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A Boy Knight by Martin J.

He would not mention the McCormack treat just now


He phoned down to Carnegie Hall.

"Sold out," was the answer.

"I thought so," he reflected, not at all disappointed.

That afternoon while down town on business, he turned over 57th Street to Seventh Avenue and dropped into Carnegie Hall to see what other date McCormack was booked for. While he was making his inquiries, a man standing nearby approached him.

"Pardon, Father, you're from St. Leonard's? I am Mr. McCormack's manager; perhaps I can help you out." When he heard that ninety seats were wanted, he almost collapsed, "But your boys are little chaps, aren't they, Father, from nine to fifteen? Lads of that age don't take up much room. How would you like to have them seated on the stage?"

"Why, that's capital," exclaimed Father Boone.

"Well, I can manage that. We'll give them the first row on either side. That will put them right close to McCormack while he's singing. I know how kids like to be near to what's going on."

So it was all arranged, and Father Boone returned home very happy. He had received that very morning a letter from one of the parishioners who always gave him something for the Club at Christmas. This time it was a check for $150.00. The tickets cost him $90.00. "With the rest," he mused, "I shall be able to give them a good time."

(II)

That evening the boys were rather subdued. Bill Daly's death had affected them greatly. To be playing with a lad on Monday, and to know he is dead on Friday, is a terrible shock to boys.

As Father Boone entered the Club he observed how serious they were. It was natural, he reflected, and best to let it work itself out. He would not mention the McCormack treat just now.

The boys gathered around him, and asked all sorts of questions about Bill's last moments. Even to these lads it meant something consoling that he had died a beautiful Catholic death. They told Father Boone that they had gone to Mass in a body that morning, and had received Holy Communion for Bill's soul.

"I offered up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for William this morning," said the priest, "and I suggest that on the day of the funeral you all go to Communion again in a body for the repose of his soul."

"We had already decided on that, Father," said Dick.

"That is good," remarked the priest, "and now another thing. You know his mother is terribly broken up by her boy's death. That is natural. She would not be a mother otherwise. Of course, she is resigned to God's will. So was Our Blessed Mother, at the foot of the Cross, but that did not prevent her heart from being pierced with grief. Mrs. Daly was very brave under it all. So much so that Mr. Roberts, who was there, said to me afterwards, 'Your religion is a wonderful thing in affliction.' But, boys, she feels the separation keenly. William was a remarkably good boy to his mother. Now that he is dead, I can say to you that the poor boy had an awful lot to contend with, and if it were not for his religion and his mother, no one can say how he might have turned out.


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