Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Grandfather's faith
 Our Four Boys
 Giuseppe's home
 Back Cover

Group Title: Dare to do right : three tales
Title: Dare to do right
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026214/00001
 Material Information
Title: Dare to do right three tales
Physical Description: 524 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mathews, Julia A
Publisher: Printed for the booksellers
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1881
Subject: Children's stories -- 1881   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1881
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Julia A. Mathews.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026214
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 - 001627332
oclc - 25929162
notis - AHQ2055

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Grandfather's faith
        Page 1
        Charlie Stockton
            Page 1
            Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
        Harland's farm
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
        A strong purpose well broken
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            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
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
        Charlie's journey
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
        Mr. Braisted's baby
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            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
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
        A brave struggle
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
        Him that overcometh
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
        Aunt Harriet
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
        Trusted still
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
        A pleasure trip
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
        Buttermilk falls
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
        Faithful and true
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
    Our Four Boys
        Page 159
        Page 160
        The boys
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
        A new plan
            Page 170
            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
            Page 180
        Off on their travels
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
        Out at sea
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
        Mr. Spencer's home
            Page 200
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
        French Paul
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
            Page 218
            Page 219
        Mrs. Fraser's farm
            Page 220
            Page 221
            Page 222
            Page 223
            Page 224
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
        The storm
            Page 230
            Page 231
            Page 232
            Page 233
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
            Page 237
            Page 238
            Page 239
            Page 240
        Captain Bert
            Page 241
            Page 242
            Page 243
            Page 244
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
            Page 249
        The gold mines
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
            Page 258
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
        Brown Bessie
            Page 262
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
            Page 267
            Page 268
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 270a
            Page 271
            Page 272
            Page 273
            Page 274
        A doleful morning
            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
            Page 284
        Alone for the right
            Page 285
            Page 286
            Page 287
            Page 288
            Page 289
            Page 290
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
            Page 294
            Page 295
        The marked note
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
        Light behind the clouds
            Page 304
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
            Page 310
            Page 311
            Page 312
        William Sheldon's son
            Page 313
            Page 314
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
        Lighthouse point
            Page 325
            Page 326
            Page 327
            Page 328
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
            Page 332
            Page 333
            Page 334
            Page 335
            Page 336
    Giuseppe's home
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Giuseppe's story
            Page 339
            Page 340
            Page 341
            Page 342
            Page 343
            Page 344
            Page 345
            Page 346
            Page 347
            Page 348
            Page 349
        An inhospitable hostess
            Page 350
            Page 351
            Page 352
            Page 353
            Page 354
            Page 355
            Page 356
            Page 357
            Page 358
        Little Cousime
            Page 359
            Page 360
            Page 361
            Page 362
            Page 363
            Page 364
            Page 365
            Page 366
            Page 367
            Page 368
            Page 369
            Page 370
        Mr. Phillips' office-boy
            Page 371
            Page 372
            Page 373
            Page 374
            Page 375
            Page 376
            Page 377
            Page 378
            Page 379
            Page 380
        Changes at home
            Page 381
            Page 382
            Page 383
            Page 384
            Page 385
            Page 386
            Page 387
            Page 388
            Page 389
            Page 390
            Page 391
        A man gave his life for me
            Page 392
            Page 393
            Page 394
            Page 395
            Page 396
            Page 397
            Page 398
            Page 399
            Page 400
            Page 401
            Page 402
        A disagreeable adventure
            Page 403
            Page 404
            Page 405
            Page 406
            Page 407
            Page 408
            Page 409
            Page 410
            Page 411
            Page 412
        A friend in need
            Page 413
            Page 414
            Page 415
            Page 416
            Page 417
            Page 418
            Page 419
            Page 420
            Page 421
            Page 422
        In hospital
            Page 423
            Page 424
            Page 425
            Page 426
            Page 427
            Page 428
            Page 429
            Page 430
        Cousime's mother
            Page 431
            Page 432
            Page 433
            Page 434
            Page 435
            Page 436
            Page 437
            Page 438
            Page 439
            Page 440
            Page 441
            Page 442
        Giuseppe's visit
            Page 443
            Page 444
            Page 445
            Page 446
            Page 447
            Page 448
            Page 449
            Page 450
            Page 451
            Page 452
            Page 453
        Turned out
            Page 454
            Page 455
            Page 456
            Page 457
            Page 458
            Page 459
            Page 460
            Page 461
            Page 462
            Page 463
            Page 464
            Page 465
        A brighter morning
            Page 466
            Page 467
            Page 468
            Page 469
            Page 470
            Page 471
            Page 472
            Page 473
            Page 474
            Page 475
        Morning in the old home
            Page 476
            Page 477
            Page 478
            Page 479
            Page 480
            Page 481
            Page 482
            Page 483
            Page 484
            Page 485
            Page 486
            Page 487
            Page 488
            Page 489
        Special providences
            Page 490
            Page 491
            Page 492
            Page 493
            Page 494
            Page 495
            Page 496
            Page 497
            Page 498
            Page 499
        The decision
            Page 500
            Page 501
            Page 502
            Page 503
            Page 504
            Page 505
            Page 506
            Page 507
            Page 508
            Page 509
            Page 510
            Page 511
        Christmas day
            Page 512
            Page 513
            Page 514
            Page 515
            Page 516
            Page 517
            Page 518
            Page 519
            Page 520
            Page 521
            Page 522
            Page 523
            Page 524
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

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'FATHER, what is to be done with that boy ? I am in
perfect despair.'
If Miss Harriet Mason had known that 'that boy' lay
on the grass beneath the shade of the old willow whose
graceful branches floated lazily in at the open window
of the sitting-room, she might have been more guarded
in her speech; but, disparaging as her opinion of him
evidently was, the boy did not seem to be much cha-
grined by it; and even if he had seen the expression of

her tired, troubled face as
chair beside her father, it
him as little as her words,
love his Aunt Harriet over
'Poor old Auntie! you
her, Caspar,' he said, with
of a great Newfoundland (
his own brown curls were
if she ousted you yet, old

she seated herself in an arm-
probably would have affected
for Charlie Stockton did not
and I are two too many for
a laugh, pulling the long hair
log upon whose shaggy head
resting. 'I wouldn't wonder
boy; but if you go, I go too,

that's sure, the old Tartar!'
Certainly, if Miss Harriet had seen the darkening of
those: clear handsome eyes, and' the defiant toss of the
curly head, as the speaker raised himself from his re-




'FATHER, what is to be done with that boy ? I am in
perfect despair.'
If Miss Harriet Mason had known that 'that boy' lay
on the grass beneath the shade of the old willow whose
graceful branches floated lazily in at the open window
of the sitting-room, she might have been more guarded
in her speech; but, disparaging as her opinion of him
evidently was, the boy did not seem to be much cha-
grined by it; and even if he had seen the expression of

her tired, troubled face as
chair beside her father, it
him as little as her words,
love his Aunt Harriet over
'Poor old Auntie! you
her, Caspar,' he said, with
of a great Newfoundland (
his own brown curls were
if she ousted you yet, old

she seated herself in an arm-
probably would have affected
for Charlie Stockton did not
and I are two too many for
a laugh, pulling the long hair
log upon whose shaggy head
resting. 'I wouldn't wonder
boy; but if you go, I go too,

that's sure, the old Tartar!'
Certainly, if Miss Harriet had seen the darkening of
those: clear handsome eyes, and' the defiant toss of the
curly head, as the speaker raised himself from his re-


cumbent position, she would not have felt a whit less
despairing of her unruly charge.
The old gentleman sitting beside her had not answered
her somewhat impatient query and exclamation.. He
sat with one knee crossed over its fellow, the foot which
rested on the floor tapping the carpet with a slow regular
movement, which was as expressive of the deep thought
in which he was lost as was the absorbed quiet face
which seemed to be watching the pendulum-like motions
of his foot. The long fingers of the wrinkled but still
sinewy hand were thrust up into the soft white hair
which covered his head, and the high broad forehead was
drawn and furrowed in anxiety. It was a fine old face,
handsome, intellectual, and, although very determined,
very gentle and lovable in its expression.
Miss Harriet sat watching it for a while, her own im-
patient, nervous face gathering meanwhile into a dark
frown, and at length said sharply,-
Well, father ?'
He lifted up his white head, and turned his quiet grey
eyes towards her.
'You said that you were in despair, Harriet ? I am
not. I have hope still for our boy.'
'Oh yes! I suppose so,' she said, in a tone of strong
irritation. 'You always do see hope, father, where no
one else can see it. But what you can find in Charlie
to build on, I cannot imagine.'
'There is very much in him that is good,' said Dr.
Mason mildly; 'but if there were not, I should still
believe that God yet means to use him for some noble
end. For did I not hear his dying mother give him to
God ? and would He refuse the gift ? Did I not hear
her plead that the sin of his father might not be visited


upon her innocent baby ? Did I not hear her say, I
give Thee back Thy precious gift, dear Lord. Take in
Thine own strong hands this child whom my dying hands
are too weak to hold, and keep him safely. I give him
wholly to Thee; make him wholly Thine ? And what
a peaceful light was on her face when she went home!
No, Harriet, I can never despair of the boy.'
His voice, which had risen to great earnestness and
feeling as he repeated the prayer of his dead child, sank
very low again ; but his last words, though softly spoken,
were firm as unshaken faith cbuld make them. Harriet
Mason was not cheered by them, but they at least stilled
her fretful impatience; and she sat quietly thinking her
own troubled thoughts, leaving her father to his reflec-
Fifteen years before, Mary Mason, the Doctor's
youngest daughter, had married, in direct opposition to
her father's will and command, a young man whom she
had known but a few months. From the first the Doctor
had disliked the stranger. His clear, honest eyes had
pierced the thin disguise of respectability and morality
under which the man had sought his daughter's acquaint-
ance; and on making immediate inquiries with regard
to him, he had found his suspicions were quite correct,
and that Henry Stockton was by no means a person
whom he would choose to welcome to his house. But
no persuasions or entreaties could induce Mary to believe
the aspersions cast upon the man whom her father now
found, to his amazement and dismay, to be her declared
lover. And when, finding arguments and commands
alike useless, Dr. Mason had forbidden Henry Stockton
to see his daughter, she had married him at once, leaving
her home without a word of farewell to her father.


Nearly two years after the day on which this shadow
fell upon his home, Dr. Mason heard through a friend
that Mary had been seen in New York; and hastening
to the city, he sought for her until he found her. Those
two years had shown Mary Mason that her father had
not even suspected the abyss of wickedness into which
her husband had sunk. She had been dragged down
into depths of misery and wretchedness such as she had
never imagined, and now lay dying, with her baby boy
beside her, in loneliness and poverty. But in her misery,
far away from all earthly friends, she had found the
'Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.' The
'Brother born for adversity' had won the wandering
hut now penitent heart, and was leading it Home--
Home to rest, and peace, and joy.
Dr. Mason had not for a moment doubted but that the
child whom Miary left behind her, and who had been
called by his name, would be given to his care. She
had besought him most earnestly to take the little one
home, and bring him up as his own son; and he had
promised her that he should fill her vacant place in the
household. But Henry Stockton utterly refused to part
with the child. Whether he really loved him with such
love as he had to give, or whether he simply chose to
retain him to annoy and distress Mary's family, the Doc-
tor could not tell; but he refused harshly and violently
all his persuasions, and even the pecuniary inducements
which the grandfather hoped would be irresistible to
On the day of Mary's death, Dr. Mason left the house
for a few hours to make arrangements to have her re-
moved to her old home, and laid beside her dead mother.
When he returned, only his daughter's still, quiet face


was there to welcome him. Her husband and her little
child were gone. The people in the. house either could
not or would not give him any information of Stockton's
whereabouts; and after searching in vain for him for
many long hours, he returned home with his sad burden,
hopeless of finding him.
Month after month, and year after year, there was to
be seen in the daily papers of New York an advertise-
ment stating, that if H. S.' desired to relinquish the
child now in his care, he had but to state where the boy
could be found, and his friends would send for him.
But no answering paragraph greeted the eyes which
sought it eagerly, but wearily, every morning of every
passing month.
Eight years had rolled away--years which had
whitened the hair on the broad temples, and furrowed
the brow of the old man; but they had neither dimmed
the light of the soft grey eyes, nor wasted the strength
of the tall, erect figure. Eight years, and still that
paragraph addressed to 'H. S.' appeared in the daily
papers, and still the bright eyes watched for the answer
that had not yet come.
But one morning, as Dr. Mason sat in his office, a
telegram was placed in his hand. Opening it, he saw
that it was signed by a Philadelphia Express Company
with whom he had had some business dealings.
'A ragged boy, eight years old,-name, Charles Mason
Stockton,-has been forwarded to us from St. Augustine,
consigned to you, expenses paid. Shall we ship him to
Lindon .'
'Granted at last, to my prayers and hers! My God,
I thank Thee !'
The Doctor sat for a moment, folding the paper, and


unfolding it again, with hands which trembled like those
of a man stricken with infirmity. Then he rose, and
closed and locked the office-door. No one must come
in just now. He must be alone with Him who had
heard the great cry of his longing but patient heart.
After a while, his daughter Harriet, who had heard
with some surprise the sudden locking of the door of
the office, heard the key turn again; and the next
moment her father crossed the hall with a quick step,
and entered the sitting-room.
'Why, father What is it ?' she asked, going quickly
forward to meet him, for his whole face was radiant.
But even before he had time to answer her, the truth
flashed upon her. Her face grew deathly white, and
she sat down weakly in the nearest chair.
'Has it come at last, father ? Has that man sent his
child to us ?'
'God has sent Mary's child to us, my dear.'
But the tidings which had filled heart and face and
voice with joy when it reached him, fell like lead on the
heart of his daughter; and when he told her that he had
sent a telegram to Philadelphia to notify the Company
that he should leave for that city by the next train, she
broke out at once into the most urgent entreaties that
he would not disgrace their home by bringing into it the
child of such a character. Miss Harriet had never for-
given the man who had robbed her home of its brightest
flower; she had never forgiven her sister for leaving
that home desolate and dishonoured; she had never
forgiven the poor little baby who had been so sadly
born into so sad a life.
But no argument could move the calm, determined
man beside her. Very tenderly he tried to soothe her;


very lovingly he pitied her for all that her strong pride
had been forced to suffer; very patiently he bore with
her angry retorts, and menaces that she would leave the
house if Henry Stockton's child were brought into it;-
but he never wavered in his purpose. In vain she tried
to persuade him that a boy brought up under the care of
such a father must be utterly unfit for the life led in
their quiet home; that he might even be a thief, or, at
the least, a common street-loafer.
'The lower he had been dragged down, the more he
needed to be raised,' the Doctor answered; and when at
last the idea struck her that this might not, after all, be
Mary's son, but some other child of the street whom
Stockton was trying to foist upon them, he simply said,
with a smile,-
'I shall know Mary's child, my dear. There will be
something in his face to tell me whether he is hers or
And then, with a kiss and a long tender holding of
her in his arms, he had put her back in her chair, and
gone out,
Well was it for the boy that his grandfather was right
in expecting that he would bear in his face some trace of
his lost mother; for if it had not been for those clear
brown eyes, his mother's very own, the Doctor might
well have doubted whether the ragged, dirty little urchin
presented to him, on his arrival in Philadelphia, as
Charles Mason Stockton, could by any means be of his
own blood.
In answer to Dr. Mason's inquiries as to the cause of
his having been sent North, the boy replied that his
father had been hurt in a quarrel in a tavern, and, fear-
ing that he was near death, had sent him to his grand-


