|The Touch of the Master’s Hand
It was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me?”, “A dollar, a dollar,” then, “Two! only two? Two dollars and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three dollars twice; going for three………“
But, from the back of the room, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; then, wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said, “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow. “A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand twice and going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”