Carl Krinken, or, The Christmas stocking

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Material Information

Title:
Carl Krinken, or, The Christmas stocking
Series Title:
Ellen Montgomery's book shelf
Portion of title:
Christmas stocking
Physical Description:
153, 6 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Warner, Susan, 1819-1885
Warner, Anna Bartlett, 1824-1915 ( Author )
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Ballantyne, Hanson and Co ( Printer )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Publisher:
Frederick Warne and Co.
Place of Publication:
London
Manufacturer:
Ballantyne, Hanson and Co.
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1879   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1879   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1879
Genre:
novel   ( marcgt )
Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh

Notes

Summary:
Father Christmas' gift to a poor boy is that each of his parent's Christmas presents to him (3 apples, 1 red cent, a purse, shoes, a pine cone, a hymn book, a cork boat, and a stocking) has the power of speech and they tell him the stories of their lives.
Statement of Responsibility:
by the authors of "The wide, wide world," "Quenchy," "Speculation," etc. etc.
General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece engraved by Dalziel and printed in colors.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002239424
notis - ALH9952
oclc - 61656802
System ID:
UF00048317:00001


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CARL KRINKEN;

OR,


THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.


BY THE AUTHORS OF
"THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD," "QUEECHY," "GOLDEN LADDER,"
&C, &c., &c.



LONDON:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.





































Tacflantitle Sres
BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.
EDINBURGH AND LONDON

















CONTEND TS.




PAGN
CARL KRINKIEN; OR, THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING, 5
THE STORY OF THE THREE APPLES, 13

THE STORY OF THE PENNY, 24

THE STORY OF THE PURSE, 39
THE STORY OF THE TWO SHOES, 70
THE STORY OF THE PINE-CONE, 109
THE STORY OF THE HYMN-BOOK, 124

THE STORY OF THE CORK BOAT, 137

THE STORY OF THE STOCKING ITSELF, 19














CARL KRINKEN;




THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.




WHEREVER Santa Claus lives, and in whatever spot of the
universe he harnesses his reindeer and loads up his sleigh,
one thing is certain-he never yet put anything into that sleigh
for little Carl Krinken. Indeed, it may be noted as a fact,
that the Christmas of poor children has but little of his
care. Now and then a cast-off frock or an extra mince-pie
slips into the load, as it were accidentally; but in general
Santa Claus aims at higher game-gilt books and sugar-
plums, and fur tippets, and new hoods, and crying babies,
and rocking-horses, and guns and drums and trumpets; and
what have poor children to do with these ? Not but that
they might have something to do with them-it is a singular
fact that poor children cut their teeth quite as early as the
rich, even that sweet tooth, which is destined to be an un-
satisfied tooth all the days of its life, unless its owner should
perchance grow up to be a sugar refiner. It is also remark-
able, that though poor children can bear a great deal of cold,
they can also enjoy being warm-whether by means of a
new dress or a load of firing, and the glow of a bright blaze
looks just as comfortable upon little cheeks that are gene-
rally blue, as upon little cheeks that are generally red; while
not even dirt will hinder the kindly heat of a fire of coals
from rejoicing the little shivering fingers that are held over it.





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



I say all this is strange-for nobody knows much about
it; and how can they ? When a little girl once went down
Broadway with her muff and her doll, the hand outside the
muff told the hand within that he had no idea what a cold
day it was. And the hand inside said that for his part he
never wished it to be warmer.
But with all this Santa Claus never troubled his head-
he was too full of business, and wrapped up in buffalo skins
besides; and though he sometimes thought of little Carl, as
a good-natured little fellow who talked as much about him
as if Santa Claus had given him half the world, yet it ended
with a thought, for his hands were indeed well occupied. It
was no trifle to fill half a million of rich little stockings, and
then-how many poor children had none to fill? or if one
chanced to be found, it might have holes in it; and if the
sugarplums should come rolling down upon such a floor !
To be sure the children would not mind that, but Santa
Claus would.
Nevertheless, little Carl always hung up his stocking, and
generally had it filled-though not from any sleigh load of
wonderful things; and he often amused himself, on Christ-
mas Eve, with dreaming that he had made himself sick with
eating candy, and that they had a pile of mince-pies as high
as the house. So altogether, what with dreams and realities,
Carl enjoyed that time of the year very much, and thought
it was a great pity Christmas did not come every day. He
was always contented too with what he found in his stock-
ing; while some of his rich little neighbours had theirs filled
only to their hearts' discontent, and fretted because they got
what they did not want, or for something that they had not
got. It was a woeful thing if a top was painted the wrong
colour, or if the mane of a rocking-horse was too short, or if
his bridle was of black leather instead of red.
But when Carl once found in his stocking a little board
nailed upon four reels for wheels, and with nothing better
than a long piece of twine to draw it with, his little tongue
ran as fast as the reels, and he had brought his mother a
very small load of chips in less than five minutes. And a



6





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING. 7

mall cake of maple sugar which somehow once found its
way to the same depending toe, was a treasure quite too great
to be weighed; though it measured only an inch and a half
across, and though the maple trees had grown about a foot
since it was made.
"Wife," said John Krinken, "what shall we put into little
Carl's stocking to-night V"
"Truly," said his wife, "I do not know. Nevertheless we
must find something, though there be but little in the house."
And the wind swept round and round the old hut, and
every cupboard rattled and said, in an empty sort of way,
"There is not much here."
John Krinken and his wife lived on the coast, where they
could hear every winter storm rage and beat, and where the
wild sea sometimes brought wood for them, and laid it at
their very door. It was a driftwood fire by which they sat
now, this Christmas Eve, the crooked knee of some ship,
and a bit of her keel, with nails and spikes held in their
places by rust, and a piece of green board stuck under to
light the whole. The andirons were two round stones, and
the hearth was a flat one; and in front of the fire sat John
Krinken on an old box making a fishing-net, while a splinter
chair upheld M\rs Krinken and a half-mended red flannel-
shirt. An old chest, between the two, held patches and balls
of twine; and the crooked knee, the keel, and the green
board, were their only candles.
"We must find something," repeated John. And pausing
with his netting-needle half through the loop, he looked
round towards one corner of the hut.
A clean rosy little face and a very glossy set of thick curls
rested there, in the very middle of the thin pillow and the
hard bed; while the coverlet of blue check was tucked round
and in, lest the drift-wood fire should not do its duty at that
distance.
John Krinken and his wife refreshed themselves with a
long look, and then returned to their work.
"You've got the stocking, wife ?" said John, after a pause.
Ay," said his wife, "it is easy to find something to fil."





8 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

"Fetch it out then, and let us see how much it will take
to fill it."
Mrs Krinken arose, and going to one of the two little
cupboards she brought thence a large iron key; and then
having placed the patches and thread upon the floor, she
opened the chest, and rummaged out a long, gray, woollen
stocking, with a white toe and heel, and various darns in
red. Then she locked the chest again and sat down as
before.
"The same old thing," said John Krinken, with a glance
at the stocking.
Well," said his wife, "it's the only stocking in the house
that is long enough."
I know one thing he shall have in it," said John; and
he got up and went to the other cupboard and fetched from
it a large piece of cork. "He shall have a boat that will
float like one of Mother Carey's chickens." And he began
to cut and shape with his large clasp knife, while the little
heap of chips on the floor between his feet grew larger, and
the cork grew more and more like a boat.
His wife laid down her hand which was in the sleeve of
the red jacket, and watched him.
"It will never do to put that in first," she said; "the
masts would be broken. I think I'll fill the toe of the
stocking with apples."
"And where will you get apples ?" said John Krinken,
shaping the keel of his boat.
"I've got them," said his wife, "three rosy-cheeked apples.
Last Saturday, as I came from market, a man went by with
a load of apples; and as I came on I found that he had
dropped three out of his waggon. So I picked them up."
"Three apples," said John. "Well, I'11 give him a penny
to fill up the thinks."
"And I've got an old purse that he can keep it in," said
the mother.
How long do you suppose he will keep it?" said John.
Well, he'll want to put it somewhere while he does keep
it." said Mrs Krinken. The purse is old, but it was hand-





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING. 9

some once, and it will please the child, anyway. And then
there are his new shoes."
So when the boat was done, Mrs Krinken brought out
the apples and slipped them into the stocking, and then the
shoes went in, and the purse, and the penny-which of
course ran all the way down to the biggest red darn of all,
in the very toe of the stocking.
But there was still abundance of room left.
If one only had some sugar things," said Mrs Krinken.
Or some nuts," said John.
Or a book," rejoined his wife: Carl takes to his book
wonderfully."
Yes," said John, all three would fill up in fine style.
Well, there is a book he can have-only I don't know what
it is about, nor whether he would like it. That poor lady
we took from an American wreck when I was mate of the
Skeen-elf-had it in her pocket, and she gave it to me when
she died-because I didn't let her die in the water, poor
soul! She said it was worth a great deal. And I think the
clasp is silver."
"Oh, I daresay he would like it!" said Mrs Krinken;
"give him that, and I'll put in the old pine cone-he's old
enough to take care of it now. I think he will be content."
The book with its worn leather binding and tarnished
silver clasp, was dusted and rubbed up and put in, and the
old sharp-pointed pine cone followed; and the fisherman
and his wife followed it up with a great deal of love and a
blessing.
And then the stocking was quite full
It was midnight; and the fire had long been covered up,
and John Krinken and his wife were fast asleep, and little
Carl was in the midst of the hard bed and his sweet dreams
as before. The stocking hung by the side of the little fire.
place, as still as if it had never walked about in its life, and
not a sound could be heard but the beat of the surf upon
the shore and an occasional sigh from the wind; for the
wind is always melancholy at Christmas.
Once or twice an old rat peeped cautiously out of his hole,






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING,



and seeing nobody, had crossed the floor and sat down in
front of the stocking, which his sharp nose immediately
pointed.out to him But though he could smell the apples
plainly enough, he was afraid that long thing might hold a
trap as well; and so he dia nothing but smell, and snuff
and show his teeth. As for the little mice, they ran out and
danced a measure on the hearth and then back again; after
which onu of them squealed for some time for the amusement
of the rest.
But just at midnight there was another noise heard-as
somebody says-
You could hear on the roof
The scraping and prancing of each little hoof;"

and down came Santa Claus through the chimney.
He must have set out very early that night, to have so
much time to spare, or perhaps he was cold in spite of his
furs; for he came empty-handed, and had evidently no busi
ness calls in that direction. But the first thing he did was
to examine the stocking and its contents.
At some of the articles he laughed, and at some he
frowned, but most of all did he shake his head over the love
that filled up all the spare room in the stocking. It was a
kind of thing Santa Claus was not used to; the little stock-
ings were generally too full for anything of that sort-when
they had to hold candy enough to make the child sick, and
toys enough to make him unhappy because he did not know
which to play with first, of course very little love could get
in. And there is no telling how many children would be
satisfied if it did. But Santa Claus put all the things back
just as he had found them, and stood smiling to himself for
a minute, with his hands on his sides and his back to the
fire. Then tapping the stocking with a little stick that he
carried, he bent down over Carl and whispered some words
in his ear, and went off up the chimney.
And the little mice came out and danced on the floor till
the day broke.
"Christmas day in the morning!" And what a day it



10






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



was All night long as the hours went by, the waves had
beaten time with their heavy feet; and wherever the foam
and spray had fallen-upon board, or stone, or crooked stick,
there it had frozen, in long icicles, or fringes, or little white
caps. But when the sun had climbed out of the leaden sea,
every morsel of foam and ice sparkled and twinkled like
morning stars, and the Day got her cheeks warm and glow-
ing as fast as she could; and the next thing the sun did war
to walk in at the hut window and look at little Carl Krin-
ken. Then it laid a warm hand upon his little face, and Carl
had hardly smiled away the last bit of his dream before he
started up in bed and shouted-
Merry Christmas!"
The mice were much alarmed, for they had not all seen
their partners safe home; but they got out of the way as
fast as they could, and when Carl bounded out of bed he
stood alone upon the floor.
The floor felt cold, very; Carl's toes curled up in the most
disapproving manner possible, and he tried standing on his
heels. Then he scampered across the floor and began to feel
at the stocking, beginning at the top. It was plain enough
what the shoes were, but the other things puzzled him till
he got to the foot of the stocking; and his feet being by
that time very cold (for both toes and heels had rested on
the floor in the eagerness of examination,) Carl seized the
stocking in both hands and scampered back to bed again;
screaming out, "Apples! apples! apples!"
His mother being now awakened by his clambering over
her for the second time, she gave him a kiss, and a Merry
Christmas !" and got up; and as his father did the samq
Carl was left in undisturbed possession of the warm bed.
There he laid himself down as snug as could be, with the
long stocking by his side, and began to pull out and examine
the things one by one, after which each article was laid on
the counterpane outside.
"Well, my boy, how do you like your things ?" said Mrs
Krinken, coming up to the bed just when Carl and the
empty stocking lay side by side.



11





12 THE ClHISTIMAS STOCKING.

First rate !" said Carl. Mother, I dreamed last night
that all my presents told me stories. Wasn't it funny ?"
"Yes; I suppose so," said his mother, as she walked away
to turn the fish that was broiling. Carl lay still and looked
at the stocking.
Where did you come from, old stocking ? said he.
"From England," said the stocking very softly.
Carl started up in bed, and looked between the sheets and
over the counterpane, and behind the head-board; there was
nothing to be seen. Then he shook the stocking as hard as
he could, but something in it struck his other hand rather
hard too. Carl laid it down and looked at it again, and
then cautiously putting in his hand, he with some difficulty
found his way to the very toe; there lay the penny, just
where it had been all the time, upon the largest of the red
darns.
"A penny !" cried Carl. Oh, I suppose it was you who
was talking, wasn't it 1"
"No," said the penny. "But I can talk."
"Do you know where you came-from said Carl, staring
at the penny with all his eyes.
Certainly," said the penny.
"I dreamed that everything in my stocking told me a
story," said Carl.
So we will," said the penny. "Only to you. To no-
body else."
Carl shook his head very gravely, and having slipped the
penny into the little old purse, he put everything into the
stocking again, and jumped out of bed; for the drift-wood
fire was blazing up to the very top of the little fireplace, and
breakfast was almost ready upon the old chest.
But as soon as breakfast was over, Carl carried the stock-
ing to one corner of the hut where stood another old chest;
and laying out all his treasures thereon, he knelt down be-
fore it.
"Now begin," he said. "But you mustn't all talk at
once; I think I will hear the apples first, because I might
want to eat them up. I don't care which begins."





THE THREE APPLES. 13

THE STORY OF THE THREE APPLES.
"I ASSUME to myself the task of relating our joint history,"
said the largest of the three apples, because I am, perhaps,
the fairest minded of us all. The judgment and experience
of my younger sister Half-ripe are as yet immature, and my
little brother Knerly is unfortunately of a somewhat sour
disposition, and therefore less likely to represent things in a
pleasant light. My own name is Beachamwell."
At this opening the two smaller apples rolled over in an
uncomfortable sort of way, but said nothing.
"As for me," continued Beachamwell, "I have not only
been favoured with a southern exposure, but I have also
made the most of whatever good influences were within my
reach, and have endeavoured to perfect myself in every
quality that an apple should have. You perceive not only
the fine roundness of my shape, but also the perfect and
equal colour of my cheeks. My stem is smooth and erect,
and my eye precisely in a line with it; and if I could be
cut open this minute I should be found true to my heart's
core. I am also of a very tender disposition, being what is
usually called thin-skinned; and a very slight thing would
make a permanent and deep impression on me. My beha-
viour towards every one has always been marked by the most
perfect smoothness, and on intimate acquaintance I should
be found remarkably sweet and pleasant."
You'd better not say any more about yourself at present,
Beachamwell," said Carl, because I might eat you up before
you got through your story, and that would be a pity. Let
me hear about Half-ripe and Knerly."
"My sister Half-ripe," said Beachamwell, "though with
the same natural capabilities as myself, has failed to improve
them. Instead of coming out into the warm and improving
society of the sun and the wind, she has always preferred
to meditate under the shade of a bunch of leaves; and
though in part she could not help doing credit to her family,
you will perceive that her time has been but half improved
-it is only one of her cheeks that has the least proper colour.






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



while the other displays the true pale green tint of secluded
study; and even the seeds of influence and usefulness within
her are but half matured; but mine will be found as dark
as "--
"As the chimney-back l" suggested Carl.
"They are not exactly that colour," replied Beachamwell,
'being in fact more like mahogany."
"Well I never saw any of that," said Carl, "so you don't
tell me much. Never mind-I shall know when I cut you
up. Now, be quick, and tell about Knerly ; and then give me
all the history of your great, great, great grandfather apple."
"Knerly," said Beachamwell, was a little cross-grained
from the very bud. Before he had cast off the light pink
dress which as you know we apples wear in our extreme
youth, the dark spot might be seen. It is probable that
some poisonous sting may have pierced him in that tender
period of his life, and the consequence is, as I have said,
some hardness of heart and sourness of disposition. As you
see, he has not softened under the sun's influence, though
exposed to it all his life; and it is doubtful whether he ever
will attain a particle of the true Beachamwell colour. There
are, however, good spots in Knerly; and even Half-ripe can
be sweet if you only get to the right side of her."
"I'll be sure to do that," said Carl, "for I shall go all
round. Come, go on."
"Unfortunately," said Beachamwell, "I cannot give the
information which you desire about my respected and vener-
able ancestors. The pedigree of apples is not always well
preserved, and in general the most we can boast of is the
family name : nor is that often obtained except by engrafting
upon a very different stock. For one generation back, how-
ever, we may claim to be true Beachamwells. From root to
twig the parent tree was the right stuff. The remarkable way
in which this came about, I am happily able to tell you.

A number of years ago, one Thanksgiving Eve, Widow
Penly was washing up the tea things, and her little boy.
Mark, sat looking at her.



14





THE THREE APPLES.



