The Project Gutenberg eBook of Fireside Stories for Girls in Their Teens

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Title: Fireside Stories for Girls in Their Teens

Author: Margaret W. Eggleston

Release date: November 27, 2008 [eBook #27343]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Roger Frank and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (



E-text prepared by Roger Frank
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team














Author ofThe Use of the Story in

Religious Education,” Etc.













“Given a Camp-fire, a group of friendly girls and a good story-teller who knows and loves the girls, and the ideals of a whole community may be lifted in a night.”

The teen age girl is a great problem and at the same time a great opportunity. Her ideals seem low, yet there is no time in her life when she will more gladly follow a great ideal. She seems fickle, yet she is putting her friends to a test that is most worth while. She is misunderstood and she can not understand herself. She is searching for something, yet she does not know what it is.

Her problems are many, and most of them she must solve alone. If she follows the crowd and goes in the way of least resistance, there is a big chance that she will fall by the way. If she does not follow the crowd, it is because somewhere, some time, she has found a compelling ideal and is following it. Sometimes that ideal comes to her in the form of a friend. Sometimes she is fortunate enough to have found that ideal in her mother. But often and often it comes to her through a little story that lives with her, and works for her, and helps her to hold to the best, in spite of the manifold temptations to do otherwise.

Recently I met a young woman whom I had seen only once and that was twelve years ago. She came to me after a service and said, “Will you tell Van Dyke’s ‘Lump of Clay’ to-night? Twelve years ago I heard you tell it. I was so discouraged at the time, for everything seemed going wrong and life seemed so useless. But I dropped into a church and heard you tell the story. You have no idea what it has done for me. I am teaching in the college near by and I should like to have my girls hear the story. Perhaps they need it as I did.”

Many of the workers with girls have seen this need and have wanted to meet it and yet have been unable to find the story that was needed by the girl. It is because of this very need in my own work that I am sending out these stories, most of which I have told over and over to my girls. Many of them have been written because of special problems that needed to be met—problems peculiar to adolescence—problems found in every class and club of girls the country over.

The stories are not to amuse, for we have no time to amuse girls in the story hour. We have little enough time, at the best, for implanting ideals and every story hour should leave a vital message. That is the thing the girls want and why should we give them less.

The stories are not to be read. They need the personal touch, the sympathetic voice, the freedom of eye that tells the story-teller which girls are finding the message of the story. Some of them will hurt—but experience has shown me that these are the very ones that one has to tell over and over. Can you imagine the Master reading to the groups gathered about him the stories that you and I love to read in his word? When you go into the heart life of a girl, let all your personality help you to carry the message. It was the Master’s way of story-telling.

“’Twas only a little story,

Yet it came like a ray of light;

And it gave to the girl who heard it

Real courage to do the right.”


I Would Be True 15
The Appeal to the Great Spirit 22
A Parable of Girlhood 29
The House of Truth 32
Marked for a Mast 39
Her Need 44
The Message of the Mountain 47
The Winning of an Honor 51
Daddy Gray’s Test 56
Wanted—A Real Mother 61
The Fir Tree and the Willow Wand 69
The Two Searchers 73
Why Elizabeth Was Chosen 77
Janie’s School Days 81
Self-Made Men 89
On The Road to Womanhood 92
Her Prayer 97
The Best Day 105
In the Way 108
An Old, Old Story 114
His Debt 119
How Kagigegabo Became a Brave 123
The White Flower of Happiness 129
The Speaking Picture 134
The Quest 138
The Treasure 141




’Twas a beautiful day in the late fall and the roadside was lined with the late asters and goldenrod. The sun was shining so brightly and the sky was as blue as a New Hampshire sky could be, yet the girl, walking along the winding, climbing road, saw none of them. The little brook by the roadside whispered and chattered as it ran along, yet she did not hear; a few late birds still twittered to her from the trees, but she did not notice; a chipmunk called to her from a dead tree by the roadside, but she paid not the least attention. She was alone with her thoughts and they were far from pleasant.

How different it all seemed from what it had seemed six months before! Then she had stood in the office of a great doctor in Philadelphia and heard him say to her father, “Unless you leave the city at once and go where there is pure air and simple food and real quiet, there is no help for you.”

The father had looked at the doctor for a moment in silence and then answered, “Well, if that is the case, I am sorry, for I cannot leave the city. My business needs me; Katherine is in college and she must be here. I shall stay.” 16

But with flashing eyes the girl had stepped to the doctor and said, “Father is mistaken, doctor. His business can do without him and there is no need at all why he should stay here for me. There is a dear little old place in the hills of New Hampshire that belongs to us, where grandfather used to live. We can go there and have all the things that you have said he must have. You may leave the matter with me. We shall be out of the city within two weeks.”

Then turning to her father she had put her arms about his neck and said, “Of course we can go, daddy, for what is college and money and friends compared with your health? Gladly will I give them up for you. We shall have a wonderful time there in the hills—just you and mother and I.”

So they had come. Then it was early in the spring and the country was beginning to show green. Into the little old farmhouse under the hill they moved. Of course there were no electric lights, and no telephones, and no faucets out of which the water could be drawn. But there were the quaint old candle holders on the big mantels; there was the fireplace so large that a log could be drawn into it; there was a well in the yard with water as cold as ice. And outside the home—oh, there were the most wonderful things to see. The trailing arbutus trailed everywhere; the lady slippers grew even in the front dooryard. The old trees in the yard were soon filled with nesting birds; the apple and pear trees in bloom were a sight never to be forgotten.

So the days fled by and the little family under the hill were so happy to see the color coming back to the face of the sick one and the smile once more on his face. Katherine loved it all—the home—the flowers—the mountains and even the quiet of the little hamlet.

Then the summer had come and with it the stream 17 of visitors who come every year to the New Hampshire mountains. Within a short distance of the home were large hotels, and the guests soon learned of the cool water in the well in front of the house; of the father who was such a pleasant companion; of the pretty girl who could sing, and climb, and play so well. So there had been picnics, and parties, and auto rides, and the summer had fled.

And when the people had gone, there were the wonderful colors in the trees, the gorgeous sunsets in the sky, the fun of the harvest time and still the life in the country was full of wonder and satisfaction.

But now—oh, now the days had begun to grow cold, the trees were bare, the birds had flown to the south, and her friends had all gone away. Here and there a family was left in the farmhouses that dotted the little, winding road but none of them were people for whom she cared. And so as the days had come and gone, there had crept into the heart of the girl a loneliness that would not be forced down, a longing that she could not stifle, a dissatisfaction that grew with the days.

How could she pass the long winter nights that were ahead? How could she stay away from the friends who were gathering at the college? How could she live without her piano? How could she keep a smile so that the dear ones at home would not see how unhappy she was becoming? The house seemed so big and bare; the trees in the yard seemed to sigh instead of sing; the way ahead seemed full of blackness. She longed for all that had gone; she longed for her friends, especially the one who had been her ideal during her college days; she longed to run back to him for always.

But on this October morning, she had risen early to keep the quiet hour before the rest were up. Usually 18 she read in the gospels, but this morning her Bible opened to the Psalms and she read, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” She stopped and looked from the window at Mt. Kearsarge in the distance.

Then she read again, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” “Ah!” said the girl, “I need help. God knows I need help. I wonder if there is any help for me. ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.’ Perhaps if I should go out into the hills for the day, God would help me. I think I will try it.”

To the mother she had said, “I think I should like to go for a long walk to-day if you do not mind. I feel like having a tramp,” and then with lunch box in hand and book under her arm, she had started.

As long as father and mother could see, she had smiled and waved to them, but when the turn in the road had come, the light faded from her eyes and her problem was still before her. The night before had been endless, yet there were longer ones to come. No wonder she saw no sunshine, heard no bird and saw no brook as she walked along the country road.

On and on she went; mile after mile was put behind her, till the sun was high in the heaven and she was weary and hungry. Then a sudden turn in the road brought her to the foot of a little lake—one of those mountain lakes that make New Hampshire so beautiful. All around it were hills; the water was very, very blue and its surface was as calm as could be. A moss-covered stone was very near and the girl sank beside it and, leaning her head on her hand, she looked at the quiet waters.

“Ah!” she said to herself, “how I wish my life were as calm as the lake. One would never dream that it 19 ever were rough and troubled. I wish God could send peace to me as He sends it to the little lake.”

Her eyes wandered to the shores and then to the hills about the lake. How beautiful the tall pines and spruces were! How fragrant the resinous balsams! How bleak and cold the trees with no leaves!

Then her eyes turned to the top of the hills when suddenly—it seemed as if by magic—there stood out before her, as if outlined in the sky, the giant face of a man. What could it be? Had it been carved there? How strong and noble the face seemed to be! How had it come to be there at the very top of the hill? Then she remembered a story she had heard when first she had come to the valley. This must be the “Old Man of the Mountain.” For centuries and centuries he had stood here guarding the little lake.

When the wonder of finding the Great Stone Face had passed by, she studied it. The forehead was high and the face of noble mien. The mouth showed much of strength. It was a face one would like to see often. God had put it there—the God who made the heaven and earth. Then there came to her mind again the verse of the morning, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” Perhaps the Old Man of the Mountain could help her. He had stood here for years and years. He must know what it meant to be weary with the long days and the longer nights. He must have seen the multitude pass by and still leave him in the mountains. Perhaps he would understand how lonely and full of unrest she was.

So leaning her head on the moss-covered stone, she said dreamily, “Old Man of the Mountains, if you were I and were longing to go back to your work and your friends, if you were afraid of the long winter that is coming, if you had a duty to do right here when you 20 longed to be there, if you had a father who needed you and a mother who is brave as can be, and still there burned within you the longing to get back to the others, what would you do? Are you never weary with it all? Do you never long to run away from your task that God has given you to do? Are you never discontented? Oh, Old Man of the Mountain, if you were I and had my burden to carry, what would you do?”

A silence was everywhere as she listened for his answer. Not a bird sang, not a ripple crossed the lake. For a moment she watched the face—then another, and then she was sure that she saw the face begin to relax. A sign of a twinkle came across the great stone eyes and the lips smiled as there came to her heart this answer:

“Oh, little girl from the city with a burden to carry! What would I do if I had a father who was surely growing strong and a mother who had smiled through the days of the sickness? What would I do if I longed to go back to the life of pleasure and happiness when my duty lay here? What would I do if I had forgotten the books that might be read during the long winter nights for which there had been no time in the city; the lessons of patience and loyalty that might be learned in doing the hard thing; the happiness of really being needed? What would I do if I were you and were lonely and discouraged and heartsick?

I would be true, for there are those that trust me;

I would be pure, for there are those who care;

I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless;

I would be giving, and forget the gift;

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.[A]


“Aye, little girl from the city, I would go back into the little home under the hill with all its comfort, and home-likeness, and wealth of love, and I would look up to God for help; I would laugh at the hard things and help them to vanish from sight; I would love the dear ones who are dearer to you than life itself; and I would lift, not only their burden, but that of others who need you in this beautiful valley.”

Slowly the face was again set into the lines that others saw and the head of the girl dropped deeper into the moss. For a long time there was no sign that she had heard. Then she lifted a face, full of light, to that of the Old Man of the Mountain.

“Thank you, my friend,” she said. “I have lifted my eyes unto the hills and help has come. I will go back to the little white house and, with God’s help, I will look up, and I will laugh, and I will love, and I will lift.”

So she ate her lunch by the calm, little mountain lake and the tiny breezes whispered in her ears. Then she walked again the winding road that led down to the home. But the sky was blue and full of beauty; the birds heard an answering call; the little brook gave her to drink, and the chipmunk found on his stump a little piece of the cake from the box. Her face was smiling and her heart full of courage, for she had looked unto the hills—and God had answered.


Poem by Harold Arnold Walter.



Owaissa, the Indian Squaw, sat before the tepee watching little Litahni play with the colored stones. The child was the idol of the tribe, for was not her father the great chief Black Hawk who had done so much for his people? So, lest anything should happen to the little one, Owaissa made it her chief task to be where the child was and to teach her the things she wanted her to know.

Three years before, the good missionary who was leaving the encampment had said to Owaissa, “Soon there will come to your tepee a little child. Should it be a little girl, teach her to see herself in the things about her, so that the birds, and the trees, and the flowers, and the winds may all help her to grow true and fine, even as they help the young braves to grow brave and strong. The girls of your Indian tribes are not given half a chance to see the helpers all about them. Teach her to see, as I have taught you to see, what a woman can do.”

And the words of the missionary had burned into the very soul of Owaissa. Her child should have a chance. So when the little girl had come to her wigwam, she had named her Litahni—a little light—and she had sought for ways to help her to see what nature meant that man should see.

“Catch a little raindrop,” she said to the little girl as she played near the wigwam. “Every raindrop helps some plant, even though it is so little. You are tiny, too, but you can help every day just as the raindrop does.”

“See the beautiful sunset,” she said to the older girl, 23 as they tramped home from gathering the wood for the fire. “The colors are creeping all over the sky. We see the sunset here and we are happy because it is so beautiful, but away over the mountains in the far away the sunset is just as beautiful and they are happy there as they see it. You can bring happiness, too, both here and far away, if your life is beautiful.

“Listen to the wind in the trees,” she said to the girl of fourteen who was eager to do that which father wanted her to leave undone. “You cannot see the wind, yet it sways the great trees and sometimes fells them. You can bend the will of the strong men of the tribe but you cannot do it by talk and by ugly words. Learn to bend by gentleness and quietly. Learn to steal into their lives as the wind steals through the trees.”

When the girl was sixteen, the young men of the tribe were beginning to love her and to want to take her to their wigwams. Then the mother knew she must show her how to choose. So she sought for ways to help her as they hunted the mountains for the wild berries. Often they sat by the lakeside for their midday meal. Sometimes it was rough and sometimes calm.

“See, daughter,” said Owaissa. “The little lake is very rough to-day. Sometimes our lives are like the little lake. Not always are they calm. Storms sweep over the life. But take the lesson from the lake. Be beautiful through it all. Down beneath the surface, the water is calm and untroubled even though the white caps are above.”

Once they were caught in the mountains in a terrific storm. Litahni crept close to the mother when the thunder rolled loud and long, but she loved to see the long streaks of lightning flash across the sky.

Then Owaissa said, “The thunder cannot hurt you, dear. Seldom does that which comes with a big noise 24 do the harm, for one can run from it and be safe. Fear that which comes silently and swiftly and which strikes at the heart. The lightning yonder is far from us but it may strike at the heart of a giant pine and fell it to the ground. That which should have stood long and sturdy is then rendered useless and laid low.”

With the coming of the winter the good squaw died and there were evil days ahead for the Black Hawk tribe. They were having quarrels with the white men, and the chief was very busy. So Litahni was left much alone and the days were long and lonely. Now she was glad for all that her mother had taught her, for the birds, and the flowers, and the trees, and the animals all helped her to pass the days and they spoke to her of the things that her mother had taught her. She tried hard to help her father, and often she knew that she had helped him, but she longed to do more.

“No squaw has ever done it, but I believe I can. I shall teach my people to love the white man’s God, for then we should not have wars and quarrels,” said the girl.

So she taught the little children; she told stories to the squaws and she won the confidence of the young men of the tribe who would soon be in the council fires. And all the tribe loved Litahni, the beautiful daughter of Black Hawk and Owaissa.

One day, across the plain, there came a white man. He was tall and dark and sturdy-looking. He had education and he could talk well. Litahni saw much of him for a few days and she came to honor the white man as she listened to him drive the bargains for the furs and the blankets and the baskets.

Now, as the white man watched the little Indian teacher, he saw how far above the tribe she was. He loved her pretty face, her sweet way and her gentle 25 spirit. Then the white man wanted to win the Indian girl. In the far East, he had left a girl who loved him but he wanted the Indian girl,—so he began silently to make love to her. Of course he knew that her father would never consent. He knew that he would be driven from the encampment if ever they found what he was doing, so hastily and quietly he worked to win her.

He told her of the wonderful land from which he had come; of the beautiful houses in which his friends lived; of the lives of ease which they lived; then he told her of his love for her and begged her to flee with him to his land and his people. To Litahni, it was all so wonderful that she listened happily. How she would love to see it all! If she went there, she could see again the missionary of whom the mother had told her so often.

And when he had finished, she told him of her dreams—how she wanted to help the tribe to learn to love the great God, and to make the tribe of Black Hawk the finest tribe in all the land around.

But when she, too, had finished, he loved her all the more for her beautiful wish, so he held her closely to him and said:

“But, Litahni, to love and to be loved is a far greater happiness than to lift, or to bend, or to lead the tribe. Leave that to your father. All these things you can do to me and to my people. Would you waste your life here on the plains? Think what I can give you. Your mother longed to go beyond the mountains into the sunrise. Come with me and I will take you there. To love and to be loved is the best that ever comes into a life. And I love you, Litahni! Why should you think of your father? He has many things to think of and has little time for you. I will make you my queen. To-morrow I must go. So to-night, I shall come for 26 my answer after the sun has set. Meet me, dear, by the giant tree near the spring and we will go together. The train leaves not long after the sunset and I will have a horse at the spring on which we can get to the train. Come with me, dear. Forget your people and be my Litahni.”

There was a noise near by—and the white man was gone. But Litahni sat deep in thought. While he had been with her, she longed to go with him. But as she sat now and looked down into the valley at the encampment, she was not so sure. Her mind was all awhirl. Was this the way to happiness? What would mother have said? She wanted her to have the best, but what was the best? It was only a few hours till the sunset and what should she do? Was there no one to help her?

Suddenly from the roadway below she heard a neigh. It was Fleetfoot, and he was tired of being tied to a sapling. Now Litahni loved Fleetfoot, her horse, for they had grown up together, so she hurried to the tree where she had left him, untied his bridle, jumped on his back and whispered,

“Fly, Fleetfoot! Fly into the sunset. Go fast and go far and let me think as we fly.”

Then the horse sped away toward the north. As they passed the little lake in the valley it whispered, “Life is not always calm. There must be tempests. But you can be calm in your inner life and you can be beautiful through it all.”

Up the hill she went, and as the wind blew over her face it seemed to say, “Why be bent? Why not bend?” At the top, looking far across a distant plain, her mother’s voice seemed to whisper, “Look far ahead, little girl. Look far ahead. What seems wonderful may prove to be only a shadow.”

On they flew. The girl’s face was flushed and thoughtful. 27 Soon she must turn if she would be at the meeting place. Where was Fleetfoot taking her? Perhaps he knew best what she should do.

Suddenly at a bend in the road Fleetfoot gave a great leap, startling the girl and almost making her lose her balance. Across the path, a giant tree had been felled by the lightning and there it lay, prone and helpless.

Then she shuddered. “Fear that which comes quickly and silently and which strikes at the heart.” Only a week before she had not known the white man—even now her father did not know that she knew him. Ought she to be afraid? If she met him, it must be silently, in the cover of the dark.

At last Fleetfoot stood, panting and breathless, on the great rock that topped the cliff. Often had he come here with his mistress, so he waited for her to dismount. The sky was aflame with color—all red and gold and yellow. Far to the North there were blues and pinks. What a wonderful sunset it was! Surely it must be the home of a great, great God.

Litahni sat motionless for a time, drinking in all the glory of the scene. Then she threw her arms high over her head and, lifting her face into the sunset, she cried,

“Oh, thou Great Spirit to whom my people have always prayed, though they knew thee not as the great God; oh thou to whom my mother taught me to pray, show me the way to happiness. I would my life should be as my mother wished it to be—a little light. I would do my best in the right place. Is love for the white man the way to happiness? Is it the way in which I should go? Answer as by fire. I beg of thee. Answer me as by fire, oh, thou great God of the Indian.”

