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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



STEPHEN, M.D.



STEPHEN, M.D.



BY THE AUTHOR OF

THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD"



"/if having nothing, and yet possessing all things "

2 COR. vi. 10



BOSTON
DE WOLFE & FISKE CO.

20 FRANKLIN STREET



Copyright, 1883,
BY ROBERT CARTER & BROTHI



Ps



3



NOTICE TO THE READER.



I have the pleasure to assure all who care to know it, that the
story following is an entirely true story. I mean, true in all the
leading events and turns of it; in what may be called the skeleton
of the history. As the play was played out in a past generation,
and the parties were not personally known to me, I can claim
the credit of being a true reporter only so far as those facts are
concerned: with the further exception of one or two words, which
it is not necessary however that I should indicate.

S. W.

MARTLAER'S ROCK.
June, /j. 1883.



1126304



CONTENTS.



PACT

I. THE GROCER 9

II. MUSH AND MOLASSES . 2O

III. ON TICK 3 1

IV. THIRTY DOLLARS 44

V. INTO THE WORLD . . . . 55

VI. DEEPFORD INN . "4

VII. JONTO'S KITCHEN . 77

VIII. JONTO . .

IX. POSIE .... 97

X. CHIPS .IIO

XL STEPHEN'S WORK . . . . .121

XII. SHEEP AMONG WOLVES . . ! 3 2

XIII. SUNDAY . HO

XIV. SERVICE . . . * l ^ 1

xv. GORDON'S DISCIPLINE 176

XVI. A CHAPTER . . . J 9 2

XVII. VOGUE LA GALERE . . . . 2OI

XVIII. BAD COMPANY 2I %

XIX. SYMPATHY 22 9

XX. THE CHILDREN 2 3^

XXI. THE SLED 2 49

XXII. SCHOOL DAYS *6l

XXIII. SCHOOL DAYS OVER *7 2

XXIV. VIEWS , ... '83

(7)



8 CONTENTS.

MM

XXV. PRINCIPLES 296

XXVI. THE GENTIAN 309

XXVII. JOHN HOWARD . * . . . . 319

XXVIII. THE COMING COUSIN . . . . 329

XXIX. IN THE STATION HOUSB . . . . 338

XXX. ERICK 351

XXXI. THE SCREEN . - V . . . . 362

XXXII. CAPPING VERSES . ^ . . . * 379

XXXIII. ENTHUSIASM .' . . , . 39

XXXIV. FOUR, OR FIVE? . . . . . 4OI
XXXV. HAPPINESS 409

XXXVI. CAR-FARE . . . . . 424

XXXVII. NIAGARA ....... 434

XXXVIII. POETRY . 448

XXXIX. HOME AGAIN ...... 466

XL. IDYLLIC . . . . . 476

XLI. QUESTIONABLE . . . . . .488

XLII. CHESTNUTS . . . . . . 497

XLIII. HARD TALKING . , . " . . 5^3

XLIV. GETTING READY ... . . 525

XLV. GETTING AWAY . . . . . -537

XLVI. FOUR WALLS . . , . . 550

XLVII. A SUPPER. . , . , . . 563

JTLVIII. A SICK NURSE 577

XLIX. BUSINESS 59<D

L. BUILDING . . . . . 6O2

LI. A FRIEND. . . . . . 6l8

LII. NEWS 630



STEPHEN, M.D.



CHAPTER L

THE GBOOEB.

" QTEPHEN, my boy, I must send you out foi

O me. I'm sorry, now it is raining again."

A little boy, of some ten years old, lifted his
head, which had been bent down over a book, and
looked at the speaker expectantly but in silence.
He was a fair faced child, comely and rosy, even
although certainly neither face nor form bore the
tokens of being full fed. And his clothes were
much worn, thin and patched. His mother eyed
him a minute silently, as he lay there on the floor
over his book; contrasting perhaps the somewhat
slight, delicate frame and very worn dress, from
which the protecting nap was long since gone,
with the chill November rain which was coming
down outside with good will.

" What have you got there ? "

" Robinson Crusoe, mother. it's splendid 1 "

"Where did you get that?"

