’He that is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed.’
Yes, that was the reason. I was sorry that Tom had come, because I was ashamed of my Master. Since I had seen him last I had changed my service. I used to be a servant of sin, living for self, pleasing self in all things. Now, I had crossed the line, I had joined the company of Christ’s servants, and I was afraid of Tom finding it out.
In London I thought I should have seen less of him, and it would have dawned on him gradually; but here he would discover it at once. And I dreaded his doing so. Yes, I was a downright coward, ashamed of the One who had died for me. This was not a comfortable reflection, but I was convinced that it was the truth.
What would be the best thing to do? Should I say anything to Tom about it in the morning? I thought at first that I would speak, and I made up several sentences with which I meant to begin; but the more I thought of it so much the more my heart failed me, and I decided at length that my best plan would be to let Tom find it out for himself.
LITTLE JACK AND BIG JACK
I think Tom very much enjoyed that week at Runswick Bay. The more he saw of the place the more he liked it. He and Duncan got on famously together. They smoked together on a seat above the house, and Duncan told him stories of shipwrecks and storms, whilst I sat painting just below them.
One night he even persuaded Duncan to let him go out with him fishing, and Duncan confided to me afterwards, ’That there friend of yours, sir, he’s a real handy chap; knows how to use his fingers, sir, and isn’t afraid of a drop of salt water neither.’
We came across Mr. Christie on the shore the very first time that we went out together, and I introduced him as a friend of my mother whom I had been delighted to find in this out-of-the-way place; and Tom talked very pleasantly to him, and I think liked him.
‘What is he doing here, Jack?’ he said. ’He does not look like the rest of them.’
‘He is a lay-preacher,’ I said.
‘Whatever in the world is a lay-preacher?’ said Tom laughing.
I did not answer, but called his attention to little Jack, who was running along the shore after his red cap, which had been carried off by a gust of wind.
‘That’s his little boy,’ I said, ’and my namesake; they lived in my father’s parish in London, and Mr. Christie and his wife adored my mother. It was seeing her photograph on the wall of their room which made them discover who I was.’
‘What a splendid little fellow!’ said Tom as the child came up to us. ‘So you are Jack, are you?’
‘Yes, I’m little Jack, and he’s big Jack,’ said the boy roguishly, looking at me.
I was not surprised that Tom made friends very quickly with my little favourite, for he was wonderfully fond of children, and many were the games which he and the two children had together whilst I was at work.