THE ANGEL ADJUTANT
"Twice Born Men"
MINNIE L. CARPENTER
INTRODUCTION BY GENERAL BRAMWELL BOOTH
FOREWORD BY COMMANDER EVANGELINE BOOTH
There is surely little need for me to commend this so intimate and living picture of Staff-Captain Kate Lee. It speaks for itself in speaking of one whose fine character and ceaseless labour were of singular charm and amazing fruitfulness.
The Salvation Army has been happy in its Women Officers. The lessons of experience undoubtedly teach us that they are fully qualified for all the work of the ministry of Christ.
Long denied the right of public testimony as well as the opportunity to proclaim the truth of the Saviour's mission, women have in the history of our Movement fully proved that they may be as effective, as acceptable, and as successful as their brethren, both as teachers and rulers in the Kingdom of Christ on earth. The extraordinary theory that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are confined to those who have taken part in a certain ecclesiastical ceremonial, narrow and mistaken as it may be, is surely a mild and simple form of error, compared with the appalling notion that those gifts are confined to men, and are to be for ever withheld from the other half of the human family. The Churches of the world seem at length prepared to debate within themselves whether they should venture to follow our example, and give to woman a place worthy of her gifts in their various plans of campaign. Perhaps the brief story of this life may help some of them a step forward.
Kate Lee was an unfaltering believer in the power of God to save from the power of sin. This was really her secret. That faith dominated her own frail and often sick body with its nights of sleeplessness—its days of pain. It conquered the worst in the worst of men whom she encountered in her work of mercy. It won a multitude of souls to believe in her and in her message, and then to believe in her Saviour. It was ever greater than her circumstances. It was greater than herself. It makes her life, and this story of it, wonderful for us who remain.
And Kate Lee was a Salvationist; that is, she was seized with what we sometimes call the spirit of The Army—that union of holy love and fiery zeal and practical common sense which, by the power of Christ, produces wherever it is found the fruits of Salvation in the bodies and souls of those who are without. And I feel no sort of doubt that to any woman, having the opportunity to do so, and to whom she could speak to-day, she would say—'Do as I have done.' I do not mean by that that every sincere woman is bound to become a Salvation Army Officer, or is called forthwith to go to the ends of the earth as a member of our Missionary Forces. But I do mean that Christian women everywhere have a part to play in the great Ministry of Conversion—in the glorious Mission of the Apostles of every age, for the evangelization of the world.
It behooves them to see that they play their part.
Bramwell Booth, General.
The story of "The Angel Adjutant" is sure to continue its very exceptional and wonderfully inspirational work wherever and by whomsoever read, and consequently I am specially glad to know that an American edition is about to be published.
Seldom has a living spirit pulsated through biographical pages as it does throughout the simple account here given. Yet it is not merely the spirit of Kate Lee, who surely lives again in these folios—the simple, unsophisticated, devoted daughter of the Salvation Army, but this book throbs with that life which is begotten and sustained and empowered by the Holy Spirit. He was graciously and solely responsible for the constant stream of helpfulness that all who knew her witness as having resulted from a consecration made by a girl in her teens.
And how beautifully enshrined in this life was the soul of the Movement of which she was such a worthy unit. The description, while being a faithful portrayal of a very real person, can still be regarded as typical of a great host of blessed women whose supreme joy in life is found in having associated themselves in holy bonds of service such as their loved, and now glorified comrade, the subject of these memoirs, rendered mankind. While such as Kate Lee lives, the Salvation Army's position as a saving force is secure.
Evangeline Booth, Commander U.S.
New York, 1922.
I. THE VALUE OF THE ONE II. CHOOSING HER COURSE III. WOMAN'S POSITION IN THE ARMY IV. EARLY BATTLES V. A CORPS COMMANDER VI. SPECIAL EFFORTS VII. THE MOTHERING HEART VIII. A BREAK TO CANADA IX. IN THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE X. 'THE ANGEL ADJUTANT' XI. COMRADES AND FRIENDS XII. TROPHIES OF GRACE XIII. KATE LEE'S SECRET XIV. OFF DUTY XV. AT HER DESK XVI. UNEXPECTED ORDERS
THE VALUE OF THE ONE
Lucy Lee laid her head on her pillow and, looking through the silence and darkness, smiled up to God. She had won her first soul for Him, and now made her offering. The capture was not a drunkard, nor an outcast—many of whom, in years to come, she was to wrestle over and deliver—but her own sister, whose golden hair lay over the pillow beside her, and whose regular breathing told that she was fast asleep. Nothing did Lucy imagine of the blessing to thousands of souls that was to flow from that night's work. She was happy in the consciousness that she had been faithful to the heavenly vision, and that now she and her sister were one in the experience of Salvation.
How Lucy loved her! Her mind ran back over the thirteen years since a baby sister came into her life. She remembered the rapture she felt, when sitting upon her mother's bed, the nurse placed the baby in her arms. She was five years old then, and soon her small arms ached and her legs were cramped, but again and again she pleaded to hold her treasure just a little longer. She had been allowed to name the baby, and had called her Kate. What a frail, sweet little child she had grown!
When Kate was six years old their father died. Lucy recalled moving from their nice house in Hornsey Rise—a suburb of nearer London—to a smaller home; her start at business; and then, the great event that changed the course of life for both the girls.
One Sunday evening, after her mother and Kate had gone to chapel, Lucy had been keeping her brother company in the front room, when a burst of song in the street drew her to the window, and she saw a small procession of about twenty people go singing down the road, the leader waving an umbrella. Not staying to consider, she put on her hat and followed the march. It turned into a hall, which was already full of people, but Lucy slipped in at the back and stood. The meeting began with 'There is a Fountain filled with Blood.' The girl was fascinated with the message given in song and testimony, until, suddenly remembering that her mother would have returned home and be anxious at her absence, she hurried away.
During the following week her mind was full of the strange street- singers. She made inquiries about them, and heard that they were Salvationists; 'good people, but very queer.' In her heart, the words—
I do believe, I will believe That Jesus died for me; That on the cross He shed His Blood, From sin to set me free!
sang themselves over and over and over again.
The following Sunday evening she heard the singing in another street, and straightway started for the Salvationists' hall, arriving in time to get a front seat. The message proclaimed the Sunday before rang out again: 'All have sinned; for all Jesus died, and through Him there is salvation for every one who repents of sin and believes on Him.' To Lucy Lee it seemed that she was the only one to whom the message was directed; and, hearing the invitation for any who wished to find salvation to come forward and kneel at the penitent-form, she at once responded. Very soon her eager, seeking heart found the Saviour, and she hastened home to tell her mother the good news. Mrs. Lee had suffered many sorrows, and Lucy, although only in her teens, was a comfort who had never failed her. She was not pleased that her daughter was inclined to follow such extremists as the Salvationists evidently were; but when the girl said, 'Mother, they are thoroughly good, sincere people, you need have no fear of my going amongst them,' Mrs. Lee became reassured that all was well, and unwilling to raise needless contentions, held her peace.
After a while Lucy begged permission of her mother that Kate might accompany her to a Sunday night meeting. Gaining her wish, the occasion proved to be something of an undertaking. The work was prospering, converts were increasing in numbers at the corps, and the roughs were moved to boisterous opposition. Kate was bewildered by the enthusiasm of the Salvationists, and the wild ways of the roughs, whilst Lucy was terrified for the white ribbon on her sister's hat. This must be screened at all costs, for if the little mother had received any hint of mud- throwing and pushing, Kate would have paid her last visit to The Army, and Lucy was praying for her salvation. So, like a mother hen with wings outstretched, Lucy screened Kate's hat with her arms and took her home in good order, though a little frightened and not over anxious to go to The Salvation Army again.
Lucy soon became a valiant soldier. Her religion was real. She not only believed; she felt deeply, and longed to witness for God. When called to the front to sing, she generally chose the song,
I have given up all for Jesus, This vain world is naught to me, All its pleasures are forgotten In remembering Calvary. Though my friends despise, forsake me, And on me the world looks cold, I've a Friend who will stand by me When the Pearly Gates unfold. Life's morn will soon be waning, And the evening bells will toll; But my heart will know no sadness When the Pearly Gates unfold.
Over and over again she sang this song, with the tears running down her face. It always carried a message to souls. As she became braver she spoke to the girls who came forward to the penitent-form.
Lucy longed to know that her own little sister was saved; but somehow, when she left the hall, courage to speak of spiritual matters forsook her. Six months passed away, and she had not spoken to Kate about her soul. At home, she endeavoured to live for Jesus; she sang Army songs whenever she was in the house; but to speak to her dear ones about their souls seemed impossible. She had 'lock-jaw' at the very thought. The Saviour's face had seemed every day to shine upon Lucy; but now a cloud was coming between, and she knew the reason.
One evening, Mrs. Lee having some business which took her from home, the sisters were left alone. 'Lord, this is my chance; help me to make the most of it,' Lucy prayed. The gas was lit, the fire cosy, and Lucy went to the piano and began to play and sing. She chose all the solemn, convicting songs she could think of, such as—
You'll see the Great White Throne, And stand before it all alone.
Kate had betaken herself to her favourite place, the hearthrug. She was silent until Lucy had reached the middle verse of 'Almost persuaded,' which she sang with due impressiveness. Then a sorrowful little voice quavered:—
'I'm so lonely. I thought we were going to have such a nice time.'
Lucy at once got up. 'Are you, dearie? Would you like some supper?'
'No, I don't want anything; I'm lonely and miserable,' quavered Kate.
'Well, then, we'll go up to bed.'
Once in their room Lucy continued: 'I don't think we want a light, do we?' And sitting on the bed, her heart beating until her voice was uncertain, she put her arm round Kate's waist, and began, 'Katie, dear, I've been wanting to have a special talk with you for a long time. You know I was saved six months ago, and I have been praying for you to be saved, too, but I've found it hard to talk to you about it. I'm so glad we're alone to-night.'
'Didn't you know I wanted you to talk to me? Haven't you heard me crying every night in bed? I do want to be saved,' and Kate burst into tears.
'Darling, I didn't know. I've been stupid and shy; but I'm sorry. You can be saved just now. We'll kneel down right here,' said Lucy. The sisters knelt beside their bed, and Lucy led Kate step by step into the Kingdom of God. She knew she was a sinner? 'Oh, yes,' sobbed Kate. She was sorry for her sins? 'Yes.' She would give them up? every one? and would live henceforth only for God? 'Yes!' Then Jesus was saying, 'Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.' Did Kate believe it? 'Yes!' Then we'll sing together the words I sang the night I was saved, 'I do believe, I will believe that Jesus died for me.' Together the sisters sang the chorus, just as if they were in a meeting; then they both prayed, and kissed one another, and got into bed.
Lucy went over it all, and praised the Lord for giving her the joys of salvation, first to herself, and now to the one she loved best in all the world, and so fell asleep.
Surely the angels looked down that night and smiled upon the sisters, the elder destined to be a patient, plodding, burden-bearer in the heavenly warfare, and the younger a great warrior in the Kingdom of Heaven, one of the saints and most successful field officers of the great Salvation Army.
CHOOSING HER COURSE
From babyhood Kate Lee had been a delicate little mortal; she was so timid that even the visits of relatives to her home were a kind of torture to her, and she would hide in any corner rather than come forward and entertain or be entertained.
Her delicacy inclined her to selfishness, and her timidity to reserve and aloofness. She bid fair to grow up an insular, somewhat unlovable woman; but child though she was, conversion meant a radical change in character and purpose. She realized at once that as a follower of Jesus she might not live to please herself. She became interested in other people, their well-being and sorrows and needs. Then the joy of the Lord became her strength. It was so glorious to know that her soul was saved from sin; that she was at peace with God; that He had promised to be with her, and guide her, and help her through life, and give her Heaven at last. And this promise was for all the world; but people were still sinful and sad. Surely they did not know about Salvation. She must tell them!
Straightway she wanted to wear an Army bonnet, so as to silently witness for Jesus as she walked the streets. But opposition against Salvationists was strong in those days, and Mrs. Lee was fearful lest Kate should be roughly handled going to and from the meetings. In the matter of uniform, she had to content herself with a badge of Army ribbon. This she wore on her dress to school, and drew upon herself the ire of uncouth lads who noticed it; some even pelted her with mud. She used to remain behind after school hours to talk to her schoolmates about Salvation; some she won, but others resented her message. Invited to the birthday party of a school friend, she went, wearing as usual her Army badge. During the evening this was torn from her breast.
Kate's eyes began to be opened concerning the attitude of the world towards Christ. She found that most people did not want to know of His will, much less do it, and that if she intended to devote her life to seek and to save souls she must be prepared to suffer with her Lord. Far from repelling her, the challenge called up the reserves of love and courage that until now had lain dormant in her spirit, and once and for all she took sides with Christ.
The shy little recruit, with eyes as blue as the sky, golden curls reaching to her waist, and a complexion like pink rose petals, sang her testimony in the meetings until she gained courage to speak. She was ever planning ways by which she could direct people's thoughts toward God, and to arouse them to a sense of their spiritual state. An ingenious method she hit upon was to write carefully-worded little letters to the postmen and drop them into various pillar-boxes.
The family removed to Hornsey, and soon afterwards Lucy heard the 'call' to officership in The Salvation Army. This was the first real trial Mrs. Lee had felt in connexion with her daughters' association with The Army. Though herself anything but a woman of war, she had not interfered with their choice of religion, for they were 'such good girls.' But to break her home circle was not in her reckoning. It was a pain that went deeper than the parting which caused tears to sting Lucy's face as, on a snowy New Year's day, she said good-bye to mother and sister and left home for the Training Garrison; but in her heart rang the words, 'If any man love father or mother more than Me, he is not worthy of Me.' She must put God's call first, and trust Him to bring all right.
Kate's health remained frail, but her spirit grew stronger and stronger. Whenever able, she hied off to The Army hall, carrying her tambourine in a little green baize bag, and, as often as not, a bundle of 'War Crys' under her arm. In the Army papers she saw a powerful means of spreading Salvation, and she became a fearless Herald. [Footnote: One of a voluntary brigade of regular sellers.]
There are comrades at Wood Green who recall how on Wednesday nights Kate would go to the hall, fold a large bundle of 'War Crys,' and sally forth to the streets to sell them. The first time she ventured out on this service she saw a great, drunken navvy lounging against the door of a public-house. Mustering all her courage, the girl advanced and offered the paper to the drunkard. She felt she had scored quite a victory when the navvy bought a copy. By degrees she became braver, and would even go into the saloons to sell the periodicals. Then, noticing how the newsboys boarded buses with their papers, she thought that in the Lord's service she should be as eager and enterprising as they, and she became quite agile, running up and down the iron steps as she joined the buses and offered her papers for sale to the passengers.
Veteran soldiers also recall Kate's spiritual, earnest face, as she sat in side seats—known as 'the boxes'—at the Wood Green hall, whence she could study the congregation. As she recognized how people fell under conviction of sin during the progress of the meetings, she felt that she might help girls of her own age, who 'didn't look saved,' if she sat beside them in the hall, and spoke to them when the prayer meeting was begun.
She was still shy, still nervous, but she suffered no excuse for herself when the heavenly vision made clear a path of duty. In later years, a corps cadet asked her if, in those days, she never said 'I can't.' 'Yes,' she replied, 'I often said "I can't, but I MUST,"' and so she conquered.
To wear full Army uniform was still the desire of Kate's heart. When she needed a new dress, she prevailed upon her mother to let it be a blue one, and by dint of great perseverance she made a uniform herself. Now, if she might but have the bonnet!
Lucy had passed through the Training Garrison, and was now an officer in the Field. A great Salvation demonstration was held at that time at the Alexandra Palace, and Lucy, with her captain, came to London for the important event. The mother and sisters met in the ground of the Palace. Lucy's eyes were sparkling with quite extraordinary delight, and, needing a wash and brush up, she asked her mother to excuse Kate, and the girls slipped away.
'Guess what I've got for you, little dear,' Lucy exclaimed when they were alone. Kate laughed, but shook her head. Then, from a box, the elder sister drew a small Army bonnet. 'Oh!' gasped Kate, 'where did you get it?'
'I've been saving and saving for it, and at last here it is; and you're going to wear it right off.' Kate's hat was transferred to the box and the bonnet tried on. 'Darling, you look lovely; now come to mother,' cried Lucy. Kate's face was pink with pleasure, and her eyes shining with anticipation when the girls returned to Mrs. Lee. She looked a moment in surprise, then her eyes filled with tears. There was a beauty not of this earth about the child. She would not mar it. Kate might wear the bonnet. And thus it was that the mother, herself unreached with revelation, and untouched by inspiration, followed slowly but surely in her daughters' steps.
Whilst Lucy was stationed at Folkestone it was a great joy to the sisters when it was arranged for Kate to visit her. To work amongst the people all day long, get them to the meetings at night, and 'land' them at the mercy-seat, seemed to Kate service that the angels might envy. One day she begged to be allowed to 'visit' [Footnote: Visiting the people in their homes—usually from house to house.] as her sister and the captain did. The captain consented somewhat reluctantly, but afterwards doubted the wisdom of allowing this child of fifteen to go alone into all manner of houses. Seeing Kate enter the home of a drunken sweep, she stepped along to the door and listened. Kate was dealing with the man as earnestly and directly, if not as skilfully, as she herself could have done. She smiled and turned away. When Kate had visited her street of houses, she returned to the quarters radiant. The sweep had promised to come to the meetings, and, 'Just look what he gave me for tea,' she announced triumphantly, and produced a currant loaf, a luxury in those days.
A kind-hearted woman soldier, touched by Kate's delicate appearance, felt that the child needed the air of the hills, and abundant nourishment, and begged Lucy to allow her to take Kate to her home. Lucy, ever alive to Kate's welfare, joyfully sent her off, and the child spent several health-giving months in the country. To help her happily to occupy her time, the good friend bought Kate a cheap concertina. By the hour she would sit in the sunshine, mastering the keyboard, and soon she could play simple Army tunes. How richly our Heavenly Father blesses the gifts of love! All unconsciously, the good soldier was preparing the Angel Adjutant of the future to win the hopeless and despairing of many great cities for God.
Kate had an extraordinary love for music. Her ambition had once been to make music her profession; but after her conversion she realized that there were higher things to live for than a successful career, and lest music should be a snare to her, she gave it up. This determination to allow nothing to interfere with her entire devotion to the will and service of God was a sure foundation for her spiritual life, but as she grew in the knowledge of God she realized that every gift may be consecrated to God's service. She worked at the piano again; now she wrestled with the concertina, then tackled the banjo. Later they all became useful aids to her in her work amongst the people.
Soon after Kate's return home from the country she wrote to Lucy telling her privately that for the upkeep of the home it was necessary that she should seek employment. This prospect caused Lucy much anxiety. Her own experience of earning her living in so seemingly irreproachable a business as photography returned to her with horror. The manager of the firm for which she had worked had been a dissolute man. Much of his conversation in the presence of the girl employees was incomprehensible to Lucy, who did her work faithfully, was pleasant and obliging, but lived her life largely apart from the others. Her later experience in moving amongst the people had enlarged her knowledge of life, and now she realized that, as a certain white flower with smooth petals remains unspotted at the mouth of coal pits, so by the innocency of her mind and the purity of her spirit, she had been preserved from dangers worse than death. The thought of Kate in such company was intolerable. With her usual motherliness towards her sister, she replied, 'On no account must you take a situation without my approval. Surely, there must be some godly place in London for you. I am going to pray hard that the Lord, will direct you to it, and you must wait till the right thing turns up.'
While Lucy was praying 'hard,' a representative of The Army Outfit Department visited her corps. He carried uniforms and books, set up a stall, and sold his goods before and after the meetings. Lucy knew little about the Outfit Department, but she was inspired with an idea. People must be needed to make the uniforms, she mused, and to sell the books, keep the accounts, and write letters. Why should not Kate be employed by The Army? She made inquiries of the salesman and was encouraged to write to Headquarters. God had heard Lucy's prayer, and in a little while her sister found herself installed as a clerk at the Outfit Department at Clerkenwell.
Kate realized that a knowledge of shorthand would be to her advantage, and, obtaining the necessary books, she began to study, rising in the bright summer mornings at four o'clock and plodding her way along in spare minutes until she attained a speed of the coveted 'hundred.'
So reliable was she found to be, that before long she received the title of lieutenant. She was very happy. All her time was now occupied in work for the Kingdom of Heaven; indirectly by day on correspondence and accounts, at night at the corps, she sought for souls, and she was ever a comfort to her mother.
So matters might have continued until to-day; indeed, one comrade of those years, a godly woman, 'content to fill a little space if God be glorified,' still continues in the hidden but important duty of getting out uniform for the Salvationists. But deep in the silence of her soul Kate heard the call of God to leave this quiet post and seek the lost. Humanly speaking, there seemed to be every reason why she should not embark upon the life of a field officer.
When Kate mentioned her call to her mother, the little woman was overcome with sorrow and apprehension. She had become reconciled to Lucy's absence, and even took pleasure in her work, but to part with her 'ewe lamb,' to allow her to leave the shelter of her love and care and pour out her life in Army field service, was more than her faith could accept. She consulted the family doctor; he shook his head and declared that six months of such a life would kill her daughter.
Not one single voice was raised to encourage Kate Lee in obeying the Divine call. Even Lucy thought she was going 'before the time.' The soldiers of the corps expected her health would fail. Colonel Laurie, under whom she worked in the Outfit Department, says, 'She was a thoroughly good girl, conscientious and faithful in her work, but quiet and very frail. When she told me of her call, I would not discourage her faith, but I hoped she was not mistaken. The thought that she would ever become a spiritual leader in The Army never once occurred to me.' Mrs. Lieut.-Colonel Moore, then Sister Stitt, Kate's friend in the home corps, with many misgivings watched her go away. 'The home arrangements seemed so sensible; this fresh undertaking and her breaking away, so foolish! She was so good, always loving holiness, always sweet and unselfish, but terribly shy; and the idea of her roughing it, or becoming anything more than a behind-the-scenes officer, seemed impossible,' said Mrs. Moore in passing on some reminiscences of her friend.
The day of farewell arrived, and with aching heart, conscious only of obeying the heavenly vision, Kate exchanged her title of lieutenant for that of cadet, took leave of her mother, and crossed London to the Training Garrison at Clapton.
General Bramwell Booth writes of this step, 'Her beginning was a great act of faith. She put her hand in her Master's hand, and went out on the great adventure of Salvation Army life—stepping on to the waters with much tremulousness and many questions—but her faith carried her through.'
In those days the cadets were trained in small groups placed at certain corps, and to the Chalk Farm Garrison, under Ensign, now Brigadier, Elizabeth Thomas, Kate was appointed.
The brigadier, who has now retired from active service, delights to look back upon those days of rough fighting which tested the mettle of cadets, some thirty years ago. She says:—
When Kate came to me she was a sweet, fragile girl of about twenty. There was a look of indescribable tenderness about her, and a faraway look in her eyes. She might have been a sentimentalist, but there was no room for dreaming in that fight. From the first Kate showed an appreciation of her calling and a spirit that was determined to go through to the end. I have seen her lips quiver before we set out upon some bombardment, but her eyes were steadfast. She never refused a duty, nor failed in a charge. Every ounce of her was devoted to the work of the moment and to her own improvement for the future. She gave herself to every duty as it arose—boot-blacking, scrubbing, or scullery work—as readily as to her field training.
At one and the same time I had two cadets of exceptional promise— Kathleen Harrington and Kate Lee. Kathleen Barrington was a beautiful Irish girl, well educated, and from a home of wealth. She was full of enthusiasm, dash, and courage, and possessed a deep spiritual experience. Kate was not brilliant, and had merely an elementary education, but she was gentle and calm and refined by the grace of God, which seemed to permeate her whole nature. These two girls were kindred spirits. They were one in purpose, in outlook, and consecration. They delighted in each other's company; and yet, so that there should be nothing that savoured of a clique in the Garrison, they devoted themselves to the other cadets, particularly linking up with those who were dull or timid and indulging their friendship only on occasions when the sign of preference for each other's company would excite no jealousy.
Kathleen Harrington, after a brief service as a single officer and then as an officer's wife, her life beginning to fulfil its brimming promise, radiant with happiness and victory, was promoted to Higher Service, while Kate Lee was left to wage warfare on earth.
Brigadier Thomas continues:—
There were about twenty-four girls at the Garrison. By 9:30, the work of the house was finished. From then till dinner hour, we had school, studying the Bible, the F.O., [Footnote: Orders and Regulations for Field Officers.] D.D., [Footnote: Doctrine of The Army.] and 'Why and Wherefore'. [Footnote: A book explanatory of Salvation Army terms and works.] After dinner the cadets set out for field training. These exercises included house-to-house visitation, open-air meetings, and 'War Cry' selling in the streets and the saloons. In our open-air meetings we were continually moved on by the police, but we aimed to deliver some definite message at each stand, and so to make our moving-on an occasion to reach more listeners.
Those were rough days. We had all our band instruments smashed and the windows of our Garrison as well, and one man, madly infuriated against us, heated a poker red hot and threw it into the hall amongst the congregation. We lived in danger to limb and life, but had the overshadowing presence of God with us.
Not every cadet who entered training had the grit to go through with it. Once, during her afternoon home, Kate sprained her ankle, but persuaded her mother to get a cab for her so that she might return to the Garrison the same night. 'Why did you not remain at home to-night?' an officer asked her, as Kate hopped into the Garrison. 'I was afraid you would think I had run away,' she laughed, 'and I did not wish you to have that worry.'
Brigadier Thomas tells us:—
In house-to-house visitation I would take the cadets in turn, speak with the people on their door-steps, and, if possible, get into their houses and point them to God. Kate gloried in this. She was a most successful visitor.
Saloon 'raiding' was, perhaps, our most difficult work. We used 'The War Cry' as a means of entrance and introduction. Going into the bar we offered the paper for sale and suggested singing one of the songs it contained. Conversation with the men and women followed, and before leaving we would pray. Often we were thrown out of the bars, and often, as we prayed, beer was dashed into our faces or over us, and on reaching the Garrison we would need to wash our clothes to remove the bar-room filth. 'Trench mud' we might have called it, had the war been on in those days. But the trial hardest of all to endure was the horrible talk of those dens of sin. Before leaving the Garrison we used to kneel and ask the Lord to sanctify our ears, and surely that was not the least of the prayers that He answered for us. Our souls were entirely delivered from that paralysing horror that the hearing of such profanity at first produced upon our minds, and we were kept in purity and simplicity as though such vileness had never been heard.
The only duty which Kate Lee really shrank from was to take up a collection for the maintenance of the Garrison. This was called the 'Bread and Butter Box'; and the Cadets took turns to stand at the hall door after each meeting, hold the box and shake it. Kate heartily disliked this, but it was part of her duty, and she did it with a smile that brought success. In after years she became a wonderful woman, but in those early days she held the secret that made her wonderful. She walked with God. When the cadets had leisure time, the majority would engage in innocent chat of one kind and another; but you would find Kate a little withdrawn from the others, with her Bible. Yet there was nothing censorious about her. She was quick with a smile and an answer to any remark from the other cadets; but there she was, already her life was hid with 'Christ in God.'
Captain Lucy rejoiced over her sister with trembling. She understood Kate's willing, eager spirit, and the more she thought about her, the less did she believe her to be strong enough to take the position of an officer on field duty. So Lucy began to pray, and soon she felt inspired to act. Writing to Miss Evangeline Booth, then the Field Commissioner in London, she explained her fears for Kate, and asked if, for a year or two, her sister might be stationed with her.
The Commander was quick to see the wisdom of the suggestion, and after a few weeks Captain Lucy received orders for Penarth, in Wales, with Kate as her lieutenant. Her way lay through London, and she knocked at the home door one night. A quick, light step flew to answer it. 'My captain!' cried Kate. 'My lieutenant!' cried Lucy, as they clasped one another. Happy tears glistened in their eyes as they held each other at arms' length to get a good view of each other in the full glory of their respective uniforms, and in the eyes of the little mother, who, learning to walk by faith, was finding the joy as well as the pain of sacrificing her treasures upon the altar of Christ.
WOMAN'S POSITION IN THE ARMY
We write in a matter-of-fact way that Captain Lucy and Lieutenant Kate Lee received an appointment to this or that corps, and the statement is received as it was written—without surprise or reflection. But, in truth, behind such a sentence lies one of the most notable achievements of The Salvation Army as a world force—the right to public service for women.
Looking over the fifty-five years of the life of The Army, and further back still, we can trace clearly the guiding hand of God in the formation and direction of this instrument of His choosing.
When, in the order of Divine providence, William Booth was chosen to be Founder of the Salvation Army, by strange, devious, suffering ways, God led him, chastened him, disciplined him in preparation for his great work. At the same time, Catherine Mumford, by the hand of God, was being fitted to be the Mother of The Salvation Army.
