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Full text of "Susanna and Sue"

BsanegtasiaaaBM 




NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES 



3 3333 081 19 5055 




ftate J^ouglag 



Susanna and Sue. Illustrated by ALICE BARBER STEPHENS. 
The Old Peabody Pew. Illustrated by ALICE BARBER STE- 

PHENS. 

Eebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. 

Neva Chronicles of Rebecca. Illustrated by F. C. YOHN. 
Rose o' the River. Illustrated by GEORGE WRIGHT. 
The Affair at the Inn. Illustrated by MARTIN JUSTICE. 
The Birds' Christmas Carol. Illustrated. 
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A Cathedral Courtship and Penelope's English Experiences. Il- 

lustrated by CLIFFORD CARLETON. 
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illustrations by CHARLES E. BROCK. 
Penelope's Progress. Experiences in Scotland. 
Penelope's Irish Experiences. 
Penelope's Experiences. Holiday Edition. In three volumes. 

Illustrated by CHARLES E. BROCK. I. England ; II. Scot- 

land ; III. Ireland. 
Mann Lisa. 

The Village Viatdi-Tower. Short Stories. 
Polly Oliver's Problem. A Story for Girls. Illustrated. 
Timothy's Quest. A Story for Anybody, Young or Old, who carea 

to read it. 
Timothy's Quest. Holiday Edition. Illustrated by OLIVER HER- 

FORD. 

A Summer in a Canon. A California Story. Illustrated Ly 

FRANK T. MERRILL. 
Nine Love Songs and a Carol. Poems set to music by MRS. 

WlGGIN. 



|)ougj)ton ^flifflm Company, 

BOSTON AND NEW YORK 



SUSANNA AND SUE 




UKV 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

By KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY 

ALICE BARBER STEPHENS 

AND N. C. WYETH 




HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 
BOSTON AND NEW YORK 
THE RIVERSIDE PRESS 
CAMBRIDGE : MDCCCCIX 




COPYRIGHT, IQOg, BY KATE DOUGLAS RIGGS 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

Published October iqoq 




CONTENTS 

I. Mother Ann's Children 

II. A Son of Adam 

III. Divers Doctrines 

IV. Louisa's Mind 

V. The Little Quail Bird 

VI. Susanna speaks in Meeting 

VII. "The Lower Plane" 

VIII. Concerning Backsliders 

IX. Love Manifold 

X. Brother and Sister 

XI. "The Open Door" 

XII. The Hills of Home 



1 

23 

43 

67 

87 

107 

121 

141 

163 

177 

195 

211 




ILLUSTRATIONS 

Looking up into her mother's face expectantly 
(page 102) Frontispiece 



Do you remember the little Nelson girl and her 
mother ? 



Susanna sat in her corner beside the aged Tabitha 112 

Hetty looking at the lad with all her heart in her 
eyes 130 



MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 




IT was the end of May, when "spring goeth 
all in white." The apple trees were scatter- 
ing their delicate petals on the ground, drop- 
ping them over the stone walls to the roadsides, 
where in the moist places of the shadows they 
fell on beds of snowv innocence. Here and 

*t 

there a single tree was tinged with pink, but 
so faintly, it was as if the white were blush- 
ing. Now and then a tiny white butterfly 
danced in the sun and pearly clouds strayed 
across the sky in fleecy flocks. 

Everywhere the grass was of ethereal green- 
ness, a greenness drenched with the pale yel- 
low of spring sunshine. Looking from earth to 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

sky and from blossom to blossom, the little 
world of the apple orchards, shedding its falling 
petals like fair-weather snow, seemed made 
of alabaster and porcelain, ivory and mother- 
of-pearl, all shimmering on a background of 
tender green. 

After you pass Albion village, with its 
streets shaded by elms and maples and its 
outskirts embowered in blossoming orchards, 
you wind along a hilly country road that runs 
between grassy fields. Here the whiteweed is 
already budding, and there are pleasant pas- 
tures dotted w T ith rocks and fringed with spruce 
and fir; stretches of woodland, too, where the 
road is lined with giant pines and you lift your 
face gratefully to catch the cool balsam breath 
of the forest. Coming from out this splendid 
shade, this silence too deep to be disturbed by 
light breezes or vagrant winds, you find your- 
self on the brow of a descending hill. The first 
thing that strikes the eye is a lake that might 
be a great blue sapphire dropped into the ver- 



MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

dant hollow where it lies. When the eye reluc- 
tantly leaves the lake on the left, it turns to rest 
upon the little Shaker Settlement on the right 
a dozen or so large comfortable white barns, 
sheds, and houses, standing in the wide orderly 
spaces of their own spreading acres of farm 
and timber land. There again the spring goeth 
all in white, for there is no spot to fleck the 
dazzling quality of Shaker paint, and their 
apple, plum, and pear trees are so well cared 
for that the snowy blossoms are fairly hiding 
the branches. 

The place is very still, although there are 
signs of labor in all directions. From a window 
of the girls' building a quaint little gray-clad 
figure is beating a braided rug ; a boy in home- 
spun, with his hair slightly long in the back 
and cut in a straight line across the forehead, 
is carrying milk-cans from the dairy to one of 
the Sisters' Houses. Men in broad-brimmed 
hats, with clean-shaven, ascetic faces, are 
ploughing or harrowing here and there in the 





JSL. 

SUSANNA AND SUE 

fields, while a group of Sisters is busy setting 
out plants and vines in some beds near a clus- 
ter of noble trees. That cluster of trees, did the 
eye of the stranger realize it, was the very 
starting-point of this Shaker Community, for 
in the year 1785, the valiant Father James 
Whittaker, one of Mother Ann Lee's earliest 
English converts, stopped near the village of 
Albion on his first visit to Maine. As he and 
his Elders alighted from their horses, they 
stuck into the ground the willow withes they 
had used as whips, and now, a hundred years 
later, the trees that had grown from these 
slender branches were nearly three feet in 
diameter. 

From whatever angle you look upon the 
Settlement, the first and strongest impression is 
of quiet order, harmony, and a kind of austere 
plenty. Nowhere is the purity of the spring so 
apparent. Nothing is out of place ; nowhere is 
any confusion, or appearance of loose ends, or 
neglected tasks. As you come nearer, you feel 



MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

the more surely that here there has never been 
undue haste nor waste ; no shirking, no putting 
off till the morrow what should have been done 
to-day. Whenever a shingle or a clapboard 
was needed it was put on, where paint was 
required it was used, - - that is evident ; and a 
look at the great barns stored with hay shows 
how the fields have been conscientiously edu- 
cated into giving a full crop. 

To such a spot as this might any tired or sin- 
ful heart come for rest ; hoping somehow, in the 
midst of such frugality and thrift, such self- 
denying labor, such temperate use of God's 
good gifts, such shining cleanliness of outward 
things, to regain and wear " the white flower of 
a blameless life." The very air of the place 
breathed peace, so thought Susanna Hatha- 
way ; and little Sue, who skipped by her side, 
thought nothing at all save that she was with 
mother in the country ; that it had been rather 
a sad journey, with mother so quiet and pale, 
and that she would be very glad to see supper, 




== -*"^ *r X^S^X'^ ^ /^W 

w 

SUSANNA AND SUE 



should it rise like a fairy banquet in the midst 
of these strange surroundings. 

It was only a mile and a half from the rail- 
way station to the Shaker Settlement, and 
Susanna knew the road well, for she had driven 
over it more than once as child and girl. A boy 
would bring the little trunk that contained their 
simple necessities later on in the evening, so 
she and Sue would knock at the door of the 
house where visitors were admitted, and be 
undisturbed by any gossiping company while 
they were pleading their case. 

"Are we most there, Mardie?" asked Sue 
for the twentieth time. "Look at me! I'm 
being a butterfly, or perhaps a white pigeon. 
No, I 'd rather be a butterfly, and then I can 
skim along faster and move my wings!" 

The airy little figure, all lightness and 
brightness, danced along the road, the white 
cotton dress rising and falling, the white- 
stockinged legs much in evidence, the arms 
outstretched as if in flight, straw hat falling off 



MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

yellow hair, and a little wisp of swansdown 
scarf floating out behind like the drapery of 
a baby Mercury. 

' We are almost there," her mother answered. 

'You can see the buildings now, if you will 

stop being a butterfly. Don't you like them?" 

'Yes, I 'specially like them all so white. Is 
it a town, Mardie?" 

"It is a village, but not quite like other 
villages. I have told you often about the 
Shaker Settlement, where your grandmother 
brought me once when I was just your age. 
There was a thunder-storm ; they kept us all 
night, and were so kind that I never forgot 
them. Then your grandmother and I stopped 
off once when we were going to Boston. I was 
ten then, and I remember more about it. 
The same sweet Eldress was there both times." 

"What is an El-der-ess, Mardie?" 

"A kind of everybody's mother, she seemed 
to be," Susanna responded, with a catch in her 
breath. 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

" I 'd 'specially like her ; will she be there 
now, Mardie?" 

"I'm hoping so, but it is eighteen years ago. 
I was ten and she was about forty, I should 
think." 

"Then o' course she'll be dead," said Sue, 
cheerfully, "or either she'll have no teeth or 
hair." 

"People don't always die before they are 
sixty, Sue." 

"Do they die when they want to, or when 
they must?" 

" Always when they must ; never, never when 
they want to," answered Sue's mother. 

"But o' course they would n't ever want to 
if they had any little girls to be togedder with, 
like you and me, Mardie?" And Sue looked 
up with eyes that were always like two inter- 
rogation points, eager by turns and by turns 
wistful, but never satisfied. 

"No," Susanna replied brokenly, "of 
course they would n't, unless sometimes they 





MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

were wicked for a minute or two and for- 
got." 

'Do the Shakers shake all the time, Mardie, 
or just once In a while ? And shall I see them 
doit?" 

" Sue, dear, I can't explain everything in the 
world to you while you are so little ; you really 
must wait until you're more grown up. The 
Shakers don't shake and the Quakers don't 
quake, and when you're older, I'll try to make 
you understand why they w r ere called so and 
why they kept the name." 

"Maybe the El-der-ess can make me under- 
stand right off now ; I'd 'specially like it." And 
Sue ran breathlessly along to the gate where 
the North Family House stood in its stately, 
white-and-green austerity. 

Susanna followed, and as she caught up with 
the impetuous Sue, the front door of the house 
opened and a figure appeared on the threshold. 
Mother and child quickened their pace and 
went up the steps, Susanna with a hopeless 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

burden of fear and embarrassment clogging 
her tongue and dragging at her feet; Sue so 
expectant of new disclosures and fresh experi- 
ences that her face beamed like a full moon. 

Eldress Abby (for it was Eldress Abby) had 
indeed survived the heavy weight of her fifty- 
five or sixty summers, and looked as if she 
might reach a yet greater age. She wore the 
simple Shaker afternoon dress of drab alpaca; 
an irreproachable muslin surplice encircled her 
straight, spare shoulders, while her hair was 
almost entirely concealed by the stiffly wired, 
transparent white-net cap that served as a 
frame to the tranquil face. The face itself was 
a network of delicate, fine wrinkles ; but every 
wrinkle must have been as lovely in God's 
sight as it was in poor unhappy Susanna 
Hath away 's. Some of them were graven by 
self-denial and hard work; others perhaps 
meant the giving up of home, of parents and 
brothers or sisters ; perhaps some worldly love, 
the love that Father Adam bequeathed to the 




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t. H"V '* V ( 

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MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

human family, had been slain in Abby's youth, 
and the scars still remained to show the body's 
suffering and the spirit's triumph. At all 
events, whatever foes had menaced her purity 
or her tranquillity had been conquered, and she 
exhaled serenity as the rose sheds fragrance. 

" Do you remember the little Nelson girl and 
her mother that stayed here all night, years 
ago?" asked Susanna, putting out her hand 
timidly. 

"Why, seems to me I do," assented Eldress 
Abby, genially. "So many comes and goes it's 
hard to remember all. Did n't you come once 
in a thunder-storm?" 

"Yes, one of your barns was struck by light- 
ning and we sat up all night." 

"Yee, yee. 1 I remember well ! Your mother 
was a beautiful spirit. I could n't forget her." 

"And we came once again, mother and I, 
and spent the afternoon with you, and went 
strawberrying in the pasture." 

1 "Yea" is always thus pronounced by the Shakers. 







SUSANNA AND SUE 

'Yee, yee, so we did; I hope your mother 
continues in health." 

"She died the very next year," Susanna 
answered in a trembling voice, for the time of 
explanation was near at hand and her heart 
failed her. 

"Won't you come into the sitting-room and 
rest awhile ? You must be tired walking from 
the deepot." 

"No, thank you, not just yet. I'll step into 
the front entry a minute. Sue, run and sit in 
that rocking-chair on the porch and watch the 
cows going into the big barn. Do you re- 
member, Eldress Abby, the second time I came, 
how you sat me down in the kitchen with a 
bowl of wild strawberries to hull for supper? 
They were very small and ripe ; I did my best, 
for I never meant to be careless, but the bowl 
slipped and fell, my legs were too short to 
reach the floor, and I could n't make a lap, 
so in trying to pick up the berries I spilled juice 
on my dress, and on the white apron you had 



MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

tied on for me. Then my fingers were stained 
and wet and the hulls kept falling in with the 
soft berries, and when you came in and saw me 
you held up your hands and said, 'Dear, dear! 
you have made a mess of your work!' Oh, 
Eldress Abby, they've come back to me all day, 
those words. I've tried hard to be good, but 
somehow I've made just such a mess of my 
life as I made of hulling the berries. The bowl 
is broken, I have n't much fruit to show, and I 
am all stained and draggled. I should n't have 
come to Albion on the five-o'clock train - - that 
was an accident; I meant to come at noon, 
when you could turn me away if you wanted 
to." 

"Nay, that is not the Shaker habit," remon- 
strated Abby. " You and the child can sleep in 
one of the spare chambers at the Office Build- 
ing and be welcome." 

"But I want much more than that," said 
Susanna, tearfully. "I want to come and live 
here, where there is no marrying nor giving in 





JSL 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

marriage. I am so tired with my disappoint- 
ments and discouragements and failures that 
it is no use to try any longer. I am Mrs. Hatha- 
way, and Sue is my child, but I have left my 
husband for good and all, and I only want to 
spend the rest of my days here in peace and 
bring up Sue to a more tranquil life than I have 
ever had. I have a little money, so that I shall 
not be a burden to you, and I will work from 
morning to night at any task you set me." 

"I will talk to the Family," said Eldress 
Abby, gravely; 'but there are a good many 
things to settle before we can say yee to all 
you ask." 

" Let me confess everything freely and fully," 
pleaded Susanna, "and if you think I'm to 
blame, I will go away at once." 

" Nay, this is no time for that. It is our duty 
to receive all and try all ; then if you should be 
gathered in, you would unburden your heart 
to God through the Sister appointed to receive 
your confession." 




ANN'S CHILDREN 

Sue have to sleep in the children's 
building away from me?" 

Nay, not now; you are company, not a 
Shaker, and anyway you could keep the child 
with you till she is a little older; that's not for- 
bidden at first, though there comes a time 
when the ties of the flesh must be broken ! All 
you've got to do now's to be 'pure and peace- 
able, gentle, easy to be entreated, and without 
hypocrisy.' That's about all there is to the 
Shaker creed, and that's enough to keep us all 
busy." 

Sue ran in from the porch excitedly and 
caught her mother's hand. 

"The cows have all gone into the barn," she 
chattered; "and the Shaker gentlemen are 
milking them, and not one of them is shaking 
the least bit, for I 'specially noticed; and I 
looked in through the porch window, and there 
is nice supper on a table bread and butter 
and milk and dried-apple sauce and ginger- 
bread and cottage cheese. Is it for us, Mardie ? " 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

Susanna's lip was trembling and her face was 
pale. She lifted her swimming eyes to the Sis- 
ter's and asked, "Is it for us, Eldress Abby?" 

"Yee, it's for you," she answered; "there's 
always a Shaker supper on the table for all who 
want to leave the husks and share the feast. 
Come right in and help yourselves. I will sit 
down with you." 

Supper was over, and Susanna and Sue were 
lying in a little upper chamber under the stars. 
It was the very one that Susanna had slept in 
as a child, or that she had been put to bed in, 
for there was little sleep that night for any one. 
She had leaned on the window-sill with her 
mother and watched the pillar of flame and 
smoke ascend from the burning barn ; and once 
in the early morning she had stolen out of bed, 
and, kneeling by the open window, had watched 
the two silent Shaker brothers who were guard- 
ing the smoldering ruins, fearful lest the wind 
should rise and bear any spark to the roofs of 





MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

the precious buildings they had labored so hard 
to save. 

The chamber was spotless and devoid of 
ornament. The paint was robin's egg blue and 
of a satin gloss. The shining floor was of the 
same color, and neat braided rugs covered 
exposed places near the bureau, washstand, and 
bed. Various useful articles of Shaker manu- 
facture interested Sue greatly: the exquisite 
straw-work that covered the whisk-broom; 
the mending-basket, pincushion, needle-book, 
spool and watch cases, hair-receivers, pin- 
trays, might all have been put together by fairy 
fingers. 

Sue's prayers had been fervent, but a trifle 
disjointed, covering all subjects from Jack and 
Fardie, to Grandma in heaven and Aunt Louisa 
at the farm, with special references to El-der- 
ess Abby and the Shaker cows, and petitions 
that the next day be fair so that she could see 
them milked. Excitement at her strange, unac- 
customed surroundings had put the child's 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

mind in a very whirl, and she had astonished 
her mother with a very new and disturbing 
version of the Lord's prayer, ending: 'God 
give us our debts and help us to forget our 
debtors and theirs shall be the glory, Amen." 
Now she lay quietly on the wall side of the 
clean, narrow bed, while her mother listened 
to hear the regular breathing that would mean 
that she was off for the land of dreams. The 
child's sleep would leave the mother free to slip 
out of bed and look at the stars ; free to pray and 
long and wonder and suffer and repent, - - not 
wholly, but in part, for she was really at peace 
in all but the innermost citadel of her con- 
science. She had left her husband, and for the 
moment, at all events, she was fiercely glad; 
but she had left her boy, and Jack was only 
ten. Jack was not the helpless, clinging sort; 
he was a little piece of his father, and his favor- 
ite. Aunt Louisa would surely take him, and 
Jack would scarcely feel the difference, for he 
had never shown any special affection for any- 



MOTHER ANN'S CHILDREN 

body. Still he was her child, nobody could pos- 
sibly get around that fact, and it was a stum- 
bling-block in the way of forgetfulness or ease 
of mind. Oh, but for that, what unspeakable 
content she could feel in this quiet haven, this 
self-respecting solitude ! To have her thoughts, 
her emotions, her- words, her self, to herself 
once more, as she had had them before she was 
married at seventeen. To go to sleep in peace, 
without listening for a step she had once heard 
with gladness, but that now sometimes stum- 
bled unsteadily on the stair; or to dream as 
happy women dreamed, without being roused 
by the voice of the present John, a voice so 
different from that of the past John that it 
made the heart ache to listen to it. 

Sue's voice broke the stillness: "How long 
are we going to stay here, Mardie?" 

: 'I don't know, Sue ; I think perhaps as long 
as thev '11 let us." 

/ 

'Will Fardie come and see us?" 
"I don't expect him." 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

Who '11 take care of Jack, Mardie? : 

'Your Aunt Louisa." 

"She'll scold him awfully, but he never 
cries; he just says, 'Pooh! what do I care?' 
Oh, I forgot to pray for that very nicest Shaker 
gentleman that said he'd let me help him feed 
the calves ! Had n't I better get out of bed and 
do it? I 'd 'specially like to." 

'Very well, Sue; and then go to sleep." 

Safely in bed again, there was a long pause, 
and then the eager little voice began, "Who'll 
take care of Fardie now?" 

" He 's a big man ; he does n't need anybody." 

"What if he's sick?" 

"We must go back to him, I suppose." 

"To-morrow 's Sunday; what if he needs us 
to-morrow, Mardie ? ' ' 

" I don't know, I don't know ! Oh, Sue, Sue, 
don't ask your wretched mother any more 
questions, for she cannot bear them to-night. 
Cuddle up close to her ; love her and forgive her 
and help her to know what 's right." 



II 



A SON OF ADAM 








II 

WHEN Susanna Nelson at seventeen 
married John Hathaway, she had the 
usual cogent reasons for so doing, with some 
rather more unusual ones added thereto. She 
was alone in the world, and her life with an 
uncle, her mother's only relative, was an un- 
happy one. No assistance in the household 
tasks that she had ever been able to render 
made her a welcome member of the family or 
kept her from feeling a burden, and she be- 
longed no more to the little circle at seventeen, 
than she did when she became a part of it at 
twelve. The hope of being independent and 
earning her own living had sustained her 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

through the last year ; but it was a very timid, 
self-distrustful, love-starved little heart that 
John Hathaway stormed and carried by as- 
sault. Her girl's life in a country school and 
her uncle's very rigid and orthodox home had 
been devoid of emotion or experience; still, her 
mother had early sown seeds in her mind and 
spirit that even in the most arid soil were cer- 
tain to flower into beauty when the time for 
flowering came; and intellectually Susanna 
was the clever daughter of clever parents. She 
was very immature, because, after early child- 
hood, her environment had not been favorable 
to her development. At seventeen she began to 
dream of a future as bright as the past had been 
dreary and uneventful. Visions of happiness, 
of goodness, and of service haunted her, and 
sometimes, gleaming through the mists of 
dawning womanhood, the figure, all luminous, 
of The Man ! 