father, with the message that, bad as he was, he did not
want his son to grow up in the life which he had led; a
story which was confirmed a few days later by the arrival
by post of a paper sent to the child by one of his father's
former comrades, containing an account of the fracas,
and Stockton's subsequent death.
A visit to a barber, a furnishing store, and a tailor,
transformed the little street-loafer into as gentlemanly-
looking a boy as Dr. Mason needed to have wished to
see sitting at his side in the cars as they were whirled
rapidly towards Lindon. But alas! it was not only in
appearance that the boy had sunk beneath the level of a
gentleman. His very language breathed the spirit of
the class in the midst of which he had been reared; and
as day after day passed on, and the first shyness conse-
quent on his new position wore' off, faults of the most
glaring kind began to make themselves manifest.
Aunt Harriet was in despair, most truly. Having
proved that her father was absolutely immoveable in his
determination to bring the child to their own home, she
had accepted her cross with such patience as she might,
honestly resolving, and striving too, to do. what she could
to make the boy a blessing, instead of the curse which
she feared he might prove, to the home which had so
kindly received him; but her task was a very difficult
and, to a woman of her impatient temperament, almost a
hopeless one.
For it was not only that Charles was entirely untaught
and ungoverned : if his ignorance, his violent temper,
and his self-will had been his only faults, there might
have yet remained a good foundation on which to build
up a noble structure; but the worst point in his character
was that he was utterly unreliable : his word could never


be depended upon, if by dishonouring it he could gain
an advantage or escape punishment. And the most dis-
heartening aspect of the case was, that he could not be
made ashamed of a falsehood; in fact, he rather gloried
in it, if it had been a successful one, and seemed to think
that to be so deficient in smartness as to be found out in
a misdemeanor was far more disgraceful than to hide it
with a lie.
So far did he carry this perverted idea, that he had
once gone to his grandfather in great anger with a friend
in whose behalf he had exercised his powers of deceit,
but who had been too honourable to avail himself of
them. Dr. Mason received his story in a way which for
ever silenced his boasting of a successful falsehood in his
'And he was punished, after all,' Charlie said indig-
nantly, having recounted the occurrence with a great
deal of excitement and earnestness, when I'd put my-
self to such trouble about it. The great spooney con-
fessed it all, after I'd lied him out of it so beauti-
He was perhaps too much engrossed in his recital to
notice the flashing of the eyes which were bent upon
him, and the gradual straightening of the tall figure, or
he may have attributed it to a sympathetic indignation
on his account; be that as it may, the answer he received
startled him.
Lied him out of it, sir Lied him out of it!' ex-
claimed the Doctor, drawing himself up until it seemed
to the frightened boy that he was at least two inches
taller than his ordinary height. 'Have you the audacity
to stand before me, and brag of having lied a friend out
of a dilemma ? Do you know that you bear my name,


sir ? and yet do you dare to boast to me that you have
disgraced it by telling a lie ?'
Charlie stood staring at him with parted lips and wide-
open eyes, too much stunned even to attempt a reply.
He had been used to be laughed at, and to be called
smart and quick-witted, when he had, through a dexterous
falsehood, escaped merited punishment; and here was
his gentle, tender-hearted grandfather, who had so often
excused him to Aunt Harriet when seriously in fault,
breaking out into such anger and severity simply because
he had done what he had often been praised for in time
But as he sat there in silent bewilderment and dismay,
lis grandfather's face softened somewhat, and, laying his
hand upon his head, he said very gravely, but more
Charles Mason Stockton, I had it in my heart just
now to take from you the name which has never needed
to own to a lie until now; but I will not, for it may one
day lead you to a nobler ambition. Go now, my boy;
but remember that a liar is the meanest thing on God's
earth; nothing is so low,. so vile and worthless, as the
man who will save himself loss or pain by selling his
The boy went out awed and subdued. His habit of
untruthfulness was too deeply seated to be rooted out at
once, even by this; but henceforth he hid it most care-
fully from his grandfather's eyes.
But with all this, 'Charlie Mason,' as he was uni-
versally called in the little village of Lindon where his
grandfather had for fifty years and more practised his
profession, was by no means wholly bad. There was
much in him on which to rest a hope that the care and


love which bore with him and shielded him might in
time be repaid. More than ordinarily quick and intelli-
gent, with a joyous, sunny disposition, and an affectionate
heart, full of large and generous impulses, his was
certainly not a perfectly hopeless case, although he often
tried most sorely not only the temper and patience, but
the very faith and love, of those who had given him both
home and heart-room in his time of need.




IT was not very surprising that Miss Harriet should have
felt herself almost at her wits' end that morning, as she
sat in the sitting-room beside her father, thinking so
seriously of Charlie's misdoings. There had been for the
past few weeks a series of petty robberies perpetrated
in the neighbourhood. Fruit and vegetables had been
stolen from the gardens, hens' nests had been robbed
both of fresh laid eggs and of young chickens, simply in
the latter case, as it seemed, for the pleasure of stealing;
for in many instances the poor little fledglings had been
dropped in the public road near the gates of the yards
from which they had been taken, and left there to perish.
After these operations had been going on for some
time, two young farmers, who had been somewhat heavy
losers by the depredations, determined to sit up all night
and watch their premises; for they had noticed during
the day that some of the schoolboys, who passed their
farm on their way to school and back, had looked with
covetous eyes on an overburdened plum-tree whose heavy
branches were weighed to the ground with their rich
purple fruit; and had then drawn together to whisper
and consult, quite ignorant of the fact that the owners
of the longed-for fruit were close at hand, and watching
them with very unfriendly eyes.
It was a bright, clear night; and the two farmers had
not lain hidden behind the thick copse very long, when


the sound of stealthy footsteps came creeping up the
road, and four young fellows, about twelve years old or
more, leaped the low wall, and made directly for the
plum-tree. The farmers had decided that, if the tree
were first attacked by the expected raiders, they would
remain in concealment until they could determine whether
the boys were simply fruit-thieves, or whether they
belonged to the band of marauders who had been making
such havoc among the fowls. So they lay very still
while the young burglars shook down the beautiful fruit,
and filled four large bags which they had brought with
Do you see that they don't put any in their pockets V'
asked the younger of the two brothers.
Yes. That says-eggs,' said the elder. Keep quiet
now. They've got through.'
The bags were all full; but instead of scaling the wall
again, the boys lifted their burdens upon their backs, and
stole softly away in the direction of the barn, accom-
panied by a huge black Newfoundland dog which had
been silently stalking to and fro, as if on the look-out
for worthier spoil, all the while that the boys had been
busily gathering the plums. As they turned toward the
barn, the great creature had bounded forward with a low
bark of delight, which one of the lads had instantly
hushed with a muttered-
Shut up, Caspar.'
The dog had become quiet on the instant; but one of
the men nudged the other, and whispered,-
'.I thought as much.'
Rising from their hiding-place, they followed the boys,
who went directly to the hen-house. Their intention
had been to allow the whole party to enter, and to


capture them there; but the dog defeated their plan of
As the boys entered the enclosure, a venerable old
chanticleer, intent on protecting his domestic roost,
dashed.down from his perch upon a rafter, with a fierce
outcry. Caspar rushed upon him instantly. It was by
no means the first time that he had aided his comrades
in their work by quickly strangling any contumacious
father of a feathered family that might oppose such a
forcible entry of his premises; but the present patriarch
was not to be so easily vanquished. With swollen crest
and outspread wings, he flew upon his assailant, scream-
ing with rage, and beating Caspar's devoted head and
face with his heavy pinions; while the dog bounded into
the air again and again, vainly trying to unseat his an-
tagonist from his perch upon his head, barking furiously
with mingled pain and rage.
Just at this point in the proceedings, as the four boys
rushed to the aid of their champion, the door was thrown
open, and two young men sprang in upon the freebooters.
There was a quick stampede for the door, and a short
sharp scuffle; but the farmers would have come off
victorious in their attempt to seize the whole party if it
had not been that Caspar, seeing his master in jeopardy,
dashed his head madly against the door of the hen-house,
dislodging his painful encumbrance, and, with a fierce
growl, sprang upon the young man who had laid his
hand upon his friend. The shock, perfectly unexpected,
staggered the man for the instant; and in that instant
the boy whom he had caught with his right hand (hold-
ing another meanwhile with his left), but whose face he
had not yet seen, broke from him, and with a bound
cleared the distance between himself and the open door,


and in another minute was almost out of sight, flying
down the road with the dog in hot pursuit.
But the farmer was not much less swift of foot, and,
leaving his other victim to his brother, he gave chase
with such goodwill, that when he reached the house of
Dr. Mason, a full half-mile from his own home, he was
quite sure that he had seen his prisoner vault in at one
of the lower windows as he entered the gate.
There was a light shining softly through the library
blinds, and the young man rang the door-bell with a
peal which startled the Doctor and his daughter as they
sat together, he reading aloud to her as she bent over
her embroidery.
Some one for me, I suppose,' said the Doctor, rising.
'Twelve o'clock!' with a glance at the timepiece on
the mantel. 'I did not know it was so late.'
'Why, Harland, is this you ?' he asked, as he opened
the door. No one ill at home, I hope.'
'No, sir; no, sir,' stammered the man, very unwilling,
now that the Doctor's kind, sympathetic face confronted
him, to tell his errand. 'But-but-is your grandson
at home, sir ?'
At home, and in bed these two hours past. You
don't want to see him at this time of night, do
you ?'
'Well, sir, I'm much afraid you're mistaken, sir.
Unless I've made the biggest blunder of my life, Dr.
Mason, I caught him in my hen-yard just now, and
chased him all the way home here. He jumped in at
yonder window.'
The Doctor's face had darkened more and more heavily
as the man spoke.
Come with me,' he said gravely, when Harland con-




eluded; and leading
Charlie's room.

The light

the way, he

from the candle

took him up-stairs to

in his grandfather's hand

fell on the boy's face as it lay on the pillow, flushed and
warm, but apparently quiet in sleep. Dr Mason glanced
at his companion, then leaned over the bed and spoke-
SCharlie !'

The name was softly uttered, and
what heavy breathing answered him.

only a

slow, some-

' You must have been mistaken,' he

the young farmer.
'I wish I had


sir,' replied the

aid, turning to

man sturdily,

'but I don't think it.'
'But he could not have fallen into
so soon after such an exciting race.'
No, sir,' was the sententious answer.

so sound a sleep

The Doctor's face


He bent again over

supposed sleeper, and this time the boy's
in a sharp, strong tone-

name rang out

He sprang up at once, and glanced round him with a
startled look, his elbow resting on the pillow, his brown
eyes lifted to his grandfather's stern face.
'What's the matter he asked quickly.
'This is the matter,' replied Dr. Mason, drawing aside,
and pointing to Harland.
'Somebody sick ?' asked Charlie, with a look of vague

'No, young master, nobody ain't sick,'
land, 'unless you're sick of running. Bu
try to put me off the scent that way. Yo



t you needn't
u looked sound

asleep, and no mistake; but I know that curly brown
head of yours, if I didn't see your face; and here's the




very clothes you had on too,' touching Charlie's gar-
ments, which lay on a chair near the bed. Now I don't
want to be hard on anybody belonging to the Doctor, but
this thing has gone on long enough, and it's got to be
stopped; we farmers can't afford it, no way.'
Every vestige of colour had faded out of Dr. Mason's
face, leaving it almost grey in its pallor; but Charlie's
ruddy cheeks were as bright as ever, and he sat gazing
into the man's face with a curious blending of amuse-
ment and annoyance in his expression.
'You don't seem to remember that I don't know what
you and Grandpa were talking about before you waked
me,' said he, with a little laugh. 'And, any way,
Grandpa,' he added, a vexed look crossing his forehead,
'I can't imagine why our friend here should be brought
into my room at this time of night. If you had had no
objection, sir, I should very much have preferred to have
been called down-stairs if he wanted to see me. There
is some sort of misunderstanding here, of course; but
if there is anything more to be said about it, I would
be glad if you would take our visitor down-stairs, while
I get up and dress myself. I will follow you in ten
Nothing more perfectly innocent and open than the
boy's whole manner could be imagined. Harland him-
self was almost deceived by it. He stood looking in
amazement at the speaker, very much inclined to doubt
the evidence of his own senses. But Dr. Mason had
been deceived before by that innocent manner, and he
was not yet satisfied. Leaning down, until his white
head almost touched the brown curls, he said earnestly,
'Charlie, be honest and true with me. Look into my
face, my boy, and tell me whether you have been on



Harland's farm to-night. Whatever fault you have been
guilty of, be true to yourself and to me, and tell me, on
your honour, whether you have been there.'
The handsome eyes looked straight into the bending,
entreating face.
'I tell you, Grandpa, solemnly, that I have not been
within a mile of Harland's farm since sunset.'
Thank God for that,' said Dr. Mason, and lifted up
his face, and looked at the farmer.
'I think that there has been some error,' said he
kindly. 'I am sorry that you have been wronged in
this way again; but I cannot believe that my boy has
had anything to do with it.'
'I don't know how to believe that I'm mistaken, sir,'
replied Harland in a doubtful, uncertain tone. 'I saw
the young fellow go into that window down-stairs as
plain as I ever saw anything in my life. And as to these
pants, I'd swear to them in any court of'-
Harland paused, and the Doctor's heart stood still; for
as the man in his earnestness laid his hand upon the
article in question, a faint 'Peep, peep, peep,' issued from
the garment. In another moment his hand was plunged
into the pocket, and drawn out again, holding a small
chicken, drenched and half suffocated in the mass of
crushed eggs with which the pocket was filled.
A further examination brought forth more eggs, all
broken in the boy's flight and hasty disrobing of himself,
and a brood of twelve tiny chickens, just hatched, and
every one dead.
But not one word of triumph or vengeance did the
farmer utter. If he had been alone with the false young
marauder, it is more than likely that he would have dealt
him summary, and by no means light, punishment; for


his little chickens were his soul's delight; and he was,
besides, enraged at the deceit which had been, with at
least some measure of success, practised upon him. But
the grey head, bowed wearily upon the wrinkled hand,
as the Doctor stood with his elbow leant upon the mantel,
his pale face looking stedfastly down upon the now guilty
face on the pillow, held him silent.
And when Dr. Mason turned to him at last, saying,
'If you would be kind enough to leave us until to-morrow
morning at nine o'clock, I should be glad.' He went from
the room with a low-spoken Good-night, sir,' as gentle
and as sad as if he had been leaving a house where death
had cast its shadow.
Some time had passed since Harland had left the room,
and still Dr. Mason stood leaning against the mantel,
looking down at his grandson without speaking.
'Well, Charlie,' he said at last, as if he had been wait-
ing all this while in the hope that the boy might have
something to say which might in some measure palliate
his fault.
'Well, sir,' said Charlie, relieved beyond expression
by having the long silence broken, and speaking with an
embarrassed laugh,' I'm afraid that small chicken has
floored me pretty thoroughly.'
Then he cried out with a great cry, as if the boy had
struck him with a knife so sharp as to have cut to his
very heart,-
'Don't, don't! 0 Charlie, Charlie !' and turned away
his face, and covered it with hands which trembled as
Charlie had never seen them tremble before.
For a long while there was silence again between
them; until, unable any longer to endure the sight of
the bent figure and drooping head, the boy crept out




of his


and, touching

his grandfather's


said gently,-

'I'm sorry, Grandpa; on my word, I am.
' On your word V' repeated Dr. Mason,

turning towards


' What

without even

is your word ?


years Five long years of the deepest, strongest love of
my old heart,-five long years of the most watchful care

and training that
that I have done!

I know h
He can

ow to give;

and this is

look me firmly in the



and tell me an unblushing
exposure !'

lie, and then laugh

He seemed to be speaking to himself,

in intense

at its

e self-

pity, rather than to his grandson; and after a little he
turned and walked slowly from the room, as if he had

forgotten his presence.
Perhaps it was as well so.

Perhaps no words of stern

displeasure, no reproach or threat of punishment, could
have so humbled the boy, or have made his sin so hate-
ful in his own eyes, as the sight of that usually erect, com-

manding figure, now crushed by shame and



the broken tones of the deep rich voice.

When the door

had closed upon

his grandfather, he


himself face

downward on the bed, weeping

and sobbing like a little

But Charlie


More than once, in the

I had wept an
five years since

d sobbed


he had come to

live in the shelter and comfort of his grandfather's home,
his affectionate-heart had been touched by the grief with
which his wrong-doing had darkened its brightness; but

his sorrow

had been only a wave which

had broken in

tears, and then rolled back: it had never read
depths of his soul, and stirred into tumult the
impulses and powers which lay dormant there.

led the



'I -


now his paroxysm of repentance was not violent enough
to last beyond a few moments; and long before his
grandfather had even thought of going to his room, while
he was still walking restlessly up and down the library
floor, with his hands clasped behind his back, and his
head drooped forward upon his breast, he had fallen fast
asleep upon his tear-wet pillow.
Poor Charlie No wonder that the Doctor's brave
heart trembled as he thought of his future; for the battle
of life lay before him, and all his most trusty weapons
were broken by misuse, or rusted by idleness and want
of care.




