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I)OGGE JAK CIAP V.~J~B;
AUTHOR OF "TRUE UNDER TRIAL."
WILLIAM WELLS GARDNER,
I. A LITTLE SISTER I
II. REBELLION IO
III. AN UNEXPECTED REVELATION 20
IV. GOOD RESOLUTIONS 29
V. A CAPITAL HIDING-PLACE 42
VI. THE GHOST 55
VII. IN TERRIBLE SUSPENSE 67
VIII. AN UNFORTUNATE VALENTINE 79
IX. AGAIN ESTRANGED 85
X. A SAD STORY 91
XI. A SHABBY TRICK 104
XII. ILL-GOTTEN PLEASURE NO ENJOYMENT II9
XIII. A CONFESSION 130
XIV. OLD PASSIONS AROUSED 141
XV. RUN AWAY FROM HOME 154
XVI. WHO STOLE THE MUTTON ? 162
XVII. A SPREAD EAGLE 169
XVIII. A MAN OVERBOARD 177
XIX. WOULD HE BE HUNG ? 184
XX. A TERRIBLE DREAM 191
XXI. A SAD HOME-COMING 197
XXII. CONCLUSION 203
" People do not understand me,
Their ideas are not like mine;
All advances seem to land me
Still outside their guarded shrine.
" Perhaps the heart you meet so coldly
Burns with deepest lava-glow ;
"Wisely pierce the crust, and boldly,
And a fervid stream shall flow.
" Few have not some hidden trial,
And could sympathise with thine;
Do not take it as denial,
That you see no outward sign.
" 'Twill not be a fruitless labour-
Overcome this ill with good;
Try to understand your neighbour,
And you will be understood."
-FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL.
A LITTLE SISTER.
Where have you been, my blue-eyed elf?
Ransacking all nature's pelf,
To dress all that little self,
Those locks so fine?
You stole them from the silkworm's shelf-
All his gold mine.
For lips you've robbed the vermeil's dyes
Those eyes you stole from summer skies
That laughing sprite that neathh them lies,
Beyond bright even,
That innocence of your blue eyes
You brought from heaven.
Then let them laugh, my lady blue,
At the hours I spend with you;
Oh happy, happy, were it true,
That all my days
Had been no worse than all with you,
And your sweet ways !"
HE dusk of a late autumn evening was
folding itself round the little village of
Crosslin. The blue smoke of its wood fires
rose in spiral columns from the cottages where the
village folk were enjoying their cosy evening meal.
2 DOGGED JACK.
The air had grown so chilly, that even the curs had
retired to make themselves comfortable by the fire-
side, giving a parting yelp to imaginary foes as they
The dim flicker of firelight made fantastic shapes
on the gravel in front of the house, shining out
from the window of one of the principal sitting
Within this room paced a middle-aged man of
stern countenance. He has been walking up and
down for the last hour; but as the time goes by,
his face grows more gloomy, and the frown deepens
on the knitted brow.
Notwithstanding the severity of his present aspect,
he is a decidedly handsome man; he looks like
one who has known grief, and has struggled hard
in the battle of life, and the grief and struggle
have left marks of hardness which time has failed
to wear away, but despite its expression of gloom,
there is an attraction about the countenance.
At last the sound he has been listening for is
heard; footsteps crunch the gravel, the handle of
the glass porch door creaks, and in another moment
a wearied-looking schoolboy-his parcel of books
slung in a strap across his shoulder-enters the
As the boy is heard approaching, a latent anxiety
A LITTLE SISTER. 3
leaves the father's face, but the frown deepens, and
he salutes him in a hard voice-
"What is the meaning of this, sir ? late as you
have often been kept in, you have never been so
late as to-day."
"Mr. Duncan gave me a long imposition, father;
it took me till past six to finish," replied the boy,
lifting a pair of candid eyes, in which lay a lurking
fear, to his father's face.
"What was the imposition for-misconduct or a
neglected lesson ?"
"For not knowing my lessons. I did not learn
any for to-day, because I thought, father," said
the boy with a rising flush, the tears springing to
his eyes, "that you -that you but here, at
the gathering wrath of his father's face, his voice
Do you mean to tell me that you had the
presumption to go to school without having pre-
pared one of your lessons?" sternly asked Mr.
No response; but the boy's eyes are lowered, and
a dogged look creeps about the mouth.
Speak, sir, did you learn none of them ?"
"None, father;" but, through all its fear, the son's
face grows nearly as hard as the parent's.
