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Title: In League with Israel - A Tale of the Chattanooga Conference
Author: Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows), 1863-1931
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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available by Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org). Music was
transcribed by Linda Cantoni.



      which includes the original sheet music illustration
      and an accompanying audio file of the music.
      Images of the original pages are available through
      Internet Archive. See
      http://archive.org/details/inleaguewithisra00johniala



IN LEAGUE WITH ISRAEL

A Tale of the Chattanooga Conference

by

ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON

Author of
"Joel: A Boy of Galilee;" "The Story of the Resurrection;"
"Big Brother;" "The Little Colonel."



[Illustration]

Cincinnati: Curts & Jennings
New York: Eaton & Mains
1896

Copyright
By Curts & Jennings,
1896.



TO THE EPWORTH LEAGUE.


What Paul was to the Gentiles, may you, the Young Apostle of our Church,
become to the Jews. Surely, not as the priest or the Levite have you so
long passed them by "on the other side."

Haply, being a messenger on the King's business, which requires haste,
you have never noticed their need. But the world sees, and, re-reading
an old parable, cries out: "Who is thy neighbor? Is it not even Israel
also, in thy midst?"

    Nor knowest thou what argument
    Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.
                                       --EMERSON.



CONTENTS.


                                           PAGE.

    CHAPTER I.
    THE RABBI'S PROTÉGÉ,                      7


    CHAPTER II.
    ON TO CHATTANOOGA,                       23


    CHAPTER III.
    THE SUNRISE SERVICE ON "LOOKOUT,"        43


    CHAPTER IV.
    AN EPWORTH JEW,                          65


    CHAPTER V.
    "TRUST,"                                 86


    CHAPTER VI.
    TWO TURNINGS IN BETHANY'S LANE,         105


    CHAPTER VII.
    JUDGE HALLAM'S DAUGHTER, STENOGRAPHER,  115


    CHAPTER VIII.
    A KINDLING INTEREST,                    130


    CHAPTER IX.
    A JUNIOR TAKES IT IN HAND,              145


    CHAPTER X.
    THE DEACONESS'S STORY,                  163


    CHAPTER XI.
    "YOM KIPPUR,"                           186


    CHAPTER XII.
    DR. TRENT,                              189


    CHAPTER XIII.
    A LITTLE PRODIGAL,                      220


    CHAPTER XIV.
    HERZENRUHE,                             241


    CHAPTER XV.
    ON CHRISTMAS EVE,                       261


    CHAPTER XVI.
    A "WATCH-NIGHT" CONSECRATION,           275

       *       *       *       *       *

    SILENT KEYS,                            297



IN LEAGUE WITH ISRAEL.



CHAPTER I.

THE RABBI'S PROTÉGÉ.


IT was growing dark in the library, but the old rabbi took no notice of
the fact. As the June twilight deepened, he unconsciously bent nearer
the great volume on the table before him, till his white beard lay on
the open page.

He was reading aloud in Hebrew, and his deep voice filled the room with
its musical intonations: "Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye
waters that be above the heavens."

He raised his head and glanced out toward the western sky. A star or two
twinkled through the fading afterglow. Pushing the book aside, he walked
to the open window and looked up.

There was a noise of children playing on the pavement below, and the
rumbling of an electric car in the next street. A whiff from a passing
cigar floated up to him, and the shrill whistle of a newsboy with the
evening paper.

But Abraham at the door of his tent, Moses in the Midian desert, Elijah
by the brook Cherith, were no more apart from the world than this old
rabbi at this moment.

He saw only the star. He heard only the inward voice of adoration, as he
stood in silent communion with the God of his fathers.

His strong, rugged features and white beard suggested the line of
patriarchs so forcibly, that had a robe and sandals been substituted for
the broadcloth suit he wore, the likeness would have been complete.

He stood there a long time, with his lips moving silently; then
suddenly, as if his unspoken homage demanded voice, he caught up his
violin. Forty years of companionship had made it a part of himself.

The depth of his being that could find no expression in words, poured
itself out in the passionately reverent tones of his violin.

In such exalted moods as this it was no earthly instrument of music. It
became to him a veritable Jacob's ladder, on which he heard the voices
of the angels ascending and descending, and on whose trembling rounds he
climbed to touch the Infinite.

There was a quick step on the stairs, and a heavy tread along the upper
hall. Then the portiere was pushed aside and a voice of the world
brought the rhapsody to a close.

"Where are you, Uncle Ezra? It is too dark to see, but your fiddle says
that you are at home."

"Ah, David, my boy, come in and strike a light. I wondered why you were
so late."

"I was out on my wheel," answered the young man. "Cycling is warm work
this time of year."

He lighted the gas and threw himself lazily down among the pile of
cushions on the couch.

"I had a letter from Marta to-day."

"And what does the little sister have to say?" answered the rabbi,
noticing a frown deepening on David's forehead. "I suppose her vacation
has commenced, and she will soon be on her way home again."

"No," answered David, with a still deeper frown. "She has changed all
her plans, and wants me to change mine, just to suit the Herrick
family. She has gone to Chattanooga with them, and they are up on
Lookout Mountain. She wants me to meet her there and spend part of the
summer with her. She grows more infatuated with Frances Herrick every
day. You know they have been inseparable friends since they first
started to kindergarten."

"Why did she go down there without consulting you?" asked the old man
impatiently. "You should be both father and mother to her, now that
neither of your parents is living. I wish I were really your uncle and
hers, that I might have some authority. You must be more careful of her,
my boy. She should spend this summer with you at home, instead of with
strangers in a hotel."

"But, Uncle Ezra," protested David, quick to excuse the little sister,
who was the only one in the world related to him by family ties, "at
home there is nobody but the housekeeper. Mrs. Herrick is with the girls
now, and the major will join them next week. Marta is just like one of
the family, and I have encouraged the intimacy, because I felt that Mrs.
Herrick gives her the motherly care she needs. Besides, Marta and
Frances are so congenial in every way that they find their greatest
happiness together. I tell them they are as bad as Ruth and Naomi. It is
a case of 'where thou goest I will go,' etc."

"Heaven forbid!" exclaimed the rabbi, fervently. "Do you remember that
the rest of that declaration is, 'Thy people shall be my people, and thy
God my God?' David, my son, I tell you there is great danger of the
child's being led away from the faith. Your father and hers was my
dearest friend. I have loved you children like my own. You must heed my
warning, and discourage such intimacy with a Gentile family, especially
when it includes such an agreeable member as that young Albert Herrick."

"Why, he is only a boy, Uncle Ezra."

"Yes, but he is older than Marta, and they are thrown constantly
together."

David looked down at the carpet, and began absently tracing a pattern
with his foot. He was thinking of the little sixteen-year-old sister.
The seven years' difference in their ages gave him a fatherly feeling
for her. He could not bear the thought of interfering seriously with her
pleasure, yet he could not ignore the old man's warning.

Rabbi Barthold had been his tutor in both languages and music. Aside
from a few years at college, all that he knew had been learned under the
old man's wise supervision.

"Ezra, my friend," said the elder David, when he lay dying, "take my
child and make him a man after your own pattern. I know your noble soul.
Give his the same strength and sweetness. We are so greedy for the
fleshpots of Egypt, that we forget to satisfy the soul hunger. But you
will teach the little fellow higher things."

Later, when the end had almost come, his hand groped out feebly towards
the child, who had been brought to his bedside.

"Never mind about the shekels, little David," he said in a hoarse,
broken whisper. "But clean hands and a pure heart--that's all that
counts when you're in your coffin."

The child's eyes grew wide with wonder as a paroxysm of pain contracted
the beloved face. He was led quickly away, but those words were never
forgotten.

The rabbi was thinking of them now as he studied the handsome features
of the young fellow before him.

It was a strong face, but refinement and gentleness showed in every
line. There was something so boyish and frank, also, in its expression,
that a tender smile moved the rabbi's lips. "Clean hands and a pure
heart," he said fondly to himself. "He has them. Ah, my David, if thou
couldst but see how thy little one has grown, not only in stature, but
in soul-life, in ideals, thou would'st be satisfied."

"Well," he said aloud, as the young man left his seat and began to walk
up and down the room with his hands in his pockets, "what are you going
to do?"

"I scarcely know," was the hesitating answer. "It would not be wise to
send for Marta to come home, for the reason you suggest, and I have no
other to offer her."

"Then go to her!" the rabbi exclaimed. "You need not tell her that you
have any fear of her being influenced by Gentile society--but never for
a moment let her forget that she is a Jewess. Kindle her pride in her
race. Teach her loyalty to her people, and love for all that is Hebrew."

"But my Hudson Bay trip?" David suggested.

"That can wait. The Tennessee mountains will give you as good a summer
outing as you need, and you can play guardian angel for Marta while you
take it."

David laughed, and took another turn across the room. Then he paused
beside the table, and picked up a newspaper.

"I wonder what connections the trains make now," he said. "There used to
be a long wait at a dismal old junction." He glanced hastily over the
time-table.

"Why, look here!" he exclaimed. "Here is a cheap excursion to
Chattanooga this next week. I could afford to run down and see Marta,
anyhow. Maybe I could persuade her to come back with me, if I promised
to take her to Hudson Bay with me."

"What kind of an excursion?" asked the rabbi.

"Epworth League, it says here, whatever that may be. It seems to be some
sort of an international convention, and says to apply to Frank B.
Marion for particulars."

"Marion," repeated the rabbi, thoughtfully. "O, then it is a Methodist
affair. He is not only the head and shoulders of that big Church on
Garrison Avenue, but hands and feet as well, judging by the way he
works for it. I wish my congregation would take a few lessons from him."

"Is he very tall, with a short, brown beard, and blue eyes, and a habit
of shaking hands with everybody?" asked David. "I believe I know the
man. I met him on the cars last fall. He's lively company. I've a notion
to hunt him up, and find what's going on."

"Telephone out to Hillhollow that you will not be at home to-night,"
said the rabbi, "and stay in the city with me. If you conclude to go to
Chattanooga next week, I have much to say to you before taking leave of
you for the summer."

"Very well," consented David. "I'll go down town immediately, and see if
I can find this Mr. Marion. What is his business, do you know?"

"A wholesale shoe merchant, I believe. He is in that big new building
next to Cohen's furniture-store, on Duke Street. But you'll not find him
Wednesday night. They have Church in the middle of the week, and he is
one of the few Christians whose life is as loud as his profession."

David smiled a little bitterly. "Then I shall certainly cultivate his
acquaintance for the purpose of studying such a rara avis. It has never
been my lot to know a Christian who measured up to his creed."

"Do not grow cynical, my lad," answered the old man, gently. "I have
made you a dreamer like myself. I have kept you in an atmosphere of high
ideals. I have led you into the companionship of all that was heroic in
the past, and held you apart as much as possible from the sordid
selfishness of the age. O, I grow sick at heart sometimes when I stroll
through the great centers of trade, watching the fierce struggle of
humanity as they snatch the bread from other mouths to feed their own.

"You remember our Hebrew word for teach comes from tooth, and means to
make sharp like a tooth. Sometimes I think that primitive idea has
become the popular view of education in this day. Anything that will fit
a man to bite and cut his way through this hungry wolf-pack is what is
sought after, no matter how many of his kind are trampled under foot in
the struggle. I am almost afraid for you to step down from the place
where I have kept you. When you are thrown with men who care for
nothing but material things, who would barter not only their birthrights
but their souls for a mess of pottage, I am afraid you will lose faith
in humanity."

"That is quite likely, Uncle Ezra."

"Aye, but I would not have it so, David. The world is certainly growing
a little less savage, and in every nature smolders some spark, however
small, of the eternal good. No matter how we have fallen, we still bear
the imprint of the Creator, in whose likeness we were first fashioned."

Rabbi Barthold had been right in calling himself a dreamer. The ability
to live apart from his surroundings, had been his greatest comfort.
Because of it, the rigor of extreme poverty that surrounded his early
life had not touched his heart with its baneful chill. He had gone
through the world a happy optimist.

He had been trained according to the most strictly orthodox system of
Judaism. But even its severe pressure had failed to confine him to the
limits of such a narrow mold.

He was still a dreamer. In the new world he had cast aside the shackles
of tradition for the larger liberty of the Reformed Jew.

Now in his serene old age, surrounded by luxuries, he still lived apart
in a world of music and literature.

His congregation, broken loose from the old moorings, drifted
dangerously away towards radicalism, but he stood firm in the belief
that the "chosen people" would finally triumph over all error, and found
much comfort in the thought.

David took out his watch. "It is after eight o'clock," he said.
"Probably if I walk down Garrison Avenue, I may meet Mr. Marion coming
from Church. I'll be back soon."

People were beginning to file out of the side entrance that led to the
prayer-meeting room, by the time he reached the church.

"Is Mr. Frank Marion in here?" he asked of the colored janitor, who was
standing in the doorway.

"Yes, sah!" was the emphatic response. "He sut'n'y is, sah! He am always
the fust to come, an' the last to depaht."

"Why, good evening, Mr. Herschel," exclaimed a pleasant voice.

David turned quickly to lift his hat. An elderly lady was coming down
the steps with two young girls. She came up to him with a smile, and
held out her hand.

"I have not seen you since you came back from college," she said,
cordially; "but I never lose my interest in any of Rob's playmates."

"Thank you, Mrs. Bond," he replied, with his hat still in his hand.

As she passed on, a swift rush of recollection brought back the big
attic where he had passed many a rainy day with Rob Bond. He recalled
with something of the old boyish pleasure a certain jar on their pantry
shelf, where the most delicious ginger-snaps were always to be found.

But the next moment the smile left his lips, as an exclamation of one of
the girls was carried back to him. It was made in an undertone, but the
still evening air transmitted it with startling distinctness.

"Why, Auntie, he's a Jew! I didn't think you would shake hands with a
Jew!"

He could not hear Mrs. Bond's reply. He drew himself up haughtily. Then
the indignant flash died out of his eyes. After all, why should he, with
the princely blood of Israel in his veins, care for the callow
prejudices of a little school-girl?

A crowd of people passed out, laughing and talking. Then he saw Mr.
Marion come into the vestibule with several boys, just as the janitor
began to extinguish the lights.

He turned to David with a hearty smile and a strong hand-clasp,
recognizing him instantly.

"How are you, brother?" he asked. He spoke with a slight Southern
accent. Somehow, David felt forcibly that it was not merely as a matter
of habit that Frank Marion called him brother. Such a warm, personal
interest seemed to speak through the friendly blue eyes looking so
honestly into his own, that he was half-way persuaded to go to
Chattanooga with him before a word had been said on the subject. They
walked several blocks together up the avenue, discussing the excursion.
Then Mr. Marion stopped at the gate of an old-fashioned residence, built
some distance back from the street.

"I have a message to deliver to Miss Hallam, a cousin of mine," he said.
"If you will wait a moment, I'll go with you over to the office."

The front door stood open, and the hall-lamp sent a flood of yellow
light streaming out into the warm, June darkness.

In response to Mr. Marion's knock, there was a flutter of a white dress
in the hall, and the next instant the massive old doorway framed a
picture that the young Jew never forgot. It was Bethany Hallam. The
light seemed to make a halo of her golden hair, and to illuminate her
dress and the sweet upturned face with such an ethereal whiteness that
David was reminded of a Psyche in Parian marble.

"Who is she?" he exclaimed, as Mr. Marion rejoined him. "One never sees
a face like that outside of some artist's conception. It is too
spirituelle for this planet, but too sad for any other."

"She is Judge Hallam's daughter," Mr. Marion responded. "He died last
fall, and Bethany is grieving herself to death. I have at last persuaded
her to go to Chattanooga with us. She needs to have her thoughts turned
into another channel, and I hope this trip will accomplish that
purpose."

"I knew the Judge," said David. "I met him a number of times after I was
admitted to the bar."

"O, I didn't know you were a lawyer," said Mr. Marion.

"Yes, I expect to begin practicing here after vacation," he answered.

"Well, I am going to begin my practice right now," said Mr. Marion,
laughing, "and plead my case to such purpose that you will be persuaded
to take this Chattanooga trip." He slipped his arm through David's, and
drew him around the corner toward his store.



CHAPTER II.

"ON TO CHATTANOOGA."


IT was within three minutes of time for the south-bound train to start
when David Herschel swung himself on the platform of the Chattanooga
special. As he settled himself comfortably in the first vacant seat, Mr.
Marion hurried past him down the aisle with a valise in each hand. He
was followed by two ladies. The first one seemed to know every one in
the car, judging by the smiles and friendly voices that greeted her
appearance.

"O, we were so afraid you were not coming, Mrs. Marion," cried an
impulsive young girl, just in front of David. "It would have been such a
disappointment. Isn't she just the dearest thing in the world?" she
rattled on to her companion, as Mrs. Marion passed out of hearing.

"Well, if she hasn't got Bethany Hallam with her! Of all people to go on
an excursion, it seems to me she would be the very last."

"Why?" asked the other girl. As that was the question uppermost in
David's mind, he listened with interest for the answer.

"O, she seems so different from other people. Her father always used to
treat her as if she were made of a little finer clay than ordinary
mortals. When she traveled, it was always in a private car. When she
went to lectures or concerts, they always had the best seats in the
house. All her teachers taught her at home except one. She went to the
conservatory for her drawing lessons, but a maid came with her in the
morning, and her father drove by for her at noon."

As he listened, David's eyes had followed the tall, graceful girl who
was now seating herself by Mrs. Marion.

Every movement, as well as every detail of her traveling dress,
impressed him with a sense of her refinement and culture. He noticed
that she was all in black. A thin veil drawn over her face partially
concealed its delicate pallor; but her soft, light hair, drawn up under
the little black hat she wore, seemed sunnier than ever by contrast.

"Isn't she beautiful?" sighed David's talkative neighbor. "I used to
wish I could change places with her, especially the year when she went
abroad to study art; but I wouldn't now for anything in the world."

"Why?" asked her companion again, and David mentally echoed her
interrogation.

"O, because her father is dead now, and everything is so different.
Something happened to their property, so there's nothing left but the
old home. Then her little brother had such a dreadful fall just after
the Judge's death. They thought he would die, too, or be a cripple all
his life; but I believe he's better now. He is sort of paralyzed, so he
has to stay in a wheel-chair; but the doctor says he is gradually
getting over that, and will be all right after awhile. It's a very
peculiar case, I've heard. There have only been a few like it. She is
studying stenography now, so that she can keep on living in the old home
and take care of little Jack."

"Do you know her?" interrupted the interested listener.

"No, not very well. I've always seen her in Church; you know Judge
Hallam was one of our best paying members, and rarely missed a Sabbath
morning service. But they were very exclusive socially. My easel stood
next to hers in the art conservatory one term, and we talked about our
work sometimes. She used to remind me of Sir Christopher in 'Tales of a
Wayside Inn.' Don't you remember? She had that

            'Way of saying things
    That made one think of courts and kings,
      And lords and ladies of high degree,
    So that not having been at court
    Seemed something very little short
      Of treason or lese-majesty,
      Such an accomplished knight was he.'"

Both girls laughed, and then the lively chatter was drowned by the
jarring rumble of the train as it puffed slowly out of the depot.

"Any one would know this is a Methodist crowd," said Mrs. Marion
laughingly, as a dozen happy young voices began to sing an old revival
hymn, and it was caught up all over the car.

"That reminds me," said her husband, reaching into his coat pocket, "I
have something here that will prevent any mistake if doubt should
arise."

He drew out a little box of ribbon badges and a paper of pins. "Here,"
he said, "put one on, Ray; we must all show our colors this week. You,
too, Bethany."

"O no, Cousin Frank," she protested. "I am not a member of the League."

"That makes no difference," he answered, in his hearty, persistent way.
"You ought to be one, and you will be by the time you get back from this
conference."

"But, Cousin Frank, I never wore a badge in my life," she insisted. "I
have always had the greatest antipathy to such things. It makes one so
conspicuous to be branded in that way."

He held out the little white ribbon, threaded with scarlet, and bearing
the imprint of the Maltese cross. The light, jesting tone was gone. He
was so deeply in earnest that it made her feel uncomfortable.

"Do you know what the colors mean, Bethany?" Then he paused reverently.
"The purity and the blood! Surely, you can not refuse to wear those."

He laid the little badge in her lap, and passed down the aisle,
distributing the others right and left.

She looked at it in silence a moment, and then pinned it on the lapel of
her traveling coat.

"Cousin Ray, did you ever know another such persistent man?" she asked.
"How is it that he can always make people go in exactly the opposite way
from the one they had intended? When he first planned for me to come on
this excursion, I thought it was the most preposterous idea I ever heard
of. But he put aside every objection, and overruled every argument I
could make. I did not want to come at all, but he planned his campaign
like a general, and I had to surrender."

"Tell me how he managed," said Mrs. Marion. "You know I did not get home
from Chicago until yesterday morning, and I have been too busy getting
ready to come on this excursion to ask him anything."

"When he had urged all the reasons he could think of for my going, but
without success, he attacked me in my only vulnerable spot, little Jack.
The child has considered Cousin Frank's word law and gospel ever since
he joined the Junior League. So, when he was told that my health would
be benefited by the trip, and it would arouse me from the despondent,
low-spirited state I had fallen into, he gave me no rest until I
promised to go. Jack showed generalship, too. He waited until the night
of his birthday. I had promised him a little party, but he was so much
worse that day, it had to be postponed. I was so sorry for him that I
could have promised him almost anything. The little rascal knew it, too.
While I was helping him undress, he put his arms around my neck, and
began to beg me to go. He told me that he had been praying that I might
change my mind. Ever since he has been in the League he has seemed to
get so much comfort out of the belief that his prayers are always
answered that I couldn't bear to shake his faith. So I promised him."

"The dear little John Wesley," said Mrs. Marion; "you ought to give him
the full benefit of his name, Bethany."

"Mamma did intend to, but papa said it was as much too big for him as
the huge old-fashioned silver watch that Grandfather Bradford left him.
He suggested that both be laid away until he grew up to fit them."

"Who is taking care of him in your absence?" was the next question.

"O, he and Cousin Frank arranged that, too. They sent for his old nurse.
She came last night with her little nine-year-old grandson. Just Jack's
age, you see; so he will have somebody to make the time pass very
quickly."

Mrs. Marion stopped her with an exclamation of surprise. "Well, I wish
you'd look at Frank! What will he do next? He is actually pinning an
Epworth League badge on that young Jew!"

Bethany turned her head a little to look. "What a fine face he has!" she
remarked. "It is almost handsome. He must feel very much out of place
among such an aggressive set of Christians. I wonder what he thinks of
all these songs?"

Mr. Marion came back smiling. As superintendent of both Sunday-school
and Junior League, he had won the love of every one connected with them.
His passage through the car, as he distributed the badges, was attended
by many laughing remarks and warm handclasps.

There was a happy twinkle in his eyes when he stopped beside his wife's
seat. She smiled up at him as he towered above her, and motioned him to
take the seat in front of them.

"I'm not going to stay," he said. "I want to bring a young man up here,
and introduce him to you. He's having a pretty lonesome time, I'm
afraid."

"It must be that Jew," remarked Mrs. Marion. "I know every one else on
the car. I don't see that we are called on to entertain him, Frank. He
came with us, simply to take advantage of the excursion rates. I should
think he would prefer to be let alone. He must have thought it
presumptuous in you to pin that badge on him. What did he say when you
did it?"

Mr. Marion bent down to make himself heard above the noise of the train.

"I showed him our motto, 'Look up, lift up,' and told him if there was
any people in the world who ought to be able to wear such a motto
worthily, it was the nation whose Moses had climbed Sinai, and whose
tables of stone lifted up the highest standard of morality known to the
race of Adam."

Mrs. Marion laughed. "You would make a fine politician," she exclaimed.
"You always know just the right chord to touch."

"Cousin Frank," asked Bethany, "how does it happen you have taken such
an intense interest in him?"

He dropped into the seat facing theirs, and leaned forward.

"Well, to begin with, he's a fine fellow. I have had several talks with
him, and have been wonderfully impressed with his high ideals and views
of life. But I am free to confess, had I met him ten years ago, I could
not have seen any good traits in him at all. I was blinded by a
prejudice that I am unable to account for. It must have been hereditary,
for it has existed since my earliest recollection, and entirely without
reason, as far as I can see. I somehow felt that I was justified in
hating the Jews. I had unconsciously acquired the opinion that they were
wholly devoid of the finer sensibilities, that they were gross in their
manner of living, and petty and mean in business transactions. I took
Fagin and Shylock as fair specimens of the whole race. It was, really, a
most unaccountable hatred I had for them. My teeth would actually clinch
if I had to sit next to one on a street-car. You may think it strange,
but I was not alone in the feeling. I know it to be a fact that there
are hundreds and hundreds of Church members to-day that have the same
inexplicable antipathy."

Bethany looked up quickly.

"My father's reading and training," she said, "has caused me to have a
great admiration and respect for Jews in the abstract. I mean such as
the Old Testament heroes and the Maccabees of a later date. But in the
concrete, I must say I like to have as little intercourse with them as
possible. And as to modern Israelites, all I know of them personally is
the almost cringing obsequiousness of a few wealthy merchants with whom
I have dealt, and the dirty swarm of repulsive creatures that infest the
tenement districts. We used to take a short cut through those streets
sometimes in driving to the market. Ugh! It was dreadful!" She gave a
little shiver of repugnance at the recollection.

"Yes, I know," he answered. "I had that same feeling the greater part of
my life. But ten years ago I spent a summer at Chautauqua, studying the
four Gospels. It opened my eyes, Bethany. I got a clearer view of the
Christ than I ever had before. I saw how I had been misrepresenting him
to the world. The inconsistencies of my life seemed like the lanterns
the pirates used to hang on the dangerous cliffs along the coast, that
vessels might be wrecked by their misleading light. Do you suppose a Jew
could have accepted such a Christ as I represented then? No wonder they
fail to recognize their Messiah in the distorted image that is reflected
in the lives of his followers."

"But they rejected Christ himself when he was among them," ventured
Bethany.

"Yes," answered Mr. Marion, "it was like the old story of the man with a
muck rake. Do you remember that picture that was shown to Christian at
the interpreter's house in 'Pilgrim's Progress?' As a nation, Israel had
stooped so much to the gathering of dry traditions, had bent so long
over the minute letter of the law, that it could not straighten itself
to take the crown held out to it. It could not even lift its eyes to
discern that there was a crown just over its head."

"It always made me think of the blind Samson," said Mrs. Marion. "In
trying to overthrow something it could not see, spiritually I mean, it
pulled down the pillars of prophecy on its own head."

Mr. Marion turned to Bethany again.

"Yes, Israel, as a nation, rejected Christ; but who was it that wrote
those wonderful chronicles of the Nazarene? Who was it that went out
ablaze with the power of Pentecost to spread the deathless story of the
resurrection? Who were the apostles that founded our Church? To whom do
we owe our knowledge of God and our hope of redemption, if not to the
Jews? We forget, sometimes, that the Savior himself belonged to that
race we so reproach."

He was talking so earnestly, he had forgotten his surroundings, until a
light touch on his shoulder interrupted him.

"What's the occasion of all this eloquence, Brother Marion?" asked the
minister's genial voice.

He turned quickly to smile into the frank, smooth-shaven face bending
over him.

"Come, sit down, Dr. Bascom. We're discussing my young friend back
there, David Herschel. Have you met him?"

"Yes, I was talking with him a little while ago," answered the minister.
"He seems very reserved. Queer, what an intangible barrier seems to
arise when we talk to one of that race. I just came in to tell you that
Cragmore is in the next car. He got on at the last station."

"What, George Cragmore!" exclaimed Mr. Marion, rising quickly. "I
haven't seen him for two years. I'll bring him in here, Ray, after
awhile."

"That's the last we'll see of him till lunch-time," said Mrs. Marion, as
the door banged behind the two men.

"Frank will never think of us again when he gets to spinning yarns with
Mr. Cragmore. I want you to meet him, Bethany. He is one of the most
original men I ever heard talk. He's a young minister from the 'auld
sod.' They called him the 'wild Irishman' when he first came over, he
was so fiery and impetuous. There is enough of the brogue left yet in
his speech to spice everything he says. He and Frank are a great deal
alike in some things. They are both tall and light-haired. They both
have a deep vein of humor and an inordinate love of joking. They are
both so terribly in earnest with their Christianity that everybody
around them feels the force of it; and when they once settle on a point,
they are so tenacious nothing can move them. I often tell Frank he is
worse than a snapping-turtle. Tradition says they do let go when it
thunders, but nothing will make him let go when his mind is once
clinched."

There was a stop of twenty minutes at noon. At the sound of a noisy gong
in front of the station restaurant, Mr. Marion came in with his friend.
Capacious lunch-baskets were opened out on every side, with the generous
abundance of an old-time camp-meeting.

"Where is Herschel?" inquired Mr. Marion. "I intended to ask him to
lunch with us."

"I saw him going into the restaurant," replied his wife.

"You must have a talk with him this afternoon, George," said Mr. Marion.
"I've been all up and down this train trying to get people to be
neighborly. I believe Dr. Bascom is the only one who has spoken to him.
They were all having such a good time when I interrupted them, or they
didn't know what to say to a Jew, and a dozen different excuses."

"O, Frank, don't get started on that subject again!" exclaimed Mrs.
Marion. "Take a sandwich, and forget about it."

Bethany Hallam laughed more than once during the merry luncheon that
followed. She could not remember that she had laughed before since her
father's death. The young Irishman's ready wit, his droll stories, and
odd expressions were irresistible. He seemed a magnet, too, drawing
constantly from Frank Marion's inexhaustible supply of fun.

"You have seen only one side of him," remarked Mrs. Marion, when her
husband had taken him away to introduce David. "While he was very
entertaining, I think he has shown us one of the least attractive phases
of his character."

David had felt very much out of place all morning. It was one thing to
travel among ordinary Gentiles, as he had always done, and another to be
surrounded by those who were constantly bubbling over with religious
enthusiasm. He did not object to sitting beside a hot-water tank, he
said to himself, but he did object to its boiling over on him.

His neighbors would have been very much surprised could they have known
he was studying them with keen insight, and finding much to criticise.
Even some of their songs were objectionable to him, their catchy
refrains reminding him of some he had heard at colored minstrel shows.

With such an exalted idea of worship as the old rabbi had inculcated in
him, it did not seem fitting to approach Deity in song unless through
such sonorous utterances as the psalms. Some of these little tinkling,
catch-penny tunes seemed profanation.

He ventured to say as much to George Cragmore. He had very unexpectedly
found a congenial friend in the young minister. It was not often he met
a man so keenly alert to nature, so versed in his favorite literature,
or of his same sensitive temperament. He felt himself opening his inner
doors as he did to no one else but the rabbi.

A drizzling rain was falling when they began to wind in and out among
the mountains of Tennessee, and for miles in their journey a rainbow
confronted them at every turn in the road. It crowned every hilltop
ahead of them. It reached its shining ladder of light into every valley.
It seemed such a prophecy of what awaited them on the mountain beyond,
that some one began to sing, "Standing on the Promises."

As the full glory of the rainbow flashed on Cragmore's sight, he stopped
abruptly in the middle of a sentence. The expression of his face seemed
to transfigure it. When he turned to David, there were tears in his
eyes.

"O, the covenants of the Old Testament!" he said, in a low tone, that
thrilled David with its intensity of feeling. "The Bethels! The Mizpahs!
The Ebenezers! See, it is like a pillar of fire leading us to a
veritable land of promise."

Then, with his hand resting on David's knee, he began to talk of the
promises of the Bible, till David exclaimed, impulsively: "You make me
forget that you are a Christian. You enter into Israel's past even more
fully than many of her own sons."

Cragmore thrust out his hand, in his quick, nervous way, with an
impetuous gesture.

"Why, man!" he cried, relapsing unconsciously into the broad brogue of
his childhood, "we hold sacred with you the heritage of your past. We
look up with you to the same God, the Father; we confess a common faith
till we stand at the foot of the cross. There is no great barrier
between us--only a step--one step farther for you to take, and we stand
side by side!"

He laid his hand on David's, and looked into his eyes with an
expression of tender pleading as he added:

"O, my friend, if you could only see my Savior as he has revealed
himself to me! I pray you may! I do pray you may!"

