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Father Finn 






Wi^/i Tllustrations by 







Copyright, 1901, 



Chapter I . . . . . . . . n 

Chapter II 38 

Chapter III 47 

Chapter IV 65 

Chapter V ........ 77 

Chapter VI 103 

Chapter VII . . . . . . .110 

Chapter VIII 127 

Chapter IX '^32 


" Regina looked at the diamond, long, intently, 


" He sat up all night to compose it " 

" So Regina read the first stanza a second time " 

" At the mention of her name Regina arose " 

"' Peace, be still !' " 

" * Don't cry, please,' said Regina gently " 
" Regina O'Connell entered "... 
" She started up for the last landing " . • 







^'But Thy Love and 
Thy Grace.^' 


"What should you take a chance 
on? Why, the diamond ring, of 
course. It's only ten cents a chance, 
and there's nothing near as nice in 
the whole bazaar." 

The speaker was a young lady pre- 
siding over one of the prettiest and 
gayest booths in the St. Joseph's Or- 
phan Asylum Bazaar. She was ad- 
dressing her remarks to a girl who, 
as any woman could tell by her dress, 
was of the working class. The girl 
had a pleasing face. The features 


were refined, the eyes, soft and of the 
tenderest blue, looking out mildly and 
kindly from dark silken arched lashes 
upon a world which wondered why 
face and habit should correspond so 

" I might as well," she answered. 
" I have twenty cents left, and I'm 
going in a minute ; and I don't care 
about leaving with any money." 

Regina O'Connell had come into 
that bazaar with three dollars and 
twenty cents. It was not much to 
the bazaar, but to the gentle girl it 
represented the savings of six months 
— it represented all that she could 
spare for the orphans. 

Regina wrote her name for two 

chances in the little book offered her, 

tlien paid her money. 




"There, now," she added, with a 
little laugh, " I am light of pocket, 
and, as far as the bazaar is concerned, 
I am through with it." 

The chance taken, Miss Margaret 
Dalton, who was Prefect of the 
Young Ladies' Sodality, looked at 
Regina kindly. She was touched by 
the fragile beauty of the working- 

" Wouldn't you like to look at the 
ring ? " she said. " They all say it is 
a very pretty one." 

" Thank you," answered Regina, 
gratefully. " But I know you're busy, 
and I don't want to take up your val'- 
able time." 

Regina said " varable " for " valu- 
able." Out of deference to the kindly 
young lady she was using her best 



words, and pronouncing them accord- 
ing to her lights, 

" Oh, it will be a pleasure to me to 
show it to you ! " said Miss Dalton, 
taking the girl's hand as she spoke, 
and leading her toward that thing of 
beauty, the Young Ladies' Sodality 

To make one's way through the 
crowd was no easy task. Wheels of 
fortune to right of them, wheels of 
fortune to left of them, a surging 
crowd all around and about them; 
many holding " bats " in their hands, 
many struggling to buy them; little 
boys who would get in the way ; little 
girls who could not get out of it ; a 
gentleman, whispered to be running 
for office, surrounded by a knot of 
laughing girls, each waiting for her 


turn to hand him her chance-book ; 
some five or six young men smilingly 
trying to escape from a zealous old 
lady, who was endeavoring to impress 
them with the idea that a silk dress 
which she was raffling would fill a 
void in their lives — all these things 
made progress onward a thing which 
required vigilance and determination. 
It was, indeed, a pretty sight re- 
vealed by the hundreds of sputtering 
electric lights. They shone upon 
faces which were on a parade of joy. 
When people come to a bazaar, it i^ 
only the first step that costs. Once 
they have determined on going, once 
that they have set aside the money 
they intend spending (and strong of 
will and armed in triple brass is he 
who goes not beyond the limit he has 


set himself), the rest is a merry revel. 
If you wish to see for yourself that it 
is better to give than to receive, by 
all means go to a charity bazaar. Men 
and women pay high prices for things 
they do not want, and then chuckle 
over their extravagance. They are 
particularly happy when they pay 
something for nothing, and they 
become idiotically ecstatic when 
they have to borrow carfare to get 

An hour in a bazaar is a crowded 
hour of joyous life — an hour where 
every second registers joyous greet- 
ings and unexpected meetings, happy 
laughter and delightful little jokes, 
which fizzle away like the foam in a 
newly opened bottle of champagne, 

and won't, in consequence, stand repe- 



tition : all this in a glory of flowers, 
and a wonder of colors, and a blaze of 
light, and a gleaming of eyes, and a 
shuffling of feet, and a hum of voices. 
Grief, for a season, bids the place fare- 
well. She stands at the door without 
— stands so long that sometimes she 
falls asleep, and so lets her patrons 
depart unconcerned and merry. 

Through such a crowd and in such 
an hour did Regina and Miss Dalton 
not unsuccessfully struggle. Within 
five minutes they had made over fif- 
teen feet. 

" I couldn't do better than you, 
Miss Dalton, in ground-gaining, the 
best day I ever played on the grid- 
iron," said Fred Morris, the great 
half-back of the St. Francis College 
Team, whom the young men of the 



city worshiped, and of whom the 
older citizens had never heard. 

" Indeed ! " said Miss Dal ton, sweetly, 
but not at all appreciating the compli- 
ment. Had he made a speech in 
Syro-Chaldaic, she would have under- 
stood him equally well. 

At this juncture, an unexpected 
diversion attracted the surging crowd 
to another part of the building, leav- 
ing the immediate neighborhood of 
the Young Ladies' Sodality Booth 
comparatively deserted, and Regina 
and Miss Dalton free to continue 
their progress without let or hin- 
drance. They were standing presently 
before the large show-case of the won- 
drous booth. High on a throne of 
state, in the very center of the case, 
out from its blue, fluffy, satin-lined 



box, gleamed the diamond upon a 
dainty gold ring. 

Regina's face lighted up ; her eyes 
grew very bright and opened very 

'' Oh, isn't it lovely ! " 

No woman could have said less — 
or more. 

" Perhaps you would like to have it 
in your hand," continued the sympa- 
thetic Miss Dalton. Her heart had 
warmed to the poor girl. 

"Oh, don't put yourself to any 
trouble on my account, miss!'* an- 
swered Regina, still keeping her 
sparkling eyes on the diamond. 
" How I should like to win 

Miss Dalton quietly slipped behind 
the counter, opened the case, and, 



taking the ring from its box, handed 
it to the girl. 

Regina looked at it long, intently, 
hungrily. The diamond glittered in 
the light. When she raised her eyes, 
there were three diamonds glittering ; 
at least, so thought a genial old Irish- 
man, who had just lightened his purse 
and his heart by taking a chance on 
a picture rich in reds and destitute 
of the least vestige of green — so far 
can charity carry a patriot. 

" Shure, miss," he said to Regina, as 
she raised her eyes — " shure, miss, 
that diamond would be lost on your 
little hand; for the byes would be 
lookin* at your shinin' eyes all the 
time, and wouldn't be lookin' at the 
ring at all, at all." 

The old man was then captured by 


" Regina looked at the diamond, long, intently, hungrily " p 20. 


a woman with a book, and so missed 
the chance of commenting on the rich 
blush which purpled Regina's cheeks. 

" This diamond must be worth 
hundreds and hundreds of dollars," 
she said. 

" I wish it were," answered Miss 
Dalton, suppressing a smile. " It is 
valued at sixty-five dollars." 

'' Is that all ? If I had it, I'd not 
sell it for that. No, indeed." 

" I should be delighted if you were 
to win it." 

" Thank you, miss. You are very 
kind. I don't know you ; but your 
face is very familler " (poor Regina 
got that word very badly) " to me ; 
and I don't feel as if you was a 

" And I know your face very* well, 


too," answered Miss Dalton, of set 
purpose avoiding the word "familiar." 
" If I'm not mistaken, you go to Father 
McNichols to confession." 

" Oh, that's where I've seen you ! 
I couldn't place you, at first. But 
now I remember I seen you at church 
last Saturday evening. You're one of 
his penitents, aren't you ? " 

" Yes. I've gone to him for a year.'* 

" He has done a lot of good to me. 
He makes me come every week." 

Miss Dalton gazed at Regina more 
sympathetically than ever as the girl 
again fell to contemplating the glitter- 
ing diamond ring. Miss Dalton be- 
longed to one of the leading Catholic 
families of the city. She was refined ; 
of such a refinement, indeed, that she 

could go out of her own walk of life 



into the slums without rubbing off 
or tarnishing the bloom thereof. 

