by Mrs. George Sheldon
CHAPTER I. AT
FIRST SABBATH AT
FOR THE JUNIOR
CHAPTER X. MRS.
CHAPTER XI. DR.
THE STORY OF A
CHAPTER XIV. A
CHAPTER XVI. A
DR. STANLEY HAS
TAKES A STAND.
CHAPTER XXI. THE
THE END OF
CHAPTER XXV. A
Who led my newly awakened thought
Towards a higher understanding of God,
And opened before me broader vistas of the Life immortal
That is born of Truth and Love,
F. S. K.
this story is lovingly dedicated by The Author
The words Science and Health which appear as marginal reference
refer to The Christian Science Text Book "Science and Health, with
Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy
CHAPTER I. AT HILTON SEMINARY.
It was four o'clock in the afternoon on the opening day of the
midwinter term at Hilton Seminary, a noted institution located in a
beautiful old town of Western New York.
A group of gay girls had just gathered in one of the pleasant and
spacious recreation rooms and were chattering like the proverbial
flock of magpies—exchanging merry greetings after their vacation;
comparing notes on studies, classes and roommates; discussing the
advent of new teachers, pupils and improvements, when a tall,
gracious woman of, perhaps, thirty-five years suddenly appeared in
the doorway, her fair face gleaming with humorous appreciation of the
animated scene and babel before her, and enjoined silence with the
uplifting of one slim white hand.
There was an instantaneous hush, as the bevy of maidens turned
their bright faces and affectionate glances upon their teacher, who,
evidently, was a prime favorite with them all.
"What is it, Miss Reynolds? What can we do for you?" eagerly
queried several of the group, as they sprang forward to ascertain her
"Is Miss Minturn in the room? I am looking for a new pupil who
arrived this morning," the teacher responded, her genial, friendly
blue eyes roving from face to face in search of the stranger to whom
she had referred.
A young girl, who had been sitting by herself in a remote corner
of the room, arose and moved towards the speaker.
"I am Katherine Minturn," she said, with quiet self-possession,
yet flushing slightly beneath the many curious glances bent upon her,
as her soft, brown eyes met the smiling blue ones.
She was, apparently, about nineteen years of age, a little above
medium height, her form slight but almost perfect in its proportions.
A wealth of hair, matching the color of her eyes, crowned a small,
shapely head, and contrasted beautifully with a creamy complexion, the
delicacy of which was relieved chiefly by the vivid scarlet of her
lips. Her features were clear-cut and very attractive—at least so
thought Miss Reynolds as she studied the symmetrical brow, the large,
thoughtful eyes, the tender mouth and prettily rounded chin curving so
gracefully into the white, slender neck.
"Ah! Miss Minturn. I have had quite a search for you," she said,
reaching out a cordial hand to her; for, despite the girl's self-
poise, she had caught a quiver of loneliness on the expressive face.
"I am Miss Reynolds, the teacher of mathematics, and I have been
commissioned by Prof. Seabrook to find and show you to his study. But
first, let me present you to these chatterers."
She dropped the hand that was trembling in her clasp, and,
slipping a reassuring arm about the girl's waist, continued:
"Young ladies, this is Miss Minturn, a new junior. I can't present
each of you formally, for she is wanted immediately elsewhere; but I
will see that she finds you all out later."
Katherine nodded a smiling acknowledgment to the vigorous clapping
of hands and the hearty "Welcome, Miss Minturn, to Hilton." Then Miss
Reynolds led her away, and the interrupted chatter of the magpies was
resumed with redoubled animation, but now the new junior absorbed the
attention of everyone.
"Say, girls, isn't she a dear?" "Came this morning, did she? where
from, I wonder?" "My! but wasn't that a nobby traveling suit, and
such a fit!" "Katherine Minturn—pretty name, isn't it?" "Does
anybody know anything more about her?" were some of the comments and
queries that slipped from those supple instruments with a tendency
towards perpetual motion, which, sometimes, are described as organs
that are hung in the middle and wag at both ends— school-girls'
"Hush!—sh!—sh! Oh, girls, do ring off, and perhaps I can give
you a point or two," cried a high-pitched voice with an unmistakable
Southern drawl, as a somewhat overdressed girl of nineteen or twenty
years re-enforced her appeal by vigorous gestures to attract
attention, whereupon the ever alert spirit of Curiosity silenced every
loquacious chatterer, except one who solemnly announced, "Ladies, Miss
Minot has the floor!"
"Yes," the speaker observed, "the new junior does strike one as
being downright stunning. She came from New York City, and"—with a
lugubrious sigh—"though I've never set eyes on her before, I was
informed this morning that she is to be my roommate for the remainder
of the year."
A burst of mirthful laughter rippled over a dozen pairs of rosy
lips at this last mournfully conveyed information.
"Aha! at last Miss Sadie Minot has got to come down to the lot of
common mortals and take in a chum!" cried a merry sprite, with a
saucy chuckle. "Oh, how you have spread yourself and luxuriated in
your solitary magnificence, and how every mother's daughter of us has
envied you your spacious quarters! Well, you know what old Sol. said
about 'pride' and a 'haughty spirit,' and the 'fall' always comes,
first or last. But, Sadie, my love, be comforted," she continued, with
mock sympathy, "and just try to realize what splendid discipline it
will be for you; one cannot have everything one wants, you know, even
if one is an heiress in one's own right- -eh, dearie?"
"But there's only one closet, and it is so full now," sighed Miss
"Hear! hear!" retorted the same mischievous maiden, whose name was
Clara Follet. "After having had undisturbed possession of a whole
room and closet for six long months she ungratefully bemoans——"
"And only one chest of drawers," pursued Sadie, in the same
strain, but with a comical quirk of an eye.
A chorus of mocking groans and derisive laughter greeted this
"And all four crammed full with her superfluous finery," cried
another of the merry group. "Whatever will you do with it now,
"I'm sure I don't know, Ollie," retorted the pretty "heiress,"
with a quizzical uplifting of her brows, "unless you take half of it
off my hands altogether, instead of coming to borrow so often."
Shrieks of appreciative mirth followed this deftly shot arrow, for
it was a well-known fact that Ollie Grant, the pet of the school, was
an easy-going little body, very prone to allow her wardrobe to get in
a sad plight and then throw herself upon the mercy of others, to patch
her up, in the event of an emergency.
But Miss Ollie was equal to the occasion.
"Really, Sadie, that would help you out, wouldn't it? and save me
a lot of trotting back and forth," she demurely responded, though the
dimples played a lively game of hide-and-seek in her plump cheeks.
"There's such a love of a lace jacket in her second drawer, girls; my
eyes water with envy every time I get a glimpse of it; and a few of
those ravishing stocks that you've been laying in of late wouldn't
come amiss. There's that lavender satin waist, too, you bought at
Jerome's the other day. I know I should look perfectly killing in it;
and—oh! ye Hiltonites!—she has just bought six of the sweetest
corset covers you ever laid eyes on; think of it!—six! She could
spare three just as well as not, and I'm sure she has at least a dozen
pairs of silk stockings, while"- -with a doleful sigh—"I don't own a
blessed one. Then there are ribbons and laces, fans and handkerchiefs
galore. Don't you think it would be an act of mercy if I would agree
to take some of these superfluities off her hands, rather than have
them ruthlessly crushed into half their allotted space? And—"
"Ollie! Ollie!—what an incorrigible little tease you are!"
laughingly interposed Miss Minot, as she playfully tweaked the girl's
ear. "I wonder how long the things would last you if you had them
"Oh, probably two or three times wearing around, providing they
didn't come to mending before that," mused the "Pet," with a
speculative look in her blue eyes, but with a quiver of the dimples
that evoked another paroxysm of laughter from her audience. "But I
say, Sadie," she went on with the next breath, "Miss Minturn is a
downright sweet-looking girl, and I'll wager a- -a darning needle
against a pair of those silk stockings you'll find her O. K. Maybe
she'll let you have an extra drawer and a hook or two in the closet."
"I don't feel very hopeful, so I won't take you up," sighed Sadie;
"for when I came in from my walk I saw a big trunk, with 'K. M.' on
it, in the hall, and it looks to me as if I—I'm destined to go
through a different kind of 'cramming' process this year, in addition
to the usual one."
This self-inflicted shot now turned the laugh again upon the
speaker, for it was an open secret that the Southern heiress dearly
loved her ease and took it, up to the last moment, then had to "cram
for all she was worth" to get ready for "exams."
While this chatter and fun were going on in the recreation room,
Katherine Minturn had been conducted to the study of Prof. Seabrook,
by whom she was received with his customary courtesy.
The principal of Hilton Seminary was a distinguished-appearing
gentleman of fifty years, possessing a strong, intellectual, yet
refined face, whose chief charm was a pair of large, expressive
blue-gray eyes that could be most winningly kind, or most coldly and
blightingly stern, as the case might be.
"Be seated, Miss Minturn," he courteously commanded, as Miss
Reynolds excused herself and withdrew, and indicating a chair near
the table by which he had been sitting when she entered.
Katherine obeyed, feeling strongly attracted to the man by his
genial manner, even though she knew that his keen but friendly eyes
were intent upon reading what lay beneath her exterior.
"I suppose you feel that you have had rather a hard day," he
continued, glancing significantly at some closely written sheets
which he had evidently been looking over when she entered, and which
she instantly recognized as her examination papers.
"Not at all," she quietly returned, lifting her clear eyes to him,
and he marveled at the unclouded serenity in their pure depths.
"Indeed!" and he could not quite conceal his surprise. "It is a
rare event for a young lady to make such an admission after a rigid
ordeal like what you have sustained this afternoon. However, I am
happy to inform you that you are unconditionally admitted to the
junior class; your papers do you great credit, Miss Minturn. I had not
expected quite so much from you, as you had told me that you left
school last year, a sophomore, and have been traveling abroad until
recently. I feared we might have to ask you to review a little, for it
is rather unusual for a pupil to enter an advanced class in the middle
of the year."
"But I have not been idle since leaving school," Katherine
replied, a happy gleam in her eyes, for his commendation was very
gratifying to her; "although we were abroad for several months, we
were often located in some place for weeks at a time, and mamma,
having once been a teacher at Vassar, coached me for the junior
"Ah! that explains your proficiency. How convenient to have an ex-
Vassar in the family!" Prof. Seabrook smilingly observed. "All the
same, I am sure the daughter deserves some commendation for work
"Thank you, sir," said Katherine, a flush of pleasure tingeing her
The principal then proceeded to give her some information
regarding her classes and the ground to be covered in her various
studies during the coming term, after which he asked some questions
as to her recent travels, whereupon they fell into a pleasant chat
about points of interest which both had visited, and thus a delightful
half hour slipped away. At length Prof. Seabrook referred to a book
that lay on the table beside him, and observed:
"I find, Miss Minturn, that you are to room with Miss Sadie Minot,
a young lady from Atlanta, Georgia, and I think you will find her an
agreeable companion. However"—with a humorous twinkle in his
eyes—"to use a homely proverb, 'it is Hobson's choice,' for it
happens to be the only vacancy in the building; we have a very full
school this year. I will call some one to show you how to find it, and
have your trunk sent up later."
He touched a bell and presently a young girl about sixteen entered
the room, with a brisk step and an alert air, suggestive of a
repressed cyclone only awaiting an opportunity for mischief brewing;
while, as she approached the occupants, a strong odor of peppermint
made itself apparent in the atmosphere.
"Miss Minturn, this is Miss Wild, one of our breezy freshmen—eh,
Jennie?" and the quizzical look again leaped into the blue-gray eyes.
Katherine smilingly acknowledged the introduction, while Miss Wild
blushed and nodded an embarrassed greeting, then immediately turned
her face away from the focus of the professor's observation and made a
comical grimace which came very near proving too much for Katherine's
"Jennie," the gentleman continued, "Miss Minturn is to share Miss
Minot's room—number fifteen, west wing—and I have called you to
show her the way, if you please."
"Yes, sir, I will," said the girl, with ready compliance, which
culminated in a vigorous sneeze, whereupon, with the restless energy
which pervaded her every movement, she whisked her handkerchief from
her pocket, and, with it, there shot out a promiscuous assortment of
chocolates and cream peppermints, which went bounding and rolling
about the room in every direction.
Prof. Seabrook gave vent to a hearty laugh of amusement at the
"I thought I detected a familiar odor, Jennie," he observed; then
added, good-naturedly, "You may pick them up, if you please."
"Guess I will," she returned, eagerly, and nimbly suiting the
action to her words. "I really can't afford to lose all that precious
sweetness. Josie Craig gave them to me just as you rang."
Katherine had risen and was moving towards the door, to cover her
own inclination to explode, and thus make the situation more awkward
for the girl, when the principal checked her by remarking:
"By the way, Miss Minturn, the juniors and seniors attend the
Bible class, which it is my province to conduct. We meet at four on
Sunday afternoons in the south recitation room; and the lesson for
next Sabbath will be on the Creation, as given in the first chapter of
Genesis. And this reminds me that I have neglected to inquire where
you will attend church. As our catalogue states, each student is
allowed to choose her own place of worship. Where do you propose to
make your church home?"
Katherine had expected this question before; nevertheless, she
flushed slightly as she turned back to face her interlocutor, and
"I am a Christian Scientist, Prof. Seabrook, and I shall attend
the church on Grove Street."
The pause which followed this announcement was painfully ominous,
and Katherine was amazed at the frozen look which suddenly settled
over the gentleman's face, together with the expression of stern
disapprobation which instantly drove all the kindness out of his
hitherto genial eyes. "A Christian Scientist!—indeed!" he said, in a
tone as frigid as his look. "It is a matter of regret to me that you
did not state that fact when you made application for admission to
Katherine's lip quivered slightly at this caustic remark and the
accompanying scorn on the high-bred face; and the flush which had
risen to her cheek a moment before vanished, leaving her quite pale,
although in no way disconcerted.
"But I believe the catalogue states that there is no sectarianism
in Hilton Seminary, that the broadest possible religious tolerance
prevails here," she remarked, with a sweet gentleness which, under
any other circumstances, would have instantly disarmed her companion.
But, as it happened, he was a bitter opponent of the "false
doctrine," and the term "Science" applied to Christianity was a rank
offense to his rigid Presbyterian opinions, as was also the fact that
a woman had dared to face the world with it!
"I do not recognize Christian Science, so-called, as a religion,"
he retorted, with a sharpness in marked contrast to Katherine's
sweetness. "In my opinion, it is simply a device and snare of Satan
himself to deceive the very elect; and Miss Minturn"—this with
frowning emphasis—"I will not, for a moment, tolerate the
promulgation of its fallacious teachings in this school. I trust I
make myself understood."
Katherine had not once removed her clear, brown eyes from his
countenance during this speech, but there was not the slightest
manifestation of resentment on her own—only an expression of tender
regret, as if she were sorry for him, because of the sense of discord
that seemed to hold possession of him.
"You mean that I am not to talk it here?" she said.
"Exactly; nor flaunt it in any way."
"I will not, sir," with gentle gravity; then a little smile
curving her red lips, she added: "Christian Science, Prof. Seabrook,
is a religion of Love, and I will simply try to live it."
The principal of Hilton flushed to his brows before this
unassuming girl, a circumstance unprecedented in the annals of the
Her look, her tone, the softly spoken words—all radiated love,
and his arrogant spirit felt the gentle rebuke.
"Have you that book, 'Science and Health,' with you?" he curtly
Katherine's heart leaped within her. Did he mean to deprive her of
her daily bread?
"Yes, sir," with unfaltering glance and voice.
"Then keep it out of sight," he briefly commanded, adding, in a
tone of dismissal, as he took up his pen: "That is all, Miss
Katherine bowed respectfully, then quietly followed Jennie Wild
from the room.
CHAPTER II. KATHERINE AND HER
As the two girls were passing through the main building on their
way to number fifteen, west wing, Katherine turned to her companion
and observed, in a friendly tone:
"So this is your first year in Hilton Seminary, Miss Wild?"
Jennie, who had been "just boiling"—as she told her later—over
the professor's recent crankiness and severity, turned to Katherine
in unfeigned surprise, for there was not the slightest trace of
resentment or personal affront in either her voice or manner.
Her brown eyes were as serene as a May morning; her scarlet lips
were parted in a sunny smile that just disclosed her white, even
teeth, and her voice was clear and sweet, without even a quiver to
betray emotion of any kind.
Jennie Wild was a girl of many moods. Possessing the kindest heart
in the world, and ever ready to run her nimble feet off to do any one
a good turn, she was at the same time a veritable little "snapdragon."
Touch her ever so lightly, and off she would go into paroxysms of
mirth or rage, sympathy or scorn, as the case might be. Consequently
she had looked for an outburst, or at least some manifestation, of
indignation on Katherine's part, over the principal's recent sharpness
and ungracious treatment.
"Yes, I'm a freshie," the girl replied, with a nod and one of her
comical grimaces, but still curiously studying the placid face beside
her, "but I'm not here as you are. I'm a working student"— this with
a rising flush and defiant toss of her pert little head.
"'A working student?'" repeated Katherine, inquiringly.
"That's what I said," laconically. "I can't afford to pay full
tuition, so I wait on Prof. Seabrook and his wife, and do other kinds
of work to make up the rest. You see"—the flush creeping higher, but
with a secret determination to "sound" the new junior- -"I haven't any
father or mother, and my aunt, who has always taken care of me, is
poor, and there was no other way to finish my education after leaving
the high school—see?"
"Yes, I understand, and I think you are a dear, brave girl to do
it," said Katherine, with shining eyes, and laying a friendly hand on
her shoulder as they began to mount the stairs leading to the second
"Do you—truly?" queried Jennie, with a glad ring in her tones.
"My! I believe I feel two inches taller for that"—throwing back her
head proudly; "you've given me a lift, Miss Minturn, that I shan't
forget; nobody has ever said anything so kind to me before. I tell
you"—confidentially—"it does take a lot of courage sometimes to
buckle on to a hard lesson, after running up and downstairs forty
times a day, besides no end of other things to do. Most of the girls
are pretty good to me; though, now and then, there's one who thinks
she was cut out of finer cloth. I dote on the professor, even if he
does get a bit cranky sometimes, like to-day, when something ruffles
his stately feathers. His wife is lovely, too, and the teachers are
all nice. But don't call me Miss Wild, please. I'm 'Jennie' to
everybody. 'Wild Jennie' most of the girls call me, and there really
is a harum-scarum streak in me that does get the best of me
sometimes," she concluded, with a mischievous flash in her dark eyes.
"I shall be very glad to call you Jennie, if you wish, and my name
is Katherine, with a 'K,'" said that young lady, with an inviting
"I'm sure there isn't any 'harum-scarum' about you," said the
girl, gravely, as she searched the sweet, brown eyes.
"That depends upon what you mean by the term," responded
Katherine, with a ripple of mirthful laughter. "I assure you I love a
good time as well as any other girl."
"U-m—p'rhaps; but I guess it would have to be a—a—genteel good
time. There's one thing I don't need to 'guess' about, though—you
just know how to stand firm on your heels when you need to."
"What do you mean by that?" questioned Katherine, with a look of
"Nobody will ever make you take a back seat—not even his highness
downstairs, when you know you're right. I say, though"—she
interposed, eagerly—"weren't you mad, through and through, at what
he said to you just now?"
"Mad?" repeated Katherine, flushing, and wondering if she had
unconsciously manifested anything that had seemed like anger or
temper during the recent interview.
"Yes; didn't you feel as if you'd just like to go at him with
'hammer and tongs'"—doubling up her fists and striking out
suggestively right and left—"for being so crusty with you about your
religion? I did."
Katherine laughed out merrily at the girl's strenuous espousal of
her cause, and with a sense of relief to know that she had shown no
feeling unworthy of a Christian Scientist.
"No, dear," she gently replied, "I could not feel anger or
resentment towards any one because of a mere difference of opinion."
"U-m! well, you didn't show any, that's sure. You just faced him,
sweet as a peach, but like a—a queen who knows she's on her own
ground. I thought, though, you might be just boiling over inside; but
if you say you weren't, I believe you, for I think you're 'true blue,'
and I think Prof. Seabrook might have learned a lesson from you, for I
never saw him quite so upset over a little thing before. I never had
any use for Christian Scientists myself; don't know anything about
'em, in fact. But if they're all like you, I don't believe they'll
ever do much harm in the world. Here we are, though—this is Sadie's
room. She's an orphan, too, but she is very rich, and I tell you she
just knows how to make her money fly—isn't a bit stingy with others,
either," the voluble girl concluded, as she paused before a door at
the head of the stairs in the second story of the west wing and rapped
vigorously upon it for admittance.
"Come in," responded a good-natured voice, whereupon Jennie opened
the door and entered a sunny, inviting apartment, the sight of which
instantly gave Katherine a homelike feeling.
She also saw two pretty beds, on one side of the room, piled high
with a motley assortment of dresses and finery that made her wonder
how one person could ever make use of so many things, while an
attractive girl was sitting upon the floor before the one dressing
case, her face flushed and perplexed as she tried to pack another
promiscuous collection into the insufficient space that would
henceforth belong to her.
"Miss Minot," said Jennie, advancing farther into the room and
thus revealing her companion, "this is Miss Minturn, who is to room
with you. Prof. Seabrook sent me to show her here and to introduce her
Miss Minot sprang to her feet and came forward with outstretched
hand, her manner characterized by true Southern hospitality.
"Come in, Miss Minturn," she said, cordially; "come right in and
sit down," and releasing the hand she had grasped, she whisked two or
three skirts off a rocker, tossing them upon the heap on one of the
beds. "I knew you were coming, and I've been working right smart to
get ready for you. I've had full swing here so long I've filled every
nook and cranny of the place, and now"—with a shrug and a deprecatory
smile—"I shall have to learn to be very orderly to keep from
encroaching upon your territory. But there's lots of time. The things
can wait while we get acquainted a little. Jennie, you'll have to take
the trunk," she concluded, with a careless glance at the girl.
"I haven't time to sit down, Miss Minot; I've my algebra lesson to
learn for to-morrow morning," and Jennie, flushing with sudden anger
at being so cursorily consigned to a trunk, turned to leave the room.
Katherine put out a detaining hand.
"Thank you, Jennie, for coming up with me," she said, with a
friendly smile, adding: "And I hope there will be no more
interruptions while you are conning the algebra lesson."
"I hate mathematics," Jennie affirmed, with an impatient shrug,
"but the things you most dislike are supposed to do you the most
good, so I just have to bottle up when it's time for algebra and try
to play 'it's an angel being entertained unawares.' Good-by, Miss
Minturn. I'll see you again later." And bestowing a bright glance and
nod upon her new friend, she shut the door and went whistling cheerily
down the hall.
"That's a queer 'pickaninny'! I didn't mean to hurt her, though,"
observed Miss Minot, as she curled herself up on the foot of a bed,
preparatory to getting acquainted with her new roommate.
"She certainly possesses originality," Katherine laughingly
responded; "but I like her none the less for that."
"Poor young one!" Sadie continued. "She doesn't have a very easy
time of it here. She is a stray waif, and hasn't a relative in the
world, to her knowledge."
"She spoke of an aunt," interposed Katherine.
"She calls Miss Wild 'aunt,' but she isn't, really, and the child
actually does not know her own name. The way of it was this," Miss
Minot went on to explain: "When she was a baby there was a terrible
railway accident, in which it was supposed both her parents were
killed, for nobody could be found to claim the child after it was
over; and Miss Wild, an old maid with a small annuity, was on the same
train, and, like an angel, cared for her, hoping some relative would
be found when the dead were identified; but no clew to her identity
was ever obtained, and the woman has done the best she could for her
all these years."
"How very lovely and noble of Miss Wild," breathed Katherine,
appreciatively. Then, glancing around the disorderly room, she added:
"Now, Miss Minot, I feel almost like an intruder to have you so upset
on my account. Do let me help you put some of these things away."
"Oh, never mind the truck," Sadie lazily returned. "I'll take care
of the things presently. I'm right glad that you are a junior," she
resumed, in a comfortable tone. "It is so much nicer to have a
roommate who can go right along with you, and I'm sure you'll be a
great help to me."
Katherine smiled as her companion thus unwittingly revealed a
strong phase of her character. She saw that her tendency was to lean
upon the nearest prop; and, as to be "forewarned is to be forearmed,"
she resolved to govern herself accordingly.
They chatted socially until the janitor appeared with Katherine's
trunk, whereupon Sadie bestirred herself once more to bring order out
This was much easier said than done, and as she saw that she was
going to be very much crowded, Katherine unpacked but very few things
at that time. She generously said she would try to get along with
one-third of the closet and one of the drawers in the bureau, and
utilize her trunk trays for her own waists and finery, while she could
stow things not often needed in the lower portion.
Later she hired the janitor to put up a bracket shelf in one
corner of the room, tacking a long chintz curtain to it, and, with a
dozen hooks screwed into a cleat underneath, thus improvised a very
convenient little closet for her individual use.
While the roommates were "becoming acquainted," Jennie Wild, full
of what she had seen and heard, and, for the time being, unmindful of
the waiting algebra lesson, rushed down to the recreation room, where
many of the students were still congregated, and reeled off her news
to a bevy of curious and interested listeners.
The information that the new junior was a "Christian Scientist"
created quite a flutter of excitement. Some were horrified and
indignant because such a pariah had been admitted to the seminary;
others ridiculed and laughed to scorn the doctrines of the "new
cult," while a few appeared indifferent and declared that every one
had a right to her own opinion upon religious subjects.
The matter was pretty thoroughly canvassed, however, the attitude
of the principal having weighty influence and governing the
preponderance of opinion; and by the time the supper bell rang almost
every student in the house had learned the whole story and decided
that, for the present at least, she would give the newcomer a wide
Katherine became conscious of the iciness of the atmosphere the
moment she entered the dining room and came under the battery of the
hundred or more pairs of curious and critical eyes that were eagerly
watching for her to appear. Miss Reynolds, who had overheard some of
the gossip and adverse criticisms, was also on the lookout for her,
and approaching her with the graciousness which was her chief charm,
"Miss Minturn, I have made a place for you at my table. Until you
become better acquainted and choose your permanent seat, you shall
sit close under the shelter of my wings."
"And a very friendly shelter, I am sure, I shall find it; you are
very good," Katherine replied, with quick appreciation.
The teacher led her to her place, and, while they stood waiting
for the professor to give the signal to be seated, introduced her to
two or three of the girls in their vicinity.
Katherine keenly felt, and Miss Reynolds noted with increasing
displeasure, the quickly averted eyes and cool acknowledgment of
these introductions; but the principal drew out his chair, and
Katherine's momentary feeling of awkwardness was covered by the
confusion of getting into place. But for her teacher she would have
had a very lonely and silent meal; for after one or two efforts to
engage her nearest neighbor in conversation had been coldly repulsed,
the tactful woman threw herself into the gap and the two chatted
socially until they arose from the table.
"She is a dear, sweet girl, and I am going to nip this nonsense in
the bud," Miss Reynolds observed to herself on the way upstairs,
where, in the main hall and parlors, the students usually spent an
hour, socially, after the evening meal. But as she presented her
charge, here and there, she only became more indignant in view of
frigid salutations and a general stampede wherever they made their
appearance, not to mention the scarlet spots that settled on
Katherine's cheeks and her unnaturally brilliant eyes, although, in
other respects, she appeared perfectly serene and self- possessed.
"Please do not trouble yourself any further on my account, Miss
Reynolds," she said, when she observed the look of dismay on her face
as she glanced around the almost empty room they were in. "I
understand the situation perfectly; they have all learned that I am a
Christian Scientist, and, having conceived an erroneous idea of what
that means, are avoiding me."
"It is the most absurd, cruel and unjust treatment of a stranger I
ever heard of," returned her companion, with flashing eyes, "and I
shall make it my business to see that there is a radical change
before another day goes by."
"Please do not," Katherine pleaded, earnestly. "I would much
prefer that matters be left to adjust themselves; any interference
would only serve to intensify the antagonism against me; and I am
sure when the girls come to know me better, they will at least
realize that I am—harmless," and there was a gleam of genuine
amusement in her eyes as she concluded.
"You are a brave little girl," said her teacher, with a glow of
tenderness at her heart and a suspicious moisture in her eyes.
"But"—with a resolute straightening of her graceful figure—"I am
not going to have you left to yourself on this your first evening at
Hilton, so come with me to my room and we will have a nice time by
"Oh, I should like that," said Katherine, eagerly, "if it will not
"It will not," smilingly interposed her new friend, and, slipping
an arm around her, she spirited her away to her pleasant room, where
they spent a delightful hour together.
When the eight o'clock study bell rang, Katherine returned to her
own quarters, where she found her roommate already absorbed,
apparently, in the preparation of to-morrow's lessons; for, as she
entered, the girl merely glanced up from her book without speaking,
then fastened her eyes again upon the pages before her.
Katherine sat down by her own table and soon forgot everything but
the work on hand, although, at first, she had experienced a sense of
discord and friction in the atmosphere. The hour passed in absolute
silence until the next bell rang, when Miss Minot closed her books and
abruptly left the room.
Katherine was not sorry to be left alone, and bringing forth from
her trunk her Bible, "Science and Health," and "Quarterly," began to
study her lesson for the coming Sunday. She spent half an hour or more
in this way, then sat reading from her text-book until Sadie returned.
Katherine greeted her with a smile as she entered and inquired:
"What is the retiring hour, Miss Minot?"
"Ten; and every light must be out at half-past," was the somewhat
Then, after an irresolute pause, she walked over to Katharine, and
picking up the book she had just laid down, asked:
"What is this that you were reading? Oh! it is that dreadful book
I've heard so much about."
"It doesn't seem dreadful to me," returned her companion, gently.
"Humph! 'At all times and under all circumstances overcome evil
with good,'" [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 571.] she read
from the page to which she had opened. "That's just another version
of the 'golden rule,' isn't it?" Then, turning a leaf, she read from
the next page: "'Love fulfills the law in Christian Science.' Humph!"
she ejaculated again, as she put the volume down, "so you are a
Christian Scientist! I heard about it downstairs."
"Yes," quietly returned Katherine.
"And do you really believe all they tell about the wonderful cures
and—and the rest of it?" Sadie demanded, with curling lips.
"Tell me about some of them," said the girl, eagerly, her
"Excuse me, Miss Minot; I cannot, for Prof. Seabrook has forbidden
me to say anything about the subject here," Katherine returned.
"Yes, I heard that, too," said Sadie, with a nod. "Well, the
professor is dead set against it, and I'm down on it right smart
myself. You see"—with a superior air—"I'm an Episcopalian; my
grandfather was an Episcopalian clergyman, a rector, you know,
and"—with a shrug and laugh—"I'm afraid he wouldn't rest easy in
his grave if he knew I had such a rank heretic for a roommate.
But"—leaning forward and smiling into her companion's eyes— "aside
from that I like you right well, Miss Minturn, and if we leave this
subject alone I reckon we'll get along pretty comfortably together;
what do you say?"
"I am sure we will," cordially assented Katherine, "and"—with a
merry twinkle in her eyes—"if you do not broach it, you may
confidently rely upon my discretion."
"I own up," good-naturedly returned her chum. "I did broach it
this time; but"—flushing slightly—"something had to be said to get
it out of the way, don't you know? And may I—would you like me to
call you Katherine?"
"With all my heart, Sadie."
The two girls smiled into each other's eyes; the last vestige of
formality was swept away, and the atmosphere was clear.
CHAPTER III. DOROTHY.
The midwinter term at Hilton Seminary had opened on Wednesday, and
the remainder of the week passed quickly and uneventfully as
Katherine fell easily into the ways of the institution and found
herself getting well started in her various studies.
Her relations with her roommate were most harmonious, but the
majority of the students either ignored her altogether or treated her
with a coldness that, had she not had her "Science" to sustain and
comfort her, would have made her lot hard indeed to bear.
She had not met the professor again, except in the class room,
where he had seemed to be wholly absorbed in his duties as instructor
and oblivious of the personality of the students.
On Saturday afternoon she was introduced to Mrs. Seabrook while
strolling in the grounds with Miss Reynolds, between whom and herself
a growing friendliness was asserting itself. The professor's wife was
walking beside a wheel-chair, which was being propelled by a nurse in
cap and apron, and in which was seated— propped up by pillows—a
young girl who appeared to be about seven or eight years of age,
although her serious, pain-lined face and thoughtful eyes seemed, by
right, to belong to an older person.
Miss Reynolds paused on meeting this trio and introduced Katherine
to Mrs. Seabrook, who greeted her with a sweet cordiality that at
once won the girl's heart.
"I heard that we had a new student among us," she said, as she
warmly clasped Katherine's hand, "and I hope you are going to be very
happy with us, Miss Minturn."
"Thank you; not 'going to be'—I already am happy here," she
cheerily and truthfully replied, for she had become deeply interested
in her work, and, as she dearly loved to study, she was content to
leave her social relations to be governed by the love she was "trying
"This is my daughter," Mrs. Seabrook continued, as she turned a
fond look upon the pale, pinched face among the pillows. "Dorothy,
this is the young lady whom you have been wishing to see."
Katherine bent down, took the small mittened hand that was
extended to her and smiled into the grave, searching eyes that were
earnestly studying her face.
"And I also have been wishing to see Dorothy," she said, with a
note of tenderness in her tone that caused the slender fingers inside
the mitten to close more firmly over her own. "I am very fond of
"I should not be so 'little' if I were well," Dorothy returned,
with a faint sigh. Then, glancing up at her attendant, she added:
"This is my nurse, Alice, and she has to wheel me about because I
Katherine bestowed a friendly look and nod upon Alice; then a
great wave of compassion for the little cripple swept over her heart
and softened her earnest brown eyes as she turned back to her and
remarked, in a cheery tone:
"You have a lovely chair. These rubber tires must cause it to roll
very smoothly and make it easy for Alice to wheel you about."
"Yes, I like my chair very much—my Uncle Phillip brought it to me
from Germany—and Alice is very nice about taking me everywhere I
want to go; but it would be so much nicer if I could walk and run
about like other girls," and Dorothy's yearning tone smote painfully
upon every listening ear.
"It certainly would, dear," Katherine returned, giving the small
hand that still clung to hers a loving pressure, adding, softly: "And
sometime you will, I hope."
The child's face glowed at the term of endearment; but her pale
lips quivered slightly at the hopeful assurance.
"Oh! no," she said, shaking her head slowly; "I have a double
curvature of the spine, and all the doctors say I never can. I—I-
-think I could bear that—not being able to walk—but the dreadful
pain sometimes makes me wish I wasn't here at all."
Katherine did not make any reply to this pathetic information. For
a moment or two she seemed to be oblivious to everything, even to the
presence of her companions, and stood looking off towards the western
sky, as if communing with some unseen presence there.
Then, suddenly arousing herself, she detached a beautiful pink
rosebud from the lapel of her jacket, saying, brightly: "Do you love
flowers, Dorothy? will you let me fasten this on your coat? It is
fresh from the greenhouse and will last some time yet. There—see!" as
she deftly pinned it in place. "What a pretty contrast it makes
against the dark-blue cloth."
"It is lovely," said the girl, bending forward to inhale its
perfume. "How perfect it is! Do you ever wonder, Miss Minturn, why
God makes the flowers and things that grow so perfect and beautiful,
and people—so many of them—imperfect and ugly?"
"My dear," Mrs. Seabrook here smilingly interposed, though a
quickly repressed sigh arose to her lips, "I hope you are not going
to involve Miss Minturn in a metaphysical discussion during this first
meeting! Dorothy has acquired a habit of philosophizing and asking
profound questions that are not always easily answered," she explained
"Surely, dear, you do not think that God ever made anyone, or
anything, imperfect or ugly?" Katherine gently inquired.
The child hesitated a moment, as if pondering the question.
"Well," she presently asserted, with a positive intonation and nod
of her head, "there are a lot of deformed, sick and ugly people in
the world, and the Bible tells us that He made everything."
"The Bible tells us, in Genesis, that 'everything that God made
was good'; and, in Psalms, that 'all His ways are perfect,'" quoted
"Yes, I know it; that was in the beginning, though," said Dorothy;
"but if He could make things perfect in the first place I don't see
why He didn't keep them so if He is God."
"Come, come, dearie; I think we must go on now—we are keeping
Miss Reynolds and Miss Minturn from their walk," Mrs. Seabrook again
interposed, with a note of gentle reproof in her tone, as she stooped
to tuck the robe more closely around the girl.
A sunny smile, like a burst of sunshine from under a cloud,
suddenly broke over Dorothy's face, at once dispelling its unnatural
gravity and perplexity.
"I didn't think how naughty that was going to sound, mamma dear,"
she said, as, with a deprecating air, she softly patted her mother's
hand. "I'm afraid Miss Minturn will think I am not very good; but,
truly, things do seem awfully mixed up sometimes when I get to
thinking this way. I like you very, very much, though," she added,
nodding brightly at her new acquaintance. "I wish you would come to
see me in mamma's apartments when you are not too busy."
"I shall be very glad to—if I may," Katherine replied, with an
inquiring glance at Mrs. Seabrook.
"Yes, do come, Miss Minturn, whenever you can find time; we are
very glad to have the young ladies visit Dorothy, who has many lonely
hours. Now come, Alice," and, with a parting smile and bow, she
signaled the nurse to move on.
"Good-by, Miss Minturn, and thank you for my lovely rose," cried
the child, looking back over her shoulder and waving her small hand
"Poor child," sighed Miss Reynolds, as she and Katherine passed
out of the grounds to the highway, "she has a continual struggle to
live, yet she is a remarkable girl, in spite of her many infirmities,
with a mind bright and keen far beyond her years."
"How old is she?"
"Thirteen, a month or two ago."
"Is it possible? She does not look to be over seven or eight,
although, mentally, she seems more mature."
"That is true. She had a bad fall when she was six years old, and
her body has never grown any since the accident," Miss Reynolds
explained. "She suffers a great deal—sometimes the pain is almost
unbearable; but, as a rule, she is very lovable and patient, though,
now and then, a remark like what she made to you just now, shows that
she thinks deeply and is perplexed—like some children of larger
growth—over the knotty problems of life," she concluded, with a sigh.
"How is it, Miss Minturn," she went on, after a moment of silence,
"how do you Scientists account for the fact that a perfect and
all-merciful God—'the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort,' as
Paul puts it—has created a world of such confusion, wherein evil and
suffering, instead of peace and harmony, are the predominant
elements?—where, for ages, sickness and death have relentlessly mown
down generation after generation, until one becomes heart-sick and
weary, and even filled with despair, at times, in view of their
probable continuance for ages to come?"
The woman's face was flushed, her eyes somber, and there was a
note of passionate protest in her voice which moved Katherine deeply;
while what she had said proved to her that these problems had been
pondered o'er and o'er until her mind was almost in a state of chaos
While she was debating with herself what reply she could make that
would best meet her thought, her companion resumed:
"I am a dear lover of children, but when I see anyone like
Dorothy; when I see mothers grieving for their darlings, whom God
gave them for a little while, then ruthlessly snatched from their
embrace for no apparent reason, I feel sure that something is very
wrong; and, of late years, my heart is filled with indignant protest
whenever I hear of the birth of a dear little innocent. 'Oh!' I cry
within myself, 'it is born only to repeat the struggle with sin,
suffering and death.' Of what use is its life? of what use the advent
of future generations if there is no way to rise above, or conquer,
such adverse conditions? Is God good—if there is a God—to create
only to destroy? to arbitrarily force these little innocents into the
world to fight the unequal battle with evil? Millions have faced it
bravely—nobly, trusting God's promises, but they have never succeeded
in removing one iota of the curse, 'Thou shalt surely die.' The whole
problem of life is a mystery which I am tired of trying to solve," and
Katherine was sure the woman stifled a sob as she concluded.
"Surely, dear Miss Reynolds, you do not doubt the existence of
God?" she gently inquired.
"No, child; don't think me quite an atheist," said her teacher,
with a deprecatory smile and gesture. "Life, nature, the universe,
with their teeming and ever-unfolding wonders tell me that there is a
Force—a controlling power and intelligence behind them. We call that
force 'God.' We say that God is omnipotent, all wise and good; and
certainly, in the government of the universe, everything points that
way, everything is exact and perfect. But how to reconcile God as
good, merciful, loving, with the creation and manifestation of evil as
we find it on this planet? Ah! that is beyond me."
"Can evil come out of good?" briefly queried Katherine.
Miss Reynolds started slightly.
"No," she returned, positively; "no more than a lie can spring out
of truth; those are self-evident facts."
"Then dare we say that God—which is but another term for good,
Supreme Good—created evil?"
"Oh, do you believe in the serpent or devil? I know he comes
forward from some mysterious source in the narrative and is held
responsible. Then naturally follows the question, 'Who created his
satanic majesty?' Well, who did? If God created everything, and evil
cannot come out of good, where did evil come from? What a paradox it
seems!" she went on, without waiting for a reply. "Yet evil does exist
in the world—look at Dorothy! Think of the sin, misery and crime all
about us! Where did they come from? There are some who contend that
God did not create evil, but permits it for some wise purpose; but
that, to me, seems like a weak attempt to clear the Almighty from the
terrible responsibility of having made sin and its deadly results
without detracting from His omnipotence."
"If a person tells you a lie, where does it come from?" Katherine
"From his own evil desire to deceive, of course."
"Exactly; it was an invention of his own evil thought, prompted by
some selfish motive. You can say the same of theft, murder—in fact
of all crime. But God—Good—is not the author of the lie, or crime,
neither does He 'permit them for some wise purpose,' as you have
quoted, any more than a just and loving human father would teach, or
permit, his son to become a criminal, claiming that he needed such
discipline to fit him for future happiness; or, any more than you, a
teacher, would put demoralizing literature into the hands of a student
as a method of discipline for higher education."
"How perfectly absurd that sounds! And yet it is parallel to the
doctrine that has been taught for ages," said Miss Reynolds,
thoughtfully. "But I do not see how you can apply the same logic to
disease and suffering."
"The Scriptures tell us that sin brought death.' Sickness and
disease are the seeds of death; then they are the results of sin-
evil. God not being the author of sin and disease, they, like the
lie, can only originate in the evil thought or mind of the sinner,"
"Then you believe that we mortals are alone responsible for all
the suffering and evil there is in the world?"
"Yes; evil is a mortal concept."
"Then how does God—-What is God, from your standpoint, Kath—may
I call you Katherine?" and Miss Reynolds laid a caressing hand upon
the girl's arm as she made this request.
"Do—I should so like to have you," she replied, turning to her
with a luminous smile. "Now for your question. God is Spirit, and
'What the Scriptures declare Him to be—Life, Truth and Love,'"
[Footnote: "'Science and Health," page 330.] she added, quoting from
"You say Spirit, instead of 'a spirit.' Now what is this Spirit?"
"Infinite Mind, Intelligence, Omnipotent Good."
"Ah!" Miss Reynolds began, then paused abruptly. "But
intelligence, life, truth, love are characteristics, attributes which
anyone may possess and cultivate."
"Yes, considered in that sense they are attributes. But whence
came they?" Katherine demanded, with glowing eyes. "The source of
life must be Life itself, must it not? The same must also be true of
truth and love. So Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Intelligence constitute,
in Science, the Divine Principle, or God, the controlling and
governing power of the universe and man."
"Divine Principle! Mind! Intelligence! Life! Truth! Love! God!"
repeated Miss Reynolds, and dwelling thoughtfully upon each word.
Then, turning a wondering look upon her companion, she exclaimed,
"Why, Katherine, if that is true I can understand how God can be
omnipresent! That is a doctrine of my church, that has been a
tantalizing mystery to me all my life. My dear girl," she went on in
an eager tone, "I begin to see a ray of light—I must think more about
it, though. I have always thought of Deity as a 'personal God,' and,
yes"—smiling—"I used to believe in a personal devil, too; with a
very vague conception that although the latter had always managed to
keep the preponderance of power in his hands, God would, in some
miraculous manner, win the battle in the end. But, even now"—with a
look of perplexity—"I do not grasp where or how, according to your
logic, God comes in as supreme, infinite, so long as evil exists."
"Let us go back to the lie for an illustration," said Katherine.
"You said that it originated in the person's own evil thought and
desire to deceive. Well, what happens when you turn the light of
truth upon a lie?"
"Why, it disappears—vanishes; you learn the fact and are no
longer affected by, or conscious of, the falsehood."
"Then truth has destroyed, annihilated it; it has become nothing
to you. As long as you believe a lie you are its victim and suffer
from it; but once learn the truth you are free from that illusion and
its power over you is gone. Now, you would not say that truth created
the lie, permitted it, or was in any way responsible for it, or your
suffering on account of it?"
"N-o; so God, being good—infinite good—knows nothing of evil in
any form. Is that your point, Katherine?"
"Yes; so it follows He could neither create nor permit what He
knows nothing about."
"Why!" exclaimed Miss Reynolds, turning a glowing face to the
girl, "those same arguments must hold good for everything! Then
sickness and suffering must be the outcome of wrong thought on the
part of mortals! What unlimited possibilities that suggests! Divine
Principle! I begin to understand why you call yourselves
'Scientists'—you think and live in accord with this infinite,
absolute Principle—you demonstrate it, as—as I demonstrate
"Yes," said Katherine, smiling; "so you see that Christian Science
is, as some one has aptly said, 'the Science of sciences.'"
"That is a very sweeping assertion," responded her teacher in a
somewhat doubtful tone. "I'll have to ruminate on that. However, this
little glimpse of a better way than I have hitherto known, seems like
an olive leaf of hope and promise to me, for I have been tossing on a
restless sea of doubt and skepticism for years, reaching out and
groping after some substantial plank that would float me into a haven
of peace and rest. But how is it that you, so young, argue so clearly
and logically about these things that have puzzled older and wiser
heads for ages?"
"I have never known anything else," said Katherine, simply. "When
I was a very little child my mother was healed of a disease which
several physicians had pronounced incurable. She at once became an
earnest student of Christian Science, and, later, a successful
practitioner; consequently its principles, as far as I have gone, are
as clear to me as those that govern your own dear mathematics are to
you. But"—a blank look suddenly sweeping over her face—"I am afraid
I have been guilty of rank disobedience in discussing these problems
"How so?" asked her teacher, in surprise.
"Prof. Seabrook has strictly forbidden me to talk of Christian
Science while I am a student at Hilton."
"Of course, he meant that you must not talk it to the other
students," said Miss Reynolds, "and it would be unwise, for,
doubtless, the parents of many, if not of all, would object. But I,
as your teacher, feel at liberty to ask you whatever questions I
choose, and you are perfectly justified in answering them."
"Ye-s, I believe you are right on that point," Katherine
thoughtfully returned. "But I would not willfully disobey the
professor in any way. I owe him perfect loyalty as long as I am a
pupil in his school, and I mean to yield it to him."
"That is right," her companion affirmed; "but you do not need to
condemn yourself for what has occurred this afternoon, for, at my
age, I am capable of judging for myself upon all moral and religious
questions, and I think you may feel at liberty to give me any
information that I may seek from you. I have not done with you,
either," she added, with a significant smile, "for you have given me
to-day a glimpse of something which I believe will change the universe
for me. Ah! whom have we here?"
She checked herself suddenly as a gentleman came into view around
a curve in the road, a short distance ahead of them.
CHAPTER IV. PHILLIP HARRIS STANLEY,
Katherine glanced up as her companion called her attention to the
approaching figure, and saw a finely formed man, tall, straight and
stalwart, and, apparently, about thirty-five years of age. He
possessed an attractive, though thoughtful, face, and bore himself
with an air of refinement and self-possession that at once proclaimed
him the cultured gentleman.
A delicate pink instantly suffused the girl's face, and there was
a peculiar thrill in her voice as she exclaimed, in great surprise:
"Why! that is Dr. Stanley! Mamma and I became acquainted with him
on board the Ivernia when we returned from abroad, two months ago."
"So you already know Phillip Harris Stanley!" Miss Reynolds
observed, and surprised in turn. "He is Mrs. Seabrook's brother— the
'Uncle Phillip' of whom Dorothy spoke. He has been in Germany during
the last two years, studying in various hospitals, but has now again
opened his office in this city. Dorothy is under his care, and he is
therefore a frequent visitor at the seminary."
By this time the gentleman had come within speaking distance of
the ladies, whom he instantly recognized, his fine eyes lighting with
pleasure as they fell upon Katherine. He courteously lifted his hat.
"Good-afternoon, Miss Reynolds," he said, with a genial smile, as
he extended his hand in greeting. "And, Miss Minturn, this is
certainly an unexpected pleasure! I suppose, however," he continued,
with a mirthful quiver of his lips, "it would not be at all proper to
ask if you are well, even if your blooming appearance did not speak
for you and preclude the necessity of such an inquiry. But to what
happy circumstance do we owe the pleasure of your advent here?"
"I am a student at Hilton Seminary," Katherine replied, as she
frankly gave him her hand, her color deepening as she did so. "I
played truant from school for several months, as you know, and am now
trying to bridge the chasm."
"And your delightful mother, Miss Minturn? I trust she is also we-
—Ah! excuse me—enjoying life?"
"Ah! Dr. Stanley, I see you have not forgotten how to exercise
your propensity for teasing," Katherine retorted, with a light laugh.
"My mother is both well and happy, thank you, and will be pleased to
know that I have met you again."
The physician bowed his acknowledgment as he remarked:
"Pray give my kind regards to Mrs. Minturn when you make up your
next budget of news for her. As for my propensity to tease"—with a
roguish smile—"I had no resource except to exercise it upon the
daughter. Since the mother would not be teased and could never be
defeated in an argument, I had to retaliate in some way. But what
class have you entered, Miss Minturn?"
"I am a junior, Dr. Stanley."
"Ah! then we shall keep you at Hilton for some time," and there
was a ring of satisfaction in the gentleman's tones which did not
escape the ear of the observant teacher. "Are you aware, Miss
Reynolds," he said, turning to her and resuming his bantering tone,
"what a revolutionary spirit our institution has taken to her bosom in
admitting Miss Minturn?"
"We have found her a very peaceable individual: thus far; she
certainly does not have the appearance of being a discordant
element," the lady returned, as she bestowed an affectionate glance
upon her companion.
But the girl's face had grown suddenly grave, and she now lifted a
pair of very serious eyes to the physician.
"Yes, Dr. Stanley," she observed, "Miss Reynolds knows that I am a
Christian Scientist; but Prof. Seabrook has forbidden me to make my
religious views prominent in the school."
"I understand. Yes, I know that my brother-in-law is not at all in
sympathy with the movement," said Phillip Stanley; and at once
dropping his banter, he added, apologetically: "I fear that I was
thoughtless in referring to the subject in the way I did, and I will
not annoy you again by alluding to it in the presence of a third
"I am not 'annoyed,' I assure you," Katherine replied, flushing
again under his regretful glance. "Miss Reynolds, being a teacher,
does not come under the ban; but I desire to respect Prof. Seabrook's
wishes under all circumstances."
"All honor to so loyal a student, and I will henceforth govern
myself accordingly," smilingly returned the gentleman, as he again
doffed his hat to her. "But I must move on. I have to make my visit
to Dorothy and get back to the city for another appointment within an
hour. I am very glad to have met you, ladies," and, with a parting
bow, the handsome doctor went his way, leaving Katherine and her
teacher to continue their ramble.
"How strange that you should know Dr. Stanley!" Miss Reynolds
observed. "He is the youngest member of Mrs. Seabrook's family, and a
fine fellow—a very talented man, in fact. He had begun to distinguish
himself in his profession before he went abroad, and now, even though
he has been home only a couple of months, he has an extensive
practice. But I suppose this does not interest you, as you have no use
for doctors," she concluded, archly.
"Indeed, it does interest me," said Katherine, earnestly, "and I
hope you do not think that Scientists hold physicians in contempt. We
all know that there are many noble men among them, who are devoted to
their profession and are most conscientious in the practice of
"But I suppose you would not employ one under any circumstances?"
"No; I could not."
"You have such faith in your mother's healing power, you would
trust her before the most noted practitioner of materia medica?"
"I have such faith in God's healing power that I would trust Him,
and Him only," Katherine corrected, gently.
"Do you never take medicine of any kind?"
"No; I have never used a drop or a grain—nor material remedies of
any description—since I was three years of age."
"Perhaps you have never been ill enough to need them?"
"Yes, I have needed help at times; but it has always come through
the understanding of Christian Science."
"Well, it is all a sealed book to me," sighed Miss Reynolds, with
a look of perplexity. Then she inquired: "How did Dr. Stanley learn
that you and your mother are Scientists?"
"There is a little story connected with that revelation and our
acquaintance with him," said Katherine. "There was a dear little girl
on board the Ivernia who became violently seasick the day we sailed
for home. The ship's surgeon was appealed to, but he could do
absolutely nothing for her; she grew worse every hour for three days,
when she seemed to be sinking rapidly. The surgeon called a
consultation with Dr. Stanley and another physician from
Philadelphia; but every remedy which their united learning prescribed
failed, utterly, to afford any relief. The parents were in despair and
a gloom settled over the whole ship, for it was reported that the
little one would not live to land unless the nausea could be
conquered. Then mamma sought the parents, told them she was a
Christian Scientist, and, with their consent, would try to help the
child. The mother was eager to try it, but the father sneered openly.
