John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment
by Dan B. Brummitt
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It was agreed that the list should be started. Marcia was not willing to keep it to themselves; she wanted to have it talked about in League and Sunday school and prayer meeting, and then, when everybody had been given the chance to add to it, and to improve on it—but not to weaken it—that it be put out for general discussion among all the churches.

"And then," said Joe Carbrook, "we might call it 'The Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' If we stick to the things every citizen will admit he ought to believe and do, the churches will still have all the chance they have now to preach those things which must be left to the individual conscience."

That was the beginning of a document with which Delafield was to become very familiar in the months which followed; never before had the town been so generally interested in one set of ideas, and to this day you can always start a conversation there by mentioning the "Everyday Doctrines of Delafield," The Methodist preacher gave them their final form, but he took no credit for the substance of them, though, secretly, he was vastly proud that the young people, and especially J.W., should have so thoroughly followed up his first suggestion of a civic creed.


1. Every part of Delafield is as much Delafield as any other part We are citizens of a commonwealth, and Delafield should be in fact as well as name a democratic community.

2. Whenever two Delafield citizens can better do something for the town than one could do it, they should get together. And the same holds good for twenty citizens, or a hundred, or a thousand. One of the town's mottoes should be, "Delafield Is Not Divided."

3. Everything will help Delafield if it means better people, in better homes, with better chances at giving their children the right bringing-up, but anything which merely means more people, or more money, or more business is likely to cost more than it comes to. We will boost for Delafield therefore, but we will first be careful.

4. Every part of Delafield is entitled to clean streets and plenty of air, water, and sunlight. It is perhaps possible to be a Christian amid ugliness and filth, but it is not easy, and it is not necessary.

5. Every family in Delafield has the right to a place that can be made into a home, at a cost that will permit of family self-respect, proper privacy, and the ordinary decencies of civilized living. Every case of poverty in Delafield should be considered as a reflection on the town, as being preventable and curable by remedies which any town that is careful of its good name can apply.

6. Delafield believes that beauty pays better than ugliness. Therefore she is for trees and flowers, green lawns, and clean streets, paint where it properly belongs, and everybody setting a good example by caring for his own premises and so inciting his neighbor to outdo him.

7. The only industries Delafield needs are those which can provide for their operation without forcing workers to be idle so much of the time as to reduce apparent income, and so to cause poverty, sickness, and temptation to wrongdoing. The standard of income ought to be for the year, and not by the day; in the interest of homes rather than in the interest of lodging houses and lunch rooms.

8. Delafield can support, or should find ways to support, the workers needed in her stores, shops, and factories, at fair pay, without making use of children, who should continue in school, and without reckoning on the desperation of those made poor by their dependence on a job.

9. Amusements in Delafield can be and ought to be clean, self-respecting, and available for everybody. This calls for playgrounds and weekday playtime, as well as plenty of recreational opportunities provided by the churches, without money-making features.

10. The forms of amusement provided for pay can be and should be influenced by public opinion, positively expressed, rather than by public indifference. Any picture house would rather be praised for bringing a good picture to town than condemned for showing a bad one. Picture people enjoy praise as much as preachers do.

11. Delafield's many organizations should tell the whole town what they are trying to do, so that unnecessary duplication of plan and purpose may first be discovered and then done away with.

12. Whenever a Delafield church, or club, or society, proposes to engage in a work that is to benefit the town, the plan ought to be made known, and in due time the results should be published as widely as was the plan. This will help us to learn by our Delafield failures as well as by our Delafield successes.

13. The churches of Delafield are Delafield property, as the schools are, though paid for in a different way. Neither schools nor churches exist for their own sakes, but for Delafield, and then some.

14. Every church in Delafield should have a definite parish, and every well-defined section or group should have a church. The churched should lead in providing for the unchurched, and the overchurched might spare out of their abundance of workers and equipment some of the resources that are needed.

15. The first concern of all the churches should be to reach the unchurched and to make church friends of the church-haters. This goes for all the churches; it is more important to get the sense of God and principles of Jesus into the thought of the whole town than to set Protestant and Roman Catholic in mutually suspicious and hateful opposition; devout Jew and sincere Christian must realize that righteousness in Delafield cannot be attended to by either without the other.

16. The churches of Delafield believe that all matters of social concern—work, wages, housing, health, amusement, and morals—are part of every church's business. Therefore they will not cease to urge their members always to deal with these matters as Christian citizens, not merely as Christians.

17. Every child and young person in Delafield ought to be in the day school on weekdays, and in Sunday school on Sunday. Delafield discourages needless absence from one as much as from the other.

18. Delafield wants the best possible teachers teaching in all her schools. She insists on trained teachers on week days, and needs them on Sundays. Therefore she believes that teacher-training is part of every church's duty to Delafield.

"There's one thing about all this that bothers me," said J.W. when they had finished the final draft of the Every Day Doctrines, "not that it's the only one; but some of these Doctrines stand small chance of being put into practice until the church people are willing to spend more money on such work. It can't be done on the present income of the churches, or by the usual money-raising methods."

"That's a fact," Joe Carbrook agreed. "I'd already made up my mind that the Carbrooks would have to dig a little deeper, and so must everybody else who cares."

"Yes, but how to get everybody else to care; that's the trouble," J.W. persisted. "Dad's one of the stewards, you know, and they find it no easy job to collect even what the church needs now. They have a deficit to worry with every year, almost."

Marcia Dayne was the only other member of the "Let's Know Delafield" group who happened to be present at this last meeting. She had been waiting for a chance to speak. "I'm surprised at you two," she said. "Don't you know the only really workable financial way out?"

"Well, not exactly," J.W. admitted. "I suppose if we could only get people to care more, they would give more. It's a matter of letting them know the need and all that, I guess. For instance—"

Marcia was not ready for his "for instances." "John Wesley, Jr.," she interrupted with mock severity, "as a thinker you have shone at times with a good deal more brilliance than that. If you had said it just the other way 'round you would have been nearer right. People will give if they care, of course, but it is even more certain that they will care if they give. The thing we need is to show them how to give."

Joe Carbrook broke into an incredulous laugh. "In other words, my fair Marcia, you want Christians to give before they care what it is they are giving to, or even know about it. Don't you think our church will be a long time financing the Every Day Doctrines on that system?"

Joe and Marcia never hesitated to take opposite sides in a discussion, and always with good-humored frankness. So Marcia came back promptly: "I know you think it unreasonable," she said, "but there's a condition you overlook. We became Christians long before any of us thought about studying Delafield's needs. And if we and all the rest of the Christians of the town had accepted our financial relation to the Kingdom and had acted on it from the start, there would always be money enough and to spare."

"Oh, yes," Joe said understandingly, "I see now. You mean the tithe."

Marcia knew, no matter how, that Joe had begun to think about tithing, and this seemed the opportune time to stress it a little more. It could help the Every Day Doctrines, and both Joe and J.W. were keen for that.

So Marcia admitted that she did mean the tithe. "I don't pretend to know how it began, any more than I know how real homes were established after the Fall, or how keeping Sunday began; I do know these began long before there was any fourth or fifth commandment, or any Children of Israel. And I've gone over all the whole subject with Mr. Drury—he has a lot of practical pamphlets on the tithe. I believe that it is the easiest, surest, fairest and cheerfulest way of doing two Christian things at once—acknowledging God's ownership of all we have, and going into partnership with God in his work for the world, what the books sometimes call Christian Stewardship."

"I'd like to see those pamphlets," said J.W.

"It's queer you haven't seen them before this," said Marcia. "Mr. Drury has distributed hundreds of them. But maybe that was when you were away at Cartwright. Anyway, I'll get some for you."

Joe was holding his thought to the main matter. "Marcia," said he, "if you can make good on what you said just now, pamphlets or no pamphlets, I'll agree to become a tither. First, to start where you did, how is tithing easier than giving whenever you feel like giving?"

Now, though Marcia expected no such challenge, she was game. "I'm not the one to prove all that, but I believe what I said, and I'll try to make good, as you put it. But please don't say 'give' when you talk about tithing, or even about any sort of financial plan for Christians. The first word is 'pay,' Giving comes afterward. Well, then; tithing is the easiest way, because when you are a tither you always have tithing money. You begin by setting the tenth apart for these uses, and it is no more hardship to pay it out than to pay out any other money that you have been given with instructions for its use."

"Not bad, at all," said Joe. "Now tell us why it is the surest way of using a Christian's money."