" Here's another case," she reflected, 
"of the loveliness born of frequent 
confession and Communion. This 
poor child belongs to the tenements. 
She has lived, perhaps, amid scenes of 
squalor and drunkenness. Every- 
thing about her should have made her 
coarse and vulgar. Doubtless, she 
left school at the age of thirteen, 
and doubtless for a time she promised 
to go wrong, and become coarse. 
Then a confessor got a hold on her, 
and persuaded her to frequent the Sac- 
raments. And now she is pure 
and modest and gentle, and just as 
refined as any girl can be who has 
hardly more than a bowing acquaint- 
ance with words of three syllables. I 



think I'll cultivate her. She's worth 
a hundred educated girls who think 
only of themselves." 

" My name is Margaret Dal ton," 
she said aloud. " Would you mind 
telling me yours ? " 

" Oh, no. I'm Regina O'Connell." 

" I'm glad to make your acquaint- 
ance, Regina. It's fair we should 
know each other, since we sit beside 
each other in the church so often. 
Do you like going to confession every 
week .? " 

" I didn't at first," answered Regina, 

returning the ring to Margaret. " It 

took Father McNichols a long time 

to get^ me to do it. You see, I used 

to go out so much on Saturday night. 

I'm ashamed to think of it now. 

Those balls are horrible." 



"You didn't think so when you 
went to them, I dare say." 

** No ; but I had no sense — not 
that I've much now, for that matter." 

" How long have you been work- 

"Since I was eleven. My father 
wasn't doing nothing, and my sister 
got taken down with some spinal 
trouble, and so I went and said I was 
thirteen — don't be shocked, miss, but 
I didn't mind a lie more or less then 
— and got a position in a shoe-fac- 
tory; and I've been working there 
ever since — seven years." 

" Do you like it ? " 

" I have to. We're left alone now, 
me and my sister, and she's bedridden, 
poor thing ; and the doctor says she 
won't last long. Oh, she's so lovely 



and so patient. She never complains, 
and never asks for anything; and 
she's praying nearly all the time. 
She's worth working for, and you can 
stick a pin in that." 

Regina colored, on realizing that 
her last statement was couched in 
terms not quite suited to the occasion 
and to her companion. 

" Is your sister alone all day ? " 
*' Most of the time she is, miss. 
But she says she is never lonely. 
She says her beads, and then the 
Office of the Immaculate Conception, 
and then she has a book called * Visits 
to Jesus in the Tabernacle.' " 
" Father Lasance's book ? " 
"I think that's the one. A lady 
was in the house about a year ago, 
and happened to see her, and sent 



her the book. She reads out of 
it for an hour or two every morning. 
Then in the afternoon she reads 
story-books part of the time, and, I 
think, she does a lot of praying. On 
Sundays, though, there are lots of the 
factory girls who come to see her ; 
and they are just lovely to her. They 
bring her flowers and fruit and cake, 
and they talk so nice in her room. 
Some of them talks pretty coarse at 
work, and some of them use pretty 
bad language. But they are good at 
heart, every one of them." 

" I'm sure they are," said Miss Dal- 
ton ; " much better than people who 
would sneer at them." 

*' They are so unselfish. Once 
when Rose — that's my sister's name 
— was very sick, they took turns in 



staying up with her, two of them 
every night, and then went to work 
next day as though they had done 
nothing out of the usual. It's won- 
derful how kind every one is to 
us ! " 

" Won't you please take her these 
flowers ? " said Miss Dalton, bringing 
up from beneath the table a bunch of 

" Oh," cried the girl, her eyes again 
outrivaling the diamond, " how good 
you are ! She just loves violets, and 
hasn't seen any since last year. 
These are very early, and they do 
smell lovely. Thank you. Miss Dal- 
ton. And now I think I had better 


" By the way, would you mind my 

calling to see your sister some day } " 



" Mind ?' I was tempted to ast 
you, but I didn't like to." 

*' Very well. Please write the ad- 
dress on this card." 

" It's in a tenement on Main Street, 
third floor back," murmured Regina, 
apologetically, as she wrote her ad- 
dress. " Oh, by the way, miss, if you 
were to let me have one of those 
books with chances on the diamond 
ring, I think I could try to have it 
filled out among my lady friends." 

In saying " lady friends " poor Re- 
gina thought she was particularly 
happy. Miss Dalton could forgive 
more than that. 

" If you fill out this book," she said, 
" you will be a benefactor of our 
booth ; and we shall be very grateful 
to you." 



" I think I can do it," said Regina. 
" Some of the girls won't come to the 
bazaar ; but it's not because they do 
not feel kindly toward the poor little 
orphans. Some are ashamed on ac- 
count of their clothes, and others 
because they haven't enough to spend. 
But there are plenty of them who 
will only be too glad to take a few 
chances, no matter on what. I'm 
going to talk up the diamond ring, 
and I'm sure it will get them inter- 

Miss Dalton had not quite suc- 
ceeded in dismissing from her imagi- 
nation this poor, bright-eyed, eager 
girl, when Father Mc Nichols greeted 

*' Ah, Miss Dalton, this is no time 

for contemplation. ' Action ' is the 



order of the hour. I am surprised to 
see the Prefect of the Sodality bowed 
in thought, when she should, of all 
women, be up and doing." 

" I will act on your advice at once. 
Father. Here's my book of chances 
on the diamond ring. Perhaps you 
would like to put your name down ? " 

" No, I should not. What should 
I do with a diamond ring ? How- 
ever, I will take a few chances." 

Father Mc Nichols took the book 
and glanced at the numbers. 

" Whose name shall I put down ? " 
he said, half to himself. 

" Regina O'Connell's," answered 
Miss Dalton, promptly. 

" Regina O'Connell ? Never heard 
of her in my life." 

" But you have heard her many a 


time, Father. She's a Httle working- 
girl, and one of your penitents." 

" Then she must be a very good 
girl indeed," commented the Father, 

" Yes ? " 

"Why, of course. All working- 
girls are good. Never met any other 
sort since I was ordained." 

"Well, Regina certainly is very 
good. She supports a sick sister, 
and works hard, and gets no pleasure 
in life, and is perfectly resigned and 
cheerful. She's a frail little creature, 
too, and reminds me of a prema- 
ture white-and-pink blossom in early 

" Please don't say she gets no pleas- 
ure in life, Miss Dalton. If, as you 
say, she is a weekly communicant, I 



am confident that God's love and 
grace make up for the things that 
are wanting in her narrow Hfe. It 
is wonderful how generous God often 
is in filling with His heavenly con- 
solations those whom He does not 
fill with bread. It is the rich that 
He sends away hungry." 

" I'm afraid," sighed Miss Dalton, 
"that some of us have already re- 
ceived our reward." 

" There ! " continued Father Mc- 
Nichols, after a pause, during which 
he was busily writing. " I have put 
Miss Regina O'Connell's name down 
for ten chances." 

" I'm going to tell her what you've 
done, next time I see her." 

" You will do nothing of the sort," 
cried Father McNichols. 



" Oh, if you object — " 

" Stay ! " interrupted the priest. 
" On second thought, I believe you 
are right. The girl is my penitent, 
you say. Perhaps, knowing of this, 
she will be better affected toward 
me, and be more willing to take ad- 
vice. Who knows but I may be 
called on to say hard things to her.'* 
Yes, you may tell her." 

" I certainly will. And, Father, 
the poor girl was so delighted with 
the diamond, so anxious to win it! 
I intend to put her down for five 
chances every day until the end of 
the bazaar. And I'm going to get 
my sisters and brothers interested, 

*' And then, when some man comes 
along who is spending his money 



simply 'out of charity, you might sug- 
gest Regina's name. Some men are 
grateful for little hints. Good-by, 
and good luck to you and all your 



Three days later, or, to put it more 
definitely, on the following Saturday, 
at nine o'clock of the evening, Father 
Mc Nichols, seated in his confessional, 
was making heroic efforts to keep 
awake. The person on the other 
side of the screen had finished her 
little tale of sins, and was saying, 
" For these and all the sins which I 
do not remember, I humbly ask par- 
don of God, and of you, my ghostly 
Father, penance and absolution." 

Father McNichols suddenly no- 
ticed, with a start and a jerk, that he 
had fallen into a trance, of how 

lengthy a duration he knew not 



" For 'your penance, my child," he 
said, " say three Hail Marys. By the 
way, do you work ? " 

" Yes, Father.'* 

" When do you stop ? " 

" At half-past five." 

" Well, how is it you come so late ? 
I'm such a sleepyhead at this hour, 
you know. Can't you come earlier ? " 

" I always do. Father. But to-day 
I was going about among the girls 
who work in the factory with me to 
get them to take a chance on the 
diamond ring." 

Sleep very suddenly took unto it- 
self the wings of the morning. 

" The diamond ring ! " he repeated. 
It was no longer nine of the night, 
but five of the afternoon. 

