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The Baldwin Library
II ^ |
By, Laws of the Baptist Sunday School,
WILTON, N. H.
No book shall betaken from the library
hout the knowledge of the librarian or his as-
All books shall be returned to the librarian
NTo book shall be retained by any person
re than two weeks, without being returned
Every one violating Article 3, shall pay to
librarian, a fine of five cents for each viola-
No one having a fine unpaid, shall be enti-
. to the ue of the library.
All money taken for fines, shall be expend-
br new books to replenish the library,
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.*A ** ._
JENNIE AND HER PARROT.
-I I -
runi and j r jtl1er,
AND OTHER STORIES.
BY MRS. M. L. RAYNE.
KENNEIY & SUMNE.R, IIO )EA\RIORi(i ST.
-tI I I. I-
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JENNIE'S TRIALS -
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD -
CHRISTMAS DAY .
THE SHADOW FALLS -
THE TWENTY DOLLAR BILL
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WH EATO .
"A little child
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What can it know of death ?"
" T was a very forlorn.-
; looking little figure that
bundled out of the stage-
coach in front of a large
two-story house, on one
of the prettiest streets in
the flourishing little town
of Wheaton, and trudged
bravely through the rain up the
garden walk to the front door, where
8 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
it stood a moment, wet and dripping,
trying to peer through the close-drawn
Venetian blinds, which allowed only a
glimmer of cheerful firelight to escape,
but revealed no further the comfort-
able scene within. Then a small, wet
hand resolutely turned the door knob
and Jennie Morrison, the little trav-
eler, entered the hall of her father's
house, and quickly opened the parlor
door, when such a glare of light, and
warmth, and real home comfort burst
upon her, that she stood for a moment
puzzled and almost blinded by it-
only for a moment, then her quick eye
detected the group at the further end
of the room assembled at the tea-table.
But they, intent on eating and talk-
ing, and in the midst of the clatter of
knives and teacups, did not hear the
door open, nor see the solitary little
figure that, wet and uncomfortable,
Only one, in the wrapper and cap
of an invalid, who sat at the table in
a cushioned chair, turned as if by
some intuition that her darling was
near; or perhaps it was the mother's
heart that prompted her to look wist-
fully to the door; and the next mo-
ment Jennie was clasped in her arms,
sobbing with joy, thankfulness, and
many other emotions. Then she re-
membered her wet clothes, and with-
drew suddenly to be kissed and clasped
tenderly by her father, receive a
formal kiss from Aunt-Maria, and a
boyish smack from her brother Edgar,
who considered such a display of
feeling on his part quite a condescen-
10 JEiNIE ATD HER MOTHER.
sion, as he was nearly fourteen, and
Jennie was "such a guy," which
sentence was supposed to refer to her
rather grotesque appearance at that
After a very brief visit, however,
to her own dear little room, she
returned different in appearance from
the Jennie of our first acquaintance.
Then she wore a brown merino cloak,
reaching nearly to her feet, a hood of
some plain material, made for comfort,
and which merely disclosed a round,
rosy face, and carried a carpet bag
nearly as large as herself; now she
wore a pretty dress of bright plaid,
an apron of black silk, with jaunty
pockets, and her dark hair hung in
loose curls around a very pretty face-
a face that, while perfectly childish in
its expression and contour, struck the
beholder as being more than commonly
thoughtful, at times almost to sadness.
This was especially noticeable when
her dark, intelligent eyes rested on
her mother; then tears were evidently
kept back by an effort. Kept back
they resolutely were, though the red
lips quivered with the inward strife.
One glance at that mother's pale face
told the secret of Jennie's sadness. A
spirit plumed for flight looked forth
from the mournful eyes that had seen
the leaves fall for the last time, and
this was why Jennie was suddenly
recalled from her uncle's, where she
had been attending an excellent
school. The greatest sorrow that can
befall a child of twelve years was
already throwing its gloomy shadow
12 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
over Jennie Morrison's life--that of
losing a kind, Christian mother, when
her tender years most needed her.
Child though she was, she felt this
keenly, her young heart rebelled
against God's manifest will. Forget-
ting that "he doth not willingly
afflict," she thought of him, for the
time, too little as a kind Father, and
too much as an inexorable Judge, who
overlooked the sorrows of little chil-
dren, forgetting all his tender pro-
mises. Do you wonder she was
'The harmony of the tea-table had
been interrupted by Jennie's sudden
entrance; now she took her accus-
tomed place between her mother and
Aunt Maria, who presided at the tray,
and was soon eating heartily *of
chicken salad and warm biscuit, and
answering the questions which one or
"Do see her eat," said Edgar,
which I do think was rather unman-
nerly in him. "You did'nt lose your
appetite at Fairview, Jennie !"
"No!" was the good-humored an-
swer, "I think I found another one;
I am sure I eat a double share."
"Eat all you want, Jennie, and
never mind Edgar," said her father
kindly; "he is trying to tease you,
and when you finish your supper we
will hear an account of your travels."
"Let me see," said Edgar, gravely
balancing his spoon on the edge of
his cup, "one quire of note paper and
a ream of foolscap, sent here through
thc post office, describing in a round,
14 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
legible hand, events of the past three
months at Uncle Hemsley's. Spare
us that, Jennie!"
"You are a naughty boy to com-
mence teasing your little sister so
soon," Mrs. Morrison said gravely,
"at all events you have no travels to
This was a home-thrust Edgar did
not relish, so he remained silent, while
Jennie gave a voluble account of her
journey home, how the driver was so
kind to her, and the passengers all
talked to her, and one old gentleman
told her so many stories, that it kept
her laughing nearly all the time,
"though I did not feel a bit like
laughing at first, mamma;" she con-
" What did he talk about, Jennie ?"
asked her mother, more to prevent
her from thinking than any thing else,
for she saw by the clouding counten-
ance where her thoughts were drifting.
"Did he say any thing worth
" he told me all about his plan-
tation, and his little grand-daughter
who lived there with her mamma, and
how she went to balls and parties,
and danced, though she was only as
old as I am, and he said she was
pretty, and had a great deal of
money," answered Jennie.
"Did he say she was a good little
girl, and'loved to read her Bible, and
make other people happy ?" asked her
"No, mamma," returned Jennie,
16 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
" he did not talk of those things, but
he was very kind and pleasant, and he
praised me for not being afraid to
" Ah !" said Mr. Morrison, there
lies the secret. If he had administered'
some wholesome truths, they might
not have been so palatable, nor so
pleasantly remembered, but the good
done might have been lasting. Par-
ticularly does it lie with the aged to
impress the great importance of
eternal things on the young, instead-
of passing the time in frivolous chat
about fashion and folly. In answer-
ing his questions, my daughter, did
you make no allusion to that part of
your life which is set apart to God ?"
