Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Inspiring Novel > A Son of Courage > CHAPTER XXVI A GOLDEN WEDDING GIFT
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 Bad news travels fast but good news wings its way quite as speedily. Life teaches the human heart to accept the one bravely and to laugh happily with the other, for after all life is just a ringing note that sounds through and above the eternal weaving of God's shuttle—at times clear, reaching to the highest stars; at other times a minor wail of pain. But the weaving goes on, drab threads mingling with the brighter ones; and so the heart learns to withstand, and better still to hope. It may be, when the shuttle runs slower and the fabric is all but woven, if the weaver is brave and strong he is able to decipher the riddle of it all. "If you would experience happiness, find it in the happiness of others."  
Now the unrest and uncertainty which had overshadowed Scotia for months had been miraculously lifted and in its place was rest and certainty. Sorrow and pity for the man who had been stricken with blindness gave place to joy and congratulation. Swifter-winged than the harbinger of sorrow, which sometimes falters in its flight as though loath to cause a jarring note deep within God's harmony, flashed the joyful news that Frank Stanhope had come into his inheritance and would see again. For a week following the wonderful news the people of the Settlement did little else than discuss it together. Man, woman and child they came to the vine-covered cottage to tell Stanhope they were glad.
Pennsylvania Scroggie had been one of the first to offer his congratulations. "Young man," he said to Stanhope, "I'm some rough on the outside but I reckon I'm all right inside. You've got your sight back and you've got, in this fine piece of land my old uncle left you, what promises to be a real oil field. Hinter and I are going to develop it for you, if you've no objections. And you've got a whole lot more than that," glancing at Erie, who stood near. And Stanhope, sensing the sterling worth of the man, shook hands gladly.
Lawyer Maddoc and Doctor Cavinalt had gone back to Cleveland, promising to return every fall so long as their welcome held out and Billy was there to guide them about and save their lives, if necessary.
Old Harry O'Dule's dream was about to be realised, Stanhope had assured him that he would see to it that he should play his whistle beneath Ireland's skies before another autumn dawned.
It was a world of silence, a world bathed in golden haze, that Stanhope gazed upon with the restoration of his sight. A long time his eyes dwelt upon the vista before him, with its naked trees piercing the mauve-line of morning mist shimmering above the yellow wood-smoke. The girl beside him knew from the tightening hand on hers and the awe that paled his quivering face that the silence spoke a thankfulness which mere words could never express. So she waited, and after a long time he turned slowly and holding her at arm's length, smiled down into her eyes.
"And you, too," he whispered. "With all this, I have you, too."
"You know that you have always had me, Prank," ahe said softly.
"But more than ever I want you now; more than ever I need you. Erie," he said earnestly, "are you willing to marry me right away—next week?"
"Oh Frank—" she began, but he checked her utterance with his lips.
"The Reverend Reddick is available at any day, any hour, Lighthouse girl; he's conducting revival services in the Valley church. It will all be so simple. Won't you say next week?"
She gazed into his radiant face with serious eyes. "But Frank," she whispered, "it may be cold and dismal next week, I—I always thought that I should like our wedding to be—-"
Her head went down to hide against his arm.
"Go on, Lighthouse girl. You always thought you would like our wedding to be—when?"
"On a golden, Indian summer day like this," she finished and closed her eyes as his arms went about her.
* * * * *
"And ut's married they were this mornin', whilst the dew still clung to the mosses, and ut's meself was witness to the j'inin' av two av the tinderest hearts in all the wurruld." Old Harry O'Dule, on his rounds to spread the joyful tidings of Frank and Erie's marriage, had met Billy leading a fat bay horse along a sun-streaked forest path.
Billy stared at the old man; then his face broke into a grin. "O Gee!" he sighed, and sinking on a log, closed his eyes. "O Gee!" he repeated—leaping to his feet and throwing his arms about the neck of the bay and yelling into that animal's twitching ear. "Hear that, you Thomas? They're married, Erie an' Teacher Stanhope's married!"
"Billy, is ut clane crazy ye've gone?" chided the old man, "that ye'd be afther deafenin' the poor steed wid yer yellin'? Listen now, fer ut's more I'll be tellin' ye."
Billy kicked his hat high in air and turned a handspring. "Tell me all about it, Harry. You saw 'em married, did you?"
