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The Repairing of Sam Brown

 

Chapter 4 - part 1

SARAH BROWN was ready with an extra-appetizing supper that evening, as a reward for the victory she was sure Sam must have achieved when he and the minister combined forces in a brush with that heretic Richards. But when he appeared, her hopes were dashed. He was glum and grumpy.
          "How did it come out! How do you feel?" she hastened to ask.
          "I feel as if Iíd been in the preacherís car with him and he was going sixty, and someone hit us head on, crumpled the bumper and the front fenders, bent back the radiator, drove the hood through the windshield, sprinkled us with glass, and jammed the motor through the rear end. Iím wrecked!" and Sam slumped dejectedly down in his chair.
          Aghast, Sarah gradually got it all out of him. Then indignation took the place of surprise. To think that her respected husband, Deacon Brown, and above all the minister of their church, should back down before a mere stripling who was carried off by this new wind of doctrine! Preposterous! After all, these men! It takes a woman with intelligence and backbone to straighten such people out. As her husband read the paper and tried to forget and give his mind a rest, she thought it all out and planned her campaign.
          "Sam," she said, as they went to bed, "Iíve decided on something. Iím going over to see that woman Richards tomorrow when I get my work done. Iíll think up some excuse. Iíll settle her on this question, and we will be able to convince her stubborn husband through her. It takes the women to fix such things up. Howís that for a plan!" But the tired and crestfallen Sam was already breathing heavily. With a scornful "Humph!" Sarah gazed into the blackness, and thought and thought and thought.
          There was a different expression on her face when she sat across the supper table from her husband the next evening, and Sam noticed it.
          "Well, how did the visit with the heretic come out!" he asked.
          "Donít call her that," urged Sarah with a pained look.
          "Well, wouldnít that sideswipe you!" gasped her husband, stopping in the midst of the mastication of a mouthful to scrutinize his heretofore sane wife. "Whatís coming over us?"
          "Would you think it, Sam, she went on, ignoring his surprise and question, "sheís the sweetest little woman, and weíre friends already. Theyíre poor, but the house and her clothes, and even the childrenís, are clean and neat. And those kiddies are the dearest and best-behaved little things. I wish,ó " and childless Sarah looked far off out the window, while a tear glistened in her eye. Sam sat speechless in the almost sacred presence of her master emotion.
          "With all their poverty and hardship," resumed Sarah, recovering and touching her eyes with her handkerchief, "they are happy, Sam, happier than we are, with all we have. I wish you could see that home.

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