By this time Marcia was beginning to enjoy herself. "It is the surest because it almost collects itself. No begging; no schemes. You have tithing money on hand—and you have, almost always—therefore you don't need to be coaxed into thinking you can spare it. If the cause is a real claim, that's all you need to find out. And when you begin to put money into any cause you're going to get interested in that cause. Besides, when all Christians tithe there will be more than enough money for every good work."

J.W. had not thought much of the tithe except as being one of those religious fads, and he knew that every church had a few religious faddists. But he had long cherished a vast respect for Marcia's good sense, and what she was saying seemed reasonable enough. He wondered if it could be backed up by evidence.

Joe smilingly took up the next excellence of the tithe which Marcia had named. "Let me see; did you say that the tithe is the fairest of all Christian financial schemes?"

"Not that, exactly," Marcia corrected. "I said it was the fairest way of acknowledging God's ownership and of working with him in partnership. And it is. It puts definiteness in the place of whim. It is proportional to our circumstances. It is not difficult. Mr. Drury says that forty years' search has failed to find a tither who has suffered hardship because of paying the tithe."

"Well, Joe," J.W. put in, "if Marcia can produce the evidence on these three points, you may as well take the fourth for granted. If tithing is the easiest, surest and fairest plan of Christian Stewardship, seems to me it's just got to be cheerful. I'm going to look into it, and if she's right, as I shouldn't wonder, it's up to you and me to get our finances onto the ten per cent basis."

Joe was never a reluctant convert to anything. When he saw the new way, his instinct was for immediate action. "Let's go over to Mr. Drury's," he proposed, "and see if we can't settle this thing to-day. I hope Marcia's right," and he looked into her eyes with a glance of something more than friendly, "and if she is I'm ready to begin tithing to-day."

Pastor Drury, always a busy man, reckoned interviews like this as urgent business always. Not once nor twice, but many times in the course of a year, his quiet, indirect work resulted in similar expeditions to his study, and as a rule he knew about when to expect them. He produced the pamphlets, added a few suggestions of his own, and let the three young people do most of the talking. They stayed a long time, no one caring about that.

As they were thanking the pastor, before leaving, Joe said with his usual directness, "Marcia was right, and here's where I begin to be a systematic Christian as far as my dealings with money are concerned."

J.W., not in the least ashamed to follow Joe's lead, said, "Same here. Wish I'd known it sooner. Now we've got to preach it."

And Joe said to Mr. Drury, in the last moment at the door, "Mr. Drury, if we could all get a conscience about the tithe, and pay attention to that conscience, half the Everyday Doctrines would not even need to be stated. They would be self-evident. And the other half could be put into practice with a bang!"

The Delafield Dispatch got hold of a copy of the "Everyday Doctrines" and printed the whole of it with a not unfavorable editorial comment, under the caption "When Will All This Come True?"

But Walter Drury, when he saw it, said to himself, "It has already come true in a very real sense, for John Wesley, Jr., and these others believe in it." And he knew it marked one more stage of the Experiment, so that he could thank God and take courage.



It was all very well to work out the "Everyday Doctrines of Delafield." To secure their adoption and application by all the churches of Delafield was another matter. The unofficial committee scattered, for one thing. Joe Carbrook went back to medical school, and Marcia to the settlement and the training school. Marty was traveling his circuit. J. W. and the pastor and a few others continued their studies of the town. Nobody had yet ventured to talk about experts, but it began to be evident that the situation would soon require thoroughgoing and skilled assistance. Otherwise, all that had been learned would surely be lost.

One day in the late fall a stranger dropped in at the Farwell Hardware Store and asked for Mr. J.W. Farwell, Jr. He had called first on Pastor Drury, who was expecting him; and that diplomat had said to him, "Go see J.W. I think he'll help you to get something started."

J.W., with two of the other clerks, was unloading a shipment of stovepipes. The marks of his task were conspicuous all over him, and he scarcely looked the part of the public-spirited young Methodist. But the visitor was accustomed to know men when he saw them, under all sorts of disguises.

J.W., called to the front of the store, met the visitor with a good-natured questioning gaze.

"Mr. Farwell, I am Manford Conover, of Philadelphia. Back there we have heard something of the 'Everyday Doctrines of Delafield,' and I've been sent to find out about them—and their authors."

"Sent?" J.W. repeated. "Why should anybody send you all the way from Philadelphia to Delafield just for that?" He could not know how much pastoral and even episcopal planning was back of that afternoon call.

"Don't think that we reckon it to be unimportant, Mr. Farwell," said Mr. Conover, pleasantly. "You see I'm from a Methodist society with a long name and a business as big as its name—the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension. The thing some of you are starting here in Delafield is our sort of thing. It may supply our Board with new business in its line, and what we can do for you may make your local work productive of lasting results, in other places as well as here."

J.W. did not quite understand, but he was willing to be instructed, for he had found out that the effort to promote the "Everyday Doctrines" was forever developing new possibilities and at the same time revealing new expanses of Delafield ignorance and need. Anybody who appeared to have intelligence and interest was the more welcome.

They talked a while, and then, "I'll tell you what," proposed J.W. "How long do you expect to be in town?" Mr. Conover replied that as yet he had made no arrangement for leaving.

"Then let's get together a few people to-night after prayer meeting. Our pastor, of course, and the editor of the Dispatch—he's the right sort, if he does boost 'boosting' a good deal; and Miss Leigh, of the High School—she's all right every way; and Mrs. Whitehill, the president of the Woman's Association of our church—that's the women's missionary societies and the Ladies' Aid merged into one—she's a regular progressive; and Harry Field, who's just getting hold of his job in the League; and the Sunday school superintendent. That's dad, you know; he's had the job for a couple of years now, and he's as keen about it as Harry is over the League."

They got together, and out of that first simple discussion came all sorts of new difficulties for Delafield Methodism to face and master.

* * * * *

Manford Conover was a preacher with a business man's training and viewpoint. He may have mentioned his official title, when he first appeared, but nobody remembered it. When people couldn't think of his name he was "the man from the Board," which was all the same to him.

After that first night's meeting Conover gave several days to walks about Delafield. J.W. had found the shacks and the tenements, and Joe Carbrook had introduced J.W. to Main Street, but it was left to Conover to show him Europe and Africa in Delafield.

There's a certain town in a Middle Western State, far better known than Delafield, rich, intelligent, highly self-content. Its churches and schools and clubs are matters for complacent satisfaction. And you would be safe in saying that not one in five of its well-to-do people know that the town has a Negro quarter, an Italian section, a Bohemian settlement, a Scandinavian community, a good-sized Greek colony, and some other centers of cultures and customs alien to what they assume is the town's distinctive character.

They know, of course, that such people live in the town—couldn't help knowing it. Their maids are Scandinavian or Negro. They buy vegetables and candy from the Greeks. They hear of bootlegging and blind tigers among certain foreign groups. The rough work of the town is done by men who speak little or no English. But all this makes small impression. It is a commonplace of American town life. And scarcely ever does it present itself as something to be looked into, or needing to be understood.

So Conover found it to be with Delafield. The "Everyday Doctrines" were well enough, but he knew a good deal of spade work must be done before they could take root and grow. He fronted a condition which has its counterpart in most American towns, each of which is two towns, one being certain well-defined and delimited areas where languages and Braces live amid conditions far removed from the American notion of what is endurable, and the other the "better part of town," sometimes smugly called "the residence section," where white Americans have homes.

Conover and Pastor Drury compared notes. They were of one mind as to the conditions which Conover had found, conditions not surprising to the minister, who knew more about Delafield than any of his own people suspected.

One afternoon they met J.W. on the street, and he led them into a candy store for hot chocolate.

As they sipped the chocolate they talked; J.W., as usual, saying whatever he happened to think of.

"Say, Mr. Conover," he remarked, "I notice in all your talk about the foreigner in America you haven't once referred to the idea of the melting pot. Don't you think that's just what America is? All these people coming here and getting Americanized and assimilated and all that?"

"I'd think America was the melting pot if I could see more signs of the melting," Conover answered. "But look at Delafield; how much does the melting pot melt here?"

Then he looked across the store. "Do you know the proprietor, Mr. Farwell?" he asked.

"Yes, indeed; Nick and I are good friends," answered J.W.

"Then I wish you'd introduce me," returned Conover.

"Oh, Nick," J.W. called, "will you come over here a minute?"

Nick came, wiping his hands on his apron.

"Nick," said J.W., doing the honors, "you know Mr. Drury, the pastor of our church. And this is Mr. Conover from Philadelphia, a very good friend of ours. He's been looking around town, and wants to ask you something."

Nick's brisk and cheerful manner was at its best, for he liked J.W., besides liking the trade he brought.

"Sure," said he, "I tell him anything if I know it. Glad for the chance."

