Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, November 14, 1930, Image 2

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    Bellefonte, Pa., ‘November 14, 1930. |
Make ine too brave ‘to lie or be unkind,
Make me too understanding, too, ‘to mind
The little hurts companions give ‘and
He careless hurts that no one quite
intends. . ;
Make me too thoughtful to hurt others
Help me to know
#'he inmost hearts of those for whom 1
Their secret wishes, all the load they
That I may add my courage to their
May I make lonely folks feel less
And happier ones a little happier, yet
May I forget
What ought to be forgotten and recall,
Unfailing, all
That ought be recalled, each kindly
Forgetting what might sting.
To all upon my way
Day after day
Let .me be joy, be hope. Let my life
The longest months in the year
are January and February. The
earth has ceased to breathe and
lies asleep, the cells of life within
its soil, hibernating. Work is to be
done presently, and we must pre-
pare. Energy and dynamic power
are needed to ‘accomplish the miracle
of spring—to shove up through the
avenues of our being that which is
to carpet a world with beauty. Let
us store. Let us rest. Let us sleep.
Snow covered the ground and the
hills, taking from each outlying ob-
ject its identity. As far as eye
could see, there was only the hard,
clear, monotonously brilliant surface.
The sky kept to a gray and endless
prgram of clouds—from armies
‘that pressed forever onward. High
up, and running with the clouds, and
keeping pace with them, a strange
wind roared. But all of life that
moved between these two mediums
of snow and bleak sky was blown
and frozen and beaten down as if
useless, and better obliterated.
Icy winds lashed the haggard walls,
tapping a skeleton finger upon the
window-pane, whispering, “Who is
gone? Who is leaving? Who is
In Ward 17 of United States
Veterans’ Hospital No. 80 the ten-
sion had grown intolerable; the ten-
sion of imprisoning and unchanging
weather; of mien too long together;
the maddening repetition of pet
phrases, slang words, threadbare
tales, so that when a man opened
his lips to speak one knew hefore-
hand what his words would be, and
winced with pain,
“A thing like that gets you after
a time.”
“Like what?” irritably.
“That daran’ weed clawing the
“It don’t bother me none, but if
Big Boy over yonder says ‘parlez-
vous one more time—one more time,
mind you—I'm goona bounce him off
with this shoe.”
“Gosh, ain't we ever eating?”
“Stop that eternal radio.”
“When it comes, it’s just stew.”
“There's mosquitoes in this room.”
“Look wild there, doc, that leg’s
“Can't you smile a little jazz out
of her—something jolly ?”
“Some low person has poured wa-
ter in my tobacco.”
“Three years this
mighty little progress. I'm telling
you a secret. Soon as the weather
clears, I'm off.”
“Well, and this boche was riding
our tail, so I let out a stream of
“Listen; spellbinder—cut the war
patter. We know it by heart.”
“That damn’ weed—it says things.
“Officer, send Jenny up to Ward
17, can’t you?”
The old cry, “Call out the guard,
or send for Jenny.”
What was itin the way she en-
tered a room, moving without dis-
Pioing the air as she passed through
it? at was it that happened
when she stood by your cot and
looked at you with her steady brown
gaze? All the nerves in your body
quieting, settling down; that con-
fusion of the brain, which had
threatened a moment before to take
the top of your head off, sizzling
out into nothing. The skeleton
finger at the window, the storm
that would not cease, despair and
death and dréad of the morrow,
vanished! The bed more comfort
able; irritation turned into laugh-
ter. Jenny's voice, never loud,
never hurried, a husky, warm note
in it. The way the little perky cap
sat on her head, quaint and depend-
able and a bit comic.
“Atta boy, Jenny.”
“Stay in there, Jenny.” ~~
She straightened a, shade, shook a
low, loosened a bandage, put up
the window and broke off the piece
of yin threw it away. How had
month and
she known?
“Thanks, Jenny.”