He had 'no faith in any such mummery,' he said, yet he finally yielded
to his wife's almost frantic appeals and gave his consent. The dear
little thing was relieved almost immediately, and at the end of two
hours, after eating a wholesome meal, was wrapped in a blanket and
carried on deck, weak and white as a snowflake, it is true, but
entirely free from the dreadful nausea, and smiling happily as she lay
in her father's arms and breathed in the fresh, pure air. The next day
she was dressed and playing about the deck with other children."
"Well, that was a signal triumph over materia medica, wasn't it?
How did the doctors bear it?" queried Miss Reynolds, who had been
deeply interested in the story.
"The ship's surgeon and Dr. Fletcher, of Philadelphia, gave mamma
a very wide berth; but Dr. Stanley appeared to be really interested
and anxious to learn the secret of the sudden cure. He found it very
difficult, however, to accept some of our views, and it was too funny
for anything to hear him, day after day, trying to corner mamma upon
numberless points on which he had spent years of study," and Katherine
laughed out merrily over some of the memories which her account had
"That was what he meant, perhaps, when he said 'Mrs. Minturn would
not be teased and could not be defeated in an argument'?"
"Yes; he was very good-natured over it, though, gallantly bearing
his defeat, never manifesting the slightest irritation, and was
always most courteous. He is very cultured, and, having traveled
extensively, we found much to admire and a very delightful compagnon
de voyage in him."
Miss Reynolds shot a keen look at the girl's animated face.
"Yes," she observed to herself, "and if I am not very much
mistaken, our 'cultured gentleman' heartily reciprocates that last
statement." Then she remarked to Katherine: "He is really a noble
fellow and bound to make his mark in the world. It is a great pity,
though, that he should be so handicapped in his career."
"Why, what do you mean?" exclaimed the girl, in astonishment.
"Oh! do you not know that he is partially blind?"
"No, indeed! Why, he has beautiful eyes!" said Katherine,
"Yes, dear, I know he has, and there are very few who even suspect
his misfortune, but it is true, nevertheless. When he was a boy of
nine," Miss Reynolds went on to explain, "his father was showing him,
one Fourth of July, how to manage some cannon crackers. By some
fatality, the first and only one fired hit a post, glanced off and
struck the child in the eye. When he recovered somewhat from the
fright and pain caused by the accident, no wound could be found,
although there was some discoloration from the bruise; but he said he
could not see with the injured eye. The best oculists were consulted,
and all agreed in their verdict: 'There was a partial dislocation of
the optic nerve, and his sight would never again be normal; it might
possibly improve with the lapse of time, but the injury was
permanent;' and so it has proved. He can detect light from darkness
with that eye, but that is all."
Katherine made no reply when this account was concluded, but there
came into her face a look which, her teacher was beginning to
observe, always appeared whenever mention was made of sickness or
trouble of any kind; it was a far-away expression, as if her thoughts
had been lifted above and beyond the world and worldly things.
It was only for a moment, however; she presently awoke to her
surroundings, and calling attention to the view before them thus
changed the subject, which was not referred to again.
Meantime, Dr. Stanley walked briskly towards the seminary, but
with a. very thoughtful face and mien, as if he were pondering some
"It would be regarded as the height of absurdity," he muttered to
himself. "But I wonder—I really would like to put it to the test."
Then suddenly straightening himself with a resolute air, he
quickened his pace and was soon inside the school grounds, reaching
the building just in season to assist Mrs. Seabrook and the nurse in
getting Dorothy inside.
"Oh! Uncle Phillip!" joyously exclaimed the girl, as soon as she
espied him, for she dearly loved this gentle man, who was always as
tender as a woman in his treatment of her, and spared no pains to
contribute to her comfort and happiness. "I was afraid you would not
"I know I am late, Dorrie, but I was detained at the office by a
new patient, and now I have another coming in an hour," he said, as
he bent to touch her forehead with his lips.
"Oh then you can't stay to finish that pretty German story!" cried
the child, in a tone of disappointment.
"Not to-day, dearie; but I will come to-morrow, to let mamma and
papa go to church together, and we will have a fine time by
Patient Dorothy expressed herself as perfectly satisfied with this
arrangement, and was soon laughing merrily over some amusing
incidents, of which this good comrade of hers appeared to have an
These visits from her "jolly M.D. uncle," as she sometimes called
him, were like oases in a desert to the suffering child, for he
invariably made her forget herself, and always left her bright and
happy with something pleasant to think about and talk over with her
mother or nurse.
He rolled her to her room, where, after a few minutes' chat, he
made a brief examination of her condition, with some slight change in
her medicines, then left her and sought Prof. Seabrook in his study,
for it was his custom to report to him after each visit.
"Well?" he questioned, eagerly, as the physician entered the room,
for the child was "the apple of his eye," and he watched her every
symptom most jealously.
"I think Dorrie is holding her own pretty well."
"Oh! Phillip, that is the same old story that Dr. Abbot used to
tell me before you came home and took the case," Prof. Seabrook
exclaimed, in a disheartened tone.
"I know, Will; it must grow monotonous to you," said his brother-
in-law, as he laid a sympathetic hand on his companion's arm. "But,
truly, there is nothing else to tell you; you instructed me to give
you 'facts with no evasions,' and honor compels me to obey you."
"True; and I know you will bring all your skill, all your
experience to bear upon the case," said the yearning father, with a
note of pathetic appeal in his voice that touched his listener deeply.
"Most assuredly," earnestly returned the physician; but an
involuntary, though quickly repressed, sigh escaped him as he said
Prof. Seabrook's keen ear detected it and a spasm of fear clutched
his heart. But he would not voice it; he shrank from having it
"There is one thing more which could be done, which might,
perhaps, result in giving Dorrie relief from the troublesome pain,"
said Dr. Stanley, after a moment of thought, adding: "I have been
waiting for her to get stronger before suggesting it."
"What is it?" briefly inquired his companion.
The young man explained the operation, and the father shivered
"That means great suffering—at least for a time," he said, with
"Yes," and Phillip Stanley's eyes grew very pitiful as they met
the almost hopeless ones opposite him.
"I cannot bear it!" cried his brother-in-law, passionately.
There followed a somber silence of several minutes, during which
each heart struggled in secret rebellion under the galling burden
imposed upon it.
"There is an alternative which we might try before attempting such
radical treatment," Dr. Stanley at length remarked, with some
hesitation. "It—at least it could do no harm, if—if you are willing
"Anything—anything that will spare my child to me and save her
suffering," burst impetuously from William Seabrook's lips.
"You have heard of—Christian Science?"
"What!" demanded the astonished principal of Hilton Seminary,
sitting suddenly erect and bending a look of scorn upon his
companion. "You suggest such an absurd alternative as that to me, and
for such a case as this!"
"I know it sounds absurd; but, as I said before, it could at least
do no harm."
"The suggestion is ridiculous; I have no patience with it," was
the sharp retort.
"Well, it may seem ridiculous to you, but if it can cure one
disease I do not know why it could not others," the physician mildly
rejoined; and then he proceeded to relate the story which Katherine
had told her teacher that same hour, but without mentioning any names.
"Nonsense! It was simply hypnotism, mesmerism," said the elder man
when he concluded.
"No, it did not work at all like hypnotism," was the positive
reply. "However, if you are opposed to trying it, there is nothing
more to be said."
"I am opposed to it, most decidedly," said the professor, almost
harshly, and his brother wondered at his unusual mood. "I believe the
whole thing—root, branch and practice—to be an invention of Satan
himself, and I would not give it countenance under any circumstances."
"Not even to save your nearest and dearest?" queried Phillip
Stanley, and wholly unable to account for the excitement and
irritability of his usually dignified and high-bred relative.
The professor deigned no reply, but the obstinate frown upon his
brow and the stern compression of his lips were sufficient warning
that it would be useless to pursue the subject.
"Well, it was only a suggestion, Will," the younger man said, in a
friendly tone. "Of course, I have no real faith in the efficacy of
the method myself; only, as I shrink from the operation on a delicate
girl like Dorrie, it occurred to me that we might at least give
Christian Science a trial. But I must be off to meet another
appointment. I will be up again to-morrow morning to stay with Dorothy
while you and Emilie go to church."
He held out his hand, which his brother-in-law grasped and wrung.
"You are a faithful friend, Phil. Don't think for a moment that I
do not appreciate you; but I believe I've been out of sorts for
several days," said the professor, with a deprecatory smile.
"It's all right, old boy; good-by," was the cheery response, as
the young man went out, softly closing the door after him, but with a
weary look in his eyes which the other did not see.
CHAPTER V. KATHERINE'S FIRST SABBATH
Katherine's first Sabbath at Hilton Seminary dawned a perfect
winter morning, and, starting forth in good season, she sought the
little hall on Grove Street, where the few Scientists of the city met
each week to enjoy the service which has become so dear to the heart
of every student of God's word, as spiritually interpreted according
to Christian Science.
She had carefully studied the lesson during the week, and was
therefore prepared to enjoy to the utmost each section as its point
was clearly brought out by the readers, to teach and bless; and so,
when she again turned her steps homeward, she felt calmed, refreshed
and strengthened for the duties that lay before her.
As she was about to enter the building she encountered Prof. and
Mrs. Seabrook, who also had just returned from church.
The former glanced askance at her books, lifted his hat to her
with frigid politeness, and passed on to his study.
Mrs. Seabrook, however, paused and greeted her most cordially,
whereupon Katherine inquired for Dorothy.
"She was not quite as well this morning," replied the mother, an
expression of care and weariness flitting over her sweet face. "My
brother, Dr. Stanley, has been with her while we were at church, and
I hope to find her better, for he always does her good. Dorothy was
greatly attracted to you yesterday, Miss Minturn," she added, smiling,
"and I hope you will find time to drop in to see her now and then."
"Indeed I will; it will be a pleasure to me, for I love children,"
Katherine replied, cordially, and much gratified to have yesterday's
invitation repeated, while there was a feeling of deep tenderness in
her heart for the long-suffering woman as she passed on to her room.
After dinner she looked over the Bible lesson for the afternoon.
She was dreading this ordeal somewhat, for she well knew how widely
different is the old theological exposition of the first chapter of
Genesis from its spiritual interpretation, as she had been taught it
according to Christian Science, But she tried to feel that, if she was
called upon to express an opinion, she would be led to speak wisely
and yet be obedient to Prof. Seabrook's command not to "flaunt her
views before the school."
She hoped that he would ignore her altogether, and thus avoid an
awkward situation for them both.
When the class convened she was surprised to find Dorothy seated
in her chair beside her father, and learned afterward that the girl
was often present during the lessons, always giving the closest
attention to what was said, even asking questions occasionally that
puzzled wiser heads than hers.
As was his custom, Prof. Seabrook opened the exercises with
prayer, followed by a familiar hymn. Then he gave a short talk upon
the first chapter of Genesis, as a whole, preliminary to a more
general discussion of it.
He showed himself to have been a critical student of the Bible,
and his remarks were extremely interesting along the line of his own
views. His rhetoric was flawless, his figures apt and beautiful, his
points well made, and he held the undivided attention of everyone to
"I have given you this talk upon creation as a whole," he
remarked, in conclusion, "because the subject is too intricate and
vast to be discussed in detail—that would require much study and
many sittings—and we will spend the remainder of the hour upon two
questions: What is God? What is man and his relation to God? Miss
Walton, will you tell us what God is, from your point of view?"
Miss Walton instantly became confused. She had no clear ideas
about God, and after nervously turning the leaves of her Bible for a
moment and blushing furiously, finally said so. The principal called
upon several others, with a similar result. Everyone loved to listen
to him, for his graceful diction was like music in their ears, but
when called upon to express their own opinions they were all, with a
few exceptions, literally tongue-tied. Two or three of the more
thoughtful ones made an attempt to define Deity, but their
definitions, for the most part, were the hackneyed ones of old
The professor began to look rather weary, especially as he
detected, here and there, a yawn behind an uplifted book. All at once
a peculiar gleam leaped into his eyes.
"Miss Minturn, what is your conception of God?" he inquired,
turning abruptly to her.
The question came almost as an electric shock to Katherine and
brought the quick color to her cheeks.
But she quelled this sense of disquiet instantly.
"God is Spirit," she quietly replied.
"You mean that God is a spirit," quickly corrected the professor.
"That definition has already been given several times; but I am
trying to ascertain your own conception of Deity. Why did you omit
Katherine lifted her earnest brown eyes to him, and in them he
read an expression of mingled surprise and appeal, and he knew, as
well as if she had voiced her thought, that she remembered he had
forbidden her to express her peculiar views and wished to obey him to
But having put the question, he intended to have an answer of some
kind, while he also experienced some curiosity as to whether she
could give a comprehensive explanation of the term she had used.
"If you purposely omitted the article," he resumed, as she was not
quick to reply, "you must have had a reason for so doing; and,"—
with a more courteous inflection—"as there is supposed to be perfect
freedom in the class, both in asking questions and expressing
opinions, we would like you to explain your position."
"The term 'a spirit' implies one of a kind, or, one of many, does
it not? But I understand God to be Infinite Spirit," Katherine
replied, with quiet self-possession.
"Well, what do you mean by 'infinite spirit?' Define 'spirit,' if
Katherine was amazed that he should thus pursue the subject. She
wondered if he could be utterly ignorant of the scientific definition
of God. She had supposed that he must have read something on the
subject of Christian Science, or he would not have been so bitterly
opposed to it, or, was he only trying to drive her into a corner?
However, she saw there was no escape but to follow his lead. He
had now given her license to speak, and she felt that she had no
right to neglect her opportunity.
"Spirit is Mind, Intelligence, Life," she said, using some of the
terms she had employed in talking with Miss Reynolds the previous
day, and which she thought would be readily understood by the class.
"Why, Prof. Seabrook," here interposed one of the seniors, her
face aglow, her eyes alight, "I like that definition of God. I never
heard it before, but it appeals to me."
The gentleman flushed slightly and acknowledged the observation
with a grave bow, then inquired of Katherine: "And are you satisfied
with that concept of God, Miss Minturn?"
"Don't you think it rather a vague, visionary idea of the
Almighty?" queried the gentleman, with a scornful dilation of his
thin nostrils. "Do you associate no thought of individuality or
personality with Him?"
"Do you mean as human beings are personal and individual?"
Katherine respectfully inquired.
"Well, I must at least have something more tangible than an
unknown quantity for my God," he replied, evasively, as he hurriedly
began to turn the leaves of his Bible in search of a text. "He is
spoken of as a king, ruler, judge, and so forth, and those terms
certainly convey the idea of personality."
"But can you limit or outline Deity, sir? Would not that destroy
the omnipresence of God?"
Again the man changed color a trifle, while, as he continued to
search the pages of his Bible, he became conscious of a sudden inward
The question had started a new train of thought. Certainly,
infinity, omnipresence, could neither be limited nor outlined; those
were self-evident facts.
There was no yawning in the class now. The attention of everyone
was riveted upon the speakers, while Dorothy leaned forward in her
chair, her earnest eyes glancing from one face to the other, her
eager ears drinking in their every word.
"But what do you say to this passage from Hebrews, Miss Minturn,
where Paul, speaking of Christ, calls Him the express image of
His—God's—person?" [Footnote: Hebrews, 1-3.] demanded the
professor—having found the text he was looking for—with a note of
triumph in his tone which indicated that he had now propounded an
"I have been told that the Greek word, which has been translated
'person' in the text you have read, really means character, and it is
so rendered in my Bible, which is the revised version," Katherine
replied, as she opened her book and found the passage.
Now Prof. Seabrook, although he prided himself upon being strictly
up to date in everything pertaining to his profession, had neglected
to provide himself with the revised version of the New Testament.
However, now that his attention was called to the fact, he remembered
having heard this text and its change discussed among brother
professors, but it had for the moment escaped his memory.
Yet he was equal to the occasion, and no one would have suspected
from his manner that he was deeply chagrined to find this young girl
so well versed in the Scriptures and able to so logically sustain her
position upon every point.
"Ah!" he observed, after a moment of thought, and in his blandest
tone, "I have a Greek Testament in my study and will look up the word
later. I find we cannot take up the other question to-day, as our time
has expired, and"—closing his books—"we will leave it for another
lesson. The class is dismissed."
He arose as he concluded, and the young ladies filed quietly out
of the room; but, once beyond hearing, they gathered in groups to
talk over the interesting discussion that had been so suddenly cut
Katherine paused beside Dorothy's chair on her way out, and made
some pleasant reference to their meeting of the previous day, and
then would have passed on, but the girl threw out her hand and caught
hers, thus detaining her.
"You must have studied the Bible a great deal, Miss Minturn, to
get such lovely thoughts about God," she said, in an eager tone.
Katherine flushed, for she knew Prof. Seabrook was listening, and
felt that she had already said enough regarding her views.
"Yes, I am very fond of studying the Bible," she simply returned.
"Papa," continued Dorothy, turning to him, "how could you say that
Miss Minturn's idea of God is vague and visionary?"
"It certainly seems so to me, dear," her father briefly returned.
"Well, it doesn't to me," was the positive rejoinder; "not half
so—so queer as to think of Him as a man, or three men all mixed up
together in one, and able to be everywhere at once," and there was a
look of thoughtfulness in the girl's large, blue eyes which betrayed a
mind on the alert.
"I think we will not talk any more about that now," said her
father. "You must be tired from sitting here so long, and ought to
"You know I never get tired in the Sunday class, papa," cried
Dorothy, and still clinging to Katherine, who had tried to release
her hand, for she was anxious to escape further argument. "And," she
added, "I want to ask Miss Minturn another question."
"I think I will have to run away, dear," Katherine interposed,
"for it is almost tea time, you know."
"Please—please! haven't you time to tell me just one thing more?"
"Yes, I have time for that, but—" and she lifted a doubtful look
to her principal.
"Papa, may I ask her?" pleaded the girl, intuitively realizing
that her new friend feared his disapproval.
The man never refused his child anything in reason, and he could
not now, although he felt secretly antagonistic, and his look was
almost stern as he responded:
"Very well, dear, if Miss Minturn will kindly have patience with
"Well, then," and Dorothy eagerly turned again to Katherine, "if
God is Mind, Intelligence and Life, as you said, how can man be His
image and likeness?"
For a moment Katherine was dismayed, in view of the depths
involved in this query, and at a loss how to reply in a way to
clearly convey the truth to this inquiring mind, while a slightly
ironical smile curved the lips of the learned professor, as he said
"This is a poser for the young woman."
"You do not think the account of the creation of man as God's
image and likeness refers to this imperfect mortal or physical body,
do you, Dorothy?" she inquired, after a moment of thought.
"Why, yes; I've always supposed it did. I've thought that perhaps
God made him perfect in the first place and then, somehow, He let him
get all wrong. I can't see how or why, though I've heard ministers and
other people say 'it was for some wise purpose.' It's a great muddle,
I think," Dorothy concluded, with a sigh.
"No, God never let any of His children 'get wrong.' He could not,
for 'all His ways are perfect,' you know. The man of God's creating
is the spiritual image and likeness of Himself," Katherine explained.
"Oh-o! I begin to see. Why, papa, don't you see? That must be what
that verse means—the express image of His person—His character!"
and Dorothy turned to her father, her face all aglow as she grasped
this new thought.
"No, don't go just yet," she pleaded, as Katherine made another
effort to release her hand. "Tell me this, please: if everybody
became good, perfect in character, would their bodies grow perfect,
too? would sick people get strong and well and happy?"
"I believe God's Word teaches us so," said Katherine, softly, and
wondering why Prof. Seabrook did not put a stop to a conversation
which he must know was trespassing upon forbidden ground.
"How could they? I wish I knew how," said the child, plaintively.
"You know Paul tells us, 'Be ye transformed by the renewing of
your mind,' and to 'put off the mortal and put on the immortal.'"
"'Put off the mortal,'" repeated the girl, with a look of
perplexity, "but how?"
"It is a growth, dear; it is to put out of mind, one by one, every
wrong thought, and think only good thoughts—God's thoughts—and in
this way one grows good, pure and perfect. Let us take a simple
illustration," Katherine continued, as she saw how eagerly the child
was drinking in her words. "You have seen a lily bulb?"
"It is not at all pretty, and one would throw it away as of no
account, if he did not know of the precious little germ and its
possibilities hidden away inside. We know how, when the warm sunlight
shines upon the spot where it has been put away in the earth, when the
dews and soft rains fall upon it, something begins to happen down
there in the dark; the ugly bulb begins to change, to soften and melt
away; one by one the brown husks drop off and disappear as the tiny
germ within, awakening to a new sense of life, starts upward to find
more light and freedom and a purer atmosphere. Then two small leaves
of living green—harbingers of better things—begin to unfold; after
that a sturdy stalk, with a bud of promise, appears, and all the time
reaching up, up towards the brightness beyond and above, until at last
the pure, perfect and fragrant lily bursts into bloom."
"That was very prettily told, Miss Minturn; but your figure is
incomplete, for, after all, you have only a material flower—it is
far from being spiritual or immortal," Prof. Seabrook here
"Ah!" said Katherine, lifting a pair of sweetly serious eyes to
him, "it is only a simple illustration—a little parable pointing to
spiritual development and perfection, and the pure and flawless lily
is but the type of that which mortal 'eye hath not seen.' The homely
bulb corresponds to the mortal man, wrapped up in the density and
husks of materiality; the tiny 'germ is the symbol of that ray or
spark of immortality that is in every human consciousness and which,
governed by the perfect law of Life, 'whose eternal mandate is
growth,' [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 520.] and nourished by
the sunlight of divine Love, puts off, one by one, the husks, or the
mortal man's wrong ways of thinking and living, and, ever reaching
Godward, puts on or unfolds first the tiny leaves of living green,
then the stalk and bud, and, last, the white flower of purity, which
is the image and likeness of God; and this image and likeness is
"Oh, what a lovely—lovely story!" breathed Dorothy, with luminous
eyes. "Then, if one never had any but good thoughts, perfect
thoughts, one would grow to be perfect and spiritual."
"That is what I think the Bible teaches."
"I think it is beautiful. I never heard anybody talk like this
before!" cried the child, with a joyful ring in her tones. "And now
tell me how—"
Katherine laughed out musically, and, stooping, kissed the small
hand that she was still holding.
"You dear child! do you know how long we have been talking?" she
said. "I think we must stop right here, and—I hope Prof. Seabrook
does not think I have said too much," she concluded, glancing at the
man who stood like a statue, with an inscrutable look on his high-bred
He made no reply, and the situation might have become awkward if
Dorothy had not exclaimed:
"No, indeed; you haven't said half enough; and will you tell me
some more things that you believe, another time?"
"If—your father gives me permission," Katherine replied, with
heightened color. "Now I must go, for I am sure the bell will ring in
a few minutes."
"Will you—may I kiss you before you go?" begged the girl, who was
used to much petting from everyone, and lifting her pale face to the
bright one looking down upon her and which seemed to radiate love.
"Yes, indeed," said Katherine, and heartily returned the caress.
"Now, good-by," she added, and, with a respectful bow to her
principal, left the room, whispering to herself as she tried to put
out of thought the misshapen little figure in the chair:
"God never made one of His children imperfect. He made man
upright, and there is no power apart from God."
CHAPTER VI. MATERIA MEDICA AND
The days and weeks sped swiftly by, Katherine gradually becoming
mentally acclimated, so to speak, amid an adverse environment. She
did not make many acquaintances, for most of the students still held
aloof from her; but she was content, even happy, for, with a stanch
friend in Miss Reynolds, whom she found most congenial, and with whom
she spent much of her leisure time, she did not miss other
companionship so much.
Sadie, her roommate, was an affectionate and kind-hearted girl;
but being of an indolent, ease-loving temperament, she was often a
trial to Katherine, who loved order and system and believed it to be
the duty of everyone to maintain them.
The girl had often attempted to lean upon her in the preparation
of some of her lessons, now and then asking to see her problems in
mathematics and her translations in German and Latin. But this was
something that Katherine would not lend herself to, except in so far
as, occasionally, to remind her of some forgotten point in a rule that
would suggest a way to work out the knotty problem, or to give her a
cue as to case or tense, that would assist in the translation.
While she shrank from wronging her, even in thought, there were
times when she felt sure that she had taken advantage of her absence
from the room to look over her papers and copy from them.
"I cannot let you see my work," she said one day, when, after
repeated but unheeded hints, Sadie had asked her outright to allow
her to look at her problems, saying that she had not had time to do
them for herself. "It would not be honest," she continued, determined
to settle the matter once for all; "it would simply be showing Miss
Reynolds my work and claiming it as your own."
"Now I call that downright mean and disobliging," Sadie returned,
with an injured air, but flushing uncomfortably and forgetting for
the moment the many other acts of kindness Katherine had shown her.
"Of course, I don't expect you to do it every day, but just this once,
so that I can make a good showing in the class, could do no harm; and,
honey, I'll promise to spend all my recreation time, this afternoon,
going over the work for myself."
"But that would be like using a key, which is forbidden, you know.
No, Sadie, I can't do it," Katherine reiterated, firmly but kindly.
"It may seem 'disobliging' to you, but you know that is not my motive.
I feel that I should be doing you a personal wrong, besides deceiving
others, to allow you to lean on me in any such way. You have just as
much time to prepare your lessons as I have; you are naturally quick
and bright, and, if you would spend fewer hours in shopping and
visiting, there is no reason why you cannot make as good a record for
yourself as anyone else. One must do one's own work, or be robbed of
mental capacity and strength if one depends upon another."
"Oh, shucks!" retorted Sadie, with an impatient shrug and a very
red face, as she employed the Southern localism, "don't preach to me.
I reckon my 'mental capacity' will hold out long enough to pull me
through Hilton." And with this sharp and angry thrust she flounced out
of the room, banging the door after her.
This was the first time there had been an open rupture between
them, although on two or three occasions, when Katherine had quietly
resisted being imposed upon beyond a certain limit, the girl had
manifested something of her hot Southern temper. She had always gotten
over it very quickly, however, and harmony had been restored.
Katherine regretted this "rift in the lute," but she knew that she
was doing right, and, after a few minutes spent in silently declaring
that "error is not power and is always overcome with good," she
serenely resumed her study.
For several days the relations between the roommates were somewhat
strained, although Katherine bravely strove to ignore the fact and
conduct herself as usual; but Sadie spent very little time in her
room, except during study hours, when no conversation was allowed,
and manifested in other ways that she had neither forgotten nor
Meantime Dorothy had been ailing more than usual, and, at Dr.
Stanley's suggestion, a consultation of physicians was called, when
the young man proposed and explained an operation which he had seen
performed abroad, and which he had previously mentioned to his
The matter was discussed at length, and Dorothy was subjected to a
careful examination, and, though all shrank from such a trying ordeal
for the delicate girl, the five learned M.D.s agreed that it was the
one thing, humanly speaking, left to try. That was all that could be
said about it—it might, or might not, prove a success.
It was a heart-burdened trio, composed of the father, mother and
Dr. Stanley, that assembled in Prof. Seabrook's study, after the
departure of the other physicians, to talk over the weighty matter.
"Well, Emelie, what have you to say about it?" the elder man
inquired of his wife, in a voice that was husky from suppressed
"Oh, Will, pray do not put the responsibility of a decision upon
me!" Mrs. Seabrook returned, with quivering lips.
"What does your heart dictate, dear?" her husband pursued, in a
"Oh, my heart rebels against any further suffering," she said,
with a convulsive sob.
Tears started to the eyes of both men at this pathetic wail from
the mother, and which found its echo in each heart.
"Suppose," said Dr. Stanley, after a moment of painful silence,
"we let Dorothy decide for herself. She is thoughtful beyond her
years, and I think she should have a voice in the matter. Let the
case be frankly stated to her, and we will abide by her decision. To
be plain with you, I could not bring myself to perform this operation
without her consent."
This proposal met with the approval of Prof. and Mrs. Seabrook,
and both appeared relieved when the young man said he would take it
upon himself to broach the subject to the girl.
This he did with great tact and tenderness, and, after a grave and
quiet talk with her uncle, in whom she placed unbounded confidence,
Dorothy said she was ready for anything that he regarded as necessary,
for she knew that he had only her welfare at heart.
But Dr. Stanley said there must be a time of "building-up" to get
adequate strength, meantime she must try to be as happy as possible
and think only pleasant thoughts.
"I will try, Uncle Phillip," said the girl, with a trustful look
in her eyes, "but"—a wistful expression sweeping over her thin
face—"don't you think it is strange there is no such way of healing,
nowadays, as when Jesus was here?"
"Yes, Dorrie, I do. I have often asked myself that same question,"
replied her companion, gravely.
"How lovely it would be if there was some one living now who could
say to me, 'Take up thy bed and walk,' and I could do it," she
continued, with a note of yearning in her voice that smote sharply on
her listener's heart. "Don't you believe that when Jesus went away He
meant to have people keep on healing, and teaching others how to heal,
just as He had done?"
"Perhaps He did, pet; but you know everybody thinks that those
were 'days of miracles,' which were simply intended to establish the
divinity of the Savior and His authority to teach the new gospel."
"Yes, I know everybody says that whenever I ask anything about
it," Dorothy returned, with an involuntary shrug of impatience, "but,
somehow, it doesn't seem fair to me that all sick people cannot be
healed in the same way. Jesus' way was certainly the best way to cure
people—so much better than making them take horrid medicines and—and
cutting them up with knives," and a shiver ran over her slight form as
"Let us talk of something else, Dorrie. I do not like to have you
dwell upon that subject," said her uncle, with a spasmodic
contraction of his lips.
"Well, I will try not to," she said, with a faint sigh. "But
truly, Uncle Phil, I can't help thinking that it was never intended
that Jesus' way should be stopped any more than the 'new gospel,' as
you call it, was meant to be forgotten, or lost, after His
resurrection. I think that the healing was a part of the 'new
"Well, Miss Thoughtful, that is certainly a good argument,"
returned her companion, smiling into the earnest, uplifted eyes. "But
who has been talking to you to set you to reasoning so deeply on the
He was wondering if Katherine Minturn might not have dropped a
seed of her doctrine into the receptive mind of his niece.
"Nobody—I just thought it out for myself. You see I can't do much
but think, and I often get very puzzled about God and the queer
things He lets happen. You know it says in the Bible that He is 'too
pure to behold Iniquity,' or evil—and 'does not regard it with any
degree of allowance'; and yet there seems to be more sin, sickness and
dreadful accidents than anything else in the world."
"It is a mystery, I confess; but what makes you think that Jesus
intended that His way of healing should be continued after His
ascension?" inquired her uncle, who was deeply interested in the
"Why, you see, just before He went away He had a talk with His
disciples and gave them some last commands. He told them to go
everywhere and preach to everybody—to 'heal the sick, raise the
dead, and cast out sin or devils.' Now, Uncle Phil, that command is
all one—the first part of it says 'heal the sick, raise the dead,'
then comes the rest of it—'cast out sin;' and I don't see what right
people have to pick it to pieces and say He didn't mean them to obey
any but the last part of it."
"I see," nodded the young man, as she paused to impress her
thought upon him.
"Well, then He told them that everybody who believed what He
preached would be able to do the same things. Don't you remember He
said—'Teach them to observe'—and observe means to practice— 'all
things whatsoever I have commanded you.' Those were His very words.
Now don't you think that meant to heal in His way instead of using
drugs and all sorts of queer things that the Bible doesn't say
anything about?" and Dorothy bent an eager, inquiring look upon her
"Where do you find all that?" questioned Phillip Stanley, and thus
evading a direct reply.
But what she had said had set him thinking of arguments along the
same line which Mrs. Minturn had used, during some of their
discussions on board the Ivernia.
Dorothy shot a roguish glance up at him.
"I guess you don't know your Bible very well, do you, Uncle
Phillip?" she said, laughing. "But when you go home please read the
last six verses of the last chapter of Mark, and then the last two
verses of the last chapter of Matthew, and see for yourself if what
Jesus said about healing the sick isn't just as strong as what He said
about preaching to sinners."
"All right, I will; but, by Jove, Dorrie! what a profound little
theologian you are getting to be!" laughingly returned the man as,
with a caressing hand, he smoothed back the golden hair from her
forehead. "What makes you bother your brain with such perplexing
"I suppose one reason is because I've been sick so long and nobody
does me any real good. Oh! I shouldn't have said that to you, when
you try so hard," Dorrie interposed, flushing. "But I like to talk
about such things, and you are very good to talk with me. Papa used
to; but, lately, he doesn't seem to like to. You ought to hear Miss
"Miss Minturn!" repeated Phillip Stanley, with an inward start.
"Yes. I don't believe you know who she is. She is a new student,
and she is just lovely," said Dorothy, with animation.
"Does she talk with you about these things?" inquired Dr. Stanley,
and recalling what Katherine had told him regarding having been
forbidden to advance her peculiar views while she was a student at
"I never heard her say anything about what we have been talking of
to-day," Dorothy replied. "I'm going to ask her, though, what she
thinks, sometime. But papa asked her some questions once in the
Sunday class, and her ideas about God and the way people ought to
live are beautiful. She has been to see me several times, and she
always brings me a lovely flower of some kind—a rose or lily, and
once the sweetest orchid; only one at a time, but always such a
beauty. I love to look at it when she is gone, and it almost seems as
if she had left part of herself behind."
"That is just like her dainty ladyship," Phillip Stanley observed
to himself, and Dorrie continued:
"Sometimes others have been here when she has come, and other
times I've felt too weak to talk; but—it is very strange!—I never
have that tired feeling in my back when she is here, and she is always
so bright and cheery I forget the pain and feel so happy and—and
rested. Oh! must you go. Uncle Phillip?" she concluded, regretfully,
as he arose and took up his hat.
"Yes, dear, I've made you a long call, and now I really must get
back to the office," he said, as he bent his lips to hers for his
The girl twined her arms around his neck.
"You are very good to me, Uncle Phillip, and I love you," she
murmured, softly, "and when you go away I always count the hours 'til
you come again."
"Well! well! I begin to think I am a person of considerable
importance," he rejoined, in a playful tone.
"You 'begin to think,'" she retorted, roguishly; "haven't you ever
thought it before? I'm not quite sure that you are as modest as you
pretend to be. But, Uncle Phil—"
"Will you look up those verses and tell me what you think, the
next time you come?"
"I promise you I will, Dorrie; and now au revoir!"
He touched the bell to call the nurse, then waved her a last good-
by and quietly left the room.
Phillip Stanley did not, indeed, "know his Bible very well," and
had spent very little time conning its pages since starting out in
life for himself. Like many another who has been rigidly reared under
the vague doctrines of "old theology," he had, at an early age, become
both restive and skeptical. This state of mind had grown more
pronounced as he had advanced in his profession and been brought in
such close touch with suffering and dying humanity. Thus he had long
since ceased to attend church, and, having found no comfort in the
Scriptures—which seemed to him to portray a stern dictator and
relentless judge rather than a merciful and loving Father—he had
resolved to live his life as nearly in accord with his own highest
conception of honor and rectitude as possible, become an ornament to
and an authority in his profession, do what good he could along, the
way, and not puzzle his brain trying to solve the perplexing problems
of this life and of an unknowable future.
But to-day, on his way back to the city, he found himself thinking
more seriously of these things than for many years, and, upon
reaching his office and finding no one awaiting him, his first act
was to take from an upper shelf his long neglected Bible and read the
passages which Dorothy had named to him.
They appealed to him as never before. Every word bristled with a
new meaning, and, becoming deeply interested after reading the last
two verses of Matthew, he began the book of Mark and did not leave it
until he reached the end.
"H-m! I begin to see what Mrs. Minturn founded some of her
arguments upon," he said, as the striking of the clock warned him of
his dinner hour. "Well, I wonder, were those cases 'miracles'— just
supernatural wonders, performed merely to prove Jesus' authority to
preach a new gospel? or were they 'governed by a demonstrable
Principle,' as she affirms, brought to earth for suffering humanity to
learn and practice, and so be redeemed from its sin-cursed bondage?
"There certainly ought to have been a panacea provided for all
disease," he resumed, after a moment of deep thought. "But there is
none to-day—at least materia medica has never found one, and that is
a mortifying fact to be obliged to admit after over four thousand
years of investigation and experiment. Poor Dorrie! I'd really like to
make a test of her case!"
He put down his book with a sigh and then went out to his evening
meal, a troubled expression on his handsome face.
CHAPTER VII. KATHERINE AND THE
Soon after entering Hilton Seminary, Katherine was invited, as was
customary, to become a member of the "Junior League," a secret club
or society organized and sustained by the junior class. Its object was
twofold. First: improvement, to keep themselves informed of and in
touch with current events and literature; and, second: sociability.
But it was hinted, now and then, by some of the more serious-
minded members, that "a rollicking good time" had more attractions
for the majority of its constituents than anything else.
Their meetings were held once a fortnight, when some member was
expected to read a paper on a subject previously selected by a
committee appointed for that purpose, after which a short time was
spent in a general discussion of the theme, then the remainder of the
evening was given over to social enjoyment; or, occasionally, to "a
spread," which is so dear to every boarding school girl's heart.
Twice during the year the league formally entertained the faculty
and the "Senior League," a similar organization, which as often
returned these courtesies.
Katherine accepted the invitation with thanks, and at once threw
herself heartily into the methods employed to entertain the club,
particularly into the literary work, always carefully preparing
herself upon the subject to be discussed. But she soon found that the
main object of the organization was being perverted, the topics being
superficially written up and argued, except by a very few. Less and
less attention was being devoted to improvement and more to a good
time, together with much school gossip, until the meetings were fast
becoming a farce.
She deeply regretted this, and talked it over with some others as
earnest as herself, but without achieving any satisfactory results.
Upon one or two occasions she gave a thoughtfully prepared synopsis of
the subject, but these efforts were received with shrugs, nudges and
significant smiles and glances; and, while no one was openly
discourteous to her, it was evident that, with a few exceptions, she
was still regarded as a person to be shunned even by her own club.
One evening, on making her appearance, she observed that there was
an unusual flutter among the wilder members of the league, and that
she at once became the object of their curious regard.
The exercises progressed as usual until the discussion was over,
when, as was the custom, the president called upon the chairman of
the literary committee to announce the topic and the name of the
member to treat it for the next meeting.
The chairman arose and said, while an ominous silence fell upon
"Miss Minturn has been appointed to give us a paper for our next
gathering, and the subject chosen is, 'Christian Science and Its
An audible titter ran around the room as this announcement was
made, and every eye was fastened upon Katherine, who instantly
suspected the situation had been planned for the sole purpose of
making her uncomfortably conspicuous and bringing her beloved Science
before the club simply to be ridiculed.
She was naturally quick-tempered, though years of discipline had
taught her how to hold herself well in hand upon most occasions. But
now, for the moment, her whole soul arose in arms and was ready to
flash. forth in fiery indignation.
She flushed crimson and a dangerous gleam leaped into her usually
gentle eyes, while she trembled from head to foot.
"See! it has hit her in a tender spot!" whispered Ollie Grant to
Sadie Minot. "Look out, now, for a tempest from Miss Propriety! Won't
it be fun?"
But the unaccustomed emotion passed almost as quickly as it had
come. It was like the flash of summer heat that is followed by no
thunder. Her momentary resentment was bravely quelled, and, after a
brief denial of error, she arose to her feet, the flush still hot on
her cheeks, but a sunny smile parting her red lips and chasing the
temper from her eyes.
"Lady President and comrades," she began, bowing first to the
presiding officer, then to her companions, and there was not the
slightest evidence of anger in her sweetly modulated tones, "there is
nothing that I love more than Christian Science, and if I thought you
also were really interested in it, and I could, consistently, give you
some information regarding it, it would give me great pleasure to do
so. But you are not interested in it- -you do not believe in it; many
of you think it absurdly transcendental, as your topic indicates. Thus
you have nothing but ridicule for it. So you can understand that what
is very sacred to me I could not discuss in such an antagonistic
"Oh, but we really do want to learn something about it," here
interposed Ollie Grant, as she gave Sadie a nudge with her elbow,
"and—and"—with mock demureness—"if we have wrong ideas about it,
why, you can perhaps set us right."
"I am sure it would be very interesting," Clara Follet observed,
with a sly wink at her nearest neighbor; "it is so—mysterious
and—creepy; like spiritualism, you know."
Katherine had seen both nudge and wink; but neither now had power
to move her to any feeling save that of compassion for the
"You are entirely mistaken, Miss Follet," she gently returned.
"Christian Science and spiritualism are as far removed from each
other as the Poles. But I repeat, I cannot give you a paper on the
subject you have assigned me."
"Do I understand, Miss Minturn, that you absolutely refuse to
respond to the appointment?" gravely inquired the president, while
whispered comments and an excited rustle were heard from various
parts of the room.
"Miss Walton, I must," said Katherine, firmly.
"Do you know the penalty of such a refusal?" the presiding officer
queried, while Katherine started and colored crimson as she
continued: "Any member of the league refusing to comply with an
appointment made by its committee is subject to expulsion."
"Provided there is no good reason for such a refusal, I believe
the by-law reads," here interposed a young lady who was beginning to
feel sorry for Katherine, for she knew that she was simply being "made
game of" by those who held her religious belief in derision.
"Yes, certainly. If you can give a good and sufficient reason for
the stand you have taken, Miss Minturn, you will, of course, be
excused," the president supplemented, realizing there was something
in the atmosphere which she did not understand, as she had no
knowledge of the plot that had been concocted by the mischief-loving
element of the league.
"I think I have already given a good reason," Katherine observed,
with quiet dignity; "Christian Science is my religion, and I have
been asked to treat it as transcendentalism, and—I am inclined to
think—in a perverted sense of that term. Can I be expected to hold
my religion up for ridicule? I do not refuse the appointment to write
a paper; it is the subject that I decline."
"I claim that Miss Minturn's reason is 'good and sufficient,' and
I move that she be excused," said Miss Clark, the young lady who had
previously spoken in Katherine's behalf.
The excitement was increasing, and the president was obliged to
rap vigorously for order before she could make herself heard.
"Does anyone second Miss Clark's motion?" she inquired.
It was somewhat timidly seconded by a weak voice from one corner
of the room; but when put to vote the hands were three to one against
Could it be possible, Katherine asked herself in sudden dismay,
that certain members of the league were taking this way to get rid of
her? Why, then, had they invited her to join it in the first place?
"It seems, Miss Minturn, that you cannot be excused," Miss Walton
observed, with a deprecatory smile.
Katherine did not mean to be driven out of the club in such an
underhanded manner if she could avoid it; neither would she violate
"I shall be obliged to maintain my position, nevertheless," she
responded, after a moment of thought. Then she resumed, in a tone of
regret: "And since the league does not see fit to release me because
of my conscientious scruples, which, it seems to me, should be an
unquestionable motive, I will state that Prof. Seabrook, who also does
not favor my views, has enjoined me to silence upon the subject while
I am a student at Hilton."
"Comrades, that settles the matter without further action or
discussion," said the president, bringing her gavel down with an
imperative stroke; for this last announcement had created a breezy
flutter among the mischief-brewers, who had planned to have "great
sport" a fortnight hence.
"And now," observed Katherine, again rising and addressing the
chair with charming frankness, "I stand ready to prepare an article
upon any other subject which the committee may assign me."
"Is the committee ready with another topic?" the president
That body conferred together for several minutes, after which the
chairman stated with ill-concealed mirth, which appeared to be
contagious, that a paper on "Transcendentalism" would be expected
from Miss Minturn a fortnight from that night.
As she sat down titters and giggles were audible in various parts
of the room, and Miss Walton's mallet again fell heavily upon the
table, while she looked both distressed and indignant.
Before she could speak, however, a tall, handsome girl sprang to
her feet and turned to her with blazing eyes.
"Lady President," she began, in a clear, ringing tone, "I rise to
express my disapproval of the proceedings of this business meeting.
While I am not at all in sympathy with the subject that has been
broached here this evening, I believe in fair play, and that an insult
offered to anyone because of her religious belief should not for a
moment be tolerated. I shall feel justified in withdrawing from the
league if such discourteous treatment is continued. And"—glancing at
Katherine—"I also wish to express my admiration for Miss Minturn for
so bravely standing by her colors. She might have shielded herself
behind Prof. Seabrook's injunction in the first place and so settled
the matter at once; but she made it a question of conscience for a
cause that she loves, and was not afraid to say so. And now, I move
that, if the last-named topic is distasteful to her, she be allowed to
choose one for herself."
A profound hush had fallen upon the room during this spirited
speech, and at its close there was a vigorous applause from a few of
her listeners, showing something of a reaction of feeling in favor of
Katherine, who observed, however, with a pang at her heart, that her
roommate, Sadie, was not among the number.
"Is Miss Felton's motion seconded?" queried the president, with a
smile and nod of approval at that young lady.
Katherine, who had been doing some rapid thinking during the last
few minutes, was on her feet again before anyone could speak.
"Lady President, pray allow me to thank Miss Felton most heartily
for her kind espousal of my cause," she said, bestowing a luminous
smile upon her new friend, "but I would be very sorry to have any
unpleasantness arise in the league, and may I ask that no further
action be taken in the matter? I know that many people have a
mistaken idea of what Christian Science is, and regard it and its
adherents with feelings that are regretted when they become more
enlightened on the subject. And now"—a mirthful gleam in her brown
eyes—"let me add that I cheerfully accept the last-named subject
assigned me, and will do my best to elucidate it for the benefit of
the club at our next meeting."
As she concluded and sat down there was another round of applause,
more pronounced this time; while some of the ringleaders in the
mischief looked as if they felt that the tables were being turned
The president appeared immensely relieved to have what had
threatened to be a stormy scene so tactfully smoothed over, and, as
there was no further business to be transacted, she gave the signal
for formalities to cease and sociability to begin.
Katherine at once became the center of an admiring and condoling
group, whose attitude towards her had undergone a radical change
since the brave championship of Miss Felton, who was a power not only
in her own class but in the whole school.
Katherine greeted everyone graciously, but met all expressions of
sympathy and indignation with laughing protests, and as soon as she
could do so without appearing unappreciative, excused herself, upon
the plea that she must look over a lesson before the retiring bell
rang, and slipped away to her room.
It is not to be wondered at that a few bitter tears forced
themselves over her hot cheeks when she found herself alone, for she
had been sorely tried. The struggle with her momentary feeling of
indignation and a sense of personal injury had been severe, while she
had also been deeply hurt by Sadie's evident sympathy with those who
were in the plot against her.
But she resolutely set herself at work to conquer these emotions
and then vigorously attacked the unlearned lesson, after which she
retired, but not to sleep, for thought was busy with what had
occurred and with plans for the next league meeting.
Sadie did not put in an appearance until some time after the gas
had been turned off, when she silently undressed and crept into bed,
and, shortly after, Katherine fell asleep.
Some hours later she was suddenly awakened by what sounded like a
moan of pain.
She sat up in bed and listened; but, hearing nothing more, thought
she must have been mistaken, and was about to lie down again, when,
from beneath the covers of the bed, in the opposite corner of the
room, she was sure she heard her roommate groan.
"Sadie! what is the matter?" she inquired.
There was no verbal answer, but another moan smote upon her ears.
Katherine sprang out of bed and went to her.
"Sadie, tell me, what is the trouble?" she said, laying a gentle
hand upon her shoulder.
"Oh, I have a horrible toothache," she girl replied, adding: "I
did not mean to wake you, but the pain is simply unbearable," and,
throwing back the covers, she sat up and rocked to and fro in agony.
"What can I do for you?" Katherine kindly inquired, while she
mentally declared that "God never made pain, nor man to suffer pain."
"Oh, I don't know," was the helpless rejoinder. "I think there is
a bottle of oil of cloves somewhere in my upper drawer, if you will
find it for me."
Katherine lighted the candle, kept for emergencies, and searched
for the desired remedy amid the heterogeneous collection in the
drawer, but failed to find it. Then she looked in various other
places suggested by Sadie, with the same result, greatly to the
"Oh, I remember—I lent it to Carrie Hill last week! What shall I
do?" wailed the sufferer in a voice of despair; for Miss Hill roomed
at the top of the opposite wing, and just at that moment the clock in
the tower of the building struck the hour of three.
She was now wrought up to a state of excessive nervous excitement,
and it looked as if there would be no more sleep for either of them
"Haven't you something—some camphor or salts, Katherine? I can't
stand this any longer," and Sadie was now sobbing from mingled
nervousness and suffering.
"No, dear. I never use anything of the kind," Katherine replied.
"Do you never put anything in a tooth when it aches?"
"Do you ever have the toothache?"
"I used to when I was a child; very seldom now."
"What do you do to stop it?" was the impatient query, accompanied
by a prolonged groan.
"Treat it mentally."
"Shucks!" and Miss Minot threw herself violently back upon her
pillows with an air of personal injury mingled with supreme contempt,
while Katherine kept on working for harmony in her own thought.
"Katherine, I simply cannot stand this until morning," the girl
cried again, after a minute or two of forced endurance, as a fresh
paroxysm seized her.
"Shall I go to the matron and ask her for something for you?"
"Oh, I don't know; it seems a shame to send you way down to her at
this unearthly hour. It is bad enough to keep you awake," said Sadie,
"Never mind me, dear. I am willing to do anything you wish, and
I'm not afraid to go anywhere in the building," was the kind
"Perhaps if I had some water to hold in my mouth it might relieve
me," Sadie suggested.
Katherine brought her a glass and she filled her mouth, but
expelled the water almost instantly, as the bare and sensitive nerve
rebelled against such radical treatment.
"Can't you do something?" she gasped, clutching her companion's
arm with a spasmodic grip.
"I'll go to Miss Williams, or some of the girls for—" Katherine
"No, I can't bear to make a stir—oh, heavens! oh! treat me—your
way—anything—anything to stop this unbearable torture!" and Sadie
buried her face in her pillow to smother the moans she could not
"Indeed I will," said Katherine, with a heart-throb of
thankfulness for the appeal; and, dropping her face upon her hands,
she went to work with all her understanding for the sufferer.
Ten minutes passed; then it seemed as if the intervals between the
moans grew longer. Another five minutes and she was sure that the
hand upon her arm was relaxing its convulsive grasp. Not long after
the restless form grew still, the hot hand on her arm slipped down
upon the bed, and when the clock in the tower struck the half hour
after three, the regular breathing of the girl told of quiet and
But Katherine continued to work for several minutes longer, then
stole softly to her own couch, where she also was soon locked in
slumber, and neither awoke again until the rising bell rang its
imperative summons to the duties of a new day.
Katherine was nearly dressed before her roommate manifested any
inclination to rise. She looked bright and serene, however, and there
was no swelling or other evidence of the previous night's broken rest
"I believe I'm all right, honey," she thoughtfully observed, after
watching Katherine's operations in silence for a while.
"Of course you are," was the cheery response, with a happy heart-
throb at the old familiar form of address.
"That was a right smart rumpus, though," Sadie added, in her
"The less said about it the better," was the brief reply.
"Because it is nothing now, and you neither need nor wish to live
"I reckon I don't. But, do you believe you cured me?"
"I know that I did not; but I also know that God healed you."
"But you did something."
"Yes—what I did was—well, you may call it prayer, if you like.
But I think we must not talk about it because of Prof. Seabrook's
command, which I am inclined to think I may have already broken in
the letter if not in the spirit," said Katherine, gravely.
"Well—I don't—know. It all seems very queer to me!" Sadie
observed, reflectively, as she slipped out of bed and began to dress.
"I wouldn't have believed I could feel so well this morning though.
I'm as fresh as a daisy, and my face isn't at all swollen. I can't
understand it. I'm inclined to think that—after all, the ache just
ached itself out and left of its own accord."
Katherine smiled faintly but did not pursue the subject.
"I'm downright obliged to you, Katherine, for being so kind and
patient with me in the night," the girl resumed, after a few moments
of silence; "and—honey," suddenly facing her and looking her straight
in the eyes, though her cheeks were crimson, "I feel mighty mean over
our tiff the other day, and—and about what happened last night in the
"Never mind, Sadie—it is all past now—" Katherine began.
"But I shall mind; I'm going to eat the whole of my humble pie,"
interposed Sadie, between a laugh and a sob, "for I—I was in the
plot with the others. You see, I hadn't quite gotten over the other
"But you have now, Sadie?" Katherine interrupted, "wistfully.
"How could I help it when you've been so perfectly sweet? Only I
"Well, then I'm happy!" cried Katherine, with a joyous laugh, "and
I'm not going to let you eat any more 'humble pie,' for—the North
and the South are reunited, and that cancels everything."
"Katherine, you are the dearest—" But Sadie's voice broke
suddenly, and to cover her emotion she bounded into the closet and
began a vigorous search for some needed article.
There were fair winds and cloudless skies after that, and nothing
more was heard from the defective tooth, which, later, was filled and
preserved for future usefulness.
CHAPTER VIII. TRANSCENDENTALISM AS
ELUCIDATED FOR THE JUNIOR LEAGUE.
The following two weeks were unmarked by anything of special
interest, and Katherine found her time fully occupied in attending to
her daily duties and preparing for the next league meeting.
For a moment, after the second subject, "Transcendentalism," had
been assigned her, she felt "old Adam" beginning to stir resentfully
again, for she was impressed that, when the topic came up for
discussion, certain members of the club intended to make her the
target for more sharpshooting.
