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Verse for Today

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." Psalm 32:8

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Ten

Chapter Ten
And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind.
Arise, therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.
Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom.
Mine house shall be called an house of prayer.

Oh dear, oh dear! I didn’t think I would ever write in my diary when I felt so sorrowful as I do tonight. I have just made a great blot on the paper, but I cannot help it, the tears won’t stay back. I am not going to write here anymore. I can’t write in any book for awhile, and I am sure I cannot ever write in this one again: I am just going to shut it up and lay it away. I don't want to burn it, for it has father's name in it a good deal.

Just to think how everything can change in one little month! Last month I had a birthday party and was so merry. It doesn’t seem to me as though I could ever be merry again.

We are going away from Locust Shade. Going to the city to live. We four girls who have been together all our lives are to be separated. They all stay here and have good times, but I am to go away to a great lonely city. We are poor now, and I can't go to school any more. At least, not now. Ben says he is going to work, and earn money, and take care of us, and in a little while I can go again. But Ben is only a boy.

He is all we have now, though. Dear father is gone. God called him away to Heaven almost two weeks ago: it seems like two years. Oh, but I ought not to cry so much. I do try to be cheerful when I am down-stairs. When I can't stand it any longer, I rush away up here and cry alone. Our B.R.N. Society is broken up. Or no, not broken up, either, for I have promised to go right on and have a reading all by myself, and try to mind the verses, and all that, but it will be very different.

I shall try, though, to do it, for I do think the verses have helped me. And this month they are just wonderful! That first one was what father said to Ben just two days before he died. I was studying the verse, and father called me and asked me to say it slowly to him. Then when Ben came in he called him and repeated it to him, very solemnly, putting his name in the place of Solomon. "And thou, Benjamin my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. I can't leave you any better word than that," father said. "I hope you will serve him ten times better than your father has, and always with a willing mind. Then we shall meet in Heaven and talk it all over." He said a good deal more; and Ben cried.  But I don't believe he will ever forget that verse.

 My verse is just as wonderful. The next day father talked with me about how I must be brave and strong, and help mother all I could. "You are the oldest daughter at home," he said, "and mother must learn to depend on you. There are ever so many ways in which you will find that you can help her. Here is my good-bye message, and I hope you will never forget it. 'Arise, therefore, and be doing, and' the Lord be with thee.'"

I tried hard to keep back the tears, so I could hear every word that father said, and he talked so beautifully to me! He said I was to call that verse mine, and that whenever I felt like sitting down and crying, and being discouraged, I must think of him saying to me "Arise, therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee." It is that verse which has helped me so much during these two sad weeks. Mother says I have been a comfort to her. That she did not know I could help her about so many things. I guess I have said over those words twenty times in an hour, some days. Ben says he is just so.

"I tell you what, Gertrude," he said to me last night, "you and I have business before us, if we live up to those two verses. There will be no chance to sit down and mope. And father will be disappointed if we don't live them." So we are going to try, Ben and I, as hard as ever we can. But I don't mean to write in this journal any more. It makes me cry. It is too much mixed up with the happy days when I was a little girl. I don't feel like a little girl now.

This evening mother and I had a long talk. I told her about Ben's verse, and mine. She cried a good deal, but she did not look very unhappy. She kissed me and said father had left a fortune to us. That it would save Ben and me for this life, and for Heaven if we followed his directions. Then she asked for my verses and studied them quite awhile, and said, "I think, Gertrude, I will take this for mine: ' Mine house shall be called an house of prayer.' We will try in our new home not to do anything, or say anything, or even think anything that we cannot speak to God about and ask His help."

So now we have each of us a verse; only mother has another, a special one. She says this is her house verse, but that father left one for her own private help. That someday perhaps she will tell me what it is, but she wants to keep it to herself now.

Tomorrow we are going away. Mother is to be forewoman in a ladies' store. How very strange that seems! I am to be one of the cash girls, and learn how to make trimming, and crochet work. Ben is to go into another store. The girls are just as kind as they can be. They say they will write to me every week, and tell me all about the school, and the Sabbath-school, and everything. I have promised to write a letter something like a journal to them, telling them about things and how the verses match, what happens to me, and all that. We have a good many plans, but it seems as though nothing was real sure any more. Only this: I belong to Jesus Christ, and am going to "arise" and "be doing" everything that I think he would like to have me. Then, some day, we are all going home to Heaven, to be with father. When I see him I want to be able to say: "Father, I did it all, as well as I could." Good-by old journal! I am sorry for many things I have said to you: but you have some nice times, and some dear names, and some good verses to take care of.


I hope that you have enjoyed this little book as much as I. There have been many lessons to learn with Gertrude, and even though it was written over a hundred years ago, it still applies today!
Ana Renee

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Nine

Chapter Nine
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
I delight to do Thy will, O my God.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.

We girls have had a real nice time, and made ten dollars for the mission box besides. Not but what some of the older ones helped us, but then, Mr. Neale says we did the most of the work, and ought to have the credit. We did a good deal of the thinking, too. That is, we put the thoughts of a good many people together, and the thing grew. It began by Prissy humming that anthem,

“Forget not, forget not, forget not all His benefits.”

The music repeats, I don't know how many times, and Prissy was always humming it. Ruth said there was no danger of our forgetting the words at least. Alice Burnham heard us talking about it, and she said they sang that anthem at their Thanksgiving entertainment in Rochester last fall, and had a monument built of fruits and vegetables; the base was made of moss, and had letters made of white flowers, which said,

 "How pretty that must have been!" Ruth said; and then in a minute more she said, "I wish we could get up something pretty."

That afternoon little Essie Morgan came skipping through the hall, singing,

Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children.

That is a new song they were beginning to learn in the primary class. "What a sweet voice that little thing has!" Prissy said, "I wish we could get up something pretty in the Sunday-school and have her sing. There are ever so many of those little things who sing nicely."

"Yes," Namie said. "There is Gertie Scanlon, she has a sweet voice. Wouldn't it be nice, girls, if we could get up something and put her in it, and get her father to come to church and hear her?"

Well, that was the beginning, and it was queer to see how the thing grew. We girls went to see Mr. Neale, and he liked it ever so much. He always does like things. And he helped us. We had the entertainment in our chapel last night, and everybody says it was lovely.

