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Title: A Soldier's Son
Author: Butler, Maude M.
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 Soldier's Son" ***

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[Illustration: Cover art]



                                   A

                             Soldier’s Son


                                  _By_

                            MAUDE M. BUTLER



                              DAVIS & BOND

                             BOSTON : MASS.



                             Copyright 1912

                                   by

                              DAVIS & BOND



                         LINCOLN & SMITH PRESS

                                 BOSTON



                              DEDICATION.

             To the children in years, and the children in
          Science, this little book is trustingly and lovingly
                        inscribed by the author.



                                 NOTE.

               The Author wishes to state that no case of
                Christian Science healing has been cited
                in this story but such as she has known
                    of a parallel case in real life.



"We may not climb the heavenly steeps
To bring the Lord Christ down.
*        *        *        *        *
The healing of the seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life’s throng and press,
And we are whole again."
  --_J. G. Whittier._



                                  ――――



CONTENTS


    CHAPTER I.--HOME FROM THE WAR.
    CHAPTER II.--CAROL’S LETTER.
    CHAPTER III.--A FORBIDDEN BOOK.
    CHAPTER IV.--A WELCOME LETTER.
    CHAPTER V.--QUIET DAYS.
    CHAPTER VI.--FIRST WORK IN THE VINEYARD.
    CHAPTER VII.--"I KNOW."
    CHAPTER VIII.--A SECOND VISIT TO THE COTTAGE.
    CHAPTER IX.--"IT IS THE TRUTH."
    CHAPTER X.--AN UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER.
    CHAPTER XI.--PERCY’S REMORSE.
    CHAPTER XII.--THE PHYSICIAN’S VERDICT.
    CHAPTER XIII.--THE RECTOR’S REFUSAL.
    CHAPTER XIV.--"HE GIVETH HIS BELOVED SLEEP."
    CHAPTER XV.--LETTERS AND TELEGRAMS REACH COUSIN ALICIA.
    CHAPTER XVI.--"IT IS A MIRACLE."
    CHAPTER XVII.--MRS. BURTON VISITS CAROL.
    CHAPTER XVIII.--HAPPY THOUGHTS.
    CHAPTER XIX.--THE REASON OF THE DELAY.
    CHAPTER XX.--"LIGHT AT EVENTIDE."
    CHAPTER XXI.--JOYFUL NEWS FROM ELOISE.
    CHAPTER XXII.--THE RETURN OF ELOISE.
    CHAPTER XXIII.--A LONG-DELAYED LETTER.
    CHAPTER XXIV.--A JOYFUL SURPRISE.
    CHAPTER XXV.--A LITTLE SERVICE.
    CHAPTER XXVI.--CONCLUSION.

                                  ――――



CHAPTER I.--HOME FROM THE WAR.


The war was over--the cruel, cruel war; and Father and Uncle Howard were
on their way home.  Children’s voices, in every key of joy and
thanksgiving, sang the happy news from morning to night.  The white,
strained look faded from Mother’s face, and she became her old, bright
self again.

Now that they were over, the children tried to forget how long and sad
and weary the days had been during which the sight of the post-bag, and
the morning newspaper, almost took everyone’s breath away, until the
columns of "War news" had been hastily scanned before taking letters and
papers to Mother’s room.

Then came the day when Uncle Howard’s name was amongst the "seriously
wounded," and there was a brief account of how he had saved the guns,
and then returning into the firing line to pick up a wounded soldier,
had himself been dangerously wounded.

The children thought of Uncle Howard’s delicate young motherless boy,
and sobbed: "Poor, poor Carol."

They did not know how to break the news to Mother, because Uncle Howard
was her twin brother, and they all knew how dearly she loved him.
Unperceived she had entered the room, and had learned the news for
herself.  The days that followed were darker than before, for it was not
known for some weeks if Major Willmar would live or die. Gradually,
slightly better news came, and he was pronounced out of danger.  Later
on it was announced he was ordered home, and Father, Colonel Mandeville,
was coming with him.

As soon as the vessel left Cape Town the children began their happy,
joyous preparations for the welcome home.  Then, in the midst of them,
when the triumphal arches were erected, awaiting only the final floral
decorations, came a telegram from Gibraltar. Major Willmar had suffered
a relapse at sea, and the doctors had not been able to save him. His
body had been committed to the waves.

Again the children sobbed: "Poor, poor Carol."

Mother was strangely calm and quiet. "Carol must come to us.  We must
take the place to him of all he has lost," she said.

She wrote to the lady who had charge of him, asking her to take the boy
to meet the vessel at Plymouth, in order that Colonel Mandeville might
bring Carol home with him.

All the children, seven in number, were at the station when the express
drew up.  Edith and Gwendolin, two tall fair girls of twelve and
thirteen years; Percy and Frank, eleven and ten; then three of the
dearest little maidens, Sylvia four, Estelle three, and the sweet
Rosebud, whom Father had never seen. She had come to cheer Mother’s
breaking heart in the dark days of the war, and was now two years old.

It was an unusual occurrence for an express train to stop at that quiet
country station.  The porters were on the alert to drag out the luggage
as quickly as possible.  A tall bronzed and bearded man sprang out of
the train on the instant of stopping, so changed that even the elder
children scarcely recognized him.

He looked at them with hungry eyes, as if he would take them all in his
arms at once, had they been big enough to go round, then seized the
smallest of all, the little snow-white maiden.

"Iz ’ou Daddy?" she asked.

"I am Daddy, my little white Rosebud."  One by one he took each in his
strong arms. All looking to him, no one noticed the boy who had followed
him out of the railway carriage, who was now looking on with wondering
eyes.  Rosebud was the first to speak to him.  "Iz ’ou Tarol?" she
asked. Stooping, he too folded his arms around her, not such strong arms
as her father’s, but very loving.  From that moment the little maiden
became one of the dearest things in life to the boy.

"Where’s Mother, children?"

"Mother did not feel quite able to come to the station, Father.  She
bore the news of dear Uncle’s death so well at first; then she broke
down entirely, and she has not left her room since," Edith told him.
The Colonel then remembered the boy who had accompanied him.

"Children, here is Carol."

They quickly gave him the loving welcome which their sympathetic hearts
prompted.  Father suggested sending on the carriage, saying to the
children:

"We will walk through the park.  Oh, the sweet breath of the dear home
land, after Africa’s sultry heat!"

Carol kept hold of Rosebud’s hand.  The little maiden was a revelation
to him, never having had little sisters or brothers of his own.  His
mother for a long time before her death had been a hopeless invalid, and
whilst she was slowly dying of consumption the boy had developed
tubercular disease of the left hip, and the physicians, who pronounced
it a hopeless case, also said one lung was affected.  Three years the
boy lay on his back on a couch, or in a spinal carriage, and it was
generally anticipated he would quickly follow his mother to an early
grave. But after Mrs. Willmar’s death a cousin of hers came from America
to take charge of the motherless boy, and from the day that she came he
began to get better.  Now, as he walked with his cousins across the
park, though somewhat tall for his twelve years and extremely slight of
stature, he bore no trace of his past sufferings.

On arriving at the Manor, Colonel Mandeville went straight to his wife’s
room, mounting the staircase two steps at a time.  The children took
Carol to the school-room, saying, "Mother will send for you presently,
dear Carol."

School-room tea was ready, and to their great delight the three little
girls, who belonged of course to the nursery, were invited to be
present.  Before they sat down each child had a little offering to make
Carol, not a new gift they had bought for him, but one of their own
treasures, just to make him feel how glad they were to have him: that
henceforth he was to be their own dear brother.

It was all so strange and new to him, he did not know how to thank them.
Rosebud’s offering of her little white bunny was so perfectly sweet.  It
became a treasure of treasures to him ever after.  He was strangely
quiet, but there seemed no sadness in his eyes or voice.  His cousins
could not understand it, and even wondered if he had loved his father as
they loved theirs.

Tea was just finished when the message came for Carol to go to Mother’s
room. All the children wanted to accompany him, but the maid who brought
the message said: "Only Master Carol was to go," and she led the boy to
Mrs. Mandeville’s room.

Carol had only once before seen his aunt. She had visited his home in
Devonshire when his mother was very ill, and he himself had been too ill
to care or notice who came and went.

Mrs. Mandeville was lying on a couch in her boudoir.  She was a tall,
fair woman, of a gentle yielding nature, and a beautiful countenance.
Never strong or robust, for some years she had been subject to attacks
of nervous prostration.  The joyous excitement of her husband’s safe
return, and the grief for her brother’s death, had brought on one of
these attacks.  She sobbed aloud as she drew Carol into her arms and
held him closely to her.

"My darling boy!"

"Auntie, dear, do not grieve like this."

"Carol, I loved your father very, very, dearly."

"But, Auntie, that should make you not grieve for him.  Cousin Alicia
has taught me to feel so glad and happy about Father.  I could not cry
or be sorry now.  I love to think how he gave his life for that poor,
wounded soldier.  Jesus said there was no greater love than to lay down
one’s life for a friend, and it was not even a friend; it was a
stranger.  Some day there will be no more war, because everyone will
know that God is our Father, and His name is Love.  But we are only His
children as we reflect Him--reflect Love.  When everyone understands
this, no one will want war."

Mrs. Mandeville looked with surprise at the earnest young face, so
calmly confident of what he said.

"It is nice to see you, Carol, looking so well and strong.  You were
very ill when I saw you two years ago.  We have never been able to
understand your recovery.  What a mistake the doctors must have made
about your case."

"Auntie, they did not make a mistake. It was Cousin Alicia who taught me
about Christian Science.  Then I began to get well, and I soon lost the
dreadful pain in my hip."

"Carol, dear, never mention a word about Christian Science before your
Uncle Raymond.  He says it is dreadful heresy, and it makes him so angry
to hear it talked about. Did he meet you at the station?"

"No, Auntie.  I have not seen him yet."

"He said he would meet the train but he generally manages to get too
late.  He will be here this evening for dinner."

Uncle Raymond was Mrs. Mandeville’s brother, and the rector of the
parish.

"But, Auntie, if he asks anything about my illness I must tell him what
has made me well."

"I do not think he will, dear; so there will be no need to say anything.
It is very beautiful, Carol, for you to think Christian Science has
healed you, and there is no need for your faith to be shaken."

"I do not _think_, Auntie, I _know_, so that no one could shake my
faith."

"Well, dear, we won’t talk about it.  Tell me, did you have a pleasant
journey?"

"Yes, Auntie, a very pleasant journey; Uncle was so kind to me."

"I am sure he would be, Carol.  You are glad to come to us, darling--to
be our own dear son?  You will feel this is home, and your cousins not
cousins, but brothers and sisters?"

"Yes, Auntie.  I know my father wished me to come to you--but--I am
sorry to leave Cousin Alicia.  I love her so much."

"Of course, darling, that is only natural. She has been quite a mother
to you since your own dear mother died."

Carol did not speak; a choking sensation of pain prevented him.  He knew
that Cousin Alicia had been more than a mother to him.

"May I write to her to-night, Auntie? She will like to hear from me."

"Of course, dear.  Write to her as often as you like."

"I think that will be every day then," the boy said promptly, with a
smile. Mrs. Mandeville smiled too.

"Dear boy, how you have comforted me. I feel so much better for this
little talk with you.  Perhaps I shall be able to surprise everybody,
and go down to dinner this evening."

"Oh, Auntie, please do.  At tea Edith said, ’It would be just lovely if
only Mother could come down to dinner.’  We can nearly always do what we
want to do, Auntie."

"Can we, dear?  Then go and write your letter now, and do not mention to
anyone that I am going to try to surprise them this evening."



CHAPTER II.--CAROL’S LETTER.


"MANOR HOUSE
       MANDEVILLE.

"_Dear Cousin Alicia,_

"It seemed such a long journey before we arrived here.  Uncle was so
kind and told me about the different places as we passed through.  But I
felt I was getting such a long way from you, as we passed town after
town. All my cousins were at the station to meet us; but Auntie was not
well enough to be there.  I should like to describe them all to you, but
I am sure I could not.  They are ever so much nicer than any of the
children I have read about in books.  I will only tell you their names.
Perhaps you will see them all some day.  Edith, Gwendolin, Percy, and
Frank, in the school-room; and in the nursery, Sylvia, Estelle, and
Rosebud.  Uncle had never seen Rosebud.  She is two years and three
months old, and is the sweetest little girl.  She has such pretty ways.
I do love to hear her talk.

"We walked from the station through the park.  Uncle seemed so glad to
see his own home again.  The Manor House is very old; such quaint little
oriel windows, and turrets, and gables.  I have not learned my way about
yet, but the school-room and nurseries are quite close together.  It was
returning from Auntie’s boudoir to the schoolroom I got lost, and I
found myself in quite a different part of the house.  I opened a door I
thought was the school-room, and it was the housekeeper’s room.  Then a
maid took me to the school-room.  Percy and Frank thought it very
amusing, and said they could find their way anywhere blindfold, and
Rosebud said ’Me tome wiff ’ou, Tarol.’  I didn’t see Auntie until after
tea. We all had tea together in the school-room, the nursery children as
well.  The governess invited them.  Her name is Miss Markham, she is
very strict, but I think she is kind too. I am thinking all the time of
the history of England when she speaks, and wondering what part of it
she belongs to.  The elder children are going down to dinner, as it is
Uncle’s first evening at home.

"Auntie was lying on a couch when I was taken to her room.  She seemed
so full of grief and sadness.  She wept when she held her arms around
me.  But I just knew that Love is everywhere, and sorrow and sadness
cannot be where Love is.  In a little while she was quite different, and
even smiled as she talked to me.  She said I had comforted her so.  I
would have liked to explain to her what had comforted her, but she does
not like me to say anything about Christian Science, and asked me not to
mention it before Uncle Raymond, because it makes him angry.  Auntie
thinks I could not have been so ill as the doctors thought, or I should
not be quite well and strong now.  Please tell me, dear Cousin, will it
be denying Christ, if I do not tell people what healed me?  I did so
wish I could have told Auntie some of the beautiful things you have
taught me.  Will you write to me very often, please? I am going to write
nearly every day to you. Auntie says I may--as often as I like.  I have
such a dear little room all to myself, so I shall be able to do the
Lesson-Sermon every morning before breakfast.  Thank you again for
giving me _Science and Health_ for my very own, and the Bible which was
my mother’s.  I want to study both books so well that when I am a man I
shall know them better than anything else in the world.  I am to study
with Edith and Gwendolin for the present.  Frank and Percy go to a large
public school at H--.  I am to go with them when Uncle is quite sure I
am strong enough. He does not understand that I am perfectly well and
strong.  I must leave off now.  I have to put on my Eton suit for
dinner.  I do not feel so far away from you as when I was in the train.
It is just as if you were in the room with me.  I can feel your thoughts
like loving arms around me.

"Dear Cousin Alicia
       "Your loving Carol.

"_P.S._  Bed-time.  The post-bag had gone when I had finished my letter.
I just want to tell you, Auntie came down to dinner. Every one was so
surprised and delighted and we had such a happy evening.  Uncle played
games with us after dinner, and Auntie looked on.  The time went so
quickly, we were sorry when Uncle said: ’Bed-time, children.  To your
tents: double quick march.’  So we all had to scamper away. Uncle
Raymond came to dinner.  He is so grave and stern, so different from
Father. He went into the study whilst Uncle was playing with us."



CHAPTER III.--A FORBIDDEN BOOK.


Carol had always been a lonely boy.  The companionship of other children
was a pleasure he had never known.  In the remote Devonshire village,
where all the years of his young life had been spent, there were no
children who could be invited to his home as friends and companions for
him.  First his mother’s delicate health, and then his own, had
prevented visits to or from his cousins. When he was seven years old a
fall from his pony caused an injury to his hip, which eventually
developed into what the doctors diagnosed as tubercular disease of the
hip bone.  For three years his mother had been slowly dying of
consumption, and the boy had been the joy and brightness of her life.
She did not live long after she was told that what she was suffering
from he would suffer, too, in another form.  She died about six months
before the war broke out in South Africa, and fulfilling a promise made
some time before, a favorite cousin, then resident in America, whose
girlhood had been spent with her as a sister, came to take charge of the
household and the young motherless invalid.  Major Willmar was ordered
to the front shortly after operations commenced, but before he went he
had hopes that his boy would grow well and strong.  There had been such
a marked change in him from the day Cousin Alicia arrived, bringing to
that saddened home love and--Truth.

It can, therefore, be easily understood that the first few days at the
Manor were to Carol days almost of bewilderment.  As soon as his cousins
found that their joy in having Father back again, safe and sound, did
not hurt Carol, nothing restrained their wild exuberance of spirits.
They could not understand the gentle, reserved boy, who spoke with so
much love and tenderness of his father, yet had no tears or sadness
because he would return no more.

"Perhaps he doesn’t quite understand," said Gwendolin.

"I think he does," said Edith, "and I am sure he loved Uncle as much as
we love Father.  There is such a far-away look in his eyes, when he
speaks of his father and mother, just as if he were looking at something
we cannot see.  Although he is so gentle and kind, especially to the
little ones, I am sure no one could persuade him to do anything he
thought wrong.  He is a dear boy.  I am glad he is going to study with
us for the present, because the boys at school would not understand him.
Even Percy and Frank are inclined to mistake his gentleness for
weakness.  Yet I could imagine him standing and facing any real danger,
when most boys would run away."

From the first Edith had conceived a great affection for her Cousin
Carol, and, as a consequence, she understood him better.  On many
occasions she was able to help him, when Percy and Frank were somewhat
brusque and impatient in their treatment of him.  They could not
understand his reluctance to join in some of their games. He loved to
look on; but everything was new and strange to him.  He had never been
used to playing the games which were so much to Frank and Percy.  Edith
then quietly explained to her less thoughtful brothers that they should
not expect a boy who had spent three years on an invalid’s couch to be
able to play the games in which they were so proficient.

Carol was often in the nursery, Nurse was so big and motherly.  She had
welcomed him, as if he had been one of her own children from the first.
It was a fixed idea amongst the children that as long as there had been
a Manor House, Nurse had presided over the nursery.  She was always
ready to tell them stories of their father and uncles and aunts in the
old days.  She even had tales of their grandfather, and many past
generations of Mandevilles, and in all the stories, of however long ago,
they imagined Nurse playing part.  One thing they never could imagine:
that was the Manor House without her.

When the little girls wanted him, and that was very frequently, Carol
was always ready to go to the nursery, and often accompanied them on
their walks.  Percy and Frank considered it much beneath their dignity
to take a walk "with the babies."

The improvement in Mrs. Mandeville’s health, which had commenced on
Carol’s first visit to her room, continued.  In a few days she had taken
her usual place in the household, and the children rejoiced in the
nightly visits to their bedrooms.  How glad they were when there were no
visitors downstairs, and they could keep her quite a long time.

Upon the occasion of her first visit to Carol’s room, she found him
sitting up in bed, reading.  She had expected to find him asleep, as the
other children had detained her so long.

"My little book-worm, what is the story you find so interesting?" she
asked playfully, intending to tell him lovingly the next morning that
she did not like the children to read in bed.

"Auntie, it isn’t a story book.  It is _Science and Health_.  I read it
every night and morning."

"What a very strange book for a little boy to be interested in!  The
title sounds quite alarmingly dry."

"Oh, Auntie, have you never heard of it? It is such a wonderful book.  I
am beginning to understand it now.  At first I could not, but Cousin
Alicia used to explain it so beautifully to me, and now I love to read
it."

"I cannot say I remember the title, dear, but I should like to look into
it.  Will you spare it to me this evening?  I think it is time now for
lights to be extinguished."

Carol gave the book to her gladly, little thinking it would be many long
days before he would see it again.

When Mrs. Mandeville returned to the drawing-room, the Rector was there.
"Do you know anything of this book, Raymond?" she asked, giving it into
his hand.  "I found Carol reading it in bed--_Science and Health_."  The
frown which was habitually on the Rector’s face deepened.

"Indeed I do," he said, "and I should like to do with every copy what I
am going to do with this."

He walked over to the fireplace; his intentions were plain.  Mrs.
Mandeville caught hold of his arm.

"No, no, Raymond, you must not.  The book was a present from Miss
Desmond to Carol, and you have no right to destroy it, however strongly
you may disapprove of his reading it."

"I do more than disapprove.  I absolutely forbid him to read any more of
it; the most unorthodox rubbish that has been published for centuries.
The worst of it is, it has taken hold of some people, especially women,
and they are carried away by it."

The Rector slipped the little book into his pocket.  As he had not
destroyed it, he meant to make sure there should be no chance of its
falling again into Carol’s hands.  He, as well as Mrs. Mandeville, was
the boy’s legal guardian.

Mrs. Mandeville was sorry.  She felt sure from the way Carol had spoken
that the book was precious to him.  Very gently, the next morning, she
told him of his uncle’s decision. She noted the quivering lips; the
tears he was bravely trying not to shed.

"Dear boy, did you value it so much?" she said.

"Oh, Auntie!"  The simple exclamation expressed more pain and regret
than many words could have done.

"Darling, I am sorry; but we must believe that Uncle Raymond has good
reasons for taking the book away.  He says it is fearful heresy.  You
must not forget that your dear grandfather was a bishop, also your
great-grandfather.  I could not tell you during how many generations
there has always been at least one member of our family a dignitary of
the Church."

"What does unorthodox mean, Auntie?"

"It means contrary to, or opposed to the teachings of our beloved
church.  Your dear father and mother were both good church people."

"Yes, Auntie; but that did not make Mummie better when she was so ill.
The vicar often used to sit with her, and pray for her in church, but
she was never better for it.  When Cousin Alicia came and I was so ill,
I began at once to get better.  That little book, _Science and Health_,
had taught her to understand the Bible, and God answered her prayers for
me!"

"It was certainly a remarkable coincidence--your improving so quickly
after Miss Desmond came; but it may have been the result of some fresh
medicine the doctor was trying."

"Auntie, I was not taking any medicine. The first night Cousin Alicia
came I slept till morning, and the next day I wanted something to eat.
The nurses thought it was wonderful, because they had had such
difficulty to get me to eat before.  Then when they dressed the wounds
on my hip every morning I used to scream so, some of the servants went
where they could not hear me.  In only one week I lost all the pain and
I did not cry at all, and very soon one by one the wounds healed."

"It was very remarkable, dear.  But do you associate your healing with
the book which Uncle Raymond has taken away?"

"Why, Auntie, _Science and Health_ is the Key to the Bible, and the
Bible is the ’tree whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.’
But people have not understood until they had that Key how to go to the
Bible for healing.  Cousin Alicia understood; that was why she was able
to heal me."

"What you say seems very strange, Carol. If Uncle had not taken the book
away, I should have liked to look into it.  I expect he would refuse if
I asked him to let me read it."

