• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 A first peep at Alice’s home
 Alice’s mother dies
 The free and easy club
 Forsaken again
 Who got up first
 Alice goes to market
 Finding friends and selling...
 The lady from the big house
 A picture
 Another peep at Alice’s home
 More about the beautiful lady
 Alice goes to a new home, where...
 No more top rooms: But new friends,...
 Alice falls asleep in Jesus
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine














Title: Alice Leigh's mission
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015734/00001
 Material Information
Title: Alice Leigh's mission five illustrations
Physical Description: 193 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Nelson & Phillips ( Publisher )
Hitchcock & Walden ( Publisher )
Publisher: Nelson & Phillips
Hitchcock & Walden
Place of Publication: New York
Cincinnati
Publication Date: 1855
Copyright Date: 1855
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Motherless families -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Temperance -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding) -- 1855   ( local )
Bldn -- 1855
Genre: Gold stamped cloth (Binding)   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Ohio -- Cincinnati
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015734
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA8264
notis - ALG1311
oclc - 50295417
alephbibnum - 002221094

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
        Front Matter 3
        Front Matter 4
        Front Matter 5
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
    List of Illustrations
        Page 6
    A first peep at Alice’s home
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Alice’s mother dies
        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
        Page 32
    The free and easy club
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Forsaken again
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Who got up first
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Alice goes to market
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    Finding friends and selling flowers
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The lady from the big house
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    A picture
        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
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Another peep at Alice’s home
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    More about the beautiful lady
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Alice goes to a new home, where she sees birds, and fields and flowers
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    No more top rooms: But new friends, and peeps inside a church
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    Alice falls asleep in Jesus
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    Back Matter
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Back Cover
        Page 199
        Page 200
    Spine
        Page 201
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Alice and the Florist.
See page 76


i ,.








ALICE LEIGH'S


MISSION.


FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS.


NEW YORK:
NELSON & PHILLIPS,
CINCINNATI: HITCHCOCK & WALDEN.
SUNDAY-BCHOOL DEPARTMENT.















CONTENTS.




CHAPTER PAGE
I. A FIRST PEEP AT ALICE'S HOME ......... 7
II. ALICE'S MOTHER DIES.................. 18
III. THE FREE AND EASY CLUB............... 33
IV. FORSAKEN AGAIN..................... 41
V. WHO GOT UP FIRST ................... 55
VI. ALICE GOES TO MARKET............ .... 64
VII. FINDING FRIENDS AND SELLING FLOWERS.. 79
VIII. THE LADY FROM THE BIG HOUSE ........ 92
IX. A PICTURE ..... .... ................ 111
X. ANOTHER PEEP AT ALICE'S HOME ........ 135
XI. MORE ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL LADY...... 148
XII. ALICE GOES TO A NEW HOME, WHERE SHE
SEES BIRDS, AND FIELDS AND FLOWERS. 161
XIII. No MORE TOP ROOMS: BUT NEW FRIENDS.
AND PEEPS INSIDE A CHURCH.......... 169
XIV. ALICE FALLS ASLEEP IN JESUS.......... 181



















I1husfratioans.


PAGZ
ALICE AND THE FLORIST ...................... 2
MRS. WOOD GIVING ALICE A CUP OF TEA........ 30
ALICE FINDS A FRIEND........................ 96
THE PICTURE................................ 129
IN THE FIELDS............................. 11











ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.



CHAPTER I.
A FIRST PEEP AT ALICE'S HOME.

IT was a ak room, and very meanl
furnished. There was a mattress on
the floor in one corner, scantily covered
with bed-clothing, a small table, and a
chair or two, very old and broken, a
smaller bed of some sort in another cor-
ner, and a few very common scraps of
clothing hanging about the room; this
was nearly all.
The room was in the top story of an old
house in a crowded city court. If you
had looked out at the window (a very
small one) you would have seen plenty
of chimneys, but little besides, unless







8 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
you had put your head quite out and
looked downward. Then you might have
seen dirty men and women and children
in the roadway, or on the pavements be-
low; but the sight would not have been
inviting.
There were two persons in the room to
whom the reader must be introduced.
One, a woman, very pale and thin and
weak. She lay on the larger mattress,
under the bed-clothing, and was unable
to rise, being very ill indeed, near dying.
Waiting upon her was a singular-look-
ing child. She was not taller than many
children of five or six years old; but her
face seemed much older. Ordinarily it
was a pleasant, cheerful countenance-
indeed, it was almost a pretty one, and
would have been quite pretty if it had not
been for the effects of hard living. Now,
however, it was clouded with sorrow and
care as well. As to the age of the child,
this was really more than eleven years,
and her stunted form and structure were







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


easily to be accounted for by her being
hump-backed. Poor child! her spine
was crooked all out of its right shape.
It had been so some time. Her name
was Alice Leigh. As well as her dying
mother, Alice had a father, of whom I
shall have something to tell.
The Leighs had not always been so
poor as they were at the time this history
begins, and they had not always lived
in that miserable room. Once they had -







10 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
a comfortable home, a nice cottage in
a garden, with roses trained up the walls,
and flowers, in spring and summer, grow-
ing all around them. Then the mother
had a smiling, happy face; the father
was bright and good tempered, industri-
ous and loving; and little Alice was as
upright and well-grown, and healthy as
a child could be. She and her mother
were very happy together then; for Mrs.
Leigh was her little girl's teacher, and
a very kind teacher too, from the day
that she began with the letters of the
alphabet to the time when Alice was able
to write fairly in a copy-book, and to read
a chapter--and many chapters-in the
Bible.
Better than this, because more impor-
tant, Alice learned from her mother very
much about the Lord Jesus Christ, and
heaven, and the way to reach that blessed
world of love and peace, and holiness and
joy. And better, still better, than only
knowing this, God had been pleased to







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


bless those instructions to the soul of her
child, by the Holy Spirit's teaching; so
that she believed what she thus heard,
and loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all
the strength of a child's warm affections.
And she and her mother were very happy
together then.
But those bright days of prosperity did
not last long. In an evil time Alice's
father met with bad companions who led
him into temptation and sin, and he
learned to love strong drink. He loved
it more and more the more he indulged
in it, so that his heart became hard and
cruel, and he forgot to take care of his
wife and child. At last he spent almost
all his earnings on drink, so that there
was very little money to buy food with,
and the poor wife and child became half
starved and pale and thin. Then the
rent of the cottage could not be paid,
because the money had all gone for drink;
so, one sad day, a man came and took
away their furniture and sold it, and







12 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


turned them out of their home which
had been so happy, and they had to
find shelter in that room of which I have
told you.
From that time neither Alice nor her
mother saw any more of fields, or gar-
dens, or flowers. They saw instead,
dirt, sin, and sorrow in many forms, and
much besides that was painful to look
upon. A little blue sky sometimes peeped
in upon them from up above the chimney-
pots; but that was not half so blue as it
had been over the old home. So, at least,
Alice thought.
And the father was so bad, too! He
hardly ever spoke a kind word now-
hardly ever brought them any money.
And the mother and little daughter sat,
day by day, growing thinner and paler,
often without food, and very scantily
clad, with little fire to warm them on the
cold days of winter-and O it was very
cold in that top-room.
After a time the mother obtained some







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


employment with her needle; but she had
to work very long hours for very little pay,
and she became weaker and less able to
work as time went on.
Then came another sad trial. As I
told you just now, Alice had not always
been a cripple; but one day, some three
or four years before the time when my
story begins, and soon after they had
come to their present home, the child ran
out to meet her father when she heard
his step on the stairs--for she loved him,
though he was so besotted, and she wished
him to know that she loved him. But he
was in an ill-temper with himself and with
everybody else at this time; and, instead
of taking up his loving child in his arms,
as a kind father would most likely have
done, he pushed her roughly from him.
Dear little Alice! Even if this unkind-
ness had done her no bodily harm it would
have wounded her, spirit, and so have
hurt her very much indeed. Bat, besides
this, her foot slipped, she lost her balance,






14 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


and fell backward down the steep, dark
staircase, her poor back striking against
the stairs until she reached the second
floor, where was a larger landing, which
kept her from falling to the bottom of the
three flights. And there she was found
and picked up, a little shapeless heap,
white and senseless. A doctor was sent
for, and he examined her hurts. Then he
said that she would be a cripple all her
life. O how heavily, like lead, these
words fell upon the father's ears, and
sank into his heart; for it was his fault;
it was through him!
And Alice had to lie many months,
with much pain; but she never moaned
or cried; only, sometimes, when her back
hurt her very badly, the tears would come
to her eyes, though she would hide even
them if she could.
And there were three things which at
this time made her glad and happy. The
first was that she was assured of her Sav-
iour's love. She never for once doubted






ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


this; but believed it with all the sim-
plicity of a little child. Indeed, Alice
was a dear little lamb of Christ the Good
Shepherd's fold; and though she could
not have told you how she knew this, she
did, in this time of pain and trouble,
know it; and this made her happy.
The second cause of Alice's happiness
was in her mother's tender love, and in
the sweet conversations they had together
about the better world and the one thing
needful, and the instructions her mother
continued to impart. Though, indeed,
the mother said that at this time she
learned more from Alice than Alice
learned from her, for she taught her
patience and hope ; and it seemed, too, so
she said, as though the Holy Spirit were
pouring his rich teachings into Alice's
soul, so as to cause her to grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of the Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ, and thus to fit her
to be a teacher of others.
The third thing which shed a gleam of







16 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


pleasure over Alice's thoughts at this time
was, that her father began, as she hoped,
to change back again into his former self.
And it was quite true that, being shocked
at what he had done, and not having lost
all his love for his child and his wife, he
gave up his drinking habits for a time.
He would come and sit by Alice's bed,
and hold her tiny hand gently, and
look at the thin white face, which he had
made so thin and white, till tears came
into his eyes, and he reproached himself
bitterly for all the evil he had done.
He seemed to be getting kind and good
again, and so humble that Alice was
very, very glad.
She never felt angry with him for the
evil he had done her; and she told him
over and over again that she knew he did
not throw her down on purpose. And
now she added to this that she did not
mind the pain she suffered if it were only
to keep him from "going to the bad"
again.







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


And it did keep him from it for a time,
but not for long. Before Alice could
move off her bed her father was enticed
away again, and returned to his old
habits; and like a stream that has been
stopped for a time in its course, and rushes
and dashes on quicker when it breaks
through the barrier, so Drunken Leigh (as
he was sometimes called) was carried on
as by a flood of sin.
Do you wonder, now, how it was that
the wife and daughter of this man were
so poor and half starved, and that death
was very near to one of them ?
Perhaps if Mrs. Leigh at the beginning
of her illness had had a doctor, and could
have afforded money for nourishing food,
and plenty of it, she might have got
better. But no doctor came near her;
and almost all she and Alice had to eat
and drink for weeks was bread (and not
enough of that) and water, or very weak
tea.







18 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER II.
ALICE'S MOTHER DIES.

66 ]EAR Alice," said the mother, in her
J11 weak voice, "I did not think, a
time ago, that I should have been the first
to be taken. But it is God's will."
Yes, -mother, I think it is," said
Alice softly, while her eyes filled with
tears.
And he knows best," continued Mrs.
Leigh. He knows what is best to do
with us. And he has a right to do it, too.
Don't you think so, dear ?"
Alice could say that she not only
thought so, but was sure of it.
And God loves us so much, Alice,
that he cannot be unkind; and he would
not if he could. He loves me, Alice; and
I am glad to know that, and that I love
him in return for all he has done for me.







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


And so, as God sees fit I should soon die,
it is that I may be taken to himself. You
see this, Alice ? "
Alice did see it, and she felt sure it was
all right and kind, but she could not re-
strain the sobs which would rise from
time to time; neither could she help
saying, in broken words, "If God would
but take me too !"
"He would do this, Alice, if it was
good," said the dying woman; "and I
thought at one time, when your back was
at its worst, that you would have been
the first to go home. But you were
spared for my comfort then, and now it
is because it is better for you to live on.
It must be so, Alice, for God loves you,
you know; and you love him because he
first loved you. And if he loves you he
cannot be unkind."
They were the same words over again;
but they bore repeating then, and will
bear repeating here; for they were true
words-true of God, true concerning
2







20 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


every saint. God loves, and because he
loves, all that he does is in love, and kind-
ness, and mercy, and wisdom.
"I think," added the mother, after a
little pause-for she was very weak, and
her breath came and went fitfully and
with much labor-"I think that there is
something for you to do in the world, Alice,
and that is why your life was spared."
O, mother dear I, a poor cripple! "
was all Alice could say.
"There is nothing so weak, my dear,
that God cannot make strong for his pur-
pose and work; and he does often fix
upon the weak things of this world. I
have sometimes thought, Alice, that I
had never been of any use in the world.
But when I look at you and think of you,
dear, I don't think so now. I bless God
that I was helped to teach you when you
were little, and that he was pleased to
make my poor teaching-"
Mother," whispered Alice, it was not
poor teaching, was it ?"







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


"Not when God put his Spirit into it,
Alice. And I do thank him for this, and
for all his mercies. And O, they have
been so many!"
So many! so many! How could that
poor woman speak of having had so many
mercies? Think of her unworthy hus-
band, of her deep poverty, of her struggles
for bread for herself and her child, of her
crippled child, of her own ill health and
bodily sufferings, of all she had endured
so many years! What could she mean
when she spoke of many mercies?
Ah, but she meant what she said; and
she said what was quite true. She meant
and felt that in having Christ for her Sav-
iour, and heaven for her home, she had
such a great and wonderful mercy that
every thing else was included in it; that
her very troubles and trials had been
mercies; that because Christ was hers all
things were hers; and she could under-
stand what these words really mean : "For
our light- affliction, which is but for a mo-







22 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
ment, worketh for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory; while we
look not at the things which are seen, but
at the things which are not seen: for the
things which are seen are temporal; but
the things which are not seen are eternal."
But the dying mother did not speak very
much about herself; she went on as ear-
nestly, and as long as her little strength
and failing breath lasted, to encourage her
daughter to constantly trust in God.
Think of these words, Alice," she
said, "' When my father and my mother-
forsake me, then the Lord will take me
up.' My darling Alice, your mother will
soon leave you and your father. 0, Alice,
pray for your poor father, and do all you
can to win him back again. He has for-
saken you almost, but not quite; and,
perhaps, when I am gone he may think
more of you than he has done of late.
But any way, do all you can to comfort
him, and who can tell but you may lead
him to the Saviour ? Pray for this, Alice."







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


Mrs. Leigh paused here for a little while,
and closed her eyes; and Alice very well
remembered afterward that her lips si-
lently moved, as though in prayer. In-
deed, there was little that passed then that
Alice did not afterward recollect. Pres-
ently the mother spoke again, but her
voice was weaker-it became weaker and
hoarser every moment.
Think, Alice, who says, 'I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee;' so that you
may boldly say, The Lord is my helper.'
For every word that God says is true.
He always means what he says, Alice. I
can't remember all those beautiful prom-
ises, but you'll find them in the Bible, and
they are all meant for every one who
loves the Lord Jesus and trusts in him.
And this is what you do, Alice, so the
promises are yours."
There was another short pause, and then
she said slowly, I see it all now. I wish
I had loved and served him more and
better; but he will not cast me out. He







24 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


casts out none that come to him, Alice:
he wont cast your poor father out, if he
will but come."
She could not talk much more. Her
breath became more labored; her limb,
were becoming cold; there was a change
slowly passing over her countenance. The
poor child saw it, and crept closer to her
mother, and covered her over better.
"Mother," she said, in a low tone,
" may I repeat one of my hymns ? I think
you would like it."
The dying woman smiled assent, and
Alice gently went on:

"I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon my breast.'
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
And he has made me glad.

"I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.'







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.
"I heard the voice of Jesus say,
'I am this dark world's light;
Look unto me; thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.'
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In him my Star and Sun;
And in that light of life I'll walk
Till traveling days are done."

