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On Wednesday Evening

From: Jewel

"This is my silk dress, grandpa," said Jewel, coming out on the piazza
Sunday morning.

Mr. Evringham was sitting there reading the paper. He looked up to
behold his granddaughter standing expectantly.

She had on the cherished frock. Her plump black legs ended in new shoes,
the brim of her large hat was wreathed with daisies, snowy ribbons
finished her well-brushed braids, while, happiest touch of all, Little
Faithful was ticking away on her breast.

"Well, who is this bonnie lassie?" asked Mr. Evringham, viewing her.

"It's my best one," said Jewel, smilingly, coming close to him.

"I should hope so. If you were anything grander I should have to put on
smoked glasses to look at you. Church, eh?" He took the brown pamphlet
she carried and examined it.

"Yes. I wish you were coming."

"Oh, I have an important engagement at the golf club this morning."

"Have you? Well, grandpa, I was thinking you can't play golf or ride at
night, and wouldn't you take me Wednesday evening?"

"Where to?"


"Heavens, child! Wednesday evening prayer meeting?" asked the broker in

"No. It's just lovely reading and singing and interesting stories,"
replied Jewel, endeavoring to paint the picture as attractively as

"H'm. H'm. Do you suppose Mr. Reeves goes?"

"Why, of course," replied the child. "Scientists never stay away."

"Then should I be considered a Scientist if I went? I still have some
regard for my reputation."

"A great many visitors go," replied the child earnestly. Then she added,
with unmistakably sincere naivete, "I don't mind leaving you in the
daytime, because we're used to it; but I was thinking it would make
me homesick, grandpa, to go away in the evening and leave you in the

Mr. Evringham took her little hand in his. "Have you thought, Jewel," he
asked, "how it will be when you leave me altogether?"

"I shall have mother and father then," returned the child.

"Yes; but whom shall I have?"

The question came curtly, and Jewel looked into the deep-set eyes in
surprise. "Shall you miss me, grandpa?" she asked wonderingly.

"Whom shall I have, I say?" he repeated.

The child thought a minute. "Just who you had before," she answered,
slipping her arm around his neck. "There's Essex Maid, you know."

The broker gave a short laugh. "Yes. It's lucky, isn't it?" he returned,
rather bitterly.

"Do you like to have me with you, grandpa?" pursued the child, pleased.

"Yes; confound it, Jewel, yes."

"Then Divine Love will fix it somehow, for I love to be with you, too."

"You do, eh? Then I'll tell you that I received a letter from your
father yesterday. It was a very pleasant letter, but it said they felt
obliged, if they could, to stay over a little longer--two or three weeks

The child's face grew thoughtful.

"He said they had just received your letter, and were very pleased and
thankful to know that you were happy. He said it would be a business
advantage to them to stay, but that they could come home at the
appointed time if you wished it. I am to cable them to-morrow, if you
do." Silence for a minute while Jewel thought. "Do you think you can be
happy with me a little longer than you expected?"

"I do want to see mother and father very much," returned the child, "but
I'm just as happy as anything," she added heartily, after a pause.

Mr. Evringham had listened with surprising anxiety for the verdict.
"Very well, very well," he returned, with extra brusqueness, picking up
his newspaper. "I guess there won't be anything to prevent my going
to that meeting with you Wednesday evening, Jewel. Just once, you
understand, once only."

At this moment the brougham drove around to the steps, and Eloise came
out upon the piazza. She was a vision of dainty purity in her white
gown, white hat, and gloves.

Mr. Evringham rose, lifted his hat, and going down the steps opened
the door of the carriage. "A man need not be ashamed to have these two
ladies represent him at church," he said, looking into Eloise's calm

She smiled back at him. There was no suspicion now of sarcasm or stings.
The air she breathed was wholesome and inviting. The lump had been

Arrived at the hall where the services were held, the girls were ushered
into good seats before the room rapidly filled.

They saw Mr. Reeves and his family and Mr. Bonnell come in on the other
side, and the latter did not rest until he had found them and sent over
a bright, quick nod.

The platform was beautiful by a tall vase of roses at the side of the
white reading-desk, and Eloise listened eagerly to the voices of the
man and woman who alternately read the morning lesson. The peace,
simplicity, and quiet of the service enthralled her. She looked over the
crowd of listening, reverent faces with wistful wonder. Nat was among
them, Nat! Sometimes she glanced across at his attentive face. Nat at
church, in the morning; thoroughly interested! She pinched her arm to
make quite certain.

Once when they rose to sing, it was the hymn she had heard. The voices

"O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind
There sweeps a strain,
Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
The power of pain."

The girl in the white dress did not sing. She swallowed often. The voice
of the child at her side soared easily.

"And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea,
I see Christ walk;
And come to me, and tenderly,
Divinely, talk."

What a haven of promise and peace seemed this sunny, simple place of

"From tired joy and grief afar,
And nearer Thee,
Father, where Thine own children are
I love to be."

Jewel, looking up at her companion, was surprised to see her lashes wet
and her lower lip caught between her teeth.

"What's the matter, cousin Eloise?" she whispered softly as they sat

The girl tried to smile. Words were not at her command. "Gladness," she
returned briefly; which reply caused Jewel to meditate for some time.

They had a talk with Nat and were presented to the Reeves family after
church, and Eloise felt herself in an atmosphere of love.

Jewel left the group for a private word to Zeke before her cousin
should come to enter the brougham. 'Zekiel sat bolt upright in the most
approved style, and did not turn his face, even when the child addressed

"I've been wondering this morning," she said, "how we can manage for you
to come to church, 'Zekiel."

"Oh, I have it six times a week," returned the coachman.

