The years have passed—but in their passing have brought few changes to the little village nestling in the Maine pines that border on the sea. Not many changes—it is as though Time had touched it loath to touch at all; as though some spirit lingering there, sweet and fresh and vernal, had bade Time stay its hand.

Not many changes—the same familiar faces gather around the stove in the hotel office; and, neither as a memory, nor yet as of one who has gone, but as if he were amongst them, living still, they speak of the Patriarch as of yore.

And with this little circle of kindly, simple folk Time has dealt gently too, for there is only one who is no more—Cale Rodgers, the proprietor of the general store.

But the general store on the village street still flourishes, and in Cale Rodgers' place is one whose speech is still a marvelous thing in staid old New England ears—it is an Irish brogue perhaps, for his name is Michael Coogan. There are little Coogans too, and Mamie is a happy wife. And to the Coogans come sometimes letters from a far-western farm to say that things are well and that prosperity has come to one who signs himself—facetiously it always seems to Mamie who reads the letters to her husband—as Pale Face Harry.

And so the years have passed, and it is summer time again. The fields are green; the trees in leaf; the flowers in bloom. And there are visitors who have come again to the scenes of yesterday—a man and woman—and between them a sturdy little lad of eight. They stop at the end of the wagon track and look out across the lawn.

It is still and peaceful, tranquil—and to them conies the soft, low murmur of the surf. Slowly they walk across the lawn, and pass beneath the splendid maples—and pause again.

The cottage is like some poet's fancy, hidden shyly in its creepers and its vines; and seems to speak and breathe in its simple beauty of the gentle soul who once had lived there—and loved his fellow-men. It is as it always was, open, free for all to pass within who wish to enter; for loving hands have cared for it, and grateful purses, opened to its needs, have kept it as—a Shrine.

But they do not enter now, for Madison points to where the sunlight, as it glints through the trees at the far end of the cottage, falls on a slender shaft of marble.

"Let us go there, Helena," he said softly.

And so they walked that way, past the trellises laden with flowers, past the end of the cottage; and presently they stopped again where, beneath the maples' shade, rises the pure white stone—and beyond it is the sweep of the eternal sea.

Madison, his hair streaking just a little gray at the temples now, removed his hat—and his face softened, saddened, as he read the simple inscription:


The boy glanced at his father a little wonderingly—and then spelt out the words. He shook his head.

"I don't know what that means," he said. "What does that word mean?"

Madison patted his head.

"You tell him, Helena," he said—and came and stood beside her.

And so Helena told the boy in simple language as much of the Patriarch's story as she thought he could understand—and when she had finished the boy's face was aglow.

"And!" he said breathlessly, "and—and did he ever do a really, truly-truly miracle?"

There was silence for an instant—then a tender smile came trembling to Helena's lips, and into the brown eyes crept the love-light, as she reached out to Madison and her hand found his and held it very tightly.

And Madison bent and kissed her; and drew the little lad between them and laid his hand on the boy's head, and answered for Helena.

"Yes, my son," he said; "and some day when you are a man you will understand how great a miracle it was."


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