"I wish we could keep Thanksgiving, mother," said he.
"Why, so we will," said his mother.
"But how ?" said Mark, with a very brightened face.
" What will you do, mother ?"
"I'll make you some pies-if I can gut anything to make
them of," said Mrs Penly.
Ah, but you can't," said Mark, his countenance falling
again. "There are not even any potatoes in the house. You
used to make potato pies, didn't you, mother, when father
forgot to bring home the pumpkin ?"
"Yes," said Mrs Penly, but as if she scarce heard him;
for other Thanksgiving Days were sweeping across the stage
where Memory's troop was just then performing.
"So what will you do, mother ." repeated little Mark,
when he had watched her again for a few minutes.
Do I" said the widow, rousing herself. "Why, my dear,
if we cannot make any pies we will keep Thanksgiving with.
out them."
"I don't think one can keep Thanksgiving without any.
thing," said Mark, a little fretfully.
Oh no;" said his mother, "neither do I; but we will
think about it, dear, and do the best we can. And now you
may read to me while I mend this hole in your stocking.
Read the 103d Psalm."
So Mark got his little old Bible and began to read:-
"' Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
whoforgiveth all thine iniquities, who health all thy diseases;
who redeemeth thy life from destruction ; who crowneth thee
with lovingkindness and tender mercies.'"
Don't you think, Mark," said his mother, that we could
keep Thanksgiving for at least one day with only such bless-
ings as these ?"
"Why, yes," said Mark, "I suppose we could, mother-
though I wasn't thinking of that."
No, of course not," said his mother; "and that is the
very reason why we so often long for earthly things-we are
not thinking of the heavenly blessings that God has showered
upon us."



15






16 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

"But mother," said Mark, not quite satisfied, "it goes on
to say, Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that
thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.'"
And Mark looked up as if he thought his mother must be
puzzled now, if she never was before.
It did occur to Mrs Penly, as she glanced at the child, that
his cheeks were not very fat, nor his dress very thick; and
that a greater plenty of pies and other nourishing things
might exert a happy influence upon his complexion; but she
stilled her heart with this word, Your Father knoweth that
ye have need of such things."
"I am sure we have a great many good things, Mark,"
she answered, cheerfully; "don't you remember that barrel
of flour that came the other day I and the molasses, and the
pickles ? We must have as much as is good for us, or God
would give us more; for it says in another part of that psalm,
' Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth
them that fear him.' I wouldn't keep from you anything
that I thought good for you."
But you are my mother," said Mark, satisfactorily.
Well," said the widow, "the Bible says that a mother
may forget her child, yet will not God forget His children.
So you see, dear, that if we have not a great many things
which some other people have, it is not because God has
forgotten to care for us, but because we are better without
them."
"I wonder why," said Mark. Why should they hurt
us any more than other people 7"
"God knows," said his mother. "It is so pleasant to
have Him choose and direct all for us. If I could have my
way, I dare say I should wish for something that would do
me harm-just as you wanted to eat blackberries last sum-
mer when you were ilL"
But we are not sick," said Mark.
"Yes we are-sick with sin; and sin-sick people must
not have all that their sinful hearts desire; and people who
love earth too well must want some of the good things of
this world, that they may think more of heaven."





THE THREE APPLES. 17



Well," said Mark, the last thing before he got into bed,
"we'll keep Thanksgiving, mother-you and I; and we'll
try to be as happy as we can without pies."
We may have some pleasant thing that we do not think
of," said his mother, as she tucked the clothes down about
him.
Why, what 1" said Mark, starting up in an instant.
"Where could anything come from, mother?"
From God in the first place," she answered, and He can
always find a way."
"Mother!" said Mark, "there are a great many apples in
the road by Mr Crab's orchard."
"Well, dear," said his mother, "they don't belong to us."
"But they're in the road," said Mark; "and Mr Smith's
pigs are there all day long eating them."
"We won't help the pigs," said his mother, smiling.
"They don't know any better, but we do. I have cause
enough for thanksgiving, Marky, in a dear little boy who
always minds what I say."
Mark hugged his mother very tight round the neck, and
then went immediately to sleep, and dreamed that he was
running up a hill after a pumpkin.
But Mark woke up in the morning empty handed. There
were plenty of sunbeams on the bed, and though it was so
late in November, the birds sang outside the window as if
they had a great many concerts to give before winter, and
must make haste.
Mark turned over on his back to have both ears free, and
then he could hear his mother and the broom moving up and
down the kitchen and as she swept she sang :-
Rejoice, the Lord is King !
Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore ;
Lift up your hearts, lift up your voice;
"Rejoice, again I say, rejoice !
Rejoice in glorious hope,
Jesus the Judge shall come
B






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



And take His servants up
To their eternal home;
We soon shall hear th' archangel's voice !
The trump of God shall sound-Rejoice!"
Mark listened a while till he heard his mother stop sweep-
ing and begin to step in and out of the pantry. She was not
setting the table, he knew, for that was always his work, and
he began to wonder what they were going to have for break-
fast. Then somebody knocked at the door.
"Here is a quart of milk, Mrs Penly," said a voice.
"Mother thought she wouldn't churn again before next week,
so she could spare it as well as not."
Mark waited to hear his mother pay her thanks and shut
the door, and having meanwhile got dressed, he rushed out
into the kitchen.
"Is it a whole quart, mother "
"A whole quart of new milk, Mark. Isn't that good ?"
"Delicious said Mark. I should like to drink it all
up. I don't mean that I should like to do so really, mother,
only on some accounts, you know."
"Well, now, what shall we do with it ? said his mother.
"You shall dispose of it all."
"If we had some eggs we would have a pudding," said
Mark, "a plum pudding. You can't make it without eggs,
can you, mother "
"Not very well," said Mrs Penly. Nor without plums."
"No, so that won't do," said Mark. It seems to me we
could have made more use of it if it had been apples."
"Ah, you are a discontented little boy," said his mother,
smiling. "Last night you would have been glad of any-
thing. Now, I advise that you drink a cup of milk for your
breakfast "-
"A whole cupful ?" interrupted Mark.
Yes, and another for your tea; and then you will have
two left for breakfast and tea to-morrow."
But then you won't have any of it," said Mark.
"I don't want any."
But you must have some," said Mark. Now I 'l tell



18





THE THREE APPLES.



you what, mother. I'll drink a cupful this morning and you
shall put some in your tea; and to-night I'll drink some
more and you shall have cream, real cream; and what is
left I'11 drink to-morrow."
Very well," said his mother. But now you must run
and get washed and dressed, for breakfast is -almost ready.
I have made you a little shortcake, and it is baking away at
a great rate in the oven."
What is shortcake made of 1" said Mark, stopping with
the door in his hand.
"This is made of flour and water, because I had nothing
else."
"Well, don't you set the table," said Mark, "because I
shall be back directly; and then I can talk to you about the
milk while I'm putting on your cup, and my cup, and the
plates."
It would be hard to tell how much Mark enjoyed his
cup of milk--how slowly he drank it-how careful he was
not to leave one drop in the cup ; while his interest in the
dish of milk in the closet was quite as deep. Jack did not
go oftener to see how his bean grew, than did Mark to see
how his cream rose.
Then he set out to go with his mother to church.
The influence of the dish of milk was not quite so strong
when he was out of the house; so many things spoke of
other people's dinners that Mark half forgot his own break-
fast. He thought he never had seen so many apple trees,
nor so many geese and turkeys, nor so many pumpkins, as
in that one little walk to church. Again and again he
looked up at his mother to ask her sympathy for a little
boy who had no apples, nor geese, nor pumpkin pies; but
something in the sweet quiet of her face made him think
of the psalm he had read last night, and Mark was silent.
But after a while his mother spoke:-
"There was once a man, Mark, who had two springs of
water near his dwelling. And the furthest off was always
full, but the near one sometimes ran dry. He could always
fetch as much as he wanted from the further one, and the



19






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



water was by far the sweetest; moreover, he could, if he
chose, draw out the water of the upper spring in such
abundance that the dryness of the lower should not be
noticed."
Were they pretty springs ?" said Mark.
"The lower one was very pretty," replied his mother,
"only the sunbeams sometimes made it too warm; and
sometimes an evil-disposed person would step in and muddy
it; or a cloudy sky made it look very dark. Also the flowers
which grew by its side could not bear the frost. But when
the sun shone, it was beautiful."
I don't wonder he was sorry to have it dry up, then,"
said Mark.
"No, it was very natural; though if he drank too much
of the water it was apt to make him sick. But the other
spring "- and the widow paused, while her cheek flushed,
and on her lips weeping and rejoicing were strangely
mingled.
"There was 'a great Rock,' and from this 'the cold flow-
ing waters' came in a bright stream that you could rather
hear than see; yet was the cup always filled to the very
brim, if it was held there in patient trust, and no one ever
knew that spring to fail, yea in the great droughts it was
ever full. And the water was life-giving.
"But this man often preferred the lower spring, and would
neglect the other when this was full; and if forced to seek
the Rock, he was often weary of waiting for his cup to fill,
and so drew it away with but a few drops. And he never
learned to love the upper string as he ought, until one year
when the very grass by the lower spring was parched, and
he fled for his life to the other. And then it happened,
Mark," said his mother, looking down at him with her eyes
full of tears, "that when the water at last began slowly to
run into the lower spring, though it was very lovely, and
sweet, and pleasant, it never could be loved best again."
"Mother," said Mark, "I don't know exactly what you
mean, and I do know a little, too."
Why, my dear," said his mother, I mean that when we



20






THE THREE APPLES.



lack anything this world can give, we must fetch the more
from heaven."
"You love heaven very much, don't you, mother I" said
Mark, looking up at her quite wonderingly.
More than you love me."
Mark thought that was hardly possible ; but he did not
like to contradict his mother, and besides, they were now at
the church door, and had to go in and take their seats.
Mark thought the clergyman chose the strangest text that
could be for Thanksgiving Day, it was this :-
"There is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our
eyes."
When church was over, and Mark and his mother were
walking home again, they were overtaken by little Tom
Crab.
Come," said little Tom, "let us go and sit on the fence and
eat apples. We sha'n't have dinner to-day till ever so late,
because it takes so long to get it ready; and I am so hungry.
What are you going to have for dinner I"
I don't know," said Mark.
"I know what we are going to have," said Tom, only I
can't remember everything. It makes me worse than ever
to think of it. Come-let us go and eat apples."
"I have not got any," said Mark.
"Haven't got any!" said Tom, dropping Mark's elbow
and staring at him-for the idea of a boy without apples had
never before occurred to any of Mr Crab's family. Oh,
you mean you have eaten up all you had in your pocket 1"
"No," said Mark, "we haven't had any this year. Last
year Mr Smith gave us a basketful."
"Well, come along, and I '11 give you some," said Tom.
I've got six, and I think three will do for me till dinner.
Oh, Mark you ought to see the goose roasting in our kit-
chen ? I'll tell you what-I think I may as well give you
the whole six, because I can run home and get some more;
and I might as well be at home, too, for they might have
dinner earlier than they meant to have it."
And filling Mark's pockets out of his own, Tom ran off.



21






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



It so happened," said Beachamwell, turning herself round
with a tired air when she got to this point in her story, "it
so happened, that Mark, having stopped so long to talk with
Tommy Crab, did not get home till his mother had her
things off and the table-cloth laid; and then, being in a
great hurry to help her, and a rather heedless little boy
besides, there being, moreover, but one table in the room,
Mark laid his six apples upon the sill of the window which
was open. For it was a soft autumn day-the birds giving
another concert in the still air, and the sunshine lying warm
and bright upon everything. The apples looked quite bril-
liant as they lay in the window, and as Mark ate his queer
little Thanksgiving dinner of bread and a bit of corned beef,
he looked at them from time to time with great pleasure.
But when it was almost time for the apples to come on
table as dessert, Mark suddenly cried out, "Mother! where
are my six apples 1"
"Why, on the window-sill," said his mother.
"There are but five there are but five !" said Mark. "I
must have lost one coming home! No, I didn't, either."
And running to the window, Mark looked out. There lay
the sixth apple on the ground, appropriated as the Thanks-
giving dinner of his mother's two chickens.
Mark could hardly keep from crying.
"It is too bad," he said, "when I had but six The ugly
things!"
"You called them beauties this morning," said his mother.
But just see my apple," said Mark, "all dirty and pecked
to pieces."
"And just see my little boy," said his mother, "all red and
angry. Did you suppose, my dear, that if apples rolled off
the window-sill, they would certainly fall inside ?"
S"I will take care, I'll never put anything there any more,"
said Mark, gathering up the five apples in his arms and
letting them ail fall again. But they fell inside this time,
and rolled over the floor.
You had better decide how many apples you will eat now,"
said Mrs Penly, "and then put the others away in the closet."



22





THE THREE APPLES. 23

"It is too bad!" said Mark. "I had but six; and I
thought you would have three and I should have three."
Well, you may have five," said his mother, smiling, the
chickens have got my part. And some good may come of
that yet, if it only teaches you to be careful."

Oddly enough," said Beachamwell, "some good did come
of it. When the chickens pecked the apple to pieces, the
seeds fell out, and one seed crept under a clover leaf where
the chickens could not find it. And when the snow had lain
all the winter upon the earth, and the spring came, this little
seed sprouted and grew, and sent down roots, and sent up
leaves, and became an apple tree."
"How soon 1" said Carl.
"Oh, in the course of years, by the time Mark was a great
boy. And the tree blossomed and bore fruit; and from that
time Mark and his mother never wanted for apples. He
called it the 'Thanksgiving tree ;' but it was a true Beach-
amwell, for all that."
"But stay !" exclaimed Carl, catching hold of Beacham-
well's stem in his great interest, Mark isn't alive now, is
he ?"
"No," said Beachamwell, twisting away from Carl and
her stem together. No, he is not alive now, but the tree
is, and it belongs to Mark's grandson. And the other day
he picked a whole waggon-load of us, and set off to market;
and we three were so tired of jolting about, that we rolled
out and lay by the wayside. Thus it was that your mother
found us."
"Well, that is certainly a very pretty story," said Carl;
"but nevertheless, I'm glad my stocking was full. Now I
will let you, Beachamwell. and Half-ripe, and Knerly, lie on
the chest and hear the rest of the stories, for I like this one
very much."
Carl was tired of sitting still by this time, so he went out
and ran about on the beach till dinner time; and after
dinner he went up to his corner again.
The sun came in through the little window, looking askanoe






24 THE CHRISTMAS'STOCKING.

at Carl's treasures, and giving a strange, oldfashioned air to
purse, and book, and stocking. The shoes looked new yet,
and shone in their blacking, and the apples had evidently
but just quitted the tree; while the bright penny gleamed
away in the fair light, and the old pine cone was brown as
ever, and reflected not one ray. Carl handled one thing and
another, and then his eye fell on his small portion of money.
He might want to spend it; therefore, if the penny could do
anything, it must be done at once; and as he thought on the
subject, the sun shone in brighter and brighter, and the face
of the penny looked redder and redder. Then the sunbeam
fled away, and only a dark little piece of copper lay on the
chest by the side of the new shoes.
"Now, penny," said Carl, "it is your turn. I will hear
you before the purse, so make haste."
"Turn me over, then," said the penny, "for I can't talk
with my back to the people."
So Carl turned him over, and there he lay and stared at
the ceiling.




THE STORY OF THE PENNY.

I CANNOT begin.to relate my history, said the penny, without
expressing my astonishment at the small consideration in
which I am held. "I wouldn't give a penny for it !"-" It
isn't worth a penny!" such are the expressions which we
continually hear; and yet truly a man might as well despise
the particles of flour that make up his loaf of bread.
People say it is pride in me; that may be, and it may not.
But if it be, why should not a penny have at least that kind
of pride which we call self-respect? I was made to be a
penny, I was wanted to be a penny, I was never expected to
be anything else, therefore why should I be mortified at
being only a penny I am all that I was intended to be,
- and a silver shilling can be no more. Pride, indeed why





THE PENNY.



even Beachamwell here is proud, I dare say, and only because
she is not a russet; while I think-Well, never mind, I have
bought a great many apples in my day and ought to know
something about them. Only a penny! People cannot
bargain so well' without me, I can tell you. Just go into the
market to buy a cabbage, or into the street to buy a news-
paper, and let me stay at home; see how you will fare then.
Indeed, when there is a question about parting with me, I
am precious enough in some people's eyes, but it hardly
makes?,, for the abuse I get from other quarters. There is
indeed one rather large class of the community who always
think me worth picking up, though they are over ready to
part with me. To them alone would I unfold the secrets of
my past life. I might have lain mute in a man's purse for
ever, and rubbed down all the finer parts of my nature
against various hard-headed coins; but there is something in
the solitude of a boy's pocket which touches all the sym.
pathies of our nature, even beforehand.
I am not, however, continued the penny, I am not at all
of friend Beachamwell's temperament,-in fact, I never
had but one impression made on me in my life. To be sure
that was permanent, and such as only Time can efface;
though no doubt he will one day soften. down my most pro-
minent points, and enable me to move through society with
a calm and even exterior. For it happens, oddly enough,
that while beneath the pressure of years the human
face divine" grows wrinkled and sometimes sharp, a penny
grows smooth and polished,-a little darker and thinner
perhaps than formerly, but with as good business faculties
as ever.
When that time arrives, said the penny, we refuse to tell
our age; but until then we are perfectly communicative. I
would at once tell you how old I am, but that you can see
for yourself.
I shall not give you a detailed account of my origin, nor
of the fire and water through which I passed in order to be-
come a penny. If, when you grow up, and you are still curi-
ous about the matter, you can travel over to England. Down



25






26 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

in Cornwall, you will find what may be called my birth-
place, and learn, with full particulars, why I left it. Neither
shall I relate how I was pressed, and clipped, and weighed,
at the Mint, nor speak of the first few times that I went to
market and changed hands. My present history will begin
with the pocket of a rich old gentleman, into which I found
my way one afternoon, along with a large variety of the
"circulating medium."
"You do use such big words !" said Carl.
Because I have travelled a great deal," said the penny.
"It is the fashion. But to return to the pocket."
What a pocket it was !
At the bottom lay an overfed pocket-book, bursting with
bank bills new and old, while another of like dimensions
held more value, snugly stowed away in notes and bonds.
The leather purse in which I lay had one end for pence and
the other for gold and silver; but with my usual love of
bright company, when the old gentleman slipped me in
among a parcel of dingy pence, I slipped out again, and ran
in among the half-sovereigns. For I was the only new penny
the old gentleman had, and as by right I belonged about
half to him and half to the bank, the cashier and he had
some words as to which should carry me off. I believe the
old gentleman chuckled over me half the way home.
If this part of my story teaches nothing else, said the
penny, with a moralising air, as he stared at the ceiling,
it will at least show the folly of going out of one's proper
place. Had I been content to lodge with the pence, I should
have been set to do a penny's work,-as it was I was made
to do the work of shillings, for which I was totally unfit
It fell out thus.
The old gentleman walked leisurely home, having very
much the air of a man with a pocket full of money,-as I
should think from the deliberate and comfortable way in
which we were jolted about; and when he rang his own
door bell it was already quite dark. A dear little girl opened
the door, dressed in a white frock and black apron.
Oh, grandpa," she said, I am so glad you are come, be.








cause a little boy has been waiting here ever so long for five
shillings."
Well, my dear," said the old gentleman, five shillings
are worth waiting for."
But he is in a great hurry to get home before dark, be-
cause he says the children have no bread for supper till he
buys it," said the little girl. "He brought a pair of boots
and shoes for you, grandpa, and his father is very poor."
"Is he ?" said the old gentleman. "Then I am afraid my
boots won't be mended properly. However, Fanny, my
dear, you may take him the money for them, if you like."
"Shall I fetch you a light, grandpa?" said the child.
"It is too dark to see."
"No, no-not a bit of it,-I know how a crown feels, well
enough. He shall have a crown for once in his life, at all
events."
And opening the most precious end of his purse, the old
gentleman's unerring thumb and finger drew forth me, and
laid me in the little girl's open palm. The soft little hand
closed upon me, and down she ran to the lower entrance.
"There," she said, "there it is. Grandpa has sent you
a crown. Have you got a great many little brothers and
sisters 1"
"This isn't a crown," said the boy, too busy examining me
to heed her last question. "He has made a mistake-this is
only a penny."
"Oh, well, I will take it back to him, then," said the little
messenger. I suppose he could not see in the dark." And
away she ran.
The old gentleman by this time was enjoying his slippers
and the newspaper, between a blazing fire and two long
candles in tall silver candlesticks.
"Grandpa," said the child, laying her hand on his knee,
"do you know what you did in the dark ? You gave that
boy a penny instead of a crown-was it not funny ?"
"Hey what ?" said the old gentleman, moving his paper
far enough on one side to see the little speaker, "gave him
a penny instead If a crown ? Nonsense "



27



THE PENNY.