"Mr. Dulas," said Conover—he had taken note of the name on the window, "you know the East Side pretty well, do you? Then, you know that many Italians live just north of Linden Street, and there's a block or so of Polish homes between Linden and the next street south?"

"Sure I do," said Nick, confidently, "I live on other side of them myself. See 'em every day."

"Very well," Conover went on. "What I want to know is this: how do the Italians and the Poles get along together?"

"They don't have nothing much to do with one another," Nick replied. "It's like this, the Poles they talk Polish, and maybe a little English. The Italians, they speak Italian, and some can talk English, only not much. But Poles they can't talk Italian at all, and Italians can't talk Polish. So how could they get together?"

"That's just the question, Mr. Dulas," Conover agreed. "I'm telling these gentlemen that it is harder for the different foreign-born people to know one another and to be friendly with one another than it is for them to know and associate with Americans."

"Sure, Mister," Nick said, with great positiveness. "Sure. Before I speak English I know nobody but Greeks, and when I start learning English I got no time to learn Polish, or Italian, or whatever it is. English I got to speak, if I run a candy store, but not those other languages."

And he went off to serve a customer who had just entered.

"There you have that side," said Conover to the minister and J.W. "The need of English as an Americanizing force, and the meed of it as a medium of communication between the different foreign groups. Looks as though we've got to bear down hard on English, don't you think?"

"As Nick says, 'Sure I do,'" Mr. Drury assented. "It will come out all right with the children, I hope; they're getting the English. But it makes things hard just now."

"What can the church do?" J.W. put in. "Should it undertake to teach English, as that preacher taught Phil Khamis, you remember, Mr. Drury; or Americanization, or what?"

"I think it should do something else first," said Conover. "Why should we Americans try to make Europeans understand us, unless we first try to understand them? Isn't ours the first move?"

"But this is the country they're going to live in," returned J.W. "They can't expect us to adjust ourselves to European ways. They've got to do the adjusting, haven't they?"

"Why?" Conover came back. "Because we were here first? But the Indian was here before us. We told him he needn't do any adjusting at all, and see what we've made of him. Maybe these Europeans can add enriching elements to our American culture."

"I guess so, but"—and J.W. was evidently at a loss—"but they've got to obey our laws, you know, and fit into our civilization. The Indian was different. We couldn't make Indians of ourselves, and he wouldn't become civilized."

"Americanized, you mean?" and Conover laughed a little at the irony of it.

"No, no; not that. But he wouldn't meet us half way, even," J.W. said.

"I think," suggested Pastor Drury, "that what Mr. Conover means is that we'd better be a little less stiff to newcomers than the Indian was to us. Am I right?"

"Exactly right," returned Conover. "Europe is in a general way the mother-land of us all. But many of her children were late in getting here. The earlier ones have made their contributions; why may not the later ones also bring gifts for our common treasure?"

"Well, what in particular do you mean?" asked J.W., who was finding himself adrift. He had been quite willing in the Institute days to be an admirer of Phil Khamis, and to forget that Phil was of alien birth; but this was something more complicated.

"Particulars are not so simple," Conover said. "But, for instance: some European peoples have a fine musical appreciation. Some delight in oratory. Some are mystical and dreamy. Some are very children in their love of color. Some are almost artists in their feeling for beauty in their work. Some do not enjoy rough play, and others cannot endure to be quiet. Some have inherited a passionate love of country, and great traditions of patriotism."

"We can't value all these things in just the way they do, but at least we can believe that such interests and instincts are worth something to America. Then our Americanization work will be not only more intelligent but far more sympathetic."

"If I may turn to the immediate business," Mr. Drury said with a smile of apology, "suppose you tell J.W. what your Board has to suggest for us here in Delafield, Mr. Conover?"

Conover turned to J.W. "I wonder if you know anything about Centenary Church?" he asked.

"That little old brick barn over in the East Bottoms? Why, yes, or I used to; if was quite a church when I was a youngster, but I haven't been that way lately. I guess it's pretty much run down, with all those foreigners moving in. Most of the old members have probably moved away. I know there were two Methodist boys with me in high school who lived down there, but they've moved up to the Heights. One of them lives next to the Carbrooks."

"Mr. Drury should take you down that way one of these days," said Conover, "and you'd find that when your friends moved out of the church the foreigners who live nearby did not move in. Centenary Church is run down, as you say."

Mr. Drury added, "And the few members who are left don't know which way to turn. They have a supply pastor, who isn't able to do much. He gets a pitiful salary, but they can't pay more, and there's no money at all, nor any accommodations, for any special attention to the newcomers."

"Well," said Conover, "I'm instructed to tell you Delafield Methodists that the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension is ready to help make a new Centenary Church, for the people who now live around it. We have a department that pays special attention to immigrant and alien populations. Our workers know, in general, what is needed. We can put some trained people into Centenary, with a pastor who knows how to direct their work. I should not be surprised to see a parish house there, and a modernized church building, and a fine array of everyday work being done there."

"My, but that sounds great, Mr. Drury, doesn't it?" asked J.W., in a glow of enthusiasm. Then he checked himself. "It sounds well enough," he said, "but all that means a lot of money. Where's the money to come from?"

"From you, of course," Conover replied, "but not all or most from you. My Board is a benevolent board—that is to say, it is the whole church at work in such enterprises as this. That's one way in which its share of the church's benevolent offerings is used"

"But you don't mean to tell us," said J.W., incredulously, "that you can drop in on a place like Delafield, make up your mind what is needed, and then dump a lot of money into a played-out church, just like that?"

"Oh, it's not so informal as all that," Conover said, "The thing has to go through the official channels, of course. Your district superintendent and Brother Drury and the Bishop and several others have had a hand in it already. All concerned have agreed as to the needs and possibilities. But Delafield is also a good place to put on a demonstration, an actual, operating scheme. I have been making ready for a survey of the whole East Side, just a preliminary study, and before anything positive is done we must make a more thorough inquiry. We expect to find out everything that needs to be known."

"There was only one anxiety I had about it," Pastor Drury said, "and that has been all taken away. I was keen to have this be a truly Christian demonstration—not just a settlement or a parish house or night school classes, but a real demonstration of Christian service among people who now know little about it. In some places these activities are being set going because church people know they ought to do something, and it is easier to give money and have gymnasiums and moving pictures than to make real proof of partnership with Christ by personal service and sacrifice. Take your old friend Martin Luther Shenk, J.W.—do you know that he's working at this very difficulty? And I hear he's finding, even in the country, that some people will really give themselves, while others will give only their money and their time."

J.W. thought of Win-My-Chum week, and how he had had to drive himself to speak to Marty, so he knew the pastor was right. And he went home with all sorts of questions running through his mind, but with no very satisfying answers to make them.

Coming back in a wakeful night to Mr. Drury's casual mention of Marty, the thought of his chum set him to wondering how that sturdy young itinerant was making it go on the Ellis and Valencia Circuit, just as the pastor guessed it might. To wonder was to decide. He would take a long-desired holiday. A word or two with his father in the morning gave him the excuse for what he wanted to do. Then he got Valencia on the long distance, and the operator told him she would find the "Reverend" Shenk for him in a few minutes. He had started out that morning to visit along the State Line Highway, as it was part of her business to know. At the third try Marty was found, and he answered J.W.'s hail with a shout.

After the first exchange of noisy greetings, "Say, Marty, dad's asked me to run down in your part of the world and look at some new barn furniture that's been put in around Ellis—ventilators and stanchions and individual drinking cups for the Holsteins—not like the way we used to treat the cows on our farm, hey? Well, what do you say if I turn fashionable for once and come down for the week-end—not this week, but next?"

No need to ask Marty a question like that. "Come on down. Make it Friday and I'll show you the sights. We've got something doing at the Ellis Church, something I want you to see."

Then Marty thought of a few books that he had left at home—"And—hello, J.W., are you listening? Well, how'd you like to go out to the farm before you come down here? Jeanette has gathered a bundle of my books, and I need 'em. Won't you get 'em for me and bring them along?"

Certainly, J.W. would. The farm was home to both the boys, and J.W. was almost as welcome there as Marty; to one member of the family quite so, though she had never mentioned it.

On the next Sunday morning J.W. drove out of town in time to get to the little old church of his childhood for morning service. Then he would go home with the Shenks for dinner, spend the afternoon, get the books and come home when he was ready. There was no hurry. J.W., Sr., had given him two Sundays' leave of absence from Sunday school. The next Sunday would be his and Marty's, but this would be his and Jeannette's.

