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ere stood Margaret and Alexander Galbraith] while
Janet followed close behind
WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON.
POTT, YOUNG, & CO.,
COOPER UNION, FOURTH AVENUE.
* ___ ^___________
Donald Morrison, whose wife has lately been
called away, dying in his Highland Manse,
his Children left destitute, are taken care of
by their old nurse.-She conveys them to a
sea-side town, where she takes up her abode
with them in a small attic, and labours for
their maintenance, while she places the two
boys, Donald and David, at school.-Her
anxiety about the education of Margaret, 11
The boys obtain prizes.-Janet declines receiving
visits from Alee Galbraith or any of their
school mates.-Margaret's illness.-Is ordered
fresh air and sea bathing.-Carried off by a
wave, and saved by Alec Galbraith.-Margaret
and her brothers are introduced to his mother, 25
Mrs Galbraith promises to befriend Margaret.-
Alec's first visit to Janet's attic.-Her schemes
for clothing and supporting the boys.-
Assisted by a kind banker and others.-The
boys make good progress at school.-Janet's
humble faith rewarded, 33
Donald having received an offer from Mr Todd of
an appointment in Canada, accepts it, and
prepares for his departure.-Mrs Galbraith's
unhappiness about her son's religious prin-
ciples.-Alec, receiving an appointment in
Canada, sails without returning home, to his
mother's and Margaret's grief.--Donald also
leaves home for his destination, 74
Donald's voyage to Canada.-IHe gains the friend-
ship of Mr Skinner.--Reaches Quebec.-
Voyage up the St Lawrence.-Arrival at the
new township.-Description of the settlement.
-Mr Skinner preaches the gospel, and takes
up his residence in the place, 60
Letters from home.-Margaret loses her friend.-
Unsatisfactory report of Alec.-David resolves
to go out.-Donald urges his Sister and Janet
to come also, and prepares for their reception.
No tidings can be obtained of Alec.-David's
arrival.-Mr Skinner explains to him im-
portant Gospel truths, 74
Donald's expedition through the forest.-Attacked
by wolves.-Relieved from them by a hurri-
cane, and narrowly escapes being crushed by
falling trees, 89
Donald, resuming his journey, hears a cry of dis-
tress.-Finds a man under a fallen tree, who,
after carrying him some distance, he discovers
to be Alec Galbraith.-Encamp for the night, 98
When encamped, Donald is visited by an Indian,
who assists in carrying Alec to the township.
-Influenced by the conduct of the Christian
Indians, and the exhortations of his friends,
Alec is brought to acknowledge the truth.-
His brothers require his presence in England
to recover his father's property, and he sets
off, .. 106
A letter from Margaret.-Janet's illness.-Anxiety
about Alec's return. A delightful surprise.
-Arrival of Alec and Margaret, with Janet.
Margaret has become Alec's wife.-Conducted
by the brothers to their new house.-Arrival
of Mr Skinner's sister, Mrs Ramsden and her
daughters, who, as might possibly be ex-
pected, become the wifes of Donald and
David.-Janet, continuing to live with Mar-
garet, pays frequent visits to her other bairns,
and is ever welcomed by them and the numer-
ous wee bairns who spring up in their midst.
9te faithful Nurse.
Donald Morrison, whose wife has lately been called away,
dying in his Highland Manse, his Children left destitute,
are taken care of by their old nurse.-She conveys them to
a sea-side town, where she takes up her abode with them
in a small attic, and labours for their maintenance, while
she places the two boys, Donald and David, at school.-
Her anxiety about the education of Margaret.
N his Highland manse, far away among the
hills, where he had dwelt as pastor for
many years over a wayward flock, Donald
Morrison lay on a sick-bed. The same fever which
had carried off his dear wife a few weeks before,
had now stricken him down. He knew that he
was dying. As far as he himself was concerned he
was willing to yield up his spirit to his Maker; but
what would become of his motherless children, his
sweet young Margaret, and his two boys, Donald
and David, their principles unformed, and ignorant
bf the evils of the world I
12 JANET M'LAREN.
Father in heaven protect themm' he ejaculated.
SGive me faith to know that Thou wilt take care of
them, teach them and guide them in their course
through life.' But he felt that his mind was clouded,
his spirit was cast down, the disease was making
rapid progress. It was hard to think, hard even to
pray, gloomy ideas, and doubts, and fears, such as
assail even true Christians, crowded on his mind.
He forgot-it was but for a time-the sincere faith
which had animated him through life. The victory
was not to be with the Evil One.
Soon there came hope, and joy, and confidence.
'All will be well with the righteous, those who put
on Christ's righteousness,' he mentally exclaimed,
and peace came back to his soul.
As he gazed out through the window he could
see, down away on the wild hill side, his children
at play, their young spirits too buoyant to be long
suppressed by the recollection of their late bereave-
ment, and unconscious that they were soon to be
deprived of their remaining parent. His eye for a
moment rested on the familiar landscape, the blue
waters of the loch glittering in the sunshine, a
bleak moorland sprinkled here and there with white-
fleeced sheep stretching away on one side, and on
the other a valley, down which flowed, with cease-
less murmurings, a rapid stream, a steep hill co-
vered with gorse and heather, the summit crowned
with a wood of dark pines rising beyond it. Just
THE DYING MINISTER. 13
above the manse eould be seen the kirk, which,
with a few cottages, composed the village; while
scattered far around were the huts in which the
larger part of the pastor's flock abode. As he gazed
forth on the scene he prayed-he knew it might be
for the last time-that his successor might be more
honoured than he feared he had been in bringing
home those wandering sheep to the true fold.
Once more his thoughts turned to his little ones.
'Janet,' he whispered, as a woman of middle age,
of spare form, with strongly marked features, be-
tokening firmness and good sense, and clothed in
the humblest style of attire, glided noiselessly into
the room. 'I feel that I am going.' He lifted up
his pale and shrivelled hand, and pointed to his
children, What is to become of them, it is hard to
leave them destitute, utterly destitute, not a friend
in the world from whom they may claim assistance.'
Dinna talk so, minister,' said the woman, ap-
proaching him, and placing his arm beneath the
bed-clothes. Ye yourself have often told us to put
faith in God, that He is the Father of the father-
less, and the husband of the widow. The dear
bairns will nay want while He looks after them. I
hanna dwelt forty years or more with the mistress
that's gone, and her sainted mother before her, to
desert those she has left behind, while I ha' finger to
work with, and eyes to see. I'll never forget either
to impress on their minds all the lessons you have
14 JANET M'LAREN.
taught me. It would have been little worth gang-
ing to kirk if I had not remembered them too. I
am a poor weak body mysel, it will not be me but
He who watches over us will do it, let that comfort
you, minister. The bairns will never be so badly
off as ye are thinking, now that fever has made
body and soul weak, but the soul will soon recover,
and ye will rejoice with joy unspeakable. I repeat
but your ain words, minister, and I ken they are
Ye are right, Janet. My soul is reviving,'
whispered the dying man. Call in the bairns. I
would have them round me once more. The end
Janet knew that her master spoke too truly;
though it grieved her loving heart to put a stop to
the play of the happy young creatures, and to bring
them to a scene of sorrow and death. But it maun
be,' she said to herself, as she went to the door of
the manse. He who kens all things kens what is
best, and the minister is ganging away from his
toils and troubles here to that happy home up there,
where he will meet the dear mistress, and, better
still, beswith Him who loved him, and shed His
blood to redeem him, as he himself has often and
often told us from the pulpit.'
She went some way down the hill, unwilling to
utter her usual shrill call to the young ones. Ye
maun come in now, bairns,' she said, in a gentle
THE DYING MINISTER AND CHILDREN. 15
tone; when the children came running up on seeing
her beckoning. The minister is sair ill, and ye'll
be good and quiet, and listen to what he says to
you, he is ganging awa on a long long journey, and
ye'll promise to do what he'll tell you till ye are
called to the same place he'll reach ere lang.'
Something in her tone struck Margaret, who
took her hand, and looking up into her face burst
into tears. She already knew what death was.
Donald, the eldest boy, had lingered a short dis-
David, seeing Margaret's tears, with a startled,
anxious look, took Janet's other hand. Is father
ganging to heaven V he asked, as they got close to
the house, showing how his mind had been occu-
pied as they came along.
I am sure of it, and it is a happy, happy place,'
was the answer. Ye'll speak gently, Donald,' she
said, turning round to the eldest boy, who, ignorant
of his father's state, might not, she feared, restrain
his exuberant spirits.
There was no need of the caution, for the minis-
ter's altered look struck even Donald with awe.
Janet led the children up to the bedside. The
dying father stretched out his hands, and placed
them on their heads, as they clustered up to him,
while his already dim eyes turned a fond glance at
their young fresh faces. You will listen to Janet
when I am away, and pray God to help you to meet
16 JANET M'LAREN.
me in heaven. Make His word your guide, id you
cannot mistake the road.' '.I will try to mind that,
anditell Donald and David, too,' was all that Mar-
garet could answer.
'Canna ye stay longer with us, father asked
Donald, touching the minister's hand, as he was
wont to do when speaking* to him.
He we should all obey has called me,' said Mr
Morrison.,, May He bless you, and guard and keep
you. Bless you bless you!' His voice was be-
coming fainter and fainter, and so he died, with his
hands on his children's heads, his loving eyes on
their cherub faces.
'Blessed are they who die in the Lord,' said
Janet, as she observed the smile which seemed to
rest on the minister's features. Taking the children,
scarcely yet conscious of what had occurred, she led
them from the room, and then stepped back to close
the eyes of the dead.
Having put the sobbing orphans to bed, she
hastened out to obtain the assistance of a neighbour
in preparing the body for burial. She insisted on
paying the woman for the office she had performed,
remarking, as she did so, 'I have the charge of
the manse and the bairns till the minister's friends
come to take them awa', and they would na' wish
to be beholden to any one, or to leave any of his
lawful debts unpaid.' In the same way she took
upon herself the arrangement and expense of the
QUITTING THE MANSE. 17
funerA She sold the goods and chattels, as her
master had directed her to do, for the benefit of his
children; but they were old and worn,'and" the
purchasers were few and poor, so that the proceeds
placed but a very limited sum in Janet's hands for
the maintenance of the little ones. As she received
them she observed, Its as muckle as I could ha'
hoped for; but yet those who had benefited by his
ministrations might have shown their gratitude by
geeing a trifle above the value for the chattels.'
Human nature is much the same in an Highland
glenas it is in other parts of the world.
The day arrived when Janet and her charges
must quit the manse. She had sent up to Jock
M'Intyre, the carrier, to call for*the kist which con-
tained her's and the children's clothing, as he passed
down the glen. The most weighty article was the
minister's Bible, with which, although it might have
brought more than anything else, she would not
part. She had reserved also a few other books for
the children's instruction.
Taking Margaret and David by the hand, Donald
leading the way with a bundle of small valuables
over his shoulder, she set forth from the house
which had sheltered her for many long years, into
the cold world. Margaret's eyes were filled with
tears, and David cast many a longing glance behind
him, while Donald, with his bundle, trudged steadily
on with his gaze ahead, as if he was eager to over-
18 JANET M'LAREN.
take something in the distance. Whatever thoughts
were passing in his mind he did not make them
Janet's head was bent slightly forward, her
countenance calm, almost stern. A difficult task
was before her, and she meant, with God's grace, to
perform it. She had not told the children where
she was going, though she had made up her own
mind on the subject. Several of the cottagers came
out to bid them farewell; but as she had made
"cronies of none of them, there was little exhibition
of feeling, and she had taken good care that none
should be aware of the destitute condition in which
the orphans were left. Humble presents and offers
of assistance woulb undoubtedly have been made,
but Janet shrunk from the feeling that her charges
should be commiserated by those among whom their
parents had lived, and she returned but brief thanks
to the farewells offered her. She would far rather
have been left to pursue her way without interrup-
tion. Fare-ye-weel, neighbours, just tack Miss
Margaret's, and the laddies, and my ain thanks,
but we canna delay, for Jock will be spearing for
us, and we ha' a lang journey to make before night-
fall,' she said, bending her head towards one and
the other as she wended her way among them down
the hill side.
