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CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
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ANNA M. OWEN,
JOHN SMITH OWEN, M.A., LL. D.,
|,'l' ,- I l.nI.P
The Baldwi Librar
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BERTHA AND THE GIPSY
'--*'^ ^ ^i-^
ALL IS NOT GOLD THAT GLITTERS.
Z. dalt for the onnug.
MRS. GEORGE CUPPLES,
AUTHOR OF THE STORY OF OUR DOLL;" GRANDPAPA'S PRESENTS,"
.- .- -i
T NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND) NEW YORK.
.- ',' .o_ .. a* ^ .. .
H dear, I wish I had been born with a
black face, like Emma, then I should
have been allowed to stay with you,
"mamma !" This is what little Bertha
Marchmont said when she heard she
was to be sent home to England to stay with
her mamma's old nurse, Mrs. Bevan. "There is
no one there to love me, and I know I shall never
"My dear Bertha, you vex me exceedingly,"
replied her mamma. I have tried to explain to
you that the climate of India does not agree with
little white children; and, to save their lives, their
parents must send them home. I feel certain that
good, kind Nurse Bevan will love you as much as
6 NO FINE RELATIONS.
she did me, when I was little like you-that is to
say, if you are good, and don't allow your way-
ward temper to get the better of you."
"But she is only a nurse," said Bertha some-
what scornfully. I haven't a grandmamma like
Julia Layton, or aunts and uncles like Mary
Benock, and I haven't a single cousin."
"Oh dear, how much you are to be pitied!"
said Mrs. Marchmont, laughing. "Well, I have
half a mind not to send you to nurse's, but to
school at once. I scarcely like to hear my little
daughter despising the dear, good woman."
"I did not mean to despise her, mamma," said
Bertha, beginning to cry. "Julia and Mary were
laughing at me having no grandmamma or any
body to go to; and you know "-but here Bertha
fairly broke down, and hiding her face in her
mamma's lap, began to cry.
"I suppose you were going to say, dear, that
your little friends were somewhat surprised I
should send you to nurse's instead of to somebody
who might live in a fine house; but, dear, it was
just because I love my child very much I chose
to send her to where I know she will be very
happy-so happy, indeed, that when I come home
myself, T know you will say you are quite sorry
PARTING WITH MAMMA. 7
to leave her. I could not feel happy, dear, send-
ing you anywhere else, for I know Mrs. Bevan's
true worth. And, dear, you will learn, when you
are as old as I am, that all is not gold that
There is no necessity to tell how Bertha parted
with her mamma and papa; as you may suppose, it
was sorrowful enough. Nor shall we tell minutely
what she did during the long voyage home: suffice
it to say, she was happier than she expected to be;
for though, there were many children on board
like herself, all of them had friends and relations
with them, so that every one was kind and at-
tentive to her because of her loneliness. Julia
Layton and she were inseparable companions;
and, to their great delight, they discovered they
were going to the same part of England, some
twelve miles distant; not so far, Mrs. Layton said,
but that they might drive over to see each other
When she arrived at Nurse Bevan's farm, she
was received very kindly, not only by nurse herself,
but by the worthy farmer also; and the two maids,
Jane and Martha, seemed almost as glad to see
her as their mistress. It was almost dark when
she arrived at Denmill Farm; and as she was
8 BERTHA'S NEW HOME.
very tired, she was put to bed whenever she had
got some nice milk and bread for supper. She
slept very soundly; but was wakened early in the
morning by the birds, who chirped and sung in
the great trees close to the house. Though she
had been told Martha would come to dress her, she
was so anxious to have a peep at the birds, that
she jumped out of bed at once, and ran to the
window. Everything around her was so very
different from what she had been accustomed to
in India or on shipboard, that she hastened to
dress herself to get out of doors. She quite
startled Mrs. Bevan by appearing so early.
And how have you slept, hinny?" said nurse,
BERTHA AND NURSE BEVAN. 9
placing a large mug of milk before Bertha. I
hope you were not disturbed too early "
Oh no, thank you, nurse! I slept so sound
till the birds began to waken up; and they sang
and chirped so sweetly that I couldn't wait for
Martha, but had to get up. May I go out after
breakfast to see the birds and everything ? "
"Certainly, dear; you may go out and do just
as you please. Martha will be done with the work
in-doors, and will be going out to milk the cows.
Should you like to go with her ? "
"Oh, very much indeed!" replied Bertha, jump-
Martha will have a few minutes, I dare say
to show you your hen and chickens. You are to
have them all to yourself; but you must not
forget to feed them, remember."
"Oh, thank you, Nurse Bevan, so much cried
Bertha. I will never forget them, poor dears.
Hadn't mamma some chickens all to herself when
she was little ? "
"Yes, dear," said nurse, laughing; "but I am
sorry to say she sometimes forgot them, and other
people had to look after them lest they should die
"Was mamma a forgetful little girl, nurse?"
10 THROUGH THE FARM-YARD.
said Bertha in some surprise. "That is very
strange. I never could have believed she would
have neglected the chickens."
"Oh, Miss Beeta, as we called your mamma,
was, I fear, just like little girls in general. She
hadn't a very good memory; and she was so fond
of reading, when she was your age, that when
once she had a book in her hand she forgot every-
"Mamma must have been very clever," said
Bertha, "to read books herself, nurse. I only
know very little words, and can't read a story."
Yes; Miss Beeta was just an uncommon clever
child," said nurse. "I don't expect ever to see
any one like her. She was a very dear and good
child, in spite of her forgetfulness;-but here
Martha had good-naturedly hurried with her
work to take the little missie, as she called
Bertha, out; and taking her by the hand, she
led her through the farm-yard, and past the
thrashing-mill, and showed her the great wheel
revolving round and round, splashing up the water
and letting it trickle down in little waterfalls. She
was somewhat afraid of it at first; but Martha held
her hand very tightly, and showed her how she,
BERTHA'S WHITE HEN. 11
might get to the place where her hen was by
another way; which Bertha was very glad of, for
the strange noise of the mill made her tremble.
a own,- W L
THE NOISY WATER-WHEEL.
Such a lovely white hen, to be sure! Bertha
could scarcely believe it was her very own. And
as for the funny little dots of chickens, they were
just beautiful. She was quite surprised to hear
that such a lovely hen hadn't a name all to itself.
"We must really have a name for it, Martha," she
said. Now, what do you think it ought to be ? "
Well, missie, I really couldn't venture to say,"
replied Martha, laughing. "The only hen I ever
knew with a name was called Granny."
1 2 MRS. SNOW AND HER CHICKS.
Oh, Granny is not a pretty name," said Bertha,
shaking her head. "What do you say to Snow,
as she is so white ? There isn't anything whiter
than snow, that I know of."
Martha agreed that Snow was really very suit-
able, but could lend no assistance in naming the
chickens. She strongly advised that, in the mean-
time, they should just be called chicks. "They
will answer readily enough to that, missie, when
you cry," she said. "See! chick, chick, chick!"
she cried, and in a moment Mrs. Snow's eight little
chickens came fluttering to their feet, while their
mother strained her neck through the bars of the
coop where she was confined, and clucked very
Loudly. Bertha sprinkled a quantity of crumbs
Mrs. Bevan had given her for the chickens; and
then, by Martha's help, some were put into the
coop. She was very sorry to find Snow was not
a very good-natured hen by any means, but gave
Bertha a good peck on the hand; which was
certainly very naughty of her, because Martha
was at the very moment giving her some nice
soft food that she might feed her chickens with
it, and also some corn to herself. "She is a
good, quiet hen when she has no chickens," said
Martha; "but she is always so frightened we are
MILKING THE COWS. 13
going to harm the chicks that she is apt to be
cross, and she does not like being shut up in the
"Then couldn't we let her out, Martha? said
"No, missie; for she would wander about so
much with the chickens that they would die. She
has killed two already, so she is best to be shut
up here for a little till the chicks are older."