“Could you get a fly-swat, Jenny,
and kill these winter mosquitoes?
They sting worse than summer
ones.” :
Jenny's gaze circled the room,
came to rest on a pair of guilty,
twinkling eyes peeping over the top
‘of 4 sheet at hér. Luke—up to
something again.
When she stood by him, he said. |
“To hol’ de hand and smoo’ de
He always téaSed Jenhy about her
misgion of mercy. Not that he felt
it a joking ‘matter, but it was his
way to joke. : :
- “Bend your edr, Jenny. I'vegot
a nigger-shooter and some beans,
and they think it's mosquitoes,”
‘their banners.
{ed his shoulders :
| the ‘ghosts of these boys come back
i os! “We'll get him over to the hos.
{ they "Hadn't known ’
I didn’t—honest now, Jenny!”
She stood motionless, mute. He.
had used that word so glibly. Her
hand dropped to his shoulder—Jenny
passed on. : .
“Jenny, there's mosquitoes—"
But they didn't so much mling
now. The big room ‘was bay, ‘and
quickened to interest, amd ‘ready to
romp. As easily as that Jenny had
them laughing, joking, forgetting
and ennui and that life for
most of them was without hope, For
one more day mutiny was averted.
No one could have told what it was
or how she did it. It was Jenny's
little .
Sr little gift! So easy to
say, so quick to send for, So con-
venient to depend upon, SO comfort.
able to have So But for the one
es that .
Br and fifty Disabled
Veterans, ‘enduring the tedium of
hospital life in four hundred and
fifty different ways. Enduring not
only the present, but the irremedi-
able past, and its determinate fu-
ture. Jenny saw for each man a
separate war, and all these wars
unfolded and thundered past her,
charged with their brimstone and
And the shadows of
them fell forward across the years,
a dark fixture there, waiting for
the four hundred and fifty to ar-
rive by a road of slow, tedious days
and stoic courage not unmixed with
hope. Benjy Fram, an arm gone,
working faithfully to train a left
hand ne his old trade of watch-
mending. The ward of spine in-
juries. The gassed. The _psycho-
pathics. Those who lay with ban-
daged eyes. And the increasing
stream who, after these many years
must leave home and business and
enter here—unreturning.
“I wish,” thought Jenny in a
moment of fire, “I wish the wise
men who meet to decide, so cautious-
ly and diplomatically, whether or
not we are to have more wars—
whether or not the little, sweet, fat
babies just learning to toddle must
come to—to this—oh, I wish they
could hold their conferences here
under this roof. I wish they could
meet in Ward 17 and watch Benjy
Farm struggling to fix the insides
of a watch with his left hand. I
wish they could talk with Erney
Gray, who is whittling a little ship,
and sometimes whistles, and is go-
ing to die. And with Luke!” Her
‘eyes blazed. “I wish they might
change places—be these boys. And
these—my dear, brave lads rise
and go free.”
It was the second week in Febru-
ary when a terrible thing happened. |
An epidemic of flue swept the In.
firmary Wards. The boys had been
too ¢rowded in there. Dr. Huffy
had known it, but what could he
do? The men came ‘and came, and
begged for admission, Adequate
quarters and additional propria-
tions must await legislation. He
cotild not leave a sick'man shivering
on the doorstep while statesmen de-
bated ways and means. Yet now
he blamed himself and aged With
self-accusation, And it mattered
little that these cases had ‘been all
but hopeless—a word never spoken
in No. 80. Bach day saw the thin-
nig of the ranks. The boys came
to call Wards 10 and 17 “Belleau
Wood.” So many fell there.
Jenny was on night duty. Near
dawn, her brain so numb with fa-
tigue that she knew she would
make mistakes if she Stayed up
longer, she stumbled down the cor-
ridor to her room, pitched forward
across thebed without undressing,
and was asleep as she fell.
Somewhere in the back of her
mind a voice of warning sounded.
