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HOME > Short Stories > Ten Degrees Backward > CHAPTER XXIV CONCLUSION
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This then is the story of the drama of my life; the story of how in my case the greatest miracle of all was accomplished, and the shadow on the dial was brought ten degrees backward. She who had been dead was alive again, she who had been lost was found. The past was given back to me to be lived over again, with its misdeeds expiated and its mistakes retrieved.

I learnt from my darling that the greater part of what she had told me was absolutely true; only that it was Frank who gave his life to save the child that was playing in the sun when the shells began to fall in that doomed street of Louvain—not Fay.

So Frank Wildacre died the death of a hero: for there is no more glorious death for any man than to give his life for another\'s. Again it struck me afresh, as it had often struck me before, how since the beginning of the Great War the prophecy had been literally fulfilled that the last should be first, and the first last. Frank, who had been thoughtless and irresponsible and frivolous, had been called to lay down his life for one of those little ones whose angels do always behold the Face of the Father: whilst I, who had taken the world so seriously, and had ever longed to do great deeds and think high thoughts, was left amongst the useless ones at home. Yet we were all part of the great army of the living God, and it was not for us to pick and choose who should go forth with the hosts and who should stay at home by the stuff. That was all left in the Hands of "Our Captain, Christ, under Whose colours we had fought so long."

Frank only lived for about an hour after he was hit. They managed to carry him into a house, but there was no hope from the first. He was conscious almost to the end; and he devoted those last moments to careful thought for his sister. He told her to cut off her long hair and dress herself up in his clothes, and try to get away to England as soon as she could, as it was not safe for her to remain in Belgium now that he was no longer there to take care of her: and as terrible and ghastly rumours were already current as to the unspeakable way in which the ruthless invaders were treating such women as were hapless enough to fall into their hands, he thought Fay would be safer if her sex were not known. And so he fell on sleep.

As soon as Frank had passed to his well-earned reward, Fay followed out all his instructions to the letter, and succeeded, after many vicissitudes, in escaping to England with a crowd of Belgian refugees. No one penetrated her disguise—not even Isabel Chayford, who put down Fay\'s extraordinary likeness to her own self to the fact that she and Frank were twins, and so were expected to resemble one another. And Fay kept to her own room most of the time that she was at the Chayfords\', for fear Isabel should discover her identity. Ponty found her out at once: there was never any deceiving Ponty! But Fay could always twist my old nurse round her little finger, and therefore Ponty kept her secret for her.

To this hour I cannot conceive how I could have been su............
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