What a pity Snow is so stupid," said Bertha.
" Mamma often told me that we could not get
everything our own way in this world; that God
kept many things from us out of kindness. I
wonder if poor Snow will understand she is shut
up for her good ? "
"Oh no, missie," said Martha, "I don't think
so; because she is only a hen, you see, and has no
reason in her, like people. But we must get the
pails. I see Jane is setting out to milk the cows."
Bertha was very much amused to find the cows
had come to the paddock of their own accord to be
milked. She was a little afraid of them; but
Martha showed her a large stump of a tree where
she might sit securely and watch her milking.
Then, when this was done, and Martha had lifted
the large can of milk on her head, she called to
S4 A SORT OF FAIRY-LAND.
o' --- ,.
-_ ,-. -
MILKING THE COWS.
Bertha to come back to the dairy with her, where
she was allowed to help to fill the great milk-
basins, and got a mug full of the nice hot milk
all to herself. Everything she saw about the
farm was so new and strange to her, that she
seemed to be living in a sort of fairy-land.
It was better to have a hen and chickens to
play with all day long," she said at dinner, "than
hearing fairy books read while one lay during
the hot portion of the day waiting for the sun to
go down, as they had to do in India; for, though
fairy stories were very nice, the fairies themselves
were a little provoking. They never allowed
themselves to be seen by little girls, or anybody,
A PAIR OF OWLS. 15
but lived in woods, and only came out to dance
when the moon was shining, and when everybody
had gone to bed."
"That is something like the owls," Farmer
Bevan said, laughing. "They don't like the sun-
light, any more than the fairies."
"Are owls birds, Mr. Bevan? said Bertha.
"Mamma once showed me a picture, and I think
she called it an owl. It had a dead mouse lying
"Yes, missie; that's what the owls like to feed
upon," replied Mr. Bevan. "We must take you
over to the old ruin by the church some day;
there's a pair of owls have their nests there, and
you can see them sitting amongst the ivy blink-
ing and winking, quite blind with the sunlight."
"And can they not see at all, Mr. Bevan ?"
"Oh yes, they can see nicely in the dark.
Their sight is good enough then."
That night, when Nurse Bevan was putting
her to bed, Bertha could not help saying, "Oh, I
am so glad mamma sent me to you, nursie; it is
so very nice to live here. I never was so happy
in all my life!" But when she knelt down to
say her prayers, the words, Bless my dear mamma
and papa," seemed to bring up a great ball into
her throat, and she could get no further. "Oh
dear, dear," she cried, burying her face in nurse's
lap, "mamma is so very far away; and I want
her, I want her ever so much, and I never can be
happy away from her! "
Mrs. Bevan petted her, and did all in her power
to comfort her. "Of course, dear, it is natural
you should want mamma," she said, laying her in
her little cot-bed. "You'll be a big lady very
soon, and then you will go back to her, or mamma
will come to you. I think that would be the
best way-don't you ?-then she could see all
your pets. Such a lot of things you will have to
show her. I wonder how she would like to see a
pair of rabbits, white ones, with pink eyes ?"
Bertha dried her eyes, and gave the ball in her
throat a great gulp down at the thought of the
white rabbits with pink eyes. Oh yes, nurse,"
she said, I really think she would."
Well, dear," said cunning old nurse, quite'de-
lighted to see the rabbits had had such a cheering
effect upon Bertha, "we must go to sleep now,
and to-morrow we shall ask Mr. Bevan if he knows
where we can get them. I should say there will
be lots in the market next week; and, if we are
HAPPY DREAMS. 17
all well, we must go for them ourselves in the
Bertha lay down at once; and falling asleep,
she dreamed she was the happy possessor of such
a lot of white rabbits, and she was leading her
mamma by the hand to see them. So soundly
did she sleep, that the sun was high up in the
sky when she awoke; and on looking out of her
window, she knew it must be ever so late, for she
saw the cows were in the meadow, where they
were allowed to go after Jane and Martha had
Oh dear, what shall I do?" she cried. Nurse
will be vexed with me for riot giving Snow and
the chicks their breakfast." But when she got
down, she was glad to find Mrs. Bevan was quite
pleased she had had such a nice long sleep, and had
18 STORY OF A ROBIN.
given Snow something to eat with her own hands
till Bertha was ready to attend to them.
While she was drinking her milk, she asked
where the robin redbreasts lived.
"Well, my dear, they live in the trees and
bushes," replied Mrs. Bevan.
"But haven't they got nests to sleep in at
night ? Mamma used to tell me about those you
helped her to find in the garden."
"Did she now? replied Mrs. Bevan. "And
did she tell you about the robin that built its nest
in her little watering-pan she kept for watering
her flowers ? "
"No; I never heard that story," said Bertha.
"Do tell it me, please."
"Oh, I was forgetting; it happened after your
mamma went to school. Well, my dear, you
must know the little watering-pan was hanging
by the handle on the tool-house wall, and two
little robin redbreasts, after flying about for some
time, looking out for a nice hole in a wall or in a
decayed branch of a tree, suddenly spied out the
little watering-pan. 'Oh ho,' thought little Mrs.
Robin, 'here's a snug place, to be sure. What do
you say, Mr. Robin, to build our house here?' Mr.
Robin was a very cautious old birdl and in he
STORY OF A ROBIN. 19
flew to the tool-house to inspect the place closely.
His sharp eye discovered there was a good strong
door to the tool-house, but then there was a wide
chimney; and, hopping on the old rusty grate,
he peered up, when there he saw the blue sky
looking down at him through the chimney-can.
Then up he flew in a moment, when, to his great
delight, his little wings landed him on the ivy
that grew all over the roof."
"But what did he do this for, nurse?" said
Bertha. What was Mr. Robin afraid of?"
"Why, my dear," said nurse, laughing, "don't
you see, as there was a door on the tool-house,
Mr. Robin must have thought, 'What if, after we
have built the nest, and put our little eggs in it,
and I leave Mrs. Robin to hatch them, what if
somebody comes and fastens the door how am I to
get in to feed her and our children with the green
caterpillars I catch for her ?' But now having
found out there was a hole he could fly up and
down by, he was satisfied the little watering-pan
was an excellent place for a nest; then, giving
Mrs. Robin a kiss for being so clever as to find it
out, they set to and built their nest in it at once."
"How did the robins build the nest, nurse?
I know God taught the birds how to build their
20 NEW SIGHTS FOR BERTHA.
nests in the trees, but how did they manage with
the watering-pan ?"
"Just the same as they would at any other
time; the place makes no difference. They made
it with moss, dry leaves, and wool, and lined it
with feathers; and a very snug nest it was, I do
GOING TO MARKET.
"Oh dear, what is that?" cried Bertha, running
to the window that looked into the yard, where
a great many oxen and sheep were being driven
in, lowing and bleating very loudly. "0 Nurse
Bevan, do come and look at the cows; and such
a lot of lambs "
"These are not cows, dear, but bullocks," said
nurse, laughing. "John is taking them to market."
MAMMA'S PET LAMB. 21
"But isn't he afraid to strike them so hard
with that great stick ? "
"Oh no; they are quite accustomed to John
and the stick. They are very tame."
"And what is he going to do with the little
white lambs ? "
"These are sheep, dear; we call them lambs
when they are little. They are going to be sold
"And what is to be done with them after they
are sold? "
"If the butcher buys them, then he will kill
them, and make them into beef and mutton, for
people to eat."
