T H E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S
dreamed happy dreams. But in the new day there were many disturbing voices. Grossvater did not want her to go home, and there was much talk about "the line” arid Elsa’s dear French-speaking father who had suddenly gone away just before the soldiers came. Elsa did not ;understand it. all, and she grew anxious as the hours passed. It was afternoon again. “Mütterchen will look for me home,” she said almost tearfully. But Gross- vater’s loud voice talked her down, and then he went to the neighbors to talk still more. “Grossmutter,” she begged, and Grossmutter, nodding comfortably, free from the pain by reason of the shiny pills, opened her faded blue eyes and smiled and patted her cheek. “Gross- mutter,” Elsa begged again, “may I go ? Our dear Father said, ‘I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land.’ May I go with Him, Grossmutter ?” And the dear old lady nodded and smiled, “Yes, dearie; yes, dearie.” Elsa’s eager feet brought her quickly to the highway leading to the Grey- wood, but there, dark against new fallen snow, stood a soldier. She turned quickly into the footpath leading across the meadow, followirig it out of his sight to the little stream. Hurrying along its banks to the place
Jun ior King's Bus ine s s By MARTHA S. HOOKER
THROUGH GREYWOOD TO EASTER DAY* By F rances N oble P hair
I T HAD happened at last! People had whispered about it for days, and now the word flying from lip to lip was not necessary—one could see. Elsa, standing on tiptoe to look through the casement window, watched with serious blue eyes the brown-clad men keeping step down the street. It was not the soldiers she feared, but what did the neighbor woman mean about “the line” ? “The Greywood is the line,” she had said in a terrified whis per. “No one may pass over on pain of death.” Clasped in her hand Elsa held a bottle of shining pills. They were for Gross- mutter who had the pain in her heart, and only the shiny pills stopped its cruel tearing at the old heart that had beat so long and lovingly. Elsa loved her old grandmother dearly and liked to go on errands to her home, but she had wanted to do something else that day. She had begged to go with Mutter- chen (little Mother) Annie of the pink cheeks and blue eyes. “I, too, would go to the church house to weep for our Lord Jesus hanging on the cruel tree,” she pleaded. Mother Annie shook her head saying, “It is also well that by love we shall serve one another as He has com manded. Thou shalt go through Grey wood to Grossmutter with the shiny pills thy father brought last night from the city.” Then Mother Annie had gone to the Good Friday service in the village church, and the soldiers had come, and with their coming the Greywood was the line. Elsa caught her breath sharply. What should she do? Only slow-minded Mina was with the children—Freda and Carl and Baby Jack; she would not understand. Her mother’s words, spoken often in her hearing, came to her, “When in doubt, always seek the Word of God.” The year before, Elsa had opened her heart to the dear Lord Jesus, asking Him to come in and to wash away her sin and live there, making her little heart His home. So to her the Bible was her loving Father’s words written to her. She crossed the room to the little table where all alone on the snowy cover the big Bible lay with its silver clasps shining in the sunshine., * A ll rights reserved.
Her little fingers pulled at the clasps, and then ■bowing her ljead she whis pered softly, “Dear Lord Jesus, please tell me what I am to do.” The great Book was difficult to open and more difficult to read, but as the leaves fell back, she spelled out slowly the words that seemed to stand out from the others on the page. She and her mother had marked them once in a Bible story they had read. Her heavenly Father seemed to be making them very real to her heart just now:'"“And, be hold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land” (Gen. 28:15). Elsa closed the great Book and pressed the clasps together. She sang softly as she tied on the little grey hood edged with white fur, attached to the warm little cape. • ‘ Elsa walked happily down the path. God had spoken and her heart was at peace. Although late in March, it was a cold, windy Good Friday, and even before she reached the strip of wood land, the grey twilight shadows began to lengthen among the dark trees; and there were patches of snow where her hurrying little feet slipped into the frosty wetness and made Elsa long for dear Grossmutter's big stove. When she came to the farther edge of the woodland, the branches were tossing in the rising wind, and the win try little moon cast patches of light in the gathering dusk. To the young soldier standing on guard, cold and lonely in the shadow, Elsa’s little grey figure was just part of the moving pat tern of light and shade around him. Soon with a happy sigh Elsa lifted the latch and in the warmth of welcome and love was patting Grossmutter’s dear old face with her cold little hands. It was always
Elsa’s treat to s t a y overnight when she went on an errand to h e r grandmoth er’s, and to sleep in the high, white spare bed. She always sank into its warm softness with delight and
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