Alice Burnham declares that it was ever so much prettier than the one they had in Rochester, and not a bit like it.

Mr. Robinson was the one who helped us most. He made all the blocks for the monument. Then he had to come, to see how they worked, and Mr. Neale says it is the first time he has been inside of a church in ten years. Rob Chandler painted the letters for us.

First, we had a base, like that Alice Burnham told us of. He made that part just like hers — moss, and flowers, and all, and it was just lovely. The letters shone like stars out of the green moss—

 You could see them all over the church. Then we had each little girl come up and bring a white marble block lettered with black. At least it was painted wood, but it looked like marble. The first one was Life. And the one above it was Home. Each block was a little shorter than the one below it, and they fitted nicely, and when they were done they were just the shape of a pyramid. Each little girl recited a Bible verse, or a verse of a hymn, about the word she was bringing up. Some of the recitations were just lovely.

When Gertie Scanlon brought up her block, and it had on it Father, and recited. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him, they said that Philip Scanlon put down his head and cried. He is truly a good father now, since he stopped drinking.

There were ever so many blocks, and at the last, we put a lovely cross, and the girls all recited: He gave his life a ransom for many.

Then the little children all marched around, singing,

Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children.

Each one stopped before the cross, and held up a bouquet of flowers, and Alice Burnham took them and put them in the cross. It was covered with bright red paper, but bored into the wood, under the paper, were little holes, through which the flowers were pushed; and when the children had all brought bouquets, the cross had blossomed out into flowers. It was the prettiest thing I ever saw. The last verse of the song is.

Crown Him, crown Him, all ye little children.

Each of the little ones had a wreath of flowers, and as they sang that verse, marching, they hung their wreaths on the cross, or dropped them at its base. Everybody was as pleased as they could be. Ruth says she thinks our verses helped us this month, anyway. We girls, and the boys from Mr. Stuart's class, sang the anthem, All His Benefits, and they say we sang it very well. We took up a collection for the Mission Band, to which all the little ones belong, and got twenty dollars. So then half was voted to our Band, and half to the little children. I don't know when we have had nicer times than in getting this up. Mother says she is proud of us because we did it without any jars.

Come back on January 30 for Chapter Ten - the final chapter of this book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

February 2012 Topic: Our Thought Life

Our next topic to study is "Our Thought Life."

Do you have any thoughts you can share with us? Email with your submission.

-Why is it important to consider our thought life?

-What are some dangers in thinking just anything?

-How can we purify our thoughts?

-What has God shown you in this area?

Gertrude's Diary - Eight

Chapter Eight
My sin is ever before me.
Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth to thee.
Whoso curseth his father and mother, let him die the death.
So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.
Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.

Yesterday was my birthday and I had the girls here to tea. We had a great deal of fun, and some things that were improving. For instance, we read over our verses and talked about them. The way we happened to do that, was because Namie said she thought they were easy, this time. We asked her what she meant, and she said why, they kind of had nothing to do with us girls. We laughed at her a little. Prissy said we must remember that people who gave Namie an easy time were those who had nothing to do with her, but of course she did not mean that. Then we got to talking over the verses, and making Namie prove why they had nothing to do with us.

She said the first one was for dreadfully wicked people — murderers, and thieves, and such. That their consciences troubled them all the time. And the third one was for very wicked people too. Who but a person who was fearfully wicked would think of cursing his father and mother? Then the fourth was about a plague, and we didn't have plagues in this country; and the last one couldn't be practiced, it was just a fact.

Then Ruth said, "Why, you have skipped the one that speaks right to us — 'Honor thy father and mother.'"

No, Namie said, she hadn't skipped it; but it was easy enough to do, for girls who had such fathers and mothers as we had. Of course we would honor them. We never thought of doing anything else. For her part, she thought her mother the best woman in the world. But I told her that that couldn't be, for it would not be possible for her to be better than my mother. Then we all got to laughing, and were real gay over it. I didn't say much, but after all, I didn't quite agree with Namie about some things. I know my conscience has spoken pretty loudly to me sometimes, and wouldn't let me study or sleep, because I had done something wrong; and I hadn't stolen anything, or murdered anybody, either; but such things are hard to explain, so I didn't try.

It was after supper that I meant to tell about. We had a real splendid supper. Mother did everything that she could to make the table look lovely.

The girls said how lovely everything was, and Namie spoke of the verse again, and said it was easy enough for us to honor our mothers, she was sure, when they took such trouble for us.

Then we went out for a walk. We were going to the lake for a row, but Ben didn't come in time, so we went down town instead. We walked away out to the long bridge, and rested awhile, until it began to grow dark. When we came down Duane street, the lamps were lighted. By that time we were getting pretty tired. I don't know how it is that girls most always get so kind of wild and reckless when they are tired, but we do. Ruth said we better turn to Main street, for the west end of Duane street was always dark, and she did not like to walk there. So we came up Main, laughing and talking. We stopped at the post office, for Prissy expected a letter by the last mail. It wasn't quite distributed, and we had to wait. The office was pretty full. I never like to wait there, but Prissy said, "Oh, do! There are four of us." Charlie Porter was there, and he is the worst tease in town. He came over to us, and began to bother. He wanted to see the letter in my hand; it was nothing but a circular that I found in my pocket, and might have shown it to him as well as not, only it was no concern of his, and I thought I wouldn't. Then he snatched at it, and I snatched back, and in doing that I accidentally knocked his hat off; then he caught my sleeve and said, "Halloo! bring back that stolen property." I don't know how it was, but we got in a real frolic right there in the crowd. Ruth came to her senses first, and said, "Do come on, girls;" so after all, we didn't get the mail.

“Mother doesn't like us to wait in the post-office in the evening," Ruth said, as soon as we were out. “I'm sorry we waited at all."

I never heard my mother say anything about it, because I don't go to the office, Ben does that. But I knew as well as anything that she wouldn't have liked it. I should have thought that we would have sobered down after that, but Prissy was in a real frolic.

“Let's have some fun," she said. "Let's go into the drug store here, and get some soda."

