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Weekly Caledonian. (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) 1919-1920, April 02, 1919, Image 8

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"i
FAfSE EIGHT
TIIITVVEEKY CALEDONIAN, W13I)NKSDAY, Amfr. 2, 101
'The Greater Glory'
I want to make in Hi
beautiful winter's afternoon
through Heaven's gate.
"It is the crowning Messing of all
house this1""1 K"0,l things of which the earth
i.. 1. .-.... C.ll.. . I
Nor do , 7 . "v v"" .
. , , . , . . MiuiiKi relinquish me loves, eomrauc-
we want the old hackneyed references I shipS( associations, perhaps with mn
about standing in the presence of a mentary sorrow, until there conies an
great mystery for we stand con- I hour in life when we would rather
stantlv in the presence of ureal nivs- 1)' VVI"' ,llose Wl nave 1:11,1 llWi'.V than
I
teries one after the other from the
time we come helplessly into the
world down to the moment when we
gather our cloak of faith aliout us
and lie down to eternal dreams. No;
we want instead to think sanely and
happily of the significance of this
nour ami its service and Hit up on
faces to catch a vsion.
"My friends, all of us were horn
intn it vnl-v hpmilifiil . ,i.....l.l
of kindness, gentleness, love, fellow-; J'.',os
i. . . . , side.
it-i-ung, gcnerusiiy, righteousness.
The moment that we came through
the mists of birth, we found soft and
tender. mother-arms ready to receive
us; we found gruff, blunt, but all-
with I he handful yet remaining in ( hi
flesh. And when we have parted
with the number that adjusts the bal
ance, when our hearts anticipate be
ing There with them, in that moment,
my friends, we have come to know
the peace which passes understand-
Purse had mellowed. Grief and ter
rible trouble affects some folk that
way. Others it makes moan and cy
nical ami hateful toward their fel
lows and their (iod. Hut Marv
Mary was one of those whom the
around here that we
enough postniort
out by the legs!'
won't show , But SOniP of the ril'iin-smilAii tr.,J r,w.;j., . r-i.i
enough postmortem respect o ' of our l ,a o , , : A,,.. I' 1. "
; inn- it thut ho did il hccatiso nfhv its liwt. Tho hnv nm niuni
I'Hut sixteen dollars a work, Sum!" 1 Intckintf Mibii Trumuim nee IIoikUm-- inff something around. Uichanl must
'Yi-.S sixteen dollars a wcok! And son.-and busHting ahout her as a moth put his baseball things away, . I
yicsstudesof lile were mellowing Suppose Jesus Christ walked into my . a day, until she had achieved a lun-iun if he nersists in 1,1 n,l Z?'
oflice this afternoon and sat down op- pence worth of fame in ome quarters when he's done with them, . nut
positc the exchange table. Suppose on her talent and his money, the , of course I wouldn't. A boy's a
jie said 10 me, -aam iiod, will vou woman turned lum down lor a Quick-' bnv.
protecting father hearts ready to
fight for us and provide for us and
shield us. As little children we wan
dered through the mornings of our
lives and grasped the frail delicacy
and beauty of the things with which
a good God had trimmed His world.
There were buds and butterflies and
flowers. There were mystic areas of
country and romantic reaches of sea.
There was a vast span of turquoise
sky where fairy clouds idled in the
long drowsy clays ami the myriad
stars brought the puronnlity of the
Creator very clos- night. We
came to know the sweet r.i.-s of wild
rose and briurbloom bidden in untrod
den places; the songs of insect lovers
piping on! cf luao; the creak of a
mother's r ). I:, i- in the afterglow; the
soothing, lulinbye that brought the
next day quickly the other side the
span of slumber and of dreams. We
grew up in an environment of youth
ful friendships, mutual respect for
one another, the culture of our kind
and of our race which in the last
analysis has for its foundation and
its cornerstone, the Sermon of the
Man of Gallilee upon the Mount. To j
most of us it has been given to know
the mystery and the wonder of love
and if there have been heartaches and
shadows and disappointments in our
lives, they have only served to throw
the joys and successes and attain
ments and happinesses into high-light
and make us appreciate how much
more life contains of good than bad,
how much more of pleasure than of
pain, how much more of glory than
of unrequited sorrow.
