“Jennie, dear, never again say that you are a ‘stray waif,’ for nothing ever goes astray in God’s universe. Your ‘identity’ is not ‘lost,’ for you are God’s child, and that child can never be deprived of her birthright, nor of any good thing necessary to her happiness or well-being. Neither have you ’been deprived of your only friend,’ nor has she been swept beyond the focus of your love, or you of hers. The bond that existed between you can never be broken, for it was, and still is, the reflection of divine Love that is omnipresent. I am looking forward to our reunion, and shall think of you often as the days slip by.
“With dear love, Katherine Minturn.”
The response which Katherine received to the above letter drew tears from her eyes, for Jennie’s full heart overflowed most touchingly, showing a depth of grateful appreciation that did her much credit.
While still grieving for her “dear auntie,” she could not restrain her joy, in view of the great boon of going back to school, and wrote of it:
“I did not think anything could make me so happy again, and I can never tell you how I love you for it. I will improve every minute. I will make you all proud of me. No one shall ever have cause to call me ‘Wild Jennie’ again, and when I graduate and get to teaching I shall pay you back every penny it has cost to fit me for it.”
One evening, after dinner, the Minturns went, with some friends who were visiting them, to Katherine’s favorite outlook, and, as they were passing the Hunt cottage they saw Dr. Stanley on the porch and invited him to join them. The sun was just setting as they reached their point of observation, where the view, illuminated by the vivid crimson and gold in the western sky, was impressive and magnificent beyond description.
They lingered long, as if loath to leave the enchanting prospect; but, as the softer shades of twilight began to steal gently like a veil of gauze over the scene, they turned their faces homeward once more.
As she was on the point of following, Katherine found Dr. Stanley tarrying beside her.
“Will you wait a moment?” he inquired, in a low voice, which impressed her as sounding not quite natural.
She paused with an inquiring look, and he led her back towards the edge of the bluff.
“Miss Minturn, do you see a vessel far out at sea?” he asked.
“Yes, it is a—”
“Pardon me, please,” he interposed; “it is a five-masted schooner, with sails all set, is it not?”
“Why, yes,” she began, turning to him in surprise, to find him looking off at the vessel, his right eye covered with one hand.
For a moment she could not speak. Then her face grew luminous with a great joy as she realized what it meant.
“Oh!” she breathed, softly.