Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Josey At Home
 Josey In Trouble
 Josey In The Church Tower
 Josey Adrift
 Josey Takes A Journey
 Josey In London
 Josey Makes New Friends
 Josey's Life In London
 Josey Loses A Friend
 Josey In The Hospital
 Josey No Longer Adrift
 Josey Makes A Fresh Start
 Back Cover

Title: Josey the runaway, or, Beware of bad company
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025837/00001
 Material Information
Title: Josey the runaway, or, Beware of bad company
Alternate Title: Beware of bad company
Physical Description: 171, 8 p. : ill. ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Baxter ( Binder )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
R. K. Burt & Co ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: R.K. Burt and Co.
Publication Date: c1871
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Runaway children -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Repentance -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mothers and sons -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Hunger -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
City and town life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's accidents -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1871   ( rbprov )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1871   ( rbgenr )
Baxter -- Binders' tickets (Binding) -- 1871   ( rbbin )
Genre: Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Binders' tickets (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
General Note: Date from inscription on prize plate, printed in colors.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Binder's ticket: Baxter, Binder, 49 Bartholomew Close.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025837
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232333
notis - ALH2725
oclc - 57568814
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Title Page
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Table of Contents
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Josey At Home
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Josey In Trouble
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Josey In The Church Tower
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Josey Adrift
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Josey Takes A Journey
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    Josey In London
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Josey Makes New Friends
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Josey's Life In London
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
    Josey Loses A Friend
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
    Josey In The Hospital
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Josey No Longer Adrift
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
    Josey Makes A Fresh Start
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
    Back Cover
        Page 185
        Page 186
Full Text

The Baldwin Library-UniversitySjn^Kof


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JOSEY THE JUNAWAY.CHAPTER I.JOSEY AT HOME.T was Sunday. A bright sunny after-noon in late spring, so bright andwarm one could almost call it sum-mer, excepting that everything-the hedges,and trees, and grass-looked too fresh andyoung. Nature's sweet smile that afternoonwas more like the bright sunny smile of earlybursting childhood, ere sin and sorrow haddimmed, or care tarnished, its brightness,than the riper full blown beauty of afteryears. A fresh breeze drove the plumpfleecy clouds briskly across the deep blue

8 Josey the Runaway.sky, whilst their shadows chased each othermerrily over the undulating downs; nowbathing their thymy slopes in golden light,now veiling them in purple shade; and thenoisy cawing rooks winged their homewardway to their nests in the old elm avenueleading to the Manor House.In the valley at the foot of the downslay the village, composed of a cluster ofcottages and an old grey stone church withits square tower nestling in the midst ofthem. At a little distance higher up, onthe down's sunny side, and standing apartfrom the other houses, was a neat prettylittle cottage: its low thatched roof andwhitewashed mud walls were half hiddenwith creeping roses, which were, in theirturn, nearly smothered in the trailingvine; the roses and the vine leaves strug-gling for the mastery. They both grew inwild freedom. Once they had been thepride of Joseph Deans; but he was dead,and there was no one left to prune or trainthem. Only widow Deans and her mother,called old Granny, lived there now, andJosey, Mrs. Deans's only child and son; but

yosey at Home. 9Josey was too young to be trusted with thecare of the long-loved roses and the vine.In front of the cottage was a small gar-den, its homely many-coloured flowers fill-ing the air with fragrance, and imparting alook of happy cheerfulness to the place.The garden was bounded by a low wall,and a small wooden wicket opened uponthe white chalky road.The village children, and Josey amongstthe rest, had just come out of afternoonSunday school. Their busy prattle washeard far and near, as they stood in littlegroups about the school-house door, untilthey gradually dispersed, and started off totheir several homes.Josey seemed to be the happiest amongthem, but he soon left his companions, andcame running up the road leading to hismother's cottage. Presently he reachedthe little wicket-gate, and Mrs. Deansopened the door to welcome back her boy.She was proud of Josey, proud of his learn-ing, proud of his rosy chubby cheeks,which she used to say looked like ripeapples; proud, too proud of him, thought

Io Josey the Runaway.some of her neighbours, who prophesiedthat Josey would one day bring troubleupon his mother if she let him have hisown way so much, and spoiled him as theysaid she did. Mrs. Deans heard nothingof all this; but even if she had been toldof these remarks, probably she would haveturned a deaf ear to them. She went onblindly loving Josey, faults and all, foolishlybelieving that he loved her too well to vexher, but never weighing the dangers oftemptation, or the force of example amongstidle companions; never even dreaming thather Josey could do wrong."Well, Josey," she said, as he enteredthe cottage, "what have you been learn-ing at school this afternoon ?""That we be all candles," replied Josey,taking off his cap and pushing the hairaway from his eyes whilst he threw hisbooks down on the table."All candles!" exclaimed Mrs. Deans."What do you mean, child ?""Why that we be all candles as sure asI stands here, mother. Teacher said we was.""Nonsense, Josey," said Mrs. Deans; "I


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yosey at Home. 13don't believe your teacher would have putany such rubbish into your head.""He did though," persisted Josey; "and'tisn't no rubbish neither, for 'tis out of theBible.""That I'm sure 'tisn't," said Mrs. Deans."I never once read in the Bible anythingabout our being candles.""Josey isn't far wrong, nor his teacherneither," chimed in old Granny as she satin her wooden arm-chair, peering througha pair of broad-rimmed spectacles, andgently turning over the leaves of a largeBible. "For I've got a text here, 'tis inthe second chapter of St. Paul's Epistle tothe Philippians, and fifteenth verse, whichmeans pretty much the same thing, onlyit isn't put in exactly the same words.Now just you listen: 'That ye may beblameless and harmless, the sons of God,without rebuke, in the midst of a crookedand perverse generation, among whom yeshine as lights in the world.' ""Well, but that text doesn't say we arecandles," interposed Mrs. Deans, npt likingto own herself in the wrong. /B

14 Josey the Runaway."Lights and candles are most the samethings though," replied Josey, ready tojustify his teacher. " When you don't wantthe candles any more, you talk about puttingout the lights."" Don't let's go haggling about words," saidGranny, rather impatiently ; " but let us hearwhat the teacher really did say. Where wasit you were reading about candles, Josey ? ""In the fifth chapter of St. Matthew'sGospel, at the fifteenth verse, 'Neither domen light a candle, and put it under abushel, but on a candlestick; and it givethlight unto all that are in the house.' "" There is nothing in that about our beingcandles," interrupted Mrs. Deans."No, it doesn't say so, but teacher toldus 'twas as clearly meant as though it hadsaid we were candles, because of what fol-lows in the very next verse: 'Let yourlight so shine before men, that they may seeyour good works, and glorify your Fatherwhich is in heaven.' "" Well, I can't see why we should be likecandles, at all events," said Mrs. Deans, per-versely.

yosey at Home. 15"I do, though," replied Granny; " I see itall as plain as if 'twas written down in blackand white, only I ain't a clever hand at ex-plaining anything; but it seems to me tomean somehow that as candles cast theirlight about them for the use of others, so weare to make the most of the gifts and gracesGod bestows on us, not for our own goodonly, but for the good of those around us,our neighbours and so forth.""That's it, Granny, that's it," exclaimedJosey, clapping his hands; " 'tis just whatteacher said almost word for word, only hegave us lots of the text to show us that hetook it all out of the Bible. I've got someof them marked down;" and Josey wentdiligently to work, turning over the leavesof his Bible to find them. At last he ex-claimed, "Here is one in the Proverbs:'The spirit of man is the candle of theLord' (Prov. xx. 27). And teacher told us'twas our spirit as was the candle; and hegave us all the text written down on a pieceof paper because we should not forget it.""Then how can wicked persons be can-dles?" asked Mrs. Deans."They ain't," replied Josey. "They

16 7osey the Runaway.haven't anything good about them in theirdoings for people to see; besides, it says inProverbs, so teacher told us, that the candleof the wicked shall be put out, and that'the light shall be dark in his tabernacle.'Teacher explained that asomeaning a wickedman's body, because tabernacle in the Bibleis often put to mean our body.""What your teacher,says about lettingothers see our good doings seems to me, Imust say, the least bit like bragging," in-terposed Josey's mother, "just as if we wasproud of our candle "burning so brightlywhilst other folks' candles were put out.""Proud and bragging, mother!" ex-claimed Josey, " why that's just what teachersays we must not be; for 'tisn't our lightwhich shines, but the Lord's. We can'teven set a light to our candle of ourselves,for David says in the Psalms, Thou wiltlight my candle, and the Lord is my light.' ""That's true, that's true," joined inGranny; "the Bible tells us there is nolight in us, not of our own; 'tis all borrowedfrom the true Ligt, which lighteth everyman that cometh into the world."

