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!