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1 r? t. ,NnSo 's ,a;i S11chool, c jm ERITEl D. aPresentedl. to) Aft.er"exauinitir.n in Rlirits I+-r.w- 4SI tpg, Ri',,iug, Writing, and Arithin, ti.,andl for hl':r general ,.rndutct au.l re.fl.,ar1) attl'ndance. IThe Baldwin LibraryY~ 3Uw'Crs.I01Awds
.1,",SeI AND K i'S I; D NE DIT
NEED'S MOTTO;OR,LITTLE BY LITTLE.BY THE AUTHOR OF"FAITHFUL AND TBUE," TONYY STARR'S LEGACY."ETC., ETC."The word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept,precept upon precept; line upon line, line uoon line; here a little,and there a little."-ISA. xxviii. 13.LONDON:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1873.
Cfontcntz.I. THE BUTCHER'S SHOP, ... .. ... ... 7II. NED'S HOME, ... ... .. .. ... 22III. WHAT CAN NED DO ? ... ... ... ... 36IV. NEW WORK, ... ... ... ... ... 52V. THE APPRENTICE, ... ... ... .72VI. TROUBLE COMING, ... ... ... ... SVII. PLANS FOR JOHN GRAY, ... ... ... ... 107VIII. WILL JOHN GRAY COME? ... ... ... .. 124IX. THE FACTORY, ... ... .. ... 13SX. THE THEFT, ... .. .. ... .. 46XI. HOPES BLIGHTED, .. .... 150XII. THE GAME OF BALL, ... .. ... ... 168XIII. AUNT BETTY'S PLAN. ... .. .. ... 179
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NED'S MOTTO.CHAPTER I.THE BUTCHER'S SHOP., TM IROUGH the town of Harland ran a smallr Il' ...'r. It was a little, insignificant stream" ". in itself, but, like many other small things,1rl oughtt important matters in its course." i In some mysterious way, this creek dividedthe town more effectually than if it had been a highwall bristling with cannon. There were western partiesand eastern parties, western clubs and eastern clubs,western schools and eastern schools, western great menand eastern great men. Whatever the west did theeast set itself against, and whatever the east did thewest pronounced remarkably foolish.Notwithstanding this state of feeling, the town builtand kept in good repair a very fine bridge between the.jwyo di -tf:l.tr t districts; and whatever was built near.h 'e bride .crmed to escape the general dislike. There-
8 THE BUTCHER'S SHOP.fore all the shops and everything of a business kindclustered itself around this spot. Some man, morecunning than any of the others, drove piles into thewater, and built on them an odd-looking shop whichhe claimed as belonging neither to the west nor to theeast, but to both. Here he drove a thriving trade,so long as he was allowed to trade at all, and whenhe died he was succeeded by a number of tenants,all keeping shops renowned for the variety and some-what doubtful character of their wares. At the timewhen our story commences, it was appropriated by abutcher, who added to its other decorations a new sign,with a quarter of mutton, a rib-piece of pork, twopieces of sirloin steak, a dead fowl, and a rabbit, allpainted in such colours as only a country artist canproduce, and looking as much like their originals as ifthey had been copied from an orang-outang, or one ofthose unsightly birds which we hear "walked theearth," so many thousand years ago. Still the shopand the sign were the admiration of every wonder-seeker, from the ten-year-old boys upwards, and therewas no end to the questions and conjectures which itexcited. How were those piles ever placed on firmground in such a dashing river ? how did they with-stand the spring floods ? Suppose they should sud-denly give way, what would become of Mr. Jenkinsand all his stock ? There were many timid boys.who, when sent to do an errand at the shop, did
THE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 9not venture in, but stood at the door, almost ex-pecting to see it vanish from their sight, before oldMr. Jenkins could weigh out and wrap up theirmeat. Still there it stood, week after week, andyear after year, resisting winter ice and spring flood;and at the time the war broke out, no shop in thecountry did so large a business, and no firm was morehighly respected and trusted than that of "Jenkinsand Sons." But the war took the two boys, andso in addition to its other attractions the shop be-came a sort of meeting-place for all those who hadfriends in the army-a news-room to which everyscrap of war-information was sure to be brought beforeit was taken anywhere else. One can hardly imaginethe inside of a butcher's shop to be a very desirableplace in which to sit and chat, but those who thinkso must never have been at Mr. Jenkins'. It was alow, long, narrow room, reminding you, either from itsshape or from the sound of the water beating con-stantly against its foundations, of the state-room of asteamboat, and never was state-room kept more strictlyclean. The very block and cleaver, which were usedevery hour of the day to cut the meat, were spotless,and for the floor, it was currently reported in Harlandthat good Mrs. Jenkins bleached the sand at home be-fore her husband used it upon it. The walls of theSroomu, iieatly whitewashed, were garlanded with pieces"-"of Iucrit of every shape and quality, but all hung so as
10 THE BUTCHER'S SHOP.to display the best side to the customer opening thedoor. In Italy there are many burial places where thedifferent bones, which have been part of the "loved andlost," are collected into one room and arranged in allmanner of fancy forms around the walls. I have seenthem in points and scollops, and often in the form ofcrosses; so Mr. Jenkins took the dead animals as thefancy part of the butcher's trade, and with the sametaste which made some men artists or sculptors, madehis shop look as prettily as he could.It was two days before Thanksgiving that an un-usual crowd of men might be seen gathering into thelittle door. Report had come of a great battle, inwhich the regiment had been engaged which was inpart composed of Harland men; and the interest andanxiety were intense. As usual with reports of distantengagements, everything was uncertain and unreliable;but that there were many killed, all agreed in, andeach new comer mentioned new names as among themissing. There was one man who had ended a courseof remarkable bravery with his death. Amidst theconfusion and din of battle, he seemed to have beengifted with the power of making a distinct and hon-ourable impression; indeed, as the stories, at first onlyvague and half hinted, passed from mouth to mouth,they took new form and gloss; and when the lastcomer into Mr. Jenkins' shop repeated what he hadheard in the train that very night, the men looked from
THE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 11one to another as if a hero had been suddenly droppeddown among them."Who would have thought it !" said Jem Jones."You know he never seemed to be one of the likelyones here. He was a sort of fellow that hadn't any ofthe get-along in him. I hired him a while, after hegave up teaching, to work on my peat meadow, butsomehow I always felt that his learning hurt him forwork; why, there now, his hand was as white as awoman's, and I thought it hadn't half as much realgrit in it as my Nancy's. There is no knowing whata man is until he dies. Mother has always been a-tell-ing me so, and I seem to believe her now.""That 'ere Ned Randall," broke in another man,"didn't ever seem to have any pluck in him; he seemeda weak-minded sort of a fellow. I never was moresurprised than when I heard he actually had en-listed. I should have thought he would have runaway from the very crack of the gun; and yet only tohear of it, he went on, up, up until they made himCaptain, and he would have been General, they say, ifhe had lived long enough.""Went right up the hill in the very face of thoseawful cannon," said a third, "sending their balls allaround him as thick as spatter; didn't mind them anymore than if they had been snow-balls; on he went,a-cheering to his men, and crying, 'For our God andour country,' or some such thing. That don't look
12 THE BUTCHER'S SHOP.very weak-minded, I tell you; it takes a man who hasthe real thing in him to do it.""The shell are the worst part of it," said another."You see, there comes something whizzing and whiz-zing right past you, and you don't think anything aboutthese harmless-looking things, until-bang !-and youare gone !-not even a piece large enough of you leftfor them to know you. They say that Randall wasblown to atoms by one of them; there was nothingfound of him but his breast, and there close up to hisheart was his Bible and some pictures of his wife andlittle folks.""He was heard reading his Bible aloud and prayingthe very night before the battle; the men say theynever heard such prayers ; it seemed as if he remem-bered everybody, and they say he seemed to pray for alittle boy. I heard what he said, but I can't exactlyrepeat it.""How they will take on !" said Mr. Jenkins, risingand walking uneasily up and down the shop. " I sup-pose there never was a family who thought so much ofeach other as they always have. There's Mrs. Randall,she has always been delicate like, a bit of a lady youknow; it will come terrible hard to her. And thatold mother of his, she is a cross-grained old body,never satisfied, do what they will. My boy used tosay that when he carried a bit of meat there he usedto hurry out of the kitchen as quick as he could, for if
THE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 13it was the very best piece in the creature, it was allone, scold, scold, scold. I fancy if the truth wasknown we should find it was very hard work to getalong with her. Mrs. Randall has her trials there,anyhow. I know so much. And now if her husbandis never to come home, what will become of them all ismore than I can say.""Ned is a bright boy; he will do all such a chapcan; and then, by-and-by, there will be the pensioncoming," said Jem Jones; "it is the little girls I thinkthe most of; two of them, isn't there I"" Yes, there are two as pretty little girls as I eversaw; but, somehow, they don't seem to dress any better,or be a mite mone comfortable now their father has acaptain's pay than they did before, when he was athome, and had but little employment. I don't seeinto it.""I will tell you," said Mr. Andrews, who kept asmall grocery near the butcher's shop. "Mrs. Randallis one of your particular sort. Randall went off indebt, you know; and she is trying to pay up all heowes, even if they do pinch pretty close. She paid meevery penny she owed me last time she had money;and as my bill was a round one, I thought it likelyit took about all; but she looked pleased and happy asa queen, when she said, All right, Mr. Andrews, now,I believe.'"All right, ma'am, and I shall be happy to serve
14 THE BUTCHER'S SHOP.you more any time, on as long credit as you like; folksthat love to pay as well as you do are not the kind ofpeople I am afraid to trust; and then she said sopretty like, Thank you, Mr. Andrews, but if my hus-band's life is spared, we shall not have to run in debtany more, I hope.' Poor thing! she did not thinkhow near his death he was, even then.""Who will go and tell her " said Mr. Jenkins,stopping his walk and turning suddenly round uponthe eager group. There was a deep silence followedthe question, broken by a hand attempting to raise thedoor-latch. Every eye was turned toward the door,and in came a boy about twelve years of age. He wastall, slight, with a large dark eye, very red cheeks,shabby clothes, and an old soldier's cap on his head.He hesitated a moment, when he saw how many weresitting around, and then stepped resolutely in and upto Mr. Jenkins.A tremour went over these stout, strong men as theysaw the lad, a something that without a word beingspoken, the child felt, for he stopped midway in theroom, and looked inquiringly around. Not an eye methis. There was a slight movement among those nearestthe stove as if offering him a place. where he couldwarm his red, cold hands, but he did not notice it." Mr. Jenkins," he said at last, and the anxiety inhis voice made the hearts around him tremble, "isthere any bad news from my father Johnny
THE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 15Grant told me there had been a battle, and I came toask.""Yes, yes," said Mr. Jenkins, going as quickly as hecould to the further end of his shop. "Yes, there hasbeen a great battle, and a glorious victory too, we mustthink of that, Ned, we must think of that; a famousvictory, a few more, and the war is ended, thank God.""Is there any news of my father ?" repeated Ned."Was his regiment in I""Yes, the 21st was in, and did nobly. Never any-thing known like it since the world began. Why, theymarched right on, in the face of ten times their number,cannon, grape, shells and all, dashed right into them,and carried the whole by their bravery.""Hurrah! Three cheers for the 21st !" said Ned,taking off his cap and throwing it with much forceagainst the low ceiling. " I wonder if my father hadanything special to do with it ?""He was the bravest man among them all," brokein one from the group. " He led them right up theheights; never turned his eyes from them, nor flinchedany more than I do, kicking this stove," here thespeaker bestowed a hearty kick upon the stove, "andall the time he was shouting to his men to 'come on,'and they did come on, I tell you. The people saythat your father did more than any other single mantoward gaining the victory.""Hurrah hurrah !" shouted Ned again, "I mustCl
16 THE BUTCHER'S SHOP.go to mother. Three cheers for the old flag Starsand stripes for ever !"Jem Jones tossed up his weather-beaten hat, andtried to say " hurrah! " too, but the words died in histhroat, and all he did was to utter a sort of groan." There were a lot of the boys killed," said the oldestman of the group, "it's hard hurrahing for some of usthat may have lost our children. I think it's an awful,awful war. I have heard my father tell of the war of1812, but it didn't compare with this, though it washard enough.""Who's killed?" asked Ned, looking round fromone to another, "nobody we know, I hope.""There's reports," said Mr. Jenkins, again turninghis back to the boy, " but I don't know as it is best togive too much heed to them, until we get the officialreports; none of those have come yet.""Who is reported dead? " persisted Ned."Well, lots of them. Tom Crane for one, and SilasDewey for another. Peter Blunt is missing, and DanM'Cray is not to be found."" They are all in the same company with my father,"said Ned. "I wish a mail would come.""There will be one to-morrow noon, I suppose, andthen we shall know certain; but there are many of usthat will look for letters that will never come, I amafraid. Oh, this war is terrible for us that stay athome, as well as for those that go! There are my two(184)