When John Hathaway appeared on the hori- 
zon, she promptly clothed him in all the beau- 



A SON OF ADAM 

tiful garments of her dreams ; they were a gro- 
tesque misfit, but when we intimate that women 
have confused the dream and the reality before, 

/ 

and may even do so again, we make the only 
possible excuse for poor little Susanna Nelson. 
John Hathaway was the very image of the 
outer world that lay beyond Susanna's village. 
He was a fairly prosperous, genial, handsome 
young merchant, who looked upon life as a place 
furnished by Providence in which to have "a 
good time." His parents had frequently told 
him that it was expedient for him to "settle 
down," and he supposed that he might finally 
do so, if he should ever find a girl who would 
tempt him to relinquish his liberty. (The line 
that divides liberty and license was a little 
vague to John Hathaway!) It is curious that 
he should not have chosen for his life-partner 
some thoughtless, rosy, romping young person, 
whose highest conception of connubial happi- 
ness would have been to drive twenty miles to 
the seashore on a Sunday, and having par- 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

taken of all the season's delicacies, solid and 
liquid, to come home hilarious by moonlight. 
That, however, is not the way the little love- 
imps do their work in the world; or is it pos- 
sible that they are not imps at all who provoke 
and stimulate and arrange these strange mar- 
riages - -not imps, but honest, chastening little 
character-builders ? In any event, the moment 
that John Hathaway first beheld Susanna Nel- 
son was the moment of his surrender ; yet the 
wooing was as incomprehensible as that of 
a fragile, dainty little hummingbird by a pom- 
pous, greedy, big-breasted robin. 

Susanna was like a New England anemone. 
Her face was oval in shape and as smooth and 
pale as a pearl. Her hair was dark, not very 
heavy, and as soft as a child's. Her lips were 
delicate and sensitive, her eyes a cool gray, 
clear, steady, and shaded by darker lashes. 
When John Hathaway met her shy, maidenly 
glance and heard her pretty, dovelike voice, it 
is strange he did not see that there was a bit 



A SON OF ADAM 

too much saint in her to make her a willing 
comrade of his gay, roistering life. But as a 
matter of fact, John Hathaway saw nothing at 
all; nothing but that Susanna Nelson was a 
lovely girl and he wanted her for his own. The 
type was one he had never met before, one that 
allured him by its mysteries and piqued him 
by its shy aloofness. 

John had a "way with him," - a way that 
speedily won Susanna ; and after all there was 
a best to him as well as a worst. He had a 
twinkling eye, an infectious laugh, a sweet dis- 
position, and while he was over-susceptible to 
the charm of a pretty face, he had a chivalrous 
admiration for all women, coupled, it must be 
confessed, with a decided lack of discrimina- 
tion in values. His boyish light-heartedness 
had a charm for everybody, including Susanna ; 
a charm that lasted until she discovered that 
his heart was light not only when it ought to 
be light, but when it ought to be heavy. 

He was very much in love with her, but there 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

was nothing particularly exclusive, unique, in- 
dividual, or interesting about his passion at that 
time. It was of the every-day sort which carries 
a well-meaning man to the altar, and some- 
times, in cases of exceptional fervor and dura- 
tion, even a little farther. Stock sizes of this 
article are common and inexpensive, and John 
Hathaway's love when he married Susanna 
was, judged by the highest standards, about 
as trivial an affair as Cupid ever put upon the 
market or a man ever offered to a woman. 
Susanna on the same day offered John, or 
the wooden idol she was worshiping as John, 
her whole self - - mind, body, heart, and spirit. 
So the couple were united, and smilingly signed 
the marriage-register, a rite by which their love 
for each other was supposed to be made 
eternal. 

"Will you love me?" said he. 
"Will you love me?" said she. 

Then they answered together : 
"Through foul and fair weather, 

From sunrise to moonrise, 



A SON OF ADAM 




From moonrise to sunrise, 

By heath and by harbour, 

In orchard or arbour, 

In the time of the rose, 

In the time of the snows, 

Through smoke and through smother 

We'll love one another!" 

Cinderella, when the lover-prince discovers 
her and fits the crystal slipper to her foot, 
makes short work of flinging away her rags; 
and in some such pretty, airy, unthinking way 
did Susanna fling aside the dullness, inhospi- 
tality, and ugliness of her uncle's home and 
depart in a cloud of glory on her wedding 
journey. She had been lonely, now she would 
have companionship. She had been of no con- 
sequence, now she would be queen of her own 
small domain. She had been last with every- 
body, now she would be first with one, at least. 
She had w r orked hard and received neither 
compensation nor gratitude; henceforward her 
service would be gladly rendered at an altar 
where votive offerings would not be taken as a 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

matter of course. She was only a slip of a girl 
now; marriage and housewifely cares would 
make her a woman. Some time perhaps the 
last great experience of life would come to her, 
and then what a crown of joys would be hers, 
-love, husband, home, children! What a 
vision it was, and how soon the chief glory of 
it faded ! 

Never were two beings more hopelessly 
unlike than John Hathaw r ay single and John 
Hathaway married, but the bliss lasted a few 
years, nevertheless : partly because Susanna's 
charm was deep and penetrating, the sort 
to hold a false man for a time and a true 
man forever; partly because she tried, as a 
girl or woman has seldom tried before, to 
do her duty and to keep her own ideal unshat- 
tered. 

John had always been convivial, but Su- 
sanna at seventeen had been at once too in- 
nocent and too ignorant to judge a man's 
tendencies truly, or to rate his character at its 





JSL 



A SON OF ADAM 

real worth. As time went on, his earlier lean- 
ings grew more definite ; he spent on pleasure 
far more than he could afford, and his conduct 
became a byword in the neighborhood. His 
boy he loved. He felt on a level with Jack, 
could understand him, play with him, punish 
him, and make friends with him; but little Sue 
was different. She always seemed to him the 
concentrated essence of her mother's soul, and 
when unhappy days came, he never looked in 
her radiant, searching eyes without a con- 
sciousness of inferiority. The little creature had 
loved her jolly, handsome, careless father at 
first, even though she feared him ; but of late 
she had grown shy, silent, and timid, for his 
indifference chilled her and she flung herself 
upon her mother's love with an almost unchild- 
like intensity. This unhappy relation between 
the child and the father gave Susanna's heart 
new pangs. She still loved her husband, - -not 
dearly, but a good deal ; and over and above 
that remnant of the old love which still en- 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

dured she gave him unstinted care and hopeful 
maternal tenderness. 

The crash came in course of time. John 
transcended the bounds of his wife's patience 
more and more. She made her last protests; 
then she took one passionate day to make up 
her mind, - - a day when John and the boy were 
away together ; a day of complete revolt against 
everything she was facing in the present, and, 
so far as she could see, everything that she had 
to face in the future. Prayer for light left her in 
darkness, and she had no human creature to 
advise her. Conscience was overthrown; she 
could see no duty save to her own outraged 
personality. Often and often during the year 
just past she had thought of the peace, the 
grateful solitude and shelter of that Shaker 
Settlement hidden among New England or- 
chards; that quiet haven where there was 
neither marrying nor giving in marriage. Now 
her bruised heart longed for such a life of 
nun-like simplicity and consecration, where 





A SON OF ADAM 

men and women met only as brothers and sis- 
ters, where they worked side by side with no 
thought of personal passion or personal gain, 
but only for the common good of the commu- 
nity. 

Albion village was less than three hours dis- 
tant by train. She hastily gathered her plainest 
clothes and Sue's, packed them in a small 
trunk, took her mother's watch, her own little 
store of money and the twenty-dollar gold 
piece John's senior partner had given Sue on 
her last birthday, wrote a letter of good-by to 
John, and went out of her cottage gate in a 
storm of feeling so tumultuous that there was 
no room for reflection. Besides, she had re- 
flected, and reflected, for months and months, 
so she w r ould have said, and the time had come 
for action. Susanna was not unlettered, but 
she certainly had never read Meredith or she 
would have learned that "love is an affair of 
two, and only for two that can be as quick, as 
constant in intercommunication as are sun and 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

earth, through the cloud, or face to face. They 
take their breath of life from each other in 
signs of affection, proofs of faithfulness, incen- 
tives to admiration. But a solitary soul drag- 
ging a log must make the log a God to rejoice 
in the burden." The demigod that poor, blind 
Susanna married had vanished, and she could 
drag the log no longer, but she made one mis- 
take in judging her husband, in that she re- 
garded him, at thirty-two, as a finished pro- 
duct, a man who was finally this and that, and 
behaved thus and so, and would never be any 
different. 

The "age of discretion" is a movable feast 
of extraordinary uncertainty, and John Hatha- 
way was a little behindhand in overtaking it. 
As a matter of fact, he had never for an instant 
looked life squarely in the face. He took a 
casual glance at it now and then, after he was 
married, but it presented no very distinguish- 
able features, nothing to make him stop and 
think, nothing to arouse in him any special 




ADAM 

sense of responsibility. Boys have a way of 
"growing up," however, sooner or later, at 
least most of them have, and that possibility 
was not sufficiently in the foreground of Su- 
sanna's mind when she finished what she con- 
sidered an exhaustive study of her husband's 
character. 

"I am leaving you, John [she wrote], to see 
if I can keep the little love I have left for you 
as the father of my children. I seem to have 
lost all the rest of it living with you. I am not 
perfectly sure that I am right in going, for 
everybody seems to think that women, mothers 
especially, should bear anything rather than 
desert the home. I could not take Jack away, 
for you love him and he will be a comfort to 
you. A comfort to you, yes, but what will you 
be to him now that he is growing older ? That 
is the thought that troubles me, yet I dare not 
take him with me when he is half yours. You 
will not miss me, nor will the loss of Sue make 
any difference. Oh, John! how can you help 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

loving that blessed little creature, so much bet- 
ter and so much more gifted than either of us 
that we can only wonder how we came to be 
her father and mother ? Your sin against her is 
greater than that against me, for at least you 
are not responsible for bringing me into the 
world. I know Louisa will take care of Jack, 
and she lives so near that you can see him as 
often as you wish. I shall let her know my ad- 
dress, which I have asked her to keep to her- 
self. She will write to me if you or Jack should 
be seriously ill, but not for any other reason. 

"As for you, there is nothing more that I 
can say except to confess freely that I was not 
the right wife for you and that mine was not 
the only mistake. I have tried my very best 
to meet you in everything that was not abso- 
lutely wrong, and I have used all the argu- 
ments I could think of, but it only made mat- 
ters worse. I thought I knew you, John, in the 
old days. How comes it that we have traveled 
so far apart, we who began together ? It seems 



A SON OF ADAM 




to me that some time you must come to your 
senses and take up your life seriously, for this 
is not life, the sorry thing you have lived lately, 
but I cannot wait any longer ! I am tired, tired, 
tired of waiting and hoping, too tired to do 
anything but drag myself away from the sight 
of your folly. You have wasted our children's 
substance, indulged your appetites until you 
have lost the respect of your best friends, and 
you have made me - - who was your choice, 
your wife, the head of your house, the woman 
who brought your children into the world - 
you have made me an object of pity; a poor, 
neglected thing who could not meet her neigh- 
bors' eyes without blushing." 

When Jack and his father returned from 
their outing at eight o'clock in the evening, 
having had supper at a wayside hotel, the boy 
went to bed philosophically, lighting his lamp 
for himself, the conclusion being that the two 
other members of the household were a little 
late, but would be in presently. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

The next morning was bright and fair. Jack 
waked at cockcrow, and after calling to his 
mother and Sue, jumped out of bed, ran into 
their rooms to find them empty, then bounced 
down the stairs two at a time, going through 
the sitting-room on his way to find Ellen in the 
kitchen. His father was sitting at the table 
with the still-lighted student lamp on it; the 
table where lessons had been learned, books 
read, stories told, mending done, checkers and 
dominoes played; the big, round walnut table 
that was the focus of the family life but 
mother's table, not father's. 

John Hathaway had never left his chair nor 
taken off his hat. His cane leaned against his 
knee, his gloves were in his left hand, while 
the right held Susanna's letter. 

He was asleep, although his lips twitched 
and he stirred uneasily. His face was haggard, 
and behind his closed lids, somewhere in the 
centre of thought and memory, a train of fiery 
words burned in an ever-widening circle, round 





A SON OF ADAM 

and round and round, ploughing, searing their 
way through some obscure part of him that 
had heretofore been without feeling, but w r as 
now all quick and alive with sensation. 

* You have made me - - who was your 
choice, your wife, the head of your house, the 
woman who brought your children into the 
world you have made me an object of pity ; a 
poor, neglected thing who could not meet her 
neighbors' eyes without blushing " 

Any one who wished to pierce John Hatha- 
way's armor at that period of his life would 
have had to use a very sharp and pointed 
arrow, for he was well wadded with the belief 
that a man has a right to do what he likes. 
Susanna's shaft was tipped with truth and 
dipped in the blood of her outraged heart. 
The stored-up force of silent years \vent into 
the speeding of it. She had never shot an 
arrow before, and her skill was instinctive 
rather than scientific, but the powers W 7 ere on 
her side and she aimed better than she knew 






SUSANNA AND SUE 

those who took note of John Hathaway's 
behavior that summer would have testified 
willingly to that. It was the summer in which 
his boyish irresponsibility slipped away from 
him once and for all; a summer in which the 
face of life ceased to be an indistinguishable 
mass of meaningless events and disclosed an 
order, a reason, a purpose hitherto unseen and 
undefined. The boy "grew up," rather tardily 
it must be confessed. His soul had not added 
a cubit to its stature in sunshine, gayety, and 
prosperity; it took the shock of grief, hurt 
pride, solitude, and remorse to make a man of 
John Hathaway. 



DIVERS DOCTRINES 





IT was a radiant July morning in Albion 
village, and when Sue first beheld it from 
the bedroom window at the Shaker Settlement, 
she had wished ardently that it might never, 
never grow dark, and that Jack and Fardie 
might be having the very same sunshine in 
Farnham. It was not noon yet, but experience 
had in some way tempered the completeness 
of her joy, for the marks of tears were on her 
pretty little face. She had neither been scolded 
nor punished, but she had been dragged away 
from a delicious play without any adequate 
reason. She had disappeared after breakfast, 
while Susanna was helping Sister Tabitha with 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

the beds and the dishes, but as she was the most 
docile of children, her mother never thought of 
anxiety. At nine o'clock Eldress Abby took 
Susanna to the laundry house, and there under 
a spreading maple were Sue and the two 
youngest little Shakeresses, children of seven 
and eight respectively. Sue was directing the 
plays : chattering, planning, ordering, and 
suggesting expedients to her slower-minded 
and less-experienced companions. They had 
dragged a large box from one of the sheds and 
set it up under the tree. The interior had been 
quickly converted into a commodious resi- 
dence, one not in the least of a Shaker type. 
Small bluing-boxes served for bedstead and 
dining-table, bits of broken china for the 
dishes, while tiny flat stones were the seats, 
and four clothes-pins, tastefully clad in hand- 
kerchiefs, surrounded the table. 

"Do they kneel in prayer before they eat, 
as all Believers do?" asked Shaker Mary. 

"I don't believe Adam and Eve was Be- 



DIVERS DOC' BRINES 




cause 

to be?" replied Sue; "still we might let them 
pray, anyway, though clothes-pins don't kneel 
nicely." 

"I've got another one all dressed," said 
little Shaker Jane. 

'We can't have any more; Adam and Eve 
did n't have only two children in my Sunday- 
school lesson, - - Cain and Abel," objected 
Sue. 

"Can't this one be a company?" pleaded 
Mary, anxious not to waste the clothes-pin. 

; 'But where could comp'ny come from?" 
queried Sue. ' There was n't any more people 
anywheres but just Adam and Eve and Cain 
and Abel. Put the clothes-pin in your apron- 
pocket, Jane, and bimeby we'll let Eve have a 
little new baby, and I'll get Mardie to name it 
right out of the Bible. Now let's begin. Adam 
is awfully tired this morning; he says, 'Eve, 
I've been workin' all night and I can't eat my 
breakfuss.' Now, Mary, you be Cain, he's a 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

little boy, and you must say, 'Fardie, play 
little with me, please!' and Fardie will say, 
'Child'en should n't talk at the '" 

What subjects of conversation would have 
been aired at the Adamic family board before 
breakfast was finished will never be known, 
for Eldress Abby, w r ith a firm but not unkind 
grasp, took Shaker Jane and Mary by their 
little hands and said, "Morning's not the time 
for play; run over to Sister Martha and help 
her shell the peas ; then there'll be your seams 
to oversew." 

Sue watched the disappearing children and 
saw the fabric of her dream fade into thin air ; 
but she was a person of considerable individual- 
ity for her years. Her lip quivered, tears rushed 
to her eyes and flowed silently down her 
cheeks, but without a glance at Eldress Abby 
or a word of comment she walked slowly away 
from the laundry, her chin high. 

"Sue meant all right, she was only playing 
the plays of the world," said Eldress Abby, 





DIVERS DOCTRINES 

but you can well understand, Susanna, that 
we can't let our Shaker children play that way 
and get wrong ideas into their heads at the be- 
ginning. We don't condemn an honest, orderly 
marriage as a worldly institution, but we claim 
it has no place in Christ's kingdom ; therefore 
we leave it to the world, where it belongs. The 
world's people live on the lower plane of Adam; 
the Shakers try to live on the Christ plane, 
in virgin purity, long-suffering, meekness, and 
patience." 

"I see, I know," Susanna answered slowly, 
with a little glance at injured Sue walking 
toward the house, "but we need n't leave the 
children unhappy this morning, for I can 
think of a play that will comfort them and 
please you. - -Come back, Sue ! Wait a minute, 
Mary and Jane, before you go to Sister 
Martha! We will play the story that Sister 
Tabitha told us last week. Do you remember 
about Mother Ann Lee in the English prison ? 
The soap-box will be her cell, for it was so 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

small she could not lie down in it. Take some 
of the shingles, Jane, and close up the open 
side of the box. Do you see the large brown 
spot in one of them, Mary ? Push that very 
hard with a clothes-pin and there'll be a hole 
through the shingle; -- that's right! Now, 
Sister Tabitha said that Mother Ann was kept 
for days without food, for people thought she 
was a wicked, dangerous woman, and they 
would have been willing to let her die of 
starvation. But there was a great key-hole in 
the door, and James Whittaker, a boy of nine- 
teen, who loved Mother Ann and believed in 
her, put the stem of a clay pipe in the hole and 
poured a mixture of wine and milk through it. 
He managed to do this day after day, so that 
when the jailer opened the cell door, expecting 
to find Mother Ann dying for lack of food, she 
walked out looking almost as strong and well 
as when she entered. You can play it all out, 
and afterwards you can make the ship that 
brought Mother Ann and the other Shakers 









DIVERS DOCTRINES 

from Liverpool to New York. The clothes- 
pins can be who will they be, Jane?" 

"William Lee, Nancy Lee, James Whit- 
taker, and I forget the others," recited Jane, 
like an obedient parrot. 

"And it will be splendid to have James 
Whittaker, for he really came to Albion," said 
Mary. 

"Perhaps he stood on this very spot more 
than once," mused Abby. : 'It was Mother 
Ann's vision that brought them to this land, 
a vision of a large tree with outstretching 
branches, every leaf of which shone with the 
brightness of a burning torch ! Oh ! if the 
vision would only come true! If Believers 
would only come to us as many as the leaves 
on the tree," she sighed, as she and Susanna 
moved away from the group of chattering chil- 
dren, all as eager to play the history of Shaker- 
ism as they had been to dramatize the family 
life of Adam and Eve. 

"There must be so many men and women 



jw 

s 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

without ties, living useless lives, with no aim or 
object in them," Susanna said, "I wonder that 
more of them do not find their way here. The 
peace and goodness and helpfulness of the life 
sink straight into my heart. The Brothers and 
Sisters are so friendly and cheery with one an- 
other; there is neither gossip nor hard words; 
there is pleasant work, and your thoughts 
seem to be all so concentrated upon right 
living that it is like heaven below, only I 
feel that the cross is there, bravely as you all 
bear it." 

" There are roses on my cross most beautiful to see, 
As I turn from all the dross from which it sets me free," 

quoted Eldress Abby, devoutly. 

"It is easy enough for me," continued Su- 
sanna, "for it was no cross for me to give up my 
husband at the time ; but oh, if a woman had a 
considerate, loving man to live with, one who 
would strengthen her and help her to be good, 
one who would protect and cherish her, one 
who would be an example to his children and 



DIVERS DOCTRINES 

bring them up in the fear of the Lord - - that 

^""A 

would be heaven below, too; and how could 
she bear to give it all up when it seems so good, 
so true, so right ? Might n't two people walk 
together to God if both chose the same path ?" 