Motionless the horse and his rider stood as the moments passed by, one, two, three. The red of the sunset enfolded them and God was very near. 28

Suddenly far to the south there rose a tiny black cloud. Very tiny it was, yet it grew and it grew. It blotted out the red and then the yellow and then the gold, and then the whole sky was dark and the wind blew chill.

Slowly Litahni’s arms relaxed and her head fell to the mane of the horse. When she lifted it, her face looked tired and worn, but over it there was a look of peace. Patting the mane of the horse, she said:

“Thank you for bringing me here, Fleetfoot. The Great Spirit has answered and I shall stay here with Father and with you. To love selfishly is to blot out all the beautiful. He who would be my chief must not want me to run away from helping and giving. He must help me to serve my people. The Great Spirit has answered by fire and I am content. I will stay here and serve my people in the way my mother taught me to do, and I will wait for the one whom the Great Spirit will send to me some day to be my Chief.”

Then slowly Fleetfoot picked his way over the narrow trail in the darkness, and, because it was late, the white man had come and gone away alone. But Litahni, bending low over the couch where her father should sleep, smiled as she stretched the skins in place for the night. Even as the animals had given their skins that her father might be warm, so she was ready to give her little light to make him happy and comfortable, even as Owaissa, her noble mother, had done.

And Litahni was content.



Behold a girl went forth to walk on the highway leading to life. And as she walked there grew up beneath her feet flowers of every kind and color.

“Ah!” she said, “I will gather a sheaf of flowers to carry with me, for then, surely, I shall be welcome when I come to the gate at the end of this way. I will gather what seemeth to me to be the most beautiful of all the flowers that grow about me. They shall be my gift to the one who guards the way.”

And as she plucked, the one that seemed to be most wonderful was the one most bright, gleaming yellow as the sun. “It is yellow like gold,” she said. “If I come with the sign of gold, I shall be welcome. I will pluck it everywhere I can and carry only yellow flowers.” And soon her arms were full, but somehow her fingers seemed hot and unpleasant and her arms were heavy, so she dropped some by the way and carried only those that seemed most desirable.

But some were blue—blue as the sky. “Blue for blue blood,” she said. “Those of royal birth are always to be desired. I shall make my sheaf largely of blue.” So she added one here and another there till she was satisfied that the sheaf would be of all the sheaves the most beautiful. But the odor was sickening, and again one after another was dropped till only a few remained.

And some flowers there were in the path that were red. “One needs fewer of these,” she said, “but surely some must be red. I shall put red flowers for courage where they shall be seen, for courage is of all the virtues 30 to be desired.” But there were thorns on the red flowers and, try as she would, she could not hide the thorns so that they might not pierce her flesh. So there could be few of the red in the sheaf.

Some plants there were that bore no blossoms but the leaves were beautiful, so she added leaves of this and of that, even though she knew that in some there was deadly poison. “I can hide it among the rest. It is so beautiful that it must be a part of my sheaf,” thought the girl.

But along the way, there had been many flowers that had been passed unnoticed. White they were. Often they were small but always they were pure and sweet. Only once had she plucked one and then she had added it because of its fragrance. “Oh, yes,” she said, “I know white is for purity but white flowers are old-fashioned. Of course I must have a few but many would spoil my sheaf. It must be bright with color.”

So the days flew by and her sheaf was nearly complete. She had thought it the most beautiful thing she could possibly make. But one day as she walked, suddenly she saw, standing erect by the road, a beautiful, stately lily. Its beauty startled her. She stooped to smell of its fragrance. Then she glanced from it to the flowers in her sheaf.

If she plucked the lily and tried to place it in the sheaf, its beauty would be spoiled. What should she do? With all her heart she longed to take the lily with her to the end of the way. Should she throw the rest away? Would she be welcome with only the one flower? Long she hesitated.

Then she laid the yellow, and the blue, and the red, and the rest aside and carefully gathered it. So in her hand she carried the lily with the petals of pure white and the heart of gold.

And lo, she had come to the stile which endeth the 31 way of girlhood. There, standing guard over the way ahead, was a woman in white, holding by the hand a tiny, little child. Looking straight into the eyes of the girl, she said sweetly,

“Welcome, my child, from the beautiful way of girlhood. What hast thou brought as thy gift to coming generations?”

Then the girl feared to answer. But she held the lily toward the little child as she said, “I have brought purity and a heart of gold.”

“Thou hast done well,” said the mother spirit. “Take thou the child as thy reward. With this as thy gift, thou art worthy to enter the way of motherhood. Lo, here are some of the flowers that were left by the way. Well may they go with thee, for they are very beautiful. But the gift that thou didst choose was far more valuable and beautiful than they. It was the gift that the Great desire.”

Then the girl and the child went together into the new way. But the child was carrying the gift and she smiled as she went.



It was plain to be seen that Bess Keats was very much disturbed about something. She sat in the couch hammock on the porch, talking to herself and occasionally giving a sharp punch to the sofa pillow by her side.

“Mother is so old-fashioned,” she said to herself, “and she gets worse every year. Last year she wouldn’t let me wear the kind of dresses I wanted to and I looked different from the rest of the girls all the year. Then she wouldn’t let me go camping with the party because only one mother was going to take care of us. Surely one woman can take care of twenty boys and girls. Of course I was glad I hadn’t gone when they had the accident and partly burned the cottage, but she wouldn’t let me go just because she had old-fashioned notions. Girls these days don’t do as they did when she was young.

“I just can’t see a reason in the world why I shouldn’t invite Henry Mann to take me to the leap-year party at the beach. Every girl in the crowd is asking a fellow to take her. Of course if George were here, mother might let me go with him; but he isn’t and all the girls want Henry to go because he spends his money in such a dandy way; so I said I would invite him to take me, never thinking for a minute that mother would object. And now she says, not only that I can’t ask him, but that I can’t go. Well, I will, anyway. So there! I just will go.”

Then Bess pushed her head far down in the pillow to think out a way. If grandmother were only alive she 33 would help her. She had always found a way to get what Bess wanted. But grandmother was dead and Bess must work it out alone, so she began to think.

Suddenly she heard a voice saying,

“Why, Bessie dear, whatever is the matter? You look very unhappy. Tell me all about it.”

And there was grandmother with the neat, black silk dress and the dainty white collar, and even the pretty white apron that she used to wear. Oh! Oh! how glad Bess was to see her!

Hand in hand, they went away from the house to where the trees in the orchard were bending with fruit, and, sitting there on a stone, Bess told her all about her trouble. Whatever would the girls think of her when she had promised to invite the boy they all wanted? And after she had told it every bit, she squeezed grandma’s hand very hard and said,

“And now, Granny dear, you will help me, won’t you? It is perfectly all right to ask him for all the girls do it. I want him to take me.”

“Well, well, dear,” said the grandmother, “if we find that it is all right, I shall be glad to find a way to help you. But we must see. We must see.”

“See what, grandmother?” asked the girl. “There is nothing to see.”

“Indeed there is, child,” said Granny. “In times of trouble one must always see the Truth. Then the way is easy. After I see the Truth, I shall be able to tell what to do. Come and we shall soon find out. You see you belong to my family and my family is proud of the fact that its girls have all been ladies. So we must go to the keeper of the book and see what a lady can do in this case.”

On and on they went till they came to a queer little 34 old man standing before a big, big book. Granny went daintily up to him and said,

“Will you tell me if it is ever right for a young lady to ask a strange young man to take her to a dance, and pay out his money for her, when he has not even been to her home or met her mother? My grandchild says all the girls do it, so I suppose it must be a new thing that has been written in the book since I was a girl. I want her to be sure to be a lady, so before I help her to ask the boy to take her, I want you to look for the rule.”

The little old man began slowly to shake his head but he never said a word. He just looked and looked and looked. His finger went up one page and down another. Finally he looked straight at Bess and said to Granny,

“Your granddaughter is mistaken. That is not done by ladies. It is not here. It is not here.”

“Oh, you are old-fashioned just like my mother,” began Bess. “It may not be there but it is true just the same that all ladies do it nowadays.”

“Hush, child,” said Granny. “What is written there is true—but it is only half the truth even then. Let us go and see the rest. If it is right for you to ask him, then let us see the truth about the boy. Is he one that our family would like to have specially chosen for your friend? We must know about him.”

“Oh, Granny, he is all right. He doesn’t study much and he doesn’t do what mother believes is right on Sunday. But he has a car, and a motor boat, and he is all right. Let me ask him,” begged Bess.

“Tut, tut, child,” said Granny. “Perhaps you do not know. This is the House of Truth and we can tell.”

Then they entered a very large house and Granny walked to a man who stood near the door.

“May I go to the M room?” she asked, with a smile. 35

“I will show you the way, lady,” said the man, and Bess noted how the man had spoken the word “lady.” Somehow every one knew as soon as they looked at Granny that she was a lady. ’Twas very strange!

Down a long hall they went and then they stood before a large wall of mirrors. What a strange place this was! Before them in the mirror were many, many men and boys, all struggling to get up a very steep hill. Some had a few strings ahead of them to help them up and many, many strings behind that were pulling them back to the foot of the hill. Others had only a few in back and many in front. Some were hopelessly entangled and seemed not able to move. Who were they and what were they doing?

Curiosity led Bess to study the scene in front of her. On the very top of the hill there was a bright sign, “Christian Manhood.” This, then, was the thing for which they were struggling. But what were the strings? She pushed and reached but she just couldn’t read the words.

“Did you want to know the truth about a friend?” said a voice. “I will gladly help you for you are young and need to know. I am old and to know the truth may only make me more unhappy. Take my place.” And she was given a nearer stand.

Now she could read the words on the strings that held the men back. One said “Drink” and another “Bad Companions,” and another “Bad Temper.” Bess was very much interested, so she began to study the faces of the men who were pushing to the top.

Why! Away up there with the first was George Meyer, her good friend from childhood. He had many, many strings to help and only a few to hinder. And there was Edward Mead. He was such a goody-goody 36 at school that she didn’t care much for him. Why, he wouldn’t whisper at all!

Near the middle of the hill was Philip Marks. She knew him well and he had many things to help and many to hinder but he was surely trying. But Granny had brought her here to see the truth about Henry Mann. Was he here? She hadn’t seen him.

First she searched among those near the top. He was such a bright boy when out with the crowd and he had so many good things in his life that surely he must be near the top. But he wasn’t there. Neither was he near the middle. Surely he must be there somewhere for his name began with M. Finally she asked the man who had given her his place if he could see a boy named Henry Mann on the hill.

“I should say I could,” was the answer. “There he is near the foot of the hill, hopelessly entangled in his drawbacks. It isn’t hard to find that young man here.”

Sure enough, there he was and Bess’s face grew very red as she saw all the strings behind him. She was glad Granny had gone to sit down so that she wouldn’t see him. Perhaps she could read what some of his drawbacks were, for he was quite near. There was, “Too much money,” “Lazy,” “Unkind to his mother,” “Little schooling,” “Drinks and smokes and swears,” “A friend of careless girls”....

Oh, dear! Bess didn’t want to read any more. What a list he had! There were one or two good strings but they could not do much against so many others to pull him back.

Up there very near to the top, George, her old friend, was moving on and his face was so earnest. How different it looked as she compared him with Henry at the foot! She had never known before that he was so handsome. What were the strings that were pulling 37 him forward? She leaned far forward to see. Just then she heard Granny’s voice close at her elbow.

“Were you trying to look at George, Bess? He is a long way toward manhood, isn’t he? Suppose you use my little glass to help you.”

“Oh, now I can see,” she answered. There is “A good mother,” “A keen mind,” “A strong body,” “Love of right and truth,” “A good girl friend”....

“But, Granny dear,” said Bess, “one of his helps is ‘A good girl friend.’ Has George a girl? I thought he didn’t care for girls.”

“This is the House of Truth, dear,” said the old lady. “I think perhaps that good girl friend means you, for you have been a good friend to him. You know our family have always been proud of their education and their habits of life. I am sure it must have been a good thing for George to grow up all these years with a good chum like you. He must be a gentleman if he would be fit to play with the daughter of a lady like your mother. When I was here before, George had several other pull-backs, but I see he has conquered them. But come, dear, it is time we were going if I am to help you out of your difficulty.

“Let me see, you wanted to ask Henry Mann to take you to a party at the beach. Did you find him there? Do you think your mother will change her mind when we tell her the truth about the new friend whom you wish to make? If so, I am ready to try, even though I am not at all sure that a lady does those things. But things change—things change very much and perhaps you are right. What said the House of Truth? Shall we invite him?”

“Oh, Granny, never, never!” cried the girl. “I could never ask any one who was known as the friend of careless girls. He has so many drawbacks—oh, no, never.” 38

Just then a voice said, “Good evening, Miss Keats. I hope I haven’t disturbed your nap. One of the girls told me you were very anxious to see me, so I came up.”

And there stood Henry Mann.

For a moment the girl could not answer. The face that had looked so handsome when it was pointed out to her on the street yesterday now looked careless and insolent. She wanted to run away and not even answer.

But just at that moment the door opened and her mother came out. She was dressed so prettily and her voice was soft and sweet as she said, “I think I haven’t met you, but you must be one of my daughter’s friends. Will you be seated?”

“A man must be a gentleman if he would be fit to play with the daughter of a lady like your mother,” thought Bess.

Then she straightened her shoulders and, smiling, said, “Mother, this is Henry Mann, of whom I spoke to you.”

Turning to the boy, who still stood at the top of the steps, she said, “Thank you so much for calling, Mr. Mann. There has been a mistake. Mother prefers that I should not go to the party at the beach and of course I want to do as she thinks best. I am sorry to have made you this trouble. Perhaps one of the other girls will be asked to fill my place so that you can still be one of the party.”

Then Henry Mann tipped his hat and went down the street thinking how beautiful the mother and daughter were. But Bess and her mother stood there with their arms about each other, waiting for father to come home to tea. And Bess was no longer unhappy.



Mary had just come from the little post-office in the town where she was spending the summer, and in her hand she held a bunch of letters. Mail time was the event of the day, and all the summer people flocked about the office as soon as the little boat carrying the mail was heard blowing her whistle below the bend.

To-day Mary had been very impatient as the old postmaster had slowly sorted the mail. She had watched him look carefully at one address after another, and, knowing him as she did, she was sure that many in the town would know by night how many interesting letters had come to people in the town. She had been almost the first at the little window for her mail and then had had to brave the laugh of the rest when Mr. Blake had said,

“Here’s your letter and it’s a fat one that took four cents. My, but he must like you.”

Mary had been waiting for this very letter because in the last one George had said, “I have a big surprise in store for you but I can’t tell you yet—maybe in the next letter.”

So this long one must be the surprise. Eagerly she tore it open and read the first two pages that told of things happening in the home town and good times the young people were having. Then she read,

“And now for my secret. You know we are going to our camp for a whole month of fun in August. Mother likes you and you are such good company for us all that she tells me to write in her name and ask you to spend 40 the first two weeks with us there. Don’t say no for we—no, I—must surely have you to share our good times.”

The first two weeks! Those were the weeks she had planned to go to the conference and train for some special work for the church during the coming winter. The church had said they would pay her expenses if she cared to go, and already she had made application. Oh, dear! Now what should she do? She had said to her pastor, “I want to go to the conference more than anything I have ever wanted but I can’t afford to go.” Now she wanted to go with her friends and she would have to say to him, “I want a good time more than I want the conference.” The conference would come again the next year, but this invitation might never come again.

To be sure, she had many, many good times. Maybe she would have a good time at the conference. Which did she want the more? If she went with her friends, she could not do the winter work at the church as it ought to be done. But there was the last sentence. “We—no, I—must have you to share our good times.” That meant a lot to her as she read it. Should she go to the conference or should she go to the camp?

Mechanically she turned the other letters over. There was one from mother, and one from a school friend, and a business letter—oh, here was a correspondence card from Mrs. Lane, her teacher in the Church School.

“Dear Mrs. Lane,” thought Mary. “How I should love to see her! She was going to Maine. I wonder if this little snapshot is a picture of some pines where she is staying.”

After looking long at the beautiful, tall pines in the picture, she turned to the card and read,

Dear Mary:

“As we came up the beautiful Sebago Lake last week, 41 I saw something that reminded me of you so strongly that I must tell you of it. Away off in the distance, we saw some wonderful pines that towered high above the rest. They seemed so tall that we spoke to the pilot of the boat about them and he told us this story about them.

“‘Years and years ago, before this land was settled by any but the Indians, King George of England sent men to this country to look for tall trees that would make good masts for his ships. They went up the rivers and lakes looking everywhere for the special trees. Here on these hills they found these great trees. So the men marked “K.G.” on the trees, charted them on a map which they carried, and went on their way. But for some reason they were never cut and carried away to be used on his ships. There they stand to-day, strong and straight, marked for masts.’

“After the old man had finished his story and had left us, I said to my friend, ‘Marked for a mast because it is straight and strong. I have a girl who also is marked for a mast and some day she will carry with her, under her colors, many boys and girls. We are sending her to the leaders’ conference this summer so that she may begin to make ready for her work.’ Mary, dear, it is wonderful to have been chosen by the King of England and to have been marked for use with his initials, but it is more wonderful to have been chosen by a greater king and marked with his name. Perhaps you can guess what the mark I see on you might be—It is C. L. Write and tell me all about the conference, won’t you?

“Lovingly your friend,

Margaret Lane.”

’Twas a very thoughtful girl who went down the street. In one hand a long letter and in the other a closely written card. The one said, “Come and have a real 42 jolly, good time.” The other said, “Get ready for service.” Which should it be?

As she sat in the hammock thinking of her good friend in Maine, there came again to her mind the last night Mrs. Lane had been with them. They had been talking over plans for the summer and Mrs. Lane had quietly said, “I like to think that a good time is one which you carry with you and which means more to you as the weeks go by than it did when you were enjoying it.” Which good time would she carry with her longer? Which would make of her the finer girl? Which did she want most to carry with her? And as she thought, the way became clearer.

Finally she went to her room and returned in a few minutes with a writing case and pen.

“Dear George,” she began. “Weren’t you good to ask me to go with the family to the camp! I can’t think of any camp where I would enjoy myself more and I surely appreciate the invitation. But I can’t accept it this time for that is the time set for the conference to which I am really going this year. Our church has made it possible for me to go, and I know it will do much in getting me ready to be of help to those who have helped me so much. I shall have so much more to give when I have studied for the two weeks with those who know, and have given their lives to the service of others. ’Tis an opportunity that I couldn’t miss—not even for two weeks with you all. Thank you just the same.”

Mary read the letter, then as she sealed it, she said with a smile, “Marked for a mast! Marked for a mast! Surely I mustn’t bend or break if I can be a mast some day and carry a king’s colors. C. L.?... C. L.?... Ah, I have it. ’Tis the word that Mrs. Lane uses so 43 often—a Christian Leader! ’Tis wonderful to have her think I have been chosen to bear such a splendid name. I can hardly wait to meet the rest of the girls, who also wear the mark of the King, who will be there at the conference. I may be—oh, I hope I am—marked for a mast.”



She was just a girl with a foreign name, a foreign face and a bit still of a foreign dress. But she was a girl, just the same, and her face was full of longing. Her home was near to a settlement where many girls came for lessons and for play. But somehow they had never asked her to come, though often she had sat on the steps at night where they must pass her. She had seen them come with their arms about each other, talking and laughing and singing—and when they had passed, she had gone to her lonely hall bedroom and hidden her face in the pillow.

