Half an hour later Prof. Seabrook came in, looking a trifle pale and anxious.
Dorothy arose and went forward, with radiant face, to meet him. He could not speak, but opened his arms to her and held her close for a minute, his trembling lips pressed against the fair head lying on his breast.
Presently she gently released herself, remarking:
“Papa, do you know, when you came in, you looked as if you expected to find what we have all wished for so long.”
“I did and—I didn’t,” he replied, with a faint smile. “When I had finished what Mrs. Minturn asked me to do, and started to leave the room, I saw your crutches standing in the corner where I had put them after you were seated.
“While I stood blankly staring and wondering, that blessed woman came to me with such a light on her face—it fairly shone with joy and love.
“‘Dorrie has gone,’” she said. “’I saw her walk out with her mother.’
“Involuntarily I put out my hand to take the crutches,
“‘No—leave them,’ she said, ’she will never need them again, and you do not wish any reminders of error about you.’ So I came away praying ‘Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.’”
A momentous errand.
There were only three more sessions, but they were wonderful “sittings together,” for every member had been deeply impressed by the signal manifestation of God’s power in their midst, in connection with Dorothy; and felt that the place whereon they stood was indeed “holy ground.”
Then the class was dismissed with solemn, but loving, injunctions to go forth to “cheer the faint, uplift the fallen, and heal the sick.”
But, before letting them go, Mrs. Minturn cordially invited the students to spend the following Thursday at her home in Manchester; to enjoy a reunion and an outing before finally separating to go to their different fields of labor.
As their last meeting occurred on Tuesday, there intervened but one day in which to prepare for the prospective festivities on Thursday. But willing hearts and hands—for Mr. Minturn was now at home, and Prof. Seabrook and Dr. Stanley proffered their services--made light work of the various things to be done.
Katherine, Sadie and Jennie planned elaborate decorations for the veranda; accordingly the coachman and hostler were dispatched to the woods for pine boughs, evergreens, etc., then to a florist’s, for potted ferns and plants, with an order for cut-flowers to be sent on Thursday morning, and it was not long before the house began to put on quite a festive appearance.
On Wednesday, just after lunch, Mr. Minturn repaired to the attic and brought forth a box supposed to contain Chinese and Japanese lanterns, with other decorations; but, alas! when it was opened it was found that the mice had made sad havoc with its contents, and they were condemned as utterly useless.