On swept the flame. Still Amos held his own on the stone ledge. Grand was his demeanour—erect, despite his seventy years, clasping with a death grip the fainting child. All around him was smoke and mingling fire; but the Lord reigned—what He willed was right; in Him was no darkness at all.
Suddenly he lifted his eyes, and saw above him a manhole that led into the roof. In a moment he sprang along the frames, and passed in with his burden, and beat his way through the slates which in another minute were to fall in with the final collapse of the old factory.
Creeping along the ridge, he made his way towards the great chimney-shaft that ran up at one end of the building, and bidding the girl, who by contact with the air was now conscious, cling to his neck, the old man laid hold of the lightning-rod, and began his dangerous descent to the ground.
But he knew no fear; there was no tremor in his muscles; steadily he descended, feeling that God held his hands, and he told his Rehoboth friends afterwards, when he recounted his escape, that he felt the angels were descending with him.
When he reached the ground amid wild and passionate cries of joy, he disengaged the child from his neck, and wiping his face with the sleeve of his shirt, said:
‘The Lord’s will be done.’
Dr. Hale, who was standing by the side of Mr. Penrose, and who heard the saying of old Amos, turned and said:
‘Calvinism grows strong men, does it not?’
‘Yi, doctor, yo’re reet,’ exclaimed old Joseph; ’theer’s no stonning agen God’s will.’
1. THE CANDLE OF THE LORD.
2. THE TWO MOTHERS.
3. THE SNOW CRADLE.
THE CANDLE OF THE LORD.
Through the summer months the old Bridge Factory stood in ruins; the only part that remained intact being the tall chimney-shaft, down which Amos Entwistle had brought the fainting child from out the flames. The days were long and the weather warm, and the inhabitants of Rehoboth spent the sunny hours in wandering over the moors, never dreaming of hard times and the closing year. A few of the more frugal and thrifty families had secured employment in a neighbouring valley, returning home at the week end. The many, however, awaited the rebuilding of the mill and the recommencement of work at their old haunt. But when the autumn set in chill and drear, and the October rains swept the trees and soaked the grass—when damp airs hung over the moors morning by morning, and returned to spread their chill canopy at eventide—faces began to wear an anxious look, and hearts lost the buoyancy of the idle summer hours.