Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The Wilmer family
 The storm
 The grandmother
 Household cares
 The visit
 The offer
 The winter
 The sled
 The excursion
 The New Year
 The discovery
 The box and its contents
 Back Cover

Group Title: Better path stories
Title: Lake Cottage, or, The found treasure
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026978/00001
 Material Information
Title: Lake Cottage, or, The found treasure
Series Title: Better path stories
Alternate Title: Found treasure
Physical Description: 202 p., 3 leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Shannon, Mattie A. S ( Translator )
Locke & Bubier ( Publisher )
J.S. Locke & Co ( Publisher )
Russell & Richardson ( Engraver )
Publisher: Locke and Bubier
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1873
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Trust in God -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Farm life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Grandmothers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Blind -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Intergenerational relations -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Treasure troves -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1873
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: translated from the French by Mattie A.S. Shannon.
General Note: Added series title page, engraved by Russell & Richardson, lists publisher as J.S. Locke & Co.
General Note: Title page printed in colors.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026978
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 - 002232676
notis - ALH3072
oclc - 59820778

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    The Wilmer family
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 11a
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    The storm
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    The grandmother
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Household cares
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    The visit
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    The offer
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    The winter
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    The sled
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    The excursion
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    The New Year
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
    The discovery
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    The box and its contents
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

A: .1!

"ae Baldwin Librry
~: aiversit
t~ sd

2i~. 2'--

.. ... ... ..-..

, -






The Wilmer Family, -
The Storm, 17
The Grandmother, 21
Household Cares, 30
The Visit, 38

The Offer, 44
The Winter, 66


The Sled, -

The Excursion, -

Christmas, -

The New Year, -


Spring, -

The Discovery, -

The Box and its Contents,

- 78

- 87

- 98


S 115

- 122

- 131

- 152



81he !ound drqa~u .,



T was a hot, sultry day in August.
All nature seemed hushed in an anx-
ious, oppressive stillness. Not a leaf
stirred upon the trees. The little
feathered inhabitants of the forest flew un-
easily from bough to bough, seeking to
shelter themselves in the deep shade of the
old trees, from the burning rays of the sun.


Worthy Peter Wilmer would very wil-
lingly have followed their example; "but in
the sweat of his face must man eatbread;" and
honest Peter and his wife had felt to-day the
full force of that decree.
He had, with her help, just loaded his last
cart-full of grain; and now walked leisurely
beside it, while he wiped away the bright
drops that stood so thick upon his brow.
His thrifty wife had laid her rake upon the
load, and now busied herself, in spite of the
intense heat, which made stooping so painful,
with gathering the green herbs that grew in
her path, for a dainty meal for her favorite
While her eyes had been fixed so intently
upon the ground, Peter had been casting
anxious glances at the sky, where he noticed
heavy clouds rising. He endeavored to
hasten the slow steps of his oxen; but when
he found that they could not be induced,


either by blows or entreaties, to alter their
accustomed pace, he raised his eyes again to
watch the progress of the threatening clouds,
and then turned them upon the lake lying by
the side of the road. In it, the dark clouds
mirrored themselves, and it appeared as
angry and restless as the approaching tem-
pest itself.
"Wife," said he then, "while you are so
diligently providing for Peggy's supper, you
do not see what a storm is coming. I can-
not drive the oxen any faster, and I am
afraid I shall not get the load into the barn
before it bursts upon us. Hasten home, and
let the goat be satisfied to-day, at least, with
fresh hay. Grandmother will be uneasy, if
she hears the storm before she knows we
have returned."
Frau Wilmer raised herself, at these warn-
ings, from her task, her face glowing with
heat, and said anxiously: "Oh, Peter, why


did you not speak to me sooner! The storm
will be upon us in an instant! Oh, gracious
Heaven assist us! How black the water is,
and what a moaning there is beneath it, and
how it foams and dashes! Alas! the chil-
dren! may they not have left their grand-
mother to ramble in the woods! "
The anxiety of her motherly heart gave
wings to her feet, and she scarcely heard,
even, as Peter called after her, to drive the
cow, which was feeding with her calf in the
meadow, close by, safely into her stall, and
to open the gate-way.
Already a roar as of a distant tumult filled
the air. She heard a murmuring above her
in the neighboring forest as of far-off, angry
The surface of the lake grew rough and
heaving, as if, in a moment, it had become all
life and motion, and spoke with a thousand


The sun, shining so brightly only a short
time before, had disappeared behind the
clouds, which were growing ever blacker
and blacker; the bright day faded every
moment more and more into a gloomy
The heart of Frau WVilmer throbbed with
anxiety. She ran as fast as her feet could
carry her; and only stopped to take breath
again, when she came in sight of her pleasant
little dwelling, peeping out from a grove of
Her eager eyes quickly discovered the old
grandmother, sitting upon the bench under
the large linden tree before the door. She
held little Rose, a child of four years upon
her lap, and Carl, two year older, sat at her
"God be thanked! exclaimed Frau
Wilmer. "Grandmother is surely telling
them one of her pretty stories, or else the
little romps would never sit there so quietly.


When she knew that her dear ones were
safe, she remembered the good cow, that was
still grazing unconcernedly in the meadow,
while now and then she turned her head to
caress her calf.
"You must leave your feast earlier than
usual to-day, good Daisy," said Frau Wilmer,
as she drove the cow hastily before her
homeward. Soon she reached the little
cottage, which now for ten years, had been
her home; and which she fondly loved, as
she had never had another.
It was, indeed, already old, and had
yielded here and there to the pressure of
irresistible Time; but, in return, he had,
with a gentle hand, adorned it so lovingly,
and clothed all the marks of age so carefully
in garments of freshest green, that one could
scarcely discover his ruder touches. In
front, where the windows looked out upon
the lake, it was enveloped closely in green


vines; and the other sides, which were
buried in the perpetual shade of the forest
which surrounded the little house, were over-
grown with ivy. The windows, only, peeped
forth from the dense green, like bright
friendly eyes; for even the thatched roof
was covered long ago with green moss.
Peter Wilmer had inherited this little
property from his parents. It had been in
possession of his mother's family for a hun-
dred years; and on account of the many
sweet as well as sad associations which clus-
tered around it, was as dear to her as Peter
Along by the side of the broad lake, ex-
tended green meadows, and here and there a
tract of cultivated ground, some of which
belonged to Peter Wilmer. The greater
part, however, was owned by farmers, who
lived in the city, on the other side of the


Peter's little dwelling stood entirely by
itself; for the dense forest extending a mile
or more separated it from the neighborhood
upon that side; and, in fact, the forest-
keeper's house, situated half a mile farther
into the forest, was all the neighborhood cf
which it could boast.
.The little household lived here in this
seclusion, and rarely ever found it oppres-
sive. Cheerfulness, joy, and industry were
their constant companions, and they felt no
need of others. When, however, the season
of hay-making came round, all was life and
activity on the borders of the lake. Then
the other owners of the meadows came over
in boats from the city, to superintend the
labors of the harvest; and it was a time of
joy and festivity for the good Wilmer family.
There were many dear, familiar faces among
those who came; and many hearty greetings
were exchanged by loving lips,


