Mme Baldwin Library
Rm B u n',:.c ind *
SI hope you can see that mine is the best."
Y~ end No, p. 14.
YES AND NO.
1122 CHaNer~ STr T.
B ade acomding t* Aet of Confre n Ai s y- 1852, y as
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL 7UNIOl
in the Clerk' Offis q/ te Dfteri Court qf the Eastern District al
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YES AND NO.
To those who may read this book
1 wish to talk of two small words-
yes and no. Each one is very good,
when it is in the right place, and
either is very bad, when it is in
the wrong place. Spell the words.
They are quite easy to spell-are
they not? Yet there are times
when boys and girls find them very
hard to speak. I will show you
how this may be.
6 YES AND NO.
Frank Bell was a good boy on
the whole, but too fond of fun.
We all like to see boys enjoy play,
and there can be no harm in hoops
and balls and kites, when they
are used only at right times and
in the right way. But the fault
with Frank was that he did not
seem to know which are the right
times to play, and so he used his
toys at very bad times. Often he
would be busy with them from
morn till eve, and find no time
in all the day to learn his task.
Now a whole day is quite too much
to spend in sport, but Frank did
pot seem to think so.
He lived with his aunt, and one
day she said-
"Frank, I want you to go to Mr.
FRANK BELL. 7
Price's store, and get a pound of
"Yes, ma'am," said Frank,-and
he took his kite from a shelf where
it was lying to carry with him.
"Don't you think it would be
best to leave your kite at home ?"
said his aunt. "I wish you to go
as fast as you can, that you may
be back soon." *
"Oh, 1 will not wait to play
with it, aunt; and I will try hard
to be back soon, if you will only
let me have it," said Frank.
"Well then," said his aunt, "you
may keep the kite, if you will be
sure not to stop by the road: and
here is the money to pay for the
oatmeal. Take good care of it, or
you may lose it."
8 YES AND NO.
"Yes, aunt; I will take good
care of the money, and I will hurry
all the way to the store, and all
the way back," said Frank; and
off he ran, to show his aunt how
fast he meant to go.
But he had not gone far when
he met John Hood, a boy who lived
near to his aunt's house. John was
at play with a large blue paper
kite. He could not play very well
alone, and when he saw Frank he
felt glad, and called out
"Where are you going so fast,
My aunt has sent me to the store
to buy some oatmeal," said Frank.
Well, I guess she is not in such
a very great hurry for it," said
John, "is she?"
FRANK BELL. V
"Oh, yes she is," said Frank,
*'and I told her I would go as fast
as I could."
"Never mind that, I dare say
she will not care if she does not
get the oatmeal for an hour: but
let me see your new kite?" said
John took Frank's kite, and held
it near his own.
"It is about the same size as
mine, and looks like it, only it is
white while mine is blue," he said.
"Yes," said Frank; "mine is a
very nice kite, and it will fly quite
high, for I have tried it."
"I don't think it can fly as high
as mine," said John. "Let us go
up this lane a short distance and
10 YES AND NO.
Here Frank ought to have said
in a clear tone-
"No; I cannot go with you, for
it would be wrong; I must keep
my word .and obey my aunt," and
then have gone on his way to the
But he did not do this. He
knew that he ought to obey his
aunt, yet he felt as if he would
like to try kites with John; so he
"Can't you wait here, John, till
I come' back from the store ? I will
not stay long."
"No, no," said John; "I do not
care to wait. Never mind the store,
but come with me. It will be just
as well to get the oatmeal an hour
FRANK BELL. 11
Frank knew well that this was
not true, or his aunt would not
have told him to be quick; but he
stood still for a time to make up
his mind as tc what he should do-
whether he should say yes or no.
He knew which would be right for
him to say, yet he paused as if he
was not quite sure.
"Come, Frank; say yes at once,
and let us go up the lane with our
kites," said John.
Say NO," said a still, small voice
from his own heart, which no one
else could hear: "Say NO, and obey
your aunt and keep your word."
"What shall I do?" mused Frank.
Come on with me, Frank!" John
"But we will need some one else
t2 YES AND NO.
to help us raise our kites," said
Frank. "I wish Tom Jones or
James Black were here."
"No, we don't; for with -such a
fine wind as this, a good kite will
raise itself,"-said John, with a smile
of scorn, as if he thought how little
Frank knew of kites.
"But, may-be the wind is too
high, and I would not like to have
my kite blow away where I could
never get it again," said Frank.