"I did not like to, papa," said
Jennie, "he was quite an old man,
and he might have thought me
"Out of the mouths of babes and
sucklings," returned Mr. Morrison,
gravely, "and whatever thy hands
find to do, do it with all thy might.
You have lost another opportunity,
Another opportunity! Yes, she
felt that she had, but was she not
losing opportunities all the time?
Had she improved the time with her
worldly-minded cousins ? She had not
even set them a good example at all
times, nor resolutely tried to dissuade
them from besetting sins. And her
brother Edgar! How soon she felt
her carnal nature revive at thought of
the daily taunts and persecutions that
she must now undergo from him.
18 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
She formed an inward resolution to
begin a better life, and resolved to
strengthen it by prayer at the first
Jennie was very happy that. even-
ing, sitting on a low footstool beside
her mother, and holding one dear
hand in a warm clasp. The dark
shadow kept aloof for that brief time,
or she would have seen how very thin
and white those bloodless fingers had
become since last she held them, and
noticed the bright, hectic spot on
either cheek, which made her mother
look so beautiful. But Jennie thought
she could not be so ill as the doctor
had pronounced her, and cheated her-
self into the delusion that her mother
would get well. Poor child! how
many like her have clung to such a
hope with desperate pertinacity, till
in a brief hour it is torn from them,
and "motherless" is written on all
They had been a happy family at
Mr. Morrison's till this great sorrow
came upon them--happy in their
home and in each other. Jennie, the
youngest of the two children, had
been a great comfort to both parents,
but particularly to the mother; her
gentle, thoughtful ways, and unselfish
behavior was a great contrast to
Edgar's thoughtless, boisterous con-
duct. But he was a boy, and they
made due allowance for the difference
in their natures, while they tried hard
to overcome the selfishness of his.
Edgar was not a really bad boy; he
would not use a profane or vulgar
20 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
word, nor tell a lie, nor rob a bird's
nest; but I fear he abstained from
such things more from pride than
principle, and the love of God's holy
commandments. He felt that it was
beneath the dignity of a gentleman to
do such things, so he despised them;
but he often neglected to do that
required of him, and I am afraid,
thought more of his own comfort than
that of any body else, and was very
ready to tease and annoy his little
sister, with or without cause, from a
mere love of teasing. So far, the
religious instruction which had been a
part of his daily life since his infancy,
had brought forth no fruit. Edgar
cared not to hear the lessons his father
read so solemnly and effectively. He
filled his place in the family group at
church, but his heart was not inter-
ested, and Mr. and Mrs. Morrison
could only leave him in the hand of
God, consecrated by their prayers,
and hope for a better future.
With Jennie they had no such
trouble. Conscientious from early
childhood, of a gentle, trusting spirit,
she had early learned to love the
Saviour and dedicate her first days to
him in their freshness and purity.
She was never weary of doing for
others; from morning to night her
little feet ran from room to room, or
up and down stairs to get some thing
wanted, while her cheery voice rang'
forth in some childish song. The
light of the house" they truly
called her, and yet sometimes the
light burned dim.
22 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
For things did not always go right
with Jennie. Sometimes she yielded
to temptation and suffered bitterly
from the results. Sometimes she let
golden opportunities slip by unim-
proved, and conscience was the smiter,
and now she rebelled because God
was seeing fit to afflict her; so that
her life had its rough places too.
While Jennie is sitting by her
mother, Edgar is looking for a puzzle
which he wants to show her, and
Aunt Maria sits on the opposite side
of the fireplace with her knitting, and
her great tortoise cat lying on the
rug beside her. Aunt Maria does not
love children, though she pronounces
Jennie "not a bad sort of a child,"
but Edgar is her abhorrence. She
predicts all kinds of fates for him, and
he has the peculiar faculty of doing
just what she don't like. As he came
to the fire to show Jennie his puzzle,
he accidentally trod on the tortoise
shell cat's tail, which animal instantly
set up a howl of despair, while Aunt
Maria 'boxed his ears soundly, a
punishment he received with a shrug
of his shoulders and a grimace.
Jennie stood beside him at the
table and helped him make up the
puzzle, and that moment the room
formed a very delightful picture.
The folding doors were closed, shut-
ting out the front parlor, and the
light stood in the centre of a round
table, covered with a crimson cloth,
a hot coal fire glowed in the open
grate, and sent its radiance through all
the room, dancing cheerfully over the
24 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
pictures on the wall. Mrs. Morrison
sat in a low, easy chair, her white
hands folded on her lap, her eyes
fixed upon her children, her heart
busy with such thoughts and intense
feelings as only mothers have, while
her husband was at his desk writing.
The warmth, and comfort, and beauty
of that room, the treasures it held, the
dearest in the world to her-caused
the tears to fill Mrs. Morrison's eyes,
and Jennie, turning suddenly to speak
to her mother, saw them. She was
instantly at her side.
"You are tired, mamma, let me
help you up stairs;" she cried.
"Papa must do that, Jennie," she
replied, but you may go and see that
every thing is ready, and then I will
come after we have had prayers."
Jennie was not long absent, and
when she returned her face was
smiling, but the mother's eye, looking
deeper, saw there had been a combat
of tears, and the mother's heart ached
for the pain she was herself causing.
Mr. Morrison read the chapter for
the evening with solemn emphasis,
and then followed prayer, after which
the family retired for the night.
Mr. Morrison carried his wife up
stairs in his strong arms, Jennie fol-
lowing with the light. He sighed as
he sat her down in her cushioned
chair, pale and exhausted, for he had
scarcely felt her weight. Jennie
lingered to help her undress, and
give her the medicine for the night,
and through it all she chatted gaily,
till receiving a good night kiss, she
26 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
went into her own little room, and
there throwing herself on her knees,
cried and prayed in a paroxysm of
anguish. How long this would have
lasted, I can not tell, but suddenly a
hand, pure and white as a snowflake,
touched her shoulder, and she sprang
up to see her mother standing beside
her, with a heavy shawl thrown over
her white wrapper. Jennie's heart
smote her at the sight.
"You will take cold, mamma," she
cried, and all because of me."
"Jennie, my dear child," said the
mother gravely, "can you recall the
many tender promises of a covenant-
keeping God, and yet give up to this
sinful rebellion against him? Will
he not be more to you than any earth-
ly parent ? I trust to be spared many
months yet, my child, and I depend
greatly on you for comfort while I
stay. Oh, Jennie, do not distress an
already overburdened heart. It can
not bear an added pang."
