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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
A Missionary Heroine
|Page 3 of 5||
Mr. Campbell drew his black brows together in a scowl.
"Stuff and nonsense!" he exclaimed angrily. "I don't believe in Foreign Missions--don't believe in them at all. I never give a cent to them."
"Five cents isn't a very large sum," said Cecily earnestly.
Mr. Campbell's scowl disappeared and he laughed.
"It wouldn't break me," he admitted, "but it's the principle of the thing. And as for that Mission Band of yours, if it wasn't for the fun you get out of it, catch one of you belonging. You don't really care a rap more for the heathen than I do."
"Oh, we do," protested Cecily. "We do think of all the poor little children in Korea, and we like to think we are helping them, if it's ever so little. We ARE in earnest, Mr. Campbell-- indeed we are."
"Don't believe it--don't believe a word of it," said Mr. Campbell impolitely. "You'll do things that are nice and interesting. You'll get up concerts, and chase people about for autographs and give money your parents give you and that doesn't cost you either time or labour. But you wouldn't do anything you disliked for the heathen children--you wouldn't make any real sacrifice for them-- catch you!"
"Indeed we would," cried Cecily, forgetting her timidity in her zeal. "I just wish I had a chance to prove it to you."
"You do, eh? Come, now, I'll take you at your word. I'll test you. Tomorrow is Communion Sunday and the church will be full of folks and they'll all have their best clothes on. If you go to church tomorrow in the very costume you have on at present, without telling anyone why you do so, until it is all over, I'll give you--why, I vow I'll give you five dollars for that quilt of yours."
Poor Cecily! To go to church in a faded print dress, with a shabby little old sun-hat and worn shoes! It was very cruel of Mr. Campbell.
"I--I don't think mother would let me," she faltered.
Her tormentor smiled grimly.
"It's not hard to find some excuse," he said sarcastically.
Cecily crimsoned and sat up facing Mr. Campbell spunkily.
"It's NOT an excuse," she said. "If mother will let me go to church like this I'll go. But I'll have to tell HER why, Mr. Campbell, because I'm certain she'd never let me if I didn't."
"Oh, you can tell all your own family," said Mr. Campbell, "but remember, none of them must tell it outside until Sunday is over. If they do, I'll be sure to find it out and then our bargain is off. If I see you in church tomorrow, dressed as you are now, I'll give you my name and five dollars. But I won't see you. You'll shrink when you've had time to think it over."
"I sha'n't," said Cecily resolutely.
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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