THE morning



es of the

fell softly


old willow, hour

through the
after hour;

the Doctor, after keeping

his appointment with James

Harland, and making good to him the losses which he
had sustained at the hands of his grandson, went out on

his long round of visits.


Harriet left

sitting-room, and sat down with her
shaded library; the sun rose higher


the sunny
a the more

and higher in the

cloudless sky, until it was full noon, and still Charlie lay

beneath the window, thinking.

Caspar, after many vain

attempts to rouse him, had trotted off long ago in search
of amusement, for he found his playmate's usually agree-
able society exceedingly dull in his present mood; and
yet Charlie lay, his hands clasped beneath his head,


And the


of his thoughts-thoughts

deeper, fuller, more strongly moving than any which
had ever busied heart and brain in all the thirteen years

of his life-ran incessantly on those words of his
father,-' I can never despair of the boy.'


If he had not seen him as he had seen him on the past
night, bowed and broken beneath the terrible feeling of

shame which he, in his own utter want of that

sense of honour which made

so abhorrent and debasing in Dr.

a false word or act a

Mason's eyes,


not even comprehend, those words, and the firm tone of


faith and reliance

in which they were spoken,


might not have made so great an impression upon him.
But having been a witness to the intensity of his grand-
father's grief over his sin, the strength of his brave faith
in him touched the boy as nothing else could possibly
have done.
By and by, lifting his eyes as an inquisitive little sun-
beam peeped right into his face between the green
branches beneath which he lay, he noticed for the first
time that the morning was passing quickly by.
High noon !' he said, looking up to the sky in amaze-
ment. Why, what a dream I've been in, to be sure!
And the next thing, dinner will be ready, I suppose, and
then there'll be Aunt Harriet to face with her Sunday-
go-to-meeting look on, as starchy and stiff as a Shaker's
cap. I'll be off !'
Springing from his couch of soft turf, he flung aside
the drooping boughs and stepped out upon the road,
giving a low musical whistle for his dog as he glanced
around, missing him from his side. Miss Harriet heard
the whistle, and came to the library window as Charlie
sauntered past that side of the house.
Charlie Charlie !'
The boy walked on regardless of the call.
'Don't go away, Charlie. It is almost dinner-time.'
Still he went on as if he were deaf, without noticing
his aunt in any way, until he had gone quite out of the
reach of her voice. Miss Harriet turned back to her
work with a heavy sigh; and he, when he was quite
sure that he was out of sight and hearing, sat himself
down on a great stone on the bank of the brook to which
his wandering feet had led him, and began to pick up
the pebbles which lay around him, and fling them into
the water with almost vicious force.




'Dinner !' he muttered at length, when he had for
some moments been exercising his restless energies in
this way. 'I don't want to see any dinner for a month.
Old pest! I wish her dinner would choke her.'
And then he laughed at his own violence; and then
-then he turned his face and hid it in the grass for a
long long while: and even Caspar, who had rushed to
find him at his call, could not induce him by any canine
demonstrations of affection to raise it. No, not even
Caspar must see it now; for Charlie was a proud little
fellow, and he felt himself at thirteen years old almost
a man.
The sun had passed the meridian, and was moving
toward the west, when the boy lifted himself up again.
A great change had come over the face which had lain
hidden from sight for those two long hours. When it
had bent itself to the friendly shade of the long waving
grass which received it so tenderly, hiding its weakness,
its pain, and its irresolute desire with a soft fragrant
veil, and whispering to no living ear of the briny dew
which fell fast upon its slender blades, it had been the
face of a doubtful, troubled, anxious child; when it was
raised to the light once more, it bore the impress of a
fixed strong purpose,-a manly, brave determination.
He sat very still for a while; then rising to his feet,
he said, 'Come, Caspar, let's go and tell Hattie;' and
set off with a brisk step in the direction of Lindon
His own home was situated in the village, Dr. Mason's
practice making it necessary for him to be as near as
possible to the centre of the large district in which he
was the favourite practitioner; and the Hill lay about
a mile to the westward of Lindon village. But the twq


friends were not long in crossing the distance which lay
between them and the place of their destination.
Passing in through the open gateway,-for the beauti-
ful grounds of the Hill were free to all visitors, the gates
being unclosed from sunrise until twilight, Charlie
walked quickly up the main road, and was passing on
directly to the house, when far away on his left, through
the branches of a trailing honeysuckle which threw its
long tendrils over a rustic arbour that opened on a
narrow footpath, he saw the gleam of something white;
and instantly diverted from his purpose of going to the
house, turned his steps that way, morally certain that
the object of his search would be found there.
There was not a sound to be heard within the arbour
as he approached it; and laying his hand on Caspar's
collar to prevent him from springing forward and start-
ling the quiet occupant, he went up the footpath, and
looked in at the open arch. It was a pretty picture that
he saw, so pretty that he did not care to disturb it by a
motion or a word.
Curled up on the rustic seat, one slender foot peeping
out from beneath her white dress, her head, supported
on her hand, bent low over a book which lay in her lap,
with flushed cheeks and parted lips, and rapt, uncon-
scious face, Hattie Raymond was indeed a pretty picture.
'Hattie,' Charlie said at last; Hattie!'
Still she did not look up. He had spoken very softly,
but now he laughed his merry ringing laugh, and in a
moment the book was thrown down, and she sprang up
to welcome him.
'Oh, Charlie! Did they send you down here ? I
thought they didn't know where I was. I came off by
myself to have a good time with the Heir of Redclyff,


and didn't tell any one where I was

going to

hide my-

self. But I'm glad you found me
it ?'


Have you read

'Yes, I read it last winter when

and was keeled up
ber ?'

for a fortnight.

I sprained



my foot,


Isn't it perfectly lovely?


they make Guy die, and I think that's a shame.'

'How do you

know they do ?

of the way through the book.'
'Oh, I looked at the end.

You're not a

I can't help it,' she



with a laugh at
never can stand

the expression of

reading an

without looking to see how




interesting book through
they all come out. If I

don't, I grow so excited over it, and my face is red, and
my hands are cold, and I feel all shaky and trembly; its
perfectly horrid. But when I look at the end, and make

my mind comfortable about my people (for

they almost

always turn out all right, you know), then I can go on
with some comfort, and I have time to notice all the
pretty little thoughts in the book, and enjoy them.'
'But there's no interest in it when you know how it


between Guy and Philip ends in
but I want to find out how it is


all this trouble

peace and friendship,
brought about: and I

know that Guy succeeds in controlling that awful temper
of his, and I am just as interested as can be to read how
he struggles and fights with himself. Oh, Charlie, I do
think it is splendid for anybody to fight it out with such

grand, even in a book !
Her face was all aglow with

her young

I think it's



' Yes,

closes,' objected Charlie.
Oh yes, there is.

a dreadful

fault, and come off conqueror!


but Charlie only stood and looked at her; he did not
attempt to speak. Something in the expression of his
face caught her attention, and she moved quickly for-
ward, and laid her hand on his arm, as she said,-
What is the matter, Charlie ? You haven't looked
like yourself since you came in; and now-what is it,
Charlie, boy? tell me. Don't stand looking at me like
that. It makes me want to cry.'
'No, don't cry,' said the boy, as a premonitory quiver
in her voice warned him of danger. 'There's nothing
to cry about, or at least not for you. I came up here
to tell you something, Hattie-a plan of mine that
nobody else knows anything about; and you must keep
it a secret.'
She looked him straight in the face before she answered
him. Apparently what she saw there satisfied her, for
she said slowly,-
Go on, Charlie.'
'And you will not tell any one; nor speak of it, even
to Grandpa .'
'Not if it is as good a secret as your face seems to say
it is. And if it is not, I will never tell any one but
'I am going to run away from home.'
'Why ?-Charlie Mason !'
She fairly gasped the words. To tell her such a
secret as that, when she had just warned him that she
could hide no wrong-doing from his grandfather What
could he mean? And yet he looked so bright, and
strong, and brave, as if he felt that he was right, and
nothing could move him; as her hero, Guy Morville,
might have looked when, with resolute, undaunted pur-
pose, he had determined to call in every power and


force of his whole. nature to combat the great, over-
mastering fault of his character.
He did not answer her exclamation of surprise, but
stood as if waiting for her to speak again.
'I don't understand,' she said, ,after a moment's
silence. 'Sit down here, and tell me what you mean.
Why, Charlie, you'd break our dear old Doctor's heart
if you ran away from home.'
I shall break it if I stay here, that's certain, if I
haven't done it already. I suppose you haven't heard
about last night ?'
'No: did you fall into trouble with Aunt Harriet
again ?'
'I fell into trouble with everybody. Aunt Harriet is
the least part of it. She's been looking daggers at me
every time I gave her a chance, since she heard it; but
I don't care for her. Grandpa is all my trouble; and if
you'd seen his face last night, you wouldn't wonder.'
She knew Charlie well enough to be quite sure that
he had been engaged in some very serious piece of mis-
chief. Mr. Raymond and Dr. Mason were the closest
and most intimate friends; and these five past years
had made the daughter of the one and the grandson of
the other almost as dear to one another. Hattie's
friendship had been no small blessing to Charlie, nor
had Charlie been alone the gainer by their intimacy.
The nervous and excitable girl had learned calmness and
self-control from the quiet, common-sense view taken by
the boy of matters and things around them; and the
little lady, with her refined manners and delicate percep-
tions, self-possession, and pretty ways, was the best of
all companions for the rough, untutored lad who had
suddenly been placed in the position of the son of a


gentleman. She was very fond of him, and very sorry
for him, appreciating far better than did Miss Harriet
the difficulties which beset his path. Watching his face
now, in its pain, her own grew grave, and tender too,
and laying her hand on his shoulder, she said,-
Tell it all to me, Charlie. It will do you good.'
So he told it all, honestly and faithfully, hiding nothing,
-the story of the night expedition, and of his own share
in it; of Harland's accusation, and his bold denial; of
his grandfather's searching question, his false answer,
and Dr. Mason's consequent distress. Not even the
Doctor himself could have recited the whole occurrence
more truthfully. Then he looked up into Hattie's pale,
shocked face, and waited for her comments upon his tale.
It was very little that she said in words, only,-
'Oh, Charlie, dear! I thought you had grown up far
above this long ago.'
And then her voice broke, and she laid her head down
on his shoulder, and cried so bitterly that it was very
hard work not to help her a little.
But after a while she lifted up her wet face, and dash-
ing off her tears, said,' Tell me the rest, Charlie-about
your running away, I mean. Why should you do that V'
'Because,' said Charlie determinately, 'in spite of
Grandpa's feeling so awfully last night, he half trusts
me yet. I heard him tell Aunt Harriet this morning
that he could never despair of me! Never," he said,
"never." And I tell you, Hattie, he shan't either. I've
often thought I was sorry for being bad before ; but I
never knew what sorry meant until this morning-not
even last night. To think he'd hold on to me, even
when his heart was most breaking over me! Never
despair of me! I'll just wager he shan't! I'm going



off to-night, Hattie, and I shall never come back until
I've made a man of myself; a true, honourable gentle-
man; a man he'll be proud to call his grandson; a man
whose word shall be as good as his bond. He shall
never need to ask me again, as he did last night, "What
is your word ? "'
He had left her side, and was walking excitedly up
and down the arbour. As he ceased speaking, she rose
and joined him. Linking her arm in his, she walked
with him, gradually quieting him by the touch of her
hand on his arm, and by her slower movements, until he
had grown calm again. Then she said, in her grave,
womanly little way,-
'I'm very glad and proud for you, Charlie; very glad
and proud that you have made this grand resolution;
but it seems to me that it is a great mistake for you to
leave home in this way. It will be twice as hard for
you to do right, fighting on all alone and forsaken, than
if you were at home with your grandfather. He will be
such a help to you.'
'So he would if he were the only one there; but,
Hattie, I can never do right with Aunt Harriet near me.
She's at me from morning till night, poking at me to
make a good boy of me, and I can't stand it. And she
makes such a fuss over everything! Why, if I leave my
hat on a chair in the hall, instead of hanging it on the
hat-rack, she makes as big a row over it as Grandpa
would over-my telling a lie,' he added in a low voice,
after a moment's hesitation.
It isn't a bit of use,' he went on, after a pause, for
me to try to do anything with her around. I wouldn't
give her the satisfaction of seeing me try to be a better
sort of fellow, in the first place; I wouldn't if I could,


but I couldn't any way. I know, Hattie, for I've tried
it. Bad as I am, I have tried some to please Grandpa;
and no sooner do I get ahead a little, than she's got to
prate about it, and if I make a slip, take notice of it, and
say I don't seem to be trying much, after all, or some-
thing like that. You don't know anything about it; for
I do think she really hates me. You're her namesake,
and she cares for you; but even so you know she half
bothers your life out of you when you come down to our
house. Now, don't she ?'
'Why, of course she's fidgety and fussy,' said Hattie,
with a laugh. 'But she's good to me for all. And she's
good to you too, Charlie. Nobody could be more careful
for your comfort.'
'Oh, no! I suppose not,' said Charlie rather irritably.
'She keeps the buttons sewed on, and the stockings
darned, and all that sort of thing neat and comfortable.
But- It's no use talking about it, Hattie. I'm going
to run away. I must do it, if I ever mean to learn to
do right.'
'And you will never learn to do right if you begin by
doing wrong,' replied the girl very gravely. 'Do you
expect to comfort your poor grandfather's aching heart
by hurting him again ? You will be doing him a great
injury, Charlie.'
She was only a year older than himself, but her in-
fluence with him was very strong; and for the first time
since he had come into the arbour, his determined look
changed to one of doubt and irresolution.
'Shall I tell you what I would do ?' she asked, as she
saw the momentary hesitation in his face. 'I would go
right to Dr. Mason, and ask him to send me to boarding-
school, and to send me at once.'



'To boarding-school!'


for this was his especial horror.

Charlie in dismay,
'That is just what

Harriet would


It's what


Grandpa up to ever since I came here.
for anything.'

.e's been putting
I wouldn't go

'Then you are
Hattie quietly.

less in earnest than


' Do you mean to say that




I'm in

earnest in wanting to make a true, honourable man

myself '




a sudden

flash of

I mean to say,' replied



'that if you

are quite

determined to make your grandfather happy,

you will not begin by doing him a cruel wrong.

If you

go away from home without his knowledge, you must of
course work for your own support, and you will have no
time to educate yourself, and fit yourself'-
'Other fellows have grown up from mere working boys
into the greatest men that ever lived,' Charlie interrupted

'They grev

'Why shouldn't I ?'

v up into such


men because

made the most of all their advantages, while you

to throw yours all away, and

self by


begin to

yourself lower.


try to raise your-
Charlie, dear, I

don't want to discourage
this plan of yours is all wr(

you, I want to help you; but
ong-I know it is. Why won't

you go right home, and tell the Doctor all about it 1'
It was rather hard. It had seemed such a grand ex-
ploit to march off alone, and, taking the world by storm,
earn such a name for himself as would fill his grand-


heart with pride


and joy when, years hence, he

back to him, a man of


fame and

And what was this new plan which Hattie







offered in its stead ? A tame, common-place life in a
boarding-school, toiling slowly day by day up the ladder
of learning, striving there to do all the work within him-
self which he had intended to do grappling hand to hand
with the world. It was a terrible fall. But, after all,
was not Hattie right ? He sat, and thought and thought,
the girl resting silent beside him the while; and at last,
-being thoroughly in earnest, poor boy! in his great
desire to be worthy of his grandfather's faith and trust
in him,-turned his averted face toward his companion,
and laid his hand in hers.
SI'll do it, Hattie,' he said; 'but I tell you, it's just
the toughest job I ever did in all my life. And oh!'
with a great sigh, as if the loss came home to his very
heart, 'I'll have to give up Caspar too.'
Will you let me keep him for you ?' said Hattie, as
if the matter were entirely settled.
Oh will you keep him ? Aunt Harriet does bother
him so, and I shan't be there to stand up for him, you
And then, feeling that he did not care to trust himself
to talk much more, Charlie said 'Good-bye' more gently
than was his wont, and walked slowly down the hill
towards home.