It was the first time in David's life any one had ever said such a thing
to him. He sat back in his corner of the seat, at loss for an answer. It
put an end to their conversation for a while. Cragmore felt that his
sympathy had carried him to the point of giving offense. He was relieved
when Dr. Bascom beckoned him to share his seat.

After a while, as the train sped on into the darkness, the passengers
subsided in to sleepy indifference. It seemed hours afterward when Mr.
Marion clapped him on the shoulder, saying briskly, "Wake up, old
fellow, we are getting into Chattanooga."

"Let us go in with banners flying," said Dr. Bascom. "I understand that
every car-full that has come in, from Maine to Mexico, has come
singing."

The lights of the city, twinkling through the car-windows, aroused the
sleepy passengers with a sense of pleasant anticipations, and when they
steamed slowly into the crowded depot, it was as "pilgrims singing in
the night."

In the general confusion of the arrival, Mr. Marion lost sight of David.

"It's too bad!" he exclaimed, in a disappointed tone. "I intended to ask
him to drive to Missionary Ridge with us to-morrow, and I wanted to
introduce him to you, Bethany."

"I'm very glad you didn't have the opportunity, Cousin Frank," she said,
as she followed him through the depot gates. "He may be very agreeable,
and all that, but he's a Jew, and I don't care to make his
acquaintance."

The handle of the umbrella she was carrying came in collision with some
one behind her.

"I beg your pardon," she said, turning in her gracious, high-bred way.

The gentleman raised his hat. It was David Herschel. A stylish-looking
little school-girl was clinging to his arm, and a gray-bearded man, whom
she recognized as Major Herrick, was walking just behind him. They had
come down from the mountain to meet him, and take him to Lookout Inn. As
their eyes met, Bethany was positive that he had overheard her remark.



CHAPTER III.

THE SUNRISE SERVICE ON "LOOKOUT."


BY some misunderstanding, Bethany and her cousins had been assigned to
different homes.

"It is too late to make any change to-night," said Mrs. Marion, as they
left her. "We are only one block further up on this same street. We will
try to make some arrangement to-morrow to have you with us."

Bethany followed her hostess into the wide reception-hall. One of the
most elegant homes of the South had opened its hospitable doors to
receive them. Ten delegates had preceded her, all as tired and
travel-stained as herself.

During the introductions, Bethany mentally classified them as the most
uninteresting lot of people she had seen in a long time.

"I believe you are the odd one of this party, Miss Hallam," said the
hostess, glancing over the assignment cards she held; "so I shall have
to ask you to take a very small room. It is one improvised for the
occasion; but you will probably be more comfortable here alone than in a
larger room with several others."

It had never occurred to Bethany that she might have been asked to share
an apartment with some stranger, and she hastened to assure her hostess
of her appreciation of the little room, which, though very small indeed
compared with the great dimensions of the others, was quite comfortable
and attractive.

"I have always been accustomed to being by myself," she said, "and it
makes no difference at all if it is so far away from the other
sleeping-rooms. I am not at all timid."

Yet, when she had wearily locked her door, she realized that she had
never been so entirely alone before in all her life. Home seemed so very
far away. Her surroundings were so strange. Her extreme weariness
intensified her morbid feeling of loneliness. She remembered such a
sensation coming to her one night in mid-ocean, but she had tapped on
her state-room wall, and her father had come to her immediately. Now she
might call a weary lifetime. No earthly voice could ever reach him.

With a throbbing ache in her throat, and hot tears springing to her
eyes, she opened her valise and took out a little photograph case of
Russia leather. Four pictured faces looked out at her. She was kneeling
before them, with her arms resting on the low dressing-table. As she
gazed at them intently, a tear splashed down on her black dress.

"O, it isn't right! It isn't right," she sobbed, passionately, "for God
to take everything! It would have been so easy for him to let me keep
them. How could he be so cruel? How could he take away all that made my
life worth living, and then let little Jack suffer so?"

She laid her head on her arms in a paroxysm of sobbing. Presently she
looked up again at her mother's picture. It was a beautiful face, very
like her own. It brought back all her happy childhood, that seemed
almost glorified now by the remembered halo of its devoted mother-love.

The years had softened that grief, but it all came back to-night with
its old-time bitterness.

The next face was little Jack's--a sturdy, wide-awake boy, with
mischievous dimples and laughing eyes. But the recollection of all he
had suffered since his accident, made her feel that she had lost him
also, in a way. The physician had assured her that he would be the same
vigorous, romping child again; but she found that hard to believe when
she thought of his present helpless condition.

She pressed the next picture to her lips with trembling fingers, and
then looked lovingly into the eyes that seemed to answer her gaze with
one of steadfast, manly devotion.

"O, it isn't right! It isn't right!" she sobbed again. How it all came
back to her--the happy June-time of her engagement!--the summer days
when she dreamed of him, the summer twilights when he came. Every detail
was burned into her aching memory, from the first bunch of violets he
brought her, to the judge's tender smile when she spread out all her
bridal array for him to see. Such shimmering lengths of the white,
trailing satin; such filmy clouds of the soft, white veil, destined
never to touch her fair hair! For there was the telegram, and afterward
the darkened room, and the darker hour, when she groped her way to a
motionless form, and knelt beside it alone. O, how she had clung to the
cold hands, and kissed the unresponsive lips, and turned away in an
agony of despair! But as she turned, her father's strong arms were
folded about her, and his broken voice whispered comfort.

The dear father! It had been doubly desolate since he had gone, too.

Kneeling there, with her head bowed on her arms, she seemed to face a
future that was utterly hopeless. Except that Jack needed her, she felt
that there was absolutely no reason why she should go on living.

The ticking of her watch reminded her that it was nearly midnight. In a
mechanical way, she got up and began to arrange her hair for the night.

After she had extinguished the light, she pulled aside the curtain, and
looked out on the unfamiliar streets.

The moon had come up. In the dim light the crest of old Lookout towered
grimly above the horizon. A verse of one of the Psalms passed through
her mind: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh
my help."

"No," she whispered, bitterly, "there is no help. God doesn't care. He
is too far away."

As she went back to the bed, the words of the novice in Muloch's
"Benedetta Minelli" came to her:

    "O weary world, O heavy life, farewell!
       Like a tired child that creeps into the dark
       To sob itself asleep where none will mark,
     So creep I to my silent convent cell."

"I wish I could do that," she thought; "lock myself away with my
memories, and not be obliged to keep up this empty pretense of living,
just as if nothing were changed. It might not be so hard. How I dread
to-morrow, with its crowds of strange faces! O, why did I ever come?"

Next morning, the guests gathered out on the vine-covered piazza to
discuss their plans for the day.

There were two theological students from Boston, a young doctor from
Texas, and the son of a wealthy Louisiana planter. A Kansas farmer's
wife and her sister, a bright little schoolteacher from an Iowa village,
and three pretty Georgia girls, completed the party.

Bethany sat a little apart from them, wondering how they could be so
greatly interested in such things as the most direct car-line to
Missionary Ridge, or the time it would take to "do" the old
battle-grounds.

The youngest Georgia girl was about her own age. She had made several
attempts to include Bethany in the conversation, but mistaking her
reserve and indifference for haughtiness, turned to the Louisiana boy
with a remark about unsociable Northerners.

Their frequent laughter reached Bethany, and she wondered, in a dull
way, how anybody could be light-hearted enough even to smile in such a
world full of heart-aches. Then she remembered that she had laughed
herself, the day before, when Mr. Cragmore was with them. It rather
puzzled her now to know how she could have done so. Her wakeful night
had left her unusually depressed.

An open, two-seated carriage stopped at the gate. Mrs. Marion and George
Cragmore were on the back seat. Mr. Marion and Dr. Bascom sat with the
driver. Bethany had been waiting for them some time with her hat on, so
she went quickly out to meet them. Mr. Cragmore leaped over the wheel to
open the gate, and assist her to a seat between himself and Mrs.
Marion.

They drove rapidly out towards Missionary Ridge. To Bethany's great
relief, neither of her companions seemed in a talkative mood. Mr.
Marion, who was an ardent Southerner, had been deep in a political
discussion with Dr. Bascom. As they stopped on the winding road, half
way up the ridge, to look down into the beautiful valley below, and
across to the purple summit of Lookout, Mr. Marion drew a long breath.
Then he took off his hat, saying, reverently, "The work of His fingers!
What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?" Then, after a long silence:
"How insignificant our little differences seem, Bascom, in the sight of
these everlasting hills! Let's change the subject."

Mrs. Marion, absorbed in the beauty on every side, did not notice
Bethany's continued silence or Cragmore's spasmodic remarks. The fresh
air and brisk motion had somewhat aroused Bethany from her apathy.
First, she began to be interested in the constantly-changing view, and
then she noticed its effect on the erratic man beside her.

From the time they commenced to ascend the ridge he had not spoken to
any one directly, but everything he saw seemed to suggest a quotation.
He repeated them unconsciously, as if he were all alone; some of them
dreamily, some of them with startling force, and all with the slight
brogue he spoke so musically.

"Every common bush afire with God," he murmured in an undertone, looking
at a dusty wayside weed, with his soul in his eyes.

Bethany thought to herself, afterwards, that if any other man of her
acquaintance had kept up such a steady string of disjointed quotations,
it would have been ridiculous. She never heard him do it again after
that day. It seemed as if the old battle-fields suggested thoughts that
could find no adequate expression save in words that immortal pens had
made deathless.

The warm odor of ripe peaches floated out to them from grassy orchards,
where the trees were bent over with their wealth of velvety,
sun-reddened fruit. Seemingly, Cragmore had taken no notice of Bethany's
depression when she joined them, or of the soothing effect nature was
having on her sore heart. But she knew that he had seen it, when he
turned to her abruptly with a quotation that fitted her as well as his
first one had the wayside weed. He half sang it, with a tender, wistful
smile, as he watched her face.

    "O the green things growing, the green things growing--
     The faint, sweet smell of the green things growing!
     I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
     Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing,
     For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so much,
     With the soft, mute comfort of green things growing."

Bethany wondered if her cousin Frank had told him of all she had
suffered, or if he had guessed it intuitively. Somehow she felt that he
had not been told, but that he had divined it. Yet when they stopped on
the Chickamauga battle-field, and she saw him go leaping across the
rough fields like an overgrown boy, she thought of her cousin Ray's
remark, "They used to call him the wild Irishman," and wondered at the
contradictory phases his character presented. She saw him pause and lay
his hand reverently on the largest cannon, and then come running back
across the furrows with long, awkward jumps.

"What on earth did you do that for, Cragmore?" asked Mr. Marion, in his
teasing way. "The idea of keeping us waiting while you were racing
across a ten-acre lot to pat an old gun."

"Old gun, is it?" was the laughing answer, yet there was a flash in his
eyes that belied the laugh. "Odds, man! it is one of the greatest
orators that ever roused a continent. I just wanted to lay my hands on
its dumb lips." He waved his arm with an exulting gesture. "Aye, but
they spoke in thunder-tones once, the day they spoke freedom to a race."

He did not take his seat in the carriage for a while, but followed at a
little distance, ranging the woods on both sides; sometimes plunging
into a leafy hollow to examine the bark of an old tree where the shells
had plowed deep scars; sometimes dropping on his knees to brush away the
leaves from a tiny wild-flower, that any one but a true woodsman would
have passed with unseeing eyes. Once he brought a rare specimen up to
the carriage to ask its name. He had never seen one like it before. That
was the only one he gathered.

"It's a pity to tear them up, when they would wither in just a few
hours," he said; "the solitary places are so glad for them."

"He's a queer combination," said Dr. Bascom, as he watched him break a
little sprig of cedar from the stump of a battle-broken tree to put in
his card-case. "Sometimes he is the veriest clown; at others, a child
could not be more artless; and I have seen him a few times when he
seemed to be aroused into a spiritual giant. He fairly touched the
stars."

Bethany was so tired by the morning's drive that she did not go to the
opening services in the big tent that afternoon.

"Well, you missed it!" said Mr. Marion, when he came in after supper,
"and so did David Herschel."

"Missed what?" inquired Bethany.

"The mayor's address of welcome, this afternoon. You know he is a Jew.
Such a broad, fraternal speech must have been a revelation to a great
many of his audience. I tell you, it was fine! You're going to-night,
aren't you, Bethany?"

"No," she answered, "I want to save myself for the sunrise
prayer-meeting on the mountain to-morrow. I saw the sun come up over the
Rigi once. It is a sight worth staying up all night to see."

It was about two o'clock in the morning when they started up the
mountain by rail. The cars were crowded. People hung on the straps,
swaying back and forth in the aisles, as the train lurched around sudden
curves. Notwithstanding the early hour, and the discomfort of their
position, they sang all the way up the mountain.

"Cousin Ray," said Bethany, "do tell me how these people can sing so
constantly. The last thing I heard last night before I went to sleep was
the electric street-car going past the house, with a regular hallelujah
chorus on board. Do you suppose they really feel all they sing? How can
they keep worked up to such a pitch all the time?"

"You should have been at the tent last night, dear," answered Mrs.
Marion. "Then you would have gotten into the secret of it. There is an
inspiration in great numbers. The audiences we are having there are said
to be the greatest ever gathered south of the Ohio. Our League at home
has been doing very faithful work, but I couldn't help wishing last
night that every member could have been present. To see ten thousand
faces lit up with the same interest and the same hope, to hear the
battle-cry, 'All for Christ,' and the Amen that rolled out in response
like a volley of ten thousand musketry, would have made them feel like a
little, straggling company of soldiers suddenly awakened to the fact
that they were not fighting single-handed, but that all that great army
were re-enforcing them. More than that, these were only the
advance-guard, for over a million young people are enlisted in the same
cause. Think of that, Bethany--a million leagued together just in
Methodism! Then, when you count with them all the Christian Endeavor
forces, and the Baptist Unions, and the King's Daughters and Sons, and
the Young Men's Christian Associations, and the Brotherhood of St.
Andrew, it looks like the combined power ought to revolutionize the
universe in the next decade."

"Then you think it is an inspiration of the crowds that makes them sing
all the time," said Bethany.

"By no means!" answered Mrs. Marion. "To be sure, it has something to do
with it; but to most of this vast number of young people, their religion
is not a sentiment to be fanned into spasmodic flame by some excitement.
It is a vital force, that underlies every thought and every act. They
will sing at home over their work, and all by themselves, just as
heartily as they do here. I remember seeing in Westminster Abbey, one
time, the profiles of John and Charles Wesley put side by side on the
same medallion. I have thought, since then, it is only a half-hearted
sort of Methodism that does not put the spirit of both brothers into its
daily life--that does not wing its sermons with its songs."

Hundreds of people had already gathered on the brow of the mountain,
waiting the appointed hour. Mr. Marion led the way to a place where
nature had formed a great amphitheater of the rocks. They seated
themselves on a long, narrow ledge, overlooking the valley. They were
above the clouds. Such billows of mist rolled up and hid the sleeping
earth below that they seemed to be looking out on a boundless ocean. The
world and its petty turmoils were blotted out. There was only this one
gray peak raising its solitary head in infinite space. It was still and
solemn in the early light. They spoke together almost in whispers.

"I can not believe that any man ever went up into a mountain to pray
without feeling himself drawn to a higher spiritual altitude," said Dr.
Bascom.

Frank Marion looked around on the assembled crowds, and then said
slowly:

"Once a little band of five hundred met the risen Lord on a
mountain-side in Galilee, and were sent away with the promise, 'Lo, I am
with you alway!' Think what they accomplished, and then think of the
thousands here this morning that may go back to the work of the valley
with the same promise and the same power! There ought to be a wonderful
work accomplished for the Master this year."

Cragmore, who had walked away a little distance from the rest, and was
watching the eastern sky, turned to them with his face alight.

"See!" he cried, with the eagerness of a child, and yet with the
appreciation of a poet shining in his eyes; "the wings of the morning
rising out of the uttermost parts of the sea."

He pointed to the long bars of light spreading like great flaming
pinions above the horizon. The dawn had come, bringing a new heaven and
a new earth. In the solemn hush of the sunrise, a voice began to sing,
"Nearer, my God, to thee."

It was as in the days of the old temple. They had left the outer courts
and passed up into an inner sanctuary, where a rolling curtain of cloud
seemed to shut them in, till in that high Holy of Holies they stood face
to face with the Shekinah of God's presence.

Bethany caught her breath. There had been times before this when,
carried along by the impetuous eloquence of some sermon or prayer, every
fiber of her being seemed to thrill in response. In her childlike
reaching out towards spiritual things, she had had wonderful glimpses of
the Fatherhood of God. She had gone to him with every experience of her
young life, just as naturally and freely as she had to her earthly
father. But when beside the judge's death-bed she pleaded for his life
to be spared to her a little longer, and her frenzied appeals met no
response, she turned away in rebellious silence. "She would pray no more
to a dumb heaven," she said bitterly. Her hope had been vain.

Now, as she listened to songs and prayers and testimony, she began to
feel the power that emanated from them,--the power of the Spirit,
showing her the Father as she had never known him before: the Father
revealed through the Son.

Below, the mists began to roll away until the hidden valley was revealed
in all its morning loveliness. But how small it looked from such a
height! Moccasin Bend was only a silver thread. The outlying forests
dwindled to thickets.

Bethany looked up. The mists began to roll away from her spiritual
vision, and she saw her life in relation to the eternities. Self
dwindled out of sight. There was no bitterness now, no childish
questioning of Divine purposes. The blind Bartimeus by the wayside,
hearing the cry, "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by," and, groping his way
towards "the Light of the world," was no surer of his dawning vision
than Bethany, as she joined silently in the prayer of consecration. She
saw not only the glory of the June sunrise; for her the "Sun of
righteousness had arisen, with healing in his wings."

People seemed loath to go when the services were over. They gathered in
little groups on the mountain-side, or walked leisurely from one point
of view to another, drinking in the rare beauty of the morning.

Bethany walked on without speaking. She was a little in advance of the
others, and did not notice when the rest of her party were stopped by
some acquaintances. Absorbed in her own thoughts, she turned aside at
Prospect Point, and walked out to the edge. As she looked down over the
railing, the refrain of one of the songs that had been sung so
constantly during the last few days, unconsciously rose to her lips. She
hummed it softly to herself, over and over, "O, there's sunshine in my
soul to-day."

So oblivious was she of all surroundings that she did not hear Frank
Marion's quick step behind her. He had come to tell her they were going
down the mountain by the incline.

"O, there's sunshine, blessed sunshine!" The words came softly, almost
under her breath; but he heard them, and felt with a quick heart-throb
that some thing unusual must have occurred to bring any song to her
lips.

"O Bethany!" he exclaimed, "do you mean it, child? Has the light come?"

The face that she turned towards him was radiant. She could find no
words wherewith to tell him her great happiness, but she laid her hands
in his, and the tears sprang to her eyes.

"Thank God! Thank God!" he exclaimed, with a tremor in his strong voice.
"It is what I have been praying for. Now you see why I urged you to
come. I knew what a mountain-top of transfiguration this would be."

Standing on the outskirts of the crowd, David Herschel had looked around
with great curiosity on the gathering thousands. It was only a little
distance from the inn, and he had come down hoping to discover the real
motive that had brought these people together from such vast distances.
He wondered what power their creed contained that could draw them to
this meeting at such an early hour.

He had felt as keenly as Cragmore the sublimity of the sunrise. He felt,
too, the uplifting power of the old hymn, that song drawn from the
experience of Jacob at Bethel, that seemed to lift every heart nearer to
the Eternal.

He was deeply stirred as the leader began to speak of the mountain
scenes of the Bible, of Abraham's struggles at Moriah, of Horeb's
burning bush, of Sinai and Nebo, of Mount Zion with its thousand
hallowed memories. So far the young Jew could follow him, but not to
the greater heights of the Mountain of Beatitudes, of Calvary, or of
Olivet.

He had never heard such prayers as the ones that followed. Although
there can be found no sublimer utterances of worship, no humbler
confessions of penitence or more lofty conceptions of Jehovah, than are
bound in the rituals of Judaism, these simple outpourings of the heart
were a revelation to him.

There came again the fulfillment of the deathless words, "And I, if I be
lifted up, will draw all men unto me!" O, how the lowly Nazarene was
lifted up that morning in that great gathering of his people! How his
name was exalted! All up and down old Lookout Mountain, and even across
the wide valley of the Tennessee, it was echoed in every song and
prayer.

When the testimony service began, David turned from one speaker to
another. What had they come so far to tell? From every State in the
Union, from Canada, and from foreign shores, they brought only one
story--"Behold the Lamb of God!" In spite of himself, the young Jew's
heart was strangely drawn to this uplifted Christ. Suddenly he was
startled by a ringing voice that cried: "I am a converted Jew. I was
brought to Christ by a little girl--a member of the Junior League. I
have given up wife, mother, father, sisters, brothers, and fortune, but
I have gained so much that I can say from the depths of my soul, 'Take
all the world, but give me Jesus.' I have consecrated my life to his
service."

David changed his position in order to get a better view of the speaker.
He scrutinized him closely. He studied his face, his dress, even his
attitude, to determine, if possible, the character of this new witness.
He saw a man of medium height, broad forehead, and firm mouth over which
drooped a heavy, dark mustache. There was nothing fanatical in the calm
face or dignified bearing. His eyes, which were large, dark, and
magnetic, met David's with a steady gaze, and seemed to hold them for a
moment.

With a lawyer-like instinct, David longed to probe this man with
questions. As he went back to the inn, he resolved to hunt up his
history, and find what had induced him to turn away from the faith.



CHAPTER IV.

AN EPWORTH JEW.


NEARLY every northern-bound mail-train, since Bethany's arrival in
Chattanooga, had carried something home to Jack--a paper, a postal,
souvenirs from the battle-fields, or views of the mountain. Knowing how
eagerly he watched for the postman's visits, she never let a day pass
without a letter. Saturday morning she even missed part of the services
at the tent in order to write to him.

"I have just come back from Grant University," she wrote. "Cousin Frank
was so interested in the Jew who spoke at the sunrise meeting yesterday,
because he said a little Junior League girl had been the means of his
conversion, that he arranged for an interview with him. His name is
Lessing. Cousin Frank asked me to go with him to take the conversation
down in shorthand for the League. I haven't time now to give all the
details, but will tell them to you when I come home."

Bethany had been intensely interested in the man's story. They sat out
on one of the great porches of the university, with the mountains in
sight. They had drawn their chairs aside to a cool, shady corner, where
they would not be interrupted by the stream of people constantly passing
in and out.

"It is for the children you want my story," he said; "so they must know
of my childhood. It was passed in Baltimore. My father was the strictest
of orthodox Jews, and I was very faithfully trained in the observances
of the law. He taught me Hebrew, and required a rigid adherence to all
the customs of the synagogue."

Bethany rapidly transcribed his words, as he told many interesting
incidents of his early home life. He had come to Chattanooga for
business reasons, married, and opened a store in St. Elmo, at the foot
of Mount Lookout. He was very fond of children, and made friends with
all who came into the store. There was one little girl, a fair,
curly-haired child, who used to come oftener than the others. She grew
to love him dearly, and, in her baby fashion, often talked to him of
the Junior League, in which she was deeply interested.

Her distress when she discovered that he did not love Christ was
pitiful. She insisted so on his going to Church, that one morning he
finally consented, just to please her. The sermon worried him all day.
It had been announced that the evening service would be a continuation
of the same subject. He went at night, and was so impressed with the
truth of what he heard, that when the child came for him to go to
prayer-meeting with her the next week, he did not refuse.

Towards the close of the service the minister asked if any one present
wished to pray for friends. The child knelt down beside Mr. Lessing, and
to his great embarrassment began to pray for him. "O Lord, save Brother
Lessing!" was all she said, but she repeated it over and over with such
anxious earnestness, that it went straight to his heart.

He dropped on his knees beside her, and began praying for himself. It
was not long until he was on his feet again, joyfully confessing the
Christ he had been taught to despise. In the enthusiasm of this
new-found happiness he went home and tried to tell his wife of the
Messiah he had accepted, but she indignantly refused to listen. For
months she berated and ridiculed him. When she found that not only were
tears and arguments of no avail, but that he felt he must consecrate his
life to the ministry, she declared she would leave him. He sold the
store, and gave her all it brought; and she went back to her family in
Florida.

In order to prepare for the ministry he entered the university, working
outside of study hours at anything he could find to do. In the meantime
he had written to his parents, knowing how greatly they would be
distressed, yet hoping their great love would condone the offense.

His father's answer was cold and businesslike. He said that no disgrace
could have come to him that could have hurt him so deeply as the
infidelity of his trusted son. If he would renounce this false faith for
the true faith of his fathers, he would give him forty thousand dollars
outright, and also leave him a legacy of the same amount. But should he
refuse the offer, he should be to him as a stranger--the doors of both
his heart and his house should be forever barred against him.

His mother, with a woman's tact, sent the pictures of all the family,
whom he had not seen for several years. Their faces called up so many
happy memories of the past that they pleaded more eloquently than words.
It was a sweet, loving letter she wrote to her boy, reminding him of all
they had been to each other, and begging him for her sake to come back
to the old faith. But right at the last she wrote: "If you insist on
clinging to this false Christ, whom we have taught you to despise, the
heart of your father and of your mother must be closed against you, and
you must be thrust out from us forever with our curse upon you."

He knew it was the custom. He had been present once when the awful
anathema was hurled at a traitor to the faith, withdrawing every right
from the outlaw, living or dead. He knew that his grave would be dug in
the Jewish cemetery in Baltimore; that the rabbi would read the rites of
burial over his empty coffin, and that henceforth his only part in the
family life would be the blot of his disgraceful memory.

He spread the pictures and the letters on the desk before him. A cold
perspiration broke out on his forehead, as he realized the hopelessness
of the alternative offered him. One by one he took up the photographs of
his brothers and sisters, looked at them long and fondly, and laid them
aside; then his father's, with its strong, proud face. He put that away,
too.

At last he picked up his mother's picture. She looked straight out at
him, with such a world of loving tenderness in the smiling eyes, with
such trustful devotion, as if she knew he could not resist the appeal,
that he turned away his head. The trial seemed greater than he could
bear. He was trembling with the force of it. Then he looked again into
the dear, patient face, till his eyes grew too dim to see. It was the
same old mother who had nursed him, who had loved him, who had borne
with his waywardness and forgiven him always. He seemed to feel the soft
touch of her lips on his forehead as she bent over to give him a
goodnight kiss. All that she had ever done for him came rushing through
his memory so overwhelmingly that he broke down utterly, and began to
sob like a child. "O, I can't give her up," he groaned. "My dear old
mother! I can't grieve her so!"

All that morning he clung to her picture, sometimes walking the floor in
his agony, sometimes falling on his knees to pray. "God in heaven have
pity," he cried. "That a man should have to choose between his mother
and his Christ!" At last he rose, and, with one more long look at the
picture, laid it reverently away with shaking hands. He had surrendered
everything.

He did not tell all this to his sympathizing listeners. They could read
part of the pathos of that struggle in his face, part in the voice that
trembled occasionally, despite his strong effort to control it.

Frank Marion's thoughts went back to his own gentle mother in the old
homestead among the green hills of Kentucky. As he thought of the great
pillar of strength her unfaltering faith had been to him, of how from
boyhood it had upheld and comforted and encouraged him, of how much he
had always depended upon her love and her prayers, his sympathies were
stirred to their depths. He reached out and took Lessing's hand in his
strong grasp.

"God help you, brother!" he said, fervently.

Bethany turned her head aside, and looked away into the hazy distances.
She knew what it meant to feel the breaking of every tie that bound her
best beloved to her. She knew what it was to have only pictured faces to
look into, and lay away with the pain of passionate longing. The
question flashed into her mind, could she have made the voluntary
surrender that he had made? She put it from her with a throb of shame
that she was glad that she had not been so tested.

Some acquaintance of Mr. Marion, passing down the steps, recognized him,
and called back:

"What time does your speech come on the program, Frank? I understand you
are to hold forth to-day."

Mr. Marion hastily excused himself for a moment, to speak to his friend.

Bethany sat silent, thinking intently, while she drew unmeaning dots and
dashes over the cover of her note-book.

Mr. Lessing turned to her abruptly. "Did you ever speak to a Jew about
your Savior?" he asked, with such startling directness, that Bethany was
confused.

"No," she said, hesitatingly.

"Why?" he asked.

He was looking at her with a penetrating gaze that seemed to read her
thoughts.

"Really," she answered, "I have never considered the question. I am not
very well acquainted with any, for one reason; besides, I would have
felt that I was treading on forbidden grounds to speak to a Jew about
religion. They have always seemed to me to be so intrenched in their
beliefs, so proof against argument, that it would be both a useless and
thankless undertaking."

"They may seem invulnerable to arguments," he answered, "but nobody is
proof against a warm, personal interest. Ah, Miss Hallam, it seems a
terrible thing to me. The Church will make sacrifices, will cross the
seas, will overcome almost any obstacle to send the gospel to China or
to Africa, anywhere but to the Jews at their elbows. O, of course, I
know there are a few Hebrew missions, scattered here and there through
the large cities, and a few earnest souls are devoting their entire
energy to the work. But suppose every Christian in the country became an
evangel to the little community of Jews within the radius of his
influence. Suppose a practical, prayerful, individual effort were made
to show them Christ, with the same zeal you expend in sending 'the old
story' to the Hottentots. What would be the result? O, if I had waited
for a grown person to speak to me about it, I might have waited until
the day of my death. I was restless. I was dissatisfied. I felt that I
needed something more than my creed could give me. For what is Judaism
now? I read an answer not long ago: 'A religion of sacrifice, to which,
for eighteen centuries, no sacrifice has been possible; a religion of
the Passover and the Day of Atonement, on which, for well-nigh two
millenniums, no lamb has been slain and no atonement offered; a
sacerdotal religion, with only the shadow of a priesthood; a religion of
a temple which has no temple more; its altar is quenched, its ashes
scattered, no longer kindling any enthusiasm, nor kindled by any
hope.'[A] No man ever took me by the hand and told me about the peace I
have now. No man ever shared with me his hope, or pointed out the way
for me to find it. If it had not been for the blessed guiding influence
of a little child, my hungry heart might still be crying out
unsatisfied."

He went on to repeat several conversations he had had with men of his
own race, to show her how this indifference of Christians was reckoned
against them as a glaring inconsistency by the Jews. Almost as if some
one had spoken the words to her, she seemed to hear the condemnation, "I
was a hungered, and ye gave me no meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me no
drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in. Inasmuch as ye did it
not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me."

Strange as it may seem, Bethany's interpretation of that Scripture had
always been in a temporal sense. More than once, when a child, she had
watched her mother feed some poor beggar, with the virtuous feeling that
that condemnation could not apply to the Hallam family. But now
Lessing's impassioned appeal had awakened a different thought. Who so
hungered as those who, reaching out for bread, grasped either the stones
of a formal ritualism or the abandoned hope of prophecy unfulfilled? Who
such "strangers within the gates" of the nations as this race without a
country? From the brick-kilns of Pharaoh to the willows of Babylon, from
the Ghetto of Rome to the fagot-fires along the Rhine, from Spanish
cruelties to English extortions, they had been driven--exiles and
aliens. The New World had welcomed them. The New World had opened all
its avenues to them. Only from the door of Christian society had they
turned away, saying, "I was a stranger, and ye took me not in."

In the pause that followed, Bethany's heart went out in an earnest
prayer: "O God, in the great day of thy judgment, let not that
condemnation be mine. Only send me some opportunity, show me some way
whereby I may lead even one of the least among them to the world's
Redeemer!"

Mr. Marion came back from his interview, looking at his watch as he did
so. It was so near time for services to begin at the tent, that he did
not resume his seat.

"We may never meet again, Mr. Lessing," said Bethany, holding out her
hand as she bade him good-bye. "So I want to tell you before I go, what
an impression this conversation has made upon me. It has aroused an
earnest desire to be the means of carrying the hope that comforts me,
to some one among your people."

"You will succeed," he said, looking into her earnest upturned face.
Then he added softly, in Hebrew, the old benediction of an olden
day--"Peace be unto you."

All that day, after the sunrise meeting, David Herschel had been with
Major Herrick, going over the battle-fields, and listening to personal
reminiscences of desperate engagements. A monument was to be erected on
the spot where nearly all the major's men had fallen in one of the most
hotly-contested battles of the war. He had come down to help locate the
place.