Janet had a horror of cities and towns, having
been bred and lived all her life in the Highlands,
JANET'S RESOLVE. 19
with the exception of a brief visit she once paid,
with Mrs Morrison's mother, to beautiful ,
on the east coast. It being the only town "with
which she was acquainted, she had made up her
mind to go there.
She had heard also that there was a school in
the place, and to thi cl-h:..:. Donald and David
must forthwith be sent. Without learning, she was
well aware, she could not expect them tj get on in
the world as she wished. With regard to Margaret,
the consideration of how she was to be brought up
in a-gay befitting a young lady, caused her more
anxiety than anything else. She might, indeed,
teach her many useful things, jut she was herself
incompetent, she felt, to train the little damsel's
manners, or to give her instruction from books.
-Still, where there's a will there's a way,' she said
to herself, and I ha' a tongue in my head, and that
tongue I can wag whene'er it can do the bairns
The journey was a long one, and though honest
Jock charged but little for their conveyance, a large
hole was made in Janet's means before they arrived
at the end of it.
The gaunt grave woman, with her three fresh
blooming children, caused some curiosity, as she
went about looking for lodgings. A single upper
room was all she could venture to engage. Here
she took up her quarters with her young charges,
20 JANET M'LAREN.
and thanking her merciful Father who had brought
her thus far in safety, she felt like a hen which had
safely gathered her brood under her wings. She
furnished her abode with two truckle-beds, one for
the boys, the other for Margaret and herself. She
procured also a small table and four three-legged
stools, a similar number of mugs and plates, and a
few other inexpensive articles.
That same evening, determined not to lose a
moment of time, with well used spinning-wheel set
up, she began to spin away as if she had been long
settled, while the children played around her,.glad
once more to find themselves alone, and free from the
gaze of strangers. She waited till they were asleep,
and then set to work, to manufacture out of the
minister's best suit some fresh garments for the
boys, such as she considered befitting their condi-
tion. Her busy needle was going the greater part
of the night, still she was up betimes, and again at
work. She, however, allowed the children to sleep
on as long as they would. They will weary up here
in this sma' room, the poor bairns, instead of run-
ning about on their aine free heather hills, and I
must na' spare the time to take them out on the
links just now till their clays are ready, and I can
send them to school.'
One of those admirable institutions in Scotland
for the education of all classes enabled Janet to carry
out her project without difficulty. Mr and Mrs Morri-
son had carefully taught their children, and the two
boys were well advanced for their age. The master
of the school, on hearing who they were, at once
received the orphans, and promised, as far as he
could, to befriend them. If you will be obedient
boys, and try and say your lessons well, you will
get on,' he observed.
Donald looked him full in the face, and at once
said he would try, and he always meant what he
said. David made no answer, but clung to Janet's
gown, as if unwilling to be left behind among so
many strange people.
Ye will be back in the afternoon, and we will
be spearing for you, bairns,' she said. They are
precious, sir, very precious,' she added, turning to
the master. If they are shown the right way, as
their father showed it them, they will walk in it;
but the deil's a cunning deceiver, and ever ganging
about to get hold of young souls as weel as old ones.
Ye'll doubtless warn them, and keep them out of
'I'll do my best, my good woman,' answered
the master, struck at Janet's earnestness for the
interests of her charges; and having bid her fare-
well, he led off Donald and David, while Janet,
taking Margaret by the hand, returned to her lodg-
ing to resume her daily labour, well satisfied with
the arrangements she had made for the education of
the two boys.
22 JANET M'LAREN.
Donald and David returned safe home in the
evening from their first day at school. Donald was
full of all he had seen and done, and was especially
delighted at finding that he was superior to many
boys of his own age. Having made several friends,
he said he thought school a very fine place. He
might have gone out to play a game of golf on the
links, and he would have done so had he not pro-
mised Janet to return at once, but he hoped that
she would let him go another day. David had not
been behind hand with his brother in his class, but
he had not been so happy, and the boys had asked
him questions to which he had been unable to frame
replies, without betraying the truth, which Janet
had especially charged them not to do.
They wanted to ken all about us,' exclaimed
Donald, and I told them that they must just mind
their ain business; my home might be a castle in
the Highlands some day, and whatever it might
now be, I was contented with it.'
A very proper answer,' exclaimed Janet, smil-
ing for the first time for many a long day. 'Ye
maunna be ashamed of your home, or those in it,
laddie; just gang on doing your duty, but dinna
mind what young or old, or rich or poor, think of
But I said nothing, I would na answer them,'
said David, sobbing.
'Ye did weel, too, laddie,' observed Janet. The
JANET AND MARGARET. 23
wise man knows where his strength lies, the weak-
est may thus come off the conqueror.'
She had now to make arrangements for Mar-
garet's education. This was more difficult than for
that of the boys. She could not trust her sweet,
gentle, blue-eyed maid among girls who might be
rough or unmannerly, and yet she could not possibly
afford to send her to one of the upper class of schools.
Margaret already read much better than she did,
for her own attainments extended no further than
a limited amount of reading and writing. The few
books, besides the Bible, she had brought away from
the minister's library, were mostly on theological
subjects, somewhat, she felt sure, beyond Margaret's
comprehension. She lived on dry crusts for many
a day to sanction her extravagance in purchasing
several books, one after the other, suited to the
little maiden's taste. Margaret was delighted to
receive them, and while Janet sat and span she read
them aloud to her, and amply rewarded was the
kind nurse for her self-denial. Not dreaming that
Margaret could possibly educate herself, she still
continued turning in her mind how that desirable
object should be accomplished.
Dinna ye think that if we ask God He will
show us the way,' said Margaret, one day, looking
up into the face of her nurse, who had made some
remark on the subject.
'We will do as ye propose, my sweet bairn,
24 JANET M'LAREN.
answered Janet. He is sure to hear us,' and,
accordingly, when the chapter from the Bible had
been read, which Janet never omitted doing, she,
with her young flock around her, knelt in prayer,
as had been the custom at the manse, and she did
not fail to ask for guidance and direction in the
matter which had so sorely perplexed her mind.
The boys obtain prizes.-Janet declines receiving visits from
Alec Galbraith, or any of their school mates.-Margaret's
illness.-Is ordered fresh air and sea bathing.-Carried off
by a wave, and saved by Alec Galbraith.-Margaret and
her brothers are introduced to his mother.
T gave joy to the loving heart of Janet,
when one day her two bairns came home,
each with a prize under his arm.
'But mine is only the second in my form;
David got the first prize in his,' said bDonald, as they
exhibited their books to the eager eyes of their
nurse and sister.
Weel, they are bonny-they are bonny,' ex-
claimed Janet, as still mechanically spinning away,
she bent over the books which Margaret, with sis-
terly eagerness, was examining.
'I thought I should have had the first, but
another fellow ran me hard and gained it,' said
26 JANET M'LAREN.
Who was he asked Margaret, looking up, in-
clined to quarrel with the boy who had deprived
her brother of the honour which she thought ought
to have been his.
'A very fine fellow-one Alec Galbraith-he
beat me fairly; and there's as much in him as any
boy at school.' Margaret felt that she had been too
hasty in her conclusions. I intended to bring him
here for you to see, Margaret,' continued Donald.
'Though he lives in a fine house, and has a father
and mother, and several big brothers away in foreign
parts, I am not going to let him suppose that I am
ashamed of my home. He has often asked me, and
I am determined to be able to say, That's where I
live, and now what do you think of me "'
'Nay, nay, my bairn, dinna ye bring him here,'
exclaimed Janet. She thought she knew more of
the world than her young charge, and scarcely com-
prehended his independent spirit, though her own
in reality was very similar. He will just be laugh-
ing at you afterwards, and tell others that ye live
in an attic with a poor old woman.'
He had better not,' exclaimed Donald, in an
angry tone. 'But I ken he will na do ony sic
thing-he is an honest fellow, and if he likes me it
is for what I am, and not for where I live.'
'Dinna ask Galbraith to come here,' put in
David. Though he may be the same to you, he
may be letting out to others, and maybe they will
MISS MARGARET. 27
ne'er be so kind in their remarks, and will be asking
to come here themselves.'
This last observation of David's decided Janet.
'We will ne'er have Alec Galbraith, nor any other
of your school-mates, coming here, Donald, so just
tell them that Janet M'Laren does not wish to re-
ceive visitors,' she exclaimed, in a more authorita-
tive tone than she usually employed. Donald pro-
mised to act as she desired, and Alec Galbraith con-
tinued to be known only by name to- her .and
Although the two boys, in consequence of the
active life they led going to and from school, and
playing on the open links, retained their health,
Margaret, unaccustomed to the confinement to which
she was subjected, began to grow thin and pale.
Her cheeks lost their bloom, her spirit, and the joy-
ous elasticity of her step, were gone. Janet at
length perceived the change in the sweet child, and,
saw that something must be done for her. She
took her to a doctor, who advised fresh air, with a
romp every day on the links, and sea-bathing. The
remedies were cheap; but Janet could not think
of allowing Margaret to go out without her, and
she could not afford the time unless she took
out her knitting-needles, which usually employ-
ed her fingers when her spinning-wheel was laid
The next morning the old Highland woman was
28 JANET M'LAREN.
to be seen pacing the links, knitting as she walked,
while Margaret, delighted with her newly gained
freedom, went bounding away before her, only wish-
ing that she had her brothers to share her happi-
ness. When-they came home in the evening she
easily persuaded Janet to go out again; and as the
three children set off together, they felt as they
had not since they left their Highland home. Still,
as the doctor had prescribed bathing, Janet, who
had paid for the advice, considered that it would
be throwing away the silver if it was not carried
The maidens, of high and low degree, in that
unpretending little town, both then and long after,
were accustomed to enjoy the salt water in a primi-
tive fashion. Neither tents nor bathing machines
were thought of. Each matron stood ready with a
large sheet, under which her charge put on her
bathing-dress, and then ran off to frolic amid the
waves, resuming her wonted garments in the same
way, after her bath. Margaret, till now, had never
seen the ocean. It inspired no fear-only delight
and pleasure-and she hurried into the water like a
sea nymph, enjoying its bracing freshness. For
many successive mornings she went down, in com-
pany with several other girls of various ages, to
bathe and sport with glee in the bright waters of
a little bay, sheltered on either side by high rocks
from the gaze of passers by.
MARGARET IN DANGER. 29
One morning the sea, though still bright, came
rolling in with greater force than usual, dashing the
sparkling spray high up against the dark rocks. Se-
veral of the other girls exclaimed that they should
enjoy a delightful bath, and Janet, unaware of the
treacherous character of the ocean, did not hesitate
to allow Margaret to join them. Now a wave came
rolling in, sweeping in a snowy sheet of foam high
up the beach, now it receded with a murmuring
sound over the rounded pebbles. The girls, taking
each other's hands, ventured in as far as they were
accustomed to go, waiting till they saw a wave ap-
proaching, when they hurried back again up the
beach, where they could escape its force. Margaret,
as the last comer, was the outer one of the line.
Not comprehending the necessity of caution, she let
go her companion's hand at the moment the rest of
the party were making their escape from the coming
sea. In an instant she felt herself lifted off her
feet; she endeavoured to spring forward, but the
wave had her in its grasp, and, as with a loud roar
"it receded, she was carried away towards the entrance
of the bay.
For the first moment Janet did not perceive the
danger of her darling. Oh my bairn my bairn !'
she shrieked out, when she discovered what had
occurred, and throwing down the sheet she rushed
into the water vainly attempting to reach her.
Several of the elder girls, horror-stricken, held her
30 JANET M'LAREN.
back, scarcely conscious of what they were doing.
