, are
you, my dear?"

Stella said, smiling: "I am not going to make you too angelic, Penloe,
because you might take wings and fly away from me, and I want you to be
an angel on the ground and not a soaring one. So get yourself ready to
carry a basket."

Penloe said: "I am at your service, my dear."

Stella went into the kitchen, and selected some choice eatables, such as
she knew the old man would most enjoy, and the two were soon on their
way to the cabin. As they were walking along Stella related to Penloe
all she knew of the history of the old man, as he was called, though he
was not more than fifty-eight years old.

When they arrived at the cabin, the old man was busy getting stove-wood.

As soon as Stella spoke to him he knew instantly who it was. His sight
being in that condition that he could see Penloe's form, but could not
see clearly his features, he could distinguish a man's form from that of
a woman's, but that was all. Stella introduced Penloe to him, and told
the old man that they were married this morning, whereupon the old man
instantly congratulated them and showered his blessings on both of
them, saying: "Mr. Penloe, what an angel you have got for a wife!" And
went on telling Penloe how good she had been to him.

Stella did not check him, because she knew it would do him good to have
some one to express his feelings to. After the old man had finished his
eulogies on Stella, she told him what she had brought him and said she
would put them where they belonged, for she had cleaned up his cabin
many a time. He was touched to the heart by such thoughtful kindness,
that on their wedding day she should think of him, and he did not know
just what to say he was so overcome; he seemed choked. They very soon
put him at his ease, and in about ten minutes afterwards conversation
had quieted down.

Just then Stella received a mental telegram from Penloe, and it was not
long before the old man was sitting in his rocking chair, fast asleep.
While he was in that condition, Penloe and Stella went into the silence,
remaining in that state for about an hour, when Penloe asked Stella to
get a basin, with some water, a clean cloth, and a towel. When she had
got everything ready, the old man seemed to be waking up. When he was
fully awake, he said: "How much better I feel." Stella said: "I have a
basin here, with some water. Let me bathe your eyes." While she was
bathing them, she said: "Andrew, you are going to see so that you can
read just as well as you could before your eyes became sore." (As Andrew
had always associated Stella in his mind as being a member of the
angelic band, he was ready to believe anything she said.)

He said: "Am I? Praise God! (he was a good man). How fine your touch
does feel to my face."

When she had finished bathing his eyes, she gave him a towel to wipe his
eyes with. After he had wiped them, he opened and closed them several
times, when, with his eyes open, he said: "Yes, I can see! O, I can see
so much better. I keep seeing clearer all the time." And in a few
minutes he could see Penloe and Stella just as well as they could see
themselves.

The old man was overcome with joy. Looking at Stella, he said: "Bless
God! I can see your dear face." And when he cast his eyes on the
features of Penloe he became silent, then he looked at Stella, then at
Penloe, and he seemed in a dream, for he did not know which was the
greater surprise to him, having his sight restored or seeing the angelic
countenances of the two before him.

Penloe took a newspaper and gave it to him, saying: "See if you can read
that?"

Andrew took the paper, and to his great delight he could read it just as
well as when he was a young man. The old man put the paper down, then in
a little while he took it up again and read more, saying: "Yes, it is
true. I can see to read to myself. Bless the Lord! I can see to read."
He looked at them both again, and a feeling came over him as if there
was a great distance between him and them. For he said, in speaking to
Stella:

"Mrs. Penloe."

Whereupon Stella laughed, and told him: "I am not Mrs. Penloe, for I am
just the same now as I was before I was married. I am your sister
Stella, and my husband is your brother Penloe. Both of us look upon all
boys and men as our brothers, and all girls and women as our sisters,
for we are all members of one family."

The old man sat in silence after Stella spoke; he seemed to be amazed.

Stella said: "We must go now."

As she wished him good-bye, he said to them: "What must I do in return
for the great blessing of sight which has been given me to-day?"

Penloe said: "Live much in prayer, live in the realization of Divine
love. Remember your body is the temple of God. Keep it as such, and help
others to live the Divine life."

Was there ever a bride so happy as Stella was on the after noon of her
wedding day, when she was returning home to tell her mother the joyful
news that Andrew had recovered his sight. The world has never seen a
happier bride than she was on that afternoon.

Stella had not been in the house but a few minutes before she told her
parents all about Andrew receiving his sight through Penloe's healing
power.

Penloe said: "Why, Stella, were you not the instrument through which
Andrew received his sight? Did he not think that you were the embodiment
of all goodness, all power, and all truth? And when you said to him,
'Andrew, you are going to see so you can read yourself,' he believed
you, and was he not healed according to his faith?"

Stella said: "He would not have had his sight restored if you had not
been present. The first time you called on him his sight was restored,
while I have been to his cabin many times before, but never helped him
to see."

Penloe said: "Stella, dear, you were not on the spiritual plane that you
are now on when you visited Andrew before. You had not spent much time
in prayer, in meditation, in concentration, in being up in the
mountains, walking and talking with God daily, and living in the
realization of the Kingdom of Heaven within. All this has helped to make
you a healer."

Stella said: "Penloe, all you say is true, but I cannot help thinking
that you were the healer."

Penloe said: "Stella, dear, you spoke the healing word."

Mrs. Wheelwright, smiling inwardly, said: "Children, you have only been
married a few hours, and have got a bone of contention already. I am
surprised at you both."

Stella, putting on a serious face, said: "Well, mother, I know it was
Penloe;" and Penloe said: "Well, mother, I know it was Stella."

Mrs. Wheelwright said: "Children, I cannot stay with you while you
quarrel this way," and out she went into the kitchen, happy and
laughing to herself; at the same time rejoicing greatly that the poor
man had received his sight.

There were two others who laughed after Mrs. Wheelwright left the room,
for they knew it was neither Penloe or Stella that healed the man, but
the power of the Blessed Infinite Spirit in both of them, they being
only the instruments through which the healing power was manifested.

The evening of Stella's wedding day the two were sitting on the porch.
It was just as lovely a night as it was on the night when they were
plighted. They had been engaged in conversation for a while, when Penloe
said: "Stella, I have not given you any wedding ring. It is not because
I have not got one for you, but I wish to give you the history of the
ring before presenting you with it."

Stella said: "You will have a very ready listener, Penloe, I can assure
you."

Penloe said: "While attending the University in Calcutta I made the
acquaintance of a young Hindu, who was a student there also. He was in
some respects the brightest of the students, for he had the faculty for
mastering his studies quickly and perfectly, was also very original in
character and full of resources. Though he was a born student, yet he
was well-balanced and did not always have his head in books or in the
clouds; neither did he indulge in social dissipation. While being social
in his nature, he always took sufficient physical recreation to keep
himself well and strong, but nothing more; he never let it get away with
him, as many do in the Western World. He lived up to the highest light,
regulating his conduct so as to make himself strong intellectually and
spiritually. I found him a very interesting companion, and our
friendship was of a very profitable character, in this way, that when we
saw the faults in each other we did in love what we could to help one
another. To overcome our weak points, we coöperated together for the
highest object, and it was our sacred purpose to always touch the
highest and noblest in each other's nature; and to-night it is with
pleasure that I call to mind the sweetness of his disposition, the
sincerity of his purpose, and the brilliancy of his mind.

"His family had outgrown caste, and when I first visited them at their
home I was introduced to his father and mother, also to a sister about
eighteen years of age, who made up the family. I noticed what a peculiar
expression passed over his sister's face when she looked into mine for
the first time. She had a dreamy, far-away look about her, and then
again I noticed later that she had the very opposite expression on her
physiognomy, being all 'right here'; intensely so, taking in everything
around her. I was very much attracted towards her in this way, not as a
youth would be towards a maiden--there was none of that feeling
whatever. I felt she was a mystic, a powerful one, and she interested me
greatly. When sitting in the room with all the members of the family, I
noticed at times she would eye me very closely; and if I returned the
gaze I saw such an expression in her face as if she did not belong here
at all, but was living on some other planet. She talked very little, and
such a thing as my coming near to her in conversation, or her saying
anything to bring herself near to me, was not to be expected, with her
peculiar makeup, and yet when she would give me her hand in receiving
me, she had such a peculiar sweet way of welcoming me, that one might
think we were very near to each other. And when I took leave of her with
the other members of the family, her partings seemed very pleasant as
she gave me her hand and wished me good-night.

"Those eyes of hers seemed as if you could see worlds in them, and when
you looked into them your mind seemed taken away from everything about
you, and you would have to check yourself or else you would feel as if
you had left the body and were passing through the ethereal regions.

"She had a remarkable organism, being so very fine in quality. The first
impression one would have on seeing her would be that of distinction,
she was so superior in her makeup to all her kind. Her features were
finely moulded, and her whole contour was perfect. She had a wonderful
presence; so much silent power went with it. I could not help being
conscious of it when in the room with her. I felt as if something of an
elevating nature was coming from her to me all the time. I always felt a
better man after having been in her company. And before I attained to
the plane I am now on, when at times I would be depressed or discouraged
and went into her presence with those feelings, it would not be long
before they left me and I felt as if I was the strongest and most
hopeful man living. She being the most powerful of the two brought me
into her condition and made me feel strong, like a giant refreshed with
new wine.

"After visiting at her house many times, I conceived the impression that
for some cause she took a great interest in me, not because I was a
young man, but for some other reason.

"Sometimes I would visit the family and she would not be at home, and
late in the evening she would return all alone. She would go anywhere at
any time. I have seen her late at night walking through the slums of
Calcutta all alone. She was free in the truest sense of the word, not
being in bondage to her material form, or in recognizing family or
social standing; she had no superstitions; she was above and beyond them
all. I noticed she was loved very much by her parents and brother, and
seemed to possess a deep affectionate nature herself. Her peculiar
qualities were fully recognized by the family, she having no household
duties to perform, only as the notion might take her.

"I was always a welcomed guest at the house, and I felt as much at home
as if I were a member of their family.

"After I had known the family about a year, I called at the house one
evening just about the time it was getting dark. Wavernee was sitting in
the door-way. She seemed very pleased to see me and invited me in,
saying: 'The other members of the family are all away.'

"The room we went into we entered at its center, and she turned to the
left and walked to the end of the room. She gave me a seat so that I sat
at the extreme end of the room. She closed the door and took a low seat
on my left. To my great surprise, she commenced a conversation about
common things, and talked as interestingly as any intelligent young lady
would talk. We chatted about fifteen minutes, and by that time the room
was dark so I could not see one object from another.

"She became silent and I received an impression that she did not wish me
to speak, so we both sat in the silence for about ten minutes, when the
room became illuminated and she herself seemed to be the brightest
object in it. I never saw a room so bright as that in my life. After a
few minutes everything in the room appeared dark except the wall at the
further end; and where it was light there seemed to be a white covering
such as is used for magic lantern pictures. I was looking at it when
there appeared a picture which covered the whole cloth. It represented
men and women of all tribes and nations bending beneath heavy loads of
bondage. I observed their bondages were not all the same. There was a
difference in the kind of bondages the men were bound with to those that
held women in slavery. Then I saw that the men had some bondages the
same as the women had. I observed the bondages of the women were not all
the same. For instance, the American's woman's bondage in some respects
was different from that of the Japanese woman, and the bondages of the
Hindu woman were not the same as that of the Chinese woman. It was a sad
sight. As they were all presented, they appeared to be living, moving
figures.