"But do they like being made into beef and
mutton ? said Bertha, looking puzzled.
Mrs. Bevan could not help laughing a little at
Bertha's ignorance; but then she remembered
that her little charge had very likely never seen
either sheep or cattle in India, and she very
kindly tried to answer all Bertha's questions,
though they were sometimes rather puzzling.
Mamma had a pet lamb-hadn't she, nurse? "
"Yes, dear,-she called it May; and such a
time I used to have looking for coloured ribbons
to put round its neck."
22 AN INVITATION TO THE RECTORY.
"I should like to have a pet lamb too, nurse,
if you please," said Bertha coaxingly.
"And so you shall, hinny, when the spring
comes," replied nurse fondly.
"May I nothave it now, nurse ? It is such a
long time till the spring."
"Lambs only come in the spring, dear. All
the last spring lambs have grown into sheep now,
and they are by no means interesting, to make
At this moment Bertha saw a maid-servant
carrying a little boy in her arms, while another
little boy clung to the skirt of her gown, afraid
apparently to pass the cattle. These proved to
be the rector's two children, Harry and Willie
Alford, who came with their maid to invite Bertha
to spend the day at the rectory. Mrs. Bevan said
at once she was certainly much obliged to Mrs.
Alford for asking Bertha, and bade her run away
and ask Martha to put on her bonnet and tippet.
She left the room at once certainly, but she stayed
so long Mrs. Bevan had to go in search of her, when
she found her in her room, crouched in a corner
by the window, pouting and sulky. "I don't
want to go," she was saying to Martha, who was
patiently standing with the tippet in her hand
THE BLACK DOG." 23
trying to persuade the refractory young lady to
allow it to be put on.
Heyday! heyday! said Nurse Bevan, coming
in ; what's the matter here, Martha? Has the
black dog jumped on somebody's back ?" Martha
laughed, and said it looked something like it.
Whereupon Mrs. Bevan walked quietly over to
where Bertha was sitting, and said very firmly,
"Little girls must do just as they are told in my
house, else they cannot stay here."
"But I want to stay and feed Snow and the
chickens," pleaded Bertha, her lip quivering.
"You will have plenty opportunities to do
that, dear; but if the hen and chicks are to inter-
fere with what is your duty, then we must take
them away altogether."
This threat was quite sufficient. Berthajumped
up and allowed Martha to tie on her bonnet, and
walked down after Mrs. Bevan, who seemed to be
very much offended with her. "If you please,
nurse, I will be good if you will just kiss me,'
said poor Bertha, looking up with her eyes glisten-
ing with tears. "It's Satan gets a hold of me,
and makes me naughty; but I promised mamma
to fight him when he wants me to do my own
way, and not yours."
24 THE RECTORY GARDEN.
Of course Mrs. Bevan's kind heart was really
touched, and she kissed her not once, but half-
a-dozen times, declaring she was just Miss Beeta's
own child, and nobody else's.
The rectory was such a pretty house, and the
garden was lovely, with a tall yew-tree cut into
such a funny shape, having a top like an umbrella.
There was such a nice high hedge, too, round a
portion of the garden, with doorways through it;
and Harry and she had such a nice game at hide-
and-seek through them. The gardener was not at
all cross with them for running round the walks;
indeed, he said they might run about as much as
they pleased, so long as they kept upon the walks,
A NICE DRIVE. 25
and did not pluck the flowers. And he gave
Bertha such a lovely rose, and ever so many flowers
besides, which she was to be allowed to take home
THE VILLAGE GREEN.
to Nurse Bevan. Mrs. Alford, who had been out
driving, now came home, and as there was a little
time till dinner would be ready, she took them
all for a nice drive, first round by the village
26 SERRINGGA THE ELEPHANT.
green, where the great sycamore-tree grew, and
then to the very ruin Mr. Bevan had spoken
about where the owl lived. Harry was anxious
to get out that they might make a search for it,
and Bertha would have liked to have done so
too, but Mrs. Alford said they had already stayed
too long, and must hasten home to dinner.
"An owl is by no means such a pretty bird as
the parrots you have in India, dear," said Mrs.
Alford. "Now I shouldn't wonder, Harry, if
Bertha could tell you about a real live elephant!"
"Oh yes; papa has an elephant. It is called
Serringga. It is a very big one, and he is so
"Do you hear that, Harry ? And I suppose
you have ridden often on his back, dear ? "
"Oh yes; I have been with mamma a whole
day on his back, but I don't remember about it.
I just recollect the short rides Edward used to
give Emma and me."
And who is Emma, dear," inquired Mrs. Alford
"Emma is Edward's little girl, and Edward is
papa's servant; and he takes care of Serringga,
and Serringga used to take care of Emma," said
A FOUR-FOOTED NURSE. 27
How was that, dear ? inquired Mrs. Alford
"Are you listening, Harry? "
"Emma's mother died when she was a baby,
and she had no nurse but her father and Serringga.
When Edward had to go away for a little, he used
to lay Emma down close to Serringga's hay, and
tell him to watch her; and if Emma crawled
away, he put his trunk round her and lifted her
back again. Emma can make him do anything
she pleases, he is so fond of her."
Harry was so delighted to hear this about the
elephant, that after dinner, when they went up
into the nursery, he would do nothing but ride on
his hobby-horse; and when asked by nurse to
come and play with Willie and Miss Bertha, he
always said, "Oh, I can't, nurse; I'm riding away
to India. I want to see the elephant."
The nursery at the rectory was such a very
nice room, hung round with pretty pictures; and
though Harry was rather a bad play-fellow, Mary,
the nurse, was very good-natured, and made her
such a nice doll out of pieces of rags. She told
little Willie such funny stories too, which made
Bertha laugh so heartily; and the day passed so
quickly, that she was quite surprised when Martha
came for her.
28 A FAILING WITH MOST FOLKS.
I suppose you are glad now that Mrs. Bevan
made you go?" said Martha, as they walked home.
--- -~ ~ --'- --- -.
THE RECTORY NURSERY.
Oh yes, I am," said Bertha frankly. "Mrs.
Alford is so very kind, and I like Mary the nurse
very much. Wasn't it kind of her to make me
this nice doll ? "
And how about the young gentlemen? Don't
you like the little masters too ? "
I like Willie; but Harry is a little provoking,
he will have his own way about everything."
"Ah, that's a failing with most folks," said
Martha slyly. What a funny world this would
be if everybody were allowed to do just as they
BUSY AS A BEE. 29
"I don't think they would be very happy,"
said Bertha. "I know mamma once gave me a
whole day to myself to do just what I pleased,
and I don't think I ever was so unhappy."
"And I suppose you never want your own way
now? said Martha. "It cured you, I suppose? "
"Now, Martha, you are laughing at me," said
Bertha. "You know I insisted upon having my
own way this morning. I must have looked very
cross to make Nurse Bevan say I had the black
dog on my back."
For some days Bertha was as busy as a bee
among her pets, and the black dog seemed to have
been fairly driven away for the time. Ah no;
he wasn't far off, unfortunately; he must just have
retired to some comfortable hole in the barn, per-
haps among the hay. One morning, to Bertha's
great surprise, Mrs. Bevan proposed that they
should go down to the village to see the school-
mistress, for the purpose of asking her to enrol
Bertha as a pupil.
"But, Nurse Bevan," said Bertha, "I don't
want to go to school, if you please; I always said
my lessons to mamma at home: and my chickens
are growing so big and so wild, they require to
be constantly watched."
30 GOING TO SCHOOL.
Yes, dear, I know they take up a good deal
of your time; but little ladies must learn to read,
and it is your mamma's wish that you should go
to Dame Trimmer's school till you are older."