S have noTHE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 17boys, I have not heard a word yet, and may never, forall that I know." A shudder ran P gain over the group.There was a report that William J enkins, the butcher'syoungest son, had been killed, but no one dared tomention it to the father, nor wr s there any need of ituntil there was more confirmat' tn of the fact." "Well," said Ned after a moment's pause, "I'll gohome and tell mother what we do know. She will beright glad to hear of t) le victory, and of father'sbravery, though she alw fbravery, though she alw, ,ys says she knows he will dohis duty, let it call him where it will."". "Certain, certain," said Mr. Jenkins, "tell yourmother-he was the nero of the day-tell her all thecomfort you can, boy and-and-well, Mr. Keddie willbe coming down to see her by and by, that is the bestway I can think of. Tell her, there has been awfulslaughter in theslaughter in the ,21st, but they won the day, and theircountry will nevuntry will ne r forget them, never !""I don't ke to say all that to mother," said Ned,hesitating; 'it rather sounds as if father was not safe,and it wou i almost kill her if anything was to happento him; don't know but what it would quite. Iwish thew mail was in."" Go"- was on the battle-field with your father, Ned,eand is at home with your mother. He'll orderever thing for the best. He is a good, kind God-thehu band of the widow, and the father of the fatherless,,u know. We must trust in Him, boy; we ,mua^ 181) 2[
18 THE BUTCHER'S SHOP.trust in Him;" and Mr. Jenkins laid his great brawnyhand on the boy's head. It was almost as if he wasblessing him, and so Ned felt, as the solemn wordssunk into his heart."Yes, sir," he said, "mother tells us that every daywhen Kitty or grandmother begin to worry aboutfather; but they will be glad to hear the good news.I don't think father has got hurt, do you? He wasso good, God would take care of him, I know Hewould.""Yes, Ned; but we mustn't feel too certain. It isvery often those that are the best that God calls. Ifyour father was prepared to go, He might have takenhim and spared some poor sinner who wasn't ready.We don't know, we must be prepared for whatever wemay hear. A cannon ball goes where it is sent, andthere is no saying anything but that God has the careof it, and it won't do any harm but what He allows,-never. It is all God, boy, all God, we may be sureof that."By this time Ned had walked to the door, and oncemore had his hand upon the latch."It isn't just right," said Jem Jones, slowly shakinghis head, "to let him go home so, some one ought togive him a hint; but, dear me, I wouldn't now foranything! You tell him, Brown."Mr. Brown, thus advised, called out in a loud tone:"Edward Randall, there isn't no use in trying to make
THE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 19bad news good, because you must know it some day.Your father was killed-shot to pieces; but he diedgloriously, all say."The shriek which came from the boy no one thatheard it ever forgot. If Mr. Brown had been all hislifetime one of those who were willing-perhaps a littleeager-to communicate bad news, the look, the posture,the agony of that child then, came before him and kepthim silent."Don't," said Mr. Jenkins, taking Ned's outstretchedhands quickly in his, and soothing him gently; "don't,there; keep up, and try to be a brave boy, worthy ofsuch a father." Ned shivered as if a hand had struckhim, and his arms fell. Mr. Jenkins drew him to him,and pressed the boy's head down close over his owngreat, warm heart." Don't take it too hard. It's dreadful, I know; butit's God !-it's God! Don't you know I told you itwas V" Ned groaned, and rested his head on the collarof the shaggy overcoat that was round him. He hadno thought that it belonged to Mr. Jenkins, and thatit was the butcher that held him; he had only a senseof protection. Already a feeling of desolation, a cold,numbed, aching feeling, had come to his heart. Hewas groping in this first moment of his afflictionfor sympathy and kindness, and God had sent it tohim."There, now, that's a man; you must keep up right
20 THE BUTCHER S SHOP.smart and brave, for all those that are at home, becauseyour mother will have to depend upon you now, youknow, and your grandmother too and all those prettylittle sisters of yours. That's right; don't-don't-willyou now ? Bear it like a man. Yes, you may cry-it will do you good." Mr. Jenkins felt the tears fallingon his hands. " The harder the better. It's being aman to cry, for we know who did weep at a grave once,don't we ?" Mr. Jenkins drew the back of one of hishands quickly over his own eyes, and several of the oldmen who were looking on felt an unwonted moisturegather in theirs, as Ned's smothered sobs filled theshop."It's a hard measure," said Jem Jones, "and itcomes on those who are least able to bear it, like mostof such things. It is a wicked war, and there isn'tany good in it, as I can see,-nothing but misery."" Well, there is a blessed end to be accomplished byit one of these days. No one can say that the freedomof so many slaves is not a great good."By this time Ned had raised his head, wiped thetears away, and was moving with staggering, uncertainsteps again toward the door. Mr. Jenkins opened itfor him, and said,-"You will break the news to her in a kind and care-ful manner, won't you, Ned 1""I can't !-I can't!" and Ned burst again into anagony of weeping.
THE BUTCHER'S SHOP. 21"No more you can, and you shouldn't be asked todo so. You go back and sit down close by the stove,and I will go to Mr. Keddie; he is good and kind,and knows what it is to lose friends. He willgo to your mother and prepare her a little. You juststop."" "Oh! I must go to mother!" groaned Ned; "shewill need me so much; but I can't tell her.""Well, then, go home; but don't you say any-thing until Mr. Keddie comes. She won't inquire,perhaps."Ned went slowly out. The air was crisp with thechill November wind; dead leaves were flying about insmall circles on the hard, brown earth; the dull greysky seemed almost to touch the chimneys of the housesup and down the street, and the rushing water beatwith a cold, sharp sound against the piles of the shop,and the piles of the bridge, and the tall rocks thathung far out over it. With a keen sharpening of thesenses, which made Ned for a long time recall everyminute circumstance of the scene, he noted each andall of these different things, and even watched twotame pigeons who hopped along before him on thebridge, as he turned his steps homeward. Those whohave felt some great, unexpected sorrow will knowhow true all this is, and will pity Ned on this longwalk home.
CHAPTER II.NEED'S HOME.HE house which Mr. Randall had hired forhis family, before leaving for the war, was aneat, small house, just out of the town. Itstood by itself, but as it had been previouslyowned and occupied by a person of tasteand cultivation, there were many little things init and around it which made it a desirable place.The description which the men in the butcher's shophad given of Mr. Randall was not far from correct. Henever seemed to be able to "get along," and providecomfortably for the support of his family. It will notbe necessary for our story to enter into the reasons why,but it is enough to state that for the first time sinceher early married life, Mrs. Randall had found herselfafter her husband left for the war, in circumstanceswhich promised, when their little debts were paid, com-parative ease and comfort. He had been away nearlya year, but during that time had written so often andso cheerfully home, that it may be doubted whether
SNED'S HOME. 23the actual peril in which he was placed ever had madeas deep an impression on his wife's mind as upon manyothers. Certain it is, that her letters to him were alwayscheerful, full of all the pleasant things in the home life,and of hopes for a happy future.As Ned came in sight of the house to-day, the homewhich had hitherto looked so cheerily to him had astrange, new look. Death was there, and it.was thefirst time in his life that he had ever known what achange it brings with it. Now he could not go in.He saw the smoke curling up from the chimney; heknew his grandmother was sitting by the window inher bedroom; he knew she saw him, and then he won-dered where his mother was, and what she was doing,and whether she would not feel that his father wasdead without his telling her. Telling her !-how couldhe 1 He sat down on a stone by the side of the road,and tried to think what to say; but all the thoughtsthat would cbme were, over and over, the three words,"Father is dead !-father is dead 1" The cold autumnwind numbed him, and the dead leaves piled up againsthis feet, but still, there he sat without moving, wait-ing he did not know for what, but for relief in someway. As he sat there he heard the sound of comingwheels. Perhaps it was Mr. Keddie; he would walkdown the road and see. Yes, there was the grey horse.and all enveloped in warm buffaloes, with fur cap andtippet, sat the good minister.
24 NED'S HOME.He saw Ned before he reached him, and when hedid, he stopped the horse, and said,-" Have you been home, Edward ?""No, sir, I could not go.""Well, jump in here then, and go with me." Nedmechanically obeyed him. He even remembered whenhe came to the door to offer to take the horse; and ashe led him around to the stable and fastened him, hetried to think whether Mr. Keddie was in the house, andwhat he was saying, and what his mother said; and justhow they all looked. He wished he was there with them,but he still had the strong feeling, that he could notgo; and how long he might have lingered is uncertain,if he had not heard his name called by his little sister.At first he did not want to answer; he felt like hid-ing himself, but the voice grew more and more earnest,and Kitty came running down to the barn with herface crimson with excitement." Oh, Ned, why didn't you come 7 Something is thematter, I know. Mr. Keddie is in the room with mammaand grandmamma, and I think he is praying. Itsounds as if he was; then I can hear grandmammagroan right out. Oh dear, dear, what is it ?"Ned took Kitty's hand in his-it would have beendifficult to have told which of the children trembledmost-and led her toward the house without speaking." Say, Ned, what is it ?-you look as if you knew.Who has been doing wrong; have you 1"
NEED'S HOME. 25"No, Kitty, don't ask me. It is something aboutpapa., There has been a great battle, and-and-"" And what 1" said Kitty, stopping and looking upin his face."And they say he was killed !"The child evidently did not comprehend him; for shewent on making inquiries, which Ned, who was alreadyworn out with the suffering he had undergone, foundit very difficult to answer.When they opened the door of the house, there stoodMr. Keddie, apparently waiting for them."You have told Kitty," he said, glancing at the child."Yes, sir, but she don't seem to know.""Poor child! she will know soon enough. Yourmother wants you; come with me."Let us drop the curtain over the sufferings of thenext few days at the dead soldier's home. It is atale which is repeated after every battle in thousandsof the homes of our land; one which its frequencydoes not soften, or make any easier to be borne. Wehave been more minute in its details here than weshould have been, did we not wish to impress uponour young readers a vivid picture of one scene in themany of thrilling interest which are daily occurring inthe times in which we live.Upon Ned now devolves, in a sudden and unexpectedmanner, the care of his father's family; how he acquits*himself, and his influence upon all around, will be the
26 NEED'S HOME.subject of the following story. Ned is now only twelveyears old, and he has been tenderly brought up; bythat I mean he has never been allowed to mingle withbad boys. He has been educated at home or at school,and as he takes to his books, his scholarship is decidedlybeyond that of most boys of his age. He has alwayssupposed he was going to college, and into a profession,and has had the feeling that he was to be among thegentlemen. He is an only son; but he has two littlesisters, Kitty and Tot, for by no other name has theyoungest ever been known, though she was baptizedElena for her mother's mother. Kitty is now eightyears old, and Tot five; and a very little thing Tot is.No wonder they gave her that name, and have neverthought to change it. She is not much larger than abig wax doll; with light blue eyes, a tiny snub nose,and a dear little rosebud of a mouth. Ned says it isgood for nothing but to kiss; but it is; it can talkvery fast, can hide away candy and sugar plums fasterthan Kitty's, which, though twice as large, has a wayof always taking the smallest bits, and leaving theothers. Tot's hair is red; not golden nor auburn, noteven carroty red, but a good bright, warm-looking red,that makes the funny little children, when they meether in the streets, hold out their hands over her curlsas if they meant to warm them. Then Tot alwayslaughs. Young as she is, she has learned that there issomething very droll about her, and having the sunniest
NEED'S HOME. 27of all sunny hearts, nothing is so easy for her to imitateas a laugh; she cannot help it. Of course everybodypets her, both at home and abroad; why, the verydogs in the streets seem to know Tot is good fornothing but to play with, and so they leave the bigboys, who want to show off their power and authorityover them, and come wagging their tails up to Tot, andshe stops, kisses and hugs them as if she had under-stood for what they were coming, and would not onany account disappoint them.Tot is a kind of idol with Ned. I do not mean inany wicked way, but only that he loves her dearly, andwould do almost anything in the world to make herhappy. So does Kitty; for Kitty, though she feels agreat deal older and wiser, has an idea that Tot belongsto her, as she does not to anybody else in the wideworld, and she takes a most motherly care of her.Kitty, however, is a very care-taking child. It comesnatural to her, just as the play does to Tot; and grand-mother depends upon her for a thousand little atten-tions that almost any other child would never remember,unless they were reminded of them many times. Grand-mother likes to be waited on ; so she has tried to teachTot to do some things for her too, but you might aswell teach Tot's grey kitten ; she would be quite aslikely to do them well. Grandmother Burt is, we arevery sorry to say it, but we must tell the truth, a verycross and a somewhat selfish old lady; not the least,
