The title of the last part of this story just doesn't seem to fit the weather right now. :) Here is it lovely outside, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. It was in the 70s yesterday and supposed to be in the 80s today. Spring has come!
It was a more relaxing week than it has been for a while. I have been able to write every evening this week. And I know many of you will be delighted to hear I've been working on TCR. However, there have been serious thinking about new and interesting ideas for this story in general and certain developments with this story that could hinder or enhance it. We'll see. But, more about that later.
The exciting news for this week is that "The Lower Lights and Other Stories" is now published!
It's on Amazon and in Kindle form. I'm not sure if Light of Faith has it up yet or not. We were rather busy yesterday, so it might not be up quite yet. You can also purchase it from my book page on this blog. I'd love to read your reviews of it and my other stories on Amazon or Light of Faith.
And now, the last of
A Slip on the Ice
Last time . . .“What did the judge say about coming to see me?” Mr. Ashwell demanded curtly.
“Only that he thought it would be a good idea for me to come.”
In thoughtful silence the old man ate the remains of his breakfast and Trenton waited quietly. After a full five minutes had passed, Mr. Ashwell turned to the lad. “Well, go on.”
“I’m not sure what else to tell you, sir, except that I will work very hard and do my best to please.”
“Do you smoke?”
“I suppose you don’t drink, play cards for fun or swear either?”
Another pause. Then, another question came quickly, sharply, almost as though it came from unwilling lips. “What is your grandfather’s name?”
Trenton blinked in surprise. He hadn’t expected a question like that though he answered readily enough. “Timothy Thomas, sir.”
“Why were you named Trenton?”
Thinking that this was the strangest interview for a job he’d ever heard of, the young man replied, “I was named after my father.”
“And he?” persisted the questioner.
“Father was named after my grandfather’s best friend. Grandfather has spoken of him often and always with fondness.”
“What was his friend’s name?”
“All I know is that Grandfather always speaks of him as Trenton or Trent and wishes he knew what became of him.”
Reaching from his bed, Mr. Ashwell furiously rang a bell and when Felix appeared ordered, “Send for Judge Fristoe at once!”
“Mr. Ashwell—” began the much bewildered and not a little apprehensive assistant.
“At once, I said,” roared the old man. “And leave the lad with me,” he added as he caught Harrington’s nod to the youth. “Be quick, Harrington! Be quick.”
Within thirty minutes both Judge Fristoe and Dr. Taylor had arrived. The doctor frowned when he saw his patient, and it was with some difficulty that Mr. Ashwell was at last persuaded to let Trenton leave the room, and this was only done after the young man had promised not to leave the house. Then the doctor and judge were shut up in the old man’s room while Harrington paced the hall outside and frowned at the long conference.
At last Judge Fristoe came out in the hall. “Mr. Ashwell is resting now, Harrington and Dr. Taylor said he would remain with him for the time being. I have some important business to attend to right away but I shall return at the earliest opportunity.” Hurrying down the curving stairs, he pulled on his heavy coat and slipped out into the snowy morning leaving behind a very confused personal assistant.
Trenton was coming down the hallway nearly seven hours after his dismissal from the bedroom when there was a knock on the front door. Knowing that Felix was occupied at the time, he hurried to open it. Two men stood on the porch waiting.
“Judge Fristoe and . . . Grandpa?” Trenton’s surprise and amazement seemed to paralyze his limbs, for he simply stood there before the open door and stared.
“Come Trent, let us in out of this cold,” his grandfather roused him.
Still bewildered, Trenton moved aside and shut the door behind the two men who hastily shed their coats and hats and without another word hurried upstairs. Rubbing his eyes and giving his head a shake, Trenton stared at the now empty stairs and muttered, “I must be dreaming!”
Mr. Ashwell gave a sigh and opened his eyes. It was early evening and there was a rosy light about the room, for the sun, though it had risen among clouds, now set in a clear western sky with a blaze of glory. For a moment he lay still trying to remember why he had been sleeping at this time of day. He felt confused and turned his head. To his surprise, a stranger was seated beside his bed watching him.
“Who are you?” he demanded somewhat testily.
The voice sounded strangely familiar and suddenly Mr. Ashwell half sat up. “Tim? Is it really you?”
Neither man was very coherent for several minutes, but at last Timothy Thomas gently pushed his old friend back among the pillows. “Rest now Trent,” he directed softly wiping his own eyes with his handkerchief.
“How did you get here?” Mr. Ashwell asked. “I was so afraid the lad was talking about someone else.”
“It was the efforts of Judge Fristoe and Reverend Sadaro, Trent.” Then he added softly, “And it was an answer to my prayers!”
Mr. Thomas nodded. “Yes, Trent. I’ve been praying every day since I last saw you that we would get to see each other once more. I had hoped at first that you might come to America and see me after you had finished your studies, but the years passed and your letters no longer came. I didn’t know what had become of you. Now let us thank God for keeping us all these years and reuniting us. Shall we?”
For a moment Mr. Ashwell was still, then, with a voice that hesitated, he said, “Tim, I tried to be a Christian after you left. I tried to read my Bible and I even tried to pray, but I guess I never really wanted to. Perhaps I would have had you been there, but maybe not.” He sighed. “With you not there to keep me from them, I joined some of the other fellows at college and . . . well, my life hasn’t been one that a Christian would be proud of.”
“Oh my friend, now I know why I have felt so often the need to pray for you. But Trent, don’t put off getting right with God any longer. You remember that prayer you made shortly after my father died?”
Mr. Ashwell nodded.
“Did you truely mean it?”
“I thought I did, but—”
“Trent,” Timothy placed his hard, work-worn hand tenderly on his friend’s arm, “it doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean it then, what matters is if you mean it now.”
“Oh Tim, pray for me,” the gruff, old voice broke and Mr. Ashwell clasped the hand of his friend. “I want to follow Christ as you did.”
Slipping to his knees beside the bed, Timothy Thomas poured out a prayer of thanksgiving and then, in slow, often faltering tones, Trenton Ashwell’s voice rose in prayer.
In the days that followed, Mr. Ashwell soon resumed life in the business world where he found a place for young Trenton in one of his own offices. That young man soon gave evidence of a keen business mind and rapidly advanced to higher positions, being fully trusted by all who came in contact with him.
Every week for over a year Mr. Ashwell and Mr. Thomas met together, for they had so much to talk over and to tell each other of the years of separation. The change in Mr. Ashwell was noticeable to all who knew him, and Felix Harrington often looked at those front steps of the large house and wondered what would have happened had Mr. Ashwell not slipped that snowy, winter day.
What were your thoughts on the story?
Any questions or comments?