" Yes, Father ; and I'm so thankful 


to you for putting my name down for 
ten chances. Miss Dalton told me 
about it I'll feel happy over that, 
even if I don't win the val'able 

The word " varable " quickened the 
confessor's memory. He knew few 
of his penitents in the confessional, 
perhaps six. One little boy made the 
*'* Confiteor " more gloomy and mys- 
terious by confessing to *' Blessed 
Michael, the * dark ' angel." A little 
girl, on the other hand, lightened the 
gloom of the same prayer by changing 
the "ark" angel into an "arch" 
angel. There was also a young lady 
who, for reasons known only to her 
Creator, always giggled in saying, 
" That's all. Father." A working-boy 
invariably accused himself of commit- 



ting the' sin of " detraction " whenever 
he tried to pray. An old woman 
had the habit of cursing the devil, 
and Father McNichols, wondering 
whether heaven's chancery set it to 
or against her account, was often 
tempted to ask whether she did it 
before or after meals. All these, and 
a few others who had certain pecu- 
liarities of voice or pronunciation, 
Father McNichols knew. Regina's 
ear-mark was the mispronunciation 
of several words, prominent among 
which was the word "valuable." In 
Father Mc Nichols's mind, ^egina was 
catalogued as his ^^val'able penitent." 
" Oh, now I remember you," said 
the confessor. " You're the girl that 
I thought God was calling to a high 
degree of perfection." 



" You said that to me many times, 

" Yes ; and I meant it. Do you 
make your spiritual reading every 
day .? " 

" Yes, Father, for at least ten 

" And don't you find that it helps 
you to pray better ?'' - 

" Yes, Father. Whenever I read a 
chapter of Thomas a Kempis with 
attention, I can say my prayers ever 
so much more easy." 

" And what about that little prayer 
of St. Ignatius I gave you a few 
weeks ago ? Do you say it ? " 

** Sometimes, Father, when I am 

" I hope you will grow braver every 

day, my child. And I do^'t wonder 



at your fearing to say that prayer. I 
kruow very holy men who say it with 
timidity. It is an act of perfect love 
of God. Also, it is an act of perfect 
renunciation. The very first words, 
' Take, O Lord, and receive all my 
liberty, my memory, my understand- 
ing, and my whole will, whatever I 
have and possess,' are perfect gener- 
osity. Then the words, ' Thou hast 
given me these things: to Thee, O 
Lord, do I return them,' are true grat- 
itude and true love. ' Receive them, 
dispose of them according to the ex- 
tent of Thy will,' are resignation to 
God's will in all things. And then, 
my child, the concluding words, if 
really meant by their utterer, are 
enough to stir the courts of heaven : 
^ Give me du^ Thy love and Thy grace^ 



for these are sufficient for me.' That 
is one of the sublimest prayers of 
human composition to be found out- 
side of the ' Gloria ' and the * Preface,* 
if, indeed, either of these may be con- 
sidered of human origin. When you 
really can say and mean that prayer, 
you are on the road to sanctity." 

" Ah, but. Father, there's the trouble. 
There are lots of other things I want, 
and I'm afraid to think of praying not 
to get them." 

" For instance } " 

" O Father, I do so want that dia- 
mond ring." 

"And I do not think that you 
should want it with overmuch eager- 
ness. Try to get rid of that desire, 
my child. It is only a vain imagi- 



" And then, Father, you know himr 

" Oh, him ! " echoed the confessor, 
mentally adding, " I had forgotten all 
about him. Well, what about him ? " 

" He's been drinking again. Father, 
and I feel so bad. He promised me 
two months ago that he wouldn't 
touch a drop for a year. And now I 
don't know what to do. I've given 
him my promise ; and I do love him. 
But it sickens me to think that I'm 
going to marry a drunkard. But 
what am I to do } '* 

For several seconds Father Mc- 
Nichois hesitated before answering. 

" If he can't keep sober for love, 
now that he's trying to get you, he 
most probably will not, once you are 
bound to him forever." 

"Shall I give him up, then, Father?** 


" I leave that to your own judg- 
ment and the workings of grace. 
Meantime, try to say that prayer once 
every day, and especially just after 
receiving Holy Communion. God 
bless you ! Go in peace ! " 



The room of Regina O'Connell 
and her sister was small and very 
sparingly furnished. Two common 
chairs, a plain wooden table, a heavy 
bed of the same material, and a small 
stove made up the furniture. Upon 
the wall was a coarse print represent- 
ing the Saviour showing His Sacred 
Heart. It was so placed that the 
invalid upon the bed could see it 
without turning. Despite the pov- 
erty of its appointments, the room, 
was as clean as the traditional Dutch 

Rose O'Connell was lying on her 



back, her fragile hands clasped to- 
gether over the coverlet. Her face 
was pale and thin ; her eyes were 
large, lustrous, and shaded by exquis- 
itely penciled brows. Occasionally 
a moan of pain escaped from her 

Suddenly, she dashed her hands 
across her eyes, the look of pain dis- 
appeared as in a flash, and a smile, 
joyous, expectant, glorified her pa- 
thetic little face. She heard the step, 
so loved, so familiar, without. The 
door opened, and Regina hastened 
into the room. 

" How is my dearest little sister, 

this evening ? " she cried, bending 

down and kissing the upturned 

face. ir 

" Fine, Regina. I've had several 


visitors during the day, and they all 
talked and laughed so that I forgot 
my poor old back." 

" And how is the pain to-day ? 
Ah, you Ve been crying, dearest. 
Now, tell the truth, haven't you ? '* 

" A little, Regina ; but it wasn't the 
pain altogether." 

"What else, dear.?" 

" You were coughing so, last night, 
Regina ; and then you looked so tired 
about the eyes. And then your step 
isn't like what it used to be. It's 
heavier. And you don't smile so 
easily; and last night and the night 
before you was moaning in your 
sleep. O my own dear sister, if you 
were to get sick and suffer, I couldn't 
rtand it ! Why doesn't God lay it all 
on my back? Let Him put it on 



me. I'm used to it Oh, I'm mur- 
muring now. God forgive me." 

Rose began to weep afresh. There 
were tears struggling in Regina's 
eyes, too, but she kept them back 

"Now, Rose," she said, "don't you 
go praying to get my troubles. I 
won't have it. You've had your 
share, and more. And then. Rose, 
I'm not going to groan any more in 
my sleep. I did have a little trouble ; 
but it's all over, thank God. You 
know, he got to drinking again ? " 

" Yes, I know." 

" And I didn't know what to do. 

But to-day he went and took the 

pledge, and he won't touch liquor any 

more. He met me on my way home 

from work ; and he was so nice and 


" He sat up all night to compose it " p 53 


afferble. He says he's going to be 
a man from this out. Oh, he was 
so nice! And he wrote me just the 
most lovely poem with his own 

"He did.?" 

" Yes ; he told me he sat up all 
night composing it. I've got it with 
me, and I intend to keep it all my 
life. Would you like to hear it, my 

" Oh, yes. Just to think that he 
could write poetry ! Let's hear it, 

From her bosom, Regina blush- 
ingly took out a sheet of ordinary 
foolscap paper. 

" It's just lovely ! " she commented. 
^' And the words are so fine. Here's 
the way it goes : 



*' * Believe me, if all these endearing young 
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day, 
Were to change by to-morrow, and fleet in 
my arms. 
Like fairy-gifts fading away, 
Thou wouldst sti]l be adored, as this moment 
thou art ! 
Let thy lovehness fade as it will, 
And around the deer ruin each wish of my 
Would entwine itself verdantly still.* ** 

" It's simply grand ! " cried Rose, 
ecstatically. * 

" But that's not all, dear. There's 
more just as good." 

" Read that part over, do. Oh, it 
is so beautiful and sweet ! And it's 
true. You could never grow ugly 
to me, dearest; and your charms 
couldn't -— what's that word ? — oh, 
yes — your charms couldn't fleet. 



No; never, never, never! Read it 
again, Regina: I'm going to get it 
by heart." 

So Regina read the first stanza a 
second and then a third time; after 
which Rose recited it from memory, 
clapping her poor Httle hands for 
joy at her success. 

" Oh, I just love poetry ! " she cried ; 
" and I didn't know it. Regina, I'm 
going to give up story-books and 
read poetry. It is heavenly. I'm 
just crazy to hear the rest, now; and 
I'm going to learn it by heart, too. 
Go on, dear, read the rest. I wonder 
what he means by ' entwine itself ver- 
dantly still ' .? What is ' verdantly ' .? I 
guess it means like an ivy, or maybe 
a honeysuckle. O Regina, I never 
thought so much of him before ! " 



With Regina and Rose, Mr. 
Thomas Betterly, age twenty-three, 
occupation a mechanic, was always 
" him." 

