That morning in September, when he gave his wife the usual departing kiss, the children—four of them, were hanging about his legs and clinging to his coat in great glee.
“Now papa must go,” said he, as he tried to shake them off.
“A kiss, another kiss,” “A tiss, some more tisses,” they shouted.
So he lifted them up, one by one, and kissed them again. Then his arm went around his wife’s neck, and he drew her face to his.
“Goodbye, sweetheart,” said he, “take care of the children, and don’t forget me,” and he tried to hum a song as he walked to the gate. Signe stood watching him. The tune which floated back to her was, “O, my Father.” Then a peculiar feeling came over her, and she sat down crying, while the children climbed over her with questions and comforting words.
* * * * *
Terrible news from Dry Hollow! A blast, prematurely exploded, had seriously injured some of the workmen, and Rupert Ames had been killed—hurled down the ravine and nearly buried under falling rock.
Break the news gently to his wife and children. Do not let them see that bruised, bleeding form. Spare them all you can.
Yes; it was all done—all that lay in human power was done; and hundreds of people to whom Rupert Ames had opened up new light, and in the providence of God, had given them a tangible hope of the future, gathered around his body and mingled their tears with those of his children’s.
Another immortal soul’s earthly mission was ended. Life’s school had closed for him. Into another sphere he had gone. The Great Schoolmaster had promoted him.
And Mrs. Signe Ames, after it all, simply said:
“God knows best. He has but gone before. He was my husband for time, he is my husband for eternity. His mission is there, mine is here. In the morrow, we shall meet again.”
“Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every
Hr. Henrik Bogstad leaned back in his chair before the fire in great relief. He had just shown out a young man who was distributing religious tracts dealing with some “new-fangled religion” lately imported from America, that land of all new-fangled things. All the day, Hr. Bogstad had been adjusting some difficulties among his tenants, and that evening he was somewhat ill-humored. His treatment of the missionary, was, therefore, harsher than he was wont to treat either strangers or friends.
His conscience smote him a little as he thought of what the young American had said. He could find no fault with the religious doctrines advanced, but why should he be bothered with religion anyway? He had cares enough; for a great responsibility had come to him since he had been put in charge of the estate left by his father’s death. Just now was the season of gaiety in Christiania, and here he was missing a good many things by his enforced visit to his country home.