Shorter and shorter came the breath;
the white lips moved, but the tones were
so low that Alice could scarcely hear them;
but she put her ear very close to her
mother's mouth, and caught the words:
Jesus' blood-from all sin-to me-
and rest-made glad-your father-tell
him-I thought of him-he must come
too-forgiven Jesus-bright so hap-
py." And then one little quick, short
sigh, and all was over. But O such a
sweet, peaceful smile stayed round the
thin lips--such a bright look of holy joy
on the face-that the now motherless girl







26 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

stood and gazed, and gazed without one
feeling of fear.
"God is very good," she said. "He has
taken her to heaven; she'll have no more
troubles now, nothing but joy and peace."
Poor child her first thoughts were not
of herself. She forgot for the time that
there was no one left now to take care of
her, and keep her from starving. She
was so unselfish, she only thought of her
mother, so happy now, away from it all.
But presently, when she looked again at
the cold, white face, still and fixed, and
remembered that she could never see
those loving eyes watching her again,
never hear those soft, gentle words spoken
to her again, never feel that kind hand
laid on her head again, she gave one low,
moaning cry, and threw her arms round
the neck of the corpse, where she lay sob-
bing a long, long time, until, worn out
with weariness and sorrow, she fell fast
asleep.
And thus the father found the two







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


when he came home from his work. 0
how his heart smote him when he saw
them, and tried to unclasp the arms of the
child How he looked at his dead wife's
face, and saw how thin and pinched it
was, and how large the eyes seemed; and
he saw the wasted arms stretched on the
coverlet; and he knew he had been the
cause of it all. He dared not think what
misery he had wrought. It seemed as
though all their evils came through him.
And as he stood he made new vows,
formed new resolutions; promised he
would act differently from what he was
doing: would take great care of the little
one that was left-deformed by his hand.
But he made all his vows in his own
strength, nor asked God to help him;
and such vows are never performed.
Gently he lifted the child from the bed,
and laid her upon her own little one in the
opposite corner; and then noiselessly he
crept out, and went to a door on the next
landing lower and knocked.







28 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


A big, rosy-faced, kind-looking woman,
about forty years of age, answered the
knock. She gave a little start of surprise
when she saw her visitor, but he spoke
quickly, and said, "Mrs. Wood, I'have no
right to come and ask a favor of you, but it
is not for myself, or I wouldn't trouble you.
But I know you wont refuse to do a
womanly act for a woman. My wife is
dead; will you come and see what must
be done for her ? "
She darted a quick, reproachful glance
at him. His character was well known
among the other inmates of the house.
His eye fell beneath that glance; he
could not meet that steady look, knowing
too well that he deserved reproof.
"Don't! he cried in an earnest, broken
tone. "1 know and feel all you would
say." And he held out his arm implor-
ingly, as if to ward off the words she
might speak.
The expression of the woman's face
softened, and she said kindly, "I will















I.,


1111:1


Mrs. Wood giving Alice a Cup of Tea.


'II
I'


Irr ~L

~k~a~l FI







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


come and do what I can for you and
yours." So she went back into the room
a moment to arrange some little matters,
and then up the stairs to the chamber of
death, and performed the offices for the
dead, while the man went to order the
making of the coffin. And she gave
Alice a nice warm cup of tea, after carry-
ing her asleep down to her own room, and
placing her in a large arm-chair drawn
near to the fire. The child's first look
upon waking had been one of pleasure
and of joyful surprise; but then came
the thought of why she was there, and
the large blue eyes filled with tears as
she looked up into the other's kind
face.
0 !" she said, do you know that my
mother is dead ? I wonder if father has
come home yet!"
The woman's hand was laid on her
head ever so gently as she answered,
Yes, my poor child, I know all. But
you must not fret about her; she has left







32 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

but a dreary world behind her, and we'll
hope she has gone to a better."
0, yes; please, ma'am," and the little
face brightened; I know she has gone to
heaven."
The woman smiled at the child's ear-
nestness, and stroked her hair very softly.
" And you will try to go there?" she
asked.
0 yes! and-if you please-father
too;" and she raised her face pleading-
"please say father too "
"Yes, and father too, we will hope, my
little child," the other answered; and in
her heart she said, God grant it! "







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER III.
THE FREE AND EASY CLUB.
T WO or three months went by, and
little Alice was happy again, for her
father was very, very good to her now, and
had been ever since her mother died. He
would come home at noon, bringing some-
thing with him for dinner, and again early
at night, and stay with her until bed-time,
instead of going to drink at the tavern;
and he would often bring some little thing,
that attracted his eye as he passed to and
fro from his work, to please her. She would
sit upon his knee, with one arm round his
neck, while he read to her or she to him,
and he would tell her tales which had
been forgotten by him many long years
ago, but which came back all freshly to
him again. The color began to come in her
cheeks; her face grew bright and joyous;






34 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
her eyes sparkled with new life; her little
wasted limbs began to grow rounder and
stronger, and many a time she caught
herself singing gladly in that top room.
And now and then her father would bring
some bit of furniture or an ornament to
enliven it, till it began to look quite nice.
For many years Simon Leigh had been
a member of a club which they had called
"Free and Easy Club." It had no par-
ticular object in meeting; it was held
chiefly that a lot of jovial, care-for-noth-
ing drunken fellows might meet together
every night and have a "spree." It was
held at the Blue Bell," a rough sort of
place, and up to his wife's death Leigh
had been one of their head men; but
since that event he had kept away from
them, though it had been done with many
a struggle, and often his strength had
nearly failed him when his old companions
had come to entice him to join them again.
But the little white face and the crooked
little back would rise up before him, and







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


he would turn quickly away; and each
day the temptation was growing weaker
and weaker.
He did not now care much for their
jeers and taunts, for he knew there were
two loving arms waiting to be put round
his neck, and a glad word of welcome,
and a bright smile, all in that top room,
and they conquered.
But one night, about three months after
all began to go on so nicely, as he was
coming home from his work, (he was a
bricklayer,) one of his old acquaintances,
a bricklayer too, met him, and, stopping
him, said in a loud, hearty voice,
"Well, Leigh, old fellow, how are you?
I was on the look out for you. I reckon
you've nearly forgotten me, it's so long
since I had the pleasure of meeting
with you. I've been watching about here
ever so long for you, for we are having a
special meeting to-night at the old place,
about having our wages raised. We are
going to talk it all over, and make out







36 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


our plans for action, and we want you to
come and join us. Only for this once I
ask you, for I know your face is set
against us and our company now; but
your head's so much longer than any of
ours. We always found your advice the
safest and best to follow-so will you
give us a bit of it now ? Come, we're any
of us ready to do you a good turn, so
you wont refuse to come and help us a
bit."
It was in this cunning, clever way he
put the temptation With what wisdom
of the world Not one jeering, taunting
word about his having left them; not
mentioning the word tavern," but insin-
uating in a subtle manner that they had
lost their best man in losing him, and that
he was so much their superior in wisdom
and sense, and then begging him as a
friend to do them a favor The bait was
too tempting-his pride was aroused and
gratified; he was pleased to think that he
was a man of importance, that their







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


meeting would be nothing without him,
that his opinion was worth something.
And he took the bait, though he held
back a moment for thought; but it all
seemed fair, he fancied. Yes, he saw no
reason why he should be unmannerly,
and said,
Thank you, Pearson, for your invita-
tion and your compliments. It's very
kind of you to say it all, I'm sure, and I
think I'll come to-night, just for once, as
you say." And then little Alice's face
seemed to rise up before him. "But,"
he added quickly, I must go home first;
you know I have a little crippled child
who is expecting me, and then I'll come
down to you. Seven o'clock, do you
say ?"
Now the man would much rather have
made sure of him by taking him along
with him then, but he did not like to
seem too pressing; so he said,
"Just suit yourself about that. Yes,
seven's the time. You'll not disappoint







38 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

us But we'll wait for you if you're a
bit late; we wont start without you."
And so they parted for a time.
Poor Alice! She little knew what
was in store for her from that hour! She
sat waiting for her father when he came
in; and the tea was got ready so nicely,
and the room looked so tidy and clean,
and her little bright face lit it all up.
Leigh looked round two or three times
as if he should never see it again, and
stroked Alice's hair gently down on both
sides, and kissed her so kindly that the
tears started into her eyes.
It was their usual custom as soon as
they had finished their tea for Alice to
sit on her father's knee with her arm
round his neck, nestling up to him, and
then tell him all she had done in the day;
and to-night she would have done as
usual, but he said,
"Not yet, Alice; I'm going out a bit
first. I don't think I shall be long, but
if I am don't wait up, love. Youneedn't