"John, this is a case of wilful and deliberate
4 DOGGED JACK.
disobedience; lazy and idle as you always are, you
have never yet presumed so far. Go to your room-
don't let me see you again to-night. Do you hear,
sir,-leave my presence instantly," and as the boy
hesitated, and seemed about to attempt some ex-
planation, Mr. Gilbert repeated again, with even
"Leave me instantly, sir; I forbid you to speak
to me this evening;" and with a flush of anger and
indignation in his face, the culprit beat a hasty
He crept up to his own room, and threw himself
on a seat by the window, cold, hungry, miser-
"He does not, he cannot care for me," thought the
boy, his heart thumping with anger and mortified
affection; "but I thought-oh! I thought he would
have remembered my birthday-my birthday that
mother always gave me a holiday on ; I never thought
he would send me to school to-day, but I am glad-
I am glad now I did not explain how it was. I was
determined this morning I would not remind him
what day it was; if he had loved me, he would have
remembered it himself, and oh, I never thought he
would quite forget-quite forget. He cannot, cannot
love me, and he ordered me out of the room just as
I was about to explain how it was. He forbade me to
A LITTLE SISTER. 5
speak to him !" And now Jack's rage for the moment
conquers his grief, and his heart burns with unjust
anger towards his father.
Poor Jack! affectionate, proud, foolish Jack!
Long he sat in the cold, his throbbing heart full
of grief and bitterness. He had chosen this room
for his, because from it he could see the little grave-
yard, with the white cross marking his another's
There it was to-night, shining bright and clear!
Bitterly he thought of her-of her ever tender
sympathy and welcoming love-how he longed for
them just now!
Lower and lower his head sank, till it rested in
his hands, as the hot tears trickled slowly through
his fingers. His head was bent, as I said, and his
breast was so full of gloomy thoughts, that he did
not hear the door softly opened, nor see a little
white-robed figure, with its wealth of golden curls,
steal across the room to him, looking like a little
messenger spirit just stept from the silver ladder of
moonlight, which streamed through the window
where Jack sat crouched despondently.
Two small arms were thrown around his neck, and
warm kisses rained on the hands that covered his
0 Jack! Jack! I thought you'd never come home,
6 DOGGED JACK.
and daddy wouldn't let me stay up. He never
guessed why I wanted to. I didn't tell him, because
you told me not, though I longed to-so bad. But,
Jack, what's the matter? my own big Jack, why, I
do believe you're crying; I never knew big boys
cried," and the hands were pulled down.
"Polly dear," said Jack, in rather a shaking voice,
"C what business have you to be roaming about in
your night-dress at this hour.? you'll get your death
"But, Jack, why are you home so late to-day ?"
"Oh, never mind, Polly, but look here, youngster,
did father say anything about-about"-stammered
the boy in an unsteady voice.
"Nothing; daddy scarcely ever talks of you at
all," said the little maiden with a sigh; sometimes I
try to make him, but I can't."
Jack winced, and there was a deep pause.
"Well, come, Polly, you'll get cold here," said the
boy, rousing himself.
Carry me back to the nursery, Jack; I've a secret
to whisper you," said the child, her eyes gleaming
with fun and pleasure.
Jack did as requested, clasped the tiny mite in his
strong young arms, and brought her to her nursery
where a great fire was burning.
Seating himself in a big arm-chair, "Now for
A LITTLE SISTER. 7
your secret, young woman," cried the boy, feigning a
jocularity he was very far from feeling.
"Yes, yes, Jack," jumping off his knee and pulling
open sundry drawers in a tremendous fuss, "oh dear,
wherever did I put it-there! I have it," diving at a
tiny parcel done up in silver paper.
"Now, Jack," and the small white figure stood
demurely before him, her hands clasped behind her,
do you know" (with the gravity of a judge) "what
day this is ?"
Oh yes, of course (impatiently), but besides?"-
Besides, Jack, it's your birthday-yes, Jack, it is!
You're twelve years old to-day, almost a man ;-and
I've made a most beautiful present-look," and the
little fat hands, trembling with excitement, pulled out
of the parcel what was intended to be a pocket pin-
cushion. Its shape was a little peculiar, but it, was
supposed to represent a heart, and was cobbled to-
gether in big, awkward, childish stitches.
Besides being pretty," went on the child, it will
be most useful, because you see you can stick pins in
it all round. See, my Jacko! I have put white and
black pins in it already. White in case your collar
comes off, and black in case your,-your,"-looking
doubtfully at his nether garments,--" in case you have
8 DOGGED 7ACK.
an accident; you might you know, at cricket or jump-
Jack, his troubles drowned in amusement, and
laughing uproariously, snatched the little figure to
him, and covered her blushing face with kisses.
But, Jack, you often use pins, don't you ?" she
asked anxiously, struggling to free herself and look
at him when his mirth had somewhat abated.
"Oh dear, yes,-constantly!" said Jack, "and I'll
always keep it in my pocket, and think of my own dear
little sister Polly; and now I'm going to warm you,
and put you to bed. Why your poor little toes are
stone cold," he continued, tenderly taking the fat little
pink feet, and rubbing them between his hands.
There they sat, those two, the firelight lighting
them up every now and then with a sudden gleam;
the boy's arms holding the small white figure close to
him, and one crimsoned cheek pressed caressingly to
his brown face. The big blue eyes slowly closed in
sleep, while his dark thoughtful ones were bent in
amusement on her, as he watched her endeavours to
keep awake. Soon he carried her over to her crib in
the corner of the room, then tucked her up warm and
"Jacko," cried a sleepy voice as he was leaving
He came back, and stooped over the little bed.
A LITTLE SISTER. 9
I didn't say my hymn to nurse to-night; I was
keeping it to say to you for a treat, as it was your
Thank you, old lady," said Jack gratefully, well,
say it to me, you dear little brick."
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I give my soul to Christ to keep ;
Wake I at morn, or '
What's the next, Jack? "
"'Or wake I never,' he prompted, a thrill going
through him as he said the words.
"'Or wake I never,'" repeated the little one,
I give my soul to Christ for ever.'
Jack, do you know" (in a whisper earnestly)-" don't
tell nurse, because it might make her uneasy, but I
never go to sleep."
Never go to sleep !" said Jack, puzzled.
"No, never. I just shut my eyes for one minute,
then open them, and it's morning "
Jack gave a prolonged Oh, I see," and tried not
"Don't let it make you anxious about me, though,"
she pleaded, with rather a grand air, "you see I'm
accustomed to this sort of thing, Jack, so pray don't
be a bit uneasy about me."
Very well, Polly Hopkins, I'll try not; anyhow,
we won't send for the doctor to-night! Shut your
eyes now, my pet."
( IO )
Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze of youth,
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O'er bears it and burns on."
w JILLSIDE was the name of Jack's home. It
was a kind of house that no inmate could
help becoming attached to-even the ser-
vants loved it dearly. As for Jack and Polly, they
thought there could be no such delightful place
in the whole world. The house was an old one, with
long rambling passages full of queer nooks and
corners. Nearly every room was on a different level,
and some of them were lower than the passage which
led to them, so that the first thing you had to do
on opening the door, was to descend two or three
steps. When visitors came to stay, they were always
duly cautioned; nevertheless, at some time or other
during their visit, they were sure to forget their
warning, and on entering their room in a hurry
would take an unintentional header into it. The
result would be a heavy fall and a scream through
the house. Jack and Polly would then run up to
them; and having first ascertained that no bones
were broken, they would straightway go into fits of
laughter at the tumbled and undignified appearance
of their friend. It was a capital house, too, to play
hide-and-seek in during the gloaming; and many
were the games the children had in the long summer
evenings. Sometimes they played "ghost," a game
which consisted in Jack rolling himself up in a table-
cloth and running after Polly through the passages,
making unearthly groans such as a ghost is supposed
to make. At last Jack would catch her, when Polly
would by that time have wound herself up to a real
fright with excitement.
Out of doors, too, the gardens and grounds were
specially good for games, and in the holidays they
had much fun romping about all day long. On these
occasions Polly and Jack often had the village
doctor's two children to play with them, Adolphus
and Florinda Brown. They were almost the only
companions they had at Hillside, except when a
little cousin came to. stay on a visit to them;
but as he lived very far away, this pleasure did
not often occur.
Jack, however, although he was now a big boy,
never tired of playing with his little sister; and
12 DOGGED JACK.
devised countless ways of amusement for her; and
as for Polly-she thought there was no such delight-
ful companion as Jack, and she loved and admired
him with the whole of her honest little heart.
Sometimes Jack took her for a long ramble
through the woods, and if Polly grew tired, which
she often did, for she was not very strong, Jack
would carry her home pick-a-back.
One of their greatest pleasures was birds-nesting,
not that they ever robbed them, they were too kind-
hearted for that; but were content with just finding
the nests, and then they would visit them daily, and
watch the pretty eggs, until some fine morning they
would find them turned into, oh, such funny, little,
skinny creatures-not a bit like birds; and what
an intense pleasure it was watching them daily
grow less and less ugly, until at last they were
full-fledged beautiful birds.
Nor had the children very far to go for nests-the
roses and creepers were full of them. Of course,
they were only sparrows' nests. I don't know
whether the sparrows at Hillside were different from
other sparrows of well-regulated minds, but these
were never content with a single brood of nestlings.
As soon as they turned 'off one family just able to
fly well enough to save themselves from Mrs. Pussy-
cat, they would straightway fill their nests with
more smudgy dirty-looking eggs, of which, notwith-
standing their appearance, they were as proud as if
they had been of the exquisite blue of their cousin,
the hedge sparrow's, who, by the by, has not half
Out of these gray disreputable eggs would crack
forth, in due time, another tribe of baby sparrows;
and so the fun would go on and on all through the
sweet summer time, till by the autumn the creepers
would seem perfectly alive with these impudent little
Jack and Polly were very fond of "their sparrows,"
as they called them. They always felt that it put
them in good spirits for the day, to hear the merry
chattering going on the very first moment they
opened their eyes in the morning.
The morning after Jack's birthday, however, even
such merry sounds were unable to put him in good
As soon as he recovered consciousness, even before
he was thoroughly awake, he felt a weight and sore-
ness at his heart. At first he could not remember
what had vexed him, but gradually the memory
of his disappointment and trouble came back to
him. As he lay there in bed with the sun shining
into his room, and the red autumn roses tapping
gently at his window, he could think of nothing
14 DOGGED JACK.
but his wrongs, as he considered them, and every
now and then he gave a kick of impatience, and
indignation under the bed-clothes. He was a very
foolish fellow, was Jack, and did not see how
unjust he was to his father. I suppose he was
so busy thinking of his father's injustice to him,
that there was no room for any other thought in
There was no doubt that Mr. Gilbert was too hard
on him, but after all it was in a great measure Jack's
Since his mother's death he had grown more and
more idle, careless, and mischief-loving, until at last
his father had lost all patience with him, and was
now inclined to believe the very worst of whatever
he did. In some cases, as in the present, he blamed
Jack unjustly; but it was, as we have seen, in a great
degree the boy's own foolish pride which caused the
injustice. Another cause which produced much of
the discord in these two lives, was an unfortunate
and most erroneous belief that both of them enter-
tained, namely, they felt sure in their own minds that
neither of them cared for the other. Mr. Gilbert felt
thoroughly assured that Jack had no affection for
him, or else, he argued with himself, he could not run
counter to all his well-known wishes with regard to
diligence and steadiness. And Mr. Gilbert felt this
all the more deeply in that he was proud of his son.
He was a bright, clever boy, and his father had
built many a brilliant castle in the air with regard
to his future life, in the old days when Jack had
been more docile and industrious.
But this docility and industry, he had not noticed,
had been implanted and nurtured by Jack's mother;
for neither of these virtues were inherent in his
There was one way in which Jack could be led,
and made to do all that was most repugnant to him,
and one way alone, and that was through the medium
of love. But since that tender and loving influence
which his mother had ever exerted over him during
her lifetime had ceased, the boy's natural faults had
His father had indeed tried to check them from
the outset, but with a harshness and severity, which
had but tended to increase the evil he wished to
As for Jack, he firmly believed that his father had
quite ceased to love him, and only cared for his little
sister Polly. Not that Jack was one bit jealous of
her, but his affectionate heart often yearned for some
of the caresses and endearments which were so fre-
quently lavished upon the child. Often and often
he had determined to open his heart to his father,
16 DOGGED JACK.
and tell him how deeply he loved him, and how full
he was of good resolutions for the future, but just at
such times, unluckily, his father, knowing of course
nothing that was going on in his boy's heart, would
say something harsh to him, and all his good inten-
tions would straightway freeze up; and instead of the
yearning, childish love, a fierce pride and sense of
injustice would burn in his heart, making him hide
all softer feelings in his own breast, lest they should
even be guessed at.
Many a time, too, had his father longed to take the
offender to his breast, for in truth he loved him fully
as much as his little daughter, and Jack's coldness
had often cut him to the heart-but at such times a
defiant, obstinate look would cross the boy's face,
which again roused up all his father's anger against
The only subject on which these two agreed was
in their mutual love for Polly. She was a funny,
little, old-fashioned creature, full of quaint, droll
ways of acting and thinking, and ruled them both as
a queen might her subjects.
Polly could scarcely tell which she loved most
herself. In her acute childish way she saw the
estrangement growing up gradually between these
loved ones, and in her own quaint fashion, she tried
to make them at one again. Their disunion was the
only drawback to her own lighthearted happiness.
It was the thought of Polly's love that lessened
somewhat the gloom of Jack's face, as he slowly
dressed himself on the morning after his father's
When he came down to the breakfast room, how-
ever, the sight of his father's face-cold and severe-
roused up all his pride and obstinacy, which visibly
increased as he perceived that Mr. Gilbert did not
intend to speak to, or take any notice of him.
Morning, Jacko," was all his salutation, as Polly
raised a sticky little mouth to him, on which were
designed crescent-moons of raspberry jam.
After breakfast Jack adjourned to the kitchen, and
called, Is my luncheon ready, nurse ?" in rather a
The nurse alluded to was a good-natured looking
woman who took charge of Polly, and who also per-
formed the office of housekeeper at Hillside.
It's just ready, Master Jack," replied she, and
then catching sight of his dismal face, she asked him
what was the matter.
"Nothing that can be cured," was the reply, very
"Just wait a minute," said nurse, laying a hand
on the boy's shoulder as he was about to depart,
18 DOGGED JACK.
"I'll put you up a bit of cold plum-pudding, you'll
like that, Master Jack."
I don't care for anything," Jack answered, waiting,
however, as requested, and his gloomy face clearing
a little at the sight of his favourite delicacy.
After breakfast Mr. Gilbert sent Polly upstairs,
contrary to his usual habit, and then sat down to
write some letters.
These were all directed to divers public schools,
and when at last they were sealed, the father pushed
them from him with a sigh, and muttered half aloud-
I shall miss him, I shall miss him,-my boy that
was to have been such a comfort to me; but he grows
worse every day; there's nothing for him but the
severity of school life."
When his occupation was over, he rang the bell
and desired a servant to send for Miss Polly.
Downstairs bounded that young lady, and in an-
other moment she was perched on her father's knee,
and stroking his cheek.
"What did you want to get rid of me for, daddy ?
what have you been doing ?"
"Writing letters, Miss Inquisitiveness," answered
Mr. Gilbert, pinching her chin as he spoke.
"Writing letters, daddy!" said the child quickly,
looking at her father with some suspicion. "Nothing
about Jack, I suppose ?"
"Well-ahem-why, yes, Polly; I intend sending
him to school."
Not to a boarding school," said Polly, the rosy
face growing a little pale, and unclasping her arms
from about her father's neck.
"Why, yes, Polly," answered Mr. Gilbert in rather
a faltering voice.
The moment the words were out of his mouth,
Polly slid from his knee and stood before him, her
face grown quite white and unlike itself. The small
mouth was drawn with the first look of determination
and rebellion he had ever seen upon it, and the baby
lips trembled with grief and anger.
"If you do, father," said this young tyrant, "I'll
never, never forgive you, and," she continued, her
firmness now rapidly dissolving, "I'll die of grief;"
and in a passion of sorrow, Polly fled from the
( 20 )
AN UNEXPECTED REVELATION.
Were we to take as much pains to be what we ought to be, as we do to disguise
what we really are, we might appear like ourselves, without being at the trouble of
any disguise at all."
R GILBERT was very far from being
angry with what some more narrow-minded
parents would have regarded as an exhibi-
tion of temper and self-will on his little daughter's
part. On the contrary, it was always a comfort to
him that such love existed between the two children,
although even he had no idea of its depth.
Often when Polly was Jack's advocate in many a
misdemeanor, his own fatherly heart would respond
to her excuses, although at the same time he felt it
his duty to be strict with Jack.
On the evening after Polly had discovered her
father's intentions with regard to Jack, the child
stole down the avenue and concealed herself behind
some evergreens to wait for the beloved form to
AN UNEXPECTED RE VELA TION. 21
appear. As soon as she heard the gate swing to, she
threw herself into her brother's arms. But instead of
the usual gay little Polly, Jack found that he had a
pale, weeping, little girl clinging to him.
"0 Jacko, Jacko! father says you're to go to
school; he's been writing letters to a lot of schools
this very day."
The boy's face flushed deeply.
"To school, Polly, to a boarding school ?" he
Yes," sobbed Polly.
"Well," said Jack in a hard voice, "I'd just as
soon go, it's no use ever trying to be good; father
is always angry at everything I do."
"You'd just as soon go! and leave me,-O Jack!"
wept Polly with renewed tears.
"No, no, Polly," cried Jack, "I don't mean that, I
don't know how I shall bear to leave my little sister,"
and he drew her to him, and soothed the sobbing
child with fond words and caresses.
That evening was a very silent one at Hillside-
even at tea-time, when the little girl's gay chatter
usually enlivened the meal-she sat silent, absorbed
The next few weeks brought no relief to Polly's
sorrow; it even affected her health, for she grew
perceptibly paler and thinner, and her merry
22 DOGGED 7ACK.
little voice was scarcely ever heard in its wonted
peals of laughter. Rarely, too, would she take her
eyes off her brother, and she followed him about
like a faithful but unhappy little dog.
Now Mr. Gilbert, although he did not appear to
the children to do so, noticed all this, and it grieved.
him very much.
Sometimes, when mention was made even in the
most indirect way to Jack's departure, Polly's eyes
would fill with tears and settle themselves on her
father's face with an appealing look of dumb misery
which went straight to his heart. But of the three,
Mr. Gilbert himself was the most unhappy, for unless
in a case of necessity he was the last man to willingly
grieve either of his children. At present, however,
it was only of Polly he thought, for Jack carefully
concealed his feelings from his father.
In his presence the boy always wore a dogged
look, and spoke in a hard, defiant way, so that Mr.
Gilbert had no idea how much he was fretting at
the thought of leaving home.
The knowledge of this came to him in rather a
curious way. Mr. Gilbert had taken Jack from the
daily school which he had attended for the last three
years, saying that he would not waste his money,
nor the master's time, on a boy who would not learn;
AN UNEXPECTED RE VELA TION. 23
for, indeed, Jack rarely knew all or any of his lessons
thoroughly, so that his progress was but slow. But
in consequence of Jack's withdrawal from school the
children were seldom apart.
One day Mr. Gilbert was sitting reading on a rustic
seat placed in the middle of a dense laurel hedge
some three yards deep. A nice nook had been cut
out of the laurels to contain the seat, and a back
and roof had been formed of close rustic planks to
effectually protect it from rain. At the back of
this hedge was a rose garden, and from it the chil-
dren had been in the habit of entering the hedge
close to the seat, where they had made what they
called a bower," by tying some of the branches
together. Their father, however, was unaware of
this resort of theirs, nor did he himself often use the
On the day in question, however, he soon heard a
mysterious rustling near him, and then the voices of
his children in deep consultation as to the improve-
ments to be made in their bower.
Mr. Gilbert fortunately possessed the power of
concentration, and was soon deep in his book.
But when he had been reading for about half an
hour, a sentence caught his ear, that caused him to
pause in his reading.
Polly," said Jack, "I tell you, father does not
24 DOGGED JACK.
care for me; he has never loved me since mother
died,"-here there was a great faltering in the boy's
voice,-"if he did, he would never send me away
from home, away from him and you."
