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Next morning Herbert went early to his office, told Jesse Stoneham he was going to Ben MacDhui to see the First Apostle, packed a grip, and took a train.

Late afternoon found him on the veranda at Ben MacDhui, looking out over acres of velvet lawn on broad, deep terraces, long stretches of gaily flowering borders, and the placid waters of White Lake. Dr. Dowie in pale lavender flannels and white silk yacht­ing cap was striding about, talking calmly, seriously, coherently.

"Was there ever such a puzzle?" Herbert asked himself. "He acts and talks less like a crazy man than anybody I ever knew. No wonder Edith doesn't sus­pect!"

“I like your plan, Herbert, for the most part," the First Apostle was saying. "You have worked it out marvelously. It does you great credit. And I would like to adopt it. But there are some features I am afraid I shall have to disapprove. I do not see how we could alter them without disrupting the whole ar­rangement."

The First Apostle and Herbert discussed Herbert's suddenly conceived plan during the remaining hours of the afternoon and half the night, then went to bed.




Herbert had learned from Colonel Erdman that Dr. Dowie spent nearly every afternoon at “Beth­any." This probably left the morning open.

Proofs for Saturday's “Leaves of Healing" would arrive about half past ten next morning, and they would have to be mailed back not later than Friday morning. This meant that the First Apostle would be busy with them either afternoon or evening or both.

He rose early, swam in the lake, ate breakfast with Faith Heilborn in the kitchen, borrowed a rowboat from Mike, the boatman, and rowed over to “Bethany."

Arrived at the wharf, he tied up his boat and made his way up the steep bank, through beautiful old oaks and pines, to a comfortable-looking house. The sun was scarcely an hour high-perhaps he had come too early.


He turned and saw Edith and Elsie Favorill com­ing toward him, through the trees. They were in bathing dress-had just finished their morning swim. Edith's hair cascaded over her shoulders and down below her waist like molten gold. All about her fore­head and cheeks were tiny soft curls, so fine they seemed a golden mist. In the depths of her eyes shone a light that enkindled a glow of happiness in his whole being.

The clinging silk of her costume revealed the slender yet rounded feminine grace of her figure. As always-nay more than ever-Herbert was over­whelmed by her loveliness.

"What an hour for a fashionable call," she laughed.



"I heard you were at Ben MacDhui yesterday after­noon, but didn't expect you here for breakfast. Or," her face clouded slightly, "must you return so soon that this is our only chance to see you?"

"Well," laughed Elsie, "he doesn't act like a man in a hurry."

A quarter of an hour later the girls reappeared in rough tweed skirts and silk shirt-waists. Edith's was in her favorite shade of blue, with broad roll collar, revealing a flawless throat and a bit of snowy bosom.

"Have we anything at all to say about to-day's program?" asked Edith, as they went to the break­fast-room.

"Not one word!" he answered severely, "but," he added smiling, "you can change it any way you wish as long as it includes a boat ride and lunch."

“I'm afraid that's impossible," she said. "I have to be here at half past one."

"All right, we'll compromise. If your appointment isn't called off by eleven o'clock, we'll come back here for lunch; if it is, we get it at Whitehall."

“But how can it be called off if I'm out on the lake in a boat?"

"Leave that to me," boasted Herbert.

"Very well, provided you let me decide whether or not it has been canceled."

"By all means. I'll play fair."


Creeping along the shore under overhanging trees, exploring inlets that wound among lofty, crooning pines, resting idly in the sunshine of little coves, Her­bert put aside all problems and uncertainties and gave



himself up wholly to the happiness of his hours with Edith.

Herbert timed their arrival at Gunther's post­-office and general store so they were there at a few minutes before eleven.

"Come along," he said; "we're going to get that appointment called off."

Edith looked puzzled.

"You seem confident."

“Well, let's see what we shall see. There's a public 'phone at the post-office, and I should appreciate it gratefully if you would be so kind as to call up Elsie, at Bethany."

“What shall I say to her?"

