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" yes, I do," said the other, with a certain
tender ring in his voice which Erick noticed, but
did not understand. " I make it my delight"

" I do not comprehend you."

" It is very simple," Stephen answered, speaking
however like a man who wished to say no more
words than he need.

" It is too simple, for I cannot make you out."

" It is just the fulfilment of the old promise," said
Stephen. " ' I will put my laws in their hearts,
and in their minds will I write them.' They are
in my heart. I do not do my duty because it is in
the Book, but I do God's will because I love it. I
love it better than anything better than my own
will. Do you understand that?"

"No."

" That is the difference, I suppose," said Stephen
quietly.

"But that is making a great claim for yourself."

" What claim ? "

" You make yourself out a saint. Pardon me !
I do not mean anything offensive. I am really
seeking to know the truth."

" What is a saint ? " Stephen asked, with a half
smile which in the twilight Erick did not see.



394 STEPHEN, M.D.

"I should say, a person who is no longer a
sinner. "

"Do you think it is optional with a Christian,
whether he shall be a saint or not ? "

" No ! " said Erick. " I think very few can be
saints. Few are so situated that they can."

" Where did you get that idea, Dunstable?"

" I might say, from observation, experience."

" Experience ? "

"Yes."

"You have tried yourself? To be a saint, I
mean."

"Yes."

"And failed?"

" Do you think I am a saint ? " asked Erick
shortly.

" But after all, Mr. Dunstable, " said Stephen,
when both had been silent a minute or two, " we
must come to what the Bible says about it."

" What does it say ? I don't know."

" It says, God's children are like him; and it bids
them be ' holy, as he is holy.' "

"Holy! "said Erick.

" It is the same thing, isn't it ? Saints are just
holy ones."

" What is holy ? You must define that"

"Set apart. Set apart for God; and so then
made fit for him."

*' Fit for him ! How can a man be that?"

Stephen was in for it; he was obliged to speak.
He paused a minute, and then went on.



ENTHUSIASM. 395

" Paul said, speaking to one of the young churches
he was writing to, I forget which, 'Ye are wit
nesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and
unblameably, we behaved ourselves among you.'"

" That was Paul."

"Yes, but why should it not be Erick Dun-
Btable ? " asked Stephen smiling,

"Well, Paul could say that; but what would
you think of me if I should say it ? "

" Paul said it because it was true."

"Yes, no doubt; but it could not be true of me."

" Why not ? "

" Well," said Erick, " I will tell you the truth.
I always had a dislike to the word 'saint,' because
it seemed to mean one who made a pretence of
being better than other people."

" If I understand the word, a saint never makes
a pretence of anything."

"Did not Paul do it, when he wrote that?"

" Why no ! " said Stephen. " He said only the
simple truth, and they knew it was a truth, the
people to whom he was writing. 'Ye are wit
nesses, and God also,' he wrote."

" I don't see why he said it. I should like him
just as well if he had not said it."

" Here is one reason why he said it," said Ste
phen smiling again; "to shew Erick Dunstable
what he ought to be."

" How is it possible ? " cried Erick. " ' Holily,
justly, and unblameably,' who lives like that in
these days ? "



396 STEPHEN, M.D.

" Anybody who chooses," said Stephen gravely.
There was silence for a little while; the two
young men walked slowly and thoughtfully along,
not giving any heed to the soft twilight or the
clear, steadfast moonbeams which came with faint
silver upon everything they could touch. Erick
spoke first.

" Kay, what do your last words mean ? "

" Only this," said Stephen. " I have read a say
ing of some old author, which struck me very
much, and I have never forgotten it; something
like this, that every man is just about as holy as
he intends to be."

"But a man may, and does often, wish for at
tainments he cannot reach."

" I did not say toisJi; I said ' intend.' "

There was a longer silence this time. Erick was
again the one to speak first.

" Kay, have you reached it ? "

There was a certain change in the voice, and
Stephen responded without hesitation.

" Reached what, you mean ? "

" I mean, have you got where you dare say you
live holy ? "

" I live to do God's will," said Stephen stead
fastly; "and as far as I know it I do it."

" When it goes against the grain ? "

"It does not go against the grain," Stephen
said; and Erick could hear that he was smiling,
though he could not see. " I love God's will," he
added tenderly.



ENTHUSIASM. 397

" When it denies you what you most want ? "

"Then I do not want it," said Stephen. The
smile was gone; the words were grave and deter
mined.

"I cannot say so much," said Erick; "I cannot
say I love his will. I try to do it, but I do not
love it."

