Friday, February 12, 2010

THE ROAD TO CONTENT CORNERS, part 5 of 5; by C. Courtenay Savage (1922)

"I wonder! Well--I'm not going to do it. I'm going to do something else instead. I see straight now. I'm going to tell the folks how much their land will bring and not to sell it to the first land shark who reads the announcement of the new road.

"Let's tell Mother," Betty said suddenly. She could not put her feelings into words--Mother would understand everything.

"Yes, but first, dear, there is something I must tell you, and he drew her close to him.

"Betty, the Board of Directors will probably want me to represent the railroad interests here at the corners. I'm going to try to be the type of man the speaker was talking about today--a good honest, hard working citizen. I want them--and you--and--Mother to be proud of me. I know we've never really been engaged but Betty, you know--."

"I know," she breathed softly, "I know!" and she might have said more if he had not kissed her.

Before Content Corners went to bed that night, the news of the coming of the railroad had spread. Men and women brushed away the tears at the thought of boys who had gone away to work and who would be coming back. The young people swelled with the pride of opportunity. In their dreams they saw progress, comfort, luxury, coming to them on rails of steel. And everywhere the name of Boyce Hewett was mentioned with pride. It had been a great Independence Day.

Late that night, the Reverend W. A. Hathaway, pastor of the Methodist Church, where union services would be held the next Sunday morning, sat in his study, planning his sermon. This new event in the life of Content Corners was worthy of very special mention. He decided to use as a text the old words, "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" but he also wished to make mention of Boyce Hewett. He was more or less at a loss what to say but decided to call Hewett a "young man of whom the community might well be proud." Had he known the truth, he might have classified him as a man who had found his soul, his honor.

And Boyce Hewett, driving back to the city, looked out across the night and smiled. He felt mentally, morally, as he had felt physically in the water of the swimming-hole that afternoon--clean! Honor--that was the height he had gained, the honor that George Washington had said was so precious, the honor for which men sometimes died. Then, too, there was Betty--and Betty was Love! Honor and Love! what more could any man want? It had been a great Fourth.