"This, my friends, is the sum and
substance of life to all men every
where. For all of us there has come
one night when we were happy in
sanely, deliriously happyand the
It was very quiet in that front
i-oom as Rev. Dodd looked into our
A .sleigh-bell tinkled past out
Tbe driver of a loir-team hal-
ooed unwittingly at a companion fur
ther up the hill. An icicle broke
from the eaves and was dashed in
pieces on the crust of the snow. But
there; was no sound nor movement
within.
and deepening, one of those whom
it is good to have around because of
what they have suffered.
"Mary!" cried Sam springing up
and placing a chair for her. "You!
I'm so glad to see you again, Mary!
We didn't know whether coming out
to try to console; you would make
things better or worse. We haven't
quite gotten over Jack's passing yet
ourselves."
She took the etiair. She smiled
a wonderful smile.
"You shouldn't have hesiiated to
come, Mr. Hod. Hut that is in the
past. I have come to you beca ise I
want something."
I "What horror, what agony and fear
and apprehension would there be, my
friends, if all of us ceased to exist
at the same time? But no! each of
' us slips quietly away one by one to
join the Choir Invisible of the Im
mortal Living wherein are faces that
we know and voices that we recog
nize. Ami in the going, each one of
us add ourselves to the long list of fice?"
some other person's loved ones whom
someone else looks forward to meet
ing someday when a ship is waiting
in our last vision and we find our
place therein and sail away.
"That is why most elderly people
do not fear the Great Adventure.
Those whom they have known and
loved and wept with and comforted,
those whom they have worked beside
and slumbered beside, those with
whom they have discussed the same
thoughts and passed the same plea
santries, inose who have gone
through with them the same exper
iences and looked upon the snr-.n
scenes and whispered confidences too
intimate and sacred perhaps to be
spoken aloud they have gone one by
one upon that purplejourncy. And be
cause they have gone, every gray
haired saint is not afraid to set out
also.
"What we are met today for is
merely to show our sympathy for a
tiaddened sister who must endure a
pittance of loneliness before the re
adjustment of her life too, is made.
And yet in the experience she is but
having the depth and beauty and a
tonenient of God and His universe
brought closer to her. By an hour of
bittersweet heartache she is robbing
the Great Transition of its pagan1
shadows and learning the turns in
"Yes, Mary. What can we do fori
vou- I I' ACE! And I'd a damned-site rather
"Mr. Hod I'm wondering if you'd lay a few mouldy treasures for my
do something for ine so very hard , self in heaven by givin' Mary Purse
and that sounds so impertinent lor) sixteen dollars of unnecessary money
mo to ask that I'm almost ill v.-'th j everv Saturdav afternoon th;m nivl.
manage somehow to rake together , Kich Johnnie lrom the West who
sixteen measly dollars every Saturday I subsequently went financially in.- ol
to loan to Me so that I can help a j vent, if not mentally and morally so,
poor, perplexed bewildered mother endeavoring to keep up with Mibb's
raise six freckled-faced, hell-raising, ramifications. Then we next heard
button-busting kids'" I'd just natui j of her having met Dick Itobinson,
ally scrape that money together the hoy who had proposed to her
somehow, wouldn't I? for His sake? j once in the long ago on the way home
Well, I don't mind sayin' that seven from singing school, and been laugh-
minutes ago, as I sat in that chair ed at, and gone p. way to the citv and
and Mary Purse declared her inten- remained a bachelor and made sever
tion o' slavin' her life out to put hi millions of dollars as viee-presi-them
half-dozen young wild-cats (lent of some big oil company. These
through school I SAW JESUS i things leak back to a little New Eng-
CHIMST IN THAT WOMAN'S . land town. Because of her fame
perhaps, Dick had licked up with he'
worry that you might refuse."
"Anything on earth I can do fer
you, I promise that I will, Mary."
She waited a moment before the
request came out.
"Mr. Hod," she said fearfidly faint
ly, but steadily, "I want can I have
--my old place back in your of-
Sam looked at her blankly.
"You want WHAT?"
'Twant my old job back, in your
oflice. Setting type in a printing
office is all that I know how to Jo.
And I must do something. All dur
inp; this week I have been turning
if nupr !iml nvpr in mir Vinnvt. i That I
first night after the funeral I got in- llis stne.
double that amount to some of the
churches of this town. I'd rather do
it than help pay minister's grocery
bills or send missionaries to teach the
slant-eyed Japs how to bungle the
Beatitudes or that Moses was a He
brew law-maker and not a Canal
I street manufacturer of boy's pants!"
j Sam was exploding with a ven
i gcance and when in that condition,
; had a certain facility with language
: He went into the back room and
addressed the force.