"There were a few Hindu men and women who were free, going among them
trying to lift them out of bondage, but it was very hard, for they
seemed to love being in bondage. Only those who were tired of their
bondages were helped by the workers. Wavernee kept her eyes intently on
the picture all the time, and when she turned her face towards me the
scene disappeared and the whole room became dark. In about ten minutes
the whole room was again illuminated and I never saw Wavernee look so
much like the embodiment of perfect love as she did then. She seemed as
if she had been touched with a live coal from off the altar, the sacred
fire was so bright in her eyes. The atmosphere was one of sacred
blissful love. Whatever there was of lukewarmness or indifference in me
in regard to humanity was licked up, as it were, by a fiery flame of
love. I felt as if my whole nature had become white-heat with love. The
most miserable creature seemed dear and sweet to me.

"While I was in that frame of mind the room became dark, except the
further end, and I saw another living scene on the canvas. It was
Wavernee walking along a hot dusty road a few miles from Calcutta. She
seemed indifferent to the heat and dust, and was looking exactly the
same as I have just described her. As she was walking along, I noticed a
little way in front of her was a young woman sitting down on the side of
the road with only a few dirty rags on her poor body. Her face and form
showed marks of sin and disease. When she saw Wavernee coming near her,
she put her hands to her face and held her head down. O, the apparent
contrast between the two! Wavernee sat down beside the young woman and
took one of her hands and held it awhile, meanwhile talking to her. Then
she opened a basket she had and took out a bottle and poured the
contents into a glass and gave it to her to drink. There was a label on
the bottle and glass which read 'love,' and the young woman drank the
glass empty. After awhile Wavernee stood up and the young woman stood
up, too, and as she did so her rags fell from her and she was clothed
like Wavernee, and when I looked into her face I saw no difference
between them.

"The scene disappeared, but it was quickly replaced by another which
represented Wavernee and some other native workers clearing large tracts
of land. Then they ploughed and harrowed it. As fast as they prepared
one tract of land for the seed they commenced clearing another piece.
On the land that had been cleared I saw myself and some one else with me
that had a veil over head and face, so I could not see who the person
was; but we were both engaged in the same occupation of sowing seed,
each one of us having a large measure containing the seed. On the
outside of the measure was the word truth. We would sow one piece of
land and then go to another piece that had been cleared and sow that. On
the ground that I had sowed, a crop came up in the form of many men and
some women who were all out of bondage. They were free. Where the person
with me had sowed, there was a crop of many women and some few men who
were out of bondage. They were all free. I wish I could convey to your
mind how happy and joyful they all were.

"As this last scene disappeared the whole room became illuminated.
Wavernee looked at me with eyes of celestial love and said: 'Penloe,
thou hast seen all. What appeared before thy vision will convey to thy
mind more than any words of mine. Before you is a future that angels
might desire. Be true to thy highest light, then wilt thou realize what
thy eyes have seen. Your co-worker is one that I love. She knows me not,
but I know her, and when she becomes one with you in your life and work
of love, give her this ring (taking it from her finger and giving it to
me) with my love and tell her to accept it as a symbol of your union in
love and work.

"'This ring has a history. It was worn by a beautiful young Indian
princess who, after having been a wife to a prince for two years, became
disgusted with her life, and, weary of all the luxuries of the court,
she left one night in disguise, saying to herself: "I can live here no
longer, for I am a greater slave than the poorest of the Pariah women.
My nature cries out for freedom. I would rather be free in poverty than
be a slave in luxury. Give me freedom or give me death!" She lived for
many years in the realization of her own highest nature. She looked on
all about her as being God and showed that love and reverence for all
as she did for the Divine Being. Her whole life was devoted to being a
blessing to many others; particularly to the elevation of those of her
own sex. Just before she died she gave it to my Guru's (Spiritual
Teacher) mother, who was then a young woman, saying: "Wear this as a vow
that thy life will be consecrated to lifting thy sisters out of
bondage." My Guru gave it to me with its history, saying: "My mother
lived and died for woman's freedom. May you live for the same noble
purpose."' Then Wavernee rose and took from a shelf this beautiful
little box, saying: 'Keep the ring in this box.'

"After I thanked her she said: 'This is the last time you will see me,
for I am going away and when I return you will have left this country.'
I received a mental suggestion not to ask any questions, and there
seemed to be nothing left for me to say, but to part with such a sweet
exalted character in the way and manner that two spiritual friends
should take leave of each other.

"Stella, she was the greatest mystic I ever met in that land of
mystics."

When Penloe finished his narrative he looked at Stella and saw she was
deeply moved. Neither spoke for a few minutes, then Stella leaned her
head towards Penloe and said in a soft touching voice:

"Penloe, dear, I have just seen Wavernee. Oh, what a beautiful loving
soul she is; her countenance is something wonderful! For a few moments I
seemed to be with her in a sacred room in her home in India. As I
entered she came forward and greeted me in a most affectionate manner.
Leading me to a small altar at one end of the room, we both kneeled for
devotion, after which I looked up and saw on the wall the inscription:
'Our lives are consecrated to the Lord in His humanity."

"After I read that everything disappeared, and I realized I was here on
this porch with you, my mind being full of your exceedingly interesting
story."

After a pause Penloe remarked: "I am not surprised, Stella, at the
experience you have just had of seeing Wavernee, for I have seen her
twice since I have been in Orangeville. It is a gift which comes to some
in their higher unfoldment. I am very glad you saw Wavernee, for it is
an inspiration to see such a person."

Stella replied: "Yes, Penloe, she is all you have described her to me,
and much more. Her presence has a remarkable power of elevating. She is
my ideal, for she is highly gifted and still only full of pure love.
What you have related and what I have seen has been a great revelation
to me, and fills me with joy in the thought of being your co-worker in
living the life as Wavernee saw us as dispensers of truth, and helpers
of humanity through love."

Penloe said: "Yes, dear Stella, it is a great blessing and privilege to
be of service to others. It is the test of greatness of character; for
Jesus said: 'He that is greatest of all must be servant of all.'"

After a little silence in which both were thinking about the great work
before them, Stella's attention was called to the box containing the
ring, by Penloe handing it to her. On taking it she said: "Is not the
box beautiful?" Then opening it she took out the ring. It was a cinnamon
garnet ring, made from Ceylon stone, with hieroglyphics outside and
inside beautifully cut. It was a fine piece of skilled workmanship.

Stella said: "Penloe, do tell me the meaning of the hieroglyphics on the
ring. I am very desirous to know."

Penloe said: "Outside it reads, 'All are one in God.' Inside it reads,
'The fire of spirituality burns by continual devotion.'"

Stella remarked: "How true is the beautiful thought contained in the
outside inscription, 'All are one in God,' for it makes our own union
feel sacred and precious as well as bringing us close to all others. The
inside inscription is an exceedingly fine one, 'The fire of spirituality
burns by continual devotion.' Because without devotion the spiritual
life droops and withers as a flower without water." Continuing, she
said: "There are two kinds of devotion, one consisting of heartfelt
prayer and singing from the soul, sacred hymns; and the other kind
consists in rendering service to others. They are both essential for
spiritual growth."

Stella was very much interested in the history of the ring, and putting
it on her finger she said: "What a true symbol of the nature of our
union is the ring. I am so glad it is not made of gold and set with
diamonds. If it were I never could wear it, for it would neutralize all
the good I could do. Supposing it had been one of those very handsome
gold rings set with diamonds such as Indian princesses wear. Every
lady's eye, young and old, would be on the ring, while their minds would
be speculating on its great value, and their thoughts so taken up with
its beauty that what I might say to instruct them would have very little
effect, and even the influence of my own life would be small. No,
Penloe, I never would wear a costly ring, not even if you gave it to me;
for it would have a tendency to keep myself and all who saw it in
bondage. This ring is not costly or very attractive, but its history is
rich and the truths cut into it are precious." Here she kissed Penloe
for the ring and spoke again in loving terms concerning Wavernee.

That evening the moon looked down on no happier couple than Penloe and
Stella, for they were both free and attracted towards them all that was
joyous and beautiful in the Universe.

On that porch so sacred in blissful associations, before retiring, they
spent a few minutes in silent prayer, after which I heard them sing so
softly and sweetly, their voices blending in harmony and melody. I never
heard such singing before. I looked up in the starry firmament, and did
my eyes see some of the angelic host looking down on them as they sang?

   "If such the sweetness of the streams
    What must the fountain be!"



CHAPTER XXII.

THE HERNE PARTY.


Mr. and Mrs. Herne had become greatly interested in Stella, and they
made their house feel like a home to her whenever she favored them with
a visit, which she did many times previous to her living with Penloe in
the mountains. They were very much attracted towards her and loved her,
for she always brought sunshine with her, and her charming presence, her
agreeable manners, together with her fresh, bright, original character,
so sweet and beautiful, could not but help making her a very desirable
member of the Herne family, for they had come to look upon her as such
since her engagement to Penloe, for Penloe to them was a dear brother,
and now they looked upon Stella as a dear sister.

On the evening that Penloe was relating the story of the ring to Stella,
Charles and Clara Herne were sitting on the porch enjoying the beautiful
evening and entertaining themselves in a conversation about the newly
married couple who were expected to come to-morrow and be their guests
for several days.

While they were talking about the leading part Stella had taken on the
sex question, Clara said to her husband: "If Penloe had a wife made to
order he could not have had a more suitable mate than Stella. That match
was made in heaven."

Her husband, who had picked up some of Penloe's ideas, said: "Why,
Clara, she was made to order for him."

Clara laughed and said: "Well, Charles, do you think I was made to order
for you?"

"Certainly, and I was made to order for you, my dear," replied he.

Mrs. Herne said: "It is very easy to believe that persons so suited to
each other as you and I, and Penloe and Stella, were made to order for
each other, but how about Fred Thaxter and his wife, who were married a
year ago? Mrs. Simmons called on me yesterday and told me she had heard
that Fred was about to apply for a divorce."

Clara said: "I feel sorry for them both. Charles, so far, you and I have
not taken any active part in the sex reform movement which has been just
started. While we are of the same mind as Penloe and Stella in thought,
yet we have so far been silent, except in the circle of our own home,
and I think the time has come for us to show our colors."

Charles said: "My dear, I am ready to hoist the flag whenever you say
the word."

Clara made answer: "I say the word now, Charles."

Charles said: "We will have a talk with Penloe and Stella and see what
way we can help the movement forward."

Clara said: "I think, Charles, we had better retire early to-night, for
to-morrow Penloe and Stella will be with us for several days, and we
never retire early when they are our guests, and the day after to-morrow
we give a party in their honor."

Early next day, according to an understanding, Mr. Herne sent a man with
his two-seated surrey to Mr. Wheelwright's for his guests, and about
eleven the handsome span of blacks were reined up in front of the Herne
residence, and there were two warm hearts on the porch to greet the
newly married couple. Charles Herne came forward and received Stella as
if she had been his own sister, and she kissed him as if he were her own
brother, and Clara Herne received Penloe in the same way, for they lived
what they taught, and Penloe and Stella called them Charles and Clara.

Just after dinner Clara was talking about the invited guests to the
party to-morrow, saying that she had received a note from Mrs. Hardy, a
lady who had been married about five years, which read that she could
not come to-morrow as she was sick with her old complaint, but she
wants you both to call on her before starting on your wedding tour.

Continuing, Clara said: "How much that poor lady has suffered. I have
heard her talk very strongly of her mother for being so close-mouthed
with her concerning matters that she ought to have enlightened her
about. I remember calling on her at one time and found her lying on the
lounge. At times she was in great pain. I was telling her about the
interest which had just begun to be aroused in the sex reform movement.
She said: 'Oh, if I could only be put back ten years with the knowledge
I have, what an active part I would take in the movement, for I don't
want other girls and women to suffer what I have, through ignorance and
fear.'"

