« PrejšnjaNaprej »
persist in coming at all when they knew perfectly well that I would rather be left to myself?
It was probably Mrs. Johnson with a dish of some Danish concoction or Mrs. Mueller with a sample of some new brew, or Kate Peters with a design for a crocheted yoke or little Phil Holden with a crippled rabbit or cat. I had shown them plainly enough that I wasn't interested in their provincial affairs. But still they kept coming as during those first few weeks when there had been a bit of amusement mixed with annoyance. Of course I knew it was because they worshiped Jim. But that didn't make the annoyance any less. I couldn't help comparing them with my friends. back home.
Jim had tried to reconcile me to their crude hospitality. He was always preaching about hidden worth beneath their rough exteriors and call. ing them unpolished diamonds.
I might have pretended to like them for Jim's sake, but I felt that it wouldn't be just to him, for I had come to a painful realization that Jim did love these people. It was no matter of pretense with him. He was interested in their Danish puddings
and sick kittens. I was afraid sometimes that he would be contented to devote his entire life to them. Even
if that long dreamed of rail-road did come and give him the start he needed, I had resolutely made up my mind that he wouldn't make such a sacrifice. There were plenty of opporturities in civilized parts of the world. That resolve kept me cold and aloof from the advances of these people who were trying to be my friends, at times when without it I would have given in to their well-meant kindness. The knocking at the back door went on at intervals for several minutes. And then happened just what I knew would happen. The door opened and
a voice called, "Scuse me, Mis' Bates, but I guess you didn't hear me knock," and footsteps came across the kitchen floor toward the living room. It was Mertilla Doane.
I made a pretense of yawning as I raised myself from the window seat, and tried to keep my eyes averted. I didn't want Mertilla to know I'd ben crying.
"Doctor Jim 'phoned to ma about the bridge gettin' smashed and spoilin' your trip and he wanted some of us to come an' stay with you 'til he gets back." Mertilla was a pretty child. She had big trusting blue eyes that looked adoringly at you in a way that made you want to cuddle her until she said something that reminded you she was an inevitable part of Sunnyvale.
"Ma said you wouldn't ought to stay here alone. She'd a come over herself only she's takin' care of Granny Harding now Dorothy's sick, so she sent me to see if you won't please come over to our house. We're going to have batter puddin' fer dinner
-the kind Dr. Jim's most awful fond of. Ma used to make it every Sun
day when he lived with us 'fore you come." There was no denying that Aunty Doane, as Jim affectionately called the woman who had housed
and fed him during several summer vacations and the year after he had finished his medical course, was a good cook and Jim and I had just been "piecing" for the last day or so while I was so busy getting ready for my trip. But I felt as if I never wanted to eat again—at least in Sunnyvale.
"Won't you please come over?" Mertilla had sidled a little nearer and I knew without looking that she had that wistful, comforting look in her eyes that made everyone—especially Jim-her slave.
I had been trying to get command of myself before I spoke. I still kept my eyes toward the window as I answered Mertilla.
"Tell your mother that I am all right and that I prefer to remain at home." I waited for the child to go but she stood shifting from one shabby foot to the other.
"Thank you for coming." I condescended after an awkward pause. But just now I should like to be alone."
“Ma'll be awful dis'pointed. She's -she's sorry you can't go home-an' -an'
I winced, then stiffened at this reference to my disappointment. felt sobs crowding again into my throat. "I guess you'd better go and tell your mother I'm not coming. I'm busy this morning." I stood up and started toward the bedroom.
"If-if-you'd like some of us to come and stay with you-an-they say Dorothy's awful sick, an' ma thinks Dr. Jim maybe won't be back to-night-If we can do anything fer you. We'd all do anything fer Dr. Jim-an' you. You're so purty an' grand jist like the ladies in books -can't I-go an' git Snowball an' the kittens an' come an' stay with you?" Hesitatingly Mertilla had drawn nearer in spite of my repulses and she was now clinging to my skirt. I didn't dare look down into her face. I knew if I did I couldn't keep back those choking sobs.
"Thank you, there is nothing you can do." I hurried into the bedroom and closed the door, conscious of a feeling of shame at the way I had treated this little favorite of Jim'sbut I simply had to let the flood gates open again.
