• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 The little school-girl's story
 The old castle
 Prue's golden rule
 Princess Pearlypat
 Old Barney's mask
 The garden of the beloved
 The dangerous door
 Walking in love
 Dreaming Susy
 Sunshine and tearful
 Jamie's struggle
 In honor preferring one anothe...
 Little cross-bearers
 The little pilgrim
 The long night
 Morning glory
 Plain little Patty
 The dream of "Golden Hair"
 Poor black violet
 What it cost
 Christie Bell's stockings
 Little Clare
 Knocking at the door of heaven
 Seven times
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Helps over hard places : stories for girls
Title: Helps over hard places
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003244/00001
 Material Information
Title: Helps over hard places stories for girls
Physical Description: 224 p., 3 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Palmer, Lynde, 1833-1915
Rudd, Nathaniel ( Engraver )
Hyde, J ( Illustrator )
Cloues, Samuel ( Engraver )
Kilburn & Mallory ( Engraver )
American Tract Society (Boston, Mass.) ( Publisher )
Geo. C. Rand & Avery
Publisher: American Tract Society
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: Geo. C. Rand & Avery, Stereotypers and Printers
Publication Date: c1862
 Subjects
Subject: Girls -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Temptation -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1862   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1862   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1862
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Lynde Palmer.
General Note: Frontispiece in colors and engraved by Kilburn & Mallory.
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Rudd and S. Cloues after Hyde.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003244
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002235315
oclc - 02139662
notis - ALH5760
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    The little school-girl's story
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    The old castle
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Prue's golden rule
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Princess Pearlypat
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Old Barney's mask
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The garden of the beloved
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    The dangerous door
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Walking in love
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Dreaming Susy
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 100a
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Sunshine and tearful
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Jamie's struggle
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    In honor preferring one another
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Little cross-bearers
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    The little pilgrim
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    The long night
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Morning glory
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
    Plain little Patty
        Page 162
        Page 162a
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    The dream of "Golden Hair"
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    Poor black violet
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    What it cost
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
    Christie Bell's stockings
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
    Little Clare
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
    Knocking at the door of heaven
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    Seven times
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text


































THE SCHOOL-GIRL'S STORY. Ke 11.










HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.














BY

LYNDE PALMER.







PUBLISHED BY THE
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
28 CORNHILL BOSTON.































Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by

TILE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
In the Clerk'. Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.























OBO. C. RAND & AVERY,
MTEREOTYPERS AND PRINTERS.












CONTENTS.





PAGE
INTRODUCTION,................ 5


I. THE LITTLE SCHOOL-GIRL'S STORY, .. 9


II. THE OLD CASTLE, ........... 21


III. PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE, ..... ..... 34


IV. PRINCESS PEARLYPAT, .. ....... .. 45


V. OLD BARNEY'S MASK, ............ 57


VI. THE GARDEN OF THE BELOVED, .... 60

VII. THE DANGEROUS DOOR, .......... 71


VIII. WALKING IN LOVE,............. 82

IX. DREAMING SUSY, ........... .. .93

X. SUNSHINE AND TEARFUL, .......... 104
III









CONTENTS.


XI. JAMIE'S STRUGGLE, ........... 106


XII. IN HONOR PREFERRING ONE ANOTHER, 118


XIII. LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS, ......... 126


XIV. THE LITTLE PILGRIM,. ........... 136

XV. THE LONG NIGHT, ............ 131

XVI. "MORNING GLORY," ............... 151

XVII. PLAIN LITTLE PATTY, ........... 162


XVIII. THE DREAM OF "GOLDEN HAIR,"... 170

XIX. POOR BLACK VIOLET, .......... 173


XX. WHAT IT COST,................ 181


XXI. CHRISTIE BELL'S STOCKINGS, ...... 102

XXII. LITTLE CLARE, .............. 204

XXIII. KNOCKING AT THE DOOR OF HEAVEN, 208


XXIV. "SEVEN TIMES,". .............. 216













INTRODUCTION.


To my ( ear Young Friends,

The Girls.

DEAB little sisters, (for I hope we all belong to
one family, with God for our Father and the Sav-
iour for our dear Elder Brother,) I have something
to say to you to-day.
Perhaps some of you have lately read a book of
your brother Tom's, or cousin Charley's, entitled,
" Helps over Hard Places;" and perhaps you have
said, as you finished it, -
"I wonder if nobody knows that girls are little
pilgrims, too, and meet just as many swamps and
lions as the boys? I wonder if nobody thinks that
our feet grow tired, and that we need a little help
to climb some of our hills, which are just as big and









INTRODUCTION.


rough as the one that almost discouraged Dick Ster-
ling and Sam Hardy ? "
Yes, little sisters, I know it, and I have been
thinking about you for a long time, as the little
readers of the Congregationalist" and Child at
Home" may have already suspected. I know you
have a hard journey before you, and I now send
you some friends to keep you company.
"Flaxy," and "Prue," and "Princess Pearlypat,"
are each carrying a plank to help you over the
worst swamps. Dudley," Fifine," and Jamie,"
can tell you where the lions are, and can show you
the best paths over the hills. If it should grow dark
and cloudy during the day, do not be afraid of the
showers. Little "Phcbe" will tell you what to do
when it rains. Somewhere on the road you may
come across "Dreaming Susy," fast asleep among
the great crimson poppy flowers of indolence and
self-indulgence, and I'm afraid you will not be able
to rouse her. Do not stay to look at her long, for
you might grow sleepy yourself; and words can not
tell what a sad thing it is to dream one's life away.







INTRODUCTION. VII

Press on, dear little ones. Do not turn aside
into the pleasant by-paths, no matter how rough
the way may be. And if at last, in the twilight,
you come into a strange, dim land, and begin to
tremble a little at the shadows, you shall hear a
sweet voice say, Fear not, little flock, for it is
your Father's good pleasure to give you the king-
dom."
And if, still later, you come to a dark, cold river,
and the worn little feet falter, and can not go any
further, then will the Good Shepherd come, and ten-
derly lifting all the tired lambs, he will carry them
safe in his bosom.
L. P.









HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.



I.

THE LITTLE SCHOOL-GIRL'S STORY.

As the old town clock was just upon the
stroke of seven, one gray Saturday morning,
from five or six different windows looked
eight pairs of eyes, and accompanying each
pair, in a direct line above the nose, lay two
or three of the deepest, perpendicular wrin-
kles, while eight small mouths fell away so
suddenly at the corners, that a smile could
never have got over without tripping.
"Gray! gray. as a rat!" cried Dick Bloom,
turning from the window, and carving the
three wrinkles deeper than ever on his nice
white forehead.
"It's another equinoctial, I know," sighed
funny little Prue, who could not look cross,
9








10 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

though she tried to show as many wrinkles
as Dick.
"I declare," said Flaxy Bell, parting the
red curtains at the corner brick house, "1
can hardly see two inches in this mist. One
would think it was a grand washing-day,
and every body's chimney was turned upside
down, and smoking the wrong way."
"No nutting to-day," called out Bernard
Granville, from the green blinds across the
street.
But they were all mistaken. An hour
passed on, and behold! down the gray
dropped a little yellow thread of light, which
grew till it was a great golden cord, strong
enough to lift the heavy gray curtain. The
eager eyes could hardly believe it, but slowly,
slowly, it was raised. Now they could see
the old tree at the end of the meadow which
had grown yellow,:-the greedy old fellow,-
from drinking so much sunlight all summer,
and now they could see the crimson maples
like gay soldiers on guard at the edge of the
pine woods. Oh! there was never any thing
so beautiful! The sky changed by magic to
the tenderest blue, and the watching eyes
grew so soft and sunny, you would hardly





THE SCIIOOL-GIRL'S STORY.


have known them for the same. And so the
nutting party came off, after all. But this
isn't at all what I meant to tell you. I only
meant to say that it was a very pleasant day;
but then, after all, you would never have
guessed just how pleasant it was, and I
wanted you to know exactly how happy all
these children felt.
Well, I won't tell you much about the nut-
ting. You can just imagine that all the baskets
are very full, and that after they have made
fires of dead leaves, and roasted some of their
nuts, and done a variety of other things, they
yet do not feel quite ready to go home. So
they sit down on some nice, dry pine-needles
on the western side of the wood, with the
warm sun shining on the pretty plaid shawls
and red caps, with the bright yellow and
scarlet trees bowing around like so many
great princes at some grand Eastern court,
and begin to talk cosily together.
Let some one tell a story," cried Dudley
Wylde.
"Let's each tell one," said his pale cousin
Bernard, "just as the people did in the stage-
coach that Dickens once told about."







12 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

Why, they all told their own story," said
Madge Pattison.
Well, so can we, too," retorted Bernard.
"I'm sure I haven't a word to tell," cried
one. "Nor I," "Nor I," came from every side;
while Dudley Wylde exclaimed, "Nothing
ever happened to me, but breakfast and din-
ner, and going to school, and going to bed.
Sometimes I have a good dinner, and some-
times I don't, sometimes I know my lessons,
and sometimes I don't; and that's all my
story."
"No, no!" said Bernard, laughing. "I'm
sure something has happened to every one
of us, that would be very interesting if we
would only think, and tell it as well as we
could."
"Tell it just like a book," asked little Dick
Bloom, "with a nice little moral pinned on
to the end?"
Oh, just as you please about that," said
Bernard. "If the story-teller hasn't a moral
handy, we'll each fit one to suit ourselves."
"Agreed," cried they all. "Who shall
begin ?"
"Well," cried little Flaxy,-whose real
name was Mary, but who was always called






TlE SChOOL-GIRL'S STORY. 13

Flaxy because her hair was almost white, -
"I believe Ill begin, for I haven't a very good
story to toll, and I'd like to have it over
with." So she folded her little red shawl
around her, and began.
"Once, you know, before we moved into
the village, we lived away up in the country,
and the neighbors were almost as far from
each other as from one end of the town to
the other. Well, one night in December,--
a dreary, windy night,-there came a boy
for father and mother to go and see 'old
Uncle Benny,'-he wasn't a real relation,
you know, but a sort of every body's uncle.
Well, the boy said Uncle Benny was dying,
and wanted to see father and mother. So, of
course, they bundled all up, and went. And
when they kissed us good-night, said father:
"' Now, Flaxy, we will come back as soon
as we can, but we may have to stay very
late. If you would like to sit up, and keep
Peggy company, you may, but Charley must
go to bed. And Peggy must shut the win-
dows, and put the bar to the door, and if any
one comes, you must first ask who it i ; and
you had better send all strangers on to the
tavern, for it is only a little further; anl if'







14 HELPS OVER GUARD PLACES.

you should happen to get a bad man in here,
I don't know what you and Peggy would do
all alone.'
So I promised to do just as he said, and
they both drove away. After they were
gone, it was very lonely. Peggy barred the
door, and we all went to sit in the kitchen.
Charley begged to stay up a little while, and
we sat on two little low stools, holding each
other's hands, listening to the wind, and look-
ing into the great fire, and watching the
shadows that went bobbing around when the
tallow candle flickered, and the wick grew
long. Then once in a while Peggy told us a
dreary story about evil spirits being out such
nights as this; and though Charley and I
knew that God is always near his children,
and can take care of them, no matter how
dark and dreadful the night, we could not
help shuddering when the sleet dashed up'
against the panes, and we heard the wind
screech and groan, just as if some one was
being murdered. We were just talking in a
very low whisper about poor Uncle Benny,
and how terrible it was to die in such a
storm, when suddenly there came a loud
knock at the door. It was so very sudden








