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The Next of Kin Those who Wait and Wonder   By: (1873-1951)

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The Next of Kin

Those who Wait and Wonder

By

Nellie L. McClung

Author of "Sowing Seeds in Denny," "The Second Chance," "The Black Creek Stopping House," and "In Times like These"

TORONTO THOMAS ALLEN BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 1917

1917, BY NELLIE L. McCLUNG

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published November 1917

HOPE

Down through the ages, a picture has come of the woman who weepeth: Tears are her birthright, and sorrow and sadness her portion: Weeping endures for a night, and prolongeth its season Far in the day, with the will of God For a reason!

Such has the world long accepted, as fitting and real; Plentiful have been the causes of grief, without stinting; Patient and sad have the women accepted the ruling, Learning life's lessons, with hardly a word of complaint At the schooling.

But there's a limit to tears, even tears, and a new note is sounding: Hitherto they have wept without hope, never seeing an ending; Now hope has dawned in their poor lonely hearts, And a message they're sending Over the world to their sisters in weeping, a message is flashing, Flashing the brighter, for the skies are so dark And war thunders crashing! And this is the message the war stricken women send out In their sorrow: "Yesterday and to day have gone wrong, But we still have to morrow!"

Contents

FOREWORD 1

I. BEACH DAYS 22

II. WORKING IN! 35

III. LET'S PRETEND 46

IV. PICTURES 53

V. SAVING OUR SOULS 58

VI. SURPRISES 70

VII. CONSERVATION 92

VIII. "PERMISSION" 112

IX. THE SLACKER IN UNIFORM 142

X. NATIONAL SERVICE ONE WAY 154

XI. THE ORPHAN 171

XII. THE WAR MOTHER 193

XIII. THE BELIEVING CHURCH 210

XIV. THE LAST RESERVES 227

XV. LIFE'S TRAGEDY 241

XVI. WAITING! 247

The Next of Kin

FOREWORD

It was a bleak day in November, with a thick, gray sky, and a great, noisy, blustering wind that had a knack of facing you, no matter which way you were going; a wind that would be in ill favor anywhere, but in northern Alberta, where the wind is not due to blow at all, it was what the really polite people call "impossible." Those who were not so polite called it something quite different, but the meaning is the same.

There are districts, not so very far from us, where the wind blows so constantly that the people grow accustomed to it; they depend on it; some say they like it; and when by a rare chance it goes down for a few hours, they become nervous, panicky, and apprehensive, always listening, expecting something to happen. But we of the windless North, with our sunlit spaces, our quiet days and nights, grow peevish, petulant, and full of grouch when the wind blows. We will stand anything but that. We resent wind; it is not in the bond; we will have none of it!

"You won't have many at the meeting to day," said the station agent cheerfully, when I went into the small waiting room to wait for the President of the Red Cross Society, who wanted to see me before the meeting. "No, you won't have many a day like this, although there are some who will come out, wind or no wind, to hear a woman speak it's just idle curiosity, that's all it is."

"Oh, come," I said, "be generous; maybe they really think that she may have something to say!"

"Well, you see," said this amateur philosopher, as he dusted the gray painted sill of the wicket with a large red and white handkerchief, "it is great to hear a woman speak in public, anyway, even if she does not do it very well... Continue reading book >>




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