"It's my belief that one can find the road 
better alone than when somebody else is going 
alongside to distract them. Not that the Lord 
is going to turn anybody away, not even when 
they bring Him a lot of burned-out trash for a 
gift," said Eldress Abby, bluntly. "But don't 
you believe He sees the difference between a 
person that comes to Him when there is no- 
where else to turn - - a person that's tried all 
and found it wanting and one that gives up 
freely pleasure, and gain, and husband, and 
home, to follow the Christ life?" 

"Yes, He must, He must," Susanna an- 
swered faintly. 'But the children, Eldress 
Abby ! If you had n't any, you could perhaps 
keep yourself from wanting them; but if you 
had, how could you give them up ? Jesus was 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

the great Saviour of mankind, but next to Him 
it seems as if the children had been the little 
saviours, from the time the first one was born 
until this very day!" 

'Yee, I've no doubt they keep the worst 
of the world's people, those that are living in 
carnal marriage without a thought of godliness, 
I've no doubt children keep that sort from 
going to the lowest perdition," allowed Eldress 
Abby ; " and those we bring up in the Commu- 
nity make the best converts ; but to a Shaker, 
the greater the sacrifice, the greater the glory. 
I wish you was gathered in, Susanna, for your 
hands and feet are quick to serve, your face is 
turned toward the truth, and your heart is all 
ready to receive the revelation." 

"I wish I need n't turn my back on one 
set of duties to take up another," murmured 
Susanna, timidly. 

' Yee ; no doubt you do. Your business is to 
find out which are the higher duties, and then 
do those. Just make up your mind w r hether 





DIVERS DOCTRINES 

you'd rather replenish earth, as you've been 
doing, or replenish heaven, as we're trying to 
do. - - But I must go to my work ; ten o'clock 
in the morning's a poor time to be discussing 
doctrine! You're for weeding, Susanna, I 
suppose?" 

Brother Ansel was seated at a grindstone 
under the apple trees, teaching (intermittently) 
a couple of boys to grind a scythe, when Su- 
sanna came to her work in the herb-garden, Sue 
walking discreetly at her heels. 

Ansel was a slow-moving, humorously- 
inclined, easy-going Brother, who was drifting 
into the kingdom of heaven without any special 
effort on his part. 

"I'd 'bout as lives be a Shaker as anything 
else," had been his rather dubious statement 
of faith when he requested admittance into 
the band of Believers. "No more crosses, 
accordin' to my notion, an' consid'able more 
chance o' crowns!" 

His experience of life " on the Adamic plane," 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

the holy estate of matrimony, being the chief 
sin of this way of thought, had disposed him to 
regard woman as an apparently necessary, but 
not especially desirable, being. The theory of 
holding property in common had no terrors 
for him. He was generous, unambitious, frugal- 
minded, somewhat lacking in energy, and just 
as actively interested in his brother's welfare 
as in his own, which is perhaps not saying 
much. Shakerism was to him not a craving of 
the spirit, not a longing of the soul, but a simple, 
prudent theory of existence, lessening the vari- 
ous risks that man is exposed to in his journey 
through this vale of tears. 

"Women-folks makes splendid Shakers," he 
was wont to say. "They're all right as Sisters, 
'cause their belief makes 'em safe. It kind o' 
shears 'em o' their strength ; tames their sper- 
its; takes the sting out of 'em an' keeps 'em 
from bein' sassy an' domineerin'. Jest as long 
as they think marriage is right, they '11 marry 
ye spite of anything ye can do or say four of 



DIVERS DOCTRINES 

'em married my father one after another, 
though he fit 'em off as hard as he knew how. 
But if ye can once get the faith o' Mother Ann 
into 'em, they 're as good afterwards as they 
was wicked afore. There's no stoppin' women- 
folks once ye get 'em started ; they don't keer 
whether it's heaven or the other place, so long 
as they get where they want to go!" 

Elder Daniel Gray had heard Brother Ansel 
state his religious theories more than once when 
he was first "gathered in," and secretly la- 
mented the lack of spirituality in the new con- 
vert. The Elder was an instrument more finely 
attuned ; sober, humble, pure-minded, zealous, 
consecrated to the truth as he saw it, he labored 
in and out of season for the faith he held so 
dear; yet as the years went on, he noted that 
Ansel, notwithstanding his eccentric views, 
lived an honest, temperate, God-fearing life, 
talking no scandal, dwelling in unity with his 
brethren and sisters, and upholding the banner 
of Shakerism in his own peculiar way. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

As Susanna approached him, Ansel called 
out, ' The yairbs are all ready for ye, Susanna ; 
the weeds have been on the rampage sence 
yesterday's rain. Seems like the more use- 
lesser a thing is, the more it flourishes. The 
yairbs grow; oh, yes, they make out to grow; 
but you don't see 'em come leapin' an' tearin' 
out o' the airth like weeds. Then there 's the 
birds! I've jest been stoppin' my grindin' to 
look at 'em carry on. Take 'em all in all, 
there ain't nothin' so lazy an' aimless an' 
busy'boutnothin' as birds. They go kitin' 
'roun' from tree to tree, hoppin' an' chirpin', 
flyin' here an' there 'thout no airthly objeck 
'ceptin' to fly back ag'in. There 's a heap o' 
useless critters in the univarse, but I guess 
birds are 'bout the uselyest, 'less it's grass- 
hoppers, mebbe." 

"I don't care what you say about the grass- 
hoppers, Ansel, but you shan'tabuse the birds," 
said Susanna, stooping over the beds of tansy 
and sage, thyme and summer savory. ' Weeds 






DIVERS DOCTRINES 

or no weeds, we're going to have a great crop 
of herbs this year, Ansel!" 

'Yee, so we be! We sowed more'n usual 
so's to keep the two 'jiners ' at work long's we 
could. - - Take that scythe over to the barn, 
Jacob, an' fetch me another, an' step spry." 

'What's a jiner, Ansel?' 1 

' Winter Shakers, I call 'em. They're reg'lar 
constitooshanal dyed-in-the-wool jiners, jinin' 
most anything an' hookin' on most anywheres. 
They jine when it comes on too cold to sleep 
outdoors, an' they onjine when it comes on 
spring. Elder Gray 's always hopin' to gather* 
in new souls, so he gives the best of 'em a few 
months' trial. How are ye, Hannah ?' : he 
called to a Sister passing through the orchard 
to search for any possible green apples under 
the trees. " Make us a good old-fashioned 
deep-dish pandowdy an' we'll all do our best 
to eat it!" 

"I suppose the 'jiners' get discouraged and 
fear they can't keep up to the standard. Not 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

everybody is good enough to lead a self-denying 
Shaker life," said Susanna, pushing back the 
close sunbonnet from her warm face, which 
had grown younger, smoother, and sweeter in 
the last few weeks. 

"Nay, I s'pose likely; 'less they 're same as 
me, a born Shaker," Ansel replied. ''I don't 
hanker after strong drink ; don't like tobaccer 
(always could keep my temper 'thout smokin'), 
ain't partic'lar 'bout meat-eatin', don't keer 
'bout heapin' up riches, can't 'stand the ways 
o' worldly women-folks, jest as lives confess my 
gins to the Elder as not, 'cause I hain't sinned 
any to amount to anything sence I made my 
first confession; there I be, a natural follerer 
o' Mother Ann Lee." 

Susanna drew her Shaker bonnet forward 
over her eyes and turned her back to Brother 
Ansel under the pretense of reaching over to 
the rows of sweet marjoram. She had never 
supposed it possible that she could laugh again, 
and indeed she seldom felt like it, but Ansel's 





DIVERS DOCTRINES 

interpretations of Shaker doctrine were almost 
too much for her latent sense of humor. 

'What are you smiling at, and me so sad, 
Mardie?" quavered Sue, piteously, from the 
little plot of easy weeding her mother had given 
her to do. 'I keep remembering my game ! It 
was such a Christian game, too. Lots nicer 
than Mother Ann in prison ; for Jane said her 
mother and father was both Believers, and no- 
body was good enough to pour milk through 
the key-hole but her. I wanted to give the 
clothes-pins story names, like Hilda and Percy, 
but I called them Adam and Eve and Cain and 
Abel just because I thought the Shakers would 
'specially like a Bible play. I love Elderess 
Abby, but she does stop my happiness, Mar- 
die. That's the second time to-day, for she 
took Moses away from me when I was kiss- 
ing him because he pinched his thumb in the 
window." 

"Why did you do that, Sue?" remonstrated 
her mother softly, remembering Ansel's prox- 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

imity. 'You never used to kiss strange little 
boys at home in Farnham." 

"Moses is n't a boy; he's only six, and that's 
a baby; besides, I like him better than any 
little boys at home, and that 's the reason I 
kissed him; there's no harm in boy-kissing, is 
there, Mardie?" 

"You don't know anybody here very well 
yet; not well enough to kiss them," Susanna 
answered, rather hopeless as to the best way of 
inculcating the undesirability of the Adamic 
plane of thought at this early age. ' While we 
stay here, Sue, we ought both to be very careful 
to do exactly as the Shakers do." 

By this time mother and child had reached 
the orchard end of a row, and Brother Ansel 
was thirstily waiting to deliver a little more 
of the information with which his mind was 
always teeming. 

"Them Boston people that come over to our 
public meetin' last Sunday," he began, "they 
was dretful scairt 'bout what would become o' 



DIVERS DOCTRINES 

the human race if it should all turn Shakers, 
'I guess you need n't worry,' I says; * it'll take 
consid'able of a spell to convert all you city 
folks,' I says, 'an' after all, what if the world 
should come to an end ? ' I says. ' If half we hear 
is true 'bout the way folks carry on in New 
York and Chicago, it's 'bout time it stopped,' 
I says, 'an' I guess the Lord could do a con- 
sid'able better job on a second one,' I says, 
'after findin' out the weak places in this.' They 
can't stand givin' up their possessions, the 
world's folks ; that's the principal trouble with 
'em ! If you don't have nothin' to give up, - 
like some o' the tramps that happen along here 
and convince the Elder they're jest bustin' 
with the fear o' God, why, o' course 't ain't 
no trick at all to be a Believer." 

"Did you have much to give up, Brother 
Ansel?" Susanna asked. 

" 'Bout's much as any sinner ever had that 
jined this Community," replied Ansel, com- 
placently. "The list o' what I consecrated to 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

this Society when I was gathered in was : One 
horse, one wagon, one two-year-old heifer, one 
axe, one saddle, one padlock, one bed and bed- 
ding, four turkeys, eleven hens, one pair o' 
plough-irons, two chains, and eleven dollars in 
cash. Can you beat that?' ; 

"Oh, yes, things!" said Susanna, absent- 
mindedly. : 'I was thinking of family and 
friends, pleasures and memories and ambi- 
tions and hopes." 

"I guess it don't pinch you any worse to 
give up a hope than it would a good two-year- 
old heifer," retorted Ansel; 'but there, you 
can't never tell what folks '11 hang on to the 
hardest! The man that drove them Boston 
folks over here last Sunday, - - did you notice 
him ? the one that had the sister with a bright 
red dress an' hat on ? - - Land ! I could think 
just how hell must look whenever my eye 
lighted on that girl's git-up ! - - Well, I done 
my best to exhort that driver, bein' as how we 
had a good chance to talk while we was hitchin' 





DIVERS DOCTRINES 

an' unhitchin' the team; an' Elder Gray al- 
ways says I ain't earnest enough in preachin' 
the faith ; - - but he did n't learn anything 
from the meetin'. Kep' his eye on the Shaker 
bunnits, an' took notice o' the marchin' an' 
dancin', but he did n't care nothin' 'bout doc- 
trine. 

" ' I draw the line at bein' a cerebrate,' he 
says. 'I'm willin' to sell all my goods an' 
divide with the poor,' he says, 'but I ain't 
goin' to be no cerebrate. If I don't have no 
other luxuries, I will have a wife,' he says. 
'I've hed three, an' if this one don't last me 
out, I'll get another, if it's only to start the 
kitchen fire in the mornin' an' put the cat in 



the shed nights ! 



555 



IV 
LOUISA'S MIND 









LOUISA, otherwise Mrs. Adlai Banks, the 
elder sister of Susanna's husband, was 
a rock-ribbed widow of forty-five summers, 
forty-five winters would seem a better phrase 
in which to assert her age, who resided on a 
small farm twenty miles from the manufactur- 
ing town of Farnham. 

When the Fates were bestowing qualities of 
mind and heart upon the Hathaway babies, 
they gave the more graceful, genial, likable 
ones to John, - - not realizing, perhaps, what 
bad use he would make of them, - - and en- 
dowed Louisa with great deposits of honesty, 
sincerity, energy, piety, and frugality, all so 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

mysteriously compounded that they turned to 
granite in her hands. If she had been consulted, 
it would have been all the same. She would 
never have accepted John's charm of person- 
ality at the expense of being saddled with his 
weaknesses, and he would not have taken her 
cast-iron virtues at any price whatsoever. 

She was sweeping her porch on that day in 
May when Susanna and Sue had wakened in 
the bare upper chamber at the Shaker Settle- 
ment Sue clear-eyed, jubilant, expectant, 
unafraid; Susanna pale from her fitful sleep, 
weary with the burden of her heart. 

Looking down the road, Mrs. Banks espied 
the form of her brother John walking in her 
direction and leading Jack by the hand. 

This was a most unusual sight, for John's 
calls had been uncommonly few of late years, 
since a man rarely visits a lady relative for 
the mere purpose of hearing "a piece of her 
mind." This piece, large, solid, highly flavored 
with pepper, and as acid as mental vinegar 



LOUISA'S MIND 

could make it, was Louisa Banks's only con- 
tribution to conversation when she met her 
brother. She could not stop for any airy persi- 
flage about weather, crops, or politics when 
her one desire was to tell him what she thought 
of him. 

" Good-morning, Louisa. Shake hands with 
your aunt, Jack." 

" He can't till I'm through sweeping. Good- 
morning, John; what brings you here?" 

John sat down on the steps, and Jack flew 
to the barn, where there was generally an 
amiable hired man and a cheerful cow, both 
infinitely better company than his highly re- 
spected and wealthy aunt. 

"I came because I had to bring the boy to 
the only relation I've got in the world," John 
answered tersely. ;< My wife's left me." 

"Well, she's been a great while doing it," 
remarked Louisa, digging her broom into the 
cracks of the piazza floor and making no pause 
for reflection. " If she had n't had the patience 




7 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

of Job and the meekness of Moses, she'd have 
gone long before. Where'd she go?" 

"I don't know; she did n't say." 

"Did you take the trouble to look through 
the house for her? I ain't certain you fairly 
know her by sight nowadays, do you?" 

John flushed crimson, but bit his lip in an 
attempt to keep his temper. : 'She left a let- 
ter," he said, "and she took Sue with her." 

"That was all right; Sue's a nervous little 
thing and needs at least one parent ; she has n't 
been used to more, so she won't miss anything. 
Jack's like most of the Hathaways; he'll grow 
up his own way, without anybody's help or 
hindrance. What are you going to do with 
him?" 

" Leave him with you, of course. What else 
could I do?" 

"Very well, I'll take him, and while I'm 
about it I'd like to give you a piece of my 
mind." 

John was fighting for self-control, but he 





LOUISA'S MIND 

was too wretched and remorseful for rage to 
have any real sway over him. 

; * Is it the same old piece, or a different one ? " 
he asked, setting his teeth grimly. " I should n't 
think you'd have any mind left, you've given 
so many pieces of it to me already." 

''I have some left, and plenty, too," an- 
swered Louisa, dashing into the house, banging 
the broom into a corner, coming out again like 
a breeze, and slamming the door behind her. 
'You can leave the boy here and welcome; 
I'll take good care of him, and if you don't 
send me twenty dollars a month for his food 
and clothes, I'll turn him outdoors. The more 
responsibility other folks rid you of, the more 
you'll let 'em, and I won't take a feather's 
weight off you for fear you'll sink into everlast- 
ing perdition." 

"I did n't expect any sympathy from you," 
said John, drearily, pulling himself up from the 
steps and leaning against the honeysuckle 
trellis. ''Susanna's just the same. Women are 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

[1 as hard as the nether millstone. They 're 
ard if they 're angels, and hard if they 're 
devils; it does n't make much difference." 

"I guess you 've found a few soft ones, if 
report says true," returned Louisa, bluntly. 
"You'd better go and get some of their sym- 
pathy, the kind you can buy and pay for. The 
way you've ruined your life turns me fairly 
sick. You had a good father and mother, good 
education and advantages, enough money to 
start you in business, the best of wives, and 
two children any man could be proud of, one of 
'em especially. You've thrown 'em all away, 
and what for ? Horses and cards and gay com- 
pany, late suppers, with wine, and for aught I 
know, whiskey, - - you the son of a man who 
did n't know the taste of ginger beer! You've 
spent your days and nights with a pack of 
carousing men and women that would take 
your last cent and not leave you enough for 
honest burial." 

"It's a pity we didn't make a traveling 





LOUISA'S MIND 

preacher of you ! ' exclaimed John, bitterly. 
"Lord Almighty, I wonder how such women 
as you can live in the world, you know so little 
about it, and so little about men." 

"I know all I want to about 'em," retorted 
Louisa, "and precious little that's good. 
They 're a gluttonous, self-indulgent, extrava- 
gant, reckless, pleasure-loving lot! My hus- 
band was one of the best of 'em, and he 
would n't have amounted to a hill of beans if 
I had n't devoted fifteen years to disciplining, 
uplifting, and strengthening him!" 

' You managed to strengthen him so that he 
died before he was fifty!" 

"It don't matter when a man dies," said 
the remorseless Mrs. Banks, "if he's suc- 
ceeded in living a decent, God-fearing life. As 
for you, John Hathaway, I'll tell you the truth 
if you are my brother, for Susanna's too much 
of a saint to speak out." 

"Don't be afraid; Susanna's spoken out at 
last, plainly enough to please even you!" 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

"I'm glad of it, for I did n't suppose she had 
spunk enough to resent anything. I shall be 
sorry to-morrow, 's likely as not, for freeing my 
mind as much as I have, but my temper's up 
and I'm going to be the humble instrument of 
Providence and try to turn you from the error 
of your ways. You've defaced and degraded 
the temple the Lord built for you, and if He 
should come this minute and try to turn out the 
crowd of evil-doers you've kept in it, I doubt if 
He could!" 

"I hope He'll approve of the way you've 
used your 'temple,'" said John, with stinging 
emphasis. "I should n't want to live in such a 
noisy one myself; I'd rather be a bat in a bel- 
fry. Good-by; I've had a pleasant call, as 
usual, and you've been a real sister to me in 
my trouble. You shall have the twenty dollars 
a month. Jack's clothes are in that valise, and 
there'll be a trunk to-morrow. Susanna said 
she'd write and let you know her whereabouts." 

So saying, John Hathaway strode down the 





LOUISA'S MIND 

path, closed the gate behind him, and walked 
rapidly along the road that led to the station. 
It was a quiet road and he met few persons. 
He had neither dressed nor shaved since the 
day before ; his face was haggard, his heart was 
like a lump of lead in his breast. Of what use 
to go to the empty house in Farnham when he 
could stifle his misery by a night with his 
friends ? 

No, he could not do that, either! The very 
thought of them brought a sense of satiety and 
disgust; the craving for what they would give 
him would come again in time, no doubt, but 
for the moment he was sick to the very soul of 
all they stood for. The feeling of complete 
helplessness, of desertion, of being alone in 
mid-ocean without a sail or a star in sight, 
mounted and swept over him. Susanna had 
been his sail, his star, although he had never 
fully realized it, and he had cut himself adrift 
from her pure, steadfast love, blinding himself 
with cheap and vulgar charms. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

The next train to Farnham was not due for 
an hour. His steps faltered; he turned into a 
clump of trees by the wayside and flung him- 
self on the ground to cry like a child, he who 
had not shed a tear since he was a boy of ten. 

If Susanna could have seen that often 
longed-for burst of despair and remorse, that 
sudden recognition of his sins against himself 
and her, that gush of penitent tears, her heart 
might have softened once again; a flicker of 
flame might have lighted the ashes of her dying 
love; she might have taken his head on her 
shoulder, and said, "Never mind, John! Let's 
forget, and begin all over again ! ' 

Matters did not look any brighter for John 
the next week, for his senior partner, Joel 
Atterbury, requested him to withdraw from the 
firm as soon as matters could be legally ar- 
ranged. He was told that he had not been 
doing, nor earning, his share; that his way of 
living during the year just past had not been 



LOUISA'S MIND 

any credit to " the concern," and that he, Atter- 
bury, sympathized too heartily with Mrs. John 
Hathaway to take any pleasure in doing busi- 
ness with Mr. John. 

John's remnant of pride, completely hum- 
bled by this last withdrawal of confidence, 
would not suffer him to tell Atterbury that he 
had come to his senses and bidden farewell to 
the old life, or so he hoped and believed. 