'CHARLIE Charlie Go back and wipe your feet!'
The long walk home through the sweet summer twi-
light, with his heart fullto overflowing with his new
hopes and plans, had brought a look of unwonted quiet
and repose to Charlie's face. As he had neared the
house, firmly fixed now in his resolve to relinquish his
own first determination, and in its stead to follow out
Hattie's wiser but less pleasant suggestion, he had
glanced up to see if his grandfather were seated in his
favourite corner near the library window; and as his
eyes rested on the white head leaning against the dark
background of the great arm -chair, which was Dr.
Mason's especial property, they brightened with eager-
ness, and with a leap and a bound he sprang up the
steps and into the doorway.
How the light and the gladness faded as Aunt Harriet's
voice fell on his ear With a very unusual attention to
her wishes, growing out of his tenderness for his grand-
father, he had paused at the threshold, for once remem-
bering the oft-repeated and sharply-urged injunction to
wipe his dusty feet upon the door-mat before entering
the house. With a slower step he passed into the hall,
making no reply to Miss Harriet's quick call.
'Charlie, go right back,' she said, meeting him as he



turned towards the library. Ellen has waxed the halls
and the stairs, and I will not have them soiled by your
dusty boots.'
Oh, harsh, impatient words, hastily spoken to those
who are in fault! How often they turn back the first
waves of penitence and contrition, as they come rolling
gently in after the tempest of passion and sin has passed
over the soul of a child !
Without deigning a word in reply, Charlie turned
abruptly toward the stairs, not choosing to say that he
had already attended to her wishes, and went up to his
room; his purpose of unfolding all his desires and hopes
to his grandfather changed to a strong inclination to
carry out at once his first hasty and ill-formed resolution
to run away from home, and fight his own way through
the world.
With a hopeless shrug of her shoulders, and a whis-
pered' Was there ever such a torment?' Miss Harriet
went into the dining-room to see if supper were ready;
and finding it already upon the table, sent the servant
up to Charlie's room to call him down.
'I can't get no answer, Miss Harriet,' said he, return
ing after some moments' delay. Master Charlie has
gone out again, perhaps. I knocked twice, and he did
not open the door.'
'Is the door locked, Reuben ?'
Yes'm; and I didn't hear a breath when I listened
for him. He might be asleep, may happen. If ye'd let
him rest, ma'am, I could get him a bite after a bit, when
he wakens.'
To tell the truth, old Reuben, a privileged servant in
the family, which he had served for the past fifty years,
boy and man, with unfailing fidelity, had a suspicion of


the true state of affairs, and, always ready to shield the
boy whom he loved, first for his mother's sake, and then
for his own, had not urged Miss Harriet's desire with
any great vehemence.
'I wish him to come down at once,' said his mistress.
'Go up again, Reuben, and tell him that we are waiting
for him.'
'Master Charlie, dear,' said Reuben, a moment later,
with his lips at the key-hole of the closed door, after
knocking in vain for admittance, Miss Harriet bids you
to come down. And the doctor's wantin' his tea, and
waiting' for ye.'
Still no answer.
Master Charlie, you won't go for to fret your grand-
father no more the day, sure. Come down, sir, and see
what a nate pickin' I laid by for ye from the dinner
There's some salmon, and a bit of cold chicken, and such
a pasty as '11 make your mouth water to see it just.
Nancy made it a purpose for ye. Come down now,
there's a fine lad.'
The door burst suddenly open, and Charlie stood
before it, his eyes flashing, and his whole face in a blaze
of wrath.
'Take yourself down-stairs this minute !' he exclaimed
in a fury of passion. Didn't you see that my door was
locked because I didn't choose to be disturbed ?'
'But, Master Charlie, dear,' pleaded old Reuben,
shrinking back before the storm which threatened him,
'Miss Harriet bade me bring you for sure.'
'What do I care for Miss Harriet's bidding? Go
down and tell her'-
Charlie Mason !'
The voice came up the stairs, and as it came he caught


the sound of his grandfather's step crossing the hall
toward the dining-room. The fish faded from his face
as the warning tone fell on his ear; and without another
word he turned back into his room, quietly closing the
door behind him.
Well ?' said Miss Harriet, as Reuben re-entered the
I think Master Charlie's not wantin' any supper,
ma'am. He bade me not disturb him,' said the old man,
with a careful softening of the facts of the case.
'I would not call him again, Harriet,' said her father,
as, with a deepened colour and a look of strong irrita-
tion, she rose from her seat.
'But he has eaten no dinner, father. He will surely
be sick if he goes on in this way.' And she turned to
him with an expression of some anxiety on her face,
for it was a sore distress to Miss Harriet to have her
nice viands unappreciated; and, in addition to the vexa-
tion caused her by Charlie's insubordination, she was
really made unhappy by his refusal to eat. 'He has not
taken a mouthful since breakfast.'
'One day's fast will not hurt him, dear; I think that
I would leave him to himself.'
Dr. Mason's manner of making a suggestion in a case
like this was in itself a command, and Miss Harriet
seldom thought of opposing her will to his. Her father
was the very idol of her heart; and, to do her justice,
her hard feeling towards Charlie was greatly owing to
her intense affection for the Doctor. Devoted, body and
mind, to his service and comfort, she resented the anxiety
and the grief which Charlie caused him with angry
bitterness, and thought no severity and harshness too
great to be used toward one who, in spite of the care




and love lavished upon him, could wantonly bring a
cloud upon her father's beloved face.
'Harriet, my dear.'
Yes, father.'
They had returned to the library, and Dr. Mason was
sitting in his corner by the window, taking a little rest
preparatory to starting out once more on his round. As
his daughter spoke, she left her seat, and coming up
behind him, began to toy with his hair,-an old habit of
hers, and one in which he greatly delighted. Looking
'ap at her now with a smile, he took in his own the hand
which was threading its fingers through the snowy locks,
and, drawing her forward until her face met his own,
'My dear,i I want to talk to you about our boy. I
don't think that you quite understand him.'
And you think that I am unkind and cross and un-
wise with him,' said Miss Harriet, her pale face flushing
as she spoke. 'You are quite right. But, father,' and
her voice faltered a little, 'perhaps I try to bear with
him more than you think I do, judging from the results
of my efforts.'
'I know you do, my dear; and I know how sorely he
often tests your patience. I have noticed-and I thanked
you for it in my heart, ity dear, as I thank you more
plainly for it now,'-and he drew her face down upon
his breast, and kissed it,-' I have noticed that you have
not reproached him for last night's escapade. It was
better so, much better: reproaches would only have
vexed and hardened him. But, my dear, if you could be
more patient with the trifles, Charlie would, I think, be
less headstrong and obstinate with regard to your wishes.
You speak to him with the same severity when he fails,


through forgetfulness or carelessness, to attend to some
minor duty, as you would use in blaming him for a
heinous offence. Ah, Harriet, my dear, if you had seen
the bright, eager, yet half-uncertain deprecating fice
which caught my eye as Charlie sprang up the steps this
evening, it would have grieved you to the soul, as it did
me, to have listened to the sullen, heavy tread with
which he crossed the hall, and to have heard the defiant
tone in which he answered your summons to the tea-
table. If I have any power in reading human faces, that
boy came home penitent, and hopeful of a better future.
I think that the sudden lighting of his face when he saw
me was the promise of good things for us all. I may be
wrong, my child, in my surmises; but the step with
which he went up the stairs was painfully changed from
that with which he bounded up to the piazza; and I
doubt the face was as sadly changed as the tread.
He must necessarily be checked in so many ways,'
the Doctor went on, after a pause for an answer which
he did not receive,' that if we reprove him for all his
less grave faults, he will hardly hear us speak of anything
but misdemeanors from week's end to week's end; and
that will be very hard upon him, if he hates to be found
fault with as much as his grandfather does. Suppose
we try, my little girl,'-and he stroked the dark hair,
already lightly touched with grey, as tenderly as if she
had been the little child he called her,--'to pass over
all these minor annoyances and irregularities indulgently
and kindly.'
'You would not have him grow up a rough unpolished
man, father V' said his daughter, lifting her head to look
into the face of the courtly old gentleman, in whose eyes
she knew that a breach of good manners was intolerable.



He took the upturned face in his hands, looking long
into it before he answered her. 'Harriet,' he said at
last, and his voice was so deep and solemn that the tears
rose in her eyes as they gazed into his, 'if our boy grows
up into a man who is worthy to be called a man atall, I
shall feel that God has- been very good to us. Let us
help him, my dear, with all our strength, for the battle
will be hard and long, and he is not fitted for the strife.
With patient helpful hands let us lead him up the diffi-
cult path; with glad joyous voices let us welcome every
advancing step; with lips quick to praise and slow to
blame, let us cheer him on his toilsome way. For,
Harriet, my dear, you and I do not know the strength
of his temptations, nor the power of that evil life to
which he has been trained.'
Miss Harriet made no reply; but when, a little later,
the Doctor had gone out, she crept softly up to Charlie's
room, and peeped cautiously in at the door. He was
lying on the bed, as if he had thrown himself down in
weariness, and had fallen asleep with one arm thrown
carelessly above his head, the hand nestled in his brown
curls. But as she stole nearer to him, she saw that his
face was flushed, and his hair lay in damp masses over
his forehead, as if it had been tossed and disordered in
a fit of impatience. She could easily imagine him wan-
dering restlessly about his room, and finally flinging
himself angrily down upon the bed, chafing and fretting
against herself, and dropping ofi to sleep when his passion
had spent itself. She had seen him in such turns before,
and had calmly watched him through them without one
sympathizing word or look. But to-night she was in a
softer mood.
For a few moments she stood watching him with a


grave, troubled face; then she bent down, and lifted the
heavy hair from the damp forehead as gently as his
mother might have touched it. The boy stirred and
muttered in his sleep, and Miss Harriet sped away as if
she were afraid to encounter the glance of his waking
eyes. The touch had roused him from his light slumber.
He raised his head, and looked about him; then rose,
and with slow, hesitating movements, as if he were not
quite decided whether to do so or not, began to prepare
himself to go to bed in earnest.
But the short sleep into which he had fallen seemed
to have broken his rest. Hour after hour he lay there,
listening to the different sounds in the house, until all
was still. He heard the servants go up to their rooms;
then his grandfather came in, very late; and shortly
after, Aunt Harriet, who always waited for him, went
up-stairs, leaving him below. Four hours he had lain
there since at nine o'clock he had gone to bed-four
long, thoughtful, quiet hours; and now he knew that his
grandfather was alone, and that he might go to him and
tell him all that was in his heart, and there would be no
one to disturb him. Should he go down ? Should he
resolve, once for all, to make a bold stand for the right,
and ask his grandfather's help and counsel?
For more than an hour Dr. Mason had been sitting
before the bright wood-fire in the library. The night
was damp and cool, and coming in somewhat chilled and
tired, he had put a match to the logs, which lay ready
on the hearth, and established himself before them to
enjoy the soft warmth. As the silence of night had
settled down over the house, his thoughts had gone up
to the boy who lay in the room above him, asleep, as he
supposed. He had turned over in his mind a hundred



plans for his good, none of which seemed to fit the case
in all its bearings; and at last, with a sigh over his
doubt and perplexity, he rose to go to his room. As he
moved, he caught the sound of a step behind him, and
turned quickly, somewhat startled, knowing that all
the different members'of the family had retired long
'Charlie! Why, my son, what are you doing here at
this time of night ? It is nearly two o'clock.'
I know it, Grandpa; but I wanted to tell you-I
wanted to say Oh, Grandpa, I'm so sorry I am so
bad !'
Dr. Mason laid his hand on the boy's head as he bent
it to hide his quivering face; but he did not say a word
to stay the tide of his repentant grief. After a little he
drew him to the sofa, sitting down beside him there, but
still he did not speak. By and by Charlie lifted up his
face, and glanced timidly at him. He was looking
steadily at the bright logs on the hearth, beating gently
with one hand upon the arm of the sofa, and did not
turn to meet the troubled eyes which were raised toward
'Do believe me, Grandpa; I am true this time,'
faltered the boy. I can't say on my word," nor on
my honour," for you think I have neither; but I do
mean what I say. Oh, Grandpa, do look at me, and
listen to me !'
'Listen to you, my son ?' said Dr. Mason, as if waken-
ing from a reverie. 'My heart has been listening for
you all day long, Charlie.'
He laid his hand on his head again, and, bending it a
little back, looked down into his face.
'Believe you !' he said. 'Oh, if you only knew how


I long to believe you And I do; yes, I do, my boy.
You cannot mean to deceive me now; I know you can-
Charlie nestled close within the clasp of the arm which
was thrown around him. Neither spoke for a few
moments. The boy broke the silence at length by ask-
ing abruptly,-
Grandpa, would it cost a great deal of money to send
me away to some school where they look out pretty
smartly for the fellows ?'
'No,' said Dr. Mason, very much surprised. 'Do you
want to go to boarding-school ?'
'I want to go away,' replied Charlie, speaking very
slowly. At least, I want to try my very best to do
right; and I think I'd do better away from all the
fellows I've been cutting up with, and away from-from
Aunt Harriet,' he broke out bluntly. 'I don't mean to
excuse myself,' he went on rapidly,' for I know I'm as
bad as I can be; but I do think, Grandpa, that it's a
great deal harder for a fellow to do right in great things,
when he's dinned at from morning till night about a
whole pile of little things that he can't possibly remember.
I'm sorry I plague her so sometimes; but then, again, to
tell the real truth, I'm often glad of it, and just run foul
of her to torment her. But, any way, it keeps me in a
fret all the while. And then there are all those fellows
that I've got in with, too, as I said before. If I could
be away from them, I think I'd run a better chance of-
of-keeping up your faith in me. That's what's the
matter with me, Grandpa. I heard you tell Aunt Harriet
that you would never despair of me; and you shan't;
indeed, indeed, you shan't!'
As the head, which had been lifted from his shoulder




as the boy spoke, nestled down again to its place, Dr,
Mason stroked it tenderly.
'What put this idea into your mind?' he asked.
Was it your own thought ?'
Charlie coloured with the sudden appreciation of the
distress which his first plan would have brought to his
'It's rather a long story,' said he; 'but I'd like to
tell you about the whole day, if you're not too tired to
I would sit up until sunrise to know- what you have
thought and felt to-day,' said the Doctor.
So the story was told,-how, lying beneath the old
willow, he had heard the conversation between his grand-
father and his aunt, and how it had touched him to the
very heart to find that, bitter as had been his grand-
father's grief over his sin, he could yet trust in him;
how, vexed with Aunt Harriet, he had deliberately dis-
obeyed her; how, delighted with his own plan for a new'
and better life, he had gone with it to Hattie Raymond
for her sympathy and aid, and how she had disappointed
him and changed his purpose; how he had come home
penitent, and eager at once to give his grandfather the
comfort of knowing that he was both sorrowful and
hopeful; and how he had yet, on slight temptation,
yielded to his pride and passion.
Nothing was hidden, veiled, or even extenuated. Dr.
Mason, sitting beside him, looking steadily down into
the upturned earnest face, saw that, for once at least, the
boy was telling the whole truth.
The morning light was breaking in the east when the
story was ended.
See,' said the Doctor, a smile rippling the grave lincs


of his face as Charlie ceased speaking; 'there is my hope
in you, Charlie. So far it has been but a grey misty
light struggling against the surrounding darkness; but
it is brightening now, and, tended by the Master's
careful hand, will kindle into the glory of the perfect
day. May He who hath begun a good work in you
perfect it unto the end!"'