THE SCHOOL-GIRL'S STORY.


and loud that we all jumped, and Charley
fairly fell off his stool.
"' Who do you suppose it is, Peggy ?' said
I; but Peggy covered her face with her
apron, and rocked to and fro. So we were
just as still as death for a few minutes, and
then we heard something at the window.
"' Oh! what is it, Peggy ?' said I again.
"'Uncle Benny's ghost!' said Peggy, in
an awful whisper, with her teeth all knocking
together.
Charley caught my hand so tight that it
hurt me, and for a minute I shook all over.
Then I knew there were no such things as
ghosts, for father and mother had told me so
often; and when another knock came, I
went over quite boldly to the door. 'Who's
there ?' 'A poor man,' cried a shaky voice.
'A poor man, who is almost dead with cold
and hunger. Please, for the love of God, let
him come in a minute to the fire.'
"I was just going to open the door, when
Peggy cried, in a great hurry, -
"'Remember what your father said, Miss
Flaxy.' I was quite angry with her; but I
called through the door that he must go on
to the tavern, which was very near. But he







16 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

begged so humbly just to come in and warm
himself, 'only a minute, and then he would
go right on,' that I was quite determined to
let him.
"' Take down the bar, Peggy,' said I; but
she only said, 'Miss, you ought to mind your
father.'
"But I'm sorry to say," said Flaxy, with
tears in her eyes, "that I wasn't at all obe-
dient in those days. I was quite determined
to have my own way; for I was angry with
Peggy; and father was so kind that I thought
I could soon make it all right with him when
he came home. So, with very hot cheeks, I
said, 'Peggy, you are hard-hearted, and a
coward.' Then I began taking down the bar
myself, though poor Charley kept begging,-
'Please don't, sister.'
"To tell the truth, I was sorry the minute
it was down, for I didn't like the man's looks
at all, and I would have given the whole
world if he were only out of the kitchen,
and the door all safely barred again. But I
kept feeling worse and worse every minute;
for as soon as he grew warm, and looked
around, and saw there was only Peggy and
Charley and I, he grew very disagrecable







THE SCHOOL-GIRL'S STORY. 17

indeed, and ordered us to get some supper,
the best we had in the house. He spoke so
loud, and looked so fierce, that we all ran
like so many slaves. He made Peggy cook
ham, and fry eggs, and make the tea for him;
and he ordered me to set the table, just as I
would for the king of England.
"'Put on all your silver spoons and forks,'
said he, 'for I always use a dozen at a time;
and how do you dare bring on this old earthen
sugar-bowl? Haven't you a silver set?'
So, all in a tremble, I brought out dear
mother's old-fashioned set, with the little
carved angels, that used to be grandmother's.
"Then Charley followed me into the pan-
try, with great big eyes, and whispered, Oh,
sister! he's cramming his pockets with spoons
and every thing.'
"I never can tell you," cried Flaxy, the
tears streaming down her cheeks, "how I felt
then. To think that my disobedience was
going to bring such sorrow on my darling
father and mother; and how did I know what
the end might be ? Perhaps he would finish
by murdering Charley and all of us. I looked
up at the clock. It was only nine, and father
might not be back till midnight. So I whis-







18 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

pered to Charley, Slip out of the back door,
and run like lightning to neighbor Gaston's.'
"So dear, good Charley stole like a cat
over the floor; but just as I thought he was
almost safe, the horrid man sprang and caught
him, and almost shook the breath out of his
body.
"'There,' said he, 'if I catch you at that
again, I wouldn't a bit mind roasting you on
these coals.'
"Poor Charley dropped down on his little
stool, and never stirred again; and I stole
into the pantry to cry, and ask God to help
me; though I didn't deserve it a bit, you
know;" and Flaxy fairly broke down and
sobbed, while several of the circle kept her
company.
"But all of a sudden," continued Flaxy,
"a thought came into my head, and I won-
dered it hadn't come sooner, why I couldn't
climb out of the pantry window, and run
myself to one of the neighbors.
"No sooner said than done. I lifted the
window, and dropped out as softly as a
feather. Oh! how I did run. It was a ter-
rible night, and I hadn't any bonnet or shawl,
but I never thought any thing about it then.






THE SCHOOL-GIRL'S STORY. 19.

I hadn't gone far before I heard some people
talking, and thought I saw a dim light; but
while I was wondering where they all were, I
ran right into somebody, and almost knocked
him over.
"'Hallo!' said he, 'just bring the lantern,
Bob. I've stumbled into the queerest kind
of a post;' and in another minute he said,
'I declare, if it isn't little Flaxy Bell!'
"And there, do you know, it was neigh-
bor Gaston's two nice strong sons, and his
hired man. I didn't have time to feel
ashamed, then, but I just talked as fast as I
could, and told every thing.
"'Poor Flaxy!' said Ned Gaston, when I
got through; and, without asking my leave,
he caught me right up in his arms, and then
all three started to run for the house, as if it
was the greatest fun in the world.
"When we came into the garden, Phin-
ney, the man, found some stout sticks, and
Ned took down Peggy's clothes-line, and
then they all burst into the kitchen door,just
as the robber had finished his supper, and
was buttoning up his coat to go. He was so
taken by surprise that he didn't seem to think
of defending himself; and in no time at all,







20 IIELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

they had him down on his back with his bad
hands and feet tied up tight with the old
rope. Oh! you ought to have heard him beg
them to let him go. I declare I almost felt
sorry for him, especially when he said that he
was only in joke, and didn't really mean to
carry off the silver. But Ned only laughed,
and Phinney harnessed up, and took him off to
jail. Ned stayed till father and mother came
home, and tried to comfort me; but I couldn't
rest till I had told the whole story. Then
Ned tried to praise me, and tell father how
brave and self-possessed I had been; but I
couldn't bear to hear it; I could only think
how terrible it might have been if God hadn't
helped me, and I only wanted to hear father
say, again and again, -' I do certainly forgive
you, Flaxy.' And since that time I do think
I have always tried to be obedient."
And now," cried little Dick Bloom, jump-
ing up, and falling over two or three baskets,
"I propose, first, a vote of thanks to Flaxy.
Second, that we repeat the fifth command-
ment, 'all hands round;' and, third, that we
start for home 'double quick,' or night will
get there first."








THE OLD CASTLe.

How pleasant the parlor looked on the
evening of Flaxy's" birthday. To be sure
it was November, and the wind was setting
the poor dying leaves in a miserable shiver
with some dreadful story of an iceberg he
had just been visiting. But what cared Dicky
and Prue, or Dudley and Flaxy, or all the
rest, sitting cosily around that charming fire,
which glowed as if some kind fairy had filled
up the little black grate with carbuncles and
rubies? Over the mantle-piece were branches
of pretty, white sperm candles, whose light
fell softly on the heavy red curtains and the
roses in the carpet, and danced in the eyes of
the happy children.
They, the children, had been having a
"splendid time." They had played games,
and put together dissected maps, and tried
puzzles, and read in Flaxy's wonderful books;
and since tea they had had a grand romp at
21








22 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

" fox and geese," even such big boys as Ber-
nard and Dudley joining in; and now they
were resting, with pretty red checks and
parted mouths.
"Well, what shall we do now?" cried little
Prue, who could not bear that a minute of
the precious time should be wasted in mere
sitting still.
"Why isn't it a good time for some one
else to tell his story?" asked Flaxy.
"Just the thing," was the unanimous re-
sponse. "Another story! A story!" and
then a voice cried, "And let Dudley Wylde
tell it."
"Well," said Dudley, slowly, "if I must
tell a true story about myself, I'm afraid it
won't be much to my credit; but as Flaxy
wasn't a coward about it, I'll try to be as
brave as a girl. Shall I tell you something
that happened to Bernard and me when we
lived over in England ? "
"Oh, please don't tell that story, Dud,"
pleaded Bernard, with reddening cheeks; but
all the rest cried, "Oh, yes; go on, go on;"
and Dudley began.
"You all know that Bernard and I were
both left orphans when we were almost little







THE OLD CASTLE.


babies, and Uncle Wylde sent for us to come
and live with him--me first, and Bernard
about a year afterward. I was only six years
old "when Bernard came, but I remember I
was very angry about it. Old Joe, the coach-
man, and I had had a quarrel that morning,
and he told me 'uncle would never care for
me any more after cousin Bernard came; for
he was a much finer boy than I, and looked
like a young English lord, with his blue eyes
and white skin; but I was a little, dark, ill-
tempered foreigner (my mother was an Ital-
ian, you know), and he wondered how uncle
could like me at all.'"
"But uncle did love you dearly, you know,"
broke in Bernard.
"A great deal better than I deserved, that's
certain," said Dudley; "but I almost wor-
shiped him, and I couldn't bear the thoughts
of his loving any one better than me. So all
the day that Bernard was expected I stood
sulkily by the window, and would not play,
nor eat, nor even speak when Uncle Wylde
came and took me in his lap.
"'1Poor child,' said uncle, at last. 'He
needs some one of his own age to play with.







24 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

I hope the little cousins will be fine company
for each other.'
"Just then the carriage drove up, and uncle
ran out and took such a lovely little boy in
his arms; but when I heard him say, almost
with a sob, 'Darling child, you are just the
image of your dear, dear mother,' then I
thought, 'There, it is all true what Joe said;
uncle loves him the best already;' and I bit
my fingers, so that when uncle bade me hold
out my hand to my cousin he was frightened
to see it covered with blood, and drew back
with a shiver; and then I grew angry about
that, too, and called him 'proud,' and went
and hid away every plaything I could find.
"Well, I won't have time to tell you every
little thing; only that as Bernard and I grew
up together, I did not love him any better.
He was almost always kind and good."
"Now, Dud, you must not say so," said
Bernard, blushing. "I did every thing to
tease you."
"You must not interrupt," cried Dudley.
"This is my story, remember. You never
teased me much; but the great thing I
couldn't forgive you for was that uncle loved
you best."






THE OLD CASTLE.


