2151_6-1-diary

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of the house the matter was not referred to again, unless in teasing remarks by Frank to his sister.

Life flowed on uneventfully for the Maybrick family through the busy summer days, until the middle of August. One evening husband and wife were sitting on the west porch talking and resting, and looking over their wheat fields, with full ripe grain standing in the shock, waiting to be drawn into the barn on the morrow. Anxiously the farmer looked towards the setting sun for indications of the weather for the following day, and certainly all seemed to promise as be wished. Not a cloud to be seen as Old Sol disappeared in his crimson glory int he West. "Marian, I think the weather will be fine and we can get that field of wheat in tomorrow. I told Frank to get a couple of men from the village to help, he has gone there now. "Yes," replied his wife, "Hester went with him. I was glad for her to get a drive this lovely evening after heat of the day. It will do them both good: but who is this riding so fast?" As she spoke the rider whom she had been watching coming down the road, turned in at their gate, and rode rapidly up the lane. Mr. Maybrick walked out to meet him, recognizing him as a messenger from the nearest railway station. Mrs. Maybrick saw the man take a telegram from his pocket and hand it to her husband. Hurrying forward with a prayer he could open it, which he did with strong hands trembing in spite of himself, and together they read, "Your son Percy is

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dying. Come at once." "Oh, my boy, God help us," sobbed the poor mother, and the father, with face almost as white as her own, and echoing her cry to God for help, put his arm round his wife to support her as they walked into the house. It was she who first roused herself to think what must be done, and to say, "Henry, how soon can we go?" "Not till morning, my poor Marian: there is a train leaving D. (a town twelve miles away) at five in the morning. Frank must drive us there, and if we make good connections I think we can get through and be with Percy the following morning. God only knows whether he will be living, or not, though," he groaned. "Oh, I don't believe God will let our boy die before we have kissed him good-by. Oh, my Percy, my firstborn, God spare him to me," she said, sinking into a chair and covering her face with her hands.

At that moment the sound of wheels was heard, and she started up. "The children, poor things, how will they bear it?" "I will go out and tell them," said her husband, with unusual thought for her; and going out he reached the buggy just as Hester, with a gay laugh at something they had been talking of, took her brother's hand to spring out. In a few words their father told them the sad news, and that he and their mother must go to Percy as quickly as steam could carry them. Hester, struggling to keep her own grief out of sight, flew into the house to her mother, and when the father and brother came in an hour later, after making all arrangements for the early morning's

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drive, mother and daughter seemed to have changed places, and it was Hester who decided what clothing must be taken by the travelers. Hester, who arranged and packed, meantime persuaded her father and mother to lie down and get what rest they might. Then when it came time to rise, this daughter, who seemed to have grown into a woman in one night, dressed the poor grief-striken mother almost as one would a child, and coaxed her to drink a cup of tea and eat a little, lest she should be ill on the journey. "You know, mother," she said, "you must keep up your strength so that you can help to nurse Percy when you get there." During the twelve-mile drive, and through the long day and night on the train, little was said by our travelers, the mother half-stunned by her grief, and ill from the unwonted journey; the father griefstricken, too, for his love for his eldest son was deep and real; but with the thought forcing itself in upon him that he had not done what he ought. He had never felt so helpless as when the terrible message came to him the night before, and with the thought of his helplessness had come the thought of God's power, but that did not bring him comfort; for how, thought he, can I ask God to spare my son, how can I ask any favor from a God that I never acknowledged, that I am not in touch with? Through the long, weary hours on the train this man passed through the bitterest experience of his life. At length they reached the journey's end. A carriage was waiting to convey them to the house where their son