She has a cousin who is clerk in the store, and we sometimes go there. Ruth held back, but Prissy coaxed and said she had twenty cents to spend as she liked, and it was burning a hole in her pocket, and she was dreadfully thirsty. So at last we went. There were a good many people there; among them a young man who used to board at Prissy's. He came over where we were and began to frolic with us, and we talked and laughed, and had just the gayest time! I didn't think how late it was getting and none of us did, until just as we were going out. Dick — that is the young man — asked us to wait a minute; that he had a package he wanted Prissy to take to her brother. We stood in the door and waited, and we were laughing then, over some of the funny things Dick had said; but we heard a man in the back part of the store say:

" Who are those girls?"

His voice sounded real gruff. I turned around and looked at him, but I didn't know him. The clerk answered: "Oh, they are some of our townspeople."

"Well, they must have queer mothers !" This was what the gruff voice said next, and I tell you we girls were still enough. We looked at one another and wondered if he could possibly mean us, and we didn't speak a word.

He did, though. "I have been watching them," he said; "I never saw properly brought up girls act so badly on the street. They have been in the post office, talking loud, and shouting with laughter, and romping with a young fellow there; and now they are doing the same thing here. It isn't possible that they have been properly taught, or they would not behave like that on the street. If they have respectable mothers they ought to know that their daughters are disgracing them."

Only think of it! O, Journal, if you could think, sometimes it would be a great comfort to me! We stood still and looked at one another. Our cheeks were as red as blush roses; mine burned like fire, away out to my ears. Dick hadn't come back yet, so we couldn't rush out as we felt like doing.

"He can't mean us?" Prissy whispered, and her teeth chattered.

"Yes, he does mean us," said Namie. "Mean old fellow that he is. Our mothers, indeed! Only think of it!"

Someway that seemed to make every one of us think of the verse that we had decided was so easy, I looked at Ruth and she looked at me. “Honor thy father and"— I said, and then stopped.
"Yes," exclaimed Ruth, "I should think as much!" Then she walked right across that drug store like a queen and marched up to the man.

"I want to tell you, sir," she said respectfully, "that you are mistaken. We have good mothers, who have taught us how to act. We just got into a frolic and forgot; but you need not blame them, sir, not one bit, for they would be as sorry as you are."

Then she walked away before that astonished man could say a word. We all marched out the next minute, and we all talked at once when we reached the street. We said that was a horrid old man, and he ought to be ashamed of himself, and we were glad Ruth told him the truth. But at last Ruth said:
“Girls, he told the truth, too; we did disgrace our mothers. They wouldn't have liked the way we have acted ever since we started out."

Well, we went home, every one of us. And we all told our mothers every bit about it. We said we would. Mine cried a little, and said she was shocked and sorry. But she kissed me and said she was glad I had told her. And she promised to expect me to honor her after this. I guess I shall be more careful than I have been. I don't believe there is a verse in the Bible but what fits us girls.

Come back on January 28 for Chapter Nine!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Seven

Chapter Seven
I have found David my servant: with my holy oil have I anointed him.
He blesseth the habitation of the just.
Thy throne shall be established forever.
Thin own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not.

It was the meanest Fourth of July that I ever spent in my life! And we girls had been getting ready for it for more than a month, and thought it was going to be perfectly splendid!

The trouble was that Prissy and I quarreled! I never thought we would, and it was all about such a silly little thing. We were having our last rehearsal, the day before the Fourth. It was dreadfully warm up in the hall, and we were so tired we could hardly stand. We had been at work all day, trimming the hall, and rehearsing, and running of errands for the older folks, who never seem to think that the feet of girls younger than fourteen, can get tired!

Just as we were singing ‘Hail glorious Day!’ for about the fourteenth time, I do believe — just because some of the girls would not put in the rest at the right place—Namie whispered to me that she should think they would all be glad to rest, if they were as tired as we. Well, right in the midst of it, Tom sent in word that he wanted to speak to me, and I had to be excused and go out to the hall, and down two flights of stairs, and all in the world he wanted was to know if I had seen his exercise book anywhere! When I came back, Prissy had slipped into my chair. She knows I like to sit just there, and it is my place, for I have had it most every time. She did not make a motion toward moving when I came back; I was warm and tired, so I just nudged her and whispered: “Hurry up, and get out of my place."

She whispered back: “It is no more your place than mine," and sat as still as a stone. And there I stood, waiting, and looking ridiculous, until Miss Seymour said: "Gertrude, be seated, please; we are waiting for you." Then I sat down in Prissy's seat, but I looked cross at her, and did not sing on the first line. Miss Seymour noticed it, and stopped them all, and told me if I was going to sing in the chorus, I must sing now. Then I said: "I want my own seat, Miss Seymour; I can't sing so well unless I am where I belong."

And then what did Prissy do but tell her I chose the best seat in the class and kept it from all the rest. "She wants this seat because it is by the window and she can get a breeze now and then," said Prissy. Now I thought that was so mean! I had never once thought of the window. I liked to sit there because I could get the sound of Miss Seymour's voice on the hard parts, and because I had got used to the place. I said, "It's no such thing!" and then Miss Seymour said: " Oh, girls, don't quarrel about such a trifle as that. It doesn't matter which sits first, you or Prissy, but it does matter that we get home sometime to-night."

After that the rehearsal went on. In the recess Prissy got up and said to me : “Take your seat, do, and look out of the window as much as you want to ; though how it came to belong to you any more than to me, would be hard to tell."

This made me very angry, and I said: "It is my seat because I have had it at every rehearsal, and nobody has said a word. I am sure if I had known you wanted it so badly, though, I would have given it up. You might have had it without stealing." Then Prissy would not sit down in it again, and I wouldn't. She stood before me and waited, and I wouldn't get up, and when the girls came back she took the seat below me, and that left the one at the end without a chair.

Just then Professor Mills came in to sing with us. "What is this vacant chair for?" he asked, the moment he stepped on the platform. We girls kept still, and Miss Seymour told him it belonged either to Prissy or me, but we neither of us seemed to want it. I think she might have told him that it had been mine all the time, but she didn't.

"Oh, they don't," he said, and he looked hard at us. My face was red, I know by the feeling, and Prissy's looked like a peony. He waited a minute, then he said: "Hannah Smith, you may come and occupy this seat, and keep it to-morrow."

