ITe Baldhm Library
BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
MURRAY AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE,
"With some difficulty, for the wood was still pretty wet, I got a
fire kindled and roasted a parrot."
LOST IN THE BUSH.
'THE COLD SHOULDER,' OUR JUNIOR MATHEMATICAL MASTER,'
'THE BOYS OF SPRINODALE,' ETC. ETC.
WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND CO.
BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH-
I. OUR NEW HOME, 7
II. INDULGING A GRUDGE, 2 20
III. LOSING OURSELVES,. 35
IV. FOUND, 53
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL, 69
OUR NEW HOME.
Y father was the only minister at
Rowanfalls, a small township situated
on the flanks of the Blue Mountains,
and sixty miles by rail from Sydney, the capital
of New South Wales. Previously to going to
Rowanfalls, he had a church in the city, where
he preached to. a much larger congregation, and
was a good deal better paid.
The reason of our leaving Sydney was this.
My sister Anna had never been very strong since
she was a baby. There was nothing the matter
with her that you could name exactly; she was
just not strong; small, and slight, and pale.
8 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
She had been a great care and anxiety to our
father and mother, and more than one doctor had
been consulted about her. At last, one said that
nothing would be so likely to benefit her per-
manently as living for some years in the country,
in a rather cooler and more bracing climate than
that of Sydney.
'If you could take her away from town alto-
gether for a few years, Mr. Mailer,' the doctor had
said, 'to some country place among the moun-
tains, where she could be all day long in the open
air in fine weather, and run about with the
greatest freedom. That, I am certain, would be
of immense benefit to her. In fact, it is the best
prescription I can give you for her cure-plenty of
fresh air and sunshine. And there are several
spots in the Ranges that would answer our
So my father gave up his city charge and took
the much smaller and worse paid one at Rowan-
falls. It was no little sacrifice both to him and
my mother to do this, as you may easily under-
My father had been more than ten years with
OUR NEW HOME. 9
his Sydney congregation, and minister and people
had become strongly attached to each other. But
he and my mother were ready and glad to make
any sacrifice that was to result in benefit to
When we left Sydney for our new home it was
holiday time with me; I was then attending a
day and boarding school in Sydney; so I could
accompany the rest without breaking in upon my
I was at this time in my fourteenth year. Anna
I had time to become pretty well acquainted
with our home at Rowanfalls before returning
The house was like a great many other small
country houses in Australia. It was built partly
of brick, but chiefly of wood-' weather- board,'
as it is called; all the rooms on the ground floor,
and with a verandah running round three sides.
It was no great things to look at from the out-
side, but within it was comfortable enough, the
rooms being fresh-looking and airy.
In front there was a garden with flowers, vege-
10 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
table plots, and fruit trees; and behind, a paddock,
stables, and other smaller outhouses. The garden
sloped gradually down to a little, smooth-flowing
river, that made a pleasant feature in the land-
Beyond the river, the bush, what we would call
in England forest, began. In fact, with the
exception of the cleared area that immediately
surrounded the house, nothing could be seen on all
sides except the bush, for the manse stood about
half a mile outside the township itself.
One thing we saw pretty clearly as soon as we
had entered upon possession of our new home-
namely, that we had come to a spot which very
well supplied all the doctor's requirements for
Anna. Here, certainly, she would be able to take
as much air and exercise as she felt inclined for,
and with the most perfect liberty.
I had three weeks to spend at Rowanfalls before
returning to school, and I enjoyed those three
weeks most thoroughly. My life hitherto had
been passed almost entirely in the town. I had
only occasionally gone to the country on short
OUR NEW HOME. 11
Almost everything, therefore, was new to me,
and I enjoyed the open-air life and freedom of
our new home, as any strong, healthy boy in the
Anna soon began to find our home at Rowan-
falls as pleasant as I did. It was beautiful
weather when we first began our life there, and
she was able to be outside nearly all day long; in
the garden among the flowers, or looking after the
pigeons, fowls, and chickens with our mother
behind the house, or watching the servant milk
the cow in the paddock in the morning and
Before I went back to school, Anna was showing
signs that the doctor's predictions were already
beginning to be fulfilled.
We could all notice the improvement in her
looks. Her eyes were clearer and brighter, a
healthy brown was replacing the old, pale colour
of her cheeks, and her face and person had even
got a little plumper.
Her step, too, was perceptibly quicker and
more elastic, and all her motions betokened more
life and vigour. My mother's eye grew brighter
12 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
too, as she noticed these various signs of increased
strength in her little girl.
I went back to school with more regret than
usual on the conclusion of the holidays. I had
found country life to possess pleasures and
advantages that more than counterbalanced those
of the city.
The next vacation was in June, which in Aus-
tralia is the winter season. When I got home, a
pleasant surprise awaited me in the shape of a
present of a small fowling-piece from my father.
I already understood how to load a gun, and
had several times shot with one. But I had had
very little practice altogether, and I now set to
work to make myself as good a shot as possible.
While I had been away at school, an addition
had been made to our household in the person
of a man-servant-a native; that is, an Australian
My father wanted a man to help in the garden,
to look after the pony and cow, to chop wood, and,
in short, to make Ii im lf generally useful, as the
Harry, as the black man was called, had been
OUR NEW HOME. 1$
servant to my father's predecessor. When that
gentleman left Rowanfalls for another charge,
Harry went to Sydney, and found some kind of
employment there for a short time.
But he did not take to city life and soon re-
turned to Rowanfalls, where he was born. My
father having found out that he had proved a
very good servant to the former minister, offered
to take him in the same capacity, which Harry
very readily agreed to.
You will understand that Harry was quite
civilised. He could read pretty well, and write a
little. He had been taught to do both by the
wife of his former master, and now my mother
continued to give him a lesson now and then.
As to his personal appearance, Harry was short,
with a woolly head, a large mouth, with splendid
white teeth, and a rather flat nose.
But the expression of his face was pleasant
enough, in spite of his features being the reverse
of classical. He had a bright, cheery, and good-
I must state at once, that I didn't take to Black
Harry, as he was sometimes called in the district.
14 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
And my chief reason for not doing so was
My sister Anna had, during the last two or
three years, been a great deal of a companion to
me; that is, she had shared in play and amuse-
ment with me at home, in a subordinate kind of
way. I had, of course, always been the leader,
and she had followed my word in all things
She had thus come to look up to and trust
my judgment in everything. She never for a
moment thought of questioning the superiority of
my knowledge and opinions, and was even glad
and proud to follow my lead to the letter.
Of course I, on my part, looked upon this as
nothing more than what was right and natural,
and my due as so many years older than she.
But I now found, to my surprise, and not at all
to my satisfaction, that my place as a companion
in Anna's regard was occupied, to a great extent,
by the black man, Harry.
Harry had conceived a great liking and affection
for my little sister. Her gentle and at the same
time frank and quietly engaging ways won upon his
OUR NEW HOME. 15
heart, and her still comparatively delicate health
awakened his sympathy. He had really a warm
heart, easily touched by kindness. I know that
Harry did all he could to please and gratify
Anna, and she was not a difficult little girl to
When his work was over for the day, the two
would ramble together about the woods, when
Harry would collect for his young mistress the
prettiest wild-flowers, ferns, and mosses; besides
the most handsome beetles you can imagine,
golden, purple, and crimson; and the loveliest
butterflies, lady-birds, and other insects.
He caught her parrots, several of which she
kept alive; while some he killed, and stuffed for
her very cleverly. She began to make a natural
history collection, and when I returned from
school I found that she had quite- a little
I soon discovered that, as a playmate, I now
occupied a decidedly second place in my sister's
estimation, and the discovery moved my jealousy.
The fact was, Harry made a much quieter com-
16 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
panion for Anna than I. I am afraid I had often
been rough and boisterous with her, not of inten-
tion, but because, being full of rude strength and
spirits, I did not fully realize, and sometimes
forgot altogether, her comparative weakness.
But Harry was always the gentlest of playmates,
careful that she should never over -tire herself,
watchful that she received no hurt or accident in
And so it was no wonder that she found his
companionship more fitted and congenial to her
than mine. Not that her affection for me had
really lessened in any degree on this account;
only she had come to feel that I was, in fact,
but a rough and unsympathetic playfellow for
Our parents, seeing the strong regard that had
sprung up in Harry for Anna, and what a safe
guardian and companion he was for her, were
content and pleased that things should be so, and,
if anything, encouraged the intimacy.
My mother had many household duties to
occupy her, and could not be always with Anna,
and it was therefore a great matter to have some
OUR NEW HOME. 17
one to whom she could confidently trust the
charge of her little girl in her wanderings about
But my anger and jealousy were deeply moved
against Harry. The thought that a half-civilised
black fellow, as I chose to regard him, should
supplant me in any degree in my sister's regard,
was a bitter and galling one; and I took no pains
to conceal, before Harry, my dislike and ill-will.
I returned to school with this soreness, irrita-
tion, and indignation unabated in my heart. The
next holidays were the Christmas ones. They
were our longest, and lasted nearly six weeks.
My chief chum at school was Willy Raymond.
I used frequently to stay a night or two with him
at his home, for he was a day-scholar.