"Boys," he announced, "Mary
Purse Jack's wife is coming back
to work for us. She commences
Monday morning."
Mike Garrity straightened up from
to bed alone. I could not stand
alone. I called to my boys and they
got into bed with me. The little
ones thought it was sport. The older
boys snuggled up close beside me.
Yes we did! six of us in one bed.
"WHAT?" he demanded.
"I said Jack Purse's widow, who
once graced this hole with he . weel
presence, is coming back to pick tin
her stick and show us how to set
a few locals so I don't d'-ead the
And they quieted down after a time j sickenin' ring of a telephone bell
and fell asleep. I only was left awake ' every night after supper!"
in thn nvvfiil iiwf-il. (hirU. ! Mike said an unholy sentence and
"And there in the bed, with the
bodies of my boys around me, and
threw down his quoin-key.
"Then by gad, I'm about ready to
again, and Judge 1-aimer who spent
much of his time now in New York
declared he had met them in Del
monico's together on several occa
sions.
But the mills of the gods grim
slowly. One cannot sow the win
without reaping the whirlwind.
And while Mibb Henderson va
journeying to and fro in the land and
going up and down in it singing won
derful songs at hundreds of dollars ;
night and spending on baubles what
would have kept Mary Purse and
her growing family in the necessitie s
if life for a year, this same Mary
Purse was back at her place in our
oflice day after day before a type
case, now setting locals when the
machines were busy and we needed
extra matter, now helping with twelve
point in the Modern Bargain stor."
ads, assisting with the mailing or
reading proof, earning her sixteen
dollars every week which was quick
ly spent as in days of old, for the
sustenance of others beside herself.
There were times when it did seem as
though Mibb's philosophy had been
soundest after all.
So one grand bird wore grand
plumage and flew high and another
in softer, grayer feathers remained
close to earth and hunted food for
hungry little mouths, and the year.;
began to go onward faster and fas
ter, and the Purse boys took to
bursting bottons and ripping seams
more than ever and increasing their
! statute overnight after the manner of
Madam Zola entered the little v "s
sitting room the room with the rag
carpet on the floor that was once
Jack'.; mother's with one or two high
backed old horse-hair rockers with
tidies; the marble-topped center
table; the what-not in lhr corner; the
high old secretary and the enlarged
picture of Jack in crayon over the
mantel, tl was a homely, quiet com
fortable old room a typical room for
:.' ; . ' llobinson
Kiy.i ijl-iii- iuisihi in ine country ine
windows massed with geraniums,
petunias, inch-plant and heliotrope.
Madame Zola took one of the heavy
horse-hair rockers and ran her eye
over the things in the room depre
ciatingly. "I'm glad you came," volunteered
Mary politely. "I get so few visitors
way out here these days with my
work in the oflice keeping me fo busv
during the week. Mrs. Morrow is
over to the Brown's this afternoon ''
"Lord sake! Then why do you live j
way out here? Why not move into .
the village where there's something '
going on?" i
"It's . . home," replied
weakly.
Mibb glanced the room over again.
She glanced Mary over also from
the worn frayed shoes on her weary
feet to the dark hair streaked with
gray dorie hard and fiat upon her
head. Truly it was difficult to eali?e
that these two women were
of an age.
'Mary," she said finally, "it's . .
too . . bad!"
"What's 'too bad,' Mabel?"
The way you've ruined vonr lit,
apartments in the city "
"And what else, Mabel?"
"What else? What else is there to
have? What do you mean?"
"You've got all thut as you say.
But what else. You've got no one
to care about you; no one to love
you "
"Haven't I, though? Don't he loo
sure about that, Mary."
"You've no children or nothing9"
"No I haven't got any kids, but
good Lord why do you persist in
placing such a lot of emphasis on
kids? Anybody'd think that kids
wi re the only concern a woman could
luue in the world?"
'According to the way I look at
things, they are, Mabel."
"Well, I place a different value on
things. For instance, there's Dick
"Yes, but what's he to you, Mibb?
Merely a rich man. It isn't like sons
or daughters of your own who care
for you because of what you've done
for them "
"Then it might interest you to
know that I expect to marry him,.
. Dick Robinson, . . in the not
too distant future.''
"Marry him!'
"Yes, many him! And why should
n't I? Haven't I been through
enough so I deserve the haven of a
good husband's love at last? I'll
never have any brats it's true. But
again I say, that to me brats never
Marv st00t' nothing but pain and worry
' ' nnil ptirp Ma civ fnllfc lnn'f Lnnw if
yet and I don't intend they should.