She couldn't keep up at this. And
Jenny would answer that voice:
“Yes, I know. I'm not planning
to stay here forever. Some day
before I'm quite old I shall go. It
might be soon, Perhaps this spring!”
But sleep refreshed her, and she
forgot herself inthe tragedies &bout
~ No longer any use to worry about
Wally’s eyes. Wally could see now.
No further anxiety lest Benjy Fram
might not be able to master the
intricate art of watch-mending with
a slow left hand. Benjy had gone
where they did not need watches to
tick off the tedious hours. And
Luke with the nigger and the beans
and the twinkly eyes.
He had sent for Jenny at last. |
“What did you want, Luke?” i
“You—Jenny.” A flicker of the
old spirit under the drooping lids—
“To hol’
de hand, an smoo’ de
brow—" :
And presently nothing but Jenny |
there—crumpled forward—
Still the vine at the window
tapping. and whispering, ‘Who is,
leaving ? Who gone? Who is:
Erney Gray, who had been mak-|
ing the little battleship
over in the
Ward Surgeon.
Big Boy
In a dim, anxious hour just be- |
fore day, Jenny and Dr, Huffy flash-
ed past each other in a corridor. He
whirled and called her back. The
old doctor knew Jenny's way of
never. sparing herself, and watched
over her as best he could with four
hundred and fifty others on his
hands. rg
sleep these days, |
, “Getting any
Jennny ?” .
“Are you?”
His eyes, heavy with fatigue, met
“Well, but I ean stand more than
you can.” :
The tragedy of the Youngest
Ward Surgeon rose between them.
The old doctor sighed, and gather-
3 and tried to look
younger an brisker. 5
“Im turning in pretty soon now.
Yés, just directly 1 look in on—a,
few others.”
Sométimes Jenny fancied she saw
to haunt the dim rooms; thing
eft ‘undone ‘or unfiritshed or unsaid;
br homesick for the old comrades.
Erneéy’s little ‘ship hdd been ‘placed
‘oh ‘a table In a passageway becatise
what 10. do with
it. = Night after high enny Saw
“Luke, give me those beans!”
him hovering over it hungrily. And
corner—Hinky-dinky- | B¢1P.
“Now, Jemny—I—I'd die, Jenny, 3) on she stopped: and spoke to him.-
“Pll take care of it, Ernéy, until
you can finish it.” i ae
And carried joke her room,
When things grew mu or
Jenny, she into Windy's
room. With her quiet hands clasp-
ed in her lap, she sat by his win-
dow, her gaze ee. he line Snore
te stooped, ol up the
lehdened sky upon their ‘shoulders.
‘Once Windy had depended on Jen-
ny for help and comfort. Now their
‘status had changed; Jenny had come
to depend on him. Windy didn’t
know this. At least, she supposed
‘he didn’t. There was much that
Windy didn’t know, which was why
she could come to him.
Yet he must have guessed her
need. He did not speak of the hos-
pital and its tragedies, but of life
beyond the window's ledge. aa
y, happy race of mortals—
harp: blessed of the gods who lived
in an exalted state of unhampered
freedom, the wide world at their
feet. (Ah, were we ever of it?)
the thrilling chances; the competi-
tion and hurry and progress. The
various means of travel flying
about! They rang impossibly on the
ear and were true!
could lie here and be more of the
the throngs shouldering its crowded
thoroughfares. Nine and a half
years in a hospital, and he had not
only kept apace with his world, but
had acquired a level-headed, un-
biased, straight .from-the-shoulder
slant on its politics, its progress,
its mistakes, its men in high places,
its general trend, that was little
short of prophecy, He talked of
these things. He talked of the curi-
ous succession of little beings com-
ing into existence and presently go-
ing out of it, their mission accom-
From here—from this narrow,
high-up room of Windy’s—the span
of a life seemed about one inch
long, and was not by any stretch of
imagination the end of things, but
a link. A link in what,
Yes—in what! Thrilling, isn’t it?
