THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE by Grace Livingston Hill

Book: THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE by Grace Livingston Hill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Grace Livingston Hill
a rich friend? But no! Impossible! The whole country ‘round knew the Lorimers, knew their history for a century back. Margaret McLaren, their granddaughter, was down in the city, trying to eke out a scanty living for them all. Through the postmistress’s sister, who was a connection of the Horners, he knew the size of the money orders that came. He felt sure they were not even going to be able to pay the interest. He had been biding his time and waiting.
    So he flung back a hateful laugh and said, “Well, get busy then,” and climbed into his rackety old machine and sent it chugging down the mountain.
    The old lady waited until her husband had closed and locked the door, set down the lamp upon the supper table, and started to wind the clock. Waited until the sound of the chugging flivver down the mountain had died away in the distance before she spoke. Then she said, “Father! You were wonderful! I feel as if Satan had just gone away from here!”
    “‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’” softly quoted the old man. “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”
    The old lady was still for a minute, and then she lifted troubled eyes: “But, Father, I never heard you tell anything that wasn’t
before. Father, you…you
told a lie
! What made you do it?”
    The old man came around and looked down at her sweet, trembling face.
    “What did I say that wasn’t true, Rebecca?” he asked, smiling down at her.
    “You said we had a very rich friend, and you were going to consult with him.”
    “And so we have,” said the old man, “and so I will. Dear heart, isn’t our Father rich? Doesn’t it say the silver and the gold are His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills? Come, Rebecca, let us go and consult Him right away. It shall be just as He says.”
    He reached down and took her two fine, little, frail hands, and lifting her up, led her to the old, patchwork-cushioned chair. There they knelt as they had done many times before, his arm around her, her two hands held close in his own warm brave one.
    “Father, we’ve come to ask you what you want done. If you want the old place to go for an amusement park to make Elias Horner rich, it’s all right, but Father, if you’re willing to let us keep it the rest of our journey, then you’ll have to send some miracle to save it for us.”
    And while they knelt there, telling all their anxieties and laying their burdens upon the Almighty, the old plotter drove down the dark mountain road smiling to himself as he thought over the interview. Rich friends indeed. The Lorimers hadn’t a friend who had a cent to loan! The farm and the mountain and the rare old house and the gem of a lake were as good as his already. He could go on now and make his plans. There wasn’t a thing Lorimer could do!
    And the Lorimers, hand in hand, knelt and prayed till they could look up with shining faces and say, “Thy will be done!”

Chapter 7
    J ust about the time that Margaret was vanishing around the first corner from the hospital, Miss Gowen arrived at the door of the room where a half hour before she had left her patient quietly eating her breakfast.
    She had paused for an instant in the hall to speak to another special nurse who was on a case at the other end of the corridor, then gone swiftly on, a light in her eyes, a pleasant smile on her lips, for she had a box of violets for her patient, and she guessed from whom they came. She liked the two young things for whom she was working just now, and she was anticipating the excursion of the morning. Hospital life at best had so many sad happenings that it was enlivening to come on a morning when one could go out and get a little breath of the outside air and forget for a little while that there was so much sorrow and pain in the world.
    And it was especially interesting this morning to think that she could bring pleasure to the little old lady who wanted so much to rent her treasured rooms

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