BY MRS. GEORGE SHELDON
(Mrs. George Sheldon Downs)
Who led my newly awakened thought Towards a higher understanding of God, And opened before me broader vistas of the Life immortal That is born of Truth and Love, My Teacher F. S. K. this story is lovingly dedicated by The Author
The words Science and Health which appear as marginal reference refer to The Christian Science Text Book "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy
I. At Hilton Seminary II. Katherine and Her Roommate III. Dorothy IV. Phillip Harris Stanley, M.D. V. Katherine's First Sabbath at Hilton VI. Materia Medica and Miracles VII. Katherine and the Junior League VIII. Transcendentalism as Elucidated for the Junior League IX. Katherine Makes a Demonstration X. Mrs. Seabrook's Problem XI. Dr. Stanley Asks Some Questions XII. Prof. Seabrook's Ultimatum—and Broken Rules XIII. The Story of a Stray Waif XIV. A Sophomore Racket XV. "Hilton Volunteers" XVI. A Junior Entertainment XVII. Dr. Stanley Has An Object Lesson XVIII. Sadie Receives an Opportune Invitation XIX. Mrs. Seabrook Takes a Stand XX. Interesting Developments XXI. The Traveler Returns XXII. Phillip Stanley's First Demonstration XXIII. Mrs. Minturn Visits Hilton XXIV. The End of School Days XXV. A Momentous Errand XXVI. Conclusion
AT HILTON SEMINARY.
It was four o'clock in the afternoon on the opening day of the midwinter term at Hilton Seminary, a noted institution located in a beautiful old town of Western New York.
A group of gay girls had just gathered in one of the pleasant and spacious recreation rooms and were chattering like the proverbial flock of magpies—exchanging merry greetings after their vacation; comparing notes on studies, classes and roommates; discussing the advent of new teachers, pupils and improvements, when a tall, gracious woman of, perhaps, thirty-five years suddenly appeared in the doorway, her fair face gleaming with humorous appreciation of the animated scene and babel before her, and enjoined silence with the uplifting of one slim white hand.
There was an instantaneous hush, as the bevy of maidens turned their bright faces and affectionate glances upon their teacher, who, evidently, was a prime favorite with them all.
"What is it, Miss Reynolds? What can we do for you?" eagerly queried several of the group, as they sprang forward to ascertain her wishes.
"Is Miss Minturn in the room? I am looking for a new pupil who arrived this morning," the teacher responded, her genial, friendly blue eyes roving from face to face in search of the stranger to whom she had referred.
A young girl, who had been sitting by herself in a remote corner of the room, arose and moved towards the speaker.
"I am Katherine Minturn," she said, with quiet self-possession, yet flushing slightly beneath the many curious glances bent upon her, as her soft, brown eyes met the smiling blue ones.
She was, apparently, about nineteen years of age, a little above medium height, her form slight but almost perfect in its proportions. A wealth of hair, matching the color of her eyes, crowned a small, shapely head, and contrasted beautifully with a creamy complexion, the delicacy of which was relieved chiefly by the vivid scarlet of her lips. Her features were clear-cut and very attractive—at least so thought Miss Reynolds as she studied the symmetrical brow, the large, thoughtful eyes, the tender mouth and prettily rounded chin curving so gracefully into the white, slender neck.
"Ah! Miss Minturn. I have had quite a search for you," she said, reaching out a cordial hand to her; for, despite the girl's self- poise, she had caught a quiver of loneliness on the expressive face. "I am Miss Reynolds, the teacher of mathematics, and I have been commissioned by Prof. Seabrook to find and show you to his study. But first, let me present you to these chatterers."
She dropped the hand that was trembling in her clasp, and, slipping a reassuring arm about the girl's waist, continued:
"Young ladies, this is Miss Minturn, a new junior. I can't present each of you formally, for she is wanted immediately elsewhere; but I will see that she finds you all out later."
Katherine nodded a smiling acknowledgment to the vigorous clapping of hands and the hearty "Welcome, Miss Minturn, to Hilton." Then Miss Reynolds led her away, and the interrupted chatter of the magpies was resumed with redoubled animation, but now the new junior absorbed the attention of everyone.
"Say, girls, isn't she a dear?" "Came this morning, did she? where from, I wonder?" "My! but wasn't that a nobby traveling suit, and such a fit!" "Katherine Minturn—pretty name, isn't it?" "Does anybody know anything more about her?" were some of the comments and queries that slipped from those supple instruments with a tendency towards perpetual motion, which, sometimes, are described as organs that are hung in the middle and wag at both ends— school-girls' tongues.
"Hush!—sh!—sh! Oh, girls, do ring off, and perhaps I can give you a point or two," cried a high-pitched voice with an unmistakable Southern drawl, as a somewhat overdressed girl of nineteen or twenty years re-enforced her appeal by vigorous gestures to attract attention, whereupon the ever alert spirit of Curiosity silenced every loquacious chatterer, except one who solemnly announced, "Ladies, Miss Minot has the floor!"
"Yes," the speaker observed, "the new junior does strike one as being downright stunning. She came from New York City, and"—with a lugubrious sigh—"though I've never set eyes on her before, I was informed this morning that she is to be my roommate for the remainder of the year."
A burst of mirthful laughter rippled over a dozen pairs of rosy lips at this last mournfully conveyed information.
"Aha! at last Miss Sadie Minot has got to come down to the lot of common mortals and take in a chum!" cried a merry sprite, with a saucy chuckle. "Oh, how you have spread yourself and luxuriated in your solitary magnificence, and how every mother's daughter of us has envied you your spacious quarters! Well, you know what old Sol. said about 'pride' and a 'haughty spirit,' and the 'fall' always comes, first or last. But, Sadie, my love, be comforted," she continued, with mock sympathy, "and just try to realize what splendid discipline it will be for you; one cannot have everything one wants, you know, even if one is an heiress in one's own right- -eh, dearie?"
"But there's only one closet, and it is so full now," sighed Miss Minot, ruefully.
"Hear! hear!" retorted the same mischievous maiden, whose name was Clara Follet. "After having had undisturbed possession of a whole room and closet for six long months she ungratefully bemoans——"
"And only one chest of drawers," pursued Sadie, in the same strain, but with a comical quirk of an eye.
A chorus of mocking groans and derisive laughter greeted this wail.
"And all four crammed full with her superfluous finery," cried another of the merry group. "Whatever will you do with it now, Sadie?"
"I'm sure I don't know, Ollie," retorted the pretty "heiress," with a quizzical uplifting of her brows, "unless you take half of it off my hands altogether, instead of coming to borrow so often."
Shrieks of appreciative mirth followed this deftly shot arrow, for it was a well-known fact that Ollie Grant, the pet of the school, was an easy-going little body, very prone to allow her wardrobe to get in a sad plight and then throw herself upon the mercy of others, to patch her up, in the event of an emergency.
But Miss Ollie was equal to the occasion.
"Really, Sadie, that would help you out, wouldn't it? and save me a lot of trotting back and forth," she demurely responded, though the dimples played a lively game of hide-and-seek in her plump cheeks. "There's such a love of a lace jacket in her second drawer, girls; my eyes water with envy every time I get a glimpse of it; and a few of those ravishing stocks that you've been laying in of late wouldn't come amiss. There's that lavender satin waist, too, you bought at Jerome's the other day. I know I should look perfectly killing in it; and—oh! ye Hiltonites!—she has just bought six of the sweetest corset covers you ever laid eyes on; think of it!—six! She could spare three just as well as not, and I'm sure she has at least a dozen pairs of silk stockings, while"- -with a doleful sigh—"I don't own a blessed one. Then there are ribbons and laces, fans and handkerchiefs galore. Don't you think it would be an act of mercy if I would agree to take some of these superfluities off her hands, rather than have them ruthlessly crushed into half their allotted space? And—"
"Ollie! Ollie!—what an incorrigible little tease you are!" laughingly interposed Miss Minot, as she playfully tweaked the girl's ear. "I wonder how long the things would last you if you had them all!"
"Oh, probably two or three times wearing around, providing they didn't come to mending before that," mused the "Pet," with a speculative look in her blue eyes, but with a quiver of the dimples that evoked another paroxysm of laughter from her audience. "But I say, Sadie," she went on with the next breath, "Miss Minturn is a downright sweet-looking girl, and I'll wager a- -a darning needle against a pair of those silk stockings you'll find her O. K. Maybe she'll let you have an extra drawer and a hook or two in the closet."
"I don't feel very hopeful, so I won't take you up," sighed Sadie; "for when I came in from my walk I saw a big trunk, with 'K. M.' on it, in the hall, and it looks to me as if I—I'm destined to go through a different kind of 'cramming' process this year, in addition to the usual one."
This self-inflicted shot now turned the laugh again upon the speaker, for it was an open secret that the Southern heiress dearly loved her ease and took it, up to the last moment, then had to "cram for all she was worth" to get ready for "exams."
While this chatter and fun were going on in the recreation room, Katherine Minturn had been conducted to the study of Prof. Seabrook, by whom she was received with his customary courtesy.
The principal of Hilton Seminary was a distinguished-appearing gentleman of fifty years, possessing a strong, intellectual, yet refined face, whose chief charm was a pair of large, expressive blue-gray eyes that could be most winningly kind, or most coldly and blightingly stern, as the case might be.
"Be seated, Miss Minturn," he courteously commanded, as Miss Reynolds excused herself and withdrew, and indicating a chair near the table by which he had been sitting when she entered.
Katherine obeyed, feeling strongly attracted to the man by his genial manner, even though she knew that his keen but friendly eyes were intent upon reading what lay beneath her exterior.