Louder and louder she raised her imploring cries for
help, as she endeavoured to break loose from the
agitated group surrounding her.
Margaret continued floating on the surface; but
was every instant being borne further away towards
the white-topped waves which rose outside the bay.
At that instant a lad was seen to run along the top
of the rocks till he neared the end, when, without a
moment's hesitation, he sprung off into the water,
and swam boldly towards the little girl. She had
not from the first struggled, and she lay perfectly
quiet, while he grasped her dress with one hand
and struck out with the other towards the beach.
The danger of both was great. Now they appeared
to have made good progress, and now the sea carried
them out again towards the mouth of the bay ; but
the lad still swam on with undaunted courage
towards the eager arms which were stretched out
to assist him in landing. At length he succeeded
in getting near enough to allow Janet to grasp
her charge, and once having her in her arms, she
bore her away up the beach to a warm nook under
the rocks, while the lad, his task accomplish-
ed, made good his footing, and then; without
waiting to receive the congratulations of the girls,
and the thanks which Janet would have poured
out, hurried off towards his home to change his wet
MARGARET RESCUED. 31
Margaret, who had fainted, quickly returned to
consciousness; and from the remarks she made
while Janet was putting on her dry clothing, she
seemed scarcely aware of what had occurred, nor
till the other girls, who had speedily dressed, ga-
thered round her, did she understand the danger
in which she had been placed.
Who is he ? Can ony o' ye tell me the brave
laddie's name ? that I may thank him and love him
for saving my bairn,' asked Janet. Some of the
girls gave one name, some another.
Na, na, he is neither o' them,' exclaimed one
of the elder girls. He is young Alec Galbraith,
whose father and mother live in the big house over
the links there. He gangs to the school, and my
brothers ken him weel.'
Taking her bairn in her arms, Janet hastened
homewards. The boys had already started for
school, ignorant of the danger to which their sister
had been exposed. Janet placed her on the bed,
and now, for the first time, giving way to her feel-
ings, burst into tears. 'll ne'er again trust you
to that treacherous sea, my own sweet bairn,' she
exclaimed, bending over her. If it had taken
you away, I could na have lived to come home
and see the poor boys breaking their hearts, and they
would have had no one left to care for them. But
our God is kind and merciful, and we maun lift up
our hearts to Him in praise and thanksgiving.'
32 JANET M'LAREN.
'I will try to do so, dear Janet, though I feel
that I cannot be grateful enough to Him,' said
Margaret, in a faint voice, and comprehending per-
haps now far more than before, from the unusual
agitation of her nurse, the fearful peril through
which she had been preserved. And, Janet,' she
added, in a whisper, I should like to thank, with
my whole heart, the brave boy who swam out to me
and brought me safely on shore. I remember seeing
him running along the rocks and coming towards
me, and then I felt sure I was safe.'
'Yes, we will thank him. If I had to live a
hundred years, I would thank him to the end of my
days,' exclaimed Janet. But his parents are rich
people, and a poor body like me can give him ne'er
more than empty thanks.'
SBut if they come from the bottom of our hearts
he'll prize them,' observed Margaret. And do ye
ken who he is '
Aye, that I do-he is Donald's class-mate, no
other than Alec Galbraith, your brother is always
'Oh, I am so glad,' exclaimed Margaret. I
can believe all Donald says of him. I must go with
Syou and thank him too, and I will never more be
jealous though he keeps at the head of the class,
and Donald is only second. He must be as brave
as he is clever, or he would not have risked his life
to save that of a poor little stranger girl like me,
ALEC GALBRAITH. 33
and then to have gone away without even stopping
to be thanked.'
Janet guessed that young Galbraith was not
likely at that time to be found at his house, and
indeed Margaret was not fit to go out again at
present. She therefore waited till the boys came
home in the evening from school. They had heard
nothing of what had occurred. All they knew was,
that Alec Galbraith had come later than usual to'
school, that the master had received his excuses,
and that he had performed his tasks with even
more than his ordinary ability. They listened with
panting breath to the account Janet gave of the
Bless him,' cried Donald, I will never again
try to take him down. I would rather he had done
it than any other fellow in the school.'
I will give him all my prizes, and pray for him
as long as I live,' exclaimed David.
Janet thought Margaret sufficiently recovered in
the evening to venture out. 'We must go with
you,' exclaimed Donald. 'I want to take Galbraith
by the hand, and tell him all I feel.'
The party set off-Janet, as usual, taking her
knitting as she quitted her wheel, from which her
active fingers had been spinning yarn even while
the conversation above described had been going on.
Margaret was rather pale, and somewhat weak, but
her sturdy brothers supported her on either side.
34 JANET M'LAREN.
Though she was eager to thank Alec Galbraith, she
felt somewhat timid at the thoughts of encountering
him and his parents.
I know Alee well enough to be sure that he
will make light of the matter,' observed Donald.
' He will tell you that he ran no danger, and en-
joyed the swim. But that must not make us less
grateful to him. I do not know what sort of people
his parents are-perhaps high and mighty, and may
be angry with you for placing their son in dan-
ger. However, I don't care what they say; nothing
shall make any difference in my feelings towards
Nor in mine either,' whispered Margaret.
'Nor in mine,' said David. I only wish
that I had more to offer him, not that I can
ever pay him, but just to show my love and grati-
"Would that people were as grateful to God
for the benefits daily received, and above all, to
Jesus, for the great salvation He has wrought
for us, as these young people were to the brave
boy who had risked his life to save that of little
The above conversation took place as they ap-
proached the handsome residence of Mr Galbraith.
Alee had seen them. He ran out to meet his friends.
I am so glad you have come, Donald. My mother
wants to know you-for I have often told her about
MRS GALBRAITH. 35
you, and how hard you pressed me in the class.
And is this little girl your sister 'Why !' and he
looked up from Margaret to Janet, and blushed, as
if he had done something to be ashamed of. I do
believe that I had the pleasure of towing you on
shore this morning ; but don't talk about it-it was
no trouble at all, and I have often wetted these old
clothes through and through before.'
SOh, but I maun talk about it,' exclaimed Janet,
grasping his hands, and pouring out her thanks
with all the impetuosity which her grateful feelings
I knew that was what you would say, Alec,'
exclaimed Donald. But we know better about the
danger and trouble. You might have been carried
away by the sea, for I am very sure you would never
have let go of Maggie while you had life.'
Margaret tried to say something, but she could
never exactly remember what words she uttered.
If there was any danger, I am sure I did not
think about it,' said Alec. And I am very glad,
for your sakes that we got safe to shore. But now
come in and see my mother, for I have often told
her that as you would not let me go to pay you a
visit, we must get you to come here.'
Mrs Galbraith, a very amiable and gentle look-
ing woman, received her visitors with the greatest
kindness, and tried at once to make Janet at
home. The old nurse expressed to her the gratitude
86 JANET M'LAREN.
she felt to her young son for the service he had
'It is indeed a happiness to me to find that my
boy has behaved rightly and bravely,' answered the
lady. It would have been a sad thing if the life
of that sweet little girl had been lost, and I can only
rejoice that my dear boy was the means of preserv-
ing it. I should like to become better acquaint-
ed with her, and you will, I hope, allow her and
her brothers to remain here. I'll send them home
at night, or perhaps you would like to come for
'I'll come for them, mem, and am grateful to
you for your kindness,' said Janet, who dreaded any
one visiting her humble abode, while, at the same
time her heart beat with satisfaction at the hope
that at length her dear little Margaret might ob-
tain a friend who would give her that assistance
in her education which she herself was unable to
Leaving the children with their new friends, she
cheerfully went to her solitary home to sit and spin,
and think over what might be their future fate in
life; and as she span many were the schemes she
drew out in her imagination of their destiny. The
boys would do well she was sure, though they might
have a hard tussel with the world. Donald would
do battle bravely with any foes he might have to
encounter, and David would not be behind hand,
JANET'S WISH. 37
although he might meet them in a more quiet
manner. Maybe he will wish to follow in the steps
of his father, and become a minister of the gospel,
she thought. Weol, weel, its a true saying, that
' Man proposes, and God disposes.' If we trust in
Him all will be for the best.
Mrs Galbraith promises to befriend Margaret.-Alec's first
visit to Janet's attic.-H-er schemes for clothing and sup-
porting the boys.-Assisted by a kind banker and others.
-The boys make good progress at school.-Janet's humble
E children had a great deal to tell of
all they had seen at Mistress Gal-
braith's when Janet came to take them
'She is, indeed, a very kind lady,' said Mar-
garet. 'She told me that once she had a little
daughter just like me, but God had taken her to
Himself, and asked me if I would like to come and
see her very often; but I said that I couldna leave
you, Janet, all alone, when the boys were at school,
with no one to talk to you.'
'I can talk to myself, Margaret, ye ken,'
answered Janet. 'I would na hae ye say nae to
the good lady, for I like her looks and her way of
speaking, and she may be a.true friend to ye. And
ALEC VISITS JANET'S ATTIC. 39
if she asks you again ye will just say ye will do
what she pleases, and that ye are obliged to her.
And what do you think of the big house and the
great people she asked, turning to Donald.
It's all very braw and fine; but I would
rather hae a house of my ain, and you in it, Janet,'
'May be you will get that, laddie, some day.'
'I hope I may; and then I'll ask Alec to come
and stay with me, since you will na let him come
here,' said Donald.
I could na deny him onything-so, if he wishes
to come, he must come,' said Janet.
'Then I will tell him,' said Donald, and I am
sure he will not carry tales to the other 'wya.
The next morning Alec found out the house on
his road to school, and made his way up to Janet's
attic. He tapped gently at the door. Donald went
out to meet him.
I told you-we did not live in a fine house, and
so you see,' he observed, pointing round the room.
But I am sure you do not think the worse of us,
or our good nurse. We should have been starving
if it was not for her-that's what I have got to tell
'No, indeed, I do not think the worse of you
or her,' answered Alec. If I thought it would
vex you I would not have come; and I promise
you that I will not say a word to others which you
40 JANET M'LAREN.
would not wish me to say. But my mother desired
me to call and invite your sister Margaret to spend.
the day with her, if Mistress Janet will give her
She will go, and gladly, as soon as the boys
are off to school,' said Janet, answering at once for
'Come along then,' exclaimed Alec to his com-
panions. 'My mother is longing to see Miss
Margaret again, and we will not delay her.'
SAs soon as the boys were away Janet set off
with her charge. Mrs Galbraith received her with
the greatest kindness, and would have had Janet to
stay with her also.
Tmnk ye, Mistress Galbraith,' answered Janet.
'But 1 ha' my household affairs to attend to,
and they will na get on very weel unless I am
From that day forward Janet escorted Margaret
to the house of her new friend every morning at the
Janet greatly missed her young companion, but
she sat on in her solitude rejoicing in the thought
that Margaret was gaining the instruction she so
much desired her to obtain. As she span and span
she turned in her mind various plans for supporting
the children and for ultimately establishing them in
Their claithes will soon be worn out. Donald
JANET'S TACTICS. 41
is already too big for his, and though they may do
*for David for a few months longer, with patching
and mending, I would na' like to ha' the poor boys
pointed out by their school mates as young gaber-
lunzies; and the siller I get for the yarn will only
just pay the rent and find porridge for the bairns,'
she thought to herself. The Bible says that it is
the duty of Christians to support the fatherless and
widows. I would na' beg for myself' while I ha'
got fingers to spin wee, but I maun nay let my
pride stand in the way o' the bairns. They maun
be clothed and fed, so I need find out those who
ha' got the means, and gi'e them the privilege of
helping the young orphans. The good lady, Mis-
tress Galbraith, will look after Margaret, E*a' little
fear o' that, but I canna let her ha' the charge of
Janet having made up her mind to act never
lost time in setting about it. As yet she was un-
acquainted with the names of any of the people in
the place, with the exception of Margaret's new
friend. This knowledge she had to gain; but, as
she said to herself, wi' a tongue in her mouth,
and lugs to listen wee, that was na' a difficult
She first visited the few shops at which she
dealt, and getting into conversation with the mas-
ters or mistresses, quickly gleaned from them some
of the desired information. Having, with much
42 JANET M'LAREN.
acuteness, made up her mind as to those most likely
to respond to her appeal, she went forth the next
morning, having deposited Margaret with Mrs Gal-
braith, to commence the series of visits she proposed
The first was to Mr M'Tavish, the banker, an
elder in the church, and a man much respected, she
heard. He listened to her tale with his keen eyes
fixed on her countenance. You speak the truth,'
he said at length, putting his hand in his pocket
and drawing out his purse.