Not that he needed to make any special plans for being with Jeannette Shenk; of late he had found the half hour drive down to the old farm the prelude to a pleasant evening. Sometimes he would make the round trip twice, running out to bring Jeanette into town, when something was going on, and taking her home afterward in the immemorial fashion.

As J.W. turned to the church yard lane leading up to the old horseshed, he noticed that there were only two cars there besides his own—and one old-time sidebar buggy, battered and mud-bedaubed, with a decrepit and dejected-looking gray mare between the shafts.

It was time for meeting, and he contrasted to-day's emptiness of the long sheds with the crowding vehicles of his childhood memories. In those days so tightly were buggies and surries and democrats, and even spring wagons and an occasional sulky wedged into the space, that it was nothing unusual for the sermon to be interrupted by an uproar in the sheds, when some peevish horse attempted to set its teeth in the neck of a neighbor, with a resultant squealing and plunging, a cramping of wheels and a rattle of harness which could neutralize the most vociferous circuit rider's eloquence.

At the door, J.W. fell in with the little group of men, who, according to ancient custom, had waited in the yard for the announcement of the first hymn before ending their talk of crops and roads and stock, and joining the women and children within.

Inside the contrast with the older day was even more striking. The church, small as it was, seemed almost empty. The Shenks were there, including Jeannette, as J.W. promptly managed to observe. Father Foltz and his middle-aged daughter stood in their accustomed place; they had come in the venerable sidebar buggy, just as for two decades past. Mother Foltz hadn't been out of the house in years, and among J.W.'s earliest recollections were those of the cottage prayer meetings that he had attended with his father in Mrs. Foltz's speckless sickroom. Then there were the four Newells, and Mrs. Bellamy, and Mr. and Mrs. Haggard with their two little girls, and a few people J.W. did not know—perhaps twenty-five altogether. No wonder the preacher was disheartened, and preached a flavorless sermon.

Where were the boys and girls of even a dozen years ago? where the children who began their Sunday school career in the little recess back of the curtain? and where the whole families that once filled the place? Surely, old Deep Creek Church had fallen on evil days.

It was a dismal service, with its dreary sermon and its tuneless hymns. After the benediction J.W. shook hands with the preacher, whom he knew slightly, and exchanged greetings with all the old friends.

"Well, John Wesley," said Father Foltz, with glum garrulity, "this ain't the church you used to know when you was little. I mind in them times when you folks lived on the farm how we thought we'd have to enlarge the meetinghouse. But it's a good thing we never done it. There's room enough now," and the old man indulged in a mirthless, toothless grimace.

The Shenks didn't invite him to dinner; their understanding was finer than that. Pa Shenk just said, "Let me drive out first, John Wesley; I'll go on ahead and open the gate," And J.W. said to Jeannette, "Jump into my car, Jean; it isn't fair to put everybody into Pa Shenk's Ford when mine's younger and nearly empty."

So that was that; all regular and comfortable and proper. If Mrs. Newell smiled as she watched them drive away, what of it? She was heard to say to Mrs. Bellamy, "I've known for three years that those two ought to wake up and fall in love with each other, and they've been slower than Father Foltz's old gray mare. But it looks as though they were getting their eyes open at last."

At the farm Mrs. Shenk hurried to finish up the dinner preparations, with Jeannette to help. Ben and little Alice contended for J.W.'s favor, until he took Alice on his knee and put one arm about her and the other about her brother, standing by the chair. And Pa Shenk talked about the church.

"I reckon I shouldn't complain, John Wesley," he said, "seeing that our Marty is a country preacher, and maybe he'll be having to handle a job like this some time. But I can't believe he will. His letters don't read like it."

"But, Pa Shenk," said J.W., "don't you suppose the trouble here in Deep Creek is because you're so near town? Nine miles is nothing these days, but when you first came to the farm there was only one automobile in the township. Now everybody can go into town to church."

"They can, boy," Pa Shenk answered, "but they don't. Not all of 'em. Some don't care enough to go anywhere. One-year tenants, mostly, they are. Some go to town, all right enough, but not to church. A few go to church, I admit, but only a few."

J.W. started to speak, hesitated, then blurted it out. "Maybe dad and others like him are responsible for some of the trouble. They've pulled out and left just a few to carry the load. You're all right, of course; you really belong here. But a lot of the farmers who have moved to town have rented their places to what you call one-year tenants, and it seems to me that's a poor way to build up anything in the country, churches or anything else. Tenants that are always moving don't get to know anybody or to count for anything. It's not much wonder they are no use to the church."

"There's a good deal in that, John Wesley," said Pa Shenk. "Your father and me, we get along fine. We're more like partners than owner and tenant. But it isn't so with these short-term renters. The owner raises the rent as the price of land rises, and the tenant is mostly too poor to do anything much after he's paid the rent. Besides, he's got no stake in the neighborhood. Why should he pay to help build a new church, when he's got to move the first of March? And the church has been as careless about him as he has been about the church."

"That's what bothers me," J.W. commented. "But even so, I should think something could be done to interest these folks. They've all got families to bring up."

"Something can be done, too," said Pa Shenk. "You remember when the people on upper Deep Creek used to come here to church, four miles or so? Well, now they are going to Fairfield Church—owners, renters, everybody. It's surprising how Fairfield Church is growing. That's going away from town, not to it, and they're as near to town as we are."

"Then," persisted J.W., "how do you account for it?"

"Only one way, my boy," said Pa Shenk. "I'm as much to blame as any, but we've had some preachers here that didn't seem to understand, and then lately we've had preachers who stayed in town all the time except on preaching Sunday, and we scarcely saw or heard of 'em all the two weeks between. They haven't held protracted meetings for several years, and I ain't blaming 'em. What's the use of holding meetings when you know nobody's coming except people that were converted before our present pastor was born?"

"You say some people are going over to Fairfield?" asked J.W. "Why do they go there, when they could go to town about as easy?"

"Well, John Wesley," Pa Shenk answered, soberly. "I think I know. But you say you're going to spend next Sunday with Marty. From what Marty writes I've a notion it's much the same on his work as it is at Fairfield, except that Marty has two points. Wait till next week, and then come back and tell us how you explain the difference between Deep Creek Church and Ellis."

In the afternoon Jeannette and J.W. took a ride around the neighborhood, whose every tree and culvert and rural mail-box they knew, without in the least being tired of seeing it. Their talk was on an old, old subject, and not remarkable, yet somehow it was more to them both than any poet's rhapsody. And their occasional silences were no less eloquent.

But in a more than usually prosaic moment Jeannette said, "John Wesley, I wonder if there's any hope to get the Deep Creek young people interested in church the way they used to be? I'm just hungry for the sort of good times the older boys and girls used to have when you and Marty and I were nothing but children. They enjoyed themselves, and so did everybody else. What's the matter with so many country churches, nowadays?"

To which question J.W. could only answer: "I don't know. I didn't realize things were so bad here. Maybe I'll get some ideas about it next Saturday and Sunday. Your father seems to think Marty is getting started on the right track. And that reminds me; don't let me go away without those books he wants, will you?"

This is not a record of that Sunday afternoon's drive, nor of the many others which followed on other Sundays and on the days between. Some other time there may be opportunity for the whole story of Jeannette and J.W.

* * * * *

As J.W. drove up to Ellis Corners post office late the next Friday afternoon Marty waylaid him and demanded to be taken aboard. "Drive a half-mile further east," he said after their boisterous greetings. "That's where we eat to-night—at Ambery's. Then just across the road to the church. We've got something special on."

"A box supper," asked J.W., "or a bean-bag party?" But he knew better.

Marty told him to wait and see. Supper was a pleasant meal, the Amberys being pleasant people, who lived in a cozy new house. But J.W. was mystified to hear Marty speak of Henry Ambery as a retired farmer. He knew retired farmers in town, plenty of them, and some no happier for being there. But in the country?

"Oh," said Marty, "that's easy. Our church is the social hub of all this community, and I told the Amberys that if they built here they would be as well off as in town. I'm right too. They bought two acres for less than the price of a town lot, and they have most of the farm comforts as well as all the modern conveniences. You didn't notice any signs of homesickness, did you?"

No, J.W., hadn't, though he knew the retired-farmer sort of homesickness when he saw it.

"And the Amberys are worth more to the church than they ever were," Marty added. "I'm thinking of a scheme to colonize two or three other retiring farmers within easy reach of this church. Why not? They've got cars, and can drive to the county seat in an hour if they want to. That's better than living there all the time, with nothing to do."

By this the two were at the church, a pretty frame building, L-shaped, with a community house adjoining the auditorium. People were beginning to arrive in all sorts of vehicles—cars, mostly. J.W. looked for signs of a feed, but vainly. No spread tables, no smell of cooking or rattle of dishes from the kitchen.