So now, with my parents' consent, I invited
him to spend a part of the Christmas holidays
with me at Rowanfalls, and we left Sydney to-
gether the day after the school broke up.
We had great fun together, riding on Taffy, our
pony; rambling about the bush with my gun, and
getting fine shots at parrots, gill-birds, cockatoos,
and butcher-birds; or rowing on the river.
18 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
We had a small boat, which had belonged to
the former minister, from whom my father had
I was now less dependent upon my sister Anna
for company, for I had plenty in Willy Raymond.
I therefore thought less about Harry and her
being on such intimate terms. The most complete
confidence and mutual understanding seemed
now established between them.
But for all that, my ill-will at Harry had in
reality not at all decreased, and I had soon in-
spired Willy Raymond with the same sentiments.
I was a little older than Willy, was above him
in class, and had, I think, a good deal more of what
you would call force of character. Consequently
he usually deferred to me in matters of opinion
Willy was a pleasant-mannered, polite, happy-
tempered boy, as a rule; of a rather easy nature;
of generally good dispositions, and pretty readily
I had not much difficulty in making Willy
believe that I had really good grounds for feeling
aggrieved against Harry; and that I was justified
OUR NEW HOME. 19
in making him understand the sentiments with
which I regarded him.
I think Harry soon saw that I had no very
friendly feelings towards him, but I cannot say
whether he suspected the cause. He did not try
at all to propitiate or win me over.
He was generally rather quiet and silent when
I was by, and I could not discover in what light
he really regarded me.
Alone with Anna, he would be as playful and
cheery as a boy, and was often droll and funny
too, as I afterwards found out; but as soon as
I joined them he would become silent, and, it
always struck me, shy and somewhat ill at ease.
INDULGING A GRUDGE.
WAS bent upon making it quite clear
to Harry that he was no favourite of
mine; and this I endeavoured to do,
from time to time, by a number of small persecu-
tions, in the execution of which I now got Willy
to join and assist me.
We managed to carry on this little diversion
without my father and mother suspecting any-
thing, or even Anna.
I knew very well that my father would have
far from approved of many of the things we did,
and would very soon have found a way of putting
a stop to them. To give you an example or two
of the means we took to plague and trouble
22 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
There was a hay-loft above the stables, where
he kept the hay for Taffy-a great part of which
was home-grown-in small stacks.
Willy and I considered it a grand joke to get
up into the loft, and pitch about the stacks, and
toss and tumble the hay over the floor, thus giving
Harry no end of trouble getting it together and
stacking it again.
Or when he had made up Taffy's bed for the
night-he was always very careful about the
pony's comfort in every way-we would get into
the stable while he was at his tea at the house,
and fling about and disarrange all the straw of
the bed, so that he had his whole work to do
One day, he had been from breakfast till noon
cutting wood. Some of it he chipped into large
logs for the kitchen fires, and the rest he cut
into small pieces to be used for kindling.
The small pieces he tied into bundles, which
he built up into several neat piles, close by the
door of the kitchen, so that they might be con-
venient to Bridget the servant's hand, whenever
she required them.
INDULGING A GRUDGE. 23
That same afternoon, while Harry was cutting
grass for the cow, Will and I went and threw
down the carefully-piled stacks of wood, un-
loosened a lot of the bundles, and scattered the
sticks on every side. It cost Harry a good hour
re-arranging the wood as it was before.
These are but a few of the tricks we played
upon him, but they will serve as a sample. They
were all of the same character in this respect, that
nearly all were such as undid some piece of work
that he had taken pains about, or gave additional
trouble to him in some way.
I ought to say, in fairness to Will, that in all
these mischievous pranks, not to use a stronger
term for them, I was the deviser and leader.
I said that we contrived to keep these persecu-
tions of Harry concealed for a time, even from
Anna; but at last she found us out; she was
certain to have done so sooner or later, as we
might have known.
Anna kept rabbits. She did not care to have
many at one time, but they were always of the
finest kind; beautiful 'lop-ears,' and handsome
snow-white, pink-eyed fellows,
24 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSlI.
One day Harry had made her a new rabbit-
hutch. He was the best part of a day over it,
and turned out a really very neat piece of
It was made from an old packing-case that had
been lying about in the stables, and when it was
finished Harry painted it a bright green.
Anna was delighted, clapping her hands
for pleasure as she examined the completed
Harry himself was evidently more than usually
pleased with his work, and contemplated it with
manifest satisfaction. He had the weakness of
being a little vain, not an uncommon thing with
coloured people, I have been told, though I fancy
I have noticed the same trait sometimes in white
Seeing Anna's delight and Harry's only half-
concealed pride and satisfaction, both in his own
handiwork and in Anna's pleasure, which she
warmly expressed to him, I felt more than
usually chafed and disgusted.
'What a conceited beggar he is, to be sure!' I
said to Will. Both of us had been brought by
INDULGING A GRUDGE. 25
Anna to see the new rabbit hutch. 'Just look at
him. He's grinning like a dingo. He's just as
proud to-day as a peacock. I'd spoil his grand
piece of work for him for twopence; and, by jingo,
I think I will.'
As I spoke, an idea came into my head which I
soon communicated to Willy. A short time
afterwards, when Harry and Anna were away, we
proceeded to put my plan into execution.
Having each provided himself with a small
bough from a mulberry tree, while the paint was
still wet upon the wood, we smeared the hutch
all over, and left it as rough and unsightly as
before it had been bright and pretty.
Just after tea, Anna went again to have another
look at her hutch. Surprised and grieved as she
was at the unexpected sight that now met her
gaze, she was not long in arriving at the truth
about the matter.
Gentle and even-tempered as Anna usually
was, she could show herself a determined
enough little person on occasions, when she
was once thoroughly roused, and especially when
called upon to defend and do battle for, not
26 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
herself, but some one else whose cause she had
Something like this was the case now. She
came boldly to Will and me, and there and then
charged us with the deed; her face flushed crimson,
and sparkles in her soft eyes.
You wicked boys!' she exclaimed. 'How dared
you do such a thing? Did you think that was
a joke? If you did, it was a very cruel one.
After Harry took so much pains and trouble.
You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, and
especially you, John, for I believe you have been
We did not attempt to deceive her. I don't
think that either of us was prone to falsehood.
But I tried to turn the matter off, saying:
'Hoity toity little girl, what a rumpus One
would think we had been doing something very
deadly. Harry can soon paint your hutch over
again. He's smart enough, or at least thinks
'Is that all you've to say, you bad boy?'
answered Anna, firing up again, her slight frame
quite trembling with the intensity of her feelings.
INDULGING A GRUDGE. 27
'It will take him more than an hour to paint
it again. I ought to tell about this to papa
at once, and I would too, John, if you were
alone. But I don't want papa to think badly of
Willy. But if you ever do anything like this
again, he shall know at once. It's only right he
Harry painted the hutch afresh, and nothing
more was said about the matter. Harry himself,
indeed, never at any time said anything to Will
or me in regard to the hostilities we were carry-
ing on against him. Nor did he ever, I am sure,
make mention of them to my father.
It was this very thing, this patience with
which he seemed to take our various unpardon-
able experiments upon him, that tempted and
led us on.
I was a little annoyed and nettled that my
schemes did not appear to have the effect I wished;
and the thought also that Harry never said any-
thing to my father, tended to make me all the
bolder and more reckless.
Looking back now on the events I am narrat-
ing, I can see the probable reason why Harry
28 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
bore all this so patiently and so long. I don't
think it was owing entirely to natural patience
and forbearance, nor yet that it was out of con-
sideration for me.
No doubt these would have been very noble
motives on his part, considering the way in which
I had acted towards him. But I don't wish to
make him out any more heroic than he was; and,
in fact, I don't insist on you regarding him as a
hero at all. I say, then, that these were not the
chief reasons for his patience and long-suffering,
but that it was his regard for Anna.
He did not like to bring censure, and perhaps
punishment, upon her brother, because he thought
that it would vex and grieve her; for he knew
that she had a strong affection for me, and that
my disgrace would be pretty sure to pain her.
Willy Raymond had been a fortnight with me,
when I said to him one morning:
'Will, I've got an idea. It came into my head
the first thing when I woke this morning. Sup-
posing we take the boat to-morrow and go on an
exploring expedition up the river, going as far
as we can and not returning till six or seven
INDULGING A GRUDGE. 29
o'clock ? I've never been more than a couple of
miles up yet, but the two of us pulling together
might go a long way.'
'It's not a bad notion,' Willy answered. 'And
I suppose you expect some shooting too.'
'Of course. When we've pulled a good way
up we'll go ashore, and penetrate into the bush a
bit. I shouldn't wonder if we found much finer
parrots than those hereabouts. The deeper you
get into the bush, the larger and finer the birds
will be, most likely.'
'I suppose your pater won't have any objec-
tion to your plan ?'
'Oh no, I've no fear of that. He can trust
me with a gun now anywhere; and that's the
only cause for fear that the mater or he could
As I expected, my father made no objection to
our proposed excursion, but he stipulated that
we should be back home by sundown. My
mother was a little doubtful about the safety of
our going off for a whole day alone, but with a
little adroit argument we quieted her fears.
