Aunt Stanshy and Charlie were walking away from the church the noon of the Sunday after the grand march. At St. John’s, the Sunday-school followed the morning service.
“Aunty,” said Charlie, nudging his companion, “here comes somebody.”
That somebody was Mr. Walton, to whom were intrusted the spiritual interests of the congregation. He was tall, stalwart, owned a fair complexion, and wore his hair rather long; hair, too, that would curl, no matter how patiently the brush and comb coaxed it to be straight and dignified. His blue eyes had a rather sharp look at first when turned toward you, but you soon felt that they were kindly, sympathetic, and magnetic. Mr. Walton was very friendly toward the boys, and for that reason he had a strong hold on the affections of many little fellows.
“Well, Miss Macomber, I am glad to see you out, and as for my boy here, I should miss him ever so much if he were not in my school.”
“I should miss you, if you wasn’t there,” replied Charlie, anxious to return the compliment.
“Don’t you know of some boy you could get into the school, Charlie?” asked Mr. Walton.
“I know of one who belongs to my club.”
“You belong to a club! What is the name of it?”
“The U. T. L. Club.”
“U. T. L.! What does that mean?”
“It is Miss Bertha Barry’s notion, sir,” explained Aunt Stanshy, with an air that was somewhat critical. Then she had noticed, or fancied that she had detected, that Mr. Walton, who was single, rather liked Miss Bertha and her ideas. He did not seem to notice Aunt Stanshy’s tone, but remarked,
“U. T. L.! That means ‘Up Too Late!’”
“Ha, ha, guess again,” replied the delighted Charlie.
“Useful To Learn!”
“Up With The Lark!”
“You have got one word too many in there. ‘Up The’ is right.”
“That’s where I live,” said Aunt Stanshy, proudly.
“It’s ‘Up The Ladder,’ sir,” said Charlie.
“Well, Up-the-Ladder boys ought to be making advances and going ahead all the time.”
“That is what teacher says.”
“What do you do in the club?”
“We had a grand march yesterday, and we have a pammerrammer next Saturday.”
“All the boys in your club go to Sunday-school?”
“All except Tony.”
“Who is Tony?”
“He’s an Italian boy, and his father is away off.”
“Couldn’t you get him into your class?”
“I might try.”
“I will make the club an offer. If they will get five boys into school and keep them there two months, I will give them a banner.”
Charlie was delighted and promised to tell the boys in the club.
Mr. Walton here left Charlie and Aunt Stanshy, and went to his home. Aunt Stanshy greatly reverenced any one who led the worship of the congregation in the old church and encompassed such with a dignity-fence that was about as high as the famous steeple of old St. John’s, and that was a landmark for souls at sea.