"Game called, 2:30; Captain Hughie has the drop; seizes the ball, passes it to Fusie, who rushes, passes back to Hughie, who has arrived in the vicinity of the enemy's goal, and shoots, swift and straight, a goal. Time, 30 seconds.
"Again and again my little demons pierce the heavy, solid line of the Front defense, and score, the enemy, big and bewildered, being chiefly occupied in watching them do it. By six o'clock that evening I had them safe at the manse in a condition of dazed jubilation, quite unable to realize the magnificence of their achievement. They had driven twelve miles down, played a two hours' game of shinny, score eight to two, and were back safe and sound, bearing with them victory and some broken shins, equally proud of both.
"There is a big supper at the manse, prepared, I believe, with the view of consolation, but transformed into a feast of triumph, the minister being enthusiastically jubilant over the achievement of his boys, his wife, if possible, even more so. The heroes feed themselves to fullness, amazing and complete, the minister holds a thanksgiving service, in which I have no doubt my little demons most earnestly join, after which they depart to shed the radiance of their glory throughout the section.
"And now I have to recount another experience of mine, quite unique and altogether inexplicable. It appears that in this remarkable abode--I would call it 'The Saint's Rest' were it not for the presence of others than saints, and for the additional fact that there is little rest for the saint who makes her dwelling here--in this abode there prevails the quaint custom of watching the death of the old year and the birth of the new. It is made the occasion of religious and heart-searching rite. As the solemn hour of midnight draws on, a silence falls upon the family, all of whom, with the exception of the newest infant, are present. It is the family festival of the year.
"'And what will they be doing at your home, Mr. Craven?' inquires the minister. The contrast that rose before my mind was vivid enough, for having received my invitation to a big dance, I knew my sweet sisters would be having a jolly wild time about that moment. My answer, given I feel in a somewhat flippant tone, appears to shock my shinny captain of the angelic face, who casts a honor- stricken glance at his mother, and waits for the word of reproof that he thinks is due from the padre's lips.
"But before it falls the mother interposes with 'They will miss you greatly this evening.' It was rather neatly done, and I think I appreciated it.
"The rite proceeds. The initial ceremony is the repeating of a verse of Scripture all round, and to save my life nothing comes to my mind but the words, 'Remember Lot's wife.' As I cannot see the appropriateness of the quotation, I pass.
"Five minutes before the stroke of twelve, they sing the Scottish paraphrase beginning, 'O God of Bethel.' I do not suppose you ever heard it, but it is a beautiful hymn, and singularly appropriate to the hour. In this I lend assistance with my violin, the tune being the very familiar one of 'Auld Lang Syne,' associated in my mind, however, with occasions somewhat widely diverse from this. I assure you I am thankful that my part is instrumental, for the whole business is getting onto my emotions in a disturbing manner, and especially when I allow my eyes to linger for a moment or two on the face of the lady, the center of the circle, who is deliberately throwing away her fine culture and her altogether beautiful soul upon the Anakim here, and with a beautiful unconsciousness of anything like sacrifice, is now thanking God for the privilege of doing so. I have some moments of rare emotional luxury, those moments that are next to tears.