But, Jacko, you said at first you would just as
soon go," answered Polly in an aggrieved tone.
"I said that, because I was angry; I can't bear to
go away from you, and home, and father, and the-
worst-is," sobbed Jack, now fairly in tears, "to feel
that father is glad to get rid of me, and I do-love
-him-very much," and here our hero quite broke
Then the little sister soothed and comforted him
as only affectionate little sisters can, and Mr. Gilbert
softly moved away from the seat, feeling that it
was not quite fair to listen to his children's con-
What he had heard had utterly astounded him.
He had no idea that his son really possessed much
heart, or any attachment to himself, and this sudden
knowledge surprised and touched him. There was
a trembling about the stern mouth as Mr. Gilbert
walked down the avenue and out into the country
Then, after all, this son of his, with the cold, defiant
manner, and many misdemeanours, did care for his
father! This was a great consolation, but at the
AN UNEXPECTED REVELA TION. 25
same time the knowledge puzzled him more than
ever as to what to do with the boy.
Could he now send hini away from home and part
the children ? Already Polly was pale and worn
with fretting; and now he feared that this foolish
Jack would take it as a sign that he was glad to
get rid of him, and perhaps such a conviction would
make him feel desperate, and so at school he might
turn out even worse than at home.
"Dear, dear, what a trouble boys are!" sighed
Mr. Gilbert; but still as he thought this, a feeling of
pride and pleasure came over him as he remem-
bered Jack's faltering sentence, "I do love him
All this time Mr. Gilbert had been walking on,
plunged in reverie, when he suddenly felt a touch on
his arm, and heard some one panting behind him,
and looking round he saw the kind and genial face of
the aged rector of Crosslin.
"Why, Gilbert," he said, I've been trying to catch
you up this half mile past. Are you walking for a
wager, might I ask ? and how deep your meditations
must have been; for I called to you several times, but
you did not hear me."
"I was wrapped up in thought, I suppose," an-
swered Mr. Gilbert, for I did not hear you; but let
me assure you that there is no one I could be more
26 DOGGED 7ACK.
glad to see just now, old friend, for I am sadly in need
of some advice."
"Indeed," said Mr. Goodall, "the best in my power
is always at your service; you know what interest I
take in you and yours-but I trust you have no new
"No, no, it is the old story-it is a difficulty with
regard to Jack," and forthwith Mr. Gilbert told him
of all Jack's idleness and misdeeds, and how he had
decided on sending the boy away to school, but that
now, seeing Polly's great grief at the idea, and how
the very thought of the approaching separation was
injuring the child's health, he dreaded doing so. And
then Mr. Gilbert went on to tell his friend how he
had overheard the children's recent conversation, his
amazement at finding out that Jack had so much
affection for him and for his home, and how he
feared, also, that his foolish, wrong-headed son would
take it as a sign of want of affection on his part,
and of a desire to be rid of him, if he carried out
"You know," he said, laying his hand on Mr.
Goodall's shoulder, "that all I desire is my boy's
good; the boarding school is more expensive than a
day school, and I shall punish myself by losing my
son. I thought, however, it was better for him that
I should bear the additional expense and the sorrow
AN UNEXPECTED REVELA TION. 27
of his absence, if by this means he would become
more diligent in his studies and gain more advantage.
Now, however, I find that he turns my intention into
a new cause for doubting my affection, and God for-
bid that I should estrange my son's heart further
from me than it is already," and here Mr. Gilbert's
voice grew husky.
His old friend did not speak for a few moments.
Then he said-
"Gilbert, believe me, that if you allowed your
boy to see a twentieth part of the affection you
really bear him, it would be the better for the hap-
piness of you both: you too carefully shut up your
affectionate feelings in an outer crust of coldness
and severity, and the consequence is, you each then
misunderstand the other. Jack has inherited your
own temperament even intensified, and nothing is
more injurious to his disposition than to be allowed
-if not encouraged-to keep up that dogged reserve
and coldness to which he is by nature already too
One must be strict with boys," was the reply,
"they ought to be treated so much more severely
than girls, if one wishes his sons to become manly."
I do not agree with you as to the necessity of
severity either in the treatment of boys or girls, un-
28 DOGGED JACK.
less in very exceptional cases, where it is impossible
to guide by love and gentleness."
"And I do not see that you can understand how
young people ought to be treated, you who are an
old bachelor," answered Mr. Gilbert testily.
"Nevertheless, I firmly believe in governing even
boys solely by love, and by showing them that one
trusts to their love and good principles. Jack's dis-
position, I am persuaded, is one peculiarly amenable
to this kind of treatment; he is a noble-minded, hon-
ourable lad, and possesses an affectionate heart,
which latter commodity, like his father" (here the
good rector smiled), "he endeavours carefully to
conceal from the one to whom he ought to reveal
"I am glad you think highly of the boy," replied
Mr. Gilbert, a flush of pride and pleasure rising in
his face and chasing away its sternness, "for I have
no friend whose praise I value so much."
