Lawrence replied at once. " It is the sort of situa
tion which faces ministers frequently. In such cases
I have always responded with an affirmative. I will not
now stop to explain and analyze motives, but suffice it
to say that without doubt I would have conducted the
service. What did Carnaquay do ? I am anxious to
" I can guess," interjected Mrs. Freeman, hastily.
Mr. Marshall nodded toward her and said, "You
would guess correctly. He did not go. He sent a
brief note, in which he said that he was busy with the
duties of the parish, which had a right to his time and
effort, since it paid him for them ; too busy to feel justi
fied in using his time and strength for work outside the
parish ; and he hoped they would send for the clergy
man, whoever he might be, whom they considered their
pastor, and whom they helped to maintain in the com
munity. Of course there was no other clergyman, as
nearly related to them as was Dr. Carnaquay ; but they
were obliged to send for a retired minister who lived
next door, and the funeral service was held."
Mr. Marshall looked at his two listeners inquiringly,
but neither of them replied. Presently, Mrs. Freeman,
always frank and sincere, threw back her head with a
characteristic gesture, and said : " Although I think he
ought to have gone, I must admit that I can see his side
MORE SPOTS, AND LARGER 277
of the matter. Many of the duties, which ministers are
freely called upon to perform, are in this same class.
They are duties which are expected and even demanded
by people who will not lift a finger nor contribute one
penny to make possible in the community, that service
and ministration which they, on occasion, so confidently
and insistently claim. Mr. Carnaquay simply carried
out logically his theory and practice of the clerical life
as a commercialism. Strictly speaking, judging a min
ister by the same standards that are used by most people
not all in judging his so-called success, namely
value received," exchange of values, I think he would
be justified in rendering service to only those who paid
him for it ; that is, those who help support the church
which maintains him. Of course I mean to except
those who cannot afford to contribute. In this case,
however, I understood you that the man could afford to
do his share in the maintenance of the church."
Lawrence had folded his arms, and sat with head
bowed forward, and with a faint suggestion of a smile
playing about his mouth. He was letting his wife
" have her say," as they often facetiously expressed
it in the family. He did not quite agree with her
position here taken, yet he was rather glad to have
her express her views to their trusted friend. At this
point he thought it best to change the subject. " I have
been told," he remarked, looking up, "that Carnaquay s
style of preaching has changed somewhat of late. Is
that so, Mr. Marshall? Have you noticed it? "
" I don t think that I would have noticed it myself,"
said the mill-owner, frankly. " But Ned and Olive have
called my attention to it. He certainly does not stride
about the platform so much and gesture so wildly ; and
there really seems to be more more, well, what I
would call substance in his discourses."
278 RONALD CARNAQUAY
"Your daughter, Olive, told me the other day," said
Mrs. Freeman, "that he quotes Browning and Carlyle
and Emerson and such men, much more than formerly."
" Yes yes," assented Mr. Marshall, doubtfully ; add
ing, with an indulgent smile as he thought of his dearly
loved daughter, " if Olive says so, why, he does. But
I hadn t noticed that in the sermons ; I m not very famil
iar with those writers. I have a dim recollection that
he gave a reading from Browning at Miss Metcalf s a
few weeks ago. Did you know of that ? "
" Indeed I did," responded Mrs. Freeman, vivaciously.
" Lawrence and I were invited but did not go. Miss
Metcalf s literary and aesthetic entertainments have
always interested me. She has several of them every
year, you know. Not that she knows or cares any
thing about poetry or art or sociology, or any of those
things ; but she dearly loves to manage. And she
picks up any literary or aesthetic light, who happens
to be in the public eye, and gathers a company under
her roof to listen. She herself never hears any of the
instructive talks or readings, for she is as busy as a bee,
all the time, attending to the arrangements. She makes
a picturesque and effective hostess, I must admit ; but
her real interest is in the details of food, clothing, chairs,
and the like. Miss Metcalf is a most pragmatic woman."
" She is, indeed, a capable person," said Mr. Marshall.
" I have noticed that, although she always disclaims in
terest in woman s rights and similar movements, she is a
person eminently fitted for the exercise of such privi
leges, and finds her greatest joy in directing men and
women, according to her wishes. I have heard a num
ber of people say that she would make a good minister s
This was said with a significant smile, and Lawrence
laughed as he inquired, " What minister ? "
Then they all laughed, but Freeman and his wife were
a trifle uneasy over this turn in the conversation. The
subject of Carnaquay s marriage intentions was a delicate
one to discuss with the father of Olive Marshall. Mrs.