But if things work around all right
and I rather calculate that if I
have anything to ::ay about them
they will, I'm going to marry Dick
Robinson next year and come into
ilmost i snal e 01 nls money
; "Always money, money, money!
You haven't changed a great lot, have
you Mabel?"
"I said I'd take my chances with
money and I have. I haven't fared
so badly. Can you say the same,
ATiivv V. clni'fnrl mil fill!lllv Mfl I'V.
" 1"""." , ,.. in.,
.'cu remember what I told you the
ay after you and J;.ck were .ral l ied. ' 111 t ; satisfied, breathed
memory of that night in some mea-the footpath to peace. Life will be
sure has colored all of the days of
our lives that have flown and even
now it paints the present with a
thousand little tints and touches of
inspiration and casts a losetto mist
of faith over the future. Some of
us have been given to know baby
aiis about our necks and sweet damp
baby kisses. We have the memory
of little hands pressed against win
dows or waving us goodbye and soft
breathing of little children sleeping
beside us in the night. Our lives
have been made up of day after day
of discoveries exquisite, infinite
things with romances, heroisms,
comradeships, beautiful realizations
born from each chrysalis of antici
pation. Perhaps no man hath seqn
God at any time but there have been
moments when we felt Him near
perhaps in the hush of dew-jeweled
mornings in early childhood when we
did not recognize Him as God; per
haps in the long droning afternoons
of middle life; perhaps in the after
glow of life's evening when the sun
of our days is sinking and our
thoughts are turned toward father
and mother and Home. But God
walks yet in the gardens of the earth
which He has made and watches that
all is well.
"And among the things which God
has made along with mucher-arms a-
that in my heart and my life. Ahead tim Ilafi njm by the throat,
ot me lies the work ot raising tno.se ; .,Tal.c R b.lcU!you foul-mouthcd,
boys of mine to be good men. And : b, . d tobacco-spittin' harp!
when I have done that, I am ready Act c with joy that comin,
and willing to ay down my heartache and tl.eat her jke n ,M, 0). fc tho
and follow Jack 1 hat is for the far, , etemi, Jehosenh.lt rll bust you in
far, future. Life for me now must j the jllW( hammei. -,ou a!?ainst the wall,
be too practical to think of that. , ,md , in th(; w
You want to go to work-here? .in, a on stomach! Now
"Yes I am going to work here lnul) what is there .,bout this new.
if you'll let me. I am going on!;comel,8 iUon herc that you don't
customary tears
She walked up to the flower-smothered,
satin-pillowed bed and stood for
a moment looking down upon him.
"Goodbye, Jack dear," she said.
"When the boys have all joined you
over there, . then I'll come too!''
I remember that as Sam and I
drove homeward in the keen late
winter afternoon together, above the
jingle of tho sleigh-bells and the
crunch of the runners cuttingthrough
the snow-crust, the editor cried as
though from the depths of his soul!
"Oh that I could believe it, Bill!
Oh that we were sure of it!"
We left the steaminc horse rt the
waiting us at uirtn aim rainerlovc to hiv(1.v stable imd waik(,(i up Maplc
care lor us and protect us until we street together. As we parted he
are able to care lor ourselves, along fore my Ratn, Sam added:
with the beauties of tho universe, the "in a'u that sermon or in his prayer
companionship of our iellows, the nowhere did Dr. Dodd once speak the
solaco of religion, the love of woman word DEATH."
the glory ot honest attainment; a- "Yes," I replied. "So I noticed."
long wiln all the great and good and But I was thinking of something
exquisite artcratt in nature, is a I more important than that,
beautiful process to ease the shock! I was thinking of Wary, . left
of separating from these things, a alone with those little children.
blessing which the run of mankind
seems to miss and the thoughtless
never see. It is the calling-away be
fore us, in endless rotation, one be
fore another, of relatives, friends,
dear ones, so that gradually there
are more of those with whom we
would of choice rather be on the
other side of the Veil in the world
those she will rejoice to turn her
steps toward when God walks in a ...,.,; i,u,.n Mm v""
Garden in the cool of life's day!" j thought some of taking Tom out
'of school. The next moment itseemed
Such was the sentiment of Dr. j C(1 ,-idiculous. Just because my life
Dodd s sermon over Jack Purse's bier I has cn(le,i jn failure is no reason why
And strange to relate, so beautiful' j anolU, d anything to make his
was the suggestion, so rich his voice, liulc ,ifu a ,ajiul.c, also. So I'm go
so mellow his heart, that no one - t0 keep him ;n school and all
not even Mary herself shed the In v., rt n ttinv hecome
their little hearts beating close to quit! After all the pie-eyed freaks
mine, I laid in the silence and fought j I've had wished onto me since 1 come
it out with myself. I must not com- into this place to make over into
plain. 1 must not lose heart nor printers, to have an old woman
faith. I must take up the battle of given a place as an object of
life where Jack laid it down and ' charity !"