28 NED'S HOME.my young reader, like your grandmother or mine, for wevery well know they are the dearest old ladies in theworld; but she must have been one of those childrenwho begin life by being cross whenever they can't haveor do what they like, and are always thinking only andever of themselves. Such children always make suchold people. Remember this, children, when you aretempted to be disagreeable, you will become more andmore so the older you grow; and when you are as oldas Grandmother Burt, you will be just as great a trialto every one you have anything to do with as she is.Kitty could get along with her more happily thanany one else; and so, as I have said, Kitty was hermain dependence. She was a great trial to Mrs. Ran-dall, who, do her best, never could please her. Shecomplained of her children, of her housekeeping, of hertreatment of her husband, in short, of every and anything, as it had happened. Mrs. Randall was a neat,gentle woman, whose married life had been a series ofhardships and difficulties. Perhaps it was in partowing to her inefficiency and want of proper manage-ment that life had gone quite so hard. Her husbandhad tried a variety of means for supporting his family,but something always was in the way; and so, strug-gling and discouraged, they passed on through fourteenyears of their life together, until his sudden deathclosed the scene. Left thus with no one to dependupon-for in her first bereavement Mrs. Randall did
NEED'S HOME. .29not think much of the delicate boy who had hithertobeen more a care than anything else-it became neces-sary for her to rouse herself into new life. There werethe three children and the old mother to provide fornow; old debts were not entirely paid; and the sumwhich she had drawn from her husband's pay must ofcourse cease. There was a pension to be depended uponby and by, but not for the present, and now the "wolfwould soon be at the door." Winter was setting in;all supplies laid up were scanty indeed; for, as wealready know, her object had so far been to pay asquickly as possible what they owed, trusting to thefuture salary to provide for future wants.For the first week of her widowhood, Mrs. Randallgave but little thought to these things, but they werepressing and could not long be put off. God mercifullyorders everything for us, if we could only trust Him.Mrs. Randall might have sunk down into a state ofdespondency and inactivity, alike fatal to herself andher children, if she had been well provided with money;but now the condition of things allowed no delay;she must do something and that soon. It so hap-pened that Ned was the first to call her to a consci-ousness of this. Mr. Jenkins had since the scene wehave related in his shop, seemed to take upon himselfthe care of the family. It will not be necessary afterwhat the reader knows already of him, to say that hewas a good, kind man, with a heart as soft and tender
30 NED'S HOME.as if he followed any other business beside that ofslaughtering the poor innocent animals. Indeed hewas so kind-hearted, that it had been a wonder to him-self and to everybody else that he had chosen such anoccupation; but in a certain way he did not choose it,for it was a kind of inherited right : his father and hisfather's father having followed it before him. It wouldhave descended to his sons if, as we have already said,they had not gone to the war. Mr. Jenkins could notallow a day to go by without doing something for thestricken soldier's family. One day he carried a bit ofnice meat, another a fowl, then a bushel of potatoes,and once he put out of his butcher's cart, as he wasdriving by, a bag of flour and a basket of eggs. Healways asked for Ned, and made some excuse for leav-ing the things he brought. One would have thoughtto have seen his face, coarse, rough and red as it was,with the diffident look upon it, that he was asking in-stead of bestowing gifts.One day when he was leaving a string of sausages,Ned said to him, "Mr. Jenkins, you are very kind;but I am a great stout boy, and ought to be doingsomething to pay you for all these things. Is therenothing at your shop that I can do that will help you ?I stopped going to school to-day, and I should be veryglad if there is.""Now, hear that boy," said Mr. Jenkins, droppingthe piece of meat which he was lifting from the cart
NEED'S HOME. 31in amazement. " Why, my little chap, you are to belearned, they say, and go to college. What would thelike of you do in a butcher's shop, among raw meat ? "and Mr. Jenkins laughed such a right hearty laugh,that Ned supposed it must be very absurd, and tried tolaugh too. It was, nevertheless, a disappointment, andhe said,-"But if I am steady, and do my best, I may not beworse than any other boys of my age for having alwaysbeen at school."" Not a bit of it. I don't doubt you would be aright willing, smart chap. I only think you might bedoing something more suitable; I mean, more likewhat you would have been if your father had lived-inan office, or some such place."Ned's countenance fell. He had been trying so hardfor the last few days to make himself willing to give uphis books and go to work, and now that he had, andhad offered himself, if good Mr. Jenkins refused him,who was there in all Harland that would for a momentthink he was worth having !Mr. Jenkins watched his face, and easily read thedisappointment. " Now don't-don't be a-going to becast down," he said. " It's only because I think youcan do something that is so much better, that I won'thave you in my shop. Why, only think of it-CaptainRandall's boy a-butchering Don't you see it isn'tthe right thing "
32 NEED'S HOME."I did not expect to butcher," said Ned, with ashudder which he could not well suppress. "I onlythought I could tend in your shop, as your boys usedto do. I am pretty good at figures, and don't think Ishould make mistakes. Then, if you thought I was.worth anything to you, and you could pay me a little, itwould help my mother through this long, cold winterthat is before us.""Well, Ned, well; I like your pluck. We willlook around, and if there is nothing better, why, I willsee just how easy I can make it for you, and howmuch I can pay you. I wish I was a rich manfor a little while; but I'm not, and wishes won't makeme so. But we will see. Keep to school until Ido.""I have left school," said Ned, decidedly. "I mustwork, and work hard; and the sooner I begin, thebetter for us all.""But your book-learning will pay best in the end,Keep to it now, Neddy, keep to it.""Don't !" said the boy, with a tone of pain whichbrought the tears into Mr. Jenkins' eyes; "don't. Ihave given that all up, and I don't want to think of it.If my father had lived-but he is dead.""I'm sorry for you, Ned; but keep up, that's a braveboy, and we'll see-we'll see. Have you told yourmother anything about coming to me ""No, sir. Mother wanted me to go to school
NED'S HOME. 33through the winter, but I shouldn't; it's clear to me,sir, I shouldn't do it.""Well, perhaps, you're right. Let me tell you,now, something that will comfort you. It's helped meall along up from the time I was a little boy so high,"and Mr. Jenkins held his hand very near the ground." It's all little by little in this world. You may beginin the little butcher's shop down over the water, andend in the President's mansion. There has many a boygone to the White House who began even littler thanthat, and worked his way up with a stout heart, anhonest purpose, and a willing hand. Depend upon it,Ned, it's one of the divine ordinances that Mr. Keddietells us about on Sunday. Little by little, little bylittle, until there comes a great whole. Don't you re-member, now, all about the little streams that makethe mighty river, and the little grains of sand thatmake the seashore, and the little animals, little bits ofcreatures that do a little work every day, until therecomes up the great beautiful island, with its big trees,and men put houses on it, and live as safe as if anelephant had ploughed it up in one day? That's it,my boy. If you were in my shop, you would soon seethat I don't sell a whole ox at once. It's a little pieceof steak to this one, and a little roast to that, but thefirst thing I know, there's nothing left but my poorpeople's pieces; and as the cold weather comes on, itseems as if I couldn't make them fast enough. YouI84) 3
34 NEED'S HOME.just keep saying over to yourself, 'little by little ;' thatis what God blesses. I can't do anything very greatall at once, but I can if I keep at it here a little andthere a little; and behold, now, a great measure filledup and running over! Did you ever go a-black-berrying ? and don't you remember how you pickedthe little round black things, each one so very smallthat they didn't seem like anything, but pretty soonyou got the pint cup full, and the quart measure; and,before you knew it, the six-quart pail 1 Just so pre-cisely you watch it all along. Why, boy, my life wouldhave been just nothing at all, if it had not been for it.It's stuck to me everywhere and in everything, and Ishould be only half a man without it."Mr. Jenkins had been talking a long time with Nednow. Grandmother Burt looked often from her window.and said querulously,-"Dear me, isn't that butcher gone yet? I guessthat folks will be tired waiting for him, and trade withsome one who is half alive. Ned ought not to bestanding there catching cold. I wonder, Matilda, youdon't teach him better. He'll die before he is eighteen,in this way of bringing up."Even little Tot knocked often and impatiently withher plump red finger on the window-pane, and calledout, with her snub nose flattened up against it, " Comein, Neddy; my sled's broke, and wants some new bells;and my horse ran away and broke it all smash; and I
NED'S HOME. 35haven't got a carriage to ride my old Sue in. Comein! come in!""Little by little," repeated Ned to himself, as heflattened his nose too, kissing Tot through the coldwindow. " There is that pile of wood that I fatiguedmyself with yesterday; but, after all, it's only little bylittle'-stick by stick-a few to-day, and a few moreto-morrow, and it's done. I had a feeling as if I oughtto saw them at once, as Joe Smith does; but that's notit. I'll mend Tot's sled, carry some wood into grand-mother's fire, and then go at it, stick after stick-herea large and there a little one-till my island of wood isdone, like the coral-builders." A half hour afterwardsNed's saw might be heard moving briskly up and downin the back-yard. No one knew as well as Ned whatit said, but to him it kept constantly repeating themaxim Mr. Jenkins had given him, " Little by little,little by little."A.t-
CHAPTER III.WHAT CAN NED DO?S.r-' iN 'I l came swiftly on; after Thanksgiving,. ry one who lives in New England knowsS,. that it is time for cold weather. It seemedt'), M, [rs. Randall that there never was so"I" U :h to be done as now. The cellar wasfreezing the scanty supply of vegetableswhich she had been able to store, and now she re-membered that during the last winter, there had beenbanks of earth all around the foundation of the house,covered with thick plank which her husband had care-fully stored away. This banking must be done again,the planks put back, and the cellar made secure, butwho should do it ? She could not hire any one to doit; she could not do it herself. Strange to say, shenever thought of Ned, until looking out from herwindow early one frosty morning, she saw him at workwith a wheelbarrow and a spade. "What are yougoing to do?" she asked, raising the window."Going to bank in the cellar," said Ned, rubbing
WHAT CAN NED DO? 37his numb hands together. "It's only little by little,you know, mother; a shovel-ful, a wheelbarrow-ful, andthen it's all done, and the chip dirt in the wood-houseis not frozen yet.""My son, you can't do it," said Mrs. Randall, inmuch surprise. " It will take more shovel-fuls andwheelbarrow-fuls than you imagine.""Well, I dare say, mother, but every one helps; atany rate, I am going to try !"It was a face full of life, and love, and energy, thatraised itself to Mrs. Randall's. As the lad spoke,somehow it gave her courage and hope, and when sheclosed the window again, even Grandmother Burt feltthat something fresh and bright had come into theroom. Kitty stood by her mother's side watching Nedfor a moment, and then she said, " Mother, I know Iam only a little girl, but Ned says little by little,'every little helps. I think I might take the kitchenshovel and sing to him while I put the chips in;may I ""Yes, if you are not in his way. Big boys don'talways like to have little girls around.""Ned isn't like other big boys; I know he will wantme," said Kitty, hastening to tie on her hood; but nosooner had she opened the door than she was arrestedby a loud cry from Tot."I be a going too; I, little by little girl too, I get alittle bit of a shovel, and I dig whole heap so high,"
38 WHAT CAN NED DO ?and Tot stretched herself up on the tips of her daintylittle toes, and measured almost as high as Kitty's head.So Kitty, with many misgivings as to the help theyshould either of them be, if Tot was there, dressed herup in every warm thing she could put her hand on,and out they went. Tot having provided herself withher grandmother's brass-headed shovel, which shecarried off in the very face of the old lady, protestationsto the contrary, trusting to the nimbleness of her feetto take her safely out of the way.Ned was somewhat astonished at the stalwart helpwhich presented itself in the shape of his two littlesisters, armed and equipped with fire-shovels, and atany other time within the last year of his life wouldhave sent them back with some indignation, but as heturned to do so now, they both looked so happy, thathe could not find it in his heart to give them other thana pleasant welcome."Little shovel, little girl, little hands," said Tot,holding hers out, covered with some old blue worstedmittens of Ned's which Kitty had tied on around thewrist to keep her warm."Little enough," said Ned, laughing; "and whatdoes little shovel and little hands and little girl expectto do F""Dig whole heaps, way, way up to the sky;" andthe blue eyes looked up with a wise look, as if she weremeasuring the distance.