Oh, no, she didn’t cry. She was too brave to cry. She just suffered alone and longed for help.

It had been a year since she had left the home across the sea and had come to join her father in the land where “work was plenty and friends were easily made.” But she had found her father living where she could not and would not live. The friends he had made in America she could not and would not have for hers. So when she had grown proficient enough in the factory, she had gone to live in that loneliest of all lonely places—a boarding house.

The days had passed one by one. Some of the boarders called her fussy; some said she was cold; some said she was “stuck-up” and none of them had found that beneath the surface there was a sweet, gentle, lonely heart.

Then came the strike—and she was out of work. In the bank she had a few dollars but they had soon fled and now—oh, what could she do? The way was so black 45 ahead. She couldn’t go to her father and his friends. What could she do?

The girls passed her as they went to the settlement house but no one noticed her sad little face. So she slowly rose and wended her way down the street. Out of the poorer section she went, then down a long avenue till she came to a great church. The altar lights were lighted. All was quiet and restful, so she sat, and looked, and listened for the still, small voice that she longed to hear.

A long, long time she sat there, counting her beads. Then she slowly rose and entered the confessional, but when she came out there was still the look of longing in her face. Toward the altar she went. Perhaps in the communion she might find help for her troubled soul, and again she counted her beads.

But, somehow, there was no prayer on the beads that seemed just what she wanted to say. Again, she went to the altar. But this time she lifted a face, white with suffering and thin from lack of food, to the face of the Christ above the altar and from the depths of her heart she prayed,

“O God! My God! I do not ask for money, though I am hungry. I do not ask for a home, though I am oh! so very lonely. I do not ask for work, though I have none. For only one thing I ask. Give me a friend. Oh, give me a friend! For Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

Again she walked back through the avenue and down the narrow street to her only home. The doors of the settlement were opened and the girls came out, happy as birds in the springtime. Quietly she watched them as they came nearer. Then suddenly one of them stopped.

“Excuse me for speaking to you,” she said, “but our guardian heard that you lived in this house, so she asked us to come and invite you to come to Camp Fire with 46 us next Tuesday. We are to have a supper together so that you will soon know us all and then we are to go for a hike together. Shall we stop for you as we go?”

For a moment she could not answer. In her throat was a lump so big that she could not swallow. Then she said in a low, sweet voice,

“Indeed I should like to go. Thank you for asking me.”

And the girls passed down the street, singing their Camp Fire song.

But up in the little hall bedroom there was a girl with a foreign name, and a foreign face, and a bit of a foreign dress. She was on her knees, looking up at the heavens full of stars and over and over she was saying, “Oh, I thank thee. I thank thee. I have a chance to be a friend.”

And her heart was content.



“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”... “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” These were the two sentences that were neatly written on two pieces of paper on Marcia Loran’s desk and the girl sat looking at them while the minutes went steadily by. How could they be? How could a power that made the earth be also in her life? How could it be?

Marcia had always been a reader of her Bible; she had always loved her mother’s God and she loved Him now, but she was longing for help and no one seemed near to give it. And the reason for the need of this help was easy to give. The new girl who had moved into the next room had been laughing at her belief in God and Marcia knew no way to answer. She had hoped that her course in Bible at college would help her but somehow she seemed less able than ever to answer it now.

Who was God? Where was God? How could she know that these two verses could both be true? It was an honest doubt and she knew she must answer it before her mind could be at rest. She felt she could never ask the question in a letter to her mother, for mother must never know that she was questioning. Oh, if only some one knew how much she needed help!

But it was time for the picnic which the members of her class were to have, so she slipped the papers again into her Bible and went to the campus. They were to climb one of the mountains near by and dear old Professor Hastings was to be their guide. Old in years but 48 young in heart and lithe still in limb, he stood out among the students as one of the best of the companions. As they climbed, Marcia kept near to him.

“I am looking,” he said, “for a rare little flower which grows on this mountainside. Perhaps you can help me find it. It is very tiny and it grows in the crevice of the rock. But I am needing a specimen of it for my collection.”

So together they looked in every crevice but not a bit of the little white blossom did they see.

Up, and up, and up they went. Some were tired and waited for the rest to climb and return. Some even went back down the mountainside. But when the top was reached, what a wonderful view spread out before them! Mountains and lakes and streams; villages and cities and lonely farms; beauty and calmness and majesty, all seemed to flood in at once on the minds and hearts of those who looked.

After they had rested a while, the old man lightly touched the hand of the girl and said,

“I have heard it said that one of my blossoms has been found on that cliff not far away. Will you come with me to see?”

So they began to search the cliff; then they found a hidden cave and explored that; Marcia heard a tiny stream of water trickling in the cave, and when she had found the water, she found also, close to the water’s edge, a beautiful clump of waxy white blossoms, sweet and fragrant, and hanging tightly to the rock.

“Oh! oh! Come, sir,” called the girl. “I am sure these are what you seek. Oh, how beautiful they are!” And they stooped to gather them.

But just at that moment a flash of lightning lighted the cave and the thunder rolled. In a moment the rain was coming in torrents, and the noise of the thunder 49 as it rolled from cliff to cliff was terrifying. A giant pine tree which stood just before the entrance of the cave was rent from top to bottom and went crashing down the mountainside. The noise of the wind and storm was deafening. Pale and trembling, the girl pushed farther and farther into the cave till, crouching down, she touched something cool. It was the little white flowers.

They were not afraid. The rain might fall as hard as it would but it would not blast their beauty. They were protected by a bit of overhanging rock. The lightning might flash about the cave but it was calm inside. Who had made the tiny blossoms to grow here in the rock, protected from storm and blast? God! She, too, was being cared for while her companions might be in the fury of the storm. Who was caring for her? Her friend? No, he was interested in something at the entrance of the cave. God was caring for her even as he cared for the little blossom.

“Come, Marcia, come and watch the storm,” called the professor. “I have never seen such a beautiful one. Isn’t it strange that that electricity was all there in the clouds as we came up the mountain though we knew it not? I love to watch a storm for it shows so clearly the power and majesty of our God. Watch the trees bend with the wind! Listen to the rocks send back the sound of the thunder! See the little bird on yonder nest snuggling close to keep the little ones safe! And see, far away, the sun shining on the little village of the plain. We are in the storm, child, yet we are safe and sheltered.”

With her hand held fast in that of her old friend, the fear gradually died away, and when the storm was over she, too, was glad she had seen from the mountaintop the wonder of a mountain storm. 50

Soon they gathered the little white blossoms, but not all of them found their way into the collection at the college. A little spray was tenderly pressed between the leaves of Marcia Loran’s Bible and a third little slip of paper was fastened to the other two. It read: “God is great but God is love. I will trust him and not be afraid.”



Barbara Lewis was very much puzzled. All the girls in her camp fire were winning the right to embroider their symbol on the dress of their guardian and she wanted to do the same. But how could she? She had chosen for her name, “Chante—I serve,” and she wanted to really win the right to have the name, but how could she? She was not allowed to go into the kitchen to help there at home, for the cook would leave if she were disturbed, so she couldn’t do as some of her friends were doing and learn to cook. She couldn’t serve mother, for mother was always away at the club or doing work about the country for the suffrage cause. There were maids to do the mending and the sewing, so how could she serve there?

Some of the girls could serve at their church, but her teacher had never asked her to do one thing, though she was always ready. Her teacher had not formed a club of her girls, so of course she knew them only on Sundays. There was no chance to serve the church. If she only knew the minister, perhaps he would suggest a way, but he was very tall and very dignified, so she just couldn’t ask him. Whatever could she do?

It had been weeks since their guardian had told them that when they had earned the right to their names, they could embroider the symbol on her dress, and every day since then she had wished she knew what to do. Mary had chosen the name “Aka—I can,” and when she had proved that she could break herself of using slang by using none for a whole month, she put a tiny little white 52 flower on the dress, for she was using pure speech.

“Frilohe” was the name Grace had chosen and it meant, “A friend who loves to help.” Grace’s mother had been in the hospital and Grace had taken care of the brothers and sisters all the time, so, of course, they all agreed that she had earned the right.

And now Barbara felt that she just must think of a way. She would go to the library and ask her friend there if she knew what she could do to serve.

Now it chanced that from that library there were going out almost every day girls to tell stories to groups of children about the city. Sometimes they went to the orphan homes, sometimes to the hospitals, sometimes to the crowded streets. Into many needy places they were sent, and already the children were beginning to look for the gypsy-girls who were story-tellers. As Barbara entered the library, one of the girls was just leaving, so she stopped for a moment and told about her new work and how much she loved it.

“Aha,” said Barbara, “I believe I could do that. I have read such lots and lots of stories, I am sure I could do that. I should love to try. But they haven’t asked me. I couldn’t volunteer, for mother would think me very bold. Oh dear, I am sure I could serve in that way.”

All the way home she thought the matter over and then a plan came to her. Just back of the house there was an alley and the little children there were always looking through the fence at the flowers in her beautiful garden. She would tell stories to these little children and see what she could do. So she went into the house to find the stories she would use. All the afternoon she looked in her old books. Then she was sure she was ready.

For a long time she hesitated the next morning as she dressed. She must look her very best if she was to win 53 the children. Finally she chose a little blue gingham dress that she liked much—perhaps they would like it too. It was only ten o’clock when she went into the garden to wait. Dear me! Weren’t they coming this morning? One hour passed and then another half.

Just then Tommy, the boy who threw stones, and chased the cats, and did all sorts of things that were naughty, pushed his dirty face against the fence. Oh my, she could never tell stories to him! But Tommy saw her there in the garden and said:

“Wisht you would give me a posy. Mom’s sick and she hain’t got none.”

Then the gate of the garden was opened and Barbara said:

“Of course I will give you some flowers for your mother. Choose what you would like and I will cut it with these shears.”

“Um! Um!” said Tommy. “Um! I’d like some of them blue flowers. Say, I like blue flowers, and blue sky, and I like that blue dress. I wish Mary had a blue dress.”

“And who is Mary?” said Barbara.

“Oh, she is one of my sisters,” said Tommy. “You see, there is six of us and Mary is the pretty one. She has blue eyes and curls. Um! Um! I wish you could see her.”

“I’d like to see her,” said Barbara. “If you will go and bring her here I will tell you both a story. Would you like that?”

“Sure,” said Tommy. “Sure I would. Kin I bring them all?” and off he ran with his precious flowers.

In five minutes he was back, followed by Mary and Katie and Jimmie and Mike and Susan—all dirty, all barefoot, and all in a hurry to see the flowers and hear the story. About this time Barbara began to feel queer 54 inside. How could she ever keep them still? Suppose they should begin to run over her father’s flowers! She almost wished she had not asked them to come. But she remembered for what she was working, and she said to herself, “Chante, I serve; Chante—I serve,” over and over till her courage came back.

Then she seated them all on the steps and began. Susie wanted “Red Riding Hood,” and Katie wanted “Goldilocks,” so these were first. Then Mary wanted “Cinderella,” but Tommy was not to be forgotten.

“I want a boy’s story. Tell me the one you promised me or I’ll push the rest all home,” he said.

What could she do? She never remembered having read a boy’s story. Oh dear, maybe she couldn’t win Tommy.

Over and over in her mind went the stories she had gotten ready. Then she remembered one that she had loved years ago. It was about Cedric, the Knight. This was just the one for Tommy. So she told it to him while his eyes grew bigger and bigger. When the story was done, Barbara and Tommy were friends and Tommy had a new hero.

When the dinner bell rang, she was still telling stories to the dirty little group but she had forgotten why she was doing it, for she was living the stories with the children.

The days went by and every morning found Barbara out in the garden, if only for one story, but now the Lowinskys were not the only ones. They had brought their neighbors and friends till the group sometimes numbered forty. The steps had grown too small, so they had moved to the wall. Then that had not been satisfactory, so they had moved out under the trees away down by the little brook. Here the birds sang, the little brook whispered, and everything was just right for the little 55 story-teller. Over and over she had told the stories with a new one now and then, but Cedric, the Knight, was the favorite one. Tommy always stood near Barbara and saw to it that all the boys were listening, so he had a fine chance to whisper, “Now my story. Please tell mine.”

And she was telling it again one morning when she realized that some one stood near who was not a child. It was Miss Rose, her guardian, who listened for a moment and then drew back where the children could not see her. When the story hour was over, she was nowhere to be seen. But later in the evening a package was left at the door for Barbara. It contained that precious dress for which she had longed.

Pinned to the dress was a card which said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these, my little ones, ye have done it unto me.” And below was written, “I shall be glad to have you put your symbol on my dress before Friday night so that we may tell the girls at the Ceremonial about your story-group.”

Later when Barbara had finished the embroidery, it showed a tiny figure of a primitive woman surrounded by little children. And the little lady was telling them a story. She had found her way to serve.



May Langley had spent four happy years at the University, and now Commencement time had come. It had been easy for her to get her lessons, so she had had time to herself. She was pretty and was always well dressed; she could dance well and sing well, so of course she had been a favorite, especially with the boys.

But the coming of the end of the school life had brought to her a real problem. She knew some of the boys would want to write to her. Deep in her heart she knew that some of them already liked her more than a little. She could not write to all of them. Whom should she choose? Perhaps the one she chose would eventually be the one she should marry, so it was wise to choose with care. Over and over she turned the question in her mind.

There was Tom,—gay, careless Tom with a big heart and plenty of money. His father was an oil man and there was no other child. He had done little with his studies but he had given her many a good time. His life would probably be one of ease. Tom was really quite attractive.

Then there was Bob, the football player. Already his name was known throughout the country. It was great fun to go to games where he was to play, for she shared the honors with him afterward. He was rough and ready, and, at times, a bit too boisterous, but withal a good fellow.

Then there was Earl, the student. He had ranked first in his class but his books were all in all to him. A good 57 position was waiting for him in a neighboring college and he had told her that he should marry so that he could have a home of his own to which the students might come.

There were others, too, but these three seemed to stand out first in her thoughts. How could she decide? She and her mother were alone in the world and mother was a helpless cripple and so could not come to the Commencement. For the first time in her life, she began to face the future seriously.

’Twas the Sunday of Commencement week and she was strolling across the campus when she saw in the distance dear, old Professor Gray—Daddy Gray, the girls called him.

“He is the very person to help me,” she said to herself, and hurried to catch him before he left the campus.

“Daddy Gray,” she began, “I have a queer question to ask you. I am choosing some boy friends whom I wish to have as friends after I leave. Tell me some principles on which to base my choice.”

A rare smile crossed the face of the old man as he patted her golden hair.

“Good for you! I am glad you are thinking. Long, long ago when my own girlies were choosing their friends I asked them to remember two things as they chose—not only that the one they chose might be their husband, but that he also might be my son, and the father of their children. One thinks much more about the principles of the man who is to be father of their children than about the man whom they love and want to marry. You know what a high ideal your mother holds. Test your friends by that also. Never mind yourself—think of others.”

Then he left her to think.

And she did think! If Tom ignored her mother as he 58 did his own, she could never bring him into their home. Tom drank sometimes—oh, that would never do. Bob was strong and healthy—but Bob had no use for God and the church. Her children must have a Christian home. Earl was a wonderful student, but he had undermined his health. He stooped in his shoulders and there were signs of a breakdown. Oh dear, what a hard test Daddy Gray had given her!

So the days wore away and she found herself watching as she had never watched before for marks of strength—mental, moral and physical. Over and over the words rang in her ears: “Never mind yourself—think of others.”

’Twas the afternoon of Commencement Day and her room had many beautiful flowers. Tom’s bunch was of great American Beauty roses and the card had made her suddenly blush as she read it. But there had come in the mail a great bunch of beautiful forget-me-nots, all fresh with the dew in the grass. Who had sent them? She loved them the best of all the flowers in the room. There was no card to be found, so she tucked a few in her dress beneath the cap and gown and ran away to the chapel.

There on the steps stood a young man and his mother, and they were waiting for her.

“May, I want you to meet my mother, for I have told her so much about you. To get her to come, I had to drive all the way home to-day. But it is worth it, even if I did have to get up before the sun did. She is the very best mother in all the world,” said the boy, and he squeezed the arm of the timid little lady.

“Maybe! Maybe! I am so glad to meet you,” said the mother, “for I owe you much. You have helped Gene such a lot. I am sure he would never have been able to keep from smoking had it not been for you. He had promised me to try. Then when you told him you did not 59 like it, why, we worked together, you see. And it has been so kind of you to go for the hikes when he has asked you, for you see he couldn’t have afforded to go to places that cost money, dear.”

May Langley opened her eyes wide. She had had no idea that she had been helping. To be sure, she had gone on many hikes with him after the geology class had thrown them together. And she had enjoyed it, too, for he was such good company. Always courteous, always hunting for ways to make the trip more worth while and always good natured, no matter what the weather, he had been a companion worth while.

So she stood and talked with the mother and son for a moment. How sweet the mother was and how proud he was of her! It was a joy to watch them.

Suddenly he spied the bit of forget-me-not.

“Ah,” he said, “I had nearly forgotten to speak of them. I passed a brook lined with them just before time for the mail train to pass the station, so I just hopped out of the car, emptied my lunch from the box and sent them to you. But I never dreamed you would get them in time to wear them. Maybe the little flowers will tell you that I am hoping you are going to remember our happy days here after we leave the campus. I want much to feel that you have a little interest in me. I have told mother much about you, for mother and I have no secrets. May I write to you sometimes?”

Just then the bell rang for the line to form and she hurried away, while he took his mother into the chapel. All afternoon they were busy and there was little time to think. But when May came to dress for the ball in the evening, she stood long before the flowers on the table. Then a sprig of the forget-me-not went into her hair and a bunch was fastened to her belt. And when he asked her for her answer as they stood on the veranda of the 60 fraternity house, she said simply, “I have enjoyed the time spent with you; I am quite sure that I should like to know you better. You may write to me if you care to do so.”

But under her breath she was saying:

“Daddy Gray is right. The greatest test of a man is not what he might be to you, but what he is and will be to others. I’m quite sure Gene Powell can stand his test and mine also.”



Mary King sat before the dressing-table in her bedroom holding in her hand a string of beads—pearls they were, but they showed signs of much wear, and as Mary looked at them her eyes blazed with anger.

To-morrow was her graduation day from the High School. All day she had been at the class picnic and she had had such a glorious time. They had danced and played; they had rowed on the lake and sung their school songs in the moonlight. She had been as happy as a girl could be, and to have it spoiled in this way was cruel.

Why should her mother give her a string of old beads for a graduation present? Other girls had wrist watches and pretty dresses and checks and all sorts of beautiful things. When they asked her what her mother’s gift had been, how could she say, “A string of old beads”? Mother would expect her to wear them at her graduation and how could she?

She had found them on her table when she had come into her room and with them was a note saying:

Dear Mary:

“I waited for you to come home so that I could give you my gift, but it is so late and I am too tired to wait longer, so I will leave them for you. I could not buy you a real gift, so I have given you the dearest thing I have. Every bead has a story which some day I will tell you—perhaps on the day that you graduate from college, but not now. I hope you will love them as I do. I shall see 62 them to-morrow on your pretty new dress. Good night, girlie. I hope you had a good time.


Why was mother so queer? All her life long it had been hard for Mary to have her mother so different. Her mother worked for Mr. Morse and so she could never bring her friends to their rooms lest she should annoy the Morses. Other girls’ mothers had pretty faces and her mother’s face was all red and cross-looking. Other girls’ mothers had pretty hair, but her mother had straight hair and little of it. She had tried to get her to wear false hair, but instead of doing it her mother had gone to her room and cried because Mary had suggested it. Other girls’ mothers let them wear pretty clothes, but hers were always plain, though they were always very neat. Most of the girls had fancy graduation dresses, but hers was only a little dimity that her mother had made—and now these dreadful beads were more than she could stand and she threw them on the bed in anger. She wished she had a real mother of whom she could be proud.