" Bill Harrison lent it to me."

"That was kind of Bill."

" he's read it and he's tired of it," said Stephen,
(9)



10 STEPHEN, M.D.

his head going down again to the open page, "He
said I might keep it for ever if I liked."

" He did not mean that, I suppose."

I don't know what he meant, mother; that was
what he said. Mother "

" But Stephen, my boy, I have got to send you
out. I hate to send you in the rain, but I must.
I haven't a bit of meal in the house, nor sugar."

" You want me to go to Mr. Harrison's and get
some?"

"Yes, or else we shall have nothing to eat for
supper. And Stephen, you had better ask him for
a quart of molasses. If you have corn bread and
molasses, you will do very well."

" Don't you like corn cake and molasses, mother?"

" Not so well as you do."

"Shall I go now?"

" Yes, now, before the rain turns the street all to
mud. You'll be wet through, as it is, I am afraid."

Stephen got up and shook himself, and took his
little old straw hat which lay upon a chair.

"Where's the money, mother?"

" I have got no money " Mrs. Kay answered
with an irrepressible sigh. " Tell Mr. Harrison he
must trust me a little longer ; 1 will pay him as soon
as I can."

Stephen set forth. The rain was falling in a
steady, cold, cheerless way ; not blustering, and yet
doing its wet work with the sure thoroughness of
persistence. It came upon Stephen's shoulder and
went through to the skin in a few minutes; it drove



THE GROCER. 11



Against one side of him, and presently a broad,
dark stripe of colour went all down his jacket and
half of that leg of his trousers; it fell on his old
straw hat, and soon the rain drops came through
and were running down his forehead, and over his
nose, and getting into his neck behind. He put
up his hand to brush them out of his neck, but they
came faster than he could get rid of them. Then
Stephen ducked and ran for it; at least he would
be in the rain as short a time as he could.

The village street however was long; and though
Mr. Harrison's store was, as the general shop of the
place ought to be, very central in its location, on
the other hand Mrs. Kay lived almost out of the
village. Her house was beyond one end of the
straight, wide road which ran for a good half mile
to the other end, where on a little hill the white
church stood, looking down over all the secular
dwellings of its congregations. So when Stephen
got to the grocery shop and went in, he was a very
wet and somewhat forlorn-looking little boy. As
to his condition, that is; for Stephen's face very
rarely could be characterized by the latter word.

Custom was naturally slack, such a day; and Mr.
Harrison, never very hard driven with business,
was this afternoon fully at leisure. He put down
his newspaper, and looked over his counter at littlo
Stephen Kay as he stood there dripping.

" Well, Stephen ! what's brought you out in such
we.ather? Couldn't you put something more on, to
keep the rain from you, child ? "



12 STEPHEN, M.D.

9

"Thank you, sir. Mr. Harrison, mother says,
will you let her have seven pounds of Indian meal,
and a quart of molasses, and a little sugar?"

"You're the civilest boy in town, Stephen Kay;
I'll say that for you."

"An* he's the wettest, I hope," remarked the
grocer's assistant and deputy; a boy midway be
tween the ages of the two other human crea
tures present. "You'd do for a watering cart,
Steve, if we wanted the dust laid; but that's
just what we don't I'll have to mop up when
you're gone."

"Never mind, Stephen," said Mr. Harrison.
" You're all right. I'm glad to see anybody that
comes to buy of me. What is it you want, now?
Meal and sugar ? "

" Seven pounds corn meal, a quart of molasses,
and a little sugar, sir, mother said."

" I can't weigh ' a little ' sugar, boy ; haven't got
any weight in my shop of that denomination ; you'll
have to come closer to the mark. Here, Joe, you
take this pitcher and go draw a quart o' molasses.
What is ' a little ' sugar, Stephen ? "

" I don't know, sir. I'll go back and ask her."

"No, no; go back, indeed! when you're as wet as
a drowned rat already. No, no ; we'll guess at it ;
and I guess we sha'n't go far wrong. Where's
your money?"

"Mother gave me no money, Mr. Harrison."