Na, na, sir, I dinna want the siller,' said Janet.
' If you ha' a mind, sir, to gie a jacket or a pair of
breeks to the minister's son, or ony other article of
dress ya think fit, I'll be grateful, but I dinna come
to beg. It must be a free gift on your part. I
dinna want any man's- siller.'
The banker, somewhat amused at the good wo-
man's reply, promised to supply Donald with a new
suit; and writing an order to his clothier, desired her
to present it, and obtain what she wanted. Highly
delighted with her success she took Donald in the
evening to be measured for a suit, having first
begged the master not to allow the boy to know
how it was obtained.
'Its not that I would na' wish him to be thank-
ful, but it would be bad for him to feel that he is
supported by charity. And I will pray for blessings
on the head of the good gentleman, and the day
KINDNESS TO THE ORPHANS. 43
may come when he is able to show that he is
sensible of his kindness,' she observed.
The worthy clothier appreciated her motives.
'You have another bairn, I understand, to look
after,' he observed. 'When he is in want of a
suit let me know, and I will try what I can do for
Janet thanked him for his kindness, and pro-
mised not to forget his offer.
She was not always so successful as in these
first instances. Some people refused to believe her
story, or declared that they had already more people
looking to them for assistance than they could sup-
port; others again gave full credit to her tale, and
admiring her faithfulness and honesty, w-ere.glad' of
an opportunity of helping the destitute orphans of
whom she had nobly taken charge. Frequently
she brought home a supply of food, but not a
particle of it would she touch herself. 'It was
given for the fatherless bairns, and they alone have
the right to it,' she would say, contenting herself
with a bowl of brose, the usual coarse fare on which
The sale of her yarn enabled her to pay her
rent, and to find food for herself, and a portion for
the children. Her own rough garments appear-
ed never to wear out, while the roof of a neigh-
bouring house below the window of her attic
afforded her a drying ground on washing days.
44 JANET M'LAREN.
Money she would never receive; but as the his-
tory of the orphans became known, she was
amply supplied with clothing for them of all de-
Donald and David continued to make excellent
progress at school, obtaining the approbation of all
their masters, and gaining, in addition to Alec
Galbraith, several friends among their school
'Your boys, if they continue as they have be-
gun, are sure to do well, Mrs M'Laren,' said the
head-master, when she went to pay their school
'Weel, sir, I am sure too o' that, for the
prayers of the minister and my dear mistress could
na' have been offered in vain, and though I am
but an humble woman, it is the chief thing I
ask o' God, and I ken He will na' refuse my
Margaret went daily to'Mrs Galbraith, but that
lady did not offer to take her entirely under her
charge. She had her reasons for this; her own
health was failing, and she felt that should she be
taken away, and the young girl be again thrown
back on Janet's hands she would feel the change
more than if she continued to reside with her kind
nurse. Although she had never visited Janet, she
guessed the limited accommodation her attic must
afford, and had, therefore, engaged, giving Janet
DONALD AND DAVID AT LESSONS. 45
the money to pay the rent, another small chamber
on the same floor, which was devoted to the use of
the two boys. Janet gladly accepted the offer.
She felt that as the children were growing up such
an arrangement was absolutely necessary for their
comfort, though it might have been beyond her
means to supply it.
"When the days shortened the two boys might
have been seen in their little room, seated on their
three-legged stools, with a table, manufactured by
themselves, between them, their heads bent down
close together over their books, to obtain as much
light as the farthing candle, placed in the most ad-
vantageous position, could afford. When the cold"
of winter came on they were compelled to seek
Janet's fire-side, where she would sit silent as a
mouse, watching them with fond eyes, as they
conned their tasks, while Margaret, on the other
side, actively plied her needle, either making her
own clothes, or performing some work for her kind
patroness. Margaret had lost the bloom of child-
hood, and though her features were not sufficiently
regular to allow her to be considered decidedly
pretty, she had grown into an interesting girl, with
an amiable expression of countenance-a faithful
index of her mind. Donald had become a strong
active fine looking lad, with features which be-
tokened firmness and decision of character, while
David, though not so robust as his brother, was
46 JANET M'LAREN.
handsomer, and a stranger, seeing the two to-
gether, would at once have pronounced him pos-
sessed of more mildness and gentleness than his
elder brother, and less able to buffet with the
Donald having received an offer from Mr Todd of an appoint-
ment in Canada, accepts it, and prepares for his departure.
-Mrs Galbraith's unhappiness about her son's religious
principles.-Alec receiving an appointment in Canada,
sails without returning home, to his mother's and Margaret's
grief.-Donald also leaves home for his destination.
ANET and David were the sole occupants
of the attic. The lad was seated at his
little table with his books and papers
before him, Janet looking on wondering at the
strange figures he rapidly formed as he worked
away at his mathematical studies. The weather
was still cold, and she had pressed him to keep her
company, and enjoy the warmth of her fire, which
the early season rendered necessary. Not a word
had she uttered lest it might interrupt him, when,
as she drew forth the thread from her wheel, which
had been idle but a few hours out of the twenty-
four, Sabbath days excepted, since her arrival at
her present abode, David looked up and inquired
how many yards she could spin in a minute.
'I ne'er thought anent it,' she answered. 'But
why do ye ask, my bairn?'
48 JANET M'LAREN.
'Because I wish to calculate how many times
the yarn you have spun since we came here would
encircle the globe,' answered David.
'Oh, but to be sure a puir body like o' me
could na' do sic a thing as that,' she exclaimed,
rather aghast at the very idea of such a per-
formance. David, however, marking the yarn
with his pen, bade her spin away while he counted
He was engaged in his calculations when a
quick eager step was heard on the stair, and Donald,
his countenance glowing with health and animation,
entered the room.
'Janet, I have had an offer, a magnificent offer,'
he exclaimed, breathless from some other cause
beyond the mere effort of mounting the stairs. 'I
would consult no one, and would tell no one till I
had seen you. I was playing at golf on the links,
when, rushing along, I ran right against a gentle-
man who was standing watching the game. I
stopped to beg his pardon, when, looking up in his
face, I was sure he was Mr Todd, he who was grieve
o' the laird of Glenvarlock, and used to come often
to the manse and ha' a crack with our father. Many
is the time he has carried me in front of him on his
horse, and lent me a pony to ride. I asked him-
I was right-I told him my name, and that I was
at the High School here, and Margaret and David
and I were living with you. He shook me warmly
MR TODD'S OFFER. 49
by the hand, and said he was very glad to meet
with me, inquiring what I thought of doing, and
many other questions. He then begged, as soon as
the game was over, that I would accompany him to
his lodgings. "I have been thinking of something
for you, Donald," he said, when I rejoined him. "I
am preparing to start, as soon as the spring com-
mences, at the head of a party of emigrants to settle
on a large tract of land in Upper Canada, and I want
the assistance of one or two active young men, with
heads on their shoulders, who have their way to
make in the world. I have been out there for two
years, and know the wants of the country. Active
surveyors are especially required, and I can assure
you that you will be able to obtain a sufficient
knowledge of surveying, for all practical purposes,
before we start. All your expenses will be paid,
and you will receive a small salary to commence
with. Say that you will accompany me, and I will
not look elsewhere for an assistant." I told him I
could not say yes till I had asked you, Janet, and
talked to Margaret and David. I do not like to
leave you all, but you see I may make my fortune,
and have a home for you all to come to some day;
-and if I stay in Scotland it may be long before I
can obtain a situation, and longer still before I can
have a house of my own.'
Janet remained silent for some minutes, gazing
fondly at Donald, revolving the matter in her mind,
50 JANET M'LAREN.
with her lips apart as if the announcement had
taken away her breath. David, with his pen still
on the paper, looked up eagerly at his brother,
participating in his feelings. A sigh which burst
from Janet's bosom broke the silence.
'Ye maun go my bairn, as it seems to me
that the Lord in His goodness points out the way.
We will ask Him to guide and direct us. Ye
should not go forth into the world without feel-
ing sure that ye are under His protection, and
that He will gie ye, my bairn, if ye ask Him with
'I know He will, and may be it was He
who sent Mr Todd on to the links this after-
noon to meet with me,' answered Donald, who,
in his eagerness, was perfectly ready to agree with
'He orders the steps aright of all who serve
Him,' observed Janet.
'Janet speaks the truth,' said David firmly.
'I wish that I could go with you.'
'Na! na! my bairn, you are not old eno' or
hardy eno' to bear the rough life which Donald will
ha' to lead in that strange country,' exclaimed Janet,
who was not prepared to lose both of her boys at
once. 'And oh, it is that terrible sea you will ha,
to cross which troubles me to think of. Is there
no other way of getting there V'
'I should be sorry if there was, for I have often
DONALD ACCEPTS MR TODD'S OFFER. 51
longed to sail over the ocean, and I look forward
to the voyage with delight,' answered Donald.
'You must not think of the danger. Nothing
worth having is to be gained without that, in my
opinion, and we shall be having you safe on
the other side of the ocean before long, I hope,
Na, na, my bairn, you maun come back to me,
but that terrible ocean I could ne'er cross.'
'Donald no longer pressed that matter, and was
content with the full permission Janet gave him to
accept Mr Todd's offer, provided Margaret, on her
return home, did not object. The young lady soon
arrived, and, to Janet's surprise, entered at once
warmly into Donald's projects.
That evening, as the family knelt down in
prayer, Janet earnestly lifted up her voice in a
petition that her bairn might be directed aright,
and protected amid the dangers to which he would
The next day, before returning to Mr Todd,
Donald consulted his kind master, who advised
him to accept the offer, and put him in the way of
obtaining the instruction he required.
Janet, who had never allowed her charge to
discover the means she employed for obtaining their
support, told him to set his mind at rest about his
outfit, which it had naturally occurred to him he
should have a difficulty in obtaining. She at once
52 JANET M'LAREN.
went to Mr M'Tavish, who had continued her firm
friend. An excellent opening for the lad,' he
answered. I should be glad to help him, and
let him come and shake me by the hand before
Margaret, who besides obtaining many other
female accomplishments from Mrs Galbraith, had
learned to use her needle, had ample employment
in manufacturing various articles of dress from the
cloth Janet from time to time brought home with
her. Mrs Galbraith, knowing how she was occu-
pied, begged her to return home each day at an
early hour that she might assist Janet, assuring her
that she could readily spare her services. How
eagerly Janet and Margaret sat and stitched away,
allowing themselves but a short time for meals.
They were determined to save expense, by making all
Donald's underclothing themselves. Mr M'Tavish
had desired Janet to let him order what outer cloth-
ing he required at the tailors, with a promise that
he would see to the payment.
Donald meantime attended assiduously to his
studies to prepare himself for the work he was
expected to perform, so that he was longer absent
from home than usual every day. His studies were
congenial to his taste, and he entered into them
with the more zeal that they were preparing him
for the real work of life in which he had so long
wished to engage.
JANET'S WISH. 53
David was always studious; and now that he
had less of Donald's society, who was apt, when he
could, to entice him out to join in the sports in
which he himself delighted, he had more time than
ever to attend to his books. Janet's great wish
was that he should enter the ministry, but she had
not yet broached the subject to him. Observing,
however, his habits, she had little doubt that he
would willingly agree to her proposal whenever she
might make it.