"No, I'm sure he didn't," cried Bernard.
"No more interruptions," said all the chil-
dren; and Dudley went on.
"Well, you see I was very suspicions and
miserable, and I always thought Bernard
wanted to make fun of me. When he first
began to call me 'Dud,' for short, I thought
he meant that I was like the old rags that
Joe used to clean the carriages with, for lie
always used to call them 'old duds.' And
then sometimes, when I came in fiom riding
on Lightfoot's bare back, with my hair blown
every sort of a way, if he said, Shall we
have our lessons now, uncle? Here comes
Wylde,' I always thought he was trying to
make uncle think I was wild, like those hor-
rid Indians we used to read about, while lie,
Bernard, was always neat and smooth, like a
little gentleman. So you see there was noth-
ing that Bernard could do or say that I did
not twist around to make myself miserable.
"One day, when I had been playing with
my dog Sambo half the morning, and riding
Lightfoot the rest of the time, I was called
on to recite Latin to uncle, and didn't know
one word. But Bernard recited like a book,
and when it was over, uncle did not scold nme,








26 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

-he never did,-but just gave Bernard the
pretty picture I had long been wanting, of
the boy climbing up over crag and ice, shout-
ing Excelsior.'
"That very afternoon we had planned to
take a walk together to an old ruined castle;
but I was so cross and sullen I wonder Ber-
nard did not slip away and go alone. I can't
begin to tell you how envious and unhappy I
felt; and I quarreled so with him about every
little thing, that at last he scarcely opened
his mouth."
"I don't believe the story is true," said
Flaxy, indignantly. 'rPm sure the Dudley
Wylde we know was never so bad and quar-
relsome."
Dudley smiled, while Bettine whispered,
softly, "But he's different now, Flaxy. Do
you know his uncle says he is trying to be a
Christian ?"
Flaxy looked up, with a bright tear of sym-
pathy, as Dudley continued:-
"At last we reached the castle, where we
had often been before, and for a while I was
more good-natured; for there was nothing I
liked better than climbing up and down the
broken stairway, which wound round and







THE OLD CASTLE.


round like a great screw, or looking into
every queer little room hid away in the thick
walls, or climbing to the turrets to wave my
handkerchief like the flag of a conquering
hero.
"But this afternoon there was something
new to see. In the great hall, just under the
stairs, the floor had lately caved away, and
you could see down into a deep vault. Ber-
nard and I lay down, with our fices just over
the edge, and tried to see the bottom; but it
was dark as pitch, and we couldn't make out
any thing.
"'I shouldn't wonder if they buried dead
people there, a great while ago,' said Bernard,
with a little shiver; and when we both got
up, feeling very sober, he said, just to raise
our spirits, -
"'Let's have a race up the steps, and see
which will get to the roof first.'
"Off we started. I could generally climb
like a wildcat; but in some way I stumbled
and hurt my knee, and Bernard gained very
fast. I felt my quick temper rising again.
"'Shall he beat me in every thing?' I said
to myself; and with a great spring I caught
up to him, and seized his jacket. Then be-








28 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

gan a struggle. Bernard cried 'fair play,'
and tried to throw me off; but I was very
angry, and strong as a young tiger, and all
of a sudden -for I didn't know what I was
about -I just flung him, with all my might,
right over the edge, where the railing was
half broken down."
"Oh dear! Oh dear!" cried little Prue,'
bursting into tears, did it kill him ? "
A merry laugh from Bernard, followed by
a hearty chorus from the rest, restored bewil-
dered little Prue to her senses. But Dudley
went on, very soberly:-
"Bernard screamed as he went over, and
with that scream all my anger died in a min-
ute, and I sat down on the stairs, shaking
from head to foot. Then I listened, but I
didn't hear a sound. I don't know how long.
I sat there, but at last I got up very slowly and
began to come down just like an old man.
It was so dreadfully still in the old castle,
that I felt, in a queer way, as if I must be
very careful, too, and I stepped on my tip-
toes, and held my breath. When I got to
the foot, I felt as if a big hand held my heart
tight, and when I tried to walk towards the
spot where I thought Bernard must have fal-









THE OLD CASTLE.


len, I could not move a step. But after a
great while,-it seemed like a year,- I man-
aged to drag myself to the place, and, do you
know, no one was there I"
"Why, where could he be?" cried the as-
tonished children.
"Well, I thought he might have fallen,
and rolled off under the stairs into that
dreadful vault."
"Oh, don't have him get in there, please,"
cried tender little Prue.
"Then," said Dudley, slowly, "I leaned
over the vault, and called his name, Ber-
nard! Bernard!' and then I jumped back
and almost screamed, for I thought some
other boy had spoken. I did not know my
own voice, it sounded so strange and solemn.
But no one answered, and I dragged myself
away, feeling as if that awful hand grew
tighter on my heart, and thinking, as I went
out of the door, how two of us went in, and
why I was coming out alone. Then I sat
down on the grass, and, though it was warm
summer weather, I shivered fiom head to
foot; and I remember thinking to myself,
'This queer boy sitting here isn't Dudley
Wylde; this boy couldn't get angry; he's as








30 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

cold as an icicle, and Dudley Wylde's heart
used to beat, beat, oh! so lively and quick;
but this boy's heart is under a great weight,
and will never stir again; this boy will never
run again, nor laugh, nor care for any thing;
this boy isn't, he can't be- Dudley Wylde;'
and I felt so sorry for him I almost cried.
Then, all of a sudden, I remember I began
to work very hard. I picked up stones out
of the path, and carried them a great way
oi; and worked till I was just ready to drop.
Then I took some flowers, and picked them
all to pieces, so curious to see how they
were put together, and I worked at that till
I was nearly wild with headache. Then I
sat very still, and wondered if that boy who
wasn't, couldn't be Dudley Wylde, was evei
going home; and then I thought that per-
haps if he sat there a little while longer he
would .die, and that was the best thing that
could happen to him; for then he would
never hear any one sa,- 'Where is Ber-
nard?' So I sat their pin this queer way,
waiting for the boy to die, when I heard a
noise, and, looking up, saw" -
"Oh, what?" cried little Prue, clasping
her hands, "a griffin, with claws ? "





THE OLD CASTLE.


But Dudley could not speak, and Bernard
went on: "It's too bad for 'Dud' to tell that
story, when he makes himself so much worse
than he really was. I was as much to blame
as he in that quarrel, and I ought to have
had my share of the misery. You see, when
he threw me over, my tippet caught on the
rough edge of the railing, and held me just a
minute; but that minute saved me, for in
some way, I hardly know how, I swung in,
and dropped safely on the steps just under
'Dud.' Then I hurried into one of those
queer little places in the wall, and hid, for I
was angry, and meant to give him a good
fright; and as I happened to have a little
book in my pocket, I began to read, and got
so interested that I forgot every thing till it
began to grow dark. Then I hurried down,
wondering that every thing was so still. But
when I saw 'Dud,'" said he, turning with
an affectionate glance to his cousin, I
was frightened; for he was so changed I
hardly knew him, and I was afraid he w:,s
dying. So I ran to him, and took him right
in my arms, and called him every dc:r
name I could think of; but he only stared at
me, with the biggest, wildest eyes you ever







32 HELPS OVER IARD PLACES.

saw. 'Dud,' said I,' dear old fellow, what is
the matter? don't you know me?' Then all
of a sudden he burst out crying. Oh, girls,
you never cried like that, and I hope you
never will-great, big sobs, and I helped
him. Then he flung his arms tight around
my neck, and kissed me for the first time in
his life kissed me over and over, my cheeks
and my hair and my hands; and then he
laughed, and, right in the midst, cried as if
his heart would break, and I began to under-
stand that poor 'Dud' thought he had killed
me. No one knows how long we laughed
and cried and kissed each other; but, when
we grew a little calmer, we went back into
the old castle, and on the very steps where
we had our quarrel we knelt down, holding
each other's hands, and promised always to
love each other, and try to keep down olur
wicked tempers."
"And we asked some one to help us keep
the resolution," said Dudley, gently.
"Well, how is it?" said little Prue, with
a bewilderedair. "Was it you and 'Dud'
that went and knelt on the steps to pray ?"
"Yes, 'Dud' and I."
"Well, then, what became of that other










Tille OLD CASTLE. 33

wicked boy that wasn't Dudley Wylde at
all?"
Another shout covered poor Prue with con-
fusion, as Bernard answered,-
"Would you believe it, you dear little
Prue, we have never seen any thing of him
from that day to this."
8












III.


PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE.

THEY had been skating all the afternoon,
boys and girls together, on the great pond
back of the village, and had the "greatest
fun," as even little Prue would have told you,
although there hadn't been five minutes of
the whole time when her head and feet
hadn't boon contending as to which should
be uppermost. But now, just at dark, they
were all gathered together warming them-
selves around the great fire in Flaxy's com-
fortable kitchen, and Flaxy's kind mother had
asked them all to stay to tea. Now, while
they were waiting for the nice short-cake to
get quite brown, Dick Bloom suddenly cried-
How long it is since we have had a story!
Isn't there time to tell one before tea? "
This suggestion met with the usual im-
innso flavor, and there were various cries for
Madge, Bettine, and Bernard. But at the
first pause little Prue broke in,-
8l








PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE.


"I think some one might ask me to tell a
story."
"Don't be a goose, Prie! cried Dick, in
the complimentary style brothers use to their
sisters.
But Bernard said, "I vote for little Prue.
If she has a story to tell, let us hear it by all
means."
"Well, I can tell a story," said Prue, with
a slightly offended air, "all about myself, and
I won't get it mixed up with another girl that
was me, and wasn't either."
"Good!" cried Dudley, joining in the
laugh at his expense. "Go on, little one.
We are all ears, as a highly respectable ani-
mal once remarked. Come sit on my lap and
tell your story."
"You didn't sit on mine when you told
yours, did you? asked Prue with dignity.
"No; that's a clincher, you terribly sharp
little Prue!" said Dudley, with a comical,
crest-fallen air, and little Prue, smoothing her
apron, began her story.
"I suppose I must tell something true about
myself, and just as bad as it can be."
Yes; that seems to be the fashion," said
Dudley; "but I'm almost afraid to hear the






36 HELPS OVER IIAlD PLACES.

worst about you. Suppose you give us the
next worse."
But Prue, disdaining the interruption, went
bravely on. You all know when 1 went to
visit Uncle Seymour last fall ? "
"Oh, yes," said Bernard; we were per-
fectly inconsolable."
"Well, perhaps you didn't know that I had
a cousin there, a little bit older than Dick,
and just the greatest tease in all the world.
Indeed," said little Prue, with a confidential
air, "I don't think he always did quite right.
I remember the very first day I got there, and
unpacked my three dolls, lie made believe he
thought they were beautiful, and that he
loved 'em just as well as I did, and after-
wards, when I was playing church' with 'em,
lie got me to baptize (a very wrong and
wicked thing for any child to do, at least after
he is told better, as we have no right to
'play' such a sacred thing as that) all the
poor things in a pail of water, and then, do
you know, their pretty red checks all ran in
streaks, and one had her eyes washed out, so
that I've had to call her blind Jenny' ever
since. I felt very bad about this, but I tried
not to be angry, and we got along pretty









PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE.


pleasantly together, till one day uncle brought
me two beautiful little kittens, one white and
one black, and I used to call the black one
Teff Davis, and the white one McClellan.
You never saw such cunning kittens. They
would set up their little round backs, and
curl their funny little tails, and make a great
scamper for the other side of the room, roll-
ing over and over each other like soft little
balls. Well, just about this time, Joe that
was his name was very busy making a little
painting. You see, he was very fond of draw-
ing, and just with a piece of charcoal he
could make two or three little scratches on
the garden fence, and there would be a horse,
or a cow, or, may be, a great hungry lion, just
ready to roar. Well, uncle was so proud of
Joe, and Joe was so glad to have him proud,
that he was making a lovely little picture all
secret up in his room, and he meant to give
it to uncle on his birthday. He worked very
hard on it, but just the day before the birth-
day, when it wasn't quite finished, uncle sent
him on an errand way out in the country, so
he'd have to be gone almost all day. Poor
Joel
"'Now I can't finish it any way,' said he








38 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES

to me when he went out of the door; and it
was all done except a little piece of the
ground, and one wash over the sky to make it
look a little more like a sunset.'
Then he bit his lip, and went away, and
I felt so sorry for him. After a while, I went
up to his room, and took out the picture. It
did seem too bad that he had to leave it, and
I couldn't help thinking how pleased he would
be if he could come home and find it all
done. Then I thought of the 'golden rule,'
'Do unto others as you would that they
should do to you;' and though I was half
crazy to play with 'Mac' and 'Jeff' I just
took out the box of colors, and made up my
mind to finish the picture."
"Oh, Prue! How could you?" groaned
Dick, while Bernard and Dudley choked be-
hind their handkerchiefs.
Well, it was hard," said little Prue com-
placently, "but I put Jeff and Mac out of
the room, and painted as hard as ever I could
almost all day, and I made a lovely red cloud
in the sky, and the grass was the brightest
green."
The kindest little Prue !" murmured Ber-
nard, in a smothered voice.








PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE.


"Well, now, would you believe it," said
Prue, with a troubled air, when Joe came
home, and saw it, instead of being pleased,
he stamped his feet, aidl tore the picture right
in two, and was so very angry, that I went
away and cried till I thought my heart was
broken. I never could tell. the reason why
he acted so."
"I can't imagine, I'm sure," said Dudley.
"But he felt very sorry afterwards," con-
tinued little Prue, and we kissed and made
up, and then lie began ito paint another pic-
ture, and told me not to touch it, because he
wanted it to be all his own. But now comes
the saddest part of the storyy"
Bernard and Dudley drew their handker-
chiefs with anxious, lengthening faces.
"One day, while Joe was painting, he was
called away in a great hurry, and lie just left
everything careless on the table. How it all
happened I don't know, Ibut I suppose first
the wind blew the paper olf the table, and
the next thing I knew, there was Jeff and
Mac dragging the picture around, biting it
with their sharp teeth, and scratching it with
their claws. I chased at'tor, and got it just
as quick as I could, mnd just then Joe came








40 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

up with a great cry, and said it was all ruined
and spoiled. I couldn't begin to tell you how
mad he was then. He said be just hated me
and my two horrid little kittens, and then he
slammed the door, and I didn't see him again
that night.
"You may know I scolded 'Mac' and
'Jeff' well, and tied their fore-paws together,
to punish 'em. But they didn't seem to mind
it at all, and in a few minutes they had slip-
ped off the string, and were chasing each
other's tails just as gay as ever. Poor little
kittens! I don't believe they knew any better.
But the next morning when I woke up," said
Prue, with a little tremble in her voice, what
do you think I saw hanging from the tree
right in front of the window ?"
"An apple!" suggested Dick, triumphantly.
"No," said Prue, with a mournful shake, "it
was my two precious little kittens, hung up
by their necks, every bit dead "
"Now that was too bad," cried all the chil-
dren together. "What did you do?"
Why, first I cried, you know, I had to;
and then I staid up in mother's room, and
let all my dolls have the measles, but I
couldn't forget it all I could do; and when I








PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE.


came down stairs, just before ten, and saw
Joe lying aleep on the sofa, I felt so angry,
Oh, so angry, that I thought I should like to
choke him just as he did poor little 'Mac'
and 'Jeff.' So I went and got the string I
played 'cat's cradle' with, and 'put it softly
around his neck."
"Oh, you dreadful ltle Prue," cried Ber-
nard, clasping his hands; don't tell us you
really meant to kill him! "
"I don't quite remember," said innocent
little Prue, but I think I did. I think I felt
a good deal like that boy that wasn't Dudley
Wylde."
"Who ever would have thought it? ejac-
ulated Bernard.
"Now, Prue, that's a likely story," cried
Dick. "You kill him! why, you cried like
a babywhen little Tom only pulled the wings
off a fly."
But little Prue quite insisted that she was
very bad, only admitting that perhaps she
wouldn't have killed him, if she found it was
going to hurt him very much.
"Well, what happened next?" asked
Flaxy.
"Well, you know he woke up all of a sud-






42 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

den, and caught my hands, and when he
found I was going to kill him, he 'was so
frightened that he shook all over, and run his
head into the sofa cushion, and then he got
right down on his knees, and asked my par-
don, and begged me not to do it, and well,
I was so sorry to see him so frightened that I
couldn't help forgiving him, and telling him
I would never kill him again as long as he
lived. Then I ran away by myself, and felt
so very bad to think I had been so wicked,
that I thought I could never be happy again
till I had done something kind for Joe. I
tried ever so long to think what would please
me most, if Iwas going to have a present,
and once I had about made up my mind to
dress my biggest doll, Victoria, in her best
clothes, and give her to Joe. Then I thought
some way there seemed to be something
wrong about the golden rule,' the last time
I tried it with Joe, and I didn't at all know
what to do, till all of a sudden I remembered
that grandpa gave me .half a dollar when I
came from home, so I got it, and ran down
street as fast as I could go, and bought Joe
a splendid knife, with six blades."









PRUE'S GOLDEN RULE.


"The darlingest little Prue," murmured
Bernard.
"Well, you never saw any one so glad as
Joe was. He kissed the knife, and he kissed
me, and I almost thought he was going to
cry. I hadn't the least idea he wanted a kniil
so much. Then he said something queer
about that I had killed something, if I hadn't
killed him; and he was going to try to be
like me;' and I said, 'Oh, no! I'd a great deal
rather you'd stay a boy.' Then he laughed,
and kissed me again, and ever since we've
been just the best of friends, and Christmas
he sent me the loveliest book, and in it was
-'For dear little Prue. Of such is the
kingdom of heaven,'- though I'm sure I
don't know what he put that verse in for.
He must have known that I learned it ever
so long ago. Now that's all the story," said
little Prue, complacently. Wasn't it just
as good as anybody's ?"
Yes, a good story," said Dudley, gravely,
"but I'm afraid it'll have a bad tendency. I
can't see a moral anywhere; and I've got so
confused, since I sat here, I'm afraid I shall
be terribly suspicious of the 'golden rule all
the rest of my life."







44 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

"Dear me," said little Prue, with a quiver-
ing lip, "I didn't mean to be so bad. Can't
any one fix on a moral?"
Yes, Moppet," said Dick, Ill do it. If
you're angry with any one, instead of killing
him, it's better to buy him a jack-knife, and
then he'll live, and send you a 'lovely book'
at Christmas."
Prue looked troubled.
Never mind, darling," whispered Bernard,
"it's a dear little story, and I'm sure I think
more of the golden rule' than I ever did in
my life."
"Come, children, tea is all ready," cried a
pleasant voice from the dining-room; and
little Prue, greatly comforted, rode in trium-
phantly upon Bernard's shoulder.















PRINCESS PEARLYPAT;
OR, REMEMIBEB THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLT.

LITTLE Prue had been very sick, but had
so far recovered as to sit up in the big arm-
chair-wrapped in so many blankets that
she looked like a quaint little mummy-
and receive the visits of her friends. So one
bright afternoon they came in a flock, each
kind hand bringing a present to make rosy
pleasure dance in the little pale cheeks.
Madge had an orange, Bernard a bunch of
hot-house grapes, Flaxy a wonderful "pic-
ture-book," Bettine a kitten as handsome as
if Hermann had rubbed "Mac" and Jeff"
into one, and finally, teasing Dudley, after
looking over all the room, and pretending as
great surprise at discovering Prue in the
blankets as if she had been a needle in a hay-
stack, drew up his chair, and whispered con-
fidentially, -








46 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

"You see, 'Dot,' I've been hard at work at
the 'golden rule' ever since I heard your
story, and to-day there is such a splendid
wind, I couldn't think of any thing that
would please me better than a magnificent
kite, with no end of tail, so I've bought you
one, though it has stripped me of my last
cent. See, here it is; and if you don't think
the tail is long enough, I've got Seward's cor-
respondence on the Mason and Slidell affair,
and we'll just make it up into tags, and then
I guess we can back that tail, for length,
against the world."
Poor Prue tried to be grateful, but looked
very blank.
"There, you don't like it!" said Dudley,
with an air of immense disappointment.
"Didn't you say that we ought to do to oth-
ers as"-
"Yes," said little Prue, hesitating; "and
you're very good to me; but you see little
girls don't fly kites much, and the next time
you give me any thing I'd rather you'd do
unto me as you would like to have me do
unto you, if you was me."
"Good!" said Dudley; "I just begin to
see it."










PRINCESS PEARLYPAT.


"Come," said Bernard, you are taking up
too much time. Remember that 'Princess
Pearlypat' is going to tell little Prue a story."
"Oh, how nice !" cried Plue, clapping her
little thin hands.
"Wait a minute," said Dudley, fumbling
in his pocket; "here's a dlot that old Penny-
man on the corner persuaded me to buy, but
I'm sure I don't know what to do with it, un-
less the housekeeper can melt up this head to
wax her linen thread, and perhaps stuff a pin-
cushion with these fussy yellow curls."
Little Pruc uttered an exclamation of dis-
may at such a hfte for those lovely pink
cheeks and golden ringlets, and involuntarily
stretched out her hands.
Oh, would you care for it?" said Dudley,
in great surprise. Whio would have thought
it? You are very kind to take it offmy hands.
What a good little Prue you always were.
Now don't do it just to oblige me."
Dear simple little Prue assured him that it
wouldn't trouble her in the least to take care
of the doll, and Dudley, professing great relict;
turned to blushing Bettine, alias Plrincess
Pearlypat," who was chosen orator for lhe
occasion.








48 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

"In the first place," began Bettine, "you
must know that my big brother Frank called
me Princess Pearlypat, because I was like the
princess in a funny old German story, whose
hair was so bright and yellow that it looked
like a crown of gold. I wouldn't tell you this,
only that at the time of my story nobody
called me by any other name. A great many
years ago, when I was quite a little girl,"-
"How many?" asked Dudley.
"Well," said Bettine, considering and col-
oring a little, "about three. I was standing
one Saturday night out by the gate, not feel-
ing good-natured at all. You see I had ex-
pected to spend all that day picnicking in
the woods, and instead I had just sat by the
play-room window, and seen it pour, pour,
pour, from morning till night. This was very
hard, and now, just at sunset, when it way
too late, the clouds all rolled away in a most
provoking manner, and, as I stood at the
gate, all the west grew like a great crimson
sea, the trees were all over diamonds, and
you would have thought the birds were just
going crazy. But I was very angry. 'It's
all very nice for you, Mrs. Robin,' I said,
' who don't study fractions and geography







PRINCESS PEARLYPAT.


from Monday till Friday, and go to church
all day Sunday. You needn't feel a bit
disappointed about the rain, when you can
be playing about all day to-morrow, while I
sit cooped up in that high-backed pew with
old Miss Prim's big black bonnet bobbing
before me.'
"Just then, Paul Peyser came along. You
remember Paul, and what great friends we
used to be. He's gone away to school now.
Well, Paul and I had a long talk over our
grievances and disappointments. It will be
a splendid day to-morrow,' said Paul, at last.
'It will be too bad for you to be perched up
all day behind Miss Prim's bonnet.'
"'I hate Miss Prim,' said I, feeling that I
must be angry with somebody.
'Yes,' said Paul, 'I don't care if she is a
member of the church and going to be an
angel some day, she isn't near as pretty to
look at as a weed.'
"Then we both laughed at good old Miss
Prim, and after a little more talk together,
we formed a very bad plan, as you will see
as I go on with my story. I must say I felt
rather uneasy about it, after I went into the
house, and the next morning, when I told
4











50 HELPS OVER IARD PLACES

mother that my head ached, so that I did not
feel like going to church, it was not quite a
story, for I had been tossing and restless all
night, and my head was very hot. So my
kind mother bathed my fbrehcad and dark-
ened the room, and, leaving me on the sofa,
told me to keep very still till she came home.
She was hardly out of the house, before Paul's
round face looked in at the window.
"'Oh, you're there, are you, Princess? all
right! Come on! Such a time as I had,
though! I was such a fool as to play sick be-
fore breakfast, and I declare they didn't let
me eat enough to keep a horn-bug alive.
Come; what are you waiting for?'
"'I'm afraid it isn't right to spend the holy
Sabbath in the woods.'
"' There, I might have known you'd back
out, girl-baby!' said he, scornfully, and then
he changed his tone. 'Come, Pearlypat,
that's a brave girl! I've got the dearest little
cave to show you. I was the Columbus, and
found it all myself, but I'll tell you the secret,
and no one else shall know. Won't it be fun
to hide there some time? It's a little place.
I'm going to call it' the Princess' Thimble,'
or 'Pearlypat's Cradle,' or whatever you like.









PRINCESS PEARLY'AT.


Come; we won't be gone but an hour. Let
me tie on your highness' sun-bonnet;' and so
some way, I hardly know how, he coaxed me
out over the soft green fields into the woods.
It was the loveliest morning I ever knew,
and now that the church bells had stopped,
there wasn't a sound except the birds, and
those dear little noises of bees, and lazy, sleepy
flies. I thought how very good God was to
make every thing so beautiful, and when, as
we struck into the mossy, shady path, Paul
quoted from the piece lie used to speak Fri-
day afternoons, 'The groves were God's first
temples,' I began to think we were not doing
any thing so very wrong, after all. Why
couldn't we be just as good out there in the
dear old woods, as sitting bolt upright in the
little brick church ?
Let's try and be good out in these first
temples," Paul,' said I. Let's each say the
verse we learned this morning.
"' Oh, I was too sick to learn any,' said
Paul, with his gay laugh. 'What's yours,
Princess ?'
"'Like as a father pitieth his children, so
the Lord pitieth them that fear him; for lie







52 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES

knoweth our frame,--he remembereth that
we are dust.'
"' That's a great verse for us, Pearlypat,'
said Paul. I never thought of it just so be-
fore. Don't you see, if we're doing wrong
to-day, God won't be very angry with us.
We won't be expected to act just like angels.
Don't you see he'll just remember that we're
dust?'
"I knew there was something wrong about
this; and I had a sort of dim idea that we
ought to be very thankful if God remembered
this when we were trying to do our very
best. But I didn't know just what to say,
and so we went on, and pretty soon we for-
got all about verses and Sunday. We sailed
boats in the brook and had a little feast in the
cave, and finally began to play catch;' and
while I was chasing him very hard through
the woods, where there wasn't any path, I
saw Paul suddenly throw up his hands, then
he gave a little cry, and there was the last ofl
him. I came after rather more slowly you
may be sure, and found that in our play we
had come right upon the edge of the ravine,
and looking over, I saw that Paul had only








PRINCESS PEARLYPAT.


fallen a little way, and was holding on to a
twig.
"'All, Pearlypat,' said he, laughing, for I
believe he would laugh if he were going to
be hung, 'you see the wood-spirits are
dragging me down; but just reach me your
hand, and I'll be up in a minute.'
So I took hold of a little bush, and leaned
over, and he caught my hand, and struggled
up, but just at the worst minute my bush
gave way, over I tumbled, and Paul after me,
over and over. I quite lost my breath, and
was so stunned with hitting my head against
stones, that I didn't know any thing for a
long time. At last I heard Paul laugh; he
always laughed, though this time he groaned
the minute after.
"'Well, Princess,' said he, 'how do you
like playing avalanche?'
"'It's poor fun,' said I, trying to sit up, but
feeling so sore all over that I burst out crying.
"'Nonsense, Pearlypat,'said Paul, dragging
himself up to me, and smoothing my hand;
' I've either sprained or broken my foot, so I
can't walk, but you see some one will come
to find us before long, and they'll carry us
home on rose-leaves. No one will think of







54 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

scolding us, when they find we're hurt, but
we'll be petted, and have all kinds of nice
things to eat, and won't go to school for a
week.'
"But as the hours passed away, and no
help came, matters began to look pretty se-
is. Once we thought we heard steps in
Ae woods above, and cried with all our
might, but we were so far from the road that
no one thought of looking for us in that dark
ravine.
"Oh, how many times during the day I
would have given any thing in the world to
have been sitting in my clean white dress
behind Miss Prim's black bonnet. But the
day wore on, and when the sunset burned so
fierce and red behind the solemn old pines,.
I felt as if God was very angry with us.
"' What do you think of my verse now,
Paul?' said I. 'I'm afraid we'll have to stay
here all night. Do you think God will re-
member that we are dust?'
"'I'm afraid he doesn't remember any thing
else,' said Paul, with a doleful shake of the
head. I'm afraid he thinks we might just as
well lie here a year or two, as those little
lumps of clay there.'







PRINCESS PEARLYPAT.


"Then, as it was pretty dark, I'm (luite
sure Paul laughed a lillttl the wrong side (f
his mouth, though he made all manner of fun
of me, and said they wouldn't need any mnre
rain in the ravine all suinmer.
"I don't remember nuc(h after that, only
that Paul made me lay my head on his shoul-
der, and I went half sleep, though I always
kept dreaming I was an avalanche, and wotld
wake up witl a great jum11 and a sob.
"All of a sudden, when the stars had been
out more thl:ian hour, Paul started up with
a cry, and I thought we had fallen into the
hands of the Indians, there was such a scream-
ing and halloing, and great red torches that
flared till all the trees seemed dancing like
mad. I thought I must lie then to be sure,
and, shutting my eyes, I began to say my
prayers just as fast as I could, Now I lay
me down to sleep when somebody caught
me right up in his arms, andl I heard dear
Frank say, almost sobbing, She is alive, dear
little Pearlypat!' and lie kissed, me over and
over.
"I was very sick for a long time, but every
body was a great deal kinder than I deserved.
I remember that good Miss Prim used to rub






56 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

my aching limbs, and carry me about every
day, till I could quite cry for shame, to think
we had said she was uglier than a weed.
"No one ever said a word to me about how
naughty I had been, only one day Frank said,
very softly, I used to hope dear little Pearly-
pat was one of God's children;' but I couldn't
answer a word, so he said, 'Does my little
Princess know that she must act very differ-
ently if the great King ever calls her to be a
princess in the other world ? '
"I didn't say any thing, but Frank knew I
was thinking a great deal, so he kissed me,
and went away.
That same day Paul came to see me, look-
ing rather pale. 'I've had a pretty tough
time, Pearlypat,' said he, laughing, of course,
'but I wasn't too sick to learn a verse,' and
then he grew quite sober, -'Remember the
Sabbath day to keep it holy.'"













OLD BARNEY'S MASK.

ALL the highway grew dim in the twilight,
The robins at vespers crooned low;
On the little brown gate of the garden
Swung Eric and Maud to and fio;
While down tile dim road, in the twilight,
Gleamed Barney's old head crowned with
snow.

"Here he comes, the old scarecrow," laughed
Eric;
"How queerly he dips that lame leg;
What a face -just one tangle of wrinkles;
And look at those goggles, I beg.
Here he comes! See his head where he wipes
it-
It's smoother than Speckle's last egg.

"Ah, he's speaking. What is it? Some
water ?
Oh, yes, there's the cup on the shelf.
57







58 IIELPS OVER HARD PLACES.


I would run if you asked me, sweet Red-lips,
But he's such a crooked old elf,
Let him stumble :nd crawl to the well there,
And drag up the bucket himself.

"See his hands, how they're slaking! Why,
Blue-eyes,
I hope you're not going to cry;
'You're so sorry ?'-why, yes, it is slih
The old bag of bones ought to die.
Only young people ought to be living,
As pretty as you, dear, and I."

Then his scornful eyes swept after Barney;
But ahl! what a marvel was there.
'Twas an hour since the sunset had faded,
And yet all the tremulous air
Streamed in glory, as if, down the twilight,
A seraph had loosed his bright hair.

And oh! what was that beautiful presence
That stood in the cloud's rosy fold ?
Cried a voice, "Dearest child, 'tis old Barney;
For, lying so oft, lame and old,
At the beautiful gate of the temple,
Hills soul has grown firer than gold."







OLD BARNEY'S MASK.


In the saddest amazement stood Eric,
And stretched forth his hands, full of pain;
But the vision grew dim, and through twi-
light,
He saw but the bucket's rough chain,
O'er whose links little Maud's rosy fingers
And Barney's tired hands tugged in vain.

Fun of shame sprang young Eric beside
them,
His eager hands bent to the task,
While he whispered, "Sweet Maud, I've a
secret
I hardly dare tell if you ask;
Do you know the real Barney's an angel,
Hid under that wrinkled old mask?"

In sweet reverence Maud knelt before him,
With tears in her eyes' wishful blue,
Pleading, Pray for us, pray for us, Barney,
That we grow as lovely as you;
So that God, looking neathh our youth's roses,
May find angels hiding there too."













THE GARDEN OF THE BELOVED.

"THERE, now you've done it," cried John
Cramer to his twin brother Cornelius, as he
arrived breathless at the garden gate. You
weren't fair a bit in that race, and you ran
twice right over Phebe's flower-bed, and took
the heads off her very best tulips. Oh won't
she be mad ? and here she comes this very
minute to look at them!"
That's a fact," said Cornelius, and I may
as well walk right up and face the music,'
and have it over with;" and he went slowly
up to Phebe, who was bending in sorrowful
surprise over her little tribe of tulips that had
been so remorselessly scalped.
"Yes, I did it," said Cornelius, in dogged
response to her look of mute inquiry. "There
now, how angry you are. You pretend to be
good, and you're not a bit like that girl in
the memoir of Good Little Jane.' She would
have said right away, Oh, if any one's








THE GARDEN OF THE BELOVED. 61

flowers are spoiled, I hope they are mine,' and
she would have been so glad that they were
not her brother's, that she would have been
happy as a queen. But you are so selfish, I
do believe you are going to cry. You ought
to have been called April-it's just shower,
shower, shower all the time. Yes, here it
comes," said he, as two white clouds, with
heavy fringes, swept down over those little
samples of blue sky, commonly called Phebe's
eyes. April showers!" continued he, in a
tone of great disgust, to John, who drew nigh.
Phebe spent a moment trying to swallow
something which from the effort might have
been the whole range of the Alleghany Moun-
tains, and then, looking up with a smile like a
rainbow, said, -
"Well, I'm sure I didn't mean to be selfish,
and I am truly glad they are not your flowers;
but you know these disappointments come on
one sometimes just like a great cloud, and
one can't help a little rain;" and she added,
good-naturedly, "Don't you remember the
little rhyme,
'April showers bring May flowers '"
"I don't understand you," said Cornelius.
"It would be a funny flower-garden that








62 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

would spring up under those showers. What
do you mean ?"
"I'm afraid I can't explain it very well,"
said Phebe, "but Miss Weston was telling
me last Sunday that when any trouble came
- big or little- it made every thing gloomy
like the clouds on a rainy day, but if we took
the cloud patiently, and let the rain come
down and soften our hearts, after a while
flowers would bud and bloom, -fair white
flowers,-and the Beloved would come down
into his garden to gather lilies."
What a terribly mixed-up speech that
is," said Cornelius, scornfully. "I don't bc-
lieve you have the least idea what you are
talking about. Lilies and flowers in one's
heart! What do you mean, you 'ridiculous
goose?" And John joined in the derisive
laugh.
Phebe answered timidly, "I do not know
that I ought to say it, but now, after this
cloud, which has been quite a big one to me,
I'm hoping-you know I didn't get angry,
Corny, or scold so I'm hoping that there is
a little bud of patience in my heart. I won't
call it a flower yet, but may be it will be
some day."