"Didn't, eh? How's that? Do you suppose she
forgot it?"



THE GROCER. 13

" No sir," said Stephen with a little hesitation,
" for she spoke of it. She said, you'd have to trust
her a little longer; she'd pay you as soon as she
could."

" Well, I guess that'll do," said the grocer, fold
ing down the ends of the paper bag of Indian meal.
" Your mother's a good woman ; she wouldn't cheat
me. But Steve, mind my words, cash payments
are best. When you're a man, stick to cash pay
ments."

"What's that, sir?"

" Don't you know ? Don't go on tick, don't run
up accounts, don't take things on credit, nor give
'em on credit. I do it, you see, but it is bad bus
iness ; pay as you go."

" I understand that, sir."

" Pay as you go," repeated the grocer, scooping
sugar into his scale, " pay as you go. Then you've
got all things nice and comfortable, you see, and
nobody to ask whether you're eating your own or
not, and no bills coming in to bother the life out of
you. Always pay as you go, Steve, and you'll be
a happy man."

" But Mr. Harrison, suppose you haven't got the
money ? " asked the little boy. The grocer did not
answer at once; he was folding up the sugar and
tying it up, whereby he took the twine in his teeth,
and naturally could not at the moment speak. And
when his teeth were released from holding the twine,
he seemed to have forgotten the question.

" How're ye goin' to carry this 'ere home ? " Joe,



14 STEPHEN, M.D.

the assistant, inquired; as he came now from a back
room of the shop with the molasses.

" How do you calculate you'll take this molasses
home, Steve?" repeated the grocer. "Did you
bring a tin pail, or something, along ? "

" Never thought of it, sir ! " said the little boy.

" And your mother didn't think of it, either. I
wonder what she was thinking about ? "

" I'll run back and get a tin pail," said Stephen,
turning to go.

"No, no ; stop, child ! not through this down-pour.
Here we must do as we can for to-day. Now if
I let you take this home, will you bring it back ?
Not through the rain, but as soon as it clears off? "

" I'll bring it, sir. Just as soon as ever the rain
is over."

" And keep a head on your shoulders next time,"
Joe suggested, as he poured the contents of his
quart pot into a yellow pitcher ; " molasses won't
go in your pockets, as if it was apples."

This idea so amused Stephen that he seemed to
laugh all over.

"It would go in, fast enough," he said; "only the
trouble is, it would come out as fast as if it was
apples."

" Ah ? " said Mr. Harrison. " So apples don't get
a chance to stay in your pockets, eh ? See if this
red-faced one will go in, Steve. How wet you are,
boy ! Why didn't you put on your overcoat ? "

This question remained without an answer, Ste
phen did not seem to hear it; thanked the grocer



THE GROCER. 15

for his apple, laded himself with the bag of meal
and the paper of sugar and the yellow pitcher, and
turned towards the door; then stopped and seemed
to bethink himself. The rain was still pouring
from the clouds in the same steady way, steady
and pitiless; though that is a one-sided view of the
subject, for doubtless to the broad acres and meadows
which lav around Whitebrook the treasures of the

V

clouds were a welcome and needed blessing. But
Stephen looked at the way they were coming down,
and then providently opening his jacket he tucked
the two packages as far as he could under the two
sides of it, and so manfully set forth again ; keep
ing the meal and sugar bags fast with each arm,
while both hands grasped the yellow pitcher in
front of him. The rain received him, the minute
he set foot out of doors, and beat down relentlessly
on head and shoulders and face and arms, and on
the yellow pitcher.

" That's a plucky little chap ! " said the grocer
looking after him, with a twinge of pity qualifying
his admiration.

" It'll be molasses and water by the time he gets
home," said Joe chuckling delightedly.

" Whatever didn't the woman send a basket for ! "
Mr. Harrison went on, following with his eye Ste
phen's slow progress down the street.

" Haint got none," said Joe, " nor no use for 'em.'

" Is she so bad off as that ? "

" She don't pay for nothin' no more."

" Since when ? "



16 STEPHEN, M.D.

" Since she put her hand down to the bottom of
her pocket and found there warn't nothin' there.
She don't put her hand in no more now."

