• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: The farewell
 Chapter II: The homeward journey...
 Chapter III: Through the snow with...
 Chapter IV: A little delay, and...
 Chapter V: On the rock of...
 Chapter VI: Saved, and home...
 Chapter VII: Kitty Ryan's...
 Chapter VIII: The path of...
 Chapter IX: Sad news, the children's...
 Chapter X: The welcome home
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Pleasant paths for little feet
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003254/00001
 Material Information
Title: Pleasant paths for little feet
Physical Description: 148, <2> p., <1> leaf of plates : col. ill. ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lamb, Ruth, b. 1829
Morgan, John, fl. 1862-1867 ( Publisher )
Burt, Robert K ( Printer )
Kronheim & Co ( Lithographer )
Publisher: John Morgan
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Robert K. Burt
Publication Date: 1862
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Families of military personnel -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1862   ( local )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1862   ( rbgenr )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding) -- 1862   ( local )
Bldn -- 1862
Genre: Family stories   ( local )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding)   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Ruth Buck.
General Note: Frontispiece chromolithographed by J.M. Kronheim & Co.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003254
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 - 002232761
oclc - 27721196
notis - ALH3157
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Dedication
        Page 5
    Table of Contents
        Page 6
    Chapter I: The farewell
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Chapter II: The homeward journey - The lonely little traveller
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Chapter III: Through the snow with little Annie
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Chapter IV: A little delay, and its consequences
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Chapter V: On the rock of refuge
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Chapter VI: Saved, and home again
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Chapter VII: Kitty Ryan's temptation
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Chapter VIII: The path of disobedience
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Chapter IX: Sad news, the children's resolution to help kitty Ryan
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Chapter X: The welcome home
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Advertising
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text

; r~~ "1'


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3:







PLEASANT PATHS


FOR


LITTLE FEET.




BY

RUTH BUCK.





"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."







LONDON:
JOHN MORGAN, 10, PATERNOSTER ROW.




































zoiDOwf
SOhnrT X. 31UXT, PUINxN
RODbO*N SAZL,

















TO

BETTY, NELLY, AND SOPHY,

WHOSE LITTLE FEET HAVE STOOD WITH MINE ON

"THE GREEN-HEADED ROCK,"

THIS LITTLE BOOK IS

affztionatlig lefbizaIth,

BY THEIR FRIEND,

RUTH BUCK.




GRIMSBr,
January 6it, 1802.
















CONTENTS.


-4--

CHAP. PAGI
L THE FAREWELL ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 7
II. THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY THE LONELY
LITTLE TRAVELLER ... .. ... ... 16
III. THROUGH THE SNOW WITH LITTLE ANNIE... 32
IV. A LITTLE DELAY, AND ITS CONSEQUENCES... 47
V. ON THE ROCK OF REFUGE ...... ...... 59
V. SAVED AND HOME AGAIN... ...... ...... 71
VII. KITTY RYAN'S TEMPTATION ... ...... ... 82
VIII. THE PATH Or DISOBEDIENCE ......... ...103
IX. SAD NEWS-THE CHILDREN'S RESOLUTION... 127
X. THE WELcoME HOME ... ...... .... 145











PLEASANT PATHS
FOR

LITTLE FEET.



CHAPTER I.
THE FAREWELL.
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will refresh you."
How very hard it is to say good-bye to those
we love dearly. It is not pleasant to be parted
from them, even with the hope of meeting
again after a few short days or weeks are
gone; but oh! how much sadder it is to say
farewell when we know that years must pass
before we can behold the dear face again, and
that, perhaps, we may never more see it in
this world.
Some dear children hardly know what such
a trial is. They have their parents, friends,
brothers, and sisters at home with or near
them during all their happy youthful days.





PLEASANT PATHS


And sometimes they value the love and ten-
derness of their parents the less for that very
reason. They do not know what it is worth
because they have never been deprived of it.
But other dear children, again, have to
endure separation from their parents while
they are very young, and such a trial had
Alexander, Bertha, and Minna Wyatt to
bear, when their father left them to go to
India with his regiment.
It was during the time of that terrible
mutiny, of which even children must remem-
ber something, as it happened but a little
while ago, that Captain Wyatt was ordered
to quit England. Like many another officer
and private soldier, he was obliged to leave
his wife and children behind him, uncertain
whether he should ever see them or return
to his dear native land again.
How glad Mrs. Wyatt and her children
would have been to go with him. The long
journey seemed to have no terrors for them,
in comparison with the grief of saying "good-
bye" to dear papa, and thinking that perhaps
he too might fall, as many a brave soldier had
done before, on some red battle-field. But it
was quite impossible for Mrs. Wyatt and the






FOR LITTLE FEET.


young people to go to India at that time.
Such ladies as were there were only too
anxious to quit the country, and some did
not escape with life from the fierce Indian
rebels.
All that Alick, Bertha, and Minna could
be allowed was the pleasure of being with
their father to the last. And this they were,
for they all went together to the port whence
Captain Wyatt was to sail, and only when
the vessel was quite ready for sea did they
say the farewell words which were so hard to
utter. When the last evening came, how the
young ones begged to sit up a little longer,
though it was past bed-time! all but baby
Ernest, who was not quite a year old, and of
course knew nothing of what troubled the rest.
The parents, too, were so unwilling to break
the household band-because they could not
tell when it would be again united, without
one missing link, around their English hearth
-that they kept their children beside them
until little Minna fairly fell asleep in her
father's arms, and even Alick could not help
nodding, though he tried to look very wide-
awake when "bed" was mentioned. But
long before these weary eyelids began to





PLEASANT PATHS


droop, parents and children had knelt to-
gether to implore the blessing of the Almighty
on him who was about to travel, and on those
who were to stay behind.
Ah! it is at such times as this that we
are most inclined to give our hearts to God,
and to strive to win a place in that heavenly
land where there are neither tears nor fare-
wells.
Then came the last, the very last day, and
the children cried out with many a tear,
"Papa, dear papa, what hall we do when
you are gone?"
"Remember, darlings, that you have a
Father in heaven, who can keep, in equal
safety, you in your peaceful home, and me
amid war and tumult. Give a double portion*
of honour to your mother, for she will have to
stand in the place both of father and mother
to you. Above all things, dear children, try
to walk in those paths which the Saviour trod,
and in which His lambs must follow if they
would be gathered into the fold of the great
Shepherd. Then, if we meet again in this
world, your mother and I will rejoice together
at the thought that we are training our children
for the service of the Lord; and if we do






FOR LITTLE FEET.


not meet here on earth--" Captain Wyatt's
voice trembled as he said these words, for
his heart was full, though he shrank not
from the duty before him. Well, darlings,"
he continued, "there is another and a better
world in which I shall look forward to seeing
you all again. Yes, all; for of my living
treasures, the gifts of God, I trust not one
will be lost.".
Many more words did Captain Wyatt speak
to his children, for he judged that these last
hours with their father would not soon be
forgotten. But he spoke ever of the same
things, of following Jesus and of obeying His
commands. Then there came a prayer that
God would bless them, an embrace, a kiss
for each and all, and, after that, papa stood
on the deck of the vessel, which moved away
slowly at first, but all too fast for those who
had dear friends on board; and Mrs. Wyatt,
with her children, were on the land, straining
their eyes; which the tears would blind, in
order to keep him in view, so long as it was
possible to distinguish the form of the be-
loved husband and father.
But this was soon over. Faster and faster
moved the vessel, until it looked like a dark





PLEASANT PATIIS


speck in the distance; and they turned their
steps homewards, feeling that now, indeed,
their trial had become real instead of a some-
thing to be looked forward to with dread.
Papa was no longer going, but gone; and
the mother felt that she had not only to bear
the absence of her husband, but to be as it
were both father and mother to her children.
They, poor things, though weeping bitterly,
suffered far less than she did, because they
were too young to understand all the peril
which awaited their father in the performance
of his duty. But they knew that they would
miss him sadly at home; that his pleasant
voice would not sound in their ears, or his
cheerful smile show what interest he took in
all that helped to make them happy.
And there were other thoughts which dis-
turbed them even more still. As they talked
with each other about all dear papa's kind-
ness and love, they were reminded of many
a little act of disobedience, of displays of ill-
temper, of unkind words which they had
spoken, and which had caused the smile to
fade from his face, and a look of sorrow to
come instead of it.
How often do we repent of our disobedience






FOR LITTLE FEET.


to parents when they are taken away from
us, and it is too late to show them that we
are sorry for the pain we have caused them.
And their mother. What was she thinking
of, as she sat with her baby-boy upon her
knees? She was thinking, "How shall I
train these dear children of mine to walk in
the right way? How shall I lead them in
the paths of righteousness, and teach them
that the ways of wisdom, of heavenly wisdom,
are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths
are peace'?"
Mrs. Wyatt feared God, but at that moment
her heart was heavy, because she stood alone-
one parent to perform the duties of two to "these
little children." But even while she asked her-
self the question, How shall I lead my dear
ones in the paths of righteousness?" there
came into her thoughts, as if an angel voice
had whispered these words of comfort from
God's holy word, "I will instruct thee and
teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I
will guide thee with Mine eye"; and to cheer
her in her loneliness, the sweet text, Lo! I
am with you always."
Mrs. Wyatt's heart rose in thankfulness as
she thought of these words, and she began to





PLEASANT PATIS


talk cheerfully to her children about what they
must do during their father's absence.
"Mamma," said Alick--ho was the eldest,
though only ten years old-" I shall never for-
get my father's words. I will try to render you
a double portion of honour while he is so far
away."
"And so will I," cried' both the little
girls.
"But your father said something else, my
dears."
"About walking in the paths the Saviour
trod," said Bertha.
Yes, and that we may learn how to follow
Him, we must learn from His word, which will
be a 'lamp to our feet, and a light unto our
paths.' We shall read in it of Jesus-as we
have read many a time before-and if we
mean to try and do right we must copy His
example."
"And you will help us, mother, will you
not?" asked Alick.
"By God's blessing, I will, my dear, dear
children."
Long after their weary eyes were closed in
sleep, for weeping had made them very heavy,
their mother knelt by their couches and prayed





FOR LITTLE FEET. 15

that she might be enabled to fulfil the promise
made, not in her own strength, but trusting to
Him whose strength is "made perfect in weak-
ness."





PLEASANT PATHS


CHAPTER II.

THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY-THE LONELY
LITTLE TRAVELLER.

"Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you."
"God loveth a cheerful giver."