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



But you did, grandpa," urged the child. See here--h
gave it back to me. It was so dark, you know, and he took
it to the window to look; and he said directly it was only a
penny."
Which he had kept in his hand for the purpose, I'll war.
rant," said the old man. Took it to the window, did he 1
-yes, to slip it into his pocket. lie need not think to play
off that game upon me."
"But only look at it, grandpa," said the child,-" see-it
is only a penny. I'm sure he did not change it."
I don't want to look at it," said he, putting away her
hand. All stuff, my dear-it was as good a piece as ever
came out of the Mint. Don't I know the feel of one ? and
did I not take it out of the end of my purse where I never
put copper ? Bad boy, no doubt-you must not go back to
him. Here, William "-
"But he looked good, grandpa," said the child, "and so
sorry."
He will look sorry now, I'll be bound," said the old man.
"'I say, William !-take this penny back to that boy and
tell him to be off with it, and not to show his face here
again."
The command was strictly obeyed; and my new owner,
after a vain attempt to move the waiter, carried me into tle
street and sat down on the next door-step. Never in my
life have I felt so grieved at being only a penny, as then.
'he boy turned me over and over, and looked at me and
read my date, with a bewildered air, as if he did not know
what he was doing; and I, alas, who could have testified to
his honesty, had no voice to speak.
At length he seemed to comprehend his loss; for, drop-
ping me on the pavement, he sunk his head on his hands,
and the hot tears fell fast down from his face upon mine,
Then, in a sudden passion of grief and excitement, he caught
me up and threw me from him as far as he could; and I,
who had been too proud to associate with pence, now fell
to the very bottom of an inglorious heap of mud. As I lay
there, half smothered. I could hear the steps of the boy, who,



28





THE PENNY.



soon repenting his hastiness, now sought me-inasmuch as
I was better than nothing; but he sought in vain. He
could not see me and I could not see him, especially as there
was little but lamp light to see by, and he presently walked
away.
I am not good at reckoning time, said the penny, but I
should think I might have lain there about a week-the mud
heap having in the meantime changed to one of dust-when
a furious shower arose one afternoon, or, I should rather say,
came down; and not only were dust and mud swept away,
but the rain even washed my face for me, and left me almost
as bright as ever, high and dry upon a clean paving-stone.
I felt so pleased and refreshed with being able to look
about once more, that of what next would become of me I
hardly thought; and very wet and shiny I lay there, bask-
ing in the late sunshine.
"I thought you said you were high and dry," said Carl.
"That is a phrase which we use," replied the penny. "I
was high and dry in one sense-quite lifted above the little
streams of water that gurgled about among the paving-stones,
though the rain-drops were not wiped off my face: and as I
lay there I suddenly felt myself picked up by a most care.
ful little finger and thumb, which had no desire to get wet
or muddy. They belonged to a little girl about ten years
old."
"You pretty penny," she said admiringly-"how bright
and nice you do look! and how funny it is that I should
find you I never found anything before. I wonder how
you came here-I hope some poor child didn't lose you."
While she thus expressed her opinion I was busy making
up mine, and truly it was a pleasant one. Her cotton frock
was of an indescribable brown, formed by the fading to-
gether of all the bright colours that had once enlivened it--
water and soap, and long wear, had done this. But water
and soap had also kept it clean, and a very little starch spread
it out into some shape, and displayed the peculiar brown to
the best advantage. Instead of an old straw bonnet with
soiled ribbons, she had a neat little sun-bonnet; but this



219





30 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

being made of a piece of new pink cotton, made her face look
quite rosy. I could not see her feet and shoes, for my back
was towards them, but I have no doubt they were in nice
order-she was too nice a child to have it otherwise. Her
hair was brushed quite smooth, only when she stooped to
pick me up one lock had fallen down from under the sun-
bonnet, and her face was as simple and good as it could be.
With what contented eyes did she look at me !-she did not
wish she had found a piece of gold-indeed I thought it
doubtful whether she had ever heard of such a thing. But
I saw that her cheeks were thin, and that they might have
been pale but for the pink sun-bonnet. Whatever she meant
by "a poor child," little Fanny would surely have given the
name to her.
Suddenly she exclaimed-" Now I can get it Oh, I am
so glad Come, little penny, I must give you away, though
I should like to keep you very much, for you are very pretty;
but you are all the money I have got in the world."
Now for the candy-shop, thought I; for as she turned and
began to walk away as fast as she could, I peeped into the
little basket that hung on her arm and saw there a small loaf
of bread-so I knew I was not to go for that commodity.
She did not put me in the basket, but kept me fast in her
hand as she tripped along, till we came to a large grocer's
shop. There she went in.
"Please, sir, to let me have a penny worth of tea," she said,
timidly.
"Got sixpence to pay for it ?" said one of the shopmen,
to make the other shopmen laugh, in which he succeeded.
No, sir, I have got this," she said, modestly showing me,
and giving me a kind glance at the same time. "It is only
a penny, but it w ill get enough for mother, and she is ill and
wanted some tea so much."
The young men stopped laughing, and looked at the child
as if she had just come out of the museum; and one of them
taking down a canister, measured out two or three good
pinches of tea into a brown paper and folded it up. The
child took it with a very glad face, laying me down on the





THE PENNY.



counter with a joyful Thank you, sir," which I by no means
repeated, I. wanted to go home with her and see that tea
made. But we pence can never know the good that our
purchases do in the world.
The shopman took me up and balanced me upon his finger,
as if he had half a mind to give the child back her money,
and pay the sum of one penny into the till out of his own
private purse. But habit prevailed; and dropping me into
the till, I heard him remark as he closed it, I say, Bill, I
have no doubt now that is a good child."
I had no doubt either.
We were a dull company in the till that night, for most
of the money was old; and it is a well-known fact that
worn-out coins are not communicative. And some of the
pieces were rusty through long keeping, and one disconsolate
little sixpence which sat alone in the furthest corner of the
till was in a very sad state of mind; for he had just laid
himself out to buy some rice for a poor family and now could
do nothing more for them-and he was the last moneyed
friend they had.
In this inactive kind of life some time passed away, and
though some of us were occasionally taken to the market
yet we never bought anything. But one evening a man
came into the grocer's shop and asked for starch, and we
hoped for bright visitors; but I had no time to enjoy them,
for I was sent to make change. The messenger was a man-
servant; and with the starch in his hand, and me in his
pocket, he soon left the shop and went whistling along the
street. Then he put his other hand into the pocket, and
jingled me against the rest of the change in a most unplea-
sant manner-picking me up and dropping me again, just as
if pence had no feeling. I was glad when he reached home,
and ran down the area steps and into the kitchen. He gave
the starch to the cook, and then marking down on a little
bit of paper what he had bought and what he had spent, he
carried it with the change into the parlour. But what was
my surprise to find that I was in the very same house from
whence I had gone forth as a crown-piece I
'-



31





32 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

The old gentleman was asleep in his chair now, and a
pretty-looking lady sat by, reading; while the little girl was
playing with her doll on the rug. She jumped up, and came
to the table and began to count the change.
"Two and sixpence, mamma-see, here are a shilling and
two sixpences, and fivepence, and a penny. Mamma, may I
have this penny "
"It is not mine, Fanny-your grandfather gave James the
money."
Well, but you can pay him again," said the child; "and
besides, he would let me have it, I know."
What will you do with it, Fanny ? "
"Don't you know, mamma, you said you thought you
would give me one penny a month to spend ?"
To do what you liked with," said her mother. Yes, I
remember. But what will you do with this one ? "
"Oh, I don't know, mamma-I shall see if grandpa will
let me have it."
Let you have what ?" said the old gentleman, waking
up.
This penny, grandpa."
"To be sure you may have it! Of course!-and fifty
more."
No, she must have but one," said the lady, with a smile.
"I am going to give her an allowance of one penny a month."
Fiddle-de-dee!" said the old gentleman. What can she
do with that, I should like to know ?-one penny-absurd!"
Why, she can do just the thirtieth part of what she could
with half-a-crown," said the lady, and that will be money
matters enough for such a little head. So you may take the
penny, Fanny, and spend it as you like; only I shall wish to
be told about it afterwards."
Fanny thanked her mother, and holding me fast in one
hand she sat down on the rug again by her doll. The old
gentleman seemed very much amused.
"What will you do with it, Fanny I" he said, bending
down to her. Buy candy "
Fanny smiled and shook her head.






THE PENNY.



No, I think not, grandpa-I don't know-I'11 see. Per.
laps I shall buy beads."
At which the old gentleman leaned back in his chair and
laughed very heartily.
From that time, whenever little Fanny went to walk, I
went too, and she really seemed to be quite fond of me; for
though she often stopped before the candy shops or the toy
shops, and once or twice went in to look at the beads, yet
she always carried me home again.
Mamma, I don't know how to spend my penny," she said,
one day.
Are you tired of taking care of it, Fanny I"
"No, mamma, but I want to spend it."
"Why?"
"Why, mamma-I don't know-money is made to spend,
is it not 1"
Yes, it is made to be spent-not to be thrown away."
"Oh, no," said Fanny, "I would not throw away my
penny for anything. It is a very pretty penny."
How many ways are there of throwing away money 1"
said her mother.
O mamma-a great many I could not begin to count.
You know I might throw it out of the window, mamma, or
drop it in the street-or somebody might steal it; no, then
it would only be lost."
Or you might shut it up in your box and never spend it."
"Why, mamma!" said Fanny, opening her eyes very
wide, would it be thrown away then "
Certainly-you might just as well have none. It would
do neither you nor any one else any good."
But I should have it to look at."
"But that is not what money was made for. Your penny
would be more really lost than if you threw it out of the
window, for then some poor child might pick it up."
How surprised she would be I" said Fanny, with a very
bright face. Mamma, I think I should like to spend my
money so. I could stand behind the window-curtain and
watch."
C



33






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



Her mother smiled.
"Why, mamma ? do you think there would not be any
poor child passing by 1 "
"I should like to see that day, dear Fanny. But your
penny might fall into the grass in the courtyard, or into the
mud, or a horse might tread it down among the paving-
stones; and then no one would be the better for it."
"But it is only one penny, mamma," said Fanny,-" it
does not matter so much after all."
Come here, Fanny," said her mother, and the child came
and stood at her side. The lady opened her purse, and took
out a little gold piece.
What is this made of ?" said she.
"Why, of gold, mamma."
Think again."
So Fanny thought, and could not tell, while she leaned
her head against her mother, and played with the little gold
coin. Then she laid it upon me to see how much smaller it
was, and how much brighter. Then she cried out, "Oh, I
know now, mamma! it is made of a hundred and twenty
pence."
"Then if every day you lose 'only a penny,' in one year
you would have lost more than a sovereign and a half. That
might do a great deal of good in the world."
"How strange that is," said Fanny. "Well, I will try and
not lose my penny, mamma."
There is another reason for not losing it," said her mo-
ther. In one sense it would make little difference whether
or not I threw this little gold piece into the fire-you see
there are plenty more in my purse. But, Fanny, they do
not belong to me." And taking up a Bible she read these
words-" The silver and gold are the Lord's."
"Do you think, Fanny, that it pleases Him if we waste or
spend foolishly what He has given us to do good with 3 "
"No, mamma; I won't get my beads, then," said Fanny,
with a little sigh.
"That would not be waste," said her mother, kissing her.
"It is right to spend some of our money for harmless
0



34





THE PENNY.



pleasure, and we will go and buy the beads this very after.
noon."
So after dinner they set forth.
It was a very cold day, but Fanny and her mother were
well wrapped up, so they did not feel it much. Fanny's
fur tippet kept all the cold wind out of her neck, and her
little muff kept one hand warm while the other was given
to her mamma. When that hand got cold, Fanny changed
its place, she put it in the muff, and took the other out.
As for me, I was in the muff all the time; and I was just
wondering to myself what kind of a person the bead-woman
would prove to be, when I heard Fanny say-
"Mamma did you see that little girl on those brown
steps I She had no tippet, mamma, and not even a shawl,
and her feet were all tucked up in her petticoat; and "-
and Fanny's voice faltered-"I think she was crying. I
did not look at her much, for it made me feel sad; but I
thought so."
"Yes, love," said her mother. "I saw her. How good
God has been to me, that it is not my little daughter who
is sitting there."
O mamma !"
Fanny walked on in silence for a few yards-then she
spoke again.
"Mamma-I'm afraid a great many poor children want
things more than I want my beads."
"I am afraid they do, Fanny."
"Mamma, will you please to go back with me, and let me
give that little girl my penny? would she not be pleased,
mamma ? would she know how to spend it V"
"Suppose you spend it for her, Fanny. People that are
cold are very often hungry, too-shall we go to the baker's
and buy her something to eat ?"
"Oh, yes!" said Fanny. "Will you buy it, mamma, or
shall I "
You, darling."
And when they reached the shop, Fanny looked round
once more at her mother, and opening the shop-door with
*



35






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



a pleased and excited little face, she marched up to the
counter.
"If you please, sir," she said, laying me down on the
counter, "I want something for a very poor little girl."
The baker was a large fat man, in the whitest of shirt-
sleeves and apron, and the blackest pantaloons and vest,
over which hung down a heavy gold watch-chain. He put
his hands on his sides, and looked at Fanny, and then at
me, and then at Fanny again.
What do you want, my dear said he.
Fanny looked round to her mother to reassure herself,
and repeated her request.
I want something for a very poor little girl, if you please,
sir. She is sitting out in the street all alone." And Fanny's
lips were trembling at the remembrance. Her mother's
eyes were full, too.
"What will you have, my dear 1" said the baker.
Fanny looked up at her mother.
"What would you like if you were hungry ?" replied her
mother.
"Oh, I should like some bread," said Fanny, "and I am
sure the little girl would, too. But all those loaves are too
big."
How would these do I" said the baker, taking some rolls
out of a drawer.
"Oh, they are just the thing!" said Fanny, "and I like
rolls so much. May I take one, sir I and is a penny enough
to pay for it ?"
The baker gave a queer little shake of his head, and
searching below the counter for a bit of wrapping paper, he
laid the two largest rolls upon it.
"A penny is enough to pay for two," he said. "Shall I
tie them up for you ?"
"No, thank you, sir, you need not tie it-if you will only
wrap them up a little. Mamma," said Fanny, turning again
to her mother, "I am afraid that poor little girl does not
know that 'the silver and gold are the Lord's,' and she will
only think that I gave it to her."



36






THE PENNY.



"I You can tell her, Fanny, that everything we have comes
from God," said her mother; and they left the shop.
"What a nice little girl!" said Carl. "I think I should
like to marry that little girl when I grow up-if I was good
enough."
The baker went into the back room, continued the penny,
to tell the story to his wife, and I was left to my own re-
flections on the counter; but I had reason to be well satis-
fied, for it was certainly the largest pennyworth I had ever
bought in my life. But while I lay there thinking about
it, a boy came into the shop; and seeing me, he caught me
np and ran out again. At least, he was running out, when
he tripped and fell; and as I am noted for slipping through
people's fingers, I slipped through his, and rolled to the
furthest corner of the shop. There I lay all night; and in
the morning, when the baker's boy was sweeping the floor,
he found me and put me in the till, for he was honest. But
just then, Mr Krinken came in with a string of fish, and the
careless creature gave me, with some other change, for a
parcel of miserable flounders. That is the way I came here.
"Why was he a careless boy?" said Carl. "I think he
was very careful, to find you at all."
Oh, because I did not want to quit the baker, I suppose,"
said the penny. "And I don't like the smell of fish,-it
does not agree with me."
"You won't smell much of it when I've kept you a little
while in my purse," said Carl "I'll take good care of you,
penny, and I won't spend you till I want something."

