“Well, I won’t forget to pray for you, Nelly, and we know He will hear our prayers,” replied Lucy kindly.
Acts of Christian kindness often bring their reward even in this life: the “cup of cold water” we give sometimes returns to refresh our own parched lips. It was some comfort to Lucy, even in this time of sorrow, to feel that she had been enabled to help Nelly to know the Saviour, whom the poor, friendless child seemed to have received into her heart with a true and simple faith.
“My God, my Father,
while I stray
Far from my home in life’s rough way,
Oh teach me from my heart to say,
‘Thy will be done.’”
The short January afternoon was closing in when Lucy’s train drew near its destination. Gradually thickening clusters of houses, a momentary glimpse of distant steeples, a general commotion and hunting-up of tickets, packages, and bandboxes, betokened, even to Lucy’s inexperienced eyes, that the city was nearly reached.
She had made no acquaintances on the way; but a polite elderly gentleman, who had been sitting beside her, and had occasionally exchanged a kind word with her, seeing that she was alone, stopped to hand her out with great courtesy.
“Any one to meet you?” he asked, seeing that she seemed at a loss what to do next.
“Yes—that is—I expect”—faltered Lucy, looking round to see if Stella was not to be seen among the hurrying crowd. But no familiar face was to be seen; and the gentleman, who had caught only the first word of her answer, hurried off with a friend he met, forgetting all about Lucy.
It seemed to her a long time that she stood there, wistfully watching the people who were meeting their friends, or hurrying away alone; and her spirits, temporarily excited by the journey, began to sink fast. It seemed so strange that no one should be there to meet her, as her uncle had promised; and if no one should appear, what was she to do?
At last, after about five minutes had elapsed, a slight, delicate-looking young man, very fashionably dressed, with an eyeglass at one eye and a cigar in his mouth, sauntered along, lightly swinging his cane and looking leisurely around him. Presently he came up to Lucy, and, after a scrutinizing glance, he said, touching his hat:
“My cousin Lucy Raymond, I presume?” and seeing he was right, he added, with a nonchalant air, “Glad to see you; been waiting long?”
“About a quarter of an hour,” Lucy replied, thinking she was speaking the exact truth.
“Hardly that,” he replied. “I expected to have been here in time, but these trains are never to be depended on.”
Then he motioned to a cabman, who advanced and asked for the checks for the luggage.
Lucy had forgotten all about them, and her cousin mentally set her down as “green,” while she nervously searched for them.