"I suppose you feel that you have had rather a hard day," he continued, glancing significantly at some closely written sheets which he had evidently been looking over when she entered, and which she instantly recognized as her examination papers.
"Not at all," she quietly returned, lifting her clear eyes to him, and he marveled at the unclouded serenity in their pure depths.
"Indeed!" and he could not quite conceal his surprise. "It is a rare event for a young lady to make such an admission after a rigid ordeal like what you have sustained this afternoon. However, I am happy to inform you that you are unconditionally admitted to the junior class; your papers do you great credit, Miss Minturn. I had not expected quite so much from you, as you had told me that you left school last year, a sophomore, and have been traveling abroad until recently. I feared we might have to ask you to review a little, for it is rather unusual for a pupil to enter an advanced class in the middle of the year."
"But I have not been idle since leaving school," Katherine replied, a happy gleam in her eyes, for his commendation was very gratifying to her; "although we were abroad for several months, we were often located in some place for weeks at a time, and mamma, having once been a teacher at Vassar, coached me for the junior class."
"Ah! that explains your proficiency. How convenient to have an ex- Vassar in the family!" Prof. Seabrook smilingly observed. "All the same, I am sure the daughter deserves some commendation for work conscientiously done."
"Thank you, sir," said Katherine, a flush of pleasure tingeing her cheeks.
The principal then proceeded to give her some information regarding her classes and the ground to be covered in her various studies during the coming term, after which he asked some questions as to her recent travels, whereupon they fell into a pleasant chat about points of interest which both had visited, and thus a delightful half hour slipped away. At length Prof. Seabrook referred to a book that lay on the table beside him, and observed:
"I find, Miss Minturn, that you are to room with Miss Sadie Minot, a young lady from Atlanta, Georgia, and I think you will find her an agreeable companion. However"—with a humorous twinkle in his eyes—"to use a homely proverb, 'it is Hobson's choice,' for it happens to be the only vacancy in the building; we have a very full school this year. I will call some one to show you how to find it, and have your trunk sent up later."
He touched a bell and presently a young girl about sixteen entered the room, with a brisk step and an alert air, suggestive of a repressed cyclone only awaiting an opportunity for mischief brewing; while, as she approached the occupants, a strong odor of peppermint made itself apparent in the atmosphere.
"Miss Minturn, this is Miss Wild, one of our breezy freshmen—eh, Jennie?" and the quizzical look again leaped into the blue-gray eyes.
Katherine smilingly acknowledged the introduction, while Miss Wild blushed and nodded an embarrassed greeting, then immediately turned her face away from the focus of the professor's observation and made a comical grimace which came very near proving too much for Katherine's dignity.
"Jennie," the gentleman continued, "Miss Minturn is to share Miss Minot's room—number fifteen, west wing—and I have called you to show her the way, if you please."
"Yes, sir, I will," said the girl, with ready compliance, which culminated in a vigorous sneeze, whereupon, with the restless energy which pervaded her every movement, she whisked her handkerchief from her pocket, and, with it, there shot out a promiscuous assortment of chocolates and cream peppermints, which went bounding and rolling about the room in every direction.
Prof. Seabrook gave vent to a hearty laugh of amusement at the awkward contretemps.
"I thought I detected a familiar odor, Jennie," he observed; then added, good-naturedly, "You may pick them up, if you please."
"Guess I will," she returned, eagerly, and nimbly suiting the action to her words. "I really can't afford to lose all that precious sweetness. Josie Craig gave them to me just as you rang."
Katherine had risen and was moving towards the door, to cover her own inclination to explode, and thus make the situation more awkward for the girl, when the principal checked her by remarking:
"By the way, Miss Minturn, the juniors and seniors attend the Bible class, which it is my province to conduct. We meet at four on Sunday afternoons in the south recitation room; and the lesson for next Sabbath will be on the Creation, as given in the first chapter of Genesis. And this reminds me that I have neglected to inquire where you will attend church. As our catalogue states, each student is allowed to choose her own place of worship. Where do you propose to make your church home?"
Katherine had expected this question before; nevertheless, she flushed slightly as she turned back to face her interlocutor, and replied:
"I am a Christian Scientist, Prof. Seabrook, and I shall attend the church on Grove Street."
The pause which followed this announcement was painfully ominous, and Katherine was amazed at the frozen look which suddenly settled over the gentleman's face, together with the expression of stern disapprobation which instantly drove all the kindness out of his hitherto genial eyes. "A Christian Scientist!—indeed!" he said, in a tone as frigid as his look. "It is a matter of regret to me that you did not state that fact when you made application for admission to Hilton."
Katherine's lip quivered slightly at this caustic remark and the accompanying scorn on the high-bred face; and the flush which had risen to her cheek a moment before vanished, leaving her quite pale, although in no way disconcerted.
"But I believe the catalogue states that there is no sectarianism in Hilton Seminary, that the broadest possible religious tolerance prevails here," she remarked, with a sweet gentleness which, under any other circumstances, would have instantly disarmed her companion.
But, as it happened, he was a bitter opponent of the "false doctrine," and the term "Science" applied to Christianity was a rank offense to his rigid Presbyterian opinions, as was also the fact that a woman had dared to face the world with it!
"I do not recognize Christian Science, so-called, as a religion," he retorted, with a sharpness in marked contrast to Katherine's sweetness. "In my opinion, it is simply a device and snare of Satan himself to deceive the very elect; and Miss Minturn"—this with frowning emphasis—"I will not, for a moment, tolerate the promulgation of its fallacious teachings in this school. I trust I make myself understood."
Katherine had not once removed her clear, brown eyes from his countenance during this speech, but there was not the slightest manifestation of resentment on her own—only an expression of tender regret, as if she were sorry for him, because of the sense of discord that seemed to hold possession of him.
"You mean that I am not to talk it here?" she said.
"Exactly; nor flaunt it in any way."
"I will not, sir," with gentle gravity; then a little smile curving her red lips, she added: "Christian Science, Prof. Seabrook, is a religion of Love, and I will simply try to live it."
The principal of Hilton flushed to his brows before this unassuming girl, a circumstance unprecedented in the annals of the institution.
Her look, her tone, the softly spoken words—all radiated love, and his arrogant spirit felt the gentle rebuke.
"Have you that book, 'Science and Health,' with you?" he curtly demanded.
Katherine's heart leaped within her. Did he mean to deprive her of her daily bread?
"Yes, sir," with unfaltering glance and voice.
"Then keep it out of sight," he briefly commanded, adding, in a tone of dismissal, as he took up his pen: "That is all, Miss Minturn."
Katherine bowed respectfully, then quietly followed Jennie Wild from the room.
KATHERINE AND HER ROOMMATE.
As the two girls were passing through the main building on their way to number fifteen, west wing, Katherine turned to her companion and observed, in a friendly tone:
"So this is your first year in Hilton Seminary, Miss Wild?"
Jennie, who had been "just boiling"—as she told her later—over the professor's recent crankiness and severity, turned to Katherine in unfeigned surprise, for there was not the slightest trace of resentment or personal affront in either her voice or manner.
Her brown eyes were as serene as a May morning; her scarlet lips were parted in a sunny smile that just disclosed her white, even teeth, and her voice was clear and sweet, without even a quiver to betray emotion of any kind.
Jennie Wild was a girl of many moods. Possessing the kindest heart in the world, and ever ready to run her nimble feet off to do any one a good turn, she was at the same time a veritable little "snapdragon." Touch her ever so lightly, and off she would go into paroxysms of mirth or rage, sympathy or scorn, as the case might be. Consequently she had looked for an outburst, or at least some manifestation, of indignation on Katherine's part, over the principal's recent sharpness and ungracious treatment.
"Yes, I'm a freshie," the girl replied, with a nod and one of her comical grimaces, but still curiously studying the placid face beside her, "but I'm not here as you are. I'm a working student"— this with a rising flush and defiant toss of her pert little head.
"'A working student?'" repeated Katherine, inquiringly.
"That's what I said," laconically. "I can't afford to pay full tuition, so I wait on Prof. Seabrook and his wife, and do other kinds of work to make up the rest. You see"—the flush creeping higher, but with a secret determination to "sound" the new junior- -"I haven't any father or mother, and my aunt, who has always taken care of me, is poor, and there was no other way to finish my education after leaving the high school—see?"
"Yes, I understand, and I think you are a dear, brave girl to do it," said Katherine, with shining eyes, and laying a friendly hand on her shoulder as they began to mount the stairs leading to the second story.
"Do you—truly?" queried Jennie, with a glad ring in her tones. "My! I believe I feel two inches taller for that"—throwing back her head proudly; "you've given me a lift, Miss Minturn, that I shan't forget; nobody has ever said anything so kind to me before. I tell you"—confidentially—"it does take a lot of courage sometimes to buckle on to a hard lesson, after running up and downstairs forty times a day, besides no end of other things to do. Most of the girls are pretty good to me; though, now and then, there's one who thinks she was cut out of finer cloth. I dote on the professor, even if he does get a bit cranky sometimes, like to-day, when something ruffles his stately feathers. His wife is lovely, too, and the teachers are all nice. But don't call me Miss Wild, please. I'm 'Jennie' to everybody. 'Wild Jennie' most of the girls call me, and there really is a harum-scarum streak in me that does get the best of me sometimes," she concluded, with a mischievous flash in her dark eyes.
"I shall be very glad to call you Jennie, if you wish, and my name is Katherine, with a 'K,'" said that young lady, with an inviting smile.