The next day Carl had tired himself with a run on the
sands. He used to tuck up his trousers as high as they
would go, and wade slowly in through the deepening water,
to pick up stones and shells, and feel the little waves splash
about his legs. Then, when a larger wave than usual came
rolling in, black and high, to break further up on the shore
than the other great waves did, Carl would run for it, shout-
ing and trampling through the water, to see if he could not
get to land before the breaker which came rolling and curling



37






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.'



so fast after him. Sometimes he did; and sometimes th-.t
billow would curl over and break just a little behind him,
and a great sea of white foam would rush on over his
shoulders and perhaps half hide his own curly head. Then
Carl laughed louder than ever. He did not mind the wetting
with salt water. And there was no danger, for the shore
was very gently shelving and the sand was white and hard;
and even if a large wave caught him up off his feet and
cradled him in towards the shore, which sometimes happened,
it would just leave him there, and never think of taking him
back again; which the waves on some beaches would cer-
tainly do.
All this used to occur in the summer weather; at Christ-
mas it was rather too cold to play with the breakers in any
fashion. But Carl liked their company, and amused himself
in front of them, this sunny December day, for a long time.
Hie got tired at last; and then sat himself down on the
sand, out of reach of the water, to rest and think what he
should do next. There he sat, his trousers still tucked up
as far as they would go, his little bare legs stretched out
towards the water, his curls crisped and wetted with a dash
or two of the salt wave, and his little ruddy face sober arid
thoughtful,-pleasantly resting, and gravely thinking what
should be the next play. Suddenly he jumped up, and the
two little bare feet pattered over the sand and up on the
bank, till he reached the hut.
What ails the child ?" exclaimed Mrs Krinken.
But Carl did not stop to tell what. He ran to the cup-
board; and climbed up on a chair, and drew forth with
some trouble, from behind everything, a clumsy wooden box
This box held nobody's treasures but his own. A curious
boxful it was. Carl soon picked out his Christmas purse;
and without looking at another thing shut the box, pushed
it back, closed the cupboard door, and getting down from
his chair, ran back, purse in hand, the way he came; the
little bare feet pattering over the sand, till he reached the
place where he had been sitting; and then down he sat
again just as he was before, stretched out his legs towards



38



*LsS1





THE PURSE. 39

the sea, and put the purse down upon the sand between
them.
"Now, purse," said he, "I'll hear your story. Come,-
begin."
I don't feel inclined for story-telling," said the purse.
"I have been opening and shutting my mouth all my life,
and I am tired of it."
The purse looked very snappish.
"Why, you wouldn't be a purse if you could not open and
shut your mouth," said Carl.
"Very true," said the other; "but one may be tired of
being a purse. I am."
"Why 1" said Carl.
My life is a failure."
"I don't know what that means," said Carl.
"It means that I never have been able to do what I was
meant to do, and what I have all my life been trying to do."
"What is that ?" said Carl.
To keep money."
You shall keep my penny for me," said Carl.
"Think of that! A penny! anything might hold a penny
I am of no use in the world."
"Yes, you are," said Carl,-" to carry my penny."
You might carry it yourself," said the purse.
"No, I couldn't," said Carl. "My pockets are full."
"You might lose it, then. It is of no use to keep one
penny. You might as well have none."
"No I mightn't," said Carl; and you must keep it; and
you must tell me your story, too."
"You may lose me," said the purse. "I wish your mother
had."
"No, I shan't lose you," said Carl; and he lifted up his
two legs on each side of the purse, and slapped them down
in the sand again; I shan't lose you."
It would not be the first time," said the purse.
Were you ever lost 1" said Carl
"Certainiy I was."
Then how did you get here 3"





40- TIHE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

"That is the end of my story-ndt the beginning."
"Well make haste and begin," said Carl.
"The first place in which I was settled was a large fancy
shop in London," the purse began.
"Where were you before that said Carl.
"I was in one or two rooms where such things are made,
and where I was made."
Where were you before that 1"
I was not a purse before that. I was not anywhere."
"What are you made of said Carl, shortly.
"My sides are made of sealskin, and my studs and clasp
are silver."
Where did the sides and the clasp come from "
"How should I know said the purse.
"I thought you knew," said Carl.
"No, I don't," said the purse.
"Well, go on," said Carl. "What did you do in that large
shop ?"
"I did nothing. I lay in a drawer, shut up with a parcel
of other purses."
Were they all sealskin with silver clasps "
"Some of them; and some were morocco leather with
steel clasps."
"I'm glad you have got silver clasps," said Carl,-" you
look very bright."
For Mrs Krinken had polished up the silver of the clasp
and of every stud along the seams, till they shone again.
"I feel very dull now," said the purse; "but in those
days I was as bright as a butterfly, and as handsome. My
sides were a beautiful bright red."
"I don't believe it," said Carl; "they are not red a bit
now."
"That is because I have been rubbed about in the world
till all .my first freshness is worn off. I am an old purse,
and have seen a great deal of wear and tear."
You are not torn a bit," said Carl.
"If you don't shut your mouth, I will," said the purse.
"I will;" said Carl; "but you must go on."







My next place was in a gentleman's pocket."
"How did you get there ? "
"Ha came to buy a purse, and so a number of us were
thrown out upon the counter, and he looked at us and tried
us, and bought me and put me in his pocket."
"* What did you do there "
"There my business was to hold guineas and half guineas,
and crowns and half crowns, and all sorts of beautiful pieces
of silver and gold."
"And pence said Carl.
"No, not one. My master had not any. He threw all his
pennies away as fast as he got them."
"Threw them away where ?" said CarL
"Anywhere-to little boys, and beggars, and poor people,
and gate-openers, and such like."
"Why did he not keep them ? "
"He had enough besides-gold and silver. He did not
want pennies and halfpennies."
"I wish you had kept some of them," said Carl
"I never had them to keep. I could only keep what he
gave me, and not even that. He was always taking out and
putting in."
Did he wear the red off?" said Carl.
No ; I did not stay long enough with him. He was
travelling in some part of England, with a friend, riding
over a wide lonely plain one day; and they saw at a little
distance before them a cow in the road, lying down, across
their path. Stapleton', said my master, let us clear that
cow." "Can't your servant do that ?" said Mr Stapleton.
"Do what said my master. "Clear that beast from the
road," said his friend. "Pshaw !" said my master,-" I mean,
let us clear her at a bound. Leave her in quiet possession of
the road, and let us take a jump over her back." "Suppose
she took a stupid notion to get out of our way just as we
are in hers," said Mr Stapleton. I don't suppose anything
of the sort," said my master; "we shall be too quick for her."
With that they put spurs to their horses, but it happened
that Mr Stapleton's horse got the start and was a little



THE PURSE.



41






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



forward. He cleared the cow well enough, but unluckily
it gave her an impression that just where she lay was a
dangerous place to be in; and she was throwing up her hind
legs at the very minute my master came to take the leap.
He was flung over and over, he and his horse, over and
under each other-I don't know how. I only know my
master was killed.
His friend and his servant picked him up and laid him
by the road-side; and while Mr Stapleton went full speed
to the nearest town to get help, the other stayed behind to
take care of his master and do what could be done for him.
But he very soon found that nothing could be done for him;
and then, as nobody was in sight, he took the opportunity
to do what he could for himself, by rifling his master's
pockets. He pulled out several things which I suppose he
did not dare to keep, for he put them back again after a
careful look at them, and after carefully taking off some
seals from the watch chain. I did not fare so well. He had
me in his hands a long time, taking out and putting in silver
and gold pieces; afraid to keep too much, and not willing
to leave a crown that might be kept safely ; when a sudden
step was heard near, and the bursting out of a loud whistle
startled him. He jumped as if he had been shot, which was
natural enough, as he was running a pretty good chance of
being hanged. I was dropped, or thrown behind him in the
grass ; and before the countryman who came up had done
asking questions, the horses of Mr Stapleton and his assist-
ants were seen over the rising ground. They carried away
my unfortunate master, and left me in the grass.
I knew I should not stay there long, but I was picked
up sooner than I hoped. Before the evening had closed in,
,while the sun was yet shining, I heard the tread of light feet,
-somebody coming near the road and then crossing it. In
crossing, this somebody came just upon me; and a kind
sunbeam touching one of my silver points, I embraced the
opportunity to shine as brightly as I could. People say it
is dangerous to have bright parts; I am sure I never found
it out. I shone so she could not help seeing me. It was a



42






THE PURSE. '



girl about fifteen or sixteen years old; very tidy in her dress,
with a thin figure, and light brown hair nicely put back from
her face, and that face a very quiet sweet one. She looked
at me, inside and out, looked up and down the road, as if
to see where I had come from, and finally put me in her
pocket. I was very glad nobody was in sight anywhere, for
I knew by her face she would have given me up directly.
She left the road then, and went forward over the common,
which was a wide, lonely, barren plain, grass-grown, with
here and there a branch of bushes or a low stunted tree.
She was going after her cows, to bring them home; and
presently seeing them in the distance, she stood still and
began to call them.
"How did she call them ?" said Carl.
"'Cuff, Cuff, Cuff!'-That was while they were a long
way off; when they came near,-'Sukey,' and 'Bessie,' and
'Jenny.'"
And did they come when she called 1"
They left off eating as soon as they heard her; and then,
after they had looked a little while, to make sure it was she,
they set off slowly to come up to her."
How many cows were there ?" said Carl.
Sukey was a great black cow, and always marched first.
Dolly was a beautiful red cow, and always came second.
Three more followed in a line, and when they got up to their
little mistress she set off to go home, and the whole five of
them followed gravely in order.
The common was smooth and wide, and much broken
with ups and downs, and little foot paths--o cow-paths-
tracking it in all directions. We wound along, my mistress
and the cows, and I in my mistress's pocket, through one
and another of these; passing nothing in the shape of house,
but a large gloomy-looking building at some distance,
which I afterwards found was a factory. A little way be-
yond this, not more than a quarter of a mile, we came to a
small brown house, with one or two out-buildings. The
house stood in a little field and the out-buildings in another
little field, close beside it. Everything was small; house



43






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



and barn, and shed, and cow-field, and garden-field; but it
was all snug and neat, too.
"My little mistress-for she was slender, fair, and good,
Pnd such people we always call little "-
But she wasn't large, was she 1" said Carl
She was not as large as if she had been grown up, neither
was she little for fifteen or sixteen. She was just right.
She opened a gate 6f the barn yard, and held it, while all the
five cows marched slowly in, looking around them as if they
expected to see some change made in the arrangements since
they had gone out in the morning. But the old shed and
manger stood just where they had left them, and Sukey
stopped quietly in the middle of the barn-yard, and began
to chew the cud, and Dolly, and Bessie, and Beauty took their
stand in different places after her example; while Whiteface
went off to see if she could find something in the mangers.
She was an old cow that never seemed to have had enough."
"Was Beauty a handsome cow I" said Carl.
"No; she was the ugliest of the whole set; one of her
horns was broken, and the other lopped down directly over
her left eye."
"What was she called Beauty for, then V"
Why, I heard that she had been a very pretty calf, and
was named Beauty in her youth; but when she grew older,
she took to fighting, and broke one of her horns; and the
other horn bent itself down just in the wrong place. There
is no knowing, while they are little, how calves or children
will turn out."
When their mistress had shut the gate upon the five cows,
she opened another small gate in the fence of the field where
the house stood; and there she went in, through two beds
of roses and sweet herbs that were on each side of the nar-
row walk, up to the door. That stood open to let her in.
It was the nicest place you ever saw. A clean-scrubbed
floor, with a thick coarse piece of carpet covering the middle
of it: a dark wooden table and wooden chairs, neat and in
their places; only one chair stood on the hearth as if some-
body had just left it. There was a large, wide, comfortable



S44








fireplace, with a fire burning in it, knd over the fire hung a
large iron tea-kettle, in the very midst of the flames, and
singing already. On each side of the chimney, brown wooden
cupboards filled up the whole space from the floor to the
ceiling. All tidy and clean. The hearth looked as if you
might have baked cakes on it.
The girl stood a minute before the fire, and then went to
the inner door and called, "Mother!"
A pleasant voice from somewhere said,-" Here 1"
"In the milk room ?"
"Yes."
And my little mistress went along a short passage,-brown
it was also, walls and floor, and all, even the beams overhead,
to the milk room; and that was brown too,-as sweet as a
rose.
"Mother, why did you put on the tea-kettle V"
"Because I wanted to have some tea, dear."
"But I would have done it."
"Yes, honey, I know. You've quite enough to do."
"Look here, what I've found, mother."
"Can't look at anything, daughter. Go along and milk,
and I will hear you at tea-time."
Then my little mistress took up her pails and went out by
another way, through another gate that opened directly into
the cows' yard; and there she milked the yellow sweet milk
into the pails, from every one of the five cows she had driven
home. All of them loved to be milked by her hand; they
enjoyed it, every cow of them; standing quietly and sleepily
munching the cud, excepting when now and then one of them
would throw back her head furiously at some fly on her side,
and then my mistress's soft voice would say-
"So, Beauty."
And Beauty was as good as possible to her, though I have
heard that other people did not find her so.
Mrs Meadows took the milk pails at the dairy door, and
my mistress came back into the kitchen to get tea. She put
up a leaf of the brown table, and set a tray on it, and out
of one of the cupboards she fetched two tea-cups and sau-



THE PUErSE.



45






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



cers; so I knew there were no more in the family. Then
two little blue-edged plates and horn-handled knives, and
the rest of the things; and when the tea was made, she made
up the fire, and stood looking at it and the tea-table by turns,
till her mother showed herself at the door, and came in
.taking off her apron. She was the nicest looking woman you
ever saw.
She wasn't as nice as my mother," said Carl.
"Mrs Krinken was never half so nice. She was the best-
natured, most cheerful, pleasant-faced woman you could find,
as bright as one of her own red apples."
"Mine are bright," said Carl.
"Yours are bright for Christmas, but hers were bright for
every day. Everything about her was bright. Her spoons,
and the apples, and the brass candlesticks, and the milk pans,
and the glass in the window, and her own kind heart. The
mother and daughter had a very cosy tea; and I was laid
upon the table, and my story told, or rather the story of my
being found; and it was decided that I should remain in the
keeping of the finder, whom her mother, by some freak of
habit, rarely called anything but 'Silky.'"
"What for?" said Carl.
"You may find out, if you don't ask so many questions,"
said the purse, snappishly. "It is yours, Silky," Mrs Mea-
dows said, after looking at me, and rubbing the silver mount-
ings. "How odd such a handsome purse should have no
money in it !"
I am not going to put it away out of sight, mother," said
Silky; "I am going to have the good of it. I'll keep it to
hold my milk-money."
"Well, dear, this is the first," said Mrs Meadows;-"here
is a silver penny I took for milk while you were gone after
the cows."
"Who came for it, mother ?"
"I don't know-a lady riding by-and she gave me this."
So a little silver coin was slipped into my emptiness, and
my little mistress laid me on a shelf of the other cupboard,
alongside of an old Bible. But she left the door a little way



46






THE PURSE.



47



open; and I could see them at work, washing up the tea-
things, and then knitting and sewing upon the hearth, both
of them by a little round table. By and by Mrs Meadows
took the Bible out and read, and then she and Silky knelt
down, close together, to pray. They covered up the fire after
that, and shut the cupboard door, and went off to bed; and
I was left to think what a new place I had come to, and how
I liked it.
It was a very great change. In my old master's pocket I
had kept company with wealth and elegance,-the tick of his
superb wStch was always in my ear; now, on Mrs Meadows'
cupboard shelf, I had round me a few old books, beside the
Bible; an hour-glass; Mrs Meadows' tin knitting-needle case;
a very illiterate inkstand, and stumpy clownish old pen; and
some other things that I forget. There I lay, day and night;
from thence I watched my two mistresses at their work and
their meals; from thence I saw them, every night and morn-
ing, kneel together to pray; and there I learned to have a
great respect for my neighbour the Bible. I always can tell
now what sort of people I have got amongst by the respect
they have for it.
""My mother has one," said Carl.
"Her great chest knows that," said the purse. "I have
been a tolerably near neighbour of that Bible for ten years;
and it rarely gets leave to come out but on Sundays."
She reads it on Sunday," said Carl.
"Yes, and puts it back before Monday. Mrs Krinken
means to be a good woman, but these other people were
good; there is all the difference."
My business was to lie there on the shelf, and keep the
milk pennies, and see all that was going on. Silky sold the
milk. The people that came for it were mostly poor people
from the neighboring village, or their children going home
from the factory; people that lived in poor little dwellings
in the town, without gardens or fields, or a cow to them-
selves, and just bought a penny or a halfpenny worth at a
time-as little as they could do with. There were a great
many of these families, and among them they took a pretty





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



good share of the milk ;-the rest Mrs Meadows made up into
sweet butter-honest sweet butter, she called it, with her
bright face and dancing eye; and everything was honest that
came out of her dairy.
The children always stopped for milk at night, when they
were going home; the grown people, for the most part, came
in the morning. After I had been on the cupboard shelf a
while, however, and got to know the faces, I saw there was
one little boy who came morning and evening, too. In the
morning he fetched a halfpennyworth, and in the evening
a pennyworth of milk, in a stout little brown jug; always
the same brown jug, and always in the morning he wanted a
halfpennyworth, and in the evening a pennyworth. He was
a small fellow, with a quantity of red hair, and his face all
marked with the small-pox. He was one of the poorest
looking that came. He was always without a hat on his
head; his trousers were fringed with rags; his feet bare of
shoes or stockings. His jacket was fastened close up, either
to keep him warm, or to hide how very little there was under
it. Poor little Norman Finch! That was his name.
He had come for several mornings. One day early, just
as Mrs Meadows and Silky were getting breakfast, his little
red head poked itself in again at the door with his little
brown jug, and "Please, ma'am,-a hap'orth."
Why don't you get all you want at once, Norman?* said
Silky, when she brought the milk.
"I only a want a hap'orth," said Norman.
But you will want a pennyworth to-night again, won't
you?"
"I '11 wait for it till then," said Norman, casting his eyes
down into the brown jug, and looking more dull than usual.
Why don't you take it all at once, then ?"
"I don't want it."
"Have you got to go home with this before you go to
work?"
"No-I must go," said Norman, taking hold of the door.
Are you going to the factory "
"Yes, I be."



48






THE PURSE.



