“I know it’s unwritten law, Ken, that we shouldn’t follow Betty up without an invitation; but I’ve got to go over there to-night.”
“It’s dangerous, old man. I advise against it. What’s up?”
“I must see Lyn. I believe she is there.”
“Rather a large-sized misunderstanding?”
“I hope, Ken, God helping me, it’s going to be the biggest understanding Lynda and I have ever had.”
Kendall was impressed—and, consequently, silent.
“I’m sure Betty will forgive me. Good-night.”
“Good-night, old chap, and—and whatever it is, I fancy it will come out all right.”
And then, into the night Truedale plunged—determined to master the absurd situation that both he and Lynda had permitted to exist. He felt like a man who had been suffering in a nightmare and had just awakened and shaken off the effect of the unholy dream.
Lynda, that winter day, had undertaken her task with unwonted energy. She had never done a similar piece of work before. In her early beginning she had rather despised the inadequacy of women who, no matter what might be said in defense of their ignorance regarding the rest of their homes, did not know how to design and plan their own nurseries. Later she had eliminated designing of this kind because so few asked for it, and it did not pay to put much time on study in preparation for the rare occasions when nurseries were included in the orders. But this was an exception. A woman who had lost three children was expecting the fourth, and she had come to Lynda with a touching appeal.
“You helped make a home of my house, Mrs. Truedale, but I always managed the nursery—myself before; now I cannot. I want you to put joy and welcome in it for me. If I were to undertake it I should fail miserably, and evolve only gloom and fear. It will be different—afterward. But you understand and—you will?”
Lynda had understood and had set herself to her work with the new, happy insight that Betty’s little baby had made possible. It had all gone well until the “sleeping corner” was reached, and then—something happened. A memory of one of Betty’s confessions started it. “Lyn,” she had said, just before her baby came, “I kneel by this small, waiting crib and pray—as only mothers know how to pray—and God teaches them afresh every time! I do so want to be worthy of the confidence of—God.”
“And I—am never to know!” Lynda bowed her head. “I with my love—with my desire to hear God speak—am never to hear. Why?”
Then it was that Lynda wept. Wept first from a desolate sense of defeat; then—and God sometimes speaks to women kneeling beside the beds of children not their own—she raised her head and trembled at the flood of joy that overcame her. It was like a mirage, seen in another woman’s world, of her own blessed heritage.