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Title: John Wesley, Jr.
       The Story of an Experiment

Author: Dan B. Brummitt

Release Date: November 19, 2003 [EBook #10134]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Sjaani and PG Distributed Proofreaders

John Wesley, Jr.

The Story of an Experiment




The Cartwright Institute - Frontispiece






(This one is at Illinois University)




After years of waiting for time and place and person, the Rev. Walter Drury, an average Methodist preacher, was ready to begin his Experiment.

The process of getting adjusted to its conditions was ended. He believed that, if he had health and nothing happened to his mind, he might count on at least eight years more at First Church, Delafield—a ten-year pastorate is nothing wonderful in to-day's Methodism. The right preacher makes his own time limit.

He would not think himself too good for Delafield, but neither did he rate himself too low. He just felt that he was reasonably secure against promotion, and that he need not be afraid of "demotion." There are such men. They are a boon to bishops.

The unforeseen was to be reckoned with, of course, the possible shattering of all his plans by some unimagined misfortune. But the man who waits until he is secure against the unknown never discovers anything, not even himself.

Walter Drury had at last found his man, or, rather, his boy, here in Delafield. It was necessary to the Experiment that its subject should be a decent young fellow, not particularly keen on formal religion, but well set-up in body and mind; clean, straight, and able to use the brains he had when need arose.

John Wesley, Jr., was such a boy.

Would the result be worth what he was putting into the venture? That would depend on one's standards. The church doesn't doubt that the more than twice ten years' experiment of Helms in the south end of Boston has been worth the price. And Helms has for company a few pioneers in other fields who will tell you they have drawn good pay, in the outcomes of their patience.

Still, Walter Drury was a new sort of specialist. The thing he had in mind to do had been almost tried a thousand times; a thousand times it had been begun. But so far as he knew no one preacher had thought to focus every possible influence on a single life through a full cycle of change. He meant his work to be intensive: not in degree only, but in duration.

At the end of ten years! If, then, he had not shown, in results beyond question, the direction of the church's next great advance, at least he would have had the measureless joy of the effort. No seeming failure could rob him of his reward.

Now, do not image this preacher as a dreaming scattergood; he would do as much as any man should, that is to say, his utmost, in his pulpit and his parish. The Experiment should be no robbing of collective Peter to pay individual Paul.

But every man has his avocation, his recreation, you know—golf, roses, coins, first editions, travel. Walter Drury, being a confirmed bachelor, missed both the joys and the demands of home life. No recluse, but, rather, a companionable man, he cared little for what most people call amusement, but he cared tremendously for the human scene in which he lived and worked. He would be happy in the Experiment for its sheer human fascinations. That it held a deeper interest, that if it succeeded it would reveal an untapped reservoir of resources available for the church and the kingdom of God, did but make him the more eager to be at it in hard earnest.

The church to whose work he had joyfully given himself from his youth had grown to be a mighty and a highly complex machine. Some thought it was more machinery than life, more organization than organism. But Walter Drury knew better. It _was_ a wonderful machine, wheels within wheels, but there was within the wheels the living spirit of the prophet's vision.

Partly because the church was so vast and its work of such infinite variety, very few of its members knew what it did, or how, or why. It was all over the land, and in the ends of the earth, for people joined it; and they lived their lives in the cheerful and congenial circle of its fellowship. But the planetary sweep of its program and its enterprises was to most of them not even as a tale that is told. They were content to be busy with their own affairs, and had small curiosity to know what meanings and mysteries might be discovered out in places they had never explored, even though just 'round the corner from the week-by-week activities of the familiar home congregation.

Walter Drury, at the end of one reasonably successful pastorate, had stood bewildered and baffled as he looked back over his five years of effort against this persistent and amiable passivity. It was not a deliberate sin, or he might have denounced it; nor a temporary numbness, or he might have waited for it to disappear. All the more it dismayed him.

At the beginning of his ministry he had set this goal before him, that every soul under his care might see as he saw, and see with him more clearly year by year, the church's great work; its true and total business. He had not failed, as the Annual Conference reckons failure. But he knew he had been less than successful. The people of his successive appointments were receptive people as church folk go. Then who was to blame, that sermons and books and Advocates and pictures and high officials and frequent great assemblies, always accomplishing something, always left behind them the untouched, unmoved majority of the people called Methodists?

It was all this and more of the same sort, which at last took shape in Drury's thought and fixed the manner and matter of the Experiment. This boy he had found, with a name that might be either prophecy or mockery, he would study like a book. He would brood over his life. Mind you, he would take no advantage, use no influence unfairly. He would neither dictate nor drive. He would not trespass even so far as to the outer edges of the boy's free personality. For the most part he would stay in the background. But he would watch the boy, as for lesser outcomes Darwin watched the creatures of wood and field. Without revealing all his purpose he would set before this boy good and evil; the lesser good and the greater. He would use for high and holy ends the method which the tempter never tires of using for confusion. He would show this boy the kingdoms of the children of God, and the glories of them, and would promise them to him, not for a moment's shame but for a life's devotion.

As to the particular form in which the result of the Experiment might appear he cared little. He had a certain curiosity on the subject naturally, but he knew well enough that the Experiment would be useless if he laid interfering hands on its inner processes. That would be like trimming a whitethorn tree in a formal garden, to make it resemble a pyramid. He was not making a thorn pyramid in an Italian garden; he wanted an oak, to grow by the common road of all men's life. And oaks must grow oak-fashion, or not at all.

Four years of the ten had passed. That part of the history of John Wesley, Jr., which is told in the following pages, is the story of the other six years.



"IF anybody expects me to stay away from Institute this year, he has got a surprise coming, that's all."

The meeting was just breaking up, after a speech whose closing words had been a shade less tactful than the occasion called for. But the last two sentences of that speech made all the difference in the world to John Wesley, Jr.

The Epworth League of First Church, Delafield, was giving one of its fairly frequent socials. The program had gone at top speed for more than an hour. All that noise could do, re-enforced by that peculiar emanation by youth termed "pep," had been drawn upon to glorify a certain forthcoming event with whose name everybody seemed to be familiar, for all called it simply "the Institute."

Pennants, posters, and photographs supplied a sort of pictorial noise, the better to advertise this evidently remarkable event, which, one might gather, was a yearly affair held during the summer vacation at the seat of Cartwright College.

The yells and songs, the cheers and games and reminiscences, re-enforced the noisy decorations. At the last, in one of those intense moments of quiet which young people can produce as by magic, came a neat little speech whose purpose was highly praiseworthy. But, to John Wesley, Jr., it ended on the wrong note. Another listener took mental exception to it, though his anxiety proved to be groundless.

It was a recruiting speech, directed at anybody and everybody who had not yet decided to attend the Institute.

The speaker was, if anything, a trifle more cautious than canny when he came to his "in conclusion," and his zeal touched the words with anti-climax.

"Of course," he said, "since ten, or at most twelve, is our quota, we are not quite free to encourage the attendance of everybody, particularly of our younger members. They have hardly reached the age where the Institute could be a benefit to them, and their natural inclination to make the week a period of good times and mere pleasure would seriously interfere with the interests of others more mature and serious minded."

Now, the pastor of the church, the Rev. Walter Drury, would have put that differently, he said to himself. If it produced any bad effects it would need to be corrected, certainly.

Just then, amid the inevitable applause, and the dismissal of the brief formal assembly for the social half-hour, something snapped inside of John Wesley, Jr., and it was the feeling of it which prompted him to say, "If anybody expects me to stay away from Institute this year, he has got a surprise coming, that's all."

You see, John Wesley, Jr., had just been graduated from high school, and his family expected him to go to college in the fall, though he faced that expectation without much enthusiasm. He felt his new freedom. He addressed his rebellious remark to the League president, Marcia Dayne, a sensible girl whom he had known as long as he had known anybody in the church.

"Last year everybody said I was too young. They all talked the way he did just now. But they can't say I am too young now," and with that easy skill which is one of the secrets of youth, he managed to contemplate himself, serenely conscious that he was personable and "right."

The girl turned to him with a gesture of surprise.

"But I thought your father had agreed to let you take that trip to Chicago you have been saving up for. Will he let you go to the Institute too?"

"Chicago can wait," said John Wesley, Jr., grandly. "Dad did say I could go to Chicago to see my cousins, or I could go anywhere else that I wanted. Well, I am going to the Institute. It's my money, and, besides, I am tired of being told I am too young. A fellow's got to grow up some time."

"That's all right," said Marcia, "but what's your special interest in the Institute? Do you truly want to go? How do you know what an Institute is like?"

Her voice carried further than Marcia thought, and a man who seemed a little too mature to be one of the young people, turned toward her. He was smiling, and any time these four years the town would have told you there wasn't a friendlier smile inside the city limits. He was in business dress, and suggested anything but the parson in his bearing, but through and through he looked the good minister that he was.

Marcia moved toward him with an unspoken appeal. She wanted help. He was waiting for that signal, for he depended a good deal on Marcia. And he was still worried about that unlucky speech.

"Well, Marcia, are you telling J. W. what the Institute really is?" he asked.

"No, Mr. Drury, I'm not. I'm too much surprised at finding that he's about decided to go. You're just in time to tell him for me. I want him to get it right, and straight."

"Well," the pastor responded, "I'm glad of that. If he's really going, he'll find out that definitions are not descriptions. Now, our Saint Sheridan used to say that an Institute was a combination of college, circus, and camp meeting. I would venture a different putting of it. An Institute is a bit of young democracy in action. Its people play together, for play's sake and for finding their honest human level. They study together, to become decently intelligent about some of the real business of the kingdom of God, and how the church proposes to transact that business. They wait for new vision together, the Institute being a good time and a good place for seeing life clear and seeing it whole."

"Yes," said Marcia, "that's exactly it, only I never could have found quite the right words. Do you think J. W. will find it too poky and preachy?"

"Tell him to try it and see, as you did last year," said Pastor Drury.

"I'll risk that," said John Wesley, Jr., in his newly resolute mood.

He knew when to stop, this preacher. Particularly concerned as he was about John Wesley, Jr., he saw that this was one of the many times when that young man would need to work things out for himself. Marcia would give what help might be called for at the moment. The boy was turning toward the Institute; so far so good.

To-night was nearly four years from the beginning of his interest in this young fellow with the Methodist name. He was a special friend of the family, though no more so than of every family in the town which gave him the slightest encouragement. To a degree which no one suspected he shared this family's secret hopes for its son and heir; and he cherished hopes which even the Farwells could not suspect. Unless he was much mistaken he had found the subject for his Experiment.

That mention of the Farwells needs to be explained. Of course "John Wesley, Jr.," was only part of the boy's name. In full he was John Wesley Farwell, Jr., son of John Wesley Farwell, Sr., of the J. W. Farwell Hardware Co. As a little fellow he had no chance to escape "Junior," since he was named for his father. There were many Jacks and Johns and Johnnies about. His mother, good Methodist that she was, secretly enjoyed calling him "John Wesley, Jr.," and before long the neighbors and the neighborhood children followed her example.

A little later he might have been teased out of it, but at the impossible age when boys discover that queer names and red hair and cross-eyes make convenient excuses for mutual torture, it happened that he had attained to the leadership of his gang. For some reason he took pride in his two Methodist names, and made short work of those who ventured to take liberties with them. In all other respects he played without reserve boyhood's immemorial game of give and take; but as to his name or any part thereof he would tolerate no foolishness and no back talk. When he reached the high school period, however, most of his intimates rarely called him by his full name, having, like all high school people, no time for long names, though possessed of infinite leisure for long dreams. Straightway they shortened his name to "J. W.," which to this day is all that his friends find necessary.

Very well, then; this is J. W. at eighteen; a young fellow worth knowing. Take a look at him; impulsive, generous, not what you would call handsome, but possessed of a genial eye and a ready tongue, a stubby nose and a few scattered freckles. A fair student, he is yet far from bookishness, and he makes friends easily.

Of late he has been paying furtive but detailed attention to his hair and his neckties and the hang of his clothes, though still in small danger of being mistaken for a tailor's model.

With such a name you will understand that he's a Methodist by first intention; born so. He is a pretty sturdy young Christian, showing it in a boy's modest but direct fashion, which even his teammates of the high-school football squad found it no trouble to tolerate, because they knew him for a human, healthy boy, and not a morbid, self-inspecting religious prig. Pastor Drury, you may be sure, had taken note of all that, for he and J. W. had been fast friends since the day he had received the boy into the church.

The morning after the Institute social J. W. announced at breakfast his sudden change of plan.

"If you don't mind, Dad, I've about decided to go to the Institute instead of Chicago. There is a bunch of us going, and Mr. Drury will be there. Uncle Henry's folks might not want to be bothered with me now, and anyway I don't know them very well. But I can go to the Institute with the church crowd; and there will be tennis and swimming and plenty of other fun besides the big program." Which was quite a speech for J. W.

John Wesley, Sr., didn't know much about the Institute, but he had an endless regard for his pastor, and the mother was characteristically willing to postpone her boy's introduction to the unknown and, in her thought, therefore, the menacing city.

So, after the brief but unhurried devotions at the breakfast table, which had come to serve in place of the old-time family prayers, parental approval was forthcoming. And thus it befell that J. W. selected for himself a future whose every experience was to be affected by so slight a matter as his impulsive choice of a week's holiday. That choice expressed to him the new freedom of his years, for he had not even been conscious of the quiet influence which had made it easier than he knew to decide as he had done.

It was a mixed and lively company that found itself crowded around the registrar's table at the Institute one Monday evening in July, with J. W. and his own particular chum, Martin Luther Shenk, better known as "Marty," right in the middle of it.

J. W. wondered where so many Epworthians could have come from. Did they really hanker after the Institute, or had they come for reasons as trivial as his own? He put the question to Martin Luther Shenk.

"Marty, do you reckon these are all here for real Epworth League work, or does the Institute want anybody and everybody?"

Marty had been scouting a little, and he answered: "No, to both questions, I should say. Some have come just to be coming, and others seem to be here for business. But I saw Joe Carbrook just now, and if he is an Epworth Leaguer I am the Prince of Puget Sound. You know how he stands at home. Wonder what he came for."

Just then Joe Carbrook himself came up. He was from Delafield too, member of the same League chapter as the two chums, but he had rarely condescended to league affairs. Having had two rather variegated years at college, he felt he must show his sophistication by holding himself above some of those simple old observances.

"S'pose you are here for solemn and serious work, you two," he remarked mockingly, as he saw the boys. "I just met Marcia Dayne, and she told me you were registering. Well, I'm here too—drove up in my car—but you don't catch me tying myself down to all that study stuff. I'm looking for fun, not work."

"Nothing new for you in that, Joe," said Marty. "But I should think you might try the study stuff, if only for a change, after you have spent good money on gas and tires. And you have to pay for your meals, you know."

"Well, I studied hard enough last month in college cramming for the final exams, so I could get within gunshot of enough sophomore credits, and I'm through; with study for a while. If I find a few live ones in this crowd, I guess we can enjoy ourselves without interfering with any of you grinds, if you must study," and Joe Carbrook went off in search of his live ones.

J. W. and Marty were in no hurry to register. The crowd milling around in the office was interesting, and J. W. was still wondering how many of them, himself included, would get enough Institute long before the week was over. Besides, it was yet an hour before supper.

"Think of it, Marty. All these people come from Epworth Leagues just like ours, from Springfield, and Wolf Prairie and Madison and all over this part of the State. What for, I'd like to know? Will you look at those pennants? Wish we had brought one or two of ours; we could add to the display, anyway."

"I have two in my suitcase," said Marty. "We'll have them out this evening at the introduction meeting. And maybe you'll find out 'what for' by that time."

The introduction meeting in the chapel after supper was for the most part informal. Yells and songs and the waving of pennants punctuated the proceedings, as is quite the proper thing in an Epworth League gathering. Some people, who see only what is on the surface, cannot wholly understand the exuberance of an Epworth League crowd. But it has roots in something very real.

The dean of the Institute managed, amid the roystering and the intervals of attention, to set things up for the week. A few regulations would need to be laid down; and these would be fixed, not by the faculty or by the dean, but by the Student Council. Would each district group please get together at once, and select some one to represent the group on this council?

This request being obeyed amid considerable confusion, with Marcia Dayne appointed from the Fort Adams District, and the council excused to draft the basic laws for the week, the faculty was introduced, one by one.

Each teacher was given the opportunity to describe his or her course, so that out of the eight or nine courses offered every delegate might select two besides the two which were required of all students, and so qualify for an Institute diploma.

J. W. found himself enjoying all this hugely. It appealed to his growing sense of freedom from schoolboy restraint. If he did go to any of the classes, it appeared that he could pick the ones he liked. Up to now he had entertained no thought of any serious work, but the faculty talks about these courses made him think there might be worse ways of spending the week than qualifying for an Institute diploma. The whole thing seemed to be so easy and so friendly. Of course he could see that the study would not be much, even if he signed up for it, being just for a week, but it might not be bad fun.

Morning Watch was an experience to J. W. He was surprised to find himself staying awake in a before-breakfast religious meeting, and was even more surprised to be enjoying it. Something about this big crowd of young people stirred all his pulses, and the religion they heard about and talked about seemed to J. W. something very real and desirable. He thought of himself as a Christian, but he wondered if his Christian life might not become more confident and productive. In this atmosphere one almost felt that anything was possible.

Meal times turned out to be times of orderly disorder. J. W. and his friends were at a table with other groups from the Fort Adams District, and he quickly mastered the raucous roar which served the District for a yell. Before the end of the second day his alert good nature made him cheer leader, and thereafter he rarely had time to eat all that was set before him, though possessed of a boy's healthy appetite. It was simply that the other possibilities of the hour seemed more alluring than mere food.

From the first day of the class work J. W. found himself keen for all that was going on. There was variety enough so that he felt no weariness, and the range of new interests opened up each day kept him at constant and pleasurable attention. Without knowing just how, he was catching the Institute spirit.

He walked away from the dining hall one noon with his pastor-friend, and he talked. He had to talk to somebody, and Walter Drury contrived to know of his need.

"Why, Mr. Drury," he said, eagerly, "I'm just finding out how little I know about the church and real Christian work. I thought I was something of an average Methodist boy, but if the people at home are no better than I am, I can see how being a preacher to such a bunch is a man's job."

"Correct, J. W." said the minister. "I find that out many a time, to my humbling. But honestly, now, are you learning things you never knew before?"

"Ye-es, I am," J. W. answered, "and then, again, I'm not. It seems to me as if I had always known a lot of what we are getting in these classes, though there is plenty of new stuff too. But until now I didn't get much out of what I knew. I've always liked to hear you, but you're different. As for most of the things I've heard, I just thought of it as religious talk, church stuff, you know. It didn't seem to matter, but here it is beginning to matter in all sorts of ways, and I can see that it matters to me."

"How, for instance?"

Well, take the class in home missions; Americanization, they call it. Maybe you noticed that the first thing the teacher did was to divide the class right down the middle, and tell those on the left hand—yes, I'm one of the goats—that for the rest of the week they were to consider themselves aliens. The others were to play native-born Americans. And so the study started, but believe me, we aliens have already begun to make it interesting for those natives. Some of 'em want to come over on our side already, but they can't. A few of us have found some immigration dope in the college library, and it is pretty strong. We'll show up those Pilgrim Fathers before the week is out. They think they have done everything an alien could ask when they let him into the country, and then they work him twelve hours a day, seven days a week, or else let him hunt the country over for any sort of a job. They rob him by making him pay higher prices than other people for all he has to buy. They force him to live in places not fit for rats, and on top of everything else they call him names, so that their kids stick up their noses at his children in the school grounds. After all that they expect he'll become a good citizen just by hearing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at the movies and watching the flag go by when there's a parade.

"Say, Mr. Drury, it makes me sick, and, if I feel that way just to be pretending I'm a 'Wop' for a week, how do you suppose the real aliens feel? Excuse me for talking like this, but honestly, something like that is going on in all these classes; I wish we could take up such things in the League at home." And he forced an embarrassed little laugh.

Pastor Drury laughed too, and said of course they could, as he linked arms with J. W., and they passed on down the road. The preacher talked but little, contriving merely to drop a question now and then; and J. W. talked on, half-ashamed to be so "gabby," as he put it, and yet moved by an impulse as pleasant as it was novel.

"And foreign missions, Mr. Drury. You won't be offended, I hope, but somehow as far back as I can remember I have always connected foreign missions with collections and 'Greenland's Icy Mountains' and little naked Hottentots, and something—I don't know just what—about the River Ganges. But here—why, that China class just makes me want to see China for myself and find out how much of the advantages of American life over Chinese has come on account of religion."

"Well, why not, J. W.? Maybe you will go to China some day, and have a hand in it all," suggested the pastor, to try him out.

The boy shook his head.

"No, I don't think so. I am certainly getting a new line on foreign missions, but I don't think there's missionary stuff in me. I'll have to go at the proposition some other way."

Then Pastor Drury set him going on another subject.

"What do you think of the young folks who are here?" he asked.

"Well, at first I thought they were all away ahead of our bunch at home, and some of them are; but you soon find out that the majority is pretty much of the same sort as ours. I think I've spotted a few slackers, but mighty few. Most of the crowd seems to be all right, and I've already made some real friends. But do you know which one of them all is the most interesting fellow I've met?"

The pastor thought he did, but he merely asked, "Who?"

"Why, that Greek boy, Phil Khamis. He is from Salonika, you know. He knows the old country like a book, and he's going back some day, maybe to be some kind of missionary to his people, in the very places where the apostle Paul preached. Honest, I never knew until he told me that his Salonika is the town of those Christians to whom Paul wrote two of his letters; those to the Thessalonians—'Thessalonika,' you know. Well, you ought to hear Phil talk. He came over here seven years ago, and learned the English language from the preacher at Westvale."

"Yes, I have heard about him," said Mr. Drury. "They say he lived in the parsonage and paid the preacher for his English lessons by giving him a new understanding of the Greek New Testament. Not many of us have found out yet how to get such pay for being decent to our friends from the other side."

"Well, he is a thoroughbred, anyway; and do you notice how he is right up in front when there is anything doing? The only way you can tell he isn't American born is that he is so anxious to help out on all the unpleasant work. When I look at Phil it makes me boil to think of fellows like him being called 'Wop.'"

By this time the two had swung back into the campus, and J.W. found himself drafted to hold down second base in the Faculty-Student ball game. But that is a story for others to tell.

On the steps of the library Marcia Dayne and some other girls were holding an informal reception. Joe Carbrook, with one or two of his friends, was finding it agreeable to assume a superior air concerning the Institute. The impression the boys gave was that their coming to the Institute at all had been a great concession, but that they were under no illusions about the place.

"All this is all right," Joe was saying, "for those who need it, but what's the good of it all to us? For instance, what do you get out of it, Marcia?"

"What do you think I want to get out of it? If you cared for the young people's work at home, I should think you could see how 'all this,' as you call it, would help you to do better work and more of it at Delafield."

"As you ought to know pretty well, Marcia," Joe replied, "back home they think I don't care much for the young people's work. It is a little too prim and ready-to-wear for me, if you'll excuse me for saying so. No fun in it at all, though I'll admit some of the classes here have more life in them than I looked for."

One of the other girls, who knew him well enough to speak with large frankness, came to the defense of them all, saying: "Well, Joe, I don't see that you get very far with what you call fun. It's mostly at the expense of other people, including your father, who pays the bills. Besides, since you came home from college this spring, you seem to have run out of nearly all the bright ideas you started with. I wonder if it ever strikes you that being a sport, as you call it, is mostly being a nuisance to everybody? Some of us long ago got over thinking you clever and original. You must be getting over it yourself, by now, surely."

"Many thanks, dear lady, for them kind words," Joe responded, as he bowed low in mock acknowledgment; "you make yourself quite plain, Miss Alma Wetherell." He flung back the insult jauntily, as he and his companions moved on, but at least one of the group suspected that the words had struck home.

You who know the General Secretary could easily forgive J. W. his delight in the class of which the program said the subject was "Methods." This is the only hour in an Institute which the Epworth League takes for its own work. Rightly enough, it is a crowded hour, with the whole Institute present, and usually it is an hour of unflagging interest.

J. W. and Marty were enjoying their first Institute too much to be late at any classes. They were merely a little earlier at this class; to miss any of it would be a distinct loss.

Now, what the General Secretary talked about was no more than the everyday work of the League—how it meant the young people of the church and their work for and with young people for the sake of the future. But he had a way with him. He said the League was a great scheme of self, with the "ish" left off. In the League one practiced self-help, and enjoyed the twin luxuries of self-direction and self-expression, and came sooner or later to that strange new knowledge which is self-discovery. He explained how Epworthians as such could live on twenty-four hours a day, the plan being an ingenious and yet simple financial arrangement for keeping the League work moving, both where you are and where you aren't, even around the world. He had innumerable stories of the devotional meeting idea, the Win-My-Chum idea, the stewardship idea, the Institute idea, the life service idea, the recreation idea, the study-class idea, and every other League idea so far invented.

But all this is merely a hint of what the General Secretary meant to the Institute, and particularly to the delegates from Delafield. Even Joe Carbrook had been impressed. He heard the General Secretary the morning after that little exchange of compliments on the library steps, and for an hour thereafter let himself enjoy the rare luxury of thinking. The results were somewhat disconcerting.

"It's funny," said Marty, as the four of them, the other three being Joe, Marcia, and J.W., sat under a tree in the afternoon, "but I believe that man could make even trigonometry interesting. I thought I'd heard all that could be said about the devotional meeting; but did you get that scheme for leaders he sprung this morning? Watch me when we get back home, that's all."

"You needn't suppose you are the only one who got it," said Marcia. "Everybody was trying to watch the General Secretary and to take notes at the same time, and I don't believe you are any quicker at that than the rest of us. Of course all of us will use as many of his ideas as we can remember, when we get home again."

Joe Carbrook, with a new seriousness which sat awkwardly on him, confessed that he could not understand just what was happening. It was evident that he was ill at ease; Marcia had noticed it every time she had seen him since that encounter with Alma Wetherell.

"I guess you folks know I am not easily caught; but I'm ready to admit that man has hold of something. Yes, and I'm half convinced that this Institute has hold of something. I wish I knew what it is. If I could really believe that all I hear and see at this place is part of being young and part of being a Christian, I might be thinking before long about getting into the game myself. The trouble is you three and the other Leaguers I've watched at home are just you three and the others, and that's all. I know, and you know, what you can do. You'll take all these ideas of League work and use them, maybe; but what I can't see is how you will pick up the Big Idea of this place and get back home without losing it."

"We can't," said Marcia, "not without all sorts of help, visible and invisible. You, for instance; if you would really get into the game, as you say, nobody could guess how much it would mean to our League. And it might mean more to you."

"Marcia's right about that," said J.W. "The Big Idea of this place, that you speak of, is a lot too big for us to take home alone. Maybe you'll think I'm preaching, but I don't care, if I say that for God to handle alone, it is not big enough. He makes the stars, and gives us his Son, without any help from us. Nobody else can do that. But he won't make our League at home a success without us; and all of us together can't do it without Him. I'm not saying I know how to do it, even then, but that's the way it looks to me. Why, Joe," he said with sudden intensity as he faced Joe Carbrook, "if you ever get hold of the Big Idea, and the Big Idea gets hold of you, something is sure to happen, something bigger than any of us can figure out now. I know you have it in you."

All four showed a surprised self-consciousness over J.W.'s unexpected venture into these rather deeper conversational waters than usual, and there was more surprise when Joe Carbrook began to talk about himself.

He laughed to hide a touch of embarrassment, but with little mirth; and then he said, "Well, J.W., that's not all foolishness, though I don't see why you should pick on me. Why not Marty? Of course, I came here for fun, and I have had some, though not just the sort I expected. And I've had several jolts too. I might as well admit that if I could just only see how you hitch all of this League and church business to real life, I would be for it with all I've got. The trouble is, while I've never been especially proud of my own record, neither have I seen much excuse yet for what you 'active members' have been busy with. I have been playing my way, and you have been playing yours; but it all seems mostly play to me. All the same, I guess I am getting tired of my kind." If Joe could ever have spoken wistfully, you might have suspected him of it just then.

Clearly, thought Marcia Dayne, in the silence that followed, something big was already happening. But how to help it on she could not tell; so, with a desperate effort to do the right thing, she contrived to turn the subject It seemed to her it had become too difficult to go further just now without peril to Joe's strange new interest, as well as to a very new and tremulous little hope that had begun to sing in her own heart.

The shift of the talk was a true Institute change, and would have been most disconcerting to anyone unfamiliar with the ways of young Christians; but Marcia was sure that what had been said would not be forgotten, and she knew there would be another time.

It was this that made her say, "I wish you boys would suggest what sort of stunt our district should give on stunt night; you know the time is getting short."

"That's a fact," exclaimed Marty, sitting up. "Stunt night is to-morrow, and our delegation has to fix up the stunt for the Fort Adams District. Let's get to work on something. We've been mooning long enough."

For though Marty never thought as quickly as Marcia, he too felt some instinct of fear lest by an unfortunate word they should break the spell of Joe Carbrook's interest in the "Big Idea," and promptly the four were deep in a study of stunts.

To the uninitiated, stunt night at the Institute is without rime or reason, but not to those in charge who are looking ahead to Sunday. They know that the converging and cumulative psychic forces which the Institute invariably produces must be tempered, along about midway of the week, by some sharp contrast in the communal life. Otherwise, the group, like over-trained athletes, will grow emotionally stale before the week is done, and at the end of that is let-down and flatness. Hence "stunt night."

In the early Institute years it was easy, as in some places it still is, for stunt night to be no more than clowning, witless and cheap; but there is a distinct tendency to exercise the imagination in producing more self-respecting efforts.

Cartwright, happily, is one of the forward-looking Institutes, and stunt night, crowded with most excellent fooling, produced two or three creditable and thought-provoking performances. One of them deserves remembering for its own sake. Besides, it is a part of this story.

The home missions class furnished the inspiration for it, and called it "Scum o' the Earth," an impromptu immigration pageant. A boy who had memorized Schauffler's poem stood off stage and recited it, while group after group of "immigrants" in the motley of the steerage passed slowly through the improvised Ellis Island sifting process. It was all make-believe, of course, all but one tense moment. Then Phil Khamis stepped on the platform, incarnating in his own proper person the poet's apostrophised Greek boy:

"Stay, are we doing you wrong, Young fellow from Socrates' land?
You, like a Hermes so lissome and strong, Fresh from the master Praxiteles' hand?
So you're of Spartan birth? Descended, perhaps, from one of the band—
Deathless in story and song— Who combed their long hair at Thermopylae's pass? Ah, I forget the straits, alas! More tragic than theirs, more compassion-worth,
That have doomed you to march in our 'immigrant class' Where you're nothing but 'scum o' the earth!'"

The audience was caught unaware. It had been vastly interested in the spectacle, as a spectacle, the more because the unusual Americanization class which produced it had attracted general attention. But, Phil Khamis, everybody's friend, standing there, an immigrant of the immigrants, smiling his wistful friendly smile, was a picture as dramatic as it was unexpected. First there were ejaculations of astonishment and surprise. Then came the moment of understanding, and a shining-eyed stillness fell on all. Then, what a shout! J.W. led off, the unashamed tears falling from his brimming eyes.

On Saturday morning J.W. was sitting beside Phil Khamis at Morning Watch. The leader had asked for answers to the question "Why did I come to the Institute?" getting several responses of the conventional sort. Suddenly Phil nudged J.W. and whispered, "Shall I tell why I came?" and J.W. with the memory of stunt night's thrill not yet dulled, said promptly, "Sure, go ahead."

When Phil got up an attentive silence fell upon them all. The Greek boy had made many friends, as much by his engaging frankness and anxiety to learn as by his perpetual eagerness to have a hand in every bit of hard work that turned up. Since the stunt night incident he was everybody's favorite.

"Friends," he said, in his rather careful, precise way, "I am here for a different reason than any. When I was in America but a little time a Methodist preacher made himself my friend. I could not speak English, only a few words. He took me to his home. He taught me to talk the American way. He find me other friends, though I could do nothing at all for them to pay them back. Now I am Christian—real, not only baptized. The young people of the church take me in to whatever they do. They call me 'Phil' and never care that I am a foreigner, so when I heard about this Institute I say to myself, 'It is something strange to me, but I hear that many people like those in my church will be there.' I cannot quite believe that, but it sounded good, and I wanted to come and see. And now I know that many people are young people like those I first knew. They treat me just the same. It makes me love America much more; and if I could tell my people in the old country that all this good has come to me from the church, they could not believe it. Still, it is true. Everything I have to-day has come to me by goodness of Christian people."

There were some half-embarrassed "Amens," and more than one hitherto unsuspected cold required considerable attention. All the way to breakfast Phil held embarrassed court, while his hand was shaken and his shoulder was thumped and he was told, solo and chorus, by all who could get near him, that "He's all right!"—"Who's all right?" "Phil Khamis!"

But J.W. was walking slowly toward the dining hall, alone. As he had listened to Phil, at first he thought, "Good old scout, he's putting it over," but by the time the Greek's simple words were ended, J.W. was looking himself straight in the eye. "Young fellow," he was saying, "you have come mighty near feeling glad that you have had so many more advantages than this stranger, and yet can't you see that what he says about himself is almost as true about you? All you have to-day—this Institute, your religion, your church, your friends, the kind of a home you have and are so proud of—everything has come to you by what Phil calls the goodness of Christian people."

And then it was breakfast time, with an imperative call on J.W. from the Fort Adams table for "that new yell we fixed up last night," and the minutes in which he had talked with himself were for the time forgotten. But the memory of them came back in the days after the Institute was itself a memory.

The Saturday night camp fire at this Institute, contrary to the usual custom, was not co-ed. The boys went down to the lake shore and sat around a big fire on the sand. The girls had their fire on the slope of a hill at the other edge of the campus.

Nor does this Institute care for too much praise of itself. Its traditional spirit is to work more for outcomes than for the devices which produce complacency. It stages only a few opportunities of telling "Why I like this Institute."

So, at the camp fires a man talked to the boys and a woman to the girls, not about the Institute, but about life. These speakers knew the strange effect an Institute week has on impressionable and romantic youth; they knew that by this time scores of the students were either saying to themselves, "I've got to do something big before this thing's over," or were vainly trying to put the conviction away.

The woman who talked to the girls happened to be a preacher's wife. This gave her a certain advantage when she told the listening girls that the greatest of all occupations for them was not some special vocation, but what Ida Tarbell has called "the business of being a woman." It was good preparation for the next day's program, with its specific and glamorous appeal, for it put first the great claim, so that special vocations could be seen in clear air and could be fairly measured.

Pastor Drury, who talked to the boys, was talking to them all, as J.W. very well knew, but every word seemed for him; as, indeed, it was, in a sense that he did not suspect. He was not surprised that his pastor should present the Christian life as effectively livable by bricklayers and business men as surely as by missionaries. He had heard that before. But to J.W. the old message had a new setting, a new force. And never before had he been so ready to receive it.

The songs had sung themselves out, as the fire changed from roaring flame and flying sparks to a great bed of living coals. From the world's beginning a glowing hearth has been perfect focus for straight thought and plain speech. The boys found it so this night.

The minister began so simply that it seemed almost as if his voice were only the musings of many, just become audible. "I know," said he, "that to-morrow some of you will find yourselves, and will eagerly offer your lives for religious callings. We shall all be proud of you and glad to see it. But most of you cannot do that. You are already sure that you must be content to live 'ordinary Christian lives,' It is possible that to-morrow you may feel a little out of the picture. And those who are hearing a special call might regard you, quite unconsciously, of course, as not exactly on their level."

"Now, suppose we get this thing straight to-night. There is no great nor small, no high nor low, in real service. The differences are only in the forms of work you do. The quality may be just as fine in one place as in another. The boy who goes into the ministry, or who becomes a medical missionary, will have peculiar chances for usefulness. So also will the boy who goes into business or farming or teaching, or any other so-called secular occupation. Just because he is not called to religious work as a daily business he dare not think that he has no call. God's calling is not for the few, but for the many. And just now the man who puts his whole soul into being an out-and-out Christian in his daily business and in his personal life as a responsible citizen must have the genuine missionary spirit. He must live like a prophet, that is, a messenger from God. He must know the Christian meaning of all that happens in the world. And he must stand for the whole Christian program. Otherwise, not all the ministers and missionaries in the world can save our civilization. It is your chance of a great career. You who will make up the rank and file of the Christian army in the next twenty-five years—do you know what you are? _You are the hope of the world!"_

As the group broke up in the dim light of the dying embers, J.W. stumbled into Joe Carbrook, and the two headed for the tents together. They had been on a much more friendly footing since Thursday.

"Say, J.W.," said Joe, abruptly, "what's the matter with me? I came to this place without knowing just why; thought I'd just have a good time, I suppose; but here I am being bumped up against something new and big every little while, until I wonder if it's the same world that I was living in before I came. Do you suppose anybody else feels that way? Is it the place? Or the people? Or what?"

"I don't just know," said J.W., trying to keep from showing his surprise. "I feel a good deal that way myself. I think it's maybe that this is the first time we've ever been forced to look squarely at some of the things that seem so natural here. At home it's easy to dodge. You know that, only you've dodged one way and I've done it another."

"But do you feel different, the way I do, J.W.? Do you feel like saying to yourself: 'Looka here, Joe Carbrook, quit being a fool. See what you could do if you settled down to getting ready for something real. Like being a doctor, now.' Do _you_ feel that way? You don't know it, but I've always thought I could be a doctor, if I could see anything in it. And then the other side of me speaks up and says: 'Joe Carbrook, don't kid yourself. You know you haven't got the nerve to try, even if you had the grit to stick it through.' Is it that way with you, J.W.? You've paid more attention to religion and all that than I ever did. And what you said on Thursday about the 'Big Idea' has kept me guessing ever since."

