“Mother!” Whenever Abe said the word, he was thinking of both Nancy and Sarah.
Sarah was waiting by the window. A tall man in a high silk hat came striding up the path.
“Abe! You’ve come!” She opened the door and looked up into the sad, wise face.
“Of course, Mother.” He gave her the kind of good bear hug he had given her when he was a boy. “I am leaving soon for Washington. Did you think I could go so far away without saying good-by?”
The word spread rapidly that he was there. One after another the neighbors dropped in, until the little room was crowded. As he sat before the fireplace, talking with all who came, Sarah seemed to see, not a man about to become President, but a forlorn-looking little boy. She had loved that little boy from the moment she first saw him. He had always been a good son to her—a better son than her own John.
When the last visitor had gone, she drew her chair closer. It was good to have a few minutes alone together.
“Abe,” she told him, “I can say what scarcely one mother in a thousand can say.”
He looked at her inquiringly.
“You never gave me a cross word in your life. I reckon your mind and mine, that is—” she laughed, embarrassed, “what little mind I had, seemed to run together.”
He reached over and laid a big hand on her knee. She put her wrinkled, work-hardened hand on his.
When the time came to say good-by, she could hardly keep the tears back. “Will I ever see you again?” she asked. “What if something should happen to you, Abe? I feel it in my heart—”
“Now, now, Mother.” He held her close. “Trust in the Lord and all will be well.”
“God bless you, Abraham.”
He kissed her and was gone. “He was the best boy I ever saw,” she thought, as she watched him drive away.
Growing up in southern Indiana, not far from where Abraham Lincoln spent his boyhood, Frances Cavanah has always had a special interest in Lincoln and the people who knew him. Furthermore, she is recognized today as one of America’s leading writers of historical books for boys and girls. She has written many books for young people and has also been associate editor of Child Life Magazine. One of her most interesting and beautiful books is OUR COUNTRY’S STORY, a fascinating introduction to American history, told in terms simple enough for children under nine. Miss Cavanah now lives in Washington, D.C., and devotes all of her time to writing.
Paula Hutchison was born in Helena, Montana, and attended schools in the State of Washington until she came east to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating, she studied for several years in Paris, London, and Florence and made painting trips to Cornwall, the English lake district, and Scotland. She now lives in a small town on the New Jersey shore where she and her husband have a six-acre farm, on which she has her studio. Miss Hutchison has illustrated a great many books for children and has also illustrated a number which she has written herself.