TUn GARDEN Or THE BELOVED. G3

Phebe," said Cornelius, emphatically,
you're a Pharisee, and Miss Weslto's a prig!
Now, don't let me hear any more such non-
sense, or 111 cut off all your red hair, and give
it to the boys to keep their hands warm.
Ahl there it goes again. One, two,- Oh
what big drops! Never mind, perhaps pa-
tience will shove out a new leaf;" and, with
a loud laugh, Cornelius turned a somersault
down the garden path, followed by his shadow
and echo-John.
Phebe turned to the house, her heart so
full of bitter thoughts that she couldn't feel
at all certain about that rare plant she had
hoped was beginning to bud. She had felt
a very strong impulse to strike Cornelius
when he spoke so cruelly about her red hair,
and some way she had a queer feeling that
the blow had fallen instead upon that small
bud, and that if it over came to any thing it
would be a rather scraggy flower.
Phebe took a turn or two in the garden,
and gradually became more composed. This
was Saturday, her holiday, and it would
not do to waste it all in tears. She would
go and get the beautiful book Susan Brown
lent her, and have a splendid time, reading,







64 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

all by herself. But as she hurried into the
house, her oldest sister, Caroline, called from
the parlor,-
Here, Phebe, take this glove and sew up
the rips just as quick as you can. No; you
may run up stairs first, and get my crimson
shawl, and.my handkerchief, and then just
run to the basement and get me a glass of
water before I go out. There- that's a dear
little girl! Oh did you bring my parasol ?
the sun is so hot! No ? Oh, well, you'll find
it in some of my drawers. It won't take you
a minute."
Up went the patient feet, and back again.
"There," cried sister Caroline, "how do I
look?"
"Beautiful!" was the heartfelt response;
and the pleased Caroline, kissing her, said,-
"Well, you are good, if you are not very
pretty;" and she tripped carelessly from the
room.
"If not very pretty," said Phebe to her-
self, sadly, and she stole up to the mirror and
looked in.
Little pale, thin face, topped with a crown
of flaming hair.
"Another April shower," cried Cornelius







THE GARDEN OF THE BELOVED. 65

at the door, and poor Phebe turned away very
patient, very humble, and the flowers of meek-
ness and gentleness began to open their sweet
leaves.
"Now I shall have a little time to read,"
thought Phebe again to herself, and she hur-
ried up stairs to forget her sorrows in the
wonderful book; but, alas! the nursery door
opened just as she reached the top of the
steps.
"Miss Phebe," cried nurse, carrying little
sobbing Bobby, would you be so very kind
as to amuse baby just five minutes? My
head aches so, I'm quite distracted, and if I
could only lie down, and bathe it with cam-
phor- but master Bobby is so fractious with
his teeth, be won't be put down a moment."
Phebe gave a long sigh. "No, Miggs," she
began, "I'm tired myself." Oh! how the
tender buds of gentleness and love began to
droop! and a great weed of selfishness grew
faster than a mushroom.
"Well, Miss," said Miggs, kindly, I sup-
pose you are. You're everybody's little slave,
that's a fact! Never mind."
"No," cried Phebe, falteringly; "I didn't
mean that. I'll take him a little while.
5








66 HELPS OVEin HARD PLACES.

Come, Bobby;" and Bobby's fretful mouth
softened into a smile as he sprang into the
arms of his favorite sister.
It was afternoon, and again there seemed a
prospect of a little peace. Carry, mother,
nurse and baby were out taking a drive, and
John and Cornelius, with their schoolmates,
were holding apolitical meeting in the barn.
Phebe settled herself with her book in the
broad window-seat, and all her trials seemed
to fade away, but when she had been reading
about ten minutes, and was just in the most
exciting part of the story, there came a timid
knock at the door. She raised her head with
a frown, and there-- she could just have
cried from vexation there stood tedious
old Mrs. Smith. Phebe felt very rebellious.
Mother and Carry are both out," said she,
very quickly.
Never mind, my dear. I will sit awhile
with you."
"This is the biggest cloud yet," said Phebe
bitterly to herself. "I thought I had had
enough for one day. It is too bad! too
bad!" But unconscious old Mrs. Smith sat
down, and took off her pattens, and laid by
her shawl, as if she had come to stay all the







THE GARDEN OF THE BELOVED. 67

rest of the day. Then she began to tell little
Phebe about her last attack of rheumatism,
and of the dreadful cough she had nights,
how she had frozen her feet last January, and
how she had fallen and knocked out one of
her front teeth, and how brother John's chil-
dren-the whole eight of them-had the
measles-all when poor Phebe was just
dying to read whether Jack Ringtop ever
found his way out of the black forest. Phebe
was very rebellious at first, and I am afraid
that if the "Beloved" had then gone down
into his garden, he would have found no lilies.
But, after a great struggle, she concluded to
make the best of this shower, and she an-
swered Mrs. Smith so kindly, and had so
much sympathy for all her trials, that the old
woman was full of grateful surprise, and
going away at last, she laid her withered old
hand upon her head, and blessed her in the
name of the Lord. And though, almost as
soon as she was gone, crying baby came home,
and Carry had a dozen errands for the wil-
ling hands and feet, still Phebe felt wonder-
fully happy, and the buds of "long-suffering"
began to put forth in the showers, while pa-
tience really burst into fill flower.






68 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

It was now tea-time, and Phcbe was look-
ing forward with some apprehension to the
coming of her ill-natured, teasing brother,
when John appeared, breathless, with a white
face, and announced that Cornelius had fallen
from the hay-loft, and hurt himself very much.
The news was indeed too true. Cornelius
had broken his leg, and was carried to his
room to be a prisoner for weeks. Forgiving
Phebe was his nurse from the first, and Cor-
nelius, impatient and angry with pain and
confinement, exhausted his ingenuity in con-
triving ways to make her trouble.
"You little fright!" he cried angrily, one
night, as she style in to see if there was any
thing more she could do,-" do you want to
know what you look like ? In the first place,
you're about as fat as a broom-stick, and in
that white wrapper you look like a tallow
candle with your red hair for the light. Get
out of my sight; you're horrid! I'd like to
snuff you out."
But no sooner had poor Phebe stolen hum-
bly away, than he called her back to execute
a dozen different commands, reproaching her
that she wasn't more unselfish more like
" Good little Jane."






THE GARDEN OF THE BELOVED. 69

This was a long, cloudy time for Phebe,
and more than an April rain, but the flowers
grew fast in the showers. Love, patience,
long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, were all
there, and Phebe was far from unhappy, for
joy and peace are always found blossoming
in the same company.
Cornelius worried himself into a fever, and
his life was despaired of, but when, after a long
struggle, his strong constitution conquered, and
he began slowly to improve, every one could
see that some change had come over him.
His eyes had a different look now, as they
followed little Phebe's swift, noiseless steps
around his room. Such patient, tireless feet!
Such an uncomplaining, self-sacrificing sister!
How could he have been blind so long? And
that red hair, how he loved every golden
thread! As she sat by the window at sunset
one day, with her little Bible opened before
her, it seemed like a saint's halo around her
sweet face.
"John," whispered the repentant Cornelius,
"I have made a long April for our little sister,
but oh! how the flowers have grown! I see
it all now; and do you know I have made
a resolve that from this time I will do all I






70 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

can to make life sunshine to her, for I'm
frightened to see her so good, and I'm afraid
when the May flowers are all in bloom, they
will take her where everlasting Spring
abides."
Just then sister Carry entered the room.
"Hush," said Cornelius, putting his finger on
his lip, and pointing to Phebe, who still sat,
her sweet face upturned, and her lovely eyes
looking far away into the rosy sky.
Carry looked, and almost started, as the
idea suddenly flashed upon her that little
Phebe was beautiful,--far more beautiful than
she, with her red cheeks and brown hair.
You never looked like that, Carry," said
Cornelius, softly.
"Never half so pretty," cried echo John.
"What is it?" said Carry, almost fretfully,
-"Phebe!"
"Hush," implored Cornelius," don't trouble
her. I will tell you. I understand it all
now;" and the tears rolled down his thin
cheeks. Don't disturb her for the world.
Little Phebe has a beautiful heart, and when-
ever she looks like that you may know the
' Beloved has gone down to his garden to
gather lilies.'"












VII.


THE DANGEROUS DOOR.

"CoUvsI Will, cousin Will, tell us a story !
Do, please. There's just time before the
school-bell rings;" and Harry, Kate, Bob, and
little "Peace," a rosy battalion, surrounded
his chair, and at Bob's word of command,
"Present arms!" embraced his knees, clung
around his neck, and otherwise made such a
vigorous attack, that cousin Will sued for
mercy, and declared himself quite ready to
surrender.
"Well, what shall it be, little Peace?"
said he, taking the plump hand of his favor-
ite Lucy, who had obtained the name of
"Peace," or "Peacemaker," on account of
her gentle disposition; for she never could
hear angry words, or see an unloving look
pass between her little friends, or brothers
and sisters, without doing every thing in her
power to smooth over the trouble, and get
them to "kiss and make up."





72 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

"Well, little Peace, what shall it be ?"
"Something true this time," said Peace,
"for I'm getting tired of dragons and fairies."
"Very well," said cousin Will. "I've only
five minutes, and must,be short. I'm going
to tell you about some very dangerous doors
I've seen."
Oh, that's good! exclaimed Bob. Were
they all iron, and heavy bars, and if one
passed through would they shut with a great
snap, and keep him there forever ?"
"No," replied cousin Will, "the doors I
mean are very pleasant to look upon. They
are pink, or scarlet, like sea-shells, and when
they open, you can see a row of little servants
standing all in white, and just behind them is
a little lady dressed in crimson."
"Why, that's splendid," cried Kate; "I
should like to go in myself."
Ah, it is what comes out of those doors
that makes them so dangerous. It is always
best to have a strong guard on each side, or
else there is great trouble and misery."
"Why, what comes out? said little Peace,
with wondering eyes.
"Well, I've never seen very clearly," said
cousin Will, "but sometimes, when the guards






THE DANGEROUS DOOR.


were away, I've known something to come
out sharper than arrows, or stings of bees,
and they made some terrible wounds. In-
deed, quite lately I saw two very pretty little
doors close together, and when one opened,
the little crimson lady began to talk very fast,
and said something like this: 'Oh! did you
see Lucy Waters to-day? What a proud,
"stuck-up thing she is; but that dress she
thinks so much of is made out of her sister's
old one.' 'Oh yes,' said the little crimson
lady looking out of the other door; and did
you ever see such a funny turn-up nose as she
has? Why, I think she'd keep it rolled up in
cotton if she only knew how it looked.'
Then poor Lucy Waters, who was only round
the corner of the house, felt a sharp little sting
in her heart, and ran home to cry all the
pleasant summer evening."
"I know what you mean, cousin Will,"
cried Kate, coloring violently, "but I don't
Think it was at all right for you to stand
around listening."
"Oh! do you mean our mouths are the
doors," exclaimed Harry, "and the little
crimson lady is Miss Tongue? "
"Even so," said cousin Will.