She had a nice little lunch made up for us
30 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
next morning, by the time we were ready to start,
which was directly after breakfast.
It was a still, calm morning, with a thin
white mist lying on the river,-a sign which,
on an Australian summer day, invariably foretells
But it was not very warm as yet, and pulling
on the calm water, hardly so much as broken by
a ripple, was easy work.
We knew that we had a good bit of rowing
before us, so we determined not to think of set-
ting off with anything like a spurt, but to take
things easily and steadily. In this way we
should best save our energies and last as long
For an hour and a half we pulled slowly along,
and then we decided to take a spell. It was now
getting pretty warm.
We pulled into the bank, close under the
shade of an oak whose branches drooped down
over the water, and making fast to a branch,
swung at anchor.
We stretched ourselves along the seats, and
lay resting thus for about half an hour or more,
INDULGING A GRUDGE. 31
chatting to each other, and idly watching the
cloud shadows on the river, and the sunlight
trickling through the thick, leafy screen above
our heads, and falling in checkered patches on
the water, and the dragon-flies flitting past, or
pausing in mid air on level wings, gleaming in
the sun like atoms of living gold.
Then we unfastened our boat and resumed our
rowing. It was getting warmer and warmer, but
we now kept as close as we could to the bank;
and as the trees fortunately grew close down to
the margin of the river at this part of its course,
we were a good deal shaded from the sun, and
our rowing was thus rendered much pleasanter
work than it would otherwise have been.
With another short rest we were able to pull
on till mid-day. During the last hour the river
had become much narrower and also more wind-
ing. Every now and then there was something
to attract our attention as we pulled along.
Now a flock of parrots flashed suddenly out
from the trees on one side of the stream, and flew
across with a gleam of wings and a shrill scream
to the other.
32 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
Now a water-rat plunged from the bank into
the still, dark water, disappearing in an instant.
Now a flock of crows sailed across the sky, with
a melancholy cawing.
Once or twice, as we paused a moment with
suspended oars, and bent over the boat to look
down into the clear, brown water, we saw a big
eel gliding along the bottom; and once a tortoise,
lying as if asleep near a clump of bulrushes.
'I say, Jack,' said Will, 'I feel quite like an
explorer, don't you ? I shouldn't wonder if we
were the first white people who have been so far
up the river as this.'
'One can't be sure of that,' said I; 'but it looks
solitary and unexplored enough, especially the
last mile or two, don't it ?'
'We might say, as truly as Longfellow did in
"Evangeline,"-you remember, we read it with
Mr. Coulter last half-
"This is the forest primeval."'
'We might so. Very few, except black fellows,
have been here before, I bet. How awfully still
it must be here at night, when all the parrots,
INDULGING A GRUDGE. 33
and cockatoos, and laughing jackasses have shut
up shop, and there is no sound except the wash-
ing of the river among the reeds here !'
Rather too silent and solitary for my taste, I
fancy,' said I.
LITTLE before one o'clock we again
drew in to the shore, fastened the boat,
and landed for lunch. We had had a
fair morning's work for boys of our age, and were
tolerably hungry, notwithstanding the warmth of
My mother, besides plenty that was comfortable
in the solid line, had put up three or four bottles
of home-made ginger-beer. These we placed in
the water for a few minutes to cool, and then
drank a couple of bottles apiece.
The river had made the liquor as cool almost
as if it had been iced, and we found it most in-
"vigorating. When dinner was over, I said,
'Now, Will, we may consider that we have done
36 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
a good bit of exploration, as far as the river is
concerned. We'll strike inland this afternoon, and
see if we can't get a parrot or two, or we may get
a crack at a wallaby.'
'All right, I'm ready,' said Willy.
The bush came down almost to the river's edge,
as I have said, and we entered it immediately.
It was very thick, and grew thicker and denser
the further we penetrated into it.
As we went on we took care to keep our eyes
about us, and to note the way we were going, so
that we should be able to retrace our path back
to where we had left our boat moored.
It gets more and more primevaler, don't it ?'
'It's thick enough, and no mistake, if that goes
to make a forest primeval,' I replied.
We walked on, every now and then getting
a shot at a parrot, a butcher-bird, or a gill-
bird. Once only I got a crack at a wallaby,
but missed. Willy and I took the gun time
We succeeded in killing six birds in all, carry-
ing them in small leather bags slung over our
LOSING OURSELVES. 37
shoulders, which we had brought with us for the
'We must be thinking of getting back now,
Will,' said I; 'it's nearly four o'clock. It will be
past seven before we are home. The sun sets
about half-past now.'
'Yes, we had better do as you say,' Will
So we faced about, and began to retrace our
steps. We had gone about half a mile when a
doubt struck me; not all of a sudden, though;
it had been growing in my mind for some minutes
before I spoke it out to Will.
'Do you know,' I said, 'it doesn't seem to me
that we are going back the same way as we came.
We didn't pass this fallen tree before, that I can
remember.' And I pointed to a half-rotten trunk
of a gum tree that lay across our path.
'No; I can't recollect it either,' said Willy.
The thought now took possession of me, that it
would be anything but a difficult matter to lose
ourselves in this densely-covered forest.
At first, as I have said, we had been care-
ful in noting landmarks to guide us on our
38 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
way back, but latterly we had become more and
more engrossed in our sport, and had pretty
nearly forgotten altogether to mark the way we
'No; I don't seem to know where we are at
all,' Willy continued; 'my word, Jack, it looks
At any rate, we must be facing in the direction
of the river,' I replied. 'And if we go on, we
must strike it sooner or later. Then, of course, we
shall know our bearings, and only have to follow
the stream till we get to the boat.'
'But how shall we be sure whether we are
above or below the spot where we left it ?'
'Well, I think we should know, when we reach
the river, whether we had passed that part in the
morning or not,' I replied, feeling a little doubt-
ful about the matter at the same time.
Yes, perhaps we should,' answered Will;' well,
then, let's get on as fast as we can. Once we
reach the river we're all right.'
We tramped on resolutely for more than an
hour, not speaking much to each other now. But
at last Willy said:
LOSING OURSELVES. 39
'Jack, if we really are going in the direction
of the river, we ought to have reached it by this.'
The same thought was in my own mind, but I
didn't say so immediately.
'We must go on as we are for a bit longer,
Will,' I said. 'Though we may not be making
for it at a right angle exactly, we may still be
going towards it, and must hit upon it at last.'
'Unless we're walking just in the opposite
direction,' said Willy.
This was not a hopeful view of our situation,
and I didn't want to encourage Willy in it;
though my own doubts and fears were every
moment growing stronger. We trudged on for
another half-hour, when Will said again,
'Jack, old chap, I'll have to take a rest; I'm
about done up.'
I had not failed to notice that, for the last
quarter of an hour or so, Willy had been lagging
behind a little, though he had made brave efforts
to hide his fatigue.
I had been carrying the gun for the last hour,
to give him as little weight as possible. Will
was a wiry and active enough boy, but he had
40 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSI.
not so robustly a built frame as I, and wanted
the same power of endurance.
Sit down, and take a rest, Will, by all means,'
'But it must not be for long, Jack,' he
answered. We haven't any time to spare now;
for if darkness overtakes us even on the river, it
may be a ticklish matter getting back. There'll
be no moon to-night.'
'Oh, once we get to the river there'll be no
danger about our getting back all right,' I said
cheerfully. 'We have only to let ourselves drift
with the stream, if it comes to that.'
'We've not got there yet, Jack, though,' Will
replied, in a rather despondent tone.
He rested about ten minutes, and we set off
again. But very soon he was dropping behind
more manifestly than ever. I had to slacken
my own pace, else he would not have been able
to keep up with me at all.
Wearily and more wearily he struggled on.
He could now hardly drag one leg after the other.
At length I began to feel some symptoms of
weariness myself, and so I could the better judge
LOSING OURSELVES. 41
what Will's feelings were; for I knew that my
lasting powers were considerably greater then his.
So I was quite prepared for his words when he said,
'It's no use, Jack; I can't go a step further.
My legs are aching under me.'
'You've done the best you could, Will; I know
that,' I said, and then I continued, in as calm
and undisturbed a voice as possible: 'and now,
there's just one thing for it, and we'll have to
face that with the best pluck we can. We'll
have to pass the night just where we are.'
'It's not a very cheerful look-out, though, is
it?' said Willy. 'It'll be pretty cold without
cloaks or rugs, and we haven't a morsel of food.'
'Not a scrap; unless you fancy raw parrot.'
'Why, we've got no matches; but we could
manage to get a light by striking a cap, I should
think, and then we could light a fire and cook a
Happy thought, old boy. We'll just do that.
Things aren't so bad as they might be, after all.'
It was now past six o'clock by my watch, so
we determined to put our plan into practice at
42 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSII.
After a little trouble, we got a light by means
of a percussion-cap and a little dry moss, which
served as tinder. Then we soon had a fire kindled,
and a couple of parrots roasted.
It was a pretty rough kind of cookery ours, as
you may guess, but we weren't at all inclined to be
fastidious, and ate our supper greedily, if not
exactly with relish.
Then we piled up more logs upon the fire, and
prepared our camp for the night. We were not
long in settling ourselves to sleep, for we were
both very tired; I only less so than Willy.
