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John Habberton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 122 pages of information about All He Knew.

“No, sir,” sighed the cobbler:  “one an’ another has been pullin’ an’ haulin’ at me one way an’ another, tellin’ me that it was my duty to go into a church.  But how can I do it, sir, when I’m expected to say that I believe this an’ that, that I don’t know nothin’ about?  Some of ’em has been very good tryin’ to teach me what they seem to understand very well, but I don’t know much more than when they begun, an’ sometimes it seems to me that I know a good deal less, for, with what one tells me in one way, an’ another tells me in another way, my mind—­and there’s not very much of it, sir—­my mind gets so mixed up that I don’t know nothin’ at all.”

“Ah, my son,” said the good old priest, “if you could only understand, as a good many millions of your fellow-men do, that it’s the business of some men to understand and of others to faithfully follow them, you would not have such trouble.”

“Well, sir,” said the cobbler, “that’s just what Larry’s been sayin’ to me here in the shop once in a while in the mornin’, before he started out to get full; an’ there’s a good deal of sense in what he says, I’ve no doubt.  But what I ask him is this,—­an’ he can’t tell me, an’ perhaps you can, sir.  It’s only this:  while my heart’s so full that it seems as if it couldn’t hold the little that I already believe an’ am tryin’ to live up to, where’s the sense of my tryin’ to believe some more?”

Father Black was so unprepared to answer the question put thus abruptly, accompanied as it was with a look of the deepest earnestness, that there ensued an embarrassing silence in the shop for a moment or two.

“My son,” said the priest, at last, “do you fully believe all that you have read in the good book that I am told you were taught to read while you were in prison?”

“Of course I do, sir; I can’t do anything else.”

“You believe it all?”

“Indeed I do, sir.”

“And are you trying to live according to it?”

“That I am, sir.”

“Then, my son,” said the priest, rising, “God bless you and keep you in your way!  Far be it from me to try to unsettle your mind or lead you any further until you feel that you need leading.  If ever you want to come to me, you are welcome at any time of the day or night, and what you cannot understand of what I tell you I won’t expect you to believe.  Remember, my son, the Father of us all knows us just as we are, and asks no more of any of us than we can do and be.  Good day, my son, and again—­God bless you!”

When the priest went out, Sam rested again for a moment, and then murmured to himself,—­

“Two ministers an’ one doctor, all good people, tryin’ to show me the way I should go, an’ to tell me what I should do, an’ me a-makin’ only about a dollar a day!  I s’pose it’s all right, or they wouldn’t do it.”

CHAPTER XIII.

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