When the Autumn came and scattered
these pleasant guests, it became more quiet
and solitary than ever: still they thought no
other place could be half as pleasant, when
Winter drew the family together around the
bright fire, and with barn and cellar filled to
overflowing, they could enjoy a refreshing
rest from their more wearisome labors; and
the quick, merry hum of Frau Wilmer's
spinning-wheel was heard, while the grand-
mother opened for their entertainment the
rich treasures of her memory.
As she drew near her house, the recollec-
tions of all the glad, bright hours she had
passed in that little dwelling, rushed quickly
over her soul, accompanied by a feeling of
anxious forebodings; but as the children
sprang joyfully towards her, she felt her
heart grow light again.
She grasped the hand which the grand-
mother extended to her, and exclaimed: "I


ran home as fast as I could, grandmother, fox
I was so anxious about you and the children.
There is a fearful storm approaching. Hark
now; it thunders! "
I felt it coming, my daughter, and so did
not allow the children to leave me. I have
heard the sea moaning all day long. May
God protect us! "
Take my hand, grandmother; I will lead
you into the house first, and then look after
the animals. Carl, open the gateway."
Frau Wilmer led the grandmother into the
house, for she was blind, and seated her
gently in her comfortable arm-chair, and told
little Rose to stay with her, and not to be
frightened by the thunder.
She had just succeeded in making every-
thing secure, as Peter drove his load into the
barn; and in a short time, the little family
were all assembled in the pleasant sitting-



OW the tempest burst in all its vio-
S lence. The windows shook and rat-
S tied, and the tall trees of the forest
bent their heads before its fury. A
fearful tumult filled the air; the waves of
the lake rose high, while thunder and light-
ning followed peal after peal.
Little Rose had buried her head in her
grandmother's lap, whose lips moved in
silent prayer. Peter and his wife sat side by


side, their hands clasped, while Carl could
only with a great effort, keep back the tears.
Frau Wilmer became more and more
alarmed. She took the grandmother's hand,
and said, with a trembling voice, while she
listened anxiously to the tempest: "Oh,
grandmother, did you ever know such a
storm ?"
At the same time, little Rose, lifting her
head, asked: "Is God angry with us, be-
cause we have done something naughty?"
The grandmother repeated, in a calm,
firm voice, those beautiful verses from the
Psalms: God is our refuge and strength, a
very present help in trouble. Therefore will
not we fear, though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into
the midst of the sea. Though the waters
thereof roar and be troubled, though the
mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God ol
Jacob is our refuge."


They all listened devoutly. Their faith in
God was soon to be put to the trial.
As a terrific clap of thunder burst over
their heads, the large linden tree before the
house, cleaved by a stroke of lightning, fell
to the ground. Its strong branches in fall-
ing, crashed against the windows which it
had shaded so long; and a pale flickering
flame leaped from the tree upon the thatched
roof, which in an instant was in a bright
"Great God! the house is on fire! cried
Peter Wilmer, as he ran in terror out of the
house to convince himself of the terrible
truth. His wife and children followed
shrieking. Wilmer ran quickly back again,
and with tears in his eye clasped his mother's
hand as he said: "Oh, mother, it is not
God's will, that you shall die in the home of
your fathers! You must hasten to leave
it, never again to enter it!"
"The earth is everywhere the Lord's, my


son," said the old woman, with quivering
lips, as she left the house, which had been
her home so many years, and which con-
tained everything she had ever possessed and
Peter led his mother hastily under a large
old oak tree which stood upon the shore of
the lake. The storm still continued, but its
fury was spent. Frau Wilmer quickly re-
covered her presence of mind, and with
Carl's assistance, dragged beds and every-
thing else she could save out of the burning
Peter hastened to set free his cattle, for
the flames had already communicated them-
selves to the adjoining stable.
The sad labor of saving was soon over.
Scarcely a half hour had passed when the
little dwelling fell in ruins, and soon the out-
buildings followed; and then there remained
to Peter Wilmer, of all his temporal posses-
sions, nothing but a heap of ashes.



) LTHOUGH the grandmother was
Sthe most helpless of all the family,
Syet they all looked to her for advice
and comfort.
As the burning house fell to the ground
Frau Wilmer threw herself weeping upon
her breast, and the children clung to her
When the grandmother knew by the
crashing sounds, that the house was no more,
where she and her parents had experienced
ll the joys and sorrows of their lives, she
felt as if a two-edged sword had pierced her


soul, and two scalding tears rolled slowly
down, from her sightless eyes over her
withered face.
Soon she recovered herself, and said, calm-
ly: "The Lord gave and the Lord hath
taken away; blessed be the name of the
Lord. My son, despise not thou the chasten-
ing of the Lord, nor faint when thou
art rebuked of him, for whom the Lord
loveth he correcteth.' 'VWe know that all
things work together for good to them that
love God.' Why should we complain, my
children? Should we not rather be thankful
that God has permitted us to enjoy so long,
what he has now taken from us? That roof
has sheltered me for seventy years; is not
that long enough, and we realize, for the first
time, how long it was, now it fails us."
Oh, mother," answered -Wilmer, "it is
not for myself, or for my family .that I grieve,
we are young and strong; but for you, that


you have nowhere to lay your head! The
wind scatters your gray locks, and I cannot
offer you any shelter. Where can you stay
until I have again a house of my own ?"
My son," said she, gently, do not be
troubled about that. He who gives to
the clouds, to air, and to the winds a path,
will also provide a way wherein my feet can
walk. See! the storm is over; I feel a
warm ray of sunlight falling through the
branches upon my hand; perhaps there is a
rainbow in the sky. Let it be to us a token
of comfort and promise."
Yes, grandmother," cried Carl, "there is a
beautiful, broad rainbow, which reaches over
into the lake, and you have told us that God
made it when the flood was over, and tHe
was no longer angry. Grandmother, will he
not love us again, and help us ?"
"Certainly, my child," said the old woman.
"Pray and work, then God always helps."


Though their condition was for the time so
comfortless and helpless, Peter and his wife
both felt themselves strengthened and en-
couraged by the fortitude and submission of
the grandmother. Their only care was to
procure for her all the comforts which their
circumstances rendered possible. Peter had
seated her under an old oak, which, of all
the trees growing upon the shore, she loved
best. To it, she allowed the children to lead
her, in warm days; and here Peter had con-
structed a comfortable seat for her.
The tree was very old, and time had long
ago hollowed its trunk, and the restless
waves of the lake had, by degrees, worn
away the earth from some of its roots; still,
its branches were green and flourishing, and
hung far over the lake, and also over the
grandmother's seat.
Under this oak she had played when a
child; and here, in later years, she had often


come, in sorrow and in joy, to pray alone.
Here she still loved to sit, though her eyes
could no longer enjoy the fresh green of its
leaves; but their pleasant rustling, like the
plashing of the waves, spoke to her of van-
ished years, of trials which prayer had
strengthened her to endure, and of hopes
which reached beyond this world to the
As she sat here now, encircled by the lov-
ing care of her children, her spirit seemed to
lose itself in the distant past. "This is not
the first time, my son, that I have passed a
night under this tree," said she. "I remem-
ber one terrible night, when the ground was
wet with blood. The French fled hither
across the lake, and the Prussians pursued
them. A horrible slaughter followed, and
our little dwelling was soon full of friends
and foes. We fled, but we knew not whither,
for the forest was full of pursuers and pur-
4 '*


sued. When night came, all was still about
us, yet we did not trust ourselves to enter
our house, but crept back to conceal our-
selves under this oak; for then it was sur-
rounded by thick bushes.
"Just as we reached the tree, a soldier
sprang down from it, and we turned back
again in terror; but he seemed as frightened
as ourselves, for he ran as quickly as he could
into the forest close by; but the tree was
stained with blood. He could not have gone
very far."


The recollections of the grandmother were
here interrupted by the exclamation of the
children, "Here are people from the other
side of the lake !" It was true, that many
boats, bringing the kind neighbors from
across the lake, to offer aid and sympathy,
had already landed; for they had seen the
flames, and suspected what had happened.