"I'm sure there isn't any 'harum-scarum' about you," said the girl, gravely, as she searched the sweet, brown eyes.
"That depends upon what you mean by the term," responded Katherine, with a ripple of mirthful laughter. "I assure you I love a good time as well as any other girl."
"U-m—p'rhaps; but I guess it would have to be a—a—genteel good time. There's one thing I don't need to 'guess' about, though—you just know how to stand firm on your heels when you need to."
"What do you mean by that?" questioned Katherine, with a look of perplexity.
"Nobody will ever make you take a back seat—not even his highness downstairs, when you know you're right. I say, though"—she interposed, eagerly—"weren't you mad, through and through, at what he said to you just now?"
"Mad?" repeated Katherine, flushing, and wondering if she had unconsciously manifested anything that had seemed like anger or temper during the recent interview.
"Yes; didn't you feel as if you'd just like to go at him with 'hammer and tongs'"—doubling up her fists and striking out suggestively right and left—"for being so crusty with you about your religion? I did."
Katherine laughed out merrily at the girl's strenuous espousal of her cause, and with a sense of relief to know that she had shown no feeling unworthy of a Christian Scientist.
"No, dear," she gently replied, "I could not feel anger or resentment towards any one because of a mere difference of opinion."
"U-m! well, you didn't show any, that's sure. You just faced him, sweet as a peach, but like a—a queen who knows she's on her own ground. I thought, though, you might be just boiling over inside; but if you say you weren't, I believe you, for I think you're 'true blue,' and I think Prof. Seabrook might have learned a lesson from you, for I never saw him quite so upset over a little thing before. I never had any use for Christian Scientists myself; don't know anything about 'em, in fact. But if they're all like you, I don't believe they'll ever do much harm in the world. Here we are, though—this is Sadie's room. She's an orphan, too, but she is very rich, and I tell you she just knows how to make her money fly—isn't a bit stingy with others, either," the voluble girl concluded, as she paused before a door at the head of the stairs in the second story of the west wing and rapped vigorously upon it for admittance.
"Come in," responded a good-natured voice, whereupon Jennie opened the door and entered a sunny, inviting apartment, the sight of which instantly gave Katherine a homelike feeling.
She also saw two pretty beds, on one side of the room, piled high with a motley assortment of dresses and finery that made her wonder how one person could ever make use of so many things, while an attractive girl was sitting upon the floor before the one dressing case, her face flushed and perplexed as she tried to pack another promiscuous collection into the insufficient space that would henceforth belong to her.
"Miss Minot," said Jennie, advancing farther into the room and thus revealing her companion, "this is Miss Minturn, who is to room with you. Prof. Seabrook sent me to show her here and to introduce her to you."
Miss Minot sprang to her feet and came forward with outstretched hand, her manner characterized by true Southern hospitality.
"Come in, Miss Minturn," she said, cordially; "come right in and sit down," and releasing the hand she had grasped, she whisked two or three skirts off a rocker, tossing them upon the heap on one of the beds. "I knew you were coming, and I've been working right smart to get ready for you. I've had full swing here so long I've filled every nook and cranny of the place, and now"—with a shrug and a deprecatory smile—"I shall have to learn to be very orderly to keep from encroaching upon your territory. But there's lots of time. The things can wait while we get acquainted a little. Jennie, you'll have to take the trunk," she concluded, with a careless glance at the girl.
"I haven't time to sit down, Miss Minot; I've my algebra lesson to learn for to-morrow morning," and Jennie, flushing with sudden anger at being so cursorily consigned to a trunk, turned to leave the room.
Katherine put out a detaining hand.
"Thank you, Jennie, for coming up with me," she said, with a friendly smile, adding: "And I hope there will be no more interruptions while you are conning the algebra lesson."
"I hate mathematics," Jennie affirmed, with an impatient shrug, "but the things you most dislike are supposed to do you the most good, so I just have to bottle up when it's time for algebra and try to play 'it's an angel being entertained unawares.' Good-by, Miss Minturn. I'll see you again later." And bestowing a bright glance and nod upon her new friend, she shut the door and went whistling cheerily down the hall.
"That's a queer 'pickaninny'! I didn't mean to hurt her, though," observed Miss Minot, as she curled herself up on the foot of a bed, preparatory to getting acquainted with her new roommate.
"She certainly possesses originality," Katherine laughingly responded; "but I like her none the less for that."
"Poor young one!" Sadie continued. "She doesn't have a very easy time of it here. She is a stray waif, and hasn't a relative in the world, to her knowledge."
"She spoke of an aunt," interposed Katherine.
"She calls Miss Wild 'aunt,' but she isn't, really, and the child actually does not know her own name. The way of it was this," Miss Minot went on to explain: "When she was a baby there was a terrible railway accident, in which it was supposed both her parents were killed, for nobody could be found to claim the child after it was over; and Miss Wild, an old maid with a small annuity, was on the same train, and, like an angel, cared for her, hoping some relative would be found when the dead were identified; but no clew to her identity was ever obtained, and the woman has done the best she could for her all these years."
"How very lovely and noble of Miss Wild," breathed Katherine, appreciatively. Then, glancing around the disorderly room, she added: "Now, Miss Minot, I feel almost like an intruder to have you so upset on my account. Do let me help you put some of these things away."
"Oh, never mind the truck," Sadie lazily returned. "I'll take care of the things presently. I'm right glad that you are a junior," she resumed, in a comfortable tone. "It is so much nicer to have a roommate who can go right along with you, and I'm sure you'll be a great help to me."
Katherine smiled as her companion thus unwittingly revealed a strong phase of her character. She saw that her tendency was to lean upon the nearest prop; and, as to be "forewarned is to be forearmed," she resolved to govern herself accordingly.
They chatted socially until the janitor appeared with Katherine's trunk, whereupon Sadie bestirred herself once more to bring order out of chaos.
This was much easier said than done, and as she saw that she was going to be very much crowded, Katherine unpacked but very few things at that time. She generously said she would try to get along with one-third of the closet and one of the drawers in the bureau, and utilize her trunk trays for her own waists and finery, while she could stow things not often needed in the lower portion.
Later she hired the janitor to put up a bracket shelf in one corner of the room, tacking a long chintz curtain to it, and, with a dozen hooks screwed into a cleat underneath, thus improvised a very convenient little closet for her individual use.
While the roommates were "becoming acquainted," Jennie Wild, full of what she had seen and heard, and, for the time being, unmindful of the waiting algebra lesson, rushed down to the recreation room, where many of the students were still congregated, and reeled off her news to a bevy of curious and interested listeners.
The information that the new junior was a "Christian Scientist" created quite a flutter of excitement. Some were horrified and indignant because such a pariah had been admitted to the seminary; others ridiculed and laughed to scorn the doctrines of the "new cult," while a few appeared indifferent and declared that every one had a right to her own opinion upon religious subjects.
The matter was pretty thoroughly canvassed, however, the attitude of the principal having weighty influence and governing the preponderance of opinion; and by the time the supper bell rang almost every student in the house had learned the whole story and decided that, for the present at least, she would give the newcomer a wide berth.
Katherine became conscious of the iciness of the atmosphere the moment she entered the dining room and came under the battery of the hundred or more pairs of curious and critical eyes that were eagerly watching for her to appear. Miss Reynolds, who had overheard some of the gossip and adverse criticisms, was also on the lookout for her, and approaching her with the graciousness which was her chief charm, observed:
"Miss Minturn, I have made a place for you at my table. Until you become better acquainted and choose your permanent seat, you shall sit close under the shelter of my wings."
"And a very friendly shelter, I am sure, I shall find it; you are very good," Katherine replied, with quick appreciation.
The teacher led her to her place, and, while they stood waiting for the professor to give the signal to be seated, introduced her to two or three of the girls in their vicinity.
Katherine keenly felt, and Miss Reynolds noted with increasing displeasure, the quickly averted eyes and cool acknowledgment of these introductions; but the principal drew out his chair, and Katherine's momentary feeling of awkwardness was covered by the confusion of getting into place. But for her teacher she would have had a very lonely and silent meal; for after one or two efforts to engage her nearest neighbor in conversation had been coldly repulsed, the tactful woman threw herself into the gap and the two chatted socially until they arose from the table.
"She is a dear, sweet girl, and I am going to nip this nonsense in the bud," Miss Reynolds observed to herself on the way upstairs, where, in the main hall and parlors, the students usually spent an hour, socially, after the evening meal. But as she presented her charge, here and there, she only became more indignant in view of frigid salutations and a general stampede wherever they made their appearance, not to mention the scarlet spots that settled on Katherine's cheeks and her unnaturally brilliant eyes, although, in other respects, she appeared perfectly serene and self- possessed.
"Please do not trouble yourself any further on my account, Miss Reynolds," she said, when she observed the look of dismay on her face as she glanced around the almost empty room they were in. "I understand the situation perfectly; they have all learned that I am a Christian Scientist, and, having conceived an erroneous idea of what that means, are avoiding me."
"It is the most absurd, cruel and unjust treatment of a stranger I ever heard of," returned her companion, with flashing eyes, "and I shall make it my business to see that there is a radical change before another day goes by."
"Please do not," Katherine pleaded, earnestly. "I would much prefer that matters be left to adjust themselves; any interference would only serve to intensify the antagonism against me; and I am sure when the girls come to know me better, they will at least realize that I am—harmless," and there was a gleam of genuine amusement in her eyes as she concluded.