"No, Joe, my trouble's not like yours. I know I can't be a doctor, nor a preacher, nor a missionary. I've got nothing of that in me. But what we heard to-night at the camp fire came straight at me. As I tried to say the other day, if you get the 'Big Idea' of the Institute, Christian service looks like a great life. But me—I've no hope to be anything particular; just one of the crowd. And I never quite saw until to-night how that might be a great life too."

As they were parting, J.W. ventured a bold suggestion. "Say, Joe, if you think you could be a doctor, _why not a missionary doctor?"_

Joe's answer was a swift turning on his heel, and he strode away with never a word.

"Probably made him mad," thought J.W. "I wonder why I said it. Joe's the last boy in the world to have any such notion. But—well, something's already begun to happen to him, that's sure—and to me too."

On Sunday the little world of the Institute assumed a new and no less attractive aspect. Everybody was dressed for Sunday, as at home. Classes were over; and games also; the dining room became for the first time a place of comparative quiet, with now and then the singing of a great old hymn, just to voice the Institute consciousness.

The Morning Watch talk had been a little more direct, a little more tense. And before the Bishop's sermon came the love feast. Now, the Methodists of the older generation made much of their love feasts, but in these days, except at the Annual Conference, an occasional Institute is almost the only place where it flourishes with something of the ancient fervor.

Many changes have come to Methodism since the great days of the love feast; changes of custom and thought and speech. But your ardent young Methodist of any period, Chaplain McCabe, Peter Cartwright, Jesse Lee, Captain Webb, would have understood and gloried in this Institute love feast. It spoke their speech.

Our group from Delafield will never forget it.

Nearly all of them spoke; Marcia Dayne first because she was usually expected to lead in everything of the sort, then Marty, then J.W., and, last of all and most astounding, Joe Carbrook.

Marty looked the soldier, and he put his confession into military terms. He spoke about his Captain and waiting for orders, and a new understanding of obedience.

Before J.W. got his chance to speak, the leader read a night letter from an Institute far away, conveying the greetings of six hundred young people to their fellow Epworthians.

J.W. could not bring himself to speak in terms of personal experience. He was still under the spell of last night's camp fire, and his brief encounter with Joe Carbrook, but without quite knowing what could possibly come of all that. And the telegram gave him an excuse to speak in another vein. You must remember that up to now he had been wholly local in his League interests. He had gone to no conventions, he was not a reader of _The Epworth Herald_, and to him the Central Office was as though it had not been.

"I wonder if anybody else feels as I do," he said, "about this League of ours? Until this last week I never thought much about it. But we've just heard that telegram from an Institute bigger than this, a thousand miles off. And there's fifty-five or sixty Institutes going on this year, besides the winter Institutes, the conventions, and all the other gatherings. We seem to belong to a movement that enrolls almost a million young people, with all sorts of chances to learn how it can do all sorts of Christian work by actually _doing_ it. This isn't the only thing I've found out here, but it makes me want to see the whole League become as good as it is big. I don't want to be dazzled by the size of it, because I know how many other members are just as little use as I've been. Only when I get home I hope I'm going to be a different sort of an Epworthian, and I can't help wishing that we all felt that way about being more good in the League. We can make it a hundred times more useful to the church and to our Master."

Many others spoke like that, some of them because they could find nothing more intimate to say, some here and there those who, like J.W., could not quite trust themselves yet to talk of their deeper personal experiences.

And then Joe Carbrook arose. He spoke easily, as Joe always did, but it was a new Joe Carbrook, and only the Delafield delegation understood how amazing was the change.

"This Institute has made me all sorts of trouble," he said. "I had nothing else to do, and without caring anything about it, except to get some new fun out of it, I came along, intending to stir up some of you if I could, and I knew I could. But I've seen what a fool I was. Every day I've seen that a little more distinctly. And last night, just as I was leaving one of the boys after the camp fire he said something about what I might do with my life. I don't know how seriously he meant it. Maybe he doesn't, either. I went off without answering him. There wasn't any answer, except that I knew I wasn't fit even to think about it. And then, thank God, I met a man who understood what was wrong with me. He's our pastor. I haven't been anything but trouble to him at home, but that made no difference to him. And he introduced me, down yonder by the lake, to a Friend I had never known before, some one infinitely understanding, infinitely forgiving. He showed me that before I could find what I ought to be I'd have to come to terms with that Friend. And I have. Whatever happens to me, whatever I may find to do, I want now and here for the first time in my life to confess Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord!"

The Bishop preached a great sermon, but it is doubtful whether the Delafield delegation rightly appreciated it. They were too much occupied with the incredible fact that Joe Carbrook had been converted, and had openly confessed it.

More was to come. The afternoon meeting, long established in the Institute world as the "Life Work Service," was in the hands of a few leaders who knew both its power and peril. An invitation would be given for all to declare their purpose who felt called to special Christian work. The difficulty was to encourage the most timid of those who, despite their timidity, felt sure of the inner voice, and yet prevent a stampede among those who, without any depth of desire, were in love with emotion, and would enjoy being conspicuous, if only for the brief moment of the service.

For once a woman made the address—a wise woman, let it be said, who made skillful and sure distinctions between the Christian life as a life and the work of the Christian Church as one way of living that life.

It would have been a successful afternoon in any case, but three incidents helped the speaker. When she asked those to declare themselves who had decided for definite Christian work, young people in all parts of the room arose, and one after another they spoke, for the most part simply and modestly, of their hope and purpose. And Joe Carbrook was among them!

He said very little, the nub of it being that he had always thought of being a doctor, but not until a chance remark made by John Wesley, Jr., last night had the idea appeared to him important. Just to make one more among the thousands of doctors in America was one thing, he said. It was quite another to think of being the only physician among a great, helpless population. But to be a missionary doctor a man had to be first a missionary. And how could he be a missionary if he were not a Christian? Well, as he had confessed at the love feast, that was settled last night, and as soon as it had been attended to be knew there was nothing else in the way. So he must work now toward being a medical missionary.

Joe's declaration stirred the whole assembly. And while the influence of it was still on them, J.W. saw Martin Luther Shenk, his classmate and doubly his chum since a memorable day of the preceding October, get up and quietly announce his purpose of becoming a minister. "And I hope," said Marty, "that I may find my lifework in some of the new home mission fields we have been learning about this week."

At that point the leader felt more than a little anxious. These two decisions, with all their restraint, had in them something infectious, and she feared lest some young people, not holding themselves perfectly in hand, might be moved to sentimental and unreflecting declaration.

If there had been any such danger, Marcia Dayne dispelled it. She was all aglow with a new joy of her own, whose secret none knew but herself, though one other had almost dared to hope he could guess.

"May I speak?" she asked. "I have no decision to make for myself. Last year I took the 'Whatever, whenever, wherever' pledge, and I intend to keep it, though I am not yet sure what it will mean. But I know a boy here who will not talk unless somebody asks him, and there's a reason why I think he should be asked. Please, mayn't we hear from John Wesley Farwell, Jr., about _his_ kind of a call?"

J.W., taken unawares at the mention of his name, was still at a loss when the leader seconded Marcia's invitation; and the knowledge that he was expected to say something unusual did not make for self-control. But he understood Marcia's purpose, and tried to pull himself together.

"Miss Dayne is president of our home Chapter, and she had a lot to do with my coming to the Institute," he began. "She has heard me talk since I found out a little about the Institute, and I told her this morning something of what Joe Carbrook and I had discussed last night after the camp fire."

Well, to get to the point, I think she wants me to say, and I'm saying it to myself most of all, that for nearly all of us young people, Christian lifework must mean making an honest living, doing all we can to make our religion count at home, and then backing up with all we've got, by prayer and money and brains, all these others like Joe Carbrook and Marty Shenk, who are going into the hardest places to put up the biggest fight that's in them. We've just got to do it, or be quitters. As Phil Khamis said at Morning Watch yesterday, 'Everything we have has come to us by the goodness of Christian people.' We aren't willing to be the last links of that chain.

We don't want any special recognition, but I hope the Bishop and the General Secretary and the Dean and all the rest of the League leaders will know they can count on us just as we know they can count on these friends of ours who have just become life service volunteers.

Nobody knows what might have happened if some one had not spoken like that, but as the group of new volunteers stood about the platform at the close of the meeting, the other young people, instead of wandering off and feeling themselves of no significance, came crowding about them, to say to them, boy-and-girl fashion, something of what J.W.'s little speech had suggested. Out of some four hundred Epworthians enrolled in the Institute, about forty had made definite decisions; but certainly not less than two hundred more had also faced the future, and in some sort had made a new contract with themselves and with God.

The Institute ended there, except for a simple vesper service after the evening meal, and on Monday morning the whole company was homeward bound.

The Delafield delegation had separated. The larger group went home by train, but Joe Carbrook's insistence was not to be withstood, so J.W. and Marty, Marcia Dayne and Pastor Drury were Joe's passengers for the fifty-odd miles between Institute and home.

They sang, they cheered, they yelled the Institute yells. They lived over the crowded days of the week that had so swiftly passed. But most of all they deeply resolved that so far as they could help to do it while they were at home the League Chapter of Delafield should be made over into something of more use to the church to which it belonged.

It was Marty who put their purpose into the fewest words. "We, and the others who have been to the Institute, don't think we know every little League thing," said he, "and we don't think we are the whole League either. But every time anybody in our Chapter starts anything good, he's going to have more and better help than he ever had before."

Which thing came to pass, as may one day be recorded. The Rev. Walter Drury kept his own counsel, but he knew that more had happened than the putting of new life into the League. The Experiment had progressed safely through some most difficult stages.



Those words of Phil Khamis at Morning Watch kept popping into J. W.'s head in the days following the Institute—"Everything I have to-day has come to me by the goodness of Christian people."

"I know that must be true," he would say to himself, "but it's worth tracing back."

The preacher was coming over to supper one night, as he loved to do; and J. W. made up his mind to bring Phil's idea into the table talk. He was on even better terms with the preacher than he used to be.

J. W.'s mother hadn't said much about the Institute, though she had listened eagerly to all his talk of the crowded week, and she was vaguely ill at ease. She had hoped for something, she did not know just what, from the Institute, and she was not yet sure whether she ought to feel disappointed.

But she provided a fine supper, to which the menfolk paid the most practical and sincere of all compliments. And since nobody had anything else on for the evening, there was plenty of time for talk.

The mother had a moment aside with the minister, and there was a touch of anxiety in her question: "Do you think the Institute helped my boy?"

And the pastor had just time to whisper back, "It helped him much, but he gave even more help than he got You have reason to be proud of him. I am. He's growing."

It was not very definite, but it brought no small comfort to the mother's heart.

"This Institute idea seems to be everywhere," said J. W., Sr., to the pastor, "but how did it get started? I used to be in the Epworth League, but we had nothing like it then."

"That's not so very much of a story," said the pastor. "We have the Institute idea because we had to have it. And so the League gave it form and substance."

"Well," J. W., Jr., chimed in, "I think it's about time more people knew about it. I've wanted to ask you to explain it ever since we came back from the Institute."

The pastor nodded. "I know; but remember even you were not really interested until you had been at an Institute. Do you think our Institute just happened, J. W.?"

"I know it didn't," J. W. replied. "Somebody did a lot of planning and scheming."

"Yes," returned the pastor, "but did you notice that a large part of its work touched subjects familiar to you, the local League activities, for instance—the devotional meeting, and Mission Study, and stewardship, and the scope of the business meeting which not so long ago elected you to membership?"

"Yes, you're right, though I don't see anything remarkable in that. It was a League Institute, wasn't it?"

"Certainly. But still, if there had not been any local Chapter, there could have been no Institute, don't you see? What I mean is that the Institute came because your Chapter needed it, and you needed it; not because the Institute needed you. It's merely a matter of tracing' things back."

J. W., Jr., thought of Phil's words. "Sure enough," he responded, "tracing things back makes a lot of difference. I've been going over what Phil Khamis said at the Morning Watch—you remember? How everything he has to-day has come to him by the goodness of Christian people. At first I thought that was no more than a description of his particular case, because I knew how true it was. But when you begin to trace things back, as you say, what's true about Phil is true about all of us—anyway, about me."

"How is that, son?" Mrs. Farwell asked gently.

"Well, I mean," J. W. smilingly answered her, though flushing a little too, "the Institute, that seemed to me something new and different, is really tied up to what you folks and the whole church have been doing for me as far back as I can remember."

And so they talked, parents and pastor and J. W., quite naturally and freely, of the long chain of interest which had linked his life to the church's life, back through all the years to his babyhood.

J. W. had been in the League only a year or two, but it seemed to him that he had been in the church always. And the memories of his boyhood which had the church for center, were intimately interwoven with all his other experiences.

As his father said, "I guess, pastor, if you tried to take out of J. W.'s young life all that the church has meant to him, it would puzzle a professor to explain whatever might be left."

J. W. had been born in the country, on a farm whose every tree and fence corner he still loved. His first recollections of the church as part of his life had to do with the Sunday morning drive to the little meetinghouse, which stood where the road to town skirted a low hill. It had horse-sheds on one side, stretching back to the rear of the church lot, and some sizeable elms and maples were grouped about its front and sides. It was a one-room structure, unless you counted the space curtained off for the primary class, as J. W. always did. For back of this curtain's protecting folds he had begun his career as a Sunday school pupil and had made his first friends. At that time even district school was yet a year ahead of him, with its wider democratic joys and griefs, and its larger freedom from parental oversight.

When J. W. was six, going on seven, the family moved to Delafield, though retaining ownership of the farm, and for years J. W. spent nearly every Saturday on the old place, in free and blissful association with the Shenk children, whose father was the tenant. It was here that he and Martin Luther Shenk, already introduced as "Marty," being of the same age, had sworn eternal friendship, a vow which as yet showed no sign whatever of the ravages of time. There were three other children, Ben and Alice and Jeannette. Now, Jeannette was only two years younger than J.W. and Marty, but through most of the years when J.W. was going every week to the farm, she was "only a girl," and far behind the two chums by all the exacting standards which to boys are more than law. But there came a time----

J.W., Sr., reveling in reminiscences before so patient a listener as the preacher, though it was an old story, rehearsed how he had served for years as superintendent of the country Sunday school, and how Mrs. Farwell was teacher of the Girls' Bible Class. Their home had always been Methodist headquarters, he said, as old-time Methodists usually say, and with truth.

When they moved to town the change brought no loss of church interest; the Farwells merely transferred it entire to Delafield First Church ("First" being more a title than a numeral, since there was no second).

But First Church had not a few progressive saints. They wanted the best that could be had, so J.W., Sr., Sunday school enthusiast that he was, found himself in a new place of opportunity. The Board of Sunday Schools at Chicago had been asked to help Delafield get itself in line with the best ideas and methods, and J.W., Sr., found the beginnings, at least, of Sunday school science in active operation. At first, like a true country man, he was a little inclined to counsels of caution, but in his country Sunday school work he had acquired such strong opinions about old fogies that he dreaded being thought one himself.

"And that's how it happened," he said with a laugh, "that I was soon reckoned among the progressives. In that first year I helped 'em win their fight for separate departments, and before long we had the makings of a real graded Sunday school. Don't you remember, mother, how proud you were when young J.W. there was graduated from the Primary into the Junior Department?"

All this was before Pastor Drury's time, of course, but he had gone through the same experiences in other pastorates, and needed not to have anything explained.

"How long have we had a teacher-training class in our Sunday school?" he asked.

That called out the story of the struggles to set up what many openly called a useless and foolish enterprise. The Sunday school was chronically short of teachers, and yet J.W., Sr., and the other reformers insisted on taking out of the regular classes the best teachers in the school, and a score of the most promising young people. This group went off by itself into a remote part of the church. It furnished no substitute teachers. It wasn't heard of at all. And loud were the complaints about its crippling the school.

"But, pastor, you should have seen the difference when the first dozen real teachers came out of that class; we were able to reorganize the whole school. Our John Wesley got a teacher he'll never forget. And, of course, we kept the training class going; it's never stopped since. The Board of Sunday Schools has given us the courses and helped us keep the class up to grade in its work, and you know what sort of teachers we have now."

The pastor did, and was properly thankful. In some of his other pastorates it had been otherwise, to his sorrow.

"Speaking of the Board of Sunday Schools," the elder Farwell resumed, for this was a hobby he missed no chance to ride, "it made all the difference with us in our work for a better Sunday school—gave us expert backing, you know. And I notice by its latest annual report—yes, I always get a copy, though J.W. thinks it dry reading—that it is helping Sunday schools by the thousand, not in this country only, but wherever in the world our church is at work. Of course you know how it starts Sunday schools, and how often they grow into churches. Well, it didn't quite do that here, but this church is a sight better and bigger because we began to take the Board's advice when we did. It was a good thing for our boy, and many another boy and girl, that the Board woke us up."

"It hasn't all been easy work, though," the minister suggested. "I remember that when I came I found there was a good deal of discontent over the Graded Lessons."

"Sure there was," said J.W., Sr. "We had all been brought up on the Uniform Lessons, and most of us thought they were just right. Besides, we rather enjoyed thinking of ourselves as keeping step with the whole Sunday school world—all over the wide earth everybody studying the same scripture on the same Sunday. And that was a big idea to get into the minds of Christians of every name everywhere."

"Yes, but, Dad," put in J.W., "what was the good of it if the lessons didn't fit everybody? Did people think that the kids in the primary and their mothers in ma's class ought to study the same lesson? or did they think they could fit the same lesson to everybody by the different notes they put into the Quarterlies?"

"Well, son," his father replied, "I reckon we thought both ways. And I'm not so sure yet that it can't be done. But if one thing more than another reconciled me to the Graded Lessons, it was that they made being a Sunday school teacher a good deal bigger job than it had ever been. It was harder work, because every lesson had to be studied by the teacher, and in a different way from what was thought good enough in the old days. And I'm for anything, Graded Lessons or whatever, that'll make people take Sunday school teaching more seriously."

Then Mrs. Farwell ventured to take up the story. It was about that time, in the very beginning of the Drury pastorate, that J.W. joined the church on probation; much to her surprise and humbling.

"I hadn't even thought of it," she said, "though I should have been the first one. He had been getting ready in the Junior League, as I very well knew, but one day, as you may remember"—Brother Drury did, for that day was the real beginning of this story—"you made an invitation at the end of a real simple sermon, and if J.W., Jr., didn't get right up from my side and walk straight to the front!"

After that there had been a probationers' class, with J.W. and perhaps twenty others meeting the pastor every week for straight religious teaching, so that at Easter, when they came up for membership, what with their Sunday school and Junior League training, and what with the pastor's more personal instruction, they were able to pass a pretty fair examination on the great Christian truths, and on the general scheme of the church's work.

"For a time mother was a trifle disappointed that J.W. hadn't waited for the big revival we had the next year," said J.W., Sr., "but I think she was glad afterward."

"Yes, I was," the mother said. "You see, I had been brought up to believe in revivals, and I do yet, but we had no such chance to get the right Christian start when we were little children, as J.W. has had, if you'll let his mother say so, and that made a revival a good deal more important to us when our church did get ready for one. But the other way is all right too. I'm mother enough to be glad J.W. hasn't known some of the experiences the boys of my time went through, and the girls as well. He's no worse a Christian for having been right in the church ever since I put him in short dresses, are you, son? And I will say that his father was always with me in holding to the promises we made when he was baptized. We've not done what we might, but we've never forgotten that those promises were made to be kept."

J.W. felt none of his old shrinking from such talk, especially since the Institute, and yet he had the healthy boy's reluctance to discuss himself in company. But this was interesting him, outside himself.

He turned to the pastor. "That's what I meant when I told you what Phil said. I'm all for the church, and church people and church ways; why shouldn't I be? I've never known anything else. I remember well the one thing I didn't like when it first came along; and that was the new sort of Christmas celebration Dad and the others planned when I was ten or eleven. You know what Christmas means to such kids, and I guess we were all selfish together, because we didn't use our heads. Well, the Sunday school proposed that instead of us all getting something we should all give something. It looked pretty cheap to us little fellows at first, and our teacher had all he could do to hold us in line. But let me tell you, every boy was for it when the time came. We found that we could have as much fun giving things away as we could grabbing things, and, anyway, nobody really cared for those mosquito net stockings filled with nuts and candy and one orange. It was only the idea of getting something for nothing. That first 'giving Christmas,' I remember, our class dressed up as delivery boys, and we came on the platform with enough groceries for a small truck load, that we had bought with our own money. The orphanage got 'em next day. And one class was dusty millers, carrying sacks of flour, and another put on a stunt of searching for Captain Kidd's treasure, and they found a keg of shining coins (new pennies, they were)—more than a thousand of 'em. Everything went to the orphanage, or the hospital; and then when the Board of Sunday Schools began to get us interested in other Sunday schools and in missions—I remember a scheme they call a 'Partnership Plan' that was great; I don't know what happened to it—I got right into the game every time."

"How do you happen to know so much about the Board of Sunday Schools, J.W.?" asked Mr. Drury.

"Oh, that's easy. You know how it is in our Sunday school: they don't make one or two of us young fellows serve as librarians and secretaries and such and miss all the class work: they have more help, and we all get into class for the lesson. Well, two years ago Dad told me you had nominated me for something at the annual Sunday school meeting. It was only a sort of assistant secretary's job, but very soon I began to catch on, and I've seen a lot of the letters and leaflets that come from the Board in Chicago. Well, let me tell you that Board of Sunday Schools is a whale of a machine. Why, it's the whole church at work to make better Sunday schools, and more of 'em. They have Sunday school workers in all sorts of wild places, and Sunday school missionaries in foreign lands. Yes, and last year I happened to meet one of their secretaries, at your house, you may remember. But you'd never think he was just a secretary, he was so keen and wide awake. He knew the Boy Scouts from A to Z, and that got me, 'cause I'm not so old that I've forgotten my scouting. And he knew baseball, and boys' books, and all that. Don't you think, Brother Drury, if more of the fellows knew what the real Sunday school work is they would take to it like colts to a bran mash?"

"They couldn't help it," said the pastor. "And you may have noticed that your father and the other people of our Sunday School Board are trying to get them to find out some of the things you have found out. For instance, you know what the two organized classes of high-school freshmen are doing, and the other organized classes. Seems to me their members are finding out that Sunday school is something big and fine."

"That they are," Mrs. Farwell agreed, "and you mustn't forget my wonderful class of young married women, and the men's class of nearly a hundred. I think our Sunday school has really begun to change the ideas of a lot of people. Just think how little trouble we have now with what Graded Lessons we have, and how happy all our teachers are because they have the helps they need for just the sort of pupils that are in their classes."

"That's so," said J.W., Sr. "I don't suppose even old Brother Barnacle, 'sot' as he is, would vote to go back to the times when the superintendent reviewed the lesson the same way the teachers taught it, from a printed list of questions. Seems as if I can hear Henry J. Locke yet—his farm joins ours down by the creek—when he conducted the reviewing at Deep Creek. He would hold his quarterly at arm's length to favor his eyes, and then look up from it to the school and shoot the question at everybody, 'And what did Peter do _then_, HEY?' He sure did come out strong on Peter; but I'll say this for him, that he never skipped a question from start to finish."

All three laughed a little over Henry J. Locke, and then the pastor said he mustn't stay much longer. But he did want to back up J.W.'s belief that what Phil Khamis had said was true of everybody—we are all debtors.

"Look at this young J.W. here, will you," he said to the father and mother, for once letting himself go, "with a name he's proud of, and a home life that many a Fifth Avenue and Lake Shore Drive family would be glad to pay a million for, if such goods were on sale in the stores. I'm going to tell him something he already knows. Young man," and there was a gleam in the pastor's eye that was not all to the credit of the work he was praising, "you owe a big debt to the Sunday school. I'm not jealous for the church, or for any other part of it, but by your own admission the Sunday school has had a lot to do with your education. Very well; remember it is a part of what Phil said, and what you are because of the Sunday school you have become by the goodness of Christian people. I don't think you'll forget it, seeing that you have two of that sort of people in your own home all the time."

And then, with a fine naturalness the little group knelt by the chairs, and two of the four, he who was pastor of the whole flock and he who with simple dignity was priest in his own household, gave thanks to God for the manifold goodness of Christian people, of which they were all partakers every day.

As he went home, Walter Drury thought of the long days that stretched out ahead before he could see the outcomes of the great Experiment, but this night had seen a good night's work done in the laboratory, and he was content.

One tale of the past had been much in J.W.'s thought that night, but nothing on earth could have induced him to talk about it, especially since the happenings at the Institute. Only one other person knew all of its inwardness, though the preacher guessed most of the secret pretty shrewdly, and everybody was familiar with its outcome.

It was the story of Marty Shenk's conversion.

These two had been David and Jonathan from their little boy days, no less friends because they were so unlike; Marty, a quiet, brooding, knowledge-hungry youngster, and J.W. matter-of-fact, taking things as they came and asking few questions, but always the leader in games and mischief; each the other's champion against all comers.

Marty's father, tenant-farmer on the Farwell farm, was steady enough and dependable, but never one to get ahead much. Before the Farwells moved to town he had rarely stayed on the same farm more than a year or two, but, as he said, "J.W. Farwell was different, and anybody who wanted to be decent could get along with him." So, for many Saturdays and vacations of boyhood years J.W. and Marty had roamed the countryside, and were letter-perfect in their boy-knowledge of the old farm.

Marty came in to high school from the farm, and often he stayed with J.W. over the weekend. His school work was uneven—ahead in mathematics, and the sciences, and something below the average in other studies. That, however, has no place in this story.

Of course he and J.W. were thick as thieves. Except when class work made temporary separations necessary, they lived the high-school life together. That meant also, for these two, the social life of the church, which occasionally paid special attention to the students.

So you might find them at Epworth League socials, Sunday school class doings, in the Sunday school orchestra—violin and b-flat cornet respectively—and, most significant of all in its effect on all the later years, they went through Win-My-Chum week together. The hand of the pastor was in that, too.

Marty was not a Christian. J.W. had been a church member for years, and early in his course he had faced and accepted all that being a Christian seemed to mean to a high-school boy.

There had been hard places to get over; some of the boys and girls were merciless in their unconscious tests of his religion. Some were openly scornful, and others sought by indirect and furtive means to break his influence in the school. For he had no small gift of leadership, and he cared a good deal that it should count for the decencies of high-school life. By senior year the sort of trouble that a Christian boy encounters in school was almost all ended, but it had been more through his dogged resistance to opposition than because of any special zest in Christian service.

And then came the announcement of Win-My-Chum week, with J. W. confronted by two stubborn facts. He had only one real chum, and that chum was not a Christian. Pastor Drury had let fall a remark, a month before the Week, to the effect that any Christian who had a chum could dodge Win-My-Chum week, but he couldn't dodge his chum. When the week was past, the chum would still be on hand.

Think as he would, there was no honest way of escape from whatever those facts might require of him, so J. W., long accustomed to go ahead and take what came, had known himself bound by the obligations of this matter also, days and days before the activities of Win-My-Chum week began.

The two were out one Saturday on the north road. They had been up to the woods on Barker's Hill for nuts, and with good success. The day was warm, the way was long, and there was no hurry. When they came to the roadside at the wood's edge they sat on a fallen tree and talked. At least Marty did. For J. W. was not himself.

It was his chance, and he knew it. But a thousand impulses leaped to life within him to make him put off what he knew he ought to say. The fear of being misunderstood—even by Marty—the knowledge that Marty, in the qualities by which boys judge and are judged, was quite as "good" as himself; and, above all, his sense of total unfitness to be a pattern of the Christian life to anybody, filled him with an uneasiness that actually hurt.

And Marty soon discovered that something was amiss. Willing as he was to do his full share of the talking, he became aware that except for inarticulate commonplaces he was having to do it all.

"What's the matter with you all at once, J.W.?" he asked. "You're not taken suddenly sick, are you? You were all right when we were among the trees. _Are_ you sick?"

J.W. laughed shortly. "No, old man, I'm not sick. But I'm up against a new game, for me, and I'm not in training."

"Sounds interesting," said Marty, "but sort of mysterious. Is it anything I can do team-work on?"

"It surely is, but first I've got to say something, and I want you to promise that you won't think I'm putting on, or butting in, because I'm not; nothing like it. Will you?"

"Will I promise?" said Marty, much bewildered. "Course I'll promise not to think anything about you that you don't want me to think, but I must say I don't know within a thousand miles what you're driving at. Out with it, and even if you're the train bandit who held up the Cannonball or if you've plotted to kidnap the Board of Education, I'll never tell."

Marty's quizzical humor was not making J.W.'s enterprise any easier. He had always supposed that what the leaflets called "personal evangelism" had to be done in a spirit of solemnity. But how was he to acquire the proper frame of mind? And certainly there was nothing solemn about Marty just now. Yet the thing had gone too far; it was too late to retreat. He tried to think how Mr. Drury would do it, but saw only that if it was Mr. Dairy's business he would go straight to the center of it. Desperately, therefore, he plunged in.

"Well, Marty," he said, speaking now with nervous haste, "what I'm up against is this. What's the matter with your being a Christian?"

He will never forget the swift look of blank amazement that Marty turned on him, nor the slow-mounting flush that followed the first astonished start. For Marty did not answer, and turned his face away. J.W. was sure that in his blundering bluntness he had offended and probably angered his closest friend. The distress of that thought served at least to drive away all the self-consciousness which thus far had plagued him.

"Say, Marty," he pleaded, putting his hand on the other's arm, "forget it, if I've hurt your feelings. I know as well as you do that I'm not fit to talk about such things to anybody, and, honest, I meant nothing but to say what I knew I'd got to say."

Then Marty turned himself back slowly, and J.W. saw the troubled look in his eyes. In a voice that trembled despite his proud effort at control, he said, "Old man, you needn't apologize. You did surprise me, I'll admit; I wasn't looking for anything like this. It's all right, though, and I'm certainly not mad about it. But, say, J.W., let me put something up to you. Why did you never think to ask me that question before?"

"Why, it was this way," J.W. began, somewhat puzzled at the form of the question, and still thinking he must set himself right with Marty. "You know the Epworth League is planning for those special meetings soon—'Win-My-Chum Week'—and I've been asked to lead one of the meetings. But you can see that I wouldn't be ready to lead a meeting like that unless I had put this thing of being a Christian up to you, anyway. You're the only real chum I've got. Mr. Drury said something a little while ago that made it mighty plain."

"Yes," said Marty, "I can see that. But why did you never say anything to me about it when there wasn't any meeting coming? Haven't we always shared everything else, since away back? This is the one subject that you and I have kept away from in our talk of all we've ever thought about, and I was wondering why."

"Well, I don't exactly know," J. W. replied. "It may have been that it never seemed to be any of my business; that it was the preacher's business, or the Sunday school teacher's, or somebody's. And you know I've always been surer of what you really are than I have of myself. I think I was always afraid you would either make fun of me or believe I was letting on to be better than you were. But when the League got into this Win-My-Chum plan, why, the name itself was an eye-opener. And I've seen lately that a fellow's got to be a Christian, out and out, or his religion is no good. And when I heard the preacher say, not long ago, that a fellow might dodge Win-My-Chum week, but he couldn't forever dodge his chum, I knew I had to speak to you. But you're sure you're not offended?"

"Let me admit a thing to you, J.W. I've never said so before, but I've been wanting somebody to ask me to be a Christian for a long time. I was a coward about it, and wouldn't let on. I've been wanting to find out what I've got to do, but I wouldn't ask. Do you think I _could_ be a Christian?"

"I know you could be a long way better Christian than I am," J.W. answered with unwonted feeling. "And if you did take Jesus Christ to be your Master, it would be more than just your getting religion. You would be the biggest kind of stand-by for me and for other people I know of. It's the one thing you need to be a hundred per cent right. I'm a pretty poor Christian, myself, Marty, partly because I don't know how to think much about it, but you'd be dead in earnest to get all that there is in the Christian life, and maybe I could follow along behind. You've always helped every other way, and I've always wanted you to help me be a genuine Christian."

Marty put his hand on J.W.'s shoulder and looked him straight in the eye: "You've got me rated a lot too high," he said. "How can I help you? But we two have been pretty good chums so far, haven't we? Well, there's a lot to settle before I can be sure I'm a Christian, but it means everything for you to think I can be of some use. And I promise you this, J.W., I'll not let up until I am a Christian, and we'll stick together all the more, when I am, us two. Is that ago?"

It was a go. J.W. was ready and far more than ready to call it a go. It had been easier than he had expected, but then it had all been so different from the vague and formal thing he had been afraid of. He could hardly believe, but he had one request to make. "I know you'll settle whatever has to be settled," he said, a bit unsteadily, "but when it's all done, and you tell people about it, as I know you will, please, Marty, don't bring me into it. Publicly, I mean. Let's just have this understanding between ourselves. I can lead my meeting now, but there's no need to say anything about me. Besides, I made a mess of it."

"It may be the best mess anybody ever stirred up for me, J.W., but I won't say anything to worry you, if the time comes for me to say anything at all. And I believe it will."

It did. Marty and the pastor had two or three long interviews. From the last of them the boy came away with a new light on his face and a new spring in his step. Evidently whatever needed to be settled, had been settled.

He kept his promise to his chum, but that did not prevent him from choosing the night when J.W. led the meeting to stand up at the first opportunity and make his straightforward confession of love and loyalty, since God had made him a sharer in the life that is in Christ. Then for a moment J.W. feared Marty might forget their agreement, but Marty said simply, "And part of the joy that is in my heart to-night is because there is a new tie, the only other one we needed, between myself and my old-time chum, the leader of this meeting."

In the back of the room Walter Drury, quietly looking on, sent up a silent thanksgiving. The great Experiment was going well.



So it was that J.W. and Marty had come into the inner places of each other's lives. Of all the developments of Institute week, naturally the one which filled J.W.'s thoughts with a sort of awed gladness was Marty's decision to offer himself for the ministry. Joe Carbrook's right-about-face was much more dramatic, for J.W. saw, when the decision was made, that Marty could not have been meant for anything but a preacher. It was as fit as you please. As to Joe, previous opinion had been pretty equally divided; one side leaning to the idea that he might make a lawyer, and the other predicting that he was more likely to be a perpetual and profitable client for some other lawyer.

In the light of the Institute happenings, it was to be expected that the question of college would promptly become a practical matter to four Delafield people. Marty was greatly troubled, for he knew if he was to be a preacher, he must go to college, and he couldn't see how. J.W. felt no great urge, though it had always been understood that he would go. Marcia Dayne had one year of normal school to her credit, and would take another next year, perhaps; but this year she must teach.

Joe Carbrook spent little time in debate with himself; he let everybody know that he was going to be a missionary doctor, and that he would go to the State University for the rest of his college course.

"But what about the religious influence of the University?" Marcia Dayne had ventured to ask him one evening as they walked slowly under the elms of Monroe Avenue.

"I don't know about that," Joe answered, "and maybe I'm making a mistake. But I don't think so. To begin with, there isn't any question about equipment at the State University. They have everything any church school has, and probably more than most church schools, for what I want. And they work in close relationship to the medical school. That's one thing. The big reason, though—I wonder if you'll understand it?"

"I believe I could understand anything you might be thinking about—now, Joe." And Marcia's voice had in it a note which stirred that usually self-possessed young man out of all his easy composure.

"I'll remember that, Marcia," he said in the thrill of a swift elation. "I'll remember that, because I think you do—understand, and some day I—but I've got at least five years of plugging ahead of me, and----"

"You were going to tell me about your big reason for going to the State University," Marcia broke in, though she wondered afterward if her instinct had not played her false.

"Yes," Joe said, with a little effort. "Well, this is it. You know I didn't make much of a hit at college; I pulled through sophomore year, but that's about all, and I doubt if the faculty will pass resolutions of regret when I don't show up there in the fall. The religious influences of a church school didn't prevent me from being a good deal of a heathen, though I will say that was no fault of the school. Maybe I ought to go back and face the music. It wouldn't be so bad, I guess. But I feel more like making a clean, new start, in a new place. The State University wouldn't be any worse for me than I should be for it, if nothing had happened to change my point of view. So, that isn't the issue. But if the State University life is able to beat me before I get to sawing bones at all, I'd make a pretty missionary doctor if I ever landed in foreign parts, wouldn't I?"

Marcia could find nothing to say; perhaps because her thoughts were busy with other and more personal aspects of Joe's plans for the future.

And as Joe's people were completely oblivious to everything except the startling change that had come over him, and were abundantly able to send him to three universities at once if necessary, Joe Carbrook was as good as enrolled.

Marty and J.W. did not find the future opening up before them so easily. Marty, for all he could not imagine the way opening before such as himself, was all eagerness about the nearest Methodist school, which happened to be the one where the Institute had been held, Cartwright College. It was named, as may be supposed, in honor of Peter Cartwright, that pioneer Methodist preacher who became famous on the same sort of schooling which sufficed for Abraham Lincoln, and once ran against Lincoln himself for Congress. J.W. was not specially eager to look for a college education anywhere. Why should he be, since he was expecting to go into business?

The two had many a discussion, Marty arguing in favor of college for everybody, and J.W. admitting that for preachers and teachers and lawyers and doctors it was necessary, but what use could it be in business?

"But say, J. W., you're not going to be one of these 'born a man, died a grocer' sort of business men," urged Marty. "Broad-minded—that's your future, with a knowledge of more than markets. And look at the personal side of college life. Haven't you heard Mr. Drury say that if he hadn't anything else to show for his four years at college than the lifelong friendships he made there it would have been worth all it cost? And you have reason to know he doesn't forget the studies."

"That's all right, Marty," J.W. rejoined. "I don't need much convincing on that score. I can see the good times too; you know I'd try for all the athletics I could get into, and I guess I could keep my end up socially. But is all that worth my time for the next four years, studying subjects that would be no earthly good to me in business, in making a living, I mean? The other boys in hardware stores would have four years the start of me."

"But don't you remember, J.W., what our commencement speaker said on that very point? He told us we had to be men and women first, no matter what occupations we got into. And he bore down hard on how it was a good deal bigger business to make a life than to make a living. In these days the most dangerous people, to themselves and to all of us, are the uneducated people."