"I will not! I will not my dearest
mother," cried poor Jennie, throwing
her arms fondly about Mrs. Morrison's
neck. "I will not think of myself
again, but try to do all I can for your
comfort, only let me love you while-
I-can, and teach me how to be
"God will do that," replied the
mother. "Take your trials and bur-
dens to him. He will help you bear
Mother and daughter separated for
the night, but long after Jennie's
tearful eyes were closed in slumber,
28 JENNIE AmND HER MOTHER.
Mrs. Morrison thought over her child's
future, and wrestled with God in her
"A mother's prayer I Angels draw near,
No holier burden can you bear-
Catch every trembling, pleading word
From that o'erflowing heart preferred,
And bear it, purified by love,
To the All-hearing One above,
'Twill not be long unheeded there-
Oh, sacred boonl a mother's prayerl"
0 God, with sympathetic care,
In other's joys and griefs to share,
Do thou my heart incline;
Each low, each selfish wish control,
Warm with benevolence my soul,
And make me wholly thine."
HE next morning, Mrs.
Morrison was unable to
rise; the excitement of
seeing Jennie, or some
added cold, had brought
on a fresh attack of
haemorrhage, and she
lay with closed eyes and
pallid lips, unable to speak, save in
30 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
whispers. Jennie feared that her mo-
ther would die at once, but she did
not give way to her feelings. With
one silent prayer for help, she estab-
lished herself in the sick room, and
never was there a more faithful little
nurse. The room was kept in perfect
order, one of its most essential attri-
butes-the medicine delivered at the
exact time- strictly attended to, and
a noiseless watch kept over the be-
loved sufferer. And this not for one
day only, but for many, till Mrs.
Morrison rallied again to enjoy a
brief season of rest and fictitious
strength. Then Jennie's troubles
commenced. I mean her daily small
vexations which sometimes torment
one as much as heavier ills.
Edgar, who, while his mother was
in danger, managed to keep quiet,
now commenced his old tricks of
teasing his sister on every occasion,
and as his father was absent during
the day, there was no one to restrain
him. As Jennie run hastily down
stairs, a cord stretched on the last
step suddenly and unpleasantly im-
peded her way. At night her lamp
would be suddenly extinguished and
she left to grope her way in thick
darkness, with only the sound of
Edgar's laughter to quicken her.
The poor child suffered more from
this species of persecution than seems
possible to older people, and she tried
hard to bear it patiently, though
sometimes she would retaliate on
Edgar, when a war of words would
ensue, which would leave Jennie van-
32 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
quished and very much ashamed of
herself. At such seasons she would
retire to her own room, and when
calmer, ask her Heavenly Father to
forgive her, and give her strength to
guard her temper. A plan that, if
repeated daily, was never known to
Jennie received long letters from
her cousins at Fairview, describing
the gay scenes in which they partici-
pated, and sympathizing with her on
her withdrawal from them. She felt
that she needed not their sympathy
from that cause. The dearest spot on
earth to her was home, and its most
sacred precinct her mother's chamber,
where she learned such sweet lessons
of faith and love. True, she some-
times wearied of the care, not of her
JENNIE' S TRIALS.
mother, but the daily discipline need-
ed, the charge laid on one so young,
and, heaviest cross of all, the know-
ledge that she was but smoothing that
dear mother's path to the tomb was
almost more than she could well bear.
Only that her strength was drawn
from the Eternal Source, she would
Jennie possessed a green parrot,
which was her especial favorite, and
was disliked in proportion by her
Aunt Maria, and tormented by her
brother, till it became too noisy to be
tolerated. Jennie could hear it shriek
from its cage in the kitchen in the
quiet of her mother's sick room, and
she knew it disturbed her; but what
to do with Polly ? She could not bear
the thought of giving it away, for she
34 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
quite loved the ugly bird, and she
could only think of one person who
would be willing to take it. That
was a maiden lady of her acquaint-
ance who had once solicited the gift,
and on being rather tartly refused by
Jennie, had never been friends with
It cost Jennie a great deal of
thought and some tears to make a
decision, but made, it was final. She
would not speak to her mother on the
subject for fear it would annoy her,
and so she took her brother into
council. He laughed at her, and
drew such a ridiculous picture of Miss
Perkins in morning wrapper and curl
papers, feeding her parrot, that Jennie
laughed too, but all her attempts to
persuade him to go with her to their
neighbor and carry the parrot were in
vain. So she departed on her errand
alone. She had listened to Edgar
without once getting angry, and her
conduct was not thrown away this
time. She had gone only a few steps
with Polly in her heavy cage, when
Edgar darted from some shrubbery,
and seizing it, carried it, shrieking
and scolding, to Miss Perkins' gate,
where he deposited it, and was out of
sight in a twinkling. Rude and mis-
chievous as he was, Edgar could
appreciate the sacrifice his little sister
Miss Perkins came to the door in
answer to Jennie's knock, and lifted
her spectacles in surprise at her other
visitor, but when Jennie explained
her errand, and tendered the bird for
36 JENNIE AND mHE MOTHER.
Miss Perkins' acceptance, that lady's
delight and surprise knew no bounds.
"It was what she had been all her
life wishing for, and it was so kind in
Jennie to bring it to her."
Jennie, at last, fearful she might be
misunderstood, explained why she had
Miss Perkins made no reply to this,
but commenced an inquiry in regard
to Mrs. Morrison's health, and insisted
on Jennie's carrying home a peculiar
white jelly she had made herself, and
which was extremely delicate for an
invalid. Jennie accepted it with
thanks, and after a cordial good-by
from Miss Perkins, returned home in
a very complacent state of mind, con-
gratulating herself on making a friend
of Miss Perkins, and having won
JENIE' S TRIALS. 37
Edgar over to-her side. Before she
arrived thither, however, a new in-
cident gave a sudden and unexpected
turn to her thoughts, and effectually
lowered her self-esteem.
On turning an angle in the road,
she met, face to face, the worst boy in
Wheaton, Billy Jackson, who was the
terror of all smaller boys and girls,
being of a very wicked, malicious
disposition, constantly inclined to evil.
Had Jennie returned his rough saluta-
tion pleasantly, he would probably
have allowed her to pass him un-
molested, but feeling somewhat impor-
tant, she did not answer him at all, or
even pretend to see him, till his rough
grasp upon her arm stopped and
greatly terrified her. She called for
38 JENNIE AND HESI MOTHER.
help, but no one was-near, and Billy
had her at his mercy.
"So, miss," he began, "you feel
stuck up, do you ? Can't speak to an
old acquaintance since you got home.
Guess you have seen me afore, ha'int
"You hurt my arm !" Jennie began
to cry, '" and you'll make me spill the
jelly Miss Perkins gave me."