WHAT CAN NED DO ? 39"Well, go to work then, only keep clear of my spade,for I can't stop to play with you." At work Ned went,but somehow the "little shovel, or the little hands,"were always in his way. Sometimes Tot dug with theshovel, sometimes she dug with the brass handle, some-times she attempted to throw dirt on to the wheel-barrow, but oftener she found it more convenient andpleasant to knock it off, a trick at which Ned did notcatch her, until she called his attention to it, by say-ing,-"Pile, most up to the sky; look, Neddy, look !"" O Kitty," said Ned, in much dismay, " how couldyou bring her, she spoils everything! I do wish youwould take her right away."" No, no," said Tot, scrambling up on top of the loadand stretching out her arms over it. " I won't go in,naughty Ned, I will dig heaps."Ned took hold of her without much ceremony andlanded her on the frozen earth. It was not ungentlydone, but Tot was displeased, and set up a shrill, loudcry, which soon brought her mother to the door." Tot troubles me," said Ned. " Please call her in,mother." "Tot, come in, that's a good little girl."But Tot has no idea of being " a good little girl," orcoming in either; so she only cried louder and shriller,and her mother came out and carried her in by mainforce. Kitty looked up questioningly in Ned's face,"Was she in the way, should she go too 1"
40 WHAT CAN NED DO ?"No," said Ned, a little sharply, for Tot had triedhis temper, "you may stay if you wish; but I don'tsee what a girl wants to do such hard work for."Kitty made no answer, but lifted up as large loadsof dirt as her shovel would hold, and worked veryfast. She really wanted to help Ned, more than toplay, but he did not yet know it. Pretty soon, how-ever, he began to feel better natured, so he said-"I declare, Kitty, you work better than half theboys in town; only see, you have thrown all the dirton that side of the wheelbarrow, and your pile is halfas large as mine. How true it was that Mr. Jenkinssaid, 'little by little makes a great deal.'" Sothe ice being broken, the children went on talkingpleasantly and working briskly, until Kitty's armsached so it did not seem to her as if she could liftanother shovel-ful, and then, work hard as they could,only such a small part of the whole was done. Ned,too, found his shovel growing heavy, and staggered agood deal as he rolled the wheelbarrow along up theslight hill upon which the house stood. When he wasbeginning to doubt his ability to do the work, and feltmore like sitting down and crying, than like persever-ing, he heard a rough voice calling to him from over thegarden fence." I say, if you aren't pretty small potatoes, both onyou, to be about such a job; why, it makes my backand arms ache too, just a banking up my house, and it
WHAT CAN NED DO 1 41isn't half as big as yours. Look here, now, my boy,you come and drive Nancy around to the man's whosebrought her, Mr. Simmons, you know, out by Derby'scorner, and I'll take a turn at your work. Turn aboutis fair, Ned, the world over; and as it's pretty cold, Idare say, my chance is better than yours for keepingwarm."Ned did not hesitate a moment, for he saw the earsof Jem Jones's old white horse over the garden fence,and of all things in the world the boy liked best toride; perhaps, because a ride was a blessing which butseldom came to him. He raninto the house a momentto ask his mother's leave, and then, in an incrediblyshort time, was sitting in the waggon, wrapped up inJem Jones's buffalo coat, with Nancy, the brindle cow,trotting along before him, every now and then turningher brown eyes round, as if to see just how muchmischief she might do, under the care of the new driver.Old Whitey had gone but a short distance, when Nedheard Jem Jones calling to him in a loud voice,"Halloo there, hold on! Mother put a bit of lunch inunder the seat, in the little tin pale-some doughnuts,cheese, and such kind of stuff. Now I shall be hometo dinner, and in course shan't want it: so you justmake free with it; help yourself, and don't take nonotice of Nancy, if she is sort of frolicsome. She'llmake believe half the time to go in the other direction,when she won't mean to, no more than nothing. She's
42 WHAT CAN NED DO ?just like the rest of the women; they all want to becoaxed; won't none of them bear to be driven the leastbit in the world. If she is terrible contrary, just takeout an ear of corn-you'll find a heap of them underthe buffalo-and you pretend you are going to giveit to her, drive on afore, and she will follow you, I'llwarrant. You needn't plague yourself about her nohow, because she's bright as a button, and knows allabout what you want and what you don't wan't, as wellas a sensible being.""Thank you," said Ned, eyeing the cow a littlesuspiciously as she stopped to nibble off some driedgrass, very near a spot where two roads met. "ButNancy looks to me as if she would miss her master,and give me a chase, before I have done with her."" Now, don't go to being afraid of her. She can seethat as quick as anybody. You just shout after her,and make as though you thought she meant to doabout right; there is nothing that will bring them rightso soon; it is better than a stick, any day. There now,start ahead, and a pleasant ride to you."Ned started once more, but Nancy was too busywith her grass to care to move, and only looked up toshake her head and drop her ears when he called toher. Here was trouble in the beginning, and Ned wasnot a little relieved when he heard a hearty laugh anda " Get up, along there, will ye I" from Jem Jones, whohad been curiously watching them from over the
WHAT CAN NED DO 43garden-fence. Nancy recognized the voice in a minute,and, with head and tail erect, started off at a roundtrot down the wrong road.Another laugh, and again the loud voice: " She'sdone it now, hasn't she But never you mind, shewill haul up at home, if she don't sooner. You justfollow along after her gently like, and the longer youtake getting her to the end of the road, why the moreyou will have done to your banking. So don't bediscouraged about it, anyhow."Ned drove quickly after Nancy, but the faster hewent the faster the cow travelled in the wrong direction.This was only fun for the boy. Old Whitey enteredat once into the spirit of the chase, pricked up his ears,and occasionally uttered a quiet snort, which showedhow much he enjoyed it. Up hill and down theywent, neither party slackening their pace, Nancy onlytroubling herself to turn her head now and thentowards the waggon with a defiant shake, until theyreached Jem Jones's house, when she walked in a slowand dignified manner through the gate, and up to herusual stable."I've got you now," said Ned, quite as much excitedas either of the animals. "We'll see who'll be masterafter all," and springing from the waggon, he ran tohead the cow, forgetting that the horse, being at home,would probably find his way to his stall. When, there-fore, Nancy was really turned out of the yard, and
44 WHAT CAN NED DO?ready for another start, old Whitey was nowhere to beseen. There was a dilemma! If he left the cow longenough to look him up, she would be off; and yetthere was no use in walking all the way, when hemight as well ride. Fortunately for him, Mrs. Joneshad been watching him from the window, and nowcame to his relief. She was used to every kind ofwork, as many women are who have been brought upon a farm, and so she backed Whitey out from thedoor of the stable-the waggon being still attached tohim, he could get no further-and started Ned offagain with as much expedition as if she had been aman. "You'll have a time of it now," was her con-solatory remark. "Nancy is a pest of a creature todrive : that's the reason Jem's going to sell her. Youmay as well make up your mind to spend the day out,for it's good three miles to Mr. Simmons', and she willrun back half of every mile.""All the more fun," said Ned, cheerily, "only soshe don't turn home. It's little by little that I mustexpect to do everything in this world, Mr. Jenkinssays; and if I get ahead a little every hour, I shallbe through by the end of the day. Thank you, Mrs.Jones.""That's it," said Mrs. Jones encouragingly. "Itdoes one good to have something to think about, that'sgot a point to it. I say sometimes, when I getperplexed, and don't see the end anyhow, 'Darkness
WHAT CAN NED DO ? 45before dawn, Miss Jones; it's pretty near midnightnow.'"Nancy gave Ned no time for a reply. Her taste forracing was evidently at an end; but it seemed to havegiven her a good appetite, for she stopped at everypromising bit of grass, and Ned had to jump from thewaggon and use his whip, before she showed any fancyfor moving. Yet Mr. Simmons', at Derby's corner,was, as Mrs. Jones had said, "good three miles off."Ned was in no hurry, however. Moreover, he wassomewhat elated by the prospect of the struggle beforehim, and, like every other boy, he had a natural desireto be master; and this post of trust and authority,with both a horse and cow under him, was a newexperience. So he was patient and persevering, untilafter two or more hours' struggle he seemed to havepositively worn Nancy's friskiness out, and she droveat last into Mr. Simmons' yard as meekly as any cow.Mr. Simmons came out to examine her, bestowingupon her, as he patted her, the epithet of being one of"the gentlest creatures he ever saw." Ned had anopinion to the contrary; but as he was in nowise re-sponsible for the bargain, he kept his experiences tohimself, and bid Nancy good-bye, without any verydeep feeling of regret. It was past noon when heturned his horse's head towards home, and the firstthing he thought of, as he drove along, was the lunch,which till now had remained untouched in the little
46 WHAT CAN NED DO?tin pail under the seat. He now drew it out; andnever were "doughnuts, cheese, and such stuffs" morewelcome to a hungry boy than these were to him.Indeed, if we must tell the truth, Ned's breakfast hadbeen none of the most bountiful. The children ofthose who have only scanty means much oftener sufferfrom positive hunger than is supposed; and it wouldbe well if those who are daily at a well-filled tablewould exchange for a short time, in order that theymight learn a life-long lesson-one which, thus learned,could never be forgotten. If Ned had been dainty, hewould have found abundance in Mr. Jones' hearty lunchto have satisfied him, and a very different feeling boyhe was when he replaced the pail, buttoned up thelarge buffalo coat, touched Whitey with the whip, andat no sluggish pace flew over the road home." How much had Jem Jones done to the banking ?would he not think he had been too long " These,and many similar thoughts, filled up the time until hecame in sight of his mother's house, and saw Jem justputting down the plank around the front door."There you are," he said, coming out to the waggon."Well, you have been much quicker than I reckonedon. Did you use the corn or the whip most, eh,Ned?""A little of both, and not much of either," said Ned;and then he gave Jem Jones a ludicrous account of allthat had happened to him, ending with Mr. Simmons'
WHAT CAN NED DO ? 47praise of the cow when he left her, which Jem seemedto enjoy heartily."" W.i!, now, you beat me, Ned," he said, "you havegpt through your job before I have through mine, andI haven't been idle either. There is a whole side to be..d:,ne yet. You see the earth is a little hard even in.the :ood-house, and it takes twice as long as itwould have a month ago, but I believe I have donea good deal more than you and the little girl would.Why, boy, you didn't know what a job it was, didyou ?"", "Yes, but I thought I could do it little by little;that was all the comfort I could find.""Yes, well, good enough in its way; mother, now,she is always full of them sort of things; and some-times I guess, she gets real help out of them; it's allin a person's make. They don't matter much to me,"any way.""She told me when she brought the horse out forme, how much it was to her to remember darknessbefore light.""That's it. If I have heard that once, I have athousand times; but I never saw much sense in it,except when we were watching night after night withour Mary, then I could see how the darkness alwayscame before the light; of course, you know. Now,Ned, you just let this job alone. I must go home,because I've a thing or two to attend to before dark ;
48 WHAT CAN NED DO ?but the very first moment I get, I will be back againand do it up smartly for you.""Can't I change work with you again ?" asked Ned,rather diffidently."Well, now, I like your thinking of it; but youdon't look mighty strong for farm-work, no more thanyour father was ; but perhaps there will be a little jobsome time, brushing, or the like easy work, that youcan take a hand at, if you still want; but you needn'tmind. All of us must do something for our country,sooner or later, and what I can do for your mother, Ishall set down to that account. If your father gavehis life, it isn't asking much of the rest of us to givean hour's work now and then, just to help you along.""But, Mr. Jones, we should so much like to helpourselves if we could; I want to do something.""Yes, that's clever, so you ought; and help's scarceeverywhere, a likely lad isn't apt to be skipped overany day; and I'll remember you the very first time Iwant to have a light job done; see if I don't." Sosaying, Jem Jones drove away.Ned felt most unreasonably discouraged. Mr. Jen-kins had refused him because he was " book-learned,"and Jem Jones thought if he did any kind of work atall, it must be "very easy." For a minute he hadsome misgiving as to whether Mr. Jenkins was notright, and the best thing he could do after all, was tocontinue his studies, and fit himself in the end for
WHAT CAN NED DO? 49some profession. It seemed, however, as if Providencedid not intend that, with everything else with whichS this boy must contend, there should be mixed up doubtand undue discouragement; for after Jem Jones hadleft, before Ned had time to go into the house, heheard the rattling of a waggon, and saw Mr. Jenkins'butcher-cart come driving slowly up the road. Mr.Jenkins saw Ned too, and beckoned him to stop, whichue did."I've been thinking it over," he said, as the horse,almost of himself, turned off the road to the spot whereNed stood, "and it seems to me that you may earnmoney for a time, until you can find something betterto do, by attending to my shop, when I am out sellingmy meat. You can take a book along, you know, andit's proper warm there. I don't think any body will sitdown to talk much when I am gone, and it will be asstill as a mouse. I'll cut the meat all up, and youwill soon learn to weigh it out, and take change, andI'll pay you eight shillings a week, beside boardingyou, to start with. It's a greasy, dirty kind of busi-ness," continued he apologetically, "but it's only for awhile, and every little will help.""Thank you, sir," said Ned, his whole face glowingS with delight, "may I come to-morrow ?""Yes, any time; only mind tell your mother, boy,the thing isn't of my proposing, but comes from you.I hope there will be better work for you soon; we(1i84 4
50 WHAT CAN NED DO ?will keep a sharp look-out, and for the present bringyour books."When Ned opened his mother's door, his face hadmore of the cheerful, hopeful look of old times, than ithad worn since his father's death ; she saw it, andfelt that there was something pleasant in store for her.How much disappointed she was, when Ned told herwhat it really was; she had regretted his leavingschool, but thought perhaps for one season it wouldmake no material difference to him, while she reallyneeded his help at home; but the idea of his givingup an education and not going into a profession, hadnever occurred to her; therefore now, for a time, sherefused to listen to any such proposition, and Ned sawthe day close with a heavy heart.The next morning, however, his mother met himwith " My son, I have thought and prayed a great dealto-night over your going into Mr. Jenkins' place ofbusiness, and I don't think you can do anything betterfor the present. Do as he tells you; take your bookswith you, and study what you can.""Little by little," said Ned, almost dancing withjoy; "if it is only one Latin rule I learn in a day, inthe end it will make the whole grammar. I will runround to Jem Jones and see about the banking up ofthe house; my eight shillings a week will pay for itnow, so that is safe; then I will put my Latin gram-mar under my arm and go to the shop, and won't Hal
WHAT CAN NED DO? 51Foote open his eyes when I tell him I am clerk at Mr.Jenkins' shop. He calls it the boat, and so I shallsay I am going to be a sailor, and see if he knows justwhat I mean."Ned could not eat his breakfast that morning, andleft home in bright good season for Mr. Jenkins' shop,_ -_
CHAPTER IV.NEW WORK.,'i T was now three weeks since his father's death,and Ned had not been inside the butcher's- shop since the morning when he first heard'' the news. It all came back fresh to him' as he pushed open the low door, and lookedin. There stood Mr. Jenkins close by the stove,warming his hands, as it was a biting cold morning;but no one else was there. The meat, frozen and stiff,was standing out around the room, as if it had beenmade alive again; the small windows were curtainedby a thick cover of frost, and altogether there wasnothing cheerful or inviting. A chill struck to Ned'sheart. It seemed as if he was leaving all the sunshineof his life outside the door when he shut it behindhim; but it was only for an instant, for Mr. Jenkinsturned quickly with such a warm smile of welcome,that Ned forgot everything else."So you have come Well, I didn't really thinkyou would; I felt as if your mother would put an end
r-NEW WORK. 53to it, when you came to tell her. Wasn't she realtroubled now ""Why, yes, sir," said Ned, "she was sorry to haveme leave school, and last night she would not listen toa word about it; but this morning she said the Lordhad directed her, and she thought she had better letme come; that she hoped I would be faithful and in-dustrious, and if I could find time, would devote myselfas much as possible to my books; so I have broughtmy Latin grammar, you see, sir. It's a grand book tostudy in, for it seems to me it's all made up of littleby little, and there most truly, every little well learnedhelps in the end.""You haven't forgotten it now, have you, Ned ?that's right: take it for a kind of every-day thing ; itwears well, I tell you; I have been on it for fortyyears, and it's better than ever to-day. Now, beforethe folks come in, I will take you round and show you,so you needn't feel stranger-like when they do come,though none of these things look quite natural to-day.This, now," affectionately patting a large piece of beef,frozen like a rock, " this, now, is from a first-rate ox,and there isni better beef in the country; but you seehow sort of black it looks ; well, this is a sirloin roast.Now weigh it, Neddy, and tell me how much itweighs."Ned took up the meat, carefully adjusted the scalesinto which he laid it, and after a little close inspec-
.54 NEW WORK.tion decided its weight to a quarter of a pound cor-rectly."Well done, my boy," said Mr. Jenkins, with asmuch triumph in his voice as if Ned had worked out adifficult problem in mathematics; "you will do; if youcan hit so near the first time, there is no telling whatyou will do the twentieth."This was only the first of a series of lessons whichMr. Jenkins, with the utmost patience and clearness,gave before any one came in, and when they did, Nedwas seated on a high stool, close up to the stove, deeplyintent on his Latin Rules.For a moment he forgot his new calling, and it wasnot until Mr. Jenkins, who was busy in another part ofthe shop, said, " Ned, will you attend to that lady I"that he thought of his new duty.Fortunately he knew what she wanted. It was apiece of steak, which he had weighed under Mr.Jenkins' eye, so he felt secure in giving it to her, and asfor making an error in change, he was too good at hissums to have any fear of that. Mr. Jenkins kept up aseries of nods and winks toward Ned, which were in-tended to be encouraging, but which he was too busyto notice. They, however, attracted the attention ofthe customer, and made her go over to the corner wherehe was, and ask who the boy was, and where he camefrom." You don't mean you don't know him !" said Mr.
