“Yes; mamma and I spent a great deal of time in the Vatican. What a treasure vault it is!” Katherine replied, and then, as she turned other pictures to view, they fell to talking of scenes familiar to them both.
At length she came upon a reproduction of the healing of the lame man by Peter, at the “Gate Beautiful” of the Temple in Jerusalem.
It was full of strength and life, as well as of touches of beauty and pathos, and the girl’s face lighted with keen appreciation as she saw it.
“That is a queer story,” Dr. Stanley observed, and eagerly seizing the opportunity for which he had been waiting.
“Queer?” repeated Katherine, inquiringly.
“Yes; it seems so to me. Do you believe that man—Peter, I believe, was his name—performed that cure instantaneously, as related?”
“No; but God did, working through him,” said Katherine.
“You firmly believe that such an incident really occurred?”
“I certainly do.”
“And you just as firmly believe that such healing can be done now?”
The girl lifted a quick, searching look to her companion, half expecting to see the skeptical curl, which she so well remembered, wreathing his mobile lips.
But, instead, she found herself looking into a pair of grave, earnest blue eyes, and there was no sign of levity or derision in the fine face.
“Yes, it has been done many times during the last thirty years,” she quietly replied.
“Do you speak from actual knowledge or only from hearsay?”
“Both. I know of two cases, and my mother could tell you of several others.”
“Do you believe that Dorothy could be healed? made straight and well?”
“Oh, Dr. Stanley!” Katherine breathed, with luminous eyes. “Yes, indeed! yes. Will they try the Science for her? Oh! how I have yearned to have that dear child made whole!”
Her face was so radiant with hope, yet so softly tender and so beautiful, the physician was deeply moved.
“I cannot say as to that,” he replied. “But will you tell me, Miss Minturn, what, in your method, heals the sick?”
“God—the power that created the universe and holds it in His grasp, who ‘spake and it was done.’”
“Ah! but that is so vague, so intangible, I cannot comprehend your meaning,” said the man, with an impatient shrug of his broad shoulders. “I do not doubt the existence of God,” he continued, “nor His omnipotence, for I believe that the Creator must have all power over His own creation. But how—how can suffering humanity avail itself of that power? If I could grasp that—if I were sure it could be done by a really scientific process, I would never again prescribe a drug or touch a surgical instrument.”
He spoke with evident emotion, almost passionately, for they could hear Dorothy sobbing, from the returning pain, in the other room, and, with all his learning and experience, the man had a heart-sickening sense of discouragement in view of his own and others’ helplessness to cope with that demon of torture which was surely destroying his niece and, indirectly, wearing to a shadow his only sister.