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Title: The forest pony and other tales
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002253/00001
 Material Information
Title: The forest pony and other tales
Physical Description: 82 p. : ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Douglas, Elizabeth K.
Blackburn, Charles F. ( Charles Francis ), 1828-1896 ( Publisher )
Publisher: Charles F. Blackburn
Place of Publication: Leamington
Publication Date: 1856
Copyright Date: 1856
 Subjects
Subject: Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Ponies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Procrastination -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1856
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
General Note: Baldwin Library copy lacks p. 71-72 of Procrastination.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lady E.K. Douglas.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002253
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA2525
notis - ANE9583
oclc - 4631580
alephbibnum - 002682335

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
    Copyright
        Page iv
    Main
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    Back Cover
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Full Text












T '-A
4 v






..... .. ... .


































2!






THE


FORE ST


AND OTHER


PONY


TALES.


BY LADY R K. DOUGLAS,
aUTHOR OP "TrVTH, ORBG OBL AND LWTIX a CaOm."









LEAMINGTON:
ICHARLES F. BLACKBURN, 9, VICTORIA TERRACE.
1866.

























THE FOREST PONY.


HISTORY OF A DOG.


PROCRASTINATION.







































CHARLES P. BLACKtBUN, PIUINTBB VICTORIA ThERACE7

LRAMINGTON.














THE FOREST PONY.



CHAPTER I.

Sce'st thou my home ?-'tis where yon woods are waving
In their dark richness, to the summer air;
Where yon blue stream, a thousand flower-banks laying,
Leads down the hills, a vein of light-'tis there?

In the south of England there are still to be found
large tracts of forest land-but of late years, a great
part of these uncultivated wilds has been enclosed, and
no doubt, as time rolls on, commons, heaths, and forests,
will give place to waving corn-fields. At the time of
my story however-which was forty years ago-there
were miles and miles, without a human habitation, beau-
tiful woodland glades, and majestic forest trees, the
growth of centuries; wild heaths too, here and there
dotted with sheep, and cattle, and herds of rough small
ponies. Once in every two or three years, these ponies
were driven into temporary pens, like large sheep-folds,
and the best among the young ones were caught, tied






2 THE FOREST PONY.

together and sent off to be sold at a large fair, held in
a town about fifteen miles off. In one of the most
picturesque parts of this wild country stood a cottage
-the forest formed its back ground, and the branch-
ing arms of an old oak sheltered it from the driving
winter winds-in front was a common, dotted with
thorn-trees and covered with broom, gorse, and fern.
In spring the perfume from the yellow blossoms of the
two former was like a fragrant nosegay, scenting the
air, and the hum of the bees was music all day long
-and other music too might there be heard, God's own
choir, the thrush, blackbird, and nightingale, pouring
forth their melody in the deep coverts of the woods,
and the lark carolled gaily from her nest in the com-
mon, as she mounted to the sky above. There were no
cottages within four miles, and yet the inhabitants of
this lonely little dwelling were very happy and quite
contented with their humble lot. The family consisted
of an old man and his wife and their little grandson.
He was an orphan, the son of an only daughter, who
died when he was born; his father, who was a sailor,
perished at sea, not long after. But God never for-
sakes the fatherless, and little David found a kind home
with his grandparents, who were truly good people, and
brought him up in the love and fear of God. As long






THE FOREST PONY.


as he was very young his grandmother could not leave
him to attend the Church, which was in the village,
four miles off; but when David was six years old he
was conveyed thither on the back of the old grey pony,
and learnt to sit quite still during the service. He was
soon able to find the text of the sermon in his grand-
father's large Bible, on their return home in the even-
ing, for Brown and his wife always took their dinner
with them on Sundays, and eat it at a neighbour's
house, and thus could attend evening service, for they
loved their Church, and it must have been a very
severe snow-storm indeed that would prevent their at-
tendance there every Sunday. Brown's occupation was
broom-making-he cut the straight handles from the
young trees of the forest, peeled and smoothed them.
Some of his brooms were made of the twigs of the
birch-tree which abound in those woods, others of the
yellow broom which grew so plentifully on the common.
These latter were bought by the neighboring gentry
to sweep their lawns and walks. They were tied up
in two large bundles and slung across the top of the
panniers, on the old white pony's back.-The pan-
niers were to bring back the month's provisions, which
were to last them till the next peregrination. These
periodical journeys were a great event, for Brown gene-






THE POOREST PONY.


rally brought home some little present for his wife and
grandson. He was a careful, sober man, and well-
known in the town as such. His brooms found a ready
sale, and the panniers packed with sundry little parcels
of tea, sugar, sago, and perhaps a cheese, soap, candles,
and many more household goods-sometimes several
yards of flannel, or stuff for a warm gown for his wife
was added, and now and then, what David loved best,
a new book. He had read Robinson Crusoe over many,
many times in the long winter evenings, and always
with the same interest, but a fresh tale of travels was
his greatest treat. He had never yet accompanied his
grandfather in these expeditions, he could not walk so
far, and old Snow-drop had enough to carry to and
fro, without his additional weight. Though David had
never had the great advantage of going to school, he
was quite as forward in his learning as most boys of
his age. Brown was a well-educated man for his
station in life, and had taught his grandson reading,
writing, and arithmetic-and what was of still more
vital importance, he taught him his catechism well, and
all his Bible history, besides many psalms and hymns
by heart. He had also his duties to perform, and like
all boys, sometimes neglected them, and at others was
careless; but he loved his grandfather and grandmother,






THE FOREST PONY.


and generally did his best to please them-and when
he did wrong was always sorry for it afterwards. Some-
times his grandfather would say, "Ah, Davy, my boy,
it is easy at present living here with, one may say, few
temptations to do wrong, for you to be good and duti-
ful, but a day will come when you will have to battle
your way through the world, and then, my lad, you
must learn to endeavour to do right, and to please God.
That's the first thing in life-do your duty f~st to God
and then your neighbour." Mary Brown's cottage was
a picture of neatness-she was a very dean woman,
her deal table scrubbed so white, the bricked floor so
carefully sanded. In front of the cottage was a tiny.
but tidy little flower garden, full of flowers at all times
that flowers bloom-crocuses and snowdrops in spring,
and in summer roses, wallflowers, stocks, and sweet-
williams, and many sweet common plants-none sweeter
than the woodbine that almost hid the little rustic porch;.
sunflowers and dahlias also looked gay in the autumn:
sun. Beyond this little plot, which was old Brown's
pride, was a cultivated piece of ground for beans, peas,
and other vegetables, and a long slip near the wood for
potatoes. On the other side were sheds for the cow,
the old pony, and pigs, who were equally neat and tidy.
When snow covered the common, the cow and pony.






TIHE FOREST PONY.


were snugly housed, but at other times they lived among
the furze and broom-returning night and morning to
the cottage. Sometimes old Snow-drop's burden was
varied, and her load consisted of a litter of young pigs
to be sold at the market. These occasions caused great
glee to David, who assisted his grandfather in packing
the pigs in the panniers. The squeaking of the little
animals was more diverting to him than, apparently, to
old Snow-drop. She would turn her head and open her
large soft eyes, as much as to say, she preferred her
ordinary silent load of brooms to her present clamorous
burden. All days at the cottage passed much in the
same manner-Brown rose early, and family prayer
commenced each day; he then went to the woods to
cut his broom handles, or worked in a shed at the back
of the house-David assisting him by twisting the reeds
ready for binding round the brooms. But David had
other duties: there was no water nearer than a quarter
of a mile into the wood, where was a clear deep spring,
so overshadowed as to be cool on the hottest summer-
day; it formed the head of a little stream which trickled
through the wood, and increasing in size, was considered
quite a river before it reached the large town through
which it flowed. It was David's morning work to fetch
the water from the spring in a barrel his grandfather






THE FOREST PONY.


had fixed on a hand-barrow. Sometimes he had several
journeys when Mary happened to be washing or churn-
ing. He also had the care of the pony, and cut fodder
for it and the cow to lie on in winter, or for stacking
in summer ready for the winter's use. David was
never idle, his grandfather had early taught him habits
of industry, and bade him imitate the bees, so busily per-
forming their work every day over the common. Prayer
ended the day as it had begun it. If, in assisting his
grandmother to wash the plates and cups, he carelessly
broke one, he knew he should have to go without till
his grandfather's next visit to the town. He had also
his hours of recreation, when he would wander over the
common and through the forest; he knew all the wild
birds by name, and knew the nest of each, but he never
took them. David was a happy boy, and had many
advantages, though he had no young merry companions
of his own age. One summer afternoon, as Brown
was returning with a large bundle of birch twigs on his
shoulders through the forest, he paused to rest in a cleared
space that commanded a view of the little valley below,
through which the brook ran. At a short distance from
it he saw something moving, he could not at first make
out what it was, for the sun was shining in his eyes--
he put down his faggots, and going a few yards down






THE FOREST PONY.


the bank, he soon saw the object he beheld was no
other than little David, then eight years old, struggling
with, and forcing along, with all his strength, a very
young pony-foaL Young as it was, it was very strong,
and often, when by dint of great exertions he had
compelled the little animal to advance a few yards, by
a sudden jerk it would drag Davy back twice as many;
but he was not to be baffled, and old Brown watched
his perseverance with an amused smile for some minutes;
once he laughed outright, for in pulling at the halter
he had fastened to the foal's head, with all his might,
it suddenly gave a bound forward and down fell David
on his back; he did not however let go his hold of
the pony, and was up again in a minute. Brown,
however, seeing the contest was unequal and the chances
decidedly against David, left his faggots and descended
the bank to enquire why Davy was thus forcing the
pony away from its mother. David was so out of
breath from his great exertions he could hardly speak,
his little face was scarlet, and drops of perspiration
stood on his brow. As soon as he could, he informed
his grandfather he had found the poor little animal
standing by the side of its dead mother, in a hollow
half a mile up the brook. The foal appeared very
young, too young to eat grass, and from its then






THE FOREST PONY.


wretched appearance had probably been some time with-
out food. Telling David to sit down on the bank till
his return, Brown went down the path to the hollow
to look at the dead pony; he found her to be one of
very great age, milk white, and apparently she had
been dead more than one day. He returned to David,
who, with his grandfather's help, got the foal on fa-
mously, and very proud he was of his capture. Their
cow had plenty of milk, and Brown determined to try
and bring the pony up by hand, for he saw, in spite
of its lean, starved appearance, that it was a remark-
ably well-shaped little beast. David made it a nice
bed of fern in the shed, and had the satisfaction of
seeing it drink several bottles of warm milk, and lay
down quite comfortably near the cow, evidently well-
content with its new quarters.
"What shall we call the pony, Davy?" said his
grandfather, that evening, when they were sitting round
the table after supper. Many names were suggested,
and at last it was decided he was to be named
"Mousey," as his coat was the colour of a field-mouse.
A new interest was now given to David's life-the young
pony was his charge alone, it soon came to know him
well, and proved to be of a most gentle docile temper.
It was allowed its liberty on the common with old






TIE FOREST PONY.