IT was six o'clock, on a winter's morning,
when Mrs. Wyatt, her children, and servant
stood on the platform of a railway station, ready
to take their places for the homeward journey.
They had a long way to go, and in order to
reach home before night, were obliged to start
betimes. The stars were still twinkling brightly
over head, and there was no grey light in the
east to tell of the coming sun. But there was
a sharp, cold wind from that quarter, which
made the nursemaid press little baby Ernest
close to her breast. Then the careful mother
looked to see whether her children were all well
protected from the cold, which was keen enough
to pierce a way through the closed windows of





FOR LITTLE FEET.


a railway carriage, or whether in their hasty
departure something had been forgotten. Oh!
no. Her young ones were well wrapped with
their warm cloaks and furs. Any person but a
tender mother would have been satisfied of that,
after only a glance at their faces, glowing with
a rosy colour very different from "the blue
cold nose" and pinched features which show
when a person is almost benumbed by the frost.
And beside all the care which had been taken
to wrap up the youngsters, something else had
been thought of.
"We shall have no chance of stopping for
breakfast until ten o'clock," said Mrs. Wyatt,
Sso we must carry these to eat by the way,"
and, as she spoke, she handed to Alick a satchel
containing sandwiches and buns; for the chil-
dren, eager and excited at the prospect of the
journey home, had been unable to touch the
breakfast prepared for them at five in the
morning.
"The cold air does make me hungry," said
little Minna as she stood on the platform and
thought with regret of the comfortable meal
which it was now too late to taste.
"And so am I hungry now," said Bertha.
"Well, I shall not hand out a bit of a bun






PLEASANT PATHS


even," remarked Alick, clasping the satchel
firmly and slinging it over his shoulder. You
two people would eat up all our stock of
provisions before we start, if I would let you.
Besides, you had a chance of breakfasting half-
an-hour ago, and if you bear a little hunger
now, it will teach you not to neglect so good an
opportunity again."
It was to no purpose that Bertha tried to
steal the satchel, or that Minna held out her
small hand. Alick was firm, and answered,
"No, no, I am in charge of the provisions-
'the commissariat department' as dear papa
would say, and I must take care that you
are not left without a crumb to eat by the way.
Suppose now a terrible snow storm should come
and bury us under it."
Minna opened her eyes very wide indeed
at the prospect of such a calamity, and ex-
claimed, "I will do without anything for a
good while to come, for fear we should be
buried under the snow."
This made the others laugh, and even Mrs.
Wyatt smiled as she told little Minna to be
comforted; for though there was a sprinkling
of snow upon the ground, there was no prospect
of more at present. "But," added she, "do





FOR LITTLE FEET.


not open the satchel just yet, as we must take
our places."
At this moment the train came up. There
was a little bustling and looking after luggage;
then they were all seated in the carriage.
When they were comfortably settled, there was
just one vacant seat left, and Alick said, "I
will shut the door to prevent any person else
from coming here to disturb us."
But Mrs. Wyatt bade him leave the door
open, saying, "There may be some passenger
who has not yet found a seat, my dear."
"Never mind, mamma, let the people who
are not already seated go somewhere else; for
it will be so comfortable to have this carriage
all to ourselves," replied Alick.
"My dear Alick, what a selfish speech! It
is like saying, so long as I am accommodated,
I care not what becomes of others. You are
not doing as you would'be done by."
Alick very unwillingly dropped his hand, and
seated himself with the door open, but he
seemed as though he should like to frighten
every other person away with his cross looks.
Mrs. Wyatt glanced from the window also,
and observed a rough-looking servant girl, who
was hurrying along the platform, and holding






PLEASANT PATHS


by the hand a child of about nine years of age.
This little girl's eyes were swollen with weep-
ing, and her companion appeared to be both
cross and sleepy. "Do make haste," said she,
as she gave the child a jerk forward. Is this
the Blackford train, I wonder ? Dear me, how
tiresome it is to come here at this time of
morning, when there is scarcely anybody about
to tell one what to do !"
Mrs. Wyatt heard these words, which were
spoken in a loud and ill-tempered tone, and at
once pushed wide open the carriage door in
spite of Alick's opposing look. This is the
Blackford train, and here is one vacant seat,"
said she.
The girl turned round, as if surprised that
a lady should take the trouble to answer her
question, which was addressed to no one in
particular, and replied, Thank you, ma'am,
this little girl is going to Millhouse station, a
few miles on this side of Blackford."
"What! alone?" inquired Mrs. Wyatt.
Oh, yes! I dare say she will manage very
well, for she came from there about a week
since with her father, but maybe if you are
going that way you will-"
"I will see that she gets out at the right







FOR LITTLE FEET.


station," said Mrs. Wyatt, guessing what the
girl was going to ask. "Has she any lug-
gage "
Oh, dear! I had nearly forgotten it,"
exclaimed the thoughtless girl, and rushing
towards a bench on the platform, she brought
from it a small carpet-bag and a band-
box, and was just in time to push them into
the carriage before the train began to move.
With a careless Good-bye, Missy," the girl
turned away, glad that her mission was ended,
and left the lonely little traveller to the care of
her new friends.
Both Mrs. Wyatt and her children had
observed that the child's tears began to flow
when the word "father" was mentioned, and
even Alick, who would have acted like a surly
porter, and shut her out of the carriage,
looked interested when he thought that she
like himself had lately travelled over the same
road with a dear father, and was now going back
without him. Minna's sharp eyes had noticed
something else which she thought wanted
altering. She saw that the young traveller's
face was blue with cold; that her cape was not
a warm one, and there was no nice fur or
woollen comforter arranged round her neck,





PLEASANT PATHS


as her own had been by the hand of a kind
mother, to shield the child from the piercing
morning air.
"Mamma," whispered Minna, after a mo-
ment's thought, "may the little girl sit here ?"
and as she spoke, she tried to make room
between her mother and herself.
Why, my love? She is next to you
already."
"But she is near the window on the other
side, and she looks so cold. Between our warm
cloaks she will grow warm."
Right, my darling," said Mrs. Wyatt; I
am glad to see you thoughtful for another
person's comfort," and the exchange was there-
fore made, to Minna's great satisfaction.
Mrs. Wyatt's kind heart was stirred when
she took one of the little girl's hands in hers
and found how cold she was, and then she saw
it was not to be wondered at, for she was not
sufficiently wrapped. Have you nothing
warmer to put on?" she asked; "you must
feel the cold very much."
"I have a nice woollen shawl and a larger
cape, but the girl put them in my carpet-bag
by mistake, and as they were near the bottom
she would not unpack it again," replied the





FOR LITTLE FEET.


shivering child. "She was cross at having to
get up so soon to see me off."
And had you no other friend, no father or
mother ?"
The child had been weeping silently from the
time she entered the carriage; but now she
broke out into such a sorrowful, wailing cry as
to startle the other youngsters. "I have no-
bodyleft now," she moaned out, while convulsive
sobs almost prevented her speaking. "My
mamma died a long -while ago; I cannot re-
member her; but my father, I loved him so
dearly, and he is gone away to India. Maybe
I'shall never see him any more.'
And thus by these few words, sobbed out at
log intervals, the little Wyatts learned that
they had a partner in their sorrow, and one who
was far more to be pitied than they, for she was
motlhrless. Oh! it showed them how much
they still had to be thankful for, when the
child's wail of sorrow rang through their ears,
went to their young hearts, and brought tears
of sympathy to their eyes.
The little girl's story, told by degrees, and in
answer to many questions, was this :-She had
been born in India, where her- mother died, and
had always been used to consider her father as






1'LEASANT PATIS


doubly dear because he was her only parent.
Until now they had never been separated, and,
for the past year had lived in England. But
now the war had obliged her father to return
to India, and she was going to stay with her
grandmother at a country village, three miles
from the Millhouse station. The girl who came
with her to the station was the servant from the
house at which she and her father had stayed
until the day before, when he, as well as Captain
Wyatt, had sailed, and in the same vessel, The
Flying Fish." "Papa gave the girl five
shillings to get up and see me off by train,"
"added the child, and the lady at the house
promised to post the letter which was to tell
grandmamma that I should be at Millhouse
this morning; for poor papa was so hurried and
had so much to do. But she forgot until it was
too late last night, and grandma does nottnow
I am going to-day."
"Then what will you do when you reach
Millhouse?" asked Mrs. Wyatt. "Will there
be a conveyance to take you home ? "
"I shall have to leave my things at the
station, and walk. I know the way very well.
and see, the luggage is directed on purpose,"
added the child simply, as she turned her little






FOR LITTLE FEET.


bandbox, and showed a card with the words,
"Miss Annie Farr, Millhouse Station. To be
left till called for."
"I hope the thoughtless girl was up soon
enough to get you a good breakfast," said Alick,
half opening his satchel.
Little Annie shook her head. "No, she had
only just time to get me to the station, and she
was so cross and sleepy I durst not ask her for
a biscuit. She was not cross when papa was
there," added she, thinking of the difference
which her father's absence had already made
to' his little motherless girl. WVithout a word,
Alick opened the satchel wide. Here, Anria,
help yourself," said he, there is plenty for us
all." He was going to say, "I have a good
mamma, you see," but he checked himself on
account of the second thought, which said to
him, She will remember that she has none,"
and he was silent out of regard for her feelings.
Annie looked at Mrs. Wyatt, as if asking
leave, and the good lady at once said, "Take
what you like, my dear." So she took a sand-
wich, and then, after a little hesitation, begged
that she might keep it until she reached Mill-
house, as she should be more hungry when she
began to walk.





PLEASANT PATHS


"You shall have more, and welcome, my
dear," said Mrs. Wyatt; "at least, if my
youngsters can spare you some," she con-
tinued, glancing at Minna and Bertha.
The little girls both said, "Give her half
mine, mamma," and Alick, as thoughhe wanted
to make up for his former selfishness in wish-
ing to shut Annie Farr out of the carriage,
said, She may have all my share, mother."
That will not be necessary, my dears; but,
while we have time, let us make up a little
parcel for the child to take."
This Alick began to do, and, in a large piece
of newspaper, he quickly packed up a nice
store for Annie to munch by the way. He had
just completed it, when little Minna exclaimed,
"I believe it does snow, Alick." Alick dropped
the window in a moment, and popped out his
hand, the one in which he held the satchel, now
much reduced in size. He could not tell how
it happened, but somehow the train gave a jerk;
Bertha tugged at his coat to pull him in, that
the window might be shut; he started, and down
dropped the satchel with all its contents amongst
the snow. On sped the train, as fast as before,
and made no stop until it was five miles from
the place where lay the stock of buns and sand-






FOR LITTLE FEET.


wiches. All the provisions that were left were
in the small parcel which Alick had packed up
for the little wayfaring girl. It does snow,"
cried Alick; "and oh! mamma, I am sorry,
but I have dropped the satchel, and we have
nothing left to eat except these things in the
paper, which I had packed up for Annie."
"I must not take them now," said the child,
"because you have no more for yourselves."
"Never mind me, mamma," said Alick,
stoutly. "She shall have my share still, and
Bertha and Minna can have the rest. I know
you will not mind, dear mamma."
"Mamma smiled, and the two little girls, not
to be outdone, insisted that the parcel should
not be unfastened, but given altogether to the
lonely young traveller. Their mother was much
pleased at the willingness which her children
showed to deny themselves for the sake of this
young stranger, and readily agreed to their
wishes. The next thought was how to wrap
the child up, so as to screen her from the cold,
and Mrs. Wyatt proposed that the carpet-bag
should be opened and the shawl taken out for
that purpose.
"Where is your key, my dear?" she in-
quired.




PLEASANT PATHS


Little Annie felt in her frock-pocket, and
then turned out its contents; but there was no
key with which to unlock the carpet-bag. The
careless servant had neglected to give it to her.
What was to be done? Bertha thought she
could do without the woollen handkerchief
which was under her cape, and Minna offered
her victorine, if only mamma would consent to
its being lent.
But Mrs. Wyatt, who always had the very
thing that was wanted, Alick said, drew out a
knitted jacket of Bertha's from her own carpet-
bag, and in this she clothed the shivering girl.
Then a warm neck-tie was added, and even
little Minna was satisfied that Annie Farr
would now be comfortable.
But how shall I send you these things
back ?" asked the child of Mrs. Wyatt.
I will give you a card with my name, and
that of the place in which I live, written upon
it, and, if you please, you must write, or ask
your grandmother to let me know if you arrive
safely. Never mind the things, my dear. One
of my dear children may want some such
motherly help, and Bertha will not grudge you
the jacket, I know."
"You shall give me a kiss for it," said






FOR LITTLE FEET.


