I believe that, as the
human mother brings a child to her husband,
the father,—so Mystic Motherhood, the Holy Spirit, is bringing
the world to God, the Father.
All had read, when Bedient entered. He went first to Beth....
“It’s our own original gathering,” he said, after a moment, “—but Mrs. Wordling—where is she?”
Cairns’ eye turned to Beth. She fixed hers upon him, as if it helped to hold her strength.
Kate Wilkes answered: “We can find out in a moment—in the West somewhere with her company——”
“She’s in Detroit this week,” came slowly from Beth. “I saw it to-day in a dramatic paper——”
“Thank you.... We’ll send a telegram of greeting. She must know she isn’t forgotten.”
He wrote it out.
Kate Wilkes glanced at the Grey One, as if to say: “Here’s something to make her forget the soul of New York.”
“I’m thankful to be here,” Bedient said, in a moment. “It’s like one’s very own.”
FULL DAY UPON THE PLAIN
Beth awoke early Christmas morning, and leaned out of the window to look at the East. After a week of the year’s darkest days, had come a lordly morn, bright garments fresh from ocean.... The night had shown her clearly the great thing which had befallen Andrew Bedient, a suggestion of which had come to her from the first Equatorian letter. And how wonderfully his life had prepared him for it!... Thirty-odd swift strange years—ships, Asia, queer voices, far travels, unspoken friendships, possibly a point or two of passion, glimpses into dim lands and dark lives, the adored memory of his Mother whispered only to one dear living heart, yet glowing over all his days——
“It was a man’s love, then,” Beth whispered.
She remembered his comings and goings, his sayings and silences. All were leveled and subdued by a serene and far-evolved spirit; and upon all was the flower of truth. His love had been an inner reverent thing which did not vaunt itself. All but once the passions he had felt were his own deep property.... The Shadowy Sister, who would live on when the worn-out earth of her being sank into its seventh year of restoring,—yes, the Shadowy Sister had been chastened and strengthened by his passing.
...Beth saw the little boy, faring forth alone without the Mother’s hand—out into the great world of sea—under his star. Not a single preconception had his mind contained. Everything in the world had been for him to take, and when he would have taken something ill, the Mother had come and prevailed.... Only once he was denied—she, Beth, had done that. Did the Mother prevail against her?... But how mightily had he desired her!
Beth saw she had betrayed herself. She had been too much an artist of the world, too little a visionary. She had not seen deeply enough his inner beauty and integrity; too accustomed had she become to the myriad-flaring commonness of daily life.... But would the greater dimension have come to him, if she had given him the happiness he thought he wanted? Had he turned to Vina Nettleton the man-love she, Beth, had felt, and been answered with swift adoration, would he have met in this life the Great Light on his hills?