One evening when I was visiting a friend, the conversation turned upon a present which the lady of the house had received from her son. He had seen active service in the Boer war, and during his stay in South Africa had sent her interesting objects from time to time, among them being a bomb, made for use in the war. This strange present was accompanied by a letter from the son, warning his mother not to let the bomb come into contact with anything which could set it alight, for fear it should explode; so the lady put the dangerous article in the cellar.

The warning voiced in the letter, however, greatly troubled her, and as the days went by her anxiety increased. The fear of an explosion haunted her until the thought of the danger became a veritable nightmare. All kinds of evil suggestions arose in her mind. Suppose the house should get on fire and the flames reach the cellar! Suppose some one should break into the house and look for treasures in the box containing the bomb! For weeks she insisted on staying up every night until every other member of the family had retired. Her fear was that they might not turn off the gas properly and there would be an escape. What would become of the bomb then? None of the family was allowed to go near the box which contained it, and night after night the good lady prayed earnestly that the household might be saved from any accident through it. Still the fear remained.

July 6, 1912

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