"Yes, I remember," J.W. admitted. "'Cultural and social values of education,' he called that, didn't he? And that's what I'm not sure of. It seems pretty foggy to me. But, old man, you're going, that's settled, and maybe I'll just let dad send me to keep you company, if I can't find any better reason."

"That's all very well for you to say, J.W.," Marty retorted, with the least little touch of resentment in his tone. "You'll _let_ your dad send you. My dad can't send me, though he'll do all he's able to do, and how I can earn enough, to get through is more than I can see from here."

But J.W. asserted, confidently: "There's a way, just the same, and I think I know how to find out about it. I haven't been a second assistant deputy secretary in the Sunday school for nothing. You reminded me of the commencement address; I'll ask you if you remember Children's Day? It came the very next Sunday."

"Yes, I remember it; but what of it?"

"Well, my boy, we took up a collection for you!"

"We did? Not much we did, and anyway, do you think I'd accept that sort of help? I'm not looking for charity, yet," and Marty showed the hurt he felt.

"Steady, Martin Luther! I wouldn't want you to get that collection anyway; it wasn't near big enough. But don't you know that every Children's Day collection in the whole church goes to the Board of Education, and that it has become a big fund, never to be given away but always to be loaned to students getting ready to be preachers and such? It's no charity; it's the same broad-minded business you want me to go to college for. I can see that much without getting any nearer to college than the Delafield First Church Sunday School. You borrow the money, just as if you stepped up to a bank window, and you agree to pay it back as soon as you can after you graduate. Then it goes into the Fund again, and some other boy or girl borrows it, and so on. More than twenty-five thousand students have borrowed from this fund. About fifteen hundred of 'em got loans last year. Ask the preacher if I'm not giving you this straight."

Marty had no immediate way of testing this unusual wealth of information, so he said, "Well, maybe there's something in it. I'll talk to Brother Drury about it, anyway."

That observing man was quite willing to be talked to. When Marty presented himself at the study a few days later he found the pastor as well prepared as if he had been expecting some such interview, as, indeed, he had.

He told Marty the story of the Student Loan Fund—how it originated in the celebration of the Centenary of American Methodism, in 1866, and how it had been growing all through the years, both by the annual Children's Day offering and by the increasing return of loans from former students.

Then he explained that this Fund, and many other educational affairs, were in the hands of the Church's Board of Education. This Board, Marty heard, is a sort of educational clearing house for the whole church, and especially for Methodist schools of higher learning. It helps young people to go to college, and it helps the colleges to take care of the young people when they go, of course always using money which has come from the churches. It has charge of a group of special schools in the South, and it sets the scholastic standards to which all the church's schools and colleges must conform. Besides looking out for these interests it helps the school to provide courses in the Bible and Christian principles, and it furnishes workers to serve the colleges in caring for the religious life of the students.

Marty listened carefully, and with no lack of interest, but when the minister paused the boy's mind sprang back to his own particular concern.

"But, Mr. Drury, can any student borrow money from that fund?"

"Well, no," said the preacher, "not every student. Only those who are preparing for the ministry or for other careers of special service. They have to show that the loan will help them in preparing to be of some definite Christian value when they graduate. That won't affect you; you can borrow, not all you could use, perhaps, but enough to be a big help. How much do you expect to need?"

"Why," answered Marty, "I hardly know. I hadn't really thought it possible I could go. But dad says he'll let me have all he can, and they tell me a fellow can get work to do if he's not particular about easy jobs. I'm pretty sure I could manage, except for tuition and books, but----"

"Then you may as well consider it settled," said the pastor, "Cartwright College will welcome you on those terms, or I'll know the reason why. And I think you can count on J.W. going with you."

J.W. was not hard to convince. His parents were all for it. The pastor had no intention of overdoing his own part in the affair, and contented himself with a suggestion that disposed of J.W.'s main objection.

J.W. had been saying to him one day, "I know I should have a good time at college, but I should be four years later getting into business than the other boys."

"That depends on what 'later' means," replied Mr. Drury. "You would not need four years to catch up, if college does for you what I think it will. Besides, you're intending to be a Christian citizen, I take it, and that will be even more of a job than to be a successful hardware man. Colleges have been operating these many years, to give young people the best possible preparations for a whole life. Remember what John Milton said: I care not how late I come, so I come fit.' You want to come to your work as fit as they make 'em, don't you?"

And J.W. owned up that he did. "I don't mean to be a dub in business, and I've no right to be a dub anywhere. Me for Cartwright, Brother Drury!"

Another day's work in the laboratory. Walter Drury knew how to be patient, yet every experience like this was a tonic to his soul. And now he must be content for a time to let others carry the work through its next stages, though he would hold himself ready for any unexpected development that might arise.

So it befell that J.W. and Marty started to Cartwright, and a week later Joe Carbrook went off to the State University.

The day after they had matriculated, J.W. and Marty were putting their room to rights—oh, yes, they thought it would be well to share the same room—and as they puttered about they reviewed the happenings of the first day. They had made a preliminary exploration of the grounds and buildings, revisiting the places which had become familiar during Institute week, and living over that crowded and epochal time.

Marty, scouting around for something to do, had discovered that he could get work, such as it was, for ten hours a week, anyway, and maybe more, at thirty to fifty cents an hour. He had a little money left after paying his tuition, and the college registrar assured him that the loan from the Board of Education would be forthcoming. Therefore the talk turned on money.

"That tuition bill sure reduced the swelling in my pocketbook, Marty," remarked J.W., as he examined his visible resources.

"What do you think it did to mine?" Marty observed quietly. "I'm still giddy from being relieved of so much money in one operation. And yet I can't see how they get along. Look at the big faculty they have, and all these buildings to keep up and keep going. When I think of how big a dollar seems to me, the tuition looks like the national debt of Mexico; but when I try to figure out how much it costs the college per student, I feel as though I were paying lunch-counter prices for a dining-car dinner. How _do_ they do it, J.W.?"

"Who told you I was to be looked on in the light of a World Almanac, my son? I could give you the answer to that question without getting out of my chair, but for one small difficulty—I just don't know. Tell you what—it's a good question—let's look in the catalogue. I'd like to find information in that volume about something besides the four centuries of study that loom before my freshman eyes."

So they looked in the catalogue and discovered that Cartwright College had an endowment of $1,750,000, producing an income of about $80,000 a year, and that the churches of its territory gave about $25,000 more. They learned also that most of the buildings had been provided by friends of the college, with the Carnegie Library mainly the gift of the millionaire ironmaster. They learned also that about $500,000 of the endowment had been raised in the last two years, under the promise of the General Education Board, which is a Rockefeller creation, to provide the last $125,000. The college property was valued at about half a million dollars.

"And there you are, Martin Luther, my bold reformer," said J.W., cheerfully. "The people who put up the money have invested about two and a half millions on you and me, and the other five hundred students, say about $250 a year per student. And we pay the rest of what it costs to give us a college career, $125 to $175 a year, depending on our taste in courses. I remember I felt as if the John Wesley Farwell family had almost gone broke when dad signed up for $1,000 on that last endowment campaign. I thought the money gone forever, but I see now he merely invested it. I've come to Cartwright to spend the income of it, and a little more. Five or six people have given a thousand dollars apiece to make a college course possible for each of us. There's some reason in college endowments, after all."

And Marty said, "One good I can see in this particular endowment is that anybody but a selfish idiot would be glad to match four years of his life against all the money and work that Christian people have put into Cartwright College."

"I hope you don't mean anything personal by that remark," J.W. said, with mock solemnity, "because I'm inclined to believe you're more than half right. It reminds me again of what Phil Khamis said. I'm beginning to think I'll never have a chance to forget that Greek's Christian remark about Christians."

By being off at school together J.W. and Marty gave each other unconfessed but very real moral support in those first days when a lone freshman would have known he was homesick.

But another antidote, both pleasant and potent, was supplied by the Epworth League of First Church. It had allied itself with the college Y.M.C.A.—and for the women students, with the Y.W.C.A.—in various ways, but particularly it purposed to see that the first few Sundays were safely tided over.

So the two chums found themselves in one of the two highly attractive study courses which had been put on in partnership with the Sunday school. It was in the early afternoon of one of the early Sundays that J.W. called Marty's attention to a still more alluring opportunity.

"Looky here, Marty, it's raining, I know, but I've a feeling that you'd better not write that letter home until a little further on in the day. What's to stop us from taking a look at this League fellowship hour we're invited to, and getting a light lunch? We don't need to stay to the League meeting unless we choose, though we're members, you know."

Marty picked up the card of invitation which J.W. had flipped across the table to him, and read it.

"Well," he commented, "it reads all right. Let's try it."

Out into the rain they went and put in two highly cheerful hours, including one in the devotional meeting, so that when Marty at last sat down to write home, he produced, without quite knowing how, a letter that was vastly more heartening when it reached the farm than it would have been if he had written it before dark.

Joe Carbrook set out for the State University in what was for him a fashion quite subdued. Before his experience at the Institute he would have gone, if at all, in his own car, and his arrival would have been notice to "the sporty crowd" that another candidate for initiation into that select circle had arrived.

But Joe was enjoying the novelty of thinking a little before he acted. Though he would always be of the irrepressible sort, he was not the same Joe. He had laid out a program which surprised himself somewhat, and astonished most of the people who knew him.

He knew now that he would become, if he could, a doctor; a missionary doctor. No other career entered his mind. He would finish his college work at the State University, and then go to medical school. He would devote himself without ceasing to all the studies he would need. Not for him any social life, any relaxation of purpose. Grimly he told himself that his play days were over. They had been lively while they lasted; but they were done.

Of course that was foolish. If he had persisted in any such scholastic regimen, the effort would have lasted a few days, or possibly weeks; and then in a reaction of disgust he might easily have come to despair of the whole project.

Fortunately for Joe and for a good many other people, his purpose of digging into his books and laboratory work and doggedly avoiding any other interest was tempered by the happenings of the first week. Doubtless he would have made a desperate struggle, but it would have been useless. Not even conversion can make new habits overnight, and in his first two years at college Joe had been known to teachers and students alike as distinctly a sketchy student, wholly inexpert at concentrated effort.

And so, instead of becoming first a grind and then a discouraged rebel against it all, he had the immense good fortune to be captured by an observant Junior whom he had met while they were both registering for Chemistry III.

"You're new here," said the Junior, Heatherby by name, "and I've had two years of it. Maybe you'll let me show you the place. I'm the proud half-owner of a decidedly second-hand 'Hooting Nanny,' you know, and I rather like bumping people around town in it."

That was the beginning of many things. Joe liked it that Heatherby made no apologies for his car, and before long he discovered that the other half-owner, Barnard, was equally unaffected and friendly. It was something of a surprise, though, to learn that Barnard was not a student, but the youthful-looking pastor of the University Methodist Church, of late known as the Wesley Foundation.

"I'm not up on Methodism as I should be," said Joe to Barnard, a day or two later, "and I may as well admit that I never heard before of this Wesley Foundation of yours. Is it a church affair?"

"Well, rather," Barnard answered. "It is just exactly that. You know, or could have guessed, that a good many of the students here are from Methodist homes—about a fourth of the whole student body, as it happens. And our church has been coming to see, perhaps a bit slowly, that although the State could not provide any religious influences, and could certainly do nothing for denominational interests, there was all the more reason for the church to do it. That's the idea under the Foundation, so to speak, and the work is now established in nine of the great State Universities."

"Yes, I see," Joe mused, "but just what is the Foundation's duty, and how do you do it?"

Barnard laughed as he said, "We do pretty near everything, in this University. We have a regular Methodist church, with a membership made up almost entirely of faculty and students. The town people have their own First Church, over on the West Side. Our church has its Sunday school, its Epworth League Chapter, and other activities. We try to come out strong on the social side, and in a little while, when our Social Center building is up—we're after the money for it now—we can do a good deal more. There is plenty of demand for it."

"That's all church work, of course. I suppose you have no relation to the University, though," Joe asked, "studies and all that?"

"Yes, indeed, and we're coming to more of it, but gradually. We are already offering courses in religious subjects, with teachers recognized by the University, and credit given. It's all very new yet, you know, but we're hoping and going ahead."

"I should think so," said Joe with emphasis. "But where does the money come from for all this? It must be Methodist money, of course; who puts it up?"

"Oh, the usual people," said Barnard. "A few well-to-do Methodists have provided some of it, but the really big money has to come from the churches—collections and subscriptions and all that. This sort of work is being done in forty-odd other schools, where the Wesley Foundation is not organized. The money comes officially through two of the benevolent boards."

"Yes?" queried Joe. "I've often heard of 'the benevolences,' but I never thought of them as meaning anything to me. How do they hook up to a proposition like that?"

"Well," said Barnard, "the Board of Education, naturally, is interested because of the Methodist students who are here. And the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension is interested because at bottom this is the realest sort of home mission and church extension work."

"Do these boards supply all the money you need?" was Joe's next question.

The Wesley Foundation Social Center

"No, not all at once, anyway," Barnard answered. "We're needing a good deal more before this thing really gets on its feet; and when our people know what work can be done in State schools, and what a glorious chance we have, I think they'll see that the money is provided. The students are there, half a hundred thousand of them, and the church must be there too."

"Well," Joe said, "I admire the faith of you. And I want to join. You know, although I'm a mighty green hand at religious work, I've got to go at it hard. There's a reason. So please count me in on everything where I'm likely to fit at all. I didn't tell you, did I, that I'm headed for medicine?—going to be a missionary doctor, if they'll take me when I'm ready. Maybe your Foundation can do something with me."

Barnard thought it could, and the next two years justified his confidence. Joe Carbrook, as downright in his new purpose as he had been in his old scornful refusal to look at life seriously, quickly found a place for himself in the church and the other activities of the Foundation. It saved him from his first heedless resolution to study an impossible number of hours a day, and from the certain crash which would have followed. It gave him not a few friends, and he was soon deep in the affairs of the League and the church. Besides, it made possible some special friendships among the faculty, which were to be of immense value in later days.

While Joe Carbrook was fitting himself into the life of the University and the Wesley Foundation, the chums at Cartwright were quite as busy making themselves a part of their new world. As always, they made a good team, so much so that people began to think of them not as individuals, but as necessarily related, like a pair of shoes, or collar and tie, or pork and beans. And, though the old differences of temperament and interest had not lessened, the two had reached a fine contentment over each other's purposes. J.W. was happy in Marty's preacher-plans, and Marty believed implicitly in the wisdom of J.W.'s understood purpose to be a forthright Christian layman.

But it was not all plain sailing for J. W. Nobody bothered Marty; he was going into the ministry, and that settled that. Among the students who went in for religious work were several who could not quite share Marty's complacence over J.W.'s program. They thought it strange that so active a Christian, with the right stuff in him, as everybody recognized, should not declare himself for some religious vocation.

And from time to time men came to college—bishops, secretaries, specialists—to talk to the students about this very thing. There was a student volunteer band, in which were enrolled all the students looking to foreign mission work. The prospective preachers had a club of their own, and there was even a little organized group of boys and girls who thought seriously of social service in some form or another as a career.

Now, J.W., before the end of sophomore year, had come to know all, or nearly all, of these young enthusiasts. Some of them developed into staunch and satisfying friends. If he had run with the sport crowd, which was always looking for recruits, or if he had been merely a hard student, working for Phi Beta Kappa, he might have been let alone. But, without being able to wear an identifying label, he yet belonged with those who had come to college with a definite life purpose.

Just because nobody seemed to realize that being a Christian in business could be as distinct a vocation as any, J.W. was at times vaguely troubled, in spite of his confident stand at the Institute. He wondered a little at what he had almost come to feel was his callousness. Not that he was uninterested; for Marty he had vast unspoken ambitions which would have stunned that unsuspecting youth if they had ever become vocal; and he never tired of the prospects which opened up before his other friends. He kept up an intermittent correspondence with Joe Carbrook, and found himself thinking much about the strange chain of circumstances which promised to make a medical missionary out of Joe. He more than suspected that Joe and Marcia Dayne were vastly interested in each other's future, and he got a lot of satisfaction out of that. They would have a great missionary career.

No; he was not unfeeling about all these high purposes of the boys and girls he knew; and if he could just get a final answer to the one question that was bothering him, his college life would need nothing to make it wholly satisfying. He had early forgotten all his old reluctance to put college before business.

Marty knew something of what was passing in J.W.'s mind, and it troubled him a little. He thought of tackling J.W. himself, and by this time there was nothing under the sun they could not discuss with each other freely. But he did not quite trust himself.

At last he made up his mind to write to their pastor at home. He knew that for some reason Mr. Drury had a peculiar interest in J.W. and was sure he could count on it now.

"I know J.W.'s bothered," he wrote, "but he doesn't talk about it. I think he has been disturbed by hearing so much about special calls to special work. We've had several lifework meetings lately, and the needs of the world have been pretty strongly stated. But the stand he took at the Institute is just as right for him as mine is for me. Can't you write to him, or something?"

Walter Drury could do better than write. He turned up at Cartwright that same week.

It happened that three or four prospective preachers and Christian workers had been in their room that afternoon, and J.W. was trying to think the thing through once more. He recalled what his pastor had said at the camp fire, and his own testimony on Institute Sunday in the life-service meeting, after Marcia Dayne had put it up to him. But he was making heavy weather of it. And just then came the pastor's knock at the door.

There was a boisterous welcome from them both, with something like relief in J.W.'s heart, that he would not, could not speak. But he could get help now. For the sake of saying something he asked the usual question. "What in the world brings you to Cartwright?"

"Oh," said Pastor Drury, "I like to come to Cartwright. Your President's an old friend. Besides, why shouldn't I come to see you two, if I wish? You are still part of my flock, you know."

So they talked of anything and everything. By and by Marty said he must go over to the library, and pretty soon J.W. was telling his friend the pastor all that had been disturbing him.

"It all began in the summer before I came to college, at the Institute here, you know, when you spoke at the camp fire on Saturday night."

"I remember," the pastor replied. "You hadn't taken much interest in your future work before that?"

"No real interest, I guess," J.W. admitted. "I'd always taken things as they came, and didn't go looking for what I couldn't see. I was enjoying every day's living, and didn't care deeply about anything else. Why, though I've been a Methodist all my life, you remember how I knew nothing at all about the Methodist Church outside of Delafield, except what little I picked up about its Sunday schools by serving as an assistant to our Sunday school secretary. And when I began to hear, at the Institute, about home missions and foreign missions, about Negro education and other business that the church was doing, I saw right off that it was up to us young people to supply the new workers that were always needed. But, even so, only those who had a real fitness for it ought to offer themselves, and I thought too that something else would be needed. I wasn't any duller than lots of other church members—even the older ones didn't seem to know much more about the church outside than I did. You would take up collections for the benevolences, but if you told us what they meant, we didn't pay enough attention to get the idea clearly, so as to have any real understanding. I suppose the women's societies had more. I know my mother talks about Industrial Homes in the South, and schools in India—she's in both the societies, you know—but that is about all."

"And it seemed when I began to find out about things, Mr. Drury, that if our whole church needed workers for all these places, it needed just as much to have in the local churches men and women who would know about the work in a big way, and who would care in a big way, to back up the whole work as it should be backed up. So, when you spoke at the camp fire it was just what I wanted to hear, and when I was called on, I made that sort of a declaration the next day at the life decision services."

"Yes I remember that too," said Mr. Drury, "and I remember telling Joe Carbrook that you had undertaken as big a career as any of them."

"That's what I kind of thought too," said J.W., simply, "but rooming with Marty Shenk—he's going to make a great preacher too—keeps me thinking, and I know about all the students who are getting ready for special work, and lately I've been wondering----"

"About some special sort of work you'd like to do?" Mr. Drury prompted.

"No; not that at all. I'm just as sure as ever I'm not that sort. If only I can make good in business, there's where I belong. But can a fellow make good just as a Christian in the same way I expect Marty Shenk to make good as a Christian preacher?"

The pastor stood up and came over to J.W.'s chair. "My boy, I know just what you are facing. It is a pretty old struggle, and there's only one way out of it. God hasn't any first place and second place for the people that let him guide them. A man may refuse his call, either to go or to stay, and then no matter what he does it will be a second best. But you—wait for your call. For my part, I think probably you've got it, and it's to a very real life. If you and those like you should fail, we should soon have no more missionaries. And if the missionaries should fail, we should soon have no more church. God has little patience with a church that always stays at home, and I doubt if he has more for a church that doesn't stand by the men and women it has sent to the outposts. It is all one job."

There was much more of the same sort, and when J.W. walked with his pastor to the train the next morning, the only doubt that had ever really disturbed him in college was quieted for good.

Walter Drury went back to Delafield and his work, surer now than ever that the Experiment was going forward. He knew, certainly, that all this was only the getting ready; that the real tests would come later But he was well content.

It was early football season of the junior year. The State University took on Cartwright College for the first Saturday's game, everybody well knowing that it was only a practice romp for the University. Always a big time for Cartwright, this year it was a day for remembering. Joe Carbrook, who had been graduated from the University in June, and was now a medical student in the city, drove down to see the game. For loyalty's sake he joined the little bunch of University rooters on the east stand. Otherwise it was Cartwright's crowd, as well as Cartwright's day.

To the surprise of everybody, neither side scored until the last quarter, and then both sides made a touchdown, Cartwright first! A high tricky wind spoiled both attempts to kick goal, and time was called with a score at 6-6. Cartwright had held State to a tie, for the first time in history!

Joe came from the game with the chums and took supper with them. The whole town was ablaze with excitement over its team's great showing against the State, and the talk at table was all of the way Cartwright's eleven could now go romping down the schedule and take every other college into camp, including, of course, Barton Poly, their dearest foe.

The boys were happy to have Joe with them, he looked so big and fine, and had the same easy, breezy bearing as of old. Nor had he lost any of that frank attitude toward his own career which never failed to interest everybody he met. After supper they had an hour together in the room.

"Those boys in the medical school surely do amuse me," he laughed. "When I tell 'em I'm to be a missionary doctor, which I do first thing to give 'em sort of a shock they don't often get, they stand off and say, 'What, you!' as if I had told 'em I was to be a traffic cop, or a trapeze artist in the circus. Some of 'em seem to think I'm queer in the head, but, boys, they are the ones with rooms to let. When the others talk about hanging out a shingle in Chicago or Saint Louis or Cleveland or some other over-doctored place, I tell 'em to watch me, when I'm the only doctor between Siam and sunrise! Won't I be somebody? With my own hospital—made out o' mud, I know—and a dispensary and a few native helpers who don't know what I'm going to do next, and all the sick people coming from ten days' journey away to the foreign doctor!" And then his mood changed. "That's what'll get me, though; all those helpless, ignorant humans who don't even know what I can do for their bodies, let alone having any suspicion of what Somebody Else can do for their souls! But it will be wonderful; next thing to being with him in Galilee!"

There was a pause, each boy filling it with thoughts he would not speak.

"Where do you expect to find that work, Joe?" J.W. asked him.

The answer was quick and straight: "Wherever I'm sent, J.W., boy," he said. "Only I've told the candidate secretary what I want. I met him last summer in Chicago, and there's nothing like getting in your bid early. He's agreed to recommend me, when I'm ready, for the hardest, neediest, most neglected place that's open. If I'm going into this missionary doctor business, I want a chance to prove Christianity where they won't be able to say that Christianity couldn't have done it alone. It _can_!"

Then, with one of those quick turns which were Joe Carbrook's devices for concealing his feelings, he said, "And how's everything going at this Methodist college of yours? Your boys put up a beautiful game to-day, and they ought to have won. How's the rest of the school?"

Both the boys assured him everything was going in a properly satisfactory fashion, but Marty had caught one word that he wanted Joe to enlarge upon.

"Why do you say 'Methodist college'? It is a Methodist college; but is there anything the matter with that?"

Joe rose to the mild challenge. "Don't think I mean to be nasty," he said, "but I can't help comparing this place with the State University, and I wonder if there's any big reason for such colleges as this. You know they all have a hard time, and the State spends dollars to the church's dimes."

"Yes, we know that, don't we, J.W.?" and Marty appealed to his chum, remembering the frequent and half-curious talks they had on that very contrast.

J. W. said "Sure," but plainly meant to leave the defense of the Christian college to Marty, who, to tell the truth, was quite willing.

"There's room for both, and need for both," said that earnest young man. "Each has its work to do—the State University will probably help in attracting most of those who want special technical equipment, and the church colleges will keep on serving those who want an education for its own sake, whatever special line they may take up afterward: though each will say it welcomes both sorts of students."

This suited Joe; he intended Marty to keep it up a while. So he said, "But why is a church college, anyway?" And he got his answer, for Marty too was eager for the fray.

"The church college," he retorted with the merest hint of asperity, "is at the bottom of all that people call higher education. The church was founding colleges and supporting them before the State thought even of primary schools. Look at Oxford and Cambridge—church colleges. Look at Harvard and Yale and Princeton and the smaller New England colleges—church colleges. Look at Syracuse and Wesleyan and Northwestern and Chicago. Look at Vanderbilt, and most of the other great schools of the South. They are church colleges, founded, most of them, before the first State University, and many before there was any public high school. The church college showed the way. If it had never done anything else, it has some rights as the pioneer of higher learning."

J.W. had been getting more interested. He had never heard Marty in quite this strain, and he was proud of him.

"That's a pretty good answer he's given you, Joe," he said with a chuckle. "Now, isn't it?"

"It is," admitted Joe. "I reckon I knew most of what you say, Marty, but I hadn't thought of it that way before. Now I want to ask another question, only don't think I'm doing it for meanness; I've got a reason. And my question is this: granting all that the church schools have done, is it worth all they cost to keep them up now; in our time, I mean?"

"I think it is," Marty answered, quieter now. "They do provide a different sort of educational opportunity, as I said. Then, they are producing most of the recruits that the churches need for their work. Since the churches began to care for their members in the State Universities, a rather larger number of candidates for Christian service are coming out of the universities, but until the last year or two nearly all came, and the very large majority still comes, and probably for years will come, from the church colleges. And there's another reason that you State advocates ought to remember. Our Methodist colleges in this country have about fifty thousand students. If these colleges were to be put out of business, ten of the very greatest State Universities would have to be duplicated, dollar for dollar, at public expense, to take care of the Methodist students alone. When you think of all the other denominations, you would need to duplicate all the State Universities now in existence if you purposed to do the work the church colleges are now doing. And if you couldn't get the money, or if the students didn't take to the change, the country would be short just that many thousand college-trained men and women. The whole Methodist Church, with the other churches, is doing a piece of unselfish national service that costs up into the hundreds of millions, and where's any other big money that's better spent?"

When Marty stopped he looked up into Joe's good-natured face, and blushed, with an embarrassed self-consciousness. "You think you've been stringing me, don't you?"

"Now, Marty," Joe spoke genially, "don't you misunderstand. I said I had a reason. I have. My folks have some money they want to put into a safe place. And they like Cartwright. I do too, but—you know how it is. I want to be sure. Anyhow I'm glad I asked these questions. You've given me some highly important information; and, honestly, I'm grateful. You surely don't think I'm small enough to be making fun of you, or of Cartwright. If I seemed to be, I apologize on the spot. Believe me?" and there was no mistaking his genuine earnestness.

"Of course I believe you, old man," Marty rejoined, just a wee bit ashamed. "Forgive me too, but I've been reading up on that college thing lately, and it's a little different from what most people think. So you got me going."

"I'm glad he did," said J.W. "It makes me prouder than ever of Cartwright College." And, as he got up he said, as though still at the game, "The 'locomotive' now!" and gave Cartwright's favorite yell as a solo, while Marty and Joe grinned approval and some students passing in the street answered it with the "skyrocket."

There is material for a book, all mixt of interest varying from very light comedy to unplumbed gloom, in the life of two boys at college—any two; and some day the chronicles of the Delafield Duo may be written; but not now.

Senior year, with its bright glory and its seriously borne responsibilities. It found Marty a trifle less shy and reticent than when he came to Cartwright, and J.W., Jr., a shade more studious. Marty would miss Phi Beta Kappa, but only by the merest fraction; J.W. would rank about number twenty-seven in a graduating class of forty-five. Marty had successfully represented his college twice in debate, and J.W. had played second on the nine and end in the eleven, doing each job better than well, but rarely drawing the spotlight his way.

Curiously enough, you had but to talk to Marty, and you would learn that J.W., Jr., was the finest athlete and the most popular student in school. Conversely, J.W., Jr., was prepared to set Cartwright's debating record, as incarnated in Marty, against that of any other college in the State. What was more, he cherished an unshakable confidence that the "Rev. Martin Luther Shenk" would be one of the leading ministers of his Conference within five years.

And so they came to commencement, with the Shenk and the Farwell families, Pastor Drury, and Marcia Dayne in the throng of visitors. Mr. Drury rarely missed commencements at Cartwright, and naturally he could not stay away this year. The Farwells thought Marcia might like to see her old schoolmates graduate, and the boys had written her that they wanted somebody they could trot around during commencement week who might be trusted to join in the "I knew him when" chorus without being tempted to introduce devastating reminiscences. And Marcia, being in love with life and youth, had been delighted to accept the combined invitation. She was not at all in love with either of the boys, nor they with her. They thought they knew where her heart had been given, and they counted Joe Carbrook a lucky man.

"Tell us, Marcia," said J.W., Jr., one afternoon, as the three of them were down by the lake, "how it happens you went to the training school instead of the normal school last year."

"That's just like a man," said Marcia. "Here am I, your awed and admiring slave, brought on to adorn the crowning event of your scholastic career, and you don't even remember that I finished the normal school course in three years, and graduated a year ago!"

Marty rolled over on the sand in wordless glee.

"Aw, now, Marcia, why----" J.W., Jr., boggled, fairly caught, but soon recovering himself. "You must have been ashamed of it, then. I do remember something about your getting through, now you mention the fact, but why didn't I receive an invitation? Answer me that, young lady!"

"Oh, we educators don't think commencement amounts to so much as all that. With us, you know, life is real, life is earnest, and so forth. But I'll tell you the truth, J.W. I knew you couldn't come, either of you, and I was saving up a little on commencement expenses; so I left you—and a good many others—off the list. I needed the money, that's the simple fact; And the reason you didn't see me at home last summer was because I was busy spending the money I had saved on your invitations and other expensive things."

Marty usually waited for J. W., but the idea which now occurred to him demanded utterance. "Say, Marcia, I think it's fine of you to be studying dispensary work and first aid."

"How did you know?" Marcia demanded.

"Never mind; I saw Joe Carbrook in Chicago when we went through on our way to the Buckland-Cartwright debate, and I guessed a good deal more than he told me, which wasn't much."

"Marty," said Marcia, her face aglow and her brave eyes looking into his, "there's nothing secret about it. When Joe gets through medical school we shall go out together to whatever field they choose for him. The least I can do is to get ready to help."

"Is that why you've been going to training school?" asked J.W. They had so long been used to such complete frankness with each other that the question was "taken as meant."

"Yes, J.W., it is," said Marcia. "Joe has been doing perfectly splendid work in his medical course, and they say he will probably turn out to be a wonderful all-round doctor—everybody is surprised at his thoroughness, except me. I know what he means by it. But, of course, he has little time for training in other sorts of religious work, and so, ever since last June, I've been dividing my time between a settlement dispensary and the training school. Why shouldn't I be as keen on my preparation as he is on his, when we're going out to the same work?"

"You should, Marcia—you should," J.W. agreed, vigorously, "and we're proud of you; aren't we, Marty? I remember thinking two years ago what fine missionary pioneers you two would make. Only trouble is, we'll never know anything about it, after we've once seen your pictures in _The Epworth Herald_ among the recruits of the year. If you were only going where a feller could hope to visit you once every two years or so!"

Marcia looked out across the lake, but she wasn't seeing the white sails that glided along above the rippling blue of its waters. In a moment she pulled herself together, and observed that there had been enough talk about a mere visitor. "What of you two, now that your student occupation's gone?"

"Tell her about yourself, Marty," said J.W. "She knows what I'm going to do." And for the moment it seemed to him a very drab and unromantic prospect, in spite of his agreement with Mr. Drury that all service ranks alike with God.

Marty was always slow to talk of himself. "It isn't much," he said. "The district superintendent is asking me to fill out the year on the Ellis and Valencia Circuit—the present pastor is going to Colorado for his health. So I'm to be the young circuit-rider," and he smiled a wry little smile. He had no conceit of himself to make the appointment seem poor; rather he wondered how any circuit would consent to put up with a boy's crude preaching and awkward pastoral effort.

But J.W., Jr., was otherwise minded. A country circuit for Marty did not accord with his views at all. Marty was too good for a country church, he argued, mainly from his memories of the bare little one-room meetinghouse of his early childhood. In his periodical trips to the farm he had seen the old church grow older and more forlorn, as one family after another moved away, and the multiplying cars brought the town and its allurements almost to the front gate of every farm.

So J.W. had tried to say "No," for Marty, who would not say it for himself. It was one of the rare times when they did not see eye to eye. But it made no difference in their sturdy affection; nothing ever could. And Marty would take the appointment.

Commencement over, for the first time in many years the chums went their separate ways, Marty to his circuit, and J.W. home to Delafield. Then for a little while each had frequent dark-blue days, without quite realizing what made his world so flavorless. But that passed, and the young preacher settled down to his preaching, and the young merchant to his merchandising; and soon all things seemed as if they had been just so through the years.

To J.W. came just one indication of the change that college had made. Pastor Drury, though he found it wise to do much of his important work in secret, thought to make use of the college-consciousness which most towns possess in June, and which is felt especially, though not confessed, by the college colony. The year's diplomas are still very new in June. So a college night was announced for the social rooms, with a college sermon to follow on the next Sunday night. The League and the Senior Sunday School Department united to send a personal invitation to every college graduate in town, and to every student home for the vacation. They responded, four score of them, to the college-night call.

As J.W. moved about and greeted people he had known for years he began to realize that college has its own freemasonry. These other graduates were from all sorts of schools; two had been to Harvard, and one to Princeton; several were State University alumni. Cartwright was represented by nine, six of them undergraduates, and the others confessed themselves as being from Chicago, Syracuse, De Pauw, three or four sorts of "Wesleyan," Northwestern, Knox, Wabash, Western Reserve, and many more.

Not even all Methodist, by any means, J.W. perceived; and yet the fellowship among these strangers was very real. They spoke each other's tongue; they had common interests and common experiences. He told himself that here was a suggestion as to the new friends he might make in Delafield, without forgetting the old ones. And the prospect of life in Delafield began to take on new values.

On the next Sunday night not so many college people were out to hear Mr. Drury's straight-thinking and plain-spoken sermon on "What our town asks of its college-trained youth"; and a few of those who came were inclined to resent what they called a lecture on manners and duty.

But to J.W. the sermon was precisely the challenge to service he had been looking for. It made up for his feeling at commencement that he was "out of it." It completed all which Mr. Drury had suggested at the Institute camp fire four years ago, all that he himself had tried to say at the decision service on the day after the camp fire; all that the pastor had urged two years ago when J.W., Jr., confessed to him his new hesitations and uneasiness.

The pastor had not preached any great thing. He had simply told the college folk in his audience that no matter where they had gone to school, many people had invested much in them, and that the investment was one which in its very nature could not be realized on by the original investors. The only possible beneficiaries were either the successive college generations or the communities in which they found their place. If they chose to take as personal and unconditional all the benefits of their education, none could forbid them that anti-social choice; but if they accepted education as a trust, a stewardship, something to be used for the common good, they would be worth more to Delafield than all the new factories the Chamber of Commerce could coax to the town.

And to those who might be interested in this view of education, Pastor Drury said: "Young people of the colleges, you have been trained to some forms of laboratory work, in chemistry, in biology, in geology—yes, even in English. I invite you to think of your own town of Delafield as your living laboratory, in which you will be at once experimenters and part of the experiment stuff. Look at this town with all its good and evil, its dying powers and its new forces, its dullnesses and its enthusiasms, its folly and wisdom, its old ways and its new people, its wealth and want. Do you think it is already becoming a bit of the kingdom of God? Or, if you conclude that it seems to be going in ways that lead very far from the Kingdom, do you think it might possess any Kingdom possibilities? If you do, no matter what your occupation in Delafield, Delafield itself may be your true vocation, your call from God!"

For John Wesley Farwell, Jr., it was to become all of that.



J.W., Jr., found small opportunity to make himself obnoxious by becoming a civic missionary before the time. He was busy enough with his adjustment to the business life of "Delafield and Madison county," this being the declared commercial sphere of the John W. Farwell Hardware Company. J.W. always had known hardware, but hitherto in a purely amateur and detached fashion. Now he lived with it, from tacks to tractors, ten or twelve hours a day. He found that being the son of his father gained him no safe conduct through the shop or with the customers. He had a lot to learn, even if he was John Wesley Farwell, Jr. That he was the heir apparent to all this array of cast iron and wrought and galvanized, of tin and wire and steel and aluminum and nickel, did not save him from aching back and skinned knuckles, nor from the various initiations staged by the three or four other employees.

But he was getting his bearings, and not from the store and the warehouse only. A good hardware store in a country town is a center of democracy for town and country alike. In what other place do farmers and artisans, country women and city women meet on so nearly equal terms? Not in the postoffice, nor in the bank; and certainly not in the department store. But the hardware store's customers, men and women all, are masters of the tools they work with; and whoso loves the tools of his craft is brother to every other craftsman.

Main Street

It was in the store, therefore, that J.W. began to absorb some of the knowledge and acquire some of the experiences that were to make his work something to his town.

For one thing, he got a new view of local geography, in terms of tools. All the farmers from the bottoms of Mill Creek called for pretty much the same implements; the upland farms had different needs. The farmers' wives who lived along the route of the creamery wagon had one sort of troubles with tinware; the women of the fruit farms another. J.W. knew this by the exchange of experiences he listened to while he sold milk strainers and canning outfits. He found out that the people on the edge of town who "made garden" were particular about certain tools and equipment which the wheat farmer would not even look at.