It did not occur to Mrs. Mandeville that she could obtain another copy
of the book. The confiscated copy was not the only one to be had.  Her
conversation with Carol was interrupted just then.  The same night when
she went, as the evening before, to his bedroom, she found him sitting
up in bed.  He greeted her eagerly with the words:

"Auntie, I have been thinking."

"Dear boy, what have you been thinking?"  She kissed the earnest,
upturned face, and realized for the first time that he had a very
beautiful countenance, so like, she thought, one of Murillo’s child
angels.

"I have been thinking, Auntie, of what you said about unorthodox.  A
good many years ago when Protestants were called heretics, they were
unorthodox to the Church of Rome, were they not?"

"Certainly, dear."

"But Protestants are not called heretics now, are they?"

"I think we never hear them so spoken of now, dear, because there are
more Protestants in England than Roman Catholics."

"Then, Auntie, when there are more Christian Scientists than other
church people, _they_ won’t be called heretics."

"Will that ever be?" Mrs. Mandeville asked with a smile.

"Yes, Auntie; it must be, because Christian Scientists obey Jesus.  All
that he said and commanded in the New Testament, they try to carry out.
He commanded his disciples to heal the sick."

"His disciples of that day, dear."

"But, Auntie, didn’t he say: ’What I say unto you I say unto all.’  If
we love him we shall keep all his commandments.  That is why I am sorry
Uncle Raymond has taken away my _Science and Health_.  I want to
understand it like Cousin Alicia does; then some day, if I know little
boys or girls ill like I was, I could heal them.  It makes me so sorry
now that I cannot study.  I have written to Cousin Alicia to help me.  I
know she will.  It has been so difficult all day to stand ’porter at the
door of thought.’  Such a lot of unkind thoughts would keep trying to
get in.  I know I must not let any of them in, and Cousin Alicia will
help me to keep them out."

"I am afraid I do not quite understand, Carol."

"Don’t you, Auntie?  I have a little book that will explain.  It is
called ’At the Door.’  Our mind is like a beautiful white mansion, and
thoughts are like people who go in and out.  If we let unkind thoughts
pass in, all kind thoughts go away.  Self-pity isn’t at all a nice
person, I have had such difficulty to keep him out all day, especially
when I remembered that Father knew I was studying _Science and Health_,
and he did not take it away from me."

"I will tell that to Uncle Raymond, dear, perhaps it will cause him to
alter his decision."

"Thank you, Auntie; I know it will be all right.  I have only to be
patient.  They have all gone away now, self-pity and indignation, and
anger.  If I keep my mansion so full of love, there will be no room for
them to squeeze in, will there?"

"No, darling.  Now go to sleep.  I will take the little book down with
me and read it."

Mrs. Mandeville remembered as she went downstairs her visit three years
ago to Carol’s home.  Then she would have described him as a very spoilt
child, making allowance for his illness, he was fretful, selfish,
exacting.  What had wrought such a marvellous change?  The physical
healing seemed slight in comparison.



CHAPTER IV.--A WELCOME LETTER.


Carol had been at the Manor a week before he received the eagerly
expected letter from Cousin Alicia.  Mrs. Mandeville brought it herself
to the school-room for him.

"What a lucky little boy to get such a fat letter!  I wonder the
post-office didn’t decline to bring it for a penny," she said smiling at
his radiantly happy face.  Then turning to Miss Markham, as lessons were
about to commence, she asked:

"May he be excused for a little time, Miss Markham?  I know he will like
to take it to his room and read it quietly there."

"Oh, thank you, Auntie; thank you, Miss Markham," as the asked-for
permission was quickly accorded, and he ran off with the treasured
letter.  Half an hour later he sought Mrs. Mandeville in her
morning-room.

"Auntie, would you like to read my letter?"

"Indeed, dear, I should, if you would care for me to."

"Yes, Auntie.  I would like you to read it very much.  I knew Cousin
Alicia would help me to understand.  It has been just like having a talk
with her.  She always makes me feel happy."

He gave several sheets of closely written note paper into Mrs.
Mandeville’s hand.

"I must not be away any more lesson time, must I?"

He left the letter with her, and returned to the school-room.  Mrs.
Mandeville opened the pages, and read:

"WILLMAR COURT,
         S. DEVON.

"_My very dear Carol,_

"Until your first letter arrived it was difficult to realize that the
train had carried you so far away from us.  It seemed as if a spirit of
sadness were creeping over the household, even the dogs and birds felt
the subtle influence, and I had to dispel it by realizing that there can
be no separation in Mind. Nothing can come between loving thoughts. I am
as near to you in thought, and you to me as if these human arms enfolded
you. It rejoiced me to read that you felt my thoughts like loving arms
around you.

"Your first letter was awaited with eager expectation.  I had to read
parts to everyone.  When Bob brought up your pony for his morning lump
of sugar, I caught him brushing a tear away with his coat sleeve, as he
asked, ’Will it be long before Master Carol comes home again?’  I told
him that was a question I could not answer, but possibly you might have
the pony sent to Mandeville, and in that case he would no doubt
accompany it.

"The bright happy strain of your first letter made me glad.  Before I
had time to answer it came the second in a minor key. After reading it,
a thought that something was wrong tried hard to creep in.  But I knew
it could not be.  ’Love governs and controls all events with unerring
wisdom.’  So I just took my hat and went for our favorite walk by the
stream, to think things out.  I seemed to feel your little hand in mine
as I walked.  I sat down on the old tree-stump, where you used to rest
when you first began to walk; and do you remember the thrush which was
always singing on the other side of the stream, how we used to think he
sang a special song for you, and the words were, ’God is Love’?  He was
there on the same branch of the tree.  I feel so sure now that it is the
same bird.  ’What message have you for Carol this morning?’ I asked, and
it seemed that the notes changed and the message came so clearly: ’All
is right that seems most wrong.’

"Yes!  I knew it I Of course it is!  The bird flew off, and I walked on,
thinking of a story I read many years ago.  It was, I believe, an
Eastern allegory.  That story has often helped me; perhaps it will help
you.  I will tell it briefly.  The King of a great country had many
singing birds.  They were to him as children, he loved them so.  They
were quite free to fly about the palace, or in the beautiful gardens of
the palace, and when the King walked amongst them, they rested on his
shoulder, or on his hand, when he held it out to them.  There was one
especial favorite--a little brown bird.  It had not gay plumage like
some of its companions, but its song delighted the King, and often he
said: ’Sing--sing always.’  One day the servants discovered the little
brown bird was missing.  Some one had stolen it from the palace.  Word
was brought to the King, and he quickly sent messengers all over his
kingdom to discover where the bird was.  It was not long before the
place of confinement was known, and, to the surprise of everyone, the
King left his little favorite in captivity. But he strictly commanded
his messengers to watch over it, that no harm could come to it.  Not a
feather was to be ruffled.

"In partial darkness, beating its wings helplessly against the bars of
the cage, the little brown bird yet remembered the King’s command,
’Sing, sing always’; and every day it poured forth the song which the
King loved.  Strangers came from far to listen to the wondrous song of
the little captive bird. Then, one day, the little bird looked up
joyfully, at the sound of a well-known voice. The King himself had come
to set the captive free.  The cage door was quickly opened, and the bird
flew forth, and rested on the King’s shoulder, pouring forth such a song
of joy as no one had ever heard before.

"’My priceless treasure!’ the King exclaimed--the one note that was
missing has come into your song.’  And great was the King’s joy as he
carried the little brown bird back to his palace.

"I remember, when I read that story as a girl, being sorry that it ended
there.  I wanted to know that the wicked men were punished for stealing
the bird, and that it was never separated again from the King who loved
it so.  But now I understand the story better, and the lesson it
teaches.  If the little bird had not been obedient to the King’s command
to sing always,--even when it was in captivity, it would never have
learned that one missing note.  And so, dear Carol, we have to learn
under all circumstances and at all times that we are bidden to rejoice.
The words are: ’Rejoice--again I say rejoice.’

"Having the book taken from you, as you do not yet understand the
antagonism so many people manifest towards it, was doubtless a great
surprise, when you owe so much to its teachings.  But, dearie, you must
not let any thoughts of injustice, or of something not quite right,
creep in.  The book will be returned to you one day.  Love can always
find a way.  It will not be detained one moment after it is needful for
you to have it again.  You must put in practice, live up to, what you
have already learned.  You have only one step to take at present, and I
think that step is ’_obedience_’: cheerful, willing obedience, in every
detail of your life.  You see, dear Carol, we are told only one thing of
the Master when he was a boy of your age: that is, ’He was subject
[obedient] unto them.’  Had it been necessary, we should have been told
more.  So from you, and all children, looking unto Jesus, to follow in
his steps, one thing only is required--perfect obedience to those in
authority over you, parents or guardians.

"Try to picture that humble home at Nazareth, and the carpenter’s shop.
We can never know the trials _he_ had to bear in those early years,
through those around him not comprehending his divine mission.  From one
verse in St. Matthew’s Gospel we learn that taunts and gibes were thrown
at him, because his spiritual birth was not understood.  Yet those words
have come down through all the centuries to inspire and help the young
of all generations: _He was subject unto them_.

"The world has given an undue prominence to the wooden crucifix.  The
cross that Jesus carried for us he carried for 33 long years--working
out each problem of life, and finally overcoming death, in order to show
us the way to eternal life, then bidding us take up the cross--not the
wooden crucifix--the cross of daily overcoming error with truth; and
thus to follow him.

"When you are asked anything about Christian Science, and your own
healing, if you are able, answer any questions quietly and courteously,
but never obtrude the subject on anyone; or bring it forward
voluntarily.  Live Christian Science, dear Carol, not talk it.  Be
careful in all things to study your aunt’s wishes; and as she evidently
does not wish the subject mentioned to your cousins, do not mention it.
Following in the steps that Jesus marked--perfect obedience--can never
be denying Christ, and by perfect obedience, dear, you will understand,
loving, willing, cheerful obedience, never allowing any thought of wrong
or injustice to find a resting place in your consciousness.

"Write to me as often as you can, dear. Now that you have commenced
regular lessons, you will not have so much spare time.  Your letters
will always be to me a joy, both to receive and to answer.  I rejoice in
my stewardship, taking care of this beautiful home for my dear boy.
Colonel Mandeville wrote me that your dear father expressed his desire
at the last that it should be so; and he himself also wrote a letter
which was posted at Gibraltar.  It had not yet reached me.  I cannot
understand it, as the letter from Colonel Mandeville which was evidently
posted at the same time, bearing the Gibraltar post-mark, arrived, as
you know, before you left.  But we know it cannot be lost, although it
is long over-due.

"Please convey my kind regards to Colonel and Mrs. Mandeville, and to
yourself, dear Carol, unnumbered loving thoughts, from

    COUSIN ALICIA.

"_P.S._  How I should like to see the sweet Rosebud and your other
cousins!"

                                  ――――

A very grave, thoughtful expression deepened on Mrs. Mandeville’s face
as she gathered the loose sheets of note paper together, and replaced
them in the envelope.  "Surely," she said, sotto voce, "if this is what
Christian Science teaches, Raymond does not understand the book which he
has taken away from Carol."



CHAPTER V.--QUIET DAYS.


The days which followed were quiet and uneventful, the peaceful, happy
days which imperceptibly glide into weeks and months. Carol worked
diligently at his lessons.  He had so much lost time to make up.

Miss Markham was surprised at the progress he made.  Whatever tasks she
set him he mastered with ease, and never manifested fatigue or
weariness.  He was still so slight, even fragile, in appearance, she
sometimes feared lest she was overtaxing his strength. Once, expressing
fear lest this should be so, Carol answered lightly, "It is quite right,
Miss Markham, the more work I do, the more I shall be able to do.
Cousin Alicia is helping me every day."

"Miss Desmond is in Devonshire, Carol, how can she help you?"

"I am sorry, Miss Markham, I forgot you do not understand," he said.

He had been so perfectly obedient to Miss Desmond’s wishes in never
talking about Christian Science, that, excepting Mrs. Mandeville, no one
remembered anything about it in connection with the boy.  But,
gradually, all the household were realizing there was something
strangely different about the boy from other children.  No one ever
heard him complain of an ache or pain.  No one ever heard him speak an
unkind or angry word; and if, as sometimes, though seldom, amongst the
Mandeville children, little dissensions or bickerings arose, if Carol
was near, they passed as a ripple on water, and all was harmony and
peace again.

Nurse loved to have him in the nursery. Miss Markham missed him when he
was absent from the school-room.  On one occasion when he was in the
nursery a heavy box-lid was accidentally allowed to fall on Rosebud’s
fingers.  The child screamed terribly with the pain, but before Nurse
could do or say anything Carol seized her in his arms, and ran out of
the room with her.  In less than ten minutes he brought her back again,
laughing merrily.

"Naughty fingers don’t hurt Rosebud now," she said.

Nurse wondered, but, like Miss Markham, she did not understand.

It happened only a few days afterward that Mrs. Mandeville did not come
as usual to the school-room immediately after breakfast, and everyone
was sorrowful when it was known that Mother had one of her old nervous
headaches.  They knew it meant not seeing her for two or three days.
She suffered terribly at times with her head, and had to lie in a
darkened room, unable to bear the least noise.  The children hushed
their laughter and trod softly, though the school-room and nurseries
were too far removed from Mrs. Mandeville’s apartments for any sound to
reach her.

After morning school, without saying a word to any one, Carol crept so
noiselessly into the darkened room that Mrs. Mandeville was unaware of
his presence, until he softly touched her with his hand, and said:

"Auntie, I am so sorry you are suffering. I do want to help you.  Could
I--would you let me?"

"Dear boy, how sweet of you!  I have frequently suffered with headaches
like this for many years.  Nothing can be done, dear. I can only be
still and bear the pain until it passes."

Mrs. Mandeville spoke as if every word she uttered tortured her.

"Auntie, dear, won’t you let me try to help you?"

"Do you mean, dear, you want to say a Christian Science prayer for me?"

"Yes, Auntie."

"Why, of course, darling, if you wish it. It is so very sweet of you!"

Carol softly kissed the hand she put out to him, and left the room, as
noiselessly as he had entered, closing the door after him.  He knew what
pain was.  He went straight to his own room and closed that door too.
He did not leave his room until the gong sounded for the school-room
dinner.  His cousins exclaimed as he rejoined them,

"Wherever have you been all this time, Carol?"

But Carol did not say.

In the afternoon while the children were still seated round the
tea-table, the school-room door opened, and Mrs. Mandeville entered the
room.  There was one vociferous exclamation of surprise and delight.

"Mother!  Are you better?"

"I am quite better," she said, "I fell asleep. I must have slept a long
time, and when I woke I felt quite well."

No one noticed the flush of joy that came to Carol’s face.  His hands
were clasped, his eyes downcast as he silently breathed, "I thank Thee,
my Father."

Before she left the room again, Mrs. Mandeville caressingly laid her
hands on the boy’s shoulders, and bent over to kiss his brow, but she
did not allude to his visit to her room. Neither did he.  Some sad days
were to pass over the Manor household before Mrs. Mandeville
acknowledged the help she had received.

Carol had not been long at Mandeville before he became almost as well
acquainted with the villagers as his cousins.  He frequently accompanied
the three little girls and the second nurse, when they were deputed to
carry a basket of good things to any house in the village where there
was need.  In this way he became acquainted with the village shoemaker,
Mr. Higgs, who, in his younger days, had also acted as verger at the
church. He explained to Carol the "rheumatiz" was so bad in his legs he
hadn’t been able to walk to church for months.  He was often to be seen
sitting at the open cottage door in the summer evenings, with an open
Bible on his knees, his hands folded on it, for the print was too small
for his failing eyesight.

Carol was thoughtful as he walked home. When Mrs. Mandeville paid her
usual visit to his bedroom in the evening, she found him sitting up in
bed, waiting for her.  He was always awake when she came, but since she
had desired him not to read in bed he never had a book in his hand.  So
often he greeted her with the words, "Auntie, I have been thinking."

"Well, darling, what have you been thinking about to-night?" she asked
before he spoke, well knowing from his attitude that he had been
thinking either of some pleasing or some perplexing subject.

"I have been thinking of something I can do, Auntie, if you will let me.
It is only a very little thing, but if we do not begin with little
things, we shall not be able some day to do big things, shall we?  I so
often think about Jesus when he was twelve years old, he said, ’I must
be about my Father’s business.’  I am twelve years old, and God is my
Father, too.  I want to be about His business. When I was talking to old
Mr. Higgs this morning, he told me he cannot walk to church now, and his
eyes are so bad he cannot see to read the Bible.  I thought I would like
to go sometimes and read it to him, and help him to understand it.
Would you let me, Auntie dear?  It is such a little thing."

"Why, of course, dear; there can be no reason why you should not, if you
wish to. I don’t think Uncle Raymond can have any possible objection.
Anyway, if I give you permission, that will be sufficient, will it not?"

"Oh, yes, Auntie; thank you so very much. May I go every Sunday
evening?"

"Yes, dear; and perhaps it may not be such a little thing as you think."

Mrs. Mandeville thought of her own two boys.  How different Carol was!

Neither of them would have dreamed of doing such a thing.  "But," she
mused, "his long illness has changed him."

"Auntie, I often try to picture Jesus in his humble home at Nazareth.  I
wish we knew more.  When he returned with Joseph and Mary after the
visit to the Temple, and was always obedient to them, I sometimes wonder
if they kept him back from going about his Father’s business, because
they did not understand; and if he played on the hillsides with the
other village boys, and no one knew until he was a man, that he was
Jesus the Christ."

"There are many legends of his boyhood, dear, but they are only legends.
We cannot accept anything except what is narrated in the Gospels.  You
must read Canon Farrar’s ’Life of Christ.’  That will help you to
understand that the Apostles were, without doubt, divinely instructed to
record so little of the boyhood of Jesus.  There is a copy in the
library.  I will look it out for you."

"Thank you so much, Auntie.  I shall be glad to read it."

Then clinging both arms round her neck, as she stooped to kiss him, he
said:

"I do love your coming to my room like this, Auntie.  I always keep
awake till you come."

"I, too, enjoy our little talks, dear.  You often give me a beautiful
thought to take away with me: something I have not thought of before."

The boy lay awake a long time after Mrs. Mandeville left him, thinking
joyfully of the work that had come to him, wondering how he should open
the pages of that wonderful book, as they had been opened to him.
"Teach me, Father-Mother God, the words of Truth that will help him," he
prayed.  Finally, he fell asleep with the words on his lips of the boy
Samuel: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."



CHAPTER VI.--FIRST WORK IN THE VINEYARD.


"Would you like me to read to you for a little while this evening, Mr.
Higgs?  My aunt has given me permission, if you would like me to," Carol
asked modestly as he entered the old man’s cottage the following Sunday
evening.  Mr. Higgs was seated as usual at the open door, watching the
villagers pass by on their way to church.

"Thank you kindly, young gentleman. I’ll be glad to hear some of the
words of the Book.  I just keep it close by me.  It don’t seem Sunday
without.  But my eyes fail me, and I just sit and ponder over some of
the Psalms I can well remember.  After the service sometimes a
neighbor’ll pop in and tell me the text Rector’s been preaching about.
A mighty fine preacher is Rector, but often I used to say to my
Missus--she’s dead and gone these five years--his thoughts are like
birds, they fly over our heads, and we don’t seem able to lay hold of
them.  If he’d just tell us something simple to help us day by day.  I’d
be glad now if I could remember some of the sermons I’ve listened to,
year in, year out.  But there, it’s all gone, and I’ve got no more
understanding of the Bible than when I was a boy.  It’s ower late to
think about it now, and me turned seventy."

"I have been taught to understand the Bible.  I should like to teach you
what I have been taught.  Then, when you understand, you would lose your
rheumatism."

"_Lose my rheumatism!_"  The old man repeated the words in the utmost
astonishment.

"Why, yes, of course you would," Carol said with that wonderfully sweet
smile which won all hearts.  "I had hip-disease; but I lost it."

"Well, now, young gentleman, I can say with absolute truth that I have
never been told that before--no, _never!_ though I’ve been a regular
church attendant since I was a little choir boy, and never left off
going till the joints in my old legs grew so stiff I couldn’t walk.
It’d want a lot of faith, sir, to believe that just reading the Bible
would make ’em lissom again."

"Faith comes with understanding.  There is another book; it is called
_Key to the Scriptures_.  I haven’t a copy of that book now, but I can
remember so much of it, I shall be able to help you to understand the
Bible perhaps a little better.  We will commence with the first chapter
of Genesis."

"Yes, now; I remember that chapter pretty well.  I learnt it at Sunday
School sixty years ago, and I’ve never quite forgotten it.  I could
repeat verses straight off now."

"And has it never helped you all through your life?"

"Well, no.  I can’t say that chapter has. I have found comfort sometimes
from the Psalms.  ’The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,’ I have
often turned to when we’d a growing family and work was slack."

"Let me read the chapter now and then we will talk about it."

The boy opened the Bible, and slowly with an impressiveness which the
old man had never before heard, he read the first chapter of Genesis,
and three verses of the second chapter.  He read as one reads words that
are very familiar and understandable.

"_Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of
them, and God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very
good._"  He repeated the words from memory, looking with a kindly smile
at the old man, as he asked the question: "If God looked upon everything
which He had created, and declared it very good--where do the things
come from that are not good?  Who created them?"

"Well now, young sir, that is a question I’m not prepared to answer.  I
can only say like that little black girl in the story, ’’spose they
growed’."

"But everything must grow from something, mustn’t it?  Every tree and
plant has its own seed.  God created every living creature after its
kind, and bade it be fruitful and multiply.  So you see everything good
was created by the Word of God.  Is rheumatism good?"

"’Deed no, young gentleman!  It’s cruel bad."

"So is hip-disease.  It’s very, very ’cruel bad,’ and because it is the
opposite of good it was not amongst the things which God ’beheld.’  Our
dear Heavenly Father did not create poor suffering little children
maimed with hip-disease, and sometimes blind.  He created them in His
own image and likeness, and God could not be suffering sometimes with
one disease, sometimes with another, so that His image and likeness
could have it too, could He?  See, if I hold my hand up so it casts a
shadow on the wall, that is an exact image or likeness of my hand, is it
not? Now if I just hold something--only a slip of paper between my hand
and the reflection, the reflection is deformed, isn’t it?  But my hand
is not affected by it.  So when we are bound by any cruel disease, there
is something between God and His image and likeness, something that was
never created by Him--was never created at all.  It is only a shadowy
mist--a belief: and we have to get rid of it, by knowing its unreality.
We have to know that because we are God’s children, His spiritual
creation, we must be perfect, even as He is perfect.  Jesus came to
teach people this.  He said, ’Be ye therefore perfect, even as your
Father in Heaven is perfect.’  But, my cousin says, the world has been
slow to learn the lesson.  Sin and disease will disappear from our midst
just as soon as we do learn it.  When she came to me, and I was very
ill, she taught me that nothing was real except what God had created,
and pronounced good, and He never created hip-disease.  Because she
understood this so clearly, and taught me to understand it, I soon began
to get better.  I should like to help you to understand it, so that you
would lose your rheumatism.  I think I have stayed as long as I had
permission to-night.  Would you like me to come again next Sunday?"