Yosey at Home. 17"Yes, yes," interrupted Mrs. Deans: " butJosey haven't told us what his teacher saidabout those good doings or works.""Well, he said that we were to walk aschildren of the light, which means that weare to be constantly doing some good, 'tohave our loins girded about,' so that we maybe always ready for action 'and our lightsburning.'""Ah, yes," again chimed in Granny,"like the wise virgins: their lamps or can-dles, for they both mean the same thing, Itake it, were burning; but the foolish virginshad let theirs go out, and, like the wicked,they groped about without light, they werenot waiting, as you might say, with theirloins girded.""But, Josey," said his mother, "I ain'tclear about its being right to let men see ourgood works, because it says somewhere elsethat even our own left hands should notknow what our right hands do."" Teacher made it all out as easy as A B C,because, don't you see, mother, he did nottake half a verse, as you are doing, but hejust took the whole of it, and that explained

18 yosey the Runaway.it as clear as day. 'Tisn't doing as weought, he said, to hide our good works, or tobe ashamed of being religious; but we mustlet it all be known and seen as clearly as alighted candle is seen in a dark place. Notfor the sake of pride and boasting, but thatGod may be glorified.""Very true, Josey my dear," said Granny;"that's just as it seemed to me, only ofcourse I'm no scholar, like your teacher, andtherefore I can't make people understand,as he does, what I mean. Did he say anymore about it, child ?""Yes, Granny, a deal more, only I can'tremember it all. I know he said we mustnot be content to be little candles, givingonly a faint light; but that we shouldalways have our light burning and shiningmore and more unto the perfect day.""What did he mean by that, Josey?"asked his mother."Why, that we shouldn't be standingstill doing nothing, like a pack of idle chaps,but be growing better and better every day;and he said there would be no candleswanted in heaven, because, 'there shall be

yosey at Home. 19no night there; and they need no candle,neither light of the sun; for the Lord Godgiveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.'""That's the 'perfect day,' Josey," saidGranny; "and don't you see we shan't shineeven in heaven with our own light, 'twill allbe God's light. Just the same as when thesun shines on the windows, and makes 'emall look as if they were gold, but they ain't-they are only bits of dirty glass. 'Tis thesun as turns the glass into gold."" Our Josey is a good boy isn't he, Granny,to bring home his lesson so perfect like, textsand all ? I couldn't make out at first howwe folks could be candles; but Josey has putit down so clear and pretty, and fitted it in asnice as a puzzle, that I seem quite to see itnow."" So do I, bless his young heart," repliedGranny, taking off her spectacles to wipeaway a few straggling tears; "so do I, andhe has minded his texts beautiful, a dealbetter than I could have done. Ah, mymemory is none of the brightest now, no-thing like what it was when I was young-as

20 yosey the Runaway.young as you are, Josey. I could repeathymns and whole chapters out of the Bible,and my Catechism too. I could say it rightthrough-my duty to my neighbour andall-that I could, without missing a word. Itook as much delight in my book as you do,Josey; but, remembering the words won'tdo us any good unless we act up to them.We must do what's right, and not be sittingidly at home, thinking we are better thanour neighbours, and picking holes in theircoats. 'Tis no good to be candles if wedon't keep 'em bright and burning. Ah,my candle has burnt a weary while, and 'tisa'most got down to the socket; but mind,Josey, 'tisn't everybody that is spared solong. You mustn't reckon on a long life; sodon't let your candle be dimmed now bysin, and say within your heart there will beplenty of time when I grow old to amendmy life, and make my candle burn brightly.Don't say so, Josey, for that time may nevercome. There's many a candle that doesn'tburn a quarter of its time; the young andthe strong are often cut down first. Yes, Ihave seen it myself, and yet I have seen

aosey at Home. 21many a seed-time and harvest come and go,and scores of years pass away, and still Iam left; but it mightn't be so with you,Josey: so be wise, child, and 'remembernow thy Creator in the days of thy youth.'Then shall 'thy whole body be full of light,having no part dark.' Yes, the whole shallbe full of light, as when the bright shiningof a candle doth give thee light.""Ah, yes, Granny," said Mrs. Deans, "'tisthe whole body, not part of it only, must befull of light. Do you hear that, Josey ? Ihope you've been attending to what yourGranny has been saying about the wholeof the body being full of light. The mean-ing of that is, Josey, that you must alwaysbe a good boy. It's no use to be good onlyon Sundays if you are a bad boy other daysof the week.""All right, mother," said Josey. "ButI say, Granny, ain't it most time for tea ?""The sun has nearly put out our fire,"said Mrs. Deans; "but if you run out, Josey,and bring in a bit of kindling, we shall soonhave the kettle boiling."

CHAPTER II.JOSEY IN TROUBLE.osEY thought a good deal all that even-ing about being a candle, and workedvery industriously with his Bible, find-ing out the various texts which his teacherhad given him at afternoon school. He didn'teven sleep it off, and forget all about it thenext morning, as too many boys are very aptto do; but he tried very hard to bear in mindthat he was a candle, and therefore that, ifhe wanted to keep burning and give a goodlight, he must be a good boy, both at homeand at school, and, as his mother said, week-days as well as Sundays. At first Josey goton pretty well at home, and helped hismother draw the water from the well, andin many other ways he made himself useful,

Yosey in Trouble. 23and did not once answer old Granny saucily.But he found it was quite another thing,and very difficult, to keep his candle burn-ing steadily amongst his idle companions.Every moment, at every turn of the day, apuff of wind, in the shape of some tempta-tion, seemed to threaten to blow the lightquite out. Josey was too easily led by thosearound him; besides which, he forgot thechief thing his teacher had told him, whichwas that he could not of himself keep hiscandle burning, that it was God who mustgive the light, or the candle would not burnat all. We may as well expect a lamp toburn without oil, as for anybody to be ableto serve God without his help.So, after a while, Josey began to growcareless again, and forgot about candles,and everything else that was good. Just atthis time he made friends with some of theworst and most idle boys in the village. Itvexed his mother sadly to see him alwayswith them. She did all she could to keephim away from them, and tried to persuadetie up the flowers and work in the garden;

24 7osey the Runaway.but Josey seemed to care very little now foranything but his new friends. His mothertold him she was quite sure no good wouldcome of it, but Josey would not listen to her,or, if he did listen, it was only to laugh ather word. He said they weren't bad boysat all. They only used wicked words nowand then, but he didn't, so what could itmatter, or how could they do him anyharm? In this way Josey went on forweeks-his candle still burning, but very,very dimly, very uncertainly flickering andspluttering, as if every flicker and spluttermust be the last.Mrs. Deans endeavoured to shut her eyesto the fact that Josey was not what he usedto be, but she found it very difficult to doso. Old Granny looked over her spectaclesand shook her head significantly when shenoticed how Josey hurried over his mealsand then scurried off down into the villageto join his idle companions. Mrs. Deanscould not bear Josey to be blamed or thoughtto be doing wrong, so she never even talkedto old Granny about him. But, neverthe-less, old Granny knew quite well what Mrs.

Yosey in Trouble. 25Deans really felt, for she could not be deafto her deep-drawn sighs and altered looks;besides, she never seemed to care to talk toher as she used to do, but would sit deep inthought and in silence whilst she darnedJosey's socks or mended his clothes. Itwould have been well for poor Josey had hismother exercised a mother's authority andpunished him, instead of being afraid to dis-appoint or thwart her boy. The old sayingis true, " Spare the rod and spoil the child."Things went on thus until, at last, therecame a day when the whole village wasastir with the outcry which, all too soon forher comfort, reached widow Deans's cottage,that several of the fowl-houses of the neigh-bouring farmers had been broken open andmany of the chickens stolen. The suspicionrested on Josey's idle companions; at firstthey braved it out, and talked very big,but the suspicions soon grew stronger andstronger, and proofs of their guilt werebrought so close home to them that theywere taken up and carried off to the jail inthe nearest town. When they were firstsuspected, Josey bragged loudly about theirc

26 Yosey the Runaway.innocence; but, notwithstanding his pro-fessed confidence in their honesty, oldGranny did not seem to think Josey couldlook her well in the face." I should hope Josey would believe whatyou said about those boys now they aregone to prison," observed old Granny toMrs. Deans, who had been more thanusually quiet and thoughtful that afternoon."Perhaps he may," she replied; "he'svery late home from school to-day, I hopethere's nothing amiss happened to him:"her voice trembled as she spoke, and pre-sently she added, "his bread and milk willbe quite cold if he don't come soon," andMrs. Deans pushed the basin, which shehad already carefully set on the hob, nearerthe fire." It's no more than he deserves if it iscold and spoilt," replied old Granny with asniff and a prolonged " Ah !" which meanta great deal more than was expressed. "Idare say he's idling down in the village;there are plenty of idle ones left for him tohang on to. There! I never have said sobefore, Saray, but I'll out wi' it now. If

yosey in Trouble. 27you don't punish Josey, and keep him athome, you'll have to rue the day, mark mywords you will. If he was my boy there'dbe a pretty rod in pickle for him this even-ing when he comes home."" I think, Granny, you're a bit hard uponthe poor child," replied Mrs. Deans. "Heis but a child, only twelve years old, andboys will be boys. Excepting being ratherlate for tea this evening he hasn't done any-thing really wrong.""Excuses are all very well now, Saray,but there will come a day, the day ofreckoning, when excuses won't be taken noaccount of; 'tisn't so much what he's donealready, but what he may do if he isn'tchecked betimes. But there, 'tis never anygood for we old folks to talk-'tis so muchwaste of breath; we're sure to be told wedon't know how to manage boys, that we'veforgotten we were once young ourselves,that we are fidgety and fretty, and suchlike.""Dear me, mother, I am sure:Josey neversaid anything of that sort. He's readyenough to listen to you."