Snow-drop and Polly, the cow. He would come gal-
loping up to David from any distance, if he heard his
voice. He proved, as Brown had anticipated, a re-
markably handsome pony. His colour deepened to a
rich dark brown, tan about his mouth and round his
fine large full eyes, his forehead wide, his nose very
small, little pointed ears, and an arched neck, with
a strong sloping shoulder, his body compact, and his
legs black; he had a very small white mark, like a
crescent moon in shape, in the centre of his forehead;
his tail and mane were long and flowing, and often
carefully combed by his little master. His pony was
his pride, and as soon as he was strong enough to
bear David's weight, he would swiftly carry him across
the common in all directions, guided alone by a rope
halter. Davy taught him to leap over the furze-bushes,
higher and higher by degrees, till at last he would not
refuse to jump over a bush as high as his own back.
Brown used constantly to warn Davy not to grow
too fond of Mousey, and would remind him the pony
was not his, and that being so handsome the price
would be far beyond what he could give to purchase
him. In three years he would be of an age to be
taken from the forest to be sold-this thought was
always painful to David: he knew his grandfather was






THE FOREST PONY.


right when he said "Davy, my boy, don't set your
heart on the pony;" but still he did, for he could
not help loving the attached little creature that loved
him so well. He tried to comfort himself by thinking
he might be overlooked, and not among those caught
for sale. The season of the year was approaching for
the drive of the wild ponies-David's heart beat fast
whenever he saw a man at a distance, fearing the
dreaded day was come, and come it did at last.





CHAPTER II.

"A thousand horse, the wild, the free,
Like waves upon the troubled sea
Came quickly thundering on."
MAZEPPA.

But before I relate to you the particulars of this
eventful day, I must tell you that another inmate had
been added to the cottage within the last six months.
Another grandchild of the Browns. Marion was the
youngest daughter of Brown's eldest son-her brothers
and sisters were all either married or at service, and her
parents dying within a short time of one another left
her homeless. She thankfully accepted the hospitable






THE FOREST PONY.


offer of her grandfather and grandmother of a home
with them. She was a quiet industrious child, but
had been neglected from being the youngest in a very
large family. She was, however, obedient and willing
to learn, and soon became of as much use to her grand-
mother as a little girl of ten years could be. She
could not read nearly as well as David, but he liked
much to instruct her in that, and in writing in the
long winter evenings which followed her arrival at the
cottage. She took all in-door work off David's hands,
and he being now eleven years old was of great use
to his grandfather in his broom-making.
One fine morning in May, as he was driving Polly
in to be milked, he saw a herd of ponies galloping
about at a distance in a very perturbed manner. Alas!
he knew what this portended-Snow-drop was feeding
with the cow, but Mousey was nowhere to be seen.
In vain David whistled and called-had he been within
hearing, and only hidden by some furze-bush, he would
have answered his call with his usual little neigh, and
soon have made his appearance; but, nol like a giddy
young colt, he had joined in what he considered
a frolic with some young companions, and was soon
within )&M ring formed by his captors. Presently
David saw several men on horseback, with long






THE FOREST PONY.


hunting whips, who were surrounding the herd of ponies.
His eyes filled with tears, and with a heavy heart he
turned towards home. His hope that his beloved pony
would escape being among the number caught was
growing less and less. Old Brown had observed what
was going on, and when he came in to breakfast said
"Cheer up, Davy, my man, we will go after breakfast
to the pens and see the ponies caught, and we must
hope Mousey will get a kind master." David could
hardly swallow a mouthful for the choking sobs that
would come in spite of all his efforts to "behave like
a man," as his grandfather bade him. Brown and
David set off-if it had not been that his heart was
so full, anticipating the approaching separation from
his favourite, the sight would have greatly interested the
little boy. The scared wild ponies galloping to and
fro, striving to pass the boundary formed by their
mounted captors, who, with shouts and cracking of
whips turned them in their attempts to leap the barrier.
Dogs barking, ponies neighing-it was an animating
scene. Some fortunate ones did escape, and fled off
like the wind across the common, to liberty and their
beloved forest; but, alas Davy's favourite was not
among the happy fugitives; he was far too tihe and
broken in, and though he galloped with the rest at
S '






THE FOREST PONY.


first for fun, he was soon described by the quick eye of
David, safely confined in one of the pens. Several
farmers were standing round him, admiring his finely-
formed head and neck, and well-made limbs. Poor
Davy I he wished from his heart, at that minute, that
his dear pony had had a great clumsy head, straight
shoulders, and crooked legs!
"Well, he is a beauty," said one man, "he'll fetch
ten pounds, unbroken, any day." "Such strength too,
and only a three-year-old," said another, looking into
his mouth. "I'd give as much as ten pounds, I
think," said the first speaker, "he would run so nice
in my cart." David's heart beat very fast, he did not
at all like the thoughts of his pony belonging to either
of these men. Presently the farmers stood aside to
make way for a gentleman who appeared with a man,
who was apparently a bailiff. "This is the pony, Sir
John," said he, "that I was mentioning to you; he is
a perfect picture, I've had my eye on him some months
past." David looked eagerly at the gentleman, and
liked his appearance very much, there was such a kind
noble expression on his face. "He is a fine little
fellow," said Sir John, as he stroked Mousey's sleek
sides; "but he appears quite broken 4, and in much
better condition than the rest, he has:hot been worked,






THE FOREST PONY.


has he?" looking down at his slim, well-made legs.
"Oh, no! Sir John," replied the man, "not worked,
but partly broke, as one may say, by a lad that lives
on the common. The mare died when this foal was
born, and they brought him up on cow's milk." The
proprietor of the ponies now came out, and touching
his hat to Sir John, who was a gentleman living about
fifteen miles off, and well known, he said, "Fine pony,
Sir John, the best of the lot-if you are wanting one
for the young master-gentle as a lamb already."
Mousey was now taken out of the enclosure, and a
bridle put upon his head. "Find me a youngster who
can sit a pony, to show his paces," said the bailiff.
"I can, sir," said Davy, eagerly springing forward, fear-
ful any one but himself should have the office, and
catching his beloved pony round the neck, he was
greeted by a low neigh of recognition, which well nigh
made poor Davy burst into tears; but he choked them
down-he must show off his favourite, and as they
must part, he would far rather he went to the grand
stables at Wentworth Hall than else-where. He had
heard of good Sir John Wentworth from his grand-
father, who had once lived with Sir John's father. He
was on the pony's back in a moment. "Now, my lad,
try your skill," said Sir John, trot up that green glade






THE FOREST PONY.


and back, then canter." David did as he was bid,
sitting as if he were a part of the pony; then again
riding up the avenue, he returned at full speed, and
putting the pony's head towards the hurdles round the
enclosure, with one word of encouragement the gallant
little animal sprang over, and in an instant stood as
quiet as a lamb within the pen. A shout of applause,
at this feat, caused David's cheek to crimson, and
slipping off, he hid his face in the pony's flowing mane,
and in spite of all his endeavours, burst into tears.
He kissed Mousey's soft brown ears, while. his dumb
playfellow rubbed his head upon him as much as to
say "we did that well, Davy." "Well, Sir John,"
said the man, "I think now you will not quarrel with
the price, fifteen pounds is the lowest I take." Sir
John was not aware that three pounds had been added
on since the pony's wonderful leap. However, though
it was certainly an exorbitant price for an unbroken
forest pony, Sir John had been much pleased with his
paces and docility, and to secure a good safe pony for
his beloved and only son, he would have given twenty
pounds. Going up to the little animal, he remarked
the tearful face of the bold little rider. "What is the
matter," he kindly enquired, "are you hurt?" "No,
sir," replied David, trying to steady his voice, "but,






THE FOREST PONY.


sir, I've had him these three years, and. he knows me
so well, and, sir, its hard to part." And the tears
rolled fast down his cheeks in spite of the presence of
Sir John. But he was a kind-hearted man, and pleased
with the feeling David showed at parting with his
pony; he patted him kindly on the shoulder and asked
him where he lived, and what his grandfather's occu-
pation was. Here Brown joined the group, and Sir
John listened with interest to the account given by
the intelligent old man, and of David's devotion to the
pony. Davy was still fondling Mousey, with a very
sorrowful heart, when Sir John said, "Well, my boy,
what do you say to coming to be my servant, and
having the care of your favourite still-I am looking
out for a lad in the stable-will you come? David's
eyes glistened with delight, and his heart bounded at
the idea. "Oh, yes, Sir, I should like it so much"-
then catching his grandfather's eye, his countenance
changed, and he added, "but I cannot leave grand-
father." Sir John turned to Brown and explained the
advantage it would be to the boy, who was evidently
too quick and clever a lad to spend all his life making
brooms on the common. Brown saw the truth of all
he said, but he could not decide so hastily: there was
much to be thought of. David stood by, anxiously






THE FOREST PONY.


listening to every word. The plan had great charms
for him, to have the charge of his own dear
Mousey, to be good Sir John's servant, to see his
pony's beautiful head graced with a new bridle-these
thoughts filled his mind while his grandfather and Sir
John conversed. At length it was decided that Brown
was to have three days to think about it, and if he
should then accept the situation for David he was to
bring him over to Wentworth Hall that day week,
when he would settle about his wages. It was with a
lightened heart that David gave Mousey a last kiss on
his small tan nose, and saw him led off by Sir John's
groom, for there was something in his grandfather's
face which made him hope his decision would be in
favour of the place. They walked home almost in
silence-the old man in deep thought. He was weigh-
ing the advantages against the objections he had to
the arrangement-a boy in a large stable establishment,
such as the one at the Hall, was placed in the midst
of many temptations-his Davy had had but few as
yet; none, he might almost say-had he, though a
good boy, strength of mind to resist the bad examples
he might see around him; not to be led into evil,
lying, and swearing?-But then, again, he must look
on the other side-he and his wife were growing old-






THE FOREST PONY.


Davy would sooner or later be left without their pro-
tection-he must, some time or other, encounter these
dangers-he had to make his own way in the world-
was it right to raise objections when such a good
place was offered to the boy? He knew Sir John was
a good man, and did not neglect the morals of his
dependants-he also knew something of the coachman
at the Hall, he was sober and steady, and his wife
a kind motherly woman, who would, he doubted not,
take a little charge of the boy. As Brown came in
sight of his cottage he had made up his mind that it
was his duty to part with David, and he hoped to
bring his wife to his own view of the matter. Davy's
meditations on his way home were not so clear,
they were mixed up with such a variety of subjects
and feelings that they puzzled himself: thoughts of
leaving his dear home on the common, his grandfather,
grandmother, and Marion-even the old pony and the
cow-these were all sad; but then to be Sir John's
groom, perhaps wear a smart livery, and to have
wages! and send part of them home to grandfather,
how delightful that would be!
As Brown had anticipated, his wife at first brought
forward many objections.-" What would her husband
ever do without the boy, and he growing old, and






THE FOREST PONY.


perhaps not much longer able to cut his wood from
the forest?" But after awhile, confident in his supe-
rior sense, she agreed that it was best that Davy should
leave them, and thus it was finally settled.





CHAPTER III.

"Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow,
Farewell to the glens and, gxeen valleys below,
Farewell to the forest and wild hanging woods,
Farewell to the torrents and loud pouring floods."
BURNs.

The ensuing week was a busy one-David's scanty
wardrobe looked over and neatly mended, and he received
many a word of good advice from his grandfather, who
pointed out the dangers and temptations he would assur-
edly meet with. Impressing on him the importance of
remembering God saw him at all times-never to tell a
lie or hide a fault-never to allow himself to be
laughed out of any duty, such as going to Church
regularly, and saying his prayers night and morning-
to be scrupulously honest, and never even to connive
at any pilfering action, or by silence, become a partaker
in the sin. David listened very attentively to advice
like this, and promised, with tears in his eyes, never






THE POREBT PONY.


to forget his dear grandfather's words. The morning
of departure came, and with sorrowful hearts Mrs.
Brown and Marion watched the old white pony, with
Davy on his back, till they became like a speck in the
distance. Old Brown trudged by his side the first ten
miles, and then David insisted ou his riding the re-
maining five. On arriving at the lodge gates, the
little boy felt rather frightened, and the thought that
he was to be left there, among utter strangers, away
from all he loved, made his heart sink, and he felt he
would gladly turn back and go home with his grand-
father. The stables appeared to be a grand mansion.
The coachman spoke kindly, and reassured David by tell-
ing him that if he was a good obedient boy, he had
no doubt they would get on very well together. He
also told Brown his wife would look after him a bit,
and mend his clothes. Davy thought he never should
tire of looking at the' beautiful horses in the stables,
their sleek shining coats and deep straw beds. His
own dear pony too I he had a place of honour in this
palace of a stable! There were five stalls, Mousey
was in one, in the two next were the Misses Went-
worth's riding horses, then Sir John's and one that the
coachman rode on after the young ladies; the four fine
carriage horses were in another stable.







THE FOREST PONY.


While standing in admiration at his favourite's com-
fortable quarters, Davy heard a step behind him, and
turning, saw Sir John and his little boy. He was a
fair delicate-looking child of nine years old, with the
same sweet expression his father possessed. Sir John
told David he was to be Master Wentworth's groom,
and to have the entire charge of his pony, to saddle
and bridle him, and bring him round to the front door
every afternoon. He was to have a groom's livery,
and he hoped he would keep the pony in perfect order.
He further told him that he had had a horse-breaker
to try the little animal and see if it required further
training before his son rode it, but the man had said
he never saw a more gentle tractable pony, and that a
young child might with safety be placed on his back-
"So David," he concluded, "to-morrow, at two o'clock,
you will bring the pony to the door, all ready for your
master, and mind to be in the way on his return, to
take it back to the stables."
After Brown had settled with Sir John about David's
wages, he had his dinner, and old Snow-drop hers.
The time came when he must part with his boy-the
tears stood in the old man's eyes, and fell fast from
David's. They were standing in the stall beside the
pony, and Brown, laying his hand on its back, said






THE FOREST PONY.


"Davy, when you caught this pony, wild and free on
the common, we called you a strong courageous little
fellow, but, my boy, remember your namesake David
in the Bible could have done none of his mighty deeds
without the help of God-he slew the lion and the
bear, but it was God gave him the strength-and
mind, my son, in all the trials of the world we can
do nothing of ourselves. You must ask God to help
you to be a good boy-you will see much here to
tempt you to do wrong, I dare say, but never think
you can of yourself keep in the right way-pray, my
boy, pray to the good God to keep you the good
truthful boy you are now, and the Almighty will be
your friend." With these words Brown left him, and
a burst of tears were shed on the pony's mane. Sud-
denly hearing Snow-drop's footsteps, Davy started off
to see the last of his grandfather. The old pony so
elated by the unusual treat of a very plentiful feed of
corn, was actually attempting a sort of lame canter,
which, however, was more like a trot with an occasional
hop. David watched till the last glimpse of her white
tail disappeared through the trees of the park-he then
turned away and a very forlorn, sorrowful feeling crept
over his heart-he sat down on the corn bin and fixed
his eyes on Mousey, he was his only comfort, just then






THE FOREST PONY.


munching his hay and looking extremely contented.
Presently a cheerful woman's voice addressed him,
"Come, my lad, don't fret, come and have a cup of
tea-you'll be very happy here in a day or two." He
followed the coachman's wife up to her room, and soon
got quite sociable with her and her two little girls.
The days now flew swiftly by-David was very happy,
he found his work easy and pleasant, for he was used
to work; but he had plenty to do. His heart beat
fast with exultation when he saw his dear pony equip-
ped in a nice new saddle and bridle cantering along
the park with his little master, accompanied by his
elder sisters and his papa. David's occupations on
Sunday never prevented him from attending Church
twice, and he did so in spite of some temptations from
a boy of the name of Dick Waters, who acted as
helper in the stables. He lived at his own home in the
village, but came every day to the Hall to work. He
was three or four years David's senior, he was a bad
boy, though neither Sir John nor Roberts, the coach-
man, knew it. He soon tried to lead David into
mischief, such as begging him to come and take a walk
with him on Sunday afternoon, instead of going a
second time to Church, and ridiculing him when David
steadily resisted. His grandfather's advice was yet






THE FOREST PONY.


fresh in his memory; besides, he was a well-disposed
boy, and liked going to Church. Thus passed several
months. His grandfather had been once to see him,
and it did the old man's heart good to hear Roberts
and his wife give his dear boy an excellent character-
"A better boy had never entered the stable," they
said. When Christmas came, David got leave to spend
two days at home. This was indeed a great delight
to him. His grandfather came for him the day before
Christmas-day, and it was the very greatest pleasure
he had ever felt, when he presented his grandmother
with a nice piece of beef for the next day's dinner,
bought out of his own wages; also a warm shawl for
her and Marion, and a comforter for his grandfather.
David was a proud happy boy that day. His grand-
mother and Marion never tired admiring his well-fitted
suit of groom's clothes, but above all, they rejoiced
in the good character every one at the Hall gave him.
Perhaps David was a little up-lifted by all this
praise. Human nature is always apt to think too well
of itself. He forgot to give thanks to God from whom
cometh all good things. He did not sufficiently mis-
trust his own power of doing well. I'm afraid David was
growing vain, and began to consider himself much better
than other people, and instead of being thankful at








THE FOREST PONY.


having been kept from falling into temptation, he was
rather too apt to censure others. How often God
suffers the self-confident to fall into sin that they may
see their own utter weakness.
I have told you that Dick was a bad boy- he was
also very jealous that David got so much praise, while
he was constantly blamed for negligence and dis-
obedience. For a long while his persuasions failed in
making David do anything he knew to be wrong.
He had boldly one day told Dick that if he took his
pocket-handkerchief home full of oats to his mother's
donkey (which he had discovered he had done several
times) he would at once tell the coachman. Dick
called him a tell-tale, and worse names than that, but
he saw David was determined, and though he replaced
the corn, he hated David from that day, and deter-
mined to lead him to do some action which would
lower him in the favour of all his friends.
It was now more than a year since David had been
at the Hall. He had not seen his grandmother since
the Christmas we have mentioned. November had
come again, and he began to hope that he should get
leave to go and pay them a visit at home. It hap-
pened, one morning all the family were gone out to
some distance to spend the day-some riding, others






THE FOBBST PONY.


in the carriage-every horse was out of the stable
but Mousey, and every groom but Davy and Dick.
They were not expected home till late, for though
November, it was beautiful bright weather. Nine
o'clock was striking as they all left the Hall.
"Well, David, what are you going to do with your-
self all day P Come with me, my lad, and we will
have some fun." Davy knew what Dick styled "fun,"
and it did not suit him, so he answered that he should
find plenty to do, he had to exercise the pony, clean
the saddle and bridle, and get the stables ready for
the other horses when they returned. Then he added,
"I wish home was nearer, I would walk over and see
grandmother." "Why not ride P" suggested Dick.
"Because I must not use other people's ponies," re-
plied David. "Nonsense," said Dick, "you say the
pony must be exercised-canter over and see your
grandmother, you'll be back two hours before the
horses come in, I'll say nothing." Conscience told
Davy anything that was to be hidden could not be
straight forward and right, so he replied slowly, "No,
no, I must not do it, it would not be right." "Right,"
responded Dick, jeeringly, "why the pony has not been
out of the stables for three days, and wants a good
gallop. What matter if you go there or go the same





THE FOREST PONY.


distance round about the park, you would be there
in two hours-it would do the pony all the good in
the world-he gets fat and lazy with little master's
riding." Oh! Davyl Davy! you have begun to listen
to the tempter instead of conscience-Beware He
knew very well there was an immense difference, and
so did Dick, but he wished to lead David to do what
he knew, if discovered, would bring him into trouble,
and he also determined it should be known. "Grand-
mother would be so pleased to see the pony again,"
thought Davy; "I could ride there under two hours-
wait two-and be back here before dark." He hesi-
tated, and Dick saw it. "Come now, go," said he,
"I'll do up the stables-go and see them all at home."
"After all," said David, "I dare say if I had asked
the coachman he would have given me leave." "To
be sure, he would," said Dick. "It's a pity his wife
is not at home," said David, "Iwould have asked her
what she thought?" "It will be all right," said Dick,
"make haste, the sooner you go the earlier you'll be
home." The still small voice of conscience was stifled.
Dick, exulting inwardly at the success of his plan, with
great apparent good nature, helped to prepare the
pony, and before ten o'clock, Davy was cantering briskly
down the park. "Ah," said Dick to himself, as he






THE FOREST PONY.


watched his victim's retreating figure, "if you don't
catch it for this, my young master! You won't be
trusted again in a hurry. Now only get him to hide
it, and then deny it-and a fig for your place, my
boy." He then turned into the stable, hastily prepared
it for the horses on their return, and took his way off
to the village, to spend the remainder of the day in
idleness and gambling with other bad boys.
Poor Davy, he little knew what a plot had been laid
against him, and though the ride was very delightful
in the clear bright morning air, he did not thoroughly
enjoy it. When he gained the edge of the common,
and could see afar off the blue smoke curling from the
chimney of his own happy home, he let the reins drop
idly on the pony's neck to see if the instinct of the
little beast would lead him to his former abode at the
end of a year and more. Pricking up his ears and
sniffing the air of the fresh common as if he recog-
nised the scene of his younger days, with a playful
toss of his head, his long mane and tail flying in the
winds, he started off at a full gallop, jumping any
intervening furze-bushes, and unguided by whip or
rein, in a very short time, stood panting at the cottage
door. A shout of welcome burst from Marion who
was cleaning the door-step, and he was soon in his
C





THE FOREST PONY.


grandmother's arms. He said the family were out,
and he had the day to himself, and had come over
for two hours to see them all. No one for a moment
suspected that their good Davy was riding his master's
pony without permission. Mousey's coat was very thin
for he had been singed-his eager gallop had made
him warm. There was only the shed to put him in-
David quite forgot he was not now the hardy Forest
Pony he was a year ago, he had been pampered in a
warm stable with clothing on, and even his natural
defence against the cold, his shaggy coat, taken from
him. In David's delight at seeing his grandmother
and Marion, he hastily tied up the pony in the shed,
forgetting even to put any covering over his smoking
sides! Marion soon summoned old Brown-had he
known the truth, his reception of his grandson would
have been very different from what it was, as David
well knew. In spite of his happiness at seeing them
all, there was just a something that alloyed his
pleasure. The allotted two hours flew swiftly by, and
when he enquired what o'clock it was he found it was
nearly three! He had stayed longer than he intended.
What if the family had returned earlier than was
expected? Hurrying over his good-byes, and mounting
the pony, he set off full gallop across the common.





