John McCarter had led the mission alone, but kept from his door the reasons for its closure. Now he had Ignacz. Ignacz who’d convinced the Presbytery and was able to converse with the Jewish immigrants from Roumania and Russia. Nearly nine o’ clock, he gathered the papers and books to his suitcase, met his partner in the hall. They prayed on the tram. They took the bus for the village of Cardinal. John passed Ignacz his mail. Inside was a letter from McGill University, where he’d sent ‘Essay on the Evidences’, a theological treatise. Their response was the offer of a scholarship and twenty-five dollars. Excited, Ignacz talked more than usual.
Cardinal was a hundred miles away; Eastern Ontario, several hours only. The road took them along the border, the St. Lawrence River which faced John McCarter on his punctuated awakenings. It was beautiful in sunlight. His slumber: each nod awake preceded by dread thoughts on financing their operation.
North of Dundas Street they were received at the Presbyterian Church. Ignacz led the small congregation from his favourite Song of Songs. Thought their hosts advertised, only one Jew attended. He left as resistant as when they encountered him.
Cardinal, John heard, was founded by a Revolutionary War hero for whom everything went wrong. After his life, the village grew to a present population of a thousand.
They prayed and were shown their beds. John’s mind wandered to the following days’ lectures: just over the border in Ogdensburg, New York; another in Iroquois on the way home. He had to admire Ignacz’s village tour plan. He wished he could see more. His apprentice was ready.
Featured image attribution: A Digital History of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, Canada. Bytown.net