"It's a very different reception they are giving us now," remarked the
major, as they drove through the city.

Epworth League colors were flying in all directions. Every street
gleamed with the white and red banners of the North, crossed with the
white and gold of the South.

"Chattanooga is entertaining her guests royally; people of every
denomination, and of no faith at all, are vying with each other to show
the kindliest hospitality. We are missing it by being at the hotel. I
told Mrs. Herrick and the girls I would meet them at the tent this
evening. Will you come, too?"

"No, thank you," replied David, "my curiosity was satisfied this
morning. I'll go on up to the inn. I have a letter to write."

The major laughed.

"It's a letter that has to be written every day, isn't it?" he said,
banteringly. "Well, I can sympathize with you, my boy. I was young
myself once. Conferences aren't to be taken into account at all when a
billet-doux needs answering."

The next day David kept Marta with him as much as possible. He could see
that she was becoming greatly interested, and catching much of Albert
Herrick's enthusiasm. The boy was a great League worker, and attended
every meeting.

David took Marta a long walk over the mountain paths. They sat on the
wide, vine-hung veranda of the inn, and read together. Then, as it was
their Sabbath, he took her up to his room, and read some of the ritual
of the day, trying to arouse in her some interest for the old customs of
their childhood.

To his great dismay, he found that she had drifted away from him. She
was not the yielding child she had been, whom he had been able to
influence with a word.

She showed a disposition to question and contend, that annoyed him. The
rabbi was right. She had been left too long among contaminating
influences.

It was with a feeling of relief that he woke Sunday morning to hear the
rain beating violently against the windows. He was glad on her account
that the storm would prevent them going down into the city. But toward
evening the sun came out, and Frances Herrick began to insist on going
down to the night service in the tent.

"It is the last one there will be!" she exclaimed. "I wouldn't miss it
for anything."

"Neither would I," responded Marta. "There is something so inspiring in
all that great chorus of voices."

When David found that his sister really intended to go, notwithstanding
his remonstrances, and that the family were waiting for her in the hall
below, he made no further protest, but surprised her by taking his hat,
and tucking her hand in his arm.

"Then I will go with you, little sister," he said. "I want to have as
much of your company as possible during my short visit."

Albert Herrick, who was waiting for her at the foot of the stairs,
divined David's purpose in keeping his sister so close. He lifted his
eyebrows slightly as he turned to take his mother's wraps, leaving
Frances to follow with the major.

The tent was crowded when they reached it. They succeeded with great
difficulty in obtaining several chairs in one of the aisles.

"Herschel and I will go back to the side," said Albert. "The audience
near the entrance is constantly shifting, and we can slip into the first
vacant seat; some will be sure to get tired and go out before long. They
always do."

It was the first time David had been in the tent, and he was amazed at
the enormous audience. He leaned against one of the side supports,
watching the people, still intent on crowding forward. Suddenly his look
of idle curiosity changed to one of lively interest. He recognized the
face of the Jew who had attracted him in the mountain meeting. Isaac
Lessing was in the stream of people pressing slowly towards him.

Nearer and nearer he came. The crowd at the door pushed harder. The
fresh impetus jostled them almost off their feet, and in the crush
Lessing was caught and held directly in front of David. Some magnetic
force in the eyes of each held the gaze of the other for a moment. Then
Lessing, recognizing the common bond of blood, smiled.

That ringing cry, "I am a converted Jew," had sounded in David's ears
ever since it first startled him. He felt confident that the man was
laboring under some strong delusion, and he wished that he might have an
opportunity to dispel it by skillful arguments, and win him back to the
old faith.

Seized by an impulse as sudden as it was irresistible, he laid his hand
on the stranger's arm.

"I want to speak with you," he said, hurriedly, and in a low tone. "Come
this way. I will not detain you long."

He drew him out of the press into one of the side aisles, and thence
towards the exit.

"Will you walk a few steps with me?" he asked; "I want to ask you
several questions."

Lessing complied quietly.

The sound of a cornet followed them with the pleading notes of an old
hymn. It was like the mighty voice of some archangel sounding a call to
prayer. Then the singing began. Song after song rolled out on the night
air across the common to a street where two men paced back and forth in
the darkness. They were arm in arm. David was listening to the same
story that Bethany and Frank Marion had heard the day before. He could
not help but be stirred by it. Lessing's voice was so earnest, his faith
was so sure. When he was through, David was utterly silenced. The
questions with which he had intended to probe this man's claims were
already answered.

"We might as well go back," he said at last. As they walked slowly
towards the tent, he said: "I can't understand you. I feel all the time
that you have been duped in some way; that you are under the spell of
some mysterious power that deludes you."

Just as they passed within the tent, the cornet sounded again, the
great congregation rose, and ten thousand voices went up as one:

    "All hail the power of Jesus' name,
       Let angels prostrate fall!"

The sight was a magnificent one; the sound like an ocean-beat of praise.
Lessing seized David's arm.

"That is the power!" he exclaimed. "Not only does it uplift all these
thousands you see here, but millions more, all over this globe. It is
nearly two thousand years since this Jesus was known among men. Could he
transform lives to-night, as mine has been transformed, if his power
were a delusion? What has brought them all these miles, if not this same
power? Look at the class of people who have been duped, as you call it."
He pointed to the platform. "Bishops, college presidents, editors, men
of marked ability and with world-wide reputation for worth and
scholarship."

At the close of the hymn some one moved over, and made room for David on
one of the benches. Lessing pushed farther to the front. David listened
to all that was said with a sort of pitying tolerance, until the sermon
began. The bishop's opening words caught his attention, and echoed in
his memory for months afterward.

"Paul knew Christ as he had studied him, and as he appeared to him when
he did not believe in him--when he despised him. Then he also knew
Christ after his surrender to him; after Christ had entered into his
life, and changed the character of his being; after new meanings of life
and destiny filled his horizon, after the Divine tenderness filled to
completeness his nature; then was he in possession of a knowledge of
Christ, of an experience of his presence and of his love that was a
benediction to him, and has through the centuries since that hour been a
blessing to men wherever the gospel has been preached.

"It is such a man speaking in this text. A man with a singularly strong
mind, well disciplined, with great will-power; a man with a great
ancestry; a man with as mighty a soul as ever tabernacled in flesh and
blood. He proclaimed everywhere that, if need be, he was ready to die
for the principles out of which had come to him a new life, and which
had brought to his heart experiences so rich and so overwhelming in
happiness, that he was led to do and undertake what he knew would lead
at the last to a martyr's death and crown. Why? Hear him: 'For the love
of Christ constraineth us.'"

There was a testimony service following the sermon. As David watched the
hundreds rising to declare their faith, he wondered why they should thus
voluntarily come forward as witnesses. Then the text seemed to repeat
itself in answer, "For the love of Christ constraineth us!"

He dreamed of Lessing and Paul all night. He was glad when the
conference was at an end; when the decorations were taken down from the
streets, and the last car-load of irrepressible enthusiasts went singing
out of the city.

Albert Herrick went to the seashore that week. David proposed taking
Marta home with him; but her objections were so heartily re-enforced by
the whole family that he quietly dropped the subject, and went back to
Rabbi Barthold alone.

FOOTNOTE:

[A] Archdeacon Farrar.



CHAPTER V.

"TRUST."

      "Alas! we can not draw habitual breath in the thin air
      of life's supremer heights. We can not make each meal
      a sacrament."--Lowell.


IT had seemed to Bethany, in the experience of that sunrise on Lookout
Mountain, she could never feel despondent again; but away from the
uplifting influences of the place, back among the painful memories of
the old home, she fought as hard a fight with her returning doubts as
ever Christian did in his Valley of Humiliation.

For a week since her return the weather had been intensely warm. It made
Jack irritable, and sapped her own strength.

There came a day when everything went wrong. She had practiced her
shorthand exercises all morning, until her head ached almost beyond
endurance. The grocer presented a bill much larger than she had
expected. While he was receipting it, a boy came to collect for the
gas, and there were only two dimes left in her purse. Then Jack upset a
little cut-glass vase that was standing on the table beside him. It was
broken beyond repair, and the water ruined the handsome binding of a
borrowed book that would have to be replaced.

About noon Dr. Trent called to see Jack. He had brought a new kind of
brace that he wanted tried.

"It will help him amazingly," he said, "but it is very expensive."

Bethany's heart sank. She thought of the pipes that had sprung a leak
that morning, of the broken pump, and the empty flour-barrel. She could
not see where all the money they needed was to come from.

"It's too small," said the doctor, after a careful trial of the brace.
"The size larger will be just the thing. I will bring it in the
morning."

He wiped his forehead wearily as he stopped on the threshold.

"A storm must be brewing," he remarked. "It is so oppressively sultry."

It was not many hours before his prediction was verified by a sudden
windstorm that came up with terrific force. The trees in the avenue were
lashed violently back and forth until they almost swept the earth. Huge
limbs were twisted completely off, and many were left broken and
hanging. It was followed by hail and a sudden change of temperature,
that suggested winter. The roses were all beaten off the bushes, their
pink petals scattered over the soaked grass. The porch was covered with
broken twigs and wet leaves.

As night dropped down, the trees bordering the avenue waved their green,
dripping boughs shiveringly towards the house.

"How can it be so cold and dreary in July?" inquired Jack. "Let's have a
fire in the library and eat supper there to-night."

Bethany shivered. It had been the judge's favorite room in the winter,
on account of its large fireplace, with its queer, old-fashioned tiling.
She rarely went in there except to dust the books or throw herself in
the big arm-chair to cry over the perplexities that he had always
shielded her from so carefully. But Jack insisted, and presently the
flames went leaping up the throat of the wide chimney, filling the room
with comfort and the cheer of genial companionship.

"Look!" cried Jack, pointing through the window to the bright reflection
of the fire in the garden outside. "Don't you remember what you read me
in 'Snowbound?'

            'Under the tree,
    When fire outdoors burns merrily,
    There the witches are making tea.'

This would be a fine night for witch stories. The wind makes such queer
noises in the chimney. Let's tell 'em after supper, all the awful ones
we can think of, 'specially the Salem ones."

As usual, Jack's wishes prevailed. Afterward, when Bethany had tucked
him snugly in bed, and was sitting alone by the fire, listening to the
queer noises in the chimney, she wished they had not dwelt so long on
such a grewsome subject. She leaned back in her father's great
arm-chair, with her little slippered feet on the brass fender, and her
soft hair pressed against the velvet cushions. Her white hands were
clasped loosely in her lap; small, helpless looking hands, little fitted
to cope with the burdens and responsibilities laid upon her.

The judge had never even permitted her to open a door for herself when
he had been near enough to do it for her. But his love had made him
short-sighted. In shielding her so carefully, he did not see that he was
only making her more keenly sensitive to later troubles that must come
when he was no longer with her. Every one was surprised at the course
she determined upon.

"I supposed, of course," said Mrs. Marion, "that you would try to teach
drawing or watercolors, or something. You have spent so much time on
your art studies, and so thoroughly enjoy that kind of work. Then those
little dinner-cards, and german favors you do, are so beautiful. I am
sure you have any number of friends who would be glad to give you
orders."

"No, Cousin Ray," answered Bethany decidedly; "I must have something
that brings in a settled income, something that can be depended on.
While I have painted some very acceptable things, I never was cut out
for a teacher. I'd rather not attempt anything in which I can never be
more than third-rate. I've decided to study stenography. I am sure I can
master that, and command a first-class position. I have heard papa
complain a great many times of the difficulty in obtaining a really good
stenographer. Of the hundreds who attempt the work, such a small per
cent are really proficient enough to undertake court reporting."

"You're just like your father," said Mrs. Marion. "Uncle Richard would
never be anything if he couldn't be uppermost."

It had been nearly a year since that conversation. Bethany had
persevered in her undertaking until she felt confident that she had
accomplished her purpose. She was ready for any position that offered,
but there seemed to be no vacancies anywhere. The little sum in the bank
was dwindling away with frightful rapidity. She was afraid to encroach
on it any further, but the bills had to be met constantly.

Presently she drew her chair over to the library table, and spread out
her check-book and memoranda under the student-lamp, to look over the
accounts for the month just ended. Then she made a list of the probable
expenses of the next two months. The contrast between their needs and
their means was appalling.

"It will take every cent!" she exclaimed, in a distressed whisper. "When
the first of September comes, there will be nothing left but to sell
the old home and go away somewhere to a strange place."

The prospect of leaving the dear old place, that had grown to seem
almost like a human friend, was the last drop that made the day's cup of
misery overflow. The old doubt came back.

"I wonder if God really cares for us in a temporal way?" she asked
herself.

The frightful tales of witchcraft that Jack had been so interested in,
recurred to her. Many of the people who had been so fearfully tortured
and persecuted as witches were Christians. God had not interfered in
their behalf, she told herself. Why should he trouble himself about her?

She went back to her seat by the fender, and, with her chin resting in
her hand, looked drearily into the embers, as if they could answer the
question. She heard some one come up on the porch and ring the bell. It
was Dr. Trent's quick, imperative summons.

"Jack in bed?" he asked, in his brisk way, as she ushered him into the
library. "Well, it makes no difference; you know how to adjust the
brace anyway. He will be able to sit up all day with that on."

He gave an appreciative glance around the cheerful room, and spread his
hands out towards the fire.

"Ah, that looks comfortable!" he exclaimed, rubbing them together. "I
wish I could stay and enjoy it with you. I have just come in from a long
drive, and must answer another call away out in the country. You'd be
surprised to find how damp and chilly it is out to-night."

"I venture you never stopped at the boarding-house at all," answered
Bethany, "and that you have not had a mouthful to eat since noon. I am
going to get you something. Yes, I shall," she insisted, in spite of his
protestations. Luckily, Jack wanted the kettle hung on the crane
to-night, so that he could hear it sing as he used to. "The water is
boiling, and you shall have a cup of chocolate in no time."

Before he could answer, she was out of the room, and beyond the reach of
his remonstrance. He sank into a big chair, and laying his gray head
back on the cushions, wearily closed his eyes. He was almost asleep when
Bethany came back.

"The fire made me drowsy," he said, apologetically. "I was quite
exhausted by the intense heat of this morning. These sudden changes of
temperature are bad for one."

"Why, my child!" he exclaimed, seeing the heavy tray she carried, "you
have brought me a regular feast. You ought not to have put yourself to
such trouble for an old codger used to boarding-house fare."

"All the more reason why you should have a change once in a while," said
Bethany, gayly, as she filled the dainty chocolate-pot.

The sight of the doctor's face as she entered the room had almost
brought the tears. It looked so worn and haggard. She had not noticed
before how white his hair was growing, or how deeply his face was lined.

He had been such an intimate friend of her father's that she had grown
up with the feeling that some strong link of kinship certainly existed
between them. She had called him "Uncle Doctor" until she was nearly
grown. He had been so thoughtful and kind during all her troubles, and
especially in Jack's illness, that she longed to show her appreciation
by some of the tender little ministrations of which his life was so
sadly bare.

"This is what I call solid comfort," he remarked, as he stretched his
feet towards the fire and leisurely sipped his chocolate. "I didn't
realize I was so tired until I sat down, or so hungry until I began to
eat." Then he added, wistfully, "Or how I miss my own fireside until I
feel the cheer of others'."

The doubts that had been making Bethany miserable all evening, and that
she had forgotten in her efforts to serve her old friend, came back with
renewed force.

"Does God really care?" she asked herself again. Here was this man, one
of the best she had ever known, left to stumble along under the weight
of a living sorrow, the things he cared for most, denied him.

"Baxter Trent is one of the world's heroes," she had heard her father
say.

There were two things he held dearer than life--the honor of the old
family name that had come down to him unspotted through generations, and
his little home-loving wife. For fifteen years he had experienced as
much of the happiness of home-life as a physician with a large practice
can know. Then word came to him from another city that his only brother
had killed a man in a drunken brawl, and then taken his own life,
leaving nothing but the memory of a wild career and a heavy debt. He had
borrowed a large amount from an unsuspecting old aunt, and left her
almost penniless.

When Dr. Trent recovered from the first shock of the discovery, he
quietly set to work to wipe out the disgraceful record as far as lay in
his power, by assuming the debt. He could eradicate at least that much
of the stain on the family name. It had taken years to do it. Bethany
was not sure that it was yet accomplished, for another trial, worse than
the first, had come to weaken his strength and dispel his courage.

The idolized little wife became affected by some nervous malady that
resulted in hopeless insanity.

Bethany had a dim recollection of the doctor's daughter, a little
brown-eyed child of her own age. She could remember playing
hide-and-seek with her one day in an old peony-garden. But she had died
years ago. There was only one other child--Lee. He had grown to be a
big boy of ten now, but he was too young to feel his mother's loss at
the time she was taken away. Bethany knew that she was still living in a
private asylum near town, and that the doctor saw her every day, no
matter how violent she was. Lee was the one bright spot left in his
life. Busy night and day with his patients, he saw very little of the
boy. The child had never known any home but a boarding-house, and was as
lawless and unrestrained as some little wild animal. But the doctor saw
no fault in him. He praised the reports brought home from school of high
per cents in his studies, knowing nothing of his open defiance to
authority. He kissed the innocent-looking face on the pillow next his
own when he came in late at night, never dreaming of the forbidden
places it had been during the day.

Everybody said, "Poor Baxter Trent! It's a pity that Lee is such a
little terror;" but no one warned him. Perhaps he would not have
believed them if they had. The thought of all this moved Bethany to
sudden speech.

"Uncle Doctor," she broke out impetuously--she had unconsciously used
the old name--as she sat down on a low stool near his knee, "I was
piling up my troubles to-night before you came. Not the old ones," she
added, quickly, as she saw an expression of sympathy cross his face,
"but the new ones that confront me."

She gave a mournful little smile.

"'Coming events cast their shadow before,' you know, and these shadows
look so dark and threatening. I see no possible way but to sell this
home. You have had so much to bear yourself that it seems mean to worry
you with my troubles; but I don't know what to do, and I don't know
what's the matter with me--"

She stopped abruptly, and choked back a sob. He laid his hand softly on
her shining hair.

"Tell me all about it, child," he said, in a soothing tone. Then he
added, lightly, "I can't make a diagnosis of the case until I know all
the symptoms."

When he had heard her little outburst of worry and distrust, he said,
slowly:

"You have done all in your power to prepare yourself for a position as
stenographer. You have done all you could to secure such a position, and
have been unsuccessful. But you still have a roof over your head, you
still have enough on hands to keep you two months longer without selling
the house or even renting it--an arrangement that has not seemed to
occur to you." He smiled down into her disconsolate face. "It strikes me
that a certain little lass I know has been praying, 'Give us this day
our to-morrow's bread.' O Bethany, child, can you never learn to trust?"

"But isn't it right for me to be anxious about providing some way to
keep the house?" she cried. "Isn't it right to plan and pray for the
future? You can't realize how it would hurt me to give up this place."

"I think I can," he answered, gently. "You forget I have been called on
to make just such a sacrifice. You can do it, too, if it is what the
All-wise Father sees is best for you. Folks may not think me much of a
Christian. They rarely see me in Church--my profession does not allow
it. I am not demonstrative. It is hard for me to speak of these sacred
things, unless it is when I see some poor soul about to slip into
eternity; but I thank the good Father I know how to trust. No matter how
he has hurt me, I have been able to hang on to his promises, and say,
'All right, Lord. The case is entirely in your hands. Amputate, if it is
necessary; cut to the very heart, if you will. You know what is best.'"

He pushed the long tray of dishes farther on the table, and, rising
suddenly, walked over to the book-shelves nearest the chimney. After
several moments' close scrutiny, he took out a well-worn book.

"Ah, I thought it was here," he remarked. "I want to read you a passage
that caught my eyes in here once. I remember showing it to your father."

He turned the pages rapidly till he found the place. Then seating
himself by the lamp again, he began to read:

"It came to my mind a week or two ago, so full an' sweet an' precious
that I can hardly think of anything else. It was during them cold,
northeast winds; these winds had made my cough very bad, an' I was shook
all to bits, and felt very ill. My wife was sitting by my side, an'
once, when I had a sharp fit of it, she put down her work, an' looked at
me till her eyes filled with tears, an' she says, 'Frankie, Frankie,
whatever will become of us when you be gone?' She was making a warm
little petticoat for the little maid; so, after a minute or two, I took
hold of it, an' says, 'What are 'ee making, my dear?' She held it up
without a word; her heart was too full to speak. 'For the little maid?'
I says. 'An' a nice, warm thing, too. How comfortable it will keep her!
Does she know about it yet?'

"'Know about it? Why, of course not,' said the wife, wondering. 'What
should she know about it for?'

"I waited another minute, an' then I said: 'What a wonderful mother you
must be, wifie, to think about the little maid like that!'

"'Wonderful, Frankie? Why, it would be more like wonderful if I forgot
that the cold weather was a-coming, and that the little maid would be
a-wanting something warm.'

"So, then, you see, I had got her, my friends, and Frankie smiled. 'O
wife,' says I, 'do you think that you be going to take care o' the
little maid like that an' your Father in heaven be a-going to forget you
altogether? Come now (bless him!), isn't he as much to be trusted as you
are! An' do you think that he'd see the winter coming up sharp and cold,
an' not have something waiting for you, an' just what you want, too?
An' I know, dear wifie, that you wouldn't like to hear the little maid
go a-fretting, and saying: "There the cold winter be a-coming, an'
whatever shall I do if my mother should forget me?" Why, you'd be hurt
an' grieved that she should doubt you like that. She knows that you care
for her, an' what more does she need to know? That's enough to keep her
from fretting about anything. "Your heavenly Father knoweth that you
have need of all these things." That be put down in his book for you,
wifie, and on purpose for you; an' you grieve an' hurt him when you go
to fretting about the future, an' doubting his love.'"

Dr. Trent closed the book, and looked into his listener's thoughtful
eyes.

"There, Bethany," he said, "is the lesson I have learned. Nothing is
withheld that we really need. Sometimes I have thought that I was tried
beyond my power of endurance, but when His hand has fallen the heaviest,
His infinite fatherliness has seemed most near; and often, when I least
expected it, some great blessing has surprised me. I have learned, after
a long time, that when we put ourselves unreservedly in His hands, he
is far kinder to us than we would be to ourselves.

    'Always hath the daylight broken,
    Always hath he comfort spoken,
    Better hath he been for years
        Than my fears.'

I can say from the bottom of my heart, Bethany, Though he slay me, yet
will I trust him."

The tears had gathered in Bethany's eyes as she listened. Now she
hastily brushed them aside. The face that she turned toward her old
friend reminded him of a snowdrop that had caught a gleam of sunshine in
the midst of an April shower.

"You have brushed away my last doubt and foreboding, Uncle Doctor!" she
exclaimed. "Really, I have been entertaining an angel unawares."

The old clock in the hall sounded the half-hour chime, and he rose to
go.

"You have beguiled me into staying much longer than I intended," he
answered. "What will my poor patients in the country think of such a
long delay?"

"Tell them you have been opening blind eyes," she said, gravely.
"Indeed, Uncle Doctor, the knowledge that, despite all you have
suffered, you can still trust so implicitly, strengthens my faith more
than you can imagine."

At the hall door he turned and took both her hands in his:

"There is another thing to remember," he said. "You are only called on
to live one day at a time. One can endure almost any ache until sundown,
or bear up under almost any load if the goal is in sight. Travel only to
the mile-post you can see, my little maid. Don't worry about the ones
that mark the to-morrows."



CHAPTER VI.

TWO TURNINGS IN BETHANY'S LANE.

    "Sunshine and hope are comrades."


THE early morning light streaming into Bethany's room, aroused her to a
vague consciousness of having been in a storm the night before. Then she
remembered the garden roses beaten to earth by the hail, and the flood
of doubt and perplexity that had swept through her heart with such
overwhelming force. The same old problems confronted her; but they did
not assume such gigantic proportions in the light of this new day, with
its infinite possibilities.

All the time she was dressing she heard Jack singing lustily in the next
room. He was impatient to try the new brace, and paused between solos to
exhort her to greater haste. She knelt just an instant by the low
window-seat. The prayer she made was one of the shortest she had ever
uttered, and one of the most heartfelt: "Give me this day my daily
bread." That was all; yet it included everything--strength, courage,
temporal help, disappointments or blessings--anything the dear Father
saw she needed in her spiritual growth. When she arose from her knees,
it was with a feeling of perfect security and peace. No matter what the
day might bring forth, she would take it trustingly, and be thankful.

About an hour after breakfast she wheeled Jack to a front window. It was
growing very warm again.

"It doesn't hurt me at all to sit up with this brace on," he said. "If
you like, I'll help you practice, while I watch people go by on the
street." He had often helped her gain stenographic speed by dictating
rapid sentences. He read too slowly to be of any service that way, but
he knew yards of nursery rhymes that he could repeat with amazing
rapidity.

"I know there isn't a lawyer living that can make a speech as fast as I
can say the piece about 'Who killed Cock Robin,'" he remarked when he
first proposed such dictation; "and I can say the 'Peter Piper picked a
peck of pickled peppers' verse fast enough to make you dizzy."

Bethany's pencil was flying as rapidly as the boy's tongue, when they
heard a cheery voice in the hall.

"It's Cousin Ray!" cried Jack. "I have felt all morning that something
nice was going to happen, and now it has." Then he called out in a
tragic tone, "'By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way
comes.'"

"You saucy boy!" laughed Mrs. Marion, as she appeared in the doorway. "I
think he is decidedly better, Bethany; you need not worry about him any
longer."

She stooped to kiss his forehead, and drop a great yellow pear in his
lap.

"No; I haven't time to stay," she said, when Bethany insisted on taking
her hat. "I am to entertain the Missionary Society this afternoon, and
Dr. Bascom has given me an unusually long list of the 'sick and in
prison' kind to look after this month. It gives me an 'all out of
breath' sensation every time I think of all that ought to be attended
to."

She dropped into a chair near a window, and picked up a fan.

"You never could guess my errand," she began, hesitatingly.

"I know it is something nice," said Jack, "from the way your eyes
shine."

"I think it is fine," she answered; "but I don't know how it will
impress Bethany."

She plunged into the subject abruptly.

"The Courtney sisters want to come here to live."

"The Courtney sisters!" echoed Bethany, blankly. "To live! In our house?
O Cousin Ray! I have realized for some time that we might have to give
up the dear old place; but I did hope that it need not be to strangers."

"Why, they are not strangers, Bethany. They went to school with your
mother for years and years. You have heard of Harry and Carrie Morse, I
am sure."

"O yes," answered Bethany, quickly. "They were the twins who used to do
such outlandish things at Forest Seminary. I remember, mamma used to
speak of them very often. But I thought you said it was the Courtney
sisters who wanted the house."

"I did. They married brothers, Joe and Ralph Courtney, who were both
killed in the late war. They have been widows for over thirty years,
you see. They are just the dearest old souls! They have been away so
many, many years, of course you can't remember them. I did not know they
were in the city until last night. But just as soon as I heard that they
had come to stay, and wanted to go to housekeeping, I thought of you
immediately. I couldn't wait for the storm to stop. I went over to see
them in all that rain."

"Well," prompted Bethany, breathlessly, as Mrs. Marion paused.

She gave a quick glance around the room. She felt sick and faint, now
that the prospect of leaving stared her in the face. Yet she felt that,
since it had been unsolicited, there must be something providential in
the sending of such an opportunity.

"O, they will be only too glad to come," resumed Mrs. Marion, "if you
are willing. They remembered the arrangement of the house perfectly, and
we planned it all out beautifully. Since Jack's accident you sleep
down-stairs anyhow. You could keep the library and the two smaller rooms
back of it, and may be a couple of rooms up-stairs. They would take the
rest of the house, and board you and Jack for the rent. Your bread and
butter would be assured in that way. They are model housekeepers, and
such a comfortable sort of bodies to have around, that I couldn't
possibly think of a nicer arrangement. Then you could devote your time
and strength to something more profitable than taking care of this big
house."

"O, Cousin Ray!" was all the happy girl could gasp. Her voice faltered
from sheer gladness. "You can't imagine what a load you have lifted from
me. I love every inch of this place, every stone in its old gray walls.
I couldn't bear to think of giving it up. And, just to think! last
night, at the very time I was most despondent, the problem was being
solved. I can never thank you enough."

"The idea!" exclaimed Mrs. Marion, as she rose to go. "No thanks are due
me, child. And Miss Caroline and Miss Harriet, as everybody still calls
them, are just as anxious for such an arrangement as you can possibly
be. They'll be over to see you to-morrow, for they are quite anxious to
get settled. They have roamed about the world so long they begin to feel
that 'there's no place like home.' Jack, they've been in China and
Africa and the South Sea Islands. Think of the charming tales in store
for you!"

"Goodness, Bethany!" exclaimed Jack, when she came back into the room
after walking to the gate with Mrs. Marion. "Your face shines as if
there was a light inside of you."

"O, there is, Jackie boy," she answered, giving him an ecstatic hug. "I
am so very happy! It seems too good to be true."

"Cousin Ray is awful good to us," remarked the boy, thoughtfully. "Seems
to me she is always busy doing something for somebody. She never has a
minute for herself. I remember, when I used to go up there, people kept
coming all day long, and every one of them wanted something. Why do you
suppose they all went to her? Did she tell them they might?"

"Jack, do you remember the plant you had in your window last winter?"
she replied. "No matter how many times I turned the jar that held it,
the flower always turned around again towards the sun. People are the
same way, dear. They unconsciously spread out their leaves towards those
who have help and comfort to give. They feel they are welcome, without
asking."

"She makes me think of that verse in 'Mother Goose,'" said Jack. "'Sugar
and spice and everything nice.' Doesn't she you, sister?"

"No," said Bethany, with an amused smile. "Lowell has described her:

    'So circled lives she with love's holy light,
    That from the shade of self she walketh free.'"

"I don't 'zactly understand," said Jack, with a puzzled expression.

She explained it, and he repeated it over and over, until he had it
firmly fixed in his mind.

Then they went back to the dictation exercises. It was almost dark when
they had another caller. Mr. Marion stopped at the door on his way home
to dinner.

"I have good news for you, Bethany," he said, with his face aglow with
eager sympathy. "Did Ray tell you?"

"About the house?" she said. "Yes. I've been on a mountain-top all day
because of it."

"O, I don't mean that!" he exclaimed, hastily. "It's better than that. I
mean about Porter & Edmunds."

"I don't see how anything could be better than the news she brought,"
said Bethany.

"Well, it is. Mr. Porter asked me to see their new law-office to-day.
They have just moved into the Clifton Block. They have an elegant place.
As I looked around, making mental notes of all the fine furnishings, I
thought of you, and wished you had such a position. I asked him if he
needed a stenographer. It was a random shot, for I had no idea they did.
The young man they have has been there so long, I considered him a
fixture. To my surprise he told me the fellow is going into business for
himself, and the place will be open next week. I told him I could fill
it for him to his supreme satisfaction. He promised to give you the
refusal of it until to-morrow noon. I leave to-night on a business-trip,
or I would take you over and introduce you."

"O, thank you, Cousin Frank!" she exclaimed. "I know Mr. Edmunds very
well. He was a warm friend of papa's."

Then she added, impulsively:

"Yesterday I thought I had come to such a dark place that I couldn't see
my hand before my face. I was just so blue and discouraged I was ready
to give up, and now the way has grown so plain and easy, all at once, I
feel that I must be living in a dream."

"Bless your brave little soul!" he exclaimed, holding out his hand. "Why
didn't you come to me with your troubles? Remember I am always glad to
smooth the way for you, just as much as lies in my power."

When he had gone, Bethany crept away into the quiet twilight of the
library, and, kneeling before the big arm-chair, laid her head in its
cushioned seat.

"O Father," she whispered, "I am so ashamed of myself to think I ever
doubted thee for one single moment. Forgive me, please, and help me
through every hour of every day to trust unfalteringly in thy great love
and goodness."



CHAPTER VII.

JUDGE HALLAM'S DAUGHTER, STENOGRAPHER.


THERE was so much to be done next morning, setting the rooms all in
order for the critical inspection of Miss Caroline and Miss Harriet,
that Bethany had little time to think of the dreaded interview with
Porter & Edmunds.