But the struggle was short, for the monitor within had declared
that "God's image and likeness could not reflect or manifest anything
but love;" when, like a flash, had come the inspiration to treat the
subject from a humorous point of view. She knew that the committee had
used the term in its perverted sense, so she would meet them on their
own ground, make an hour of fun for the league, and thus, perchance,
disarm the aggressive ones and create a better feeling towards
As these thoughts coursed rapidly through her mind during Miss
Felton's gallant defense, she became enthused over the idea, hence
the mirthful gleam in her eyes when she arose and accepted the topic,
and thus tactfully "poured oil upon the troubled waters."
In the quiet of her own room, after retiring, her plan began to
take a more definite form, and, before the week was out, she had
arranged her programme for the evening.
She found that she would be unable to carry it out alone, and so
confided her scheme to Sadie, Miss Walton, the president, and Miss
Felton, whom she now regarded as stanch friends. They were delighted
with it and heartily lent her their assistance in perfecting it.
It became evident, however, as the day for the meeting drew on
apace, that more than usual interest was centered in the event, for,
upon two or three occasions, Katherine came suddenly upon a group of
the members in earnest conversation, which was instantly cut short, or
abruptly changed, when her presence was observed. Jennie Wild, who was
very fond of her, also gave her a hint that something unusual was
"Miss Minturn, what's the fun that's brewing in the Junior
League?" she inquired, as she encountered Katherine in one of the
halls a couple of days previous to the meeting.
"Is there fun brewing?" she inquired, evasively, and wondering if,
by any possibility, her own scheme had become known.
"Yes, I am sure there is, for I've heard some of the juniors
talking about a 'great time' that is on the tapis for the next
meeting; and—and your name was mentioned, too," Jennie concluded,
giving her a curious glance.
Katherine flushed and looked perplexed; but she felt sure that her
own secret was safe, for it had always been discussed behind locked
doors, and all concerned were too interested in the success of it to
betray her confidence.
"I have no knowledge of anything outside of my own province," she
replied. "I am to read a paper before the league on Tuesday evening."
"Oh, say! what's the subject?" Jennie queried, eagerly.
"Don't you know, dear, it is a rule, in both the Junior and Senior
Leagues, that no information regarding what occurs in their meetings
can be made public without a vote of the members?" Katherine smilingly
"Yes; but I'll never tell," said the girl, in a confidential tone.
"No, I am sure you will not," was the laughing retort.
"Oh, you mean you won't give me a chance," said Jennie, with a
good-natured grimace. "Well, whatever the subject may be, I am sure
the paper will be O. K."
"Thank you for your confidence in my ability, and, sometime,
perhaps, you may be enlightened regarding what is at present a
profound secret," returned Katherine, encouragingly.
"Well, perhaps that is what those girls were talking about, but
I'm pretty sure there's more than that in the wind," Jennie
thoughtfully observed. "But"—all on the alert again—"I've found out
that the sophs are planning to, kick up a bobbery, too—"
"Oh, Jennie!" interposed her companion, with laughing reproof.
"Yes, I know; that is awful slang. But what can you expect of a
'freshie'? I've got to make the most of my time, too, you know, for
when I get to be a junior I'll have to begin the 'prune and prism'
act," retorted the girl with a roguish wink. "Then"— suddenly
straightening herself, drawing down the corners of her mouth, crossing
her eyes, and assuming the air of a would-be prude—"the prospective
infraction of law and order would have to be decorously stated
something like this: ahem! 'Those irrepressible, irresponsible and
notorious sophomores are secretly preparing to engage in exceedingly
demoralizing, mischievous and reprehensible behavior, calculated to
produce an unpleasant state of perturbation in the atmosphere of our
household, inoculate a spirit of anarchy in their fellows, and detract
from the dignity of our honored institution.' How's that for high?"
"Oh, I believe you are rightly named 'Wild Jennie'!" cried
Katherine, laughing heartily, for the girl was irresistible in her
"All the same," continued Miss Mischief, resuming her accustomed
vivacity, "they really are up to something that will give the
teachers a tremendous nightmare one of these fine nights. You just
watch out, Miss Minturn—I've only got an inkling of the plot, but
it's great, and I'm going to be on hand to see it, even if I can't be
"Look out, dear, that you do not get involved in something that
you will be sorry for afterwards," cautioned Katherine.
"I'll look out for number one—never you fear; but"—with a wise
nod—"you just keep your eyes peeled about your own affairs. Ta- ta!"
and, with a wave of her hand, the girl hurried away, merrily whistling
a popular air as she went.
"I wonder if those girls are planning some practical joke upon me
for Tuesday evening!" Katherine said to herself, as she went on up to
Taking what Jennie had told her in connection with what she
herself had seen and heard, she was inclined to think that there
might be "something brewing"; but, as there appeared to be no way to
solve the mystery, she wisely decided not to dwell upon it, although
she determined that she would be on the qui vive and not caught
Tuesday evening came. The league convened at the usual hour, and
that something of more than wonted interest was anticipated was
evinced by the fact that every member of the club was promptly on
hand, while curious glances were bent, and comments made, upon a
curtain which had been stretched across one end of the room.
After the meeting was formally opened the president stated that,
before the reading and discussion of the paper, there would be a
short entertainment, which had been specially prepared for the
This announcement met with vigorous applause, and an air of eager
interest at once pervaded the audience.
Miss Walton waited patiently until quiet was restored, then
"First I will read an original conundrum which is propounded by
one of our members, and which you are requested to solve."
Everyone was at once on the alert.
"My first," read the chairman, "is a state of oblivion.
"My second is what comes to all things mundane.
"My third appertains to articulation, to a form of surgery, and to
"My fourth is applied to certain theories and fanatical tenets.
"My whole is a term employed to designate a certain form of
philosophy which is also often misconstrued and misapplied."
As Miss Walton was about to lay down her paper she was asked to
read the conundrum again, which she did, while pencils were busy
taking notes; then she observed:
"Before the answer is called for we are to have a charade, which
has also been prepared by a member of our club, after which you will
please give your solutions before Miss Minturn reads her paper."
A bell now tinkled faintly, and the mysterious curtain was raised,
revealing a prettily furnished room and, conspicuous in a reclining
chair, there lay a young lady apparently asleep, while two others,
wearing black dominoes and lace masks, attempted to arouse her, Their
efforts proved ineffectual, however, although she was pinched, shaken,
commanded to awake, and even made to stand upon her feet. But nothing
availed; she was seemingly oblivious of everything.
"Alas! it is of no use," solemnly observed one domino to the
other, who sighed heavily, and mournfully shook her head, and the
curtain was rung down.
A moment later it went up again. No one was now in the room, but a
short piece of rope dangled from one arm of the chair.
The third scene revealed an office. On a table lay a number of
small instruments, a lot of loose teeth, also a couple of full sets.
A lady was seated in a chair, and beside her stood a gentleman(?)
holding aloft in one hand a pair of forceps, in which there gleamed a
single tooth, while with the other he extended a glass of water to his
patient, remarking in a suave, professional tone:
"It is all over, madam—a very successful operation. Rinse your
mouth, please, and then we will look at the others," whereupon the
The fourth scene showed the same room in which the first act had
been given. In a low rocker sat a spinster of uncertain age, very
prim as to attitude and attire, her face partially concealed by a
profusion of corkscrew curls that dangled from her temples. She
appeared to be absorbed in reading, while there were piles of books
on the table at her side, on chairs, and were also strewn
promiscuously about the floor.
Presently a colored servant entered the room. A spotless kerchief
was folded about her expansive shoulders; a bright red bandanna was
coiled around her woolly head, and a long, blue and white checked
apron was tied about her ample waist.
She was a typical, full-blooded negress, and shuffled into the
room in true darky style, but with signs of distress and one black
hand covering her right eye.
"Well, Dinah, is anything wanted?" demanded the spinster, but
without glancing up from her book.
"Y'sm, honey; I'se done got sumpin' in m' eye. I has sho'."
"Come here and let me look at it," said her mistress, reluctantly
laying her book aside and taking a pencil from the table.
Dinah knelt before the woman, who made a careful examination of
the suffering member.
"I see it!" she said; "don't move and I'll get it. There!"—
carefully removing something with a corner of her immaculate
"Y'sm; thank'e, Miss Julia. Yah! yah! what a li'l spec to make
such a rumpus! Looks like de Bible 'mote,' but, golly! it done feel
mo' like de 'beam.' Yah! yah! yah!" laughed the negress, revealing two
rows of dazzling teeth to an appreciative audience as she laboriously
struggled to her feet.
"Feel all right now, aunty?" queried the spinster, as she
carefully refolded her handkerchief.
"Y'sm, y'sm; I'm obleeg'd to 'e, Miss Julia. Lor'!" rubbing her
knees and groaning, "de rumatism do work de mischief wi' dese yere
po' ole bones." But Miss Julia had again become absorbed in her book
and, apparently, did not hear.
"Got another new book, Miss Julia?" queried Dinah, after watching
her mistress in silence for a moment.
"No, Dinah," replied the spinster, lifting a beatific glance and
smile to the ceiling, "I am still engaged with my 'Philosophical,
Psychological and Theosophical Research.'"
"Lor'!" and Dinah rolled her eyes with an awe-struck look over the
audience. "I 'spec' some day, honey, you's so uplifted, you'll go
soarin' up inter de clouds and outer sight, straight 'ter kingdom
"Dinah! I think it is time you were giving your attention to your
dinner," interposed Miss Julia, in a lofty tone.
"Y'sm; I's gwine—I sho'ly is'm," retorted Dinah, spiritedly, as
she straightened herself and turned with a resentful flirt of her
skirts to obey. Then glancing back over her shoulder and showing her
white teeth in a broad grin, she added: "I's gwine ter 'gage in m'
soupy-logical, lamby-logical, pie-o-logical research; y'sm, sho!" and,
striking a superior attitude, she cake-walked off the stage with a
vigorous stride and regardless of 'ole bones' or 'rumatism'; and the
curtain was rung down upon an audience convulsed with merriment, while
a voice from somewhere cried out:
"Well done, Sadie! yo'll take de cake, dis time, fer sho."
Scene five showed the same room, the same spinster with her book
clasped to her breast, her head thrown back, her eyes gazing aloft
"Oh, ye messengers of supereminent light! Oh, ye soul-thrilling
angels from realms supernal! Draw nearer—unfold your celestial wings
and brood tenderly o'er the aspirations of this receptive heart—this
heart already upborne on waves of ecstasy and o'er- mastering joy;
fulfill its psychic dreams and lift it to thine own supersensible
heights"—she breathed in an exaggerated stage whisper and continued
her vague, visionary monologue, or extravaganza, until the curtain
fell and brought down the house again with enthusiastic applause.
"Has anyone guessed the answer to the conundrum, or charade, or
both?" inquired the president with mirthful eyes when she could make
"Transcendentalism!" cried Clara Follet, wiping the tears from her
cheeks. "Dinah gave it away to me with her 'is'm' and her 'rumatism,'
and, of course, the charade was the key to the conundrum."
From several others came the same answer, with, the various hints
or points which had suggested it.
"And now," continued Miss Walton, "we will have the paper on the
same subject from Miss Minturn, who is also the author of both
conundrum and charade."
Again there was a vigorous clapping of hands, in the midst of
which the curtain was raised and Katherine appeared upon the stage,
in her spinster attire, but shorn of her voluminous corkscrew curls.
She was smiling, and rosy, and bowed her thanks for the generous
approval of her efforts.
As she unfolded her manuscript an expectant hush fell upon her
audience, and she observed that significant and inquiring glances
were exchanged between some of the members of the league.
"The paper which I have prepared," she began, "may not prove to be
just what the club may have expected from me; but it will at least
show that I have given the subject assigned me some thought.
"Once on a time—'twas not so very long ago—
Miss Puff craved something of Philosophy to know,
And, with proofs of culture armed and high position,
To a Summer School of Sages sought admission.
"With inspiration rare, she here absorbed her fill
Of ologies galore, and conned them o'er, until
Her wearied brain grew dazed beyond expression;
But, of this sad fact, Miss Puff made no confessions
"Ontology came first, with arguments profound,
With language mystical, the wisest to confound;
Physics took the platform next, to claim discussion,
And Metaphysics foll'wing near caused concussion.
"Cosmology! Phrenology! what charmed lore!
What depths profound! how high her aspirations soar!
Tidbits of sweetness for future delectation.
Ah! but could she give a lucid explication?
"Theosophy! Psychology! transcendent themes!
Glide softly in upon her philosophic dreams:
'Till soul upborne to realms of ecstasy sublime,
Earth's vanities grow dim upon the shores of time.
"But, lo! now hydra-head Theology appears
To shatter dreams and chill her heart with nameless fears,
For Sage and Seer spare not in sharp dissection,
'Till poor Puff, alas! no longer makes connection.
"But, all the same, 'twas lovely to 'philosophize!'
It mattered not if she were wise, or—otherwise;
Or deeply versed in themes on which the Sages dote,
Could she but keep on transcendental waves afloat.
"And so, at length, the Summer School drew to a close.
Home went Miss Puff, well primed, to smatter and to pose;
Lightly soar on clouds of blissful exaltation,
And air her fads, perchance (?) in some smart publication.
"Howe'er, dear friends, Miss Puff's career was very brief.
Like all pretentious frauds, she shortly came to grief;
She was found out, you know, and took a strange belief
Which none could heal, and faded like a leaf.
Then, slyly fled the town!—was never seen again,
Though faithful search was made o'er mountain, moor and fen.
"The claim? Ah! that begat long medical debate;
But finally, as I am authorized to state—
For all things mystical must have some kind of name,
And there's no better phrase to chronicle the same—
'Twas—the learned doctors vowed—abnormal mentalism,
The outgrowth of her fads and Transcendentalism!"
Katherine made her bow as she concluded and slipped behind the
scenes. But the applause was beyond anything she had yet received and
was kept up, with cries of "come out," "come out," until there was
nothing to do but reappear, which she did with flushed cheeks and
"Comrades, I thank you all for your hearty appreciation and
commendation," she said, when quiet was restored. "It occurred to me
that a humorous treatment of the subject might be more enjoyable than
any other, and"—with an arch look and nod—"more applicable to your
conception of the term. But"—her eyes now brimming with mirth—"I
will not take more of your time, as I believe there is a supplement to
my programme yet to come."
The president looked surprised.
"I know of nothing more, Miss Minturn," she said; but even as she
spoke there was a nervous rustle apparent among some of the audience.
"Still I am quite sure that a ghostly surprise, not down on my
pragramme, had been planned for us. Perhaps this will elucidate my
meaning," Katherine explained, and, bringing to light something,
which she had until then concealed behind her, she shook out and held
up to view a white robe, made of a sheet, and also a white mask.
Groans and laughter greeted this announcement and display.
"Oh! who has given us away? Who has told you, Miss Minturn?" came
breathlessly from various quarters of the room.
"No one 'has given the secret away'—no one has 'told' me
anything," she replied. "The discovery was an accident. I was obliged
to slip up to my room for something forgotten, just before it was time
to open the meeting. As I reached the end of the hall I heard voices,
and, being arrayed in the dentist's garb with only a domino over it, I
did not wish to be seen. I fled into the closet there, and the next
moment two juniors passed, carrying something in their arms, wrapped
in shawls. I heard one say, 'When I give the signal, Miss Blank will
touch the button and put out the lights.' When they were beyond
hearing I stole from the closet and found a small bundle at my feet.
Investigation revealed this ghostly garb, and, if I am not mistaken,
those shawls, in yonder corner, contain several others."
The room was very still for a moment after Katherine concluded,
and there were some very red faces, here and there, among the
Suddenly Clara Follet sprang to her feet, and, addressing the
"Miss Walton, as I am the leader in this affair, may I make an
"Certainly. Comrades, Miss Follet has the floor."
"There is nothing to be done but make a clean breast of
everything," continued Miss Follet, with a resolute air, but with
crimson cheeks as she faced the audience. "As you all know, some of
us were inclined to—to guy Miss Minturn at our last meeting about a
certain subject, and when she declined to write a paper on it we
thought we would give her another as nearly like it as possible, and
so get some fun out of it when it came up for discussion. Well"—with
a suggestive shrug—"we, of course, expected she would go into it
deep, and mount, and soar, and all that; so some of us put our heads
together and planned a ghost walk. We were going to wait until she
reached the zenith of her flight, when, at a signal from me, the
electrics would be turned off, which would leave us a very dim light
through the transoms opening into the hall; then eight of us were to
slip into our robes, form a circle around Miss Minturn, and chant a
dirge. Well- -but—ahem! don't you see, she just took all the wind out
of our sails to begin with? Instead of a 'ghostly surprise' the ghosts
got the surprise—that conundrum and charade made me suspect that the
committee on topics were going to 'get left,' and I began to feel my
courage failing. But that transcendental poem!—that capped the
climax, and I saw that the only thing to be done was for the spooks to
hide their diminished heads and keep dark."
Miss Follet was here interrupted by vigorous clapping and bursts
of irrepressible laughter, in which even the dignified president
But a tap of the gavel restored order, and Miss Follet was invited
"That is all there is to tell," she replied, "but I want to add,
for myself, that I think Miss Minturn is 'a brick,' as the boys would
put it, and I take off my hat to her"—turning to Katherine with a
low, graceful bow—"if she will accept the homage from the chief
transgressor, who—to make all possible atonement—proposes to give
the best spread of the season in her honor, in place of the next
meeting, if the league will vote me the privilege and she will signify
her pardon and approval by shaking hands with me."
As she concluded she extended her hand to Katherine, who grasped
it cordially, amid enthusiastic clapping by the entire audience.
It was some minutes before order could be restored, when the
business was transacted and Miss Follet's proposal to give a spread
in Miss Minturn's honor, two weeks from that night, received a most
hearty and unanimous vote.
When the meeting was dismissed it was evident that a decided
reaction of feeling had taken place, for Katherine at once became the
center of attraction and held a delightful little reception for a
while; but this was cut short by the ringing of the retiring bell, and
the Junior League dispersed in the happiest frame of mind, all
declaring that the "Transcendental Evening" had been the finest of the
When Katherine laid her head upon her pillow that night and fell
asleep her pulses were beating in joyous rhythm with three beautiful
words gleaned from her beloved "Science and Health"— "Love is
enthroned! Love is enthroned!" [Footnote: "Science and Health," page
CHAPTER IX. KATHERINE MAKES A
From that time on Katherine became conscious of a very different
atmosphere, at least when among her own classmates, for, instead of
the cold shoulder, averted glances and a general stampede whenever she
appeared, she was now cordially received and greeted upon all
This was more apparent after Miss Follet's "spread," two weeks
later, and which really proved to be the "finest of the season,"
being a "full-dress affair," when all barriers were swept away during
the "jollification" and every vestige of disaffection vanished in
company with the bountiful and dainty viands that were literally fit
"to set before a king."
Katherine, being the guest of honor, was toasted and made much of,
and her companions found that she could appreciate a frolic as
heartily as anyone, and was not behind, either, in making fun for
One evening, early in May, shortly after "the spread," Katherine
was diligently studying the morrow's lessons when a rap sounded on
her door, and, upon giving the usual password, Jennie Wild put her
curly head inside the room and observed:
"Miss Minturn, Miss Reynolds has sent me to ask if you will come
to her room as soon as the study hour is over."
"Yes, Jennie, I will go to her the moment the bell rings," replied
Katherine, who knew that her teacher had not been well for nearly a
week, and, for the last two days, had been unable to attend to her
"And, Miss Minturn," continued the girl, lingering.
"Well?" said her friend, inquiringly.
"May I go with you to your service, next Sunday?"
"Why, Jennie! What has possessed you to ask me that?"
"Oh, I thought I'd just like to know what kind of a rigmarole—Oh,
Peter Piper! what have I said?" the heedless girl interposed as
Katherine flushed and looked up suddenly. "I really didn't mean
that—I—er—it just slipped out before I had time to think. But,
truly, I would like to go with you."
"But you know it is against the rules for students to leave their
own church. You would have to get permission of Prof. Seabrook,"
"I don't want to ask him," said Jennie, with a shrug, adding: "He
need never know."
"No, Jennie, I cannot countenance any such disobedience," gravely
replied her companion. "And if it is only a matter of idle curiosity
on your part, I think you had better wait until you are actuated by a
more worthy motive."
Jennie looked really distressed under this reproof.
"I'm afraid I've offended you," she began, plaintively. "I didn't
mean to speak slightingly of your church, and I'm—sorry—"
"Don't be troubled, Jennie, dear; I am not offended," said
Katherine, smiling reassuringly. "Of course, you understand that, to
me, our service is very beautiful and sacred. I would dearly love to
have you go with me in a proper way; but if you do not like to ask
permission you can wait until vacation, when you will not be hampered
by school rules."
"All right; perhaps—I will," returned Jennie, with a sly smile;
then, with a friendly "good-night," she went away, and Katherine
thought no more of the matter at that time.
Half an hour later the nine o'clock bell rang and she repaired at
once to Miss Reynolds' room. She found her teacher in bed, looking
flushed and feverish, her throat badly swollen and swathed in
flannels, while she was scarcely able to speak aloud.
She smiled a welcome and held out her hand to the girl, who
clasped it fondly as she sat down beside her.
"I suppose you would say 'it is nothing,'" whispered the woman, a
little gleam of laughter in her eyes, notwithstanding her evident
"No, I should say nothing of the kind to you," said Katherine,
gravely. "But I hoped that I should find you better."
"No, Kathie"—a fond way she had adopted of late when addressing
her—"I have been growing steadily worse since last night. This
afternoon I have been very ill, and Prof. Seabrook sent me word by
his wife, to-night, that if I am not better by morning he will call a
physician upon his own responsibility. I don't want a doctor," she
went on, after resting a moment, "for, since having those talks with
you and learning something of your faith, I find myself shrinking from
Katherine glanced involuntarily at the array of bottles on the
table near her, and Miss Reynolds, observing it, smiled.
"True," she said, "I have been dosing myself with every remedy
that I could think of, while 'halting between two opinions'; but
nothing does any good, and I have come to the end of my rope, so to
speak. That is why I have sent for you, Kathie—to ask you to treat me
Katherine flushed, and for an instant a sense of fear held her in
its grip. With it also came the query, "What would Prof. Seabrook
think of having Christian Science healing deliberately practiced in
Then she mentally declared: "There is no fear in love," and "where
duty pointed the way she would boldly walk therein."
"Are you afraid to take hold of it?" her teacher inquired, as she
observed her hesitation.
"No, I am not afraid, for I know that God is supreme and never
fails those who put their trust in Him," was the confident response.
"But," Katherine continued, "are you sure you really want Christian
"Very sure, Kathie."
"How about these?" and the girl glanced at the bottles, "and
this?" touching the flannel about her throat.
"Oh, I know they are of no use," said the sick woman, with an
impatient sigh. "You may put the medicines all away, and I will take
off the flannel. I am determined not to have a doctor and be laid up
for three long weeks, if I can help it."
"Very well; then I will do my utmost for you," said our young
Scientist, in a resolute tone. "I shall stay here with you to- night;
but, first, I must go to tell Sadie and get my wrapper."
"Ah! that is kind; you can sleep on the couch, and, really, dear,
I do feel too sick to be left alone," was the weary reply.
Without further ado Katherine sped back to her room—working
mentally for her friend as she went—told Sadie her plan, and donned
a loose wrapper; then, taking her Bible and "Science and Health," she
hastened back to her patient.
During her absence Miss Reynolds had removed the voluminous folds
from her neck, and now looked relieved as Katherine reappeared,
prepared to care for her during the night.
Katherine noiselessly removed the various bottles, tumblers, etc.,
from the table, laying her books in their place, and was on the point
of sitting down to begin her work when there came a rap on the door.
Upon answering it she found Mrs. Seabrook standing without, a bowl
of steaming gruel in her hands.
"Oh, you are going to stay with Miss Reynolds tonight!" she
exclaimed, her face lighting as she saw the girl in her wrapper. "I
am very glad—I had intended doing so myself, for I know she should
not be left alone; but Dorothy has just had a bad turn and I cannot
leave her. How is she now?" she concluded, glancing towards the bed.
"About the same as she has been all day."
Mrs. Seabrook sighed anxiously.
"I wish she would have a doctor," she said. "We shall insist upon
it if she is not better in the morning. I have made her some
gruel—do make her take at least a part of it, for she has had no
"Thank you, I will try; and do not worry, dear Mrs. Seabrook. I
will take the very best of care of her, I promise you," said
"I know you will, you dear child; and you have removed a load from
my heart already," returned the care-laden woman, tears springing to
her eyes. Then she bade her good-night and left her, whereupon
Katherine locked the door, and, slipping quietly into a chair, began
working vigorously for her friend.
For more than an hour there seemed to be no change in her
patient's condition. Indeed, if anything, the symptoms appeared to be
aggravated; she tossed restlessly, the fever apparently increasing,
while she called for water every few moments, but refused the gruel,
saying she could not swallow it.
Eleven o'clock came—half-past; then the long tolling of the tower
clock proclaimed midnight ere Katherine was able to detect the
slightest sign of improvement. Then, as she responded to another call
for water, she found that the fever had abated and there was a slight
moisture in the palm of the hand, which she clasped for an instant.
Another half hour spent in alternate reading and work brought
quiet, restful sleep. But the faithful sentinel on guard labored on,
now reading from her precious book, then seeking help from the only
source whence cometh all help and comfort, and never doubting that the
answer to her prayer would eventually come.
At two o'clock Miss Reynolds aroused and again called for water;
then, after drinking thirstily, dropped restfully back upon her
At three she awoke once more and asked for the gruel.
"Kathie, I am better—the fever is gone, and my throat is not so
sore!" she said, smiling faintly into the earnest face looking down
"That is certainly good news," Katherine returned, as she received
the bowl half-emptied of its contents. "Now go to sleep again, and I
will lie down upon the couch."
She lay awake, working, however, until the regular breathing from
the bed told her that her patient was wrapped in slumber; when,
assured that her toiling and rowing were over for the present, and
God at the helm, she, too, dropped off, and knew no more until
aroused by the rising bell at half-past six.
She started up, but her companion slept on, and, disliking to
disturb her, she lay back and worked silently until the next bell, at
seven-thirty, called to the morning meal.
Miss Reynolds heard it also, turned over and looked at her
companion, then sat up and involuntarily put her hands to her throat.
An expression of astonishment swept over her face.
"Katherine! why, Katherine!" she exclaimed; "where is it?"
"Where is what?" inquired the girl, going to her side.
"There is none," said Katherine, with a happy smile as she glanced
at the white, shapely neck to find it in its normal condition.
"Neither is there any soreness in my throat! Child, I do not know
what to think of it!" said the woman, with a note of awe in her tone.
"Think that God was a very present help in time of need," returned
Katherine, with sweet seriousness and a slight tremble in her own
Miss Reynolds fell back upon her pillow, a thoughtful look on her
face. But, presently, glancing at the clock, she said:
"Dear child, you must go for your breakfast, or you will be too
"I will; but what shall I bring you afterwards?"
"What may I have?"
"Anything you like."
"Certainly; don't you remember what we were talking of last week—
man's God-given dominion over all things?"
"Well, it surpasses my comprehension, for I have always had to be
careful what I ate after one of these attacks! But I am in your
hands, Kathie—you may bring me what you choose, and I believe I am
hungry," Miss Reynolds returned, in a tone of conviction.
"You shall have something very soon," Katherine assured her, and,
having dressed her hair while talking, she now flew away to her own
room to complete her toilet, a paean of praise thrilling her heart for
the recent safe and triumphant passage through the Red Sea of human
fear and error, whose waves had so threatened to engulf her patient
the night before.
Breakfast was nearly over when she reached the dining room; but
she slid quietly into her place and made a hurried meal, after which
she sought the matron and gave her order for Miss Reynolds, saying she
would wait and take the tray up to her.
While she was waiting, Mrs. Seabrook espied her and came to
inquire for her patient.
"She is more comfortable this morning," Katherine replied, and,
thinking it wise not to say very much regarding the conditions
Mrs. Seabrook appeared greatly relieved.
"I am thankful," she said. "I was very anxious about her last
night, for I have never seen her so ill before. Poor Dorrie is not as
well, either, this morning," she concluded, with a weary sigh.
A wave of compassion swept over Katherine's heart for this sweet,
patient woman, who was so heavily burdened with her own cares, yet
ever ready to do for others.
"Give my love to Dorrie," she said, adding: "And I will run in to
see her this afternoon, if I may."
"Do, Miss Minturn," said her companion, eagerly. "You always do
the child good, and she will have something pleasant to look forward
to during the day."
Miss Reynolds enjoyed her breakfast, which she ate with perfect
ease. Then she said she would like to be left alone to rest until
noon, when Katherine might bring her a light dinner—"provided her
breakfast did not hurt her."
Katherine pinned upon her door a slip of paper on which was
written "not to be disturbed"; then went away to her own duties,
which would be over at noon, it being Saturday and a half holiday.
After eating her own dinner, she arranged a generous and tempting
meal on a tray and took it to her teacher's room.
She found her up and dressed in her wrapper and seated in a
comfortable rocker, reading "Science and Health," which she had left
lying on the table.
Miss Reynolds looked up and nodded brightly as she laid down the
"Isn't this perfectly lovely? Aren't you astonished to find me
up?" she inquired, as she bestowed a fond pat upon the girl who had
drawn a small table to her side and was arranging her dinner upon it.
"Not in the least," said Katherine, bending to kiss the cheek
"Aren't you? not the least bit? Why! I am simply amazed at
myself!" her teacher exclaimed.
Katherine laughed out merrily.
"I suppose you have heard of the woman who, on being told that
'the prayer of faith would remove mountains,' prayed that God would
take away the hill behind her house?" she queried, archly.
"Yes, and on looking out in the morning, said: 'It's just as I
expected; I knew it would be here just the same!' I know the story,
and I see your point on lack of faith," said Miss Reynolds, echoing
the girl's laugh.
"But that is not the way Christian Scientists pray," Katherine
observed. "Jesus said, 'All things whatsoever ye ask in prayer,
believing, ye shall receive.' You are not quite like the woman who
prayed for what she was sure she would not get; but you are 'amazed'
because you have received that for which we asked; which shows that
you did not really expect it."
"But I must have had some faith, Kathie, or I would not have
trusted myself to your treatment."
"True; and that was your first step in Christian Science, which
brought with it the proof of God's supremacy." "It certainly is a
beautiful proof," Miss Reynolds earnestly returned, "for I have been
subject to these attacks for many years, and have always been under
the care of a physician from three to five weeks before getting back
to my normal condition."
She went on with her dinner, but it was evident that she was
thinking deeply, while Katherine moved softly about the room putting
things in order.
"Katherine," the woman at length inquired, "what is this
'treatment' which you give the sick? Is it simply prayer?"
"Yes, and the understanding that God is all in all."
"Well, I would like to know the secret of it. I have been a
prayerful woman during the greater portion of my life—at least,
according to the common acceptation of the term; but I have never
before known of a direct answer to prayer such has come to you or to
me, through you. What constitutes a Christian Scientist's prayer and
"That question involves a great deal," said Katherine, smiling.
"Briefly, it is reaching out for and appropriating that which is
"Yes, knowing that all good belongs by right to us, as God's dear
children; and acting as if we knew it, by gratefully accepting it,"
Katherine explained. Then observing the puzzled look on her teacher's
face, she went on:
"Let me illustrate. You asked for your dinner. I have brought it
and set it before you. All you have to do is to reach out and partake
of it to satisfy your hunger. How inconsistent it would be if you
should ignore these facts and keep on saying, 'Katherine, I want my
dinner; please, oh, please give me some food, for I am starving.'"
"How ridiculous that sounds!" said Miss Reynolds, laughing. "I
begin to comprehend what you mean and that the old way of praying is
only a halfway prayer, while begging and supplicating God to keep His
promises impugns His righteousness."
"Exactly," Katherine assented, then added: "Prayer is really
twofold—asking and taking, praying and doing; knowing that God's
promises mean what they say, and confidently expecting their
"Do you always have this confidence when you have difficulties to
meet, Kathie? I should think it would not always be easy to 'know,'"
thoughtfully observed Miss Reynolds.
"No, it is not always easy to have perfect trust; in that case
every demonstration, or answer to prayer, would be instantaneous. One
needs to be patient and persistent, the same as one needs to go over a
difficult mathematical problem many times before getting a correct
answer, but never doubting that it will follow right effort,"
Katherine explained. "Of course, there is a great deal more that might
be said about the subject," she added, "and if you will read the
chapter on 'Prayer' in our text-book you will get a far better idea of
it than I have given you."
"I will read it this afternoon if you are not going to use your
book," Miss Reynolds replied.
"I have another copy, and you may keep this one for a while," and
Katherine flushed with pleasure at the woman's manifest interest in
her beloved Science.
"Thank you; and now"—glancing archly at the almost empty dishes
before her—"don't you think I have done ample justice to the
generous repast you brought me? I only hope it won't bring on the
"Oh, faithless and perverse generation!" quoted Katherine, with
smiling reproof. "It will not," she added, positively; "remember your
"I will try, dear; I am very grateful to you, Kathie, and to God,
for the wonderful transformation of the last few hours," said Miss
Reynolds, with starting tears. "If it were not for this feeling of
weakness I believe I could dress and go down to supper to-night."
At that instant there came a tap on the door, and on going to
answer it Katherine found Mrs. Seabrook and Miss Williams, another
Both ladies exclaimed in astonishment upon seeing the supposed
invalid up and dressed, while Mrs. Seabrook viewed with grave
disapproval the tray before her, with its remnants of a hearty
"My dear! are you crazy that you dare eat meat, potatoes and
vegetables—yes, and pie!—with such a fever?" she cried, aghast.
"I have no fever," said Miss Reynolds, giving her a cool, normal
hand. "I am very much better, and I was hungry, so asked Miss Minturn
to bring me something nice to eat."
"All the same, you are very injudicious," was the severe
rejoinder. But the transgressor only smiled serenely and began to
talk of other things, while Katherine removed the offensive tray,
taking it below, after which she sought her own room.
CHAPTER X. MRS. SEABROOK'S PROBLEM.
Katherine spent a while chatting with her roommate, after which
she made some change in her dress, then sought Mrs. Seabrook's
apartments to make her promised visit to Dorothy.
The child was reclining on a couch and propped up by numerous
pillows. She looked pale and worn from recent suffering, although,
just then, she was comparatively comfortable.
Prof. Seabrook was sitting beside her, reading from an
entertaining book, to pass the time during his wife's absence on her
round of visits to the sick.
Katherine flushed slightly as she entered the room, for, try as
she would, she had not yet quite overcome a sense of reserve whenever
she met her principal. His manner to her was always marked by the most
punctilious politeness; but it was such frigid courtesy and so
entirely at variance with his affability during their first interview,
that she also seemed to freeze when in his presence.
The moment the door opened Dorothy uttered a cry of joy, extending
eager hands to her, and, after saluting Prof. Seabrook, Katherine
went to her side, a cheery smile upon her lips as she greeted her.
"I'm so glad, Miss Minturn! Mamma said you were coming, and I've
been watching the door ever since dinner. Can you stay a long time?"
exclaimed the girl, in glad tones.
"Perhaps I am interrupting something interesting," Katherine
observed, as she glanced at the book in the professor's hands.
"Well, papa has been reading to me, and it was interesting,"
Dorothy truthfully admitted. "But he has an engagement pretty soon,
and is only staying with me till mamma comes back, for Alice is out.
Mamma has gone up to see Miss Reynolds. Do you know she is awful
"She is much better to-day. I came from her room only a little
while ago," said Katherine, "and I can stay an hour, or more, with
you if you like. I will go on with the reading, Prof. Seabrook, if it
will relieve you," she added, courteously turning to him.
"Oh, I'd rather talk with you," Dorothy interposed. "Mamma can
finish the story by and by. Now, papa, you can go and leave me with
Prof. Seabrook arose.
"It is very good of you, Miss Minturn," he said, addressing her
with studied politeness. "I do feel anxious to get away to an
important appointment. Well, Dorrie, what shall I bring you from the
city?" he questioned, as he bent over the girl, his tones softening
suddenly to yearning tenderness.
"Oh! papa, it's Saturday, you know," she said, with a wise look.
"Sure; I almost forgot, and the inevitable cream chocolates for
Sunday will have to be forthcoming, I suppose," he laughingly
rejoined. "Anything else?"
"No, I guess not; only tell Uncle Phil, if you see him, to be sure
to come out to-morrow."
"Very well," then kissing her fondly, he bowed formally to
Katherine and quietly left the room.
Ten minutes later Mrs. Seabrook returned, and Katherine persuaded
her to go out for a walk, a privilege which the closely confined
woman was glad to avail herself of, and Dorothy was soon absorbed in
the description of a moonlight fete on the Grand Canal in Venice, and
which Katherine had participated in during her recent tour abroad.
Meantime Mrs. Seabrook was walking briskly towards the highway,
but with a very thoughtful expression on her refined face.
It was one of those soft, balmy days of May that almost delude one
into the belief that it is June; that thrill the heart with
tenderness for every living thing, and quicken responsive pulses with
their unfolding beauty. She had been shut up the whole week with
Dorrie, while, with Miss Reynolds alarmingly ill and several of the
students threatened with as many different ailments, her time had been
more than full, and her mind heavily burdened with care and anxiety.
So it was with a sense of freedom and grateful appreciation that she
pursued her way, breathing in the pure and refreshing air, basking in
the genial sunshine and feasting her eyes upon the loveliness all
around her; but thinking, thinking with a strange feeling of awe deep
down in her heart.
She had just passed the entrance to the grounds of the seminary,
when she saw her brother, Dr. Stanley, approaching from the opposite
She hurried forward to greet him.
"I am more than glad to see you, Phillip," she said, as she
slipped her hand, girl fashion, into his, as it hung by his side.
"Come and walk with me. I want to talk to you."
"I am on my way to Dorrie," he replied. "I met William in a car,
as I was returning to town from a visit to a patient, and he told me
she had been very poorly to-day. So I took the next car back to see
"Yes, she had a very bad night, but has grown more comfortable
within the last few hours. Miss Minturn offered to sit with her and
let me out for a breath of air," his sister explained.
"I owe Miss Minturn my personal thanks. But perhaps I ought to go
on and take a look at Dorrie," said the physician, thoughtfully.
"No, Phil; come with me. I am heavy-hearted, discouraged, and I
need to be comforted," said the much-tried woman, the sound of tears
in her voice. "Miss Minturn is very nice with Dorothy," she continued,
struggling for self-control; "the child always seems happy and to
forget herself when she is with her. Perhaps, though, you haven't
time," she added, with sudden thought.
"Yes, I have, Emelie," the man gently replied, "and we will have
one of our old tramps together. Come! Let us get as far as possible
from that pile of brick and stone and its too familiar surroundings."
And still holding her hand, swinging it gently back and forth, he led
her along the road towards the open country.
"What a strange world this is, Phil!" Mrs. Seabrook broke out,
suddenly, after they had traversed quite a distance and talked of
various matters. "Everything in it seems to be at cross-purposes."
"Do you think so, Emelie? Look!"
The man checked her steps and pointed to the view before them.
They had come to the brow of a hill, and there, spread out beneath
them, was a valley teeming with luxuriant beauty that was a delight
to the eye and full of exhilarating charm. Thrifty farms dotted the
broad expanse as far as they could see; springing fields of grain,
interspersed with verdant meadows, and rich pastures dotted with their
feeding kine were suggestive of prosperous homes and husbandmen;
stretches of woodlands, with their sturdy trunks and vigorous
branches, unfurled their banners of living green in varying shades and
lent an air of dignity and strength to the attractive landscape. Here
and there an apple orchard, with trees in full bloom, gave a dainty
touch of color to brighten the whole, and a small river winding its
glimmering way, like a rope of silver thrown at random, made a
graceful trail over the scene; while above it all fleecy clouds,
skimming athwart a sky of vivid blue, cast lights and shadows that
could not have failed to thrill and inspire the soul of an old master
"I know—that is lovely! No, there are no cross-purposes in
nature; it all seems in perfect harmony," murmured Mrs. Seabrook, her
eyes glowing with keen appreciation of the exquisite picture before
her. "It is only poor humanity that seems all out of tune," she went
on, the tense lines coming back to her face. "Oh, Phillip! what is
this mystery of suffering that we see all about us? If God is tender,
and loving, and supreme, why—oh! why—is the world so full of it?"
Dr. Stanley lifted the hand that he was still holding and laid it
within his arm, drawing her closer to him with a tenderness which
told her that he both knew and shared the heavy burden that weighed
so heavily upon her heart.
"Emelie," he said, his eyes lingering upon the scene before them,
"that is a question that I have often asked myself, especially during
the last two years that I spent in those hospitals abroad, and
witnessed the wretchedness they contained. And I suppose everybody has
been asking it over and over for ages gone by. We have been taught
that sin is the root of it all," he went on, musingly; "that sin
brought sickness and death. Then, as you say, if God is supreme, why
doesn't He abolish the sin, or at least show humanity how to conquer
it in a practical way, to overcome or lessen the results of sin? But
no! The same tragedy is repeated with every generation, and seems
likely to go on for ages to come."
"Sin! What sin could an innocent child like Dorrie be guilty of,
to bring upon her the curse of torture that she has endured for the
last eight years?" cried Mrs. Seabrook, a note of intolerant anguish
in her tones. "I know you will say theology teaches that it is the
heredity sin of our first parents; but, Phillip, that is not fair nor
just—it is not logical reasoning. I believe I am beginning to be very
skeptical, for that argument hasn't a true ring to it. What human
father or mother would torture their offspring simply because an
ancestor, many generations ago, had committed a crime, however
heinous? Oh, sometimes I am almost on the verge of declaring there is
no God. That would bring chaos, I know," she added, with a deprecatory
smile, as she saw her brother's brow contract; "but it really does
seem as if the pros and cons are disproportionate, the cons far
outnumbering the pros, as far as poor humanity is concerned."
"Emelie, you need change of scene; you are becoming morbid," said
Phillip Stanley, looking with fond anxiety into the somber eyes
upraised to his.
"Change of scene would not remove the sword that hangs over me,
for you know that where I go Dorrie must also go. Oh! Phillip, do you
believe that anything will ever permanently relieve that child of
pain?" Mrs. Seabrook cried, a sob escaping her quivering lips. "I
don't expect she is ever going to be straight, like other girls. I
only ask that she may be freed from suffering. Have you any real faith
in that proposed operation, or even that—that she will live through
it? You have been trying to 'build her up,' but she appears to be
running down instead."
"I know, dear, her case does seem to be very trying, although I
see no especial cause for anxiety. I hope when the season is more
advanced and you go to the mountains she will improve more rapidly.
But how would you like to change the treatment?" And Dr. Stanley bent
a searching look upon the troubled face beside him.
"Have some one else?"
"Yes; try another specialist."
"No, Philip; we have tried everything—every school, and countless
specialists, for eight years," said Mrs. Seabrook, wearily. "I have
more confidence in you than in anyone else, for I know that you are
putting your whole heart into the case, and yet—"
"What is it, Emelie? Do not fear to speak your mind freely," said
her brother, encouragingly.
"Phillip, what do you think of the Christian Scientists? Would it
be too ridiculous to try their method for a while?" she faltered, and
Dr. Stanley smiled.
"Has Dorothy been talking to you also about the miracles of
nineteen hundred years ago?" he inquired, evasively.
"No; what do you mean?"
He related his recent conversation with his niece on the subject,
and told of his promise to read the Scripture references she had
"I kept my word," he said, in conclusion, "and became so
interested that I read the account of every miracle that Christ and
His apostles performed."
"Oh! Dorrie never tires of reading or of asking questions about
them," returned Mrs. Seabrook; "but that has had nothing to do with
my thought. Something very queer has occurred during the last
twenty-four hours. You remember I spoke to you yesterday regarding
Miss Reynolds' illness?"
"Yes; you thought her condition rather serious, I believe."
"Phillip, she really was very ill; I was thoroughly alarmed about
her. Always, before this, when she has had these attacks, she has
been very willing to have a physician, but this time she flatly
refused to let me call anyone. Last night she was worse than I ever
saw, her, and Miss Minturn took care of her."
"Ah!" ejaculated Dr. Stanley, in a peculiar tone.
"You know, perhaps, that Miss Minturn is a Christian Scientist?"
said his sister, inquiringly.
"Well, I went to Miss Reynolds' room late last night: and, truly,
I came away in fear and trembling. I could not sleep well because of
anxiety on her account. This morning, however, Miss Minturn told me,
in her quiet way, that she was 'more comfortable.' But you can imagine
my astonishment when I went to see the woman, less than an hour ago,
and found her up and dressed, having just finished a dinner of roast
beef and vegetables—in fact, our regular Saturday menu—pie and all."
"What! with all that fever?" exclaimed Dr. Stanley, aghast.
"Well, that was the queerest thing about it," said Mrs. Seabrook,
in a tone of perplexity; "there wasn't a sign of fever about her and
the swelling of her throat was all gone. But for looking a trifle pale
and hollow-eyed, she seemed nearly as well as ever. She would not talk
of herself, though; she just evaded our questions—Miss Williams was
with me—but ran on about Dorothy and school matters in general, as
lively as a cricket. Now, putting this and that together, I am
inclined to think that Miss Minturn had something to do with this
wonderful change. What do you think?" she concluded, turning to her
brother with an eager look.
"I would not be at all surprised if she had," Dr. Stanley gravely
"You 'would not be at all surprised'! Then, Phillip, you do
believe in Christian Science healing, after all!" exclaimed his
sister, almost breathlessly.
"No, I do not 'believe' in it, and yet I know that strange, even
marvelous, things are done in its name," Phillip Stanley replied.
"Has Will never told you that I suggested we try it before having
Dorrie submit to an operation?" he added, after a moment of thought.
"No, he has never mentioned the subject to me."
"Well, I did," and then the young man proceeded to relate the
incident that had occurred on the Ivernia during his return passage
and his subsequent conversation with his brother-in-law.
"While I have no faith in it as a 'demonstrable science,'" he
continued, "and while there is much that, to me, seems absurdly
inconsistent in what they teach, I am not so egotistical and
obstinate as to utterly repudiate, with a supercilious wave of the
hand, any method of healing that could do what I know was done for
that suffering child last fall. And, my dear sister, I am sure I do
not need to tell you that I would be willing to yield everything—go
to any legitimate length to save our Dorrie from a trying ordeal,
which, after all, might not bring the result we hope for. It is a
question that remains to be proved, you know," he concluded, gently.
"Do not think for a moment," he presently resumed, "that I believe
Christian Science could cure her; at the same time I would not object
to giving it a trial—making a test—to see if it would relieve her
"Why not test it upon yourself, Phil?" his sister abruptly
The man started, then flushed.
"You refer to my imperfect sight?"
"Yes, of course; you need it for nothing else."
"Pshaw! Emelie; there is nothing that can mend a dislocated optic
nerve," returned the physician, with an impatient shrug.
They walked on some distance farther, both intent upon the subject
which they had been discussing.
"Well, Phillip, I am going to ask Will to try what it will do for
Dorothy," Mrs. Seabrook at length asserted, in a resolute tone. "Of
course, if it is only mental treatment, it cannot do the child any
harm, even if it does her no good."
"I hope you may succeed, dear, in winning his consent," her
brother returned. "He was rather short with me about it, and I could
see that, for some reason, he was quite stirred up over the subject."
"I think it would be unreasonable to refuse to make a trial of it,
after we have spent years fruitlessly testing other things," was the
somewhat sharp reply. Then she added, as she turned her face towards
home: "I think I will have to go back now, Phil. I have been out
nearly an hour, and I must not impose upon Miss Minturn. This walk and
talk have done me good, though. I feel both cheered and refreshed."
They walked briskly back to the seminary, chatting socially on
various topics, and Dr. Stanley was glad to see a healthful glow upon
his companion's cheeks and a brighter look in her eyes by the time
they entered the building.
They found Katherine reading the ninety-first psalm to Dorothy,
who was lying restfully among her pillows, with a look of peace in
her eyes that was like balm to the mother's aching heart.
The moment Phillip Stanley caught sight of Katherine he settled
his chin with a resolute air, a sudden purpose taking form in his
"Emelie," he said, in his sister's ear, "will you manage so that I
can have a few minutes' conversation with Miss Minturn?"
She nodded, giving him a bright look, then went forward to
Dorothy's side, while Dr. Stanley turned to greet Katherine, who had
risen upon their appearance.
CHAPTER XI. DR. STANLEY ASKS SOME
"We meet occasionally, Miss Minturn," Dr. Stanley observed in a
genial tone, as he cordially extended his hand to her. "I hope
everything is progressing satisfactorily in the junior class."
"As far as I know, all is well," she returned, her scarlet lips
parting in a smile that just showed the tips of her white teeth,
though she flushed slightly under her companion's glance. "I can
speak with authority for only one, however. I am compelled to work
pretty diligently; but I rather enjoy that."
"I am sure you do. I recall a fluent reading from Horace, which I
inadvertently interrupted on the Ivernia, last fall, and which must
have required earnest application; and I also remember that that same
student could not be tempted from her task until the lesson was done,"
the gentleman rejoined, jocosely. Then turning to Dorothy, he
"And how does my small niece find herself this afternoon?"
"Miss Minturn, I have enjoyed my walk more than I can tell you,"
said Mrs. Seabrook, as she removed her hat and wrap, but wondering at
the unaccustomed crimson in the girl's cheeks. "And now," she added,
"if you have time I would like to show you a portfolio of engravings
which Prof. Seabrook received last week from an old classmate who is
Katherine could never resist fine pictures, and followed her
hostess into an adjoining room, where the portfolio was placed upon a
table, and she was invited to inspect its contents at her leisure,
Mrs. Seabrook excusing herself to prepare some nourishment for
Katherine found many of the engravings to be copies of paintings
by some of the great masters, and which she had seen, in various
galleries, the previous summer. They were very finely executed, and
she became so absorbed in them that she was unconscious of the
presence of anyone until Dr. Stanley's smooth, cultured tones fell
upon her startled ears.
"That is a beautiful thing, Miss Minturn," he observed, bending
nearer to look more closely at a copy of a section of the 'Creation'
as painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican at
Rome. "The foreshortening and perspective there is wonderful! Michael
Angelo was the master of them all! Of course, you have seen many of
the wonders of that great storehouse of art?"
"Yes; mamma and I spent a great deal of time in the Vatican. What
a treasure vault it is!" Katherine replied, and then, as she turned
other pictures to view, they fell to talking of scenes familiar to
At length she came upon a reproduction of the healing of the lame
man by Peter, at the "Gate Beautiful" of the Temple in Jerusalem.
It was full of strength and life, as well as of touches of beauty
and pathos, and the girl's face lighted with keen appreciation as she
"That is a queer story," Dr. Stanley observed, and eagerly seizing
the opportunity for which he had been waiting.
"Queer?" repeated Katherine, inquiringly.
"Yes; it seems so to me. Do you believe that man—Peter, I
believe, was his name—performed that cure instantaneously, as
"No; but God did, working through him," said Katherine.
"You firmly believe that such an incident really occurred?"
"I certainly do."
"And you just as firmly believe that such healing can be done
The girl lifted a quick, searching look to her companion, half
expecting to see the skeptical curl, which she so well remembered,
wreathing his mobile lips.
But, instead, she found herself looking into a pair of grave,
earnest blue eyes, and there was no sign of levity or derision in the
"Yes, it has been done many times during the last thirty years,"
she quietly replied.
"Do you speak from actual knowledge or only from hearsay?"
"Both. I know of two cases, and my mother could tell you of
"Do you believe that Dorothy could be healed? made straight and
"Oh, Dr. Stanley!" Katherine breathed, with luminous eyes. "Yes,
indeed! yes. Will they try the Science for her? Oh! how I have
yearned to have that dear child made whole!"
Her face was so radiant with hope, yet so softly tender and so
beautiful, the physician was deeply moved.
"I cannot say as to that," he replied. "But will you tell me, Miss
Minturn, what, in your method, heals the sick?"
"God—the power that created the universe and holds it in His
grasp, who 'spake and it was done.'"
"Ah! but that is so vague, so intangible, I cannot comprehend your
meaning," said the man, with an impatient shrug of his broad
shoulders. "I do not doubt the existence of God," he continued, "nor
His omnipotence, for I believe that the Creator must have all power
over His own creation. But how—how can suffering humanity avail
itself of that power? If I could grasp that—if I were sure it could
be done by a really scientific process, I would never again prescribe
a drug or touch a surgical instrument."
He spoke with evident emotion, almost passionately, for they could
hear Dorothy sobbing, from the returning pain, in the other room,
and, with all his learning and experience, the man had a heart-
sickening sense of discouragement in view of his own and others'
helplessness to cope with that demon of torture which was surely
destroying his niece and, indirectly, wearing to a shadow his only
"You say you believe in God—that you do not doubt His power; but
is that statement of your attitude quite true, Dr. Stanley?"
Katherine gently inquired. "If you really believed it, if all who
claim that they have faith in an omnipotent God really believed it,
would you or they ever assume that drugs or surgical instruments were
needed to assist God to do His work?"
"Jove! that is an argument that has never occurred to me before!"
Phillip Stanley exclaimed. "But," he went on, doubtfully, "the curse
came, and man was driven to do something to mitigate it; and it has
been conceded, all down the ages, that these same doctors and material
remedies are agencies that were required and provided by an all-wise
Providence for that purpose."
