The Golden Road HTML version

XVI. Aunt Una's Story
Felicity, and Cecily, Dan, Felix, Sara Ray and I were sitting one evening on the
mossy stones in Uncle Roger's hill pasture, where we had sat the morning the
Story Girl told us the tale of the Wedding Veil of the Proud Princess. But it was
evening now and the valley beneath us was brimmed up with the glow of the
afterlight. Behind us, two tall, shapely spruce trees rose up against the sunset,
and through the dark oriel of their sundered branches an evening star looked
down. We sat on a little strip of emerald grassland and before us was a sloping
meadow all white with daisies.
We were waiting for Peter and the Story Girl. Peter had gone to Markdale after
dinner to spend the afternoon with his reunited parents because it was his
birthday. He had left us grimly determined to confess to his father the dark secret
of his Presbyterianism, and we were anxious to know what the result had been.
The Story Girl had gone that morning with Miss Reade to visit the latter's home
near Charlottetown, and we expected soon to see her coming gaily along over
the fields from the Armstrong place.
Presently Peter came jauntily stepping along the field path up the hill.
"Hasn't Peter got tall?" said Cecily.
"Peter is growing to be a very fine looking boy," decreed Felicity.
"I notice he's got ever so much handsomer since his father came home," said
Dan, with a killing sarcasm that was wholly lost on Felicity, who gravely
responded that she supposed it was because Peter felt so much freer from care
and responsibility.
"What luck, Peter?" yelled Dan, as soon as Peter was within earshot.
"Everything's all right," he shouted jubilantly. "I told father right off, licketty-split,
as soon as I got home," he added when he reached us. "I was anxious to have it
over with. I says, solemn-like, 'Dad, there's something I've got to tell you, and I
don't know how you'll take it, but it can't be helped,' I says. Dad looked pretty
sober, and he says, says he, 'What have you been up to, Peter? Don't be afraid
to tell me. I've been forgiven to seventy times seven, so surely I can forgive a
little, too?' 'Well,' I says, desperate-like, 'the truth is, father, I'm a Presbyterian. I
made up my mind last summer, the time of the Judgment Day, that I'd be a
Presbyterian, and I've got to stick to it. I'm sorry I can't be a Methodist, like you
and mother and Aunt Jane, but I can't and that's all there is to it,' I says. Then I
waited, scared-like. But father, he just looked relieved and he says, says he,
'Goodness, boy, you can be a Presbyterian or anything else you like, so long as
it's Protestant. I'm not caring,' he says. 'The main thing is that you must be good
and do what's right.' I tell you," concluded Peter emphatically, "father is a
Christian all right."
"Well, I suppose your mind will be at rest now," said Felicity. "What's that you
have in your buttonhole?"