Penloe said: "Stella, we had better call on Phebe this afternoon, for
neither of us have seen her since we lived our mountain life, and we
will have more time to-day than later."

Stella answered: "I am ready any time."

Charles Herne asked Penloe: "What time would you like to leave here?"

Penloe said: "About two."

"Well," said Charles, "I will have the boy bring the team round for you
at that time."

It was two o'clock but the team had not yet been brought to the front of
the house. Charles Herne had gone out to the orchard and Clara was
elsewhere in the house. Penloe and Stella were in the parlor.

Penloe said: "Stella, I will go up to the barn and see if the team is
ready." So out he went.

While Penloe had gone to the barn for the team, Clara Herne entered the
parlor, with a paper in her hand, and called Stella's attention to a
criticism on the sex reform movement.

When Clara entered the parlor, Stella was standing looking at an oil
painting on the wall. Stella took the paper, and sat down on the nearest
chair. Mrs. Herne went out in the kitchen, and there was Mrs. Wentworth
and her child, who was about three years of age. Mrs. Wentworth's
husband was poor, and they lived on a small, rented place, near the
Herne ranch. Mrs. Wentworth belonged to that type of woman who has very
little inclination for solving the problems of the Universe or settling
the affairs of the nation, but who seem always to have a great amount of
leisure to devote to the doings of her neighbors. It was seldom that
Mrs. Herne had company but that Mrs. Wentworth found some kind of errand
to her house.

One day at dinner Mrs. Herne, in a humorous way, said: "I think Mrs.
Wentworth is owing me for about twenty-seven lots of yeast, forty-two
little lots of butter, sufficient matches to light all the fires in
Orangeville for six months, enough loaves of bread to feed a multitude,
for she often is out of bread or had bad luck with her baking. I have
let her have more milk than would be required to drown herself in, and,
as for coal-oil, why the quantity that she has borrowed would illuminate
many dark places of the earth; and my tea and coffee seem just suited to
her taste." Then, after a pause, she said: "Well, the poor woman is
welcome to all she has had."

"Yes," said her husband, "they have a hard time."

To-day she came to get Mrs. Herne to read a letter she had received,
saying: "There are some parts that neither my husband or myself can make
out."

While Mrs. Herne was engaged in reading the letter, Mrs. Wentworth's
child, seeing the door leading from one room to another open, took the
opportunity of doing a little exploring. It was not long before he was
in the parlor. When he entered Stella just looked up from the paper she
was reading, to see who it was, and went on with her reading, which she
was absorbed in. She had seen the child about the house on other
occasions. Now, where Stella was sitting, there was another chair at the
back of Stella's chair, and this vacant one was against the wall. On the
wall just over the chair was a pretty shelf, with a fancy
bright-colored ball fringe all around it, which attracted the child's
attention. So he climbed up in the chair, and when he stood up on the
seat he saw on the shelf a small, fancy, cut-glass bottle, with a very
shining silver-like top to it; so he put his hand out and took it from
the shelf, after which he turned round and faced the back of Stella's
chair. In passing the bottle from one hand to the other, in order to
help himself down with his possessions, his faculty of weight not being
as yet well trained, he let go of the bottle before he had got a firm
hold of it with the other hand, and the result was that it fell on
Stella's shoulder. Fortunately the stopper did not come off till it
reached her lap, when she received the whole contents of a bottle of ink
on her wedding dress.

Just about that time Mrs. Wentworth said to Mrs. Herne: "I must go and
see what that child is doing;" and she arrived in the room just as the
bottle of ink fell into Stella's lap. Mrs. Wentworth took the situation
in at a glance and the hot blood instantly flew to her face, and hotter
words came from her mouth; and, among other things she said, was:

"My God! that brat of mine has spoiled your fine, white dress;" and she
took the boy, and was spanking him amidst hot words and the cries of the
child.

Stella said: "Please don't hurt the child; it's nothing, it's nothing,
Mrs. Wentworth." But the mother paid no attention to Stella's protests,
but left the room with the child just as Mrs. Herne entered.

Clara said: "Why, Stella, dear, what is the matter?" Stella laughed, and
said: "I have got some new figures on my wedding dress. Don't you think
they are pretty?"

On seeing Stella's skirt and underskirt all saturated with ink in
places, Clara was not quite prepared to enter into the same laughable
mood as her guest, but said:

"Stella, dear, how well you take it! I wish I could be that way."

To which Stella replied: "I would not have a disturbed mind for a dozen
of the best dresses ever made. Clara, nothing is so dear and sacred to
me as 'the peace of mind which passeth all understanding.'"

Clara said: "I see you kept the ink from going on my new carpet, by
rolling your skirts up. It's just like your thoughtfulness, dear."

Mrs. Wentworth came running into the room, saying: "Penloe is waiting
outside with the team. What will you do?" Stella smiling, went to the
door, and holding out the front of her dress said, laughing, "Penloe,
how do you like these hieroglyphics on my dress?"

Penloe laughed, and said: "They are different to any I have ever seen
deciphered."

In about fifteen minutes Stella took her seat beside Penloe, with some
new garments on, which she had brought with her, and they went on their
way to Mrs. Harding's.

After they were gone, Mrs. Wentworth said to Mrs. Herne: "I never seen
anything like those two in all my life. If that had happened to me I
would have been so mad that I would have cursed and swore, and felt like
warming the child's hide. And as for my husband, do you think he would
have laughed and sat in the buggy, like a hen on her nest? No, he would
have been in and out of the buggy many times; every minute he would be
looking up at the house to see if I was coming, and now and then calling
out to ask me if it took me all day to change my dress. Then he would
think he had something to do about the horse's head, then back to his
seat, then out again, doing something to the back of the buggy, then he
would look up at the house again, with a frown on his face, and call
out, 'Are you never coming?' He would be as restless as a fox in a
cage."

Mrs. Herne smiled at the description of Mr. Wentworth's disposition, as
given by his wife, and said, in a quiet tone: "We all need more patience
and self-control."

On the following day all were very busy in the Herne household, making
preparations for the party. Penloe and Stella attended to the
rearranging of the furniture and decorating the rooms, while Clara
superintended the supplies for the table. The guests arrived a few
minutes after five. To Clara Herne's great surprise, the last guest to
arrive came in the form of Mrs. Harding. Clara Herne, in receiving her,
said: "What, Phebe, I am so glad you are able to come."

When they were all alone in the room where the ladies left their wraps
and hats, Clara said: "Do tell me, Phebe, what has made you so much
better, for after reading your note I had no idea of seeing you to-day."

"No more had I when I wrote the note," said Phebe. "But, Clara, have you
not heard? Did not Penloe or Stella tell you?"

"No," said Clara; "when I asked them how you were, Stella told me what
you said about your condition when she asked you how you were."

"Well, Clara, I will tell you," said Mrs. Harding. "Penloe and Stella
were with me about an hour. After they had been in the room with me
about ten minutes, they talked very little. About half an hour
afterwards such a sweet feeling of peace and rest came over me; all pain
had left me, and when they said 'good-bye,' I felt healed and I keep
feeling better all the time. Clara, my heart is full of joy and
gratitude to that man of God and his angel wife. What beautiful
countenances they have."

At half past five the company sat down at a long table which was
tastefully spread with viands and dainties to tempt the appetite of the
most fastidious epicure. Penloe sat on Clara's right, and Stella sat on
the left of Charles Herne. Four of Mr. Herne's men waited on the table;
so well did they perform this service that a stranger could not have
told them from professional waiters.

The meal was thoroughly enjoyed amidst mirth and laughter, wit and
humor, jokes and short stories, for the whole company were in the best
of spirits.

After supper some of the guests sat on the porch, others walked about
the grounds, and some played croquet. Among the invited guests were
Prof. French and wife, a couple who had been married about a year; they
were both professional musicians, living in San Francisco, and were
visiting their relatives, the King family, and they received an
invitation with the King family to the party.

Among those who were sitting on the porch were Mr. and Mrs. Bates. They
had always been very friendly with the Hernes and lived only about two
miles distant from them.

A little later in the evening the croquet players and those who had been
strolling about the grounds were coming towards the house, just as Mr.
Bates was relating to Mr. and Mrs. Herne what to him had been a very
trying experience. Mr. Bates always called Mr. Herne Charles. He said:

"Charles, I don't know that I would have been here to-night if it had
not been for my wife."

"Why, how is that?" said Mr. Herne.

Mr. Bates replied: "Well, I will tell you. This morning, Weeks' boy was
playing with my boy in the barn. There were a number of sacks of barley
and wheat on the floor. The boys got to scuffling, one boy trying to
throw the other down. At last my boy got Weeks' boy down and gave him a
blow and ran out of the barn with Weeks' boy after him. They both ran
out into the orchard and then over the fence to Page's barn. Now, when
Weeks' boy ran after my lad he left the barn door open. There was no one
about the barn at the time the boys left. My man and I were at the
further end of the ranch fixing the line fence. When we came up at noon
we found the barn door open and that fine four-year-old colt of mine and
a lot of hogs were all in the barn eating grain. They had torn every
sack open and had eaten more than half of it. The colt had eaten so much
as to make him bloat. When I saw it all I felt so mad I had to use some
hot words. When I went to the house I told my wife about it. At first
she seemed put out, but when she saw how wrathy I was she tried to cool
me down. I asked where the boy was, and she said, 'Weeks' boy was here
and asked for our boy to go to his place to play and have dinner. They
said they were going to get Page's boy to play with them.' I felt so
worried about the colt and so mad at the boys I could not eat my dinner.
I told my wife I did not feel like coming here to-night, and when I said
that I saw I had made matters worse, so I went out to the barn and
worked over the colt some more. When the boy came home I had him tell me
all about it. I told him if he or any boy with him ever left the barn
door open again he would not want to sit down for a week."

Just here Mrs. Bates said to Mrs. Herne: "Henry does take such things so
hard. It seems as if he can never get over it."

Mr. Bates spoke up a little louder and said: "Such thoughtless, careless
doings as that are enough to make any one lose his temper. Why, I came
very near losing the colt, besides the damage the hogs did to the
grain."

Mrs. Herne said: "Mr. Bates, I must tell you what an experience Stella
had yesterday, and see if you don't think she had something to disturb
her."

Mr. Bates said: "Would like to hear it; misery always loves company."

So Mrs. Herne commenced telling about the bottle of ink falling into
Stella's lap. Just as she commenced to relate the incident Penloe came
on the porch with Mrs. French, and they took a seat near Mrs. Herne.
About two minutes later Prof. French and Stella joined the group, and
before Mrs. Herne had got to that part of the story where she asks
Stella, "What is the matter?" and Stella laughed and said: "I got some
new figures on my wedding dress, don't you think they are pretty?" about
all the guests were now grouped about Mrs. Herne. They were either
sitting on the wide porch or standing near by. When Mrs. Herne had
finished, Mr. Bates said in a comical kind of way: "If that had been my
wedding dress, I would have felt so mad that I would feel like throwing
the youngster out of the window and swearing a blue streak."

Turning to Stella, he said: "I have got no such control over myself as
you have. I wish I had."

Mrs. French said: "Stella, how could you take it so cheerfully? Why, if
that had been my wedding dress, I would have felt too mad to speak; in
fact, I don't know just what I would do."