"Jelly! ho o so Marm Perkins
keeps jelly, does she ? I guess I'll
take that and you may go."
" Oh don't take that," cried Jennie,
piteously. "It is for my mother, and
she is sick."
"No it ain't, it is for yourself," re.
torted Billy, "you know it is, so you
can let me have it. It's better to give
than to receive, you know. Ain't
that your creed, Miss Pious ?"
Edgar was putting new shoes to his
sled on the piazza when Jennie ran
breathlessly home in a storm of tears
and wounded feelings, and commenced
an incoherent account of her disaster
in losing the jelly, etc. For once
Edgar listened gravely; when she
finished, he doubled his fists.
" I'll show that Bill Jackson who's
master," he vociferated. "I'll teach
him to speak to my sister, won't I,
"You won't fight him, will you,
Edgar?" asked Jennie, her mind
diverted by the- prospect of a new
"Won't I? Just wait till I see
40 JENIrE AND HER MOTHER.
him. I'll show him a lesson that will
do him good !"
Jennie went into the house and en.
countered Aunt Maria.
"What's the matter?' she asked,
"what have you been crying about ?"
but Jennie was already up stairs on
her way to her mother's room.
Mrs. Morrison listened to her little
daughter's account of the meeting
with Billy, and the loss of the jelly,
which of course revealed the disposal
of the parrot also; but she said little,
leaving it to Jennie whether she had
done right or wrong, knowing that
her own conscience would decide. It
troubled her already, for she knew
how easy it would have been, by a
kind look or word, to have made a
friend of Billy instead of an enemy,
and prevented, perhaps, a quarrel
between him and her brother. To be
sure, Mrs. Morrison had interfered
here by peremptorily forbidding
Edgar any participation in the mat-
ter; but Jennie knew if they met
there would be hard words, and per-
haps still harder blows, in spite of the
prohibition. She prayed for more
humility and the grace of real piety,
and tried to feel in her heart that she
had forgiven Billy Jackson, even for
robbing her of her sick mother's jelly.
We shall see whether she had or not.
Mrs. Morrison was one of those
"Let charity begin at home,
But not stay there forever."
Her's was scattered far and wide
through the place in which she lived,
42 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
not ostentatiously. Often the sick
woman who ate with feverish greed
of the juicy orange, or drank the
cooling tamarind water, knew not
whence they came, but blessed with
grateful heart the unknown donor.
Now that she was too ill to dispense
her charities herself, she made Jennie
her almoner, much to the delight of
the latter, who enjoyed distributing
her mother's bounty among the poor,
and seeing for herself scenes which
she had only heard described. Usual-
ly old Hannah, the servant, attended
her, but sometimes she went alone.
A few days after Jennie's encounter
with Billy, Mrs. Morrison requested
her to carry a bundle of flannel to a
woman whose home she designated,
and as it was a clear, cold day, the'
prospect of a brisk walk was very
agreeable; so the little girl got ready
with alacrity, and was soon on the
way, enjoying the walk, the frosty air,
and all the little incidents which an
observant child delights in. She had
no fear of meeting Billy Jackson, for
he had fallen from a step-ladder in
some of his wicked exploits, and was
laid up at home.
Jennie had no idea of where his
home was, therefore when she had
entered the house, poor and desolate
enough, to which her mother had
directed her, and taken the chair set
for her by a very old and decrepit
woman, she was first astonished and
then alarmed, to see lying on an old
straw cot in the corner, the very boy
she so much dreaded. One look at
44 JENNIE AND) HER MOTHER.
his face, however, told her that she
had nothing to fear. It was pale and
shrunken by suffering, and the posi-
tion of his body showed that his
limbs were injured. He looked sullen
and defiant at Jennie, but moved by
his miserable condition, and prompted
by something that seemed to whisper,
"Now is the time," Jennie went up
to him and asked kindly if he was
badly hurt, and offered some sympa-
thizing remark that was only received
in sullen silence. She did not mind
this; the same something told her
that she was doing her duty, and she
knew now that her mother had trusted
her. After giving her errand to Mrs.
Jackson, who was Billy's grandmother,
she prepared to go, when Billy, who
had watched her closely, called out:
JENNIE' S TRIALS.
"I say, that jell's up in my chest.
I hai'nt teched it, for I like yer
mother; she's a real lady, and don't
think herself too big to speak to a
fellow, if he is ragged."
"What are you talking about,
Bill," asked his grandmother. "Miss
Jennie don't want to listen to your
" You jest look into my chest,
Granny, and you'll find it in a tumbler
with a white paper on it. I did'nt
tech any of it."
The old woman climbed with diffi-
culty the rickety stairs and soon
returned with the jelly, looking about
as it did when Jennie last saw it.
"I was a going up myself to take it
to her, but I got this ere fall, and now
I'm dished for the winter," said Bill.
46 JENNIE AND HER MOTHIER.
Billy Jackson had run the streets
since a child, and no worse school for
boys can be found. Remember this,
mothers. Temptation meets them
there in every form, from the marbles
they play keep with in the alley, to
the treat" they soon learn to hanker
The profane word which he used to
denote his misfortune, and with which
I can not mar my page, seemed to
burn into Jennie's ears, as she left the
miserable dwelling where she had left
at least one grateful heart. Mrs.
Jackson was not a Christian, though
she stood already in the valley of the
shadow of death, having seen nearly
four-score years; but she could not
approve of the ill-conduct of her
grandson, yet she allowed him to pass
beyond her control, and evil com-
panions had ruined him. He knew
that there was a God and a Bible,
that there was a right way and wrong,
but he entered on the latter and his
feet were swift to tread the way to
destruction, till arrested by an acci-
dent that may have been a work of
Providence to save his immortal soul.
When Jennie arrived at home she
found the doctor with her mother,
and after he left Mrs. Morrison felt
exhausted, so that it was not till the
evening she could find an opportunity
to tell her mother of her meeting
with Billy Jackson. When she had
finished an account of it, she said:
"There is something I should like
very much to do, mamma, if you will
let me. You know papa gave me a
48 JENNIE AND HEE MOTHER.
new Pilgrim's Progress on my birth-
day. May I give my old one to
Billy I am sure he can read, and I
don't think he has many books."
"I shall not only be willing, but
glad, Jennie, for it may do the poor
boy a great deal of good; but you
must not take it to him yourself. I
should be glad to have Edgar go, if I
thought he would do good by it. I
will talk with him about it."
The result was that Edgar went, in
obedience to his mother's command,
and perhaps with an inward desire to
chuckle over the prostrate boy. But
this was effectually checked when he
saw his wretched condition, both of
body and soul. He gave the book to
him, and he promised to read it when
he had less pain, and then he asked
JEMNXIE S TRIALS.
