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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER IV. THE WOMAN WITH THE KINDEST FACE.
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 Cecile went back to where she had left Maurice sitting on the church hassock, and, taking his hand, said to him, "Come."  
Her little, worn face was bright and some of the sweetness of the music she had been listening to had got into her blue eyes.
"Come, Maurice," said Cecile. "I know now what to do. Everything will be quite right now. I have told Jesus all about it, and Jesus the Guide has answered me, and said He would come with us. Did you hear that wonderful, lovely music? That was Jesus answering me. And, Maurice, I asked Him to let us find a kind woman who will help us to a night's lodging, and I know He will do that too."
"A kind woman?" said Maurice. "The kindest woman I ever saw is coming up the church steps this minute."
Cecile looked in the direction in which Maurice pointed.
A woman, with a pail in one hand and a large sweeping brush in the other, was not only coming up the steps, but had now entered the church door. Cecile and Maurice stood back a little in the shadow. The woman could not see them, but they could gaze earnestly at her. She was a stout woman with a round face, rosy cheeks, and bright, though small and sunken, brown eyes. Her eyes had, however, a light in them, and her wide lips were framed in smiles. She must have been a women of about fifty, but her broad forehead was without a wrinkle. Undoubtedly she was very plain. She had not a good feature, not even a good point about her ungainly figure. Never in her youngest days could this woman have been fair to see, but the two children, who gazed at her with beating hearts, thought her beautiful. Goodness and loving-kindness reigned in that homely face; so triumphantly did they reign, these rare and precious things, that the little children, with the peculiar penetration of childhood, found them out at once.
"She's a lovely woman," pronounced Maurice. "I'm quite sure she has got a night's lodging. I'll run and ask her."
"No, no, she might not like it," whispered the more timid Cecile.
But just then Toby, who had been standing very quiet and motionless behind Maurice, perceived a late, late autumn fly, sailing lazily by, within reach of his nose. That fly was too much for Toby; he made a snap at it, and the noise which ensued roused the woman's attention.
"Oh! my little Honies," she said, coming forward, "we don't allow dogs in the church. Even a nice dog like that is against the rules. I'm very sorry, my loves, but the dog must go out of church."
"Don't Jesus like dogs then?" asked Maurice.
"And please, ma'am," suddenly demanded Cecile, before the woman had time to answer Maurice, "is that Jesus the Guide playing the beautiful music up there?"
"That, my dears! You shock me! That is only Mr. Ward the organist. He's practicing for tomorrow. To-morrow's Sunday, you know. Why, you are a queer little pair."
"We're going on a pilgrimage," said Maurice. "We're going South; and Cec............
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