Pretty Miss Grace Nettleton, a young lady full of fun and always the
life of any party, laughingly said: "As I intend to be an old maid, no
bottle of ink will ever fall on my wedding dress, but if such a thing
should happen I would feel like going to bed and having a good cry."

Several other ladies remarked: "I don't see how Stella could have been
so peaceful and pleasant. I know I never could."

Miss Baker, the school teacher, who had many trying pupils, remarked to
Mrs. French: "I wish I could control myself like Stella; how easy I
could govern the scholars."

Penloe said: "Did any of you ever hear the story of Shuka?"

Several answered: "No."

Mrs. French said: "Do tell it, Penloe."

"Yes," said Mrs. Herne, "we all would like to hear it." The company
became very attentive while Penloe related the following story with
telling effect:

"There was a great sage called Vyasa.[3] This Vyasa was the writer of
the Vedanta philosophy, a holy man. His father had tried to become a
very perfect man and failed; his grandfather tried and failed; his
great-grandfather tried and failed; he himself did not succeed
perfectly, but his son Shuka was born perfect. He taught this son, and
after teaching him himself, he sent him to the court of King Janaka. He
was a great king and was called Videha. Videha means 'outside the
body.' Although a king, he had entirely forgotten that he had a body; he
was a spirit all the time. The boy was sent to be taught by him. The
king knew that Vyasa's son was coming to him to learn, so he made
certain arrangements beforehand, and when the boy presented himself at
the gates of the palace, the guards took no notice of him whatsoever.
They only gave him a place to sit, and he sat there for three days and
nights, nobody speaking to him, nobody asking who he was or whence he
was. He was the son of this great sage, his father was honored by the
whole country, and he himself was a most respectable person; yet the low
vulgar guards of the palace would take no notice of him.

[Footnote 3: Karma Yoga, Vivekananda.]

"After that, suddenly, the ministers of the king and all the high
officials came there and received him with the greatest honors. They
took him in and showed him into splendid rooms, gave him the most
fragrant baths and wonderful dresses, and for eight days they kept him
there in all kinds of luxury. That face did not change; he was the same
in the midst of this luxury as at the door. Then he was brought before
the king. The king was on his throne, music was playing, and dancing and
other amusements going on. The king gave him a cup of milk, full to the
brim, and asked him to go round the hall seven times without spilling a
drop. The boy took the cup and proceeded in the midst of this music and
the beautiful faces. Seven times he went round, and not a drop was
spilled. The boy's mind could not be attracted by anything in the world
unless he allowed it. And when he brought the cup to the king, the king
said to him: 'What your father has taught you and what you have learned
yourself, I only repeat; you have known the truth. Go home.'"

When Penloe had finished Mrs. Herne said: "Thank you, Penloe, that is
very good, for it brings out the idea so well."

Mrs. French said: "Is not that very fine, Penloe? I never heard that
thought expressed before. It is new to me."

Dr. Finch, who was a well educated young dentist, said: "That thought,
though old to the people of the Orient, is just beginning to come to the
front in the literature of the West. I was very much gratified in
listening to Penloe."

Saunders, the merchant, laughed and said: "If it had been me sitting at
the gate, instead of Shuka, I would have got mad in ten minutes and gone
home, if the guards had treated me in that manner."

It began to get a little cool on the porch and the company were invited
into the large double parlors to play some games. After enjoying a
variety of games for an hour, it was proposed to have some music. The
Hernes had a fine-toned piano, and it was always kept in tune. Several
young gentlemen asked Miss Grace Nettleton for a song, and all the other
members of the company joined in the request. Miss Nettleton said she
would like some one to play the accompaniment, and Prof. French said: "I
will play for you."

As Miss Grace Nettleton was a young lady of romantic turn of mind and
very fond of reading love stories and singing love songs, she selected
one to sing according to her taste, from which we give the following
verse:

   "Sitting on the garden gate,
      Where the little butterfly reposes,
    Now I hate to tell, but then I must,
      'Twas love among the roses."

Some of the young people being delighted with that sentimental song,
called for another, for they could not think of her taking her seat
after singing only one; so she very kindly sang another. In a very soft,
sweet voice, she sang a song containing the following verse:

   "I love to think of thee, when evening closes,
      Over landscapes bright and fair,
    I love to think of thee when earth reposes,
      To calm a grief which none can share.
    When every eyelid hovers
      When every heart but mine is free,
      'Tis then, O then, I love to think of thee."

If the true feeling of one or two young gentlemen present could be told,
they certainly would like to have had Miss Grace Nettleton think of them
in that way. After receiving many compliments from the company, the
young lady took her seat. Mrs. French, who was a professional musician
like her husband, was called for and sang with fine effect, "I am
dreaming, yes I am dreaming, the happy hours away," etc, etc. Her fine
cultivated voice was much appreciated by the company and they were eager
to have Mrs. French sing again, but she wished to save her voice, and
got her husband to sing "Beautiful Isle of the Sea." His fine baritone
voice was a great treat to the guests, for it was seldom such talent as
that of himself and wife was heard in the parlors of Orangeville.

Stella was called for and Professor French played the accompaniment,
while she in a very sweet and feeling voice sang, "Hark! I Hear an Angel
Sing." As her graceful form stood beside the instrument with her face
and eyes turned a little upwards, she seemed to be lost to everything
mundane, and when she sang those soul-melting words that she heard the
angel sing, the effect was complete, for it seemed to those present as
if it was the voice of an angel singing those words and not that of a
human being.

The attention was so great that when she finished you could have heard a
pin drop. The effect was very fine. There were some there who will never
forget that song. Professor French and his wife were very much taken
with Stella's singing; both of them pressed her hand and thanked her for
her sweet song. They afterwards said, in all their musical career they
never heard anything to equal it of its kind. The song was entirely new
to every one present.

Mrs. French, who was half in doubt in her own mind as to whether Penloe
had any musical talent or not, said: "Perhaps Penloe will favor us with
some music."

Prof. French said: "Yes, Penloe, I would like to hear you very much."
Mrs. Herne laughed and said: "It seems strange to think that, though
Penloe has made many visits to our house, I never thought to ask him if
he could play, for we always have so much interesting conversation that
I never think about music."

Stella laughed and said: "Why, Clara, I don't know myself whether Penloe
can play the piano, for he is so modest about his attainments. We have
sung together many times, but I am like you, I never thought to ask him
if he could play." Turning to Penloe, she said: "Now, Penloe, I do want
to hear you play so much"; and when he rose to take his seat at the
instrument curiosity reached its height in the minds of Mr. and Mrs.
Herne as well as Stella, so eager were they to see his personality
manifested in music.

The eyes of each member of the company were now riveted on that
remarkable figure who had just begun to finger a few keys with one hand.
He did not do as some would-be performers sometimes do, strike eight to
ten keys as soon as they touch the piano, but, strange to say, he
commenced playing with one hand.

We will here give the words concerning Penloe's performance as told to a
friend in San Francisco by Mrs. French in her own unique way, as
follows:

"My husband and I being at a party one evening given by Mr. and Mrs.
Herne in Orangeville, I met a gentleman there by the name of Penloe, who
certainly is the most gifted man I ever have met in all my travels.
There is a power in his personality that is irresistible; you cannot
help being drawn towards him. But his power is of that kind that is
uplifting and elevating, and there is something very sweet in his
nature. After supper I took a little walk with him about the grounds,
and his conversation was exceedingly interesting. I will never forget
the talk I had with him. He seemed to be able to bring out of me ideas
which I had never expressed before; in fact, making me talk, as it were,
above myself. In thinking it over, I must say my own conversation was a
surprise to me; and as for him, while he does not take you all of a
sudden into great depths of thought, or attach wings to you and have you
flying through the heavens, yet he has the genius of taking the most
commonplace subjects and causing you to see such an interest and beauty
in them as you never saw before. After we all assembled in the large
double parlors and had some games, there were several who favored the
company with instrumental and vocal music, when I thought it would be no
more than proper to ask Penloe to play. After he had been seated at the
piano a few minutes, I was a little in doubt whether I had not made a
mistake in asking him, for he commenced playing with one hand and only
touching one key at a time, more like a child playing. He still went on
playing with one hand, but touching two and three keys at a time. I
noticed some ladies and gentlemen began looking at each other and then
at Penloe, hardly knowing what to make of such playing. As he proceeded
further in his performance with one hand, though the playing was simple,
yet there was a peculiarity about it that can hardly be expressed as he
went along with his apparently amateur performance. Then he used his
other hand and fingered a few more keys occasionally, and I felt an
interest growing in me, and also those around me seemed to share the
same feeling. A little later and the fingers of both hands were going a
little more rapidly over the key-board, and the childish and amateur
performer had ceased and the playing began to impress me as being that
of a young professional. I began to feel myself more drawn into the
playing, and when the playing of a young professional had given place to
the experienced professional, I was all attention; but it was not long
before the professional had disappeared and I knew that the music I was
listening to now was that of a genius. I was conscious a great master
was at the instrument, and after that I seemed not to be conscious of
the performer or those about me, and how long I was in that condition I
do not know. When I came to myself again, the music had ceased, there
was no performer there, for Penloe had left the room.

"In talking with some others of the party about Penloe's playing, it
seemed to have produced exactly the same effect on them as it did on me.
I will, in a very inadequate way, tell you as near as I can the
impression it made upon me. I felt, when he first commenced to play in
his child-like way, as if all our minds were very much scattered; that
is, I mean as if a great separateness and distinction existed, and as he
proceeded with his playing it seemed to have the effect of collecting
our minds and bringing them together till we all seemed to be just one
mind. Then there arose in this one mind a desire, and the desire grew
till it created a disturbance, and it kept increasing and growing more
powerful till it burst into a storm of passion, and the storm became
furious within; for it seemed at times as if it would rend and tear me
to pieces, and I was about to be conquered by it. I felt like saying,
'Must I yield? Is yielding the only way out of this? Must I give way and
let it have full sway over me?' I said, 'Must I let it die out by
consuming its own self?' And as I was about to cry out in despair,
'There is no other way; I will feed the fire till there is nothing left
for it to burn;' and just as I was on the brink, on the edge of the
precipice, as it were, the fury of the storm being at its very height,
then all of a sudden I saw a light and the storm began to lose some of
its fury, and the clouds appeared not so black, and the light seemed
growing brighter. At last the storm ceased within me, and the dark
clouds were disappearing fast, till the last one had gone and a wave of
sunshine swept over my soul, and I felt like saying, 'How peaceful it is
after the storm,' and while I was enjoying that sweet feeling of peace a
change came over me, I began to be lifted, as it were out of my little
self, and myself and the world seemed to be larger than I had ever
imagined. I began, as it were, to rise, and great as the world had
grown I had grown greater still. Then I entered a much larger world than
even the great one I had lived in, and when I had outgrown that grand
world, I went into another still more beautiful, and on I went rising
out of one beautiful world into another far superior till I reached a
condition that human language cannot convey the blissful state of the
soul in me. Oh, the happiness I then realized. I shall never forget. My
husband, in speaking of the piece Penloe played, said: 'That music was
never composed on earth, it was born in heaven,' Mr. Herne heard my
husband make that remark, and said, 'In order to play that kind of
music, you have got to live in the same world as Penloe does. That is
how it has its birth.'"