NEW WORK. 55Jenkins, in much surprise. "Why, he is Randall'sson-Captain Randall, who was killed at the greatbattle.""Oh, yes," said the lady, "I have heard of thefamily. What is the boy going to do here l""Going to study his Latin, and help me betweentimes," whispered Mr. Jenkins, confidentially."This is an odd place to study Latin in, I shouldthink," and the lady could not forbear a smile." Might be worse-might be much worse," and thebutcher's tone was slightly hurt; "still and warm.I've heard tell of many a mighty smart man who madehis way, not only to college, but up beyond commonfolks, who hadn't half as good a place to begin hislearning in. It's all in the will, ma'am, all in the will.There's some of our rich men's boys, they wouldn'tstudy half as much in a week as Ned will in a day;no, not even if their teacher stood over them with abirch rod all the time.""Well, we will see," said the lady, turning and tak-ing a long, steady look at Ned, who had resumed hisseat and his book. " He seems inclined to be indus-trious anr exact; then he looks neat, and that is agreat recommendation where you are buying things toeat. I never can abide a particle of dirt; that is thereason why I trade here-you always look as cleanas silver, Mr. Jenkins; I must say so much foryou."
56 NEW WORK." Good-bye, little boy," she said, pleasantly, as shepassed Ned's seat." Good morning, ma'am," said Ned, springing up toopen the door for her. "Shall I take your bundlehome for you ?-I can run very quickly."" No, thank you; I always carry my own bundles;but I like your looks and your good manners."Ned's face was radiant with fun as he went back toMr. Jenkins. " Who is it ?" he asked. " She saysshe likes my good manners very much.""Just like her; she'll be taking a fancy to you andwanting you for something before I know it. That isMiss Betty Wood. She is as rich as a nabob, and asqueer-well, as queer as any other rich old maid, Iknow. She never allows any one to do the least shop-ping for her, but, no matter how little the thing is, outshe goes for it herself. I never knew her send her girlor her man here. If it is only a pound of lamb, downshe comes, and when she goes home she weighs it over.I tell you what, Ned, there isn't a man in Harland tatI wouldn't sooner attempt to cheat than Miss Betty;she has eyes all round. They tell a good many strangestories about her; but it is only those who have triedto overreach her in a bargain. I knew a man once;he watched his chance, and when he was pretty sureshe would not be at home, he went and carried her aload of wood he had engaged to supply her with. Nowit was to be all maple, four feet long. Well, you see,
NEW WORK. 57there was a good deal of birch, some elm, and a fewold apple-tree sticks put in to make it up; so whatdoes she do, when she goes home, but call her man,have the whole load hauled over, every stick of it, and.measured. The maple, four feet long, was piled up inher wood-yard, and the other was thrown out to theside of the street. Some of the neighbours got windof how matters went, and sent word to Jonas Holtthat he had better come up and look after his pile ofwood, because the boys were carrying it away to builda dam, and when he came storming up to the house,what does Miss Wood do but point to the good wood,which was what she had ordered, pay him for it, up tothe last farthing, and tell him with as much dignity asif she had been a queen, that 'the next time she orderedwood of him, or any one else, she should have whatshe had ordered, and no other kind.' He tried to beimpudent a little, but he did not make anything by it.She was as stiff and as cold as a poker; so the manwent off dumbfoundered enough, I can tell you, pickedup his wood, and sold it for what he could get, and"then he was called for years afterward Short-measureJack.'" Now, Ned," said Mr. Jenkins, stopping abruptly,"I am not given much to telling a story that is against.any one. This sounds dishonest on the man's part,and kind of sharp on the woman; so to set off againstit I must just tell you another. They won't help along
58 NEW WORK.that Latin of yours, but they will help you to knowhuman nature a little, which, after all, is a page fromthe same book, I suppose." Ned smiled; he could notexactly see the connection, but that did not matter, hewanted to hear the story all the same. " Miss Woodis always going about where there is any sickness orsorrow. I wonder she has not been down to see yourmother before this time. Why, boy, there are manyof the poor people in town who think they can almostsee angels' wings a-growing out under that old greyshawl of hers, she is so good to them. When Mrs.Harvey's children had the scarlet fever, and they laydown one after the other, you know, and the threeeldest died, and then the father died, and folks gotfrightened, and they all said that whoever went therewould die too, for certain; then Mrs. Harvey lay down,and there was no one to take care of her and the otherthree that were left. What does Miss Wood do, butcome out of her elegant house, that's all gilt papers andBrussels carpets, and go right into Mrs. Harvey's withher checked apron on, and worked for them just as ifthey were her own dear relations, till she was almostworn out, and folks said she was going to die; but shesaid, 'No, she wasn't; God never punishes us for doingright, but always for doing wrong, and that she wouldgive twenty shillings a week-double the commonwages-to any one who would go in and do as she haddone, until the family got well;' so it seemed as if the
NEW WORK. 59people were waked up, and they went into it; somestayed all day, and some sat up all night, and themore they did, the happier and better they felt; andMr. Keddie said, 'That was the way God took for re-warding such heroic self-sacrifice as that of MissWood's '-these are his very words-' heroic self-sacrifice.' ""Well, I do think it was very noble in her," saidNed, "how I wish I had run off with her meat with-out giving her any chance to say no."" Don't you fret yourself, boy, if she had a wholelamb, she would have insisted on carrying it home, Idare say. She never lets me leave anything but herpoor-pieces."" Poor-pieces, what are those ?"" Don't you know ? why, now, these were the veryfirst things my father taught me, and because I havealways kept to them, is one reason why, as you say,there is always meat in the shop, and somebody to buyit. Those parts of the animals that are not the bestcuts, but have a great deal of food and nourishment inthem, we lay aside, and either give away, or sell verycheap to the poor hard-working people. There aresome of them that are mighty proud and independent,and don't like to be beholden to any one; so we suitour prices to what they can afford, letting them pay justenough to keep up their self-respect. Well, as I was say-ing, when Miss Wood buys the poor-pieces, she lets me
60 NEW WORK.send them to the houses, but always makes me promisesecresy; and so I do, though they know well enough."Mr. Jenkins gave such glowing accounts of MissWood that Ned thought it very strange he had notheard and known more about her before, as she wasaunt to his special friend, Hal Foote. He did re-member having seen her face many times, as he hadmet her in the street and in church; but he never sup-posed-it was so homely and looked so cross-that itbelonged to any one who was not disagreeable. Mr.Jenkins motioned to him to go back to his book, andturned his own back resolutely around, as if he wasalready repenting his interruption; but the silence hadlasted but a moment, when the door opened, and MissWood again made her appearance."I remembered to have seen a tongue hanging herewhen I was in," she said to Mr. Jenkins. "I heardold Mr. Larney wishing he had a bit to relish; he sayssince his rheumatism has set in again, he feels as if hehad no appetite for anything,-now, little one." speak-ing to Ned, " weigh it out and carry it round, but mindand only leave it at the door; don't say who boughtand paid for it, but don't say you don't know if theycatch you and ask you, for that would be a naughty,wicked lie, and we all know what becomes of liars."Here she shook her finger threateningly at Ned, whowondered whether she thought she had ever detectedhim in a falsehood.
NEW WORK. 61"I will do my best," said Ned, meekly. He feltalmost afraid to go, for fear in some way he shouldfail, so he stood very solemnly, watching Mr. Jenkins,as he trimmed the tongue closely and prepared it toweigh just as little as possible.Miss Wood smiled grimly as she too saw Mr. Jenkinswork, and kept up a series of little nods, each one ofwhich seemed to say, "Very well, very well, you won'tlose anything by that, my man. I am watching youwith all my eyes."When the tongue was neatly wrapped up, and Nedwas starting with it under his arm, he felt a hand laidon his shoulder." How many of you are there at home ?" said MissWood." Five of us in all. My grandmother, mother, Kitty,Tot, and myself."" Five of you; did your father leave any property ?"" No, ma'am. There will be his pension by and by.""Pension what does that amount to, when a man'sdead and gone, and left a family of five to struggle onthe best way they can. Where do you live, boy ?"Ned told her, but she did not seem to have heardof the house, and made a very difficult matter of un-derstanding it; so Mr. Jenkins came in to his relief,beckoning him at the same time to run as quickly ashe could with the tongue to old Mr. Carney. Mr.Carney was hobbling in at the door as he came up.
62 NEW WORK.Ned waited until he was out of sight, then knocking,simply said, as he handed in the bundle,-"There is something I was sent with.""What-what is that, Debby ?" he heard the oldman call out."I don't know, I haven't opened it," was Debby'sshort answer. Then he heard again :-"Can't ye answer civilly; I say, what is it, and whobrought it I""A little boy, and it's full as much like a stick ofwood as anything else."Ned ran away, he had heard enough for one day.He wondered, if he should meet Miss Wood, and sheshould ask him what they said, what he should tellher, but wisely resolving only to speak the truth, hewas not so much troubled when he saw her cominground the corner on her way home. She beckoned tohim, and he crossed over to her." Found them rather sharp, eh, Ned ? Rheumatismdon't make people feel pleasant when they are old, soyou had better 'make hay when the sun shines,' andnever be cross now, one cross word is as bad as a dozen,because it makes a dozen." Then came a series of nodsand smiles, every one of which was most expressive andamusing to Ned, but not a word did she ask of thereception of his present ; she had sent too many to thesame house, not to be well informed. When Nedreached the shop again, lie found it half full of cus-
NEW WORK. 63tomers, and among them, he saw Hal Foote, the boywhom he had been wishing to inform of his change inlife.Hal was a school-mate, and above all the boys inHarland, Ned loved him best. Now, Hal was a small,pale, sickly boy, an only son, and a great pet at home.People, who are always very wise, said, that if therehad been six boys instead of one, Hal would have beenas large and stout as any one else; but as it was, hehad been indulged in everything that was bad as wellas good for him, until there was nothing left to make aman's constitution out of. Whatever the truth was, itwas certain that' Hal was weak, and not able to copewith other boys in anything but his studies; in themhe always stood first, or rather, going most of the timeto the same school with Edward Randall, he dividedthe honours with him; while Ned always took care ofhim, fought all his battles for him, did all his runningin the rough games, drew his sled up hill with his own,rowed for him in the boat, and waited for him, whenthe other boys, too impatient to be detained, ran on,leaving them behind. That Hal loved Ned need notbe said, and yet Hlal was so differently situated at homefrom Ned, that many wondered when they saw theboys so constantly together. Hal was, as has beensaid, Miss Wood's nephew, and there was a great dealof money in the family. They lived in elegant houses,kept carriages and servants, fine gardens and grounds;
"64 NEW WORK.indeed, they were the family in Harland. It may seemstrange that knowing Hal so well, Ned was such anentire stranger to Miss Wood. He had indeed heardHal speak often of her, but it was always as his AuntBetty; he had never thought, nor asked, what herother name was; nor had he during the morning oncesupposed they were one and the same person. Halhad been early that morning to Ned's house, to findwhy he had not been at school the day before, and hadlearned from his mother, without her going at all intoparticulars, that Ned was in Mr. Jenkins' shop.Ned had the story all ready which he had intendedto tell, of his having turned sailor, and being there tostudy navigation; but Hal was troubled and annoyed,and therefore in no mood for taking a joke; so Neddrew him aside, and Mr. Jenkins saw the boys in avery earnest but low conversation. Hal grew verymuch excited, his pale face was flushed, and his littlehands came down in most impressive gestures now andthen on Ned's knees; but Ned sat quiet and calm,only now and then a troubled look stealing over hisface. At length Hal started up, and with a very angryejaculation, slammed the door of the shop, and Nedcould see him standing on the bridge in the sunshine,knocking the heels of his boots noisily on the bits ofice which were clinging to the posts." He takes it harder than I did, or mother either,"said Ned to himself "I am sorry for it; but what is
NEW WORK. 65my duty is my duty, and a clear matter too in thiscase. He'll become used to it by degrees, little bylittle in this as in everything else ; though it won't dofor him to come visiting me in a butcher's shop, ofcourse it won't; what would his sister, dressed in herfeathers and her velvets, say to that, I should just liketo know ? No, Ned Randall, giving up your educationisn't all, it's giving up a good deal beside.""'Ned !" called Mr. Jenkins' cheery voice. " Ned,come here, I can't wait on all these people by myself.There's Mr. Stone wants a nice sirloin roast; and MissAnson has sent for a pound of sausages, and Mr. Kentwants a pair of fowls, large ones you know, Ned, goodand fat. Mr. Hadden wants a turkey.""Sir!" said Ned, looking around him in a verybewildered way."Well, I don't wonder you can't take it all in. Getthe turkey, and put them up backwards, as you re-member them easiest."Ned went to a number of turkeys that were lying ona box together, but which was fat and which was poor,which was which, in short, with his head full of Hal,college, profession, trade, friends and all, was morethan he could tell.'Mr. Hadden had followed him, and soon called himto his senses, by pointing out decidedly what he wanted,and watching Ned as he weighed it with most severescrutiny. Ned by this time, however, was fairly awake(184)
66 NEW WORK.to his business, and though Mr. Hadden was generallyconsidered a pretty hard customer to deal with, hecould not find any fault with the way his order -wasanswered.The fowls for Mr. Kent came next; and Mr. Jenkinsmade signs of approbation as he saw Ned putting inpractice the rules he had given him for testing theircomparative merits."The best in the lot," he said to Mr. Kent as Nedwas weighing them ; "that's the smartest boy in Har-land, I don't care what you put him to; he will havesense for anything, from dead languages to a dead fowl.He'll make something yet.""That's Widow Randall's son, is it not ? Why, Ihave heard a number of times that he hadn't any sensefor anything but his books; he looks likely enough;up to all work, is he ?""We will see; you just mark my words. He isn'ta dunce; and his book-learning hasn't hurt him onejot."While Ned was thus busy on his first morning ofnew work, Hal, having knocked on the ice more dis-content into his heart than out, went running home tomake his grievances known there. Bursting into theparlour, where his mother and sister were sitting atwork, lie exclaimed, throwing his cap with much in-dignation on the floor, and himself into a rocking-chair," I declare, if this isn't the meanest country I ever saw
NEW WORK. 67in my life When I am a man you just catch megoing to fight for it. I wouldn't if the rebels beat ushollow; we deserve it, that we do !""What now, Hal ? I suppose that means that youiflag is torn, and you want me to mend it; or yourcannon has burst; or more likely, that the purse islow, and you want a little help from the 'Soldier's AidSociety,"' said his sister Emma, laughing."No, it don't!" said Hal, very crossly; "and I'lljust thank you, Miss Emma, with all your fine airs, toremember you are only two years older than I am, andneedn't be quite so grandmamma-ish; it means justwhat I say, that a country that is managed as ours is,is a contemptible affair, and don't deserve to rankamong nations.""Don't talk so, my son," said his mother gently."You either do not mean or do not understand whatyou are saying.""I do, mother I know if my father had beenkilled in battle, and I had to give up going to schooland go into a butcher's shop to earn my living andyours and Emma's, we should all think it was a prettyhard measure."Emma laughed, and said, "I am afraid some of usshould if you had to earn our living, as you call it.Hal, what are you talking about ?""Why, about Ned Randall, of course, don't youknow anything 1 I heard father say only this morning
68 NEW WORK.lie was afraid they would have to wait a long time forthe pension, for there was so much business to be gonethrough first. There is no manner of doubt the manwas killed; but his body has not been sufficientlyidentified, and then it is thought that, after all, he maybe a prisoner, so there is no knowing when the familywill see the first instalment. In the meantime, whatdoes Ned do, like a great goose, but give up going toschool and college, and all those things that we haveplanned together for years, and go into a butcher'sshop-a butcher's shop of all things There he isthis very minute! Oh, it makes me so mad!"And Hal snatched up his cap, and gave it a kickwith his boot as if it was the only relief he couldfind." I am very sorry for Ned," said his mother, gravely;"but I don't know, Hal, as your best cap is in anyway accountable for it. It looks childish to see yougive vent to your impatience in such a way. Pick itup and hang it in its place."Hal looked a little ashamed as he rose to obey hismother; but as he came back, he said testily, " Whatis the use of having a country, if it can't treat its deadsoldier's family decently 1""Do be sensible, Hal," said Emma; "you know aswell as we do that you are talking nonsense. If youfeel so old, behave more like a man.""All very fine talking! but in the meantime what is
NEW WORK. 69to become of Ned Randall ? -just answer me that, willyou ? for that is the point in debate."" I thought it was the miserable country we lived in.I don't know about Ned. What does he say 1"" Why, he talks as you might know he would saysthere is no help for it; that he might be a great dealworse off than he is, for he has health, strength, andwillingness, that it is only little by little, and it will beall done, and a lot more such stuff, that it made mereal angry to hear I just scolded him right out 1 "said Hal, the tears suddenly coming into his eyes andhis voice trembling; "I was as mad as a March hare "" You were a very gentle, pleasant comforter, then,Hal!" said his mother. " Didn't it occur to you thatit was hard enough for the boy without your making itany harder 1""No, mother !" And Hal, with one of those changesof feeling to which he was subject, began to see thematter in a new light; and before five minutes werepast had forgotten to blame his country, but was pilingquite as many hard names on himself. While he wasin- this mood the door opened noisily, and they all,when they heard a step, knew Aunt Betty was coming." What's the matter, now, pet ?" she said as she sawthe frown on Hal's face. " A little boy who has every-thing and everybody in this world to make him happy,should see what I have seen this very day, if he wantsto be shamed into being contented and happy !"
70 NEW WORK."What is that 1" asked Hal's mother, glad of any-thing that would make a diversion." It's a little born and bred gentleman, I'll answerfor it he is, doing work of which you wouldn't think.""I know; she has been down to Mr. Jenkins' shopand seen Ned," broke in Hal, "I told you it was a sinand a shame, and now you hear."" How did he know " asked Aunt Betty, looking athim in much surprise. "It is, sure enough.""Oh, I am not a goose, Aunt Betty, and Ned Ran-dall is the dearest friend I have in the world. I shouldthink I might know, I have been down there tormentinghim half of the morning.""Tormenting him?""Yes, tormenting him shouldn't you call it tor-ment, if you had fought it out, and done what youthought was right in the end, and somebody came andtold you, you was a sneak and a fool for your pains,and if you had a little more spirit in you, you wouldhave done differently? Well that's what I did, andnow what do you think of me ?"" That you are a very mean boy, and deserve to bewhipt," said Aunt Betty, looking over her spectaclesvery ominously at Hal. " I would have cut my tongueout first."Hal had risen and now stood before her with theoddest mixture of regret and defiance in his face ; butAunt Betty saw only the defiance, and would have
NEW WORK. 71gone on with her reproof if his mother had notsaid,-"Don't blame him ; he is more sorry for it than Ican tell you, and really, if he had not loved Ned verymuch, he would not have done so. You know Halalways has very odd ways of showing his affection."
CHAPTER V.TIlE APPRENTICE.T was an unusually busy season in Mr. Jen-kins' shop; so far the war, instead ofbeing any check to business, had rathergiven it a start. Stock poured in from allparts of the country to Harland, for itsmarket, and so tempting were the opportunitiesto trade which were offered, that after a little hesita-tion, Mr. Jenkins resolved to accept an appointmentwhich was proffered him, to supply with meat thecamp established for volunteers in a town only a fewmiles distant. This of course, in addition to hisordinary run of customers at home, very much increasedhis business, and he soon found that, instead of givingNed a chance to study, as he had expected, he musthave a new apprentice to help him. Unfortunately, hischoice was not a very large one, and he was obliged forthe time being to employ a boy of fourteen years of age,noted alike for his carelessness and bad ways. tHe didnot intend to have him in his shop, but thought he
THE APPRENTICE. 73would answer to drive to and back from the camp, andhis active habits, if he could be kept steadily at hiswork, would make him quite useful.But it was a very sad morning to Ned, when he firstsaw John Gray coming into the shop, and knew thathe must, to all appearances at least, be associated withhim. Hal had been told of it, and as usual showed hislove for Ned in scolding and behaving very badly aboutwhat could not be helped. He felt as if even the littlecomfort which he had from running in and having afew moments' chat was now at an end, and that alwaysthat big, coarse, wicked boy, would be around. Itseemed to him a new degradation to which there wasno need of Ned submitting, and he worried his fatherand indeed the whole family at home for more than aweek, to see that some other work was provided forNed; but there did not seem to be any opening now,and Aunt Betty most emphatically said, " He wouldget no harm from John Gray; on the contrary, JohnGray might get some good from him. He was not thekind of boy that took to any bad habits, and he wouldbe a sort of check on one who seemed to have nothingbut bad habits. At any rate, it was no one's businessbut Ned's and Mr. Jenkins'; and for the first time inher life, she had yet to see any good come of meddlingwith what did not belong to you." At the same timeAunt Betty made a great effort and wrote a long letterto a business brother of hers who resided in a distant
74 THE APPRENTICE.city. This, Hal, when he put it in the office, shrewdlysuspected was an application for a place in his office forNed, but he wisely kept his own counsel, knowing verywell how Aunt Betty liked to do good her own privateway.It need hardly be said, that John Gray was a greatrough, what they called him in the country, "two-fisted boy," who with strength, hcilth, and energy, hadbeen thrown upon the world to take care of himselffrom childhood. Not that he had no parents living, forlie had, but as he was never sick, and never got intoany trouble but what he made his own. way out, theydid not think it was worth while to trouble themselvesvery much about him, and so he went on from onelittle sin to another, until he stood at a turning pointin life, where a trifle might make him a bad or a goodman.John Gray, though nearly two years older, was notmuch taller than Ned. He was a great deal stouter,and to see the two boys together, you would very soonnotice to what a different world they belonged. I meanhow very differently they would think, feel, and act.John was never clean. His hair was only brushed byhis running his fingers through it when he first got upin the morning, and as it was curly, it looked more likeporcupine quills than like anything else. His com-plexion was nut-brown ; a little soap, sand, and water,might lighten the shade, but as it was, no one could
THE APPRENTICE. 75tell just what colour nature had made him. He hadeyebrows which met over his nose, and large grey eyes,pleasant, merry eyes they were-eyes which made youlook kindly on the big boy, unpleasant as his appear-ance was in every other respect. His mouth wasnever at rest; it was always talking, laughing, orwhistling. "A rattling boy," every one called him;but still he was always in demand in the factory, wherehe had been from the time he could do anything; andif he had not been idle, need not have been out of workthe whole year round while the factory continued torun; but it had stopped since the war began.The first day he was in Mr. Jenkins' shop, he mademore noise, it seemed to Ned, than there had been sincehe went in, and he went home weary and disheartened.Nor could his mother comfort him. She was moreannoyed than he was, at the companion which Mr.Jenkins had chosen for him, and, it must be owned, inher heart did the man great injustice. What couldcome of it all, but misery and discomfort!"You must try your best," she said, however, "todo him good. Don't forget that after all he is only aboy, and if your influence over him is what it shouldbe, you may improve him."" If you knew him as well as I do, mother, influenc-ing for good would be, as you would see, about the lastthing to be thought of. If I escape being hurt by him,I shall do well. You ought to see his hands, and his
76 THE APPRENTICE.hair, and his collar, if you want to know what kind ofa fellow he is; they are enough to make a neat boysick to look at them.""Induce him to wash and to brush them."" Why, mother, how little you know of such boys!Now, I dare say, John prides himself on his careless-ness, and thinks it manly. He would laugh me toscorn if I should ask him to be neater."" Still, Ned, if you will be patient, I don't doubt youcan do something; I would try, if I were you."" I should sooner try to get him to leave off swearingand using tobacco, and that I could no more do, than Icould stop the sun shining, or thaw out the creek."" Well, Ned, if you begin by feeling that everythingis impossible, it of course will be ; now suppose, instead,you should try your new maxim, 'little by little.' Doa little to-day and a little more to-morrow, and thensee what will come in the end. If you only get himto have clean hands, or brushed hair; in a week, thatwill be a beginning, and the more serious evils, like theuse of tobacco and profanity, will perhaps come next."" Never, never, mother, it's no use to dream of suchthings; but I will try for the hands and the hair, theyare such a constant worry to me; I shall have to look outfor my p's and q's, though, I can tell you; if I can gethim to liking me first, but then in order to make himdo it, I must talk more with him than I like to do;oh dear, it is very disagreeable."