We made the fire as large as possible, and
stretching ourselves on some dry boughs, ferns,
and grasses which we had gathered to serve us for
beds, were soon sound asleep.
We woke next morning at daybreak, both feel-
ing rather cold and stiff. The fire had evidently
been out some time. Nothing but a heap of white
ashes remained. We kindled it again and break-
fasted on a parrot and a gill-bird.
Directly our breakfast was despatched, we again
set ourselves with renewed hope and purpose to
find our way out of the thick maze of forest that
LOSING OURSELVES. 43
enclosed us on all sides. Stiff as we were
from having lain cold for some time, we felt, on
the whole, refreshed and strengthened by our
It began to get very hot soon after breakfast.
The sun had set on the previous evening like a
great ball of angry fire, a sure sign of unusual heat
for the next day.
Even though we were- shaded from the full
force of the sun's rays by the thickness of the
bush around us, it still felt very sultry, for there
was no breeze whatever, and the air was still and
We were on our feet, with an occasional rest,
all the morning, but found no trace of any kind
of track that might lead us out of the bush,
either to the banks of the river, or into open
ground where we might have been able to
see about us, and so discover, perhaps, where we
"We were now wandering blindly and at random,
without any definite plan, hoping by chance to
strike upon the river.
But we seemed only to be getting deeper and
44 BLACK HARRY, OR, LOST IN THE BUSII
deeper into the bush, and more hopelessly con-
fused and bewildered.
I shot a large parrot, which we cooked for
dinner. But Willy scarcely touched it, and I now
noticed that there was something unusual in his
look. His face was flushed, his eyes bright, and
when I felt his hand it was hot and dry.
He began to complain of thirst. We had had
nothing to drink since our dinner on the day
before, except a little of the blood of the birds
which we had cooked. We had hoped all day to
come upon some small creek or water pool, but
had not done so yet.
The blood had been sufficient to stay my thirst,
though I had not relished it as a drink; and I
thought the same had been the case with Will.
But now he seemed to have taken a complete
distaste for it.
What's the matter with you, old fellow?' I said;
'you look queer somehow.'
'I feel queer, Jack, and that's the fact,' he
answered. 'But if I could only get a little water,
I think I should soon be all right again.'
'Don't the blood quench your thirst at all?'
LOSING OURSELVES. 45
No; I can't drink any more of it. It seems
to sicken me. My throat is all dry and parched.'
Will was speaking now in quite a faint voice,
altogether different from his ordinary.
'See, here, Will,' I said; 'you just lie down
here and rest a bit, and I'll make another search
and see if I can't find some water pool.'
'Very well, Jack, but be sure you can find your
way back to me. It would be awful if we got
'All right. I'll be very careful of that now, you
may be sure,' I answered, and set off. After an
hour's fruitless wandering I returned to Will,
having discovered no trace of water.
I found him still more hot and feverish than
when I had left him. He said he felt tired
and weak too, and I saw very clearly that he was
quite unable to go any further that day.
We'll just stay where we are for the rest of
the day, Will,' I said; 'when you have had another
"good night's sleep, you will be able to go on the
same as ever. The heat has been rather too much
for you, but a sound sleep will set you all right
again; I'll watch by you, and keep the fire up. It
46 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
gets chilly enough at night, lying without any-
thing over you, although it is so hot in the day.'
But to-morrow, Jack, we'll just have to go
through the same thing. We only seem to be
getting further and further into the bush.'
'To-morrow's a new day, Will. Keep up your
pecker, like a dear boy. To-morrow we'll either
get out of this, or else we'll be found. No doubt
they're searching for us at this very moment, and
they'll find us to-morrow at the latest. It's not as
if they didn't know the direction we've come.'
'I hope so. If I could just get a drink, I think
I could get along pretty well.'
'Try to go to sleep, Will, and you'll forget
your thirst. And it may refresh you altogether
too, so that you may be able to eat a little; and
try a little of the blood again. You're only
feeling rather sick from the heat.'
I arranged some grass and ferns under his head,
to make as soft and comfortable a pillow as
possible, and he lay back and composed himself
to sleep. He was evidently quite worn out, and
notwithstanding his feverishness, soon dropped off
LOSING OURSELVES. 47
I sat by and watched him. His sleep was a
disturbed one. He shifted from side to side, and
tossed about a great deal, and after a little began
to talk too, in a confused fashion. But he slept
on, nevertheless, for a couple of hours. At last he
awoke with a start and an exclamation, stretching
out his arms-
Give it to me, quick! I'm dying!' he cried.
I took hold of his hand, and tried to soothe him.
'There, Will, you've had a fine sleep. How do
you feel now ?'
'Strange,' he said, looking ip at me in a con-
fused way; I was dreaming, I think. I thought
some one was holding out a cup of water to me,
and that he snatched it away again, whenever I
tried to get it. 'Oh, if I could only get a drink !'
I was becoming really alarmed. I had tried my
best to bear up, and keep as calm and collected as
possible. But I was only a boy, and the strain
upon me was beginning to tell, for I was myself
tired and spent.
I could not tell exactly what condition Willy
was really in. It might, perhaps, be only the
effects of the heat and want of water that he was
48 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSII.
suffering from, as I hoped was the case.. But it
might be something more serious. And if it was
only this, how much longer would he be able to
stand it? He might be dying now. Doubt, anxiety,
and fear were beginning to overmaster me.
It was now nearly six o'clock. The air had
been growing more still, sultry, and oppressive as
the day had worn on.
A deathlike stillness now reigned throughout
the forest. All the birds appeared for some
reason to have hushed their cries. Hardly a leaf
stirred. The air seemed as it were laden with
I had up to this been too much engrossed with
Willy to notice the change that had been going
on around; the cessation of the noises in the bush,
the increased heaviness of the atmosphere.
The sun had disappeared, and throughthe breaks
in the branches above me I saw that the sky had
clouded over and was now quite dark.
When my attention was at length called to all
this, I saw at once what it meant. A thunder-
storm was brewing, or I was greatly mistaken.
That a storm should follow such a day of heat as
LOSING OURSELVES. 49
we had had was the most natural thing. It was
not long before my expectations, and at the same
time my hopes, were fulfilled. First a faint sound
of distant thunder. Then it came nearer and nearer,
and at length broke in a long, reverberating peal
right above our heads, as it seemed.
A few moments later, and I heard a patter of
rain upon the leaves, and presently it began to
The rain had soon soaked through the thick
screen of boughs overhead. I jumped to my feet,
spread my coat on the ground, and had soon
caught enough water to afford Willy a long drink.
How he did drink, to be sure Then I drank
myself and felt like a new man, or a new boy, if
The water revived Will like magic. But soon
a new fear presented itself to me. We had
nothing to protect us from the rain, which was
now penetrating through the boughs as through
a sieve, and before long we were soaked to the
I didn't mind the wet for myself. My fears
were for Willy only, and they were deepened
50 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN TIlE BUSI.
greatly when he began to feel chilly and shaky.
He was soon trembling all over like a leaf.
Of course it was in vain to think of lighting
a fire now. Everything around us was soaked
through and through. The thunderstorm and rain
did not last long, but the rain was heavy enough
to saturate the grass and earth.
But it had not continued long enough to pene-
trate far into the ground, and by removing the
upper layers of ferns and moss with which the
ground here was covered, I managed to collect a
quantity that was tolerably dry to serve as a bed
I had just finished this work when Will
'I say, Jack, if ever one feels he wants to pray,
it's when he's in a position like ours, don't you
think ? I forgot mine altogether last night, I'm
ashamed to say. Hadn't we better say one now ?'
'Right, Will,' I said. 'But you say for both
of us. You're a better fellow than I am, Will,
though I am a minister's son.'
'Nonsense, Jack. But I'll do it if you wish.'
Will tried to get uyon his knees, but he
LOSING OURSELVES. 51
trembled so that he fell over upon his side, and
did not endeavour to rise again.
His prayer was, I think, just the usual one
which he always said, but he added a few sen-
tences to fit our present circumstances. He asked
God, if it was His good will, to guide those who
were searching for us to where we were, and to
preserve us alive until help came.
His voice shook as he spoke; partly; no doubt,
because he was trembling from head to foot him-
self, but partly also from the intense earnestness
with which he uttered the words.
"When he had finished he composed himself to
sleep again, at my request; and, in a few minutes,
in spite of the unusual bodily condition in which
he was, fell asleep. Sheer weariness had overcome
every other feeling.
HAD no intention of trying to sleep
myself. I meant to sit up by Will all
night, if I possibly could. And so I
set myself to face what I knew must be a very
dreary watch. And it was a lonely and miserable
enough watch, to be sure.
Will's sleep was restless and disturbed, as his
previous one had been. He turned and tossed
from side to side, and once or twice started up
into a sitting position for a moment.
