“After all, what does it matter?” he said. “I only have to hurry and get in bed the sooner,” and tossing one boot here and another there, he was about to finish undressing when suddenly he remembered the little Bible, and the passage read last night. Would there be one for him to-night? He meant to look and see, and all cold and shivery as he was, Hugh lifted the lid of the trunk which held his treasure, and taking it out, opened to the place where the silken curl was lying. There was a great throb at his heart when he saw that the last coil of the tress lay just over the words, “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, verily, I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
“It does seem as if this was meant to encourage me,” Hugh said, reading the passage twice. “I don’t much believe, though, I bought old Sam in the name of a disciple, though I do think his telling me he prayed had a little to do with it. It’s rather pleasant to think there’s two to pray for me now, Adah and Sam. I wonder if it makes any difference with God that one prayer is white and the other black? Golden Hair said it didn’t when we talked about the negroes,” and shutting the Bible, Hugh was about to put it up when something whispered of his resolution to commence reading it through.
“It’s too confounded cold. I’ll freeze to death, I tell you,” he said, as if arguing the point with some unseen presence. “Get into bed and read it then, hey? It’s growing late and my candle is most burned out. The first chapter of Genesis is short, is it? Won’t take one over three minutes? Stick like a chestnut burr, don’t you,” and as if the matter were decided, Hugh sprang into bed, shivering as if about to take a cold plunge bath. How then was he disappointed to find the sheets as nice and warm as Aunt Chloe’s warming pan of red-hot coals could make them.
And so he fell away to sleep, dreaming that Golden Hair had come back, and that he held her in his arms, just as he held the Bible he had unconsciously taken from the pillow beneath his head.
SAM AND ADAH
It was Saturday night again, and Adah, with heavy eyes and throbbing head, sat bending over the dazzling silk, which ’Lina had coaxed her to make.
’Lina could be very gracious when she chose, and as she saw a way by which Adah might be useful to her, she chose to be so now, and treated the unsuspecting girl so kindly, that Adah promised to undertake the task, which proved a harder one than she had anticipated. Anxious to gratify ’Lina, and keep what she was doing a secret from Hugh, who came to the cottage often, she was obliged to work early and late, bending over the dress by the dim candlelight until her head seemed bursting with pain, and rings of fire danced before her eyes. She never would have succeeded but for Uncle Sam, who proved a most efficient member of the household, fitting in every niche and corner, until Aunt Eunice, with all her New England aversion to negroes, wondered how she had ever lived without him. Particularly did he attach himself to Willie, relieving Adah from all care, and thus enabling her to devote every spare moment to the party dress.