Page:Triangles of life, and other stories.djvu/237
THE STRANGERS' FRIEND
Jericho, and known for more than one act of kindness, else the host of that old inn wouldn't have trusted him so readily, as it is inferred he did. For: "And whatsoe'er thou spendest more, when I return I will repay thee."
And there was a certain Nazarene about whom we know so much and so little, and Whose teaching we preach so widely and practise so narrowly, Who was so touched by this little story about the man from Samaria that He told it wherever He could, to the multitude and in high places; saying: "Go thou and do likewise." And certain men have been doing likewise ever since.
For a certain man from anywhere, call him Biljim, journeying out to Hungerford, leaves a sick mate at the Half-way Pub. (A man need only be sick, or a stranger in distress, to be a "mate" in this case.) And Biljim gives the boss of the shanty a couple of quid, and says: "You stick to the poor ——, an' fix him up; an' if it's anything more, I'll pay yer when I come back after shearin'."
And so they pass on: the man from Samaria, with his patched and dusty gown, his sand-worn sandals, and his patient ass, journeying down to Jericho; and the man from anywhere, with his hack and packhorse "trav'lin'" out to Hungerford and beyond; with but two thousand years between them, and little else in the matter of climate or character.
It may be heroic for a drunkard to do a brave deed, and save lives, as drunkards often do. It is certainly picturesque, but there is such a thing as Dutch cour-