"Yes, man, in his arrogance, has claimed that, and so has
practically denied the omnipotence of God. But this same God has
said, over and over, 'Whatsoever ye ask ye shall receive,' and 'Come
unto me all ye that are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you
rest.' But he has never said, 'Ask to be healed of disease and I will
send you doctors, to experiment with drugs, roots and herbs, and
mechanical appliances;' or, 'if ye are worn out with care and
heavy-laden with suffering they shall build you costly sanitariums,
wherein to rest and be treated.' But only the rich or a favored few
may avail themselves of these. If these remedies or retreats were
infallible and could reach all mankind, there might be some
plausibility in such arguments; but such is not the case, as you must
know. Where, in God's Word, which is conceded to be the guide for
humanity, do you find authority for them?" Katherine inquired, in
"You have me there, Miss Minturn," rejoined her companion, with a
quizzical smile; "honesty compels me to confess that I have not been
much of a Bible student, at least of late years. But allow me to say
that your arguments against doctors, drugs and hospitals are very
quaint, not to say convincing," he added, with an amused laugh.
"Well, let me assure you that you cannot find an instance, from
Genesis to Revelation, where God commands man to call upon
physicians, or to use material remedies for sickness any more than
for sin," Katherine continued, earnestly. "But we do find many
injunctions to depend upon Him alone in such extremity. In
Deuteronomy we read, 'And the Lord will take away from thee all
sickness.' Again, we are told what the penalty is for not calling
upon Him—'Asa died because he sought the physicians and not unto
God.' David tells us, 'It is God who healeth all our diseases,' and
there are many more passages I could quote to prove the point."
"But why, if that is the only right way, has not God made it so
plain that no one could go astray?" questioned Dr. Stanley.
"He has made it plain, and man would not go astray if he were
obedient; but, in his arrogance and egotism, he has ignored God and
'sought out many inventions' [Footnote: Eccles., 7.29.] to rob Him of
His prerogative," said Katherine.
"Well, to go back still farther, why has God permitted such evils
and untold misery to exist in the world?" thoughtfully inquired the
"He has not 'permitted' it," the girl positively declared.
"Isn't that rather a bold assertion, if God is omnipotent?"
Phillip Stanley demanded, in surprise.
"No; for He asserts that He looks on evil with 'no degree of
allowance.' For instance, you are supposed to be supreme in the sick
room, your word law; but if your patient ignores your directions and
remedies and substitutes others in place of them, you are not
'permitting' such willful disobedience. But the patient suffers for it
none the less, and you are in no way responsible for his condition. So
mortals, in their presumption and perverseness, have become idolaters,
have set up false gods or devices to rob God of His power. Take
another illustration: Truth and honesty are supreme in their realm,
but there are people who prefer to lie when truth would serve them
better, and who would rather steal than get an honest living. But
truth and honesty do not permit—are not responsible for such
perversion. Until the liar and the thief turn to truth and honesty, to
reclaim them, they will suffer from the results of their sins; they
cannot substitute anything else."
"I see your point, Miss Minturn, and you have given me something
to think of. You argue, too, like a veritable doctor of divinity,"
said Dr. Stanley, with a smile.
"Oh! no, I do not," retorted Katherine, with a roguish gleam in
her brown eyes; "for, let your doctor of divinity get sick and he
will argue for material remedies every time."
"That is true, and my intellect, my education and experience
prompt me to reason from the same standpoint," was the grave
response. "My professional pride also cries out 'Absurd! Impossible!
Impractical!' But I dearly love that little girl in there," and the
man's voice grew gentle as a woman's and trembled in spite of his
manhood, as he glanced towards the adjoining room. "I love my sister,
whose life is a mental and physical martyrdom, and I would sacrifice
all I have—yea, even professional authority and pride—to bring
health and happiness to them. There is one thing left to try for
Dorothy, to relieve that pain—only one; but my heart shrinks, revolts
from it. That is why I have sought this conversation with you, Miss
Minturn, hoping to get a little insight regarding your methods; and,
while I do not grasp the so- called 'science' of it at all, I am
impressed that you Scientists have something that we physicians have
not. But I marvel at your profound thought upon such a subject at your
"You would not marvel at my ability to elucidate a difficult
problem in trigonometry?" said Katherine, smiling.
"No, for that would be a natural outgrowth of your education."
"Yes, and the same argument holds good regarding what we have been
talking of," was the quick response. "I have been taught it from my
youth up, and although I know but very little of Christian Science,
for it is infinite, yet what I have learned I know just as clearly as
I know certain statements in the 'History of the United States'; yes,
far more clearly," she interposed, with a little laugh, "for I am
obliged to take the historian's account for granted, in part, while I
can demonstrate, prove Christian Science for myself."
Dr. Stanley's shapely brows were arched ever so slightly at this
"Have you ever done any healing, Miss Minturn?" he inquired. "Have
you ever cured anyone of a severe illness?"
Katharine flushed under his glance and question.
"A person cannot be said to know very much about mathematics
unless he is able to demonstrate mathematical problems," she
observed, after a moment of hesitation.
"I see; you mean that anyone who acquires the principles of
Christian Science can demonstrate it by healing the sick?"
"Yes. It is the Christ-science, or the Science of Christianity, as
demonstrated and taught by Jesus, who said, 'The works that I do
shall ye do also if ye believe in Me.' So anyone who conscientiously
investigates it, from an honest desire to know the Truth, will grow
into the practice of it."
"Miss Minturn, do you believe that you could help Dorothy?"
earnestly inquired Phillip Stanley.
"I know that she could be helped under right conditions; and I
wish—I feel sure that my mother's understanding is sufficient to
meet the case," she thoughtfully returned.
"'Under right conditions,' what do you mean by that?"
"Dorothy would have to be willing to be treated, and the consent
of Prof. and Mrs. Seabrook would also be necessary."
"Then nothing could be done for her by your method except under
those conditions?" and Dr. Stanley's tone conveyed a sense of
"No; it would not be right—it would be interfering where one
would have no authority to intrude."
"But it would be doing good; that is always justifiable, is it
not? even if the child could be given but one night's peaceful rest
to prove its efficacy."
"Some physicians believe in hypnotism; do you?" Katherine
inquired, with apparent irrelevancy.
"Well, under certain circumstances, it might be employed to
advantage, but, as a rule, I am opposed to it."
"We utterly repudiate it as a very dangerous and demoralizing
practice; but, Dr. Stanley, would you think it right, under any
circumstances, for a person to hypnotize you without your consent?"
"Indeed I would not; it would be a dastardly act," emphatically
declared the physician.
"On the same principle, Christian Scientists feel that they have
no right to treat, or try to influence anyone mentally, even to do
good, without permission," Katherine explained, as she arose,
thinking, perhaps, enough had been said on the subject.
"Just one moment, please, Miss Minturn," said the gentleman,
detaining her. "There is one thing more I would like to speak of.
Will you kindly look me directly in the eyes?" Somewhat surprised,
Katherine turned her glance upon his and looked searchingly into
those fine eyes so deeply blue, but flushing as she did so.
"Can you detect any difference in them?" he questioned.
"No, I cannot," she said, and knowing now why he had asked it, for
she remembered what Miss Reynolds had told her.
"Well, there is," he affirmed, "for I am blind in my left eye,
although scarcely anyone would observe it; at least I can only
discern light from darkness. It was caused by an accident when I was
a child. Do you believe, Miss Minturn, that normal sight could be
restored to that eye?"
"I know that it could," Katherine began.
"Yes, of course, you know that God has power to restore it," her
companion interposed; "but do you believe any practitioner would take
my case and encourage me to hope for such a result?"
"Assuredly," said the girl, with unwavering confidence.
"Truly, your faith is unbounded," Phillip Stanley observed, with a
smile in which there was a glimmer of skepticism. "I wish it could
find an echo in my own heart, for I would give a great deal for so
priceless a boon. But where do your practitioners go to learn their
"To our text-book, 'Science and Health.' It—"
"That little leather-covered book I used to see you reading on
"Yes; it contains the whole of Christian Science, and, Dr.
Stanley"—with a significant nod—"he who will may read."
"I understand"—with a responsive laugh—"one has to put forth
individual effort in order to acquire valuable knowledge. Pray pardon
me for detaining you so long, and possibly I may ask to talk with you
further after I have consulted my sister and her husband. Really, Miss
Minturn"—he interposed in a deprecatory tone and flushing with a
sense of the incongruity of his position- -"I am afraid I am rather
faithless, but something impels me to suggest that a trial be given
the Science treatment before the adoption of severe measures.
Good-afternoon, and thank you for your courtesy and patience."
He shook hands cordially with her, then bowed himself away.
CHAPTER XII. PROF. SEABROOK'S
ULTIMATUM—AND BROKEN RULES.
Dr. Stanley, after sitting a while with Dorothy, to watch the
effect of a remedy given to relieve her suffering, went directly back
to the city, wearing a very thoughtful face.
Upon reaching his office, and finding no one awaiting him, he
picked up a book from his desk and went out again, directing his
steps towards the public library.
Arriving there, he searched the catalogue and, at length, finding
the title he desired, wrote the number on his card and presented his
book to be exchanged.
When the wished-for volume was handed to him he opened the cover
and glanced at the title page, reading therefrom, "Science and
Health, with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker G. Eddy." A
peculiar smile, in which there may have been a trace of self-
contempt, wreathed his lips as he slipped it under his arm and then
made his way from the building.
He stopped at a cafe near by and partook of a light meal, after
which he returned to his office and read from his book as long as
daylight lasted, without once laying it aside. Then, lighting a
student lamp, he became absorbed again, reading on until the clock
"There is much I do not understand! much I cannot grasp!" he
exclaimed, a note of impatience in his voice, and the perplexing work
was tossed somewhat irreverently upon the table. "It so radically
reverses preconceived ideas and opinions; it seems so abstruse, vague
and intangible, it irritates me. And yet, in the light of what Mrs.
Minturn and her daughter have told me, I believe I have caught a
glimpse, here and there, of the meaning of some of its statements. It
is like trying to march through a tangled wilderness," he continued,
as he picked up the book again and slowly slipped the leaves through
his fingers; "but I'll read the thing through, now that I have begun
it, though I have a suspicion that I shall only get deeper into an
While Phillip Stanley was thus engaged, Mrs. Seabrook was
earnestly discussing the same subject with her husband. She related
to him her recent conversation with her brother, also her suspicions
regarding what had so almost miraculously banished Miss Reynolds'
severe malady, and repeated some things which she had overheard during
her brother's interview with Katherine.
Prof. Seabrook, usually so considerate and tender in all his
relations with his dear ones—such a gentle man in every sense of the
word—sat listening with averted face and brow heavily overcast, his
finely chiseled lips compressed into an obstinate, rigid line.
"William, do let us give it a trial; it certainly could do no
harm, and it might give Dorrie some relief from the pain," pleaded
his wife, but studying the unsympathetic face opposite her with
mingled anxiety and surprise.
There was an awkward silence when she concluded; but at length her
companion observed, in a repressed tone:
"Emelie, Phillip and I have already discussed this subject."
"I know; he has told me, Will; but I thought, perhaps, after you
had given the matter more consideration, in view of these recent
developments, you might think more favorably of it," Mrs. Seabrook
"But I do not think more favorably of it," was the cold response.
"But why? What possible objection can you have to giving the
method a trial?" queried Mrs. Seabrook and flushing with momentary
indignation at his intolerant attitude. "You have eagerly welcomed
and tried everything that numerous physicians have suggested and
which, after years of patient experimenting, have done absolutely no
good. I cannot understand why you should be so obstinately opposed to
what anyone can see, can do no possible harm, even if no permanent
relief is derived from it."
"I am not so sure that 'no harm' would result from it," the
professor observed, in an inflexible voice.
"I wish you would explain what you mean, Will, and not hold
yourself so obscurely aloof from the subject," returned his wife,
with unusual spirit and an unaccustomed spark in her mild eyes. "I am
not a child, to be merely told that a thing is not good for me, and
consequently cannot have it. If there is a good and sufficient reason
why Dorothy shall not have Christian Science treatment, I would like
to know what it is. For eight years I, as well as my child, have been
a martyr in a chamber of torture, and my burden is growing heavier
than I can bear."
Her lips quivered and her voice broke with those last words.
Her husband reached out his hand and laid it caressingly against
her face, drawing her head down upon his shoulder.
"I know it, sweetheart," he said, with tremulous tenderness, "and
my own heart rebels against it every day of my life. Perhaps I have
seemed arrogant in my attitude toward what you have suggested. I feel
so. I am utterly intolerant of Christian Science and will have nothing
to do with it."
"But why, Will? You do not state any reason. Why do you condemn it
without a trial—without investigation? You know nothing about it-
"I know all I wish," the man interrupted, with curling lips. "I
have never mentioned the fact, but I have read the Christian Science
text-book and have found it to be a conglomeration of the most absurd
statements, theories and contradictions it has ever been my lot to
peruse. As a matter of principle, as a Christian, I abjure its
teachings, for they are diametrically opposed to my religious views;
and as a D.D. and a Ph.D. I feel that I should be subjecting myself to
the rankest criticism and ridicule were I to give it countenance in
any way whatsoever. I do not stand alone in my attitude, by any means,
for the book has been discussed in our Philosophical Association,
which, as you well know, is composed of some of the brightest men and
most profound thinkers in the State; and it was utterly repudiated and
denounced as fallacious and un- Christian in its teachings, and
calculated to do inestimable harm. The idea of an obscure woman
setting herself up as a reconstructor of the religious faiths of the
world! It is simply the height of presumption and absurdity," he
concluded, with considerable heat.
"But when you think of it, how much better it would be if there
was only 'one Lord, one faith and one baptism' in the world, instead
of hundreds. How is anyone to know which is the right one?" said Mrs.
Seabrook, thoughtfully. "We claim to be Presbyterians, but we can
offer no proof that our creed is better than any other, while the
Christian Scientists claim that their healing proves their religion to
be the Christianity taught by the Master."
"Yes, they claim a great deal; but they want to overturn
altogether too much for me to accept it," dryly observed her husband.
"But they maintain that it is founded on the Bible."
"True; and that is wherein it is most harmful. It is the false
teaching calculated to 'deceive the very elect.' Emelie, it irritates
me to talk about it; let us drop it, please," and with a frowning brow
the man arose and restlessly paced the floor.
"Then you will not consent to try the healing for Dorothy?" and
there was a plaintive note in the weary mother's voice which smote
painfully upon the husband's ears.
That ended the conversation, and with a heavy heart Mrs. Seabrook
went back to her child to take up her accustomed night vigil, but
with a secret sense of injustice and rebellion such as she had seldom
That same evening, after supper, when Katherine went to her room
she found Sadie dressing to go out.
The girl looked flushed and excited, a condition so at variance
with her usual composure and languid manner that Katherine regarded
her with surprise. She was also making a rather elaborate toilet, and
she wondered where she could be going.
"Oh! honey," she exclaimed, as her chum appeared in the doorway,
"don't you want to come with me?"
"Where? Is there a theater party on the tapis?" Katherine
inquired, as she watched a labored effort to tie a coquettish bow at
"Oh! no; I have to go down to Madam Alberti's for my new hat. I
want it for church to-morrow," Sadie explained. "I have permission,
but can't go alone, you know. Annie Fletcher was going with me, but
her brother has just come—so that's off."
"Why, yes; I'd like the walk," said Katherine, with animation.
"But I supposed, from the 'fuss and feathers' you are putting on,
that you were bound either for the theater or to make a fashionable
"Well—you know it doesn't get dark very early now, and one meets
so many people on the street, especially on Saturday evening, one
must look passable," Sadie returned, but the flush on her cheeks grew
brighter while she spoke.
Katherine hastily donned her hat, and, taking a light wrap on her
arm, signified her readiness to accompany her.
On their way downstairs Miss Minot stopped at Miss Williams' door.
"I've got to tell her that Annie can't go, and I am taking you in
her place," she said, as she rapped for admittance.
"Of course, Miss Minturn can go if she has no special duties,"
Miss Williams observed, when the matter was explained to her. "And,"
she added, archly, "I think the change is all for the best, for when I
allow two mischief-loving girls, like you and Annie, to go off by
themselves, I sometimes have rather more of a sense of responsibility
than is comfortable."
"Now, Miss Williams, that is rather hard on Annie and me," drawled
Sadie, while the quick color flew to her face again, "though I'm sure
it's a right smart compliment to Katherine. But thank you all the same
for permission, and—I reckon you'll feel perfectly 'com-
fortable'—you'll not be afraid there's any mischief brewing now,"
she concluded, demurely.
"No, indeed; I know you are in excellent hands," smiled Miss
Williams, and the two girls went on their way.
The walk "downtown" was delightful, for the evening was balmy and
fragrant with unfolding flowers and foliage. Arriving at Madam
Alberti's, they found her fashionable rooms filled with customers,
and were obliged to wait sometime before Miss Minot could be served.
Then, when the hat was finally brought, there was something that
did not quite suit her fastidious taste and had to be changed. By the
time this was effected it had grown quite dark outside; but as they
started out Sadie lingered by the door and looked up and down the
street with an air of expectation, mingled with some anxiety,
"Let us go into Neal's for a soda and some candy," Sadie at length
proposed, and, as candy was also one of Katherine's weaknesses, they
stepped into a confectioner's, next door, and made their purchases.
While waiting for their change a young man, stylishly attired,
approached Sadie and, lifting his hat, saluted her with much
Sadie smiled, blushed, and addressed him as "Mr. Willard," then
introduced Katherine, who was beginning to understand some things
that had puzzled her, and to feel quite uncomfortable.
They stood chatting together until their change was handed them,
when they passed out of the store, Mr. Willard taking possession of
Miss Minot's bandbox with an air of proprietorship which, to say the
least, was suggestive.
When they reached the first corner Katherine halted.
"I suppose we will take a car, Sadie, it is getting so late," she
"Oh, it is so fine, let us walk back," said the girl, appealingly.
Katherine was dismayed, particularly as Mr. Willard supplemented,
"I hope you can be persuaded, Miss Minturn. It will give me great
pleasure to see you safely home."
Katherine knew it would never do. It would be a rank violation of
the rules, which explicitly stated that no young lady could receive
attention from young men without permission direct from the principal,
on penalty of expulsion.
"Thank you, Mr. Willard; but I think we will take a car," she
courteously but decidedly replied.
"Oh, come now, Katharine, don't be disobliging," Sadie here
interposed; "there can be no harm in our walking quietly back to the
seminary together. Ned—er—Mr. Willard has met Prof. Seabrook, and it
will be all right."
The slip which revealed Mr. Willard's first name, and also
betrayed something of the intimacy which existed between the young
couple, appalled Katherine, and confirmed her suspicions that the
meeting had been previously planned, and drove her to radical
She turned politely to the young man and observed:
"Mr. Willard, if we had Prof. Seabrook's permission, no doubt the
walk would be very enjoyable; but since we have not, and the rules
are explicit, I am sure you will appreciate our position and excuse
us. There is our car. Will you kindly signal for us?"
Of course there was nothing for the gentleman to do but obey,
which he did with an icy:
"Certainly, Miss Minturn, and pray pardon my intrusion."
They were obliged to wait a moment for some people to alight, and
during the delay Katherine heard him say in an aside to her roommate:
"Next time, Sadie, don't bring a prude with you."
"Next time!" Katherine repeated to herself, with a, heart-bound of
astonishment. These meetings, then, were of frequent occurrence, and
there was no telling what regret and disgrace her friend was storing
up. For herself, for it was only a question of time when she would be
Of course, she could not talk the matter over with her on the car,
but when they alighted and were entering the school grounds she felt
she must speak a word of caution.
"Sadie, did you have an appointment to meet Mr. Willard to-night?"
"Well, suppose I did!" was the defiant retort.
"If you did, you certainly had no right to draw me into anything
of the kind," said Katherine, indignantly. "It was not an honorable
thing to do."
"Well, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give me
away?" demanded the girl, tartly.
"I have no wish to tell tales of anyone," she replied; "but,
truly, I do not like what I have heard and seen to-night. Sadie, I
overheard what Mr. Willard said to you just as we were getting on the
"Lor'! Did you? Well, of course, he didn't like it; to have all
our fun spoiled and—-"
"And it proved to me that you are in the habit of meeting him
clandestinely," interposed Katherine, determined to sift the affair
to the bottom.
"I'm sure I don't know what business you have to meddle,"
spiritedly began the girl, when Katherine checked her again by
"You know, Sadie, that my only thought is to save you from getting
into trouble," and she laid a gentle hand upon the arm of the angry
"I reckon I made a mistake asking you to go with me," Sadie
observed, in a calmer tone after a moment of silence, "but—but—
Katherine, I might as well own up—I'm—engaged to Ned Willard."
"Engaged! Sadie! Where did you meet him? How long have you known
him?" exclaimed Katherine, aghast.
"Oh, about three months. I met him the night Mrs. Bryant gave that
"Did Mrs. Bryant introduce him to you? Was he with her party?"
"N-o; but Nellie Nixon knew him and introduced us on our way out
after the play."
"Does your guardian know of your engagement?"
"No. Ned thought it would be as well not to say anything about it
at present," Sadie reluctantly admitted, but cringing visibly at the
"Dearest," said Katherine, fondly, "I feel that I have no right to
'meddle,' as you say, in your affairs, but I do not see how you can
respect or trust a man who would draw you into a secret engagement and
then endanger your reputation and standing in school by insisting upon
clandestine meetings. If he possessed a fine sense of honor he would
go to your guardian, frankly tell him of his regard for you, and ask
his permission to address you openly. What is Mr. Willard's business,
"I—I don't know," the girl confessed, with\ embarrassment. Then
bridling, added: "Well, but I don't care shucks about that. I have
money enough for both—or shall have next year, when I am twenty-
"I am afraid he is of the same opinion," Katherine said, to
herself; but, thinking it might be unwise to dwell upon that point,
made no reply.
"You are not going to tell anyone, honey," Sadie pleaded, and
pausing upon the steps before entering the building. "I think it will
be downright mean if you do," she added, hotly, as she saw the
troubled look on her chum's face.
"Sadie, I wouldn't for the world do anything for the sake of being
'mean'; but I am sure you are doing very wrong, and will deeply
regret it some day," was the grave reply.
"If you give me away it will get me into an awful scrape."
"I know it; and my greatest concern is to save you from anything
of the kind. Will you stop meeting Mr. Willard on the sly?"
"Oh, Katherine, and not see him at all!" exclaimed Sadie, in a
voice of dismay.
"Dear, are you so fond of him?" queried Katherine, gently.
The girl flushed from neck to brow.
"Indeed—indeed, I am," she confessed, with downcast eyes.
"Well, then, if it has gone that far he should at least allow you
to respect him!" said Katherine, a thrill of indignation vibrating in
her tones. "Don't go on this way, Sadie," she pleaded; "write him that
you cannot meet him again in any such way; but tell him, if he will
make himself known to your guardian, and get his permission to call
upon you, you will receive him here."
"If I will do that, will you promise not to say anything about to-
night?" demanded the girl, eagerly.
"Yes," Katherine replied, after a moment of thought; at the same
time she did not feel quite satisfied with the state of affairs.
"All right; I will write Ned to-morrow and tell him," Sadie
returned, with a sigh of relief as they entered the building and
passed on to their room.
Before going to rest, Katherine slipped away to see Miss Reynolds
and ascertain if she could do anything for her before retiring.
She found her reading, but Miss Reynolds at once laid down her
book and welcomed the girl with a bright smile.
"I am all right, Kathie, and I have been having a perfect feast,"
she said, touching the "Science and Health" in her lap.
They spent a few minutes in social chat, then she sent Katherine
away, saying she must make up the sleep she had lost the night
before, and our faithful little Scientist was glad, after her busy
day, to seek her couch, where she was soon sleeping peacefully and
knew no more until she awoke the next morning to find the bright May
sunshine flooding her room, and told herself, with a sigh of content,
that it was the Sabbath, and a whole restful day of truth and love
She was made happy, on descending to breakfast, to find Miss
Reynolds in her accustomed seat. They exchanged smiling glances, and,
later, the teacher said, in a low tone:
"Come to my room this afternoon, Kathie, if you have nothing
special to do; I have more questions for you."
Katherine said she would, and, as soon as the meal was over,
hastened away to prepare for church.
It was a beautiful day, and she decided to walk instead of taking
a car, as usual. She reached the hall just in season to slip into a
seat before the opening hymn was given out.
When she arose with the congregation to sing, she glanced around
to see if there was anyone near her whom she knew. Her astonishment
may be imagined when her eye fell upon Jennie Wild, just across the
aisle from her.
The girl had also espied her and nodded a smiling and half-defiant
recognition, which Katherine gravely returned.
CHAPTER XIII. THE STORY OF A STRAY
For a moment Katherine felt as if she were being made the target
for the arrows of error from every quarter; for here was another
lawless girl on her hands, and another infraction of rules which
threatened to involve her in disagreeable complications.
But, after silently declaring that "evil could not make her its
channel, either directly or indirectly," she resolutely put
disturbing thoughts away, determined that her mind should not be
distracted from the lesson.
She did observe, however, that Jennie paid the strictest attention
throughout the service, joining in the Lord's Prayer, and in the
hymns with a vigor which indicated thorough enjoyment of that portion
The moment the benediction was pronounced she came directly to her
and greeted her with a half-deprecatory air, but with a roguish gleam
in her saucy eyes.
Katherine lingered a little to speak to some acquaintances, and
also introduced her companion; then they passed out of the hall
"Did you have Prof. Seabrook's permission to come here this
morning, Jennie?" Katherine inquired, when they were on the street,
but feeling confident of receiving a negative reply.
Jennie took refuge in one of her comical grimaces and shrugged her
"Ask me no questions and I will tell you no—stories," she
"I am answered," Katherine gravely observed.
"I don't care. I wanted to come, and I knew it wouldn't do to ask
the professor, after what he said to you about Christian Science,"
said the girl, in self-justification, but flushing consciously
beneath the look of disapproval in her companion's eyes. "I think the
service was just lovely," she went on, glibly. "How happy all those
people seemed—as if there wasn't a thing in the world to trouble
them. And that 'silent prayer'!—it just made me think of Elijah and
the 'still small voice,' after the tempest and the earthquake. I was
sorry when it was over."
"I am glad you enjoyed the services, Jennie. They are always very
restful to me, and Sunday is my day to be marked with a 'white stone'
for that reason," and there was a look of peace in the soft, brown
eyes that assured Jennie of the truth of her words.
"Oh, I think Sunday is a bore, as a rule," she observed, with
another shrug. "I'm always lonesome if I don't go to church, and, if
I do, I never know 'where I am at'—as the Irishman put it— after
listening to a long sermon. That was a queer idea, though, in the
lesson to-day, about there being only one Mind in the universe. Where
do you get your authority for that, Miss Minturn?"
"There is but one God, who is Spirit or Mind, and He is
omnipresent," Katherine explained.
"What are you going to do with us, then? I mean your mind and
"This mortal mind is only a counterfeit—"
"A counterfeit of what?"
"Of the One Mind, or the divine intelligence. The same as gas and
electric light are counterfeits of real light from the sun, or the
one source of light; but, oh, dear! I am talking Science, Jennie, and
Prof. Seabrook said I must not," said Katherine, cutting herself
"The idea of trying to bridle anyone's tongue, in any such way, in
this free country!" cried Jennie, aggressively. "But that lady read
from the Bible that there is 'nothing covered that shall not be
revealed, neither hid that shall not be made known'; then the man read
something about it being a law of God for truth to uncover error. Do
you believe that, Miss Minturn?"
"Do you Scientists really know how to find out anything that is
hidden or—or secret?" eagerly inquired the girl.
"I think I don't quite catch your meaning, Jennie."
"I'll tell you why I asked you that," she replied, an intense look
in her dark eyes, her cheeks flushing crimson. "Perhaps you have
heard something about me—that—that I am a kind of waif?"
"Yes, I have, dear," Katherine admitted.
"Well, it is true, and I'll tell you all about it," was the
confidential rejoinder. "My aunt—she taught me to call her so,
though she isn't related to me in any way—was traveling from Kansas
City to Chicago, about sixteen years ago, and there was a terrible
accident. Auntie was in a rear car and wasn't hurt in the least, but
the first and second sleepers were completely wrecked. A good many
people were killed, and others so badly injured they didn't live long.
As soon as auntie could pull herself together she went out to see if
she could help anybody, and she found me, a little tot only a year
old, screaming in the gutter beside the track. She took me back into
her car and looked me over, to see if I was injured; but, aside from a
few bruises and scratches, I appeared to be all right, and, after a
while, she quieted and soothed me to sleep. Then she went out again to
try to learn to whom I belonged; but she could not get the slightest
clew, and everyone said the person or persons I was with must have
been among the killed. She advertised, and the railroad officials made
every effort to find my friends for a long time; but nothing ever
came of it. Auntie began to grow fond of me, and said she would never
let me go until she had to give me up to my own folks. Of course, they
have never been found, and so I grew up with her."
"But wasn't there anything about you by which you could be
identified?" inquired Katherine, who had been deeply interested in
the pathetic story.
"Nothing but a string of amber beads with a queer gold clasp, and
with the initials 'A. A. to M. A. J.' engraved on the back of it.
Now, do you think that Christian Science could solve such a riddle as
that?" demanded the girl, in conclusion.
Katherine smiled faintly.
"There is nothing of clairvoyance in Christian Science, dear, and
that is a hard question to explain to you," she said. "I mean
difficult to answer so that you would clearly understand me. But it
is sufficient for every human need, and very wonderful things have
been demonstrated through the right comprehension of it. I know of men
who govern their business by it, and who have solved some very
perplexing problems. But I am talking again!" she exclaimed, and
breaking off suddenly once more.
"Oh, if I could only find out who I am, I'd be a Christian
Scientist, or—anything else!" cried Jennie, with tears in her eyes,
but gritting her teeth to keep the drops from falling. "It is dreadful
to feel yourself to be such an enigma! Think of it! to have your
identity lost. I get awfully worked up over it sometimes. Auntie is a
dear, and I love her with all my heart, for she has been an angel of
goodness to me. She isn't very well off, but she wanted me to have a
first-class education and be with nice girls; so, after talking with
Prof. Seabrook, she said if I would be willing to work for a part of
the expense she would try to make up the rest."
"How perfectly lovely of Miss Wild!" said Katherine, earnestly.
"And you, too, Jennie, deserve great credit for your own efforts to
get a good education. But—"
"I wonder if I may say it?" mused Katherine, doubtfully.
Jennie slipped her hand within Katherine's arm and gave it a fond
"Miss Minturn, I've loved you ever since the day you came to
Hilton. You are a dear—you have been just as kind as you could be to
me, and you may say anything you like," she impulsively returned.
"Thank you; that is giving me a good deal of license," was the
laughing response; "but what I wanted to say was—make the getting of
your education, instead of fun, your chief object, and don't spoil
your record by breaking rules."
"As I have to-day, for instance?" supplemented Jennie, flushing.
"Yes, to-day, and—on some other occasions that I could mention."
The girl gave vent to a hearty, rollicking laugh.
"You manage to see considerable with those innocent eyes of
yours," she said, after a moment. "But I don't get very much fun
after all. With all my work and my studies there is precious little
time left me for recreation, and, sometimes, I get so full I just have
to kick over the traces. But—surely you don't think I could get any
harm from your service to-day," she concluded, demurely.
"That is not the point, Miss Mischief, and you know it. Of course,
there was nothing but good in the service for you, or anyone. But you
didn't find anything in it—did you?—to countenance disobedience?"
"No," said Jennie, seriously; "and I suppose, too, that if any of
the teachers or girls had seen me come away from the hall with you it
might have given the impression that you had countenanced my going.
But, Miss Minturn, I have wanted to get at the secret of— of your
dearness, ever since you came here. But I promise you, though, I will
not put you in jeopardy again by running away to your church."
Katherine nodded her approval at this assurance, then changed the
subject, and they chatted pleasantly until they reached the seminary.
After dinner Katherine repaired, as she had been requested, to
Miss Reynolds' room. She found her teacher sitting at her desk, her
Bible and "Science and Health" open before her.
"You see, I cannot let the great subject alone," she said,
welcoming the girl with a smile and glancing at her books. "Now that
I have begun to get a glimpse of the truth, it is like a fountain of
pure, cold water to a man perishing from thirst—I cannot get enough
of it; I just want to immerse myself in it. And, see here," she added,
touching a letter lying beside the books, "I have written to the
publishing house in Boston for several of Mrs. Eddy's works. I want
them for my very own."
"You are surely making progress," Katherine returned, with shining
She was very happy, for this eager, radiant woman seemed an
entirely different being from the helpless sufferer to whom she had
been called less than forty-eight hours previous.
"Sit down, Kathie," said her teacher, indicating a chair near her.
"I hope I am making progress," she added, growing suddenly grave. "I
find there is need enough of it, and I have been both on the mount and
into the valley to-day."
"That is the experience of everyone," was the smiling reply, "but
it all means progress just the same."
"I see that everyone who begins to get a glimpse of the truth, in
Christian Science, must also begin to live it at once, if he is
"Yes, we have to live it in order to prove it."
"And the first thing to do is, as Jesus commanded, to have one God
and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That word 'love' has taken on
a new meaning for me to-day, Kathie. It means an impersonal love,
which, like the 'rain'—in Jesus' simile—'falls alike upon the just
and the unjust.'"
Katherine lifted questioning eyes to the speaker, for her voice
was now accusingly serious.
"And one cannot demonstrate the Love that is God," she went on,
"unless he loves in that way—without regard to personality."
"That is true—how quickly you grasp these things!" said her
"Ah! but I have grasped something, with this, that is not at all
agreeable," said the woman, with a peculiar glitter in her eyes which
the girl had never seen there before.
"How so? Pardon me, though, I should not have asked that,"
corrected Katherine, flushing.
"But I am going to tell you all the same," said Miss Reynolds.
"Ten years ago my father died. He was supposed to be a rich man, but
when his affairs were settled my mother and I were left with almost
nothing. His partner represented that the firm was heavily involved,
but said if we would sign our interest in the business over to him,
for a certain amount, he would perhaps manage to pull through and save
us the expense of having things adjusted by law. We were not at all
satisfied with the state of affairs, but we were helpless, as we had
no money to spend in litigation, and we were forced to accept his
terms. He made over to us a small house on the outskirts of our town,
together with a mere pittance, which barely served to support us until
I secured a position as teacher. I have taken care of my mother and
myself ever since. But that man and his family have never abated their
style of living one whit, and are to-day rolling in luxury. There can
be no doubt that we were robbed of a fortune, and yet there was no
possible way of proving it. I have never been able to meet or even
think of that man since, without smarting as under a lash, and with a
feeling of resentment and a sense of personal injury that never fail
to give me a sick headache, if I allow my thoughts to dwell upon him.
That isn't love, Kathie."
"No," gravely; but the voice was also very tender.
"Everything is either 'for' or 'against' in Christian Science?"
"There is, I see, no middle ground; so, if one cannot think
compassionately, even tenderly, of one's enemy one is guilty of—
hate?" said Miss Reynolds, with quivering lips and averted eyes.
Again Katherine was silent; but her glance was very loving as it
rested on her teacher's troubled face.
"Tell me how to get rid of these feelings, Kathie," she resumed,
after a moment, "for they make me wretched at times. I find myself
mentally going over the same ground, again and again, holding
imaginary conversations with the man who has wronged me, arguing the
case and bringing up evidence, as if it were being tried before a
judge and jury. How would you conquer it in Science?"
"Every wrong thought we hold has to be reversed—"
"Oh! do you mean I must declare that that man is not dishonest—
that he has not wronged me? That I have not been injured and do not
resent that injury?" interposed the woman, looking up with flashing
eyes, a scarlet spot burning on either cheek. "Child, you don't know
what I have suffered. My father took that man into his business and
gave him a start when he had not a dollar in the world, and it was
such base ingratitude to rob his family and let them sink into
poverty. Ah! the bitter tears I have shed over it!"
Then she suddenly relaxed and sank back in her chair with a
"Kathie, you did not suspect your teacher of having such a
seething volcano concealed in her breast, did you?" she observed,
"What you have told me makes me think of a verse of 'The Mother's
Evening Prayer,' in 'Miscellaneous Writings,'" [Footnote: By Mary
Baker G. Eddy, page 389.] said Katherine, gently; and she repeated in
a low tone:
"Oh! make me glad for every scalding tear, For hope deferred,
Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear
No ill, since God is good, and loss is gain."
"Say that again please, clear," pleaded Miss Reynolds, with a
sudden catch in her breath; and Katherine went through it the second
"Ah! that shows how she has risen to the heights she has
attained," said Miss Reynolds, in a reverent tone. "We are to be
'glad' for whatever drives us closer to God, to 'wait' and 'love'
"And to know that every man is our brother—the perfect image and
likeness of God, and we must not bind heavy burdens of sin and
dishonesty upon him in resentful thought."
"Yes, I see; we have to 'blot it all out,'" said Miss Reynolds,
wearily. "I caught something of that in my study to-day and that was
what sent me down into the valley, for it seemed such an impossible
thing to do. You could see what a strong grip it had on me in
rehearsing it to you."
"All wrong thought brings the sting—the smart of the lash; but
love—right thinking—brings the 'peace of God,'" said Katherine.
"Ah! it is a case of 'as ye sow ye shall also reap,'" said Miss
Reynolds, drawing a long breath. "But, Kathie, do you think it will
be possible for me to so reverse my thought about that man that I can
grow to love him?"
"You do love him now; only error is trying to make you think that
a dear brother is not worthy of your love," said the girl, softly.
"Oh, Katherine! we have to come under the rod, don't we?" and her
voice almost broke.
"There is also the staff," was the low-voiced reply. "Truth, the
rod, uncovers and smites the error; then Love, the staff, supports
our faltering steps—'meets every human need.'" [Footnote: "Science
and Health," page 494.]
Silence fell between them, during which both were deeply absorbed
in thought, while the fire gradually faded from the elder woman's
eyes and the scarlet from her cheeks.
At length she turned with an earnest look to her companion.
"Kathie," she said, in a clear, resolute tone, "I have put my
'hand to the plow,' and I am not going to 'look back.'"
"Then everything will come right," said the girl, with a brilliant
smile, as she bent forward and kissed her on the lips.
CHAPTER XIV. A SOPHOMORE RACKET.
Monday evening, after study hours were over, again found Katherine
in her teacher's room, for now that the woman had begun to get an
understanding of the spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures her
desire to know more was insatiable; while our young Scientist was only
too glad to lend her what help she could along the way.
They went over the Sunday lesson together, and afterward fell to
talking upon certain points that had especially attracted their
attention, becoming so absorbed that they took no account of time
until the clock struck the half hour after eleven.
"Why!" Katherine exclaimed, and starting to her feet, "if you were
not a teacher I should be guilty of flagrant disobedience in being
out of my room at this hour."
"Dear child, I have been very thoughtless to keep you so long,"
said Miss Reynolds, regretfully, "but I certainly had no idea of
time. And what is time, anyway? I begin to realize that it is only a
mortal invention, and that we are living in eternity now. But I must
not begin on this infinite subject again to-night; go! go!" She
laughingly waved the girl away, and she slipped noiselessly out into
the hall to seek her own room.
Miss Reynolds was located on the second floor of the east wing,
and Katherine roomed in the west wing, consequently she was obliged
to go down a flight of stairs, cross the main or central hall, and up
another flight to gain her own quarters.
The lights were all out, but the moon was full, coming in through
the windows with a soft radiance, and thus she had no difficulty in
finding her way.
She had crossed the main hall, and just entered a short passage
leading to the west wing, when she came suddenly upon some one, who
appeared to be trying to shrink out of sight into a corner.
"Why, who is it?" she cried, in a repressed but startled tone.
"Sh! sh! keep mum!" was the warning response as the figure drew
"Jennie!" Katherine whispered, amazed, "what are you doing here at
this unearthly hour of the night?"
"Hush! don't give me away for the world," said the girl, laying a
nervous hand upon her arm. "There's something going on in yonder—
it's the fun I told you about a while ago. I'm not in the plot, but
I'm bound to be in at the finish, for it's going to be a hot time, I
can tell you."
"Really, dear, you are better out of it altogether," Katherine
gravely returned. "You know what we were talking of yesterday, about
breaking rules and spoiling one's record."
"Aren't you breaking rules, too?" retorted Jennie, aggressively.
"No; I have just come from Miss Reynolds' room."
"Well, I'm going to see this through, now I've started in. I've
had to pinch and pound myself for the last two hours, though, to keep
awake, and I'm not going to miss the 'racket' after all that bother,"
declared the girl, clinging tenaciously to her purpose.
"Hark!" she added, a moment later, in a startled whisper, as a
titter of irrepressible mirth was borne to their ears from somewhere
It seemed to proceed from the landing at the head of the stairs
which led to the second story, but was quickly suppressed and all was
"Well," said Katharine, after listening a. moment, "I must go on
to my room, and my advice to you, Jennie, is to return at once to
yours. Good-night," and, leaving the willful "racket"-lover to her
fate, she stole softly away.
She paused at the foot of the stairs to listen again, when the
swish of garments fell on her ear, then a voice, which she
immediately recognized, whispered:
"Be sure you tie your end tight, Carrie."
Katherine moved lightly up a step or two and heard the answer:
"I have; now, Rose, scud up to the next floor and give the signal,
while I go for my cymbals," and a smothered laugh followed.
Again there was a rustle of garments and the soft slipping of
unshod feet over the upper flight of stairs, while Katherine as
noiselessly sped over the lower one.
On reaching the landing she looked about her to ascertain, if
possible, what mischief was brewing.
The hall was very dimly lighted by a window at each end, and, as
the moon had not yet got around to that quarter, it was almost
impossible to discern anything; but, lower down the hall, she thought
she could detect two lines, stretched across from opposite doors,
about three feet from the floor.
Not wishing to get involved in the prospective mischief, and as
her room was just at the head of the stairs, she softly turned the
handle of the door and slipped inside.
Scarcely a minute elapsed after she had closed and locked it, when
there came a deafening crash and bang, mingled with the blowing of
whistles, horns and combs, that seemed sufficient to awaken the
"Seven Sleepers" in their cavern of refuge.
"Oh, heavens! Whatever is the matter?" screamed Sadie, starting up
in affright. "Are you there, Katharine?"
"What was that noise? Did you hear it?"
"Indeed I did."
They listened for a moment or two, but there was no sound.
Then it seemed as if some commotion had arisen somewhere, and a
medley of muffled voices was borne to their ears.
Presently steps were heard on the stairs, whereupon Sadie sprang
out of bed, slipped on a wrapper, and, opening her door a crack, saw
the watchman with his lantern just mounting into view.
Then the voice of one of the teachers—Miss Clark—rang out
excitedly, while she vainly tugged at her door which had been
connected with the one opposite by a piece of clothesline:
"Young ladies, what is the meaning of this outrage? Release me
"Ye'll just hev to wait a minute, marm," said the watchman, with
an audible chuckle of amusement as he comprehended the situation,
while he put down his lantern and plunged his hand into various
pockets in search of his knife.
Looking farther down the hall, Sadie saw that Miss Williams had
been imprisoned in the same manner, while a promiscuous assortment of
tin pans, covers and plates lay in a heap upon the floor, and telling
their own story regarding the recent crash.
There was not a person, save the watchman, in sight.
But, presently, doors were cautiously opened and tousled heads
appeared in the apertures, while timid voices made inquiries as to
what had happened.
The watchman—who had been making his rounds, as was his custom at
midnight, hence his timely appearance upon the scene—soon had the
indignant teachers released, and then went on to the next floor,
where similar conditions prevailed.
On being given their liberty, Miss Clark and Miss Williams
immediately bestirred themselves to ferret out the culprits; but, of
course, everybody was innocent and as eager as themselves to ascertain
"who could have been guilty of so daring an escapade at that hour of
Poor Jennie, however, was destined to pay the penalty of her
A moment or two after Katherine left her, she had also stolen
cautiously up the stairs, but on moving farther down the hall had run
against one of the ropes.
Like a flash she comprehended something of the nature of the joke,
and, hearing steps and smothered laughter above, turned back and
slipped into a closet at the end of the hall, where she shrank into a
corner and waited with eager ears and bated breath for the denouement.
When it came, however, she heartily wished she was anywhere else
in the world; but there was nothing for her to do except to wait
quietly in her place of concealment until the breeze blew over, when
she hoped she could steal away, unobserved, to her room. If the
watchman had not appeared upon the scene so opportunely, she would
have made a break immediately after the crash; but, hearing his steps,
she knew that her escape was cut off in that direction. She could not
even mingle with the other girls, when they began to gather in the
halls to "help investigate," and so find protection in numbers; for
she belonged in the other wing, and her presence in the west wing
would at once warrant the worst possible construction being put upon
her appearance there.
So she shrank closer into her corner and stood motionless, hoping
no one would think of looking there.
Vain hope, however, for Miss Williams, having closely questioned
various ones without gaining any satisfaction, walked straight to the
closet and opened the door, when the light from her candle flared
directly upon Jennie's white, frightened face and shrinking figure.
"Ah! Miss Wild! so you are implicated in this disgraceful
escapade!" the teacher sternly exclaimed, as she laid a forcible hand
upon her arm and drew her from her hiding place. "What was your object
and who were your accomplices? for, of course, you could not have
carried it out alone," she concluded, sharply.
Miss Clark now joined them, while many of the students gathered
around and regarded Jennie with blank and wondering faces.
"I—-I don't know-there wasn't—er—anybody," stammered Jennie,
too confused and overcome with fright to speak connectedly.
"Don't tell me that! It is impossible that you could conceive such
a plot and execute it without help, and I am going to sift it to the
bottom," was Miss Williams' sharp retort; for she by no means relished
being aroused at midnight by such a frightful bedlam, to find herself
a prisoner in her room.
"Truly, Miss Williams, I wasn't in it at all," Jennie affirmed,
with more coherence, and lifting an appealing look to the incensed
"Miss Wild, don't add falsehood to your other offenses. What were
you hiding here for, if you had nothing to do with it? But"—
suddenly cutting herself short—"I think we will defer further
investigation until to-morrow. Go to your room at once, and remain
there until I come to you in the morning. Young ladies, retire— all
of you—and those who, in any way, have participated in this affair,
prepare to make open confession, for I assure you it will not be
dropped until you do."
She waved them imperatively away, and they immediately vanished
with cheerful alacrity from her austere presence, while Jennie also
sped away without one backward glance.
Miss Williams then turned to the watchman and observed more
"Mr. Johnson, it seems we were all more frightened than hurt. My
first impression was that there had been a terrific explosion, and
the sensation of being fastened in one's room at such a time isn't at
all agreeable. I am glad you were at hand to help and reassure us."
"Ye were in rather a ticklish box, mum; fur, by the powers! 'twur
like a pan-dom-i-num let loose," replied the man, stooping to recover
his lantern and to conceal a broad grin of appreciation, for it was
well known he enjoyed a joke as well as anyone, even to the point of
sometimes abetting the perpetrators. "But what'll we do wid all the
truck?" he added, glancing at the pile of tinware on the floor.
"Oh, leave it where it is until morning, and the maids will take
care of it," Miss Clark suggested; and then the teachers also
repaired to their rooms, the watchman went his way, his broad
shoulders shaking with silent laughter, and quiet settled down once
more upon Hilton's ruffled west wing.
Katherine had remained in the background throughout the entire
disturbance, quietly disrobing and getting ready for bed.
Sadie had been so frightened by the startling noises outside, she
did not observe—the room being dark—or dream that her roommate was
still up and dressed. She supposed that she had come in while she was
sleeping and retired without waking her; thus Katherine escaped being
questioned or obliged to make any explanations.
But she lay awake some time after the house had settled into
stillness, trying to decide what steps she ought to take, knowing
what she did about the matter.
She knew it would not be right to allow Jennie to suffer for what
she was in no way responsible, even though she had broken rules in
being out of her room at so late an hour. But what her duty was
regarding reporting the leaders in the "racket," if they obstinately
refrained from confessing their offense, she could not readily
determine. She finally resolved that she would do her utmost to
exonerate Jennie without incriminating anyone else, if possible.
She arose with the first stroke of the rising bell, performed her
usual duties with what dispatch she could, and then sought Miss
Williams shortly before the breakfast hour.
The teacher greeted her cordially, and inquired with a significant
"Were you frightened nearly out of your senses, with the rest of
us last night, Miss Minturn?"
"Oh, no; but perhaps I might have been if I had been asleep. I
know something about the affair, Miss Williams, and I have come to
talk it over with you," Katherine explained.
"Ah!" and the woman looked both astonished and interested.
"Jennie Wild told you the truth last night," she went on. "She had
nothing whatever to do with the 'racket,' even though appearances
point strongly the other way."
She then proceeded to tell all that she knew about the matter, but
without revealing the names of the ringleaders.
"Well, this certainly does put an entirely different aspect upon
the affair," Miss Williams observed, when she concluded. "I am more
than glad, too, because my sympathies are with Miss Wild, in spite of
her tendency to bubble over now and then. Circumstantial evidence is
not always true evidence, is it?" she added, with a smile. "I was
highly indignant with her last night, for I felt sure she was
prominent in it—and she certainly was guilty of disobedience."
"Yes; her curiosity surely got the better of her judgment,"
"Well, could you identify those girls, whom you overheard in the
hall?" Miss Williams now inquired.
Katherine flushed. She had been dreading this question.
"I did not see anyone," she returned with a faint smile, after a
moment of hesitation.
"I see, my dear; you do not wish to 'tell tales,' and I appreciate
your position," said her companion, with a wise nod that had nothing
of disapproval in it. "Well"—after considering a moment— "we will
say no more about it until Prof. Seabrook has been consulted. Jennie,
however, will have reason to be grateful to you for helping her out of
what, otherwise, might have proved a very awkward situation."
Miss Williams went at once to the girl and released her from the
confinement she had imposed upon her the previous night. She
explained how Miss Minturn had come to her rescue, and Jennie, who
had for once been thoroughly frightened, vowed she would "never be
caught in a scrape of any kind" during the remainder of her course.
Considerable excitement prevailed during the day, and the
"midnight escapade" was the one topic of conversation whenever a
group of girls came together; but it was not until study hours were
over in the afternoon that any active measures to "investigate" the
matter were instituted. Then Katherine was summoned to the principal's
study, where she found the four teachers who had the west wing in
charge, and Jennie, assembled.
Jennie was rigorously catechised, but had very little to tell. She
had overheard something of a plot that promised considerable
excitement and fun; she had also heard some one whisper, "Monday, at
midnight," and her curiosity had been raised to the highest pitch,
therefore she had been unable to resist being "in at the finish." She
could not tell who were the leaders, for she had neither seen nor
heard anyone, having slipped into the closet before the crash came.
Being hard pressed, however, she admitted that she thought the
sophomores were chiefly concerned in the "racket."
Katherine was then requested to relate all that she knew about it,
whereupon she repeated what she had already told Miss Williams.
"You have corroborated what Miss Wild has stated, and have also
exonerated her from any complicity in the affair," Prof. Seabrook
observed, when she concluded. "I judge that it must have been
confined entirely to the sophomore class. Now we must get down to
individuals, if possible. Miss Minturn, did you recognize the voices
of those two girls whom you overheard in the hall last night?"
"Truth compels me to say that I did," Katherine replied, a hot
flush mounting to her brow.
"Their names, if you please," commanded the principal, briefly.
"I beg that you will excuse me from naming them," she pleaded.
"It is plainly your duty to expose them, Miss Minturn. The affair
is of too serious a nature to allow sentiment to thwart discipline
and the preservation of law and order," returned the gentleman, in an
"Pardon me," she said, "but I cannot feel it my duty—at least
"That is equivalent to saying that you will not comply with my
request," interposed the professor, his eyes beginning to blaze in
view of what he regarded as a defiant attitude.
"No, sir; I could not be so disrespectful," Katherine gently
replied. "Please allow me to say that I would have taken no action
whatever in the matter but for the sake of saving Miss Wild from
being unjustly accused."
Jennie flashed her an adoring look as she said this.
"I just wanted to hug you!" she told her afterwards.
"Miss Wild is no doubt properly grateful; all the same you have no
right to shield the guilty ones, and I shall hold you to your duty,"
inflexibly responded Prof. Seabrook.
Katherine saw that he was determined to make her name the
culprits, and, for a moment, she was deeply distressed. Then her face
"May I suggest that it is the duty of the offenders to confess
their own wrongdoing?" she questioned, in a respectful tone; adding:
"It certainly is their right to have the opportunity given them, and I
would prefer not to rob them of it; while it would release me from a
very awkward position if they would do so."
"I think Miss Minturn is right, Prof. Seabrook," Miss Williams
here remarked. "I am sure we can all understand how she feels about
it, and we know that it would place her under the ban of the whole
school if she were to expose the ringleaders without giving them the
opportunity, as she says, to volunteer a confession."
Katherine shot a look of gratitude at the speaker, who nodded her
sympathy in return.
An uncomfortable silence followed, during which the much-tried
girl felt that her principal regarded her as obstinate as well as
sentimental, and was more than half inclined not to yield his point,
in spite of Miss Williams' espousal of her cause.
"Very well; let it rest here for the present," he at length curtly
observed. "You are temporarily excused, Miss Minturn. But if the
offenders do not promptly come forward, I shall expect you to tell
all you know, later."