Now Hannah Smith is the girl at the very end of the class, and she has a little peeping voice; it wouldn't have made a speck of difference if she had not sung at all; and there he put her at the head as if she were the leader! Then, there was something worse than that. I did not think of it until afterwards; but that changed things so, that when we marched to the grove, I had to walk with Hannah Smith, and Prissy had to walk with Trudie Ellis whom she doesn't like very well, and that disarranged all the others. They had planned to march with their friends, and there was the dreadfullest mix-up that you ever saw! The girls did not like it one bit, and they looked cross at us, and said it was a pity that everybody had to suffer, because those two children were silly enough to quarrel! Miss Seymour would not let them change around at all; she said there had been trouble enough already made by that.

So there we were, and there we had to stay, all through the exercises and the marching, and everything. Then, when we went up to receive our wreaths, Hannah got the one which had been made for me. I knew it in an instant. My dear Miss Dunlap sent it to me from her own lovely garden, but she had pinned on it a paper which read: "For the first right-hand girl in the procession." That was to have been me, and she knew it, and there it was Hannah. Oh dear, such a mix! Prissy did not speak to me all day long, nor I to her. Besides, I was so cross to poor Hannah that I don't think she had a bit good time. She would much rather have been down at the foot, with her friend Sarah.

The only speck of comfort I can find tonight, is the thought that there isn't anything in the verses for July, to prick into me. I have had enough to bear, and I am glad they can't sting me. There isn't any possible way of making them fit.

Monday: Oh, dear! They did fit, and pricked the worst of anything I ever had. You see, we went on quarreling. Prissy and I, and wouldn't speak to each other in Sunday-school, and wouldn't go to the woods on Saturday. That is, I wouldn't go, because Prissy was invited, and she wouldn't go because I was, and so we both stayed at home. I don't know how father heard of it, unless Tom told him; Tom does always manage to tell things, somehow, but I am glad he did this time, for if he hadn't, I don't know how we would ever have gotten out of our trouble. It kept growing worse and worse.

Sunday night, father asked to see our verses for the month, and he read them over very carefully, then he called me, and pointed to the last one, and told me he wanted me to read it. "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend forsake not." I did, and then I asked him why he wanted me to read it, and he said it reminded him of a story he wanted to tell me.

Then he told me about a young man who got into bad company, and stayed out late nights, and began to smoke, and play cards, and even drink a little wine; and he was getting ready to break his mother's heart; but there was a man two years younger than he, who tried to help him in every way he could think of. He would help him with his work, and coax him away from bad companions, and wait for him at night, and let him in, to keep him from disgrace, and do everything for him. He said sometimes he was angry with the young man for trying to help him, and would say cross and hateful things, but they were all taken patiently, and, oh, I can't tell it! It was a long story and very interesting; I got so busy listening, that I forgot to wonder why father was telling it, or what it had to do with our verses, until after he had said that the young man succeeded at last in saving his friend, he said: "Gertrude, you know one of the men." "

I do?!" I said, and I was so glad. It made it sound like a story out of a book.

"Yes," father said, "I was one of them." I went and put my arms around father's neck and said I knew he was the good young man, that it was just like him, but he said: "No, Gertrude, I was the bad young man, and I came just as near going to ruin as many people do. I think I should have gone, but for my friend, who has been in Heaven for a good many years, but I have never forgotten him. He, Gertrude, he was your friend Prissy's father."

Then in less than a minute, I knew which verse was going to prick. Prissy's father! and here I had been "forsaking my father's friend," or at least forsaking  his own daughter which was worse! I felt dreadfully. I told father I would ask Prissy to forgive me, and make up, and love her always whatever she did, just for his sake. I made up my mind that night, that whether Prissy would speak to me or not, I would be just as good to her as I knew how. This morning as soon as I was up, I ran over to Prissy's, and went up to her room, and said : "Prissy, I want you to forgive me, and let me be your friend, because your father was my father's friend, and he says he will never forget it."

Then Prissy raised up in bed and threw both arms around me and said: "I think I was real mean; for you ought to have had the seat, and I have been sorry ever since.”

Come back on January 27 for Chapter Eight!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Six

Chapter Six
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.
Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.
Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

We girls go to temperance meetings every single night. Mr. Ned Wilson who was here visiting last week said it was a queer time to have temperance meetings right in the middle of June; and our Tom who is real sharp sometimes asked him if people didn't drink whiskey in the middle of June. Ned laughed, and said he rather thought they did. After he went away father said he was afraid that Ned knew by experience that they did, for he was beginning to drink.

The temperance meetings are real splendid. Great crowds come to them, and they sing a great deal, and play on the organ, and the cornet, and ever so many go up and sign the pledge; and Mr. Burdick talks; he is the temperance lecturer. Oh, journal! I cannot help wishing sometimes, that you were a girl and could enjoy things, and talk back, you know. But, then, if you could, I suppose you would talk right when I wanted to, most everybody does, and I have to keep still times when I am just as anxious to speak as I can be. I guess it is better as it is. I'll tell you: I am going to pretend that you are a girl, but are deaf and dumb and I have to tell you things in the sign language. Won't that be nice.

The temperance meetings are not like any that I ever attended before. Mr. Burdick talks every night; he is just splendid. He has been a drunkard; and while I don't suppose it can be a good thing that this was so, still he does know more about the way they feel, and what will help them, than he could if he had never been one. Last night he told a story about a man who had reformed and he went to a house where they had peach sauce with brandy in it, and he ate some, without noticing the taste of brandy, and it made the awful thirst for liquor come back again, and he had to walk the floor for two nights, and pray. Mother does not put brandy in peaches, but she makes a kind of jelly that she puts wine in. I like it better than any jelly I ever tasted, and I didn't know there was wine in it until yesterday.

When I was helping her get dinner she told me about it, and said she: "Now, Gertrude, we have fifteen glasses of jelly with wine in it, and I suppose there is enough in it to affect a person, just as the peaches did that man about whom Mr. Burdick told. What do you think we would better do with it?"

Well, first I said I thought we ought to send it to Mrs. Akers, she is sick and poor, and it might strengthen her; then I thought of Harry Akers, he is fourteen and his mother always saves some of her good things for him; that wouldn't do. Then I said the only safe place I could think of for it was the garbage barrel. Mother laughed and said she agreed with me, and we had real fun putting it there. Tom came home while we were doing it, and he pretended he thought it was a dreadful waste; but last night he signed the pledge. He wouldn't the night before, for he said he didn't want to be tied with an apron string; that he knew what was wrong to do, and could keep from doing it without writing his name on a piece of paper; I asked him to-night what made him change his mind, and he looked at me with a queer laugh, and said, since the jelly was all gone, he might as well sign as not. I don't know what he meant. Mother says she never knew before that a little wine used in cooking, could do anybody any hurt.

