“You need not worry about your appearance when you visit me, Mr. Randall,” and her eyes met his as she spoke. “I shall think all the more of you if your hands are rough and your face weather-beaten. I shall never be ashamed of the marks of honest toil. I must go now, but I shall expect to see you before spring.”
To Jasper that was one of the happiest times of his whole life. He believed that she was interested in him, while the look in her eyes and the words she uttered were to him an inspiration during the following days and weeks of weary work in the woods.
Although Lois preferred to remain in the country, yet she did not waste her days in repining over her life in the city. She at once looked about for opportunities of usefulness. These she found in St. Saviour’s, the church she attended. Her musical abilities made her a welcomed member of the choir. But she was not satisfied with merely singing. She wished to do more, and she soon found an outlet in assisting the unfortunate ones in the parish. It was through “The Helping Hand Society” that she found she could do the most effective work, and she never tired of going from house to house where her services were most needed.
Dick often upbraided her for giving so much of her time to Church work, and said that she should go with him to dances and whist parties.
“I have no interest in such things,” she told him over and over again. “There is too much to be done around us in helping others, to spend all of one’s time upon such gaieties.”
“But think what people are saying,” her brother protested. “They call you unsociable and stuck-up, and it is hard for me to listen to such things.”
Lois laughed at Dick’s fears and told him not to worry. She said that she was quite able to look after herself, and did not mind what people were saying so long as she was doing what was right.
When Christmas season came around Lois found herself more busy than ever. There were so many baskets to be provided for the needy, and this year they were going to send a number to poor families out in the country districts. It was just when she was in the midst of this work that Dick asked her to attend a dance with him on Thursday night.
“If you don’t go this time I shall never ask you again,” he told her. “It’s to be at Mrs. Dingle’s, and you know how cut up she will feel if you refuse her. Sammie, too, is expecting you, and he will never visit us again if you do not go.”
“But how am I to leave my work, Dick?” Lois questioned. “We are so busy every night packing the boxes, which we must get off as soon as possible. I am more interested in them than I am in what Mrs. Dingle and Sammie might think. They surely know by this time that I do not care for them.”
“Well, come for my sake, then,” Dick pleaded.