“I verily believe that in this struggle we war with principalities and powers, with the rulers of darkness in this world, with spiritual wickedness in high places. But make no mistake: the men who are actually going out from England to brave the first brunt for us are men whom we have not taught to die like heroes, who have little interest in Church or Chapel or their differences, who view sins in an altogether different perspective from ours; whom we enlisted to do this work because they were hungry and at the moment saw no better job in prospect: whom we have taught to despise us while they protect us.
“The sins of our enemy are evident. But if We say we have no sin, we shall deceive ourselves and the truth will not be in us.”
“Did you ever hear a feebler or a more idiotic sermon?” demanded Mrs Polsue of Miss Oliver on their way home down the valley.
“If ever a man had his chance to improve an occasion—”
“Tut! I say nothing of his incapacity. There are some men that can’t rise even when ’tis a question of all Europe at war. But did you hear the light he made, or tried to make, of Sabbath-breaking?”
“I didn’t hear all that,” Miss Oliver confessed: “or not to notice. It seemed so funny his getting up at that hour and dangling his legs on a wall.”
“We will press to have a married man planned to us next time,” said Mrs Polsue. “A wife wouldn’t allow it.”
“Do you suppose he smoked?” asked Miss Oliver.
“I shouldn’t wonder. . . . He certainly does it at home, for I took the trouble to smell his window-curtains; and at an hour like that, with nobody about—”
“There’s an All-seeing Eye, however early you choose to dangle your legs,” said Miss Oliver.
THE ANONYMOUS LETTER.
Just about seven o’clock next morning Nicky-Nan, who had breakfasted early and taken post early in the porchway to watch against any possible ruse of the foe—for, Bank Holiday or no Bank Holiday, he was taking no risks—spied Lippity-Libby the postman coming over the bridge towards him with his dot-and-go-one gait.
Lippity-Libby, drawing near, held out a letter in his hand and flourished it.
“Now don’t excite yourself,” he warned Nicky-Nan. “When first I seed your name ’pon the address I said to myself ’What a good job if that poor fella’s luck should be here at last, and this a fortun’ arrived from his rich relatives in Canada!’ That’s the very words I said to myself.”
“As it happens, I han’t got no rich relatives, neither here nor in Canada,” answered Nicky-Nan. “Is that letter for me? Or are you playin’ me some trick?”