'MY DEAR HATTIE,-I am going to write you a monstrous
letter-a perfect rouser; but you needn't read it all at
once if you don't want to. If you are tired of it, throw
it overboard until you are rested, and then begin at it
again. The reason why it must be so long is, because
I'll have to tell you all about my journey, for it was such
jolly good fun. I couldn't help wishing all the while
that you were along, for you'd have liked it first-rate.
That Mr. Braisted, under whose care Grandpa put me,
is a right good fellow, and just the best sort of a chap to
travel with; for he's been everywhere, and knows every-
thing, and can answer any question you choose to ask
him. By the way, he and Grandpa played a trick on
me, for when we reached Melville I found,-but no, I
won't tell you yet what I did find. You'll know before
you come to the end of the letter.
'We only went as far as New York the first day,
because Mr. Braisted had some business to attend to
there. We got in about ten o'clock, and took an omni-
bus at the depot to ride down town. A lot of other
people jumped into the same stage, until we were stowed
away as close as sardines in a box; and then a man who
was standing at the door banged it shut, and away we
went. It was an awfully tight squeeze; and an old
woman, who sat next me, kept poking me in the ribs
with the end of her umbrella, which she couldn't seem


to manage. I was thinking of asking her what she
meant to do with my bones when she'd pried them out;
but seeing that she had a bag and a basket and an enor-
mous bundle to take care of besides the umbrella, I let
her poke, and bore it like a man.
'You never saw such a funny place as this New York
in all your life. The houses are packed tight together
in long rows, with a mean little bit of grass in front by
way of a garden, line after line of them from street to
street,-that is, the dwelling-houses, I mean. But wait
till you get down town if you want to see packing.
There they haven't even a blade of grass, or a tree, or
anything but brick and stone. And the people hurry
about, and push and jostle one another so; they rush
around as if somebody were dreadfully sick, and they'd
all been sent off on the run for the doctor. And there's
scarcely a womankind to be seen down there-all men,
and perfect heaps of them. But I liked it first-rate. I
think it must be jolly to fly around so, and feel so busy
and so big. I wish I lived in New York. Then there's
lots to see, too. Some of the stores and banks and
churches are splendid; and Mr. Braisted pointed out all
the handsome ones, and told me who they belonged to,
and the names of them. I asked him to tell me softly,
because all the other fellows in the omnibus looked so
knowing that I did not want them to see I was a green-
horn. So he did; he's nice, I tell you.
'But you never saw such cubby-holes as some of the
offices down town are. Little bits of rooms, so dark
that in lots of them they burn the gas all day long, and
so dusty, musty, rusty, that you can't seem to believe
that they make such heaps of money in them. But they
do; and one of these days I'm going to live in New York,



and have a little dark office, and pile up money, and
build a beautiful house for Grandpa, and never let him
work any more, but just sit in a splendid library, with
books all bound in blue and gold, and read all day
When Mr. Braisted had finished up his business, he
asked me if I'd rather go up to Central Park, or down
to the wharves to see the shipping. I chose the ships,
of course; and off we went, after we'd had our lunch, to the
piers. There's a new steamer lying at New York, called
the "Parthia." She's a boat, and no mistake. Before I
came off of her, I'd almost made up my mind to be a
sea-captain instead of a broker, and I don't know but I
may yet. She's a regular beauty, and I couldn't bear to
go ashore again and leave her. But our time was up
before I was half through looking at her, and of course
we had to go.
'The boat left at six o'clock, so we had our tea on
board. It was jolly to sit down in the saloon, and order
just what you wanted. If ever you go, take devilled
crabs; they're prime. I saw the name on the bill of
fare, and ordered them because the name was so queer;
and I thought it sounded rather nice to say, too, as if I
knew a thing or two, you know. But, oh, wasn't I tired
after we went up-stairs? Don't you tell anybody, but
if it hadn't looked babyish, I should have liked to have
gone right to bed. Mr. Braisted took me all over the
boat, and showed me the machinery and everything, and
explained it so that I could understand how it went. It
was so interesting that it waked me up again; but when
we went out on deck, and sat down, I didn't know
how I was going to keep my eyes open. Of course
I didn't want him to see I was sleepy, because it looked


so young and green, and I tried my best to fight it
'By and by he asked me if I was tired, and said I
seemed to be growing so still. I said I was thinking;
and so I was, thinking how nice bed would feel. But
I thought it would be kind of grand to sit up until
twelve o'clock. I wanted to make a good impression on
these chaps here, and I thought it would be a good thing
to say, in a careless sort of way, you know, that the
night had been so fine we had not left the deck until
midnight. It seemed to me I was just thinking how
well that would sound, and wishing that midnight would
hurry up, when Mr. Braisted put his hand on me.
"I'm not asleep, sir," said I, jumping up. Down,
Caspar !"
For, as my hand moved, I felt something shaggy, and
thought it was Caspar's coat. Oh, how Mr. Braisted did
'"That is not Caspar," said he, "but my shawl. I
threw it over you lest you should take cold. Caspar is
safe at home in Lindon."
'Didn't I feel too cheap I couldn't say a word.
'" You've been asleep for an hour," said Mr. Braisted
after a minute; "and now I think you had better go
down to the state-room. You will take cold out here,
the air is growing so fresh."
'Of course I went, for I felt too much cut up to say
anything, and in five minutes was in my berth, and knew
nothing more until we touched the Fall River dock next
'Then came the best part of the journey,-the ride on
the top of the stage-coach, from Fall River to Melville.
It was a lovely, cool day, and the road runs right up



through the mountains, over such high ground that we
caught the full sweep of the brisk wind. Oh, it was
grand! Mr. Braisted liked it too, only that his seat was
next to a man who had a sick-headache. I whispered to
him that I'd change with him; for he got so pale every
time the man felt qualmy that I was afraid he'd be ill
too; but he wouldn't do it. The coachman watched the
poor fellow with the greatest concern, and by and by he
said, shaking his head as gravely as a judge,-
"It's awful bad to have the sick -headache when
you're going to coach it, for one never knows what's a
coming .
'I just roared. Mr. Braisted tried hard to hold in, but
his lips quivered and twitched, and his eyes danced like
two fire-flies; and then he couldn't stand it another
minute, but broke out into the merriest laugh you ever
heard. Old coachee was as mad as a hornet for a
moment; but he got over it after a while, and told us
lots of impossible yarns, which we pretended to swallow
all in good faith, and we parted at the Melville Seminary
the best possible friends.
'And here comes my story. When we opened the
gate, and went into the grounds of the seminary, it was
mid-day, and I saw a lot of fellows out on the lawn play-
ing ball. In a minute there was a shout and a rush,
and down they all pelted, big boys and little boys
together, in one big crowd, swarming around Mr.
Braisted, shaking hands with him, holding fast to his
arms, to his coat, anything they could get hold of, as if
they were going mad over him.
And what do you think it all meant ? Why, he is
the principal of this school; and the reason that neither
he nor Grandpa told me was because he wanted to get


acquainted with me, and he thought I'd be shy of him if
I knew who he was. He is acquainted with me, and no
mistake; for he was such an easy kind of a fellow to
make friends with, that I talked to him as if he was
another youngster, and told him how much I knew, and
how much I didn't know too; and what I wanted to do
with myself, and how I was going to try to make such a
man of myself as Grandpa might be proud of, and all
about it; only that I didn't tell him how bad I am.
I'm glad now that I didn't know who he was, for I feel
real easy with him as it is; and if I'd been told that I
was to make this long journey with the principal of the
school, I suppose I'd have felt awfully poky and stiff,
and wouldn't have grown acquainted at all.
'Now I must tell you some about the school. I
thought it was a very small affair, and I suppose it is
as boys' boarding-schools go; but there's quite a pile
of fellows here after all. Twenty of us, all told. Two
classes; one of big chaps, sixteen to fourteen years old;
and my class. We run from eleven to thirteen, but
there's only one elevener. He's a small chap, the
youngest of the lot, and very little for his age, but
the very pluckiest youngster that ever played a match.
You ought to have seen him yesterday! We were all
turning somersaults over a heap of sand that happens
to lie on the lawn near the road (they are going to fill in
a hole in the road with it), and he was trying to do it
too, but he couldn't; his legs being short, he couldn't
butt the heap near enough to the top to go safely over.
He fell short every time, and at last Will Perkins, the
tallest boy in the school, calls out,-
'"Stand away there, Harry Clifford you'll never do
it, and you're in the way."



'I thought he'd be mad, for he's a spicy chap; but he
looked up at Will, and, with a funny nod, says,-
'" Yes, I will do it too. I'll stand out of your way,
if you want me to; but I'll go over that sand-heap before
long, I can tell you."
'He turned off, looking as pleasant as could be; and
a minute after I saw him practising by himself on a knoll
not far from us. For a whole half-hour that fellow tried
it over and over, and at last he did it, half a dozen times
in succession. Then he came back where we stood, fell
into line, and when his turn came went for the sand-
heap. Over he went, as straight as Perkins himself;
and then didn't those chaps cheer! I tell you it did me
good. I just had to go and shake hands with him.
'Does that make you think of anything, HattieI It
does me. A big, steady, hearty fight, and a victory too.
Little Clifford has helped me already. He seems to like
me, and I'm glad of it, for I like him. I wouldn't wonder
if we were first-rate friends, for we room together, and
we get along prime. By the way, Hattie, it isn't half so
hard for me to keep the promise I made you, to say a
prayer every night and morning, as I thought it would
be; for Harry says his too, and as we're the only two
in our room, it's quite convenient. Did you know that
Grandpa had put one of those picture-texts in my trunk
for me to hang up in my room? It says-" Him that
overcometh .. I will write upon him my new name."
I am going to hang it at the foot of my bed, so I can see
it when I wake up in the morning.
'I like all the boys pretty well, even Will Perkins.
He's a bully, but he can be nice it he chooses. The
other boys give in to him like everything, partly because
he's got lots of money, and treats them if they do, and


partly because they are afraid of him if they don't. I
don't think Mr. Braisted knows half what a bully he is,
or he'd put a stop to some of his pranks. He never will
know, though, for they're all strong on not backing down
on any fellow here. They stand by one another through
everything. Give lots of love to Grandpa. I wrote to
him yesterday. Perhaps I'd better send a little to Aunt
Harriet too, for she kissed me when I came away, and she
put some candy in my lunch-basket. I think she was
kind of sorry, only she didn't want to say so. If she is
real sorry, I'll forgive her; but if she isn't, I won't.
'Don't forget to write to me every week as you pro-
mised. I forgot to tell you that another teacher besides
Mr. Braisted lives in the house,-Mr. Travers. Grandpa
is going to write every week too.-Your dear old
'P.S.-How is that for a letter ? I'm tired to death;
how are you ?
P.S.-I'm trying, Hattie. True and hearty, I am.'




CHARLIE'S introduction to his school life had been very
propitious. Mr. Braisted, an old friend and college chum
of Dr. Mason's, had happened to be making a visit near
Lindon at the time of the boy's last disgraceful exploit;
and knowing that, while he was a most genial and kind-
hearted man, he was also exceedingly strict and puncti-
lious with regard. to the discipline to be maintained in
his school, the Doctor went at once to see him, and ask
if he would admit Charlie into his establishment. Con-
fiding to Mr. Braisted the story of his grandson's unfor-
tunate early life and training; his present characteristics,
so strongly marked both for good and evil; and his ap-
parently earnest desire and effort to conquer his grave
faults, Dr. Mason had placed him under the care of his
old friend, hopeful, as usual, of the very best results from
the change.
And Charlie himself was no less sanguine of success.
He had had, on the evening before his departure for
Melville, a long and serious but very happy talk with
the Doctor, and had gone up to his room when it was
concluded, with his grandfather's kiss yet lying warm
upon his cheek, and his grandfather's parting words of
blessing lying as warm upon his heart, more strongly
determined than ever to be worthy of his grandfather's
Of any higher motive for striving to form a pure and


noble character, Charlie had no thought. He saw plainly
(for not even the eye of a careless frolicsome boy could
fail to notice it) that Dr. Mason's whole life was in-
fluenced and controlled by a power of which he knew
nothing in his own experience; but although through
all these past five years he had been lovingly taught of
that Friend who was so dear to the old man's heart,
he had not chosen Him as his own friend. Even the
brightly illuminated words of the beautiful text which
Dr. Mason had secretly laid in his trunk, did not bring
to his mind any great desire to have the 'new name'
written on his forehead. The twining vines and flowers
wreathed themselves, as he thought of it, rather about
the name of his grandfather than that of the mighty
Friend, the love of whom would have been so complete
a defence to him in this time of his need.
Charlie had not been mistaken in his estimate of
the characters of the two boys in the school who had
made the strongest impression upon him in the few days
during which he had known them. Good-natured, merry
Harry Clifford, with his determination, his earnestness,
and his high principles, was the best companion a care-
less, vacillating boy like Charlie could possibly have
had; and the tie between them bade fair to become both
strong and lasting. Within the first six hours after their
meeting, Harry had been made aware of the amount
of Charlie's allowance, and the value of his possessions in
the knife, marble, and twine line. He knew that he
had a dog, named Caspar, whom he loved as dog was
never loved before; and an aunt, named Harriet, who
occupied exactly the opposite position in his heart; and
before the week was out, he had heard the whole story
of his early life and its unhappy results,-his efforts,



his failures, his grandfather's loving trust in his final
success, and his own fixed resolution to win the victory
for his grandfather's sake; and more than that, he was
pledged by his own voluntary promise to give him all
the aid in his power in the accomplishment of his
All that Charlie could tell was told, and then Harry
returned the compliment, and unfolded his confidences.
Like Charlie, he was fatherless; but he had a mother,
and, being her only son and eldest child, felt himself her
guard and protector. For the present, he said, he had
been forced to leave her to attend to his education; but
as soon as his studies were ended, he intended to return
home, and settle down for life in the old homestead.
He never meant to marry, but to give up all his days
to his widowed mother. His little sisters, he thought,
would probably, like all young ladies, leave home when
they were grown up, but he should never desert his
There was something very beautiful, even to Charlie's
boyish eyes, in this complete devotion. Harry was so
slight and delicate in appearance, that it seemed as if his
mother might, for many a year, feel the need of watch-
ing carefully over him. But he never seemed to doubt
for a moment either his ability or his right to support,
defend, and watch over her; and he took such a pride
and delight in speaking of himself as her natural pro-
tector, that Charlie, in spite of his teazing roguish pro-
pensities, had not the heart to laugh at his preten-
Less fortunately for himself, Charlie had also, notwith-
standing his slighting mention of him in writing to
Hattie, formed a close intimacy with William Perkins,


the oldest scholar in the seminary. He was very much
what the letter had described him, an open-handed, liberal
young fellow, with plenty of money to spend, and great
readiness to spend it, not only on himself, but on others
as well; full of life, wit, and resource, but domineering,
obstinate, and arrogant as boy could well be. He had
taken a fancy at once to Charlie's bright intelligent face,
and had admired, petted, and flattered him, until the
boy, in spite of his first impressions, was won over com-
pletely, and, in a week's time, would have done anything
within his ability to aid or to please him; and the sound
of the pet name, 'Brownie,' which Will had bestowed
upon him, spoken in Perkin's winning voice, would coax
him on the instant from the most enticing game or the
most absorbing book.
Harry had taken the greatest delight in showing
Charlie everything that was to be seen in the seminary,
or around it; but whatever he exhibited, whether it were
the ball-ground, the cricket-field, the best points for fish-
ing in the brook, or some of the many curiosities which
Mr. Braisted had collected in years spent in travel, he
had always kept before his mind's eye something more
rare and beautiful still, which he had yet to place before
him as the crowning delight of Melville Seminary. That
he was in some way to be hoaxed, Charlie was fully
aware; no one could look into Harry's dancing merry
eyes, as he spoke of 'the Great Unknown,' without being
quite satisfied that he meant mischief; but he would give
no clue by which his friend might guess what it was
that had been so long kept in the background, waiting
until he was thoroughly acquainted with all things else
about the establishment before it was revealed to his
anxious eyes.




'Charlie,' said Harry, one evening, as they sat in the
schoolroom, where the boys had all been preparing their
lessons for the next day, speaking in a low whisper, how
would you like to see the Great Unknown to-night ?'
'First-rate,' said Charlie eagerly. 'Where is it .'
'You sit still a minute, while I go and find it.' And
the next moment he had slipped out of the room, only
to reappear almost immediately at the door, and beckon
him to follow.
'What are you two fellows up to called out Will
Perkins, as Charlie left his seat.
'Nothing much,' said Harry; 'we'll be back in no time.'
'They have some nonsense on hand,' said Will, as the
two disappeared together.
We'll find our beds sewed up, or our pillows floured,
or something. That little Clifford's eyes looked as if
they'd dance out of his head. I mean to track them.'
And he followed them from the room.
Harry led his companion across the hall, up-stairs, and
through a long narrow passage, which led to a small
room occupied as an omnium gatherum for all the disused
maps, charts, school-books, specimens, etc., which had
been laid aside from time to time as worn out or worth-
less. The room was entirely dark, but a faint glimmer
of light shone beneath a door on the opposite side from
that by which they had entered.
'Do you want to know what you are going to see ?'
asked Harry in a sepulchral voice.
'I don't think there's much chance of seeing anything
in this dungeon,' replied Charlie. 'What have you got
to show .'
Mr. Braisted's baby. But, Charlie,' a sudden thought
striking him, 'you're not easily scared, are you ?9


'Not I,' laughed Charlie. Show up your baby.'
'He's very tall of his age,' said Harry, without moving
from his side.
So he ought to be to pay me for waiting so long for
him. Bring on your giraffe, showman!'
'Very well, sir,' said Harry, stepping forward to the
door beneath which the line of light showed itself.
'Allow me to introduce-Mr. Braisted's Baby.'
He threw open the door of the closet. For a moment,
Charlie's heart seemed to stand still; then he broke out
into a perfect shout of laughter, and springing forward,
caught Harry by the coat-collar, and shook him, until,
convulsed with merriment, they both sank helplessly
upon the floor.
You rascal !' said Charlie, as soon as he could get his
breath; I owe you one for taking me in like that. I'll
pay you off yet. My! isn't he a big fellow, though '
And he sat up on the floor to gaze at a lank skeleton
which hung in the open doorway before him, shown off
to the fullest advantage by means of a bright light which
Harry had taken care to place behind 'the Baby' before
he had exhibited it.
'It's a jolly good joke, any way,' he said, after a
minute, during which Harry lay back on the floor,
too weak from laughing to attempt to raise himself.
'Wouldn't it be grand to play him off on somebody
who'd be scared half to death ? I tell you my own heart
went down into my boots for a minute.'
Did it T I was half sorry I'd brought you in at night
after we got here, for I thought perhaps you would have
a real start; but you seemed so plucky, I thought I'd
try you. But it would be mean to frighten anybody
who was timid with it, Charlie. Didn't you look as if



you'd seen stars, though, that first minute ?' And back
went Harry's head again, and he laughed until he fairly
rolled over and over in his intense enjoyment.
Charlie aided him most heartily, and the next moment
another voice joined in the musical peal. Both boys
started up from their recumbent position, and, facing
about, met the laughing countenance of Will Perkins.
'I came out to see what the fun was,' he said. 'I saw
that there was something in the wind. I never thought
of "the Baby," though, until I saw you come in here;
then I knew what Harry's game was. How do you like
him, Brownie '
'Oh, he's splendid! I tell you what I'd like, Will.
To get somebody in here that would 'most go into fits at
him. Wouldn't it be jolly ?'
'Wouldn't it ?' said Will, his face lighting up in a
moment. 'We'll do it too. Let's see; who is there
that we could get hold of? It would have to be some
outsider, for all the fellows here know "the Baby," and
it wouldn't take with them. Who could we bring in,
Clifford ?'
'Oh, don't let's try it on any one who will be really
frightened,' said Harry. 'It's all well enough for us
fellows who can stand it; but a scarey little chap might
be hurt by such a thing. All's fair in war if you're fight-
ing with men of your own size; but it's mean to hurt
one of those half and half kind of fellows.'
Will laughed, and said, Well, that's all right, I
suppose;' but when Charlie looked up at him, greatly
disappointed by his ready acquiescence in what he
thought Harry's very unreasonable remonstrance, Perkins
gave him a wink and a nod, which somewhat surprised



'You'd better put that light out, Clifford,' said Will.
'Go in carefully, or you'll knock the Baby down.'
Creeping cautiously round the three iron uprights,
from a hook in the converging point of which the tall
skeleton was hung, Harry reached the lamp without
disturbing 'the Baby,' and brought the light into the
'I'll arrange it,' whispered Perkins to Charlie, as
Clifford passed into the closet. 'You keep quiet, and
don't say anything to him.'
As Harry turned his face toward them again, Will
sauntered to the window, making some remark about
the brightness of the night, and went out of the room,
leaving Charlie feeling like a traitor toward his bosom
Come on, now. Let's go back to the rest of the
fellows,' said Clifford, blowing out the lamp. 'They'll
be wondering what has become of us. If they'd known
that I was going to introduce you to the Baby," they'd
have been after us, every mother's son of them, to see
the fun. But I thought I'd have you all to myself.
Wasn't it prime, though ?' and he shook his head merrily.
'Can you find your way in the dark ? Here, give me
your hand, old man.'
'I'm all right,' said Charlie.
But all the while he felt all wrong, and couldn't bear
to have Harry call him 'old man' in that affectionate
friendly tone.



SOME weeks had passed since the night of the exhibition
of Mr. Braisted's 'Baby; but nothing further had tran-
spired with regard to it. Charlie purposely avoided the
subject. He did not want to displease Will by refusing
compliance with his scheme, nor did he wish to grieve
Harry by acting contrary to his wishes. Beside these
two reasons for maintaining silence on the point, he had
another. Harry's words had had their effect on him, and
although he would have liked nothing better than the
fun, as he considered it, of suddenly introducing some
timorous little mortal into the appalling presence of' the
Baby,' he could not but feel that it would be a mean
thing to do; and with all his faults, Charlie shrank from
a small deed, if his eyes could only be opened to its
littleness. The great trouble with him was, that his
love of fun and excitement often blinded him to the
meanness of such conduct, and led him on into cruel acts
of mischief which he would not have committed if their
evil consequences had been pointed out to him before-
As for Harry, he had quite forgotten the suggestion
which had been made in the 'lumber-room,' as it was
termed, that night, and never alluded to it or thought
of it again, until it was brought forcibly to his mind by
later occurrences.
But Will Perkins had conceived a strong desire to


carry out the joke, and was quite determined to have his
own way in the matter, notwithstanding Clifford's objec-
tions. He had not misunderstood Charlie's reticence on
the subject; and knowing Harry's influence over him, he
resolved to remain silent until a good opportunity to
satisfy his love of mischief offered itself, and then to
present it to Charlie, and urge him into a share in it,
before Harry should have a chance to dissuade hinm
Week after week went by, and no unhappily nervous
individual presented himself as a fitting subject for a
fright. The only new-comer to the seminary was a
young Irishwoman, newly arrived from the Green Isle,
the very impersonation of innocence and good nature.
Will had, at one time, thought of trying his powers upon
her; but, after consideration, had concluded that her
sturdy form and brawny arms were quite as likely to
stand their ground, and prepare to do battle with' the
Baby,' as to fall before it. So he was still waiting for
his victim, although poor Norah was, after all, doomed
to suffer for his amusement.
'Boys,' said Mr. Braisted, as they sat at dinner in the
long dining-hall one day,' Du Chaillu is to give one of
his gorilla lectures in the Town Hall this afternoon.
How many would like to listen to him ? Let me count
the hands.'
The hand of every boy at the table was raised.
C You all want to hear him, eh ? Be ready to leave
home at five o'clock. The lecture begins at half-past five ;
rather an unusual hour, but he is only to be here for the
afternoon. He takes the northern train at eight o'clock.
You will go, Mary ?' he added, turning to his wife.
'I should like to do so, but I have promised to let the
servants go down this evening to see the menagerie, to



which you took the boys last night. You will need Mr.
Travers with you, of course, and it will scarcely do to
leave the house entirely empty, as it would be for about
an hour if I should go.'
'Oh, the house will be safe enough,' said Mr. Braisted.
'The servants will not need to leave before seven, and
we shall be back by eight, if not a little earlier.'
And if ye plaze, ma'am, it's meself as'll bide at home
the night,' said Norah, in a half whisper from behind
Mrs. Braisted's chair. 'Wasn't me cousin here the morn
to tell me he'd got lave to go the morrow, and to ask me
wouldn't I go wid him ? I towld him I would, knowing'
'twas me afternoon out, and ye'd take no offence wid it.'
'Very well,' said the lady. 'Then I will leave the
house to your care.'
'I am glad I determined to try to train that girl,'
said Mrs. Braisted, when Norah had left the room to
obtain something that was needed at the table. 'It is a
case where charity has brought its own reward. She is
so quick and bright, and so willing to learn, that it is
pleasant to teach her. Oh, by the way, she saw "the
Baby," as the boys call it, this morning, and I wish that
you could have seen her face !'
'Was she frightened I' asked Mr. Braisted, as his wife
laughed over the recollection.
'No, hardly that, I think; I had prepared her for the
apparition. I wanted to have the walls of that closet
dusted down; so I took her into the lumber-room, and,
after explaining to her what it was, opened the door my-
self, and remained in the room while she was in the
closet. She made no objection to doing as I wished,
but the way in which she crept about close to the wall,
and guarded even her dress from touching the Baby,"


throwing back at him, from time to time, looks of infinite
disgust, was very amusing. When her work was finished
she came out, and, standing back at a little distance, sur-
veyed him from head to foot. "What do you think of
him, Norah ." said I, for she was looking at him with
a most uncomplimentary expression of countenance. She
turned up her nose to an extent to which I never saw
human nose turned up before, and, giving a little sniff,
said, "Och, but he's the ugly baste," in a tone of such
utter aversion that I laughed outright. She seemed
amused too; but I noticed that she accepted my propose,
tion to close the closet door, while she put the room in
order with great alacrity.'
The boys were very much entertained by Mrs. Brai-
sted's story, especially Will Perkins, who laughed im-
moderately; but as he was noted in the school for his
keen appreciation of fun and humour, no one gave him
another thought in connection with Norah; not even
Harry, for he knew nothing of Will's half-purpose of
making her the victim of his joke.
According to her own suggestion, Norah was left at
home to pass about an hour's time alone. The afternoon
had been dull and cloudy, and as the evening set in a
drizzling rain began to fall. By the time the lecture
was concluded the streets were quite wet, and the short
distance between the Seminary and the Town Hall was
passed over rapidly by the little procession, which was
headed by Mr. Braisted and his wife.
I don't see any light in the kitchen,' said Mrs. Braisted
as they neared the house. 'It can't be possible that
Norah has gone out.'
'Oh, no; we shall find her here,' said her husband.
'There she is, sitting on the steps! Why, what ails the



girl? Does she want to make herself ill? What are
you doing out here in this rain, Norah ?' he asked, as
they reached the house, and found the girl seated on the
door-step, wrapped in a cloak, but with the rain pattering
down on her rosy face and waving hair. Why do you
not stay in the house ?'
And I will, sir, now yez is come. But, indade, and
I'd sooner be wet to the skin than bide in the house
alone with that lad.'
'What lad ?' asked Mr. Braisted, glancing back as he
entered the door, as if to assure himself that all his young
people were with him. 'The young gentlemen were all
with me. What lad do you mean ?'
Sure an' it's the lad in the big closet beyant. The
crater widout a ha'p'orth o' skin on his bones, nor even
a morsel o' flesh to make hisself dacent, bad luck to him.
A roar of laughter interrupted her. The boys had all
entered the house, and were gathered in the wide hall,
listening to her explanation; and now they fairly shook
the floor, as, shouting with merriment, they stamped
their feet, clapped their hands, and gave voice to their
amusement in peal after peal of laughter.
Norah bore the ordeal very well, smiling upon the
merrymakers with an untroubled face, until Mr. Braisted
stilled the tumult; although, even after he had enjoined
silence, a gurgling laugh broke out now and then, in
spite of all efforts at gravity.
Indade, gentlemen,' Norah went on, as soon as com-
parative quiet was restored, speaking in a general sort
of way, as if she felt that an apology was due to the
whole school; 'ye'd no call to be surprised that I don't
like the look of him, for he's countenanced like an uncle


of mine that I left in the would country, as evil a man
as ever ye see. Batin' the big hook in the top of his
head, he's as like him as two peas, barrin' the digression
of his wantin' the nose-'
Another shout silenced her again, and Mr. Braisted,
saying kindly that he was sorry she had been made un-
comfortable by her fears, sent her down to her own
domain, to which she retired, still smiling broadly upon
her merry audience.
Little Brownie! Little Brownie !'
Charlie had gone to bed about half-past eight o'clock,
suffering quite severely from a sharp attack of toothache,
but, thanks to Mrs. Braisted's good care and warm ap-
plications, had fallen fast asleep. He wakened now, at
the sound of the whispered call, to find his pain all gone,
and Will Perkins' face bent close to his own.
'Keep still, old fellow,' said Will, as Charlie turned
with a muttered Don't,'-' I want you.'
Charlie opened his eyes wide, and looked at him, fully
aroused now.
'Slip on your trousers, and come with me. We've
got a jolly lark on hand. Don't wake Clifford.'
Charlie glanced over to the farther side of the room,
where Harry lay fast asleep.
'Let's have him along,' he said, hurrying on his clothes.
'No, there's enough of us without him,' said Will, not
thinking it wise to give his real reasons for his refusal.
'Come, are you ready ?'
Yes; what are we up to ?'
'Going to see "the Baby,"' said Will, as they ran in
their stocking feet through the hall. 'I told Norah to
take a pitcher of hot water to my room at half-past nine
o'clock; and when she comes up we're going to seize



her in the passage, and run her into the lumber-room to
see her uncle's likeness by candle-light. Jack Harper,
Herbert Demorest, and you and I. They said you were
too little; but I told them I couldn't do anything with-
out my Brownie.
But isn't it long past that time ?' asked Charlie, so
delighted to be acting in concert with the oldest boys in
the school, himself the only junior allowed to join them,
that he lost sight of everything else. 'It seems like the
middle of the night.'
'That's because you went to bed so early. It is just
half-past nine now. Here we are. We're gloriously
fixed, for Mr. and Mrs. Braisted are in the west parlour
with company, and even if Norah screams they won't
hear her with the doors all shut.'
'But do you think she'll be much frightened ?' asked
Charlie, a vision of Harry rising up before him, and
taking the edge from his intense enjoyment of the
'No, of course not,' said Will carelessly. 'She'll
enjoy it after the first minute. Hush! there she
They had been standing in the passage-way on which
both Will's apartment and the lumber-room opened, in
the shadow of an archway which led into the main hall.
As Will spoke, Jack Harper stepped up beside them in
the darkness. Norah passed them unsuspectingly; but,
as she set down her pitcher of water at Will's closed
door, and knocked for admittance, they sprang upon her
from behind.
'Och, young gentlemen, and what are yez at!' she
said, with a little frightened cry, comprehending after
the first instant that her assailants were only some of the


boys. 'It's time yez was all in your beds. Why did
yez put the hall light out '
The only answer was a sudden shove and rush. She
felt her feet passing over the sill of a door, which was
instantly closed behind her, and the next moment a door
before her opened slowly, and she saw a sight which made
her cry out, and push back lustily against the three pairs
of arms which held her so strongly. Even Charlie was,
for the moment, greatly startled by the spectacle which
met his eyes. A bright unearthly light shone out from
the face of the skeleton, the first view of which had caused
him so much amusement; its arms were extended, and,
as Norah was pushed, in spite of her struggles, nearer
and nearer to its outstretched hands, it bent forward as
if to touch her, and a deep solemn voice said, 'Oh, my
beloved niece, come to my arms.'
Norah's struggles had ceased. She stood, stiff and
rigid, staring up at the frightful object as it bent closer
and closer; but when one of those bony hands in its
descent touched her shoulder, she gave a wild cry of
utter terror and despair. Startled by the sudden shriek,
Herbert Demorest, who, standing on a shelf behind 'the
Baby,' had bent it down toward the terrified girl, lost
his hold of the rod by which he steadied it, and the
whole affair, skeleton, rods, and all,.fell with a crash upon
the shrinking figure, which, with another agonized cry,
dropped senseless to the floor. The next instant the
room was as solitary, except for poor Norah's unconscious
form, as if it had never known any other tenant than
that terrible Baby.
Will had been mistaken in supposing that Mr. and
Mrs. Braisted were too far removed from the scene of
action to hear any outcry which Norah might make.