As she started to take down her long, wavy hair, she saw a letter in Mr. Morse’s handwriting on her desk. Perhaps this was a check for her graduation present, so she hastily tore it open. But no check dropped out. Instead, there was a long letter, and she sat down to read.

“My dear Mary,” it began. “A few days ago, I chanced to be on the beach when you were there with your friend, and I heard you say to her, ‘I wish my mother were as beautiful as yours. Mother can’t even go down the street with me for she drags her foot so that everybody turns and looks at us and it makes me feel so conspicuous. You must be very proud of your mother.’ So I have decided that for your graduation gift, I shall give 63 you a story instead of the check that I intended to give you. The check can wait.”

“A story,” said Mary to herself. “That is worse than the old beads. What a house of queer people this is! Anyway, I am curious to see what sort of a story he could write.” So she read on.

“Seventeen years ago there came to a town in the eastern part of Pennsylvania a young man and his bride. Just a slip of a girl she was, but her face was full of sunshine and every one soon loved her. She had beautiful wavy hair and bright, blue eyes and a cheery smile. After they had been there for a while, their story came to be known, for his father was the great mill owner in a near-by town. When the young man had married the High School girl instead of the wealthy one whom the father had chosen for him, there had been a lot of trouble and the young man had been told to leave home with his bride and expect no more help from the father.

“Now the young man had never worked, so it was very hard for him, but she also worked and, little by little, they bought the things needed in the tiny home on the hill, and they were very happy. Then, one day, a scaffold fell and they brought the young husband to the little wife all bruised and bleeding, and that very night a tiny girl came to the home to live. The neighbors helped all they could, but in a few days the father of the baby was gone, and the little girl-wife was left alone to care for the baby.

“When the mill owner heard of the death of the son and the birth of the little girl, he sent to the mother and said: ‘We will take the little girl and bring it up as our own if you will give it to us and have no more to do with it.’ But the brave little woman sent back answer, ‘As 64 long as I have a mind with which to think and two hands with which to work, I can and will support my little girl. I thank you for your offer, but I love my baby too much to accept it.’

“But it was a hard pull. She worked in an office; she worked on a farm. Then a position was offered her as a teacher in a Home for Little Children. Here she could have her own room and keep the baby with her when she was not teaching. And while she was teaching, it would be cared for with the rest. Gladly the mother took the position and for more than a year she was very, very happy.

“One night when the baby was nearly three years old, she sat reading in the parlor of the home when some one called, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire in the left wing!’ Oh! that was where her baby was, on the very top floor. Like a bird she flew across the hall where the smoke already was pouring out. Up the first flight, choking, she went. Up the second. Then she had to fall to the floor to creep along. She could see the fire. It was on the fourth floor where her Mary was. Could she ever reach it? Would the fire block her way?

“Ten minutes after the call of fire had been given, the workers saw some one staggering through the lower hall. In her arms she carried a bundle wrapped tightly in a bed-quilt. And dangling from her hands was a long string of beads. Her face was burned. There was no hair on her head. She was writhing in agony, but she reached the door, handed the burden to a worker, saying quietly, ‘I am badly burned, but I have saved my two treasures. Keep them safely for me.’ Then she fell in a heap on the floor.

“For months and months and months she tossed on a bed of pain. No one thought she could possibly live. But she did, for she was living for her baby. When at 65 last she came from the hospital, her beautiful face was scarred and red; only in spots had the hair grown; her hands were stiff and painful, and one leg dragged as she walked. But she was alive, and that was all she asked.

“While she had been ill, I had gone to see the mill owner to ask for help for the brave little woman who had shown us all what a heroine she was. But his answer had been, ‘She took my son from me and I will have nothing to do with her. If she will give the child to me, I will bring it up in luxury, but I will not have her here.’

“So when she was ready to go back to work, I told her that another offer had come from the grandfather of the child to adopt it and I said to her, ‘Don’t you feel that you had better give them the baby?’

“For answer, she patted the curly head and said, ‘If I can fight death for my baby, I can conquer in the fight to live. I shall keep her. You may tell him that the child will not live in luxury but that she shall know no want, and she shall have both the education and culture which befits her father’s child.’

“But the mother’s heart was sore when she looked in the glass and saw what a pitiful change had come to the pretty face. ‘I am so glad it came while Mary was little,’ she said. ‘Had it come later, she would have minded my ugly face. Now she knows no better and she will grow used to it.’

“So she was glad when I offered to have her come to live with us in the distant city where none had known of her or of the awful fight she was planning to make. We had taken a large house and there were many things the mother could do with her stiff hands which gradually, because of the long hours she spent on them, were beginning to limber a bit. I gave her rooms for herself and the child and there she lived, keeping away from all so that none might see her shrunken, changed body. She 66 lived only for the child, hoarding carefully the little money that she could save lest there be not enough to send her to college when the High School should be over.

“Often have I heard her praying for strength to fight through the battle; often have I heard her pray that the little girl should grow to be an honor to the family who would not help her; often have I begged her to let me tell the child the story of the days that had gone, but her answer was always the same, ‘No. Let her live the happy, care-free life. Some day I will tell her, but not now. It would kill me to have her pity me. She must love me for myself and not for what I did. My only happiness is to live and work for her.’

“So the heroine has spent the fifteen years and to my way of thinking she is a mother of whom you may be proud.

“She must never know I have told you. But not for the world would I have you add to her burden by thinking she was not all that you wanted your mother to be.


A. E. Morse.

When Mary had finished the letter, she sat as one stunned. Her mind seemed on fire. Mechanically she picked up the pearls that she had thrown on the bed. Her mother had carried them with her through that awful fire. They were one of her two treasures and now she had almost said she would not wear them. Oh, what a selfish girl she had been! She had thought only of herself.

Once she had asked her mother why the scar was upon her face and she had answered, “Just an accident, child, when I was a young woman.” Then she had talked of something else. The lame foot, the misshapen hands, the red face, the queer little knot of hair—all were the 67 price paid for her own life. Every minute since she was born, she had been a burden to her mother.

Now she understood why the little bank account which she had accidentally found was being so carefully saved. She had not known that she was to go to college.

Now she remembered that it had been years since mother had had a new dress, but she had thought it was because she was queer. There had been many days when mother had seemed cross—was it because she was suffering? Oh, how sorry she was! What could she do to make her happy now that she knew?

Slowly she undressed for bed. She must be in the dark to think. When she knelt in prayer, she asked God to forgive her—but she remembered that she could not ask mother to do so. She remembered the words of her mother to Mr. Morse,

“It would kill me to have her sorry for me. She must love me for myself and not for what I did.”

So she tossed and tumbled as the time slipped by. Suddenly she heard a foot dragging across the hall, and a big lump came into her throat. How often she had rebelled at that foot! Then her mother came quietly into the room.

“Mother,” said Mary, “why are you here? Aren’t you asleep yet?”

“No, dear,” said the mother, and the girl thought she had never heard a more beautiful voice. “I heard you tossing in the bed and I thought perhaps you were ill. So I came to see. What is the trouble, dear?”

“Oh, to-morrow is my graduation day and I think I am sorry to leave school,” said the girl. “I love these dear little beads which I have under the pillow, mother. Have you had them long? I never saw them before.”

“Many, many years, girlie. Your father gave them to me and how hard he worked to earn them! I love 68 every little bead on the string. But I shall love to see you wear them for his sake. I saved them for you once in the long ago because I wanted you to have something that he had earned for us. And now you must go to sleep, for you must look bright and pretty to-morrow. Oh! I shall be so proud of you when you start for the school.”

Then a white arm drew the mother down close to the bed and a sweet girlish voice said,

“Be all ready when the carriage comes for me to-morrow, mother dear, for you are going with me, even though it is early. No other girl has a mother who has worked so hard as you have to keep her in school. You are the best mother in the whole world and I am so proud of you.”

“Well, if you are as proud of me as I am of you, we are the happiest little family in the whole world,” said the mother, kissing her on both cheeks. And two people were happy because real love was there.



All this happened years ago when the red men lived along the lake shores and hunted in the woods. The Indians still tell the tale and shake their heads sadly, whether because of the sadness of the story or because they sigh for the old days, I do not know.

Willow Wand was the daughter of old Chief Seafog. She was not like the other girls of the tribe. She was straight and lithe like a willow, and she looked more like a beautiful boy than she did like an Indian maiden. This is not strange when you think that she wore the leather leggins and the short jacket of the Indian boy and carried a bow and quiver of arrows thrown over her shoulder. And in spite of the fact that she shot a straighter arrow than most of the lads about her, they all loved her, for she would run with them and hunt with them, and at night, by the fire, she would tell them strange and beautiful stories. In her face they saw a light that they did not see in the faces of the other girls and squaws of the village, for Willow Wand had a secret which made her full of mysteries.

As Willow Wand grew taller, the time came when she thought of wedding. Young Fir Tree, the most daring of the young braves, loved her, and Willow Wand knew that she loved him. And when Fir Tree went to old Chief Seafog, Willow Wand went with him, which made it not difficult for them to receive the old man’s blessing. 70

So on one brilliant day in Indian summer, Fir Tree and Willow Wand were married. The fallen leaves danced at their wedding feast and the blue mists of autumn were the bridal veil. Every one was as happy as an Indian could be. And in the starlight, Fir Tree took Willow Wand to his tepee. He brought a great buffalo robe from the tent and spread it on the hillside, and they sat down close together and looked up at the stars.

“I love you, my brave Fir Tree,” said Willow Wand.

Fir Tree put his arm about her. “And I love you, my little Willow Wand,” he said. “You are the most beautiful woman in the world. I would not have you like the rest. They are good; they grind the corn; they do the work, but their faces are like stones. Yours is full of secrets and lovely memories. What makes you so different, my love?”

“My secret, Fir Tree. My father says that a woman’s secret is her beauty.”

“But a woman must tell her secret to her love,” and Fir Tree looked off into the distance.

“Willow Wand must not tell her secret even to her love,” she said very, very softly.

“You cannot trust me nor love me then, Willow Wand,” said Fir Tree, growing stiff and cold.

“I love you, Fir Tree. I will tell you my secret.”

Fir Tree continued to look off in the darkness, but he bent his head a little so that he might not miss anything she said.

“One night, long ago, I sat out in the evening like this with my father. ‘Father, I want to shoot your bow, your smallest bow,’ I said. ‘You haven’t the strength to draw it, even my smallest bow, little Willow Wand,’ he said. ‘Oh, but I have. I have tried it,’ and I ran into the tent and brought the little bow with the red bear painted on it. ‘See, I shall shoot that star, the red one there.’ I 71 pulled the string and the arrow was off. We waited to hear it fall. ‘It takes a long time to reach the stars,’ I said. Just then there was a splash in the jar by the tepee door. ‘There it is,’ said my father, ‘your star has fallen into the rain jar.’

“I looked, and, sure enough, there was the little red star, lying on the bottom of the crock, and shining so brightly that we could see it through the water. ‘My star!’ I said. ‘We shall always keep it here, my father. I brought it down with my arrow.’

“The next day my father took me hunting, and he gave orders that that jar was never to be moved from beside his door until I should leave him, and then it was to go with me. And always he has kept fresh water from the spring in the jar. See, he has brought it up here beside your tepee that it would be waiting for me. Yes, my Fir Tree, see, here is my own star still shining brightly—more brightly to-night because of my great happiness with you.”

“Dear little Willow Wand, what a beautiful child you are,” said Fir Tree, and he brushed back her black hair and looked into her eyes. “Don’t you know that the star in the crock is only a reflection of a real star above your dear head in the sky? No one can really shoot a star, Willow Wand.”

“But of course it is a real star, Fir Tree; we heard it splash as it fell into the jar, my father and I. And I see it now; it has always been here since that night. You are mistaken, Fir Tree.”

Fir Tree rose and lifted up the jar, and, tipping the water out, said, “See, I shall show you that Fir Tree is never mistaken. I shall empty the crock. See, there is no star left in the jar, nor has any red star tumbled out with the water onto the grass. Ah, your secret was very beautiful, little Willow Wand, but now you know the truth. The truth, too, is beautiful.” 72

There was a little moan of anguish, and Willow Wand disappeared into the darkness.

The next morning a tall squaw came out of Fir Tree’s tepee. She picked up the empty rain jar and with tired footsteps walked down to the spring for water. She was dressed in the conventional clothing of her tribe, and her face was dull and expressionless like the stones on the path over which she walked. Down the long trail to the spring she walked. It was very, very early, so the moon still shone and the little stars twinkled in the sky. Often she looked at them, longing for her little red star.

Slowly she stooped, filled the jar, and lifted it to place it on her head when suddenly she stopped, looked—then gave a cry of surprise and delight, for there, shining clear as crystal in the water of the pail, was the little red star.

Willow Wand set the jar carefully on the ground and then knelt long beside it. How she loved the little red star! How happy she was to have it once more beside her! And as she looked, the tired look left her face and a smile of joy and peace took its place.

Picking up the jar, she looked once more into the clear cold water. Then she said,

“Come, little star. Come with me to the wigwam of brave, strong Fir Tree. Together we will make it the happiest wigwam in the encampment. You shall still help me to be my best, for I shall still have a star.”


Reprinted from the Camp Fire Girls’ Magazine by permission. Revised by permission of the author.



Peter was tired of doing the same thing over and over and he wanted a change. Ever since he could remember he had fished and sold the fish he had caught. He had made nets and mended them. First he had done it for his father, and now he owned the boats and nets and fishing implements. But he stood on that bright summer day close by the beautiful Lake of Gennesaret in Galilee, wishing over and over that he could do something that was more worth while.

There was a reason why Peter was more discouraged than ever on this morning. He had fished all through the night before in the hope of getting a good catch so that he might skip a day’s work and go to hear the great teacher about whom men were talking and whom Andrew, his brother, had seen. But though he had worked hard, not a fish had he caught. So now he was mending the holes in the net with a very discontented look on his face. What was the use of it all, anyway? He twisted the rope this way and that, showing by the pulls that he made that his mind was full of trouble.

Suddenly he heard Andrew talking to him. “Peter,” he said. “Peter, see the crowd coming over the hilltop. Perhaps the teacher is coming. I do hope so, for I would hear more of the words he was telling us yesterday. Come, let’s go and meet him.”

“No,” said Peter, “I must finish this net. What will he care for us? We are only poor fishermen.”

But Andrew had not waited to hear his answer—he 74 had already begun to ascend the hill. How eager he was to hear another story from the great story-teller!

Peter mended one hole after another, keeping his eye on the crowd that was coming closer and closer to the lakeside. Then he heard a kindly voice say, “Would you mind letting me take your boat, for the multitude press upon me and I have many things to say to them. If I can get away from the shore, they can all hear and understand.”

Silently Peter brought the fishing boat to shore. The Master wanted to use something that he had. After all, a fishing boat was useful sometimes, even if he were tired of it. Of course he would be glad to help him. So Jesus, the teacher, sat in the end of the boat and Peter rowed him out in front of the crowd. Then Peter sat and listened and looked.

What a wonderful face the teacher had! Peter had never seen the like. It was browned by the sun but in the eyes there was a kindly light that made Peter love to look at him. When he smiled, somehow Peter felt the smile go all through him. How gentle his voice was! What made it so? How eagerly the people were listening, yet he was only telling them a little story about the love of his father, God.

“I wish I had a face like that and a voice like that and could teach like that,” thought Peter. “But I am only a poor fisherman. Oh dear, I wish I could be worth something.”

But Jesus had finished teaching and had bidden the people go to their homes. Peter turned to row to the shore, but Jesus was not ready for that. He had been teaching the multitude and now he wanted a chance to talk with Peter and Andrew. So he said to Peter,

“Launch out into the deep and let us fish for a while.”

Peter thought of the long night of useless toil, but 75 Jesus had asked him to go. This was a chance to stay longer with the teacher, so he said to him frankly,

“Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing. Nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the net.”

So together the brothers let down the net and Peter began to row.

This was a good chance for Jesus to study Peter. How strong and weatherbeaten he looked! His was a good honest face, and Jesus saw there determination and courage and trustworthiness. Jesus was searching for men who could be trusted to carry in their minds and lives the most precious thing he had—his message to the world—so as he rowed out into the fishing grounds of Lake Gennesaret that day, he was searching Peter’s face. It would take courage, for some of his followers would even have to die for him. It would take determination, for there would be many things against them. Yes, Jesus liked Peter as he watched him and talked to him. Peter was one of the men for whom he was searching.

Suddenly the net was full of fishes—so full that Peter and Andrew could not manage it. Quickly they called to their partners, James and John, to come and help them. And when Peter saw the multitude of fishes that were in the net, he was overpowered with the greatness of the man who had helped them. Quickly he fell on his knees before the Christ and said, “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

Then Jesus turned to Peter and with a whole world of meaning said,

“Peter, it is a great multitude of fishes that you have caught, but you can do greater things than that. You can do far greater things than catch fish from the water. If you will come with me, I will teach you how to catch men and you shall be my worker. I need you, Peter. Will you come?” 76

Would he come? Peter, who had been longing to make his life worth while; Peter, who had been longing to know what it was that made Jesus so wonderful as he went among men. Would he go and let Jesus teach him? Would he be a follower of the Master and go out in the big world to help win men?

A great happiness filled the mind of Peter and when he lifted his face to the Christ, the answer to the question of the Teacher was written on it.

So Jesus found a helper and Peter found a task that was worth while.

“And when he had brought his boat to land, he gladly forsook all and followed Christ.” So well did he follow that we read in the Book of Acts that after Peter had talked to the multitude on the day of Pentecost, there were added to the church, at one time, three thousand persons who believed the word that he had spoken to them.



The Triangle Club of Center High School were all busily engaged in choosing the girls whom they should invite to go to the house party which Mrs. Warren was giving them. Mrs. Warren had a cottage on a lake, fifteen miles from the city, and she had written to the club saying that she wanted them all to spend a week with George, her son, there in the camp. And better still, she was ready to invite any ten girls whom they might choose. Mrs. Warren was the wife of the minister, so all the boys knew that the mothers of the girls would be glad to have them spend a week with her at the dear little camp in the pines, about which they had heard so much.

One by one they had chosen the girls, each boy having a choice, and now all that was left to be done was for Carl Green, their president, to choose. But Carl was in an examination, so they must wait for him.

“I think he will choose Charlotte Morey,” said one. “She is so pretty and Carl has taken her to several dances this winter.”

“Not a bit of it,” said another. “He will ask Helen Keats, for she makes such good marks in school that he is glad to be seen out with her. She is fine company and I hope he asks her.”

“I think he will ask his sister, Jane. Carl is always thinking of her and if she is at home, he will ask her first, I am sure,” said a third.

While they were talking, they saw the boy coming across the lawn in front of the school. Every boy smiled 78 and eagerly leaned forward to greet him, for Carl Green was easily their hero. He could lead in sports of all kinds, he was cheery and patient, he was a good student in school—he was an all-round boy and what he did was right in the eyes of the boys.

“Come on, Carl,” they called. “Here is a letter from Mrs. Warren telling us we can invite the girls up for the house party. Isn’t she a dear to think of it? We have chosen part of the girls and here is our list, but you still have a choice. Of course we know whom you will choose, but we thought we had better let you write the name. Come on! Hurry up.”