28 5osey the Runaway." Oh, for the matter of that, I've nothingto say against the boy. I always was par-tic'lar partial to him, and that's what makesme speak out; but there, we won't talk anymore about it.""I was thinking, mother, I'd just godown into the village and look after Joseymyself."" Well, why don't ye? It'll be a dealbetter for ye than sitting at home andworrying; a watched pot never boils. I'llsee to Josey's bread and milk that it doesn'tget smoky, not but what I dare say he'llbe home before you return."So Mrs. Deans put on her bonnet andshawl and started off for the village.Nearly everybody was standing at theirdoors or leaning over their wicket-gatesgossiping with their neighbours over theevents of the last few days; but Mrs.Deans didn't stop, she had no spirits thatafternoon for chatting. The first personwho spoke to her was the national school-master, who was walking outside his door." Good evening, Mrs. Deans," said he," I suppose you've heard the news ? No

Yosey in Trouble. 29doubt your Josey has told you what a prettypiece of business we've had down here.""Well, yes, I have heard somethingabout it," she replied, "but not from Josey,and I'm just come down to hear the rightsof it."" The rights of it, or rather, the truth ofit, is, that three of those bad boys are goneoff to jail. It is well that they were caughtas they were, and your Josey may thinkhimself lucky to have escaped as he hasdone.""But surely Josey hasn't had anythingto do with the thieving ?" said Mrs. Deans,turning very pale and trembling like a leaf."I hope not, I hope not; but he knowsbest," replied the schoolmaster, looking im-portant and mysterious. "He was alwaysloitering about with them. You know,birds of a feather flock together. I wassure they were after no good; I said so,and my words are come true.""But about my Josey?" interruptedMrs. Deans, "what about my Josey ? Iwanted to ask you if you have seen anythingof him. He hasn't been home to tea, and

30 %osey the Runaway.Granny and I were getting a bit uneasyand fidgety."" He wasn't at afternoon school," repliedthe schoolmaster. "He was there in the.,morning, and I haven't seen him since. Idon't know anything exactly against him.I was only judging from appearances, whichcertainly were not in his favour. No, hewasn't here this afternoon, and you say hehasn't been home to tea; well, I don't sup-pose that's to be wondered at. I don't.doubt the boy is rather ashamed to show hisface now his companions are found out andtaken off to jail; their acquaintance isn'tworth boasting of just at present, I shouldthink. It's a pity Josey got to be so thickwith them; he was one of my best boysbefore that."The schoolmaster paused, and did notseem inclined to say any more; so Mrs.Deans wished him good evening and wenton her way. Nobody appeared to have seenJosey, or could give her any informationabout him. He might have been in thevillage, but none of the neighbours hadnoticed him. In fact, they were all too full

Josey in Trouble. 31of excitement and gossip to give heed toher inquiries.With a heavy heart, full of fears, sheturned round to go home; but the thoughtstruck her that she might perhaps hearsome tidings of Josey at the village shop;for she recollected when he went out shegave him some money to pay for a fewthings she told him to purchase for her.But again she was disappointed; the womanwho kept the shop said no Josey had beenthere, she was quite certain of it, for shehad been behind the counter all day. It wasquite clear there was nothing to be donebut to go back, so once more the troubledwoman turned on her heel and walked slowlytowards her home. She went round by thechurch, thinking and hoping she might findher son sitting on the churchyard railsunder the lime trees, that being a favouriteresort for boys on summer evenings. Butthis evening it was quite deserted; not avoice was heard, save the cawing of a strayedrook, or the quick short bleating of thesheep, and the hurry of tiny hoofs as theyran away from the approaching footsteps.

32 Yosey the Runaway.A bright gleam of sunshine rested on herhusband's peaceful grave, and tears startedfrom the widow's eyes as she thought of thehappy past, when he was alive, and Josey aloving little child in arms. But it was use-less now to linger over buried hopes; wouldthat she could lay her fears to rest therealso! She tried to allay them, and persuadeherself that all was well, and that she shouldcertainly find Josey safe at home, quietlyreading the evening chapter to old Granny,$as he used to do in days now past.But it is difficult to deceive oneself withvain hopes, and Mrs. Deans's worst fearswould come cropping up in all their uglyreality. So she quickened her pace and wassoon home again.The first glance into the kitchen, whenshe opened the door, too plainly told herthat no Josey had been there. The basinof bread and milk still stood untouchedon the hob; the fire was nearly burntout, and old Granny, with folded arms,was fast asleep in her arm-chair. Thesetting sun sank calmly behind the hardridge of the downs, and twilight stole

yosey in Trouble. 33quietly on; and Mrs. Deans sat at herwindow full of thoughts of Josey. Shewatched and listened, and heard the merryvoices of the children at play not far off,and hoped that Josey might be amongstthem; but the voices died away, and noJosey came. And then the room grewdusky and dark, and the stars, one by one,peeped out of the dark blue sky; and stillshe sat watching and listening, expectingevery moment Josey would return for hissupper. And then old Granny awoke, andsupper-time came, and Mrs. Deans pokedup the fire, and spread the cloth, and placedthe food on the table. She sighed as sheput Josey's knife and plate, and his ownespecial little mug, which he had bought outof his small savings, in his own old place.No doubt, she said, he would be very hungrywhen he came home. But supper was begunand ended, and still no Josey came.Then old Granny took down the well-worn green-baize-covered Bible from theshelf, and read the evening chapter; andsoon the clock struck ten, and Granny gaveover reading, for her eyes grew dim with

34 yosey the Runaway.tears, and heavy with sleep, and she took offher glasses and wiped them, and put themsafely away in her pocket." It's quite time to go to bed," she said,as she closed the Bible, and handed it toMrs. Deans to put it back in its place; "'tislate, and I don't suppose Josey will comenow. I dare say he has followed the boysinto the town, and somebody may have takenhim in and given him a bed."" I wish it may be so," replied Mrs. Deans,doubtfully, "but I can't help thinkingthere's something gone wrong with poorJosey. If you're tired we'd better go tobed, but I won't fasten up. I'll leave thedoor on the latch. I shouldn't like the poorboy to come home, even ever so late, andfind his own mother's door shut against him.May be, after what's happened, he's ashamedto be seen. Perhaps he'll come by-and-by,when the moon is gone down, and there'snobody about. Oh dear! oh dear! to thinkof our Josey being ashamed of daylight!Who would have thought he would havecome to that ? It's enough to raise his poorfather from his grave-he who was so honest

yosey in Trouble. 35and upright, and was never afraid to lookany body straight in the face." And Mrs.Deans wrung her hands in an agony of grief.Presently the two sorrowing women wentto bed, leaving a light burning in the win-dow for the wanderer's guidance and encou-ragement; old Granny slept fast and sound,but Mrs. Deans still watched and listened,not hearing anything except the ticking ofthe old clock on the stairs, and the distantbarking of some house dog. At last, wearyand worn out, she too fell asleep, but not torest, for her heart still waked and wept.Just before the dawn she awoke, dressedherself, and then stole quietly down-stairs,half hoping and almost expecting to findJosey. But there were no signs of hisreturn; everything was exactly as she hadleft it the night before. The kitchen lookedvery doleful and desolate, and the cold greymorning light scarcely as yet entered throughthe lattice window. Very gently Mrs. Deansopened the cottage door, and went out intothe little garden. The flowers smelt verysweetly, and, in spite of her trouble, shepaused a moment to look at their pretty

36 yosey the Runaway.dew-washed blossoms, and then she leanedher arms on the low wall and looked wist-fully up and down the road and on to thevillage. The village lay quiet and still inthe valley. Nobody was astir. Not even acurl of blue smoke arose from any of thechimneys. Not a sound broke the stillnessof the scene, excepting the distant but cleartinkling of the sheep-bell from the flocksfeeding on the downs.The sun arose, but no Josey came; andthe day passed heavily away, for the mothercould hear nothing of her missing boy.Night came again, but it brought with it nonews of Josey. Again she left the door onthe latch-again she lighted the beaconcandle; but still no Josey came!4 -4

CHAPTER III.JOSEY IN THE CHURCH TOWER.EEKS and months passed away, andJoseynevercame. Mrs. Deans's friendsand neighbours tried to console herwith the conclusion at which they had allarrived-that, no doubt, Josey had run awayto the nearest seaport, and had gone to sea insome ship. Poorwoman! she was in a dreadfulstate when she heard this, for she had neverdreamed of Josey going away in a ship,perhaps to some outlandish place far, faraway. The clergyman of the village madeevery inquiry at the neighbouring seaports,but not the slightest trace of any boy an-swering to Josey's description could be dis-covered. He wrote also many letters indifferent directions, and did his utmost tofind some clue to Josey's whereabouts, andD

38 yosey the Runaway.even went so far as to have the riverdragged; but every effort failed, andJosey's fate remained enveloped in deepmystery. The pride and joy of his poormother's life was gone. She still worked onand on in order to earn a scanty living, butshe went about it heavily, in sorrow andsilence, as if she were walking in her sleep;it was scarcely living, but rather draggingon a miserable existence. Often would oldGranny try to cheer her with the hope thatsome day Josey would come back. It wastrue there was room for hope; it was quitepossible for him to return; but to poor Mrs.Deans it seemed hoping against hope, andyet she always kept the door on the latch,and if a shadow fell across the window, shewould start and tremble, fancying it mightbe Josey's shadow; but Josey did not returnhome.Meanwhile let us follow Josey, and seewhat had really befallen him. We mustretrace our steps. It was an evil 'day forpoor Josey when those bad boys first crossedhis path. There-were three of them: weneed not care to name them, for they will

Yosey in the Church Tower. 39have nothing more to do with our story.They were about fourteen or fifteen years ofage, all older than Josey. When first hefell in with them, he thought it very grandto be noticed by such big boys; and yet inhis heart he did not like them; he was nothappy or comfortable when he heard theround oaths rolling out of their mouths, orlistened to their bad wicked words, and hewondered what his mother and old Grannywould say if they were to hear all the boystalked about. They even endeavoured tolaugh him out of going to public worshipand Sunday school, and tried hard to per-suade him that playing at pitch-and-tossand hop-scotch was much better fun thanreading the Bible and saying hymns. Forsome time Josey resisted their solicitations,and overcame the temptation.It was just before this that he learned fromhis teacher all about being a candle, as thereader has already been told. But, after atime,hebecame so accustomed to theirbad languagethat he scarcely noticed it, and so hardenedto the sound of the oaths that they no longershocked him. And he began to think that