Bertha, putting her arms round Annie's
neck.
"And me one, too," cried Minna.
The little girl kissed them both, and then
burst into tears, as she held her pale face up to
Mrs. Wyatt, and said, "Oh, how good you all
are to me. I wish I had a mother and sisters
and brothers. But I have no person now."
The pitiful cry of the desolate child rung on
their ears again, and Mrs. Wyatt pressed the
poor girl to her breast, as she bade her remem-
ber that there was one Father always near to
bless and comfort her. "This is what I tell
myown children," said she, "that though their
dear papa, like yours, is gone to a distant land,
the good God can and will be to them a Father,
if they pray to and trust in Him. And, more,
He can bring these dear earthly parents back in
safety. We must try to think of them as in
God's hands, and cast this our care upon Him,
believing that He careth for us,' and will listen
to us when we pray for those we love."
My papa said I must pray for him when I
knelt down at night and in the morning,"
replied the child; "but oh! it is hard not to
have him with me."
Mrs. Wyntt spoke very gently to the sorrow-





PLEASANT PATHS


ing girl and to her own children, who were
weeping also at the thought of their father, and
told them that in this thing they were called to
endure a trial; but if they would walk in the
paths that Jesus trod, they must be willing to
bear their crosses also. "Even the very young,"
she said, "may learn to follow where He leads
the way, if they only ask help from God."
Much more would the kind mother haveisaid,
but the train sped on and she was obliged to
cease, for they were drawing near the Millhouse
station, at which little Annie must leave them.
Soon it stopped: Annie Farr and her parcels
were taken out, and the luggage was placed in
the small waiting-room by the only porter.
" Good-bye, Annie," shouted the young Wyatts;
and "You had better stay a little while at the
station," said their mother and by no means
walk on if it should snow." Mrs. Wyatt would
have spoken to the porter, but on went the
train, and Annie was left on the platform, with
streaming eyes and throbbing heart, to grieve
after the new friends who had been so kind.
They thought no less of her, and when Mill-
house station was out of sight, they talked of
"poor little Annie," and hoped she would get
home safely.






onR LITTLE FEET.


"You would have shut her out, Master
Alick," said Minna.
"But I was sorry afterwards, and I wish I
could do anything for her now."
"You can, my dear boy," said his mother;
"and so can Minna and Bertha. You can pray
to God to take care of this poor child in her
loneliness, and to keep her safe from harm."
The young people were very still for a time,
and no doubt they lifted up their hearts to God
in prayer, to ask a blessing for the motherless
child.
And certainly, though the snow made the
train late, and they were very hungry before
they had a chance of breakfast, they never
uttered a word of regret because they had
denied themselves in something for the sake of
their little fellow-traveller.
When that afternoon they reached their
own home in safety, their thoughts were often
turned to their late companion, and they won-
dered if she, too, were by a warm fireside.




82 PLEASANT PATHS


CHAPTER III.

THROUGH THE SNOW WITH LITTLE ANNIE.

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to
all that call upon Him in truth."
"He also will hear their cry, and will save them."
"I am the Good Shepherd."

WHEN Annio was loft upon the platform at
Millhouse she stood looking after the train as
long as she could see it, and then she thought
she would step into the waiting-room and warm
herself. She went up to the door, and found,
to her dismay, that she could not got in. The
porter had shut it, and gone a little way down
the line to speak to some men whlo were at
work there. He was coming back almost
directly; but Annie did not know that. He
was out of her sight, though near, and there
was no one else at hand that she could see, for
Millhouse station was a lonely place, and there
were only the wind-mill and two or three cot-
tages near it. To poor Annie the place was




FOR LITTLE 'EET.


doubly desolate, because her own young heart
was full of sadness, and all around her seemed
so lonely. The great mill-sails were still, and
there was no sound to be heard, except that of
the train, now in the distance. It was not
snowing, but the road and fields were white,
and sparkled in the morning light, as the sun
broke through a cloud for a few moments. At
another time, if Annic had seen the white snow,
she would have been delighted, for it was no
such common sight to the Indian-born child.
But there was no father at hand to encourage
her to run and warm herself, that she might
learn to laugh at Winter in his own more chill-
ing native land.
There was nothing for Annie, she thought,
but to set off at once on her walk home. Her
luggage was in the station, all but the packet
of food, and, taking a bun from it, she started
on her way as fast as her feet would carry her,
so that when the railway porter came back he
found she was gone. "I suppose somebody
has come for her," thought lie, and the lug-
gage is to be called for. All right," and he
troubled himself no more about the little girl
he had lifted out of the carriage a short time
before,





PLEASANT rATHS


Annie's feet felt very numb and cold when
she first began to walk, and she did not get on
very fast. But she knew the road quite well,
though it was covered with snow. She had
gone a mile without meeting any person, and
then she came to a stile, which led into the
fields, across which was a shorter road. Should
she take it? Yes, she thought she would. To
be sure, the fields were coated with snow; but
there were some foot-marks, most likely made
by a labourer going to work, and they would
guide her. Very unwisely, Annie left the high
road, and trusted to an uncertain track and
unknown footsteps, to lead her home. She
followed these tracks across two fields, and
entered a third; but here she found that in-
stead of guiding her quite across it they led to
a little hovel, in which she could hear a cow
lowing. This was not on the regular path, she
knew, and now Annie found that the footsteps
went no further, but noticed what she had not
observed before, that the person had turned
back again. She was sure of this, for some of
the foot-marks pointed in the direction she had
been taking, and others quite in the opposite
one. "Ah," thought Annie, "a man has been
here to feed his cow, and afterwards gone home





FOR LITTLE FEET.


again, so I must go back a little way, and then
cross to that gate."
Never doubting that she was right, the child
went on and entered another field. The snow
was not deep, but still it made her feet very
wet, and she began to wish she had kept on
the high road, where was a beaten path, and
she could not have gone wrong. Still she kept
walking forward, and all the more quickly,
because now the sun was hidden from her sight
by dark clouds, and small feathery flakes of
snow began to fall around her. Then these
increased in size, and soon fell very heavily,
while the wind, as if doing its part to bewilder
poor Annie, drove the snow in her face. It
was, indeed, well for the child that she had
met with such kind friends in the railway car-
riage, for had she been no better guarded from
the cold than she was at starting, she must
have been frozen. As it was she began to be
very uncomfortable, for, though she hurried on,
she did not feel quite sure that she was going
right. The white sheet with which all the
country was covered made it look so very
different. At last she came to a little bridge,
and then she was quite certain she must
have wandered from the proper path, for





PLEASANT PATHS


no such bridge ought to have lain in her
way.
Poor little Annie! She knew not what to
do. If she went on she would only be going
further wrong, and to go back all that long, weary
way, with her tired feet, seemed impossible,
while to stay where she was afforded no hope,
as there was not a house or a person within
sight on that snowy winter's morning. After a
moment's thought, she resolved to turn back
and trust to her own foot-marks in the snow to
guide her into the high road once more. So,
with tears in her eyes, and a heavy heart, the
poor child began to retrace her steps. She
had, however, forgotten one thing. The snow,
which had fallen so very heavily, had quickly
covered her small foot-marks, and, in a very
short time, she found them first become very
indistinct, and then not visible at all.
Now indeed the child's heart sank within
her. What would become of her? She thought
of her father on the sea, and of what he would
feel if he knew his darling was wandering
amongst those desolate fields of snow, and her
very life in danger; of her dead mother whom
she had never known; of the thoughtless
people who had sent her by the train, and






FOR LITTLE FEET.


of the good friends who were still speeding
homewards in it. And then she pictured
grandmamma's cosy country home, but the
driving snow soon chased away that picture,
and forced her to think of what was really
before her. First she went a little in one
direction, and then in another; but whichever
way she walked, all was alike strange. Annie
was not hungry, for she had eaten a great part
of the food which the little Wyatts deprived
themselves of for her sake, and in a little while
* she felt less cold. Indeed the cold had made
her numb and drowsy, and she thought she
would sit down by the hedge-side and rest.
Perhaps she might have a sleep, too, for rising
so early had made her feel in need of it; then
when she waked up, she should be better able
to fnd her way, and stronger for walking.
She crouched down by a hedge-side, but again
the sense of her loneliness came upon her, and
she broke out into a pitiful cry of "Father,
father! why did you go away?" The word
reminded her of that Heavenly Father, of
whom Mrs. Wyatt had spoken as being ever
near, and moved her to lift up her childish
voice and to pray that He would take her
safe home again. She was in the midst of this







PLEASANT PATHS


simple prayer,-" Our Father who art in
heaven, please to hear a poor little girl who
has no father to take care of her now; please
to show me the way home," when she heard a
voice on the other side of the hedge.
Halloo, little one," said the voice, "what
are you doing here ? Why you'll be starved to
death if you stay." Then there was a rustling
of sticks, and Annie saw a good-natured, rough-
looking face peeping over the hedge. She
gave a cry of joy, and then, quite unable to
speak, she burst into tears, and sobbed with
gladness. "Ah," thought she, "God has
heard me, and has sent this man to guide me
home."
Stay where you are until I come," said the
man, and then the good-natured face disap-
peared for a little while, but Annie soon saw it
again on the same side of the hedge as herself.
"Why you've lost yourself I'll be bound,"
said the man, "hav'n't you ?"
Annie told him how she happened to be
there, and that she was just going to sleep.
"And you were saying your prayers first,
you poor, little thing. To think of that now!
I came out to fetch up my sheep, and I was
looking for one that had wandered away sorme-






FOR LITTLE FEET.


where, and behold I came upon this little lost
lamb just in time. But I heard your voice as I
was on the other side of the hedge, or I should
not have seen you; and if you had once gone
to sleep in the snow, you would never have
waked again. So you see it was your prayer
that saved you. You were saying it quite
loudly, and I heard it,"
"And God heard it too," said Annie.
Right, my little lass. He hears the sim-
plest prayer, blessed be His name," and the
man bent his head as he thought of Him that
heareth prayer. "But now," he continued,
"I must carry you home to my house, it is
nearer than yours, and my wife shall take
your wet clothes off, and put you on some
of my little girl's till yours are dry. Then
when you are dry, and warm, and rested, I will
take you home myself."
The shepherd said no more, but lifting
Annie in his strong arms, he carried her as
easily as she would have borne a doll, and soon
brought her to his own cottage.
"Have you found the sheep?" cried his
wife as he opened the door.
Not yet, but I have found a stray lamb for
you to look after;" and so saying the shepherd






PLEASANT PATHS


placed Annie on the hearth in front of a cheery
fire, and then told the story of his meeting
with the child. The good woman's tears came
as she listened. Poor little lamb poor dar-
ling! what a mercy you were near! That
sheep was well lost, since it has brought you in
time to save this child's life." And many more
such expressions interrupted the shepherd's
tale, though it was told in few words. "And
now," said he, when he had finished it, "I
must away, seek the sheep, and you will
take care of the lamb."
Away he went, leaving Annie with his good
wife, who had already taken off the child's
out-door clothing and boots, and was chafing
her hands and feet by turns.
"I think, my dear," said she, "you had
better go to bed when you have had something
to eat. As your grandma does not expect
you, she will not be on the look-out or uneasy,
and youldo want a rest."
Annie said she -was not hungry, but she
should be glad to sleep a little while, and
she thanked the shepherd's wife again and
again.
You have nothing to say 'thank you' for,"
said the kind woman; but Annie thought she