Freeman, with a woman s quickness of social resource,
suggested in an indifferent way : " Mark my words, he
is not half so much interested in Miss Metcalf as he is
in Mrs. Adeline Guthrie. I am told that the charming
widow was not present at the Browning reading, although
her interest in that poet is very well known."
"Indeed!" interjected Lawrence, "I had not heard
" My dear, you have many things still to learn," re
marked his wife, with impressive condescension.
" But her non-attendance does not signify," continued
Mr. Freeman. "There might have been several good
reasons for it."
" Yes ; and two such reasons I can think of at once.
She might not have wished to hear him read, in public,
poems which she and he together had read in private.
She might have been a little sensitive about them. And
again, the simple reason may have been and from
what I have heard I am inclined to think it the real
reason she may not have been invited."
" Oh, I think you are a little severe on our " Lady of
the Snowy Locks," ventured Lawrence, though not
" Not at all. You know as well as I do that she is a
very determined and even vindictive woman, and watch
ful and suspicious also. I am tolerably sure that her
heart has been not a little stirred by the reverend gen
tleman s attentions and compliments; and she must
also know that he and Mrs. Guthrie are a great deal
together. So I put two and two together and get my
280 RONALD CARNAQUAY
"M m! M m!" was the mill-owner s only com
ment, as he evidently balanced the probabilities, behind
his bushy black beard.
" More than that," continued Mrs. Freeman, a little
nervously, eager to urge her point as strongly as she
could, " I have not seen Adeline as often, lately, as I
did formerly. She does not come here so much, and
when she does come, I cannot interest her much in the
classes and clubs of our North Side matters which did
greatly interest her a few months ago. And yet she
does not seem depressed, but, on the contrary, notice
ably happy ; and, what is most significant, I have
seen her distinctly curb her joyous expression, as if real
izing bright little woman that she is that such buoy
ancy of manner and speech was revealing a condition
of her heart which she did not wish known."
After a little, Lawrence said more seriously, " I
wonder if she knows this man, or is she led captive, as
most women begging your ladyship s pardon" (with
a low bow to Mrs. Freeman), " as most women are, by
their blind emotions, by their great need of love ? "
Mrs. Freeman did not linger over her husband s fun,
but answered him slowly and emphatically. " Adeline
Guthrie knows Ronald Carnaquay better, more critically,
than does any one of us. She is a very acute woman.
She sees the faults in him, as plainly as we do. And I
believe she also sees the undeveloped good that is under
neath his showy and conceited exterior manners. She
is a clever and noble woman, and she can make a man of
him, if she has a fair chance. She is no egotist, as Miss
Metcalf is, and very likely would find her own best life
in developing his life. Clever wives are of two kinds.
One kind absorbs a husband, and the other develops
him. At any rate, I hope she will get affection. She
deserves more of it and on more even terms, than she
MORE SPOTS, AND LARGER 281
ever could have had from that dried-up old theologian,
Dr. Guthrie. He was old enough to be not merely her
father, but her grandfather."
" You are marking out quite a broad field of missionary
effort for Mrs. Guthrie," said Lawrence, good-naturedly,
" and I think she might enjoy the work, provided
that she takes it up ; for she is a woman of rare penetra
tion and stimulative power." Then he added, with a
twinkle of the eye, " If she does effect a reform in the
man, I shall think it a most praiseworthy success, and
shall consider it a plain case of widow s might. "
" There, there ! " admonished his wife. " Puns are
ruled out. I really mean all that I say, and more. I
am no Deborah to prophesy, but I think Time will justify
my guesses. If those two read Browning very much,
they must have noted the Song from James Lee,
where it says :
" If you loved only what were worth your love,
Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you.
Make the low nature better by your throes !
Give earth yourself, go up for gain above ! "
Lawrence made a faint show of repressing her.
" Don t, my dear ! Don t, I beg you ! Don t confess
so publicly your missionary purpose in marrying me !
Mr. Marshall can now understand, as never before, my
rare good fortune."
