“Yes, I know it,” he said, following her hand with his eyes—while “Mother,” he said, “I want you to give me your Bible and take mine. I think yours would do me more good.”
There was a little bright flush and a pleased smile on his mother’s face—
“Certainly, my boy, I will.”
“I see you have marked your favorite places,” he added. “It will seem like hearing you speak to read them.”
“With all my heart,” she added, taking up the Bible and kissing his forehead as she put it into his hands.
There was a struggle in his heart how to say farewell without saying it— without letting her know that he was going to leave her. He clasped her in his arms and kissed her again and again.
“Mother,” he said, “if I ever get into heaven it will be through you.”
“Don’t say that, my son—it must be through a better Friend than I am— who loves you more than I do. I have not died for you—He did.”
“Oh, that I knew where I might find him, then. You I can see—Him I cannot.”
His mother looked at him with a face full of radiance, pity, and hope.
“I feel sure you will” she said. “You are consecrated,” she added, in a low voice, laying her hand on his head.
“Amen,” said James, in a reverential tone. He felt that she was at that moment—as she often was—silently speaking to One invisible of and for him, and the sense of it stole over him like a benediction. There was a pause of tender silence for many minutes.
“Well, I must not keep you up any longer, mother dear—it’s time you were resting. Good-night.” And with a long embrace and kiss they separated. He had yet fifteen miles to walk to reach the midnight stage that was to convey him to Salem.
As he was starting from the house with his bundle in his hand, the sound of a gay laugh came through the distant shrubbery. It was Diana and Bill returning from the husking. Hastily he concealed himself behind a clump of old lilac bushes till they emerged into the moonlight and passed into the house. Diana was in one of those paroxysms of young girl frolic which are the effervescence of young, healthy blood, as natural as the gyrations of a bobolink on a clover head. James was thinking of dark nights and stormy seas, years of exile, mother’s sorrows, home perhaps never to be seen more, and the laugh jarred on him like a terrible discord. He watched her into the house, turned, and was gone.
GONE TO SEA.
A little way on in his moonlight walk James’s ears were saluted by the sound of some one whistling and crackling through the bushes, and soon Biah Carter, emerged into the moonlight, having been out to the same husking where Diana and Bill had been enjoying themselves. The sight of him resolved a doubt which had been agitating James’s mind. The note to his mother which was to explain his absence