"You are a brave little girl," said her teacher, with a glow of tenderness at her heart and a suspicious moisture in her eyes. "But"—with a resolute straightening of her graceful figure—"I am not going to have you left to yourself on this your first evening at Hilton, so come with me to my room and we will have a nice time by ourselves."
"Oh, I should like that," said Katherine, eagerly, "if it will not encroach—"
"It will not," smilingly interposed her new friend, and, slipping an arm around her, she spirited her away to her pleasant room, where they spent a delightful hour together.
When the eight o'clock study bell rang, Katherine returned to her own quarters, where she found her roommate already absorbed, apparently, in the preparation of to-morrow's lessons; for, as she entered, the girl merely glanced up from her book without speaking, then fastened her eyes again upon the pages before her.
Katherine sat down by her own table and soon forgot everything but the work on hand, although, at first, she had experienced a sense of discord and friction in the atmosphere. The hour passed in absolute silence until the next bell rang, when Miss Minot closed her books and abruptly left the room.
Katherine was not sorry to be left alone, and bringing forth from her trunk her Bible, "Science and Health," and "Quarterly," began to study her lesson for the coming Sunday. She spent half an hour or more in this way, then sat reading from her text-book until Sadie returned.
Katherine greeted her with a smile as she entered and inquired:
"What is the retiring hour, Miss Minot?"
"Ten; and every light must be out at half-past," was the somewhat curt response.
Then, after an irresolute pause, she walked over to Katharine, and picking up the book she had just laid down, asked:
"What is this that you were reading? Oh! it is that dreadful book I've heard so much about."
"It doesn't seem dreadful to me," returned her companion, gently.
"Humph! 'At all times and under all circumstances overcome evil with good,'" [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 571.] she read from the page to which she had opened. "That's just another version of the 'golden rule,' isn't it?" Then, turning a leaf, she read from the next page: "'Love fulfills the law in Christian Science.' Humph!" she ejaculated again, as she put the volume down, "so you are a Christian Scientist! I heard about it downstairs."
"Yes," quietly returned Katherine.
"And do you really believe all they tell about the wonderful cures and—and the rest of it?" Sadie demanded, with curling lips.
"Tell me about some of them," said the girl, eagerly, her curiosity aroused.
"Excuse me, Miss Minot; I cannot, for Prof. Seabrook has forbidden me to say anything about the subject here," Katherine returned.
"Yes, I heard that, too," said Sadie, with a nod. "Well, the professor is dead set against it, and I'm down on it right smart myself. You see"—with a superior air—"I'm an Episcopalian; my grandfather was an Episcopalian clergyman, a rector, you know, and"—with a shrug and laugh—"I'm afraid he wouldn't rest easy in his grave if he knew I had such a rank heretic for a roommate. But"—leaning forward and smiling into her companion's eyes— "aside from that I like you right well, Miss Minturn, and if we leave this subject alone I reckon we'll get along pretty comfortably together; what do you say?"
"I am sure we will," cordially assented Katherine, "and"—with a merry twinkle in her eyes—"if you do not broach it, you may confidently rely upon my discretion."
"I own up," good-naturedly returned her chum. "I did broach it this time; but"—flushing slightly—"something had to be said to get it out of the way, don't you know? And may I—would you like me to call you Katherine?"
"With all my heart, Sadie."
The two girls smiled into each other's eyes; the last vestige of formality was swept away, and the atmosphere was clear.
The midwinter term at Hilton Seminary had opened on Wednesday, and the remainder of the week passed quickly and uneventfully as Katherine fell easily into the ways of the institution and found herself getting well started in her various studies.
Her relations with her roommate were most harmonious, but the majority of the students either ignored her altogether or treated her with a coldness that, had she not had her "Science" to sustain and comfort her, would have made her lot hard indeed to bear.
She had not met the professor again, except in the class room, where he had seemed to be wholly absorbed in his duties as instructor and oblivious of the personality of the students.
On Saturday afternoon she was introduced to Mrs. Seabrook while strolling in the grounds with Miss Reynolds, between whom and herself a growing friendliness was asserting itself. The professor's wife was walking beside a wheel-chair, which was being propelled by a nurse in cap and apron, and in which was seated— propped up by pillows—a young girl who appeared to be about seven or eight years of age, although her serious, pain-lined face and thoughtful eyes seemed, by right, to belong to an older person.
Miss Reynolds paused on meeting this trio and introduced Katherine to Mrs. Seabrook, who greeted her with a sweet cordiality that at once won the girl's heart.
"I heard that we had a new student among us," she said, as she warmly clasped Katherine's hand, "and I hope you are going to be very happy with us, Miss Minturn."
"Thank you; not 'going to be'—I already am happy here," she cheerily and truthfully replied, for she had become deeply interested in her work, and, as she dearly loved to study, she was content to leave her social relations to be governed by the love she was "trying to live."
"This is my daughter," Mrs. Seabrook continued, as she turned a fond look upon the pale, pinched face among the pillows. "Dorothy, this is the young lady whom you have been wishing to see."
Katherine bent down, took the small mittened hand that was extended to her and smiled into the grave, searching eyes that were earnestly studying her face.
"And I also have been wishing to see Dorothy," she said, with a note of tenderness in her tone that caused the slender fingers inside the mitten to close more firmly over her own. "I am very fond of little people."
"I should not be so 'little' if I were well," Dorothy returned, with a faint sigh. Then, glancing up at her attendant, she added: "This is my nurse, Alice, and she has to wheel me about because I cannot walk."
Katherine bestowed a friendly look and nod upon Alice; then a great wave of compassion for the little cripple swept over her heart and softened her earnest brown eyes as she turned back to her and remarked, in a cheery tone:
"You have a lovely chair. These rubber tires must cause it to roll very smoothly and make it easy for Alice to wheel you about."
"Yes, I like my chair very much—my Uncle Phillip brought it to me from Germany—and Alice is very nice about taking me everywhere I want to go; but it would be so much nicer if I could walk and run about like other girls," and Dorothy's yearning tone smote painfully upon every listening ear.
"It certainly would, dear," Katherine returned, giving the small hand that still clung to hers a loving pressure, adding, softly: "And sometime you will, I hope."
The child's face glowed at the term of endearment; but her pale lips quivered slightly at the hopeful assurance.
"Oh! no," she said, shaking her head slowly; "I have a double curvature of the spine, and all the doctors say I never can. I—I- -think I could bear that—not being able to walk—but the dreadful pain sometimes makes me wish I wasn't here at all."
Katherine did not make any reply to this pathetic information. For a moment or two she seemed to be oblivious to everything, even to the presence of her companions, and stood looking off towards the western sky, as if communing with some unseen presence there.
Then, suddenly arousing herself, she detached a beautiful pink rosebud from the lapel of her jacket, saying, brightly: "Do you love flowers, Dorothy? will you let me fasten this on your coat? It is fresh from the greenhouse and will last some time yet. There—see!" as she deftly pinned it in place. "What a pretty contrast it makes against the dark-blue cloth."
"It is lovely," said the girl, bending forward to inhale its perfume. "How perfect it is! Do you ever wonder, Miss Minturn, why God makes the flowers and things that grow so perfect and beautiful, and people—so many of them—imperfect and ugly?"
"My dear," Mrs. Seabrook here smilingly interposed, though a quickly repressed sigh arose to her lips, "I hope you are not going to involve Miss Minturn in a metaphysical discussion during this first meeting! Dorothy has acquired a habit of philosophizing and asking profound questions that are not always easily answered," she explained to Katherine.
"Surely, dear, you do not think that God ever made anyone, or anything, imperfect or ugly?" Katherine gently inquired.
The child hesitated a moment, as if pondering the question.
"Well," she presently asserted, with a positive intonation and nod of her head, "there are a lot of deformed, sick and ugly people in the world, and the Bible tells us that He made everything."
"The Bible tells us, in Genesis, that 'everything that God made was good'; and, in Psalms, that 'all His ways are perfect,'" quoted Katherine.
"Yes, I know it; that was in the beginning, though," said Dorothy; "but if He could make things perfect in the first place I don't see why He didn't keep them so if He is God."
"Come, come, dearie; I think we must go on now—we are keeping Miss Reynolds and Miss Minturn from their walk," Mrs. Seabrook again interposed, with a note of gentle reproof in her tone, as she stooped to tuck the robe more closely around the girl.
A sunny smile, like a burst of sunshine from under a cloud, suddenly broke over Dorothy's face, at once dispelling its unnatural gravity and perplexity.
"I didn't think how naughty that was going to sound, mamma dear," she said, as, with a deprecating air, she softly patted her mother's hand. "I'm afraid Miss Minturn will think I am not very good; but, truly, things do seem awfully mixed up sometimes when I get to thinking this way. I like you very, very much, though," she added, nodding brightly at her new acquaintance. "I wish you would come to see me in mamma's apartments when you are not too busy."
"I shall be very glad to—if I may," Katherine replied, with an inquiring glance at Mrs. Seabrook.
"Yes, do come, Miss Minturn, whenever you can find time; we are very glad to have the young ladies visit Dorothy, who has many lonely hours. Now come, Alice," and, with a parting smile and bow, she signaled the nurse to move on.
"Good-by, Miss Minturn, and thank you for my lovely rose," cried the child, looking back over her shoulder and waving her small hand in farewell.
"Poor child," sighed Miss Reynolds, as she and Katherine passed out of the grounds to the highway, "she has a continual struggle to live, yet she is a remarkable girl, in spite of her many infirmities, with a mind bright and keen far beyond her years."
"How old is she?"
"Thirteen, a month or two ago."
"Is it possible? She does not look to be over seven or eight, although, mentally, she seems more mature."