And the townpeople he learned to classify in the same way. He was soon on good terms with those store clerks who were handy men about the house, with women who did all their own work, with blacksmiths and carpenters, with unskilled laborers and garage mechanics. In time he could almost tell where a man lived and what he did for a living, just by the hardware he bought and the questions he asked about it. Heretofore J.W. had thought he knew most of the people in Delafield. But the first weeks in the store showed him that he knew only a few. Up to this time "most of the people in Delafield" had meant, practically, his school friends, the clerks and salespeople in certain stores—and the members of the First Methodist Church.

That is to say, in the main, to him Delafield had been the church, and the church had been Delafield. But now he realized that his church was only a small part of Delafield. The town had other churches. It had lodges. When the store outfitted Odd Fellows' Hall with new window shades he learned that the Odd Fellows shared the place with strong lodges of the Maccabees and Modern Woodmen. And there were other halls. J.W. Farwell, Sr., was a Mason, but these other lodges seemed to have as many members as the Masons, and one or the other of them was always getting ready for a big public display.

The same condition was true of the country people. He began to hear about the Farm Federation, and the Grange, and the Farmers' Elevator, and the cooperative creamery, for members of all of these groups passed in and out of the store.

One day J.W. remarked to the pastor who had dropped into the store: "Mr. Drury, I never noticed before how this place is alive with societies and clubs and lodges and things. Everybody seems to belong to three or four organizations. And they talk about 'em! But I don't hear much about our church, and nothing at all about the old church out at Deep Creek. Yet I used to think that the church was the whole thing!"

The older man nodded. "It's true, J.W.," he said, "all the churches together are only a small part of the community. They are the best, and usually the best-organized forces we have, I'm sure of that; but the church and the town have to reckon with these others."

"What good are they all? They must cost a pile of money. What for?"

"That's what you might call a whale of a question, J.W." John W. Farwell, Senior, who had been standing by, listening, essayed to answer. "And you haven't heard yet of all the organizations. Look at me, for example. I belong to the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. I'm on the Executive Committee of the Madison County Horticultural Society, and I've just retired from the Board of Directors of the Civic League. Then you must think of the political parties, and the County Sunday School Association, and the annual Chautauqua, and I don't know what all."

"Yes, and I notice, dad, that a good many of these," said J.W., Jr., "are just for the men. The women must have nearly as many. Why, Delafield ought to be a model town, and the country 'round here ought to be a regular paradise, with all these helpers and uplifters on the job. But it isn't. Maybe they're not all on the job."

"That's about it, my boy," his father agreed "I sometimes think we need just one more organization—a society that would never meet, but between the meetings of all the other societies would actually get done the things they talk about and pass resolutions about and then go off and forget until the next meeting."

"Well, dad, what I want to find out," J.W. said, as he started off with Mr. Drury to the post office, "is where the church heads in. Mr. Drury is sure it has a big responsibility, and maybe it has. But what is it willing to do and able to do, and what will the town let it do? It seems to me that is the question."

J.W. heard his father's voice echoing after him up the street, "Sure, that is the question," and Mr. Drury added, "Three questions in one."

J.W. found himself taking notice in a way he had not done before through all his years in Delafield. As might be expected, he had come home from college with new ideas and new standards. The town looked rather more sordid and commonplace than was his boy's remembrance of it. Of late it had taken to growing, and a large part of its development had come during his college years. So he must needs learn his own town all over again.

Cherishing his young college graduate's vague new enthusiasm for a better world, he had little sympathy with much that Delafield opinion acclaimed as progress.

The Delafield Daily Dispatch carried at its masthead every afternoon one or more of such slogans as these: "Be a Delafield Booster," "Boost for more Industries," "Put Delafield on the Map," "Double Delafield in Half a Decade," "Delafield, the Darling of Destiny," "Watch Delafield Grow, but Don't Stop Boosting to Rubber."

These were taken by many citizens as a sort of business gospel; any "theorist" who ventured to question the wisdom of bringing more people to town, whether the town's business could give them all a decent living or not, was told to sell his hammer and buy a horn. J.W. said nothing; he was too young and too recent a comer into the town's business life. But he could not work up any zeal for this form of town "loyalty."

A big cannery had been built down near the river, where truck gardens flourished, and there was a new furniture factory at the edge of the freight yards. Hereabouts a lot of supremely ugly flats had gone up, two families to each floor and three stories high; and in J.W.'s eyes the rubbish and disorder and generally slattern appearance of the region was no great addition to Delafield's attractions.

Still more did the tumbledown shacks in the neighborhood of the cannery offend the eyes and, to be frank, the ears and nose as well. It was a forlorn-looking lot of hovels, occupied by listless, frowsy adults and noisy children. Here existence seemed to be a grim caricature of life; the children, the only symbol of abundance to be seen, continued to be grotesque in their very dirt. What clothes they had were second or third-hand garments too large for them, which they seemed to be perpetually in danger of losing altogether.

To J.W., Delafield had always been a town of homes; but in these dismal quarters there was little to answer to the home idea. They were merely places where people contrived to camp for a time, longer or shorter; none but a Gradgrind could call them homes.

One of the factory foremen was a great admirer of Mr. Drury, who introduced him to J.W. one day when the foreman had come to the store for some tools. He had talked with J.W., and in time a rather casual friendliness developed between them. It was this same Foreman Angus MacPherson, a Scot with a name for shrewdness, who gave the boy his first glimpse of what the factory and the cannery meant to Delafield—especially the factory.

J.W. was down at the factory to see about some new band-saws that had been installed; and, his errand finished, he stopped for a chat with Angus.

"This factory wasn't here when I went off to college," he said. "What ever brought it to Delafield?"

At that MacPherson was off to a perfect start.

"Ye see, my boy," he began, "Delafield is so central it is a good town for a good-working plant; freights on lumber and finished stuff are not so high as in some places. And then there's labor. Lots of husky fellows around here want better than farm wages, and they want a chance at town life as well. Men from the big cities, with families, hope to find a quieter, cheaper place to live. So we've had no trouble getting help. Skill isn't essential for most of the work. It's not much of a trick nowadays to get by in most factories—the machines do most of the thinking for you, and that's good in some ways. Only the men that 'tend the machines can't work up much pride in the output. Things go well enough when business is good. But when the factory begins to run short time, and lay men off, like it did last winter, there's trouble."

J.W. wanted to know what sort of trouble.

"Oh, well," said MacPherson, "strikes hurt worst at the time, but strikes are just like boils, a sign of something wrong inside. And short-time and lay-offs—well, ye can't expect the factory to go on making golden oak rockers just to store in the sheds. Somebody has to buy 'em. But the boys ain't happy over four-day weeks, let alone no jobs at all."

His sociology professor at Cartwright, J.W. recalled, had talked a good deal about the labor question, but maybe this foreman knew something about it too. So J.W. put it up to him: "What is at the bottom of it all, MacPherson? What makes the thing the papers call 'labor unrest'?"

MacPherson hesitated a moment. Then he settled himself more comfortably on a pile of boards and proceeded to deliver his soul, or part of it.

"I can tell you; but there's them that would ship me out of town if I talked too much, so I'll have to be careful. John Wesley, you've got a grand name, and the church John Wesley started has a good name, though it's not my church. I'm a Scot, you know. But I know your preacher, and he and I are of the same mind about this, I know. Well, then, if your Methodist Church could find a method with labor, it would get hold of the same sort of common people as the ones who heard Jesus gladly. These working-men are not in the way of being saints, ye ken, but they think that somewhere there is a rotten spot in the world of factories and shops and mills. They think they learn from experience, who by the way, is the dominie of a high-priced school, that they get most of the losses and few of the profits of industry. They get a living wage when times are good. When times are bad they lose the one thing they've got to sell, and that's their day's work; when a loafing day is gone there's nothing to show for it, and no way to make it up. Maybe that's as it should be, but the worker can't see it, especially if the boss can still buy gasoline and tires when the plant is idle. Oh, yes, laddie, I know the working man is headstrong. I'll tell you privately, I think he's a fool, because so often he gets into a blind rage and wants to smash the very tools that earn his bite and sup. He may have reason to hate some employer, but why hate the job? It's a good job, if he makes good chairs. He goes on strike, many's the time, without caring that it hurts him and his worse than it hurts the boss. And often the boss thinks he wants nothing bigger than a few more things. Maybe he _is_ wild for a phonograph and a Ford and golden oak rockers of his own in the parlor, and photographs enlarged in crayon hanging on the walls—and a steady job. But, listen to me, John Wesley, Jr., and you'll be a credit to your namesake: these wild, unreasonable workers, with all their foolishness and sometimes wickedness, are whiles dreaming of a different world, a better world for everybody. 'Twould be no harm if some bosses dreamed more about that too, me boy. Your preacher—he's a fine man too, is Mr. Drury—he understands that, and he wants to use it for something to build on. That's why I tell folks he's a Methodist preacher with a real method in his ministry. Now I'll quit me fashin' and get back to the job. I doubt you'll be busy yourself this afternoon."

He gripped J.W.'s hand, so that the knuckles were unable to forget him all day, but what he had said gripped harder than his handshake. If the furniture factory was a mixed blessing, what of the cannery?

Somewhat to his own surprise, J.W. was getting interested in his town, but if at first he was inclined to wonder how he happened to develop all this new concern, he soon ceased to think of it. So slight a matter could not stay in the front of his thinking when he really began to know something of the Delafield to which he had never paid much attention.

It was through Joe Carbrook that he got his next jolt. Joe, now spending his vacations in ways that amazed people who had memories of his wild younger manner, was in and out of the Farwell store a good deal. Also he spent considerable time with Pastor Drury, though there is no record of what they talked about.

"J.W., old boy," Joe asked one day, coming away from the pastor's study, "have you ever by any chance observed Main Street?"

"Why, yes," J.W. answered, "seeing that two or three or four times a day I walk six blocks of it back and forth to this store door, I suppose I have."

"Oh, yes, that way," Joe came back at him, "and you've seen me, a thousand times. But did you ever observe me? My ears, for instance," and he put his hands over them. "Which one is the larger?"

Without in the least understanding what his friend was driving at, and stupidly wondering if he ever had noticed any difference in Joe's ears, J.W. stared with inane bewilderment. "Is one really larger than the other?" he asked, helplessly.

Joe took his hands down, and laughed. "I knew it," he said. "You've never observed my ears, and yet you think you have observed Main Street. As it happens, each of my ears takes the same-sized ear-muff. But you didn't know it. Well, never mind ears; I'm thinking about Main Street. What do you know of Main Street?"

J.W. thought he could make up for the ear question. So he said, boldly, "Joe Carbrook, I can name every place from here to the livery barn north, and from here to the bridge south, on both sides of the street. Want me to prove it?"

"No, J.W., I don't. I reckon you can. But I believe you're still as blind as I've been about Main Street, just the same. I know Chicago pretty well and I doubt if there's as big a percentage of graft and littleness and dollar-pinching and going to the devil generally on State Street or Wabash Avenue as there is an Main Street, Delafield."

"You're not trying to say that our business men are crooks, are you, Joe?" J.W. asked, with a touch of resentment. "You know I happen to be connected with a business house on Main Street myself."

"Sure, I know it, and there's Marshall Field's on State Street, and Lyon & Healy's on Wabash Avenue, and Hart, Schaffner & Marx over by the Chicago River; just the same as here. But I—well, of course, there's a story back of it all. Mother heard a couple of weeks ago that one of our old Epworth League girls was having a hard time of it—she's working at the Racket store, helping to support her folks. They've had sickness, and the girl doesn't get big wages. So mother asked me to look her up. Mother can't get about very easily, you know, and since I'm studying medicine she seems to think I'm the original Mr. Fix-It. I made a few discreet inquiries, discreet, that is, for me, and can you guess who that girl is? You can't, I know. Well, she's Alma Wetherell, and that's the identical girl who gave me such a dressing down one day at the Cartwright Institute four years ago. Remember? Say, J.W., that day she told me so much of the deadly truth about myself that I hated her even more for knowing what to say than I did for saying it. But she had a big lot to do with waking me up, and I owe her something."

J.W. had not remembered the Institute incident. But he recalled that Alma was at Cartwright that summer, and he had seen her at church occasionally since he came home from college. She was living in town and working in some store or other he knew, but that was all.

"What did you find out?" he asked Joe.

"I found out enough so that Alma has a better job, and things are going easier at home. But that was just a starter. My brave John Wesley, do you remember your college sociology and economics and civics and all the rest? Never mind confessing; you don't; I didn't either. But I began to review 'em in actual business practice. First I told the right merchant what sort of a bookkeeper I had found slaving away for ten dollars a week on the dark, smelly balcony of the Racket—and he's given Alma a job at twenty in a sun-lighted office. Then I told Mr. Peters of the Racket what I had done, and why. He didn't like it, but it will do him good. That made me feel able to settle anything, and I'm looking around for my next joy as journeyman rescuer and expert business adjuster. Honest, J.W., I've not seen near all there is to see, but I'm swamped already. You've got to come along, you and some others, and see for yourself what's the matter with Main Street."

Not all at once, but before very long, J.W. shared Joe's aroused interest. Pastor Drury was with them, of course; and the three called into consultation a few other capable and trustworthy men and women. Marcia Dayne had come home for a few weeks' holiday, and at once enlisted. Alma Wetherell was able to give some highly significant suggestions.

There was no noise of trumpets, and no publicity of any sort. Mr. Drury insisted that what they needed first and most was not newspaper attention, and not even organization, but exact information. So for many days a group of puzzled and increasingly astonished people set about the study of their own town's principal street, as though they had never seen it before. And, in truth, they never had.

It was no different from all other small town business districts. The Gem Theater vied with the Star and the Orpheum in lavish display of gaudy posters advertising pictures that were "coming to-morrow," and in two weeks of observation the investigators learned what sort of moving pictures Delafield demanded, or, at least what sort it got. They took note of the Amethyst Coterie's Saturday night dances—"Wardrobe, 50 cents, Ladies Free"—and of the boys and girls who patronized the place. The various cigar and pocket-billiards combinations were quietly observed, some of the observers learning for the first time that young men are so determined to get together that they are not to be deterred by dirt or bad air or foul and brainless talk.

The candy stores with soda fountains and some of the drug stores which served refreshments took on a new importance. Instead of being no more than handy purveyors of sweets, of soft drinks and household remedies, they were seen to be also social centers, places for "dates" and telephone flirtations and dalliance. Much of their doings was the merest silly time-killing, but generally the youthful patrons welcomed all this because it was a change from the empty dullness of homes that had missed the home secret, and from the still duller and wasting monotony of uninteresting toil.

It was Pastor Drury who suggested the explanation for all these forms of profitless and often dangerous amusement. He was chatting with the whole group one night, and merely happened to address himself first to J.W., Jr.

Your great namesake, J.W., was so much a part of his day that he believed with most other great religious thinkers of his time that play was a device of the devil. His belief belonged to eighteenth-century theology and psychology. But even more it grew out of the vicious diversions of the rich and the brutalizing amusements of the poor. Both were bad, and there was not much middle ground. But here on Main Street we see people, most of them young, who feel, without always understanding why, that they simply must be amused. They feel it so strongly that they will pay any price for it if circumstances won't let them get it any other way. And Main Street is ready to oblige them. There could be no amusement business if people were not clamoring to be amused. And we know now why we have no right to say that all this clamor is the devil's prompting. Isn't it queer that the church is only now beginning to believe in the genuineness and wholesomeness of the play instinct, though it is a proper and natural human hunger? Literally everybody wants to play.

"People pay more for the gratification of this hunger than they do for bread or shoes or education or religion. They take greater moral risks for it than they do for money. We have seen people who undoubtedly are going to the devil by the amusement route, unless something is done to stop them. They go wrong quicker and oftener in their play than in their work. Are we going to be content with denouncing the dance hall and the poolroom and the vile pictures and the loose conduct of the soft-drink places and Electric Park? Haven't we some sort of duty to see that every young person in Delafield has a chance at first-hand, enjoyable, and decent play?"

All agreed that the pastor was right, though they were not so clear about what could be done.

But commercialized amusement was not all they found in their quiet voyages of discovery up and down Main Street.

The chain stores had come to Delafield—not the "5 and 10" only, but stores which specialized in groceries, tobacco, shoes, dry goods, drugs, and other commodities. Alongside of them were the locally owned stores. Altogether, Main Street had far too many stores to afford good service or reasonable prices. With all this duplication on the one hand, and absentee-control on the other, Main Street was a street of underlings—clerks and salespeople and delivery men. That condition produced low wages and inefficient methods, many of the workers being too young to be out of school and too dense to show any intelligence about the work they were supposed to do. Cheap help was costly, and the efficient help was scarcely to be found at any price.

The investigators were frankly dismayed at the extent and complexity of the situation. They had thought to find occasional cases calling for adjustment, or even for the law. But instead they had found a whole fabric of interwoven questions—amusements, wages, competition, cooperation, ignorance, vulgarity, vice, cheapness, trickery, "business is business." True, they had found more honest businesses than shady ones, more faithful clerks than shirkers, more decent people in the pleasure resorts than doubtful people. But the total of folly and evil was very great; could the church do anything to decrease it?

And that question led the little company of inquisitive Christians into yet wider reaches of inquiry. J. W. and Joe and Marcia at Mr. Drury's suggestion agreed to be a sort of unofficial committee to find out about the churches of Delafield. He told them that this was first of all a work for laymen. The preachers might come in later.

Joe invited the others to the new Carbrook home on the Heights into which his people had lately moved. The Heights was a new thing to J.W.—a rather exclusive residential quarter which had been laid out park-wise in the last four or five years; with houses in the midst of wide lawns, a Heights club house and tennis courts and an exquisite little Gothic church.

The Tenements of Many Delafields and One of the High Lights of Main Street

"When our folks first talked about moving out here I thought it was all right; and I do yet, in some ways," explained Joe. "But the Heights is getting a little too good for me; I'm not as keen about being exclusive as I used to be. I've thought lately that exclusiveness may be just as bad for people inside the gates, as for the people outside. But here we are, as the Atlantic City whale said when the ebb tide stranded it in front of the Board Walk. What are we up to, us three?"

"We're up to finding out about the town churches," said J.W. "Maybe they can help the town more than they do, but we don't know how, and so far we haven't found anybody else who knows how."

And Marcia said: "At least we know some things. We have the figures. About one Delafield citizen in seven goes to church or Sunday school on Sunday. Church membership is one in ten. And as many people go to the movies and the Columbia vaudeville and the dance halls and poolrooms on Saturday as go to church on Sunday, to say nothing of the crowds that go on the other five days."

Joe Carbrook whistled. "That's a tough nut to crack, gentle people," he said, "because you've simply got to think of those other five days. The chances are that four times as many people in Delafield go to other public places as go to church and Sunday school."

"What can the churches do?" asked J.W. "You can't make people go to church."

"No," assented Marcia, "and if you could, it would be foolish. We want to make people like the churches, not hate them. One thing I believe our churches can do is to put their public services more into methods and forms that don't have to be taken for granted or just mentally dodged. Half the time people don't know what a religious service really stands for."

"Meaning by that----?" Joe queried, as much to hear Marcia talk as for the sake of what she might say.

"Well, they have seen and heard it since they were children. When they were little they didn't understand it, and now it is so familiar that they forget they don't understand it," Marcia responded, not wholly oblivious of Joe's strategy, but too much in earnest to care. "I've heard of a successful preacher in the East who seems to be making them understand. He says he tries to put into each service four things—light, music, motion; that is, change—and a touch of the dramatic. Why not? I think it could be done without destroying the solemnity of the worship. They did it in the Temple at Jerusalem, and they do it in Saint Peter's at Rome and in Westminster Abbey and Saint John's Cathedral in New York. Why shouldn't we do it here in our little churches?"

"Make a note of it, J.W.," ordered Joe. "It's worth suggesting to some of the preachers."

J.W. made his note, rather absently, and offered a conclusion of his own:

"The church must take note of the town's sore spots too. I've found out that crowding people in tenements and shacks means disease and immorality. Isn't that the church's affair? Angus MacPherson has taught me that when the jobs are gone little crimes come, followed by bigger ones; and sickness comes too, with the death rate going up. Babies are born to unmarried mothers, and babies, with names or without, die off a lot faster in the river shacks and the east side tenements than they do up this way. Maybe the church couldn't help all this even if it knew; but I'm for asking it to know."

"I'll vote for that," Joe asserted, "if you'll vote for my proposition, which is this: our churches must quit trying just to be prosperous; they must quit competing for business like rival barkers at a street fair; they must begin to find out that their only reason for existence is the service they can give to those who need it most; they've got to believe in each other and work with each other and with all the other town forces that are trying to make a better Delafield."

"That's right," said J.W. "I was talking to Mr. Drury this morning, and I asked him what he would think of our starting a suggestion list. He said it ought to be a fine thing. But he wants us to do it all ourselves. Just the same, we can take our suggestions to him, and then, if he believes in them, he can talk to the other preachers about them, and, of course, about any ideas of his own. Because you know, I'm pretty sure he has been thinking about all this a good deal longer than we have."

It was agreed that the list should be started. Marcia was not willing to keep it to themselves; she wanted to have it talked about in League and Sunday school and prayer meeting, and then, when everybody had been given the chance to add to it, and to improve on it—but not to weaken it—that it be put out for general discussion among all the churches.

"And then," said Joe Carbrook, "we might call it 'The Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' If we stick to the things every citizen will admit he ought to believe and do, the churches will still have all the chance they have now to preach those things which must be left to the individual conscience."

That was the beginning of a document with which Delafield was to become very familiar in the months which followed; never before had the town been so generally interested in one set of ideas, and to this day you can always start a conversation there by mentioning the "Everyday Doctrines of Delafield," The Methodist preacher gave them their final form, but he took no credit for the substance of them, though, secretly, he was vastly proud that the young people, and especially J. W., should have so thoroughly followed up his first suggestion of a civic creed.


1. Every part of Delafield is as much Delafield as any other part We are citizens of a commonwealth, and Delafield should be in fact as well as name a democratic community.

2. Whenever two Delafield citizens can better do something for the town than one could do it, they should get together. And the same holds good for twenty citizens, or a hundred, or a thousand. One of the town's mottoes should be, "Delafield Is Not Divided."

3. Everything will help Delafield if it means better people, in better homes, with better chances at giving their children the right bringing-up, but anything which merely means more people, or more money, or more business is likely to cost more than it comes to. We will boost for Delafield therefore, but we will first be careful.

4. Every part of Delafield is entitled to clean streets and plenty of air, water, and sunlight. It is perhaps possible to be a Christian amid ugliness and filth, but it is not easy, and it is not necessary.

5. Every family in Delafield has the right to a place that can be made into a home, at a cost that will permit of family self-respect, proper privacy, and the ordinary decencies of civilized living. Every case of poverty in Delafield should be considered as a reflection on the town, as being preventable and curable by remedies which any town that is careful of its good name can apply.

6. Delafield believes that beauty pays better than ugliness. Therefore she is for trees and flowers, green lawns, and clean streets, paint where it properly belongs, and everybody setting a good example by caring for his own premises and so inciting his neighbor to outdo him.

7. The only industries Delafield needs are those which can provide for their operation without forcing workers to be idle so much of the time as to reduce apparent income, and so to cause poverty, sickness, and temptation to wrongdoing. The standard of income ought to be for the year, and not by the day; in the interest of homes rather than in the interest of lodging houses and lunch rooms.

8. Delafield can support, or should find ways to support, the workers needed in her stores, shops, and factories, at fair pay, without making use of children, who should continue in school, and without reckoning on the desperation of those made poor by their dependence on a job.

9. Amusements in Delafield can be and ought to be clean, self-respecting, and available for everybody. This calls for playgrounds and weekday playtime, as well as plenty of recreational opportunities provided by the churches, without money-making features.

10. The forms of amusement provided for pay can be and should be influenced by public opinion, positively expressed, rather than by public indifference. Any picture house would rather be praised for bringing a good picture to town than condemned for showing a bad one. Picture people enjoy praise as much as preachers do.

11. Delafield's many organizations should tell the whole town what they are trying to do, so that unnecessary duplication of plan and purpose may first be discovered and then done away with.

12. Whenever a Delafield church, or club, or society, proposes to engage in a work that is to benefit the town, the plan ought to be made known, and in due time the results should be published as widely as was the plan. This will help us to learn by our Delafield failures as well as by our Delafield successes.

13. The churches of Delafield are Delafield property, as the schools are, though paid for in a different way. Neither schools nor churches exist for their own sakes, but for Delafield, and then some.

14. Every church in Delafield should have a definite parish, and every well-defined section or group should have a church. The churched should lead in providing for the unchurched, and the overchurched might spare out of their abundance of workers and equipment some of the resources that are needed.

15. The first concern of all the churches should be to reach the unchurched and to make church friends of the church-haters. This goes for all the churches; it is more important to get the sense of God and principles of Jesus into the thought of the whole town than to set Protestant and Roman Catholic in mutually suspicious and hateful opposition; devout Jew and sincere Christian must realize that righteousness in Delafield cannot be attended to by either without the other.

16. The churches of Delafield believe that all matters of social concern—work, wages, housing, health, amusement, and morals—are part of every church's business. Therefore they will not cease to urge their members always to deal with these matters as Christian citizens, not merely as Christians.

17. Every child and young person in Delafield ought to be in the day school on weekdays, and in Sunday school on Sunday. Delafield discourages needless absence from one as much as from the other.

18. Delafield wants the best possible teachers teaching in all her schools. She insists on trained teachers on week days, and needs them on Sundays. Therefore she believes that teacher-training is part of every church's duty to Delafield.

"There's one thing about all this that bothers me," said J.W. when they had finished the final draft of the Every Day Doctrines, "not that it's the only one; but some of these Doctrines stand small chance of being put into practice until the church people are willing to spend more money on such work. It can't be done on the present income of the churches, or by the usual money-raising methods."

"That's a fact," Joe Carbrook agreed. "I'd already made up my mind that the Carbrooks would have to dig a little deeper, and so must everybody else who cares."

"Yes, but how to get everybody else to care; that's the trouble," J.W. persisted. "Dad's one of the stewards, you know, and they find it no easy job to collect even what the church needs now. They have a deficit to worry with every year, almost."

Marcia Dayne was the only other member of the "Let's Know Delafield" group who happened to be present at this last meeting. She had been waiting for a chance to speak. "I'm surprised at you two," she said. "Don't you know the only really workable financial way out?"

"Well, not exactly," J.W. admitted. "I suppose if we could only get people to care more, they would give more. It's a matter of letting them know the need and all that, I guess. For instance—"

Marcia was not ready for his "for instances." "John Wesley, Jr.," she interrupted with mock severity, "as a thinker you have shone at times with a good deal more brilliance than that. If you had said it just the other way 'round you would have been nearer right. People _will_ give if they care, of course, but it is even more certain that they will care if they give. The thing we need is to show them how to give."

Joe Carbrook broke into an incredulous laugh. "In other words, my fair Marcia, you want Christians to give before they care what it is they are giving to, or even know about it. Don't you think our church will be a long time financing the Every Day Doctrines on that system?"

Joe and Marcia never hesitated to take opposite sides in a discussion, and always with good-humored frankness. So Marcia came back promptly: "I know you think it unreasonable," she said, "but there's a condition you overlook. We became Christians long before any of us thought about studying Delafield's needs. And if we and all the rest of the Christians of the town had accepted our financial relation to the Kingdom and had acted on it from the start, there would always be money enough and to spare."

"Oh, yes," Joe said understandingly, "I see now. You mean the tithe."

Marcia knew, no matter how, that Joe had begun to think about tithing, and this seemed the opportune time to stress it a little more. It could help the Every Day Doctrines, and both Joe and J.W. were keen for that.

So Marcia admitted that she did mean the tithe. "I don't pretend to know how it began, any more than I know how real homes were established after the Fall, or how keeping Sunday began; I do know these began long before there was any fourth or fifth commandment, or any Children of Israel. And I've gone over all the whole subject with Mr. Drury—he has a lot of practical pamphlets on the tithe. I believe that it is the easiest, surest, fairest and cheerfulest way of doing two Christian things at once—acknowledging God's ownership of all we have, and going into partnership with God in his work for the world, what the books sometimes call Christian Stewardship."

"I'd like to see those pamphlets," said J.W.

"It's queer you haven't seen them before this," said Marcia. "Mr. Drury has distributed hundreds of them. But maybe that was when you were away at Cartwright. Anyway, I'll get some for you."

Joe was holding his thought to the main matter. "Marcia," said he, "if you can make good on what you said just now, pamphlets or no pamphlets, I'll agree to become a tither. First, to start where you did, how is tithing easier than giving whenever you feel like giving?"

Now, though Marcia expected no such challenge, she was game. "I'm not the one to prove all that, but I believe what I said, and I'll try to make good, as you put it. But please don't say 'give' when you talk about tithing, or even about any sort of financial plan for Christians. The first word is 'pay,' Giving comes afterward. Well, then; tithing is the easiest way, because when you are a tither you always have tithing money. You begin by setting the tenth apart for these uses, and it is no more hardship to pay it out than to pay out any other money that you have been given with instructions for its use."

"Not bad, at all," said Joe. "Now tell us why it is the surest way of using a Christian's money."

By this time Marcia was beginning to enjoy herself. "It is the surest because it almost collects itself. No begging; no schemes. You have tithing money on hand—and you have, almost always—therefore you don't need to be coaxed into thinking you can spare it. If the cause is a real claim, that's all you need to find out. And when you begin to put money into any cause you're going to get interested in that cause. Besides, when all Christians tithe there will be more than enough money for every good work."

J.W. had not thought much of the tithe except as being one of those religious fads, and he knew that every church had a few religious faddists. But he had long cherished a vast respect for Marcia's good sense, and what she was saying seemed reasonable enough. He wondered if it could be backed up by evidence.

Joe smilingly took up the next excellence of the tithe which Marcia had named. "Let me see; did you say that the tithe is the fairest of all Christian financial schemes?"

"Not that, exactly," Marcia corrected. "I said it was the fairest way of acknowledging God's ownership and of working with him in partnership. And it is. It puts definiteness in the place of whim. It is proportional to our circumstances. It is not difficult. Mr. Drury says that forty years' search has failed to find a tither who has suffered hardship because of paying the tithe."

"Well, Joe," J. W. put in, "if Marcia can produce the evidence on these three points, you may as well take the fourth for granted. If tithing is the easiest, surest and fairest plan of Christian Stewardship, seems to me it's just got to be cheerful. I'm going to look into it, and if she's right, as I shouldn't wonder, it's up to you and me to get our finances onto the ten per cent basis."

Joe was never a reluctant convert to anything. When he saw the new way, his instinct was for immediate action. "Let's go over to Mr. Drury's," he proposed, "and see if we can't settle this thing to-day. I hope Marcia's right," and he looked into her eyes with a glance of something more than friendly, "and if she is I'm ready to begin tithing to-day."

Pastor Drury, always a busy man, reckoned interviews like this as urgent business always. Not once nor twice, but many times in the course of a year, his quiet, indirect work resulted in similar expeditions to his study, and as a rule he knew about when to expect them. He produced the pamphlets, added a few suggestions of his own, and let the three young people do most of the talking. They stayed a long time, no one caring about that.

As they were thanking the pastor, before leaving, Joe said with his usual directness, "Marcia _was_ right, and here's where I begin to be a systematic Christian as far as my dealings with money are concerned."

J.W., not in the least ashamed to follow Joe's lead, said, "Same here. Wish I'd known it sooner. Now we've got to preach it."

And Joe said to Mr. Drury, in the last moment at the door, "Mr. Drury, if we could all get a conscience about the tithe, and pay attention to that conscience, half the Everyday Doctrines would not even need to be stated. They would be self-evident. And the other half could be put into practice with a bang!"

The Delafield _Dispatch_ got hold of a copy of the "Everyday Doctrines" and printed the whole of it with a not unfavorable editorial comment, under the caption "When Will All This Come True?"

But Walter Drury, when he saw it, said to himself, "It has already come true in a very real sense, for John Wesley, Jr., and these others believe in it." And he knew it marked one more stage of the Experiment, so that he could thank God and take courage.



It was all very well to work out the "Everyday Doctrines of Delafield." To secure their adoption and application by all the churches of Delafield was another matter. The unofficial committee scattered, for one thing. Joe Carbrook went back to medical school, and Marcia to the settlement and the training school. Marty was traveling his circuit. J. W. and the pastor and a few others continued their studies of the town. Nobody had yet ventured to talk about experts, but it began to be evident that the situation would soon require thoroughgoing and skilled assistance. Otherwise, all that had been learned would surely be lost.

One day in the late fall a stranger dropped in at the Farwell Hardware Store and asked for Mr. J. W. Farwell, Jr. He had called first on Pastor Drury, who was expecting him; and that diplomat had said to him, "Go see J. W. I think he'll help you to get something started."

J. W., with two of the other clerks, was unloading a shipment of stovepipes. The marks of his task were conspicuous all over him, and he scarcely looked the part of the public-spirited young Methodist. But the visitor was accustomed to know men when he saw them, under all sorts of disguises.

J. W., called to the front of the store, met the visitor with a good-natured questioning gaze.

"Mr. Farwell, I am Manford Conover, of Philadelphia. Back there we have heard something of the 'Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' and I've been sent to find out about them—and their authors."

"Sent?" J. W. repeated. "Why should anybody send you all the way from Philadelphia to Delafield just for that?" He could not know how much pastoral and even episcopal planning was back of that afternoon call.

"Don't think that we reckon it to be unimportant, Mr. Farwell," said Mr. Conover, pleasantly. "You see I'm from a Methodist society with a long name and a business as big as its name—the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension. The thing some of you are starting here in Delafield is our sort of thing. It may supply our Board with new business in its line, and what we can do for you may make your local work productive of lasting results, in other places as well as here."

J. W. did not quite understand, but he was willing to be instructed, for he had found out that the effort to promote the "Everyday Doctrines" was forever developing new possibilities and at the same time revealing new expanses of Delafield ignorance and need. Anybody who appeared to have intelligence and interest was the more welcome.

They talked a while, and then, "I'll tell you what," proposed J. W. "How long do you expect to be in town?" Mr. Conover replied that as yet he had made no arrangement for leaving.

"Then let's get together a few people to-night after prayer meeting. Our pastor, of course, and the editor of the _Dispatch_—he's the right sort, if he does boost 'boosting' a good deal; and Miss Leigh, of the High School—she's all right every way; and Mrs. Whitehill, the president of the Woman's Association of our church—that's the women's missionary societies and the Ladies' Aid merged into one—she's a regular progressive; and Harry Field, who's just getting hold of his job in the League; and the Sunday school superintendent. That's dad, you know; he's had the job for a couple of years now, and he's as keen about it as Harry is over the League."

They got together, and out of that first simple discussion came all sorts of new difficulties for Delafield Methodism to face and master.

Manford Conover was a preacher with a business man's training and viewpoint. He may have mentioned his official title, when he first appeared, but nobody remembered it. When people couldn't think of his name he was "the man from the Board," which was all the same to him.

After that first night's meeting Conover gave several days to walks about Delafield. J. W. had found the shacks and the tenements, and Joe Carbrook had introduced J. W. to Main Street, but it was left to Conover to show him Europe and Africa in Delafield.

There's a certain town in a Middle Western State, far better known than Delafield, rich, intelligent, highly self-content. Its churches and schools and clubs are matters for complacent satisfaction. And you would be safe in saying that not one in five of its well-to-do people know that the town has a Negro quarter, an Italian section, a Bohemian settlement, a Scandinavian community, a good-sized Greek colony, and some other centers of cultures and customs alien to what they assume is the town's distinctive character.

They know, of course, that such people live in the town—couldn't help knowing it. Their maids are Scandinavian or Negro. They buy vegetables and candy from the Greeks. They hear of bootlegging and blind tigers among certain foreign groups. The rough work of the town is done by men who speak little or no English. But all this makes small impression. It is a commonplace of American town life. And scarcely ever does it present itself as something to be looked into, or needing to be understood.

So Conover found it to be with Delafield. The "Everyday Doctrines" were well enough, but he knew a good deal of spade work must be done before they could take root and grow. He fronted a condition which has its counterpart in most American towns, each of which is two towns, one being certain well-defined and delimited areas where languages and Braces live amid conditions far removed from the American notion of what is endurable, and the other the "better part of town," sometimes smugly called "the residence section," where white Americans have homes.

Conover and Pastor Drury compared notes. They were of one mind as to the conditions which Conover had found, conditions not surprising to the minister, who knew more about Delafield than any of his own people suspected.

One afternoon they met J. W. on the street, and he led them into a candy store for hot chocolate.

As they sipped the chocolate they talked; J. W., as usual, saying whatever he happened to think of.

"Say, Mr. Conover," he remarked, "I notice in all your talk about the foreigner in America you haven't once referred to the idea of the melting pot. Don't you think that's just what America is? All these people coming here and getting Americanized and assimilated and all that?"

"I'd think America was the melting pot if I could see more signs of the melting," Conover answered. "But look at Delafield; how much does the melting pot melt here?"

Then he looked across the store. "Do you know the proprietor, Mr. Farwell?" he asked.

"Yes, indeed; Nick and I are good friends," answered J. W.

"Then I wish you'd introduce me," returned Conover.

"Oh, Nick," J. W. called, "will you come over here a minute?"

Nick came, wiping his hands on his apron.

"Nick," said J. W., doing the honors, "you know Mr. Drury, the pastor of our church. And this is Mr. Conover from Philadelphia, a very good friend of ours. He's been looking around town, and wants to ask you something."

Nick's brisk and cheerful manner was at its best, for he liked J. W., besides liking the trade he brought.

"Sure," said he, "I tell him anything if I know it. Glad for the chance."

"Mr. Dulas," said Conover—he had taken note of the name on the window, "you know the East Side pretty well, do you? Then, you know that many Italians live just north of Linden Street, and there's a block or so of Polish homes between Linden and the next street south?"

"Sure I do," said Nick, confidently, "I live on other side of them myself. See 'em every day."