Heinrich, the old smith of seventy years,
had been the first to set out, and now ap-
proached the grandmother, while the others
expressed to Peter and his wife their sympa-
thy. "God help us, Grandmother Wilmer;
this is a sad affliction, but you will bear it
with a submissive spirit, as you have so many
heavier trials," said he.
"You are right, Heinrich," answered the
grandmother, for she had recognized him im-
mediately by his voice, "you are right. It
is not the heaviest trial that the Lord has
laid upon me. When my husband and my
two children died of the fever, then, friend
Heinrich, it was hard for me to say O Lord,
Thy will be done!' "
"But you have been tried, and have not
been found wanting, grandmother, and you
will be sustained in this by God's grace.
My wife has already arranged a comfortable
room for you and the children, and expects


you to come back with me; and then we will
see what we can do for your son and his
good wife. His house must be rebuilt this
fall, so that he can occupy it in the Spring!
Keep up a good heart, Peter! we will all of
us set to work, to-morrow, and build a little
cottage for you, that will, at least, shelter
you from the wind and weather, while you
have work to do upon the farm; and the
winter you can spend in the city."
These kind offers were very thankfully
accepted. The grandmother and the chil-
dren found a pleasant and comfortable home
with the old smith; and the neighbors gave
'to honest Peter, all the assistance which
their means would allow. A small, tempo-
rary building was soon erected, and then
they made preparations for rebuilding the
house. Old Heinrich proved himself, in this
emergency, a true friend; for he loaned to
Peter, not only what money he needed, but


also the necessary amount of seed-corn. It
is true, that Peter followed his plough with a
heavy heart, and anxious care left deep lines
upon his forehead; but the pious submission
of his mother, strengthened his courage,
and his trust in God, so that he did not



UrHREE years have passed since the
*i, events we have just mentioned. A
L neat, pleasant dwelling house has
b taken the place of the former cot-
tage; and a commodious barn has been
erected for the faithful animals.
Upon the top of the latter, a stork had
built her neat, to the inexpressible delight
of the children; and, better than all, before
it flew away in the autumn, a dear little
sister had come to them, to the delight and
joy of all their hearts.
The grandmother sat again in her com-
fortable arm-chair by the fire; and instead


of the large linden tree before the door, a
young, slender fruit-tree had this year put
forth its delicate blossoms for the first time.
Green vines climbed again up the sides
of the house, and everything was fresh and
new; but anxious care had taken up its
abode in that dwelling, and would not be
driven out, let Peter and his wife labor ever
so diligently. The proverb which the grand-
mother often repeated to them: God blesses
war and fire with a liberal hand," did not
seem to be fulfilled in their case. Peter had
thus far been unsuccessful with his harvests,
and in addition to this, the interest money
which he owed, according to the proverb:
"eat at the same table with the family," and
when this is the case, the proverb says, "the
father of the family goes away from it
It was not yet quite so bad as that with
Peter; on the contrary, the table was well


supplied, and there was always a piece of
meat upon it for Peter and his mother. But
Peter's brow was often clouded and anxious,
and many tears did his faithful wife shed in
The hot sun had poured his scorching rays
upon the fields, week after week, until they
were brown and parched for the lack of rain.
The grain grew sparsely, and led Peter to
fear the harvest might entirely fail. He
owed interest money for the former year, and
if he were not able to sell grain this year, he
knew not how he could pay it. The kind
smith, who had advanced him the capital, was
dead ; and his heirs were hard-hearted,
avaricious people, who had already threat-
ened to sell poor Peter's house, if he did
not pay the money.
The harvest drew near. This year it was
no joyous festival; but the scanty sheaves
were brought into the barn with many sighs,


for they were barely sufficient for a single
family, and to think of selling any, was out
of the question. Frau Wilmer might man-
age as sparingly as she could, it did no good.
For some time the mid-day meal had grown
more and more frugal, and now there was
only a piece of meat upon the table for the
grandmother. They wished to conceal from
her, as long as possible, the sad condition of
the family; and Wilmer often felt thankful
for her blindness, which as he imagined, pre-
vented her from knowing the sorrow and
anxiety which their faces revealed.
The nest upon the stable was long ago
empty and deserted. The cold winds of
autumn played with the yellow, falling
leaves, and sighed mournfully among the
bare tree-tops. The waters of the lake
moaned and dashed incessantly; and the
hearts of the children were often full of
fear, as they gathered in the twilight around
their grandmother's chair.


The more dreary nature became, the
heavier grew Peter's heart. The interest
money was due upon St. Martin's day, and
he had not a thaler with which to pay it.
In vain, he had begged for indulgence from
his merciless creditors, and now he must be
prepared for the worst.
With sad faces they sat around the table
to-day, upon which was their simple meal;
the table was not quite bare, however, but
Peter and his wife could not swallow a
mouthful for sorrow.
"My children," said the grandmother at
length, "although I am blind, I can see your
sorrowful faces as plainly before me, as if
the light had never left my eyes. Let me
remind you of those comforting words,
which the Holy Scriptures contain, for all
anxious, care-burdened souls; which you,
perhaps, have forgotten in your despondency:
'Take no thought for your life, what ye shall


eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your
body, what ye shall put on. Is not the
life more than meat, and the body than
raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for
they sow not, neither do they reap, nor
gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father
feedeth them. Are ye not much better than
they? Therefore take no thought, for your
Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need
, of all these things.' "
Peter was much moved, and pressed his
mother's hand, as he said: "Dear mother,
your pious words and hymns have often
infused fresh courage into my sinking heart.
May they help me now! The day after to-
morrow, it is market-day in the little city
yonder; if the storm abates, so that I can
cross the lake, I think I shall take the good
cow over, and sell her. She is a fine cow,
and I shall receive for her nearly enough to
pay those cruel people what I owe them.


What matters it, dear wife? Many another
eats his piece of bread with salt, and the
goat gives milk enough for the children."
A momentary silence followed these words,
and then little Rose and Carl burst into
"Sell our good Daisy!" cried Frau Wil-
mer, astonished; then she quickly recovered
herself, and said, You are right, Peter,
she must go, and next autumn the little
brindle cow will bring us a calf. Dear old
Daisy! but there is no other way!"
"Truly, my children," added the grand-
mother, "we ought not to fasten our affec-
tions so entirely upon earthly things, and
fold our hands in inaction. We shall all feel
sadly to part with the good cow, but we
must submit to it."
Little Rose and Carl ran to the barn to
enjoy the sight of the good creature as long
as possible. They stroked her smooth sides,


while they told her,-amid scalding tears, of
the coming separation: for it was settled
that she must go, as it was only by this
sacrifice, that crushing care and want could
be averted from the family, at least, for a




EANWHILE the storm had in-
creased. The raging of the waves
Could be plainly heard as they beat
upon the shore. As evening ap-
proached, a violent snow storm set in, and
the windows shook and rattled, as the howl-
ing wind drove the flakes thick and fast
against them.
Peter and his wife were busy without, and
the grandmother sat alone with the children
in the comfortable little sitting-room. They
had been quietly rocking the cradle in which
their little sister was sleeping, and at length


little Rose said softly: "Grandmother, wont
you please tell us a story? One that will
make us happy again, for we are so sorry
that our good Daisy must leave us."
"Don't let us tease grandmother for a
story now," said Carl. She looks very sad
herself, and I believe she is praying."
It was now quite dark in the little room,
and a deep silence prevailed for some time.
It was suddenly broken by the barking of
the house-dog, Watch, who would not be
silenced. "Light a lamp, Carl," said the
grandmother, aroused by the noise; "per-
haps the forest keeper has been hunting in
the neighborhood, and has come to seek a
shelter with us from the storm."
Carl did as he was told, but he nearly let
the lamp fall from his hand, as he saw a
strange, white face, with coal black eyes
and hair pressed against the window pane,
and gazing into the room. HIe heard him


speak in a loud tone as he opened the door,
but the wind prevented him from under-
standing a syllable of what he said. He
thought of the water-sprite, which, it is
sa'd, sometimes appears to men, for when the
stranger at length entered the room he was
dripping with water.
"Pardonnez, Madame," said he, bowing
politely as he saw the grandmother, and then
he continued, speaking in tolerable German,
"I beg your pardon, good woman. I have
travelled a long way to-day, through this in-
terminable forest, and I hoped to cross over
the lake to the city to-night; but I must seek
a shelter here for the night, as the storm and
darkness prevent my going farther."
The grandmother had started at the first
sound of these foreign words, and seemed to
find it difficult to at once reconcile the
strange sounds with the present. As he
ceased speaking, she said half to herself, as