They spoke of thinkers who dug
their minds into science and brought
up treasure lore for other thinkers
to catch at, add their thoughts to,
{and so on and on through the unin-
‘terrupted years, forming a golden
ladder that led no one knew where,
but built on with hope—an element
universal and necessary. And the
stars wheeling and circling;
the ages passing over; and the swift
current of life sweeping onward.
Breathless, enthused sessions they
‘were for Jenny. The air charged
and vibrant, and Windy's voice com-
ing across the ‘small space to her.
When ~ it grew dark and they could
not see each other, still it reached
to her—his voice! Of course, he
didn’t know how wonderful it was,
'or how it put wings to Jenny's
“spirit when he said somthing like
| “We face the impossible, and pres-
“efitly ‘we have accomplished it.
Or was it that Jenny, through
[the eyes of ‘an undying and unre-
turned love, saw him a young god
—Mercury, fleet-footed and swift,
{wearing winged sandals—Ah, Jenny!
It was a Sunday morning. All
the shutins were at church. The
ambulants were writing home, most
of ‘them, and some (saye the mark)
‘were shooting craps. The better
were better, and the worst were no
worse, and there were no new
‘cases. No. 80 had its best foot
forward once more. 4
. Spring was not far distant, anda
breath of it blew backward and
smote Jenny full in the face.
“1 wish TI ‘couldgo some place,”
she thused like ‘any other girl, see-
ing the sun about to shine. “AndI
wonder what the new styles in hats
will be this spring, and if thy will
go well with a round, medium face.”
She was occupied with a ledger
wherein the various doctors wrote
their daily orders for the patients.
‘Now, a doctor’s handwriting isa
weird cipher with no known code or
glossary. Yet it must be trans-
lated into English so that the busi-
Ress of the day can go forward.
Because it was one of the hardest
tasks in the whole ward it had
been shoved off on Jenny—conscien-
tious Jenny, who wouldn't give up
on a sentence untilit actually made
Jenny sat and licked her pencil
stub and concentrated. She shut her
gyes, and visualized that particular
octor’s habitual procedure, and the
queer curlicue here which was a
word—and presently she had it.
“Though Latin would be easier,”
' sighed Jenny, and wished she could Worse fro
have a lark some place,
., Near noon a man came to the
hospital with word of a disabled
veteran in a shack on the hills, ill
and alone and desperately in need of
Dr. Williams, who saw the
And last the Youngest | SUE patients, Prepares to goat once.
“I'd better take a nurse.”
The invigorating prospect of a
long ride and the cold wind in her
ace thrilled Jenny,
begged to go. The visiting nurse
| ‘Can you be ready in three min-
Jenny could.
At the end of an hour's climb
over, bumpy trails and impossible
|roads, they found the shack. In-
{ile 2 man. muttered and tossed in
| the delirlim of ever. :
| Dr. willlams made a swift ex-
amination, shook his head.
| ‘Moré infivenga. Poor fellow!”
They ‘looked with pity dbout the
lonely, hare room, high on the hill-
de, where one. more soldier had
fought the good fight and lost. For
he would lose it. That was evi-
‘But they had learned at No. 80
never to give up, so Williams spoke
pital, Jenny, and see what can be
| done. . Nobody but Jake could put
and ambulance. up that hill, but Jake
can, and we'd better go right back
for him. _ Wish Td brought him in
the ‘fiFat * place.” ;
“You go. I'll stay here’,
The tremendous affairs out there; ’
It seemed to Jenny that Windy
world, and see it more clearly, than.
Windy? '
and her eyes |
. “I don’t like the idea -of -leaving
1 alone.”
“Why not? I'm not a particle
afraid. DIve done this numbers of
times—any nurse has. It isn't so
awfully far—come to the window
and see. I can look right down on
the hospital.”
He stood frowning, trying to de-
cide what was the sensible course.