But, my dear deaf and dumb friend, I was going to tell you about one of the verses. We sat together, last night, Ruth and Namie and I, and Mr. Ned Wilson sat right behind us with two other young men. He is Ruth's uncle. When the people rushed up to sign the pledge, Ruth leaned back and coaxed her uncle Ned to go too. He laughed and said he couldn't, it was against his principles. That sounded so queer that I asked him what it meant:

"Do you mean it is wrong to sign?" I asked him.

"Oh, no," he said, "there was nothing wrong about it for people who chose to do so, and who needed such crutches."

"But," I said, "I thought going against one's principles was wrong." And one of the young men bent forward to me and whispered: "That depends, my little friend, on whether the principles in themselves are wrong or right, doesn't it?"

Now of course it does, but I had not thought of that. Still I did not understand it, and I asked Mr. Ned if he wouldn't tell me what he meant. He said he believed in people having liberty to do just as they pleased, or thought best, without being tied by a promise.

I asked him if that had anything to do with their promising not to do a thing that they didn't think best. Then those young men laughed; I am sure I don't know at what. The word "Liberty" made me think of one of our verses: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free." And that made me think of our talk with Mr. Neale; we asked him what it meant and he explained, with a little silk thread. I said to Mr. Wilson that I thought the pledge was nothing but a little silk thread. He wanted to know what I meant, and kept questioning me, until he got the whole story. You see, we girls had almost quarreled as to what the verse about liberty meant, and when Mr. Neale came in, we all rushed up to him to get help. He sat down right away and took a piece of strong twine from his pocket and asked me to break it. I tried, and tried, and it wouldn't break; then the girls tried, and they couldn't. Then he tied my hands with it, and told me to try to get free from it, and I couldn't. Then he asked mother for a spool of silk and she gave him a fine red silk. He took one thread of it and tied Namie's hands, and told her to break away; she did in a second. Then he tied Ruth with the same silk thread, and told her to hold still until he put up a sign. He printed on two cards two sentences: one said: "You are a slave." That he put in front of me. I laughed, but I told him it was true; I could not get my hands free. The other card said: "If you break that thread you will grieve Jesus." This he put up before Ruth; then when he told her to break the thread she shook her head and said; "I don't want to." He smiled and said:

"That is right, Ruthie, stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. You can, but you don't want to, for a grand reason."

Father says he thinks that this is a good illustration. Well, I had to tell it all off to Mr. Ned Wilson. He seemed a good deal interested, and don't you think tonight he signed the pledge! I don't suppose what I said had anything to do with it. Mr. Burdick talked about liberty tonight, and he made it so plain that I suppose Ned could not get away from it. When he came back from the pledge table, I was standing in the aisle waiting to let Mrs. Morse pass, and he whispered: "The thread of silk has got me, you see. I can, but I won't."

Come back on January 23 for Chapter Seven!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Five

Chapter Five
Love is the fulfilling of the law.
Death is swallowed up in victory.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
God loveth a cheerful giver.

I think it is just dreadful, anyway, that folks all know such a little bit about themselves, and about the way they are going to act. We had a real mean time at the Society this afternoon, and it was all my fault, and it was at our house, too. It is the B.R.N. Society; we can’t read the Bible all the time, and we like to be together, so we planned to sew things that would help people. Ruth thought of it; she said that the name “B.R.N.” would fit us, because it would not do people any good to read the Bible unless the practiced it, and to make things for poor folks would be practicing.

Then Prissy, who always wants to know all about everything, asked where in the Bible it told us to sew for folks? And Ruth said that the verse we all recited in school the day before told it. The verse was: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Ruth said she was sure that our hands had found this sewing to do. We laughed at her a little for always finding a verse in the Bible to prove that her way was right; but she does know more about the Bible than any of the rest of us do.

Well, we went to work, hemming aprons for the little Scanlon children. For we still keep thinking about them. It seems as though they never would get put in order. Their father keeps his pledge, and he works real hard; but there is such a large family, and everything was so ragged and dirty, and the furniture all gone. Mother says if they were all started new with furniture and clothes and everything, it would take as much as the father could earn to keep them in food and clothes.

So we girls are going to try to help them get started new; our mothers gave us some nice pretty calico, and Prissy's mother cut out ever so many aprons — nice large ones which cover people all up; why, they are just like little Gabrielle dresses, only they have no lining, and they can be put on over another dress ; my mother sewed the long seams on the machine, and fixed the hems, and we were all at work this afternoon as nice as could be, and we were talking about that little Gertie Scanlon. She is lame and cannot walk a step, and she is a real sweet-looking little girl and doesn't have any pleasures. We all said we felt sorry for her, and wished we could do something extra for her. Then Namie squealed right out: "O Gertrude Morrison, I know something perfectly splendid! You can give her your little carriage; she would just fit into it real nicely, and her little brother Dick is real good to her; he could take her out riding every day. Wouldn't that be nice! She is your namesake, too, so it happens all right."

Now my carriage is the cunningest little thing! I used to have it when I was small, and it is cushioned with red leather, and has curtains, and is just a beauty. Of course I can't ride in it anymore, but I keep it to play with when little children come to see us, and I have great fun taking the dolls out to ride, and well—I think everything of it. I felt just as mad at Namie as I could, and my face grew red, and I spoke right out:

"Oh, indeed, Miss Namie Chester! It is very easy for you to find things for other folks to give. Why wouldn't it be splendid for you to give her your great doll that came from Paris? I would thank you to pick out your own gifts and let mine alone!" Was there ever anything so hateful? I don't know what made me talk so, unless it was because I knew I ought to give that carriage away, and felt as though I couldn’t, and tried to get away from it by being angry and talking loud.