She wheeled Jack out into the shady, vine-covered piazza, and brought
him a pile of things for him to amuse himself with in her absence.

"Ring your bell for Mena if you need anything else," she said. "I will
be back before the sun gets around to this side of the house, maybe in
less than an hour."

He caught at her dress with a detaining grasp, and a troubled look came
over his face.

"O sister! I just thought of it. If you do get that place, will I have
to stay here all day by myself?"

"O no," she answered. "Mena can wheel you around the garden, and wait
on you; and I will think of all sorts of things to keep you busy. Then
the old ladies will be here, and I am sure they will be kind to you.
I'll be home at noon, and we'll have lovely long evenings together."

"But if those people come, Mena will have so much more to do, she'll
never have any time to wheel me. Couldn't you take me with you?" he
asked, wistfully. "I wouldn't be a bit of bother. I'd take my books and
study, or look out of the window all the time, and keep just as quiet!
Please ask 'em if I can't come too, sister!"

It was hard to resist the pleading tone.

"Maybe they'll not want me," answered Bethany. "I'll have to settle that
matter before making any promises. But never mind, dear, we'll arrange
it in some way."

It was a warm July morning. As Bethany walked slowly toward the business
portion of the town, several groups of girls passed her, evidently on
their way to work, from the few words she overheard in passing. Most of
them looked tired and languid, as if the daily routine of such a
treadmill existence was slowly draining their vitality. Two or three
had a pert, bold air, that their contact with business life had given
them. One was chewing gum and repeating in a loud voice some
conversation she had had with her "boss."

Bethany's heart sank as she suddenly realized that she was about to join
the great working-class of which this ill-bred girl was a member. Not
that she had any of the false pride that pushes a woman who is an
independent wage-winner to a lower social scale than one whom
circumstances have happily hedged about with home walls; but she had
recalled at that moment some of her acquaintances who would do just such
a thing. In their short-sighted, self-assumed superiority, they could
make no discrimination between the girl at the cigar-stand, who flirted
with her customer, and the girl in the school-room, who taught her
pupils more from her inherent refinement and gentleness than from their
text-books.

She had remembered that Belle Romney had said to her one day, as they
drove past a great factory where the girls were swarming out at noon:
"Do you know, Bethany dear, I would rather lie down and die than have
to work in such a place. You can't imagine what a horror I have of
being obliged to work for a living, no matter in what way. I would feel
utterly disgraced to come down to such a thing; but I suppose these poor
creatures are so accustomed to it they never mind it."

Bethany's eyes blazed. She knew Belle Romney's position was due entirely
to the tolerance of a distant relative. She longed to answer vehemently:
"Well, I would starve before I would deliberately sit down to be a
willing dependent on the charity of my friends. It's only a species of
genteel pauperism, and none the less despicable because of the purple
and fine linen it flaunts in."

She had not made the speech, however. Belle leaned back in the carriage,
and folded her daintily-gloved hands, as they passed the factory-girls,
with an air of complacency that amused Bethany then. It nettled her now
to remember it.

She turned into the street where the Clifton Block stood, an imposing
building, whose first two floors were occupied by lawyers' offices.
Porter & Edmunds were on the second floor. The elevator-boy showed her
the room. The door stood open, exposing an inviting interior, for the
walls were lined with books, and the rugs and massive furniture bespoke
taste as well as wealth.

An elderly gentleman, with his heels on the window-sill and his back to
the door, was vigorously smoking. He was waiting for a backwoods client,
who had an early engagement. His feet came to the floor with sudden
force, and his cigar was tossed hastily out of the window when he heard
Bethany's voice saying, timidly,

"May I come in, Mr. Edmunds?"

He came forward with old-school gallantry. It was not often his office
was brightened by such a visitor.

"Why, it is Miss Hallam!" he exclaimed, in surprise, secretly wondering
what had brought her to his office.

He had met her often in her father's house, and had seen her the center
of many an admiring group at parties and receptions. She had always
impressed him as having the air of one who had been surrounded by only
the most refined influences of life. He thought her unusually charming
this morning, all in black, with such a timid, almost childish
expression in her big, gray eyes.

"Take this seat by the window, Miss Hallam," he said, cordially. "I hope
this cigar smoke does not annoy you. I had no idea I should have the
honor of entertaining a lady, or I should not have indulged."

"Didn't Mr. Marion tell you I was coming this morning?" asked Bethany,
in some embarrassment.

"No, not a word. I believe he said something to Mr. Porter about a
typewriter-girl that wants a place, but I am sure he never mentioned
that you intended doing us the honor of calling."

Bethany smiled faintly.

"I am the typewriter-girl that wants the place," she answered.

"You!" ejaculated Mr. Edmunds, standing up in his surprise, and
beginning to stutter as he always did when much excited. "You!
w'y-w'y-w'y, you don't say so!" he finally managed to blurt out.

"What is it that is so astonishing?" asked Bethany, beginning to be
amused. "Do you think it is presumptuous in me to aspire to such a
position? I assure you I have a very fair speed."

"No," answered Mr. Edmunds, "it's not that; but I never any more thought
of your going out in the world to make a living than a-a-a pet canary,"
he added, in confusion.

He seated himself again, and began tapping on the table with a
paper-knife.

"Can't you paint, or give music lessons, or teach French?" he asked,
half impatiently. "A girl brought up as you have been has no business
jostling up against the world, especially the part of a world one sees
in the court-room."

Bethany looked at him gravely.

"Yes," she answered, "I can do all those things after a fashion, but
none of them well enough to measure up to my standard of proficiency,
which is a high one. I do understand stenography, and I am confident I
can do thorough, first-class work. I think, too, Mr. Edmunds, that it is
a mistaken idea that the girl who has had the most sheltered home-life
is the one least fitted to go into such places. Papa used to say we are
like the planets; we carry our own atmosphere with us. I am sure one may
carry the same personality into a reporter's stand that she would into
a drawing-room. We need not necessarily change with our surroundings."

As she spoke, a slight tinge of pink flushed her cheeks, and she
unconsciously raised her chin a trifle haughtily. Mr. Edmunds looked at
her admiringly, and then made a gallant bow.

"I am sure, Miss Hallam would grace any position she might choose to
fill," he said courteously.

"Then you will let me try," she asked, eagerly. She slipped off her
glove, and took pencil and paper from the table. "If you will only test
my speed, maybe you can make a decision sooner."

He dictated several pages, which she wrote to his entire satisfaction.

"You are not half as rapid as Jack," she said, laughingly; and then she
told him of the practice she had had writing nursery rhymes.

He seemed so interested that she went on to tell him more about the
child, and his great desire to be in the office with her.

"I told him I would ask you," she said, finally; "but that it was a very
unusual thing to do, and that I doubted very much if any business firm
would allow it."

He saw how hard it had been for her to prefer such a request, and smiled
reassuringly.

"It would be a very small thing for me to do for Richard Hallam's boy,"
he said. "Tell the little fellow to come, and welcome. He need not be in
any one's way. We have three rooms in this suite, and you will occupy
the one at the far end."

It was hard for Bethany to keep back the tears.

"I can never thank you enough, Mr. Edmunds," she said. "The legacy papa
thought he had secured to us was swept away, but he has left us one
thing that more than compensates--the heritage of his friendships. I
have been finding out lately what a great thing it is to be rich in
friends."

Bethany went home jubilant. "Now if my twin tenants turn out to be half
as nice," she thought, "this will be a very satisfactory day."

She tried to picture them, as she walked rapidly on, wondering whether
they would be prim and dignified, or nervous and fussy. Mrs. Marion had
said they were fine housekeepers. That might mean they were exacting and
hard to please.

"What's the use of borrowing trouble?" she concluded, finally. "I'll
take Uncle Doctor's advice, and not try to count to-morrow's
milestones."

She found them sitting on the side piazza, being abundantly entertained
by Jack.

"Sister!" he called, excitedly, as she came up the steps to meet them;
"this one is Aunt Harry--that's what she told me to call her--and the
other one is Aunt Carrie; and they've both been around the world
together, and both ridden on elephants."

There was a general laugh at the unceremonious introduction.

Miss Caroline took Bethany's hands in her own little plump ones, and
stood on tiptoe to give her a hearty kiss. Miss Harriet did the same,
holding her a moment longer to look at her with fond scrutiny.

"Such a striking resemblance to your dear mother," she said. "Sister and
I hoped you would look like her."

"They are homely little bodies, and dreadfully old-fashioned," was
Bethany's first impression, as she looked at them in their plain dresses
of Quaker gray. "But their voices are so musical, and they have such
good, motherly faces, I believe they will prove to be real restful kind
of people."

"Sister and I have been such birds of passage, that it will seem good to
settle down in a real home-nest for a while," said Miss Harriet, as they
were going over the house together.

"When one has lived in a trunk for a decade, one appreciates big, roomy
closets and wardrobes like these."

They went all over the place, from garret to cellar, and sat down to
rest beside an open window, where a climbing rose shook its fragrance in
with every passing breeze.

"Mrs. Marion thought you might not be ready for us before next week,"
sighed Miss Caroline; "but these cool, airy rooms do tempt me so. I wish
we could come this very afternoon." She smiled insinuatingly at Bethany.
"We have nothing to move but our trunks."

"Well, why not?" answered Bethany. "I shall be glad to surrender the
reins any time you want to assume the responsibility."

"Then it's settled!" cried Miss Caroline, exultingly. "O, I'm so glad!"
and, catching Miss Harriet around her capacious waist, she whirled her
around the room, regardless of her protestations, until their spectacles
slid down their noses, and they were out of breath.

Bethany watched them in speechless amazement. Miss Caroline turned in
time to catch her expression of alarm.

"Did you think we had lost our senses, dear?" she asked. "We do not
often forget our dignity so; but we have been so long like Noah's dove,
with no rest for the sole of our foot, that the thought of having at
last found an abiding-place is really overwhelming."

"I wish you wouldn't always say 'we,'" remarked Miss Harriet, with
dignity. "I am very sure I have outgrown such ridiculous exhibitions of
enthusiasm, and it is fully time that you had too."

"O, come now, Harry," responded Miss Caroline, soothingly. "You're just
as glad as I am, and there's no use in trying to hide our real selves
from people we are going to live with."

Then she turned to Bethany with an apologetic air.

"Sister thinks because we have arrived at a certain date on our
calendar, we must conform to that date. But, try as hard as I can, I
fail to feel any older sometimes than I used to at Forest Seminary, when
we made midnight raids on the pantry, and had all sorts of larks. I
suppose it does look ridiculous, and I'm sorry; but I can't grow old
gracefully, so long as I am just as ready to effervesce as I ever was."

Bethany was amused at the half-reproachful, half-indulgent look that
Miss Harriet bestowed on her sister.

"They'll be a constant source of entertainment," she thought. "I wonder
how we ever happened to drift together."

Something of the last thought she expressed in a remark to the sisters
as they went down stairs together.

"Indeed, we did not drift!" exclaimed Miss Caroline, decidedly. "You
needed us, and we needed you, and the great Weaver crossed our
life-threads for some purpose of his own."

By nightfall the sisters had taken their places in the old house, as
quietly and naturally as twin turtle-doves tuck their heads under their
wings in the shelter of a nest. Their presence in the house gave Bethany
such a care-free, restful feeling, and a sense of security that she had
not had since she had been left at the head of affairs.

After Jack had gone to bed, she drew a rocking-chair out into the wide
hall, and sat down to enjoy the cool breeze that swept through it.

Miss Caroline was down in the kitchen, interviewing Mena about
breakfast. How delightful it was to be freed from all responsibility of
the meals and the marketing! After the next week she would not have even
the rooms to attend to, for Miss Caroline had engaged a stout maid to do
the housework, that Bethany's inexperienced hands had found so irksome.

Up-stairs, Miss Harriet was stepping briskly around, unpacking one of
the trunks. Bethany could hear her singing to herself in a thin, sweet
voice, full of old-fashioned quavers and turns. Some of the notes were
muffled as she disappeared from time to time in the big closet, and
some came with jerky force as she tugged at a refractory bureau drawer.

    "Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
       The clouds ye so much dread
     Are big with mercy, and shall break
       In blessings on your head."



CHAPTER VIII.

A KINDLING INTEREST.


FRANK Marion, on his way to the store one morning, stopped at the office
where Bethany had been installed just a week.

"You will find me dropping in here quite often," he said to Mr. Edmunds,
whom he met coming out of the door. "Since that little cousin of mine is
never to be found at home in the day-time any more, I shall have to call
on him here. He is my right-hand man in Junior League work."

"Who? Jack?" inquired Mr. Edmunds. "He's the most original little piece
I ever saw. Sorry I'm called out just now, Frank. You're always welcome,
you know."

Bethany was seated at her typewriter, so intent on her manuscript that
she did not notice Mr. Marion's entrance. Jack, in his chair by the
window, was working vigorously with slate and pencil at an arithmetic
lesson. As Bethany paused to take the finished page from the machine,
Jack looked up and saw Mr. Marion's tall form in the doorway.

"O, come in!" he cried, joyfully. "I want you to see how nice everything
is here. We have the best times."

Mr. Marion looked across at Bethany, and smiled at the child's delight.

"Tell me about it," he said, drawing a chair up to the window, and
entering into the boy's pleasure with that ready sympathy that was the
secret of his success with all children.

"Well, you see, Bethany wheels me onto the elevator, and up we come. And
it's so nice and cool up here. She hasn't been very busy yet. While she
writes I get my lessons, or draw, or work puzzles. Then, when Mr.
Edmunds and Mr. Porter go off, and she hasn't anything to do, I recite
to her. But the best fun is grocery tales."

"What's 'grocery tales?'" asked Mr. Marion, with flattering interest.

"Do you see that wholesale grocery-store across the street?" asked Jack,
"and all the things sitting around in front? There's almost everything
you can think of, from a broom to a banana. I choose the first thing I
happen to look at, and she tells me a story about it. If it's a
tea-chest, that makes her think of a Chinese story; or if it's a bottle
of olives, something about the knights and ladies of Spain. Yesterday it
was a chicken-coop, and she told me about a lovely visit she had once on
a farm. She says when we come to that coil of rope, it will remind her
of a storm she was in on the Mediterranean; and the coffee means a South
American story; and the watermelons a darkey story; and the brooms
something she read once about an old, blind broom-maker. Then I have
lots of fun watching people pass. So many teams stop at the
watering-trough over there. I like to wonder where everybody comes from,
and imagine what their homes are like. It is almost as good as reading
about them in a book."

"You are a very happy little fellow," said Mr. Marion, patting his
cheek, approvingly. "I am glad you are getting strong so fast, so that
you can go out into this big, discontented world of ours, and teach
other people how to be happy. I've brought you some more work to do. I
want you to look up all these references, and copy them on separate
slips of paper for our next meeting. By the way, Bethany," he said, as
he rose to go, "I had a letter from our Chattanooga Jew this morning. He
is as much in earnest as ever. I wish we could get our League interested
in him and his mission."

"It is a very unpopular movement, Cousin Frank," she answered. "Think of
the prejudices to overcome. How little the general membership of the
Church know or care about the Jews! It seems almost impossible to combat
such indifference. Carlyle says, 'Every noble work is at first
impossible.'"

"Ah, Bethany," he answered, "and Paul says: 'I can do all things through
Christ who strengthened me.' I can't get away from the feeling that God
wants me to take some forward step in the matter. Every paper I pick up
seems to call my attention to it in some way. All the time in my
business I am brought in contact with Jews who want to talk to me about
my religion. They introduce the subject themselves. Ray and I have been
reading Graetz's history lately. I declare it's a puzzle to me how any
one can read an account of all the race endured at the hands of the
Christianity of the Middle Ages, and not be more lenient toward them.
Pharaoh's cruelties were not a tithe of what was dealt out to them in
the name of the gentle Nazarene. No wonder their children were taught to
spit at the mention of such a name."

"O, is that history as bad as 'Fox's Book of Martyrs?'" asked Jack,
eagerly. "We've got that at home, with the awfullest black and yellow
pictures in it of people being burned to death and tortured. I hope, if
it is as interesting, sister will read it out loud."

Bethany made such a grimace of remonstrance that Mr. Marion laughed.

"I'll send the books over to-morrow. You'll not care to read all five
volumes, Jack; but Bethany can select the parts that will interest you
most."

Jack's tenacious memory brought the subject up again that evening at the
table.

"Aunt Harry," he asked, abruptly, pausing in the act of helping himself
to sugar, "do you like the Jews?"

"Why, no, child," she said, hesitatingly. "I can't say that I take any
special interest in them, one way or another. To tell the truth, I've
never known any personally."

"Would you like to know more about them?" he asked, with childish
persistence. "'Cause Bethany's going to read to me about them when
Cousin Frank sends the books over, and you can listen if you like."

"Anything that Bethany reads we shall be glad to hear," answered Miss
Harriet. "At first sister and I thought we would not intrude on you in
the evenings; but the library does look so inviting, and it is so dull
for us to sit with just our knitting-work, since we have stopped reading
by lamp-light, that we can not resist the temptation to go in whenever
she begins to read aloud."

"O, you're home-folks," said Jack.

Bethany had excused herself before this conversation commenced, and was
in the library, opening the mail Miss Caroline had forgotten to give her
at noon. When the others joined her, she held up a little pamphlet she
had just opened.

"Look, Jack! It is from Mr. Lessing, from Chattanooga. It is an article
on 'What shall become of the Jew?' I suppose it is written by one of
them, at least his name would indicate it--Leo N. Levi. It will be
interesting to look at that question from their standpoint."

"Will I like it?" asked Jack.

"No, I think not," she answered, after a rapid glance through its pages.
"We'll have some more of the 'Bonnie Brier-Bush' to-night, and save this
until you are asleep."

Bethany read well, and excelled in Scotch dialect. When she laid down
the book after the story of "A Doctor of the Old School," she saw a big
tear splash down on Miss Harriet's knitting-work, and Miss Caroline was
furtively wiping her spectacles.

"Leave the door open," called Jack, when he had been tucked away for the
night. "Then I can listen if it's nice, or go to sleep if it's dull."

"Do you really care to hear this?" asked Bethany, picking up the
pamphlet.

"Yes," said Miss Caroline, with several emphatic nods. "I'll own I am
very ignorant on the subject; and after something so highly entertaining
as these sweet Scotch tales, it's no more than right that we should take
something improving."

"O sister," called Jack's voice from the next room, "you never told
them about Mr. Lessing, did you?"

"No," answered Bethany. "I never told them any of my Chattanooga
experiences. Maybe it would be better to begin with them, and then you
can understand how I happened to become so interested in the Hebrew
people. The pamphlet can wait until another time."

She tossed it back on the table, and settled herself comfortably in a
big chair.

"I'll begin at the beginning," she said, "and tell you how I was
persuaded into going, and how strangely events linked into each other."

"Can't you just see it all?" murmured Miss Caroline, as Bethany drew a
graphic picture of the mountain outlook, the sunrise, and the crowded
tent. When she came to Lessing's story, Miss Harriet dropped her work in
her lap, and Miss Caroline leaned forward in her chair.

"Dear! dear! It sounds like a chapter out of a romance!" exclaimed Miss
Caroline, when Bethany had finished. "That part about the mother's curse
and being buried in effigy makes me think of the novels that we used to
smuggle into our rooms at school. I wish you could go on and give us
the next chapter. It is intensely interesting."

"Ah, the next chapter," replied Bethany, sadly. "I thought of that at
the time. What can it be but the daily repetition of commonplace events?
He will simply go on to the end in a routine of study and work. He will
preach to whatever audiences he can gather around him. That is all the
world will see. The other part of it, the burden of loneliness laid upon
him because of Jewish scorn and Christian distrust, the soul-struggles,
the spiritual victories, the silent heroism, will be unwritten and
unapplauded, because unseen."

"I don't wonder you are interested," said Miss Harriet. "Would you
believe it, I don't know the difference between an orthodox and a reform
Jew? I think I shall look it up to-morrow in the encyclopedia."

She picked up the little pamphlet, and opened at random.

"Here is a marked paragraph," she said. "'The Jew is everywhere in
evidence. He sells vodki in Russia; he matches his cunning against
Moslem and Greek in Turkey; he fights for existence and endures
martyrdom in the Balkan provinces; he crowds the professions, the arts,
the market-place, the bourse, and the army, in France, England, Austria,
and Germany. He has invaded every calling in America, and everywhere he
is seen; and, what is more to the point, he is felt. He runs through the
entire length of history, as a thin but well-defined line, touched by
the high lights of great events at almost every point.'"

"Where did we leave off with him, sister?" she asked, turning to Miss
Caroline. "Wasn't it at the destruction of the temple, somewhere in the
neighborhood of 70 A. D.? We shall have to trace that line back a
considerable distance, I am thinking, if we would know anything on the
subject."

"Let's trace it then," said Miss Caroline, with her usual alacrity.

Several evenings after, when Bethany came home from the office, she
found a new book on the table, with Miss Caroline's name on the
fly-leaf. It was "The Children of the Ghetto."

"I bought it this afternoon," she explained, a little nervously. "It is
one of Zangwill's. The clerk at the bookstore told me he is called the
Jewish Dickens, and that it is very interesting. Of course, I am no
critic, but it looked interesting, and I thought you might not mind
reading it aloud. Several sentences caught my eye that made me think it
might be as entertaining as 'Old Curiosity Shop,' or 'Oliver Twist.'"

Bethany rapidly scanned several pages. "I believe it is the very thing
to give us an insight into the later day customs and beliefs of the
masses."

She read the headings of several of the chapters aloud, and a sentence
here and there.

"Listen to this!" she exclaimed. "'We are proud and happy in that the
dread unknown God of the infinite universe has chosen our race as the
medium by which to reveal his will to the world. History testifies that
this has verily been our mission, that we have taught the world religion
as truly as Greece has taught beauty and science. Our miraculous
survival through the cataclysms of ancient and modern dynasties is a
proof that our mission is not yet over.'"

"O, I thought it was going to be a story!" exclaimed Jack, in a
disappointed tone.

"It is, dear," answered Bethany. "You can understand part, and I will
explain the rest."

So it came about that, after the Scotch tales were laid aside, the
little group in the library nightly turned their sympathies toward the
children of the London Ghetto, as it existed in the early days of the
century.

"I can never feel the same towards them again," said Miss Caroline, the
night they finished the book. "I understand them so much better. It is
just as the proem says: 'People who have been living in a ghetto for a
couple of centuries are not able to step outside merely because the
gates are thrown down, nor to efface the brands on their souls by
putting off the yellow badges. Their faults are bred of its hovering
miasma of persecution.'"

"Yes," answered Bethany, "I am glad he has given us such a diversity of
types. You know that article that Mr. Lessing sent me says: 'No people
can be fairly judged by its superlatives. It would be silly to judge all
the Chinese by Confucius, or all the Americans by Benedict Arnold. If
the Jews squirm and indignantly protest against Shylock and Fagin and
Svengali, they must be consistent, and not claim as types Scott's
Rebecca and Lessing's Nathan the Wise.' Now, Zangwill has given us a
glimpse of all sorts of people--the 'pots and pans' of material
Judaism, as well as the altar-fires of its most spiritual idealists. I
hope you'll go on another investigating tour, Miss Caroline, and bring
home something else as instructive."

But before Miss Caroline found time to go on another voyage of discovery
among the book-stores, something happened at the office that gave a
deeper interest to their future investigations.

Mr. Edmunds sat at the table a few minutes longer than usual, one
morning after he had finished dictating his letters, to say: "We are
about to make some changes in the office, Miss Hallam. Mr. Porter has
decided to go abroad for a while. Family matters may keep him there
possibly a year. During his absence it is necessary to have some one in
his place; and, after mature deliberation, we have decided to take in a
young lawyer who has two points decidedly in his favor. He has marked
ability, and he will attract a wealthy class of clients. He is a young
Jew, a protege of Rabbi Barthold's. Personally, I have the highest
respect for him, although Mr. Porter is a little prejudiced against him
on account of his nationality. I wondered if you shared that feeling."

"No, indeed!" answered Bethany, quickly. "I have been greatly interested
in studying their history this summer."

"Well, I have never given their past much thought," responded Mr.
Edmunds; "but their relation to the business world has recently
attracted my attention. It is wonderful to me the way they are filling
up the positions of honor and trust all over the world. Statistics show
such a large proportion of them have acquired wealth and prominence.
Still, it is only what we ought to expect, when we remember their
characteristics. They have such 'mental agility,' such power of adapting
themselves to circumstances, and such a resistless energy. Maybe I
should put their temperate habits first, for I can not remember ever
seeing a Jew intoxicated; and as to industry, the records of our county
poor-house show that in all the seventy years of its existence, it has
never had a Jewish inmate. People with such qualities are like cream,
bound to rise to the top, no matter what kind of a vessel they are
poured into."

"Who is this young man?" asked Bethany, coming back to the first
subject.

"David Herschel," responded Mr. Edmunds. "You may have met him."

"David Herschel!" repeated Bethany, incredulously. She caught her breath
in surprise. Was there to be a deliberate crossing of life-threads here,
or had she been caught in some tangle of chance? Maybe this was the
opportunity she had prayed for that morning when she had listened to
Lessing's story, and caught the inspiration of his consecrated life.

A feeling of awe crept over her, that a human voice could so reach the
ear of the Infinite, and draw down an answer to its petition. She was
almost frightened at the thought of the responsibility such an answer
laid upon her. O, the childishness with which we beat against the
portals as we importune high Heaven for opportunities, and then shrink
back when the Almighty hands them out to us, afraid to take and use what
we have most cried for!



CHAPTER IX.

A JUNIOR TAKES IT IN HAND.


IT was a sultry morning in August when David Herschel took his place in
the law-office of Porter & Edmunds.

The sun beat against the tall buildings until the radiated heat of the
streets was sickening in its intensity. Clerks went to their work with
pale faces and languid movements. Everything had a wilted look, and the
watering-carts left a steam rising in their trail, almost as
disagreeable as the clouds of dust had been before.

Miss Caroline had insisted on Jack's remaining at home, and Bethany's
wearing a thin white dress in place of her customary suit of heavy
black. They had both protested, but as Bethany went slowly towards the
office she was glad that the sensible old lady had carried her point.

To shorten the distance, she passed through one of the poorer streets of
the town. Disagreeable odors, suggestive of late breakfasts, floated
out from steamy kitchens. Neglected, half-dressed children cried on the
doorsteps and quarreled in the gutters.

A great longing came over Bethany for a breath from wide, fresh fields,
or green, shady woodlands. This was the first summer she had ever passed
in the city. August had always been associated in her mind with the wind
in the pine woods, or the sound of the sea on some rocky coast. It
recalled the musical drip of the waterfalls trickling down high banks of
thickly-growing ferns. It brought back the breath of clover-fields and
the mint in hillside pastures.

A strong repugnance to her work seized her. She felt that she could not
possibly bear to go back to the routine of the office and the monotonous
click of her typewriter. The longer she thought of those old care-free
summers, the more she chafed at the confinement of the present one.

She sighed wearily as she reached the entrance of the great building.
Every door and window stood open. While she waited for the elevator-boy
to respond to her ring, she turned her eyes toward the street. A blind
man passed by, led by a wan, sad-eyed child. The sun was beating
mercilessly on the man's gray head, for his cap was held appealingly in
his outstretched hand.

"How dared I feel dissatisfied with my lot?" thought Bethany, with a
swift rush of pity, as the contrast between this blind beggar's life and
hers was forced upon her.

There was no one in the office when she entered. After the glare of the
street, it seemed so comfortable that she thought again of the blind
beggar and the child who led him, with a feeling of remorse for her
discontent.

A great bunch of lilies stood in a tall glass vase on the table, filling
the room with their fragrance. She took out a card that was half hidden
among them. Lightly penciled, in a small, running hand, was the one
word--"Consider!"

"That's just like Cousin Ray," thought Bethany, quickly interpreting the
message. "She knew this would be an unusually trying day on account of
the heat, so she gives me something to think about instead of my irksome
confinement. 'They toil not, neither do they spin,'" she whispered,
lifting one snowy chalice to her lips; "but what help they bring to
those who do--sweet, white evangels to all those who labor and are
heavy laden!"

She fastened one in her belt, then turned to her work. She had been
copying a record, and wanted to finish it before Mr. Edmunds was ready
to attend to the morning mail. Her fingers flew over the keys without a
pause, except when she stopped to put in a new sheet of paper. When she
was nearly through, she heard Mr. Edmunds's voice in the next room, and
increased her speed. She had forgotten that this was the day David
Herschel was to come into the office. He had taken the desk assigned
him, and was so busily engaged in conversation with Mr. Edmunds that for
a while he did not notice the occupant of the next room. When, at last,
he happened to glance through the open door, he did not recognize
Bethany, for she was seated with her back toward him.

He noticed what a cool-looking white dress she wore, the graceful poise
of her head, and her beautiful sunny hair. Then he saw the lilies beside
her, and wished she would turn so that he could see her face.

"Some fair Elaine--a lily-maid of Astolat," he thought, and then smiled
at himself for having grown Tennysonian over a typewriter before he had
even heard her name or seen her face.

At last Bethany finished the record, with a sigh of relief. Quickly
fastening the pages, she rose to take it into the next room. Just on the
threshold she saw Herschel, and gave an involuntary little start of
surprise.

As she stood there, all in white, with one hand against the dark
door-casing, she looked just as she had the night David first saw her.
He arose as she entered.

Mr. Edmunds was not usually a man of quick perceptions, but he noticed
the look of admiration in David's eyes, and he thought they both seemed
a trifle embarrassed as he introduced them.

They had recalled at the same moment the night in the Chattanooga depot,
when she had distinctly declared to Mr. Marion that she did not care to
make his acquaintance.

For once in her life she lost her usual self-possession. That gracious
ease of manner which "stamps the caste of Vere de Vere" was one of her
greatest charms. But just at this moment, when she wished to atone for
that unfortunate remark by an especially friendly greeting, when she
wanted him to know that her point of view had changed entirely, and that
not a vestige of the old prejudice remained, she could not summon a word
to her aid.

Conscious of appearing ill at ease, she blushed like a diffident
school-girl, and bowed coldly.

David courteously remained standing until she had laid the record on Mr.
Edmunds's desk and left the room.

Mr. Edmunds glanced at him quickly, as he resumed his seat; but there
was not the slightest change of expression to show that he had noticed
what appeared to be an intentional haughtiness of manner in Bethany's
greeting. But he had noticed it, and it stung his sensitive nature more
than he cared to acknowledge, even to himself.

Nothing more passed between them for several days, except the formal
morning greeting. Then Jack came back to the office. He had gained
rapidly since the new brace had been applied. During his enforced
absence on account of the heat, he found that he could wheel himself
short distances, and proudly insisted on doing so, as they went through
the hall. He was a great favorite in the building. Everybody, from the
janitor to the dignified judge on the same floor, stopped to speak to
him. He was such a thorough boy, so full of fun and spirits, despite the
misfortune that chained him to the chair and had sometimes made him
suffer extremely, that the sight of him oftener provoked pleasure than
pity. He was so glad to get back to the office that he was bubbling over
with happiness. It seemed to him he had been away for an age. The
cordial reception he met on every hand made his eyes twinkle and the
dimples show in his cheeks.

Mr. Edmunds had not come down, but David was at his desk, busily
writing. Bethany paused as they passed through the room.

"Allow me to introduce my little brother, Mr. Herschel," she said. "Jack
is very anxious to meet you."

He glanced up quickly. This friendly-voiced girl, leaning over Jack's
chair, with the brightness of his roguish face reflected in her own, was
such a transformation from the dignified Miss Hallam he had known
heretofore, that he could hardly credit his eyesight. He was surprised
into such an unusual cordiality of manner, that Jack straightway took
him into his affections, and set about cultivating a very strong
friendship between them.

One afternoon Bethany was called into another office to take a
deposition. She left Jack busy drawing on his slate.

David, who had been reading several hours, laid down the book after a
while, with a yawn, and glanced into the next room. The steady scratch
of the slate pencil had ceased, and Jack was gazing disconsolately out
of the window.

As he heard the book drop on the table he turned his head quickly. "May
I come in there?" he asked David eagerly.

