Children’s Corner – Three In a Row, Part III

The Story to Now: Hiram, Nettie, and Tony had especially caught the attention of one of the train passengers with their singing. Miss Lawrence, who was traveling with her brother, listened in surprise, as Nettie shyly told the whole story of their need and their experiment to sing songs, hoping a few pennies would be tossed their way from the passengers.

Looking over to the tiny cabin on the side of the mountain, Miss Lawrence whispered a few words to her brother, and then went out to Hiram.

“My boy,” she said earnestly, “I should like to see your mother and do some little thing for her. Will you let your sister and the little boy take me to her, and will you go somewhere and get the cream and some other things, which I’ll mark down?”

She sat down on a stone and wrote a brief note, folded it, and gave it to him.

“Bring the things I’ve marked,” she said, “and tell the grocer to send the others. Take this money,” she told him, as she handed him a bill. Hiram looked at her with a brief questioning look in his eyes, as she continued, “Pay what he asks, and bring back the rest. Go to the best place you know, and hurry.”

“Mother,” said Nettie, softly, “a lady’s come to see you. She came off the train. Shall I bring her in?”

“A lady?” repeated the poor woman, mechanically. “I don’t know . . . yes, get a chair, Nettie.”

Miss Lawrence paused to whisper to the little girl. “Can you make a bright fire in the cookstove? We’ll fix something tempting to eat when your brother gets back.” Then she went in to see Nettie’s mother.

The little girl busied herself about the fire, trying to clean up a little for the lady, while Tony sat in awestricken silence, swinging his short legs from his father’s chair, and all the time the children could hear the sweet, low tones of the stranger lady as she talked to their sick mother. Nettie often wondered afterwards what she could have said to make her mother refer to her as “that angel.” But when Hiram came back, bringing the delicacies for his mother, and when the lady prepared an appetizing lunch such as the children had never even imagined, and when presently the market boy appeared with his arms full of additional bundles, then Nettie, Hiram, and Tony whispered together and wondered whether God sent Miss Lawrence or whether she only came because she was good and self-denying.

Just then the stranger pulled out a wonderful, little, gold watch and uttered an exclamation. “I must go at once! The train leaves in ten minutes!” One moment she spent in taking the address of the market man, another in saying good-bye in the little bedroom, and then she was flitting away down the path to the station, from which the children presently saw the train moving down the canyon.

The little group in the cabin never saw Miss Lawrence again, but many pleasant reminders of her came to them by way of the market man, and they dated their happier life from the day when, “three in a row,” they sang their first song to the passengers on the tourist train.

“Why, Amy,” said Miss Lawrence’s brother, when the young lady stepped into the car, “where have you been? You look more like yourself than I have seen you since we came to Denver. I don’t believe you are homesick today.”

“No, and I won’t be anymore,” his sister replied, with a mysterious smile.

The singers had found their mission, and she had found hers, and undreamed-of blessings had come to all in the finding.