Edgar a great many questions about
things outside. Boys are not usually
shy of each other, no matter what the
difference of position, and Edgar was
the first Billy had seen since his fall.
His companions in wickedness had all
deserted him in misfortune.
Perhaps it was because the situation
was one so new to him, but Edgar felt
a sort of manly importance in com-
municating his little world of news
to the poor, dependent boy. He
'orgot that he had boastingly threat-
ened to fight him, and even bestowed
on him a five-cent piece of his own
when he left, and he very gravely
advised him not to swear again till he
recovered, and by that time he would
forget how. Billy promised. The
handsome, well-dressed boy was his
50 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
particular admiration; lying there in
that dim room he saw little to cheer
or comfort him, and lost as he was,
he could appreciate the good and
But if Edgar was outwardly the
latter, was he inwardly the former?
Alas, no Not a day passed that he
did not crucify his Lord afresh by his
thoughtless ingratitude. There was
no excuse for him; he had attended
Sabbath School every Sabbath of his
life; he had been taught, as soon as
he could lisp, the early principles of
religion. Yet what better was he
than Billy Jackson, who had never
been taught ,any thing? "Because
ye are neither hot nor cold," saith the
Lord, "I spew ye out."
This was not Edgar's last visit to
Since Mrs. Morrison's illness con-
fined her to her own room, the family,
as often as she was able, assembled
there to spend the winter evenings,
or, if she could not bear the fatigue,
only Jennie sat with her, or Mr.
Morrison, who loved to converse with
his dying wife and strengthen his own
faith in things eternal. He was a
refined Christian man, and though it
rent his heart to separate from the
beloved companion of his life, yet he
felt he could trust Him who "doeth
all things well," and so, not with
bodily but spiritual eyes, he looked
upon this trial of his faith.
To Jennie it was the happiest part
of the day, the hour when the lamp
52 JENNIE AD HER MOTHER.
was lighted in the "upper chamber."
It was always her work to do this,
and then to go down stairs and choose
from the supper table what she
thought her mother could eat. This
she would arrange nicely on a tray,
covered with a snow-white damask
napkin, and when it was ready, carry
it up stairs and set it on the little
round stand by the bedside; Mrs.
Morrison watching her with delight
while she did it. It was a great joy
to the mother that her little daughter
felt it to be a pleasure to wait upon
her, and she received with much satis-
faction all these little services at her
When the supper was carried down
again, sometimes scarcely tasted, Jen-
nie would stir up the fire, arrange the
little table with books and work in
front of it, just as her mother loved
to see it, and sit down to enjoy a
precious season of converse. It was
not always serious talk, nor at any
time gloomy. Mrs. Morrison entered
into all the little daily details of her
children's life with a mother's zest,
and took a share in any thing that
amused or interested them. Edgar
usually preferred sitting with his aunt
or father down stairs in the evening,
lut when he came up to see his
mother she was ever ready to listen to
his boyish stories, and though his
hearty tones were not always modu-
lated for her ear, she seldom checked
his enthusiasm. In after years the
mother's gentle admonitions and un-
54 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
selfish love were remembered and
treasured as precious things.
Aunt Maria, Mr. Morrison's sister,
superintended her brother's family,
and her untiring energy and thorough
housekeeping were of great advantage
to them at this period. She was not
of much use in the sick-room; she
disliked suffering, and having never
been ill herself, could scarcely sympa-
thize with those who were; but she
kept every other part of the domestic
system in perfect order, and leaving
the sick-room to old Hannah and Jen-
nie, and never for one moment did
Mrs. Morrison lack attention, or the
room itself needed care.
"Mamma," said Jennie, one night
while she leaned her head on her
mother's knee, as she sat supported on
pillows in front of the fire, "please
tell me a story." "A story," repeat-
ed her mother, "why what is there
that I have not told you already,
Jennie ? Do you want a Bible story,
or one out of some other book ?"
"Oh! tell me one about yourself,
or some little girl you knew, when
you were small like me, and please let
it be long, and very interesting,"
Jennie answered, reaching forward to
turn the rosy apple that was warming
on the grate.
Mrs. Morrison's eyes were gazing
into the red coals, and she did not
speak. Jennie was too well bred to
disturb her while she was thinking,
and she too looked into the glowing
fire and was silent. Outside could be
heard'the ringing of the church bell
56 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
for the evening lecture. A year ago,
Jennie had always gone with her
mother, and enjoyed it so much.
Now all her interests were centred
within the four walls of that sick
room! It would be all right yet
There was a long silence!
"Backward, turn backward, oh, time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for to-night,
Mother come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair,
Over my slumber your loving watch keep-
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep."
cHE -RUNXKAD'S HILXD.
"As that gentle soul forsook
The fainting, trembling clay,
It caught the spirit of that world
Where tears are wiped away.
And still its cherished image gleams
Upon the parent's eye,
A guiding cherub to that home
Where every tear is dry."
ANY years ago,"
began Mrs. Mor.
mily lived on the
outskirts of a seclu-
ded village in Penn-
sylvania. There was
but one child, a
58 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
little fair-haired girl, who bloomed
amidst poverty and toil, like a rose in
the desert, never seeming to gather
any of the impurity from the atmos-
phere in which she lived, but casting
every where around her own breath
of innocence and sweetness. Little
Ida, for so she was named, was exceed-
ingly lovely--of that rare, exquisite
type of beauty so often called angelic,
and which did indeed seem a proto-
type of celestial loveliness. Her fair,
silken hair, though often uncombed
and uncared for, was a mass of gleam-
ing curls, and her smooth, white skin
never suffered from exposure, but
preserved its blue-white transparency
unsullied; her appearance but corres-
ponded with her nature, which seemed
truly that of a guileless child, such as
THE DRUNKARD' S CHILD.
our Saviour once blessed on earth.
You may think that such a little girl
was the idol of her parents; but it
was not so. Her mother was a poor,
unhappy woman, who having once
known better days, was very miserable
in her present condition.
"Perhaps she did not care so much
for herself, but her husband, who had
once been a kind, tender-hearted,
respectable young man, was fast
becoming a slave to vicious and de-
grading habits. The love of strong
drink had fastened upon him, and he
was becoming rapidly that most
miserable of all God's creatures, an
habitual drunkard. His unhappy
wife had begged tearfully, on her
knees, to him to desist; she had be-
sought him in tearful tones, but, alas,
60 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
she had not prayed. Only little Ida
had done this. Little Ida, with her
small hands clasped, and tearful eyes
uplifted to heaven, had appealed to
God from the small, dark room which
was hers, and pleaded with sweet,
child-like faith, for him to intercede
and save her dear father, and though
no answer came to these prayers, yet
did she repeat them day by day with
the cold, unhallowed atmosphere of
life pressing on her, and at night
alone with the pure stars shining upon
her little bowed figure, and the re-
cording angel on white wings hovering
near, in pitying silence, ready to bear
her petition to the Eternal. One.