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


look so frightened," he added, I am only
going to see about having my wages
raised, and then you'll be able to have
nicer things than you've got now."
"Where is it at, father?" the child
asked, with a strange sound of fear in her
voice.
Where's what at? Where I'm going,
do you mean? 0, it's not far; it
wont take me long to walk." And with
that answer he put her off. He knew
well enough what she meant; and how
could he tell her that it was at the Blue
Bell," that old haunt of sin and wicked
companions?
But he needed not to tell her; she saw
by his face where it was, and with quick
discerning eyes she read what it would
lead to.
0, father," she cried earnestly, don't
go there again! 0, please, please don't!
We're so happy, now, and it'll spoil it all;
0, say you wont go! "
Her father looked at her thoughtfully






40 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
for a moment, and then said, "But I've
promised, child, and they'll wait for me.
I wont stay long. I'm not going back to
my old ways; don't look at me like that,
as if I was-I'm too fond of you for that.
But 1 must go this once, and it's time
now that I was off. Here, take this and
get yourself something nice."
And he gave her a dime, and then he
kissed her quickly and left her, and in a
few minutes entered the bar-parlor of the
"Blue Bell "-while Alice threw herself
upon the floor and sobbed as if her heart
would break.







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER IV.
FORSAKEN AGAIN.
THE room was nearly full when Leigh
entered it. He saw all his old com-
panions, sitting just as they used to do;
every thing looked as it did when he was
there last; and, as he glanced round, he
began to feel as if he had never left them.
They turned and looked at him as he
went in, and then all sprang up, and, going
to him, shook hands with him one after
another, while many such words of wel-
come as these sounded in his ear: "Very
glad to see you, old lad; " It looks like
old times again;" "Knew you'd keep
your word, you never broke it yet to us."
And he sat down with a smile on his face
of satisfied pride.
"They're good honest fellows, after
all," he said to himself, "and not nearly







42 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
so bad as I've fancied. I might be among
a worse lot." And so he sat on con-
tented, and laughed and joked just as he
used to do. And the little crippled child
was forgotten when they brought to him
mug after mug of beer, for him to drink
their health all round.
He refused at first, but they said that
was unfriendly, and then he said he would
have "just one." But the "just one"
went into two, three, four, and many,
many more; and, when once he began,
the old love for it came back stronger
and stronger, with its strange, fascinating,
and all-absorbing influence and power,
and he called wildly for glass after glass,
glass after glass, and before it every thing
else sank into oblivion-his dead wife,
his little loving, crippled girl, his new-
made vows, his home,* his hopes of
heaven, his prospects on earth-all, all
were forgotten in that fatal, maddening
drink!
Poor, deluded man! He little thought







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION. 43
when they were flattering him so, paying
him such deference, that it was all a
made-up thing. That the man who had
met him, and invited him, had laid a
wager that that night he would have
him among them, as drunk as a trooper."
And he won his money!
It was morning before Leigh staggered
up those steep stairs to that little top
room. He did not know that for long
hours his child had been listening anx-
iously for his footsteps, yet almost dread-
ing to hear them, lest they should sound
heavy and unsteady. And at last, worn
out with watching, she had lain down on
her bed and fallen asleep. But now, as
he stumbled up in the dark, and flung
open the door with a loud noise, she
started up. She was wide awake in an
instant, and knew all that had happened.
One long, low cry she gave, of 0 father!"
and then threw herself down again, with-
out daring to get another look. It was
not the kind face that she had seen a few







44 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
hours before, but one swollen and dis-
torted with drink; not the bright, soft
eye that had rested so fondly upon
her such a short time before, but one
dull, heavy, meaningless--the eye of a
drunkard.
Alice heard him go to his bed and fling
himself on it, just as he was, and she felt
such a choking sensation-a feeling of
dread, terror, sorrow, and dismay. Fancy-
ing all the old days coming back, of want,
starvation, and loneliness worse than
death; of no loving word, or kind, gentle
smile; nothing but misery, curses, and
drink; and all the pleasant days and
happy nights gone, never to come back
again-she saw her father sinking lower
and lower, growing worse and worse.
Yes, it all rose up before her like a
strange, sad dream, and it was as if her
little over-laden heart would break.
She felt there was only one thing she
could do in her trouble, and that she did;
slipping down off the bed, and kneeling







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


beside it, she told God all about it. In
simple, childish words she poured forth
her grief; and 0, how she prayed for
father, that God would save him even
yet She remembered the gracious prom-
ises, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father
in my name, he will give it you; " Ask,
and ye shall receive, that your joy may
be full." And she pleaded these promises,
and then crept into bed again, and before
very long fell fast asleep.
When Alice awoke the next morning
her father was gone. He had not the
courage to meet those eyes which would
be fixed upon him so sorrowfully. He
had not the courage to hear again those
two words, 0, father !" He could not
bear to think of his broken vows, of his
shame in again having been among his
old companions, and so he had gone out,
noiselessly, quietly, to his work, without
waking his little girl. And she under-
stood it all; saw why he had done it, and
was very sorry. As if I should not have






46 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


loved him just the same!" she said to
herself.
Alice knew he would not come home
to breakfast, so, getting a bit herself, she,
after straightening the room, put on her
bonnet, and taking the dime her father
had given her the night before, she went
out and bought a bit of meat for dinner,
saying, "I'll have all so nice for him to-
day, and I'll kiss him, and look just as if
nothing had happened last night."
And at twelve o'clock every thing was
ready, and the table set so neatly, and she
waiting, with a clean, smiling face, pleased
with her morning's work. Poor little
child! how she stood listening at the door
for the sound of his footsteps? But she
did not hear it. Half past twelve-but no
father. One o'clock-half past-two
o'clock, and still she was watching.
"He'll not come now," she said, her
voice choking with sobs; and all so nice
to-day But I'll put it away till night,
perhaps he's been too busy to come;"







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


and she got a piece of bread for herself,
putting the dinner into the cupboard, and
clearing all away. Then setting the kettle
on the stove, she got a bit of sewing, and
a little old hymn book her teacher had
given her, and worked and learned all the
afternoon, till it was time to get the tea
ready. And then she fixed all so nicely
again, just as she had done at noon, only
there was tea now as well, and began to
wait once more.
She heard the big clock of the church
near by strike one-two-three quarters
-and then seven o'clock.
"He is late," she said, and opening the
window she leaned through to try if she
could see him coming. That top-room
was so high above the street that she could
scarcely distinguish the people as they
walked along, but still she saw her father
was not among them, and a sickening
feeling of fear and loneliness crept over
her. 0, where can he be ?" she cried.
"Why doesn't he come home?" And







48 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


the tears fell quickly from her eyes as
she strained them to catch a sight of him.
It was growing quite dark now, and she
could see no longer, so she shut the win-
dow again, shivering with cold, for it was
a damp, foggy night. She counted each
quarter until nine o'clock struck, and then
could bear it no longer. "I will go and
look for him And she took down her
bonnet, and wrapping an old shawl round
her shoulders, set off down the stairs into
the dark street.
Alice had never been out before at
night, and seldom even in the day, it
tired her so to walk; and now she felt
so frightened as the people brushed past
her, sometimes knocking against her-
she was so small that they hardly noticed
her.
She would go to the Blue Bell" first
and ask if her father had been there;
and then, if he had not, wouldd try to find
the place where he worked, knowing it
was to be called "Lloyd's Buildings,"







ALICE LIGH'IS MISSION.


and was in Clarence-street, but that was
all she knew.
She had been to the "Blue Bell" once
before, so she could find that; and at
length she came to the house. She looked
up and saw the sign, a big bell, painted
blue, and she stood at the door and peeped
in. There was such a noise that she
scarcely dared to venture in; but, as she
stood looking timidly round, a young
man, who was serving at the bar, caught
sight of her. "Well, Twopenny," he
shouted, in a rough, coarse voice; "what
may your business be?"
Alice started: turning red, and then
quite pale again, she said, in a low, fright-
ened voice, If you please, sir, I came to
know if father was here ? "
"And pray who's 'father?' What's
your name? "
"Little Alice Leigh," she said, more
frightened still at the man's rough way at
speaking.
"Little Alice Leigh ? So you were