David nodded assent. "You may come in and wake me up. The heat and the
book together, have made me drowsy."

Jack pushed his chair over by a window, and looked out towards the court
house. It was late in the afternoon, and the massive building threw long
shadows across the green sward surrounding it.

"I wanted to see if the flag is flying," said Jack. "I can't tell from
my window. Don't you love to watch it flap? I do, for it always makes me
think of heroes. I love heroes, and I love to listen to stories about
'em. Don't you? It makes you feel so creepy, and your hair kind o'
stands up, and you hold your breath while they're a-risking their lives
to save somebody, or doing something else that's awfully brave. And
then, when they've done it, there's a lump in your throat; but you feel
so warm all over somehow, and you want to cheer, and march right off to
'storm the heights,' and wipe every thing mean off the face of the
earth, and do all sorts of big, brave things. I always do. Don't you?"

"Yes," answered David, amused by his boyish enthusiasm, yet touched by
the recognition of a kindred spirit. "May be you will be a hero
yourself, some day," he suggested in order to lead the boy further on.

"No, I'm afraid not," answered Jack, sadly. "Papa wanted me to be a
lawyer. He was in the war till he got wounded so bad he had to come
home. We've got his sword and cap yet. I used to put 'em on sometimes,
and say I was going to go to West Point and learn to be a soldier. But
he always shook his head and said, 'No, son, that's not the highest way
you can serve your country now.' Then sometimes I think I'll have to be
a preacher like my grandfather, John Wesley Bradford, because he left me
all his library, and I am named for him. Jack isn't my real name, you
know."

"Would you like to be a preacher?" asked David, as the boy paused to
catch a fly that was buzzing exasperatingly around him.

"No!" answered Jack, emphasizing his answer by a savage slap at the fly.
"Only except when we get to talking about the Jews. You know we are very
much interested in your people at our house."

"No, I didn't know it," answered David, amused by the boy's
matter-of-fact announcement. "How did you come to be so interested?"

"Well, it started with the Epworth League Conference at Chattanooga.
There was a converted Jew up there on the mountain that spoke in the
sunrise meeting. Cousin Frank went to see him afterwards. He took
Bethany with him to write down what they said in shorthand. O, he had
the most interesting history! You just ought to hear sister tell it. You
know the two old ladies I told you about, that live at our house. Well,
may be it isn't polite to tell you so, but they didn't have the least
bit of use for the Jews before that. Now, since we've been reading about
the awful way they were persecuted, and how they've hung together
through thick and thin, they've changed their minds."

"And you say that it is only when you are talking about the Jews that
you would like to be a preacher," said David, as the boy stopped, and
began whistling softly. He wanted to bring him back to the subject.

"Yes," answered Jack. "When I think how that man's whole life was
changed by a little Junior League girl; how she started him, and he'll
start others, and they'll start somebody else, and the ball will keep
rolling, and so much good will be done, just on her account, I'd like to
do something in that line myself. I'm first vice-president of our
League, you know," he said, proudly displaying the badge pinned on his
coat.

"But I wouldn't like to be a regular preacher that just stands up and
tells people what they already believe. That's too much like boxing a
pillow." He doubled up his fist and sparred at an imaginary foe.

"I'd like to go off somewhere, like Paul did, and make every blow count.
We studied the life of Paul last year in the League. Talk about
heroes--there's one for you. My, but he was game! Thrashed and stoned,
and shipwrecked and put in prison, and chained up to another man--but
they couldn't choke him off!" Jack chuckled at the thought.

"Did you ever notice," he continued, "that when a Jew does turn
Christian he's deader in earnest than anybody else? Cousin Frank told us
to notice that. There's Matthew. He was making a good salary in the
custom-house, and he quit right off. And Peter and Andrew and the rest
of 'em left their boats and all their fishing tackle, and every thing in
the wide world that they owned. Mr. Lessing had even to give up his
family. Cousin Frank told us about ever so many that had done that way.
So that's why I'd rather preach to them than other people. They amount
to so much when you once get them made over."

"You might commence on me," said David.

Jack colored to the roots of his hair, and looked confused. He stole a
sidelong glance at David, and began to wheel his chair slowly back into
the other room.

"I haven't gone into the business yet," he called back over his
shoulder, recovering his equanimity with young American quickness, "But
when I do I'll give you the first call."

David was so amused by the conversation that he could not refrain from
recounting part of it to Bethany when she returned. It seemed to put
them on a friendlier footing.

Finding that she was really making a study of the history of his people,
he gave her many valuable suggestions, and several times brought Jewish
periodicals with articles marked for her to read.

"My Sunday-school class have become so interested," she told him. "They
are very well versed in the ancient history, but this is something so
new to them."

"I wish you knew Rabbi Barthold," he exclaimed. "He would be an
inspiration in any line of study, but especially in this, for he has
thrown his whole soul into it. Ah, I wish you read Hebrew. One loses so
much in the translation. There are places in the Psalms and Job where
the majesty of the thought is simply untranslatable. You know there are
some pebbles and shells that, seen in water, have the most exquisite
delicacy of coloring; yet taken from that element, they lose that
brilliancy. I have noticed the same effect in changing a thought from
the medium of one language to another."

"Yes," answered Bethany, "I have recognized that difficulty, too, in
translating from the German. There is a subtle something that escapes,
that while it does not change the substance, leaves the verse as
soulless as a flower without its fragrance."

"Ah! I see you understand me," he responded. "That is why I would have
you read the greatest of all literature in its original setting. Are you
fond of language?"

"Yes," she answered, "though not an enthusiast. I took the course in
Latin and German at school, and got a smattering of French the year I
was abroad. Afterwards I read Greek a little at home with papa, to get a
better understanding of the New Testament. But Hebrew always seemed to
me so very difficult that only spectacled theologians attempted it. You
know ordinary tourists ascend the Rigi and Vesuvius as a matter of
course. Only daring climbers attempt the Jungfrau. I scaled only the
heights made easy of ascent by a system of meister-schafts and mountain
railways."

He laughed. "Hebrew is not so difficult as you imagine, Miss Hallam. Any
one that can master stenography can easily compass that. There is a
similarity in one respect. In both, dots and dashes take the place of
vowels. I will bring you a grammar to-morrow, and show you how easy the
rudiments are."

Jack was more interested than Bethany. He had never seen a book in
Hebrew type before. The square, even characters charmed him, and he
began to copy them on his slate.

"I'd like to learn this," he announced. "The letters are nothing but
chairs and tables."

"It was a picture language in the beginning," said David, leaning over
his chair, much pleased with his interest. "Now, that first letter used
to be the head of an ox. See how the horns branch? And this next one,
Beth, was a house. Don't you remember how many names in the Bible begin
with that--Beth-el, Beth-horon, Beth-shan--they all mean house of
something; house of God, house of caves, house of rest."

Jack gave a whistled "whe-ew!" "It would teach a fellow lots. What are
you a house of, Beth-any?"

He looked up, but his sister had been called into the next room.

"Would you really like to study it, Jack?" asked David. "It will be a
great help to you when you 'go into the business' of preaching to us
Jews."

Jack tilted his head to one side, and thrust his tongue out of the
corner of his mouth in an embarrassed way. Then he looked up, and saw
that David was not laughing at him, but soberly awaiting his answer.

"Yes, I really would," he answered, decidedly.

"Then I'll teach you as long as you are in the office."

Mr. Marion came in one day and saw David's dark head and Jack's yellow
one bending over the same page, and listened to the boy's enthusiastic
explanation of the letters.

"I wish we could form a class of our Sabbath-school teachers," said Mr.
Marion. "Would you undertake to teach it, Herschel?"

The young man hesitated. "If it were convenient I might make the
attempt," he said. "But I do not live in the city. My home is out at
Hillhollow."

Then, after a pause, while some other plan seemed to be revolving in his
mind, he asked: "Why not get Rabbi Barthold? He is a born teacher, and
nothing would delight him more than to imbue some other soul with a zeal
for his beloved mother-tongue."

"I'll certainly take the matter into consideration," responded Mr.
Marion, "if you will get his consent, and find what his terms are.
Bethany, I'll head the list with your name. Then there's Ray and myself.
That makes three, and I know at least three of my teachers that I am
sure of. I wish George Cragmore were here. Do you know, Bethany, it
would not surprise me very much if the Conference sends him here this
fall?"

"Not in Dr. Bascom's place," she exclaimed.

"O no, he is too young a man for Garrison Avenue, and unmarried besides.
But I heard that the Clark Street Church had asked for him. I hope the
bishop will consider the call."

"Don't set your heart on it, Cousin Frank," she answered. "You know what
is apt to befall 'the best laid schemes of mice and men.'"



CHAPTER X.

THE DEACONESS'S STORY.


AUGUST slipped into September. The vase on Bethany's desk, that Mrs.
Marion had kept filled with lilies, brightened the room with the glow of
the earliest golden-rod.

"Isn't it pretty?" said Jack, drawing a spray through his fingers. "It
makes me think of your hair, sister. They are both so soft and
fuzzy-looking."

"And like the sunshine," added David mentally, wishing he dared express
his admiration as openly as Jack. His desk was at an angle overlooking
Bethany's, and he often studied her face while she worked, as he would
have studied some rare portrait--not so much for the perfect contour and
delicacy of coloring as for the soul that shone through it.

She had seldom spoken to him of spiritual things. It was from Jack he
learned how interested she was in all her Church relationships. Still
he felt forcibly an influence that he could not define; that silent
charm of a consecrated life, linked close with the perfect life of the
Master.

One day when he was thus idly occupied, the janitor tiptoed into the
room, ushering a lady past to Bethany's desk. David looked up as she
passed, attracted by her unusual costume. It was all black, except that
there were deep, white cuffs rolled back over the sleeves, and a large,
white collar. The close-fitting black bonnet was tied under the chin
with broad white bows. She was a sweet-faced woman, with strong, capable
looking hands.

David heard Bethany exclaim, "Why, Josephine Bentley!" as if much
surprised to see her. Then they stood face to face, holding each other's
hands while they talked in low, rapid tones.

The stranger staid only a few moments. After she passed out, David
strolled leisurely up to Bethany's desk.

"I hope you'll excuse my curiosity, Miss Hallam," he said. "I am
interested in the costume of the lady who was here just now. I've seen
one like it before. Can you tell me to what order she belongs? Is it
anything like the Sisters of Charity?"

"Yes, something like it," she answered. "She is a deaconess. There is
this difference. They take no vows of perpetual service to the order,
but their lives are as entirely consecrated to their work as though they
had 'taken the veil,' as the nuns call it. This friend of mine who was
just here, is a visiting deaconess. She goes about doing good in the
Master's own way, to rich and poor alike. She came in just now to report
a case of destitution she had discovered. I am chairman of the Mercy and
Help Department in our League."

"Is that all they do?" asked David.

"All!" repeated Bethany. "You should see the Deaconess Home on Clark
Street. They have a hospital there, and a Kitchen-garten. It is the work
of some of these women to gather in all the poor, neglected girls they
can find. They make it so very attractive that the poor children are
taught to be respectable little housekeepers, without suspecting that
the music and games are really lessons. Homes that could be reached in
no other way have some wonderful changes wrought in them."

"You have so many different organizations in your Church," said David.
"Seems to me I am always hearing of a new one. There is an old saying,
'Too many cooks spoil the broth.' Did you never prove the truth of
that?"

"Now, that's one beauty of Methodism," exclaimed Bethany. "The little
wheels all fit into the big one like so many cogs, and all help each
other. For instance, here is the deaconess work. It goes hand in hand
with the League, only reaching out farther, with our motto of 'Lift Up,'
for they have an 'open sesame' that unbars all avenues to them. Of all
hard, self-sacrificing lives, it seems to me a nurse deaconess has the
hardest. She goes only into homes unable to pay for such services, and
whatever there is to do in the way of nursing, or of cleansing these
poverty-stricken homes, she does unflinchingly."

"The reason I asked," answered David, "is that one day last week I went
down to that terrible quarter of the city near the lower wharves. I
wanted to find a man who I knew would be a valuable witness in the
Dartmon murder case. I had been told that the only time to find him
would be before six o'clock, as he was a deckhand on one of the early
boats. I had been directed to a laundry-office in a row of rotten old
tenements near the river. I found the room used as an office was down in
a damp basement. It was about half-past five when I reached there. I
went down the rickety old stairs and knocked several times. You can
imagine my surprise when the door was opened by a refined-looking woman,
in just such a costume as your friend wore, except, of course, the
little bonnet. When I told her my errand, she asked me to step inside a
moment. The smell of sewer-gas almost stifled me at first. There was a
narrow counter where a few bundles were lying, still uncalled for. I
learned afterward, that the laundry had failed, and these were left to
await claimants. There was a calico curtain stretched across the room to
form a partition. She drew it aside, and motioned me to look in. There
was a table, two chairs, a gasoline stove, and an old bed. Lying across
the foot of the bed, as if utterly worn-out with weariness and sorrow,
lay a young girl heavily sleeping. A baby, only a few months old, was
lying among the pillows, as white and still as if it were dead. The
woman dropped the curtain with a shudder. 'It is the poor girl's husband
you are looking for,' she said. 'He is a rough, drunken fellow, and has
been away for days, nobody knows where. The baby is dying. I was called
here at three o'clock this morning. A physician came for me, but he said
it could not live many hours. O, it was awful! The cockroaches swarmed
all over the floor, and the rats were so bad they fairly ran over our
feet. The poor girl sank in a heavy stupor soon after I came, from sheer
exhaustion. There is nothing to eat in the house, and the milk I brought
with me for the baby has soured. It seems a dreadful thing to say, but I
dare not leave the baby while she is asleep long enough to get
anything--on account of the rats.' Of course I went out and got the
things she needed. Then there was nothing more I could do, she said. The
wretched poverty of the scene, and the woman's bravery, have been in my
thoughts ever since."

"I heard of that case yesterday," Bethany said, when he had finished. "I
know the nurse, Belle Carleton. The baby died, and they took the mother
to the Deaconess Hospital. She has typhoid fever. Belle told me of
another experience she had. Her life is full of them. She was sent to a
family where drunkenness was the cause of the poverty. The man had not
had steady work for a year, because he was never sober more than a few
days at a time. They lived in three rooms in the rear basement of a
large tenement-house. Belle said, when she opened the door of the first
room, it seemed the most forlorn place she had ever seen. There was a
table piled full of dirty dishes, and a cooking-stove covered with
ashes, on which stood a wash-boiler filled with half-washed clothes. The
floor looked as if it had never known the touch of a broom. The odor of
the boiling suds was sickening. A slatternly, half-grown girl, one of
the neighbors, stood beside a leaky tub, washing as best she knew how.
Four dirty, half-starved children were playing on the bare floor. Their
mother was sick in the next room. I couldn't begin to repeat Belle's
description of that bedroom, it was so filthy and infested with vermin.
She said, when she saw all that must be done, that repulsive creature
bathed, the dishes washed, and the floor scrubbed, a great loathing came
over her. She felt that she could not possibly touch a thing in the
room. She wanted to turn and run away from it all. I said to her, 'O,
Belle, how could you force yourself to do such repulsive things?'"

"What did she say?" exclaimed Herschel.

Bethany's face reflected some of the tenderness that must have shone in
Belle Carleton's, as she repeated her answer softly, "For Jesus' sake!"

There was a long pause, which Herschel broke by saying: "And she staid
there, I suppose, forced her shrinking hands into contact with what she
despised, did the most menial services, from a sense of duty to a man
whom she had never seen, who died centuries ago? Miss Hallam, how could
she? I find it very hard to understand."

"No, not from a sense of duty," corrected Bethany, "so much as love."

"Well, for love then. What was there in this man of Nazareth to inspire
such devotion after such a lapse of time? I understand how one might
admire his ethical teaching, how one might even try to embody his
precepts in a code to live by; but how he can inspire such sublime
annihilation of self, surpasses my comprehension. He was no greater
lawgiver than Moses, yet who makes such sacrifices for the love of
Moses? Peter suffered martyrdom, and Paul; yet who is ready to lay down
his life cheerfully and say, 'I do it for the sake of Peter--or Paul?'"

"Mr. Herschel," said Bethany, looking up at him wistfully, "don't you
see that it is no mere man who exercises such power; that he must be
what he claimed--one with the Father?"

Cragmore's passionate exclamation that day on the train came back to
him: "O, my friend, if you could only see my Savior as he has been
revealed to me!"

Then he seemed to hear Lessing's voice as they paced back and forth in
front of the tent, arm in arm in the darkness.

"Of a truth you can not understand these things, unless you be born
again--be born of the Spirit, into a realm of spiritual knowledge you
have never yet even dreamed of. Winged life is latent in the worm, even
while it has no conception of any existence higher than the cabbage-leaf
it crawls upon. But how is it possible for it to conceive of flight
until it has passed through some change that bursts the chrysalis and
provides the wings?"

The silence was growing oppressive. David shook his head, rose, and
slowly walked out of the room.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Sister," said Jack, a few days after, as she wheeled him homeward from
the office at noon-time, "Mr. Herschel keeps teasing me all the time
about something I said once about preaching to the Jews. He brings it up
so often, that if he doesn't look out I'll begin on him sure enough."

Whatever answer Bethany might have made was interrupted by Miss
Caroline, who met them as they turned a corner.

"Do tell!" she exclaimed in surprise. "You were in my mind just this
minute. I wondered if I might not chance to meet you."

"Where have you been, Aunt Carrie?" asked Jack, seeing that she carried
several small parcels.

"Shopping," she said. "Just think of it! Caroline Courtney actually out
shopping in the dry-goods stores."

"What's the occasion?" asked Bethany. "It must be something important. I
can't remember that you have done such a thing before since I have
known you. Have you been invited to a ball, a wedding, or a wake?"

Miss Caroline beamed on them through her spectacles. "Really, my dears,
that is just what I would like to know myself. That's why I had to make
these purchases. Your cousin Ray came in this morning, just after you
had gone, to invite us all to go to her house at half-past six this
evening. She wouldn't tell us what sort of an occasion she was planning,
only that it was a surprise for everybody, Mr. Marion most of all. He
has been gone a week on a business trip, but will get home to-night at
six. Sister and I have been trying to think what kind of an occasion it
could be. I know it isn't their wedding anniversary, nor her birthday.
Maybe it is his. So you see we couldn't decide just how we ought to
dress--whether to wear our very best dove-colored silks and point lace,
or the black crepon dresses we have had two seasons. Sister absolutely
refuses to carry her elegant fan that she got in Brussels, although I
want very much to take mine, especially if we wear the gray dresses. My
second best is broken, and of course we wouldn't want to carry a
palm-leaf. There was no other way but to take the second best fan down
and match it. Then she had lost one of the bows of ribbon that was on
her gray dress, and I had to match that, in case we decided to wear the
grays. Here I have spent the whole morning over my fan and her ribbon."

"Dear me!" said Jack. "Why don't you carry your Brussels fan and wear
your gray dress, and let her wear her black dress and take the kind of
fan she wanted?"

"O, my child!" exclaimed Miss Caroline, "Neither of us would have taken
a mite of comfort so. You don't understand how it feels when there are
two of you. When you have spent--well, a great many years, in having
things alike, you don't feel comfortable unless you are in pairs."

It was arranged that Jack should not go back to the office that
afternoon. The sisters volunteered to take him with them.

Bethany hurried through her work, but it seemed to her she had never had
so many interruptions, or so much to do.

It was after six when she closed her desk. Mr. Edmunds noticed the tired
look on her flushed face, and said:

"Miss Hallam, my carriage is waiting down stairs. I have to stay here
some time longer to meet a man who is late in keeping his engagement.
Jerry may as well take you home while he is waiting." He went down on
the elevator with her, and handed her into the carriage.

"Better stay out in the fresh air a little before you start home," he
said, kindly. "It will do you good."

Bethany sank back gratefully among the cushions. Jerry had been her
father's coachman at one time. He grinned from ear to ear as she took
her seat.

"We'll take a spin along the river road," she said. "Give me a glimpse
of the fields and the golden-rod, and then take me to Mrs. Marion's, on
Phillips Avenue."

"Yes, miss," said Jerry, touching his hat. "I know all the roads you
like best!"

The impatient horses needed no urging. They fairly flew down the beaten
track that led from the noisy, bouldered streets into the grassy byways.
On they went, past suburban orchards and outlying pastures, to the
sights and sounds of the real country.

Bethany heard the slow, restful tinkle of bells in a quiet lane where
the cows stood softly lowing at the bars. She heard the coo of doves in
the distance, and the call of a quail in a brown stubble-field near by.
Then the wind swept up from the river, now turning red in the sunset. It
put new life into her pulses, and a new light in her eyes. The weariness
was all gone. The wind had blown the light, curly hair about her face,
and she put up her hands to smooth it back, as they came in sight of
Mrs. Marion's house.

"It doesn't make any difference," she thought. "I can run up into Cousin
Ray's room and put myself in order before any one sees me."

As the carriage stopped, some one stepped up quickly to assist her
alight. It was David Herschel.

"Of all times!" she thought; "when I am literally blown to pieces. How
queerly things do happen in this world!"

To her still greater wonderment, instead of closing the gate after her
and going on down the street, he followed her up the steps.

"Cousin Ray said this was to be a surprise," she thought. "This must be
part of it."

Miss Harriet and Miss Caroline had just smoothed their plumage in the
guest-chamber, and were coming down the stairs hand in hand as David
and Bethany entered the reception-hall.

This was their first glimpse of David. They had been very curious to see
him. Jack had talked about him so much that they recognized him
instantly from his description.

Miss Caroline squeezed Miss Harriet's hand, and said in a dramatic
whisper, "Sister! the surprise."

"Look at Bethany," remarked Miss Harriet. "How unusually bright she
looks, and yet a little flushed and confused. I wonder if he has been
saying anything to her. They came in together."

"Pooh!" puffed Miss Caroline. Then they both moved forward with their
most beaming "company smile," as Jack called it, to meet Mr. Herschel.

"Come in here," said Mrs. Marion, leading the way into the drawing-room,
while Bethany made her escape up stairs.

"Mrs. Courtney, allow me to introduce Mrs. Dameron."

"Sally Atwater!" fairly shrieked Miss Caroline and Miss Harriet in
chorus, as a tall, thin woman, with gray hair and sharp, twinkling eyes
rose to meet them; "Sally Atwater, for the land's sake! how did you ever
happen to get here?"

"It's an old school friend of theirs," explained Mrs. Marion to David,
as the twins stood on tiptoe to grasp her around the neck and kiss her
repeatedly between their exclamations of joyful surprise. "They haven't
seen her since they were married. I'll present you, and then we'll leave
them to have a good old gossip."

During the introductions in the drawing-room, Mr. Marion came into the
hall, with his gripsack in his hand.

"Why, hello, Jack!" he called cheerily. "How are you, my boy? I'm so
glad to see you."

He hung up his hat, and went forward to clap him on the shoulder and
hold the little hands lovingly in his big, strong ones. While he still
sat on the arm of Jack's chair, there was a sudden parting of the
portieres behind them, a swift rustle, and two white hands met over his
eyes and blindfolded him.

"O! O!" cried Jack ecstatically, and then clapped his hand over his
mouth as he heard a warning "Sh!"

"It's Ray, of course," said Mr. Marion, laughing and reaching backwards
to seize whoever had blindfolded him. "Nobody else would take such
liberties."

"O, wouldn't they?" cried a mocking voice. "What about Ray's younger
sister?"

He turned around, and catching her by the shoulders, held her out in
front of him.

"Well, Lois Denning!" he exclaimed in amazement. "When did you get here,
little sister? I never imagined you were within two hundred miles of
this place."

"Neither did Ray until this morning. I just walked in unannounced."

When he had given her a hearty welcome she said: "O, I'm not the only
one to surprise you. Just go in the other room, Brother Frank, and see
who all's there, while I talk with this young man I haven't seen for a
year."

Lois Denning had been Jack's favorite cousin since he was old enough to
fasten his baby fingers in her long, brown hair. In her yearly visits to
her sister she had devoted so much of her time to him, and been such a
willing slave, that he looked forward to her coming even a shade more
eagerly than he watched for Christmas.

There was one thing that remained longest in the memory of every guest
who had ever enjoyed the hospitality of the Marion home. It was the warm
welcome that made itself continually felt. It met them even in the free
swing of the wide front door that seemed to say, "Just walk right in
now, and make yourself at home."

There was an atmosphere of genial comfort and cheer that cast its spell
on all who strayed over its inviting threshold. It made them long to
linger, and loath to leave.

David Herschel was quick to appreciate the warm cordiality of his
greeting. He had not been in the house five minutes until he felt
himself on the familiar footing of an old friend. At first he wondered
at the strange assortment of guests, and thought it queer he had been
asked to meet the elderly twins and their old friend, who were so
absorbed in each other.

Then Mrs. Marion brought in her sister, Lois Denning--a slim, graceful
girl in a white duck suit, with a red carnation in the lapel of the
jaunty jacket. She was a lively, outspoken girl, decided in her
opinions, and original in her remarks.

"That red carnation just suits her," said David to himself, as they
talked together. "She is so bright and spicy."

"Isn't it time for dinner, Ray?" asked Mr. Marion, anxiously. "It's
getting dark, and I'm as hungry as a schoolboy."

"Yes, and your guests will think you are as impatient as one," she
answered, laughingly. "We must wait a few minutes longer. Mr. Cragmore
hasn't come yet."

"Cragmore!" cried Mr. Marion, starting to his feet.

"O dear," exclaimed his wife, "I didn't intend to tell you he was
coming. I knew you hadn't seen the report from Conference yet, and I
wanted to surprise you. He has been sent to the Clark Street Church. I
met him coming up from the depot this morning, and asked him to dine
with us to-night."

"Now I do wish I were a school-boy!" exclaimed Mr. Marion, "so that I
might give vent to my delight as I used to."

"I remember how loud you could whoop when you were two feet six,"
remarked Mrs. Dameron. "I should not care to risk hearing you, now that
you are six feet two."

There was a quick ring at the front door, and the next instant Frank
Marion and George Cragmore were shaking hands as though they could never
stop.

"I'm going to see if they fall on each other's necks and weep a la
Joseph and his brethren," said Lois, tiptoeing towards the hall. "I've
heard so much about George Cragmore, that I feel that I am about to be
presented to a whole circus--menagerie and all."

"And how are ye, Mistress Marion?" they heard his musical voice say.

"Will ye moind that now," commented Lois in an undertone. "How's that
for a touch of the rale auld brogue?"

He was introduced to the old ladies first, then to the saucy Lois and
Jack. Then he caught sight of Herschel. They met with mutual pleasure,
and were about cordially to renew their acquaintance, begun that day on
the car, when Cragmore glanced across the room and saw Bethany.

Both Lois and David noticed the way his face lighted up, and the
eagerness with which he went forward to speak to her.

That evening was the beginning of several things. The Hebrew class was
organized. Mr. Marion had found only two of his teachers willing to
undertake the work, but Lois cheerfully allowed herself to be
substituted for the third one he had been so sure would join them.

"I'll not be here more than long enough to get a good start," she said,
"but I'm in for anything that's going--Hebrew or Hopscotch, whichever it
happens to be."

The twins declined to take any part. "I know it is beyond us," sighed
Miss Harriet. "The Latin conjugations were always such a terror to me,
and sister never did get her bearings in the German genders."

When it came time for the merry party to break up, Frank Marion would
not listen to any good-nights from Cragmore.

"You're not going away. That's the end of it," he declared. "I'll walk
down with you to the hotel, and have your trunk sent up. You're to stay
here until you get a boarding place to suit you. I wouldn't let you go
then, if I did not know it was essential for you to live nearer your
congregation."

Mr. Marion walked on ahead, pushing Jack's chair, with Miss Caroline on
one side, and Miss Harriet on the other.

Bethany followed with George Cragmore. There was a brilliant moonlight,
and they walked slowly, enjoying to the utmost the rare beauty of the
night.

"Come in a moment, George," called Mr. Marion, as he wheeled Jack up the
steps. "I want to finish spinning this yarn."

They all went into the hall.

Bethany opened the door into the library and struck a match. Cragmore
took it from her and lighted the gas.

But Mr. Marion still stood in the hall with his attentive audience of
three.

"I'll be through in a moment," he called. The sisters dropped down in a
large double rocker.

"You might as well sit down, too, Mr. Cragmore," said Bethany. "His
minute may prove to be elastic."

Cragmore looked around the homelike old room, and then down at the
fair-haired woman at his side. "Not to-night, thank you," he responded;
"but I should like to come some other time. Yes, I think I should like
to come here very often, Miss Hallam."

The admiration in his eyes, and the tone, made the remark so very
personal that Bethany was slightly annoyed.

"O, our latch-string is always out to the clergy," she said lightly, and
then led the way back to the hall to join the others.



CHAPTER XI.

"YOM KIPPUR."


THE morning after the first meeting of the Hebrew class at Rabbi
Barthold's, Frank Marion came into the office.

"Herschel," he said, "when do you have your Day of Atonement services?
Is it this week or next? Rabbi Barthold invited us to attend, but I am
not sure about the date. He is going to preach a series of sermons that
are to set forth the views now held by the Reform school, and Cragmore
and I are anxious to hear them."

"It is the week after this," said David, consulting the calendar.

"Then I can arrange to get in from my trip in time for the Friday night
service."

"What do you think of Rabbi Barthold?" asked David. "Isn't he a
magnificent old fellow?"

Marion stroked his mustache thoughtfully. "Well," he said after some
deliberation, "I hardly know where to place him. He doesn't belong to
this age. If I believed in the transmigration of souls, I should say
that some old Levite, whose life-work had been to keep the Temple lamps
perpetually burning, had strayed back to earth again.

"That seems to be his mission now. He is trying to rekindle the pride
and zeal and hope of an ancient day. Excuse me for saying it, Herschel,
but there are few in his congregation who understand him. Their vision
is so obscured by this dense fog of modern indifference that they fail
to appreciate his aims. They are still in the outer courts, among the
tables of the money-changers, and those who sell doves. They have never
entered the inner sanctuary of a spiritual life. Their religion stops
with the altar and the censer--the material things. Understand me," he
said hastily, as David interrupted him, "I know there are a number you
have in mind, who are loyally true to the spirit of Judaism, but they
are few and far between. I am not speaking of them, but of the great
mass of the congregation. I believe the services of the synagogue, and
their religion itself, is only a form observed from a cold sense of
duty, merely to avert the evil decree."

David drew himself up rather stiffly.

"And you are the disciple of the man who said, 'Let him that is without
sin among you cast the first stone!' What do you suppose the Jew has to
say about the dead-heads in your Churches? What proportion of your
membership has passed beyond the tables of the money-changers? How many
in your pews, who mumble the creed and wear the label 'Christian,' will
be able at the passages of God's Jordan to meet the challenge of his
Shibboleth?"

Marion laid his hand on David's shoulder. "You misunderstand me, my
boy," he said. "I have no harsher denunciation for the indifferent Jew
than for the indifferent Christian. God pity them both! I was simply
drawing a contrast between Rabbi Barthold and his people, as it appears
to me--a shepherd who longs to lead his flock up to the source of all
living water; but they prefer to dispense with climbing the spiritual
heights, jostle each other for the richest herbage of the lowlands, and
are satisfied. You know that is so, David."

"Yes," admitted David, with a sigh. "He can not even arouse them to the
necessity of teaching their children Hebrew, if they would perpetuate
loyalty to its traditions."

David was about to repeat what the Rabbi had said the night he consented
to take the Hebrew class, but his pride checked him: "What are we coming
to, my son? Protestantism is having a wonderful awakening in regard to
the study of the Bible. Never has there been such a widespread interest
in it as now. But among our people, how many of the younger generation
make it a text-book of daily study? Such negligence will surely write
its 'Ichabod' upon the future of our beloved Israel."

"What a discussion we have drifted into!" exclaimed Mr. Marion. "I had
only intended dropping in here to ask you a simple question. Come to
think, I believe I have not answered yours. You asked me my opinion of
Rabbi Barthold. Well, I think he is a sincere, noble soul, a true seeker
of the truth, and a man whose friendship I would value very highly."

Herschel looked much pleased.

"I hope you may be able to hear him on 'Yom Kippur,'" he said.

"I shall certainly try to be there," Marion answered.