To lose a wife and child in a way infinitely 
worse than death ; to hear the unwelcome truth 
that as a husband you have grown so offensive 
as to be beyond endurance ; to have your own 
sister tell you that you richly deserve such treat- 
ment ; to be virtually dismissed from a valua- 
ble business connection ; - - all this is enough 
to sober any man above the grade of a moral 
idiot, and John was not that; he was simply 
a self-indulgent, pleasure-loving, thoughtless, 
willful fellow, without any great amount of prin- 
ciple. He took his medicine, however, said no- 
thing, and did his share of the business from 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

day to day doggedly, keeping away from his 
partner as much as possible. 

Ellen, the faithful maid of all work, stayed 
on with him at the old home ; Jack wrote to him 
every week, and often came to spend Sunday 
with him. 

"Aunt Louisa's real good to me," he told his 
father, "but she's not like mother. Seems to 
me mother's kind of selfish staying away from 
us so long. When do you expect her back?" 

"I don't know; not before winter, I'm 
afraid; and don't call her selfish, I won't 
have it! Your mother never knew she had 
a self." 

"If she'd only left Sue behind, we could have 
had more good times, w r e three together!" 

"No, our family is four, Jack, and we can 
never have any good times, one, two, or three of 
us, because we 're four! When one 's away, 
whichever it is, it's wrong, but it's the worst 
when it's mother. Does your Aunt Louisa 
write to her?" 





LOUISA'S MIND 

Yes, sometimes, but she never lets me post 
the letters." 

" Do you write to your mother ? You ought 
to, you know, even if you don't have time for 
me. You could ask your aunt to enclose your 
letters in hers." 

"Do you write to her, father?" 

"Yes, I write twice a week," John answered, 
thinking drearily of the semi-weekly notes 
posted in Susanna's empty work-table upstairs. 
Would she ever read them? He doubted it, 
unless he died, and she came back to settle his 
affairs ; but of course he should n't die, - - no 
such good luck. Would a man die who break- 
fasted at eight, dined at one, supped at six, and 
went to bed at ten? Would a man die who 
worked in the garden an hour every after- 
noon, with half a day Saturday; that being 
the task most disagreeable to him and most 
appropriate therefore for penance? 

Susanna loved flowers and had always 
wanted a garden, but John had been too much 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

occupied with his own concerns to give her the 
needed help or money so that she could carry 
out her plans. The last year she had lost heart 
in many ways, so that little or nothing had been 
accomplished of all she had dreamed. It would 
have been laughable, had it not been pathetic, 
to see John Hathaway dig, delve, grub, sow, 
water, weed, transplant, generally at the wrong 
moment, in that dream-garden of Susanna's. 
He asked no advice and read no books. With 
feverish intensity, with complete ignorance of 
Nature's laws and small sympathy with their 
intricacies, he dug, hoed, raked, fertilized, and 
planted during that lonely summer. His ab- 
sent-mindedness caused some expensive fail- 
ures, as when the wide expanse of Susanna's 
drying ground, which was to be velvety lawn, 
"came up" curly lettuce; but he rooted out 
his frequent mistakes and patiently planted 
seeds or roots or bulbs over and over and over 
and over, until something sprouted in his beds, 
whether it was what he intended or not. While 



LOUISA'S MIND 

he weeded the brilliant orange nasturtiums, 
growing beside the magenta portulacca in a 
friendly proximity that certainly would never 
have existed had the mistress of the house been 
the head-gardener, he thought of nothing but 
his wife. He knew her pride, her reserve, her 
sensitive spirit; he knew her love of truth and 
honor and purity, the standards of life and 
conduct she had tried to hold him to so val- 
iantly, and which he had so dragged in the dust 
during the blindness and the insanity of the 
last two years. 

He, John Hathaway, was a deserted hus- 
band; Susanna had crept away all wounded 
and resentful. Where was she living and 
how supporting herself and Sue, when she 
could not have had a hundred dollars in the 
world ? Probably Louisa was the source of 
income; conscientious, infernally disagreeable 
Louisa ! 

Would not the rumor of his changed habit of 
life reach her by some means in her place of 






SUSANNA AND SUE 

hiding, sooner or later ? Would she not yearn 
for a sight of Jack ? Would she not finally give 
him a chance to ask forgiveness, or had she 
lost every trace of affection for him, as her 
letter seemed to imply ? He walked the garden 
paths, with these and other unanswerable 
questions, and when he went to his lonely 
room at night, he held the lamp up to a bit 
of poetry that he had cut from a magazine and 
pinned to the looking-glass. If John Hathaway 
could be brought to the reading of poetry, he 
might even glance at the Bible in course of 
time, Louisa would have said. It was in May 
that Susanna had gone, and the first line of 
verse held his attention. 

"May comes, day comes, 
One who was away comes; 
All the earth is glad again, 
Kind and fair to me. 

"May comes, day comes, 
One who was away comes; 
Set her place at hearth and board 
As it used to be. 





LOUISA'S MIND 

"May comes, day comes, 
One who was away comes; 
Higher are the hills of home, 
Bluer is the sea." 



The Hathaway house was in the suburbs, 
on a rise of ground, and as John turned to the 
window he saw the full moon hanging yellow 
in the sky. It shone on the verdant slopes and 
low wooded hills that surrounded the town, 
and cast a glittering pathway on the ocean that 
bathed the beaches of the near-by shore. 

"How long shall I have to wait," he won- 
dered, "before my hills of home look higher, 
and my sea bluer, because Susanna has come 
back to 'hearth and board'!" 



e 



THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 



(T\ 





SUSANNA had helped at various house- 
hold tasks ever since her arrival at the 
Settlement, for there was no room for drones 
in the Shaker hive ; but after a few weeks in 
the kitchen with Martha, the herb-garden had 
been assigned to her as her particular province, 
the Sisters thinking her better fitted for it than 
for the preserving and pickling of fruit, or the 
basket-weaving that needed special apprentice- 
ship. 

The Shakers were the first people to raise, 
put up, and sell garden seeds in our present- 
day fashion, and it was they, too, who began 
the preparation of botanical medicines, rais- 






SUSANNA AND SUE 

ing, gathering, drying, and preparing herbs 
and roots for market; and this industry, 
driven from the field by modern machinery, 
was still a valuable source of income in 
Susanna's day. Plants had always grown for 
Susanna, and she loved them like friends, 
humoring their weakness, nourishing their 
strength, stimulating, coaxing, disciplining 
them, until they could do no less than flourish 
under her kind and hopeful hand. 

Oh, that sweet, honest, comforting little 
garden of herbs, with its wholesome fra- 
grances ! Healing lay in every root and stem, 
in every leaf and bud, and the strong aro- 
matic odors stimulated her flagging spirit or 
her aching head, after the sleepless nights in 
which she tried to decide her future life and 
Sue's. 

The plants were set out in neat rows and 
clumps, and she soon learned to know the 
strange ones - - chamomile, lobelia, bloodroot, 
wormwood, lovage, boneset, lemon and sweet 



THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

balm, lavender and rue, as well as she knew 
the old acquaintances familiar to every coun- 
try-bred child pennyroyal, peppermint or 
spearmint, yellow dock, and thorough wort. 

There was hoeing and weeding before the 
gathering and drying came ; then Brother Cal- 
vin, who had charge of the great press, would 
moisten the dried herbs and press them into 
quarter and half-pound cakes ready for Sister 
Martha, who would superintend the younger 
Shakeresses in papering and labeling them for 
the market. Last of all, when harvesting was 
over, Brother Ansel would mount the newly 
painted seed-cart and leave on his driving trip 
through the country. Ansel was a capital sales- 
man, but Brother Issachar, who once took his 
place and sold almost nothing, brought home 
a lad on the seed-cart, who afterward became 
a shining light in the community. ("Thus," 
said Elder Gray, "does God teach us the 
diversity of gifts, whereby all may be un- 
ashamed.") 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

If the Albion Shakers were honest and 
ardent in faith, Susanna thought that their 
"works" would indeed bear the strictest ex- 
amination. The Brothers made brooms, floor 
and dish mops, tubs, pails, and churns, and 
indeed almost every trade was represented 
in the various New England Communities. 
Physicians there were, a few, but no lawyers, 
sheriffs, policemen, constables, or soldiers, just 
as there were no courts or saloons or jails. 
Where there was perfect equality of possession 
and no private source of gain, it amazed Su- 
sanna to see the cheery labor, often continued 
late at night from the sheer joy of it, and the 
earnest desire to make the Settlement pros- 
perous. While the Brothers were hammering, 
nailing, planing, sawing, ploughing, and seed- 
ing, the Sisters were carding and spinning 
cotton, wool, and flax, making kerchiefs of 
linen, straw Shaker bonnets, and dozens of 
other useful marketable things, not forgetting 
their famous Shaker apple sauce. 




THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

Was there ever such a busy summer, Susanna 
wondered ; yet with all the early rising, constant 
labor, and simple fare, she was stronger and 
hardier than she had been for years. The 
Shaker palate was never tickled with delicacies, 
yet the food was well cooked and sufficiently 
varied. At first there had been the winter 
vegetables : squash, yellow turnips, beets, and 
parsnips, with once a week a special Shaker 
dinner of salt codfish, potatoes, onions, and 
milk gravy. Each Sister served her turn as 
cook, but all alike had a wonderful hand with 
flour, and the whole-wheat bread, cookies, 
ginger cake, and milk puddings were marvels 
of lightness. Martha, in particular, could wean 
the novitiate Shaker from a too riotous de- 
votion to meat-eating better than most peo- 
ple, for every dish she sent to the table was 
delicate, savory, and attractive. 

Dear, patient, devoted Martha! How Su- 
sanna learned to love her as they worked to- 
gether in the big sunny, shining kitchen, where 








SUSANNA AND SUE 

the cooking-stove as well as every tin plate and 
pan and spoon might have served as a mirror ! 
Martha had joined the Society in her mother's 
arms, being given up to the Lord and placed 
in "the children's order" before she was one 
year old. 

"If you should unite with us, Susanna," she 
said one night after the early supper, when 
they were peeling apples together, 'you'd be 
thankful you begun early with your little Sue, 
for she's got a natural attraction to the world, 
and for it. Not but that she's a tender, loving, 
obedient little soul ; but when she's among the 
other young ones, there's a flyaway look about 
her that makes her seem more like a fairy than 
a child." 

"She's having rather a hard time learning 
Shaker ways, but she'll do better in time," 
sighed her mother. ; 'She came to me of her 
own accord yesterday and asked : ' Bettent I 
have my curls cut off, Mardie ? ' 

"I never put that idea into her head," 



THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

Martha interrupted. ''She's a visitor and can 
wear her hair as she's been brought up to 
wear it." 

"I know, but I fear Sue was moved by other 
than religious reasons. 'I get up so early, 
Mardie,' she said, - 'and it takes so long to 
unsnarl and untangle me, and I get so hot when 
I'm helping in the hayfield, - - and then I have 
to be curled for dinner, and curled again for 
supper, and so it seems like wasting both our 
times ! ' Her hair would be all the stronger 
for cutting, I thought, as it's so long for her 
age ; but I could n't put the shears to it when 
the time came, Martha. I had to take her to 
Eldress Abby. She sat up in front of the little 
looking-glass as still as a mouse, while the curls 
came off, but when the last one fell into Abby's 
apron, she suddenly put her hands over her 
face and cried : ' Oh, Mardie, we shall never be 
the same togedder, you and I, after this ! ' - She 
seemed to see her 'little past,' her childhood, 
slipping away from her, all in an instant. I 






SUSANNA AND SUE 

did n't let her know that I cried over the box 
of curls last night !' : 

"You did wrong," rebuked Martha. "You 
should n't make an idol of your child or your 
child's beauty." 

"You don't think God might put beauty 
into the world just to give His children joy, 
Martha?" 

Martha was no controversialist. She had 
taken her opinions, ready-made, from those 
she considered her superiors, and although 
she was willing to make any sacrifice for 
her religion, she did not wish to be confused 
by too many opposing theories of God's in- 
tentions. 

'You know I never argue when I've got 
anything baking," she said; and taking the 
spill of a corn-broom from a table-drawer, she 
opened the oven door and delicately plunged it 
into the loaf. Then, gazing at the straw as she 
withdrew it, she said : "You must talk doctrine 
with Eldress Abby, Susanna, not with me; 



s 



THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

but I guess doctrine won't help you so much 
as thinking out your life for yourself." 

"No one can sing my psalm for me, 
Reward must come from labor, 
I'll sow for peace, and reap in truth 
God's mercy and His favor !" 

Martha was the chief musician of the Com- 
munity, and had composed many hymns and 
tunes some of them under circumstances 
that she believed might entitle them to be con- 
sidered directly inspired. Her clear full voice 
filled the kitchen and floated out into the air 
after Susanna, as she called Sue and, darning- 
basket in hand, walked across the road to the 
great barn. 

The herb-garden was one place where she 
could think out her life, although no decisionhad 
as yet been born of those thoughtful mornings. 

Another spot for meditation was the great 
barn, relic of the wonderful earlier days, and 
pride of the present Settlement. A hundred 
and seventy-five feet long and three and a half 





J. 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

stories high, it dominated the landscape. First, 
there was the cellar, where all the refuse fell, 
to do its duty later on in fertilizing the farm 
lands ; then came the first floor, where the stalls 
for horses, oxen, and cows lined the walls on 
either side. Then came the second floor, where 
hay was kept, and to reach this a bridge forty 
feet long was built on stone piers ten feet in 
height, sloping up from the ground to the 
second story. Over the easy slope of this bridge 
the full haycarts were driven, to add their 
several burdens to the golden haymows. High 
at the top was an enormous grain room, where 
mounds of yellow corn-ears reached from floor 
to ceiling ; and at the back was a great window 
opening on Massabesic Pond and Knights' 
Hill, with the White Mountains towering blue 
or snow-capped in the distance. There was an 
old-fashioned, list-bottomed, straight-backed 
Shaker chair in front of the open window, a 
chair as uncomfortable as Shaker doctrines to 



the daughter of Eve, and there Susanna often 





THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

sat with her sewing or mending, Sue at her feet 
building castles out of corn-cobs, plaiting the 
husks into little mats, or taking out basting 
threads from her mother's work. 

"My head feels awfully undressed without 
my curls, Mardie," she said. "I'm most afraid 
Fardie won't like the looks of me ; do you think 
we ought to have asked him before we shingled 
me? He does despise un-pretty things so!" 

"I think if we had asked him he would have 
said, 'Do as you think best.' 

" He always says that when he does n't care 
what you do," observed Sue, with one of her 
startling bursts of intuition. ; ' Sister Martha 
has a printed card on the wall in the chil- 
dren's dining-room, and I've got to learn all 
the poetry on it because I need it worse than 
any of the others : - 

"What we deem good order, we're willing to state, 

Eat hearty and decent, and clear out your plate; 
Be thankful to heaven for what we receive, 

And not make a mixture or compound to leave. 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

"We often find left on the same China dish, 

Meat, applesauce, pickle, brown bread and minced fish: 
Another 's replenished with butter and cheese. 

With pie, cake, and toast, perhaps, added to these." 

"You say it very nicely," commended 
Susanna. 

" There 's more : 

"Now if any virtue in this can be shown, 

By peasant, by lawyer, or king on the throne; 
We freely will forfeit whatever we've said. 

And call it a virtue to waste meat and bread." 

"There's a great deal to learn when you're 
being a Shaker," sighed Sue, as she finished her 
rhyme. 

"There's a great deal to learn everywhere," 
her mother answered. 'What verse did El- 
dress Abby give you to-day?" 

" For little tripping maids may follow God 
Along the ways that saintly feet have trod," 

quoted the child. "Am I a tripping maid, 
Mardie?" she continued. 
"Yes, dear." 





THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

If I trip too much, might n't I fall?' 

'Yes, I suppose so." 

"Is tripping the same as skipping?" 

"About the same." 

: 'Is it polite to tripanskip when you're fol- 
lowing God?" 

; 'It could n't be impolite if you meant to be 
good. A tripping maid means just a young one." 

"What is a maid?" 

"A little girl." 

'When a maid grows up, what is she?" 

"Why she's a maiden, I suppose." 

"When a maiden grows up, what is she? 9 

'Just a woman, Sue." 

"What is saintly feet ?" 

"Feet like those of Eldress Abby or Elder 
Gray ; feet of people who have always tried to 
do right." 

"Are Brother Ansel's feet saintly?" 

"He's a good, kind, hard-working man." 

"Is good - kind - hard - working same as 
saintly?" 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

'Well, it's not so very different, perhaps. 
Now, Sue, I've asked you before, don't let your 
mind grope, and your little tongue wag, every 
instant; it is n't good for you, and it certainly 
is n't good for me!" 

"All right; but 'less I gropeanwag some- 
times, I don't see how I'll ever learn the things 
I 'specially want to know?" sighed Sue the 
insatiable. 

"Shall I tell you a Shaker story, one that 
Eldress Abby told me last evening?" 

"Oh, do, Mardie!" cried Sue, crossing her 
feet, folding her hands, and looking up into her 
mother's face expectantly. 

"Once there was a very good Shaker named 
Elder Calvin Green, and some one wrote him a 
letter asking him to come a long distance and 
found a Settlement in the western part of New 
York State. He and some other Elders and 
Eldresses traveled five days, and stopped at 
the house of a certain Joseph Pelham to spend 
Sunday and hold a meeting. On Monday 



THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

morning, very tired, and wondering where to 
stay and begin his preaching, the Elder went 
out into the woods to pray for guidance. When 
he rose from his knees, feeling stronger and 
lighter-hearted, a young quail came up to him 
so close that he picked it up. It was not a bit 
afraid, neither did the old parent birds who 
were standing near by show any sign of fear, 
though they are very timid creatures. The 
Elder smoothed the young bird's feathers a 
little while and then let it go, but he thought 
an angel seemed to say to him, ' The quail is 
a sign; you will know before night what it 
means, and before to-morrow people will be 
coming to you to learn the way to God.' 

"Soon after, a flock of these shy little birds 
alighted on Joseph Pelham's house, and the 
Elders were glad, and thought it signified the 
flock of Believers that would gather in that 
place; for the Shakers see more in signs than 
other people. Just at night a young girl of 
twelve or thirteen knocked at the door and told 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

Elder Calvin that she wanted to become a 
Shaker, and that her father and mother were 
willing. 

'"Here is the little quail!' cried the Elder, 
and indeed she was the first who flocked to the 
meetings and joined the new Community. 

: 'On their return to their old home across 
the state the Elders took the little quail girl 
with them. It was November then, and the 
canals through which they traveled were 
clogged with ice. One night, having been fer- 
ried across the Mohawk River, they took their 
baggage and walked for miles before they 
could find shelter. Finally, when they were 
within three miles of their home, Elder Calvin 
shortened the way by going across the open 
fields through the snow, up and down the hills 
and through the gullies and over fences, till 
they reached the house at midnight, safe and 
sound, the brave little quail girl having trudged 
beside them the whole distance, carrying her 
tin pail." 



THE LITTLE QUAIL BIRD 

Sue was transported with interest, her lips 
parted, her eyes shining, her hands clasped. 

"Oh, I wish I could be a brave little quail 
girl, Mardie! What became of her?" 

: 'Her name was Polly Reed, and when she 
grew up, she became a teacher of the Shaker 
school, then an Eldress, and even a preacher. 
I don't know what kind of a little quail girl you 
would make, Sue ; do you think you could walk 
for miles through the ice and snow uncom- 
plainingly?" 

"I don' know's I could," sighed Sue; "but," 
she added hopefully, "perhaps I could teach 
or preach, and then I could gropeanwag as 
much as ever I liked." Then, after a lengthy 
pause, in which her mind worked feverishly, 
she said, "Mardie, I was just groping a little 
bit, but I won't do it any more to-night. If the 
old quail birds in the woods where Elder Cal- 
vin prayed, if those old birds had been Shaker 
birds, there would n't have been any little 
quail birds, would there, because Shakers 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

don't have children, and then perhaps there 
would n't have been any little Polly Reed." 

Susanna rose hurriedly from the list-bot- 
tomed chair and folded her work. "I'll go up 
and help you undress now," she said; "it's 
seven o'clock, and I must go to the family 
meeting." 



VI 



SUSANNA SPEAKS IN MEETING 






VI 

IT was the Sabbath day and the Believers 
were gathered in the meeting-house, Breth- 
ren and Sisters seated quietly on their separate 
benches, with the children by themselves in 
their own place. As the men entered the room 
they removed their hats and coats and hung 
them upon wooden pegs that lined the sides 
of the room, while the women took off their 
bonnets; then, after standing for a moment 
of perfect silence, they seated themselves. 

