He raised his eyes to meet that look again, when, after his interview with the clergyman, she came back to join in fixing the hour. Contrition, dread, shame, penitence, all seemed to be soothed, and yet rendered deeper, by meeting those eyes of serene and perfect content and thankfulness.
That evening Johnnie was turning over prints by his side.
'There is the Good Shepherd, papa. Do you see the poor sheep, who wandered out of the fold, away into the wilderness among the rocks and deserts--that is doing wrong, you know, papa. And it lost its way, and the wolf was watching to tear it to pieces, that is Satan; but the Good Shepherd,' and the child bent his head reverently, 'He went after it. Mamma said that means that He touches our hearts and makes us sorry, and it looked up and was ready--as we pray to be made good again. So then He laid it on His shoulders, and carried it safe home to be happy in the fold again. Is He not very good, papa? And only think! There is joy among the Holy Angels in Heaven when one sinner grieves and comes back.'
Johnnie was wont to go on in this dreamy way without expecting an answer; but he was startled to see his father's face hidden by the shadowy fingers that propped his forehead.
'Has it made your head ache, papa? Must I go away?'
'I cannot say it quite right,' answered the boy; 'I only know it says that the Angels in Heaven rejoice and are glad over one sinner that repenteth. I thought about it that night after I had been naughty.'
'You, Johnnie?' Arthur could hardly believe that child capable of a fault.
'Yes,' said Johnnie, with a trembling lip; 'I was cross at doing my lessons with Aunt Theodora instead of mamma, and I was so sorry. But at night, something seemed to bring that verse, and I thought the Angels must have faces like mamma.'