Carl took the list and looked carefully through it. Then he said,

“That will be a fine party, fellows. I like that list. Let me see. That is the last week in June, so Jane will be away. I’m sorry, for I should have liked to have given her the fun. Well, as long as she can’t go, I should like to ask Elizabeth Wyman to go with us.”

A chorus of boys’ voices sounded as soon as the name was spoken.

“Elizabeth Wyman! Why do you want her? She doesn’t go with our set. She refused to go to the dance at the beach with us, though the whole club was going. Said she didn’t like the movie we were going to see. She wouldn’t vote for the Sunday picnic that we wanted. Oh, Carl, you don’t want her. She would spoil our fun. Choose another.”

Carl let the boys talk all they chose and then he said,

“Fellows, if you insist, I will choose another, but I should prefer to take Elizabeth. I’ll be frank with you, I’m going to go with her if she will let me and this would be a fine opportunity to get to know her.”

“If she will let you—that is a joke. As if any girl would not let you,” said John. 79

“No,” said Carl, “I mean what I say. I am going to be her friend if she will let me. And I’ll tell you why—though I am not sure that she would want me to do it. Still she told me the story in a very frank way, so I don’t think she would mind. At least I hope not. But I want you to know her in the way I do, for if she is my friend you will be often with her. After I tell you, you will understand why I say, ‘If she will let me.’”

“It was the night of the snowstorm and I was coming up the street when I caught up with her. It was very cold and she was snuggling into a beautiful little neckpiece of ermine. I am fond of furs and so I said to her,

“‘I like the little ermine that you have about your neck. It is so simple, yet so beautiful. It is very different from the large ones that most people wear these days.’

“‘Oh,’ she said, ‘I like it too. Uncle sent it to me this winter and I love it because of the story he told me about the little animal whose fur it is.’

“‘Tell me the story,’ I said.

“But she smiled and patted the fur as she said, ‘I don’t think I could, for it is very personal. It was a message from Uncle to me, so it means much to me. To you, it might not mean anything.’

“‘But I should like to hear it,’ I said. ‘Please tell it to me.’

“‘Well,’ said Elizabeth, ‘Uncle seems very queer to mother because he wants a message to go with every gift, but I like it. When this came, his letter said:

“‘“Girlie: I wonder if you wouldn’t like to wear this bit of ermine. When the ermine is pursued by a larger animal and it comes to a puddle of mud, it will die before it will soil its coat. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you and all the girls who are your friends would be as careful 80 of your characters and never, no never, do that which would soil them?”’

“We walked part of a block before we spoke after she had told me of the gift, and then she said, ‘I am sure that the girls at school sometimes think me very particular because I will not do some of the things that they do. Perhaps they are all right for them but I feel that they would soil my coat, so I do not do them. I am trying to keep it white and this little bit of ermine helps a lot. Of course, I like to wear it, but it would be very uncomfortable if I did not try. I hope you don’t think me foolish, now that you know the story of the fur.’”

There was silence as Carl finished speaking. Then Carl Green threw back the long locks from his forehead as he said,

“I know a good thing when I see it, fellows, and the girl who would die rather than soil her character is a mighty good friend for a boy to have. She is worth asking to our house party. I’m thinking she is worth winning for a friend. Good-by, I am going to ask her before any of you change the name on your list.”

So Elizabeth Wyman went to the house party at Mrs. Warren’s, and to this day she wonders why the boys seemed so different from what they had seemed before. But because she knew no difference, she was sure that it must have been because she was invited by Carl Green, the leader of the Triangle Club of Center High School. But you and I know better.



Janie was sixteen years old, but she looked as though she might be only thirteen as she sat on the front seat of the little schoolhouse far up on the mountainside of Kentucky. Her black hair was plastered tightly to her head. Her calico dress was much too long and the sleeves were much too short. Mother had made it long so that she might wear it for several years, while the sleeves were short so that she might have no excuse for not getting her hands in the dish water. Her bare feet were very dirty but her face shone from its recent scrubbing.

This was a great day for Janie, for the missionary had once again come to the schoolhouse. It had been three years since she was there before, and all that time Janie had waited for her. So she had hurried with her work in order that she might sit on the very front seat and hear every word. Last time she had told much about the school many miles away and Janie had said over and over to herself, “I shall go there; I shall go there.” But of course it was foolish to say so, for there wasn’t any chance that she ever could go. Why, there were seven brothers and sisters younger than she, and she had to work all day long to help to get them enough to eat. She could never go.

But she listened eagerly as the missionary told of all that was being done in the little schoolhouses all about the mountains and of the need of teachers to do the work.

“We like best to take a boy or girl from some hamlet 82 and let them work with us for several years and then send them back to their own homes to serve there. I am wondering if there isn’t a girl here who would like to be the teacher here and help to make Round Creek what it ought to be. If there is such a one, send them to us and we will do our best. If you will pay $10 a term, we will do the rest.”

Janie’s little body was leaning far forward and her eyes were big with excitement. She knew a girl that would like to go. But $10 a term! Why, one dollar seemed big in their home. So she crept out into the darkness of the night without saying a word to any one about her great, big longing. But up in the loft of the log house she lay long after the rest went to sleep trying to think of a way. Auntie was coming to stay with them in the fall. If she could just get the ten dollars by that time, maybe she could be spared for a term. That would help a little, anyway.

In the morning she loosened one of the boards of the woodshed. Beneath it she placed a little tin can, and in the can she put the five pennies that she owned. It was berry time and she thought she knew of a way to earn some money that should be all her own. Near the mill, there were beautiful pieces of bark. In the woods there were many rare ferns. She would make some little baskets like she had made many times for the home, fill them with ferns and try to sell them when she went into the town with the berries. It meant getting up at four instead of five, but she could do that. It meant getting the ferns when the rest of the children were playing at lunch time—but that wasn’t hard. And after her first day in town she had fifty cents to put into the cup. Oh, how rich she felt!

An extra quart of berries here and there, some flowers sold from her little garden patch on the hill, two little 83 kittens sold instead of being drowned—and so the money in the cup grew very, very slowly and no one dreamed it was there. But her dream grew with the contents of the cup. She could see herself all dressed in a neat dress going up the hill to the school and the little children following her and calling her teacher.

But in August, George fell from the hay-mow and for days he lay there white and still. Mother had done all she could and there was no money to send for the doctor. Then it was that a little black-haired girl went out in the shed and for the first time counted the money in the cup—one, two, three, four, five, six, almost seven dollars. Long she looked at it. Then she went into town to do the errand for her mother and five of the precious dollars were counted into the hands of the doctor with the repeated statement,

“Tell mother that you happened to be going by and just stopped, so all she needs to pay you is a dollar, for she has that.”

So mother never knew, nor did the sick boy know, of the sacrifice the girl had made. Auntie came and went, and because it was winter the money in the cup hardly increased one bit. Sometimes she was almost discouraged, but then she would say to herself,

“Why, it took years and years for Abraham Lincoln to get to the White House. It doesn’t matter if it takes twenty years. I am going to get to that schoolhouse. I will be a teacher.”

She could crochet and she could embroider, so these helped a bit. She planted more things in her own garden and the money from these was her own. So again as the summer drew to a close, she knew there must be several dollars in the cup—but she daren’t count it, for if it should be ten and still she couldn’t go—oh, that would be worse than all! 84

It was five days before school was to open that there came a letter from grandmother saying that she was coming to stay for the winter, and while mother was happy over this, Janie asked if she might not be spared to go to school. At first there was a firm “No” for an answer. But she begged so hard to be allowed to go for only one term that she saw signs of relenting in her mother’s face. Then she ran to get the cup—and in it was nearly nine dollars.

Where should she get the rest? Mother had none—yet she must have it. There was only one way. She could sell Biddy, her pet hen whom she loved so much. She would ask her brother to take her in the morning, for she could never do it herself. So with tears in her eyes, she patted her pet and put it into a box ready for the morning. Oh! ten dollars was such a lot of money for a little girl to get!

It was thirty miles to the school, so she had only one day to get ready. But she had few clothes and so it was an easy matter. She put them neatly in a bundle and with a queer feeling underneath the little red dress, now too short instead of too long, she started bright and early to walk the thirty miles to school. Many times she turned to look back at the little log cabin till it was hidden from her sight by a turn in the road. Then somehow she felt very much alone in the world.

On and on she walked till at last, twenty miles from home, she came to the home of an old neighbor and rested for the night. It was two in the afternoon of the next day when she saw in the distance the large brick building which she knew must be the school. She longed to run to it but her feet were very sore and her body was very tired. So she trudged on till she came to the office.

“Please, Miss, I have come to school. I can only stay one term but I came anyway and here is the money. The 85 missionary lady said you would do the rest,” and she handed her the precious money.

“And to whom did you write about entering?” said the lady kindly.

“To nobody. You see I didn’t know I could come till Tuesday,” said Janie.

“Well, I am so sorry,” said the lady, “but you see we have all the girls we can possibly take. So we can’t have you this term. Perhaps you could come next term if you leave your name now.”

The whole world seemed to fall from under Janie’s feet. She was here, thirty miles from home. She had all the money—she had sold dear old Biddy—yet she could not stay. Not a word did she answer. She just stood and stared into space.

“I am very tired for I have walked thirty miles to get here. May I stay just for to-night?” she asked, rolling the ten dollars carefully in her big handkerchief.

“School doesn’t open till to-morrow but we will tuck you in somewhere for to-night. I am so sorry for you, but we just haven’t a bit of room after to-morrow. Sit down on the porch and rest yourself,” said the lady.

She brought her a glass of milk and then left her alone with her thoughts. How could she go home? Perhaps there would never come a time when she could be spared again. Was there no way in which she could stay?

Ten minutes later, a little girl in a short red calico dress went down the steps and along the street, looking for a doctor’s sign. When she found it, she rang the bell and asked for the doctor.

“Please, sir,” she said, “I thought you might know some one who wanted a girl to work for them. I want to go to school this term and I have earned the money to come. And now that I am here, there is no place for 86 me and I must walk the thirty miles back. But I am willing to work. I will work for nothing if only I can go to the school in the afternoon. Sir, I just must be a teacher and I just must stay now and get started.”

The doctor whistled a little tune before he answered. “And tell me how you earned the money to come.” Then he whistled another tune as she talked. “Stay here to-night,” he said. “I will find out at the school just how much they will let you come in the afternoons. I am sure you can find work enough, so don’t worry.”

And sure enough, he found a place for her and so she started with the rest on the very first morning. She was radiantly happy till she heard a boy say,

“Look at the red dress that is coming in! Better loan her a red handkerchief to piece it down with.”

Then she knew that she was different from the rest. Her shoes were coarse and rough. Her hair looked, oh, so different. Her hands were red and big. She was here where she had longed to come but oh, how unhappy she was! She was almost ready to cry. Instead she shook her head proudly and said to herself, “I will be a teacher. What do I care if they laugh?”

The lessons were very hard, for her preparation was not good; every minute that she could spare she must spend on getting ready for the next day, so she had little time to be lonely. But she still minded the fact that her clothes were so very different. Many a good cry she had in the quiet of her little room as she looked at the red dress laid out for the coming day.

The term sped by and she was making good. Oh, if she could only stay! But she had no money except the little that the good doctor had given her now and then for doing errands for him. She could take her books home and perhaps she could do it all by herself.

So she waited till almost the last day before she told 87 the woman for whom she worked that she was leaving.

“Why, girlie,” she answered, “you have much more than ten dollars coming from me. I have never paid you because the doctor told me you would ask for it if you needed it. I will give it to you and then you can go and pay your ten dollars. I wouldn’t have you go home for anything.”

Clasping her precious money in her hand, she flew up the stairs. Here was a letter from her brother also. What a happy day! Eagerly she opened it and read,

“Mother is counting on your coming home for we need your help badly. The cow has died and we are without milk till we can get another. Mother thinks she must spare you at home and let you work out to earn money.”

Oh! Oh! She was needed! She must take the money she had earned to help to buy a cow and again she must forget school. So she went again to her mistress, told her story and began to prepare for the long walk. She went to the school, borrowed the books, and promised them she would surely come again. Then she went again to the old doctor who had been so kind to her.

He listened thoughtfully as she told him of her new plans which still had not changed her vision of being a teacher.

“I will come back, even though it be after four or five years. I will come,” she said, and she rose to go.

Then the doctor turned to his desk and took from it the picture of a girl.

“That was my little girl,” he said. “She, too, wanted to be a teacher and she was in this very school when sickness and death came. When you came to me that first morning and said, ‘I just must be a teacher,’ I could hear her say to me, ‘Help her.’ So I did what you asked 88 me to do—got you a place to work for nothing though I knew you were to be paid. I have watched you work, I have watched you suffer because of the red dress; I have watched you try to do your duty at the sacrifice of yourself. And now that you have done all that you can, I am ready to do the rest. Send the money that you have earned to your mother to help to buy the cow. Come to live here and be my office girl. The money that you earn can go to your mother for I will do for you what I would have done for her and I will do it for her sake and because you have shown me that you are worth while. You shall be a teacher.”

So Janie lived in the home of her new friend. There was help on her lessons, the old red dress went back to the little home in the hills to be worn by some one whom it would fit and in her new, pretty things she could see more plainly—Janie, the teacher.



The banqueting hall of Hotel Northland was crowded to its limit. There were noted men and women from all walks of life. There were many from humble homes. There were those whose beautiful dresses showed that money meant little to them; there were others to whom the price of the banquet ticket had meant sacrifice. It was a merry company that awaited the coming of the guests of the evening.

Cheer after cheer arose when the tall, fine-looking young man took his seat near the center of the guest’s table. He was the newly elected mayor of the city—the youngest mayor they had ever had. He had risen from the ranks and many of the humbler folk knew him well as a boy. Oh, how proud they were of him!

Then again the cheers sounded as an old white-haired lady entered and was placed at the left of the mayor. She it was who had given them their college, their library, their playground. For years and years she had been living away from the town, but still she loved them all and gave of her wealth to make them happy. Her friends were many in the great banqueting hall.

The supper was served and the tables cleared and then the mayor rose to speak. He told of his boyhood, of his struggles at school and college, of his eagerness to enter the political field, of his happiness at his recent election.

“I believe that every man is master of his own fate. I believe in being a self-made man and I mean during these next years when I am to serve you to make it 90 possible for every boy to push his way to a career. One can make himself what he will if only he has grit and courage. I am here to serve you all,” he said.

Not once during the address had the eyes of the little, white-haired lady been taken from the speaker. She seemed studying him rather than his address. So intent was she that she hardly heard the toastmaster introducing her as the friend whom all delighted to honor. Dreamily she arose and said,

“Years and years ago, in this very town there lived a teacher who had ten bright, happy girls in a club. For four years they had played and worked together and they loved each other dearly. Then the husband of the teacher was taken ill and it became necessary for the teacher to go to another continent to live.

“How hard it was for the girls to have her go! But it was harder still for her, for she had wanted to help them through to womanhood. She had tried to help them to see the best but often she had felt that her efforts were all too small. The day came nearer for her to leave and she had asked the girls to spend the last evening with her in her home.

“And they came, each bringing in their hands a little letter, sealed tightly. They were steamer letters for their teacher and they had been written because they had heard her say that she wished she could take with her some idea as to what the girls wanted to be when they had grown, so that she might be thinking of their plans, even though she could not be there to help with them. One by one they laid them on the table till there were ten little letters—heart-to-heart letters to their dear friend.

“Five days later, away out in mid-ocean, the teacher opened the letters and read them over and over to herself. How much they told of the girls!

“Jennie wanted to be a great singer; she wanted to go 91 to New York and study and then go into Grand Opera.

“Katherine wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher. Ah! she had found that because of helping in the church.

“Mary wanted to be a lawyer—a criminal lawyer. Perhaps that desire had grown in their debating club.

“Louise wanted to be a nurse. What a dear faithful girl she had been in helping with the bandages after the great fire in the city!

“So one by one she read their letters and her heart was filled with gratitude that to her it had been given to mold in a little way their lives.”

Then turning to the mayor of the city, the little white-haired lady said,

“Sir, the contents of one of those letters will be of interest to you more than to the rest. I was the teacher of those girls, so I can give you the exact wording of the last letter that I read,

“‘Dear friend: You have asked us to give you our dearest wish. I have many wishes for the future but the wish that I want most of all is to be a fine woman and some day to be a real mother, the kind you have so often told us about.’

“The girl who wrote that letter, sir, became your mother. Fourteen years before you were born, your character was being formed, your ideals were being molded, your future was being safeguarded. I congratulate you, sir, on being elected to the office of mayor; but I congratulate you more for being the child of my little girl of the long ago who at sixteen could write, ‘I want most of all to be a fine, noble woman and some day to be a real mother.’ To her you owe much. Inspire the girls of the town if you plan for great men. A self-made man needs a real mother to build the foundations of his character. There is no other way.”

Then the speaker sat down and there was silence in the banqueting hall.



In their hands the girls carried a scroll; on their backs they carried a bundle, and they were five in number—five girls with rosy cheeks and healthy bodies. But now their cheeks were browned by the sun and their shoulders drooped as they walked by the way.

For they had walked and walked and walked as the morning had turned into noon, and now the afternoon shadows were already falling on the way. Then as the search seemed almost useless, they saw her—the one for whom they had come; the one into whose hands they wished to place their scrolls. Eagerly they watched her as she came slowly toward them dressed in shining white—the Angel Who Rights Things.

When she smiled, they found courage to speak.

“We have come to search for you but we thought we should never find you,” said the oldest of the girls. “We can never grow strong and beautiful if we carry these heavy burdens on our backs. They are much too large for us and we do not like them. We have come to ask you to take them away and make us free. Lo! we have written it all here in our scrolls.”

But the Fairy Who Rights Things drew back as the five handed to her the scrolls which they carried.

“Take away the burdens!” said she. “Oh, no, I could never do that. He that carrieth no burden gaineth no strength. All must carry if they would grow.”

“But we do not like them. If we must have a burden, might we not exchange them? Surely all our friends 93 do not have burdens to carry. We have watched them and we know they have none,” said another girl.

“You are quite mistaken,” said the fairy. “All have burdens to carry. But I can let you choose if you will exchange your own. Let me see what you have brought.”

“Well,” said the first. “Here is mine. I have to go to school. Now father has plenty of money and I shall never have to work. Why should I study and do all the hard work of the school? I hate it all and I want to be free from it. I want to live at home and read, and play, and do as I like.”

“And here is mine,” said the second, lifting it from her back. “I have to go to church every Sunday when I want to sleep. There is nothing there for me and I am so tired of it. But father and mother insist that I go, at least in the morning. I want to be free from the church.”

“Oh,” said the third. “I don’t mind school and I don’t mind going to church but I do mind having to help at home. It is iron and sweep and wash dishes; then wash dishes and sweep and iron. Always something to do when I am in the house. I hate housework and I want to be free from doing it. Mother says all girls should help at home. But it is a big burden.”

“My burden is quite different from the others,” said the fourth. “I cannot dress as I choose. I must wear heavy clothes and low heels. I must dress my hair as if I were old and tidy. All the girls do differently and I want to be like them. Really my burden makes me very unhappy. Please let me change it.”

Then the fairy turned to the last girl, who had been resting her burden against a stone wall.

“What have you here, dear?” she said kindly. “Your burden seems weighing you down. Let me help you open it.” 94

“Oh dear,” said the girl, and the big tears welled up in her eyes. “This is my home life. Nobody seems to understand me. They scold and fret and fuss all the time. Mother is cross and the children are always bothering me. I want to go away from home and work for my living and then board as the other girls do. I should love to have a little room in a boarding-house where the girls could come to see me. My burden grows heavier and heavier and I am also very unhappy.”