He talked in his sleep a great deal, rambling
on all kinds of odd and unconnected subjects;
sometimes about things we had been doing days
before, and sometimes on the events of the past
54 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
For myself, I was feeling anything but easy
either in body or mind. I was shivering with
cold, being wet, as I said, to the skin. I felt worn
and faint too, and it was only with the utmost
efforts that I could keep myself from falling
I bit my lips almost till the blood came, and
pinched my arms till they must have been blue,
to keep myself awake. Now and then I did drop
off into a doze, to recover myself with a sudden
I was oppressed, too, with anxiety and vague
fears. The dread was heavy upon me that Will
would die before help could reach us. He might
be dying even now. He seemed so strange and
Then there was the fear that we should never
be found at all. This thought came back again
and again; I could not put it from me. It beset
me with an awful crushing feeling.
The night was very dark. I could only see a
few feet about me, and could just make out the
dim outlines of the trees, dripping with rain, look-
ing like drowned ghosts. No sound broke the
vast stillness of the forest but a low wind, moving
among the trees with a melancholy wail.
So the night wore on, and my lonely watch
came to an end at last. I think that towards
morning I must have fallen into a kind of stupor
-it was that rather than sleep-for I could not
afterwards remember actually noticing the ap-
proach of daybreak. The sun was fairly up, and
the sunshine all around one, before I seemed to
be aware of it.
The return of daylight and the bright sunshine
had a wonderful effect upon me. Hope revived
in my heart. How glad I was that the day had
returned with bright sunlight! It would have
been quite different if it had been dull and
The sunshine quickened and revived me, pene-
trating through my chilled and shivering body
like electricity, or as rich strong wine might have
done, warming and strengthening me.
I turned to Will. He was still asleep, but now
I awoke him.
'Will, it's such a fine morning,' I said. 'IHow
do you feel now ?'
56 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
He looked up at me confusedly, as if collecting
'Very queer still. Hot and cold by turns,' he
'I'm going to try and cook a parrot. I'm
famishing; I don't know how you are.'
With some difficulty, for the wood was still
pretty wet, I got a fire kindled, and roasted a
parrot. Willy tried to take a little, but hardly
tasted more then a mouthful, and I ate nearly
I saw clearly that Willy was still quite unable
to go on for the present. We would just have to
wait where we were till he was sufficiently re-
covered for us to renew our endeavours to get
out of the bush.
I felt much restored by the food I had taken,
though I had had no sleep to speak of; still, with
the returning light and warmth came a renewed
feeling of life and strength.
I heaped up wood upon the fire. Will and I
then sat close to it, and dried our clothes. What
with the fire and the sun, we were soon dry and
thoroughly warm again.
But Will still trembled from time to time ; his
face had grown quite thin and haggard, as it were,
and there was a spot of deep red on each cheek,
while his eyes were bright and wandering-like.
We had sat there for upwards of an hour,
talking a little now and then,-I doing the most of
it, for I was trying to keep up Will's heart and
spirit,-when I thought I heard a sound close by,
as if of rustling branches.
'Listen, Will! what's that ?'
Did you hear anything ?' I said.
Yes. It was like some one trampling among
the trees. Oh, Jack! what is it?'
Will had hardly ceased speaking when the
branches a yard or two in front of us separated, a
black face showed for an instant between the
parted boughs, and the next, the figure of Harry
leapt out from the bush, followed almost imme-
diately by my father, and then by another man,
whom I recognized as one of the Rowanfalls
people, a member of my father's congregation.
I jumped to my feet, and was caught in my
My dear boy; thank God, you are found!'
58 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN TIE BUSH.
We didn't begin explanations there, you may
be sure. My father did not need to be told that
Willy was ilL He saw that at a glance, and at
once began to cast about how he might best be
But while he was thinking Harry had devised a
plan, and was already putting it into execution.
He broke down some boughs from a tree, and, by
the aid of his knife and some cord, with some
assistance from Mr. Marshall,-the name of the
man,-quickly had a rude, but comfortable enough,
sort of litter constructed, upon which Willy was
My father and Mr. Marshall were the bearers,
for Harry had to act as guide. In the course of
less than an hour we were clear of the bush, and
had reached the river.
Keeping along the bank, after a quarter of an
hour's further walking, we came to the very spot
where Will and I had left our boat, and where it
lay still, with another larger boat moored along-
side of it.
The litter, with Will upon it, was placed in
the large boat, which Marshall and Harry rower,
my father and I taking our own boat. Directly
we came in sight of the house, upon rounding a
bend in the river, the first sight I beheld was my
mother and Anna, standing at the little landing-
A few moments later and I was clasped in my
mother's arms, and Anna was hanging round my
'Oh, you naughty boy, you naughty boy;
where have you been all this time?' cried the poor
little girl, as she hugged me; her voice trembling
with emotion and joy, the tears starting in her
eyes, her slight frame quivering like a willow
Will was put immediately to bed, and the
doctor sent for from the township. When he
arrived, he declared Will to be under an attack of
fever and ague.
He lay in bed for a week, during which my
mother watched by and nursed him day and night.
He was very ill, but after the fourth day the
crisis was past, and on the eighth day he was able
to be lifted from his bed to a sofa in the sitting-
60 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
My father told me all the circumstances of the
search for us, and our discovery.
I need not say how great was the alarm at
home when we did not return on the evening of
the day we started; and it was all the harder to
bear, because it had to be endured for that whole
night passively, for the search for us could not
be begun till the morning.
"With the earliest dawn, my father, Harry, and
Mr. Marshall, whom Harry had gone for to
Rowanfalls, set out on their search. A boat had
been procured on the previous evening; Harry
rowing it up from the township.
They palled up the river until they came to
where our boat was moored, and there, of course,
they went on shore, and from that point the
search may be said to have properly begun.
At first my father said our track was easy to
follow, the prints of our feet being plainly visible,
where the ground was comparatively open. But,
as they got deeper into the bush, the traces of the
path we had taken rapidly became faintly and
more faintly defined.
Still Harry was able to track us readily, long
after my father and Mr. Marshall were quite
baffled. His keen eyes detected indications of
human feet having passed over the ground when
they failed to discover a single sign.
A twisted fern-leaf, a broken tuft of grass, a
snapt twig, a dislodged pebble, had each for the
black man a significance, and sufficed to afford
him a clue whereby to retain the frail thread of
Even for Harry, however, it was slow and diffi-
cult work, the bush was so dense; the foot left so
little impression on the ground, matted over with
thick creepers and underwood.
Still he felt confident as to his eventually
coming upon us. But he had not contemplated
any such fresh difficulty as the thunder-storm
That disturbed all his calculations, and nearly
deprived him of hope, for the heavy rain oblite-
rated, well-nigh, altogether every trace of the track.
When the rain began they all saw that it would
be no use continuing the search further that night.
They found the best shelter they could beneath
the trees, and remained stationary till morning;
62 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSH.
my father, with an anxious and heavy heart
beyond words. Very little he slept, as little as I
did myself, I have no doubt.
With the first dawn they continued the search.
But it was now almost at hap-hazard. Harry
had next to nothing to guide him in following up
the track. Once or twice he thought he had re-
covered it definitely, but again it became vague,
and then lost altogether.
The earnest desire which Harry showed to find
us, the untiring patience which he displayed, and
his genuine expressions of sorrow when the
thunder-storm came on, was something far beyond
what my father was prepared for from his black
servant, and had secured his lasting gratitude.
When at last they came upon us, my father
said it was more by chance and accident than
anything else; but that did not in the least
degree diminish the debt of gratitude which we
all owed to Harry.
Without his aid, his patience, toil, and zeal,
Will and I should never have been found; there
can't be a doubt about that; for it was owing to
him entirely that we had been followed so far.
On the night of the storm we had really been
encamped at no great distance from each other;
and that the track had been correctly followed up
to this point, was due to Harry alone.
Will's convalescence was a matter of some
time. He rose from his bed as thin as a pipe-
stem, and as weak as anything; and he got back
his flesh and strength only slowly.
The doctor had been firmly of opinion that he
would recover much faster where he was than if
he returned to Sydney; and his parents, though
very anxious, of course, about Willy, were also
very glad that he should remain where he would
most quickly regain his usual health.
There was a fortnight of our holidays yet to
run, and by the time they were over Will was
much about the same as before his illness; a little
whiter looking, perhaps, but his general health and
strength much the same.
And glad I was, and glad indeed we all were,
when he declared at last that he thought he was
just the same as ever. We had certainly taken
the best care of him, and Anna not the least.
She had been as attentive to him, in a hundred
64 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN TIE BUSH.
small ways that girls can do best, as if it had been
I who was ill.
One bright still afternoon, a day or two before
we were to return to Sydney and to school, Will
and I were sitting out in the garden. We had
been talking about different things. At last Will
said, after a pause:
'Jack, I wonder what will be the best way to
repay Harry, and show him that I feel grateful for
what he did. I feel that I owe him all the more
amends for the unpardonable tricks we played
upon him. We imposed upon him shamefully,
and he has proved himself a regular good and
noble fellow. No white man could have acted
better than he has done.' :
'I quite agree with you, Will,' I answered;
'but as to the way we acted to him before, that
was nearly all my fault. I suggested all, and led
you on. I don't think you can blame yourself
at all in the matter.'
'But I do, Jack; I followed you only too
readily; and, besides, you thought you had a sort
of cause for disliking Harry, though you see now
that you were all wrong, while I could not
possibly have any. I must do something to show
him that I understand fully how much he did for
me-saved my life, in fact.'