"’Deed, and I would, young gentleman."

"My name is Carol," the boy said simply.

"Thank ’ee, Master Carol, you’ve given me something to think about, I
shan’t forget during the week."

"I should like to teach you the Scientific Statement of Being.  It is in
that book I told you of, which explains the Bible.  If you would learn
it, and try to realize it, it would help you so much.’

"My mem’ry ’s none of the best now, but I’ll try," the old man said
regretfully.

"Perhaps it will be better for me to write it for you in large writing,
so that you can read it until you know it.  I will bring it with me next
week.  These are the words: ’There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor
substance in matter.’  He repeated the words gravely and slowly to the
end, the old man gazing at him the while with wondering eyes.  The sun
was setting; the crimson light streamed through the lattice window upon
the boy’s upturned face, so sweet, so grave, so loving, and so earnest.

"The words seem difficult to understand at first," he said, "but you
will soon grow to love them.  It is the truth which Jesus promised
should make us free.  It has made me free.  It will make you free."



CHAPTER VII.--"I KNOW."


Carol bounded through the park with a light, joyous step.  On reaching
the Manor House, he would have gone straight to his aunt, but there were
visitors with her.  So he rejoined his cousins in the school-room.

"Where ever have you been, Carol?" they questioned, as he entered.

"Somewhere Auntie gave me permission to go," he replied quietly.

Miss Markham looked at the boy’s beaming face, and she too wondered.  He
had been absent from the Scripture lesson, which she, and sometimes Mrs.
Mandeville, gave the children every Sunday evening.  She felt a little
remorse that she had been conscious during the lesson of a feeling of
relief, on account of the boy’s absence.  Carol so often asked a
question in a quiet, thoughtful manner, which she was unable to answer:
and the question would often recur to her afterwards.  She had an
intuition that the boy had a firmer grasp of spiritual truths than she
herself possessed.  Many times she would have liked to discuss a subject
with him.  But Mrs. Mandeville had warned her that the boy had been
taught much that was unorthodox, she therefore refrained from
discussion.

Though it was much later than usual, Carol was wide awake when Mrs.
Mandeville came to his room that night.  She had found all the other
children fast asleep.

"Auntie, I did want to tell you, I had a very happy time with Mr. Higgs.
He’s such a nice, interesting old man.  I was able to tell him so much
that he had never thought about before.  Thank you again for letting me
go.  He will like me to go next Sunday--I may--mayn’t I?"

"Of course, dear; as it seems to make you so happy; and I am sure it
must be very nice for Mr. Higgs to have you read to him, as he is so
troubled with rheumatism.  But you must really settle down to sleep now,
Carol.  You have no idea how late it is."

"Yes, Auntie, I shall soon be asleep, I wanted to tell you first.  I
feel so happy now, I can say one verse of Mrs. Eddy’s beautiful hymn
to-night which commences:

    ’My prayer some daily good to do,
    ’To thine for Thee;’

"Cousin Alicia used to sing it to me every night when I was ill.  I
loved it so much, because its measures _did_ bind the power of pain.
Often I had fallen asleep before she came to the end."

"You must repeat all the hymn to me some time, Carol, I shall like to
hear it."

"Yes, Auntie, in the morning.  I have been thinking whilst I was waiting
for you to come that when we want to do something for Truth very, very
much, Love finds the way.  When I am a man, I shall want, more than
anything in all the world, just to do what Jesus said, those that loved
him were to do, ’Go ye into all the world, preach the Gospel, and heal
the sick.’  I cannot help remembering there are so many little children
lying now, just as I used to lie, always in pain; and they could be
healed, just as I was healed, if there were more people who understood
what Jesus meant by ’The truth shall make you free."

"And you are quite sure, Carol, it is that which has made you free?"

"Oh, Auntie, dear, I can never let even the tiniest thought of doubt
creep up and make me question that.  I _know_.  When Uncle Raymond read
in church last Sunday ’I know that my Redeemer liveth,’ I felt I wanted
to stand up and tell all the people _because_ He liveth, I am well.
That is ’knowing.’  I do long for the time to come when I shall be able
to tell them so, and I can give all my time and my money to spread the
glad tidings, to fight for Truth."

"Maybe there is a great work, a great future before you, dear boy,
surely the instrument has been prepared in a fierce fire, and has come
forth strong for the battle. Now, good-night, and God bless you,
darling."  He clasped both his arms round her neck, holding her tightly,
as in earlier years he used to cling to his mother.



CHAPTER VIII.--A SECOND VISIT TO THE COTTAGE.


The next Sunday evening when Carol entered the shoemaker’s cottage, he
was not alone as before.

"This is my daughter, Mrs. Scott, Master Carol, and her little girl," he
said to Carol. "We thought, maybe, you wouldn’t object if she listened
to the reading too.  She cannot often go to church, because the little
girl has been subject to epilepsy since she was two years old.  She’s
just turned eight now.  I told her mother what you told me last Sunday,
and she’ll be right glad to hear more."

"That I shall, Master Carol.  I know something of hip-disease, and if
you could be cured of that, I’m sure my little girl could be cured of
the fits."

"Why, of course she could.  You will be able to help her ever so much
only by knowing that God never created fits; they belong to the mist
which we read about in the second chapter of Genesis.  I am going to
read that chapter to Mr. Higgs to-night.  Then you’ll understand.  I
will begin at the fourth verse, because the first three verses belong
really to the first chapter, which is an account of the first creation,
when God made everything that was made and it was spiritual and perfect.
No one could ever alter or undo God’s perfect work; it remains, and
always will remain, perfect.  When we understand this, and realize it,
the mist will disappear, and all the things which belong to the
mist--sin, disease, and death."

Father and daughter looked at the boy with wonder and perplexity.
Opening the Bible he read:

"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were
created in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."
He continued to the end of the chapter.  "Now do you see how different
this account of creation is from the first?" he asked.  "Who was the
Lord God who took the dust of the ground and formed man over again,
after God had already created him, and pronounced His work very good?"

The old man shook his head.  "I can only say, as I said last Sunday,
Master Carol, in all the sermons I’ve listened to that has never been
explained to me.  I don’t think I should have let it slip, if it had.
It’s just the first time I’ve ever known there were two creations."

"There were not really two creations, though it reads as if there were,
because there are not two creators.  The sixth verse explains it, ’There
went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.’
That mist covered everything which God-Spirit had created--all the host
of them; birds, beasts, and flowers, mountains, seas, lakes, rivers,
even man: God’s own image and likeness.  Because the mist is over
everything we do not see the world and man as they really exist.  So
people have come to believe that God made man from the dust; for the
mist that is spoken of is not a mist like we see rising from the sea, or
in the fields of an evening.  It means false belief, misunderstanding of
God and His spiritual creation.  But, my cousin has told me, there is a
woman in America who once caught a glimpse of God’s real creation as she
was passing through the death valley. And that one glimpse restored her
to health. Then she devoted her whole life to learn more of the truth
that she might teach others how to see through the mist, and to shake
off their old beliefs.  She has written a book called _Science and
Health_ with _Key to the Scriptures_, which explains all that she has
discovered.  Simply reading and studying that book has made hundreds of
people well."

"Where could we get a copy of it, Master Carol?  I’d like to know for my
little girl’s sake," Mrs. Scott asked.

"I do not quite know, but there are Christian Science churches in
London.  If you were to write there perhaps someone would tell you.  I
wish I had a copy to lend you. I have written the Scientific Statement
of Being from memory.  I am sure it will help you.  I am trying to
realize it for you, and for the little girl.  Think always of that first
chapter of the Bible.  In the beginning God created everything that was
created, and it was very good.  None of the things we want to get rid of
could be included in God’s _very good_, could they?  Jesus came to teach
men to understand God better, and he said, ’that which is born of the
Spirit is spirit.’  So all that came from God and all that still comes
is spiritual.  If you could quite realize this, Mr. Higgs, you would
soon lose your rheumatism.  I am only telling you what has been told me
so many times; and I know it is true, because I was very ill when my
cousin used to teach me, and I grew better as I began to understand.
She helped me, because she saw me always as God’s perfect child, and
knew that He had never created hip-disease, therefore it never was
created; it belonged to the mist, and it would disappear under the light
of Truth as hoar frost disappears when the sun shines upon it."

"It is wonderful and strange what you are telling us, Master Carol, I’ve
never heard the like before, but somehow I can’t doubt it.  I call to
mind what the Bible says, ’Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings God
ordains strength.’  I’d dearly love the girl to be free from those
dreadful fits.  My rheumatiz is very bad, but I’m an old man, and can’t
expect to ’scape one o’ the signs of old age."

"But you must not expect.  You must know that it is not a sign of old
age in God’s man.  You must always remember the man whom God created in
His own image and likeness."

"I’ve heard those words many times before, Master Carol, but somehow
they never seemed to come home to me as you put it. Why, of course I
ought not to suffer with rheumatiz if I _am_ God’s image and likeness.
But what about all the poor dwarfed and stunted creatures that are
crippled from infancy?  There’s a little hunchback in the village.  He
was dropped when he was a baby, and his back grew crooked, so that it’s
a hump now.  How can he be God’s image and likeness?"

"The hunchback is not the likeness of God, but the real child--the
spiritual child is, and God sees His child as He created it."  The boy
put his hand over his eyes a moment, realizing that of himself he was
not telling these simple-minded people anything.  Then he said:

"Suppose a great sculptor carved a beautiful statue out of a block of
marble.  Before he began his work, he would have in his mind the form he
wished the marble to take. Gradually, as he worked at it, the marble
would become what his thought of it was. Then one day he would see it
finished and perfect--just what he intended it to be. Then he would work
no more at it.  Afterwards, suppose some one came by, and took clay and
mixed it with water into a paste, and then daubed the beautiful statue
all over, till the limbs looked crooked, and the beauty of the face was
spoiled.  But it wouldn’t be really spoiled, would it?  The statue would
still be the work of the great sculptor, finished and perfect; the clay
and the marble would be quite separate and distinct.  Nothing could make
them one.  So when we read the chapter I have just read to you--the Lord
God took the dust of the ground and made man--God’s man was already
made, finished and perfect, and the dust, like the clay, could only seem
to hide the perfect creation.  But we have to know this and to realize
it, if we are to get rid of the dust, and the clay, and the mist.  When
my cousin was explaining all this to me one day, she said, ’It is not
known how or when the belief in a Lord God who made man of dust arose;
but from that false belief came sin, sorrow, disease, and death.  Jesus
came to teach us the way back to God; to teach us to see ourselves as
the children of God, not of the dust; and he said all who believed in
him, in what he taught, would never see death.’  The day will come, my
cousin said, when all men will so believe in Jesus the Christ, and will
so understand and realize that God is their Father, that death will be
overcome. Every case of sin and disease which is healed by this
knowledge--by the Truth--is bringing that day nearer."

The look of bewilderment deepened on the old man’s face.  Surely, the
boy was throwing a different light upon words with which he had been
familiar all his life.  "We’ll think over what you’ve told us, Master
Carol--me and my daughter.  It sort o’ goes to me that it’s true."

Again the words came to him, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings."

The church clock chimed the half-hour. Carol stood up to go.  "The time
has gone so quickly.  I must not stay longer now.  I will come again
next Sunday, and all the week will you try to know that God’s work was
finished and perfect in the beginning, and everything that seems to have
been added to it--rheumatism and fits--has no right to be?"

"We will, Master Carol, we’ll just think of the marble statue and the
clay.  It will help us."

"I will hold the right thought for you and the little girl, and I know
that soon you will find that both the afflictions, which seem so real,
belong to the mist."



CHAPTER IX.--"IT IS THE TRUTH."


Carol faithfully kept his appointment on the following Sunday.  His
cousins ceased to inquire, though not to wonder, what became of him
every Sunday evening, and once appealed to Mrs. Mandeville for
information. She smilingly replied, "It is a little secret between Carol
and me.  Perhaps you will be told some time, but not just yet."

As Carol entered the cottage, Mr. Higgs rose from his seat, and stood
upright.

"Master Carol," he exclaimed in a voice of suppressed excitement, "it is
the Truth, the blessed Truth you’ve told us.  I can’t say I’ve lost my
rheumatics entirely, for the joints are like rusty hinges that want a
lot o’ oiling after being idle so long; but I’ve just been free from
pain all the week; and my little grand-daughter hasn’t had one fit all
the week."

"No, Master Carol, she has not," Mrs. Scott added.  "I won’t say she has
never gone a whole week without one before, but for the last twelve
months I don’t think she has, until this week."

"Try not to remember anything that has been.  Think it was all a dream,
and she is awakening from it.  I had a very cruel dream once, but I have
awakened from it.  God’s children must cling very closely to Him, then
nothing can hurt them.  It is when shadowy fears come between God and
His image and likeness that dreadful things seem to happen to us."

Mr. Higgs and Mrs. Scott did not understand yet how the boy had all the
week been working for them--fighting error with the sword of Truth.

"I want to read a chapter from the New Testament this evening," Carol
said, opening the Bible.  "It is always a favorite chapter, but one
verse, my cousin said, seemed never to have impressed people as
applicable to the present day.  Yet the words are so simple. I will read
the chapter first, then we’ll talk about that one verse."

He read the 14th chapter of St. John from the 1st verse to the last,
then asked quietly, "Do you remember that Jesus once said, ’Heaven and
earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away’?"

"Yes, Master Carol.  I remember those words well."

"Then is there not a verse in the chapter I have just read which seems
as if Jesus’ words _had_ failed?"  The old man looked puzzled.

"I can’t say that I know what you are alluding to, Master Carol."

"I will read it again.  It is the 12th verse. ’Verily, verily, I say
unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also,
and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father.’
What were the works that Jesus did?  Was it not healing the sick,
cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, feeding the hungry?  Well, if no
one can do these works to-day, his word has failed or else no one has
sufficient faith (faith may sometimes mean understanding). Many
centuries rolled by, and the sick were not healed, nor the lepers
cleansed, in Jesus’ name.  But now we know his words never failed.  It
was the faith or understanding of those who thought they believed in him
which failed; for the sick are being healed now, and the lepers
cleansed."

"It is very wonderful as you put it, Master Carol.  I can’t say it has
ever been explained like that to me before."

"Is it not very simple?" Carol asked.

"Why, yes.  It has always seemed to me the Master’s words were very
simple, a child could understand them.  But when you come to the
Epistles, and the creeds of the Church, there’s many things that I have
never been able to understand; and often the sermons I’ve listened to
puzzled me more than the texts."

"In the 15th verse Jesus says, ’If ye love me, keep my commandments.’
Jesus did not give many commandments to his followers.  He told them
many things, but of strict commandments he gave only a few. One was, ’Go
into all the world, preach the Gospel and heal the sick.’  If you had a
son, and you commanded him to do two things and he did only one, and
left the other alone, would you be pleased with him?  Would he be
obedient to your commands?"

"Certainly I shouldn’t be pleased with him, and I’d soon let him know
that, if he didn’t do all I commanded, he needn’t do anything."

"Yes, but Jesus just makes it a test of love. He says so gently, ’If ye
love me, keep my commandments.’  To those who keep all his commandments
he will one day say, ’Well done, good and faithful servant,’ I do hope
that some day he will say those words to me."

"I’m right sure he will, Master Carol. It is just wonderful the way you
are helping an old man to understand.  It amazes me that a boy of your
years should have such an understanding."

"Oh, please don’t think I am telling you anything of myself.  It has all
been explained to me many times.  I am only telling you what has been
told me.  I wish my cousin could talk to you.  She would help you much
better than I can.  But we must not withhold what we have because some
one else has more, must we?  We must hand on the good tidings as well as
we are able."

"That’s it, Master Carol.  Maybe I’ll do a little that way myself later
on."

"Yes, I am sure you will, but don’t talk about your rheumatism being
better just yet. Wait until the evil is quite cast out.  When I come
next week I will explain to you how we learn in _Science and Health_
that God gave man dominion, and what God has given can never be taken
away.  God says His word shall never return unto Him void.  When He
decreed anything, it was forever.  You could not think of the sun, moon,
or stars moving out of their appointed courses, could you?  It is only
man who seems to have wandered from his native sphere.  We have to learn
that this is not so; we have not really lost the dominion which God gave
His children in the beginning.  St. John says, ’Now are we the sons of
God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when
He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’
That verse helped me so much when I was ill.  I learned I had not to die
to become a son of God.  God is my Father here and now, and God’s child
ought not to believe a lie.  It was a lie that evil could have power
over me, and bind me.  It is a lie that evil can have power over you,
and bind you.  If you acknowledge God as your Father, God’s child should
not go along believing he has rheumatism, should he?"

"Thank you, Master Carol.  I’ll take hold of that.  I can understand it.
I wish Rector would talk to us sometimes like this.  I know it is all in
the Bible, yet it never came home to me before."

Mrs. Scott listened attentively to all the boy was telling her father,
but made no remark.  Her little girl was sitting in the porch nursing
her doll, crooning a lullaby.  Carol left them with the promise to come
again next Sunday.



CHAPTER X.--AN UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER.


With thoughts so joyous and uplifted, Carol’s feet scarcely seemed to
touch the springy turf of the park as he returned to the Manor.  The
uplifting joy, unlike anything that earth can give, which comes from the
consciousness that work done for, and in the Master’s name, is accepted
of him, was his; the promised signs following.

He did not see Mrs. Mandeville until she paid her usual visit to his
bedroom.

His young face was radiant with joy and happiness.  "Auntie," he said,
"Mr. Higgs is beginning to understand; and he is losing his rheumatism."

Mrs. Mandeville smiled.  There was so much love and tenderness in her
smile the incredulity was not apparent.  She put a loving arm around
him, drawing the boy closer to her.

"Is that what you have been thinking to-night, dear?"

"Not altogether, Auntie.  I have been thinking of what it means by the
words, ’The mind that was in Christ.’  That was what I was reading when
I came to bed. If we are to have that Mind, we should understand what it
is.  But, Auntie, I can’t get any farther than _love_: the mind that was
in Christ was love.  God is Love, and Jesus said, ’I and my Father are
one.’  So, Auntie, when our hearts are filled with love for the poor and
afflicted and sorrowing, it is the Christ mind that comes to us.
Because Jesus loved all who came to him, he was able to heal them. He
said, ’I can of myself do nothing, it is the Father that worketh in me.
He doeth the works.’  Jesus was a perfect mirror, reflecting the love
which is God.  That is why he said, ’They that have seen me have seen my
Father also.’  Cousin Alicia explained this once to me, but I did not
quite understand it at the time.  I see so clearly now. When we reflect
love as Jesus did, we shall be able to do the works that he did.  I
often wonder, Auntie, why Uncle Raymond and all the clergy who preach
the Gospel don’t help people when they are ill.  It is not being
obedient, is it?"

Mrs. Mandeville’s face was grave.

"Ought I not to question this, Auntie?"

"Perhaps it would be better not, dear, until you are older.  I do not
understand myself.  It is a subject I never seriously considered until
you came to us.  Now I think I must say good-night, my little
lie-awake."

"I always fall asleep soon after I have said ’good-night’ to you,
Auntie."

"That is right, darling.  I do enjoy our little talks; they are very
sweet and helpful to me, Carol."

Then, after a long, loving embrace, she left him, a grave, thoughtful,
but happy expression on her face.

The following Saturday morning after breakfast the three little girls
told Carol, with delight, that they were going to the home farm in the
afternoon, and begged him to go with them.  Carol promised.  He never
refused to go anywhere or to do anything when Rosebud asked him.  It was
different with Percy and Frank.  They were always too busy.

Carol knew how great a delight a visit to the farm was to the little
girls, where each had a special pet of her own which the farmer’s wife
kindly took care of for them.  Carol had visited the farm once before,
and was almost as interested as the little girls in the animals and
poultry yard.  The schoolroom children had grown out of the interest
they once had in visiting the farm.

Saturday being a school holiday, the boys were at home all day.  After
lunch Percy said:

"I say, Carol, some fellows are coming this afternoon; we are going to
have a game at rounders.  You can manage that.  Will you come?"

Carol was never asked to join in a game at cricket or football, as his
uncle and aunt feared it would not be good for him.  "I am sorry, Percy;
I cannot.  I promised Rosebud and Sylvia to go with them to the farm
this afternoon."

Percy turned impatiently away.  He was annoyed.  Carol caught the
muttered words: "Milk-sop prefers a walk with the babies."

He was not versed in school-boy slang, but naturally felt it was an
opprobrious epithet applied to himself.  A crimson flush rose to his
face.  On the way to the farm, he asked Jane, the second nurse, who
accompanied them:

"Can you tell me what milk-sop means, Jane?"

"Well, Master Carol, it’s what school-boys call one another, sometimes.
But it’s not a nice word.  I suppose it means something of a coward."

Carol fell behind.  The crimson flush returned and dyed his cheeks
again.  "Percy did not mean it.  He spoke without thinking. He forgot I
am a soldier’s son.  _I am not angry_.  I will not let you in!"

"Were you speaking, Master Carol?" Jane asked.

"I was only telling Mrs. Anger and Mr. Anger, and a lot of little
Angers, there is no room for them in my mansion.  Love is there, and
cannot be driven away."

"You do say such funny things, Master Carol," Jane remarked.

"But there is nothing funny in that, Jane. You see our mind is our
mansion, and if we keep it filled with loving thoughts, angry thoughts
cannot creep in.  Some angry thoughts were just trying to force their
way in, and I had to tell them there was no room."

Still Jane smiled, but she, as everyone else at the Manor, loved the
gentle boy, who had what seemed to them such strange thoughts.

A messenger always appeared to go in advance and tell the farmer’s wife
when the little ladies might be expected.  She never failed to have such
a lovely tea spread on a snowy white tablecloth, and her best china
gracing the table.  Tea in the farm kitchen was quite different from the
usual nursery tea at home.  Such delicious scones and tea-cakes!  (It
really would not have pleased cook to hear the praise bestowed upon
them, as if she did not make quite as good.)

After tea they went around the farmyard to inspect their pets.  A little
gosling, quite tame and friendly, was chosen for Carol’s especial pet.
The hour, which was all nurse had allowed them, passed very quickly, and
they started on the homeward walk.  They had not gone far when a
drizzling rain began.  Jane then suggested the advisability of crossing
a field which would shorten the distance considerably.  When they came
to the field, she was surprised to find the gate fastened.

"This gate is generally open.  I wonder why it is padlocked to-day, but
it is not too high to get over.  If you climb over first, Master Carol,
I can lift Rosebud over to you."

