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!
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."
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."