As his footsteps died away in the hall, David said to himself: "If every
Gentile were like that man, and every Jew like Uncle Ezra, what an
ideal state of society there would be! But then," he added as an
after-thought, "what would become of the lawyers? We would starve."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the waning light of the afternoon, that Day of the Atonement, there
was no more devout worshiper in all the temple than George Cragmore. He
had just finished reading a book of M. Leroy Beaulieu's, "Israel Among
the Nations," and as he turned the leaves of the prayer-book some one
handed him, he was impressed with the truth of this sentence which
recurred to him:

"The Hebrew genius was confined to a narrow bed between two rocky walls,
whence only the sky could be seen; but it channeled there a well so deep
that the ages have not dried it up, and the nations of the four corners
of the earth have come to slake their thirst at its waters."

It seemed to him that all that was purest, most heart-searching and
sublime in the Old Covenant; all that time has proven most precious and
comforting of its promises; all therein that best satisfies the human
yearnings toward the Infinite, and gives wings to the God-instinct in
man, might be found somewhere in the exquisite mosaic of this day's
ritual.

Marion, concentrating his attention chiefly on the sermons, admired
their scholarly style, and indorsed most of their substance, but he came
away with a feeling of sadness.

It seemed so pitiful to him to see these people with their backs turned
on the sacrifice a divine love had already provided, trying to make
their own empty-handed atonement, simply by their penitent pleadings and
good deeds.

Herschel's devotions were interfered with by a spirit of criticism
heretofore unknown to him. His thoughts were so full of doubts that had
been having an almost imperceptible growth that he could not enter into
the service with his usual abandon. He was continually contrasting those
around him with that never-to-be-forgotten gathering on Lookout, and the
congregation in the tent.

What made them to differ? He could not tell, but he felt that something
was lacking here that had made the other such a force.

Cragmore had not been able to attend the Friday night service, nor the
one on the following morning. He came in just after the noon recess, and
was ushered to a pew near the center of the room, where he immediately
became absorbed in the ritual. He followed devoutly through the
meditations and the silent devotions, and when they came to the
responsive readings, his voice joined in as earnestly as any son of
Abraham there.

The synagogue, with its modern trappings and fashionably-dressed
congregation, seemed to disappear. He saw the old Temple take its place,
with its solemn ceremonials of scapegoat and burnt-offering. Through the
chanting of the choir in the gallery back of him he heard the
thousand-voiced song of the Levites. He seemed to see the clouds of
incense, and the smoke arising from the high brazen altar. He bowed his
head on the seat in front of him. His whole soul seemed to go out in
reverent adoration to this great Jehovah, worshiped by both Hebrew and
Christian.

The memorial service to the dead followed the sermon.

Cragmore's music-loving nature responded like a quivering harp-string as
the choir began a minor chant:

    "Oh what is man, the child of dust?
       What is man, O Lord?"

The low, moaning tones of the great organ rose and fell like the beat of
a far-off tide, as all heads bowed in silent devotion, recalling in that
moment the lives that had passed out into the great beyond.

Cragmore whispered a fervent prayer of thankfulness for the unbroken
family circle across the wide Atlantic.

As he did so, a breath of blossoming hawthorn hedges, a faint chiming of
the Shandon bells, and the blue mists of the Kerry hills seemed to
mingle a moment with his prayer.

The sun had set, when in the concluding service his eyes fell on the
words the Rabbi was reading--The Mission of Israel--"It's a pity," he
thought, "that every mentally cross-eyed Christian, who, between
ignorance and bigotry, can get only a distorted impression of the Jews,
couldn't have heard this service to-day, especially that prayer for all
mankind, and this one he is reading now:

"'This twilight hour reminds us also of the eventide, when, according to
Thy gracious promise, Thy light will arise over all the children of men,
and Israel's spiritual descendants will be as numerous as the stars in
the heaven. Endow us, our Guardian, with strength and patience for our
holy mission. Grant that all the children of Thy people may recognize
the goal of our changeful career, so that they may exemplify, by their
zeal and love for mankind, the truth of Israel's watchword: One humanity
on earth, even as there is but one God in heaven. Enlighten all that
call themselves by Thy name with the knowledge that the sanctuary of
wood and stone, that erst crowned Zion's hill, was but a gate, through
which Israel should step out into the world, to reconcile all mankind
unto Thee! Thou alone knowest when this work of atonement shall be
completed; when the day shall dawn in which the light of Thy truth,
brighter than that of the visible sun, shall encircle the whole earth.
But surely that great day of universal reconciliation, so fervently
prayed for, shall come, as surely as none of Thy words return empty,
unless they have done that for which Thou didst send them. Then joy
shall thrill all hearts, and from one end of the earth to the other
shall echo the gladsome cry: Hear, O Israel, hear all mankind, the
Eternal our God, the Eternal is One. Then myriads will make pilgrimage
to Thy house, which shall be called a house of prayer for all nations,
and from their lips shall sound in spiritual joy: Lord, open for us the
gates of thy truth. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up,
ye everlasting doors, for the King of glory shall come in.'"

And the choir chanting, replied:

"Who is the King of glory? The Lord of hosts--He is the King of glory."

There was a short prayer, then a benediction that made Cragmore and
Marion look across the congregation at each other and smile. It was the
Epworth benediction, with which the League was always dismissed:

"May the Lord bless thee, and keep thee. May the Lord let his
countenance shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee! The Lord lift up
his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

The two men met each other at the door, and walked homeward together
through the twilight.

Cragmore had found a boarding place. It was not far from the temple.

"Come up to my room," he said to Marion. "I see you still have
Herschel's prayer-book with you. I want to compare the mission of Israel
as given there with the one I was reading to-day of Leroy-Beaulieu's. I
have never known before to-day what special hope they clung to. Come in
and I will find the paragraph."

He lighted the gas in his room, pushed a chair over towards his guest,
and, seating himself, began rapidly turning the leaves of the book.

"Here it is," he said, and he read as follows:

"Then at last Jewish faith, freed from all tribal spirit and purified of
all national dross, will become the law of humanity. The world that
jeered at the long suffering of Israel, will witness the fulfillment of
prophecies delayed for twenty centuries by the blindness of the scribes,
and the stubbornness of the rabbis. According to the words of the
prophets, the nations will come to learn of Israel, and the people will
hang to the skirts of her garments, crying, 'Let us go up together to
the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the Lord of Israel, that he may
teach us to walk in his ways.' The true spiritual religion, for which
the world has been sighing since Luther and Voltaire, will be imparted
to it through Israel. To accomplish this, Israel needs but to discard
her old practices, as in spring the oak shakes off the dead leaves of
winter. The divine trust, the legacy of her prophets, which has been
preserved intact beneath her heavy ritual, will be transmitted to the
Gentiles by an Israel emancipated from all enslavement to form. Then
only, after having infused the spirit of the Thora into the souls of all
men, will Israel, her mission accomplished, be able to merge herself in
the nations."

"See what a hopeless hope," said Cragmore, as he closed the book. "And
yet do you know, Frank, I am becoming more and more sure that Israel has
some great part to play in the conversion of humanity? Any one must see
that nothing short of Divine power could have kept them intact as a
race, and Divine power is never aimlessly exerted. There must be some
great reason for such a miraculous preservation. What missionaries of
the cross these people would make! What torch-bearers they have been!
They have carried the altar-fires of Jehovah to every alien shore they
have touched."

Cragmore stood up in his earnestness, his eyes alight with something
akin to prophetic fire.

"The old thorny stem of Judaism shall yet bud and blossom into the
perfect flower of Christianity!" he cried. "And when it does, O when it
does, the 'chosen people' will become a veritable tree of life, whose
leaves will be 'for the healing of the nations.'"



CHAPTER XII.

DR. TRENT.


IT was a cold, bleak night in November. There was a blazing wood-fire on
the library hearth. Bethany sat in a low chair in front of it, with a
large, flat book in her lap, which she was using as a desk for her
long-neglected letter-writing. An appetizing smell of pop-corn and
boiling molasses found its way in from the cozy kitchen, where the
sisters were treating Jack to an old-fashioned candy-pulling. The
occasional gusts that rattled the windows made Bethany draw closer to
the fire, with a grateful sense of warmth and comfort. She thoroughly
appreciated her luxurious surroundings, and was glad she had the long,
quiet evening ahead of her.

For half an hour the steady trail of her pen along the paper, and the
singing of the kettle on the crane, was all that was audible.

Then Jack came wheeling himself in, with a radiant, sticky face, and a
plate of candy.

"O, we're having such lots of fun!" he cried. "We're going to make some
chocolate creams now. Do come and help, sister?"

She pointed to the pile of unanswered letters on the table. "I must get
these out of the way first," she said. "Then I'll join you."

"I guess you can eat and write at the same time," he answered, holding
out the plate.

He waited only long enough for her to taste his wares, and hurried back
to the kitchen to report her opinion of their skill as confectioners.

Just as the dining-room door banged behind him, she thought she heard
some one coming up on the front porch with slow, uncertain steps. She
paused in the act of dipping her pen into the ink, and listened. Some
one certainly tried the bell, but it did not ring. Then the outside door
opened and shut. She started up slightly alarmed, and half way across
the room stopped again to listen. There was a momentary rustling in the
hall. She heard something drop on the hat-rack. Then there was a low
knock at the library door. She opened it a little way, and saw Dr. Trent
standing there.

"O, Uncle Doctor!" she cried, throwing the door wide open. "I never
once thought of its being you. I took you for a burglar."

Then she stopped, seeing the worn, haggard look on his face. He seemed
to have grown ten years older since the last time she had seen him.
Without noticing her proffered hand, he pushed slowly past her, and
stood shivering before the fire. He had taken off his overcoat in the
hall. He was bent and careworn, as if some unusual weight had been laid
upon his patient shoulders, already bowed to the limit of their
strength.

Bethany knew from his firmly set lips and stern face that he was in sore
need of comfort.

"What is it, Uncle Doctor?" she asked, following him to the fire, and
laying her hand lightly on his trembling arm. She felt that something
dreadful must have happened to unnerve him so. "What can I do for you?"
she asked with a tremble of distress in her voice.

He dropped into a chair and covered his face with his hands. When he
raised his head his eyes were blurred, and he had that helpless,
childish look that comes with premature age.

"I have been with Isabel all day," he said, huskily.

Although Bethany had never heard Mrs. Trent's given name before, she
knew that he was speaking of his wife.

There was a long pause, which she finally broke by saying, "Don't you
see her every day? I thought you were in the habit of going out to her
that often."

"O, I have gone there," he answered wearily, "day after day, and day
after day, all these long years; but I have never seen Isabel. It has
only been a poor, mad creature, who never recognized me. She was always
calling for me. The way she used to rave, and pray to be sent back to
her husband, would have touched a heart of flint; yet she never knew me
when I came. She would grow quiet when I put my arm around her, but she
would sit and stare at me in a dumb, confused way that was pitiful. I
always hoped that some day she might recognize me. I would sing her old
songs to her, and talk about our old home, although the thought of its
shattered happiness broke my heart. I tried in every way to bring her to
herself. She would listen awhile, and look up at me with a recognition
almost dawning in her eyes. Then the tears would begin to roll down her
cheeks, and she would beg me to go and find her husband. Yesterday she
knew me!" His voice broke. "She came back to me for the first time in
eight years,--my own little Isabel! I knew it was only because the frail
body was worn out with its terrible struggle, and I could not keep her
long. O, such a day as this has been! I have held her in my arms every
moment, with her poor, tired head against my heart. She was so glad and
happy to find herself with me at last, but the happiness was over so
soon."

He buried his face in his hands as before, with a groan. When he spoke
again, it was in a dull, mechanical way.

"She died at sundown!"

The tears were running down Bethany's face. She had been standing behind
his chair. Now she bent over him, lightly passing her hand over his gray
hair, with a comforting caress.

"If I could only do something," she exclaimed, in a voice tremulous with
sympathy.

"You can," he answered. "That is why I came. None of her relatives are
living. Only my most intimate friends know that she did not die eight
years ago, when she was taken away to a sanitarium. I want--" he stopped
with a choking in his throat. "The attendants have been very kind, but
I want some woman of her own station--some woman who would have been her
friend--to put flowers about her--and--smooth her hair, as she would
have wanted it done--and--and--see that everything is all fine and
beautiful when she is dressed for her last sleep."

He tried to keep his voice steady as he talked; but his face was working
pitifully, and the tears were rolling down his face.

"She would have wished it so. She knew Richard Hallam. He was my best
friend. I do not know any one I could ask to do this for my little
Isabel, but Richard Hallam's daughter."

She leaned over and touched his forehead with her lips.

"Then let her have a daughter's place in helping you bear this," she
said. "Let her serve her father's dear, old friend as she would have
served that father."

He reached up and mutely took her hand, resting his face against it a
moment, as if the touch of its sympathy strengthened him. Then he rose,
saying, "I shall send for you in the morning."

"O, are you going home so soon?" she exclaimed. "You have hardly been
here long enough to get thoroughly warm."

"No, not home, but back to Isabel. It will be only a few hours longer
that I can sit beside her. I have staid away now longer than I intended,
but I had to come in town to see that Lee was all right."

"O, does he know?" asked Bethany.

"No, he was only two years old when they were separated. She has always
been dead to him. Poor, little fellow! Why should I shadow his life with
such a grief?"

Bethany helped him on with his overcoat, turned up the collar, and
buttoned it securely. Then she gave him his gloves; but instead of
putting them on, he stood snapping the clasps in an absent-minded way.

"I suppose Richard told you about that debt I have been wrestling with
so long," he said, finally. "I got that all paid off last week, the last
wretched cent. And now that Isabel is gone, I seem to have lost all my
old vigor and ambition. If it were not for Lee, it would be so good to
stop, and not try to take another step. I should like to lie down and go
to sleep, too."

He opened the door. A raw, cold wind, laden with snow, rushed in.

Bethany watched him out of sight, then went shivering back to the fire.

A deep snowstorm kept Jack at home next day, so no one questioned, or no
one knew why Bethany was excused from the office during the morning.

She carried out Dr. Trent's wishes faithfully. She stood beside him in
the dreary cemetery till the white snow was laid back over the
newly-made mound. Then she rode silently back to town with him. He sat
with his hands over his eyes all the way, never speaking until the
carriage stopped at the office, and the driver opened the door for
Bethany to alight.

Next day she saw him drive past on his usual round of professional
visits. No one else noticed any difference in him, except that he seemed
a little graver, and, if possible, more tender and thoughtful in his
ministrations, than he had been before.

To Bethany there was something very pathetic in the sudden aging of
this man, who had borne his burden so silently and bravely that few had
ever suspected he had one.

He was making a stern effort to keep on in the same old way. His
profession had brought him in contact with so much of the world's sorrow
and suffering that he would not lay even the shadow of his burden on
other lives, if he could help it.

Only Bethany noticed that his hair was fast growing white, that he
stooped more, and that he climbed slowly and heavily into the buggy,
instead of springing in as he used to, with a quick, elastic step. She
ministered to his comfort in all the little ways in her power, but it
was not much that any one could do.

It must have been nearly two weeks before he came again to the house.
This time it was to examine Jack.

"What would you say, my son," he asked, "if I should tell you I do not
want you to go to the office any more after this week?"

Jack's face was a study. The tears came to his eyes. "Why?" he asked.

"Because you will be strong enough then to go through a certain exercise
I want you to take many times during the day. If you keep it up
faithfully, I believe you will be walking by Christmas."

This was so much sooner than either Jack or Bethany had dared hope, that
they hardly knew how to express their joy. Jack gave a loud whoop, and
went wheeling out of the room at the top of his speed to tell Miss
Caroline and Miss Harriet.

Dr. Trent looked after him with a fatherly tenderness in his face. Then
he sighed and turned to Bethany. "I have another trouble to bring to
you, my dear. Lee has been getting into so much mischief lately. I never
knew till yesterday that he has not been attending school regularly this
term. You see every allowance ought to be made for the child--no home
but a boarding-house; no one to take an oversight--for I am called out
night and day. He is such a bright boy, so full of life and spirit. I am
satisfied that his teachers do not understand him. They have not been
fair with him. He has been transferred from one ward to another, and
finally expelled. He never told me until last night. He said he knew it
would grieve me, and that he put it off from day to day, because he did
not want to trouble me when I was so worried over several critical
cases. That showed a sweet spirit, Bethany. I appreciated it. He has
always been such an affectionate little chap. I wanted to go and
interview the superintendent; but he insisted it would do no good,
because they are all prejudiced against him. I know Lee is a good child.
They ought not to expect a growing boy, full of the animal spirits the
Creator has endowed him with, to always work like a prim little machine.
Maybe I am not acting wisely, but he begged so hard to be allowed to go
to work for awhile, instead of being sent to any other school, that I
gave my consent. It is little a ten-year old boy can do, but he has a
taking way with him, and he got a place himself. He is to be
elevator-boy in the same building where your office is. You will see him
every day, and I am giving you the true state of affairs, so you will
not misjudge the child. I hope you will look out a little for him,
Bethany."

"You may be sure I shall do that," she promised. "We are already great
friends. He used to often join us on his way to school, and wheel Jack
part of the distance."

Jack made as much as possible of the remaining time that he was allowed
to go to the office. He studied no lessons but the short Hebrew
exercises David still gave him. He called at all the different offices
where he had made friends, and spent a great deal of time in the hall,
talking to Lee, who was soon installed in the building as elevator-boy.

"My! but Lee has been fooling his father," exclaimed Jack to Bethany
after his first interview. "Dr. Trent thinks he is such a little angel,
but you ought to hear the things he brags about doing. He's tough, I can
tell you. He smokes cigarettes, and swears like a trooper. He showed me
an old horse-pistol he won at a game of 'seven up.' He shoots 'craps,'
too. He has been playing hooky half his time. One of the hostlers at the
livery-stable, where his father keeps his horse, used to write his
excuses for him. Lee paid him for it with tobacco he stole out of one of
the warehouses down by the river. You just ought to see the book he
carries around in his pocket to read when he isn't busy. It's called
'The Pirate's Revenge; or, A Murderer's Romance.' There is the awfulest
pictures in it of people being stabbed, and women cutting their throats.
I told him he showed mighty poor taste in the stuff he read; and asked
him how he would like to be found dead with such a thing in his pocket.
He told me to shut up preaching, and said the reason he has gone to work
is to save up money so's he could go to Chicago or New York, or some big
place, and have a 'howling good time.'"

It made Bethany sick at heart to think of the deception the boy had
practiced on his father. Much as she trusted Jack, she could not bear to
encourage any intimacy between the boys, and was glad when the time came
for him to stay at home from the office. But in every way she could she
strengthened her friendship with Lee. She brought him great, rosy
apples, and pop-corn balls that Jack had made. No ten-year-old boy could
be proof against the long twists of homemade candy she frequently
slipped into his pocket. Sometimes when the weather was especially
stormy and bleak outside, she stopped to put a bunch of violets or a
little red rose in his button-hole. She was so pretty and graceful that
she awakened the dormant chivalry within him, and he would not for
worlds have had her suspect that he was not all his father believed him
to be.

One day she told David enough of his history to enlist his sympathy.
After that the young lawyer began to take considerable notice of him,
and finally won his complete friendship by the gift of a little brown
puppy, that he brought down one morning in his overcoat pocket.

There was no more time to read "The Pirate's Revenge." The helpless,
sprawling little pup demanded all his attention. He kept it swung up in
a basket in the elevator, when he was busy, but spent every spare moment
trying to develop its limited intelligence by teaching it tricks. That
was one occupation of which he never wearied, and in which he never lost
patience. From the moment he took the soft, warm, little thing in his
arms, he loved it dearly.

"I shall call him Taffy," he said, hugging it up to him, "because he's
so sweet and brown."

Bethany had intended for Dr. Trent and Lee to dine with them on
Thanksgiving day, but the sisters were invited to Mrs. Dameron's, and
Mrs. Marion was so urgent for her and Jack to spend the day with them,
that she reluctantly gave up her plan.

"I shall certainly have them Christmas," she promised herself, "and a
big tree for Lee and Jack. Lois will help me with it."

It was a genuine Thanksgiving-day, with gray skies, and snow, to
intensify the indoor cheer.

"Didn't the altar look beautiful this morning with its decorations of
fruit and vegetables, and those sheaves of wheat?" remarked Miss
Harriet. She had just come home from Mrs. Dameron's, and was holding her
big mink muff in front of the fire to dry. She had dropped it in the
snow.

"Yes, and wasn't that salad-dressing fine?" chimed in Miss Caroline.
"Sally always did have a real talent for such things."

"It couldn't have been any better than we had," insisted Jack. "I don't
believe I'll want anything more to eat for a week."

"That's very fortunate," answered Miss Caroline, "for I gave Mena an
entire holiday. We'll only have a cup of tea, and I can make that in
here."

They sat around the fire in the gloaming, quietly talking over the happy
day. One of Bethany's greatest causes for thanksgiving was that these
two gentle lives had come in contact with her own. Their simple piety
and childlike faith sweetened the atmosphere around them, like the
modest, old-fashioned garden-flowers they loved so dearly. Well for
Bethany that she had the constant companionship of these loving sisters.
Happy for Jack that he found in them the gracious grandmotherly
tenderness, without which no home is complete. They were very proud of
their boy, as they called him. Between the Junior League and their
conscientious instruction, Jack was pretty firmly "rooted and grounded"
in the faith of his fathers. Night stole on so gradually, and the
firelight filled the room with such a cheerful glow, they did not notice
how dark it had grown outside, until a sudden peal of the door-bell
startled them.

"I'll go," said Miss Caroline, adjusting the spectacles that had slipped
down when the sudden sound made her start nervously up from her chair.
She waited to light the gas, and hastily arrange the disordered chairs.

When she opened the door she saw David Herschel patiently awaiting
admittance. It was the first time he had ever called. She was all in a
flutter of surprise as she ushered him into the library. He declined to
take a seat.

"I have just come home from Dr. Trent's," he said. "You know he boards
across the street from Rabbi Barthold's, where I have been spending the
day. He was called out to see a patient last night, and came home late,
with a hard chill. Lee saw me coming out of the gate a little while ago,
and came running over to tell me. He had been out skating all morning.
After dinner, when he went up-stairs, he found his father delirious, and
had telephoned for Dr. Mills. He was very much frightened, and wanted me
to stay with him until the doctor came. As soon as Dr. Mills examined
him, he called me aside and asked me to get into his buggy and drive out
to the Deaconess Home. I have just come from there," he said, "and Miss
Carleton has no case on hands. Tell her if ever she was needed in her
life, she is needed now. He has pneumonia, and it has been neglected too
long, I'm afraid. It may be a matter of only a few hours."

Bethany started up, looking so white and alarmed that David thought she
was going to faint. He arose, too.

"I must go over there at once," she said.

"It is quite dark," answered David. "I am at your service, if you want
me to wait for you."

"O, I shall not keep you waiting a moment," she answered. "Jack, I'll be
back in time to help you to bed."

As she spoke she began putting on her wraps, which were still lying on
the chair, where she had thrown them off on coming in, a little while
before.

David offered his arm as they went down the icy steps.

"It was so good of you to come at once," she said, as she accepted his
assistance. "Is Miss Carleton there now?"

"Yes," he answered, "she was ready almost instantly. She is the same
nurse that I met early one morning in that laundry office. She told me
on the way back that Dr. Trent has done so much for the Home and for the
poor. She says she owes her own life to his skill and care, and that no
service she could render him would be great enough to express her
gratitude. They all feel that way about him at the Home."

Belle Carleton met them at the bedroom door. "Dr. Trent has just spoken
about you," she said in a low tone to Bethany. "He has had several
lucid intervals. Take off your hat before you go to him."

Lee sat curled up in a big chair in a dark corner of the room, with
Taffy hugged tight in his arms. An undefinable dread had taken
possession of him. He looked up at Bethany, with a frightened, tearful
expression, as she patted him on the cheek in passing.

Dr. Trent opened his eyes when she sat down beside him, and took his
hand. He smiled brightly as he recognized her.

"Richard's little girl!" he said in a hoarse whisper, for he could not
speak audibly. "Dear old Dick."

Then he grew delirious again. It was only at intervals he had these
gleams of consciousness.

After awhile his eyes closed wearily. He seemed to sink into a heavy
stupor. Bethany sat holding his hand, with the tears silently dropping
down into her lap as she looked at the worn fingers clasped over hers.

What a world of good that hand had done! How unselfishly it had toiled
on for others, to wipe out the brother's disgrace, to surround the
little wife with comforts, to provide the boy with the best of
everything! Besides all that, it had filled, as far as lay in its power,
every other needy hand, stretched out toward its sympathetic clasp.

She sat beside him a long time, but he did not waken from the heavy
sleep into which he had fallen, even when she gently withdrew her
fingers, and moved away to let Dr. Mills take her place. He had just
come in again.

"Will you need me here to-night, Belle?" asked Bethany.

The nurse turned to Dr. Mills inquiringly. He shook his head. "Miss
Carleton can do all that is necessary," he said. "I shall come again
about midnight, and stay the rest of the night, if I am needed. He will
probably have no more rational awakenings while this fever keeps at such
a frightful heat. If we can subdue that soon, he has such great vitality
he may pull through all right."

"You'd better go back, dear," urged the nurse. "You have your work ahead
of you to-morrow, and you look very tired."

"I have an almost unbearable headache," admitted Bethany, "or I would
not think of leaving. I would not go even for that, if I thought he
would have conscious intervals of any length; but the doctor thinks that
is hardly probable to-night. I'll come back early in the morning. Maybe
he will know me then."

"Are you going, too?" asked Lee, clinging wistfully to David's hand, as
Bethany put on her hat.

"Would you like me to stay?" he asked, kindly.

Lee swallowed hard, and winked fast to keep back the tears.

"Everybody else is strangers," he said, with his lip trembling.

David put his arm around him caressingly. His sympathies went out
strongly to the little lad, who might so soon be left fatherless.

"Then I'll come back and stay with you till you go to sleep, after I
take Miss Hallam home," he promised.



CHAPTER XIII.

A LITTLE PRODIGAL.


LEE was waiting disconsolately on the stairs, with Taffy beside him,
when David opened the door and stepped into the hall. The landlady was
up-stairs with the nurse, and all the boarders had gone to a concert, so
the parlor was vacant, and David took the boy in there. He gave him an
intricate chain-puzzle to work first, and afterward told him such
entertaining stories of his travels that Lee forgot his painful
forebodings. The clock in the hall struck ten before either of them was
aware how swiftly the time had passed.

"Here's a little fellow who doesn't know where he is to sleep," David
said to the nurse, when they had noiselessly entered Dr. Trent's room.

"We'll cover him up warm on the sofa," she said, kindly. "He'd better
not undress."

David looked quickly across to the bed. "Is there any change?" he asked,
anxiously.

She nodded, and then motioned him aside. "Would it be too much to ask
you to stay a couple of hours longer, until Dr. Mills comes? Lee clings
to you so, and the end may be much nearer than we thought."

"If I can be of any use, I'll stay very willingly," he replied.

They moved the sofa to the other side of the room, and the nurse began
folding some blankets the landlady brought her to lay over it.

"Can't you put some more coal on the fire, dear?" she asked Lee.

He picked up a larger lump than he could well manage. The tongs slipped,
and it fell with a great noise on the fender, breaking in pieces as it
did so, then rattling over the hearth.

They all turned apprehensively toward the bed. The heavy jarring sound
had thoroughly aroused Dr. Trent from his stupor. He looked around the
room as if trying to comprehend the situation. He seemed puzzled to
account for David's presence in the room, and drew his hand wonderingly
across his burning forehead, then pressed it against his aching throat.

The nurse bent over him to moisten his parched lips with a spoonful of
water.

Then he understood. A look of awe stole over his face, as he realized
his condition. He held his hand out towards Lee, and the nurse, turning,
beckoned the child to come. He folded the cold, trembling little fingers
in his hot hands. "Papa's--dear--little son!" he gasped in whispers.

David turned his head away, his eyes suffused with hot tears. The scene
recalled so vividly the night he had crept to his father's bedside for
the last time. His heart ached for the little fellow.

"God--keep--you!" came in the same hoarse whisper.

Then he turned to the nurse, and with great effort spoke aloud, "Belle,
pray!"

David, standing with bowed head, while she knelt with her arm around the
frightened boy, listened to such a prayer as he had never heard before.
He had wondered one time how this woman could sacrifice everything in
life for the sake of a man who died so many centuries ago. But as he
listened now, to her low, earnest voice, he felt an unseen Presence in
the room, as of the Christ to whom she spoke so confidingly.

As she prayed that the Everlasting Arms might be underneath as this
soul went down into the "valley of the shadow," the doctor cried out
exultingly, "There is no valley!"

David looked up. The doctor's worn face was shining with an unspeakable
happiness. He stretched out his arms.

"Jesus saves me! O, the wonder of it!"

His hands dropped. Gradually his eyes closed, and he relapsed into a
stupor, from which he never aroused. When Dr. Mills came at midnight he
was still breathing; but the street lights were beginning to fade in the
gray, wintry dawn when Belle Carleton reverently laid the lifeless hands
across the still heart, and turned to look at Lee.

The child had sobbed himself to sleep on the sofa, and David had gone.

       *       *       *       *       *

O, the pity of it, that we keep the heart's-ease of our appreciation to
wreathe cold coffin-lids, and cover unresponsive clay!

There was a constant stream of people passing in and out of the
boarding-house parlor all day.

Bethany was not surprised at the great number who came to do honor to
Baxter Trent, nor at the tearful accounts of his helpful ministrations
from those he had befriended. But as she arranged the great masses of
flowers they brought, she thought sadly, "O, why didn't they send these
when he was in such sore need of love and sympathy? Now it's too late to
make any difference."

All sorts of people came. A man whose wrists had not yet forgotten the
chafing of a convict's shackles, touched one of the lilies that Bethany
had placed on the table at the head of the casket.

"He lived white!" the man said, shaking his head mournfully. "I reckon
he was ready to go if ever any body was."

They happened to be alone in the room, and Bethany repeated what the
nurse had told her of the doctor's triumphant passing.

Late in the afternoon there was a timid knock at the door. Bethany
opened it, and saw two little waifs holding each other's cold, red
hands. One had a ragged shawl pinned over her head, and the other wore a
big, flapping sunbonnet, turned back from her thin, pitiful face. Their
teeth were chattering with cold and bashfulness.

"Missus," faltered the larger one, "we couldn't get no wreaves or
crosses, but granny said he would like this ''cause it's so bright and
gold-lookin'.'"

The dirty little hand held out a stemless, yellow chrysanthemum.

"Come in, dears," said Bethany softly, opening the door wide to the
little ragamuffins.

They glanced around the mass of blossoms filling the room, with a look
of astonishment that so much beauty could be found in one place.

"Jess," whispered the oldest one to her sister, "'Pears like our 'n
don't show up for much, beside all these. I wisht he knowed we walked a
mile through the snow to fetch it, and how sorry we was."

Bethany heard the disappointed whisper. "Did you know him well?" she
asked.

"I should rather say," answered the child. "He kep' us from starvin',
all the time granny was down sick so long."

"An' once he took me and Jess ridin' with him, away out in the country,
and he let us get out in a field and pick lots of yellow flowers,
something like this, only littler. Didn't he, Jess?"

The other child nodded, saying, as she wiped her eyes with the corner of
her sister's shawl, "Granny says we'll never have another friend like
him while the world stands."

Deeply touched, Bethany held up the stemless chrysanthemum. "See," she
said, "I'm going to put it in the best place of all, right here by his
hand."

The door opened again to admit David Herschel. Before it closed the
children had slipped bashfully away, still hand in hand.

Bethany told him of their errand. "Who could have brought more?" she
said, touching the shining yellow flower; "for with this little drop of
gold is the myrrh of a childish grief, and the frankincense of a loving
remembrance."

She felt that he could appreciate the pathos of the gift, and the love
that prompted it. They had grown so much closer together in the last
twenty-four hours.

"You've been here nearly all day, haven't you?" he asked, noticing her
tired face. "I wish you would go home and rest, and let me take your
place awhile."

He insisted so kindly that at last she yielded. Her sympathies had been
sorely wrought upon during the day, and she was nearly exhausted.

