Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 21, 1901)
which Eliza found In Janet Matthla
son's cedar cheat. "The Sailor's Fare
well" showed a magenta colored gown
not a fold disarranged by the embrace
"of a sailor with Byron mane and doll's
feet. A vine with red roses embowered
the scene. In "The Sailor's Return"
the vine bloomed blue and the sailor
had evolved a beard and a white suit,
but the sailor's wife waited in the saint
magenta gown, after the immemorial
manner of the newspaper heroine.
The pictures were in the oval frames
that Eliza had made by folding brown
paper into curved triangles, and lap
ping these together with glue. It was
she, not the reverend James, ho
looked ait the six-masted ship through
the vista of blue vines, and wondered
where the far-off brother sailed. And
It was she, not James, who rejoiced at
the ilrt-t letter.
It was from a remote station in Brit
ish Columbia, and it bore the marks
of a long, long journey to the old Can
ada home, to Illinois, and at last to the
Within, it was like the log of a ship,
or the diary of a discoverer. A ther
mometer reading to right of It, a ba
rometer reading to left of it, and the
depth of snow and of frozen soli at the
forefront of this greeting to a brother
forty years forgotten. Eliza lingered
with work-worn fingers over the slant,
shaded capitals, every letter separate
ly formed, as slowly, without doubt,
as the characters in an old monk mis
sal. "My Dear Brother James:
"The wind blowing North by North
west, snow four feet deep, ground froz
en ten Inches. Very much like Toronto
weather, only more steady and mild.
You do not get far out of your reck
oning anywhere within five hundred
miles of Puget Sound. This is where
I have dropped Anchor, after three
times Cruising round the world, and I
wouldn't take any other claim in the
"If you want to sink another shaft in
these Diggings you are welcome, in case
your luck has not panned out. I have a
log cabin and a Chinese cook and they
are the Sole Specimens of such craft
in Thirteen Leagues. So you see a pri
vate Yacht would not be in the same
class with me. I am always sure of
good company, but If you should de
cide to come into my Port, would try
to accommodate myself to circum
stances. Particularly if It was nigh
But if it was Eliza who clasped her
worn fingers, and looked from the
apocryphal chromos to the real mess
age, until her glasses dimmed, it was
the old minister who acted.
"It Is the call." he said, shutting his
thin lips together, and looking away
over a mile of corn to the Swedish
chapel on the hill. "My work here is
finished. There is work in the land
that the blood of Marcus Whitman
sealed to the kingdom. And I shall see
That solemn purpose of delivering a
message to the brother whose spiritual
welfare no one pondered, in his lone
wilderness, would have seemed strange
enough to the grey old miner in his
British Columbia cabin. Nevertheless,
while he read his thermometer and rec
orded It in his cabin log, those Decem
ber days. Father Matthiason, on his
"preacher's ticket," was climbing the
Missouri slope. A first payment on his
small farm had been exchanged for the
ticket, and if Eliza's patient pain some
times disturbed him, the barter of
those corn grown curves for the long
stretches of the heightening west was
an outweighing joy.
Slowly the prairie wrinkled inta
ridges, and the pines came to stand out
upon the crests. Then grey, strange
turrets rose o er wastes of ashen plain,
that at last blackened, rounded, and
crowded away In the sooty foot-hills
of the Dakotas. After this, the old
man slept, and his grey head swayed
with the motion of the train, weaving
through the dark. Now and then the
keen old eyes opened, to watch, through
the dim window, hills marching
through the night.
At last with a sheer luxury of ease
unknown to knees that never ache with
long tramps and longer prayers, the
effortless climb was accomplished. The
veteran itinerant stood gliding into the
sunset of a long mountain gorge
through which the train slowly wound,
and looked up at the cliffs that are the
ridge of the world.
"And I might have crossed over Jor
dan without seeing this." the old man
was saying, while he stood outside his
car door, with his face to the west,
"looking sermons Into the hills," as a
mischievous red tam-o-shanter within,
whispered to a demure white fascina
tor. The gorge widened, and there slipped
into it, from somewhere alongside, a
thread of a mountain stream, splashing
up Into foam at every handful of peb
bles in its way. A valley spread out,
wide, and Irrigating ditches, edged
with green fringes of moistened grass,
caught away the water of the little
stream. Around a bend, a great ranch
house, with stables, shops, carriage
houses, summer houses, and a boat
house sprung into view. A wider river,
with pine sentineled shores, was flow
ing close by the railway embankment.
The sun. which had come in sight
again, dropped into this river, and
once more the old man slept.
He had need of rest. For another
sunset found him far in the Queen's
dominions, facing a long stage route
into the forest. "Every trol days " thev
told him. in Frenchy English, "Every
trol days the stage tro.' And the stag
has just gone. So Father Matthiason
slept again, and at dawn stepped upon
the floury snow, and into the ancient
forest. What was forty miles to a
plainsman who had trusted to his legs
ever since those of Cromwell II. played
him false, on the Toronto track? The
piney smell of the woods filled him
w ith youth. It was little "Scotch" who
strode in among the frosty firs, cap
drawn low over his ears, wintry blue
eyes watching the white trail ahead.
His foot was on the home soil, and be
fore was Robert.
The spirit of Janet Matthiason seems
to wait, over the pointed spires of the
wood, as if it had always been there:
the prayer she had breathed over his
bed seemed to whisper, now, out of the
crystal heights, as he walked, like one
that Is sent, toward Robert's door.