But couldn't I have a governess to teach me
at home, nurse ? Julia Layton is to have one."
If your mamma had thought a governess would
be better for you, dear, I dare say she would have
said so. In the meantime we must do as she
wishes, and see if Dame Trimmer is willing to
Oh, I do hope she won't. If mamma only
knew how Snow requires to be looked after, now
that she gets out of her coop, she would never ask
me to go to school."
"You are not to be all day at school," said
Mrs. Bevan, laughing at Bertha's disconsolate face.
Till you are stronger, you are just to stay for an
hour or so. Martha will keep her eye on the
chickens and Mrs. Snow, I dare say, if you ask
When Mrs. Bevan and Bertha went into Dame
Trimmer's schoolroom the children were very
busy with their lessons. The girls stared so much
at her that she felt very nervous and uncomfort-
able, and tried to hide behind Nurse Bevan. A
DAME TRIMMER. 31
- -./ . .
DAME TRIMMER'S SCHOOL.
girl who was much taller and older than the
others, and who appeared to be teaching them,
noticed Bertha's shyness, and bade the children
attend to their lessons, which was very polite of
her. To Bertha's distress, Dame Trimmer said at
once she would be very glad to take charge of
her, saying that she had taught her mother, Miss
Beeta, when she too was a little girl. This in-
formation was certainly a little cheering, because
she had been thinking Julia Layton would scarcely
approve of her going to such a plain school. To
her great delight, she found she was not to go to
school for a week; and while nurse arranged all
the business part, she inwardly determined to
have as happy a week of it as a little girl could.
32 A DELIGHTFUL HOLIDAY.
On the way home, therefore, she was quite cheerful,
for she suddenly remembered she was to go with
Mrs. and Farmer Bevan in the waggon the next
y to the market-town, the thought of which
drove out the school and the staring girls, and
everything disagreeable. So excited was she at
the prospect of the journey, that she could hardly
sleep that night, and got up before the sun to
look out to see if it was going to be a fair or a
rainy day. To her delight, the weather was ex-
cellent, and after breakfast they set out. There
was a sort of fair in the market-town that day.
It was such a novel and a pretty sight to see
the gay-coloured booths full of confectionery or
toys, and the various merry-go-rounds and see-
saw boats. Then there was a number of shows;
and at the door of one them, on a platform, a girl
just like a fairy, with a white gauze dress, and with
shining gold and silver wings sticking out of her
shoulders, and with a great gold wand which she
flourished about in her hand, while she invited
every one to walk in and see the show. When
the waggon drew up in front of the inn, and nurse
and Bertha got out, they found a showman-, ex-
hibiting a peep-show to two little boys and a little
girl. The boys seemed so delighted with the
SIGHTS AT THE FAIR. 33
wonderful things inside, that Bertha begged she
might have a peep also. Nurse was quite shocked
at the idea, but Farmer Bevan said, "Tuts, wife,
let the child see the show; it won't harm her."
And he good-naturedly paid for her, and stood
beside her all the time. There was a lot of funny
little ladies and gentlemen who came walking in
at one side and out at the other, the strange thing
being that they all walked sideways. Then came
"a large white horse standing on its hind legs, with
"a soldier on its back wearing a cocked hat. How
the gorse managed it Bertha could not say, but
it moved along on its hind-legs, and never came
down from that uncomfortable position all the
34 BUYING THE RABBITS.
time it was in sight. There were so many strange
sights to be seen at the fair that Bertha quite
forgot about the rabbits, and very likely never
would have remembered about them at all, if kind
Nurse Bevan had not taken her to the shop where
they were to be bought. There was a great
number of them; some pure white with red eyes,
and some black and white, and some gray ones.
After due deliberation, Bertha decided to have a
white one and a gray one, and accordingly they
were put into a strong wicker basket with plenty
of parsley and lettuces. He was a very funny
man who sold the rabbits; and he had a great
many bird-cages all round his shop, from the floor
to the very roof, full of canaries, goldfinches, and
other varieties, along with two or three parrots.
He was very much interested to hear Bertha had
just come from India, and he said he once had a
great desire to go to India himself. "I wanted
to see the parrots in the woods," he said, "and
to gather the shells myself. I have a great affec-
tion for beasts and birds."
"Do you feed all these birds yourself sir ? "
"Yes, miss, I do," replied the bird-fancier;
"they are like to break their little hearts if any-
THE BIRD-FANCIER AND HIS PETS. 35
body else does it. I was ill last week, and had
to keep my bed for two whole days; and Sally,
my old servant, she fed them, and looked after the
shop; and would you believe it, miss, all the little
rascals sat with their heads tucked under their
wings or drooping down, and never whistled a
note, though Sally did her best to cheer them up !
Even old Poll, there, who has so much to say at
times, never answered a question, I'm told, but kept
asking, in the crossest tone of voice, 'Where's the
master?' or crying out 'Shop !' to make me come
running to attend a customer, though Sally was
there for the purpose. It's not every day we have
a young lady from India, Mrs. Bevan," he said,
laughing, when they were preparing to leave; "you
must really allow me to give the little missie a
present. It's fair time, you know, marm," he con-
tinued; and he took down such a lovely canary,
as yellow as gold, and presented it to Bertha.
"Well, I must-say, Bertha, you will have a
lot of pets collected to show mamma when she
comes,-a hen and chickens, a pair of rabbits,
and now a canary bird. Thank you very much,
Mr. Jones; you must come and pay us a visit very
soon, and see how we are treating the pretty
36 HAPPY LITTLE BERTHA.
There never was a happier little girl than Bertha
as she drove off in the waggon, the cage tied in
Mr. Bevan's red cotton handkerchief, which he
kindly lent for the purpose; while the two rabbits
were placed so that she could see them munching
their parsley just as if they were at home.
The next morning Bertha was waiting, by no
means patiently, for Mr. Bevan, who had of his
own accord offered to superintend the building of
a proper hutch for the rabbits.
"We must make it so as to stand off the
ground, and with an open front," he had said, so
that no wild cat or other animal may get in, and
that you may be able to see them feeding."
This was a very nice idea indeed, and Bertha
would have liked to have set about it without a
"My child," said Nurse Bevan, "you really
must not fret in that manner; Mr. Bevan must
see to the work outside first. Don't you think
the shearing of the sheep is more important than
building a house for the rabbits, when they are so
comfortable already in the basket ? "
"What do you mean by shearing the sheep,
nurse ? said Bertha.
Well, my dear, if you run round to the back
SHEARING THE SHEEP. 37
of the thrashing-mill, you will see the men doing
it. Mr. Bevan is there, and will look after you,
and the time will pass quicker when you have
something to amuse you."
On reaching the thrashing-mill, Bertha heard a
great noise of bleating of sheep, and men shout-
ing, and dogs barking; she was just about to run
away again in terror, when Mr. Bevan came round
the corner, and seeing her, called to her to come
"to him. Taking her by the hand, he led her to
a place where she could see the whole operation.
There, at one side of the shed, were the sheep
waiting to be shorn, their fleeces so thick and
woolly; and there, on a sloping board, lay one or
two, very quiet and silent, while Bill and Dick,
38 DOES IT HURT THEM i"
the farm men, clipped off the fleece with great
"0 Mr. Bevan," said Bertha, shuddering,
"does it not hurt them to be cut like that? "
"No, my dear; not in the slightest," said Mr.
Bevan. "Except, perhaps, to make them afraid for
a very little, that is all the harm that is done."
But why do you cut off their coat ? inquire
"To get the wool to make your clothes with,
to be sure," said the farmer.