"Faith and I did," cried Harry. "And play 'em a weddin' march on me whistle I did, soft as a spring rain and swate as the very joy they do be feelin' this day. A king he looked, Billy, and his bride a quane, ivery inch av her. But no more av your questions now," he broke off, "fer step along I must, singin' me thankfulness from me whistle, and spakin' the good tidings to them I mate along the way."
Billy watched the old man move down the path, the wild strains of the Irish tune he was playing falling on his ears long after the player had been swallowed up in the golden haze. Then he too passed on, bay Thomas walking sedately behind. As he rounded a bend he met Maurice Keeler and Jim Scroggie, heads close together and speaking animatedly.
"Ho, Bill!" cried Maurice. "Bringin' bay Thomas up to the stable fer winter, eh? Gee! Jim, look at that horse; did you ever see such a change in anythin' in your life?"
"Thomas has sure fattened up," grinned Jim. "I guess it would puzzle old Johnston to know our horse now, eh, Bill?"
"You mean your horse, Jim," corrected Billy.
"No, I don't either; he's only a third mine. One third's yours and the other third's Maurice's."
Maurice and Billy stared at him. "It was your money paid fer him," Billy asserted.
"Well, what of it? Maurice found him a soft hidin' place and good pasture on his Dad's farm, didn't he?"
"Sure, but then—"
"And it's you who's gain' to see that he gets cared for all winter, ain't it?"
"You bet it is," cried Billy.
"Well then, I claim he's a company horse an' you an' me an' Maurice is that company. Now, that's settled, let me tell you what Maurice and me was talkin' about when you met us."
Billy unsnapped the tie-strap from Thomas' halter so that he might crop the wayside grass without hindrance and sat down on a log opposite the one occupied by his friends.
Jim nudged Maurice but Maurice shook his head. "You tell him," he said.
"Bill," Jim cried eagerly. "I got a bit of news for you that'll make you want to stand on your head and kick splinters off the trees."
Billy grinned. "An' I got a piece of news fer you fellers, too," he returned. "But go on, your news first, Jim."
"Teacher Stanhope has made over a deed of Lost Man's Swamp to you, Bill," said Jim. "I heard Dad telling Mr. Hinter all about it. Dad was there when Lawyer Maddoc drew up the deed—Maurice, you crazy hyena, will you keep quiet?"
Maurice had rolled backward off the log, the while he emitted cries that would have done a scalp-hunting Indian credit. "Three cheers fer Bill!" he yelled. "He discovered Lost Man's Swamp oil field. Trigger Finger Tim ain't got nuthin' on our Bill."
Billy was standing up now, his perplexed face turned questioningly on his chums.
"That's right, Bill," cried Jim. "You really did discover it, you know. Hinter said he was the only one who knew the oil was there until you rafted out to the ponds and saw the oil-bubbles breakin' on 'em. He says that a fortune likely lies there, so you see—"
"An' Teacher Stanhope, he deeded the swamp to me," said Billy dazedly. He got up from the log and squared his shoulders. "Well," he spoke, "that was mighty good of him, but I ain't wantin' that swamp."
"But Bill," urged Jim, "the oil they've found there'll make you rich."
Billy shook his head. "I'm as rich as I ever want'a be right now, Jim."
"Look here, Bill," cried Maurice. "You don't want'a hurt Teacher Stanhope's feelin's, do you!"
Billy glanced at him quickly, a troubled look in his eyes. "N-no," he said, "you bet I don't."
"Then that's all there is to it; you keep Lost Man, that's what you do."
Billy considered. "I ain't sayin' jest what I'll do," he spoke finally. "I gotta ask another person's advice on this thing. But if I do take it you, Jim, an' you, Maurice, are goin' to be my partners in Lost Man same's you are in bay Thomas. Here, Maurice, you take Thomas to our stable an' give him a feed. I gotta go somewhere else." And leaving Jim and Maurice sitting, open-mouthed, Billy ducked into the timber.
Not until he had put some distance between himself and hia friends did he remember that he had not told them the great and wonderful news that had been imparted to him by old Harry. Well, never mind, they would hear it soon. Harry would see to that. He turned into a path that strayed far up among clumps of red-gold maples and ochre-stained oaks. The whistle of quail sounded from a ridge of brown sumachs. Up the hill, across the deep valley, where wintergreen berries gleamed like drops of blood among the mosses, he passed slowly and on to the beech-crowned ridge.
Here he paused and his searching eyes sought the lower sweep of woodland............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved