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"YOU'RE WANTED—YOU'RE WANTED!"
 IT was Saturday night, and the end of David's third day at the
farmhouse. Upstairs, in the hot little room over the kitchen, the
boy knelt at the window and tried to find a breath of cool air
from the hills. Downstairs on the porch Simeon Holly and his wife
discussed the events of the past few days, and talked of what
should be done with David.
"But what shall we do with him?" moaned Mrs. Holly at last,
breaking a long silence that had fallen between them. "What can
we do with him? Does n't anybody want him?"
"No, of course, nobody wants him," retorted her husband
And at the words a small figure in a yellow-white nightshirt
stopped short. David, violin in hand, had fled from the little
hot room, and stood now just inside the kitchen door.
"Who can want a child that has been brought up in that heathenish
fashion?" continued Simeon Holly. "According to his own story,
 even his father did nothing but play the fiddle and tramp through
the woods day in and day out, with an occasional trip to the
mountain village to get food and clothing when they had
absolutely nothing to eat and wear. Of course nobody wants him!"
David, at the kitchen door, caught his breath chokingly. Then he
sped across the floor to the back hall, and on through the long
sheds to the hayloft in the barn—the place where his father
seemed always nearest.
David was frightened and heartsick. Nobody wanted him. He had
heard it with his own ears, so there was no mistake. What now
about all those long days and nights ahead before he might go,
violin in hand, to meet his father in that far-away country? How
was he to live those days and nights if nobody wanted him? How
was his violin to speak in a voice that was true and pure and
full, and tell of the beautiful world, as his father had said
that it must do? David quite cried aloud at the thought. Then he
thought of something else that his father had said: "Remember
this, my boy,—in your violin lie all the things you long for.
You have only to play, and the broad skies of your mountain
will be over you, and the dear friends and comrades of your
mountain forests will be all about you." With a quick cry David
raised his violin and drew the bow across the strings.
Back on the porch at that moment Mrs. Holly was saying:—
"Of course there's the orphan asylum, or maybe the poorhouse—if
they'd take him; but—Simeon," she broke off sharply, "where's
that child playing now?"
Simeon listened with intent ears.
"In the barn, I should say."
"But he'd gone to bed!"
"And he'll go to bed again," asserted Simeon Holly grimly, as he
rose to his feet and stalked across the moonlit yard to the barn.
As before, Mrs. Holly followed him, and as before, both
involuntarily paused just inside the barn door to listen. No runs
and trills and rollicking bits of melody floated down the
stairway to-night. The notes were long-drawn, and plaintively
sweet; and they rose and swelled and died almost into silence
while the man and the woman by the door stood listening.
They were back in the long ago—Simeon Holly and his wife—back
with a boy of their
 own who had made those same rafters ring with
shouts of laughter, and who, also, had played the violin—though
not like this; and the same thought had come to each: "What if,
after all, it were John playing all alone in the moonlight!"
It had not been the violin, in the end, that had driven John
Holly from home. It had been the possibilities in a piece of
crayon. All through childhood the boy had drawn his beloved
"pictures" on every inviting space that offered,—whether it were
the "best-room" wall-paper, or the fly leaf of the big plush
album,—and at eighteen he had announced his determination to be
an artist. For a year after that Simeon Holly fought with all the
strength of a stubborn will, banished chalk and crayon from the
house, and set the boy to homely tasks that left no time for
anything but food and sleep—then John ran away.
That was fifteen years ago, and they had not seen him since;
though two unanswered letters in Simeon Holly's desk testified
that perhaps this, at least, was not the boy's fault.
It was not of the grown-up John, the willful boy and runaway son,
however, that Simeon
 Holly and his wife were thinking, as they
stood just inside the barn door; it was of Baby John, the little
curly-headed fellow that had played at their knees, frolicked in
this very barn, and nestled in their arms when the day was done.
Mrs. Holly spoke first—and it was not as she had spoken on the
"Simeon," she began tremulously, "that dear child must go to
bed!" And she hurried across the floor and up the stairs,
followed by her husband. "Come, David," she said, as she reached
the top; "it's time little boys were asleep! Come!"
Her voice was low, and not quite steady. To David her voice
sounded as her eyes looked when there was in them the far-away
something that hurt. Very slowly he came forward into the
moonlight, his gaze searching the woman's face long and
"And do you—want me?" he faltered.
The woman drew in her breath with a little sob. Before her stood
the slender figure in the yellow-white gown—John's gown. Into
her eyes looked those other eyes, dark and wistful,—like John's
eyes. And her arms ached with emptiness.
 "Yes, yes, for my very own—and for always!" she cried with
sudden passion, clasping the little form close. "For always!"
And David sighed his content.
Simeon Holly's lips parted, but they closed again with no words
said. The man turned then, with a curiously baffled look, and
stalked down the stairs.
On the porch long minutes later, when once more David had gone to
bed, Simeon Holly said coldly to his wife:—
"I suppose you realize, Ellen, just what you've pledged yourself
to, by that absurd outburst of yours in the barn to-night—and
all because that ungodly music and the moonshine had gone to your
"But I want the boy, Simeon. He—he makes me think of—John."
Harsh lines came to the man's mouth, but there was a perceptible
shake in his voice as he answered:—
"We're not talking of John, Ellen. We're talking of this
irresponsible, hardly sane boy upstairs. He can work, I suppose,
if he's taught, and in that way he won't perhaps be a dead loss.
Still, he's another mouth to feed,
 and that counts now. There's
the note, you know,—it's due in August."
"But you say there's money—almost enough for it—in the bank."
Mrs. Holly's voice was anxiously apologetic.
"Yes, I know," vouchsafed the man. "But almost enough is not quite
"But there's time—more than two months. It is n't due till the
last of August, Simeon."
"I know, I know. Meanwhile, there's the boy. What are you going
to do with him?"
"Why, can't you use him—on the farm—a little?"
"Perhaps. I doubt it, though," gloomed the man. "One can't hoe
corn nor pull weeds with a fiddle-bow—and that's all he seems to
know how to handle."
"But he can learn—and he does play beautifully," murmured the
woman; whenever before had Ellen Holly ventured to use words of
argument with her husband, and in extenuation, too, of an act of
There was no reply except a muttered "Humph!" under the breath.
Then Simeon Holly rose and stalked into the house.
The next day was Sunday, and Sunday at the
 farmhouse was a thing
of stern repression and solemn silence. In Simeon Holly's veins
ran the blood of the Puritans, and he was more than strict as to
what he considered right and wrong. When half-trained for the
ministry, ill-health had forced him to resort to a less confining
life, though never had it taken from him the uncompromising rigor
of his views. It was a distinct shock to him, therefore, on this
Sunday morning to be awakened by a peal of music such as the
little house had never known before. All the while that he was
thrusting his indignant self into his clothing, the runs and
turns and crashing chords whirled about him until it seemed that
a whole orchestra must be imprisoned in the little room over the
kitchen, so skillful was the boy's double stopping. Simeon Holly
was white with anger when he finally hurried down the hall and
threw open David's bedroom door.
"Boy, what do you mean by this?" he demanded.
David laughed gleefully.
"And did n't you know?" he asked. "Why, I thought my music would
tell you. I was so happy, so glad! The birds in the trees woke
 me up singing, 'You're wanted—you're wanted;' and the sun came
over the hill there and said, 'You're wanted—you're wanted;' and
the little tree-branch tapped on my window pane and said 'You're
wanted—you're wanted!' And I just had to take up my violin and
tell you about it!"
"But it's Sunday—the Lord's Day," remonstrated the man sternly.
David stood motionless, his eyes questioning.
"Are you quite a heathen, then?" catechised the man sharply.
"Have they never told you anything about God, boy?"
