3 The Richest Man in the Valley

The landlord began to look uneasy, but Hans, not noticing, continued: "I heard a voice saying, `The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' Then I woke up.

"Sir, those solemn words were spoken so plainly, I have not since been able to forget them. I feel I ought to tell you. Perhaps it is a warning."

The landlord's face turned pale, but he tried to hide the fears that rushed in upon him. "Nonsense!" he cried. "You may believe in dreams, but I do not. Good-by."

He galloped away in great haste. Old Hans, looking after him, prayed, "O Lord, have mercy on his soul, if he is to die so soon."

A couple of hours later the farmer arrived home. Hurrying into the parlor, lie threw himself down on the sofa, feeling quite exhausted.

"What a fool I am for letting the silly talk of an ignorant old man disturb me! The richest man in the valley! Of course that is myself. But the idea of my dying tonight! I never have been so well in my life. At least, this morning I felt fine; but right now I do have a peculiar headache, and my heart does not seem to beat normally. Perhaps I should send for the doctor."

The Richest Man in the Valley 4

Toward the evening the doctor came. The farmer was somewhat feverish on account of his agitation but was at a loss to explain his disability.

The doctor lingered for several hours, endeavoring to drive away the farmer's gloomy thoughts. It was nearing ten o'clock when he decided to leave. Just then the doorbell rang.

"Who can be calling at this time of night?" the farmer inquired anxiously.

"Sorry to disturb you, sir. Just came to tell you that old Hans died suddenly this evening, and to ask if you will please make arrangements for the funeral."

So the old man's dream had come true! It was not the possessor of broad and fertile acres, but his poor servant who was "the richest man in the valley." His ransomed soul had gone "sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb."

How is it with you, dear reader? Are you rich toward God as Hans was? Is his Saviour yours?

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a roan give in exchange for his soul?" 
Matt. 16:26.