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0105_001E The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Prodigal Returns

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Peter joined us with a very queer expression on his face. He seemed bursting with some news which he wanted to tell and yet hardly liked to.

"Why are you looking so mysterious, Peter?" demanded the Story Girl.

"What do you think has happened?" asked Peter solemnly.

"What has?"

"My father has come home," answered Peter.

The announcement produced all the sensation he could have wished. We crowded around him in excitement.

"Peter! When did he come back?"

"Saturday night. He was there when ma and I got home. It give her an awful turn. I didn't know him at first, of course."

"Peter Craig, I believe you are glad your father has come back," cried the Story Girl.

"'Course I'm glad," retorted Peter.

"And after you saying you didn't want ever to see him again," said Felicity.

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"You just wait. You haven't heard my story yet. I wouldn't have been glad to see father if he'd come back the same as he went away. But he is a changed man. He happened to go into a revival meeting one night this spring and he got converted. And he's come home to stay, and he says he's never going to drink another drop, but he's going to look after his family. Ma isn't to do any more washing for nobody but him and me, and I'm not to be a hired boy any longer. He says I can stay with your Uncle Roger till the fall 'cause I promised I would, but after that I'm to stay home and go to school right along and learn to be whatever I'd like to be. I tell you it made me feel queer. Everything seemed to be upset. But he gave ma forty dollars--every cent he had--so I guess he really is converted."

"I hope it will last, I'm sure," said Felicity. She did not say it nastily, however. We were all glad for Peter's sake, though a little dizzy over the unexpectedness of it all.

"This is what I'D like to know," said Peter. "How did Peg Bowen know my father was coming home? Don't you tell me she isn't a witch after that."

"And she knew about your Aunt Olivia's wedding, too," added Sara Ray.

"Oh, well, she likely heard that from some one. Grown up folks talk things over long before they tell them to children," said Cecily.

"Well, she couldn't have heard father was coming home from any one," answered Peter. "He was converted up in Maine, where nobody knew him, and he never told a soul he was coming till he got here. No, you can believe what you like, but I'm satisfied at last that Peg is a witch and that skull of hers does tell her things. She told me father was coming home and he come!"

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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