This little jewel was found in a book entitled "Great stories remembered" by Joe Wheeler. One of the best books I think I have!
This story is so good; I have used it several times already. I first heard it in Sunday school where I vowed to get my own copy which I did! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! I pray it is a blessing to you as it was to me!
Mr. Rogers was thinking. His thoughts went back 20 years, and he saw himself a young man doing a prosperous business, and although not in partnership, still intimately associated with one who had been his playmate, neighbor, and close friend for years. And then Mr. Rogers saw the financial trouble that had come upon him, and he thought bitterly that if the friend had played the part of a friend, it might have been averted.
He saw the 20 years of estrangement and felt again the bitterness of that hour.
Mr. Rogers rose from his chair, and going to his safe, drew from it three notes for $5,000 each, due on the following Monday.
"Twenty years is a long time to wait for justice," said he to himself, "but now, and without my lifting a finger, these notes have come into my possession, and I know, Robert Harris, that it will be hard work for you to pay them. I knew justice would be done at last."
And Mr. Rogers replace the notes in his safe, and closing his office, went home to tea.
Many a man will cry out for justice when it is revenge he desires.
On Monday morning, Mr. Rogers went to the station to take the 8:00 train for Boston. He had just taken his seat when he heard his name spoken and saw Mr. Palmer, his neighbor, standing by his side.
"Are you going to town?" asked Mr. Palmer.
"Yes," was the reply. "Anything I can do for you?"
"I wish you would take charge of my little girl as far as the next station. Her grandmother will meet her there. I have promised her this visit for a week and had intended to take her down myself, but just at the last minute I received a dispatch that I must be here to meet some men who are coming out on the next train."
"Why, of course I will," said Mr. Rogers heartily. "Where is she?"
At these words, a tiny figure clambered onto the seat, and a cheerful voice answered, "Here I am!"
"Thank you," said Mr. Palmer. "Good-bye, Betty; be a good girl, and Papa will come for you tomorrow."
"Good-bye, Papa; give my love to the baa-lammie and all the west of the fam'ly," replied Betty.
People looked around and laughed at Betty's putting the lamb at the head of the family. They saw a very little girl under an immense hat, with a pair of big blue eyes and rosy cheeks.
Mr. Rogers put her next to the window and began to talk with her.
"How old are you, Betty?" he asked.
"I'm half past four; how old are you?" promptly returned Betty.
"Not quite a hundred," laughed Mr. Rogers, "but pretty old for all that."
"Is that what made the fur all come off the top of your head?" she asked, looking thoughtfully at his baldness, for the heat had caused him to take off his hat.
Mr. Rogers said he guessed so.
Betty pointed out various objects of interest and made original comments upon them, not at all abashed by her companion's age and gravity.
Suddenly, she looked up and said, "I go to Sunday School."
"Do you? And what do you do there?"
"Well, sing and learn a verse. My teacher gave me a new one 'bout bears, but I don't know it yet, but I know the first one I had. Want me to tell it to you?" The big blue eyes looked confidingly up at Mr. Rogers.
"Why, of course I do, Betty," he replied.
Betty folded her hands, and with her eyes fixed on her listener's face, said, "Love your innymunts."
Mr. Rogers flushed, and involuntarily put his hand on his pocketbook; but Betty, all unconscious of his thought, said, "Do you want me to 'splain it?"
The listener nodded, and the child went on: "Do you know what an innymunt is?" Receiving no answer, she said: "When anybody does naughty things and bweaks your playthings, he's an innymunt....Wobbie Fwench was my innymunt; he bweaked my dolly's nose and he sticked burrs in my baa-lammie's fur, and he said it wasn't baa-lammie, noffin' but just a lammie." The big blue eyes grew bigger as she recalled this last indignity.
Mr. Rogers looked deeply interested - and who could have helped it, looking at the earnest little face? Betty continued to " 'splain."
"It doesn't mean," she said, "that you must let him bweak all your dolls' noses nor call your baa-lammie names, 'cause that's wicked; but last week Wobbie bweaked his bicycle and next day all the boys were going to wace, and when I said my pwayers, I told the Lord I was glad Wobbie bwoke his bicycle. I was. But when I wanted to go to sleep, I feeled bad here," and Betty placed a tiny hand on her chest and few a long breath. "But by and by, after much as a hour I guess, I thinked how naughty that was, and then I telled the Lord I was sorwy Wobbie had bweaked his bicycle and I would lend him mine part of the time, and then I felled good and was asleep in a minute."
