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178 THE INDIAN ADVOCATE.
' SISTER ST. CLARE, A Mother's Story, It was in 1870. In a prison cell, dimly lighted by a slant ing sun-ray, a young soldier was seated on his bed of straw. That soldier was my son. His hands were bound and his feet tied with a rope. His head was bowed upon his breast, and his whole form was motionless as death. His thoughts, however, were living, and the memories which came back to him were very clear. In fancy he saw himself reading still the letter which had brought him the news that his mother was very ill and desired to see him before she died. But to go and kneel at her bedside and receive her parting blessing he must have leave of absence, and this the general was not willing to grant. The Prussian soldiers had invaded France, and it was necessary that all should remain where they were, underarms: In the mental struggle which ensued filial love overcame" obedience to military discipline; the young soldier deserted in order to see his mother before she died. He re turned after having seen her, but was immediately summoned before the military tribunal and condemned to death. While the prisoner was buried in his sad thoughts, a key grated in the lock of his cell door. "I know," he said, "it is Sister Clare; but she always comes with the jailer." It was indeed Sister Clare, who came to console the unfortunate youth. "But my pardon, Sister Clare, have you obtained it?" , , , The religious bowed her head and made no answer. At length she said: "It is refused, but you must still trust in God. I shall go myself to the general, and if he will not hear me I shall lay down all my medals on the table before him, telling him that I am no longer worthy to wear them, since he denies the favor which I ask the life of a young French soldier, my brother in arms." She bent over him to utter a few words of consolation.