"But won't they feel very cold without it, Mr.
Well, I dare say they will for a little," said Mr.
Bevan, laughing; "it will soon grow on again."
"Oh, how very funny to think more wool will
grow out of them," said Bertha.
Then, when Dick had clipped off the last piece
of the wool, and had allowed the sheep to get on
to its feet, Stephen clapped his hands and made
it run off to join the others; and Bertha laughed
so heartily at it.
"It looked so comical," she said, "and stared
about it as if it felt it really wasn't itself, but
another sheep altogether."
When a good many of the other sheep had
MAKING THE RABBIT-HOUSE. 39
been clipped, Mr. Bevan said he was now quite
ready to set about making the rabbit-house, and
he called one of the men to drive in four posts into
the ground, close to where Mrs. Snow and the
chickens lived; for, as the farmer said, it would be
just as well to have all her pets together. Then,
when the posts were secured, a box was put upon
them with a number of holes bored in the bottom,
and then a sloping roof, just like a little cottage.
The front was open, with a wire-netting guard, and
the door was at the end, so that Bertha could open
it to push the food in. The box was divided into
two compartments-one for sleeping in, and one
for eating in; and altogether, it was just the very
nicest rabbit-house a pair of rabbits could have.
As Mr. Bevan said the rabbits liked dandelions
better than any other food, Bertha one morning got
a basket and an old knife from Martha, and, with
nurse's permission, she set off for the wood to dig
some up. She was told not to go into the wood
itself, but somehow she saw such lots of flowers,
that, after she had filled her basket, she thought
she would like to take some of them home; and
she said, "Oh, I will just go a little way, and no-
body will know." At last she was startled by
hearing voices, and looking through the bushes,
10 IN THE WOOD.
she saw some strange-looking men sitting round a
fire, and a donkey not far off. She was of course
very much frightened, for though she had never
seen any gipsies before, she knew somehow she
THE GIPSY WOMAN.
might be in danger; and then both nurse and
Martha had told her she must be very careful not
to lose sight of the house, else she might be lost.
While she was thinking of this, a woman with a
little baby on her back spied her out and came
over to where she was standing, and asked her
her name and where she lived. When she heard
that she lived with Mrs. Bevan at Denmill Farm,
the woman seemed quite pleased, and said she knew
the good woman, and would take Bertha there at
THE GIPSY WOMAN. 41
once. The woman had been speaking in a very
low tone, and Bertha noticed she was afraid lest
the men would see them; so she walked very care-
fully, as she saw the woman do, till they got out of
sight of the fire, and the donkey, and the men.
You shouldn't wander so far from home, little
lady," said the gipsy woman; "many children
like you have been stolen away from their friends
before now; if it hadn't been that Mrs. Bevan
has been kind to me when my baby and I were
ill, I wouldn't take the trouble to see you safe
home. But mind, I expect you'll give me some-
thing for my trouble "
"Oh yes," said Bertha eagerly; "I have a
bright new shilling in my little box,-I shall ask
Nurse Bevan to give you that."
"And will the little lady ask Mrs. Bevan for
some food for the little children ? "
Oh yes, Bertha was quite willing to ask nurse
for anything the woman had a fancy for; and,
what was more, she was certain nurse would give
her whatever she desired.
Very much surprised, therefore, was Bertha,
when, on running to the parlour, she was received
by nurse in a very grim manner; and when she
had told her story, was ordered to go to bed at
42 A BROKEN PROMISE.
once, nurse refusing to say why or wherefore.
Nurse spoke so very sternly, that Bertha felt she
must obey at once, and hastened up-stairs without
being able to discover whether the gipsy woman
had been rewarded or not. She was certainly not
sent away at once, for Bertha heard her voice,
and Nurse Bevan appeared to be asking questions;
and knowing how kind she was in general to poor
wandering people, Bertha felt sure she would not
be sent empty away. In a little, Bertha heard a
commotion in the yard, as if all the people belong-
ing to the farm had collected at the door; and
then Martha came up to her room, quite out of
"0 miss, what a fright you have given us
all! said Martha; "how could you go and be so
naughty! Didn't both me and the mistress tell
you not to go out of sight of the house; and when
Dick said he had seen them gipsies in the wood
this morning, I gave you up for lost, that I did!'
"Is nurse angry with me, Martha?" said
Bertha, beginning to cry.
"Angry? said Martha; "no ; but she's so
vexed to think you can't be trusted, that she
means to punish you, to make you remember that
if you say you will do a thing you must keep
WHAT IT COST. 43
your word with her. The mistress is very par-
ticular about that. I must hasten off now, miss,
for we were busy with the hay to-day, and had to
leave our work to go in search of you. See, miss,
what a trouble you have put everybody to!"
"Will nurse forgive me, do you think ? said
Bertha; "I am very sorry, Martha, I was so stupid."
"Very well, miss; I dare say the mistress will
come up soon; but if you want her to forgive you,
you had better stay here quietly and be patient."
This Bertha promised to do, and she sat very
quietly on the window seat looking out to the
meadow where Martha, Jane, and the men were
taking in the hay. It was not till the afternoon
that nurse came up, looking still grave and sad.
"Oh, please, nurse," cried Bertha, running and
clinging to her, "I am so sorry; I am indeed !"
"And so am I, dear," said nurse, taking Bertha
on her knee. "When I heard you had not come
back, and nobody could find you about the farm,
and Dick said he had seen the gipsies in the wood,
I gave you up for lost. What could I have said
to your mamma, dear; don't you think she would
fancy I had been very careless of her little girl ? "
"If you please, nurse, I am very sorry," said
Bertha, weeping bitterly; "I will try to do
44 BERTHA'S PENITENCE.
_^'_ -. _
TAKING IN THE HAY.
what you tell me, and I will never go into the
As nurse saw that Bertha had really been
punished enough, and was thoroughly penitent,
BEING USEFUL. 40
she allowed her to come down-stairs; and from
that day, till the time she left her house, nurse
had no cause to punish her for breaking a promise
once it was made.
The summer passed away very speedily, Bertha
going to Dame Trimmer's school every morning,-
and making such progress, that the worthy old
dame said she had got a second Miss Beeta as a
pupil. Then the very girls who had stared at her
so much were exceedingly kind to her, and became
very pleasant companions. As the season advanced,
and the harvest was fairly begun, Mrs. Bevan had
a good deal of extra work to do, Martha and Jane
being in the field. Bertha soon found that she could
make herself very useful to her kind nurse. She
happened to hear her saying to Mr. Bevan that she
had so much to do that she could not visit one
or two old men and women who lived in little
cottages on the farm. Then Bertha thought to
herself, I wonder if I could do it. And so, when
Mr. Bevan went away, she asked nurse if she
thought she could help her in any way about the
old people; for she had once or twice gone over
with nurse when she paid her visits. "That
you could," said nurse. "It makes me often
vexed to think the poor old things may be want-
46 "NURSE'S PENSIONERS."
ing a drink of water, or a cheery word, to help
them through the long day; and now that every-
body is out in the fields, they may be neglected.
There's Widow Stoke, now; she is so bad with the
rheumatism that she cannot use her hands."
The very next forenoon, after dinner, Bertha
set out with her little basket full of comforts for
"nurse's pensioners," as they called the old
people. She was a little shy at first, but they
seemed all so glad to see her, that Bertha found
herself on friendly terms with them before she
knew how. She was a little sorry she could not
read the Bible to them, but she repeated ever so
many hymns her mamma and nurse had taught
her; and they all liked to hear them very much.