She was a delicate, retiring, but highly intelligent young woman of twenty-four years of age, when she heard her minister, in the course of a sermon, give expression to the view that women were mentally and morally inferior to men. At this suggestion Catherine Mumford felt a strong native resentment rise within her. Until that hour she had held the view that God had made men and women equal in gifts of mind and heart; now she made a thorough study of the subject in the light of the Word of God and of history, and as a result she formed a reasoned opinion from which she never swerved. In a letter, remarkable for its logic and its command of vigorous English, she set forth her views to her pastor. She admitted that prejudice and custom had relegated woman to positions inferior to those occupied by men; but argued that, given similar advantages of education and opportunity, woman is man's equal, fitted to be his partner, and able, with great advantage to enter with him into all serious and practical counsels for the benefit of the race.
In championing the cause of her sex, Catherine Mumford found she had to take the field almost alone. Even William Booth, to whom she was then engaged, did not share her views. Mr. Booth believed that while woman carried the palm in point of affection, man was her superior in regard to intellect. Miss Mumford would not admit this for a moment; and by degrees, chiefly by the charming power of her own personality and also by argument, she wholly carried her beloved to her view-point.
In the 'Life of Catherine Booth,' by Commissioner Booth-Tucker, we find records of the young husband, soon after their marriage, urging his wife to lecture on various subjects.
The next move along the track which all unconsciously Mrs. Booth was blazing for a host of women to tread, publishing the Salvation of God, was in defence of Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, a consecrated American evangelist who, in company with her husband, was conducting powerful mission services in England. Mrs. Palmer's ministry, notwithstanding the fact that it was more honoured of God in the conversion of souls than that of her husband, excited a vigorous attack from a clergyman of a large church in Sunderland. In Catherine Booth's breast again flamed that powerful resentment she had felt on the occasion previously mentioned. She wrote her mother saying that for the first time in her life she felt like taking the platform in order to answer the false views propounded concerning female ministry. Instead, she wrote a well-reasoned and convincing paper on woman's right to preach—a pamphlet of some thirty- two pages. By this time her husband was so entirely with her in this matter that he encouraged her to make her defence. And we find Mr. Booth copying the pamphlet from his wife's manuscript and preparing it for the press.
But while Mrs. Booth was the most powerful advocate in England of woman's right to preach, she herself had never attempted to speak in public.
At last there came a day when she realized that her silence was not consistent with her profession and at great personal sacrifice she broke the bonds of timidity and publicly witnessed for her Lord. The following is an account from Mrs. Booth's own lips of her experience given in a public meeting twenty years after she began to speak:
Perhaps some of you would hardly credit that I was one of the most timid and bashful disciples the Lord Jesus ever saved. But for four or five months before I commenced speaking the controversy had been signally roused in my soul, and I passed through some severe heart-searchings. During a season of sickness, it seemed one day as if the Lord revealed it all to me by His Spirit. I had no vision, but a revelation to my mind. He seemed to take me back to the time when I was fifteen or sixteen, when I first fully gave my heart to Him. He showed me that all the bitter way this one thing had been the fly in the pot of ointment, preventing me from realizing what I otherwise should have done. And then I remember prostrating myself upon my face before the Lord, and promising Him there in the sick room, 'Lord, if Thou wilt return unto me as in the days of old, and revisit me with those urgings of the Spirit, which I used to have, I will obey, if I die in the attempt.' However, the Lord did not revisit me immediately. But He permitted me to recover, and to resume my usual duties.
About three months afterward I went to the chapel of which my husband was a minister, and he had an extraordinary service there. Even then he was always trying something new to get at the outside people. For this Sunday he had arranged with the leaders that the chapel should be closed, and a great out-door Service held at a place called Windmill Hills. It so happened, however, that the weather was too tempestous for carrying out this design, and hence the doors were thrown open and the meeting was held in the chapel. In spite of the stormy weather about 1,000 persons were present, including a number of preachers and outside friends.
I was, as usual, in the minister's pew with my eldest boy, then four years old. I felt much depressed in mind, and was not expecting anything particular; but as the testimonies proceeded I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me. You alone who have experienced it can tell what it means. It cannot be described. I felt it to the extremity of my hands and feet. It seemed as if a Voice said to me, 'Now if you were to go and testify, you know I would bless it to your own soul, as well as to the people!' I gasped again, and said in my heart, 'Yes, Lord, I believe Thou wouldst, but I cannot do it!' I had forgotten my vow. It did not occur to me at all.
A moment afterward there flashed across my mind the memory of the bedroom visitation, when I had promised the Lord that I would obey Him at all costs. And then the Voice seemed to ask me if this was consistent with that promise. I almost jumped up, and said, 'No, Lord, it is the old thing over again. But I cannot do it!' I felt as though I would sooner die than speak. And then the devil said, 'Besides, you are not prepared. You will look like a fool, and will have nothing to say.' He made a mistake. He over-reached himself for once. It was this word that settled it. 'Ah!' I said, 'this is just the point. I have never yet been willing to be a fool for Christ. Now I will be one.'
Without stopping another moment I rose up from my seat and walked down the aisle. My dear husband was just going to conclude. He thought something had happened to me, and so did the people. We had been there two years, and they knew my timid, bashful nature. He stepped down and asked me, 'What is the matter, my dear?' I replied, 'I want to say a word.' He was so taken by surprise that he could only say, 'My dear wife wishes to speak,' and sat down. For years he had been trying to persuade me to do it. Only that very week he had wanted me to go and address a little Cottage Meeting of some twenty working people, but I had refused.
I stood—God only knows how—and if any mortal did ever hang on the arm of Omnipotence, I did. I felt as if I were clinging to some human arm; but it was a Divine one which held me up. I just stood, and told the people how it had come about. I confessed, as I think everybody should who has been in the wrong, and has misrepresented the religion of Jesus Christ. I said, 'I dare say many of you have been looking upon me as a very devoted woman, and one who has been living faithfully to God. But I have come to realize that I have been disobeying Him, and thus have brought darkness and leanness into my soul. I have promised the Lord to do so no longer, and have come to tell you that henceforth I will be obedient to the holy vision.'
There was more weeping, they said, in the chapel that day than on any previous occasion. Many dated a renewal in righteousness from that very moment, and began a life of devotion and consecration to God.
Now I might have 'talked good' to them till now. That honest confession did what twenty years of preaching could not have accomplished.
But, oh, how little did I realize how much was then involved! I never imagined the life of publicity and trial that it would lead me to, for I was never allowed to have another quiet Sabbath when I was well enough to stand and speak. All I did was to take the first step. I could not see in advance. But the Lord, as He always does when His people are honest with Him and obedient, opened the windows of Heaven, and poured out such a blessing that there was not room to receive it.
From that morning Mrs. Booth continued to respond to the call to proclaim Salvation, until she came to be regarded as one of the most powerful preachers of her day. Her service was not unattended with sorrow. For many years this shrinking woman had to face fires of criticism and blizzards of scorn; but she persevered.
Not only within the ranks of The Salvation Army has Mrs. Booth's brave example borne a harvest of blessing, but in all walks of public life women now stand in the gates as co-workers with men in every righteous cause; sometimes they raise their voice for truth and equity where no other voice is heard.
When the Christian Mission began to take form, William Booth had no particular intentions as to the kind of helpers he was to have—either male or female. Female ministry evolved as a part of its service, as indeed the whole Salvation Army evolved, without premeditation or plan, indeed, as it is said of the Kingdom of God, 'without observation.' To Mr. Booth's early meetings in the East End of London came a godly man and his wife to assist him with their sympathy. The woman was so shy as to be unable to pray aloud. She was in deep sorrow over the death of her two children. Later, when attending a holiness meeting, conducted in an old wood shed in Bethnal Green, this woman, Mrs. Collingridge, yielded herself entirely to God for His service. She knelt, a timid, broken woman, making the sincere offering of herself to God, and rose from her knees delivered from all fear and inspired with a message to the people. From that day, with the arresting power of a prophetess, she proclaimed the Saviour's love and power. She could command a crowd of the wildest roughs in the open-air, or hold breathless a great theatre audience. She specially excelled in visiting the converts and others; so blessed was she in this work that Mr. Booth asked her to become the first paid woman member of the Mission.
Commissioner Railton tells of Mrs. Collingridge in his 'Twenty-one Years Salvation Army.' He writes, 'It was no longing for publicity or notoriety that attracted her, for one hears not so much of her public work, blessed and glorious as that was, as the victories she won from garret to garret, from door to door, as she pressed on, resolved never, to the last hour, to give up a victim of sin.' Worn out with loving and seeking souls, this—after The Army Mother—the first woman officer of The Salvation Army was promoted to glory, triumphing in God to her last breath. Mrs. Collingridge was the forerunner of such spirits as Kate Lee. She raised up and trained a band of brave women fighters; these women were used with remarkable success in the growing Mission. William Booth was hard put to find sufficient evangelists for the rapidly increasing stations about London and in the Provinces. God had signally blessed the Women's Band as visitors and exhorters, and William Booth saw in them qualities that caused him to believe that, given opportuity, woman would excel as a leader—a commander.
Necessity urged the experiment. The first woman chosen for this purpose was Annie Davis, who later, as Mrs. Commissioner Ridsdel, after most distinguished service as a soul-winner, was promoted to glory. A quiet girl from a village, she had been converted in the old hall used by the Mission under the Railway Arch at Bethnal Green. From the first it was evident that the power of God rested upon her.
Annie Davis was placed in charge of the small Christian Mission Society in Barking. At the end of her term of office she left a flourishing work. She had managed her committee, successfully led her people, paid her way, and left a balance in hand.