..ii-vir if An I nm nnt tlin first woman '. u A.uunI. r.,i.. i
who has lost a husband. I must not ! mv iifp hnvp i i;nnwn Sftm unfi ir. ee 1 1)oys smce Adam becamfi the fathM
think of my sorrow. I must bury j ,.e(. He was upon Mike with an oath ' of young- ...
i l.n....l .1 M.. IITa Al.an1 I . . . i .. . ' TITni'.r Pm-cn ,irfic cittinrr ill n CVPtlt.
ing rocker in the twilight of a rest
ful Sunday's afternoon when the
muffled pummeling of an automobile
sounded out front, accompanied by
the slam of a door. Automobiles
were curosities in those days, rarely
stopping before the Purse place.
Mary moved acioss to the window
and peered out through the ladders
of geraniums.
A high newfangled car stood out in
the road. On its forward seat was a
man in livery, xne sinKhTg sun gllntet!
on its polished surfaces and even
lighted the light lavendar interior.
But Mary paid but brief attention to
the vehicle. A woman was coming into
the yard and the woman was Mibb.
She came leisurely up the yard,
carrying a sailor hat in her hand rnc!
looking interestedly about her. Once
she stopped, turned and gazed over
the hills and the valleys far away,
beautiful in the peaceful hush of the
mellow sunset.
Mary moved across the room to the
door. After all she was Mibb Hen
derson of the old days; her
girlhood friend.
"Hello, Mary!" greeted Mibb
standing on the door stone fringed
But you wouldn't take my warning.
You were dead set on this love busi
ness. You said the hard work didn't
matter. And look what it s got you
at lust, Mary. Nothing but this,"
And again hci eyes glanced over the
rnnm.
"It's . . home, Mabel," said Mary again. "I can't understand you,
Mary again. ' Mabel. I never could. Somehow it
' "Which isn't saying much, Mary. ' seems at times as if you ain't really
t WI snrrv fn.- vnii. Miirv. Indeed ' truly woman."
Mary at last.
"But you can't make mc believe it.
Mary. No sensible high-strung sen
sitive woman could possibly be satis
fied with this not when they've slav
ed like you've slaved."
"I'm . . satisfied," breathed
i vaster and still more beautiful thing
to her as the days go by and the
years roll on and she comes nearer
and nearer to the heart of the sunset.
She has loaned this man to eternity
tn nuikfi hPi' num innnimr lh lhm !,. -n i j-. ! .uiiu:i iju.-ikiiiu utri v: iiu
easier; he has added .motii ulto ! W ' '"understand? Speak it out now and
oi, ,.,;n i...!uu:"- a . , ., ... l Koak it out loud. Because if vou
And you tinnk you cat, 'io it uj , nmm vmll. ,nn.,t,i i,mi av.out it
after she gets here, it's going to taite
more money than Solomon spent on
his immortal meeting house to pay
for the masses said over your sinould-
I do! Oh I know that you think I'm
a ?nob and all that. But I do feel
sony for you, Mary. I'm sincere in
saying it. Y'ou've worked hard all
your life You never went anywhere
nor had any good times. You're
spending the best years of your 'ife
in that pokey old pvinting'.officc now. i
living out here in a' lonesome
"Don't lose any sleep over me,
Mary. I'm capable of taking care of
myself. I think I've proved it. I'm
going to prove it some morc "
"I hate to say it, Mabel; you're an
old girlhood friend of mine, almost
the only one that's left out of the
old crowd. But you're . . you're
. . selfish, Mabel. And you've
erin' soul!"
But Mike had nothing to say, ab
solutely nothing. When Sam un
tangled his fingers, the Irishman's
face was pasty. Deprived of Sam's
support, he caught himself as he wu ;
sliding onto his knees.