And so Ida prayed, and never doubted
that some time her answer would
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD.
"Ida's mother had never taken
much pains with the little girl. She
seemed to shun evil and cling to good
so instinctively, that the broken-
hearted woman left her to herself,
and the few books she managed to
get, when she had learned to read.
Perhaps the only one she really cared
for was an old copy of 'Pilgrim's
Progress,' with both covers torn off,
and this was her constant companion.
She had no Bible; a few leaves of a
Testament, wrapped up in an old
handkerchief, was all the knowledge
Ida possessed of God and religion, yet
these were a sure guide to heaven.
" The family was very poor. Often
they actually wanted the necessaries
of life, while the husband and father
spent at the village bar the money
62 ENNIEE AND HER MOTHER.
that should have been theirs. It
could not go on always so. The lack
of comforts undermined his wife's
health and prostrated her on a bed of
sickness, from which she never arose.
She had loved her husband with an
idolizing affection, and followed him
through good and evil report. 'Till
death do us part, had been more to
her than a mere form of words, for
she had disowned friends and kindred
and clung only to him, and she had
also forgotten the Creator in' the
creature, till a rapid decline warned
her of a coming judgment. But to
whom could she turn ? No minister
ever entered that forlorn abode, for
they had shunned approach, and her
husband's clouded intellect could give
her no comfort. But now a little
THE DRU1KARD'S CHILD.
child was to lead her, first by singing
little hymns she had learned during
her brief occasional visits to the
village Sunday School, then by re-
peating with such emphasis and power
as only an innocent child can give,
the sublime words of the Lord's
Prayer, so that step by step, the
weak, glimmering faith was led, till it
laid firm hold of the cross of Christ.
Often when the miserable, drunken
father reeled home at midnight from
his dissolute companions, a little,
white-robed figure knelt, unconscious
of his coming, wrestling for him in
prayer, in which the dying wife and
mother joined. This was not yet
enough-a greater sacrifice was to be
made ere that immortal soul could be
redeemed from its degradation.
64 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
"Ida's mother died, and not a
single prayer seemed answered for the
erring father. But he has been
saved, plucked as a brand from the
burning-saved by the prayers and
teachings of a little child. Dearly as
Ida loved her mother, she felt very
happy to think of that mother as now
with the angels, singing the songs of
the redeemed. Many times she had
read from the leaves she treasured,
that exquisite chapter of St. John's
Gospel, 'Let not your heart be
troubled,' and she was so engaged
when her mother, murmuring thankful
responses, sank away into that quiet
slumber which was but the prelude to
an eternal sleep.. Now she read it
more than ever. Her mission was
not fulfilled. Her father, the unfor-
THE DRUNITARD DS CHILD.
tunate, the degraded, the erring, must
be saved. She had promised her
mother this. She, a child of nine
years, believed that by prayer to God,
and constant watching, and faith un-
tiring as prayer, she would yet save
and restore him. And Christian,
climbing the Hill of Difficulty, had
not more need of faith than she.
"Among the few who, for charity's
sake, went in to relieve the suffer.
ing of the sick woman, during her last
days, was a rich and generous lady
who became much attached to the
little Ida, and on the death of her
mother, offered her a home in her own
family, with all the privileges of a
favored child-never for a moment
supposing such an offer could be
refused. Refused it was, however,
66 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
though with tears of gratitude, for
the child was faithful to her dear
mother's trust. No remonstrance
could move her-she had a mission to
fulfill, and till that was accomplished
the heroic child had determined to
put self out of sight.
"So the rich lady went back
angrily to her splendid home, and left
Ida alone to her toil, and her poverty,
and her heaven-appointed task.
"Oh! my child, be thankful that
you know not the unwritten misery of
a drunkard's home! That you have
never shrunk in terrible fear at the
coming of a father's step, or hidden
in agony from his unjust and cruel
persecution! There are many little
children who endure this daily, and
only God knows what they suffer.,
THE IRUNKARD'S CHILD.
Sometimes he takes them from it.
More often, for a wise purpose, they
suffer on, and if greater the cross, so
greater the crown. By and by it
shall be made plain.
"Some weak minds can not bear
sorrow. I think Ida's father belonged
to this class, for from the moment of
his wife's death he gave himself up
hopelessly to drinking, and poor Ida
seemed further than ever from the
attainment of her hopes. He treated
her carelessly, though he really loved
his little girl, but he was so seldom
sober, that he had no command over
his actions, and little Ida wept, and
prayed, and waited.
"It was Christmas day-the first
Christmas after her mother's death, a
day that, poor as they had always
68 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
been, had been set aside as a holiday,
with some of that good cheer and
rejoicing which children especially
delight in. She would have liked to
go with her father to the village to see
the gay shops and hear the sound of
feasting and happiness, but it had
snowed stormily for three days, and
between her and the village great
drifts were formed, through which
she could not possibly wade; so,
though very much disappointed, she
made up her mind to stay at home,
though alone, and with no Christmas
cheer, and be as happy as she could.
She got her father's supper ready
against he should come in, and made
the fire burn brightly. The house
was as neat as such a dark, rickety
old place could be, and Ida was softly
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD.
singing the Christmas hymn when her
father came in sober, for the first time
for many days. Ida's hand shook
with joy as she poured his tea, and
when he took from his pocket a small
morocco book and laid it on her plate,
she could have cried with delight, for
she opened it, and found-a Bible!
Surely, her prayers, she thought, were
about to be answered, after so long,
and she kissed her father gratefully
for the present, and then in her own
little room in the loft, she prayed as
she never had done before for God's
blessing on him.
"She had supposed that he would
stay at home with her, but she was
mistaken. He put on his ragged, old
great coat, which her little slender
fingers vainly essayed to mend, and
tO JEINNIE AND HER MOTHER.
taking his battered hat, replied to her
caresses and entreaties that he must
go to the village on business. Ida
well knew what that business was,
and she cried and begged him to stay
at home, and pleaded with him with
angelic grace and sincerity. In vain.
Her beauty and innocence made the
wretched man more unhappy, and he
really hated to leave her alone in that
lonesome place. But though he loved
his child, he loved strong drink better,
since it held him in chains he could
not break. So he left Ida crying in
the doorway, and started off.