"Very well," Conover went on. "What I want to know is this: how do the Italians and the Poles get along together?"

"They don't have nothing much to do with one another," Nick replied. "It's like this, the Poles they talk Polish, and maybe a little English. The Italians, they speak Italian, and some can talk English, only not much. But Poles they can't talk Italian at all, and Italians can't talk Polish. So how could they get together?"

"That's just the question, Mr. Dulas," Conover agreed. "I'm telling these gentlemen that it is harder for the different foreign-born people to know one another and to be friendly with one another than it is for them to know and associate with Americans."

One Of The Cannery Colony

"Sure, Mister," Nick said, with great positiveness. "Sure. Before I speak English I know nobody but Greeks, and when I start learning English I got no time to learn Polish, or Italian, or whatever it is. English I got to speak, if I run a candy store, but not those other languages."

And he went off to serve a customer who had just entered.

"There you have that side," said Conover to the minister and J. W. "The need of English as an Americanizing force, and the meed of it as a medium of communication between the different foreign groups. Looks as though we've got to bear down hard on English, don't you think?"

"As Nick says, 'Sure I do,'" Mr. Drury assented. "It will come out all right with the children, I hope; they're getting the English. But it makes things hard just now."

"What can the church do?" J. W. put in. "Should it undertake to teach English, as that preacher taught Phil Khamis, you remember, Mr. Drury; or Americanization, or what?"

"I think it should do something else first," said Conover. "Why should we Americans try to make Europeans understand us, unless we first try to understand them? Isn't ours the first move?"

"But this is the country they're going to live in," returned J.W. "They can't expect us to adjust ourselves to European ways. They've got to do the adjusting, haven't they?"

"Why?" Conover came back. "Because we were here first? But the Indian was here before us. We told him he needn't do any adjusting at all, and see what we've made of him. Maybe these Europeans can add enriching elements to our American culture."

"I guess so, but"—and J. W. was evidently at a loss—"but they've got to obey our laws, you know, and fit into our civilization. The Indian was different. We couldn't make Indians of ourselves, and he wouldn't become civilized."

"Americanized, you mean?" and Conover laughed a little at the irony of it.

"No, no; not that. But he wouldn't meet us half way, even," J.W. said.

"I think," suggested Pastor Drury, "that what Mr. Conover means is that we'd better be a little less stiff to newcomers than the Indian was to us. Am I right?"

"Exactly right," returned Conover. "Europe is in a general way the mother-land of us all. But many of her children were late in getting here. The earlier ones have made their contributions; why may not the later ones also bring gifts for our common treasure?"

"Well, what in particular do you mean?" asked J.W., who was finding himself adrift. He had been quite willing in the Institute days to be an admirer of Phil Khamis, and to forget that Phil was of alien birth; but this was something more complicated.

"Particulars are not so simple," Conover said. "But, for instance: some European peoples have a fine musical appreciation. Some delight in oratory. Some are mystical and dreamy. Some are very children in their love of color. Some are almost artists in their feeling for beauty in their work. Some do not enjoy rough play, and others cannot endure to be quiet. Some have inherited a passionate love of country, and great traditions of patriotism."

"We can't value all these things in just the way they do, but at least we can believe that such interests and instincts are worth something to America. Then our Americanization work will be not only more intelligent but far more sympathetic."

"If I may turn to the immediate business," Mr. Drury said with a smile of apology, "suppose you tell J.W. what your Board has to suggest for us here in Delafield, Mr. Conover?"

Conover turned to J.W. "I wonder if you know anything about Centenary Church?" he asked.

"That little old brick barn over in the East Bottoms? Why, yes, or I used to; if was quite a church when I was a youngster, but I haven't been that way lately. I guess it's pretty much run down, with all those foreigners moving in. Most of the old members have probably moved away. I know there were two Methodist boys with me in high school who lived down there, but they've moved up to the Heights. One of them lives next to the Carbrooks."

"Mr. Drury should take you down that way one of these days," said Conover, "and you'd find that when your friends moved out of the church the foreigners who live nearby did not move in. Centenary Church is run down, as you say."

Mr. Drury added, "And the few members who are left don't know which way to turn. They have a supply pastor, who isn't able to do much. He gets a pitiful salary, but they can't pay more, and there's no money at all, nor any accommodations, for any special attention to the newcomers."

"Well," said Conover, "I'm instructed to tell you Delafield Methodists that the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension is ready to help make a new Centenary Church, for the people who now live around it. We have a department that pays special attention to immigrant and alien populations. Our workers know, in general, what is needed. We can put some trained people into Centenary, with a pastor who knows how to direct their work. I should not be surprised to see a parish house there, and a modernized church building, and a fine array of everyday work being done there."

"My, but that sounds great, Mr. Drury, doesn't it?" asked J.W., in a glow of enthusiasm. Then he checked himself. "It sounds well enough," he said, "but all that means a lot of money. Where's the money to come from?"

"From you, of course," Conover replied, "but not all or most from you. My Board is a benevolent board—that is to say, it is the whole church at work in such enterprises as this. That's one way in which its share of the church's benevolent offerings is used"

"But you don't mean to tell us," said J.W., incredulously, "that you can drop in on a place like Delafield, make up your mind what is needed, and then dump a lot of money into a played-out church, just like that?"

"Oh, it's not so informal as all that," Conover said, "The thing has to go through the official channels, of course. Your district superintendent and Brother Drury and the Bishop and several others have had a hand in it already. All concerned have agreed as to the needs and possibilities. But Delafield is also a good place to put on a demonstration, an actual, operating scheme. I have been making ready for a survey of the whole East Side, just a preliminary study, and before anything positive is done we must make a more thorough inquiry. We expect to find out everything that needs to be known."

"There was only one anxiety I had about it," Pastor Drury said, "and that has been all taken away. I was keen to have this be a truly Christian demonstration—not just a settlement or a parish house or night school classes, but a real demonstration of Christian service among people who now know little about it. In some places these activities are being set going because church people know they ought to do something, and it is easier to give money and have gymnasiums and moving pictures than to make real proof of partnership with Christ by personal service and sacrifice. Take your old friend Martin Luther Shenk, J.W.—do you know that he's working at this very difficulty? And I hear he's finding, even in the country, that some people will really give themselves, while others will give only their money and their time."

J.W. thought of Win-My-Chum week, and how he had had to drive himself to speak to Marty, so he knew the pastor was right. And he went home with all sorts of questions running through his mind, but with no very satisfying answers to make them.

Coming back in a wakeful night to Mr. Drury's casual mention of Marty, the thought of his chum set him to wondering how that sturdy young itinerant was making it go on the Ellis and Valencia Circuit, just as the pastor guessed it might. To wonder was to decide. He would take a long-desired holiday. A word or two with his father in the morning gave him the excuse for what he wanted to do. Then he got Valencia on the long distance, and the operator told him she would find the "Reverend" Shenk for him in a few minutes. He had started out that morning to visit along the State Line Highway, as it was part of her business to know. At the third try Marty was found, and he answered J.W.'s hail with a shout.

After the first exchange of noisy greetings, "Say, Marty, dad's asked me to run down in your part of the world and look at some new barn furniture that's been put in around Ellis—ventilators and stanchions and individual drinking cups for the Holsteins—not like the way we used to treat the cows on our farm, hey? Well, what do you say if I turn fashionable for once and come down for the week-end—not this week, but next?"

No need to ask Marty a question like that. "Come on down. Make it Friday and I'll show you the sights. We've got something doing at the Ellis Church, something I want you to see."

Then Marty thought of a few books that he had left at home—"And—hello, J.W., are you listening? Well, how'd you like to go out to the farm before you come down here? Jeanette has gathered a bundle of my books, and I need 'em. Won't you get 'em for me and bring them along?"

Certainly, J.W. would. The farm was home to both the boys, and J.W. was almost as welcome there as Marty; to one member of the family quite so, though she had never mentioned it.

On the next Sunday morning J.W. drove out of town in time to get to the little old church of his childhood for morning service. Then he would go home with the Shenks for dinner, spend the afternoon, get the books and come home when he was ready. There was no hurry. J.W., Sr., had given him two Sundays' leave of absence from Sunday school. The next Sunday would be his and Marty's, but this would be his and Jeannette's.

Not that he needed to make any special plans for being with Jeannette Shenk; of late he had found the half hour drive down to the old farm the prelude to a pleasant evening. Sometimes he would make the round trip twice, running out to bring Jeanette into town, when something was going on, and taking her home afterward in the immemorial fashion.

As J.W. turned to the church yard lane leading up to the old horseshed, he noticed that there were only two cars there besides his own—and one old-time sidebar buggy, battered and mud-bedaubed, with a decrepit and dejected-looking gray mare between the shafts.

It was time for meeting, and he contrasted to-day's emptiness of the long sheds with the crowding vehicles of his childhood memories. In those days so tightly were buggies and surries and democrats, and even spring wagons and an occasional sulky wedged into the space, that it was nothing unusual for the sermon to be interrupted by an uproar in the sheds, when some peevish horse attempted to set its teeth in the neck of a neighbor, with a resultant squealing and plunging, a cramping of wheels and a rattle of harness which could neutralize the most vociferous circuit rider's eloquence.

At the door, J.W. fell in with the little group of men, who, according to ancient custom, had waited in the yard for the announcement of the first hymn before ending their talk of crops and roads and stock, and joining the women and children within.

Inside the contrast with the older day was even more striking. The church, small as it was, seemed almost empty. The Shenks were there, including Jeannette, as J.W. promptly managed to observe. Father Foltz and his middle-aged daughter stood in their accustomed place; they had come in the venerable sidebar buggy, just as for two decades past. Mother Foltz hadn't been out of the house in years, and among J.W.'s earliest recollections were those of the cottage prayer meetings that he had attended with his father in Mrs. Foltz's speckless sickroom. Then there were the four Newells, and Mrs. Bellamy, and Mr. and Mrs. Haggard with their two little girls, and a few people J.W. did not know—perhaps twenty-five altogether. No wonder the preacher was disheartened, and preached a flavorless sermon.

Where were the boys and girls of even a dozen years ago? where the children who began their Sunday school career in the little recess back of the curtain? and where the whole families that once filled the place? Surely, old Deep Creek Church had fallen on evil days.

It was a dismal service, with its dreary sermon and its tuneless hymns. After the benediction J.W. shook hands with the preacher, whom he knew slightly, and exchanged greetings with all the old friends.

"Well, John Wesley," said Father Foltz, with glum garrulity, "this ain't the church you used to know when you was little. I mind in them times when you folks lived on the farm how we thought we'd have to enlarge the meetinghouse. But it's a good thing we never done it. There's room enough now," and the old man indulged in a mirthless, toothless grimace.

The Shenks didn't invite him to dinner; their understanding was finer than that. Pa Shenk just said, "Let me drive out first, John Wesley; I'll go on ahead and open the gate," And J.W. said to Jeannette, "Jump into my car, Jean; it isn't fair to put everybody into Pa Shenk's Ford when mine's younger and nearly empty."

So that was that; all regular and comfortable and proper. If Mrs. Newell smiled as she watched them drive away, what of it? She was heard to say to Mrs. Bellamy, "I've known for three years that those two ought to wake up and fall in love with each other, and they've been slower than Father Foltz's old gray mare. But it looks as though they were getting their eyes open at last."

At the farm Mrs. Shenk hurried to finish up the dinner preparations, with Jeannette to help. Ben and little Alice contended for J.W.'s favor, until he took Alice on his knee and put one arm about her and the other about her brother, standing by the chair. And Pa Shenk talked about the church.

"I reckon I shouldn't complain, John Wesley," he said, "seeing that our Marty is a country preacher, and maybe he'll be having to handle a job like this some time. But I can't believe he will. His letters don't read like it."

"But, Pa Shenk," said J.W., "don't you suppose the trouble here in Deep Creek is because you're so near town? Nine miles is nothing these days, but when you first came to the farm there was only one automobile in the township. Now everybody can go into town to church."

"They can, boy," Pa Shenk answered, "but they don't. Not all of 'em. Some don't care enough to go anywhere. One-year tenants, mostly, they are. Some go to town, all right enough, but not to church. A few go to church, I admit, but only a few."

J.W. started to speak, hesitated, then blurted it out. "Maybe dad and others like him are responsible for some of the trouble. They've pulled out and left just a few to carry the load. You're all right, of course; you really belong here. But a lot of the farmers who have moved to town have rented their places to what you call one-year tenants, and it seems to me that's a poor way to build up anything in the country, churches or anything else. Tenants that are always moving don't get to know anybody or to count for anything. It's not much wonder they are no use to the church."

"There's a good deal in that, John Wesley," said Pa Shenk. "Your father and me, we get along fine. We're more like partners than owner and tenant. But it isn't so with these short-term renters. The owner raises the rent as the price of land rises, and the tenant is mostly too poor to do anything much after he's paid the rent. Besides, he's got no stake in the neighborhood. Why should he pay to help build a new church, when he's got to move the first of March? And the church has been as careless about him as he has been about the church."

"That's what bothers me," J.W. commented. "But even so, I should think something could be done to interest these folks. They've all got families to bring up."

"Something can be done, too," said Pa Shenk. "You remember when the people on upper Deep Creek used to come here to church, four miles or so? Well, now they are going to Fairfield Church—owners, renters, everybody. It's surprising how Fairfield Church is growing. That's going away from town, not to it, and they're as near to town as we are."

"Then," persisted J.W., "how do you account for it?"

"Only one way, my boy," said Pa Shenk. "I'm as much to blame as any, but we've had some preachers here that didn't seem to understand, and then lately we've had preachers who stayed in town all the time except on preaching Sunday, and we scarcely saw or heard of 'em all the two weeks between. They haven't held protracted meetings for several years, and I ain't blaming 'em. What's the use of holding meetings when you know nobody's coming except people that were converted before our present pastor was born?"

"You say some people are going over to Fairfield?" asked J.W. "Why do they go there, when they could go to town about as easy?"

"Well, John Wesley," Pa Shenk answered, soberly. "I think I know. But you say you're going to spend next Sunday with Marty. From what Marty writes I've a notion it's much the same on his work as it is at Fairfield, except that Marty has two points. Wait till next week, and then come back and tell us how you explain the difference between Deep Creek Church and Ellis."

In the afternoon Jeannette and J.W. took a ride around the neighborhood, whose every tree and culvert and rural mail-box they knew, without in the least being tired of seeing it. Their talk was on an old, old subject, and not remarkable, yet somehow it was more to them both than any poet's rhapsody. And their occasional silences were no less eloquent.

But in a more than usually prosaic moment Jeannette said, "John Wesley, I wonder if there's any hope to get the Deep Creek young people interested in church the way they used to be? I'm just hungry for the sort of good times the older boys and girls used to have when you and Marty and I were nothing but children. They enjoyed themselves, and so did everybody else. What's the matter with so many country churches, nowadays?"

To which question J.W. could only answer: "I don't know. I didn't realize things were so bad here. Maybe I'll get some ideas about it next Saturday and Sunday. Your father seems to think Marty is getting started on the right track. And that reminds me; don't let me go away without those books he wants, will you?"

This is not a record of that Sunday afternoon's drive, nor of the many others which followed on other Sundays and on the days between. Some other time there may be opportunity for the whole story of Jeannette and J.W.

As J.W. drove up to Ellis Corners post office late the next Friday afternoon Marty waylaid him and demanded to be taken aboard. "Drive a half-mile further east," he said after their boisterous greetings. "That's where we eat to-night—at Ambery's. Then just across the road to the church. We've got something special on."

"A box supper," asked J.W., "or a bean-bag party?" But he knew better.

Marty told him to wait and see. Supper was a pleasant meal, the Amberys being pleasant people, who lived in a cozy new house. But J.W. was mystified to hear Marty speak of Henry Ambery as a retired farmer. He knew retired farmers in town, plenty of them, and some no happier for being there. But in the country?

"Oh," said Marty, "that's easy. Our church is the social hub of all this community, and I told the Amberys that if they built here they would be as well off as in town. I'm right too. They bought two acres for less than the price of a town lot, and they have most of the farm comforts as well as all the modern conveniences. You didn't notice any signs of homesickness, did you?"

No, J.W., hadn't, though he knew the retired-farmer sort of homesickness when he saw it.

"And the Amberys are worth more to the church than they ever were," Marty added. "I'm thinking of a scheme to colonize two or three other retiring farmers within easy reach of this church. Why not? They've got cars, and can drive to the county seat in an hour if they want to. That's better than living there all the time, with nothing to do."

By this the two were at the church, a pretty frame building, L-shaped, with a community house adjoining the auditorium. People were beginning to arrive in all sorts of vehicles—cars, mostly. J.W. looked for signs of a feed, but vainly. No spread tables, no smell of cooking or rattle of dishes from the kitchen.

"What is it, Marty?" he asked. And Marty laughed as he answered, "Old-fashioned singing school, with some new-fashioned variations, that's all." Certainly it was something which interested the countryside, for there was every indication of a crowded house.

J.W. heard the singing and noted with high approval the variations which modernized the old order. He thought the idea plenty good enough even for Delafield, which, for him, left nothing more to be said. And there _was_ a feed, after all; but it was distinctly light refreshments, such as J.W. was used to at Delafield First Church.

On the way back to the Amberys', and well into the night in Marty's room, they talked about the circuit and its work.

"It isn't a circuit, rightly, you know," Marty said. "I preach every Sunday at both places, and for the present"—J.W. grinned—"I can get across the whole parish every day if necessary. But I'm working it a little more systematically than that."

"You must be. I can hardly believe even what I've seen already," J.W. replied. "When I was at Deep Creek last Sunday I was sure it was all off with the country church, and on the way down here I passed three abandoned meetinghouses. So I made up my mind to persuade you out of it. You know I wasn't much in favor of your coming here in the first place. But maybe that's a bigger job than I thought."

"You're right, John Wesley, about that. I don't budge, if I can make myself big enough for the job. It's too interesting. And things are happening. There's no danger of this church being abandoned."

"But what do you do, Marty, to make things happen? I know they don't just happen. I'm from the country too, remember that."

"What do I do? Not 'I' but 'we.' Well, we work with our heads first, and our hearts. Then we get out and go at it. Take our very first social difficulty; in Delafield you have a dozen places to go to. Here it's either the church or the schoolhouse—that's all the choice there is. And the schoolhouse has its limitations. So our folks have decided to make the church, both here and at Valencia, the center of the community. That explains the social hall; we call it 'Community House.' Everything that goes on, except the barn dances over east that we can't do much with so far, goes on in the church, or starts with the church, or ends at the church. That's the first scheme we put over. It was fairly easy, you know, because all our country people are pretty much one lot. We have no rich, and no really poor. And they're not organized to death, either, as you are in Delafield."

"Do you try to have something going on every night, and nearly every day, as Brother Drury does with us?" J. W. asked.

"Not quite," replied Marty; "we can't. We're too busy growing the food for you town folks. But we keep up a pretty stiff pace, for the preacher; I have no time hanging on my hands."

"I should think not," J. W. commented, "if you try to run everything. Mr. Drury always seems to have lots of time, just because he makes the rest of us run the works in Delafield First."

"Oh, he does, does he?" said Marty, shortly, who knew something of the older minister's strategy. "That's according to how you look at it. I'm not above learning from him, and I don't run everything, either. But I'm there, or thereabouts, most of the time."

"How do you get time for your study and your sermons, then," queried J. W., "if you're on the go so much?"

Marty turned a quizzical look at J. W. "My beloved chum, how did you and I get time for our studies at Cartwright?" he said. "Besides, I'm making one hand wash the other. The social life here, for instance, used to be pretty bad, before Henderson came—that's the preacher whose place I took. It was pulling away from the church; now it draws to the church. Henderson started that. The people who are my main dependence in the other affairs are mostly the same people I can count on in the Sunday school and League and the preaching service. The more we do the better it is for what we do Sundays."

"Then, there's another Because these people and I know one another so well, I couldn't put on airs in the pulpit if I wanted to. I've just got to preach straight, and I won't preach a thing I can't back up myself. I use country illustrations; show them their own world. It's one big white mark for the Farwell farm, as you might suppose, that I know the best side of country life, though I don't advertise your real estate."

"I know," said J.W. "But don't you find country people pretty hard to manage? That's our experience at the store. They are particular and critical, and think they know just what they want."

"They do too," Marty asserted, "Why shouldn't they? I believe I can tell you one big difference between the city boy and the country. You've been both; see if I'm right. The country boy minds his folks, and his teacher. But everything else minds him. He is boss of every critter on the place, from the hens to the horses, whenever he has anything to do with them at all. So he learns to think for them, as well as for himself. In the city the boy has no chance to give orders—he's under orders, all the time; the traffic cop, the truant officer, the boss in the shop or the office, the street car conductor, the janitor—everybody bosses him and he bosses nothing, except his kid brothers and sisters. So he may come to be half cringer and half bully. The country boy is not likely to be much afraid, and he soon learns that if he tries to boss even the boys without good reason it doesn't pay. Maybe that's the reason so many country boys make good when they go to the city."

"And the reason why a city boy like me," suggested J.W., "would be a misfit in the country."

"Oh, you," scoffed Marty. "You don't count. You're a half-breed. But, as I meant to say, you're right about country folks. They are a little close, maybe. They are more independent in their business than town people, but they learn how to work together; they exchange farm work, and work the roads, and they are fairly dependent on one another for all social life."

"On Deep Creek the tenant farmers are the biggest difficulty, your dad told me last Sunday," said J.W. "They go to town when they go anywhere, and not to church, either."

"I know," said Marty. "And I don't much blame 'em, from all I hear. But Henderson changed that considerably in this community. He found out that the tenants were just as human as the others, only they had the idea that nobody cared about them, because they might be here to-day and gone to-morrow. And, what do you think? I find tenant farmers around here are beginning to take longer leases; one or two are about like dad's been with your father—more partners than anything else. Every renter family in this neighborhood comes to our church, and only three or four fight shy of us at Valencia."

"All right," said J.W., drowsily. "Go to sleep now; I've got to inspect that Holstein hotel in the morning, and I know what country hours are."

The next day J.W. drove off toward the big barns of his customer, and left Marty deep in the mysteries of Sunday's sermon. Marty was yet a very young preacher, and one sermon a week was all he could manage, as several of his admirers had found out to his discomfiture, when one Sunday they followed him from Ellis in the morning to Valencia at night. But the "twicers" professed to enjoy it.

J.W.'s farmer was quite ready to talk about the new barn equipment and how it was working, and he had remarkably few complaints, these more for form's sake than anything else. That business was soon out of the way.

But Farmer Bellamy was interested in other things besides ventilators and horse-forks.

"So you're a friend of our preacher," he said, in the questioning affirmative of the deliberate country. "Well, he's quite a go-ahead young fellow; you never get up early enough to find him working in a cold collar. Maybe he's a mite ambitious, but I don't know."

J.W., as always, came promptly to Marty's defense. "He's not ambitious for himself, Mr. Bellamy; I'll vouch for that. But I shouldn't wonder he is ambitious about his work, and maybe that's not a bad thing for a country preacher in these days."

"That's so," Mr. Bellamy assented. "But I doubt we keep him. He'll be getting a church in town before long."

Now J.W. had no instructions from Marty, but he thought he might venture. And he had been introduced to a few ideas that he had never met in the days when he objected to Marty's taking a country circuit.

"I'll tell you something, Mr. Bellamy," he said. "Marty is a farmer's boy who loves the country. If he has the right sort of backing, I shouldn't wonder he stayed here a good long time. He's got enough plans ahead for this circuit of his."

Mr. Bellamy laughed. "He has that; if he waits to get 'em all going we're sure of him for a while. Why, he wants to make the church the most important business in the whole neighborhood; and, what's more, he's getting some of us to see it that way too."

"Yes, I guess that's his dream," J.W. said. "And it's so much better than the reality up around where I used to live that I wouldn't head him off if I were you."

"Head him off!" Mr. Bellamy laughed again. "Why, do you know what he did in the fall, when some of us told him we couldn't do much for missions? He phoned all over the neighborhood the day before he set out with a ton-and-a-half truck he had hired for the job. Told us to put into the truck anything we could spare. And what do you think? Before night he drove into Hill City with a big overload, even for that truck, of wheat, corn, butter, eggs, chickens, sausage, apples, potatoes, and dear knows what. Sold the lot for sixty-nine dollars. He paid nine dollars for the truck—got a rate on it—and turned in for missions sixty dollars. We've never given more than twenty, in cash."

"But that wasn't all. Next Sunday he reported, and before any of us could say 'Praise the Lord!' says he, 'Don't think the Lord's giving any of us much credit for that stuff. We owe him a good deal more than a few eggs that we'll never miss. I just wanted to show you that when we country people really start paying our tithe to the Almighty our missionary and other offerings will make that truckload look like the crumbs from our tables. I've proved that we're rich, instead of being too poor to provide for missions. And it's all our Father's, you know. When we pay him our tithe we admit that in the only practical way,' Funny thing was the whole business had been so queer, nobody got mad over his plain talk. Some of us have begun to tithe, and to enjoy it. Yes; that young feller is quite a go-ahead young feller."

J.W. rather admired the tale of the truck; it was like Marty, right enough, to get his tithing talk illustrated with a load of produce; but there was more than a hint of a new Marty, with a new directness and confidence.

So he asked, "What else is he doing that's making a difference?"

And the floodgates were lifted. The Bellamy gift of utterance had a congenial theme. For an hour the stream ran strong and steady, and when it would have stopped none could tell. But J.W. remembered he had promised to be back with Marty for dinner, and so, in the midst of a story about Marty's Saturday afternoon outings with the boys, highly reminiscent of their own old-time Saturdays in the Deep Creek timber, J.W. made his excuses and hurried away.

In that hour he had heard of the observing of special days, Thanksgiving and Christmas particularly; of the rage for athletic equipment on every farm which had youngsters, so that the usual anaemic croquet outfit had given place to basketball practice sets, indoor-outdoor ball, volley-ball nets, and other paraphernalia. Some of it not much used now, since winter had come, but under Marty's leadership, a skating rink construction gang had thrown up a dirt embankment in a low spot near the creek and then cut a channel far enough upstream to flood about four acres of swamp. Mr. Bellamy told about the skating tournaments every afternoon of the cold weather for the school children, and Saturday afternoons for the older young folks. More people went than skated too, the garrulous farmer asserted. It was just another of that young preacher's sociability schemes, and there was no end to 'em, seemed like to him.

There was even more on the business side of country life: how Marty had joined forces with the Grange and the county agent and the cooperators of the creamery and the elevator and the school teachers. And so on, and so on.

J.W. would be the last to worry about such a program; it just fitted his ideas. But it made him a little more interested in the Sunday services. Would Marty's preaching match his community work?

But before Sunday morning came J.W. had other questions to ask. He put them to Marty in intervals of the skating races; and again after supper, before going over to the church to meet a little group of Sunday-school folk—"my teacher-partners" Marty called them—who were learning with him how to adapt Sunday school science and the teaching art to the conditions of the open country.

All of J.W.'s questions were really one big question: "Say, Marty, boy, I always knew you had something in you that didn't show on the surface, but I never thought it was exactly the stuff they need to make up-to-date country preachers. How does it happen that you've blossomed out in these few months as a Moses to lead a 'rural parish'—if that's the right scientific name—out of such a wilderness as I saw at Deep Creek last Sunday?"

Marty made a pass at his chum in the fashion of the Cartwright days, and waited for the return punch before answering. "Don't you 'Moses' me, John Wesley. Besides, this circuit was no wilderness. Henderson, the preacher who was here before me, was just the man for this work. He knew the country, and believed it had the makings of even more attractive life than the town. Too bad he had to quit. But he started these folks thinking the right way. And then, don't you remember I wrote last summer that I was spending two weeks at a school for rural ministers?"

"Oh, yes, I remember that," J.W. answered, "but that's no explanation. I spent four years at a college for town and country boys, and now look at me! Two weeks is a little too short a course to produce miracles, even with such an intellect as yours, notwithstanding your name is bigger than mine, Martin Luther! Now, if you'd said four weeks, I might almost have believed you, but two weeks—well, it just isn't done, that's all!"

"Make fun of it, will you!" said Marty, with another short-arm jab. "Now, listen to me. That thing is simple enough. First off, I'd been thinking four years about being a preacher. On top of that, I'd been a country boy for twenty-three years. I know the Deep Creek neighborhood better than you do, because I had to live there. You were just visiting the farm your father paid taxes on. When I came here I found that Henderson had set things going. He told me what his dream was. So, when I went to that two-weeks' school I was ready to take in every word and see every picture and get a grip on every principle. Maybe you don't know that it was one of many such schools set up by the rural work leaders of our Home Missions Board, and it was a great school. They had no use for rocking-chair ruralists, so the faculty, instead of being made up of paper experts, was a bunch of men who _knew_. It was worth a year of dawdling over text-books. You see, I knew I could come back here and try everything on my own people. It was like the Squeers school in 'Nicholas Nickleby,' 'Member? When the spelling class was up, Squeers says to Smike, the big, helpless dunce, 'Spell window,'" And Smike says, 'W-i-n-d-e-r,' 'All right,' Squeers says, 'now go out and wash 'em,' Well, I hope I got the spelling a little nearer right, but I came home and began washing my windows. That's all.

J.W. said "Huh!" and that stood for understanding, and approval, and confidence.

As to Marty's preaching, it was a boy's preaching, naturally, but it was preaching. And the people came for it; J. W., remarked to himself the contrast between the close-parked cars around Ellis church and the forlornly vacant horse-sheds he had seen at Deep Creek the Sunday before.

The hearty singing of people glad to be singing together, the contagious interest of a well-filled house, and the simple directness of the preacher were all of a piece. Here was no effort to ape the forms of a cathedral, but neither was there any careless, cheap slovenliness. And assuredly there were no religious "stunts."

Marty preached the Christian evangel, not moralized agriculture. He made the gospel invitation a social appeal, without blinking its primary message to the individual to place himself under the authority of Christ's self-forgetting love. He put first things in front—"Him that cometh unto me," and then with simple illustrations and words as simple he showed that they who had accepted Christ's lordship were honor bound to live together under a new sort of law from that of the restless, pushing, self-centered world: "It shall not be so among you." Besides, he told them they could not separate service from profit. They knew, for instance, that their farm values were a third higher because of the presence of the church and its work, but they would find that the profit motive was not big enough to keep the church going. They had to love the work, and do it for love of it.

That afternoon the friends drove over to Valencia, where at night Marty would preach again this his one sermon of the week; and J.W. left him there, turning his car homeward for the fifty-two miles to Delafield.

As they parted, J.W. gripped Marty's hand and said: "Old man, I own up. I thought you ought not to bury yourself in the country, but I had no need to worry. I know preachers who are buried in town all right; you have a bigger field and a livelier one than they will ever find. And I'll never say another word about your two-weeks' school. If the Home Missions Board had nothing else to do, such work as it showed you how to do would be worth all the Board costs. I'm going to make trouble for Mr. Drury and the district superintendent and the bishop and the Board and anybody else I can get hold of, until Deep Creek gets the same sort of chance as this circuit of yours. If only they knew where to find another Martin Luther Shenk—that's the rub!" And with a last handclasp the chums went their separate ways.

On Monday J.W. called up Pastor Drury and gave that gentleman, who was expecting it, a five-minute summary of his day with Marty. "I'm awfully glad I happened to think of going over there," he said, "not only for the sake of being with the old boy again, but because I've got some new notions about the country church, and about what we Methodists are beginning to do for the places where Methodism got its start."

And Walter Drury said, "Yes, I'm glad, too." So he was; he could put down a new mark on the credit side of the Experiment.



The colored Methodists of Delafield, who called their church "Saint Marks," had always been on good terms with their white co-religionists. Mr. Drury and the pastor of Saint Marks found many occasions of helping each other in their work. The single way in which these two showed themselves conscious of the color line was that while the pastor of First Church often "preached" in Saint Marks, when the pastor of Saint Marks appeared in the pulpit of First Church, it was "to speak on some aspect of his work."

J.W. knew Saint Marks of old. In his high-school days that church had for its preacher one of a fast-vanishing race, a man mighty in exhortation, even though narrowly circumscribed in scholastic equipment. His preaching was redolent of the camp meeting, and he counted that sermon lost which did not evoke a shout or two from the front benches.

A few of First Church's younger people often went to sing at Saint Marks on special occasions, and went all the more cheerfully because of the chance it afforded to hear Brother King Officer preach. Where he got that name is not known, but he had no other.

Do not think the young people either went to scoff or remained to pray. If at times they were amused at Brother Officer's peculiarities, so were some members of his own flock, and Brother Officer was wise enough to assume that no disrespect was intended. And if the white visitors treated his fervent appeals to the unconverted and backsliders as part of the program, but having no slightest application to them, this was also the regular thing, and nobody was troubled thereat.

But while J.W. was away at college a new pastor had come to Saint Marks, a college and seminary graduate. And he had come just in time. Brother Officer was getting old, but the determining factor which made the change necessary was that Delafield happened to be near one of the general routes by which thousands of colored people were moving northward. "Exoduses" have been before; Kansas still remembers the exodus from Tennessee of forty years ago; but this latest exodus had no one starting-point nor any single destination. It was a vast shifting of Negro populations from below Mason and Dixon's line, and it swept northward toward all the great industrial centers. Its cause and consequences make a remarkable story, for which there is no room in this chronicle.

Delafield thought it could not absorb many more Negroes, but before the exodus movement subsided the stragglers who had turned aside at Delafield had more than doubled the Negro population of the town.

A heavy burden of new responsibility was on the young pastor of Saint Marks. The newcomers had no such alertness and resourcefulness as his own people. They were helpless in the face of new experiences. Soon they became a worry and an enigma to the town authorities; but especially and inevitably they turned to the churches of their own color, of which Delafield could boast but two, a Methodist and a Baptist. So Saint Marks and its pastor found both new opportunity and new troubles.

One day in the early spring Mr. Drury dropped in to the Farwell store and asked J.W. if he would be busy that night. The road to Deep Creek was at its spring worst, and J.W. had nothing special on. He said as much, and answering his look of inquiry the pastor said, "There's a man speaking at Saint Marks to-night who's a Yale graduate and a Negro. He's also a Methodist. Does the combination interest you?"

"Why, yes," J.W. answered, "it might. You know I used to go with the bunch to Saint Marks when Brother Officer was pastor, but I haven't been since he left. I'd like to see what the new preacher is doing, and it ought to be worth something to hear a Negro alumnus of Yale."

William Hightower, it seemed, was the speaker's name—a strong-voiced; confident man in his thirties. As J. W., soon discovered, Hightower was a distinctively modern Negro. Where King Officer had been almost cringing, Hightower's thought, however diplomatically spoken, was that of an up-standing mind; where Officer accepted as part of the social order the colored man's dependence on the white, Hightower spoke of something he called racial solidarity. It was plain that he meant his Negro hearers to make much of the Negro's capacity for self-direction.

There was little bitterness and no radicalism in the speech, but to J.W. it had a queer, new note. He said as much to Mr. Drury, on the way home. "Why, that Hightower hardly ever mentioned the church, although he was speaking at a church meeting. And how independent he was!"

"So you noticed that, did you?" the pastor responded. "To me it is one of the signs of a new day."

"But do you think it is a good day, Mr. Drury?" queried J.W.

"Yes—perhaps; I don't know. Anyhow, it is new, and some of the blame for it is on our shoulders. The way the Negro thinks and feels to-day is a striking proof of the fact, often forgotten, that when you settle old questions you raise new ones."

"Maybe," said J.W. doubtfully, "but I didn't know we had settled the Negro question."

"Nor I," agreed Mr. Drury. "What we—I mean, we Methodists—settled when we began to deal with the Negro right after emancipation was not the race question. It was not even a missionary question, in the old sense, but it was the question of the nature of the education we should give the young colored people. For we set out deliberately to give them schooling first, with evangelism as an accompaniment. The stress was on education, and we decided at the outset on a certain sort of education."

"I should think," ventured J.W., "that any old sort of education would serve; the first teachers had to begin at the bottom, didn't they?"

"Yes, and lower than any beginnings you know anything about," the pastor replied. "Our first workers began without equipment, without encouragement, and without everything else except a great pity for the freedman. Did you notice, by the way, that the speaker to-night never said 'freedman' or mentioned slavery? It is a new day, I tell you."

"I wish you'd explain just what you mean by that, Mr. Drury," J.W. said. "I don't seem to get it."

"I mean," said Mr. Drury, "that as soon as our church had decided to do something for the emancipated slaves, it began to work out a scheme of Negro education. That was before Tuskegee, and even before Hampton Institute. Maybe we never thought of the Booker Washington idea, or purely industrial education, but at any rate we went on the theory that the Negro deserved and in time could take as good an education as any other American. So we started academies and colleges and even universities for him, and a medical school and a theological seminary."

"I can see myself that there's a difference between that and the industrial idea," said J.W.

"Decidedly, there is," answered the minister; "all the difference which has helped to bring this new day I'm talking about, and to produce such Negro leaders as William Hightower. You see, J.W., it's this way: Booker Washington believed that after the Negro had been taught to read and write and cipher, his next and greatest educational need was to learn to make a living."

"Well, what's the matter with that?" retorted J.W. "Seems to me it's common sense."

"Possibly," Mr. Drury answered, dryly. "But what would you say was the first thing needed in the fight against the almost total illiteracy of the freedmen?"

"Why, teachers, I suppose," said J.W. "And it would sure take a lot of teachers, even to make a start."

Mr. Drury said, "That's exactly the fact. It has called for so many that to this day there isn't anything like enough teachers, although some of our schools and those of other churches have been at work for fifty years. And, remember, that practically all of these teachers, except in a few advanced schools, must be black teachers, themselves brought up out of ignorance."

"Well," said J.W., "that's my point. The quicker we could teach the teachers, the sooner they would be ready to teach others."

"That is to say," Mr. Drury interpreted, "the less we taught them, the better? Seems to me I heard something of a small revolt in your time at Cartwright because it seemed necessary that a young tutor should be temporarily assigned to the class in sophomore English."