"That is true. She had a bad fall when she was six years old, and her body has never grown any since the accident," Miss Reynolds explained. "She suffers a great deal—sometimes the pain is almost unbearable; but, as a rule, she is very lovable and patient, though, now and then, a remark like what she made to you just now, shows that she thinks deeply and is perplexed—like some children of larger growth—over the knotty problems of life," she concluded, with a sigh.
"How is it, Miss Minturn," she went on, after a moment of silence, "how do you Scientists account for the fact that a perfect and all-merciful God—'the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort,' as Paul puts it—has created a world of such confusion, wherein evil and suffering, instead of peace and harmony, are the predominant elements?—where, for ages, sickness and death have relentlessly mown down generation after generation, until one becomes heart-sick and weary, and even filled with despair, at times, in view of their probable continuance for ages to come?"
The woman's face was flushed, her eyes somber, and there was a note of passionate protest in her voice which moved Katherine deeply; while what she had said proved to her that these problems had been pondered o'er and o'er until her mind was almost in a state of chaos regarding them.
While she was debating with herself what reply she could make that would best meet her thought, her companion resumed:
"I am a dear lover of children, but when I see anyone like Dorothy; when I see mothers grieving for their darlings, whom God gave them for a little while, then ruthlessly snatched from their embrace for no apparent reason, I feel sure that something is very wrong; and, of late years, my heart is filled with indignant protest whenever I hear of the birth of a dear little innocent. 'Oh!' I cry within myself, 'it is born only to repeat the struggle with sin, suffering and death.' Of what use is its life? of what use the advent of future generations if there is no way to rise above, or conquer, such adverse conditions? Is God good—if there is a God—to create only to destroy? to arbitrarily force these little innocents into the world to fight the unequal battle with evil? Millions have faced it bravely—nobly, trusting God's promises, but they have never succeeded in removing one iota of the curse, 'Thou shalt surely die.' The whole problem of life is a mystery which I am tired of trying to solve," and Katherine was sure the woman stifled a sob as she concluded.
"Surely, dear Miss Reynolds, you do not doubt the existence of God?" she gently inquired.
"No, child; don't think me quite an atheist," said her teacher, with a deprecatory smile and gesture. "Life, nature, the universe, with their teeming and ever-unfolding wonders tell me that there is a Force—a controlling power and intelligence behind them. We call that force 'God.' We say that God is omnipotent, all wise and good; and certainly, in the government of the universe, everything points that way, everything is exact and perfect. But how to reconcile God as good, merciful, loving, with the creation and manifestation of evil as we find it on this planet? Ah! that is beyond me."
"Can evil come out of good?" briefly queried Katherine.
Miss Reynolds started slightly.
"No," she returned, positively; "no more than a lie can spring out of truth; those are self-evident facts."
"Then dare we say that God—which is but another term for good, Supreme Good—created evil?"
"Oh, do you believe in the serpent or devil? I know he comes forward from some mysterious source in the narrative and is held responsible. Then naturally follows the question, 'Who created his satanic majesty?' Well, who did? If God created everything, and evil cannot come out of good, where did evil come from? What a paradox it seems!" she went on, without waiting for a reply. "Yet evil does exist in the world—look at Dorothy! Think of the sin, misery and crime all about us! Where did they come from? There are some who contend that God did not create evil, but permits it for some wise purpose; but that, to me, seems like a weak attempt to clear the Almighty from the terrible responsibility of having made sin and its deadly results without detracting from His omnipotence."
"If a person tells you a lie, where does it come from?" Katherine quietly inquired.
"From his own evil desire to deceive, of course."
"Exactly; it was an invention of his own evil thought, prompted by some selfish motive. You can say the same of theft, murder—in fact of all crime. But God—Good—is not the author of the lie, or crime, neither does He 'permit them for some wise purpose,' as you have quoted, any more than a just and loving human father would teach, or permit, his son to become a criminal, claiming that he needed such discipline to fit him for future happiness; or, any more than you, a teacher, would put demoralizing literature into the hands of a student as a method of discipline for higher education."
"How perfectly absurd that sounds! And yet it is parallel to the doctrine that has been taught for ages," said Miss Reynolds, thoughtfully. "But I do not see how you can apply the same logic to disease and suffering."
"The Scriptures tell us that sin brought death.' Sickness and disease are the seeds of death; then they are the results of sin- evil. God not being the author of sin and disease, they, like the lie, can only originate in the evil thought or mind of the sinner," Katherine explained.
"Then you believe that we mortals are alone responsible for all the suffering and evil there is in the world?"
"Yes; evil is a mortal concept."
"Then how does God—-What is God, from your standpoint, Kath—may I call you Katherine?" and Miss Reynolds laid a caressing hand upon the girl's arm as she made this request.
"Do—I should so like to have you," she replied, turning to her with a luminous smile. "Now for your question. God is Spirit, and 'What the Scriptures declare Him to be—Life, Truth and Love,'" [Footnote: "'Science and Health," page 330.] she added, quoting from her text-book.
"You say Spirit, instead of 'a spirit.' Now what is this Spirit?"
"Infinite Mind, Intelligence, Omnipotent Good."
"Ah!" Miss Reynolds began, then paused abruptly. "But intelligence, life, truth, love are characteristics, attributes which anyone may possess and cultivate."
"Yes, considered in that sense they are attributes. But whence came they?" Katherine demanded, with glowing eyes. "The source of life must be Life itself, must it not? The same must also be true of truth and love. So Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Intelligence constitute, in Science, the Divine Principle, or God, the controlling and governing power of the universe and man."
"Divine Principle! Mind! Intelligence! Life! Truth! Love! God!" repeated Miss Reynolds, and dwelling thoughtfully upon each word. Then, turning a wondering look upon her companion, she exclaimed, almost breathlessly:
"Why, Katherine, if that is true I can understand how God can be omnipresent! That is a doctrine of my church, that has been a tantalizing mystery to me all my life. My dear girl," she went on in an eager tone, "I begin to see a ray of light—I must think more about it, though. I have always thought of Deity as a 'personal God,' and, yes"—smiling—"I used to believe in a personal devil, too; with a very vague conception that although the latter had always managed to keep the preponderance of power in his hands, God would, in some miraculous manner, win the battle in the end. But, even now"—with a look of perplexity—"I do not grasp where or how, according to your logic, God comes in as supreme, infinite, so long as evil exists."
"Let us go back to the lie for an illustration," said Katherine. "You said that it originated in the person's own evil thought and desire to deceive. Well, what happens when you turn the light of truth upon a lie?"
"Why, it disappears—vanishes; you learn the fact and are no longer affected by, or conscious of, the falsehood."
"Then truth has destroyed, annihilated it; it has become nothing to you. As long as you believe a lie you are its victim and suffer from it; but once learn the truth you are free from that illusion and its power over you is gone. Now, you would not say that truth created the lie, permitted it, or was in any way responsible for it, or your suffering on account of it?"
"N-o; so God, being good—infinite good—knows nothing of evil in any form. Is that your point, Katherine?"
"Yes; so it follows He could neither create nor permit what He knows nothing about."
"Why!" exclaimed Miss Reynolds, turning a glowing face to the girl, "those same arguments must hold good for everything! Then sickness and suffering must be the outcome of wrong thought on the part of mortals! What unlimited possibilities that suggests! Divine Principle! I begin to understand why you call yourselves 'Scientists'—you think and live in accord with this infinite, absolute Principle—you demonstrate it, as—as I demonstrate mathematics."
"Yes," said Katherine, smiling; "so you see that Christian Science is, as some one has aptly said, 'the Science of sciences.'"
"That is a very sweeping assertion," responded her teacher in a somewhat doubtful tone. "I'll have to ruminate on that. However, this little glimpse of a better way than I have hitherto known, seems like an olive leaf of hope and promise to me, for I have been tossing on a restless sea of doubt and skepticism for years, reaching out and groping after some substantial plank that would float me into a haven of peace and rest. But how is it that you, so young, argue so clearly and logically about these things that have puzzled older and wiser heads for ages?"
"I have never known anything else," said Katherine, simply. "When I was a very little child my mother was healed of a disease which several physicians had pronounced incurable. She at once became an earnest student of Christian Science, and, later, a successful practitioner; consequently its principles, as far as I have gone, are as clear to me as those that govern your own dear mathematics are to you. But"—a blank look suddenly sweeping over her face—"I am afraid I have been guilty of rank disobedience in discussing these problems with you."
"How so?" asked her teacher, in surprise.
"Prof. Seabrook has strictly forbidden me to talk of Christian Science while I am a student at Hilton."
"Of course, he meant that you must not talk it to the other students," said Miss Reynolds, "and it would be unwise, for, doubtless, the parents of many, if not of all, would object. But I, as your teacher, feel at liberty to ask you whatever questions I choose, and you are perfectly justified in answering them."
"Ye-s, I believe you are right on that point," Katherine thoughtfully returned. "But I would not willfully disobey the professor in any way. I owe him perfect loyalty as long as I am a pupil in his school, and I mean to yield it to him."
"That is right," her companion affirmed; "but you do not need to condemn yourself for what has occurred this afternoon, for, at my age, I am capable of judging for myself upon all moral and religious questions, and I think you may feel at liberty to give me any information that I may seek from you. I have not done with you, either," she added, with a significant smile, "for you have given me to-day a glimpse of something which I believe will change the universe for me. Ah! whom have we here?"
She checked herself suddenly as a gentleman came into view around a curve in the road, a short distance ahead of them.
PHILLIP HARRIS STANLEY, M.D.