"'You are a good child, Ida,' he
said, too good for me, and some day
I will do as you want me to, and
think about these things;' and these
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD.
were the last words he ever spoke to
"Little Ida felt very sad. It did
really seem to her as if all her prayers
had been unheard, and she had re-
course to her new -Bible to see if
indeed the promises were sure. Who
ever opened that holy book in a right
spirit without being comforted A
sweet and sudden peace stole over
Ida's heart. Somehow she felt that
her father would yet reach the foot
of the cross, and cling a penitent
there, and she had more faith than
ever in prayer.
" She finished her work and sat
down alone with her Bible. She was
nearly always alone, this little patient
child, and though a few neighbors
lived above them, they seldom came
72 JESnIE AND HER MOTHER.
in to see her. They liked her very
well, but her sinless life was a con-
tinual rebuke to their careless ways.
So nearly all the time Ida was alone,
and happy in her communion with the
angels, sitting by the dull fire, in that
gloomy old house, where few children
would have lived alone an hour. She
could hear the village bells, and she
knew they were celebrating the birth
of the Saviour. 0! that dear Saviour,
if she might only be with him one
day, and her father and mother beside
her! It was worth living and suffer-
ing for, to know that this would be
the sure ending of it all.
Then all the bells together,
Their merry music poured;
They were ringing in the feast,
The circumcision of our Lord.
THE DRUNKARD' S CHILD.
And all the poor and hungry,
And forsaken ones are his,
How good of Him to look on me
In such a place as this I
"I do not suppose little Ida had
ever read those beautiful lines. In-
deed, they were not written then, but
they express her situation better than
words of mine can.
"The night wore on gloomily, a
night of storm and biting cold. The
child, crouching over the miserable
fire, listened in vain for the uncertain
step she longed yet dreaded to hear.
Often she had walked on dark nights
to the village with a lantern to guide
his steps, and though he grumbled
and scolded her, he seldom ill-used
her, for he was generally quite stupid.
To-night she had not thought of
74 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
going out into the storm, but when
she opened the door, and the blinding
snow rushed in with its cold breath,
extinguishing the feeble light, she
took down the old lantern, and lit the
piece of candle it contained, and bun-
dled herself up in her mother's old
cloak, and started out to meet her
father. She knew that if he started
to come home in that storm, he might
easily miss his way, with no light to
guide him, and might perish in the
drift; and, oh! dreadful thought,
might perish for ever.
"When she stepped out, her fair,
childish face peering into the storm,
she repeated over to herself a few lines
of a hymn, and stumbled into the
snow and the darkness, her lantern
casting bright rays about. The wind
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD.
howled fiercely about the little form,
that, filled with love and divinest
faith, hurried on to save the erring;
and the snow spread out like a great
winding sheet disposed in white folds.
Ida felt neither fear nor cold. She
only hoped that she might get to the
cross roads, before her father, blinded
by drink, should turn the wrong way,
and perish in the wilderness. Dismal
gusts of snow whirled into her face,
cutting and almost blinding her, but
still she pressed on, and now she sung
aloud, and her sweet voice went up -
up, above the cold, dim world, to the
courts of the angels, where it was
caught up, and re-echoed through the
golden streets, and the burden of the
song was Redemption."
76 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
"When Ida's father left the village
tavern, it was nearly morning. He
had spent the night in drinking with
boon companions, and telling stories.
The cold air sobered him a little, and
though he could with difficulty walk,
he managed to stagger along, singing
snatches of drunken song, and making
the pure air discordant with his pres-
ence. His head began to grow dizzy
at last, and as the snow drifted against
him, and he felt the bitter cold
through his miserable clothes, he had
hard work to keep up. He staggered
and fell more than once, and finally
lost his way altogether. He was be-
ginning to get sobered, and he knew
if he lay down there he would die,
and he was not fit to die -when, a
short distance before him, a light
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD. 77
flashed up and then was gone. He
knew it was the cross road, and felt
that he was safe. Toiling on, he
reached the spot, and again the light
flickered, revealing his own lantern,
and Ida, angel Ida, sitting there, her
back turned to the storm, and leaning
against a wall of snow, her sweet face
smiling and happy, her small hands
folded ip each other, and her pure soul
escaped to the Paradise of God.
" Ida's mission was fulfilled. In
death she accomplished what she
could not effect in life--her father's
salvation. Never from that hour did
he taste liquor; that fearful hour
when he had such a terrible awaken-
ing. The love that had prompted the
child to watch in those midnight hours
for her erring father, till she fell
78 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
asleep in that cold slumber from
which none waken, was his redemp-
tion. From that hour he became a
changed man, and long years ago was
reunited to the mother and child, who
had preceded him to heaven.
" This happened a great many years
ago, when I was a little girl; but I
can remember it all, and how for a
long time after, mothers used to tell
the story to their little girls, who
would cry when they thought of Ida."
"And they shuddered as they spoke of her,
And sighed-they could not see
How much of happiness there was,
With so much misery."
" We need not bid for cloistered cell
Our neighbor and our work farewell,
Nor strive to wind ourselves too high
For sinful man beneath the sky.
"The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road
To bring us, daily, nearer God."
EEKS passed on
and Christmas drew
near. Mrs. Morri-
son was much bet-
ter, and hope lived
again in Jennie's
heart. She was very
busy making her
80 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
mother a Christmas present, which
was drawing to completion in myste-
rious seclusion. Edgar, who now
passed an hour daily with Billy Jack-
son, was much less inclined to tease
his sister than formerly, and while
reading the Bible and Pilgrim's
Progress, and explaining them to the
benighted mind of Billy, had im-
proved his own. No one had felt that
Billy had been very seriously injured
at first, but as time went on the
doctor said he was crippled for life,
and finally he looked grave and re-
ported that there was an inward
injury which might result in his death.
This was terrible news to Billy.
Death, and the reckoning after death!
All his fears were awakened, and
Edgar, when he heard him, shuddered
THE DRUNKARD'S CHILD.
lest, with all his superior advantages,
his education and instruction from the
Holy Scriptures, he might stand
where Billy did, for there is no half-
way place in religion.
The old minister came up and
prayed with him many times, and at
last there came over the dark and
shackled spirit a faint glimmer of
gospel light, to be followed at last by
the perfect peace of Christ. And
those who had feared and shunned
the sinner, now flocked to hear the
grateful praises of the penitent.
Mr. Morrison came home to tea one
night, bringing a letter for his wife,
which she read through with evident
emotion, and then they consulted
together in low tones. Jennie won-
dered if it was good or bad news, but
82 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
no satisfaction was vouchsafed her
that night. Nothing more was said
concerning the letter or its contents
till next morning, when her mother
informed her that she might expect a
visitor. Her only brother was going
to travel in Europe for his health, and
wished to bring his little girl, and
leave her with his sister while he was
absent. He was not aware of Mrs.