Katherine bowed and slipped quietly from the room, but with a
choking sensation in her throat, a feeling of injustice pressing
heavily upon her heart.
She paused in the hall a moment, after closing the door, trying to
calm her perturbed thoughts, when these words from her dear "little
book" came to her:
"Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let
human justice wait on the divine." [Footnote: "Science and Health,"
Then she went on her way, at peace with herself and all the world.
CHAPTER XV. "HILTON VOLUNTEERS."
After Katherine was dismissed, Jennie was sternly reprimanded for
her infraction of rules, cautioned against future disobedience, a
penalty imposed upon her, and then told she might go back to her
She moved slowly to the door, stood there a moment irresolute, a
thoughtful look on her young face; then deliberately turned and
walked straight back to her principal.
"Prof. Seabrook," she began, "I have another confession to make to
you, and I'm willing to take any punishment you may think I deserve.
I do this because I want you to know the kind of girl Miss Minturn is,
for—I think you do not half appreciate her. I've loved her from the
first minute I saw her in this room with you, the day she came; she
makes everybody love her, and I've often wondered if it is her
Christian Science that helps her to be so— so dear and true. I've
tried to make her tell me something about it, but she wouldn't—she
always says you told her not to talk about it to the students. I asked
her last week to let me go with her to her service on Sunday. But she
said no, unless I would get permission from you. But—I did go,"
Jennie continued, growing scarlet to her brows, yet looking the man
unflinchingly in the eyes. "I started out early and was there when she
came into the hall, and walked home with her afterwards. She didn't
spare me; she told me I had done wrong and read me a lecture about
spoiling my record by breaking rules. I want you to know this, because
some one may have seen us come out of the Christian Science hall
together and might think she took me there; but she never breaks a
rule, and she isn't a bit priggish about it, either. She tried her
best to make me go back to my room before the 'racket' last night,
and I just want you to know that she's true blue, through and
Jennie looked very spirited and pretty with her flushed cheeks and
glowing eyes as she faced her principal, and, without flinching a
hair, told her simple, straightforward story in the presence of the
Prof. Seabrook was fond of the girl, for she possessed many
lovable qualities and was very faithful in the performance of her
duties. If he had been inclined to be severe, because of her other
offense, his heart was very tender towards her now; for he fully
appreciated her honesty and the moral courage she had manifested in
taking this stand for Katherine.
He was uncomfortably conscious, too, that his own attitude towards
Miss Minturn had not been quite considerate. He recognized her
loveliness of character, her excellence in scholarship, her
conscientious deportment; in fact, he had no fault whatever to find
with her, except that she was a Christian Scientist, and the
remembrance of this always stirred him, in the most unaccountable
manner, whenever he came in contact with her.
He regarded Jennie thoughtfully for a moment after she concluded,
then a gleam of amusement crept into his eyes and his lips twitched
with repressed mirth, as he dryly observed:
"Well, Jennie, it seems that you are making quite a record for
yourself by breaking rules. I hope there will be no occasion for
further self-condemnation after this. You may go now."
The girl was glad to go, and was "scared stiff," as she affirmed
afterward, when she came to think over what she had said. But her
desire to have justice done Katherine had made her forget herself,
for the time, in defending her.
Still, as was characteristic, her spirits quickly rebounded, and
she flew away to find some of the sophs and reel off a graphic report
of what had just occurred in the principal's study.
Consternation at once took possession of some of their number, for
it was evident that, even though Prof. Seabrook and the teachers were
ignorant of the names of the guilty ones, Miss Minturn had recognized
the ringleaders, and so their supposed secret was out.
A private meeting of all concerned was immediately called, and the
matter thoroughly discussed.
"So Miss Minturn claims it would 'rob us of our moral
responsibility' if she should give us away!" remarked Rose Tuttle, a
buxom girl of eighteen, with a roguish face and an independent air.
"That's a novel way of looking at it—isn't it, girls?—and escaping
the fate of a 'telltale,'" and the ringing laugh which completed these
remarks was echoed by several others.
"Puts us in a tight box, though," said Carrie Archer, another
merry sprite, as she gnawed the rubber on her pencil with a
"All the same, I think Katherine Minturn is O. K., and I'm ready
to make my best courtesy to her," gravely observed a girl who was
sitting beside her.
"Well, I begin to think she is rather fine myself, in spite of her
absurd Christian Science. But what are we going to do about this
affair?" inquired Miss Tuttle, with an impatient shrug of her plump
"Oh, let's fight it out," cried a shrill voice from a corner.
"That means let Miss Minturn fight it out," retorted Carrie
"Well, she's game—she won't tell, and it will all die out of
itself, after a while."
"But that would leave a very uncomfortable sting behind—the sting
of cowardice," said Rose Tuttle, with very red cheeks. "I tell you
what, my dear fellow sophs," she went on, after an irresolute pause,
"if Miss Minturn had given us away to-day every mother's daughter of
us would have called her a 'spy' and a 'tattler.' But, although she
knows exactly as well as you and I do"—a chuckle of mirth escaping
her—"who tied those ropes to the doors, she has just faced the
professor and those teachers and practically told them that she would
not give us away."
"Why couldn't she have held her tongue altogether, then?" grumbled
a discontented voice.
"Good gracious, Nell! knowing what she did she couldn't keep mum
and let 'Wild Jen'—poor goosie! whose curiosity is always getting
her into some scrape or other—bear the whole brunt of it," Miss
Archer replied, with curling lips. "No, she has put us upon our
honor, and if we don't do the square thing I think she'll have a
right to call us—sneaks."
"Carrie, you're hitting out pretty straight from the shoulder,"
cried her friend Rose, with a short laugh.
"Well, maybe; but I didn't miss myself in the trial of my muscle,"
was the dry rejoinder.
There was much more talk after the same order, the ayes and nays
on the question of "open confession" being about equally divided;
while all began to feel that there wasn't quite as much fun as they
had anticipated to be gotten out of midnight escapades.
"Well, sophies, I'll tell you what I'm going to do," finally said
Miss Archer, breaking in upon the hubbub of voices, a look of
determination settling over her face, "but first I'll say what I'm
not going to do: I'm never going to hear it said that I forced
somebody else to stand in a gap that I hadn't the courage to fill.
I'm not going to sneak out of sight behind another to save myself. I
started this ball rolling and planned the details of the affair, and,
now, I am going straight to Prof. Seabrook and tell him so and swallow
the bitter pill he gives me with what grace I can. It won't be
sugar-coated, either. I won't give anyone else away, so don't be
afraid," she interposed in response to terrified exclamations and
frightened faces. "I'll just do the square thing myself, and you know
it is always the commanding officer who is held responsible for
leading his subordinates astray."
Miss Archer was the daughter of an ex-colonel, which will account
for her simile.
There was dead silence for a full minute after she ceased
speaking, and the faces in that quiet room would have been an
interesting study for a physiognomist.
Then Rose Tuttle sprang to her feet and held out her hand to her
"I wonder who is 'game' now?" she cried, in a ringing voice.
Miss Archer's eyes flashed with sudden inspiration.
"Here! give me a pencil, somebody; I've broken the point off
mine," she said, as she moved her chair to a table and drew a blank
sheet of paper towards her.
Half a dozen were handed her, and, selecting one, she continued:
"This is going to be a voluntary surrender. I'm not going to wait
to be summoned before my superior officer and 'given an
She wrote rapidly for a few minutes, while her companions regarded
her in curious silence.
"Hear now," she finally commanded, as she threw down her pencil,
and, lifting her paper with an impressive flourish, read:
"TO THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF AT HILTON: News of certain matters,
pending at headquarters, just received by scout. Wherefore this is to
certify that the undersigned planned and led the attack on West Wing
on the night of May the twentieth. In view of the demands of honor, of
admiration for, and the sentence menacing the valiant party at present
held as hostage, I hereby make confession, and unconditional
surrender, together with all munitions of war, and also herewith beg
absolution for subordinates.
"Signed. CAROLINE WEBSTER ARCHER, "Capt. Co. S, Hilton Volunteers,
U. S. A."
"How will that do, my brave company of sophomores?" she cried,
with laughing eyes, as she finished reading her effusion. "I'm afraid
it isn't quite up to the mark in military technicalities, but,
perhaps, it will answer our purpose."
"It isn't going to do at all, Carolina MIA," returned Rose Tuttle,
with an emphatic nod of her head. "If you assume that you were the
captain in the fracas, I certainly was first lieutenant, and I'm
going to stand by the cap. until the last gun is fired. Give, me that
It was passed to her, and in a clear, bold hand she wrote:
"The captain cannot be allowed to go to the front alone.
"Signed. ROSE ASHLEY TUTTLE, First Lieutenant Co. S, H. V., U. S.
There were grave faces all about her as she read what she had
written and then pushed the paper from her.
Presently a voice remarked:
"Girls, good soldiers always follow their leader." Then another
figure glided to the table and a third signature was appended to the
It was the "bugle call" that fired them all, and in less time than
it takes to record it, the name of every other girl in the room was
signed underneath, then inclosed in a bracket and the name "Private
Co. S, H. V., U. S. A." written outside of it, after which the paper
was passed back to Miss Archer.
"Company S, I'm proud of you!" she exclaimed, with crimson cheeks
and something very like tears in her eyes.
"I—I hope the professor won't think it is too—too flippant,"
some one suggested, in a doubtful tone.
"Do you suppose he will, Carrie?" queried Rose, turning to her
friend in sudden consternation.
Miss Archer flushed hotly.
"I—don't—know," she said, with a thoughtful pause between each
word. "I am sure I did not mean it to sound so. The idea came to me
to put it that way when I spoke of the 'commanding officer being held
responsible.' I'll tear it up, if you say so, and go and tell him the
whole story instead." And she held it up between the thumb and
forefinger of both hands as if to suit the act to her words.
"No! no!" "Send it as it is!" "It's all right!" "He'll
understand!" cried several voices; though one weak sister murmured,
with a plaintive sigh: "I'll be glad when it's all over."
"This having to face a 'court-martial' was overlooked in planning
the campaign, hey?" observed another, with a grimace.
"I don't care! It was fun to hear those teachers tugging at their
doors for dear life, and I have it from an eyewitness, when Johnson
cut Miss Craigis loose she keeled over in the most undignified
manner!" laughed a pert young miss, who was one of the giddiest in the
class. "And, oh!" she went on, breathlessly, "did you see poor old
Webb on the upper floor? It was perfectly killing! She had on that
startling palm-leaf kimono—her false front had slipped down over one
ear; she had her precious herbarium under one arm, her bird cage in
one hand, and a huge hatbox in the other. She was frightened nearly
out of her senses, and demanded, right and left, 'Young ladies, where
is the fire? oh, where is the fire?'"
A merry shout greeted this graphic description, and it is to be
feared that some of the delinquents were not as deeply impressed with
the enormity of their recent insubordination as could have been
"Sh! sh! do hush, girls!" cried Miss Archer, waving her paper to
enjoin silence, "This will have to be nicely copied in ink, and
you'll all have to sign it again. And let me warn you," she added,
soberly, "you'd better keep pretty mum about last night, or we will
get a bigger pill than will be comfortable to swallow."
She seated herself at the table again and made a neat copy of her
document, after which the signatures were carefully appended, then
the meeting was dismissed, and the "captain" of the disorderly
sophomores went directly to Prof. Seabrook's study.
It was very nearly supper time, and she had reasoned that he would
issue an order, at the table, for the class to meet him in one of the
recitation rooms, in the near future, to give the guilty ones an
opportunity for confession; and her plan was to forestall this summons
with the paper she had prepared.
When, in response to her knock, he bade her "come in," it must be
confessed that she opened the door with fear and trembling; while
something in her bearing and the tense lines of her face at once
aroused a suspicion of the nature of her errand in the principal's
"Prof. Seabrook, I have been commissioned to hand you this
communication," she gravely said, as she laid, it on the table before
"Ah! by whom were you 'commissioned,' Miss Archer?" he inquired,
his keen eyes searching her flushed face.
"By—by the parties whose names you will find signed to it."
"And what is the nature of the communication?"
"I—er—it will explain itself," replied the trembling emissary,
blushing furiously and averting her eyes.
"Very well; I will give it my earliest attention," the professor
returned, but eying the missive curiously.
"Thank you, sir," and, with a nervous bow, entirely at variance
with her habitual sang-froid, the girl hurried from the room, her
bounding heart causing her to pant as if she had been running a race.
Prof. Seabrook waited until the door closed after her, then
unfolded the paper and began to read. But his face grew stern and his
brow heavily overcast as his glance hastily swept the page.
After reading it through and noting every signature, he began it
again, perusing it more carefully, and, gradually, a gleam of
amusement crept into his eyes; his stern features relaxed, and the
corners of his mouth twitched suggestively.
"The little mischief is game," he at length observed, "and this
document is a very clever stroke of business; though at first it
sounded rather pert, as if she were bound to make a joke of the
affair. But there is a straightforwardness and an appreciation of
Miss Minturn's position in it that rings true. Really, I begin to
think that girl is a power for good in the school, in spite of her
fanaticism and heresy. Hum!"—reading aloud—"'news of matters
pending at headquarters'—it traveled pretty fast; who was the
'scout,' I wonder? Ah! Jennie, of course; the little gossip! Well,
Miss Archer, you didn't waste any time before dispatching your flag
of truce, and you have rather a fine sense of honor underneath your
lawlessness, after all. So you are 'captain' of your company of
sophomores! I think we will rob you of your commission and see how you
will stand the discipline. 'Co. S, Hilton Volunteers!' pretty
good—pretty good!" and a light laugh rippled over the man's lips.
"And Miss Tuttle is 'first lieutenant,'" he continued, "and gallantly
came forward to share the self-imposed mission of her friend 'to go to
the front.' There's pluck there, too; but you are a precocious
pair—you two— and keep one busy guessing what you will do next. All
the same, with the right check-rein, I believe you'll both make fine
women, and—the school would surely lose some of its spice without
He carefully refolded the quaint document, locking it in a drawer
of his desk, and the next moment the supper bell rang.
A meeting of the faculty was called for that evening, when the
communication from the mischief-makers was read and discussed; and,
in spite of their lawlessness, which demanded the imposition of a
penalty severe enough to insure immunity from future ebullitions of
the same nature, the originality and spirit pervading it were
thoroughly appreciated by all.
The following day, at dinner, Prof. Seabrook gravely announced
that he would meet the sophomore class at four-thirty, that
afternoon, in the "north recitation room," and every member was
ordered to be present.
There were some quaking hearts during the intervening hours, and
there were not a few anxious faces among the thirty-six sophomores
gathered in the appointed place, when the principal appeared upon the
scene and at once proceeded to business.
"Young ladies," he began, "I have summoned the entire class here
in order that those who are innocent of wrong may know that they are
no longer under the ban of suspicion, in connection with the
disgraceful escapade of Monday night; and, also, that those who were
guilty of complicity in it may acknowledge their offense in their
presence. Those of you who have made confession to that effect may
Fourteen of the class arose and stood with downcast faces,
awaiting what was to follow.
"Were there any other accomplices in the affair?" inquired the
principal, glancing around upon those who had remained seated.
No one responded or moved, and he then proceeded to arraign the
offenders in no light terms, and not one ever forgot the scathing
words that fell from his lips or the shame which followed his vivid
portrayal of their hoidenish behavior.
"And now," he said in conclusion, "for two weeks you will forfeit
your afternoon recreation hour, and pass it in this room with your
books, and with a monitor to preserve order. Miss Archer and Miss
Tuttle, who acknowledge having been the ringleaders, will be on
probation for the remainder of the year, and any further infringement
of rules will be followed by summary expulsion. I will add"—and the
professor's stern face relaxed visibly—"that you all have saved
yourselves much by your voluntary confession; but the 'Hilton
Volunteers' are here and now disbanded for all time. Young ladies, you
Well, it was over, and heavy hearts grew lighter, though there
were some who were inclined to grumble over the severity of the
Carrie Archer and Rose Tuttle made no talk whatever about the
matter. Both felt that they had had a narrow escape, and were
thankful, even under the sentence of "probation."
Of course, the whole affair was aired and freely discussed by the
entire school, and thus Katherine became somewhat conspicuous because
of her forced participation in it; while it was interesting to observe
how radically the attitude of almost everyone changed towards her, the
sophomores, particularly, manifesting the greatest admiration for her.
Miss Archer and Miss Tuttle were the first to express their
appreciation of the stand she had taken in their behalf, and her
sweet reception of their overtures made them her stanch friends for
"I'll never sneer at Christian Scientists again," Rose afterwards
confided to her friend, "for if they are all as lovely and plucky as
she has shown herself, we can't have too many of them in the world."
CHAPTER XVI. A JUNIOR ENTERTAINMENT.
The school year was fast drawing to a close, and every student was
busy preparing for examinations and annual exercises, and also
looking forward to the pleasurable excitement attending class-day
ceremonies, entertainments, receptions, etc.
The first week in June it was customary for the juniors to give a
special exhibition, to be followed by a social, with dancing and a
fine spread, in honor of the retiring seniors, and upon this grand
occasion each student in both classes was privileged to invite some
friend from outside.
So much had been said in praise of Katherine's little play and
paper on "Transcendentalism," it was suggested they be repeated for
the benefit of those who had not heard them, and allow visitors and
strangers to guess the conundrum and charade.
The whole school had heard the story of that Junior League
meeting, for it had been too good to keep, and it had aroused so much
interest, both among teachers and students, the juniors finally
persuaded Katherine to reproduce her clever effort.
Besides this, the programme consisted of another original play,
written by some of the class, two or three choice selections from the
Glee Club, and was to wind up with some fine tableaux.
The important day arrived and was attended by no end of worry,
work and excitement. The final rehearsal of the play proved, as is
often the case, anything but satisfactory; but when it came to the
"last tug of war" in the evening, everything "went off without a
hitch," only those behind the scenes being aware of the strenuous
efforts put forth to achieve this result.
It was accordingly pronounced "a great success." Katherine's
production contributed the element of comedy, while the vocabulary of
adjectives was insufficient to express appreciation of the tableaux.
The last one, or "grand finale," is worthy of special mention, for
various reasons. It was billed as "The Carnival of Flowers," and
included all the members of the junior class. Each was in evening
dress and was either profusely decorated with, or carried, an
elaborate design of the flower which she had chosen to represent.
Dorothy, who had been unusually comfortable during the two weeks
preceding, had been deeply interested in the preparations for this
great event, and, one day, when Katherine was consulting Mrs.
Seabrook upon some important point, she had exclaimed, with a
"Oh! how I wish I could be in it, too."
"I wish you could, dear," said Katherine, bending to kiss the
wistful face. "Well—why can't she?" she added, turning suddenly to
Mrs. Seabrook; "she could have a place in the Carnival of Flowers.
Will you allow her to?"
Mrs. Seabrook smiled, but there was a sad yearning in her soft
eyes as they rested upon her helpless child.
"I hardly think it would do. I am afraid it could not be
arranged," she doubtfully replied.
"Indeed it could, and very easily. I have a lovely idea!" said
Katherine, eagerly. "Let her take the Calla Lily—no one has chosen
that because the flowers are too stiff to trim a dress gracefully. But
Dorothy's chair could be transformed into a chariot of lilies, and I
am sure they could be so arranged about her that she would look like a
fairy in the midst of them. If you are willing I will talk it over
with the girls. We will manage everything, so that she will not be
wearied with any of the preparations, and I will take charge of her
while she is on the stage. I know that she would have a beautiful
"Oh, mamma, if I only might!" breathed Dorothy, rapturously, and
carried away by the attractive prospect.
"Well, we will talk it over with papa; if he consents I will not
say no, and certainly Miss Minturn's suggestion is very alluring,"
replied her mother, as she bestowed a grateful smile on Katherine.
Prof. Seabrook could see no objection to the plan, and as
everybody was always glad to contribute to the enjoyment of the sick
girl, the idea was eagerly adopted, and Miss Dorothy was at once
chosen to be the central figure in the tableau.
It proved to be a most effective one, with the bevy of gorgeously
garlanded maidens artistically grouped around their lily queen, who
entered heartily into the spirit of the scene.
The child's chair had indeed been transformed! No one would have
recognized it, covered as it was with a wealth of pure white blossoms
and dark-green leaves, for it looked more like the throne of a fairy
than like anything so ordinary and unpretentious. Mrs. Seabrook, who
possessed exquisite taste, had so massed the blossoms around her and
daintily perched an inverted one on her head that the effect was
exceedingly beautiful and picturesque. Katherine, who had chosen to be
"Lady Poppea," made a brilliant foil, on one side, with her garlands
and basket of vivid scarlet poppies; while another junior, bedecked
with fuchsias, stood on the opposite side and held an umbrella, made
of and fringed with the same flowers, protectingly over her; and with
a score or more others forming a variegated background, the scene was
brilliant and gorgeous beyond description.
The applause was tumultuous; for, aside from the exceeding beauty
of the picture, every heart in the audience was touched by the happy
little face looking out at them from the midst of her devoted
subjects, and the curtain was raised and lowered several times before
they could be satisfied.
Then the proud and happy juniors hastily divested themselves of
their gay trappings and hurried away to join their friends and trip
to inspiring music in the main hall below; thus Katherine was left
with Dorothy alone on the stage.
"Wasn't it perfectly lovely, Miss Minturn?" exclaimed the girl in
a rapturous tone and with shining eyes. "I never saw you look so
pretty, and I never had such a happy time in all my life. I only wish
I could have seen the whole of it."
"I think you will, later; or at least something very like it; for,
when that flash light was thrown on, as the curtain went up the last
time, somebody took a snapshot at us," Katherine replied, smiling
fondly into the eager face.
"Oh! who was it?"
"Some one whom you know. Guess!"
"Yes; he asked permission of the president of the class. But now I
must see about getting you out of this place. I wonder where Alice
can be!" said Katherine, looking out towards the deserted dressing
room for the nurse, who had promised to be on hand to receive her
charge as soon as everything was over.
She had been disconnecting several ropes of flowers that had been
attached to the chair while she was talking, and, as no one came to
assist her, she now rolled the girl towards the side of the stage,
thinking, perhaps, she might get her off herself, as it was not very
But she had missed one rope, and, as it trailed along the floor,
it swept over a saucer containing some still smoking Greek fire, or
red light, that had been carelessly left just where it had been used.
The soft paper ignited in an instant, and the next moment the
lower part of the lily chariot was ablaze.
"Oh! Miss Minturn!" shrieked Dorothy, "save me! save me!"
For a second Katherine thought she would faint.
The next she snatched a portiere that had been used in one of the
tableaux and left upon the floor, and wrapped it closely around the
burning paper, beating it with her hands and doing her utmost to
smother the cruel flames. "Don't be afraid, dear," she said to the
girl, who, after that one half-crazed appeal, seemed to be paralyzed
with fear, "you are God's child—you cannot be harmed. He is Life, and
there are no fatalities in His realm, 'though thou walk through the
fire thou shalt not be burned.'"
She did not know that she was talking aloud; she was not conscious
of what she was saying; she only knew that she was reaching out, with
her whole soul, to the ever-present Love wherein lay protection and
safety, and all the time mechanically pulling the portiere closer
about the chair.
Suddenly she heard a low, startled exclamation, saw Dorothy
snatched from among the smoke-blackened lilies and passed along to
Alice, who at last had appeared upon the scene; then, as in a dream,
she felt herself enveloped in a shawl which was drawn so tightly about
her skirts that she could not move, and saw Dr. Stanley's pale,
anxious face looking down into hers, while he told her, in calm,
reassuring tones, that there was nothing to fear.
"Can you stand so for a minute while I look after that still
smoking chair?" he presently asked, and putting a corner of the shawl
into her hand to hold.
Fortunately it was her left hand, and she grasped it mechanically,
while she tried to mentally deny the well-nigh unbearable pain that
was making itself felt in her right hand and wrist.
It was the work of but two or three minutes to crush out the last
smoldering spark among the ruined lilies, for the flames had been
effectually smothered by Katherine's presence of mind in wrapping the
portiere about them and by her vigorous beating.
Then the physician turned again to her and gently removed the
shawl from her burned and disfigured skirts.
"It is all out, thank God!" he said, after carefully looking her
over. "It was a narrow escape for you and Dorrie, as well as from a
serious conflagration. Now tell me, Miss Minturn, are you burned?" he
concluded, searching her white face with troubled eyes.
She tried to smile as she glanced down at her ruined dress.
"A few dollars will make it all right, and that doesn't matter,"
she returned evasively, but with lips that quivered in spite of her
effort at self-control.
"You were badly frightened, poor child! but it is over," he gently
observed, the tense lines of his face softening in a reassuring
Then, seeing that she was keeping her right hand out of sight, he
reached down and drew it forward into the light.
"Miss Minturn!" he exclaimed, as he saw the reddened flesh and
three great blisters, "you did it beating out the fire to save
Dorothy. Come with me and I will dress it immediately."
"No," she said, setting her teeth resolutely; "go to her; I shall
do very well. Go!" she repeated, almost sharply, "for I saw that she
had fainted when Alice took her."
His brow contracted, and for an instant he seemed on the point of
insisting upon taking care of her first.
Then he drew forth his handkerchief and folded it gently about her
"Well, if I must; but go you directly to your room and I will come
to you as soon as I can."
Katherine could bear no more, and, turning abruptly from him, sped
from the place.
As she passed out of the lecture hall, she almost ran into Miss
Reynolds, who was on her way downstairs.
"Katherine!" she cried, aghast, as she caught sight of her pain-
contracted face, the handkerchief on her hand and her smoke-
blackened clothes, "what has happened?"
"Oh! may I go to your room?" gasped the girl.
"Of course; come," and without another word the woman turned and
led the way.
"Lock the door and don't let anyone in," said Katherine, as she
sank into the nearest chair and covered her face with her well hand.
Miss Reynolds quietly obeyed, then went to her desk and began to
read aloud, in a calm, clear voice, from the open "Science and
Health" that lay upon it.
For half an hour she kept on without stopping; but she then began
to be conscious that effectual work was being done, for, at first,
the sufferer sitting behind her had been unable to keep still a
moment; but gradually she became less restless, and at the end of
forty-five minutes had grown perfectly quiet and lay back in her
chair, her face pale but peaceful.
"Dear Miss Reynolds, you must go now. I must not keep you any
longer," she said, at length.
"My child, I shall not leave you while you need me," her teacher
returned, and, going to her side, she tenderly smoothed back the dark
hair from her forehead.
"I am much easier, so do not mind leaving me. You will be missed,
and some one will be coming for you; just let me stay here for a
while and be sure not to tell anyone where I am, or why I am among
the missing," Katherine pleaded, for she did not wish Dr. Stanley to
learn her whereabouts, knowing he would seek her and insist upon
dressing her burns.
"I will be very discreet; but I am going to keep you with me all
night," her teacher replied. "Now, if you can bear it, I will help
you off with your clothes. You shall have one of my night-robes and
go straight to bed."
With fine tact she had refrained from asking a single question;
but the suffering face, the pretty dress all burned and discolored,
the handkerchief wrapped about her hand, told her something of what
had occurred, and she could wait until later for details.
She dexterously assisted her to undress; but while doing so the
handkerchief was displaced and dropped to the floor and she had to
shut her lips resolutely to repress the cry of pity that almost
escaped her as she saw what it had covered. The next instant she was
mentally repeating the "scientific statement of being," [Footnote:
"Science and Health," page 468.] while she quietly replaced the square
of linen and pinned it to keep it in place. Then, with a grateful
smile and a sigh of content, Katherine slipped into bed and sank upon
"Now go, please," she begged again, "and find out, if you can, how
"No, Kathie, I am not going just yet," was the decided reply,
though there was a startled heart-bound at the girl's reference to
Dorothy. She asked no questions, however, but, going back to her
desk, continued her reading as before.
In about fifteen minutes she glanced towards the bed and saw by
her regular breathing that Katherine had fallen asleep. She bowed her
head upon her book for a moment, and when she lifted it again there
were tears on her cheeks, and in her eyes "a light that was ne'er on
sea or land."
Turning the gas low, she slipped softly out of the room and went
downstairs to join the gay company who were all unconscious of what
had been going on above.
Five minutes later Dr. Stanley came to her, his fine face overcast
"Miss Reynolds, can you give me any information regarding Miss
Minturn?" he inquired, adding: "I have been looking for her for
nearly an hour, and no one seems to know where she is. I suppose you
have heard about the accident?"
"An accident?" repeated the lady, inquiringly. "Yes," and he
proceeded to give a brief account of the narrow escape in the lecture
hall. "I told Miss Minturn to go to her room," he continued, "and I
would come to her as soon as I had ascertained if all was well with
Dorothy. The child is all right; she was simply frightened and lost
consciousness for a few moments. But Miss Minturn was badly burned, on
her hand and arm, and her beautiful dress is a wreck. Mrs. Seabrook
and I have been to her room; no one was there, nor can anyone give us
a clew to her whereabouts," and the gentleman looked really distressed
as he concluded.
Miss Reynolds had been doing some practical thinking while he was
talking, and now observed:
"Well, Dr. Stanley, to relieve your anxiety, I will tell you that
she is in my room, where she will remain all night. But I have
disobeyed her injunction to tell no one where she is. Fortunately, I
met her just as she was leaving the lecture hall, and she begged
shelter with me. I have but just left her."
"But she must have attention—her burns must be dressed," said the
physician, in a tone of professional authority.
"That will not be necessary, for she is asleep and resting
"Asleep! impossible!" interposed the man, emphatically; "that is,
unless she has taken a powerful opiate."
"She has had nothing of the kind," was the quiet answer.
"Then I repeat—it would be impossible for her to sleep," Dr.
Stanley asserted, with a note of impatience in his tone. "Why, only
an hour has elapsed since the accident, and, with those burns, it
would be many hours before she could get any rest or relief without an
opiate. I know," he added, flushing, "she is a Christian Scientist,
but I can't quite swallow such a miracle as that."
"Nevertheless, my friend, the dear girl, is sleeping peacefully—
or was, ten minutes ago," the lady smilingly returned.
"Did she put anything on those burns?"
"Do you believe she 'demonstrated,' as they express it, over the
"I know," she softly replied.
"Ah!"—with a start—"are you—"
Again she smiled as she interposed:
"I must not say too much about that just now. I will say this,
however: I have seen and learned enough to make me wish to know more,
for Katherine Minturn is an earnest, honest exponent of her religion.
I am very fond of her—she is one of the loveliest girls I have ever
"I can heartily agree with you on that point," replied Phillip
Stanley, gravely. "But I was hoping that I could be of service to
her, for we owe her much for her wonderful presence of mind and
practical common sense. But for that Dorothy would have been badly
burned and a great sufferer at this moment, instead of having gone to
bed the happiest girl in the building and full of gratitude to Miss
Minturn for giving her so much pleasure. Will you say to her, if there
is any way I can serve her, I shall be only too glad of the
"Indeed I will, and I shall slip away very soon and go back to
her, although I am sure she does not really need me. I am glad for
her sake, however, that tomorrow will be Saturday."
"May I tell my sister what you have told me?" Dr. Stanley
inquired. "I know it would greatly relieve her mind, for she is much
disturbed because Miss Minturn cannot be found."
"Yes; I am sure Kathie would be willing, under the circumstances.
I know her only fear was that she might be found before her work was
done," Miss Reynolds said, after considering a moment. "I think," she
added, "she would prefer not to have Dorothy told anything, except,
perhaps, that her dress was injured."
"Yes; it would mar her pleasure," her companion observed; "in
fact, we have said nothing about the contretemps to anyone but the
faculty as yet, fearing it might spoil the evening for many. We
cannot be too thankful that it was no worse; if it had occurred
before that last tableau was over, there is no telling how serious it
might have been, with so many thin dresses and all those paper
flowers," he concluded, gravely, then bowed himself away.
After making the round of the room, Miss Reynolds sought Sadie and
told her that as Katherine was not feeling quite herself, she would
spend the night with her; then she stole away and went back to her
Katherine aroused when she entered the room, but showed no signs
of present suffering.
"How is Dorothy?" she questioned, eagerly.
"She was not harmed in the least, and 'went to bed the happiest
girl in the building,' so I was told."
Katherine heaved a sigh of relief.
She asked for a glass of water and drank thirstily when it was
brought to her.
"Can I do anything more for you, Kathie?" her friend inquired.
The girl's eyes wandered to the books on her desk.
"Shall I read?—what?"
"The twenty-third psalm, please."
Miss Reynolds found and read it as given and interpreted in
"Science and Health": "Divine Love is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
Love maketh me to lie down in green pastures; Love leadeth me beside
still waters;" [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 16.] and so on to
Then she turned to her own marker and read for herself a while.
The room was very quiet, for the revelers below were so far away
they could not be heard. Only a strain of music from the orchestra
was now and then wafted on a gentle breeze to them through an open
Suddenly a deep sigh from the bed fell upon the reader's ear. She
started and turned toward her charge.
"'Love'—'still waters,'" murmured Katherine, then turned like a
tired child on her pillow and was again locked in slumber.
Softly, Miss Reynolds laid aside her festal attire, made a nest
for herself on her roomy couch and, to the faintly flowing rhythm of
"The Beautiful Blue Danube," soon lost herself in dreamland, never
waking until the brilliant sun of a glorious June morning flooded her
room and warned her that a new day had begun.
CHAPTER XVII. DR. STANLEY HAS AN
She found Katherine already awake.
"What do you think of tramps who take possession of your room and
drive you out of your comfortable bed?" playfully demanded the girl,
and nodding brightly at her.
"I like it—that is, when I have the privilege of choosing the
tramp," her teacher laughingly responded, as she sat up and glanced
at the clock; "besides, this couch is every bit as comfortable as the
bed. Did you rest well, Kathie?"
"Beautifully. The last I knew, until about ten minutes ago, you
were reading the twenty-third psalm."
Miss Reynolds arose and began to dress. Once or twice she found
her eyes straying to Katherine's bandaged hand, and longed to inquire
regarding its condition. But she wisely resisted the temptation and
maintained a discreet silence.
"You will not try to go down to breakfast, Kathie," she remarked,
as she completed her toilet, and the bell began to ring just at that
"No, I think I will keep out of sight to-day. I do not wish to
answer questions. Besides, I haven't anything here suitable to put
on." and she bestowed a rueful look upon her pretty evening dress,
all crumpled and burned, that lay over the back of a chair.
"True; but I will go for one of your dresses when I come up from
breakfast," said her friend; "meantime, if you care to get up, you
can slip on this negligee of mine," and she threw a dainty wrapper
over the foot of the bed as she spoke.
As soon as Miss Reynolds left the room, Katherine arose and
dressed, then sat down to read. She was glad to be alone, for, though
she was entirely free from pain, she felt she still had work to do for
For nearly an hour she read and worked diligently, and then her
teacher returned, bearing a tempting breakfast, which she soon
dispatched with the appetite of a healthy, hungry girl.
"I met Prof. Seabrook and his wife on my way up," Miss Reynolds
observed, as she began putting away the things she had worn the
previous evening, "and both inquired most kindly for you. The
professor said you are excused from the class lecture this morning,
if you wish, and Mrs. Seabrook will come to see you later. They both
expressed themselves as deeply grateful for what you did last night."
"I scarcely know what I did," Katherine returned, flushing. "Dr.
Stanley came so quickly to the rescue that it was all over before I
could think clearly. It seems like a dream."
"Yes, he told me all about it last night, Kathie, and said but for
your rare presence of mind there might have been a bad fire. He was
pretty well cut up, however, when he found that you had hidden
yourself away and he had lost a patient," Miss Reynolds replied with
a laugh of amusement, which was merrily echoed by her guest.
"He doesn't seem to take much stock in Science, dear," she
presently resumed. "He was simply amazed when I told him you were
sleeping—I thought it best, as long as your work was done, to
relieve his anxiety—and declared that was impossible, unless you had
taken a powerful opiate."
"An opiate is something which mortal mind says produces repose;
well, I had taken a large dose of that 'Peace, be still,' which,
rightly administered, never fails to give the sufferer and the weary
rest," said Katherine, with luminous eyes.
"It was beautiful, Kathie, and, figuratively speaking, I 'put off
my shoes from off my feet,' feeling that the 'place whereon I stood
was, indeed, holy ground,'" reverently observed her companion. "But,
tell me, weren't you afraid when you saw the flames?"
"Yes, for an instant, then I forgot everything but the 'secret
place' and 'the shadow.'"
"How much those words mean to me now! And you believe that every
statement of that ninety-first psalm can be proved—made practical?'
gravely inquired Miss Reynolds.
"Well, I think I am beginning to know it, too; though, as yet, it
is like 'seeing through a glass darkly,'" and a sweet seriousness
settled over the woman's face. "But," she went on, arousing herself
after a moment, "if you will tell me what to bring you I will now go
to your room for some clothes."
"Really, I am perfectly able to go for them myself," Katherine
"No, indeed; you are going to remain just where you are, at least
for the morning," said her teacher, authoritatively. "At this hour
you would be sure to meet many of the students and become the target
for innumerable questions."
"Well, then, bring my linen suit and my 'Horace,' please. I have
to complete an essay on that accomplished and agreeable gentleman 'as
a poet and a wit,' and I can spend the morning working upon it."
Miss Reynolds slipped away on her errand, but she no sooner
reached the main hall than she was surrounded by a bevy of excited
maidens and besieged with a volley of inquiries regarding the
accident of the previous night.
Dorothy's nurse, Alice, had described the scene in the lecture
hall to one of the maids, when, of course, the news had spread like
wildfire, and it, together with Katherine's "heroism," was the one
topic of the day. Sadie had also heard it and was on her way to see
her chum when she, too, met the teacher in the hall.
She went back to her room with her, found the things Katherine had
designated, and then, as it was nearly time for the class lecture,
sent word that she would come to see her after study hours were over.
When Miss Reynolds reached her own door again, she found a maid
standing there with a long box in her hands.
"Mrs. Seabrook told me to bring this up to you, marm," the girl
observed; but on entering her room and relieving herself of her
armful of clothing, she saw that the package was addressed to "Miss
"What have we here, I wonder?" she remarked, as she passed it to
her companion, together with a pair of scissors.
Katherine cut the string and lifted the cover, when a cry of
delight broke from her.
"Dear Miss Reynolds! look!" she said, holding the box towards her
It was filled with fragrant, long-stemmed Jack roses.
"How lovely! Who can the donor be?" she said. "Ah! there is a
card, tucked almost out of sight, under the foliage."
Katherine drew it forth, and a quick flush suffused her face as
she read the name, "Phillip Harris Stanley." She passed it to her
friend, then bent over her box of crimson beauties, as if to inhale
their perfume, but really to hide the deepening color in her cheeks.
Presently a bell rang and Miss Reynolds was obliged to go to a
class, thus leaving Katherine alone with her books and her flowers,
and in a very happy frame of mind.
It was nearly noon before Mrs. Seabrook could steal away from her
duties to go to see her; and when Katherine, in response to her
knock, admitted her, she took the girl into her arms and kissed her
with quivering lips, her eyes brimming with tears.
"My dear child, you know it is simply impossible for me to tell
you all there is in my heart," she began, but her voice broke and she
had to stop to maintain her self-control.
"Do not try, dear Mrs. Seabrook," said Katherine, as she returned
her caress. "I know it all, and you cannot be more thankful than I am
that Dorothy escaped without even having her pleasure spoiled."
"She talks of nothing but her 'beautiful time' and your
'bravery,'" the mother resumed. "She says that even though she cannot
remember much of what happened, after you wrapped the portiere about
the chair, she did hear you tell her 'not to be afraid, for she was
God's child and could not be harmed.' She was not harmed in any way;
she simply fainted from the shock, and seems even brighter to-day than
she was yesterday. But you suffered for her," and Mrs. Seabrook's
tremulous lips failed her again, as she softly touched the girl's
"It is almost nothing now," said Katherine, brightly. "I am fast
forgetting it myself, and want everybody else to. Does Dorrie know?"
"No; my brother thought it best not to tell her."
"I am glad; pray keep it from her if possible."
"But is it not very sore? Are you not suffering?"
"Not in the least, I assure you. The pain lasted only a little
while; I slept lovely and feel as good as new this morning."
"But your beautiful dress was ruined, though that, of course,
shall be replaced; and you lost your good time last night," and the
woman heaved a regretful sigh.
Katherine laughed out merrily.
"You will not let me 'forget,'" she said. "But there will be
plenty of other 'good times,' and all else is as nothing in the
balance, compared with Dorothy's safety." Then, to change the
subject, she inquired: "Now, tell me, wasn't that last tableau about
as fine as anything could be?"
"It was exquisite beyond description," said Mrs. Seabrook, with
animation. "Mr. Seabrook was delighted with it, and so pleased to
have Dorrie in it. It was lovely of the juniors to take so much pains
for her and make her the central figure. The whole entertainment was a
great success; your production was very bright and clever, and our
guests from outside had nothing but praise for everything. Oh! by the
way, Miss Minturn, my husband sends his kindest regards to you by me.
He said it was all he could do until he could see you personally."
After chatting a little longer she arose to go, saying she was
expecting company to dine with her.
Then she paused and again gently touched the spotless handkerchief
bound around Katherine's hand.
"My dear," she observed, searching her face with curious eyes, "I
cannot reconcile your bright and happy appearance with this; to me it
is a marvel, and I wish—oh! how I wish—"
She checked herself suddenly, but Katherine read her thought.
"I know," she said, softly, "and my heart has been full of the
same yearning for a long time. It will come, dear Mrs. Seabrook, if
we keep on wishing and praying."
"If I only knew how to pray as—as you do!" was the wistful
"The Lord's Prayer meets every human need, particularly the
clause, 'Thy will be done on earth as in heaven;' only we need to
know it was never our Father's 'will' that His children should
suffer," Katherine returned.
Tears rushed to the elder woman's eyes.
"I wish I could understand," she began, brokenly. Then, bending
forward, she left a light kiss on the girl's cheek and abruptly left
There were tears in Katherine's eyes also, but a tender smile on
"Divine Love is preparing the soil for the seed," she murmured to
herself as she went back to her essay.
She kept herself aloof from the other students as much as possible
until Monday, when she appeared as usual in her classes. She had to
run the gantlet of some inquiries regarding the extent of her
injuries, hut she made light of them, and her comrades began to think
they must have been greatly exaggerated, and so gave the matter no
Monday afternoon, when the duties of the day were over, she went
to see Dorothy, who had sent her several pressing invitations during
the last three days.
"I thought you would never come, Miss Minturn," she exclaimed, the
moment the door opened to admit her, "and I have so wanted to talk
over that lovely—lovely time with you."
"I have been pretty busy, dear, since I saw you," Katherine
replied, bending to kiss the eager face.
"I expect you have, getting ready for exams, and everything, and
I've tried to be patient," said the child, with a sigh, as she
recalled how impatient she had felt. "Everybody says that was such a
beautiful tableau!" she went on, with shining eyes, "and we know it
was, don't we? I shall never forget it; only, it was too bad to have
such a scare afterwards and my pretty chariot spoiled. Wasn't it
lucky, though, that Uncle Phillip happened to come just when he did
and—" but she was obliged to pause here for breath.
"Indeed, it was most fortunate, and I am sorry that the chariot
was spoiled, for it would have been a pleasant reminder of our lily
queen's grandeur as long as you cared to preserve it," Katherine
"But that was nothing compared with your dress!" was the regretful
rejoinder. "Uncle Phil said the skirt was ruined; but papa says you
shall have another every bit as nice—"
"Indeed, you shall, Miss Minturn," here interposed Prof. Seabrook,
coming from the adjoining room, where he had overheard the above
He cordially extended his hand as he spoke, while his tone and
manner were more affable than they had been since the day of her
admission to the school.
"We owe you a great deal," he continued, "both for the pleasure
you were instrumental in giving our little girl last Friday night,
and for your presence of mind which saved—no one can estimate how
much—possibly a dangerous panic, the destruction of property and
He had been quietly inspecting the hand he held, while he was
speaking, and was greatly surprised to find only a slight
discoloration where he had expected to see unsightly sores or scars,
and, while he did not wish to undervalue her heroism and
self-abnegation, he began to think that his brother-in-law had
greatly over-estimated the injuries which she had sustained.
"I am afraid you are giving me far more credit than is my due,"
Katherine replied, releasing her hand and flushing as she read
something of what was passing in his mind. "I simply did what first
came to my thought and—"
"And exactly the right thing it was to do," the man smilingly
"And Dr. Stanley did the rest," she persisted, finishing what had
been in her mind to say.
"Well, 'all's well that ends well,' and we are very grateful that
things are as they are," said the professor, earnestly, adding:
"You must allow me to repair whatever damage has teen done, as far
as money can do that. It pains me to know that you were burned, but I
am thankful to see that you did not suffer as severely as I was led to
infer." He glanced at her hand again as he concluded.
"I suffered more on Dorothy's account, I think, than in any other
way," the girl quietly replied.
"Why! were you burned, Miss Minturn?" Dorothy exclaimed, catching
her breath sharply.
"You would hardly know it now," she said, showing her hand, for
she saw she could no longer conceal the fact from her.
Dorothy took it, looked it over, then touched her lips lovingly to
"I'm very sorry," she said, "but it couldn't have been so awful
bad to get well so quickly, could it?"
"It is all passed now, dearie, and we are glad that no one's good
time was spoiled, aren't we?" Katherine observed and hastening to
change the subject.
"Indeed, we are. It was such a happy time!" sighed Dorrie, in a
tone of supreme content. "I've dreamed and dreamed of it. I wake in
the morning thinking of it, and mamma and I talk and talk about it."
"I wish to add, Miss Katherine," her principal here interposed,
"that your special contribution to the programme of last Friday
evening was exceedingly entertaining; and"—his eyes resting very
kindly on her—"having learned the circumstances that inspired it, I
heartily appreciate the spirit with which you met and mastered them.
Now, Dorrie, I will not keep you from your talk with her any longer,"
and, with a genial smile and bow, the gentleman left the room.
Katherine remained an hour with Dorothy and allowed her to
expatiate upon her "good time" to her heart's content, after which
she went out into the grounds for a little quiet meditation by
She was very happy because of what Prof. Seabrook had said to her
and the marked change in his manner towards her. He had addressed her
by her first name, too, for the first time, a thing which he never did
in speaking to students in public; but there were a favored few whom
he sometimes greeted thus when he chanced to meet them informally, and
it now seemed as if she were henceforth to be numbered with them.
All the same, she knew that, in his heart, he was not one whit
more tolerant of her religious views, and the skeptical gleam in his
eyes, while inspecting her hand, had told her that he had no faith
whatever that she had made a "demonstration" over a severe burn. But
it was evident there had been a radical change in his attitude towards
her; he no longer entertained any personal repulsion, and thus, with
the little fire of Friday night, all "barriers had been burned away"
and a bond of true sympathy re- established between them. So, with a
smile on her lips and a song in her heart, she made her way to a
favorite spot, beneath a mammoth beech tree, where, drawing forth a
pocket edition of "Unity of Good" [Footnote: By Mary Baker G. Eddy.],
that tiny book, that multum in parvo which, to every earnest student
of Christian Science, becomes a veritable casket of precious jewels,
she was soon lost to all things material in the perusal of its pages.
She had been reading fifteen minutes, perhaps, when a muffled step
on the heavy greensward caused her to glance up, to find Dr. Stanley
almost beside her.
"All inquiries regarding a certain lady's health, I perceive, are
quite unnecessary," he observed, as he searched her glowing face.
"Pray pardon me if I have startled you, but I would like to know how
that poor hand is getting on, if it is permissible to mention it."
"It is not a 'poor hand'—it is a very good hand, indeed, thank
you, Dr. Stanley; at least, for all practical purposes," she demurely
returned, but keeping it persistently out of sight, among the folds of
her dress, where it had fallen when she arose to greet him.
"Miss Minturn, aren't you going to shake hands with an old
friend?" he gravely queried, extending his hand to her, but with a
roguish sparkle in his handsome eyes.
Katherine laughed out musically, and reluctantly laid hers within
The man's face assumed an inscrutable expression as he turned the
small member over and examined it with a critical look, even pushing
up her sleeve a trifle to view the arm; but the slender wrist was fair
and white and no flaw anywhere, except the slight discoloration
previously referred to, where the unsightly blisters had been.
"Miss Minturn, it is less than three days since that accident
occurred, and those burns are entirely healed! What did you do for
them?" he demanded, in low, repressed tones.
"Nothing, except to know that 'God is an ever-present help in time
"Do you mean to tell me that you applied no lotion or salve? that
you did nothing but 'demonstrate mentally,' as you Scientists express
"That was all, Dr. Stanley. I had no lotion or salve."
"How long did you suffer from the pain? I suppose you shrink from
being questioned thus by a doctor," he interposed, as he observed her
heightened color; "but please tell me—I want to know."
"The burning sensation was all gone at the end of three-quarters
of an hour, by the clock, though I confess the time seemed much
longer than that," she admitted, with a faint smile. "I was conscious
that my hand was sore and very tender as long as I was awake; but in
the morning that also was a belief of the past."
"It is beyond me!" muttered the physician, with a puzzled brow.
"But," he added, frankly, "I am heartily glad you did not have to
suffer many hours, as I felt sure you would, after seeing the
condition of your hand that night. I went to your room with my
sister, after attending to Dorothy, but, as you know, failed to find
you. An hour later Miss Reynolds astounded me by telling me that you
were in her room, asleep."
"Yes, she kindly took me under the shelter of her wing."
"Miss Minturn"—accusingly—"you ran away from me; you did not
want me to find you;" but he smiled as he said it.
"It was far better for me, with our conflicting opinions. It would
only have prolonged my suffering if you had found me and insisted
upon dressing the burns, even though your motive was most kind,"
Katherine gently explained.
"I am almost tempted to believe that, after what I have heard and
seen," he thoughtfully admitted.
"I hope you do not feel that I did not appreciate your kindness,"
Katherine observed, a note of appeal in her voice. "I know that you
would have done your best for me, in your way. And now, let me thank
you again for the lovely Jacks. I have not seen such beauties for a
long time. I hope you received my note of acknowledgment."
"Yes, and wondered how you had managed to hold a pen, much more
write your natural hand."
For a moment Katherine wondered how he could know her "natural
hand"; then she remembered that he had asked an exchange of cards
from herself and her mother the day before they landed the previous
fall. She had just given her last one away, so had been obliged to
write her name and address on a blank card.
"What is this little book, in which you were so absorbed as I came
upon you?" he resumed, as he picked it up from the seat where she had
laid it and turned to the title page. "U-m! another production by that
remarkable woman! Do you understand it?"
"I am growing to understand it better every time I read it. There
is much that is beautiful and helpful in it."
"Well, one would need to read over and over to comprehend what she
teaches, and"—reflectively—"I am not sure but what it would be well
worth one's while. But I must go. Dorrie will think I am very late
this afternoon. An, revoir, Miss Minturn," and slipping the book into
Katherine's hands, he lifted his hat and went his way, while she
looked after him with shining eyes.
"Mamma sowed better than she knew, there; the soil is good and the
seed is taking root," she told herself as she turned with a light
heart back to her book.
CHAPTER XVIII. SADIE RECEIVES AN
The last weeks of the school year just seemed to melt away until
only one remained, and this was filled full with many duties, various
class meetings, preparations for graduating day, class receptions,
For some time Katherine had observed that Sadie appeared absent-
minded and depressed; in fact, wholly unlike herself, and twice of
late she had surprised her in violent weeping. But the girl would
give no reason, made light of it as "nervousness," and evaded all
One day, while looking over their personal belongings and packing
away things no longer needed, preparatory to their flitting,
Katherine abruptly inquired:
"Sadie, where are you going to spend your summer?"
The girl started violently and turned a vivid scarlet.
"I—I don't know, honey. I reckon I may travel some," she said,
after a moment of hesitation.
"With your guardian and his family?"
"N-o; they're going to Europe, but I don't care to go with them."
"But you surely cannot travel by yourself," Katherine observed, in
surprise, while she regarded the averted face opposite her curiously,
an unaccountable feeling of uneasiness taking possession of her.
"I—I suppose I can't; perhaps I shan't, after all," Sadie
stammered. "I may go to some quiet place and board."
"Even in that case you would need a chaperon," Katherine objected.
"Well, Mr. Farnsworth wants me to go to his sister in Genesee
County. She's a stiff, little old maid who lives by herself, and he
says if I will not go to Europe I must stay with her. But I might as
well be shut up in a convent, and—I won't," and there was a resonant
note of defiance in Miss Minot's voice as she concluded.
"But what is your objection to the European trip, Sadie? I should
think you would like it; I am sure you could have no better
opportunity than to go with the Farnsworths," argued Katherine, who
was more and more perplexed by her roommate's strange caprice.
"Oh! well, I'm not going, anyway, and that settles the matter!"
sharply retorted the girl from the depths of her trunk, but her voice
was thick with tears.
Katherine suddenly sat erect, a startled expression sweeping over
her face. She dropped the subject, but before an hour had passed a
hastily written, special delivery missive was on its way to Mrs.
The next evening, after supper, she burst into her room, her face
beaming with joy, an open letter in her hand, to find Sadie drooping
over a note she had been writing and nibbling at the stem of her pen,
apparently in the most disconsolate frame of mind.
