A Daughter of the Land eBook

Gene Stratton Porter
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 484 pages of information about A Daughter of the Land.

She and her mother had agreed that there was “something.”  Now Kate tried as never before to understand what, and where, and why, that “something” was.  Many days she would sit for an hour at a time, thinking, and at last she arrived at fixed convictions that settled matters forever with her.  One day after she had arranged the fall roses she had grown, and some roadside asters she had gathered in passing, she sat in deep thought, when a car stopped on the road.  Kate looked up to see Robert coming across the churchyard with his arms full of greenhouse roses.  He carried a big bunch of deep red for her mother, white for Polly, and a large sheaf of warm pink for Nancy Ellen.  Kate knelt up and taking her flowers, she moved them lower, and silently helped Robert place those he had brought.  Then she sat where she had been, and looked at him.

Finally he asked:  “Still hunting the ‘why,’ Kate?”

“‘Why’ doesn’t so much matter,” said Kate, “as ‘where.’  I’m enough of a fatalist to believe that Mother is here because she was old and worn out.  Polly had a clear case of uric poison, while I’d stake my life Nancy Ellen was gloating over the picture she carried when she ran into that loose sand.  In each of their cases I am satisfied as to ‘why,’ as well as about Father.  The thing that holds me, and fascinates me, and that I have such a time being sure of, is ‘where.’”

Robert glanced upward and asked:  “Isn’t there room enough up there, Kate?”

“Too much!” said Kate.  “And what is the soul, and how can it bridge the vortex lying between us and other worlds, that man never can, because of the lack of air to breathe, and support him?”

“I don’t know,” said Robert; “and in spite of the fact that I do know what a man cannot do, I still believe in the immortality of the soul.”

“Oh, yes,” said Kate.  “If there is any such thing in science as a self-evident fact, that is one.  That is provable.”

Robert looked at her eager face.  “How would you go about proving it, Kate?” he asked.

“Why, this way,” said Kate, leaning to straighten and arrange the delicate velvet petalled roses with her sure, work-abused fingers.  “Take the history of the world from as near dawn as we have any record, and trace it from the igloo of the northernmost Esquimo, around the globe, and down to the ice of the southern pole again, and in blackest Africa, farthest, wildest Borneo, you will never discover one single tribe of creatures, upright and belonging to the race of man, who did not come into the world with four primal instincts.  They all reproduce themselves, they all make something intended for music, they all express a feeling in their hearts by the exercise we call dance, they all believe in the after life of the soul.  This belief is as much a part of any man, ever born in any location, as his hands and his feet.  Whether he believes his soul enters a cat and works

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A Daughter of the Land from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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