Carol soon mounted the five-barred gate, and landed safely on the other
side, then received one by one Rosebud, Estelle, and Sylvia, from Jane’s
arm, as she lifted them over.  They had walked about two hundred yards
when Jane stood still in an agony of fright, as an animal, which had
been lying unperceived in a distant corner of the field, rose up and
came towards them with a loud bellow.

"Oh, Master Carol!  What shall we do? It’s the bull!  He’s a terror!
I’ve heard of him.  He’s a tosser!"

"Don’t be frightened, Jane.  Just walk quietly.  The bull won’t hurt us,
if we are not frightened."

Jane caught Rosebud in her arms, and with Estelle and Sylvia clinging to
either side, walked as quickly as she dared towards the stile on the
other side of the field. Fortunately, it was a stile easier to mount
than the five-barred gate had been.  It was but the work of a moment and
the three little girls were lifted safely to the other side.  Then, Jane
turned to look for Carol.  He had walked only a third of the distance,
keeping always between the bull and his cousins, and now he stood face
to face with the animal, a few yards only between them.  Another low
bellow, and then the animal bent his head to the ground, prepared for a
spring.

"Run, run, Master Carol," Jane screamed. It was a fatal appeal.  The
mesmerism of fear seized Carol.  He turned to look after his cousins.
The next instant he was on the horns of the animal, tossed high in the
air, as if he had been no heavier than an India-rubber ball.
Mercifully, he fell on the other side of the hedge, which divided that
field from the next.  With a roar of baffled rage, the animal stampeded
the field, seeking to toss his victim a second time.



CHAPTER XI.--PERCY’S REMORSE.


The three little girls set up a piteous cry of "Carol," "Carol."  Jane
was speechless, only wringing her hands in her extremity. What could she
do?  It was half a mile to return to the farm for help, and a mile to
the nearest lodge belonging to the Manor; and there was no house
between.  She could not see where Carol had fallen.  But she knew it was
over the hedge into the next field. She feared the infuriated animal
would force its way through.  Though she could not in any way protect
him, it seemed terrible to go from the place, even to get help, and
leave him there.  Many moments were lost in her frenzied attempts to
force an entrance into the field from the lane.  It was in vain.  The
thick, high hedge was impregnable.  She called again and again to Carol
to speak, to answer her, but there was no response. It seemed an
eternity before there was the welcome sound of a horse’s hoofs in the
lane, which drew nearer until a stanhope came in sight, containing
Colonel Mandeville, a friend, and a groom.

The three little girls cried: "Daddy, Daddy, the bull has tossed Carol!"

Colonel Mandeville sprang from the vehicle on the instant, scarcely
understanding what the children said.  Their distress was evident.  That
was sufficient.  Jane then tried to explain.

"We were crossing the field, sir.  I did not know the bull was there.
He has tossed Master Carol over the hedge into this field, and we cannot
get at him."

Colonel Mandeville uttered one low, sad exclamation.

"Where is the entrance into the field?" he asked.

"There is a gate into it from the field where the bull is.  Oh, please,
sir, it isn’t safe; the bull is awfully enraged," she added, as Colonel
Mandeville walked towards the stile.

He turned to say to the groom: "Follow me," and to his friend: "Manton,
drive to the village and bring Dr. Burton along.  I fear we shall want
him."  To Jane he said briefly: "Take the children home."

Then he mounted the stile, and entered the field, a gun in his hand,
which the groom had handed him from the stanhope.  The gentlemen had
been shooting.  The bull was standing in the middle of the field.  He
sprang towards the fresh intruder with a bellow. Colonel Mandeville
pointed his gun; there was a report, and the next instant the beast
rolled over on his side, dead.  The groom then followed his master.
They had a little difficulty in opening the gate into the next field,
but succeeded at last, and were able to get in.

Under the shadow of the hedge Carol was lying--still, motionless.

Colonel Mandeville knelt beside him.

"Carol, Carol," he said softly, but there was no response.  "Go to the
farm as quickly as you can.  Tell them to improvise an ambulance.  Bring
it along.  Lose not a moment," he said to the groom.

Then he knelt on the ground, trying again to awake the boy to
consciousness: "My poor wife, how will she bear this?" he said to
himself, knowing well that Carol was as dear to her as her youngest
born, the Rosebud of the family.  The signs of life were so faint, he
could not hope the boy would ever regain consciousness.

Dr. Burton was fortunately at home.  In an inconceivably short time he
arrived on the scene; and the groom returned with an ambulance, followed
by the farmer, his wife, and some of the men, all anxious to give any
assistance they could.

Dr. Burton and Colonel Mandeville very tenderly lifted Carol on to the
ambulance, a faint moan was the only sign of life, but all were glad to
hear even that.  Dr. Burton would not make any examination until they
could lay him on a bed, and cut off his clothes.

There was no question of breaking the news gently to Mrs. Mandeville;
she was returning from a drive as the little girls reached the gates.
They ran to her sobbing broken-heartedly.

She was very calm, but her face grew deadly white, and wore again the
strained expression which had been so frequent during the sad days of
the war.  She could not remain inactive, and walked to meet the sad
procession.

As soon as Colonel Mandeville saw her, he advanced quickly to her side,
and turned her steps homeward.  He would not let her see the boy as he
lay on the ambulance, looking so like death.

Only Colonel Mandeville was with Dr. Burton when he made the critical
examination. There were no broken bones, he said, but added that there
are things worse to deal with than broken bones, and hinted gravely at
concussion of the brain and spinal congestion.  There were two terrible
bruises where he had been caught on the bull’s horns. He could not hold
out any hope to them, but desired a second opinion, and a telegram was
at once despatched to a great London physician, who, it was calculated,
would be able to reach Mandeville that night if he caught the evening
express.  Then Mrs. Mandeville took her place by the bedside.  She could
do nothing, only watch in tearful silence the pallid face that had
become so dear to her, lying so still, so calm, it seemed at times the
lips were breathless.  The reply telegram came quickly.  Sir Wilfrid
would be able to catch the evening express which would stop at
Mandeville by request.  He would reach the Manor about ten o’clock.

Not until the physician’s arrival, when he and Dr. Burton held a
consultation together, did Mrs. Mandeville leave the bedside.  She then
retired to her own room for a little time.  Miss Markham came to her
there, begging her to go and speak to Percy.  "His grief," she said, "is
quite uncontrollable. I have done all I can to comfort him.  But nothing
I can say seems to touch him."  Mrs. Mandeville went at once to Percy’s
room. He had thrown himself undressed on his bed, and was sobbing
hysterically, as she entered the room.

"Percy, my dear boy, you must not grieve like this."

As soon as he was aware it was his mother beside him, he flung his arms
round her neck.

"Oh, Mother, I can never, never, be happy again if Carol dies.  If he
had not been there with them, the bull would have tossed my little
sisters.  Jane said he stood between them and the bull.  He is the
bravest boy, and I--I--called him a--a--"  He could not repeat the word
he had so lightly, thoughtlessly uttered a few hours previously.

"If only I could tell him I did not mean it, and ask him to forgive me,
Mother. Oh! won’t he ever be able to speak to me again?"

"Dear Percy, I hope so.  Sir Wilfrid Wynne is with him now, and
everything possible will be done for him.  I am sure, darling, he would
not like you to grieve like this.  He always has such loving thoughts of
others."  The remembrance of all his gentleness and loving thought for
others was too much for Mrs. Mandeville.  Clasping her boy closely to
her, she wept with him. Heaven was still to her a locality, and death
the gateway to it; and Carol had always seemed so very near to the
Kingdom of Heaven.

All the household awaited with cruel suspense the great man’s verdict,
trusting to him, forgetful that human skill had failed the boy once
before in his hour of need, forgetful of that friend in Devonshire who
loved him as her own son.  No message had been sent to her.



CHAPTER XII.--THE PHYSICIAN’S VERDICT.


Sir Wilfrid Wynne gave his verdict, and it was almost a repetition of
what Dr. Burton had said.  He could do nothing.  There was little hope
he would regain consciousness. If he did, it would be but a passing
flash before the end.  He might linger in his present condition
twenty-four hours or longer; and he might pass away any moment without a
struggle.  It would be cruel to wish him to live; the shock to the spine
had been so great, if he lived, he would inevitably lose the use of his
lower limbs.  Sir Wilfrid was grieved; he had known the boy’s father. He
would gladly have remained, had there been any hope of doing anything
for him. He took his departure by motor-car to catch the mail train at a
junction ten miles distant.

Mrs. Mandeville returned to her place by the bedside, calm and still,
after her paroxysm of weeping.  Colonel Mandeville was with her, and
presently the Rector came into the room.

"Raymond, pray for him," Mrs. Mandeville said.  "He is in God’s hands.
No human power can help him."

They all knelt and the Rector prayed aloud.  He did not petition for the
boy’s life to be spared.  He humbly asked that the hearts of those who
loved him might be submissive to God’s all-wise decree.  "Thy will be
done," was the dominant note of the prayer.  When they rose from their
knees, there was an expression on Mrs. Mandeville’s face which no one
had ever seen before. The prayer had not helped her: it was not
submission nor resignation in any degree which had come to her.  She
turned to the Rector.

"I do not believe it, Raymond.  This is _not_ God’s will.  God could not
order anything so cruel to befall a child, so loving and dutiful--whose
faith in God’s loving care of him has always been so beautiful to me to
witness.  Could I, who know only human love, suffer anything like this
to befall my little Rosebud, or any of my children?  Is human love more
pitiful and compassionate than divine love?  This dear boy could easily
have saved himself; he stood between the cruel beast and my little
girls.  All three of them might be lying as he is lying now but for his
self-sacrifice.  Don’t tell me it is God’s will!  If I could believe it,
I would wish I were a heathen, and worshipped a god of wood and stone!"

The Rector could only gaze in pained astonishment.  Such an outburst was
so unlike his usually calm and gentle sister.  He judged she was beside
herself with grief. She stood with clasped hands, wide-open eyes,
unseeing, yet seeing, gazing beyond the confines of that room, catching
a momentary vision of that light which ’never was, on land or sea.’

She became calm again--serenely calm.

"I see it," she said.  "I understand.  This is _not_ God’s will.  It is
not _His_ work.  His compassions fail not.  His love is over all His
children.  With Him is the Fountain of Life.  Does He not say, ’I will
redeem them from death’?  He will save this dear child from the grave.
Leave me, please.  I want to be alone--alone with Carol and God.  I want
to realize it.  Yes; _God’s will be done_. Life, not death, is God’s
will.  I see it, I see so clearly."

To her husband she said softly, "I will ring if I want anything, dear.
Don’t let anyone come into the room until I ring."

When all had left the room, and the door was closed, she knelt beside
the bed, with outstretched arms.  It was a mother’s cry to God for the
life of a child that was as dear to her as her own.  Hour after hour
passed, and still she knelt.  Words failed her, petition ceased: the
realization came to her that God is Life: in Him we live, and move, and
have our being.  In Infinite Life there is no death.  Death never is,
and never can be God’s will.  The knowledge, the understanding of God as
All-in-all vanquishes death!  "O, death, I will be thy plagues. O,
grave, I will be thy destruction!" (Hosea XIII., 14.)

The morning dawned, the bright sunbeams stole into the room.  The boy
opened his eyes.  "Auntie,"--she was bending over him--"I have been
dreaming.  I thought I was in a field, and a bull tossed me high up into
the air.  But I knew in my dream, ’underneath are the everlasting arms.’
Then I dreamed again, and two men were turning me about, and moving my
arms and legs, and one said, ’There is not a broken bone, nor even a
dislocation.  It’s a miracle.’  I tried to say ’underneath are the
everlasting arms,’ but I could not speak."

The words were very faint and low.  She bent close to catch them, then
stopped them with a kiss, a pæan of joy in her heart.  He spoke again:
"Auntie, something is hurting me very much.  I can’t move."

"Do not try, darling, lie quite still.  I will sit beside you and hold
your hand."

A spasm of pain passed over his face, and he fell again into
unconsciousness.  But she had no fear, she knew that death had been
vanquished by the knowledge that had come to her of life.

A low knock came to the door.  She opened it, and found her maid there
with a cup of tea.  She took it from her saying: "Tell them all he
lives, and he will live.  But I wish to be alone with him for the
present. No one is to trouble about me, I am quite well."

So she sat down again beside him, waiting and patiently watching,
knowing that he would awake again to consciousness.  It was nearly noon
when he opened his eyes and spoke again.  His voice was stronger:

"Auntie, was it a waking dream?  Was I really in a field, and a bull
tossed me?  I am so aching all over me."

"Yes, darling."

"I think I remember now, Auntie.  Rosebud and Estelle and Sylvia were
there, and Jane called to me, ’Run, run!’  They were not hurt, were
they?"

"No, darling, not one of them."

"I am glad.  Error is telling me I cannot move my legs and arms, Auntie.
But it is not true.  God’s child cannot be bound like that.  Does Cousin
Alicia know?"

"I am sorry, Carol.  I fear no one has thought to send her word."

"Will you send word now, Auntie--something quicker than a letter?"

"A telegram, dear?"

"Yes, Auntie, and put in, ’Please help Carol’."

"I will ask Uncle to send the message at once, dear."

When she opened the bedroom door, she found Colonel Mandeville pacing
the corridor without.  As a sentinel he had kept watch there throughout
the night and a great part of the morning.  He came into the room, and
stood with one arm around his wife, looking down at Carol.

"Well, little man, so we are going to cheat the doctors?"

Carol didn’t at all know what ’cheat’ meant.

"Carol wishes you to let Miss Desmond know, dear.  Will you wire at
once?  And say in the message, ’Please help Carol.’  She will know what
he means."

"I will gladly do so.  Dr. Burton is downstairs, Emmeline.  He had
better come up now."

An expression of distress came over Carol’s face.

"Auntie," he said, "don’t let the doctor do anything to me, please."

"No one shall touch you, dear.  But I should like Dr. Burton just to see
you.  He will tell me what I may give you to eat."

"I don’t want anything, Auntie, only something to drink."

"Well, dear, he will tell me what will be best for you to have."

"I would like only water, please."

"You shall have some, dear, at once, and after that something else, I
hope."

Dr. Burton came to the room, felt the patient’s pulse, took his
temperature, and looked at his tongue, but mercifully refrained from
turning him about, to examine the bruises.

"I will send some medicine at once," he said to Mrs. Mandeville.  "Give
him a dose every hour.  He has a very high temperature."

Downstairs he told Colonel Mandeville: "He may pull through if
meningitis does not supervene."

But he left the house holding a very strong belief that meningitis would
supervene.  Not even the medicine, which was to be given every hour,
could prevent it.



CHAPTER XIII.--THE RECTOR’S REFUSAL.


Mrs. Mandeville remained with Carol throughout the day, suffering no one
to relieve her for one hour.  As soon as he was told the telegram had
been sent to Miss Desmond, he rested quite satisfied.  But as the day
wore on to evening, Mrs. Mandeville, standing over him, saw he was
suffering acutely.

"You are in pain, darling," she said.

"Auntie, please don’t ask me.  I am trying to deny it.  Couldn’t you
deny it for me, too?"

His lips were quivering; tears he strove bravely to keep back were
stealing down his cheeks.  How could she deny it?  She would have given
anything to be able to do so.

"Cousin Alicia must have had the telegram by this, Auntie, mustn’t she?"

"Yes, dear; I think so.  Being Sunday, it has taken longer to get
through.  Uncle has heard from the postmaster at W--, the nearest town,
as the village telegraph office would be closed.  The message has been
sent on by messenger on horseback.  So I think Miss Desmond must have
received it by this time."

"She might have been out when it arrived, Auntie."

"Do you expect to feel less pain, dear, when Miss Desmond receives the
telegram?"

"Yes, Auntie, I know I shall."

Seven o’clock--eight o’clock--nine o’clock passed.  No reply telegram
came.  Mrs. Mandeville wrote a letter to go by the evening post, giving
more details, and describing Carol’s great desire to have a message from
her.  Dr. Burton came again at night.  His instructions had been carried
out.  The medicine sent had been given every hour.  Still the patient’s
temperature was higher, the pain he was suffering more acute, and the
symptoms which pointed to meningitis more pronounced.  "If he could
sleep--a long natural sleep might save him," Dr. Burton said.

During the night Mrs. Mandeville was persuaded to take a little rest on
a couch in the room, whilst Nurse and Colonel Mandeville kept watch
beside the bed.  Carol offered no opposition to anything that was done
for him, and drank the medicine without a murmur, when the spoon was put
to his lips.

In the morning, when Mrs. Mandeville was again alone with him, he said,
"Auntie, I wonder why it hurts me to try to think. I tried so hard to go
to sleep in the night and I could not.  Then I began to think about
Jesus when he was a little boy.  We are not told that he was ever ill,
and had to lie in bed, are we?  But I felt quite sure, if he ever did,
he would do just what his mother wanted him to do, wouldn’t he?  I know
medicine and the bandages are not doing me any good, but it makes you
happy for me to have them, doesn’t it, Auntie?"

"Yes, darling; it seems all that we can do for you."

"If you understood Science, you could help me now, Auntie."

"Indeed then, I wish that I did, Carol."

"Sometimes the room seems to go dark, Auntie.  In the night, two or
three times, it was just as if the lamp went out, then lighted up
again."  Mrs. Mandeville understood enough to know this was very grave.

"Darling, will you try to lie quite still, and close your eyes--try not
to think about anything?"

"Yes, Auntie, but I do hope a message will come from Cousin Alicia
to-day.  You will tell me when it comes, won’t you?"

"Instantly, dear."

"I wish I could go to sleep, Auntie."

"I wish so too, my poor, dear boy."

"Could you move me a tiny bit, Auntie? I ache so lying in the same
position.  It seems so strange not to be able to move myself at all.
Error seems very real."

Gently and lovingly, she tried to ease his position, but the least touch
brought an expression of acute pain.  She had to desist.

The long weary hours of that day passed, but no message, either a
telegram or letter, came from Miss Desmond.  Another wire was sent,
asking for a reply.  Still none came. Then, later on in the evening, a
message was sent addressed to the housekeeper at Willmar Court, which
quickly brought a reply: "Miss Desmond away.  Impossible to forward
messages."

Mrs. Mandeville told Carol very gently. He did not speak for some time,
and, though he lay with closed eyes, she knew he was not sleeping.

Then he looked up at her:

"Auntie, when Jesus was in the boat, and the winds arose, and the waves
surged high around the little boat, Jesus didn’t command them at once to
be still.  The disciples had to awake him, and he rebuked them for their
little faith.  Shouldn’t they have waited patiently, knowing it was all
right?  Sometimes it seems error has bound me with ropes, and I cannot
move; sometimes it seems like waves washing over me.  But I know that
Love is saying to error’s angry waves, ’Thus far, and no farther.’  And
just at the right moment the command will come: ’_Peace, be still_.’"

Mrs. Mandeville hid her face in the pillow beside him, that he might not
see the tears streaming from her eyes.  She had lost again the faith
which for a time had uplifted her to a realization of God’s power to
save the boy from death.  In imagination she saw a new little grave in
the churchyard with that word "Peace" graven in the marble headstone.
She had been anxious for news from Miss Desmond because Carol wished it
so much.  She had little hope or faith that injuries, such as his, could
in any way be alleviated by Miss Desmond’s knowledge of Christian
Science.  The night passed again, and not for one hour did sleep close
the suffering boy’s eyes.  He had been unconscious for a time, murmuring
incoherently; but it was not sleep.

Dr. Burton said very little when he came in the morning; he only looked
graver and sadder.  By telegram he had been in constant communication
with Sir Wilfrid Wynne, and he knew that, humanly speaking, nothing more
could be done for the boy than was being done.  Yet there was no
progress.

"How I wish there was something I could do for you, Carol!" Mrs.
Mandeville said, as she sat beside him.

"Auntie, there is something, if Uncle Raymond will let you have it.  I
know I should fall asleep if you read _Science and Health_ to me.  I
always used to when I was ill before, and Cousin Alicia read it to me,
even before I began to understand it."

"I will go to the rectory at once, dear, and ask Uncle for the book.
Promise me to lie with closed eyes; and try not even to think about
anything whilst I am away."

She would not write, nor send a message, fearing a refusal.  As soon as
Nurse came to take her place she left the room, and the house. There was
a path through the park direct to the rectory.  It was less than ten
minutes’ walk.

The Rector looked up in astonishment as his sister, hatless and coatless
(it was a chilly September day), entered the room.  "What is it,
Emmeline?  Is Carol worse?" he asked. Her flushed, distressed face
suggested the question.

"I do not know if he is worse.  He is just as ill as he can be, and is
suffering cruelly. I want you to let me have that book you took from
him, Raymond, _Science and Health_. He thinks if I read it to him he
will fall asleep. He has not slept yet, and this is the third day since
the accident."  The Rector’s face, which before had been grave and
kindly, now grew stern and resolute.  "I am sorry, Emmeline, but I
cannot let you have it.  That book will never pass from my hands to his
as long as I am his guardian.  He knows too much already of its
pernicious doctrines.  Better better--anything than that his faith in
its teachings should be strengthened."

"Do you mean better that he should die, Raymond?"

"Yes, Emmeline, better that--even that."

"Oh, Raymond, how can you hold such a thought?  I do not know what the
book is nor what it teaches.  But I do know what is the fruit of it; and
who was it said, ’A tree is known by its fruit; a corrupt tree cannot
bring forth good fruit’?"

"We need not discuss that, Emmeline. We both know whose words those are.
Still, I maintain that the teachings of that book, being pernicious,
cannot bring forth good fruit."

"But, Raymond, is not gentleness, faith and love--such as Carol’s--good
fruit? Jesus to him did not live two thousand years ago.  He is living
to-day.  He is looking to him, as the disciples looked, when the storm
arose at sea.  His love and his faith are beautiful to witness.  I have
always tried to teach my children the love of God, but Carol possesses
something I have not been able to give them, because I do not possess it
myself.  I think it is understanding.  He seems to understand the Bible
much better than I do."

"I am sorry to hear you speak like this, Emmeline.  In any difficulty
why do you not come to me?  Surely there are books enough here to
explain, or to throw a light on anything that is not clear to you."

The Rector looked round at his well-filled book-shelves: old books and
new books; works of the early Fathers and the latest theological
treatise.

"I cannot explain what it is I want, Raymond.  I only know I always seem
to be groping after something, and I cannot find it.  But when I am
talking to Carol, I seem nearer to it.  Raymond, won’t you let me have
that book--just for to-day--I will return it to you to-morrow?"

"No, Emmeline.  Not for one hour."

"You are cruel, Raymond, when the boy is suffering so, and it is all he
asks you.  If there were a shop near where I could buy a copy, I would
straightway do so.  I will know for myself what the book teaches.  I
shall write to Miss Desmond, and ask her to get me a copy."

"Of course, Emmeline, if you choose to do that, I have no control over
your actions. I have over Carol’s, and I shall exercise it."