"Although that friend is an old bachelor," said
How do you love your father?
Oh, in a thousand ways !
I think there's no one like him
So worthy of my praise-
And every little service
Of hand, or pen, or voice,
Becomes, if he has asked it,
The service of my choice."
-Frances Ridley Havergal.
T was a few mornings after the conversation
recorded in our last chapter-that shortly
after breakfast the two children were look-
ing out of the window, when an exclamation of plea-
sure broke from them simultaneously.
What is it?" asked their father, looking up from
Mr. Goodall is coming up the avenue," answered
Jack, breathless with pleasure; and so saying, both
children ran out of the room, rushed down the
avenue, and seized the hands of the good old clergy-
"Well, young friends," said Mr. Goodall, smiling
30 DOGGED JACK.
kindly-lifting little Polly up for a kiss and laying
his hand affectionately on Jack's shoulder, "bright
eyes and rosy cheeks this morning. I heard Polly
did not look well, but she is blooming."
"Her eyes are bright because she's glad to see
you, and her cheeks are red from running," explained
Jack, "else she would look pale-for she's often
crying now on account of my going away," and the
expression on Jack's face, as he finished, was a funny
mixture of sorrow for his little sister's looks and
pride at her affection for himself.
"Tut, tut," said the kind old gentleman, "I don't
think your father has quite decided yet on sending
you to school, my boy." Then seeing Polly's look of
intense joy at his words, he added cautiously-" But
if he has, Polly must be a brave little woman, and
think of the holidays when you will be at home;
and also that father sends you away because he
wants you to be a learned, clever man by the time
you grow up. You would like Jack to be that-
would you not, Polly ?"
I don't think I would care for Jack to be learned
or clever," said the little girl. "I want him to be a
gardener like Bailey, and then we could live together
in a dear, little, rustic lodge, and I could help him to
weed the beds, at least when it wasn't raining, or the
grass wasn't wet," added Polly.
GOOD RESOLUTIONS. 31
Mr. Goodall laughed heartily at Polly's picture of
domestic bliss to come. As for Polly, she only stared
in astonishment at his untimely mirth, not even
dreaming for a moment that it could be caused by
her account of arrangements which she looked upon
as sensible and excellent plans for future household
"We talk like that together; it amuses her," said
Jack with a grand air, but in a low tone, and ventur-
ing on a wink at Mr. Goodall as he spoke.
"Why do you say that, Jack ? said Polly, crimson
with indignation, for she had heard his words, low as
they were spoken,-" and why do you make a rude
eye at Mr. Goodall? Nurse says winks are vulgar."
"I meant nothing, Polly Hopkins," said Jack sooth-
You did-you meant-I'm nearly sure-that you
were only in fun about being a gardener-and me
help-helping you to weed the b-b-beds," and here
Polly's voice was choked with sobs and indignation.
"I'll be whatever Polly likes," said Jack tenderly.
"And shall we always live together ?" asked Polly,
looking up at him through tearful eyes.
Yes, always, always," promised Jack, taking out of
the child's pocket a small red-spotted handkerchief
about six inches square, and wiping the big blue
eyes with it.
32 DOGGED JA CK.
S"I can't bear to see her cry," he said to the rector,
"it makes her look so pale afterwards."
"Quite right, quite right, my boy, it is only cowards
who can bear to see children or women cry; but now
run off, both of you, for I want to have a talk with
your father alone," said Mr. Goodall as they reached
The two gentlemen were closeted together for some
time, and then the children saw them walk down the
avenue arm in arm, still evidently in deep consulta-
tion on some important matter.
"I wonder what they are so busy talking about ?"
said Jack, with the usual inquisitiveness of youth.
"I think it's something about you going to school,"
said sharp little Polly.
But whatever business it was, it seemed to put Mr.
Gilbert in good spirits, for the children remarked his
unusual cheerfulness all the day afterwards.
That evening, after early tea, and during the half
hour before little Polly's bedtime, when she usually
perched on her father's knee, Mr. Gilbert said he had
something important to tell the children, and then his
arm tightened its grasp round his little daughter, and
with his other hand he drew Jack close to him.
At this unwonted show of affection to him, the boy
flushed deeply, and gave one hurried but eloquent
glance up to his father's face,
GOOD RESOLUTIONS. 33
The mute look, half nervous but so full of gladness,
smote Mr. Gilbert's heart.
Was it possible that so slight an action of his could
move his son ? Well, well, perhaps that old bachelor
friend was right after all. At all events, he would try
the effect of Mr. Goodall's suggestion for once, and
see if letting Jack know his feelings for him would
have a good influence on him.
"Children," he began half hesitatingly, we have
all felt rather miserable these past few days, think-
ing of the parting that was so near."
"Polly is very miserable," said that young lady in
a doleful voice, sighing profoundly.
Polly does not like to part with Jack, I know,"
said her father, and father does not like it
Here a glance at his son's face showed Mr. Gilbert
that on it was portrayed a most genuine look of utter
"Jack," he said half reproachfully, can you doubt
that it would pain me to part with you ?"