"But it's so lovely just to listen to them read and not have to hunt up
the places or anything."

"I'm satisfied with my minister," returned Zeke, almost smiling.

Eloise and Mr. Bonnell came out to the carriage, so there was no further
time for talk.

The subject remained in Jewel's mind, however. On Wednesday morning,
just before Mr. Evringham went to the station, the child seized him in
the hall.

"Grandpa, don't you think it would be nice to go in the trolley car to
church to-night?"

"To--where?" asked the broker, frowning.

"This is the night we're going to church, you know."

"The dev--Ah, to be sure. So we are. Well--a--what did you say? Trolley
car? Why?"

"Well, we could all go then, you know," returned Jewel. "Cousin Eloise
wants to go, but," the child's honesty compelled her, "she wouldn't have
to go with us because it is Mr. Bonnell's last night in Bel-Air, and
I heard him ask if he might come for her; but I do so want Zeke to go,

"Well, for the love of"--began the broker slowly.

"Yes, Zeke is getting to understand a good deal about Christian Science.
He has some claims of error that his mother knows about, and they make
her sorry, and I've been helping him and reading to him out of my books,
and I do want him to go to the testimonial meeting so much."

The child looked wistfully up into the dark eyes that rested upon her.
Mr. Evringham had remarked his housekeeper's change of spirit toward the
little girl, had wondered at the increasing and even reckless indulgence
of Anna Belle, who from being an exile in the stair closet had now
arrived at a degree of consideration and pampering which threatened to
turn her head.

"Jewel," he said impressively, "I wish you to understand one thing
distinctly. You are not now or at any future time to try to make a
Christian Scientist of Essex Maid."

From wondering sobriety Jewel's lips broke into a gleeful smile. "I
don't have to," she cried triumphantly. "She is one! Anyway, she has
demonstrated everything a horse ought to!"

Mr. Evringham flung his hands over his head despairingly. "Great
heavens!" he exclaimed tragically, rushing out to the brougham, Jewel at
his heels in peals of laughter.

But they went to church in the trolley car. Eloise reached the same
place with Mr. Bonnell, but whether she walked or drove or rode nobody
ever knew, and it didn't matter much, for a full moon illumined the

Early in the evening a young man entered the hall quietly and took a
back seat. It was Zeke.

Mr. Reeves saw Jewel and her grandfather come in, and softly he smote
his knee. "She's done it!" he ejaculated mentally. He noted the broker's
haughty carriage, the half challenging glances he threw to right and
left as he proceeded up the aisle to the position of Jewel's choice.

Mr. Reeves composed his countenance with some difficulty, and catching
the wandering eye, gave his friend a grave bow.

Testimonial meetings differ in point of continued interest. This proved
to be a good one. The most interesting narrative of the evening was Nat
Bonnell's. His self possession, fine presence, and good voice made more
effective the marvelous story of his mother's resurrection to strength.
He told it with dignity and directness, and Mr. Evringham was impressed.

"What's my rheumatism to that, eh, Jewel?" he whispered, as Nat sat

"Just nothing, grandpa," replied the child.

"You think the Creator'd consider me worth attending to, eh?"

"God doesn't know you have the rheumatism," exclaimed Jewel with soft

"Doesn't? Well! I've always supposed He thought I needed reminding on
account of a number of things, and so touched me up with that. I didn't
blame Him much.

"If He knew it, it would be real, and then it couldn't be changed,"
returned Jewel earnestly in the ear he bent to her.

The broker sat up and looked down on her large hat and short legs.
"Whew, but I'm a back number!" he mused.

The next testimonial made Jewel's eyes brighten. It was given by a man
who told a story of hopeless intemperance and his family's want. The
unaffected humility and gratitude that sounded in his voice as he
described the changed conditions which followed his cure caused the
roses to deepen in Jewel's cheeks. She wondered where Zeke was sitting.

Altogether she was happy over the meeting, and her grandfather's
attitude was as kindly as could have been expected.

Eloise came into her mother's room that night, beaming.

"I wish you had come with us," she said. "It was wonderful."

Mrs. Evringham turned to her with a lofty air. "I have too much loyalty
to friendship to be seen in such a place," she returned.

"Nat said he wouldn't ask you to come down to bid him good-by, because
he expects to come out to spend Sundays for a while."

Mrs. Evringham looked at her daughter. All the girl's face had lacked of
vivacity and happy expression it wore now, making her radiant.

"You could never guess the news I have for you, mother."

Mrs. Evringham's lips tightened. "Eloise, if you will not marry the fine
man who had my entire approval, it will be outrageous for you to marry
an ineligible, a young fellow whose goods are all in the show window,
who has not proved himself in any way. I refuse to hear your news," she
returned impetuously.

The girl laughed. "Do you mean Nat, dear?" she asked, her rosy face
coming close. "I'm afraid he's going to spoil himself by becoming
eligible. He has been telling me a lot about the business to-night."

"Ho! Nat Bonnell could always talk."

Eloise's arms closed around her. "There's only one source of supply,
mother. Nat has found Him. I am finding Him. We shall not want. What do
you think I have here for you? Grandfather gave it to me." Eloise put
into her mother's hands a draft for a thousand dollars.

Mr. Evringham appeared to lose sight of the dagger she had been seeing
before her for days. "What is this?" she ejaculated. "A present from

"Not at all. Some unknown man owed it to papa, and his conscience made
him pay the debt. It came in grandfather's evening mail, and he has only
just opened it."

Mrs. Evringham examined the paper eagerly.

"How wonderful!" she exclaimed.

"How natural," returned Eloise. "That is the wonderful part of it."

Next: A Realized Hope

Previous: Mutual Surprises

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