It was after ten o’clock when the meeting at the tent was closed. It had been a strange and, in some respects, a remarkable meeting. Maxwell had come down again at Gray’s request. He was completely worn out by the day’s work, but the appeal from Gray came to him in such a form that he did not feel able to resist it. President Marsh was also present. He had never been to the Rectangle, and his curiosity was aroused from what he had noticed of the influence of the evangelist in the worst part of the city. Dr. West and Rollin had come with Rachel and Virginia; and Loreen, who still stayed with Virginia, was present near the organ, in her right mind, sober, with a humility and dread of herself that kept her as close to Virginia as a faithful dog. All through the service she sat with bowed head, weeping a part of the time, sobbing when Rachel sang the song, “I was a wandering sheep,” clinging with almost visible, tangible yearning to the one hope she had found, listening to prayer and appeal and confession all about her like one who was a part of a new creation, yet fearful of her right to share in it fully.
The tent had been crowded. As on some other occasions, there was more or less disturbance on the outside. This had increased as the night advanced, and Gray thought it wise not to prolong the service.
Once in a while a shout as from a large crowd swept into the tent. The returns from the election were beginning to come in, and the Rectangle had emptied every lodging house, den and hovel into the streets.
In spite of these distractions Rachel’s singing kept the crowd in the tent from dissolving. There were a dozen or more conversions. Finally the people became restless and Gray closed the service, remaining a little while with the converts.
Rachel, Virginia, Loreen, Rollin and the Doctor, President Marsh, Mr. Maxwell and Dr. West went out together, intending to go down to the usual waiting place for their car. As they came out of the tent they were at once aware that the Rectangle was trembling on the verge of a drunken riot, and as they pushed through the gathering mobs in the narrow streets they began to realize that they themselves were objects of great attention.
“There he is—the bloke in the tall hat! He’s the leader! shouted a rough voice. President Marsh, with his erect, commanding figure, was conspicuous in the little company.
“How has the election gone? It is too early to know the result yet, isn’t it?” He asked the question aloud, and a man answered: