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The Repairing of Sam Brown

 

Chapter 2 - part 1

IT WAS Monday night, and Mrs. Frank Richards was putting supper on the table. She was not a little anxious as she anticipated the homecoming of her husband that evening. His job was hanging in the balance, and he might appear at any moment and announce that it was all up and they were to have the miseries of unemployment again. With her hatred of debt, that unpaid and unpayable account at the grocery made her shudder; and the grocer was hinting that he would have to have some money or he could not let them have any more stuff.
          The children at play on the floor only served to remind her that Helenís little dresses were few and threadbare, and Juniorís suits were just about worn out. In spite of all her clever fingers could do in patching, making over, and turning the insides out, she was ashamed to go out on the street because of her shabby appearance. And to see how Frank looked when he was supposed to be dressed would have been laughable if it had not been so pitiable. It was a good thing he was a mechanic, and a clean pair of overalls would recommend him to a job as far as clothes were concerned. The rent would soon be due again, and there was the winter coal. My, if he could only keep this job for a while anyway, till they could get on their feet again, how thankful they would be. But small hopes, with such a boss. It looked like asking God to set a table in the wilderness.
          A footfall and a hurried opening of the door, and there stood Frank in the room. Much couldnít be told from his looks, for he was always good humored when he came home, no matter what had happened during the day. How she admired this in him. What a husband to have! It made her ashamed of her own misgivings. His greeting kiss tasted and smelled of auto-oil, but wasnít that infinitely better than the smell of liquor and tobacco that he used to bring home? He romped with the welcoming kiddies a minute, and was soon taking off another layer of grime at the sink, as they exchanged the usual domestic and shop news.
          When supper was well under way, he was ready to tell the weightier matters that she was eager to hear. How had he come out in his argument with Sam Brown!
          "You know, Grace," he said, "when we prayed over the matter this morning we decided not to let my needing a job be the incentive toward winning a Sabbath argument with my employer. ĎWin an argument, and lose a friend,í they say. I had to be mighty careful not to keep my job uppermost in my mind, much as I need it. I wanted to let the truth be known, and let the job take care of itself; or better, let the Lord take care of it. Well, I think He is doing it; but nothing is very definite yet. Iíll have this week yet, I think, for he is loaded up with work."
          "But what did he have to say? Thatís what I want to know."
          "Well, he brought the concordance back, and said he was sorry but it wasnít much of a help to them. Then he brought out ten statements for Sunday keeping, all carefully written on a piece of paper. Here they are. We talked about some of them as we worked. I could see that he had gotten them from somewhere, and was not very sure of his ground himself. But say, he knows a lot more about the subject than he did last week."

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