... So much was but a beginning. Their talk that night was all that the old Luzon nights had promised, which was a great deal, indeed.... It was not until Cairns was walking home, that he recalled his first idea in looking in upon Bedient that night—a sort of hope that his friend would talk about Vina Nettleton in the way Beth had suggested. “How absurd,” he thought, “that is exactly the sort of thing he would leave for me to find out!”
THE PLAN OF THE BUILDER
New York had brought Andrew Bedient rather marvellously into his own. He awoke each morning with a ruling thought. He lived in a state of continual transport; he saw all that was savage in his race, and missed little that was beautiful. Work was forming within him; he felt all the inspiritings, all the strange pressures of his long preparation. He realized that his thirty-three years had been full years; that all the main exteriors of man’s life had passed before him in swift review, as a human babe in embryo takes on from time to time the forms of the great stations of evolution. He had passed without temptation from one to another of the vast traps which catch the multitude; nor tarried at a single one of the poisoned oasis of sense. Mother Earth had taken him to her breast; India had lulled his body and awakened his spirit; he had gone up to his Sinai there.
He looked back upon the several crises in which he might have faltered, and truly it seemed to him that he had been guided through these, by some wiser spirit, by something of larger vision, at least, than his own intelligence. Humility and thankfulness became resurgent at the memory of these times. Books of beauty and wisdom had come to his hand, it seemed, at the certain particular instants when he was ready. Exactly as he had been spared the terrible temptations of flesh in his boyhood years, so had he preserved a humble spirit in his intellectual attainments. It was not he, but the poise that had been given him, through which he was enabled to cry out in gratitude this hour; for the soul of man meets a deadlier dragon in intellectual arrogance than in the foulest pits of flesh. The Destiny Master can smile in pity at a poor brain, brutalized through bodily lusts, but white with anger is the countenance that regards a spirit, maimed and sick from being yoked together with a proud mind. Angels burst into singing when that spirit is free.