"Not a bit too high; it is just
the right sort of a wind for kites,
I tell you. So come on, Frank,"
The still, small voice would have
once more urged him to do right;
but Frank would not now wait tc
FRANK BELL. 13
"YES, I will go with you, John,"
he said; "but you must not keep
me long, or my aunt will not
So the two boys turned into the
lane with their kites.
At first Frank did not feel quite
easy, .for he knew that he was
doing wrong, but he was soon so
busy with his play as to forget his
aunt's words. Yet he was not
In a short time John's kite was
far up in the air; but Frank was
not so expert, and did not succeed
"Just look at my kite! See how
high it flies!" John called out. "It
will soon be so far off, that it will
seem like a small speck in the air..
14 YES AND NO
Now, Frank, I hope you can see
that mine is the best."
Frank did not like to hear this,
and he said-
"Yes, your kite is very high, but
I still think that mine is qutte as
good, only somehow I cannot get
it to fly just now."
"Then it must be your fault, and
you do not know how to fly a
kite !"-said John, with a loud, rude
"John Hood is a bad boy, and
I do not like him," said Frank-not
loud, but in his own mind, for he
was not so large as John, and felt
afraid to vex him.
He tried for a long time to make
his kite fly higher, but in vain, so
he drew it in and sat down on a
PRANK BELL. 15
large stone, near a fence, to watch
John's. While, he sat there he
heard the loud sound of a horn
from the next farm-house.
"Do you hear that horn, John?"
lie called out. "It is teatime, and
I have not been to the store yet,
and my aunt does not like me to
be out so near night."
"Why, it is not near dark yet,"
said John; "but I guess it is time
for me to start for home, or I may
lose my supper."
"And I must go all the way to
the store first, and it will be dark
before I get\ home," said Frank.
"But where is my money? Did
you see it, John ?"
"Not since I first saw you, when
you had it in your hand," said John.
16 YES AND NO.
"But you will wait and help me
look for it, won't you, John?" said
Frank, when he saw that John was
going to leave him.
No, I can't, for I am hungry and
want my supper, and cannot wait,"
said John; and on he went, and
left Frank alone.
"Oh dear! What shall I do? I
wish I had only said NO, when John
Hood asked me to come here to
play with him," said poor Frank,
as he walked on at a slow pace in
search of the lost money.
Each step along the road was
carefully taken, but in vain. The
money was nowhere to be seen.
He never found it.
When he got near home his aunt
was at the door. She had come
FRANK BELL. 17
there to see if he was near, for she
began to fear that he was lost, or
had met with some harm.
"Where have you been so long,
Frank? and what is the matter
with you?" she -asked, for she saw
that he had been crying.
Fresh tears filled Frank's eyes
when she spoke to him, and he
"I did not do as you told me,
and as I said I would, aunt; for I
stayed in the lane to play kites
with John Hood; and I am very
sorry now that I was such a bad
His aunt looked very grave as,
"It makes me sad to hear th'i
of you, Frank, but I do not see
18 YES AND NO.
your kite. Where did you leave
For the first time, Frank found
that his kite was gone. He quite
forgot it in his search for the money,
and had left it by the side of the road.
"Can I go to look for it, aunt?"
No, it is too late for you to be
out now," said she; "and I think
the loss of your kite may help to
teach you that it is best for little
boys to mind what they are told.
But where is the oatmeal ?"
"I could not get it, for I lost the
money, and that is the very worst
of all," said Frank, while his tears
flowed still more freely.
I do not think the loss of the
money the worst part of your fault,
FRANK BELL. Iv
by any means," said his aunt. 'I
am not rich, it is true, and I shall
miss even that small sum; but youi
chief guilt is that you have broken
the laws of God. I hope you will
think of this, and in your prayer
to-night, ask God to pardon you
and make you a good boy."
Frank did not say one word; but
sat upon his low stool, with his
face bowed down upon his hands,
and his aunt went on:
I regret very much that you did
not bring me the meal, as I wanted
it to make some gruel for good old
Mr. Lane, who is so poor and sick;
and I fear that he has felt the want
of it before this; for I told him I
would take it to him at six o'clock,
and it is now after seven. He is
YES AND NO.
weak, and does not relish much
food now, but he said he felt as if
lie could eat some gruel, if I would
let him have it before his bedtime."
"Oh, aunt, do please let me go
and get the meal now," exclaimed
Frank. "I have some money up-
stairs in by box. I will give it all."
"It is too late now," said his
aunt. "Mr. Lane would be in bed
by the time I could get it made
and taken to him; for he never
sits up later than eight o'clock."
Mr. Lane was a very good man,
and Frank loved him much. He
spoke so kindly to him, and told
him tales of old times, and of the
holy men about whom the Bible
speaks, and Frank liked to hear
him talk in this way, and would
FRANK BELL. 21
gladly sit and listen to him fur
hours at a time.