" Do you always try to do it? "

" I may not always know what it is," said
Erick hesitating.

"It is part of his will that you should know.
Do you study it ? How much time every day do
you give to the Bible and prayer over the Bible ? "

"Every day?" said Erick. "Well sometimes
a quarter of an hour."

Stephen waited a minute and then said, " If you
took as much care of your body as you do of your
spirit, I should say you would die of starvation."

"Kay, how did you get to be different? You
must have been different to begin with. My head
is full of all creation, only not of that."

" I was not different," Stephen answered simply.
"But my mother loved Christ; and when I was left
alone in the world, a poor little child, I sought my
mother's God ; and I sought him as hard as I could.
And so I found him ; for he has promised, and he
keeps his promises. There is no mystery about it.
But Dunstable, I should say, that nothing else is
worth seeking."

" I believe you are right," Erick answered humbly.

There was another long pause. Stephen was not



398 STEPHEN, M.D.

eager to talk, and his companion had thoughts
enough to occupy him. The moon dipped lower
and lower, touched the tops of the woodland that
crowned a little eminence, and then sank down,
still for a few minutes glittering here and there
through a gap in the branches. The soft gloom
of starlight filled the world, enhanced by the heat
haze which rendered the atmosphere less transpar
ent than at other times. There was a faint fra
grance in the air, from woods and earth and
flowers; a great stillness, made not less still by
the chirping of grasshoppers; it was an exceed
ingly sweet summer night, with no element of
loveliness wanting. Stephen enjoyed it fully, being
in that complete harmony with nature which comes
only from a perfect accord within. Peace and light
and fragrance, to him were not more facts than em
blems. But Erick did not know what sort of an even
ing it was. Still the two went slowly on and on.

" The great thing is," he broke out at last, " I
suppose, to be in earnest enough ! "

" You would be in earnest enough," said Stephen,
"if you only knew."

"If I only knew what?"

" How good Christ is ! "

" I never heard anybody in my life talk just as
you do," cried the other. " I do not know what to
make of it, or how to understand it. Are you an
enthusiast ? or am I a fool ? I am serious."

" I am serious," said Stephen quietly.

"Then what da you mean?"



ENTHUSIASM. 399

"Just what I say, Dunstable. Believe me. I
have tried it for years now; and I tell you, there is
nothing in all the world so good as Christ is, to
those that love him."

"I hope I love him," said Erick slowly. I
thought I did."

" Do you love him so, that he is more to you than
all the rest you have in the world?"

"More in a way," said Erick. "Of course, all
would be lost without him."

" But I mean for your daily enjoyment ? "

" Enjoyment ? " said Erick. " No, not that"

" So that you would rather lose all other con
ceivable things than him ? For happiness, I mean;
not salvation merely."

" Would you ? "

" A thousand times over ! "

" Kay," said the other after a minute's interval,
" aren't you an enthusiast ? "

" I do not know. What should that be, in this
business."

" Well, Say, a person who is led away by his
feelings rather than guided by principle."

" I don't know," said Stephen laughing a little ;
"I hope I am. Hadn't we better turn about,
perhaps ? "

" Why do you say that ? " Erick asked as they
began to retrace their steps. " Isn't principle better
than feeling, and safer ? "

"You mean it would be safer not to love God
too much?"



400 STEPHEN, M.D.

" No, no, of course not ! "

"Safer not to build one's happiness on him?"

"No. I do not mean that."

" You think the service of duty easier, then, or
better, than to work for love ? "

" How you put it ! " cried Erick. " But I have
always heard a great objection made to enthusiasm.
That sort of religion is said not to stand."

"I do not think I know the word, as you use it,"
said Stephen.

They walked back the rest of the way in almost
absolute silence. Reaching home, Stephen did not
go again into the parlour, but turned off to his and
Jonto's quarter.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

FOUB, OB FIVE?

" ^1 7ELL!" exclaimed Mrs. Hardenbrook as Erick

VV entered, "do you call this a walk, that
you have been taking? "

" What else ? " said Erick smiling.

" I should call it a journey. What possessed you
to go so far, such an evening ? "

" We did not go very far. We walked slowly."

" What did you go for at all ? Pleasure ? I should
think you would like our company better than that
boy's, who can't talk."

"Can't he talk?"

"Why yes, mother! of course he can talk.
What makes you say so?" cried Posie. "Ste
phen is a very good talker."

" I never heard him say anything worth a cent.
He knows chairs and tables, I suppose."

" He knows more than that, my dear," said Mr.
Hardenbrook.