Surely the minister would like to have one of
his bairns to follow in his footsteps,' she said to
herself, and though it may cost more siller to pre-
pare him for the work, I pray that what is needful
may be supplied, and my old fingers will na' fail
me for many a year to come.'
The time was approaching for Donald to take
his departure. Margaret would have preferred con-
sequently, as she had lately done, remaining with
Janet, but her kind friend, Mrs Galbraith, was ill,
and much required her services. Had Alec been at
home, it is possible that she might not have thought
it wise to have had so attractive a girl constantly
with her, but Alec had been now for upwards of a
He had obtained, through his father's interest, a
good situation in a mercantile house in London,
and had latterly passed several months in Germany,
where he had been sent on business with one of the
54 JANET M'LAREN.
partners of the firm. He frequently wrote home,
giving a full account of himself and his proceedings,
as well as of the thoughts which occupied his mind.
Of late Mrs Galbraith had not been so well satisfied
as formerly with the tenor of his letters. His mind,
she was afraid, had, become tinctured with that
German philosophy which is so sadly opposed to
all true spiritual religion. Mr Galbraith, who was
inclined to admire his son's sayings and doings,
told her not to fash herself on the subject, and that
he had no doubt Alec would remain faithful to the
"kirk, though at his age it was but natural, mixing
in the world, that he should indulge in a few
fancies not in accordance with her notions. The
answer did not satisfy the wise and affectionate
Such fancies ruin souls,' she observed. While
indulging in them he may be called hence with-
out faith and hope, what then must his fate
She wrote an earnest letter to Alec. The reply
was in his usual affectionate style; but the part
touching the matter she considered of most import-
ance, was as utterly beyond her comprehension as
she suspected it was beyond that of the writer,
lucid as he apparently considered it. The replies
to several letters she wrote in succession, left matters
much as they were at first, and she could only pray
and look forward to his return, when she trusted
MRS GALBRAITH. 55
that her tender exhortations would produce a bene-
ficial effect upon his mind.
'When he comes I must part with dear Mar-
garet,' she said to herself. It will not do to have
the two together. Alec may possibly attempt to
impress his opinions on her mind, and may unsettle
it should he fail to do more permanent injury; or,
even should he keep them to himself, her sweet
disposition, and other attractive qualities, may win
his heart, while she may give her's in return, and I
am sure that his father would never consent to his
marrying a penniless orphan, and blame me for
throwing them together.'
These thoughts, however, she kept within her
own breast. Once entertained, they caused her
much anxiety. While, on the one hand, she
earnestly wished to have Alec home that she
might speak to him personally; on the other, as
her eyes fell on Margaret's sweet face, she feared
the effect that face might have on her son. She
must let her remain with Janet, that was settled;
but Alec was sure to find his way to Janet's humble
abode, as he had been accustomed to do when a
boy to visit his schoolfellows, and he was very
likely to suspect the cause of Margaret's absence
from his mother's house.
Had she been able to look into the hearts of
the young people, Mrs Galbraith would have had
considerable cause for anxiety on the score of their
56 JANET M'LAREN.
meeting. Alec had had for many a day what might
have been considered a boyish fancy for Margaret,
while she regarded him as a brave, generous youth,
who had saved her life, and her brother's best
friend; and though she had never examined her
own feelings, she would have acknowledged that
she considered him superior to any one else in the
Mr Galbraith, who never having for a mo-
ment thought about the subject, had no reason
for speaking cautiously, came into the room one
day while Margaret was seated with his wife, and
'Alec writes word that he wishes if possible to
come home and see us, as he has had a fine offer
made him which I have advised him to accept, and
which will keep him away from England for some
years. He is doubtful, however, whether he will
be allowed time to come home, and if not we must
console ourselves with the thoughts of his bright
prospects. I should have been glad if you could
have had a glimpse of him, but I purpose myself
going up to London to see him off.'
'Oh, do try and get him to come home, if only
for a few days,' exclaimed Mrs Galbraith. I could
not bear the thoughts of his going away without
seeing him. But you have not said where he is
'I will tell him to come if he can,' said Mr
ALEC GALBRAITH. 57
Galbraith, he is not, however, going to a distant
country, but merely to Canada, where he is to assist
in forming a branch of the firm, either at Montreal
or Toronto, as the partners are anxious to commence
without delay. I consider the appointment a feather
in the cap of so young a man.'
Margaret listened eagerly to all that was said.
She was very certain that Alec was fitted for any
post which might be assigned to him. She trusted,
however, he would find time to get home and see
'Donald and he will meet to a certainty; how
delightful for both of them, and we shall hear from
each how the other is getting on, and they will be
of mutual assistance. Perhaps they will go out in
the same ship,' she thought.
Both Mrs Galbraith and Margaret were to be
disappointed. A letter was received from Alec two
days later, saying that the vessel which was to con-
vey Mr Elliott, the principal of the firm, and him-
self, was to sail immediately, and that no time
could be allowed him to run down to Scotland.
Mrs Galbraith greatly felt this announcement, but
this was not the chief cause of her sorrow. She
had long felt her health failing, and knowing that
her days were numbered, she feared that she should
never again see her son. All she could do was to
commend him to the protecting care of Heaven, and
to pray, from the very depths of her soul, that even
58 JANET M'LAREN.
though it might be through trials and troubles, he
might be brought to accept the truth as it is in
Christ Jesus, and have a living faith in His all
sufficient sacrifice. Would that all mothers prayed
thus for their absent sons exposed to the wiles of
Satan and the snares and temptations of the world.
Such prayers would assuredly be heard; how many
wandering sheep would be brought into the fold of
Margaret felt very sad when she heard that
Alec was'not coming, but she kept her feelings to
her own bosom. She had to return home to assist
Janet in completing Donald's outfit. She and her
old nurse worked harder than ever, there still
seemed so much to be done, and Mr Todd had
sent Donald word that he must hold himself in
readiness to start at a short notice. The expected
'Fare-ye-weel my bairn, fare-ye-weel, ne'er
forget that the deil, like a roaring lion, is ganging
about to seek whom he may devour, and put your
trust in Him who is able and willing to save you
out of all your troubles. They maun come; dinna
fancy all is sunshine in the world, but He will be
your shield and buckler in time of danger if you
love and serve Him.'
Janet, as she spoke, threw her arms round
Donald's neck, and big tears dropped from her eyes.
Margaret clung to him, and kissed his cheek again
DONALD LEAVES HOME. 59
and again, till he had to tear himself away ; when
accompanied by David, he went on board the vessel
which was to convey him to Leith, whence he was
to proceed on to London. David remained with him
till the last, and then returned to Janet's humble
abode to apply himself to his books.
Donald's voyage to Canada.-He gains the friendship of Mr
Skinner.-Reaches Quebec.-Voyage up the St Lawrence.
-Arrival at the new township.-Description of the settle-
ment.-Mr Skinner preaches the gospel, and takes up his
residence in the place.
ONALD found himself in a new world on
board the fine emigrant ship, which was
S conveying him and nearly three hundred
settlers to Canada. They were of every rank, call-
ing, and character, but one object seemed to animate
them all-an eager desire to establish themselves
and obtain wealth in the new country to which
they were bound. Some talked loudly of the hon-
our and glory of subduing the wilderness, and
creating an inheritance for their children; though
among them Donald observed many whom he was
sure would never do either the one or the other.
Though frank and open-hearted, influenced by
the usual caution of a Scotchman, Donald did not
feel disposed to form friendships with any of his
fellow-passengers until he had ascertained their
characters. His time, indeed, was fully occupied
in pursuing the professional studies he had com-
MR SKINNER. 61
menced at home, and in doing work for Mr Todd.
There was one person on board, however, who ex-
cited his interest. He was a man of middle age,
and of mild and quiet manners, while the expres-
sion of his eyes and mouth betokened firmness and
determination. Donald could hear nothing about
him except that his name was Skinner, and that he
was not connected with any of the parties of settlers
on board. His conversation showed an enlightened
mind, but he seemed at first rather inclined to ob-
tain information than to impart it. Perhaps he
also wished to gain an insight into the characters
of his companions before he allowed of any intimacy.
Wherever he was, however, he would allow of no
light or frivolous conversation, and he did not hesi-
tate to rebuke those who gave utterance to any pro-
fane or coarse expressions. Donald had heard him
spoken of as an over religious man. That he was a
strict one he had evidence, when one day, while
several fellow-voyagers were indulging in unseemly
conversation, Mr Skinner approached them.
Will you allow me to ask you a question, and
I trust you will not be offended, are you Christians V
'Of course, Mr Skinner, of course we are,' an-
swered two or three of the party, in the same
Then you will desire to follow the example of
the Master whose name you bear,' he replied.
62 JANET M'LAREN.
'And He has said, "Be ye holy for I am holy."
"By their fruits shall ye know them." Now the
fruits of the lips which you have been producing
are directly opposed to His commands. Can you
suppose that He who hears all you utter will be
otherwise than grieved and offended with the words
you have just been speaking ? Out of the mouth
the heart speaketh. Let me entreat you to examine
your hearts, and judge what is within them, and
then ask yourselves whether they have been changed.
Whether you are holy as God is holy," whether
you are real or only nominal Christians. You are
voyaging together to a country where you expect to
prosper-to secure an independence, and to enjoy
happiness and contentment for the remainder of
your lives; but, my friends, would you not act
wisely to look beyond all this I As our voyage in
this ship must come to an end, so must our voyage
through life, and what then t Again I repeat, that'
though by nature depraved, prone to evil, full of
sin, with hearts desperately wicked, God says to all
who desire to enter the kingdom of heaven, to be-
come heirs of eternal life, to be prepared to go and
dwell with Him, to enjoy eternal happiness instead
of eternal misery, Be ye holy as I am holy." You
will ask me, how can that be ? I reply, take God
at His word. He would not tell us to be what we
cannot be. He does not mock us with His com-
mands. He has said, Believe in the Lord Jesus
"MR SKINNER'S ADVICE. 63
Christ and thou shalt be saved." But He does not
mean that your belief is to be merely affirmative;
it is not sufficient only to acknowledge that Christ
lived and died on the cross. All Scripture shows
that you must have a living active faith in the com-
plete and finished work of Christ. You must look
to Him as your Saviour; you must know that His
blood was shed for you individually, and acknow-
ledge His great love for you, which brought Him
down from the glories of heaven to suffer on the
cross, and that love must create a love in your hearts,
and make you desirous of imitating Him and serving
Him. You must turn from your sins and strive to
hate sin, and in this you will have the all-sufficient
aid of His Holy Spirit. Thus, though as I have
said, in yourselves unrighteous, sinful, impure and
doing things that you would not, yet, washed in the
blood of Jesus, God no longer looks on your iniqui-
ties. He blots your sins out of remembrance. He
puts them away as far as the- east is from the west.
IIe imputes Christ's righteousness to you. He
clothes you in Christ's pure and spotless garments.
He declares you to be holy as He is holy."'
Some of the young men he addressed hung down
their heads, and others tried to make their escape,
but two or three fixed their eyes earnestly on the
speaker, whose manner was so kind and gentle that
none could be offended, however little they might
have been disposed toagree with the doctrine he
64 JANET M'LAREN.
enunciated. Among the latter was Donald Morri-
son. He had heard many excellent sermons; he
had listened respectfully to the religious instruction
which Janet, according to the light within her, at-
tempted to give him, but he had seldom heard the
truth so plainly and earnestly put before him, or at
all events he had never so clearly comprehended it.
Finding several of the party inclined to listen.
Mr Skinner continued his address, urging his hearers
at once to accept the merciful offers of salvation so
freely made. As is generally the case where the
gospel is preached, some were inclined to side with
the preacher, while others were stirred by the na-
tural depravity of the human heart, instigated by
Satan to more determined opposition.