"How will your mother get her milk "
"She will get it when I go home."
But not this, Norman. What do you want this for 1"
"I want it-she don't want it," said the boy, looking
troubled,-" I must go."
Do you want it to drink at the factory "
"No. It is to drink at the factory. She don't want it,"
said Norman.
He went off But as Silky set the breakfast on the table
she said-
Mother, I don't understand,-I 'm afraid there is some-
thing wrong about this morning milk."
"There is nothing wrong about it, honey," said Mrs
Meadows, who had been out of the room. "It is as sweet
as a cloverhead. What is the matter ?"
"Oh not the milk, mother; but Norman Finch's coming
after it in the morning. He won't tell me what it is for;
and they never used to take but a pennyworth a day, and
his jug is always empty now at night; and he said it was to
drink at the factory; and that his mother didn't want it;
and I don't know what to think."
Don't think anything, dear," said Mrs Meadows, "till we
know something more. We'll get the child to tell us,
poor little creature I wish I could keep him out of that
place."
"What place, mother?"
I meant the factory."
I don't think he can have a good home, mother, in his
father's house. I am sure he can't. That Finch is a bad man."
"Poor child," said Mrs Meadows, "he sees very little of
it. It's too much for such a morsel of a creature to work
all day long."
"But they are kind at the pin factory, mother. People
say they are."
"Mr Carroll is a kind man," said her mother. "But nine
hours is nine hours. Poor little creature!"
He looks thinner and paler now than he did six months
go." D



49





50 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

Yes, and then it was winter and now it is summer," said
Mrs Meadows.
I wish I knew what he wants to do with that milk," said
Silky.
The next morning Norman was there again. He put him-
self and his jug only half in at the door, and said somewhat
doubtfully-
"Please, ma'am,-a hap'orth."
"Come in, Norman," said Silky.
He hesitated.
"Come!-come in,-come into the fire; it is chilly out of
doors. You are in good time, aren't you "
Yes-but I can't stay," said the boy, coming in, however,
and coming slowly up to the fire. But he came close, and
his two hands spread themselves to the blaze as if they
liked it, and the poor little bare feet shone in the firelight on
the hearth. It was early, very cool and damp abroad.
I'11 get you the milk," said Silky, taking the jug; you
stand and warm yourself. You have plenty of time."
She came back with the jug in one hand and a piece of
cold bacon in the other, which she offered to Norman. He
looked at it, and then caught it, and began to eat imme-
diately. Silky stood opposite to him with the jug.
What is this milk for, Norman ?" she said, pleasantly.
He stopped eating and looked troubled directly.
What are you going to do with it 1"
Carry it-home," he said slowly.
"Now 1?-home now ? Are you going back home with it
now ?"
I am going to take it to the factory."
"What do you do with it there ?"
"Nothing," said Norman, looking at his piece of bacon
and seeming almost ready to cry;-" I don't do nothing with
it."
"You need not be afraid to tell me, dear," Silky said
gently. "I'm not going to do you any harm. Does your
mother know you get it ? "
He waited a good while, and then when she repeated the





THE PURSE.



question, taking another look at Silky's kind quiet face, he
said half under his breath-" No."
"What do you want it for then, dear I would rather
give it to you than have you take it in a wrong way. Do
you want it to drink ?"
Norman dropped his piece of bacon.
No," he said, beginning to cry, "I don't want it-I don't
want it at all !"
Silky picked up the bacon, and she looked troubled in her
turn.
Don't cry, Norman,-don't be afraid of me. Who does
want it 1."
Oh, don't tell!" sobbed the child; "my lttle dog."
"Now don't cry !" said Silky. "Your little dog "
Yes !-my little dog." And he sighed deeply between
the words.
"Where is your little dog ?"
He's up yonder-up to the factory."
Who gave him to you ?"
"Nobody didn't give him to me. I found him."
And this milk is for him ?"
He wants it to drink."
Does your mother know you get it?"
Norman didn't answer.
She don't 1" said Silky. Then where does the money
come from, Norman ?" She spoke very gently.
It's mine," said Norman.
"Yes, but where do you get it V"
Mr Swift gives it to me.
"Is it out of your wages "
Norman hesitated, and then said "Yes," and began to cry
again.
What is the matter?" said Silky. "Sit down and eat
your bacon. I'm not going to get you into trouble."
He looked at her again and took the bacon, but said he
wanted to go.
"What for ?-it isn't time yet."
Yes-I want to see my little dog."



51





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



"And feed him I Stop and tell me about him. What
colour is he ?"
"He's white all over."
"What's his name?"
"Little Curly Long-Ears."
What do you call him --all that 1"
"I call him Long-Ears."
"But why don't you feed him at home, Norman ?"
He lives up there."
And doesn't he go home with you 1"
No."
"Why not 1"
"Father wouldn't let him. He would take him away, or
do something to him."
Norman looked dismal.
"But where does he live ?"
"He lives up at the factory."
"But you can't have him in the factory 1"
"Yes I have," said Norman, "because Mr Carroll said he
was to come in because he was so handsome."
"But he will get killed in the machinery, Norman, and
then you will be very sorry."
"No, he won't get killed; he takes care; he knows he
mustn't go near the machinery, and he doesn't; he just
comes and lies down where I be."
"And does Mr Swift let him ?"
"He does let him, because Mr Carroll said he was to."
"But your money-where does it come from, Norman 1"
"Mr Swift," said Norman, very dismally.
"Then doesn't your mother miss it, when you carry home
your wages to her "
"No."
"She must, my child."
"She doesn't, because I carry her just the same as I did
before."
How can you, and keep out a ha'penny a day 1"
"Because I get more now-I used to have fourpence-
ha'penny, and now they give me fi'pence."



52






THE PURSE.



And Norman burst into a terrible fit of crying, as if his
secret was out, and it was all up with him and his-dog too.
Give me the milk, and let me go !" he exclaimed through
his tears. Poor Curly !-poor Curly !"
Here it is," said Silky, very kindly. "Don't cry-I'm
not going to hurt you or Curly either. Won't he eat any-
thing but milk ? Won't he eat meat ?"
"No-he can't."
"Why can't he 1"
"He doesn't like it."
"Well; you run off to the factory now, and give Curly his
milk, and stop again to-morrow."
"And won't you tell said Norman, looking up.
"I shall not tell anybody that will get you into trouble.
Run, now !"
He dried his tears and ran, fast enough ; holding the little
brown jug carefully at half-arm's length, and his bare feet
pattering over the ground as fast as his short legs could
make them.
Silky stood looking gravely after him.
"I'm so sorry for him, mother !" she said. "This won't
do; it is very wrong, and he will get himself into dreadful
trouble besides."'
Poor fellow! we shall see, honey;-we will try what we
can do," said Mrs Meadows.
The next morning Norman came again, and Mrs Meadows
was there.
How is Long-Ears, Norman, and how are you ?" she said,
cheerfully; but she did everything cheerfully.
"He's well," said Norman, looking a little doubtfully at
these civilities.
"And you are not well said Mrs Meadows, kindly.
"Suppose you come and see me to-morrow 7-it is Sunday
you know, and you have no work-will you ? Come bright
and early, and we will have a nice breakfast, and you shall
go to church with me if you like."
Norman shook his head. "Cuily will want to see me,"
he said.



53






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



"Well, about that do just as you like. Come here to
breakfast-that you can do. Mother will let you."
Yes, she'll let me," said Norman, and I can go to see
Long-Ears afterwards. You won't tell I" he added, with a
glance of some fear.
"Tell what I"
"About him," said Norman, nodding his head in the direc-
tion of the factory.
Long-Ears ?-Not I! not a word."
So he set off, with a glance of pleasure lighting up his little
face and making his feet patter more quickly over the
.ground.
"Poor little creature!" Mrs Meadows said again most
heartily, and this time the tear was standing in her eye.
The next morning it rained,-steadily, constantly. But at
the usual time Mrs Meadows and Silky were getting their
breakfast.
How it does pour down I said Mrs Meadows.
"I'm so sorry, mother," said Silky; "he won't come."
She had hardly turned her back to see to something at the
fire, when there he was behind her, standing in the middle
of the floor; in no Sunday dress, but in his every-day rags,
and those wet through and dripping. How glad and how
sorry both mother and daughter looked. They brought him
to the fire and wiped his feet, and wrung the water from his
clothes as well as they could ; but they did not know what to
do; for the fire would not have dried him in all the day;
and to sit down to breakfast dry, with him soaking wet at
her side, Mrs Meadows could not. What to put on him was
the trouble ; she had no children's clothes at all in the house.
But she managed. She stripped off his rags, and tacked two
or three towels about him; and then over them wound a
large old shawl, in some mysterious way, fastening it over the
shoulders in such a manner that it fell round him like a
loose straight frock, leaving his arms quite free. Then when
his jacket and trousers had been put to dry, they sat down
to breakfast.
In his old shawl wrapper dry and warm, little Norman



54






THE PURIE. ]



enjoyed himself, and liked very much his cup of weak coffee,
and bread and butter, and the nice egg which Mrs Meadows
boiled for him. But he did not eat like a child whose appe-
tite knew what to do with good things; he had soon
finished; though after it his face looked brighter and more
cheery than it had ever done before in that house.
Mrs Meadows left Silky to take care of the breakfast
things, and drawing her chair up on the hearth, she took
the little boy on her lap and wound her arms about him.
Little Norman," said she, kindly, "you won't see Long-
Ears to-day."
No," said Norman, with a sigh, in spite of breakfast and
fire; "he will have to do without me."
"Isn't it good that there is one day in the week when the
poor little tired pin-boy can rest 1" '
Yes-it is good," said Norman, quietly, but as if he were
too much accustomed to being tired to feel any rest from it.
This is God's day. Do you know who God is, Norman ?"
He made me," said Norman,-" and everybody."
"Yes, and everything. He is the great King over all the
earth ; and He is good ; and He has given us this day to rest
and to learn to be good and please Him. Can you read the
Bible, Norman 2"
"No, I can't read," said Norman. "Mother can."
You know the Bible is God's book, written to tell us how
to be good, and whatever the Bible says we must mind, or
God will be angry with us. Now the Bible says, 'Thou
shalt not steal.' Do you know what that means ?"
Mrs Meadows spoke very softly.
"Yes," said Norman, swinging one little foot backward
and forward in the warm light of the fire; "I've heard it."
What does it mean ?"
"I know," said Norman.
"It is to take what does not belong to us. Now, since
God has said that, is it quite right for you to take that
money of your mother's to buy milk for Long-Ears ?"
"It isn't her money said Norman. his face changing;
"tand Long-Ears mustn't starve !"



55






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



"It is her money, Norman; all the money you earn
belongs to her or to your father, which is the same thing.
You know it does."
"But Curly must have something to eat," said Norman,
bursting into tears. "Oh, don't tell! oh, don't tell !"
Hush, dear," said Mrs Meadows' kind voice, and she
laid her kind hand on his head; "I am not going to tell;
but I want you to be a good boy and do what will please
God, that you may be one of the lambs of the Good Shep-
berd's flock. Do you know what I am talking about ."
"Yes-no; I don't know about the lambs," said Norman.
Do you know who Jesus Christ is ?"
"No."
"Poor little thing !" said Silky, and the tears felt from
her face, as she went from the fire to the table. Norman
looked at her, and so did her mother, and then they looked
at each other.
"Jesus Christ is your best friend, little Norman."
"Is He ?" said Norman, looking surprised.
Do you know what He has done for you, little pin-boy I'
Norman looked, and no wonder; for Mrs Meadows' eyes
were running over, and he did not know what to make of
the dropping tears; but he shook his head.
"It is all in God's book, dear. Little Norman Finch, like
everybody else, has not loved God, nor minded His com-
mandments as he ought to do; and God would have
punished us all, if Jesus Christ hadn't come down from
heaven on purpose to take our punishment on Himself, so
that we might be saved."
"How would He have punished us V" said Norman.
"He would have sent us away from Him for ever, to be in
a miserable place, with devils and bad people, where we
should see nothing good nor happy, and we should not be
good nor happy ourselves; it is a place so dreadful, it is
called in the Bible the lake that burns with fire; and He
would never let us come into His heaven, where God is, and
Jesus Christ is, and the good angels, and all God's people
ire, who are all as good and happy as they can be."



56







"And should I have been punished so 9" said Norman.
"Yes, the Bible says so; and every one will now, who
won't believe and love Jesus Christ."
"And did He go there I"
"Where 1"
"To that place-that bad place; did He go there I"
What, the Lord Jesus ?"
Norman nodded.
"Not there. He is God, and He is called the Son of
God; He could not do that, but He did this: He came to
this world, and was born into the world a little child; and
when He grew up to be a man, He died a cruel death for you
and me-for you and me, little Norman."
"And then will God not punish me now ?" said Norman.
No, not a bit, if you will love the Lord Jesus, and be
His child."
What did He do that for ?" said Norman.
Because He is so good that He loved us, and wanted to
save us and bring us back to be His children, and to be good
and happy."
"Does He love me ?" said Norman.
"Yes, indeed," said Mrs Meadows; "do you think He
came to die'for you and does not love you ? If you will
love and obey Him, He will love you for ever, and take care
of you, better care than any one else can."
"There isn't any one else to take care of me," said Nor-
man. "Mother can't, and father don't much. I wish I
knew about that."
With a look of wonder and interest at her daughter, Mrs
Meadows reached her Bible without letting Norman down
from her lap; and turning from place to place, read to him /
the story of Christ's death, and various parts of His life and
teaching. He listened gravely, and constantly, and intently,
and seemed not to weary of it at all, till she was tired and
obliged to stop. He made no remark then, but sat a little
while with a sober face, till the fatigue of days past came
over him, and his eye-lids drooped, and slipping from Mrs
Meadows' lap, he laid himself down on the hearth to sleep.



THE PURSE.



57





58 THE CHRISTMAB STOCKING.

They put something under his head, and sat watching him,
the eyes of both every now and then running over.
How much do you think he understood, mother 1" said
Silky.
I don't know," said Mrs Meadows, shaking her head.
He listened, mother," said Silky.
"Yes. I won't say anything more to him to-day. He
has had enough."
And when the little sleeper awoke they lent all their
attention to give him a pleasant day. He had a good dinner
and a nice supper. His clothes were thoroughly dried; and
Mrs Meadows said, when she put them on, that if she could
only get an opportunity on a week-day, she would patch
them up comfortably for him. Towards nightfall the rain
stopped, and he went home dry and warm, and with a good
piece of cheese, and a loaf of plain gingerbread under his
arm. When he was all ready to set out, he paused at the
door, and looking up at Mrs Meadows, said-
"Does He say we mustn't do that '"
Who, dear ?"
Does Jesus Christ say we mustn't do that I"
"Do what ?"
Steal," said Norman, softly.
Yes, to be sure. The Bible says it, and the Bible is God's
Word; and Jesus said it over again, when He was on the
earth."
Norman stood a quarter of a minute, and then went out
and closed the door.
The next morning they looked eagerly for him; but he
did not come. He stopped in the evening as usual, but
Silky was just then busy, and did not speak to him beyond
a word. On Tuesday morning he did not come. At night
he was there again with his jug.
"How do you do, Norman ?" said Mrs Meadows, when
she filled it, and how is Long-Ears V"
But Norman did not answer, and turned to go.
"Come here in the morning, Norman," Mrs Meadows
called after him.






THE YURSE.



Whether he heard her or not, he did not show himself on
his way to the factory next morning. That was Wednes-
day.
"Norman hasn't been here these three days, mother," said
Silky. Can it be that he has made up his mind to do
without his halfpennyworth of milk for the dog ?"
"Poor little fellow !" said Mrs Meadows; "I meant to
have given it to him; skim milk would do, I dare say; but
I forgot to tell him on Sunday, and I told him last night to
stop, but he hasn't done so. We'll go up there, Silky, and
see how he is, after dinner."
"To the factory, mother i"
Yes."
And I'll carry a little pail of milk, mother."
"Well, honey, do."
After dinner they went, and I went in Silky's pocket,
The factory was not a great distance from Mrs Meadows'
house, which stood about half-way between that and the
town. Mrs Meadows asked for Mr Swift, and presently
he came. Mrs Meadows was a general favourite, I had
found that out; everybody spoke to her civilly; certainly
she did the same to everybody.
Is little Norman at work to-day, Mr Swift ?"
"Norman Finch ?-yes, ma'am, he is at work," said the
overseer;-" he has not done much work, this day or so."
He's not quite well, Mr Swift ?"
"Well, no, I suppose he isn't. He has not hard work
neither; but he's a poor little mortal of a boy."
"Is he a good boy, sir?"
"Average," said Mr Swift,-" as good as the average.
What, are you going to adopt him 1"
"No, sir," said Mrs Meadows;-"I wanted to ask a few
questions about him."
I don't know any harm of him," said Mr Swift. He's
about like the common. Not particularly strong in the head,
nor anywhere else, for that matter; but he is a good-feeling
child. Yes-now I remember. It is as much as a year ago,
that I was angry with him one day, and was going to give



59






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



the careless little rascal a strapping for something,-I forget
what; we must keep them in order, Mrs Meadows, let them
be what they will;-I was going to give it to him, for some-
thing, and a bold brave fellow in the same room, about six
times' as big, and six times as strong as Norman, offered to
take it, and spare him. I didn't care; it answered my pur-
pose of keeping order just as well that Bill Bollings should
have it, as Norman Finch, if he had a mind :-and ever since
that time Finch has been ready to lay down his body and
soul for Bollings if it would do him any service. He's agood-
hearted boy, I do believe."
Mrs Meadows and Silky looked at each other.
"That's it, mother !" said Silky. "That is why he under-
stood and took it so quickly."
"What a grand boy, the other must be !" said Mrs Mea-
dows.
Ah, well-that was noble enough," said Mr Swift,-" but
he's a kind of harum-scarum fellow-just as likely to get
himself into a scrape to-morrow as to get somebody else out
of one to-day."
"That was noble," repeated Mrs Meadows.
Norman has never forgotten it. As I said, he would lay
down body and soul for him. There's a little pet dog he has
too," Mr Swift went on," that I believe he would do as much
for. A pretty creature I would have bought it of him, and
given a good price for it, but he seemed frightened at the
proposal. I believe he keeps the creature here partly for
fear he should lose him if he took him home."
"Is it against the rules, sir, to have a dog in the fac-
tory 1"
Entirely !-of course I" said Mr Swift; "but Mr Carroll
has said it, and so a new rule is made for the occasion. Mr
Carroll was willing to let such a pretty creature be anywhere,
I believe."
I should be afraid he would get hurt."
So I was, but the dog has sense enough; he gets into no
danger, and keeps out of the way like a Christian."
May we go in, sir, and see Norman for a moment 1"



60





THE PURSE.