74 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

"Well, who is the guard, and where do
they come from ?" asked Bob.
"Why, you have to ask the great King;
and this is what you must say: 'Set a watch,
O Lord, upon my lips, keep the door of my
mouth.' Then he will send Patience and
Love to stand on one side of the door, and
Truth and Humility on the other, and the
sharp, bitter, stinging little words won't dare
to come out."
"I shall ask the great King," said little
Peace, thoughtfully. Cousin Will kissed her,
and repeated the verse till each one could say
it. "Now run to school," cried he, cheerily,
" and when you come home, I will tell you, the
minute I look at the four little doors, whether
the King's guard has been there all day."
So the children trooped away with their
dinner-baskets and books, and Love certainly
guarded the doors all the way to the school-
house. Even impulsive Kate thought deeply
on cousin Will's gentle reproof, and made
great resolutions for the future. During the
morning great peace and harmony reigned
throughout the school, but as the day ad-
vanced it became very warm. Every round
cheek became flushed, and the restless little






72 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.


"Well, little Peace, what shall it be ?"
"Something true this time," said Peace,
"for I'm getting tired of dragons and fairies."
"Very well," said cousin Will. "I've only
five minutes, and must be short. I'm going
to tell you about some very dangerous doors
I've seen."
Oh, that's good! exclaimed Bob. Were
they all iron, and heavy bars, and if one
passed through would they shut with a great
snap, and keep him there forever?"
"No," replied cousin Will, "the doors I
mean are very pleasant to look upon. They
are pink, or scarlet, like sea-shells, and when
they open, you can see a row of little servants
standing all in white, and just behind them is
a little lady dressed in crimson."
"Why, that's splendid," cried Kate; "I
should like to go in myself."
"Ah, it is what comes out of those doors
that makes them so dangerous. It is always
best to have a strong guard on each side, or
else there is great trouble and misery."
Why, what comes out?" said little Peacq,
with wondering eyes.
"Well, I've never seen very clearly," said
cousin Will, but sometimes, when the guards






76 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

tie red door tight shut, and Susy did not hear
a word. Little Peace cried quietly to herself
a long time, but nobody seemed to notice it
till school was out, when sister Kate flew up
to Susy Waters.
"Well, Susy, you certainly are the ugliest.
girl--and, more than that, you're a coward,
for I've heard father say that only cowards
hurt people who are smaller and weaker than
themselves."
Now Love, Humility and Patience had all
tried to keep guard, and to whisper, "Poor
Susy; she was very tired and warm, and no-
body speaks kindly to her. Try and forgive
her." But no! the door flew open, and lit-
tle Miss Tongue threw all those hard stones
at Susy's heart.
Now Susy was very passionate, and she
stamped her feet, and grew crimson with rage,
and said such very hard things, that Jenny
Wood and most of the other girls took sides
with Kate, and there was soon such a Babel
of tongues, that the boys left their game of
ball and came to see what was the matter.
"What is it, Peace ? cried Harry Graham,
taking his little frightened sister from Kate's
neck. Why, Katy, you look as mad as poor






THE DANGEROUS DOOR.


puss when Towser has chased her for an hour.
I wonder what cousin Will would say to that
mouth ?"
Katy looked a little ashamed, and Fred
Waters, taking his sister by the arm, led her
away home, bitterly telling over wrongs in
his sympathizing ear. So the little party sep-
arated, and Kate, too, ran home with her
flushing cheeks, taking good care to keep out
of cousin Will's way.
Immediately after tea, Jenny Wood came
into the garden. "Oh, Kate," she cried, "I
must tell you what John is going to do. You
know he despises that hateful Susy Waters as
much as we do, and he says he will pay her
to-night for all her ugliness."
S"What will he do ?" cried Kate, eagerly.
"Why, he, with one of the other boys, is
going there after dark to get that white kit-
ten she thinks so much of, and cut off its ears
and tail. Oh! won't she be furious when
she sees it in the morning ?"
Kate looked a little doubtful, and said,
"Oh I'm afraid that won't be just right."
But Jenny talked so fast, and recalled so
many ugly things that she had said and done,
that Kate's scruples were soon overcome.





78 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

But Peace, who had stood by, with sad,
troubled eyes, immediately resolved in her
generous little heart to try and give Susy
warning. Finding Bob, she hastily told him
the whole story, and that she must go to
Susy's, but she'd run all the way, and be
back before dark.
It was a long walk for the tired little girl,
but the patient feet started bravely on their
errand of love. The sun set -the shadows
lengthened-all the little birds sang their
sweet good-night and put their heads under
their wings, but no little Peace came back.
Soon there were inquiries on every side, and
great shouting and calling, but no sweet echo-
ing voice returned. Servants were dispatched
in every direction, but all in vain. Soon the
family became much alarmed, and little Bob
was awakened to be asked if he knew any-
thing of his sister. He told all the story,
and Kate, coloring under cousin Will's re-
proachful gaze, burst into bitter weeping.
But no one had time to comfort her, for
father, mother, cousin Will, and all, started.
forth with lanterns to find the pet of the
household.
"I suppose she is blessed wherever she is,"





THE DANGEROUS DOOR.


said little Bob, confidently, "because she's a
peacemaker."
"Oh, perhaps," groaned Kate, "she's gone
away from us all to be one of the children of
God."
All night long they searched for little
Peace, but she had not been at Susy's, nor
could she any where be found. When the
morning dawned, all the little schoolmates
with solemn faces joined in the search.
Susy Waters, who had heard the whole
story of the dear heart of little Peace, came
up to Kate, with a pale, tear-stained face.
"Oh, Kate, I shall never be happy again.
How cruel I was to your sweet little sister.
Can you ever forgive me ?"
Humility opened the door, and Kate said
softly, "I am just as bad as you. If I had
only been as kind as Peace, you would have
been different. I shall never forgive my-
self."
Just then Bob cried, "Here's part of her
dress on the fence." Cousin Will sprang for-
ward, and, climbing over, looked eagerly
around. *
Suddenly Farmer Waters cried, "There's
an old, half-choked well by the fence in the





80 IIELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

next field. Could the little one have lost her
way, and fallen in that ?"
Cousin Will rushed forward, followed by
the whole company. Yes, the rotten old
boards which had covered it for years were
broken, and there was another piece of the
little blue dress.
Cousin Will shuddered, and threw himself
down to look over the brink. Then came a
wild, triumphant cry! The old well was
nearly filled up with rubbish. She had only
fallen a little way, and there, bathed in the
rosy morning light, the eager eyes, looking
over, saw the fair hair, and the sweet, caln
eyes of little Peace. Every boy's cap took a
turn in the air, and a clear, ringing "hurrah!"
carried the good news to every house in the
place.
Then followed warm embraces, and happy
tears, as the child was passed from friend to
friend. Then, while Susy, Jenny, and Kate
knelt hand in hand, the good old minister,
with his hand on the head of little Peace,
offered up a fervent thanksgiving. And after
praying thai the little lambs might never for-
get the lesson of the night, but that God would
teach them that life and death were in the





THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 81

power of the tongue, and that he would al-
ways keep the doors of all those tender
mouths, he added, reverently, -
"0 Lord, open Thou our lips, and our
mouths shall show forth thy praise." And all
the children said, "Amen."
6




. .


VIII.

WALKING IN LOVE.

THERE could not have been a more. beauti-
ful day. To be sure, there had been a few
clouds early in the morning, but, as Nelly
Warren declared, there was only enough water
in them for the sun to wash his face, and give
his little flower-children each a drink. And
now every thing was so bright and beautiful,
and every little-drop dancing on the grass-
blades was shaking and twinkling to think
what a fright it had given the boys and girls,
when it was only playing rain."
For you must know it was a holiday in the
little village Academy, and all the scholars
were going to take their dinners and spend
the happy day in the woods.
It was a very pleasant.sight when the chil-
dren started in company from the Academy
gate. There were such sunny smiles playing
"hide and seek" in the merry dimrples -such
bright eyes blue, .black, and gray-such
82






WALKING IN LOVE.


nimble, dancing feet, and oh! such a chatter,
it would have utterly discouraged a full con-
vention of magpies and mocking-birds, if they
had been within hearing distance.
Bob Patterson would walk with pretty
Belle Hamilton, and very politely carried the
basket with the nice sandwiches and cake
packed cosily within. Charley Graham was
looking for Nelly Warren, who was not really
so very pretty, but was so good, that all her
little mates would have been quite offended
with any one who did-not think her beautiful.
Her face was quite sunburned and freckled,
and her eyes were certainly gray, but she had
a kind and loving heart, was always ready to
do any thing to make others happy, in short,
the whole secret of little Nelly's beauty was,
that she tried to "walk in love."
"Come, Nelly," cried Charley, "let me have
your basket, and I'll hold your little brother's
hand, too. Come, they will get ahead of us!"
Charley," whispered Nelly, "no one will
walk with poor Phil Barton."
"Well, I don't want to," said Susy Gifford,
pouting; "he walks so slow, and is so awk-
ward, and then he isn't full of fun, like the
rest of us."