"What is it, Marty?" he asked. And Marty laughed as he answered, "Old-fashioned singing school, with some new-fashioned variations, that's all." Certainly it was something which interested the countryside, for there was every indication of a crowded house.

J.W. heard the singing and noted with high approval the variations which modernized the old order. He thought the idea plenty good enough even for Delafield, which, for him, left nothing more to be said. And there was a feed, after all; but it was distinctly light refreshments, such as J.W. was used to at Delafield First Church.

On the way back to the Amberys', and well into the night in Marty's room, they talked about the circuit and its work.

"It isn't a circuit, rightly, you know," Marty said. "I preach every Sunday at both places, and for the present"—J.W. grinned—"I can get across the whole parish every day if necessary. But I'm working it a little more systematically than that."

"You must be. I can hardly believe even what I've seen already," J.W. replied. "When I was at Deep Creek last Sunday I was sure it was all off with the country church, and on the way down here I passed three abandoned meetinghouses. So I made up my mind to persuade you out of it. You know I wasn't much in favor of your coming here in the first place. But maybe that's a bigger job than I thought."

"You're right, John Wesley, about that. I don't budge, if I can make myself big enough for the job. It's too interesting. And things are happening. There's no danger of this church being abandoned."

"But what do you do, Marty, to make things happen? I know they don't just happen. I'm from the country too, remember that."

"What do I do? Not 'I' but 'we.' Well, we work with our heads first, and our hearts. Then we get out and go at it. Take our very first social difficulty; in Delafield you have a dozen places to go to. Here it's either the church or the schoolhouse—that's all the choice there is. And the schoolhouse has its limitations. So our folks have decided to make the church, both here and at Valencia, the center of the community. That explains the social hall; we call it 'Community House.' Everything that goes on, except the barn dances over east that we can't do much with so far, goes on in the church, or starts with the church, or ends at the church. That's the first scheme we put over. It was fairly easy, you know, because all our country people are pretty much one lot. We have no rich, and no really poor. And they're not organized to death, either, as you are in Delafield."

"Do you try to have something going on every night, and nearly every day, as Brother Drury does with us?" J.W. asked.

"Not quite," replied Marty; "we can't. We're too busy growing the food for you town folks. But we keep up a pretty stiff pace, for the preacher; I have no time hanging on my hands."

"I should think not," J.W. commented, "if you try to run everything. Mr. Drury always seems to have lots of time, just because he makes the rest of us run the works in Delafield First."

"Oh, he does, does he?" said Marty, shortly, who knew something of the older minister's strategy. "That's according to how you look at it. I'm not above learning from him, and I don't run everything, either. But I'm there, or thereabouts, most of the time."

"How do you get time for your study and your sermons, then," queried J. W., "if you're on the go so much?"

Marty turned a quizzical look at J.W. "My beloved chum, how did you and I get time for our studies at Cartwright?" he said. "Besides, I'm making one hand wash the other. The social life here, for instance, used to be pretty bad, before Henderson came—that's the preacher whose place I took. It was pulling away from the church; now it draws to the church. Henderson started that. The people who are my main dependence in the other affairs are mostly the same people I can count on in the Sunday school and League and the preaching service. The more we do the better it is for what we do Sundays."

"Then, there's another Because these people and I know one another so well, I couldn't put on airs in the pulpit if I wanted to. I've just got to preach straight, and I won't preach a thing I can't back up myself. I use country illustrations; show them their own world. It's one big white mark for the Farwell farm, as you might suppose, that I know the best side of country life, though I don't advertise your real estate."

"I know," said J.W. "But don't you find country people pretty hard to manage? That's our experience at the store. They are particular and critical, and think they know just what they want."

"They do too," Marty asserted, "Why shouldn't they? I believe I can tell you one big difference between the city boy and the country. You've been both; see if I'm right. The country boy minds his folks, and his teacher. But everything else minds him. He is boss of every critter on the place, from the hens to the horses, whenever he has anything to do with them at all. So he learns to think for them, as well as for himself. In the city the boy has no chance to give orders—he's under orders, all the time; the traffic cop, the truant officer, the boss in the shop or the office, the street car conductor, the janitor—everybody bosses him and he bosses nothing, except his kid brothers and sisters. So he may come to be half cringer and half bully. The country boy is not likely to be much afraid, and he soon learns that if he tries to boss even the boys without good reason it doesn't pay. Maybe that's the reason so many country boys make good when they go to the city."

"And the reason why a city boy like me," suggested J.W., "would be a misfit in the country."

"Oh, you," scoffed Marty. "You don't count. You're a half-breed. But, as I meant to say, you're right about country folks. They are a little close, maybe. They are more independent in their business than town people, but they learn how to work together; they exchange farm work, and work the roads, and they are fairly dependent on one another for all social life."

"On Deep Creek the tenant farmers are the biggest difficulty, your dad told me last Sunday," said J.W. "They go to town when they go anywhere, and not to church, either."

"I know," said Marty. "And I don't much blame 'em, from all I hear. But Henderson changed that considerably in this community. He found out that the tenants were just as human as the others, only they had the idea that nobody cared about them, because they might be here to-day and gone to-morrow. And, what do you think? I find tenant farmers around here are beginning to take longer leases; one or two are about like dad's been with your father—more partners than anything else. Every renter family in this neighborhood comes to our church, and only three or four fight shy of us at Valencia."

"All right," said J.W., drowsily. "Go to sleep now; I've got to inspect that Holstein hotel in the morning, and I know what country hours are."

The next day J.W. drove off toward the big barns of his customer, and left Marty deep in the mysteries of Sunday's sermon. Marty was yet a very young preacher, and one sermon a week was all he could manage, as several of his admirers had found out to his discomfiture, when one Sunday they followed him from Ellis in the morning to Valencia at night. But the "twicers" professed to enjoy it.

J.W.'s farmer was quite ready to talk about the new barn equipment and how it was working, and he had remarkably few complaints, these more for form's sake than anything else. That business was soon out of the way.

But Farmer Bellamy was interested in other things besides ventilators and horse-forks.

"So you're a friend of our preacher," he said, in the questioning affirmative of the deliberate country. "Well, he's quite a go-ahead young fellow; you never get up early enough to find him working in a cold collar. Maybe he's a mite ambitious, but I don't know."

J.W., as always, came promptly to Marty's defense. "He's not ambitious for himself, Mr. Bellamy; I'll vouch for that. But I shouldn't wonder he is ambitious about his work, and maybe that's not a bad thing for a country preacher in these days."

"That's so," Mr. Bellamy assented. "But I doubt we keep him. He'll be getting a church in town before long."

Now J.W. had no instructions from Marty, but he thought he might venture. And he had been introduced to a few ideas that he had never met in the days when he objected to Marty's taking a country circuit.

"I'll tell you something, Mr. Bellamy," he said. "Marty is a farmer's boy who loves the country. If he has the right sort of backing, I shouldn't wonder he stayed here a good long time. He's got enough plans ahead for this circuit of his."

Mr. Bellamy laughed. "He has that; if he waits to get 'em all going we're sure of him for a while. Why, he wants to make the church the most important business in the whole neighborhood; and, what's more, he's getting some of us to see it that way too."

"Yes, I guess that's his dream," J.W. said. "And it's so much better than the reality up around where I used to live that I wouldn't head him off if I were you."

"Head him off!" Mr. Bellamy laughed again. "Why, do you know what he did in the fall, when some of us told him we couldn't do much for missions? He phoned all over the neighborhood the day before he set out with a ton-and-a-half truck he had hired for the job. Told us to put into the truck anything we could spare. And what do you think? Before night he drove into Hill City with a big overload, even for that truck, of wheat, corn, butter, eggs, chickens, sausage, apples, potatoes, and dear knows what. Sold the lot for sixty-nine dollars. He paid nine dollars for the truck—got a rate on it—and turned in for missions sixty dollars. We've never given more than twenty, in cash."

"But that wasn't all. Next Sunday he reported, and before any of us could say 'Praise the Lord!' says he, 'Don't think the Lord's giving any of us much credit for that stuff. We owe him a good deal more than a few eggs that we'll never miss. I just wanted to show you that when we country people really start paying our tithe to the Almighty our missionary and other offerings will make that truckload look like the crumbs from our tables. I've proved that we're rich, instead of being too poor to provide for missions. And it's all our Father's, you know. When we pay him our tithe we admit that in the only practical way,' Funny thing was the whole business had been so queer, nobody got mad over his plain talk. Some of us have begun to tithe, and to enjoy it. Yes; that young feller is quite a go-ahead young feller."