THE FOREST PONY.


The fine bright morning had turned to a thick foggy
afternoon-November days are short-David had not
got half-way home before darkness came rapidly on,
the wind blew cold and keen, and one part of the
way lay through a long muddy lane, full of ruts and
stones; he had to go slowly here, and haunted by the
fear of the carriage and horses arriving before him, he
felt very uneasy. In the morning, with the bright sun
shining over his head, he had been able to pick his
way along this stony lane, now it was so dark he
could not see distinctly any object in the road. The
pony made several bad stumbles, and once, slipping
sideways off a large stone, twisted one of his hind
legs and all but fell. At last the lane was passed and
the high-road gained, and again Davy put the pony
into a swift canter, and never drew rein till he reached
the stable gate. No one was about-he was safe, and
most thankful did he feel-he knew it was more than
he deserved-and Mousey was soon safe in his stall,
his legs washed, his coat dressed, and his corn in his
manger. Davy was, however, surprised to see he did
not appear at all hungry, even for his oats, of which
he generally was so fond, he snuffed them over and
would not eat them. He had only had a little hay at
the cottage, so David could not understand it. The





THE FOREST PONY.


truth was, the pony had caught a violent cold from
standing in the open shed when very hot, with a keen
wind blowing upon him; he had got a chill, and in-
flammation had already commenced. David had only
just completed his work when he heard wheels ap-
proaching. The family had returned much earlier than
was expected, from the fear of the fog increasing
towards night. Davy was only just home in time!
All was in order, and he stood with the lantern in his
hand at the gate, ready to help in any way required
with the other horses. The carefulness with which he
had emptied the pail in which he had washed the
pony's legs, and the tidiness with which he had re-
placed the brush and curry-comb, all showed that
David never intended to acknowledge his fault, but to
hide it most carefully. He had gone back many many
steps since morning, from the truthful, straightforward
David. So surely does one sin lead to more. "Where's
Dick?" said the coachman. "Gone home, I think,"
replied David. "Lazy dog," said the coachman, "well,
here Davy, take Miss Wentworth's horse." David was
too glad to be employed to drown certain uncomfort-
able feelings. He several times said to himself, "I'll
never do such a thing again." For an hour he was
busily employed, but constantly glancing at the pony,






THE FOREST PONY.


he observed he was very fidgetty and restless, and
every now and then gave a short cough; he feared the
coachman's quick eye would see that he was not yet
quite cooL Presently the coachman sent Davy up
stairs to tell his wife (who was just returned home)
to get his tea ready for him. While he was gone,
another cough from the pony attracted the coachman's
attention. "What are you coughing for?" he said,
going into the stall, "why, what's the matter, not eat
your corn?" At this moment Davy returned, his
heart sank as he saw the coachman standing by the
side of little Mousey. "What is the matter with the
pony, David," he exclaimed, "he has not touched a
grain of his oats, and, my gracious," he added, "if
he isn't as wet as if he had been in the pond-he
must be very ill." David's face of speechless conster-
was attributed by the coachman to grief for his
favourite's illness. The quick breathing, the hot ears,
and parched mouth, all bespoke inflammation. Oh I
Davy, Davy, why did you not then own all? That
was the moment, but he let it pass-his coward
human nature failed, though he bitterly regretted it
afterwards. David was silent except in expressions of
commiseration for his dear pony-he was the cause of
all. The draught in the cold shed on the common





THE FOREST PONY.


now crossed his mind. Alas! now he only hoped
Dick would not betray him. How lowered was the
truthful David, in the power of a bad boy like Dick.
The coachman instantly bled the pony, and probably
by this saved his life. Had he not observed that he
was ill, and had shut up the stables till morning, the
little animal would in all probability have died. Early
the next morning, when Davy entered the stables, the
coachman told him he had been up most of the night
with poor little Mousey, he was a little better, but still
in great pain. The veterinary surgeon came, and
Davy heard the coachman tell him of the wonderful
state of heat he had found him in at seven o'clock the
preceding evening, after having been quietly in the
stable all day! And David stood by and said nothing.
He felt how difficult it was the night before to confess
-in the morning it was impossible. "But what is
this ?" said the doctor, pointing to one of his hocks
which was dreadfully swollen and appeared very pain-
ful. "How did this happen ? Well it is unac-
countable, and here is David," added the coachman,
"who was at home all day, and can say he has not
been out since the day before yesterday." Another
chance for poor Davy, but no, he caught Dick's eye,
who was standing in the door-way. He could not






THE FOREST PONY.


understand the look of malignant triumph in the smile
he gave, as he walked away, whistling-but it said,
"Ah, my boy, you are in my power." The surgeon
led out the pony, and found him dead lame from a
very bad sprain. The coachman, looking thoughtful,
said "If I did not know, Davy, that you were a good
truthful boy, I should say that young scamp, Dick,
had had the pony out and been playing tricks with
him." "Oh, no," said Davy, feeling he must make
some answer, "I'm sure Dick has had nothing to do
with it." This was David's first prevarication, which
is next door to a lie. The pony's leg was fomented
and bandaged-and David, miserable and unhappy,
regretted now with all his heart, that he had not told
the truth at onec. Sir John and his little boy visited
the pony and expressed much concern-David could
not bear their remarks, and shrunk off to the other
end of the yard. When Sir John left the stables, Dick
entered, and, going up to the coachman, said in a low
voice, "I don't want my name mentioned, but I think
I can guess how the pony was lamed. As I was up
in the loft yesterday, I saw David go out about ten,
as I thought, exercising, but he had the saddle and
bridle on the pony; and all I know is, he wasn't home
at half-past four, when I went back to the village."





THE FOREST PONY.


"I don't believe a word of it," said the coachman,
"David never told me a lie since he has been in these
stables." Dick sneered and said "He's no better nor
his neighbours," and walked out of the stables.




CHAPTER IV.

"Thy forehead yet awhile must bear
His wrathful mark, but alms of prayer
And penance true and stern
May wear it out."
LyRA INNoENTErM.

Little thinking that Dick had betrayed him, David,
a short time after, returned to attend to his work.
As he entered the stables, the coachman fixed his eyes
on him-"What did you do with yourself all yesterday,
David?" he asked. "Oh," said David, growing very
red, "I cleaned up the stables in the morning, and
different things during the day, and you all came back
earlier than I expected, and I had plenty to do."
The hesitating manner, the heightened colour of the
boy, looked very like guilt, but still the coachman
hoped his favourite was not the culprit. "David,"
said he, "are you telling me the truth? Did, or did
you not, take that pony out of the stable yesterday,






THE FOREST PONY.


and remain out till five o'clock? David knew now
Dick had betrayed him-all was discovered He was
not so hardened as to persist even in prevarication,
but bursting into tears, he sobbed so violently for some
time that the coachman could hardly connect the tale he
now so truthfully told. He was very angry-disap-
pointment in the boy making him even more so. He
went at once to Sir John and related every thing to
him. He was also much surprised, and considered the
original fault of taking the pony out thirty miles,
without leave, most reprehensible, but hiding the act
and denying it, added ten-fold to the misdemeanor.
Anything approaching deceit was never overlooked by
Sir John. He was justly angry with David for laming
his son's pony, probably rendering it useless for weeks,
and he determined to make an example of him, and
in spite of the coachman pleading that it was a first
offence, Sir John desired him to send him back to his
grandfather's without delay, as he had lost his good
opinion for ever. When David heard this severe
sentence he thought his heart would break- and then
the recollection of his grandfather's sorrow! The dis-
grace of returning home, having forfeited his place,
lost his character and the good opinion of all I Branded
as a liar! Had Sir John known the whole truth he






THE FOREST PONY.


might not have acted so harshly, but he considered
the affair, from beginning to end, as a piece of pre-
meditated deception, and that a boy who could act
in such a manner would do worse. Some times kind-
hearted and sensible people do a rash thing, and act
too hastily, without duly investigating, and the true
culprit, in that way, may escape for a time, while the
one led astray suffers. Such was the case with Dick
and David. You may imagine the consternation and
grief felt at the cottage when late next evening Davy
appeared. He came half-way by a carrier's cart and
walked the rest. Grief it was indeed to his grand-
parents to hear of the fall of their beloved child, for
he hid nothing. However his sorrow and repentance
seemed so sincere that they trusted he had received
a lesson he might never forget. The loss of such a
good place too, was very serious, but nothing compared
to his loss of character. Days passed, but Davy's de-
pression continued-thoughts of all his kind friends
at the Hall, and above all of his pony. No day passed
without a burst of grief, whenever he was alone in the
forest-and at last it began to tell upon his health-
he looked sad and pale, all his usual spirit and activity
seemed gone-he would sit hours without speaking,
and not even Marion's gentle persuasions could make






THE FOREST PONY.


him exert himself in any way. Old Brown began to
think Sir John had been too harsh and hasty in his
dismissal of David, considering it was a first offence,
and he thought he would go himself to the Hall and
plead for the boy. A month passed, and Christmas
came, but not the merry time of the preceding year.
No piece of beef, bought with Davy's wages, greeted
their eyes on Christmas-day-no merry faces round the
homely table. Mrs. Brown was very ill, entirely con-
fined to her bed, and suffering great pain, night and
day. The snow lay several feet deep on the common,
and a dark leaden-coloured appearance over the sky,
threw a gloom over everything. Brown had not been
able to go to the town to sell his brooms, and their
little stock of provisions was getting very low. Marion
waited on Mrs. Brown like a daughter, and when she
was employed in household duties, David would sit
by the bed-side and read the Bible to his grand-
mother. One day, while thus employed, recollections
of his disgrace came across him,' and suddenly stop-
ping, his full heart burst forth, and laying his head
on the bed, he gave way to most bitter tears-"Oh!
grandmother, I cannot bear it any longer," cried poor
Davy, "do you not think if grandfather was to go
over to the Hall and say how very very sorry I am,






THE FOREST PONY.


that good Sir John would pardon me?" "He is a
strict man, and loves the truth, my child," replied his
grandmother, "and though a kind-hearted gentleman,
he will not be deceived." "But, grandmother, if he
knew all he might forgive me. The Great God for-
gives sinners, grandmother, and if Sir John knew how
I repent, and how I do pray to God to help me-I
know I deserved punishment, but I should never, never
forget this, and I would try and try, oh! so truly to
please!" "Your grandfather did talk of going, when
the snow goes," said Mrs. Brown, "we will talk to
him about it when he comes in."
At this minute, the door of the room, which had
been ajar, was gently pushed open, and Sir John
Wentworth stood before the astonished David.