Yoli LITTLE FEET.


had, and a great deal too. "But, my dear,"
she added, I dare say, as you remembered to
pray to God while you were yonder amongst
the snow, you will like to thank Him for
having sent some one to save you from pe-
rishing, and I have been thinking of a verse
from the third Psalm, that you might say:
' I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He
heard me out of his holy hill.' "
Annie was glad to hear these sweet words,
for they seemed just to say her own thoughts at
the time, and she repeated them after the
shepherd's wife with a heart full of thank-
fulness. Then she knelt and said her own
simple words of thanksgiving for God's mercy
in delivering her from a terrible death
Afterwards the shepherd's wife put her into
a warm bed, and gave her some hot drink
of herbs, which tasted pleasantly, and the child
soon fell fast asleep.
It was quite afternoon when Annie awoke
and saw the kind woman standing by the
bedside, and heard the voices of children in the
next room. At first she could scarcely recollect
where she was, but when the good woman said
with a pleasant smile, "Well, little Missy,
do you feel rested? Your clothes are all dry and





PLEASANT PATrH


warm for you to put on, if you are well
enough to get up," she knew how she hap-
pened to be there, and answered, Yes, thank
you, I am quite well now, and I will get up if
you please."
"That is right," replied the woman. "Then
now you are ready to say the next verse of that
same Psalm I told you part of before you went
to sleep. This is it: 'I laid me down and
slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.' "
How nice it is," said Annie, "to know
words to suit the times as you do, and all
in the Bible."
"Aye, little Missy," returned the woman,
"there is nothing like God's good book for
teaching us what we ought to do. There is
something in it to suit every time, and it is
well for the young as well as the old to be able
to say with King David, Thy word is a lamp
unto my feet, and a light unto my path.' "
With the woman's kind help Annie was soon
dressed and ready to follow her into the cottage
kitchen, where the shepherd's children were all
eagerness to see the little girl whom father "
had found lost in the snow. She had to answer
a great many questions which the little people
asked her; and, as for them, they would will-






FOR LITTLE FEET.


ingly have listened almost breathless while she
told, again and again, the tale of peril past, but
ever to be remembered.
After a homely, but comfortable meal, Annie's
out-door clothing was once more put on, and,
under the shepherd's guidance, she reached her
grandmamma's house in safety, where the tale
had to be told again.
Old Mrs. Farr shed tears of joy and thank-
fulness, and knew not how sufficiently to show
her gratitude to the kind guide. She would
have given him money, but the shepherd refused,
though she pressed him much to take it. Ex-
cuse me, ma'am," said he, "but I cannot let
you pay me for what little I have been able to
do for this dear lamb. It was only a labour of
love, ma'am, which I did for the sake of Him
who said, Whoso shall receive one such little
child in My name, receiveth Me.' I would
rather look to Him, who is not unrighteous to
forget any labour of love, for the reward, if such
a little matter is worth one."
Finding the shepherd was resolute, old Mrs.
Farr could only thank him again and again for
the service he had rendered Annie, andthen unite
her thanksgivings with those of the little girl
herself to the good God who had suffered them






rLEASANT PATHS


to meet again in safety. It is needless to say
that Annie did not forget those whose care had
enabled her to brave the storm of snow without
injury, and that grandma at once sat down
to pen a letter to Mrs. Wyatt, who received it
on the second morning after her arrival at home.
When this letter came the young Wyatts
were talking of their fellow-traveller and
wondering whether she were, like themselves,
by the home fire-side, safe and warm. And
how their childish hearts were stirred when
they heard of the peril through which the little
girl had passed on her way thither. In old
Mrs. Farr's letter were these words:-" Had it
not been for your kindness, dear madam, and
the self-denial of your children, my poor little
granddaughter would have had to contend with
a much greater degree of cold, which the warm
clothing you lent her prevented her from feeling,
and with hunger too. Indeed, I believe that
she would have fainted with fatigue and want
of food long before the countryman found her
by the hedge-side, but for what you a stranger
had kindly done to protect her from both. May
God bless you and reward you."
What a good thing she was in the carriage
with you, mamma," said Minna.





FOU LITTLE FEET


Alick blushed and looked rather uncomfort-
able at this remark; for, had his selfish wish
been agreed to, the poor little girl would have
been shut out. Mrs. Wyatt observed the blush,
and guessed what made Alick turn his head
away so quickly and look out of the window as
though he were very intent on watching which
way the clouds went. But she did not think it
well to let the matter pass without any remark,
so she said, You see, dearest Alick, how im-
possible it is for us to tell how much harm may
spring from a very little action done in a wrong
spirit, and by thinking only of ourselves and
caring nothing for others. You know what
might have happened to that poor little mother-
less girl to whom we were allowed to be of some
service. And, my darlings, all of you remember
that so far from carelessly neglecting to do a
kindness when it is in our power, we should
think it a great privilege thus to serve our Lord
Himself. For has He not said, 'Inasmuch as
ye have done it unto one of the least of these
My brethren, ye have done it unto Me '? "
"After all, mamma," said Bertha, if Annie
had kept on the high road where the way was
both safe and certain, she would have reached
home without danger."





PLEASANT PATHS


Aye, my dear child, and here we may find
a lesson for our good in things which do not
belong to this life. You know if we let God's
word guide us, and follow in the footsteps of
Jesus, we are quite sure that we are in the way
of salvation, even as Annie was safe when she
was on the high road. Who can go wrong that
follows Jesus ? But if we wander off into ways
of our own choosing, where we have no sure
guide, they may seem for a time right to us, as
the field-path did to her, but, the end thereof
are the ways of death.' "
And was it not a very good thing that the
shepherd found Annie, mamma ?" cried Minna.
It was, indeed, darling; and here again we
are led to think of that Good Shepherd, even
Christ Jesus, who gathers His lambs into a
heavenly fold. Oh, my dear ones, if you are
tempted from the pleasant paths in which Jesus
bids you tread, may you be ready to listen to
the voice of the Good Shepherd and return to
the fold under His guidance."





POR LITTLE FEET.


CHAPTER IV.
A LITTLE DELAY, AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice!"

WHAT joy there was at Fern Lee, the home
of the Wyatts, when the first letter came from
papa. It was from Malta that he wrote, and
when he was still a long way from the end of
his journey. Even had he been at the end of
it, and actually in India, his perils would but be
commencing, in one sense, for he would be in
the midst of war when there. Yet still it was
a great pleasure to hear that he was safe and
well. More than this, to the great delight of
his children, Captain Wyatt spoke of Mr. Farr,
little Annie's father, in this very first letter, and
told them how much kindness that gentleman
had shown him when he was very sea-sick and
ill. Mr. Farr had often travelled by sea, and
did not suffer at all; but poor Captain Wyatt
became quite weak from this terrible sea-sick-





PLEASANT PATHS


ness, and from being unable to take food. It
was at that time, and when his servant was ill
too, that Mr. Fanr showed Captain Wyatt great
attention and kindness, and that both the gentle-
men began to tell each other of the dear ones
they had left behind in England. So, while
Mrs. Wyatt had been taking care of little
Annie Farr on land, the child's father was
doing the same for her husband at sea; and in
the letter Captain Wyatt begged that Annie
might be invitedtovisit his own children. He sent
old Mrs. Farr's address, little thinking that all
the youngsters had become acquainted already,
and said that Mr. Farr would write to his mother
by that same post and ask her to let Annie go
to Fern Lee. "We both think," said Captain
Wyatt, that it is natural for children to enjoy
the company of young people like themselves,
and that Annie Farr will be dull and sad in that
lonely country home with no companions of her
own age, even though she does dearly love her
kind grandmamma."
There was quite a jubilee amongst the chil-
dren when this letter was read. They had
sent to and received from Annie several notes,
which, though written in but very imperfect
English, had cost them a good deal of trouble,





FOR LITTLE FEET.


and they were very anxious to become better
acquainted with each other. Papa's letter de-
cided the matter, and the invitation was sent;
but after all, Annie did not come to Fern Lee
until spring had carpeted the fields with daisies,
and made the woods gay with violets, prim-
roses, and purple orchises. But it was a de-
lightful time for children, and the few weeks
which passed before Annie's arrival were spent
in planning all sorts of rambles. When the
yopng visitor really came, she looked very dif-
ferent from the poor little traveller on whom
Mrs. Wyatt took pity in the cold winter time.
It had been settled that Annie Farr was to
share in the children's lessons, as well as in
their plays, and Miss Crossland, the governess,
kindly offered to take charge of this little pupil
also, and to second all the good intentions of
Mrs. Wyatt towards the motherless child. The
first day was of course kept as a holiday, but
on the next the children were expected to go
into the school-room at half-past nine, as usual.
Alick was in part instructed by his sisters'
governess, but he also went every morning, for
two hours, to receive lessons in Latin, and other
studies, from a clergyman, who taught a class
of boys similar in age to Alick himself. In





PLEASANT PATHS


order to reach Mr. Mitchell's house punctually
at ten o'clock, the time at which lessons began,
Alick was obliged to leave home just when his
sisters commenced their school duties. But, on
the morning after Annie Farr came to Fern
Lee, Alick followed his sisters and the visitor
into the school-room, and tried to persuade
them to take a run round the garden. It is
not quite half-past nine," said he.
"You are mistaken, Alick," replied Miss
Crossland, who entered the room at the mo-
ment, and held out her watch that he might
see the minute-hand exactly at six.
Alick was convinced, but against his will, and
so instead of setting off at once, he loitered in
the school-room until he heard his mother say,
"I suppose Alick is gone ?" and little Minna
answer, "No, mamma, he went into the school-
room with Annie and Bertha."
"Alick, Alick," cried Mrs. WVyatt, "make
haste. It is time for you to start, and remem-
ber, dear, that this letter must be posted as
you go through the town."
Coming, mamma," replied Alick. But his
deeds contradicted his words, for, instead of
rendering instant and willing obedience to his
mother's wish, he turned to the bookshelves to





OR LITTLE FEET.


reach down a very handsome volume which he
had received as a reward, in order to show it to
Annie Farr.
Now, Alick," said Miss Crossland, do not
displease your mother and Mr. Mitchell by
want of obedience and punctuality. You will
have time to show all your possessions to your
young friend when you return. Beside, you
had better not exhaust all in one day."
Well, I will just show her this picture, and
then run to make up for lost time."
"Oh, but please," said Annie, "you had
better go now; I will not look until you come
back; and Mrs. Wyatt is calling again."
"Coming, mamma," responded Alick, but
once more he paused to replace the book on its
shelf, lest Annie should be tempted to ex-
amine it when he was not by to point out its
beauties.
Alick," said Mrs. Wyatt, entering the room
as she spoke, "how is it that you allow this
dear child's presence to tempt you into a neglect
of your duty? Beside, this letter may miss
going to day by your delay, and I trusted
to you, knowing you are usually punctual.
Not a word," she added, seeing that Alick was
beginning to defend himself, "but make haste:






