Ann, mystified, glanced at Horace.
Flukey turned slowly, opened his eyes, and murmured;
“‘Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little—’”
He sighed painfully as the last words trailed from his lips. Flea ended his quotation, saying:
“‘A little child.’ But, Flukey, Jesus is dead and buried.”
“No, no, He isn’t, child!” cried Ann sharply. “He’ll never die. He will always help little children.”
“Ain’t He a restin’ in the dead man’s yard out there?” demanded Flea, lifting her robe as she moved toward Ann.
“No! indeed, no! He is everywhere, with the dead and the living, with men and women, and also with little children.”
“Where be He?” Flea asked.
“In Heaven,” replied Ann, leaning over Flukey. “And He’s able even to raise the dead.”
Flea grasped her arm.
“Then, if He’s everywhere, as ye’ve jest said, can’t ye—”
Flukey opened his eyes.
“If ye know that Man Jesus, well enough,” he broke forth, trying to take her hand in his, “if ye ever sees Him to speak to Him, will ye say that, if He’ll let my bones get well, and keep my little Flea from Lem, I’ll do all He says for me to? Tell Him—tell—tell Him, Ma’m, that my bones be—almost a bustin’.”
“Can He help Fluke any if ye ask Him?” Flea questioned.
Ann nodded; but Flea, not satisfied, asked the question directly of Horace.
“I believe so,” he hesitated; “yes, I do believe that He can and will help your brother.”
“Will ye ask Him?” Flea pleaded. “Will ye both ask Him?”
Ann answered yes quickly; and Flea was satisfied with the nod Horace gave her before he wheeled about to the window.
When Flukey was resting under the physician’s medicine, Horace and Ann listened to the tale of the squatter children’s lives, told by Flea. It was then that Shellington promised her that Squeaky should find a future home on their farm among other animals of the kind, and that he would make it his task to see that the little pig had plenty to eat, plenty of sunshine, and a home such as few little pigs had. Snatchet, too, Horace promised, should be housed in a warm kennel with the greyhounds and blooded pups.
When Flea leaned over Flukey to say goodnight to him, she breathed:
“This be the promised land, all right, Fluke! Ain’t we lucky kids to be here?”
With infinite tenderness, Ann led Flea into the pretty blue bedroom. The girl drew back with an exclamation.
“It’s too nice for a squatter! But I’m glad you put Fluke in that red place, ’cause it looks so warm and feels warm. But me—”
Ann interrupted hastily.
“You remember my brother saying that you were going to stay here with us until your brother was well?”