Then at last day dawned, and streaks of light appeared in the sky, turning presently to a glorious fiery radiance, as the sun rose, flooding the sky and all the world with brightness and with hope.
Martha Perry stirred stiffly in her chair, and opened her eyes. “Oh, Miss Rose, I’ve been asleep, and left you keeping watch all by yourself! Oh, I am ashamed!”
“Not by myself, Martha. I had this,” laying her hand on the open Bible, “and I felt God nearer me than ever in my life before, I think. He is going to help us, I know. I feel that He has given me His word this night!”
“She has not come?” sighed Martha, glancing round the kitchen, as though expecting to see Huldah hiding somewhere. “Oh, what a night of misery she must have endured!”
“She has not come yet, but she is coming, and brownie is very brave, Martha, and patient and hopeful. She has the blessed gift of making the best of what can’t be helped, and she has a wonderful faith. Look, Martha, look at the sky, does it not already sing to us ’joy cometh with the morning’?”
Martha Perry walked to the door and looked out, and even her timid, doubting heart could not but feel calmed and comforted.
“‘God’s in His heaven: All’s right with the world,’” quoted Miss Rose, softly, as they stood there together. And already help was on its way to Huldah.
TO THE RESCUE.
When Bob Thorp awoke that same morning about six o’clock, his first thought was that he had six shillings in his pocket. Six shillings got without working for them, so that he had every right to look on them as an extra, and spend them on himself.
Having made up his mind on this point, he lay for a happy half-hour, thinking how he should lay it out to get most pleasure out of it. “Why, I know!” he almost exclaimed aloud, as a particularly pleasant idea struck him. “I’ll go to the big football match at Crinnock. It’s going to be a clipper, they say. Ain’t I glad I thought of it! I shall have just enough to do it comfortably.”
The idea so excited him that he jumped out of bed then and there, and, banging at his poor mother’s door, he bade her get up sharp, and light the fire, and get the breakfast, because he had to be off early. Then he dressed himself in the best he’d got, and presented himself in the kitchen.
In answer to his mother’s surprised looks and questionings, he explained that he had to go away on business, in search of a job, and must look his best; and his mother, rejoicing in the prospect of a day of freedom from him, cooked him the last egg she had, and gave him as big a breakfast as he could eat; and he ate it heartily, without a qualm of conscience for his deception towards her.
At the railway station he met quite a crowd, all going in the same direction as himself; neither the darkness nor the cold could affect their energy or spirits, and Bob’s spirits rose too, as he followed the stream of travellers into the little gas-lit booking office for his ticket.