PLEASANT PATHS


we will talk when you return. The letter is on
the parlour table, and is for your papa."
His father's name quickened Alick's steps,
and away he went with the letter as fast as he
could run, for he knew that should he miss
that post, it would cause far more than a day's
difference in the time that Captain Wyatt
would receive it. Too fast went Aick, as it
proved, for in his eagerness to post the letter,
he hurried on, never heeding how he stepped,
and by treading on a loose stone his ankle was
twisted, and he fell heavily on the pavement.
For two or three minutes he was unable to rise
or stand, and when he could at length place
his foot on the ground, he could not bear
to rest upon it; so, limping along very slowly
and in pain, he at length reached the post-
office, to find that the box marked "in time"
was closed, and the mail gone. He might
take the letter back again, for there would not
be another Indian mail for several days, he
well knew.
Mr. Mitchell did not scold Alick for being
late at lessons, because the boy was suffer-
ing from pain in his ankle. But this pain
seemed a very light matter in comparison with
the regret that Alick felt, his heart signing at





FOL LITTLE FZT.


the thought of going back to his good mother,
by-and-bye, and giving her back tlat letter.
He knew it contained a whole budget of home-
news; trifling matters they would have been
to a stranger, but oh! how eagerly read by
the absent father, to whom all which concerned
his wife and little ones, from baby Ernest, who
was just learning to toddle, up to Alick him-
self, would be most precious. And then there
was Mr. Farr, too, who would have received
news of his little girl's arrival at Fern Lee;
but now he and Captain Wyatt would have
parted and gone in different directions before
another letter could reach them.
Slowly, because he was in pain, and sor-
rowfully, because his heart was heavy, Alick
took his way home. He said nothing in
answer to his mother's remark, "I hope the
letter was in time, Alick;" but drawing it
from his pocket, he placed it in her hand.
Oh! Alick, I am sorry," said Mrs. Wyatt.
"Your father begged me to write by this
mail, and he will think I have neglected his
wish, and be longing in vain for news from
home."
"And it is my fault, mother; all mine.
If I had but attended to your first call it






PLEASANT PATIIS


would not have been; and you trusted to
me. Oh, mother! I wish papa could only
know that it is I, not you, who have caused
this disappointment."
Mlrs. Wyatt's lip trembled, and the tears
came into her eyes, for she knew what Alick
did not, that probably her husband would be
amid the horrors of war, and actually taking
part in them, before he could receive a line from
her hand now; and he might fall in battle.
This dread thought would come into her mind;
while at the very best he would be grieved,
disappointed, and longing for news of her
and his children. These ideas prevented
Mrs. Wyatt from noticing that Alick's face
was pale, and that there was a look of pain
on it; or if she did observe it, she thought
it was owing to his distress at having missed
posting the letter. But when he moved, she
saw that something was amiss with the lad's
body as well as his mind, and with all a
mother's tenderness she set about obtaining
relief for both. First she took off Alick's
boot and stocking, and finding his foot
and ankle were much swollen, she- bade
one of the servants bring the foot-bath with
hot salt-and-water, in which to place the
sprained limb. Alick found great relief from





FOR LITTLE FEET.


this; and when the foot had been long enough
in the hot water, his kind mother bade him
lie on a sofa, and not allow it to hang down
or walk upon it, so that he was soon almost
free from outward pain, while the swelling
gradually became less.
"Mother, you are too kind by half," said
Alick, thinking of his own heedlessness as he
spoke.
"Not so, my dear child. I deem it alike
a duty and a pleasure to do all I can for you,
and to relieve the pain. I know you must
have suffered much during the morning."
"But, mamma, it was far worse to feel
that through my carelessness, dear papa will
not receive his letter from home."
"I quite believe that, Alick; and now shall
I tell youand these other darlings of mine,
how to avoid such a fault for the future ?"
said Mrs. Wyatt, with an affectionate glance
at Minna, Bertha, and Annie, who, linked
together like three young twining plants, now
came into the parlour from the school-room.
But Alick said he should like to tell them
how the letter had missed first, and his mother
agreed, for it pleased her to see that the boy
did not desire to hide his fault.






PLEASANT PATHS


"Dear children," said Mrs. Wyatt, when
he had finished, "Alick's tale of his morn-
ing's mischances should teach you that when
you know you have any duty to perform, no
matter whether it may seem a trifle or other-
wise, the best way is to do it at once. Believe
me it is far harder to resist the temptation to
neglect little duties than it is to perform really
great ones. And now will you remember a
rule I am going to give you?"
The children all said "Yes," they would try;
and Mrs. Wyatt continued, "It is a very
simple one-Listen and attend to the first call
of duty. The call may be only uttered by
the quiet voice of conscience, or it may come
through a father, mother, teacher, or friend;
or, perhaps, God's holy Word, as we read or
hear it, may bring to mind a du4y of which
we had never thought before. But let it come
as it may and when it may, look upon it as
the voice of Jesus, who, in thus reminding
you of a duty, says, though in other words,
'Follow Me.' I need not say what a difference
it would have made if Alick had listened to
and obeyed the first call this morning, for
that you know. But let us look in God's
own Word, and see how those whom Jesus






FOR LITTLE FEET.


called, when He was on earth, obeyed their
[Master's summons."
Then turning to the Bible, Mrs. Wyatt
made Alick read in the fourth chapter of St.
Matthew, how "Jesus, walking by the Sea of
Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter,
and Andrew his brother, casting a net into
the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith
unto them, Follow me, and I will make you
fishers of men. And they straightway left
their nets, and followed Him." Further on,
Alick read of those other two brethren, fishers
also, James and John, who at the call of the
Lord, "immediately left the ship and their
father, and followed Him."
When Alick paused, Mrs. Wyatt said,
"Here are two examples for us from Holy
Writ. How many times did Christ call?"
"Only once," replied the children.
"And He needed not to call a second time.
It was the same with Matthew, to whom Jesus
said only two words, Follow Me,' and he
arose and followed Him. This was willing
obedience to the call of the Saviour. And
oh! my darlings, you too can follow Him
by listening to the first call of duty, and by
willingly performing whatever is right and






58 PLEASANT PATHS

needful for you to do. And remember that
it is not alone by bearing great trials that we
must serve our God, but by crossing our
wishes in little things also."
"Mother," said Alick, "I think I have
made up my mind to try to listen to the first
call of duty."
"May God move all my dear children to
make such a resolution, and give them strength
to keep it," said the mother, as she gently
closed the Bible.






FOR LTTTTTE EET.


CHAPTER V.

ON THE ROCK OF REFUGE.

"They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and
embrace the rock for want of a shelter."

FERN LEE was within two miles of the sea-
side, and it was always a great pleasure to
the little Wyatts, when the weather was warm
enough to allow them, to walk as far as the
beach, and spend hours in gathering the beau-
tiful sea-weeds and shells, which were to be
found in plenty there. They were very anxious
to take Annie Farr to the shore with them,
almost directly after the child came to Fern
Lee; but mamma protested against it, as she
said the weather was still too cold. However,
just about the time that Alick recovered the
full use of his sprained foot, there came two
or three of those soft warm days, which some-
times, even in the early spring, give us such
a sweet foretaste of summer pleasures. Then






PLEASANT PATHS


Mrs. Wyatt could no longer hold out against
the entreaties of her children; and so on
the third bright morning, when the roads
were dry and clean, the sky blue, and the
sun shining gloriously, little baskets and
satchels were packed with provisions, and the
youngsters set out for a ramble on the sands.
Mrs. Wyatt was unable to accompany them,
but Miss Crossland had promised to go and
take care of the little party. They were to
eat their luncheon in a sort of cave, called
"The Smugglers' Rest," and afterwards to
fill their satchels with sea-weeds, to arrange
in the form of bouquets, on card, after they
reached home again. Besides the Wyatts,
Annie Farr, and Miss Crossland, two of
Alick's schoolfellows, Edward Keith and
Arthur Donaldson, increased the number of
the party to seven. The boys were in wild
spirits, and the little girls were scarcely more
sedate, as they went bounding along the field-
path; and, despite the warnings of Miss
Crossland, who wished them to reserve their
strength, going at least twice the distance
necessary.
"I think," said little Minna, "we are some-
thing like 'Dash' there. He goes over the






FOn LITTLE FEET.


road again and again, but never seems to be
tired."
"Dash" was a beautiful spaniel, which had
been for years the companion of Captain
Wyatt's walks, and the playmate of his chil-
dren. Whenever any expedition was contrived
which would involve a good deal of walking,
Dash was sure to be of the party, and, on this
morning, he was barking and gambolling across
the fields, and adding his full share of noise to
the by no means trifling one made 1by the happy
children themselves.
"But Dash has four legs to run upon, and
my little friend Minna has only two," replied
Miss Crossland; "so as we shall have a great
deal of walking on the beach, you had better
be contented with passing once over the ground
on your way thither."
Annie Farr had not yet seen the cave in
which they were to eat their luncheon, so the
first visit was paid to it. It was a hollow
cavern below the cliff, and the smugglers, who
used to hide there, had smoothed its natural
walls, to make it more comfortable. From the
first cavern a very narrow passage-which was
rather difficult to find-led into a much larger
one, but the children contented themselves with






PLEASANT PATHS


the outer cave, as it afforded them a pleasant
shelter, and there was no danger of their losing
their way out.
The Smugglers' Rest was at a considerable
distance from any dwelling, the nearest house
being a full mile away, and as the children
intended to ramble still farther on the beach,
they contented themselves with collecting the
shells and sea-weeds, which were easy to find,
and storing them up in the cave until their
return in the afternoon.
Then, after having made a comfortable but
very unceremonious meal-very different from
the orderly home dinner-they left their newly-
gained treasures in the cave, and set out for
their stroll on the beach, and to collect more.
"Miss Crossland," said Bertha, "you have
never seen the Green-headed Rock, have you?"
"I have not, my dear," was the reply; "'but
I fear it will be too far to venture to it this
afternoon."
"It is only just half a mile. Minna has
walked it before, and so have all the rest, but
Annie: do let us go. The tide is rising, and it
will be lovely on the beach for two hours to
come. After that we shall have time to walk
home for an earlier tea than usual."






FOR LITTLE FEET.


All the rest joined in begging Miss Crossland
to go so far, and pleaded that they were out on
purpose to enjoy a long ramble, and that they
-the Wyatts and'their boyish companions-
had been on the top of the rock many a time
before. So Miss Crossland was fain to give
consent, and her Yes, I suppose I must let
you go to the Rook," was the signal for three
cheers from the lads, to whom, of course,
scrambling and climbing in out-of-the-way
places seemed the most delightful thing in the
world. On they went, with renewed vigour,
and found that the tide was still a long way
from the Rock. They ran across the damp but
firm sands, pausing at the little pools to admire
and seize on dainty sprays of sea-weed, which,
like miniature floating trees of varied hues,
decked these mimic lakes. Thus engaged, the
children, seeing the water before them still at
some distance, never thought of looking behind.
They were a good way from the shore, and
not yet close to the Green-headed Rock, when,
on glancing round, they found, to their horror,
that they were surrounded by the water. Run-
ning about hither and thither, amongst the little
pools, no person had noticed that the broad
sand on which they were, being much higher






PLEASANT PATHS


than the rest, would be enclosed, and, for a
time, made into an island by the advancing
tide. The channel which the waters formed
was already deep-too deep' for any one of this
little party to cross, for the shore shelved very
much, and the waves rushed round and filled
up the hollow which surrounded the island.
"Oh, Miss Crossland!" cried Arthur Don-
aldson, who was the first to discover their
position, there is water all round us. What
shall we do ?"
Miss Crossland turned very pale at the sight.
She had never before visited that part of the
shore, and so she knew nothing of the deep
channel between the beach and the more
elevated part of the sand on which they
stood. But a single glance showed her the
danger of their position, for even while she
looked, she could see that the watery belt
around them grew wider with every wave, and
the strip of sand narrower. It would soon all
be covered, and then !--she dared not think of
the end. However, she did not let the children
see how much alarmed she was, but seizing
Minna by the hand, and bidding the rest
follow, she said in a cheerful voice, "I am
afraid this will cost us all wet feet, but we





FOR LITTLE FEET.


must try to cross the channel before it becomes
too deep."
Without a word the young people followed
Miss Crossland, and in a few minutes reached
the edge of the water only to find that it
was already far too deep and too broad for any
person but a swimmer to cross, while the
rushing of the water would have rendered even
swimming unsafe for any but a strong-armed
man. To mere children it was quite out of the
question.
All the young faces were turned towards
Miss Crossland, and the mute look of dismay
which each wore, told far more plainly than
words would have done, that they were sen-
sible of the danger, and sought from her-the
only grown person of the party-guidance and
aid to escape from it. And poor Miss Cross-
land could do nothing but try to comfort the
children with words, which even to herself had
no reality, and to bid them hope that some
person would soon see and rescue them.
Very few people pass this way, Miss Cross-
land," said young Donaldson; "we have
rambled for miles sometimes at this season,
and scarcely met a single creature-have we
not, Keith?"