After staying a good while, Bertha returned, feeling
happier than she ever had done before. She was
looking so bright, that a woman who had been
out gleaning with her little boy, and who had
seen her come out of Dame Stoke's. cottage, said
so kindly, "God bless you, miss; there is nothing
like being kind to the poor for making anybody
happy, be they little or big."
Yes, Bertha began to find that she could be
very happy away from her mamma; not that
she had forgotten her by any means, but she saw
A WISE CHOICE. 47
now her home had been chosen very wisely; and
though Mrs. Bevan had only been her mother's
nurse, in the days when her grandpapa and
grandmamma were alive, "she was just the very
nicest and kindest old nursie that ever lived."
" Oh, if mamma and papa would only come home,
nurse," Bertha would say; "if they would come
to live here altogether, wouldn't it be very nice,-
wouldn't we all be very happy ? "
"Yes, dear," nurse would say, with a sigh.
"I often wonder if these old eyes of mine will
ever see my dear child more; but we must just
be patient, hinny, and trust in God."
Perhaps the happiest time Bertha ever had
48 IN THE CORN-FIELDS.
was when Martha took her to the fields, and she
spent the day among the busy reapers. It was
such fun to go in the empty carts, and have her
dinner in a basket, when she could take it just
when she pleased. There was a little girl, a
daughter of Dick's, one of her school companions,
who was sure to be there; and they used to build
such a nice house with the bunches of grain, and
creep under it, where they would eat their dinner,
and sing songs, and be very happy. Then, too,
sometimes she and little Kate staved in the yard
at home, and Dick would hoist them up on to
the top of the great stacks, and allow them to
help him to pack it. Mr. Bevan used sometimes
to pretend he was very angry, and would order
Dick to throw them down; but Dick declared he
really could not get on without their help; and
Mr. Bevan would laugh, and say, "Well, well, I
suppose I must submit."
It had been a very fine harvest; not a drop of
rain had fallen during the whole time the reapers
were out, and the sun was so powerful, that by
the time all the corn was cut it was ready to be
carried to the stack-yard. On the last day, when
the very last cart-load was to be driven home,
everybody was out; even Mrs. Bevan came down
THE LAST CART-LOAD. 49
the lane to meet the band of happy reapers.
They formed themselves into a sort of procession,
and as they drove into the stack-yard the men
took off their hats and cheered most lustily.
Bertha was perched upon the very top of the
cart, and had managed to creep under the two
bunches of corn Dick had placed there. Poor
THE LAST CART-LOAD.
Kate wasn't quite so comfortable, and was always
sliding down; but Bertha tried to hold her as
well as she could. Just as the men were cheer-
ing, with Mr. Bevan leading them, down fell the
shocks on Bertha, and quite hid her out of sight.
She wasn't in the least hurt, but enjoyed the fun
immensely, and was pulled out by Dick, who
50 AN INVITATION.
laughed heartily when he saw the plight she was
in. Every one had a glass of Mrs. Bevan's nut-
brown ale; and afterwards the workers were
entertained to supper, finishing off with a merry
dance in the barn.
Some days afterwards a letter came from Julia
Layton's grandmamma to Mrs. Bevan, asking her
to allow Bertha to spend a few weeks with her
old playmate. Oh, do let me go, nursie cried
Bertha; "I want so much to see the house they
live in. Julia has often told me her grandmamma
is very rich; and the house is so beautiful, and
the gardens lovely. I should like to go."
I did not think, dear, you cared so much for
riches and grandeur," said Mrs. Bevan, smiling.
"I'm a little afraid to say Yes to the letter,
because you will be coming home a little discon-
tented with us plain, homely folk."
"Oh no, nurse; I shall be glad to come back, I
know," said Bertha, flinging her arms round the
kind woman's neck; "but I just want to see the
house, for Julia was never tired of speaking about
it on the voyage home."
"Very well, dear, we shall write and accept
Mrs. Layton's invitation; but remember, dear, all
is not gold that glitters," said nurse, laughing.
ALL IS NOT GOLD THAT GLITTERS. 51
Why do you say that, nurse ? I remember
mamma said the very same to me just before I
left India, and I did intend to ask her what she
meant by it, but I always forgot."
"Well, dear, it just means, that supposing your
friend Miss Julia lives in a very fine house, she
still may not be happy. Riches, sometimes, even
make people miserable ; and real worth may lie
under a very plain exterior. You must look deeper
than the outside of anything, and not allow the
mere glitter to carry you away. A really humble
person may be more acceptable in God's sight
than a queen. He judges people by their heart,
and not by their outward appearance."
I think I understand that, nurse," said Bertha
thoughtfully. She was recalling to mind the con-
versation she had with her mamma, when she
had wanted to show her that she considered Nurse
Bevan more worthy of esteem and regard than
any person she knew.
Mrs. Bevan now set about getting some pretty
dresses made for Bertha, such as she knew her
mamma would approve of; and when these were
ready Farmer Bevan took her over to the Hall
and gave her safely into Mrs. Layton's keeping.
She was a very stately old lady, but not al-
52 ARRIVAL AT THE HALL.
together kind, Bertha thought; because she not
only looked a little surprised when told Mr.
Bevan was for the time being Bertha's guardian,
but she never asked him to sit down; and it was
only when he turned tJgo away that she rung
for the butler to give him some refreshment be-
fore he started on his homeward journey. Bertha
had a very kind heart, and she had received so
much kindness from the worthy man, that she
could have cried when he went away, and half
wished she could go back with him. After he
was gone Julia insisted upon her going at once to
see the new summer-house the gardener had just
I think, my dear," her grandmamma had
said, "your little friend has more need to rest
herself after her journey."
But Julia said, Oh, you can't be tired, Bertha!
do come now, and then you can rest after."
"I'm sure all her bones must be shaken to
pieces," said Tom Layton, Julia's eldest brother,
who had been sent home from India some years
before his sister, and was, therefore, quite a
stranger to Bertha. "That old tumble-down con-
cern of a gig was enough to frighten the French."
Bertha expected Mrs. Layton would reprove
INSPECTING THE SUMMER-HOUSE. 53
him for his rudeness; but she had returned to the
book she had been reading when Bertha arrived,
and she found that the children were allowed to
do and say pretty much what they pleased.
"I am not in the least tired," said Bertha
stoutly; "and the driving did not shake me."
"Come, come, my dears, run away and play,"
said Mrs. Layton peevishly; "there is too much
_. -._ i .a -
THE NEW SUMMER-IIOUSE.
Julia then hurried her away to inspect the
summer-house, which was certainly a very com-
fortable one. "We can have tea here on the
table, you see, Bertha," said Julia; "grand-
mamma says we may have it to-morrow if the
54 BERTHA'S RICH FRIENDS.
day is warm; don't you think we might have it
in the forenoon ? I think I should like to have it
then quite as well as in the evening."
Bertha, who knew Julia was exceedingly fond
of playing at keeping house, agreed that it would
be just as nice then as later.
And how do you like the house ? said Julia,
as they stood outside the summer-house. Isn't
it a nice large one ? Is the one you live in very
much smaller? "
"Oh yes," said Bertha, laughing. "It is only
a farm-house, but a very pretty one."
"And what do you do all day, Bertha ? said
Julia, as they walked back to the house. "Have
you a governess to teach you? "
Oh no; I go to the dame's school in the
village," said Bertha, blushing in spite of herself.
"What! to a school where common children
go ?" said Julia, standing still in surprise.
"Yes," said Bertha. "It was mamma's wish
I should be sent there;" though she felt more and
"Oh dear, I really can't understand it; I re-
member hearing mamma telling grandmamma be-
fore she left for India that your papa was very
rich. You must not tell grandmamma about the
A VERY PECULIAR LADY. 55
dame's school; she will be quite shocked, and
may send you home at once."