“If you're sure you'll be all wight—
the sooner I'm off, the quicker we
can get back.” He consulted his
watch. “One o’clock now. You
may look for us before two-thirty;
I know the way, and we can make
better time.”
But after he had climbed into his
"car, he got out and eame back.
“Look here, Jenny, I don’t like this.’
Tl be darned if I do. It’s a long
ride up that hill and over a lonely
road. We've made him as comfort-
able as possible. ‘Hell probably
sleep for several hours, and I don’t
see that your staying will better
things. undle up and come along
back with me.”
But Jenny wouldn't hear of it.
“Of course, I'll stay. The two hours
will pass quickly, Besides, I've
been glad of the chance to get away
from the hospital for a bit. I
needed a lark. Please don’t worry.”
Reassured, he was off again, smil-
ing dryly at Jenny’s idea of alark.”
Jenny stood in ‘the ‘door and
watched his car twist and jolt and
lirch over the bad road, finally dis-
appearing around a bend. It would
take all Jake's skill to carry a sick
man down without more injury than
benefit. But Jake could do it;
Jake could even jounce soothingly.
What a view from the shack!
Winter or summer, God's country!
The hospital was a tey you might hold
in your hand, and beyond that was
a city consisting of a few toothpicks
and a couple of streamers of smoke.
Flat stretches of golden distance,
and miles and miles of undulating
hills. “I wish I could play hop-
scotch from hill to hill.” But she
must go in, instead, and see to
her charge.
Jenny fell to brightening the
room. She stuffed something in
the broken window-pane to shut
out the cold, washed the dishes,
stacked the wood in a neat heap be-
hind the stove. She didn't dare
sweep, but she shoved the worst of
it into a golfer’s tee and pulled the
rug triumphantly over, When she
turned toward the bed, she saw that
his eyes were open and watching
He smiled feebly and spoke.
(it isn't little Red Crossie!
‘the world—what?
me, Crossie?”
She laid cool
hot wrist.
“Easy as anything. I followed the
mountain trail, and here you were.”
| Undying gratitude shone up to
Her from burnt-out eyes. “Nice to
‘be taken care of again. Homelike.
Been—doing solo long time. Would
have madeit but—cold got me.”
She spoke hastily. “They're send.
ing the ambulance from: the hospi-
tal, and you're going to be fine as
soon as we get you there.”
* “He knew better, but he gave her
‘a smile. - The same gallant smile all
the boys had. They had learned it
on a scarlet field.
His fingers ‘touched the white of
her uniform and moved upward into
the shadow of a salute. ‘Jolly. The
‘cap and uniform. Brings back—
thousand things. Fine nurses” in
France—fine girls. Helped a fel-
low pull through. There was one—
you'll find all about it in a little
book—diary —top tray of that
trunk.” Te
His eyes begged Jenny to read it,
brings its glowing events into the
§mall shack where the spark of life
flickered and burned low.
“Got a war in it, that little book.”
| Jenny dug among the war relics.
| “Would this be it?” holding up a
‘small volume with a green cloth
: back.
| Henodded drowsily, already drift-
ling again
| Rmen Jenny was sure that he
slept, she pulled a chair to the
‘window - and began to read.
| She was conscious of a strange
;stir in the air, and a shadow walk-
.ed across the pages of the book.
, Startled, Jenny glanced up. Her
; heart stood still. From the north-
west a black cloud was gathering
| with terrifying swiftness, blotting
7 the heavens.
