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CHAPTER III. A SHINING TIDE. AS I was strenuously seeking to gain possession of my wits, so that I could avail myself of any opportunity that offered, or could be made by adroit, prompt action, the stalwart and elderly Friend, who had seemed thus far one of the ministers of my impending fate, again took my hand and said, " I hope thee'll forgive me for asking thee to conform to our ways, and not think any rudeness was meant." " The grasp of your hand at once taught me that you were friendly as well as a Friend," I replied. " We should not belie our name, truly. I fear thee did not enjoy our silent meeting ?" " You are mistaken, sir. It was just the meeting which, as a weary man, I needed." " I hope thee wasn't asleep?" he said, with a humorous twinkle in his honest blue eyes. "You are quite mistaken again," I answered, smiling ; but I should have been in a dilemma had he asked me if I had been dreaming. " Thee's a stranger in these parts," he continued, in a manner that suggested kindness rather than curiosity. " Possibly this is the day of my fate," I thought, "and this man the father of my ideal woman." And I decided to angle with my utmost skill for an invitation. " You are correct," I replied, " and I much regret that I have wandered so far from my hotel, for I am not strong." " Well, thee may have good cause to be sorry, though we do our best ; but if thee's willing to put up with homely fare and homely people, thee's welcome to come home with us." Seeing eager acquiescence in my face, he continued, without giving me time to reply, '' Here, mother, thee always provides enough for one more. We'll have a stranger within our gates to-day, perhaps." To my joy the Friend lady, witha face like a benediction, turned at his words. At the same ...