'Well, talk to your father about it, and he may
'Yes; that will be the best way, perhaps. Of
course he quite sees that it was really owing to
Harry that we are both alive now, and I am sure
he wilt be glad to recompense him in any way.
Indeed, I have no doubt he himself has been
thinking over the matter before this.'
A few days after we returned to school, 1
learned from -Will the means his father had taken
to show his sense of gratitude to Harry. Mr.
Iaymond was in easy circumstances, and could
afford to be generous.
He had placed in a bank in Sydney, in Harry's
name, a sum of money, the yearly interest arising
from which would be sufficient to afford him a
means of comfortable subsistence whenever he
became too old to work longer.
Harry, in fact, would have been able to make
this yearly income sufficient for his wants now.
But he was still in the prime of life and had no
66 BLACK HARRY; OR, LOST IN THE BUSII.
wish to be idle, and at once told my father that
he would prefer to stay on with us; a proposal
which my father was very willing to agree to.
For myself, I need hardly say that my senti-
ments towards Harry underwent a sudden and
complete change, and with my feelings of grati-
tude and thankfulness was mingled a keen sense
of shame and remorse for the way in which I had
acted towards him. On the morning succeeding
that on which we were found, I sought him as he
was at work in the garden.
Harry,' I said, 'I want to ask your pardon for
the shameful way I have often behaved towards
you. I hope you will forgive me, and, if you can,
forget it all.'
He looked at me with a broad smile all over
his face; a grin, some might have called it, but
I knew it meant kindliness towards me, and
pleasure on his own account; and said simply:
'Say no more 'bout it, Mass' Jack, please. You
and me be berry good friends all along now.'
And we have been good friends 'all along,' as
Harry put it, since that day; and I shall now be
soon out of my teens, and Harry is still in my
father's employ. But we do not now live at
Rowanfalls. For nearly two years past we have
been again settled in the city; Anna having,
during the time we spent in our country home,
grown up into a strong and healthy girl,
though she is still rather a little one, and can't
expect to grow much more now.
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
, EORGE, you are very silent this
evening, and you look rather down-
hearted too; what's amiss ?'
The name of the speaker was Miss Halloran,
and she addressed her nephew, George Halloran.
They were seated at tea together. George was an
orphan, and had lived with his aunt ever since
the death of his father and mother, which had
happened when he was four years old. He was
Miss Halloran was an old maid. Her age was
about fifty. She had a softly moulded face, clear
eyes, and smooth brown hair, threaded with grey.
'Well, I am feeling rather vexed, aunt, and
that's the truth,' said George in answer to his
72 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
Tell me what it is, George, will you ?'
George never had any secret from his aunt. Ie
might delay a little in telling her something, but,
sooner or later, he always did tell her. He had
long since learned to have complete trust in her
ability to help him in any difficulty or perplexity.
There had gradually grown up between the two a
thorough confidence that affected for good the
hearts and lives of both even more, probably, than
'Well, aunt, I've quarrelled with Joe Wilmot;
a regular downright quarrel, and can't help
feeling sorry for it. Joe, you know, was my very
oldest chum. Of course we've had little tiffs and
short words before this, more than once, but we've
never had anything like a serious quarrel-nothing
that lasted any time. But I'm afraid this is
going to be quite different. It's been coming on
for some days, and it all came out this afternoon.
I really don't think I was to blame; but I'll tell
you how it's happened, and you'll see.
'When I first went to Mr. Calvert's school, Joe
was in a higher class in history and geography than
me, but in the beginning of this half I was put into
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 73
the same class. I think you know that. Well,
geography and history are the two things I like
about as well as any subjects, and so I perhaps
take more pains with them, and am pretty good
in both. So is Joe. We both stand well up in
the fit t(i': He has been for a long time third,
and I foith. I'ilt. the last week I have been
ahead of him, and Joe 'didn't like it. I know it's
perhaps 'natural" that he shouldn't, but then how
can I help it? and I think he should see that I can't.
'The marks that we get for map drawing,
you know, aunt, are added into the history and
geography marks, and I do better maps than Joe,
"and it's that that has got me gradually ahead of
him, and is likely to keep me ahead, I expect
for in other ways we are about equal. I can't
draw worse maps. I like to do them as well as I
can; it's a pleasure. Joewill never draw maps
neatly; he" hasn't the knack. Well, he's been
getting more and more short and sharp and
distant for a week back; in fact, he's very jealous,
and to-day we came to an open row. I saw that
he was out of humour, and I tried at first not to
notice it. But he seemed determined to quarrel,
74 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
and he at last said things that I couldn't stand,
and I lost my temper too, and answered him back
pretty sharply. So he said he didn't want to
have anything more to say to me from to-day, and
I told him the same.'
'I am very sorry to hear all this, George, for
the sake of both you and Joe,' said Miss Halloran.
' Joe is a fine little fellow in many ways, and I have
a great notion of school friendships. Friendships
made at school often last longer than any other.
Joe's house was a pleasant one for you to visit.
Mrs. Wilmot, you always say, is such a nice person.'
'Yes, I'm sorry for that too,' replied George.
'There's no house I know where I liked better to
visit. There's Joe's invalid sister too, Ellen ; she
and I were such good friends. I will miss not
seeing her very much. She and Joe and I have
had such jolly evenings together, for Ellen is
always so bright and cheerful, though she can
only rise from her sofa a little time every day. I
don't know any one who can talk and tell stories
like her, and sing too. And it was interesting
seeing her making those pretty little straw boxes
and baskets; I never tired watching her. And I
JOE WILMOT'S QUArREL. 75
think that my coming to see Joe was company
for her, for she doesn't see many people.'
'I have no doubt, George, that both she and
Mrs. Wilmot will be as sorry as I am that Joe
and you have fallen out. But perhaps things are
not so bad between you as they may seem.'
'This is not a little tiff, aint, I'm afraid, as I
said before,' said George. 'I don't see how we
can make it up soon.'
'Well, you may think so now, George, but I
have more hope; and I mean to think of some
plan that may bring you two together again, if
you are ready to do all you can on your side.'
'Well, you can if you like, aunt; and I'll
listen to your advice; but I haven't much hope,
I tell you plainly. You didn't see what a real,
downright row Joe and I had. We said some
pretty hot things to each other, as fellows
generally do when they come to words.'
'Well, now, George, whatever scheme I may hit
on, it will probably require that the first advances
to making up your quarrel must come from your
side; although I admit that Joe has been the
most to blame.
76 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
'One of the worst and saddest things about
rivalry in school studies is, that it sometimes
causes coldness and bad feeling between friends.
It is much to be regretted, and the only way
that I know of to prevent it is, that when two
friends are brought into competition, each
should firmly determine that it shall make no
difference in the affection between them. They
should resolve upon this and tell it to each
other frankly, if they think they see there is any
chance of jealousy arising between them.
'Now, George, let us try and see what is the
way of duty, "the better way" for you to follow
in this matter. If we can determine that, and you
resolve to pursue it, you will almost to a certainty
find that it will be in the end the happiest way
for yourself. But, in any case, it will be the
course that God would wish you to follow. Put
the question plainly to yourself, then; what
would God wish me to do in this case ? what
would the Bible rule teach? what would Christ
our Lord have advised ? Clearly, not to cherish
for a moment any feelings of anger against your
friend. So that you must first get rid of any such
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 77
feelings, and I expect you are feeling a good deal
angry and hot at present.'
'Yes, I am, I must say, aunt,' replied George.
'Well, get rid of it all, George, as quickly as you
can. Press it down. Don't go to bed with such
feelings. What a fine verse that is, "Let not the
sun go down upon your wrath" Even when we
have been angry all day, if we can only overcome
our anger before we lie down to sleep, we have
gained a great victory. But you would be glad
to be friends again with Joe, wouldn't you ?'
'Yes,' said George.
"And you would be willing to make the first
advances towards healing the difference between
you, and to make some self-sacrifice, if necessary?'
I think so,' said George, rather slowly. 'What-
ever you think is the right thing to do, aunt, I'll
try and follow your advice.'
'Well, then, I'll think over some plan by which
what we wish may be brought about, and I'll tell
you of it to-morrow, and we can have a talk over
it at breakfast.'
Well, George,' said his aunt, at breakfast next
morning, 'this is what I have to suggest that
78 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
you should do. See if you think it is likely to
answer. You draw maps every fortnight for Mr.
Calvert, I think, and you gave in your last one yes-
terday. Well, now, let a week or so pass without
saying anything to Joe Wilmot, unless, of course,
he shows any disposition to make up the quarrel
before then, which, I suppose, is not very likely;
and then go and offer to show him how to do those
parts of your maps which he does not do so well.
'I know you do the colouring of your maps
and the mountains particularly well, which sets
them off so nicely. Now Joe may only want
a few hints and a little teaching to make his
drawing look much better. You must offer, then,
to put him up to some of the little knacks which
you no doubt know. Offer this frankly and freely,
and he may, very likely, accept your assistance,
and then what we wish will be accomplished.
Joe, I think, is a little hot and hasty, but not of
a sulky or stubborn disposition.'