Her shriek had rung through all parts of the house,
bringing every one, masters, mistress, and boys, from
their respective apartments, except Harry.
The room Clifford shared with Charlie was situated in
a wing of the house at the farthest extremity from the
lumber-room; and the first he knew of the occurrence
was, that Charlie dashed in from a door which opened
on an unused back stairway, in his shirt and pants,
carrying his jacket in his hand, and, dragging off his
trousers in a twinkling, flung himself into his bed.
Hallo !' said Clifford, sitting up to look at him.
'What's to pay ?'
'I'm in a jolly fix, Harry; and Will and Herbert and
Harper are in for it too. But shut up. I'm asleep, and
you are too, if anybody comes in. We've been on a
lark with Norah, and made an awful mess of it. Hush !
there are steps outside.'
Harry had heard nothing; but after a moment, the
tread which Charlie's quick ear had caught drew nearer,
the door was softly opened, and Mrs. Braisted's voice
said gently, These little fellows have had nothing to do
with it. They are both asleep, and Charlie went to bed
with a dreadful toothache.'
Mr. Braisted, to whom she had spoken, stepped into
the room; and Charlie, not daring to pretend to be
asleep, knowing how flushed and worried he must look,
moved slightly on his pillow, and gave a weary sigh.
'Poor child !' said Mrs. Braisted, coming directly to
the side of his bed; 'your face is aching still, isn't it ?
How heated you are, too! You look really sick. Did
you hear the disturbance in here ?'
'No, ma'am,' said Charlie, devoutly thankful that she
had put those two words-' in here'-into her question;


for he did not want to tell a lie, and he had not the
courage to tell the truth.
As he spoke, Mr. Braisted joined them. He had been
talking with Clifford, whom he, of course, found awake.
'Clifford heard no screams,' he said, 'though he had
been awake for some time, he thinks; nor did he know
of any such plan being afoot. Charlie, did you know
anything about it ?'
About what, sir ? Mrs. Braisted has not told me.'
He asked the question to gain a moment's time, for
he had never seen such a severely threatening look on
Mr. Braisted's face as it wore now.
'About a plan to frighten Norah with the skeleton.
Of course, my poor boy, you had no hand in it, being in
such pain; but did no one speak to you of it before to-
night '
'No, sir,' said Charlie, and clasped his face with
another sigh which was almost a moan, for it was aching
in earnest now, beating and throbbing with his excite-
ment and terror.
'I'll warm some more hops, and lay them on, dear.
Perhaps you will fall asleep again,' said Mrs. Braisted
tenderly, as her husband left the room.
She spent nearly an hour with him, trying to calm the
pain, which was certainly very severe, and when he was
quiet at last went away, leaving a charge with Harry to
call her if Charlie were worse again.
Old man,' said Harry softly, as soon as the sound of
Mrs. Braisted's steps had died away going down the hall;
'old man.'
'Well,' said Charlie mournfully.
'Take care, old man. You've begun to trip.'
'I'm not shamming,' returned Charlie sharply.



'No, I don't think it; not with your face at least. I
know that aches like a good fellow. But you only just
escaped telling an out and out lie to-night; and it will
be worse to-morrow; for, of course, we'll all be called up
to tell what we know. "Him that overcometh,"-old
boy; don't forget.'
SBut I can't go back on the fellows, Harry,' said a
muffled voice out of the bedclothes. What can I do ? '
'Stick by them if you can without lying; but don't
lie; don't lie to save yourself, or the others either. If
you give in now, Charlie, you may never have the heart
to fight it out again. Tell the truth, and bear what it
brings you like a soldier. Will you, old man '
'Yes,' said Charlie earnestly, lifted above his fears by
Clifford's eagerness. And when he said it he meant it;
but he was weak, and he had no higher strength to
which to cling.



WHEN the boys came together at the ringing of the bell
for morning prayers, there was much discussion and in-
quiry with regard to the occurrences of the past night.
As yet, the whole affair was wrapped in mystery. Mr.
Braisted had had a talk with Norah, and had endeavoured
to find out from her how she had happened to be in the
lumber-room at that time, and what had taken place
there previous to her fall; but the girl could tell nothing.
All the events of the evening had been blotted out
from her recollection by the terrible fright which she had
received. She remembered having been left alone in the
house, and having preferred to remain out in the rain to
sitting solitary within doors. She had a vague idea of
having compared her uncle to the object of her dread in
a manner not very complimentary to either; and no
arguments could persuade her but that the apparition
had appeared to punish her for her temerity. But all
that had passed between the time of the home-coming of
the family and the awful moment when she had lost all
power both of body and of mind, was a blank to her;
she knew no more how or why she had gone to the
lumber-room than did Mr. Braisted ; and she was so
unwilling to speak of it, and grew so weak and trembling
at any allusion to it, that there was no hope whatever
of gaining any information from her.



Not a word was spoken at breakfast with respect to
Norah. Another servant took her place at the table, for
she was unable to leave her bed; but, with that excep-
tion, everything went on as usual.
'Charlie,' said Will Perkins, as soon as they had passed
out of the breakfast-room, 'will you come over to the
brook with me ?'
Charlie started, and glanced around him as if for pro-
tection. Clifford stood just behind him, and his quick
eye took in the situation in a moment.
'Look here, Charlie,' said he, stepping forward, 'you
and I aren't ready for our history this morning. Let's
go into the schoolroom and cram a little.'
This was no subterfuge, for Charlie had told his friend
the evening before, on their way home from the lecture,
that his lesson for the morning was not prepared, and
Harry had confided to him that he was in the same
'Come on,' said Clifford. 'We've only half an hour
before school.' And, linking his arm in Charlie's, he tried
to draw him away.
Never mind the history. Come with me, Brownie,'
whispered Will, holding him tightly by the other arm;
' I've soinething to tell you. You can help me if you
will, and I'm in great trouble. Come, little Brownie,
don't go back on your best friend.'
Was he a better friend than this other, with the plead-
ing voice, the clinging hand, and the earnest voice
whispering, 'Don't, Charlie, don't! Remember your pro-
The question flashed through his mind, but that other
voice was saying in his ear, Come, Brownie. We'll let
you do just as you like, only come and hear what we


have to say; you won't desert me when I really need
you. We want your advice. You're in for it too, you
The tempter had won his point. Charlie drew his
hand from Harry's detaining grasp, and saying hurriedly,
'I'll take care, Clifford--he only wants my advice,'
went away with Will, and Perkins felt that the battle
was already won.
A half- hour's talk by the brook- side, a half-hour
of persuasion, coaxing, pleading, and at last of fierce,
angry threats, not only from Harper and Demorest, but
from Will himself, and still Charlie wavered. He had
struggled, and argued, and held back the promise of
secrecy which they had tried first to win, then to force
from him, and now their time was up; in another
moment the school-bell would summon them back to the
'This comes of taking these little sneaks into your
counsels, Will Perkins,' said Harper in a fury. 'You
make a confidant of a mean little coward who don't know
how to stand by you, and he betrays us all.'
Will turned his face toward Charlie with a look of
withering contempt.
'You pretend to stand upon your truth,' said le, 'and
now you hear what people think of you; and of me, for
caring for you. You are a false-hearted young traitor.
But let me tell you,' he went on fiercely, 'that if you
betray us we will pay you for it in a way that you will
remember to the end of your life. Come away, fel-
lows, and leave him to hatch up his story. Perhaps
Mr. Braisted will give him a dollar for turning State'
'I won't !' cried Charlie hotly. 'I'm no mean coward I



I can bear anything that any one of you big fellows caIn,
and you shall see if I can't. They shan't get anything
out of me, not with the biggest thrashing they can give
'Hurrah for the little chap!' cried Will. 'I knew
he'd come out all right! Didn't I tell you he was true-
blue Of course his heart failed him in the beginning,
but I knew he was good as gold. He'll never betray us!
There There goes the school-bell! Go ahead, you two
fellows; Brownie and I will come on together.'
Drawing his arm through Charlie's, Will turned to-
ward the house, talking eagerly. Charlie heard himself
called brave and noble, true-hearted, a staunch friend, a
chum to be proud of, faithful and firm; and he knew all
the while, deep down in his shrinking, failing heart, that
he was mean and weak and false.
All the other boys were in their seats when the four
who had formed the party at the brook came into the
schoolroom; but the fact that they were together excited,
no comment, for they had left the house separately, and
no one knew that Will and Charlie had joined the others.
Mr. Braisted sat in his place looking very grave; but as
soon as all were seated he rose, and, looking from one
to another of the faces before him, seemed to ask with
his eyes the question which in another moment he spoke
with his lips.
'Young gentlemen,' he said, 'you all know of the
accident which has happened to Norah. I call it an acci-
dent, because I hope it may prove to be such, although
I greatly fear that cruel hearts and hands have had to do
with it. Of course, some one must have moved that skele-
ton from its proper position, otherwise it could not have
fallen upon the poor girl as it did; but it is possible that


may have been done without any idea of injuring Norah.
I am completely in the dark with regard to the whole
transaction (Norah being entirely unable to recollect any-
thing about it), and being so, I trust to your truth and
honour. You all know that I am ready to make any
reasonable allowance for youthful thoughtlessness and
love of mischief; but you know as well that I never
make any allowance for a falsehood. I ask you to re-
member this, and to tell me truly, each one of you,
whether you have had anything to do with this unhappy
occurrence. Walter Freeman, have you any knowledge
of it '
'None whatever, sir, except what you yourself have
given me since it took place,' replied Walter Freeman,
a steady, studious fellow, a member of the senior class.
'John Harper, what do you know of it '
'Nothing, Mr. Braisted, except what I learned last
night when Norah's scream brought us all out of our
So the question went around, the same answer sub-
stantially being given by each boy, until it came to Harry
Clifford, who stood side by side with Charlie, who had
not once looked toward him since he entered the room
with Will, not even when Harry had whispered to him
'Remember, old man,-" Him that overcometh."'
'Clifford, had you anything whatever to do with this
affair ?'
'No, sir,' said Harry; but his colour came and went
quickly as he spoke, for Charlie was the next in turn.
Mr. Braisted eyed him sharply for a moment, but
Harry returned his gaze unflinchingly, and he passed on
Charles Stockton, were you at all concerned in it '



'No, sir, not in any way.'
There was no flush of cplour in Charlie's cheek. He
was pale to the lips, but his voice was calm and
Still the question went on, until every boy had
answered it with a denial. Mr. Braisted stood at his
desk for a while, with his inquiring look moving again
from face to face.
'Young gentlemen,' he said at length,' I think it all
but impossible but that some of you have been implicated
in this thing. I shall say no more about it until this
time to-morrow morning. If I have then heard nothing
more, I shall ask each one of you whether you know
who has been concerned in it. I dislike extremely to
request any one of my scholars to bear witness against
another, but I must know the truth; and if the partici-
pants in this trick have not the moral courage and
manliness to own their fault, I must take other means
to discover them. I cannot allow my authority to be
defied in this way. I most earnestly trust, however,
that no such action may be necessary. I cannot think
that any one member of my little family will, when he
has had time to reflect, descend to the meanness of
screening himself behind a falsehood.'
There was a dead silence in the room; not a boy
spoke or moved.
We will proceed with our lessons as usual,' said Mr.
Braisted; and the ordeal was over.
The work of the morning went on rather solemnly,
and no one was sorry when the mid-day recess broke in
on the dull hours. Certainly Charlie was not, for that
remark of Mr. Braisted's, expressive of. his intention of
making his inquiries more general on the morrow, had



startled him terribly. The moment he was free he
sought Will, whom he found with no trouble, for
Perkins was coming to. look for him. He dared not let
his prey out of his sight now, lest Harry should persuade
him, after all, to be honest and true.
'How pale you are, Charlie !' said Perkins in a tone
of great vexation, hurrying him out of the house by a
side door that opened on a narrow path which led away
to the woods beyond. 'You'll be found out if you look
'But, Will, I am frightened, for we'll have to confess,
and it will be worse than ever now that we have denied
it.' And poor Charlie looked up into Perkins' angry eyes
with a very troubled face.
'Confess! I'd like to catch you at it,' said Will,
giving him a sudden shake. It would have been bad
enough before; but if you betray us now, Charlie
Stockton, I'll-I'll-'
He was trembling with passion, and paused as if to
find a threat strong enough to terrify the boy into
compliance with his wishes.
'I don't want to tell,' said Charlie, shrinking back
from him, 'but we'll have to, for Clifford knows; and
when Mr. Braisted has us up to-morrow, he'll have to
tell, if we don't.' -
'Why will he have to tell ?' said Will angrily.
'Why, Mr. Braisted will ask him, and Clifford couldn't
tell a lie,' said Charlie, with an assured trust in Harry's
truth which struck a chill to Will's heart.
How does he come to know anything about it ? Did
you tell him ?'
'Yes, I told him last night. He was awake when
I went into my room. He asked me what was the



matter, a


I told

him that we four fellows were in a

I never thought of its doing any harm.

'You little fool!' said Will fiercely. 'Didn't you
know that he was safe to blab it all out if he was asked ?

What are we going to do ?'

Let's go right t(
be an awful dose;

out before

o Mr.

Braisted and tell him.

It will

but it won't be so bad as to hear it

the school, and we won't feel so mean either.

Let's go right off.'

'I won't
of Clifford.

do it, and you
Where is he ?'

shan't either.

I'll take care

'I don't know. But y
it, never!'
We'll see about that.
and try if you can find

you'lll never get



him to lie about

up toward the house,

want to speak to him at the brook.'

'But, Will, if I do

send him down, he

won't promise

you to hide




I'd rather go

tell Mr. Braisted all
a word against yoi


hle won't. OJ
right up to the
it. Let me go;

h, Will,


I won't say

he expels me for refusing

him about myself,


to let on ;
You don't

but I

must tell
how I've


and dishonoured




SI know
confessing i

how you'll
it,' replied

disgrace and dishonour me



his face dark with rage.

' I'd rather you'd have told everything in the beginning,
fifty times rather. Why, we'll all be expelled, every one
of us !'

'I won't say one word about you, Will.

you before that I wouldn't;
how awfully ashamed I am.

I promised

but you can't possibly know
I promised my grandfather


you do,

tell him I

1 or the other boys, not even if




so faithfully never to be false again, and he believed me;
and now I've deceived him, and told a lie.'
It must have been a cruelly hard heart that could
answer with such words the look of shame and pain and
grief which was lifted to Perkins' face as Charlie spoke.
But Will's heart was hard.
'And because you are sorry that you have told one
lie, you want to tell another,' he said scornfully. 'Be-
cause you have broken faith with your grandfather, you
want to play the traitor to your friend, do you ? Do
you think that your grandfather will be better pleased
with two falsehoods than with one? Oh, Brownie,
Brownie! I never thought you could be false to me!'
His angry voice had changed to one of tender re-
proach; and he held out his hands, as if entreating the
boy to return to his love. Tortured by his remorse,
confused by Will's sophistry, easily led at any time,
especially by words of love, Charlie stood looking at his
companion with all his bewilderment and distress plainly
written on his face.
'You will be true to me, Brownie, won't you pleaded
WAill, with his arm about his neck; and Charlie faltered
-' Yes, yes, I will.'