Then Mrs. Mandeville broke down and burst into tears.  "Perhaps you
won’t have power long.  Oh, Raymond!  You do not realize how ill he is!
If meningitis sets in, Dr. Burton says it will be a matter of only a few
hours.  If I were asking for a Buddhist or a Mohammedan book, it would
be right for you to let me have it."

"No, my dear sister.  I am not a believer in the doctrine that the end
justifies the means. I will pray for Carol, and for you too.  I am sorry
to see you so overwrought."

"Then you absolutely refuse, Raymond?"

"I do, Emmeline--absolutely."

Without a word Mrs. Mandeville turned and left the room.



CHAPTER XIV.--"HE GIVETH HIS BELOVED SLEEP."


Softly and lightly as Mrs. Mandeville re-entered Carol’s room, he heard
her.  He had been listening for her footsteps, whilst obedient to her
desire, lying with closed eyelids.

She was spared the pain of telling him she had been unsuccessful.  He
read it in her face.

"Auntie, dear, please don’t look so troubled. Uncle Raymond does not
understand.  It is quite all right.  Love can always find a way."  Mrs.
Mandeville almost smiled through her unshed tears.  How great was her
love for the boy, yet she could think of no way by which what he wanted
could be immediately procured.  Even she did not fully realize how he
was waiting and yearning for that healing touch, which comes

    ’More softly than the dew is shed
    Or cloud is floated overhead.’

Nurse left the room, and Mrs. Mandeville again took her place by the
bedside.

In less than an hour a maid came to the bedroom door, asking in a
whisper, "Can I speak to you a moment, ma’am?"

"What is it, Withers?" Mrs. Mandeville asked.

"A Mr. Higgs from the village is downstairs.  He came to inquire after
Master Carol.  He said he would like the young gentleman to know he has
walked from the village to the Manor."

The words were spoken at the door very softly, but Carol heard.

"Oh, Auntie, I am glad!" he said.  "Could Mr. Higgs come here?  I should
like to speak to him."

"Darling, I am afraid it will excite you to see him.  The doctor’s
orders are that you are to be kept perfectly quiet."

"It won’t excite me, Auntie; and what makes me very happy cannot hurt
me."

"You may bring Mr. Higgs to see Master Carol since he wishes it so much,
Withers."

No one but those who were nursing him had been admitted to the room.
The maid was surprised as she took the message, and then brought the old
man to the room.

"God bless ’ee, Master Carol, God bless ’ee.  Aye, I don’t know how to
say it often enough, when I think it’s all along o’ the blessed truth
you taught me I’m free of the rheumatiz.  I met Farmer Stubbins on my
way, and he says, ’Why, Higgs, you’re walking along quite spry.  What’s
become o’ your rheumatiz?’  ’Gone, thank the Lord,’ says I, ’never to
return.’  ’Oh! and what may you have done to get rid of it?’ he asks,
being crippled himself with the same.  ’I ain’t done nothing,’ I
replied.  Then I says, ’Farmer Stubbins, you and me was boys together,
and we sang in the village choir.  Do you mind there’s a verse in the
Psalms--aye, we’ve sung it many a time; but we just didn’t think o’ the
words--it was the music we thought about.  "He sent His word and healed
them."  That’s just what the Lord has done.  He has sent His word and
healed me, and He sent it by the mouth of one of His dear children.’"

Carol’s face was radiant with joy.  Anxiously watching him, Mrs.
Mandeville could not fear that the old man’s talk could harm him.

Then, after fumbling in his coat pocket, he drew forth a little book
carefully folded in soft paper.

"I’ve got it, Master Carol.  It came this morning--the little book
you’ve told me about.  My daughter wrote for me.  We didn’t quite know
where to write, so we just addressed the letter: ’Christian Science
Church, London,’ and a kind lady has sent me this book.  It isn’t quite
new, and she writes that I shall value it more if it costs me something.
I am just to pay what I can, and send the money as I am able."

He was unfolding the paper covering as he spoke, and then held out a
small copy of _Science and Health_.

"Oh, Auntie, isn’t Love beautiful!  You see Love _has_ found a way.  Mr.
Higgs will lend it to you to read to me a little time--won’t you, Mr.
Higgs?"

"I’ll be very happy to, Master Carol."

Mrs. Mandeville took the book with almost a feeling of awe.  It had come
so wonderfully, yet so simply.  She thought of the words: "He sent His
angel."

She pointed to a chair, saying, "Please be seated, Mr. Higgs, whilst I
read.  Is there any particular part you would like me to read, Carol?"
she asked, turning over the pages.

"No, Auntie--just open the book; let Love find the place."

"Carol, you so frequently speak of Love as of a personality.  What do
you mean, dear?"

"Auntie, God is Love.  But when we speak of God, it seems we must bow
our head, and think reverently of the great ’I Am.’  But when we speak
of Love--we can just creep into Love’s arms, and ask Love anything."

"Even to find a place in a book," Mrs. Mandeville said with a smile.

"Yes, Auntie--even that."

Then she opened the book.  It opened at page 494, and the first sentence
she read was: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every
human need."

A smile rested on the boy’s face, his sufferings were forgotten, as the
dear familiar words fell on his ear.  Love had not failed him.

Mrs. Mandeville never knew afterwards how long she read.  She became
entranced, absorbed.

When she turned to look at him, he was asleep.  She quietly rose, and
with one whispered word asked Mr. Higgs to follow her.

Withers was still waiting without.

"Take Mr. Higgs to the housekeeper’s room, Withers, and ask her to give
him a substantial tea.  Then send word to the stables--when he is
ready--I wish Parker to drive him to his home in my basket chaise. It is
only a step from the ground.  You will easily get in and out.  I am
deeply indebted to you for coming this afternoon, Mr. Higgs. My dear boy
needed sleep so much.  It was vitally necessary for him.  He was so sure
he would sleep, if I could read _Science and Health_ to him, and I did
not know how to procure a copy of the book."

"May I leave this with you, ma’am?"

"If you will be so kind for a day or two."

"Isn’t Love beautiful!" the old man said to himself, repeating Carol’s
words, as he followed the maid to the housekeeper’s room.



CHAPTER XV.--LETTERS AND TELEGRAMS REACH COUSIN ALICIA.


Carol’s sleep lasted two hours.  Then he awoke, with something of his
old bright smile. Mrs. Mandeville was still watching beside him.

"Auntie, I have been asleep."

"Yes, darling, I know.  I have been watching you.  It was a beautiful
sleep.  I thought as I sat beside you of the words, ’He giveth His
beloved sleep.’  I am sure you are better for it."

"Yes, Auntie, it was lovely, and my back doesn’t hurt me quite so much.
But I cannot move my legs yet."

"Do not try, dear."

"Did I dream it, Auntie, or were you reading _Science and Health_ to
me?"

"It was not a dream, dear.  Mr. Higgs came and brought the book, and he
has left it with me."

"I remember now, Auntie.  Was it not nice of him to come?  Has any
message come yet from Cousin Alicia?"

"No, love; I cannot understand why the letters and telegrams are not
forwarded to her."

"There is some reason, I know, Auntie. We shall understand by and by."
She gave him some soda and milk, which was all the doctor would let him
have.

"I should like to see Rosebud, Auntie. Couldn’t she come for a little
while?"

Mrs. Mandeville had already admitted one visitor against orders.  Dare
she act on her own responsibility a second time?  She began to realize
how much the doctor’s fears of developments, which might or might not
follow, were influencing her, though, happily, she was not able to
influence Carol.  He had no fear.

"I think it must be almost Rosebud’s bedtime, dear; but she shall come
for a few minutes."

After sending a message to the nursery for Rosebud, her eye fell on the
medicine bottle. "Oh, Carol, I didn’t give you your medicine this
afternoon.  It was just time for it when Mr. Higgs came, and afterwards
you were asleep.  It is time again for it now.  I see it must be fresh
medicine; it is a different color."

"Auntie, Mr. Higgs was my doctor, this afternoon.  The medicine he
brought sent me to sleep, and I do not ache quite so much. Must I take
this drug medicine as well?"

Mrs. Mandeville had poured out a dose, and now held the glass in her
hand.

"You are right, Carol.  I can see a decided improvement.  I will not ask
you to drink this."

She emptied the contents of the glass away.  A few minutes afterwards
Rosebud’s sweet voice was piping at the door:

"Me’s ’tome to see Tarol."

Mrs. Mandeville lifted her up to kiss Carol, very carefully guarding her
from touching him anywhere.

"You must only kiss Carol, darling." The little arms were about to twine
themselves around him.  "Me does ’ove ’ou, Tarol, so welly much."

The boy would have liked to hold her closely to him, but he could not
raise an arm.

"It does make me so happy to see Rosebud again, Auntie.  Perhaps
to-morrow I shall be able to see all my cousins."

Mrs. Mandeville did not say, but she thought it would be many
"to-morrows" before he would be strong enough to receive them all in his
room.

"Now run back to the nursery, darling," she said to the wee girlie.

"Take a good-night kiss to Sylvia and Estelle, will you Rosebud?" Carol
said.  Then she had to be lifted up again to receive a kiss for
"eberybody."

Mrs. Mandeville sat silent by the bedside for some time after Rosebud
left the room. Then she said in a very low, soft voice, "Do you
remember, Carol, coming to my room one day when I lay prostrate with one
of my bad headaches?"

"Yes, Auntie; I remember quite well."

"I was very ungrateful, Carol, I would not let myself acknowledge it was
your little prayer that took it away.  Yet I knew it was, for I had
never lost a headache like that before."

"Yes, Auntie, I knew Christian Science had helped you.  But I thought
you did not understand."

She kissed him very tenderly.  "I am not ungrateful any longer, dear.  I
acknowledge the debt.  Now I must not let you talk any more or Dr.
Burton will insist upon having a trained nurse.  He has suggested it
several times."

"He couldn’t keep you away from me, could he, Auntie?"

"I think he would find it a trifle difficult, dear."

"But I want you to go downstairs to dinner to-night, Auntie.  Uncle will
like to have you, and Nurse will stay with me."

"Perhaps I will go then, for an hour, dear."

So, later on, to everyone’s surprise Mrs. Mandeville appeared at the
dinner table, and was so bright they all knew, without asking, that
Carol was improving, though he had not been pronounced out of danger.

Nurse was quietly making all the needful little preparations for the
night when Carol asked her to place the clock where he could see it as
he lay in bed.

"The nights seem so long when I cannot sleep, Nurse.  I like to watch
the fingers of the clock, then I know how long it will be before the
light can peep through the curtains."

Nurse found a position where he could see it quite well, even though he
could not raise his head from the pillows.  Then, standing over him, she
said: "Dearie, you are in pain.  Couldn’t I ease your position just a
little?"

"No, Nurse, please don’t touch me, the bruises seem so real.  I ought to
be able to deny them, and I cannot."

"And would it make them better to deny them, Master Carol?"

"Oh, yes, Nurse.  You are thinking the bruises are very sore and
painful, are you not?"

Yes, Nurse was decidedly dwelling in thought upon the pain the boy must
be suffering from such a bruised condition.

"If you could think, Nurse, that there is no sensation in matter, that
the pain is all in mind: in my mind and your mind, and Auntie’s and the
doctor’s.  You are all thinking how I must be suffering.  If only
someone would help me to deny it!"

"I wish I could, Master Carol."

But it was double Dutch to Nurse to try to understand that the pain was
in mind, and not in the poor bruised body.

It was half-past nine when she moved the time-piece so that Carol could
see it, and he at once began to count how many hours it would be till
morning.  At ten o’clock Mrs. Mandeville returned to the room, followed
by Dr. Burton.  Nurse held up a warning finger as they entered: the boy
was asleep.

"This is splendid!  How long has he slept?" the doctor asked.

"It was just after half-past nine, sir.  He seemed in great pain, I
thought there was no hope of sleep for him, and all at once he just
dropped off without a word."

It was such a beautiful sleep, calm, peaceful, untroubled by fret or
moan.  Mrs. Mandeville and the doctor watched beside him an hour; then
the doctor left, and Mrs. Mandeville was persuaded to go to her own room
for a night’s rest, leaving Nurse in charge.  They did not know, nor
could they have understood had they known, how, far away, a woman, ’clad
in the whole armour of God,’ was fighting for him: fighting error with
’the sword of the Spirit.’

Letters and telegrams had at last reached Cousin Alicia.



CHAPTER XVI.--"IT IS A MIRACLE."


The next morning about eight o’clock, Nurse came to Mrs. Mandeville’s
room, an expression of amazement, almost of consternation, on her face.

"What is it, Nurse?  Is Master Carol worse?" Mrs. Mandeville asked in
alarm.

"No, ma’am; I cannot say he is worse.  He says he is well, and wants to
get up for breakfast.  He slept all through the night, just as you left
him, and never wakened till half-past seven this morning.  He is
certainly not feverish or delirious, but he talks so strangely. He says
error has all gone, and he is free.  I had quite a difficulty to prevent
him from getting out of bed to come to you.  I have sent a messenger for
Dr. Burton."

"That is right, Nurse.  Go back to him. I will come at once."  Mrs.
Mandeville was not long slipping into a morning wrap, and following
Nurse to Carol’s room.

As soon as she reached the bedside, he sprang up, and held her in a
close embrace, both arms round her neck.  "Auntie, Auntie, isn’t it
beautiful?  I am free!  Error has quite gone.  I know Cousin Alicia has
had the telegrams now.  You can rub your hand down my back.  It does not
hurt me now, nor the bruises."

"Carol, dear, I cannot understand it.  It seems so wonderful.  I am
afraid you ought not to be sitting up like this."

"Oh, Auntie, there is nothing to be afraid about.  Error cast out cannot
come back again.  I am so hungry.  I do want to get up to breakfast."

"Darling, you must lie still until Dr. Burton has seen you.  I could not
consent for you to get up yet.  It does indeed seem beautiful for you to
be so much better, I cannot realize it, and I cannot understand, Carol,
why Miss Desmond’s prayers for you should be so quickly answered, when I
am sure I love you just as dearly.  I prayed for you, and Uncle Raymond
prayed, yet--yet I cannot feel that our prayers helped you."

She had tenderly laid him back upon the pillow.  She could not get rid
of the fear that it was not good for him to be using his back.

He was silent a few minutes, the old thoughtful expression on his face
which she knew so well.  Then he said:

"Auntie, the sun was shining this morning long before Nurse drew aside
the curtains, and let the light into my room.  Suppose while the curtain
was drawn I had kept saying, ’Please, dear sun, do shine into my room,
and send the darkness away.’  It would have had no effect.  It would
have been foolish, wouldn’t it?  Well, Auntie, the light of Truth, like
the sunlight is everywhere, but we can shut it out of our consciousness
by a curtain of false beliefs.  Cousin Alicia has not asked God to make
me better.  She has just known that God’s child is always perfect. As
Nurse drew aside the curtain to let in the sunlight, she has drawn aside
the curtain of false beliefs that were around me, and then Truth came
and healed me.  Jesus said ’the Truth shall make you free.’  It is just
as true, Auntie, as if he had said, ’When light appears, darkness
disappears.’  Wherever Truth appears, error shall flee away, because it
is not from God.  It is the opposite of God’s law. I love that beautiful
verse of the hymn more than I have ever loved it, because I can say
again:

    ’The healing of the seamless dress
    Is by our beds of pain.’

Christ is Truth, and Truth is the Christ. I was asleep when he came to
me.  But just as Jesus spoke to the angry waves the Christ has commanded
error, ’Peace, be still.’  Oh, Auntie! cannot you believe I am quite
well?  ’I am the Father’s perfect child.  I have the gift from God,
dominion over all.’"

She was longing to realize that it was as the boy said, and she had
nothing to fear. Yet it was difficult.

Dr. Burton was out when the messenger from the Manor went for him.  He
had not returned from a night case to which he had been summoned.  Mrs.
Burton promised that he would go immediately on his return.  Shortly
after ten o’clock Dr. Burton arrived, expecting to find from the urgent
message that had reached him a change for the worse in his patient.  He
was considerably taken aback as he entered the room to hear a ripple of
laughter, and the boy with a radiant face, sitting upright in bed, who,
the day before, had not been able to raise his head from the pillow.

"What does this mean?" Dr. Burton asked in a tone of voice in which
surprise became almost consternation.

"I cannot tell you anything, Doctor, except that Carol slept all night
and woke this morning feeling quite well and hungry.  He has had a
fairly substantial breakfast," Mrs. Mandeville said.  The doctor then
thoroughly examined him, felt his pulse, took his temperature, and when
he looked on the places where the terrible bruises had been, and saw
only a faint discoloration, he said:

"It is a miracle!"

"No, Doctor," said Carol, quietly, "it is Christian Science."

"Then what is Christian Science?" the doctor asked.

But the boy was silent.  He could talk to his aunt on the subject, but
not to the doctor.

At that moment a maid brought a telegram to Mrs. Mandeville.  It was
from Miss Desmond.  She read it, and passed it on to Dr. Burton.  It was
brief: "Letters and telegrams reached me 9.30 last evening. Regret
unavoidable delay.  Kindly wire if all is well.  Letter to Carol
follows."  The doctor and Mrs. Mandeville simply looked at each other in
speechless wonderment, one thought engrossing them.  It was shortly
after 9.30 the night before that Carol fell into the sleep from which he
had awakened well.

"It is at last a message from Cousin Alicia," Mrs. Mandeville then said
to Carol. "Our letters and telegrams did not reach her till 9.30 last
evening."

"Yes, Auntie, I knew it, and I know she has worked for me all night."

Both Mrs. Mandeville and the doctor would have liked to understand what
the boy meant by that one word "worked."  But neither questioned him
then.

"I can get up now, Doctor, cannot I?" Carol asked.

"Yes, there is no reason that I can see for keeping you in bed.  All the
same," turning to Mrs. Mandeville, "I should say he may as well be kept
fairly quiet for a day or two--not commence running races, or any other
juvenile sports."

"You can trust me, Doctor," Mrs. Mandeville remarked, smiling.

"It seems to me you should consult the lady who has worked for him all
night with such marvellous success.  I can scarcely consider him my
patient now."

"Doctor, I thank you very much for all you tried to do for me.  You were
very kind and gentle to me."

"Tut-tut, boy!  Why, that’s of course."

All the same the doctor was pleased with the boy’s simple recognition of
his services. He would indeed have done more, had he been able.  He
walked home slowly and thoughtfully, pondering that question, which he
had asked the boy, thinking of a lecture which he had given a few weeks
before in a crowded parish room; how he himself had answered the
question--What is Christian Science?--to the convulsive amusement of his
audience.  He had dipped into a book--the text-book of Christian
Science--made copious extracts and so satisfied himself that he
understood the subject sufficiently to be able to warn people against
the teachings of Christian Science.

Mrs. Burton was watching for his return. She was anxious for news of the
boy, fearing the early message which had been sent for the doctor must
mean that he was worse. By her side, in the garden, seated in a little
wheel-chair, was her only child, a girl of ten, who after a fall
downstairs when she was five years old, causing an injury to her spine,
had lost the use of her legs.  There seemed no hope of her ever being
able to walk again, since all the doctors who had seen her had not been
able to do anything for her.

"How is the boy?" asked Mrs. Burton, as the doctor entered the garden in
front of the house.

"He is well," was the brief reply.

"You don’t mean?--" Mrs. Burton began in an alarmed tone.

"I mean exactly what I say--the boy is well."

"But, dear, how can that be, when he was so ill yesterday?"

"I cannot tell you.  He says it is Christian Science.  I say it is a
miracle."

"Father, he won’t lose the use of his legs, will he?" the little girl
asked.

"No, Eloise, I think there will be no such effects from the fall, as
unhappily there were in your case."

"I am glad, Father, he is such a nice, kind boy!"

The child had grieved, fearing that he might be crippled like herself.

"Christian Science must be different from what you described at the
lecture, dear. Do you think I might go and see Carol?  I should like to
hear from him what it is that has made him well so quickly.  I owe Mrs.
Mandeville a call."

"Go and pay it, then.  Perhaps the boy will talk to you.  He did not
seem to care to answer my questions."

The doctor passed into the house with the thought that he would borrow
that book again, and see if he could get a better understanding of the
subject himself.



CHAPTER XVII.--MRS. BURTON VISITS CAROL.


Shortly after the doctor left Carol’s room, the maid entered to say the
Rector was downstairs.  Could he come up?

"I will speak with the Rector before he comes upstairs," Mrs. Mandeville
said, and left the room for that purpose.

The news had reached the Rector that Dr. Burton had been sent for early
that morning, and he also surmised that the boy must be worse.  But the
servants had assured him that such was not the case before Mrs.
Mandeville joined him in the library.

"What is this I hear about Carol, Emmeline? He is not worse, yet you
sent for Dr. Burton before breakfast.  I felt quite alarmed."

"We could not understand it, Raymond. I must confess to feeling afraid
it was not true.  Carol is quite well.  Dr. Burton admits it.  He says
it is a miracle.  Carol says it is Christian Science.  Dear Raymond, I
want to beg you before you see Carol not to say anything to shake his
faith.  It is so beautiful."

"His faith in what?  In that heresy called Christian Science, which is
neither Science nor Christian?"

"Oh, Raymond, I cannot help thinking you are mistaken in your judgment.
I do not, as I told you before, quite understand what Christian Science
is, but this I know, I have never met a character so Christ-like as
Carol’s.  All day yesterday he lay in such pain from those terrible
bruises, and the injury to his spine and head, that we could not move
him in the effort to ease his position without increasing the pain.
To-day it is all gone.  What has taken it away?  He says the
Christ--Truth has come to him and healed him.  If we believe Jesus’
words: ’Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world’--why
should it not be true? Cannot the spiritual Christ say as Jesus so often
said, ’According to your faith be it unto you’?"

"Of course!  But that is not Christian Science."

"Yes, Raymond, that is what Carol seems to have learned from Christian
Science. Heaven to him is not a far-off locality, it is here--all around
him, and God is ever-present Love.  His one thought--his one desire
seems to be to possess that Mind which was also in Christ Jesus.  What
can you say against such teaching?"

The Rector had evidently nothing to say. He remarked briefly, "If I may,
I will go up and see the boy now.  I am pressed for time."

"Yes, Raymond, he will be pleased to see you."

She let him go alone, and did not afterwards inquire what had passed
between the boy and his uncle.

Later in the day Mrs. Mandeville took Percy to Carol’s room.  The boy
had begged so frequently to be allowed to see his cousin. "Just to tell
him I am sorry," he said.

Carol had forgotten all about it.

"Sorry for what, dear Percy?" he inquired, when Percy, in faltering
accents, asked to be forgiven.

"Oh, I think I remember now, Percy, you said something that was not
quite kind, but I knew at the time that you did not mean it. So why
should we remember any more about it?"

"You are just the bravest fellow I know, Carol.  I have told all the
boys at school how you stood and faced the bull.  They think a
tremendous lot of you for it.  So it won’t matter when you come with us
if you can’t play football or cricket.  You will be the hero of the
school."