In Susanna's time the Sunday costume for 
the men included trousers of deep blue cloth 
with a white line and a vest of darker blue, 
exposing a full-bosomed shirt that had a wide 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

turned-down collar fastened with three but- 
tons. The Sisters were in pure white dresses, 
with neck and shoulders covered with snowy 
kerchiefs, their heads crowned with their white 
net caps, and a large white pocket handker- 
chief hung over the left arm. Their feet were 
shod with curious pointed-toed cloth shoes of 
ultramarine blue a fashion long since gone 

by- 

Susanna had now become accustomed to 
the curious solemn march or dance in which 
of course none but the Believers ever joined, 
and found in her present exalted mood the 
songs and the exhortations strangely interest- 
ing and not unprofitable. 

Tabitha, the most aged of the group of Al- 
bion Sisters, confessed that she missed the old 
times when visions were common, when the 
Spirit manifested itself in extraordinary ways, 
and the gift of tongues descended. Sometimes, 
in the Western Settlement where she was gath- 
ered in, the whole North Family would march 



SUSANNA SPEAKS IN MEETING 

into the highway in the fresh morning hours, 
and while singing some sacred hymn, would 
pass on to the Centre Family, and together 
in solemn yet glad procession they would mount 
the hillside to ; ' Jehovah's Chosen Square," 
there to sing and dance before the Lord. 

"I wish we could do something like that 
now!' sighed Hetty Arnold, a pretty young 
creature, who had moments of longing for the 
pomps and vanities. 'If we have to give up 
all worldly pleasures, I think we might have 
more religious ones ! ' 

'We were a younger church in those old 
times of which Sister Tabitha speaks," said 
Eldress Abby. 'You must remember, Hetty, 
that we were children in faith, and needed signs 
and manifestations, pictures and object-les- 
sons. We've been trained to think and reason 
now, and we've put away some of our picture- 
books. There have been revelations to tell us 
we needed movements and exercises to quicken 
our spiritual powers, and to give energy and 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

unity to our worship, and there have been reve- 
lations telling us to give them up; revelations 
bidding us to sing more, revelations telling us 
to use wordless songs. Then anthems were 
given us, and so it has gone on, for we have 
been led of the Spirit." 

"I'd like more picture-books," pouted Hetty, 
under her breath. 

To-day the service began with a solemn 
song, followed by speaking and prayer from a 
visiting elder. Then, after a long and pro- 
found silence, the company rose and joined in 
a rhythmic dance which signified the onward 
travel of the soul to full redemption ; the open- 
ing and closing of the hands meaning the scat- 
tering and gathering of blessing. There was no 
accompaniment, and both the music and the 
words were the artless expression of fervent 
devotion. 

Susanna sat in her corner beside the aged 
Tabitha, who would never dance again before 
the Lord, though her quavering voice joined 



SUSANNA SPEAKS IN MEETING 

in the chorus. The spring floor rose and fell 
under the quick rhythmic tread of the worship- 
ers, and with each revolution about the room 
the song gained in power and fervor. 



-A PV 



=?=? 
I am nev - er wea - ry bring - ing my 







life un - to God, I am nev - er wea - ry 



sing-ing His way is good. With the voice of an 









an - gel with pow - er from a - bove, I would 



pub - lish the bless-ing of soul - sav - ing love. 

The steps grew slower and more sedate, the 
voices died away, the arms sank slowly by 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

the sides, and the hands ceased their move- 
ment. 

Susanna rose to her feet, she knew not how 
or why. Her cheeks were flushed, her head 
bent. 

"Dear friends," she said, "I have now been 
among you for nearly three months, sharing 
your life, your work, and your worship. You 
may well wish to know whether I have made 
up my mind to join this Community, and I can 
only say that although I have prayed for light, 
I cannot yet see my way clearly. I am happy 
here with you, and although I have been a 
church member for years, I have never before 
longed so ardently to present my body and soul 
as a sacrifice unto the Lord. I have tried not to 
be a burden to you. The small weekly sum 
that I put into the treasury I will not speak of, 
lest I seem to think that the 'gift of God may 
be purchased with money,' as the Scriptures 
say ; but I have endeavored to be loyal to your 
rules and customs, your aims and ideals, and to 



SUSANNA SPEAKS IN MEETING 

the confidence you have reposed in me. Oh, 
my dear Sisters and Brothers, pray for me that 
I be enabled to see my duty more plainly. It is 
not the flesh-pots that will call me back to the 
world ; if I go, it will be because the duties I 
have left behind take such shape that they draw 
me out of this shelter in spite of myself. I 
thank you for the help you have given me these 
last weeks ; God knows my gratitude can never 
be spoken in words." 

Elder Gray's voice broke the silence that 
followed Susanna's speech. "I only echo the 
sentiments of the Family when I say that our 
Sister Susanna shall have such time as she re- 
quires before deciding to unite with this body 
of Believers. No pressure shall be brought to 
bear upon her, and she will be, as she ever has 
been, a welcome guest under our roof. She has 
been an inspiration to the children, a comfort 
and aid to the Sisters, an intelligent comrade 
to the Brethren, and a sincere and earnest 
student of the truth. May the Spirit draw 








SUSANNA AND SUE 

her into the Virgin Church of the New Crea- 
tion!" 

"Yee and amen!" exclaimed Eldress Abby, 
devoutly: "For thus saith the Lord of hosts: 
I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the 
sea, and the dry land ; and I will shake all na- 
tions, and the desire of all nations shall come: 
and I will fill this house with glory, saith the 
Lord of hosts." 

"O Virgin Church, how great thy light, 
What cloud can dim thy way?" 

sang Martha from her place at the end of a 
bench; and all the voices took up the hymn 
softly as the company sat with bowed heads. 

Then Brother Issachar rose from his cor- 
ner, saying: : ' Jesus called upon his disciples 
to give up everything : houses, lands, relation- 
ships, and even the selfishness of their own 
lives. They could not call their lives their 
own. ' Lo! we have left all and followed thee,' 
said Peter; 'fathers, mothers, wives, children, 
houses, lands, and even our own lives also.' 



MEETING 

Heaven 




'Yee, we do," said Brother Thomas Scat- 
tergood, devoutly. "To him that overcometh 
shall the great prize be given." 

"God help the weaker brethren!" mur- 
mured young Brother Nathan, in so low a 
voice that few could hear him. 

Moved by the same impulse, Tabitha, Abby, 
and Martha burst into one of the most tri- 
umphant of the Shaker songs, one that was 
never sung save when the meeting was "full 
of the Spirit" : - 

"I draw no blank nor miss the prize, 
I see the work, the sacrifice, 
And I'll be loyal, I'll be wise, 
A faithful overcomer!" 

The company rose and began again to 
march in a circle around the centre of the room, 
the Brethren two abreast leading the col- 
umn, the Sisters following after. There was a 
waving movement of the hands by drawing 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

inward as if gathering in spiritual good and 
storing it up for future need. In the march- 
ing and countermarching the worshipers fre- 
quently changed their positions, ultimately 
forming into four circles, symbolical of the four 
dispensations as expounded in Shakerism, the 
first from Adam to Abraham ; the second from 
Abraham to Jesus ; the third from Jesus to 
Mother Ann Lee ; and the fourth the millennial 
era. 

The marching grew livelier; the bodies of 
the singers swayed lightly with emotion, the 
faces glowed with feeling. 

Over and over the hymn was sung, gathering 
strength and fullness as the Believers entered 
more and more into the spirit of their worship. 
Whenever the refrain came in with its militant 
fervor, crude, but sincere and effective, the 
singers seemed faith-intoxicated; and Sister 
Martha in particular might have been tread- 
ing the heavenly streets instead of the meet- 
ing-house floor, so complete was her absorp- 





SUSANNA SPEAKS IN MEETING 

tion. The voices at length grew softer, and the 
movement slower, and after a few moments' 
reverent silence the company filed out of the 
room solemnly and without speech. 




*=* 






am as sure that heav'n is mine As 




1? tr- 

though my vi - sion could de - fine 



Or 







I/ fi/ 

pen - oil draw the boun - da - ry line Where 



*+=* 



m- 



love and truth shall 



con - quer. 



"The Lord ain't shaken Susanna hard 
enough yet," thought Brother Ansel shrewdly 
from his place in the rear. "She ain't alto- 
gether gathered in, not by no manner o' means, 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

>ecause of that unregenerate son of Adam 
she's left behind; but there's the makin 's of a 
pow'ful good Shaker in Susanna, if she finally 
takes holt!" 

"What manner of life is my husband living, 
now that I have deserted him ? Who is being 
a mother to Jack?' ! These were the thoughts 
that troubled Susanna Hathaway's soul as she 
crossed the grass to her own building. 



VII 



LOWER LANE 





VII 

BROTHER Nathan Bennett was twenty 
years old and Sister Hetty Arnold was 
eighteen. They had been left with the Shakers 
by their respective parents ten years before, and, 
growing up in the faith, they formally joined 
the Community when they reached the age of 
discretion. Thus they had known each other 
from early childhood, never in the familiar way 
common to the children of the world, but with 
the cool, cheerful, casual, wholly impersonal 
attitude of Shaker friendship, a relation seem- 
ingly outside of and superior to sex, a relation 
more like that of two astral bodies than the more 
intimate one of a budding Adam and Eve. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

When and where had this relationship 
changed its color and meaning ? Neither Na- 
than nor Hetty could have told. For years 
Nathan had sat at his end of the young men's 
bench at the family or the public meeting, 
with Hetty exactly opposite him at the end 
of the girls' row, and for years they had looked 
across the dividing space at each other with 
unstirred pulses. The rows of Sisters sat in 
serene dignity, one bench behind another, 
and each Sister was like unto every other 
in Nathan's vague, dreamy, boyishly indif- 
ferent eyes. Some of them were seventy and 
some seventeen, but each modest figure sat 
in its place with quiet folded hands. The stiff 
caps hid the hair, whether it was silver or 
gold ; the white surplices covered the shoulders 
and concealed beautiful curves as well as angu- 
lar outlines ; the throats were scarcely visible, 
whether they were yellow and wrinkled or 
young and white. The Sisters were simply 
sisters to fair-haired Nathan, and the Bro- 



THE LOWER PLANE 

thers were but brothers to little black-eyed 
Hetty. 

Once - - was it on a Sunday morning ? - 
Nathan glanced across the separating space 
that is the very essence and sign of Shakerism. 
The dance had just ceased, and there was a 
long, solemn stillness when God indeed seemed 
to be in one of His holy temples and the earth 
was keeping silence before Him. Suddenly 
Hetty grew to be something more than one of 
the figures in a long row : she chained Nathan's 
eye and held it. 

'Through her garments the grace of her 
glowed." He saw that, in spite of the way her 
hair had been cut and stretched back from the 
forehead, a short dusky tendril, softened and 
coaxed by the summer heat, had made its way 
mutinously beyond the confines of her cap. 
Her eyes were cast down, but the lashes that 
swept her round young cheek were quite differ- 
ent from any other lashes in the Sisters' row. 
Her breath came and went softly after the 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

exertion of the rhythmic movements, stirring 
the white muslin folds that wrapped her from 
throat to waist. He looked and looked, until 
his body seemed to be all eyes, absolutely un- 
aware of any change in himself; quite obliv- 
ious of the fact that he was regarding the girl 
in any new and dangerous way. 

The silence continued, long and profound, 
until suddenly Hetty raised her beautiful lashes 
and met Nathan's gaze, the gaze of a boy just 
turned to man : ardent, warm, compelling. 
There was a startled moment of recognition, 
a tremulous approach, almost an embrace, of 
regard ; each sent an electric current across the 
protective separating space, the two pairs of 
eyes met and said, "I love you," in such clear 
tones that Nathan and Hetty marveled that 
the Elder did not hear them. Somebody says 
that love, like a scarlet spider, can spin a thread 
between two hearts almost in an instant, so fine 
as to be almost invisible, yet it will hold with 
the tenacity of an iron chain. The thread had 





THE LOWER PLANE 

been spun; it was so delicate that neither 
Nathan nor Hetty had seen the scarlet spider 
spinning it, but the strength of both would not 
avail to snap the bond that held them together. 

The moments passed. Hetty's kerchief rose 
and fell, rose and fell tumultuously, while her 
face was suffused with color. Nathan's knees 
quivered under him, and when the Elder rose, 
and they began the sacred march, the lad could 
hardly stand for trembling. He dreaded the 
moment when the lines of Believers would 
meet, and he and Hetty would walk the length 
of the long room almost beside each other. 
Could she hear his heart beating, Nathan 
wondered; while Hetty was palpitating with 
fear lest Nathan see her blushes and divine 
their meaning. Oh, the joy of it, the terror of 
it, the strange exhilaration and the sudden sen- 
sation of sin and remorse! 

The meeting over, Nathan flung himself on 
the haymow in the great barn, while Hetty sat 
with her "Synopsis of Shaker Theology v at 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

an open window of the girls' building, seeing 
nothing in the lines of print but visions that 
should not have been there. It was Nathan 
who felt most and suffered most and was most 
conscious of sin, for Hetty, at first, scarcely 
knew whither she was drifting. 

She went into the herb-garden with Susanna 
one morning during the week that followed the 
fatal Sunday. Many of the plants to be used 
for seasoning sage, summer savory, sweet 
marjoram, and the like --were quite ready for 
gathering. As the two women were busy at 
work, Susanna as full of her thoughts as Hetty 
of hers, the sound of a step was heard brushing 
the grass of the orchard. Hetty gave a ner- 
vous start; her cheeks grew so crimson and 
her breath so short that Susanna noticed the 
change. 

"It will be Brother Ansel coming along to 
the grindstone," Hetty stammered, burying her 
head in the leaves. 

"No," Susanna answered, "it is Nathan. 





THE LOWER PLANE 

He has a long pole with a saw on the end. He 
must be going to take the dead branches off 
the apple trees ; I heard Ansel tell him yester- 
day to do it." 

"Yee, that will be it," said Hetty, bending 
over the plants as if she were afraid to look 
elsewhere. 

Nathan came nearer to the herb-garden. He 
was a tall, stalwart, handsome enough fellow, 
even in his quaint working garb. As the Sisters 
spun and wove the cloth as well as cut and 
made the men's garments, and as the Brothers 
themselves made the shoes, there was naturally 
no great air of fashion about the Shaker rai- 
ment ; but Nathan carried it better than most. 
His skin was fair and rosy, the down on his 
upper lip showed dawning manhood, and 
when he took off his broad-brimmed straw hat 
and stretched to his full height to reach the 
upper branches of the apple trees, he made a 
picture of clean, wholesome, vigorous youth. 

Suddenly Susanna raised her head and sur- 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

prised Hetty looking at the lad with all her 
heart in her eyes. At the same moment Nathan 
turned, and before he could conceal the telltale 
ardor of his glance, it had sped to Hetty. With 
the instinct of self-preservation he stooped in- 
stantly as if to steady the saw on the pole, but 
it was too late to mend matters : his tale was 
told so far as Susanna was concerned; but it 
was better she should suspect than one of the 
Believers or Eldress Abby. 

Susanna worked on in silent anxiety. The 
likelihood of such crises as this had sometimes 
crossed her mind, and knowing how frail 
human nature is, she often marveled that in- 
stances seemed so infrequent. Her instinct told 
her that in every Community the risk must 
exist, even though all were doubly warned and 
armed against the temptations that flesh is heir 
to ; yet no hint of danger had showed itself dur- 
ing the months in which she had been a mem- 
ber of the Shaker family. She had heard the 
Elder's plea to the young converts to take up 






THE LOWER PLANE 

a full cross against the flesh"; she had lis- 
tened to Eldress Abby when she told them that 
the natural life, its thoughts, passions, feelings, 
and associations, must be turned against once 
and forever; but her heart melted in pity for 
the two poor young things struggling help- 
lessly against instincts of which they hardly 
knew the meaning, so cloistered had been the 
life they lived. The kind, conscientious hands 
that had fed them would now seem hard and 
unrelenting; the place that had been home 
would turn to a prison ; the life that Elder Gray 
preached, "the life of a purer godliness than 
can be attained by marriage," had seemed dif- 
ficult, perhaps, but possible; and now how 
cold and hopeless it would appear to these two 
young, undisciplined, flaming hearts ! 

"Hetty dear, talk to me!" whispered Su- 
sanna, softly touching her shoulder, and won- 
dering if she could somehow find a way to 
counsel the girl in her perplexity. 

Hetty started rebelliously to her feet as 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

Nathan moved away farther into the orchard. 
If you say a single thing to me, or a word 
about me to Eldress Abby, I'll run away this 
very day. Nobody has any right to speak to 
me, and I just want to be let alone! It's all 
very well for you," she went on passionately. 
' What have you had to give up ? Nothing but 
a husband you did n't love and a home you 
did n't want to stay in. Like as not you'll be 
a Shaker, and they'll take you for a saint; but 
anyway you'll have had your life." 

'You are right, Hetty," said Susanna, 
quietly; "but oh! my dear, the world outside 
is n't such a Paradise for young girls like you, 
motherless and fatherless and penniless. You 
have a good home here ; can't you learn to like 
it?" 

"Out in the world people can do as they like 
and nobody thinks of calling them wicked!" 
sobbed Hetty, flinging herself down, and put- 
ting her head in Susanna's aproned lap. ' Here 
you've got to live like an angel, and if you 





THE LOWER PLANE 

don't, you've got to confess every wrong 
thought you've had, when the time comes." 

"Whatever you do, Hetty, be open and 
aboveboard ; don't be hasty and foolish, or you 
may be sorry forever afterwards." 

Hetty's mood changed again suddenly to 
one of mutiny, and she rose to her feet. 

"You have n't got any right to interfere with 
me anyway, Susanna; and if you think it's 
your duty to tell tales, you'll only make mat- 
ters worse" ; and so saying she took her basket 
and fled across the fields like a hunted hare. 

That evening, as Hetty left the infirmary, 
where she had been sent with a bottle of lini- 
ment for the nursing Sisters, she came upon 
Nathan standing gloomily under the spruce 
trees near the back of the building. It was 
eight o'clock and quite dark. It had been rain- 
ing during the late afternoon and the trees were 
still dripping drearily. Hetty came upon 
Nathan so suddenly, that, although he had 
been in her thoughts, she gave a frightened 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

little cry when he drew her peremptorily under 
the shadow of the branches. The rules that 
govern the Shaker Community are very strict, 
but in reality the true Believer never thinks of 
them as rules, nor is trammeled by them. They 
are fixed habits of the blood, as common, as 
natural, as sitting or standing, eating or drink- 
ing. No Brother is allowed to hold any 
lengthy interview with a Sister, nor to work, 
walk, or drive with her alone ; but these protec- 
tive customs, which all are bound in honor to 
keep, are too much a matter of every-day life 
to be strange or irksome. 

"I must speak to you, Hetty," whispered 
Nathan. "I cannot bear it any longer alone. 
What shall we do?" 

"Do?" echoed Hetty, trembling. 

"Yes, do." There was no pretense of asking 
her if she loved or suffered, or lived in torture 
and suspense. They had not uttered a word to 
each other, but their eyes had "shed mean- 



ings. 





THE LOWER PLANE 

"You know we can't go on like this," he 
continued rapidly. 'We can't eat their food, 
stay alongside of them, pray their prayers and 
act a lie all the time, - - we can't ! ' 

"Nay, we can't!" said Hetty. "Oh, Nathan, 
shall we confess all and see if they will help 
us to resist temptation? I know that 's what 
Susanna would want me to do, but oh! I 
should dread it." 

"Nay, it is too late," Nathan answered 
drearily. "They could not help us, and we 
should be held under suspicion forever after." 

"I feel so wicked and miserable and un- 
faithful, I don't know what to do!" sobbed 
Hetty. 

"Yee, so do I!" the lad answered. "And I 
feel bitter against my father, too. He brought 
me here to get rid of me, because he did n't 
dare leave me on somebody's doorstep. He 
ought to have come back when I was grown a 
man and asked me if I felt inclined to be a 
Shaker, and if I was good enough to be one ! ' 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

"And my stepfather wouldn't have me in 1 
the house, so my mother had to give me away ; 
but they're both dead, and I'm alone in the 
world, though I've never felt it, because the 
Sisters are so kind. Now they will hate me 
though they don't hate anybody." 

"You've got me, Hetty! We must go away 
and be married. We'd better go to-night to 
the minister in Albion." 

"What if he would n't do it?" 

" Why should n't he ? Shakers take no vows, 
though I feel bound, hand and foot, out of 
gratitude. If any other two young folks went 
to him, he would marry them; and if he re- 
fuses, there are two other ministers in Albion, 
besides two more in Buryfield, five miles 
farther. If they won't marry us to-night, I'll 
leave you in some safe home and we'll walk to 
Portland to-morrow. I'm young and strong, 
and I know I can earn our living somehow." 
* But we have n't the price of a lodging or 
a breakfast between us," Hetty said tearfully. 




THE LOWER PLANE 

' Would it be sinful to take some of my basket- 
work and send back the money next week?" 

'Yee, it would be so," Nathan answered 
sternly. 'The least we can do is to go away 
as empty-handed as we came. I can work for 
our breakfast." 

"Oh, I can't bear to disappoint Eldress 
Abby," cried Hetty, breaking anew into tears. 
''She '11 say we 've run away to live on the 
lower plane after agreeing to crucify Nature 
and follow the angelic life!" 

