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Benefits Forgot A Story of Lincoln and Mother Love   By: (1880-1940)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: "COME HERE AND SIT DOWN AND WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR MOTHER!" Page 74.]

BENEFITS FORGOT

A Story Of Lincoln And Mother Love

BY HONORÉ WILLSIE

Author Of "Still Jim," "Lydia Of The Pines," Etc.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHARLES E. CARTWRIGHT

Publishers

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

New York

Copyright, 1917, by FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I THE DONATION PARTY 1

II THE CIRCUIT RIDER 27

III WAR 45

IV MR. LINCOLN 63

I

THE DONATION PARTY

[Illustration]

I

THE DONATION PARTY

Brother Meaker rose from his pew and looked at Jason appraisingly.

"I don't know, brethren," he said. "Of course, he's a growing boy. Just turned twelve, didn't you say, ma'am?" Jason's mother nodded faintly without looking up, and Brother Meaker went on. "As I said, he's a growing boy, but he's dark and wiry. And I've always noted, the dark wiry kind eat smaller than any other kind. I should take at least twelve pounds of sugar off the allowance for the year and four gallon less of molasses than you was calculatin' on."

He sat down and Sister Cantwell rose. She was a fat woman, famous in the southern Ohio country for the lavish table she set.

"Short sweetening," she said in a thin high voice, "is dreadful high. I said to Hiram yesterday that the last sugar loaf I bought was worth its weight in silver. I should say, cut down on short sweetening. Long sweetening is all right except for holidays."

Jason whispered to his mother, "What's long sweetening, mother?"

"They must mean molasses," she whispered in return, with a glance at Jason's father, who sat at the far end of the pew reading his Bible as he always did at this annual ordeal.

Jason looked from his mother's quiet, sensitive face, like yet so unlike his own, to the bare pulpit of the little country church, then back at Brother Ames, who was conducting the meeting. This annual conference and the annual donation party were the black spots in Jason's year. His mother, he suspected, suffered as he did: her face told him that. Her tender lips, usually so wistful and eager, were at these times thin and compressed. Her brown eyes, that except at times of death or illness always held a remote twinkle, were inscrutable.

Jason's face was so like, yet already so unlike his mother's! The same brown eyes, with the same twinkle, but tonight instead of being inscrutable, boyishly hard. The same tender mouth, with tonight an unboyish sardonic twist. What Jason's father's face might have said one could not know, for it was hidden under a close cropped brown beard. He turned the leaves of his Bible composedly, looking up only as the meeting reached a final triumphant conclusion with Brother Ames' announcement:

"So, Brother Wilkins, there you are, a liberal allowance if I must say it. Two hundred and fifty dollars for the year, with the usual donation party to take place in the fall of the year."

Brother Wilkins, who was Jason's father, rose, bowed and said: "I thank you, brethren. Let us pray!"

The fifty or sixty souls in the church knelt, and Jason's father, his eyes closed, lifted his great bass voice in prayer:

"O God, You have led our feeble and trusting steps to this town of High Hill, Ohio. You have put into the hearts and minds of these people, O God, the purpose of feeding and clothing us. Whether they do it well or ill, concerns them and You, O God, and not us... Continue reading book >>




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