Then Mrs. Mandeville left the boys together for a little while.  Percy
was only too delighted to be able to tell Carol of all that was
happening at school, the matches that had been played, and those that
were to come off shortly.

When Mrs. Burton called that same afternoon, she expressed her great
desire to see and talk with Carol.  Mrs. Mandeville readily assented,
remarking that she felt sure Carol would be delighted to see her.  As
there were other visitors present, she was not able to accompany her
herself.  A maid therefore conducted her to Carol’s room.  Nurse was
sitting with him.  As Mrs. Burton intimated that she had come to have a
little talk with Master Carol, she left the room.

"Eloise sends her love to you, dear Carol. She is so happy to know you
are so wonderfully better.  We feared so much that you, too, might be
crippled for life, as she has been, by a fall.  The spinal concussion
caused her to lose the use of her legs.  We have consulted the first
specialists, but they have never been able to do anything for her.  When
the doctor told me this morning how miraculously you have been healed, I
felt I must come and ask you to tell me something about it.  Tell me,
dear Carol, what is Christian Science?"

The boy looked up, but not at Mrs. Burton. That far-away dreamy look
came to his eyes, which his cousins knew so well.  It was such a big
question to try to answer.  It seemed minutes before he spoke.  Then he
said: "I think Christian Science means knowledge--a knowledge of God;
and as we gain this knowledge we draw nearer to Him.  Cousin Alicia used
to tell me we are all God’s children, but we have wandered so far away
from Him.  We are prodigals, dwelling in that far country where we are
fed, like the swine, on husks.  Christian Science just teaches us the
way back to our Father’s house; and as we find the road and walk in it,
we lose the evils that tormented us.  Jesus was our elder brother who
never left his Father’s house.  Although he lived on earth, it was still
his Father’s house, because he lived always in the consciousness of
good.  And that is what we have to try to do.  It seemed easier when I
was with Cousin Alicia."

There was just a note of sadness and regret in the boy’s voice.

"What a beautiful thought, Carol, ’living in the consciousness of good.’
But, dear, how can we do it, with sickness, sorrow, and sin, all around?
When I look at my wee girlie, I can never know joy or happiness; her
young life to be so cruelly blighted through the carelessness of a maid.
Every child I see running about free and happy is like a dagger in my
heart, as I know that she should be the same."

"When Cousin Alicia came from America after my mother’s death, I was
very ill, and the doctors said I could never be better.  But she knew
that I could.  She said, ’You are God’s child, dear Carol, and all God’s
children are spiritual, and therefore perfect. Awake from this dream of
suffering and pain.’ Every day she used to talk to me, until she led me
to understand what it is to live in the consciousness of good, and then
I was well."

"Oh, Carol, it seems too wonderful to be true!  Do you think that
something might be done for my little girl?"

"Why, of course.  I am sure if you will take her to my home, Cousin
Alicia will teach her as she taught me.  She is always so happy to teach
people about Christian Science. Shall I write and tell her you will take
Eloise to her?"

"Thank you, dear Carol, but I think, perhaps, before you write, I must
ask Dr. Burton.  If he is willing, I will gladly take my little girl to
Miss Desmond."

Mrs. Burton did not stay much longer. On leaving, she tenderly kissed
Carol. "Dear boy, you have given me hope.  You cannot think what it has
been to a mother’s heart to be so long hopeless," she said.

The little crippled Eloise was watching from her nursery window for her
mother’s return.  Mrs. Burton went straight to her.

"Have you seen Carol, Mother?" she asked.

"Yes, darling, and I have had such a sweet talk with him.  He has made
me so happy. I seem to see you running about like other children."

"Oh, Mother, wouldn’t that be lovely! And is he really well?"

"It seems so, dear.  Mrs. Mandeville is keeping him quietly in his own
room to-day. But he seemed so well and happy.  He wants me to take you
into Devonshire to stay with his cousin.  He says she will teach us what
she has taught him--and then--Oh, Eloise, my darling, you, too, would be
well and strong, no longer a little crippled girl."

"What is it, Mother, that he has been taught?"

"It seems something so wonderful and beautiful, dear.  He says that
dwelling in the consciousness of good is dwelling in our Father’s house,
but, like the prodigal son in the parable, we have wandered away into
that far country where all sorts of evils can befall us.  My girlie, we
will try to find our way together into this happy understanding of good
which causes the fetters to fall.  I will speak to Father to-night and
ask him to let me take you."

"Do--_do_, please, Mother."

Mrs. Burton waited that evening until it was past the hour for patients
to call at the surgery.  Then she went to her husband’s consulting-room.

The doctor was sitting at his desk, an open letter before him.  His pen
was in his hand, but he was not writing.  The answer to the letter
seemed to require much thought.  It was only partly written.

"Are you very busy, dear?" Mrs. Burton said, softly twining one arm
around his neck. She was almost nervous.  It was a great request she was
about to proffer.  She did not quite know how it would be received.

"Not particularly, love, if you want anything.  What is it?"

"I want to tell you I had a beautiful talk with Carol this afternoon,
and he is so kind as to ask me to take Eloise to stay with his cousin at
his home in Devonshire, that she--that she might teach us what she has
taught him.  You know, dear, we have done everything we can--there is no
other hope for her."

"And you think there may be hope in this--Christian Science?"

"I feel sure of it--since I have seen Carol."

The doctor smiled.  The humor of the situation struck him.  He pointed
to the open letter on his desk.

"That letter," he said, "is from the Vicar of B-- asking me to give in
his Parish Room the lecture which I gave at B--."

"Oh!"  There was an accent of pain in Mrs. Burton’s voice.  "You are not
going to?"

"Why do you object?  The lecture was well received, you remember."

"Yes, but even at the time when the people laughed and applauded, it
seemed to hurt me. I couldn’t help thinking if these people, who call
themselves Christian Scientists, believe so absolutely in the Christ
healing, it was what the early Christians believed, and practised, and
they were persecuted.  When Christ spoke to Saul of Tarsus, he did not
say, ’Why persecutest thou my followers?’  He said ’Why persecutest thou
_me_?’

"So I felt that night that the laughter and ridicule of all in the room
were as stones thrown not at people, but at the Christ. Don’t tell me,
dear, that you are going to give that lecture again."

"I am not.  That boy’s radiant face would come between me and any
audience I might think to address.  I have commenced a letter to the
Vicar, telling him I feel I cannot lecture on the subject again."

"And I may take Eloise to Willmar Court?"

"You may.  Should she regain the use of her legs, as a result of the
visit, I will espouse the Cause I once derided.  After witnessing
Carol’s marvellous recovery, it does not seem impossible."



CHAPTER XVIII.--HAPPY THOUGHTS.


After Mrs. Burton left Carol, Edith came and had tea with him, and after
tea all his cousins were allowed to visit him for a little time.  They
could not understand how the sadness and gloom in the house had been
dispelled.  It was like the sun shining through clouds on a rainy day.
He was so bright and happy, just their own dear Carol again. There was
one subject of which he never spoke to his cousins; so they could not
know why, the day before, the house was hushed, and he could not be seen
because he was so ill, and to-day there seemed nothing at all the matter
with him.

When Mrs. Mandeville went the round of the children’s rooms after
dinner, she found Carol waiting for her in the old way, just as if there
had been no break, no agony of sorrow and suspense.

"I hoped to find you asleep, darling," she said.  "Has it been too much
excitement having so many in your room?"

"Oh, no, Auntie.  I loved to see them all again.  I have had such happy
thoughts. Isn’t it nice to be kept awake by happy thoughts?  Happy
thoughts are good thoughts, and good thoughts come from God. Shall I
tell you, Auntie, dear, what I have been thinking about?"

"Wouldn’t it be better to tell me in the morning, dearie?  It is rather
late for a little boy who was an invalid only yesterday to be kept awake
even by happy thoughts."

"I would rather tell you to-night, Auntie. You do not quite understand,
do you, that when error is cast out, it is done with, and we do not need
to remember anything about it."

"Then tell me, love, what you have been thinking about."

"I began first of all, Auntie, thinking about Peter."

Mrs. Mandeville’s thoughts at once went to the stables, where one of the
horses was named Peter.

"Peter, dear?"  Just a note of surprise in her voice.

"Yes, Auntie, when Jesus called Peter to come to him on the water, at
first he was not afraid, and he got out of the boat to go to him.  Then
he began to be afraid, and as soon as fear crept in, he began to sink.
Auntie, I was just like that.  At first I was not afraid of the bull.  I
knew God had given me dominion, and I was trying to realize it.  Then
the moment I began to be afraid, the bull tossed me.  As I was thinking
of this perhaps I fell asleep, and it was a dream. But it was so real.
I seemed to see Peter standing by the bed, but he didn’t look like the
picture in the stained-glass window, and he spoke so kindly and gently.
’Little brother,’ he said, ’you have not learned to trust the Master
yet.’  It was just as if he remembered there was a time when his faith
had failed.  I wanted to ask him something, but he was not there, and I
was quite wide awake.  May it perhaps be, Auntie, that as Christ ’walks
life’s troubled angry sea,’ they are with him, those disciples who were
always with Jesus, especially Peter, and James, and John; and they are
working now, doing his bidding, as they did it in Galilee, watching over
and helping those who are still fighting?"

"It may be, Carol, we cannot tell.  It seems that events which happened
two thousand years ago are to you but as yesterday."

"Why, yes, Auntie; time in God’s kingdom is not measured by years and
weeks and months.  I shall just love now to think about Peter, and know
that my faith will grow stronger, as his did.  There are many people who
would not have been afraid of the bull. Cousin Alicia told me of a lady
in India who, one day, came quite close to a cobra.  But she was not
afraid, and as she stood quite still and looked at it, the cobra coiled
itself into a heap and went to sleep.  Then she told me of a gentleman
who was shooting game in Africa, and once he was in a position when he
could not fire, and a leopard was only a few yards from him, but the
animal did not attack him, it ran away into the desert.  The lady and
the gentleman knew and realized that they had dominion; I hope I shall
understand it better some day, and not be afraid of anything."

"You have been taught some strange things, Carol, still they are
beautiful; it seems almost too beautiful to be true."

"Oh, Auntie, nothing can be too beautiful to be true, because only good,
and good is always beautiful, is real; evil, and evil is always ugly, is
unreal."

"Carol, darling, I wish I could believe that. You are leading me in
strange paths.  I must not let you talk any more to-night. I am quite
sure that it is time a little boy, who has lost so much sleep lately,
tried to make up for it."

But as she bent over him to kiss him, he clung both arms around her
neck, keeping her a willing captive for some minutes longer.

"Auntie, I am so longing for Cousin Alicia’s letter," were his last
words as she left the room.



CHAPTER XIX.--THE REASON OF THE DELAY.


The next morning Carol rose at his usual time, and breakfasted with his
cousins in the school-room.  Miss Markham looked at him with puzzled
eyes, especially when he told her he was quite ready to begin lessons
again. She could not understand it.  There seemed to be some mystery
connected with his marvellous recovery from what everybody believed to
be serious injuries.  She took the opportunity, when his cousins were
out of the room, to ask him quietly, "What has made you well so quickly,
Carol?"

"Ask Auntie, please, Miss Markham, I am not allowed to talk about it,"
he replied. Miss Markham’s wonderment was considerably increased, for
Mrs. Mandeville had only told her, when the boy first came to the Manor,
that he had been taught religious tenets which were altogether
unorthodox. She did not then connect that remark with the boy’s quick
recovery.  He often made remarks which surprised her.  Sometimes she
pondered over a remark he had made, and found there was more in it than
at first had appeared.  If she attempted to draw him out by questions,
he became strangely silent and reserved.  Once, it was during a history
lesson, Carol exclaimed, "But evil could have no power, Miss Markham, if
everyone knew that God--good--governs.  If we had no belief in evil,
evil could not hurt us."

Thinking over the words afterwards, Miss Markham admitted to herself
that to acknowledge the omnipotence of God, must deprive evil of any
power.  But she wondered how it was Carol had come to see it so clearly.
She could not, however, draw him to talk any more on the subject.  After
breakfast Mrs. Mandeville came to the school-room with the longed-for
letter in her hand, and, as permission was readily given, Carol went to
his own room to read it.  Eagerly he broke open the envelope, and read:

"WILLMAR COURT,
       SOUTH DEVON.

"_My dear, dear Carol,_

"The telegram in answer to mine this morning has just arrived.  I waited
for it before commencing my letter to you.  I rejoice for you, Truth has
triumphed, error has fallen.  When I returned to the Court last night,
after being absent since Saturday afternoon, I found telegrams and
letters awaiting me.  On learning that the first telegram asking for
help for you was more than three days old, I had to fight error on my
own account, before I could fight it on yours.  How quick error is to
find the weak parts of our armor.  My human love for you, darling,
opened wide the portals, and a crowd of wrong thoughts rushed in.  I
found myself wondering why it should have so happened that I should be
away, when I seemed most wanted, and under circumstances which made it
impossible for the telegrams to be sent on.

"Then, in this sudden tempest of doubts and fears which had rushed upon
me, came the words, calm, sweet, tender: ’I, if I, be lifted up, will
draw all men unto me.’  And I knew, I was absolutely sure, however great
were the sense sufferings, Carol had held steadfastly to Truth: the
Christ was lifted up; and, though he may not know it, some human heart
has been drawn nearer the eternal Truth, Christ.

"Then I commenced to work for you, and when the roseate hues of early
morning began to steal into the room, the knowledge came to me that
there was nothing more to fight--error was overcome.  All is well, even
the delay which at first seemed altogether wrong. Now I will tell you
the reason of it.  On Saturday afternoon I was driving your pony in the
small basket carriage, which you so often used.  (Since they cannot have
their little master, both Bob and the pony think the next best thing is
to take me about.)  I am becoming well acquainted with all the beautiful
lanes in the neighborhood, for I frequently take these little
excursions.

"We were three or four miles from home, when, in a very narrow lane,
where it was impossible to pass another vehicle, we met a farmer,
driving a dog-cart.  The farmer showed his reluctance to be the one to
back out of the lane.  He accosted me with these words: ’Ma’am, I am in
great haste; it is a matter of life and death.’

"’Indeed,’ I said, ’is it the doctor you are in haste to reach?’

"’No,’ he replied, briefly, ’the doctor has given her up.  It is the
lady that lives at Willmar Court I want to see.’

"’Then you have not far to go,’ I said. ’She is here.  What is your
trouble?’  Then he told me that his only child, a girl of seven, was
believed to be dying.  The doctor gave no hope of saving her.  ’It seems
the news of your beautiful healing has spread through the neighboring
villages, and the grief-stricken parents of this little girl thought
there might be hope for her.’

"I told the farmer I would go with him, and straightway sent Bob home
with the pony, bidding him to tell the servants I should return as soon
as possible, but not to trouble if I did not return that night.

"As soon as we had backed out of the lane, the farmer drove furiously,
and it was not long before we reached his homestead.  I found the belief
of death so strong surrounding the child, that it seemed necessary to
remain there.

"In two days it was overcome, but I stayed another day to give the
wearied mother a good rest.  The farmer drove me home last night, when I
found everyone sadly troubled. They had begun to fear I was never going
to return, and Bob could not give them any idea as to who had driven
away with me. The letters and telegrams from Mandeville naturally added
to their anxiety.

"Now, all is well: Good was governing--Love leading all the time.  I
cannot yet understand how it was the bull tossed you. Were you not able
to realize your dominion? or was it the mesmerism of fear that seized
you?  Mrs. Mandeville mentions in her letter that you stood between your
little cousins and the bull.  My dear boy, of course you would!  I could
not imagine your doing otherwise.  Doubtless the nurse’s fear and the
cries of the little girls affected you--the contagion of thought.  Had
you been quite alone, I feel so sure that you would have been able to
realize your God-given dominion.

"Tell me more when you write (I am longing for a letter) of the old man
and his little grand-daughter.  Work always comes to willing hands and
loving hearts, and what work is, or ever can be, so beautiful as work
for the Master in His Vineyard.  Never think any service little.  Merely
carrying even a cup of cold water will in no case lose its reward.  But
the joy of working--_of being allowed to work_--is sufficient.  We do
not look to the reward.

"With loving thoughts,
       Believe me always, dear Carol,
              Your affectionate cousin,
                     ALICIA DESMOND."

Before returning to the school-room, Carol sought his aunt in her
morning-room.  After reading his letters, he always took them to her,
and asked her to read them too.  They were not, perhaps, always as
intelligible to her as they were to the boy, but they never failed to
interest her.  She was conscious of a growing desire to know the writer,
whom she had never met.  Later in the day Carol received another letter,
delivered by hand. It was from Mrs. Burton, joyfully telling him the
doctor was willing for her to take Eloise into Devonshire to his cousin.

He wrote immediately to Miss Desmond, asking her if she would invite
Mrs. Burton and her little daughter to the Court, explaining the reason.
He knew the invitation would not be long in coming.



CHAPTER XX.--"LIGHT AT EVENTIDE."


On the following Sunday evening Carol appeared at Mr. Higgs’ cottage at
the usual time.

It seemed almost impossible to believe there had been a break, and that
for three days he had lain, to mortal sense, between life and death.  So
entirely had the cloud rolled away, it was difficult to realize it had
ever darkened the horizon.

"I wasn’t expecting you, Master Carol, but I’m right glad to see you.
It do seem so wonderful that just this time last Sunday all the village
was waiting for news from the Manor, and I was that sad thinking I’d
never have you come to see me again.  The Rector prayed for you in
church.  I was there for the first time for well-nigh two years.  ’Well,
well,’ I said to myself, ’if the Lord takes him, His will be done.’
But, oh, I prayed as I’ve never prayed since we lost our first child
that He wouldn’t."

"You do not understand then yet that death can never be God’s will.
Didn’t Jesus say, ’I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly’?  If Jesus came to bring us life, does
not that show that God never sends death?"

"Well, Master Carol, as you put it, maybe it is so, but I’m an old man,
and it’s what I was taught as a boy, and the belief’s grown up wi’ me,
and somehow I wouldn’t like to give up the thought.  It’s the only thing
that makes the parting bearable--to think God wills it.  We put it on
the headstone where we laid our little girl.  _Thy will be done_. Aye,
I’ve stood and looked at them words many a time, and they sort o’
comforted me.  She was our first-born."

"There is another verse which says ’to know God is everlasting life.’
In everlasting life there can be no death, can there?  Just think of
this: If the sun were never hidden, and you could keep your eyes
steadfastly on the light, you would have no knowledge of darkness--you
would not understand it or believe in it.  In the same way when we
understand that God is ALL, we must lose the thought of and belief in
death.  There is no death to those that know we live and move and have
our being in God-Life.  Death could not steal one of God’s ideas--His
children--and destroy it.  What seems to die is not God’s child.  What
you buried in the churchyard was not your little girl, and what they
cast into the sea, was not my father. They are still living.  It is only
that we do not see them.  You know Jesus says, ’In my Father’s house are
many mansions.’  They have passed on to another mansion--that is all.
My cousin has taught me that the mansions Jesus spoke of are not afar
off in a locality called Heaven.  We are to-day--you and I--dwelling in
one of God’s mansions, and it is a higher or a lower mansion according
as we dwell in the consciousness of good.  We have to take all the steps
up to that special place which Jesus has gone to prepare for us.  If we
are not ready for it, we shall not be able to enter it, even if we have
passed through the door called death.  We have to fight and overcome all
that separates us from God.  Jesus overcame everything. He put sin and
disease under his feet, and we have just to follow in his steps, knowing
that he prepared the way, and is helping us all the time.  Perhaps you
did not think when you had rheumatism that it was a shadow between you
and God, did you?  You thought it was God’s will for you."

"That’s true, Master Carol.  I just bowed down to it, thinking God chose
to afflict me for some special purpose."

"I knew it was not so, when I tried to help you.  I always saw you
perfect, as God made you, and you know the shadow disappeared. When I
lay in bed a few days ago, and couldn’t move, the bruises seemed so
real, and the pain very great, I couldn’t think of them as shadows, but
my cousin was able to do it for me, and all disappeared.  Neither my
aunt nor the doctor seemed able to believe it at first, because they do
not understand.  Won’t it be a happy day when everyone understands that
Truth destroys disease; and when little children have hip-disease
doctors won’t hurt them to try to make them better, as they did me?"

"Did they really?"

"Yes, and the operation did not make me better.  But we will not talk
about it.  I ought not to remember anything about it. It was all error.
Shall we have the chapter again from St. John which tells us ’In my
Father’s house are many mansions’?"

"Aye, I mind that chapter well.  The words just sink down into my heart,
and stir up something there, and I’ve wanted to understand them better.
I’ve thought a lot about it since the last time you talked to me.  I
know He is faithful who promised, the ’works that I do shall he do
also.’  As I said before, I’m an old man, Master Carol, and I’ve been
looking for it all my life.  Why, I’ve asked myself, don’t His servants
and ministers give us the signs He promised?"

"And now what you have been looking for all these years has come--the
light at eventide," Carol said softly, looking beyond the old man with
eyes that seemed unconscious of the crimson of the setting sun, as he
caught a glimpse of that marvellous light which ’never was, on land or
sea’--spiritual understanding.

"You have been healed, and your little grand-daughter, and I, too, in
the way the Master commanded."

"Aye, it’s true, Master Carol.  I feel like saying, ’Lord, now lettest
thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy
salvation.’  It is His salvation.  Maybe when you have read me that
chapter from the Bible, you’ll read me some pages of the little book
which seems to make things clearer to me, and helps me to understand the
Bible better."

"I am sorry, I may not," Carol said regretfully, looking at the little
book which lay beside the old man’s Bible.  "My uncle has taken my copy
of the book away because he did not wish me to read it.  It would not be
honorable to read from another copy.  It will be given back to me
sometime.  I do not know how or when.  Auntie asked me not to stay long
this evening, so I will read the chapter now."

"My daughter’ll be sorry she missed coming in.  We didn’t expect you
to-night, Master Carol.  She’s very grateful to you; her little girl
seems quite well now.  There’s been no return o’ the fits.  An’ my
rheumatiz is quite the talk o’ th’ village.  What’s took it away?  First
one and then another asks.  When I tell ’em th’ Lord’s healed me--well,
well, they just look at me, as if they thunk th’ rheumatiz has gone to
my head and turned my brain.  Farmer Stubbins says he’s coming in one
night to have a talk with me, for he’s tried many remedies, but his
rheumatiz keeps getting worse."

"Give him the little book to read, or tell him to get one for himself,"
Carol said.  Then he read again the chapter he had once before read.  At
the end he closed the book without comment.

Brightly wishing the old man good-night, he left the cottage.



CHAPTER XXI.--JOYFUL NEWS FROM ELOISE.


Miss Desmond gladly acceded to Carol’s desire, and wrote to Mrs. Burton
at once to bring her little girl to stay with her.