His aunt often made some nice
little things for Mr. Lane, such as
are good for sick persons, and
Frank was always glad to take
these to him. So when he heard
that his fault had been the cause
of Mr. Lane's not having the gruel
which he wanted, he quite forgot
the loss of his kite, though at first
it had seemed such a great evil,
and, for Mr. Lane's sake, wished
more and more that he had said
NO when John Hood asked him to
The next day he rose quite early,
and asked his aunt if he might
take his own money and get the
oatmeal. She said-
22 YES AND NO.
"Yes, Frank, you may go; and
I am glad to see you try, as soon
as you can, to undo the wrong
which you have done: but I hope
you did not forget to ask God to
pardon you for it."
"No, ma'am," said Frank; "1
did ask God to pardon me, and to
make me a better boy, that I may
be able to say NO, when bad boys
ask me to do wrong."
His aunt was glad to hear him
say this. She kissed him; and
then Frank went as fast as he
could to the store, and came back
very soon. He did not even turn
into the lane to look for his kite:
but while his aunt was making the
gruel, he said-
"Aunt, do you think I would have
FRANK BELL. 23
time to go and look for my kite
before you have the gruel ready ?"
"Oh yes," said his aunt; "if
you are as quick as you were in
going to the store and back."
Frank found his kite, just where
he had left it when he went to look
for the lost money, but it was quite
wet and very much spoiled, for a
heavy dew had fallen in the night.
'My poor kite will never look
well again," he said with a sad
face, as he picked it up.
"When he came home, his aunt
told him that she was sorry to see
that his kite looked so bad. The
gruel was not quite ready then; but
very soon after he came in, she
poured it out into a deep vessel to
cool. Then she placed the vessel
24 YES AND NO.
in a small basket, with some tea
and sugar, and spread a clean white
towel over them, and gave it to
Frank to carry to Mr. Lane.
Mr. Lane was not awake when
Frank arrived, and he gave the
basket to his wife. When she had
taken the things out, she said-
"You are a nice boy, Frank, and
your aunt is a good lady: she is
so kind to those who are in need;
but I wish these nice things had
come last night, for my James
asked two or three times about the
gruel then. He said your aunt
always kept her word, and that he
was quite sure it would come before
six o'clock; and when it did not, he
seemed to worry very much, from the
fear that she or you were sick. But
FRANK BELL. 26
I dare say," added the old lady, see-
ing Frank looked grave and sad,
"that your aunt could not help it;
and when people are weak and old,
they* are apt to worry more than
they should do about such things."
"I am very sorry, Mrs. Lane,"
said Frank, "but it was my fault
that my aunt did not get the gruel
made last night. She sent me to
the store, and I stayed by the way
a long time to play with John Hood,
and it was too late when I-got home."
Well, don't worry about it, dear,"
said Mrs. Lane kindly; "for I am
sure you meant no harm. But, if I
were you, Frank, I would not go
much with John Hood, for I fear he
is a bad boy, and may often lead
you into evil. It is a good thing
26 YES AND NO
for a boy to be able to say No when
bad boys try to make him do wrong,
and I hope God will help you to do
so the next time."
"I hope he will," said Frank;
"but I must go home now, as I
know my aunt will expect me back
"That is right, my dear little
friend: always do as your aunt tells
you," said Mrs. Lane, as Frank left
the house with the empty. basket
in his hand.
He told his aunt what Mrs. Lane
had said to him about Mr. Lane
having wanted the gruel so much,
with a sad face and eyes filled with
"You may.see by this, Frank,"
said his aunt, "that when you do
FR&SK BELL. Z;
wrong, it may often cause some one
else to suffer."
Frank did not play much that
day, but often thought of what his
aunt and old Mrs. Lane had said to
"YES and NO are very small
words," he said to himself, "yet it
is often a very great matter which
one we may choose to say, and I
hope I may never again say yes
when I ought to say no. And now
that I think of it, a quiet voice, in
my own heart, urged me to do right
and not mind what John said; but
I did not listen to it. The next time
I will try to do as it tells me, for
I am sure that such a feeling must
come from God."
The child who now reads this
28 YES AND NO.
book, may be glad to hear that
Frank did profit by this sad lesson,
and tried to obey the still, small
voice that spoke to him from his
own heart; but I will tell you more
about Frank in another story
IT was in the spring when Frank
played at kites with John Hood, and
the events which I now wish to re-
late to you took place late in the
summer of the same year.
