Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/17

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7
THE READING—CLUB.

"A pra'r! Rough, d'ye mean it?"

"Yes, a pra'r, pard. It's the—last thing Rough'll ever—ax of ye."

"It's hard to do, Rough. I don't know a pra'r."

"Think back, pard. Didn't yer mother—teach ye—suthin'? One that begins—'Our Father'—an' then—somehow—says—'forgive us'—"

"Don't, Rough, ye break me all up."

"The light's a-fadin'—on the golden hills—an' the night is comin'—out of the canyuns—pard. Be quick—ye'll try, pard. Say suthin'—fer Rough"—

"I—Rough—Our Father, forgive us. Don't be hard on Rough. We're a tough lot. We've forgot ye, but we hain't all bad. 'Cause we hain't forgot the old home. Forgive us—be easy on Rough. Thy will be done"—

"It's comin' agin—pard. The light's—comin'—over the Range" —

"Have mercy on—us, an'—an'—an'—settle with us 'cordin' to—to the surroundin's of our lives. Thy—Thy kingdom come"—

"Go on, pard. It's comin'."

"Now—I lay me down to sleep."

"That's—good—mother said that."

"Hallowed be Thy name—pray—the Lord his soul to keep."

"That's good—pard. It's all glory—comin' over—the Range—mother's face—her—face"—

"Thine is the glory, we ask—for Jesus' sake—Amen."

"Pard"—

"What, Rough? I'm all unstrung. I"—

"Fare"—

"Rough! Yer worse! What, dead?"

Yes, the wanderings were over. Ended with a prayer, rough and sincere, like the heart that had ceased to throb; a prayer and a few real tears, even in that lone cabin in the canon; truer than many a death scene knows, although a nation does honor to the dying; a prayer that pleased Him better than many a prayer of the schools and creeds. A rough but gentle hand closed the eyes. The first rays of the morning sun broke through a crevice in the little cabin, and hung like his mother's smile over the couch of the sleeping boy. Only one mourner watched with Rough as he waited for the new name which will be given to us all, when that light comes to the world from over the Range.