“Well, well, well,” said the Fairy Who Rights Things. “It looks as if I had a big task. All of you seem to be unhappy, but then we are usually unhappy because we look at ourselves instead of others. Let’s try what these magic spectacles can do. They will show you the burdens some of your friends carry and also show you how they carry them.”

Then she fitted a pair to the eyes of each girl and they looked at the passers-by.

There was Kate, who was always smiling and happy. Her burden was almost as large as she. There was a sick mother away back on the little farm in the country. Kate was trying to support her and still have enough to keep her own expenses paid. Her days were full of work. In her room, she was sewing to make extra money. She was very lonely, for she loved the little mother and longed to be with her, but she must earn money. Oh! what a pile of worries she had on every side! How could she ever carry them? But beneath the pile as it rested on her back they saw a little lever that was lifting all the time—and the lever was Love.

And here was May. They had money and automobiles and everything to make her happy. She had never seemed to have any burden but now she was carrying a very large one. She wanted to go to college, she wanted to make her life worth while, but her parents wanted her 95 to stay at home and play the hours away. They would not let her go and as the months went by she longed more and more to study and serve. Did she have a lever to help carry hers? Indeed she did. It was right under the burden and it was called Vision.

Then there was Tom, the baseball star. He too carried a burden. They had never known that he had a father. But he carried the burden of a father who drank and drank. Oh, what a shame to take him through the streets in such a helpless condition! Did Tom have a lever? All looked eagerly to see and they saw Ideals—he would have a spotless character and retrieve the family name.

And there was Helen. Her people used profane language and she loved the pure. They loved the world and she loved the ideals of the church. They made fun of her faith and tried to change it. How heavily she was loaded, yet they had never dreamed of it when they had seen her teaching her little class in the Church School. But Belief in God was helping her to carry her load.

So they passed along the way before the five girls. All were carrying something but not all were carrying their load alike. Some smiled, and some sang as they staggered beneath a heavy load; others groaned and fretted with the weight of a much lighter one. Some were not only carrying their own load but helping to carry others.

“And now,” said the Angel Who Rights Things, “do you see a load that you would prefer? If so, then I will ask the bearer to exchange with you. Will you choose by the size of the burden or the ease with which it is carried?”

But though they searched long and diligently, they found no load easier than their own.

At last one turned to the Angel and said, “We find no 96 one to choose. And since we must carry a burden, will you tell us how best we may carry these?”

Then the face of the Angel lighted with pleasure till it glowed like the sun. “When one asks how to carry and not why he must carry, already the load is lighter,” she replied. “If you will, your school can give to you a vision that will make your load seem very easy; your church can give to you a love that will make you eager to go there and learn to serve; your home cares can give you ideals for your own little home some day; your mother can show you how to grow into beautiful womanhood if you will but give her a chance; your troubles at home can give to you a sympathy that will not only lift your own burden but help with those of others. All these levers that you have seen helping to lift loads have been right at your hand to help you if you would only have given them an opportunity.

“How shall you bear your burdens? With a smile on your face, and love in your heart, and any lifter that you can find.”

Then the Angel Who Rights Things went on her way to find others who groaned beneath their burdens because they had never learned how to carry them.



Every time the King automobile went past the little home of Julia Lowe when Julia was there, she ran eagerly to look into the face of the lady who sat inside. She had such beautiful clothes; she sat so tall and stately; she had such a wonderful smile. She was Julia Lowe’s ideal woman.

Julia had gone with two other girls to ask Mrs. King to help them with their Liberty Loans and she had not only taken bonds but had given them flowers from the great garden back of the house, and had invited them to come again. Every time she saw her go by, Julia wished she, too, might have such a sweet face and such a heap of good things as Mrs. King had.

Now Julia worked in an office downtown, so, of course she thought she had to act and to do as the other girls in the office did. When they wore their hair very straight, hers was straight also; but when they wore puffs, she had to get up much earlier in the morning to force her pretty hair into great puffs over her ears. Mother wanted her to wear serge dresses in the office, but the other girls wore georgette waists, so of course she had to wear them also. Some of the girls in the neighborhood liked to go to the library to read, so they had formed a club for that purpose and had asked Julia to join. But the girls in the office liked to go to dances and picture shows, and so she must go to them also—else how could she talk things over with them at the noon hour, and tell them of the boys she had been with, and the places where she had gone? Oh, yes, she just must 98 do as the girls in the office did. But in spite of it all, she wasn’t very happy and sometimes she wished she could run away from it all and just go back to school again as her mother had wanted her to do.

When she looked at Mrs. King, somehow her beautiful face seemed to make her want more than ever to do better. What was there about her that made Julia love her at a distance and yet be afraid of her when she came near her? Julia didn’t know. But she did know that deep in her heart she wanted to be like her and didn’t know how. If only she had money and beautiful things, perhaps it would be different.

One day when the leaves were very beautiful in their fall colors, a dainty little note was left by the postman for Julia and it read,

Dear Julia:

“I hardly know you but I am going to ask a great favor of you. Mr. King has been called out of town and he is not willing to have me stay in the house all alone, for it is very big and lonely since Mary died. I wish very much that you would let me call for you at the office this afternoon. Then we will go out in the country to see the beautiful colors and have our supper at the Country Club. Then, when we come home in the moonlight, I should like to have you spend the night with me here. I shall hope that you can come.


Margaret L. King.”

Julia was so happy as she read it that she could hardly contain herself—to go for a ride in the wonderful car; to eat at the Country Club; to sleep at the home of Mrs. King—why, she had never even dared to dream of such a thing. It was too good to be true. 99

Of course she must look her very best, so she asked for an extra half hour at noon. She would wear her new thin waist with the very low neck, for the girls had told her that she looked “too sweet for anything” in that. Her silk skirt was shabby but it would never do to wear her serge, even if it were new, when she rode with Mrs. King. As she put on the high-heeled slippers, she noticed that they were much run over, but they would have to do. It took her a long, long time to fix her hair just as she wanted to have it, for one dip must just touch the next at the right angle.

Finally all was ready but the extra touches to her face. There was the rouge for which she had spent so much money. The boss at the office had told them that they would lose their job if they came with it on their faces again but she must risk it this once. A little penciling of the eyebrows, a little powder here and there, and Julia felt very sure as she looked at herself in the glass that she would “do.”

Her shoes needed brushing but she hadn’t time for them, for, even now, she had only time to run as fast as she could to get the car which would bring her to the office in time. There was a button off her coat which she had forgotten, but the coat needn’t be worn; her fingernails needed attention, but she never cared much about them. As long as her face, and her hair, and her clothes were all in style, she was all right to go anywhere.

Promptly at five, the King car came to the door of the factory and Julia stepped in, followed by the envious glances of her friends in the office. What a ride it was through the open country! Miles and miles of beauty such as Julia had never seen. Mrs. King found so many interesting things for her to see that all the restraint wore away, and she found herself talking to her friend and telling her all about her own life and pleasures. 100

Then Mrs. King told her a little about what she did with her time and, to her surprise, Julia found that Mrs. King was a very busy woman. Over and over as they talked, Julia noticed how soft and sweet Mrs. King’s voice was and how carefully she used the best of English. And again, Julia found herself wishing she were like Mrs. King. Somehow she did not care to use the slang words that seemed so necessary when she talked with the girls.

When their coats were removed at the Country Club, Julia found that Mrs. King was very simply dressed in a dark blue serge dress with little white collar and cuffs. Many other girls and women in the group were dressed in the same way. Then Julia became suddenly conscious of the run-over heels and the torn skirt, for she and Mrs. King were in the center of the room, and she was being introduced as “My friend Julia.” How she did wish she had taken mother’s advice and worn the new, pretty serge!

In one of the corners of the dining-room there was a little table for two that overlooked the lake, and towards this Mrs. King made her way. Here they could see every one and yet be quite alone. Then Mrs. King told her a little of the people in the room. Here was the wife of a noted judge; that was the High School teacher of whom she must have heard the girls speak if they had ever been to that school.

“And who are these two girls in front of us?” asked Julia. “Isn’t the dark-haired one a beauty? Evidently the young man with her thinks so, too.”

Then Mrs. King’s face grew quiet as she said,

“Those are two girls of whom we are very fond here, but I am so sorry to see Jessie doing as she is. No, Julia, she is not pretty. She has painted her face and all her natural beauty is hidden. Usually she is very 101 attractive. Her friend’s face is sweet and clean. Evidently she does not care to attract attention to herself by the use of paint and rouge. She believes in being true to her best self even though she is not in the height of style. When you have lived longer, you will know, dear, the truth of what I say.”

Poor Julia. Her face burned like fire. Mrs. King had said “My friend Julia,” yet she, too, had paint on her face—not red like the girl in front, to be sure, but it was there. Why had no one told her before? All the girls did it and she thought it was the thing to do. Then there came to her an impulse to ask Mrs. King about it, so she said frankly,

“Mrs. King, I have some paint on my face, too, but I put it on because I was coming out with you. I thought you would like to have me look my very best.”

“Indeed I do, girlie,” said Mrs. King, putting her hand on the hand of the girl opposite her. “Indeed I do want you to look your best. I have liked you ever since I came to Hillcrest to live and it has hurt me to see you trying to do as all the other girls did. I have wished so often that you would be a leader in doing the finer things and help others to see what real beauty is and how to get it. Real beauty is not put on from the outside; it grows from within.”

Julia looked at Mrs. King’s sweet, loving face very hard for a minute and then said,

“I have liked you, too, and I have watched you go back and forth, wishing I could be like you. Will you show me how? Mother has tried but I thought she did not know. No one else has ever tried to tell me about your kind of beauty.”

So they made the compact. Then they sat and watched for well-dressed women; for women in whose faces there was strength of character and purpose; for 102 girls whose very manner showed they were ladies; for men who honored the girls in whose company they were. Such fun as it was! Julia never knew the time to go so fast. It was so plain now that clothes did not necessarily make the lady. She was almost sorry when it came time to go home.

In the house, a great fire was burning and it looked so cozy.

“I have looked into your windows many times as I have passed and wished I could sit before the fire and dream and dream,” said the girl. “May I sit down here for a while?”

“We will both sit here,” said Mrs. King, “then I will tell you about my little girl who used to sit here with me.”

How Julia’s heart ached for her friend as she told her of her love for her own dear girl, of the plans they had made, of the sudden sickness and death, and of the loneliness of the big house since she had gone! She had thought Mrs. King had everything to make her happy, yet the thing she wanted most she could not have.

“Her hair was much like yours and sometimes, as you have passed, I have wished I could comb yours as I did hers. Would you mind if I did?” said the mother.

“I should love to have you,” said Julia.

“Well, then, when the fire has died out, we will go up to her room. In the drawer there I have a little white dress that perhaps you would like. I will comb your hair just as I did hers and see if the dress will fit you,” said Mrs. King. “If you look sweet and girlish in it, I will give it to you.”

While Mrs. King slipped away to get the things needed for the hairdressing, Julia went to the great white bathroom, and when she came out her face was sweet and clean and every trace of the paint and powder was gone. Her pretty brown hair was down her back in ringlets 103 and her face wore a look which the girls at the office had never seen there.

Then Mrs. King brushed, and brushed, and brushed till the hair was soft and shiny. Low in her neck she coiled it, making it look girlish and neat, fastening it with a tiny velvet circlet. Then Julia held her breath as Mrs. King took from a drawer a little white dress. It was a simple silk mull but it was prettily made. Below it was a dainty petticoat and at the bottom of the drawer were white oxfords and fine, lisle stockings.

“These were ready for her graduation, dear, but she never wore them once after they were made,” said the mother softly, as she fingered the dress lovingly.

There were tears in the eyes of the mother and tears in the eyes of the girl as the dress was put on. And when Julia looked into the mirror she seemed to see a strange girl. How little she looked like the girls in the office! But she liked her hair—and she liked the looks of her face—and she loved the simple, white dress.

Last of all Mrs. King slipped about her neck a little string of pearls. “These are my gift to you, Julia,” she said. “Wear them when you think you are dressed as you and I have planned to-night and be as beautiful as the pearls. Remember, dear, we may put beautiful things on the outside but they can never make us beautiful. It comes from the inside because of what we are. It stands the test of study. It is always real. A girl who does not live up to the best she knows can well be called a coward. Good night, dear, I am glad there is a girlie who loves me.”

Then with a good-night kiss she was gone—gone, as Julia knew, to be more than ever lonely for her own little girl.

For a long time Julia stood looking at the dress, and the slippers, and the stockings. Mrs. King had plenty 104 of money, yet these were to have been her daughter’s graduation clothes. And she had not finished school because she could not have clothes like the rest of the girls who were to have expensive ones. Mrs. King was honored all through the city, yet she was dressed in a simple serge dress at the Country Club. It was all very strange! Some one had things very much mixed up concerning what a girl should wear. How long it seemed since she had left the office in the afternoon!

The room was so dainty that it took Julia a long time to get ready for bed. How she would love to have a room like this! Maybe it would be easy to be good. She looked at the dress again, as she laid it carefully over the chair. It was all hers. The girls would laugh at her but she loved it. Then she lifted the little string of pearls—not cheap, big ones such as she had worn on Sunday, but dainty, beautiful ones, and they whispered again to her,

“Be as beautiful as the beads, girlie. True beauty is never put on from the outside. It comes from inside because of what you are.”

Long she stood in the moonlight near the window looking at them. Then she dropped on her knees and said,

“Dear God, she has shown me the best. Help me not to be a coward as I go out and try to do it. Help me to be as beautiful as the pearls. I thank Thee for to-day. I want to show others what real beauty is and how to get it. Please help me.”

And the Father heard the prayer of the girl kneeling there in her white night-gown, for it came from a sincere heart—and He answered. 105


By Mrs. Annie G. Freeman

One sunny summer afternoon Margaret sat reading beneath the shade of an old apple tree. Before her stretched a charming view but on her face was a troubled, dissatisfied look.

“Oh, dear,” she sighed. “Even this book is stupid. It is the dullest, most stupid day that I ever saw.”

“Stupid day?” said a tiny voice. There on the rock before her sat the daintiest little golden-haired fairy that she had ever seen. The fairy’s feet were resting on a woodbine vine that was creeping up the wall, and her wings were as delicate as those of a butterfly.

“What makes such a bright day as this stupid?”

“Oh, I suppose it is myself,” said the discontented girl.

“I believe it is,” said the fairy. “Now I will take you with me to the Palace of Time and you shall choose a day that suits you better. Come.”

Over green meadows, through pleasant pastures, beside babbling brooks that sparkled and played in the sunshine, the fairy led. At last they came to the Palace of Time. The fairy led the way up the long hall to the throne on which Time sat, and told her errand.

“Take the little friend to the Hall of Days,” he said, “and give her the day that pleases her best.”

How delighted the maiden was! Wouldn’t you be if a fairy should take you out of a stupid day and promise you the day that pleased you most? She just skipped along, her feet scarcely touching the ground in her joy. 106 In a great room filled with all kinds of bright lights, they stopped.

“This is the Hall of Days,” said the fairy. “Take whichever day pleases you most.”

Like great balls of glass the days were of many colors and of many kinds. Some were dark and some were light; some were dim and others clear.

One was like a crystal and the odor of roses seemed to come from it. Its colors were soft and Margaret gazed deep into it. Vague dreams seemed to come from it and memories happy and delightful. But she couldn’t live on dreams and memories. That wouldn’t do. She might like that sort of a day once in a while but her young life demanded something to do on the best day. This was a day that had gone.

One other day pleased her much. It shone like the sun on the new fallen snow. It was so white and so pure that she lifted it carefully lest she should soil and spot it.

“It is too bright. It hurts my eyes,” said she, putting it back.

“Yes, little girl,” said the fairy. “That is to-morrow. It must be shaded by many things before one can bear it.”

Then, just between the two, Margaret spied the most beautiful ball of all. It wavered and shimmered; now it was red, now green, now yellow and now pink. Oh, there were so many colors that she could not name them all. Wave upon wave of color swept through it and all seemed shot with the golden lights.

“That is the one that I want,” she cried happily. “That is the most beautiful day of all.”

“Take it, then,” said the fairy. “It is yours.”

All the way home, the maiden clasped it tightly.

“With this day,” she said, “I can be joyful. With 107 this day I can make so many people happy, and it is so bright that I can see the best way in which to go. It is as light as a feather. I can hardly wait to show my friends the beautiful day that I have chosen, for I love it dearly.”

“Yes, indeed,” said the fairy, as she flew off in a different direction. “It is a wonderful day. Infinite wisdom and love helped you to choose aright. That is To-day.”

“What a beautiful day!” said the maiden as she sat in the shade of the old apple tree. “I believe I have been dreaming. But this is too beautiful a day to idle it away. I will go and do something for some one to make others see its beauty also.”



Gladys Mercer sat looking at a snapshot which had come to her from one of her girl friends. It showed a strong, athletic woman with a blanket rolled over her back hiking along the road and with her six girls in middies and bloomers. And as Gladys looked at the picture, she smiled at the memories which it brought.

There was the long hike, the tired muscles, the view from the mountaintop, the wonderful sunset, the stillness of the night and the fear of the dark. Then there was the voice of the woman in the picture,

“Girls, you are safer here than in any house you could find. Just remember that God is over all and sleep as sound as can be.”

Then there was the sunrise, the pancake breakfast on the hill, and the hike home. Best of all there had been two long days with Mrs. Fuller, the friend of girls. What a good visit they had had with her! What a fine story she had told them at the sunset! What a helpful prayer she had made as they closed their good-night song when the sun went down!

And then from the thought of the trip, Gladys went to the thought of all that Mrs. Fuller had meant to her. She was sunny; she was happy in her work through the day, and happy to give her time to them at night; she was always ready to advise and help; she seemed to know just what to do when they did not know; somehow she could always get them to do the thing they had thought they would not do. She was to Gladys, the motherless girl, a friend, a companion, a leader and a heroine. 109

What was there about her that made her able to lead? Was it her smile? Was it her ability to do things? What made a leader anyway?

Gladys leaned far back against the old tree under which she had been sitting and said to herself, “I wish—I wish——”

“And what do you wish,” said a little voice, and there close to her was a dear little lady dressed in red and in her hand she carried a lamp.

“Who are you?” said Gladys.

“I am the Fairy of Helpful Service,” said the little lady. “I heard you talking about one of my helpers, so I was interested to know what you wished when you thought of all she had done for you girls. Now tell me. What do you wish?”

“If you are a fairy, perhaps you can give me my wish. I wish to be like Mrs. Fuller. I want to help girls. I want to get the kind of letters she gets from girls who are far away. I want to see ‘my girls’ some day giving service all over the world as she does. I want to be like her. Please, fairy, give me my wish.”

“I can’t make you like her but I can put you in the way of service and then, if you choose, you can become like her and get the things you are asking for. Those things are not given—they are earned, and the cost of them is heavy. I don’t really think you mean what you say, for you haven’t even wanted to go to school to learn to help. Perhaps the best way would be to let you see her in the way and then you can choose for yourself whether you want your gift. Come and we will watch her climb the way.”

So the Fairy of Helpful Service and the girl who wanted to be a leader went together into the House of the Past.

“There,” said the fairy, “there is Mrs. Fuller as a 110 little girl. We will watch her grow and you may see where she earned some of the qualities which you admire in her.”

There she was, a mischievous little girl of ten, as happy as the day was long.

“Here she is laying the foundation for health,” said the fairy, “with long hours of sleep and good food and plenty of play. One begins away back in girlhood to be a leader. Some who would have been good helpers for me cannot serve because they did not begin early enough to get ready.”