"Oh, 'God'?—of course," smiled David, in open relief. "God wraps
up the buds in their little brown blankets, and covers the roots
"I am not talking about brown blankets nor roots," interrupted
the man severely. "This is God's day, and as such should be kept
"Yes. You should not fiddle nor laugh nor sing."
"But those are good things, and beautiful things," defended
David, his eyes wide and puzzled.
 "In their place, perhaps," conceded the man, stiffly. "but not on
"You mean—He would n't like them?"
"Oh!"—and David's face cleared. "That's all right, then. Your
God is n't the same one, sir, for mine loves all beautiful things
every day in the year."
There was a moment's silence. For the first time in his life
Simeon Holly found himself without words.
"We won't talk of this any more, David," he said at last; "but
we'll put it another way—I don't wish you to play your fiddle on
Sunday. Now, put it up till to-morrow." And he turned and went
down the hall.
Breakfast was a very quiet meal that morning. Meals were never
things of hilarious joy at the Holly farmhouse, as David had
already found out; but he had not seen one before quite so somber
as this. It was followed immediately by a half-hour of
Scripture-reading and prayer, with Mrs. Holly and Perry Larson
sitting very stiff and solemn in their chairs, while Mr. Holly
read. David tried to sit very stiff and solemn in his chair,
also; but the roses at the window
 were nodding their heads and
beckoning; and the birds in the bushes beyond were sending to him
coaxing little chirps of "Come out, come out!" And how could one
expect to sit stiff and solemn in the face of all that,
particularly when one's fingers were tingling to take up the
interrupted song of the morning and tell the whole world how
beautiful it was to be wanted!
Yet David sat very still,—or as still as he could sit,—and only
the tapping of his foot, and the roving of his wistful eyes told
that his mind was not with Farmer Holly and the Children of
Israel in their wanderings in the wilderness.
After the devotions came an hour of subdued haste and confusion
while the family prepared for church. David had never been to
church. He asked Perry Larson what it was like; but Perry only
shrugged his shoulders and said, to nobody, apparently:—
"Sugar! Won't ye hear that, now?"—which to David was certainly no
answer at all.
That one must be spick and span to go to church, David soon found
out—never before had he been so scrubbed and brushed and combed.
There was, too, brought out for him
 to wear a little clean white
blouse and a red tie, over which Mrs. Holly cried a little as she
had over the nightshirt that first evening.
The church was in the village only a quarter of a mile away; and
in due time David, open-eyed and interested, was following Mr.
and Mrs. Holly down its long center aisle. The Hollys were early
as usual, and service had not begun. Even the organist had not
taken his seat beneath the great pipes of blue and gold that
towered to the ceiling.
It was the pride of the town—that organ. It had been given by a
great man (out in the world) whose birthplace the town was. More
than that, a yearly donation from this same great man paid for
the skilled organist who came every Sunday from the city to play
it. To-day, as the organist took his seat, he noticed a new face
in the Holly pew, and he almost gave a friendly smile as he met
the wondering gaze of the small boy there; then he lost himself,
as usual, in the music before him.
Down in the Holly pew the small boy held his breath. A score of
violins were singing in his ears; and a score of other
instruments that he could not name, crashed over his head,
 and brought him to his feet in ecstasy. Before a detaining hand
could stop him, he was out in the aisle, his eyes on the
blue-and-gold pipes from which seemed to come those wondrous
sounds. Then his gaze fell on the man and on the banks of keys;
and with soft steps he crept along the aisle and up the stairs to
For long minutes he stood motionless, listening; then the music
died into silence and the minister rose for the invocation. It
was a boy's voice, and not a man's, however, that broke the
"Oh, sir, please," it said, "would you—could you teach me to do
The organist choked over a cough, and the soprano reached out and
drew David to her side, whispering something in his ear. The
minister, after a dazed silence, bowed his head; while down in
the Holly pew an angry man and a sorely mortified woman vowed
that, before David came to church again, he should have learned