"And what about Robbie?' asked Mr. Rogers.
"Well," replied the child, "I guess if I keep on loving him, he won't be a 'innymunt' much longer."
"I guess not either," said Mr. Rogers, giving his hand to help her down from the seat as the cars slacked speed and stopped at the station. He led Betty from the car and gave her into her grandmother's care.
"I hope she has not troubled you," said the lady, looking fondly at the child.
"On the contrary, madam, she has done me a world of good," said he sincerely as he raised his hat, and bidding Betty good-bye, he stepped back into the car.
Mr. Rogers resumed his seat and looking out of the window, but he did not see the trees, not the green fields, nor even the peaceful river with its thousands of water lilies, like stars in the midnight sky.
Had he told the Lord that he was glad his "innymunt" had broken his bicycle and could not join in the race for wealth and position? When he came to put the question straight to his own soul, it certainly did look like it.
It was no use for him to say the notes were honestly due. He knew that he could afford to wait for the money and that if Robert Harris was forced to pay them at once, he would probably be ruined. He heard the sweet voice of the child saying, "Love your innymunt," and he said in his heart, using the old familiar name of is boyhood days: "Lord, I am sorry Rob has broken his bicycle. I'll lend him mine until he gets his mended."
Had the sun come out suddenly from behind a dark cloud? Mr. Rogers thought so, but it had really been shining its brightest all morning.
A boy came through the train with a great bunch of water lilies, calling, "Lilies, cent apiece, six for five."
"Here, boy!" called Mr. Rogers, "Where did those come from?"
"White Pond, Lily Cove," said the boy, eyeing Mr. Rogers with some perplexity. He had been a train boy for five years and had never known Mr. Rogers to buy anything but the 'Journal'.
"What'll you take for the bunch?"
"Fifty cents," replied the boy promptly.
Mr. Rogers handed him the half-dollar and took the fragrant lilies. "How do you get into the cove now?" he asked as the boy pocketed the money and was moving on.
"Get out 'n' shove her over the bar," replied the boy as he went on.
Mr. Rogers looked at the flowers with the streaks of pink on the outer petals, at the smooth pinkish-brown stems, and thought of the time 40 years before when he and Rob, two barefooted urchins, had rowed across White Pond in a leaky boat, and by great exertion dragged and pushed it over the bar, and been back home at 7:00 in the morning, with such a load of lilies as had never been seen in the village before. Yes, he remembered it, and Rob's mother was frying doughnuts when they got back, and she gave them six apiece. Oh, she knew what boys' appetites were! She had been dead for 30 years now.
Just then the cars glided into the station, and everybody rushed out of the train. Mr. Rogers followed in a kind of dream. He walked along until he came to Sudbury Street and stopped at a place where he read, "Robert Harris, Manufacturer of Steam and Gas Fittings."
He entered the building and, going up one flight of stairs, opened the door and entered a room fitted up as an office. A man sat at a desk, anxiously examining a pile of papers. He looked up as Mr. Rogers entered, stared at him as if he could not believe his eyes, and, without speaking , rose from his chair and offered a seat to his visitor.
Mr. Rogers broke the silence. "Rob," he said, holding out his hand, "these came from the cove where we used to go, and - and - I've come around to say this if you want to renew those notes that are due today, I am ready to do so, and - and-"
But Mr. Harris had sunk into a chair and, with his head in his hands, was sobbing as if his heart would break.
Mr. Rogers awkwardly laid the lilies on the desk and sat down. "Don't, Rob," he said at length.
"You wouldn't wonder at it, Tom," was the reply, "if you knew what I have endured for the past 48 hours. I can pay every penny if I have time, but to pay then today means absolute ruin."
"Well, I guess we can fix all that," said Mr. Rogers, looking intently into the crown of his hat. "Have you any more paper out?"
"Less than 200 dollars," was the reply.
The 20 years of estrangement were forgotten like a troubled dream, and when they finally separated, with a clasp of the hand, each felt a dozen years younger.
"Ah!" said Mr. Rogers as he walked away with a light step. "Betty was right. If you love your 'innymunt,' he won't be an 'innymunt' any longer."
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
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