TIHE APPRENTICE. 77" Don't think of it in that light, Ned. God is send-ing more troubles and trials upon you than he oftendoes upon a child of your age, but it is all for somegood purpose; be hopeful and strong in it, for yourmother's sake."Ned's eyes met his mother's for a moment. Therewas the same look in them both, and Ned went awayto his morning's work with a braver heart.John was in the shop before him, and had done notonly his own part of the morning's business, but alsoa large part of what belonged to Ned, and when Nedthanked him for it, he said,-" You see, I can't bear to be idle, when there's any-thing to do; if I get started I'd as soon be a wholeteam as a one-horse affair; besides, you know, youcome a long way, and I live nigh by, and that makes itall fair."Ned looked as he felt, pleased, and thought less ofthe shock head of hair which surrounded the verygenial face."Old Jenkins," continued John, " isn't quite up tothe mark, is he 1 I expected he would have had me offto the camp and back by this time, and I haven'tstarted. Where does he keep his team ? I think I hadbetter go down and harness up, hadn't I "This was new driving to Ned, who hardly knew whatto say, but while he was doubting, John put his capon, his hands into his pockets, and went whistling away.
78 THE APPRENTICE.Pretty soon Mr. Jenkins came in with a very good-natured face. "He's up to it, isn't he, Ned?" he said,nodding his head in the direction John had taken."Thinks the old man isn't quite smart enough for thetimes; told me, if I hadn't overslept myself he mighthave done half a day's work by this time. Well, well,it's the new broom that is always in a dreadful hurry tosweep clean, but it takes time to say what wears best."John was back soon, and away with his load; as hestarted Ned saw him take out an old pipe and fill itwith tobacco. " He smokes !" he said to himself." Well, if he isn't a queer one; but after all, there issomething better about him than I thought; mothermay be right; I'll try at any rate, trying never hurtanybody yet."Ned was happier to-day, and that evening, when Halcame down to look out a hard sentence in Latin withhim, he was so merry that Hal had half a mind to bevexed with him, when he had so much to annoy himin ugly John Gray. He had come to comfort him, andhardly understood why it was not needed.For the first few weeks of the boys being together inMr. Jenkins' store, all Ned was able to do was verylittle indeed, toward John's improvement. Of the two,John did the most for Ned. His great brown hand,the hand that Ned so much despised, was constantlythrust out to do something for him, whenever theywere together.
THE APPRENTICE. 79"Let it alone," John would say, if he saw Ned tryingto lift anything heavy; "such a little fellow as youcan't do anything; see here now, there goes " andwithout any further ceremony the thing was done; orhe would take a bundle from him, with, " You aresharper at figures than I am, you may use your head,and I will use my feet, all the same in the end." Butwith all this, John was very troublesome, keeping .thefloor around the stove in such a condition that it seemedas if all good Mrs. Jenkins' sand could not make itclean. Mr. Jenkins told him when he uttered the firstoath in the shop, that he would not allow any profanity,and if he persisted in it he would turn him off; but hefrequently came to where Ned was, and made amendsin low whispers. Now, it was very evident, as Nedhad told his mother, that John considered it smart anilmanly, to be as wicked as he dared. Ned did not speakto him for the first few times ; an instinct told him itwould do no good. At last he said kindly, " Don'tJohn, it's very low and vulgar, not to say wicked, toswear; you are too good a fellow to do any such thing;leave it to the rowdies."" I am a rowdy," said John, looking defiantly out ofthe corner of his eye." No, you are not," said Ned, growing bold, now theice was broken. " You are as good-hearted a fellow asever breathed, and if I were you, I would leave off suchthings, and make a man of myself."
80 THE APPRENTICE.John made up a wry face, and opened the door andspit his tobacco juice far across the street." Now," continued Ned, "I call chewing tobacco a verylow habit; it's so dirty, why you may brush your teethfor ever, and what good does it do ? They will neverbe white."John grinned, the idea of white teeth never hadoccurred to him before. As he did so, he discloseda very fine set, but so discoloured as to be disagree-able." There now, that is what I told you, you would havethe handsomest set of teeth in Harland, if you wouldgive the habit up and take care of them; come, now,it is not every fellow that could do that."John answered by taking out a long stick of what iscalled " pig tail," and biting off a large piece. Ned sawhe had said enough for once, and wisely forbore anyinterference; but in an hour John gave him a knock,and opened his mouth so wide, it seemed as if he couldswallow Ned at a mouthful. " Well, what is it ?" lihasked." Look any better "" Why, yes, what have you been doing?" Johnallowed to appear from his ragged pocket the end of atoothbrush handle." Never had one before, but thought I would just tryit to see how it would feel."" Give up your tobacco now, and they will be good
THE APPRENTICE. 81and handsome. How nice you look Try the brushon those curls for the sake of variety. If you do asmuch in that line, there won't be a better wig on thisside of New York." Now, John's eyes opened in utterastonishment. A hairbrush was an article he had nevertried in his life, any more than he had a toothbrush;he had used his hands as formerly, but the work theydid was very superficial, and Ned only laughed as tencurls flew up to where one kept down." I know a dozen boys in Harland, who would giveall their spending money every year, to have such acurly pate as yours; and here you don't care any moreabout it than if it was pigs' bristles."" It is, pretty nigh," said John, pulling vigorously atit, " don't you see the more a fellow works at it, theworse it gets "" Go to the barber and have it cut ; tell him to brushand pomatum it well, then see." Well, now, if that isn't pretty well up to it Whynobody ever cut my hair but myself since I was born,that I know of; you see the way I do it : I go intothe girls' room, where there is a little bit of a looking-glass, you know ; and I take the governor's razor whenhe is out, so he won't catch me, and I just clip away alock here and a lock there, wherever I can best get holdof it."" That's a new way ; you try mine next: instead ofspending so much money on tobacco-it's dear now,is84) (
82 TIE APPRENTICE.you know-you take your next quarter and try thebarber. How folks will stare at you !"John laughed; the idea seemed to him so funny asto be worth thinking of, and he did amuse himself allthe next drive to the camp, giving every now and thena pull at his hair, to see how it was looking just then.The truth was, through this avenue of personal appear-ance, there was waking up in the boy an entirely newfeeling of self-respect, or not yet so much as that, buta new idea, that he, John Gray, had something in himin common with, and perhaps a little better than, every-body else. He resolved not to give up his tobacco, butto experiment on the teeth and the hair for a littlewhile, just to see if anybody would notice it; and, ac-cordingly, with the first quarter of a dollar which cameinto his possession, he went to Spratt, the black barber,under the Canada House. Spratt, as may easily beimagined, rather stared at his uncouth customer ; butthe fun of the thing seemed to strike him ; and havingfirst recommended a thorough use of towel and waterto face and hands, he set himself to work to do hisbest.The head that came out from between his hands, wasin ludicrous contrast to the one that went in."There, sir," he said, as he held the glass before theastonished boy, "if you know yourself you will do well-no one else will, I can promise you, in this town. Ihope you keep a dog at home for that purpose."
THE APPRENTICE. 83It was dusk when John went out of the shop ; hewas very glad, for lie had a sheepish feeling whichwould have made him avoid meeting any one in broaddaylight. He wanted to show himself as he was toNed, and then he meant to tumble up his hair the bestway he could, before he went home ; but in order to seeNed, he must walk to his house. The shop had beenshut up a full hour, and he knew Ned never loitered 'amoment when he could go home.He had never been at Mrs. Randall's house, and hewas almost afraid to go now; but then, this was to bethe reward for what he had done. Would Ned thinkin deed and truth any other fellow in Harland wouldgive all his spending money for such a wig ? Hal was,as usual, at Ned's house, for Hal contrived to makesome excuse for coming almost every evening, whenthere came a very gentle knock on the kitchen door." It's old Mr. Carter with something," said Mrs.Randall, looking at Ned ; " I thought I heard his step."Ned opened the door, and there stood John Gray.It was so dark that he could not see him distinctly;but supposing Mr. Jenkins had sent him, he stood fora moment without looking very closely at him, to hearwhat was wanted.John, after an awkward silence, took off his cap, andmade a low bow, and as he did so, Ned caught sight ofthe newly-cut hair." Halloo, old fellow !" he shouted, " glorious come
84 THE APPRENTICEin here. Didn't I tell you so? Hal! Hal Foote, comehere, I want to show you the handsomest hair in thisplace."Hal was out in a moment, and taking hold of John'shands, the two boys pulled him in."Mother, this is John Gray," said Ned by way ofintroduction, " the boy who is with me in Mr. Jenkins'store; I've always wanted you to see him."Mrs. Randall received him kindly, and drew a chairfor him to the table by which the boys had beensitting ; but John was much too confused and awkwardto take it : he stood half-way between the door andthe stove, shifting his position from one foot to another,and twirling his cap in his hands as if he should bevery glad to cover that "glorious wig," if he only knewhow to put it on." Sit down, John, and tell us all about it," said Ned;" who did it, and what did he say to you 1 "" Spratt; and he asked me if I had a dog at home,because, he said, if I hadn't, nobody else would knowme."Here the boys broke into a vociferous laugh, whichbrought a loud and rather angry knock from grand-mother Burt's bed-room; but it made John feel moreat home, and in a few minutes he had quite forgotteneverything but the nice time he was having.This was very well for an hour ; but at the end, Haland Ned began to look wistfully at their Latin books,
THE APPRENTICE. 85and wish John would go; so did Mrs. Randall; whileshe meant to be kind to the boy, she did not wish himto feel that he could be on intimate terms with Ned.No one would have thought it to have seen John,but he had, in spite of all his roughness and coarseness,an innate delicacy, which told him when he had stayedlong enough, and with a softened feeling, altogethernew to him, he left the cheerful sitting-room for hiscustomary resort through all the long winter evenings.To this place we must now follow him, but we mustacknowledge it would be more to our taste to stay andstudy Latin with Ned and Hal.4r i-j* K ;i' *i
CHAPTER VI.TROUBLE COMING.,. 1LOSE by the bridge, only a door or two from" " Mr. Jenkins' shop, were quite a number ofoyster saloons. These were, as they are so apt"- to be in small towns, the daily and nightly' resort of the idle and the wicked. You mightgo in at almost any hour, and you would find littlegroups gathered round the dingy tables, with theirbowls of oyster soup, and their glasses of somethingstronger, which was much worse for them, or withsoiled packs of cards, or broken pipes and emptytobacco-boxes. The air of these places was close andimpure, and the heated box-stove sent out a deadlypoison, which helped to blanch the cheeks and shortenthe days of those who were the most frequent visitors.There was one of these saloons which seemed to havebeen especially appropriated by the half-grown boys.It was closer, darker, and more wicked than any of theothers, for we all know that bad boys are apt to beworse and more reckless than bad men. To this place
TROUBLE COMING. 87John Gray went every evening ; sometimes for thewhole evening, but oftener for the last hours ; and herehe always met two other boys of his own age, but muchmore hopelessly depraved.To-night he felt some reluctance to go. He wasafraid the boys would notice his hair, and would laughat him, and call him " dandy," but there was not any-thing which made his own home pleasant, and it maybe said with truth that it never occurred to him to gothere, excepting to take his meals and sleep.How much the ruin of their sons lies at the door ofsuch careless parents, we will not now stop to notice;but perhaps if many of those, who consider their boyvery much better and above John Gray in every respect,would be a little more careful that home should be thesunniest spot in all the wide world, there might befewer fathers and mothers who would " go down insorrow to their graves."The two boys with whom John Gray was the most in-mate, were Caleb Short and Jerry Mann. We have al-ready said that they were very wicked, and as wickedcompany is always not only disagreeable, but also in-j urious, it is not our intention to introduce to our readersthese boys any more than is indispensable. John foundthem waiting for him to-night. The shop was too darkand the boys too intent on their game of cards for themto notice the change in Jack's personal appearance, so ashe at once took his pipe and added to the mist which
88 TROUBLE COMING.already surrounded them, he escaped any remarks onthe subject. When, as late that night as lie dared tostay out, John went home, no one would have knownhim as the same boy who had so cheerily whistledover the road two hours before. It was well Nedcould not see him; he would have been discouragedindeed.The next morning John was as usual first at the shop,and his salutation met with the pleasant response,"Well, John, how are the curls this morning ""I forgot to take them off when I went to bed, :!ndthey are rather the worse for wear.""Sure enough; brush them hard. Don't you keepa brush on your dressing-table ?"" Never used one in my life; and for a dressing-table-" here John laughed boisterously, "I havean old box turned long side up; but it's realhandyy""Better buy a hairbrush and keep it by your tooth-brush, they go naturally together, and are lonely whenyou separate them."" Lend me yours," said John, putting his hand onthe one which Ned kept for his own use.Now if Ned was particular about anything, it wasabout these little personal matters. He had alwaysroomed by himself, and everything he had was especi-ally his own. He was very neat too, that is one reasonwhy John's carelessness was so disagreeable to hint
TROUBLE COMING 89He coloured as John made the request; it was onewhich it would be particularly hard to grant; but aftera moment's struggle he said pleasantly,-" I will give it to you, John. I have another athome."Now John knew nothing about saying thank you,but he took the brush and used it vigorously, perhapsthe best way of showing his gratitude to Ned." Now," said Ned, cutting his large piece of soap intwo, "here is half of this for you, and I will lend youone of my towels.""What for?" asked John doubtfully." What for why, man, you can't handle this greasymeat without washing your hands, can you?""I don't know as it makes much odds; my handsare always about the same, I guess."Ned thought they were, but he did not despair:"Oh, a fellow feels so much better," he said good-naturedly, "when he is clean; there now, if you wouldgive me half of California, I would not handle overthese things if I did not know I could wash it off."Ned's face expressed so much repugnance that Johnwatched him in surprise."Well now, if you aren't a great one," he said, veryhonestly, "to be afraid of a little dirt; why you are asbad as a girl, any day.""Look here, John," and Ned's voice sounded alittle touched, "do you suppose it makes a man to
90 TROUBLE COMING.have a bushel of dirt on him! If so, what do youthink of Mr. Keddic ? His hands are as white as alady's."John made a noise which sounded as if he did nothold Mr. Keddie as the highest authority, as indeed hedid not; ministers belonged to a world of which he knewbut little; so Ned said,-" Well, to be sure; you never go to church, do you?but if you heard Mr. Keddie preach once or twice, youwould soon find out that he is somebody, I tell you.There is Mr. Foote, did you ever see him when he didnot look as if he had just come out of a bandbox, asmy grandmother would say !"" Never see him at all," said John."What nonsense!" and now Ned burst into a goodhearty laugh, which reached John sooner than all hisarguments would. " Here I am trying to convince youof what you know just as well as I do!"John laughed, and taking the hot water, which al-ways stood simmering in a bright tin dish on the topof the stove, Ned had the pleasure of seeing an ablu-tion performed worthy of any Mohammedan. He wasfull of glee; the most trying little thing in John hadbeen removed for this time at least. Hardly was theceremony over when Mr. Jenkins came in, and the workof the day commenced in earnest. Snow had now fallen,and the sleighing was fine. John was to drive to-dayto the camp in the handsome new sleigh which Mr.