CHAPTER V.

Have we not sinn'd, and sin must be by pain aton'd.
Thrice happy in repentance school
So early taught and tried."
LynA INNOCENTUM.

We must now see what caused Sir John's sudden
appearance at the cottage in the forest. A few days
before he had been walking, some distance from
r






THE FOREST PONY.


home, when. he was overtaken by a severe hail-
storm; he took shelter in a shed in the corner of a
field; it was a double shed, and opened also into the
next field, that the cattle in each might have a place
of retreat in very severe weather. The partition
between was merely open planks. Sir John had not
been many minutes in one side, when he heard two
people rush breathlessly into the other shed, for the
same purpose as himself, taking shelter from the storm.
The first words he heard arrested his attention, for he
knew the voice to be that of Dick Waters-he was
accompanied by another lad about his own age-"Well,
this is a storm," said Dick, "but let's sit down here,
and I'll tell you how it was I got Mr. Davy
turned off-oh! it was such fun, but he was such a
spooney, he never told of me! Well, you know I
always hated him, he was far too good, and I tried,
and tried, but never succeeded in making him stay
away from Church once; and, would you believe it,
he thought taking a bird's nest cruel; and then, when
I was going to take away a little pinch of oats for
Neddy, mother's donkey, he up and said he'd go at
once and tell coachman, for it was stealing! However,
I got it when he wasn't looking." "Well," said the
other boy, "and how did you manage it at last?"





THE FOREST PONY.


"I'll tell you-it was such fun You know, he was
so precious fond of his grandfather and grandmother,
and was always bringing up what they said and all
they taught him-well, every one went out one day
from the stables but Davy and me, and so says Davy,
'How I wish grandfather's cottage was near, that I
might walk over and see them all.' 'Well then,' I
said, 'why not take the pony?' No, no, he would
not hear of it, but by degrees I persuaded him. Ha,
ha, I knew what it would lead to-I did it for that 1
But it was hard work though, he had so many reasons
why it wasn't right, but I told him I knew if he had
asked leave he would have got it, and that the pony
wanted exercise, and he would be back long before
the rest. Well he afterwards told me he was miser-
able all day-but that was not my affair-and then
too frightened to own it when he found the pony was
ill and lamed; but next day, like a fool, he told all,
and lost his place. Ha, ha, how pleased I was I and
then I slipped into it. And I wonder how Master
Davy would have liked to see the flogging I gave his
precious pony out exercising this morning. I wanted
him to jump the iron hurdles into the paddock, I
know he. can jump a furze-bush higher-he beat me
this morning, but he shan't again, I can tell him,






THE FOREST PONY.


for I've got a pair of spurs from Ned Jones, and I'll
put them on next time, and won't I make him go over
the hurdles in a pretty hurry." Sir John waited to
hear no more, but quitting the shed, he jumped over
the fence between the two fields, and in a minute
stood before the guilty Dick. Seizing him by the
collar, he shook him with all his force-"Never shall
you have the power, you young scoundrel, to ill-use
an animal in my stables again; I've heard every word
you have said, and not an hour longer shall you re-
main in my service. So you thought you had suc-
ceeded in your evil designs against a good honest boy,
you now find you are mistaken." And having a light
cane in his hand, Sir John gave Dick a more severe
flogging than he had ever received in his life. When
Sir John had related all that he had heard to the
coachman, he rejoiced to think that he should have
his favourite, David, back; he had grown really fond
of the boy, and had missed him in many ways. More-
over, he had lately suspected that Dick was rough,
and did not use the pony well, for he appeared shy
and skittish, which temper he had never shown before
when David had the charge of him. Accordingly, the
following morning, Sir John ordered his horse, and in
spite of the deep snow, he rode over the common to






THE FOREST PONY.


Brown's cottage, and fastening his horse up in the
shed, he entered without any one perceiving him,
for Marion was gone to her grandfather, in the wood,
for some faggots: the kitchen therefore was empty,
but Sir John heard voices in the room beyond-he
heard David reading the Bible to his grandmother,
and not wishing to interrupt him, he listened till he
had finished. He then heard the burst of grief which
had overpowered the repentant boy, and not unmoved
did he hear his broken sentences of sorrow and earnest
wishes for forgiveness. He felt he had acted too
hastily, but all now should be remedied. He entered
as we have already seen, and appeared before the
astonished David. "I am sorry you are so ill, Mrs.
Brown," he said, "and I am afraid you will not thank
me for coming to carry away your good nurse here,"
and he laid his hand kindly on Davy's head. How
Davy's heart bounded at these words! His prayer
had been heard-his repentance accepted
"Now, my lad," said Sir John, "tell me from
beginning to end, how it all happened, about your
taking out the pony that day; now take your time,
do not be frightened, I know all, and the hand Dick
Waters had in it: but I wish to hear the story
from you, of all that passed between you, every





THE FOREST PONY.


thing as it happened." Thus reassured, David did
tell Sir John every thing, he did not spare himself,
but truthfully confessed the temptation was too strong.
His wish to spare Dick as much as possible, only
prepossessed Sir John more in his favour. He ac-
quainted Davy with the way in which he had dis-
covered the part that bad boy had had in the affair.
David was much shocked-"Why did he wish to
injure me?" said he. "Because the wicked always
desire to see others as bad as themselves," replied
Sir John; "but Davy, my boy, I trust this will be
a lesson you will never forget. Recollect how one
little sin, one departure from duty, brings on many,
many more-once begin to prevaricate, and the next
step will be falsehood." "Oh, sir," said his grand-
mother, "I am sure he will never forget the punish-
ment he has had, but, as his grandfather has often
told him, it would in the end work together for
his good,"
Old Brown was truly happy When he returned to
dinner, to hear the glad news. He told Sir John,
bluntly, he had been too hasty. "I own it, Brown,"
said Sir John, "but I hate deceit; moreover, I have
had a lesson as well as David, and be must come
back to-morrow."
D


46




0


46 THE FOREST PONY.

lie then took his leave. His visit had indeed done
wonders-Mrs. Brown got better from that hour, and
thought she could get up to her tea. The bright
happy smile came back to David's face that had not
been seen for more than a month. Marion bustled
about with her countenance beaming with joy, and old
Brown was full of pieces of good advice and caution
for future conduct.





CHAPTER VI.

"Once more the future, bright with joy appears,
Forgotten now, all sorrow, grief, and tears;
But watchful still for faults of future years."

By Sir John's advice, Dick's father sent him to
sea: David therefore was spared the pain of seeing
him but once after his return to the Hall, when the
wicked boy vowed he would yet some day be re-
venged on him. He little knew that would never be
in his power, the ship he sailed in was supposed to
be wrecked, as she was never heard of again. Though
Mrs. Brown lived to see another Christmas-day, and
to eat David's beef, with her family around her, she
soon after had another attack of illness, which carried





THU FORBioT PONY.


her to the grave. David was with her at the last;
when all hope was over, his kind master had allowed
him to remain at the cottage. Soon after her death,
the stable lodge became vacant, and Sir John offered
it to Brown. It was thankfully accepted, and he and
Marion were soon established there. David never
forgot his first falsehood and its conseqtenees-he
never told a lie again. It was well for him Sir John
had been so severe-had his first fault been over-
looked, or not discovered, David might have beooee
a second Dick in deceit. Thus correction is ever
sent for our good. Brown lived to be a very old
man. The young ladies at the Hall often paid him
a visit, for they said they never went to see him
without learning some thing good. The Church was
so near he was enabled t6 attend Divine Serviee twice
every Sunday, until too feeble to leave the house. For
a few days he kept his bed, but all his faculties
were preserved to the last, and he died in David's
arms, happy and peaceful. Soon after his death,
David married Marion; he was then head groom,
and after a few years, the coachman, who was grow-
ing old and rheumatic, retired to keep a stall shop
in the village, and David, though a very young man
for such a responsible place, was at once made head-


4.





THE FOBBEST PONY.


coachman. Sir John never had cause to change his
good opinion he formed of David, he was an honest
faithful servant.
And now one last word of little Mousey, the pony:
when his young master grew too big to ride him, his
two little brothers called Mousey their own, and after
that his work was only occasional and every easy.
The two elder Misses Wentworth married, but often
came to the Hall to visit their father, with their
children, and then it was Mousey's gentle work to
carry the babies in a pair of panniers; and when older,
the children of this generation also learnt to ride on
the old forest pony's broad back. With such slight
work, he lived to the great age of thirty years. Every
care was taken of the old favourite, indeed Marion
used sometimes laughingly to say, that David loved the
old pony like one of his children.-He certainly came
next in David's affections. His teeth were all worn
down, but David gave him soft mashes and gruel-he
had a warm comfortable bed, and remained sleek and
fat to the last. One day, though he refused to eat,
David tried to tempt him with some soaked bread, but
he would not eat it: next morning, when he entered
the stable, Mousey was lying down, there was no little
neigh of greeting as usual, and when David approached,


48





THE FOREST PONY.


he saw at once, his dear old pony was dead! he was
lying as if asleep, and must have died without a
struggle. Though David was a man of forty, he
did not deny he shed tears over his early favourite,
his companion for thirty years. The little animal was
buried in the Paddock behind the stables, where, as a
young sprightly pony, he had often frolicked and gal-
loped about; and where, in later summer days, he had
more lazily basked in the sunshine, or sought the shade
of a large oak that grew in the centre. Beneath this
tree he was laid, and a brass-plate let into the batri
containing the following inscription:-

"HERE LIES MOUSEY,
A FAVOURITE PONY,
WHO DIED AT THE AGE OF THIRTY YBARS."


49














HISTORY OF A DOG.




There was a small cottage just outside the park-
palings of a gentleman's seat: it was a clean-looking
little white house, with a trim bit of garden in front,
and honey-suckles and roses grew over the porch in
summer. The people who lived in it were very poor,
but honest and industrious-a man and his wife and
one little girl. The man was a cripple, in consequence
of a fall from a ladder many years before. He could
do no hard work; but some years before my story
begins, some charitable friends had raised a subscription
for him which enabled him to purchase two cows. He
sold the milk and the butter to some of the neigh-
bours around. His wife occasionally went out as char-
woman, and by these means, contgived to earn their
living. Their only child was called Amy, she was nine
years old, and went to school, and could read and
work very nicely for her age. Turner and his wife





HISTORY OP A DOG.


were very fond of their little girl, and brought her up
well: when her mother was from home, she could cook
her father's dinner and wash up the dishes better than
many twice her age. She was a merry*hearted little
girl, and her cheerful voice often gladdened her father's
heart as he heard her singing across the fields, as he
went out on his crutches to meet her at the last stile,
on her return from school. In summer evenings he
would wander by the winding brook through the
meadows, and talk to and teach his little girl to
admire nature and nature's God, and all his wondrous
works. She learnt the names of all the common wild
flowers, for Robert Turner's affliction had at one time
entirely confined him to the house, and having an en-
quiring mind, and also being very fond of flowers, he
had studied botany, and beguiled many weary hours
by finding out, the names and classes of various flowers
brought him by his little girl; and when able to get
about on .his crutches, he made further researches in
the neighboring woods and hedges. One day Mrs.
Turner sent Amy with some butter to the game-
keepers's wife, who lived at the other end of the
park. Having safely given the basket to Mrs. Kelly,
she turned to go home, but meeting the keeper in the
yard, she saw he had in his hand a very young


51





HISTORY OF A DOG.