J.W. rather admired the tale of the truck; it was like Marty, right enough, to get his tithing talk illustrated with a load of produce; but there was more than a hint of a new Marty, with a new directness and confidence.

So he asked, "What else is he doing that's making a difference?"

And the floodgates were lifted. The Bellamy gift of utterance had a congenial theme. For an hour the stream ran strong and steady, and when it would have stopped none could tell. But J.W. remembered he had promised to be back with Marty for dinner, and so, in the midst of a story about Marty's Saturday afternoon outings with the boys, highly reminiscent of their own old-time Saturdays in the Deep Creek timber, J.W. made his excuses and hurried away.

In that hour he had heard of the observing of special days, Thanksgiving and Christmas particularly; of the rage for athletic equipment on every farm which had youngsters, so that the usual anaemic croquet outfit had given place to basketball practice sets, indoor-outdoor ball, volley-ball nets, and other paraphernalia. Some of it not much used now, since winter had come, but under Marty's leadership, a skating rink construction gang had thrown up a dirt embankment in a low spot near the creek and then cut a channel far enough upstream to flood about four acres of swamp. Mr. Bellamy told about the skating tournaments every afternoon of the cold weather for the school children, and Saturday afternoons for the older young folks. More people went than skated too, the garrulous farmer asserted. It was just another of that young preacher's sociability schemes, and there was no end to 'em, seemed like to him.

There was even more on the business side of country life: how Marty had joined forces with the Grange and the county agent and the cooperators of the creamery and the elevator and the school teachers. And so on, and so on.

J.W. would be the last to worry about such a program; it just fitted his ideas. But it made him a little more interested in the Sunday services. Would Marty's preaching match his community work?

But before Sunday morning came J.W. had other questions to ask. He put them to Marty in intervals of the skating races; and again after supper, before going over to the church to meet a little group of Sunday-school folk—"my teacher-partners" Marty called them—who were learning with him how to adapt Sunday school science and the teaching art to the conditions of the open country.

All of J.W.'s questions were really one big question: "Say, Marty, boy, I always knew you had something in you that didn't show on the surface, but I never thought it was exactly the stuff they need to make up-to-date country preachers. How does it happen that you've blossomed out in these few months as a Moses to lead a 'rural parish'—if that's the right scientific name—out of such a wilderness as I saw at Deep Creek last Sunday?"

Marty made a pass at his chum in the fashion of the Cartwright days, and waited for the return punch before answering. "Don't you 'Moses' me, John Wesley. Besides, this circuit was no wilderness. Henderson, the preacher who was here before me, was just the man for this work. He knew the country, and believed it had the makings of even more attractive life than the town. Too bad he had to quit. But he started these folks thinking the right way. And then, don't you remember I wrote last summer that I was spending two weeks at a school for rural ministers?"

"Oh, yes, I remember that," J.W. answered, "but that's no explanation. I spent four years at a college for town and country boys, and now look at me! Two weeks is a little too short a course to produce miracles, even with such an intellect as yours, notwithstanding your name is bigger than mine, Martin Luther! Now, if you'd said four weeks, I might almost have believed you, but two weeks—well, it just isn't done, that's all!"

"Make fun of it, will you!" said Marty, with another short-arm jab. "Now, listen to me. That thing is simple enough. First off, I'd been thinking four years about being a preacher. On top of that, I'd been a country boy for twenty-three years. I know the Deep Creek neighborhood better than you do, because I had to live there. You were just visiting the farm your father paid taxes on. When I came here I found that Henderson had set things going. He told me what his dream was. So, when I went to that two-weeks' school I was ready to take in every word and see every picture and get a grip on every principle. Maybe you don't know that it was one of many such schools set up by the rural work leaders of our Home Missions Board, and it was a great school. They had no use for rocking-chair ruralists, so the faculty, instead of being made up of paper experts, was a bunch of men who knew. It was worth a year of dawdling over text-books. You see, I knew I could come back here and try everything on my own people. It was like the Squeers school in 'Nicholas Nickleby,' 'Member? When the spelling class was up, Squeers says to Smike, the big, helpless dunce, 'Spell window,'" And Smike says, 'W-i-n-d-e-r,' 'All right,' Squeers says, 'now go out and wash 'em,' Well, I hope I got the spelling a little nearer right, but I came home and began washing my windows. That's all.

J.W. said "Huh!" and that stood for understanding, and approval, and confidence.

As to Marty's preaching, it was a boy's preaching, naturally, but it was preaching. And the people came for it; J.W., remarked to himself the contrast between the close-parked cars around Ellis church and the forlornly vacant horse-sheds he had seen at Deep Creek the Sunday before.

The hearty singing of people glad to be singing together, the contagious interest of a well-filled house, and the simple directness of the preacher were all of a piece. Here was no effort to ape the forms of a cathedral, but neither was there any careless, cheap slovenliness. And assuredly there were no religious "stunts."

Marty preached the Christian evangel, not moralized agriculture. He made the gospel invitation a social appeal, without blinking its primary message to the individual to place himself under the authority of Christ's self-forgetting love. He put first things in front—"Him that cometh unto me," and then with simple illustrations and words as simple he showed that they who had accepted Christ's lordship were honor bound to live together under a new sort of law from that of the restless, pushing, self-centered world: "It shall not be so among you." Besides, he told them they could not separate service from profit. They knew, for instance, that their farm values were a third higher because of the presence of the church and its work, but they would find that the profit motive was not big enough to keep the church going. They had to love the work, and do it for love of it.

That afternoon the friends drove over to Valencia, where at night Marty would preach again this his one sermon of the week; and J.W. left him there, turning his car homeward for the fifty-two miles to Delafield.

As they parted, J.W. gripped Marty's hand and said: "Old man, I own up. I thought you ought not to bury yourself in the country, but I had no need to worry. I know preachers who are buried in town all right; you have a bigger field and a livelier one than they will ever find. And I'll never say another word about your two-weeks' school. If the Home Missions Board had nothing else to do, such work as it showed you how to do would be worth all the Board costs. I'm going to make trouble for Mr. Drury and the district superintendent and the bishop and the Board and anybody else I can get hold of, until Deep Creek gets the same sort of chance as this circuit of yours. If only they knew where to find another Martin Luther Shenk—that's the rub!" And with a last handclasp the chums went their separate ways.

On Monday J.W. called up Pastor Drury and gave that gentleman, who was expecting it, a five-minute summary of his day with Marty. "I'm awfully glad I happened to think of going over there," he said, "not only for the sake of being with the old boy again, but because I've got some new notions about the country church, and about what we Methodists are beginning to do for the places where Methodism got its start."

And Walter Drury said, "Yes, I'm glad, too." So he was; he could put down a new mark on the credit side of the Experiment.



The colored Methodists of Delafield, who called their church "Saint Marks," had always been on good terms with their white co-religionists. Mr. Drury and the pastor of Saint Marks found many occasions of helping each other in their work. The single way in which these two showed themselves conscious of the color line was that while the pastor of First Church often "preached" in Saint Marks, when the pastor of Saint Marks appeared in the pulpit of First Church, it was "to speak on some aspect of his work."

J.W. knew Saint Marks of old. In his high-school days that church had for its preacher one of a fast-vanishing race, a man mighty in exhortation, even though narrowly circumscribed in scholastic equipment. His preaching was redolent of the camp meeting, and he counted that sermon lost which did not evoke a shout or two from the front benches.

A few of First Church's younger people often went to sing at Saint Marks on special occasions, and went all the more cheerfully because of the chance it afforded to hear Brother King Officer preach. Where he got that name is not known, but he had no other.

Do not think the young people either went to scoff or remained to pray. If at times they were amused at Brother Officer's peculiarities, so were some members of his own flock, and Brother Officer was wise enough to assume that no disrespect was intended. And if the white visitors treated his fervent appeals to the unconverted and backsliders as part of the program, but having no slightest application to them, this was also the regular thing, and nobody was troubled thereat.

But while J.W. was away at college a new pastor had come to Saint Marks, a college and seminary graduate. And he had come just in time. Brother Officer was getting old, but the determining factor which made the change necessary was that Delafield happened to be near one of the general routes by which thousands of colored people were moving northward. "Exoduses" have been before; Kansas still remembers the exodus from Tennessee of forty years ago; but this latest exodus had no one starting-point nor any single destination. It was a vast shifting of Negro populations from below Mason and Dixon's line, and it swept northward toward all the great industrial centers. Its cause and consequences make a remarkable story, for which there is no room in this chronicle.

Delafield thought it could not absorb many more Negroes, but before the exodus movement subsided the stragglers who had turned aside at Delafield had more than doubled the Negro population of the town.

