carriages are here.”
"In a moment, Hamilton," replied the clergyman. "God moves in strange
ways, Sarah. The old were taken and the young, we hope, will profit by this
experience. He would have gone across to Hamilton, but Sarah laid her hand
on his arm. "I've something to tell you, Mr Sorleyson. Andrew wasn't taken
because he was old, and we weren't spared because we were young. I saw him
leave go of the boat and swim into the fog. If he hadn't done that, there’s
no telling but all four of us would have gone."
Sorleyson was about to reply but Hamilton spoke first, "Away and bring
your mother down, Sarah, and open Frank’s door so that he can hear the prayer."
His face was dark and scowling and she knew that he was angry at all this
chatter round the dead body of his father, even as she left t^e room the words
rose unbidden . . . and if it hadn't been for you, Frank and me would have
drowned ... She felt full of remorse, and an urgent desire to please him.
When she had brought her mother down to the parlour, Sorleyson prayed.
Sarah silently ran her nail over the worn plush on the arm of the chair at
which she knelt, as Soleyson's words filtered through to her: ". . . my son,
despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.
For whom the lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
She had ventured a little too far, having words like with the minister
before Hamilton. Until the funeral left she would stay in the background behind
her mother and Agnes, silent, only coming forward when she was needed. That was
her place as a servant in the house. In the meantime, anyway, until her false
step had been forgotten, Sorleyson cleared his throat before he launched into
his special prayer for the occasion: 0 God, ho hast in thy great mercy spared
the green and taken the ripe; teach, we beseech Thee, thy sons and daughters
gathered here, that nature framed by Thy almighty hand can never be tamed to