When the wished-for volume was handed to him he opened the cover and glanced at the title page, reading therefrom, “Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker G. Eddy.” A peculiar smile, in which there may have been a trace of self-contempt, wreathed his lips as he slipped it under his arm and then made his way from the building.
He stopped at a cafe near by and partook of a light meal, after which he returned to his office and read from his book as long as daylight lasted, without once laying it aside. Then, lighting a student lamp, he became absorbed again, reading on until the clock struck ten.
“There is much I do not understand! much I cannot grasp!” he exclaimed, a note of impatience in his voice, and the perplexing work was tossed somewhat irreverently upon the table. “It so radically reverses preconceived ideas and opinions; it seems so abstruse, vague and intangible, it irritates me. And yet, in the light of what Mrs. Minturn and her daughter have told me, I believe I have caught a glimpse, here and there, of the meaning of some of its statements. It is like trying to march through a tangled wilderness,” he continued, as he picked up the book again and slowly slipped the leaves through his fingers; “but I’ll read the thing through, now that I have begun it, though I have a suspicion that I shall only get deeper into an impenetrable thicket.”
While Phillip Stanley was thus engaged, Mrs. Seabrook was earnestly discussing the same subject with her husband. She related to him her recent conversation with her brother, also her suspicions regarding what had so almost miraculously banished Miss Reynolds’ severe malady, and repeated some things which she had overheard during her brother’s interview with Katherine.
Prof. Seabrook, usually so considerate and tender in all his relations with his dear ones—such a gentle man in every sense of the word—sat listening with averted face and brow heavily overcast, his finely chiseled lips compressed into an obstinate, rigid line.
“William, do let us give it a trial; it certainly could do no harm, and it might give Dorrie some relief from the pain,” pleaded his wife, but studying the unsympathetic face opposite her with mingled anxiety and surprise.
There was an awkward silence when she concluded; but at length her companion observed, in a repressed tone:
“Emelie, Phillip and I have already discussed this subject.”
“I know; he has told me, Will; but I thought, perhaps, after you had given the matter more consideration, in view of these recent developments, you might think more favorably of it,” Mrs. Seabrook eagerly interposed.
“But I do not think more favorably of it,” was the cold response.
“But why? What possible objection can you have to giving the method a trial?” queried Mrs. Seabrook and flushing with momentary indignation at his intolerant attitude. “You have eagerly welcomed and tried everything that numerous physicians have suggested and which, after years of patient experimenting, have done absolutely no good. I cannot understand why you should be so obstinately opposed to what anyone can see, can do no possible harm, even if no permanent relief is derived from it.”