The Golden Road HTML version

XXI. Peg Bowen Comes To Church
When those of us who are still left of that band of children who played long years
ago in the old orchard and walked the golden road together in joyous
companionship, foregather now and again in our busy lives and talk over the
events of those many merry moons-- there are some of our adventures that
gleam out more vividly in memory than the others, and are oftener discussed.
The time we bought God's picture from Jerry Cowan--the time Dan ate the poison
berries--the time we heard the ghostly bell ring--the bewitchment of Paddy--the
visit of the Governor's wife--and the night we were lost in the storm--all awaken
reminiscent jest and laughter; but none more than the recollection of the Sunday
Peg Bowen came to church and sat in our pew. Though goodness knows, as
Felicity would say, we did not think it any matter for laughter at the time--far from
It was one Sunday evening in July. Uncle Alec and Aunt Janet, having been out
to the morning service, did not attend in the evening, and we small fry walked
together down the long hill road, wearing Sunday attire and trying, more or less
successfully, to wear Sunday faces also. Those walks to church, through the
golden completeness of the summer evenings, were always very pleasant to us,
and we never hurried, though, on the other hand, we were very careful not to be
This particular evening was particularly beautiful. It was cool after a hot day, and
wheat fields all about us were ripening to their harvestry. The wind gossiped with
the grasses along our way, and over them the buttercups danced, goldenly-glad.
Waves of sinuous shadow went over the ripe hayfields, and plundering bees
sang a freebooting lilt in wayside gardens.
"The world is so lovely tonight," said the Story Girl. "I just hate the thought of
going into the church and shutting all the sunlight and music outside. I wish we
could have the service outside in summer."
"I don't think that would be very religious," said Felicity.
"I'd feel ever so much more religious outside than in," retorted the Story Girl.
"If the service was outside we'd have to sit in the graveyard and that wouldn't be
very cheerful," said Felix.
"Besides, the music isn't shut out," added Felicity. "The choir is inside."
"'Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,'" quoted Peter, who was getting
into the habit of adorning his conversation with similar gems. "That's in one of
Shakespeare's plays. I'm reading them now, since I got through with the Bible.
They're great."
"I don't see when you get time to read them," said Felicity.
"Oh, I read them Sunday afternoons when I'm home."