"I know; but there are five hundred people 
in Albion all living in marriage, and we shan't 
be the only sinners!" Nathan argued. "Oh, 
Sister Hetty, dear Hetty, keep up your spirits 
and trust to me!" 

Nathan's hand stole out and met Hetty's in 
its warm clasp, the first hand touch that the 
two ignorant young creatures had ever felt. 
Nathan's knowledge of life had been a journey 
to the Canterbury Shakers in New Hampshire 
with Brother Issachar; Hetty's was limited to 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

a few drives into Albion village, and half a 
dozen chats with the world's people who came 
to the Settlement to buy basket-work. 

"I am not able to bear the Shaker life!" 
sighed Nathan. "Elder Gray allows there be 
such!" 

"Nor I," murmured Hetty. "Eldress Har- 
riet knows I am no saint!" 

Hetty's head was now on Nathan's shoulder. 
The stiff Shaker cap had resisted bravely, but 
the girl's head had yielded to the sweet proxim- 
ity. Youth called to youth triumphantly; the 
Spirit was unheard, and all the theories of celi- 
bacy and the angelic life that had been poured 
into their ears vanished into thin air. The 
thick shade of the spruce tree hid the kiss that 
would have been so innocent, had they not 
given themselves to the Virgin Church; the 
drip, drip, drip of the branches on their young 
heads passed unheeded. 

Then, one following the other silently along 
the highroad, hurrying along in the shadows 



THE LOWER PLANE 

of the tall trees, stealing into the edge of the 
woods, or hiding behind a thicket of alders at 
the fancied sound of a footstep or the distant 
rumble of a wagon, Nathan and Hetty forsook 
the faith of Mother Ann and went out into the 
world as Adam and Eve left the garden, with 
the knowledge of good and evil implanted in 
their hearts. The voice of Eldress Abby pur- 
sued Hetty in her flight like the voice in a 
dream. She could hear its clear impassioned 
accents, saying, "The children of this world 
marry ; but the children of the resurrection do 
not marry, for they are as the angels." The 
solemn tones grew fainter and fainter as 
Hetty's steps led her farther and farther away 
from the quiet Shaker village and its drab-clad 
Sisters, and at last they almost died into silence, 
because Nathan's voice was nearer and Na- 
than's voice was dearer. 



VIII 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 





VIII 

THERE was no work in the herb-garden 
now, but there was never a moment 
from dawn till long after dusk when the busy 
fingers of the Shaker Sisters were still. When 
all else failed there was the knitting : socks for 
the Brothers and stockings for the Sisters and 
socks and stockings of every size for the chil- 
dren. One of the quaint sights of the Settle- 
ment to Susanna was the clump of young Sis- 
ters on the porch of the girls' building, knit- 
ting, knitting, in the afternoon sun. Even little 
Shaker Jane and Mary, Maria and Lucinda, 
had their socks in hand, and plied their short 
knitting-needles soberly and not unskillfully. 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

lie sight of their industry incited the impetu- 
ous Sue to effort, and under the patient tutelage 
of Sister Martha she mastered the gentle art. 
Susanna never forgot the hour when, coming 
from her work in the seed-room, she crossed 
the grass with a message to Martha, and saw 
the group of children and girls on the western 
porch, a place that caught every ray of after- 
noon sun, the last glint of twilight, and the first 
hint of sunset glow. Sister Martha had been 
reading the Sabbath-school lesson for the next 
day, and as Susanna neared the building, 
Martha's voice broke into a hymn. Falteringly 
the girls' voices followed the lead, uncertain at 
first of words or tune, but gaining courage and 
strength as they went on : 

"As the waves of the mighty ocean 

Gospel love we will circulate, 
And as we give, in due proportion, 

We of the heavenly life partake. 
Heavenly Life, Glorious Life, 

Resurrecting, Soul-Inspiring, 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 



Re-gen-er-a-ting Gospel Life, 

It leadeth away from all sin and strife!" 




The clear, innocent treble sounded sweetly 
in the virgin stillness and solitude of the Settle- 
ment, and as Susanna drew closer she stopped 
under a tree to catch the picture - - Sister 
Martha, grave, tall, discreet, singing with all 
her soul and marking time with her hands, 
so accustomed to the upward and downward 
movement of the daily service. The straight, 
plain dresses were as fresh and smooth as per- 
fect washing could make them, and the round 
childlike faces looked quaint and sweet with 
the cropped hair tucked under the stiff little 
caps. Sue was seated with Mary and Jane on 
the steps, and Susanna saw with astonishment 
that her needles were moving to and fro and 
she was knitting as serenely and correctly as a 
mother in Israel; singing, too, in a delicate 
little treble that was like a skylark's morning 
note. Susanna could hear her distinctly as she 
delightedly flung out the long words so dear 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

to her soul and so difficult to dull little Jane 
and Mary : - 

" Res-ur-rect-ing, Soul-In-spir-ing, 
Re-gen-er-a-ting Gospel Life, 

It lead-eth a-way from all sin and strife." 

Jane's cap was slightly unsettled, causing its 
wearer to stop knitting now and then and pull 
it forward or push it back ; and in one of these 
little feminine difficulties Susanna saw Sue 
reach forward and deftly transfer the cap to 
her own head. Jane was horrified, but rather 
slow to wrath and equally slow in ingenuity. 
Sue looked a delicious Shaker with her delicate 
face, her lovely eyes, and her yellow hair grown 
into soft rings ; and quite intoxicated with her 
cap, her knitting, and the general air of holi- 
ness so unexpectedly emanating from her, she 
moved her little hands up and down, as the 
tune rose and fell, in a way that would have 
filled Eldress Abby with joy. Susanna's heart 
beat fast, and she wondered for a moment, as 
she went back to her room, whether she could 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

ever give Sue a worldly childhood more free 
from danger than the life she was now living. 
She found letters from Aunt Louisa and Jack 
on reaching her room, and they lay in her lap 
under a pile of towels, to be read and reread 
while her busy needle flew over the coarse 
crash. Sue stole in quietly, kissed her mother's 
cheek, and sat down on her stool by the win- 
dow, marveling, with every ;< under" of the 
needle and "over" of the yarn, that it was she, 
Sue Hathaway, who was making a real stock- 
ing. 

Jack's pen was not that of an especially 
ready writer, but he had a practical way of 
conveying considerable news. His present con- 
tributions, when freed from their phonetic 
errors and spelled in Christian fashion, read 
somewhat as follows : 



Father says I must write to you every week, 
even if I make him do without, so I will. I am 
well, and so is Aunt Louisa, and any boy that 



SUSANNA AND 




but she is good and has fine things to eat every 
meal. What did Sue get for her birthday ? 
I got a book from father and one from Aunt 
Louisa and the one from you that you told her 
to buy. It is queer that people will give a boy 
books when he has only one knife, and that a 
broken one. There's a book prize to be given 
at the school, and I am pretty afraid I will get 
that, too; it would be just my luck. Teachers 
think about nothing but books and what good 
they do, but I heard of a boy that had a grand 
knife with five sharp blades and a corkscrew, 
and in a shipwreck he cut all the ropes, so the 
sail came down that was carrying them on to 
the rocks, and then by boring a hole with his 
corkscrew all the water leaked out of the ship 
that had been threatening to sink the sailors. 
I could use a little pocket money, as Aunt 
Louisa keeps me short. ... I have been 
spending Sunday with father, and had a pretty 
good time, not so very. Father will take me 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

about more when he stops going to the store, 
which will be next week for good. The kitchen 
floor is new painted, and Ellen says it sticks, 
and Aunt Louisa is going to make Ellen clean 
house in case you come home. Do you like 
where you are ? Our teacher told the girls' 
teacher it seemed a long stay for any one who 
had a family, and the boys at school call me 
a half orphan and say my mother has left me 
and so my father has to board me in the coun- 
try. My money is run out again. I sat down 
in a puddle this afternoon, but it dried up 
pretty quick and did n't hurt my clothes, so 
no more from your son 

JACK. 



This was the sort of message that had been 
coming to Susanna of late, bringing up little 
pictures of home duties and responsibilities, 
homely tasks and trials. :< John giving up the 
store for good"; what did that mean? Had 
he gone from bad to worse in the solitude that 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

she had hoped might show him the gravity 
of his offenses, the error of his ways ? In case 
she should die, what then would become of 
the children? Would Louisa accept the bur- 
den of Jack, for whom she had never cared ? 
Would the Shakers take Sue ? She would be 
safe; perhaps she would always be happy; 
but brother and sister would be divided and 
brought up as strangers. Would little Sue, 
grown to big Sue, say some time or other, "My 
mother renounced the world for herself, but 
what right had she to renounce it for me ? Why 
did she rob me of the dreams of girlhood and 
the natural hopes of women, when I was too 
young to give consent?" These and other 
unanswerable questions continually drifted 
through Susanna's mind, disturbing its bal- 
ance and leaving her like a shuttlecock bandied 
to and fro between conflicting blows. 

"Mardie," came a soft little voice from 
across the room; "Mardie, what is a back- 
slider?" 





CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

"Where did you hear that long word, Sue ? 
asked Susanna, rousing herself from her dream. 
" 'T is n't so long as * regenerating' and more 



easier. 



" 



"Regenerating means 'making over/ you 
know." 

"There'd ought to be children's words and 
grown-up words, that's what / think," said 
Sue, decisively; 'but what does 'backslider 5 
mean?" 

"A backslider is one who has been climbing 
up a hill and suddenly begins to slip back." 

"Doesn't his feet take hold right, or why 
does he slip?" 

"Perhaps he can't manage his feet; perhaps 
they just won't climb." 

"Yes, or p'raps he just doesn't want to 
climb any more ; but it must be frightensome, 
sliding backwards." 

"I suppose it is." 

"Is it wicked?" 

"Why, yes, it is, generally; perhaps always." 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

"Brother Nathan and Sister Hetty were 
backsliders; Sister Tabitha said so. She told 
Jane never to speak their names again any 
more than if they was dead." 

'Then you had better not speak of them, 
either." 

' There 's so many things better not to speak 
of in the world, sometimes I think 't would be 
nicer to be an angel." 

;< Nicer, perhaps, but one has to be very 
good to be an angel." 

"Backsliders could n't be angels, I s'pose?" 

"Not while they were backsliders; but per- 
haps they 'd begin to climb again, and then in 
time they might grow to be angels." 

"I shouldn't think likely," remarked Sue, 
decisively, clicking her needles as one who 
could settle most spiritual problems in a jiffy. 
" I think the sliding kind is diff' rent from the 
climbing kind, and they don't make easy an- 
gels." 

A long pause followed this expression of 





CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

opinion, this simple division of the human race, 
at the start, into sheep and goats. Then pre- 
sently the untiring voice broke the stillness again. 

"Nathan and Hetty slid back when they 
went away from here. Did we backslide when 
we left Fardie and Jack?" 

"I'm not sure but that we did," said poor 
Susanna. 

"There's children-Shakers, and brother-and- 
sister Shakers, but no father-and-mother Shak- 
ers ? " 

" No ; they think they can do just as much 
good in the world without being mothers and 
fathers." 

"Do you think so?" 

"Ye-es, I believe I do." 

"Well, are you a truly Shaker, or can't you 
be till you wear a cap?" 

"I'm not a Shaker yet, Sue." 

"You're just only a mother?" 

"Yes, that's about all." 

" Maybe we'd better go back to where there's 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

not so many Sisters and more mothers, so you'll 
have somebody to climb togedder with?" 

"I could climb here, Sue, and so could you." 

'Yes, but who'll Fardie and Jack climb 
with ? I wish they 'd come and see us. Brother 
Ansel would make Fardie laugh, and Jack 
would love farm- work, and we 'd all be so 
happy. I miss Fardie awfully ! He did n't 
speak to me much, but I liked to look at his 
curly hair and think how lovely it would be if 
he did take notice of me and play with me." 

A sob from Susanna brought Sue, startled, 
to her side. 

'You break my heart, Sue! You break it 
every day with the things you say. Don't you 
love me, Sue?" 

; 'More'n tongue can tell!" cried Sue, throw- 
ing herself into her mother's arms. "Don't 
cry, darling Mardie! I won't talk any more, 
not for days and days ! Let me wipe your poor 
eyes. Don't let Elder Gray see you crying, or 
he'll think I've been naughty. He's just going 




CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

in downstairs to see Eldress Abby. Was it 
wrong what I said about backsliding, or what, 
Mardie ? We'll help each udder climb, an' then 
we'll go home an' help poor lonesome Fardie; 
shall we?" 

"Abby!" called Elder Gray, stepping into 
the entry of the Office Building. 

" Yee, I'm coming," Eldress Abby answered 
from the stairway. "Go right out and sit down 
on the bench by the door, where I can catch a 
few minutes more light for my darning; the 
days seem to be growing short all to once. Did 
Lemuel have a good sale of basket-work at the 
mountains ? Rosetta has n't done so well for 
years at Old Orchard. We seem to be prosper- 
ing in every material direction, Daniel, but my 
heart is heavy somehow, and I have to be in- 
stant in prayer to keep from discouragement." 

"It has n't been an altogether good year with 
us spiritually," confessed Daniel; "perhaps we 
needed chastening." 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

"If we needed it, we've received it," Abby 
ejaculated, as she pushed her darning-ball into 
the foot of a stocking. "Nothing has happened 
since I came here thirty years ago that has trou- 
bled me like the running away of Nathan and 
Hetty. If they had been new converts, we should 
have thought the good seed had n't got fairly 
rooted, but those children were brought to us 
when Nathan was eleven and Hetty nine." 

"I well remember, for the boy's father and 
the girl's mother came on the same train; a 
most unusual occurrence to receive two children 
in one day." 

"I have cause to remember Hetty in her first 
month, for she was as wild as a young hawk. 
She laughed in meeting the first Sunday, and 
when she came back, I told her to sit behind me 
in silence for half an hour while I was reading 
my Bible. 'Be still now, Hetty, and labor to 
repent,' I said. When the time was up, she said 
in a meek little mite of a voice, 'I think I'm 
least in the Kingdom now. Eldress Abby!* 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

'Then run outdoors/ I said. She kicked up her 
heels like a colt and was through the door in a 
second. Not long afterwards I put my hands 
behind me to tie my apron tighter, and if that 
child had n't taken my small scissors lying on 
the table and cut buttonholes all up and down 
my strings, hundreds of them, while she was 
'laboring to repent.' 

Elder Gray smiled reminiscently, though he 
had often heard the story before. "Neither of 
the children came from godly families," he 
said, "but at least the parents never interfered 
with us nor came here putting false ideas into 
their children's heads." 

"That's what I say," continued Abby ; "and 
now, after ten years' training and discipline in 
the angelic life, Hetty being especially promis- 
ing, to think of their going away together, and 
worse yet, being married in Albion village right 
at our very doors ; I don't hardly dare to go to 
bed nights for fear of hearing in the morning 
that some of the other young folks have been 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

led astray by this foolish performance of Hetty's ; 
I know it was Hetty's fault ; Nathan never had 
ingenuity enough to think and plan it all out." 

"Nay, nay, Abby, don't be too hard on the 
girl ; I 've watched Nathan closely, and he has 
been in a dangerous and unstable state, even 
as long ago as his last confession ; but this piece 
of backsliding, grievous as it is, does n't cause 
me as much sorrow as the fall of Brother 
Ephraim. To all appearance he had conquered 
his appetite, and for five years he has led a 
sober life. I had even great hopes of him for 
the ministry, and suddenly, like a great cloud 
in the blue sky, has come this terrible visitation, 
this reappearance of the old Adam. 'Ephraim 
has returned to his idols.' 

"How have you decided to deal with him, 
Daniel?" 

"It is his first offense since he cast in his lot 
with us ; we must rebuke, chastise, and forgive." 

"Yee, yee, I agree to that; but how if he 
makes us the laughing-stock of the community 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

and drags our sacred banner in the dust? We 

i 

can't afford to have one of our order picked up 
in the streets by the world's people." 

"Have the world's people found an infallible 
way to keep those of their order out of the gut- 
ters?" asked Elder Gray. "Ephraim seems 
repentant ; if he is willing to try again, we must 
be willing to do as much." 

" Yee, Daniel, you are right. Another matter 
that causes me anxiety is Susanna. I never 
yearned for a soul as I yearn for hers! She 
has had the advantage of more education and 
more reading than most of us have ever en- 
joyed ; she 's gifted in teaching and she wins 
the children. She 's discreet and spiritually 
minded; her life in the world, even with the 
influence of her dissipated husband, has n't 
really stained, only humbled her; she would 
make such a Shaker, if she was once ' con- 
vinced,' as we have n't gathered in for years 
and years; but I fear she's slipping, slipping 
away, Daniel!" 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

"What makes you feel so now, particu- 
larly?" 

"She's different as time goes on. She's had 
more letters from that place where her boy is ; 
she cries nights, and though she does n't relax 
a mite with her work, she drags about some- 
times like a bird with one wing." 

Elder Daniel took off his broad-brimmed 
hat to cool his forehead and hair, lifting his 
eyes to the first pale stars that were trembling 
in the sky, hesitating in silver and then quietly 
deepening into gold. 

Brother Ansel was a Believer because he had 
no particular love for the world and no great 
susceptibility to its temptations ; but what had 
drawn Daniel Gray from the open sea into 
this quiet little backwater of a Shaker Settle- 
ment ? 

After an adventurous early life, in which, 
as if youth-intoxicated, he had plunged from 
danger to danger, experience to experience, he 
suddenly found himself in a society of which 



CONCERNING BACKSLIDERS 

he had never so much as heard, a company 
of celibate brothers and sisters holding all 
goods and possessions in common, and trying 
to live the "angelic life" on earth. Illness de- 
tained him for a month against his will, but at 
the end of that time he had joined the Com- 
munity; and although it had been twenty-five 
years since his gathering in, he was still stead- 
fast in the faith. 

His character was of puritanical sternness; 
he was a strict disciplinarian, and insisted upon 
obedience to the rules of Shaker life, "the sa- 
cred laws of Zion," as he was wont to term 
them. He magnified his office, yet he was 
of a kindly disposition easily approached by 
children, and not without a quaint old-time 
humor. 

There was a long pause while the two faith- 
ful leaders of the little flock were absorbed in 
thought; then the Elder said: "Susanna's all 
you say, and the child, well, if she could 
be purged of her dross, I never saw a creature 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

better fitted to live the celestial life ; but we 
must not harbor any divided hearts here. 
When the time comes, we must dismiss her 
with our blessing." 

"Yee, I suppose so," said Eldress Abby, 
loyally, but it was with a sigh. Had she and 
Tabitha been left to their own instincts, they 
would have gone out into the highways and 
hedges, proselyting with the fervor of Mother 
Ann's day and generation. 

"After all, Abby," said the Elder, rising to 
take his leave, still in a sort of mild trance, 
"after all, Abby, I suppose the Shakers don't 
own the whole of heaven. I'd like to think so, 
but I can't. It's a big place, and it belongs to 
God." 



IX 



LOVE MANIFOLD 





THE woods on the shores of Massabesic 
Pond were stretches of tapestry, where 
every shade of green and gold, olive and brown, 
orange and scarlet, melted the one into the 
other. The sombre pines made a deep-toned 
background; patches of sumach gave their 
flaming crimson ; the goldenrod grew rank and 
tall in glorious profusion, and the maples out- 
side the Office Building were balls of brilliant 
carmine. The air was like crystal, and the land- 
scape might have been bathed in liquid amber, 
it was so saturated with October yellow. 

Susanna caught her breath as she threw her 
chamber window wider open in the early 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

morning; for the greater part of the picture 
had been painted during the frosty night. 

'Throw your little cape round your shoul- 
ders and come quickly, Sue! " she exclaimed. 

The child ran to her side. : 'Oh, what a 
goldy, goldy morning!" she cried. 

One crimson leaf with a long heavy stem 
that acted as a sort of rudder, came down to 
the window-sill with a sidelong scooping flight, 
while two or three gayly painted ones, parted 
from the tree by the same breeze, floated airily 
along as if borne on unseen wings, finally 
alighting on Sue's head and shoulders like 
tropical birds. 

'You cried in the night, Mardie!" said Sue. 
" I heard you snifferling and getting up for 
your hank'chief ; but I did n't speak 'cause it's 
so dreadful to be catched crying." 

" Kneel down beside me and give me part of 
your cape," her mother answered. 'I'm go- 
ing to let my sad heart fly right out of the 
window into those beautiful trees.' 



LOVE MANIFOLD 




tie child suggested. 

" Maybe. - - Oh ! we must cuddle close and 
be still ; Elder Gray 's going to sit down under 
the great maple ; and do you see, all the Bro- 
thers seem to be up early this morning, just as 
we are?" 

"More love, Elder Gray!" called Issachar, 
on his way to the tool-house. 

"More love, Brother Issachar!" 

"More love, Brother Ansel!" 

"More love, Brother Calvin!" 