It is true, as Mrs. French told her friend, that after the music had
lost some of its power over her she realized that Penloe had left the
room. The piano being near the door, which was open, and no one sitting
between the door and the piano, when Penloe ceased playing he quietly
left the room and sat in a chair on the porch. About five minutes later,
a soft footstep was heard on the porch and the sound of a light rustle
of a dress, for Stella had taken a seat beside Penloe. His performance
at the piano had stirred the dear girl's nature to its greatest depths
and also had scaled its lofty heights. On that porch, gazing at the
grand canopy of the heavens, those two souls listened to such strains of
music as only the purified hear.



CHAPTER XXIII.

A VISIT FROM BARKER AND BROOKES.


About ten o'clock the next morning after the party, Mr. Herne was in the
front yard, superintending some work, when he saw a buggy coming towards
his house and he recognized the occupants as being Mr. Herbert Barker
and Mr. Stanley Brookes, of Roseland. When the team stopped in front of
the house. Mr. Herne was there to receive the two gentlemen.

After shaking hands and exchanging a few pleasant words, Mr. Barker
asked: "Are Penloe and Stella here?"

Mr. Herne said: "Yes, they are, come in, gentlemen," and gave them seats
in the parlor, saying, "You had better stay to dinner, and I will have a
man take care of your team," an invitation which they gladly accepted.
Mr. Herne entered the sitting-room to tell Penloe and Stella that Barker
and Brookes were in the parlor waiting to see them. Since those two
gentlemen had become Stella's co-workers for sex reform consequently
they had seen much of each other, and had come to a mutual understanding
that they would lay aside all formalities and act as brother and sister;
therefore, instead of addressing each other as Mr. or Mrs., they called
each other by their given names.

When Penloe and Stella entered the parlor, the two gentlemen rose from
their seats and came forward to tender their congratulations to the
newly married couple. After a lively social chat, Stanley Brookes made
known the object of their morning call in the following words. Looking
at Stella, he said: "Since you were with us last in Roseland, we have
been receiving information through various channels concerning certain
persons, in a number of towns and cities, who may be considered
advanced enough to profit by our literature. In most cases the persons
receiving it have written for more, to circulate among their friends.
Since sending a second lot, we have been in receipt of a number of
letters, like the following, and here Brookes took one from a large
package of letters, and read it to Penloe and Stella. It was as follows:

                                        "LOS ANGELES, Cal.
    "_Stanley Brookes, Esq.,_
               "_Roseland, Cal.:_

     "DEAR SIR: The literature which you kindly sent me I
      placed where I knew it would do the most good. It gives
      me pleasure to inform you that the California idea is
      gaining ground here, and interest is growing faster
      than I anticipated. I was not aware there were so many
      ready for the sex reform thought; but in talking with
      some of the more advanced, they said that they had done
      a little thinking along this line for some time, but
      their ideas were only half formed, and this reading
      matter was just what they needed to let the light into
      their minds. They are all now anxious to have a
      meeting, and want to know if you could get Penloe and
      Stella to come here and speak. They think the largest
      hall in this city would not hold the crowd that would
      want to hear and see those two
      much-talked-of-and-written-about persons. I will see
      that all their expenses are paid, if you will see to
      getting them here. I know if they come it will give the
      movement a big lift. Write as soon as you know if they
      are coming.

                   "Yours for Reform,
                                       "HAROLD CHAMBERS."

At the conclusion of reading the letter Brookes said: "It seems that
some of our literature got into the State of Colorado. The papers in
that State called it the 'California Idea,' and as the 'C.I.' began to
grow they called it the 'California Movement.' Some of the papers in
this State have used the same expression, and the people in California
seem to be pleased with the names given the new sex thought."

Stella laughed, and said: "Well, Stanley, I rather like the names C.I.
and C.M. Don't you, Penloe?"

Penloe said: "Yes, the term or name 'Sex Reform Thought' I think very
ambiguous, but C.I. and C.M. are names which convey to the mind the
ideas they are intended to express."

Brookes said: Stella, I will read you another letter I received from a
friend of mine in Bakersfield:

                                      "BAKERSFIELD, Cal.
    "_Stanley Brookes, Esq.,_
              "_Roseland, Cal.:_

     "DEAR FRIEND BROOKES: Yes, it is just as you say,
      Bakersfield may be a very fast town, but there are some
      people here who are ripe for the 'C. Movement.' My
      experience and what I see here about me every day have
      made me so sick of the old ideas concerning sex that it
      does me good to see the interest people are taking in
      the literature you sent me. One woman told me that the
      pamphlet I gave her had been read by nine persons. Say,
      old boy, don't you think you could get Penloe and
      Stella to come here and wake us up a little more. My,
      they would be a drawing-card! I will see that they are
      not out anything by coming. Now, do your level best to
      get them here, for they would start the ball a-rolling
      in fine shape.

                    "Yours for the 'C.I.,'
                                        "ARTHUR PAINE."

Holding up the package of letters, Brookes said: "Here are letters from
Ventura, San José, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Oakland,
Sacramento, and a number of other places, all asking the same question,
'Could I get you both to come to their places to speak.' They all seem
so anxious to see and hear the leaders of the great C.M., and that is
why Herbert and I are here this morning to see if you both will accept
these pressing invitations to speak in a cause which is so dear to you."

Stella said: "I appreciate your kind thoughtfulness in coming out here
to see us, and thus give us an opportunity of talking the matter over
together." Then she was silent, and Barker and Brookes both said
afterwards they never saw Stella look so serious and sober since they
knew her as she looked then. It seemed as if a struggle was going on
within her. After a few minutes' silence, there seemed to be a feeling
in Stella's voice as she spoke. Looking straight at the two young men
before her, she said: "To you I can speak in confidence. My aunt (Mrs.
Marston) has known for a year or two that I had a great desire to travel
and see the world. Since I first met Penloe that desire has grown much
stronger. On my wedding day, aunt gave me a bank book with ten thousand
dollars placed to my credit, saying it was to be used for the purpose of
enjoying our honeymoon on a long journey around the world. I can hardly
tell you how delighted I was when I thought what had been only a dream
to me was about to be realized. Next week we were going to Roseland to
visit aunt, then we were going abroad. Yes, Penloe and I have had such
delightful talks about the countries we were going to visit. We talked
much about some of the places and people in India we expected to see.
Penloe has told me about the Sannyasins and the great Yogis of India,
saying he could arrange matters so that we could live with some of them
for a while. The thought of seeing and talking with those wonderful
spiritual giants has kept me awake at night, my mind filled with joyous
thoughts. He said, 'The great Yogi Kattakhan has conquered all nature,
and at any time he could put himself in a mental condition so that he
could give the contents of any book in any part of the world.'

"I remember the last time I was with you in Roseland, both of you were
telling me you had read Burnette's book on 'The Freedom of the Women of
Tiestan,' also Wharburton's 'The Land of Surprises.' Well, we had
decided to visit the city of Semhee, in Tiestan, and see those
remarkable people. Till now I had not thought of there being anything to
prevent our going."

Barker said: "Well, Stella, all we had heard was that you were married,
and we did not know anything about your contemplated tour."

Stella said: "It was quite right for you to come and see us, and I am
very glad you have. Of course, we intended calling on you both before we
left for the Orient. Now, what I have told you is that you may see and
know exactly how we are situated in regard to accepting the invitation
to speak in the various places. The C.M. is dear to me, yes, very dear.
I rejoice in the progress the movement is making through the efforts of
you both, and before giving you an answer I must go and think it over,
so you will please excuse me."

As her graceful figure was leaving the room, she said: "Penloe, come to
our room about fifteen minutes before dinner. Clara told me that they
were going to have dinner at one o'clock to-day."

After Stella had left the room, Penloe chatted with the young men about
the C.M., and then said: "Would you like to take a walk about the
place?" and they both said, "Yes, this is our first visit to Treelawn."

This was the first time Barker and Brookes had met Penloe. They had
heard him deliver his address in Roseland, and were now pleased to have
the opportunity of enjoying his company. Penloe was about their age, and
the three became interested in relating some of their college
experiences. Barker and Brookes were eager to have Penloe tell them all
about the Hindu students, and what kind of men the Hindu professors are.
They had many a laugh while Penloe was relating some experiences which
seemed very peculiar to them. Penloe's interesting conversation had made
time pass very rapidly with them, and it was near the dinner hour before
they were aware of it.

Penloe said: "Please excuse me, I hear Stella calling." Taking out his
watch he said: "It is about time I was in the room; I did not think it
was so late."

After Penloe had left them, Barker said to Brookes: "Did you hear Stella
calling Penloe?"

"No," said Brookes, "did you?"

"No, I never heard her voice," said Barker, "but what did he mean by
saying she called him?"

"He meant she called him by what they call mental telegraphy," said
Brookes.

When Stella left the parlor and went to her room and had taken a seat,
her mind was filled with many conflicting thoughts and emotions. She
said to herself: "I was so unprepared for this; it was only last night I
remarked to Penloe, in about two weeks we would be on the ocean going to
Japan." "And, why can you not go?" said a powerful voice within her.
"You surely are not going to disappoint your aunt, are you, by not
going, after she has shown such love towards you as to give you ten
thousand dollars to travel on?" A little voice spoke within her and
said: "Are you and Penloe not the leaders of the C.M., and would it be
right for you to leave just as an interest is being awakened?" The
powerful voice said: "Stella, this is your wedding tour, and you have
accepted the money given you to go and you would not be doing yourself
justice to stay at home now." The little voice said: "Stella, what
effect do you think your influence would have on Barker and Brookes and
other young workers, if they see you indifferent to the calls? You have
always talked as if you would be willing to sacrifice everything for the
cause which is so dear to you." The strong voice said: "Yes, but if you
put off going now you will have to return the money to your aunt, and
when you are ready to go you may not have the money to go with." The
little voice said: "Stella, can you not give up the pleasure of a
wedding tour for the sake of helping others out of bondage into freedom,
thus making their lives happier and brighter?" The powerful voice said:
"It is only idle curiosity on the part of the people wanting to see you.
Do not be influenced by them; just think how it will help you in your
future labors to have visited the Oriental countries and sat at the feet
of those great Spiritual luminaries of India. If you go now, you have
got the money and you have got Penloe, who is the most interesting
traveling companion you could have. He knows many languages and can
master the Japanese and Chinese in a month or two. If you don't go now,
but postpone it till you think you can go, then perhaps Penloe might be
dead and how could you enjoy traveling without him?" That suggestion
touched Stella very deeply. After awhile the little voice said: "Stella,
dear, have the people of Japan, of China, of Persia, or of India sent an
invitation to come and speak to them? Are the great Sannyasins and Yogis
looking forward to receiving a visit from you? If the people of the
Orient had given you a special call, it would be right for you to go
now. They have not called you at all; but the people of California have.
They want you to follow up the grand noble work you so heroically
commenced, a work so dear to you that you were willing to make every
sacrifice in order to be true to yourself and thus free others from
bondage. Go into the silence, Stella, ask the Blessed Spirit for light
and knowledge and he will show you which path to choose."

And that is just what Stella did. When she came out of the silence her
face was radiant and her mind settled and clear.

When Penloe entered the room Stella spoke in a serious tone and said: "I
have half a mind to be just a wee bit put out with you, because you have
acted so indifferently in regard to our wedding tour. Why, it does not
seem to concern you whether we go or stay here." With a half twinkle in
her eye she said: "I must say, you don't act like most men would who had
just married a young lady with ten thousand dollars to spend on a
wedding tour."

Penloe said: "I will answer you, Stella, dear, as if you spoke in
earnest."

Stella said: "That is just what I want you to do, Penloe."

