“That sounds very promising, as you put it, though the how of it seems rather vague. But, by all that’s honest, I would like to get at the secret of it,” and the young man turned a frank, earnest face to his companion as he concluded.
“This will reveal it. Will you read it if I leave it with you?” and Dr. Stanley drew forth a pocket edition of “Science and Health” and laid it upon his knee.
Willard opened it and glanced at the title-page.
“Thank you; I shall be glad to look it through,” he replied.
“You will need a Bible to go with it,” said his companion, lifting his eyes to a bookcase near him.
“You’ll not find one there,” his patient observed, with a short laugh. “Bibles and I have had nothing in common this many a year. However, there are plenty about the house.”
Dr. Stanley shortly after took his leave and went away to visit other hungry ones, a reverent joy in his heart and on his lips the paean of David, “Who is so great a God as our God?”
A few weeks later Edwin Willard walked briskly into his office, his handsome face all aglow with health, a new hope and purpose shining in his eyes.
“I’m off, Stanley!” he said, in cheery, eager tones as he laid his friend’s “little book” on his desk. “I’ve just slipped in to return this and bid you au revoir.”
“Off!” repeated Phillip Stanley, in surprise. “Where to? what for?”
“I’m going to Washington, as private secretary to the Hon.——, United States Senator from Pennsylvania. He was a classmate of my father’s at Yale, and asked the governor, the other day, if he could suggest some one for the position,” Willard explained. “It’s very sudden, but it’s great luck, though this”—touching the book he had just laid down—“teaches there’s no such thing as luck. The salary won’t permit me to keep up a spread-eagle style at present”—with a light-hearted laugh—“but I have a promise of more later on, and it may be the stepping-stone to something better; and, Stanley, I’m bent on going higher, in more ways than one,” he concluded, in a confidential tone.
“Ned, I am more glad than I can tell you, and my best wishes go with you,” heartily returned his friend. “Wouldn’t you like to take the book along as a souvenir?” he asked, pushing it towards him.
“Thanks, I’ve just bought one for myself, and I don’t need any souvenirs to remind me of you; for, Stanley, all I am and all I hope to be I owe to you, or—I suppose you would prefer me to say--to God, through you. But if I am to catch that fast express I must skip. I’ll write to you, though, when I am settled.”
The two men clasped hands and looked deep into each other’s eyes for a moment; then the younger turned abruptly away and left the room, the elder gravely watching the manly form as it sped, with alert and vigorous steps, down the street.
“God bless the boy!” he said, in a low tone; “he has ’got at the secret of it’ at last, and his life henceforth will be crowned with joy and peace.”