His mother told him not to get up in the morning until she called him. "All right, mother," he laughed as he kissed her good night, "but don't let me be late to Sunday School, as I have a topic to treat in the Theological class. By heck, they really think I'm Uncle Zed's successor, by the subjects they give me." He was about to go to his room when his mother called him by name.
A few days after the funeral Dorian and his mother went to Uncle Zed's vacant home. Mrs. Trent examined the furnishings, while Dorian looked over the books. "Is there anything here you want, mother? he asked. "No; I think not; better leave everything, which isn't much, for those who are to live here. What about the books?
She could not understand that a big, very-much-alive boy should have his mind so fixed on a dead girl that he should altogether forget there were living ones about, especially one, Carlia Duke. One evening Dorian met Uncle Zed driving his cow home from the pasture, and the old man invited the younger man to walk along with him. Dorian always found Uncle Zed's company acceptable.
Dorian repeated in his way Uncle Zed's argument, and he succeeded fairly well in his presentation of the subject. The still night under the shining stars added an impressive setting to the telling, and the girl close by his side drank in hungrily every word. When the water reached the end of the rows, it was turned into others, until all were irrigated.
He thought he might as well spend the evening, and be comfortable, so he made a fire in the stove. He opened the drawers and found them filled with papers and clippings, covering, as Dorian learned, a long period of search and collecting. He opened again the package which he had out the evening of Uncle Zed's death, and looked over some of the papers.
Dorian had wondered whether he had ever been a young man, with a young man's thoughts and feelings; but here was evidence which dispelled any doubt. On a slip of paper, somewhat yellow with age, were the following lines, written in Uncle Zed's best hand: "In the enchanted air of spring, I hear all Nature's voices sing, 'I love you'.
He had had very little experience in presenting the principles of the gospel to an unbeliever, but Uncle Zed's teachings, together with his own studies, now stood him well in hand. "Well," commented the farmer, "that's fine. You can't be a very bad man if you believe in and practice all what you have been telling us." "I hope I am not a bad man.
Between the two, prospects were bright for the furthering of their plans. "Mother, when and where in this great plan of ours, am I to get married?" Dorian and his mother were enjoying the dusk and the cool of the evening within odorous reach of Mrs. Trent's flowers, many of which had come from Uncle Zed's garden. They had been talking over some details of their "plan." Mrs.
The girl raised her head, swiftly dashed the tears from her eyes, then with a sad effort to smile, said: "Nothing, mother, nothing at all. I'm going to bed. Where's father?" "He was called out to Uncle Zed's who is sick. Dorian's mother is there with him too, I understand." "Then I'd better go for her," said the young man. "I'll say goodnight. Poor Uncle Zed; he hasn't been well lately.
Trent's cupboard; a jar of apricot preserves, suggested by Dorian. Uncle Zed asked a blessing not only on the food, but on the kind hands which had provided it. Then they ate heartily, and yet leaving a generous part to be left in Uncle Zed's own cupboard. Then Dorian had a presentation to make.