Out in the world, Titus Oldways went about with visor down.
He gave to no fairs nor public charities; “let them get all they could that way, it wasn’t his way,” he said to Rachel Froke. The world thought he gave nothing, either of purse or life.
There was a plan they had together,—he and Marmaduke Wharne,—this girls’ story-book will not hold the details nor the idea of it,—about a farm they owned, and people working it that could go nowhere else to work anything; and a mill-privilege that might be utilized and expanded, to make—not money so much as safe and honest human life by way of making money; and they sat and talked this plan over, and settled its arrangements, in the days that Marmaduke Wharne was staying on in Boston, waiting for his other friend, Miss Craydocke, who had taken the River Road down from Outledge, and so come round by Z——, where she was staying a few days with the Goldthwaites and the Inglesides. Miss Craydocke had a share or two in the farm and in the mill.
And now, Titus Oldways wanted to know of Marmaduke Wharne what he was to do for Afterwards.
It was a question that had puzzled and troubled him. Afterwards.
“While I live,” he said, “I will do what I can, and as I can. I will hand over my doing, and the wherewith, to no society or corporation. I’ll pay no salaries nor circumlocutions. Neither will I—afterwards. And how is my money going to work on?”
“How did it work when it came to you?”
Mr. Oldways was silent.
“He chose to send it to you. He made it in the order of things that it should come to you. You began, yourself, to work for money. You did not understand, then, that the money would be from God and was for Him.”
“He made me understand.”
“Yes. He looked out for that part of it too. He can look out for it again. His word shall not return unto him void.”
“He has given me this, though, to pass on; and I will not put it into a machine. I want to give some living soul a body for its living. Dead charities are dead. It’s of no use to will it to you, Marmaduke; I’m as likely to stay on, perhaps, as you are.”
“And the youngest life might drop, the day after your own. You can’t take it out of God’s hand.”
“I must either let it go by law, or will it—here and there. I know enough whom it would help; but I want to invest, not spend it; to invest it in a life—or lives—that will carry it on from where I leave it. How shall I know?”
“He giveth it a body as it pleaseth Him,” quoted Marmaduke Wharne, thoughtfully. “I am English, you know, Oldways; I can’t help reverencing the claims of next of kin. Unless one is plainly shown otherwise, it seems the appointment. How can we set aside his ways until He clearly points us out his own exception?”
“My ‘next’ are two women whom I don’t know, my niece’s children. She died thirty years ago.”