She hastily drew a blank sheet of paper over the written page to
hide it, a circumstance which did not escape the observing eye of her
chum, and, looking over her shoulder, inquired:
"What is it, Katherine? You look as if you'd had good news."
"I have—at least good news to me, and I hope it will be to you
also," was the cheery reply.
Sadie sat up and looked interested.
"To me! How so?" she said, in surprise.
"Well, I wrote mamma yesterday that you seemed to be in something
of a quandary about your summer, and as I have the privilege of
inviting some one to spend my vacation with me, I asked her if I
might have you—that is, if you would like to come. Would you, dear?"
Katherine pleaded, with an anxiously beating heart. "We have a cottage
at Manchester-by-the-Sea, in Massachusetts, which we make our
headquarters, then take little trips here and there, as the spirit
moves us. Papa cannot be with us all the time, on account of business,
but he comes and goes, bringing some of his friends now and then; and,
Sadie, we do have very nice times. Now will you be my guest for the
summer? I have a special delivery from mamma, who also wants you."
The girl had remained motionless, almost breathless while
Katherine was speaking, a peculiar look on her face, which grew red
and white by turns. She did not at once reply when she concluded, but
seemed irresolute, almost dazed, in fact, by what she had heard.
Then, all at once, she started to her feet, threw her arms around
Katherine, bowed her head upon her shoulder and burst into a passion
"Oh! how good of you, Katharine! How good of you! It will seem
like heaven to me!" she sobbed, with more feeling than she had ever
manifested before during all the months they had spent together. "Ah!
I have been so lonesome, so homesick, so—so wretched, and I would
love to go if—if you really want me."
"I certainly do, Sadie, or I would not have asked you," Katherine
heartily responded, and now feeling very sure that she had done a
wise thing, for she was convinced that the girl's "wretchedness" had
proceeded from an entirely different cause than a choice between a
European tour and a sojourn with an "old maid in Genesee County."
"It is perfectly lovely of you, and I can never tell you how much
it means to me!" Sadie replied, with a long breath of relief, while
she wiped the hot tears from her cheeks.
"Well, you need not be 'homesick' any longer," was the cheery
assurance, "for mamma will make you feel that you have your own place
in our dear home nest on the rocks by the sea; and papa is the
jolliest of men. No one need be 'lonesome' when he is around, and we
shall have other friends with us some of the time. Listen while I read
you what mamma says: 'Have your friend come, by all means, if she
thinks she can be happy with us. You can explain what our plans are,
and if they prove attractive we will make her one with us.'"
"That will be perfectly delightful! It is awfully sweet of you
both," Sadie exclaimed, with sparkling eyes, her spirits quickly
rebounding, as the burden of a few hours previous began to roll from
her heart. "Oh! Katherine, you never can know how happy you have made
me, and I am going to write to my guardian this very minute."
She turned back to her desk, and presently Katherine heard her
tearing paper into tiny bits, after which she wrote two letters and
then went immediately out to post them.
There were no more tears or doleful looks during the remainder of
the week. A day or two later there came an approving letter and a
generous check from Mr. Farnsworth, and Sadie was once more her
serene and gracious self and looking forward eagerly to the day of
their flitting to the sea.
Katherine, on the other hand, was feeling an unaccountable
reluctance to leaving, even with the expectation of returning in
September, and in spite of her longing for both father and mother. It
was very strange, she told herself, but she certainly was not elated
over the prospect of a long vacation.
Prof. Seabrook was going to Europe for a complete change of scene
and rest. Mrs. Seabrook, Dorothy and nurse were booked for a quiet
spot in the White Mountains, where, it was hoped, pure air and
country life and diet would strengthen the frail girl for what was in
store for her, and where Dr. Stanley would join them, for the month of
August, if he could arrange to leave his patients.
Miss Reynolds was to go to her home in Auburn for July, but, to
Katherine's delight, had accepted an invitation from Mrs. Minturn to
be her guest during the first two weeks of August.
And so, when the morning of their departure came, adieus and good
wishes were exchanged with their many school friends, and the two
girls started upon their journey to the coast of the "good old Bay
State" and lovely Manchester, that beautiful town so boldly perched
on rugged crags and nestling so restfully 'mid sylvan shadows.
There was a secret sense of disappointment in Katherine's heart
because she had not seen Dr. Stanley during these last days. He had
been unusually busy for a month, and she had not met him since the
afternoon, of their brief interview under the great beech tree; but
when she went to say farewell to Mrs. Seabrook she left a friendly
message and good-by for him.
Dorothy wept when taking leave of her, and Mrs. Seabrook clung
fondly to her.
"I am very loath to let you go," she said, "for there have been
many peaceful hours in this room when you have been with us, and I
shall count the weeks until we are all back again. Somehow, I am
dreading my summer," she concluded, with a weary sigh.
It was six o'clock in the evening when the young travelers reached
Boston, where they were met by Mr. Minturn, an unusually
prepossessing gentleman, who evidently was very fond of "my girlie,"
as he called Katherine when he gathered her into his strong arms. and
held close for a moment.
Then he greeted Sadie with a breezy cordiality which, for once,
disabused her of the notion that Northerners were "stiff and cold"
and Southern hospitality at a premium.
They had just time to get their trunks rechecked and catch a
suburban train, and about an hour later, seated behind a pair of
spirited bays, they were rolling over a smooth country road and ere
long drew up beneath the porte cochere of a fine residence built on a
rocky bluff and overlooking a broad expanse of ocean.
"So this is a 'cottage by the sea,' a 'nest on the rocks,'" Miss
Minot mentally observed to herself as her glance roamed over the
roomy mansion, while she was mounting the steps leading to the wide
veranda, where Mrs. Minturn and another lady, both in dinner costumes,
were waiting to welcome them. Katherine flew to her mother's arms,
while Mr. Minturn presented Sadie to Mrs. Evarts; then, presently,
Mrs. Minturn came to her, greeting her so graciously and lovingly that
her heart was won at once, and she felt that she had been admitted
within a charmed circle and a strangely peaceful atmosphere.
"Now, my dears, I am not going to make you dress to-night," Mrs.
Minturn observed, when the greetings were over. "Ellen"—glancing at
a maid in spotless cap and apron—"will take you upstairs and help you
get rid of some of the dust of travel, then you can come directly
down, for we were only awaiting your arrival before having dinner
The maid took possession of their hand bags and led the way
indoors, up a broad stairway to two adjoining rooms, opening out upon
a balcony which commanded, a fine view of both land and sea. After
submitting to a vigorous brushing, bathing hands and faces and pinning
into place some truant locks, they went below to a tempting repast, to
which the two hungry travelers did ample justice.
The weeks that followed Sadie Minot never forgot, for they marked
the beginning of a new era in her life. She seemed to be living in a
different world. Every day was begun with a reading from the Bible and
the Christian Science text-book; this was followed by the singing of a
lovely hymn, then came a minute or two of silent communion, after
which the Lord's Prayer was repeated in unison.
Ofttimes Mrs. Minturn and her friend would remain to discuss or go
over again some passage that had awakened a new train of thought, and
frequently Sadie found herself lingering also, an interested listener.
After a week of rest they began to make trips to various points of
interest, sometimes stopping two or three days in a place, then
returning to Manchester for a little season of quiet, when they would
flit away again in another direction.
It was ideal. There was never any friction or jar in the home or
on the wing; an atmosphere of peace and love brooded everywhere,
while, at the same time, a spirit of good-fellowship and jollity
pervaded the entire household, particularly when Mr. Minturn made one
of their number.
Katherine, who was quietly observant of her friend, was glad to
see that there was no return of the absentminded moods or depression
that had previously overshadowed her; but that she seemed care-free
and happy, giving herself up heartily to the enjoyment of her
Only now and then, when a letter addressed in a bold, free hand
came to her, did she seem to cast a backward glance or recall
anything to mar her pleasure.
They had little visits at Newport and Narragansett Pier, a trip to
the Thousand Isles, interspersed with outings at the Essex County
Club at home; golf, tennis and drives, and, now and then, a run to
Boston for sightseeing or shopping.
One morning—the very last of July—Katherine received a letter
bearing a New Hampshire postmark.
"I wonder if it is from Mrs. Seabrook! I have been wishing we
might hear from Dorothy," she observed, as she hastily cut the end of
the envelope and drew forth a closely written sheet. "Yes, it is," she
supplemented, glancing at the name appended, and then became absorbed
in its contents, her face growing grave and wistful as she read.
"Mamma," she remarked, when she had finished and was refolding the
missive, "Mrs. Seabrook writes that Dorothy is not as well. They have
had to send for Dr. Stanley, and he thinks that the mountain air does
not agree with her; that she would be better near the sea. She has
written to ask if we know of a cottage here that she could rent for
the remainder of the season."
"Why, yes; there is the Hunt cottage. Mrs. Hunt told me yesterday
that they are all going on a trip through the Canadas; but she was in
a quandary about her help. She does not like to let them go, neither
does she feel quite like leaving them to run the house by themselves.
Perhaps she would be glad to rent it," Mrs. Minturn returned.
'That would be delightful, for then we could have Mrs. Seabrook
for a neighbor, and—oh! mamma—if we only could do something for
that dear child," said Katherine, yearningly.
"We could not interfere there, dear," her mother gravely replied.
"We could do nothing, with Prof. Seabrook so opposed to the treatment
of Christian Science. But I will go and talk with Mrs. Hunt and see
what can be done for your friends."
The result of her call was a cordial assent on the part of the
Hunts to rent the cottage, if the Seabrooks, after learning the
terms, desired to have it.
Katherine wrote by return mail, stating the case to Mrs. Seabrook,
and the second day afterward, while she and Sadie were busy with some
fancy work on the veranda, Dr. Stanley suddenly appeared, mounting the
Katherine sprang forward to greet him, her face glowing with
"This is a delightful surprise, Dr. Stanley," she said, giving him
a cordial hand. "Come and have a chair. If you have walked from the
station you will be glad to get out of the sun, and I am sure you need
no introduction to Miss Minot."
The physician saluted Sadie with his customary courtesy, then
seated himself in the comfortable rocker tendered him, and gazed,
with an appreciative eye, off upon the blue expanse before him, at
the same time taking in deep breaths of the cool, delicious salt air.
"This is glorious!" he exclaimed. "Young ladies, I do not wonder
at the roses in your cheeks, in view of these invigorating breezes
wafted straight from the domain of old Neptune."
Sadie, however, did marvel as she observed the unusual color in
the face of her friend. "The invigorating breezes of 'Old 'Neptune'
didn't have anything to do with that," she said to herself.
"We have found it very warm and close up in the mountains," the
gentleman resumed, "and I now regret that I did not send my sister to
the sea at the beginning of the summer."
Katherine inquired for Mrs. Seabrook, who had scarcely referred to
herself in her letter, and expressed her regret that Dorrie had
seemed to lose ground.
"Yes, she has been very poorly, and her mother is simply worn out
with anxiety and watching," said Phillip Stanley, with a clouded
brow. "You perceive I lost no time, after the receipt of your letter,
in coming to conclude the arrangements with Mrs. Hunt."
"You will find her cottage very comfortable and homelike, although
it is not very large," Katherine informed him. "We think it is just
the place for you, because of the well-trained help, which will
greatly relieve dear Mrs. Seabrook. That is the house—the second one
above us on the opposite side of the street."
"The location is certainly fine. It is high, has a good view of
the ocean and spacious grounds. I shall feel that we are very
fortunate to secure it. I wonder if I shall find Mrs. Hunt at home?"
said the gentleman, and apparently eager to conclude the bargain.
"I think so, and, if agreeable to you, Dr. Stanley, I will go over
with and introduce you to her," returned his young hostess.
"That is very good of you, Miss Minturn," he eagerly responded,
with a look that caused the white lids to droop quickly over the
brown eyes. "I shall certainly avail myself of your kind offer."
"I am sorry that mamma is not at home," Katherine remarked, as she
arose to go in and make ready for the proposed call. "She will be
disappointed to have missed you. She was obliged to go to Boston this
morning, with Miss Reynolds, who arrived last night, and will not be
back until late this evening. Sadie, will you come with us to Mrs.
Hunt's?" she concluded, turning to her friend.
"No, I reckon not," the girl lazily replied. "I am too comfortable
to move, unless the occasion is imperative."
Katherine disappeared, but shortly returned equipped for her call,
and Phillip Stanley's glance rested appreciatively on the lithe,
graceful figure in its dainty robe of pale yellow chambrey, with its
soft garnishings of lace and black velvet. The nut-brown head was
crowned with a pretty shade hat of yellow straw, also trimmed with
black velvet ribbon, and a white parasol, surmounted by a great,
gleaming white satin bow, completed the effective costume, while the
girl's pink cheeks and brilliant eyes told, as she walked away with
her companion, that she was bound upon no unpleasant errand.
"U-m!" ejaculated Sadie, with a wise nod, as she looked after the
vanishing couple, "you two will make a perfectly stunning pair
and—you have my unqualified blessing."
The arrangements with Mrs. Hunt were soon completed, for Dr.
Stanley was only too eager to secure her charming cottage upon any
When he spoke of references the lady cut him short by smilingly
remarking that she needed no better vouchers than her friends, the
Minturns. The family would leave the next morning, she said, and it
would be perfectly agreeable, as far as she was concerned, to have
Mrs. Seabrook take possession the following day, and it was so
As they left the house Dr. Stanley glanced at his watch, then drew
forth a time-table.
"I have an hour or so before I need to leave for Boston," he
observed, after studying it for a moment.
"Oh! Dr. Stanley, do not say that!" Katherine exclaimed, in a tone
of disappointment. "You surely will come and have lunch with Sadie
and me, then I will order the horses and we will have a nice drive."
"You tempt me sorely, Miss Minturn," the gentleman smilingly
observed, as he met the appealing brown eyes, "but if I am to bring
my sister and Dorrie here the day after to-morrow, I must get back to
"Yes, I can understand that you wish them to come as soon as
possible," Katherine replied, and at once yielding her point; "and
you all shall have plenty of drives before the summer is over. But,
if you have an hour to spare, perhaps you would like to walk about a
little; I can show you one or two fine views."
"That will be very enjoyable," he eagerly responded, and they bent
their steps towards a point which had become a favorite spot with
They had a pleasant ramble, talking of various matters, but
without once referring to the subject of Christian Science, for
Katherine purposely avoided it for several reasons.
Finally they turned their faces towards the town, when, on
rounding a curve in the road, they saw the figure of a man sauntering
idly along some distance before them, although, at the time, neither
bestowed more than a casual glance upon him.
Presently, however, after again consulting his watch, Dr. Stanley
said time was flying, and he must hasten to catch his train; so,
quickening their steps, they soon overtook the stranger in front of
He shot a curious look at them, as they were passing; then, to
Katharine's amazement, doffed his hat with a courteous "How do you
do, Miss Minturn? Ah! Stanley! a fine day."
Without slackening his pace, the physician turned a pair of
blazing eyes upon the man, as he, in duty bound, lifted his own hat;
and they had passed him before Katherine could do more than bestow an
astonished look upon him.
Her companion turned and searched the puzzled face beside him.
"Miss Minturn, do you know that young man?" he gravely inquired.
She flashed a pair of startled eyes up at him, for his tone had a
peculiar note in it.
"I don't know. There was something familiar about him, and he
seemed to recognize me," she began, doubtfully. "Why!" she went on,
her face clearing, "I remember now. I was introduced to him last
spring; his name is Willard, I believe. Oh! what does he want down
here?" she concluded, with a sudden heartthrob of fear.
"I do not know who may have introduced you," her companion
remarked, "but I feel it my duty to tell you that he is a man whose
acquaintance is very undesirable. It is true he belongs to a fine
family, but he is their thorn in the flesh. He is a drunkard and a
gambler, and his associates are among the most reprobate. Two or three
times I have been called to bring him out of a state bordering upon
delirium tremens. A physician is not supposed to give away the
weaknesses of his patients," he interposed, in a deprecatory tone,
"but under existing circumstances I feel justified in saying what I
"I had a suspicion that he might not be desirable," Katherine
returned, and feeling deeply disturbed, for she was sure the man had
followed Sadie for no good purpose. "I never met him but once, and
then under rather peculiar circumstances. I thank you for telling me
about him, for, although I may never see him again, it may prove a
warning to some one whom I know who has seen more of him."
They had almost reached the station by this time, and a warning
whistle told them that the inward-bound train was near at hand.
There was just time for Dr. Stanley to get his ticket, take a
hurried leave of his fair companion, and then board his car, waving a
The girl stood watching the train as it rolled from the station, a
soft radiance in her large brown eyes, a happy smile parting her red
lips; while the physician bore away with him the mental picture of a
dainty little lady in pale yellow, her beautiful face looking out at
him from beneath a most becoming shade hat, one slender hand holding
aloft a white ruffled parasol surmounted by a gleaming satin bow.
CHAPTER XIX. MRS. SEABROOK TAKES A
On her way back, after Dr. Stanley's departure, Katherine stopped
at the house of a friend to make a call.
She found her in a pavilion that flanked a corner of the veranda,
and with her some other young people, all of whom were busily engaged
with the new fad of basket making. They were just on the point of
having light refreshments and heartily welcomed her to their circle,
where the time slipped unheeded by until a clock, somewhere, striking
the half hour after twelve, warned her that lunch at home would soon
be served, and Sadie, even now, must be wondering what had become of
But when she reached home the girl was nowhere to be found. It was
after one o'clock and lunch waiting when she finally came slowly up
the hill, which sloped to the beach behind the house, and Katherine
was sure, from her flushed cheeks and reddened lids, that she had been
There was no opportunity for any confidential conversation during
the meal, for the waitress was in the room, and, after making a very
light repast, Sadie observed she "reckoned she'd go take a nap," and
abruptly leaving the table, disappeared.
Katharine was deeply thoughtful while finishing her lunch. "He has
been here," she said to herself as she folded and slipped her napkin
into its ring; then, with a resolute uplifting of her head, she
followed Sadie upstairs and tapped upon her door. "Please excuse me
for a little while, honey," came the response from within, but in
"But, Sadie, I am sure that something is troubling you; and,
besides, I have an item of important news to tell you," her friend
"Well, then, come," was the reluctant reply, and Katherine
entered, to find the girl, as she had surmised, in tears.
"I knew it, dear," she said, going to her side. "I was sure you
were grieving about something, and I believe that Ned Willard is the
cause of it. I saw him this morning when I was out with Dr. Stanley."
"You did! He didn't say that he had seen you," exclaimed Sadie, in
astonishment. Then, realizing how she had committed herself, she
colored a vivid scarlet and fell to weeping afresh.
"Ah! then he has been here!" said Katherine. "I thought so, when
you came in to lunch." There was a moment of awkward silence, then
she resumed: "Sadie, I do not wish to force your confidence, but I am
going to tell you frankly what is on my mind, and I hope you will feel
it is only my friendship for you that impels me to say it. I noticed,
for a long time before school closed, that you were not yourself, that
you were depressed and unhappy, and I was confident that Mr. Willard
was the cause of it; that it was on his account you refused to go to
Europe with your guardian. It even seemed to me that you were almost
on the point of taking some step, doing something rash, from which you
instinctively shrank, and when I asked you to come home with me you
seized the opportunity as a loophole of escape. Of course, I have not
been blind and I have suspected that certain letters which have come
to you here were from Mr. Willard, and when I saw him to-day I feared
he had followed you and would make you 'wretched' again. I did not
know him at first, but he recognized me and spoke to me."
She paused irresolute for a moment, then continued:
"I am going to tell you all, Sadie, for I know it is right you
should learn the truth. Dr. Stanley looked amazed when Mr. Willard
spoke to me, and inquired, if I knew the man. I told him I had simply
been introduced to him, and he said, 'He is a person whose
acquaintance is very undesirable; he is a drunkard and a gambler; he
belongs to a good family, but he is their thorn in the flesh, because
of his dissolute ways.' Perhaps this sounds harsh, even unkind to you,
but I am trying to do by you as I would by my own sister if I had one.
I don't want you to spoil your life, Sadie."
The girl had been growing more composed during Katherine's
revelations, and when she concluded she sat up on the bed, threw her
handkerchief away and faced her.
"I am glad that you have told me this, Katherine," she said,
drawing a deep breath, "and I have longed, ever since I came to this
'house of peace'—for it has been that to me—to tell you this secret
that has been eating my heart out. I did continue to meet Ned on the
sly, even after I promised you, last spring, that I would not. I wrote
him, as I told you I would, about going to Mr. Farnsworth and doing
the square thing; but he only laughed at me and still insisted upon
seeing me the same as ever. I—I really am fond of him, honey," she
confessed, a vivid blush suffusing her face. "Ned has good qualities,
in spite of his faults. I know that he has been in the habit of
drinking some, but we Southerners don't mind that as much as you
Northerners do. I—I didn't know about his gambling—that seems
dreadful. I know he thinks the world of me, for when my guardian said
he was going to take me to Europe he was perfectly wild about it; so
that is why I gave it up. Then he wanted—oh! Katherine! how can I
tell you—"and the scarlet face went down upon the pillow again.
"Yes, dear, I suspected it—I almost knew that he wanted you to
marry him secretly, and you came very near consenting—would have
taken the irrevocable step perhaps if I had not asked you to come
with me," gently interposed her friend.
"Katherine! What made you think that?" and the girl started up
"Oh! several things; your fits of abstraction, your
'homesickness,' your 'wretchedness,' and the remarkable reaction that
followed your acceptance of my invitation."
"Well, honey, it was true, and I shall always love you for saving
me from that, for I knew it was wrong. I was beginning to get my eyes
open a little, though, and to feel that Ned should not have asked me
to marry him in any such way; but I hardly knew which way to turn,"
Sadie confessed, with downcast eyes.
"Of course, I am glad to have you with me; but perhaps going to
Europe would have been the better plan. It would have taken you out
of his way," Katherine thoughtfully observed.
"I couldn't leave—I—I didn't want to," faltered her companion,
and Katherine sighed as she saw that there was an even stronger
attachment here than she had suspected.
"He has been trying to persuade me to—to go away with him ever
since I came here," Sadie resumed, and evidently determined to keep
nothing back; "and to-day he came upon me suddenly while you were
away, and he wasn't very kind"—her lips quivered painfully over those
last words; "but," she presently went on, "since I have been here many
things have begun to seem different to me, and I had made up my mind
to go back to school and do my very best next year; but if Ned is
going to keep on bothering me like this, I shall be wretched."
"If he comes again I think we will have to let papa deal with
him," said Katherine, gravely.
"Oh! I wouldn't have your father or mother know anything about it
for the world," cried Sadie, in distress. "I begin to feel ashamed of
the whole affair myself, and I would not marry him on the sly now for
anything. But he claims that I am pledged to him, and says he will
make trouble for me if I try to dodge him," and the girl nervously
twisted a diamond ring; which she wore on the first finger of her left
"There is nothing to prevent you from releasing yourself from any
such rash pledge if you choose to do so," said Katharine. Then she
asked: "Is that your engagement ring, dear?"
"Yes; but I haven't dared to wear it on the right finger, for I
didn't want anyone to know," she admitted, with a blush of shame.
Katherine leaned forward and smiled fondly into her eyes.
"You understand, I am sure, that I do not wish to meddle in an
affair of this kind; but if you will allow me. I would advise you to
return that ring at once. Tell Mr. Willard that you revoke your
promise to him, and that henceforth he is to leave you unmolested.
Think it over, Sadie, and I am sure your own good judgment will tell
you this would be the wiser course. Now I will leave you to take your
nap, for I think you need it," and, kissing her softly, she left the
The next morning a great burden rolled from her heart when she saw
Sadie hand the postman a letter and a small package on which there
was a special delivery stamp, and she earnestly hoped that this step
in the right direction would forever end the disagreeable affair.
The following day the Seabrooks arrived, and our "brown-eyed
lassie" was very happy to have so many of her school friends around
her; but it was impossible not to see how pale and worn Mrs. Seabrook
looked, and that Dorrie had failed not a little.
After a few days, however, the child appeared to improve a trifle,
and everybody else began to look refreshed and hopeful once more. Dr.
Stanley devoted the greater portion of his time to her, and she was
never so happy as when he wheeled her to some point where she could
have an unobstructed view of the ocean and watch the foam-crested
waves as they broke upon the rocks on the shore.
At times, when she was sleeping or being cared for by the ever-
faithful Alice, the physician and his sister might have been found at
the Minturn home, where many a pleasant hour was spent on its broad
verandas, and where the subject of Christian Science was often the
theme of conversation, and Mrs. Minturn was plied with numerous
questions by Miss Reynolds and the doctor also.
Mrs. Seabrook rarely joined in these discussions, but Katherine
observed that she was a very attentive listener.
Miss Reynolds had become an enthusiastic student; in fact, she was
having class instruction under Mrs. Minturn, and did not hesitate to
avow her full acceptance of its teachings.
Dr. Stanley maintained, at first, a very conservative attitude;
but it was apparent that he had read more on the subject than he was
ready to admit.
Once he quoted a passage from "Unity of Good" [Footnote: By Mary
Baker G. Eddy] and asked Mrs. Minturn to explain it, whereupon
Katherine bent a look of surprise on him.
He caught her glance, flushed slightly, then smiled.
"Yes, Miss Minturn," he said, "after glancing at your book, that
day when we met under the beech tree, I felt a curiosity to know more
of what it contained, so bought a copy and—yes—read it through three
"Have you read 'Science and Health'?" inquired Mrs. Minturn.
"Yes, twice, and 'Miscellaneous Writings' [Footnote: By Mary Baker
G. Eddy] once. What do you think of such a confession as that from a
doubly dyed M.D.?" he concluded, with heightened color and stealing a
side glance at his sister.
"I should say you are getting on pretty well," replied his
"No; I am not getting on at all," he asserted, with an
uncomfortable shrug. "I don't understand them and I find I am at
cross-purposes all the time."
"Yes, I can comprehend that, if you are trying to mix materia
medica and Science; you will have to drop one or the other, or still
be at 'cross-purposes,'" returned the lady.
The gentleman made no reply, and the subject was changed.
"Well, Phillip, you electrified me this afternoon!" Mrs. Seabrook
observed, when, later, they were by themselves at home.
"Why? Because of the books I confessed to having read?"
"Yes; when did you begin to be so interested in Christian
"When that child was healed of seasickness on shipboard."
"And—are you going to adopt it?"
"I don't know, Emelie. I haven't reached that point yet."
"I should hope not after all your years of study and practice, to
say nothing about the expense involved," returned his sister, in a
tone of disapproval, for she was exceedingly proud of her successful
brother. "Are you becoming dissatisfied with your profession,
Phillip?" she asked, after a moment.
"When I encounter a case like Dorrie's I am dissatisfied with it,"
he admitted, with a quiver of his mobile lips. "When I am called to a
case that responds quickly to treatment, I feel all the old enthusiasm
tingling within me. Then, again, when I attend our medical
associations and find the faculty discarding" methods and remedies
which were once pronounced 'wonderful discoveries,' and substituting
something new or something that had years ago been discarded, I become
disgusted, and declare there is no science in materia medica; that it
is but 'a bundle of speculative theories,' as Mrs. Eddy puts it in her
startling chapter on 'Medicine.'" [Footnote: "Science and Health,"
"What rank heresy, Phil!" exclaimed his sister, with a laugh.
"I know it, and I have been in a very uncomfortable state of
'mental chemicalization'—which is another pat phrase coined by that
same remarkable woman—over it for some time."
"Dear me! what is the world coming to with its ever-changing
creeds, doctrines and opinions? One begins to feel that there is no
really solid foundation to anything," replied Mrs. Seabrook, with a
troubled brow. "Phillip!"—with a start and a sudden blanching of her
face—"are you losing faith in your treatment of Dorothy?"
"I should have all faith if she were improving under it," he
"But she isn't! You are seeing that as well as I," and the
mother's voice broke with sudden anguish. "Oh, if you are losing
faith I shall know there is no hope."
"Don't, Emelie," pleaded her brother; "I really am hoping much
from this change—"
"Ah! that is equivalent to saying that you have exhausted your
methods—that our only hope now is in a salubrious atmosphere, etc.
It has been the same story, over and over," she wailed. "Every
physician we have had—his resources having failed—has suggested
'change of air and scene,' and 'hoped that nature would do the rest.'
What do you doctors mean by that? What is 'nature'?" she concluded,
"I see, Emelie, you feel that is a way of begging the question to
secure release from a doubtful position," the man returned, sadly.
"Well"—with a sigh—"I am forced to admit that none of our remedies
are infallible. But, it should not be so," he went on, thoughtfully,
"For years I have felt it when disease has baffled me; there should be
a panacea—a universal remedy, provided by an all-wise Creator for
suffering humanity; but, ah! to find it!"
At those words Mrs. Seabrook started and looked up quickly.
"Have you those books—that you mentioned to-day—with you?" she
"I want to read them."
"Will would never forgive me for putting them into your hands."
Mrs. Seabrook sat suddenly erect.
"I am not a child that I must have my reading selected for me,"
she retorted, spiritedly. "But, I can buy them."
"Dear, I wouldn't force you to that expense to gain your point,"
said her brother, as he tenderly laid his arm around her shoulders.
"They are in my trunk, and you can have them whenever you wish. But
you are tired—go to bed now, and I hope you will have a good night's
"I am afraid I have seemed cross and out of sorts, Phil. Perhaps I
also am in a state of 'mental chemicalization,'" she said, with a
faint smile that ended in a sob; "but, indeed, my heart is very sore.
I shall read your books, and, if they appeal to me, I—shall have
Christian Science treatment for my child," and there was a ring of
something very like defiance in her voice which smote strangely on her
brother's ear; for Emelie Seabrook had ever been regarded as one of
the gentlest and least self-willed of women.
But the reading of the books was postponed, for Dorrie began to
droop again, and the faithful mother could scarcely be persuaded to
leave her even for necessary food and sleep. Mrs. Minturn, Katherine
and Sadie were all tireless in their efforts to do something to
lighten her burdens. Many a delicacy found its way to the cottage to
tempt the capricious appetite of the child; interesting incidents were
treasured to relate to her, and many devices employed to shorten the
But there came a time that tried them all, for, in spite of the
greatest care and watchfulness, the girl contracted a sudden and
violent cold, and became so seriously ill that Dr. Stanley—though he
gave no sign of his fears—felt that the end was very near.
For three days he battled fiercely with the seeming destroyer,
while her suffering drove them all to the verge of despair.
At sunset of the third day, while attempting to change her
position, hoping to make her more comfortable, she suddenly lapsed
into a semi-conscious state from which they could not arouse her.
When this condition had lasted for upwards of half an hour Mrs.
Seabrook turned despairingly to her brother.
"Can you do nothing, Phillip?" she asked.
"I am afraid not, Emelie, except to continue giving the stimulants
to try to keep the spark of life a little longer," he returned with
His sister caught her breath sharply.
"Then—will you give her up to—Mrs. Minturn?" she cried,
He bent a look of surprised inquiry upon her.
"I am going to try it," she went on, still in that unnatural tone.
"I am going to try to save my child, and—I do not care who says
Phillip Stanley went to her, took her white face between his hands
and kissed her tenderly, as he said:
"Very well, Emelie, I will go at once for her, and, from my soul,
I am glad that you have taken this stand."
He hurried from the house and went with all speed to the Minturn
mansion. He found Mrs. Minturn on the veranda, Katherine and her
guests having gone for a walk.
"Will you come with me?" he asked. "You are needed at once." He
briefly explained the situation to her, and in less than five minutes
they were both at Dorothy's bedside.
"Oh, can you do anything for her?" helplessly moaned the heart-
broken mother as the woman entered the room.
"Dear heart, God is our refuge. He is the 'strength of our life';
of whom shall we be afraid?" Mrs. Minturn quoted in calm, sweet
tones, as she slipped a reassuring arm around Mrs. Seabrook's waist;
and, standing thus, she repeated the ninety-first psalm through to the
end; then dropping her face upon her hand, she treated silently for
ten minutes or more.
Meantime Dorothy's half-opened lids had gently closed, hiding the
sightless eyes, and she lay almost breathless upon her pillows.
Dr. Stanley, alertly observant of every change, believed it was
the end; but, having relinquished his patient, knowing that he was
absolutely helpless at this supreme moment, he made no sign.
Presently Mrs. Minturn broke the silence.
"Will you please leave me alone with her for a while?" she asked.
"Oh, I cannot leave my child!" panted Mrs. Seabrook, rebelliously.
"She is in our Father's care—our trust is in Him," Mrs. Minturn
gently returned. "Go into the next room and lie down. I promise to
call you if there is the slightest need, and, believe me, I ask only
what is best."
Dr. Stanley took his sister by the hand and led her unresistingly
from the room. He made her go to an adjoining chamber and lie upon a
couch, then seated himself beside her.
To his amazement her tense form almost instantly relaxed and in
twenty minutes she was asleep.
He sat there with his head bowed upon his hands for nearly two
hours, thinking as he had seldom thought during his whole life. At
the end of that time the door of Dorothy's room was noiselessly
opened and Mrs. Minturn beckoned to him.
He went to her—softly closing to but not latching the door of his
sister's room—to ascertain what she wanted, but with fear and
"Please get me a glass of warm milk," she said to him.
"There is some brandy—" he began.
"No; milk, if you please," she returned, and disappeared within
A few minutes later he handed the glass in to her and the door was
Another endless hour and a half he passed sitting upon a balcony
that opened off the same floor, waiting—waiting for he knew not
Then Mrs. Minturn came to him with the empty tumbler in her hand.
"Have it filled again, please," she said.
"Is it for—Dorothy?"
"Yes; she has taken what you brought before and asked for more."
"Asked!" and in spite of his professional self-poise the man's
heart bounded into his throat.
"Yes, she is awake; is perfectly conscious and free from pain,
though weak, to sense; but we know that God is omnipresent strength,"
Mrs. Minturn replied, with an assurance that proved to him she was
confidently resting upon the Rock of Ages, and which also inspired him
When he returned with the milk he longed to go in and see for
himself how the child was progressing, but Mrs. Minturn stood in the
aperture of the half-opened door, and he instinctively knew that his
presence was not desired.
As she took the glass from him she inquired:
"Is Mrs. Seabrook sleeping?"
"I think so—she was when I left her."
"Pray let her rest," said his companion; "but if she should wake
tell her that Dorrie is more comfortable; that I shall remain with
her all night and do not wish to be disturbed. And you, Dr.
Stanley"—with gentle authority—"you must try to rest also; you may
safely trust the child to God, and with me as His sentinel, for she is
doing well. But first, if you will slip over to the house and ask
Katherine to send my night-wrapper I can make myself more comfortable;
just drop it outside the door, then go to bed and 'be not faithless
but believing,' Good-night."
She softly closed the door, and the man went obediently to do her
bidding; while, "after the storm there was a great calm" in his
CHAPTER XX. INTERESTING
Phillip Stanley sped across the street to do his errand and
inquired for Katherine.
She heard his voice and went directly to him when he told her what
her mother had just said about Dorrie, and the light that leaped into
her great brown eyes inspired him with fresh hope.
"Ah! mamma is holding her in the 'secret place,' and we know she
is safe," she said, in a reverent tone.
She quickly brought the wrapper; then, with a brief handclasp, he
bade her "good-night" and retraced his steps.
Before going upstairs he sought the kitchen, where the cook was
lingering, thinking something might be needed, and ordered a dainty
lunch prepared; then, taking both tray and garment, he left them at
Dorrie's door and passed on to the next room to find his sister just
"Phillip!" she cried, starting up, "I have been asleep!"
"Yes, Emelie, for more than three hours, I am glad to say."
"Oh, how inconsiderate of me! And—Dorrie?" she questioned, in a
"Is more comfortable. She has been awake twice, and had two
glasses of milk," replied her brother, as he laid a gentle, but
restraining hand upon her shoulder, for she was on the point of
She regarded him wonderingly.
"Phillip! I can't believe it! I must go to her," she said, almost
"No; Mrs. Minturn is going to remain all night. She says she is
not to be disturbed, and we must respect her wishes," said Dr.
Stanley, authoritatively. "She will call you if you are needed, but
says she wants us both to rest, if possible. Now lie down again, dear,
and I will sit in the Morris chair in the hall, to be near if you wish
to speak to me."
Mrs. Seabrook sat irresolute a moment, her eyes anxious and
"Emelie, you have voluntarily given Dorrie into God's hands; now
prove that you trust Him," her companion gravely admonished.
She looked up at him and smiled.
"Yes, I will; and I believe that 'His hand is not shortened that
it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear,'" she replied,
and immediately lay back upon her pillow.
Her brother covered her with a shawl, then left her with a
thankful heart, for he knew she was sadly in need of rest.
Going to his room, he secured his copy of "Science and Health,"
and, retracing his steps, settled himself to read by the table in the
hall, which was often used as a sitting room.
As he sat down he observed that Mrs. Minturn's wrapper and the
tray had disappeared; then he became absorbed in his book.
The next he knew a hand was laid softly on his shoulder, and,
starting erect, he saw that a new day was just breaking and Mrs.
Minturn standing beside him, looking as fresh and serene as if she
had just come from hours of sweet repose instead of from a long
"Dorrie is hungry," she said, "and I think it would be well if you
would arouse one of the maids and have something nice prepared for
"I will; what shall it be?" said the man, springing nimbly to his
feet, but scarcely able to credit his ears.
"A dropped egg and a slice of toast, with a glass of milk, will
perhaps be forthcoming as quickly as any-thing—"
"Wait, Phil—don't call anyone. I will get it," interposed Mrs.
Seabrook's voice, just behind them. "Dorrie hungry!" she added,
wonderingly. She had heard Mrs. Minturn's request, and hurried out to
convince herself that she was not dreaming.
"Yes, so she says," said Mrs. Minturn, smiling serenely into the
questioning eyes, "and when her breakfast is ready I think she will
prove the truth of her words to you."
Away sped the mother, marveling at what she had heard, but with a
hymn of praise thrilling her heart; and, ten minutes later, as she
moved lightly over the stairs again, she heard a sweet, though weak,
"Listen, Mrs. Minturn!—just hear the birds sing!"
Phillip Stanley heard it also, as he sat in the hall, his head
bowed upon his hands, while great tears rolled over his cheeks and
dropped unheeded on the floor; and, as the feathered choristers
without sweetly chirped their tuneful matins, his grateful heart
responded with reverent joy—"Glory to God in the highest."
As Mrs. Seabrook entered Dorrie's room and saw the change in the
loved face—still very thin and white, it is true, but with a look of
peace on the brow, the eyes bright, the pale lips wreathed with
smiles—her composure well-nigh forsook her.
"Mamma, hear the birds!—and it isn't sunrise yet!" she said
again, as her mother approached her.
"Yes, dear; but I hear what is far sweeter music to me," the woman
replied, making a huge effort at self-control. "So you are hungry,
Dorrie!" she added, bending to kiss the lips uplifted to greet her.
"Yes, really and truly hungry, and so happy; for my cold and the
pain are all gone. How kind of Mrs. Minturn to stay with me! Did you
"Like a kitten, dear. I think we have a great deal to thank Mrs.
Minturn for," said Mrs. Seabrook, bending a grateful look upon her
"That tastes good," Dorrie observed, as she partook, with evident
relish, of the delicately prepared egg, "and how nicely you do toast
bread! It looks almost like gold."
She was silent a moment, then resumed:
"Mamma, I wish you could have heard how beautifully Mrs. Minturn
talked to me, last night, every time I awoke; and repeated such
lovely things from the Bible. Of course, I have heard them before,
but, somehow, they sound different as she says them."
"And you begin to see that God never made or intended anyone to be
sick or suffer; that it is your right to be well and strong. You will
try to think of that often to-day, will you not, Dorothy?" said Mrs.
Minturn, as she lifted the small hand near her, to find no fever but a
gentle moisture in the palm, instead.
"Yes, and I've a better idea now of what Miss Katherine once said
about God—that He is Mind and perfect, and if we would let this
perfect Mind rule us we would be well. What was that you read me from
your little book about it feeding the body?" the girl earnestly
"'Mind constantly feeds the body with supernal freshness and
fairness,'" [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 248.] quoted Mrs.
"Yes, that was it; if that is true, people should never be sick,"
said Dorothy, with a little sigh. "No, and they would not be if they
only knew how to let the divine Mind control them. You are going to
learn how, Dorothy, and so find yourself growing strong and well with
every day," said Mrs. Minturn, with a cheery smile.
"I wish I knew more about it," Dorothy wistfully observed. "Mamma,
why cannot we have a book like Mrs. Minturn's?"
"We will have, dear," was the prompt response. "Have you had
enough?"—as the girl gently put away the half-eaten slice of toast.
"Yes, when I have had the milk." She drank it all and then lay
back, smiling contentedly. "It is so nice not to have any pain," she
added; "it makes me love everybody. Ha! Uncle Phil"—for the man was
peering in at the door, unable to keep away a moment longer—"come
here and I will kiss you 'good-morning.'"
Mrs. Seabrook could bear no more and stole away with her tray to
hide the tears she could no longer restrain.
Mrs. Minturn followed her.
"I am going now," she said, "but I shall continue to work for
Dorrie all day, at intervals, and will run over now and then. All is
going well, so 'be not afraid, only believe.'"
"How can I ever express what is in my heart?" faltered Mrs.
Seabrook, tears raining over her face.
"You do not need to try, for I know it all, having once been
almost where Dorrie seemed to be last night," her friend returned.
"But do not make a marvel of it—just know that God's ways are
'divinely natural,' and that it is unnatural for anything but health
and harmony to exist in His universe. I have left my book, and you can
read to her if she expresses a wish to have you do so."
There were very grateful, reverent hearts in the Hunt cottage that
day and during the days that followed, for Dorothy continued to
improve rapidly and steadily, and there was no return of the old pain
that had made life so wretched for her for years.
The fourth day after her long night-watch Mrs. Minturn sent a
roomy carriage—the back seat piled with down coverlids—"to take
them all for a drive."
Dr. Stanley, still governed largely by the "old thought," would
have vetoed such a suggestion under different circumstances, and
claimed that the child was still too weak to attempt anything of the
kind. But he felt that he, himself, was now under orders, and meekly
refrained from even expressing an opinion.
So they thankfully accepted their neighbor's kindness, and when he
saw Dorrie's delight in being once more out of doors, when he met her
dancing eyes and noted the faint color coming into her cheeks and
lips, and every day realized that she was getting stronger, something
within seemed to tell him that she would yet be well;
and—figuratively speaking—he reverently took off his materia medica
hat to Mrs. Minturn and secretly registered the vow of Ruth to
Naomi—"Thy people shall be my people and thy God my God."
One evening, after Dorothy was in bed and asleep, he came upon his
sister in the upper hall reading "Science and Health," and he smiled,
for since the night of their great trial she had literally devoured
the book every spare moment she could get.
"Have you written Will anything about our recent experiences?" he
inquired, as she glanced up at him.
"No; and I am not going to—just yet. Of course, I have written
him," she hastened to add, "but I have said nothing about Dorrie,
except that she is improving. I think"—thoughtfully—"I will make
'open confession' by another week, for I had a talk with Mrs.
Minturn, this afternoon, and she feels that it is hardly fair, that
she is not quite justified to go on with the treatment without his
"Suppose he should still object?" suggested Dr. Stanley.
"Oh, he will not—he cannot when he learns the truth and of the
great change in her; that the old pain is gone and she sleeps the
whole night through," earnestly returned Mrs. Seabrook, but flushing
hotly, for she had been secretly dreading to tell her husband of the
responsibility she had assumed.
"Well, when you are ready to write let me know, for I also shall
have something to say to him," said her brother, gravely.
A week later two voluminous letters, charged with matter of
serious import, went sailing over the ocean on their way to Paris,
where it was expected they would find Prof. Seabrook, who, having
turned his face home-ward, would spend the last week of August there.
Each was characteristic of the writer; the mother's touchingly
pathetic in describing the "valley of the shadow" through which they
had passed, and glowing with love and gratitude to God in view of the
present hopeful and peaceful conditions; closing with an earnest, even
piteous, appeal for her husband's unqualified consent to continue
Christian Science treatment.
The young physician was no less earnest in laying the case before
his brother-in-law, but rather more logical and philosophical in
discussing it, as well as very positive in his deductions. In
conclusion he wrote:
"Perhaps you may be surprised to learn that I have been reading up
on this subject during the last few months; but, as I have also been
practicing medicine, at the same time, the mental conflict has been
something indescribable. I told myself, in my presumption and egotism,
that if there was healing power in Christian Science I would look into
it and utilize it in connection with my own methods. The result has
been a state of perpetual fizz—I know no better word to describe it;
and now, after our recent experience, I find myself willing to sit
humbly at the feet of higher authority and learn of a better and more
efficacious healing art than I know of at present. For, I tell you in
plain terms, Dorothy was dying—she was past all human aid when that
blessed woman came, like an angel of peace, to us and in one night
brought back our darling from the border of the unseen world. She,
with her understanding of Christian Science, saved her. There can be
no doubt on that point, and the child is better than I have ever seen
her since her accident. There has been no return of pain, and you can
imagine what that means to us all. She sleeps well, and has a healthy,
normal appetite. But Mrs. Minturn is very conscientious— says she
cannot work in a divided household, and must have your approval, if
she is to go on with the good work. Now, Will, be a man; put your
prejudices away on some upper shelf—or, better still, cast them to
the winds; pocket your ecclesiastical and intellectual pride, and give
Dorrie a chance. I am convinced 'there is more in this philosophy than
we have ever dreamed of,' and I am going to know more about it. Cable
just two words—'go on'—if you are willing, and, at the rate she is
going on now, I'll wager a hat against a cane that you won't know your
own daughter when you arrive. Bring the cane, please! In the same
spirit of good fellowship as ever. "Affectionately yours, "PHIL."
There was a season of anxious, yet blessed, waiting after these
letters were dispatched. Blessed for Dorothy, who was gaining every
hour, and happy as the day was long; anxious for Mrs. Seabrook, who
could not quite divest herself of the fear of her husband's
disapproval, even though Mrs. Minturn was constantly admonishing, "Let
not your heart be troubled," and working to demonstrate that there
could be no opposition to Truth and that the work, so well begun,
could not be hindered by bigotry, pride or self-will.
At last, one morning there came a cable message—just two words,
as Phillip Stanley had requested, but not what he had asked for.
"'Sail to-day,'" Mrs. Seabrook read aloud from the yellow slip,
and lost color as she looked anxiously into her brother's eyes and
"What shall we do?"
"We will ask Mrs. Minturn," he gravely replied.
So the message was taken to her, and after a thoughtful silence
she turned with her serene smile to the waiting mother.
"We will go on," she said. "The question is ignored, and silence
gives consent until we have more definite instructions."
And go on they did, all working together, praying, reading,
trusting, while they waited for the white-winged vessel and the
traveler that were speeding towards them.
Three days later, a black bordered envelope was handed Katherine.
"It has no more power than you give it, dearie," observed her
mother, who saw that she did not at once open it.
The girl thanked her with a smile, and instantly broke the seal.
"It is from Jennie Wild, mamma," she said, as she turned to the
signature on the last page. Then she read aloud:
"DEAR MISS MINTURN: Auntie is gone, and it was all so sudden and
awful I cannot realize it even yet. She just went to sleep last
Thursday, in her chair, and never woke up. She was so dear—so dear,
and I loved her with all my heart, and it seems to take everything out
of the world for me, for her going leaves me alone, with no one to
love, or have a kindred feeling for me. I had planned to do such great
things for her when I should leave school, so that she need not work
every minute to support me, and now I can do nothing and have been a
burden to her all these years. It is dreadful to be a 'stray waif,'
your identity lost, and your only friend swept out of the world
without a moment's warning.
"Well, I am young and strong—I can work, and sometime, perhaps, I
shall understand why I am here—what special niche I am to fill;
though at present nothing but a blank wall seems to loom up before
me. Of course, this means I am not going back to Hilton, for auntie's
annuity ceased when she went; the quarterly remittance came the day
before, so there was enough, and a little more, to take care of her. I
am going, tomorrow, to Jerome's, to see if I can get a place in the
store. I want to stay here because, now and then, I can see you, the
Seabrooks, and some of the other girls who have been good to me.
Please write to me, dear Miss Minturn. I thought of you first in my
trouble, for you always have something so comforting to say when one
is unhappy. Do you know anything about Prof, and Mrs. Seabrook, or how
Dorothy is? "Lovingly yours, "JENNIE WILD."
There was a long silence, after Katherine finished reading this
epistle, during which both mother and daughter were absorbed in
thought. They were alone, for Miss Reynolds had left a few days
previous and Sadie had gone to Boston to do some shopping.
"Mamma," said Katherine, at length, breaking the silence, "there
is Grandma Minturn's legacy."
Mrs. Minturn lifted a bewildered look to her.
"Ah!" she said, the next moment, as she caught her meaning, "I
understand; you want to use it for Jennie."
"Yes; it is too bad for her education to be stopped. She is a
conscientious student, in spite of her pranks, and I cannot endure
the thought of her going into a dry-goods store as a clerk,"
"But the will states that the legacy is to be used for 'a European
tour, or a wedding trousseau, or—'"
"I know; but, mamma, I've had my European tour with you—such a
lovely one, too!" Katherine interposed; "while as for the
trousseau"—this with a faint smile—"that is a possible need so far
away in the dim distance as to be absolutely invisible at present. So
if you will let me use the money for Jennie I shall be happy, and I am
sure it will be 'bread' well 'cast upon the waters.'"
"Dear heart!" replied her mother, in a voice that was not quite
steady, "it is a lovely thought; but we cannot decide so important a
matter without consulting your father. If he approves you have my
John Minturn, big-hearted, whole-souled, and always ready to lend
a helping hand to a needy brother or sister, was deeply touched by
"Well, 'my girlie,' I guess you can do about as you have a mind to
with grandma's legacy," he said, when she unfolded her plan to him.
"To be sure she stated what it might be used for, but I think she
meant you to get what you most wanted with it. You've had the trip
abroad, as you say, and"—with a twinkle in his eyes that brought the
color to her cheeks—"when the wedding finery is needed—which I hope
won't be for a long time yet—I imagine it will promptly be
"Thank you, papa. I wonder if any other girl manages to get her
own way as often as I do!" said the happy maiden, as she gave his ear
a playful tweak and supplemented it with a kiss on his lips.
"Well, Miss Philanthropy, for once I'll concede that it is an
irresistible 'way,'" he retorted, then added more seriously: "And I
think we will insist that Miss Wild shall return to Hilton as a
regular student and have no outside duties to handicap her in the
race, for the next three years."
"That was my own thought, too, papa; but"—with a look of
perplexity—"there are nearly three weeks before school opens, and I
am wondering what she will do with herself during that time."
"Oh, that is easily managed; tell her to board with some nice
family, and be getting her finery in order. Judging from what is
going on upstairs, she'll need a few stitches taken as well as some
other people whom I know," returned the man, with a chuckle; for,
unlike the majority of his kind, he took a deep interest in the
apparel of his wife and daughter, especially in the "pretty nothings"
which add so much to the tout ensemble.
But upon confiding her plans to Mrs. Seabrook, that lady at once
vetoed the boarding proposition.
"Tell Jennie to go directly to the seminary and remain with the
matron and maids, who will be there next Monday to begin to put the
house in order," she had said. "And—as she knows where everything
belongs—if she will oversee our rooms put to rights I shall feel that
I need not hurry back."
So, with a happy heart, Katherine wrote immediately to her
protegee a loving, tender letter, which also contained sympathetic
messages from all her other friends. Then, with great tact, she
unfolded her own plans and wishes regarding her future, and in
"Jennie, dear, never again say that you are a 'stray waif,' for
nothing ever goes astray in God's universe. Your 'identity' is not
'lost,' for you are God's child, and that child can never be deprived
of her birthright, nor of any good thing necessary to her happiness or
well-being. Neither have you 'been deprived of your only friend,' nor
has she been swept beyond the focus of your love, or you of hers. The
bond that existed between you can never be broken, for it was, and
still is, the reflection of divine Love that is omnipresent. I am
looking forward to our reunion, and shall think of you often as the
days slip by.
"With dear love, KATHERINE MINTURN."
The response which Katherine received to the above letter drew
tears from her eyes, for Jennie's full heart overflowed most
touchingly, showing a depth of grateful appreciation that did her
While still grieving for her "dear auntie," she could not restrain
her joy, in view of the great boon of going back to school, and wrote
"I did not think anything could make me so happy again, and I can
never tell you how I love you for it. I will improve every minute. I
will make you all proud of me. No one shall ever have cause to call me
'Wild Jennie' again, and when I graduate and get to teaching I shall
pay you back every penny it has cost to fit me for it."
One evening, after dinner, the Minturns went, with some friends
who were visiting them, to Katherine's favorite outlook, and, as they
were passing the Hunt cottage they saw Dr. Stanley on the porch and
invited him to join them. The sun was just setting as they reached
their point of observation, where the view, illuminated by the vivid
crimson and gold in the western sky, was impressive and magnificent
They lingered long, as if loath to leave the enchanting prospect;
but, as the softer shades of twilight began to steal gently like a
veil of gauze over the scene, they turned their faces homeward once
As she was on the point of following, Katherine found Dr. Stanley
tarrying beside her.
"Will you wait a moment?" he inquired, in a low voice, which
impressed her as sounding not quite natural.
