“Look here, Janet,” said Jock, “mother will not forbid it, I know. If you will wait another day for me to arrange for her, I will go with you. This is a place specially mentioned as in frightful need of medical attendance, and I already doubted whether I ought not to volunteer, but if you have an absolute call of duty there, that settles it. Mother, do you remember that American clergyman who dined with us? I met him just now. He begged me with all his heart to persuade you to come and stay with his family. I believe he is going to bring his wife to call. I am sure they would take care of you.”
“I don’t want care. Jock, Jock, why should I not go and help? Do you think I can send my children into the furnace without me?”
Jock came and sat down by her with his specially consoling caress. “Mother dear, I don’t think you ought. We are trained to it, you see, and it is part of our vocation, besides, Janet has a call. But your nursing would not make much difference, and besides, you don’t belong only to us-Armine and Babie need their home. And suppose poor Bobus came back. No, I am accountable to them all. They didn’t send me out in charge of my Mother Carey that I should run her into the jaws of Yellow Jack. I can’t do it, mother. I should mind my own business far less if I were thinking about you. It would be just like your coming after me into a general engagement.”
“Lucas is quite right,” said Janet. “You know, mother, this is a special kind of nursing, that one does not understand by the light of nature, and you are not strong enough or tough enough for it.”
“I flattered myself I was pretty tough,” said her mother, with trembling lip. “What sort of a place is it? Could not I-even if you won’t let me nurse-be near enough to rest you, and feed you, and disinfect you? That is my trade, Jock will allow, as a doctor’s wife and mother. And I could collect things and send them to the sick. Would not that be possible, my dears?”
Jock said he would find out. And then he told them he had found a Church with a daily service, to which they went.
And then those three had a wonderfully happy evening together.
CHAPTER XLI. GOOD OUT OF EVIL.
the field of combat lay
By the tomb’s self; how he sprang from ambuscade-
Captured Death, caught him in that pair of hands.
“John,” said Sydney, as they were taking their last walk together as engaged people on the banks of their Avon, “There’s something I think I ought to tell you.”
“Well, my dearest.”
“Don’t they say that there ought not to be any shadow of concealment of the least little liking for any one else, when one is going to be married,” quoth Sydney, not over lucidly.
“I’m sure I can safely acquit myself of any such shadow,” said John, laughing. “I never had the least little liking for anybody but Mother Carey, and that wasn’t a least little one at all!”