He asked her some questions about herself, all of which she answered frankly. Then he told her about himself, which she first met with an astonished stare. He narrated his experiences in Norway, of his trip westward, and the real purpose of his coming to Minnesota. She heard his story with alternating smiles and tears, as it touched her heart. They sat thus for a long time, oblivious to the singing birds above, of the curious passers-by, or the fast falling night. They walked home in the lighted streets, and it was late when he bade her goodnight at the gate.
The next day Henrik had a talk with Uncle Jens which ended in the uncle’s closing with a bang the open Bible on the table out of which they had been reading, and then in uncontrolled rage ordering his nephew out of the house. Henrik tried to make peace with his uncle, but it proved useless, so he took his hat and left.
Henrik met Rachel again that evening, and again they sat on the bench under the trees. Once again they became lost to all outward disturbances in the deep concerns which brooded in their hearts and found utterance in their speech.
“I shall remain here a few days more,” said he in conclusion, “because I want to get better acquainted with you; and then we must talk over our plans further. Then I shall go back to Norway. In a few months I shall come back, and we two shall go westward where the Temples are, and there begin the work that is ours—the work that the Lord has called us to do. What do you say to that?”
“Thank you,” she replied simply, and with her usual smile; “I shall be ready.”
“Rend your heart and not your garments,
and turn unto the Lord your
God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great
On Henrik’s arrival in Norway, the harvesting was in full swing, and he busied himself with that. His friends, some of whom were surprised at his return, asked him what he had found in America, and he told them freely. Had he discovered the delusion in his American religion? No, he replied, his faith had been made stronger. Selma had relented somewhat, she making him welcome at her home in Christiania. Here he also met Marie. Henrik treated her as a friend with whom he had never had differences. When she saw him back again, browned and hardy, but the same gentle Henrik, Marie wondered, and by that wonder her resentment was modified, and she listened to his accounts of America and his relatives in Minnesota with much interest. As he spoke with an added enthusiasm of his cousin Rachel, the listeners opened their ears and eyes. He told them freely of his plans, and what he and Rachel were going to do.
“Yes,” he said, “I can see the hand of the Lord in my finding Rachel.”—Marie had her doubts, but she said nothing.—“It is all so wonderful to me, and I am only sorry that you folks can’t see it!” But they replied nothing.