PLEASANT PATHS


Keith nodded, looking very gravely, then
added, "I can swim a little, Miss Crossland.
Shall I try ?"
Miss Crossland saw the boy's face pale with
a sense of danger-yet showing willingness to
risk his own life if she thought there was any
hope of his saving all the rest.
It must not be thought of, my dear," said
she. Besides, there is no house near if even
you did get safely to the sand at the foot of the
cliff. Oh dear! dear! why- did I bring you
here without making myself sure that we could
come safely."
Miss Crossland's agitated voice alarmed the
younger children. Bertha and Annie clasped
their arms round each other, and wept silently,
while little Minna clung to her governess and
cried aloud, "We shall be drowned, we shall
be drowned! Oh, mamma, dear mamma, we
shall never see you again."
As the child cried out thus sadly, her words
were made yet more solemn and likely to be
true by the splashing water which dashed over
their very feet, and obliged them to draw back.
On the other side too the waves were advancing,
and soon all the island on which they stood
would be covered. At this moment of terror






FOR LITTLE FEET.


young Keith, who appeared to have been think-
ing over every chance of escape, cried out joy-
fully, There is the Rock, Miss Crossland, the
Green-headed Rock. We are forgetting that it
is high and dry here a little way to the right of
us. If we can only get upon it we shall be
safe from drowning at any rate."
"Keith, you are worth all of us put toge-
ther," said Miss Crossland, and raising Minna
in her arms she hurried towards the rock as
fast as her trembling limbs and the child's
weight would allow her. They were obliged
to cross a shallow pool to reach the masses of
granite, all slippery with sea-weed, and stuck
over with limpets, which lay at the foot of the
still larger one that towered like a steeple far
above the rest. Notwithstanding a few slips and
stumbles, these pieces of granite were safely
crossed by all, and then Miss Crossland placed
Minna on the ground, and led instead of carry-
ing her up the narrow and rugged way, until
they reached the portion of the rock from which
it took its name. It was very curious, indeed,
to find about half way up the Green-headed
stock, and opposite to the shore, a grassy path-
way that led to a broad smooth shelf, on which
many persons could stand in safety, with a wall






PLEASANT PATHS


of granite at the back of it, and this broad
shelf was covered with grass and sprinkled
with a few early daisies. The highest tide had
never been known to reach this part of the
rock, and it was possible to climb much higher
still, though over rough masses which looked
as though some giant had piled them on heaps
and cemented them together to form one huge
peak above the waters. And if you did climb
to the top it was enough to make you giddy to
look down the side next the sea, for it was
steep and straight as a wall.
On the green platform Miss Crossland stopped
with all her trembling companions, and words
of thankfulness rose to her lips for the present
safety in which they were placed. She also tried
to cheer the children by the assurance that at
the worst they would only have to stay there a
few hours, and perhaps some person might see
and rescue them before night.
But the sun was now sinking in the west, and
the cold sea air began to chill them all. Then
there were clouds gathering over head, and the
wind became both higher and colder, and the
waves dashed over the foot of the rock, while
the spray fell like rain in their faces. There
was no chance of moving about to keep them-






FOR LITTLE FEET.


selves warm, and the best they could do was to
stand as closely as possible to each other.
It was very sweet to see how in this time of
trial and danger the children thought of and
for each other-how with one consent Minna,
as the youngest lamb of this little flock, was
placed in the centre of the group and shielded
by the rest, and how the boys, with an absence
of selfishness which brought the tears into
Miss Crossland's eyes, strove to protect the
little girls from the sharp wind and dashing
spray.
All at once Bertha said, "Where is Dash ?
Poor Dash, I cannot see him anywhere. He
would help to keep us warm."
Dash was not upon the Rock, that was plain;
and the girls called his name, and the boys
whistled in vain, as they gazed in all directions
to discover their missing pet. At length, Arthur
Donaldson said, Can that be Dash swimming
towards the beach? I see something like a
black head bobbing up and down."
It is old Dash, sure enough," replied Alick,
"the old traitor has deserted us. There he is
on the sand now; I can just see him shaking
himself."
Alick whistled again, but Dash took no






PLEASANT PATHS


notice. Instead of that he bounded away and
was soon out of sight.
By this time the water was dashing all round
the rock, and, though the tide was far from
being at its height, there was no likelihood of
its reaching the platform on which the desolate
party stood. But as the sun set amid clouds of
many hues, and the children, in spite of their
situation, admired the gorgeous beauty of the
western sky, Miss Crossland observed with
alarm that other heavy clouds were gathering
around. The wind, too, seemed to be rising,
and her heart sunk within her as she thought
to herself, What if a storm should come on !
How will these tender children be able to bear
it?" Then she thought of Him, the Lord
God, who is a strength to the poor, a strength
to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the
storm. And she lifted up her heart in prayer
for the safety of those dear children, who were
scarcely conscious of what was hanging over
them.





FOR LITTLE FEET.


CHAPTER VI.

SAVED, AND HOME AGAIN.
"The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my strength, in whom I will trust."
"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto
my God : He heard my voice out of His temple."

"IT is growing very dark," said little Minna,
as, shivering partly with cold, and partly with
fear, she clung still more closely to Miss Cross-
land.
And I am sure the wind is higher than it
was," whispered Edward Keith. Was that
the spray that 'blew on my face, or was it
rain?"
No one spoke at first in answer, but every
face was upturned to find out whether the
moisture was indeed from the clouds or the
sea. They seemed afraid to breathe while thus
waiting; but they did not wait long, for the
rain came pattering in large drops, and made
their fear a certainty.





PLEASANT PATHS


"It is rain," said Keith, "and we shall soon
be wet through. I wonder, if the wind gets
higher, whether the waves will dash over the
rock."
"We can go higher up, if the waves reach
this place," replied Alick.
"Yes, but not very easily or safely in the
dark, and with all these little girls. A single
false step, and down we should go, over the
steep edge into.the sea, and be drowned. Oh,
Miss Crossland, I wish I had tried to swim
across when the channel was not so very broad."
"My dear boy," replied she, I do not think
you would have reached the shore in safety.
We all have a chance of life as it is-nay, more
than a chance," she added, as a low sob broke
on her ear, and she found that the girls were
weeping. "BLeside, Mrs. Wyatt will send some
one in search of us, even before the tide falls.
All we can do now is to keep quite still in this,
the safest place, and wait patiently. We shall
not be the better for spending some hours in
the rain, but we must pray to God to preserve
us, and trust that He who tempers the wind
to the shorn lamb' will also give us strength
to bear both wind and rain without any great
hurt."






FOR LITTLE FEET.


Then Miss Crossland, in a few earnest words,
besought God's care and mercy, and all the
young voices around joined her in repeating
the Lord's prayer. Perhaps they had never
said it so entirely from the heart as they now
did, standing on this rocky temple, while the
sound of their voices was almost drowned by
the howling of the wind, and the dashing of
the waters around their place of refuge.
This act of worship seemed to restore the
spirits of the children, by reminding them that
they were in the hands and under the eye of
the Almighty, and though they spoke little,
they shed no more tears. However, Miss
Crossland being anxious to cheer them, told
two or three stories about persons who had
been in far greater danger and who were pre-
served, by the good providence of God, to
thank and praise Him for His protecting care.
She reminded them, too, of Annie's own escape
from perishing in the snow-storm, and then
she took the remaining provisions from the al-
most empty satchels, and shared them amongst
the children, who, in their fear, had forgotten
hunger.
Miss Crossland's efforts to cheer and en-
courage her young charges succeeded for a





PLEASANT PATHSS


time; but the effects of the cold, darkness,
and beating rain, began to show themselves.
As the children gave vent to their fears that
they should be starved to death, or that the
waters would dash across the rock itself and
wash them away, or as she heard them whisper-
ing the word "mother," and thought of the
terrible anxiety which Mrs. Wyatt and the
parents of Keith and Donaldson would be
suffering, poor Miss Crossland found it hard
work to speak cheerfully.
"I am sure," said Alick at last, "that mamma
must have sent some one in search of us be-
fore now. Most likely they would go to The
Smuggler's Rest, and then, not finding us in
the cave, they would not know where to seek
us. They would go along the coast without
ever thinking that we are perched on this rock,
and it is too dark for them to see us."
Alick little'knew what a guide was leading
help towards them at that very moment; but
in answer to his remark, Miss Crossland advised
the boys to shout, in the hope that should any
person be on the beach the sound might be
heard, as the wind would carry it in that
direction.
They all turned their faces towards the beach,





FOR LtTTLE FEET.


intending to follow her advice, when Alick ex-
claimed, "Look, look! all of you. I think I
see a light on the shore."
There is, there is, and it moves cried all
the joyful party together. Then, as with one
voice, they shouted as loudly as they could, two
or three times, and waited in the hope of an
answer; but, though they listened with the
greatest attention, they heard nothing save the
sound of wind and waters. Again and again
they shouted, their young shrill voices rising
almost to a shriek; but the very wind which
carried their cry to the shore prevented their
hearing the reply. Yet still the light was
visible, and they watched it intently. Soon
they saw another light, and oh joy of joys, it
was moving towards them across the water.
The light is in a boat, and it is moving in
this direction," said Miss Crossland; "thank
God, my dear children, our imprisonment is
nearly over. No doubt our cry has been heard
by some passing fishermen who are coming to
fetch us."
Very slowly did the light move, for it was
hard work rowing against the wind and tide;
but after a time it neared the rock, and the
anxious watchers could hear friendly voices, and






PLEASANT PATHS


see the forms of five stout men in Guernsey
frocks, and those queer-looking sou'-wester hats.
Oh! how glad and thankful they wdre, when
two of the rough fishermen climbed the rock,
and seizing the children in their kindly grasp,
carried them by turns to the boat. They were
soon all placed in it, and covered with warm
rugs and cloaks to protect them from the pierc-
ing wind.
At another time they would have felt afraid
at being tossed up and down on the big waves
in what seemed only a little boat, but now they
could do nothing but rejoice at the prospect of
reaching home in safety. To their great surprise
they found their friend Dash in the boat. He
welcomed them with a joyful bark, scrambled
from one to the other, and showed his delight
by licking their hands and faces, unchecked by
the children, who were scarcely less pleased
than the dog, though they reproached him for
having deserted them in their trouble.
"Ah! my pretty missy," said one of the
sailors, "you don't know how much you have
to thank the poor beast for. But for him you
might be on the Green Headed Rock yet, with
no company but the limpets and jelly fishes."
"I was just going to ask whether you were