'No, he's not that,' answered George. 'And
I'm pretty quick myself. Well, aunt, I'm willing
to try what you say. I don't believe Joe will
ever be a good map-drawer, but no doubt a few
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 79
hints might help him to make his maps look a
good deal neater.'
'This plan may very possibly not answer, you
know,' Miss Halloran continued. 'In which case
we must devise something else; but try this first.
'But there is another thing I would u.-i.'- 4
your doing, and this is in connection with Ellen
Wilmot alone. You are sorry, you say, that your
quarrel with Joe will put a stop to your visits
to Mrs. Wilmot's, and to your seeing anything of
her and Ellen. Now I have thought of a little
scheme by which you pmay still do something to
gratify Ellen, though you do not actually see her
or speak with her, and that will in itself be much.
'I know that she is very fond of flowers ; most
people are, situated as she is; and that she has
not many opportunities of getting them. Our
garden is at its very best at present. Supposing
you make up a little bouquet of flowers every
morning, pass by Mrs. Wilmot's house on your
way to school, and leave it on the window-sill
of Ellen's room. With a little caution, you can
do this without being observed. Ellen does not
rise, I know, till some time after breakfast,
80 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
so that she will not see you. You must know
about what time Joe leaves home for school, and
can contrive to pass the house a few minutes
after he has left it. Mrs. Wilmot at that hour
is sure to be busy about some household work,
and is quite unlikely to see you passing; and so
I think you will be able to convey your flowers
to Ellen unobserved. She will see them on the
sill as she lies on the sofa at the window. It will
take you a little out of your way, going by Mrs.
Wilmot's, but you can start a few minutes earlier.
'That's a capital idea, aunt,' said George
earnestly. 'The \Wilmots, you know, can't well
afford to get fresh flowers every day, and I don't
think we could do anything that would give Ellen
greater pleasure; and our flowers are so fine just
now. I shall begin to take them to-morrow; it's
too late to gather a good bouquet this morning.
I must be cautious, though, in not letting any one
see me. They mustn't know at first, at any rate.'
'No, not till things come all right again be-
tween Joe and you. Then, of course, there will
be no need for any secrecy in the matter.'
It's lucky that Mrs. Wilmot's house is right
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 81
on to the street, so that one can easily reach her
window-sills in passing. If I had to go in at
a gate and through any ground like our house,
I don't think I could manage it.'
'No, but I thought of that,' answered Miss
4Miss Halloran gave a good deal of her leisure
time to the care of her flower-garden, which, in
spring and summer time, was a sight worth
walking a distance to see, though it covered by no
means a large space of ground. It was a very
charming and dainty little bouquet that George
Halloran gathered next morning, with its two
pink tea roses, delicate carnations, sprigs of
fragrant mignonette and eglantine; the whole
bound together with a narrow blue ribbon. George
and his aunt arranged the flowers between them.
Miss Halloran's cottage was in a suburb of the
town of Bowen. George had to walk a distance
of nearly two miles before he reached school.
Mrs. Wilmot lived almost in the heart of the
town, but in a quiet little street apart from its
traffic and bustle. Mrs. Wilmot was a widow
with a limited income.
82 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
George was obliged, as has been indicated, to
make a short circuit on his way to school, in order
to pass by Mrs. Wilmot's house. With a little
stretching he easily reached the window-sill of
Ellen Wilmot's room, and placed the bouquet upon
it. There was little chance of its being removed
by any passers-by; for, besides that there were very
few of those in the street at this early hour, or
indeed at any time, the occupants of the houses
were all of a class and character above being
tempted to an act of petty theft, and of this
both Miss IHalloran and George were aware.
So George left his flowers, with the full confi-
dence that in a little while, when Ellen Wilmot
took her position for the day on the sofa at the
window, she would be sure to see them, and could
hardly help concluding that, whoever was the
sender, they were meant for her.
According to the arrangement between George
and his aunt, the former allowed a week to pass
before he made any attempt towards carrying out
Miss Halloran's suggestion. During that time it
was natural enough that he should watch to see
whether Joe would show any inclination to make
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 83
up matters. He hardly expected him to, and so was
not much disappointed when Joe made no signs
of softening. He was not of a harder nature or
more obstinate than the average, but everybody
knows how often it happens that the one most to
blame in a quarrel is slowest to make approaches
towards a reconciliation.
At the end of a week, George, one afternoon;
as the school was dispersing, went up to Joe and
'Joe, have you begun your map for next week
'Yes,' replied Joe in a short, abrupt manner,
that was not encouraging.
'Well, if you like, I'll show you how I do my
mountains. You've said once or twice you liked
the way I did them. I have an uncle a surveyor,
you know, and it was he who showed me how to
manage them. I can teach you one or two things
he showed me in painting maps, too, that have
made mine look ever so much better. I can stop
at your house for half-an-hour or so on my way
home, during the next few days, and I can show
you all I know in that time.'
84 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
Joe did not once look at George while the
latter was speaking, but kept his eyes fixed upon
'Thank you, George; but I can manage my
maps very well myself,' he answered.
George felt himself turn red and hot. Joe's
manner and tone of voice added to the coldness of
his words, and both manner and words were such
as to forbid all further advances on George's part.
The latter felt that it would be useless to say
anything more to Joe at present. His plan had
failed. Nor, indeed, did he feel inclined to
address Joe further, for the rebuff he had received
was a decided one, and his pride was touched as
well as his feelings hurt.
'Oh, very well, Joe, I just thought I'd ask you,'
was all he answered, in a voice almost as cold
as Joe's own; and he turned and walked away.
On his way home his brief interview with his
late friend was naturally the one thing that filled
George Halloran's thoughts. And his reflections
were not pleasant ones, you will easily understand.
With the sensations of disappointment and mor-
tification which Joe's reception of his advances
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 85
towards a renewal of friendship, there mingled
some slight feeling of anger and resentment.
He told his aunt what had occurred directly he
entered the house.
'So you see, aunt, we have completely failed,'
he said, in concluding, in a rather bitter tone.
'Yes, George, we have failed this time; but that
is no reason why you should not try again. I see
you are a little angry and bitter about the matter,
but you must get rid of that, my boy.
Supposing, George, our Heavenly Father felt
angry and unforgiving with us every time some
conduct on our part disappointed and vexed Him.
Why, He forgives us again, and again, and again,
every day; and really this is how we must try and
act ourselves towards others. Hard as it may
seem to do, I say we must at least try and follow
our Saviour's teaching in this respect, and if we fail
a dozen times we may succeed the thirteenth, which
is a great matter; while, if we give way every
time we feel inclined to be hard and unforgiving,
even where we have been wronged, we shall only
drift further and further astray from the right path.
'Now just let matters rest for a day or two,
86 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
and I will try and think of some other method
by which we may win Joe from his present
ungenial and dark mood. And, mind you, George,
I don't believe Joe is feeling quite happy in
his present temper. I am sure he has not a
hard conscience, and it must be telling him he
has not acted rightly in this matter.'
'It isn't a pleasant thing, though, aunt, to try to
make it up with a fellow who meets you as Joe
did me to-day.'
'It hurts one's pride a little, eh, George; that's
what you mean, I think. Well, the right thing
is so often not the pleasant thing, my boy. You
must forget your pride if you wish to bring this
difference of yours with your old friend to a
Miss Halloran again set her mind to work in
trying to hit upon some new scheme which might
bring her nephew and his companion once more
into friendly relationship. Some days passed, and
she had thought of nothing that quite satisfied
her. But what she and George desired was to be
brought about without any intervention on her
part, and sooner than either looked for.
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 87
Regularly every morning George had left his
bouquet of flowers at Ellen Wilmot's window. It
had given him pleasure to make the little nose-
gay as attractive as possible, and to put forth all
his skill and taste in varying its arrangement to
the full extent of which the resources of the garden
allowed. It was on the third or fourth morning
after his unsuccessful attempt to make friends
again with Joe that what I am now to tell happened.
On this particular morning, Joe Wilmot had
been somewhat detained beyond his usual time
for starting for school. He was punctual for a
boy, a circumstance which had probably been
favourable to George, in that it had lessened the
chance of the two meeting in the vicinity of Mrs.
But this morning some little thing had occurred,
such as happens to delay the most methodical
in their day's duties, which made Joe a few
minutes late. He came out of the house door
just as George was placing his bouquet on the
window-sill. George heard the noise of the door
opening and shutting, and, half involuntarily,
turned round; and the two boys stood face to face.
88 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
A rapid look of surprise came into Joe's face,
and a sudden flush to his cheek. George was
reddening a little too. For a few seconds neither
spoke. Then Joe advanced quickly forward.
'Is it you, then, George, who has been leaving
these flowers here for Ellen every morning ?' he said.
'Oh, what a good fellow you are; and what a
mean beggar I have been!' Joe burst out. 'I
never guessed it was you. I didn't think you
would have done this, after the way I have acted.
But, George, I beg your pardon for everything;'
and here Joe held out his hand, which George
grasped warmly. 'I have been wrong from the
beginning, and I knew it too. But we shall be
quite friends again, won't we ?'
'Of course we shall,' answered George heartily,
his heart warming again to Joe with all its former
'And we shall be just the same as we were
before?' continued Joe, in a questioning and
slightly anxious tone.