Her cheeks flushing prettily, Re- 
gina continued : 

" ' It is not while beauty and youth are thy own, 
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear, 
That the fervor and faith of a soul may be 
To which time will but make thee more 
dear ! 
Oh, the heart that has truly loved never 
But as truly loves on to the clothes, 
As the sunflower turns to her god when he sets 
The same look which she turned when he 
rose.' " 

" My, isn't it like angels talking ! " 
cried the invalid, her cheeks blazing 
with fervor. " And it's so true. You 

do get dearer to me every day, Re- 



gina. Time does make thee clearer. 
And then it's so sad, because there 
will be a close. I — I — think, dear, 
that I'm getting worse; and — and 
— " here Regina gave a little sob — 
"and the close is coming. But you 
will be my sunflower to the last, and 
I'll turn to you — " 

She stopped suddenly. Regina 
had thrown her arms around the 
child's neck, and in a long embrace 
they sobbed together. 

It was an hour of exaltation ; the 

cross and the crown, the sweet and 

the bitter, the loveliness and pathos 

of two sweet and simple lives, were 

wondrously intermingled. But the 

bitterness, the cross, and the pathos 

were all sweetened and made light by 

the faith and the love and the grace 



of Him whose picture looked down 
on them both from the bare wall. 

" Now, dear," continued Rose, after 
a long silence, " let us say that prayer 
together. It is a poem, too. And 
I'm so tired : I want to say it while I 

Regina slipped to her knees, still 
holding the dear head with her arms. 
Together they recited : * . 

" ' Take, O Lord, and receive all 
my liberty, my memory, my under- 
standing, and my whole will, whatever 
I have and possess. Thou hast given 
me these things, O Lord: to Thee, 
O Lord, do I return them. Receive 
them, dispose of them according to 
the extent of Thy will. Give me but 
Thy love and Thy grace, for these 

are sufficient for me.' " 









"To-morrow," Rose added, pres- 
ently, " Fm going to read nothing but 
poetry. It — it — makes me love 
God more — and — ^and — you too, 
dearest. Kiss me good-night: I am 
so tired, so tired." 

Regina kissed the wan face tenderly, 
and then turned away. A shiver ran 
through her frame, and there was a 
coldness at her heart. How wan, how 
pinched, yet how unutterably lovely 
was the poor little fading Rose ! 

" O my God, my God ! " she mut- 
tered, "anything but that. Anything 
— " She corrected her thought, and 
added, " ' Give me but Thy love and 
Thy grace.' " 

She was startled presently by the 
sound of Rose's voice, clear, but so 



" Regina, the pain is all gone ! 
Oh, I feel so nice ! There is a 
change. No pain ! Oh, thank God 
for His goodness ! It has gone at 
last. And now I shall sleep well. 
It is all gone 1 It has been with 
me since the new year. Thank God ! 
I shall read poetry to-morrow — 
nothing but poetry. And — then — 
good-night ! " 

Regina said nothing: her sister 
had sunk into slumber. How peace- 
ful, how sweet, how lovely the face 
on the pillow had grown ! Yes, the 
look of pain was gone. 

"Thank God, thank God!" echoed 
Regina. " Thank God for all His 

A moment later, there came a low 

knock at the door. Regina advanced 



on tiptoe. She found Miss Dalton 
standing without. 

*' Oh, how do you do, Miss Dal- 
ton ? " she whispered. " You are 
most welcome. I didn't think you'd 
come so soon. My sister is fallen 
asleep. Do come and look at her. 
Just before she dozed off, she told 
me that all the pain had left her. 
And, oh, her face is so beautiful ! 
She is sleeping so soundly, and 
doesn't moan as she used to. Thank 
God, thank God ! Come and see 
her ; and step lightly, miss, for Rose 
has not slept sound these many 
months. To-morrow," she added, 
absently, "she is going to read 

Miss Dalton followed Regina to 

the bedside. As she looked, she 



started. Then, bending down, she 
put her face close to the sleeper's. 

" Does a priest come to see her 
occasionally ? " she asked presently. 

" Oh, yes. Father Dillon, our par- 
ish priest, has been just lovely. He 
anointed her one week ago, and this 
morning he brought her Holy Com- 
munion. But, Miss Dalton, why do 
you look so ? What is the matter ? " 

*' My dear girl," said Miss Dalton, 
vainly striving to keep back the tears, 
"your poor sister will never suffer 

" Is — is — O Miss Dalton ! " 

" God pity you, Regina. Let us 
kneel down and pray." 

The poetry of all the ages and of 

eternity itself had been thrown open 

to Rose O'Connell. 



The bazaar had come to an end ; 
but all was not finished. Among 
other things, the raffle of the diamond 
ring was postponed. Some of the 
books containing chances had not 
been returned in time ; and, moreover, 
there was a demand on the part of a 
great many for more chances. So, 
for three weeks after the closing of the 
bazaar, the books went round merrily. 

After the burial of Rose, poor Re- 
gina was utterly disconsolate. Many 
and many a time did her heart grow 
rebellious against the will of God. 
She found it almost impossible to 



pray. She muttered the words with 
her lips, but her heart was turned to 
Rose, and crying out for her to come 

Oftentimes despondency so seized 
her soul that she was frightened at 
herself. Then, in bitterness of heart, 
she would repeat over and over, " Give 
me but Thy love and Thy grace — 
but Thy love and Thy grace." 

Poor child, she was alone in the 
world. The girls with whom she 
worked were very gentle and attentive. 
" He," too, rose somewhat to the occa- 
sion ; and her love went out to him 
with its former freshness. She could 
not forget that his poem had bright- 
ened the last moments of gentle Rose. 
The verses had ptit him in a new and 

wondrous light. Surely, the man 



who could write such sentiment in 
meter must be noble of mind and of 
heart. Tom was of great service to 
her in those first days of sorrow : not 
the real Tom, but the Tom whom she 
saw under the light that was not his. 
Sometimes, and in God's sweet provi- 
dence, it is good to live in a fool's 

As a matter of fact, Tom was below 
Regina in every way. He was coarse, 
selfish, and weak. His love for Re- 
gina was the most elevating thing in 
his poor, sordid life. Whenever he 
left her presence, he departed vowing 
to do better. The spirit, indeed, was 

One week before the holding of 
the raffle, Miss Margaret Dalton 
called to see Regina. 



" Well, Regina," she continued, 
after the first words of greeting, " what 
are you doing with yourself? " 

" I go to my work, Miss Dalton ,* 
but that doesn't take me from my 
thoughts. And then at night, when 
I'm alone, I sit here, and think and 

" I'm afraid, my dear, that you are 

" Yes, miss — " 

*' Call me Margaret, please." 

" Thank you. Yes, Margaret, I do 
feel so wretched. All the pleasure has 
gone out of my life." She paused, 
then added, " almost," for she was 
thinking of her ingratitude to her 
glorified Tom. 

'' But you must try to go on cheer- 
fully, Regina. It is not the will of 



God, I think, that we should give 
ourselves up to the melancholy luxury 
of grief. We are on earth to serve 
Him, and to work. If you were to 
throw yourself into some interest or 
other, and give your time to it, I am 
sure that your sister Rose would be 
pleased, and you would not feel the 
pain of her loss so sensibly." 

*' Yes, Miss Dalton — yes, Mar- 
garet; but I can't do anything. At 
night I feel worn out, and, worst of all, 
I can't sleep. And then, while I lay 
awake, I see her face coming and go- 
ing, coming and going, shining out 
from the blackness of the room. And, 
oh, I wish — I wish over and over 
that I was dead, and with Rose again." 

" It's all a matter of a few years, ^ 
my dear," said Margaret, softly, as she 



clasped the wretched girl's hands in 
her own. " Be patient, and wait. 
God is counting every moment, and 
each seed of sorrow, sown each mo- 
ment, will blossom elsewhere into a 
flower of joy." 

" Ah, yes, ma'am — 3^es, Margaret. 
But then, my heart gets so rebellious 
at times, and I feel impatient with 
God. It scares me. Oh, He'll not 
reward me for the way I've been 

" I think He will, my dear. For 
one moment of impatience in the hour 
there are a thousand moments of res- 
ignation to God's will. And God will 
forget those moments of impatience, 
oh, so easily; but He will never, 
never forget all the other moments 

of resignation." 



" Do you think so, miss ? " 

" I certainly do. God's ways are 
not our ways. In my own case, I find 
that sometimes I forget a thousand 
and one acts of kindness and courtesy 
shown me by a friend on account of 
one rude word or some sHght over- 
sight. It makes me ashamed to 
think of it, when I remember how 
easily God forgives and forgets." 