The office individually and other
wife drew a long breath. They
continued their washing-up with
strange smiles playing upon their.
faces. From time to time after Sam
had returned to the front office they
cast furtive glances at the suddenly
cowed foreman.
Considering Mike's little idiosyn-
old enough. I've got the cow, the
little black marc "tul the place; 1
guess I can manage somehow if you
only give me back my work. Old
Mrs. Morrow will live with us and
look after the youngsters while I'm
here in the village typesetting each
day. If you can give me the chance
to earn nine or ten dollars a week, it
will keep us in clothes and pay the
taxes and doctor's bills that are
bound to come. Then as each boy
gets through college, I .count on him
turning around and helping the next
younger brother under him.''
"What!" we both cried. "You're
going to try to put those six boys
through college alone?"
"Yes, I'm going to try. Once I
wanted to go to college. Once I
wanted to amount to something in j
the world. But things occurred Mint i
prevented me. Somehow the chance In which We Acknowledge the Vifiit
r,,: ln in tho cuintrv ctmooi inn-1 always been seirsn
to raise six boys! It must be awfuh "We won,t indulge in personalities,
If there's anything I could tdo for vou Mal'y 1 can1e out hwe in the best
for old times sake, I'd do., it in a RP"'K possible to sec if there was
minute. That's really the tVue reason anything I could do for you '
whv I came out here this lifternoon. "There isn't, Mabel. Not any-
j -
I heard in the village howiyou were
living and I came out fti, see. "
money; or some-
couldn't help you
thing." ;
"You . can't," replied Mary soft
ly, trifle hoarsely. "I said this was
i t :i. r..ul : T 'f
nenie. i mean it, muuci. j uu t.ui . . , , , . . ,
appreciate what that means. You ''leas." observed Mabel, fixing her
.... u..a .. i. kniA ' hair in the back.
ilCVCl 11.111 CI 1IU1IIC, IIUV CI 1 Cell living.
Jack and I bought this place when
we were young and life yas all sort
thing. I'm not ungrateful. I've
llirvci ,v.p- lire- in,- my:, unif ;r .u?
aftci my own standards. If
I was to go back and live it over
there isn't hardly a day or an hour
of it that I'd live different! "
"Some folks do have such queer
"Then you got a divorce, did you,
from Herbert?'
nf full nf hntiP and nromise airain "Herbert; Oh yes, you mean the
you don't know what that means, elephantine person of the male sex
with the plaintain leaves.
"How do you do. Mabel," respond-
crasies or selt-aggranuizcment since jcd Mary. "Won't you come tn?"
he had taken Jack's position a-vl h-. "yCv a few minutes perhaps,"
frequent loud-mouthed assertions o
contemnt and independence of .he
boss, Sam':i emotional explosion had
rather smashed Mike's militarism.
On the whole a pleasant time had
been had by all.
CHAPTER XIV
We do not understand, being ordin
ary thick-skulled males, how Mary
Purse survived that blow. She must
have gone through hell the first week
following the placing of Jack's body
in the vault for burial in the Spring.
Our wives went out there to console
I hni !inl tiriiurlit Hnntr ctni'ine fiF Vinl
which is waiting than in the world I chcP1.fuincs(S( hcr poisc, the wonder
we are leaving behind. )ul tcndcl.ncss .sbe exhibited toward
it is a masterly process, a pro
Vision divine in conception, infinite in
its gentleness and compassion. One
by one our dear ones leave us, .
go before us, . until there are more
Over There than remain here with
her fatherless boys. And then,
never seemed to work around. I had
to leave home suddenly and go to
work here. Then I got married
and the babies came. After that
there was no hope. And I faced it.
But my boys everyone of them!
are going through college if it kills
mc! I want Tom to go throtvh the
ological school and turn out a preach
er. I guess that every mother wishes
that one of her boys would turn out
a preacher. But whatever happens, I
shall do my best and leave the rest
to God. Mr. Hod, I want that old
place of mine very, very much. I'll
work my finger.- to the bone if you'll
only give mc the chance. Can I
have it?" . .
'Yes, Mary," replied Sam quietly-
of the Truman Woman, nee Hen
dcrson. on the Second of Three
Visits Which She Pays to the Hero
ine of Our Narrative.
narrative and move on out of scenes
of struggle and grief and heartache
intn thnso of success sinrl n-loi-v and
us, and at. -some one spot and place 1 ,rl.cat peace. About seven davs after
then came an episode with which it the preface to an emotional explosion,
is fitting to close this portion of our
and time in life it comes to us what
the saints of old have meant when in
Keehiingly theological and empty
phrases they talked of the "going
Home."