Newfoundland puppy. "Oh! let me see it?" cried
Amy, "what a little darling The keeper put the
puppy into her arms, saying "we have five more like it
in the kennel, and so this one must go into the
pond." "Oh! pray, pray, do not drown it, sir,"
pleaded Amy. "Oh! please give it to me?" and
she clasped the little animal close to her. "Willingly,"
said Kelly, "for to say the truth, 'tis a pity to
drown it, it's a pretty creature, but old Patty has
enough without it." Delighted with her prize, Amy
hastened home. Her mother shook her head, and
said it would be another mouth to feed-they could
not afford to keep a dog-it would grow very large,
and times were hard. Amy looked grave and the tears
filled her eyes, and neither her father nor mother had
the heart to bid her return the puppy; for the present
too, some skim milk would be sufficient food for it-
and Amy danced about the cottage with joy when
her parents said that 'at any rate, till it grew a very
large dog she might keep it. Amy called her new
favourite "Nelly," and all soon became very fond of
the little animal. She was far from being a mis-
chievous puppy, so Mrs. Turner had no reason to
complain; though so young, she was a grave sober
dog, with large serious.looking eyes, and her clumsy


52





HISTORY OF A DOG.


games with the kitten had a stately gravity about
them. She would sit inothe sun at the cottage-door
while Amy was at school, snapping at the buzzing
flies; but never scratched up the plants and vegetables
that were so carefully tended by Turner. She was jet
black, with a curly coat, a white mark on her chest
which Amy called her shirt frill. She soon showed
an unusual share of instinct: when not quite a year
old, she would go, when told, and drive the cows
steadily home to be milked. Turner had but one
field, and when that was laid up for hay, for winter
use, the cows were turned into the long lane which
had a broad piece of grass on each side of the nar-
row road. It used to be Amy's task to drive them
home, Nelly accompanied her, and soon perfectly under-
stood what was required; and if Amy was otherwise
engaged, she only had to say "Fetch the cows, Nelly,"
and off the sagacious beast would dart, sometimes more
than half-a-mile down the lane, and ere long she would
re-appear with her charge, walking quietly behind them,
only admonishing them by an occasional short bark
when they stopped to crop some tempting weed in the
hedge. One day, when Amy and Nelly set forth to
drive the cows home, Amy's attention was attracted by
a beautiful dragon-fly, and bidding Nell fetch the cows,


58





HISTORY OF A DOG.


which were grazing at a short distance, she gently
approached the bush on which the gorgeous insect had
settled; it led her from plant to plant, darting swiftly
along-in her delight, Amy forgot to open the gate for
the cows, and suddenly recollecting this, she gave up
the pursuit of the dragon-fly, and ran back, but stop-
ped on seeing Nelly standing at the gate, as if in wise
consideration as to what she should do. The gate was
not latched, and could be pushed open-Nelly went up
to it, and with her nose gave it a push, and discover-
ing that she could open it, pushed and pushed with
all her might, with nose and paws, till she got it quite
wide open, and the cows walked through! A farmer,
riding by, was so delighted with the cleverness of the
dog, that he offered Amy a pound for her favourite,
but, with a little curtsey, she thanked him, and said
she would not sell her dog for any money. Poor Amy
did not know harder times were coming. This year
there had been much blight, and the crops were bad;
bread became very dear; people foretold a famine; and
Turners' troubles began, their best cow died and her
calf also. This was indeed a severe loss, and one which
Turner was in no state to meet. He did not murmur,
for he was a good man, and knew such reverses were
sent by God for his good; he trusted better times


54





HISTORY O1 A DOG.


would come. But the skim milk and potatoes, which
had hitherto been Nelly's food, were scarce now-the
potatoes all turned bad soon after they were taken out
of the ground, and thus one of their chief means of
support was taken from them. Turner knew it was
foolish, nay wrong, to keep a large dog, and he could
not bear the thoughts of selling it. Thus, day after
day, they struggled on, often hungry after a scanty
meal; Amy generally shared her breakfast with her
dog, but still Nell grew thin and lank. Now and then,
Kelly, the keeper, would give them a piece of horse-
flesh for her, but at other times she fared but badly,
and Amy grieved that it was so. Sad eases of star-
vation among families, wholly deprived of bread, and
potatoes (the two necessaries of life to the poor with
many children), reached Turner's cottage, and he seri.
ously told his wife they must sell the dog-yes-it
must be done I One evening they were sadly discuss*
ing this point, and purposing to acquaint Amy with
their decision-she was sitting at the door, reading,
her arm round Nell's neck, her bright auburn hair con-
trasting with the jet-black ends of the dog in the
bright warm ray of an autumnal munset.-It wm a
pretty picture-presently Kelly, the keeper, came up,
without disturbing the child he entered the cottage,





HISTORY OF A DOG.


and after wishing Turner and his wife good evening,
he said in a low voice, "I'm afraid I bring bad news
to your little lass there," looking towards Amy and the
dog, "but the truth is, the Squire wants Nell-every
puppy of that litter took the distemper, two months
ago, and died, and he hasn't one of the breed left.
The Squire knows her value, and he knows she is a
favourite here, so he bid me say, he will give for her
what he would give Squire Oldham for one he has to
sell, which is five pounds." The offer of such a sum
for an animal which was indeed a burthen to them,
quite startled the good people, who both exclaimed,
the Squire was welcome to the dog, but the next
instant they thought of Amy's distress. It was a
divided feeling. After a little more conversation, they
all agreed as the parting was to be, the sooner it was
over the better. This had been Kelly's intention, as
he produced a chain and collar, together with the five
pound note, which he laid on the table beside Turner
-and, oh! how much that five pounds would do-it
would clear them of debt, in the first place-and it
would buy some new crutches for Turner, as his had
been long in an unsafe state-and so it was all settled,
Nelly must go, and poor Amy's heart be made sad;
but she was a reasonable little girl, and though she


56






HISTORY OF A DOG.


shed many tears, she owned it was best, she knew
Nelly was often hungry, and at the park she would
have plenty, so throwing her arms around her dear
dog's neck, with a full heart, she tore herself away,
and went sobbing to bed, she could not bear to see
her favourite led away from the. cottage. How much
she missed her dumb playmate and companion, not even
her parents guessed, for Amy was a good dutiful child,
and when she saw the joy it was to them to be out
of debt, and that the new crutches were bought, she
felt no selfish regret. It was to be sure rather hard,
when three times the poor dog ran back to the cot-
tage, to have to take her home and leave her. But
it was a great pleasure thus to see her some times,
and above all to see her growing quite plump and fat,
and to hear from Kelly that she was the best retriever
he ever had. She would bring a wounded partridge to
his feet without ruffling a feather, and jump a five-
barred gate with a good-sized hare in her month.
These praises of her favourite almost reconciled Amy
to her loss. Kelly's cottage was half-way to her grand-
mother's dwelling, and she always spared a few minutes
in passing to run in and see Nell. The hardships of
the autumn were doubled by the severe winter which
followed: snow and frost began before Christmas.


7





HISTORY OF A DOG.


New-year's day was Amy's grandmother's birth-day-
she had never omitted taking her a little cake on that
occasion; her mother had generally accompanied her,
but this year she had been laid up by a severe cold,
and though better, could not undertake so long a walk.
The snow was deep but frozen hard, and beaten down
in the path between the two cottages, but it was two
long miles, and Mrs. Turner doubted at one time if it
were prudent to let Amy go alone. The sky was
covered with heavy grey clouds, which seemed burthened
with more snow, but Amy was so anxious to go, she
assured her mother she would run almost all the way,
and be back in no time; her grandmother would
expect her, and she could not disappoint her, and away
she went. It was nearly one o'clock when she started,
with a little basket on her arm, across the park-her
father was gone a few yards down the lane to a man
who was a cow doctor, to consult him about a calf
that was not well-had he been at home, he would not
have allowed her to go. Amy set off briskly, the cold
frosty-air made her run to keep herself warm. She
could not resist stopping a few minutes at Kelly's
house to see Nell, who seemed determined to follow
her--three times she brought her back, so at last Mrs.
Kelly (for her husband was out) tied her to the kitchen


58





HISTORY OF A DOG.


dresser. Amy reached her grandmother's cottage in
safety; the old woman was delighted to see her-she
was bed-ridden, and attended by another grand-child,
an orphan cousin of Amy's. Having delivered her
little birth-day offering and received her grandmother's
blessing, Amy said she must go home, as her mother
had charged her not to be late. When she came to
the door of the cottage, she was surprised to see how
dark it had already become; it was three o'clock, and
the clouds grew heavier and darker every moment.
"I think, Amy, you had better stay with grand.
mother," said her cousin Jane, "it's going to snow
as sure as possible." "Oh, no, Jane, I must go home,
father and mother will be looking for me," replied
Amy-while she spoke some flakes of snow fell-"and
I*must make haste too," she continued, "good night,"
and the little girl ran quickly off. Her road was for
some time along the lane by which she had come, but
there were two ways home, one by Kelly's cottage and
across the park, that was her usual road, for the sake
of seeing her favourite Nell; the other was a short cut,
first over a little common, then across a dingle, through
which ran a brook, with a foot-bridge across it-
a single plank-it was a deep narrow dingle, with steep
sides covered with stunted trees and brush-wood, and


59





HISTORY OF A DOG.


often in heavy snow-storms the drifts completely hid
the hollow, and it appeared level with the common
above, and the fields on the other side. It was a
place dreaded by the shepherds, for many a sheep
had perished there. Amy knew that if she could
reach it before the storm set in, it was her shortest
way home, and the dingle would be sheltered; but
when half-way across the common, the wind rose as
in a whirlwind, blowing the snow up in eddies, and
nearly blinding the child. Such was the force of the
squall, that Amy had to stop and cling to a thorn-
bush, lest she should be blown down; then there came
a lull, the wind howled over the common, as if it were
departing to spend its fury elsewhere. The snow fell
in thick heavy flakes, that in a very few minutes hid
every vestige of the path; there were, however, trees
and bushes, which she knew well by sight, and which
served as landmarks. She hastened on, but the in-
creasing depth of the snow obliged her to walk more
slowly, and she began to feel very tired; it was getting
dark, but on she went. If she could but gain
the little wooded valley, and cross the bridge ere the
path was hidden, she would only have three fields to
traverse between it and home. The snow fell thicker
and faster in her face, drifting into all the hollows, and