One day, Frank Bell was on his
way to school with James Black
when they were met by John Hood.
"Where are you going, boys?" he
"To school," they said; and Frank
moved over to the other side of the
road, for he did not much like being
near to John.
"Don't go to school, boys," said
30 1 ES AND NO.
John. "The day is too fine for us
to be shut up in a close, warm room.
I mean to have nice times all day
"What are you going to do?" ask-
"Not work nor go to school,
either," said he; but play, or swim
in the creek, or get fruit, or any
thing else I please."
"But we were sent to school,"
said James, "and cannot go to
"Well, so was I; but I don't in-
tend to go," said John
"What! You don't mean to say
that you are going to play truant!"
said Frank, full of wonder.
"Of course, I am going to play
truant. I could not get off from
JOH4 HOOD. 81
school unless I did," said John;
"and you had better come along
with me, Frank."
"No," said Frank in a firm, clear
tone. "Iam going to school."
"Oh, never mind school. Come
with me to the woods," said John.
"You need not be afraid, for your
aunt will never know it."
"I was not afraid of my aunt,"
"Well, the master need not know
about it," said John.
"I did not think of the master
either, when I said I meant to go
to school," said Frank.
"Then there is no one else for you
to fear, that I know of," said John.
"You forget GOD, who sees us all
82 YES AND NO.
the time," said Frank in a serious
John did not expect to hear such
words from a small boy like Frank
Bell, and now he stood quite still
for a short time; but he was bold
in his sin, and did not mean to give
it up, so he said-
"Then you don't think you will
go with me, Frank?"
"No; I mean to go to school,"
said Frank in the same firm tone
with which he had before spoken.
John saw in a moment that it
would not be worth while to try any
longer to induce Frank to play tru-
ant with him. So no turned to
James, for he felt almost sure of
him, and said-
"Well then, James, I guess you
JOHN HOOD. 3S
and I had best hasten, for we have
no time to lose now."
James paused. At first he had
almost made. up his mind to go with
John, for he loved to be out in the
open air on a fine day, with the
clear blue sky over his head, and
did not at all relish the idea of be-
ing shut up in a close room all day.
But when Frank spoke of God, he
then felt how wrong it would be
for him to do so; and when he
said "No, I will go to school," in
such a brave manner, James said in
his own mind, "I, too, will try to do
right in the same brave way that
Frank Bell does." And now he
paused to muster spirit to do this,
with his head bent toward the
34 YES ANL NO.
"You had better say no at once,
James, and come on to school with
me," said Frank.
James raised his head, gave one
look at John, and called out in haste,
The next moment he had joined
Frank, and very soon the two boys
were on school ground -out of
harm's way-for they ran fast, not
feeling safe until they were where
John could not reach them.
"How very glad I am, James,
that you said no," said Frank.
"So am I now," said James, "and
I am so glad we are safe out of John
Hood's way; for I was so much afraid
all the time that he would coax me
into going off with him. And this
is not such a close room after all,"
JOHN HOOD. 0
he added,--taking a peep in at a
window of the school; "for we have
plenty of fresh air front? the woods
over the creek; and the master is
not cross to us. We have a whole
half-hour of play-time, too, and ever
so many nice boys to play with."
"That is just what I think," said
Frank, "and then it is a happy thing
for us to know that we have done
right, and not broken a law of God."
Here Mr. Wise, or "the master,"
as the boys called him, rang his bell,
and Frank and James went into
The day passed in a quiet way to
them. They missed no lesson, and
had no bad-marks, and at twelve
o'clock left the school to return
home. After dinner they had time
00 YES AND NO.
to play a few games, and be back
at the school by two o'clock. About
half-past t*o, a woman who wore
a pink sun-bonnet came to the door
of the school. She was John Hood's
mother; and Mr. Wise asked her if
she would walk in.
"No, I thank you, sir," she said
"I have not much time to spare,
and only called to see if my John
was in school, for he did not come
home at noon." ,
"No,'" said Mr. Wise, "he has
not been here to-day."
"Then I do not know where to
look for him, for I sent him to
school," she said with a sad face.
Frank and James held up their
hands, as a sign to Mr. Wise that
JOHN HOon 8T
they wished him to allow them to
"Well, boys, what do you know
of John Hood?" he asked.
Frank and James told about hav-
ing met him, and the manner in
which he said he meant to pass the
"Oh dear, dear," said Mrs. Hood,
"if that is the case, I fear he may
be drowned, for he cannot swim
well,' and the water is quite deep in
some parts of the creek."
"Was he alone when you saw
him ?' asked Mr. Wise of Frank.