40 yosey the Runaway.after all the boys were right-going to aplace of worship and to school was very welland proper for women and children, but notfor men and boys, who had something elseto do. He told his mother so one Sunday,when she bade him get ready for morn-ing service; but she gave him a good boxon the ear, and said if he did not go heshould go to bed instead. Whenever hewent with old Granny she always made himwalk into church before her; for one Sunday,when her back was turned to go into theporch, he slipped away and never came tothe service at all. This vexed Granny verymuch, for, as she used to say, "a Sundaywell spent brings a week of content."She did her best to control his wanderingsteps; but when once the foot slips it is verydifficult to hold the ground. At first youfall slowly, perhaps almost imperceptibly,then faster and faster, and faster still, untilyou can fall no lower! So ignorance runsinto folly-folly into vice-and vice intoruin, both of body and soul. It was just thecase with Josey; one false step, and thenanother and another, and so on to his ruin;

yosey in the Church Tower. 41and all through the evil influence and badexample of wicked companions.SJosey knew full well he was doing wrong;but having once given himself up to walk intheir paths, he seemed as if he had no poweror courage to tear himself away from theirclutches. Then at last came the chicken steal-ing. Josey was not actually one of thethieves;he could not be, for his mother would neverlet him go out after dark if she could helpit; but he had consented and listened totheir plans, and had even promised to lendthem one of his mother's potato sacks, tohold the chickens which they purposed tosteal the very night which followed the daythey were taken up.Josey's conscience was very uneasy whenit actually came to stealing; but the boyslaughed at his scruples, and said he'd nevermake a man if he was such a coward, anda molly, and so Josey's conscience wastalked down. But be sure sin is misery,and so Josey found it. He did not feelhalf so happy as he used to do; indeed, hefelt very unhappy, do whatever he would;whistle, laugh, or sing, at play with his

42 y.oscy the Runaway.idle companions, or at work with hismother, he could not manage to be happy.The boys tried to make him believe noevil would come of it all, but evil did come;and very quickly too. So the serpent,when he tempted Eve to disobey God,whispered persuasively into her ears, "Thoushalt not surely die." Nevertheless she diddie, as God had told her she should, and notonly died herself, but brought death uponall mankind. So the devil proved himselfto be the father of lies, for out of his mouthcame the first lie that was ever uttered.And so Josey allowed himself to be de-ceived and led astray by the falsehoods andbad example of his worthless companions.The chickens were stolen and sold, andthe profits divided amongst the boys, whotook very good care to give none to Josey;but they promised he should come in for ashare if he would provide them with thepotato sack. All seemed to prosper andgo well, for no one could discover theculprits, until at last the footprints of oneof the three boys were tracked from one ofthe fowl-houses which had been broken open

Josey in the Czhrch Tower. 43,to his own home. In that way the wholetruth came to light, and, as we have seen,it ended in the boys being taken up andcarried off to prison.When Josey heard this, and actually sawthe boys handcuffed and driven away in acart between two policemen, he began to behorribly frightened lest they should comeagain and take him off as well. And Joseydid not know what to do. The thought ofjail, with dry bread and the treadmill, andhe could not tell how many other horrors,was too terrible to be endured; so he madeup his mind he must hide himself some-where, but where he could do so effectuallydid not appear at all clear. There was hismother's wood-house, he could get behindthe large faggots which she used for heat-ing the oven; but, after all, he would easilybe found there, and yet he could not thinkof any other place. Josey was sorelypuzzled.At last he remembered the old churchtower. That would do famously: he knew hisway up the crazy staircase; but nobody, hefeltlure, would ever dream of searching for

44 yosey the Runaway.him there. The church door he knew wasalways open. It was a sort of custom ofthe old sexton to leave it unfastened, itaired the church, and then if folks wantedto see the interior, they could without anyfurther trouble. So whilst half the villagewas following the culprits along the road ontheir way to the county jail, and the otherhalf was busy gossiping-far too busy tonotice Josey-he, instead of going home totea as he ought to have done, made hisescape unseen to the churchyard. It wasall right-no sexton, nobody reading thenames and ages on the tombstones; but hisheart beat very quickly until he was quitesure the old sexton was not sitting insidethe large wooden porch, and that the doorwas unlocked as usual. However, it stillwas all well-the porch was empty, andthe doors were wide open. As Joseywalked beneath the porch which he had somany times entered with his mother andold Granny, he felt very grave-as grave asif it were Sunday, and he was going to aSunday service, only he was not dressed inhis best clothes, and he was not nearly as

Yosey in the Church Tower. 45happy as he used to be then. However, hewalked in and shut the door behind him;he thought it would be safest to do so. Ifthe old sexton came he would only imaginethe wind had blown it to.Josey felt rather queer when he foundhimself alone in the church. It looked deso-late with all the empty pews; and the light,as it came struggling through the oldlatticed windows, half-smothered with cob-webs and ivy, was so dim and dusky. Themonuments, too, as they stood out silentlyfrom the walls, seemed to look down re-"proachfully upon him, especially those twoquaint old stone figures far up in thechancel, which had knelt opposite to eachother with clasped hands for hundreds ofyears, and looked as if they would remainthere for ever and never grow weary.And then Josey's hob-nailed shoes echoedso loudly, as he walked along the paved aisles,that he fancied somebody must be follow-ing him. He looked over his shoulder twoor three times to be quite sure no one wasbehind him. The very stillness of the placewas oppressive and dismal. Josey didn't

46 osey the Runaway.half like it, and he shivered all over, forthe air was damp and chilly. When hereached the door leading to the tower, heopened it and peeped in; he thought itlooked very dark and dreary; then helooked up into the tower, and it seemeddarker still. But it could not be helped,anything was preferable to going to prisonand being handcuffed; besides, even if hehad wished it, he could not remain in thechurch, the old sexton would be sure tocome in and find him. So he scrambled upthe rickety tumble-down staircase: whenhe arrived at the top there was a sort ofsmall room or landing. It was rather morecheerful here, and not nearly so dark, for aray of sunlight strayed in through one ofthe narrow loopholes in the tower; still itwas very cobwebby and dirty, and everytime he moved he was almost smothered ina cloud of dust.Josey shuddered when he turned his eyesup into the belfry, and saw the large hollowbells hanging over his head, with their longtongues, looking as if they were ready tocome down and cover him up: and the thick

yosey in the Church Tower. 47ugly ropes which hung from the bells shooksolemnly in the wind which blew through theloopholes. Josey's heart began to beat, forhe fancied the old sexton must be downbelow, and was going to ring the bells; butthey only went on shivering and shaking, asthey had done for many a long year, onlyJosey had never been there to watch them.There were a few worn-out hassocks inone corner, with their stuffing of straw halfin and half out, and the faded old greenbaize covers were nearly eaten away by timeand moth,-they had been thrown aside asuseless. Josey thought he could make some-thing of a seat out of them; so he piledthem up as well as he could, and sat down;but he could not rest, it was so terriblydismal and stupid to sit still doing nothingup in the solemn old tower. So he got upagain, and set to work, and put one uponthe other, and made them as high as pos-sible, and then he got on the top of them,and just managed in this manner, and bytip-toeing, to get a peep through one of theloopholes. There was one in each side ofthe tower, and he looked out over the

48 Yosey the Runaway.chimneys, and down upon the roofs, andinto the gardens, and thought how verystrange everything appeared.After he was tired of gazing on blackenedchimney pots, and moss-grown thatch roofs,his eyes wandered farther away over thesoft green downs, and then it rested on hismother's cottage Iow he wished he wasthere His first impulse was to run downthe stairs, and out of the church, and throughthe village, to his home. But then camethoughts of the dreaded jail and all itshorrors, and he remained where he was.What days and months of agony he wouldhave spared his mother, had he gone home;but, like many other boys, he never thoughtof the consequences of his conduct, neverdreamed of a mother's broken heart.It must have been just about the sametime that Mrs. Deans came and searched forJosey in the churchyard. Josey heard thevery bleating of the sheep, and the noise oftheir tiny hoofs as they ran across thegraves, or down the gravel paths, frightenedaway by her footsteps. How little did sheguess her Josey was up in the old tower,

Josey in the Church Tower. 49under the weather vane! Thoughts of nicehot bread-and-milk, well sweetened, whenhe was a good boy, came crowding intoJosey's mind, as he heard the clock in thetower strike six, one long hour over theaccustomed time for tea! It was well forJosey that he was not half-starved; but for-tunately it happened that, just before hemade up his mind that he must hide himselfaway, he had been to the baker's to buy aloaf of bread for his mother; so he took outhis pocket-knife, and cut off a nice crispcrust. Somehow or other he did not relishit, or eat with an appetite; every mouthfulhe took seemed to stick in his throat, and hefelt as if he could not swallow; and there hewas jumping up every minute, just to lookthrough that one particular loophole fromwhich he could see his home. No wonderJosey could neither eat nor swallow. Butwhat has Josey fixed his eyes upon soearnestly in that corner ? Surely there isnothing to be seen in the heap of dust andrubbish! and yet he has never moved hiseyes, and he turns pale, and his heart beats.He sees a small end of a tallow candle, burntE

50 yosey the Runaway.down too low to be of any use, and thrownaway on the dust-heap. It is nothing initself, but it reminds Josey of those happydays w hen he used to think he might be acandle, and hoped to be a brightly burningone too! But now it might be said of him,"the light of a candle shall shine no moreat all in him." Again he felt inclined torush straight home, but he dared not; heremembered the stolen chickens, and thethought of jail, his well-deserved punish-ment, was too fresh in his memory.Soon it grew nearly dark, and the'weathervane creaked and groaned as it swung to andfro above his head, and the jackdaws, withharsh voice and shrill, cawed mournfully asthey wheeled round and round the tower,before settling in their nests for the night.Josey crouched down on the floor, allamongst the dust and dirt, and buried hisface in the worn-out hassocks, and cried asif his heart must break. How he wishednow, when it was too late, that he hadlistened to his mother and old Granny,instead of those bad boys. He would giveanything now if he had never known them.