" He's not half a bad fellow," said Erick looking
at his hostess in some doubt how to carry on the
conversation.

" Bad, I suppose he isn't, but he is too stupid to



402 STEPHEN, M.D.

live. And he thinks his own way the only way
like all such people. Well, what have you been
talking about with him all this while, Erick ? "

"It is rather a lazy atmosphere outside," said
Erick; "inclines one to take things easy. What
have you been talking about ? "

" La, we never talk about anything, except when
you are here. But there is something we ought
to talk about, Mr. Hardenbrook; and that is our
Niagara journey. If we are going, we ought to
go; that's how it seems to me. It's August, and
in a little while it will be September, and too late;
and everybody will be gone."

" The water will be there, I suppose," said Erick.

*' The water !" said Mrs. Hardenbrook, bringing
her eyes upon him reprovingly; "who cares for
the water? You know better, Erick."

"What do you want to go for, my dear?" asked
Mr. Hardenbrook laughing.

"Why mother, what do you want to go for?"
echoed Posie. " If it isn't the water."

Mrs. Hardenbrook ignored these questions with
a superior air. " When shall we go, Mr. Harden
brook ? " she repeated.

" Whenever you like, my dear. You have only
to command. The more people there are there, the
more difficult you will find it to be comfortable-
that's all I have to say."

" You don't know anything about it, Mr. Harden
brook. I wouldn't go at all, if it wasn't for the
people. Then I propose that we start next Wed



FOUR, OR FIVE? 403

nesday. We should have to spend Wednesday
night in New York; and then, I suppose, we could
get to Niagara next day."

"That would leave us just two days to come home
in before Sunday," remarked Posie. " Friday and
Saturday, without seeing anything. Or will you
stay Friday and Saturday and Sunday at Niagara?
That would be glorious ! "

" At how much a day ? " said her father.

"I don't know. pa, you don't care at how
much a day, do you ? We never went to Niagara
before, you know ? "

"Nor anywhere else," said her mother. "Erick,
we don't know anything, and we've never seen any
body ; we are as wild as dandelions in the grass."

" T like wild things," observed Mr. Hardenbrook.

"So do I," said Erick, looking towards Posie.
" Only, the idea of dandelions would never occur
to me in the connection."

" What then ? " asked Mrs. Hardenbrook, furtively
smiling.

" Cowslips daisies wild roses. Dandelions are
rather coarse."

"0 do you think so?" cried Posie. "But father,
what would it cost? Shall we go Wednesday and
stay over till Monday? That would be splendid!'

" You can be away just as well as not," Mrs. Har-
denbrook went on. " Stephen can see to everything,
while you are away."

" but Stephen ! " cried Posie. " We could not
leave Stephen behind. He is going too."



404 STEPHEN, M.D.

" He can't, child."

"He must, mother. I don't want to go at all
without Stephen."

"Posie, somebody must be at home."

" No, mother, not at all. Mr. Gordon can take care
of the factory, and Jonto is enough for the house.
Stephen must go ! We couldn't do without him."

"We couldn't do with him, Posie. You do not
know anything. Four is a good number to travel,
but five is horrid."

"Why?"

" I tell you, it is horrid. There is never any place
for the fifth one. He's always in the way. Two
walk together, and two; but the odd one must go
streaking along by himself, or else be a nuisance.
And three can't talk. And four can go in a car
riage, but five have to spill somebody."

"I'll go up on the box, with the driver," suggested
Erick.

"Yes, that would be nice! In order that we
may listen to Stephen Kay, who can't talk. I
don't want to look at your back from a distance,
Erick."

" I'll settle the matter for you," said Mr. Har
denbrook. "I won't go. Stephen shall take my
place."

" Mr. Hardenbrook," said his wife impressively,
" I think you are crazy I "

" I'd rather be out of my senses than have no
good ones, Maria."

" Pa, we want you too," said Posie.



FOUR, OR FIVE? 405

" Don't care twopence about it," said Mr. Har-
denbrook. "I'm too old.. It's nothing to me, how
many gallons of water go over the rocks at Niagara.
But it will be something for Stephen to see. Poor
fellow, he has seen nothing in all his life. I'd like
to give him a chance, for once."

" I would not care a pin about going without
him," added Posie. " It would be all spoilt."

" Who do you expect will take care of us gener
ally, and pay the bills, and all that ? " asked Mrs.
Hardenbrook. " Of course Erick can do it, but it
isn't fair to put it on him; and it would bother
we."

" I will put it on Stephen. Nothing bothers him."