60





HISWOET OP A D.OO


making the common appear one even sheet of white.
At last she reached the trees, and as sbe hoped, the
snow there was ot .quite so deep, the path, to be
sure, was hidden, but she knew where it was quite
walL When she gained the fir-trees, the darkness so
suddenly increased that. Amy's heart failed her, and
she fervently wished de had kept to the high-road
through the park. She thought she should ever be
able to reach the bridge before darkness set in I
aad she might fal into the deep, though narrow brook.
Then tame a new difficulty, on the opea common,
with here and thlee iotrue, she knew her way, l~d
in the. little wood, one t.ee seemed so like another,
she grew bewildered, turned back, and wi ditar& y
discovered she was wandering far romt the patih She
plunged deeper and deeper into the drifts in mom -,
tary fear of &lling..inteo ooe 'deep hole. What should
she do? Amy did not ow forget the good IlesmsO she
had been tanght, and- ofrec up a prayer to her
Heavenly Father, and felt that the great Ged would
take care of her. "I will try and trust in Him,"
she said to herself, "but poor father and mother,
how f*ghtened they Will be," and her tears fell even
more for them than for herself. She ,looked round
and thought she reeognised part of the bank near


61





HISTORY OP A DOG.


which she stood, and where there was a ledge of
rock, within which was a cave called the "Fox's hole."
Many a time had Amy taken her book in the summer
time to this rocky arbour. Overhanging ivy shut out
the mid-day sun, and the bank was enamelled with
hyacinths and wood-anemonies. Amy knew the cave
was quite large enough to afford her shelter, but the
wind and driving snow set full against it, and in all
probability the entrance would soon be blocked up.
She dared not advance further, lest one false step
should send her into the brook below. She crept into
the cave and found it strewed with fern-cold and
wet as she was, she felt very thankful for such a
shelter, and seating herself on the floor, she took off
her dripping cloak and her soaking shoes and stock-
ings, and chafed her cold feet with her hands. The
snow fell faster and heavier, and the entrance of her
retreat would soon be filled up. Alone in utter dark.
ness, the wind howling through the bare branches of
the trees-knowing how her parents' hearts were wrung
with anxiety, Amy did not forget under whose care
she was, she said her prayers, and earnestly besought
her Heavenly Father to protect her, and to comfort her
father and mother; to preserve her through the long
fearful night, hoping with the dawn she might find her


A





HISTORY OF A DOG.


a3


way across the common. The cave, though chilly, was
warm in comparison with the keen air outside; but
still the little girl shivered at the prospect before her,
as she thought of her own snug little bed at home.
"I shall be more thankful for my good bed after this,"
thought Amy, "if God allows me to get safe home."
Presently she heard a rushing noise at the mouth of
the cave, and the quick impatient bark of a dog; the
snowy barrier was in an instant pushed away, and she
felt the warm breath of her beloved Nell on her face,
overwhelming her with her affectionate caresses. Amy
clasped her arms around the neck of her favourite and
sobbed with joy-help was surely at hand-Nell shook
the snow off her long shaggy coat, and lay down close
beside Amy, who warmed her numbed feet and hands
in the thick silken hair. The snow soon closed up the
opening again, and Nell's presence added considerably
to the warmth of the atmosphere. Amy now discovered
that her favourite had come unaccompanied by any
one, as if to protect her. "God has sent her to me,"
she reverently said, "to help me home to-morrow,"
and with these trusting thoughts, of her Father in
Heaven, she sank into a deep sleep, her head nestled
in Nell's warm hair. The morning dawned brightly,
and the sun soon melted the snow from the top of the





HITSOLAY OF A DOG.


cave, so that, with Nell's help, Amy made an aperture
in the drift at its mouth; one white plain was all she
could see. The sun glittered on the snow-aden trees--
the sky above was bright blue-Amy felt very hungry,
and recollected she had had no supper the night before;
but as she looked up, she saw some rooks flying past,
and said within her heart, "He who feeds the ravens
will not suffer me to perish with hunger." Thus it
was she pat in practice the teaching while she followed
the example of her parents. Nell sat at the opening,
her ears pricked, looking anxiously out on the white
world around them-presently there was a distant
whistle, then a shot was borne upon the clear air-
Nell sprang up and commenced such a volley of bark-
ing, that it echoed through the wood, as much as to
say she would do all she could to make known where
the lost one was to be found. What had been passing
at Amy's home all this time After the child had left
her, Mrs. Turner grew uneasy at the threatening aspect
of the clouds. When her husband returned, she said
she hoped Amy would soon be back. She is not gone
to the heath, surely?" he exclaimed; and on hearing
such was the ease, poor Turner mourned over the
lameness which incapacitated him from going to search
after his child. Their hearts sank at the sight of the


64






RISTORT OF A Dos.


65


fast faing snow. "She will be sure to stay at the
heath all night," said her father; "neither her grmct
mother nor Jane would ever think of allowing her to
leave in such a storm. Make yourself easy, she is safe
enough." But though Turner said "Make yourself
easy," for his wife's sate, he was far from being at
ease himself. As the snow drifted by in the increasing
darkness, more than once Turer rose and looked oat
and in silent anguish breathed a prayer for help-4-
she is out this night, she is lost," he mattered. They
never closed their eyes that dreadfia night; very early
in the morning Mrs. Turner arose-the road across the
park was not so very deeply covered with snow, it
had drifted of the higher ground--she would go 'to
John Kelly's and ask him to step over to the heath
and enquire if their Amy was safe thlre. The san was
just rising when Mrs. Turner arrived at the keeper's
cottage. "Hey-dayl Mrs. Turner," said Kelly, wit
utter surprise, "what now, nothing the matter, I
hope?" Mrs. Turner soon explained her errand, and
the good-hearted keeper promised to go immediately to
the heath cottage, cheering her up by saying, No
doubt the lassie was safe there, and he would bring her
home upon his shoulder, for there was a terrible dri
off the heath. "And we have lost Nell too," addl





HISTORY OF A DOG.


Kelly, "we hoped she was at your house. Maybe I'll
find them both at the heath." Somewhat comforted,
Mrs. Turner returned home to prepare breakfast, but
many an anxious look she cast from the door in hopes
of seeing Kelly and her child. At last she saw the
tall figure of the keeper, striding quickly towards the
cottage, but he was alone! Her heart sank Kelly
came up, and with an anxious face informed her Amy
had left the heath cottage at three o'clock the preced-
ing day. With a cry of anguish, poor Mrs. Turner
sank down on a seat, and her husband hastened in to
hear the sad truth. In vain Kelly tried to comfort
them-there was so little comfort to give beyond their
own firm trust in the mercy of God, and the knowledge
that their beloved child was in His hands who tempers
the wind to the shorn lamb. Kelly did not tell them
of that which increased his own fears: Jane had'men-
tioned that Amy intended returning home over the
heath, which added greatly to the danger to which she
was exposed. The good-natured keeper left them, with
the assurance that no means should be left untried to
recover the child; he would summon the under-keepers
and the shepherds, and no place within two miles
round should remain unexplored. "Now cheer up," he
concluded, "before the day is over we'll find her, for


66






HISTORY 01 A DOG.


I am certain Nell. is .with her." He then told the
Turners that his wife had informed him that Nelly had
seemed determined on accompanying the child; three
times she had gone after her, and Amy had brought her
back. Mrs. Kelly had tied her up at last, but at five
o'clock she let her lbose, when she; sprang out of the
door, down the lane, and she saw her no more. Kelly
had thought it strange the dog. did not return, and
had gone. often to the door to whistle for her; she had
never run away before; except during the first week
that she had. been taken from the Turners' cottage.
To remain out on such a night wqs very unusual
"Depend upon it Mrs. Turner," he added, "the wise
beast knew that the lassie was in danger, and she
went to save her-what instinct those dogs have!
Cheer up, we'll have Amy. and Nell home to dinner
yet." It was indeed strange both should be missing,
unless they were together, and this in a measure com-
forted the sorrowing parents through the next anxious
hour. The shouts of the pursuers were responded to
by Nell's loud melodious bark-yes I nearer and nearer I
Amy was safe. Plunging through the deep snowdr0is
and pushing aside the loaded branches, the tall figure
of the keeper appeared. Nell sprang from the entrance,
howling with delight, and as she leaped upon him,





HIsBTORT Or A DOa.


'seemed to say "She is all safe, good, master." The
next moment the whole party stood n ithe ledge in
front of the cave, eagerly listening to the little girl's
tae: she said, had not Nell come to watch and take
care of her she did not think she oovld have remained
there, she was so cold, she would have tried to find
her way home; but Nelly had made her so warm,
she had slept all night. There seemed little doubt that
under God's providence her lifb was saved by means
of the faithful dog, as ether way he would bave been
exposed to gnat danger. Even Kelly occasionally sunk
almost out of sight in a driS, but they managed to
retrace their footsteps to the common, where the snow
was less deep, the keeper carrying the little girl, and
Nell flying about, half mad with joy. It was a
fatiguing walk, and long before. Amy caught sight of
her parent's oottage-1,Hie on, Nell," said the keeper,
"and tel them we are ecmini," and the sagacious
animal set off at his bidding, and reached the cottage
nearly ten minutes before Kely reached it with his
precinos burthen. Her parents' hearts bounded when
they saw the dog approach, and soon heard the tri-
mnphant shouts of the seekers, and saw the waving
of their hats, to. how all was well It was a joyful
meeting, and though tears were Ahed, they were team


68






HaSwTOTEr O DO. 00


of joy and thankfulness to.- God for preserving the
only child's life. There was another .nd deeper fall
of snow during the night, and a. Any sat by the
warm fieside, she related all she had felt the night
before. How fervently they thanked God for Bhi
fatherly care as they knelt together in prayer a usal
before they retired to rest. Though Amyn' lie had
been thus miraculously preserved, the allowing d4y
she showed symptoms of a, severe cold, caught oinm
lying so many hours in her damp cothes, aad a
rheumatic fever. followed, which added considerably to
the expenses of that long dreary winter. But though
often hardly able to procure for Amy the nourishment
she required, no murmuring escaped their lips; :they
checked themselves at once-" God has been very
good," Turner would reverently say, "He gave us our
child's life-He will provide." Then came brighter
day--Spring decked the lanes and woods in be*aty,
the valley was once more bln. with hyacinths a.d
Amy, though far from strong, could walk. as fr a,
"Nell's eave," as she called it, and often on -fAe
afternoon, she would sit there thinking of te good-
ness of God in preseving her that fearful dight i
safety. The spring found the Turers in debt,both
for their rent, and with the dootor. This weighed on


89





HISTORY 0 A DOG.


the poor man's spirits; he felt he ought so sell his
cow, but then how were they to get on without her
His lameness incapacitated him from earning his liveli-
hood in any way, but he always said his cross was
sent by God, he must bear it willingly and cheerfully;
and the little family were cheerful, even though often
pinched with hunger. Few knew their wants, for they
never complained.
One day, while Turner was weeding a very promis-
ing crop of beans in his garden, the postman came up
to his little wicket and presented him with a letter.
This was an event almost unheard of, for he had no
relations alive, except a sister, who lived in a neigh-
bouring village, and a brother, who had gone to
America many years ago, and of whom he had never
since heard. This letter proved to be from the Captain
of a vessel which had just arrived at Liverpool from
America, to say his brother, who had left New York in
very bad health, had died just before reaching England,
but had left a will, bequeathing all he possessed to his
only brother, Robert Turner. The Captain proceeded
to say, he must at once come to Liverpool to claim
the property, which was still on board the ship. It
was a long journey, but, accompanied by Kelly, it was
safely accomplished, and the Turners found themselves