THEY were still standing together, and Perkins was
reflecting on the fact of Harry Clifford's knowing who
the guilty parties were, and on what he had better do in
the case (for he was afraid now to let Charlie meet
Clifford alone, lest Harry should again turn him from
his allegiance to himself), when Charlie's name was
suddenly called.
He looked up into Perkins' face, as if uncertain
whether to answer the shout or not.
'All right,' said Will. We'll see what we can do
with him. Tell him you're here.'
'Hallo, Clifford we're in the copse,' shouted Charlie.
'Come on!'
The next moment Harry bounded through the narrow
pathway which led into the secluded spot to which Will
had taken Charlie; and for the first time since they had
parted in the hall after breakfast, the two boys faced
one another. One quick look, and then Charlie's glance
fell; he could not meet the grave, troubled eyes which
looked back into his.
'Well, Clifford,' said Perkins, almost before Harry
was fairly within hearing of his lowered voice, speaking
in a jaunty, friendly tone, 'so you are in our secret, I
hear ? Of course you will keep it.'
'Of course I will, if I can keep it honourably.'
'You could scarcely reveal it honourably,' replied Will,


with an uneasy laugh. 'But we can trust you through
everything, I'm sure.'
He laid his hand in an affectionate manner on Harry's
shoulder, but Clifford drew back.
If by "trusting me through everything," you mean
that you will trust me to sell my truth to shield you,'
he said, 'you are mistaken. Just so far as I *can help
you by keeping still, I will, for no one hates tale-bearing
worse than I do; but if Mr. Braisted asks me if I know
who had a hand in the thing, I cannot and will not say
no. If I can escape telling what I do know, nobody will
be more glad than I shall be; but I will not tell a lie
about it, not-- not even to save Charlie,' he added
gravely, after a moment's hesitation.
There was no mistaking his strong, fixed resolution to
stand firm on this point, and Will despaired of moving
him by any coaxings or persuasions. Springing towards
him, with his face flushed by passion, he caught the little
fellow by both shoulders, and, holding him fast in his
strong hands, said angrily,
'You dare to stand there braving me with that girl's
face of yours, and say that you will inform on us I tell
you, you shall promise to keep dark.'
'And I tell you,' replied Clifford calmly, 'that I will
if I can; but I will not lie about it. If I did such a
thing, I should not feel fit to kiss my mother.'
You big baby!' said Will contemptuously; but
somehow, even though he stood helpless in the grasp of
those powerful hands, Charlie had never thought his
friend so manly and so brave.
'You big baby !' repeated Will; 'you shall go home
to comfort yourself with your mother's kisses if you don't
look out for yourself, for you'll find you can't stand it



here;' and he gave him a sharp, sudden shake. 'You
was let into our secret by accident; and if you don't
pledge yourself to stand by us, I'll thrash you on the
'No, no,' cried Charlie, springing forward, 'you shan't
hurt him! I'll tell myself first. Let him up, Will!
Let himhp !' for another rough shaking had cost Harry
his equilibrium. He had staggered backward, and, borne
down by Will's greater weight, had fallen to the ground,
one arm and shoulder striking across the sharp edge of
a large flat stone which had lain behind him.
Stand off, and don't meddle,' said Will, enforcing his
command with a thrust of his elbow as Charlie caught
his arm to drag him away from Clifford. 'Now, Clif.
ford, promise.'
I have promised to stand by you as far as I can.
More than that I will not do. Perkins, you will break
my arm if you are not careful.'
Will's heavy right hand was pressing on the slight
arm, just below where it crossed the sharp edge of the
stone; but it only pressed the harder in answer to the
I'll break it in earnest if you don't promise,' he said
fiercely. 'Will you .'
'No, I will not.'
'Oh, Will, don't, don't!' cried Charlie, in an agony,
as he saw the colour fade out of Clifford's cheek and lips,
and his forehead gather into a frown of intolerable pain.
'Let go Let go!'
He dragged Perkins' arm with all his force, but his
strength was as nothing against that of the older boy.
In an instant he had flung him off.
'Promise. Give me your word I'


'Nev-nev-never !' broke from the white lips; and,
to Will's horror, the slender arm bent with a little snap
beneath his hand.
With a cry as sharp as that which burst from Clifford,
he sprang to his feet, and stood for a moment looking
down into the pallid face, which lay, with closed eyes
and parted lips, upon the grass, white and still.
He had not calculated the power of his own strong
hand, nor the fragility of the slight figure which held
that brave spirit; and he was, for the moment, para-
lyzed with terror by the sight of his own work. But the
next instant selfish considerations rose even above his
'I must go down to the village. Tell Mr. Braisted
I've had a telegram from home, and have gone down to
answer it. Get some water from the brook, and throw
it in his face; and then run to the house for some one
to help you. Tell Mr. Braisted he had a fall.'
Charlie had been standing, gazing with a horrified
face at -the prostrate figure, while Will spoke these hasty
words; but as Perkins turned away, he sprang towards
him, crying out,
'Oh, Will! don't leave me alone. I don't know what
to do for him. Stay and help me !'
But Will hurried away, disregarding his plea. It was
true that he had received a telegram. It had been
handed to him as he left the house, but he had not
intended answering it until after school-hours. Now,
however, it gave him an excellent opportunity to escape
questioning until he should have had time to prepare
himself with satisfactory answers.
Finding himself left, alone, Charlie hastened with a
heavy heart to carry out the first part of Will's advice;



and filling his hat with water at the brook which flowed
close beside the copse, he knelt down at Clifford's side,
and began to bathe his white face with very tender
hands, telling himself all the while, with bitter self-
reproach, that if he had been as true and faithful as
Harry had proved himself, this would never have come
to him.
'Clifford Clifford !' he cried out at last, as the dark
lashes still lay motionless on the colourless cheek; 'can't
you open your eyes ? Can't you speak to me '
The next moment the heavy eyelids lifted themselves
slowly, and, with a great sigh, Harry looked up into his
friend's face.
SOh!' he said wearily, and closed them again. But
the great terror which had begun to creep into Charlie's
heart was lifted from it now.
'Harry,' he said gently; Harry.'
Clifford looked at him again.
'Where is Will ?' he asked feebly.
'Gone to Melville. He had a telegram from home,
Is it very awful, Harry?'
'It's pretty bad. How will I get back to the house ?
It was mean of him to leave you alone, you poor fellow.
I think he's broken my arm, it feels so queer; but I
don't believe he quite meant to. We won't say anything
if we can help it. He's bad enough off already. You
needn't say how I got the fall unless we're asked. I'm
afraid you'll have to go up for Mr. Braisted, Charlie; I
feel so queer all over me when I try to move.'
'But I'm almost afraid to leave you, for fear you'll
faint again,' said Charlie, looking wistfully at him. He
wanted to say so much that he dared not say while
Clifford was so weak, that his eyes spoke for him.


'Oh, no. I'll lie very still, and then I'll be all right.
Hurry up, old man.'
'Oh, Cliff, don't!' cried poor Charlie, overcome by
the use of the name he had learned to love so much.
'I'm not fit--
Turning away with the words on his lips, he ran
swiftly to the house, and in a twinkling stood in the
schoolroom, breathless, eager, and half exhausted.
In their excitement, the three boys had not noted the
flight of timQ; and the school had been in session nearly
an hour when Charlie startled both teachers and taught
by his abrupt entrance.
Mr. Braisted, Clifford's sick. He's broken his arm.
He's had a fall, and he's dreadfully hurt,' he gasped out,
catching his breath between each disjointed sentence.
'He'll have to be carried home.'
Mr. Braisted hurried at once to Harry's assistance;
and, finding the broken arm lying across the edge of a
sharp stone, did not question the boy further when he
had answered his first query.
How did you happen to fall in such a position ?'
asked Mr. Braisted.
'I stumbled backward, sir,' replied Clifford.
'Was Charlie with you, or did he find you here ?'
'I was with him, sir,' said Charlie, as Harry's eyes
closed heavily again.
'It was most fortunate that you were,' said Mr.
Braisted. 'He might have lain here all the afternoon.
By the way, Perkins is not in school either. Do you
know anything about him '
'He had a telegram from home, sir, and ran down to
Melville to answer it,' said Charlie.
Without permission ? It must have been very impor-



tant, or he would not have done so. Did it bring him
bad news ?'
I don't know, sir. He only said he must go down,
and asked me to tell you.'
'He will explain it, I suppose. I am sorry he is
absent in school-hours; but if there is trouble at home,
it may prove excusable.'
Mr. Braisted had lifted Clifford in his arms like a
child, and, while they talked, had been carrying him
carefully toward the house. As they reached the door,
and met Mrs. Braisted there, her motherly heart brim-
ming over, both at eyes and lips, with sympathy for the
injured boy, the master turned toward Charlie to send
him to the schoolroom. But the face which looked up
into his, as he glanced behind him, was almost as pale
and exhausted as that which rested on his shoulder; and
he saw, in a moment, that Charlie was utterly unfit for
'Why, my boy, this has been a little too much for
you,' he said kindly. 'You had better go to your room
and lie down.'
'Couldn't I stay with Clifford ?' pleaded Charlie.
'I'll be very still,' he added, following closely by Mr.
Braisted's side as he mounted the stairs with his burden.
'Please take me to our own room,' said Harry, noticing
that Mr. Braisted turned, at his wife's suggestion, toward
the spare bedroom, a large apartment on the opposite
side of the hall. 'I like it better. And let Charlie stay
with me.'
'The doctor will be here in a few moments, and we
will see what he says about your having company to-
-day,' replied Mrs. Braisted. 'Take him to his own
roqm, hdward, if he prefers to go there, Yqo may come


in, Charlie, until the doctor comes; but you must not
look so blue. You must cheer our boy up, now that he
is laid by. Silly fellow Can't you even stand steady
on your own feet ?' she added, bending to kiss the pale
face which now lay on the pillow.
But the doctor did not object, as Mr. Braisted sup-
posed he would do, to Charlie's presence in the room;
and when Harry promised that, if his friend were allowed
to come back after his arm had been set, they would not
talk for a while, and he would try to sleep, Dr. Maynard
told him that Charlie might return.
So, when the doctor had gone, the boy was called.
He crept quietly into the room, and, sitting down beside
Harry's bed, took the well hand in his, and holding it,
gazed at him with eyes which kept filling and re-filling
with great tears that would not be held back. For
Harry was so tender with him; he had smiled so
brightly at him as he came into the room again; and
he felt so guilty and so wretched.
By and by, as he sat there, with no sound in the room
except the chirp of a bird that was hopping about on
the window-ledge, picking up some crumbs which had
been scattered upon the stone, he noticed that Harry's
eyes were growing heavy; little by little the lids fell
softly down, and he dropped into a quiet sleep. Charlie
watched him for a while; then he left his seat, and
stepped gently across the floor to his own bed.
'" Him that overcometh-" he said softly. Oh,
Grandpa! if Harry. was only your boy, instead of me,
you wouldn't need to despair.'
The last words were spoken with a slight sob, and he
hid his face in his pillow, lest he should waken Harry by
his grief. But Clifford, worn out with pain, slept on for




the next hour; and when he woke, he opened his eyes
to see Charlie sitting quiet and calm again at his side.
He lay looking at him for a minute; then he said, as if
to draw his thoughts from himself,
'Charlie, what sort of a looking person is your Aunt
Harriet ?'
'Oh, she's a little bit of a thing,' said Charlie indiffe.
rently. 'Snappy as anything she looks, and sharp.
Always wears a black' silk dress, and a plain bonnet,
not a bit like what other ladies wear. She's trim-look-
ing, though. Oh, she's nice-looking enough, I suppose.
But don't let's talk about her. What's the use V'
Harry smiled, but said no more until Mrs. Braisted,
who had been sitting in the next room, and had come in
to see if he needed anything, finding him pretty com-
fortable, had left them again to attend to some house-
hold duties.
'Well, old man,' he said, when she had gone,' what
were you doing with yourself all the time I was asleep V
'I was writing to my grandfather,' said Charlie very
'Were you ?' said Harry, his face lighting up with a
smile. What did you say to him ?'
'There's all I said,' replied Charlie, taking a folded
slip of paper from his pocket, and putting it in Harry's
hand. I didn't know how to write, nor what to say;
but I felt as if I must tell him, and tell him right off
too. I don't know what in the world he'll do when he
reads it, though.' And Charlie's face dropped down
upon the pillow.
SDid you mean to have me read this asked Harry.
'Yes, if you choose. It's only to tell him what a
mean scamp I've been.'


The burst of repentant grief which had overcome
Charlie after Harry had fallen asleep had been followed
by a fit of depression, and he looked as wretched and
unhappy as a naturally round, rosy face could well look,
as he sat watching his friend while he read the little note
which he had written hastily in pencil while Harry slept.

'DEAR GRANDPA,-I've told another lie. I wasn't
surprised into it either, but told it right out and out, on
purpose. And I've been mean and low too. I can't
tell you how, because it would be letting out on some
other fellows; but I've been awfully mean. I suppose
it isn't a bit of use to say I'm sorry, for you can't believe
it now. But, oh, Grandpa! if you could only know how
disappointed I am, you would be a little sorry for me.
I'm going to begin again right off, by telling Mr. Braisted
to-night what I have done; but I'm afraid it isn't any
good to try. I can't seem to help it. Please tell Hattie.
I promised to let her know everything, but I can't write
any more about it. Don't give me up, Grandpa, if you
can help it, for I will try. CHARLIE.'

Harry lay for a moment with the paper in his hand
after he had read it; then he said,
'What do you mean, Charlie ? Do you mean that
you are going to tell Mr. Braisted the whole truth ?'
'Yes,' said Charlie,' I didn't tell Grandpa so, because
I did not dare to promise him anything; but you didn't
fight it out with Will for nothing this morning, Harry.
I'm older, and larger, and stronger than you, and yet
you held out while I gave in. But I tell you, you did
something for me, Cliff. I'll tell Mr. Braisted everything
to-night, if Will kills me for it.'



'What if Will gets hold of you, and persuades, and
threatens, and coaxes you, Charlie ?'
'I'll keep saying to myself, "Fight it out, fight it
out! Remember what your cowardly lie cost your best
friend,"' replied Charlie excitedly. 'For you are my
best friend, Cliff.'
'Thank you,' said Clifford. 'But I'm afraid you
won't hold out.' ,
'Are you ?' said Charlie anxiously; for he was too
thoroughly humbled to resent Harry's want of confidence
in his firmness. I do honestly mean it, Cliff.'
'I know you do, old man; but so you did honestly
mean it last night, and see how you slipped. Will can
twist you round his little finger, Charlie; and you know
'Then you think it isn't a bit of use for me to try to
have it out with him, and tell him that I'm going to Mr.
Braisted to-night ? I can't go without telling him, for
I've given him my word to stand by him, and I can't go
right to work at another piece of meanness. I don't
know what you want me to do, Cliff. Don't you think
that I can stand my ground ?'
'No, old man, I don't; not alone. But don't look so
wretched, Charlie; there's some one who'll stand by you.'
'Not you,' said Charlie, as Clifford laid his hand on
him affectionately.
'No, not I; but some one who knows how to help you
enough better than I do. Did you never think to ask
God to help you, Charlie '
No,' said Charlie candidly. 'He seems so far off,
Harry,' he added, after a moment's hesitation.
'So He used to to me,' said Clifford; 'but He don't
now. Do you want to know what I was thinking while



Will was hurting me so, and I felt myself getting weaker
and weaker every moment ? I kept saying to myself,
--"Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord
Jehovah is everlasting strength." Can't you take a good
grip of that, and hold on to it ? Just the same One said
it, old man, as said, Him that overcometh, I will write
upon him my new name." He wants us to overcome,
and He'll help us. I've tried Him, and I know.'
Charlie did not answer. Harry moved his face on the
pillow, so as to bring it closer to l.is friend's, and looked
at him steadily for a moment. Then he whispered a
few low words; not to Charlie. But Charlie heard
them, as Clifford meant that he should. As he listened,
the contracted brow grew more smooth; the uncertain,
timid mouth took upon it a firm, determined expression;
and when the low voice ceased speaking, the troubled
brown eyes were lifted with a quick, entreating glance
toward the window. No words were spoken for a while;
then Charlie asked, breaking the silence suddenly,
Cliff, you're a Christian, I suppose ?'
'Yes,' said Clifford, with a bright smile,' I am; and
I wish you were too.'
'I wish so,' said Charlie. 'I'm going away now.'
And he rose from his seat as he spoke.
'To find Will ?'
'Yes. I had better do it right off.'
'That's good, old man. Keep hold of my verse.'
And Charlie left him.
Mrs. Braisted met him as he went down the stairs.
How is Harry ?' she asked, stopping him as he would
]have passed her.
'He seems to feel pretty jolly, ma'am,' replied Charlie.
'I think he must be doing first-rate.'

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