Clement was the undoubted owner of Vale Leston, and the John Harewoods had decided on leaving the Priory. Just at the same time, when the acceptance of Clement’s resignation of St. Matthew’s had arrived, William Harewood was offered a canonry at Minsterham, with the headship of the theological college. The canonry had been the summit of his ambition when a boy, and there was no one fitter than he for the care of a theological college. He was pre-eminently a scholar, and his fifteen years of parish experience made good preparation for training young clergy.
So Clement could decide on presenting himself to the living of Vale Leston, with a staff of curates, and Geraldine to be his home sister, making the Priory a resting-place for overworked people, whether clergy, governesses, or poor, or mission-folk at home. It was a trust to be kept for Lancelot and his boy, who would make the summer home of the family there, to Dr. May’s great content. It was a peaceful home, and to every one’s surprise, Alda decided to remain at hand, chiefly to keep her boy under his uncle’s influence, which thus far was keeping him well in hand, and as he would go to a public school with little Felix, might be prolonged.
It was a comfort and encouragement to feel that hereditary dangers and temperament could be subdued and conquered in Gerald; and if the sins of parents had their consequence in the children, the scourge might become a palm. When the commemorative brass in the cloister was to be put up, Geraldine said-
“I should like to put ’Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece that was lost.’”
“He never was lost.”
“Oh no, no, my dear boy. But his work was so like the finding the stained, tarnished piece of silver, cast aside, defaced, dust-marked, and by simple duty and affection bringing her back.”
“I see! Let us have the inscription in Greek. Then none can apply it to himself! It was a wonderful work, and it is strange that having fulfilled it, he who brought the child from his father’s arms should lay him to his rest beside his father.”