Certainly," Mr Swift said; and himself led the way.
Through long rooms and rows of workers went Mr Swift,
and Mrs Meadows and Silky after him, to the one where
they found little Norman. He was standing before some
sort of a machine, folding papers and pressing them against
rows of pins, that were held all in order and with their points
ready, by two pieces of iron in the machine. Norman was
not working briskly, and he looked already jaded, though it
was early in the afternoon. Close at his feet, almost touch-
ing him, lay the little white dog-a very little, and a most
beautiful creature. Soft white curling hair, and large silky
ears that drooped to the floor, as he lay with his head upon
his paws; and the two gentle brown eyes looked almost
pitifully up at the strangers. He did not get up; nor did
Norman look round till Mrs Meadows spoke to him.
"Hey, my boy, how are you getting on?" Mr Swift said
first, with a somewhat rough but not unkind slap across the
shoulders. Norman shrugged his shoulders, and said, "Pretty
well, thank you, sir,"-when he heard Mrs Meadows' soft
"Norman, how do you do "
His fingers fell from the row of pin points, and he turned
towards her, looking a great deal surprised and a little
pleased, but with a very sober face.
Where have you been these two or three days ?"
I've been here," said Norman, gravely.
How comes it you have not been for Long-Ears' mill
these three days ?"
"I-I couldn't," said Norman.
"Why ?"
"I hadn't any money-I gave it to mother."
He spoke low and with some difficulty.
What made you do that, Norman ?"
He looked up 't her.
Because-you know-Jesus said so."
Mrs Meadows had been stooping down to speak to him,
but now she stood up straight and for a minute she said
nothing.
"And what has Long-Ears done, dear, without his milk I



61





62 THE CHRISTMAS atOCKING.



Norman was silent and his mouth twitched. Mrs Meadows
looked at the little dog, which lay still in the same place,
his gentle eyes having, she thought, a curious sort of wist-
fulness in their look.
"Won't he eat meat?"
Norman shook his head and said "No," under his breath.
He '3 a dainty little rascal," said the overseer; "he was
made to live on sweetmeats and sugarplums."-And Mr
Swift walked on.
"I've brought him some milk," whispered Silky; and
softly stooping down she uncovered her little tin pail and
tried to coax the dog to come to it. But Norman no sooner
caught the words of her whisper and saw the pail, than his
spirit gave way; he burst into a bitter fit of crying, and
threw himself down on the floor and hid his face.
Mr Swift came back to see what was the matter. Mrs
Meadows explained part to him, without telling of Norman's
keeping the money.
Oh well," said Mr Swift,-" but he mustn't make such
a disturbance about it!-it is against all order; and feeding
the dog too, Lois !-but it is a pretty creature. He's
hungry, he is! It's well we don't have ladies come to the
factory every day."
Silky's other name was Lois.
"I will never do so again, Mr Swift," said she, gently.
"Oh, I don't say that," said he. "I don't dislike the sight
of you, Miss Lois; but I must have you searched at the
door. Keep this boy quiet, now, Mrs Meadows; and don't
stay too long; or take him with you."
The boy was quiet enough now. While Mr Swift had
been speaking he had raised himself from the floor, half up,
and had stopped sobbing, and was looking at Long-Ears and
gently touching his curly head; who on his part was lapping
the milk with such eagerness as if he had wanted it for
some time. Norman's tears still fell, but they fell quietly.
By the time the little dog had finished the milk they did
not fall at all Till then nobody said anything.
Come for it every morning again, my child," said Mrs





THE PURSE.



Meadows, softly;-" I'11 give it to you. What a dear little
fellow he is I don't wonder you love him. He shall have
milk enough."
Norman looked up gratefully and with a little bit of a
smile.
You don't look very strong, my boy," said Mrs Meadows.
You don't feel quite well, do you ?"
He shook his head, as if it was a matter beyond his under-
standing.
"Are you tired ?"
His eyes gave token of understanding that. "Yes. I'm
tired. People are not tired up there, are they i"
"Where, dear "
Up there-in heaven ?"
"No, dear," said Mrs Meadows.
"I shall go there, won't I? "
If you love Jesus and serve Him, He will take good care
of you and bring you there safely."
He will," said Norman.
"But you are not going yet, I hope, dear," said Mrs
Meadows, kissing him. "Good-bye. Come to-morrow, and
you shall have the milk."
Will you read to me that again, some day ?" he inquired
wistfully.
Mrs Meadows could hardly answer. She and Silky walked
back without saying three words to each other; and I never
saw Mrs Meadows cry so much as she did that afternoon and
evening.
Norman came after that every morning for the dog's milk;
and many a Sunday he and Long-Ears passed part of the
time with Mrs Meadows; and many a reading he listened to
there, as he had listened to the first one.
He didn't talk much. He was always near his little dog,
and he seemed quietly to enjoy everything at those times.
As the summer changed into autumn, and autumn gave
way to winter, Norman's little face seemed to grow better
looking, all the while it was growing more pale and his little
body more slim. It grew to be a contented, very quiet, and



63





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING



patient face, and his eye acquired an unusual clearness and
openness; though he never was a bad-looking child. "He
"- won't live long," Mrs Meadows said, after every Sunday.
The little white dog all this while grew more white, and
curly, and bright-eyed every day; or they at least all thought
so.
It was not till some time in January that at last Norman
stopped coming for milk, and did not go by to the factory
any more. The weather was severe. Mrs Meadows was
shut up in the house with a bad cold; and some days were
gone before she or Silky could get any news of him. Then,
one cold evening, his mother came for the milk, and to say
that Norman was very ill and would like to see Lois and Mrs
Meadows. She was a miserable-looking woman, wretchedly
dressed, and with a jaded spiritless air, that seemed as if
everything she cared for in life was gone, or she too poor to
care for it. I thought Norman must have a sad home where
she was. And his father must be much worse in another
way, or his mother would not have such a look.
Silky and Mrs Meadows got ready directly. Silky put
her purse in her pocket, as she generally did when she was
going to see poor people, and wrapping themselves up warm
with cloaks, and shawls, and hoods, she and her mother set
out. It was past sunset on a winter's day; clear enough, but
uncommonly cold.
"It will be dark by the time we come home, mother," said
Silky.
"Yes, honey, but we can find the way," came from under
Mrs Meadows' hood; and after that neither of them spoke a
word.
It was not a long way; they soon came to the town, and
entered a poor straggling street in which no good and com-
fortable buildings showed themselves, or at least no good
and comfortable homes. Some of the houses were decently
well built, but several families lived in each of them, and
comfort seemed to be unknown. At least after Mrs Mea-
dows' nice kitchen, with the thick carpet, and blazing fire,
and dark cupboard doors, these all looked so. The light



64





I THE PURSE.



65
,1



grew dimmer, and the air grew cooler, as Mrs Meadows and
Silky went down the street; and Silky was trembling all
over by the time they stopped at one of these brick dwelling-
houses and went in.
The front door stood open; nobody minded that; it was
nobody's business to shut it. They went in, through a dirty
passage and up-stairs that nobody ever thought of cleaning,
to the third story. There Mrs Meadows first knocked, and
then gently opened the door. A man was there, sitting over
the fire; a wretched tallow candle on the table hardly showed
what he looked like. Mrs Meadows spoke with her usual
pleasantness.
Good evening, Mr Finch ;-can I see little Norman ?"
"Yes,-I suppose so," the man said in a gruff voice, and
pointing to another door; "they're in yonder."
How is he "
"I don't know Going, I expect." He spoke in a tone
that might have been half heartless, half heartful. Mrs
Meadows stayed for no further questions. She left him
there and went on to the inner room.
It was so dark that hardly anything could be seen. A
woman rose up from some corner-it proved to be Mrs
Finch-and went for the light. Her husband's voice could
be heard gruffly asking her what she wanted with it, and
her muttered words of reply; and then she came back with
it in her hand.
The room was ill lighted, even when the candle was in it;
but there could be seen two beds; one raised on some sort
of a bedstead, the other on the floor in a corner. No fire
was in this room, and the bed was covered with all sorts of
,overings; a torn quilt, an old great coat, a small ragged
worsted shawl, and Norman's own poor little jacket and
trousers. But on these, close within reach of the boy's
hand, lay curled the little dog; his glossy hair and soft out-
lines making a strange contrast with the rags and poverty
and ugliness of the place.
Norman did not look much changed, except that his face
was so very pale it seemed as if he had no more blood to
E






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



leave it. Mrs Meadows and Silky came near, and neither
of them at first seemed able to speak. Mrs Finch stood
holding the light. Then Mrs Meadows stooped down by
the bed's head.
Little Norman," she said, and you could tell her heart
was full of tears,-" do you know me ?"
"I know you," he said, in a weak voice, and with a little
smile.
How do you do ?"
"Very well," he said in the same manner.
"Are you very well? said Mrs Meadows.
"Yes," he said. I'm going now."
"Where, dear ?"
"You know-to that good place. Jesus will take me,
won't He 1"
If you love and trust Him, dear."
He will take me," said Norman.
"What makes you think you are going, dear 1" said Mrs
Meadows.
"I can't stay," said Normaki shutting his eyes. He opened
them again immediately. "I'm going," he said. "I'm so
tired. I shan't be tired there, shall I "
"No, dear," said Mrs Meadows, whose power of speech
was likely to fail her. She kept wiping her face with her
pocket-handkerchief. Norman stroked and stroked his little
dog's head.
"Poor Long-Ears," said he, faintly,-"poor Long-Ears !-
I can't take care of you now. Poor Long-Ears! you are
hungry. He hasn't had anything to eat since-since-
mother "
He doesn't know how time goes," said Mrs Finch, who
had not before spoken. The dog hasn't had a sup of any-
thing since the day before yesterday. He must be hungry.
I don't know what he lives on. My husband don't care
whether anything lives or not."
Silky had not said a word, and she did not now, but she
brought out that same little tin pail from under her cloak
"and set it down on the floor. Norman's eye brightened,



.66







THE PURSE.



But the dog could not be coaxed to quit the bed; he would*
set only his two fore feet on the floor, and so drank the milk
out of the pail. Norman watched him, almost with a smile.
And when the dog, having left the milk, curled himself
down again in his old place, and looked into his master's
face, Norman quite smiled.
"Poor Long-Ears !" he said, patting him again with a
feeble hand; "I 'm going to leave you,-what will you do "
"I '11 take care of him, Norman," said Mrs Meadows.
"Will you !" said Norman.
"As long as he lives, if you wish."
Norman signed for her to put her ear down to him, and
said earnestly.
I give him to you-you keep him. Will you I"
"Yes, indeed, I will," said Mrs Meadows.
Then you will have milk enough, dear little Long-Ears,"
said Norman. "But," he said eagerly to Mrs Meadows, "you
must take him home with you to-night-I'm afraid father
will do something with him if you don't."
But you will want him," said Mrs Meadows.
"No, I won't. Father will do something with him."
Indeed he will, sure enough," said Mrs Finch.
"Then I'll take him, and keep him, dear, as if he were
yourself," said Mrs Meadows.
"I shan't want him," said Norman, shutting his eyes
again;-" I'm going."
And you are not sorry, dear said Mrs Meadows.
"No !" he said.
"I wonder why he should," said Mrs Finch, wiping her
eyes.
"And you know Jesus will take you?"
"Because I love Him," said Norman, without opening his
eyes.
"What makes you love Him so, dear ?"
"Because He did that for me," said Norman, opening his
eyes oncemnure to look at her, and then shutting them again.
And he never opened them any more. It seemed that hav-
ing his mind easy about his pet, and having seen his friends,



67






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



he wanted nothing more on this earth. He just slumbered
away a few hours, and died so, as quietly as he had slept.
His little pale meek face looked as if, as he said, he was glad
to go.
Nothing but a degree of force that no one cared to use,
could have moved Long-Ears from the body of his master
till it was laid in the grave. Then, with some difficulty,
Mrs Meadows gained possession of him and brought him
home.

"Is that all?" said Carl, when the story stopped.
All."
"What more of Mrs Meadows and Silky ?"
Nothing more. They lived there, and took care of
Long-Ears, and were kind to everybody, and sold milk, just
as they used to do."
And what about Long-Ears ?"
Nothing about him. He lived there with Mrs Meadows
and Silky, and was as well off as a little dog could be."
"And is that all?"
"That is all."
And how did you get here ?"
"I've told you enough for this time."
I'11 hear the rest another time," said Carl, as he grasped
the purse and ran off towards home; for it was nearly noon,
and his mother had called to him that dinner was ready.

"Mother," said Carl, "I have heard the stories of my
purse, and of my penny, and of my three apples; and
they're splendid "
"What a child 1" said Mrs Krinken. "Are the stories not
finished yet "
No," said Carl; and I don't know which to hear next.
There is the bdat, and the pine cone, and the shoes, and the
book, and the old stocking-all of them; and I don't know
which to hear first. Which would you, mother ?"
"What is all that ?" said John Krinken.
He says his things tell him stories," said Mrs Krinken;



68





THE PURSE.



"and he has told over one or two to me, and it is as good as
a book. I can't think where the child got hold of them."
Why, they told them to me, mother," said Carl
"Yes," said Mrs Krinken ; "something told it to thee,
child."
"Who told them, Carl ?" said his father.
"My penny, and my purse, and my three apples,-or only
one of the apples," said Carl;-" that was Beachamwell."
Beach 'em what I" said his father.
"Beachamwell-that is the biggest of my three apples,"
said Carl.
At which John and Mrs Krinken looked at each other,
and laughed till their eyes ran down with tears.
"Let us hear about Beachamwell," said John, when he
could speak.
"I've told it," said Carl, a little put out.
"Yes, and it was as pretty a story as ever I heard, or wish
to hear," said Mrs Krinken, soothingly.
"Let us hear the story of the shoes, then," said John.
"I haven't heard it yet," said Carl
"Oh, you can't tell it till you have heard it said his
father. I
"I have only heard three of them," said Carl, "and I
don't know which to hear next."
"The old stocking would tell you a rare story if it knew
how," said his father; "it could spin you a yarn as long as
its own."
"I would rather hear the old pine cone, John," said his
wife. "Ask the pine cone, Carl. I wish it could tell the
story, and I could hear it."
"Which first 1" said Carl, looking from one to the other.
But John and Mrs Krinken were too busy thinking of the
story-teller, to help him out with his question about the
stories.
Then I am going to keep the stocking for the very last
one," said Carl
"Why I" said his mother.
"Because it is ugly. And I intend to make the shoes



69 \





THE CHRISTMAS- STOCKING.



tell me their story next. I might want to put them on, you
know."
And Carl looked down at two sets of fresh-coloured toes
which looked out at him through the cracks of his old half-
boots.
Mr and Mrs Krinken got up laughing, to attend to their
business; and Carl, indignantly seizing his shoes, ran off
with them out of hearing to the sunny side of the house;
where he plumped himself down on the ground with them
in front of'him, and commanded them to speak.



THE STORY OF THE TWO SHOES.
"I BELIEVE," said the right shoe, "that I am the first indi-
vidual of my race whose history has ever been thought worth
asking for. I hope to improve my opportunity. I consider
it to be a duty, in all classes, for each member of the
class "-
"You may skip that," said Carl. "I don't care about it."
"I am afraid," said the right shoe, "I am uninteresting
My excuse is that I never was fitted to be anything else.
Not to press ourselves upon people's notice is the very lesson
we are especially taught; we were never intended to occupy
a high position in society, and it is reckoned an unbearable
fault in us to make much noise in the world."
"I say," said Carl, "you may skip that."
"I beg pardon," said the shoe, "I was coming to the point.
'Step by step' is our family motto. However, I know young
people like to get over the ground at a leap. I will do it
at once.
My brother and I are twins, and as much alike as it is
possible perhaps for twins to be. Mr Peg the cobbler,
thought we were exactly alike; and our upper leathers did
indeed run about on the same calf (as perchance they may
another time,) but our soles were once further apart than
they are ever likely to be for the future; one having roamed



70





THE TWO SHOES.



the green fields of Ohio on the back of a sturdy ox, while
the other came from Vermont. However, we are mates
now, and having been as they say "cut out for each other,"
I have no doubt we shall jog on together perfectly well.
We are rather an old pair of shoes. In fact, we have
been on hand almost a year. I should judge from the
remarks of our friend Mr Peg, when he was beginning upon
us, that he was quite unaccustomed to the trade of shoe-
making-shoe-mending was what he had before lived by;
or, perhaps, I should rather say, tried to live by; I am
afraid it was hard work; and I suppose Mr Peg acted upon
the excellent saying, which is also a motto in our family,
that "it is good to have two or three strings to one's bow."
It was in a little light front room, looking upon the street,
which was Mr Peg's parlour, and shop, and workroom, that
he cut out the leather and prepared the soles for this his
first manufacture. I think he had only stuff enough for one
pair, for I heard him sigh once or twice as he was fidgeting
with his pattern over my brother's upper leather till it was
made out. Mr Peg was a little elderly man, with a crown
of gray hair all round the back part of his head; and he sat
at work in his shirt sleeves, and with a thick, short leather
apron before him. There was a little fire-place in the room,
with sometimes fire in it, and sometimes not; and the only
furniture was Mr Peg's small counter, the low, rush-bottomed
chair in which he sat to work, and a better one for a cus-
tomer; his tools, and his chips; by which I mean the scraps
of leather which he scattered about.
Hardly had Mr Peg got the soles and the upper leathers
and the vamps to his mind, and sat down on his chair to
begin work, when a little girl came in. She came from a
door that opened upon a staircase leading to the upper.
rooms, and walked up to the cobbler. She was a little
brown-haired girl, about nine or ten years old, in an old
cotton frock; she was not becomingly dressed, and she did
not look very well.
Father," she said, "mother's head aches again."
The cobbler paused in his work, and looked up at her.



71






THE CHRISTMAS 4OQKINU.



"And she wants you to come up and rub it-she says I
can't do it hard enough."
Rather slowly Mr Peg laid his upper leather and tools down.
Will you close this shoe for me, Sue, while I am gone "
He spoke half pleasantly, and to judge by his tone and
manner, with some half-sorrowful meaning. So the little
girl took it, for she answered a little sadly-
I wish I could, father."
"I 'm glad you can't, my dear."
He laid his work down and mounted the stairs. She
went to the window, and stood with her elbows leaning on
the sill, looking into the street.
Beachhead is only a small town; but still, being a sea-
coast town, there is a great deal of bustle about it. The
fishermen from the one side, and the farmers from the other,
with their various merchandise; the active, strange-looking
boys and women, for ever bustling up and down, make it
quite a lively place. There is always a good deal to see in
the street. Yet the little girl stood very still and quiet by
the window; her head did not turn this way or that; she
stood like a stupid person, who did not care what was going
on. A woman passing up the street stopped a moment at
the window.
"How is your mother to-day, Sue ?"
"She's getting on slowly, Mrs Binch."
"Does the doctor say she is in danger "
"The doctor is not coming any more."
"Has he given her up ?"
"Yes; he says there is nothing to do but to let her get
well"
"Oh !-she is so brisk, is she 1"
"No, ma'am-she's not brisk at all; she says"-
But Mrs Binch had passed on and was out of hearing, and
the little brown head stood still at the window again, lean-
ing now on one hand. It was a smooth-brushed, round
little head, seen against the open windows. By and by
another stopped, a lady this time; a lady dressed in black,
with a sweet, delicate face.