He said: "Stella, why should I care whether I am here or going on a
wedding tour through the Orient with you? All I have to do is to realize
and manifest the Divine. Stella, I have learned this one lesson, _that I
am not in it_, for it is He that is doing it all. It was He that placed
me in certain environments in India for my spiritual unfoldment. It was
He that brought me to Orangeville. It was He that caused you and me to
come together as co-workers in a cause which is so dear to us. It was He
that made us man and wife. It was He that caused you to pass through
this struggle which you have just had with yourself and brought you out
victorious. It was He that caused you just now to cut the last cord of
attachment and made you free."

Penloe had been standing while he talked and just here Stella rose from
her seat and, going up to him, put her arms round his neck and said:
"Yes, dear, it is He, it is He. He hath done it all and He has given me
you as my husband and spiritual teacher." She kissed him and said:
"Bless you, dear."

Continuing, she said: "Do you know that the fight I have just had has
been the most trying and severe I ever experienced?"

"Yes, dear," said Penloe, "I know all about it, and when a youth I
thought I was free from all attachment, till I passed through the most
trying experience in my life, which showed me I was not free from all
desire and attachment. In coming out of that struggle I cut the last
cord which bound me to the external, and since then I have been free,
and illumination followed, and that is why I have received light, and
knew before I rose the next morning after our wedding we would not go
now on a wedding tour, but would speak all through the State of
California. I knew what a struggle you were going to have, and I knew it
was necessary in order that you might be free from all attachment, for
the love of traveling through the Orient owned you just a little, and
now that you have become truly free illumination will be yours." He
ceased speaking and kissed her.

Stella said: "I must take care and let nothing own me, for I see that as
soon as I allow myself to be owned I become its slave, and you know,
dear, that freedom from everything is my goal."

Penloe and Stella entered the dining-room just as Mrs. Herne had seated
Barker and Brookes at the table. As Stella took her seat the two young
men thought they had never seen her face so beautiful, with its sweet
smile and calm expression. Her vivacity brought out the wit and humor of
the two guests, who were always considered good company at any one's
table. Penloe said little, because he saw how the two young men were
enjoying Stella's bright conversation. After dinner the company
adjourned to the parlor.

Stella seated herself between her two friends, and looking at Barker she
said: "I must tell you and Stanley that we have given up going on our
wedding tour through the Oriental countries. We both feel we are wanted
here and we will stay where our work calls us."

Barker replied saying: "Your decision is grand and we will feel much
encouraged in having you with us."

Stella said: "We will spend a week with aunt before starting out to
speak. During our stay in Roseland we will see much of each other and
have opportunities for perfecting our plans."

Two days later Penloe and Stella became the guests of Mrs. Marston,
arriving at that lady's house about four in the afternoon, which was an
hour before Stella's aunt dined. Mrs. Marston was delighted to receive
her niece and her husband, for she was at her best when she had company.
After dinner, as it was a little chilly, a fire was lit in the open
grate and the three sat round to enjoy a social time.

Mrs. Marston said: "Stella, I suppose you and Penloe have all your plans
made for your wedding tour."

Stella said: "Well, Aunt, we had made many plans and I had built several
castles which I expected to occupy during our journey, but we received a
visit from Herbert and Stanley while we were at Charles' and Clara's
and they brought with them a number of letters containing invitations
for us to speak on the 'California Idea,' as it is now called, and we
think it best to give up our wedding tour and do what we can to help
forward the California movement; and, Aunt, the money which you so very
kindly gave me to use for a wedding tour, I feel I ought to return to
you, as we are not going; and so here is a check for the full amount of
your gift made payable to your order."

Mrs. Marston received the check from Stella and said: "I had hoped you
would have gone on your tour."

And added in a laughing tone: "You two are the strangest persons I have
ever met. The idea of giving up ten thousand dollars and losing the
opportunity of seeing the most interesting countries in the world, for
the sake of talking to persons who are curious to see how you both look
because they have read about you in the papers."

"I appreciate your gift just the same, Aunt, as if we had used the
money," said Stella.

Mrs. Marston said: "Of course, I want you both to do whatever you think
best." As they continued their conversation the door-bell rang and four
of Stella's friends called to see her. They were Dr. Lacey's two
daughters and two young gentlemen. They spent the evening in games and
music, and when they left it was late. Mrs. Marston, Penloe and Stella
sat in front of the fire a few minutes before retiring, and just before
Stella rose from her seat to wish her aunt good-night, Mrs. Marston
said: "Stella, dear, I thought I would have a little fun with you so I
accepted the check, but I had no intention of taking the money back. No,
dear, I want you to keep it and use it as you think best"; and taking
the check off the mantel with a laugh she threw it into the fire.

Stella rose from her seat to wish her aunt good-night, and thanked her
again for her handsome gift.

Mrs. Marston's guests spent a very pleasant time in Roseland. As they
were very popular, they received many invitations to dinner. They saw
Barker and Brookes every day and had chats about the C.M. After several
consultations in regard to making arrangements for the work, they at
last reached the conclusion that it would be best for Penloe and Stella
to go to Southern California and commence their labors there. At
Penloe's request the two young men agreed to accompany them, as Penloe
said there was a kind of work to be done that they were adapted for and
their services would be really needed. And as Charles and Clara Herne
wished to be actively engaged in the C.M., it was decided to transfer
the head office from Roseland to Orangeville, where the Hernes would see
to the sending out of literature and do all the correspondence, and so
that would relieve Barker and Brookes, and they could travel with Penloe
and Stella, and Mr. Herne could do their work and see to his ranch.
Barker said: "Brookes and I will pay all our own expenses connected with
the work," and Penloe said: "For the present we will do likewise, as we
do not wish to accept money from any one for our services; for by so
doing our influence will be much greater."

Brookes said: "Why, Penloe, the people who have invited you and Stella
to speak have expressed a wish to pay all expenses and remunerate you
both for your services as well. When I think how hard you worked to get
what few dollars you may have saved from your earnings, I hardly think
you are called upon to use your hard earnings when there are so many
more financially able to pay your expenses."

"I thank you, Stanley," said Penloe, "for your interest in my financial
welfare, but I see you are under the same impression that many others
are, in thinking that I worked out for the money there was in it. If it
had been money I wanted, I could have accepted a very fine offer from a
university to fill the Chair of Oriental Languages; but instead of being
Professor of Sanskrit and drawing a fine salary, I took the position as
dishwasher in a restaurant in San Francisco for awhile. Then I worked
with pick and shovel on the Pacific Coast Road. Next I worked on the
streets in the City of Chicago. I returned to Orangeville and took a
position as cowboy on a great cattle ranch near Orangeville. Then I
worked out as a ranch hand. I did all this hard, disagreeable work for
my spiritual unfoldment. I did it to bring myself in touch with the hard
lot of the masses. I did it also to show that if a man is upright in his
purpose he can live the Divine life anywhere. Again, I did it that I
might minister to the needs and necessities of that class of men who see
and hear so little in their lives to touch their Divine nature. That was
excellent for me; it helped to broaden and fit me for other work."

Brookes said: "It must have been exceedingly disagreeable to a man of
your tastes, culture and refinement, to perform such hard muscular work
in such rough surroundings, among coarse animal men."

Penloe said: "It would have been all that you have just expressed had it
not been for the fact that neither my work, my rough, tough companions,
nor my disagreeable environments were my world. No, they were not my
world. I built a wall around me and allowed none of these things to
enter my inner thought. My life was one of bliss, for I was all the time
drinking deep at the fountain of Divine love, and by His help I trained
and disciplined myself so that I saw Him in my hard manual toil. I saw
Him in all my uninviting environments, and, above all, I saw Him in my
animal companions."

Barker and Brookes saw such a glow of spiritual fire in Penloe's face as
he finished his last remark as they had never seen there before. They
realized they were in the presence of a divine man, and their natures
had been touched by his discourse.

After a pause Penloe said: "My father left me property which brings me
an income sufficient to make me independent of receiving financial
support from those we intend to address."

After further talk in regard to perfecting arrangements, it was decided
that Barker and Brookes should go to Los Angeles and arrange for Penloe
and Stella to speak on Thursday evening of the following week. The
committee of arrangements in Los Angeles saw the need of securing the
largest hall in the city, for the city dailies had taken up the matter
of their coming and dwelt upon it, so that interest in the subject
combined with curiosity to see and hear two such remarkable personages
caused the committee to do their best to provide accommodations for the
large crowd they expected. Before the time for opening the meeting every
seat in the large hall had been taken and standing room was all that was
left, and that even was taken by the time the meeting was opened.

The Mayor of Los Angeles opened the meeting in the following language:

"It gives me great pleasure this evening to see before me this large and
intelligent audience. I am proud to think that this audience before me
to-night has demonstrated the wisdom and good sense of the leaders of
the C.I. in selecting this city, above all others in this State, to open
the campaign for the C.M. In order that you may feel better acquainted
with the persons who will address you to-night, I will let you into a
little secret which came to me in a very indirect way. It seems that the
gentleman and lady who are on the platform were about to start on their
wedding tour through the Oriental countries, and they had received the
gift of a handsome sum of money to defray their traveling expenses; but
when Los Angeles and other places sent pressing invitations to them to
speak they gave up their wedding tour and returned the money to the
giver in order that they might be able to accept the call which you and
other cities have given them. I must say, in justice to the giver, it
was subsequently returned. They are here at their own expense, they
receive no remuneration whatever. I tell you this so you may appreciate
their nobility and fidelity of character, their honesty of purpose in so
grand a cause. Ladies and gentlemen, I now have the honor of
introducing to you Penloe and Stella, the leaders of the C.I., who will
address you this evening."

When Penloe and Stella came forward the whole audience rose and saluted
them.

In regard to the meeting, we will quote a few extracts from one of the
Los Angeles dailies: "However various the views on the C.I. the audience
may have which heard Penloe and Stella last night, there can be but one
thought in regard to the speakers themselves, and that is they are the
two most remarkable and distinguished personalities that ever appeared
before a Los Angeles audience. As speakers, they are brilliant, logical
and impressive, and soon inspire you with their sincerity of purpose and
with confidence in themselves. It seems there _is tacked on to the C.I.
'Woman's Suffrage'_, for it is claimed that a woman is still in bondage
till she stands equal before the law, and has all the rights and
privileges that a man has.

"Penloe's remarks were addressed more particularly to men, looking at
the C.I. from the standpoint of a man, while Stella presented the
woman's view.

"Penloe put these questions to the men of the audience: 'Is there a man
here to-night who does not think that the average woman is as
intelligent as the average man? Is there a man here to-night who does
not think that woman has a divine nature the same as man? I would like
to see the man rise in this audience who thinks he has a divine nature,
but does not wish another being who has a divine nature to enjoy the
same privileges as he himself enjoys?'... Stella portrayed in a telling
manner the sufferings and misery which have been woman's lot through
being in bondage to her material form.... We here give a few notes from
Stella's address:

"A woman who is in bondage to her material form can never rise above the
idea that she is just a woman and nothing more."

"A woman to be free must have a higher idea of herself than that she is
only a woman."

"A woman can only advance as her thought concerning herself advances."

"When woman looks upon herself as an intellectual and spiritual being,
and not as just being a woman only, and her whole thought is to adorn
her mind and manifest the qualities of her soul, then will man look upon
her with the same eyes as she looks upon herself."