if lost in her recollections: For thirty years
I have not heard those sounds, nor listened
to the language of my fathers from the lips
of a Frenchman; but I could never for one
moment mistake them. All the horrors of
those days, when they so often met my ears,
rise from the grave before me. Have we not
peace? Why does our enemy come into our
country ?"
"Oh! pardon me, madame," rejoined the
stranger, if my person or my voice awakens
painful recollections within you; but you
will not visit upon the child the injuries
which perhaps his father has committed, and
drive him forth into the darkness and storm."
"No; my good sir, whoever you may be.
I trust you have heard that my countrymen
fulfil the words of Scripture, which bid us,
'Love your enemies, bless them that curse
you, do good to them that hate you.' My
eyes were still bright enough to see how God


humbled the pride of that cruel army, when
naked and hungry, they came back from
Russia, humbly begging for help, -they,
who but a little before, had placed their
pistols to our breasts, to extort from us the
last of our possessions, and for whom our
best was not good enough! I thought that
time had consumed every drop of bitterness
in my heart, and yet, something of it still
stirs my breast! But I trust that no one in
need shall ever leave our threshold unre-
lieved. Carl, place a chair for the stranger
by the stove; its warmth will do you good.
Sir, my son will bid you welcome, directly.
You must blame your countrymen, that I
am not a better hostess; for one of them
held a pistol to my forehead, while he laughed
at my distress. To be sure, he knew well
that it was only loaded with powder, but as
he fired, the powder flashed in my eyes; and
after that, gradually, their sight was de-


"It pains me," said the Frenchman, in a
voice much agitated, "that my countrymen
have given you so much cause to hate them.
It pains me all the more, since -since I have
business in this neighborhood, which may
compel me to make a long tarry here."
"Business in this neighborhood!" re-
peated the grandmother, in amazement.
"Yes," replied the stranger, with some
hesitation. "I am commissioned to survey
the lake and its shores, and make a drawing
of them." Further conversation was here
interrupted by the entrance of Peter and his



J'HE grandmother explained to them in
a few words the presence of the
stranger, and he repeated his request
for a shelter, until he could cross the
"You are welcome, my good sir," said
honest Peter, as he extended his hand to
him. "I would not close my doors upon
any man, in such weather as this, to what-
ever nation he might belong! The stranger
then told them how he had left France in the
spring of the year, and expected to have
commenced his work here in the summer.
S% 44


"But," he continued, "I had scarcely
reached Germany, when I was seized with a
severe illness, which detained me for many
months in a little city. Now," he added.
much agitated, I cannot probably commence
my work here at present, as the winter has
set in so early; but I am recommended to
some people in the city yonder, and I hope
to find employment there in a trading-
There was certainly nothing very remarka-
ble in this narration, and yet it all seemed to
good Peter a little peculiar. Who, in the
name of heaven, in distant France, could be
so interested in this isolated locality, as to
wish to have an accurate map of it? Then
again, what motive could the stranger have
to deceive him, and enter his house upon
false pretences? The appearance of the
man was not such as either to excite suspi-
cion, or to dispel it. IHe might have been


twenty-one years old, was tall and slender,
with dark eyes and hair. He was very hand-
some, though his face was still very pale,
from the effects of his long illness; his dress
was plain but genteel. His eyes had at
times an anxious, uneasy expression, and
they wandered incessantly around the room,
as if making a careful examination of it, and
remained longer upon the grandmother's face
than anywhere else.
Meanwhile, Frau Wilmer had laid a clean,
white cloth upon the table, and proceeded to
place upon it some eggs, and a dish of
You will have to put up with our poor
fare," said Frau Wilmer, apologizingly; "we
would gladly give you better, if we had it."
"I am already very much obliged to you,"
said the stranger, politely.
As they sat around the table, the stranger
turned to the grandmother and said, "Did


you live in this neighborhood in the time of
the war?"
This is the place where I was born," she
answered; "and, if it is God's will, I hope
here to lay down my head in everlasting
"And did the wild tumult of the war ex-
tend even to this quiet spot?" asked the
stranger again.
Peter happened to turn his eyes upon him
just then, and noticed that a faint flush
spread itself over his pale cheeks, as he asked
the question.
"We have seen much more of it than we
could wish, or can ever forget," she an-
swered, "and under those trees by the lake,
many a victim of it lies buried-friend and
foe lying peacefully side by side."
"Under those trees by the lake," ex-
claimed the stranger in a startled tone,
and and when were they buried there,


good woman, before or after, the great battle
over yonder ? "
The grandmother shook her head distrust-
fully, as she said: "you knew of that battle,
and yet you asked if the tumult of the war
had extended to us."
"Yes, I knew of it," he replied, somewhat
confused. "I believe it was in that battle,
that my father was wounded."
"The French were pursued across the
lake," continued the grandmother, "and so
large an offering was sacrificed to the water,
sprite in its depths that day, for a long time
he demanded no more. Those who could
not find boats, threw themselves into the
water. Oh, it was a fearful sight! I could
almost wish that my eyes had been sightless
then; for the terrible picture of those poor
soldiers, struggling in vain with the waves,
haunted me for many long years; and even
now, I often seem to hear their pitiful cries,
when the wind sweeps across the lake."


"They buried the dead under those trees
by the lake," said the stranger again, half
to himself.
"The Prussians crossed the lake farther
Downn" the grandmother proceeded to relate,
" and I cannot say that they showed any
mercy. The soldier follows a terrible pro-
fession! Those who did not perish in the
lake, were cut in pieces with the sword.
My husband and I, even, buried many; for
when we again ventured forth the dead lay
all about us."
"And the dead lie buried under those
trees by the lake," repeated the stranger
once more in an agitated voice; then turning
suddenly to Peter, he said: "You probably
know, my good man, the very spot where
my countrymen rest. I cannot remain in
this neighborhood without visiting their
graves. "And-and," he added, hesitating-
ly, "were the rest of the dead, those who


were not buried by you, laid so kindly to rest
under green trees ?"
"They were buried on the borders of the
forest," the grandmother replied; "but this
is not fit conversation, so shortly before
going to bed; your slumbers will be dis-
turbed with bad dreams. My daughter can-
not offer you the softest couch, for you have
sought shelter with poor people."
"Then you are really pocr," said the
Frenchman, while a gleam of delight almost
flitted over his face; but a sigh escaped from
his lips as he continued, "yet if you could
oblige me so much, as to let me lodge with
you for one or two days, I should be very
grateful to you. What I have just heard
makes this place interesting in the highest
degree to me; and I should like to learn
more about it."
"I must go across the lake to the city the
day after to-morrow," answered Peter, and


I will make you the proposition to remain
here till then, and let us make the journey
over together."
Peter had mentioned his intended journey
not without a touch of sadness in his voice
and a sigh from every breast accompanied
his words.
The stranger glanced from one to the
other, and immediately concluded that Peter
must be going upon a sad errand.
"You do not seem to go to the city very
willingly," he remarked.
Peter did not answer immediately, but
Frau Wilmer said sadly, Alas! it is on ac-
count of our good Daisy!" Then she
quickly recovered herself, and added, "we
are obliged to sell our best cow, dear sir, and
that makes us all very sad."
"Why can you not keep her?" he asked.
"Are you really so badly off, that you must
sell her?" He turned his eyes as he said
this inquiringly upon the grandmother.