"I repeat, my friends," ho said,
the funeral, Mary Purse came into
our oflice.
It was Saturday af'.ernonn. The
paper had been run off but the boys
and girls had not been paid off nor
the shafting stopped whirring in the
"every great and good man who has basement. Crowds of farmer folk
ever walked this earth, whose name! were milling up and down Main
has ever appeared in history, who has
known mother-arms, father-love, na
ture, the closeness of God, all those
whose accumulated lives have made
street, patronizing our barber shops,
occasional individuals dropping in
now and then to insert classified ads
or pay their suoscnptions to the
"You can have it. Come in Monday
morning and take your old jou.
The wages will be sixteen dollars
a week and you can keep it till you're
a hundred!"
When she had gone I said to Sam:
"But she can't set anything but
straight-matter, Sam! And we don't
set any more straight matter by
hand. We dumped all our eight
point when wc installed the ma
chines." "Then, by gad, we'll buy some!
roared Sam Hod. "for so lone as I
own a controlling interest in this Bi
annual Bedquilt which the town calls
up the culture and the birthright of Weekly. Sam Hod looked up f rom a newspaper, that woman shall have
the race each has faced the Veil and i the exchange he was . reading and
passed beyond. Surely there is no there in the private-office doorway be
fear in traveling where they have tra- tween our two desks, stood Mary.
,veled, in meeting them at the rende- She was in .mourning but not mor
vous, at joining those who have been bidly so. Her face was drawn, her
waiting long for our familiar faces j hair was grayer than ever. She was
coming along amid the throng in I not thirty-five yet somehow Mary
n ioh here as long as tlxro s one ex
clamation-noint left outs'de the hcll
box! And if any bat-eared slob with
a kink in his neck ever breathes that
we bought type especially for her to
stick, there'll be a bunch of journal
isti fatheads taken suddenly dead
Many are the elderly people all
over the land who recollect very well
when the Great Zola captured the
music-lovers of the country a half
a generation ago and carried the na
tion by storm. She filled theatres.
auditoriums and music halls from old
Cape Cod to the Golden Gate and
then appeared to have dropped out of
sight as completely as though old
mother Earth had opened and engulf
ed hcr forever.
The Great Zola indeed!
Where she got the name none of us
ever heard or knew. As Uncle Joe
Fodder put it: "Fame usually con-1
sists o long hair, nerve and more or
less idle letters of the alphabet, any
how, compressed into a reasonable
amount o newspaper -advertism.
And in Mibb Truman's case it did
look indeed as though Uncle Joe were
correct. For Mibb called herself The
Great Zola and had a backer and a
press agent. Her wonderful voice,
given her from birth, trained for a
few years and then exhibited
before "tho Jest people'' did for her
all that may have been expected.
Mibb "arrived" at last, although the
angels may have sighed at times over
the methods by which Mabel ad
vanced her career and reached hcr
hilltop.
When poor young Fcrdie Ezekial
blew out his brains in an Atlantic
City hotel some time after, his family
gave it out that he had been a vie-
the
other answered. "I just ran out to
see how things were going and to
talk over old times with you. 1 don t
get a chance to look Paris over very
closely nowadays. All our set seem;;
to have grown up or died or moved
away and all the faces you see on
the streets nowadays are strange
I'm a busy woman nowadays, Mary."
"So I understand, Mabel. We hear
of you once in a while back here.
You have made a wonderful success
of your voice; Judge Farmer came
back from New York last month and
said lie went to hear you. It must
be a groat source of satisfaction to
you.'
Mabel"
"I was too wise," cut in Mabel.
"Catch mc tying myself tip to a man
and having kids that twist you out
of shape and take away your good
looks and make you dowdy and
frumpish and tubby but we've been
all over that before."
" so you cannot appreciate the as
sociations,'' went on Mary. "On the
walls here, Mabel, are scars of little
household accidents the boys have
made growing up, the barks of their
toys and the prints of their grimy
little fingers on the wall paper to
indicate the passing years. Jack died
there in the cast room. His casket
was carried out this door. Every piece
of furniture is dear to me, Mabel.
Every room and door and window
and corner holds associations and
sometimes, Mabel . . sometimes
in the dark . . there's little ghosts
play around through these rooms,
Mabel"
"For Gawds' sake quit, Mary. You
talk s-pookish; it's enough to get on
a party's neives. I should think
"Oh that's nothing," declared Mibb you'd go crazy living out here in this
contemptuously. "I always raid I
could look out for myself, didn't I?