Jenny laid the book down, tiptoed
, to the door, slipped out, and closed
|it behind her. :
e had never seensuch a cloud.
| Dense, thick, boiling smoke with
, tagged $ifes, Perhaps they looked
the top of a hill. Be-
Cause if they didn’t—if that cloud
| meant what it said—who was Jenny
ito hold a flimsy shack and a sick
man to the ground in the face of
, such, She knew only too well what
it was. A blizzard. Snow and
freezing gales and driving needles
of ice, and death to any one ven.
turing out in it. It would be here
All over
How'd you find
fingers about his
"days. ;
The Seriousness of her predica-
ment broke over Jenny. She back-
| ed against the wall, her face lifted
to the awful heavens, and lived a
1 etime in the next few minutes. A
jchild’s terror was upon her—the
wild fmpulse to try to outstrip that
storii. She felt that her feet could
“éarry Her swiftly down the trail and
put her safely inside the great en-
folding hospital doors before the
! wind struck. Her next thought was
i of wood, and she flew frantically
around, looking for stray pieces—
anything that would burn—to hoard
against whatever was to come,
She found four or five pieces, some
'chips, ‘a hoe handle, and there was
{ie heavy block which formed the
doorstep. Jenny dragged them in-
side. The wind was already high,
‘and it took dll her strength to get
| the door shut.
| “If only Dr. Williams and Jake
{won't try to get back here tonight!
They couldn’t possibly, and it would
: be rank suicide to attempt it.”
| Thén ‘She realized with relief that
| Williams wodld be caught in ‘the
i storm Yefore he could reach the
in fifteen minutes, and it might last
_ The sick man slept. Jenny ran
an appraising ‘eye over the supply
of wood. -. Noted what ~ articles in
the room she could burn. And the
world darkened. And the storm
struck. .
She had not dreamed a house
could rock so and remain standing.
She held her muscles taut to meet
every fresh onslaught,
“If only we can manage to rollin
the direction of the hospital when
we start, it would simplify things.
Imagine the surprise just as they're
beginning to worry. The Chief
Nurse say: ‘Jenny, we can’t have
_ this. It's against the rules to roll
the patients in. And we never ad-
mit their houses.’ ”
She would whisk off in a huff and
never ‘Séé ‘the joke. ‘Liater she
would relent and come back and
tell Jenny to stand the little house
up outside, three paces to the left
and two to the rear.
But they didn't roll. The shack
that had withstood other storms and
‘other winters held against this.
Jenny patted its walls with an en-
couraging h-1d and said in imita-
tion of the boys at No. 80: “Atta
bot. house. Stand up to it, house.”
now shut out the world. The
dim city went, and the hospital, and
the hop-scotch hills, The very
ground they stood upon. And there
was nothin: left to all of creation
but four quivering, protesting walls
balanced pr--ariously in a vortex of
shrieking winds, and a sick man
who breatiied with difficulty and
muttered, and Jenny.
Jenny lighted the lamp. She set.
tled downto the book he had want-
ed ‘her to read.
' The storm howled; the shack
rocked—all but lifted from its
foundation—settled back. Jenny was
no longer there. Jenny was with
the Three Gay Chevaliers. That is
what they called themselves—three
boys, meeting one night in a cafe
after taking their girls home from
a dance. America had, that morn-
ing, thrown her hat into the ring,
and all over the land youth must
have gathered about little tables as
these had, breathing adventure,
shaken with emotion. They would
enlist, they would go to France,
they wouldwin fame and honor,
When they were old, old, old men
they would return here some night.
Sitting in this very spot they would
recall the stirring days of youth
and its far-flung madness, They
stood together with tears in their
-and pledged themselves to
brave deeds—in soda water.
The Three Gay Chevaliers in
France. Dan and Ronny and Smoke.
(This one ‘was Dan.) Actually stand-
ing upon French soil. Who'd have
‘though 'it? The dream held, and
they could scarcely believe them-
selves true. Romance, thrills, ad-
venture. They were of the first
Americans sent up to relieve worn-
out French troops. The entries in
the diary were brief and far apart.
They were fighting side by side.
Often they were homesick and blue,
but the next ‘day ‘it was all a great
s;game, On leave in Paris! Painting
the old town red. Surely they left
their mark upon that much marked
up city! Surely Paris remembers.
They did considerable wrecking;
they made noise; they fell out of
one escapade into another. At last,
good-by, Paris! See you again some
day. Back in the trenches.