50 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
christened 'Little,' were you? Well, sure
enough, you are a mite. But your father's
not here, and, if he was, he wouldn't
want you; so run away, and don't come
again-now mind! "
For a moment he almost felt ashamed
of his rough words and manner, for the
little hunch-backed child turned such a
white face, looking full of despair, toward
him, as she said, O, I am so sorry! I
thought I should have found him here."
Well, that's queer," the man said, with
a laugh; "I should think you'd be glad
not to find him here."
Should you ?" Alice answered quietly.
" Yes, but I've been watching for him all
day, and I don't know where he can be
now, as he isn't here. If you see him,
please to tell him to come home to his
little Alice. You know I've nobody but
him now to love," she added, by way of
explanation; for mother's dead, and he's
been so good for such a time now. Will
you please to tell him ? "






ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


"Well, we'll see," the man answered
in a kinder tone. "But run away now;
perhaps he'll be at home soon. I wouldn't
mind looking for him any more to-
night."
Thank you, sir," she said, and turned
away, crying silently all down the street.
Little did she know, poor child, that her
father at that very moment was not above
twenty yards from her, sitting in the bar-
parlor of the "Blue Bell," and had sat
there since morning, drinking harder than
ever, partly to drown thought, partly be-
cause the old passion for it had returned.
That young man knew all the time that it
was so, but he said he couldn't afford to
lose so good a customer as Leigh, and the
sight of that child was enough to make
any man sober.
And so he did not tell her, but let her
go trudging along the dark streets in the
cold, seeking for "Lloyd's Buildings"
until her little back ached so that she
could go on no farther, but sat down on a







52 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


door step, and sobbed as if her heart would
break. She sat there a long time, none
of the passers-by speaking to her; they
were all too full of their own plans and
troubles, or pleasures. But at length it
seemed to strike her that it was foolish to
sit on there, shivering with cold, for that
it would do no good. So she got up
slowly, with a heavy heart, and turned to
go home again. It did seem a long way
back, for she was so tired, and the streets
were so thronged with what seemed to
her such rough people. She reached home
at last, though, but there was nothing there
to cheer her; it looked dreary enough, for
all was in darkness, the fire having gone
out. The tea things stood just as she had
left them. There was no father in; he
had not come back.
She had no time to sit down and cry, as
she felt inclined to do, for she must make
the fire again, lest he should come soon,
and she wanted all to look nice. So she
set to work, and put the kettle on to boil







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


up again, and then began, once more, to
wait anxiously.
Poor child! she had eaten next to noth-
ing that day, and felt faint and sick with
her walk; but she had no appetite; her
troubles had taken it all away.
On she sat, listening, listening, listen-
ing, far into the night, and then she heard
her father's step coming heavily up the
stairs. Yes, he was drunk, she could
hear, and he came staggering into the
room, while she stood trembling. She
was frightened of him when he was so.
His eyes fell upon her the moment he
entered.
Halloa! what are you doing up till
this time.?" he asked in a thick, gruff
voice. "You've no business to be out of
bed; come, pack off! "
"I waited to give you some supper,
father," she said softly; wont you have
any ? "
"No, I want none, not I! And don't
you wait up again; it wont do." And
4







54 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
then he threw himself on the bed as he
had done the night before, and in a few
moments Alice heard him snoring.
She took up a piece of bread-and-butter,
and tried to eat it; but it seemed to choke
her, and she laid it down again, and after
saying her little prayer she got into bed.







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER V.
WHO GOT UP FIRST.

AND much in this way the next week
passed. Alice had given over ever
expecting her father until daybreak, and
he never came to any meals now. And
in his drunkenness he did not think of
the child-what she was living upon, and
had not once given her any money; but, in-
deed, he had scarcely any left now, for he
had been turned away from the place
where he had worked, and had not found
another yet.
However, it took little to keep her alive.
She was living still on the bits that were
in the house. They were getting done,
though, and she had not thought yet
where a fresh supply must come from.
She felt it was useless to talk to her
father while he was drunk, and she never






56 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


saw him when he was sober, for he would
go out before she awoke; hut she did
so long to speak to him, and to ask
him to begin and come home to his din-
ner again, and one night she made up her
mind to be up before him the next morn-
ing, and catch him before he had gone
out.
But she knew that she would never
wake in time, she slept so soundly; so
she thought that she would go to bed very
early, and sleep until her father came
home, between twelve and one o'clock,
and then that she would lie awake from
that time until morning. And so she
did. She slept until he awoke her with
coming in, and then lay thinking, and
making little plans, until she fancied it
was late enough to get up and dress
herself.
After doing that she lit the fire and
boiled the kettle. There was just a bit
of coffee left and a piece of stale bread :
" but if he will give me the money I can







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


soon run to the corner for a roll for him,"
she thought.
So she set two cups, and made all nice,
and washed herself, and sat down to see
how her father would look when he awoke.
She waited a long time, for he had
drunk more than usual the night before.
But he opened his eyes at last, and turned
them in astonishment upon the little
figure sitting so patiently; and he looked
more surprised still when he saw the fire
made and the breakfast ready.
Alice could still smile in spite of all
her troubles, and she did so now at the
expression on her father's face. She saw
he did not look ill-tempered or vexed, so
she summoned up all her courage and
said, "You see, father, I'm up first this
morning, and, if you please, breakfast's
ready."
He stared at her a moment, and then,
getting off the bed, he said, Halloa!
what new move's this?" His voice
sounded kind and it encouraged her.






58 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


didn't like you to go out in the
morning without me ever seeing you,"
she said, it makes days seem so long, so
I thought I would try if I couldn't get
up in time. And I think it's nicer, don't
you "
"A great deal," he answered, and then
stopped, and looked as if there was some-
thing more he wanted to say. Another
moment and it came: But, Alice, do you
still love me enough to act in this way ?
Don't you-don't you-" He could say
no more; his voice was choked.
The child made a spring into his arms,
with a low cry : please, father, don't
ask me that! I would do any thing for
you I love you more than all the world.
I've nothing but you to love now, you
know. O let me love you ? Don't say I
mustn't; I can't help it! "
Not let her love me, did she say?
God bless her!" The only wonder was
that she could after what he had done.
" And can you love me yet, Alice," he






ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


said, "though I'm so bad? I'm not fit
you should. Poor child! I wish you'd
another father instead of me-one that
'ud be good to you, that I do !"
You are good to me, father; I wouldn't
change you for any body It's not you
that's bad to me-it's-it's, 0 father, it's
the drink. It's not you when you're
drunk. I don't know who it is, but it's
not a bit like you, and mother used to say
so too. Wont you give it up, father "
And she raised her eyes pleadingly.
"I can't, child; you don't know what
it's like; it holds you fast, and 'tices you
on, and you forget every thing else. I
would if I could, but I can't."
"No, father, not of yourself; but ask
God, he'll help you."
"He wouldn't hear me if I did ask, be-
cause I do wrong knowing it is wrong,
and he curses them a deal more than he
does those that have never been taught
better. Don't you see?"
"Yes," she said slowly; "but I think







he'd help you just the same, for he says
he wants every body to be good, and I don't
see why he should just leave you out-
that's why I think he'd help you."
It sounds easy enough, but it's none
so easy when one comes to try. It's all
well enough for you to talk about it, and
be good, because you never see any one
or go any where to tempt you to do
wrong; and then you are a child, and
they're always better. But if you were
a man you'd know."
He looked rather vexed, so Alice dared
not say any thing else. "I mustn't preach
to him," she said to herself. So she did
not speak again about that, but poured
him a cup of coffee out.
The bread is very dry, father," she
said, "but if you like I'll run for some
fresh; I should have gone before, but I'd
no money."
Never mind," he said, "this'll do very
well. And so your money is done, is it
Well, and so is mine, and I've nowhere







