Edward H. Joy
This is a selection from the unpublished manuscript,
'Our Fathers Have Told Us',
some early-day stories from The
The Special was tired after his exertions during his Sunday
with the Soldiery of the little Norfolk village, - a Corps
whose activities extended over many miles and entailed much
hard work, but he had shared gladly the toil with the few
humble folk, who, Sunday by Sunday, thought ‘it joy to do the
There were compensations, however, for his billet was
more than comfortable.
He was staying with the leading man of the district,
whose kindness, and that of his wife, had been most marked.
“We haven’t had much chance of a talk today”, said the host to
his guest. “The
Army sure keeps you busy on a Sunday.
Can we have a chat now?”
It was the close of the day, and the Special was thinking more
longingly of his comfortable bed than a talk in the
sumptuously furnished drawing-room, but he consented with as
good a Christian grace as he could muster.
“Have you been wondering why we are so interested in The
Army,” said his host as they were seated snugly by the
you let me tell you a story I have not told elsewhere in this
“About ten years ago we were in the city of Toronto, Canada,
homeless and stranded.
Sudden misfortune had befallen my wife and me, and, one
morning, we left our house not knowing whither to turn. We had
fought hard against difficult circumstance, and tried out
best, but trouble dogged our footsteps, and that day we were
actually without food or home.
“Something in my countenance must have shown my state, for a
Salvation Army man who was passing, stopped and touched me on
my shoulder. “You
look as if you are in trouble,” he said, “can I help you?”
“It was like a rope to a drowning man.
‘Sir,’ I said.
‘I’m starving and homeless, and this is my wife’.
“’Come home with me’, said the Officer, as he took off his
coat and insisted on my shivering wife putting it on.
“We went with him, and though he had a house full of children,
and they were poor themselves, he and his dear wife gave us
food and clothing and shelter for some days; he found me a
job, and looked after us as if we were brother and sister to
them. Since that
time I’ve never looked back.
All that we have today we owe to God and The Army and
Do you know him?”
Years after, when the Special stood by the grave of Colonel
Spooner, and heard one and another tell of his deeds in The
Army, he thought of that ‘inasmuch’ in the streets of Toronto,
and gave thanks to God for also knowing him as a comrade.