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355 > Page 355 of Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 16)

THE CURT:RAIN As I heard the deep bass of the old drummer, rolling in a low, solemn undertone, a sudden shift- ing of the scene camie to ne. I was in a great auditorium filled with light, and packed with humanity rising tier on tier and stretching far back till lost in the maze oF distances. A grand orchestra, banked before mi, with swaying arms and earnest faces, played a wonderful harmony, which rolled about. me like the sea ,and whelmied me with its volume till [ was almost swept aw, ,ax by the tide, then suddenly down under its sweep I found the low, deep roll of the bass drumn. No one appeared to mark it or paid any heed to him. Nor did tbe big drummer pay any heed to the audience. All he minded was the harmony and his drum. But I knew that, unmarked and unheeded, il set athrob the puls- ing air and stirred the billows through which all that divine music rm ached and held the soul. As we walked homne that night after pressing our way into the throng of poor people to wring John Marvel's hand, I said to my wife, after a struggle with myself to say it: "I think I was wrong about John, and you were right. He did right. He is well named the Assistant." 355