70




Pages
71-72
Missing
From
Original











forgm t all bout it. If her m'An a ~ it j
mend her gloves, or a thi at f) th i id;, w WLH'oI
say, es, .aafmia, presaetly," while. e htdX t A Q
herself, "it rill do as well. o rte- tW4n-m1t

the rent i the frobk wie l as 'l oigiv B4t l~ft
she was a I knd dhered afletoa bMte Mdid, ~Aft,
with tearful eyes promised aeendineflt, I am sdmi
she did aot -thet sa for the 64h of OTs& to BAM
her to keep her good sree96bldonS'; -v;l
Her two eistert wese swverd yes td* tlki 'tM W
self They had a class at the school, kll tot greWI
pleasure in it, and in visiting theit 0poar & nigt
oftea caring soup or pudding *tam th6i oW (iMAe
to adSne delck person, and set Latisa a* a
attentioWt little daily duties.' 4Ti t46 lo 1i-I
ley (the nae of the village v'hef Mi$) bti6
*ae a little giA( called Esther 8omb^r, i'in Wh m'lifin
sisters took a deep interest. Her mother *iaI
of osonAuption at her birth, and -h l6ie
her grandmother. She was a deliafec.id d,
thoughtful beyond her yearn; she kld to bt anght,





7, TUBH EVIL OP. PROCVRASTINATION.


and was the best worker in the school, and, what was
of still greater importance, she was known by all as
the bept behaved little girl in Church-you never saw
Esther's eys wandering about, looking at the dress
ar.~g behaviour of the congregation-she knew she came
t COhuaeh to pray; and as far as it was in her power
se tnrieid to fix her thoughts on Heavenly things, while
ina the House of God. The winter set in very cold--
Mrs. Sormers lived a mile from the village-Esther had
a bad pough, and was often prevented from attending
school and, Church, which grieved her sadly, for she
delighted in4 both. Louisa's sisters constantly walked
across the fields to see her, with some little dainty to
tepkpt her; failing appetite. When Christmas approach-
ed, Esther grew gradually worse, and now seldom left
the house, except to creep round their little orchard
if the sun shone bright. Just then Louisa's sisters
received an invitation to spend Christmas and New-
YT e-)Pay with their uncle in shire. They gave
Louisa many injunctions about the school and the
poor,. ad particularly begged she would visit Esther
oonstail.. At first, Louisa was very important with
her .eV duties-quite pleased to have so much respon-
sibility on ,her hands-she was at the school before
the children assembled and she went to see Esther





THE EVIL OP PROOCASTINATION.


almost daily. At the end of a fortnight, her sisters
wrote to say their uncle wished them to stay longer,
to which their mother willingly consented. The
novelty of Louisa's duties was beginning to wear off,
she needed to be reminded it was the school hour.
"Yes, mamma, in one minute, I have just got this
line to finish." Once or twice at dinner, her mamma
said, "I think, Louisa, Esther has had nothing niee
for two days." "No, mamma, but I am going to
train up that ivy in my garden to-day, and I mean
to go and see Esther to-morrow."
To-morrow came, and just before dinner visitors
arrived, and with them a little friend of Louia's.
After dinner she must show her her poultry, and' er.,
pigeons, and her garden; Esther's jelly should be
taken next day. When the visitors left the short
day-light of a January day was closing in; the next
day Louisa had a little cold, and the day following
was Sunday. Five days had passed, and no little
delicacy had been taken to the poor sick, girl The
last time Louisa saw her, she had been much struck
with the change that had taken place in her. Esther
was just her own age, and while she looked on the
little thin drawn face, and heard her shortened breath
and constant cough, Louisa had felt very sad, and


7a





.6 TES zVx1 OV PROMaAS1,INATrON.


thought how very sorry ehe should be to die, and
leave her dear mamma and sisters. Bhe had taken
the little girl's hand at parting and said, "I will
come again to-morrow, or certainly next day, and
bring you some more jelly." "Thank you, very much,
Miss," said Esther's grandmother, "she can take that
when she can swallow nothing else, and I think it
softens the cough." But the promise was forgotten,
the duty postponed. On Monday it snowed all day,
but Tuesday was a fine bright frosty day. It was
just a week since Louisa had seen Esther, when her
mother said, I shall send this to Esther this after-
noon." Her conscience whispered she had neglected
her, and she answered hastily, "Oh! but, mamma, I
am going this afternoot--I should like to go so much."
The jelly end pudding were packed in the basket,
and Louisa set off; her walk lay through several pretty
fields; the sky overhead was casr, and the snow crisp
and dry. When she get about half way, she heard
the tolling tuf4he Church bell: she passed and said
to herself, "I wonder who is dead? I did not know
there was any one ill in the village." As she walked
on she thought of several very old people-for one
,of them, perhaps that bell was tolling. She reached
the wicket that led through Mrs. Some' orchard.






THE EVIL OF PROCRASTINATION.


"I wonder Esther is not out, basking in this nioe
sun," thought she, as she passed through it. All
seemed unusually still-she looked up', the little white
curtains of the room above were closely drain; the
blinds of the kitchen below, all down. Again that
solemn knell fell on her ear-the truth flashed upon
her-"Could Esther be dead and with tbepiudden
fear came the thought of her own neglect; but it
might not be so, she might only be worse, and she
would make amends and come every day. She knock-
ed timidly at the door-there was no answer-she
knocked rather louder-at last it was gently opened
by an old Mrs. Pratt, who acted as nurse in the vil-
lage.-She looked grave and sad.
"How is Esther?" gasped Louisa. "Oh! Miss,
haven't you heard?" she replied. "She died this
morning at three o'clock."
Louisa entered the kitchen, and setting down her
little basket, sobbed as if her heart would break.
For some time Mrs. Pratt could not ribi'y her, but
when she grew a little more calm, ihe explained the
cause of her sorrow; she had broken her promise,
and it was too late now to make amends; she might
have soothed the last hours of the little girl, but for
her own selfishness. Her sobs were heard in the room
P


77






78 THE EVIL OF PROCRASTINATIOl.


above, where Mrs. Somers was sitting beside the ie-
mains of her departed treasure-she rose and came
down stairs-poor Louisa! she could have endured
reproaches, anything rather than the tearful narrative
she heard. Esther had asked every day if IMiss Louisa
was coming-she knew she would remember the jelly
-something had prevented her-she hoped she was
not ill-but grandmother must not send, they had been
so kind, she must not be troublesome-she wished
Miss Mary and Miss Helen had been at home, they
would have come and read to her. Thus the week
had passed away, and as it ended, Esther's eyes were
closed in death, and now, as her grandmother said,
"she was as sweet an angel as any one in heaven."
Louisa relieved her bursting heart by confessing all
to Mrs. Somers-she did not spare herself, she knew
how much she was to blame. The good old woman
assured her, that if her dear child had lived she would
freely have forgiven her; "but now, dear Miss
Louisa," she added, "come and look at my dear
lamb up-stairs, and you'll see how happy, how peace-
ful she is; and then, dear Miss Louisa, think, we
must all lie as she is lying now; and let us try to
be like her in purity and goodness. Though she
was but a poor village girl, she is now resting in the






THE EVIL OF PROCLBSTINATION.


Lord, in. hope of a blessed resurrection." Louisa had
never before seen any one after death--she felt awed
as she entered, but as she gazed on that little still
form, and saw the look of holy joy on the features,
no fear mixed with her sensations. She knelt by the
side of the bed, and most fervently prayed for strength
that she might struggle earnestly with her besetting
sin, and that grace might be given her to conquer it.
When she rose from her knees she felt comforted,
and taking one last look at little Esther, she shook
hands kindly with Mrs. Somers, and returned home.
She shed many tears as she retraced her path across
the fields. She opened her heart to her mother oa
her return-Mrs. Craven saw she had indeed received
a bitter lesson, but one she hoped she would never
forget. When her sisters came home they were. also
told all-she wished every one to know her fault aad
help her to cure it.
Some of my little readers may perhaps ask, "and
did she alter from that day-never procrastinate againP
was she selfish no longerP" She did begia to try
from that day; she often fell back it is true, fbr
sometimes she was self-oonfideut; but three years after
this, when her cousin, Mary Vincent, spent her birth*
day with her, she was indeed an altered girl in every


79





80 THE EVIL OP PROCRASTINATION.


way-and was becoming daily stronger in her good
resolutions-daily more distrustful of herself. It may
be interesting to recall an instance in which she failed
to keep her resolution. This occurred about nine
months after Esther's death.
It was late in the autumn, Louisa had received the
present of a beautiful pink passion flower, which had
been the pride of her garden all the summer, but she
had been told it must be carefully covered up with
matting every night before the frost came, as one
night's exposure might destroy it. One clear bright
afternoon, Mrs. Craven said to Louisa, "I think there
will be a frost to-night, do not forget to cover up
your passion flower-I should advise you to go now."
"I will presently, mamma, but I am going now to
the village with Mary." "You would have time before
Mary is ready," said her mamma, as she walked away.
But Louisa said to herself, "Quite time enough when
I return." They went to the village, and were de-
tained later than usual-it was getting dusk as they
returned-as they entered the house, Louisa thought
of her passion flower, but she also thought of a very
pretty story she wished to finish. Her garden was
at the other end of the shrubbery, to go there now
would take her some time. "It will not be frosty






THE EVIL OF PROCRASTINATION.


tonightt" thought she, "I'll begin to-morrow to put
the matting on regularly. She was soon deep in her
amusing book, and thought no more of her poor
passion flower. Next morning, as she came into th6
breakfast room, the first words she heard her papa
say were, "Sad havoc in the garden, every dahlia
killed! The gardener says the glass was down at 26."
"You will be glad, Louisa," said her mamma, "that I
recommended you to cover up your passion flower; I
was sure we were going to have a hard frost." At
these words every one noticed poor Louisa's blank
look of dismay, while her eyes filled with tears.
"Oh, Louisa," said her eldest sister, "did you
forget "No," sobbed Louisa, "I did not forget,
but I put it off." Her mother gravely spoke to her
on the subject, and hoped each lesson of the kind
would prove of use. Breakfast over, Louisa flew to
her garden, and there, alas! the blackened remains
of the poor passion flower told their own tale.-Its
beauty gone for ever-the plant had perished. A
short time after this, Louisa procured a plant of
the common hardy passion flower, which she planted
on Esther Somers' grave, and when she saw the
beautiful creeper twining itself round the head-stone,
it reminded her of more than one little lesson she


81





80 THa ELVII 9of PBOCGa4STWATION


had lear* and when tempted to, dfer till to-
what might be done, to-day, -g!,would, recollect that
O.- spot in the Church-yar, and pray., for th
"ypwhich is never denied t those who seek it















< TI1 END.


ciftAs fAOm rjIImtE 9, VWoruA TnIAC, Ia#mIow.










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