" Thank you so much for what 
you've said, Miss Dalton. It's just 
lovely. And I think I will be braver 
after this. O Miss Dalton, tell me 
what to do." 

The words in which this question 
was couched recalled to the mind of 
the Prefect a touching hymn to Our 
Lady of Good Counsel, sung, on occa- 
sions, by the Sodality choir. 



*' Suppose, Regina, you join our 
Sodality. Our Blessed Mother, who 
is the Consoler of the afflicted, will 
surely assist you in a special way, if 
you put yourself under her standard 
in a special way." 

" Oh, I should so like to ; but I was 
afraid to ask. Do you think I'm good 
enough ? " 

" Indeed I do." 

" But then, Fm poor — and -— 
there are so many fine ladies in 
your Sodality. Do you think they 
would care about me being with 
them ? " 

" I don't know what you mean by 

fine ladies," answered Miss Dalton, 

with some vivacity. " If you mean 

women whose standard of ladyship is 

the world's point of view, there are 



none with us. But I have yet to find 
out that worldly culture and wealth 
can give us as perfect a lady as do the 
frequentation of the Sacraments and 
the living of a good Catholic life. 
There are domestics in the Sodality 
who have much better manners than 
their mistresses. In fact, the most 
vulgar people in the world, I believe, 
are the rich people who have not got 
quite used to their riches." 

" Sometimes I have thought so 
myself. I've often wondered that the 
women who scold the conductors and 
make fusses on the street-cars are 
always finely dressed." 

" I haven't, Regina. Money has 
broadened and developed their vul- 
garity. And they are sufficiently 
educated to give it expression in the 



Queen's English. But to get back to 
the Sodality." 

" Oh, yes ; I'll be delighted to join. 
I wanted to long ago, but we were 
so poor, and poor Rose needed all 
we could earn. But now I think I 

" Oh, don't bother about the money, 
Regina. We prefer good sodalists to 
good money, though, of course, we 
need that too. Father Mc Nichols 
doesn't want any deserving girl to 
stay without because she is poor. By 
the way, how are you getting on with 
the book on the ring ? We want 
all the returns in by Monday. 'The 
raffle takes place on the following 

" That's a fact. How careless and 
selfish I've been 1 I filled my book 



long ago ; but mj^ poor sister's death 
drove it out of my mind. Here," she 
added, pulling out the drawer of the 
table, and bringing therefrom a pack- 
age neatly done up in white paper, 
" here's the book and the money. By 
the way, couldn't you give me another 
book.f^ I want to work now. From 
now till Monday I'll give all my spare 
time to getting chances. Oh," she 
broke out, her eyes kindling, " it is 
such a lovely ring ! I'm almost 
ashamed to say it, but I still want to 
wm it. 

"You shall have another book 
to-morrow, Regina. And don't forget 
to come to the next meeting of the 
Sodality. You shall be most wel- 
come. Keep busy, Regina. Your 
Mster is happy, and wants you to be 



content. I had Father Mc Nichols 
say a Mass for her yesterday." 

Regina had no words to thank 
Miss Dalton for this great kindness. 
The tears came to her eyes, as she 
pressed the hands of her new friend. * 

Miss Dalton left her weeping, but 
happier than she had been since the 
death of her sister. 



^ It was the night of the raffle. On 
that occasion, the Library Hall of the 
Young Ladies' Sodality was almost un- 
comfortably crowded. The " workers " 
in the bazaar — and their number was 
legion — were all present ; and so 
were their friends and their friends' 
friends to about the fourth decree. 
The Librarian,' smiling and affable, 
was showing, not without pride, the 
treasures of the Library to several 
portly gentlemen, one of whom, as 
his features indicated, was of Jewish 
blood. A whisper went round among 

the workers that he was as rich as 



Croesus. That's the way it started, 
but, by the time it had passed from 
one mouth to fifty, it was corrupted 
into " He's as rich as crazy " ; where- 
upon the uninitiated gazed on him 
fixedly, many wondering whether he ^ 
was as harmless as he appeared to be. 
" Did the Librarian know he was 
crazy ? " they asked themselves. Ap- 
parently she did not, for her easy air 
of smiling unconcern, and her light 
laugh, rich in cheerfulness, evinced 
that she was utterly without fear. 

" He doesn't look crazy," Regina 
was saying to the Secretary of the 

" Crazy ! I should think not," re- 
turned that official. " He's a very 
good, sensible man, and has been one 
of the best friends of our bazaar, even 


if he is a Jew. By the way, do you 
know that you and he have done 
more to bring in money on the dia- 
mond ring than any two people in the 
city } " 

" Him and me ! " cried Regina, the 
color rushing to her pale cheeks. 
" Why, I didn't do anythink to speak 
of. I just got three books filled." 

"Yes; but all the same your name 
is down for more chances than his ; 
and he paid down cash for fifty in my 
presence, besides other chances Fve 
heard he's taken." 

At this moment, the Prefect of the 
Sodality, accompanied by the two 
Assistants, came over to where Re- 
gina was seated. 

" Miss O'Connell," said the Prefect, 
*' in the name of our Sodality and the 



orphans, we wish to thank you for the 
work you have done in the interests 
of our raffle. If there were a dozen 
more Hke you in our SodaHty, I think 
we should practically own the town." 

" Thank you, Miss Dalton," said 
Regin^, rising in some confusion. 
Her face, which had grown pale and 
wan since we last saw her, flushed 

" And I do hope," added the First 
Assistant, kindly, " that, you may win 

" And so do I," said the Second 
Assistant, her eyes beaming genially 
through her glasses. 

" I'm sorry I can't agree with you," 
«aid the Librarian, as she pushed her 
way up to the group along with 

the man who was *' rich as crazy." 



" Here's my candidate for the ring. 
He wants it; and, if he wins it, he 
intends to present us with fifty dollars 
for our Library." 

" O dear ! " cried Regina. " If that's 
the case, I — I — almost hope he'll 

*' Let me suggest an amendment," 
said the Prefect. " Mr. Fairweather, 
I propose that, in case you win or 
Miss Regina O'Connell, you give the 
fifty dollars. You see, Mr. Fair- 
weather, Regina has worked harder 
for that ring than any one, and in the 
number of chances taken she is your 

Mr. Fairweather looked at Regina 
kindly and benevolently. He took 
in much of her story at a glance. 
Had she been the finest lady in the 



land, he could not have been more 

" It is indeed a pleasure," he said, 
bowing, "to meet a rival in such a 
cause. They are not the kind I usu- 
ally meet, I am sorry to say. Miss 
Dalton," he went on, " I'm obHged 
to you for your suggestion. I shall 
be delighted to give your Library 
fifty dollars if I win ; sixty dollars 
if Miss O'Connell »be the lucky 

*'0 my goodness!" cried the Libra- 
rian, " I do hope things will go as 
they ought to. Mr. Fairweather, you 
are so good and kind that I will add 
another suggestion: In case neither 
of you win, we may count upon 
twenty-five dollars anyhow. May we 



" What do you say to that, Miss 
Dalton ? " said Mr. Fairweather, smil- 
ing benevolently. 

" It's a brilliant suggestion." The 
Librarian laughed lightly and glided 
away. She knew that the matter was 

Somewhat to Regina's dismay, the 
old gentleman seated himself beside 

" Is he crazy ? " she asked herself. 
But even if he were not it would be 
an ordeal to make talk with a man 
whose daily income exceeded her 
entire earnings of a year. Presently, 
nevertheless, she found herself talking 
easily, frankly, about her sister and 
all the circumstances of her lovely 
death. Next, she was listening in- 
tently to Mr. Fairweather, who, de- 



spite a slight German accent, spoke 
with a noble impressiveness. He 
was conversing about death, and say- 
ing how much he wondered at the 
quiet, calm way in which good Catho- 
lics awaited the final summons. Had 
he been a priest, his sentiments would 
have been perfectly appropriate. 

Just then a hale old gentleman 
clapped his hands for silence. He 
was standing on a raised platform. 

" Ah, that's Mr. Dalton," whispered 
Mr. Fairweather to Regina. 

"What! The father of Miss Dal- 
ton } " 

"Yes; and one of the finest men 
in town. If all your rich Catholics 
were like him, you wouldn't need 

" Ladies and gentlemen," Mr. Dal- 


ton was saying, *' I have the honor to 
announce to you that we are now 
going to find out to whom the dia- 
mond ring belongs. We are going 
to go about it in this way : In this 
bag " — here Mr. Dalton gravely held 
up a white sack, upon whose chaste 
surface there shone out in blue 
characters : 



— "in this bag are all the numbers 
taken by the various chance-takers. 
Out of this bag the lucky number 
will be taken. The first, second, and 
third numbers will not count. No; 
the thirteenth number taken but will 
be the lucky one! Now, we want a 
little boy — the littler the better — to 



take out the numbers, and one man 
to read them out, and another man to 
verify his reading. Mr. Fairweather, 
couldn't you — " 

" Excuse me, if you please, Mr. 
Dalton," interrupted Mr. Fairweather, 
"but I hope to win that ring myself. 
Get some one who isn't quite so 

A small boy and two men were 
presently secured. Mr. Dalton shook 
the sack energetically, then, opening 
its mouth slightly, bade the urchin 
thrust in his hand and bring forth 
one slip of paper. 