"Simply that you have the honor to be Deacon­ess Edith Brelin."

He got the connection for her, then handed over the receiver.

“Hello, Elsie."

"That you, Edith?"


“The First Apostle called a few minutes ago. Asked for you. I told him I thought you'd gone for a row. So he told me to tell you he wouldn't be over till to­morrow afternoon; he had to work on ‘Leaves of Healing.' Have a good time?"

“Oh, wonderful! Thank you, Elsie--you are a brick."

To Herbert the enchanted hours of that day sped on wings of light. They drifted about the lake, spent two hours in the cloistered coolness of Francois's at a table apart from the others, rowed back to Gunther's



along a shore magically tesselated with golden sunlight and purple shadows, and then across the lake, which, like a great mirror, gave back to trees and clouds and sun and sky the great color-poem they sang above it.

Half-way across Herbert shipped his oars and in silence they sat lost in beauty, glory, and each other. When, at last, he took up his oars, he said: "Edith, there'll be a moon to-night. Want to come out and meet her?"

“For a little while," she said, smiling at him. "We mustn't be gone long. Elsie will be alone."

"Reprieve!" he thought. "I don't have to risk smashing all this for a while yet."

There were only the three of them at dinner, and because they felt the impending crisis, they made merry to cover their anxiety. Edith was dressed in soft white silk with a foam of lace falling away from her throat. Excitement heightened her color and dark­ened the blue of her eyes to violet. To Herbert she had never before looked so lovely, so perfect, so desirable.

Out on the lake, after the moon rose, they drifted in a long silence. When he could procrastinate no longer, Herbert began to speak.

"Edith," he said, “we can't go on like this. No power on earth can keep me from telling you my love. I'm not-"

"Oh, please don't, Herbert," she cried, and the pain in her voice hurt him. “It's been so beautiful, so perfect; please don't spoil it. Oh, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have let you come, after that first call. But you promised me, Herbert. You promised not to talk to me about what is forbidden, impossible."




“I know, Edith dear. You mustn't blame yourself. If I were never to see you again, which God forbid, I should always be glad of our visits in the Brownlees' living-room and this perfect day. But, Edith, forgive me, I don't agree with you that it's impossible. For­bidden, yes. I was forbidden to speak to you of love. But there are some things no man can forbid me­ -and this leads them all. I disobeyed when I went to see you last October. I glory in that disobedience. And I disobey again to-night. Whatever the outcome, I must tell you that I love you and that as long as we both live I will not give up hoping and trying to make you happy-happy with me, as my wife if possible, but wherever you are and whoever you are, your happi­ness will be my dearest purpose in living."

“You make it hard for me, Herbert," she said, her voice crushed, "harder than I had thought anything could be. I am not free to tell you all that stands in our way, and it wouldn't help any if I were. But, Her­bert dear, you must-you must understand that I can­not play fast and loose with God-that I cannot dedi­cate my life to His service and then turn back, no matter how sweet, how alluring, how-how-almost irresistible the temptation is. You should help me to be strong, not tempt me to be weak."

Herbert sat thoughtful a long time. Then, with a sigh, he said:

“This seems to be my night to disobey all the rules and break all my promises, but for your sake, even if you send me away forever, it's got to be done."

"Please, Herbert," she cried again-“oh, please, if you love me as you say you do, no more."



"It is because I love you better than my own life, dear, that I must.

"You're being deceived. God knows how it hurts me to tell you so. I think I'd rather be the bearer of almost any other bad news to you than to tell you that the service of God to which you have dedicated yourself is not what you have been told it is. You must have seen for many months that Doctor Dowie has not always been quite himself. More than once-"

"Herbert, you shall not say such things to me. I've seen nothing of the kind. You don't realize what you are saying."

"I'm afraid, Edith," he went on, gently, "I realize only too well what I'm saying. I've been through hell with it, struggling not to believe it, yet forced to.