One day something happened that
they hadn't counted on. A sort of
awed astonishment in the brief en-
try. “Today they got Ronny.”
That was all. But the next day;
“Smoke and I are going after the
Hun that got Ronny. He's got a
machine-gun nest over there,” Then,
“Smoke and I went over and clean.
ed up that Hun that got Ronny.”
Other entries, short, graphic, but
no longer any zest or thrill or ad-
venture. The life of the book had
gone out. From then on they were
grim men doing a work of death.
inevitable occurred, and Smoke
pitched forward in the trench.
“Dan—I'm gone.” Dan dropped his
gun, grabbed him, started running
for help. Men tried to stop him—
tried to tell him something. He
wouldn't hear. He kept talking to
Smoke, pleading with him: “Keep
your eyes open, Smoke, As long as
you keep your eyes open, you can’t
die.” A brand of fire pierced ' his
gide. He ran on and on. Blood all
over both of them. People getting
in his way. “Look here, féller, you're
bleeding to death, and besides the
kid you've got is dead.”
“Get out of my way—Keep your
eyes open, Smoke—as long as you
keep your eyes open you can't—
These entries were from a hospi-
tal weeks later. He was bandaged
from head to foot. That didn’t mat-
ter. But his grief—
' Here was the nurse he had spoken
of. She stepped softly into the Iit-
tle book, and Jenny could almost
hear her voice. She came to Dan,
She said.
“TI lost both of my brothers—such
fine boys. It's why I'm here to
care for other people’s brothers.”
“I ‘could ‘stand it then,” he wrote.
He didn’t die. He ‘couldn't. He
had to get that Hun that'got Smoke.
There was no way of telling which
one did it. So he started in Sys.
tematically, up the German
army. Once, running forward, he
ell into a trench. It was full of
Germans. He brandished his bayonet
and yelled. They thought he was
the allied armies. They ran. He
trained ‘their own gun upon them
and Wiped out the lot. But first
they had fixed him—takeh his lég
off clean as a whistle. He had been
recommended for decoration by both
French and American governments.
Another hospital. By and by they
told him the war was over. Middle-
ged, gassed, a cripple for life, the last
of the Three Gay Chevaliers re-
turned home ‘ahd took up his fight
alone on the hillsidé. The last en-
try in the book said:
“Thank God, Ronny and Smoke
went when they did! Thank God,
it was a clean call for them! Not
this.” ;
Jenny Sat a
‘thirown ‘back,
Te sick man
troubled stupor.
long while, head
‘eyes ‘closed, ‘throat
‘had sunk into a
He muttered and
tossed. Through the hours that fol-
lowed, . Jenny, “doing what she could
‘to quiet ‘him, spoke “to him as ‘he
had spoken to Smoke:
“Don’t give up, Dan. You're bet-
ter. Doing fine! Don’t give up!”
So they waged their battle.
The tide of life ebbed slowly.
Once she thought he was gone.
But after that he spoke again. He
put out a hand to caress the air.
His horse voice rose toa glad cry.
“Why, Bay old scout—doggone
you, ‘Smoke—waited, ‘did you?”
There wis a rush of wind past
Jenny, ‘and something vag an
shadowy and splendid blinded ‘her
A log falling in the stove brought
Jenny to herself. She found she
was cold. The storm had blown
the obstruction from the broken
window pane; the room was a whit
of winds, and a drift ‘of snow lay
on the floor.
Jenny moved to the bed and
placed the sheet over the stil fate,
The fire was almost out, and ‘she
replenished that and barricaded the
window as best as she could. Look.
ing at her wrist-watch she ‘was
surprised that it was ‘only seven-
thirty. The night had hardly be-
Outside some heavy object car-
ried by the storm struck the house
with force, and Jenny started. She
thought, “I mustn't get nervous.”