They left for Devonshire the following week.  A month passed before
Carol received the promised letter from Eloise.  During the time Miss
Desmond wrote to him as usual, but beyond mentioning the pleasure it was
to her to have his friends staying with her, and what a dear interesting
little girl she found Eloise, she did not give any details of their
visit.  At the end of the month the postman brought one morning a
delightfully "fat envelope" addressed to Carol in a round, childish
hand.  He knew at once it was the long promised letter from Eloise.
There was also a shorter one enclosed from Mrs. Burton.

Carol read Eloise’s letter first.

"WILLMAR COURT,
         S. DEVON.

"_My dear Carol,_

"I did not forget I had promised to write soon to you.  Miss Desmond
seemed to wish me not to write just at first.  She said you would
understand.  I think she wanted everyone at Mandeville to forget for a
little while all about me.  She called it taking their thought off me.

"Now I have so much to tell you.  I do not know how I shall get it all
in one letter. Dear Carol, I am just the very, very happiest little girl
in all the world.  I _can walk_.  More than that, I can _run_.  Isn’t it
lovely--wonderful! One night I dreamed that I was walking, and when I
awoke in the morning the dream seemed so real, I felt it must be true.
So I just got out of bed, and I _could walk_.  I walked to Mother’s
bedside.  She was so glad and happy.  When we saw dear Miss Desmond at
breakfast time, and I wanted to thank her, and tell her how much I loved
her, she took me to her room, and pointed to a portrait on the wall.
Such a sweet, loving face, with white, wavy hair.  ’That, dear Eloise,’
she said, ’is the portrait of the one you must love.  I could not have
taken you to the Fountain of Truth to be healed, had she not first shown
me the way.’  And oh, Carol, I do love dear Mrs. Eddy.  How I wish I
could tell her so!

"Just for a few days, my legs were so shaky, and I had to keep sitting
down.  I only walked about a room.  Then I was able to go downstairs.
At the end of a week Miss Desmond and Mother took me the walk you first
took, and I sat down to rest just where you rested on the stump of the
old tree.  We waited quite a long time, hoping Birdie would come.  And
he did, but he stayed only a minute, chirping--’So glad--so glad.’  (It
was just like that.)  Then he flew away as if he were in a great hurry,
and that was all he had time to tell us.

"Miss Desmond said: ’Birdie is always busy about his Father’s business.’
Mother looked puzzled, and I too.  We could not understand.  Then Miss
Desmond said to me, ’God is Birdie’s Father too, dear Eloise. Birdie is
a spiritual idea; he has no life apart from God.  He has his appointed
work to do in God’s Kingdom.  All God’s ideas reflect Him--reflect Life,
Truth, Love, Goodness. Perhaps Birdie’s work is just to voice a note of
joy, of harmony.’

"That made me think, Carol, if even a little bird has his appointed
task, I, too, must have mine--some work to do for God.  I am waiting for
it to be made plain to me.  Now I have the desire to do it, Miss Desmond
says, the work is sure to come.  Even if it is only a very little thing
at first, I shall be glad to do it.

"Dear Carol, we are so enjoying staying here, Mother and I.  I am so
fond of all your pets, and feed them every day, and talk to them about
you.  Before I could walk, Bob used to take me round the grounds in your
pony-carriage, and he always talked so much of you, and the time when he
used to take you about.  He will be so glad when you come home again.
All the servants like to hear about you.  They love you so much. I have
had to tell them ever so many times about the bull, and how you stood
and faced him, and did not run away.  They are so proud of you.  ’The
young Master’ they call you.  I tell Mother, Willmar Court is like a
little kingdom, and you the exiled prince.

"Father is coming next week to take us home.  Until he sees me walking,
I think he cannot quite believe it.  He says he wants to have a long
talk with Miss Desmond.

"With many loving thoughts, dear Carol, I am,

Your affectionate little friend
       ELOISE BURTON.

"P.S.  Mother has helped me just a little with this letter, and now she
is writing to you herself."

                                  ――――

Carol could not wait to read Mrs. Burton’s letter before giving the
joyful news to Mrs. Mandeville.  With both letters in his hand, he ran
to seek his aunt in her morning-room.

"Auntie, Auntie!" he cried excitedly--"such news!  Eloise can walk--more
than that, she can run.  Isn’t it beautiful?"

"Really, Carol?  Is it really true?"

"Yes, Auntie, _really_.  Will you read Eloise’s letter?  And oh, may I
tell my cousins?"

"Tell them that Eloise can walk?  Why, certainly, dear."

"But more than that, Auntie; they will ask what has made her walk, when
every one believed she could never walk again.  Mayn’t I tell them,
Auntie, Christian Science has done what the doctors couldn’t do?"

"I will think, dear, what you may tell them. Let me see Eloise’s letter.
Whilst Mrs. Mandeville read the little girl’s letter, Carol opened and
read Mrs. Burton’s.

"WILLMAR COURT,
         S. DEVON.

"_My dear Carol,_

"Eloise herself has written the glad news to you that the use of her
legs is perfectly restored.  My joyful gratitude is more than can be
expressed in words.  Yet it even seems that the blessing of this
wonderful physical healing is small in comparison with the knowledge we
have gained of the Truth, which Jesus said should make us free.  Here,
amidst the lovely surroundings of your beautiful home, I have lost my
old concept of God, and gained instead an understanding of Him, as
ever-present Love: infinite Life, Truth, Love.

"It seemed so soon after I was able to see and realize this that my
little girl was healed.  And oh, Carol, the kindness and gentleness with
which dear Miss Desmond has led us up to this understanding, never
letting us for a moment cling to her, pointing always away from
personality to divine Principle. We must be and are very grateful for
her faithful instruction and example, for her life, so consecrated to
God that the promised signs are given: ’They shall lay hands on the
sick, and they shall recover.’  I did not at the time understand your
own marvellous recovery from the effects of the encounter with the bull.
I do now, and I feel, dear boy, we owe you intense gratitude.  It was
your steadfast faith in the Christ, Truth, which led me to seek
spiritual healing for my little Eloise. The words come to me: ’I, if I
be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.’  For me the Christ was lifted
up, and I was drawn unto Him.  May my life henceforth so testify that
others may in the same manner be drawn unto Him.

"Please convey my very kind regards to Mrs. Mandeville. She will, I
know, rejoice with us.

"Believe me always, dear Carol,

Yours lovingly,
         M. K. BURTON."

"It is indeed wonderful and beautiful, Carol," Mrs. Mandeville said as
she returned the little girl’s letter.  I sincerely rejoice with Dr. and
Mrs. Burton.  I know what a sad trial Eloise’s paralysis has been to
them."

Then Mrs. Mandeville became aware that Carol was looking up with
anxiously expectant eyes, awaiting an answer to a question.

"Dear boy," she said, "if you told your cousins that Christian Science
has made Eloise to walk, they would not understand what you meant.
Indeed, I do not quite understand, myself--yet.  I will come to the
school-room with you, and perhaps we can explain to them that Eloise has
been healed by faith in the power of God."

With that Carol had to be satisfied, though he longed to explain that it
was not faith alone, but faith with understanding: the understanding of
God as All-in-all, Omnipotent, Omnipresent Love.



CHAPTER XXII.--THE RETURN OF ELOISE.


When, the following week, Dr. Burton brought his wife and daughter home,
both he and Mrs. Burton gratefully spoke of the Science which had healed
her.  The little girl, in her wheel-chair, had been so familiar an
object of compassion to the villagers that, when they saw her walking,
they wanted to know what had brought it about.  Then Mr. Higgs
triumphantly held up a little book.

"It’s all in here, bless the Lord," he said. "What’s become o’ my
rheumatiz, you ask. I don’t know what’s become o’ it.  I only know it’s
gone.  What becomes o’ the darkness when you let the sunshine in?  I’m
getting to understand it better every day. There’s no need to trouble
what’s become o’ error when you let the Truth in."

Then he told them of his little grand-daughter, and how she, too, had
lost something.  There was no need to say what.  All the village had
known of the little girl’s sad affliction.  Many listened to him, and
looked curiously at the little book, but only a few believed.  It was
easier to attribute the healing to nature, or natural causes, than to
spiritual laws.  The return of Eloise was a great joy to Carol.  She was
able to tell him much that he wanted to know.  He so seldom spoke of his
home, Mrs. Mandeville would have been surprised to know how often he had
to fight against a sick longing for the dear scenes of his childhood,
and the cousin-friend who was now the representative of both father and
mother.

The Burtons arrived home too late for Carol to meet them at the station,
as he intended.

The next morning he was an early visitor at their house.  Eloise had
only just finished breakfast.

"Oh, Carol!"

"Oh, Eloise!"

In a moment the two children were locked in each other’s arms.  Between
them was a bond of sympathy which neither could have defined, stronger,
more tender, than the tie of human relationship.  Then, joyfully, Eloise
began to tell him all about her visit. She had so many messages to
deliver, and Carol had so many questions to ask, it was lunch time
before they were half through. Dr. Burton came in from his rounds.  He
told them that he had called at the Manor, and had gained Mrs.
Mandeville’s permission to keep Carol for the rest of the day.

"Thank you so much, Dr. Burton, I am very pleased to stay," Carol said
in answer.

Dr. Burton laid both hands on the boy’s shoulders.

"My boy," he said gravely, "the pleasure is ours.  We owe you a debt of
gratitude we can never hope to repay."

The words brought a flush of pleasure to Carol’s face.  He could not
think that he had done anything to deserve such gratitude.

After lunch, when she found the trunks had been unpacked, Eloise showed
Carol a little book, Miss Desmond’s parting gift to her.  It was exactly
like the book that had been given to Carol.  He took it from Eloise, as
she held it out to him, but immediately laid it down on the table.
"Shall we do part of the Lesson together, Carol?  It will be so nice.  I
have done part of it every morning with Miss Desmond."

"Yes, I used to," Carol said, and Eloise detected a note of sadness in
his voice.

"Do you study it alone now, Carol?" she said.

"No, I never study it at all, Eloise.  I have not a book.  The book
Cousin Alicia gave me Uncle Raymond has."

"Then we can do it together every week from my book, cannot we?"

"No, Eloise, Uncle Raymond took my book away because he did not wish me
to study it.  Until he gives me permission, I cannot read it with you."

"I am so sorry, Carol.  The Rector always speaks so kindly to me when he
sees me, I should not mind asking him to let you have it again--shall I?
Perhaps he does not know how much you want it."

"Auntie asked him when I was ill, and he would not.  I do not think it
would be any use for you to ask him, dear Eloise."

"And wouldn’t you like to have my book sometimes, Carol?"

"Not without Uncle Raymond’s permission. He is my guardian.  I must be
obedient to his wishes.  Don’t look sorry, Eloise.  It is all right.  We
can only take one step at a time.  It is sure to be given back to me
when I am ready to take another step."

"Will my book be taken away from me? Father and Mother are both pleased
for me to have it."

"Why, no, Eloise.  The lesson I need to learn is perhaps not the lesson
you need. Everyone who comes into Science has something to
overcome--some particular lesson to master, Cousin Alicia said.  Mine is
obedience, cheerful, willing obedience, and every victory of Truth over
error makes us stronger."

Then with the _gaieté de coeur_ of childhood, the subject was dismissed.
Eloise quickly proposed going to the garden where they spent the
afternoon, Carol teaching her to play croquet.  Peals of merry laughter
reached Mrs. Burton as she sat at an open French window, causing her
heart anew to overflow with loving gratitude to the One who had "sent
His word," and her child was made whole.

When Mrs. Mandeville paid her usual visit to Carol’s room that night,
she found him with wide-open eyes, a flush of excitement on his cheeks.
"I have had such a happy day, Auntie," he said.  "I do love Eloise so
much, and she loves me, too" (Mrs. Mandeville smiled), "and we both love
Cousin Alicia. Since I came to bed I have been trying to think what love
is, and it seems it is like light, it can never be described in words.
The blind boy in the poem asked,

    ’What is that thing called light,
    Which I can ne’er enjoy?’

No one could tell him to make him understand, could they?  So no one
could make anyone understand in words what love is. Just as light comes
from the sun, and we can only see it with our eyes, so love comes from
God, who is Love, and we can only be conscious of it in our hearts.
Isn’t it St. John, Auntie, who says we have passed from death unto life
when we love the brethren?  Then just as eyes which cannot see the light
are called blind, mustn’t it be that hearts which do not love are dead?"

"It seems to follow naturally your line of reasoning, Carol, though I
cannot say the thought ever occurred to me before.  There is one marked
trait in all little children, they are so full of love."

"Yes, Auntie, especially darling Rosebud. She loves everyone.  Do you
remember when I was ill, and you lifted her on the bed, how she said: ’I
do ’ove ’ou so welly much, Tarol’?"

"Yes, dear, I remember.  Rosebud often makes me think of a line of one
of the poets:

    ’For a smile of God, thou art.’"

"That is just beautiful, Auntie, and it explains why little children
know what love is, before they know anything else, before they even walk
or talk."

"Yes, Carol, all great poets seem able to grasp some momentous truth,
and give it to the world in a beautiful line or verse."

"Cousin Alicia has given Eloise a copy of _Science and Health_ just like
the one she gave me, Auntie.  Eloise showed it to me, and offered to
lend it to me.  But it would not be right for me to read it until Uncle
Raymond gives me permission, would it?  Do you think he may when he
knows of Eloise’s healing?"

"He does know, dear.  I was talking to him last night about it.  He
attributes it to the change into Devonshire, or--or some other reason.
I think he suggested hypnotism."

"But they took her to Germany some time ago, and that change made no
difference, nor the great German doctor she was under."

"That is so, dear, still Uncle Raymond will not listen.  I think it will
be unwise to talk any more on the subject to him."

"Do you think then, Auntie, he will not be willing for me to have the
book again until--until I am a man?"

"I fear that may be so, dear."

"Oh, Auntie!"

For a moment the grave eyes filled with tears.  The next instant they
were dashed away.  "What am I thinking of?  Error, error, begone!  Love
_can_ find a way, and Love _will_ find a way.  It is quite all right,
Auntie," clasping both arms around her neck.

"Just wait and see!  If we are not standing ’porter at the door of
thought’ every moment, what a lot of wrong thoughts come trooping in."



CHAPTER XXIII.--A LONG-DELAYED LETTER.


That was an eventful week to Carol.  Three or four days after the return
of Mrs. Burton and Eloise it was his turn to open the post-bag.  The
daily task of receiving the post-bag, unlocking it, sorting, and then
distributing the contents, was always such a pleasure to the elder
children that they had agreed to take it by turns.

There seemed an unusually full bag that morning when he emptied the
contents on the hall table.  He collected into a little pile all the
letters for the servants’ hall, for the school-room, and for Mrs.
Mandeville. Colonel Mandeville was away with his regiment.  Quite at the
last he discovered two envelopes bearing the small, neat handwriting
which always called forth an exclamation of pleasure.

"Two letters this morning from Cousin Alicia, one for Auntie and one for
me!"

But he faithfully finished his task, and delivered the letters to their
respective owners before opening his own letter.

Mrs. Mandeville frequently breakfasted with the children when Colonel
Mandeville was away and there were no visitors staying in the house.
Carol found her in the schoolroom.

Breakfast had commenced.  "You have had a big delivery this morning, Mr.
Postman, have you not?" she said.

"Yes, Auntie, nearly everyone has had more than one letter, and here are
four for you, three for Miss Markham, one for Percy, one for Edith, and
one for me from Cousin Alicia.  One of your letters, too, Auntie, is
from Cousin Alicia, and it is quite a fat one. Mine is quite thin.  May
I open it, Auntie?"

"Certainly, dear, I am sure Miss Markham will allow you.  We all know
how little people are impatient to read their letters."

Mrs. Mandeville laid three of her letters beside her plate.  The one
bearing the Devonshire post-mark she held in her hand, and presently
drew the contents from the envelope.

Her face grew very white, her hand trembled as she saw Miss Desmond’s
letter enclosed another.  Her eyes, suffused with tears, fell on dear,
familiar writing.

Was it a message from the grave--from that watery grave where the mortal
remains of the brother still so dear to her had been cast?

Carol meanwhile was devouring his letter, oblivious of everything else.
He read:

"WILLMAR COURT,
         S. DEVON.

"_My dear Carol,_

"Something so wonderful and beautiful has happened.  Yet I should not
perhaps use the word ’wonderful,’ since nothing can be lost when Mind
governs and controls.  The letter which your dear father wrote me just
before his death has at last reached me.

"Evidently through a mistake at the sorting office it was slipped into
the American mail-bag at Gibraltar instead of the English.  My name and
address are almost stamped out, it has been to so many places in the
United States of America and was afterwards sent on to Canada, where it
has also visited many post-offices, before some postmaster or
post-mistress remembered that S. Devon is part of an English county.

"A letter so important for your future, dear, could not be lost.  I am
sending it for Mrs. Mandeville to read, as it is necessary for her and
also your Uncle Raymond to know the contents.  They will, I am sure,
observe their brother’s last wishes; and one is, that no hindrance or
impediment shall be put in the way of your studying the Science which
has healed you.  I am to buy a new copy of _Science and Health_, and
write in it: ’To Carol--from Father.’  You see, dear, Love has found a
way, and just the most beautiful way of restoring to you the book you
seemed to have lost, for a time at least.

"Dearly as you have valued the book before, it will have an added value
with the knowledge that it comes to you expressly by your dear father’s
desire.  Mrs. Mandeville will, no doubt, let you read (or read to you)
the letter before returning it to me.  You will rejoice to learn how
much you were in your father’s thoughts at the last.  I have ordered a
copy of the book.  You will receive it in a very short time.  I know how
glad you will be to be able to study the Lesson-Sermons again.  How nice
it will be for you and Eloise to do them sometimes together!  Dear
little girl!  Give her many loving thoughts from me.  We miss her very
much.  Bob’s affections seem about equally divided between his young
master and ’the little lady’ as he calls her.

"Always in thought and deed, dear Carol,

Your loving cousin,
       ALICIA DESMOND."

Very quietly Carol went to the back of his aunt’s chair, and slipping an
arm around her neck whispered softly in her ear:

"It’s all right, Auntie.  I knew that Love would find a way, but I
didn’t think it would be quite so soon, and such a beautiful way. It is
all in Father’s letter."

Mrs. Mandeville had laid her letters down unread.  She could not
disappoint the children, who loved her to breakfast with them, by taking
them to her own room, and she wanted to be alone when she read them.  As
soon as breakfast was over, she left the school-room.  An hour later
Carol received a message that she wanted him to go to her.

"You have been crying, Auntie," he said, as he entered the room.

"Yes, dear, this letter from your father, and my dear brother, has been
a joy and a sorrow to me, bringing back so vividly the remembrance of
him.  You will like to read it."

She gave the letter to Carol, and he at once sat down beside her, and
read it.

"_My dear Alicia,_

"The fiat has gone forth!  They give me neither weeks nor days: a few
hours only. The sea has been very rough the past three days.  A partly
healed wound has reopened: the hemorrhage is internal.  They cannot stop
it.  I think of you and my boy, and that Science which stanched his
running wounds, and I wish I knew something of it.  I put it off, like
one of old, to a more convenient season.  The little book you gave me I
left with some poor fellows in the hospital, intending to get another
copy when I reached England.

"Much of what you told me comes back, but it is not enough.  I cannot
realize it sufficiently.  I have absolute faith that if I could reach
England, or even cable to you, the verdict would be reversed.  Ah, well!
a greater man than I is supposed to have said:

    ’A day less or more, at sea or ashore,
    We die, does it matter when?’

Somehow, it does seem to matter now.  Life--even this life--has
possibilities which I have failed to grasp.  With you to help me, it
seems I should have gained a clearer understanding of eternal verities.
A haze--a mist is creeping over my senses.  What I have to write I must
write quickly.

"I think you know by a deed of settlement, executed before I left for
South Africa, in the event of my death, my brother Raymond, and my dear
sister Emmeline, become Carol’s guardians.  There is no time now to
alter that arrangement in any way, even if I wished. It will be good for
the boy to be with his cousins.  He has seen too little of other
children, and Emmeline, I know, will be a mother to him.  Both she and
Raymond will respect my last wishes, I am sure.  Therefore, I want them
to know it is my desire for Carol to spend three months of every year
with you at his own home, that you may instruct him in that knowledge of
God which has healed him. It is recorded that once ten were cleansed,
and nine went thankless away.  He must not belong to the nine.

"I have explained to Colonel Mandeville my earnest desire that you may
be able to live at the Court, keeping on all the old servants until
Carol is of age.  The last time I saw my brother Raymond, the subject of
Christian Science was mentioned, and from the remarks he made, his
bitterly antagonistic views of it, I greatly fear that under his
guardianship Carol may not be allowed to continue the study.  Will you
purchase for me a copy of the text-book, _Science and Health_, and write
in it:

No one will take from the boy his dying father’s last gift, and my
wishes regarding it will I know, be paramount with him. He will like to
know that my one regret now is that I did not myself study it when I had
the opportunity.

"I have faced death before.  I am facing it again, as a soldier, and, I
trust, as a Christian.  Somewhere it is written ’Greater love hath no
man’--  You know the rest. Perhaps it will count, though it may not have
been love so much as duty prompted the action which is costing me my
life.

"I would write to Carol, and to Emmeline. I cannot.  The pen slips from
my hand."

                                  ――――

The concluding sentence and the signature were almost illegible.  Mrs.
Mandeville took Carol in her arms, and they wept together.

"It is so cruel to think he might have been spared to us," she sobbed.

"Yes, Auntie; he would have been," Carol replied with simple faith.



CHAPTER XXIV.--A JOYFUL SURPRISE.


In less than a week a small parcel arrived by post addressed to Carol.
He knew before he opened it that it contained the little book which he
had so longed for, and which would be, if possible, even dearer to him,
henceforth, from the circumstances under which he regained it.  He took
the little parcel to Mrs. Mandeville’s room after breakfast, and opened
it there.  As he drew the small volume from its cardboard case, he held
it up to show her. Then, opening it, he exclaimed in a tone of great
surprise, mingled with joy:

"Auntie, it is in dear Father’s own handwriting!

                       ’To Carol: from Father.’"

"How can it be?"

Then, as they examined the writing, they saw that Miss Desmond had cut
the words from her letter.  So neatly had the foreign paper been gummed
in, it was not at first noticeable.

"Was it not lovely of Cousin Alicia to think of it, Auntie?"

"It was, indeed, dear.  You will always realize now that it is your
father’s gift."

"Yes, Auntie; my earthly father’s and my heavenly Father’s, too.  I was
thinking this morning of that lovely verse in Isaiah: ’Before they call
I will answer: and while they are yet speaking I will hear.’  And I knew
that Love had answered before I called.  Before I knew my need, it was
met.  I am glad the letter was delayed so long, because I have learned
so much.  ’Every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger,’ Mrs. Eddy
says. It did seem at first as if I should have to wait years for the
book, didn’t it?  I am glad I was so sure that Love could and would find
a way."