72





THE TWO SHOES.



How is your mother, Sue l"
She's just the same, Mrs Lucy."
"No better?"
"Not much, ma'am. It will take a long time the doctor says."
"And are you, poor little tot, all alone in the house to do
everything 1"
No, ma'am-there's father."
The sweet face gave her a sort of long, wistful look, and
passed on. She stood there still at the open window, with
her head leaning on her hand; and whatever was the reason,
so dull of hearing, that her father had come down, seated
himself in his chair, and taking up his shoe, several minutes
before she found it out. Then she left the window and came
to him.
"What shall I do, father "
"She will want you directly," said the cobbler. "She's
asleep now."
Sue stood still
"Don't you want some dinner, Sue?"
She hesitated a little, and then said Yes."
"Well see, dear, and make some more of that porridge.
Can you "
"Yes, father, there is some meal. And there is a little
bread, too "
"You may have that," said the cobbler. "And I '11go out
by and by and see if 1 can get a little money. Mr Shipham
had a pair of boots new soled a month ago, and Mr Binch
owes me for some jobs-if I only could get the money for
them."
And the cobbler sighed.
"If people only knew, they would pay you, father, wouldn't
they I"
There is One that knows," said the cobbler. And why
they don't pay me He knows. Maybe it is to teach you and
me, Sue, that 'man does not live by bread alone.'"
"'But by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
God doth man live,'" his little daughter went on, softly, as
if she were filling up the words for her own satisfaction.



73





74 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKIIN .

"But-we knew that before, father 1"
"Perhaps we didn't know it enough," said the cobbler.
"I'm afraid I don't, now "-
And as her back was turned, he hastily brought his hand
to his eyes.
"But, father, can one help feeling a little sorrowful, when
-when things are so bad I"
"A little sorry ?-perhaps one might feel a little sorry,"
said the cobbler; but if I believe all that I know, I don't see
how I could feel very unhappy. I don't see how I could;
and I ought not."
His little daughter had been raking the fire together and
setting on the coals a little iron sauce-pan of water. She
turned and looked at him when he said this, as if she had
not known before that he did feel "very unhappy." He did
not see the look, which was a startled and sorrowful one;
he was bending over his shoe-leather. She then left the
room and went after the meal, which she brought in a yellow
earthen dish, and began silently to mix for the porridge.
"The Bible says, father "- she began, stirring away.
"Yes, dear-what does it say 1" said Mr Peg.
It says, 'Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou
dwell in the land, and-verily'"-
Susan's voice broke. She stirred her porridge vehemently,
and turned her back to her father.
"'Verily thou shalt be fed,'" said the cobbler. "Yes-I
know it. The thing is to believe it."
"You do believe it, father," Susan said, softly.
"Ay, but I haven't trusted in the Lord, nor done any
good to speak of. It will stand good for you, daughter, if it
doesn't for me."
She had stirred her meal into the sauce-pan; and now
setting down her dish she came to his side, and putting her
two arms round his neck, she kissed him all over his face.
The cobbler let fall leather and ends and hugged her to his
breast.
"That has done me more good than dinner, now," said he,
when he had, albeit tearfully, given her two or three sound





THE TWO SHOES. 75



kisses by way of finishing. You may have all the porridge,
Susie."
"There is enough, father, and there's some bread too."
"Eat it all up," said the cobbler, turning to his work
again; perhaps to hide his eyes. She stood leaning on his
shoulder, so as not to hinder the play of his arm.
Shall I keep the bread for supper, father "
"N 'o, dear; I may get some money before that."
"Whose shoes are those, father?"
They are not anybody's yet."
Whose are they going to be 1"
"I don't know. The first pair of feet that will fit
them. If I sell'them, I can get some leather and make
more."
"Is that the last of your leather, father?"
"Ay-the last that is large enough; the rest is all
pieces."
She stood a little while longer, laying her head on his
shoulder; then there came a knocking up-stairs, and she ran
away. The cobbler worked at his shoe for a while, then
turning his head, he dropped everything to go and see after
the porridge; and he sat over the fire, stirring it, till he
thought it was done, and then he drew back the sauce-pan.
He went to the foot of the stairs and looked up and listened
for a minute, and then left it and came back without calling
anybody. It was plain that he must eat his dinner alone.
His dinner was nothing but porridge and salt, eaten with
what would have been a good appetite if it had had good
thoughts to back it. And the cobbler did not seem uncheer-
ful; only once or twice he stopped and looked with a
grave face into the fire on the hearth. But a porridge
dinner after all could not last long; Mr Peg put away his
plate and spoon, placed the sauce pan carefully in the corner
of the fireplace, took off his leather apron, put on his coat,
and taking his hat from the counter he went out.
There were no mdre stitches set in the shoe that afternoon,
for Mr Peg did not get home till dark. The first thing that
happened after he went away, a gust of wind blew round





76 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

the house and came down the chimney bringing with it a
shower of soot which, must have sprinkled the open sauce-
pan rather thickly. Then the wind seemed to go up the
chimney again, and could be heard whistling off among the
neighboring housetops. After a while little Susie came
down and looked for her saucepan. She pulled it out, and
fetched her plate and spoon and began to skim out the soot;
but I suppose she found it rather indifferent, or else that she
would lose a good deal of her porridge; for at one time she
set her plate and spoon down upon the hearth beside her,
and laid her face in her apron. She soon took it up again,
but she did not make a large meal of the porridge.
She then went up-stairs, and when she came down the
second time it was nearly evening. She stood and looked
about, to see that her father was not come in; then she
made up the fire, and when it was burning she stood and
looked into it just in the same way that she had stood and
looked out of the window. Suddenly she wheeled about,
and coming behind the counter took her father's Bible from
a heap of bits of leather on which it lay, and went and sat
down on the hearth with it; and as long as there was light
she was bending over it. Then, when the light faded, she
clasped her hands upon the closed Bible, and leaning back
against the jamb fell fast asleep in an instant, with her head
against the stone.
There she was when her father came home; her feet were
stretched out upon the hearth and he stumbled over them.
That waked her. By the glimmering light of the fire some-
thing could be seen hanging from Mr Peg's hand.
Have you got home, father t-I believe I have been to
sleep instead of waiting for you. What have you got in
your hand ?-Fish !-O father !"
You should have heard the change of little Sue's voice
when she said that. Generally her way of speaking was low
and gentle like the twilight, but those two words were like a
burst of sunshine.
" Yes, dear. Blow up the fire so that you may see them.
I've been to Mrs Binch's--I've been all over town, almost






THE TWO SHOES.



77



-and Mrs Binch's boy had just come in with some, and she
gave me a fine string of them-nice blue fish-there."
Susan had made a blaze, and then she and the cobbler
admired and turned and almost smelt the fish, for joy.
"And shall we have one for supper, father 1"
"Yes, dear. You put on some coals, and I'll get the
fish ready directly. Has mother had all she wanted to-
day? "
Yes, father. Mrs Lucy sent her some soup and she had
plenty. And I saved the bread from dinner, father, isn't it
a good thing and there is some more porridge, too."
What a fire Sue had made by the time her father came
back with the fish, nicely cleaned and washed. She put it
down, and then the two' sat over it in the fire-light and
watched it broil. It was done as nicely as a fish could be
done; and Susan fetched the plates and the salt and the
bread; and then the cobbler gave thanks to God for their
supper. And then the two made such a meal! there was
not a bone of that fish but was picked clean, nor a grain of
salt, nor a scrap of bread left from that supper; and I was
as glad as anything of my tough nature can be, to know
that there were several more fish besides the one eaten. Sue
cleared away the things when they had done; ran up to see
if her mother was comfortable; and soon ran down again.
Her step had changed too.
Now, darling," said her father, come and let us have
our talk by this good fire-light."
Susan came to his arms and kissed him; and his arms
were wrapped round her as she sat on his knee.
It is one good thing, you have no lights to work by, so
we can talk," said Sue, stroking his face. "If you had, we
couldn't."
"Well," said the cobbler. "Let us talk to-night of the
things we have to be thankful for."
There are a great many of them, father," said Sue, with
her twilight voice.
"The first thing is, that we know we have a Friend in
heaven, and that we do love and trust Him."






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



"O father!" said Sue, "if you begin with that, all the
other things will not seem anything at all."
"That is true," said Mr Peg. "Well, Sue, let us have
them all. You begin."
"I don't know what to begin with," said Sue, looking into
the fire.
I have you," said her father, softly kissing her.
"0 father !-and I have you; but now you are taking
the next best things."
"I should not care for all the rest without this one," said
the cobbler;-" nor should I mind anything but for this," he
added, in a somewhat changed tone.
But, father, you must not talk of that to-night; we are
only going to talk of the things we have to be thankful for."
"Well, we can take the others to-morrow night maybe,
and see what we can-make of them. Go on, Susie," said the
cobbler, putting his head down to her cheek,-" I have my
dear little child, and she has her father. That is something
to thank God, and to be glad for,-every day."
"So I do, every day, father," said Susan, very softly.
"And so do I," said the cobbler; "and while I can take
care of thee, my dearest, I will trouble myself about nothing
else."
"Now you are getting upon the other things, father," said
Sue. "Father, it is something to be thankful for, that we
can have such a nice fire every night,-and every day, if
we want it."
"You don't know what a blessing that is, Sue," said her
father. "If we lived where we couldn't get drift wood-if
we lived as some of the poor people do in the great cities-
without anything but a few handfuls of dry sticks to burn in
the hardest weather, and what wretched stuff for making a
fire-I am glad you don't know how different it is, Sue !"
said he, putting his arms round her. "There is not a
morning of my life but I thank God for giving us wood,
when I set about lighting it."
How do they do in those places without wood I" said
Sue, sticking out her feet toward the warm ruddy blaze.



78






THE TWO SHOES.



79



"He who knows all only knows," said the cobbler, gravely.
"They do without. It seems to me I would rather go
without eating, and have a fire."
"I don't know," said Sue, thoughtfully, "which I would
rather do. But those poor people haven't food either, have
they "
"Not enough," said the cobbler. "They manage to pick
up enough to keep them alive, somehow." And he sighed,
for the subject came near home.
"Father," said Sue, "I do not believe God will let us
starve."
"I do not think He will, my dear," said the cobbler.
Then why do you sigh U"
Because I deserve that He should, I believe," said the
cobbler, hanging his head. "I deserve it, for not trusting
Him better. 'Cast all your care upon him, for he careth for
you.' Ah, my dear, we can't get on without running to our
upper storehouse, very often."
Father, I believe God doesn't mean that we should."
That's just it said the cobbler. "That is, no doubt,
what He means. Well, dear, let us learn the lesson He sets
us."
"Then, father," said Sue, "don't you think we have a nice
little house? It is large enough, and it's warm."
"Yes, dear," said the cobbler; "some of those poor people
we were talking about would think themselves as well off as
kings if they had such a house as this."
"And it is in a pleasant place, father, where there are a
great many kind people."
I hope there are," said the cobbler, who was thinking at
the moment how Mr Shipham had put him off, and Mr Dill
had avoided him, and Mr Binch had objected to every one of
his moderate charges.
"Why, father," said Sue, "Mrs.Lucy every day sends
things to mother, and Mrs Binch gave you the fish, and Mrs
Jackson came and washed ever so many times, and-and
Mrs Galatin sent the pudding and other things for mother,
you know."





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



"Well, dear," said the cobbler, "yes,-it seems that
womankind is more plenty here at any rate than man-
kind."
"Why, father ?" said Sue.
"I hope you will never know, dear," he answered. "It
was a foolish speech of mine."
"And I'm sure it is a blessing, father, that we have so
many things sent us for my mother,-she has almost as much
as she wants; and things we couldn't get. Now, Mrs Lucy's
soup-you don't know how nice it was. I tasted just the
least drop in the spoon; and mother had enough of it for
to-day and to-morrow. And then the doctor says she will
get well by and by; and that will be a blessing."
It was a blessing so far off that both the cobbler and his
little daughter looked grave as they thought about it.
"And I'm well, father, and you are well," said Sue,
pleasantly.
"Thank God !" said the cobbler.
"And, father, don't you think it is a little blessing to live
near the sea; and to have the beautiful beach to walk upon,
and see the waves come tumbling in, and smell the fresh air ?
We used to go so often, and by and by we may again. Don't
you think it is a great deal pleasanter than it would be if
Beachhead was a long way off in the country, out of sight of
the ocean ?"
"Ah, Sue," said her father, "I don't know;-I have
lived a great part of my life in one of those inland places,
and I didn't want to hear the sea roar then, and I could get
on without the smell of salt water. No,-you don't know
what you are talking about exactly; every sort of place that
the Lord has made, has its own pleasantness; and so has the
sea; but I love the green pasture-fields as well as I do the
green field of water, to this day."
"But one might be in a place where there was not the sea
nor the pasture-fields either, father."
"So one might," said the cobbler. "Yes, there are plenty
of such places. The sea is a blessing. I was thinking of
my old home in Connecticut; but the world is not all green



80





THE TWO SHOES.



bills and sea shore,-there is something else in it-something
else. Yes, dear, I love those large waves too."
And then, father," said Sue, laying her head on his breast,
"we can come back to the best things,-that you were
beginning with."
"Ay," said the cobbler, casting his arm round her. And
for a little space they sat silent and looked into the fire, and
then he went on.
Poor as we sit here, and weak and dying as we know we
are, we know that we have a tabernacle on high-a house
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. It won't
matter much, Sue, when we get there "-
What would'not matter, the cobbler did not say; some-
thing came in his throat that stopped him.
"It won't matter, father," said Sue, softly.
They sat still a little while; the flame of the bits of wood
in the chimney leaped up and down, burned strongly and
then fell; and the red coals glowed and glimmered in place
of it, but with less and less power.
"Now, Sue, let us read," said the cobbler on a sudden.
She got up, and he put on the coals two or three pieces of
light wood, which soon blazed up. While he was doing this,
Sue brought the Bible. Then she took her former place in
her father's arms; and he opened the book and read by the
firelight, pausing at almost every sentence. "'Praise ye the
Lord.'--We will do that, Sue," said the cobbler, "for
ever."
"' Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth
greatly in his commandments.'"
"You do that, father," said Sue, softly.
"I do fear Him;-I do delight in His commandments," said
the poor cobbler. "I might do so a great deal more. But
see how it goes on :-
"' His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of
the upright shall be blessed.' No doubt of it;-only let us see
that we are upright, my child.
"' Weclth and riches shall be in his house.' So they are,
Sue; are we not rich 1I
F



81





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



Yes, father. But don't you think that means the other
kind of riches too ? "
"I don't know," said the cobbler; "if it does, we shall
have them. But I don't know, daughter; see-
Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteous-
ness endureth for ever.' It seems as if that riches had to do
with that righteousness. You know what Jesus says,--'
counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest
be rich.' I think it is the kind of riches of that man who
is described 'as having nothing, and yet possessing all
things.'"
"Well, so we do, father, don't we ?"
"Let us praise Him," said the cobbler.
"' Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.
What a promise!"
"Unto the upright, again," said Sue.
"Mind it, dear Sue," said her father," for we may see darker
times than we have seen yet."
Sue looked up at him gravely, but did not speak.
"' Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is
gracious, and full of compassion, and righteousness.'"
"That is, the upright man," said Sue.
"' A good man showeth favour and lendeth : he will guide
his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for
ever : the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.' You
remember who says,-' I have graven thee upon the palms of
my hands; thy walls are continually before me I'"
"That is Zion, father, isn't it I" said Sue.
"And just before that,-' Can a woman forget her sucking
child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her
womb ? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.'"
"We oughtn't to be afraid, father," said Sue, softly.
"I am not afraid," said the cobbler.
"'The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He
shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting
in the Lord.' There it is, Sue.
"' His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see
his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given



82





THE TWO SHOES.



to the poor, his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall
be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved;
he shall gnash with his teeth and melt away, the desire of the
wicked shall perish.'"
The cobbler closed the book; and he and his little laughter
knelt down, and he prayed for a few minutes ; then they
covered up the fire, and they went up-stairs together. And
the night was as quiet in that house as in any house in the
land.
The next morning the cobbler and his daughter broiled
another fish ; but the breakfast was a shorter and less talk-
ative affair than the supper had been. After breakfast the
cobbler sat down to his work, but before the shoe was half
an hour nearer to being done, Sue appeared at the bottom of
the stairs saying, "Father, mother says she wants a piece of
one of those fish."
The cobbler's needle stood still. "I don't believe it is good
for her," said he.
She says she wants it."
"Well, can't you put it down, my daughter ?"
"Yes, father; but she says she wants me to do her room
up; and she's in a great hurry for the fish."
Mr Peg slowly laid his work down. Sue ran up-stairs
again, and the cobbler spent another half-hour over the coals
and a quarter of a fish. Sue came for it, and the cobbler
went to his work again.
It was a cold day; the wind whistled about and brought
the cold in; and every now and then Sue came down and
stood at the fire a minute to warm herself. Every time she
came, the cobbler stayed his hand and looked up, and looked
wistfully at her.
"Never mind father," said Sue. "I'm only a little cold."
"You are blue," said he.
And at last Mr Peg couldn't stand it. Down went the
leather on one side of him and the tools on the other; and
he went and lugged an armful or two of sticks up-stairs and
made a fire there, in spite of Sue's begging him to keep on
with his work and not mind her.