Yosey in the Church Tower. 51They promised very fairly, and their wordssounded very big and grand; but wherewere his companions at that moment ? wherewere their promises? and where was he?Their lies, as all lies do, punished them-selves.Poor Josey cried for some time, and itgrew darker and more dismal, and Joseyfelt horridly desolate up in his crazy hiding-place. By-and-by the moon arose. Joseywatched it out of the loophole, and oncemore saw his own old home quietly resting onits shadow. Then a pale moonbeam streamedin through the narrow loophole, and madehis retreat look more grim and wretchedthan ever; it fell on the floor, and creptslowly across the old worm-eaten boards,and up the walls, and travelled round thetower, until it reached the farthest corner,and rested on the candle end! Oh, that bitof tallow candle! it quite haunted him, as ifto recall his better feelings, and to reproachhim for his past conduct.Josey was glad when the moonlight diedaway. He would take one more peep throughthe loophole, and then he would try to sleep.

52 Josey the Runaway.So he looked out, and caught sight of thelight in the kitchen window of his home.It was but small and uncertain; it flickeredand twinkled like a mimic star. But whywas it there at all? " Mother always shutsup long before this," thought Josey; andhe looked and looked again. It did notmove, but twinkled on, a little lonely beacon-light to guide the wanderer's steps andbeckon him home. " Was his mother think-ing of him? " and Josey sank down againon the floor, once more buried his face inthe hassocks, and wept very bitter tears.It would have been well had Josey's tears ledhim to true sorrow for what he had done:fear of punishment is not repentance. Re-pentance is not only sorrow for sin, it ischange of life, thinking anew. Before Josey'stears had dried up, or the last sob died away,he fell asleep.-^<gP&a--

CHAPTER IV.JOSEY ADRIFT.HEN Josey awoke, the day was justbeginning to dawn. His sleep hadbeen troubled with dreams-uglydreams of half-dead chicken, of chickenthat would not die. He dreamed his pil-low was a sack stuffed with fowls of allkinds, and they made so much noise thathe felt terribly afraid the old sexton wouldhear them and come up to see what wasthe matter. He tried very hard to stifletheir cries, but the more he tried thelouder the cocks crowed: cock-a-doo-dle-doo! cock-a-doo-dle-doo! and the henswent cluck! cluck! cluck! as loud asthey could; arid the cocks and the henswere all plucked, with their livers and

54 Yosey the Runaway.gizzards tucked under their wings, andlooked exactly as they did the morning theboys took them off for sale at the next town.Then Josey dreamed he heard the clankand jangle of chains and handcuffs, that itwas pitch dark, he could not see any person;but the rattling noise grew louder and louder,and came closer and closer. He thought hetried tolight the end of the candle, but it wouldnot burn, or only burned for a moment, andthen he thought he saw those three wickedboys run up the old stairs in the tower andblow it out! And then he dreamed thatthe old sexton, with his pinched sallow face,came slowly into the belfry where he was,and shook his long cane at him, just as heused to do if he did not behave well inchurch. Josey was just going to beg hispardon, and ask him to forgive him, whenthe old sexton took hold of one of the bell-ropes, and the bell fell down and Josey wasburied beneath it, just as easily as you wouldput an extinguisher over a candle! Withthis Josey awoke, and found that one of thehassocks which he had piled up had tumbleddown on his head.

yosey Adrift. 55With these terrible dreams fresh in hismemory, Josey sprang up from the floor,fully determined that he could not stay anylonger in that dismal old tower. Come whatwould, he must go. It was very early, thejackdaws even were scarcely stirring; noone would be about, it was exactly the timefor him to escape. One more long, lovinglook through the loophole, and he wouldstart. It must have been just the time hismother was leaning on the low garden wallwondering where her Josey was.With streaming eyes and bursting heart,his legs trembling beneath him, Joseyscrambled down the rickety stairs. Hedid not forget to tuck the remains of theloaf under his jacket, and he was very soonat the church door. What if the old sextonhad been there and locked it! He had not,however; for he, like all his neighbours, hadbeen too busy the day before with other peo-ple's business to mind his own, so he forgotto lock the church door. The keys were onthe old wooden bench in the porch, wherehe was sitting sunning himself when thehue and cry about the boys being appre-

56 Yosey the Runaway.hended attracted his attention, and hehobbled off, leaving his keys behind him.Josey ran across the churchyard as fast ashis legs would carry him, tumbling overgraves and footstones, through the littlewicket gate down the meadows, never evenstopping to,take breath until he reached thebanks of the river, which flowed like abright shining silver ribbon along thevalley. Josey cared for nothing but to getas quickly as possible beyond the shadow ofthat old church tower, the very remem-brance of which, with his ugly dreams,seemed too terrible for him to endure. Hepreferred going down by the meadows, be-cause they led him away from the village,and out of the sight of houses. But he hadnot the slightest idea where he was going,or what would become of him.Off Josey went at a long, swinging trot,not looking to the right hand nor to theleft, but keeping close to the river, and fol-lowing its course. By mid-day he had gonea long way, and was far from his home andhis mother and old Granny. And the sunshone very brightly, and made it very hot,

yosey Adrift. 57and Josey grew weary and tired; so he satdown under the shadow of an overhangingtree and ate a good hunch of bread; for therunning and walking made him feel veryhungry. After he had finished his meal,and had rested for some time, and wasrevived, he began to think. But thinkingto Josey, just at that moment, was very un-pleasant; for, do what he would, his thoughtsalways returned to the happy home he hadso foolishly sacrificed. And then his con-science began to talk pretty freely to him,and told him what a wicked boy he hadbeen; and he wondered if his mother wassorry, and what she thought of his absence.And, for the moment, the remembrance ofhis mother melted his heart. Again he wasalmost ready to go home and confess his fault.Josey was treading the dangerous narrowborder-land between right and wrong; therewas a struggle between his conscience andthe fears of punishment. Once more con-science was silenced, and the narrow border-land crossed. He knew what was right,and yet came to the determination of pur-suing what was wrong. There is nothing

58 Josey the Runaway.so difficult as to retrace a false step, nothingso easy as to make one.And now, having made up his mind notto return home, he began to think andwonder what would become of him, andwhere he was to go. It was quite clear hecould not live in the fields, wandering aboutdoing nothing; as it was, his loaf was nearlyeaten up. All at once it struck him that hehad heard those bad boys, his tempters, talka great deal about London, and what extra-ordinary things might be done and gainedthere. They had evidently looked uponLondon as a sort of goal which every one ofthem wished to reach. The profits theyexpected to receive from the sale of thestolen chickens. were to be set aside andsaved to pay their way up to London.When once there, they would be certain toget on and work wonders; indeed, so loudlydid they talk of all that was to be achievedin London, that Josey almost fancied it mustrain money there, and that the streets werepaved with gold." What should prevent me from going toLondon now ?" thought Josey. Nothing,

Josey Adrift. 59And he became quite bright and excited atthe idea. He would go and make lots ofmoney, and he should very soon be able toreturn home with a watch in his pocket, andnice new clothes, and presents for both hismother and old Granny; and Josey clappedhis hands with delight, and almost fanciedhe was at home once more, and quite agrown-up man. Poor Josey! he had for-gotten all his troubles, and expected to findlife all brightness, with flowers in spring,and fruit in autumn-that summer was allsunshine, and winter, hard, cruel winter far,far away.And so Josey settled that to London hewould go; but how to get there he did notquite know; and yet he had a sort of vagueidea that if he only kept walking, and wentstraight ahead, he should be sure to findhimself there at last. A little more rest, alittle more enjoyment of the tree's deliciouscool shade, and he would be off in goodearnest, on his road to London. So Joseysat on the bank throwing pebbles into theriver to make ducks and drakes, or watchingthe fish jump up to the surface of the water,

60 7osey the Runaway.either to catch the insects as they floatedalong, or the bread crumbs which he threwin for their especial benefit.In this manner he amused himself for along time, until the day began to wane, anddark clouds came over the bright, blue sky,and he thought it best to move onwards.He walked leisurely now, for he was prettywell tired with the distance he had alreadytraversed. But, by-and-by, the threaten-ing clouds burst over his head in a hardshower, and the rain came hissing downwith furious haste. There was no shelternear him in the shape of trees or bushes, sohe ran on as fast as he could to a bridgewhich he saw at a little distance, and hecrept under the arch, where there happenedto be a footpath, and crouched down forshelter from the storm. The wind rushedwildly through the hollow arch. He pulledhis jacket collar over his ears, and drew downhis cap over his eyes; for it lightened, andthe flashes were sharp and bright, and thethunder sounded as if it were somethingvery, very heavy rolling over' the bridgeabove his head.

Josey Adrift. 6rJosey wished he were at home again; hefancied he had never before heard such loudthunder, or seen such strong lightning. Heused to like to look at the flashes from thekitchen window, as they played behind thechurch tower; and then he thought therewas something grand in the claps of thunderas they seemed to roll and echo from down todown; but now he stuffed his fingers intohis ears, and covered his eyes, that hemight neither see the lightning nor hearthe thunder. So it is that " conscience dothmake cowards of us all."After a little time the storm passed off,and the stars peeped out. Josey thought itwould be best to spend the night where hewas, for he knew of no other shelter; butthe dark arch over his head, with the deepblack river flowing beneath his feet, wasbut a sad and sorry and dismal place to stayin. He was weary and worn, and yet verywakeful. How could he sleep in such a spot ?He might have fallen into the water. Be-sides, every object around him lookedhideous; the very clouds, as they sailed acrossthe dark sky, looked like unearthly monsters,F

62 Yosey the Runaway.and the trees and bushes seemed to formthemselves into ugly shapes. Then theutter silence weighed upon him like a bur-den: the gurgling of the water, as it flowedgently beneath the bridge, was all thesound he heard. Josey hoped London wasnot very far off, and that he should be ableto get there on the morrow; for sleepingunder the bridge was not pleasanter thansleeping up in the old tower-at least so hethought.Well, the long hours passed slowly away,and just before it grew light again, Joseyheard a distant kind of pant, pant, puff,puff, and then .a prolonged shrill, sharpwhistle. The sounds came nearer andnearer, and then grew fainter and fainter,until they died away altogether. Of coursethey proceeded from a railway train, and theidea struck Josey how nice it would be ifthe train would take him to London. Butrailway trains will not carry people fornothing, and who would give him themoney ? He put his hands in his pockets tofeel if he had anything that they would takeinstead of money, or that he could sell, and

Josey Adrift. 63in that way raise the necessary sum. But,search and hunt as he would, he could findnothing but an old knife with one blade,and his peg-top, both utterly valueless: hewell remembered spending his last pennyupon whipcord for his top.And yet there is something jingling in hispocket. What can it be ? An old bent brassbutton he picked up on the downs. Butstop; there is something else; and Joseysearches his pocket again. It is neitherknife, peg-top, nor button which lurks in onecorner; it is money, and silver money too,and heavy; it is half-a-crown! The veryhalf-crown his mother gave him to pay forthe tea and sugar she told him to buy at theshop. The change he was to take home toher; but in the bustle and hurry and scurryof that afternoon he had forgotten all aboutit, and never went to the shop, and neverwent home!Josey felt very rich-richer than he hadever been in his life. His mother would missthe money, and perhaps be very angry withhim; but it could not be helped, it was toolate now to be sorry; he would repay her one

64 Yosey the Runaway.day, and not only so, he would give hertwice as much when he had made lots ofmoney. But now he could spend it ingoing to London by the train; there couldbe no harm in that, it was only like borrow-ing it of his mother. Thus he tried to quiethis conscience.Josey did not lose any time, but ate upthe remains of his loaf, and directly it waslight, started off to find out which way thetrain went. He looked about, and presentlyhe caught sight of the tall telegraph posts,with their lines upon lines of wire. He wasall right, there was the railroad safe enough;and he jumped over a gate, and ran acrosssome fields, and very soon reached a smallstation. Josey was rather frightened, though,when he got there, for the porter looked somuch like a policeman-at least Josey, withhis uneasy conscience, thought he did.The porter stared at him a good deal, andno doubt wondered in his own mind how ithappened that such a small boy should begoing to London all alone, without even abundle. Very likely he would have endea-voured to satisfy his curiosity on this point,

Yosey Adrift. 65and would probably have put very awkwardquestions, which Josey would have foundvery difficult to answer; but, luckily forhim, the porter was expecting the "uptrain" every minute, and had no time towaste upon the boy. However, he got himhisthird-class ticket, and gave him a drink ofwater, for he was very thirsty. Josey hadscarcely ever seen a train quite close, andhad never travelled in one, and his heartbeat and throbbed terribly when he actuallycaught sight of his train-the train that wasto carry him up to London-tearing alongthe line, whistling and screeching andscreaming, the engine puffing and smokingand hissing and heaving as if for breath.Then it stopped, and almost before hecould look round, quite before he couldcollect his senses, Josey found himselfclambering into a large wooden kind of van,full of men, women, and children. A pushfrom the porter sent him sprawling, headforemost, amongst the people; the door wasslammed, the bell rang, then there was ajolt and a jar, and the train whizzed offas fast as ever, carrying Josey along with it.

CHAPTER V.JOSEY TAKES A JOURNEY.T first Josey did not know what tothink of it. The train went so fast,and the carriage shook so violently,that he began to feel dreadfully frightened,and he held on to the wooden seat withboth his hands as tightly as he possiblycould, for he felt every minute as if hemust be thrown into the lap of his oppositeneighbour. But after a time he grew moreaccustomed to the kind of thing, and seeingthat everybody else was very calm, and inno way alarmed, he was able to breathe alittle more freely, and to relax in somedegree his firm grasp of the seat. Thetunnels, with their damp green, slimy walls,appeared to him very horrible; and the

Yosey takes a 7ourney. 67darkness, and the noise, and the screechingof the engine as it rushed through, addeddoubly to its terrors; and Josey heartilywished he had never left his home, neverheard of London; but the very whistle, asit screamed louder and louder, seemed tomock his regrets, and to say, "Too late!too late !"At last he ventured to look out of thewindow. How fast everything flashedpast! Trees, hedges, houses, telegraphposts, flitted before his eyes, exactly as ifthey were running away from the train, orwere all going on some hasty errand andhad not a moment to spare. Josey sawpretty meadows full of nodding wild flowers,which reminded him of his home; theyseemed to smile kindly on him, like oldfamiliar faces, as he gazed fondly on them;and he saw happy children climbing upgates close to their own homes watchingfor the train, and laughing and hurrahingas it hurried by. How he envied thosemerry boys and girls! He saw motherswith babies in their arms standing at theircottage doors, and old women leaning on

68 Yosey the Runaway.their sticks, reminding him of old Granny.Perhaps at that very moment his ownmother was standing at her cottage door,not watching and waiting for the train tocome, but watching and waiting for herJosey to return !There was a good deal of talking andlaughing amongst his fellow-passengers,but no one spoke to him or took any noticeof him. It was not likely anybody shouldtrouble their heads about the poor solitarylittle boy who sat squeezed up in onecorner. None knew that his full heart wasready to burst, or his tears to gush in tor-rents from his eyes. No human beingcould scan his inmost thoughts or read hispricking conscience. But there was Oneabove who could interpret every sigh andlisten to every whisper of his conscience.He knew all about poor Josey's sin andsorrow. He was waiting to be gracious,had Josey only turned to Him in true sor-row and contrition.The first time the train stopped Joseyasked the woman who sat next to him if itwas London. A gruff "No," was all the

yosey takes a Journey. 69reply he could gain from her; but a morecommunicative person sitting nearly oppo-site to him exclaimed, as if she thoughtevery man, woman, and child ought toknow London, "Bless the child, how stupidye are can't ye see 'tisn't London ?" " Can'tye read ? " said a man, half-asleep, pointingto a large board on which the name of thestation was posted. You may be quite sureJosey did not venture to ask any morequestions, but stuffed his hands into hispockets, wishing himself anywhere butwhere he was, and hoping and trusting thatwhen the train did stop at London therewould be somebody kind enough to tellhim. ie kept a very sharp look-out, fullyexpecting to see "London" written ingreat black letters on a white board. Butspell as he would, he could not read any-thing a bit like London.At last the face of the whole countrychanged. All the pretty fresh green fieldsdisappeared, and instead, Josey saw nothingbut large tracts of land planted with allkinds of, vegetables. Next came a forest oftall gaunt chimneys, reminding him very

70 oosey the Runaway.much of so many towers of Babel, onlythey all sent forth thick columns of theblackest smoke; curl after curl up it came,till Josey fancied all the chimneys were onfire. After this, as the train went on, Joseylooked down on rows of dirty, miserablehouses, high and narrow, looking as deso-late and dilapidated, with their brokenwindow panes, as if deserted; and yetcrowds of people lived in them, and wretch-edly dirty, half-fed, half-clothed childrenwere hanging out of every window. Joseymistook them for beggars and gipsies, andwondered why they were all gathered to-gether in one place. And then the numberof chimneys seemed to be multiplied overand over again, and the dirty houses clus-tered thicker and thicker, and everythingin the shape of bush or hedge vanished,and then chimneys, houses, and children,and everything else, were half lost in smoke,and Josey could see nothing distinctly; andhe wondered what had happened, or wherethey were going, when the woman who satopposite to him, and had before accusedhim of stupidity, said to him, nodding her

Yosey takes a 7ourney. 71head and pointing her thumb in the direc-tion of the window, " This yer is Lon'on."Impossible thought Josey. Could such ahorrible, dirty, black place be the London ofwhich he had dreamed such bright andglowing things ? He could not believe it,and began to fancy the woman must behoaxing him. He had, however, no timefor discussing the matter in his own mind,for the people in the carriage were all on themove, collecting their goods and chattels,shawls, band-boxes, bundles, umbrellas, andbaskets, and no end of odds and ends, andwere busily tying them up together to makeas few packages as possible. Josey hadnothing to do but to sit still, with his handsin his pockets. Then the sound of "Tickets,if you please," set everybody hunting fortheir tickets, and made still more confusion;for some had lost them, others had forgottenwhere they had placed them for extra safety.Josey had held his tightly in his hand allthe way-the porter had told him to do so.The train went on a little farther, andstopped again. Then all was all hurry andscurry, and going to and fro. Eyery one