Then as the little girl played there came into the way a black, black cloud. Gladys shuddered as it came nearer and nearer to the little girl and finally enveloped her. It was death—the death of her father, but after the cloud had passed and the sunshine had come again, the fairy said,

“See, her shoulders are broader. She has learned what loneliness means.”

On she went and then she was going to High School. Others had clothes that she did not have. She must hurry to finish because there was no father in the home. So, eagerly she pushed through the High School.

Just here Gladys saw a hand reached out to help and heard a voice saying to the girl, “Of course it will be hard but you can go to college if you really want to go. It will do you good to sacrifice for it.” ’Twas the Master of the school who was helping her to keep in the way.

“Can you see her grow?” said the fairy. “She has added concentration, an appreciation of the girl who has little and who must be with girls who have much, and now she has been given a vision.”

Then Gladys watched her toil through college, earning her way, often overtired and worried as to where the 111 means to go on were to come from. But she pushed ahead.

“Oh,” said Gladys, “how hard she works! I could never do that. I am sorry for her.”

“You needn’t be,” said the fairy. “You need never be sorry for those that sacrifice for an ideal. Be sorry for those who have none and so who live at ease.” And they watched her struggle through temptation and toil to the graduation day.

As the college days passed, there came strength of purpose, but there came also the desire to serve. Gladys watched her lead the little group of dirty street boys in the slums.

“How can she do it?” said Gladys. “They are so dirty and so rough.”

But the fairy said, “When one wants to serve, she looks at the heart and the life—not at the clothes and the actions. The boys are helping her to keep in the way.”

And after college there were happy days. Days of love and comradeship, days of work for the fairy; days when opportunity was everywhere. And in these days of happiness there came lessons of sharing, of winning, of filling the life with sunshine. The path was so bright that it dazzled.

Suddenly, Gladys looked ahead in the path. “Look,” she said to the fairy. “Look, oh, how black it is! Oh, I am sorry.”

Then the storm descended and all was black in the way—oh, so black and to move took all of one’s strength. Against it she struggled, but it seemed as though she must surely be driven from the path. Death and loneliness and worries seemed overpowering.

But the storm passed and, when once again there was peace, a great strength had come in its place, for there was sympathy for others who suffered, there was an 112 appreciation of the value of friendship, and there was a knowledge that God helps.

Little by little the road widened, though often it was lonely and hard. There were many steep places but each added something. And then Gladys saw the picture change.

There was Mrs. Fuller with her girls and she was leading them by the hand. But it was by no means easy. Some held back; some chose to play by the way; some looked longingly at the things by the wayside that would harm. But her one hand reached up and her other hand helped them ahead as she tried to keep them in the way.

As the picture faded, Gladys turned to the fairy. “I thought it had been all sunshine but now I see how hard it has been to learn to understand and to help. I love her better than I did before, now that I have seen her in the way. Thank you, fairy.”

“But wait,” said the fairy. “You asked me for a gift. Do you still want it? Do you still want to follow her?”

“To follow means study, and sacrifice, and temptations conquered, and sympathy, and all sorts of hard things, doesn’t it? I never thought about it. But I love Mrs. Fuller and I still want to lead girls—I still want the letters and I still want to be like her. Please, Fairy of Good Works, put me in the way and I will go back to school and begin to get ready.”

Then the little lady smiled as she waved her wand over the head of the girl. “Your life may be much more sunny than hers, dear. Not all must have the same things to overcome. But whatever you meet in the way, you must struggle against it and come out stronger because you have struggled. Can you see away off there in the distance the hands of girls—oh, so many of them—eagerly reached out for help? They are ‘your girls.’ And here is the way. Above there is one who helps and 113 I am here though you may not see me. Push forward or the girls will have no helper. Good-by and good luck to you.”

But as Gladys reached out to detain her, her hat fell to the ground and she found herself sitting against the tree. In her hand was the picture of Mrs. Fuller and her girls. Long she looked at the picture. Then she said to herself,

“I never knew the way was so long or so hard to be like you but if just one girl can love me some day as I love you, then I shall be glad I have walked in the way. I am ready to try and I hope I can win.”



It was a dark and rainy day when about the inn-fire, close to the great caravan way that led through Canaan, in the land of Palestine, a group of camel-drivers and travelers were gathered. They looked very different from what they do to-day, for nearly four thousand years have passed since then. But they were all huddled together listening to stories and songs.

In the group there were men from Egypt; there were men from Babylon, the great city far to the East; there were men from the land of Canaan; and then there were some wandering nomads who had lately come from the East and so were called by the Canaanites “Hebrews,” which means, “People from the Other Side.” Most of these men were shepherds, but they loved to meet with the camel-drivers and learn of the customs and habits of the people of other lands. ’Twas a strange group of men sitting about the little fire.

In those days, as now, men loved to tell stories that had come down to them from their fathers and grandfathers, and often they found that a story from Egypt was but little different from one that had been told in Babylonia. So they loved to listen to the story-tellers.

But on this day it had rained and rained till the streams were full and the way was very hard to go. Thus there were very many men in the inn. ’Twas the turn of the Babylonian, so he began,

“I will tell you one of the very oldest of our stories—about a great rain-storm. 115

“Years and years and years ago the Gods in heaven began to fear that the men of the earth were going to live forever and so they made a plan by which to destroy them. There should be a great rain for days and days and days, and all these men and women and children should be drowned. Then the Gods would be free from their worries.

“But one of the Gods named Ea had a friend who lived on the earth, and so he sent word to him to go with all his family into a big, big ship and take with him two of every kind of animals. Utnapishtim, the friend, did as he was told.

“Then the rain came and for six days and nights there was no let-up at all. Deeper and deeper it grew till the Gods in heaven grew afraid and cowered in the highest corner of heaven. By this time every living thing, except the ones in the big ship, was destroyed.

“But after six days, the rain ceased. Then the man sent out a dove, but it returned, for it could find no place to rest. Later he sent out a raven and it did not come back, so he knew the waters were going down. Then he made a great sacrifice to the Gods and they came, they saw the great destruction and they gloated over it, pleased that their plan had worked so well.”

There was applause when he had finished from many of the group, but the Hebrews did not applaud. They had been taught that there was one true God, not many Gods. They had been taught that God was kind to all and not one that gloated over destruction of men. They were not pleased with the story of the great flood.

Then there came nights out under the stars and they heard the stories of how the earth was made; of how man came to be; of the meaning of many of the things that they saw all about them. But in every story there were 116 found Gods who were cruel, who were unkind, who quarreled and fought. There were many, many Gods, but none was like unto their God.

As the old Hebrews listened to all these old, old stories from the countries about them which were told so often, they shook their heads sadly and said,

“We have come into this country to live and bring up our children. But if they hear these stories, they will believe some of them and forget the true God. They must have stories of their own that show how great and mighty is the God of Israel. But what shall we do about these stories? If we say the stories are false, they will laugh at us and say, ‘Why, our people have known these stories since long, long before there was a Hebrew on the earth. What our fathers have told us as true is surely true.’ And if we say to our children, ‘You must not listen to these stories,’ they will be all the more eager to listen. What shall we do?”

Finally it was decided that the stories of the Egyptians and the Babylonians must be remade so as to be fit for their children to hear and they must teach the beliefs of their own religion in stories of their own.

So, many weeks later as the men were gathered out under the stars on a beautiful night, one of the best of the Hebrew story-tellers said quietly,

“I have listened to stories about the making of the world from many of you but I think my story is better than any you have told. Would you like to hear the story of how the God of Israel made the world?”

“’Tis a Hebrew who is talking,” said one. “I didn’t know you people had any stories. Give it to us. Then we can compare it with our own great stories.”

And the Hebrew story-teller began:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the 117 earth. And these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

“But there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

“And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

“And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

“And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

“And out of the ground the Lord God made every beast of the field and every fowl of the air and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”

There was silence when the story was finished. This God of whom the Hebrew was telling was wise and mighty enough to make the world, yet he was thoughtful and kind. He allowed man to be a helper. There was only one God. They liked the story so well that they began to tell it also and soon the beautiful story was known all through the land of Canaan. Little by little it drove out the other stories and became the most loved one.

And when the old Hebrews saw the power of the story that told of the one great God rather than the many false 118 Gods, they just took many of the old stories and made them good and wholesome for their own little children to hear.

So great were the stories that the old Hebrews told that you will find many of them living still. You can read them in your own Bible in the book of Genesis.

Ever since that day years and years ago, men have been asking that same old question, “Who made the world?” The greatest men of science and history have tried to answer it, but none of them have found a more beautiful answer to the question than this one which the old sheik told in the days of the long ago and which you will find in the second chapter of Genesis in your Bible.



It was a hot, sultry day in that little town near the Western coast of Africa when Afa Bibo came. He had had a long, long journey from his home among the Ntum people far to the south of Efulen. So he, as well as the men who had brought him, was glad when they saw the rude little hospital looming up at the end of the path.

Years and years before, when Afa Bibo was just a little baby, his mother and father, because they were superstitious and ignorant, had deliberately infected the little one with yaws, one of the most loathsome of African diseases. Little by little the disease had spread through his system till now, a boy in his teens, he was gradually losing his sight. So they had brought him to the white doctor who had done so much for boys and girls in the neighborhood, to see if he could also help Afa Bibo.

It took only a glance at the one eye to know that the sight was gone forever. But there was a chance that the other might be saved. To be sure, the inflammation was there and much damage had been done, but still there was a chance. So they put him under the care of the nurse and began the fight that was to tell whether he was to be one of the many African blind ones who suffer so much and help so little, or whether he was to be like other boys.

It was a long, hard time for the little fellow. The eyes must be washed with a solution that was very painful; he must spend long hours not only lying in bed but with all light shut from his eye. He grew very weary with it all. But after the months had gone, Afa Bibo went out 120 of that hospital with an eye as clean and white in the ball as yours or mine.

Of course, he was anxious to go back to his people and tell them what wonderful things had been done for him, but the Doctor said,

“Afa, you can do much with your one good eye, but if you will stay right here and go to school with the boys for a time, you can do much, much more. You can be as good as one man, two men, and perhaps as much as three. If you will stay, you can be a big man in your own tribe. It may be you could be a teacher and tell the boys there how to read and write or it might be—yes, it might be—you could be a doctor and make other boys to see, just as we have done to you.”

So Afa Bibo stayed in the mission school and learned to study, and to work, and to think. For a time he felt badly to think he had only one eye when all his companions had two, but little by little he seemed to have forgotten it.

Then came the day when the Christian people of that little African church were to pledge a definite number of days of service in carrying the message of the Christ to others. Some were to go out and teach; some were to carry Testaments and tracts written in Bulu to others; some were to help about the mission station so that there might be a better place in which to teach the ones who came. Some were to raise extra crops so they might have something to give to those who went far out to teach. Every one could give something, even though it was very different from what another gave.

As it neared the time for the service, the black people might be seen coming from all directions. Some had walked five miles, some ten, and some even twenty. All had something to eat so that they might stay to hear all the good news that could be given in a day. They filled 121 the little bare building which the boys of the school had builded for a church; they filled the window spaces; then they filled the yard about the church. Oh! there were very many of them and all were eager for the service to begin.

Holding the roof of the little church were large poles which had been painted white and on these the pledges were to be made. So as the service began, many looked at the poles and thought what a wonderful thing it was to be allowed to give of themselves to the God who had become their own.

Soon the pledging began. First to go was the old chief who had given up his twenty wives that he might become a Christian. He was old. What would he give? First he made a slanting line and then he crossed it. Ah! that was ten days of service.

Then others were ready, and some gave ten days, some one or two weeks, and some could even give a month. The lines covered one pole and then another as the people passed down the aisle and out of the building.

Last of all came the boys of the school. How could they give? They were only boys. But they could take of their play time till they had gained a day or more to give. One marked after another and last of all it was the turn of Afa Bibo.

Very near to him stood the kind doctor who had made him free from the pain and able to see the way as he came to the white pole. So he smiled one of his rare smiles as he passed him. Then he made a slanting line and crossed it; another and crossed it. That was twenty days. No boy had given as much as that. But he was making another—twenty-five days. And he crossed the third. Then with his shoulders square and resolve in his face he went out with the rest.

As the missionaries sat before their home on the 122 following day, they saw Afa Bibo coming across the yard to them. Calling the doctor aside, he said,

“Doctor, I am not satisfied with what I pledged yesterday. I want to give more.”

“But, Afa,” said the doctor, “already you have pledged thirty days. That is a great deal for a boy to give. A pledge to God from you must be as binding as His promise is to us. Work out the thirty days and then come back and give Him more if you like.”

“But I am not happy about it,” said the boy, “I want to give more.”

“I think you had better leave it just as it is, for I am sure you do not know how long thirty days will be when you begin to give it all. Run along and do your lessons. I think you have given much to God,” said the Doctor.

Then Afa slowly came very near to the doctor. Looking up into his face, he pulled down the lower lid of the good eye showing it to be white and free from all soreness and pain.

“Doctor,” he said, “do you see that good eye? Well, God saved me that eye and I have more to be thankful for than any one else in all that big churchful yesterday. I owe him more than thirty days. Please, sir, I want to pay back a little of what I owe him. Let me make it thirty-five.”

So together the doctor, who had given his life for God, and the little black boy, who was just beginning to give, went to the church and put another black mark on the tall white pole. And Afa Bibo went out to work his thirty-five days for God.

Were you to go among the Ntum people to-day, you would find there a man who is beloved by all because he has loved to give of himself to his people. He has a kindly face and a loving heart. It is Afa Bibo, the boy who is still eager to pay for his one good eye.



Kagigegabo sat in front of the wigwam watching the fire slowly die out. Her heart was full of bitterness. For days she had watched the Braves get ready for the long chase. They had painted their faces; they had given their war cries; they had fasted and prayed.

And now they had gone and the camp seemed very still. Oh! how she had wanted to go! Why was she born a girl when she did want to be a Brave! Girls could never do brave things—they had to stay at home, and tend the fires, and hoe the garden. Everything a girl had to do, she hated. Everything a boy had to do, she liked. Her name was Kagigegabo, which meant “One who stands forever.” That would be a great name for a Brave, but she could never do anything that was worth while. She was only a girl.

Slowly she rose to bring the corn and grind it. There was little needed, for the Braves of the wigwam had all gone—even Guka, her brother, had gone. Before this she had watched the others go and then had had him to cheer her. Oh, dear! Why was she a girl?

Hearing a step behind her, she rose to find Wicostu, the oldest squaw of the tribe, waiting to speak with her.

“I have heard your thought,” she said. “You think that to be a girl is to be less than a Brave. It is not so. It is not so. To be a squaw one must be very brave. We cannot go to hunt and to kill, but it takes no less of courage to stay here and guard the tepees. It takes courage to bear pain—it takes courage to be tired and not complain. You can be brave, Kagigegabo, even though 124 you must grow into a Mahala and sit by the fire. The courage is not in the war paint and feathers—the courage is all in the heart.”

Kagigegabo sat very still after Wicostu had left her. Over and over she said to herself those last words of the old squaw—“The courage is all in the heart.” Perhaps after all she could be a Brave, such as Guka was trying to be.

Down toward the spring she ran to get the water for the meal when, suddenly, a hand reached out of the bushes, and she was drawn into them. When she tried to scream, a heavy band was placed over her mouth, and then her hands were tied, her eyes were bandaged and she felt herself being thrown on a pony. Oh! how fast they went!—like the wind it seemed.

Who had taken her? Where was she going? What did they want? Frightened as she was, she still was trying to think.

Then, like a flash, there came to her something that she had heard the old chief say when she had been trying to get closer to the council fire the last night.

“We shall go by the hill trail, for Eagle’s Claw will surely have spies about the camp. We cannot get through the valley alive.”

Perhaps she had been taken by the spies and was on her way to the enemy camp of Eagle’s Claw. Oh! What did they want? If only she were a Brave, perhaps she would know what to do. Then there came to her the words of Wicostu:

“You can be brave. The courage is all in the heart.” But to be brave when one did not know what was going to happen—oh! that was hard.

When the bandage was taken from her eyes, she was in the center of a circle of old Braves. Very fierce they looked as she glanced about the circle. Her knees shook 125 till it seemed she must fall. Then she made a low bow to the chief and pointed to her feet—a sign that she was ready to be his slave.

“Do you see that knife?” he screamed at her. “You shall die unless you tell us by what path and to what place your Braves went to-day. Speak!”

What should she do? If she told, the men would die. If she kept silence, she must die. Her hands trembled. Then she remembered again the words of Wicostu, “Courage is all in the heart,” and smiling at the chief she said:

“Kagigegabo will lead you. She knows not the name, but the way.”

For a long time they counseled. Should they go? At last five of the Braves were ready. They mounted her on a pony. Then they came to her with a great bow and some poisoned arrows and said:

“If you try to escape, these are for you. If you lead us wrong, these are for you. If you lead us right, you shall have this young Brave,” and they led forth one of the strong, young Braves of the tribe. “Go.”

Out of the encampment went the six horses. Where should she go? She must lead in the way of the hill. But how could she? Once she climbed a tree to get a look out and so gained a little time. Once she led them where the rock dropped sheer and bare, and again she gained time. But nearer and nearer to the meeting place she came.

Suddenly low at her feet she saw a tiny, white flower. It was the one used by her mother to make the sweet drink that would make one sleep, and sleep, and sleep. But if too much was taken, it meant death. A daring plan came to her mind. Dare she do it? Dare she eat of it? Mother brewed it—she must eat it as it was. They were still several hours from where she knew her father 126 was to be found. If her plan succeeded, she could save him.

Reaching down, she dug her feet into the sides of the little pony. Immediately his heels went high in the air and she lay flat on the ground.

Quickly she gathered much of the little white flower and pushed it into her dress. Then when the men came, she was lying with broken ankle on the ground. The pain was intense, but the happiness that they must stop was sweet to the girl. Over and over and over she said to herself, “Courage is all in the heart. I can be a Brave.”

She took some of the little white flower and began to eat of it.

“What is it?” said the men. “What do you eat?”

“I eat the sweet flower of this little plant. If you eat of this, you shall not thirst,” said the girl.

Now they had ridden far and hard and the day was very warm, so when the men heard this, they bent and gathered bits of the plant. It was sweet and pleasing to the taste, so they ate more and more of it. And the Indian girl watched them and smiled when none could see.

It was decided to get the evening meal while the oldest chief bound the ankle of the girl. So they hurriedly cooked it. But before it was ready, the leader leaned against the old tree and he was asleep. Then another and another slept. Stronger than opium had been the flower that they had eaten.

Kagigegabo watched them while her own eyes began to droop. She must not go to sleep. Oh! what could she do? She must ride when they were asleep. What could she do? She turned and twisted the broken ankle. That helped a bit, for the pain was intense. She pulled great locks of her hair and tied them about her fingers so that the blood would have to force its way about. And after 127 what seemed to her to be hours, she was still awake and the five men were all sleeping.

Slowly, very slowly, she pulled herself away from the fire out into the bush where her pony was tied. Her feet seemed determined not to move and she wanted so much to lie down and sleep. But she kept on till she had led the pony away from the group. Then she mounted and started on her ride.

But it was no use. She could not stay awake. Now what was she to do? They were on the direct road to the valley. For a moment she hesitated. Then quickly she tore her dress in strips. Taking a sharp stone, she cut her arm and with the blood she made two pictures on a piece of wood—the one showed five Indians asleep—the other showed an Indian girl by the road. Taking the strips from her dress, she fastened the bit of wood to the saddle.