"If she asks me, of course I must tell her,"
said Bertha, almost ready to cry.
"No, you must not; you must say you haven't
got a governess yet," said Julia. "Grandmamma
is very peculiar; she can't bear vulgar common
people, and will only read books about rich ladies
and gentlemen. I know she will send you home
"Well, I don't care," said Bertha; "I don't
want to stay here if people are not kind."
Now, don't be stupid, dear," said Julia, throw-
ing her arms round her friend's neck ; "I want
to have you to play with so much, for Tom and
Charley will have their way about everything,
and they are not good play-fellows."
There were really beautiful picture-books and
toys in their play-room, and Bertha could have
sat for hours enjoying them; but she soon found
that, though she was the visitor, her feelings and
wishes were not to be regarded in the very slight-
est. After tea they were allowed to do just what
they pleased, and after a sore struggle between
Julia and Tom, each of them insisting upon hav-
ing their own way, Tom, being the strongest
member of the party, gained the day. "No, no,
let us have blindman's-buff," he had said; and
accordingly a handkerchief was procured, the
table and chairs pushed out of the way, and Tom
chosen as the first blind man. Away they scam-
pered into different corners, screaming and laugh-
ing, and enjoying the game immensely, Bertha as
,'N ^. -.
much as any, till she began to find Tom was
determined to catch her.
"I say, Tom, that is not fair," cried Julia; "I
know you must be able to see."
"I don't," cried Tom; "I've got my eyes both
shut;" and making a vigorous rush forward, he
caught hold of Bertha by the arm, and held it so
tightly that she screamed with pain. "Now,
THE ACCIDENT. 57
miss, I'll bandage your eyes," said Tom, "and see
what kind of a blindman you will make; and he
tied on the handkerchief so tightly that again she
had to cry out. "Oh dear, we are made of egg-
shells, we are," said Tom. "There, will that do?"
and he loosened the knot a very little. But poor
Bertha soon found out her troubles were not over;
she found herself pulled here, there, and every-
where; her hair tugged, her ears tweaked, her
hands pinched; and at last Tom seized her by the
foot, and down she fell, flat on her face, and with
such force that her nose began to bleed.
Tom, see what you have done!" said Julia,
while at the sight of the blood Bertha cried out
in terror. This brought Mrs. Layton's maid to
them, who had once or twice put her head in at
the door to tell them to make less noise.
"Now, Master Tom, this is some of your work,
I feel sure. Well, I shall just report it to your
grandmamma. You know, the very last time you
were reproved she said you would be sent to
school; and I know she means to keep her word."
So did Tom, and he set to at once to try and pro-
pitiate the maid, as he had often done before; but
she seemed very determined this time, and. Tom
then repented that he had stolen her false teeth
58 A DRIVE.
the day before and shown them to some of the
I tell you, Barker, it was an accident,"
pleaded Tom; "and if you will not tell, I will
buy you as fine a cap as you could desire off my
"No, Master Tom," said Barker, looking very
grim; "I shall report this bad behaviour to m'y
Then Tom resigned himself to his fate, knowing
that if Barker told, she would also advise, nay,
even insist upon it being done. For they all
knew Barker could make their grandmamma do
what she pleased.
The very next day, after luncheon, the children
were told to get ready to go out for a drive in
the carriage with their grandmamma; and instead
of refusing, as was Tom's usual habit, he went and
got his cap without a word, considering it best to
pacify "the old lady," as he called his grandmamma,
so that she might possibly forget the school. After
driving a long way, the coachman turned into a by-
lane where none of the children had ever been
before; and Tom, who was sitting beside the coach-
man, called out,-
Grandmamma, why are we going down here?"
WHERE IT LED TO. 59
"You will know in good time, Master Tom,"
was all Mrs. Layton would say; and though he
whispered very cautiously to the coachman, the
man did not seem to know anything about it.
At the end of the lane they came to an avenue of
trees, and in a few minutes they heard a great
noise of shouting and laughing; and in a moment
more Tom was able to see over the wall into what
was evidently the playground of a large school.
" ... ;
"Ah, I see Miss Barker has kept her word,"
he said. "This is the school I am to be sent to."
"Yes, sir; this is Upton College, a school for
young gentlemen like you, sir," said the coach-
60 A MUTTERED THREAT.
I'll pay Miss Barker off for this," Tom muttered
between his teeth, as he swung himself down from
his seat when they drew up at the door.
"You and Charley had better come in with
me," said Mrs. Layton; "the young ladies can
stay in the carriage." Tom stuck his hands into
his pockets, and marched behind his grandmamma
with a very sulky countenance. As we shall be
detained here a little, you had better drive the
young ladies as far as Holm Brook," said Mrs.
Layton to the coachman.
"I'm really very glad grandma has made up
her mind to send Tom to school," said Julia as
they drove along. As long as mamma was with
us he got on very well with our tutor, Mr. Paget;
but because he knows grandma can't bear to be
bothered, and rather gives him his own way than
have the trouble of scolding him, he is very idle
and disagreeable at times."
"I was half afraid you would feel vexed with
me," said Bertha. It seemed somehow as if my
accident had been the cause of him being sent
Oh, don't trouble your mind about that," said
Julia; "he would have got into trouble soon
enough whether you had been there or not. He
THE OLD MILL. 61
THE OLD MILL.
has offended Miss Barker, my dear," said Julia,
laughing; "and everybody knew Tom's doom was
sealed after that."
62 AN AGREEABLE SURPRISE.
By this time they had reached Holm Brook,
and James was preparing to turn the horses round,
when Julia called out, Oh, please, James, wait a
moment; I do like to see the old mill. Isn't it
like a picture, Bertha ? I mean to sketch it some
day and send it to mamma : she used to be so
fond of driving this way."
When Mrs. Layton and the boys came out,
they were accompanied by Dr. Bennet, and, to
Julia's astonishment, Tom was laughing and look-
ing quite delighted; and the doctor appeared to be
such a very agreeable gentleman, that Julia de-
clared she wished she was a boy that she might
become a pupil of Upton College also.
Miss Barker fancies she has played me a fine
trick," said Tom, when they were all together in
the play-room on their return home. "I'm glad
now I'm going to school. I like Dr. Bennet, and I
know the boys have a fine time of it there; but,
all the same, I'll pay Miss Barker off for her spite."
One afternoon, when Bertha had been at the
Hall for a few days, some ladies came to call upon
Mrs. Layton; and as she did not feel very well,
Julia and Bertha were told to take them round
the beautiful pleasure-grounds before luncheon.
Julia had asked Tom to come too, but he had
MISCHIEF BREWING. 63
declined, saying, with a sneer, He did not like to
be seen with such a troop of ladies." He looked so
queer, however, that Julia was afraid he was either
engaged in some act of mischief, or going to enter
upon it, and she turned back to say, "Now, Tom
dear, do be careful; it would be so dreadful if
mamma were to hear you had been a naughty boy
after you promised to be good."
Just you mind your own business," was all
Tom said, and Julia left him.
TUH HALL PLEASURE-GROUL'NDS.