The fact had been demonstrated that a woman was as capable of filling the position of an evangelist as a man. Kate Watts (now Mrs. Colonel Josiah Taylor) was then sent in charge of the Mission Work at Merthyr, in Wales, where she was used by God in the salvation of hundreds of souls—and Mrs. Reynolds 'opened fire' at Coventry. To Captain Reynolds was presented, on behalf of the Coventry Corps, the first Flag of The Salvation Army.
The Hallelujah Lass became an indispensable part of The Salvation Army. No effort was made to set these women in one common mould and turn them out replicas of the first. Indeed their naturalness, the very differences in disposition and method added to their usefulness.
In great contrast to the women already mentioned, was the type of whom 'Happy Eliza' was a specimen. Rough and ready and entirely fearless, she knew how to capture the most indifferent crowds. At one corps where ordinary methods had failed to secure the people, she marched through the streets with streamers floating from her hair, and on her back a placard bearing the words 'I'm Happy Eliza.' The denizens of public-houses and the slums flocked to the hall to hear a preacher who evidently understood them. At another place where a theatre was to be opened as a Salvation Army hall, she advertised the meetings by hiring a cab. On the box a man beat a drum, inside two or three others played brass instruments, while Happy Eliza took up her position on the luggage on the top, and drove through the streets alternately playing a fiddle and distributing handbills announcing the coming meetings.
Another indomitable was Chinee Smith. Trampled on by a Lancashire mob, her bonnet torn from her head, her shoes from her feet, she marched in her stockings through the streets to the hall, her hair streaming down her back. Taking her place on the platform she led the meeting as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The hall was packed and souls sought salvation.
The Army's Founder began to recognize that almost limitless possibilities lay in these women. Since they could attract and win sinners to Christ, could command the people of their corps with acceptance, why should they not be placed in charge of Divisions? He saw no reason. Captain Reynolds was promoted to the rank of major, and placed in charge of The Salvation Army work in Ireland, and the decision was fully justified by the blessed results which followed.
Thus, in a perfectly natural way, without design, woman's position in The Salvation Army was established. To-day, there is no rank or position in its ranks which a woman may not occupy, including even that of General.
As may be supposed, the greater number of women officers marry officers, and therefore, as a rule, merge their activities into their husband's work. This being the case, not so many women occupy leading positions as men. Nevertheless, women are to be found holding the highest rank and occupying leading positions in every phase of Army warfare. As Territorial Commander, Mrs. General Booth was for several years responsible for The Army's work in Great Britain and Ireland; Commander Evangeline Booth for that of the United States; Commissioner Lucy Booth- Hellberg for Norway; Commissioner Adelaide Cox has direction of the Women's Social Work in Great Britain. Commissioner Mildred Duff is editor of The Salvation Army literature for Young People. Commissioner Hannah Ouchterlony pioneered our work in her native land, Sweden, and now in a cloudless eventide looks with joy upon a glorious work, the foundations of which she laid in the face of fierce opposition. Lieut.-Commissioner Clara Case represents The Salvation Army woman missionary, having just retired from active service after twenty-seven years in India, during the greater part of which time she commanded the work in Southern India. Lieut-Colonel Catherine Booth, as International Secretary at Headquarters, is the General's representative for Salvation Army work in European countries.
There are women Divisional Commanders, financiers, training officers, editors, teachers, and social, medical and nursing officers; and, by no means least, a host of efficient and devoted Corps Commanders of which Kate Lee was so worthy a representative.
Upon the woman officer of The Army rests no less responsibility than that carried by a man occupying a similar position, and she is expected to 'deliver the goods' as her male comrade in like circumstances would be required to do. And she does it.
The Salvation Army affords an unrivalled field of usefulness to young women who wish to devote their lives to the service of God. No organization offers a wider, if so wide a door. As one of its songs has it, 'There's a place in The Army for all': for the educated and cultured, whose hearts are free from selfishness and fired with holy passion to seek and save the lost, and equally for the young woman of moderate gifts and elementary education, whose heart is also pure and whose soul is illuminated by Divine love.
The Army is by no means 'a happy hunting ground' for faddists or sentimentalists who think religious service consists in 'sailing round' singing songs, and whispering sweet nothings or shouting declarations. It is an Army out to fight another army; to wrestle; to conquer; to take prisoners, and to establish and govern territories. The Salvation fight demands the best a man and woman can give of heart and mind, of sacrifice and service. But, as one exuberant Salvationist has expressed, 'There's stacks of fun in The Army!' There are excitement, adventure, tragedy, and comedy, joy and sorrow, the like of which is found in few, if any other callings. Men and women who have gone out of its ranks or its commands, weary of the endless sacrifice and strain its service entails, and who are to-day well placed and full of the good things of this life, still sigh at the remembrance of the days of their warfare, and declare that the joy of a Salvation Army officer's life is without compare in spiritual work.
The spirit of comradeship which exists between superior and junior officers is a real and beautiful thing. While Kate Lee as a girl captain was wrestling with the problems of her first corps in the villages of England, the writer of her memoir, then also a girl captain, was leading a village corps in her native Australian mountains. Since Kate cannot tell of the kindness of her Divisional Commanders, I may, for the sake of illustration, be permitted to mention my own experience in this relation, incidentally also showing The Army spirit in operation at the other end of the world from The Army hub.
At that time I was stationed at a mining township eighty miles from a railway. The distances between towns in that part of Australia being so great, my Divisional Commander, Major Jonah Evans, now retired, was able to visit my corps only once during my term of nine months there, but he kept in constant touch with his young officers by correspondence. Next to my mother's weekly letter, I looked forward to one from my Divisional Commander. In my weekly dispatch I gave him a full account of everything that concerned my corps, which he was patient enough to read and to reply to carefully, giving such advice as he thought would help me in my work. Also, occasionally, a letter would arrive from his late sweet wife, who, as Captain Helen Morrell, had seen remarkable revivals amongst the Welsh miners. Passing on to city corps, where conditions were entirely different and responsibilities pressed heavily, Major William Hunter, now in Heaven, was my true friend as well as an able leader. The help and direction which such experienced officers are able to give to young men and women who are full of earnestness and desire to reach and bless the souls of the people, minimize the weight of responsibility sometimes thrown upon young shoulders.
Thirty years ago, when Kate Lee began her career as a field officer, The Army had not reached that place in public esteem which it enjoys to-day. The worst days of rioting and persecution had passed, and right of public speech in the streets had been gained in many countries after a long struggle. But The Army was still regarded as something of a nuisance by the majority of educated people, a good thing for the very worst by a few, with indifference or hostility by the mass. To wear the uniform was to bring upon one contumely, often persecution. Salvation Army officers were sometimes perhaps ill fed and poorly clad; nevertheless, because of the opportunity their position afforded to seek and find the lost, Kate Lee counted herself blessed above millions when she sewed the insignia of a lieutenant upon her collar.
Six months of joyous service amongst the Welsh miners was cut short by a telegram announcing to the sisters the serious illness of Mrs. Lee. Taking the news to their Divisional Commander, they were instructed to Headquarters. It was found that the illness was due to shock. The income from investments of the little estate left by Mr. Lee had dwindled; it now had disappeared altogether.
Captain Lucy faced the matter with her usual practical decision. 'Mother, darling, there are two ways out. Either I must come home and work and care for you, or you must come with us. If Headquarters would agree to you accompanying us from corps to corps, would you be willing to break up the home and come?' By this time Mrs. Lee had become possessed by what is known amongst Salvationists as 'The Army Spirit.' She loved this wonderful Army which cared for, and sought and found the lost. She would not have her girls come out of the fight. 'I cannot preach, Lucy, but maybe there is some niche I could fill. I would like to come,' she said.
So it was arranged, and shortly the little household, was transferred to Norwich. How happy they were! Captain and Lieutenant Lee, busy from morn till night, week in and week out, seeking the souls of the people. The mother in the little quarters, sitting with her work-basket beside the window, giving a smile to passers-by, and welcoming her daughters as they came to meals, always bringing with them some new tale of joy, of sorrow, of fighting, of victory or defeat. The little mother truly found her niche. Soldiers and adherents came to reckon upon her gentle patient influence, and her "never-mind-me" spirit was a constant sermon. She could sympathize and she could pray, and she sewed unceasingly for the annual sales of work, making useful articles out of the smallest and oddest remnants. She found supreme happiness in her Army warfare.
While Captain Lucy shielded Lieutenant Kate, she also gave her a practical training.
At Norwich they saw a great work amongst the worst characters of the city; many drunkards were transformed by the grace of God. One of the number, a soldier of the corps to-day, sends his grateful tribute to Lieutenant Kate's persistence in holding up his tottering steps until they grew steady upon the heavenly way. The sisters had the joy of erecting a citadel in the Bull's Close.
At King's Lynn, visitation of the homes of the people was a specialty of their work.
It is to be regretted that neither Lucy nor Kate Lee kept a journal. They were too busy seeking the lost, and after finding them and rejoicing over them were too weary to record their experiences, interesting and profitable as they would have been for us to read about. Their official diaries furnish little more than entries of meetings conducted and other duties performed. The only preserved reminiscence of their work is found in an 'All the World' of 1895. Commissioner Duff, then editor of that journal, beguiled Captain Lucy into chatting about her work at King's Lynn covering three days, and used the conversation as an unconscious answer to the oft-repeated taunt thrown at our officers in those days 'Go and work.' The following are extracts:—
Friday. Back from London at five. So pleased to find lieutenant waiting for me on the platform, with a smile. Tea ready at home. While telling her about my London trip, the man brought my box. Paying him, he said, 'I always listen to your Open-Air on a Sunday; but I have one thing against you, you are so down on the drink.' My chance! So I let him have it straight for ten minutes, when he gave me a penny for the collection, shook hands, and went off.
