The morning of her last day at home, the corps cadet whom she had come to call 'my little Leff,' was with her. She writes:--
I will never forget that talk; she went over the names of her dear, saved drunkards, one by one, giving me messages for some I would see.
She urged me to continue praying for them, if the Lord called her Home. She said it would be a luxury to slip away; then, sitting up in bed and looking right into my face, she said, 'Little Leff, _those are the people I want you to live for. You do, and you will love them, won't you?_' With the tears running down my face, I promised that I would do so.
A few days under observation at the Mildmay Hospital, to which she was admitted and cared for with much tenderness not only for Christ's sake, as is the purpose of that excellent institution towards sufferers, but for her work's sake, then came the operation. The warrior spirit entered into fires of suffering that she had not hitherto felt; but while the flesh shrank, her faith triumphed. Her sister, who had hovered about her bed during the week, spent the Sunday with her. Even then, those women held themselves at attention at the call to service, and, at the request of the Sister of the ward Kate occupied before the operation, Commandant Lucy left her sister's side and conducted a service with the patients.
Kate felt that she had not much longer to live, and reaching for her writing pad and pen, she wrote a last message of love for her sister and brother. Her sister found the letters in her blotter after Kate had 'gone home.' To her she wrote:--
I am writing this line in case I do not see your dear face again, as I want you to have a last message of love. It will not be long until we meet again, and you can think of me watching for you. I do not want to leave you all alone, but the thought that to-morrow I may see His face thrills my soul, and it would be easy to slip away. I am very tired, but I want to finish my course, and am quite willing to face the struggle again if it is His will.... Now, my own treasure, I cannot write more, but must say one great big thank you for all you have done for me, and for all the love you have lavished upon me.
The next morning when Lucy saw Kate again, she was sure that soon her precious sister would see the King in His beauty. What the separation would mean to her no one would fully know; but, as ever, forgetful of herself, she sat beside her, smiled and said brightly, 'Little love, if you see mother before I do, tell her I'm coming.' Back came Kate's ready smile, and she replied, 'Rather!' so naturally that for a moment it seemed impossible that she was on the borderland of earth.
But soon the brave spirit became troubled. 'What is it, little love?'
'Oh, the people, the people! _I haven't the heart to send them away_.' moaned Kate. Her mind was wandering, and the ruling passion of her life, in death was strong upon her. She was out amongst the crowds, seeing their sins and their sorrows, and their needs, and in a dim way was conscious that she no longer had power to serve them.
'Darling, do not worry any more; you have loved them and sought them all these years, and now you're going to rest,' said Lucy. The words reached her ears, but she shook her head, _'I haven't the heart to send them away,'_ she moaned.
Faithful, brave little follower of The Army's Founder, in life; even to her deathbed there came an echo from his. In his blindness, William Booth had mourned to his daughter, 'Oh, the sins, the sins of the people!' He went into eternity, sighing for the sins and sorrows of the world.
But further back than the human, we can trace this spirit. The Saviour, looking upon a multitude of needy souls, is saying, _'I have compassion on the multitude; I cannot send them away.'_ William Booth caught the spirit of Christ; he lived it; breathed it into thousands of his followers, of whom there has not fought and triumphed in life and death a truer saint and soldier than Kate Lee, the Angel Adjutant.
We conclude this sketch of her career with some words of General Bramwell Booth: 'I pray that many of those who knew her, and of those who did not know her,' he says, 'may be stirred up by the testimony of her life and death to walk in the same path, and so glorify God and bless their fellows.'