FOR LITTLE FEET.


brought to our assistance by hearing our shouts,
or not," said Miss Crossland, "for we have
been too busy to inquire until now."
No, ma'am," replied one of the men; "you
might have shouted yourselves hoarse, if it
hadn't been for this dog, poor fellow! That
young lady blamed him for running away; but
the sensible creature went home to let them
know as well as he could how you were fixed.
It was his going to Fern Lee without you, that
frightened Mrs. Wyatt, and made her send out
people to seek you. Dash came along with us,
and I says to my mates here, Let's follow the
dog;' and so we did. When we got opposite
the rock, he was for plunging into the water to
swim across; but we held him back, because we
thought it would be a pity for the fine fellow
to battle with the waves, and maybe get drowned
this rough night. But we did hear your voices
before we put off in the boat, and a hard pull
we had to reach you. We shall be in soon,
though, for both wind and tide are helping us,
and then won't your Ma's be glad to see you ? "
Ay! would they not? The children's eyes
ran over, and the tears rolled down their cheeks
at the thought of the anxious hearts on the
land; for not only Mrs. Wyatt, but the parents






PLEASANT PATHS


of Keith and Donaldson would be in suspense
as to their fate until the kindly boatmen con-
ducted them to their homes. As to Dash, he
was half smothered with caresses; for the little
girls, as though to make amends for having
blamed their four-footed friend wrongfully, now
patted his soft, curly head, and even kissed him
in their joy and gratitude, till the poor beast
was glad to escape from these tokens of affec-
tion, and crouch beside Miss Crossland. Soon,
yes, soon, even to the impatient children, the
bottom of the boat touched the sand, and the
stout sailors once more lifting them in their
arms bore them across the shallow water, and
placed them on dry ground.
Then, lantern in hand, one of the men guided
them on the homeward path, but they had not
gone far when they met a conveyance which
their companion had very thoughtfully sent his
son to fetch before he and the rest of the men
put off in the boat. It was no gay carriage,
but only a spring-cart, covered with a large
tilt, yet, oh! what a relief it was to be shel-
tered under this, and to know that their weary
feet need walk no further, and that in less than
an hour they would be at home.
It would be hard to describe the joy of the


78






FOR LITTLE FEET.


meeting which took place when the cart stopped
at Fern Lee. There were Mrs. Wyatt, and the
mothers of Keith and Donaldson, eagerly wait-
ing for tidings of their children. Mr. Keith
was from home, but Donaldson's father, with
his elder brother, were out in search of the
wanderers. After a time they too joined the
rest at Fern Lee with joyful hearts, for the
news of the children's safety had met them on
the way.
After a brief, but hearty thanksgiving for their
deliverance, the youngsters, the two boys in-
cluded, were deposited in warm beds, and
everything done to prevent their suffering from
exijosure to the cold and wet. And soon they
forgot in quiet sleep the adventures of the day.
Happily for them, with the exception of slight
colds, which a few days' nursing cured, none
of the children suffered any ill consequences;
but Miss Crossland felt the effects of anxiety
and exposure much more severely, and was
confined to her room for a week, during which
time the little girls vied with each other in
showing her all the kindness and attention
which loving hearts and hands could render.
On the morning after the adventure on the
rock, Mrs. Wyatt assembled all the young


79






PLEASANT PATHS


people, on purpose to join with them in offering
praises to God for His mercy in preserving them,
and to draw a lesson for their future guidance.
Were you not glad," said the mother,
"when you remembered the Green Headed
Rock, which lay at your right hand, and which
at first you had forgotten?"
Oh yes," exclaimed the children. "It was
like giving us our lives."
"Then, my dears, do not forget when you
are in trouble, whether of mind or body, that
there is a Rock to which you can flee for
refuge, even Christ Jesus. You know how
firm the rock was under your feet last night,
and how you felt that so long as you rested
upon it you were safe and could not be moved.
And it is because of the unchangeable and
immoveable nature of our God that He is com-
pared to a rock. For who is God save the
Lord? And who is a rock .save our God?'
May you, my darlings, never forget the path which
leads to that Bock, may you have grace to go to
Him in prayer, fairly to rely on that Rock to
sustain your hearts against all the temptations
which surround you. In time of darkness,
caused by sin, may you be led to the Rock
'which is higher than you' to obtain pardon,


80






FOR LITTLE FEET.


81


shelter, peace, and then have cause to burst
forth in praise to God for His great mercies,
even as you now thank Him for having pre-
served your bodies in safety; using the words
of David, 'Blessed be my Rock, and exalted
be the God of the Rock of my salvation.'
'Thou art my Rock and my fortress.' 'In
God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of
my strength, and my refuge is in God.' "
During the rest of the morning the children
employed themselves in finding all the passages
of Scripture in which God is mentioned as a
rock. And they read, too, the parable of the
man that built his house upon the sand, and
the other who built his upon the rock, and
understood, as they never did before, the dif-
ference between resting only on the things
of earth for joy, peace, and hope, and looking
with faith to the Rock of their salvation, even
Jesus.






PLEASANT PATHS


CHAPTER VII.

kIfHTY RYAN'S TEMPTATION.

Mns. WYATT received news of her husband's
safe arrival in India long before the children's
adventure on the rock, and a short time after
it occurred she received a second letter, in which
he expressed his great disappointment at not
having had news from home. "It is now," he
wrote, very uncertain when a letter will reach
me, as I am going to mnrch with the regiment,
and many brave soldiers beside, against the
rebels. I need not say how much I should have
been cheered by a letter from home. Mr. Farr
shares in the disappointment, as he has heard
nothing about his little daughter since our
arrivalin India; but as I shall leave him behind,
he will probably receive letters after my depar-
ture."
When Alick read this, all the pain caused by






FOR LITTLE FEET.


that one little delay, which in itself seemed
such .a trifling matter, was revived. "I see,
mamma, that there are no little faults," said he,
"though I never supposed I could cause so
much anxiety and disappointment by the waste
of a few minutes."
"Let us hope, dear," replied his mother,
"that your father's anxiety has been relieved
ere now by the receipt of the letters sent after
that unfortunate one missed the mail, and that
we shall soon have another from papa to say
so."
There were kind messages from Mr. Farr to
his little daughter, and the next day Annie
too was gladdened by the arrival of a long
letter from her grandmamma, enclosing one
from her father. This had not been sent to
Fern Lee, because Mr. Farr was not sure that
it would find Annie there, but the child's delight
when it came was unbounded, as she read news
of all her old friends in India. With Captain
Wyatt's letter was enclosed a very oddly di;
reacted note, the queer writing and spelling of
which made the children laugh. Their mamma
smiled too, when she saw it, and said, "This
note is for poor Kitty Ryan. Which of you
will run and take it to her?"






PLEASANT PATHS


All the youngsters wanted to go; but Mrs.
Wyatt thought it better that Alick, as the first
volunteer, should run to the village with
Kitty's letter. Now do not make too much
haste, Alick," said his mother, "but lose no
time; and as for the rest of you young people,
you shall walk down this afternoon to ask
Kitty what news Hugh sends."
"But who is Kitty ?" inquired Annie
Farr.
She is the wife of one of papa's soldiers,"
replied Minna. They call her husband Hugh
Ryan, and he acts as papa's servant too. He
is a brave man, and he wears medals on his
breast because he has been in two or three
battles. Kitty, his wife, you know, and their
little children, Hugh, Kitty, and Peter, live in
a small cottage in the village. Mrs. Ryan
washes our clothes, and yours too, now you are
with us, and mamma pays her for doing them."
"Yes," said Mrs. Wyatt, "Kitty Ryan
works hard for her children, and she has known
all the troubles that a soldier's wife has to bear,
except the loss of her husband. Hugh was
twice wounded when in the Crimea, and Kitty
thought she should never see him again. But
he lived to recover strength and to come back






FOR LITTLE FEET.


to England, and now he is gone abroad again
to fight in India."
Poor Kitty! I shaold like to see her," said
Annie.
You shall go with the rest, if you like, dear.
All my children will, I know, be anxious to
hear about Hugh Ryan, and I believe Bertha
and Minna have something for little Kitty."
Yes, mamma, the collar and necktie that
we bought for her to wear when she goes to
church with her mother on Sundays." After
dinner the little articles were brought out by
Minna and Bertha for Annie to look at. The
necktie was not, however, unfolded, as it was a
plainqpink one, so there was no pattern to dis-
play; and then they were again wrapped in
paper, and carried to Kitty Ryan's cottage.
"Well, Kitty," said Alick, when they entered,
"I hope you had good news of HLuh in that
letter I brought you this morning."
"Indeed, Master Alick, I had. Hugh is
well and hearty; though the climate is mighty
hot, he says. And-would you believe it ?-
he's just as eager to get into a battle along
with those black wretches as though he had
never been hurt in his life, and had no children
-let alone a wife-to want him here in England.


85






PLEASANT PATHS


But I pray that God will take care of him, and
send him safe home again."
"Amen," said Alick.
"Thank ye kindly for saying that," returned
Kitty. "iAh, master Alick, it's you and your
sisters that can join, with all your hearts, in a
prayer that God will take care of the soldiers
who are fighting for their country in a far away
land. Maf they have grace to be good soldiers
of the Lord Jesus, too; and fight against sin,
and wickedness, and the temptations which
come to draw them from their duty to Him!
For soldiers have a deal to tempt them, and so
have we all for that matter."
"Mamma says, that we ought all to be good
soldiers in fighting against sin, watching against
sin, that it may never steal into our hearts by
means of evil thoughts; and that, like soldiers
too, we must help one another to fight against it."
"Yes, that's true, now; and you are lucky
children in: having a good mamma, who tries to
lead you in the right way. And this other
little lady-she's your visitor, I'll be bound?"
"Yes, this is Annie Farr, Kitty. Her papa
went to India at the same time as my father
and Hugh did;" said Minna. "And she
wished to come with us to see you, Kitty."






FOR LITTLE FEET.


That was kind of her. I'm very glad to
see her, I'm sure."
"But where are the children, Kitty ? We
want to talk to them, and we have brought
something for your little girl."
"Hugh is helping to weed farmer Jones's
garden, and Peter and Kitty are at school;
but I'm expecting them in every minute. Do
please sit down, and stay a little while; for
they'll be almost wild if they find you've been
here and they've not seen you."
The young people waited, talking in the
meanwhile to Mrs. Ryan, and in a few minutes
saw Kitty and Peter entering the garden by the
small gate.
Here you are, Kitty!" cried Minna.
Look what I have brought for you! I
bought this collar with my own money; and
Bertha has a pink necktie for you, beside."
Kitty's round cheeks became as pink as the
necktie, with pleasure at the idea of having
such additions to her Sunday dress, and, drop-
ping a funny little courtesy, she said, "Thank
you kindly, Miss Bertha, and you, Miss Minna.
I'll take great care of them for your sakes."
Then, after the colour of the necktie had been
admired, the child took these presents into her


87





PLEASANT PATHS


bedroom, and put them into the box with her
best frock and tippet until Sunday.
Alick now said it was time to go back to
Fern Lee, but not before he had slipped a little
parcel of tea, the gift of his mother, into the
hand of Mrs. Ryan, and received her thanks.
"Those are the kindest children," said Kitty
the elder, when her young visitors were gone.
"To think of those dear little girls buying you
a collar and necktie fit for a lady!"
They were not quite so grand as that, but
very neat and suitable; and, to little Kitty's
eyes, they were fit for a queen. She peeped
into the box to look at them, as they lay
there at the top. When she went to bed,
and when she got up in the morning, she peeped
again, just as though she were afraid they had
flown away during the night. But, no! there
they lay in all their beauty, and Kitty thought
she would just fold the necktie cornerwise-it
was doubled in four then--a'-d see how it
would look round her neck.
Very lightly did she touch it, that she might
not mar its smoothness by an unsightly crease;
and as she shook it out of its folds, she made a
discovery. There were two neckties instead of
one!






