“When I was your age, Marjorie, and older, I used to fall asleep at night thinking over the doings of the day and finding my life in them; and in the morning when I awoke, my thought was, ‘What shall I do to-day?’ And now when I awake—now, when my life is at its happiest and as full of doings as I can wish, I think, instead, of Christ, and find my joy in nearness to him, in doing all with his eye upon me. You have not come to this yet; but it is waiting for you. Your first thought to-morrow morning may be of some plan to go somewhere, of some one you expect to see, of something you have promised to-day; but, by and by, when you love him as you are praying to love him, your first thought will be that you are with him. You can imagine the mother awaking with joy at finding her child asleep beside her, or the wife awaking to another day with her husband; but blessed more than all is it to awake and find the Lord himself near enough for you to speak to.”
Marjorie went to sleep with the thought in her heart, and awoke with it; and then she remembered that Hollis must be on his way to the train, and then that she and Linnet were to drive to Portland that day on a small shopping excursion and to find something for the birthday present of Morris’ mother.
Several days afterward when the mail was brought in Mrs. West beckoned Marjorie aside in a mysterious manner and laid in her hand a letter from Hollis.
“Yes,” said Marjorie.
“Did you expect it?”
Mrs. West waited until Marjorie opened it, and felt in her pocket for her glasses. In the other time she had always read his letters. But Marjorie moved away with it, and only said afterward that there was no “news” in it.
It was not like the letters of the other time. He had learned to write as she had learned to talk. Her reply was as full of herself as it would have been to Morris. Hollis could never be a stranger again.
“He who sends the storm steers the vessel.”—Rev. T. Adams
August passed and September was almost through and not one word had been heard of the Linnet. Linnet lived through the days and through the nights, but she thought she would choke to death every night. Days before she had consented, her mother had gone to her and urged her with every argument at her command to lock up her house and come home until they heard. At first, she resented the very thought of it; but Annie Grey was busy in Middlefield, Marjorie was needed at home, and the hours of the days seemed never to pass away; at last, worn out with her anguish, she allowed Captain Rheid to lift her into his carriage and take her to her mother.
As the days went on Will’s father neither ate nor slept; he drove into Portland every day, and returned at night more stern and more pale than he went away in the morning.