"Yes, sir," said Frank; "but he
seemed to want to get some other
boys to go with him."
."He may have some one with
him, who will be able to help him.
88 YES AND NO.
in case of any danger. Do you
know of any other boys who are
missed from their homes ?" said Mr.
Wise, for he felt sorry for Mrs.
Hood, and wished to give her some
hope that her son might be still
"None but those idle, bad boys,
Roger Laws and Jacob Sharp, and
he had much better be alone than
with them," said Mrs. Hood as she
turned sadly away from the school-
The boys pitied Mrs. Hood very
much; for she looked so sad and
sighed so often; and Mr. Wise said,
"Poor woman! It must be a great
grief to her to have such a bad son;
and I hope that not a boy in this
room will ever cause his mother the
bitter pain which Mrs. Hood now
When the boys were going home
from school, at five o'clock, they saw
a party of men coming down the
"Do you see those men?" said
James Black. I wonder who they
are, and what they are about."
"Let us wait here a little while
till they come near," said Frank;
"I think they are from the mill, for
they look white, as if they were
dusted with meal."
"I think so, too," said James;
"and see how very slowly they
"Yes; they have some heavy
thing to carry," said Frank. Oh,
40 YES AND NO.
see! it is a man, or, may be, a large
boy," he added, as the men came
I am afraid it is John Hood,"
By this time the people had come
up to the place where the boys stood,
and they could see the face of the
body which they bore. James' fears
proved true. It was John Hood.
He was dead I
Frank and James turned pale,
and looked at each other.
"Oh, Frankl" said James, as
soon as he could speak, "I would
have said yes, when John asked me
to go with him, if it had not been
for you; and if I had done so. I.
too, might now have been dead."
"It was God who helped me to
JOHN HOOD. 41
say NO," said Frank, "and we ought
to thank him for saving us froin
the same awful death."
"I do thank him from my heart,"
said James, "and I hope he will al-
ways help us to do right as long as
"I hope so, too," said Frank;
"and he will, if we ask him to do
so when we pray to him."
They asked a man near to them,
about John, and he told the sad
John Hood, with Roger and Jacob,
(the boys who went with him,) were
trying to swim over the creek at a
wide, deep part. While doing so,
John was suddenly taken with the
cramp. The other boys called loud-
ly for aid, as they saw him slowly
4i YES AND NO.
sink into the water. Some men
came from a mill near by, and got
him out; but it was too late to save
him, for he was quite dead even
The awful death of John Hood
cast a gloom all over the place.
Kind friends pitied his poor mother,
for her heart was well-nigh broken.
They went to see her, but "there
was no hope in his death," and they
could say but little to soothe her
deep wo. The school-boys stood
about in groups, and spoke of it in
low tones and with awe-struck faces,
for he had died in the very act of sin.
Yet it had a good effect upon
Roger Laws and Jacob Sharp.
They had been idle and bad, and
seldom went inside of a school;
JOHN HOOD. 45
but from that time they were quite
changed. They joined both the
Sunday and daily school, and were
never absent from either, unless
there was some good reason for it.
YES and NO are very small words,
and it may seem a trifle which of
them we use, yet the story of John
Hood shows that this is not the
case. If James Black had said yes,
and played truant with John, he
might have shared the same awful
fate. I have known more than one
truant who, like John Hood, was
drowned, and one who was killed in
a moment by being run over by a
heavy car. I do not wish you to
think from this that I mean to say
that all who play truant will die
while in the act, for this is not true -
44 YES AND NO.
yet it is very wicked to do so and
will always lead to evil. A boy who
plays truant will form idle habits,
and you know that--
Satan finds'some mischief still,
For idle hands to do."
And then the idle boy will be very
likely to go on from bad to worse.
Many wicked men, who have been
put in jail for some great crime,
have traced their evil course back
to their school-days; and said that
if they had then only had cour-
age to say NO, when other bad boys
urged them to play truant or do
some other wrong act, they might
have been saved from growing up
to be such bad men.
JAMBS BLACK. 46
JAMES BLACK-THE BOY WHO TOLD
ONE cold, bleak day in winter,
during study houis, the pupils of
Mr. Wise's school heard the jingle
of bells coming toward the school-
house. A moment after, and a
sleigh was before the door, and the
loud voice of a man called for Mr.
Wise. He went to the door, heard
what the man had to tell him, came
back into the room with a much
sadder face than he had .left it, and
Boys, I have just now been told
that a very dear friend of mine is
40 YES AND 0O.
quite ill and wishes to see me. Mr.
