“Oh, father, father! if your God, if your Christ, will help me, I will—I will try to come.”
It was her way of repeating the old cry, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” And I do know that it is written, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” It was fifteen years that the weary father had been resting from his labors, and here were his works following him.
I have heard that Mr. Hazard said, as he folded his papers and came down from the stand that afternoon, “It was useless to try to talk in such a rain, with the prospect of more every minute. The people could not listen. It would have been better to have adjourned. Nothing was accomplished.” Much he knew about it, or will know until the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed!
Meantime, this day, which was to be so fraught with consequences to Marion, was on Eurie’s hands to dispose of as best she could. To be at Chautauqua, and to be bent on having nothing whatever to do with any of the Chautauqua life, was in itself a novel position. The more so as she felt herself quite deserted. The necessity for reporting served Marion as an excuse for attending even those meetings which she did not report; and the others having gone to Mayville to live, this foolish sheep, who was within the fold, and who would not be of it, went wandering whither she would in search of amusement.
After Marion left her she made her way to the museum, and a pleasant hour she spent; one could certainly not desire a more attractive spot. She went hither and thither, handling and admiring the books, the pictures, the maps, the profusion of curiosities, and, at the end of the hour, when the press of visitors became too great to make a longer stay agreeable, she departed well pleased with herself that she had had the wisdom to choose such a pleasant resort instead of a seat in some crowded tent as a listener.
Coming out, she walked down the hill, and on and on, watching the crowds of people who were gathering, and wishing she had a programme that she might see what the special attraction was that seemed to be drawing so many.
At last she reached the wharf. The Assembly steamer was lying at her dock, her jaunty flags flying, and the commotion upon her decks betokening that she was making ready for a voyage. The crowd seemed greater there than at any other point. It would appear that the special attraction was here, after all. She understood it, and pushed nearer, as the ringing notes of song suddenly rose on the air, and she recognized the voices of the Tennesseeans.
This was a great treat; she delighted in hearing them. She allowed herself to be elbowed and jostled by the throng, reaching every moment by judicious pushing a place where she could not only hear but see, and where escape was impossible. The jubilant chorus ceased and one of those weird minor wails, such as their music abounds in, floated tenderly around her.