Upon the following Sunday, Rev. Dr. Dox preached a splendid sermon over in the Free church, and just as he reached “secondly” he paused, looked around upon the congregation for a minute, and then he beckoned Deacon Moody to come up to the pulpit. He whispered something in Moody’s ear, and Moody seemed surprised. The congregation was wild with curiosity to know what was the matter. Then the deacon, blushing scarlet and seeming annoyed, walked down the aisle and whispered in Butterwick’s ear. Butterwick nodded, and whispered to his wife, who was perishing to know what it was. She leaned over and communicated it to Mrs. Bunnel, in the pew in front; and when the Bunnels all had it, they sent it on to the people next to them, and so before the doctor reached “thirdly” the whole congregation knew that he wanted to borrow Butterwick’s lawn-mower on Monday morning early.
A day or two later, while Butterwick was crossing the creek upon a train of cars, the train ran off the track and rolled his car into the water. Butterwick got out, however, into the stream, and as he emerged, spluttering and blowing, he struck against a stranger who was treading water. The stranger apologized, and said that Butterwick might not recognize him in his dilapidated condition as Martin Thompson, but while they were together, he would like to put in a word for that lawn-mower when the parson was done with it.
[Illustration: TREADING WATER]
At last Butterwick grew tired of lending, and refused all applicants. Then the people began to steal it, and six respectable citizens only escaped going to jail because Butterwick had consideration for their families. Finally he chained it to the pump, and then they sawed off the pump and operated the mower with the log as a roller. Butterwick at last put it on top of his house, and that night fourteen ladders were seen against the wall. They did say that Ramsey, the lawyer, made one effort with a hot-air balloon, and failed only because he fell out and hurt his leg; but this was never traced to any reliable source.
The following week a man arrived and opened an agency for the sale of the mowers in the village, and gradually the excitement abated. Butterwick, however, has cut his grass with a sickle ever since.
THE MEETING AND ITS MISSIONARY WORK.
The Methodist church in the village is doing now, as it has always done, a good and noble work for Christianity and the cause of public morals; but it has not escaped the trials which are permitted sometimes to afflict the Church militant. Years ago, when the congregation was first organized, it erected a small but very pretty frame meeting-house. In the course of time the people became dissatisfied with the location of the house of worship; and as they had a good offer for the site, they sold it and bought a better one in another quarter. Then they put rollers under the