72 losey the Runaway.running up against everybody. Porterswith boxes forcing their way, perfectlyregardless of people's heads. Poor Josey wasjostled and elbowed about, until he scarcelyknew whether he was on his head or hisheels, and the crowd twisted him round andround, and made him fancy himself like aspinning top. What to do, or where to go,he knew not; he was a waif and a stray,driven hither and thither by a swaying tideof human beings. He seemed to get ineverybody's way. At last the people droveoff with their luggage, in cabs and omni-buses, and the crowd subsided, leaving onlyJosey and the porters on the platform." Holloa " exclaimed one of them, fling-ing down his barrow and raising his cap tocool his head after his exertions, and at thesame time approaching Josey-" holloa!here's summat left behind, by the looks of it.Where be you directed to, young un ? "" I dun' know," replied Josey, looking uptimidly into the porter's face."Dun' know? " said he, "that's a badlook-o't, at all events; but I expect youknow where you come from, don't ye ?"

yosey takes a Journey. 73"No I don't," replied Josey. He thoughtthe porter alluded to the name of the stationfrom which he started. It was a strangeplace to him, and he never once thought ofasking the name of it before he left."Don't know where you came from, orwhere you are going! That's as queer a bitof business as ever I heard tell of; and ain'tye got no friends anywhere handy ?"ALOKE IN LONDON."No," replied Josey. It was all he couldmanage to utter, he felt so very sad, andalmost as though he were choked.G

74 yosey the Runaway." But you've got some somewhere, haven'tye ? " asked the porter kindly." Yes," said Josey with an effort, " I'vegot mother and old Granny; and I had afather once, only he's been dead for ever solong." Josey felt dreadfully afraid theporter would go on questioning him, andfind out all about the chicken stealing, andperhaps hand him over to a policeman, buthe did not. The porter was used to mother-less, and fatherless, and friendless boys." Then I suspects they've sent ye up hereto get yer own livin', just as if we hadn'tmore casuals than we knows exactly what todo with already. By the looks of 'em youhaven't got too much in yer pockets.""I've got my knife and a peg-top," re-plied Josey, thrusting his hands deep downinto his trousers pockets, to bring them outto show the porter."Bless the boy! " he exclaimed, "youdon't mean to say you're going to beginlife with nothing better than a peg-top andan old knife ? ""I haven't got any money," said Josey."I spent all that mother gave me, coming

Yosey takes a 7ourney. 75up here to-day." Josey did not feel quitecomfortable as he uttered the word " gave,"for he was not sure that he was speakingexactly the truth."You wouldn't object then, I suspects, tohaving a fo'penny-bit, if I was to give ityou ? " asked the porter.Josey's face brightened up, and his eyesglistened as he held out his hand, and theman dropped the little coin into it, "Andlook'ee," said he, pointing to a road leadingfrom the station, " that's the way out.""That lot is a nat'ral concern, at allevents," chimed in another porter who hadbeen listening to the conversation."Yes," replied the first; "he is, and Ishould say in no way suited to these 'ereparts. If it hadn't been my turn to be 'on,'I'd have looked after him a bit."But it was his turn to be " on," and sopoor Josey was left to his own resources."The way out." Josey read the wordspainted on a large finger-post, pointingdown a steepish passage leading from thestation into the street. With a throbbingheart and gushing eyes, he followed the

76 yosey the Rundway.directing finger, and found himself in adensely-thronged thoroughfare. Never inall his life had Josey seen so many persons.They flowed by him like a rapid, stream ofhuman beings.. He had seen lots of villagerson Whit Monday club days, and his motherhad once taken him to a neighbouring fair;but what were these in comparison with thecrowds of people in this street? " Why,"thought Josey, " it's like so many club daysand fair days, over and over again, and allput together ; only there ain't any shows orcaravans with wonderful performing pigsand dancing bears."And then the heaps of carriages andcarts, omnibuses and cabs, waggons, vans,and drays, they were perfectly overwhelm-ing, and Josey was obliged to stand stilland stare at them. He tried to numberthem as one after the other they whirled byin quick succession, but that he found to beutterly impossible; for whilst he was count-ing one, two, three, double that numberpassed him without being counted at all.Besides, it made him quite giddy. And thenthere was such an awful din! Rumble

Yosey takes a 7ourzny. 77rumble, rattle rattle, roll roll, trot trot, onit went without once stopping the noise ofthe mill down below the church, at his oldhome, was nothing to it. Josey felt certainit would make him deaf for life.But the day was wearing away, andJosey felt that he must not linger anylonger, though where to go passed hispower of guessing. However, he walked onuntil he reached one of the many bridgeswhich span the Thames. Its thick, muddy,yellow waters were nothing to be comparedwith the pretty rippling river which flowedso peacefully through his native village,and yet it seemed as if Josey could not looklong enough upon its sullen surface. Tobe sure it was broader and deeper, and amultiplicity of vessels of all sorts and sizeswere floating hither and thither, and Joseyhad never before seen real ships, only pic-tures of them. To him the masts lookedso tall, he thought they must be taller thaneven the old church tower, weather-cockand all. He fancied he should never growweary of watching all the vessels, and espe-cially the busy naddling little steamers,

78 Yosey the Runaway.bustling along with their over crowdeddecks as though they had not a moment tospare. What lots he should have to tellmother and old Granny when he got backto his home again !Poor Josey he little dreamt of the wide,wide gap intervening between himself andhis home, or at least what constituted hishome-his mother and old Granny.Josey wondered no one else stopped andlooked over the bridge at all that was goingon below; he could not think how it wascrowds passed that way, and yet not one ofthem cast their eyes either to the righthand or to the left. So Josey remainedwatching the river's busy traffic until thesun, like a large crimson ball, sank downinto the smoky haze. He was just going toleave the parapet of the bridge where hehad been standing, when his attention wasarrested by two little girls who came andsat down close to him. They were bothabout the same age, but there was a stronglymarked contrast in their appearance. Onewas pale and sallow and sickly, and lookedthin, with an expression of sadness on her


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yosey takes a 7ourney. 81face; while the other was robust andhealthy, and as merry looking, with herbright eyes twinkling beneath the brim ofher hat, as if she had never known the pain-ful pinch of want or hunger.They each carried a large basket, andwere followed by a well-to-do dog, havinground his neck a broad brass collar securedby a padlock.The children had evidently stepped asidefrom the thronged thoroughfare to restthemselves after their day's work, and tocount over their earnings; for they at oncelaid aside their basket, which Josey sawcontained a little salt and a few hearth-stones, and began to reckon their pence.After they had made up their accounts theystill sat on, amusing themselves either byplaying pitch and toss with their coppers,or by watching the passers-by. Presentlythey grew weary of that, and, in their turn,scanned Josey from head to foot. Theyhad already discovered that he was not aLondoner, but fresh from the country, andthe dog seemed to think so too, for hesniffed about his shoes very suspiciously,

82 yosey the Runaway.and smelt his clothes; but he ended by lick-ing his hand, which was as much as to saythat at all events he was not dissatisfiedwith the stranger boy."Down, Nettle," said the stouter girl,laughing at the dog's friendly advances,"down, sir."" I don't mind it," said Josey; "I likedogs;" and Josey stroked Nettle's head, andNettle wagged her tail by way of acknow-ledgment. "Is it your dog ?" asked Josey,turning towards the pale thin girl." No, 'tisn't mine, it's hers," replied thechild, pointing to her companion. "Shecalls it Nettl6 ; it's such a good dog, and it'sgot three beautiful fat pups.""And haven't you got a dog too ?" askedJosey."No," replied the girl, shaking her headand looking very sad. " I haven't got noNettle. I've got a father and mother, onlyfather is ill in bed and can't do nothing tohelp mother. But she (pointing to the othergirl) has got a father and mother and twostout brothers to help her. They're stouterand bigger than you are by a good bit."

Yosey takes a Yourney. 83" Then you ain't her sister ?" said Josey."No: she's Susie Davis, and my name isEllen Apsey. We are only partners. Imean we go halves with everything. Some-times she sells salt and I sell hearthstones,and then we change about, and I carry thesalt and she takes the hearthstones. Wego to the yards and buy a lot, and then wesell them out by the pen'orth, four bitsfor a penny if they're only small. Susieand we always go about together, 'causeour mothers don't like us to go by our-selves.""I shouldn't mind going anywhere withour Nettle," said Susie Davis. "Hewouldn't let nobody touch me," and shetossed her head."But you couldn't carry both the bigbaskets, though," said Ellen Apsey.Josey thought he liked Ellen Apsey thebest of the two girls. There was a sort ofbond of sympathy, as it were, betweenthem. He was very sad and unhappy, andshe looked very miserable; but Susie Daviswas so well off with Nettle, and her fatherand mother, and two stout brothers, she

84 Josey the Runaway.seemed to forget to feel for others who wereless fortunate.Sorrow softens the heart, but sharpensthe understanding, enabling it to perceivemore clearly the grief of others; whileprosperity and happiness too often renderthe heart selfish, and blind, and unsympa-thizing.