A heavy burden of new responsibility was on the young pastor of Saint Marks. The newcomers had no such alertness and resourcefulness as his own people. They were helpless in the face of new experiences. Soon they became a worry and an enigma to the town authorities; but especially and inevitably they turned to the churches of their own color, of which Delafield could boast but two, a Methodist and a Baptist. So Saint Marks and its pastor found both new opportunity and new troubles.

One day in the early spring Mr. Drury dropped in to the Farwell store and asked J.W. if he would be busy that night. The road to Deep Creek was at its spring worst, and J.W. had nothing special on. He said as much, and answering his look of inquiry the pastor said, "There's a man speaking at Saint Marks to-night who's a Yale graduate and a Negro. He's also a Methodist. Does the combination interest you?"

"Why, yes," J.W. answered, "it might. You know I used to go with the bunch to Saint Marks when Brother Officer was pastor, but I haven't been since he left. I'd like to see what the new preacher is doing, and it ought to be worth something to hear a Negro alumnus of Yale."

William Hightower, it seemed, was the speaker's name—a strong-voiced; confident man in his thirties. As J.W., soon discovered, Hightower was a distinctively modern Negro. Where King Officer had been almost cringing, Hightower's thought, however diplomatically spoken, was that of an up-standing mind; where Officer accepted as part of the social order the colored man's dependence on the white, Hightower spoke of something he called racial solidarity. It was plain that he meant his Negro hearers to make much of the Negro's capacity for self-direction.

There was little bitterness and no radicalism in the speech, but to J.W. it had a queer, new note. He said as much to Mr. Drury, on the way home. "Why, that Hightower hardly ever mentioned the church, although he was speaking at a church meeting. And how independent he was!"

"So you noticed that, did you?" the pastor responded. "To me it is one of the signs of a new day."

"But do you think it is a good day, Mr. Drury?" queried J.W.

"Yes—perhaps; I don't know. Anyhow, it is new, and some of the blame for it is on our shoulders. The way the Negro thinks and feels to-day is a striking proof of the fact, often forgotten, that when you settle old questions you raise new ones."

"Maybe," said J.W. doubtfully, "but I didn't know we had settled the Negro question."

"Nor I," agreed Mr. Drury. "What we—I mean, we Methodists—settled when we began to deal with the Negro right after emancipation was not the race question. It was not even a missionary question, in the old sense, but it was the question of the nature of the education we should give the young colored people. For we set out deliberately to give them schooling first, with evangelism as an accompaniment. The stress was on education, and we decided at the outset on a certain sort of education."

"I should think," ventured J.W., "that any old sort of education would serve; the first teachers had to begin at the bottom, didn't they?"

"Yes, and lower than any beginnings you know anything about," the pastor replied. "Our first workers began without equipment, without encouragement, and without everything else except a great pity for the freedman. Did you notice, by the way, that the speaker to-night never said 'freedman' or mentioned slavery? It is a new day, I tell you."

"I wish you'd explain just what you mean by that, Mr. Drury," J.W. said. "I don't seem to get it."

"I mean," said Mr. Drury, "that as soon as our church had decided to do something for the emancipated slaves, it began to work out a scheme of Negro education. That was before Tuskegee, and even before Hampton Institute. Maybe we never thought of the Booker Washington idea, or purely industrial education, but at any rate we went on the theory that the Negro deserved and in time could take as good an education as any other American. So we started academies and colleges and even universities for him, and a medical school and a theological seminary."

"I can see myself that there's a difference between that and the industrial idea," said J.W.

"Decidedly, there is," answered the minister; "all the difference which has helped to bring this new day I'm talking about, and to produce such Negro leaders as William Hightower. You see, J.W., it's this way: Booker Washington believed that after the Negro had been taught to read and write and cipher, his next and greatest educational need was to learn to make a living."

"Well, what's the matter with that?" retorted J.W. "Seems to me it's common sense."

"Possibly," Mr. Drury answered, dryly. "But what would you say was the first thing needed in the fight against the almost total illiteracy of the freedmen?"

"Why, teachers, I suppose," said J.W. "And it would sure take a lot of teachers, even to make a start."

Mr. Drury said, "That's exactly the fact. It has called for so many that to this day there isn't anything like enough teachers, although some of our schools and those of other churches have been at work for fifty years. And, remember, that practically all of these teachers, except in a few advanced schools, must be black teachers, themselves brought up out of ignorance."

"Well," said J.W., "that's my point. The quicker we could teach the teachers, the sooner they would be ready to teach others."

"That is to say," Mr. Drury interpreted, "the less we taught them, the better? Seems to me I heard something of a small revolt in your time at Cartwright because it seemed necessary that a young tutor should be temporarily assigned to the class in sophomore English."

J.W. chuckled. "It was my class. Why, that fellow was never more than two jumps ahead of the daily work. We knew he had to study his own lesson assignments before he could hear a recitation. We weren't getting anything out of it except the bare text. So some of the boys made things lively for a few days, and he asked to be relieved."

"Quite so. Your class had every imaginable advantage over the colored boys and girls in our schools—just one teacher below par. And yet you think it would be all right to have all colored teachers no more than two jumps ahead of their pupils."

"Well, yes, I see," J.W. said, with a touch of thoughtfulness. "I suppose a good teacher needs more than the minimum text-book knowledge. Is that the Methodist theory?"

"Now you're talking like yourself," Mr. Drury told him. "Yes, that's the Methodist theory. For the fifty years of the old Freedmen's Aid Society—now the Board of Education for Negroes—it has run these schools, eighteen of them now, with five thousand seven hundred and two earnest students enrolled, on a double theory. The first part of the theory is that every child—black, white, red or yellow—ought to have all the education he can use. Anything less than that would be as good as saying that America cares to develop its human resources only just so far, and not to the limit. The other part of the theory is that the last person in the world to be put off with half an education is a preacher or a teacher. The best is just good enough for all teachers, whether they teach from a desk or from a pulpit."

"I guess that's so too," said J.W. "You're getting me interested. Now go on and tell me some more."

"The new pastor of Saint Marks told me," said Mr. Drury, irrelevantly, "that they would be wanting some new roofing for the barn they're turning into a community house. I shouldn't be surprised if you sold the church a nice little bill of goods. And while you are at it, you might talk to the pastor—Driver's his name—about this thing from his side of the road. He knows more than I do."

J.W. said he would. And, though he would have meant it in any case, the hint about roofing made certain that "Elder" Driver would have a call in the morning from a rising young hardware salesman.

By this time they were at the Farwell gate, and J.W. said goodnight. Mr. Drury walked home, but before he got ready for his beloved last hour of the day, with its easy chair and its cherished book, he called up his colored colleague, and they had a brief talk over the 'phone.

Now, Walter Drury had taken no one into his confidence about the Experiment, nor did he intend to; he had the best of reasons for keeping his own counsel, through the years. So Elder Driver could not know the true inwardness of this telephone call; indeed, it was so casual that he did not even think to mention it to J.W. when that alert roofing specialist turned up next morning.

"I heard you were going to put new roofing on that barn you are fixing up, Mr. Driver, and I thought I might get your order for the job. Maybe you know that we do a good deal of that sort of work, and we can give you expert service; the right roofing put on to stay, and to stay put."

Yes, they were thinking of that roof; had to, because it leaked like a market basket, and they needed the place right now, what with the many colored Methodists who had come to town and had no home—only rooms in the little houses of the colored settlement that had been too small for comfort even before the exodus. But the place would be worth a lot to their work when they got it.

"About how much do you think of spending, Mr. Driver?" J.W. asked. Knowing the limited means of Saint Marks, he expected to supply the cheapest roofing the Farwell Hardware Company had in stock, but Pastor Driver had a surprise for him.

"Why," he said, "we want the best there is. That building was a barn, I'll admit, but it is strongly built, and we expect to fix it pretty thoroughly. We have a gift from the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension, and we match that with as much again of our own money, enough in all to swing the building around off the alley, put it on a new foundation next to the church, and remodel it for our needs."

"That's news to me," said J.W., "though of course I'm glad to hear it. But I didn't know that the Board put money into such work as this. Somehow I supposed you were under the Board of Education for Negroes."

"No, not for this sort of church work," the colored pastor answered. "I was 'under' the Board of Education for Negroes, as you put it, for a long time myself, in the days when it was called the Freedmen's Aid Society. And so was my wife. But now we're doing missionary work, and that's the other Board's job."

"Oh, yes," J.W. assented. "I might have known that. And you mean that you were under the Freedmen's Aid Society when you were going to school—is that it?"