The party was becoming infected with the general
spirit of fun-making, so that even Mr. Marshall, rising
to go, remarked jocosely : " Gossip ! Gossip ! Most of
our talk this morning. I must go away and get over
its evil influence as soon as possible." And he bade
them both a hearty and even affectionate good-by, and
OLD HEARTS AND YOUNG LOVE
" The healing of the world is in its nameless saints."
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
IT was quite true, as Uncle Ben had told Mr. Free
man, that Mis Snow was expecting him, Uncle Ben,
that morning. Not that the engagement was of a very
serious nature it was merely to come over and " visit,"
and perhaps play the violin. But the old man s honest
nature admitted no shades and grades in obligations;
he had no sense of proportion. Either he "ought" or
he "ought not," no matter what the deed might be,
great or small ; the sense of duty which constrained him
to pick up and wipe and straighten a bent pin, when his
purblind old eyes discerned one on the sidewalk, was just
as great and inexorable as was his feeling of duty about
performing his regular morning task of opening and
sweeping out the hardware store near his home. In the
faithful performance of this task he never failed. Nor
did he fail to pick up and save the bent, tarnished pin
not that he used all the pins thus rescued, but he
practised this economy from principle. Morality and
not utility was the strong motive of his faithful old
So he hurried away, in his feeble, shuffling fashion,
gaze lowered, oblivious of the city s life, and presented
himself at " Mis " Snow s house. A large and very
comfortable house it was, too, surrounded by a garden,
OLD HEARTS AND YOUNG LOVE 283
and this by a high stone wall. It had been built by
Mr. Snow, thirty years before. He was, in his youth, a
carpenter, and later in life, by dint of untiring energy, a
prosperous contractor and builder. He had ruled every
body with an iron hand. His wife, after the death of
her masterful liege, had developed an average amount
of self-reliance and individuality ; but this had lain
dormant and unsuspected in her heart, through forty
years of married life, because there was no room for it
in the companionship of her assertive husband.
She was a worn, weary old woman, was Mrs. Snow,
and lonely; glad to have "Benjamin," as she always
called Uncle Ben, come over and " visit " with her. He
was her one link with her past. With him she could go
over the old life, and with him debate her little econo
mies. Her face was heavily seamed, and her hands
knotted and ridged, with those first ten years of house
keeping, when her saving of pennies was an important
factor in the growth of the family exchequer. Those
economies of the former days she could not lay aside,
even now when she was not expending her income.
She still knitted heavy woollen socks, and gave them
away to people who grumbled at the smalmess of
the gift. She still rolled and twisted paper lamp-lights,
insisting that her maids should use them ; and they
complied, but used a half card of matches, in retaliation,
when her bent old back was turned. She went down
into the kitchen frequently, indeed she felt more " at
home " there than in any other part of the huge mansion,
scolded the cook for taking off such large parings
from potatoes and apples, then returned to her sitting
room, perhaps to write a check for a hundred dollars,
in favor of some charity which had managed to reach
her eye or ear and heart.
Uncle Ben entered the house, as always, at the side
284 RONALD CARNAQUAY
door, and made his way into the sitting room, where Mrs.
Snow spent much of her time. The lofty ceiling gave
extensive wall space, but this space was sparsely occu
pied by pictures. There was one old painting of the
departed master of the house; and if he could be judged
by his determined jaw and the puffy fulness of his red
face, he must have closed with this world, in a fit of
apoplexy, induced by a severe access of rage. Then
there were oil-paintings of a cow, a dog, and a horse ;
also one of the old homestead where Mr. Snow was
born all executed by an " artist who had studied in
Paris." Besides these a few cheap prints, cut from
illustrated papers, added their aesthetic influence to the
room. A book-case full of I will not say "books,"
but beautiful bindings was carefully closed and locked,
and stood strongly protected by the piano, itself closed
and piled high with work-baskets and newspapers and
heaps of neatly arranged linen.
" How de do ? " said Uncle Ben, cheerfully, as he
entered, with fiddle under arm.
" Well, now ! is that you ? " responded the old lady,
hardly looking up. She was busy with some objects in
her hand, and now arose and went across the room.
" These new teeth of mine don t fit good, and I wish
you d take em down and have em filed off a little on
the under side. There, I ll do em up in a paper."
And the package was neatly prepared and was trans
ferred, without comment, to Uncle Ben s pocket.