You could have done something simil
iar if you hadn't been so sickishly
sentimental. After all, in this life,
wc have to look out for ourse'-es.
If we don't nobody else will, that's
sure!" She paused on the step. "My
heaven s, who s that boy?
"That's my eldest boy Tom. He'.i
fifteen this coming summer, although
the neighbors say he looks eighteen
or twenty."
The boy had appeared with a vault
over the stone wall followed by a
black spaniel dog. He went on
thiough the yard to the barn. Mabel
looked after him blankly. Then she
Hushed. For it must have come to
hcr in that moment how many years
had passed since she had poked her
very patrician finger in Thomas Jos
hua's infantile torso as old Indies
poke their fingers into prospective
pot-roasts at the butcher's. It must
It must nave come to Mibb that she
was getting on. And it must have
hurt. For Mibb was one of those
worthy females who hadn't had a
birthday in the last dozen years. She
said quickly: " and may I ccme .in
and see your old house? You kno'
fashion with no man around to pro
tect you.'
"They're dear to me; these things,
these associations are, they've been
my life, Mabel. You can't live in one
.house a. long time without every stick
and stone and nail in it bcin sort
of like your flesh and blood!
"I'm thankful I haven't got any as
sociations like those, Mary. There's
nothing like that to make me miser
able on dark and rainy day.?. I've
always had a good time and kept my
with whom I once committed a rash
girlish act. Certainly I got a di
vorce from him, . . while I was
out in California in Ninety-Four."
"And you never heard what be
came of him?"
"No, why should I? What is he
to me?"
"He was your husband, Mabel."
Mabel laughed, a contemptuous
laugh.
"Heavens, but you are old-fashioned!
In my set, a woman who has
n't had two or three husbands simply
isn't in the swim, at all.''
"I wouldn't care much for. those in
your set, Mabel, I'm afraid."
"Nor they for you, either. Oh
for heaven's sake can't you and I
come together without fighting over
this disgusting subject of domesti
city? You make me mad! What's
your life, anyway? Tell me that!"
"My life," answered Mary quietly,
"is working to raise six live-wire boys
to be good men.'. When that is done,
my life-work is completed. That's
been my "career at least up to the
present and I can't change it now.
There's been frightfully cruel mo
ments in it. But there's beep fright
fully dear and precious moments too.
After all, keeping a home -and rais
ing children is a woman's work in the
world and if she isn't content to ac
cept it, she hasn't any business being
a woman. I can't for the life of mc
see why when God made woman for
thatthere should be so much, fault
finding and discontent and dissatis
faction among them, and wanting
to be something else. Somehow the
eye on the future. And if you'd done I womenfolks nowadays think it's a
the same I don't know as you'd been j curse on a woman that she is a wo
living through this hell of worry and ' man and they're trying their best to
work now."
"It isn't hell!" whispered Mary.
"It's wicked to call it that! It's . .
it's . . heaven , Mabel. It's the
nearest thing to earthly heaven I
know. I love it so!"
."You always were sort of sickishly
sentimental, I say it again. I told
you so the day after I got back from
my own wedding .trip. My way was
best, Mary. After all is said and done
you can't deny I've made a success
of my life. Never mind what people
be menfolks. But somehow I've ob
served, Mabel, that there's nothing
but unhappiness and heart-hunper
beneath it all And a fault-finding with
the menfolks, society and God
everybody and everything but them
selves with selfishness at the bottom
of it and a cowardly shrinking from
some of the noble duties of life just
because they want a pleasant time
and good looks and nonsense. I've
been through the experience of moth
erhood six times, Mabel. And I've
buried a husband. But along with it
sav all the same I know that I have.
I've had a good time all along; I've, all there's come a satisfaction and a
enjoyed, life; I've been to Europe ! peace, a resignation if you want to
I haven't been out here to go inside seven times. Mary. I've seen the! call it that, Mabel, that's ample to
since I was a little girl and father's world and life. Right now I'm free icpny it all. I ve tried not to shirk;
bugg-wheel came off just a little way to come and go; I get a salary .in J I've tried to do my duty and am as
fiown tne roaa, spiumg motner and 1 1 livo figures .a year for my concert
tim of melancholia since boyhood. out on the ground in the cold slush." I work. I , have my automobile and my (Continued 'on fnexi&age)
ft
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