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


to get any more from. You see people
don't want a drunken man to work for
them, so he must starve. But, however,
that wont do, so while I am sober I must
go and look for some work, for, may be,
I sha'n't be sober long. Your breakfast's
very good, Alice, but I suppose it's the
last of the sort unless I bring you some
money. So I must go and try to get
some." And when he had finished his
breakfast he got up to go.
"Will you come home at noon, father,
to dinner ? she asked timidly.
Well, we'll see ; may be I will. And
must I come to my tea and all "
One quick look she gave up to his face
to see if he meant it, while her eyes
sparkled at the thought. "What, and stay
with me all the night? O father, do! 0
do! it used to be so nice, and it would
again! And you know-don't you re-
member-you used to say you were hap-
pier here than at the tavern ? "
"So I was, child, a great deal, and I







62 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


wish I could keep here, but the love of
drink grows so strong. It's hard to be
good But at any rate I'llcome at noon,
and we can talk about night then." And
so he kissed her kindly, the first kiss she
had had for a week, and left her feeling
happier than she had done for many a
day, although she had asked him to come
to dinner, and she knew there was not a
scrap of any thing in the house.
You've set yourself a pretty task "
she said within herself, "inviting people
to dinner, and nothing in the world to
give them to eat, and nothing to buy any
thing with. Come, you've no time to
lose! and she set about her work of tidy-
ing the room so quickly. Though she
had the dinner to plan, and the money to
get first, once or twice she caught herself
singing, for she felt so much more light-
hearted.
Yes, you do well to sing, miss ? where's
your money to come from, eh i There,
that's tidy enough : now just put on that







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION. 63

bonnet and shawl, and get that little
basket, and I'll teach you." And so, talk-
ing to herself, (it was a habit she had got
into through being alone so much,) she put
on a big old black silk bonnet that had
been her mother's; it was the only one
she had to wear, for she had not one of
her own; and pinning round her shoul-
ders a black and red shawl, she got a little
basket out of the cupboard, and went out
of the room, pulling the door to after her.







64 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER VI.
ALICE GOES TO MARKET.
BEFORE telling where Alice went, and
why she took a little basket with her,
I must say something about what had
happened to her not very long before.
After Alice's mother was dead and
buried her little girl did not forget her.
She thought about her hundreds of times
in a day. Her mother was buried in a
large cemetery not far from their house,
so, many a time, Alice would go and sit
on the mound over her grave, and then
she seemed to be so near to her, and
here she would repeat her little hymns
and verses.
In getting to the cemetery she had to
pass a flower and fruit market, where
beautiful plants of every description were
sold, and such splendid, tempting fruit;







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


and sometimes she would go in, and stand
looking at the flowers, and wondering at
all the bustle, and at the grown-up people,
and little boys and girls no bigger than
herself, who were constantly coming with
baskets and money to those who were
selling, and who filled them these baskets,
and then they went away again; and
often she had met them in the streets
afterward, selling the flowers again. She
knew one of the girls, for she lived in the
same court. She could not understand it
for a long time; but one day, as she stood
watching, all at once she was so startled
by somebody saying, close behind her,
Don't you know what these people are
doing? they are making money. They
buy the flowers and roots and things
cheap here, and then they go away and
sell them again dearer. Do you see now ?
You could do the same yourself if you
wanted, only you would find them heavy
to carry."
She turned her head quickly to see who







66 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

was speaking, and met the kindest pair
of eyes, and the rosiest, most smiling face,
that she had ever seen, she thought.
They belonged to a middle-aged country-
man, who had a large stand of roots and
flowers of all shapes, colors, and sizes.
Thank you, sir," she said; I've won-
dered many a time what they were doing,
but I shall know now."
"I've seen you watch 'em, and so I
thought I'd tell you. You often come
here, don't you, and always by yourself?
How's that ?" he asked.
I like coming to see the beautiful
flowers, sir; and I come by myself because
there's nobody to come with me, or else I
shouldn't."
"Why, have you no sisters "
"No. nor brothers, nor mother; there's
nobody now but father and me, for moth-
er's been dead nearly four months, and
there never was none but us three."
"Poor little un," the man said kindly;
"and so you're by yourself a deal, and







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


then you come to look at the nice things ?
Do you like flowers ?"
"0 yes, please, I love them! But I
haven't had one of my very own for many
a year now; they don't grow where we
live, and I never can get to the fields
'cause I can't walk so far. But there'll
be lots in heaven, wont there ? "
Yes, I dare say-I hope so," the man
answered with rather a puzzled look. It
seemed to strike him as a new idea. But
he said again, 0, I reckon there will
be." And then he watched the child's
eager eyes, as she looked with delight at
the bright rows of flowers.
Why, you love 'em as much as I do,
I believe," he said at last.
"Do I? I'm very glad you love 'em too."
"Which should you like best for your
very own of all that lot if you might
pick ? and he pointed with his finger.
She looked round at them all again, and
her eyes rested the longest on a pot of
sweet violets. The man noticed it.







68 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


"Why," he said, "have you chosen
them ? "
I like them the best of 'em all," she
said; I don't know why, but I do."
Well, then," he said, "just take hold
of that pot with your two hands, and
carry it home; and if you want to sell it
again you'd get a dime for it."
Take it home ?-me ?-0 no! it's too
nice for me; why, it's beautiful!"
"Well, and what if it is? it's not a bit
too nice. If you'd like to have 'em you're
welcome to 'em, quite. Now, never mind
thanking me; I'm glad if you are."
And so she took them, and from that
day those two were great friends. She
did not sell the violets, though, but put
them in that top-room, and they smiled
so sweetly for many a day. But, still,
she knew that she could have got a dime
for them-that she too could make money
when she wanted some; and she treasured
this thought up. So, when she invited
her father to dinner, and had no dinner







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


for him, she had determined beforehand
to buy some flowers to sell again; and
when she had put on her bonnet and shawl
that morning and gone out of the room,
closing the door after her, she went quick-
ly down the first flight of stairs, and then
stopped at the door that faced her.
For a moment she hesitated, and then,
summoning all her courage, she knocked
very timidly. A cheery Come in from
the inside somewhat reassured her, but
still she seemed to hold back.
"Well! come in I" sounded again, and
so she lifted the latch and just stepped
inside the doorway.
0, it's you, Alice, is it? Come in,
child, you needn't look so frightened; it's
not often you're afraid of me. What's
the matter?"
The color rushed to the child's face as
she said, in a low tone, so low that the
other could scarcely hear it, "If you
please, Mrs. Wood, I came to ask you
if-if-if--"






70 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


Well; if what, child "
"If you would please to lend me a
dime?" And she jerked the words out
with such an effort.
"Lend you a dime? Well, what for?
What should you do with it ?"
Make more of it, if you please, ma'am.
I want to make enough to buy a bit of
dinner. I should run with the money to
the market, and buy some flowers very
cheap, and then go round and sell them
again, like Betsey Raynor does. I know
a man there, the only one I do know, ex-
cept father, in all the world. He gave
me a pot of flowers, one day, all for myself,
and told me I could get a dime for 'em if
I sold 'em again; but I didn't do it, for I
had plenty of money then; but I haven't
a penny now, and father's coming home
to dinner to-day-he's promised me, and
I didn't tell that I'd got none. And, 0,
if you please, he's going to be so good
again-you wont believe! He's gone now
to get some work to do, for he hasn't any







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


money left, he says. He says it's very
hard to be good, and that men get such
lots of 'ticements that children would
never think of; that's why he drinks."
The woman listened till she finished
without interrupting her, and then burst
forth with, That's it, is it ? So you are
going to work for an idle, drunken father,
are you? You, a poor little thing that's
not fit to stir out by yourself, but ought to
have sorts of nourishing food to get up
your strength. You're going to tramp
about the streets, selling flowers, till you
can hardly put one foot before the other,
while he sits drinking from morning till
night! And then he's to come and eat
th' bit o' dinner you've slaved for, and I
dare be bound you wont taste! Shame
on him shame on him He killed your
mother, and now he's going to kill you, is
he? Buthesha'n't! You sha'n't do it!
I wont lend you a dime for him!"
The woman spoke quickly, with hot
indignation, and the child's large eyes