Donald was induced from what he heard to
examine his own heart. He had not before been
aware that it was depraved by nature and prone to
evil; that it must be renewed before he could love and
truly .serve Christ. He had been trusting to his own
good principles, to his desire to do right ; and he had
been prepared to go forward and fight the battle of
life, relying on his own strength. Happy are those
who make the important discovery he did before the
strife commences, before temptation comes in their
way, or an overthrow, often a fatal one, is certain.
Donald had believed that by living morally and
honestly, and by labouring hard, he should merit
admission to that heaven where Christ would reign
MR SKINNER. 65
as king; but he had never truly comprehended the
necessity of the atonement-that sins must remain
registered against the sinner unless washed away by
the blood of Jesus, and that His blood can alone be
applied through the simple faith of the sinner.
From that day forward Donald sought every
opportunity of conversing with Mr Skinner, who
was never weary of answering his questions and
solving his doubts. Mr Todd expressed some fears
that his young friend would become so engrossed
with religious subjects, that he would neglect his
professional duties, and yet Mr Todd held religion
in great respect, and believed that he made the
Bible his guide in life.
'I am very sure, my dear sir, that no man who
truly loves and obeys the Saviour will, in conse-
quence, become a worse citizen, or be less attentive
to his worldly duties,' answered Mr Skinner, to
whom the remark was made. 'And I trust you
will find Donald Morrison no exception to the
Donald spent a portion of each day with Mi
Skinner, sometimes reading with him, at others
walking the deck, as the ship glided smoothly over
Their passage was somewhat long, for calms
prevailed, but it was prosperous, and at length the
emigrant ship entered the waters of the magnificent
St Lawrence, and finally came to an anchor before
66 JANET M'LAREN.
the renowned city of Quebec, which looked down
smiling on the voyagers from its rocky heights.
There was eager hurry and bustle on board, for
the emigrants were anxious to land, while on shore
a general activity prevailed, as it was the busy time
of the year, when merchantmen, long barred by the
ice which bound up the river during winter, were
daily arriving, and the huge timber ships were
receiving their cargoes of logs, brought down
through innumerable streams and lakes which in-
tersect the country, hundreds of miles from the
The emigrants now separated, some to go to the
eastern townships or other parts of the Lower Pro-
vince, but the greater number to proceed up the
St Lawrence, and across Lake Ontario to the mag-
nificent district then being opened up, bounded west
and south by Lakes Ontario, St Clare, and Erie.
Donald found, to his satisfaction, that Mr Skin-
ner was going in the same direction. Donald knew
no more than at first who Mr Skinner was; he was
satisfied, however, that he was a true man, with a
single eye to God's service.
I may possibly settle among you,' said his new
friend. Wherever human beings are collected to-
gether, there I find my work.'
'Are you a minister then'' asked Donald.
'Are not all Christ's faithful servants His minis-
ters asked Mr Skinner, 'called on by Him to
ASCENDING THE RIVER. 67
make known His great love to perishing sinners;
to tell them the only way by which they can be
saved I In that sense I reply yes to your question.
My young friend I desire not to eat the bread of
idleness, nor to take aught from other men's
Donald felt that he ought not to press his ques-
The party ascended the river in a sailing vessel
to Montreal, and from thence Kingston was reached
by stage waggons, which conveyed them along the
banks of the river where the navigation was im-
peded by rapids, though the greater part of the
journey was performed in large boats up the St
Lawrence and through the beautiful lake of the
I wish Margaret and David could have a sight
of this lovely scenery,' said Donald to his friend, as
they glided by numberless islets in succession, co-
vered with rich and varied foliage.
Their steps may some day be directed hither,'
answered Mr Skinner, who was even a warmer
admirer of the beauties of nature than his young
At Kingston they embarked on board a large
schooner. Next morning, when Donald came on
deck, his surprise was great to find the vessel out of
sight of land. The water was perfectly smooth; a
thin mist hung over it, which probably concealed
68 JANET M'LAREN.
the nearer northern shore, for as the sun ros*a he
could distinguish in that direction a long low line of
coast, fringed with the trees of the primeval forest.
Here and there, as they sailed along, small openings
could be perceived, where settlements had lately
been formed, and the giants of the forest had fallen
beneath the woodman's axe.
The voyage terminated at Toronto, till lately
called Little York, on the western shore of the lake,
but a long journey had yet to be performed across
the peninsula to the district Mr Todd had under-
taken to settle. Waggons and drays were put in
requisition to convey the party and their goods
through the forest, while the leader and his staff,
with other gentlemen, rode on ahead to prepare for
their reception. Donald wondered how vehicles
with wheels could make their way amid the stumps
of trees, along the track which then formed the only
road to the settlement. Here and there were swamps,
which were made passable by huge trunks of trees
laid across the track, and bridges of timber, of a
primitive, though of a strong character, had already
been thrown across the streams.
You see pioneers have been before us,' observed
Mr Todd to Donald. Settlers direct from the old
country would have been appalled with the dif-
ficulties the well-trained backwoodsmen have over-
Here and there were small clearings, in the
BURNING TREES. 69
centre of which log houses had been put up, to
serve as wayside inns. At one of these Mr Todd
and his party halted as evening closed in. The
accommodation was scanty, though an ample meal
of eggs and bacon and corn cakes, was served
on a long table which stood in the middle of the
public room. Upon it, beneath, and on the benches
at the sides, the guests, wrapped in their cloaks,
with their saddles for pillows, passed the night.
Donald, before lying down, went out to take a turn
in front of the hut. As he looked along the cutting
towards the west, a bright glare met his eyes. It
at once struck him that the forest must be on fire,
and he was hastening back to warn his companions,
when he met Mr Skinner.
There is no danger,' observed the latter. We
will proceed along the road, and you will see the
The light from the fire enabled them to find
their way among the stumps, and they soon saw
before them an opening in the forest, in the centre
of which blazed a huge pile of vast trunks of trees,
surrounded by men, who, with long pitchforks,
were throwing faggots under the trunks to assist in
'Although these trees would be worth many
pounds by the water-edge, here they are valueless
and in the way, and no other mode has been dis-
covered of disposing of them,' observed Mr Skinner
70 JANET M'LAREN.
to Donald. Yet I always regret to see the destruc-
tion of those magnificent productions with which
God has clothed the earth, but thousands and tens
of thousands of those monarchs of the forest are
destined ere long to fall to make way for the habi-
tation of man. Yet one living soul is of more value
than them all, and we may hope that many a voice
may be raised to Him in hymns of praise amid this
region, hitherto a wilderness, and which has re-
sounded only with the howl of the savage wolf, or
the fierce war songs of the long benighted inhabit-
ants of the land.'
A busy scene presented itself as the cavalcade
at length reached the new settlement. Here and
there, amid the stumps of trees, were scattered tents,
shanties, and log-huts, either finished or in the
course of erection. Women were cooking over fires
in front of their rude dwellings, while their children
played around. Oxen, urged on by the cries of their
drivers, were dragging up huge logs to form the
walls of the huts. Drays were conveying sawn
timber from the banks of the broad stream which
flowed by on one side-a saw-mill, turned by its
water, being already busily at work. A little way
off, the tall trees were falling with loud crashes
before the woodmen's axes, engaged in enlarging
the borders of the settlement. While here and
there arose edifices of greater pretensions than their
neighbours, with weather-boarded sides and roofs.
THE SETTLEMENT. 71
Several broad roads intersected the projected town
at right angles, from which, however, no attempt
had as yet been made to remove the stumps of the
trees; while all around arose the dark wall formed
by the forest, closely hemming in the clearing, with
the exception of the single opening through which
the travellers had made their way.
'This is a wild place, indeed,' said Donald, as
he surveyed the scene.
'It was wilder a few months ago,' answered Mr
Todd. 'It is our task to reduce it into order, and
ere long we shall see handsome houses, gaily painted
cottages, blooming orchards, green pastures, and
fields waving with rich corn, in lieu of the scene
which now meets our eyes. But we have no time
to lose. We must select a spot by the river for the
new settlers to camp on, obtain a supply of wood
for their fires, and get some shanties put up for the
women and children and old people.'
Mr Todd and his attendants dismounted at the
door of the chief inn. It was also a store, at which
every iron article, from a plough to a needle, all sorts
of haberdashery and clothing, groceries, stationery,
drugs and beer, wines and spirits, could be procured,
as the proprietor, who shook hands with the new
arrivals, informed them.
Donald was soon actively engaged under Mr
Todd in the duties of his office, and from that day
forward till the close of the summer he had very
72 JANET M'LAREN.
few minutes he could call his own, with the excep-
tion of those granted during the blessed day of rest.
He now learned to value the Sabbath more than
ever, when he could rest from the toils of the week,
and leave his surveying staff and chains, his axe
and note-book, and turn with earnest faith to God's
"Word. No chapel or church had as yet arisen,
and the gospel would not have been proclaimed
had not Mr Skinner invited the inhabitants to meet
him beneath the shade of the lofty trees, where,
with his own hands, he had cleared away the brush-
wood. Here he proclaimed the glad tidings of sal-
vation by the blood of the Lamb, to many who had
never before heard the glorious news. Many as-
sembled gladly, especially the settlers from bonnie
Scotland; some came from curiosity, or to pass
away the time; and a few to mock at the un-
authorized preacher, who, in his ordinary dress,
ventured, as they asserted, to set himself up among
his fellows. Provided souls were won, the stranger
cared nothing for the remarks which might be
He had purchased a plot of ground on the banks
of the stream, some way removed from the township,
and here, with the aid of three or four hired labour-
ers, he had made a clearing and erected a log-hut,
at which Donald was always a welcome guest, with
several others who came to hear God's Word ex-
The winter came on, and snow covered the
ground, but the axemen went on with their labours,
and the tall trunks they felled could now with
greater ease be dragged either to the saw-mill, to
the spots where log-huts were to be erected, to form
snake fencing, or to the great heaps prepared for
burning. Donald was surprised to find how rapidly
the months went by, and how soon the period of
the year at which he had arrived in Canada had
Letters from home.-Margaret loses her friend.-Unsatisfactory
report of Alec.-David resolves to go out.-Donald urges
his sister and Janet to come also, and prepares for their
reception.-No tidings can be obtained of Alec.-David's
arrival.-Mr Skinner explains to him important gospel
ONALD had frequently written home, and
had heard from Margaret and David in
return. Every word from them was of
interest to him, and all kind Janet's sayings and
doings were faithfully recorded. She seemed to
work even harder than ever; but as Margaret re-
She manages to make her purchases at a cheap-
ness that surprises me, and I often cannot account
for the number of articles she brings home for the
money she has to expend. Perhaps she gets more
for her yarn than formerly, or has a hoard with
which we are unacquainted. Mrs Galbraith is as
kind as ever, and gives me a number of things
which assist me greatly. Her health is, I fear,
LETTERS FROM HOME. 75
however, failing rapidly, and if she is taken away
I shall lose the best friend I ever expect to have,
next to Janet. She hears occasionally from Alec,
who is at Montreal, which is, I suppose, a long way
from you, or you would have mentioned him. Mr
Galbraith has much altered; he looks grave and
anxious, and is often irritable with his dear wife.
I pray that she may be spared, but I am very
very anxious about her.'
The next letter to this acknowledged with plea-
sure and gratitude the receipt of the first sum of
money Donald was able to send home. Margaret
wrote:-' It has made us rich beyond our most
sanguine hope; but Janet seems unwilling to spend
any of it, and says she does not like to deprive you
of your siller; so pray do not send any more unless
we really require it. Mrs Galbraith is kinder than
ever, and insists on giving me everything I can
possibly want, saying that I am of so much service
to her that I ought to receive a salary in addition.
