After a Shadow and Other Stories eBook

Timothy Shay Arthur
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 126 pages of information about After a Shadow and Other Stories.

“I wish it were engraved in ineffaceable characters on my heart.  Ah, what a miserable self-tormentor I have been!  The door of my heart stand always ajar, as Mary said, and trouble comes gliding in that all times, without so much as a knock to herald his coming.  I must shut and bar the door!”

“Shut it, and bar it, my friend!” answered Mrs. Bland.  “And when trouble knocks, say to her, that you are too busy with orderly and useful things—­too earnestly at work in discharging dutiful obligations, in the larger sphere, which, by virtue of larger means, is yours to work in—­to have any leisure for her poor companionship, and she will not tarry on your threshold.  Throw to the winds such light causes of unhappiness as were suffered to depress you this morning, and they will be swept away like thistle down.”

“Don’t speak of them.  My cheek burns at the remembrance,” said Mrs. Caldwell.

They now stood at Mrs. Caldwell’s door.

“You will come in?”

“No.  The morning has passed, and I must return home.”

“When shall I see you?” Mrs. Caldwell grasped tightly her friends’ hand.

“In a day or two.”

“Come to-morrow, and help me to learn in this new book that has been opened.  I shall need a wise and a patient teacher.  Come, good, true, kind friend!”

“Give yourself no time for trouble,” said Mrs. Bland, with a tender, encouraging smile.  “Let true thoughts and useful deeds fill all your hours.  This is the first lesson.  Well in the heart, and all the rest is easy.”

And so, Mrs. Caldwell found it.  The new life she strove to lead, was easy just in the degree she lived in the spirit of this lesson, and hard just in the degree of her departure.

IX.

A good name.

Two boys, named Jacob Peters and Ralph Gilpin were passing along Chestnut Street one evening about ten years ago, when one of them, stopped, and said,—­

“Come, Ralph, let us have some oysters.  I’ve got a quarter.”  They were in front of an oyster-cellar.

“No,” replied Ralph, firmly.  “I’m not going down there.”

“I didn’t mean that we should get anything to drink,” replied the other.

“No matter:  they sell liquor, and I don’t wish to be seen in such a place.”

“That’s silly,” said Jacob Peters, speaking with some warmth.  “It can’t hurt you to be seen there.  They sell oysters, and all we should go there for would be to buy oysters.  Come along.  Don’t be foolish!” And Jacob grasped the arm of Ralph, and tried to draw him towards the refectory.  But Ralph stood immovable.

“What harm can it do?” asked Jacob.

“It might do at great deal of harm.”

“In what way?”

“By hurting my good name.”

“I don’t understand you.”

“I might be seen going in or coming out by some one who know me, and who might take it for granted that my visit, was for liquor.”

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Project Gutenberg
After a Shadow and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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