She took from her arm the circle of brass which would tell her father from whom the message had come, and fastened it to the saddle. Then a cut of the whip across the legs sent the pony flying down the path.

After he had gone, the girl sat in a dazed way near the path. She was so tired. If only they would hurry, then she could tell them which way to go—but sleep came before the pony had gone even one mile.

Five days later, Kagigegabo opened her eyes slowly and looked about. She was lying on the skins in the wigwam of her mother. Her ankle was tightly bound and she felt very stiff and sore. Across her wrist there was an ugly cut. No one was about so she lay there trying to remember what had happened. How long had she been there and where was her mother?

A step sounded outside and an old war chief—her father—looked anxiously into the tent. When he saw her 128 eyes open, he came slowly in and gazed long at the Indian girl on the bed and then went as slowly out again.

When he came back, there were with him five other chiefs. Around the bed they stood in a silent circle and Kagigegabo wondered what they were going to do with her. Had she done wrong? Was she to be punished?

But the old chief spoke:

“Kagigegabo, you have saved the tribe from ruin, and because of your help, we have captured the enemy, for whom we were searching. They have told us of your bravery and of your wisdom. You were more full of courage than any squaw we have ever known. You shall no longer be called Kagigegabo, but you shall be called Aotonaka, the daring one.”

Then upon the arm of the girl who had wished she could be a Brave they bound a red band—the red band of courage. 129


By Persis Richardson

The King sat in the library of the palace reading an old, old book—a book written when the King’s great-great-grandfather sat on the throne. The King had never seen the book before and it was very interesting to him. For the book told of a strange little plant that had grown in the kingdom in those days of the old, old king.

No matter how hard the people had to work, if the little plant was growing in their homes, they were happy. Indeed, the book said that the flower of the plant was so beautiful that no garden was complete without it; so in the days of the long ago, it grew in the gardens of the rich and the poor, while happiness and prosperity reigned in the land.

Eagerly the king read the description of the little flower that grew on this wonderful plant. It was white as the driven snow. It had heart-shaped petals surrounding a wonderful heart of gold, and it was known as the White Flower of Happiness.

Now the King loved flowers dearly and there were many in his garden; but he was sure he had never seen this little flower. So, because he wanted to have one for his very own and especially because he wanted happiness and prosperity for his people, he determined to find it.

“Surely somewhere in the kingdom there must be a plant left if it grew so common in the days of my great-great-grandfather,” said the King.

Then calling the heralds to him he said: 130

“Ride forth and search. Go East, and West, and North, and South, and say to my people, ‘Search for the White Flower of Happiness, and when you have found it, bring it to me that I may raise more seeds so that all may have a chance to own it. ‘Tis a little flower, white as the driven snow, with petals that are heart-shaped around a heart of gold.’”

Eagerly the people, both rich and poor, went to work, for they knew of the wondrous beauty of the flower and wished it for their own.

Now there were two people who were very sure they would be first to find the flower. One was a rich woman who loved beautiful things. Her home was the largest of any on the finest street in the royal city. She had many and large gardens, cared for by the best gardeners to be found. Yet in the summer-time, when they were glowing with hundreds of flowers, few there were who could enjoy them. A high hedge surrounded them all and only her friends were permitted to go through the iron entrance gate.

This wealthy woman said to herself: “I will find the flower and it will be easy to keep it secret from all others if I have it here behind the hedge. Then I shall be sure of happiness in the future.”

So all of her gardeners were set to work to search for the White Flower of Happiness. Wherever they found a plant of rare beauty, they bought it hoping that it might be the plant she sought. Seeds of all kinds also were planted. And in the blossoming time there were flowers in the gardens by the thousands—but behind that great wall there was no flower that was white as the driven snow, with heart-shaped petals surrounding a heart of gold.

There was also a man in the kingdom who thought he could surely find the flower. He was a business man. 131

“If I could find it,” he said, “I would grow more plants and sell them to the people at a great profit. Then I should quickly grow rich and there would be no need for me to work.”

So he set his office force all to work to write letters to the gardeners and seed-growers of the world. They described the little flower and offered large sums for one single plant. But he, too, failed in his search. It was not to be found.

Down in the heart of the poorer section of the royal city there lived a little old lady whom every one called Aunt Betsy. She was very poor; she had only one room that she could call home, and her only companion was a scrawny cat that every one else had driven away. But it loved her and she loved it, and was glad to have it share her home.

She was very lame and had to hobble away to her work every morning, yet she was the cheeriest little body alive and every one loved her.

Aunt Betsy, like all of her neighbors, was seeking the White Flower of Happiness.

“This old street with its tumble-down houses, and uneven sidewalks, and tin cans surely needs a heap of something to cheer it,” she would say. “Now, if I could find just one plant, I would make this old alley the finest place ever. Then the little children here could have some chance. I wish I might find it.”

But no flowers grew where she lived or where she worked, so she couldn’t hope to find the plant. The only thing she could do was to save every penny she could so that, if the King found the plant, she might possibly buy a seed.

Into an old tin cup she put the pennies, one by one, but it was very slow work, for Aunt Betsy was very poor.

One winter night as Aunt Betsy returned from work, 132 she found a queer looking bundle on her door-step and, on unrolling it, she found Bobby, one of the neighbor’s children. Now Bobby had no mother and only a poor drunken father, who often beat him. And Aunt Betsy saw, as she unrolled him, that his face was all tear-stained, so she knew what had been happening. Bobby had crept away from the blows to come to his best friend when in trouble—Aunt Betsy.

Carefully she picked the little fellow up, carried him into her bare little room, gave him a hot drink, and then tucked him all comfortably on the couch which served as her bed. Tired from his day of play and work, the little fellow was soon lost in sleep.

Not so Aunt Betsy. Sitting by the fire, all she could see were the great holes in the shoes she was drying. Bobby needed some shoes very badly, but she had no money with which to buy some.

“There is the money in the cup,” said a voice within.

“But I couldn’t give that, for I want so much to buy a seed to bring happiness to this alley,” thought Aunt Betsy.

“But a pair of shoes would bring happiness to Bobbie now,” said the voice.

She looked again at the little swollen feet under the cover on the couch. Then slowly, yet with a smile of infinite tenderness, she softly stole to the cupboard, took the money from the little tin cup, drew on her old shawl, and went out into the night.

’Twas a very happy Bobbie who went back to his home in the morning, and behind Aunt Betsy’s stove were the little worn shoes. A little later a little old woman went down the narrow stairs to her work and she sang as she went.

That night Aunt Betsy, hurrying past a florist’s shop, bumped into a barrel of waste that stood on the walk. 133 Stopping abruptly, she saw a wilted-looking plant in an old broken pot on the top of the pile.

“Why, you poor little plant,” said Aunt Betsy. “I’ll just take you home and love you; perhaps you will grow for me in my little upper room.”

So she carried it home, transplanted it into the old tin cup from which she had taken the money, and then set it where the sunshine would find it the very first thing in the morning.

In two days the plant showed signs of life. In a week it stood tall and firm. In two weeks there was a bud which Aunt Betsy watched with great care. Would it be pink or red or yellow? She didn’t care if only it were a blossom.

’Twas night when she came home from her work, but as soon as she opened the door she knew that the little flower had opened, for the room was full of the fragrance that it was sending forth. She hurried to the window and she saw—oh, could she believe her eyes! She saw a little flower, white as the driven snow. Its petals were heart-shaped and surrounded a heart of wonderful gold. It was the White Flower of Happiness.

During the night, the little plant stayed with her in the attic room, but in the morning she carried it to the palace and gave it to the King. Thus, through a simple loving old woman, the White Flower of Happiness was given to a whole kingdom.

But the strange thing about the plant was this: Whenever its owner kept the flower only for self and did not share it with others, it withered and died; but, when lovingly shared, it grew and blossomed and made happy, not only its owner, but all to whom it went. It was in very truth to all—The White Flower of Happiness.



There had been a great discussion in the High School all the week, and as Friday drew nearer the excitement grew more and more intense. For Barton High School had many girls from the Hill section of the town where the mill owners lived, and also many girls from the River section where the mill workers lived.

There was to be an election for the president of the Senior Class and when the names of the candidates for the presidency had been posted on the bulletin board by the nominating committee, a mill girl headed the list.

Such a thing had never been heard of in the school. Always the president of the class had been the one who could entertain the class, who could stand out prominently during class week, whose father would help to pay the bills of the Commencement time.

But at the beginning of the year, the class had decided to learn to do things according to parliamentary law and to be democratic, and this was the result. Never for a moment had the girls and boys of the Hill section dreamed that a committee would dare to choose a River-section president.

To be sure, the girl whom they had chosen had led the class both in marks and in the debating club. Yes, she could make a splendid Commencement Day speaker, but she was a River-section girl, and they just wouldn’t have it.

So they argued and pleaded and tried to persuade their friends to make her fail the election. Why, there would 135 be no fun at all during Commencement week if she led the class. She had nothing at all to spend for fun.

Chief among the objectors had been Mary Waite. Her father owned the largest mill and she had thought surely the place was to be hers. She had even planned how she would entertain the class on the lawn of her home. She was ready to do almost anything to upset the plans of the nominating committee.

So the group of girls were still scolding when they reached the door of the museum about four o’clock on Thursday afternoon. Mary had an errand in the picture gallery and the rest were to wait for her in the corridor below.

As she entered the gallery, she pulled from her book the assignment which had been given to her:

“Study the pictures in Gallery Nine and bring the name and the artist of the picture that speaks most plainly to you.”

What an assignment! How could any picture speak to her when she was feeling in such an unpleasant mood. She passed down one side and then along the end of the gallery. She liked the children in this and the flowers in that. But surely none would speak to her.

Down another side she went, stopping more often to look at the things that interested her.

Suddenly she saw a picture of the Christ. It was at the end of the gallery, and a wonderful light was thrown on it from a globe just above the picture. The Christ was standing in a room and in his face was such a tender, thoughtful look.

Mary sat down in the seat nearest to her. She did not want to move nearer lest she lose the rare expression of the face of the Christ. It had only been a few weeks since she had been standing before the altar of the church, 136 making herself a gift to the Christ. So as she sat and watched the picture, she thought to herself:

“What a wonderful man he was! I should have loved to have had him look in my face as he is looking into theirs. I wish I might have really seen him.”

After a time she moved nearer. Then she could see the faces of the other persons in the picture. From where she had been sitting, only the face of the Christ had seemed to stand out, though one knew the others were there. They were sitting about the table in a home.

What a rude table it was! How roughly they were dressed! Why, they were only poor people, yet the Christ was standing in their midst, giving them to eat.

She studied his face. How beautiful it was! How much she loved him! How eager she was to give him her very best! What could she do to show her love? And as she looked she heard a voice saying to her: “The poor ye have always with you, but me ye have not always.”

Then somehow the faces of the men in the picture seemed like those of the men who worked in her father’s mill and in the face of the woman she saw a likeness to Elizabeth Meeker. But the face of the Christ was still full of love and tenderness.

The head of the girl drooped as she sat long before the picture. What had she against Elizabeth Meeker? Nothing except the fact that she was poor. She was a girl that Jesus would have loved, for she was always dependable. Yet Mary was trying to take away the greatest pleasure that might ever come to that poor girl.

She had no pretty home, she had little time for play; she hadn’t even a mother. Yet Mary knew she had been very, very unkind to her.

And now the face of the Christ seemed searching her very soul: “The poor ye have always with you, but me 137 ye have not always. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

There was a sound of a bell and Mary knew she must leave the room. One last look she gave to the Christ of the picture. Then she smiled and nodded her head.

When she came to join the girls below, she said quietly:

“Girls, let’s give the school a surprise to-morrow. Let’s go and vote for Elizabeth Meeker, since so many of the class want her for president, and then prove to the rest that we can still have a good time during Commencement week. Father will let us use the grounds when we like and we can all have a part in the planning of the fun. I should just like to see if she really can make a class president as well as we girls from the Hill.”

And though the girls couldn’t understand why she had changed, yet they were glad to follow her lead.

That night Mary Waite sat before her desk in her pretty room on the Hill and looked again at the assignment which had been given to her—

“Study the pictures in Gallery Nine and bring to me the name of the picture and the artist who painted the one that speaks most plainly to you.”

And in no uncertain letters she wrote:

Christ in the Home of the Lowly.

By L’Hermitte

Mary Waite.



Once there came to the land of the Every-day a messenger from the King. In his hand he carried glasses to help him in the search which he was making. Under his arm he was carrying a scroll. On his face there was a look of deep concern.

How could he ever find the most beautiful thing in all the world? There were so many beautiful things that he had no idea even where to begin. Yet this was his commission: “Of all the beautiful things, choose for me the most beautiful.”

So the messenger called for heralds and sent them forth to ask of the people of the Every-day their help in choosing for the King.

“Bring to me your most beautiful thing,” he said. “Then I will choose from these things what I deem most beautiful.”

And one brought a wonderful gem. It was clear as crystal; it sparkled in the light and seemed to beg to be chosen. The rays of the noonday sun shone through the stone and all the people cried with one voice:

“How beautiful! How wonderful! We have never seen the like!”

“Surely,” thought the messenger, “I shall never find anything so rare as this. I will take it to the King.”

But a voice cried: “Wait, oh, messenger, wait! That which is dead can never be the most beautiful thing. Surely I have here that which far exceeds the stone which you have seen. I beg you look at this.” 139

Then he opened the cover of the great box that he carried.

In a bed of shimmering white there lay a beautiful rose. Its leaves were still wet with the dew of the garden. Its petals were as perfect as perfect could be. Then as the sun shone into the box, the exquisite rose caught also the rays of the sun and slowly the beautiful petals began to unfold.

There was silence in the group of people about the box. What a wonderful thing the man had brought to the messenger! It had beauty, but it had also life.

Yet even as they looked there came another. By his side walked a great dog. His hair was like silk; his eyes were tender as a child’s; his face was as knowing as a person’s. Quietly his owner brought him forward, saying: “This is to me far more beautiful than the rose. This has beauty and life, but it has also usefulness. It has saved the lives of many.”

And he patted the head of the faithful animal.

Then a mother pressed through the crowd and said: “Surely no animal is so beautiful as a child. See! here is my little one. She has beauty and life and usefulness—and she has also the magic beauty of innocence. See her hands, and her little feet, and her golden curls. I am sure there is no more beautiful thing in all the world than my baby.”

Then the messenger sighed. What could he do? He just could not find the thing that the King had asked him to find. All were so beautiful. Thinking to be by himself, he walked away. Into a path alone by himself he went.

Then he heard voices, and, brushing aside the branches, he saw a young maiden who played with a little child. Her touch was very tender as she played the childish game. And when they had finished, the messenger held 140 his breath, for the child had thrown a tiny arm about her neck and the yellow curls of the baby were close to the brown ones of the maiden. And the maiden’s face was wreathed in a wondrous smile.

“That is beauty,” said the messenger. “That is rare beauty. But why is she so beautiful? I must see.”

Quickly he unfastened the glasses from their case and turned them to the picture before him. Then, because they were magic glasses used only by the King, he could see why she was beautiful.

In her mind he found clean thoughts; in her life he found kind deeds; in her soul he found a high ideal; in her heart he found a mother-love for little children.

Then the messenger took from his arm the scroll which he carried and with his stylus he wrote these words:

“In all the world I find no more beautiful thing than a maiden who is reaching toward life’s highest goal—a noble womanhood—with love to show her the way.”



Four girls they were—four laughing girls from the High School. For three happy years they had studied together and played together. But now Ambition had whispered to them. To each the message had been the same:

“Hidden in the way that is ahead you will find a treasure. It is of all treasures most valuable. It will bring to you comfort and happiness all the days of your life. Seek and ye shall find.”

And at once they began to wish to find the treasure. Not to each other even did they tell the secret that Ambition had whispered, for then another might find the treasure. Each in her own way began to seek, and for a time their paths still led in the same direction.

But one bright, beautiful day they came to a place where the ways parted. Many roads led from the one road and on every road there were many people. Now what should be done? In which way was the treasure to be found? If one chose the wrong way, one might never find it.

There was little time to stand and think, for the crowds pressed on behind, always urging them forward. Into one they must go at once.

“Surely this is the road,” said the first, looking down a beautiful, long roadway. “One would certainly find something worth while in such a beautiful place as this. Here are lights and music; here are songs and merriment; here are people who seem as happy as the day. I shall enter here, and after I have danced and played with the brightly 142 dressed girls whom I see, I shall hunt diligently for the treasure.”

So she entered the way of Pleasure and, because there was time for naught else but play, her days passed and she found it not.

“That road does not appeal to me,” said the second. “The red of the lights, the noise of the music, the laughter of the people seem annoying to me. I do not care to go with you longer. I like this yellow way. There must be a great sun to light the way, for it is so beautiful. Here, too, every one is searching, so I am sure they must have knowledge that the treasure is here. I will enter and find it.”

Then she, too, entered the way of her choice and it was the way of Gold. All about her were traces of treasure, but there were many who pushed her aside. She grew weary with her search; she liked little the people who were her companions in the way, and she found there no treasure that brought comfort and happiness all her days.

“I like little those long, uninteresting roadways where it all is glitter and noise,” said the third. “I like little the great crowds of people. I shall take this hilly road where few are working. They seem eager to reach the top. Now all treasure is hidden in the hillsides. I shall climb here and search.”

So she entered the way of Fame. It was very steep; at first it seemed that she could find no place to put even one foot. She must cling to very uncertain bits along the way to help her to move up, yet little by little she climbed. It took years and years, and one by one her companions dropped by the way. Those who also neared the top had little of companionship for her. They envied her her footholds; they tried to get ahead of her in the way. Then she knew that she could never find the Great Treasure, 143 for she was lonely, and a lonely heart is never satisfied and happy.

“Which shall I choose?” said the fourth girl, looking all about her. “I think I shall try this”—but just then a voice said: “I am tired and ill. Will you help me a bit in my way?”

’Twas an old, old man. His clothes showed signs of travel and his face was very sad. Taking his hand, she led him for a time till he came to a resting place.

Then she was about to go back and choose her road, but a child’s voice said: “Won’t you help me up this hill? I fall back when I try to climb.” And she went still farther into the way.

And then, when the child had been given over to his mother, a boy needed help in carrying a load, and as she talked with him she forgot the other road and began to see the beautiful things ahead in the road over which she was traveling.

There were flowers to pick and give to the sad; there were cooling springs where one could find cups of water for the weary; there were resting places under the trees to which one could lead the aged. And she had forgotten that she came to seek for a treasure for herself in her happiness in helping others.

So the days passed, filled to the brim with loving, helping deeds. The music which she heard was the song of the birds; the beautiful colors to cheer came in the flowers and in the sunset; the hills in the way were easily climbed, for there was much of friendship as she toiled upward.

One day in her path she saw a bent old lady in whose one hand was a book and in whose other hand was a basket. She seemed heavily loaded and the girl hastened to help her. 144

“Let me carry your basket,” she said cheerily. “Put the book on the top and I can take them both.”

Then a smile came over the face of the woman as she said: “The basket seems to be heavy, for in it is a great treasure. But he that hath this treasure finds no difficulty in carrying it. It is yours, child—all yours. Let me read to you from the book.”

Very slowly she opened the great book and read: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

Then the gray cloak fell aside and her raiment was shining as the sun. Her beautiful face grew more beautiful as she handed the basket to the girl, saying:

“’Tis the command of our King—to him that hath shall be given and he shall have abundance! Take your treasure—the love of the people along the way, but take also the gift of the King—comfort and happiness all the days of your life. For you entered the way of Love to seek for your treasure and where Love is, there God is also.”