"That's it," said Pastor Driver, with a gleaming smile. "I was in two of the schools. Philander Smith College, at Little Rock, Arkansas, and Clark University, at Atlanta, Georgia. Then I got my theological course at Gammon, on the same campus as Clark."

"You say your wife was in school too?"

"Yes"—with an even brighter smile—"she was at Clark when I met her. Like me, she attended two schools on that campus. The other was Thayer Home, a girls' dormitory, supported by the Woman's Home Missionary Society."

"A home? Then how could it be a school?" J.W. asked.

"That's just it, Mr. Farwell," the minister explained. "It was a school of home life, not only cooking and sewing and scrubbing, and what all you think of as domestic science, but a school of the home spirit—just the thing my people need. Thayer was, and is, a place where the girl students of Clark University learn how to make real homes. And in the college classes they learn what you might suppose any college student would learn. That's why I said Mrs. Driver went to two schools."

J.W. recalled the Hightower speech of the night before, and the discussion with Mr. Drury on the way home. He wanted to go into it all with this pastor, who wasn't much past his own age, and evidently had some ideas. For the first time he wondered too how it happened that in that draft of the Everyday Doctrines of Delafield they had altogether ignored the Negro. Was that a symptom of something? Then he remembered his errand, and the work which was waiting up at the store.

So he said: "Excuse me, Mr. Driver, for being so inquisitive. I've never thought much about our church's colored work, but what I heard at last night's meeting started me. Rather curious that I should be here talking about it with you the very next morning, isn't it? But about that roofing, now. Of course you'll look around and get other estimates, but anyway I'd be glad to take the measurements and give you our figures. I promise you they'll be worth considering."

"I'm sure of that, Mr. Farwell," said the other, heartily, "and if I have any influence with the committee—and I think I have—you needn't lose any sleep over any other figures we might get. As for being inquisitive about our work here, I wish more of this town's white Methodists would get inquisitive. And that reminds me: there's to be an Epworth League convention here week after next, and I've been told to invite one of the League leaders in your church to make a short address on the opening night. You're a League leader, I know, and the first one I've thought about. So I'm asking you, right now. Will you come over and speak for us?"

Now, though J.W. always said he was no speaker, he had never hesitated to accept invitations to take part in League conventions. But this was different. He made no answer for a minute. And in the pause his mind was busy with all he knew, and all he had acquired at second hand, about the relations of colored Christians and white, and particularly about what might be thought and said if it should be announced that he was to speak at a Negro Epworth League convention. And then he had the grace to blush, realizing that this colored pastor, waiting so quietly for his answer, must infallibly have followed his thoughts. In his swift self-blame he felt that the least amends he could make for his unspoken discourtesy was a prompt acceptance of the invitation.

So he looked up and said, hurriedly: "Mr. Driver, forgive me for not speaking sooner. I'll do the best I can"; and then, regaining his composure, "Have you any idea as to the subject I'm supposed to talk about?"

"Yes," the colored minister replied, not without a touch of curious tenseness in his voice. "The committee wanted me to get a representative from your Chapter to make a ten-minute address of welcome on behalf of the Epworthians of First Church!"

Again J.W. was forced to hesitate. Here he was an Epworthian, but knowing nothing at all about the work of these other young Methodists. Until to-day he scarcely knew they existed. And now he was asked to welcome them to town in the name of the League!

But once again shame compelled him to take the bold course. With an apologetic smile he said, "Well, that's the last subject I could imagine you'd give to any of us at First Church. Your young people and ours have hardly been aware of each other, and it seems queer that you should ask me to make an address of welcome in your church. But as I think of it, maybe this is just what somebody ought to do, and I might as well try it. Trouble is, what am I going to say?"

"We'll risk that, Mr. Farwell," said Pastor Driver, confidently. "Just say what you think, and you'll do all right."

J.W. was by no means sure of that, and the more he thought about his speech in the next few days, the more confused he became. Any ordinary speech of welcome would be easy—"Glad you were sensible enough to come to Delafield," "make yourselves at home," "freedom of the city," "our latch strings are out," "command us for anything we can do," "congratulate you on the fine work you are doing," "know when we return this visit and come to the places you represent you will make us welcome"—and so on. But it was plainly impossible for him to talk like that. It wouldn't be true, and it would certainly not be prudent.

He put the thing up to J.W., Sr. "What'll I say, dad?" he asked. "You know we haven't had much to do with the people of Saint Marks, and maybe it wouldn't be best for us to make any sudden change as to that, even if some of us wanted to. But I've got to talk like a Christian, whether I feel like one or not."

"My son," his father answered him, sententiously, "it's your speech, not mine. But if an old fogy may suggest something, why not forget all about the usual sort of welcome address? Why not say something of the whole program of our church as it affects our colored people? It touches the young folks more than any others. Welcome them to that."

"That's all very fine," J.W. objected. "Everybody who's on for an address of welcome is advised by his friends to cut out the old stuff, but it means work. And you know that I don't know the first thing about what you call the whole program of our church for the colored people. That man Driver knows, but I can't ask him."

"Of course not," assented J.W., Sr., "but you can ask somebody else. I'll venture Mr. Drury can tell you where to find all you would want to talk about. Ask him. You're never bothered by bashfulness with him, if I remember right."

J.W. admitted he had already thought of that. "He and I were talking about this very thing the night before I went to see about that roofing. But here's the point—I'm not to represent the pastor, but the young people. And I'm not so sure that what Mr. Drury might give me, if he were willing, could be made to fit into a League speech, under the circumstances."

"I'd try it anyway," said the elder Farwell. "He's nearly always willing, seems to me, and a pretty safe adviser most of the time."

"All right," agreed J.W., "I'll see him, but he'll probably tell me to find things out for myself. He's a good scout, is Mr. Drury; the best pastor I ever knew or want to know, but sometimes he has the queerest streaks; won't help a fellow a little bit, and when you're absolutely sure he could if he would. It won't be enough to see him, though; even if he is in a generous mood and gives me more dope than I can use. I'd better talk to some of the League people." And still he gravitated toward the pastor's study. It was the easiest way.

The pastor was always in a more generous mood than J.W. gave him credit for. It was only that he never supplied crutches when people needed to use their legs, nor brains when they needed to use their heads, nor emotions when they needed to use their hearts.

He told J.W. to rummage through the one bookshelf in the study which held his small but usable collection of books and pamphlets on the Negro, and see what he might find. And, as always, they talked.

"I can tell by that preacher at Saint Marks," said J.W., "how I had the wrong end of the argument that night we came from Hightower's address. A man with a big job like his has to be a pretty big man, and he needs all the education he can get."

"There's a principle in that, J.W.," suggested Mr. Drury; "see if this seems a reasonable way to state it: In dealing with any people, the more needy they are, the better equipped and trained their leaders should be."

"Yes, sir, it sounds reasonable enough," J.W. admitted. "And yet I never thought of it until now. But you said something the other night that I don't see yet."

"That may be no fault of yours, my boy," said the minister, with a laugh. "What was it?"

"Why, you said men like Hightower are inclined to overlook the work of the church, and that it was the church's own fault; something about raising new questions when you settle old ones."

"Oh, yes," said Mr. Drury, "I remember. Maybe saying it's the church's own fault is not just the way to put it. Say instead that you can't educate children, nor yet races that are developing, and expect them to turn out exactly according to your notions of the future. Because, when their minds are growing they are developing, not according to something in you, but according to something in them. So every teacher, and I suppose every parent, has moments of wondering how it ever happens that young people learn so much that is not taught them. And it's the same way with races."

"You mean," inquired J.W., "that Hightower is like that?"

"I mean," Pastor Drury replied, "that everybody is like that. If we had given the Negro no education at all, we could probably have kept him contented for a good many years with just being 'free.' If we had given no Negro anything but a common-school chance, the race would have been pretty slow to develop discontent. But Hightower went to Yale, and Du Bois went to Harvard and Germany, and Pickens went to Yale, and so on. Thousands of colored men and women have been graduated from colleges of liberal arts. And so they are not satisfied with conditions which would have been heavenly bliss to their grandfathers and grandmothers."

"I know I'm stupid," said J.W., a trifle ruefully, "but I've always supposed that education was good for everybody. Now you seem to say that education makes people discontented."

"Of course it does," said Mr. Drury, "that's the reason it is good for them. Would you be content to call a one-room shack home, and live as the plantation hand lives? If you would, the world's profit out of you, and your own profit out of yourself, wouldn't be much. Real education does exactly mean discontent. And the people who are discontented may be uncomfortable to live with, if we think they ought to be docile, but they get us forward."

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