As the boy spoke, the Rector walked into the room.  In a momentary
impulse Carol seized the little book which lay on the table, and held it
tightly.  A crimson flush suffused his face.  The next instant he looked
up at his uncle with fearless eyes, and held out the book to him,
saying, "Uncle Raymond, Cousin Alicia has sent me the little book Father
asked her to get for me, and see--isn’t it beautiful?--’To Carol: from
Father,’ is in Father’s own handwriting."

The Rector took the book, examined the inscription, but made no remark.

"Father did not want me to belong to the nine.  You would not like me to
either, would you, Uncle Raymond?"

"To the nine, boy?--What do you mean?"

"You remember, Uncle Raymond, when Jesus once healed ten lepers, nine
went thankless away.  I have been healed, and I must acknowledge it at
all times, else I should be as one of them."

A frown gathered on the Rector’s face.

"Never speak to me, Carol, of your healing in the same breath with the
healings of Jesus."

The boy looked sorely pained.  For an instant he was silent.  In that
instant he asked:

"Father-Mother God, lead me."

Then he said:

"May I ask you a question, Uncle Raymond?"

"Certainly, Carol; if it is something you want to know."

"It is something I often think about, Uncle.  Are there any ’shepherds
in Israel’ now?  Can you tell me?"

"Why, of course, Carol; Israel typifies the Christian world, and God’s
ministers are His shepherds."

"Yes, Uncle, that was what I thought.  Is God not angry now with the
shepherds?  I often read the 34th chapter of Ezekiel.  God was very
angry with the shepherds of that time.  He said, ’Woe be to the
shepherds, because they had not healed that which was sick, nor
strengthened that which was diseased, nor bound up that which was
broken, neither had they sought out that which was lost.’"

"There have been times in history, Carol, when God’s ministers--His
shepherds--have been able to heal the sick, but for generations the
healing power has been withheld.

"Yes, Uncle, I understand that.  For many centuries before Jesus came
the healing power had been lost.  He brought it back, and taught his
disciples how to heal the sick. Then at the end of only three centuries
it was lost; and again after many centuries God has sent a messenger to
bring it back, but not everyone will listen to the message."

The boy spoke reflectively, as one thinking aloud, not addressing either
his uncle or his aunt.

"Raymond," said Mrs. Mandeville quickly (she noted the growing anger on
the Rector’s face), "Carol has a way of thinking about things he reads
in the Bible.  His thoughts have often helped me.  He does not mean
to--to reproach you.  Will you tell me, dear Raymond, have you ever read
this book which you condemn so strongly?"

"I have not read it, Emmeline.  One does not need to read Mrs. Eddy’s
books to condemn them.  The press criticisms and extracts I have read
were quite enough for me.  Since Carol’s father wished him to have a
copy of the book, I cannot keep it from him.  Otherwise I should, most
certainly.  I can only pray that he may ultimately see the error of its
teaching."

"The fruit is so good," Mrs. Mandeville said softly.  "I can only judge
by that, until I have studied the book myself, which I intend to do.  I
think, Carol, darling, you must run back to the school-room now, or you
will be late for lessons.  Leave your little book with me.  You know it
will be quite safe, and come to me after school."

After the boy had left the room Mrs. Mandeville turned to the Rector.

"Now I want to ask you a question, if I may, Raymond, may I?"

"Why, of course, Emmeline, you know perfectly well I shall be happy to
answer any question you wish to put to me--if I can."

"It is this, Raymond: the Apostle bids us, ’Let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus.’  How would you define the ’Mind’
simply, that I may grasp it?"

The Rector’s memory went back to a Sunday morning some months before
when he had preached what he considered a very eloquent sermon from that
verse in Philippians.  Had his sister forgotten it?

"Do you forget, Emmeline, that I preached from that text not so very
long ago?  I took as the keynote of my sermon, humility--the humility of
Jesus.  From the context that was undoubtedly what Saint Paul meant."

"Yes, Raymond, I remember the sermon perfectly; but I cannot feel that
to possess humility, even in a superlative degree, would be to possess,
as the Apostle commands, the ’Mind’ of Christ.  Carol was thinking out
this subject, in the way he has of thinking about verses in the Bible,
and the thought he gave me seems nearer to it.  He could see only love.
The mind that was in Christ was love.  Now, Raymond, if we, at this
moment, possessed hearts full of love we could not criticise or condemn
anyone or any sect. We could not hold up creeds or dogmas, and say, ’It
is necessary to believe this or that because it is a canon of the
Church.’  We should just know that we and they had passed from death
unto life when we love the brethren, and all are brethren who look to
the Lord Jesus Christ as an elder brother."

"It seems to me, Emmeline, that even before reading the book you have
imbibed some of its mischievous statements. Remember, it teaches a
religion of negation. According to Christian Science we have no Heavenly
Father, no personal God; nothing but a divine Principle, an eternal
existence, to worship."

"Oh, Raymond, you do make a mistake. How can you infer that if you have
not studied the book?"

"My authority, Emmeline, for the statement, is Dr. Hanson.  He wrote a
pamphlet on Christian Science, issued by the Religious Tract Society."

"It seems strange, Raymond, that a man of Dr. Hanson’s eminence should
write, and the Religious Tract Society should publish, a statement so
misleading,--a statement which a boy of Carol’s years could easily
confute.  Carol prays to, and speaks of his Heavenly Father in a way
which, I grieve to say, my own children never do.  Only a few minutes
before you entered the room, he said that this little book was a gift
not only from his earthly father but from his Heavenly Father, too.  So
how can there be no Heavenly Father to a Christian Scientist? It is true
he speaks more frequently of Him as Divine Love; and it seems to me he
has a more comprehensive idea of God than I have myself, for the thought
has often presented itself to me, how can we, as the Scriptures say,
’live, move and have our being’ in Him, if God is a person, according to
our idea of personality?  The idea which Carol has given me of God as
infinite Love, filling the universe like light, makes that verse more
intelligible."

"A discussion such as this, Emmeline, cannot be productive of any good.
I will send you that little pamphlet I mentioned."

"Thank you, Raymond.  I will read it after I have read _Science and
Health_."

The Rector then changed the conversation, and spoke of the object of his
visit to the Manor that morning.



CHAPTER XXV.--A LITTLE SERVICE.


On the following Sunday evening Carol started at the usual time for Mr.
Higgs’ cottage, carrying with him the little, much-valued book and with
it the current _Quarterly_ which Miss Desmond had also sent him. His
surprise was great, on arriving at the cottage, to find Mrs. Burton and
Eloise there. They knew the prohibition was removed, and Carol was free
to read and study _Science and Health_.

"We thought you would come, Carol," Eloise exclaimed.  "We wanted to
hear you read the Lesson-Sermon.  It will be quite a little service,
won’t it?"

"Yes, dear Carol; we thought we should like to join you this evening,"
Mrs. Burton said.  "We are only the ’two or three gathered together,’
but we are all of one mind. So it will be a little service, as Eloise
says."

Presently Mr. Higgs’ daughter and his little grand-daughter came in.

It was arranged for Mrs. Burton to read the Bible verses, and for Carol
to read the quotations from _Science and Health_.  At the close of the
Lesson-Sermon Carol and Eloise sang together, from the Christian Science
Hymnal, the hymn which both knew and loved,--

                     "Shepherd, show me how to go."

The beauty of the words, and the young voices blending in perfect
harmony, brought tears of emotion to the old man’s eyes.

"Aye, ma’am," he said to Mrs. Burton afterwards, "who but the Shepherd
himself, is leading us into those green pastures where the fetters that
bound us are loosed?  There’s a many things I can’t pretend to
understand, and the old beliefs grip hard, but I just hold on, and know
it must be the Truth which the Master promised should make us free.
It’s the tree that is known by its fruits.  I’m sorry Rector’s so set up
against it.  But there, it was the priests and scribes who persecuted
the Master himself.  Seems to me it would not be the Truth if the world
received it gladly."

"I believe you are right in thinking that, Mr. Higgs.  In whatever
period of the world’s history Truth has been recognized, and
demonstrated, its adherents were always persecuted and stoned.  Jesus
reminded his persecutors that they stoned the prophets which were before
him."

"Yes, ma’am, I know it is the glorious Truth which has loosed my
rheumatiz, and made me free, and I am just ashamed to confess to you and
Master Carol that just lately thoughts I can’t get rid of come
tormenting me.  In this way: I go sometimes to church, but I feel no
pleasure in the service.  It has lost its hold o’ me.  Then I think o’
Father and Mother, o’ blessed memory.  They lived and died with no
thought o’ beyond what the Rector could give them.  It sort o’ troubles
me to think I am going away from what they trusted to.  The Rector then
was an old man.  Why, ma’am, if ever a saint o’ God walked this earth,
he was one.  If he passed down the village street, you’d see all the
children run to him, clustering round him.  When he looked at you, it
didn’t seem to need any words: it was just as if he said, ’God bless
you.’  His smile was a blessing.  So I just ask myself, Why wasn’t the
sick healed when he prayed for them, if it was right and God’s will for
them to be healed?  Surely, he was a servant of God."

"I propounded a similar question, Mr. Higgs, to the lady I have been
staying with in Devonshire, Carol’s cousin, Miss Desmond. It has been my
great privilege to know many saintly characters, whose lives testified
to their faith.  My own mother was such a one.  Yet, for many years, she
was a great sufferer.  I asked Miss Desmond why such loving faith in God
and Jesus the Christ, had not always brought physical healing. What we
call the orthodox church, also Non-conformity, has nurtured souls for
heaven. We cannot, therefore, condemn its teaching. Miss Desmond said it
is not for us to judge or to criticise either individuals or other
churches.  We all, individually and collectively, can only grasp the
truth as far as we apprehend it, and we must not harbor a troubled
thought that in becoming Christian Scientists we are leaving any church
to which we once belonged.  We are simply moving forward--stepping
upward to a higher platform.  It is the law of progression.  A child at
school does not regret being moved to a higher class.  Neither have we
anything to regret, even if we entirely sever our connection with the
church of our childhood.  Even now, for the most advanced Christian
Scientists there is yet a higher platform to be reached, since Mrs. Eddy
says, in _Science and Health_, ’All of Truth is not understood.’  All we
have to do at the present is to live up to--to demonstrate, the highest
that we know.  You in your walk of life, I in mine; and these dear
children, who, spiritually, have touched the hem of Christ’s garment and
have been healed, in theirs."

"Thank you, ma’am, I’ll try to think of it, as you’ve kindly explained
it.  There’s another old belief I can’t see clearly to get rid o’ yet,
though Master Carol tried to make me see it’s wrong, and that is ’Thy
will be done,’ on the tombstones in the churchyard.  I can see that sin
and disease can never be God’s will; but death may sometimes be a sort
o’ messenger from God to call us home."

Mrs. Burton smiled.

"Yes; many poets have eulogized death as a ’bright messenger.’  But in
the light of Christian Science we know it cannot be: evil can never
under _any_ circumstance change into good--an enemy--the last
enemy--into a friend.  Think for one moment how Jesus taught us to pray
’Thy will be done on earth _as it is in heaven_.’  Then ask yourself: Is
death God’s will in heaven?  If not, then it cannot be on earth.  I
quite see now why many petitions have failed to bring an answer.  The
pleading lips have besought God to reverse ’His decree,’ the decree that
never was His.  We learned that, Eloise, darling, did we not, in
Devonshire?"

"Yes, Mother; and when we quite understood why my lameness was never
God’s will for me, I lost it."

"So the world, Mr. Higgs, must change its old belief, and realize that
death is an enemy which inevitably will one day be destroyed. In God’s
spiritual Kingdom, sin, disease, and death find no place.  Now I think
we must all bid you good-night, or it will be dark before Carol reaches
the Manor.  The evenings draw in so quickly, now.  We will walk part of
the way with you, Carol," Mrs. Burton said as they left the cottage.
They had not gone very far when they met Mrs. Mandeville.

"Auntie," Carol exclaimed joyfully, "were you coming to meet me?"

"Yes, dear.  I found you had not returned. As I did not quite like your
coming alone through the park, I came to meet you."

After a little conversation with Mrs. Burton and Eloise, Mrs. Mandeville
and Carol walked home together, Carol clinging affectionately to his
aunt’s arm.

"It is nice to have you to walk home with me, Auntie; but I wish you
would never have a thought of fear for me."

"I’ll try not to another time, darling.  As I walked along I remembered
something, Carol.  Since that day when you came to my room I have never
had one of my old headaches. They used to be so painfully frequent. Did
you charm them away?"

"No, Auntie; but I knew you had not learned how to ’stand porter at the
door of thought.’  So I just stood there for you; and error cannot creep
back when the sword of Truth is raised against it."

Mrs. Mandeville’s only answer was to stoop and kiss the boy’s upturned
face.  The words, so simple, grave, and sweet, had gone straight to her
heart.



CHAPTER XXVI.--CONCLUSION.


The calendar of months named December, and before it, excited, expectant
little people stood daily, counting first the weeks, then the days to
that one day of all the year which the children love best.

Carol had to listen again and again to all the wonderful and mysterious
things which always happened at the Manor on Christmas Eve and Christmas
Day.  Price lists and illustrated catalogues were the only books in
requisition after lessons were over.  The elder children wondered how
they could have bought their Christmas presents if there were no parcel
post.  Carol was especially the helper and confederate of the three
little girls in the nursery.  He assisted them in choosing their
"surprises," wrote the letters, and enclosed the postal orders; and
certainly, from the marvellous list of things they were able to
purchase, their little accumulated heap of pennies must, in some magic
way, have changed into sovereigns in his hands.  The joyful excitement
of the three little girls, when the parcels arrived, gave Carol the
greatest pleasure he had ever known.  Only Nurse was allowed to be
present when the parcels were opened, and she promised to lock them
securely away where no one could catch a glimpse until they were brought
out on Christmas eve.

It wanted only one week to Christmas day, when Rosebud came to the
school-room one morning, saying: "Mover wants ’ou, Tarol."

Carol went at once to his aunt’s room.  She was sitting with an open
letter in her hand, a rather graver than usual expression on her face.
"Carol, dear," she said, "for some little time I have been thinking I
ought to let you go home for Christmas.  It seems to me it is what your
dear father would wish; but I could not let you take the long journey
alone and there seemed no other way until this morning.  I have just
received a letter from a dear old friend in which she mentions that she
will be travelling to Exeter in two days’ time.  So I could take you to
London to meet her there, and you could travel with her to Exeter, where
Miss Desmond might meet you.  I do not like to part with you, even for a
month or six weeks, my ’little porter at the door of thought.’"

"Auntie, it won’t make any difference if I am here, or in Devonshire.  I
can still bar the door to error."

"Yes, dear; I believe you can.  It is really not that only.  I am
thinking we shall all miss you so.  You seem to be everyone’s
confederate for their Christmas surprises. Would you rather go, or stay,
dear?"

"I should be happy to stay here, or happy to go home for Christmas,
Auntie."

"Yes; I think you would, dear.  So we must consider other people.  Miss
Desmond, I know, would rejoice to have you, and it seems the right of
both tenants and servants to have the ’little master’ amongst them at
Christmas.  So I have decided it will be right to let you go."

But when this decision was made known in the school-room and nursery
there were great lamentations.  No one had given a thought to the
possibility of Carol not being with them for the Christmas festivities;
and Mrs. Mandeville was besought again and again not to let Carol go
home before Christmas.

But, having well considered the matter, she was firm.  A telegram was at
once despatched to Miss Desmond apprising her of the arrangement.  The
answer that quickly came satisfied Mrs. Mandeville that she had been led
to make a right decision.  Brief but expressive was Miss Desmond’s wire:
"Great rejoicings on receipt of news.  Will gladly meet Carol at
Exeter."

There was yet another little person to whom the news was not joyful.
Eloise’s lips quivered and her blue eyes filled with tears when she
heard.  Carol was so much to her, and she to him.  She thought of him as
a brother; and a sister of his own name could not have been more
tenderly loved by the boy.  The bond between them was closer and dearer
than that of human relationship.

"It will be only just at first, Eloise, that we shall seem to be far
apart.  Then you will be able to realize there is no distance in Mind.
At first, when I came here, I seemed to be so far away from Cousin
Alicia; but I never feel that now.  I just know her thought is with me,
and thought is the only real.  It will be lovely to hear her voice
again, and to feel my hand clasped in hers, but still that won’t make
her very own self nearer to me."

"I do not quite understand--yet, Carol," Eloise answered a little sadly.
Then she had some news to give him.  Early in the New Year the Burtons
were going to live in London.  True to his promise, Dr. Burton was
giving up his medical practice, and was going to join that little band
of men and women whose lives are consecrated to the work of destroying
the many manifestations of sin and disease, in the way the Master
taught.

"And, when you come back to the Manor, Carol, we shall not be here."

Eloise in one sentence regretfully summed up the situation.

"I shall miss you, dear Eloise.  But you will write to me, and I shall
write very often to you, and when I go home in the summer, perhaps Mrs.
Burton will let you come, too. Then Cousin Alicia will be happy to have
both her children in Science with her."

"That will be lovely, Carol!  I am sure Mother will like me to visit
Miss Desmond again.  It seems a long time to look forward to, but time
really passes very quickly. Sometimes the days are not long enough for
all I want to do.  I am to go to school when we live in London.  All the
beautiful things I have longed for are coming to me.  Carol, I do wish
every little girl and every little boy knew how to ask Divine Love for
what they want.  When I am older that is the work I want to do,--to
teach other children as Miss Desmond taught me."

"And I, too, Eloise.  Love is so near, but we didn’t know it till we
learned it in Science, did we?"

"No, Carol; I didn’t know it, when I used to sit all day in my little
wheel-chair, longing to walk like other children.  It was like living in
a dark room until some one came and opened the shutters to let the
sunlight in. The sunlight was there all the time, but I did not know it.
I was God’s perfect child all the time, but I believed I was lame, until
Miss Desmond taught me the Truth."

"When I go to bed, Eloise, thoughts come to me.  I tell them to Auntie
sometimes, but not to any one else.  Shall I tell you what I was
thinking last night?"

"Please, Carol, I should like to know."

"I began first by thinking if any one asked me, where is heaven, I
should answer: Heaven is where God is.  Then I remembered, God is
_everywhere_.  There is no place where God is not.  Then I knew that
everywhere must be heaven, and we have only to open our eyes, and just
as much as we can see of good--God--just that far we shall have entered
heaven.  So it won’t matter, Eloise, if you are in London, and I am in
Devonshire, if we are both looking steadfastly all the time to see only
good around us, we shall both be entering the Kingdom of Heaven.  There
is only one gate--a golden gate--into that Kingdom, and ’Christ in
divine Science shows us the way.’"

                                  ――――

The little country station seemed to be quite full of people when the
train that was to carry Mrs. Mandeville and Carol to London drew up at
the platform.  The hour they were to leave had become known in the
village, and, besides all his cousins, their nurses and Miss Markham,
Mr. Higgs, his daughter and grand-daughter, Dr. and Mrs. Burton, and
Eloise were there.  At the last moment the Rector hurriedly stalked in.

"Almost too late, dear Raymond," Mrs. Mandeville said as he greeted
them.

"So, Carol, I learn you have succeeded in planting Christian Science in
this village."

The boy looked up with his quiet, fearless eyes.

"Not I, Uncle Raymond!"

"Who then?"

The boy’s head was bowed as he reverently answered: "Christ.  I am
happy, Uncle Raymond, if I have been a little channel for Truth. I could
do nothing myself."

Carol met the grave look on the Rector’s face with his bright smile.

"You _are_ glad, are you not, Uncle Raymond, that Mr. Higgs and his
little grand-daughter, and dear Eloise--I, too--have found the Christ,
and have been healed?"

The engine gave a shrill whistle.  Mrs. Mandeville drew the boy farther
into the carriage; a porter closed the door as the train began to move;
the question was unanswered.  Mr. Higgs waved his hat, saying fervently,
"God bless ’ee, Master Carol; and bring you back to us soon."

Eloise ran along the platform, holding Rosebud by the hand, wafting
kisses to be carried to Miss Desmond.  When the train was out of sight
and she returned to join the others, she saw the Rector was watching her
with the kindly smile his face used to wear in the days when she was not
able to run about.  Clingingly clasping his arm, looking up to him in
her winning way, and remembering the question which to Carol had been
unanswered, she said: "You _are_ glad, are you not, Rector, that I can
run about, and that I have been taught the Truth that makes us free?"

"Yes, little girl, I am very glad.  Perhaps I have been mistaken in my
judgment.  Tell me, Eloise, what is this Truth of which you speak?"

Eloise hesitated a moment; then, looking up beyond the Rector into the
broad blue heavens, she said: "It is just _knowing_ that God is _All_,
and there is nothing beside.  All the _real_ God made; whatever He did
not make is shadow.  When I quite understood that God could not make an
imperfect thing--that He never, never made a lame little girl--the
shadow disappeared, and I could walk."

The Rector turned to Mr. Higgs who was standing near.  "Is that what my
nephew has been teaching you, Higgs?"

"Yes, sir; but I’ve been slower to grasp it. Seems to me the Truth is
very simple, but we need the childlike mind to take it in."

"Maybe you are right, Higgs--maybe you are right.  ’Whosoever shall not
receive the kingdom of God as a little child ... shall not enter
therein.’  The Master’s words."

Thoughtfully, with bent head and downcast eyes, meditating deeply, the
Rector walked back to the Rectory.  Words very familiar came to him with
a different meaning: "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make
you free;" and with the words came a desire that was prayer: "Lord,
teach me this Truth.  Grant me the childlike mind."

                                  ――――

"Carol, I have been thinking of something," Mrs. Mandeville said, as the
train bore them along.

"Should you like to know of what I have been thinking?"

"Please, dear Auntie; I should very much like to know."

"Well, dear, I have been thinking if it should occur to the young Master
of Willmar Court to send Rosebud and me an invitation whilst he is at
home, we should accept it."

"Oh, Auntie, what a lovely thought!  To have you and Rosebud, and Cousin
Alicia, all together!"

"I want Miss Desmond, Carol, to teach me some of the things she has
taught you."

There was a long silence.  The boy’s heart was too full for words.  Then
he said: "Auntie, I know now how the little bird felt when the King
opened the cage door, and he sang and sang for joy.  My heart is singing
to _my_ King.  I wonder if--perhaps--He will say, some missing note has
come into Carol’s song."

"Indeed, my darling, I think so."

He nestled closely beside her.  Looking down she saw on his face the
reflection of a great joy--a great peace; and she knew that he had just
crept into Love’s arms.


"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under
the shadow of the Almighty....  He shall cover thee with His feathers,
and under His wings shalt thou trust. His Truth shall be thy shield and
buckler."

PSALM 91.





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