Katherine glanced up as her companion called her attention to the approaching figure, and saw a finely formed man, tall, straight and stalwart, and, apparently, about thirty-five years of age. He possessed an attractive, though thoughtful, face, and bore himself with an air of refinement and self-possession that at once proclaimed him the cultured gentleman.
A delicate pink instantly suffused the girl's face, and there was a peculiar thrill in her voice as she exclaimed, in great surprise:
"Why! that is Dr. Stanley! Mamma and I became acquainted with him on board the Ivernia when we returned from abroad, two months ago."
"So you already know Phillip Harris Stanley!" Miss Reynolds observed, and surprised in turn. "He is Mrs. Seabrook's brother— the 'Uncle Phillip' of whom Dorothy spoke. He has been in Germany during the last two years, studying in various hospitals, but has now again opened his office in this city. Dorothy is under his care, and he is therefore a frequent visitor at the seminary."
By this time the gentleman had come within speaking distance of the ladies, whom he instantly recognized, his fine eyes lighting with pleasure as they fell upon Katherine. He courteously lifted his hat.
"Good-afternoon, Miss Reynolds," he said, with a genial smile, as he extended his hand in greeting. "And, Miss Minturn, this is certainly an unexpected pleasure! I suppose, however," he continued, with a mirthful quiver of his lips, "it would not be at all proper to ask if you are well, even if your blooming appearance did not speak for you and preclude the necessity of such an inquiry. But to what happy circumstance do we owe the pleasure of your advent here?"
"I am a student at Hilton Seminary," Katherine replied, as she frankly gave him her hand, her color deepening as she did so. "I played truant from school for several months, as you know, and am now trying to bridge the chasm."
"And your delightful mother, Miss Minturn? I trust she is also we- —Ah! excuse me—enjoying life?"
"Ah! Dr. Stanley, I see you have not forgotten how to exercise your propensity for teasing," Katherine retorted, with a light laugh. "My mother is both well and happy, thank you, and will be pleased to know that I have met you again."
The physician bowed his acknowledgment as he remarked:
"Pray give my kind regards to Mrs. Minturn when you make up your next budget of news for her. As for my propensity to tease"—with a roguish smile—"I had no resource except to exercise it upon the daughter. Since the mother would not be teased and could never be defeated in an argument, I had to retaliate in some way. But what class have you entered, Miss Minturn?"
"I am a junior, Dr. Stanley."
"Ah! then we shall keep you at Hilton for some time," and there was a ring of satisfaction in the gentleman's tones which did not escape the ear of the observant teacher. "Are you aware, Miss Reynolds," he said, turning to her and resuming his bantering tone, "what a revolutionary spirit our institution has taken to her bosom in admitting Miss Minturn?"
"We have found her a very peaceable individual: thus far; she certainly does not have the appearance of being a discordant element," the lady returned, as she bestowed an affectionate glance upon her companion.
But the girl's face had grown suddenly grave, and she now lifted a pair of very serious eyes to the physician.
"Yes, Dr. Stanley," she observed, "Miss Reynolds knows that I am a Christian Scientist; but Prof. Seabrook has forbidden me to make my religious views prominent in the school."
"I understand. Yes, I know that my brother-in-law is not at all in sympathy with the movement," said Phillip Stanley; and at once dropping his banter, he added, apologetically: "I fear that I was thoughtless in referring to the subject in the way I did, and I will not annoy you again by alluding to it in the presence of a third party."
"I am not 'annoyed,' I assure you," Katherine replied, flushing again under his regretful glance. "Miss Reynolds, being a teacher, does not come under the ban; but I desire to respect Prof. Seabrook's wishes under all circumstances."
"All honor to so loyal a student, and I will henceforth govern myself accordingly," smilingly returned the gentleman, as he again doffed his hat to her. "But I must move on. I have to make my visit to Dorothy and get back to the city for another appointment within an hour. I am very glad to have met you, ladies," and, with a parting bow, the handsome doctor went his way, leaving Katherine and her teacher to continue their ramble.
"How strange that you should know Dr. Stanley!" Miss Reynolds observed. "He is the youngest member of Mrs. Seabrook's family, and a fine fellow—a very talented man, in fact. He had begun to distinguish himself in his profession before he went abroad, and now, even though he has been home only a couple of months, he has an extensive practice. But I suppose this does not interest you, as you have no use for doctors," she concluded, archly.
"Indeed, it does interest me," said Katherine, earnestly, "and I hope you do not think that Scientists hold physicians in contempt. We all know that there are many noble men among them, who are devoted to their profession and are most conscientious in the practice of medicine."
"But I suppose you would not employ one under any circumstances?"
"No; I could not."
"You have such faith in your mother's healing power, you would trust her before the most noted practitioner of materia medica?"
"I have such faith in God's healing power that I would trust Him, and Him only," Katherine corrected, gently.
"Do you never take medicine of any kind?"
"No; I have never used a drop or a grain—nor material remedies of any description—since I was three years of age."
"Perhaps you have never been ill enough to need them?"
"Yes, I have needed help at times; but it has always come through the understanding of Christian Science."
"Well, it is all a sealed book to me," sighed Miss Reynolds, with a look of perplexity. Then she inquired: "How did Dr. Stanley learn that you and your mother are Scientists?"
"There is a little story connected with that revelation and our acquaintance with him," said Katherine. "There was a dear little girl on board the Ivernia who became violently seasick the day we sailed for home. The ship's surgeon was appealed to, but he could do absolutely nothing for her; she grew worse every hour for three days, when she seemed to be sinking rapidly. The surgeon called a consultation with Dr. Stanley and another physician from Philadelphia; but every remedy which their united learning prescribed failed, utterly, to afford any relief. The parents were in despair and a gloom settled over the whole ship, for it was reported that the little one would not live to land unless the nausea could be conquered. Then mamma sought the parents, told them she was a Christian Scientist, and, with their consent, would try to help the child. The mother was eager to try it, but the father sneered openly. He had 'no faith in any such mummery,' he said, yet he finally yielded to his wife's almost frantic appeals and gave his consent. The dear little thing was relieved almost immediately, and at the end of two hours, after eating a wholesome meal, was wrapped in a blanket and carried on deck, weak and white as a snowflake, it is true, but entirely free from the dreadful nausea, and smiling happily as she lay in her father's arms and breathed in the fresh, pure air. The next day she was dressed and playing about the deck with other children."
"Well, that was a signal triumph over materia medica, wasn't it? How did the doctors bear it?" queried Miss Reynolds, who had been deeply interested in the story.
"The ship's surgeon and Dr. Fletcher, of Philadelphia, gave mamma a very wide berth; but Dr. Stanley appeared to be really interested and anxious to learn the secret of the sudden cure. He found it very difficult, however, to accept some of our views, and it was too funny for anything to hear him, day after day, trying to corner mamma upon numberless points on which he had spent years of study," and Katherine laughed out merrily over some of the memories which her account had recalled.
"That was what he meant, perhaps, when he said 'Mrs. Minturn would not be teased and could not be defeated in an argument'?"
"Yes; he was very good-natured over it, though, gallantly bearing his defeat, never manifesting the slightest irritation, and was always most courteous. He is very cultured, and, having traveled extensively, we found much to admire and a very delightful compagnon de voyage in him."
Miss Reynolds shot a keen look at the girl's animated face.
"Yes," she observed to herself, "and if I am not very much mistaken, our 'cultured gentleman' heartily reciprocates that last statement." Then she remarked to Katherine: "He is really a noble fellow and bound to make his mark in the world. It is a great pity, though, that he should be so handicapped in his career."
"Why, what do you mean?" exclaimed the girl, in astonishment.
"Oh! do you not know that he is partially blind?"
"No, indeed! Why, he has beautiful eyes!" said Katherine, flushing.
"Yes, dear, I know he has, and there are very few who even suspect his misfortune, but it is true, nevertheless. When he was a boy of nine," Miss Reynolds went on to explain, "his father was showing him, one Fourth of July, how to manage some cannon crackers. By some fatality, the first and only one fired hit a post, glanced off and struck the child in the eye. When he recovered somewhat from the fright and pain caused by the accident, no wound could be found, although there was some discoloration from the bruise; but he said he could not see with the injured eye. The best oculists were consulted, and all agreed in their verdict: 'There was a partial dislocation of the optic nerve, and his sight would never again be normal; it might possibly improve with the lapse of time, but the injury was permanent;' and so it has proved. He can detect light from darkness with that eye, but that is all."
Katherine made no reply when this account was concluded, but there came into her face a look which, her teacher was beginning to observe, always appeared whenever mention was made of sickness or trouble of any kind; it was a far-away expression, as if her thoughts had been lifted above and beyond the world and worldly things.
It was only for a moment, however; she presently awoke to her surroundings, and calling attention to the view before them thus changed the subject, which was not referred to again.
Meantime, Dr. Stanley walked briskly towards the seminary, but with a. very thoughtful face and mien, as if he were pondering some weighty subject.
"It would be regarded as the height of absurdity," he muttered to himself. "But I wonder—I really would like to put it to the test."
Then suddenly straightening himself with a resolute air, he quickened his pace and was soon inside the school grounds, reaching the building just in season to assist Mrs. Seabrook and the nurse in getting Dorothy inside.
"Oh! Uncle Phillip!" joyously exclaimed the girl, as soon as she espied him, for she dearly loved this gentle man, who was always as tender as a woman in his treatment of her, and spared no pains to contribute to her comfort and happiness. "I was afraid you would not come to-day!"