I, of course, only do what I can to show my grati-
tude for her kindness to me since I was a little
Another letter came from Margaret some months
after this, when Donald had been in the colony up-
wards of a couple of years. Her kind friend, Mrs
Galbraith, had been taken away, and though she
had died with the hope that Alec would be brought
to know the truth, she had been for the last few
76 JANET M'LAREN.
months of her life so deeply anxious about his
spiritual welfare, that she could not help speaking
on the subject to Margaret, who had hitherto not
been aware of the dangerous notions he had im-
bibed. Margaret expressed herself deeply grieved
with what she heard, and promised to unite her
prayers with those of her friend for Alec's conver-
A few months later Donald again heard from
Margaret. Mr Galbraith had followed his wife to
the grave. Her exhortations to him had not been
in vain, and having accepted the truth himself, he
was as anxious about his son as she had been. I
visited him frequently during his illness, as Mrs
Galbraith had entreated me to do,' said Margaret,
'and though he was undoubtedly most anxious about
Alec's spiritual state, he also, from what he said,
seemed to fear that his worldly prospects were very
different from what he had hoped. The mercantile
house with which he is connected has failed, and I
fear that the greater part-if not all-of Mr Gal-
braith's property has been lost also, so that Alec
will be left without support unless he can obtain
another situation. I need not suggest to you, my
dear brother, to write to your old friend, and ascer-
tain his position, and if he requires it give him a
helping hand. I must now tell you the determina-
tion to which David has come, though he will write
to you himself on the subject. We were not till
LETTERS FROM HOME. 77
lately aware of the assistance we have received from
dear Mrs Galbraith and other friends, from whom
we have discovered our kind Janet has been in the
habit of demanding whatever she considered necessary
for us. I am sure that she would not have begged
a sixpence for her own support. I am now thrown
more completely than ever on her hands, and though
I am anxious to do anything I can to maintain my-
self she will not hear of my leaving her. I would
take a situation as a child's governess, or as a com-
panion to a lady, such as I have been to Mrs Gal-
braith, or go into service, but she insists that I must
bide at home with her, as she could not trust me out
of her sight, but that I am welcome to ply my
needle as much as I please, and that she doubts not
she shall find work for me if I follow her wishes,
which David is anxious that I should do. He cannot
bring himself to draw on her resources, so as to con-
tinue his studies till he can become a minister, which
will not be for some years yet. He has often talked
of going out to join you in Canada, and his heart is,
I am sure, set on so doing. He has his doubts as
to his fitness for the ministry, and says that head-
learning and book-learning are not sufficient, and
that he is conscious of being destitute of all other
qualifications. He declares he should sink down
with nervousness directly he enters a pulpit, that
his voice and memory would fail him, and that he
does not possess that love of souls and desire to
78 JANET M'LAREN.
win them to Christ, which he considers the chief
qualification for the preacher of the gospel. I agreed
with him when he made the last remark; but still
I trust that he is mistaken about his qualifications.
Nothing I have urged has had any effect in inducing
him to alter his determination. Though he studies
as hard as ever, he almost starves himself in his
anxiety not to be a burden to Janet, he will not
buy any fresh books, or spend more money than
he can possibly help; indeed, I must own to you
that she would have great difficulty in giving him
any, though she tries to make him believe, as usual,
that she has as much as he can require. I begged
you before not to send us home any of your earnings ;
but I do not hesitate now to ask you to remit
as much as will be sufficient for David's voyage, if
you approve of his going out to join you.'
'The very thing of all others I have been long-
ing for,' exclaimed Donald, as he finished Mar-
garet's letter. I have ample to enable him to
come out, and I am sure Mr Todd will find employ-
ment for him. But Margaret and Janet must not
remain with straitened means; I wish they would
come out also. I will send home sufficient for
their voyage, and use every argument to induce
them to come. If they will not they must spend
the money on their own support at home. Mar-
garet will, I am sure, be perfectly happy out here,
though Janet would find the country rather strange,
DONALD BUILDS A HUT. 79
yet neither of them would mind the rough life they
would be compelled to live, any more than others
do, many of whom have been far more accustomed
than they are to the luxuries and refinements of the
Thus Donald meditated till he persuaded him-
self that in a few months he should see his sister
and brother and their faithful nurse arrive to take
possession of the log hut he proposed building for
them. He lost no time in writing a letter, and in
arranging with Mr Todd to send home a consider-
able portion of the salary due to him. He insisted
that Margaret should receive whatever David did
not require for his passage-money and journey to
the township, and should spend it on the support of
Janet and herself, should they decline accompanying
David. He thought it impossible that they could
refuse, and forthwith set to work to build a substan-
tial log hut on a plot of ground which, by Mr
Todd's advice and assistance; he had purchased not
far from Mr Skinner's location.
Mr Skinner had made inquiries about his family
when he heard of his hopes of being joined by his
brother and sister and old nurse. He at once
begged that he would apply to him for whatever
he might require for their comfort and convenience.
'I am a bachelor, and as my personal expenses
are trifling, I shall consider it a privilege to be
allowed to be of use to those who are so well de-
80 JANET M'LAREN.
serving of assistance,' he observed. 'That old nurse
of yours has excited my warm admiration. Her
knowledge may be limited, but from your account
she has lived a practical Christian life, and though
you may justly desire to be independent, and to
support yourself by your own labour, you cannot
wish her and your sister to decline whatever aid
God puts it into the hearts of others to offer to
Donald warmly thanked his friend; and seeing
the justness of his remarks, without hesitation ac-
cepted his offer. His mind was thereby greatly
relieved from any anxiety he might have felt in
supporting those who had become dependent upon
him, till he himself should be able to gain sufficient
for the purpose.
He wrote immediately to Alec Galbraith, but
some time passed, and no answer was received to
his letter. He then got Mr Todd to make inquiries
of some acquaintances at Montreal, and through
them he at last heard that after the house in which
Alec had been engaged had broken up, the young
man having vainly attempted to find employment
in other firms, had left the place without letting
anyone know in what direction he had gone. He
had created many enemies by the opinions he pub-
licly expressed on religious and political subjects,
and was looked upon as a disloyal and dangerous
ALEC GALBRAITH. 81
This account greatly grieved Donald, who had
not supposed it possible that the fine manly and
talented friend of his youth would be otherwise
than liked, and succeed wherever he might go.
'What can possibly have changed Alec so much '
he asked himself more than once.
Donald mentioned the subject to Mr Skinner.
What was the foundation of his good quali-
ties inquired his friend. Were they built on the
rock which, when the floods of trial and temptation
came would stand firm, or on the sandy soil, whence
they were sure to be washed away.'
Donald considered. He resided in Germany
for some time, and I know that his religious
opinions underwent a change for the worse, and
from some remarks Margaret let drop, that his
mother was very anxious about him.'
SThat is a sufficient explanation,' observed Mr
Skinner, with a sigh. 'We must pray that like
the prodigal son he may find that he has husks
alone to eat, and be brought back to the loving
Father, who, with open arms, is ever ready to re-
ceive those who, having made that important dis-
covery, return to Him.'
The two Christian friends knelt down and offered
up their petitions that the wanderer might be found
out and restored.
Few people in the settlement were more busy
than Donald Morrison. Besides building his log
82 JANET M'LAREN.
house, at which he worked with his own hands, and
superintending the clearing of the ground, he had
his official duties to attend to, which he in no way
neglected; and, as the settlement increased, they be-
came more onerous than at first. If David were
with me he would find plenty to do,' he said, over
and over again. 'I wish that he were coming, and
I have no doubt Mr Todd would obtain for- him a
situation under me.'
When Donald wrote home he had begged his
brother and sister not to wait till they could write
and announce their intended coming, but if they
could persuade Janet to accompany them, to set off
immediately. As each party of settlers arrived he
looked out eagerly, hoping to find those so dear to
him among them. He was destined frequently to
At last, one evening he was seated in his new
house, now nearly completed, busily employed on
some plans which he had taken home from Mr
Todd's office, when he was aroused by a knock at
the door. On opening it he saw standing before
him a tall slight young man, whom he knew by his
bonnet and tartan coat to be Scotch. Does one
Donald Morrison live here asked the stranger,
gazing eagerly at his face. The moment he spoke
Donald knew the voice; it was David's, and the
brothers' hands were clasped together.
'I should not have known you,' exclaimed
THE BROTHERS. 83
David, scanning Donald's sunburnt countenance, and
sturdy strongly built figure.
Nor I you, till I heard you speak,' answered
Donald. But have you not brought Margaret and
'I am sorry to say no. Janet would not ven-
ture across the salt ocean, and Margaret would not
quit her. Janet, indeed, did her utmost to dissuade
me from coming to this land of impenetrable forests,
fierce red men, savage wolves, roaring cataracts, and
numberless other dangers, such as she believes it is,
and her dread of exposing Margaret to them, I
suspect, made her more determined to stay at home
than had she herself alone been asked to come, as
for our sakes I believe she would have risked all
could she have been satisfied that Margaret would
have been in safety. Finding all my arguments
useless, I set off as you wished me.'
'She is a good faithful creature, and we must
still hope to overcome her fears for our dear sister's
safety,' said Donald. 'However, I am thankful
you have come, and I am sure that you will not be
Donald lost no time in placing an abundant
supply of bachelor's fare, prepared by his own
hands, on the table. As may be supposed, the
brothers sat up the greater part of the night, talk-
ing over the past as well as their future prospects.
Donald was not disappointed in his hopes of
84 JANET M'LAREN.
obtaining employment for David, Mr Todd being
glad at once, on his brother's recommendation, to
secure his services. David gave his mind to the
work he had undertaken, and soon became a very
efficient assistant to Donald. Though he looked
pale and delicate when he first arrived, and was
unable to go through the physical exertion required
of him without fatigue, he rapidly gained strength,
and in a short time became strong and hardy.
Shortly after his arrival Donald took him to call
on Mr Skinner, who welcomed him kindly, and led
him to enter freely into conversation, that he might,
as Donald suspected, ascertain his opinions. Do-
nald, when speaking of his brother, had merely
stated that he declined entering the ministry, and
preferred coming out to join him as a settler. Mr
Skinner allowed several days to pass, during which
they frequently met, before he offered any remarks
to David on the choice he had made.
'You have abandoned the most important of
callings, my young friend, for one which, though
*honourable and useful, and which may obtain to
you worldly advantages, is not, in the nature of
things, likely to render spiritual service to your
fellow creatures, he observed.
Several reasons prompted me to take the course
I have pursued,' answered David. The principle
one, however, was, that I felt myself unfitted for the
ministry, and had a strong desire to come out and
MR SKINNER. 85
join my brother. I had no spiritual life in myself,
and could not impart it to others.'
'Certainly you could not impart to others what
you did not possess yourself,' observed Mr Skinner.
'But, my dear friend, are you content to remain
without that spiritual life 7 It is required, not only
for those engaged in the ministry, but for all who
rightly bear the name of Christ, for all who desire
to be His subjects, to enter into the kingdom of
heaven. The Holy Spirit alone tan impart it to
you or to others, but having it, whether set apart or
not for Christ's service, you may be made the instru-
ment by which many of your fellow-creatures may
obtain it likewise. It should be the object of all
Christ's subjects to win souls for Him. When
Christ spoke to Nicodemus and told him that he
must be born again, He addressed a learned man, an
expounder of the law of Moses. If a physician, a
merchant, or person of any other calling, had come
to Him He would have said the same. And now I
entreat you to ask yourself the question, which
Christ would have put had you gone to Him. He
would have said, as He said to Nicodemus, Ye
must be born again.' He would not have first in-
quired whether or not you were intended for the
ministry. He would have said, as He does to all
human beings, high and low, rich and poor, men and
women, boys and girls, who desire to live with Him
in heaven for ever and ever. You may be very in-
86 JANET M'LAREN.
dustrious, and energetic, and honest, and moral, and
well conducted in your secular calling, but that will
not stand you instead of what Christ requires.
The old man must be put off, the new nature be
received. I repeat, You must be born again.'