She paused with an inquiring look, and he led her back towards the
edge of the bluff.
"Miss Minturn, do you see a vessel far out at sea?" he asked.
"Yes, it is a—"
"Pardon me, please," he interposed; "it is a five-masted schooner,
with sails all set, is it not?"
"Why, yes," she began, turning to him in surprise, to find him
looking off at the vessel, his right eye covered with one hand.
For a moment she could not speak. Then her face grew luminous with
a great joy as she realized what it meant.
"Oh!" she breathed, softly.
"Yes, I can see," he said. "The sight has been slowly coming
during the last month, and I have dimly discerned things around me.
Yesterday Mrs. Minturn made a startling statement regarding sight
being 'spiritual perception'—that 'it is not dependent upon the
physical eye, the optic nerves, etc., but upon Mind, the all- seeing
God,' and I caught a glimpse of something I had not comprehended
before. To-day I found I could read my 'Science and Health' clearly,
with both eyes; but I have not spoken of it to anyone until now—'twas
you who first assured me that such a boon could be conferred. Miss
Minturn"—he removed his hat and bowed his head reverently—"all honor
to the 'Science of sciences' and to her, the inspired messenger
through whom it has been given to a needy world."
CHAPTER XXI. THE TRAVELER RETURNS.
One evening Sadie was sitting by herself upon the veranda that
overlooked the ocean, and where she was watching a glorious full moon
which seemed to be rolling straight out of the glimmering sea into the
cloudless vault above. It was unusual for her to be alone, but Mrs.
Minturn had slipped away for a chat with Mrs. Seabrook, and Katherine,
at the invitation of Dr. Stanley, had gone for a walk to the library
in search of an interesting book for Dorothy.
Sadie had changed much during her summer with her friends. She had
grown more thoughtful, more self-poised, more orderly and systematic
in her ways; while, it goes without saying, she had become deeply
attached to every member of the family.
Just now she was absorbed in a mental discussion with herself
regarding what would be the most acceptable and appropriate gift she
could offer each one, to attest her appreciation of their united
kindness and unrivaled hospitality in taking her so lovingly into
their household for the long vacation.
Without having heard a step or a movement, without a suspicion
that any living being was near, her name was suddenly pronounced in
familiar tones directly behind her.
She sprang to her feet and faced the intruder.
"Oh, Ned! Why have you come? Why cannot you let me alone?" she
cried, in a startled tone.
"I have come to make you take back your ring," and he held out the
box to her. "And I cannot 'leave you alone,' because—you know why,
"No, I shall not take back the ring," she replied, waving it away,
"and I wrote you that everything was at an end between us; that I
would not be bound to you any longer."
"But you are bound—you have given me your promise."
"I have taken back that promise."
"Because—oh! for many reasons. I have my course to finish; I mean
to put my best work into the coming year, and I will not be hampered
in any such way," resolutely returned Sadie, who was fast recovering
"No; it is because that preaching, sanctimonious Katherine Minturn
has influenced you against me," hotly retorted her companion.
"Katherine Minturn is the dearest, loveliest, sweetest girl in the
world, and I won't hear one word against her," said Sadie, in stout
defense of her friend.
"Well, what are some of your other 'many reasons'?" demanded Mr.
Willard, and quickly retreating from what he saw was dangerous
"I—reckon I'm under no obligation to give them," slowly returned
the girl, after a moment of thought. "It is sufficient that I have
decided to end everything. Now please let that settle it and don't
try to see me again."
"Don't you care for me any more, Sadie? What have I done? What
fault have you to find with me?"
"Have you no fault to find with yourself, Ned Willard? Are you
satisfied with the life you are living?" gravely inquired Sadie, but
ignoring his queries.
"But you would be the making of me, Sadie. Under your influence I
could be anything—everything you could wish."
"Well, now—doesn't that strike you as rather a weak argument for
a man to offer for himself?" returned his companion, lapsing into her
Southern drawl which, of late, had not been so prominent; "to ask a
girl to bind herself irrevocably to him for life and holding out as an
inducement the privilege of reforming him?" and there was a note of
scorn in the lazy tones that stung the man to sudden anger.
"I swear I will not be trifled with in any such way," he
passionately exclaimed. "You shall rue your words, Sadie Minot—"
"I reckon I'd better go in," she interrupted, and turned haughtily
"You won't go in yet," he said, through tightly shut teeth, as he
placed himself in her path. "I'll see if—"
At that instant voices were heard, and, turning, both saw
Katherine, accompanied by Dr. Stanley, mounting the steps leading to
With a half audible imprecation, the baffled intruder sprang upon
the railing and vaulted over.
But his foot becoming entangled in the vines trailing there caused
him to fall heavily to the ground, where, after one sharp cry of
agony, he lay silent and motionless.
In less time than it takes to record it, Sadie was kneeling beside
him, while her friends followed closely after.
"I will call the coachman. We must get him into the house
immediately," said Katherine, who was intent only upon giving instant
succor to the injured man.
"No," vetoed Dr. Stanley, authoritatively, "he must not be taken
in here. You may call help, however, and I will have him carried to
my room, where I will ascertain how seriously he is injured, then we
can decide what further disposition to make of him."
The coachman and hostler were summoned, and the unconscious man
was borne to the Hunt cottage and laid upon Phillip Stanley's bed.
Here an examination revealed that the left leg had been broken above
the knee; but, before an hour had passed, this was skillfully set and
the patient made as comfortable as possible for the night.
Dr. Stanley would not permit his sister to be inconvenienced in
any way by this addition to their family, but took it upon himself to
minister to the sufferer's requirements, which he did with all the
ease and skill of a trained nurse.
During the first day or two the young man preserved a sullen
silence; but as his attendant manifested only good will and
invariably treated him with the utmost courtesy and kindness, his
reserve gradually wore away and he became more communicative.
"This has proved a pretty unlucky trip for me," he observed, on
the third morning after the accident, and thus introducing a subject
which Dr. Stanley had studiously avoided.
"Possibly; but you are coming on all right. You have had no fever,
no pain," the physician replied.
"No, and I don't understand that part of it at all," remarked his
patient, thoughtfully. "I have always supposed it was a terrible
experience to have a broken bone set."
"Well, Willard, I have a confession to make to you about that,"
his companion returned; "you were in such a state of collapse Tuesday
night I felt you were unfit to decide any question for yourself, and,
as I had no anaesthetics at hand, I asked Mrs. Minturn to give you a
Christian Science treatment while I performed my duties, and since
then I have been trying to work, under her direction, to keep the
claims of inflammation and fever from manifesting themselves."
"Christian Science!" repeated the patient, with a short laugh.
"Well, I've heard that it would do great things, but I never took any
stock in it; it seemed like so much twaddle to me. You are sure you're
not guying me, doctor?"
"Indeed, I am not; you can rely on what I have told you."
"All right; the method doesn't signify, so long as I was spared
"Then, are you willing to keep on under the same treatment?"
inquired his companion.
"I'll be blamed! I believe you're turning Scientist yourself!"
exclaimed Willard, with a broad grin. "But it makes no difference to
me what you do, so I get results. You're a first-class doctor, and
would be sure to know if anything was going wrong. But— confound the
luck!—I don't want to be laid up here for three months," he
"There will be no need of that. I think by the end of another week
you can be put upon a Pullman and go home," was the encouraging
"Home!" was the bitter retort. "You know I can't go there,
"Well, you are going to be well taken care of, anyway. I shall
attend to that," said Dr. Stanley, kindly.
"Doc, you're O. K. You've been mighty good to me, first and last,"
the patient observed, and flushing with sudden feeling. "I suppose
you know what brought me down here," he added, after a moment of
"Yes, I know something about it. You followed Miss Minot here."
"Why shouldn't I follow her?" was the hot reply. "She had promised
to marry me."
"I understand that promise had been revoked."
"She had no right to revoke it after leading me on—"
"Leading you on!" sternly interrupted Phillip Stanley. "Willard,
don't add to your other sins by laying that at the girl's door, when
I've known of your boasts that before the year was out you 'would have
a wife and the handling of a cool three hundred thousand dollars.'"
"Who told you that?" demanded the young man, with a guilty flush
and a shame-faced air.
"It does not matter who told me; I have it on good authority."
"But, Stanley, I am fond of her. I really am."
"Suppose Alfred Bent was fond of your sister, Minnie, in the same
way, would you like to have him marry her?"
The fellow shrank as under a lash and his eyes blazed.
"By thunder—no!" he vehemently returned.
"But Alfred Bent has been your inseparable crony during the last
two years that you have wasted, and there is very little to choose
between you. So ask yourself if you are fit to marry a girl like Miss
Minot; what right you have to ruin her life and squander her money."
"I say, doc, you are piling it on thick," Willard here interposed,
in an injured tone.
"Yes, I know it sounds harsh, Ned," said the physician, bending a
grave though kindly look on him, "but, in my profession, you know we
sometimes have to probe and adopt severe measures before a cure can be
effected. You also know, from past experience, that kindness was the
only motive that prompted me in what I have done and still prompts me
in what I am doing; so, now having come to an enforced pause in your
career, I want you to improve it by doing some serious thinking. You
are a fellow of more than ordinary natural ability, Ned, and have it
in your power to gain an enviable position in the world if you would
turn your talents in the right direction."
"You flatter me," was the sarcastic interruption.
"I have been telling you some very plain truths, and it is only
fair to give credit also where it is due," said his companion, in a
friendly tone. "I am sure that underneath your seeming recklessness
you have not always felt comfortable or satisfied with yourself. You
are the only son of a fine father, who has given you every advantage.
Your mother is one of the 'salt of the earth'; but her hair has been
growing very white during the last two years, and Minnie—well, my
heart has often ached for her as I have noted the sad drooping of her
eyes and the grieved quiver of her lips when she has spoken to me of
"Stanley, have you any brandy in the house?" suddenly demanded
Willard, trying to speak in his ordinary tone; but his companion saw
that he was white to his lips, and concluded that he had "probed" far
enough for the present.
"You are not to have stimulants while you are under treatment,"
was the quiet but decisive reply.
"But, doc, I can't stand it. I really can't. Look!" and he held up
a hand that shook like a leaf.
"You will be better of that shortly, my boy. I'll take care of
it," was the kind reply. "But"—confidentially—"while we are talking
of it, wouldn't you be glad to have that habit broken—to be free?"
The poor fellow drew in a quick, sharp breath; then, in a hard,
metallic tone, he said:
"I've thought a score of times I would be free; that I'd end it
once for all—take a last drink, you know, with a dose of strychnine
in it." Then, tossing back the hair from his forehead, he added, with
an effort to be facetious: "I wonder how your science would work on
that? I say, Stanley, are you really turning Christian Scientist?"
Before his companion could reply, a maid appeared in the doorway,
bearing a tray on which a tempting lunch was arranged. Dr. Stanley
drew a table beside the bed and deftly placed things so that his
patient could easily reach them; then, at his request, went below to
join his sister and Dorothy at their repast.
The subjects of their recent conversation were not resumed, but,
though the physician was in some doubt regarding the impression made
on the young man's mind, it was evident that he cherished no
resentment. He did not ask for liquor again, either, though there
were times when a certain look in his eyes warned his watchful
attendant that the old craving was making itself felt and caused him
to flee to his "little book" and work vigorously on this first
venture, which, with Mrs. Minturn's assistance, he was making in
One day, having made his charge comfortable and supplied him with
an entertaining book to read, Dr. Stanley sought the companionship of
his sister and Dorothy, on the broad piazza, where they now almost
lived when the weather was fine.
"See! Uncle Phil," cried his niece, the moment he appeared, and
holding up some work for his inspection, "mamma is teaching me to
fagot and hemstitch, and I am going to make some pretty collars like
hers," and the eager tone and sparkling eyes told how deeply
interested the girl was in the novel employment.
The hitherto sunken cheeks were beginning to assume a graceful
contour; the lips had taken on a decided tinge of scarlet, while an
unaccustomed vigor in all her movements told of daily increasing
strength, and the cheery ring in her voice was like music to loving
The man bent down to inspect the small piece of linen and the
dainty stitches, his face all aglow with inward thanksgiving as he
praised her work.
"We will have you turning dressmaker next and setting up an
establishment for yourself," he observed, in a sportive tone.
"Well, why not?" she gayly retorted. "If I took a notion to learn
dressmaking, I am sure I could do it. But"—more gravely—"I am going
to study like everything this winter and make up for lost time. Mamma
and I have been talking it over, and she thinks I can begin the
regular course if I want to. I do, and I mean to go through and
graduate like any other student."
"Indeed! We are making great plans, aren't we?"
"Yes, I know it sounds big for me; but Mrs. Minturn says 'there is
nothing we cannot do if we do not limit God,' and Miss Katherine
"Well, what does Miss Katherine say?" queried her uncle, in an
eager tone, as Dorothy paused to count the threads she was taking on
She looked up quickly into his face, his tone having attracted
"I guess you think she is pretty nice, too," she observed,
"What has put that idea into your small head?"
"Oh! the way you speak of her and look at her sometimes, and—
well, of course"—with an appreciative sigh—"anybody couldn't help
"But you haven't told me what she said," persisted the man, but
feeling the color mounting in his face as he caught the merry gleam
in his sister's eyes.
"Oh! she said that 'God being the only intelligence, man reflects
that intelligence, and there is nothing we cannot learn if we keep
that in our thought as we study'; so you see, it is all right for me
to plan to go through college if I want to," and the tone indicated
that the matter was settled.
"'Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast
revealed them unto babes,'" quoted Phillip Stanley to himself, as he
stooped to recover a spool that rolled from Mrs. Seabrook's lap.
At the same moment the sound of wheels fell upon their ears; the
next, a carriage stopped before their door and a stalwart figure
leaped to the ground.
"Papa!" "William!" fell simultaneously from the lips of the mother
and daughter—one with a ring of triumph in her voice, the other with
a note of intense yearning in her tones.
The man caught his wife to his breast.
"Sweetheart, it is joy to hold you here once more," he breathed,
as their lips met; and she knew there was no cloud between them.
Then he turned and knelt beside his child, folding her in a long,
One swift glance into her bright, eager, happy face had told him a
story that thrilled his soul and made him, for the moment, dumb.
"Papa, you can see, can't you?—and you are glad, aren't you?
"Dorothy at length observed, as she lifted wet but joyful eyes to his
"Darling, I can see, and I am more than 'glad,'" he returned, in a
husky tone, as he gently released her, then arose to greet his
"Phillip, old boy, it is good to be home again," he said, as he
clasped the outstretched hand, and the hearty grip told the younger
man that there would be no controversy between them over a previously
mooted question, while he was strangely touched, when he added, with a
smile that was somewhat tremulous:
"The cane is here, Phil, and at your disposal."
"What is that about a cane, papa?" cried Dorothy, whose quick ears
had caught what he had said.
"I asked your father to bring me a nice cane from abroad," her
"Well, papa," the girl pursued, "I hope it is a very handsome one,
and that you will make him a present of it, for you can never know
how good Uncle Phil' has been to us."
Both gentlemen laughed, and were glad of the opportunity to give
vent in this way to their pent-up emotions.
"All right, Dorrie; and when you see it you shall be the judge
whether it is fine enough," replied the professor, as he turned again
to feast his eyes upon the wonderful change in her.
A little later the lunch bell sounded, and the happy quartet went
within to break bread together, for the first time in two long
months. But one of the number could only make a pretense at
eating—his heart was too full to allow him to do much but covertly
watch his child, who was vigorously plying knife and fork and
manifesting the appreciative appetite of a normally hungry girl.
Of course, there was much to tell and talk over, and the afternoon
slipped swiftly away, twilight coming upon them almost before "the
half had been told."
The subject of Christian Science had been mutually avoided, and
was not referred to until after dinner, when Mrs. Minturn came in for
her usual visit to Dorothy.
Prof. Seabrook had never met her but once, and that was when she
had visited Hilton to apply for Katherine's admission to the school.
But he recognized her instantly, and greeted her with the utmost
When her interview with Dorothy was over and she rejoined the
group in the parlor, he invited her to be seated and placed a chair
"But this is your first evening with your dear ones, and they
should have the privilege of monopolizing you," she objected, with
her charming smile.
"Nay, there are some things that must be said, you know, and they,
I am sure, are longing to hear them," he returned, with visible
emotion. "First, I have no words adequate to express my gratitude for
what you have done for my child."
"Not what I have done," the lady interposed, with gentle emphasis.
"I understand—and I have been trying to thank God every moment
since my return," he said, "but you claim to be His messenger, or
instrument, and surely we cannot ignore that fact. I left Dorrie pale
and wasted to a mere shadow, scarcely able to move or help herself in
any way. I find to-day a bright, animated girl, rapidly taking on
flesh and strength, sitting upright in her chair— sewing! How the
wonder has been accomplished is beyond my comprehension. I had
previously vetoed Christian Science treatment; to be frank, I
contemptuously repudiated it. I can no longer hold it in derision,
neither can I say that my attitude towards it, as a science, or a
religion, has changed."
"That is yet to come," said Mrs. Minturn, smiling, as he paused.
"I have read your text-book," he resumed, "but with a critical
frame of mind that has been termed 'ecclesiastical and intellectual
pride'"—this with a quizzical glance at his brother, who nodded back
a sharp assent—"and I could or would find nothing good in it. To me
it seemed atheistic, fallacious, heretical. You perceive I am not
sparing myself in these admissions," he interposed, "but I have been
doing some serious thinking during my return voyage, and now I am
going to read that book again; not to criticise, but to get at its
true inwardness if I can."
"That is a spirit that will surely bring its own reward," Mrs.
Minturn responded, her face luminous with admiration for the frank
and conscientious acknowledgment which the man had made.
Mrs. Seabrook turned glad eyes upon her husband.
"And, William, we will have her keep on with the treatment, will
"Assuredly; one could never have the heart to stop the good work,
even though one may not comprehend the method," he heartily
responded, and the happy wife and mother heaved a sigh of supreme
They talked on for a while longer, then Mrs. Minturn gracefully
took her leave and went home to tell Katherine that another prodigal
was on his way to his Father's house.
CHAPTER XXII. PHILLIP STANLEY'S
A week after the return of Prof. Seabrook, Dr. Stanley ventured to
transfer his patient to his native city. He was desirous of getting
him away before the general flitting back to Hilton, in order to
prevent awkward meetings and complications.
The young man had improved steadily, and his physician had found
him, as a rule, very patient and tractable. He avoided talking about
himself, and never again referred to the conversation that had
occurred a few days after his accident. He read a great deal,
conversed freely of politics, current events, etc., and evidently
tried to cause as little trouble as possible.
He was often seriously thoughtful, a circumstance which his
observant attendant regarded as a favorable indication, while, now
and then, he would drop a word that betrayed his appreciation of the
rare kindness he was receiving. In arranging for his transportation
Dr. Stanley neglected nothing that would contribute to his comfort,
and he made the trip without the slightest inconvenience, although he
betrayed a sense of restlessness as he neared his destination, for he
had not even asked what was to become of him upon his arrival, and
could not quite conceal his anxiety on that point.
When he was lifted out upon the platform at the station, in his
own city, his astonished glance fell first upon his sister, a sweet
girl of seventeen, then upon his father, both of whom greeted him as
if there had never been a barrier between them.
He flushed a remorseful scarlet and lifted an inquiring look to
"Yes, Ned, I plead guilty," he smilingly confessed. "I did not
feel justified in keeping your family in ignorance of your condition,
and Mr. Willard telegraphed me that he would meet us on our arrival."
"And, Ned, we have everything so nicely fixed for you at home,"
his sister here interposed, for she saw he was half dazed by the
unexpected meeting. "Bridge—the same old girl—and I have put your
room in apple-pie order; your books and pictures just as you used to
have them, and"—with a ripple of musical laughter—"you are going to
have cream toast with your dinner. It was your favorite dish, you
know, and mamma is making it herself. She wouldn't trust anybody else,
for fear there would be lumps in it. But here come the men," she
concluded, cutting herself short, as two muscular fellows came forward
to transfer the bamboo litter to a waiting ambulance.
"And I will come around in the morning to take a look at that
cast. I think we'll have it off altogether before long," observed Dr.
Stanley, as he held out his hand to take leave of his patient, who
could only wring it in silence. Then he was borne away.
When the Seabrooks and Katherine arrived at Hilton, on the day
previous to the opening of the school, they were joyfully welcomed by
Jennie, who not only had everything in order for the principal and his
family, but had, with loving hands, also made Katherine and Sadie's
room immaculate and gorgeously decorated it with autumn leaves and
golden-rod in honor of their return.
Katherine could see that the girl's recent trying experience had
subdued her somewhat; but, otherwise, she was the same original,
irrepressible Jennie as ever.
"How I love you!" she cried, when she was left alone with
Katherine, while Sadie was out of the room for a few moments, and
supplementing her statement with another vigorous hug. "And you look
dearer than ever, if that could be possible; and what a fine time
you've all been having down there by the sea! Dr. Stanley has told me
all about it, and"—with a grimace—"I guess you've been busy, too,
doctoring some of the materia medica out of him—eh?"
"What do you mean?" Katherine inquired, but flushing under the
fire of the girl's mischievous eyes.
"Oh! he doesn't make any bones of it; he told me all about
Dorothy—how sick she was, and what your mother did for her, though
he said, of course, it must not be talked here. I suppose he made an
exception of me, because he knows how I love the Seabrooks and you,
and then I can see for myself how flip he is with the 'new tongue.'"
"Jennie!" exclaimed Katherine, in a shocked tone. Then she added:
"What do you know about the 'new tongue'?"
"I'm always saying the wrong thing," said the girl, in a repentant
voice; "but, truly, I didn't mean to be irreverent—I only wanted you
to know how pat the doctor reels off the scientific phrases;
and"—assuming an important air—"I guess I know that Christian
Science is the 'new tongue' spoken of in the Bible. I've been to the
service all summer; auntie went with me, too, and thought it was
beautiful"—this with a sudden break in her voice—"and I've got the
book," she resumed. "I bought it with my pin-money. One of the
Scientists was going to get a revised pocket edition, and said she'd
let me have her old one for half price. She said the Science is all in
it, and so I thought it would do until I could afford to buy a new
Katherine's eyes grew moist as she listened to this, and she told
herself that the dear child should also have a new revised pocket
edition when Christmas came.
Looking back over the months that had elapsed since she first came
to Hilton, she was almost overwhelmed, in view of the changed thought
that had crept into the school. She had sown but the tiniest seed of
Truth when she had told Prof. Seabrook that "Christian Science was a
religion of Love and she would simply try to live it"; but its
rootlets had taken firm hold beneath the surface of an unpromising
soil; its germ had shot upwards and flourished, in spite of an adverse
atmosphere, spreading abroad its branches with bud and blossom and
fruitage, until now a goodly harvest was being gathered in. There were
Miss Reynolds, Mrs. Seabrook and Dorothy, Jennie and Dr. Stanley, all
ready to avow themselves as adherents of Truth, with Sadie, Prof.
Seabrook and— she was beginning to hope—Ned Willard looking towards
the Light; and her heart was flooded with a great joy.
"What are you thinking about, Miss Minturn?" Jennie ventured to
inquire when she had borne the silence as long as she could.
Katharine came to herself with a sudden start.
"Excuse me, dear," she said, with a deprecatory smile. "But what
you have just told me sent my thoughts wandering back over all that
has happened since I came here last winter. I did not mean to be
heedless, and I am very glad that you wanted the book enough to buy
it. Now"—laying a fond hand on her shoulder—"you are to drop 'Miss
Minturn" here and now. You and I are going to be like sisters—we are
sisters in Truth already, for you are coming to us after this for all
your vacations. You must have a home, you know, and I think you will
be happy with us."
"Happy!" cried Jennie, choking up suddenly. "Why, I—I—think it
will be just h—hea—venly!" and down went the curly black head upon
her hands to hide the tears she could not wipe away, for, as was
frequently the case, her handkerchief was not forthcoming when most
Katherine slipped hers into her hand, for she heard Sadie
returning, and, a few minutes later, the three girls were engaged in
an animated discussion of plans for the coming year.
The school opened with a full house again; indeed, it was more
than full, for Prof. Seabrook was obliged to secure rooms for half a
dozen new pupils with some families outside, and began to seriously
consider the advisability of extending the wings of the building
before the beginning of another year.
We cannot follow the experiences of our friends during the ensuing
ten months, in detail; and, in fact, but little out of the ordinary
occurred to mark their passing.
It will be of interest, perhaps, to know that Prof. Seabrook, true
to his word, made a careful perusal of "Science and Health," but he
did not find it easy to get out of old ruts, and there was many a
hard-fought battle with preconceived opinions and long-treasured
creeds and doctrines. Many a time he threw down his book with a
revival of his old antagonism, but a look at Dorrie—whose general
health had become almost perfect, and who was now manifesting the
keenest interest in the studies which she had insisted upon taking
up—was like a "peace, be still" to the tempest and oil upon the
turbulent waters, and he resumed his investigations with such
determination to know the Truth, that, finally, he was enabled to say
with one of old, "I begin to see as through a glass darkly."
Miss Reynolds became a greater power than ever in the school. She
had always been attractive, and the students loved her, but now there
was an added charm and sweetness that irresistibly drew everyone to
her. She made no secret of the change in her views, although she never
forced them upon anyone. She attended the service on Grove Street
regularly, with Katherine, and Jennie also was numbered with the same
Dr. Stanley found his position unique and by no means an enviable
one. Before going abroad he had built up a fine practice, and most of
his patients came back to him on his return, while new ones had
flocked to him. Now, however, with his changed thought, he found it
exceedingly difficult to decide just what course to pursue, when those
who, hitherto, had placed unbounded confidence in him now called upon
him to minister again to their necessities.
But he had chosen his path. Having become convinced that God and
God alone "forgiveth all iniquities and healeth all diseases," he had
declared that he would never again diagnose a case in accord with the
laws of materia medica, write another medical prescription, or deal
out ineffectual drugs. Neither did he, as yet, feel that he was
prepared to announce himself a Christian Science practitioner. So,
when called to his former patients, he had felt it his duty to state
his position and, as an "entering wedge," suggest that they give the
Science a trial for their infirmities. Some had openly scoffed at him;
others had acted upon his advice, and were greatly benefited; while,
in a few instances, he had offered to try what he himself could do,
and, to his great joy, had made his demonstration. But the majority
dropped him and went over to rival practitioners.
Then he began to push out into the byways and hedges. He sought
out the suffering poor more than he had ever done before, and here he
found a field "ready to harvest," where he could preach the "new
gospel" and prove the promise, "The works that I do shall ye do also
if ye believe on Me."
So the growth in his own consciousness went on while he was
"casting his bread upon the waters," and he also might have been
seen, nearly every Sunday morning, in one of the rear seats in the
hall on Grove Street, listening intently to the service.
One supreme joy came to him during this time.
Ned Willard's improvement had been phenomenally rapid after his
return home, and, to his family, the change in himself appeared no
He was now always considerate of and courteous to every member of
the household, frequently expressing grateful appreciation of their
care and kindness, while an oath, which once had been a frequent
offense to their ears, was now never heard to pass his lips.
One morning, while making his accustomed visit, Dr. Stanley
observed that his patient was strangely silent and thoughtful,
seeming disinclined to talk, although he suggested several topics to
attract his attention. He was just on the point of rising to go,
thinking it wiser to leave him to his mood, when he suddenly broke
"I say, Stanley, what have you been doing to me?"
"'Doing to you!' I am not sure that I catch your meaning."
"Well, when I tumbled helplessly into your hands, down there in
Massachusetts, you told me you were using Christian Science
treatment, and asked me if I objected. I thought it all 'bosh'; but,
as you know, told you I didn't care, provided the method brought right
results. I thought that if things did not go O. K. you would slip back
to the old way, so I felt perfectly safe. But now I begin to feel some
curiosity regarding this peculiar mode, process, or whatever it may
be, for not only has my leg got well— it is practically well—quicker
than I supposed it possible for a broken bone to mend, but I feel
mended in other ways," he concluded, with some embarrassment.
"What do you mean, Ned?"
"Well, physically, I feel like a new man—kind of clean and fresh,
through and through. Then"—flushing—"I am amazed that I haven't
been crazy for drink; but I do not seem to want it—I do not even
care to smoke, and—"
"Yes," said his companion, kindly.
"Oh! hang it! Stanley, it isn't easy to tell it, but I'm going to;
I feel as if an X-ray had been turned upon my mentality, showing me
what a blamed fool I've made of myself during the last few years,
making me wish I could blot it all out and take a sharp turn in
another direction. How's that for humble pie! I declare, I don't know
myself!" he concluded, apologetically.
Dr. Stanley was literally stricken speechless. His heart was too
full for utterance. Surely this "fruit of the Spirit" was ripening
far earlier than he had dared to hope, although he had worked on the
case with all the understanding he possessed, in connection with
frequent correspondence with Mrs. Minturn for counsel.
"What have you been doing, doc?" Willard repeated. "I've heard
that Christian Science treatment is wholly mental, but you have been
doing some fine talking, first and last. Some of it has cut home and
some has gone over my head. Does your science reform the drunkard as
well as mend broken bones? I remember you once asked me if I'd like to
be freed from it. Upon my word, I believe it does, though I'm not
going to boast until I get out and can prove it. Have you been
treating me for that, Stanley?"
"Yes, I have been trying to make you realize your birthright—your
God-given dominion over all things," said his friend, in a voice that
faltered in spite of himself; "have tried to make you know that you
"Hold on! Now you are soaring over my head again," interposed the
young man. "Just make that clearer in your own language, please.
Bible phraseology always seemed like Choctaw to me."
"Well, then, Christian Science teaches that God made man the
perfect image and likeness of Himself and gave him power to reflect
or manifest His dominion over all beings. It follows, then, that man
was never in bondage to anything—habit, appetite, disease or sin; so
he was 'free-born.'"
"Then how does it happen we find him so tangled up in all sorts of
deviltry?" demanded Willard.
"We find the mortal 'tangled up,' as you express it, because he
has set himself up as an independent entity and claims this entity
can be governed by evil instead of good—with lies instead of truth,
with sickness instead of health."
"You emphasize the word 'mortal'; so you make a distinction
between a man and a mortal?"
"Yes; the mortal is the counterfeit of the real man, like a bogus
dollar bill, with no gold or principal to back it. He arrogantly
assumes that he has a will of his own, and this will is subordinate
to no other unless he chooses to make it so. But we find that he
reasons falsely when we see how he becomes the slave of all sorts of
evil that ultimates in sickness and death," explained Dr. Stanley.
"Humph! Then, according to your logic, the Ned Willard whom you
know is simply a mortal, physical manifestation of will power,
catering to his own appetites and desires, and so becoming their bond
servant, and there is no true image and likeness of God, or real man
about him," was the young man's half-quizzical rejoinder. "Granted,"
he went on, more seriously, "I think I am beginning to see him as he
is and has appeared to others. But now comes the question, 'How is
this same Ned Willard going to get rid of the undesirable mortal and
find the man?' It looks a hopeless task to me."
"You are using the scalpel very freely upon yourself, my boy,"
said Phillip Stanley, in his friendliest tone. "But let us see if
there isn't a different kind of blade that will serve us better. If
you were cruelly bound with thongs, and some friend should pass you a
keen-edged knife, you would not sit hopelessly looking at your bonds
and still continue to bemoan your bondage; you would instantly begin
to sever the thongs and so regain your liberty. In Christian Science
we find the 'sword of Truth' with which we begin to cut away, one by
one, the bonds of mortal falsities, habits, appetites and belief in
evil until, eventually, we shall find our freedom and true manhood."
"That sounds very promising, as you put it, though the how of it
seems rather vague. But, by all that's honest, I would like to get at
the secret of it," and the young man turned a frank, earnest face to
his companion as he concluded.
"This will reveal it. Will you read it if I leave it with you?"
and Dr. Stanley drew forth a pocket edition of "Science and Health"
and laid it upon his knee.
Willard opened it and glanced at the title-page.
"Thank you; I shall be glad to look it through," he replied.
"You will need a Bible to go with it," said his companion, lifting
his eyes to a bookcase near him.
"You'll not find one there," his patient observed, with a short
laugh. "Bibles and I have had nothing in common this many a year.
However, there are plenty about the house."
Dr. Stanley shortly after took his leave and went away to visit
other hungry ones, a reverent joy in his heart and on his lips the
paean of David, "Who is so great a God as our God?"
A few weeks later Edwin Willard walked briskly into his office,
his handsome face all aglow with health, a new hope and purpose
shining in his eyes.
"I'm off, Stanley!" he said, in cheery, eager tones as he laid his
friend's "little book" on his desk. "I've just slipped in to return
this and bid you au revoir."
"Off!" repeated Phillip Stanley, in surprise. "Where to? what
"I'm going to Washington, as private secretary to the Hon.——,
United States Senator from Pennsylvania. He was a classmate of my
father's at Yale, and asked the governor, the other day, if he could
suggest some one for the position," Willard explained. "It's very
sudden, but it's great luck, though this"—touching the book he had
just laid down—"teaches there's no such thing as luck. The salary
won't permit me to keep up a spread-eagle style at present"—with a
light-hearted laugh—"but I have a promise of more later on, and it
may be the stepping-stone to something better; and, Stanley, I'm bent
on going higher, in more ways than one," he concluded, in a
"Ned, I am more glad than I can tell you, and my best wishes go
with you," heartily returned his friend. "Wouldn't you like to take
the book along as a souvenir?" he asked, pushing it towards him.
"Thanks, I've just bought one for myself, and I don't need any
souvenirs to remind me of you; for, Stanley, all I am and all I hope
to be I owe to you, or—I suppose you would prefer me to say- -to God,
through you. But if I am to catch that fast express I must skip. I'll
write to you, though, when I am settled."
The two men clasped hands and looked deep into each other's eyes
for a moment; then the younger turned abruptly away and left the
room, the elder gravely watching the manly form as it sped, with
alert and vigorous steps, down the street.
"God bless the boy!" he said, in a low tone; "he has 'got at the
secret of it' at last, and his life henceforth will be crowned with
joy and peace."
CHAPTER XXIII. MRS. MINTURN VISITS
Everything moved along harmoniously with Katherine in school. Of
course, there was work to be done and it required diligence, patience
and perseverance to accomplish her daily tasks. But there is always
satisfaction in overcoming difficulties, for such conquest never fails
to strengthen and uplift.
Between Sadie and herself there existed the tenderest relations.
Every day seemed to draw them closer to each other, for divine Love
was now the mutually acknowledged bond between them. The girl had
provided herself with the necessary books and was doing more than
"looking towards the Light"—she was really trying to walk in it. She
was also striving to "do her best" during this, her last year at
school, as she had avowed she would, and was reaping her reward by
finding that she was daily gaining in mental strength and capacity.
Jennie also was making good progress. She did not love fun and
frolic one whit less, but she now sought it in legitimate hours and
ways, and never allowed herself to "kick over the traces," or, in
other words, to break rules, and so jeopardize her record, although,
as she once confessed, with the old mischievous sparkle in her eyes,
"the apples of Sodom did look very alluring sometimes."
So the Christmas vacation found them, and Katherine and Jennie
went "home" to New York City, where every day was filled with
delightful experiences, Mr. and Mrs. Minturn having spared nothing to
make these holidays the brightest of the year, especially for their
protegee whose pleasures had been so limited.
There was nothing to mar their enjoyment during the two "heavenly"
weeks. They were like a pair of happy children, and not the least of
their pleasure consisted in helping Mrs. Minturn distribute her yearly
reminders among those of whom One said, "The poor ye always have with
you." And when, on Christmas morning, at breakfast, the packages
beside the various plates were inspected, there were bright faces and
loving smiles, and in one case almost a rain of tears, in view of the
numerous and lovely mementoes for which the recipient was wholly
unprepared. But it was only a "sunshower," and when Mr. Minturn, with
a quizzical look, told her to "take care, for she was losing some of
her pearls," she laughingly wiped the glittering drops away and
"I wish they were real pearls, and I would heap them upon you
When it was all over and the two girls were rolling swiftly on
their way back to school, Jennie, her face radiant with delightful
memories, informed Katherine that she had "never had such an out and
out jolly time in all her life before."
"It is like a diamond to me," she said, "for it will glisten and
sparkle in my mind as long as I remember anything about this life.
But, best of all," she continued, earnestly, "has been the Science
part of it; those lovely services and meetings! and your mother's
talks! Oh! Katherine, if I could be with her all the time I know I
should grow to be a good Scientist!"
Katherine smiled into the yearning dark eyes.
"Our growth, Jennie, depends upon our own right thinking and
living, upon the faithfulness with which we study, assimilate and
demonstrate Truth," she said; then added: "Right environment is very
desirable, but when we lean upon that instead of on God, or Principle,
we are not 'working out our own salvation,' which everyone must do.
You know what happened to the five foolish virgins who leaned, or
tried to lean, upon their neighbors for oil to fill their lamps."
"Yes; and it's like copying some one else's problems and shirking
your own daily work. When the exams come you're not 'in it'; you just
have to 'go way back and sit down,'" and the roguish dimples played in
her cheeks as the slang phrases slipped glibly from her tongue. "All
the same," she continued, "it is a help to have others about you doing
good work. Somehow it inspires you to hustle for yourself—that is, if
you honestly want to be the real thing and not a sham."
The latter part of February Mrs. Minturn, having been called to
the western part of the State on business, stopped at Hilton on her
way back, to spend the Sabbath and make "my girls" a little visit.
That visit was like an oasis to Prof. Seabrook, or, as he
afterwards expressed it, "it shone in his memory like a pure,
lustrous pearl set in jet."
Saturday afternoon was spent with Katherine and Jennie, doing a
little needful shopping and visiting some places of interest in the
city. Saturday evening, a party, including the Seabrooks, Sadie, Miss
Reynolds and Dr. Stanley, was made up to go to hear Madam Melba, who
was to sing in "Faust," and a rich treat it proved for them all.
Sunday morning found them all, except the principal and his wife,
at the service in the hall on Grove Street, and which was now far too
small to comfortably accommodate the people who were flocking to it;
while Sunday evening, at Mrs. Seabrook's invitation, saw our friends
gathered in her spacious parlor to listen to a little talk on
Christian Science from Mrs. Minturn.
"I see you each have your book," she began, glancing around the
circle, "and I think we cannot do better than to look into the tenets
of our faith—you will find them on page 497. There is much more than
at first appears in those few brief paragraphs, and I hope no one will
let a point go by, if it seems perplexing, without trying to get at
the heart of it. Don't fear to interrupt me with questions, for they
will show me your trend of thought."
Then, one by one, she took up the sections, which were freely and
thoughtfully discussed. Prof. Seabrook, however, was the chief
interlocutor of the evening and plied the patient woman with queries
both practical and profound.
She met him logically on every one, and by the time they had come
to the end of the fifth paragraph much of the perplexity had vanished
from the man's face and a look of peace was enthroned in its place,
while not one in the room ever forgot that hour, which was so fraught
with helpfulness and intense interest to them all.
"Mrs. Minturn," he gravely observed, as she paused for a moment,
"when one begins to understand something of what Christian Science
really is, one finds himself suddenly shorn of his former
intellectual arrogance and ecclesiastical intolerance, while he
stands abashed and is amazed that he had never seen these things
"That is because, in our previous study of the Scriptures, we were
governed by human opinions, doctrines and creeds, instead of by the
spiritual law of interpretation, which always brings the proof of its
"But it makes one wish one hadn't been quite so pert in flaunting
one's feathers before finer birds," drawled Sadie, as she shot a
peculiar glance at Katherine, "like a turkey we had at home once that
had never seen a peacock's plumage until after he had done a good deal
of strutting around, with his own self-sufficient appendage spread out
to its widest extent. He collapsed, though, when he saw that blaze of
"Thank you, Sadie, for so pat an illustration of an exceedingly
uncomfortable frame of mind," said Prof. Seabrook, with a merry
twinkle in his fine eyes, while an appreciative laugh ran around the
The girl flushed scarlet in sudden dismay.
"Prof. Seabrook!" she faltered, "I didn't mean—I was only
thinking of what I said to Katherine about being a Christian
Scientist the day she came here. I told her, very grandly, that I was
an Episcopalian, that my grandfather was an Episcopalian clergyman,
and I had my doubts about his resting easy in his grave if he knew
what a rank heretic I had for a roommate. Well, she just unfurled a
white banner of Love to me, and I've wanted to hide my diminished head
every time I've thought of it since."
"All right, Sadie; there's no offense," returned the principal,
with a smiling glance at her still flushed cheeks, "and I think there
may be some others among us who have learned a salutary lesson from
our modest but stanch 'brown-eyed lassie,' for she certainly has
tried, as she told me she would on that same day, 'to live her
religion of Love.' But," turning again to Mrs. Minturn, "that reminds
me of something else I wished to ask you."
Reopening his book, he read aloud the sixth tenet, emphasizing the
phrase "to love one another."
"I find, in reading this book," he resumed, "that you Scientists
give a higher signification to that word 'love' than is implied by
the ordinary interpretation. Mere sentiment or emotion have nothing
in common with your concept of its meaning?"
"Our Leader says, in her book of 'Miscellaneous Writings,'
[Footnote: By Mary Baker G. Eddy, page 230.] that 'no word is more
misconstrued, no sentiment less understood,'" said Mrs. Minturn.
"Spiritual love is governed by its principle—divine Love. Emotional
or sentimental love has no principle. It is governed by mortal
impulse, moods, personal attraction, and so forth. Divine Love has but
one impulse—infinite impersonal good. Paul's sublime definition of
charity, or the love that 'beareth all things,' 'that never faileth,'
'that thinketh no evil,' is the Christian Science idea of love, and as
our text-book teaches, nothing short of this, lived and demonstrated
in the daily life, is Christian Science love."
"That is your lesson to me over again," whispered Miss Reynolds,
who was sitting beside Katherine, "and I need it."
"But you would not abolish human love?" Dr. Stanley here abruptly
"I would have it governed, transformed by divine Love," returned
Mrs. Minturn, gently. "There is much more of selfishness embodied in
so-called human love than one can realize until one learns its
spiritual signification. The mother's is the purest of all human
affection, and yet, even this is not devoid of selfishness, for it is
'my boy' or 'my girl' for whom she will toil and efface herself to
secure advantages, and often to their detriment. The love that is
absorbed in my wife or husband, my sister or brother, my friend, is
not the truest, although it is right to care tenderly for those who
are dependent upon us. But the yearning that reaches out to all men,
recognizing in everyone 'my mother, my sister, my brother'—for all
are God's children, and there are no mine or thine in Truth—is the
love of God, the reflected Love that is God."
"I see, Mrs. Minturn; it is manifesting what the 'little book'
says, the 'love of Love,' [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 319.]
or the good of Good without regard to personality, so if we are
reflecting it we cannot even think anything but good of everyone,"
here interposed Dorothy, who had listened intently to all that had
"You dear child! how much better you have said it than I with my
multiplicity of words!" observed Mrs. Minturn, bending a look of
affection upon her.
"She has simply summarized what you have given us; but your
analysis has been very helpful to me, and I now see more clearly much
that I have been questioning during my recent perusal of the book,"
Prof. Seabrook remarked.
"Our Leader has long been reflecting this impersonal Love in her
wonderful devotion to the Cause she has espoused," Mrs. Minturn
resumed. "Her one thought and motive is and always has been—since
the Science of Christianity was revealed to her—to send forth the
new gospel to all 'nations and peoples and tongues,' and gather them
under its sacred banner, knowing that it is the 'pillar of cloud by
day and of fire by night' that will surely guide them into the
"Yet she is severely criticised for claiming that it was a divine
revelation; for assuming 'unwarrantable authority' and demanding
'unquestioning obedience,'" said her host.
"Is that a fair or an honest criticism, Prof. Seabrook?" inquired
his guest. "Has she not proved that Christian Science was a divine
revelation, not only by her own wonderful demonstrations, but by the
marvelous results which follow the study of her book, 'Science and
Health,' not to dwell upon the great work accomplished by the
thousands of her students who have faithfully followed her teachings?
Then, a leader must lead. Under supreme orders she became the pioneer
to mark the way for others; she has scaled heights which no others
have attained since the days of the Master, and so she alone is fitted
to direct. You, after long experience, have organized this school; you
know best what is most needed to promote the highest interests of your
students and maintain the superior standard of your institution. But
your word has to be law to attain these conditions, and you insist
upon implicit obedience to your rules and mandates. Are you
autocratically exacting or 'assuming unwarrantable authority' by so
doing in order to meet the responsibilities devolving upon you? As I
said before, 'a leader must lead,' and a general must direct, as he
discerns the need from his vantage ground above the field of battle,
or the cause would be lost."
"I see your point. It is fairly and logically argued, and I am
frank to admit that much of the criticism of Mrs. Eddy may be
prompted by antagonism, jealousy and prejudice," the gentleman
"But much more it is the outgrowth of misunderstanding," said Mrs.
Minturn, charitably. "Those who have most uncompromisingly denounced
Christian Science and its Founder have spoken and written without a
proper knowledge of their subject, without having even attempted to
investigate, in order to prove the truth or error of what they had
heard. They claim to have 'read the book,' but you know, from your own
experience, that one casual reading is not sufficient to enable one to
grasp the fundamental principles contained therein."
"That is true," he assented.
"And no man of good judgment," she went on, "would feel that he
was prepared to write a treatise or exposition of some profound
subject and give it to a critical public, until he had thoroughly
mastered it; and this he would know he could not do in one, or even
two, superficial readings. But these criticisms do not disturb us;
they only make us love our Leader more, for her sweet patience,
forbearance and forgiveness; and we know that the time will come when
all will learn the Truth, 'from the least to the greatest,' and 'rise
up to call her blessed.'"
"I am beginning to see that, too," said the professor. "But there
is one thing more. Of course, you have had to meet the question many
times—one hears it everywhere, and the papers every now and then
reiterate it—how about the high price of the text-book and the
"I would hardly have thought that such a question would have
suggested itself to you, Prof. Seabrook, knowing, as you do, the high
price demanded for some of your own text-books. Then, regarding the
teaching, Hilton students pay from eight hundred to a thousand dollars
a year, according to the privileges they enjoy, not counting the
extras; and the course is four years, making quite a round sum in the
aggregate. You force me to be personal as well as practical in my
arguments," Mrs. Minturn interposed, with an arch smile. "Now for the
other side of the question. Seventeen years ago I was healed of what
several physicians—to whom I paid many hundreds of dollars—said was
an incurable disease, by simply reading 'Science and Health,' for
which I paid three dollars. A year later I studied with one of Mrs.
Eddy's loyal students, to whom I paid one hundred dollars for my
course of instruction. Since that time I have never employed a
physician or paid out a penny for medicines. In view of these facts,
do you think that the price of the book and teaching should be
regarded as 'exorbitant,' 'out of all reason,' an 'imposition upon the
public,' and many similar expressions, as are repeated over and over
by numerous denouncers and newspapers?"
Prof. Seabrook made a deprecatory gesture.
"I am ashamed to have raised such a point," he said; "it seems
exceedingly narrow and petty."
"And besides," Mrs. Minturn continued, "this same book and
teaching have enabled me to heal hundreds of people of all manner of
diseases, and send them on their way rejoicing and to help others.
Ah!" she cried, with eyes that shone through starting tears, "how can
anyone speak slightingly of that dear woman who has been instrumental
in giving such a boon to suffering humanity, or criticise any act
which, in her God-given wisdom, she is led to do? But, I am sure, I
have talked enough for now, although I am at your service at any time
if other questions arise to perplex," she concluded, as she arose, and
the little company, after a few moments spent in social converse,
separated for the night.
A few days later Miss Reynolds sought Katharine. The girl was in a
music room, where she had been practicing for nearly an hour, and
arose as her friend entered, an expectant look on her face, for she
seemed to feel at once that there was something unusual in the
The woman was evidently in a strangely serious mood. There was an
expression of exaltation in her eyes, which told of some deep, new
experience that had aroused profound reverence and wonder, and a
drooping of her sweet lips that bespoke a spirit bowed beneath a
sense of humility, and she carried a letter in her hand.
"Read that, dear," she said, in a repressed tone, as she passed it
to her pupil.
Katherine removed the missive from its envelope and read:
"MISS ADELE REYNOLDS:
"DEAR MADAM: My father, as, possibly you may have heard ere this,
passed away one week ago to-day. You will perhaps be surprised to
learn that I have long known there existed an error at the time of
the settlement of Mr. Reynolds'—your father's—affairs nearly eleven
years ago, and, although I sought several times to do so, I was
powerless to have the matter rectified. Now, however, my sister and I,
being the only heirs to our father's property, have agreed that
justice must be done, and have deposited in the First National Bank of
this city the amount—with accrued interest—that is your rightful
due, and it is subject to your order. Trusting that you will kindly
throw the veil of charity over what has been a great wrong, I am,
"Very respectfully yours, JOHN F. HOWARD."
As she finished reading this letter Katherine looked into the eyes
of her teacher and smiled.
"Kathie, I can hardly believe it!" said Miss Reynolds, in a voice
choked with tears.
"'The measure that ye mete shall be measured to you again,' you
know," softly returned her companion, "and love begets love. You,
long since, threw the mantle of Love over your 'brother,' and Truth
has uncovered and destroyed the error—in other words, the greed—that
seemed to rob you of what was justly yours."
"It makes me very humble," faltered her teacher. "I have tried to
love because, to be loyal to Truth, I must do nothing else."
"Yes, and so Love has fulfilled the law; and, as our text-book
says, 'Mercy cancels the debt only when justice approves.'"
[Footnote: "Science and Health," page 22]
"And Katharine"—and Miss Reynolds' face glowed with happiness—
"now the way is opened for me to do what I had decided I must do by
the end of this year—'go work in His vineyard.' I did not clearly see
how I could do it, but I have tried to know that 'God is the source of
all supply, and I left it there.'"
CHAPTER XXIV. THE END OF SCHOOL
Time seemed to fly after Mrs. Minturn's visit. Winter melted into
spring, spring budded and blossomed into summer, and June, with its
examinations, commencement exercises and formalities, was once more
close upon the students at Hilton.
Mr. and Mrs. Minturn came on from New York to be present at
Katherine's graduation, after which the family, Jennie included, were
going directly to their summer home at Manchester.
Prof. Seabrook had again been fortunate enough to secure the Hunt
cottage for the season, for the owners were going abroad for a year
and were only too glad to rent it to such desirable tenants.
Sadie was going with her guardian and his family to Newport for
the summer, but had promised Katherine a fortnight's visit during the
latter half of July.
The two girls had grown closer and closer to each other, and they
now found themselves very loath to separate, to dismantle their
pretty room and pack their trunks, for their final flitting from
Hilton, their well-beloved alma mater. Their prospective departure
was also generally regretted by both teachers and pupils, who were to
remain, for each had won a stronghold in all hearts.
There had been a great change in Sadie, but it had only served to
make her more attractive, and she had kept her word to "do her best"
work during her last year, for she now stood second in her class, and
thus had won the respect of her principal as well as of her teachers,
while her happy temperament and the almost prodigal expenditure of her
ample income to give pleasure to others had made her many firm friends
among the students.
Katherine, as we know, had broken every barrier down before her
junior year expired, and during the present one not a cloud had
gathered to mar her relations with her associates; while, having
lived her religion, Christian Science had grown to be respected by
the whole school, especially after it became known what had produced
the wonderful change in Dorothy, who did not seem like the same girl,
and was now able to get about quite nimbly with the aid of crutches.
The last all-important day arrived, and the retiring seniors "did
themselves proud" in their "grand final parade" before the public,
receiving their floral tributes and diplomas with pretty,
consequential airs and smiles of supreme content, singing their last
songs, but wiping away a furtive tear or two which the suggestive
melodies evoked; then their reign at Hilton was over.
After the class was dismissed, as Katherine was gathering up her
flowers to take them to her room, she glanced at the cards attached
to the various offerings. One bore "With dear love from father and
mother"; another was from "Sadie," and a third from "Dorothy."
She stood in thoughtful silence for a moment after reading these
names, a look of perplexity on her young face, a little shadow
dimming her pretty brown eyes.
"I wonder," she began; then, suddenly cutting herself short, she
threw back her small head with an unaccustomed air, and with a bright
red spot on either cheek, went straight to her room,
"Bless your heart, honey! Whatever has given you such a
magnificent color?" Sadie exclaimed, as Katherine opened the door, to
find her roommate trying to dispose of the wealth of flowers that had
poured in upon her from all sources.
"Have I more than usual?" she inquired, putting one hand over a
hot cheek, which began to take on an even deeper hue.
"Indeed you have, and it's mighty becoming to you. You are
perfectly stunning, and I'd like a picture of you as you look now,"
and the girl's appreciative glance swept over the graceful figure in
its trailing white dress, the brilliant flowers encircled with one
fair arm and the beautiful face all aglow with its unaccustomed color.
"Well," she went on, with a satisfied sigh, "it is all over, ami mia,
and I'm sure we made a downright splendid show, to say nothing about
the honor we heaped upon ourselves, with our essays, poems, class
history, singing, etc. I was proud of it all. Now for the grand finale
to-night, and that, I suppose, will end our school life. Heigh-ho!
aren't you just a little bit sorry, Kathleen mavourneen?"