The truth is," said Peter, "I owe a hard-
hearted man, and as I have no money I must
sell the cow in order to pay him."
Frau Wilmer quietly wiped her eyes upon
her apron, while little Rose hid her tearful
face upon her mother's breast.
"How much do you owe that man?" in-
quired the stranger.
"Alas! my good sir, fifty thalers! and I
scarcely expect to receive that for the cow."
They had risen from the table, and the
Frenchman walked up and down the room,
apparently lost in thought. At length he
stopped before Peter, and said,
"I have a request to make of you, my
good man. Take from me, now, these fifty
thalers, and in return for them, let me have
a little chamber in your house, so that I can
come and go when I wish. Perhaps my
business here will soon be accomplished; but
it may be that it will oblige me to remain


here a part of next summer. My ordinary
abode will be in the city yonder; but I would
like to be able to come here when circum-
stances render it necessary."
A feeling of joy diffused itself through
each heart at these words, and only upon the
grandmother's face a shadow still rested.
Peter noticed it, and replied with some hesi-
tation; "Pardon me, dear sir, that I do not
at once accept your kind offer, and express
to you the deep gratitude which I feel; but
we have known each other only for a few
hours; look first at the little room which is
all we can offer you."
"Your hesitation, good people, at receiv-
ing into your house, without more ado, an
entire stranger is very natural, but you need
have no fear. If I am a Frenchman, I have
an honest heart, and the money which I offer
to you, has been honorably earned, and I
trust the blessing of God will rest upon it;


but more of this to-morrow. Now, I will
bid you good-night."
Peter conducted his guest up the stairs,
and opened the door of a snug little chamber
under the eaves, with white walls, in which
Frau Wilmer had spread a clean, white
couch. When Peter returned to the little
sitting-room, his wife clasped his hand, and
said, with much emotion:
Oh, my husband God sends us help in
our need, and I am not afraid to accept it,
because it comes from a stranger."
Grandmother shall decide for us," an-
swered Peter. "I see very plainly, mother,
that you have some doubts about the offer of
the Frenchman. Tell us whether we ought
to accept it or not."
Do you wish me to decide, my children,
when you know my eyes are sightless, and
cannot look searchingly into the stranger's
face? Yet, I will not deny that, though I


cannot see, as I felt his eyes often fixed upon
me, and heard those foreign but well remem-
bered accents, a painful feeling of suspicion
stole over me. But let us leave the matter
till the morning, my children, and in the
meantime, ask the good Lord to preserve us
from gold upon which wrong may rest."
"Oh, mother," exclaimed Frau Wilmer,
"did you not hear how he assured us that it
was honestly earned? Oh, if you could
only see what an honest and frank expression
there is on his face; and when his eyes
rested upon you, they were full only of real
pity, for the calamity which his country-men
had brought upon you."
The grandmother reached out her hand to
her, and said, smilingly, I see plainly, my
daughter, he has a good advocate in you, and
the good cow shall yet furnish us'with milk
and butter for a long time, if it is God's will.
It may be that the recollections of days gone


by, makes me distrustful; but God will
enlighten our minds through the night, so let
us go to rest."
They all sought repose, and Frau Wilmer,
full of hope and joy, ere she closed her eyes
in slumber, fervently thanked God for this
unexpected help in their need.
These happy feelings did not forsake her
even in sleep, but fashioned themselves into
sweet and pleasant dreams as she slumbered.
She wandered in a lovely flower-garden, and
gathered the most beautiful flowers in her
apron; then as she attempted to twine them
into nosegays, bright, shining thalers fell in
abundance from each blossom.
The noise of their falling awakened her,
but flowers signified joy, and silver a bright
day; so with a light heart, she left her
As she prepared the morning meal, her
fancy pictured to her all the pleasant things


which would follow from this day. First of
all, the good cow need not be sold; and at
Christmas time, she would carry what butter
she could spare to the city, and with the
money she received for it, she would buy a
warm shawl for the grandmother, a cap for
Peter, and soft warm dresses for the chil-
dren; and with what remained, she would
surely buy a Christmas cake; and she would
decorate the Christmas-table with all these
things on the holy Christmas Eve.
Peter also awoke with the conviction that
God, in his love, had guided the stranger to
his house, that he might render them aid.
lie was resolved to accept of it thankfully,
but fancy painted no such glowing pictures
for him as for his wife. IIe felt that only
the first ray of light had pierced the night of
his cares: but he trusted that it would con-
tinue to grow brighter around him, and in
this hope, he went forth to his work.


The grandmother had lain awake much of
the night. The events of the day had
aroused the recollections of long forgotten
injuries. She thought of all the misery
which the war had brought upon her country,
upon her friends and relations, and upon her-
self. Her two brothers had been killed in a
battle with the French; they had abused her
husband, plundered their humble dwelling,
and deprived her of the sight of her eyes.
She feared that perhaps all these painful
remembrances, had made her suspicious, and
unjust in her opinion of the young French-
man. Had she a right to refuse his helping
hand, because his countrymen had done her
harm ? Where now were all those who had
once treated her dear ones and herself so
cruelly ?
She had herself, even helped to prepare
a quiet resting place for them, and now
after so many, many years, ought she to


cherish bitterness in her heart towards one
of that nation? She felt repentance and
sorrow, as all good people do, when they fear
they have done wrong, and she blamed her-
self for not treating the stranger twice as
kindly, and resolved that he should be
furnished with a chamber in their house
whenever he wished it.
The young Frenchman, his name was
Mon. La Lire, had slept sweetly and sound-
ly, a slumber, such as ever visits the couch
of youth. The pale November sun was
shedding its faint beams around the little
chamber, as he awoke from his refreshing
rest. IIe dressed himself quickly, and
walked to the window. His eyes wandered
in that direction where he knew beautiful
France must lie-his distant beloved coun-
try Tears rose to his eyes, and he clasped
his hands involuntarily in silent prayer.
Then he murmured in a low tone: Oh, my


loved ones, are you thinking of me at this
hour? I know your prayers for my success
accompany me, but will they be answered,
or must I leave this cold, unfriendly land
without realizing my desires? Are those
graves, the graves of my hopes, also ? Alas!
there comes to me from out those bare
branches no whisper of promise! They
seem dead, but the spring will awaken them
to a new life, and clothe those limbs so
brown and bare with fresh, green foliage.
Oh, that I might with them, awake to a
new, joyous existence! IIe was interrupted
in his meditations by a light knock at the
door. It was Peter, who had come to sum-
mon him to breakfast. A smoking hot soup
was upon the table, and the little family
bade him a pleasant good morning. The
grandmother cordially reached out her hand
to him, and enquired how he had slept.
The spirits of the young stranger brightened


with this hearty greeting. He returned it
in the same manner, and sat down to break-
fast with these good people with a lighter
heart. Frau Wilmer looked somewhat
anxiously at the soup, which was scarcely
colored with milk, as the goat had given a
very small quantity to-day. She was afraid
that her guest would find the meal too
frugal, and would regret that he was to be a
lodger there in the future. I..l:nrv:hile, she
saw with unutterable joy, the contents of his
plate rapidly vanishing, and when he asked
for a second plateful, he had established him-
self completely in her good graces.
He understood how to win the love of the
children, and they soon climbed upon his
knee, and listened with delight to his pretty
stories; and when he promised to bring back
with him from the city a charming picture
book, they thought he could not have been a
Frenchman, who had treated their grand-


mother so cruelly long ago. "For," said
Carl, he is a Frenchman, and how good and
kind he is! "
Meanwhile the Frenchman had often looked
out longingly upon the lake, but the weather
continued so stormy, that he feared it might
seem strange if, in spite of it, he took a walk
upon the shore, but as the afternoon ad-
vanced, and the storm did not abate, he
could not restrain himself any longer; and
Peter saw him walking up and down upon
the shore.
At length he paused by those old trees,
and looked carefully about him on every
side. lie stayed a long time by a clump of
old beach trees, which stretched their boughs
over the graves of his countrymen. Peter
had pointed out this spot to him as being
their resting place. It was not to be won-
dered at, that he tarried a long time there,
but why was it that the rest of the trees