After she had gone, he sat down with his overcoat on, near the front
window. There was only a smoldering remnant of a fire in the grate.

The last rays of the sunset were streaming in between the slats of the
shutters. He could hear the boys playing in the snowy streets, and the
occasional tinkle of passing sleighbells.

"I wonder where Lee is," he thought. He had not seen the child since
morning.

Two working men came in presently. They looked long and silently at the
doctor's peaceful face, and tiptoed awkwardly out again.

The minutes dragged slowly by.

The heavy perfume of the flowers made David drowsy, and he leaned his
head on his hand.

The door opened cautiously, and Lee looked in. His eyes were swollen
with crying. He did not see David sitting back in the shadow. Only one
long ray of yellow sunlight shone in now, and it lay athwart the still
form in the center of the room.

Lee paused just a moment beside it, then slipped noiselessly over to the
grate. There was a pile of books under his arm. He stirred the dying
embers as quietly as he could, and one by one laid the books on the red
coals. They were the ones Jack had so unreservedly condemned. Last of
all he threw on a dogeared deck of cards. They blazed up, filling the
room with light, and revealing David in his seat by the window.

"O," cried Lee in alarm, "I didn't know any one was in here."

Then leaning against the wall, he put his head on his arm, and began to
sob in deeper distress than he had yet shown. He felt in his pocket for
a handkerchief, but there was none there.

David took out his own and wiped the boy's wet face, as he drew him
tenderly to his knee.

"Now tell me all about it," he said.

Lee nestled against his shoulder, and cried harder for awhile. Then he
sobbed brokenly: "O, I've been so bad, and he never knew it! I came in
here early this morning before anybody was up, to tell him I was
sorry--that I would be a good boy--but he was so cold when I touched
him, and he couldn't answer me! O, papa, papa!" he wailed. "It's so
awful to be left all alone--just a little boy like me!"

David folded him closer without speaking. No words could touch such a
grief.

Presently Lee sat up and unfolded a piece of paper. It was only the
scrap of a fly-leaf, its jagged edges showing it had been torn from some
school-book.

"Do you think it will hurt if I put this in his pocket?" he asked in a
trembling voice. "I want him to take it with him. I felt like if I
burned up those books in here, and put this in his pocket, he'd know how
sorry I was."

David took the bit of paper, all blistered with boyish tears, where a
penitent little hand, out of the depths of a desolate little heart, had
scrawled the promise: "Dear Papa,--I will be good."

A sob shook the man's strong frame as he read it.

"I think he will be very glad to have you give him that," he answered.
"You'd better put it in his pocket before any one comes in."

Lee slipped down from his lap, and crossed the room. "O, I can't," he
moaned, attempting to lift the lifeless hands.

David reached down, and unbuttoning the coat, laid the promise of the
little prodigal gently on his father's heart, to await its reading in
the glad light of the resurrection morning. Then he called some one else
to take his place, and went to telephone for a sleigh. In a little while
he was driving through the twilight out one of the white country roads,
with Lee beside him, that nature's wintry solitudes might lay a cool
hand of healing sympathy on the boy's sore heart.

Bethany took him home with her after the funeral, and kept him a week.

Miss Caroline and Miss Harriet petted him with all the ardor of their
motherly old hearts. Jack did his best to amuse him, and with the
elasticity of childhood, he began to recover his usual vivacity.

"This can not go on always," Mr. Marion said to Bethany one day. He had
gone up to the office to talk to her about it.

Dr. Trent had left a small insurance, requesting that Frank Marion be
appointed guardian.

"Ray wants him," continued Mr. Marion. "She would have turned the house
into an orphan asylum long ago if I had allowed it. But she has so many
demands on her time and strength that I am unwilling to have her taxed
any more. You see, for instance, if we should take Lee, I am away from
home so much, that the greater part of the care and responsibility would
fall on her. Just now his father's death has touched him, and he is
making a great effort to do all right; but it will be a hard fight for
him in a big place like this, so full of temptations to a boy of his
age. He would be a constant care. The only thing I can see is to put him
in some private school for a few years."

"Let me keep him till after Christmas," urged Bethany. "I can't bear to
let the little fellow go away among strangers this near the holiday
season. I keep thinking, What if it were Jack?"

"How would it do for me to take him out on my next trip?" suggested Mr.
Marion. "I will be gone two weeks, just to little country towns in the
northern part of the State, where he could have a variety of scenes to
amuse him."

"That will be fine!" answered Bethany. "I'm sure he will like it."

Lee was somewhat afraid of his tall, dignified guardian. He had a secret
fear that he would always be preaching to him, or telling him Bible
stories. He hoped that the customers would keep him very busy during the
day, and he resolved always to go to bed early enough to escape any
curtain lectures that might be in store for him.

To his great relief, Mr. Marion proved the jolliest of traveling
companions. There was no preaching. He did not even try to make sly
hints at the boy's past behavior by tacking a moral on to the end of his
stories, and he only laughed when Taffy crawled out of the
innocent-looking brown paper bundle that Lee would not put out of his
arms until after the train had started.

Such long sleigh-rides as they had across the open country between
little towns! Such fine skating places he found while Mr. Marion was
busy with his customers! It was a picnic in ten chapters, he told one of
the drivers.

One afternoon, as they drove over the hard, frozen pike, one of the
horses began to limp.

"Shoe's comin' off," said the driver. "Lucky we're near Sikes's smithy.
It's jes' round the next bend, over the bridge."

The smoky blacksmith-shop, with its flying sparks and noisy anvils, was
nothing new to Lee. He had often hung around one in the city. In fact,
there were few places he had not explored.

The smith was a loud, blatant fellow, so in the habit of using rough
language that every sentence was accompanied with an oath.

Mr. Marion had taken Lee in to warm by the fire.

"I wonder what that horrible noise is!" he said. They had heard a harsh,
grating sound, like some discordant grinding, ever since they came in
sight of the shop.

Sikes pointed over his shoulder with his sooty thumb.

"It's an ole mill back yender. It's out o' gear somew'eres. It set me
plumb crazy at first, but I'm gettin' used to it now."

"Let's go over and investigate," said Mr. Marion, anxious to get Lee out
of such polluted atmosphere.

The miller, an easy-going old fellow, nearly as broad as he was long,
did not even take the trouble to remove the pipe from his mouth, as he
answered: "O, that! That's nothing but just one of the cogs is gone out
of one of the wheels. I keep thinking I'll get it fixed; but there's
always a grist a-waiting, so somehow I never get 'round to it. Does make
an or'nery sound for a fact, stranger; but if I don't mind it, reckon
nobody else need worry."

"Lazy old scoundrel," laughed Mr. Marion, after they had passed out of
doors again. "I don't see how he stands such a horrible noise. It is a
nuisance to the whole neighborhood."

When he reported the conversation at the smithy, Sikes swore at the
miller soundly.

Frank Marion's eyes flashed, and he took a step forward.

"Look here, Sikes," he exclaimed, in a tone that made every one in the
shop pause to listen, "you've got a bigger cog missing in you than the
old mill has, and it makes you a sight bigger nuisance to the
neighborhood. You have lost your reverence for all that is holy. You go
grinding away by yourself, leaving out God, leaving out Christ, making a
miserable failure of your life grist, and every time you open your lips,
your blasphemous words tell the story of the missing cog. If that old
mill-wheel makes such a hateful sound, what kind of a discord do you
suppose your life is making in the ears of your Heavenly Father?"

Sikes looked at him an instant irresolutely. His first impulse was to
knock him over with the heavy hammer he held; but the truth of the
fearless words struck home, and he could not help respecting the man who
had the courage to utter them.

"Beg pardon, sir," he said at last. "I had no idee you was a parson. I
laid out as you was a drummer."

"I am a drummer," answered Marion. "I am a wholesale shoe-merchant now;
but I spent so many years on the road for this same house before I went
into the firm, that I often go out over my old territory."

Sikes regarded him curiously. "Strikes me you've got sermons and
shoe-leather pretty badly mixed up," he said.

Afterward, when he had watched the sleigh disappear down the road, he
picked up the bellows and worked them in an absent-minded sort of a way.

"A drummer!" he repeated under his breath. "A drummer! I'll
be--blowed!"

The incident made a profound impression on Lee. A loop in the road
brought them in sight of the old mill again.

"We don't want to have any cogs missing, do we, son!" said Mr. Marion,
first pinching the boy's rosy cheek, and then stooping to tuck the
buffalo robes more snugly around him.

The subject was not referred to again, but the lesson was not forgotten.

Sunday was passed at a little country hotel. They walked to the Church a
mile away in the morning. Time hung heavy on Lee's hands in the
afternoon while Mr. Marion was reading. If it had not been for Taffy, it
would have been insufferably dull. He had a slight cold, so Mr. Marion
did not take him out to the night service. He left him playing with the
landlady's baby in the hotel parlor. That amusement did not last long,
however. The baby was put to bed, and some of the neighbors came in for
a visit. Lee felt out of place, and went up to their room.

It was the best the house afforded, but it was far from being an
attractive place. The walls were strikingly white and bare. A hideous
green and purple quilt covered the bed. The rag carpet was a dull,
faded gray. The lamp smoked when he turned it up, and smelled strongly
of coal-oil when he turned it down.

He felt so lonely and homesick that he concluded to go to bed. It was
very early. He could not sleep, but lay there in the dark, listening to
somebody's rocking-chair, going squeakety squeak in the parlor below.

He wished he could be as comfortable and content as Taffy, curled up in
some flannel in a shoe-box, on a chair beside the bed. He reached out,
and stroked the puppy's soft back.

The feeling came over him as he did so, that there wasn't anybody in all
the world for him really to belong to.

It was the first time since Bethany took him home that he had felt like
crying. Now he lay and sobbed softly to himself till he heard Mr.
Marion's step on the stairs.

He grew quiet then, and kept his eyes closed. Mr. Marion lighted the
lamp, putting a high-backed chair in front of it, so that it could not
shine on the bed. He picked up his Bible that was lying on the table,
and, turning the leaves very quietly that he might not disturb Lee,
found the night's lesson.

A stifled sniffle made him pause. After a long time he heard another.
Laying down his book, he stepped up to the bed. Lee was perfectly
motionless, but the pillow was wet, and his face streaked with traces of
tears. Marion, with his hands thrust in his pockets, stood looking at
him.

All the fatherly impulses of his nature were stirred by the pitiful
little face on the pillow.

He knelt down and put his strong arm tenderly over the boy.

"Lee," he said, "look up here, son."

Lee glanced timidly at the bearded face so near his own.

"You were lying here in the dark, crying because you felt that there was
nobody left to love you. Now put your arms around my neck, dear, while I
tell you something. I had a little child once. I can never begin to tell
you how I loved her. When she died it nearly broke my heart. But I said,
for her sake I shall love all children, and try to make them happy.
Because her little feet knew the way home to God, I shall try to keep
all other children in the same pure path. For her sake, first, I loved
you; now, since we have been together, for your own. I want you to feel
that I am such a close friend that you can always come to me just as
freely as you did to your father."

The boy's clasp around his neck tightened.

"But, Lee, there will be times in your life when you will need greater
help than I can give; and because I know just how you will be tried, and
tempted, and discouraged, I want you to take the best of friends for
your own right now. I want you to take Jesus. Will you do this?"

Lee hesitated, and then said in a half-frightened whisper, "I don't know
how."

"Did you ever ask your papa to forgive you after you had been very
naughty?" asked Mr. Marion.

"O yes," cried Lee, "but it was too late." Between his choking sobs he
told of the promise lying on his father's heart, in the far-off grave
under the cemetery cedars.

Mr. Marion controlled his voice with an effort, as he pointed out the
way so surely and so simply that Lee could not fail to understand.

Then, with his arm still around him, he prayed; and the boy, following
him step by step through that earnest prayer, groped his way to his
Savior.

It was a time never to be forgotten by either Frank Marion or Lee. They
lay awake till long after midnight, too happy even to think of sleep.



CHAPTER XIV.

HERZENRUHE.


A STORY has come down to us of a cricket that, hidden away in an old oak
chest, found its way to the New World in the hold of the Mayflower. When
night came, and the strange loneliness of those winter wilds made the
bravest heart appalled; when little children held with homesick longing
to their mother's hands, and talked of England's bonny hedgerows, then
the brave little cricket came out on the hearthstone; and its familiar
chirp, bringing back the cheer of the happy past, comforted the
children, and sang new hopes into the hearts of their elders.

With every vessel that has touched the New World's shores since that
time have come these fireside voices. Whether stowed away in the ample
chests of the first Virginians, or bound in the bundles of the last
steerage passengers just landed at Castle Garden, some quaint custom of
a distant Fatherland has always folded its wings, ready to chirp on the
new hearthstone, the familiar even-song of the old.

That is how the American celebration of Christmas has become so
cosmopolitan in its character. It is a chorus of all the customs that,
cricket-like, have journeyed to us, each with its song of an "auld lang
syne."

"I should like to have a little of everything this year," remarked Miss
Caroline, as, pencil in hand, she prepared to make a long memorandum.

It was two weeks before Christmas, and she had called a family council
in her room, after Jack had gone to bed.

Mrs. Marion and Lois were there, busily embroidering.

"It is the first time we have had a home of our own for so many years,
or been where there is a child in the family," added Miss Harriet, "that
we ought to make quite an occasion of it."

"Now, my idea," remarked Miss Caroline, "is to begin back with the
mistletoe of the Druids, and then the holly and plum-pudding of old
England. I'm sorry we can't have the Yule log and the wassail-bowl and
the dear little Christmas waits. It must have been so lovely. But we
can have a tree Christmas eve, with all the beautiful German customs
that go with it. Jack must hang up his stocking by the chimney, whether
he believes in Santa Claus or not. Then we must read up all the
Scandinavian and Dutch and Flemish customs, and observe just as many as
we can."

"And all this just for Jack and Lee," said Mrs. Marion, thoughtfully.

"Bless you, no," exclaimed Miss Caroline. "Jack is going to invite ten
poor children that the Junior Mercy and Help Department have reported.
He is so grateful for being able to walk a little, that he wants to give
up his whole Christmas to them."

"What do you want me to do?" asked Lois. "I'm through with my last
present now, and am ready for anything, from serving a dinner to the
slums to playing a bagpipe for its entertainment."

As she spoke she snipped the last thread of silk with her little silver
scissors, and tossed the piece of embroidery into Bethany's lap.

Bethany spread it out admiringly. "You are a true artist, Lois," she
said. "These sweet peas look as if they had just been gathered. They
would almost tempt the bees."

"They're not as natural as Ray's buttercups," answered Lois. "You can't
guess whom she's making that table-cover for?"

Mrs. Marion held it up for them to see. "For that dear old grandmother
where we were entertained at Chattanooga last summer," she said. "Don't
you remember Mrs. Warford, Bethany? She couldn't hear well enough to
enjoy the meetings, or to talk to us much, but her face was a perpetual
welcome. She asked me into her room one day, and showed me a great bunch
of red clover some one had sent her from the country. She seemed so
pleased with it, and told me about the clover chains she used to make,
and the buttercups she used to pick in the meadows at home, with all the
artlessness of a child. That is why I chose this design."

"There never was another like you, Cousin Ray," said Bethany. "You
remember everything and everybody at Christmas, and I don't see how you
ever manage to get through with so much work."

"Love lightens labor," quoted Miss Harriet, sententiously. "At least
that's what my old copy-book used to say."

"And it also said, if I remember aright," said Miss Caroline, a little
severely, "'Plan out your work, and work out your plan.' It's high time
we were settling down to business, if we expect to accomplish anything."

While this Christmas council was in session in Miss Caroline's room,
another was being held in an old farm-house in the northern part of the
State, by Gottlieb Hartmann's wife and daughter. Everything in the room
gave evidence of German thrift and neatness, from the shining brass
andirons on the hearth, to the geraniums blooming on the window-sill.

"Herzenruhe" was the name of the home Gottlieb Hartmann had left behind
him in the Fatherland, when he came to America a poor emigrant boy; and
that was the name now carved on the arch that spanned the wide
entrance-gate, leading to the home and the well-tilled acres that he had
earned by years of steady, honest toil.

It was indeed "heart's-ease," or heart-rest, to every wayfarer sheltered
under its ample roof-tree.

He had accumulated his property by careful economy, but he gave out with
the same conscientious spirit with which he gathered in. No matter when
the summons might come, at nightfall or at cock-crowing, he was ready to
give an account of his faithful stewardship. Not only had he divided his
bread with the hungry, but he had given time and personal care, and a
share in his own home-life, to those who were in need.

More than one young farmer, jogging past Herzenruhe in a wagon of his
own, looked gratefully up the long lane, and remembered that he owed the
steady habits of his manhood and his present prosperity to Gottlieb
Hartmann. For in all the years since he had had a place of his own,
there had seldom been a time when some homeless boy or another had not
been a member of his household.

He was an old man now, white-haired and rheumatic, and called
grandfather by all the country side; but he was still young at heart,
sweet and sound to the very core, like a hardy winter apple. His
children had all married and gone farther West, except his oldest
daughter, Carlotta, whom no one had ever been able to lure away from
her comfortable home-nest. She was an energetic, self-willed little
body, and had gradually assumed control until the entire household
revolved around her. Just now she had wheeled her sewing-machine beside
the table, on which the evening lamp stood, and was preparing to dress a
whole family of dolls to be packed in the Christmas boxes that were soon
to be sent West.

Her mother sat on one side of the fireplace, her sweet, wrinkled old
face bright with the loving thoughts that her needles were putting into
a little red mitten, destined for one of the boxes.

"It will be the first Christmas since I can remember," said Carlotta,
"that there will be no little ones here, and no tree to light. Ben's boy
was here last year, and all of Mary's children the year before. It's a
pity they are so far away. It will just spoil my Christmas."

Mr. Hartmann laid down the German Advocate he was reading.

"Ach, Lotta," he said, "I forgot to tell you. There will be a little lad
here to-morrow to take dinner with us. When I was in town to-day I met
our good friend, Frank Marion, and he had a boy with him whose father is
just dead, and he is the guardian."

"How many years has it been since Mr. Marion first came here?" asked
Carlotta. "Seems to me I was only a little girl, and now I have pulled
out lots of gray hairs already."

"It has been twenty years at least," answered her mother. "It was while
we were building the ice-house, I know."

"Yes," assented her husband, "I had gone into Ridgeville one Saturday to
get some new boots, and I met him in the shoestore. He was just a young
fellow making his first trip, and he seemed so strange and homesick that
when I found he was a country boy and a strong Methodist, I brought him
out here to stay over Sunday with us."

"I remember you brought him right into the kitchen where I was dropping
noodles in the soup," answered Mrs. Hartmann, "and he has seemed to feel
like one of the family ever since."

"Yes, he has never missed coming out here every time he has been in this
part of the State, from that day to this," said Mr. Hartmann, taking up
his paper again.

Meanwhile, in the Ridgeville Hotel, three miles away, Mr. Marion was
telling Lee of all the pleasant things that awaited him at Herzenruhe.
The boy was so impatient to start that he could hardly wait for the time
to come, and he dreamed all night of the country.

Mr. Marion saw very little of him during the visit. The delighted child
spent all his time in the barn, or in the dairy, helping Miss Carlotta.
"O, I wish we didn't ever have to go away," he said. "There's the
dearest little colt in the barn, and six Holstein calves, and a big pond
in the pasture covered with ice!"

Later he confided to Mr. Marion, "Miss Carlotta makes doughnuts every
Saturday, and she says there's bushels of hickory-nuts in the garret."

When Miss Carlotta found that Mr. Marion was going on to the next town
before starting home, she insisted on keeping Lee until his return.

"Let him get some of 'the sun and wind into his pulses.' It will be good
for him," she said.

"Nobody knows better than I," answered Mr. Marion, "the sweet
wholesomeness of country living. I should be glad to leave him in such
an atmosphere always. He would develop into a much purer manhood, and I
am sure would be far happier."

Miss Carlotta shook her head sagely. "We'll see," she said. "Don't say
anything to him about it, but we'll try him while you're gone, and then
I'll talk to father. He seems right handy about the chores, and there is
a good school near here."

Two days later, when Mr. Marion came back, he went out to the barn to
find Lee. The boy had just scrambled out of a haymow with his hat full
of eggs. His face was beaming.

"I've learned to milk," he said proudly, "and I rode to the post-office
this afternoon, horseback."

"Do you like it here, my boy?" asked Mr. Marion.

"Like it!" repeated Lee, emphatically. "Well I should say! Mr. Hartmann
is just the grandfatheriest old grandfather I ever knew, and they're all
so good to me."

It proved to be a very eventful journey for the boy; for after some
discussion about his board, it was arranged that he should come back to
the farm after the holidays.

"Do I have to wait till then?" he asked. "Why couldn't I stay right on,
now I'm here. You could send my clothes to me, and it wouldn't cost near
as much as to go home first."

"What will Bethany say?" asked Mr. Marion. "She is planning for a big
tree and lots of fun Christmas."

"But papa won't be there," pleaded Lee. "I'd so much rather stay here
than go back to town and find him gone."

"Then you shall stay," exclaimed Miss Carlotta, touched by the
expression of his face. "We'll have a tree here. You can dig one up in
the woods yourself."

When Mr. Marion drove away, Lee rode down the lane with him to open the
big gate. After he had driven through he turned for one more look.

The boy stood under the archway waving good-bye with his cap. The late
afternoon sun shone brightly on the happy face, and illuminated the
snow, still clinging to the quaintly carved letters on the arch above,
till it seemed they were all golden letters that spelled the name of
Herzenruhe.

       *       *       *       *       *

This holiday season would have been a sad time for Bethany, had she
allowed herself to listen to the voices of Christmas past, but Baxter
Trent's example helped her. She turned resolutely away from her
memories, saying: "I will be like him. No heart shall ever have the
shadow of my sorrow thrown across it."

Full of one thought only, to bring some happiness into every life that
touched her own, she found herself sharing the delight of every child
she saw crowding its face against the great show windows. She
anticipated the pleasure that would attend the opening of each bundle
carried by every purchaser that jostled against her in the street. It
was impossible for her to breathe the general air of festivity at home,
and not carry something of the Christmas spirit to the office with her.

"Everybody has caught the contagion," she said gayly, coming into the
office Saturday afternoon, with sparkling eyes, and snowflakes still
clinging to her dark furs. "I saw that old bachelor, Mr. Crookshaw, whom
everybody thinks so miserly, going along with a little red cart under
his arm, and a tin locomotive bulging out of his pocket."

"Jack is missing a great deal," said David, "by not being down-town
every day."

"O no, indeed!" she exclaimed. "He is nearly wild now with the
excitement of the preparations that are going on at home. That reminds
me, he has written a special invitation for you to be present at the
lighting of his tree Christmas eve. He put it in my muff, so that I
could not possibly forget. I am sure you will enjoy watching the
children," she added, after she had told him of their various plans,
"and I hope you will be sure to come."

"Thank you," he responded, warmly. "That is the second invitation I have
had this afternoon. Mr. Marion has just been in to ask me to attend the
League's devotional meeting to-morrow night. He says it will be
especially interesting on account of the season, and insists that 'turn
about is fair play.' He went to our Atonement-day services, and he wants
me to be present at his Christmas services."

"We shall be very glad to have you come," said Bethany. "Dr. Bascom is
to lead the meeting instead of any of the young people, who usually take
turns. I can not tell how such a meeting might impress an outsider; to
me they are very inspiring and helpful."

That night, as she sat in her room indulging in a few minutes of
meditation before putting out the light, she reviewed her acquaintance
with David Herschel. Her conscience condemned her for the little use she
had made of her opportunity.

It had been four months since he had come into the office, and while
they had several times discussed their respective religions, she had
never found an occasion when she could make a personal appeal to him to
accept Christ. Once when she had been about to do so, he had abruptly
walked away, and another time, a client had interrupted them.

"I must speak to him frankly," she said. Then she knelt and prayed that
something might be said or sung in the service of the morrow that would
prepare the way for such a conversation.

David felt decidedly out of place Sunday evening as he took a seat in
the back part of the room, in the least conspicuous corner he could
find.

They were singing when he entered. He recognized the tune. It was the
one he had heard at Chattanooga--"Nearer, my God, to Thee." It seemed to
bring the whole scene before him--the sunrise--the vast concourse of
people, and the earnestness that thrilled every soul.

At the close of the song, another was announced in a voice that he
thought he recognized. He leaned forward to make sure. Yes, he had been
correct. It was Hewson Raleigh's--one of the keenest, most scholarly
lawyers at the bar, and a man he met daily.

He was leaning back in his seat, beating time with his left hand, as he
led the tune with his strong tenor voice. He sang as if he heartily
enjoyed it, and meant every word and note.

David moved over to make room for a newcomer. From his changed position
he could see a number of people he recognized: Mr. and Mrs. Marion, Lois
Denning, and the Courtney sisters. Bethany was seated at the piano.

Presently the door from the pastor's study opened, and Dr. Bascom came
in and took his seat beside the president of the League.

"Look at Dr. Bascom," he heard some one behind him whisper to her
escort. "What do you suppose could have happened? His face actually
shines."

David had been watching it ever since he took his seat. It was a benign,
pleasant face at all times, but just now it seemed to have caught the
reflection of a great light. Everybody in the room noticed it. David,
quick to make Old Testament comparisons, thought of Moses coming down
the mountain from a talk with God. He felt as positively, as if he had
seen for himself, that the minister had just risen from his knees, and
had come in among them, radiant from the unspeakable joy of that
communion. Every one present began to feel its influence.

The prophecy Dr. Bascom had chosen for reading, was one they had heard
many times, but it seemed a new proclamation as he delivered it:

"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."

Something of the gladness that must have rung through the song of the
heralds on that first Christmas night, seemed to thrill the minister's
voice as he read.

Then he turned to Luke's account of the shepherds abiding in the fields
by night--that beautiful old story, that will always be new until the
stars that still shine nightly over Bethlehem shall have ceased to be a
wonder.

As the service progressed, David began to feel that he was not in a
church, but that he had stumbled by mistake on some family reunion.
Everything was so informal. They told the experiences of the past week,
the blessings and the trials that had come to them since they had last
seen each other.

Sometimes they stood; oftener they spoke from where they sat, just as
they would have talked in some home-circle.

And through it all they seemed to recognize a Divine presence in the
room, to whom they spoke at intervals with reverence, with humility, but
with the deepest love and gratitude.

As David listened to voice after voice testifying to a personal
knowledge of Christ as a Savior, he was forced to admit to himself that
they possessed something to which he was an utter stranger.

When Hewson Raleigh arose, David listened with still greater interest.
He knew him to be an eloquent lawyer, and had heard him a number of
times in rousing political speeches, and once in a masterly oration over
the Nation's dead on Memorial-day. He knew what a power the man had with
a jury, and he knew what respect even his enemies had for his
unimpeachable veracity and honor.

Raleigh stood up now, quiet and unimpassioned as when examining a
witness, to give his own clear, direct, lawyer-like testimony.

He said: "There may be some here to-night to whom the prophecy that was
read, and the story of the Advent, are only of historic interest. To
such I do not come with the sayings of the prophets, or to repeat the
tidings of the shepherds, or to ask any one's credence because the
apostles and martyrs and Christians of all times believed. I tell you
that which I myself do know. The Holy Spirit has led me to the Christ.
If he were only an ethical teacher, if he were not the Son of God, he
could not have entered into my life, and transformed it as he has done.
My star of hope is far more real to me than the stars outside that
lighted my way to this room to-night. I have knelt at his feet and
worshiped, and gone on my way rejoicing. I know that through the
sacrifice he offered on Calvary my atonement is made, and I stand
before the Father justified, through faith in his only-begotten. The
voice that bears witness to this may not be audible to you; but though
all the voices in the universe were combined to dispute it, they would
be as nothing to that still, small voice within that whispers peace--the
witness of the Spirit."

On the Day of Atonement Marion and Cragmore had not been half so
surprised at hearing the League benediction intoned by rabbi and choir,
as was David when the familiar blessing of the synagogue was repeated in
unison by those of another faith:

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon
thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon
thee, and give thee peace."

David had heard so much of Methodists that he had expected noisy
demonstrations and great exhibitions of emotion. He had found
enthusiastic singing and hearty responses of amen during the prayers;
but while the prevailing spirit seemed one of intense earnestness, it
had the depth and quiet of some great, resistless under-current.

He slipped out of the room after the benediction, fearful of meeting
curious glances. A member of the reception committee managed to shake
hands with him, but his friends had not discovered his attendance.

Two things followed him persistently. The expression of Dr. Bascom's
face, and Hewson Raleigh's emphatic "I know."

He took the last train out to Hillhollow, wishing he had staid away from
the League meeting. It haunted him, and made him uncomfortable.

He walked the floor until long after midnight. Even sleep brought him no
rest, for in his dreams he was still groping blindly in the dark for
something--he knew not what--but something wise men had found long years
ago in a starlit manger, earth's "Herzenruhe."



CHAPTER XV.

ON CHRISTMAS EVE.


IT was Christmas eve, and nearing the time for Bethany to leave the
office. She stood, with her wraps on, by one of the windows, waiting for
Mr. Edmunds to come back. She had a message to deliver before she could
leave, and she expected him momentarily.

In the street below people were hurrying by with their arms full of
bundles. She was impatient to be gone, too. There were a great many
finishing touches for her to give the tall tree in the drawing-room at
home.

She had worked till the last moment at noon, and locked the door
regretfully on the gayly-decked room, with its mingled odors of pine
boughs and oranges, always so suggestive of Christmas festivities.

While she stood there, she heard steps in the hall.

"O, I thought you were Mr. Edmunds," she exclaimed, as David entered. It
was the first time he had been at the office that day. "I have a message
for him. Have you seen him anywhere?"

"No," answered David. "I have just come in from Hillhollow. Marta has
telegraphed that she is coming home on the night train, so I shall not
be able to accept Jack's invitation. She had not expected to come at all
during the holidays; but one of the teachers was called home, and she
could not resist the temptation to accompany her, although she can only
stay until the end of the week."

As Bethany expressed her regrets at Jack's disappointment, David picked
up a small package that lay on his desk.

"O, the expressman left that for you a little while ago," she said.
"Your Christmas is beginning early."

She turned again to the window, peering out through the dusk, while
David lighted the gas-jet over his desk, and proceeded to open the
package.

It occurred to her that here was a time, while all the world was turning
towards the Messiah on this anniversary eve of his coming, that she
might venture to speak of him. Before she could decide just how to
begin, David spoke to her:

"Do you care to look, Miss Hallam? I would like for you to see it."

He held a little silver case towards her, on which a handsome monogram
was heavily engraved.

As she touched the spring it flew open, showing an exquisitely painted
miniature on ivory.

She gave an involuntary cry of delight.

"What a beautiful girl," she exclaimed. "It is one of the loveliest
faces I ever saw." She scrutinized it carefully, studying it with an
artist's evident pleasure. Then she looked up with a smile.

"This must be the one Rabbi Barthold spoke to me about," she said. "He
said that she was rightly named Esther, for it means star, and her
great, dark eyes always made him think of starlight."

"How long ago since he told you that?" asked David in surprise.

"When we first began taking Hebrew lessons," she answered.

"And did he tell you we are bethrothed?"

"Yes."

David felt annoyed. He knew intuitively why his old friend had departed
so from his usual scrupulousness regarding a confidence. He had
intimated to David, when he had first met Miss Hallam, that she was an
unusually fascinating girl, and he feared that their growing friendship
might gradually lessen the young man's interest in Esther, whom he saw
only at long intervals, as she lived in a distant city.

"I had hoped to have the pleasure of telling you myself," said David.

"I have often wondered what she is like," answered Bethany, "and I am
glad to have this opportunity of offering my congratulations. I wish
that she lived here that I might make her acquaintance. I do not know
when I have seen a face that has captivated me so."

"Thank you," replied David, flushing with pleasure. A tender smile
lighted his eyes as he glanced at the miniature again before closing the
case. "She will come to Hillhollow in the spring," he added proudly.

They heard Mr. Edmunds's voice in the hall. Bethany held out her hand.

"I shall not see you again until next week, I suppose," she said, "so
let me wish you a very happy Christmas."