"How do they live?"

" On tick" said Joe grinning. " Mush and mo
lasses aint bad by no means; if it aint what you
call high livin' ; an' it's cheap, if you don't pay for
it."

" Mrs. Kay's an honest woman " said the grocer
meditatively. " I guess she'll pay."

"Them honest folks allays does make a poor fist
of it, though," said Joe. "I reckon, when a man
aint smart enough for nothin' else, he goes in for
honesty ; aiiit that so, Mr. Harrison ? "

" They say, honesty's the best policy, Joe."

"D'ye believe it?"

" I am bound to believe it," said the grocer slowly.

"Well, honesty's meanin' to pay, aint it?"

"That's meaning to be honest, I should say."

"Well I reckon, Mrs. Kay means to pay. She
does, sure. But Mr. Harrison, why doos them sort
o' folks never have nothin' to pay with? that's what
beats me."

Mr. Harrison made no answer, and looked some
what annoyed.

" Mr. Harrison, I say! aint that talk about honesty
all bosh?"

" I hope not."

" Aint all things fair in trade ? "

" Not if you believe the Bible, Joe."

" That's all my eye too."



THE GROCER. 17

" What ? " said the grocer almost angrily.

11 The Bible. About believin' it Nobody doosn't."

" Nobody believes the Bible ? "

" Well, I never see the fust one yet."

" Joe, you're a fool. You have seen many and
many a one."

" Well I haint, then, Mr. Harrison ; and that's a
fact. All the folks I ever see only believe pieces
of it not the hull. That aint believin' the Bible,
is it?"

" You are talking nonsense, Joe. I believe it."

" The hull on it ? " asked Joe slyly.

" Of course," answered the grocer boldly.

Joe ventured no words, but he whistled with a
certain expressiveness which irritated the grocer
beyond bearing ; he bade the boy speak out, if he
had anything to say.

" I was only thinkin' " Joe said.

" Think aloud, then. Speak up, if you have any
thing in your mind like what you seem to have.
What is it ? Why do you think I don't believe the
Bible?"

" I said, the hull on it," said Joe in a subdued
manner.

" Well, yes, the whole of it What part do you
think I don't believe?"

" Maybe you do believe it, and it's only that you
don't like it," said Joe.

" Like what ? "

The question was put with sharp vigour this
time, and Joe stopped his broom; he was sweep-



18 STEPHEN, M.D.

ing up the floor; leaned upon it and surveyed his
employer.

" I was just thinkin' a feller can't help his
thoughts, Mr. Harrison ; they come like the crows,
when you don't want 'em; you know that feller
that made such a rumpus with his preachin', an'
that everybody went to hear; they called him the
Baptist."

" Yes, I know him. Well?"

"Was he the first Baptist what ever put his head
under?"

" Go along ! that is not what you meant to say.
No; I don't know; What of him?"

" When the folks were talkin' to him and askin'
nim what he wanted 'em to do you remember ? "

" Yes. Go on."

" Well, he said, you mind it, Mr. Harrison he
said, that the man that had two coats was to go
and give one of 'em to some feller that hadn't got
none; do you befteve that, now ?"

" I believe he said it"

"But I mean, that aint it, I mean, do you
believe that's the thing to do? Do you, now, boss ? "

" I don't think he meant that exactly, not in the
T7ay you mean."

" An' he said victuals was to be the same way,
didn't he?"

" I believe so."

"An' you don't believe it, for all? w

"Well no, of course; not just so."

" I reckoned you didn't," said Joe, with an inno-



THE GROCER. 19

cent simplicity of manner. " That's what I said,
Mr. Harrison. Why ef that was the rule, you'd tell
Mrs. Kay to send along ; and you'd never make no
count agin her; and I don't see no way that you
could get rich, on that pattern."

"The Bible means there, that we should be kind
and charitable to people that aint well off."

" Jes' so," responded Joe, going placidly on with
his sweeping. "I knowed that was what you'd
say."

The grocer scowled at his assistant's back, but
let the conrersation drop.