occupied so much of his attention? Peter
saw him take out his pocket-book, and search
in it; and then his eyes wandered over the
lake. It was lashed into fury by the storm,
but of the tempest which agitated the breast
of the young Frenchman, Peter could know
lie heard neither the deep groans which
were wrung from his breast, nor saw the
tears which rolled slowly down over his pale
The water-sprite only, in the bottom of
the lake, seemed to sympathize with him, for
his groans were accompanied by dull moan-
ing sounds, which proceeded from its depths.
"So I stand," said the Frenchman, gloom-
ily to himself, "so I stand at length under
these trees, which waking and sleeping, I
have felt for so many years, would whisper
to me from out their thick branches the
promise of a happy future. Yet as I stand


here, no rustle discovers to me their dark
secret. Have the strivings of so many years
been for nought? Alas! how different from
the reality are the airy brilliant creations of
our fancy ? How I have thought that happi-
ness would be already restored to me, if I
could only be permitted to find out this
corner of the earth and visit it ? How have
I exerted all the strength of my youth to
reach this spot? But the earth remains si-
lent; neither the waves nor the trees will re-
veal to me what has been done here!"
He attempted to displace some of the
earth with his cane, but it was frozen hard
and would not yield to it.
"Dumb! Dumb! he said sadly. "Yet
the spring will break this hard crust, and
everything which now lies shut up within
it, will awake to new life. Will it be so
also with my hopes ? I care not for myself,
it is only for you,-for you, my distant
loved ones! Then courage, courage!"


The evening had already approached as
Mon. La Lire returned from his wanderings.
He was silent and sad, and Peter shook his
head, and knew not what to think of the
The following day was clear and bright,
and the Frenchman expressed his desire to
go over the lake to the city. "I may come
back again, may I not? he asked. "And
you will keep the fifty thalers I have offered
you, and not sell your cow ? "
Peter and his wife expressed their heart-
felt thanks for his kind offer, and gladly ac-
cepted it; and the children made him prom-
ise that he would not stay long away.
Peter returned thanks to God, who he
felt, had provided him with the means to pay
his hard-hearted creditor; and he set forth
upon his journey over the lake, with his
guest, with a light heart.

weeks, continued to cheer their so- li-


-,ue tIE visit of the Frenchman was a

.Mi bright spot in the life of this little
ssrt his family, and its radiance for many
weeks, continued to cheer their soli-
tude and dispel their cares. It furnished
abundant subject for conversation during the
long winter evenings: and they exhausted
their imagination, in endeavoring to conjec-
ture the circumstances which had brought
him there.
Meanwhile winter began more and more to
assert his rigorous sway, and to announce his
coming by sharp chilling winds and storms
of snow.


The roar and tumult of the forest, where
the wind like an evil spirit wrestled with the
naked branches, soon gave way to a benumb-
ing cold, which congealed everything with
its icy touch. The waves of the lake, so
wild and boisterous, were now silent and
motionless, vanquished by the strong hand
of winter.
As charming as was Peter's little cottage
in summer, yet in the cold season of the
year it seemed equally dismal to those who
were not accustomed to its solitude. Rarely
did the foot of man cross their threshold; for
the lake was a treacherous highway, and
no one trusted the water-sprite, who the
peasants believed at this season of the year
especially, deluded men and dragged them
down into his depths.
The ice seldom formed a safe bridge over
it, and so the Wilmer family were separated
from the city almost the whole winter, when
the lake did lot remain open.


It was truly, a dreary place; for sometimes
when the lake was bound fast in icy
chains, you would be startled to hear,
through the still night, a noise like thunder
- a dull rumbling sound along the lake.
"My old nurse," the grandmother remarked
once upon such an occasion, "used to tell me
many stories about the water-sprite, how he
suffers when the lake is frozen over, and how
hard he tries to throw off the hard cover in
order to breathe the air again."
The children would listen eagerly, gath-
ered around the bright fire to these tales of
the old nurse, and Frau Wilmer's spinning-
wheel hummed again with its quick, lively
motion, as the grandmother repeated story
after story.
One evening as they heard again a loud
report like thunder from the lake, Carl said,
coaxingly, "0 grandmother, please tell us
something your old nurse said about the


water-sprite. I want to know why he stays
down there, and plagues and frightens
Then little Rose climbed upon her grand-
mother's lap and caressed her wrinkled
cheeks, as she said: "Ah! tell us a story,
grandmother, please do! I have tried to be
a good girl and learn my verse to-day, and I
want to hear one so much! "
The grandmother kissed the dear little
coaxers and began: The Story of the
Water Sprite-" My nurse used to tell me,
that where now flow the restless waters of
the lake, a great and splendid castle once
stood. A powerful but wicked king dwelt
in it with many knights and soldiers about
him; and all these were as fierce and cruel
as himself. Where the city now lies, over
yonder, were then open fields and meadows:
but the peasants reaped no benefit from


Scarcely had the grain sprung up and
given promise of a harvest, when this wicked
king would come with his knights and
attack them; and the blessings of the fields
were soon crushed and broken under the
hoof- of their powerful steeds.
The king hated tie~au peasants, because
pious men had come and taught them that
there was only one all-powerful God, who
had given His Son to die for men, so that
they loved and worshipped Him, and would
not worship the strange gods of the king.
He had already seized very many of these
good men, and sacrificed them to his cruel
In the depths of the forest, you may find,
even now, a great stone, which is called
' Runenstein;' there he had built an altar
to his idols, and all his captives were sacri-
ficed upon this horrible place.
Theground had been wet with the blood


of thousands. Nature mourned over such
wickedness, and not a tree or shrub would
strike its roots into that bloody soil. Even
now-a-days, the place is bare, and the oaks
which have stood about it tor centuries.
could proclaim to us the horrors of those
days, if we could only understand the lan-
guage of their rustling leaves.
The king's heart was as hard as the stone.
No prayers or tears could rescue a single vic-
tim from that altar. IHe believed that the
more blood he shed, the more power his gods
would bestow upon him. To him had never
come those words of our Saviour: 'I will
have mercy and not sacrifice. God is a
spirit, and they that worship Him must wor-
ship IIim in spirit and in truth.'
IIe decided those who wished to proclaim
the truth to him, seized them and cast them
into chains, and put them to death with
many tortures.


There came to the castle one day a holy
man. His locks were silvery white, and en-
circled his head like a halo of light. The re-
port of the cruel deeds of the king had
reached him, and he had set out fearlessly
upon a journey to his dominions.
Hie preached with power and success, and
many of the vassals of the king wore con-
vinced by his words, and permitted them-
selves to be baptized.
The king lay prostrate with a wound which
he had received in battle, and so the pres-
ence of the holy man remained concealed
from him for a long time.
Now the king had a sweet young daughter.
Her soul was as pure as crystal, and her
heart tender and loving. She abhorred the
life her father led, and often wept bitter
tears over his cruelty. She had embraced
with all her heart, the teachings of this
saintly man, and she hoped that her childish


entreaties might induce her father to listen
to him also.
One evening, as he seemed kinder and
gentler than was his wont, she threw herself
down by his couch, and told him about this
wonderful preacher, and that many had been
converted, and that she herself also had been
At first, the king was speechless and
motionless with rage ; then a deep red flush
shot across his face, and his eyes glared like
those of a wild animal. He raised himself
quickly from his couch, and dealt such a
blow upon the defenceless head of his child,
that she fell lifeless to the earth.
A cry of mourning and lamentation rang
through the palace, and reached the ears of
the preacher. He shuddered, as he heard of
this fresh crime. Full of holy anger he pre-
pared to go and announce to the cruel father
the vengeance of God, if he did not repent,


