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The Fourth Watch   By: (1872-1948)

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"Messengers, Watchmen and Stewards of the Lord," who have faithfully toiled through Life's long night, and now in their Fourth Watch and Last Watch behold the dawn of a new Life breaking, this book is affectionately dedicated by one but yet in the Second Watch.


I. The Awakening II. The Vision III. Glendow Rectory IV. The Warder of the Night V. The Breath of Slander VI. The Auction VII. The Farringtons VIII. The Golden Key IX. Beating the Devil X. In Camp XI. Guarding the Flock XII. Light and Shadow XIII. For the Sake of a Child XIV. The Long Night XV. Deepening Shadows XVI. For Sweet Love's Sake XVII. Hitting Back XVIII. Wash Tub Philosophy XIX. The Sting XX. The Overseer XXI. Decision XXII. In the Deep of the Heart XXIII. Where Is Dan? XXIV. The Rush of Doom XXV. Beneath the Ashes XXVI. A Rope of Sand XXVII. In the Toils XXVIII. Waiting and Serving XXIX. Rifted Clouds XXX. Beneath the Surface XXXI. Light at Eventide

The Fourth Watch

Chapter I

The Awakening

The boy plied his hoe in a listless manner, for his thoughts were elsewhere. Several hundred yards to the right stood the forest, glorious in its brilliant autumn hues. There among those trees the wary partridges were feeding or perching temptingly upon bough, fallen log or ragged stump. To the left the waters of the noble River St. John rippled and sparkled beneath the glowing sun. Over there amidst that long stretch of marshland, in many a cove and reedy creek, the wild ducks were securely hidden. What connection had a rugged, stirring lad with a brown sombre potato patch when the strong insistent voice of the wild was calling him to fields afar? There was no inspiration here among these straggling rows. Nothing to thrill a boy's heart, or to send the blood surging and tingling through his body. But there ! He sighed as he leaned upon his hoe and looked yearningly around. Down on the shore; in a sheltered cove among the trees, the Scud , a small boat, was idly flapping her dirty patched sail.

"Wonder what dad left it up for?" thought the boy.

"Maybe he's going after more ducks. Wish to goodness he'd help with these potatoes so I could get off, too."

Then his eyes roamed out over the water until they rested upon a white sail away in the distance, bearing steadily down stream. He watched it carelessly for some time, but noticing the manner in which it drooped under an occasional squall his interest became aroused.

"There's too much canvas, that's sure!" he ejaculated. "Some idiot, I s'pose, who doesn't know 'bout these squalls. Guess he'll learn soon if he isn't careful. Now the Scud , she's all right. I'd risk her any time My !" and he almost held his breath as the white sail, much nearer now, swooped to the water like the wing of a gigantic bird. The boat righted herself, however, and sped gracefully forward. Again and again she dipped and careened under each successive squall, winning the lad's unstinted admiration. But even as he looked and wondered, a furious gust caught the white sail as it listed heavily, and drove it with one sweep to the water, overturning the boat as it did so. With a cry of fear the boy dropped his hoe, stared for an instant at the overturned craft, and then sped across the potato field sloping to the shore. He did not wait to go by the path, which led straight up to a little cabin in the valley, but, making a short cut to the left, leaped into a tangled thicket beyond. He crashed his way through the branches and underbrush, not heeding the numerous scratches upon face and hands.

He reached the Scud , tore, rather than untied the painter from an old oak root, and sent the boat reeling backwards from its moorings... Continue reading book >>

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