There was a radio on the table,
and she crossed to that and turned
the dials with a mone too steady
hand. Of course, she wouldn't be
able to get anything, but trying oc-
cupied her mind. i
unday night, and all over the
land people were gathered in
churches, standing together singing,
lifting their voices with the fluted
notes of organs. Hymns. She re-
membered some. “Rock of ages,
cleft for me.” And there was an-
other about “Ninety-and-nine that
were safe in the fold, and one that
was lost on the mountainside.”
Chords of music with reassuring
words floated through Jenny's mind,
It seemed to her that she really
heard them. ‘She bent her ear to
catch an elusive strain, her imagi-
nation and her need keyed to some
overtone of sharp receptivity. Wasn't
that—Wasn’t it?
Out of the night, out of the deaf.
ening pandemonium of the storm, a
voice spoke. Clear and steady and
“Fear not, for I am with thee.”
She stood in a sort of light, and
the words did not die on the air but
remained there fixed and visible.
Fear not, for T am with thee. In a
trench in France, at the frozen
poles, in the lighted churches, or
alone on a bleak hillside—what did
it te
Jenny went back to her fire. She
banked the coals and laid on an-
other stick. She was no longer
afraid her supply of wood would
give out. She sat down and folded
her hands quietly in her lap. Fesr
not—for I am with thee!
The hours passed,
She must have dozed. She thought
she was a child again at her grand-
mother’s in the country, and the
lamp was going out because it made
a funny smell in the room. Jenn:
sat up, blinking, and saw little sparks
rising from the wick of the lamp.
The oil was gone. After some search
she found the oil can in the lean-
to kitchen. She shook the can; shook
it again hopefully. Took the potato
from the spout and turned it up-
side down. There wasn’t a drop of
oil in it.
“But there must be oil
where. There's got to be!”
She picked up the lamp with its
dimming flame, walking carefully,
shielding it with a hand, and search-
ed every corner of the place.
hind boxes, on shelves, in drawers,
under stacks of papers, under the
bed, in the trunk, behind the stove.
“God, put a little oil somewhere and
let me find it.” Back to shake the
empty. can again, to rake every
corner of the kitchen once more, to
lift every paper. No use. No use
to look further.
Jenny put the lamp on the table
and backed away from it, her eyes
trying to hold the feeble flame to
its wick.
The room was darkening. A
glance at her watch told her it was
only one o'clock. “And T've got to
get through to morning.” Without
warning terror rose within her. “The
light is going, and I'll be alone in
the dark with death. I won't be
able to stand it, and I'll be insane
by fiorniiig. They'll come and they'll
find me. No—mno—I must k
calm. I can ifTI try. I musn't
hold my muscles rigid or twist my
hands this way.”
But fear of what she might not
be able to control possessed her.
The sight of herself as she would be
in the morning filled the room—
darted from corner to corner—a
frantic, wild thing. And now there
were two figures inthe room; the
still one upon the bed, and this poor
crazed one darting about—
“The light is going and nothing
can help me.” Jenny was crying,
twisting her hands together. e
room was dark. “I won't stay in
here with him—I can’t. I'd rather
die in the storm!”
It was the only way out. Quick-
ly Jenny made up her mind. She
got her wraps. She put on the
little brown hat with the feather
that wasn’t stylish. She begin
pulling oh her gloves. She would
go out and meet death in the
storm. Tt was cozy and safe otft-
side compared with the fate that
Awaited here.
She ‘fastened hér fur collar about
her throat and went to the door.
Jenny lifted the bolt. And so,
good-by to everything. Good-by to
dear Dr, Huffy who had stood by
her through so many errors of
judgment and had believed in Ther
‘Good-by to the patient gray walls,
and to the ‘Chief Niirse, ‘and to Jake.
Good-by to Amos, faithful orderly,
and old funny Pop Knute. Good-by
to Windy—Jenny's face twisted up,
and the tears rolled down her
cheeks. Oh, Windy, Windy! She
thought of his bright courage and
the spirit that nothing could defeat.
(Continued on page 7, Col. 2.)