MR. A. ’If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.’ But oh, my dear girl, it is my hope and prayer, not for ever. If you will endure to walk in darkness for a while, till the light be again revealed to you.
C. At any rate, dear grandfather, I will do what mother entreated, and not leave you alone.
TWO YEARS LATER. ST. THOMAS’S DAY.
C. Grandpapa, may I come with you on Christmas morning?
MR. A. You make me a truly happy Christmas, dear child.
C. I think I feel somewhat as St. Thomas did, in to-day’s Gospel. It went home to my heart
MR. A. Ah, child, to us that ’Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed,’ must mean those who are ready to know by faith instead of material tangible proof.
You ask me why I call that old great-grandmother black cat Chops? Well, thereby hangs a tale. I don’t mean the black tail which is standing upright and quivering at your caresses, but a story that there will be time to tell you before Charlie gets home from market.
Seven years ago, Charlie had just finished his training both at an agricultural college and under a farmer, and was thinking of going out to Texas or to Canada, and sending for me when he should have been able to make a new home for me, when his godfather, Mr. Newton, offered to let him come down and look after the draining and otherwise reclaiming of this great piece of waste land. It had come to Mr. Newton through some mortgages, I believe, and he thought something might be made of it by an active agent. It was the first time Mr. Newton had shown the least interest in us, though he was a cousin of our poor mother’s; and Charlie was very much gratified, more especially as when he had 150 pounds a year and a house, he thought I might leave the school where I was working as a teacher, and make a home with him.
Yes, this is the house; but it has grown a good deal since we settled down, and will grow more before you come to it for good. Then it was only meant for a superior sort of gamekeeper, and had only six rooms in it—parlour, kitchen, and back kitchen, and three bedrooms above them; but this we agreed would be ample for ourselves and Betsey, an old servant of our mother’s, who could turn her hand to anything, and on the break-up of our home had begged to join us again whenever or wherever we should have a house of our own once more.