FOR LITTLE FEET.


Now Kitty Ryan was a little girl who was by
no means noted for taking great care of her
clothes. On the contrary, her mother often
had to keep little matters under lock and key,
lest Kitty should put them on without her
knowledge, and lose them, or throw them about,
so that they could not be found when wanted.
The child, like many more, liked nice clothes,
but did not like the trouble of folding them
neatly, and putting them in a safe place, to be
ready for the next time. So, when Kitty dis-
covered the two neckties, her first thought was
one of gladness, because she was twice as rich
as she had calculated on being. "Now," said
she to herself, "if I even put on one of these
neckties and get it a little soiled, or if I should
even lose it, as I did my tippet, I shall have
this other, all fresh and new, to take out. And
mother will never know, for I will put it at the
very bottom of the box my clothes are in, and
she has promised that she won't meddle with
them, if I keep them neat and tidy."
It will be seen from this conversation, which
little Kitty held with herself, that she was on
trial with regard to taking charge of her own
clothes. But while she was considering about
hiding the other necktie, conscience had a word


89






PLEASANT PATH


or two to say, and conscience will be heard,
though we may shut our hearts and ears alike
against warning friends. This was what con-
science said:-" You know very well that little
Miss Wyatt never meant to give you two neck-
ties at the same time, so that it will be cheating
her to keep them both; and she has done so
many kindnesses for you. Beside, if she does
not know that there are two, most likely the
shopkeeper has made a mistake, and folded up
two instead of one; so it would be robbing him
to keep it." And, though last not least, con-
science said, God sees you, Kitty, and He
knows you are not doing the thing that is
right."
Then fear and shame had something to say,
too, and hinted to Kitty that she might be
found out by her mother-then there would be
punishment in store-and how she should hardly
like to look the kind little girl who had given
her the necktie in the face, with the feeling that
she had done wrong in her own heart.
But just at that moment while Kitty was
standing considering whether she should keep
or give back the necktie, she heard her mother
call, "Kitty, Kitty, are you going to stay there
all day, instead of coming to set out the break-






FOR LITTLE FEET.


fast things ? It's you that's fond of making
yourself smart, and not fond of helping me,
I'm thinking. Come here this minute, or I'll
have you to fetch in a hurry!"
There was no mistaking that her mother was
in earnest, and Kitty therefore considered no
longer, but took the wrong course, which just shows
how dangerous it is to stay and think at all, if
we know what is right. All the thinking in the
world will not make wrong right; and however
we may make excuses to ourselves, we cannot
alter this, that & sin is a sin, though we may call
it by some other name.
Kitty folded one necktie very quickly, and
popped it under her best frock, and all the
other things in the box, then laid the other at
the top, and went to her mother in the kitchen.
"Now you've been fitting on Miss Bertha's
present, I'll be bound," said Kitty Ryan the
elder, in a severe tone. "And you've been
looking at yourself in that bit of cracked glass,
-which shall soon be a broken one; for I don't
mean to encourage a little thing like you in
staring at your image when you'd more need to
take pains to keep the face clean that you see
'there. And I've been up washing since five
o'clock this morning, working, as I always am,


91






PLEASANT PATHS


for the sake of you children, and your father
fighting beyond the seas."
Little Kitty's face turned very red as her
mother mentioned the neckerchief; but she
never spoke. She only trotted to and fro, get-
ting out the breakfast things; and by the time
that Mrs. Ryan's thoughts and words turned
towards her husband, she had almost forgotten
her cause of complaint against Kitty, in her
wonder what he was doing at that minute. If
she could have known what would be the next
news for her from India, sheewould have sat
down to her meal with a poor appetite, or, more
likely, forgotten food and all beside, in her
great trouble. But Mrs. Ryan did not know,
and so she sat down with her children thank-
fully and cheerfully, and made a hearty meal,
after having earned the feeling of hunger by
hard work and early rising.
During the time which passed between that
and Sunday, Kitty thought often of her new
collar and necktie, and I am afraid she was
rather more anxious than common for the Sab-
bath, because she had these new articles of
dress to put on; for little children do sometimes
think of the Sabbath rather as a day on which they
oan wear their best clothe, and display them to the






FOR LITTLE 7EET.


admiring eyes of their companions, than as "the
day which the Lord hath made," in which we
are to rest from work, and give our hearts and
thoughts to prayer and praise.
A good many times Kitty thought she would
give back the second necktie to Bertha Wyatt;
indeed, she said to herself, she should be quite
sure to do it sooner or later; but somehow, she
never made up her mind that the present time is
the right one for putting in force a good resolution.
On Sunday, then, when Kitty started for
church, she wore the pretty little gifts of Minna
and Bertha, but the other fringed, pink silk
square still lay, neatly folded, at the bottom of
her box. And Kitty was proud, and twisted her
small head, and drew back her chin that she
might get a glimpse of the pink corners when
some of her companions said how pretty the
collar and tie were. Moreover, the little Wyatts
passed her on the way to church, and when
Minna smiled and nodded, and then whispered
to her sister, Kitty felt sure she had been tell-
ing her to notice how nice she looked.
Still the new things were not quite comfort-
able, for their wearer remembered the other tie,
and could not help thinking that if her mother
should happen to look in her box, she might find


93






PLEASANT PATHS


this bit of finery which was not hers. Kitty
fidgeted about a good deal while she was in
church that morning. Certainly her heart was
not with the words which she repeated, and be-
fore she left she had managed to loosen the pin
that held the necktie. She could feel it pricking
her chin, and she lifted her hand to make it
fast; but instead of succeeding, the pin slipped
through her fingers and fell, she knew not
where, and durst not look. However, she took
one out of her collar, and did her best to fasten
both it and the necktie with the same pin.
Believing she had succeeded, she thought no
more of it until, when near her mother's door,
she found her collar hanging down in front, and
held only by one end, and the necktie !-yes, it
was gone. She felt for it with both hands: she
looked to see if it were clinging to her frock;
she glanced behind her, thinking she should
catch sight of its gay colour on the ground.
No! it was gone from Kitty's touch and sight
both. She was about to turn and look for it,
when little Peter ran out of the cottage to meet
her, crying, "IHere you are, Kitty; what a
time you have been walking home! I've been
in a long while."
She durst not go back now, for if she did, she






FOR LITTLE FEET.


must tell why, and knew that her mother would
be much displeased at her carelessness, and,
most likely, punish her for it. Her one wish,
therefore, was, that she might creep in unob-
served, and get out the other necktie to pass in-
stead of that she had lost. She succeeded in
this, for her mother was outside the back-door,
and in far less time than it takes to tell it, she
had taken off her things and folded the disho-
nestly-gained article, to look as though it had
been worn; then she put on her pinafore and
hurried out of the bed-room. Kitty was not
often so quick in her movements, and she was
unused to deceive, so that when Mrs. Ryan saw
her little girl's face, she was inclined to suspect
that something had gone wrong.
"Kitty," said she, "you just look as fright-
ened and queer as you did once when you lost
your tippet, and you mostly take ever so long
to put by your things. And now, this morning,
you're no sooner in that bed-room than you're
out again. There's either something wrong, or
you're turning over a new leaf all at once."
"What should there be wrong, mother?"
said Kitty, the colour on her round cheeks
deepening to scarlet.
"That's what I want to know," replied Mrs


95






PLEASANT PATHS


Ryan; and then she questioned the little girl
and her brothers as to their behaviour.t school
and church; but she learned nothing to account
for Kitty's blushes. I shall look at your
things for myself," said she, and stepped into
the bed-room to see if anything belonging to
Careless Kitty were missing. Kitty trembled,
not at the thought of her sin, but lest her
mother should find it out, and for fear she had
not creased the handkerchief so as to make it
look as if it had been worn.
"Your things are all right and neat, too,"
said Mrs. Ryan; "but it's queer that you just
looked as though you'd stole something a
minute since; though, to be sure, I never knew
you do aught worse than lose, or tear, or dirty
your clothes. An' I think if you were to begin
to tell me what was'nt true, or take what was'nt
your own, you'd break your mother's heart,
let alone killing your father, who is fighting
beyond the seas, and was always so fond of his
children."
Thus talked Kitty Ryan, and ever did her
thoughts travel from what was around her to
poor Soldier Hugh in India. But, as any child
may guess, these words of hers did not make
her little daughter feel more comfortable. Kitty






FOR LITTLE FEET.


the younger began to wish that she had told the
truth instead of hiding it; for really it was
harder to bear the whispers of conscience, which
seemed to say, You had two paths to choose,
and you would take that of deceit and sin, instead
of truth and innocence, though I told you not.
Sooner or later you will find out thut sin never
makes people happy."
"But it is too late now," thought Kitty in
her reply to the reproaches of conscience; "I
cannot undo what I have done."
After dinner the little girl went off to the
Sunday-school with the other new tie on her
neck, and while she was absent a visitor called
at the cottage. This was Mrs. Wyatt, who
came alone to have a little kindly talk with
Mrs. Ryan. When she had been sitting a few
minutes, and had inquired after the family,
she said, Do you know whether little Kitty
lost her new necktie this morning? I found
one very much like hers as I was leaving church;
but I would not ask Bertha if she knew it
again, because I thought if it were the same
the child would feel grieved at Kitty's care-
lessness."
"'I don't know that she has," said Mrs.
iyan. But to be sure, it can't be hers, for I
a


97





PLEASANT PATHS


pinned it on her neck this very afternoon,
thanking you kindly, ma'am, for taking the
trouble to bring this. It must belong to some
other careless little girl, something like my
Kitty."
"I am glad of it," said Mrs. Wyatt. Then
she laid her gloves and the silk neckerchief on
the table, and offered to read in the Bible to
Mrs. Ryan, who was herself unable to read.
She was thus employed, when a sound of little
feet was heard outside, and then Hugh, Peter,
and Kitty entered. Mrs. Wyatt spoke kindly
to the children, but Kitty's gaze was attracted
by the neckerchief on the table, and she turned
first red, then white, but not a word did she
speak.
"You see she has it on her neck, ma'am,"
said Mrs. Ryan, pointing out the tie that Kitty
wore, and at this remark the child, who
thought all was found out, burst into tears,
and began to beg for forgiveness, to the amaze-
ment of her mother and Mrs. Wyatt. Two or
three questions brought out the truth, and then
Kitty stood, ashamed and sobbing, and not
daring to look up.
"Oh, Kitty, Kitty!" said her mother, "I
see now what made you seem so queer at din-




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