"It is not man that keeps woman in bondage, but woman keeps herself in
bondage through the thought she has concerning herself."... "Stella
said we are not here on a flying visit, we have decided to remain in
Southern California till two-thirds of its inhabitants are not only
talking of _but living_ the C.I., and we will stay here till we get a
vote of two-thirds from all males over twenty-one, and all women over
eighteen, in favor of woman's suffrage. It does not matter how pressing
the calls to speak elsewhere may be, we shall not accept them till the
work is completely done in Southern California."



CHAPTER XXIV.

OUT OF BONDAGE.


The next day after the meeting Barker and Brookes were busy with the
C.I. Committee of Los Angeles in dividing the work up and organizing, so
that each ward of the city had its committee, whose business it was to
do all it could in enlightening the people of the ward in which the
committee lived.

Penloe and Stella devoted one afternoon and evening to informal talks in
each ward in the city, those present having the privilege of asking
questions. After Penloe and Stella had worked in every ward, they went
with Barker and Brookes to San Diego and spent a week there; then they
worked all the other towns in Southern California, and then returned to
Los Angeles. On their return they were more than satisfied with the
progress of the C.M. What helped the movement very much was the
character which Penloe and Stella gave it. When some of the more
conservative element suggested the impropriety or immodesty of the C.I.,
they were met with the answer: "Look at Penloe and Stella, who live the
idea every day of their lives. Are there any purer-minded persons than
they are? Do not the best people of the city open their houses to
welcome them? Did they not tell how living the life helped them
intellectually and spiritually?" Those replies quieted all opposition
and gave courage to those who were a little timid and fearful, also to
those in doubt whether it was right or not. As the movement was gaining
ground rapidly, persons began to think how very foolish it was to
entertain such thoughts as they had been accustomed to concerning the
sexes. The movement in Southern California showed how the movement would
work elsewhere in this way. It was one of those movements that needed a
few intelligent, courageous spirits in a locality to start it, and when
once it got a going, most of the other members of the community fell in
line, and when it was about universally adopted in one locality, the
people living in the next county soon joined the movement. After three
months' labor in Los Angeles a vote was taken. For Woman's Suffrage,
eighty-five per cent. voted "Yes," and by a very careful estimate
seventy-five per cent. had put in practice in one form or another the
C.I. Soon San Diego followed Los Angeles, then Pasadena and Riverside,
and soon after all the other towns in Southern California fell in line.
The result was wired all over the State and nation.

During the progress of the movement in Southern California, Mr. and Mrs.
Herne were not idle. They put their hands in their pockets freely, and
paid for much of the printed matter they circulated.

Now that Southern California had gone overwhelmingly for the C.I. Penloe
and Stella, Barker and Brookes, felt at liberty to accept some of the
many urgent calls from other parts of the State. They were continually
receiving calls from other States, but would accept none till the same
condition prevailed throughout the whole State as now existed in
Southern California and the State Legislature had granted to woman the
same legal standing in the eyes of the law that man had.

The next places visited by the workers were Bakersfield, Hanford,
Tulare, Visalia, Fresno, Oakland, and San Francisco. In all these places
they found the work in a more or less advanced state. The fact that
Southern California had gone for the C.I. was a great help in forwarding
the movement in other places, so that after about eight months' work in
these cities just named, and some other places, it was found that the
entire State had been carried for the C.M. and Woman's Suffrage, except
one county. The Legislature was about to meet in a month's time, and
would give to woman the suffrage, and place her, in other respects, on
an equality with man in the eyes of the law.

Great work was being done in the last county, so that it joined the rest
of California for progressive thought, and the whole State was carried
for the C.I. just as the Legislature passed the necessary acts for
woman's legal freedom. The news was wired to every State in the Union,
and California was one scene of rejoicing throughout the entire State.
It was a great day for California when her men and women threw off the
yoke of superstition and ignorance and thus cut some of the bonds which
had held them in ignorance. They had taken one great stride toward the
goal of freedom. California now took her true place among the States in
the Union, for she led the way toward freedom in its highest sense.

The leaders of advanced thought in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho
were very active in working for the C.I. All these States having granted
woman the suffrage before the C.M. was started, the workers found it
easy to get them to follow California in the grand procession for
freedom.

Wyoming, which was the first to grant the suffrage to woman, was the
next to join California; then came Colorado, then Utah, and then Idaho
wheeled into line.

Penloe and Stella were receiving calls to labor from other States, and
finally decided to go to Illinois. Kansas wired the following message to
the Central Committee of California: "Kansas is all ablaze with the C.M.
from its center to its circumference, and its fires have leaped the
borders into Nebraska, Iowa, and reached Minnesota."

After the C.I. had been practised in Southern California a few months,
if a young gentleman had just returned to the East from Los Angeles, his
friends wanted to know immediately how the C.I. worked.

Mr. Franklin Hart, of New York, a young gentleman who had just returned
from Los Angeles, was sitting in a parlor with some young friends, and
they all wanted him to relate his impressions of the C.I. in Los
Angeles. When he was describing its workings, two or three young ladies
put their hands to their faces and laughed, one saying, "How strange and
funny it must have seemed." Another young lady remarked, "There has been
too much foolishness about such things." Mr. Franklin Hart said: "After
you have been there about a week the old idea seems stranger than the
new. You wonder to yourself however such thoughts could have fastened
themselves on us for generations and generations."

Prof. Dawson, of Boston, visited Los Angeles two years after the C.I.
had been in operation, and wrote a letter to the leading Boston daily,
as follows:

     "DEAR SIR: Being naturally of a conservative turn of
      mind, I came to Los Angeles with ideas unfavorable to
      the C.M. I had not taken the least stock in what the
      papers said or the people of California wrote in regard
      to the practical workings of the C.I. I expected the
      defenses of morality and modesty had been swept away by
      such ideas, and that the communities of Southern
      California had sunk into licentiousness. I had spent
      two years in California about eight years ago, and I
      considered at that time that the morals of the people
      were not of a high order. So I expected to find society
      in a still worse moral condition now. I have been here
      six months, and, in justice to truth, I must state the
      facts even if they show that my previous opinions were
      incorrect. To those who study the people closely in
      regard to sex matters, I can say truthfully that sexual
      excitement has fallen fifty per cent., and that obscene
      pictures and stories have no attraction for the people.
      The low places of amusement, that used to be run under
      the name of 'Variety Theaters,' and other such names,
      are closed up, for the reason, as a former proprietor
      of one of these resorts expressed it, 'A leg and bosom
      show has no attraction for the people since the C.I.
      has been in operation.' Houses of prostitution are
      less in number by forty per cent., so the chief of
      police informed me, and I saw a large number of them
      closed. The low dives are closed, and places where
      girls made exhibitions of themselves for the sole
      purpose of exciting passion in man are no more. They
      died for want of patronage. The forms of each sex are
      looked at now with eyes which see purity and beauty.

     "I notice, also, the conversation among young people
      has improved greatly, being of a higher and purer kind.
      Now I practised the C.I. myself, and came in contact
      with many of both sexes. After very careful observation
      in Los Angeles, and other towns in Southern California,
      I feel I am in a position to know and I can state that
      I now consider the C.I. is the greatest reform movement
      that the world has ever seen.

                   "Yours truly,
                                       "ROBERT DAWSON."

In about a year later the four progressive States known as Kansas,
Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa, had removed all barriers from woman's
political freedom and placed her, in the eyes of the law, where
California had. The C.I. having become the predominant thought, it was
lived throughout these four States. The C.M. received a great impetus
when they fell into line with the other advanced States.

Penloe and Stella, with Barker and Brookes and other workers, had worked
for over a year in Illinois, and now they were concentrating all their
forces in Chicago, the other part of the State being all right. It was
in that city that a great battle for reform had to be fought. The
opposition was strong. It consisted of society ladies and gentlemen, who
thought woman's position was above politics; that is, to their minds it
was far higher for a woman to be prettily and daintily dressed, and to
be a petted slave, than to use her God-given intellect for the benefit
of herself and the nation in which she lived. The other wing of the
opposition consisted of those who were making money in the saloon
business and running low places of amusement. They did not want woman to
vote in making laws which might be detrimental to their business
interests. As the opposition became strong in its concerted action to
overthrow the influence of the reform forces, the two great
figure-heads, the two grand leaders of the C.M. seemed to acquire
increased energy and power. Listen to what Barker and Brookes said,
after having attended a meeting in the great Auditorium of the Lake
City, when over a thousand had to be turned away for want of room:

"Though I have been so much with Penloe and Stella like yourself, and
one would naturally think that the influence of their personality had
become common, yet such is not my experience," said Brookes.

Barker replied: "Is not that strange, where we see them almost every
day, as we have done for about two years? Instead of their influence
becoming tame and commonplace, it seems to take a renewed force and
power with each day, and they appear to carry a newness and freshness
with them continually. Their efforts to-night were the greatest of their
lives."

Brookes said: "I saw the power of the Yogi to-night as I never had
witnessed it, to such a degree, before. Did you notice, Barker, that at
the close of the meeting, instead of having some prominent person
speaking against the C.M., there was not one dissenting voice when
opportunity was given, but the short speeches which were made by
prominent members of the audience were all in favor of the movement.
Just think of the number of invitations that poured in upon them to
deliver the same address in other parts of the city. The battle is won,
Barker, for no opposition can withstand that power which was manifested
to-night."

It was as Brookes said, the opposing forces had to yield, for there was
a seen and an unseen power sent out which swept and overcame all
opposition, and a month later Illinois was counted in with the
procession which California was leading. A year later the great States
of Ohio and Pennsylvania had joined the ranks, followed by the old Bay
State with its conservative element, and Boston became the scene of
illumination and rejoicing. The influence of these great States was felt
in many smaller ones, and they also helped to swell the wave of the C.M.
by joining the ranks. Quite a large percentage of that element in the
big cities, who profited by pandering and catering to the depraved
tastes of human nature, had left the city in which they carried on their
places of business now that the C.I. was practised, and they had gone to
the City of New York, thinking the element to which they belonged was
too powerful in Gotham ever to be driven out by the C.M., and it was in
this city where the greatest of all battles for reform thought was
fought.

When Penloe and Stella with Barker and Brookes left Chicago, they went
to the City of New York, staying in Boston a week on their way. They had
now been in this city for over a year and had called together picked
workers from many other States who were in the procession for reform.
The opposition was the same as that encountered in Chicago, only ten
times as strong.

When they had been in the city eighteen months, some few of the churches
had helped forward the work, just as some churches did in other cities.
Penloe decided that every church and every society of every kind that
had for its basis of organization love and justice, should receive a
special invitation to join in this great moral reform movement, and
special work should be allotted them. Penloe and Stella made a personal
visit to the leaders of the various sects, denominations and societies,
and ably presented the case for their consideration, showing that the
life of their organization depended upon their members being active
living workers for truth, purity and justice. He put each society on
record as to where they stood, whether its organization was merely that
of a social club, or whether it was ready to stand and work for the
principles it claimed to have for its foundation. Be it said to the
credit of each society, sect and organization, they all responded
heartily and coöperated with Penloe and Stella in helping forward the
grand reform; for they saw it was useless to prate about love, purity,
justice and freedom, with woman debarred by law from her legal and
political rights and tolerating a social custom which excited the worst
passions and bred prurient curiosity. It was a grand and glorious sight,
such as the world had not witnessed before, to see Catholics,
Unitarians, Methodists, Universalists, Baptists, Episcopalians,
Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Theosophists, members of the Jewish
Synagogue, representatives of the Vedanta, together with the Y.M.C.A.
and Y.W.C.A., Christian Union, Christian Science and Socialists
Societies, and all other such societies join in the work. The members of
these various bodies coming in contact with those two great spiritual
luminaries, seemed to receive such an influx of the Divine as purified
their own organizations and made them what they should always be, a
_great power for good_. With such concentrated efforts by such an army
of workers, the enemy gave way and New York City became the beacon light
to travelers from other nations; not as it had been a city of greed and
lust, but a city where woman stood before the law the same as man, and
where its citizens were beginning to walk a little more in the line of
purity and freedom.