On the way to 7 o'clock converts' meeting, took Mrs. —— to see doctor. She was nervous at going alone. New converts turned up well. Brother —— very bright. Soon after he got saved he painted his door to help to make his home nice, and the old women of the street came and smeared their dirty hands over it, to hear him swear. But the Lord kept him, and all the street believes in him to-day. And old Dad who cries when he talks, he feels so grateful to God for saving him.
When on our knees with our eyes shut, singing, Brother ——, two months saved, came over to me and said softly 'I'm afraid I'm slipping back, Captain.' Poor lad, his home is nearly unendurable. His mother said she would sooner see him dead than a Salvationist. We all prayed, sang, and I believed for him, and he got beautifully right. Read and explained Isaiah liv., 'No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper!' We all marched into the holiness meeting at 8 o'clock. Some glorious testimonies. Closed with united consecration at 9:15, and met bandsmen to appoint new bandmaster. I was not quite sure as to how they would take the appointment; but went in and got them all on their knees, took up the holiness meeting chorus, 'I'll be, Lord, I'll be what You want me to be,' and prayed. When on our feet again, I started off at once and got through without any hitch or word of dissent, finishing up most successfully. Praise God for this! Ran home to join the lieutenant and the treasurer and the secretary who were finishing the cartridges, [Footnote: Small envelopes in which Salvationists make their weekly gift for the maintenance of the work.] and we started on the books. Money well up this week; over thirty shillings to meet the gas bill. Hallelujah!
Saturday. Breakfast as usual, at eight, and prayers. Then we started our weekly clean-up. I take upstairs; lieutenant down. People have got to know that Saturday is our day home, and come to see us. Had good spell of work. Then a poor woman and her daughter in great distress called; advised that they should go to law, and make the child's father support it. They are doing this. When I went with them to see the solicitor, he seemed to think they would succeed. Talked matter over with them, then had to leave lieutenant to finish with them, as Bandsman —— came. Misunderstanding with comrade. Hot-tempered; feels he has disgraced himself; better give in instrument. Long talk with him. Showed him his duty was to admit his wrong, and ask forgiveness. At last willing to do so; prayed the Lord's help and grace; took back instrument and went off happy. Dinner ready, then off to funeral, fixed for 2:30. Dear little Nellie! Glad I was able to be with her the last night. Had run in for a minute from open-air. Stayed till 5:30 in the morning. She was all night dying. Mother too overcome to be able to be with her. It was Nellie's wish I should bury her. Band turned up; nice meeting at house, then marched to the cemetery; hundreds there. All assembled in chapel; I in pulpit. A child's funeral seems a marvellous opportunity. Many in tears. Lord, make the impression lasting! Thankful I got quiet time in the train yesterday to prepare for Sunday. I've had no time since.
Before open-air went to see Mrs. ——. Saturday is a specially trying day. Husband drinks heavily. So cruel to her. Found her very depressed. Tries to keep her home nice, but he makes it very hard. 'Been wondering to-day if God does hear my prayer. My husband only seems to get worse; the devil has been tempting me all day to give up.' Read to her promise in Isaiah li., 'I am He that comforteth you.' Seemed too depressed to grasp it. 'It is for you' I said, and took her hand. Got down on my knees and prayed. She began to cry. 'I've been doubting and despairing all day,' she said; 'but if He'll forgive me, I will trust my Saviour.' Bless her. Hurried on; just in time for open-air. Very good meeting inside. All going on well, except ——. What can we do for him? Cost us more tears, and time, and prayers than all the rest put together. He seemed so satisfactory, then he backslid and came into the meeting drunk. Lieutenant could not let him go back. Brought him from the saloon, and now there he is in the back seat, all rags and misery. Too drunk to do anything but cry. He has lost the place we got him. Pawned his things. People laugh at us for our attempts; but we can't give him up. That lost sheep, 'until He findeth it,' is my watchword for him.
Sunday. Nice number at knee-drill. On march from open-air, great excitement. The cry was raised in one of the narrow streets, 'Runaway horse!' I was terrified for the children, but the lads made a line across the street, and the color-sergeant put the pole of the flag crosswise, barring the way; so we stopped the horse, and no one was hurt. A helpful time, I think, in the holiness meeting. Read from Exodus xxxv., showing how the people listened and obeyed God's word. After the meeting, saw the soldiers, who were on outpost duty, going off in the best of spirits. Stopped to speak to Sister —— who is anxious about her son. Got home at one o'clock. Before dinner was finished some one came to fetch us, from the next street, to see a man who was dying, and who, in his delirium, was screaming for the captain. Found him in a dreadful state. At first I tried to soothe him. Soon I saw that he must speak. He had sat for years in the meetings, knowing what he ought to do, and never doing it. 'You've pleaded with me so often, and others have too,' he began, 'and I've always put off deciding. I have asked God to forgive me. Will you forgive me, too?' Prayed with him, and left him quieter. Went on to the hall in time for the Junior meeting. Most touching time. The children knew and loved little Nellie. When after the Company Lesson, [Footnote: Sunday School Bible Lesson.] I spoke to them of her beautiful life, they all cried, and we had a little dedication meeting, giving ourselves to God to live like Nellie, and claiming His power for help. Afternoon free-and-easy. Hall just on full, but could not keep the meeting on as we had the memorial service.
A funeral march is a sermon in itself. The indoor meeting was very solemn. Lieutenant read. She is coming on well. What a comfort she is to me. I don't know how I should have got on here if we had not been so united. She is devotion itself.
The Lord gave us four souls. Two of them, unsaved relations of Nellie's. It seemed the seal of Heaven upon her beautiful life. Oh! there is nothing like seeing souls saved! Said to lieutenant, as we crept home—and we feel we may have the luxury of being tired out on a Sunday night—that next to being an angel, there is no position in the world like being a field captain.
After King's Lynn, Captain and Lieutenant Lee were appointed to Great Yarmouth. Here, an illness broke up the little household. During an epidemic of influenza, Kate was laid low, and before she had recovered, Lucy became ill. But the Chief of the Staff [Footnote: Now General Bramwell Booth.] was coming to Yarmouth; that was to be a great event. Lucy had taken the Drill Hall for the occasion, and would not rest until she had completed the arrangements for the campaign. The Chief had stirring meetings, with great crowds and many converts, but the captain lay at the quarters struggling with pneumonia. To this day Lucy cherishes the memory of The General's visit to her bedside, where he commended her valiant service and prayed that she would be spared to the War. After her mother had nursed her through the illness she remained delicate, and in order to relieve her from open-air duties and assist in re-establishing her health, Headquarters appointed the captain to office work. The small family did not reunite, Mrs. Lee remaining with Lucy, until years later she was promoted to glory.
This break was the Lord's way of thrusting Kate forth to take responsibilities of her own. Her health was now fairly robust, and her experience of life much broader. Promoted to the rank of captain, she went to take charge of her first corps, and we have fortunately her own account of her reception. Some years before her promotion to glory, during a rather long period of sick furlough, the General wished Kate to prepare reminiscences of her field experience. To speak of herself or her work, was ever the most difficult of orders for Kate to obey, but she meant to try. Amongst her papers was found a single sheet on which she had written headings for a series of reminiscences. A further hunt discovered two sketches which she had intended for publication anonymously. One of these is here given in full:
THE WRONG CLOTHES.
The captain was going to take charge of her first corps, and as the train sped along her heart beat faster as each stop brought her nearer her destination. Would anyone be there to meet her? What was the town like? And the people? Above everything else, what about the lieutenant? These were the thoughts that came racing through her brain as the train dashed along.
The train slowed down. A porter's voice announced the station, and she looked but of the window for a Salvation welcome, but no friendly face was there. Leaving her baggage, except for her handbag, at the station, she trudged off to find the quarters. There was no welcome there. After securing the key from a neighbour she entered the dwelling. Fortunately, there was sufficient tea in the caddy to make the longed-for cup, and with the lunch that had been forgotten on the exciting journey, she refreshed herself. There was no letter; no news of the lieutenant, and the indifferent neighbour could only say that she had been asked to hold the key until the new captain arrived.
The time for the meeting drew near, but no Salvationist called, and a feeling of strangeness and loneliness came upon the captain. Falling on her knees, she called upon God to help her. The realization of His Presence, the prospect of having a little corps of her very own, enabled her to smile at her fears, and to sally forth to seek The Army hall. At last it was discovered. Such a tiny place! A small burying ground surrounded it, giving it a dismal appearance. The door was closed, so the captain went and inquired for the key, and was informed that the hall would be opened in time for the meeting. After waiting for some time, a girl appeared, and, in a sullen way, opened the door. 'If only the lieutenant were here,' the captain thought. By 8:30 two lads and a few children had mustered. Her first meeting in her own corps was one of the most difficult she had conducted. There was a strange something, a mysterious atmosphere which she could not understand.
The last train did not bring the lieutenant, and the captain, committing herself to God, decided she must make the best of the circumstances. She had no desire for supper and went to bed. Awakened next morning by a stream of beautiful sunshine, she realized where she was, and the dreariness and coldness of the past night's experiences returned. 'If only the lieutenant were here,' again she sighed. 'If—but this will not do,' she cried aloud, 'I must not let the first little struggle discourage me. Perhaps I was cold and tired last night, and perhaps the people did not really expect me—or perhaps—! Anyway, I am going to do my very best for God and souls here.' Looking up to her Heavenly Father, she sought strength for the day. She made a scanty breakfast, then set about, righting the quarters. Her box had arrived, and from it she took her knick-knacks; a few cheery texts for the wall, and her beloved books, helped to make the place look homelike. Then she scanned the visitation book, making a plan for the afternoon.
