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Dangerous Days

Chapter 24
When war was not immediately declared the rector, who on the Sunday following
that eventful Saturday of the President's speech to Congress had preached a
rousing call to arms, began to feel a bit sheepish about it.
"War or no war, my dear," he said to Delight, "it made them think for as much as
an hour. And I can change it somewhat, and use it again, if the time really
comes."
"Second-hand stuff!" she scoffed. "You with your old sermons, and Mother with
my old dresses! But it was a good sermon," she added. "I have hardly been civil
to that German laundress since."
"Good gracious, Delight. Can't you remember that we must love our enemies?"
"Do you love them? You know perfectly well that the moment you get on the
other side, if you do, you'll be jerking the cross off your collar and bullying some
wretched soldier to give you his gun."
He had a guilty feeling that she was right.
It was February then, and they were sitting in the parish house. Delight had been
filling out Sunday-school reports to parents, an innovation she detested. For a
little while there was only the scratching of her pen to be heard and an
occasional squeal from the church proper, where the organ was being repaired.
The rector sat back in his chair, his fingertips together, and whistled noiselessly,
a habit of his when he was disturbed. Now and then he glanced at Delight's bent
head.
"My dear," he commented finally.
"Just a minute. That wretched little Simonton girl has been absent three Sundays
out of four. And on the fourth one she said she had a toothache and sat outside
on the steps. Well, daddy?"
"Do you see anything of Graham Spencer now?"
"Very little." She looked at him with frank eyes. "He has changed somehow,
daddy. When we do meet he is queer. I sometimes think he avoids me."
He fell back on his noiseless whistling. And Delight, who knew his every mood,
got up and perched herself on the arm of his chair.
"Don't you get to thinking things," she said. And slipped an arm around his neck.
"I did think, in the winter - "
"I'll tell you about that," she broke in, bravely. "I suppose, if he'd cared for me at
all, I'd have been crazy about him. It isn't because he's good looking. I - well, I
don't know why. I just know, as long as I can remember, I - however, that's not
important. He thinks I'm a nice little thing and lets it go at that. It's a good bit
worse, of course, than having him hate me."
"Sometimes I think you are not very happy."
"I'm happier than I would be trying to make him fall in love with me. Oh, you
needn't be shocked. It can be done. Lots of girls do it. It isn't any moral sense
that keeps me from it, either. It's just pride."
 
 
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