TROUBLE COMING. 91Jenkins had just ordered to be made for that purpose.It was quite a day for both boys, particularly for John,who loved a good horse and a good sleigh better thanalmost anything else in the world. In anticipation ofit he had asked Caleb Short to come and ride withhim; so some time before they were ready Caleb mightbe seen lingering around the door waiting for it to makeits appearance. Now among the first things whichMr. Jenkins had done when John came into his em-ployment was to forbid his bringing any of these asso-ciates in or around the shop, and when they began tocome, he had asked them if they were sent for meat,and on their answering no, he had, without any cere-mony, turned them out. So this morning, though theair was sharp, and Caleb could see through the glasstop of the door that the fly-papers were swinging mer-rily in the hot air over the top of the stove, he darednot venture in, but stood impatiently looking towardthe stable for the horse to be brought out. Prettysoon it came; and while the loading of the sleigh wasgoing on Caleb hid in the entrance to one of the oystershops. When all was ready and John had the reins inhis hands he came out, jumped on, tucked the buffalotightly around him, and was ready for a fine ride, whenMr. Jenkins called out, "John, I should like to see youa minute." John was off and in the shop very quickly,he supposed he had forgotten something, but Mr. Jen-kins said,-
92 TROUBLE COMING." Has that boy got on your sleigh to ride to the campwith you?""Well, yes, I suppose so," said John frankly."All right; whatever else you are, John, you are aman about the truth, I believe, and that goes a greatway, I can tell you. Now I think twice as much of youas if you had tried a trick with me.""They are of no use, them tricks; a fellow alwaysgets found out.""Stick to that, John, and it may be the saving ofyou, with God's help. Now I don't want him on mysleigh; you must get him off. He is a bad boy; I don'twant you seen with him when you are in my employ.""He has been there before with me, twice, I think.""Very well; that is honester still in you, for I shouldnever have known it if you had not told me. See thathe never goes again. Boys with his habits can't ridebehind any horse I own. I will tell you how I will helpyou out to-day. Here is Ned; he hasn't had a sleighride this winter; you are a generous boy, and wouldlike to go halves with him, I daresay. Now, you maytake his place to-day, and he may have the ride."Ned had already jumped off his seat in his delight;the truth was he had often envied John his pleasantdrive, while he had been shut in the little shop, but hadnever asked to go. If John had it in his heart to saythat he would rather do his own work, it all vanishedas he looked at the pleased eager face before him, and
TROUBLE COMING. 93he happened just then to remember the hairbrush andthe soap which he had given him so short a time be-fore. " Well," he said, good-naturedly, " I suppose it'sfair; but what the plague am I to do with this 'ere sum-work, and such like, I don't see.""I will help you. Come, Ned, hurry up. Here isthe old buffalo coat, and my fur mittens, made out ofTowser's skin-you remember Towser, don't you ? Holdtight on to the lines now, for you have Snip in to-day,and he goes smart up hill and down, I can tell you. Hewon't let nothing pass him.""May I, John?" said Ned, looking doubtfully inJohn's face."May you Of course you may; and you'll showoff the new sleigh first, which will be tip top. Howthey'll stare. They'll think it all new; sleigh, boy, horseand all. But team it round there among the brassbuttons, as if you thought a heap of it, or they will beplaying you some nasty trick or other. I'll just stepout and give Caleb a walking ticket, and then I'll turnin and serve it out the best way I can; it won't killme anyhow, for one day."A very ugly looking boy Caleb was, as he got off fromhis nice seat. For a moment, as Mr. Jenkins saw hisface, he wondered if he would not be angry enough toplay some trick upon Ned when he was on his way;but Ned was shrewd and manly for a boy of his age,and he determined to trust him.
"94 TROUBLE COMING.This was such a day as Ned never expected to seewhen as a little boy fitting for college he used to walkto school over the same road he was to drive uponnow. Did he think of this sadly and with a pain athis heart, as lie started ? Not at all. He only thoughthow delightful it was to have a ride; how splendidlySnip arched his neck, and how proudly he stepped offon the crunching snow. How merrily the new stringof bells sounded through the still air. Were they thefar-famed silver bells he had so often read of? Nedlaughed at the conceit, but they were as bright and asclear; what cared he if they were only bell-metal. Howthe sun shone on Snip's glossy sides, or how Snip'sglossy sides shone in the sunlight; how gay the redsleigh so resplendent in its gilt bands and large vase offlowers. Only a butcher's cart; why the handsomestequipage made for the youthful Prince of Wales nevergave to his highness half the pleasure that this butcher'scart did to the soldier's orphan. He felt really proudas the country people ran to their windows to admireit as he passed aloug. Up hill and down, and the samesun that lit up Snip and the red sleigh, lit up the glis-tening snow banks with whole worlds of fairy beauty;it hung jewels on every tree and shrub; it turned thestreams into frozen pearls; it peeped from over the oldbrown houses, as if it walled them in with eider down; itturned the broken and unsightly fences into all ma:merof fantastic shapes and forms; made lions and bears,
TROUBLE COMING. .95dogs, foxes, whole herds of sheep, castles, towers, evencathedrals, as it glanced on the half snow-covered wood;and most and best of all, it came into the heart of theboy with a warmth of life and love-giving which showedhow truly it was God-sent. A gift from the God who,as we have so often said before, never forgets those hechasteneth, if they only-this is the point, young reader-only try to love and fear him, and to live as if theyfelt that he was in deed and in truth their Father inheaven.Ned had many sleigh rides after this, but none thathe remembered with a pleasure which sent such a thrillof gratitude to his heart.We must return to John, whom we left in the shopwillingly but awkwardly preparing to do a work forwhich he felt peculiarly unfitted. The customers, asthey came in, one and all inquired for Ned. John wasfar from being a favourite in town, and they were sorryto see him there; but before noon his quickness andobliging ways won for him many a kind word, all ofwhich were of untold value to the boy. Caleb andJerry made their appearance about noon on the bridge;John saw them, and very well knew that as soon as Mr.Jenkins should go home to dinner they would both comein. This he wished to avoid, and therefore took no noticeof the calling tunes which they repeatedly whistled, norof the stones which they threw up against the sides ofthe shop. He liked to obey Mr. Jenkins for several
96 TROUBLE COMING.reasons. There was something about him which herespected. It was not only the great brawny arm whichcould so easily fell an ox; nor the stalwart shoulderswhich looked as if it would be mere play for them totoss a dozen such boys as he was over the bridge; butit was the downright, sturdy, plain way he had of deal-ing with everybody and everything, in other and verysimple words, Mr. Jenkins was a good, kind man, andhe showed it in everything he did and said. All thismade John, who had never obeyed any one before inhis life, rather like to do as the butcher told him; heyielded to both a physical and moral power which pleasedhim. One other reason was the wages he received weregood and sure, and the work active and various. Hewould have been very sorry to be turned away.When he saw Mr. Jenkins ready to go home he wantedto tell him that he could not keep Caleb and Jerry outof the shop while he was gone; but it seemed a littlecowardly and mean to him, almost as if he was tellingtales about his associates, and he watched him go witha misgiving which it would not have been very easy toexplain. He was right in his fears, for no sooner wasthe butcher hidden by the factory building than theboys came noisily in and took possession of the vacantseats by the stove. Now, as they were both of themlarger and stronger than John, to attempt to turn themout by force would be out of the question, and Johnvery well knew how little they would care for any threats
TROUBLE COMING. 97or entreaties on his part. lie wisely, therefore, resolvedto keep on about the work which he was doing, andtake as little notice of them as was possible.As we do not like the society of these boys, we shallnot repeat any of the things which they said or didduring their stay, excepting one little scene which tookplace around an old red desk which stood in a cornerof the shop, by the window, and which Mr. Jenkinsused for his office. This desk contained a drawer inwhich he usually kept during the day such change ashe had taken, and a brown, very much worn wallet,into which he put the larger bills. The drawer wasnever locked, for Harland was noted for many milesaround for the honesty of its people. Theft was almostunknown. No clothes lines or hen-roosts were everrobbed, and, excepting the very earliest fruits, even thelittle boys seemed to have grown up without a wish toclear boughs which did not belong to them. Housesand windows were left unlocked, and as for the shops,why the change drawers might have been safe outsideinstead of inside the counter. Never since the Jenkinseshad started in business had they lost a thing from hav-ing it purloined, and Mr. Jenkins never hesitated, whenwithout a boy, to leave his shop open and his moneydrawer unlocked while he went out on a short errand.To-day, however, there was something in the uncommongood-nature of the boys which, as John afterwards said,"made him suspect they were up to some kind of a(184) 7
98 TROUBLE COMING.trick;" so he kept a sharp watch over them, and whenhe found they were constantly going around the desk,on one excuse or another, he went to it, and sat downon the high stool behind it, with very much the lookon his face which a great black mastiff might have beenexpected to wear if he felt he was guarding valuableproperty."Do you ever count over the money ?" asked Calebat length, with a knowing wink." No, nor you either; so you had better look out,and not come fooling around here, I tell you."" What are you afraid of? can't you let a fellow see ?Come now, count it over, and let's find out how muchwas took this morning."" You had better mind your own business, and beout of this shop; if you don't you'll miss it, I can tellyou.""Yes," said Jerry, very tauntingly, "you may makebelieve as much as you have a mind to, but we knowas well as you do that Old Jenkins never went out ofhis shop and left you in it without turning the key onevery penny he left behind him; don't we, Caleb I"" In course we do; he don't trust you the length ofyour nose, so you needn't be making a hypocrite ofyourself before us, John Gray."What evil spirit tempted John now? Some onecertainly must, for without an instant's thought liepulled open the money-drawer, shook the old wallet in