Just before the battle was won in the State of New York, the agitation
which had been going on in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland for over
two years culminated in a victory for the reform forces. Two years after
the State of New York was won, the C.M. had carried every State in the
Union, and also Canada. Australia and New Zealand not wishing to be
behind in all that stood for advanced thought and freedom, fell in line
with the other English-speaking countries.

Penloe and Stella did not consider the work finished yet, and they
called for a congress of representative workers to meet in the
Auditorium in Chicago at a suitable date, which would give all time to
be present. Each State and country were to send two delegates, one man
and one woman. Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales,
Ireland, Canada, and every State in the Union were all represented at
the Congress.

When the Congress assembled, it was unanimously agreed that Stella
should preside.

After the meeting had been opened and some preliminaries had been gone
through, Penloe said: "In the call for this congress it was stated that
its purpose was to consider how best to carry on this great work in
foreign countries, but before doing so I think it would be best to
change the name of the work. It seems necessary that some names, as well
as races, should pass through the period of evolution. The reason why I
will briefly state, as follows: In some countries where it is necessary
to carry on this work, they are not in bondage, and the name C.I. would
not convey the meaning of the full scope of our work; for while it is
true they do not discriminate between the sexes, yet they are in bondage
in many other different ways, and while the work originally started with
the idea of freeing men and women from the shackles of sexual bondage
with the name of 'Sex Reform Movement,' yet afterwards it was called the
'California Idea,' and the name included Woman's Suffrage, so as to make
her free before the law, before man, and before the whole world. And as
it grew its name changed to 'California Movement.' But now that the work
has grown to such gigantic proportions, having about taken in all the
English speaking countries, the work has also grown in its scope of
usefulness and its object now is not only to free the mind from sexual
bondage, not only to see that woman holds the same place as man in the
eyes of the law of the land that she lives in, but still more, to FREE
HUMANITY FROM ALL BONDAGES OF EVERY KIND OR CHARACTER. Therefore, I
propose that the name to be given to the movement shall be '_Reform
Forces_,' for under this name and banner all can work."

After a little discussion the name given by Penloe was adopted
unanimously.

The next business was to hear from some of the delegates in regard to
plans for carrying on the work in foreign countries. After hearing many
different plans proposed, and listening to various suggestions from many
of the delegates, the plan mapped out by Penloe was finally carried
unanimously.

It was something like this: That each country or State should have its
special work. Europe was portioned off to England, Wales, Scotland,
Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. They were to divide the
work among themselves. New York took Southern India, Pennsylvania took
Northern India. The northern half of China was allotted to Illinois, the
southern half, to Ohio. Mexico was given to Texas. The islands of the
Pacific to California. South America was portioned off to other States.
Massachusetts was given Japan, Egypt was given to Michigan. Persia to
Indiana. Every State had a certain work of its own in some foreign
country separate from that which was done by other States and countries.
Each State or country was to send just four teachers to the country they
had taken to enlighten. The teachers must be all round characters, with
high intellectual attainments, and possessing at the same time rich
spiritual gifts and free from family ties.

The line of work marked out for the teachers was as follows: First, to
locate themselves in the largest city in the country to which they are
sent.

To make themselves thoroughly familiar with the writings and teachings
of the founders of the predominant religion of the country to which they
are sent.

To find out all that is known of the leading saints and sages who have
lived in their lives the prevailing religion of the country in which
they lived.

To study thoroughly the habits, customs and bondages of the people of
the country to which they are sent. Then to cultivate the acquaintance
of the most intellectual and spiritually inclined native men and women
and get them interested in the work of the Reform Forces. To appeal to
them, and reach them through the teachings of the founders of their own
religion, as well as by what has been written and said by their own
saints and sages. Get the intelligent natives of both sexes to become
the leaders and teachers to their people. Get the native teachers to
work to strike at some of the bondages which they think the people are
ready to free themselves from first, and when the people have thrown off
one bondage then to work to get them to be free from other bondages.

After the teachers have got a group of intelligent native workers in the
line of the Reform Forces in one city, they are to go to another city
and do the same till the whole country has native workers in every part
working along the line of the Reform Forces.

From Penloe's remarks before the Congress, concerning the religions of
other nations, we will copy the following extract. "If any one will
study the teachings of the saints and sages of other religions, he will
find that the essence of spiritual thought contained in them all is
about the same as that contained in Christianity. The mistake which has
been made by missionaries and others lie in thinking that the ritual and
practices of the masses represent the thoughts of the great spiritual
luminaries of those religions. The masses of the Oriental countries no
more represent the real thoughts of the great spiritual teachers of
those countries than the commercial cannibalism of the West represents
the teachings of Christ. In fact, the masses of the Oriental countries
are in ignorance of the real spiritual thought of their own religion, as
much as the masses of the Western World are of theirs, and the teachers
who are sent out by the West would help forward the work of the Reform
Forces by showing the natives that the ideas of the reform forces are
in the line of thought of their own great saints and sages. There is not
a delegate present who is not able to show that the work of the Reform
Forces is in accordance with the teachings of Christianity. I can also
clearly show to you from the teachings of the Zendavesta, of the Koran,
of Buddha, of Krishna, of Lord Gauranga, of Seyed, Mohammed Ali, and of
Rama Krishna, that the spiritual thought of the Reform Forces is in
accordance with those teachings. Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Gauranga, and
Rama Krishna, were all the manifestation of God in the flesh. They
towered head and shoulders above all others in the manifestation of the
Divine.

"Supposing I was a true follower of Buddha and a person who was a true
follower of Jesus spoke to me about the grand life and teachings of
Jesus, what would his opinion of me be if he saw that I was jealous
because he said nothing about Buddha, or because I thought the more
beauty and glory he saw in Jesus it lessened and belittled the character
of Buddha. Would he not be right in thinking I was ignorantly and
foolishly jealous, and that that feeling ought not to exist in a true
follower of Buddha? What then when you speak to a follower of Jesus
about the divine life of Buddha or Krishna, if he should become incensed
in manner and speech and manifest a feeling of jealousy, acting as it
were that in seeing the Divine in Buddha or Krishna made you think less
of Jesus. And yet that is a common experience which one meets with among
very many of the followers of Jesus. No, for in proportion as you live
the true Buddha life or Krishna life, so do you live the true Christ
life, and if I have imbibed the spiritual thought of Jesus, I have also
imbibed the true spiritual thought of Buddha and Krishna. Thinking that
the Divine was manifested in Buddha or Krishna, does not lessen the
exalted conception which one may have of the Divine manifested in Jesus.
_The Divine is in all_, but is manifested in some persons to a much
greater degree than in others."

Just before the Congress closed Mr. Rattenbury, one of the delegates
from California, rose to make a statement. He said: "Since the Congress
had assembled he and the lady delegate from California had been in the
receipt of numerous telegrams from persons living in different parts of
the State they represented, to the effect that California did not wish
to take the Philippine Islands, but they would take the other islands of
the Pacific, and also they would send Penloe and Stella to make a tour
through the Oriental countries to help forward the work of the Reform
Forces as they saw best. The delegation from California has made
arrangements with the delegation from New Zealand and Australia, so that
the latter take the Philippine Islands as their field of labor, as those
islands are near to them. Therefore the delegation from England and the
other countries who have taken Europe as their field of work, have
kindly consented to release Australia and New Zealand from helping them,
so that they might take the Philippine Islands. It might be well for me
to state that the delegation from California has waited on Penloe and
Stella, to ask them if they would go East, and I am pleased to say that
they have consented."

He added, further: "It is with mingled feelings of pride and pleasure
that I stand to-day as one of the delegates from California. I am proud
to represent that grand State, with its past achievements. Her boast
before has always been of her fertility and marvelous resources, such as
her rich mines, her large wheat fields, her prolific orchards, bearing
fruits belonging to many climes, her fine vineyards, with clusters of
luscious grapes, superior to those of Eschol, her grand floral display,
her great forests, and her oil wells. But now we can boast that in its
genial climate, surrounded by its grand scenery and its lofty peaks,
which lift their heads to heaven, that Stella, the pearl of womanhood,
should be born. It was under these influences, surrounded by advanced
liberal thought that she grew up. On the soil that she was born did she
consecrate herself and all that was dear to her to liberating humanity
from its many bondages. Starting out with the idea of helping those of
her own sex to throw off a bondage which has held them in superstition
and ignorance, and which also has been the cause of untold suffering and
misery as well as millions of deaths, she labored heroically under
social persecution and ostracism. But when the purity and nobility of
her grand character was fully known, those obstacles to her work
disappeared as snow does before the heat of the sun, for her whole
nature being of intense love, its heat melted all prejudices before it.
All of you are familiar with the grand work in her own State. I need not
touch on her work in other States, for you all know it so well. I am
glad to state that California which has always been so proud of her
material resources is now far prouder of the fact that on its soil was
born '_The Coming Woman_,' '_The Ideal Woman_,' '_The Glory of
California_,' and that her shores attracted the great Yogi Penloe.
California having already given Penloe and Stella to the Nation, now
bestows them to the World. When they travel through many countries
scattering light and knowledge wherever they go, they will always know
that wherever they are, even in the furthest corner of the earth, that
back of them, in all their travels, are the wealth and great hearts of
the people of the Golden State."

       *       *       *       *       *

Two days before Penloe and Stella left San Francisco for Japan, I was
seated in the parlor of Treelawn, in front of the large bay window. On
my right was Penloe and on my left was Stella. The windows were raised
and a gentle breeze wafted the fragrant odors from the flower beds into
the room, filling the parlor with perfume. At times the muslin curtains
puffed out gracefully by the gentle breeze, and the external atmosphere
was like the internal of my companions' sweetness and harmony. The other
members of the company were Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright and Mr. and Mrs.
Herne. Many reminiscences were gone over. Penloe in a very nice way
spoke of the influence on owners of ranches, through Mr. Herne's noble
example of the treatment of his men, and there was a great improvement
in the treatment that ranchers gave to their hired help, and the ranches
became more profitable accordingly.

Clara Herne expressed her thoughts and feelings in regard to how
different the world and herself looked to her now, to what it did when
she first entered her home as a bride. She added: "The world within me
has become so beautiful, so bright, and so very large. How lovely life
has become, what a pleasure it is _to live_."

It did me good to look into the faces of Stella's parents. That grand
old couple who had lived a life of purity under marriage, and who gave
to the world, Stella, "The Pride of California."



EPILOGUE.


I must now part with two very dear friends, two whom I have known so
well, two whom I have loved with all the warmth of an intense nature,
two who have been an inspiration to my life.

The consoling thought I have in taking leave of them is, that though
visibly they are not with me, yet they are always with me in proportion
as I manifest the same spiritual life which has made them so dear to me.
May they both be to you, dear reader, what they are to me.


[Illustration: THE END]



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


Quotation marks are used inconsistently through the book; these have
been left as printed.

Inconsistent and unorthodox spelling (Lanair/Lenair, wont/won't,
Vivekanada/Vivekananda, bethrothed) has been retained.





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