Bird, the man who is at the door,
has asked me to ride back with him
in his sleigh; and as my friend lives
five miles from here, and I know of
no other way of going there, I would
like to accept his offer. I can dis-
miss you all in a short time, but I'
do not like to oblige Mr. Bird to
wait for me until I put away my
books and papers, and lock up the
school. Now I wish to leave three
boys here to do it in my place, and
those who think they can do this in
a proper manner, and would like to
do a favour for me, may hold up
Nearly every boy in the' room,
large and small, raised one hand.
Mr. Wise smiled, and said-
JAMES BLACK. 47
I am glad to see so many of you
ready to oblige me, but three will be
quite enough for the work, and I
shall select from among you those
who I regard as the most trusty."
He then named Thomas Jones,
George Evans, and James Black.
"James Black is not so large as
many others here," he said, "but I
think I can rely upon him to do
what is right; and if any harm
should happen, I know he will tell
me the exact truth about it."
Mr. Wise then sent all the boys
home, but the three whom he had
chosen to remain, and after having
given these last a few orders as to
where they should put the keys, &c.,
be left them, jumped into the sleigh,
YES AND NO.
and was soon riding along at a swift
rate to visit his sick friend.
The boys had begun to put away
the things in nice order, when they
heard a loud halloo. They turned
to find out from whom it came, and
saw four of their school-mates at the
"Go away, John West, and the
rest of you boys,"-said Thomas
"No, indeed!" said they; "we're
not going quite yet."
"Now, I dare say, you want to
know how we came here, and what\
we want," said Edward West, whc
seemed to be the leader of the party;
"and to save you the asking, I'll
just tell you. We hid behind the
school-house until the master was
JAMES BLACK. 49
out of sight, and then we came out
to pay you a visit, and you ought to
be very glad to see us. Our reason
for doing so, was to have some fun,
of course; and .,now you have the
"Well, we'll just tell Mr. Wise,
and see what he will have to say
about it," said George Evans.
"Oh, we don't mean to do any
harm," said Edward.. "We only
want to have a little play; and you
would not tell of us unless we do
wrong. Would you, George?"
"What shall we do about these
boys?" asked George aside, speaking
in an undertone, to Thomas and
"I am sure I cannot tell," said
50 YES AND NO.
James; for I am afraid they will
not go away for us."
"That is what I think," said
Thomas; "and we may only get into
a quarrel with them, and do no good
by it. How would it do for us to
tell them they may stay, if they
will give us their word of honour
not to behave badly?"
''I guess that is all we can do,"
"Well, boys," said Thomas aloud,
"I think it would be much better
for you to go home; but if you be-
have right well, we won't object to
your staying here with us, though I
am not quite sure that Mr Wise
will like it."
"Well, on the whole, I call that a
polite speech," said Edward, "and
I give my hand to the bargain."
"Yes; we all agree to behave
well," cried the others, and they be
gan to mount the desks and per-
form sundry little antics. At first
the three boys who had stayed in
to work, went on doing their duty,
as if their wild school-mates were
not there, at all; except now and
then, when they would pause to
smile at some of their odd tricks,
or speak a few words to them.
When they became too rude and
noisy, George or Thomas called them
to order, by giving them a hint of
the bargain which had been made.
Very soon they began to argue upon
some point that seemed hard to set-
62 YES AND NO.
tie, from the loud tones with which
"What is the matter?" asked
James Black,-for he heard his own
name used in the debate.
"Why, Hiram says you can't
jump over that stool, and I know
you can," said Edward.
James looked at the stool. It was
a high one, and stood on a clear
space, not far from the desk of Mr.
"Yes, I can jump over it, and at
the first trial, too, as I will soon
show you," he said,-and, as he
spoke, he joined them with a view
to proving the truth of his words.
The boys stood off to leave him
room. He gave one high leap quite
over the stool: but before his feet
JAMES BLACK. 53
gained the floor on the other side,
they struck an end of the master's
desk, and upset an inkstand over
some letters and papers which were
highly valued by Mr. Wise. For
a moment the boys all stood aghast
and silent, gazing on the ruin be-
fore them. Edward West spoke
"Never mind, James," he said,
with a look of pity at poor James,
who stood near to him, quite pale
with grief and dismay at what he
had done. "Never mind; you did
not mean to do any harm, arid it
cannot be helped now."
"No," said Thomas; "the master
need not know how it was done, foi
none of us will ever tell about it."
04 YES AND NO.
"No, indeed, we will never 'tell,"
cried all the boys.
James stood as before, and made
no reply; from a deadly paleness
his face had grown quite red while
they spoke, but this was all the
change which their words seemed
to make in him.