CHAPTER II.

MUSH AND MOLASSES.

BY this time little Stephen was well on his way
towards home. Yet not so far, either, for his
progress was of necessity slow. The rain was mak
ing soft, slippery mud of the usually firm pathway;
and it did not occur to Stephen that the drenched
grass would give him better footing. Add to this,
that he had a paper package under each side of his
jacket, which it was necessary to guard very carefully
with his elbows, lest they slip through and fall upon
the soaked earth, where their condition would very
rapidly suffer damage. So he went carefully, find
ing it hard to mind arms and feet at once, pinching
the bags of sugar and meal fast to his sides, and at
the same time holding carefully in front of him the
pitcher with the molasses. He could not make good
speed; he must perforce step warily, and ever and
anon he would perceive in spite of his efforts, that
one or the other bag was sliding down perilously tow
ards ruin ; and then he must come to a full stop, push

the package up to its place, and take a faster grip

20)



MUSH AND MOLASSES. 21

of it under his arm. There was no going very fast
in this way; and when at last Stephen got home,
it was a fairly drenched little boy that stood before
nis mother. Circumspectly, however, Stephen re
leased first one bag and then the other from its
confinement, where it had been so very incovenient
to him ; having previously and with great caution
Bet down the yellow pitcher.

" I guess they're all dry," he remarked trium
phantly. "But mother, I can tell you, it was a
precious job to get 'em here ! "

"Dry? Why Stephen, my son, you are perfectly
soaking wet! dear, dear! As wet as you can
be!"

" Well mother," said the boy cheerily, "everything
couldn't keep dry in this rain, I can tell you. Some
thing had to catch it."

" And you have caught it all ! Take off every
stitch you have on, Stephen, and tuck yourself up
in bed, till I can get them dry for you. Quick,
now! Dear, dear! I'd never have sent you, if I
had known how bad it was."

" But we hadn't anything for supper, you know,
mother. Wet don't hurt ! It does rain jolly, though,
don't it ! 1 guess you'd think so, if you had been
where I've been. Mother, will you make some
mush for supper ? "

" Yes, yes. Get you into bed."

"And shall we have some molasses with it?"

"Yes."

"Then, mother, I'll tell you; let me put on a



22 STEPHEN, M.D.

dry shirt, and wrap myself up in some of your things ;
I don't want to go to bed."

" You will catch cold, my boy."

"No, I won't. Rain don't hurt. Let me have
that old flannel petticoat, mother, and your big
shawl"

Mrs. Kay made some objections, but finally agreed ;
and Stephen and she together wound him up in all
sorts of things, till he was a most extraordinary look
ing bundle. Little did Stephen care for that; but
made up the fire nicely, which he was quite com
petent to do, and then curled himself down on the
hearth in the corner with his beloved Robinson
Crusoe. Round the fire, on chairs, were hung his
various own proper garments; soon steaming and
giving out the peculiar odours of wet cloth when
it is warm. Mrs. Kay had hardly room to do her
cookery for the supper.

Stephen, as I said, had his book, and had it open
at his place where he had left off, with his finger
tucked in; and yet he was not just now absorbed
in the delightful history. He seemed rather medi
tative; watched the fire; watched his mother mak
ing the sapon ; cuddled himself into the corner with
an intense appreciation of dryness and shelter and
warmth; and all the while was evidently musing
over something. Mrs. Kay was too busy to notice
him, cooking her supper, and attending to the dry
ing clothes, which must be turned and si. ifted from
time to time. Stephen had got hold of his little
naked foot, and was thoughtfully nursing it, as



MUSH AND MOLASSES. 23

one often sees an older specimen of the masculine
kind do the like.

"Ma," said the little boy at length, "why don't
you pay cash ? "

" Ah ! " said Mrs. Kay stooping over her kettle
of mush, " why don't I ? What put that in your
head?"

" Mr. Harrison. He said, cash payments was
r'st."

1 Well, so they are ; but I haveh't got the cash,
o'tephen. It's very easy for Mr. Harrison to say
that ; he's well off, and has plenty o' money ; it's as
easy for him to pay cash as not. I'm sure I'd like
to do it too, but without the money, I should like
to know how I can."