The room was in the confusion of my interrupted packing. I knelt beside a half-filled traveling bag, and picking up a tiny baby shirt from a chair buried my face in its softness. "I can't stay, I can't!" I sobbed over and over until I was weak and exhaused. I remained huddled there for hours after Mertilla's steps had died away.
Then I heard Paddy's tuneless whistle as he came shuffling along the frozen walk.
Paddy was a simple-minded old Irishman, without either kith or kin, who had been injured in a coal mine and who was alive only because of Jim's surgery. For this reason he was our sworn slave. To please the old fellow, Jim often let him do little cdd jobs for us, and I heard him ask Paddy the day before to come around at three o'clock and help take my luggage to the post office. It was now twenty minutes to three. Evi dently Paddy had not heard of the snowslide. I would have to go out and explain.
He surprised me with his greeting. "Shure an' it's sorry I am Missus Jim, that your trip be shpoilt an' you a countin' on it so." Somehow Paddy and I had grown to be good friends. Perhaps it was because he didn't seem any more really to belong to Sunnyvale than I did. I told him much about my old home and of my plans for this visit.
"Shure, an' Doctor Jim's sorry, too. He's wurkin that hard on the trail, between takin' care of the sick baby, it's worried I am fer the b'y."
"Working the doctor working on the trail-what do you mean?"
"Shure, he tried to get the men to dig the trail so the coach could get through you wantin' so bad to gobut the b'ys said it was dangerous till the slide settled more firm. But
when he offered to lead the gang, never thinkin' of hisslf-which is jist like the b'y, as you know-they follers after an' gits to work thinkin' so much of Doctor Jim as we all does, you know. And its that he sent me to tell you-not to be feelin' blue fer if all goes well and the baby the Bend don't get worse the trail'll be ready 'fore 'mornin'. gorrar it's a foin man you got, MisAn, be sus Jim, an' I'm tellin
Strange that in my sudden joy at the prospect of getting away my mind did not register the suggestion of danger to Jim.
I hurriedly continued my packing and when that was finished I went over the house, putting into order every neglected corner. Jim would take his meals at Mrs. Doane's but he would be home nights.
If he were only going!-if we were only both going for good! What could he see in this God-forsaken place anyway? This snowslide was simply another characteris ic of the wretched place. How I hated it!
It was dark before I had completed my work and set the table for supper-as Sunnyvale called it. Dorothy were better Jim would one If be home and he'd be tired and hungry if he'd been working on their old trail all day. My resentment against the place and people was becoming more bitter every day. I wondered what Jim would do if I should take a firm stand and tell him that he must give up That I would not come back to such and go with me. a dungeon and that he had no right to expect me to. That even if he were willing to sacrifice himself he owed something to me and to-to our coming baby.
I suddenly resolved to try it. I'd tell him all the things I'd been trying to smother back during the last hate
649 ful months. Of course Jim was fine
he was wonderful, and it wasn't strange these people worshiped him
their midst-but he owed something -a man like Jim wasting his life in to me. Yes, I would tell him.
And then I heard them coming! I think it was Paddy's hoarse sobs that first caught my ears.. sitting by the window looking out I was where the pale December moon on regular street look narrower and the smoke-greyed snow made the iruglier than usual. At the sound of those sobs I went to the door, clutch at my throat. Then I saw them coming around the corner—a queer, cold premonition began to indistinct mass, at first moving unmistakably toward our gate-and they were carrying something. Indark, ing limbs, I knew it was Jim-and stinctively before I could distinguish his still white face and his poor hangthat he had been crushed in that snowslide while working on a trail for me.
I felt the world about me begin to sway and darkness smothering closer and closer.
But before the blackness swallowed me up, I heard two or three things I shall never forget. It was big Dan Davis, his gruff tones broken and wait and git Aunty Doane to-to-to hushed who asked, "Hadn't we better go in and-and-prepare her?"
Alex Chester's clear, young voice protested fiercely. "She don't de Alex through a severe case of mounserve no preparin"." Jim had seen with gratitude. tain fever and the boy was still warm
"Hush, Alex. We ain't no jedge.” admonished old man Graham.
Alex vehemently. "She thinks we "It don't take no jedgin'," retorted ain't good enough to wipe her feet
on, and we'd a done anything fer him -while she-she's killed him."
