An Ambitious Man (Chapter 9, page 1 of 6)


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Chapter 9

Up in the loft of St Blank's Church the young organist had been
practising the whole morning. People paused on the street to listen
to the glorious sounds, and were thrilled by them, as one is only
thrilled when the strong personality of the player enters into the
execution.

Down into the committee-room, where several deacons and the young
rector were seated discussing some question pertaining to the well-
being of the church, the music penetrated too, causing the business
which had brought them together, to be suspended temporarily.

"It is a sin to talk while music like that can be heard," remarked
one man. "You have found a genius in this new organist, Rector."

The young man nodded silently, his eyes half closed with an
expression of somewhat sensuous enjoyment of the throbbing chords
which vibrated in perfect unison with the beating of his strong
pulses.

"Where does she come from?" asked the deacon, as a pause in the music
occurred.

"Her father was an earnest and prominent member of the little church
down-town of which I had charge during several years," replied the
young man. "Miss Irving was scarcely more than a child when she
volunteered her services as organist. The position brought her no
remuneration, and at that time she did not need it. Young as she
was, the girl was one of the most active workers among the poor, and
I often met her in my visits to the sick and unfortunate. She had
been a musical prodigy from the cradle, and Mr Irving had given her
every advantage to study and perfect her art.

"I was naturally much interested in her. Mr Irving's long illness
left his wife and daughter without means of support, at his death,
and when I was called to take charge of St Blank's, I at once
realised the benefit to the family as well as to my church could I
secure the young lady the position here as organist. I am glad that
my congregation seem so well satisfied with my choice."

Again the organ pealed forth, this time in that passionate music
originally written for the Garden Scene in Faust, and which the
church has boldly taken and arranged as a quartette to the words,
"Come unto me."

It may be that to some who listen, it is the divine spirit which
makes its appeal through those stirring strains; but to the rector of
St Blank's, at least on that morning, it was human heart, calling
unto human heart. Mr Stuart and the deacons sat silently drinking in
the music. At length the rector rose. "I think perhaps we had
better drop the matter under discussion for to-day," he said. "We
can meet here Monday evening at five o'clock if agreeable to you all,
and finish the details. There are other and more important affairs
waiting for me now."

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