" I hain t seen ye for a long spell, Benjamin," she
said, seating herself and taking up an old dress which
she was ripping. "Where ye ben?" Her gaunt face
was bent over her work, and her scant locks once a
bright yellow, but now, in blending with white, become
a yellowish green but imperfectly concealed the white
OLD HEARTS AND YOUNG LOVE 285
With such a companionship as theirs weather-beaten
and sun-dried, through nearly half a century there was
little need of the art of conversation. To be together
was a calm, restful experience for both. Remarks
dropped, like apples from a tree, when they were ripe ;
there was no shaking of the tree. Sometimes questions
remained unanswered, or were answered by the ques
tioner. Occasionally a difference of opinion arose, and
some point was mildly debated, with impartial, philo
sophic frankness on both sides. " How s the weather,
Benjamin ?" asked Mrs. Snow, with indifference.
" dear s a whistle," responded Uncle Ben, with con
ciseness, unwrapping his violin.
" There s a storm a-getherin , I guess," said Mrs.
Snow. " The wind whiffled round this morning into
" Dunno but you re bout right," conceded the old
man, testing the violin strings. " These ere strings hez
fell a leetle; they allus do when it s a mite damp. Hev
yer looked at the almanick ? "
This consultation of the " Farmers Almanac," was a
never failing source of satisfaction to the old couple.
Both of them could remember turning its pages, as
far back as they could remember anything ; the very
figures of the goat and waterman and bull and inter
twined fishes, at the tops of the pages, seemed to gently
rustle the leaves of memory in their hearts. So that
they always consulted its occult prophecies with a trust
fulness which was justified, whatever the Sibylline order
in which " rain " and " clear," " stormy " and " fair " ar
ranged themselves, up and down the stairway of the
As usual, when Mrs. Snow had unearthed the yellow
pamphlet from her work-basket, the definite prophecy
for the morrow was not made clear. No more was the
286 RONALD CARNAQUAY
oracle at Dodona clear in statement ; yet there was no
lack of inquirers. So with Uncle Ben and Mrs. Snow ;
they found that the word "changeable" was the word
nearest that day and date ; but it was two days ahead ;
and four days behind them began, " Look for clearing
weather," and extended through two days. Thus
they were in doubt agreeable, debatable, insoluble
doubt as to how far forward the "clearing weather"
ruled, and how far back the "changeable" dictum
So the conversation and comfortable conjecture mean
dered pleasantly on, like a stream through level lands,
during an hour. Uncle Ben picked away absently at
his violin, and Mrs. Snow recalled various patches of
marvellous weather from her past, and recounted, for
the fortieth time at least, her perilous journey, during
a violent shower, across Five Mile Pond, with her hus
band and a cow and some hens in the rowboat.
To all such recitals Uncle Ben gave a non-resisting
ear. If the old lady had stopped, at any point, he could
have continued the story, in his slower, more matter-of-
fact fashion. Occasionally he grew a trifle restless under
her reminiscences, and never hesitated to let his restless
ness be known. " Why, Elviry," he said calmly, at such
times, "you tole me thet yisterday," or, " Yis, I know, I
know d thet afore." And the old dame with the yellow-
green hair took the checkmate without remonstrance ;
indeed, as is usually the case with aged people, she had
been talking more to herself than to her listener, had
been merely living over again the beloved past, merely
touching once and again, for her own pleasure, the
slackened cords of old experiences, sighing, as she did
it, at the feeble response they gave.
From the weather and kindred topics they passed to
aches and ailments. " And haow is yer rheumatiz,
OLD HEARTS AND YOUNG LOVE 287
Elviry ? " asked the old man. " Mine s ben better
" Oh, about the same," replied the widow, mournfully.
"I ve been a-tryin a new medicine; but it don t do me
no good. Thank the Lord for his marcies, though, I
ain t so bad as some."
She brightened up, with this burst of self-exhortation,
and then relapsed as she added : " I was disapp inted, I
must say, in that medicine. It was spoke so high of, in
the paper. Why, do you know, Benjamin " (here the
old lady paused in her work and spoke with animation),
" there was a man in the paper that couldn t step one
step, nor lift his arm above his head, and now he can
jump and swing an axe with the best of em."
Uncle Ben never exhibited any outward traces of
excitement. " Hm m thet s good," he soliloquized;
" I m glad to hear thet. An where did you say this
man was, Elviry ? "
Mrs. Snow had literally said that he was in the news
paper, which was about the truth of the matter, to her
mind ; but now she amended her statement, languidly,
" I b lieve he lives out in Colorado or Dakota or one
of them places."