and humbly confess his sins at the foot of
the cross. Those who loved and followed
him, tried to hold him back; for the com-
mand was already issued to seize him and
put him to death with terrible tortures,
upon the altar of the cruel Gods. But he
repeated to them those words of Scripture:
'Fear not them which kill the body, but are
not able to kill the soul; but rather fear
Iim which is able to destroy both soul and
bdldy in hell.'
Unmoved, he entered into the presence of
the king; but as he saw him he foamed with
rage, and unmindful of his weakness, seized
the preacher with his powerful hands, and
dragged him by his silvery locks to the altar.
His servants stood ready with the bloody
knife, but he would finish his cruel work
himself, and in his fierce rage he pierced the
breast of the holy man. A stream of blood
flowed from the deep wound, and as the


sacred cross fell from his lifeless hands, the
king trampled it under his feet.
Then the earth trembled, the sun hid his
face behind dark clouds, a sighing and moan-
ing was heard among the trees of the forest,
and the air was full of ominous sounds.
Fear seized all hearts, and they fled in terror
from that place of cruelty, and hastened to
the castle.
Scarcely had the king entered it, when its
lofty pillars trembled and shook, and that
proud roof and those solid walls fell together
in ruins. The earth opened her mouth and
swallowed up castle and people; all sank
down into her depths.
But from the yawning chasm spouted up
the angry waters, and seethed and foamed as
they rolled over the place. For a long time
did they mount up with a loud roar, as if
they would proclaim to men what had hap-
pened there.


The peasants, who had been oppressed so
long by this wicked king, had witnessed
with astonishment the destruction which
God had brought him, and they did not
venture for a long time to go near the unholy
At length, as the waters became more
quiet, they came over in boats, and found
the body of the good man entirely unhurt,
while the idols lay in ruins. They carried
him back with them and buried him with
solemn rites, and over his grave they after-
wards built their church; and even now-a-
day the present one stands upon the very
But the wicked king could find no rest
even in death. They say he was banished to
the sea until he should become better. His
groans and cries down there in its depths
often echoed far and wide through the still
night. Sometimes his old evil propensities


awake again, and then he will spring up and
seek to seize a victim, and drag him down to
his dismal abode. For that reason, my dear
children," concluded their grandmother,
"never venture upon the lake, for he is a
great enemy to children."
Carl and little Rose promised very seri-
ously to avoid the lake, and kissed their
grandmother in return for the story.



^,j ITII such stories, as they rose up
YJ fresh in her recollections of the
'. 'u days of her childhood, did the
'tk grandmother beguile and enliven
many a long winter evening; at the same
time the instruction of the children was by
no means neglected.
After supper, when the table cloth had
been removed, and the baby Annie had been
rocked to sleep with a soft lullaby, Peter
would take the large Bible from its place in
the closet, and Carl was required to read


many chapters from it to him. After that,
little Rose would come with her primer.
Peter endeavored to teach the children as
well as he could from his own stock of
knowledge; but he was well aware that this
was not sufficient, and he would have been
very thankful to have provided them with a
better and more complete education. He
hoped at some time to place Carl at school in
the city, but at present he lacked the means
of doing so.
The grandmother also did all in her power
to make the children familiar with God and
His holy word. Every day she made them
learn by heart verses from the Scriptures
and sweet hymns, with which her memory
was richly stored, and by which she had
often comforted and strengthened the hearts
of her children in their hours of despondency.
Thus the festival of Christmas gradually
drew near; but most of the castles which


Frau Wilmer had allowed her fancy to rear,
had in the meantime fallen in ruins, as it
often happens in life! To be sure, they still
kept their good cow, but the stock of pro-
visions was so scanty, and her food must be
measured out so sparingly, that the pail was
not nearly as full of milk as in former days.
Frau Wilmer might save as much as she
could, yet she could not continue to fill the
pot of butter, which she was in hopes to
carry to the city to sell, and she thought
sadly to herself, how bare the Christmas
table would be this year! Besides a deep
snow had fallen, so that it was impossible to
cross the lake to reach the city.
The children, however, were happy, and
often asked, if they were good, would the
holy Christ Child come to them also. Such
questions always pained their mother's
loving heart, and as she sat alone with the
grandmother one day in the little sitting-


room, she said to her, sadly: "Alas! Grand-
mother, in eight days it will be Christmas.
The children are eagerly looking forward to
it, but with what can I adorn the table?
How happy rich people must be now, for
they can buy whatever they wish for their
children of all the beautiful things that are
for sale. I am sure our children deserve to
have something pretty, they have been so
good; but I fear it will be a sad Christmas "
She wiped away the fast falling tears, and
the thread slipped from her busy fingers.
"You forget, my daughter," the grand-
mother replied, that a child's hand is easily
filled, and the contented has always enough.
Peter can find a pretty little fir tree, and, if
you cannot afford any other lights, some
fancifully cut pine knots, will make it very
bright; and then you know, you have the
nuts and apples, which the forest-keeper's
wife sent you in the autumn, in safe keep-


ing; and I am sure you will see your child.
dren dance as merrily around the tree as the
children of the rich, who have never lacked
beautiful presents and plenty of sweetmeats.
They are healthy and happy, and health and
happiness are far better than gold and costly
treasures. There are no riches to compare
to health, and no happiness like content-
Just then Peter entered the room, and at
once inquired the cause of his wife's sadness.
" Why, wife," said he, smiling, then you
have not noticed how diligently I have
labored to provide a pleasure for the chil-
dren. I wanted to surprise you, too, but
come, now my work is nearly completed, and
you shall enjoy it." Peter led his wife into
his little work-shop where he was accus-
tomed to manufacture all the implements
necessary for husbandry, and lo! there was
the prettiest little sled, with a nice back and
arms, all fashioned by Peter's skilful hands!


Frau Wilmer clapped her hands for joy,
and fell upon her husband's neck in a loving
embrace. Then she hastened back to the
grandmother, to describe to her this wonder-
ful piece of workmanship.
She was soon interrupted by the children,
who came rushing in in great glee. Hark!
Hark! mother! grandmother!" cried both
of them, quite out of breath. They listened,
and heard the merry jingle of bells in the
distance, coming nearer and nearer, and
presently a beautiful sleigh emerged from the
forest, and drove rapidly towards the little
house. It was drawn by a splendid black
horse, and he was decked out with a crest
of feathers, and a gaily-colored robe, and
from both sides hung down bright little bells.
In the sleigh sat an elderly man, wrapped
warmly in fur. The children were nearly
beside themselves, as the sleigh actually
stopped before their door.


"Why, it is the forest-keeper! exclaimed
their mother, as she quickly sat her spinning-
wheel to one side. Peter had gone out to
bid him welcome, and now conducted him
into the room.
How do you do, good people ?" said he,
in a cheery voice, as he shook hands with all
the family. "Good gracious! what a deep
snow! My black Bess could hardly bring
me through it! I have promised," said he,
turning to Peter, "to deliver a large quan-
tity of wood in the city before Christmas;
but one of my horses is lame and cannot
work, and it is high time for it to be there.
Now I want to know, Peter Wilmer, if you
can help me with your oxen, to carry over
some of the wood. These are hard times, so
you must not refuse to take some money in
return for your kindness." Peter gladly
agreed to assist him, and the forest-keeper
continued, "I am going now with my light


sleigh to see where we had better make a
road; so good-bye."
When he came out, he found the children
gathered in wondering admiration about the
pretty sleigh and the gaily caparisoned
horse, and he said to them kindly, So you
like it, children? How would you like to
take a ride in it some day? Look here;
Frau Wilmer, when we have made a good
road over the lake with our woodsledges, let
us take the children over to see the market-
place there at Christmas time for once. I
will come with my boy, for you and the
Oh, what joy filled the hearts of the chil-
dren at these words, and Frau Wilmer ex-
pressed her thanks to him with unconcealed
Long after the jingle of the sleigh-bells
was lost in the distance, did Carl and Rose
continue to shout for joy. They were really


going in that splendid sleigh to the city,
where the holy Christ Child had spread out
all his treasures! They would see with their
own eyes all these strange and wonderful
things! Frau Wilmer could not find words
in which to praise and extol the kind forest-
keeper. "Ah, grandmother, how sad I was
this morning, and how happy I am now!"
"Sunshine follows rain, my child," said
she, as she smiled and stretched out her hand
to her, therefore do not grieve, when, for a
time, everything seems dark around you.
You see how easy it is for our Heavenly
Father to change our sadness into joy."




