I walked steadily out into the middle of the room. Each step was firmer than the other. As I advanced, he came to meet me. My heart throbbed. I thought I should have fallen, not from weakness, but from joy. " Don't be afraid," he said encouragingly; " that is right. You are doing finely. Only a few steps more. There ! " It was done. One man stopped and waited for us, and spoke to Father, who shook hands withhim ; intimating, however, pleasantly enough, that he was in haste, and must be excused for passing on. " Yes, yes, I see," said the man with a glance at me. I then distinctly saw this person's face, and knew him beyond a doubt, for an old neighbor, a certain Mr. Snarl, a miserly, sanctimonious man —I had never liked him. " Father ! " I stopped short. " Father, that man is dead. He has been dead for twenty years ! " Now, at this, I began to tremble ; yet not from fear, I think ; from amazement, rather, and the great confusion which I felt.  " And there " — I pointed to a pale young man who had been thrown from his carriage (it was said because he was in no condition to drive) —"there is Bobby Bend. He died last winter." " Well," said Father quietly, " and what then?"


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Beyond the Gates - E S Phelps 1883