72 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


were fixed on her all the time, while her
face wore a wondering look, as if she could
not follow her in what she was saying.
The only two things that seemed to have
been understood by her were, that "he
had killed her mother," and "that she
wouldn't lend her the dime," for she
answered, "0 no, please, he didn't kill
mother, she died quite natural-I was
with her; he hadn't been at home for two
or three days before. I know she died
natural. And if you please, ma'am, I
didn't mean any harm about the dime,
only I thought perhaps you wouldn't have
minded just for once, because I can work
it up for you; I shall have a bit over to-
day, perhaps, and then I could run some
more errands for you, and you know you
always give me a penny for that. I don't
know who else I can ask; but I'll go to
the market, perhaps the man will tell me
what to do. Thank you, ma'am." And
she was closing the door again, trying to
smile, and look cheerful, although she felt







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


as if she should cry, when the woman
called out,
Stop a minute, child; don't be in such
a hurry! do you think I am going to send
you away like that? Now, look at me.
If I do lend it you, will you promise me
that you'll have some of the dinner your-
self?"
0 yes father always gives me a large
deal of every thing; you can't think how
good he is-it's drink that's bad, not
him." And the little face brightened up
again.
"Well, then, see here," and she put
her hand in her pocket, "this dime I'll
lend you. Now, then, your other hand;
and this is a new one, and it is for your-
self-for your own, not to be paid back.
Now run and buy your flowers, and I
hope you'll sell 'em all, and God bless
you!" And her eyes filled with tears as
she spoke.
Alice looked first at one dime, then at
the other, and then into the woman's face,







74 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

perfectly astonished. This one all my
very own, to keep, without working for
it ? O, ma'am!" She could not say any
more; her heart was full, and the tears
ran quickly down her cheeks.
There, never mind saying any more
about it, but run and buy your flowers or
you'll have no time." And she opened her
the door again, saying, Now, remember
what you've promised me." And then
she closed it again, and listened to the
child's little feet pattering down the
stairs.
"Poor little thing!" she said to her-
self, and how fond she is of her father;
well, I'm glad he doesn't ill-treat her.
I'll go sometimes and look after her a bit;
I'm sure she must be lonesome." And so
she went on with her work, and God's
blessing rested upon her: Whosoever
shall give unto one of these little ones
a cup of cold water in my name, verily
I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose
his reward." Meanwhile, Alice walked







ALICE LEIGII'S MISSION.


along with a merry heart and happy
face.
She was soon at the market, and looked
out the first thing for her friend, the
flower-man, and soon found him at his
old place.
In a moment he caught sight of her,
as she walked along quickly for her, and
a bright smile stole over his face as he
called out to her, Good-morning, little
one! have you come to see your old friend
again ? I'd just been thinking about you;
you're out early, aint you? I've got some
pretty flowers to show you this morning.
Look here," and he held up a pot of musk
and a beautiful half-blown rose; "aint
those sweet ?"
0 yes; how nice! If you please I
want to buy some to-day; I'm going to
spend this, and this." And she held out
her two dimes. "But I can't afford those
roses, I think; aint they dear? How
much should I get for them if I sold 'em
again "






76 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.
Going to buy to sell again, eh? How's
that? tell me about it." And so Alice
told him about it, and then asked him
what would be the best for her to do,
which flowers to choose, and where to go
to sell them.
"And so you're going to work for
father, are you? Well, you're a lrave
little woman, that you are! I shouldn't
wonder if you make your fortune some
day. Here, lend me your basket; I'll
choose for you." And he took it from
her willing hand, and she stood and
watched him, with sparkling eyes, while
he filled it.
0 how beautiful they are! I do love
them so much! she said, and clapped
her hands when he gave it back to her.
" 0 what a lot for two dimes! Please
haven't you given me too many? I do
not know that I should have all these "
and she looked up into his face askingly.*
I always give more when they're to
See Frontispiece.







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION. 77

sell again, you know; it's trade custom.
It's all right. You'llget a good deal more
for them, though, than you've given; but
that's what you want, isn't it ? "
Yes, O yes! I want to get enough for
some dinner, and to pay back this dime,
and to have a bit left to buy some more
flowers to-morrow, if father comes home
again."
"Well done! that's the way;" and
then the good-natured man told her-the
name of each flower, and how much it
was to be, and she repeated them after
him twice, so as to get them right. And
then he told her where to go to sell them;
and with a light heart and smiling face
she bid him good morning," and thanked
him earnestly, and set off out of the
market, the man watching her until he
could see her no longer.
God bless the child! she little knows
she has many a dime's worth there. I
hope she may sell 'em all. I'm glad I've
been able to help her a bit; it's not much







78 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

good one does. My old woman, I know,
would say I was foolish for wasting my
money in that way; but I don't think
myself that it is wasted, that's more like
what I call 'lending to the Lord.'" And
he stood by his flower-stand again, feeling
as happy as a king; and all day long
people kept coming to buy, and he sold
every plant he had, and went home with
a well-filled purse.
"Th' best day I've had I don't know
when," he said to himself. I believe it's
all along of helping that child."







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER VII.
FINDING FRIENDS AND SELLING FLOWERS.

W HILE the man was selling at his
stand, Alice was making her way
to where he had told her to go. And
though at first she was almost bewildered
with the bustle and crowds, she began to
get used to it.
Besides the plants with roots, the man
had given her several bunches of flowers,
tastefully arranged, and these she began
to offer to the gayly dressed ladies who
passed her.
0 look, mamma, how pretty!" a
little girl exclaimed as she walked past
with her mother. "Do buy me some,
wont you ?" and she stopped to examine
them.
The lady turned and looked at Alice,
and was struck with the little quaint







80 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


figure. The black bonnet was three times
too large for her, and hung on her neck
behind; while her little deformed back
showed so plainly in the old shawl. But
her small white face, round which the
light hair clustered, looked, with its large
earnest blue eyes, out of the bonnet. And
she kept calling in a low, timid voice,
sweet, though, and clear, Buy my flow-
ers; please buy my flowers! "
"I will take that pot of musk," the
lady said, kindly. It was the first pur-
chase, and the child trembled from head
to foot, with pleasure and excitement, as
she handed it out of the basket, and
wrapped a piece of paper round the pot,
as the man had shown her how to do. A
dime that was to be, he had said; so she
named the sum, and the lady gave it to
her, and then said, I will take one of
the bouquets, too. How long have you
sold flowers?"
"Please, ma'am, I've never sold any
before; these are the first. Thank you,







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


thank you, ma'am, for taking 'em! and
her face glowed with her feelings.
If you come here again another day I
will take some more," the lady said, and
then she passed on.
Alice found she was rather too early
for the well-to-do people, but still there
were some about, and many of them
turned to look at her, and first one, and
then another, stopped her to buy, and so
before very long her basket grew empty,
but she was not sorry, for she felt sadly
tired. She had just one bouquet left, and
she offered it to a gentleman. Buy my
flowers, sir? "
"I think I will," he said; they are
very sweet. How much are they ?"
A dime, sir."
"Here it is, then," and he dropped
something into her hand, and in another
moment was gone. Alice did not look
at what he had given her for an instant,
but the moment she saw it she started-
it was a quarter. 0, he has given me







82 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


too much !" and she set off after him
down the square. But he walked very
quickly, and Alice was but a poor walker
at the best of times, and now she was so
tired that she could not catch him. She
tried in vain; she saw he gained; she
would never catch him What must she
do? A boy about fourteen years of age
was just passing her, going the same way.
" I will ask him to run and stop the gen-
tleman," she thought, and so she did.
She called to the boy, put the quarter
into his hand, showed him the gentleman,
told him what he had done, and asked
him if he would be kind enough to run
with it, because she could not.
0 yes," the lad said, with pleasure,"
took the money from her, and in an in-
stant disappeared round one of the cor-
ners, in quite an opposite direction to the
one the gentleman had taken.
"Well, he's done you a good one, at
any rate, little body It's no use trying
to catch that youngster for you, or else I







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


would," a man said who had watched the
whole transaction. It's a downright
mean, shameful trick of him! But your
money's gone, that's certain."
Alice stood still in utter astonishment.
It had all been done so quickly that she
had scarcely comprehended it yet, but the
man's word roused her. Has he taken
the money ? run away with it ? "
I am afraid so."
0, but it wasn't mine, it was the
gentleman's! "
All the better for that; he can afford
to lose it more than you can, I should
think."
0, but he'll find out just now that he
has given me too much, and then he'll
think I knew, and kept it and cheated
him, and he'll never trust me any more! "
And she burst into tears.
"Never mind fretting about it; you
can't help it; it's not your fault. I dare
say he'll never miss it at all. Such chaps
as that don't know whether they give quar-