PON the following morning came the
r"''t'iL woodsledges of the forest-keeper.
The horses, which were attached to
S them, had little bells upon their
harness, and their merry sound enticed the
children forth into the open air. The crisp
snow crackled under their tread, and Rosy's
little feet often sank quite out of sight in it,
but the unusual activity in their quiet neigh-
b1'ih.d1" afforded them so much pleasure,
that they did not mind that, nor the keen
wind which soon made their cheeks glow.
They followed the sledges with their eyes


as far as they could see, and admired the
wide track which it left behind, for over this
they would soon be gliding in the beautiful
sleigh with its merry, jingling bells.
Peter soon set forth with his oxen upon
the journey, and promised, when he returned
at evening, to tell them of all the splendor
which the Christmas market contained.
Scarcely anything else was talked of, but
this anticipated journey, for it was an un-
usual event even to Frau Wilmer.
She took great pains to get ready all the
warm clothing she could for the children,
and though they really had nothing quite
suitable for a journey in such a cold season
of the year, yet Carl thought when one was
so happy it would be impossible to feel cold !
As the forest-keeper left with tie last
load, he told them he should be at the door
the next morning at nine o'clock, and Frau
Wilmer promised to be all ready.


Then their joy broke forth afresh, and they
scarcely closed their eyes for the whole
night, so anxious were they for the coming
of the morrow. They were both up and
dressed by six o'clock upon the eventful
Frau Wilmer, also had made all her prep-
arations. She had packed her butter care-
fully in a basket, and covered it with a snow-
white cloth. She hoped to receive enough
for it to buy a warm shawl for the grand-
mother. She put on her Sunday gown, and
as they heard the sound of bells in the dis-
tance, borne upon the still morning air, she
wrapped up the children as warmly and
quickly as she could, bade the grandmother
and Peter a joyful farewell, and stepped out
of the door as the sleigh drove up.
Good morning, Frau Wilmer; so you are
all ready! Now, you little folks, shall see
for once how pleasant it is to take a sleigh-


ride. Carl, you sit there by my Gustav.
Frau Wilmer, you sit here beside me, and I
shall take this little puss in my lap," said the
forest-keeper, as he lifted little Rose upon his
knee. He tucked in snugly the robes,
snapped the whip repeatedly, in the air, and
away they went at full speed to the merry
music of the bells.
It was a beautiful bright winter's day, and
the cold was not severe, so there was nothing
to mar the children's enjoyment. On they
went over the lake usually so wild and bois-
terous, and little Rose could hardly believe
that they were actually passing over it.
They soon reached the city, and the chil-
dren gazed in astonishment at everything
they saw. They had not visited it since
their new house was built, and the recollec-
tion of their short stay here at that time
was entirely effaced from their memory.
Now, as they drove through the streets, how


grand the houses looked 1 The high church-
tower which they could always see in the
distance, now that they were near to it,
seemed infinitely higher and grander than
At length the sleigh stopped before a fine
house, and a pleasant looking man helped
them all out, and conducted them into a
warm pretty room.
"Now, Frau Wilmer, we will first warm
ourselves a little, and then I must entertain
my little guests." said the forest-keeper.
"Good landlord, bring us coffee and some-
thing nice to eat!"
A large pot of coffee was soon smoking
upon the table, and a plateful of delicious
cakes was placed beside it. The kind forest-
keeper begged them to help themselves as
often as they wished to. Oh, how delicious
they were! Little Rose, with a keen appetite,
had already eaten very many of these nice


cakes, and she was just in the act of trans-
ferring another to her mouth, when all at
once she checked herself, and laid it beside
her plate.
"Why, little one," said the forest-keeper,
who observed it, "have you had enough so
soon ? Can't you eat one more cake ?"
Little Rose grew very red in the face, and
faltered out finally, that she wanted to carry
it home to her grandmother. The forest-
keeper kissed her red cheeks, with his bearded
lips, as he said: "You are a dear, good child,
not to forget her in your happiness, and you
shall have a whole paper full to carry home
to her."
Meanwhile the landlady, whom Frau
Wilmer knew very well, had bought her
butter, and given her two thalers for it.
With what a glad heart she now went with
the children into the market-place! Carl
and Rose were speechless with delight and


astonishment. It seemed to them, as if they
were living in one of those fairy tales which
they were so fond of hearing their grand-
mother tell to them Here was actually so
much honey cake, that one might have built
a house with it; and so many beautiful play-
things Animals of every species, and
houses and trees, and, oh, what wonderful
They went from one stall to another, and
gazed in wondering admiration at this pro.
fusion of beautiful things.
"Why! good morning Carl and Rose, so
you have come for once to the city! The
children turned round at the sound of this
familiar voice, and to their great joy the young
Frenchman stood beside them. They heartily
returned his pleasant greeting, and Carl said
earnestly: "I had entirely forgotten, seeing
all these beautiful things, that you lived
here. But I am sure it would soon have


occurred to me, and I should have tried to
find you."
Had you forgotten all about me, too, you
little puss ? "
"Oh, no," cried little Rose, "we speak
of you very often at home."
Do you, indeed! That is very kind of
you, children. Now I must buy you a nice
honey cake for that."
Oh, how happy the children were to-day!
They had feasted upon those delicious cakes
at the inn, and now they were to have a
honey cake "
Frau Wilmer left them to the care of the
young Frenchman, while she made her few
purchases. A warm shawl for the grand-
mother was soon selected, and also a cap for
Peter; then she bought a new doll for little
Rose and a writing book for Carl. She was
very well satisfied with her purchases, since
she had money enough left to buy a doll of


honey cake for a groschen, and some little
wax tapers with which to adorn the tree.
Full of happiness, she sought the children
again, who displayed to her with radiant
faces their precious honey-cake. Frau Wil-
mer heartily thanked the young Frenchman
for his kindness, and begged him to avail
himself of the fine road over the lake, to pay
them a visit.
He promised that he would certainly do
so, and they left him with the hope of soon
seeing him again. The children could find
no words to express their love and admira-
tion for him.
"Oh, mother!" exclaimed Carl, "what
will father and grandmother say, when they
hear what a good time we have had to-day ? "
They were now joined by the forest-
keeper and his son, Gustav had received
many pretty things, but he had already so
many like them, that his joy was not half as


great as that of Carl and Rose, over their
Now, my little ones," said the forest-
keeper, we must say good-bye to all this
splendor, or the night will overtake us."
The children cast a last, long look upon
all those pretty things they must leave be-
hind, and followed him with a glad heart to
the inn. There lay upon the table a large
paper full of cakes for little Rose to take
home to her grandmother; and how her
heart overflowed with gratitude towards the
generous forest-keeper.
Frau Wilmer's eyes glistened with joy,
for all the desires she had cherished in secret
were now fulfilled through the kindness of
this good man.
Merrily as it had begun was the journey
home accomplished, and as the twilight was
deepening into the night, the sleigh stopped
before the little cottage by the lake, Frau Wil-


mer thanked the kind forest-keeper from the
fulness of a grateful heart; and she, as well
as the two children, could not grow weary
of describing to Peter and the grandmother
the pleasures of the excursion. Thus easy it
is for the rich to biting happiness to his poor

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