83





THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



But we shan't have wood enough, father," she said at
last, gently.
I'll go at night to the beach, and fetch a double quantity,"
said the cobbler, "till your mother is able to come down
stairs. That I cap do. I can't bear to see you cold, if you can."
And Sue stayed up-stairs, and the cobbler worked after
that, pretty steadily, for some hours. But in the middle of
the afternoon came a new interruption. Two men came into
the shop and gave an order or two to the cobbler, who served
them with unusual gravity.
When is court day, sheriff he asked in the course of
business.
"To-morrow, Mr Peg."
"To-morrow 2" said the cobbler.
"What is the matter 1 has it come on the wrong day 1 It
always does."
"I had forgotten all about it," said the cobbler. Can't
I be let off, sir."
"From what 9" said the other man.
"Why, it is rather an ugly job, some think," returned the
Sheriff "He has got to be one of the jury that is to try
Simon Ruffin."
"I must beg to be let off," said the cobbler. "I am not
at all able to leave home."
"You must tell the court, then," said he who was called
the Sheriff; "but it would not do any good, I believe.
Everybody says much the same thing, nQbody likes the job;
but you see, this is a very difficult and important case; a
great many have been thrown out; it is hard to get just the
right men, those that are altogether unobjectionable ; and
every one knows you, Mr Peg."
But my family want me," said the cobbler: they can't
do without me. Can't you let me go, Mr Packum ?"
"Not I," said the Sheriff; "that is no part of my duty;
you must ask the court, Mr Peg."
To-morrow I" said the cobbler.
"Yes, to-morrow; but I tell you beforehand it won't do
any good. What excuse can you make I"



84






THE TWO SHOES.



My family want my care," said the poor cobbler.
"So does every man's family," said the Sheriff, with a
laugh; "he is a happy man that does not find it so. You
have not much of a family, Mr Peg, have you ?-if you had
my seven daughters to look after now. Well, Mr Jibbs,-
shall we go ?"
They went; and sitting down again in his chair the poor
cobbler neglected his work and bent over it with his head in
his hand. At length he got up, put his work away, and left
the room. For a while his saw might be heard going at the
back of the house; then it ceased, and nothing at all was
to be heard for a long time ; only a light footstep overhead
now and then. The afternoon passed, and the evening
came.
The cobbler was the first to make his appearance. He
came in, lighted the fire which had quite died out, and sat
down as he had sat before, with his head in his hand. So
his little daughter found him. She stepped lightly, and he
did not hear her till her hand was on his shoulder. Then
she asked him, "What was the matter "
"Oh, nothing that should make me sit so," said the
cobbler, rousing himself.
"We have got more fish left yet," said Sue.
"Yes, dear,-it isn't that; but I have to go away to-
morrow."
"Away ?" said Sue.
"Yes, away to court."
What for, father 1"
Why they have put me down for a juryman, and I'm
afraid there will be no getting off The Sheriff says there
won't."
"What have you to do, father ?"
Sit on the jury, dear, to decide whether Simon Ruffin is
guilty or no ?"
"Simon Ruffin ?-that shot that man O father !"
"It is very sad," said the cobbler.
"How long will you be gone 2"
I eai't tell at all," said the cobbler. "A day !--No. They



85






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



can't take the evidence in two days; I don't know whether
it will be two or three days, or a week, dear."
"A week! And what shall we do V" Sue could not help
saying.
If I can get off, I will," said the cobbler; "but in case I
can't, I have, or at least I will have by the morning, as much
wood as will do till I come back. I have two and sixpence
besides, which I can leave you, darling; and I can do no-
thing more but trust."
"Father, isn't it hard to trust, sometimes?" Sue said,
with her eyes full of tears. The poor cobbler wrapped her
in his arms and kissed, them away, but he did not try to
answer.
It may not do us any harm, after all," said Sue, more
brightly; "or you may be able to come back, father. Father,
you know we are to talk over to-night the things that we
have that we cannot be thankful for."
"' In everything give thanks,'" said the cobbler.
"Yes, father, but it doesn't say for everything "
"Perhaps not," said the cobbler. "Well, darling, we shall
see. Let us have our supper first."
"We '11 have the largest fish to-night, father."
The fish was not just out of the water as the one they
had eaten the night before, but it was eaten with a good
will. Sue sighed once or twice as she was putting the dishes
away, and did not step quite so lightly. Then she came to
her former place in her father's arms ; and her head rested
upon his shoulder, and his cheek was laid to her forehead,
and so they sat some minutes without speaking.
"Come, father," said Sue, will you talk 1"
Yes, dear. Let us tell over what we have to bear, and
see how we can bear it."
"We must go to our 'upper storehouse' again for that,
father."
Ay, dear; always."
"The first thing, 1 suppose," said Sue, "is that we have
not quite money enough."



86






THE TWO SHOES.



"We have just what God gives us," said the cobbler. "I
will never complain of that."
Why, you never complain of anything, father. But it
isn't pleasant."
"No, dear," said the cobbler; "and yet if we had money
enough, could we trust God as we do 1 It is a sweet thing
to live by His hand only; to feel that it is feeding us to-
day, and to know that it will to-morrow, for 'was He ever a
wilderness to Israel ?' No, dear; I don't mean to say that
poverty is not hard to bear sometimes ; nor that I wouldn't
give you plenty of everything if I had it to give; but I do
say that there is a sweet side even to this."
"Father, our fish would not have tasted so good if we had
always had plenty of them."
I suppose not," said the cobbler, with a little bit of a
stifled sigh, "and maybe we shouldn't know how to love
each other quite so well, Sue."
"Oh, yes, we should !" said Sue.
"I don't know," said the cobbler. "I should not know
what my little daughter can do and bear, if she had not had
a chance to show me."
"Why, I have not much to bear, father," said Sue.
"Mother wouldn't know what a good nurse you can be."
"I wish she hadn't a chance to know that, father."
"Yes," said the cobbler, "your mother's sickness : that
seems the hardest evil we have had to do with. It is not
easy to find any present comfort in that, nor any present
good; for I am afraid it makes me more impatient than
patient. Perhaps that is why this is sent to me. But if we
can't see the reason of a great many things now, we shall by
and by. We shall know, Sue, what the reason was. Thou
shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee
these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove
thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest
keep his commandments or no.'"
Sue lifted up her head, and her little face was beautiful
for the strong patience, and bright trust and love, that was



87






88 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING. .

in it. Her eyes were swimming; and her lips were speaking,
though they only moved to tremble.
We can't wait, Sue," said the cobbler, gently. Sue laid
down her head again.
So it seems we have got the reason of it, already," Mr
Peg went on-" if not the good."
We may have got some of the good too, without knowing
it," said his little daughter.
Still we shall be very glad to have mother well again."
"Oh, won't we !" said Sue.
"And it will teach us how to be thankful for the common
things we forget."
There was a little pause.
Then you would like me to go to school," said Sue; "and
I can't."
"And if you could, I should not have the pleasure of
teaching you myself," said the cobbler. I can bear that."
But then I can't learn so many things," said Sue.
"Of one kind you can't, and of another kind you can,"
said her father. "I don't believe there is a school-girl in
Beachhead that can broil a fish as you can."
"0 father but then you showed me how."
"Do you think broiling fish comes by nature?" said the
cobbler. "I can tell you there are many people that can't
learn it at all. And that is only one of your accomplish-
ments."
"O father!" said Sue again, smiling a little.
You can nurse a sick mother, and mend a hole in your
father's coat, and clean a room, and make a bed, with any-
body."
"Still, father, you would like me to go to school."
"Yes, I would," said the cobbler. Maybe I shall not be
sorry, by and by, that I couldn't."
And then, father," said Sue, you can't get work enough."
Yes said the cobbler. If I could do that, it would be
all smooth. But God would give it to me if it pleased Him,
and if it does not please Him, there must be some reason
can't we trust Him and wait ?"



-






THE TWO SHOES.



Sue looked up again, not so brightly as before; meekly
and rather tearfully.
"And then I must leave you to-morrow," said her father,
kissing her brow-" that seems just now the worst of alL"
Perhaps you will come back again, father," said Sue.
"I am afraid I shall not-till this trial is over."
It is a disagreeable business, isn't it, father ".
"Very disagreeable-as frightful as can be, to look at."
They were silent a while.
There may some good come of it, after all," said Sue, in
her twilight voice.
"Good will be the end of it," said the cobbler. "There is
a kind hand doing it, and an almighty arm upholding us in
it; 'we shall not be utterly cast down;' so we must bear to
be poor, and to be sick, and to be separated; and just leave
it all with God."
"Father, it is pleasant to do that," said Sue; but you
could tell by the tone of her words that she was crying a
little.
"Why, darling, if we are poor, and sick, and in trouble,
we have our dear Saviour, and we know that the Lord is our
God. We are not poor people-not we. 'Having nothing,
and yet possessing all things. Who would we change with,
Sue I"
Sue had to wait a little while before she spoke, but then
she said-" I wouldn't change with anybody."
No more would I," said the cobbler, giving her another
kiss.
And so they went to bed, a couple of very rich poor people.
But the house looked poor the next day-empty and cold.
The cobbler was off betimes; the little breakfast fire died
out; dust lay on the counter; the tools and the unfinished
work were here and there; the wind slipped in and slipped
out again; and nothing else paid us a visit, except Sue, who
once or twice looked in and looked round as if to see
whether her father were there. Once she came into the room
and stood a few minutes, with her little brown head and
quiet grave face, looking at the ashes in the fireplace, and



89






90 THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

the neglected work, and her father's chair, with a wistful
sort of eye. It said, or sVemed to say, that however she
might have felt last night, she would be very glad to-day if
they were not poor, nor sick, nor separated. She looked pale
and weary too; but she did .not stay long to rest or think.
Her feet could be heard now and then up-stairs. The cob-
bler did not come home; the night darkened upon just such
an afternoon as the morning had been.
The next day began in the same manner. Towards noon,
however, the outer door opened, and in came a puff of fresh
cold air, and another visitor, who looked fresh, but not cold
at all. It was a boy about thirteen or fourteen; healthy,
ruddy, bright-eyed, well-dressed, and exceedingly neat in his
dress. He came in like one familiar with the place, and took
note of all the unusual tokens about as if he knew well what
was usual and what was unusual He looked at the cold
chimney and scattered work; he went to the foot of the
stairs and stood listening a moment; and then coming away
from there, he loitered about the room, now going to the
window and now to the chimney, evidently waiting.. He
had to wait a good while; but he waited. At last he got
what he wanted, for, tired with being up-stairs, or wanting
to gather some news from the outer world, Sue slowly came
down the stairs, and showed her little face at the staircase
door. And almost before it had time to change, the new
comer had called out-" Sue !"
And with an unknown light breaking all over her face,
Sue exclaimed joyously, "Roland "-and springing across
to him, put her sweet lips to his with right go( d will.
Oh, you have got back," said Sue, with a gladsomeness
it did, or would have done, any one's heart good to hear.
"Here I am. Haven't I been a long while away ?"
"Oh, so long !" said Sue.
But what is the matter here, Sue; what's become 9f you
all 1" -
"Why, mother is sick, you know-she hasn't got well yet;
and father is away."
"Where is he 1"






THE TWO SHOES.



Ie had to go to the court-he had to be a juryman to
try Simon Ruffin."
"When i"
Yesterday morning. And we hoped he would be able to
get leave to come away-we wanted him so much; but he
hasn't been able to come."
"Has he been away since yesterday morning I Who is
taking care of you ?"
"Why, nobody," said Sue.
So there is nobody in the house with you ?"
"Nobody but mother. Father left wood enough all
ready."
Wood enough for how long 1"
Oh, for a good many days."
Are you not afraid ?"
"Why, no, Roland !"
Who goes to market for you, Sue 1"
Nobody."
What do you live on "
"Oh, people send mother nice things: Mrs Lucy sent her
a whole pail full of soup the other day."
"How big a pail?"
"Why, Roland !-I mean a nice little tin pail: so big."
"And do you live on soup too "
"No," said Sue.
On what then 1"
"Oh, on what there is."
"Exactly. And what is there 1"
Mrs Binch gave father a string of fish the other night;
and since then I have made porridge."
What sort of porridge 1"
"Corn-meal porridge."
Why, Sue !-do you live on that ?"
"Why, porridge is very good," said Sue, looking at him.
But there was a change in his eye, and there came a glisten-
ing in hers; and then she threw suddenly her two arms
round his neck and burst into a great fit of crying.
If Roland had been a man, his arm would not have been



91






THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



put round her with an air of more manly and grave support
and protection; and there were even one or two furtive
kisses, as if between boyish pride and affection; but affection
carried it.
"I don't know what made me cry," said Sue, rousing
herself after she had had her cry out.
Don't you 1" said Roland.
"No. It couldn't have been these things; because father
and I were talking about them the other night, and we
agreed that we did not feel poor at all; at least, of course,
we felt poor, but we felt rich too."
How long have you been living on porridge ?"
"I don't know. Have you had a pleasant time, Roland1"
Yes, very. I'll tell you all about it some day, but not
now."
"Is Merrytown as pleasant as Beachhead "
It is more pleasant."
More pleasant !" said Sue. Without the beach, and
the waves, Roland?"
Yes it is; and you would say so too. You would like it
better than anybody. There are other things there instead
of beach and waves. You shall go there some day, Sue, and
see it."
"I can't go," said Sue, meekly.
"Not now, but some day. Sue, have you not any money?"
"I have two and sixpence, that father gave me ; but I was
afraid to spend any of it for fear he or mother might want it
for something. I must though, for I have got but a very
little Indian meal."
Sue, have you had any dinner to-day "
Not yet. I was just coming down to see about it."
Your mother does not eat porridge, does she ?"
Oh, no. She has had her dinner."
Well, will you let me come and have dinner with you i"
She brought her hands together, with again a flush of great
joy upon her face; and then put them in both his.
How pleasant it is that you have come back she said.
It will take a little while to get the porridge ready, won't



92





THE TWO SHOES.



it ?" said he, beating her hands gently together and looking
as bright as a button.
Oh, yes-it will take a little while," said Sue. "I haven't
got the water boiling yet."
Have you got meal enough for both of us ?"
Yes, I believe so ;-plenty."
Just then Mrs Lucy opened the front door and brought
her sweet face into the room. She looked a little hard at
the two children, and asked Sue how her mother was. Ro-
land bowed, and Sue answered.
May I go up and see her "
Sue gave permission. Mrs Lucy went up the stairs.
Roland stopped Sue as she was following.
"Sue, I'11 go to market for you to-day. Give me two-
pence of your money, and I'11 get the meal you want."
"Oh, thank you, Roland!" said Sue;-"that will be such
a help to me; "-and she ran for the pennies and gave them
into his hand.
I'11 be back presently," said he; "and then I'11 tell you
about my journey. Run up now after Mrs Lucy."
I don't think I need go," said Sue; "they don't want
anything with me."
"Run up, though," said Roland; "maybe Mrs Lucy will
ask your mother too many questions."
"Why, that won't hurt her," said Sue, laughing; but Ro-
land seemed in earnest, and she went up.
Immediately Roland set to work to light a fire. He knew
where to go for wood, and he knew how to manage it; he
soon had the hearth in order and a fine fire made ready;
and it was done without a soil on his nice clothes and white
linen. He was gone before Mrs Lucy and Sue came down;
but the snapping and the sparkling in the chimney told tales
of him.
"Why he has lit the fire for me !" cried Sue, with a very
pleased face.
"Who has I" said the lady.
Roland."
"That boy who was here when I came 1"



93





94 TEE CHRISTMAS STOCKING.



"Yes, ma'am; he has made it for me."
"Who is he ?"
"He is Roland Halifax," said Sue.
"What, the son of the widow, Mrs Halifax "
"Yes, ma'am."
"And how came you to know him so well ?"
"Why, I have always known him," said Sue; "that is,
almost always. I used to know him a great many years ago,
when I went to school; and he always used to take care of
me, and give me rides on his sleigh, and go on the beach
with me; and he always comes here."
"Is he a good boy ?"
"Yes, ma'am; he is the best boy in the whole place," Sue
answered, with kindling eyes.
"I hope he is," said Mrs Lucy, "for he has nobody to
manage him but his mother. I fancy he has very much his
own way."
It is a good way," said Sue, decidedly. He is good,
Mrs Lucy."
"Does your mother want anything in particular, Sue V"
Sue hesitated, and looked a little troubled.
"Tell me, dear; now while your father is away you have
no one to manage for you. Let me know what I can do."
"Oh, Roland would manage for us," said Sue,--"but"-
"But what?"
The lady's manner and tone were very kind. Sue looked up.
"She has nothing to eat, ma'am."
"Nothing to eat "
"No, ma'am; and I have only two shillings and sixpence
-two shillings and fourpence, I mean,-to get anything
with; and I don't know what to get. She can't eat what
we can."
And what have you in the house besides ?-tell me, dear.
We are all only stewards of what God gives us; and what
you want perhaps I can supply."
Sue hesitated again.
We haven't anything, Mrs Lucy, but a little Indian meal
Roland is going to buy me some more"





THE TWO SHOES.



"Are your father's affairs in so bad a condition, my child ?
He can't get work, ma'am; if he could there would be
no trouble. And what he does get he can't always get paid for."
And how long has this been the case, dear "
"A long time," said Sue, her tears starting again; "ever
since a good while before mother fell sick-a good while
before; and then that made it worse."
Mrs Lucy looked at Sue a minute, and then stooped for-
ward and kissed the little meek forehead that was raised to
her; and without another word quitted the house.
Sue, with a very much brightened face, set about getting
her porridge ready; evidently enjoying the fire that had
been made for her. She set on her saucepan, and stirred in
her meal; and when' it was bubbling up properly, Sue
turned her back to the fire, and stood looking and meditat-
ing about something. Presently away she went, as if she
had made up her mind. There was soon a great scraping
and shuffling in the back room, and then in came Sue, pull-
ing after her, with much ado, a large empty chest, large
enough to give her some trouble. With an air of business
she dragged it into the middle of the room, where it was
established solid and square, after the fashion of a table.
Sue next dusted it carefully, and after it the counter and
chairs and mantel-shelf; the floor was clean swept always;
and Sue herself, though in a faded cotton frock, was as nice
in her ways as her friend Roland. Never was her little
brown head anything but smoothly brushed; her frock
clean; her hands and face as fair and pure as nature had
meant them to be. Roland looked as if dust could not
stick to him.
When the room was in a due state of order, Sue brought
out and placed the two plates, the salt cellar, with a little
wooden spoon in it, the tumblers of blown glass, a pitcher of
water, and the spoons. She had then done all she could ; and
she turned to watch her porridge and the front door both at
once; for she did not forget to keep the porridge from burn-
ing, while her eye was upon the great brown door every
other minute.



95