The boy obeyed, and gave the slip 
to the announcer. " 1728," he called. 

" 1728," cried the verifier. 

Again the bag was shaken. 

"191 1.'* 



" 2384." 

" 9089." 
" 402." 
"I 118." 
" 2124.'' 
" 3560." 
" 832." 

" Now, ladies and gentlemen," cried 
Mr. Dalton, in a loud voice, though 
he might have spoken in a whisper 
and been heard, so tense was the 
silence, " the next number is ^he win- 
ning number. May the one who 
gets it deserve it ! " 

Whereupon he began to shake 

the bag with comical violence. The 

laughing that followed suddenly 



changed to a groan, as the mouth 
of the sack slipped in his hand, and 
a number of tickets flew through 
the air and fell scattering, upon the 

The crowd moved back, and the 
workers were upon their knees at 
once recovering the precious slips. 

" Say," whispered the Librarian 
into the ear of the kneeling Prefect, 
" while you're down say a little prayer 
that Regina O'Connell may win. 
Isn't she a dear little thing?" 

" We've all been praying for her," 
answered the Prefect. 

Quickly the slips were recovered, 
quickly were they returned into the 
sack, and violently but with much 
more care did Mr. Dalton shake it 
for the last time. 



The boy took out a slip, and handed 
it to the announcer. 

" Number three hundred and six ! " 

" Ah ! " came involuntarily from 
the mouth of Miss Dalton. 

" Number three hundred and six," 
announced Mr. Dalton, finding 
the corresponding stump in a 
book handed him. " Miss Regina 
O'Connell ! " 

At this there was tremendous 

" It is one of the ten chances 
that Father McNichols took for 
her," whispered the Prefect to the 

At the mention of her name, 
Regina arose, and stood in some 
embarrassment, whereupon Mr. Fair- 
weather, with knightly courtesy, es- 



corted her to the foot of the platform, 
and, taking the ring from Mr. Dalton, 
handed it to the girl. 

" Miss O'Connell," he said, " Fve 
been beaten before ; but this is one 
of the few times in my life that I 
was glad to be worsted." 

Amid another burst of applause, 
he conducted Regina back to her 
place, where she was forced to shake 
hands with and receive the congrat- 
ulations of nearly all in attendance. 

Regina was very happy then. 
Why ? Who can tell ? She had set 
her heart on the ring. It had fasci- 
nated her. Desire of it had grown 
with each day. And now it was her 
very own. And then, too, the kind 
words, the smiles, the sympathetic 

looks, of all these people fell like 



balm upon her innocent heart. For 
a time the girl was in heaven. She 
slipped the ring upon her finger, and ■ 
turned it this way and that, w^atching 
its changing splendors with all the 
delight of a child. The poor girl 
was enjoying her first toy. 

She was aroused by the voice of 
Mr. Fairweather. 

" Miss O'Connell," he was saying, 
" in case you should ever wish to 
part with that ring — " 

*' O dear, no ! " interrupted Regina. 
" Never ! " 

Mr. Fairweather smiled. 

" Very good. Miss O'Connell. But 
in case you should, call on me at 
any time. I am willing — or; rather, 
I should be glad- — to pay you its 
market value, which is, I believe, 



sixt3^-five dollars. Here is my card 
with my residence address." 

" Thank you, sir ; you are very 
good. But I don't think that I 
should care to sell my beautiful ring 
for even a hundred dollars." 

" I am very, very glad you like it 
so much, my dear young lady," said 
the old gentleman. And, indeed, his 
kindly face gave earnest that his 
feelings were at one with his words. 

Regina was about to acknowledge 
his gracious speech, when Mr. Dal- 
ton again clapped his hands and 
called the assembly to order. 

*' Ladies and gentlemen," he said, 

" I take great pleasure in announcing 

to you that, in honor of this pleasant 

occasion — an occasion for once when 

the right prize goes to the right 



person -—-Miss Rosamund Otis, the 
gifted soprano, whom all Cincinnati 
delights to honor, has kindly con- 
sented to sing a solo." 

Mr. Dalton held up his hand for 
silence, nevertheless the applause 
continued for nearly a minute. 

Miss Otis, a tall, handsome young 
lady, stationed herself beside the 
piano, and, accompanied by the 
pianist of the occasion, sang '• May 

The audience was so delighted 
that an encore was imperative. 

After a short delay, Miss Otis 
sang, " Oh, Believe Me if All These 
Endearing Young Charms," 

" Oh ! " cried Regina, involuntarily, 
and putting her hand to her heart. 
Then she addressed herself to listen. 



Regina had Irish blood in her 
veins, and no person of Irish blood 
ever yet listened unmoved to this 
sweet melody. But to Regina it 
appealed as, perhaps, it never yet 
appealed to any listener. Again she 
was standing beside her dying sister; 
again she saw the dear face flush and 
the gentle eyes kindle under the in- 
spiration of the poet's thought. 

Despite her endeavors, she could 

not restrain a sob, and the tears 

rushed to her eyes and stained her 

wan cheeks. She hid her face in 

her handkerchief, and listened with 

all her soul. Miss Otis was at her 

best on that memorable night. She 

sang with a pathos which went to 

every heart. 

Presently the weeping girl began 


to wonder where Miss Otis could 
have got the verses. Regina wore 
them next her heart ; she had shown 
them to no one save Rose. Here 
was a mystery to be cleared. With 
an effort, she composed herself. 

" Sir," she said to Mr. Fairweather, 
" aren't they beautiful words ? " 

" Very," answered the old gentle- 
man, emphatically. 

^" I know who wrote them, sir." 

" No doubt, no doubt," assented 
Mr. Fairweather, affably. "Every- 
body with Irish blood knows and 
loves Tom Moore's ' Irish Melodies,' 
and a great many with no Irish blood 
at all — myself, for instance." 

" Moore ! " repeated Regina, look* 
ing puzzled. 

"Yes. Why, what's the matter, 


my dear young lady? Of course, 
you know that Tom Moore wrote 
them, as you said." 

Regina gave a gasp of pain. All 
the color had left her face. She 
rose nervously. 

" But what's the matter, Miss 
O'Connell? Are you ill? Can't I 
do anything for you ? " 

" No, no ; I — I must leave at 
once. Excuse me, sir; I wish to be 

Regina slipped from the hall, and, 
once she was on the staircase land- 
ing outside, she gasped and grew 
faint, and was obliged to lean against 
the wall for support. No tears came 
to her eyes ; her grief was beyond 
that. The moment of disillusion- 
ment had come; and a terrible, al- 



most heart-breaking moment it was. 
Her love was gone forever. She had 
loved, not Tom, but her own false, 
though noble, conception of that very 
ordinary young man. But now the 
ideal had crumbled away, and she 
stood face to face, in her mind's eye, 
with the real — a coarse, selfish, un- 
truthful, weak-willed lover. 

Grief changed to rage. For the 
first time in many a long year Regina 
was really angry. The great wave 
of indignant feeling which flooded 
her soul submerged her reason. She 
was beside herself. The weakness 
and the dizziness were forgotten. 
She went down the steps quickly, 
her eyes flashing, her bosom heaving, 
her bloodless lips set together firmly. 

As she reached the sidewalk, a 


figure separated from a group of 
young men, who were, apparently, 
loafers, and came beside her. Mr. 
Tom Betterly had been awaiting her. 

She could say nothing just then ; 
but she turned upon him a look of 
contempt that should have warned 
him. But it would have taken some- 
thing far more powerful than any 
look to have warned Mr. Tom Bet- 
terly on that occasion. 

" Regina," he said, speaking with 
that difficulty in pronouncing clearly 
which we sometimes notice in those 
who have just come from the chair 
of a dentist — "Regina," he con- 
tinued, and there was a beastly light 
in his eye, " I congradulade you. I 
heard you won diamond ring. Zat 
zo ? " 



He saw it on her finger. 

" Ah ! zat'z right." Then opening 
his mouth he roared " Caw ! Caw ! 
Caw ! " 

It was a fearsome sound. Mr. 
Thomas was rejoicing after the 
manner of his kind when in his 
loose-toothed condition. He had 
never before been quite so tipsy in 
Regina's presence. 