"More love!" "More love!" "More love!" 
So the quaint but not uncommon Shaker 
greeting passed from Brother to Brother; and 
as Tabitha and Martha and Rosetta met on 
their way to dairy and laundry and seed-house, 
they, too, hearing the salutation, took up the 
refrain, and Susanna and Sue heard again from 
the women's voices that beautiful morning 
wish, "More love!" "More love!" speeding 
from heart to heart and lip to lip. 






SUSANNA AND SUE 

Mother and child were very quiet. 

''More love, Sue!' : said Susanna, clasping 
her closely. 

"More love, Mardie!" whispered the child, 
smiling and entering into the spirit of the salu- 
tation. "Let's turn our heads Farnham way! 
I'll take Jack and you take Fardie, and we'll 
say togedder, 'More love'; shall we?" 

"More love, John." 

"More love, Jack." 

The words floated out over the trees in the 
woman's trembling voice and the child's treble. 

"Elder Gray looks tired though he's just got 
up," Sue continued. 

"He is not strong," replied her mother, re- 
membering Brother Ansel's statement that the 
Elder "wa'n't diseased anywheres, but did n't 
have no durability." 

'The Elder would have a lovely lap," Sue 
remarked presently. 

"What?" 

"A nice lap to sit in. Fardie has a nice lap, 





LOVE MANIFOLD 

too, and Uncle Joel Atterbury, but not Aunt 
Louisa; she lets you slide right off; it's a bony, 
hard lap. I love Elder Gray, and I climbed on 
his lap one day. He put me right down, but 
I'm sure he likes children. I wish I could take 
right hold of his hand and walk all over the 
farm, but he would n't let me, I s'pose. - -More 
love, Elder Gray!" she cried suddenly, bobbing 
up above the window-sill and shaking her 
fairy hand at him. 

The Elder looked up at the sound of the glad 
voice. No human creature could have failed 
to smile back into the roguish face or have 
treated churlishly the sweet, confident little 
greeting. The heart of a real man must have 
an occasional throb of the father, and when 
Daniel Gray rose from his seat under the maple 
and called, 'More love, child!" there was 
something strange and touching in his tone. 
He moved away from the tree to his morning 
labors with the consciousness of something 
new to conquer. Long, long ago he had risen 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

victorious above many of the temptations that 
flesh is heir to. Women were his good friends, 
his comrades, his sisters ; they no longer trou- 
bled the waters of his soul; but here was a 
child who stirred the depths; who awakened 
the potential father in him so suddenly and so 
strongly that he longed for the sweetness of a 
human tie that could bind him to her. But the 
current of the Elder's being was set towards 
sacrifice and holiness, and the common joys of 
human life he felt could never and must never 
be his ; so he went to the daily round, the com- 
mon task, only a little paler, a little soberer 
than was his wont. 

"More love, Martha!" said Susanna when 
she met Martha a little later in the day. 

"More love, Susanna!" Martha replied 
cheerily. "You heard our Shaker greeting, I 
see! It was the beautiful weather, the fine air 
and glorious colors, that brought the inspira- 
tion this morning, I guess ! It took us all out of 
doors, and then it seemed to get into the blood. 





LOVE MANIFOLD 

Besides, to-morrow 's the Day of Sacrifice, and 
that takes us all on to the mountain-tops of 
feeling. There have been times when I had to 
own up to a lack of love." 

'You, Martha, who have such wonderful 
influence over the children, such patience, such 
affection ! ' ' 

"It was n't always so. When I was first put 
in charge of the children, I did n't like the 
work. They did n't respond to me somehow, 
and when they were out of my sight they 
were ugly and disobedient. My natural mother, 
Maria Holmes, took care of the girls' clothing. 
One day she said to me, ' Martha, do you love 
the girls ? ' 

' Some of them are very unlovely,' I replied. 

'"I know that,' she said, 'but you can never 
help them unless you love them.' 

"I thought mother very critical, for I strove 
scrupulously to do my duty. A few days after 
this the Elder said to me : Martha, do you love 
the girls?' I responded, 'Not very much.' 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

'You cannot save them unless you love 
them,' he said. 

' Then I answered, ' I will labor for a gift of 
love.' 

'When the work of the day was over, and 
the girls were in bed, I would take off my shoes 
and spend several hours of the night walking 
the floor, kneeling in prayer that I might ob- 
tain the coveted gift. For five weeks I did this 
without avail, when suddenly one night when 
the moon was full and I was kneeling by the 
window, a glory seemed to overshadow the crest 
of a high mountain in the distance. I thought 
I heard a voice say: 'Martha, I baptize you 
into the spirit of love ! 9 I sat there trembling 
for more than an hour, and when I rose, I felt 
that I could love the meanest human being that 
ever walked the earth. I have never had any 
trouble with children since that night of the 
vision. They seem different to me, and I dare 
say I am different to them." 

"I wish I could see visions!" exclaimed 



LOVE MANIFOLD 

Susanna. :< Oh, for a glory that would speak 
to me and teach me truth and duty! Life is 
all mist, whichever way I turn. I'd like to be 
lifted on to a high place where I could see 
clearlv." 

/ 

She leaned against the frame of the open 
kitchen door, her delicate face quivering with 
emotion and longing, her attitude simplicity 
and unconsciousness itself. The baldest of 
Shaker prose turned to purest poetry when 
Susanna dipped it in the alembic of her own 
imagination. 

"Labor for the gift of sight!" said Martha, 
who believed implicitly in spirits and visions. 
"Labor this very night." 

It must be said for Susanna that she had 
never ceased laboring in her own way for many 
days. The truth was that she felt herself turn- 
ing from marriage. She had lived now so long 
in the society of men and women who regarded 
it as an institution not compatible with the 
highest spiritual development that uncon- 





JSL 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

sciously her point of view had changed; 
changed all the more because she had been so 
unhappy with the man she had chosen. Curi- 
ously enough, and unfortunately enough for 
Susanna Hathaway's peace of mind, the greater 
aversion she felt towards the burden of the old 
life, towards the irksomeness of guiding a 
weaker soul, towards the claims of husband 
on wife, the stronger those claims appeared. 
If they had never been assumed ! Ah, but 
they had ; there was the rub ! One sight of little 
Sue sleeping tranquilly beside her; one mem- 
ory of rebellious, faulty Jack; one vision of 
John, either as needing or missing her, the 
rightful woman, or falling deeper in the wiles 
of the wrong one for very helplessness ; - - any 
of these changed Susanna the would-be saint, 
in an instant into Susanna the wife and mother. 
"Speak to me for Thy Compassion's sake," 
she prayed from the little book of Confessions 
that her mother had given her. "/ will follow 
after Thy Voice!" 





LOVE MANIFOLD 

'Would you betray your trust?" asked con- 
science. 

'No, not intentionally." 

'Would you desert your post?" 

"Never, willingly." 

'You have divided the family; taken a little 
quail bird out of the home-nest and left sorrow 
behind you. Would God justify you in that?" 
For the first time Susanna's " No ' rang 
clearly enough for her to hear it plainly; for 
the first time it was followed by no vague mis- 
givings, no bewilderment, no unrest or inde- 
cision. "/ turn hither and thither; Thy pur- 
poses are hid from me, but I commend my soul 
to Thee!" 

Then a sentence from the dear old book 
came into her memory: "And thy dead things 
shall revive, and thy weak things shall be made 
whole" 

She listened, laying hold of every word, till 
the nervous clenching of her hands subsided, 
her face relaxed into peace. Then she lay down 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

beside Sue, creeping close to her for the warmth 
and comfort and healing of her innocent touch, 
and, closing her eyes serenely, knew no more till 
the morning broke, the Sabbath morning of 
Confession Day. 




X 



BROTHER AND SISTER 





X 

IF Susanna's path had grown more difficult, 
more filled with anxieties, so had John 
Hathaway 's. The protracted absence of his 
wife made the gossips conclude that the break 
was a final one. Jack was only half contented 
with his aunt, and would be fairly mutinous 
in the winter, while Louisa's general attitude 
was such as to show clearly that she only kept 
the bov for Susanna's sake. 

i/ 

Now and then there was a terrifying hint of 
winter in the air, and the days of Susanna's ab- 
sence seemed eternal to John Hathaway. Yet he 
was a man about whom there would have been 
but one opinion : that when deprived of a rather 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

superior and high-minded wife and the steady- 
ing influence of home and children, he would go 
completely "to the dogs," whither he seemed 
to be hurrying when Susanna's wifely courage 
failed. That he had done precisely the opposite 
and the unexpected thing, shows us perhaps 
that men are not on the whole as capable of 
estimating the forces of their fellow men as is 
God the maker of men, who probably expects 
something of the worst of them up to the very 
last. 

It was at the end of a hopeless Sunday when 
John took his boy back to his aunt's towards 
night. He wondered drearily how a woman 
dealt with a ten-year-old boy who from sunrise 
to sunset had done every mortal thing he ought 
not to have done, and had left undone every- 
thing that he had been told to do ; and, as if 
to carry out the very words of the church ser- 
vice, neither was there any health in him ; for 
he had an inflamed throat and a whining, irri- 
table, discontented temper that could be borne 





BROTHER AND SISTER 

only by a mother, a father being wholly inad- 
equate and apparently never destined for the 
purpose. 

It was a mild evening late in October, and 
Louisa sat on the porch with her pepper-and- 
salt shawl on and a black wool "rigolette" 
tied over her head. Jack, very sulky and unre- 
signed, was dispatched to bed under the care 
of the one servant, who was provided with a 
cupful of vinegar, salt, and water, for a gargle. 
John had more than an hour to wait for a re- 
turning train to Farnham, and although ordi- 
narily he would have preferred to spend the time 
in the silent and unreproachful cemetery rather 
than in the society of his sister Louisa, he was 
too tired and hopeless to do anything but sit 
on the steps and smoke fitfully in the semi- 
darkness. 

Louisa was much as usual. She well knew 
who better ? her brother's changed course 
of life, but neither encouragement nor compli- 
ment were in her line. Why should a man be 









SUSANNA AND SUE 

praised for living a respectable life ? That John 
had really turned a sort of moral somersault 
and come up a different creature, she did not 
realize in the least, nor the difficulties sur- 
mounted in such a feat; but she did give him 
credit secretly for turning about face and be- 
having far more decently than she could ever 
have believed possible. She had no conception 
of his mental torture at the time, but if he kept 
on doing well, she privately intended to inform 
Susanna and at least give her a chance of try- 
ing him again, if absence had diminished her 
sense of injury. One thing that she did not 
know was that John was on the eve of losing 
his partnership. When Jack had said that his 
father was not going back to the store the next 
week, she thought it meant simply a vacation. 
Divided hearts, broken vows, ruined lives 
she could bear the sight of these with consider- 
able philosophy, but a lost income was a very 
different, a very tangible thing. She almost 
lost her breath when her brother knocked the 



BROTHER AND SISTER 

ashes from his meerschaum and curtly told 
her of the proposed change in his business rela- 
tions. 

"I don't know what I shall do yet," he said, 
"whether I shall set up for myself in a small 
way or take a position in another concern - 
that is, if I can get one - - my stock of popular- 
ity seems to be pretty low just now in Farnham. 
I'd move away to-morrow and cut the whole 
gossipy, deceitful, hypocritical lot of 'em if 
I was n't afraid of closing the house and so 
losing Susanna, if she should ever feel like 
coming back to us." 

These words and the thought back of them 
were too much for John's self-control. The 
darkness helped him and his need of comfort 
was abject. Suddenly he burst out, "Oh, 
Louisa, for heaven's sake, give me a little 
crumb of comfort, if you have any! How can 
you stand like a stone all these months and see 
a man suffering as I have suffered, without 
giving him a word?' ; 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

'You brought it on yourself," said Louisa, 
in self-exculpation. 

"Does that make it any easier to bear?" 
cried John. "Don't you suppose I remember 
it every hour, and curse myself the more ? You 
know perfectly well that I'm a different man 
to-day. I don't know what made me change; 
it was as if something had been injected into 
my blood that turned me against everything 
I had liked best before. I hate the sight of the 
men and the women I used to go with, not be- 
cause they are any worse, but because they re- 
mind me of what I have lost. I have reached 
the point now where I have got to have news 
of Susanna or go and shoot myself." 

"That would be about the only piece of 
foolishness you haven't committed already!" 
replied Louisa, with a biting satire that would 
have made any man let go of the trigger in case 
he had gone so far as to begin pulling it. 

"Where is she?" John went on, without 
anger at her sarcasm. 'Where is she, how is 





BROTHER AND SISTER 

she, what is she living on, is she well, is she just 
as bitter as she was at first, does she ever speak 
of coming back ? - - Tell me something, tell me 
anything. I will know something. I say I 
will!" 

Louisa's calm demeanor began to show a little 
agitation, for she was not used to the sight of 
emotion. 

"I can't tell you where Susanna is, for I 
made her a solemn promise I would n't unless 
you or Jack were in danger of some kind; but 
I don't mind telling you this much, that she 's 
well and in the safest kind of a shelter, for 
she's been living from the first in a Shaker 
Settlement." 

"Shaker Settlement!" cried John, starting 
up from his seat on the steps. "What's that? 
I know Shaker egg-beaters and garden-seeds 
and rocking-chairs and oh, yes, I remember 
their religion's against marriage. That's the 
worst thing you could have told me ; that ends 
all hope ; if they once get hold of a woman like 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

Susanna, they'll never let go of her; if they 
don't believe in a woman's marrying a good 
man, they'd never let her go back to a bad one. 
Oh, if I had only known this before; if only 
you'd told me, Louisa, perhaps I could have 
done something. Maybe they take vows or 
sign contracts, and so I have lost her alto- 
gether." 

"I don't know much about their beliefs, and 
Susanna never explained them," returned 
Louisa, nervously, "but now that you've got 
something to offer her, why don't you write and 
ask her to come back to you? I'll send your 
letter to her." 

"I don't dare, Louisa, I don't dare," groaned 
John, leaning his head against one of the pil- 
lars of the porch. "I can't tell you the fear I 
have of Susanna after the way I've neglected 
her this last year. If she should come in at the 
gate this minute, I could n't meet her eyes ; if 
you 'd read the letter she left me, you 'd feel the 
same way. I deserved it, to the last word, but 



BROTHER AND SISTER 

oh, it was like so many separate strokes of 
lightning, and every one of them burned. It 
was nothing but the truth, but it was cut in 
with a sharp sword. Unless she should come 
back to me of her own accord, and she never 
will, I have n't got the courage to ask her; just 
have n't got the courage, that's all there is to 
say about it." And here John buried his head 
in his hands. 

A very queer thing happened to Louisa 
Banks at this moment. A half-second before 
she would have murmured : 

"This rock shall fly 
From its firm base as soon as I!" 

when all at once, and without warning, a 
strange something occurred in the organ she 
had always regarded - - and her opinion had 
never been questioned - - as a good, tough, 
love-tight heart. First there was a flutter and 
a tremor running all along her spine ; then her 
eyes filled ; then a lump rose in her throat and 
choked her ; then words trembled on her tongue 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

and refused to be uttered; then something 
like a bird could it have been the highly 
respectable good-as-new heart ? - - throbbed 
under her black silk Sunday waist; then she 
grew like wax from the crown of her head to 
the soles of her feet ; then in a twinkling, and 
so unconsciously as to be unashamed of it, 
she became a sister. You have seen a gray No- 
vember morning melt into an Indian summer 
noon? Louisa Banks was like that, when, at 
the sight of a man in sore trouble, sympathy 
was born in her to soften the rockiness of her 
original make-up. 

" There, there, John, don't be so down- 
hearted," she stammered, drawing her chair 
closer and putting her hand on his shoulder. 
"We'll bring it round right, you see if we don't. 
You 've done the most yourself already, for I'm 
proud of the way you 've acted, stiffening right 
up like an honest man and showing you've got 
some good sensible Hathaway stuff in you, 
after all, and ain't ashamed to turn your back 



BROTHER AND SISTER 

on your evil ways. Susanna ain't one to refuse 
forgiveness." 

" She forgave for a long time, but she refused 
at last. Why should she change now?" John 
asked. 

"You remember she has n't heard a single 
word from you, nor about you, in that out-of- 
the-way place where she's been living," said 
Louisa, consolingly. "She thinks you're the 
same as you were, or worse, maybe. Perhaps 
she 's waiting for you to make some sign 
through me, for she don't know that you care 
anything about her, or are pining to have her 
back." 

"Such a woman as Susanna must know bet- 
ter than that!" cried John. "She ought to 
know that when a man got used to living with 
anybody like her, he could never endure any 
other kind." 

:< How should she know all that? Jack's 
been writing to her and telling her the news for 
the last few weeks, though I have n't said a 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

word about you because I did n't know how 
long your reformation was going to hold out; 
but I won't let the grass grow under my feet 
now, till I tell her just how things stand!" 

'You're a good woman, Louisa; I don't see 
why I never noticed it before." 

''It 's because I 've been concealing my 
goodness too much. Stay here with me to- 
night and don't go back to brood in that dis- 
mal, forsaken house. We'll see how Jack is in 
the morning, and if he's all right, take him 
along with you, so's to be all there together if 
Susanna comes back this week, as I kind of 
hope she will. Make Ellen have the house all 
nice and cheerful from top to bottom, with a 
good supper ready to put on the table the night 
she comes. You'd better pick your asters and 
take 'em in for the parlor, then I'll cut the 
chrysanthemums for you in the middle of the 
week. The day she comes I'll happen in, and 
stay to dinner if you find it's going to be mor- 
tifying for you ; but if everything is as I expect 





BROTHER AND SISTER 

it will be, and the way Susanna always did 
have things, I'll make for home and leave you 
to yourselves. Susanna ain't one to nag and 
hector and triumph over a man when he 's 
repented." 

John hugged Louisa, pepper-and-salt shawl, 
black rigolette, and all, when she finished this 
unprecedented speech; and when he went to 
sleep that night in the old north chamber, the 
one he and Louisa had been born in, the one 
his father and mother had died in, it was with 
a little smile of hope on his lips. 

"Set her place at hearth and board 
As it used to be!" 

These were the last words that crossed his 
waking thoughts. 

Before Louisa went to her own bed, she 
wrote one of her brief and characteristic epis- 
tles to Susanna, but it did not reach her, for 
the "hills of home" had called John's wife so 
insistently on that Sunday, that the next day 
found her on her way back to Farnham. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

DEAR SUSANNA [so the letter read], 
There's a new man in your house at Farn- 
ham. His name is John Hathaway, but he's 
made all over and it was high time. / say it's 
the hand of God ! He won't own up that it is, 
but I'm letting him alone, for I've done quar- 
reling, though I don't like to see a man get 
religion and deny it, for all the world like Peter 
in the New Testament. If you have n't used 
up the last one of your seventy-times-sevens, I 
think you'd better come back and forgive your 
husband. If you don't, you'd better send for 
your son. I'm willing to bear the burdens the 
Lord intends specially for me, but Jack be- 
longs to you, and a good-sized heavy burden he 
is, too, for his age. I can't deny that, if he is a 
Hathaway. I think he 's the kind of a boy that 
ought to be put in a barrel and fed through the 
bung-hole till he grows up ; but of course I 'm 
not used to children's ways. 

Be as easy with John at first as you can. I 
know you'll say / never was with my husband, 





BROTHER AND SISTER 

but he was different. He got to like a bracing 
treatment, Adlai did. Many's the time he said 
to me, " Louisa, when you make up our minds, 
I'm always contented." But John is n't made 
that way. He's a changed man; now, what 
we've got to do is to keep him changed. He 
does n't bear you any grudge for leaving him, 
so he won't reproach you. 

Hoping to see you before long, I am, 
Yours as usual, 

LOUISA BANKS. 



1 [E OPEN DOOR 





XI 

ON the Saturday evening before the yearly 
Day of Sacrifice the spiritual heads of 
each Shaker family call upon all the Believers 
to enter heartily next day into the humiliations 
and blessings of open confession. 

The Sabbath dawns upon an awed and sol- 
emn household. Footfalls are hushed, the chil- 
dren's chatter is stilled, and all go to the morn- 
ing meal in silence. There is a strange quiet, 
but it is not sadness ; it is a hush, as when in 
Israel's camp the silver trumpets sounded and 
the people stayed in their tents. 'Then," 
Elder Gray explained to Susanna, " a summons 
comes to each Believer, for all have been 






SUSANNA AND SUE 

searching the heart and scanning the life of the 
months past. Softly the one called goes to the 
door of the one appointed by the Divine Spirit, 
the human representative who is to receive the 
gift of the burdened soul. Woman confesses to 
woman, man to man; it is the open door that 
leads to God." 

Susanna lifted Eldress Abby's latch and 
stood in her strong, patient presence ; then all 
at once she knelt impulsively and looked up 
into her serene eyes. 

"Do you come as a Believer, Susanna?" 
tremblingly asked the Eldress. 

"No, Eldress Abby. I come as a child of the 
world who wants to go back to her duty, and 
hopes to do it better than she ever did before. 
She ought to be able to, because you have 
chastened her pride, taught her the lesson of 
patience, strengthened her will, purified her 
spirit, and cleansed her soul from bitterness 
and wrath. I waited till afternoon when all the 
confessions were over. May I speak now?' : 





THE OPEN DOOR 

Eldress Abby bowed, but she looked weak 
and stricken and old. 

