Chapter I - part 2
“There’s a man
at the front door, Sam,” whispered his wife, “a book agent, I
guess,” she added as she whisked off her apron and closed the kitchen
“It’s Richards himself,” said her husband, looking. “I’ll
invite him in.” But Sarah disappeared into the rear sanctum, not caring
to meet such a monstrosity.
He didn’t come
in. They talked a while at the door, and when he was gone, she rejoined
her husband, who now carried the book the repair man had brought.
“If it don’t
beat all, Sarah,” he blurted out. “He wasn’t trying to sell that
book he had under his arm. Here it is. It’s a concordance, if you know
what that is. It helps you find any text you want in the Bible, by the
words used in it. He said he brought it over so it would be easier for us
to find all those Sunday texts I spoke about.”
it in, isn’t it?” asked Sarah.
“No, he doesn’t
seem to be a bit sarcastic. He’s so plagued courteous that it’s
impossible to get mad at him. I never saw such a man.
got a bit of fighting spirit in you, Sam Brown, and I’m ashamed of you.
You’ll be a Saturday keeper yourself yet,” declared Sarah.
“Never you fear,
little woman. That man’s got to be set right; that’s all. And I’m
the man to do it. He’s just a flat tire, and needs mending
and pumping up. Some religious fanatic has sideswiped him hard. He’s got
to be repaired.”
After some coaxing
and chiding on Sam’s part, Sarah was persuaded to take the charitable
view, and that night the Browns planned their campaign. They got out the
big family Bible and thumbed it through, and delved into the concordance
to get its lineup and how to use it.
The man of the
house had turned over to the first books of the Bible.
what we want, right here,” he burst forth exultantly. “Here is page
after page headed ‘Sunday laws and ordinances.’ Now we will settle
Sarah peered over
his shoulder to where his positive finger pointed. “Samuel Billington
Brown,” she scolded. “I’ve been telling you all along that you need
specs. That proves it. That isn’t Sunday, that’s sundry!” Sam looked
closer, and his face fell.
concordance, woman,” he said rather crossly, “and let’s begin by
listing all the texts with the word Sunday in them. You get paper and
pencil and take them down as I call them off. Ah, here’s one, in Hebrews
1:1.’Sunday times,’—sounds like a newspaper, doesn’t it?” His
wife wanted to make sure; so she turned to the place in the Bible.
urged, “take my glasses if you can’t see straight. Again that is
sundry, not Sunday. ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners
spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,’ and so on. Let me
have it, Sam, and I’ll see how many times the word Sunday is found.
handed it over. A man hates to yield to a woman, least of all to his wife,
when it comes to seeing through a thing. Sarah looked down the columns of
small print carefully; but to her chagrin could not find the word Sunday
mentioned once in the Bible. As if this failure on her part vindicated
him, her husband’s spirits rose.
isn’t a complete concordance, and doesn’t give all the words,” he
She turned to the
title page. “It says here it is complete, and lists every word. Well,
that’s news to me. But, I just happened to think. Sunday is the first
day of the week; and it speaks of the first day of the week in the Bible.
There’s a text that says, ‘Forsake not the
assembling of yourselves together on the first day of the
week.’ Let’s find that.”
But they could not
find that either, the nearest approach to it being Hebrews 10:25, which
did not say that at all. So they decided that they were up against a real
problem, for whose solution they would have to use their best thinking
powers, and also turn to wiser heads for help. Sam Brown and his wife
Sarah were known to their neighbors as conscientious Christians, regular
in church attendance, and honest to a fault. Nothing before had ever so
gotten inside their religious armor as this. They would have to look to
their guns; and were determined to do it. This was now no small matter to
be turned aside with a laugh. So far, the laugh seemed to be on them; and
the experience was humiliating.