“Oi was born a Catholic, sorr, and a Catholic Oi’ll doie, though my darter is a Pratestant, and what’s more, a Prosbytarian. She rades her Boible an’ Oi rade moine, an’ there’s sorra a bit av differance betwane thim. If the church is good enough for her, it’s good enough for the loikes av me.”
“That is what I call being a Catholic in the truest sense of the term. We will not deprive people of the kingdom of Heaven because they refuse to go our way.”
“Till me now, sorr, what’s that that’s pertindin’ to be my dear young misthress, Miss Ceshile?”
“An old soldier knows how to keep a secret, I am sure. It is the famous detective, Mr. Nash.”
“Sure I hope, by my sowl, that he’ll make the crathur gnash his tayth. It was all I could do to kape my hands aff him, as we were walkin’ along to mate yez. Him to make up to the cornel’s darter, the misherable, insignifikint, bad shpokin, thavin’ scrap av impidence!”
The church bell had ceased ringing, the horses and waggons were in the driving shed without any attendant, and, as the pair approached, they could hear the sound of hearty singing coming through the open windows. They entered together, the old man crossing himself as he did so, and sat down in a pew near the door. The schoolmaster saw that the church was that of Mr. Errol, who occupied the pulpit. He looked round, but could not see his friend Coristine; nor was little Marjorie anywhere visible. They must have strolled on farther to Mr. Perrowne’s consecrated edifice for the sake of the walk. Then, with reverent mind, the dominie joined in the simple worship of the Kirk.
The Services—Nash Routs Rawdon—The Dinner Talk—The Pedestrians with the Ladies—Singing out of One Hymn-book—Grinstuns Again—The Female Vagrant and the Idiot Boy—Little Marjorie—Nash’s Thoughts—The Captain and the Plot—Arrival of Rufus and Ben—To Arms!
Mr. Errol’s sermon was on the text, “Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an hard man.” He elaborated the unfaithful servant’s harsh opinion of God, and, before he sat down, completely exonerated the Father in Heaven from the blasphemous judgment of those who call themselves His children. There is a thief in the world who comes to steal and kill and destroy; he is not God, but the enemy of God’s children. The dominie’s heart warmed to the man who, though of a different communion, fulfilled St. Paul’s ideal of a clergyman, in that he arrogated no dominion over the people’s faith, but was a helper of their joy. The sermon lifted the schoolmaster up, and brought God very near; and the hearty hymns and reverent prayers helped him greatly. When the service was over, he waited, and soon Carruthers presented his comely, matronly wife, while Mrs. Carmichael recalled herself to his remembrance; and, finally, the minister, having divested himself of gown and bands in the vestry, came down