That first visitation was a trying experience. 'How strange and cold these people seem to be!' There was no answer to her knock from two or three houses. Everybody appeared to be out. At the next house she was sure she heard a sound that indicated that some one was at home, so she knocked with a determination that secured an answer. An upstairs window was thrown open. 'What do you want?' snarled an angry voice. 'Does Mrs. S—— live here?' 'Yes, what do you want with her?' 'I'm the new captain, and I've come to see her, is she at home?' 'I'm Mrs. S——, but I'm too busy to come down. Good-day!' The captain turned away, sick at heart, but determined to have another fry. Still, that afternoon was a very disappointing one, and she brought it to a finish with another visit to the station to inquire if there was a likely train that might bring the lieutenant. At night she went alone again to the hall, opened the door, but waited in vain for even the sullen girl and the little children.
On returning to the quarters, she found a letter awaiting her from the Divisional Commander regretting that the lieutenant was ill, and could not join her for at least a month. 'A month alone in this cold atmosphere!' It seemed an endless age to anticipate, but now she faced the worst, and was determined to fight through to victory.
Saturday night found her at the open-air stand, waiting and hoping that some one would turn up, when to her relief, she espied a brass instrument glistening in the distance, and she rejoiced to greet her first bandsman. He approached in an indifferent way, but she was becoming more used to the 'cold climate.' When other bandsmen appeared she felt that, in spite of the stiffness, she loved her corps already. She would have been quite happy had the lieutenant been there, but to walk in front of that band without the satisfaction of knowing there was one sister in the rear, was a trial.
She put her best into the meetings; gave the address that had been prepared with tears and care, but her words seemed to fall flat. The prayer-meeting was hard and no souls came to the mercy-seat. At the end of that first week-end, she exclaimed to a local officer her surprise that no sisters attended the open-air meetings, and that everybody seemed strange. 'Oh, so you don't understand?' he said. 'You have got on the wrong clothes!' 'What do you mean?' the captain inquired. 'Well, we are all disappointed. We wanted men officers. You have got on the wrong clothes.' The captain did not reply, but determined that she would make those soldiers want her before she concluded her stay amongst them. She had a difficult task, the people were clannish, and their prejudice was not easily overcome.
Her first move was to arrange a social cup of tea. She prepared a dainty little spread, although the funds were low, for she did the baking herself. Every soldier was invited personally, and she felt rewarded when twenty-five out of her fifty soldiers responded. The little venture seemed to break the ice, and this first sign of success was followed by a tea for sisters only, and the disappointed sisters became quite reconciled to their girl captain.
The long month at last came to an end. With great happiness the captain welcomed her lieutenant. A bright fire was in the grate, the kettle singing on the hob, as over their first cup of tea they rejoiced that love had conquered. In the lieutenant's welcome meeting, the break came, when a number of soldiers reconsecrated themselves to God. On the following Sunday night, the address was cut short by a woman rushing to the penitent-form, followed by several others. The soldiers were stirred, and the fires of love and enthusiasm burnt up the smallness and prejudice. Their cup ran over when they saw a poor drunkard of their town changed by the power of God.
Prejudice is a difficult thing to overcome. It starves the soul and withholds the blessing of God; but the fire of love can overcome it and enable one to triumph even over the ban of 'wrong clothes.'
After commanding three corps, giving to the people of each town her best service, a sharp attack of pneumonia carried Captain Lee away from corps work, and for a time it seemed that a constitutional bronchial weakness, now aggravated, would bring her regular public work to an early termination.
A term in the Naval and Military Department at Headquarters in London introduced Kate to a new sphere of Army service. Hitherto, her vision of the Salvation battlefield had been limited to the particular corps at which she soldiered or commanded, but contact with men who went to the ends of the earth and found The Army at almost every port, blessing them in soul and body, lifted her horizon until it became world-wide. Kate Lee began to realize the greatness of the organization to which she belonged.
A breakdown in the Naval and Military Home at Chatham placed Captain Kate in charge of that institution, with full responsibility for the catering, house-keeping, and meetings, and the visitation of ships in the harbour. A sister Salvationist writes:—
When first I saw her at the Naval and Military Home, I was impressed by her innocence, youth, and fragile appearance. For such a girl to bear the responsibility of so large an institution, was a marvel in my eyes. With one or two other comrades I used to accompany her to the ships in the Medway, to sing to the men. When a good crowd had gathered on the deck, Captain Kate would speak to them and invite them to come to The Army Home when they were ashore. The Home was packed out. She conducted bright meetings, and many soldiers and sailors were converted. Despite her youth, the men looked to her as an elder sister; gave into her keeping their bank-books and money, and sought her advice in their difficulties. So greatly did the Home succeed during the captain's stay, that she had the pleasure of seeking for a site on which now stands the Home which does such excellent service in Chatham to-day.
With health fully restored, the call of the field was insistent, and Captain Lee begged to be allowed to take a corps again. She was appointed to Whitstable, Kent, and for the next fourteen years she poured out her life as a ceaseless offering for the souls of the people in town and city, in various parts of the United Kingdom.
A CORPS COMMANDER
A casual view of the work of a Salvation Army field officer might suggest that for such a position few qualities other than enthusiasm and some ability for public speaking are necessary. Such an idea is as wide of the mark as may be.
A field officer of The Army has the honour to be chosen for service similar to that William Booth undertook when he first turned to the unchurched masses of the East End of London. To him is committed the spiritual responsibility for the town or part of the town in which he is stationed. He is there to preach in the streets to the people who will not go to places of worship, and by every lawful means to compel them to his hall for help at closer range. He is there to visit the sick, to seek out the drunkard, to visit the police court, to encourage, and lift, and lift again the weak and stumbling. He is there to answer letters from anxious parents, to hunt up straying sons and daughters, to rebuke sin; in outbreaks of infectious disease and catastrophies to administer comfort and help to the sorrowing and bereaved; to instruct the children; to shepherd and inspire the band of Salvationists already attached to his corps; to raise money for the furtherance of The Army work. Indeed, nothing which affects the well-being of the populace lies outside the sphere of the officer of The Salvation Army.
All corps are not the same. There is the city corps, with its hundreds of soldiers; an efficient brass band and songster brigade, home league, young people's work, and various other departments. The business man finds that the hustle, the high rent, floating population and the keen competition of the city necessitates extraordinary care and daring to ensure success. The same applies to our officers in charge of city corps.
There is the sea-side corps, with its thousands of visitors and 'trippers' whom The Army officer seeks to reach and bless. There is the suburban corps, with its settled residential population. There are corps in industrial centres with features peculiar to them; and the village corps, where long distances are covered by the officers in their efforts to reach the scattered population. Each corps presents to the field officer special problems as well as special opportunities.
To be a field officer as near perfection as possible, was the ambition of Kate Lee's life. In this calling she believed she could best serve God and win souls from sin to righteousness. She began as a lieutenant, receiving twelve shillings per week and her furnished quarters, and when an adjutant at the height of her success, not only as a soul-winner, but as an organizer and manager of unusual ability, who in commercial or civil life could have commanded a large salary, she received a guinea (about $5.00 at normal exchange) a week and her quarters. [Footnote: These figures relate to the pre-war scale of allowances.] Kate Lee laid up her treasure in heaven.
As a Corps-Commander, she saw service in every kind of corps. Beginning amongst the villages, with tiny hall and a handful of people to care for, by sheer merit, she rose to command the most important corps in the British Territory.
She laid good foundation for a successful career. For the direction of field officers, The Army Founder wrote a book of Orders and Regulations known in The Army as "The F.O." It is a volume of some six hundred pages packed from cover to cover with matter as interesting as it is logical and practical. Every phase of the officer's life and service is therein dealt with. An officer might be located on Easter Island, separated from all oversight, and if he consulted his 'F.O.,' and commanded his corps according to its advice and directions, he would surely build The Salvation Army in miniature.
So entirely had Kate Lee assimilated William Booth's spirit and adopted his methods in relation to her work, that she might well have been his own daughter. She lived the 'F.O.' in relation to her own soul, her lieutenant, her soldiers, every section of her corps; to the backsliders, to the great masses of the ungodly, to the civic authorities, to the churches, to her comrades and superior officers. And she succeeded wonderfully.
Adjutant Lee set to work in a methodical, practical way. On taking charge of a corps, she first consulted "The Soldiers' Roll" in order to ascertain the size and condition of her charge as a fighting force; next she examined the cashbooks in order to find out her financial responsibilities. Lastly she took steps to gain an accurate idea of the condition of the town, morally and spiritually.
Says the treasurer of one of her corps:—
Soon after she arrived here she gave me a list of questions, including, 'How many saloons in the town? How many houses of ill fame? How many places of worship? What proportion of people go to church? When she compared these figures with the population she was able to estimate the grip of evil on the town, and the efforts made by the people of God to combat it. She reckoned all the godless people of the town were her concern, and laid her plans accordingly. She called upon the police, the civic authorities, and the ministers, intimating that she was there for the good of the city, and asked to be allowed to co-operate with them. It was not long before the governing people realized that an uncommon force for righteousness had come among them.
Says another of her local officers, 'Our city had never been so conscious of the presence of The Salvation Army as a regenerating force in its midst, as during her stay.'
Her ministering spirit played like a flame upon every section of the corps until the whole organization pulsated with life. Every evening of the week the citadel was ablaze with light and humming with activity, the soldiers unwilling to stay away one night for fear of missing a good thing.
In order to promote a spirit of prayer in a corps, the Adjutant's plan was to form a prayer league. She chose the most spiritual amongst her soldiers and adherents, and pledged them to spend a portion of each day in prayer for an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the corps and town. These comrades became a great strength in the battles for souls which developed. At some of her corps a few of these comrades remained in a room praying during the whole of the service on Sunday night; and when the prayer meeting began, they quietly made their way to either side of the penitent-form; their earnest pleading for the unsaved having much to do with the victories gained. Others were formed into a "Fishing Brigade." [Footnote: Salvationists selected to speak personally with those likely to be brought to decision for Christ.] These were posted about the hall, and, at a given signal in the prayer meeting, moved amongst the unsaved and urged them to decision.