The girls all looked astonished, and Ruth told Namie that she ought not to meddle, and then Namie cried and said she was sure she did not know she was doing any harm; that if the carriage were hers, she would give it in a minute. That made me feel more angry than before, and I told her it was easy enough for persons to tell what they would do, but I thought, for my part, it would be better to do some of it. Just then mother came into the room, and I said:

"Mother, what do you think Namie Chester wants me to do? Give my little red-cushioned carriage to Gertie Scanlon. Do you think I had better?”

Now I thought I was pretty sure that mother would not be willing to have me give it away, and if I had said so in the first place instead of getting angry, there wouldn't have been any fuss. Mother spoke real quietly, as she always does, and said: "No, Gertrude ; I don't think so."

I turned to Namie with a nod of triumph, and never minded that she was crying, and feeling dreadfully; I began to say: "There, Namie Chester, you see you don't know everything, and" —

And just then mother finished her sentence: "I don't think it would be a very acceptable gift, for 'The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.'” Then she walked out of the room.

I felt hot all over, and so ashamed that I wished I could slip down, out of sight. It was only yesterday that I had been telling the girls I thought that verse was easy enough to follow, for I liked to give things; there was nothing I enjoyed better. And I truly did not know until this afternoon that I only liked to give away the things which I did not want myself.

Friday. — I gave the carriage to Gertie Scanton, and I did it real cheerfully, too. At first, mother said I couldn't; and then I can't begin to tell how I wanted to. It seemed to me that I could never be happy again, if I could not do it.

One night mother came up to my room and talked with me. She wanted to know what made me so anxious now, when I was unwilling before. I told her I truly thought it was because I had seen how selfish I was to want to keep that carriage for dolls, when it was large enough for poor little Gertie to take rides in. Then mother asked me if I had asked Namie Chester to forgive me.

I said no, ma'am, I hadn't; that I could not ask a little girl like her to forgive me, that I would be ashamed to do so. Mother wanted to know if I thought it would be wrong to ask her — mothers do say such strange things! I said no, of course not. And then she asked what there would be to make me ashamed. Did I think I had treated Namie properly? No, I didn't. If someone had treated me improperly, would I be more ashamed of them if they asked my forgiveness, than I would if they kept silent? I do think mothers are just the worst people to ask questions! They stand you right up in corners and you can't get away from them, no matter how hard you try.

I did ask Namie to forgive me; and I told her I was ashamed of myself; and she put her arms around my neck, and said never mind. And what do you think? She has actually given Gertie Scanlon her Paris doll! She said she never knew that she was selfish about it until that day when I showed her she was. She thinks she is getting too large to play with dolls. But I am older than she, and I like to play with them; and I don't think I could have given away that doll. Mother says she doesn't think Namie was called on to do it; that a plainer doll would have done just as well for little Gertie.

I suppose Namie would not have done it if I had not made her uncomfortable; but then Gertie hugs and kisses it, and takes it out riding with her in her carriage, and says she is "most too happy to live." So some nice things come out of wrong things. Dear me! It is a kind of a muddle. But I do wish I could learn to keep my temper. I don't believe I shall be angry with Namie again in a great while; perhaps never.

Come back on January 20 for Chapter Six!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Four

Chapter Four
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them.
And many that believed, came and confessed and showed their deeds. We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.
If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.

I have had just a dreadful time! I don’t suppose I have behaved so badly since I was quite a little girl.

It all began with my brother Ben; or no, I don’t suppose I ought to say that; it began in my feeling a little bit vain over my diary. I have tried to write very nicely in it. I print the texts at the beginning of each month, and father says I print beautifully, and everybody says I am a very good writer for a girl of my age. Ben writes badly because he is so careless; one day mother, when she was looking at my diary, said, "Ben ought to see this, Gertrude; he never takes any pains with his writing."

So yesterday, when I had my diary down-stairs and he wanted to see it, I opened to the first page, because I thought there was nothing on it that I would not be willing to have him read, and I thought it looked a little bit better than any of the others. Well, he began to read, without saying a word about the writing or the printing, and in a few minutes he burst out laughing. Oh, he just shouted, and doubled himself up, as if he had found something so funny that he could not get over it.

I tried to get the book away from him, but he held fast to it, and laughed: " Oh! if this isn't rich ! Ha, ha, ha! Mother, listen to this, and see if you don't feel complimented." And he began to read aloud from my diary.

I snatched the book then, in good earnest, and got it; but he went on laughing, and mother laughed a little too, and I didn't see yet what it was all about, until Ben said: "So your Bible made Ruth and Naomi into sisters, eh? If that isn't queer; oh no, it wasn't the Bible, it was mother. Why, mother! the idea of your not knowing that they were mother and daughter! Won't that be a jolly thing to tell the boys!" and he went to doubling himself up again, and laughing as though it was the funniest thing in the world.

Then I saw for the first time that I had written in my diary as though those two people were sisters, when of course I knew better all the time. I always knew what relation they were, just as well as Ben did; and of course I did not mean that mother said any such thing.

What I meant to say was, that when Ruth came to have a sister, it was natural that they should think of Naomi, whom Ruth loved so much that she followed her home; and there I had gone and said that nonsense. It was real silly, of course, but I didn't see any sense in Ben making such a time about it. Mother only laughed a little, and when she saw it troubled me, she said: "Ben, I am ashamed of you." But that boy kept repeating the sentence, and adding all sorts of funny thoughts to it, and laughing as though he would never get over it, and making believe that he thought I did not know any better, until I thought I should fly. I burst right out, at last, crying and talking at the same time. I said I thought he was the meanest boy there ever was in this world; and that I would never show him anything again, nor have anything to do with him. And I stamped my foot, and oh, acted awfully! Ben stopped laughing, and looked surprised, but I rushed right on, until father spoke to me from the next room. I did not know he was there. He just spoke my name, and not another word. After a minute, he said to Ben: "Perhaps you would do well to keep a diary, my son, and write that verse in it about stumbling-blocks. You are not the first one whom I have seen use a little knowledge for others to stumble over."

Well, then I felt ashamed all through me. It made me think of my verses and my resolutions, and how I had broken them.

But I did not get over being angry at Ben; I would not look at him, even after he said to father, "I didn't mean any harm, sir; I was just having a little fun with Gertrude. I did not suppose she would fly into a passion."

