The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.

Twenty years have passed away since we introduced Robert Ainsley with his family to the reader.  Let us pay a parting visit to Hazel-Brook farm, and note the changes which these twenty years have effected.  The forest has melted away before the hand of steady industry, and we pass by cultivated fields on our way to the farm of Mr. Ainslie.  The clearings have extended till very few trees obstruct our view as we gaze over the farms of the numerous settlers, which are now separated by fences instead of forest trees.  But the loveliest spot of all is Hazel-Brook farm.  The farm-house of Robert Ainslie, enlarged and remodelled according to his increased means, is painted a pure white, and very pleasant it looks to the eye, through the branches of the shade-trees which nearly surround it.  The clear waters of Hazel-Brook are as bright and sparkling as ever.  The banks near the dwelling are still fringed with trees and various kinds of shrubs; but farther up the stream all obstructions have been cleared away, and the sound of a saw-mill falls upon the ear.  Let us enter the dwelling.  Mr. and Mrs. Ainslie, although now no longer young, evince by their cheerful countenance that they yet retain both mental and bodily vigour.  As yet their children all remain at home, as the boys find ample employment upon the farm, and at the mill; While Jennette assists her mother in the labours of the household.  For many years the setting sun has rested upon the gleaming spire of the neat and substantial church erected by the settlers; and now upon the Sabbath day, instead of listening to a sermon read by a neighbour, they listen to the regular preaching of the gospel, and each one according to his means contributes to the support of their minister.  It was Mr. Ainslie who first incited the settlers to exert themselves in the erection of a suitable place for worship.  Some of his neighbours at the first were not inclined to favour the idea, thinking the neighbourhood too poor for the undertaking.  But he did not suffer himself to become discouraged, and after considerable delay the frame of the building was erected.  When the building was once begun, they all seemed to work with a will, and to the utmost of their ability.  Those who were unable to give money brought contributions of lumber, boards, shingles, &c., besides giving their own labour freely to the work; and in a short time the work had so far advanced that they were able to occupy the building as a place of worship, although in an unfinished state.  But the contributions were continued year after year, till at length they were privileged to worship in a church which they could call their own.  Mr. Ainslie was a man of talents and education, superior to most of the early settlers in that section, and it was his counsel, administered in a spirit of friendship and brotherly kindness, which worked many improvements and effected many changes for the better as the years rolled by.  As we turn away with a parting glance at the pleasing scene, we cannot help mentally saying,—­surely the residents in this vicinity owe much to Robert Ainslie for the interest he has ever taken in the prosperity and improvements of the place, and long may both he and they live to enjoy the fruit of their united labours.

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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