Soldier-making was Adjutant Lee's object. A full penitent-form meant little to her unless the kneeling penitents became fighters for God. To this end she visited, and 'nursed' and trained and commanded—and with good results. But while she had a keen eye for the new recruit, she mourned and battled for the deserters. She had taken to her heart the Old General's counsel on this score, part of which reads:—
The Field Officer must watch against heart backsliding. When soldiers drop off from knee-drill; when they are not found in the ranks in bad weather; when they no longer remain to the prayer meetings; when they come only now and then to the week-night services; and when they cease to testify as frequently, heartily, and definitely as in former days, the F.O. should conclude there is something wrong; decay has commenced. He should deal with such at once, and give them no rest.
No officer should refuse to seek the restoration of a backslider because of the disgrace he has brought upon the corps by his falling into old ways; old habits of drunkenness or uncleanness, fighting or thieving, or any other vulgar form of sin. The F.O. should consider the shame of the man himself, if he is permanently left to rot in the ditch of corruption, and the sorrows that burden the heart of His Master, for one for whom He has given His precious Blood.
Heart backsliders or open backsliders were all the same to her—deserters to be followed down and brought back to loyal service. One tells that he had been away from the fight for six years. She heard of him by a casual remark one comrade made to another, got his address and surprised his home by a visit.
'After that,' says this comrade, 'she slipped into our house for a few minutes every day until she won us back to God and The Army. Sometimes she might not even sit down; just kneel a moment and pray with us. At other times she merely put her head round the door and smiled; said, "God bless you," and was gone. Her loving interest broke us down, and we hungered to get back into the fight.'
Another comrade had fought so successful a fight that the devil thought it worth while to centre his heavy guns upon him; he was so smashed spiritually that he seemed past mending. But not to Kate Lee's faith. She prayed over him, believed for him, refused to give up his soul as lost until at length he again began to hope in God for deliverance. He was fully restored and became a devoted bandmaster.
Some backsliders who withstood her pleadings in life were brought home by her death. 'The last time I saw her,' said an old man with broken voice, 'she held an open-air service in our street, came into my house, wept over me and prayed for me. I used to serve under her. When she died——.' He is fighting the good fight now as in his best days.
The bandsmen of The Army are a remarkable body of men. They are all converted, many from lives of desperate sin. Others have grown up in The Army; almost all have learned what they know of music in the ranks. Twenty years ago, the latter remark might have been received with a smile. Not so to-day, for while the object of Salvation Army music is the same as when it was first admitted as an auxiliary in our efforts to attract the unsaved, it has passed from the crudeness of its beginnings to a high standard of excellence. The bands of The Salvation Army now rank amongst the best in the world, and are an appreciated institution in most towns and villages. The bandsmen, who find their own uniforms and receive neither fee nor reward for their services, devote much of their leisure to Salvation Army service. They carry the message of salvation by music and song into city streets and slums, into the lanes of the country; to hospitals and asylums, and, besides, lead the singing in The Army citadels.
As might be expected amongst a body of clean-living, energetic men, there are occasions when matters of contention arise which require careful handling. More than once Kate Lee 'scented' trouble in her bands and resorted to a night of prayer, as a preparation for dealing with the problem. She would come from her little sanctuary, clothed with such meekness, tact, and strength that never once did she fail to stem the difficulty and to hold the men to the highest ideals of Salvationism.
If a whole band were affected, she saw the men one by one before she met them together. At one corps where the inclination to worldly amusement threatened serious loss, the Adjutant held a meeting which lasted until midnight. Lovingly, faithfully, firmly, she reminded the men of the high purposes of The Salvation Army, the condition of the world in relation to God, the spiritual danger of mixing with the ungodly in their amusement. Quietly, the men viewed the matter in the light of eternity and made their choice. It was according to the Adjutant's standards. Not, as she was careful to explain, because they were hers as the commanding officer, but because they were standards of The Army, based upon the changeless principles of the Kingdom that is not of this world. She found, as many another servant of God has found, that, 'Strongly-formed purposes can be changed and men's hearts influenced by prayer alone, and that surrenders made and principles accepted at such a time make for the permanent change of character.'
The wives of Salvation Army bandsmen make their sacrifices. Sunday is seldom a rest-day for Salvationists. Bandsmen are required to be present at six engagements, three out-door and three in. Their wives see to the children and the meals and send their husbands to their God-given labours. They were not forgotten by the Adjutant. She took a delight in preparing a pretty tea for them at her quarters, and inviting them to a little party all of their own. Serving them herself, she spent an evening of music and song amongst them, speaking words in appreciation and gratitude of their unselfish service, and making them feel that their part in the War was well worth while.
There are few rich people in The Salvation Army. Soldiers and adherents are trained to give according to their ability towards the upkeep of their respective corps; but when the best that may be is done in this direction, there is, in most cases, a considerable deficit remaining which must be met by public contribution.
As an example of the financial responsibilities which Kate Lee successfully discharged, the Brighton Congress Hall might be taken. Here the expenses for the year ran into some four thousand dollars. The Adjutant desired to give all her time to 'pulling sinners out of the fire.' But there was the rent; the upkeep of a great hall and her quarters, fire and lighting, printing, advertising, in addition to the modest allowance for herself and her two lieutenants. To cope with such problems, Kate Lee brought the qualities of prayer and plan. 'A model of method,' is how her treasurer here describes her. 'She ascertained the full extent of her liabilities, and probable income, and laid plans to meet the obligations with the least possible hindrance to spiritual effort.'
She never allowed lack of money to hinder her in a forward movement. Going to the charge of another large corps, she had decided upon an immediate campaign for souls. But awaiting her was a debt of five hundred dollars! However, in her Welcome meeting, she committed herself to the spiritual campaign, and enlisted the soldiers' interest. The following morning she received a letter of welcome from her Divisional Commander, who incidentally informed her that the Division was financially in rather difficult circumstances, and that he was looking to her to assist him by reducing the debt on the corps as soon as possible. She was seized with the temptation, for a moment, to attack and dispose of the debt at once, but convinced that her first decision to be of God, she committed the money matter to Him, and began to organize the corps for a revival.
The month's effort was to include house-to-house visitation, the 'bombardment' of saloons, and a Sunday Salvation campaign in a theatre. Her faith was tried; money was difficult to raise, and as she went forward with her plans for soul-winning her liabilities increased. 'The theatre will be a fizzle, and you will have a big deficit there,' discouraged the Tempter. But Kate would not be moved from her purpose. The special Sunday proved to be a day of victory. At night, two notorious characters knelt at the penitent-form in addition to a number of promising young people. The expenses were met, and the soldiers enthused.
The following morning, as the Adjutant was seeing a visitor off at the railway station, a gentleman accosted her cheerfully, 'Adjutant, I have some encouraging news for you,' he said. 'A friend of mine was present at the theatre last night, and he was so impressed with what he saw and heard that he intends to give you two hundred and fifty dollars!' 'Oh, praise the Lord!' responded the Adjutant. When she met her soldiers with the news, and showed them how God was honouring faith and obedience, they united forthwith to wipe out the debt. In came promises of different amounts. Ten days later the debt had vanished and a glorious work of soul-saving went forward.
Kate Lee's lieutenants have lively memories of her methods and enthusiasm in conducting the annual Self-Denial Appeals. Says one:—
The first "S.-D." I was with her, she said to me one morning, 'Now, dear, I must get this all planned out and see my target on paper before I meet the corps. I'm going upstairs, and I don't want to see anyone or be disturbed for anything.' Dinner time came, and I wondered what to do, and thought I had better take her dinner to her. When I appeared at her door with the tray, she laughed heartily with and at me, carried the tray down and we had dinner together. After the scheme was launched she kept in touch with the whole corps, encouraging and holding each up to his or her share in the effort, until it finished successfully.
She had settled ideas about personal self-denial. Another of her lieutenants tells that, during one Self-Denial week, a friend, thinking that the officers might be depriving themselves of nourishing food, left a basket packed with fresh goodies on the doorstep. The Adjutant smiled, sold the goods and the basket, and put the money to the fund.
The soldiers who fought under Kate Lee revere her memory. Volumes of tributes to their love and appreciation of her spirit, her ability and service, could be given.
'What I thought she was when she came to us, I was sure she was when she left.' A testimony from a village comrade all unconscious probably of its full significance!
'Like a specialist she was; always a queue of people waiting to see her after the meetings,' says one of her city hall-keepers. 'What did they want? Spiritual help, guidance, advice, about all manner of things; they knew her heart was big enough to take in all the troubles they could bring, and they never thought that her body might crack up.'
Another recalls her love for the Colours, and her loyalty to the standards of her General.
'My, but she loved the Flag! Once the colour-sergeant was away, and it was suggested we should go to the open-air meeting without the Flag. "Oh, no! The General wouldn't like to see the march without the Flag," she said; so a sister carried it.'
The following sidelights are contributed by a sister soldier of keen observation and sweet spirit. 'When the Adjutant died, I felt I had lost a dear and close relative, though as a matter of fact I had never caught much more than glimpses of her. My husband was one of her local officers and she frequently came to our home, but she did her business and went, never remaining even for a cup of tea unless it were poured out and she could take it without waiting. The most time I spent with her was once when she returned to conduct some special services here, and was billetted with us.
'She was too full of her mission to make friends for herself, but although so busy she did not rush. She never had too many irons in the fire to listen to a sorrow; and the few moments she could spare you knew were all your own.' This characteristic is laid away in scores of hearts like a sweet perfume which gives out fragrance every time it is stirred. "She took time, she always took time to listen," whispered one of her converts looking into my face with an adoring love in her eyes that was almost anguish. The story of her wonderful deliverance, more full of romance and tragedy than any novel, may not appear here for obvious reasons.