They were coming in the gate and had seen me standing at the door. As Alex's words cut into my heart I tried to cry out and rush toward the dear, limp form they were bringing; but the floor came up to meet me and then thick blackness blotted out all sight and sound.
It was three weeks before I opened my eyes to the world of reality and even then it seemed for some time more unreal than the hideous nightmares I had been through.Jim,whom I thought I had murdered, white and thin and with a crutch beside him, but alive and with the old, dear light in his face was propped in a chair beside me. Aunt Sarah was bending over a white basket in the corner from which they later brought me our litt son. Dr. Beck was stirring some tab. lets into a glass of water. Through the open door I could see 'Aunty Doane noiselessly laying the diningroom table, while Mertilla, with her beloved Snowball in one arm and the three fluffy offsprings in the other, was peeping wistfully in at the open door.
It was she who first noticed that I
was "awake." I wasn't sure myself that it wasn't all a dream until I beckoned her and she came radiant eyed toward me whispering, "She's awake she's different."
It still seems a miracle to me and
I think it never could have been done any place but in Sunnyvale or by any other people-the way they tunneled through that dangerous slide and got Dr. Beck and special nurses and Aunt Sarah, and the way they left their own work and dearest interests and cared for us and saved us. Of course they worshiped Jim and did it for him, but-well, I'm trying and I'm going to try the rest of my life to be worthy.
We named our boy James Doane and I insisted on calling him Doane because it seemed to me a sort of symbol of Sunnyvale.
five years old and then we left for We stayed there until Doane was Jim to take his present position on the hospital staff here in the city. I'm sure I felt worse than he did when we bade our friends good-bye-I really had friends when we left-and going to school. Mertilla is living here with us now,
Alex Chesters apologetically said to me one day a few months after the accident, "I shouldn't ought to have said what I did that night Dr. Jim got hurt. You hain't nothin' like I thought you wuz.”
Strange how sweet those ungrammatical sentences sounded to my ears. I took Alex's hard, brown hand and pressed it gratefully.
"I'm glad you said it, Alex. I'm glad all that happened. It helped me to find the sun in Sunnyvale."
Taking a Sacred City
By James H. Anderson
"And thou, his son, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this." -Dan. 5:22.
Do think in dates? If so, you should know history sufficiently to draw valuable lessons therefrom. Chronological data is dull reading; but applying the mental faculty of thought to that which is "between the lines" is intensely interesting as well as informing.
We all realize that epochs of history are made up of both tragical and trivial events. Properly related and compared, these not only make a clear record for successive epochs past, but are an enlightening indicator of the immediate future. Here are some chronological data wherein the "filling" may be quite illuminating when supplied with the conecting line of its historical and prophetic progress. I
July 12, 1914, two men were engaged in coversation a short distance south of the Pioneer Monument in Salt Lake City. A third man approached, handed then a telegram in cipher which they examined and gave back; only one word was spoken: "Thanks" from the two men, and the third passed on.
A brief pause, and one of the two said: "This is the great war that will give Palestine to the Jews"-at that time a strange remark for the ostensibly peaceful mood of those days.
"Are there missionaries in Germany?" inquired the other.
"Yes, a considerable number." "We will see President Joseph F. Smith at once.' They did. The first man made the
blunt statement: "You would do well to get every Mormon missionary out of Germany as quickly as possible.”
"For what reason?" inquired President Smith.
The second man spoke: "There is going to be war with Germany."
The further conversation is not material here. Incidentally, the United States Secret Service is great in its alertness and effectiveness. There was then no public shadow of war, but already that service had penetrated the innermost European official secrets, and everywhere was safeguarding the lives of Americans within the danger zone, although no public warning could be given.
Ten days later, July 22, 1914, secret orders were issued to German military commanders; on July 24 they were effective in all divisions. July 29, German troops crossed outward over Germany's frontier, and the war was on-a thunderbolt from the world's apparently clear and peaceful sky. Three months later, on October 31, Turkey came in on the side of the kaiser and on April 6, 1917, America was involved against Germany.
This is episode one.
Years pass in fierce conflict. In 1916, a British army had gone into Mesopotamia, to encircle Palestine; it was taken prisoner. In 1917, an immense Russian force came from the northeast into Mesopotamia, heading for Palestine. Success in this latter move meant Palestine for the Greek Catholic church, which for centuries had been upheld by the Rus