Martha, to be sure, standing there by the five-barred gate. She had come to meet him with their baby in her arms. That was strange; it was not Sallie, it was their first-born, the boy with his mother's eyes who had blessed their home for only a few short months and then been laid to rest in the churchyard on the hill. The other little tots were with her, three of them, clinging closely to her skirts. They were all smiling and holding out their hands to him in invitation. But Sallie, where was Sallie? Once more Martha called his name. At the sound of her voice all the wonder, all the worriment, fled from Tony's heart.
"Coming, Mother, coming," he called happily, and the smile upon Martha's face was reflected on his own.
Christmas morning dawned bright and clear; the storm had passed in the night. Something else had passed, too--the soul of an aged farmer. It was not until the next day they found him, still sitting in the lounging chair by the stove in which only a small heap of charred ashes rema