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lay. A servant met them at the door, and in answer to their inquiries said she would bring to them Doctor Allan, who had been with the patient all night. He came, a great friend of their son as they knew from his name, and going straight up to them and taking a hand of each in turn, said, "You are Percy's father and mother. I wish from the bottom of my heart that I could give you good news of him, but I cannot. I do not say that there is no hope; but I can see little. The fever has left him, but he has lain in a sort of stupor nearly all the time for two days. We give him a little nourishment at intervals, but he scarcely rouses even then. Oh, yes; we have had the best advice possible- Dr. W., from the city, a specialist in this disease. We are acting under his orders. The next twenty-four hours will decide it one way or another. You see, he has been working too hard. I warned him often but he always laughed and said, 'Oh. I am all right, Allan; you know I must work hard to catch up again,' meaning, of course, to make up his losses at the time of the fire."

Again there came a pang to the father's heart as he thought of the help he might have given and spared his boy that severe strain. "I think you may look in at him if you are sure you will not make any sound. He will not notice you." Silently they both followed the doctor into the room, gave one look at the dear, white, changed face lying on the pillow, and went out again. After trying to partake of the refreshment provided for them they wandered out, scarcely knowing what

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to do with themselves. They were near Percy, but unable to do one thing for him.

A few rods away from the house where they were they noticed a small church and the people going in to service. They had not realized till then that it was the Sabbath. "Let us go in, Henry," whispered Marian, "we may get some comfort." So they followed the people in, slipping into a seat near the door. The hymns of praise and the prayers fell like balm on the mother's heart, and Mr. Maybrick, too, felt their influence. The young minister rose and gave out his text, reading from the Revised Version, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains, whence cometh my help from the Lord," etc. He spoke first of the feeling of strength, of peace, of security that the mountains give. Then he said they might be taken as a symbol of the great things of God. We are so prone to give all our thought to small things. Our own little petty, every-day tasks, our own possessions (or those we call our own), our own wants and the supplying of them. These things are apt to take all our attention and we spend our time thinking of them, when we might be lifting our eyes to the mountains. We might be thinking that God has other work for us to do than simply to seek for food and raiment. There are those in the world that we can help- we are not "our own" - we are "bought with a price." Therefore we should "glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are His." Earnestly the preacher pressed home his point. and over the spirit of Henry Maybrick there

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came a change. He had a vision of God's love, and of his own selfish life, and at the close of the sermon he bowed his head, and prayed that his sins might be forgiven, and that he might be permitted to enter the service of the Lord whose love and mercy he had hitherto slighted. To him was fulfilled the promise, "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out," and he went from that church a changed man.

Going back to the house they had left, the nurse who had been waiting on their boy came to them and said, "There is so little change I can hardly call it a change, and yet I believe there is a little for the better. If you will both go and rest now I promise to call you when Dr. W. comes, which will be about midnight." They went, tired out with their journey; but too anxious to sleep, and were up and ready to hear the doctor's verdict when he came from the room. He said, "There is certainly a change for the better. I believe he will pull through." Another day of anxious waiting followed. Another midnight train brought Dr. W. from the city, and his opinion of the previous night was confirmed. Next day the parents were allowed to go to their son's bedside and speak a few words to him. Steadily he gained strength, until they were able to take him home with them, and in three weeks' time it was a happy family party that gathered one evening round the old farm-house table, with the invalid propped in his chair, pale and thin still, but able to reply to the merry jokes of Frank on his lanky appearance, his

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appetite, etc., and Hester ministering to the wants of all, but especially of her mother.

"Marian," said Mr. Maybrick, "is that Thank-offering Meeting over yet?" "No" she replied, with a loving smile, for husband and wife had a new bond between them now, "it is next week, I believe." "Then here is your offering, and yours, Hester," he said, handing each a cheque, on which Hester's delighted eyes read, twenty-five dollars. "Father, do you really mean it?" she cried, throwing her arms about his neck. "I do, my daughter," he replied, "and, God helping me. I mean to be something different to the selfish creature I have been."

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[blank page with various annotations]

H H

Mahommed

March 24th anxious to get our mail which arrived early in the morning

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