Jan of the Windmill eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 321 pages of information about Jan of the Windmill.

“He’ve been married these two year,” Master Chuter replies.  “And they do say Miss Amabel have been partial to him from a child.  He come down here, sir, soon after his father took to him, and he draad out Miss Amabel’s old white horse for her; and the butler have told me, sir, that it hangs in the library now.  It be more fit for an inn sign, sartinly, it be, but the gentry has their whims, sir, and Miss Amabel was a fine young lady.  The Squire’s moral image she be; affable and free, quite different to her ladyship.  Coffee, sir?  No, sir?  Dined, sir?  It be a fine evening, sir, if you’d like to see the church.  I’d be glad to show it you, myself, sir.  Old Solomon have got the key.”

In the main street of the village even the man of business strolls.  There is no hurrying in this atmosphere.  It is a matter of time to find Old Solomon, and of more time to make him hear when he is found, and of most time for him to find the key when he hears.  But time is not money to the merchant just now, and he watches the western sky patiently, and is made sleepy by the breeze.  When at last they saunter under the shadow of the gray church tower, his eye is caught by the mass of color, out of which springs a high cross of white marble, whose top is just flushed by the setting sun.  It is of fine design and workmanship, and marks the grave where the great man’s schoolmaster sleeps near his wife and child.  Hard by, Master Chuter shows the “fever monument,” and the names of Master Lake’s children.  And then, as Daddy Solomon has fumbled the door open, they pass into the church.  The east end has been restored, the innkeeper says, by the Squire, under the advice of his son-in-law.

And then they turn to look at the west window,—­the new window, the boast of the parish,—­at which even old Solomon strains his withered eyes with a sense of pride.  The man of business stands where Jan used to sit.  The unchanged faces look down on him from the old window.  But it is not the old window that he looks at, it is the new one.  The glory of the setting sun illumines it, and throws crimson lights from the vesture of the principal figure—­like stains of blood—­upon the pavement.

“It be the Good Shepherd,” Master Chuter explains, but his guest is silent.  The pale-faced, white-haired angels in the upper lights seem all ablaze, and Old Solomon cannot look at them.

“Them sheep be beautiful,” whispers the innkeeper; but the stranger heeds him not.  He is reading the inscription:  —

To the Glory of god,
And in pious memory of Abel, my dear foster-brother: 
I, who designed this window,
Dedicate it.

He shall gather the lambs into His arms.


{1} Windmiller’s candlesticks are flat candlesticks made of iron, with a long handle on one side, and a sharp spike on the other, by which they can be stuck into the wall, or into a sack of grain, or anywhere that may be convenient.  Each man who works in the mill has a candlestick, and one is always kept alight and stationary on the basement floor.

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Jan of the Windmill from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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