When the class was dismissed for the day, Mrs. Minturn asked Prof. Seabrook if he would kindly remain to assist her with some papers she had to make out; and Mrs. Seabrook and Dorothy, their “hearts still burning within them,” stole quietly away to their rooms to talk over by themselves the beautiful things they had learned that morning.
They passed out upon the street and had walked nearly half the distance to their boarding place, when Mrs. Seabrook stopped short and turned a startled face to her child.
“Dorothy, your crutches!” was all she could say.
The girl lifted a wondering look to her.
“Mamma!” she said, in a voice of awe, “I forgot all about them!”
“Shall we—shall I go back for them?” mechanically inquired her mother.
“Go back for my crutches? Mamma! why, mamma! don’t you see that I am free?—that I can walk as well as you?” she exclaimed, with a catch in her breath that was very like a sob. “You’ve just got to know it, for me and with me,” she continued authoritatively, as she started on, “for I will never use them again. I have ’clung to the truth’—we’ve all clung—and ‘Truth has made me free’! Oh!”— in an indescribable tone—“‘who is so great a God as our God?’ Let us g-get home quick, or—I shall have to c-cry right here in—the street.”
“Mamma, I think I know, now, just when all the fear left me,” Dorothy said later, when, after reaching their rooms, each had for a few moments sought the “secret place” to offer her hymn of praise for this new gift of Love. “You know how beautifully Mrs. Minturn talked about man’s ‘God-given dominion,’ this morning; did you ever hear anyone say such lovely things? She seemed to take you almost into heaven, and I felt so happy—so light and free, I wanted to fly. I forgot all about my body, and I walked out of that room without realizing what I was doing; I hadn’t really got back to mortal sense and things material, when you stopped and spoke of my crutches. I haven’t said anything about it, for it seemed too good to be true, but for nearly two weeks I’ve had such a longing to walk alone, and, at times, it has almost seemed as if I could, but didn’t quite dare to try. And, mamma”—Dorothy lowered her voice reverently—“have you noticed, when helping me to dress lately, that—that one of the curves is nearly gone from my back?”
“Yes, dear, but I ‘have not dared’ to call your attention to it— that is what has made you seem so much taller, though we have called it ‘growing,’” her mother returned.
“Don’t you think we have been very, very faithless, mamma, dear, not to ‘dare’ speak of our blessings and thank God for them?” said the girl, tremulously.
“Dorrie, you shame me, every day, by your implicit faith!” faltered the woman, tears raining over her face.
“No—no; not ‘implicit,’ mamma, for that would make the other curve straight this very minute. But I know it is going to he, sometime, for God made the real me upright and nothing can deprive me of my birthright.”