Fly into a passion, indeed, when he had made me stumble into it, right over him! I thought what father said was good for him; but for all that, I was so sorry I had stumbled. I ran away up to my room and hid you, my dear diary, in a drawer, and said I would never write in you as long as I lived. And then I sat down in a little heap on the foot of the bed and cried. I had meant to have such nice times with Ben, and now they are all spoiled. That was two hours ago, and I have not spoken to him since, and don't mean to. He need not have been so mean. I wouldn't have acted that way for anything. I have made up my mind to try again, and to write in my diary as usual; but I will let Ben alone for the rest of this vacation.

Evening, — Oh, dear! I wish I had not written all that in my diary. I wonder if diaries are real nice? You are always writing in them what you wish you hadn't, and then having to take it back. After I had that dreadful time this morning, I did not feel happy a bit.

I went down to dinner, but I did not speak to Ben, only when I had to answer a question, and then I spoke as short as I could, and did not look at him at all. When I sat with Mother at my mending in the afternoon, she asked me if I did not feel willing to forgive Ben, after he had said that he did not mean any harm. I told her I meant to forgive him, but as for talking with him any more I did not want to; that he had been real mean, and led me into doing what was wrong; that he had been a stumbling-block to me, just as father said.

"He is three years older than you," mother said, and I thought that was queer.

It couldn't be right to treat me in that way, just because he was older. I said, "I thought there was less excuse for him on that account; that he ought to have been even more careful about making me stumble."

"I didn't suppose you thought so," mother said. "I had reason to suppose you would think it all right, as soon as you remembered the difference in your ages."

Well, I laid down the stocking I was darning, and looked at her; I could not imagine what she meant, and I told her so.

"Why," she said, "I heard you making all manner of sport of Charlie the other day because he thought that Boston was in Maine, and he is four years younger than you. You certainly made him stumble sadly that day, and I supposed your excuse would be that you were older than he and had a right to laugh at him."

And there I was! I had done just as mean a thing to poor Charlie, and thought nothing of it; and Charlie had forgiven me in less than an hour, and came and kissed me good-night as sweetly as possible! Oh, dear! I didn't say another word to Mother, but finished my stocking as fast as I could, and went to my room. I am not going to show my diary to anybody any more; so I will tell you that I prayed three times before I felt like treating Ben just as though nothing had happened. Then I brought out my diary and was going to write down what I meant to do, and there was that verse about how the people came and confessed. I said aloud:

"Oh, I never can! I'll treat him just as usual, but I don't want to tell him that I think I have been a goose, and that I have treated little Charlie exactly as he has me." But it didn't do any good. There was no getting away from that verse.

At last I went down, and found Ben out in the carriage house, and I told him the whole story from beginning to end. As soon as he could get a chance to speak, he said, "All right, Gertrude, I was as mean as dirt; but I didn't mean to be, really, and I won't do it again. Let's go and take a ride together."

And we did, and had a nice time. Now that I have come up here to my room for the night, it doesn't seem to me as though Ben did anything very bad, after all. It was mean in me to tease Charlie, because he is such a little fellow; but, of course, Ruth and Naomi were not sisters — I mean Bible Ruth and Naomi were not — and of course I knew it; and I suppose Ben thought I would have sense enough to laugh over the mistake with him. Why can't people think about things at the time, as they will five hours afterwards, I wonder.

Come back on January 16 for Chapter Five!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recipe: Blueberry Buckle

From Ana Renee

2 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350˚. Beat eggs until frothy. Add applesauce and sugar and beat. Gradually add flour, baking powder, salt, and milk and beat. Pour into greased 11 1/2x15” pan. Top with blueberries. Sprinkle on topping. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Your Blueberry Buckle might not rise this much because I made this in a 9x13" pan and decided that it was too small.

Do you have a recip that you'd like to share? Email us at

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Three

Chapter Three
In Him we live, and move, and have our being.
I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God being with him.
Be not weary in well doing.

We have had a strange time, we girls; I have been so busy that I could not write in my diary, and now I don’t know where to commence.

In the first place we quarreled with Anna Dudley. That isn't strange; you see we are always quarrelling with her, or she is with us; I don't know as there can be a more disagree able girl than she has been. But that isn’t right; I didn't mean to say it. If it were not for spoiling a page in my diary, I would tear it out.

We hadn't spoken to Anna in three days and we said we never would have anything more to do with her. Then her little baby sister got sick, and one day she died! We were just as sorry for Anna as we could be, for the baby was so sweet and cunning! She was two years old, and one day Anna brought her to school, and she kissed us all.

We got together and talked it up, and said we ought to go and see Anna, but we did not want to, for we couldn't think of anything to say to her.

We asked Mr. Neale about it, and he told us to do just what we thought we would like to have Anna do, if we were in her place; and at last we said we would go.

On the way we tried to think of something to say, and we made up two or three things that sounded nice, only none of us wanted to say them. At last Ruthie said: "Girls, let's just kiss her and not say anything."

And that is just what we did. She came down to see us, and we each went up and kissed her, and Prissy gave her a rosebud, and then she began to cry.

"You don't know how she loved flowers," she said, meaning her little baby sister. "She would pucker up her little nose to smell them whenever she saw any; and oh, to think that I will never see her again !"

Then she cried so hard, that all we could do was to cry too. Only what she said made me think of one of our verses, and I spoke right up before I thought: "Why, Anna," I said, "you will see her again, you know. She 'sleeps in Jesus.' He said, ‘Suffer the little ones to come unto me.'"

She stopped sobbing and looked at me. "When do you mean ?" she asked.

"Why, when He comes. 'Even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.' When He comes after all His people He will bring Daisy along; and then you will see her."

"That is so," she said. She remembered the verse, for she always learns her verses. "But then, maybe I will be so afraid that I can't take any comfort with looking at her."

It seemed such a strange thing to say! I did not know how to answer her, but she looked right at me as though she thought I would. "I don't want to be afraid of Him when He comes," I said. It was all I could think of to say, and it was just what I meant. "I don't either," said Ruth; "my father will be along, you know, and I want to be glad to see him. Girls, we ought to get ready, so we would be sure not to be afraid. Just think how dreadful it would seem to have Daisy shouting out after us, and we so scared that we couldn't smile back on her!"