Morrison's serious illness, not having
received her letters regularly, and now
there would be no time to write, he
was already on his way and would
arrive in Wheaton that week.
Jennie heard the communication
with a variety of emotions. But I
think the strongest was sorrow, that
the quiet intercourse with her mother
was to be intruded on by a child too
young to be a companion for her;
being six, just half Jennie's age.
* "Who wants her here?" said
Edgar, when he heard of it. A
baby meddling with every thing, and
wanting to be waited on all the time."
"I suppose she must come," replied
Jennie, drearily. "But.I don't know
what we'll do with her; my bed is
just big enough for one; she can't
sleep there, unless she is very small,
and then I suppose she'll cry."
"Children !" said their mother,
gravely, "your cousin Agnes is mo-
therless. Let that give her a claim
on your kindness; as a visitor she will
expect to be treated with hospitality,
and as a near relative give her your
84 JEmNTE END HER MOTHER.
"Motherless!" Jennie felt a warm
place in her heart already for the
child, and she promised her mother
she would do the best she could.
It was harder to propitiate Aunt
Maria, who could not see _what "that
child" must be sent for, when there
was so much to do already; "but if
Jennie was a mind to slave herself to
death, she did'nt care."
Mrs. Morrison did feel sorry for the
added burden; but she hoped the
child would prove a sunbeam in their
path after all. Little children gene-
Jennie immediately arranged her
room for another occupant, and Mrs.
Morrison deemed it best to have
another small bed put up, as Jennie's
was really too small for two, and she
thought the little girl herself might
prefer it so. The room looked very
pretty, when its furniture was ar-
ranged. By the little bed intended
for Agnes a toilet stand, covered with
white, was set, and on one end of it
Jennie laid a neat little Bible, with an
inscription from herself on the first
leaf. She hoped her little cousin
might be able to read portions of it,
and if not, she inwardly resolved to
constitute herself her teacher.
When the evening on which they
might expect the travelers came, there
was nothing to be done but wait.
Aunt Maria had every thing in her
department perfect. A delicious sup.
per awaited them, and Jennie was in a
flutter of expectation, for such an ar-
86 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
rival was quite an event in her some-
what monotonous life.
They came, and Mr. Morrison went
out to meet them at the gate, while
Jennie and Aunt Maria stood in the
open door. Presently the two gentle-
men came up the path, carrying the
little girl; when they reached the
steps, they stood her upon them, and
then Jennie saw that she was deformed.
Little Agnes-for she was small of
her age, and was scarcely seven--
looked up at the bright, healthy
cousin before her with such an earnest,
wistful, pitiful look, that all Jennie's
sympathies were aroused, and she
kissed her affectionately, and half led,
half carried her into the hall, and
thence to the sitting-room, where
Aunt Maria undid her wrappings and
disclosed a small, childish form, with
a chest painfully contracted, but a
face of such beautifully perfect mould
that it seemed angelic, and eyes ex-
ceedingly touching in expression. It
was a face purified by suffering and
sanctified by tears.
Mr. Andrews, the father of Agnes,
was a pale, intellectual-looking man,
still quite young, but evidently much
out of health. The meeting between
him and his sister was a very affecting
one, and its effect on Mrs. Morrison
such that she had to refrain from
seeing Agnes till the next morn-
ing-perfect quiet being absolutely
Jennie was charmed with her uncle
and cousin. She had dreaded the
effect of Agnes' deformity on Edgar,
88 JENNIE AND HII MOTHER.
remembering his powers of ridicule,
but he was so absorbed in his uncle
he did not seem to notice it. At any
rate he did not justify his sister's
fears. When they retired--which
they did early, for the travelers were
tired-Agnes looked with surprise
and pleasure on her pretty portion of
the chamber, and with a sudden
graceful movement, threw her small
arms around Jennie's neck and kissed
"I love you," she said simply.
"I hope you will be happy and
contented with us," Jennie answered
sweetly. "We will all love you, and
mamma will do all she can to make
you feel at home, but you know she is
sick,"-her voice trembled-" very
"Yes," the little girl said softly,
"but I hope God will make her well
again; I want to love Auntie very
much because she is papa's own sister,
and he is going so far away. I can
stay with her a great deal, for I am
sick, too." A sudden pang of jea-
lousy disturbed for a moment Jennie's
heart, but she smothered it with a
silent prayer. Her mother should be
And when she saw the tired little
figure bowed long in earnest prayer
that night, she felt that it would be
an easy task to love the motherless
Agnes! rightly named; lamb-like
in disposition and life-early devoted
to suffering from an incurable afflic-
tion; what a wonderful warmth of
90 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
love and light she diffused in all
around her! Almost imperceptibly
she accustomed herself to share Jen-
nie's burdens, always working with a
smile or a song. To wait upon her
aunt was one of her greatest delights;
to uncomb the invalid's soft, luxuriant
hair, and with gentle, loving fingers
smooth out every tangle, or sit by the
bedside for hours, singing in a low,
sweet voice about Jesus, or to perform
any thing that conduced to her happi-
ness, was the height of her desires;
but there were days when she did not
enter the sick-room-days when her
poor, racked frame lay painfully pros-
trate on a hard board to straighten
the crooked form, and for hours she
scarcely moved a muscle, but with
slender hands crossed on the narrow,
aching chest, lay and looked up-
seeing in fancy wonderful things.
The New Jerusalem decked as a
bride, the golden streets and gates of
pearl, and the Lamb in the midst-
these were her visions as she lay and
suffered, willing, since He had ordered
it so. Every one in the house, even
to Aunt Maria, loved the uncomplain-
ing child, who seemed to converse
with angels, and who could indeed
look forward to little in this world
The Christmas presents were com-
pleted, and Agnes had contributed
her mite, done up in a small package.
Mrs. Morrison was to open and dis-
tribute them, if able. Jennie had
been busy more than a month on hers,
and it made a respectably sized parcel.
92 JENNIE AND HER MOTHER.
Aunt Maria and. Mr. Morrison had
not forgotten their share, and the
parcels tied and labeled were laid in a
drawer to await Christmas, now dis-
tant two days only. Great prepara-
tions had been made to have it a very
pleasant one. The shadow was draw-
ing near, and each one felt that ere
another Christmas it would fall, and
they be no more a united family.
Therefore they intended to commemo-
rate this one. Billy Jackson was not
forgotten; several useful and needed
articles had been put up for him, and
Jennie anticipated his delight when
Edgar should take them. But Billy's
Christmas was already planned.