J.W. chuckled. "It was my class. Why, that fellow was never more than two jumps ahead of the daily work. We knew he had to study his own lesson assignments before he could hear a recitation. We weren't getting anything out of it except the bare text. So some of the boys made things lively for a few days, and he asked to be relieved."

"Quite so. Your class had every imaginable advantage over the colored boys and girls in our schools—just one teacher below par. And yet you think it would be all right to have all colored teachers no more than two jumps ahead of their pupils."

"Well, yes, I see," J.W. said, with a touch of thoughtfulness. "I suppose a good teacher needs more than the minimum text-book knowledge. Is that the Methodist theory?"

"Now you're talking like yourself," Mr. Drury told him. "Yes, that's the Methodist theory. For the fifty years of the old Freedmen's Aid Society—now the Board of Education for Negroes—it has run these schools, eighteen of them now, with five thousand seven hundred and two earnest students enrolled, on a double theory. The first part of the theory is that every child—black, white, red or yellow—ought to have all the education he can use. Anything less than that would be as good as saying that America cares to develop its human resources only just so far, and not to the limit. The other part of the theory is that the last person in the world to be put off with half an education is a preacher or a teacher. The best is just good enough for all teachers, whether they teach from a desk or from a pulpit."

"I guess that's so too," said J.W. "You're getting me interested. Now go on and tell me some more."

"The new pastor of Saint Marks told me," said Mr. Drury, irrelevantly, "that they would be wanting some new roofing for the barn they're turning into a community house. I shouldn't be surprised if you sold the church a nice little bill of goods. And while you are at it, you might talk to the pastor—Driver's his name—about this thing from his side of the road. He knows more than I do."

J.W. said he would. And, though he would have meant it in any case, the hint about roofing made certain that "Elder" Driver would have a call in the morning from a rising young hardware salesman.

By this time they were at the Farwell gate, and J.W. said goodnight. Mr. Drury walked home, but before he got ready for his beloved last hour of the day, with its easy chair and its cherished book, he called up his colored colleague, and they had a brief talk over the 'phone.

Now, Walter Drury had taken no one into his confidence about the Experiment, nor did he intend to; he had the best of reasons for keeping his own counsel, through the years. So Elder Driver could not know the true inwardness of this telephone call; indeed, it was so casual that he did not even think to mention it to J.W. when that alert roofing specialist turned up next morning.

"I heard you were going to put new roofing on that barn you are fixing up, Mr. Driver, and I thought I might get your order for the job. Maybe you know that we do a good deal of that sort of work, and we can give you expert service; the right roofing put on to stay, and to stay put."

Yes, they were thinking of that roof; had to, because it leaked like a market basket, and they needed the place right now, what with the many colored Methodists who had come to town and had no home—only rooms in the little houses of the colored settlement that had been too small for comfort even before the exodus. But the place would be worth a lot to their work when they got it.

"About how much do you think of spending, Mr. Driver?" J.W. asked. Knowing the limited means of Saint Marks, he expected to supply the cheapest roofing the Farwell Hardware Company had in stock, but Pastor Driver had a surprise for him.

"Why," he said, "we want the best there is. That building was a barn, I'll admit, but it is strongly built, and we expect to fix it pretty thoroughly. We have a gift from the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension, and we match that with as much again of our own money, enough in all to swing the building around off the alley, put it on a new foundation next to the church, and remodel it for our needs."

"That's news to me," said J. W., "though of course I'm glad to hear it. But I didn't know that the Board put money into such work as this. Somehow I supposed you were under the Board of Education for Negroes."

"No, not for this sort of church work," the colored pastor answered. "I was 'under' the Board of Education for Negroes, as you put it, for a long time myself, in the days when it was called the Freedmen's Aid Society. And so was my wife. But now we're doing missionary work, and that's the other Board's job."

"Oh, yes," J.W. assented. "I might have known that. And you mean that you were under the Freedmen's Aid Society when you were going to school—is that it?"

"That's it," said Pastor Driver, with a gleaming smile. "I was in two of the schools. Philander Smith College, at Little Rock, Arkansas, and Clark University, at Atlanta, Georgia. Then I got my theological course at Gammon, on the same campus as Clark."

"You say your wife was in school too?"

"Yes"—with an even brighter smile—"she was at Clark when I met her. Like me, she attended two schools on that campus. The other was Thayer Home, a girls' dormitory, supported by the Woman's Home Missionary Society."

"A home? Then how could it be a school?" J.W. asked.

"That's just it, Mr. Farwell," the minister explained. "It was a school of home life, not only cooking and sewing and scrubbing, and what all you think of as domestic science, but a school of the home spirit—just the thing my people need. Thayer was, and is, a place where the girl students of Clark University learn how to make real homes. And in the college classes they learn what you might suppose any college student would learn. That's why I said Mrs. Driver went to two schools."

There's Hope For The Negro In A School Like This

J.W. recalled the Hightower speech of the night before, and the discussion with Mr. Drury on the way home. He wanted to go into it all with this pastor, who wasn't much past his own age, and evidently had some ideas. For the first time he wondered too how it happened that in that draft of the Everyday Doctrines of Delafield they had altogether ignored the Negro. Was that a symptom of something? Then he remembered his errand, and the work which was waiting up at the store.

So he said: "Excuse me, Mr. Driver, for being so inquisitive. I've never thought much about our church's colored work, but what I heard at last night's meeting started me. Rather curious that I should be here talking about it with you the very next morning, isn't it? But about that roofing, now. Of course you'll look around and get other estimates, but anyway I'd be glad to take the measurements and give you our figures. I promise you they'll be worth considering."

"I'm sure of that, Mr. Farwell," said the other, heartily, "and if I have any influence with the committee—and I think I have—you needn't lose any sleep over any other figures we might get. As for being inquisitive about our work here, I wish more of this town's white Methodists would get inquisitive. And that reminds me: there's to be an Epworth League convention here week after next, and I've been told to invite one of the League leaders in your church to make a short address on the opening night. You're a League leader, I know, and the first one I've thought about. So I'm asking you, right now. Will you come over and speak for us?"

Now, though J.W. always said he was no speaker, he had never hesitated to accept invitations to take part in League conventions. But this was different. He made no answer for a minute. And in the pause his mind was busy with all he knew, and all he had acquired at second hand, about the relations of colored Christians and white, and particularly about what might be thought and said if it should be announced that he was to speak at a Negro Epworth League convention. And then he had the grace to blush, realizing that this colored pastor, waiting so quietly for his answer, must infallibly have followed his thoughts. In his swift self-blame he felt that the least amends he could make for his unspoken discourtesy was a prompt acceptance of the invitation.

So he looked up and said, hurriedly: "Mr. Driver, forgive me for not speaking sooner. I'll do the best I can"; and then, regaining his composure, "Have you any idea as to the subject I'm supposed to talk about?"

"Yes," the colored minister replied, not without a touch of curious tenseness in his voice. "The committee wanted me to get a representative from your Chapter to make a ten-minute address of welcome on behalf of the Epworthians of First Church!"

Again J.W. was forced to hesitate. Here he was an Epworthian, but knowing nothing at all about the work of these other young Methodists. Until to-day he scarcely knew they existed. And now he was asked to welcome them to town in the name of the League!

But once again shame compelled him to take the bold course. With an apologetic smile he said, "Well, that's the last subject I could imagine you'd give to any of us at First Church. Your young people and ours have hardly been aware of each other, and it seems queer that you should ask me to make an address of welcome in your church. But as I think of it, maybe this is just what somebody ought to do, and I might as well try it. Trouble is, what am I going to say?"

"We'll risk that, Mr. Farwell," said Pastor Driver, confidently. "Just say what you think, and you'll do all right."

J.W. was by no means sure of that, and the more he thought about his speech in the next few days, the more confused he became. Any ordinary speech of welcome would be easy—"Glad you were sensible enough to come to Delafield," "make yourselves at home," "freedom of the city," "our latch strings are out," "command us for anything we can do," "congratulate you on the fine work you are doing," "know when we return this visit and come to the places you represent you will make us welcome"—and so on. But it was plainly impossible for him to talk like that. It wouldn't be true, and it would certainly not be prudent.

He put the thing up to J.W., Sr. "What'll I say, dad?" he asked. "You know we haven't had much to do with the people of Saint Marks, and maybe it wouldn't be best for us to make any sudden change as to that, even if some of us wanted to. But I've got to talk like a Christian, whether I feel like one or not."

"My son," his father answered him, sententiously, "it's your speech, not mine. But if an old fogy may suggest something, why not forget all about the usual sort of welcome address? Why not say something of the whole program of our church as it affects our colored people? It touches the young folks more than any others. Welcome them to that."

"That's all very fine," J.W. objected. "Everybody who's on for an address of welcome is advised by his friends to cut out the old stuff, but it means work. And you know that I don't know the first thing about what you call the whole program of our church for the colored people. That man Driver knows, but I can't ask him."

"Of course not," assented J.W., Sr., "but you can ask somebody else. I'll venture Mr. Drury can tell you where to find all you would want to talk about. Ask him. You're never bothered by bashfulness with him, if I remember right."

J.W. admitted he had already thought of that. "He and I were talking about this very thing the night before I went to see about that roofing. But here's the point—I'm not to represent the pastor, but the young people. And I'm not so sure that what Mr. Drury might give me, if he were willing, could be made to fit into a League speech, under the circumstances."

"I'd try it anyway," said the elder Farwell. "He's nearly always willing, seems to me, and a pretty safe adviser most of the time."

"All right," agreed J.W., "I'll see him, but he'll probably tell me to find things out for myself. He's a good scout, is Mr. Drury; the best pastor I ever knew or want to know, but sometimes he has the queerest streaks; won't help a fellow a little bit, and when you're absolutely sure he could if he would. It won't be enough to see him, though; even if he is in a generous mood and gives me more dope than I can use. I'd better talk to some of the League people." And still he gravitated toward the pastor's study. It was the easiest way.

The pastor was always in a more generous mood than J.W. gave him credit for. It was only that he never supplied crutches when people needed to use their legs, nor brains when they needed to use their heads, nor emotions when they needed to use their hearts.

He told J.W. to rummage through the one bookshelf in the study which held his small but usable collection of books and pamphlets on the Negro, and see what he might find. And, as always, they talked.

"I can tell by that preacher at Saint Marks," said J.W., "how I had the wrong end of the argument that night we came from Hightower's address. A man with a big job like his has to be a pretty big man, and he needs all the education he can get."

"There's a principle in that, J.W.," suggested Mr. Drury; "see if this seems a reasonable way to state it: In dealing with any people, the more needy they are, the better equipped and trained their leaders should be."

"Yes, sir, it sounds reasonable enough," J.W. admitted. "And yet I never thought of it until now. But you said something the other night that I don't see yet."

"That may be no fault of yours, my boy," said the minister, with a laugh. "What was it?"

"Why, you said men like Hightower are inclined to overlook the work of the church, and that it was the church's own fault; something about raising new questions when you settle old ones."

"Oh, yes," said Mr. Drury, "I remember. Maybe saying it's the church's own fault is not just the way to put it. Say instead that you can't educate children, nor yet races that are developing, and expect them to turn out exactly according to your notions of the future. Because, when their minds are growing they are developing, not according to something in you, but according to something in them. So every teacher, and I suppose every parent, has moments of wondering how it ever happens that young people learn so much that is not taught them. And it's the same way with races."

"You mean," inquired J.W., "that Hightower is like that?"

"I mean," Pastor Drury replied, "that everybody is like that. If we had given the Negro no education at all, we could probably have kept him contented for a good many years with just being 'free.' If we had given no Negro anything but a common-school chance, the race would have been pretty slow to develop discontent. But Hightower went to Yale, and Du Bois went to Harvard and Germany, and Pickens went to Yale, and so on. Thousands of colored men and women have been graduated from colleges of liberal arts. And so they are not satisfied with conditions which would have been heavenly bliss to their grandfathers and grandmothers."

"I know I'm stupid," said J.W., a trifle ruefully, "but I've always supposed that education was good for everybody. Now you seem to say that education makes people discontented."

"Of course it does," said Mr. Drury, "that's the reason it is good for them. Would you be content to call a one-room shack home, and live as the plantation hand lives? If you would, the world's profit out of you, and your own profit out of yourself, wouldn't be much. Real education does exactly mean discontent. And the people who are discontented may be uncomfortable to live with, if we think they ought to be docile, but they get us forward."

"Maybe you're right," J.W. conceded, "and the church is not to be blamed. Still, if our work for the black man has made him troublesome, and given him ideas bigger than he can hope to realize, how does that fit in with our Christianity? Shouldn't the church be a peacemaker, instead of a trouble-maker?"

"Now, John Wesley, Jr.," the other said, in mock protest, "that sermon of mine on 'Not Peace, but a Sword' must have been wasted on you. Our Lord most certainly came to make peace, and he spoke a great blessing on peacemakers. But he was himself the world's greatest disturber. Peace while there is injustice, or ignorance, or any sort of wickedness, has nothing to do with Christ's intentions. I know that the old-time slave-traders of the North, and the more persistent slave-buyers of the South, were always asking for that sort of peace. But they couldn't have it. Nobody ever can have it, so long as Jesus has a single follower in the world."

"Well, what has all this to do," asked J.W., "with our church's special work for the colored people?"

"Ah, yes," the pastor answered, "that's the very thing you must find out before you make that address of welcome."

By this time J.W. had gathered up a pile of books, pamphlets, reports, and papers—enough, he thought, to serve as the raw material of a Ph.D. thesis, and he said to Mr. Drury, "Would you mind if I took this home? I'll bring it all back, and it's not likely I'll damage it much.".

The asking was no more than a form; for years the people of First Church had known themselves freely welcome to any book in the preacher's shelves. An interest in his books was passport to his special favor. His own evident love for books had been the best possible insurance that these particular borrowers would be more scrupulous than the general. This bit of pastoral work, it should be said, with the frequent book-talk that grew out of it, was not least among all the reasons why First Church people thought their bachelor minister just the man for them.

So off went J.W. with his armful, and for a week thereafter you might have supposed he was cramming for a final exam of some sort. Early in his preparation he decided that his father's advice was wise, and he put the stress of his effort on the church's work and how Negro youth had responded to it. The other matter was too delicate, he felt, for his amateur handling, and, besides, he was not altogether sure even of his own position.

On the convention night Saint Marks was crowded with young colored people, some of whom came from places a hundred miles away. They were badged and pennanted quite in the fashion to which J.W. was accustomed. But for their color, and, to be frank, for a little more restraint and thoughtfulness in their really unusual singing, they were just young Methodists at a convention, not different from Caucasian Methodists of the same age.

When J.W.'s turn came to speak, the chairman introduced him in the fewest possible words, but with the courtesy which belongs to self-respect, saying, "Mr. Farwell will make the delegates welcome in the name of the First Church Epworthians."

And he did. He had his notes, pretty full ones, to which he made frequent references, but the quality in his speech which drew the convention's cheers was its frank and natural simplicity.

"I would have begged off from this duty, if I could," he began, "but I knew from the moment I was asked that I had no decent excuse. But I knew so little of what I ought to say that it was necessary for me to dig, just as I used to do at school."

The result of my digging is that I know now and I want you to know that I know, why First Church young people should join in welcoming you to Delafield. Some of them don't know yet, any more than I did ten days ago; but I intend to enlighten them the first chance I get.

We First Church Epworthians might welcome you for many reasons, but I have decided to stick to two, because, as I have said, I have just been learning something about them.

We welcome you, then, because you represent the most eager hunger for complete education that exists in America to-day, unless our new Hebrew citizens can match it. No others can. The record of our church's schools for your race prove that it simply is not possible to keep the Negro youth out of school. They will walk further, eat less, work harder, and stay longer to get an education than for anything else in the world.

Not so many days ago I ignorantly thought that the 'three R's' was all that ought to be offered, partly because the need is so great. I hope you will forgive me that thought, when I tell you that now I know what ignorance it revealed in me. The great need is the strongest argument for the highest education. Because of your great numbers, and because of your ever intenser racial self-respect, the Negro must educate the Negro, be physician for the Negro, preach to the Negro, nurse the Negro, lead the Negro in all his upward effort. Otherwise these things will be done badly, or patronizingly, or not at all.

But if you are to do your own educational work, your educators must be fully equipped. It is not possible to send the whole race to college, but it is possible to send college-trained youth to the race. For this reason our church has established normal schools, colleges of liberal arts, professional schools, homes for college girls, so that the coming leaders of your people may have access to the best the world offers in science and literature, in medicine and law, in business and religion.

You will not mistake my purpose, I am sure, in saying that you know better than we can guess how your people, through no fault of theirs, have been long in bondage to the unskilled hand, the unawakened mind, and the uninspired heart. But it is more and more an unwilling bondage.

And our church, your church, has set up these schools and these training homes I have mentioned, as though she were saying, in the words of one of your own wonderful songs, 'Let my people go!' And the results are coming. Your two bishops, one in the South and one in Africa, your leaders in the church's highest councils, your educators, your far-seeing business men, your great preachers, are part of the answer to your church's passion to give full freedom to all her people.

For you are _her_ people, the people of the Christian Church; we are all God's people. It seems to me that just now God is interested in bringing to every race in the world the chance of liberty for hand and head and heart. God has greater things for us all to do than we can now understand, but all his purposes must wait on our getting free from everything that would defeat our work.

Our First-Church young people welcome you because with all else you represent a great purpose to make religion intelligent. You know, as we do, that piety to be vital must be mixed with sound learning. You have the missionary spirit, which never thrives in an atmosphere of resistance to education. You are 'fellow Christians,' fellow workers. We are sharers with you in personal devotion to our Lord, and in the common purpose to make him Master of all life.

And, finally, let me say it bluntly, we welcome you because we believe in your pride of race, and honor it in you as we honor it in our fellow citizens of other races. They and you have some things in common, but you will not misunderstand me when I congratulate you on what is peculiar to you. You have been fully Americanized for more generations than most other Americans. You have no need to strive after the American spirit. I have a friend of Greek birth, who thinks pridefully back to the Golden Age of Greece, and I envy him his glorying. But your pride of race, turning away from the unhappy past, sees your Golden Age in the days to come, not in the dim yesterdays. You are the makers, not the inheritors, of a great destiny.

"For that noble future which is to be yours in our common America, you do well to hold as above price the purity and strength of your racial life. Better than we of Caucasian stock, you know that only so may all the values be fully realized which are to be Africa's contribution to the spiritual wealth of America and the world."

There was a moment of silence, for the implications of the last sentence were not as plain as they might have been. But when the audience caught J.W.'s somewhat daring appeal to its racial self-respect it broke into such cheers as are not given to the polite phraser of conventional commonplaces.



The full record of J.W.'s commercial career must he left to some other chronicler, but an occasional reference to it cannot be omitted from these pages.

Pastor Drury's brother Albert, a Saint Louis business man who knew the old city by the Mississippi from the levees to the University, was a citizen who loved his city so well that he did not need to join a Boosters' Club to prove it. The two Drurys saw each other, as both averred, all too seldom. On the infrequent occasions when they met, as, for instance, during a certain church federation gathering which had brought the minister down to Saint Louis from Delafield, their "visiting" was a joyous thing to see.

Lounging in the City Club one day after lunch, with every other subject of common interest at least touched on, Brother Albert turned to Brother Walter: "And how goes the church and parish of Delafield? You told me long ago that you wanted to stay there ten years; it's more than eight now. Does the ten-year mark yet stand?"

"Yes, Al., it still stands, if nothing should interfere," said Walter. He had never told his brother the reason back of that ten-year mark, and he was not ready, even yet, for that. Of late he had taken to wondering when and how the Experiment would come to its crisis. He wanted some help just now, and here might be an opening. So he went on, "I've been working away at several special jobs, as you know I like to do, and one of them has a good deal to do with a young fellow named Farwell, John Wesley Farwell, Jr., who'll be the mainstay of the best hardware store in Delafield before long if he sticks to it. Everybody calls him 'J.W.,' and he's the sort of boy that has always interested me, he's so 'average,'" He paused; his thoughts busy with the Experiment.

"Well," his brother broke in, after a moment, "what's this young John Wesley Methodist been doing?"

"It isn't altogether what he has been doing, but it's what I'd like to see him get a chance to do," explained the preacher. "He's tied to the store and to Delafield, so far, and I've reasons for wanting him to see some parts of this country he'll never see from Main Street in our town."

"Well, brother mine, maybe he could be induced to leave that particular Main Street. There's where we get the best citizens of this village. Has he any objections to making a change—to travel, for instance?"

"I don't know," said Walter; "probably not. He's young, and has a pretty good education. I do know that he's ambitious to make himself the best hardware man in our section, and I believe he'll do it, in time. Personally, I _want_ him to travel. But how would anybody go about getting him the chance?"

Albert Drury laughed. "That's easy, only a preacher couldn't be expected to see it. If any country boy really knows the stuff he handles, whether it is hardware or candy or hides, he can get the chance all right. This town wants him. Don't you know that the big wholesale houses recruit their sales forces by spotting just such boys as your John Wesley Farwell may be? But what do you mean by calling him average, if he's such a keen judge of hardware?"

"Oh, well, he _is_ more than average on hardware, but he's so beautifully average human; one of those chaps who do most of the real work of the world."

"All right, old man; I'm not sure that I follow you; but, anyway, I may be of some use. I'll tell you what I'll do; I know the very man. Peter McDougall, who's a friend I can bank on, is sales manager of the Cummings Hardware Corporation. Nothing will come of it if Peter is not impressed, but all I need to do is to tell him there's a prospective star salesman up at Delafield, and his man who has that territory will be looking up your John Wesley before you have time to write another sermon. By the way," he added, "what part of the country did you say you wanted young Farwell to see?"

"I didn't say," the preacher admitted, "but I would like him to see something of the Southwest. I want to see what will happen when he bumps up against the sort of civilization that followed the Spanish to America."

"Well, of course, you know that wholesale hardware houses don't run salesmen's excursions to help Methodist preachers try out the effect of American history on their young parishioners, no matter how lofty the motive," and Albert Drury poked his brother in the ribs. "But supposing this boy is otherwise good stuff he'll be in the right place, if he goes with the Cummings people. A big share of their business is in that end of the world."

If J. W. had been told of this conversation, which he wasn't, he might not have been quite so mystified over the letter from the great Peter McDougall, which came a few weeks after the preacher's return from Saint Louis. McDougall he knew well by reputation, having heard about him from every Cummings man who unpacked samples in Delafield. And to be invited to Saint Louis by the great man, with the possibility of "an opening, ultimately, in our sales force," was a surprise as interesting as it was unexpected. Naturally, J.W. could not know how much careful investigation had preceded the writing of that letter. The Cummings Corporation did not act on impulse. But he would have accepted the invitation in any case.

And that is enough for the present purpose of the story of J.W.'s first business venture away from Delafield. Not without some hesitation did he close with the Cummings offer; but after he had talked it all over with the folks at home, and then all over again out at Deep Creek with Jeannette Shenk, who was both sorry and proud, it was settled. Reaching Saint Louis, the canny McDougall looked him over and thought him worth trying out; so over he went to the stock department. Then followed busy weeks in the buildings of the Cummings Hardware Corporation down by the river, learning the stock. He discovered before the end of the first day that he had never yet guessed what "hardware" meant; he wandered through the mazes of the vast warehouses until his legs ached much and his eyes ached more.

At last came the day when he found himself on the road, not alone, of course, but in tow of Fred Finch, an old Cummings salesman who had occasionally "made" Delafield. The Cummings people did not throw their new men overboard and let them swim if they could. They had a careful training system, of which the stockroom days were one part, and this personally conducted introduction to the road was another.

Albert Drury had been sufficiently interested in his brother's wish to drop a hint to McDougall, to which that hard-headed executive would have paid no attention if it had not fitted in just then with the requirements of his sales policy. But the hint sent J.W. out with Finch over the longest route which the house worked for trade. On the map this route was a great kite-shaped thing, with its point at Saint Louis, and the whole Southwest this side of the Colorado River included in the sweep of its sides and top.

To Fred Finch it was a weary journey, but J.W. gave no thought to its discomforts. He was seeing the country, as well as learning to sell hardware, and both occupations were highly absorbing. Before long he found too that he was seeing a new people. Storekeepers he knew, as being of his own guild; the small towns were much like Delafield, when you had become used to their newer crudeness of architecture and their sprawling planlessness; and the people who used hardware were very much like his customers at home.

He had no fear of failing to become a salesman, after the first few experiences under Finch's watchful eye; his father had taught him a sort of salesmanship which experience could only make more effective. He knew already never to sell what he could see his customer ought not to buy, and he knew always to contrive as much as possible that the customer should do the selling to himself. The elder Farwell used to say, "Let your customer once see the advantage that buying is to him, and he won't care what advantage selling is to you."

Now, as has been said before, this is not a salesman's story. Let it suffice to say that before the two got back to Saint Louis J. W. knew he had found his trade. He was a natural salesman, and so Fred Finch reported to Peter McDougall. "If it's hardware," he said, "that boy can sell it, and I don't care where you put him. He can sell to people who can't speak English, and I believe he could sell to deaf mutes or the blind. He knows the line, and they know he knows it. Why, this very first trip he's sold more goods on his own say-so than on the house brand. Said he knew what the stuff would do, and people took that who usually want to know about the guarantee." All of which Peter McDougall filed where he would not forget it.

But to go back to the trip itself. Along the railway in Kansas J.W. began to see box-cars without trucks, roughly fitted up for dwellings. Dark-skinned men and women and children were in occupation, and all the household functions and processes were going on, though somewhat primitively.

"Mexicans," said Finch, as J.W. pointed out the cars. "Section hands; when I first began to make this territory you never saw them except right down on the border, but they have moved a long way east and north. I saw lots of them in the yards at Kansas City last time I was there."

J.W. watched the box-car life with a good deal of curiosity. Here and there were poor little attempts at color and adornment; flowers in window boxes and bits of lace at the windows. Delafield had plenty of foreigners, but these were foreigners of another sort. They seemed to be entirely at home.

"I suppose," he said to Finch, "these Mexicans have come to the States to get away from the robbery and ruin that Mexico has had instead of government these last ten years and more."

"Yes," Finch answered, "thousands of 'em. But not all. Some of these Mexicans are older Americans than we are. We took 'em over when we got Texas and New Mexico and California from Old Mexico. They were here then, speaking the Spanish their ancestors had learned three hundred years ago and more. But they're all the same Mexicans, no matter on which side of the Rio Grande they were born. Of course those born on this side have had some advantages that the peons never knew."

"But do you mean," J.W. wanted to know, "that they are not really American citizens?"

Fred Finch said no, he didn't mean exactly that. Certainly, those born on this side were American citizens in the eyes of the law, and those who came across the Rio Grande could get naturalized. But that made little real difference. A Mexican was a Mexican, and you had to deal with him as one.

J.W. was not quite satisfied with that explanation, but he preferred to wait until he had seen enough so that he could ask his questions more intelligently. So he kept relatively still, but his eyes did not cease from observing.

As the trip progressed, and the jumps between towns became longer, the young salesman had time to see a good deal. In the far Southwest he became aware that the increasingly numerous Mexican population was no longer a matter of box-car dwellers, more or less migratory. It was a settled people. Its little adobe villages, queer and quaint as they seemed to Middle-Western eyes, were centers of established life. And he discovered that in these villages always one building overshadowed all the rest.

One day as they were headed towards El Paso he ventured to mention this to his traveling companion. "Seems to me," he said, "that none of these little mud villages is too poor to have a church, and mostly a pretty good church too. How do they manage it?"

Now Finch was no student of church life, but he did know a little about the country. "That's the way it is all over this Southwest, my boy, and across the line in Old Mexico it's a good deal more so. My guess is that the churches and the priests began by teaching the people that whatever else happened they had to put up for the church, and from what I've noticed I reckon that now nothing else matters much to the church. It has become a kind of poor relation that's got to be fed and helped, whether it amounts to anything or not. But it's a long way from being as humble and thankful as you would naturally expect a poor relation to be."

During the El Paso layover the two of them took a day across the International Bridge. J. W. had watched the Mexicans coming over, and he wanted to see the country they came from.

"You'll not see much over there," a friendly spoken customs official told him. "It's a pretty poor section of desert 'round about these parts. You ought to get away down into the heart of the country."

"Yes, I suppose so," J.W. responded, "but there isn't time on this trip. Are such people as these coming over to the United States right along?"

"I should say they are," said the man of authority with emphasis. "In the last four or five years the Mexican population of the United States has about doubled; three quarters of a million have crossed the Rio Grande somewhere, or the border further west. You people from the East make a big fuss over immigration from Europe, but you hardly seem to know that a regular flood has been pouring in through these southwestern gateways. You will some day."

What they saw on the Mexican side of the bridge was, as the customs man had said, nothing much. But J.W. came away with a strange sense of depression. He had never before seen so much of the raw material of misery and squalor; what he had observed with wondering pity in the villages on the American side was as nothing to the unrelieved hopelessness of the south bank of the river.

That night in the hotel lobby J.W. noticed a fresh-faced but rather elderly man whom he recognized as one whom he had seen over in Mexico earlier in the day. With the memory of what he had seen yet fresh upon him, J.W. ventured a commonplace or two with the stranger, and found him so genial and interesting that they were still talking long after Fred Finch had yawned himself off to bed.

"I thought I remembered seeing you over there," said the unknown, "and you didn't look like a seasoned traveler; more like the amateur I am myself, though I do get about a little."

"I'm no seasoned sightseer," said J.W.; "this is my first time out. And that's maybe the reason I've developed so much curiosity about the people we saw to-day. Do you know much about them?"

"Who? the Mexicans?" The other man smiled, and then was suddenly serious. "My friend, I begin to think I'm making the Mexicans my hobby. I don't know who you are, but if you are really interested in the Mexicans as human beings I'd rather tell you what I know than do anything else I can think of to-night. It isn't often I find a traveling man who cares."

"Well, I do care," J.W. asserted, stoutly. "They're people, folks, aren't they? And it looks as though they could stand having somebody get interested in them a little."

"Ah, I see now what you are; you are that remarkable combination, a traveling man and a Christian. Am I right?"

"Why, I suppose so," said J.W., with a smile and a touch of the old boyish pride in his name. "My initials, as you might say, are 'John Wesley,' and I'm not ashamed of them."

"And that means you are not only a Christian, but a Methodist? My dear man, we must shake on that. I'm a Methodist myself, as the stage robber said to Brother Van, with the romantic name of Tanner. Got my first interest in Mexico and the Mexicans when my daughter married a young Methodist preacher and they went down there as missionaries. I make a trip to see them and the babies about once a year. But now I am getting interested in these people as an American and, I hope, a Christian who tries to work at the business. What did you say your other name was?"

J.W. hadn't said, but now he did, and the two settled to their talk. This William Tanner, some sort of retired business man, certainly seemed to know his Mexico. And he had that most subtle of all stimulants to-night, a curious and sympathetic hearer. By consequence he was eager to give all that J.W. would take.

Before long J.W. had edged in a question about the church. He said, "You know, Mr. Tanner, we have a pretty good Roman Catholic church in my home town, though Father O'Neill doesn't tie up much to what the other churches are trying to do, and some of his flock seem to me pretty wild, for sheep. Now, these churches down here are all Roman Catholic too, yet they certainly don't look any kin to Saint Ursula's at Delafield. Are they?"

It was the sort of question which William Tanner had asked himself many a time when he first came to Mexico. "This is the way of it, Mr. Farwell," he said. "The church came to Mexico, and to all Latin America, from Spain and Portugal. It had a few great names, we must acknowledge, in those early times. But in a little while it settled down to two activities—to make itself the sole religious authority and to get rich. It was a church of God and gold, and as a matter of course it preached that it was the supreme arbiter of life and death in matters of faith, and extended its authority into every relation of life. It brought from the lands of the Inquisition the idea of priestly power, and there was none to dispute it in Latin America, as there was in the colonies of our own country. It gave the people little instruction, and no responsibility or freedom. It made outward submission the test of piety and faith. And so when Spain lost its grip on the western hemisphere the church found itself with nothing but its claim of power to fall back on. Well, you know that would work only with the ignorant and the superstitious."

"Mexico, and all Latin America for that matter, clear to the Straits of Magellan, is a land of innumerable crosses, but no Christ. The church has had left to it what it wanted; that is, the priestly prerogatives; it marries, baptizes, absolves, buries, where the people can pay the fees, and the people for various reasons have not cared that this is all. If they are afraid, or want to make a show, they call in the church; if they don't care, or if they are poor, they go unbaptized, unmarried, unshriven, and do not see that it makes any difference. They have no understanding of the church as a Christian institution; in fact, I think it would puzzle most of them to tell what a true church ought to be. Now, all this is the church's reward for its ancient choice, which, so far as I can see, is still its choice. To the average Latin American the church is, and in the nature of things must be, a demander of pay for ceremonial, and a bitterly jealous defender of all its old autocratic claims. That is of the nature of the church."

"But I don't understand," interposed J.W. "If the people have no real use for the church, why do they support it? It certainly is supported."

"That, Mr. Farwell, is the tragedy of the church in all these lands," said Mr. Tanner, soberly. "The church began by looking to its own interests first. It wanted great establishments and a docile people. It found the gospel hard to preach to the natives—the real gospel, I mean. The cruelties and greed of the conquest had made impossible any preaching of a ministering, merciful, and unselfish Christ. In fact, the vast majority of the priests who came over from Europe brought with them no such ideas. The church was ruler, not missionary. And so far as it dares it sticks stubbornly to that notion even to this day. So it has had to make practical compromise with the paganism and superstition it found here. Many of its religious observances are the aboriginal pagan practices disguised in Christian dress and given Christian names. The church has sold its birthright for the privilege of exploiting the credulity and the fears of the people. It has made merchandise of all its functions. Now, after the centuries have come and gone, both church and people through long custom are willing to have it so. The people have their great churches, with incense and lights and all the pomp of medæival days. But they have no living Christ and no thought of him. The priests have their trade in ceremonial and their perquisites, but they have no power over the hearts of men."

As his new acquaintance paused for breath after this long answer to a short question, J.W., remembering something Fred Finch had said, brought the remark in: "The man who is showing me the ropes as a hardware man tells me that all over Latin America the church is likely to be the one real building in every town and village. Is that also something that the people are so used to that they don't notice it any more?"

"Oh, yes," Mr. Tanner assented. "I suppose the contrast between the church and the miserable little hovels around it never occurs to any of them. It has always been so. The church has built itself up out of the community, and for the most part it puts very little back. It conducts schools, to be sure; and yet eighty per cent of the Mexican people are illiterate, it has some few institutions of help and mercy; but the whole land cries out for doctors and teachers and friendly human concern."

"Is that really so?" J.W. asked. "Do the people really want our missionaries, or are we Protestants just shoving ourselves in? I can see that something is desperately wrong, but we are mostly Saxon, and they are Latins. Do these people want what to them must seem a queer religion and a lot of strange ideas?"

"So long as they do not understand what we come for, naturally they are suspicious. When they find out, they take to mission work and missionaries with very little urging. I wish you would meet my son-in-law," Mr. Tanner said with positiveness. "Why, the one tormenting desire of that man's life is to see more missionaries sent down into Mexico; more doctors, more teachers, more workers of every sort. He writes letters to the Board of Foreign Missions that would make your heart ache. The church at home couldn't oversupply Mexico with the sort of help it desperately needs if it should turn every recruit that way, and disregard all the rest of the world's mission fields."

Mexican's Home and Curch in the South West

"Do you mean," asked J.W., who was seeing new questions bob up every time an earlier one was answered, "do you mean that so many missionaries could be used on productive Christian work right away? Or is it that we ought to have a big force to prepare for the long future of our work in Mexico?" Now, J.W. was not so sure that this was an intelligent question, but he had heard that in some mission fields it was necessary to wait years for real and permanent results.

His companion saw nothing out of the way in the question. It was part of the whole problem. "I mean it both ways," he said. "What I've seen of our Methodist work down in these parts, particularly its schools and one wonderful hospital, makes me sure we could get big harvests of interest and success right off. We're doing it already, considering our relatively small force and our limited equipment."

"But all Latin American work takes patience. I've made one trip down as far as Santiago de Chile, and what is true in Mexico is, I guess, about as true in other parts. The Roman Catholic Church has been here four hundred years, and its biggest result is that the people who don't fear it despise it. Latin America is called Christian, but it is a world in which what you and I call religion simply does not count. Well, then, that's what makes me talk about the need of persistence and patience. The bad effects of three or four hundred years of such religion as has been taught and practiced between the Rio Grande and Cape Horn can't be got rid of in a hurry. Wait till Mexico has had a real chance at the Christ of the New Testament for three hundred years, and then see!"

J.W. had yet another question to ask before he was ready to call it a day. "If all that you say is so—and I believe it is, Mr. Tanner—why should so many of the Mexicans hate the United States? They do, for I've heard it spoken of a good deal lately, and I remember what was always said when some one proposed that we should intervene to make peace and restore order in Mexico. It would take ten years and a million men, and all Mexico would unite to oppose us. You talk about how much the Mexicans need us and want us. But a great many of them surely don't want us at all."

"I know what that means," Mr. Tanner admitted. And it is true. We are all influenced by the past. Look at the history of our dealings with Mexico. The very ideas we fought to establish as the charter of our own freedom we repudiated when we dealt with Mexico three quarters of a century ago. We had every advantage, and what we wanted we took. Certainly, we have done better by it than Mexico might have done, but I never heard that reason given in a court of law to excuse the same sort of transaction if it touched only private individuals. Then, in late years big business has gone into Mexico. It has had to take big chances. It has paid better wages than the peon could earn any other way. It has a lot to its credit; but it has been much like big business in other places, and, anyway, the admitted great profits have enriched the foreigner, not the Mexican.