He kept her hand in his an instant as he repeated her greeting, then,
looking earnestly down into the upturned face, added gently in Hebrew,
the old benediction--"Peace be upon you."

It was quite dark when she stepped out into the streets. She thought of
David and Esther all the way home.

At first she thought of them with a tender smile curving her lips, as
she entered unselfishly into the happiness of the little romance she had
discovered.

Then she thought of them with tears in her eyes and a chill in her
heart, as some little waif might stand shivering on the outside of a
window, looking in on a happy scene, whose warmth and comfort he could
not share. The joy of her own betrothal, and the desolation that ended
it, surged back over her so overwhelmingly that she was in no mood for
merry-making when she reached home.

She longed to slip quietly away to her own room, and spend the evening
in the dark with her memories. She had to wait a moment on the
threshold before she could summon strength enough to go in cheerfully.

Mrs. Marion and Lois were in the dining-room helping the sisters
decorate the long table, where the children were to be served with
supper immediately on their arrival.

"Frank and Jack have gone out in a sleigh to gather them up," said Mrs.
Marion. "They'll soon be here, so you'll not have much time to dress."

"All right," responded Bethany, "I'll go in a minute. Mr. Herschel can't
come, so you may as well take off one plate."

"But George Cragmore can," said Miss Caroline, pausing on her way to the
kitchen. "I asked him this morning, and forgot to say anything about
it."

Then she trotted out for a cake-knife, blissfully unconscious of the
grimace Bethany made behind her back.

"O dear!" she exclaimed to Lois, "Miss Caroline means all right, but she
is a born matchmaker. She has taken a violent fancy to Mr. Cragmore, and
wants me to do the same. She thinks she is so very deep, and so very
wary in the way she lays her plans, that I'll never suspect; but the
dear old soul is as transparent as a window-pane. I can see every move
she makes."

"What about Mr. Cragmore?" asked Lois. "Is he conscious of her efforts
in his behalf?"

"O no. He thinks that she is a dear, motherly old lady, and is always
paying her some flattering attention. It is well worth his while, for
she makes him perfectly at home here, keeps his pockets full of goodies,
as if he were an overgrown boy (which he is in some respects), and
treats him with the consideration due a bishop. She is always going out
to Clarke Street to hear him preach, and quoting his sermons to him
afterwards. There he is now!" she exclaimed, as two short rings and one
long one were given the front door-bell.

"So he even has his especial signals," laughed Lois. "He must be on a
very familiar footing, indeed."

"He got into that habit when he first started to calling by to take me
up to the Hebrew class," she explained. "Miss Caroline encouraged him in
it."

Just then Miss Caroline came hurrying through the room to receive him.

"Bethany, dear," she said in an excited stage whisper, "you'd better run
up the back stairs. And do put on your best dress, and a rose in your
hair, just to please me. Now, won't you?"

Bethany and Lois looked at each other and laughed.

"I'd like to shock her by going in just as I am," said Bethany; "but as
it's Christmas-time I suppose I must be good and please everybody."

It was not long before a great stamping of many snowy little feet
announced the arrival of the Christmas guests.

They came into the house with such rosy, happy faces, that no one
thought of the patched clothes and ragged shoes.

"Dear hearts, I wish we could have a hundred instead of ten," sighed
Miss Harriet, as she helped seat them at the table. "They look as though
they never once had enough to eat in all their little lives."

"They shall have it now," declared Miss Caroline heartily, "if George
Cragmore doesn't keep them laughing so hard they can't eat. Just hear
the man!"

She had never seen him in such a gay humor, or heard him tell such
irresistibly funny stories as the ones he brought out for the
entertainment of these poor little guests, who had never known anything
but the depressing poverty of the most wretched homes.

Mr. Marion was the good St. Nicholas who had found them, and spirited
them away to this enchanted land; but Cragmore was the Aladdin who
rubbed his lamp until their eyes were dazzled by the wonderful scenes he
conjured up for them.

When the dinner was over, and everything had been taken off the table
but the flowers and candles and bonbon dishes, he lifted the smallest
child of all from her high chair, and took her on his knee.

With his arms around her, he began to tell the story of the first
Christmas. His voice was very deep and sweet, and he told it so well one
could almost see the dark, silent plains and the white sheep huddled
together, and the shepherds keeping watch by night.

One by one the children slipped down from their chairs, and crowded
closer around him.

He had never preached before to such a breathless audience, and he had
never put into his sermons such gentleness and pathos and power.

He was thinking of their poor, neglected lives, and how much they needed
the love of One who could sympathize to the utmost, because he was born
among the lowly, and "was despised and rejected of men." When he had
finished, the tears stood in his eyes with the intensity of his feeling,
and the children were very quiet.

The little girl on his lap drew a long breath. Then she smiled up in his
face, and, putting her arm around his neck, leaned her head against him.

There was a bugle-call from the library, and Jack led the children away
to listen to an orchestra composed of boys from the League, who had
volunteered their services for the occasion.

While they were playing some old carols, Miss Caroline called Mr.
Cragmore aside. "I've sent Bethany to light the candles on the tree in
the drawing-room," she said. "May be you can help her."

Lois heard the whisper, and his hearty response, "May the saints bless
you for that now!" She hurried into the hall to intercept Bethany.

"Ah ha, my lady," she said teasingly, "you needn't be putting everything
off onto poor Aunt Caroline. I've just now discovered that she is only
somebody's cat's-paw."

Bethany was irritated. She had been greatly touched by the winning
tenderness of Cragmore's manner with the children. If there had been no
memory of a past love in her life, she could have found in this man all
the qualities that would inspire the deepest affection; but with that
memory always present, she resented the slightest word that hinted of
his interest in her.

She made Lois go with her to light the tapers, and that mischief-loving
girl thoroughly enjoyed forestalling the little private interview Miss
Caroline had planned for her protege.

It was still early in the evening, while the children were romping
around the dismantled tree, that Cragmore announced his intention of
leaving.

"I promised to talk at a Hebrew mission to-night," he explained, in
answer to the remonstrances that greeted him on all sides.

"By the way," he exclaimed, "I intended to tell you about that, and I
must stay a moment longer to do it."

He hung his overcoat on the back of a tall chair, and folded his arms
across it.

"The other day I made the acquaintance of a Russian Jew, Sigmund
Ragolsky. He has a remarkable history. He married an English Jewess, was
a rabbi in Glasgow for a long time, and is now a Baptist preacher,
converted after a fourteen years' struggle against a growing belief in
the truth of Christianity. The story of his life sounds like a romance.
He was so strictly orthodox that he would not strike a match on the
Sabbath. He would have starved before he would have touched food that
had not been prepared according to ritual. He is here for the purpose of
establishing a Hebrew mission. You should see the people who come to
hear him. They are nearly all from that poor class in the tenement
district. One can hardly believe they belong to the same race with Rabbi
Barthold and his cultured friends. Ragolsky, though, is a scholar, and
I should like to hear the two men debate. He says the Reform Jews are no
Jews at all--that they are the hardest people in the world to convert,
because they look for no Messiah, accept only the Scripture that suits
them, and are so well satisfied with themselves that they feel no need
of any mediator between them and eternal holiness. They feel fully equal
to the task of making their own atonement. Rabbi Barthold says that the
orthodox are narrow fanatics, and that the majority of them live two
lives--one towards God, of slavish religious observances; the other
towards man, of sharp practices and double-dealing. I want you to hear
Ragolsky preach some night. I'll tell you his story some other time."

"Tell me this much now," said Bethany, as he picked up his overcoat
again; "did he have to give up his family as Mr. Lessing did?"

"No, indeed. Happily his wife and children were converted also. He had
two rich brothers-in-law in Cape Colony, Africa, who cut them off
without a shilling, but he is not grieving over that, I can assure you.
O, he is so full of his purpose, and is such a happy Christian! If we
were all as constantly about the Master's business as he is, the
millennium would soon be here."

Afterward, when the children had been taken home, and the feast and the
tree, and the people who gave them, were only blissful memories in their
happy little hearts, Bethany stood by the window in her room, holding
aside the curtain.

Everything outside was covered with snow. She was thinking of Ragolsky
and Lessing, and wondering which of the two fates would be David
Herschel's, if he should ever become a Christian.

Would Esther's love for her people be stronger than her love for him?

She knew how tenaciously the women of Israel cling to their faith, yet
she felt that it was no ordinary bond that held these two together.

Looking up beyond the starlighted heavens, Bethany whispered a very
heartfelt prayer for David and the beautiful, dark-eyed girl who was to
be his bride; and like an answering omen of good, over the white roofs
of the city came the joyful clangor of the Christmas chimes.



CHAPTER XVI.

A "WATCH-NIGHT" CONSECRATION.


THE office work for the old year was all done. Mr. Edmunds had locked
his desk and gone home. David would soon follow. He had only some
private correspondence to finish.

Bethany sat nervously assorting the letters in the different
pigeon-holes of her desk. Ninety-five was slipping out into the
eternities. It had brought her a prayed-for opportunity; it was carrying
away a far different record from the one she had planned. She felt that
she could not bear to have it go in that way, yet an unaccountable
reticence sealed her lips.

David had been in the office very little during the past week, only long
enough to get his mail. This afternoon he had a worried, preoccupied
look that made it all the harder for Bethany to say what was trembling
on her lips.

She heard him slipping the letter into the envelope. He would be gone
in just another moment. Now he was putting on his overcoat. O, she must
say something! Her heart beat violently, and her face grew hot. She shut
her eyes an instant, and sent up a swift, despairing appeal for help.

David strolled into the room with his hat in his hand, and stood beside
her table.

"Well, the old year is about over, Miss Hallam," he said, gravely. "It
has brought me a great many unexpected experiences, but the most
unexpected of all is the one that led to our acquaintance. In wishing
you a happy new year, I want to tell you what a pleasure your friendship
has been to me in the old."

Bethany found sudden speech as she took the proffered hand.

"And I want to tell you, Mr. Herschel, that I have not only been
wishing, but praying earnestly, that in this new year you may find the
greatest happiness earth holds--the peace that comes in accepting Christ
as a Savior."

He turned from her abruptly, and, with his hands thrust in his overcoat
pockets, began pacing up and down the room with quick, excited strides.

"You, too!" he cried desperately. "I seem to be pursued. Every way I
turn, the same thing is thrust at me. For weeks I have been fighting
against it--O, longer than that--since I first talked to Lessing. Then
there was Dr. Trent's death, and that nurse's prayer, and the League
meeting Frank Marion persuaded me into attending. Cragmore has talked to
me so often, too. I can answer arguments, but I can't answer such lives
and faith as theirs. Yesterday morning I had a letter from Lee--little
Lee Trent--thanking me for a book I had sent him, and even that child
had something to say. He told me about his conversion. Last night
curiosity led me down town to hear a Russian Jew preach to a lot of
rough people in an old warehouse by the river. His text was Pilate's
question, 'What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ?' It
wasn't a sermon. There wasn't a single argument in it. It was just a
tragically-told story of the Nazarene's trial and death sentence--but he
made it such a personal matter. All last night, and all day to-day those
words have tormented me beyond endurance, 'What shall I do? What shall I
do with this Jesus called Christ!'"

He kept on restlessly pacing back and forth in silence. Then he broke
out again:

"I saw a man converted, as you call it, down there last night. He had
been a rough, blasphemous drunkard that I have seen in the police courts
many a time. I saw him fall on his knees at the altar, groaning for
mercy, and I saw him, when he stood up after a while, with a face like a
different creature's, all transformed by a great joy, crying out that he
had been pardoned for Christ's sake. I just stood and looked at him, and
wondered which of us is nearer the truth. If I am right, what a poor,
deluded fool he is! But if he is right, good God--"

He stopped abruptly.

"Mr. Herschel," said Bethany, slowly, "if you were convinced that, by
going on some certain pilgrimage, you could find Truth, but that the
finding would shatter your belief in the creed you cling to now, would
you undertake the journey? Which is stronger in you, the love for the
faith of your fathers, or an honest desire for Truth, regardless of
long-cherished opinion?"

For a moment there was no answer. Then he threw back his shoulders
resolutely.

"I would take the journey," he said, with decision. "If I am wrong I
want to know it." Bethany slipped a little Testament out of one of the
pigeon-holes, and handed it to him, opened at the place where the answer
to Thomas was heavily underscored:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way and the truth and the life; no man
cometh unto the Father but by me."

"Follow that path," she said, simply. "The door has never been opened to
you, because you have never knocked. You have no personal knowledge of
Christ, because you have never sought for it. He has never revealed
himself to you, because you have never asked him to do so."

He turned to her impatiently.

"Could you honestly pray to Confucius?" he asked; "or Isaiah, or Elijah,
or John the Baptist? This Jewish teacher is no more to me than any other
man who has taught and died. How can I pray to him, then?"

Bethany fingered the leaves of her little Testament, her heart
fluttering nervously.

"I wish you would take this and read it," she said. "It would answer you
far better than I can."

"I have read it," he replied, "a number of years ago. I could see
nothing in it."

"O, but you read it simply as a critic," she answered. "See!" she cried
eagerly, turning the leaves to find another place she had marked. "Paul
wrote this about the children of Israel: 'Their minds were blinded: for
until this day remaineth the same veil' (the one told about in Exodus,
you know) 'untaken away, in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil
is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the
veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord,
the veil shall be taken away.'"

"Where does it say that?" he asked, incredulously. He took the book, and
turning back to the first of the chapter, commenced to read.

The great bell in the court-house tower began clanging six.

"I must go," he said; "but I'll take this with me and look through it
another time."

"I wish you would come to the watch-meeting to-night," she said,
wistfully. "It is from ten until midnight. All the Leagues in the city
meet at Garrison Avenue."

He slipped the book in his pocket, and buttoned up his overcoat. A
sudden reserve of manner seemed to envelop him at the same time.

"No, thank you," he answered, drawing on his gloves. "I have an informal
invitation from some friends in Hillhollow to dance the old year out and
the new year in."

His tone seemed so flippant after the recent depth of feeling he had
betrayed, that it jarred on Bethany's earnest mood like a discord. He
moved toward the door.

"No matter where you may be," she said as he opened it, "I shall be
praying for you."

After he had gone, Bethany still sat at her desk, mechanically assorting
the letters. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she had quite
forgotten it was time to go home.

The door opened, and Frank Marion came in. He was followed by Cragmore,
who was going home with him to dinner.

"All alone?" asked Mr. Marion in surprise. "Where's David? We dropped in
to invite him around to the watch-meeting to-night."

"He has just gone," answered Bethany. "I asked him, but he declined on
account of a previous engagement. O, Cousin Frank," she exclaimed, "I
do believe he is almost convinced of the truth of Christianity!"

She repeated the conversation that had just taken place.

"He has been fighting against that conviction for some time," answered
Mr. Marion. "I had a talk with him last week."

"What do you suppose Rabbi Barthold would say if Mr. Herschel should
become a Christian?" asked Bethany.

"Ah, I asked the old gentleman that very question yesterday," exclaimed
Mr. Cragmore. "It astounded him at first. I could see that the mere
thought of such apostasy in one he loves as dearly as his young David,
wounded him sorely. O, it grieved him to the heart! But he is a noble
soul, broad-minded and generous. He did not answer for a moment, and
when he finally spoke I could see what an effort the words cost him:

"'David is a child no longer,' he said, slowly. 'He has a right to
choose for himself. I would rather read the rites of burial over his
dead body than to see him cut loose from the faith in which I have so
carefully trained him; but no matter what course he pursues, I am sure
of one thing, his absolute honesty of purpose. Whatever he does, will be
from a deep conviction of right. I, who was denounced and misunderstood
in my youth because I cast aside the weight of orthodoxy that bound me
down spiritually, should be the last one to condemn the same
independence of thought in others.'"

"Herschel would have less opposition to contend with than any Jew I
know," remarked Mr. Marion.

"That little sister of his would be rather pleased than otherwise, and,
I think, would soon follow his example."

Bethany thought of Esther, but said nothing.

"We'll make it a subject of prayer to-night," said Cragmore, who had
been appointed to lead the meeting.

"Yes," answered Marion, clapping his friend on the shoulder. Then he
quoted emphatically: "'And this is the confidence that we have in Him,
that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.'"

"Let's ask him right now!" cried Cragmore, in his impetuous way.

He slipped the bolt in the door, and kneeling beside David's desk,
began praying for his absent friend as he would have pleaded for his
life. Then Marion followed with the same unfaltering earnestness, and
after his voice ceased, Bethany took up the petition.

"Nobody need tell me that those prayers are not heard," exclaimed
Marion, triumphantly, as he arose from his knees. "I know better. Come,
Bethany; if you are ready to go, we will walk as far as the avenue with
you."

As they went down-stairs together, he kept singing softly under his
breath, "Blessed be the name, blessed be the name of the Lord!"

By ten o'clock the League-room of the Garrison Avenue Church was
crowded.

George Cragmore had prepared a carefully-studied address for the
occasion; but during the half hour of the song service preceding it,
while he studied the faces of his audience, his heart began to be
strangely burdened for David and his people. He covered his eyes with
his hand a moment, and sent up a swift prayer for guidance, before he
arose to speak.

"My friends," he said in his deep, musical voice, "I had thought to talk
to you to-night of 'spiritual growth,' but just now, as I have been
sitting here, God had put another message into my mouth. We are all
children of one Father who have met in this room, and for that reason
you will bear with me now for the strangeness of the questions I shall
ask, and the seeming harshness of my words. This is a time for honest
self-examination. I should like to know how many, during the year just
gone, have contributed in any way to the support of Home and Foreign
Missions?"

Every one in the room arose.

"How many have tried, by prayer, daily influence, and direct appeal, to
bring some one to Christ?"

Again every one arose.

"How many of you, during the past year, have spoken to a Jew about your
Savior, or in any way evinced to any one of them a personal interest in
the salvation of that race?"

Looks of surprise were exchanged among the Leaguers, and many smiled at
the question. Only two arose, Mr. Marion and Bethany Hallam.

When they had taken their seats again there was a moment of intense
silence. The earnest solemnity of the minister was felt by every one
present. They waited almost breathlessly for what was coming.

"There is a young Jew in this city to-night whose heart is turning
lovingly towards your Savior and mine. I have come to ask your prayers
in his behalf, that the stumbling-blocks in his way may be removed. But
it is not for him alone my soul is burdened. I seem to hear Isaiah's
voice crying out to me, 'Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your
God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her
warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.' And then I seem
to hear another voice that through the thunderings of Sinai proclaims,
'Thou shalt not bear false witness.' Ah! the Christian Church has been
weighed in the balance and found wanting. It must read a terrible
handwriting on the wall in the fact that Israel's eyes have not been
opened to the fulfillment of prophecy. For had she seen Christ in the
daily life of every follower since he was first preached in that little
Church at Antioch, we would have had a race of Sauls turned Pauls! We
are Christ's witnesses to all men. Do all men see Christ in us, or only
a false, misleading image of him? He cherished no racial prejudices. He
turned away from no man with a look of scorn, or a cold shrug of
indifference. He drew no line across which his sympathies and love and
helping hands should not reach. When we do these things, are we not
bearing false witness to the character of him whose name we have
assumed, and the emblem of whose cross we wear? I can not believe that
any of us here have been willfully neglectful of this corner of the
Lord's vineyard. It must be because your hearts and hands were full of
other interests that you have been indifferent to this."

Then he told them of Lessing and Ragolsky and David, and called on them
to pray that his friend might find the light he was seeking. A dozen
earnest prayers were offered in quick succession, and every heart went
out in sympathy to this young Jew, whom they longed to see happy in the
consciousness of a personal Savior.

David had not gone out to Hillhollow. He dined at the restaurant, and
was just starting leisurely down to the depot when he found that his
watch told the same time as when he had looked at it an hour before. It
must have been stopped even some time before that. At any rate it had
made him too late for the train. The next one would not leave till nine
o'clock. He stood on a corner debating how to pass the time, and finally
concluded to go back to the office for a magazine he had borrowed from
Rabbi Barthold, and take it home to him.

His steps echoed strangely through the deserted hall as he climbed the
stairs to the office. He lighted the gas, and sat down to look through
the papers on his desk for the magazine. But when he had found it, he
still sat there idly, drumming with his fingers on the rounds of his
chair.

After awhile he took Bethany's Testament out of his pocket, and began to
read. It was marked heavily with many marginal notes and underscored
passages, that he examined with a great deal of curiosity. Beginning
with Matthew's account of the wise men's search, he read steadily on
through the four Gospels, past Acts, and through some of Paul's
epistles. It was after ten by the office clock when he finished the
letter to the Hebrews.

He put the book down with a groan, and, folding his arms on the desk,
wearily laid his head on them.

Just then Bethany's parting words echoed in his ears, "No matter where
you may be, I shall be praying for you."

It had irritated him at the moment. Now there was comfort in the thought
that she might be interceding in his behalf. He loved the faith of his
fathers. He was proud of every drop of Israelitish blood that coursed
through his veins. He felt that nothing could induce him to renounce
Judaism--nothing! Yet his heart went out lovingly toward the Christ that
had been so wonderfully revealed to him as he read.

The conviction was slowly forcing itself on his mind that in accepting
him he would not be giving up Judaism, that he would only be accepting
the Messiah long promised to his own people--only believing fulfilled
prophecy.

He wanted him so--this Christ who seemed able to satisfy every longing
of his heart, which just now was 'hungering and thirsting after
righteousness;' this Christ who had so loved the world that he had given
himself a willing sacrifice to make propitiation for its sins--for
his--David Herschel's sins.

The old questions of the Trinity and the Incarnation came back to
perplex him, and he put them resolutely away, remembering the words that
Bethany had quoted, that when Israel should turn to the Lord, the veil
should be taken from its heart.

Suddenly he started to his feet, and with his hands clasped above his
head, cried out: "O, Thou Eternal, take away the veil! Show me Christ! I
will give up anything--everything that stands in the way of my accepting
him, if thou wilt but make him manifest!"

He threw himself on his knees in an agony of supplication, and then
rising, walked the floor. Time and again he knelt to pray, and again
rose in despair to pace back and forth.

He hardly knew what to expect, but Paul's conversion had been attended
by such miraculous manifestations that he felt that some great
revelation must certainly be made to him.

Opening the little Testament at random, he saw the words, "If thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

"I do believe it," he said aloud. "And I will confess it the first
opportunity I have. Yes, I will go right now and tell Uncle Ezra--no
matter what it may cause him to say to me."

He looked at the clock again. The old year was almost gone. It was
nearly midnight. Rabbi Barthold would be asleep. Then he remembered the
watch-night service Bethany had asked him to attend. Cragmore and Marion
would be there. He would go and tell them.

He started rapidly down the street, saying to himself: "How queer this
seems! Here am I, a Jew, on my way to confess before men that I believe
a Galilean peasant is the Son of God. I don't understand the mystery of
it, but I do believe in some way the promised atonement has been made,
and that it avails for me."

He clung to that hope all the way down to the Church. It was growing
stronger every step.

Bethany had risen to take her place at the piano at the announcement of
another hymn, when the door opened and David Herschel stood in their
midst. Not even glancing at the startled members of the League, he
walked across the room and held out one hand to Cragmore and the other
to Marion. His voice thrilled his listeners with its intensity of
purpose.

"I have come to confess before you the belief that your Jesus is the
Christ, and that through him I shall be saved."

Then a look of happy wonderment shone in his face, as the dawning
consciousness of his acceptance became clearer to him.

"Why, I am saved! Now!" he cried in joyful surprise.

Glad tears sprang to many eyes, and only one exclamation could express
the depth of Frank Marion's gratitude--an old-fashioned shout of "Glory
to God!" Yes, an old, old fashion--for it came in when "the morning
stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."

"O, I must tell the whole world!" cried David.

"Come!" exclaimed Cragmore, turning to those around him, and laying his
hand on David's shoulder; "here is another Saul turned Paul. Who such
missionaries of the cross as these redeemed sons of Abraham? Leagued
with such an Israel, we could soon tell all the world. Who will join the
alliance?"

In answer they came crowding around David, with warm hand-clasps and
sympathetic words, till the bells all over the city began tolling the
hour of midnight.

At a word from Cragmore they knelt in the final prayer of consecration.

There was a deep silence. Then the leader's voice began:

"The untried paths of the new year stretch out into unknown distances.
But trusting in an Allwise Father, in a grace-giving Christ, and the
sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit, how many will sing with me:

[Illustration: Music

    "Where He leads me I will follow,
     Where He leads me I will follow,
     Where He leads me I will follow.
     I'll go with Him, with Him all the way."]

The melody arose, sweet and subdued, as every voice covenanted with his.

"But some of us may have planned out certain paths for our own feet,
that lead alluringly to ease and approbation. Think! God may call us
into obscure bypaths, into ways that lead to no earthly recompense, to
lowly service and unrequited toil. Can we still sing it? Let us wait.
Let us consider and be very sure."

In the prayerful silence, David thought of his profession and the hopes
of the great success that it was his ambition to attain. Could he give
it up, and spend his life in an unappreciated ministry to his people? He
wavered. But just then he had a vision of the Christ. He seemed to see a
footsore, tired man, holding out his hands in blessing to the motley
crowds that thronged him; and again he saw the same patient form
stumbling wearily along under a heavy beam of wood, scourged, mocked,
spit upon, nailed to the cross, for--him!

David shuddered, and he took up the refrain: "I'll go with Him, with
Him, all the way."

"It may be that, so far as ambition and personal plans are concerned, we
are willing to put ourselves entirely in God's hands; but suppose he
should call for our hearts' best beloved, are we willing to make of this
hour a Mount Moriah, on which we sacrifice our Isaacs--our all? Do we
consecrate ourselves entirely? Will we go with him all the way, no
matter through what dark Gethsemane he may see best to lead us?"

Again David wavered as Esther's beautiful face came before him.

"O God! anything but that!" he cried out passionately.

Cragmore felt him trembling, and, reaching out, clasped his hand, and
prayed silently that strength might be given him to make the
consecration complete.

"I'll go with Him, with Him, all the way!"

David's voice sung it unfalteringly. When they arose the tears were
streaming down his cheeks, but a great light was in his face, and a
great peace in his heart. The Christ had been revealed to him. A new
life and a new year had been born together.

       *       *       *       *       *

No, the story is not done, but the rest of it can not be written until
it has first been lived.

In God's good time the shuttles of his purposes shall weave these
life-webs to the finish. Some threads may cross and twine, some be
widely parted, and some be snapped asunder. Who can tell? The new year
has only begun.

But we know that all things work together for good to those who give
themselves into the eternal keeping, and--"God's in his heaven."



SILENT KEYS.


ONCE, in a shadowy old cathedral, a young girl sat at the great organ,
playing over and over a simple melody for a group of children to sing.
They were rehearsing the parts they were to take in the Christmas
choruses.

It was not long before every voice had caught the sweet old tune of "Joy
to the World," and as their little feet pattered down the solemn aisles,
the song was carried with them to the work and play of the streets
outside.

As the girl turned to follow, she found the old white-haired organist, a
master-musician, standing beside her.

"Why did you not strike all the keys, little sister?" he asked. "You
have left silent some of the sweetest and deepest. Listen! This is what
you should have put into your song."

As he spoke, his powerful hands touched the key-board, till the great
cathedral seemed to tremble with the mighty symphony that filled
it--"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!"

High, sweet notes, like the matin-songs of sky-larks, fluttered away
from his touch, and went winging their flight--up and up--beyond all
mortal hearing. Down the deep, full chords and majestic octaves rolled
the triumphal gladness. Every key seemed to find a voice, as the hands
of the old musician swept through the variations of "Antioch."

Tears filled the young girl's eyes, and when he had finished she said
sadly: "Ah, only a master-hand could do that--bring out the varied tones
of those silent keys, and yet through it all keep the thread of the song
clear and unbroken. All those divine harmonies were in my soul as I
played, yet had I tried to give expression to them, I might have
wandered away from the simple motif that I would have the children
remember always. In trying to span those fuller chords you strike so
easily, or in reaching always for the highest notes, I would have failed
to impress them with the part they are to take in the choruses, and they
would not have gone out as they did just now, singing their joy to the
world."

Maybe some such master may turn the pages of this story, and feel the
same impatience at its incompleteness. Here in this place he would have
added, with strong touches, many a convincing argument. There he would
have spoken with the voice of a sage or prophet, and he may turn away,
saying: "Why did you not strike all the keys, little sister? You have
left silent some of the sweetest and deepest."

The answer is the same. Only a master-hand can sweep the gamut of
history and human weaknesses and dogmas and creeds, touch the discordant
elements of controversy and criticism in all their variations, and at
the same time keep the simple theme constantly throbbing through them,
so strong and full and clear it can never be forgotten.

The purpose of this story is accomplished if it has only attracted the
attention of the League to a neglected duty, and struck a higher
key-note of endeavor. But the League must not stop with that.

There is only one song that will ever bring universal joy to this old,
tear-blinded world, and that is that the Lord is come, and that he is
risen indeed in the lives of his followers.

True, the veriest child may lisp it; but the League should not be
content simply to do that. It should be the master-musician, so familiar
with the great complexity of human doubts and longings, that it will
know just what chord to touch in every heart it is striving to help.

Go back to the days of the dispersion, and follow this Ishmael through
his almost limitless desert of persecution--his hand against every man
because every man's hand was against him.

Put yourself in his place until your vision grows broad and your
sympathy deep. Chafe against his limitations. Stumble over his
obstacles, and in so doing learn where best to place the
stepping-stones.

Dig down through the strata of tradition, below all the manifold
ceremonies of his formal worship, until you come to the bed-rock of
principle underlying them.

When you have thus studied Judaism, its prophets, its priesthood, its
patriots--when you have traced its sinuous path from Abraham's tent to
the Temple gates, and then followed its diverging lines on into almost
every hamlet of both hemispheres, you will have learned something more
than the history of Judaism. You will have read the story of the whole
race of Adam, and you will have fitted yourself far better to serve
humanity.

Christ reached his hearers through his intimate knowledge of them. He
never talked to shepherds of fishing-nets, nor to vine-dressers of
flocks. He gave the same water of life to the woman at Jacob's well that
he bestowed on the ruler who came to him by night. Yet how differently
he presented it to the ignorant Samaritan and the learned Nicodemus.

To this end, then, study these creeds and systems; for instance, the
unity of God, clung to alike by the Hebrew persistently reiterating his
Shemang, and the Moslem crying "God is God, and Mohammed is his
prophet!"

Follow this belief in the Unity, as it goes deeply channeling its way
through centuries of Semitic thought, until it enters the very
life-blood. You can trace its influence even down into the early
Christian Church, in the hot disputes of Arius and his followers, at the
Council of Nicea.

Not until you comprehend how idolatrous the worship of the Trinity
seems to a Jew, can you understand what a stumbling-block lies between
him and the acceptance of his Messiah.

You will find this study of Judaism reaching out like a banyan-tree,
striking root and branching again and again in so many different places
that it seems that it must certainly, by some one of its manifold
ramifications, shadow every great problem and people.

In the first conception of this story it was purposed to place
considerable emphasis on a number of things that have been left
untouched, especially the colonization schemes of the philanthropic
Barons Hirsch and De Rothschild, and the prophecies concerning the
return of the Jews to Palestine.

But prophecy, while always a most interesting and profitable subject for
research and study, leads into an unmapped country of speculation. Many
an enthusiast, not recognizing that on God's great calendar a thousand
years are but as a day, has attempted to solve the mysteries of
Revelations by the same numerical system with which he calculates his
assets and liabilities. As we examine this subject, we must not forget
the vast difference between our finite yardsticks, and the reed of the
angel who measured the city.

God grant that, as the tree thrown into the stream of Marah changed its
bitter waters into wholesome, life-giving sweetness, so this study of
Israel, earnestly and honestly pursued, may turn all bitterness of
prejudice into the broad, sweet spirit of true brotherhood!



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

Obvious punctuation errors were corrected.

Page 6, "189" changed to "199" to show the actual location of the
chapter "Dr. Trent".

Page 23, "apearance" changed to "appearance" (greeted her appearance)

Page 50, "Southener" changed to "Southerner" (who was an ardent
Southerner)

Page 55, "Nothwithstanding" changed to "Notwithstanding" (sudden curves.
Notwithstanding)

Page 216, "Cartleton" changed to "Carleton" (Belle Carleton met them)





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