Well, we stayed quiet awhile and talked with Anna, and told her we were sorry for her, and she thanked us for coming to see her, and said she was sorry that she had acted so in school that last day. She said she was so worried about little Daisy then, that she couldn't help being cross. Then we kissed her and came away, and we all said we would try to be real good to Anna after this, and not quarrel with her any more. But to-day in school she was almost as cross as ever, and it was just the hardest work not to tell her she was too hateful for us to have anything to do with her! We all kept pretty still, but it was dreadfully hard work. Namie did say that we had one week of peace this term; she meant the week that Anna stayed out because Daisy was sick. She was sorry she said it, right away, and looked up quickly at Anna, but she had muttered it so that we think Anna did not hear. I told Mother about it tonight, and asked her if she didn't think it strange that Anna should be so cross after we had been good to her. All the answer she made was to ask me if there wasn't another verse on our card that would help us. So I read them all over carefully, after I came up-stairs, and I guess mother means:

"Be not weary in well doing."

Come back on January 13 for Chapter Four!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gertrude's Diary - Two

Chapter Two
Come over into Macedonia and help us.
Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so.

M ONDAY: — I don't believe in Macedonia, but we had a talk last night about the Bible verses where Paul was called to go there and help the people. I told Mother I thought it would have been real nice to have lived in those times, and be called in dreams to go to places and do things. Of course she said people were just as much called now, and of course I know they are, but it doesn't seem the same, and I said so. I said if an angel should speak to me and tell me to do a thing, I was sure I would do it.

I suppose that was what made me dream of the Scanlon children. They are the horridest looking children, dirty and ragged and half wild! They live at the end of the lane where we girls cut across sometimes for short, and I always put my hand up to my face so I won't smell any of their queer smells, and rush by as fast as I can.

Well, last night I dreamed that Mr. Neale came and stood right by my chair while I was getting my arithmetic lesson. I looked up at him and all at once he changed into one of the Scanlon children, and said:

 "Come over into Pine Alley and help us." Then he vanished, and I awoke, and Mother was at the foot of the stairs, calling me to hurry up and do an errand for her.

I could not get this dream out of my thoughts, and at recess I told the girls. They all thought it was queer. The more we talked about it, the more we all thought that maybe there was something we ought to do for the Scanlons.

On the way home we met Mr. Neale, and Prissy, who is never afraid of anybody, told him about my dream.

“That's a good dream," he said. "I think means that you are to try to get Phil Scanlon to sign the pledge and take care of his family; and the children are to be coaxed into the Sabbath-school."

We looked at one another, and Namie giggled. She said afterwards she would most as soon think of coaxing little pigs into Sunday-school.

After Mr. Neale went away, we all talked at once. We said we never could, and there was no use in trying, anyway; that everybody knew that nothing could be done for the Scanlons. I said I was afraid of Phil Scanlon and always ran when I saw him staggering along; and I don't believe my mother would let me speak to him.

Ruth said she should like well enough to get the children into Sunday-school, but they hadn't anything decent to wear. At last we made up a plan to try for the children. We meant to go around to our different mothers, and some other mothers, and get some clothes for them, and then give them to them if they would promise to come to Sunday-school. I don't know whether we can do anything or not, but we mean to try.

Tuesday: —Don't you believe, you dear old journal, that he has done it! Old Phil has, I mean. I was never so astonished in my life. I have thought about him a good deal ever since that dream. Whenever I passed the lane I would think how that voice sounded that said : "Come over into Pine Alley and help us!"

On Sunday we had a temperance lesson, and Mr. Neale presented us each with a little red pledge book and asked us to get all the signers we could. I thought of Phil Scanlon right away, and I did wish somebody would get him. That night I prayed that God would send somebody to coax him to sign the pledge; for they say he is a real decent man when he is sober, and that Mrs. Scanlon used to be nice, when she had anything to be nice with. All the time I thought I wouldn't go near him because I was afraid; I thought I wouldn't speak to him for anything. Last night I wouldn't go through the alley for fear I should see him. I went away around by Duane street; but I was thinking about him all the time, and I kept praying that God would do something for him.

 Well, when I turned the corner of Duane street, there stood Phil Scanlon right by the saloon, one foot on the step, going in. My heart seemed to hop right into my mouth. I didn't think I was going to speak a word, but I did; I said; "I wish you wouldn't go in there, Mr. Scanlon." I never heard him called Mr. Scanlon in my life, but of course it wouldn't have been polite for me to say Phil.

He turned around and looked at me, and said: "What in thunder do you wish that for? What business is it to you?"

I don't know about it's being right to put that word 'thunder' in my diary, but that is just what he said. I was scared, but I spoke up quickly: "It is a good deal to me, and to lots of people; we want you to sign the pledge and have nice clothes and hot things to eat, and send Carrie and little Phil to school. Everybody says your little Phil is real smart, and ought to go to school."

"Who told you to say all this to me ?" That was what he asked me, and his voice was so cross it frightened me so that my teeth chattered. But when he asked me who told me, it made me think of my dream, and all at once I thought what if God really did mean me to understand from that dream that I was to try to help those Scanlons?

 "I don't know but God did," said I. "I had a dream about it, and I think maybe he sent me."

Then Phil Scanlon kind of laughed, and said: "It must have been somebody from another world; for nobody in this one cared what became of him."

Well, I hardly know how it all was, but I got out my pledge book and showed him. I hadn't a single signer, and I told him I would like to have his name the first on the list. I don't know what made him do it, I didn't believe he would, and everybody thinks it is the strangest thing; but he signed the pledge!


It is real nice writing. I've showed it to ever so many people, and they are real interested in him, and are going to help him all they can. When I showed it to Mr. Neale and said I couldn't think what made him sign, he smiled and said: "Whose heart the Lord opened, that he attended unto the things which were spoken by Gertrude."

Friday: — We girls have had such fun! We have organized a society; we call ourselves the "B.R N." The boys can't find out what it means, and we don't intend to tell them yet awhile, anyway. What it really does mean is, the "Bible Reading Nobility." Mr. Neale put it into our minds by pointing out how much more noble those folks in Berea were than the ones in Thessalonica; and then he said there was a chance for boys and girls to be noble in the same way. That gave us our plan, and we organized, the very next afternoon. We read the Bible together for a half-hour every day. We each have a blank book, and we take notes, and at the close read our notes aloud. It is real nice. I didn't know before that the Bible was so interesting.

Come back on January 9 for Chapter Three!

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