The Inglises - Or, How the Way Opened
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The Inglises - Or, How the Way Opened


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Published 08 December 2010
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Language English
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Inglises, by Margaret Murray Robertson This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: The Inglises How the Way Opened Author: Margaret Murray Robertson Release Date: February 24, 2009 [EBook #28179] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE INGLISES *** Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England Margaret Murray Robertson "The Inglises" Chapter One. In the large and irregular township of Gourlay, there are two villages, Gourlay Centre and Gourlay Corner. The Reverend Mr Inglis lived in the largest and prettiest of the two, but he preached in both. He preached also in another part of the town, called the North Gore. A good many of the Gore people used to attend church in one or other of the two villages; but some of them would never have heard the Gospel preached from one year’s end to the other, if the minister had not gone to them. So, though the way was long and the roads rough at the best of seasons, Mr Inglis went often to hold service in the little red school-house there. It was not far on in November, but the night was as hard a night to be out in as though it were the depth of winter, Mrs Inglis thought, as the wind dashed the rain and sleet against the window out of which she and her son David were trying to look. They could see nothing, however, for the night was very dark. Even the village lights were but dimly visible through the storm, which grew thicker every moment; with less of rain and more of snow, and the moaning of the wind among the trees made it impossible for them to hear any other sound. “I ought to have gone with him, mamma,” said the boy, at last. “Perhaps so, dear. But papa thought it not best, as this is Frank’s last night here.” “It is quite time he were at home, mamma, even though the roads are bad.” “Yes; he must have been detained. We will not wait any longer. We will have prayers, and let the children go to bed; he will be very tired when he gets home.” “How the wind blows! We could not hear the wagon even if he were quite near. Shall I go to the gate and wait?” “No, dear, better not. Only be ready with the lantern when he comes.” They stood waiting a little longer, and then David opened the door and looked out. “It will be awful on Hardscrabble to-night, mamma,” said he, as he came back to her side. “Yes,” said his mother, with a sigh, and then they were for a long time silent. She was thinking how the wind would find its way through the long-worn great coat of her husband, and how unfit he was to bear the bitter cold. David was thinking how the rain, that had been falling so heavily all the afternoon, must have gullied out the road down the north side of Hardscrabble hill, and hoping that old Don would prove himself sure-footed in the darkness. “I wish I had gone with him,” said he, again. “Let us go to the children,” said his mother. The room in which the children were gathered was bright with fire-light—a picture of comfort in contrast with the dark and stormy night out upon which these two had been looking. The mother shivered a little as she drew near the fire. “Sit here, mamma.” “No, sit here; this is the best place.” The eagerness was like to grow to clamour. “Hush! children,” said the mother; “it is time for prayers. We will not wait for papa, because he will be very tired and cold. No, Letty, you need not get the books, there has been enough reading for the little ones to-night. We will sing ‘Jesus, lover of my soul,’ and then David will read the chapter.” “Oh! yes, mamma, ‘Jesus, lover;’ I like that best,” said little Mary, laying her head down on her mother’s shoulder, and her little shrill voice joined with the others all through, though she could hardly speak the words plainly. “That’s for papa,” said she, when they reached the end of the last line, “While the tempest still is high.” The children laughed, but the mother kissed her fondly, saying softly: “Yes, love; but let us sing on to the end.” It was very sweet singing, and very earnest. Even their cousin, Francis Oswald, whose singing in general was of a very different kind, joined in it, to its great improvement, and to the delight of the rest. Then David read the chapter, and then they all knelt down and the mother prayed. “Not just with her lips, but with all her heart, as if she really believed in the good of it,” thought Francis Oswald to himself. “Of course we all believe in it in a general way,” he went on thinking, as he rose from his knees and sat down, not on a chair, but on the rug before the fire; “of course, we all believe in it, but not just as Aunt Mary does. She seems to be seeing the hand that holds the thing she is asking for, and she asks as if she was sure she was going to get it, too. She hasn’t a great deal of what people generally are most anxious to have,” he went on, letting his eyes wander round the fire-lighted room, “but then she is content with what she has, and that makes all the difference. ‘A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesses,’ she told me the other day, and I suppose she believes that, too, and not just in the general way in which we all believe the things that are in the Bible. Fancy Aunt Ellen and my sister Louisa being contented in a room like this!” It was a very pleasant room, too, the lad thought, though they might not like it, and though there was not an article in it which was in itself beautiful. It was a large, square room, with an alcove in which stood a bed. Before the bed was a piece of carpet, which did not extend very far over the grey painted floor, and in the corner was a child’s cot. The