Everything was hushed, as if no wild
things In snowy fur watched every
step of the pilgrim, going to bear wit
ness. Once, far ahead, a black blur
came Into the track a clumsy, .shaggy
beast stepped inquisltivelv out from
the white wilderness, looked up and
down the trail, and with no undignified
haste, crossed into the wood on the
other side. The deep toed tracks in the
snow made the old eyes keen, as the
minister walked on, with a speculative
glance at the clear, high stems of the
pines. Then the unbroken paue or
long, quiet miles, fell over the path.
Even the sunlight was muffled In fine
snow gauze that hung over the sky.
In that pure forest twilight where
everything was smothered In satin
softness of snow, the weariness that
crept slowly into the old man's frame
seemed a thing apart, like the ache of
some other mortal, not his, whose
spirit lifted above him, listened to
voices of the past
It was a most real voice of the pres
ent, however, that answered from
within the snow-thatched miner's cabin
as the minister's hand touched the
"Come In, come In. No knockln.
We're all Injuns In this tepee."
But there was no start of recognition,
in the little, weazened, bald figure that
waited, while a benumbing sense of
years, held the new comer voiceless.
Man to man, the two grey-beards
looked each other up and down, in the
light of a huge fireplace of crackling
pine. For the seventy seconds while
the rime gathered into round, tiny
drops on the minister's worn brown
coat collar, they looked. Then James
"Is this Mr. Robert Matthiason?"
And the old lips before him twitched
into decorous rejoinder, "And if it was,
what might be your business with the
"I was just coming by, and thought
I would ask" which the very nearest
approach to a witticism that the Rev
erend James ever perpetrated. It was
under strong provocation, however.
"You'll maybe stop over night?"
"I will," said the weary minister,
with such unction that his brother
storped in the act of taking the ancient
brown valise, and stared quickly at the
cut of the collar James was unwinding
from a long, blue scarf.
"You're not .1 parson?"
"They are not common in thes-e
parts." remarked the old sailor drily,
setting the valise in a kind of locker,
and hanging the scarf and cap, and
warm overcoat, each on a separate
hook within. And then a curious gleam
came into the old grey eyes.
"So you will have come to convert
Matthiason met Matthiason. as the
two pairs of grizzled brows were fixed
in the instant's cross glance. Then the
host resumed his judicial impartiality.
"And that might not be so difficult a
task for a man that has walked from
Hoover's Station through the timber
But first you will have at Turn Foo.
and his heathen soup."
In that easy generosity, the old min
ister felt the thickness of the armor
he must pierce, but he ate beans and
biscuit with an imperturbability which
only a brother couid fathom.
The host brought forth a Bible, and
carefully dusting its cover, before
handing it, to the guest. Indeed, the
same precision and the same reserve
marked the intercourse of all those
wintry evenings of the fortnight that
the brothers enjoyed guarded fellow
ship. Only at one time did the sailor
miner show more feeling, when the
minister set himself to his task, then
did the sailor picture In Eliza's brown
paper fram that was when James told
.something of Jant Matthiason's trust
"You did v.-ry right, and she will be
pleased, no doubt." Then he began to
speak of his shaft, and to turn in the
fire-light bits of bright ore.
When the old minister went back
through the forest. Robert himelf
placed the brown valise in the stage
coach and h-ld the door open, as If for
.1 king. But h said
"You've eaten and drunk and washed
yourself llk- a white man. You are
my brother no doubt." And James
once looking back through the w ,
wood at the fur-topped watcher t. It 1
touch of something strangely v i,r,,,
in his defeat.
The British Medical Institute
J ' .
' ? -
Has Been a Success Fron the
Start. Its Office at the Corner
11th and N Streets is
A staff of eminent physiclai ltl,j
surgeons from the British Medi. 1 in
stitute have, at the urgent solid aim
of a large number of patients udt-r
their care in this country, est.ii.
a permanent branch of the Instlt
this city, in the Sheldon block .
or Eleventh and N streets.
These eminent gentlemen h.i
tided to give their services en
free for three months (medicine
cepted) to all invalids who call
them for treatment between nou
Jan. 7. These services consist not
of consultation, examination and
vice, but also of all minor surgk.il
4i n i - ti r
The object in pursuing this course
i iei.-uiiie rapiuiy anu personally 1 .
quainted with the sick and allh- tt-u
and under no conditions will ,nx
charge whatever be made for any s. r
vices rendered for three months to ,11
who call before Jan. 7.
The doctors treat all kinds of die .;.
and deformities, and guarantee .1 ire
in every case they undertake At th
first interview a thorough examin itlun
is made, and if incurable you ui
frankly and kindly told so. ,Il-(, , 1
vised against spending your monc for
Male and female weakness, i.it.rrh
and catarrnal deafness, also ruptur
goitre, cancer, all skin disease. ,n'
all diseases of the rectum an- t. isi
tively cured b their new treatment
The chief associate surgeon of the
Institute is in personal charge.
Ollice hours from 9 a. in. till v
No Sunday hours.
Special Notice If you cannot
send stamp for question blank
1 ,.--- t , finest
WILL BE HERE
BETTER HURRY UP
AND BUY A PRESENT
FURS . . .
ARE THE POPULAR
PRESENTS THIS YEAR.
OUR STOCK IS COM
PLETE AND PRICES
F. E. Voelker
Phone 001. Cor. 12th and N St
For information or an illustration of a Policy suited to your needs, call upon or address
Telephone 3957. H. H. LOUGHRIDQE, General Agent, Lincoln, Nebraska.
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