"The truth is, Doctor Dowie has been quietly ad­vocating polygamy. He grows bolder as time goes on. You, yourself, heard what he said about it at dinner one night at Shiloh House. Deaconess Montague re­signed the other day because he asked her to teach his peculiar ideas about marriage to six young women of his own selection. I cannot prove it, but I am firmly convinced that the career he has in mind for you is that of favorite wife in his harem."

He paused, frightened at his own rashness. Had he gone too far? No, at whatever cost to him, she must be told the truth.

"Have you finished?"

Her quiet voice cut him like frosty steel.

"Yes, Edith," he said, "except that I should like to explain-"

"Explain?" she said, with bitter scorn. "Can a man


explain cowardice, saying to me what you would not dare say to the First Apostle's face; can he explain ingratitude, or treachery, or falsehood, or betrayal, or a vile insult to the woman you pretend to love? Take me ashore."

"I can't blame you, Edith, for feeling as you do. I won't try to explain anything-"

"Will you take me ashore, or shall I swim?"

Reluctantly Herbert took up his oar and began slowly paddling to the Bethany wharf.

Bringing his boat to the wharf, he sprang out and offered her his hand. Avoiding it, she stepped past him. !hen turning, she said:

"Surely, you haven't the effrontery to go to Ben MacDhui to-night and face the First Apostle."

"I am going there," he said.

"Then listen. I will give you an opportunity to con­fess your treachery, resign, and go away. If you have not shown that least shred of honor by to-morrow afternoon, I shall feel it my painful duty to tell the First Apostle the vile things you have said to me to­night. I cannot stand idly by and see him betrayed."

"Perhaps you'd better tell him," said Herbert. "I shall not resign. Come, I will see you to the house."

"You need not trouble. I shall be much safer with­out you."

"Very well. Remember, Edith, I love you and whenever you need me or want me, you need give only the slightest sign and I'll come to you."

Herbert did not believe that Edith would bear tales to Dr. Dowie.

The summer days passed, and as no violent dismissal



came to him from Ben MacDhui, he knew he had judged her rightly.

Dr. Dowie suddenly returned alone to Zion City early in September. That same afternoon he called his chief ecclesiastical and business lieutenants to the study in Shiloh House. His face was flushed, his eyes burning.

Calmly enough, however, he began his talk by re­counting the many burdens he bore for God and Zion. Then he launched into a bitter attack upon his wife and son. They were making his home a hell. He made charges of misconduct so vile and so obviously false that the nine men before him were white with anger and misery, and closed by saying:

"Our Lord Jesus Christ said to the Apostle Peter, 'Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose an earth shall be loosed in heaven.'

"This is therefore one of the divine gifts bestowed by God upon those whom He has chosen to be His apostles-the power to make and loose bonds. Jesus plainly refers here, among other things, to the mar­riage bond. As First Apostle, therefore, I have from Godauthority and power to loose the bond which binds me to Jeanie Dowie, and I have called you to­gether to announce to you that this is my purpose."

The nine men sat for a moment stunned. Each waited for same other to speak first. Then Overseer Darling, oldest of them all in service, voiced their opinion:

"First Apostle, you are overwrought-you are not yourself. If you dothis wicked thing, you will smash




your Church and throw Zion into bankruptcy."

Met by a bellow of rage" the overseer calmly held his ground. Others backed him up. It soon became clear that all nine were opposed to the First Apostle-­a situation without precedent.

All afternoon the battle raged. Vainly Herbert tried to imagine what had occurred at Ben MacDhui or "Bethany." He could not but admire the courage and tenacity of his fellows. At first they had argued and pleaded in vain. Their opposition only made their leader more stubborn. But, as the shadows lengthened, he began toweaken. At last he suggested a compromise. Ben MacDhui was the property of his wife. If she would sign a deed transferring it to him, he would, under protest, refrain from giving her an apostolic divorce.

This astounding proposal was also opposed by all nine of his counselors. But he would retreat no far­ther. It was arranged that two overseers should go toBen MacDhui at once and secure her signature to this extorted deed. They returned two days later success­ful.