As with the mighty force of brazen 
rnouth and iron lungs he croaked 
forth the third caw, he attempted to 
put his arm around her waist. 

Then his arm, as it touched the 
girl and she drew back^ remained 
fixed as though paralyzed. The 
blazing eyes of Regina had caught 
and almost sobered him. 

" Go ! " she hissed. " Go ! I never 



want to see you again, you — you 
wretch ! " 

He stood there, while she went 
on, and he knew that, so far as she 
was concerned, it was all over with 
him forever. 




The force of habit is something 
wonderful. , BHnded with rage, car- 
ried away by her feehngs so that she 
was no longer a reasonable being, 
Regina, nevertheless, turned when 
she came to the parish church, and 
entered it. She had no intention 
whatever of stopping, no intention of 
entering. All the same, she did both. 
For years it had been her pious cus- 
tom never to pass the church without 
paying a short visit to the Prisoner 
of Love, living His hidden life in the 
tabernacle out of love for ungrateful 




When Regina came to realize 
where she was, she found herself 
kneeling in a pew far up the navc: 
before the statue of the meek and 
lowly Saviour, exposing to her and 
to all who visited Him His most 
sacred and adorable Heart. 

" Oh, why am I here ? Why am I 
here ? " she moaned. " I cannot 
pray. I cannot look at Him now. 
God help me ! " 

Her feelings were in an angry 
whirl. She was indeed beside her- 
self. She could not collect her 
thoughts ; she could not even kneel, 
and sank back upon the bench, bury- 
ing her face in her hands. 

Oh, if she could but drive the 

black hatred and the black bitterness 

out of her heart! If she could but 


" ' Peace, oe still ' " p io8. 


turn her thoughts from that awful 
disillusionment ! 

" No, no ; it is impossible. I shall 
not be able to pray again for a long, 
long time. O God, I am a sinner — 
to think that I went to Holy Com- 
munion only yesterday ! O God, O 
Saviour, have mercy upon me a 

" It belongs to God our Lord 
alone," says St. Ignatius in his 
" Spiritual Exercises," *' to grant con- 
solation to the soul without any 
preceding cause for it, because it be- 
longs to the Creator alone to go in 
and out of the soul, to excite motions 
in it, attracting it entirely to the love 
of His Divine Majesty. I say with- 
out cause, that is, without any pre- 
vious perception or knowledge of any 



object from which such consolation 
might t:ome to the soul, by means of 
its own acts of the understanding or 

This principle had never been ex- 
pounded to poor Regina ; but then 
and there she learned its truth experi- 
mentally. She fell upon her knees. 

" Peace, be still ! " said Christ to 
the storm. " And forthwith there 
was a great calm." 

Tears sprang to the girl's eyes — 
great tears of love and of peace. In 
her soul she saw our Lord ; and, see- 
ing Him, her heart grew glad and 
brave and strong with the burning 
love Himself had enkindled. 

After the storm had come the 
calm ; after the darkness, a great 
light; after sin and passion, pardon 



and peace ; after hatred, love and for- 
giveness; after man, Christ Himself. 

When Regina left the church half 
an hour later, her face was sweet and 
radiant. She had gone one step fur- 
ther in renunciation, and had, with a 
fervor to her altogether new and 
wonderful, said that sacred prayer: 

" ' Take, O Lord, and receive all 
my liberty, my memory, my under- 
standing, and my whole will, what- 
ever I have and possess. Thou hast 
given me these things, O Lord : to 
Thee, O Lord, do I return them. 
Receive them, dispose of them ac- 
cording to the extent of Thy will. 
Give me but Thy love and Thy 
grace, for these are sufficient for 
me.' " 


VII. • 

When Regina reached her room, 
she lighted the candle, and composed 
herself to make her spiritual reading. 
For some weeks past she had been 
reading " The Life of St. Jane Frances 
de Chantal," by the Abbe Bougaud. 
Only the night before she had come 
upon a pretty story of how Christ had 
almost literally forced a young girl to 
love Him. She had been led onward 
by the path of renunciation. When 
Regina read it, the narrative had ap- 
pealed to her as being pretty and 
touching. But now, looking back, 

it haunted her. She felt in her soul 



that she had not got out of it all the 
meaning; that there was, perhaps, in 
it some me3sage for herself. She 
turned back a few pages, and again 
and with other eyes read this 
account of the hard-won spouse of 

" But of all whom the grace of God 
snatched from the world in spite of 
themselves, none so obstinately re- 
sisted at first, or so generously sub- 
mitted when vanquished, as Marie- 
Marguerite Michel. She belonged to 
a wealthy family of Franche-Comte, 
and, like many other young girls, her 
danger lay in her beauty. One night 
it seemed to her in sleep that a child 
clothed in white approached, and 
scratched her face, saying, ' You will 

now be much more beautiful in the 



eyes of your Spouse.' Marie-Mar- 
guerite awoke, screaming, and insist- 
ing that the skin had been torn from 
her face. Her mother, finding nothing 
the matter with her face, treated her 
as a silly dreamer, and bade her go to 
sleep again. Two days after. Mar- 
guerite w^as attacked by the smallpox, 
and her face did, indeed, become 
disfigured. But she still possessed so 
many means of pleasing the world, 
and she was still so witty, lively, 
graceful, so accomplished in every 
way, that she thought not of abandon- 
ing her life of pleasure and dissipation. 
One day, while resting after a grand 
ball, there suddenly appeared before 
, her the same child that had scratched 
her face. He seemed irritated. ^ You 
are going too far,' he said. ' I know 



how to put a stop to the mad extrava- 
gance of your youth.' And, taking 
hold of her feet, he crushed them so 
severely that she screamed aloud. 
Shortly after, she fell and hurt her 
foot so seriously that, despite all 
remedies, she was lame for the rest of 
her life. On the fourth day after this 
accident, as she was crying and griev- 
ing, the child again appeared, but this 
time radiant with light. Marguerite 
was frightened, and hid her head 
under the bed-covering. 

'"I told you,' said the child, smiling, 
' that I would succeed in putting a 
stop to the follies of your youth. 
Give your heart to God now, since 
your body is disfigured.' Marguerite 
tried to obey. It was, in fact, upon 
the bed of pain, where she lay for six 



weeks, that she learned to pray, and. 
that her soul began to relish heavenly 

" Nature, however, was far from 
being conquered. One day, in the 
early part of her convalescence, she 
chanced to see herself in a mirror. 
Her disfigured face and crippled 
figure brought tears to her eyes. At 
the same instant the child again ap- 
peared, holding a veil upon which the 
figure of Jesus dying was depicted. 
* Ah, what is that ? ' exclaimed Mar- 
guerite. *It is the Lover of your 
soul,' answered the child. * See to 
what love has reduced Him.' Mar- 
guerite's heart was touched by these 
words, and from that time she loved 
her deformity, and would not exchange 

it for all the advantages the world 



could offer. She went to St. Francis 
de Sales, resolved to become a 
religious, but a litttle embarrassed 
because her family, opposed to her 
design, would not give her a 

" ' Ah, well,' said the saint, ' if you 
have nothing, we want nothing. 
Offer these two things to God, and go 
tell Mother de Chantal that she may 
receive you for nothing.' 

" The holy Foundress received her 
with joy, and the saintly Bishop him- 
self deigned to give her the habit. 
Her novitiate was noted for her sac- 
rifices, and her life for the numerous 
and admirable foundations she con- 
ducted. St. Francis de Sales used to 
say, ' Ah, how well this cripple walks !' 
This cripple, indeed, governed the 



convents of Belley, Dijon, Verceil, and 
Arone ; founded those of Besan9on, 
Dole, Gray, Salins, and Soleure; 
arranged the foundations of Fribourg, 
Plaisance, Milan, and Munich, Ba- 
varia ; and if ' this cripple ' had lived 
one year longer, she would have 
carried the Visitation to Canada." 

The simple girl, as she read these 
words, failed to make any comparison 
between, herself and the high-born 
lady. And still, when she laid the 
book down, there came to her of a 
sudden the thought that perhaps the 
diamond ring, which she still strangely 
loved, was not for her. 

" It is all I have left," she murmured 
to herself. And she gazed upon the 
twinkling splendor, the only toy that 
had ever brightened her life. 



" Yet why should I give it up ? " 
The door opened slightly, and a 
voice without was heard saying : 
" May I come in, Regina ? " 
The girl started, then recovering 
herself, arose and answered : 

" Why, certainly, Mrs. Stevens. 
Just look at what I've won." 

Mrs. Stevens entered. Her pleas- 
ant smile brightened the poor 

" Oh, isn't it beautiful ! " she ex- 
claimed, catching Regina's finger. 
" And so you won it, after all ! " 

" Yes ; I was very lucky, wasn't I ? '* 

"Yes, my dear; and I'm so glad 

you won it. I hope that it will bring 

a little more joy and pleasure into 

your life." 