The ladies were exceedingly kind, and admired
the beautiful grounds so much that Julia and
Bertha were quite delighted; and after they had
seen everything worth seeing, including the lovely
64 A FALSE ALARM.
summer-house, they, hearing the gong, returned to
the house. As they went up the front steps,
the door being open, they were conscious of a
strong smell of burning, and heard shrill shrieks
and screams coming from the gallery. Then there
was a cry like a savage war-whoop, and Tom was
plainly seen running down the stairs with a pole
in his hand to which was fastened some blazing,
burning things. As the shrieks still continued, and
as somebody cried "Fire," the cook had rushed
outside and sounded the alarm bell, which made
everybody, both inside and outside, begin to shout
and scream, Fire! fire! also. You can have no
idea what a clatter and noise and commotion there
arose. The men outside hastened to fill all the
pails and buckets within reach with water from
the great draw-well. A man saddled a horse and
rode off at once to the nearest town for the fire-
engines; and the hose belonging to the hall itself
were dragged out, to be in readiness when the flames
should be seen to come out of the windows. And
all this noise and bustle was caused by naughty
Tom; who was at the very moment sitting on a
gate in the meadow waving his cap and shouting
with laughter. He, knowing that Barker had
made herself a very neat bonnet, which she in-
MISCHIEVOUS TOM. 65
-- t'.-'lel to wear r(u lie
tIAll.:%%i v l Sunda N>y to
.' l' st tix...l it t.,- the-l l,:le,
.X tihet, 7i tIe -4i ht :'f op:..r
kEal r, e l .Mil.i..r.
.-" tely ,t tl, t: it
"i '-'h. 1 \Vel, T.,m, w .
66 FORSAKEN FOR FINER FRIENDS.
Mrs. Layton could say, when he was brought into her
presence, "I am very thankful you are going to
school. I shall certainly tell Dr. Bennet about this,
and write to your mamma by the very next mail."
"If you do, grandma, I'll set fire to Barker's
own self," said Tom defiantly. See if I don't "
As Tom was well known to be a boy who might
bring his threats into execution, his grandmamma
thought it would be better to say nothing more
about it; and Julia was commissioned to inform
him that, if he did no further damage to Barker
and her property, neither Dr. Bennet nor his
mamma would hear of the matter.
Oh, how glad Bertha felt when the time came for
her to return home to the dear peaceful farm,"
as she called it, though she politely did not say so
to her friend Julia. Somehow Julia was not quite
so nice as she had been on board ship; and when
her cousin Johanna came to spend some days with
her, Bertha found out that, because Johanna wore
very fine clothes, and talked about her gay and rich
friends at the fashionable boarding-school, Julia
paid her much attention, and neglected Bertha
altogether. Then, too, when kind Farmer Bevan
came in the waggon to take her home, they laughed
both at him and the conveyance; and Johanna said
NO PLACE LIKE HOME. 67
so rudely in a low tone to Julia, "Dear me,
I did not know we had a farmer's daughter as
a play-fellow. I did think I felt a strong smell
of hay and corn when we were introduced."
The autumn had quickly given place to winter,
and during the night previous to Bertha's leaving
the Hall a heavy fall of snow had taken place.
" My wife thought the waggon would be more
comfortable for you, Bertha," said Mr. Bevan
when she came down ready for her journey. "A
waggon! said Mrs. Layton, who now heard of it
for the first time. "Oh dear, Miss Bertha could
have had the carriage; a waggon is certainly a
curious conveyance for a young lady-a daughter
of Mr. Marchmont."
It won't harm her a bit, ma'am," said the
worthy farmer; and, what is more, she will ride
home in it snugger than in your carriage, though
it was kind of you to offer it, ma'am."
And so you are glad to get back to us, little
missie!" said the farmer for the twelfth time, as
they at last turned to go down the farm lane. Oh
yes," said Bertha, heaving a deep sigh. They
were very kind-everybody-and I did enjoy
myself till Johanna came; but I like to live at
Denmill-oh, ever so much better! Oh dear !"
68 HOME AGAIN.
she exclaimed, how everything is changed since
I left home. What are the sheep doing there ?-
see! Mr. Bevan, they are in the cows' paddock."
"Yes, my dear, we have had to bring them
down there to look the better after them during
winter; we've been very busy, you see, during
your absence. There's a friend of yours, if not
two of them, on the look-out for you."
This proved to be Dick, one of the farm men,
and his little daughter Kate, who had been over tc
the farm on some errand, and who now returned
Bertha's wave of the hand with interest. Oh,
how nice it will be to have Kate to play with
once more," said Bertha; she was always such
a dear, good girl, and so obliging."
CHRISTMAS GIFTS. 69
It was rather a dreary time, the winter, for
little Bertha, she felt the cold so much ; but there
was plenty of in-door work and amusement. She
made ever so many nice warm caps and hoods for
the old women about the place, and little frocks
for the children; and when Christmas came, she
had quite a pile to give away. Oh dear, nurse,
hasn't it been a very happy day ? she said, when
they had returned to find a cheerful fire burning,
ready for the great log to be laid on.
Yes, dear, a very happy day," said nurse,
smiling. I wonder if you know what has been
the reason why you are so very happy ? "
Well, now, let me think," said Bertha, looking
slyly up in nurse's face. "I know what mamma
would say," she continued, laughingly, throw-
ing her arms round Mrs. Bevan's neck: because I
have been trying to please others and not myself."
Yes, dear; the true reason is, you are feeling
it is more blessed to give than to receive. Some-
how the giving returns upon the giver's head with
double blessing, and the good Saviour, he has said,
'Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these
my little ones, ye have done it unto me.' "
Don't you think Jesus must like to see the
poor people happy on his birth-day ?" said Bertha.
70 A NICE PLAN.
Well, dear, yes; for though we are the givers
in one sense, they are in reality his gifts, for he
put it into our hearts to give them."
I was thinking of a nice plan, nursie dear,"
said Bertha that evening. I am going to put
my little Indian box under the table in my bed-
room, and I am going to make such a lot of nice
things and put them in for next Christmas, and
we will call them Christ's gifts; won't that be a
good plan ?"
", .* o :I"
"' '"n, n- .1 '"
Bertha showed that she was by no means a
little girl who made a promise and then did not
keep it. Before the rooks returned to build their
BERTHA'S CHOICE. 71
nests once more in the trees close to her window,
a great many nice things had been laid neatly in
the Indian box. Nurse was glad when the rooks
came, for Bertha was almost too industrious, and
nurse feared her health might suffer; but of
course she had to watch the busy birds, and many
a laugh she had at their little fights and quarrels.
A week or two after, a letter came from India
addressed to Bertha's own self, and it was to tell
her that if she was not happy at Denmill Farm,
she might have her choice of going to the fashion-
able boarding-school where Julia Layton now
was; or, if she was happy, she might have a
governess and stay with nurse. ." What am I to
say to mamma, dear ? said nurse, smiling.
Oh, please tell her I must stay here-that I
am very, very happy-oh, so happy! I would
rather go to Dame Trimmer's; but if mamma
wishes, then I shall have the governess, and 1
will try to be attentive. And please, nurse, say
particularly I understand the meaning of the
words quite well, All is not gold that glitters.' "
Seeing that Mrs. Bevan looked as if she did
not quite understand these words, Bertha con-
tinued,-" I thought before I left India I would
have been happier if I had had a grandmamma
72 ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
like Julia, and could have lived with her, and
been driven about in a carriage, and all that sort
of thing; but now I know better, for there
couldn't be a happier little girl in all the world
than I am, and there couldn't be a kinder person
than mamma's dear, good, kind Nurse Bevan."
"Such nonsense, hinny," replied Mrs. Bevan,
clasping her young charge in her arms. "I am
so glad you have decided not to leave us, for the
old farm would be lonesome without your foot-
step and the sound of your happy laughter."
"And the hens and ducks, horses and cows,
would miss me too," said Bertha, laughing; and
what is more, Dick might break his heart-at any
rate Kate would. Oh, what fun we will have
this summer !"
Certainly these words were fulfilled, judgin by
the shouts of merriment one heard during the
,summer months that followed; and it was not
difficult to be believe the statement that Bertha
was "as happy as the day was long at old Den-
-1 T 1