"Besides, Mexico is not the States. As you say, it is Latin in its civilization, not Saxon. It does not want our sort of culture. And some of our missionaries, both of the church and of industry, have thought that the Mexican ought to be 'Americanized.' That's a fatal mistake in any mission field outside the States. All in all, you can see that it isn't entirely inevitable that the Mexican should understand our motives, or appreciate them when he does understand. But that's all the more reason for bearing down hard on every form of genuine missionary work. It's the only thing that we Americans can do in Mexico with any hope of avoiding suspicion or of our presence being acceptable to the Mexicans in the long run. We've got to fight the backfire of our American commercialism, and the prejudice which is as real on the Texas side of the river as it is on the other; for if the Mexican thinks in terms of 'gringo,' the American of the Southwest is just as likely to think in terms of 'greaser.'"

When J.W. and Mr. Tanner parted for the night it was with the mutual promise that they would have another talk some time the next day, but the promise could not be kept. The retired business man heard from some of his business in the early morning, and had just time to say a hurried farewell. As he put it, "I thought I had retired, but unless I get back to look after this particular affair I may have to get into the harness again, and that is not a cheerful prospect at my age. So I go to business to avert the danger of going back to business."

A little later the two hardware salesmen were in El Paso again, after a couple of side trips. J.W. took advantage of a long train wait to hunt up the city library. He wanted to know whether Mr. Tanner was right in saying that the Latin-American question was much the same everywhere.

He wrote a letter to Mr. Drury that night, having thus far used picture postcards until he was ashamed. In the letter he took occasion to mention his talk with the "missionary father-in-law," and his own bit of reading up on the subject.

Said he: "I guess that man Tanner was right. He did not speak much of the difference between the people of one country and those of another, which rather surprised me. He said nothing of the two great classes, the rulers with much European blood, and the peons, largely or altogether Indian. There must be all sorts of Latin Americans, rich and poor, mixed blood of many strains, Castilian and Aztec and Inca, and whatever other people were here when Columbus set the fashion for American voyages. But this is where this 'missionary father-in-law' hit the heart of the trouble: Latin America has all sorts and conditions of men, but everywhere it has the same church. And it is a church that can't ever make good any more. It might, at the beginning, but it can't now. It has a reputation as fixed as Julius Cæsar's. I'm hardly ready to set up as an expert observer, being only a cub salesman on his first trip, but, Mr. Drury, I believe I can see already that the only chance for these people to get religion and everything else which religion ought to produce, is for us to send it to them. Maybe that would stir up the church down here, and help to give it another chance at the people's confidence, though I'm not sure."

Our church ought to send doctors; the amount of fearful disease that flourishes among the poorer people is just frightful. If Joe Carbrook were not so set on going to the Orient, he could do a big work here, and so could a thousand other doctors. It would be so much more than mere doctoring; it would be the biggest kind of preaching.

And the church should send teachers. You know I believe in conversion; but if the Mexicans I have seen are samples of Latin America's common people, they need teachers who have the patience of Christ a good deal more than they need flaming evangelists who make a big stir and soon pass on. Because these folks have just _got_ to be made over, in their very minds. They are not ready for the preaching of the gospel until they have seen it lived. Long experience has made them doubtful of living saints, though plenty of them pray to dead ones.

This is the whole trouble, Mr. Drury, it seems to me. They've known only a church that had got off the track. Any religious work that reaches them now has almost to begin all over again. It has to undo their thinking about prayer and faith and God's love and human conduct and nearly every other Christian idea. They have a Christian vocabulary, but it means very little. They think they can buy religion, if they want it—any kind they want. And if they can't afford it, or don't want it, they don't quite think they'll be sent to hell for that, in spite of what the priest says. They think enough to be afraid, but not enough to be sure of anything. The missionaries have to teach them a new set of religious numerals, if you get what I mean, before it is any use to teach them the arithmetic of the gospel.

"I'm beginning to see that everything among the Latin Americans runs back to the need of Christian living. The wrong notion of religion has got them all twisted. I know Delafield is a long way from being Christian, but the difference between Delafield and such a pitiful mud village as I've seen lately has more to do with the sort of Christianity each place has been taught than with anything else whatever. But I never thought of that before."

As Pastor Drury read that letter his heart warmed within him. He said to himself, "John Wesley, Jr., is 'beginning to see,' he says. Please God he musn't stop now until he gets his eyes wide open. The thing is working out. He's groping around for something, and some day he'll find it."



For a first trip the Southwestern expedition under Fred Finch's tutelage had been something of an exploit. Finch's report to Peter McDougall was more than verified by the order sheets, and the observant Peter, keeping track of things during the succeeding weeks, noticed with quiet satisfaction that not a single order Was canceled.

To himself he said, "The lad's a find, I'm thinking. From Finch's talk I should say he has not only a natural knack of selling, but he sells for keeps. And that's the idea, Peter. Anybody can sell if the buyer means to call off the order by the next mail. This John Wesley boy may go far, and I'll have to tell Albert Drury the next time I see him that he's done the house of Cummings a real favor."

The months went by. J.W. kept his wits about him, and on the road he stuck to his salesman's faith that goods are better sold by those who know exactly how they may be used and that they are never sold until they are bought. So he found favor in the sight of Peter McDougall. The proof of that is easy. Peter gave him a week off before the end of his first year.

Delafield looked better to the homecoming salesman than it had to the boy coming back from college. And the town was glad to see him. He meant something to not a few of its people, altogether outside the interest of the Farwells—and Pastor Drury—and Jeannette!

Deep Creek was his first port of call, after his first half-day at home. He had been welcomed with deep, quiet gladness by the home folks, and he had talked a little over the telephone with the preacher. Then time was a laggard until he could head the Farwell car toward Deep Creek and the old farm.

Jeannette's welcome was all that even he could ask, though, of course, just precisely what it was is none of our business. In the car, and by the fireplace in the Shenk living room, and around the farm, they considered many things, some of them not so personal as others. J.W. told the story of his life in Saint Louis and on the road; Jeannette listening like another Desdemona to the recital. And once again it was not the adventure which supplied the thrill, but the adventurer.

And Jeannette told him the news of Delafield. How Joe Carbrook and Marcia Dayne's wedding had been the most wonderful wedding ever seen in Delafield, with the town as proud of its one-time scapegrace as it was of the beautiful bride. How brother Marty had been finding many excuses of late for driving up from his circuit, and how he managed to see Alma Wetherell a good deal. How Alma was now head bookkeeper and cashier of the Emporium, the town's biggest store, and how she was such a dear girl. How Pastor Drury and Marty had become great friends. How the minister was not so well as usual, and people were getting to be a little worried about him. How the Delafield church had taken up tithing, and was not only doing a lot better financially, but in every other way. How Deep Creek was going to have a new minister, a friend whom Marty had met at the summer school for rural ministers, who would try to help the Deep Creek people get an up-to-date church building and learn to use it. How the Everyday Doctrines of Delafield had been first boosted and then forgotten, and now again several of them were being practiced in some quarters. And much more, though never to the wearing out of J.W.'s interest. Certainly not, the news being just what he wanted to know, and the reporter thereof being just the person he wanted to tell it to him.

One bit of news Jeannette did not tell, for the sufficient reason that she did not know it. Pastor Drury and Brother Marty _had_ become great friends, but what Jeannette could not tell was the special bond of interest which was back of the fact. Marty had long been aware that for some reason the Delafield pastor was peculiarly concerned about J.W. Never did he guess Walter Drury's secret, but he knew well enough there was one.

These two, the town preacher and the young circuit rider, read to each other J.W.'s letters, and talked much about him and his experiences, and made J.W. in general the theme of many discussions.

"It has been good for the boy that he has had that border trip," said the pastor to Marty a few days before J.W. got back. "Don't you think so?"

Marty was, as ever, J.W.'s ardent and self-effacing chum. "I certainly do," he said. "He's growing, is J.W., and growing the right way. We need business men of just the quality that's showing in him."

The pastor hesitated a moment. Then he spoke: "Marty, when J.W. comes home I hope something will set him thinking about the outer world that has no word of our Christ. He hasn't seen it yet, not clearly; and you know that there isn't any hope for that world to get out of the depths until it gets the news of a Helper. I'm counting on you to help me with J.W. if the chance comes. Just between ourselves, you know."

"I'll do all I can, Mr. Drury; you may be sure of that," said Marty. And he did.

J.W.'s holiday brought several young people together who had not met for a long time. Marty came up again, and spent the day with J.W., all over town, from the store to the house and back again. In the evening Mrs. Farwell made a feast, to which, besides Marty, Jeannette and Alma and Pastor Drury were bidden. Mrs. Farwell was much more to Delafield than the best cook and the most remarkable housekeeper in the place, but her son insisted that she was these to begin with. Certainly, she had not been experimenting on the two J.W.'s all these years for nothing.

After dinner—talk. No need of any other game in that company at such a time. There was plenty to talk about, and all had their reasons for enjoying it. Naturally, J.W. must tell about himself. Letters are all very well, but they are no more than makeshifts, after all. He was modest enough about it, not having any special exploits to parade before their wondering eyes, but quite willing. His Western experiences being called for, he was soon telling, not of desert and cactus and irrigation, but of the people who had so taken his attention, the Mexicans.

"I believe," said he, "that we can do something really big down there. And it's our business. Nobody except American Christians will do it; nobody else can. Besides, the Mexicans are Christians in name, now. What they need is the reality. They are not impossible—just uncertain. All I heard and what little I saw made me believe they are suffering from bad leadership and ignorance more than from anything hopelessly wrong. They seem easy to get along with. The women are the most patient workers I ever heard of. And the poor Mexicans, the 'peons,' do want an end to fighting and banditry."

"Well, J.W.," Marty asked, "what's the first thing we ought to think about for Mexico?"

"I told you I don't know anything about Mexico, except at second-hand. But, I should say, schools. Schools are good for any land, don't you think, Mr. Drury? And in Mexico they are such great disturbers of the old slouching indifference. They will make the right kind of discontent. Schools bring other things; new ideas of health and sanitation, home improvement, social outlook, and all that. Then, with the schools, I guess, the straight gospel. The Mexicans won't get converted all at once, and they won't become like us, ever. But I'm about ready to say that whether missions are needed anywhere else or not, they surely are needed in Mexico. And Mexico is the first stepping-stone to South America; which is next on my list of the places that ought to have the whole scheme of Christian teaching and life."

"Yes," said Alma, "and you know, I suppose, that the beginning of our Panama Mission was an Epworth League Institute enterprise? Well, it was. California young people assumed the support of the first missionary sent there, and later he went on down to South America, with the same young people determined to take him on as their representative, just as they did in Panama."

"Where did you get that story?" J.W. wanted to know.

"Oh, I forgot," Alma answered him, laughing. "You haven't had time to read The Epworth Herald in Saint Louis."

"Yes, I have, young lady," J.W. retorted, "but I missed that. Anyway, it's on the right track. I think we've got to change the thinking of all Latin America about Christianity, if we can. Most of the men, they say, are atheists, made so very largely by their loss of faith in the church; and many of the women substitute an almost fierce devotion to the same church for what we think of as being genuine religion."

The minister spoke up just here. "I should think it would be pretty difficult to treat our United States Mexicans in one way, and those across the Rio Grande in another. We must evangelize on both sides of the river, but only on this side can we even attempt to Americanize."

"That's right," J.W. affirmed. "And even on this side we can't do what we may do in Delafield. The language is a big question, and it has two sides. But no matter what the difficulties, I'm for a great advance of missions and education, starting with Mexico and going all the way to Cape Horn."

"That's all very fine," interposed Marty, "but what about the rest of the world, J.W.? What about the world that has not even the beginning of Christian knowledge?" Marty had put the question on the urge of the moment, and not until it was out did he remember that Mr. Drury had asked him to help raise this very issue.

"Well," J.W. answered, slowly, "maybe that part of the world is worse, though I don't know. But we can't tackle everything. Latin America is an immense job by itself, and we have some real responsibility there; a sort of Christian Monroe Doctrine. Ought we to scatter our forces? The non-Christian world has its own religions, and has had them for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. What's the hurry just now? If we could do everything, we Protestant Christians, I mean, in this country and Britain, it might be different, but we can't. Why not concentrate?"

"Yes," Marty came back, "but not because Latin America is so nearly Christian. What about this atheism and superstition and ignorance; isn't it just a non-Christian civilization with Christian labels on some parts of it?"

"One thing I've heard," put in Jeannette, not that she wanted to argue, but she felt she ought to say something on J.W.'s side if she could, "that the religions of the Orient, at least, are really great religions, more suited to the minds of the people than any other. 'East is East, and West is West,' you know. But, of course, the people don't live up to the high levels of their beliefs. Americans don't, either."

Mr. Drury shot an amused yet admiring glance at Jeannette. What a loyal soul she was! Then said he: "The religions of the East _are_ great religions, Jeannette. They represent the best that men can do. The Orient has a genius for religion, and it has produced far better systems than the West could have done. Some of the truth that we Western people get only in Christianity the thinkers of Asia worked out for themselves. But God was back of it all."

That suited J.W.'s present mood. "All right, then; let's clean up as we go—Delafield, Saint Louis, the Southwest, Mexico, Latin America; that's the logical order. Then the rest of the world."

Marty put in a protest here: "That won't do, old man. Your logic's lame. You want us to go into Mexico now, with all we've got. Your letters have said so, and you've said it again to-night. But we're not 'cleaning up as we go.' Look at Delafield; the town you've moved away from. Look at Saint Louis; the town where you make your living. Are they Christianized? Cleaned up? Yet you are ready for Mexico. No; you're all wrong, J.W. I don't believe the world's going to be saved the way you break up prairie sod, a field at a time, and let the rest alone. We've got to do our missionary work the way they feed famine sufferers. They don't give any applicant all he can eat, but they try to make the supply go 'round, giving each one a little. Remember, J.W., the rest of the world is as human as our western hemisphere."

"I know," admitted J.W. "And I don't say I've got the right of it. I'd have to see the Orient before I made up my mind. But those countries have waited a long while. A few more years wouldn't be any great matter."

Alma Wetherell now joined the opposition. It looked as though J.W. and Jeannette must stand alone, for the old people said nothing, though they listened with eager ears. Said Alma, "I think it would matter a lot. The more we do for one people, while ignoring all the others, the less we should care to drop a developing work to begin at the bottom somewhere else."

"There's something in that," J.W. conceded. "I'm not meaning to be stubborn. But I've had just a glimpse of the size of the missionary job in one little corner of the world. Even that is too big for us. We could put our whole missionary investment into Mexico without being able to do what is needed."

"The missionary job, as you call it, is too big, certainly, for our present resources," said the pastor. "Everybody knows that."

"Yes," said Marty, who wondered if Mr. Drury had forgotten their compact about J.W., "but why limit ourselves to our present resources? They are not all we could get, if the church came to believe in the bigness of her privilege. I'd like to see for myself, as J.W. says, but I can't. Why don't you get a real traveling job, and go about the world looking things over for us, old man?"

"Me?" J. W. said, sarcastically; "yes, that's a likely prospect. Just as I'm getting over being scared by a sample case. I'll do well to hold the job I've got."

Alma didn't know what Marty's game was, but she played up to his suggestion. "Why shouldn't you go?" she asked. "You've told us that Cummings hardware and tools are sold all over the world. Doesn't that mean salesmen? And aren't you a salesman? They have to send somebody; why shouldn't they pick on you some time?"

J. W. rose to the lure, for the moment all salesman. "Nothing in it, Alma; no chance at all. But I would like to show the world the civilizing values of good tools, and I'd go if I got the chance."

Jeannette's reaction was quicker than thinking; "Would you go half way around the world just for that?" she asked, with a hint of alarm.

"Why, yes, I would," said J.W., "that is, if you were willing."

Whereupon everybody laughed but Jeannette, whose pale cheeks flamed into sudden rosiness.

The minister came to her rescue. "It would be a good thing every way, if more laymen would see the realities of Oriental life and bring back an impartial report. Suppose you should be right, J.W., and we found that the Orient could wait until the western hemisphere had been thoroughly Christianized. Think how many thousands—perhaps millions—of dollars could be directed into more productive channels. I can see what a great influence such reports would have if they came from Christian laymen. We have learned to expect stories of complete failure when the ordinary traveler comes back; and maybe the missionaries have their bias too. But business men with Christian ideals—that would be different."

Now, all this was far from unpleasant to J.W. He detested posing, but why wouldn't it be worth something to have laymen report on missionary work? Of course, though, if the time ever came when the firm was willing to trust him abroad, he wouldn't have much chance to study missions. Business would have to come first. It was no less a dream for being an agreeable one.

"There's no danger of my going," he told them. "The Cummings people are not sending cub salesmen to promote their big Asiatic trade. What could they make by it?"

Then the talk drifted to the Carbrooks. Marty said, "Well, we've spoiled your scheme a little, J.W., right here in Delafield. Joe Carbrook and Marcia are in China by now, and I'd like to see both of 'em as they get down to work. You can't keep all our interest on this side of the Pacific so long as those two are on the other."

"No," said J.W., warmly, "and I don't want to. I'll help to back up those two missionaries wherever they go." And his thoughts went back to camp fire night at Cartwright Institute, when he had said to Joe Carbrook without suspecting the consequences, "Say, Joe; if you think you could be a doctor, why not a missionary doctor?"

Then he asked the company, "Just where have these missionary infants been sent?"

Nobody knew, exactly. They had the name of the town and the province, but the geography of China is not as yet familiar even to those who support the missions and missionaries of that vast, mysterious land.

The pastor thought it was two or three hundred miles inland from Foochow. "Anyhow," said he, "it is a good-sized town, of about one hundred thousand people or more, and Joe's hospital is the only one in the whole district. The man whose place he takes is home on furlough, and I've looked up his work in the Annual Report of the Foreign Missions Board. Six or eight years ago the hospital was a building of sun-dried brick, with a mud floor and accommodations for about seventy-five patients. He was running it on something like five dollars a day. But it is better now, costs more too. And there's a school attached, where Marcia has already begun to make herself necessary, or I'm much mistaken."

So the talk ran on, until the evening was far spent, and everybody wished there could be half a dozen such evenings before J. W. must go back to Saint Louis and the road.

No other opportunity offered, however, and all too soon for some people J. W. was gone again from Delafield.

Walter Drury, seeing his chance, set himself to follow up the talk of that one evening. It had given him a lead as to the next phase of the Experiment, and he wanted to try out the idea before anything else might happen.

So he wrote to his brother Albert in Saint Louis. "I know I'm a bother to you," the letter ran, "but you have always been generous, being your own unselfish self. It's about young Farwell, 'John Wesley, Jr.,' you know. I judge he's a boy with a fine business future, and I've found out from his father some of the reasons why he is making good. Now, I don't know much about business, but it seems to me that the very qualities which make J. W. a good salesman for a beginner would be profitable to his company if they sent him to their Oriental trade. He's young enough to learn something over there. My own interest is not on that side of the affair, but I know it would be out of the question to suggest his going unless the Cummings people could see a business advantage in it. If you think it is not asking too much, I wish you would talk to Mr. McDougall about it. Tell him what I have written, and what I told you long ago about J.W."

Albert Drury had unbounded confidence in his brother's sincerity and sense, so he lost no time in getting an interview with his friend McDougall.

"See here, Peter," said he, "I'll be frank with you; I know you think I'd better be if I'm to get anywhere."

"That's very true," said McDougall, with assumed severity.

"Well, then, read my brother's letter; and then tell me if he's wanting the impossible."

Peter McDougall read the letter twice. "No," he said, when he handed it back, "he's not wanting the impossible. He's given me an idea. I owe you something already, for finding this young fellow, and I'll tell you what I'm thinking of. Of course the boy isn't seasoned enough yet, but he's getting there fast. A couple of long trips, a few months under my own eye here in the office, and he'll be ready. Now, your brother has hinted at exactly what young Farwell is good for. That boy sells goods by getting over onto the buyer's side. And he knows tools—knew 'em before we hired him. Well, then, here's the idea; one big need of our foreign trade is to show our agencies what can really be done with American hardware and tools. It takes more than a salesman; and Farwell has the knack. So there you are. Tell your brother the boy shall have his chance."

A few months later McDougall sent for J.W. and put the whole proposal before him.

"But I'm not an expert, Mr. McDougall," J.W. protested. "I haven't the experience, and I might fall down completely in a new field like that."

"We're not looking for an expert," said McDougall, shortly. "You know what every user of our stuff ought to know; you can put yourself in his place; and you'll be a sort of missionary. How about it?"

At the word J.W.'s memory awoke, and he heard again what had been said in the living room at Delafield when he was last at home. A missionary! And here was the very chance they had all talked about.

"Of course I should like to go, if you think I'll do," he said.

Peter looked at him more kindly than was his wont. "My boy," he said, "I know something about you outside of business, though not much. And I think you'll do. Mind you, your missionary work will be tools and hardware, not the Methodist Church. You will have to show people who have their own ideas about tools how much more convenient our goods are; handier, lighter, more adaptable. What they need over there is modern stuff. It will help them to raise more crops and do better work and earn a better income. You've nothing to do with selling policies, finance, credits, and all that. Just be a tool and hardware missionary."

"Where had you thought of sending me?" asked J.W., still somewhat dazed.

"Oh, wherever we have agencies that you can use as bases: China, the Philippines, Malaysia, India. You will have to figure on a year or nearly that. And you mustn't stick to the ports or the big cities. Get hold of people who'll show you the country; the places where our goods are most needed and least known. Study the people and their tools. Work out better ways of doing things. Don't try to hustle the East, but remember that the East is doing a little hustling on its own account these days. And talk turkey to our agencies—when you're sure you have something to talk about."

The rest is detail. The trip determined on, preparations were hastened. A month before the date of starting J.W. had time for no more than a hurried visit to Delafield, to say good-by to the home folk and to the preacher whom he had come to think of as Timothy might have thought of Paul. Then he had something else to say to Jeannette. His prospects were becoming so promising that he could ask her a very definite question, and he dared to hope for a definite answer.

Jeannette, troubled at the thought of his long absence in strange lands, consoled herself by her promise, which was his promise also. As soon as he came home again they would be married. Brother Drury should officiate, assisted by "the Rev. Martin Luther Shenk, brother of the charming bride," as J.W. put it.

Walter Drury was not his usual alert self, J.W. thought, and it hurt him to see his much-loved friend touched even a little by the years. But the pastor brightened up, and grew visibly better as J.W. told him all his plans.

"Just think, Mr. Drury," he said with animation, "I'm to be a missionary, after all. Once long ago I remember you suggested I might go to China and see for myself the difference between their religion and ours; and now I'm going to China. Who knows, maybe I'll see Joe Carbrook at his work. And then I'm to go all over the East, to preach the gospel of better tools." Then he became thoughtful. "Don't you think that's almost as good as the gospel of better bodies—Joe's gospel?"

"Surely, I do," said the pastor, "if you and Joe preach in the same spirit, knowing that China won't be saved even by hospitals and modern hardware. They help. But remember our understanding; you have your chance now to see the religions of the East. Going right among the people, as you will, you can find out more in a week than the average tourist ever discovers. I'll give you the names of some people who will gladly help you. And we shall want a full report when you come back. God bless you, J.W."

It was a tired preacher who went to bed that night. This new adventure of his boy's; what would it mean to the Experiment? He had done his best to keep that long-ago pledge to himself. Not always had the project been easy; he could not control all its circumstances, but in the main it had gone well.

And now J.W. was in the last stage of the Experiment Walter Drury had contrived to shape its larger conditions, with the help of many friendly but unsuspecting conspirators. This tour in the interest of better tools was due mainly to his initiative. But he could do nothing more. The event was now out of his hands. The relaxed tension made him realize that his nerves were shaky, and he had a sense of great depression. But before he went to bed he pulled himself together long enough to write to five missionaries, including Joe Carbrook, whose fields were on or near the route J.W. would travel. He had told J.W. that he would let these men know of his coming, but he did more. To each one he said a word of appeal. "Don't argue much with this boy of mine; I want him to see it without too many second-hand opinions. Explain all you please, and let him get as near as he can to the people you are dealing with. If, as I hope, he gets a glimpse of the work's inner meaning, I shall be satisfied."

The first day which J.W. spent in Shanghai was a big day for him. Even amid the strangeness of the scene he felt almost at home. The people who had the Cummings agency had received their instructions, and were prepared to help him every way. He could begin an up-country trip at once if he wished. Then he met the first of the men to whom Pastor Drury had written, Mark Rutledge, and at once he saw that this well-groomed, alert young missionary, who used modern speech in deliberate but direct fashion, would be of immense service to him.

Rutledge received J. W.'s gospel of tools with almost boyish enthusiasm. "I've always said," he exclaimed, "that if the other business men of America had as much sense as the tobacco folks they would hasten the Christianizing of China by many a year. Not that tobacco is helping; far from it. But it's the idea of fitting their product to this particular market. And your house has evidently caught that idea. You must have a real sales manager in Saint Louis! Of course I'll help you all I can."

Some of the help which Mark Rutledge gave him was of a sort that J. W. could not rightly estimate at the time, but he knew it was good. As long as he stayed in Shanghai, and as often he came back to the city as a base, he and Rutledge were pretty frequently together. The missionary kept his own counsel as to the Drury letter, merely dropping a hint now and then, or a suggestion which fitted both the Cummings agency's program and the pastor's desire.

The inland trips for business purposes kept J. W. busy for weeks; he found himself in so utterly novel a situation that he saw he could not work out anything without careful study and expert Chinese cooperation. As he came and went he saw, under Rutledge's guidance, much of the inside of mission work. In Shanghai he found a Methodist publishing house, sending out literature all over China, as well as two monthly papers, one in Chinese and one in English. Many missionary boards had headquarters here. From Shanghai as a business center every form of missionary work was being promoted, reaching as far as the foothills of the Thibetan plateau. Hospital equipment was distributed, and school equipment, and supplies of every variety. He saw that it was the financial center too, and mission finance is a special science. Shanghai seemed to J. W. to be one of the great capitals of the missionary world.

Rutledge's own work, many sided as J. W. saw it was, had two aspects of special significance. Rutledge was sending back to America all the information he could gather from the whole field. With the skill of a trained reporter he showed the missionaries how to write so as to make a genuine story seem convincing, and how to subordinate the details to the importance of making a clear and single impression.

The other work of Rutledge's which caught J. W.'s eye was his activity in behalf of the young people of China. Until lately nothing at all had been done comparable to the specialized development of young people's work in America, but now the Epworth League was beginning to be utilized and adapted to Chinese ways. Funds were available—not much, but a beginning. Leaders were being trained. A larger measure of local, Chinese help was being employed.

J. W. asked Mark Rutledge about all this one day. "Isn't it going to make a difference with the work by and by, if you get so many natives into places of responsibility? Are they ready for it?"

"No," said Rutledge, "they're not. But we must make them ready. You haven't begun to see China yet, but already you can see that the country could never be 'evangelized,' even in the narrowest use of that word, by foreign missionaries. And it ought not to be."

"You mean that we Americans ought to consider our work in China as temporary?" J.W. asked.

Rutledge answered, "Frankly, I do, if you let me put my own meaning into 'temporary,' We must start things. And much that must be done in the long run has not yet been started. We must stay here beyond my life expectation or yours. But China will be Christianized by the Chinese, not by foreigners. As far ahead as we can see the work will have help from outside, but I honestly want the time to come when we missionaries will be looked upon as the foreign helpers of the Chinese Church; not, as now, controlling the work ourselves and enlisting the services of 'native helpers.'"

"Then tell me another thing," J.W. persisted. "Is our Christianity, as the Chinese get it, any advance on their own religion? Or is their religion all right, if they would work it as we hope they may work the Christian program?"

"That's two questions," said Rutledge, dryly, "but, after all, it is only one. Our Christianity as the Chinese get it is far ahead of the best they have, in ideals, in human values, everything, even if they were more consistent in responding to its claims than Christians are. The old religions—and China has several—are helpless. We are not killing off the old faiths. If we should get out to-morrow these would none the less die out in time, but then China would be left without any religion at all. Instead, she's going to have the Christian faith in a form that will accord with the genius of the Chinese mind. That's my sure confidence, or I wouldn't be here."

It was necessary that J.W. should run down the coast to Foochow, the base for his next operations in the hardware adventure. "I know I'm green," he said to Rutledge, "and I may be thinking of impossibilities, but do you suppose there'll be any chance for me to get up to Dr. Carbrook's place from Foochow? I've told you about him and his wife, and I'd rather see those two than anybody else in all the East."

"It's not impossible at all," Rutledge assured him. "Carbrook's post is not so very far from Foochow, as distances go in China, and Ralph Bellew at the college will help you."

"Yes, my pastor at home told me to be sure and call on him," said J.W., and took his leave of a man he would long remember.

The call of Professor Bellew was not delayed long after J.W. had found his bearings in Foochow, and the Professor's welcome was even more cordial than that of the Cummings agency, though these gentlemen were, of course, the soul of courtesy. If they were not so sure as Peter McDougall that J.W. or any other American could teach them anything about selling the Cummings line in China, at least they would not put anything in his way.

One important interior town, Yenping, they had hoped J.W. might visit, but unfortunately there was no one connected with the agency who could be sent with him. They understood that some of his missionary friends were ready to help him in the general enterprise, and perhaps they might be able to suggest something.

When the difficulty was stated to Professor Bellew he said: "Why, that's one of our stations. It is a little out of the way to go up to Dr. Carbrook's place on the way to Yenping, but we'll see that you get to both towns."

"That's certainly good of you, Professor," said J.W., gratefully. "I've told you about Joe Carbrook, and I can hardly wait until I get to him." As a matter of fact, he had told everybody about Joe Carbrook.

Professor Bellew was sympathetic. "I know," he said, "and I understand. When you come back, if we can manage the dates, you may find something here which you ought to see."

The Carbrook Hospital—it has another name in the annual reports, but this will identify it sufficiently for our purposes—spread itself all over the compound and beyond in its welcome to J.W. Joe and Marcia were first, and joyfullest. The school turned out to the last scholar, and even the hospital's "walking cases" insisted on having a share in the welcome to the foreign doctor's friend.

"Tell us what you are up to," said the Carbrooks, when they were back in the house after a sketchy inspection of the whole establishment; hospital, dispensary, school, chapel, and so forth. And, "Tell me what you are doing with it, now that you have the hospital you have been dreaming about so long," said J.W.

But J.W. told his story first, just to get it out of the way, as he said. Then he turned to Marcia and said, "How about it, 'Mrs. Carbrook'?"

"Well, J.W.," said Marcia, "that name is not so strange as it was. I'm feeling as if I had been married a long time, judging by the responsibilities, that are dumped on me just because I am the doctor's wife. And this doctor man of mine hardly knows whether to be happy or miserable. He's happy, because he has found the very place he wanted. And he's miserable because he ought to be learning the language and can't get away from the work that crowds in on him."

"And you yourself, Marcia," J.W. asked, "are you happy or miserable, or both?"

"She's as mixed up as I am, old man," Joe answered for her. "Talk about the language! I don't hanker after learning it, but I've got to, some time. If they would just let me be a sort of deaf-mute doctor I'd be much obliged. The work is fairly maddening. You know, it was a question of closing up this hospital or putting me in as a green hand. Of course there are the nurses, and a couple of students. But I'm glad they put me in; only, look at the job! Never a day without new patients. A steady stream at the out-clinic. Why, J.W., I've done operations alone here that at home they'd hardly let me hold sponges for. Had to do 'em."

Dr. Joe Carbrook Does Such Work As This in China

"Well," J.W. commented, "isn't that what you came for?"

"It is," Marcia answered—these two had a queer way of speaking for each other—"and it would be a good plenty if the hospital were all. But we are putting up a new building to take the place of an adobe horror, and Joe has to buy bricks and deal with workmen and give advice and dispense medicine and do operations, all with the help of a none too sure interpreter. He's the busiest man, I do believe, between here and Foochow."

J.W. wanted to draw Dr. Joe out about the work in general. What of the evangelistic work, and the educational work, and all the rest.

But Dr. Joe would not rise to it. "I'll tell you honestly, J.W., I just don't know. Haven't had time to find out. When I got here I found people standing three deep around the hospital doors, some wanting help for themselves, and some anxious to bring relatives or friends. I was at work before anything was unpacked except my instruments. And I've been at it ever since. Everything else could wait, but all this human misery couldn't. And I don't know much of what the evangelistic value of it all will be. We have a Bible woman and a teacher in the school who are very devoted. They read and pray every day with the patients, and as for gratitude, I never expected to be thanked for what I did as I have been thanked here. I'll tell you one thing; I didn't dream a man could be so content in the midst of such a hurricane of work. I'm done to a standstill every day; I bump into difficulties and tackle responsibilities that I hadn't even heard of in medical school, though I haven't killed anybody yet. And all the time I remember how I used to wish I might be the only doctor between Siam and sunrise. I'm plenty near enough to that, in all conscience. The only doctor in this town of one hundred thousand, and a district around us so big that I'm afraid to measure it. On one side the next doctor is a good hundred miles away. Now, do you know how I feel? Oh, yes; insufficient until it hurts like the toothache, yet somehow as though I were carrying on here, not in place of the man who has gone home on furlough, but in place of Jesus Christ himself. You know I'm not irreverent; I might have been, but this has taken all of the temptation out of me. It is his work, not mine."

J.W. turned to Marcia again. "I thought you said this Joe of yours was miserable, I've seen him when he was enjoying himself pretty well, but I never saw him like this."

"I know," Marcia admitted, "and I didn't mean he was really unhappy. But it is a big strain, and there's no sign of its letting up until the regular doctor gets back."

The next day J.W. watched his old friend amid the press of duties which crowded the hours, and he marveled as much as the wretchedness of the patients as he did at the steady resourcefulness of the man whom he had known when he was Delafield's adventurous and spendthrift idler.

As he looked on, J.W. could understand something which had been a closed book to him before. No one could stand by and see this abjectness of need, this helplessness, this pathetic faith which was almost fatalistic in the foreign doctor's miraculous powers—it recalled that beseeching cry in the New Testament story, "Lord, if thou _wilt_ thou _canst_"—without being deeply, poignantly glad that there were such men as Joe Carbrook. It was all very well to talk at long range about letting China and other places wait. But on the spot nobody could talk that way.

The visit might have lasted two weeks, instead of two days, and then the Carbrooks would have hung on and besought him to stay a little longer. Torture would not have drawn any admission from them, but back of all the joy in the work was a something that left them without words as J.W. and his little group from Foochow set out for the next stopping place. Just before the last silent hand-grips, J.W. told his friends about Jeannette and himself, and promised Joe a wedding present. "You see," he said, "I never sent you one when you were married, and I'd like to send you a double one now, for yourselves and for us. You send me word what it is you most need for the hospital, an X-ray outfit, or a sterilizer, or a thingamajig for making cultures, microscope included, and Jeannette and I will see that you get it. I'm a tither, you know, and my salary's been raised, and I want to do something to show what a fool I was before I knew what sort of a business you were really in out here. So don't be modest; you can't hurt my feelings!"

Back at Foochow in the course of the slow days which Chinese travel gives to those who go aside from the beaten path, Professor Bellew welcomed J.W. with eager warmth. "You're back just in time, if you can stay a few days; the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the college begins to-morrow."

J.W. had at least a week's business with the Cummings agents. He had found some conditions on his inland journey which called for much discussion. So he had time for sharing in a good deal of the celebration. It was something to marvel at, that a Christian college had been at work in this great city for forty years.

The president of the college and his wife started the proceedings with a formal reception, at which a Chinese orchestra furnished music outside the house, and Western musicians rendered more familiar selections in the parlors. Alumni flocked to the reception, men of every variety of occupation, but all one in their devotion to their Alma Mater. The next afternoon was given over to athletics, and the evening to a lecture, quite in the American fashion.

The third day being Sunday, J.W. listened to an American missionary in the morning, who spoke boldly of the prime need for a college like this if the youth of China were to be trained for the highest service to their country. At night he sat through nearly three hours of the most amazing testimony meeting he had ever seen. It was led by a Chinese who had been graduated from the college thirty years before. The eagerness, almost impatience, to confess what Jesus Christ and Christian education had meant to these Chinese leaders—for it was evident they _were_ leaders—was a thing to stir the most sluggish Christian pulse. J.W.'s mind took him back to a memorable love feast at Cartwright Institute, when Joe Carbrook had made his first confession of and surrender to Jesus Christ, and it seemed to him that the likeness between these two so different gatherings was far more real than all their contrasts.

On Monday the anniversary banquet brought the American consul, a representative of the provincial governor, and many other dignitaries. And on Tuesday the students put on a pageant which illustrated in gorgeousness of color and costume and accessories the history of the college. Besides all this pomp and circumstance there was a wonderful industrial exhibit. The president of China sent a scroll, as did also the prime minister. Former students in the cities of China, from Peking to Amoy, sent subscriptions amounting to twenty-five thousand dollars for new buildings, and other old students in the Philippines sent a second twenty-five thousand dollars.

All of which stirred J.W. to the very soul. Here was a Christian college older than many in America. Its results could not be measured by any visible standards, yet he had seen graduates of the school and students who did not stay long enough to graduate, men of light and leading, men of wealth and station, officials, men in whom the spirit of the new China burned, Christian workers; and all these bore convincing testimony that this college had been the one great mastering influence of their lives. A Christian college—in China!

J.W. thought of it all and said to himself: "I wonder if I am the same individual as he who not so many months ago was talking about the good sense of letting China wait indefinitely for Christ? Anyhow, somebody has had better sense than that every day of the last forty years!"

The "tour of the tools" was teaching J.W. more than he could teach the merchants of Asia. And yet he was doing no little missionary work, as evidenced both in his own reports to Peter McDougall, and still more in the reports which went to that observant gentleman after J.W. had moved on from any given place. The Cummings Hardware Corporation may be without a soul, as corporations are known to be, but it has many eyes.