" Oh oh is thet so ? Thet s too fur ter dew much
abaout, ain t it," responded Uncle Ben, regretfully.
" Why, what did you think about doin ? "
" Waal, I dunno, xactly ; I kinder bed an idee an
idee " Here the old man s vague idea " petered out,"
and he sank into silence.
" Did you think of goin to see him, Benjamin ? "
inquired Mrs. Snow, " to ask him about it ? Cause if
you did, there ain t no use. Them people that is cured
in the papers, always live a long way off. P r aps now,"
she added, with a touch of native penetration and humor,
which was lost on the old man, " if we took a Colorado
288 RONALD CARNAQUAY
or Dakota paper, we might see some cases reported here
in the east, some thet we could look up easy. Anyhow,
that man took only five bottles ; most generally folks
hev ter take ten or twenty. I m thankful I bought a
small-sized bottle, ter begin on. I shan t buy another,
without I see signs er this one s a-workin more. But
there ! Some folks is helped by medicine thet don t
touch another person s case at all. Now p r aps this
medicine might be good for you, Benjamin. There it
is, over on the mantelpiece."
Uncle Ben arose mechanically and went over to inspect
the omnipotent mixture. He read the label, in a low
tone, with some difficulty, commenting as he did so (after
the fashion of people in the seventies) upon the fineness
of the type and the dimness of the ink. Then he re
marked, turning to Mrs. Snow, " This ere stuff s good
for dyspepsy, an bronical troubles, an kidney troubles,
an stomach complaint, an asthmy, an an a lot o
others, but I don t see nothin abaout rheumatism."
Mrs. Snow arose, with considerable alacrity, and seized
the bottle ; she eyed it a moment, took out the stopper,
smelt it and tasted it critically, and then exclaimed, with
some disgust, "Well, I vum ! Ef I hain t took the wrong
medicine ! I must a got them bottles mixed."
Mixed they were, and no wonder; for the house
contained scores and scores of bottles, empty or partly
empty, which had been hopefully purchased by the
aging woman, and disappointedly laid aside. The
discovery of this mistake gave Mrs. Snow a little en
couragement; her rheumatic old joints seemed not
quite so stiff as when she thought they were resisting
this new medicine, guaranteed to be " unusually power
" Well, I never ! " she exclaimed, and went back to
her work on the old dress.
OLD HEARTS AND YOUNG LOVE 289
" Anyhow," she resumed, after she had recovered her
equanimity, " I don t set very much store by drugs and
such-like. I always said I didn t. Why, I d give more
for a visit from ole Doctor Grout, if he was alive, than
than a whole pothecary shop."
The aforesaid " ole Doctor Grout " was one of those
nondescript practitioners, known as " natural bone
setters." His naturally clever mind being reenforced
by the mystery of the magical art of " natural bone
setting," he had long before gathered wealth, and in
turn been gathered to his fathers, in a world where
there are no bones to be set; and, later, his cleverly
gained dollars had been industriously disseminated
through the community, by three worthless sons. But
the old man was religiously remembered, by the gen
eration to which Mrs. Snow belonged, as a being of
superhuman powers. "Why, I ve often said," pursued
Mrs. Snow, ripping steadily; "that I d rather have a
visit from ole Doctor Grout, even when he was deaf an
half blind, than a whole consultation of them upstart
young fellows with college s tiferkits. Oh, he was a
powerful good doctor, he was." And the elderly woman
paused and looked forth into vacancy, evidently seeing
with the inner eye. " Why, he could look look right
through yer innards, an tell jest what was the matter.
Some folks used ter turn up their noses because he
use ter take a little nap sometimes ; but, poor man, he
was drov r e almost ter death."
Dr. Grout s "naps" had been, indeed, subjects of
local gossip and controversy, during the last few years
before he died. He was so dim of sight, in his latter
days, that he could not have seen the vermilion patch
on a Pawnee s cheek, much less the tint or spots on a
juvenile scarlet-fever case or a case of measles; and,
as to his hearing, he often went through the form of
2 go RONALD CARNAQUAY
listening to hearts, but the stertorous gasps of a hoisting
engine would have been needed, to rouse his aural
nerves into discriminating action. Then, too, regard
ing the much-discussed "naps," the truth was that the
stout, turgid old man, coming in from the stimulating