'And how can that be brought about exclaimed
Donald, much perturbed in mind.
Christ says, the wind bloweth where it listeth,
and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not
tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth, so is
everyone that is born of the Spirit." Christ did
not leave Nicodemus with this answer, which might
well have perplexed him, as it has those who have
turned aside from it as incomprehensible; but He
shows how man must do his part to bring about
that new birth. It is by simple faith, by taking God
at His word, by looking to Christ and trusting to
His blood as all-sufficient to wash away sin, to His
sacrifice as being accepted in lieu of our punishment.
He explains it in those most blessed words-that
most perfect of all similes-" As Moses lifted up
the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son
of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish but have eternal life." Know
and feel that you are bitten by sin, dying eternally
from its rank poison, and then look to Jesus as the
certain, the only cure, just as the Israelites, bitten by
the fiery serpents, were commanded to look at the
brazen serpent, held up by Moses in the wilder-
MR SKINNER. 87
ness, as the only way by which they could be
cured. Thus, through simple faith, is the neces-
sary change brought about. All God demands from
us is faith. He, through the Holy Spirit, does the
rest. My dear young friend read that all-important
portion of God's Word with earnest prayer for en-
lightenment, and you will understand the simple
plan of salvation, which His loving mercy has.
formed, far more clearly than you can by any words
I may use. The question is, Do you believe that
the Bible is God's Word, that Jesus Christ, His
Son, came into the world to suffer, the just for the
unjust-that the world, through Him, might be
saved ? If you do, then hear His words,-' He that
believeth on me is not condemned.' If you do be-
lieve, then you are born again, for all who are not
born again remain under condemnation. What you
require, what we all require, is more grace, more
faith, more love, more trust. For all those things
we can pray, and wrestle, and strive, and God will
not allow us to pray in vain. Faith may be a strong
rope or a thin rope, so thin that we dread its giving
way; but God forms it, God holds it fast. In His
hands it will not break. Let us then trust in Him,
and ever seek the aid of the Holy Spirit to hold us
up, and we shall find the thin line increasing in
size till it becomes a stout cable, capable of, aye
certain of, holding our wave-tossed bark amid the
fiercest tempest which can break around us.
88 JANET M'LAREN.
David returned home rejoicing. He did not
regret abandoning his former intention and coming
out to Canada; but he resolved to give himself up
to the study of the Bible, and while following his
secular calling, to assist his friend in spreading the
truths of the gospel among the surrounding popu-
Donald's expedition through the forest.-Attacked by wolves.-
Relieved from them by a hurricane, and narrowly escapes
being crushed by falling trees.
1ONALD having David now to attend to
his office work, frequently made expedi-
tions to long distances where it was pro-
posed to establish fresh townships. These were
performed on foot, and he had become so expert a
backwood's man, that he had no hesitation in trust-
ing himself without a guide. He, however, carried
his gun, and in summer a fishing road, that he
might supply himself with provisions by the way.
His gun also he required for defence against any
wolves or bears he might encounter, both of which
were at that time common in the country, though
long since driven off to the wilder regions of the far
west and north.
He was returning from one of these expeditions
in the early spring, when night approaching, as he
was making his way through the forest, he pre-
pared to encamp. His axe quickly enabled him to
cut some sticks for his shanty, for which a quantity
of large pieces of birch bark scattered about served
90 JANET M'LAREN.
as a covering. The tops of some young spruce firs
strewed on the ground made a luxurious couch,
while there was no lack of dry broken branches to
furnish a supply of firewood. He quickly formed
his hunter's camp, and commenced cooking a couple
of fish he had caught in a stream he had shortly be-
fore forded, and a bird he had shot during the day.
This, with a handful of Indian meal made into por-
ridge, gave him a sumptuous repast. After reading
God's Word by the light of his blazing fire, he com-
mended himself to His merciful care, and having
renewed his fire, lay down within his hut fearless of
His journey had been long and fatiguing, which
made him sleep soundly. He was at length awakened
by a long low howl. He opened his eyes and dis-
covered that his fire had gone out, but he was still
too much oppressed by sleep to rise. He was under
the impression that he had merely dreamed of the
noise he had heard. It shortly came again, how-
ever, and this time he was aware that it was a re-
ality. Mixed with the howl were the sounds of
savage barks and yelps. He knew them to be the
voices of wolves, disputing, probably, over the body
of some deer they had pulled down, or found dead
after it had escaped from the hunter's rifle. Their
repast finished, they might come in the direction of
his camp. Starting up he prepared to relight his
fire, and drawing the wood together, which he had
kept for the purpose, he quickly produced a flame,
and then looked to the priming of his gun to be
ready in case of an attack. To sleep longer was out
of the question ; he therefore sat up, listening to
the appalling sounds which ever and anon echoed
through the forest. He had hitherto in his journies
never fallen in with a pack of wolves, though he
had frequently met solitary individuals, whose sa-
vage jaws had shown what fearful foes, a number
combined together, would prove. His stout High-
land heart was not, however, inclined to give way
to fear; besides which, his faith was firm, and he
knew in whom he trusted. At the same time, not
being a mere enthusiast, he felt that it was his duty
to consider what were the best means of preserving
his life by his own exertions, should the wolves
discover him, and venture on an attack. He first
collected all the fuel he could find near at hand,
and made his fire blaze up brightly. As, however,
it might not last till the morning, it occurred to
him that it would be wise to examine the neigh-
bouring trees, and to select one up which he might
climb, should the savage creatures come round him.
The larger trees were inaccessible; but he found
one near at hand, the lower branches of which he
might reach, could he manage to drive a few pegs
into the trunk. With his axe he at once cut some
holes as high as he could reach, and then sharpen-
ing several pieces of wood, hardening them in the
92 JANET M'LAREN.
fire. The trunk was soft, and to his satisfaction he
found that he could make a ladder, by which he
could reach the lowest branches, and thence gain a
part of the tree which would afford him a secure
seat, and enable him to fire down upon his assailants,
and, as he hoped, drive them away.
The night wind blowing keenly, he had no wish
to take his seat on the tree till compelled by neces-
sity. Having therefore made his arrangements he
again threw fuel on the fire, and sat down within
the shelter of his hut, with his gun by his side.
The howling of the wolves had ceased, and he hoped
that they had turned away from him, and that he
should not be troubled by a visit. A feeling of
security stole over him, and fatigue overcoming his
prudence, he again dropped off to sleep.
How long he had thus sat with his eyes closed
he could not tell, when he was awakened by hearing
the savage howls of the wolves close to him. Start-
ing up he caught sight of numberless dark forms,
with glaring eyes, making a circle round the fire,
which they were evidently unwilling to approach,
eager as they were to seize their prey. The fire had
burnt somewhat low, and he feared that should the
flames cease to ascend they might make a dash across
the embers, and rush upon him.
The tree he had selected was at hand, and he
now regretted that he had not ascended it at first.
A few dry sticks were still within his reach. Spring-
ing out of his hut he seized them, and threw them
on the fire. At that moment a savage wolf, either
one of the leaders of the pack, or more hungry than
its companions, made a rush at him from one side.
Happilyhewas prepared, andfiring, the creature rolled
over. The instant it was dead the rest of the animals
sprang on the body, tearing it to pieces. Donald
on this, after re-loading his gun, having stirred up
the fire so as to make it burn more brightly, ran
towards the tree, up which he began to climb. The
short delay of loading his gun might have proved
fatal, for part of the pack perceiving him, came
yelping on furiously, and he had scarcely got his
feet out of the reach of their fangs before the whole
pack had collected round him. His gun, which he
had slung at his back, being rather weighty, he was
afraid that the pegs would give way, and that he
should fall among the ravenous jaws below him,
but he succeeded at length in reaching a firm
branch, and he drew himself up on to it, and thence
climbed to the point he had selected.
Here he sat securely. Though he had escaped
from the wolves they showed no signs of quitting
him; the light of the fire, which still blazed up
brightly, exhibiting their savage forms, as they stood
howling beneath the tree, or circled round and round,
looking up with eager eyes towards him. He re-
frained from firing, believing that they were more
likely to go away when they found that they could
94 JANET M'LAREN.
not reach him, than if he should kill some of their
number, when the pack would remain to devour the
carcases of their companions. At last, when morn-
ing dawned, and they still continued round the tree,
he began to lose patience, and to fear that they
would carry on the siege till they had starved him
I cannot kill the whole pack,' he said to him-
self, but I may knock over so many that the others
may at length take warning and make their escape.'
He had no difficulty in firing, and as a branch
offered him a good rest for his gun, he was able to
take steady aim, and never missed a shot.
He had killed half a dozen or more, still the
wolves continued round the tree. It was in a dense
part of the forest, through which the beams of the
sun did not penetrate, or the creatures, disliking the
bright light of day, would probably have retreated
to their fastness. Hour after hour passed by, the
air became unusually sultry and hot, even in the
forest. Donald was growing, at the same time, very
hungry, and though, as yet, he had rather enjoyed
the adventure, he now began to feel seriously
anxious about his safety. He had but a few bullets
remaining, and the small shot in his pouch would
produce but little effect on the heads of the wolves,
and only render them more savage. He waited for
some time, and then again began to fire, hoping that
the sound of his piece might be heard by any party
A HURRICANE. 95
of Indians or travellers in the forest, who would
come to his assistance, for he knew that the wolves,
cowardly though savage, will seldom venture to
attack several people together. He had expended
his bullets. He felt more and more sensible of the
increased heat, and on looking upwards through the
branches he observed an unusual appearance in the
sky. The wolves, at the same instant, became silent,
and then seized, so it seemed, by a panic, the whole
pack set off at full speed amid the trees, and were
lost to sight.
The heat grew more intense than ever, not a
breath of wind was stirring, the thunder roared in
the distance, gradually the sky, as he could see it
through the branches, became of an inky blackness,
till a dark pall collected overhead, then the clouds
appeared to break up, and whirled round and round
each other in a state of dreadful commotion, forked
lightening darted from the heavens, and the thunder,
in rapid heavy peals, roared and rattled again and
again till the very trees of the forest seemed to
shake with the concussion. Far away out of the
forest arose a black cone-shaped column, which soon
joined itself to the mass of clouds overhead, the
lightening flashing with greater vividness and ra-
pidity, the thunder becoming more deafening than
ever. The sound increased to a dreadful roar, coming
nearer and nearer. He had no doubt that it was
indeed a whirlwind sweeping through the forest, he
96 JANET M'LAREN.
could hear the tree tops dashed together, the rend-
ing branches, the crashing of falling trees, as the
stout branches were twisted round and round, torn
up by the roots, or snapped off as if they had been
mere saplings. Should the devastating tempest pass
across where he stood, he could scarcely hope to
avoid being crushed by the falling trees.
He now remembered an open space a short dis-
tance off, which, had the ground not been swampy,
he would have selected for his camp. He hurried
towards it. As he made his way through the forest
he could hear behind him those dreadful sounds
which betokened the rapid approach of the hurri-
cane. Already the tree tops were waving furiously
above his head, as he sprang out into the open
space, towards which he was directing his steps.
In an instant after the tall trees came crashing
down, and almost lifted off his feet, he found him-
self encircled by masses of leaves and boughs torn
off and whirled through the air. On he sped till
he gained the centre of the meadow, when, on look-
ing back, a wide opening appeared in the part of
the forest through which he had lately passed. An
avenue had been formed nearly two hundred yards
in width, in which not a tree remained standing,
while it seemed to extend far away into thf depths
of the forest.
As he was anxious to continue his journey, as
soon as all was quiet, he set off in the direction taken
A HURRICANE. 97
by the newly formed avenue. He had to proceed
a considerable distance towards the track which led
to the township, and he kept as near it as the fallen
trees would allow, that he might observe the havoc
which had been produced. He calculated, as he
walked along, that upwards of three miles of forest
had been levelled of the width already mentioned,
and that many thousand trees had, in a few seconds,