"It will be quite easy to hide the
truth from the master, James," said
Hiram; "and I'll tell you how.
Shut up thedesk- ovand lock it,
and then, when he asks about it,
we will say that we saw you put
all the books and papers and other
things safely away in the desk and
lock it up. That is all true, you
know. Then he will think that in
some way the desk has got a jolt,
JAMBS BLACK. 55
which upset the inkstand after it
"Why, Hiram!" said James ii
an amazed tone; "do you think I
would tell a lie ?"
"That would not be telling a lie,
I am sure," said Hiram; "for you
did put all the things safely by in
the desk, and that was all I told you
to say. You need not tell him how
the ink was spilt. Let him guess
"Yes," said Edward; "for he
will not be likely to say, 'James
Black, was it you who upset my
inkstand ?' and if he does not, I do
not see that there need be any lie
told in the case."
I do not see how I can help tell-
ing a lie, unless I tell the whole
00 YES AND NO.
story in full, just as it came alout.'
"Well, I don't see where you can
find one false word in all I told you
to say," said Hiram.
"It is certainly a lie to pretend to
tell the whole story, and yet keep
back the chief part of it, and that,
too, which is most to the point," said
"Then what do you mean to do?"
Tell the whole story in full, to be
sure; and not keep back a single
part of it, which the master ought
to know; then say to him that I am
very sorry that I did not go on doing
my duty, as I should have done, and
that I hope he will pardon me for
it," said James in a firm, clear tone.
JAMES BLACK. 67
More than two years had passed
since the death of John Hood, and
in that time James Black had gain-
ed new power to resist evil. He
had prayed to God for this power,
and his prayer had not been in
vain. He .had become "strong in
the Lord and in the power of his
"What! Do you mean to tell
that we came back to school after
we had been sent home ?"-asked
one of the boys with an angry shake
of the head.
"Not if I can help it, and yet tell
the whole truth about what I did
myself," said James.
"That is right," said Edward
West. "James Black is not as old
as we are, but he has more real ho-
58 YES AND NO.
ncu'r about him, and is more of a
man than any of u*; and I think
we ought to copy him, and come
out boldly too, and tell the truth of
our part of the affair."
"I think so, too," said one or two
others; and those who did not speak,
in their hearts agreed with what
"I never heard James Black tell
a lie since I have known him," said
Thomas Jones; "and I would sooner
trust his plain YES or NO than all
the oaths in the world from many
other boys; for he always tells the
"I never trust the word of a boy
who swears," said George Evans;
"for any one who swears will ibe
JAMEE BLACK. 59
quite ready to tell a lie when it
"Yes," said Edward West; "and
I always doubt a boy who uses any
words to make what he says seem
more strong. We can't make YES'
mean more than 'YES,' or 'NO' more
than 'NO,' by adding other words
to them; and they are quite enough
for me, when they come from a boy
whom I can trust."
That is just what I think," said
James. "But I am not as good as
John took me to be, for I have not
always been clear of the sin of false-
hood. I was quite young-then, and
was afraid that God would strike
me dead, as he did the wicked man
and his wife, whom we read of in
the Bible, who told a lie to Peter
60 tES AND NO.
about the price he got for the land
he had sold."
"I have often heard that story,"
said Hiram; "but God does not
strike people dead now when they
"He has the power to do it," said
James; "and he is just as angry at
liars now, as he was then. When I
told a lie, my mother talked to me
a great deal about the sin of lying.
She said that Satan was called the
father of lies, and that though God
does not punish them at the time
they sin, he has said, 'all liars shall
have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire. and brimstone;'
and he will surely keep his word."
"Yes, that is an awful fate, which
we all ought to try to avoid," said
JAMES BLACK. 61
Thomas. "But, see," he added, "I
have wiped off all the ink I.can
with this piece of sponge, and as
that is all we can do to repair the
harm, I think we had better shut
up the school-room and go home."
"I am sure you are very kind,"
said James, as he looked into the
desk; "for you have done it much
more nicely than I could."
Thomas locked the desk and puf
away the key where Mr. Wise had
told him. Then when all was
ready, the boys put on their caps
and overcoats and started for home.
James was very sorry indeed, for
having injured Mr. Wise's papers
and letters, for he knew how much
he valued some of them, and he felt
real regret at having been so re-
62 YES AND NO.
miss in doing his duty. The words
of Mr. Wise, "I think I can rely
upon James to do what is right,"
were all the time in his mind; and
his heart blamed him for not hav-
ing proved worthy of the trust.