CHAPTER VI.JOSEY IN LONDON.OSEY told Ellen Apsey all about hishaving only just come up by thetrain, and that he had never been inLondon before. Ellen Apsey looked veryastonished, but not nearly so puzzled asJosey was when she told him that she hadnever seen the country, and asked him whatit was like. When he told her that he didnot know where to go, or what to do thatnight, she said,-"Mother takes in lodgers-only they aremost times big ones-I mean men or peoplethat can pay.""I can pay," said Josey.Susie Davis looked a little suspiciously athim as he said that, and Josey took theH

86 Yosey the Runaway.fourpenny piece out of his pocket to showthem his words were not- merely --emptyboasting."That will be lots," said Ellen Apsey;"mother don't have more than tuppence orso a night.""If I was a big boy like you," said SusieDavis, with a toss of the head, "I wouldn'tpay tuppence for nothing. I'd go to acasual ward, or sleep in a doorway, or ashutter-box; that's what boys do when theydon't belong to nobody."But Josey did not seem to fancy tumblingabout the world all by himself; and as tocasual wards,'what did he know about them?Susie Davis might as well have advised himto go to the moon for a night's lodging.Josey remembered the porter had called hima "casual," so he supposed it had somethingto do with boys; but what, he did notknow. And so Josey and Ellen Apseysettled it between themselves that he shouldgo home with her."I shall go now," said Susie Davis inde-pendently, and swinging her basket on herarm-" come, Nettle."

Yosey in London. 87"Wait a minute," said Ellen Apsey,"and we'll all walk together."By the time Josey and the two girls lefttheir resting-place on the bridge, the streetswere lighted and the shops all glitteringand glowing with large gas-lamps; thejewels sparkled in the windows, and thesilks and satins looked wonderfully gorgeous.Josey had never in all his life seen such abrilliant display, or gazed on such magnifi-cent shops. To him it was like fairy land.But he was obliged to hurry by these sights,for Susie Davis and Ellen Apsey walked onat a steady, quick pace, and he was afraid tolet them out of his sight, lest he shouldmiss them and lose his way. They scarcelynoticed anything, it was such an every-daysight to them.Presently they all turned down into a farless brilliantly lighted street, with dingyshops; but on each side of the- road therewere long rows of stalls containing variouskinds of eatables, arranged on trucks, orplanks resting on trussels. Each stall waslighted up by two or more pieces of tallowcandle, sheltered either by tin shades or

88 Yosey the Runaway.cabbage leaves, as temporary and economicalsubstitutes. The candles were all burningdimly, or gave a flickering uncertain light.Occasionally one would be blown out by awaft of evening air. When Josey caughtsight of those candles, they gave him quitea turn; they looked so exactly like thatcandle end he had left behind in the oldchurch tower. It seemed as if he were tobe haunted all his life by ends of candles.Then all his Sunday lessons about the can-"dles of the good, and the candles of thewicked, flashed through his memory asvividly as if his teacher had been tellinghim about it at that very moment; and hewondered if his candle was quite gone out.His heart grew sick when he rememberedthe stolen chickens. Had not he repeatedevery Sunday God's commandment, "Thoushalt not steal" ? He did not think he hadquite broken the commandment, because heShad not positively stolen the chickens withhis own hands; and yet'he was afraid Godwould be just as angry with him as if hehad really taken them; for He could see intohis heart and read there all the truth, that

Yosey in London. 89he would have gone with his wicked com-panions to rob the chicken houses, if hismother had not kept him at home. Andwas he not at that very time most undutifulto run away from his home, and very un-kind to leave his mother and old Granny ?It had never before struck him how un-happy they must be about him, for, ofcourse, they did not know what had becomeof him. He made up his mind he wouldnot have anything more.to say to such badboys, but he was quite sure his motherwould like Ellen Apsey if she could see her.The girls stopped at one of the stalls, andbought some meat pies. Josey purchasedone also; for Ellen Apsey said her mothercould not give him anything to eat, for itwas as much as she could do to find victualsenough for herself and her father; and" Father's so particular," she said, "hewon't eat a sprat, nor touch yesterday's fat.Mother most times gets a bit of meat forSundays, and then we have the fat Mondays."Josey had but little appetite for the. pieafter he had bought it, so he gave thebiggest half.to Nettle.'*:1,: to ^

9 7osey the Runaway.Very soon they left the broad streets andturned aside into narrow dingy back streets,a perfect maze of in and outs, down here,round there, turning first this way and thenthat; and the narrow thoroughfares becamenarrower and narrower, and darker anddirtier, and everything grew dingy andmiserable, until they were scarcely lightedat all, excepting by a dim sleepily burninglamp stuck up here and there; and the air"was close and stifling; Josey thought itnastier than any pig-styes he had ever smelt,and the people were, for the most part, suchhoirrd-looking creatures, all rags and dirtand misery, and it seemed as if nobodycould open their mouths without utteringoaths and bad language.Josey wondered how the two girls couldfind their way so easily: they never stoppedor hesitated, but went on straight for-ward, with Nettle close at their heels.Josey earnestly hoped Ellen Apsey did notlive in such a horridly dismal place, andhe was just going to ask her how muchfarther he should have to walk, when shesuddenly came to a standstill at the door

Yosey in London. :91of one of the most wretched-looking housesin one of the worst streets. Susie Davisdid not stop, only wished her good night,whistled to Nettle to follow her, and wassoon lost sight of in the gloom.Women were lounging about, or sittingon the door steps to catch a breath of air, ifthat were possible such a hot sultry evening.Ellen took no notice of them, but plungedinto the dark passage, leaving Josey tofollow as best he could. His heart beat agood deal as he groped along in the dark.He kept quite close to Ellen, so close thatonce or twice he trod on her heels, andnearly tumbled over her. Presently shesaid, "Here's the stairs, but mind youfollow me; here, catch hold of my apron,or you may fall -down the cellar stairs.Now turn sharp round, that is it, you're allsafe; go on till I tell you to stop. Nowtwo more steps, and now turn again; that'sright, it's all the same over and over againtill you get to the top, only don't hold onby the bannisters, they're rotten, they won'tbear nothing."It seemed to Josey as if they never should

92 Yoseythe Runaway.reach the top floor of the house; but theydid at last, and then Ellen opened a doorand went into a room, inviting Josey tocome in as well. It looked wretched andcomfortless enough. The only furniture init was a deal table and three or four ricketyrush-bottomed chairs. Across the windowwas hung part of an old checked shirt in-stead of a blind or shutter. Most of thepanes of glass in the window were brokenand gone, and straw and rags were stuffedin instead. There were two cupboards, oneon each side of the fire-place. They wereboth open, the doors having long ago beentorn off by former lodgers, and burned forfirewood. In one corner, on a heap ofshavings and straw, with a threadbareblanket and ragged sheets, was lying a poorsick man, Ellen Apsey's father."Well, child," he said, as she entered,"what luck have ye had ? Pretty middling,that's right. I'm glad you're come; 'tisbut sad and sorry work to lie here all theday long with nobody to speak to. There'snoise enough, too much by half, but nobodytakes thought of the poor sick man. It's

Yosey in London. 93like the world, they're ready enough to havea pot of beer with ye, or smoke a pipe inyour company; but when illness sets yeaside they'll give ye up to do the best youcan, just as you'd chuck a kettle with a holein it into a ditch. It says something like itsomewhere, 'No longer pipe, no longerdance.' Your mother's been out all day ona charing job: but who've ye got there ?"He raised himself on his elbow as he spoke,and fixed his large hollow eyes on Josey."A lodger, father; he hasn't got no homenor nothing, and has never been up inLondon before.""Worse luck for him that he's come now;he'd best have stayed wherever he was.There's no good to be got here, but plentythat's bad-plenty," said the sick man.His voice was very weak and hoarse,even the exertion of speaking seemed almosttoo much for him. Josey could scarcely dis-tinguish his features, the room was so darkand dusky, one poor guttering candle end(another candle end, Josey wished he couldget out of the sight of those horrid bits ofcandle) was the only light in that cheerless

94 Yosey the Runaway.abode; but Josey could see clearly enough,even by its uncertain glimmering, that thepoor man looked terribly thin and ill;worse, he thought, than he had ever beforeseen anybody."Yes No longer pipe, no longer dance,'that's what the world is," muttered the sickman, as if talking to himself."There's something in the Bible aboutpiping and dancing," said Josey, half afraidof hearing his own voice."The Bible who knows anything aboutthe Bible? " asked the poor man, starting up,and looking anxiously around. His mannerwas so excited and earnest, it quite frightenedJosey."I know something about it," he replied."I used to learn lots of texts, and a goodmany psalms, down at our school, a longway off from here."Josey's voice sounded very husky as hespoke; the thought of school and homemade him feel quite heart-sick. Then therewas that disagreeable candle end still beforehis eyes; the long unsnuffed wick in the ;midst of the flickering flame, looked to him::** *^- '''^

yosey in London. 95exactly as if it were an eye winking andblinking at him. It is wonderful what verystrange fancies come into one's mind whenone hasn't a good conscience. And thecandle guttered and flickered in the draught,just as if it would show him as plainly as ifit could speak, how all that was good in himwas wasting and waning away." Our Nelly " (her father always calledEllen by that name)-" our Nelly used to goto the ragged-school. But that's all overnow I am laid so low. She was getting on,that she was, very nicely; but she must goout now and earn a few coppers to keep thepot boiling. I never had the opportunity oflearning nothing; there wasn't no ragged-schools in my days. No, wus luck, therewasn't no such things, and so I can neitherread nor write, but must lie here all daylong like a log, with nobody's thoughts butmy own. Can you read, boy ? "" Oh yes," replied Josey, "I can read andwrite capital letters and all; and I can addup, and I can say twice one's two, straightthrough as far as ten times twelve.""How came ye up here then?" asked

96 .osey the Runaway.the poor man. " This here is no place foran honest boy, if you are one. You look tidyand so forth, but there's no judging bylooks."The words "honest boy" made Josey'sheart jump into his throat, and he wasafraid that the man might go on questioninghim, which he did not at all desire; but,fortunately for him, just at this momentEllen Apsey's' mother returned home, afterher day's charing, and the conversationcame to a timely end.

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