The Story Girl HTML version

The Judgment Sunday
Sunday morning broke, dull and gray. The rain had ceased, but the clouds hung dark and
brooding above a world which, in its windless calm, following the spent storm-throe,
seemed to us to be waiting "till judgment spoke the doom of fate." We were all up early.
None of us, it appeared, had slept well, and some of us not at all. The Story Girl had been
among the latter, and she looked very pale and wan, with black shadows under her deep-
set eyes. Peter, however, had slept soundly enough after twelve o'clock.
"When you've been stumping out elderberries all the afternoon it'll take more than the
Judgment Day to keep you awake all night," he said. "But when I woke up this morning it
was just awful. I'd forgot it for a moment, and then it all came back with a rush, and I was
worse scared than before."
Cecily was pale but brave. For the first time in years she had not put her hair up in curlers
on Saturday night. It was brushed and braided with Puritan simplicity.
"If it's the Judgment Day I don't care whether my hair is curly or not," she said.
"Well," said Aunt Janet, when we all descended to the kitchen, "this is the first time you
young ones have ever all got up without being called, and that's a fact."
At breakfast our appetites were poor. How could the grown-ups eat as they did? After
breakfast and the necessary chores there was the forenoon to be lived through. Peter, true
to his word, got out his Bible and began to read from the first chapter in Genesis.
"I won't have time to read it all through, I s'pose," he said, "but I'll get along as far as I
There was no preaching in Carlisle that day, and Sunday School was not till the evening.
Cecily got out her Lesson Slip and studied the lesson conscientiously. The rest of us did
not see how she could do it. We could not, that was very certain.
"If it isn't the Judgment Day, I want to have the lesson learned," she said, "and if it is I'll
feel I've done what was right. But I never found it so hard to remember the Golden Text
The long dragging hours were hard to endure. We roamed restlessly about, and went to
and fro--all save Peter, who still steadily read away at his Bible. He was through Genesis
by eleven and beginning on Exodus.
"There's a good deal of it I don't understand," he said, "but I read every word, and that's
the main thing. That story about Joseph and his brother was so int'resting I almost forgot
about the Judgment Day."