"I ought not to have minded when
they called me to try if I could
jump over that stool. I have paid
very dear for doing so, and much
more. than the game was worth, I
am sure. It was not the proper
way to behave in school, either; for
I would not have done so if the
master had been there; and when
he is absent, I should not act in a
way that I know he would not like
if he could see me."
Every kind word that the master
had ever spoken to him seemed to
JAMES BLACK. 6.
rio up before him, to chide his
brea h of trust. He sighed deeply,
as he said, "Mr. Wise has indeed
been very kind to me, and all I can
do now to repair the wrong I have
done hit, is fully and freely to tell
him the whole story, and ask him
to pardo. me. But my Father in
heaven has been more kind to me
than any friend I have on earth
could be, and, first of all, I will
humbly ask his pardon of my sin."
Then he kneeled down and prayed
that God would pardon the wrong
he had done, and help him to be
more on his guard in the future,
and to tell the whole truth to Mr.
The next day, James went to
school with a heavy heart. Mr.
04 YES AND NO.
Wise was at his desk when he went
in, and was about calling the boys
to order to begin the school-duties.
Then, as was his custom, he read
some verses from the Bible, and
offered a short prayer. When this
was done, James waited awhile for
him to ask about his desk, but he
said nothing, though he looked
grave and sad. Then James left
his seat and went up to the desk,
with a firm tread. The eyes of all
the boys in the room were fixed
upon him, but he did not seem to
notice it, for his own were bent to-
ward the ground. He hardly raised
them to look at Mr. Wise, as he
iaid in a low tone-
"It was I, sir, who upset the
JAMES BLACK. (6
ink-stand over your papers, and I
am very sorry for it."
"Well, never mind," said Mr.
Wise kindly,-for he saw how sad
James was,-" I dare say you did it
while putting away my things, and
could not help it."
"No, sir," said James; "I did it
in trying to jump over that high
stool. I know it was wrong, and I
hope you will pardon me."
Mr. Wise looked grave.
"It was a rude way to behave
when I trusted you so far as to
leave you here alone," he said.
"But as your sorrow seems so real,
I will pardon you. I know, too,
that you do not ask this of me,
from a dread that I will punish you
for what has been done, but from a
66 YES AND NO.
sense of duty, and a feeling of re-
gret at-having done wrong."
"You are very kind," said James,
and I thank you for it; but, oh,
sir! will you ever trust me again as
you once did? For indeed I will try
hard to deserve it always."
Mr. Wise paused and looked in
his face for a moment, and then
"Yes, I feel that I can trust you
still; for I think that you will be
more on your guard for the future;
and, at any rate," he said, "taking
the hand of James in his own, "I
can rely firmly upon your word; for
you have always told me the truth,-
the whole truth,-and when you do
wrong, you never try to excuse it,
or make it seem right."
JAMES BLACK. 67
James tried to thank Mr. Wise
for the kind words he had spoken,
but he could not; his heart was too
full 'for words, and he could only
press the hand which held his own,
in token of what he felt. As he
did this, he turned away front the
He had hardly taken his seat.
when Edward West arose and went
up to Mr. Wise, and after him, one
by one, came each of the four boys
who had gone back into the school-
house on the day before without
leave. Not one stayed behind-not
even the one who had been so angry
lest James Black should tell of
them. As head of the party, Ed-
ward spoke for them, telling Mr.
Wise that they were to blame for
68 YRS AND NO.
the ruin of his papers; as James
would not have been likely to leave
his work if they had not come back to
school to tempt him. He said'that
they knew that they had done wrong
in not going home as they were told,
and that if the master chose to pu-
nish them, they felt that it was but
right, but that they hoped to be-
have better in time to come.
Mr. Wise was pleased with the
fiank manner of the boys, in so
freely telling him of their bad con-
duct, yet their doing so was a mat-
ter of some wonder to him. Per-
haps Edward saw this, for he said-
"At first we urged James to hide
his fault from you, sir; but when he
told us, in such a firm way, that he
would not tell a lie, we were sham-
JAMES BLACK. -g
ed out of our own desire to conceal
"You did right, in part," said
Mr Wise; "but I hope you will
learn to tell the truth from a pure
love of truth, and to shun a lie from
a deep hatred of all that is false.
Study your Bibles, and you will find
how God hates lying, and you will
also learn there the awful fate of
Then, after a few words of re-
proof and caution, he sent them to
Mr. Wise felt very sorry at the
loss of his letters and papers, for
they were of great value to him;
but he nearly forgot his sorrow in
th6 joy which it gave him to find his
T0 Us AND NO.
pupils ready to'confess their faults
so freely to him.
How plain it is that the path of
duty is the only path of peace and