"Stephen!" screamed Mrs. Hardenbrook. "You
will put him at the head of the party ! Mr. Har
denbrook, you have lost all your senses. That boy !
who knows nothing ! "

" I can tell you, Maria, ' that boy ' always knows
anything he has any occasion for knowing. You
needn't be afraid."

" He knows nothing about railroads."

"It is time he did."

"But Mr. Hardenbrook, you forget. There is
somebody present who could take charge of the
party much more fittingly; and more safely; and
more properly; and more everything."

" You do me much honour," said Erick smiling

"It wouldn't be much honour to Stephen, if I
let him," returned Mr. Hardenbrook.

" But Stephen, he is your manager; you will put



406 STEPHEN, M.D.

him out of his place," urged the lady, with height
ened colour and vexed eagerness.

" I don't know about his place, nor you neither,
wife. Stephen may be the President of the United
States yet. He is good enough for anything. From
the time when I took him into my factory, a little
bit of a shaver, and put him under Gordon, he al
ways did what he had to do, and did it well. He
beat boys twice as old as himself, and walked up
into the business, hand over hand. I tell you, I
shouldn't wonder if the world heard of Stephen
yet."

" Father doesn't mean that Stephen whipped boys
twice as old as himself," said Posie in explanation.
" Stephen never would fight."

" I should like him better if he had ! " cried Mrs.
Hardenbrook, getting out of herself with vexation.
"A dumpish, stupid, canting fellow; who knows
as well as anybody which side his bread is buttered;
and he has twisted you round his finger, Mr. Har
denbrook. You do just what Stephen tells you ; and
I'm sick of it."

And she burst into tears. Erick, thinking him
self better out of the way, went off to his room.
Mr. Hardenbrook followed this wise example. Left
alone, Mrs. Hardenbrook buried her face in her
handkerchief and rocked herself to and fro. Posie
looked on in dismay; then came and seated herself
on a cushion at her mother's feet.

"Mother," she said softly, " what makes you speak
so about Stephen?"



FOUR, OR FIVE? 407

" Because you are all fools ! " said the lady from
behind her white cambrick.

" Fools how ? What do you possibly mean ? As
if Stephen was not just the best and noblest fellow
that ever lived ! "

" Do you compare him with your cousin ? " asked
Mrs. Hardenbrook, suddenly removing the hand
kerchief to see Posie's face.

" Why should I compare them ? there's no need."

"Answer me! Do you compare him with Mr.
Dunstable?"

"Not in some things."

" I thought not ! " said the lady contemptuously.

" But in other things he could stand comparison
with anybody, mother. Nobody is so good as Ste
phen." "

" Yes. I don't like people that are so good."

"0 why do you say so, mother?"

" They are priggish and stuck up, and puffed out
with conceit. Stephen's as fulJ of conceit as a pea
cock's tail is full of eyes. I like people that are a
little more down to the level of ordinary humanity.
And I don't like people who pull you and your fa
ther around as if you were in harness."

"But mother, don't you know Stephen is father's
right hand ? "

" What's become of his own right hand ? "

" And Stephen is very good to you ! "

" In his place. I don't want him out of his place."

"But he is in his place, mother; he is one of tho
family. He is like a son to father; and he is just as



408 STEPHEN, M.D.

good as a brother to me. What ever should I do
without Stephen ? "

" Posie, you're a goose ! Do get up and go off.
As if the world hung upon Stephen! That's just
what I don't like. You'll know some day what a
goose you are. And now he's going this journey
with us ! " Down went Mrs. Hardenbrook's head
in her handkerchief again. Posie rose and stood
looking upon her in troubled contemplation.

"I can't think what makes you so unfair, mother."

"Jaint a fool!" came from behind the handker
chief.

"But if we are fools, father and I, we must be
true; and it would be very unworthy, it seems to
me, for us to go to Niagara and not let Stephen go
too. He has served father so faithfully, and it
would be such a pleasure to him."

" I suppose you think /have not served him faith
fully, and it is no matter whether it would be a
pleasure to me or not I "

Posie gave it up.



CHAPTER XXXV.

HAPPINESS.

MRS. HARDENBROOK was not accustomed to
have her own way when her husband took a
thing in his head. So she knew this matter was
settled, and after that evening made no more ado.
And on the proposed Wednesday morning the pre
arranged party set off for Niagara.

But for New York first. It was unspeakable de
light to two of them. Posie's utmost limits of
knowledge of the world extended no further than
Boston ; Stephen's, not even so far. For them there
was not a foot of the way that was not rich with
new experience; and the people that have always
seen everything and been everywhere do not know
what that means.