"I know I am late, Dorrie, but I was detained at the office by a new patient, and now I have another coming in an hour," he said, as he bent to touch her forehead with his lips.
"Oh then you can't stay to finish that pretty German story!" cried the child, in a tone of disappointment.
"Not to-day, dearie; but I will come to-morrow, to let mamma and papa go to church together, and we will have a fine time by ourselves."
Patient Dorothy expressed herself as perfectly satisfied with this arrangement, and was soon laughing merrily over some amusing incidents, of which this good comrade of hers appeared to have an exhaustless store.
These visits from her "jolly M.D. uncle," as she sometimes called him, were like oases in a desert to the suffering child, for he invariably made her forget herself, and always left her bright and happy with something pleasant to think about and talk over with her mother or nurse.
He rolled her to her room, where, after a few minutes' chat, he made a brief examination of her condition, with some slight change in her medicines, then left her and sought Prof. Seabrook in his study, for it was his custom to report to him after each visit.
"Well?" he questioned, eagerly, as the physician entered the room, for the child was "the apple of his eye," and he watched her every symptom most jealously.
"I think Dorrie is holding her own pretty well."
"Oh! Phillip, that is the same old story that Dr. Abbot used to tell me before you came home and took the case," Prof. Seabrook exclaimed, in a disheartened tone.
"I know, Will; it must grow monotonous to you," said his brother- in-law, as he laid a sympathetic hand on his companion's arm. "But, truly, there is nothing else to tell you; you instructed me to give you 'facts with no evasions,' and honor compels me to obey you."
"True; and I know you will bring all your skill, all your experience to bear upon the case," said the yearning father, with a note of pathetic appeal in his voice that touched his listener deeply.
"Most assuredly," earnestly returned the physician; but an involuntary, though quickly repressed, sigh escaped him as he said it.
Prof. Seabrook's keen ear detected it and a spasm of fear clutched his heart. But he would not voice it; he shrank from having it corroborated.
"There is one thing more which could be done, which might, perhaps, result in giving Dorrie relief from the troublesome pain," said Dr. Stanley, after a moment of thought, adding: "I have been waiting for her to get stronger before suggesting it."
"What is it?" briefly inquired his companion.
The young man explained the operation, and the father shivered involuntarily.
"That means great suffering—at least for a time," he said, with dry lips.
"Yes," and Phillip Stanley's eyes grew very pitiful as they met the almost hopeless ones opposite him.
"I cannot bear it!" cried his brother-in-law, passionately.
There followed a somber silence of several minutes, during which each heart struggled in secret rebellion under the galling burden imposed upon it.
"There is an alternative which we might try before attempting such radical treatment," Dr. Stanley at length remarked, with some hesitation. "It—at least it could do no harm, if—if you are willing to try."
"Anything—anything that will spare my child to me and save her suffering," burst impetuously from William Seabrook's lips.
"You have heard of—Christian Science?"
"What!" demanded the astonished principal of Hilton Seminary, sitting suddenly erect and bending a look of scorn upon his companion. "You suggest such an absurd alternative as that to me, and for such a case as this!"
"I know it sounds absurd; but, as I said before, it could at least do no harm."
"The suggestion is ridiculous; I have no patience with it," was the sharp retort.
"Well, it may seem ridiculous to you, but if it can cure one disease I do not know why it could not others," the physician mildly rejoined; and then he proceeded to relate the story which Katherine had told her teacher that same hour, but without mentioning any names.
"Nonsense! It was simply hypnotism, mesmerism," said the elder man when he concluded.
"No, it did not work at all like hypnotism," was the positive reply. "However, if you are opposed to trying it, there is nothing more to be said."
"I am opposed to it, most decidedly," said the professor, almost harshly, and his brother wondered at his unusual mood. "I believe the whole thing—root, branch and practice—to be an invention of Satan himself, and I would not give it countenance under any circumstances."
"Not even to save your nearest and dearest?" queried Phillip Stanley, and wholly unable to account for the excitement and irritability of his usually dignified and high-bred relative.
The professor deigned no reply, but the obstinate frown upon his brow and the stern compression of his lips were sufficient warning that it would be useless to pursue the subject.
"Well, it was only a suggestion, Will," the younger man said, in a friendly tone. "Of course, I have no real faith in the efficacy of the method myself; only, as I shrink from the operation on a delicate girl like Dorrie, it occurred to me that we might at least give Christian Science a trial. But I must be off to meet another appointment. I will be up again to-morrow morning to stay with Dorothy while you and Emilie go to church."
He held out his hand, which his brother-in-law grasped and wrung.
"You are a faithful friend, Phil. Don't think for a moment that I do not appreciate you; but I believe I've been out of sorts for several days," said the professor, with a deprecatory smile.
"It's all right, old boy; good-by," was the cheery response, as the young man went out, softly closing the door after him, but with a weary look in his eyes which the other did not see.
KATHERINE'S FIRST SABBATH AT HILTON.
Katherine's first Sabbath at Hilton Seminary dawned a perfect winter morning, and, starting forth in good season, she sought the little hall on Grove Street, where the few Scientists of the city met each week to enjoy the service which has become so dear to the heart of every student of God's word, as spiritually interpreted according to Christian Science.
She had carefully studied the lesson during the week, and was therefore prepared to enjoy to the utmost each section as its point was clearly brought out by the readers, to teach and bless; and so, when she again turned her steps homeward, she felt calmed, refreshed and strengthened for the duties that lay before her.
As she was about to enter the building she encountered Prof. and Mrs. Seabrook, who also had just returned from church.
The former glanced askance at her books, lifted his hat to her with frigid politeness, and passed on to his study.
Mrs. Seabrook, however, paused and greeted her most cordially, whereupon Katherine inquired for Dorothy.
"She was not quite as well this morning," replied the mother, an expression of care and weariness flitting over her sweet face. "My brother, Dr. Stanley, has been with her while we were at church, and I hope to find her better, for he always does her good. Dorothy was greatly attracted to you yesterday, Miss Minturn," she added, smiling, "and I hope you will find time to drop in to see her now and then."
"Indeed I will; it will be a pleasure to me, for I love children," Katherine replied, cordially, and much gratified to have yesterday's invitation repeated, while there was a feeling of deep tenderness in her heart for the long-suffering woman as she passed on to her room.
After dinner she looked over the Bible lesson for the afternoon. She was dreading this ordeal somewhat, for she well knew how widely different is the old theological exposition of the first chapter of Genesis from its spiritual interpretation, as she had been taught it according to Christian Science, But she tried to feel that, if she was called upon to express an opinion, she would be led to speak wisely and yet be obedient to Prof. Seabrook's command not to "flaunt her views before the school."
She hoped that he would ignore her altogether, and thus avoid an awkward situation for them both.
When the class convened she was surprised to find Dorothy seated in her chair beside her father, and learned afterward that the girl was often present during the lessons, always giving the closest attention to what was said, even asking questions occasionally that puzzled wiser heads than hers.
As was his custom, Prof. Seabrook opened the exercises with prayer, followed by a familiar hymn. Then he gave a short talk upon the first chapter of Genesis, as a whole, preliminary to a more general discussion of it.
He showed himself to have been a critical student of the Bible, and his remarks were extremely interesting along the line of his own views. His rhetoric was flawless, his figures apt and beautiful, his points well made, and he held the undivided attention of everyone to the end.
"I have given you this talk upon creation as a whole," he remarked, in conclusion, "because the subject is too intricate and vast to be discussed in detail—that would require much study and many sittings—and we will spend the remainder of the hour upon two questions: What is God? What is man and his relation to God? Miss Walton, will you tell us what God is, from your point of view?"
Miss Walton instantly became confused. She had no clear ideas about God, and after nervously turning the leaves of her Bible for a moment and blushing furiously, finally said so. The principal called upon several others, with a similar result. Everyone loved to listen to him, for his graceful diction was like music in their ears, but when called upon to express their own opinions they were all, with a few exceptions, literally tongue-tied. Two or three of the more thoughtful ones made an attempt to define Deity, but their definitions, for the most part, were the hackneyed ones of old theology.
The professor began to look rather weary, especially as he detected, here and there, a yawn behind an uplifted book. All at once a peculiar gleam leaped into his eyes.
"Miss Minturn, what is your conception of God?" he inquired, turning abruptly to her.
The question came almost as an electric shock to Katherine and brought the quick color to her cheeks.
But she quelled this sense of disquiet instantly.
"God is Spirit," she quietly replied.
"You mean that God is a spirit," quickly corrected the professor. "That definition has already been given several times; but I am trying to ascertain your own conception of Deity. Why did you omit the article?"
Katherine lifted her earnest brown eyes to him, and in them he read an expression of mingled surprise and appeal, and he knew, as well as if she had voiced her thought, that she remembered he had forbidden her to express her peculiar views and wished to obey him to the letter.
But having put the question, he intended to have an answer of some kind, while he also experienced some curiosity as to whether she could give a comprehensive explanation of the term she had used.
"If you purposely omitted the article," he resumed, as she was not quick to reply, "you must have had a reason for so doing; and,"— with a more courteous inflection—"as there is supposed to be perfect freedom in the class, both in asking questions and expressing opinions, we would like you to explain your position."
"The term 'a spirit' implies one of a kind, or, one of many, does it not? But I understand God to be Infinite Spirit," Katherine replied, with quiet self-possession.
"Well, what do you mean by 'infinite spirit?' Define 'spirit,' if you please."
Katherine was amazed that he should thus pursue the subject. She wondered if he could be utterly ignorant of the scientific definition of God. She had supposed that he must have read something on the subject of Christian Science, or he would not have been so bitterly opposed to it, or, was he only trying to drive her into a corner?