"Yes, of course; one cannot help feeling the breaking away; er—
Sadie, was Dr. Stanley in the audience this afternoon?"
Miss Minot shot a quick, comprehensive look from under her long
lashes at her companion, who had turned a little from her and was now
apparently gazing out of a window.
"O-h! I see!" she ejaculated, reflectively, after an instant of
"What do you see?" demanded Katherine, in surprise, and facing her
"Why! Why, this beautiful Katherine—Mermet is refractory; she—it
won't stand up in the vase; it has a crooked stem, lops over
dejectedly and needs doctoring," Sadie observed, demurely, as she
held the flower up to view. "But"—with 'a sly smile—"I reckon a
little skillful surgery will straighten it out. Yes, Dr. Stanley was
there—up in the north corner, almost behind that great post. How
strange you didn't see him!"
"I didn't try to find anybody; I didn't care to know where anybody
sat, at least until after I had read my essay; and then, you know, it
was almost over," explained Katherine, turning away again, but not
before her friend had noticed that the color was now all gone from her
She nodded her head wisely once or twice.
"He didn't send any flowers," she mentally observed. "Those Jacks
are mine; the mixed bouquet is from the Minturns, and I saw Dorrie
give the usher those Daybreak pinks. Well, it is queer. I wonder what
"There!" she remarked, aloud, "I've done the best I can with my
avalanche of sweetness; now give me yours, honey, and I will put them
in this jardiniere. But what will you save out to wear with your
reception gown to-night?" she asked, as she took the flowers from
"I—don't know, Sadie; I believe I won't make any change—I'll go
just as I am," was the dejected reply as the girl sank wearily into a
"Go just as you are! not make any change! Well, now, Miss Minturn,
that really 'jars' me; with that perfectly killing pink liberty
gauze, made over pink silk, all ready to slip on, and which just
makes me green with envy to look at," Sadie exclaimed, in a tone of
mock consternation, although, as she told her later, she was "dying to
shriek with laughter." "What is the matter, honey?" she added, softly,
the next moment.
"Matter?" repeated Katherine, trying to look unconscious.
"Yes; are you tired?"
"Well—it has been a pretty busy day, you know," and a half-
repressed sigh seemed to indicate weariness.
"Who is that, I wonder?" remarked Miss Minot, as some one knocked
for admittance. "Come in."
The door opened and a maid put her head inside.
"A box for Miss Minturn," she said, briefly.
Katherine sprang forward to take it and a strange tremor seized
her as she severed the twine, removed the wrapper and lifted the
Then the rich color flooded cheek and brow as she saw a small but
exquisite spray bouquet of white moss rosebuds lying upon a bed of
moist cotton, and, beside them, a card bearing the name, "Phillip
"Sadie! Did you ever see anything so lovely?" she cried, holding
it out for her friend to admire, and trying not to look too happy.
"'Lovely' doesn't half express it," returned the girl, glancing
from the waxen buds to the radiant face bending above them. "Ahem!
Who sent 'em?"
"U-m! just the thing to wear with that pink gauze to-night," was
the laconic suggestion.
"They would look pretty with it, wouldn't they?" said Katherine,
"I reckon that was what they were meant for, or they would have
come before and been handed in downstairs," Miss Minot observed, with
an audible chuckle.
"What'll you wager on it?"
"How can one make a wager on what can't be verified?"
"Oh"—with an irrepressible giggle—"I'll take care of that part
of it, if you'll only bet."
"What a perfect torment you can be, Sadie Minot, when you take a
notion," interposed Katherine, flushing, but with a laugh that rang
out clearly and sweetly. "But I must go and find mamma. She will be
wondering what has become of me," and she turned abruptly away to get
out of range of a pair of saucy, twinkling eyes.
She carefully sprinkled her buds, then covered them to keep them
fresh, after which she went out to seek her parents, humming a bar of
their farewell song on the way. As the sound of her footsteps died
away in the distance Sadie sank upon a chair and gave vent to a
ringing peal of mirthful laughter.
"Moss rosebuds!" she panted. "They will look 'pretty' with her
dress! Oh, innocence! thy name is Katherine."
A few hours later the main building of the seminary was ablaze
with light and resounding with music, happy voices and laughter,
together with the tripping of many feet in the merry dance.
Bright and attractive maidens, in lovely evening dresses of many
hues, flitting hither and thither with their attendants in more
conventional attire; parents and guardians, gathered in social
groups, or from advantageous positions, watching with smiling content
the brilliant scene; lavish and beautiful floral decorations lending a
perfumed atmosphere and artistic effect to the whole, all made a
charming and spirited picture which Prof. Seabrook dearly loved to
gaze upon, and to which he always looked eagerly forward at the close
of every school year; albeit his enjoyment was somewhat tempered with
sadness in view of the final farewells that must be said to his senior
class on the morrow.
To-night, as he mingled with his guests, everywhere showing
himself the thoughtful host and courteous gentleman, his glance fell,
several times, upon a graceful, rose-draped figure wearing a spray of
white moss rosebuds on her corsage.
He also observed, as she moved in rhythmic sway to the inspiring
music, that she was supported by the strong arm of his distingue-
looking brother-in-law, who seemed, he thought, to be paying more
homage than usual to the Terpsichorean Muse, and one particular lady.
"Well, what do you think of it, Will?" whispered his wife, who
happened to be near him once as the couple went circling by.
"What do I think of what, Emelie?" he queried, evasively.
"Why, of the way Phil is carrying on to-night! Did you ever see
anybody so lost to all things mundane—save the presence of a certain
very dainty little lady—as he is at this moment?"
"He does seem unusually frisky, I admit—especially with his
feet," said the professor, with a smile.
"His feet! Will, just look at him! He doesn't know he has any
feet; he is all eyes and—heart! You know what I mean, dear," his
companion pursued. "I've seen you watching them with that quizzical
look in your eyes. What would you think of it as a—a match?"
"Emelie! a matchmaker!—thou!" ejaculated her husband, in a tone
of mock dismay, though his lips twitched with amusement.
She laughed out musically, a sound that he loved and heard
"But what would you think?" she persisted.
"I would think, sweetheart, that—with one exception I could name-
-he had won a crown jewel and the sweetest wife in the world,"
replied the professor as he looked fondly down into the blue eyes
uplifted to his.
Once Sadie, leaning on the arm of a dashing cadet in uniform,
swept slowly by Katherine and her companion.
"How about that wager, honey?" she languidly inquired, her roguish
eyes fastened upon the conspicuous rosebuds.
But Katherine's only reply was a defiant toss of her brown head as
she smiled serenely back at her and whirled blissfully on.
Of course, it all had to come to an end, and morning found the
weary, though still happy, revelers preparing, with much bustle and
confusion, to disperse to their various homes; but that last
delightful evening, with its music, and flowers, and charming
associations, remained a brilliant spot in memory's realm during many
A week later found the Minturns and Seabrooks again located for
the season at Manchester-by-the-sea.
Prof. Seabrook, to the great joy of his family, was to remain with
them throughout the vacation. He would do no roaming this year, he
said. He had something of far more importance to attend to, and
unfolded a plan to his dear ones, which was received with the
greatest enthusiasm; more of which anon.
It proved to be a summer long to be remembered by all, especially
by Jennie, for various reasons; one of which was, she had never
before seen the ocean, and it was a wonderful revelation to her,
filling her with ever-increasing admiration and awe.
"One gets something of an idea of what eternity means," she said,
with a long-drawn breath of rapture, when, one day, Katherine
accompanied her to a high point which commanded a limitless expanse
of sea that seemed to softly melt away into the sky and so become lost
to human vision.
She could not content herself indoors much of the time, and almost
won for. herself again the sobriquet of "Wild Jennie," for she would
often disappear directly after breakfast, going off on long tramps to
return hours later, laden with a promiscuous assortment of shells,
stones, star-fish and other curiosities with which she lavishly
adorned her own room and various other portions of the house.
"Oh, it's only a 'spell,'" she retorted one day, when Katherine
laughingly commented upon her conchological, geological,
ichthyological "research." "It has got to have its 'run,' like some
other beliefs that aren't so good; then I'll get over it, I suppose,
settle down and behave like people who are already seasoned. If I
could only be as successful in a genealogical way there'd be nothing
left to wish for," she concluded with a wistful sigh.
"Are you still brooding over that, Jennie?" gravely inquired
"Not exactly 'brooding,' dearie. I guess it's just a kind of
hankering, though mortal mind does set up a howl, now and then, in
spite of me, and says 'don't you wish you knew.'"
Katherine laughed softly at the characteristic phraseology, but
bent a very tender look upon the girl.
"Well, you do know that you are God's child," she said, gently.
"Yes; and I know it now, in a way that I never did before I knew
you; and I'm sure no other 'stray waif' ever had quite so much to be
thankful for as I have."
They all loved the girl, and she was the life of the house,
although she had toned down considerably during the last year; for
she was always bright and cheery, keeping everybody in a ripple with
her quaint sayings and contagious mirth.
At the same time she made herself helpful, in many ways, was ever
thoughtful for others, and, withal, so affectionate that everyone was
the happier for her presence in the house.
So the time drew on apace for the convening of Mrs. Minturn's
"class," the date of which had been set for the twentieth of July.
It was to be a full class, this year, and a convenient room had
been secured in the "Back Bay district," in Boston, many of her
prospective students being desirous of spending their vacation in
that city to enjoy the privileges and services of "The Mother
Prof. Seabrook took rooms for himself and family near by—this was
his "plan," that they all three have class instruction together— for
such an arrangement would be more convenient for them than to try to
go back and forth, each day, and also give them more time for study.
It was an earnest and intelligent company that gathered in the
appointed place on Monday, July twentieth, all eager to be fed with
the Bread of Life. There were two clergymen, one physician, two
lawyers, several teachers, business men and women, and others from
humbler walks of life. Miss Reynolds had come on to "review"; Jennie
and Sadie were also among the number.
Intense interest and the closest attention were manifested
throughout the course, and Mrs. Minturn afterwards remarked that the
class, as a whole, was one of the brightest and most receptive that
she had ever taught.
The sixth lesson was a particularly impressive one, during which
every occupant of that sacred room became so conscious of the power
and presence of Truth and Love, that the place almost seemed to them a
"mount of transfiguration," as it were, where the Christ was revealed
to them as never before.
When the class was dismissed for the day, Mrs. Minturn asked Prof.
Seabrook if he would kindly remain to assist her with some papers she
had to make out; and Mrs. Seabrook and Dorothy, their "hearts still
burning within them," stole quietly away to their rooms to talk over
by themselves the beautiful things they had learned that morning.
They passed out upon the street and had walked nearly half the
distance to their boarding place, when Mrs. Seabrook stopped short
and turned a startled face to her child.
"Dorothy, your crutches!" was all she could say.
The girl lifted a wondering look to her.
"Mamma!" she said, in a voice of awe, "I forgot all about them!"
"Shall we—shall I go back for them?" mechanically inquired her
"Go back for my crutches? Mamma! why, mamma! don't you see that I
am free?—that I can walk as well as you?" she exclaimed, with a
catch in her breath that was very like a sob. "You've just got to
know it, for me and with me," she continued authoritatively, as she
started on, "for I will never use them again. I have 'clung to the
truth'—we've all clung—and 'Truth has made me free'! Oh!"— in an
indescribable tone—"'who is so great a God as our God?' Let us g-get
home quick, or—I shall have to c-cry right here in—the street."
"Mamma, I think I know, now, just when all the fear left me,"
Dorothy said later, when, after reaching their rooms, each had for a
few moments sought the "secret place" to offer her hymn of praise for
this new gift of Love. "You know how beautifully Mrs. Minturn talked
about man's 'God-given dominion,' this morning; did you ever hear
anyone say such lovely things? She seemed to take you almost into
heaven, and I felt so happy—so light and free, I wanted to fly. I
forgot all about my body, and I walked out of that room without
realizing what I was doing; I hadn't really got back to mortal sense
and things material, when you stopped and spoke of my crutches. I
haven't said anything about it, for it seemed too good to be true, but
for nearly two weeks I've had such a longing to walk alone, and, at
times, it has almost seemed as if I could, but didn't quite dare to
try. And, mamma"—Dorothy lowered her voice reverently—"have you
noticed, when helping me to dress lately, that—that one of the curves
is nearly gone from my back?"
"Yes, dear, but I 'have not dared' to call your attention to it—
that is what has made you seem so much taller, though we have called
it 'growing,'" her mother returned.
"Don't you think we have been very, very faithless, mamma, dear,
not to 'dare' speak of our blessings and thank God for them?" said
the girl, tremulously.
"Dorrie, you shame me, every day, by your implicit faith!"
faltered the woman, tears raining over her face.
"No—no; not 'implicit,' mamma, for that would make the other
curve straight this very minute. But I know it is going to he,
sometime, for God made the real me upright and nothing can deprive me
of my birthright."
Half an hour later Prof. Seabrook came in, looking a trifle pale
Dorothy arose and went forward, with radiant face, to meet him. He
could not speak, but opened his arms to her and held her close for a
minute, his trembling lips pressed against the fair head lying on his
Presently she gently released herself, remarking:
"Papa, do you know, when you came in, you looked as if you
expected to find what we have all wished for so long."
"I did and—I didn't," he replied, with a faint smile. "When I had
finished what Mrs. Minturn asked me to do, and started to leave the
room, I saw your crutches standing in the corner where I had put them
after you were seated.
"While I stood blankly staring and wondering, that blessed woman
came to me with such a light on her face—it fairly shone with joy
"'Dorrie has gone,'" she said. "'I saw her walk out with her
"Involuntarily I put out my hand to take the crutches,
"'No—leave them,' she said, 'she will never need them again, and
you do not wish any reminders of error about you.' So I came away
praying 'Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.'"
CHAPTER XXV. A MOMENTOUS ERRAND.
There were only three more sessions, but they were wonderful
"sittings together," for every member had been deeply impressed by
the signal manifestation of God's power in their midst, in connection
with Dorothy; and felt that the place whereon they stood was indeed
Then the class was dismissed with solemn, but loving, injunctions
to go forth to "cheer the faint, uplift the fallen, and heal the
But, before letting them go, Mrs. Minturn cordially invited the
students to spend the following Thursday at her home in Manchester;
to enjoy a reunion and an outing before finally separating to go to
their different fields of labor.
As their last meeting occurred on Tuesday, there intervened but
one day in which to prepare for the prospective festivities on
Thursday. But willing hearts and hands—for Mr. Minturn was now at
home, and Prof. Seabrook and Dr. Stanley proffered their services-
-made light work of the various things to be done.
Katherine, Sadie and Jennie planned elaborate decorations for the
veranda; accordingly the coachman and hostler were dispatched to the
woods for pine boughs, evergreens, etc., then to a florist's, for
potted ferns and plants, with an order for cut-flowers to be sent on
Thursday morning, and it was not long before the house began to put on
quite a festive appearance.
On Wednesday, just after lunch, Mr. Minturn repaired to the attic
and brought forth a box supposed to contain Chinese and Japanese
lanterns, with other decorations; but, alas! when it was opened it
was found that the mice had made sad havoc with its contents, and
they were condemned as utterly useless.
"That means a trip to Boston," the gentlemen observed to his wife,
as he pushed the box into a corner with other rubbish, "for it would
not be safe to trust to an order, at this late hour, and yet I do not
see how I can go and leave things here."
"I suppose one of the maids might go," said Mrs. Minturn, rather
doubtfully, "but, really, they are having such a busy day, with
sweeping and cleaning, and there is so much still to be done, I
hardly have the heart to ask them."
Jennie, who, with Mrs. Seabrook, Dorrie, Katherine and Sadie, was
twining evergreen ropes and wreaths, and, at the same time, having a
lovely, social visit, overheard the above conversation, and, knowing
that Mr. Minturn could ill be spared, said to herself, with a sharp
pang of regret:
"I'm the one who ought to go; but—I don't want to."
She glanced wistfully at the happy faces about her; at the half-
finished wreath in her hands; at the deep-blue ocean whence came a
cool, refreshing breeze, then, with a quickly repressed sigh, laid
down her work and arose.
"Let me go," she said, turning to Mrs. Minturn and stealing a fond
arm around her waist. "I'm sure I can do the errand all right."
"Dear, they will make quite a package, for there will have to be a
good many," objected her friend, but with a quick smile of
appreciation for her thoughtfulness. "Besides," she added, glancing
at the merry group behind them, "you are all having such a good time."
"Never mind anything so we have the lanterns. We must let our
light shine, you know; and just look at that for muscle!" cheerily
returned the girl, as she swept up her loose sleeve and revealed a
truly sturdy arm. "I can catch the next train, if I step lively, and
I'll be back on the one that leaves at five. Make out your order, Mr.
Minturn, and I'll be ready before you can say 'Jack Robinson.'"
She bounded into the house and was halfway upstairs before Mr.
Minturn could get out his notebook and pencil, and in less than ten
minutes was down again equipped for her trip.
"'Jack Robinson,'" solemnly repeated Mr. Minturn, but with a
roguish twinkle in his eyes as he handed her the leaf which he had
torn from his notebook, with his order and the address of a Boston
firm written on it. "Now be off, you sprite, or you will lose your
train, and you shall have your reward later," he concluded, as the
trap, which he had ordered up from the stable, dashed to the door.
"I'll get my reward on the way," laughed the girl, throwing him a
bright glance over her shoulder as she ran nimbly down the steps and
sprang into the carriage, little thinking how true her lightly-spoken
words would prove.
Four hours later the trap was again sent to the station to meet
her, and, a five minutes' drive, behind the pair of spirited
beauties, landed her at home once more.
Much had been accomplished during Jennie's absence, and the broad
veranda was like a sylvan bower, the last nail having just been
driven, the last wreath and festoon put in place; while the Seabrooks
were on the point of going home to dinner as the carriage stopped
before the door.
She looked pale and appeared to see no one; but, leaping to the
ground, sprang up the steps, touched Katherine on the arm, saying
briefly, "Come!" then fled inside the house.
Everyone wondered at her strange behavior, and Katherine
immediately followed her to her room.
The moment she appeared Jennie caught her in her arms and swung to
"Katherine! Katherine!" she cried, breathlessly, "I'm found!—I'm
found!—I'm not a 'stray waif'—I'm not lost any longer—I'm—I'm- -"
She could say no more-her breath was spent; her emotion mastered
her—and, bowing her head on her companion's shoulder, she burst into
passionate weeping that shook her from head to foot.
Katherine held her in a close, loving embrace for a moment, then
gently forced her into a rocker and knelt beside her, still keeping
her arms around her, while she worked mentally for dominion and
But the flood-gates were open wide. The pent-up yearnings of years
were let loose, and it was some time before the storm began to abate.
Once or twice she attempted to say something, then lapsed into
fresh weeping, her self-control strangely shattered; for Jennie had
seldom been known to shed tears in the presence of others, even under
"Hush!" at length commanded Katherine, with gentle authority; "be
still and know who has you in His care."
"That's pa-part of it!—to—to think that I—I didn't 'know'; and
now it has c-come when I never really had f-f-faith to be-believe it
would. I—do-don't d-deserve it," sobbed the girl, with another
While Katherine is patiently waiting and working for the return of
a more tranquil frame of mind, let us take a backward glance and
follow Jennie on her eventful trip to Boston.
Upon her arrival in town she went directly to the store to which
she had been directed and where her order was immediately filled;
then finding that she had more than an hour on her hands before her
train would go, she left her package to be called for and slipped into
a large department store, to look at some pictures that had been
recently and extensively advertised in the papers.
But before reaching the room where they were on exhibition, she
was attracted another way, by seeing a crowd of people standing
before an alcove that had been curtained off, and where a so- called
"transformation scene" was being enacted before admiring and wondering
She had never seen anything of the kind and stood like one
entranced, while an exquisite marble statue, representing a beautiful
girl holding a basket of flowers in her hands, slowly and mysteriously
took on a lifelike appearance, until at length she stood a living,
breathing maiden, smiling brightly into the faces around her, while
her basket of flowers had also been changed to a cradle of bulrushes,
in the midst of which lay an infant reaching up eager hands to the
lovely woman above him.
Jennie watched this scene—supposed to represent "Pharaoh's
Daughter and The Infant Moses"—change the second time, then turned
abruptly away, just as the metamorphosis back to marble began, to find
herself confronted by a fine-looking, middle-aged gentleman, who was
gazing with strange intentness at her.
She would have passed him without a second glance, but, lifting
his hat to her, he courteously inquired:
"Young lady, will you kindly tell me your name?"
Jennie flushed with sudden embarrassment. She had often been
warned never to converse with strangers who might accost her; but, in
this instance, while she had no intention of telling him who she was,
she felt exceedingly awkward to refuse to grant a request so politely
"I hope you will pardon me," he continued as he observed her
confusion. "I am aware that I appear presumptuous; but you are the
counterpart of a sister whom I lost years ago, and whose daughter I
have been vainly seeking during the last five years."
Jennie's heart bounded into her throat at this, and her discretion
instantly vanished in her eagerness to verify a startling suspicion
that had popped into her head while he was speaking.
"Oh, sir," she began, with a nervous catch in her breath. "I am
called Jennie Wild, but that isn't really my name—I don't know what
it is. My father and mother were both killed in a railroad accident
when I was a baby, and a kind lady adopted me and— perhaps—oh, do
you think—-" but her voice failed her utterly at this point, for her
heart was panting painfully from mingled hope and fear.
The stranger smiled genially down upon her, but his own voice was
far from steady, as he said:
"Suppose, Miss Wild, we go and sit down over yonder, where we will
be by ourselves"—indicating a remote corner of the room—"and,
perhaps, we can find out a little more about this double-puzzle; at
least, we can ascertain whether your facts and mine will fit
He led the way and placed a chair for her in a position to shield
her from observation as they talked, and then, sitting down beside
her, asked her to please tell him as much of her history as she was
willing he should know.
But, as we are aware, that was very little, indeed, and took only
a few minutes to relate.
"Well, my child," the man observed, when; she concluded, "there is
not much in what you have told me that throws any light upon what I
am anxious to learn; your face and form alone seem to indicate
kinship, and that may be but a singular coincidence. All the same,
you shall hear my story.
"Years ago I had a sister whom I loved very dearly. She was much
older than I and took the place of my mother when I lost her. I lived
with this sister, after her marriage, until I was eighteen years of
age, and grew to love the little daughter who came to her when I was a
boy of ten, with a tenderness which I have no words to express. At the
age of eighteen, an East India merchant, who dealt in spices, coffee,
tea, etc., and who, having no children of his own, had made a kind of
protege of me, proposed that I come to him and learn his business. His
partner in the East had recently died; he was about to go abroad to
take his place and suggested that this would give me a fine start in
life. It was too good an opportunity to be slighted, and I eagerly
accepted it. Years passed; my sister and her husband both died—their
daughter married and settled in a thriving town, not far from San
Francisco, Cal. Then, after a time, word came that there was another
little girl in the daughter's home, and she wrote begging me to come
back to her, if only for a visit, for I was now her only living
relative and her lonely heart was hungry for me. I immediately made
plans to do so; but my partner—who formerly had been my employer—was
suddenly taken away and I was obliged to give up the trip. Nearly a
year later my niece wrote very hurriedly, telling me that her husband
had obtained a fine position in Chicago, that they had sold their home
and were on the point of leaving for that city, but she would send me
their address when they were settled. That was the last I ever heard
from her, although I wrote numberless letters of inquiry to their
former place of residence and also to Chicago. Complications in
business made it impossible for me to come to the United States to
institute a personal search, until about five years ago, and I have
spent these years looking for the dear girl who so strangely
disappeared after leaving her California home. I have been in nearly
every large city in the land, and in each have advertised extensively,
but all to no purpose. A month ago I came to Boston for the second
time, and have liked the place so well I am loath to leave it. While
looking at the transformation scene over yonder, I was attracted by
your remarkable resemblance to my sister, as she was at your age, and
could not refrain from speaking to you, hoping that I might hear a
familiar name. Miss Wild, can you tell me just when this accident,
which deprived you of your parents, occurred?"
Jennie gave him the date of the month and the year, and her
companion's face changed as he heard it.
"That was the same month and the year that my niece left
California to go to Chicago," he said. "I believe—I wonder—By the
way, Miss Wild"—with a sudden start—"was there nothing about you
when that woman found you, by which you could have been identified?"
"Oh, yes! I never thought!" panted Jennie, as her trembling hands
flew to her throat.
In a trice she had unclasped the string of amber beads which she
always wore inside her clothing, and laid them in his hand.
The man grew very white as he saw them, turned the curious clasp
over and read the initials engraven there. He did not speak for a
full minute. He was evidently deeply moved, and Jennie sat watching
him with bated breath and tensely clasped hands.
"My dear," he finally said, "this is the 'open sesame' to
everything. This and your remarkable resemblance to my sister,
together with the date you have given me, prove to me beyond the
shadow of a doubt that you are the daughter of my niece."
"O-h!" breathed Jennie, with tremulous eagerness.
"The initials 'A. A. to M. A. J.,' on the clasp, stand for 'Alfred
Arnold to Mildred Arnold Jennison,'" the gentleman continued. "I am
Alfred Arnold. When my niece wrote me of the birth of her little
daughter, and that she had named her 'Mildred' for her mother, and
'Arnold,' for me, I bought this string of amber in Calcutta, had the
initials engraved on the clasp and sent it to the tiny stranger."
"Then—then I am—you are—" began Jennie, falteringly.
"You are my grandniece—I am your great-uncle. My child, do you
think you will care to own the relationship?"
But the girl was, for the moment, beyond the power of speech.
To have the harassing mystery of her life solved at last; to learn
something definite regarding her family, even though no one remained
to claim her save this distant relative, yet to find in him a cultured
gentleman, and reaching out to her with tender yearning, as the only
link with his past—was more than she could bear with composure. To
have tried to speak just then would have precipitated a burst of tears
and she "wouldn't cry in public."
So she could only throw out an impulsive, trembling hand to him
and smile faintly into the grave, kind face beside her.
He folded it within his own and patted it soothingly with a
"Little girl, little girl!" he said, huskily, but tenderly, "I can
hardly believe it! I was becoming discouraged in my quest; but I
begin to think now that life is worth living, even though the dear
one I sought is gone and I shall never see her again in this life."
"My mother! my father—have you their—" but Jennie was obliged to
stop again because of the refractory lump in her throat.
"Yes, I have numerous photographs of them all," Mr. Arnold
replied, and instinctively comprehending her thought. "I even have
one of baby Mildred," he added, with a smile, "taken when she was six
months old. Your mother's maiden name was Pauline West, and I have
some beautiful letters from her that you will love to read some day."
"Do I look like her at all?" queried Jennie, who was beginning to
forget herself and grow more composed as she drank in these
"No; she resembled her father, and was light, with blue eyes,
though you have a way of speaking that reminds me of her. But you are
almost the image of my sister—her mother—who was dark, with black
eyes, and hair that curled, just as yours does, about her forehead,"
Mr. Arnold replied, and added: "Your father I never saw, but I have
some pictures of a very nice-looking gentleman whose autograph,
'Charles E. Jennison,' is written on the back."
"And my name is 'Mildred Arnold Jennison,'" said Jennie, and
drawing a long breath at the unfamiliar sounds.
"Yes, I am sure of it. With your resemblance to Annie, my sister,
the dates you have given me and this string of beads I could ask for
no stronger proofs," returned the gentleman as he gave back the amber
"It is a very pretty name, I think," said the girl, a happy little
laugh breaking from her, "and I'm glad there is a 'Jennie' in it, for
I've been called that so long I would hardly know how to answer to any
other. But—oh! what time is it?" she cried, starting to her feet. "I
had forgotten all about my train!"
Mr. Arnold showed her his watch, whereupon she breathed more
"There is plenty of time," she added, more composedly, "but I
think I must go now, for I have a package to get from another store.
I hope, though, this hasn't been a 'transformation scene' that will
turn back to marble or—blankness," she concluded, with a nervous
laugh as she glanced towards the curtained alcove where they had met.
"Do not fear—it is all living truth, and we are going to make it
seem more real every day," cheerily responded Mr. Arnold. "I will see
you to your train and we will thus have a little more time together;
then, very soon, I would like to come to you and meet the friends who
have been so kind to you."
Jennie asked if he could make it convenient to come to Manchester
on Friday, explaining why she could not make the appointment for the
next day; and it was so arranged.
He accompanied her to the station and put her aboard her train,
making himself very entertaining on the way by recounting interesting
incidents connected with his life and travels in the East.
"You're sure you're a bona-fide uncle and no vanishing 'genie'?"
she half jestingly, half wistfully remarked as the warning "All
aboard!" sounded and she gave him her hand at parting.
"I'm sure of the relationship, and I think I am of too substantial
proportions to become invisible to mortal eyes at a moment's warning.
Whether I shall be obliged to vanish in any other way will depend upon
yourself later on," Mr. Arnold smilingly replied, as he courteously
lifted his hat and bowed himself away.
But during the ride home it seemed too wonderful to be true. She
had dreamed of a similar revelation so many times, only to awake in
the morning and find herself plain Jennie Wild, the same stray waif
still hopelessly bemoaning the mystery that enshrouded her origin,
that she could hardly believe she was not dreaming now.
"Mildred Arnold Jennison! Mildred Arnold Jennison!" she repeated
over and over. "I don't know her; I can hardly believe she really
exists; it seems more like one of the many vagaries of 'Wild Jennie'
who was ever fond of imagining herself some poor little princess in
And thus, by the time she reached home, she had worked herself to
the highest pitch of nervous excitement, which culminated in
Katherine's arms, and which she was patiently trying to overcome when
we left them to take our "backward glance."
CHAPTER XXVI. CONCLUSION.
By the time Jennie had given Katherine a brief outline of what had
occurred during the afternoon, the dinner bell sounded and warned
them that they must put aside romance and startling revelations for
the present and come down to the more practical and prosaic affairs of
"But, Katherine, I can't go down," Jennie exclaimed as she sprang
to the mirror and saw her red and swollen eyes. "I look a perfect
"Well, of course, you need not; I will send you up something nice,
and you can rest and try to compose yourself, for you will want to
tell us all more of this wonderful story by and by," Katherine
considerately returned as she arose from her kneeling posture to obey
the summons from below.
"But you may set the ball rolling, dearie. I want them all to
know, and they must have thought I had a queer 'bee in my bonnet'
when I got home."
"Very well, I will formally announce the advent of our new guest,
Miss Mildred Arnold Jennison, if you wish, and I know that everyone
will heartily rejoice with you," was the smiling reply.
Jennie threw her arms impulsively around her friend, "Oh,
Katherine! how good you always are to me!" she cried. "What a blessed
thing it was for me that you chose to go to Hilton! If you hadn't I
wouldn't have known about Science—I never should have come to Boston,
and then I would have missed to-day, an—"
"Oh, Jennie! Jennie! God governs all; He has more ways than one of
leading His children, and when they are ready for the Truth it is
always revealed to them," chidingly interposed her friend, but
dropping a fond kiss upon the flushed cheek nearest her.
"Well, but it was you who made me 'ready' for it," the girl
persisted. "You were so dear yourself you made me want to be dear,
too, and so my heart opened to receive the Truth. And, Katherine"-
-impressively—"every day since I got your letter, just after auntie
went away, I have said over to myself what you wrote me, and tried to
believe it. It was this: 'Your identity is not lost; you are God's
child, and that child can never be deprived of her birthright, or any
other good necessary to her happiness and well- being'; only I put it
in the first person."
"Dear, you have made it a true prayer, and to-day you have
received in part the answer to it," said Katherine, softly.
"Do you think so?" said Jennie, earnestly.
"Indeed, I do. You know the promise, 'If ye ask anything in My
name, believing'? But I suppose I must go down," and Katherine turned
to leave the room.
Jennie stood still, thinking deeply for a moment. Then, before her
friend could reach the stairs, she called out, the old cheery ring in
"You needn't send up anything, you blessing; I'll wash my face and
come down. I don't care if my eyes are red; you all love me and won't
So, after a little, this child of impulse joined the family below,
her face radiant with happiness, in spite of the evidences of recent
tears, and everybody exhibited the liveliest interest in the wonderful
sequel to her life of mystery, and expressed, most cordially, their
joy in view of her good fortune in finding some one akin to her.
"Tell me what he looks like, honey. I'm just expiring with
curiosity and impatience to see this great magician who has
transformed everything for you," said Sadie, with her good-natured
drawl, after Jennie had given them a more detailed account of the
interview with her relative.
"You just wait till you see this 'magician,' as you call him,"
retorted the girl, with a proud little toss of her head. "Anyone can
tell, with half a glance, that he's an out-and-out gentleman. And,
don't you know"—with a long sigh of content—"it is such a
comfortable feeling, for I've often had a very lively squirming time
all by myself when I've tried to focus my mental kodak upon some
imaginary shade of my ancestors to see what he was like."
It was a very happy company that congregated on the verandas the
next morning to complete the preparations for the reunion of the
Dr. Stanley and the Seabrooks came over again to help arrange
flowers, hang the lanterns, etc., and they were no less rejoiced than
her other friends when informed of Jennie's happy discoveries of the
"What are we going to do without our 'Jennie Wild'?" smilingly
inquired Prof. Seabrook, as he laid a friendly hand on her curly
black head. "I am afraid a good many tongues will trip a good many
times before they get used to 'Miss Mildred Arnold Jennison.'"
"Well, professor, you'll have the same Jennie—at least for the
next two years; for I'm never going to be called anything else by my
old friends," returned the girl, in a positive tone. "I don't quite
know how we are going to manage about the name," she added,
reflectively. "I'm free to admit, though"—with an arch look—"I
think my new trimmings are rather swell; but I can't give up the
Jennie. I'm sure Jennie Jennison wouldn't do—too much Jennie, you
know. But I'm not going to worry about that to-day; I'm too happy,
and there's too much to be done. Mrs. Minturn, where is Katherine?"
she suddenly inquired, with a roguish glance at a stalwart form that
was restlessly pacing the veranda.
"She is in the library, answering a letter for me; she will be
through very shortly. Do you want her particularly, dear?" innocently
questioned the lady who was absorbed in filling a jardiniere with
"N-o, not very; only I've been growing conscious during the last
few minutes that there is a—er—something lacking in the atmosphere.
Dr. Stanley, do have this rocker," she interposed, with a sly smile,
and pushing one towards him, "it's too warm this morning for such a
waste of energy."
Either by chance or intention, she had swung the chair directly
opposite a low window that commanded a view of the library, where
Katherine, in a familiar gown of pale yellow chambrey, was oblivious
to all but the work in hand. The young man shot a searching look at
the mischievous elf; then, with a quiet "thank you," deliberately took
the proffered seat, but, ten minutes later, he also was missing from
He found Katherine seated before her own private desk, and in the
act of stamping the letter which he had just seen her addressing.
"I hope I do not intrude?" he observed, in a tone of polite
"No, I am just through," she replied, as she carefully pressed the
still moist stamp in place with a small blotter.
"I have come to ask if you have a copy of that flashlight picture
of the 'Flower Carnival'" he resumed. "Dorrie's is at home, but she
wishes to have some more copies, and as I am going to town to- morrow
I thought I would attend to it."
"Yes, I have mine right here," said Katherine, as she took a small
key from a drawer and proceeded to unlock a compartment in her desk,
smilingly explaining as she did so: "This is where I keep my choicest
treasures—things that I do not let everyone see."
"Must I look away?" demanded her companion, in a mock-injured
"Oh! no"—with a silvery ripple—"I am not quite so secretive as
Removing a box, she carefully placed it one side, then brought
forth a package nicely wrapped in tissue paper. Unfolding this, she
disclosed several photographs, and among them was the one he had asked
"How fortunate you were to get so good a picture!" she observed,
and studied it a moment before giving it to him. "How happy Dorrie
looks! Although, to see her now, one would scarcely believe that this
was ever taken for her."
"No, indeed! What a marvelous change a year has made in that
child!" said Dr. Stanley, in an animated tone.
"'A year!' I am sure you do not quite mean that," and she lifted a
questioning look to him.
"No, I do not—thank you for correcting me," he gravely rejoined.
"I know time has had nothing to do with it—that we owe it all to
Christ—Truth. How watchful one needs to be of one's words, in
"Yes, or one is liable to give wrong impressions without meaning
to. It is scientific to be exact, and"—with a soft sigh—"we all
have to learn that by being continually on guard."
There was a moment of silence, after she ceased speaking, during
which Katherine began to be conscious that the atmosphere was
becoming charged with an unaccustomed element, and she hastened to
observe, as she glanced towards the veranda:
"How lovely the house is looking! Have you your camera here?"
"I am sorry I have not, for we ought to have some views of it. We
will have," he added. "I will have a photographer from the village
come up before the day is over and take some."
As he concluded, by some careless handling, the picture of the
Flower Carnival slipped from his grasp, and in trying to recover it
his arm came in contact with the box, which Katherine had taken from
her treasure closet, displacing the cover and almost upsetting it.
"Oh!" cried the girl, in a startled tone, but flushing scarlet as
she saved it from falling and hastily replaced the cover. She was not
quick enough, however, to prevent her companion seeing, with a sudden
heart bound of joy, that the box contained a spray of dried and faded
He turned a radiant face to her, and her eyes drooped in confusion
before the look in his, while the color burned brighter in her
"Miss Minturn—Katherine! Did you prize them enough to keep them—
here?" and he touched the door of her "treasure closet"
"They are a—a souvenir of a delightful evening—my last at
Hilton," she faltered.
His countenance fell; yet something in the tense attitude of the
figure beside him, in her quickened breathing and fluctuating color
emboldened him to ask:
"Did they convey no message to you? had they any special
significance? Tell me—tell me, please!"
"They had not—then," she confessed, almost inaudibly.
"Then?" he repeated, eagerly.
"I did not know—I had not looked—-"
"You did not know their language then; but you do now, dear?" he
said, a glad ring in his tones. "And may I tell you that my heart and
all its dearest hopes went with those little voiceless messengers?
That was Why—"
"Oh! Uncle Phillip, the carriage has come for us and we are
waiting for you," cried Dorothy's voice from the low, open window on
the opposite side of the room, and for the first time in his life a
feeling of impatience with his niece stirred in Phillip Stanley's
heart. "Why! is anything the matter?" she added, as she observed
Katherine's averted eyes and unusual color and her uncle's
"I'll be with you in a minute, Dorrie," he said. "Just one word,"
he pleaded, bending nearer to Katherine, "have you treasured my
messengers because of their message?"
But Katherine could not speak even the "one word"—the fluttering
of her startled heart, the throbbing in her throat robbed her of the
power to make a sound. The most she could do was to lift her eyes, for
one brief instant, and smile faintly into the fond face looking down
upon her. It was enough, however. Phillip Stanley stood erect and drew
in a long, free breath.
"Coming, Dorrie!" he called out, as the girl made a movement to
step over the low sill into the room; "no, there is nothing the
matter—I came to ask Miss Minturn for the Flower Carnival picture,
to have it copied for you."
"How nice of you, Uncle Phillip! You are always so thoughtful for
me!" said unsuspicious Dorothy.
The man's laugh rang out full and clear, but with a note of
genuine mirth in it that made Katherine's cheeks tingle afresh, for
it told her that his main object in seeking her had not been to get
"Oh! if that child would but vanish!" he thought, with an adoring
look at the pretty, drooping figure in its dainty robe of pale
yellow; but little Miss Marplot evidently had no such intention, and
he reluctantly turned away to save Katherine further embarrassment.
"Good-by, Miss-Katherine; we will be with you again this
afternoon," he said, with a thrill in his voice as it lingered over
the name; then he stepped through the low window, slipped his arm
around unconscious Dorrie and led her away to the carriage.
The reunion of the afternoon was a most delightful occasion. Mr.
Minturn had chartered a yacht to take the whole party out for a few
hours' sail, and, the day being perfect, the sea in its bluest attire
and quietest mood, there was nothing to mar their enjoyment, and the
experience proved ideal for everyone.
They returned just at sunset, to find numerous daintily laid
tables awaiting them on one of the broad verandas and groaning
beneath an abundance of the many luxuries that had been provided to
tempt and regale; while spotlessly attired maids and white- jacketed
men were in attendance to serve the hungry excursionists. As twilight
dropped down o'er land and sea, as the numerous lanterns were lighted
and flung their soft radiance and vivid spots of color upon the scene,
while a fine orchestra discoursed melodiously from some
green-embowered nook, the place seemed like an enchanted realm where
one might almost expect to discern, flitting among the playful
shadows, those weird forms that people the elf land of childhood's
"Fairies, black, gray, green and white,
Those moonshine revelers and shades of night."
And thus the evening was spent in a delightfully informal manner,
each and all appearing to feel as if they were members of one happy
family, as, indeed, they were, in Truth and Love.
But the final farewells had to be said at length, for railway
time-tables are absolute, and the last train for Boston would leave
at ten o'clock.
At half-past nine the carriages were at the door and fifteen
minutes later all were gone, excepting the Seabrooks, who lingered
for a few last words with the family, and to take leave of Miss
Reynolds, who would go home on the morrow.
They were all standing together in the brilliantly lighted
reception hall, Dorothy with one arm linked within her father's, the
other encircling Katherine's waist.
"Hasn't it been a wonderful day, papa?" said the girl, during a
little lull in the general conversation.
"It certainly has, dear," he replied, giving the small arm a fond
"And see!" she continued, glancing around the circle, "all of us,
except Mr. and Mrs. Minturn, belong to Miss Katherine."
"Well, bless my heart!" here laughingly interposed Mr. Minturn.
"Miss Dorothy, I think that is very unceremoniously crowding us out
of our own domain."
"You'll know I didn't mean to do any crowding when I tell you my
thought," she returned, and nodding brightly at him. "You see, it was
she who interested everyone of us in Science, and I think we ought to
be called Miss Katherine's sheaves. You know it says in the Bible 'he
who goes forth bearing precious seed shall come again bringing his
sheaves with him.' She sowed the seed at Hilton and has 'gathered us
all in' here."
"That is a very sweet thought, Dorrie, and it is true enough,
too," said her mother, as she bestowed a fond look upon Katherine.
"But," she added, moving towards the door, "we must go home this very
minute, for it is getting late," and with general "good- nights" they
also went away.
Katherine followed them out upon the veranda, where she stood
leaning against the balustrade and watched their forms melt away in
the darkness, a thrill of loving gratitude in her heart, for, were
they not indeed her "sheaves"?
Presently she heard a step behind her, then a firm yet gentle hand
was laid upon hers.
"May I have it for always, Katherine?" questioned Phillip Stanley,
in a low voice, as he lifted and inclosed it in both of his. "I could
not say half I wished this morning, dear. Poor Dorrie!"—in a mirthful
tone—"did not realize how exceedingly de trop she was, and, for a
moment, I was half tempted to be cross with her. I saw Mr. and Mrs.
Minturn after I returned from my drive and told them something of what
I had tried, under such difficulties, to make you understand."
"You told papa and mamma!"
"I had to—I simply could not keep it. I know you had given me no
verbal authority to ask for what I wanted; but, ah!—that look, that
smile, as I left you, made me bold enough for anything."
"They told me that it would have to be just as Katherine said.
What does my 'brown-eyed lassie' say?"
Involuntarily the girl's slender fingers closed over his hand as
she lifted frank, sweet eyes to him.
"Yes, Phillip." Softly, shyly, the coveted answer fell on his
"That means that you are mine, as I am yours," he said, a great
joy throbbing in his tones, "and"—reverently—"we are also to be
one, in heart and purpose, in the service of our great cause."
Drawing the hand he held within his arm, he led her down the steps
out among the fairy shadows to a great rock that overlooked the sea.
Meantime, the "news" was being whispered among the family inside
and was received with general satisfaction, Sadie, particularly,
expressing great delight in view of what she termed a "perfectly
Jennie, on the other hand, accepted it as a matter of course.
"It didn't need to be announced, at least to me," she declared,
with a wise nod of her head. "I've seen it coming this long while,
for Science isn't the only absorbing subject that a certain gentleman
has been investigating during the last year and a half. But just let
me tell you—if my name had been Jimmy instead of Jennie that handsome
M.D. wouldn't have found such clear sailing in this harbor."
When Katherine finally came in, trying hard to appear unconscious,
but looking rosy and starry-eyed, Sadie sprang forward and threw her
arms around her, kissing her heartily.
Then drawing back, but still holding her a prisoner, she mockingly
"Moss rosebuds! Katherine, have you ever taken the trouble to
ascertain what they mean when sent by a swain to a maid?"
"Oh! Sadie, how you do love to tease!" cried the blushing girl as
she tried in vain to release herself from the clinging arms.
"Well, honey," continued her tormentor, "it was as plain as A B C
to me that night, and I chuckled right smart to myself when I saw you
innocently pin them, on your breast. It was simply delicious!
But"—suddenly laying her hands on the pretty brown head—"bless you,
my children! you have my unqualified sanction and I'll put my whole
heart into my toes when I dance at your wedding."
With a light laugh the gay girl bounded to the piano and
vigorously began playing Mendelssohn's wedding march. But Katherine
Phillip Stanley, however, sitting on the veranda, across the way,
caught the suggestive strains and laughed softly to himself, as, in
imagination, he surmised something of what was going on in the Minturn
The following day brought Mr. Arnold to make his promised call
upon Jennie and her friends, when, as the proud and happy girl had
predicted, it did not require much discernment to realize that he was
every whit a "gentleman." He told them, among other things, that his
life had been rather a lonely one, as he had no family. Several years
after going to the East he had married the daughter of a planter, but
she had been taken from him two years after their union, and he had
never cared to marry again.
When his partner died he became sole proprietor of their business,
which he had successfully conducted until he determined to return to
America, when he had sold out to some of his clerks, satisfied to
retire with a moderate fortune and allow them to have their day, as he
had had his.
He brought with him letters, papers and numerous photographs which
convinced Mr. Minturn that he was, in truth, akin to Jennie and
entitled to be her future protector, as he both desired and claimed
the right to be.
He expressed his grateful appreciation of what the Minturns,
particularly Katherine, had done for his niece, but insisted upon
refunding all that they had thus far expended upon her education.
"It is but just and right," he persisted, when Katherine demurred,
saying it had been "a love offering, and she did not wish it back."
"I am abundantly able to do it and also to give her every advantage in
the future. I do feel, however, that nothing can ever repay you for
the great kindness you have shown her."
He afterwards had a private conversation with Jennie, during which
he proposed to legally adopt her, if she had no objection to taking
his name, and would be content to make her home with an "old
gentleman" like himself.
"Content!" she exclaimed, drawing an ecstatic breath. "Well, for a
girl who has always felt that she didn't really belong anywhere, that
is a prospect that would just about turn my head if I hadn't found a
new chart and compass to steer by. As for the 'old gentleman,' if you
don't mind"—with a roguish glance but flushing slightly—"I'd—like
to tell you I think he is just dear."
"I wonder what I'll have to pay for that?" said Mr. Arnold,
laughing, but with a suspicious moisture in his eyes.
"Well," said Jennie, cocking her head on one side and giving him
an arch look, "if you'll try to think the same of me we'll call it
"That won't be such a difficult task," he replied, gently touching
a curling lock on her forehead that was so like his sister's.
"As for the name," Jennie resumed, more seriously, "you say my
middle one was given me for you; why not transpose it and call me
Mildred Jennison Arnold? Then I can keep them all, and it will not
seem out of place to still address me as 'Jennie.'"
This was regarded as a happy thought, and, as soon as the
necessary papers could be made out, she became Alfred Arnold's
legally adopted daughter.
His chief thought now appeared to be to make her life as happy as
possible, and, after consulting her wishes, he purchased a lovely
home very near Hilton Seminary, secured a competent and motherly
woman for a housekeeper, and thus the girl was enabled to continue
her course at school, as a day scholar, and enjoy her delightful home
at the same time.
Dr. Stanley also bought a fine residence in the same locality, and
early in January Katherine was back once more to take up her life
work 'mid old familiar scenes, greatly to the delight of the
Seabrooks and her many other friends.
Her husband still retained his office in the city, but with a new
sign now hanging in his window—"Phillip Harris Stanley, M.D.,
Christian Scientist," and already he was becoming widely known as a
Soon after their return, in the fall, Prof. Seabrook and his
family identified themselves with the Scientists of the city, and
also with "the Mother Church" in Boston. Some of the pupils dropped
out of Hilton, because of this step, but others came to fill their
places, and a year later both wings of the building had been extended
and a most flourishing condition of affairs prevailed. Miss Reynolds
had resigned her position at Hilton, at the beginning of the year, and
remained at home with her mother, and where she also had taken up her
work for Truth.
Sadie Minot, having attained her majority and come into possession
of her fortune, decided that she would be happier to locate near her
old friends, with whom she was in such close religious sympathy, and
she accordingly found a pleasant home in the city and resumed the
study of French, German and music.
One morning, late in February, she went up on the hill to spend
the day with Katherine, who often claimed her for such a visit, for
their friendship was one of the dearest things of their lives.
To-day, however, Sadie appeared to have some weighty subject on
her mind, for she was unusually thoughtful, and Katherine was
beginning to wonder if anything was troubling her, when she drew
forth a letter and, passing it to her, said:
"Read that, honey, and tell me what you think of it."
With a dim suspicion of what was coming, Katherine drew forth the
missive from its envelope and read:
"DEAR SADIE: When the prodigal faced about to go back to his home,
his father went forth to meet him. I have faced about; I have
returned to my father and—our Father. The one has welcomed and
forgiven, and Truth is teaching me what true forgiveness of sin
is—the destruction of sin in the human consciousness. Now I turn to
you to seek pardon—nay, I suppose I should 'know' that I am already
pardoned, since you also are learning to recognize man only as his
Father's 'image and likeness.' At the same time, some acknowledgment
is due for wrong that I have done you. Truth compels me to confess
that my motive in seeking you, two years ago, was not good, and I am
now ashamed of my later persecution— it was unworthy of any man. And
now, justice to myself prompts me to say that, underneath, there was a
real fondness for you, and I find—now that I am clothed and in my
right mind—that it had acquired even a stronger hold upon me than I
then realized. I write this because I am soon to go abroad for an
indefinite period—have been appointed confidential secretary to——,
who goes, in March, as United States Minister to England. All I am,
together with the brighter prospects before me, I owe to Phillip
Stanley, who, next to her who has given to this sin-burdened world
the message of Love that has saved me, commands my deepest gratitude
and respect. Send me one word, Sadie—'forgiven'—and I shall leave my
country with a lighter heart than I have known for years. NED."
Katherine lifted moist eyes, to her friend after reading and
refolding the letter.
"Phillip says the change in him is wonderful—he saw him, you
know, when he was at home for Christmas," she observed. "Shall you
send him the word he asks for, Sadie?"
Miss Minot did not reply for a moment, and her flushed face
drooped lower over the embroidery in her hands. At last she said,
"Honey, I have sent him a word; but it was 'Come'!"
"Yes, and"—a shy smile playing around the corners of the girl's
mouth—"a telegram received last night reads: 'Coming Thursday; sail
March thirtieth; can you get ready?'"
"You fairly take my breath away!" exclaimed Katherine, amazed.
"And you are going to England with him?"
"I reckon he'd hardly expect anything else, after I had said
'Come,' would he?" queried Sadie, sweeping her friend a shy look from
under her lashes.
"It seems to me you are not quite so averse to a European trip as
you were a year and a half ago," Mrs. Stanley observed, in a
Sadie laughed out merrily.
"Well"—the old Southern drawl manifesting itself—"at that time,
honey, the attraction to stay was the same that it now is to go."
"I am glad, Sadie—I really am," said Katherine, after a
thoughtful pause. "Phillip and I have often wondered how things would
eventually arrange themselves for you two. I must say, though, the way
you've managed it is unique in the annals of history," and she burst
into a hearty laugh.
"Think so? Well, you see, I didn't have any preserved moss
rosebuds to send him," retorted Miss Minot, with a chuckle.
"Sadie, will you never let up on those rosebuds?" cried Katherine,
still laughing. "However, as I said before, I am glad; you are
practically alone in the world and will be happier to have a home of
your own, and I think I would feel very sorry to have Mr. Willard go
to a far country all by himself. Now, I am going to have you come
right to me until you go," she went on, with animation. "You shall be
married here. I will matronize you, and we will have all the old
school friends on hand to give you a rousing send-off."
"How perfectly lovely of you, Katherine! It will surely be a great
comfort to me—give me such a homey feeling, you know, and I—" but
Sadie's tremulous lips and an unmanageable lump in her throat would
not permit her to go on.
"I shall love to do it, dear. It will give me a fine opportunity
to entertain our classmates and other friends," Katherine hastened to
say. "But how perfectly funny!" she cried, gayly, "to be planning for
your wedding, and you two lovers haven't yet come to a definite
"Oh! yes, we have, honey. Ned knows, as well as I, that everything
was settled by that one word, 'Come.' Nothing but details remain to
be arranged. But—oh! Katherine, how I shall miss you!" she concluded,
yearningly, for, as we know, during their two years' friendship there
had been scarcely a cloud to obscure the harmony between them.
"Yes, we shall miss each other," Katherine assented, with a soft
sigh. "But"—turning luminous eyes upon her—"we both have the same
shepherd—Love; we shall both dwell together in the 'secret place' and
be ever working for the same blessed Cause. Nothing can really
separate us, dear, so long as we faithfully keep step in moving
towards the Light."