“I have read your text-book,” he resumed, “but with a critical frame of mind that has been termed ’ecclesiastical and intellectual pride’”—this with a quizzical glance at his brother, who nodded back a sharp assent—“and I could or would find nothing good in it. To me it seemed atheistic, fallacious, heretical. You perceive I am not sparing myself in these admissions,” he interposed, “but I have been doing some serious thinking during my return voyage, and now I am going to read that book again; not to criticise, but to get at its true inwardness if I can.”
“That is a spirit that will surely bring its own reward,” Mrs. Minturn responded, her face luminous with admiration for the frank and conscientious acknowledgment which the man had made.
Mrs. Seabrook turned glad eyes upon her husband.
“And, William, we will have her keep on with the treatment, will we not?”
“Assuredly; one could never have the heart to stop the good work, even though one may not comprehend the method,” he heartily responded, and the happy wife and mother heaved a sigh of supreme content.
They talked on for a while longer, then Mrs. Minturn gracefully took her leave and went home to tell Katherine that another prodigal was on his way to his Father’s house.
Phillip Stanley’s first demonstration.
A week after the return of Prof. Seabrook, Dr. Stanley ventured to transfer his patient to his native city. He was desirous of getting him away before the general flitting back to Hilton, in order to prevent awkward meetings and complications.
The young man had improved steadily, and his physician had found him, as a rule, very patient and tractable. He avoided talking about himself, and never again referred to the conversation that had occurred a few days after his accident. He read a great deal, conversed freely of politics, current events, etc., and evidently tried to cause as little trouble as possible.
He was often seriously thoughtful, a circumstance which his observant attendant regarded as a favorable indication, while, now and then, he would drop a word that betrayed his appreciation of the rare kindness he was receiving. In arranging for his transportation Dr. Stanley neglected nothing that would contribute to his comfort, and he made the trip without the slightest inconvenience, although he betrayed a sense of restlessness as he neared his destination, for he had not even asked what was to become of him upon his arrival, and could not quite conceal his anxiety on that point.
When he was lifted out upon the platform at the station, in his own city, his astonished glance fell first upon his sister, a sweet girl of seventeen, then upon his father, both of whom greeted him as if there had never been a barrier between them.
He flushed a remorseful scarlet and lifted an inquiring look to Dr. Stanley.