"But you're going to pay some time, mother?"

"Certainly. As soon as I get the money; you
may be sure of that."

"Then I don't see" said Stephen.

"Don't see what?"

"I don't see what's the odds."

" The odds of what, child ? What are you talk-
in' about ? "

" Mother, I don't see why it aint jes' as easy to
pay cash. It don't take any more money."

" 'Cause I haven't got it, boy ; don't I tell you ?
I never had cash to pay down, since I was married;
and now less than ever, since I have to make a fist
by myself. How should I pay cash?"

" But mother"

"Well?"



24 STEPHEN, M.D.

"Haint you paid for all those things?"
" What things ? "

" All that you bought ever since you was married ? "

"Of course they are paid. I am all paid up,

down to last summer some time. We've always

been honest, if we've been poor. Nobody ever lost

a cent by your father or me yet, Stephen."

Stephen puzzled over the question, why, seeing
on the whole the supply of cash had been equal to
the demand, the demand and supply could not have
kept more nearly square ? why must payment be so
diagonal ? He did not know exactly how to put it
into words. Presently came out another question.
" Is Mr. Harrison a good man, mother ? "
" Why Steve, why do you ask me ? you know as
well as I do, that he is a deacon in the church."
" And is a deacon always a good man ? "
"What's the boy thinking of? Of course he
ought to be."
Again silence.

"Wasn't he willing to let you have the things?"
"I guess he was," said Stephen meditatively.
" He'd ha' liked better to have the money."

"Well, he shall have it, some day. I never
cheated anybody of his dues yet; and the Lord
won't let me begin now."

"How will the Lord help it, mother?"
"I don't know, Steve, but I know he will."
" Mother," said little Stephen very thoughtfully,
" liow do you know ? "

" Because he has promised, child."



MUSH AND MOLASSES. 25

"Has he?"- -.vlth a sudden brightening of face.

" To be sure he has."

" Mother, I wish you would shew me the place."

" It's in various places, Stephen ; but I can't do
ever so many things at once; and just now I am
cooking your supper. You must wait."

Stephen looked on contentedly.

"Mother," he began again presently, "maybe Mr.
Harrison will give you the things."

" I don't want him to give me anything ! " said
the widow decidedly; "and he won't do it, either;
no fear."

"I don't think he will," said Stephen sagely;
"I don't think he looks like it. But mother, it
wouldn't be no more than fair."

" How do you make that out ? " asked Mrs. Kay
with a short laugh, Stephen's views were so very
primitive.

" Mother, when the people gathered the manna,
don't you know, they all had just alike ? I mean,
some'got a great deal and some got a little; but
they evened it off; when anybody had more than
he wanted, he gave it to somebody else who hadn't
got quite enough; and so they all had enough.
Don't you remember Mr. Bain's sermon about it ? "

"There's no manna now-a-days," said Mrs. Kay
shortly.

" No, but mother, that would be fair."

" Fair ! " echoed Mrs. Kay. "Stephen, that would
be the Millennium."

"What's the Mil-len-num ? "



26 STEPHEN, M.D.

"A good time coming," said the woman with a
sigh.

" When will it come, mother ? And will every
body have enough then ? "

"Ay, he will." Mrs. Kay began to prepare the
table for supper now; not much preparation truly;
but she put on plates and spoons and cups and a
small pitcher filled from the quart of molasses; and
began to dish up her sapon.

"That's goin' to be real good, mother," said little
Stephen, raising himself from the floor. " I'm glad
I went through the rain to get the molasses, ain't
you ? We shouldn't have had anything to eat to
night. And I'm all dry again."

" That's more than your coat is. But come along,
my boy, and eat what you can."

What Stephen could, was a goodly share of the
contents of the pot. Mrs. Kay made much less im
pression on it.

"I don't think any thing's much better'n mush
and good molasses, do you, mother ? " he said in
his deep satisfaction.

"Hunger, is the best sauce," answered his mother.

" Aint you hungry ? "



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