Carl, absorbed in watching a spider spinning its web at the window, did not notice Faith’s legs. She walked home with her father after church and he never noticed them. She got on the hated striped stockings before Jerry and Una arrived, so that for the time being none of the occupants of the manse knew what she had done. But nobody else in Glen St. Mary was ignorant of it. The few who had not seen soon heard. Nothing else was talked of on the way home from church. Mrs. Alec Davis said it was only what she expected, and the next thing you would see some of those young ones coming to church with no clothes on at all. The president of the Ladies’ Aid decided that she would bring the matter up at the next Aid meeting, and suggest that they wait in a body on the minister and protest. Miss Cornelia said that she, for her part, gave up. There was no use worrying over the manse fry any longer. Even Mrs. Dr. Blythe felt a little shocked, though she attributed the occurrence solely to Faith’s forgetfulness. Susan could not immediately begin knitting stockings for Faith because it was Sunday, but she had one set up before any one else was out of bed at Ingleside the next morning.
“You need not tell me anything but that it was old Martha’s fault, Mrs. Dr. dear.” she told Anne. “I suppose that poor little child had no decent stockings to wear. I suppose every stocking she had was in holes, as you know very well they generally are. And I think, Mrs. Dr. dear, that the Ladies’ Aid would be better employed in knitting some for them than in fighting over the new carpet for the pulpit platform. I am not a Ladies’ Aider, but I shall knit Faith two pairs of stockings, out of this nice black yarn, as fast as my fingers can move and that you may tie to. Never shall I forget my sensations, Mrs. Dr. dear, when I saw a minister’s child walking up the aisle of our church with no stockings on. I really did not know what way to look.”
“And the church was just full of Methodists yesterday, too,” groaned Miss Cornelia, who had come up to the Glen to do some shopping and run into Ingleside to talk the affair over. “I don’t know how it is, but just as sure as those manse children do something especially awful the church is sure to be crowded with Methodists. I thought Mrs. Deacon Hazard’s eyes would drop out of her head. When she came out of church she said, ’Well, that exhibition was no more than decent. I do pity the Presbyterians.’ And we just had to take it. There was nothing one could say.”
“There was something I could have said, Mrs. Dr. dear, if I had heard her,” said Susan grimly. “I would have said, for one thing, that in my opinion clean bare legs were quite as decent as holes. And I would have said, for another, that the Presbyterians did not feel greatly in need of pity seeing that they had a minister who could preach and the Methodists had not. I could have squelched Mrs. Deacon Hazard, Mrs. Dr dear, and that you may tie to.”