" I often envy you, Mrs. Stevens. 


You are always so cheerful and light- 
hearted. And when Rose died you 
did so much for me without knowing 
it by your pleasant ways. You was 
always like sunshine when you came 
into my room, and — " 

Regina broke off in the middle of 
her sentence. Mrs. Stevens had sud- 
denly sunk into a chair, and all the 
sunshine and brightness were gone. 

" Why — why — what's the mat- 

For answer, Mrs. Stevens began to 

" Dear, dear ! I didn't say anything 
to hurt your feelings, did I ? " 

But the sobbing woman was unable 
to make any reply. 

Regina waited in distress till the 
first violent emotion had subsided. 





"Surely, Mrs. Stevens, I have said 
nothing to hurt you, have I ? " 

The woman wiped her eyes and, 
for a few seconds, held her handker- 
chief over her face. When she 
looked up again, she wore her calm, 
smiling expression as before. 

" Excuse me," she said ; " I'm a bit 
nervous to-night. Please, don't mind 
what's just happened, Regina. I — I 
lost control of myself." 

Regina meanwhile had been closely 
scanning the other's features. For 
the first time, she perceived that 
Mrs. Stevens's smile was a mask. 
There were lines of care and suffer- 
ing upon the cheeks:, and an expres- 
sion almost of agony lurking in the 

" Mrs. Stevens," she said, putting 



her arm around the woman's neck, 
"please tell me the truth. You have 
some great trouble." 

Mrs. Stevens melted under the 
kindness. Again her features twitched 
convulsively ; again she broke into 

*' Don't cry, please," said Regina, 

" I'm half starved," said the woman, 

" What ! " 

" And my sick son is going into 
typhoid, I believe ; and the older boy 
is out of work ; and the children have 
eaten the last bite we have." 

" Dear, dear ! " cried Regina. 

" I spent my last cent to-day. I'm 
afraid to call for a doctor: there's 
nothing coming. Oh, why didn't God 



take me when He took my husband ? 
Regina, I shall go mad." 

" No, no ; don't speak that way, 

" When the shops open again in a 
few weeks, my boy will be working. 
But it will be too late, unless I go 
begging. I've pawned everything 
that will sell." 

"Please take this," said Regina: 
" you can't refuse it ; and get your 
little ones and yourself something to 

Regina held out a dollar to the 
woman, who first shrank from it, then 
clutched it, oh, so greedily ! The 
truth of her story was evidenced in 
the act. 

" God bless you ! But it's hard to 
take it. Good-by, my dear." 


When Mrs. Stevens had gone, Re- 
gina put on her wraps and hastened 
dcv^n the stairs. She took off the 
diaixiond ring in her descent, sighing 
as she did so. 

It was hers no longer. 



" ' Don't cry, please,' said Regina, gently " p 122. 


Mr. Fairweather, seated at his desk 
in the library of his house, was not 
a Httle astonished when the maid in- 
formed him that a young lady wished 
to see him. 

" One moment," he said, and fin- 
ished the letter he was writing. " Now, 
please show her in," he resumed. 

Suppressing his surprise when Re- 
gina O'Connell entered, he arose and 
greeted her cordially. 

" You are welcome ! " he said, with 
his engaging smile. 

" You must excuse me, sir, for com- 
ing at such an hour of the night; 



but I thought I ought to come. 
Sir, I want to sell that diamond 
ring at once: I have need for the 

Regina had no intention of telling 
him for what purpose the money was 
needed ; but, yielding gradually to 
the kind manner of the old gentle- 
man, she told the whole story. 

" Miss O'Connell," he said, " I will 
buy the ring, and pay for it too, on 
two conditions." 

" Yes, sir ? " said Regina, inter- 

" The first is that you keep three- 
fourths of the money for yourself." 

Regina was about to object. 

" Now, listen : The second is that 
you allow me to help you in this 
work of real charity." 



*' Oh, thank you, sir. I shall never 
forget your kindness." 

Mr. Fairweather pressed an electric 

" Get the carriage at once," he said 
to the answering maid. 

'* I will see to the doctor," he went 
on; "and that other boy shall have 
work within a week, if I have to 
create a job for him. And now," he 
added, taking out a pocketbook, " I 
think I can pay you in cash. Ah, 
yes," he went on, as he passed a num- 
ber of bills through his fingers, " here 
we are — five twenties. That's all 
right, isn't it .^ " 

It did not occur to Regina in her 

excitement that five twenties were 

equal to one hundred dollars. 

" Yes, sir ; I'm sure it is all right." 


" Very good. Give one of those 
twenties to Mrs. Stevens, my dear 
young lady; and keep the rest for 
yourself against a rainy day." 

" Thank you, sir ; you are so good. 
I hope I have not disturbed you ? " 

" Not at all — not at all. And now 
be seated for a moment, and excuse 
me while I go to the telephone. I 
shall come back presently." 

He was gone for several minutes. 
When he returned, he said : 

" My doctor will visit the sick 
boy at once. And now, my dear 
young lady, you look very pale and 
tired. Is there anything I could 
offer you ? — a cup of coffee — or — 
or — " 

" No, thank you, sir. I am not 
used to taking anything at night." 



" The carriage is ready, sir," an- 
nounced the maid. 

"Very good. Miss O'Connell, it 
is late for you to be out alone. You 
must go home in my carriage." 

Regina could say nothing. 

" Good-by," he said a moment later, 
as he helped her into the carriage. 
" I am very glad to have met you, 
indeed. Please to pray for an old 

It was Regina's first carriage ride. 



Regina started blithely up the pair 
of stairs that led to her rooms ; but 
her pace became perceptibly slower as 
she neared the first landing. On 
reaching it, she paused to get her 

As she stood there, all the events 
of the last few hours came back in a 
panorama, — the crowd, the lights, the 
winning of the ring, the loss of her 
lover, the visit to the church, the spir- 
itual reading, Mrs. Stevens's story, the 
interview with Mr. Fairweather, her 
first carriage ride. And now the 
ring was gone — her first and last 



She started up for the last landing " p 135, 


"Dear, dear!" she gasped. "It 
seems years since I won that ring — 
years and years since I left the hall. 
I must have lived half my life to- 

And indeed she had. 

Then she toiled painfully, labori- 
ously up to the next landing, where 
she paused again. 

Regina was utterly worn out. It 
was in very truth a long, long time 
since she won the diamond ring, 
and she needed rest sorely, sorely. 
She started up for the last landing, 
when, having made but a few steps, 
she was seized with a violent fit of 
coughing. When she took her 
handkerchief from her lips, it was 
stained with blood. She looked at 
it in the dim light, and suddenly 



grew very faint and dizzy. She 
swayed and tottered. 

" Hello ! " cried a voice at her ear, 
though to her it sounded far away. 
"What's the matter, my girl .5^ Let 
me help you." 
''^■' The man, apparently a doctor, who 

thus addressed her, was on his way 
down-stairs, and reached the faint- 
ing girl in time to prevent her from 

With little difficulty — she was very, 
very light — he helped her up to her 
room. Mrs. Stevens, who had heard 
them without, showed him the way. 

" Here, here ! " said Regina, faintly, 
reaching out her hand to Mrs. 

It was a twenty-dollar bill. 

The doctor, meanwhile, had taken 


Regina*s handkerchief and brought 
it over to the Hght. 

" Arterial," he murmured to himself. 

He approached the bed upon which 
Mrs. Stevens had laid Regina, and 
made a hurried but careful examina- 
tion of the new patient. 

" Is she* very ill ? " asked Mrs. 

" I should say that in all probabil- 
ity she has been very ill for many 
months. And so this is the girl who 
won the diamond ? " 

" How did you know that, sir ? " 
cried Mrs. Stevens. 

" Mr. Fairweather telephoned me 
the whole thing." 

" The ring is gone," Mrs. Stevens 

The doctor glanced at Regina. 


Her eyes were closed: she seemed to 
be asleep. 

"Yes ; it is gone," he assented. " But 
she will never need it, poor child ! " 

But Regina was not asleep. She 
heard every word, and she understood. 

Yes, she would never need it. 
Then her heart rose to her Best 
Beloved, to Him who had brought 
her safely along the thorny path : 

" ' Give me but Thy love and Thy 
grace,' " she whispered, " ' for these 
are sufficient for me.' ' But Thy love 
and Thy grace ' — ' But Thy love and 
Thy grace.' " 

And she received His love and 

His grace, and in the receiving her 

heart throbbed with a bliss seldom 

known upon earth ; for His love and 

His grace were indeed sufficient. 


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