Page:Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.djvu/202

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The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

'Dad,' said Frankie, suddenly, 'let's go over and hear what that man's saying.' He pointed across the way to where, a little distance back from the main road, a group of people were standing round a large lantern fixed on the top of a pole. A bright light was burning inside this lantern, and on the panes of white obscured glass which formed the sides, was written in bold plain letters the text:

'Be not deceived: God is not mocked!'

The man whose voice had attracted Frankie's attention was reading a verse of a hymn:—

'I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water, thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live":
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched,
My soul revived,
And now I live in Him.'

As Owen and Frankie drew near, the boy tugged at his father's hand and whispered: 'Dad! that man is the teacher at the Sunday School where I went that day with Charley and Elsie.'

Owen looked quickly and saw that it was Hunter.

As soon as the reading ceased, the little company of evangelists began to sing, accompanied by the strains of a small but peculiarly sweet-toned organ. A few persons in the crowd joined in, the words being familiar to them. During the singing their faces were a study, they looked as solemn and miserable as a gang of condemned criminals waiting to be led forth to execution. The greater number of the people standing around appeared to be listening more out of idle curiosity than anything else, and two well dressed young men, evidently strangers and visitors to the town, amused themselves by making audible remarks about the texts on the lantern. There was also a shabbily dressed, semi-drunken man in a battered bowler hat who stood on the inner edge of the crowd, almost in the ring itself, with folded arms and an expression of scorn on his thin, pale face. He had a large high-bridge nose, and bore a striking resemblance