'I had something you would have called a 
vision last night, but I think of it as a dream, 
and I know just what led to it. You told me 
Polly Reed's story, and the little quail bird had 
such a charm for Sue that I've repeated it to 
her more than once. In my sleep I seemed to 
see a mother quail with a little one beside her. 
The two were always together, happily flying 
or hopping about under the trees; but every 
now and then I heard a sad little note, as of a 
deserted bird somewhere in the wood. I walked 
a short distance, and parting the branches, 
saw on the open ground another parent bird 
and a young one by its side darting hither and 
thither, as if lost; they seemed to be restlessly 
searching for something, and always they ut- 
tered the soft, sad note, as if the nest had disap- 
peared and they had been parted from the little 
flock. Of course my brain had changed the 
very meaning of the Shaker story and trans- 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

lated it into different terms, but when I woke 
this morning, I could think of nothing but my 
husband and my boy. The two of them seemed 
to me to be needing me, searching for me in the 
dangerous open country, while I was hidden 
away in the safe shelter of the wood I and 
the other little quail bird I had taken out of 
the nest." 

" Do you think you could persuade your hus- 
band to unite with us?" asked Abby, wiping 
her eyes. 

The tension of the situation was too tightly 
drawn for mirth, or Susanna could have 
smiled, but she answered soberly, " No ; if John 
could develop the best in himself, he could be 
a good husband and father, a good neighbor 
and citizen, and an upright business man, but 
never a Shaker." 

"Did n't he insult your wifely honor and dis- 
grace your home?" 

'Yes, in the last few weeks before I left him. 
All his earlier offenses were more against him- 



THE OPEN DOOR 

self than me, in a sense. I forgave him many a 
time, but I am not certain it was the seventy 
times seven that the Bible bids us. I am not 
free from blame myself. I was hard the last 
year, for I had lost hope and my pride was 
trailing in the dust. I left him a bitter letter, 
one without any love or hope or faith in it, just 
because at the moment I believed I ought, once 
in my life, to let him know how I felt toward 
him." 

"How can you go back and live under his 
roof with that feeling ? It's degradation." 

"It has changed. I was morbid then, and so 
wounded and weak that I could not fight any 
longer. I am rested now, and calm. My pluck 
has come back, and my strength. I've learned 
a good deal here about casting out my own 
devils ; now I am going home and help him to 
cast out his. Perhaps he won't be there; per- 
haps he does n't want me, though when he was 
his very best self he loved me dearly ; but that 
was long, long ago!" sighed Susanna, drearily. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

" Oh, this thing the world's people call love ! : 
groaned Abby. 

"There is love and love, even in the world 
outside; for if it is Adam's world it is God's, 
too, Abby ! The love I gave my husband was 
good, I think, but it failed somewhere, and I 
am going back to try again. I am not any too 
happy in leaving you and taking up, perhaps, 
heavier burdens than those from which I es- 
caped." 

" Night after night I've prayed to be the 
means of leading you to the celestial life," said 
the Eldress, "but my plaint was not worthy to 
be heard. Oh, that God w r ould increase our 
numbers and so revive our drooping faith ! We 
work, we struggle, we sacrifice, we pray, we 
defy the world and deny the flesh, yet we fail 
to gather in Believers." 

"Don't say you've failed, dear, dear Abby !" 
cried Susanna, pressing the Eldress 's work- 
stained hands to her lips. ' God speaks to you 
in one voice, to me in another. Does it matter 



THE OPEN DOOR 

so much as long as we both hear Him ? Surely 
it's the hearing and the obeying that counts 
most ! Wish me well, dear friend, and help me 
to say good-by to the Elder." 

The two women found Elder Gray in the 
office, and Abby, still unresigned, laid Su- 
sanna's case before him. 

'The Great Architect has need of many 
kinds of workmen in His building," said the 
Elder. 'There are those who are willing to 
put aside the ties of flesh for the kingdom of 
heaven's sake; 'he that is able to receive it, 
let him receive it ! ' 

' There may also be those who are willing to 
take up the ties of the flesh for the kingdom of 
heaven's sake," answered Susanna, gently, but 
with a certain courage. 

Her face glowed with emotion, her eyes 
shone, her lips were parted. It was a new 
thought. Abby and Daniel gazed at her for a 
moment without speaking, then Daniel said : 
"It's a terrible cross to some of the Brethren 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

and Sisters to live here outside of the world, 
but maybe it's more of a cross for such as you 
to live in it, under such conditions as have sur- 
rounded you of late years. To pursue good 
and resist evil, to bear your cross cheerfully 
and to grow in grace and knowledge of truth 
while you're bearing it - - that's the lesson of 
life, I suppose. If you find you can't learn it 
outside, come back to us, Susanna." 

'I will," she promised, "and no words can 
speak my gratitude for what you have all done 
for me. Many a time it will come back to me 
and keep me from faltering." 

She looked back at him from the open door- 
way, timidly. 

'Don't forget us, Sue and me, altogether," 
she said, her eyes filling with tears. " Come to 
Farnham, if you will, and see if I am a credit 
to Shaker teaching ! I shall never be here again, 
perhaps, and somehow it seems to me as if you, 
Elder Gray, with your education and your gifts, 
ought to be leading a larger life than this." 





THE OPEN DOOR 

I've hunted in the wild Maine forests, in 
my young days; I've speared salmon in her 
rivers and shot rapids in a birch-bark canoe," 
said the Elder, looking up from the pine table 
that served as a desk. 'I've been before the 
mast and seen strange countries; I've fought 
Indians; I've faced perils on land and sea; 
but this Shaker life is the greatest adventure 
of all!" 

" Adventure ? " echoed Susanna, uncompre- 
hendingly. 

"Adventure !" repeated the Elder, smiling at 
his own thoughts. "Whether I fail, or whether 
I succeed, it's a splendid adventure in ethics." 

Abby and Daniel looked at each other when 
Susanna passed out of the office door. 

" ' They went out from us, but they were not 
of us ; for if they had been of us, they would 
have continued with us,' ! ' he quoted quietly. 

Abby wiped her eyes with her apron. 'It's 
a hard road to travel sometimes, Daniel!" 
she said. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

'Yee; but think where it leads, Abby, think 
where it leads ! You 're not going to complain 
of dust when you're treading the King's High- 
way!'' 

Susanna left the office with a drooping head, 
knowing the sadness she had left behind. 
Brother Ansel sat under the trees near by, 
and his shrewd eye perceived the drift of com- 
ing events. 

'Well, Susanna," he drawled, "you're goin' 
to leave us, like most o' the other 'jiners.' I 
can see that with one eye shut." 

'Yes," she replied, with a half smile; "but 
you see, Ansel,I'jined' John Hathaway before 
I knew anything about Shaker doctrines." 

'Yee; but what's to prevent your on-jinin' 
him ? They used to tie up married folks in the 
old times so 't they could n't move an inch. 
When they read the constitution and by-laws 
over 'em they used to put in ' till death do us 
part.' That's the way my father was hitched 



THE OPEN DOOR 

to his three wives, but death did 'em part - 
fortunately for him!' : 

'Till death us do part' is still in the mar- 
riage service," Susanna said, "and I think of 
it very often." 

"I want to know if that's there vit!" ex- 

V 

claimed Ansel, with apparent surprise; 'I 
thought they must be leavin' it out, there's 
so much on-jinin' nowadays ! Well, accordin' 
to my notions, if there is anything wuss 'n 
marriage, it's hevin' it hold till death, for then 
men-folks don't git any chance of a speritual 
life till afterwards. They certainly don't when 
they're being dragged down by women-folks 
an' young ones." 

"I think the lasting part of the bargain 
makes it all the more solemn," Susanna argued. 

"Oh, yes, it's solemn enough, but so's a 
prayer meetin', an' consid'able more ele- 
vatin' : " ; and here Ansel regarded the surround- 
ing scenery with frowning disapproval, as if it 
left much to be desired. 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

; ' Don't you think that there are any agree- 
able and pleasant women, Ansel ?' ; ventured 
Susanna. 

; 'Land, yes ; heaps of 'em; but they all wear 
Shaker bunnits!' : 

"I suppose you know more about the women 
in the outside world than most of the Brothers, 
on account of traveling so much?' : 

"I guess anybody 't drives a seed-cart or 
peddles stuff along the road knows enough o' 
women to keep clear of 'em. They'll come 
out the kitchen door, choose their papers o' 
seasonin' an' bottles o' flavorin', worry you 
'bout the price an' take the aidge off every 
dime, make up an' then onmake their minds 
'bout what they want, ask if it's pure, an' 
when by good luck you git your cart out o' 
the yard, they come runnin' along the road 
after ye to git ye to swop a bottle o' vanilla 
for some spruce gum an' give 'em back the 
change." 

Susanna could not help smiling at Ansel's 



THE OPEN DOOR 

arraignment of her sex. 'Do you think they 
follow you for the pleasure of shopping, or the 
pleasure of your conversation, Ansel?' she 
asked slyly. 

"A little o' both, mebbe; though the plea- 
sure's all on their side," returned the unchiv- 
alrous Ansel. "But take them same women, 
cut their hair close to their heads (there's a 
heap o' foolishness in hair, somehow), purge 
'em o' their vanity, so they won't be lookin' 
in the glass all the time, make 'em depend on 
one another for sassiety, so they won't crave 
no conversation with men-folks, an' you git 
an article that's 'bout as good and 'bout as 
stiddy as a man!" 

"You never seem to remember that men are 
just as dangerous to women's happiness and 
goodness as women are to men's," said Su- 
sanna, courageously. 

"It don't seem so to me! Never see a man, 
hardly, that could stick to the straight an' 
narrer if a woman wanted him to go the other 




SUSANNA AND SUE 

way. Weak an' unstable as water, men-folks 
are, an' women are pow'ful strong." 

'Have your own way, Ansel! I'm going 
back to the world, but no man shall ever say 
I hindered him from being good. You'll see 
women clearer in another world." 

'There'll be precious few of 'em to see!" 
retorted Ansel. "You're about the best o' the 
lot, but even you have a kind of a managin' 
way with ye, besides fillin' us all full o' false 
hopes that we'd gathered in a useful Believer, 
one cal'lated to spread the doctrines o' Mother 
Ann!" 

"I know, I know, Ansel, and oh, how sorry 
I am! You would never believe how I long 
to stay and help you, never believe how much 
you have helped me ! Good-by, Ansel ; you 've 
made me smile when my heart was breaking. 
I shan't forget you !" 



XII 



THE HILLS OF HOME 





XII 



SUSANNA had found Sue in the upper 
chamber at the Office Building, and be- 
gan to make the simple preparations for her 
homeward journey. 

It was the very hour when John Hathaway 
was saying : - 

"Set her place at hearth and board 
As it used to be." 

Sue interfered with the packing somewhat by 
darting to and fro, bringing her mother sacred 
souvenirs given her by the Shaker sisters and 
the children - - needle-books, pin-balls, thim- 
ble-cases, packets of flower-seeds, polished 
pebbles, bottles of flavoring extract. 





SUSANNA AND SUE 

'This is for Fardie," she would say, "and 
this for Jack and this for Ellen and this for 
Aunt Louisa the needle-book, 'cause she's 
so useful. Oh, I'm glad we're going home, 
Mardie, though I do love it here, and I was 
most ready to be a truly Shaker. It's kind of 
pityish to have your hair shingled and your 
stocking half-knitted and know how to say 
'Yee' and then have it all wasted." 

Susanna dropped a tear on the dress she 
was folding. The child was going home, as she 
had come away from it, gay, irresponsible, and 
merry; it was only the mothers who hoped 
and feared and dreaded. 

The very universe was working toward Su- 
sanna's desire at that moment, but she was all 
unaware of the happiness that lay so near. She 
could not see the freshness of the house in 
Farnham, the new bits of furniture here and 
there; the autumn leaves in her own bed- 
room; her work-table full of the records of 
John's sorrowful summer; Jack handsomer 



THE HILLS OF HOME 

and taller, and softer, also, in his welcoming 
mood; Ellen rosy and excited. She did not 
know that Joel Atterbury had said to John 
that day, :< I take it all back, old man, and 
I hope you'll stay on in the firm!" nor that 
Aunt Louisa, who was putting stiff, short- 
stemmed chrysanthemums in cups and tum- 
blers here and there through the house, was 
much more flexible and human than was 
natural to her; nor that John, alternating 
between hope and despair, was forever hum- 
ming : - 

"Set her place at hearth and board 
As it used to be; 
Higher are the hills of home, 
Bluer is the sea!" 

It is often so. They who go weeping to 
look for the dead body of a sorrow, find a vision 
of angels where the body has lain. 

"I hope Fardie'll be glad to see us and Ellen 
will have gingerbread," Sue chattered; then, 
pausing at the window, she added, "I 'm 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

sorry to leave the hills, 'cause I 'specially like 
them, don't you, Mardie?" 

"We are leaving the Shaker hills, but we 
are going to the hills of home," her mother 
answered cheerily. "Don't you remember the 
Farnham hills, dear?" 

"Yes, I remember," and Sue looked 
thoughtful ; " they were farther off and covered 
with woods ; these are smooth and gentle. And 
we shall miss the lake, Mardie." 

"Yes ; but we can look at the blue sea from 
your bedroom window, Sue!" 

"And we'll tell Fardie about Polly Reed 
and the little quail bird, won't we?" 

" Yes ; but he and Jack will have a great deal 
to say to us, and we must n't talk all the time 
about the dear, kind Shakers, you know!" 

"You're all 'buts,' Mardie!" at which Su- 
sanna smiled through her tears. 

Twilight deepened into dusk, and dusk into 
dark, and then the moon rose over the poplar 
trees outside the window where Susanna and 



s 



THE HILLS OF HOME 

Sue were sleeping. The Shaker Brethren and 
Sisters were resting serenely after their day of 
confession. It was the aged Tabitha's last 
Sabbath on earth, but had she known, it would 
have made no difference; if ever a soul was 
ready for heaven, it was Tabitha's. 

There was an Irish family at the foot of the 
long hill that lay between the Settlement and 
the village of Albion ; father, mother, and chil- 
dren had prayed to the Virgin before they went 
to bed; and the gray-haired minister in the 
low-roofed parsonage was writing his commun- 
ion sermon on a text sacred to the orthodox 
Christian world. The same moon shone over 
all, and over millions of others worshiping 
strange idols and holding strange beliefs in 
strange far lands, yet none of them owned the 
whole of heaven ; for as Elder Gray said, "It is 
a big place and belongs to God." 

Susanna Hathaway went back to John 
thinking it her plain duty, and to me it seems 
beautiful that she found waiting for her at the 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

journey's end a new love that was better than 
the old; found a husband to whom she could 
say in that first sacred hour when they were 
alone together, 'Never mind, John! Let's 
forget, and begin all over again." 



When Susanna and Sue alighted at the little 
railway station at Farnham, and started to 
walk through the narrow streets that led to the 
suburbs, the mother's heart beat more and 
more tumultuously as she realized that the 
issues of four lives would be settled before 
nightfall. 

Little did Sue reck of life issues, skipping 
like a young roe from one side of the road to 
the other. 'There are the hills, not a bit 
changed, Mardie!" she cried; "and the sea is 
just where it was! . . . Here's the house with 
the parrot, do you remember ? Now the place 
where the dog barks and snarls is coming next. 
. . . P'raps he'll be dead ... or p'raps he'll 
be nicer. . . . Keep close to me till we get 



LE LLS 




come 

p'raps he is dead or gone a-visiting. . . . 
There's that 'specially lazy cow that's always 
lying down in the Buxtons' field. ... I don't 
b'lieve she's moved since we came away. . . . 
Do you s'pose she stands up to be milked, 
Mardie ? There 's the old bridge over the 
brook, just the same, only the woodbine 's 
red. . . . There's . . . There's . . . Oh, 
Mardie, look, look! ... I do b'lieve it's our 
Jacky!" 

Sue flew over the ground like a swallow, 
calling "Jack-y! Jack-y! it's me and Mardie 
come home!" 

Jack extricated himself from his sister's 
strangling hug and settled his collar. 'I'm 
awful glad to see you, Sukey," he said, ''but 
I'm getting too big to be kissed. Besides, 
my pockets are full of angleworms and fish- 
hooks." 

"Are you too big to be kissed even by 
mother?' 1 called Susanna, hurrying to her 





o 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

boy, who submitted to her embrace with bet- 
ter grace. "O Jack, Jack! say you're glad 
to see mother! Say it, say it; I can't wait, 
Jack!" 

" Course I'm glad! why wouldn't I be? I 
tell you I'm tired of Aunt Louisa, though she's 
easier than she was. Time and again I 've 
packed my lunch basket and started to run 
away, but I always made it a picnic and went 
back again, thinking they 'd make such a row 
over me." 

"Aunt Louisa is always kind when you 're 
obedient," Susanna urged. 

"She ain't so stiff as she was. Ellen is real 
worried about her and thinks she's losing her 
strength, she's so easy to get along with." 

"How's . . . father . . . ?" 

"Better 'n he was." 

"Hasn't he been well?" 

"Not so very; always quiet and won't eat, 
nor play, nor anything. I'm home with him 
since Sunday." 



THE HILLS OF HOME 

"What is the matter with your clothes? 1 
asked Susanna, casting a maternal eye over 
him while she pulled him down here and up 
there, with anxious disapproving glances. 
"You look so patched, and wrinkled, and 
grubby." 

"Aunt Louisa and father make me keep my 
best to put on for you, if you should come. I 
clean up and dress every afternoon at train 
time, only I forgot to-day and came fishing." 

"It's too cold to fish, sonny." 

"It ain't too cold to fish, but it's too cold 
for 'em to bite," corrected Jack. 

"Why were you expecting us just now?" 
asked Susanna. "I didn't write because, 
because, I thought . . . perhaps . . . it would 
be better to surprise you." 

"Father's expecting you every day, not just 
this one," said Jack. 

Susanna sank down on a stone at the end of 
the bridge, and leaning her head against the 
railing, burst into tears. In that moment the 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

worst of her fears rolled away from her heart 
like the stone from the mouth of a sepulchre. 
If her husband had looked for her return, he 
must have missed her, regretted her, needed 
her, just a little. His disposition was sweet, 
even if it were thoughtless, and he might not 
meet her with reproaches after all. There 
might not be the cold greeting she had often 
feared - ' Well, you 've concluded to come back, 
have you ? It was about time ! ' If only John 
were a little penitent, a little anxious to meet 
her on some common ground, she felt her task 
would be an easier one. 

' Have you got a pain, Mardie ? " cried Sue, 
anxiously bending over her mother. 

"No, dear," she answered, smiling through 
her tears and stretching a hand to both chil- 
dren to help her to her feet. "No, dear, I've 
lost one ! ' : 

''I cry when anything aches, not when it 
stops," remarked Jack, as the three started 
again on their walk. - - "Say, Sukey, you look 



THE HILLS OF HOME 

bigger and fatter than you did when you went 
away, and you've got short curls 'stead of 
long ones. - - Do you see how I've grown ? - 
Two inches !" 

"I'm inches and inches bigger and taller," 
Sue boasted, standing on tiptoe and stretching 
herself proudly. "And I can knit, and pull 
maple candy, and say Yee, and sing 'O 
Virgin Church, how great thy light.' 3 

"Pooh," said Jack, "I causing *A sailor's 
life 's the life for me, Yo ho, yo ho ! ' Step along 
faster, mummy dear ; it 's 'most supper time. 
Aunt Louisa won't scold if you're with me. 
There's the house, see? Father '11 be working 
in the garden covering up the asters, so they 
won't freeze before you come." 

"There is no garden, Jack. What do you 
mean? ' 

"Wait till you see if there's no garden! 
Hurrah! there's father at the window, side of 
Aunt Louisa. Won't he be pleased I met you 
halfway and brought you home!" 



SUSANNA AND SUE 

Oh! it was beautiful, the autumn twilight, 
the smoke of her own hearthside rising through 
the brick chimneys! She thought she had 
left the way of peace behind her, but no, the 
way of peace was here, where her duty was, 
and her husband and children. 

The sea was deep blue ; the home hills rolled 
softly along the horizon; the little gate that 
Susanna had closed behind her in anger and 
misery stood wide open ; shrubs, borders, 
young hedge-rows, beds of late autumn flowers 
greeted her eyes and touched her heart. A 
foot sounded on the threshold ; the home door 
opened and smiled a greeting ; and then a voice 
choked with feeling, glad with welcome, called 
her name. 

Light-footed Sue ran with a cry of joy into 
her father's outstretched arms, and then leap- 
ing down darted to Ellen, chattering like a 
magpie. Husband and wife looked at each 
other for one quivering moment, and then 
clasped each other close. 



[E LLS OF IOME 




Forgive! O Susanna, forgive ! : 
John's eyes and lips and arms made mute 
appeals, and it was then Susanna said, "Never 
mind, John! Let's forget, and begin all over 
again!" 














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