These eyes followed J.W.'s progress from Shanghai to Foochow, to Hong Kong, to Manila. They observed how he studied artisans and their ways with tools, and the ways of builders with house fittings, and the various devices with which in field and garden the toilers set themselves to their endless labor. As the eyes of the Cummings organization saw these things, the word went back across the water to Saint Louis, and Peter McDougall took credit to himself for a commendable shrewdness.

But the ever-watchful eyes had no instructions to report on the tool missionary's other activities, and therefore no report was made. None the less they saw, and wondered, and thought that there was something back of it all. There was more back of it than they could have guessed.

For J. W. had come to a new zest for both of his quests. The business which had brought him into the East was daily becoming more fascinating in its possibilities and promise. In even greater measure the interests which belong especially to this chronicle were taking on a new importance. Everywhere he went he sought out the missions and the missionaries. He plied the workers with question on question until they told him all the hopes and fears and needs and longings which often they hesitated to put into their official letters to the Boards.

In Manila he saw, after a little more than two decades of far from complete missionary occupation, the signs that a Christian civilization was rising. The schools and churches and hospitals and other organization work established in Manila were proof that all through the islands the everyday humdrum of missionary service was going forward, perhaps without haste, but surely without rest.

When he came to Singapore, that traffic corner to which all the sea roads of the East converge, he heard the story of a miracle, and then he saw the miracle itself, the Anglo-Chinese College.

They told him what it meant, not the missionaries only, but the Chinese merchants who controlled the Cummings line for all the archipelago, and Sumatra planters, and British officials, and business men from Malaysian trade centers whose names he had never before heard.

The teacher who put himself at J. W.'s service was one of the men to whom Pastor Drury had written his word of appeal on J. W.'s behalf. He respected it altogether, and the more because he well knew that here was no need for mere talk. A visitor with eyes and ears could come to his own conclusions. If the college were not its own strongest argument, no words could strengthen it.

The college had been started by intrepid men who had no capital but faith and an overmastering sense of duty. That was a short generation ago. Now J. W. saw crowded halls and students with purposeful faces, and he heard how, at first by the hundreds and now by thousands, the product of this school was spreading a sense of Christian life-values through all the vast island and ocean spaces from Rangoon to New Guinea, and from Batavia to Sulu.

But it may as well be told that, even more than China, India made the deepest impress on the mind and heart of our tool-traveler. From the moment when he landed in Calcutta to the moment when he watched the low coasts of the Ganges delta merge into the horizon far astern, India would not let him alone. He saw poverty such as could scarcely be described, and religious rites the very telling of which might sear the tongue. If China's poor had a certain apathy which seemed like poise, even in their wretchedness, not so India's, but, rather, a slow-moving misery, a dull progress toward nothing better, with only nothingness and its empty peace at last.

Once in Calcutta, and his business plans set going, he started out to find some of the city's Christian forces. They were not easy to find. As in every Oriental city, missionary work is relatively small. Indeed, J. W. began to think that this third city of Asia had little religion of any sort.

He had been prepared in part for the first meager showing of mission work. On shipboard he had encountered the usual assortment of missionary critics; the unobservant, the profane, the superior, the loose-living, and all that tribe. The first of them he had met on the second day out from San Francisco, and every boat which sailed the Eastern seas appeared to carry its complement of self-appointed and all-knowing enemies of the whole missionary enterprise. While steaming up the Bay of Bengal, the anti-mission chorus appeared at its critical best. J. W. was told as they neared Calcutta that the Indian Christian was servile, and slick and totally untrustworthy. Never had these expert observers seen a genuine convert, but only hypocrites, liars, petty thieves, and grafters.

In spite of it all, at last he found the Methodist Mission, and it was not so small, when once you saw the whole of it. By great good fortune his instructions from home ordered him up country as far as Cawnpore. And to his delight he met a Methodist bishop, one of the new ones, who was setting out with a party for the Northwest. So, on the bishop's most cordial invitation, he joined himself to the company, and learned in a day or two from experts how to make the best of India's rather trying travel conditions.

Benares, Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow—J. W. came to these cities with a queer feeling of having been there before. Long ago, in his early Sunday school days, the names of these places and the wonders of them had been the theme of almost the only missionary book he had at that age cared to read.

At Allahabad, said his companions of the way, an All-India Epworth League convention was to be held, and J. W. made up his mind that a League convention in India would be doubly worth attending. He did attend it too, but it left no such memory as another gathering in the same city; a memory which he knows will last after every other picture of the East has faded from his recollection.

The party had reached Allahabad at the time of the Khumb Mela, a vast outpouring of massed humanity too great for any but the merest guesses at its numbers. This "Mela," feast, religious pilgrimage, whatever it might mean to these endless multitudes, is held here at stated times because the two sacred rivers, the Jumna and the Ganges, come together at Allahabad, and tradition has it that a third river flows beneath the surface to meet the others. So the place is trebly sacred, its waters potent for purification, no matter how great one's sin.

With the others J.W. set out for an advantageous observation point, on the wall of the fort which stands on the tongue of land between the two streams. On the way J.W. assured himself that if Calcutta seemed without religion, here was more than enough of it to redress the balances. In the throng was a holy man whose upraised arm had been held aloft until it had atrophied, and would never more swing by his side. And yonder another holy one sat in the sand, with a circle of little fires burning close about him. The seeker after he knew not what who made his search while lying on a bed of spikes was here. And once a procession passed, two hundred men, all holy after the fashion of Hindu holiness, all utterly naked, with camels and elephants moving in their train. As if to show how these were counted men of special sanctity, the people fell on their faces to the ground beside them as they passed, and kissed their shadows on the sand.

The point of vantage reached, J.W.'s bewildered eyes could scarce make his brain believe what they saw. He was standing on a broad wall, thirty feet above the water, and perhaps a hundred feet back from it. Up and down the stream was an endless solid mass of heads. J.W. looked for some break in the crowd, some thinning out of its packed bodies, but as far as he could see there was no break, no end. Government officials had estimated the number of pilgrims at two millions!

A signal must have been given, or an hour had come—J. W. could not tell which—but somehow the people knew that now was the opportunity to enter the water and gain cleansing from all sin. A mighty, resistless movement carried the human stream to meet the river. Inevitably the weaker individuals were swept along helpless, and those who fell arose no more. Horrified, J. W. stood looking down on the slow, irresistible movement of the writhing bodies, and he saw a woman drop. A British police officer, standing in an angle of the wall beneath, ordered a native policeman to get the woman out But the native, seeing the crush and unwilling to risk himself for so slight a cause, waited until his superior turned away to another point of peril, and then, snatching the red-banded police turban from his head, was lost in the general mass.

The woman? Trampled to death, and twenty other men and women with her, in sight of the stunned watchers on the wall, who were compelled to see these lives crushed out, powerless to help by so much as a finger's weight.

What was it all for? J. W. asked his companions on the wall. And they said that the word went out at certain times and the people flocked to this Mela. They came to wash in the sacred waters at the propitious moment. Nothing else mattered; not the inescapable pollution of the rivers, not the weariness and hunger and many distresses of the way. It was a chance, so the wise ones declared, to be rid of sin. Certainly it might not avail, but who would not venture if mayhap there might be cleansing of soul in the waters of Mother Ganges?

On another day J. W. came to a temple, not a great towering shrine, but a third-rate sort of place, a sacred cow temple. Here was a family which had journeyed four hundred miles to worship before the idols of this temple. They offered rice to one idol, flowers to another, holy water from the river to a third. No one might know what inner urge had driven them here. The priest, slow to heed them, at length deigned to dip his finger in a little paint and with it he smeared the caste mark on the foreheads of the worshipers. It was heartless, empty formality.

J. W. watched the woman particularly. Her face was an unrelieved sadness; she had fulfilled the prescribed rites, in the appointed place, but there was no surcease from the endless round of dull misery which she knew was her ordained lot. Thought J. W.: "I suppose this is a sort of joining the church, an initiation or something of that sort. Not much like what happened when I joined the church in Delafield. Everybody was glad there; here nobody is glad, not even the priest."

At Cawnpore J. W. was able to combine business with his missionary inquiries. Here he found great woollen and cotton mills, not unlike those of America, except that in these mills women and children were working long hours, seven days a week, for a miserable wage. It was heathenism plus commercialism; that is to say, a double heathenism. For when business is not tempered by the Christian spirit, it is as pagan as any cow temple.

In these mills was a possible market for certain sorts of Cummings goods, as J.W. learned in the business quarter of the city. He wanted more opportunity to see how the goods he dealt in could be used, and, having by now learned the path of least resistance, he appealed to a missionary. It was specially fortunate that he did, for the missionary introduced him to the secretary of the largest mills in the city, an Indian Christian with a history.

Now, this is a hint at the story of—well, let us call him Abraham. His own is another Bible name, of more humble associations, but he deserves to be called Abraham. Thirty years ago a missionary first evangelized and then baptized some two hundred villagers—outcasts, untouchables, social lepers. Being newly become Christians, they deposed their old village god. The landlord beat them and berated them, but they were done with the idol. Now, that was no easy adventure of faith, and those who thus adventured could not hope for material gain. They were more despised than ever.

Yet inevitably they began to rise in the human scale. The missionary found one of them a young man of parts. Him he took and taught to read, to write, to know the Scriptures. He began to be an exhorter; then a local preacher; and at last he joined the Conference as a Methodist itinerant at six dollars a month. Now this boy was the father of Abraham.

As a preacher he opened village schools, and taught the children their letters, his own boy among them. Abraham learned quickly. A place was found for him in a mission boarding school. Thence he moved on and up to Lucknow Christian College. It was this man who escorted J.W. through the great mills of which he was an executive. He had a salary of two hundred dollars a month. If his father had been an American village preacher at twelve hundred dollars a year, Abraham's salary, relatively, would need to be twenty or thirty thousand dollars.

Abraham was the superintendent of a Sunday school in Cawnpore. He was giving himself to all sorts of betterment work which would lessen the misery of the poor. He had a seat in the city council. A hostel for boys was one of his enterprises. Here was a man doing his utmost to Christianize the industry in which thousands of his country men spent their lives; a second-generation Christian, and a man who must be reckoned with, no longer spurned and despised as a casteless nobody.

J.W. followed Abraham about the mills with growing admiration. Inside the walls, light, orderly paths, flowers, cleanliness. Outside the gate, to step across the road was to walk a thousand years into the past, among the smells and the ageless noises of the bazaar, with its chaffering and cheating, its primitive crudities, and its changeless wares. Certainly, a Cawnpore mill is not the ideal industrial commonwealth, but without men like Abraham to alleviate its grimness the coming of larger opportunities through work like this might well lay a heavier burden on men's lives than the primitive and costly toil which it has displaced.

There was just time for a visit to Lucknow, a city which to the British is the historic place of mutiny and siege; to American Methodists a place both of history and of present-day advance. J. W. worshiped in the great Hindustani Methodist church, the busy home of many activities. In the congregation were many students, girls from Isabella Thoburn College, and boys from Lucknow Christian College. Lifelong Methodist as he was, J. W. quickly recognized, even amid these new surroundings, the familiar aspects of a Methodist church on its busy day. The crowding congregations were enough to stir one's blood. A noble organ sounded out the call to worship and led the choir and people in the service of praise. There was a Sunday school in full operation, and an Epworth League Chapter, completely organized and active. His guide confided to J. W. that this church had yet another point of resemblance to the great churches at home; it was quite accustomed to sending a committee to Conference, to tell the bishop whom it wanted for preacher next year!

J. W. was not quite satisfied. The days of his wanderings must soon be over, but before he left India he wanted to see the missionary in actual contact with the immemorial paganism of the villages, for he had discovered that the village is India. How was the Christian message meeting all the dreary emptinesses and limitations of village life?

Once more he appealed to his missionary guide; this latest one, the last of the five men to whom Pastor Drury had written before J.W. had set out on his travels. Could he show his visitor a little of missionary work in village environment?

"Surely. Nothing easier," the district superintendent said. "We'll jump into my Ford—great thing for India, the Ford; and still greater for us missionaries—and we'll go a-villaging."

The village of their quest once reached, the Ford drew up before a neat brick house built around three sides of a courtyard, with verandas on the court side. This was no usual mud hut, but a house, and a parsonage withal. Here lived the Indian village preacher and his family. The preacher's wife was neatly dressed and capable; the children clean and well-mannered. The room had its table, and on the table books. That meant nothing to J.W., but the superintendent gave him to understand that a table with books in an Indian village house was comparable in its rarity to a small-town American home with a pipe organ and a butler!

The lunch of native food seemed delicious, if it was "hot," to J.W.'s healthy appetite, and if he had not seen over how tiny a fire it had been prepared he would have credited the smiling housewife with a lavishly equipped kitchen.

People began to drop in. It was somewhat disconcerting to the visitor, to see these callers squatting on their heels, talking one to another, but watching him continually out of the corners of their eyes. One of them, the chaudrie, headman of the village, being introduced to J. W., told him, the superintendent acting as interpreter, how the boys' school flourished, and how he and other Christians had gone yesterday on an evangelizing visit to another village, not yet Christian, but sure to ask for a teacher soon.

The preacher, in a rather precise, clipped English, asked J. W. if he cared to walk about the village. "We could go to the _mohulla_ [ward], where most of our Christians live. They will be most glad to welcome you."

The way led through dirty, narrow streets, or, rather, let us say, through the spaces between dwellings, to the low-caste quarter. Here were people of the bottom stratum of Indian life, yet it was a Christian community in the making. The little school was in session—a group of fifteen or twenty boys and girls with their teacher. It was all very crude, but the children read their lessons for the visitor, and did sums on the board, and sang a hymn which the pastor had composed, and recited the Lord's Prayer and the Twenty-third psalm.

"These," said the pastor, "are the children of a people which for a thousand years has not known how to read or write. Yet see how they learn."

"Yes," the superintendent agreed, "but that isn't the best of it, as you know. They are untouchables now, but even caste, which is stronger than death, yields to education. Once these boys and girls have an education they cannot be ignored or kept down. They will find a place in the social order."

"I can see that," J.W. said, thinking of Abraham. "But education is not a missionary monopoly, is it? If these children were educated by Hindus, would not the resulting rise in their condition come just the same?"

"It would, perhaps," the missionary answered, "but your 'if' is too big. For the low caste and the out-caste people there is no education unless it is Christian education. We have a monopoly, though not of our choosing. The educated Hindu will not do this work under any circumstances. It has been tried, with all the prestige of the government, which is no small matter in India, and nothing comes of it. Not long ago the government proposed a wonderful scheme for the education of the 'depressed classes.' The money was provided, and the equipment as well. There were plenty of Hindus, that is, non-Christians, who were indebted to the government for their education. They were invited to take positions in the new schools. But no; not for any money or any other inducement would these teachers go near. And there you are. I know of no way out for the great masses of India except as the gospel opens the door."

"Is there no attempt of any sort on the part of Indians who are not Christians? Surely, some of them are enlightened enough to see the need, and to rise above caste." J. W. suspected he was asking a question which had but one answer.

"Yes, there is such an effort occasionally," the superintendent admitted. "The Arya Samaj movement makes an attempt once in a while, but it always fails. If a few are bold enough to disregard caste, they are never enough to do anything that counts. The effort is scarcely more than a gesture, and even so it would not have been made but for the activities of the missionaries."

And so ended J. W.'s Indian studies. Before many days he was retracing his way—Calcutta, Singapore, Hongkong, Shanghai, Yokohama. And then on a day he found himself aboard a liner whose prow turned eastward from Japan's great port, and his heart was flying a homeward-bound pennant the like of which never trailed from any masthead.


For the first day or so out from Japan J.W. behaved himself as does any ordinary American in similar case; all the sensations of the journey were swallowed up in the depths of his longings to be home. The voyage so slow; the Pacific so wide!

But shortly he resigned himself to the pervading restfulness of shipboard, and began to make acquaintances. Of them all one only has any interest for us—Miss Helen Morel, late of Manila. Her place was next to his at the table. Like J.W., she was traveling alone, and before they had been on board twenty-four hours they had discovered that both were Methodists; he, from Delafield in the Middle West, she from Pennsylvania. J.W. found, altogether to his surprise, that she listened with flattering attention while he talked. For J.W. is no braggart, nor is he overmuch given to self-admiration; we know him better than that. But it was pleasant, none the less, on good days to walk up and down the long decks, and on other days to sit in comfortable deck chairs, with nothing to do but talk.

Miss Morel, being a teacher going home after three years of steady, close work in a Manila high school, was ready to talk of anything but school work. She found herself immensely interested in J.W.'s experiences. He had told her of the double life, so to say, which he had led; preaching the good news of better tools, and studying the work of other men and women, as truly salesmen as himself, who preached a more arresting and insistent gospel.

"I'm glad to meet some one who knows about missions at first hand," Miss Morel began one morning, as they stepped out on the promenade deck for their constitutional. "You know, I think people at home don't understand at all. They are so absorbed with their little parish affairs that they can't appreciate this wonderful work that is being done so far from home."

J. W. agreed, though not without mental reservations. He knew how true it was that many of the home folks did not rightly value mission work, but he was not so sure about their "little parish affairs." He watched to see if Miss Morel meant to expand that idea.

But she evidently had thought at once of something else. Said she, "Sometimes I think that if the gossip about missionaries and missions which is so general in the Orient gets back home, as it surely does in one way or another, it must have a certain influence on what people think about the work."

"Oh, that," said J. W., with no little scorn. "That stuff is always ignorant or malicious, and I doubt if it gets very far with church people. Of course it may with outsiders. I've heard it, any amount of it; you can't miss it if you travel in the East And there's just enough excuse for it to make it a particularly vicious sort of slander. You could say as much about the churches at home, and a case here and there would not be lacking to furnish proof."

"Certainly," said the teacher. "And yet missions are so wonderful; so much more worth while than anything that is being done at home, don't you think?"

There it was again. "I'm afraid I don't follow you, Miss Morel," J.W. said, with a puzzled air. "Do you mean that the churches at home are not onto their job, if you'll excuse the phrase?"

His companion laughed as she answered, "Maybe not quite as strong as that. But they are doing the same old thing in the same old way. Going to church and home again, to Sunday school and home again, to young people's meeting and home again. But out here," and her hand swung in a half circle as though she meant to include the whole Pacific basin, "out here men and women are doing such splendid pioneer work, in all sorts of fascinating ways."

"True enough," J.W. assented. "I've seen that, all right. But the home church isn't so dead as you might think. Just before I left Delafield to go to Saint Louis, for instance, a new work for the foreign-speaking people of our town was being started, with the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension backing up the local workers. They were planning to make a great church center for all these people, and I hear that it is getting a good start."

"Oh, yes, I can well believe that, Mr. Farwell," Miss Morel hastened to say. "I think work for the immigrant is so very interesting, don't you? But, of course, that's not quite what I meant. The usual dull things that churches do, you know."

"Well, take another instance that I happen to remember," J.W. had a touch of the sort of feeling he used to delight in at Cartwright, when he was gathering his material for a debate. "My first summer after leaving college, a few of us in First Church got busy studying our own town. We found two of the general church boards ready to help us with facts and methods. The Home Missions people gave us one sort of help, and another board, with the longest name of them all, the Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals, showed us how to go about an investigation of the town's undesirable citizens and their influence. It is in that sort of business for all of us, you know."

"That must have been exciting," said Miss Morel. "I know I should enjoy such work. What did you find out, and what could you do about it?"

That was a question not to be glibly answered, J.W. knew. But he meant to be fair about it. "We found out plenty that surprised us; a great deal," he added, "that ought to be done, and much more that needed to be changed. We even went so far as to draw up a sort of civic creed, 'The Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' The town paper printed it, and it was talked about for a while, but probably we were the people who got the most out of it; it showed us what we church members might mean to the town. And that was worth something."

Miss Morel was sure it was. But she came back to her first idea about the home churches. "Don't you think that much of the preaching, and all that, is pretty dull and tiresome? I came from a little country church, and it was so dreary."

J.W. thought of Deep Creek, and said, "I know what you mean; but even the country church is improving. I must tell you some time about Marty, my chum. He's a country preacher, helped in his training by the Rural Department of the Home Missions Board, and his people come in crowds to his preaching. Country churches are waking up, and the Board people at Philadelphia have had a lot to do with it."

"Well, I'm glad. But anyway, home missions is rather commonplace, haven't you noticed?" and Miss Morel looked almost as though she were asking a question of state.

"I can't say I've found it so," J.W. said, stoutly, "I was some time learning, but I ran into a lot of experiences before I left home. Take the work for colored people, for instance. I had to make a speech at a convention, and I found out that our church has a Board of Education for Negroes which is doing more than any other agency to train Negro preachers and teachers and home makers, and doctors and other leaders. That's not so very commonplace, would you say so?"

"Well, no," the young lady admitted. "It is very important work, of course; and I'd dearly love to have a share in it. I am a great believer in the colored races, you know. But you are making me begin to think I am all wrong about the church at home. I don't mean to belittle it. Perhaps I appreciate it more than I realized. Anyway, tell me something else that you have found out."

"There isn't time," J. W. objected. "But if you won't think me a nuisance, maybe I can tell you part of it. For example, Sunday school. Long ago I discovered that the whole church was providing for Sunday school progress through a Board of Sunday Schools, and there isn't a modern Sunday school idea anywhere that this Board doesn't put into its scheme of work. I was a very small part of it myself for a while, so I know."

"Yes, and even I know a little about the Sunday School Board," confessed Miss Morel. "It has helped us a lot in the Philippines. And so I must admit that the church does try to improve and extend Sunday school work. What else?"

J. W. told about his experiences on the Mexican border, where home missions and foreign missions came together. Then, seeing that she was really listening, he told of his and Marty's college days, how Marty had borrowed money from the Board of Education, and how the same Board had a hand in the college evangelistic work. He told about the deaconesses who managed the hospital at Manchester, and the training school which Marcia Dayne Carbrook had attended when she was getting ready to go to China. That school had sent out hundreds of deaconesses and other workers.

The thought of Marcia made him think of Joe, and he told what he knew of how the Wesley Foundation at the State University had helped Joe when he could easily have made shipwreck of his missionary purpose. Of course the story of his visit to the Carbrooks in China must also be told.

Miss Morel changed the subject again. "Tell me, Mr. Farwell," she asked, "were you in the Epworth League when you were at home?"

"I surely was," said J.W. "That was where I got my first start; at the Cartwright Institute." And the story jumped back to those far-off days when he was just out of high school.

As he paused Miss Morel said, "I was an Epworthian, too, and in the young women's missionary societies. We had a combination society in our church, so I was a 'Queen Esther' and a 'Standard Bearer' as well. Those organizations did me a world of good. You know, when I think of it, the women's missionary societies have done a wonderful work in America and everywhere."

"I guess they have," said J.W. "I know my mother has always been a member of both, and she's always been the most intelligent and active missionary in the Farwell family."

The talk languished for a while, and then Miss Morel exclaimed, "I know why we've stopped talking; we're hungry. It is almost time for luncheon, and if you have an appetite like mine, you're impatient for the call."

J. W. looked at his watch and saw that there was only ten minutes of the morning left. So they separated to get ready against the sounding of the dinner gong.

But J. W. was not hungry. He was struggling with an old thought that to him had all the tantalizing quality of novelty. The talk of the morning had become a sort of roll-call of church boards. How did it happen that the church was busy with this and that and the other work? Why a Board of Hospitals and Homes? Why a Deaconess Board, even though deaconess work happened to be merciful and gentle and Christlike? What was the church doing with a Book Concern? How came it that we had that board with the long name—Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals? He had traveled from Yokohama to Lucknow and back, and everywhere he had found this same church doing all sorts of work, with no slightest suspicion but that all of it was her proper business.

So picture after picture flickered before his mind's eye, as though his brain had built up a five-reel mental movie from all sorts of memory film; a hundred feet of this, two hundred of that, a thousand here, there just a flash. It had all one common mark; it was all "the church," but the hit-and-miss of it, its lightning change, bewildered him. The pictures leaped from Cartwright to Cawnpore, from the country church at Ellis to Joe Carbrook's hospital in China; from New York and Philadelphia and Chicago and Cincinnati and Washington to the ends of the country and the ends of the earth; and in and through it all, swift bits of unrelated yet vivid hints of _Advocates_ and _Heralds_, of prayer meetings and institutes, of new churches and old colleges, of revivals and sewing societies, of League socials and Annual Conferences, of deaconesses visiting dreary homes, and soft-footed nurses going about in great hospitals; of beginners' departments and old people's homes; of kindergartens and clinics and preparatory classes. There seemed no end to it all, every moment some new aspect of the church's activity showed itself and then was gone.

It was a most confused and confusing experience; and all through the rest of the day J.W. caught himself wondering again and again at the variety and complexity of the church's affairs.

Why should a church be occupied with all this medley? Why should it be so distracted from its main purpose, to be a Jack of all trades? Why should it open its doors and train its workers and spend its money in persistent response to every imaginable human appeal?

Perhaps that might be it; "_human_." Once a philosopher had said, "I am a man, and therefore nothing human is foreign to me." What if the church by its very nature must be like that? what if this really were its main purpose—all these varied and sometimes almost conflicting activities no more than its effort to obey the central law of its life?

J. W. was in his stateroom; he paced the narrow aisle between the berths—three steps forward, three steps back, like a caged wild thing. Something was coming to new reality in his soul; he was scarce conscious of the walls that shut him in. Once he stopped by the open port. He looked out at the tumbling rollers of the wide Pacific. And as he looked he thought of the vastness of this sea, how its waters washed the icy shores of Alaska and the palm-fronded atolls of the Marquesas; how they carried on their bosom the multitudinous commerce of a hundred peoples; how from Santiago to Shanghai and from the Yukon to New Zealand it was one ocean, serving all lands, and taking toll of all.

In spite of all the complexities and diversities of the lands about this ocean, they had one possession which all might claim, as it claimed them—the sea. It gave them neighbors and trade, climate and their daily bread. In the sociology and geography and economics of the Orient this Pacific Ocean was the great common denominator. _And in the geography and economics and sociology of the kingdom of God? Might it not be—must it not be, the church_!

Not only the Pacific basin, but the round world was like that, every part of it dependent on all the rest, and growing every day more and more conscious of all the rest. Railways helped this process, and so did steamships and air routes and telegraph and wireless. More than that, all the world was becoming increasingly related to the life of every part. With raw material produced in Brazil to make tires for the limousines of Fifth Avenue and the Lake Shore Drive, what of the new kinship between the producers in Brazil and the users in the States? All good was coming to be the good of all the earth; and all evil was able to affect the lives of unsuspecting folk half the earth's circumference away.

In such a time, what an insistent call for the program and power of the Christian faith! And the call could be answered. J.W. had seen the church applying the program as well in a Chinese city and in an Indian village as in his home town and on the Mexican border. He was sure that the power that was in the Christian message could heal all the hurts of the world, and bring all peoples into "a world-commonwealth of good will."

This was what Jesus meant to do; not just to save here and there a little group for heaven out of the general hopelessness, but to save and make whole the heart of mankind. The church was not, first of all, seeking its own enlargement, but extending the reach of its Founder's purpose. It did all its many-sided work for a far greater reason than any increase in its own numbers and importance; in a word, for the Christianizing of life, Sunday and every day, in Delafield as well as in the forests of the Amazon and the huddled cities of China.

J.W. sat on the edge of his berth. In the first glow of this new understanding his nerves had steadied to a serenity that was akin to awe. Yet he knew he had made no great discovery. The thing he saw had been there all the time.

Then his mind set to work again on that motley procession of pictures which he had likened to a patchwork film. Was it as disjointed as it seemed? Could it not be so put together as to make a true continuity, consistent and complete?

Why not? In the events of his own life, strangely enough, he had the clue to its right arrangement. By what seemed to be accidental or incidental opportunity it had been his singular fortune to come in contact with some aspect or another of all the work his church was doing. And every element of it, from the beginners' class at Delafield to the language school at Nanking, from the college social in First Church to the celebration at Foochow—it was all New Testament work. Its center was always Jesus Christ's teaching or example, or appeal. There was in its complexity a vast simplicity; each was a part of all, and all was in each.

"John Wesley Farwell, Jr.," said that young man to himself, "this thing is not your discovery—but how does that bit of Keats' go?"

'Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise— Silent, upon a peak in Darien,'

There you have it! But I might have known. Cortez, if it _was_ Cortez, could not have guessed the Pacific. He had nothing to suggest it. But I might have guessed the singleness of the church's work. What is my name for, unless I can appreciate the man who said 'The world is my parish,' and who would do anything—sell books, keep a savings bank, open a dispensary—for the sake of saving souls? That's the single idea, the simple idea. It makes all these queer activities part of one great activity; and rests them all on one under-girding truth—'The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.'

But the wonderful thing to me is that, after all this time, I should suddenly have found this out for myself!

"What a story to take home to Delafield! Pastor Drury is going to have the surprise of his life!"

Three people met J.W. as his train pulled in to the station at Delafield. The other two were his father and mother.

After the first tearfully happy greetings, J.W. looked around the platform. "I rather thought Brother Drury might have come too," he said.

The others exchanged meaning glances, and his father asked, "Then you didn't get my second letter at San Francisco?"

"No," said J.W., in vague alarm, "only the one. What's wrong? Is Mr. Drury—"

"He's at home now, son," said the elder Farwell, gravely. "He came home from our Conference hospital at Hillcrest two weeks ago. We hope he's going to gain considerable strength, but he's had some sort of a stroke, we don't rightly know what, and he's pretty hard hit. He's better than he was last week, but he can't leave his room; sits in his easy chair and doesn't say much."

J. W.'s heart ached. Without always realizing it, he had been counting on long talks with the pastor; there was so much to tell him. And especially so since that wonderful day out in the middle of the Pacific, when he had seen what he even dared to call his 'vision' of the church.

So he said, "You and mother drive on home; I'll walk up with Jeannette."

For lovers who had just met after a year's separation these two were strangely subdued. They had everything to say to each other, but this sudden falling of the shadow of suffering on their meeting checked the words on their lips.

"Will he get better?" J. W. asked Jeannette.

"They fear not," she answered. "The doctors say he may live for several years, but he will never preach again. He just sits there; he's been so anxious to see you. You must go to-day."

"Of course. And what shall I say about the wedding? If he can't leave his room----"

Jeannette interrupted him: "If he can't leave his room, it will make no difference. Church wedding or home wedding I should have chosen, as I have told you; but you and I, John Wesley, are going to be married by Walter Drury, wherever he is, if he's alive on our wedding day."

"Why, yes," said J.W., with a little break in his voice, "it wouldn't seem right any other way. We can have the dinner, or breakfast or whatever it is, just the same, but we'll be married in his room. I'm glad you feel that way about it too; though it's just like you."

And it was so. J.W. went up to the study as soon as he could rid himself of the dust of the day's travel, more eager to show Walter Drury he loved him than to tell his story or even to arrange for the wedding.

As to that ceremony, the plans had long ago been understood; nothing more was needed than to tell Walter Drury his study afforded a better background and setting for this particular wedding than a cathedral could provide.

J.W. was prepared for a great change in Pastor Drury, but he noticed no such signs of breakdown as he had expected to see. He did not know that the beloved pastor was keyed up for this meeting. He could not guess that the beaming eye, the old radiant smile, the touch of color in a face usually pale, were on special if unconscious display because the pastor's heart was thanking God that he had been permitted to welcome home his son in the gospel.

Those had been dreary days, in the hospital, despite the ceaseless ministries of nurses and doctors and friends from Delafield. This hospital was a place of noble service, one of many such places which have arisen in the Methodism of the last forty years. It was a hospital through and through—the last word in equipment and competence, but not at all an "institution." It was at once a home for the sick and a training school of the Christian graces, where the distressed of body and mind could be given the relief they needed—all of it given gladly, in Christ's name.

Walter Drury was not unmindful of the care and skill which the hospital staff lavished on him, though no more faithfully on him than on many an unknown or unresponsive patient. But he was in a pitifully questioning mood. The doctors had told him he could not expect to preach again. When the district superintendent had come to visit him, he carried away with him Walter Drury's request for retirement at the coming session of the Annual Conference.

In his quiet moments—there were so many of them now—the broken man counted up his years of service, all too few, as it seemed to him, and lacking much of what they might have shown in outcomes for the church and the kingdom. His Conference was one of the few which paid the full annuity claim of its retired preachers, but even so he had not much to look forward to. His twenty-five years in the active ranks meant that he could count on twenty-five times $15 a year, $375, on which to live, when he gave up his work.

Perhaps he could live on this, with what little he had been able to put aside; at any rate he could be glad now that there was none but himself to think about. But was it worth all he had put into his vocation? His brother in Saint Louis, not remarkably successful in his business, had been able at least to make some provision for his old age. He too might have been a moderately successful business or professional man. Truly it was more than the older preachers had, this Conference annuity, which would keep him from actual want; so much, surely, had been gained by the church's growing sense of responsibility for its veterans.

But had it really paid? Was all the gentle efficiency of the hospital, and all the church's money which would come to him from the Conference funds and the Board of Conference Claimants, enough to compensate him for the long years when he had been spendthrift of all his powers for the sake of his work?

He knew, of course, the answer to his questions; no one better. But he was a broken-down preacher, old before his time; and knowing the answer was not at all the same as _having_ the answer. So he had been brought home from Hillcrest, mind-weary and much cast down. Nor did he regain any of his old buoyancy of spirit until the day when they told him J. W, would be home next week.

It was then that he told himself, "If J. W. has come back with only a story to tell"—and gloom was in his face; "But if he has come back with _the_ story to tell"—and his heart leaped within him at the thought.

The pastor and J. W. were soon talking away with the old familiarity, but mostly about inconsequentials. Neither was quite prepared for more intimate communion; and, of course, the returning traveler had much to do. The wedding was near at hand, and everybody but himself had been getting ready this long time. So the call was too brief to suit either of them, with the longer visits each hoped for of necessity deferred to a more convenient season.

J. W. must make a hurried journey to Saint Louis to turn in his report to Peter McDougall, which report Peter was much better prepared to receive than J. W. suspected. And a highly satisfactory arrangement was made for J. W.'s continued connection with the Cummings Hardware Corporation.

Doubtless all weddings are much alike in their ceremonial aspects; short or long, solemn-spoken ancient ritual or commonplace legal form, the essence of them all is that this man and this woman say, "I will." So it was in Walter Drury's study. And then the little group seated itself about the pastor; Marty with Alma Wetherell, soon to become Mrs. Marty; all the Shenks, the elder Farwells, John Wesley, Jr., and Jeannette. The dinner would not be for an hour yet, and this was the pastor's time.

Pastor Drury could not talk much. He had kept his chair as he read the ritual, and now he sat and smiled quietly on them all. But once and again his eye sought J. W. and the look was a question yet unanswered.

"What sort of a voyage home did you have?" Mrs. Farwell asked her son, motherlike, using even a query about the weather to turn attention to her boy.

"A good voyage, mother," said J. W. "A fine voyage. But one day—will you let me tell it here, all of you? I've hardly been any more eager for my wedding day than for a chance to say this. I won't tire you, Mr. Drury, will I?"

"You'll never do that, my boy," said the preacher. "But don't bother about me, I've long had a feeling that what you are going to say will be better for me than all the doctors." For he had seen the eager glow on J. W's face, and his heart was ready to be glad.

Thus it was that J. W. told the story of his great moment; how he had talked with Miss Morel one morning of the many-sided work of the church, and how in the afternoon he had looked through the open port of his stateroom and had seen an ocean that looked like the church, and a church that seemed like the ocean.

"I shall remember that day forever, I think," he said. "For the first time in my life I could put all the pieces of my life together; my home, my church, the Sunday school, the League, college, the needy life of this town, your country work, Marty, Mexico, China, India—everything; and I could see as one wonderful, perfect picture, every bit of it necessary to all the rest. Our church at work to make Jesus Christ Lord of all life, in my home and clear to the 'roof of the world' out yonder under the snows of Tibet. Can you see it, folks? I think _you_ always could, Mr. Drury!" and he put his hand affectionately on the pastor's knee.

Pastor Drury's face was even paler than its wont, but in his eyes glowed the light that never was on sea or land. He was hearing what sometimes he had feared he might not last long enough to hear. The Experiment was justified, and he was comforted!

He picked up the Bible that lay near his hand, and turned to the Gospel by Luke. "I hope none of you will think _I_ wrest the Book's words to lesser meanings," he said, "but there is only one place in it that can speak what is in my heart to-day." And he read the song of Simeon in the temple: "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation," and so to the end.

It was very still when his weak voice ceased; but in a moment the silence was broken by a cry from J.W.

"Why, Mr. Drury, it has been _you_, all these years!"

"What do you mean, J.W.?". said Marty, somewhat alarmed and thoroughly mystified.

"Exactly what I say, Marty. Can't you see it too? Can't all of you see it?" and J.W. looked from one face to another around the room. "Jeannette, _you_ know what I mean, don't you?"

And Jeannette, at once smiling and tearful, said, "Yes, J.W., I've thought about it many times, and I know now it is true."

Marty said, "Maybe so; but what?" for he was still bewildered.

"Why," J.W. began, with eager haste, "Mr. Drury planned all this—years and years ago. Not our wedding, I don't mean that," and he paused long enough to find Jeannette's hand and get it firmly in his own, "we managed that ourselves, didn't we, dear? But—I don't know why—this blessed minister of God began, somewhere far back yonder, to show me what God was trying to do through our church, and, later, through the other churches. He saw that I went to Institute. He steered me through my Sunday school work. He showed me my lifework. He made me want to go to college. He introduced me to the Delafield that is outside our own church. He got me my job in Saint Louis—don't you dare to deny it," as the pastor raised a protesting hand. "I've talked with our sales manager; he put the idea of the Far Eastern trip into Mr. McDougall's mind—and, well, it has been Pastor Drury all these years, _and he knew what he was doing_!"

Pastor Drury had kept his secret bravely, but there was no need to keep it longer, and now he was well content that these dear friends should have discovered it on such a day of joy. After all, it had been a beautiful Experiment, and not altogether without its value. So he made no more ado, and in his heart there was a great peace.

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