However, she saw there was no escape but to follow his lead. He had now given her license to speak, and she felt that she had no right to neglect her opportunity.
"Spirit is Mind, Intelligence, Life," she said, using some of the terms she had employed in talking with Miss Reynolds the previous day, and which she thought would be readily understood by the class.
"Why, Prof. Seabrook," here interposed one of the seniors, her face aglow, her eyes alight, "I like that definition of God. I never heard it before, but it appeals to me."
The gentleman flushed slightly and acknowledged the observation with a grave bow, then inquired of Katherine: "And are you satisfied with that concept of God, Miss Minturn?"
"Don't you think it rather a vague, visionary idea of the Almighty?" queried the gentleman, with a scornful dilation of his thin nostrils. "Do you associate no thought of individuality or personality with Him?"
"Do you mean as human beings are personal and individual?" Katherine respectfully inquired.
"Well, I must at least have something more tangible than an unknown quantity for my God," he replied, evasively, as he hurriedly began to turn the leaves of his Bible in search of a text. "He is spoken of as a king, ruler, judge, and so forth, and those terms certainly convey the idea of personality."
"But can you limit or outline Deity, sir? Would not that destroy the omnipresence of God?"
Again the man changed color a trifle, while, as he continued to search the pages of his Bible, he became conscious of a sudden inward shock.
The question had started a new train of thought. Certainly, infinity, omnipresence, could neither be limited nor outlined; those were self-evident facts.
There was no yawning in the class now. The attention of everyone was riveted upon the speakers, while Dorothy leaned forward in her chair, her earnest eyes glancing from one face to the other, her eager ears drinking in their every word.
"But what do you say to this passage from Hebrews, Miss Minturn, where Paul, speaking of Christ, calls Him the express image of His—God's—person?" [Footnote: Hebrews, 1-3.] demanded the professor—having found the text he was looking for—with a note of triumph in his tone which indicated that he had now propounded an unanswerable argument.
"I have been told that the Greek word, which has been translated 'person' in the text you have read, really means character, and it is so rendered in my Bible, which is the revised version," Katherine replied, as she opened her book and found the passage.
Now Prof. Seabrook, although he prided himself upon being strictly up to date in everything pertaining to his profession, had neglected to provide himself with the revised version of the New Testament. However, now that his attention was called to the fact, he remembered having heard this text and its change discussed among brother professors, but it had for the moment escaped his memory.
Yet he was equal to the occasion, and no one would have suspected from his manner that he was deeply chagrined to find this young girl so well versed in the Scriptures and able to so logically sustain her position upon every point.
"Ah!" he observed, after a moment of thought, and in his blandest tone, "I have a Greek Testament in my study and will look up the word later. I find we cannot take up the other question to-day, as our time has expired, and"—closing his books—"we will leave it for another lesson. The class is dismissed."
He arose as he concluded, and the young ladies filed quietly out of the room; but, once beyond hearing, they gathered in groups to talk over the interesting discussion that had been so suddenly cut short.
Katherine paused beside Dorothy's chair on her way out, and made some pleasant reference to their meeting of the previous day, and then would have passed on, but the girl threw out her hand and caught hers, thus detaining her.
"You must have studied the Bible a great deal, Miss Minturn, to get such lovely thoughts about God," she said, in an eager tone.
Katherine flushed, for she knew Prof. Seabrook was listening, and felt that she had already said enough regarding her views.
"Yes, I am very fond of studying the Bible," she simply returned.
"Papa," continued Dorothy, turning to him, "how could you say that Miss Minturn's idea of God is vague and visionary?"
"It certainly seems so to me, dear," her father briefly returned.
"Well, it doesn't to me," was the positive rejoinder; "not half so—so queer as to think of Him as a man, or three men all mixed up together in one, and able to be everywhere at once," and there was a look of thoughtfulness in the girl's large, blue eyes which betrayed a mind on the alert.
"I think we will not talk any more about that now," said her father. "You must be tired from sitting here so long, and ought to rest."
"You know I never get tired in the Sunday class, papa," cried Dorothy, and still clinging to Katherine, who had tried to release her hand, for she was anxious to escape further argument. "And," she added, "I want to ask Miss Minturn another question."
"I think I will have to run away, dear," Katherine interposed, "for it is almost tea time, you know."
"Please—please! haven't you time to tell me just one thing more?"
"Yes, I have time for that, but—" and she lifted a doubtful look to her principal.
"Papa, may I ask her?" pleaded the girl, intuitively realizing that her new friend feared his disapproval.
The man never refused his child anything in reason, and he could not now, although he felt secretly antagonistic, and his look was almost stern as he responded:
"Very well, dear, if Miss Minturn will kindly have patience with you."
"Well, then," and Dorothy eagerly turned again to Katherine, "if God is Mind, Intelligence and Life, as you said, how can man be His image and likeness?"
For a moment Katherine was dismayed, in view of the depths involved in this query, and at a loss how to reply in a way to clearly convey the truth to this inquiring mind, while a slightly ironical smile curved the lips of the learned professor, as he said to himself:
"This is a poser for the young woman."
"You do not think the account of the creation of man as God's image and likeness refers to this imperfect mortal or physical body, do you, Dorothy?" she inquired, after a moment of thought.
"Why, yes; I've always supposed it did. I've thought that perhaps God made him perfect in the first place and then, somehow, He let him get all wrong. I can't see how or why, though I've heard ministers and other people say 'it was for some wise purpose.' It's a great muddle, I think," Dorothy concluded, with a sigh.
"No, God never let any of His children 'get wrong.' He could not, for 'all His ways are perfect,' you know. The man of God's creating is the spiritual image and likeness of Himself," Katherine explained.
"Oh-o! I begin to see. Why, papa, don't you see? That must be what that verse means—the express image of His person—His character!" and Dorothy turned to her father, her face all aglow as she grasped this new thought.
"No, don't go just yet," she pleaded, as Katherine made another effort to release her hand. "Tell me this, please: if everybody became good, perfect in character, would their bodies grow perfect, too? would sick people get strong and well and happy?"
"I believe God's Word teaches us so," said Katherine, softly, and wondering why Prof. Seabrook did not put a stop to a conversation which he must know was trespassing upon forbidden ground.
"How could they? I wish I knew how," said the child, plaintively.
"You know Paul tells us, 'Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,' and to 'put off the mortal and put on the immortal.'"
"'Put off the mortal,'" repeated the girl, with a look of perplexity, "but how?"
"It is a growth, dear; it is to put out of mind, one by one, every wrong thought, and think only good thoughts—God's thoughts—and in this way one grows good, pure and perfect. Let us take a simple illustration," Katherine continued, as she saw how eagerly the child was drinking in her words. "You have seen a lily bulb?"
"It is not at all pretty, and one would throw it away as of no account, if he did not know of the precious little germ and its possibilities hidden away inside. We know how, when the warm sunlight shines upon the spot where it has been put away in the earth, when the dews and soft rains fall upon it, something begins to happen down there in the dark; the ugly bulb begins to change, to soften and melt away; one by one the brown husks drop off and disappear as the tiny germ within, awakening to a new sense of life, starts upward to find more light and freedom and a purer atmosphere. Then two small leaves of living green—harbingers of better things—begin to unfold; after that a sturdy stalk, with a bud of promise, appears, and all the time reaching up, up towards the brightness beyond and above, until at last the pure, perfect and fragrant lily bursts into bloom."
"That was very prettily told, Miss Minturn; but your figure is incomplete, for, after all, you have only a material flower—it is far from being spiritual or immortal," Prof. Seabrook here interposed.
"Ah!" said Katherine, lifting a pair of sweetly serious eyes to him, "it is only a simple illustration—a little parable pointing to spiritual development and perfection, and the pure and flawless lily is but the type of that which mortal 'eye hath not seen.' The homely bulb corresponds to the mortal man, wrapped up in the density and husks of materiality; the tiny 'germ is the symbol of that ray or spark of immortality that is in every human consciousness and which, governed by the perfect law of Life, 'whose eternal mandate is growth,' [Footnote: "Science and Health," page 520.] and nourished by the sunlight of divine Love, puts off, one by one, the husks, or the mortal man's wrong ways of thinking and living, and, ever reaching Godward, puts on or unfolds first the tiny leaves of living green, then the stalk and bud, and, last, the white flower of purity, which is the image and likeness of God; and this image and likeness is immortal."
"Oh, what a lovely—lovely story!" breathed Dorothy, with luminous eyes. "Then, if one never had any but good thoughts, perfect thoughts, one would grow to be perfect and spiritual."
"That is what I think the Bible teaches."
"I think it is beautiful. I never heard anybody talk like this before!" cried the child, with a joyful ring in her tones. "And now tell me how—"
Katherine laughed out musically, and, stooping, kissed the small hand that she was still holding.
"You dear child! do you know how long we have been talking?" she said. "I think we must stop right here, and—I hope Prof. Seabrook does not think I have said too much," she concluded, glancing at the man who stood like a statue, with an inscrutable look on his high-bred face.
He made no reply, and the situation might have become awkward if Dorothy had not exclaimed:
"No, indeed; you haven't said half enough; and will you tell me some more things that you believe, another time?"
"If—your father gives me permission," Katherine replied, with heightened color. "Now I must go, for I am sure the bell will ring in a few minutes."
"Will you—may I kiss you before you go?" begged the girl, who was used to much petting from everyone, and lifting her pale face to the bright one looking down upon her and which seemed to radiate love.