'84 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

-"I don't see why'he wanted to come," said
Fanny Smythe. "If I were such a scare-a-crow
as he, Pd go and live with the owls, and never
show myself in day-light."
"Oh, Fanny," exclaimed Nelly, "how could
you? I'm almost sire he heard you;" and
she looked anxiously after a little deformed
boy, who limped slowly away from the group.
Fanny looked a little uneasy, and turned
away, arm-in-arm with Susy.
"Now, do come, Nelly," said Charley.
"Never mind Phil--he's used to walking
alone."
"Oh," said Nelly, almost crying, "he's been
talking of this walk all the week, and he
thought he was going to be so happy. Now,
I'm afraid he won't enjoy it at all. I believe
I must walk with him, Charley," she said, half
pleadingly.
"Well, Nelly Warren, you're a perfect
goose!" cried Charley, angrily, and always
do the queerest, most provoking things in the
world;" and he, too, turned quickly away, and
hastened after the rest.
SWhat a change a few angry words can
make. Nelly thought, for a moment, it was
growing dark and was going to rain, but it






WALKING IN LOVE.


was only a little mistiness in her own eyes,
and hastily passing the back of her little
brown hand across them, she ran on to Phil.
The poor boy was standing quite alone,
with a most pitiful look of patient sadness in
his great brown eyes.
"Will you walk with me, Phil?" asked
Nelly, in her most cheerful tone.
The boy started, and said, with a sad but
grateful smile, "No, Nelly, thank you just the
same, but I think I won't go. I don't feel
quite well."
The tears overgowed Nelly's eyes, as she
took his poor, thin hand. "I know all about
it, Phil. You must not mind what the girls
said. They did not mean it--they didn't
think,-that's all. Now don't be angry,
Phil."
"I am not angry," said the boy, very quiet-
ly, "but I suppose I must be a perfect fright;
and I'll spoil all the fun for the rest."
"Not at all," cried Nelly, emphatically.
"Why, Phil, you have a very pleasant face.
You know all the boys and girls like you just
as soon as they really know you; but some-
times you're proud just a little, and turn away
from them, and that provokes them, and hurts






86 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

their feelings, so they won't try to go with
you any more. Don't you know it, Phil?"
"Perhaps it is so," said Phil, very humbly;
"but I always think they're kind, because
they're so sorry for me, and all the time they
are longing to be somewhere else. Oh
Nelly, you don't know how hard" -Phil
burst into tears.
Nelly tried to say something, but could
only cry too; and it was just the best thing she
could do. There is no sympathy so sweet
and consoling as just to "weep with those
that weep." So, after the little outburst was
over, Phil felt much better, and was easily
persuaded to go on with Nelly. Indeed, the
whole aspect of things seemed changed, for
any way seems pleasant if we are only walk-
ing in love."
The party, who were some distance in ad-
vance, waited at the entrance of the wood
for Nelly and her friend. "Isn't she a curious
girl?" said Susy Gifford. "I wouldn't be so
odd for all the world," said Fanny Smythe.
" She is just the best girl in the Academy,"
said Charley Graham, who began to be thor-
oughly sorry for his rude speech.
Yes, that she is," echoed Belle Hamilton,






WALKING IN LOVE.


with an affectionate generosity, which made
her look prettier than ever.
Now they all went into the cool, green
woods, fragrant with wild-flowers and the
odorous pine trees. As they danced along
with singing and laughter, Phil quietly gath-
ered the sweetest and freshest blossoms, and
made them into a wreath for Nelly. But she
noticed that, in the little bouquet he carried
in his own hand, although the flowers were
beautiful, every stem was crooked, and a great
many had strange, misshapen leaves.
"Why do you pick flowers with such
crooked stems and leaves?" asked Nelly.
"They are like me," replied poor, patient
Phil, with a smile that made Nelly feel like
bursting into tears.
"Don't feel bad, Nelly," he added, quickly.
"I like just such flowers. I like to look at
them, and think that, perhaps, if I try very
hard, I may have a beautiful soul, which will
some time come out, and make me pleasant
and lovely, just like these sweet flowers on
their crooked stems. All of this kind of plants,
Nelly, always make me think of very homely
persons who have beautiful thoughts."
Nelly looked sympathizing, and was glad





88 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

Phil was pleased, though she did not exactly
understand the odd fancies of the boy, who
had never known what it was to be careless
and happy, and who was thoughtful far be-
yond his years.
The rest of the morning passed very hap-
pily. The boys and girls were very good-
natured after all, and, following Nelly's exam-
ple, were all so kind to Phil, that it was by
far the happiest day he had known in weeks.
And Phil himself was never more anxious
to please. He knew just where the prettiest
flowers grew, and gathered them for the girls.
He made little bridges across the damp places,
that they might not wet their feet, and was
ready to carry all shawls and baskets that
were imposed on his good-nature. In fact,
since Nelly had told him he was apt to be
cold and proud, he had been trying to over-
come it; and to judge from the kind looks
and pleasant words showered upon him, he
was already reaping his reward.
Only once, as they were looking for a pleas-
ant encampment, where they might eat din-
ner, Belle Hamilton exclaimed, "Who gave
Phil so much to carry ? It is too bad."
"Oh," said Fanny Smythe, in a whisper,






WALKING IN LOVE.


which was a little too loud, "that's all he's
good for. Don't the camels always carry
something?" and the thoughtless girl glanced
at the hump on poor Phil's back.
"Oh, Fanny!" exclaimed Nelly, as she
looked at the changing color in Phil's face,
and saw how his lip trembled when he
bravely attempted his old patient smile.
Fanny was really much abashed for a few
minutes, and Phil was taken into extra favor
by the rest of the kind-hearted company.
I should make my story too long if I should
tell you all that was done throughout that
happy day--the merry games that were
played--the wonderful stories that were
told -the fairy bowers that were made, and
the sweet, wild strawberries that were picked
for tea. Neither have I time to tell you of
all the kind acts and words of the boys and
girls who, like Nelly, were trying to "walk
in love." There is only one thing more which
you may like to hear about Phil.
When they were on the way home, a very
merry but very tired party, Fanny Smythe
suddenly exclaimed, "Oh, I have lost my
coral pii that my aunt gave me on my birth-






90 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.


day. What shall I do ?" and she burst into
tears.
All the boys and girls gathered around, full
of sympathy. But they were all so tired, and
it was so late, no one offered to go back.
Even little Nelly looked wistfully at the vil-
lage roofs, just visible through the trees, and
could not find courage to volunteer for the
search.
"I'll tell you what, Fanny," said Charley
Graham, "I'll get up very early to-morrow
morning, and look all over wherever we've
been. I'm sure I'll find it, for no one goes in
the woods but just us boys and girls, and I'll
have it for you to-morrow, by school-time."
"Oh I'm sure it won't be found," sobbed
Fanny, "or it will be all broken in pieces. I
shan't sleep a wink to-night."
"Well," said Bob Patterson, "it is getting
so dark in the woods now, we certainly could
not find it. It is just nonsense to think of it;
but if you'll only wait till to-morrow, I'll go
up with Charley."
"And I, and I," said one or two other
voices.
There was no other way, and Fanny, with
some very ungracious words about disobliging






WALKING IN LOVE.


people, went sobbing homeward, making
every one around her miserable.
No one noticed that Phil was missing from
the group, but as they slowly entered the vil-
lage street, Fanny still loudly lamenting,
an eager voice was heard, crying, "Fanny,
Fanny;" and looking around, poor Phil was
discovered, limping as fast as he could, hold-
ing up the lost pin.
"Why, Phil Barton," cried a chorus of
voices, did you go back? Where did you
find it?"
"By the brook," panted Phil.
"Way back to the brook!" cried they in
sympathizing surprise, while Fanny blushed
crimson.
"Poor, dear Phil !" said Nelly, softly; and
she thought of the lovely flowers on the
crooked stems.
Phil, you're splendid! cried Charley Gra-
ham, impulsively, let's be friends ;" and he
shook hands warmly with the pale, tired boy,
and insisted on walking home with him.
But first Fanny must speak with him; and,
from her painful blushes and his embarrass-
ment, they knew she was asking his forgive-






92 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

ness; but no one liked Fanny the less for
that.
None of the boys and girls forgot the les-
son of that day, nor how very sweet it was
"to walk in love." Especially had every one
a new liking for Phil; and the next Sabbath,
as in the chapter for the day were read the
sweet words of the coming of Christ who
shall change our vile body that it may be
fashioned like unto his glorious body," -
many a glance of tenderness was directed to
the pew where sat little Phil. His hands
were clasped tightly together, his large eyes
were dreaming of something far away, and
on his pale lips rested such a sweet, peaceful
smile, that Nelly knew the flower was blos-
soming, and that when Phil had a little
longer "walked in love," God would make
him beautiful forever.












IX.


DREAMING SUSY.

SoME little friends, when theyread the words
"Dreaming Susy," -will be sure to imagine,
all in a minute, a pretty little girl-blue
eyes, dimples and roses mixed in just the right
proportions -who has been playing all day,
and, very tired, has at last fallen asleep out in
the hay-field, or under the apple tree.
But no: you are not quite right, Tom and
Kitty, for the little girl that I am going to
tell you about used to dream with her eyes
wide open. All day long, from sunrise to sun-
set, little Susy dreamed and dreamed, till you
hardly knew whether to say she was ever
awake or not.
Perhaps you will understand me better if
I give an account of one of the days of
Susy's life.
In the morning would come a loud call -
"Susy! Susy! it is time to get up!" and
Sysy, rubbing her eyes, would answer, "Yes,
93






94 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

mother," and sit up in bed. Then she would
think, What a trouble to put on my stock-
ings and shoes and comb my hair. How nice
it would be and here Susy would begin
to dream--"if I had a'little black slave to
come in and wait on me. She would wash me
with sweet perfumed soap, and curl my hair in
long ringlets, and dress me in a blue silk dress,
and put a little thin handkerchief, all em-
broidery, in my hand, and then, if I felt lazy,
I would say, 'You may bring my breakfast
up stairs, this morning, Jette, a little broiled
chicken and some toast; and- let me see -
yes, some preserves and cake, and'" -
"Susy, Susy!" her mother's voice would
break in, breakfast is all ready; and Susy,
with a great start, would find she had been
dreaming half an hour, and the end of
it all would be that she would either lose
her breakfast altogether, or come down very
ill-naturedly, with her hair hastily twisted in
a little knot, and make a meal of cold cakes
and potatoes, in such very different plight
from what she had imagined in that pleasant
dream, that tears of vexation were continually
coming in her eyes.
Then after breakfast her brother would






DREAMING SUBY.


may, "Susy, do you: know your arithmetic
lesson? It's all fractions, and I've been up
studying for more than an hour."
Oh, Joe, please let me take the book,"
cried Susy; "I don't know one word;" and
sitting down in the door-way, she opens at
the place. Oh dear, how could she ever un-
derstand it? What a regiment of figures -
of g of 3l! How could she ever bring
tdem into line, and find out just what they
were worth? Susy scowled and fretted, and
then, staring up into the big tree before the
door, a vacant, absent look came in her eyes,
and in a minute she was off dreaming.
"How nice it would be," thought Susy, if
I lived in a palace, and had a fairy god-mother.
There was once a princess whose cruel step-
mother put her in a room where there was a
great heap of feathers. 'These,' said she,
'are the feathers of a hundred different birds,
and you must pick them all out by night, and
have each kind by itself in a hundred differ-
ent heaps, or I'll kill you.' So the poor prin-
cess cried and cried," -
S" Susy, Susy," cried Joe, "you're way off
in the clouds. You're not studying at all."






96 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.

"I will in a minute," cried Susy, emphati-
cally, and then she went on:
So the poor princess cried, and cried, till
at last her fairy god-mother came, and waved
her wand three times, and every little blue
and red feather flew into its place in a minute.
Now," thought Susy, if a fairy could only
come and wave over this lesson, and make
every figure fly just where it ought, and make
all the sense of it run into my brain, how
splendid it would be! Then, when I recited,
Miss Brown would say, 'You have an ad-
mirable lesson, Miss Susan; go to the head of
the class,' and "-
Ding-dong, ding-dong! "Why, that can't
le the school bell," cried Susy, jumping up
hastily. "It is, though," said Joe; "and your
wits have been on a goose-chase for almost
three-quarters of an hour. I took your Arith-
metic away ten minutes ago, and you never
knew it at all."
Susy rose with flushed cheeks and tearful
eyes, and held out her hand for the book.
All the way to school she studied, with the
help of her good-natured brother, but all in
vain. The time was too short; and at the
close of her recitation, instead of hearing any




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