Walter was a lovable boy. His mother’s joy and pride. He was very tender and kind to his delicate mother, but he was very full of life and fun and when a real young man, learned to dance and said he would rather dance than eat.
Now this greatly grieved his dear mother and she would spend the hours in prayer that Walter spent away at the dance. He would feel so sorry when he would come home and find her patiently and lovingly waiting him in the small hours of the morning. He would kiss her and tell her she mustn’t do that again. But she would say, “Walter, my dear, Mother can’t sleep untill thee returns.”
On one occasion he drove a big team of a neighbor’s horses, hitched to a big bob sleigh and loaded with gay laughing young people. They had danced untill quite late, then loaded happily into the sleigh and drove merrily away.
One place there was a short cut across a lake. Walter was standing up driving along, laughing, prancing, joking—untill all at once the horses snorted in terror and stopped. Walter looked ahe.ad and only a few feet could see open water. He cried out, “Niy God”, and turned his horses sharply, narrowly everting the fate of all plunging into the cold dark waves.
In their fun, they hadn’t noticed that the horses had not kept to the road running directly across the lake but had turned to the right on a road used by some ice cutters and had gone directly toward open water. There was no more hilarity as they drove homeward.
And when 11’aher entered the house to find his frail mother white as death, he took her in his arms and wept. She said, “Oh. Walter, what was it? You were in terrible danger. Mother hung on to God until the danger was passed.”
This didn’t quite cure him of the dancing habit. He went again while his mother pled and importuned her God. 11’aIter felt very strange but he chose his partner and went out on the floor at the beginning of the music. He danced a few steps, then all went blank and he plunged headlong on the floor. They thought he was dead but he regained consciousness in a short time and they took him home. He again took the little mother in his arms and this time he promised he would never again attend a dance, and he never did.