The curate frowned a little—thoughtfully—but said nothing, and followed his visitor to the door. When he returned, he said,
“I wonder what it is in that man that won’t let him believe!”
“Perhaps he will yet, some day,” said Juliet, softly.
“He will; he must,” answered the curate. “He always reminds me of the young man who had kept the law, and whom our Lord loved. Surely he must have been one of the first that came and laid his wealth at the apostles’ feet! May not even that half of the law which Faber tries to keep, be school-master enough to lead him to Christ?—But come, Miss Meredith; now for our mathematics!”
Every two or three days the doctor called to see his late patient. She wanted looking after, he said. But not once did he see her alone. He could not tell from their behavior whether she or her hostess was to blame for his recurring disappointment; but the fact was, that his ring at the door-bell was the signal to Juliet not to be alone.
THE PASTOR’S STUDY.
Happening at length to hear that visitors were expected, Juliet, notwithstanding the assurances of her hostess that there was plenty of room for her, insisted on finding lodgings, and taking more direct measures for obtaining employment. But the curate had not been idle in her affairs, and had already arranged for her with some of his own people who had small children, only he had meant she should not begin just yet. He wanted her both to be a little stronger, and to have got a little further with one or two of her studies. And now, consulting with Helen, he broached a new idea on the matter of her lodgment.
A day or two before Jones, the butcher, had been talking to him about Mr. Drake—saying how badly his congregation had behaved to him, and in what trouble he had come to him, because he could not pay his bill. The good fellow had all this time never mentioned the matter; and it was from growing concern about the minister that he now spoke of it to the curate.
“We don’t know all the circumstances, however, Mr. Jones,” the curate replied; “and perhaps Mr. Drake himself does not think so badly of it as you do. He is a most worthy man. Mind you let him have whatever he wants. I’ll see to you. Don’t mention it to a soul.”
“Bless your heart and liver, sir!” exclaimed the butcher, “he’s ten times too much of a gentleman to do a kindness to. I couldn’t take no liberty with that man—no, not if he was ’most dead of hunger. He’d eat the rats out of his own cellar, I do believe, before he’d accept what you may call a charity; and for buying when he knows he can’t pay, why he’d beg outright before he’d do that. What he do live on now I can’t nohow make out—and that’s what doos make me angry with him—as if a honest tradesman didn’t know how to behave to a gentleman! Why, they tell me, sir, he did