It was a very warm day, which was to be ex
pected, seeing they were in August; but to those
two there was no heat and no dust. Or if heat
and dust were perceived to exist, the perception
was accompanied with the most supreme disregar
Mrs. Hardenbrook was less careless, and found
journey dusty and dry, in every sense, beyond



410 STEPHEN, M.D.

pression. Poor lady, she had voluntarily separated
herself from all that could have brought refreshment
to it; having held back as they entered the car, al
lowing Erick and her daughter to precede her; and
then, when they had found a seat, she slipped her
self with Stephen into an empty place further back.
There she was, isolated from those two; where she
could not even exchange looks with them ; where
her only comfort was the thought that she had
secured them an uninterrupted time together. She
had signed to Stephen to take the seat next the
window; so he was safe. Poor woman! her one
satisfaction during that day's long ride, was to
see those two heads in the distance before her;
to watch Erick's dark curls of thick hair as he was
perpetually turning to speak to Posie; and then
to note how pretty Posie's new bonnet was, and
how it too turned in Erick's direction very fre
quently, and nodded sometimes, and altogether
shewed that its wearer was by no means going to
sleep or having a prosy time. Besides this distant
view, all the day was nothing but a rumble of car
wheels and swaying of carriages, and a flood of
heat and a storm of dust. Views outside the car
were nothing to Mrs. Hardenbrook.

"Whereabouts is mother?" Posie asked, when
they had been some time on the way.

" Behind us," said Erick looking back. " Some
distance behind. She has put Mr. Kay in the
corner. Or is he the sort of man who never can
be cornered?"



HAPPINESS. 411

" I do not understand you."

"You know what it is to be in a corner? Cir
cumstances shutting you up and fencing you in,
so that you don't know what to do, and cannot do
anything you want to do. In a corner, in short.
] cannot see Mr. Kay's face, to know how he
takes it."

"Stephen is never at a loss," said Posie; "if that
is what you mean."

" Happy fellow ! "

"No," Posie went on, "I don't believe Ste
phen could be cornered. He would get out of the
corner, unless he thought it was right to stay
there."

" In which case he would stay."

" Certainly. And then, as it would be the place
where he ought to be, he would not feel in a cor
ner, you see."

" Happy fellow ! " said Erick again.

"He is a happy fellow," said Posie; "he is the
happiest person I ever saw, by all odds."

" Isn't particularly jovial " said Brick."

" He is better; he's happy."

" What makes him happy ? "

Posie hesitated, and her voice seemed to choke.
She knew that Erick was watching her. What
was it indeed that made Stephen happy? and how
should she tell Erick ?

"I suppose he has a good position," the latter
went on; "and is doing well in business. Mr.
Hardenbrook told me as much himself."



412 STEPHEN, M.D.

" Yes, but that sort of thing doesn't make peo
ple happy, not what I mean by happy."

" Pray, what do you mean by happy, cousin
Posie?"

" When everything goes right with you always,"
Posie answered after an instant's hesitation and
with a charming smile at him.

"Delightful idea! But that is good fortune,
Isn't it? 'getting on'; -just what I was talking
about."

"0 no!" said Posie, "that is not what I mean.
I mean, when everything goes right with you, and
you know it, even just then when it seems to
go wrong. Just then ! Isn't that being happy ?
That is never having things really go wrong with
you, you know."

" But I never heard of such a man."

" Stephen is such a man," said Posie, nodding
emphatically; one of those nods which it pleased
Mrs. Hardenbrook to observe, and which she little
knew was given to Stephen.

" You are enigmatical ! " said Erick laughing.

" I think Stephen is, sometimes."

" What you describe sounds to me, I confess it,
less like happiness than phlegm."

" Phlegm ! " cried Posie. " You don't know
Stephen."

"You do?"

" I ought, I should think. He has been every
thing to me, since I was seven years old."

" He is not related to you, I think ? "



HAPPINESS. 413

" Not in any way. But that don't make any dif
ference. He is just as good as my brother."

"And you think he is not, just a little bit,
phlegmatic ? "

" Not the least bit ! " said Posie energetically.
"He is quiet; but his quietness covers all sorts
of things, that he keeps to himself. You know
the proverb about still waters."

"Yes; but I don't understand your definition of
happiness. I should venture to guess that things
never had gone really wrong with Mr. Kay; he
has never been tried. Has he ? "

" I don't know," said Posie. " Since he came to
as, perhaps not ; but before he came to us, certainly
he had hard times ; and I think, at one time, in the
factory. But that is long ago."



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