84 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


ters or dimes, they've so much. Don't
fret about it." And he passed on.
But she could not help fretting; she
was a stranger to the ways of the world,
and it seemed quite a crime. She almost
felt as if she had stolen the quarter herself.
She could not believe it was not her fault.
And she stood crying for a long time.
She did not notice that a little carriage,
drawn by two ponies, was slowly passing
and repassing. But suddenly one of the
ponies gave a start, and made her look up,
quickly. A livery servant was driving,
and there seemed to be nobody inside; but
as it came quite close up to her she saw,
laid out among the cushions, a lady; so
white and delicate, so slender and ill she
looked, that Alice's eyes were fixed in an
instant and her sobs checked.
Alice thought she had never seen a face
so beautiful. And the lady looked so
kind and good; she, poor child, had
never seen any thing like her before. She
watched her pass, and felt sure the lady







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


smiled at her. "I could look at her for-
ever! 0, how beautiful she is and she
looks as if she loved Jesus." She had
forgotten all about her trouble, but just
then heard a clock strike eleven, and she
had to buy the dinner yet, get home, and
cook it by about half past twelve. So
there was no time for any thing but to
make the best of her way toward home,
get a bit of meat and a nice loaf, and then
run as fast as possible until she reached
the court where she and her father lived.
Alice was glad to find her father had
not got home before, and so she set to and
fried the meat nicely, and got the cloth
laid.
And all of this time she had not counted
her money; but she thought it a good op-
portunity while she was waiting. So she
sat down and took it out of her pocket,
and laid it in her lap. How her blue
eyes opened with astonishment as she
counted one dollar and a quarter!
One dollar and a quarter, all got in
6







86 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

one morning! My word, miss, you do
well to ever think of going without any
thing to eat again! Why, you could keep
your father quite grand! Wont father
stare when I tell him ? I wish he would
be quick!"
She had not to wait long before he
opened the door and came in, saying,
"Well, Alice, you see I have kept my
word, though I never thought till after,
that you had told me you hadn't a penny,
and nothing in the house. What have
you done ? for I smell something good."
The child gaje a merry laugh, such as
she had not laughed for a long time.
" Guess, father; I wont tell till you've
guessed. Guess away while I put the
meat on the table." And she went to the
fire and uncovered the smoking dish so
nicely cooked, and held it up for him to
look at.
"Well? have you found it out? And
look here, too! and she showed him the
money left.







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


"What in the name of fortune have
you been doing ? I'll guess-you've had
a fairy here ?"
No."
"Well, then, you've found a gold
eagle? "
"No, I haven't." And she laughed
again, and clapped her hands.
Then you've had it given to you? "
No, I haven't."
"Well, then, I'll give it up."
"Will you? Well, I made it all myself
-all this morning. Aint I a clever lit-
tle woman now ? Did you think I could
have done it ? "
Made it ?-you? No, indeed, Inever
should have thought it! Made it ? how ?
tell me quick." And so she told him all
from the beginning, only leaving out what
Mrs. Wood had said about him. "And
it wasn't so bad, after all; only I was a
bit tired. But I don't mind that much."
"Well, you're a wonderful little piece
of goods, that you are! Who'd ever have







88 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


thought it! and he gave her one of his
loving kisses, while the tears were in his
eyes. He was a good-hearted man nat-
urally; it was only drink that was his
curse.
And so they sat down to dinner, Alice
folding her hands and saying grace first.
"Well, you know, Alice," her father
said, you must pay back your dime, then
put all the rest away, or buy yourself some-
thing .warm and nice in clothes. For I
don't intend you to work every day. I'm
going to work myself as long as I can; it
shall never be said I let my child earn
the bread. I've got a good place to-day,
only I'm to keep sober, and the first time
I get drunk I'm to leave it. So you see
what I've got to do? "
"Yes, father, I'm so glad And you'll
do it, wont you ?"
And so they talked happily together
till Leigh had to go back to his work. O
that the bright days would come back
again and stay!







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


As soon as Alice could, she went down
the stairs, and paid back her dime with
many, many thanks. The kind-hearted
woman listened with the greatest pleas-
ure to her tale.
And are you always going to do it ?"
she asked.
O no!" And then she told her what
her father had said.
"Well, I'm glad to hear that, for it
couldn't keep on always." And she
thought to herself that the man wasn't,
perhaps, as bad as he seemed.
And then, though she felt so tired,
Alice thought she must just run and tell
her friend the flower man how she had
gone on. But when she got to the mar-
ket his place was empty; he had already
gone home. So she determined to go
again the next morning, and so when the
morning came she set off again to the
market. She found him this time, and
soon told him how she had done, and
what a lot of money she had got. Very







90 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


pleased he was to hear it. But he said
he was more pleased so hear that her
father did not mean to let her do it always.
And he hoped that he would keep good;
but that whenever she got into trouble or
wanted for any thing, she must always
come and tell him; and that she must
never buy any flowers from any one else.
And so she promised to do all this, and
left him.
I dare say she'll think I'm selfish," he
said to himself when she had gone, and
that I want to keep all her custom to
myself; whereas, poor child, she doesn't
know it's because I want to give her more
for her money than some others might."
When Alice left the market-place she
did not go home; she turned toward the
square where she had sold her flowers the
day before, holding something very tightly
in her hand. She walked as fast as she
could until she came to the square, and
then she stood still, and looked all around
again and again. Once or twice she set







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION. 91

off up the street, and then stopped and
turned back again.
I wonder if he comes this way every
day," she said, talking to herself. "May
be he does; however, I'll wait a bit."
But though she waited a long time she
did not see what she wanted, and she went
home disappointed. Day after day she
went again, and did the same thing; but
each day returned with the "something"
held tightly in her hand, and put it in a
little box at home.
"I think I shall see him some day yet,
though it's a long time; he'll nearly have
forgotten it by now," she said.







92 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


CHAPTER VIII.
THE LADY FROM THE BIG HOUSE.
W HEN Simon Leigh had said he in-
tended to begin and be sober I
think he meant it--he believed he should
be. But bad habits are formed sooner
than they are got rid of, and it was not
long before he broke his promise, and lost
his new place, and had to go about seek-
ing another.
Poor Alice! it was bad news to her
when he came home and told her what he
had done, and said he never intended to
make any good resolutions again, so she
never need ask him.
"I'm sick of trying, child. I'll never
try again! It's no use saying any thing
to me again about it. I'll work when I
can get any thing to do, and so long as
I've any money you shall have some; but







ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.


when I get none you'll have to be with-
out-that's all."
"0, father, I don't care a bit about
money-indeed, indeed I don't! but 0,
don't drink! O, don't drink, father! God
hates it so. I'm sure he'll help you if
you'll try! Do you ask him, father! It
wont do, only me asking him, or else I'll
do all I can. But wont you ask a bit,
too ?"
"It'll do no good, child; it'll do no
good. I must have drink! I can't do
without it! Now don't rate me about it,
or else I'll never come home at all, and
then you'll be more lonesome still."
And so threatened, Alice dared not
speak any more about it, but let him have
his way. But 0, how she prayed to God
for him!
Weeks went bE'. Only now and then
a bit of money came, and all Alice's little
stock was getting used up.
"I shall have to go and make some
more money," she thought, while there's







94 ALICE LEIGH'S MISSION.

enough left to buy some flowers with."
So one day she put on the big silk bonnet
and red shawl,,and taking her little bas-
ket, set off again to the market.
Her tale was soon told, and as soon was
her basket filled.
Id give 'em altogether, only I think
she'd sooner pay me for them, and then
she feels as if she was working, as if she
had earned it herself. Poor little thing!
She's none fit to struggle through such a
life," the flower-man said.
Off Alice went to the square, and began
to sell. But people didn't seem to buy
so well to-day. Again and again sweetly
rose her cry of" Buy my flowers. Please
buy my flowers." Some listened to her,
and stopped and bought. Most looked at
her, but many passed her by. And in a
while she got very tired; she did not feel
as strong even as she used to do, and her
little back ached sadly.
"I must sell all these," she said. "I
really must. I wonder people don't




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