James Barrie
The Little Minister

by

James Barrie

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The Little Minister Page 01

THE LITTLE MINISTER

BY

J. M. BARRIE

AUTHOR OF

"WINDOW IN THRUMS," "AULD LIGHT IDYLLS," "WHEN A MAN'S SINGLE." ETC.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. The Love-Light
II. Runs Alongside the Making of a Minister
III. The Night-Watchers
IV. First Coming of the Egyptian Woman
V. A Warlike Chapter, Culminating in the Flouting of the Minister by the Woman
VI. In which the Soldiers Meet the Amazons of Thrums
VII. Has the Folly of Looking into a Woman's Eyes by Way of Text
VIII. 3 A.M.--Monstrous Audacity of the Woman
IX. The Woman Considered in Absence--Adventures of a Military Cloak
X. First Sermon against Women
XI. Tells in a Whisper of Man's Fall during the Curling Season
XII. Tragedy of a Mud House
XIII. Second Coming of the Egyptian Woman
XIV. The Minister Dances to the Woman's Piping
XV. The Minister Bewitched--Second Sermon against Women
XVI. Continued Misbehavior of the Egyptian Woman
XVII. Intrusion of Haggart into these Pages against the Author's Wish
XVIII. Caddam--Love Leading to a Rupture
XIX. Circumstances Leading to the First Sermon in Approval of Women
XX. End of the State of Indecision
XXI. Night--Margaret--Flashing of a Lantern
XXII. Lovers
XXIII. Contains a Birth, Which is Sufficient for One Chapter
XXIV. The New World, and the Women who may not Dwell therein
XXV. Beginning of the Twenty-four Hours
XXVI. Scene at the Spittal
XXVII. First Journey of the Dominie to Thrums during the Twenty-four Hours
XXVIII. The Hill before Darkness Fell--Scene of the Impending Catastrophe
XXIX. Story of the Egyptian
XXX. The Meeting for Rain
XXXI. Various Bodies Converging on the Hill
XXXII. Leading Swiftly to the Appalling Marriage
XXXIII. While the Ten o'Clock Bell was Ringing
XXXIV. The Great Rain
XXXV. The Glen at Break of Day
XXXVI. Story of the Dominie
XXXVII. Second Journey of the Dominie to Thrums during the Twenty-four Hours
XXXVIII. Thrums during the Twenty-four Hours--Defence of the Manse
XXXIX. How Babbie Spent the Night of August Fourth
XL. Babbie and Margaret--Defence of the Manse continued
XLI. Rintoui and Babbie--Break-down of the Defence of the Manse
XLII. Margaret, the Precentor, and God between
XLIII. Rain--Mist--The Jaws
XLIV. End of the Twenty-four Hours
XLV. Talk of a Little Maid since Grown Tall

CHAPTER I.

THE LOVE-LIGHT.

Long ago, in the days when our caged blackbirds never saw a king's soldier without whistling impudently, "Come ower the water to Charlie," a minister of Thrums was to be married, but something happened, and he remained a bachelor. Then, when he was old, he passed in our square the lady who was to have been his wife, and her hair was white, but she, too, was still unmarried. The meeting had only one witness, a weaver, and he said solemnly afterwards, "They didna speak, but they just gave one another a look, and I saw the love-light in their een." No more is remembered of these two, no being now living ever saw them, but the poetry that was in the soul of a battered weaver makes them human to us for ever.

It is of another minister I am to tell, but only to those who know that light when they see it. I am not bidding good-bye to many readers, for though it is true that some men, of whom Lord Rintoul was one, live to an old age without knowing love, few of us can have met them, and of women so incomplete I never heard.

Gavin Dishart was barely twenty-one when he and his mother came to Thrums, light-hearted like the traveller who knows not what awaits him at the bend of the road. It was the time of year when the ground is carpeted beneath the firs with brown needles, when split-nuts patter all day from the beech, and children lay yellow corn on the dominie's desk to remind him that now they are needed in the fields.

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James Barrie

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