THE WIDE CONTRASTS IN LIFE
nearer. Before him was a new-made grave—one he had dug himself—to cover the body of a child who had died at sunset.
“It was a moment I have never forgotten, and never want to forget.
“On the hill above me were the men I had left—a frenzied body of bestial cowards who had dishonored themselves, their race, and their God; here beside me, huddled together, a group of forest children—spawn of cannibal and savage—racked with fever, half-starved, many of them delirious, their souls rising to heaven on the wings of a song.
“And then the kneeling man himself!—his courage facing death every hour of the day—alone—no one to help—only his Maker as witness. I tell you, gentlemen, that when I stood beside him and looked into his eyes, caught the tones of his voice, and watched the movement of his fingers patting the last handfuls of earth over the poor little nameless body, and realized that his only recompense lay in that old line I used to hear so often when I was a boy—‘If ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me’—I could have gone down on my knees beside him and thanked my Creator that He had sent me to him.”