'Just,' said George.
'And you'll try and forget everything; and
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 89
what I said the other day when you said you'd
show me how to do my maps ?'
'Yes; and we'll never speak about the whole
matter again,' said George.
'Then that's all right!' exclaimed Joe in a glad
voice. Old fellow, I have been feeling pretty glum
ever since we fell out. I haven't been comfortable
in my mind, I can tell you; for I knew I was the
worst to blame-all to blame, indeed. But I was
too proud, you know, to let you show me how
to colour my maps-proud and pig-headed.'
'Well, Joe, if you like, I can still show you
how to do what you mention, and we can begin
whenever you choose.'
'To-day, if you like, old chap. You must
stop a little while at our house as you go home,
in any case; because Ellen will be anxious to see
you and thank you for the flowers. They've been
asking more than once at home, you may guess,
why you never came to the house now. I put
them off at first, but I had to tell them everything
the other day. Mamma and Ellen were very
much vexed about it, and they've been at me
every day to make it up with you again. They
90 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
would have made me, I expect, whether I liked
it or no, very soon; but I'm glad things have
happened as they have. I don't think Ellen
suspects who has been sending the flowers; at
least she has never said anything. She has
enjoyed them, I can tell you, and you'll see how
she'll thank you.'
During the greater part of the above conver-
sation the boys had been walking arm-in-arm
together on their way to school. Their entrance
at the school gate brought their talk to a close for
'Well, then, George, you can stop a little while
at our house as we go home, eh!' said Joe.
'Oh, yes; as long as you like,' said George.
After school George accompanied Joe home.
As they approached, Ellen saw them from the
'Why, mamma, here are Joe and George coming
along together arm-in-arm, just as they used to;
they must be friends again. What a good thing!'
and as Ellen spoke, she nodded and smiled at
'I'm very glad of it, then,' said Mrs. Wilmot,
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 91
coming forward to the window. A few moments
after, the two boys entered the house.
Here's George, mamma,' exclaimed Joe as he
came into the room. 'It's all right again between
us. I've brought him home with me especially be-
cause I knew you'd want to thank him, Ellen; for
do you know it's he who has been giving you the
bouquet every morning. I caught him this morn-
ing leaving it on your window-sill; and that's
how we first made it up again. Now, hasn't he
been a good fellow, when I was the one that
began our quarrel too ? But you see he didn't
let that make any difference to you, as some
fellows might have done. He knew you would
like to have some fresh flowers every day, now
that they are at their best.'
Ellen's face was bright with smiles and pleasure.
'It was very, very good of you, George. I need not
say how much pleasure the flowers have given both
mamma and me. You may think how puzzled we
have been. We never thought of you; but yester-
day morning there was a little pansy in the bunch
of a rare kind that I seldom see, and I remembered
that last year you brought me a few of the same
92 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
sort; so I have had my suspicions of you, sir, since
yesterday, but I did not say anything to mamma
or Joe. How punctual you have been, too! I only
missed your bouquet one morning.'
'I never forgot it one day, then,' said George;
'I'm sure of that.'
'Then there must have been some unscrupu-
lous character in our street that morning, some
stranger who was tempted to make off with my
flowers,' said Ellen, smiling. It's lucky for me
that ours is not a street where children are
plentiful, or I am afraid that my bouquet would
not have so often reached my hands. But, of
course, I began to look out for it, after the first
two or three days. Your garden must be looking
beautiful this year, George. Your little nosegays
were always perfect.'
'Yes; I wish you could see our garden just now.
SIt has been a fine season for flowers, especially
'And we are all so glad that Joe and you are
friends again,' said Ellen.
'Yes, that we are,' said Mrs. Wilmot. 'Ellen
a.d I have both been pressing George to ask your
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 93
pardon, for he was by far the most to blame.
And I think, Master Joe,' Mrs. Wilmot continued,
addressing her son and smiling a little,' that I
should very soon have exerted my authority,
and compelled you to do so. But everything has
turned out for the best. George has taught you
a lesson, Joe, that I hope you will not forget.
I don't want to praise you, George, to your
face, but I am very grateful to you, my boy, for
what you have done. You have shown Joe the
right way that differences between friends should
be made up; the way that the Bible teaches us
It was my aunt that gave me the idea about
the flowers, and about showing Joe how to do his
maps too,' said George, who shrank from receiving
more than his due share of credit, and who, more-
over, was anxious that his aunt's- part in the
matter should be known and fully recognized.
'Well, that was very kind and thoughtful of
her,' said Mrs. Wilmot; and you will thank Miss
Halloran for us all, please. But you have carried
out your aunt's advice, George, very perfectly.
I was very much vexed when Joe told me about
94 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
your offering to show him how to do his maps,
and his refusing. I would hardly have believed
it of him; but I think he sees how wrong and
foolish he was now.
'Yes, I do, mamma,' said Joe humbly enough.
'Well, then, my boy, we won't say anything
more about it.'
'No,' said George. 'Please don't scold Joe
any more, Mrs. Wilmot. He means to forget
altogether that there's ever been this difference
And I hope never to see anything of the same
kind occur between you again. I hope to live
to see you grow up to manhood, becoming stronger
friends every year, helping one another, and shar-
ing in all each other's joys and trials. Deep and
strong friendship between young men is a beauti-
ful thing to see.'
Mrs. Wilmot spoke earnestly, and the hearts
of the two boys responded to her words.
'Will you be able to stay to tea with us,
George ?' said Mrs. Wilmot.
'I think not this evening, Mrs. Wilmot,'
George answered. 'Aunt will not know where
JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL. 95
I am; and, besides, I am anxious to let her know
that everything is right again between Joe and
me. She will be so glad to hear of it. We shall
not have time, Joe, for any map-drawing now, I
think, but will begin to-morrow afternoon.'
'All right; we'll not keep you any longer now,
'Thank you once more, George,' said Ellen, as
she shook hands with him. 'And be sure and
give your aunt my best thanks too.'
It was with a light step and a glad heart that
George walked the rest of the way home. Does
not the renewal of friendship with one with whom
we have had a temporary estrangement always
bring feelings of a warm and happy kind?
George was eager to tell his aunt all the events
of the day.
'Well, George,' said she, when she had listened
to him throughout without interruption, 'how
happily things have ended, after all! Our little
scheme has not quite failed, though it has turned
out not exactly as we expected. This short
quarrel between you and Joe will have done you
both good, I hope. It should teach both of you
96 JOE WILMOT'S QUARREL.
that patience, and forbearance, and kindliness,
the endeavour, as far as we can, to return good
for evil, will surely win their way, and secure
their object at last, and that we cannot easily go
astray if we follow the plain, simple, wise, and
gentle teaching of the Bible.'
The Publisher'sname is a sufficient garanteefor the healthy moraltone of the
works, as well asfor their thoroughly evangelical character."--THE FREEMAN.
24 ST GILES' STREET, EDINBURGH,
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NEW AND POPULAR JUVENILE PUBLICATIONS.
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THE COLD SHOULDER; or, A Half-Year at Craiglea. By
the Author of The Boys at Springdale."
CARRY MORGAN. By the Author of "Biddy."
AN ENEMY'S FRIENDSHIP: A Tale of the Franco-Prussian
War. By the Author of "Mayflower Stories."
LITTLE MADELEINE: A Story for Children.
New Series of Shilling Books.
SMALL 8vo, CLOTH.
Eack with Beauifiul Coloured Frontispiece and Vignette.
SISTER CORA : A Tale of the Eighteenth Century. By the
Author of "Biddy."
OUR JUNIOR MATHEMATICAL MASTER, AND A PERILOUS
ERRAND. By Robert Richardson.
ROBERT'S BIRTHDAY GIFT.
THE STORY OF CRANMER. By Rev. Dr Marshall.
CLIMBING THE LADDER; or, Tom Fairbairn's Progress.
With Four Illustrations, price 2s.
JEANIE WILSON, the Lily of Lammermoor. Illustrated,
handsomely bound in extra cloth, gilt edges, price 3s. 6d.
MAYFLOWER STORIES. By Sarah M. S. Clarke. Crown
8vo, extra cloth, gilt edges, 5s.
2 List of Juvenile Books
Two Shillings and Sixpence Each.
Foolscap 8vo, Illustrated.
x. Anna Ross; or, The Orphan of Waterloo.
2. Edged Tools: A Book about Boys.
3. Father Clement.
4. The Great Pilot.
5. Joseph the Jew.
6. Katie Johnstone's Cross.
7. Kitto's Lost Senses.
8. The Orphans of Glenulva.
9. Pollok's Tales of the Covenanters.
io. Tales of the Scottish Peasantry.
II. Whitecross's Old Testament Anecdotes.
12. Witnessing for Jesus in the Homes of the
13. Duncan's (Mrs Mary Lundie) Memoir.
14. A Book for Governesses. By one of them.
15. Scott (Sir Walter), Life of. Cheap Edition.
16. Life of Dr John Kitto. By Dr Eadie.
17. Laurence Gillmore: the Peasant and the
18. Lucy Raymond; or,The Children's Watch-
19. Mary Mathieson; or, Duties and Diffi-