Jack looked as if he had doubted the fact very
much indeed, and feeling that his father would cer-
tainly read this in his eyes, cast them down confus-
edly in a most guilty manner.
If you have doubted my affection," said the proud
father, with difficulty restraining his emotion, "you
34 DOGGED 7ACK.
have wronged me very much, my boy. All I desire
is your own good. At your age it is of the most vital
importance to work well at your books, and you
would not do this at the school you have attended,
therefore I thought of sending you elsewhere. How-
ever," he continued, "as I would much prefer you to
remain at home with us, and as it grieves us both so
much to part with you, I have made other arrange-
ments, and you are not to leave home."
"Father, father," screamed Polly, nearly strang-
ling Mr. Gilbert with hugs, her face scarlet with rap-
ture, "you dear, old, good daddy! I love you most
awfully," and then pulling his face down, she kissed
it all over, ending up with the tip of his nose.
Now Polly's manner, since she had discovered her
father's treachery (as she considered it) with regard
to Jack, had been as cool as that very warm-hearted
child could possibly make it-so anxious was she
that the poor man should feel her just displeasure.
So, being now again restored to her gracious favour,
her father, who we frankly confess spoiled her abomin-
ably, began at once to feel the reward of his clemency.
After taking the little arms from about his neck,
he turned round to see what his boy had to say to
him. Mr. Gilbert was almost shocked to see the
effect his words of kindness had had on the lad.
Jack was perfectly pale, and shook from head to
GOOD RESOLUTIONS. 35
foot. Twice he opened his mouth as if to speak, but
no words came from the white lips. Finding speech
impossible, he suddenly seized his father's hand,
kissed it passionately, and fled hastily from the
"Didn't Jack look queer?" questioned the child
curiously; but her father put her hastily down and
walked to the window. There he stood gazing out
at the fast-gathering darkness, while storms of emo-
tion worked in his breast.
Instinctively Polly remained where she was, not
venturing to approach him until some ten minutes
later when her nurse came for her; she then stole
to her father's side and gave him one quiet good-
It was not for an hour after this that Jack returned
to the sitting room. When he did so, both he and
his father had regained their usually quiet and unde-
monstrative manner. Instead, however, of a dogged
look, there was a quiet determination in the boy's
face, and he carried a huge bundle of his lately-
neglected school-books under his arm.
Father," he said boldly, as he arranged his books
on the table near the lamp, "I'm going to work in
earnest for the future, and I won't let myself be idle,"
and his eyes quite flashed with earnestness.
"That's right, my boy," said Mr. Gilbert, much
36 DOGGED A ACK.
pleased and gratified with the result of Jack's medita-
"Please, father, am I to go to the same day
No, I have arranged with Mr. Lane, Mr. Goodall's
new curate, to teach you every day, except Saturday,
from ten to one. In the afternoons you will prepare
your lessons, except on Saturday, when you will have
a holiday; I hope you will get on, Jack."
"I am sure I shall, father; I would much rather go
to Mr. Lane than to a day school, and you shall see
how industrious- I will be."
"Very good! remember, I will trust to your pro-
"Thank you, father," was the answer, accompanied
with a swift bright look of pleasure.
That evening Jack pored over his books until so
late, that at last Mr. Gilbert was obliged to order
him off to bed.
The consequence of his being up to such an un-
usual hour, was, that he slept heavily and much later
in the morning than he usually did.
, When at length he did open his eyes, the first
sight that met them was his little sister, sitting with
her fat small legs crossed like a tailor's, at the end of
his bed, a droll expression of longsuffering patience
on the baby face.
.'%.' #. .-
,' i --
~ '~ '
~' ,., -~
'.L, 4' ,, .
* -': *... .
GOOD RESOLUTIONS. 37
As Jack woke up she gave a deep sigh of relief
and at once cuddled up to him, changing her position
for a seat on his bolster.
"0 Jack! I've been dressed this long, long time,
I do want to talk so bad. I came in twice before
I sat on your bed, and you were always asleep. I
wanted to thump you awake, only nurse wouldn't
I'm sure I'm much obliged to nurse," laughed
Jack, yawning and stretching himself.
But, Jack, I do want to know how you're going
to be taught; and, 0 Jack! isn't it lovely that you're
not going away!"
Then Jack told her all about it; but Polly, although
delighted that he was now to be at home even more
than he had been formerly, looked rather grave and
"Why, what's the matter, old lady ?" asked Jack;
"you look as grave as a mustard-pot."
"Did you ever notice his nose was Polly's ap-
parently irrelevant remark.
"His nose,-whose nose ?"
"Why, Mr. Lane's, of course, you stupid."
"Notice Mr. Lane's nose ? not particularly; I re-
member though, now, it's a very good one."
Polly shook her head sadly. Then creeping very
38 DOGGED JACK.
close to her brother she whispered mysteriously, It's
an awful big one, Jack."
"Well, what if it is, Poll ? asked Jack, very much
amused, and sitting bolt upright.
"Sally told me some dreadful things about it,"
quoth Polly gravely.
Here I may mention that the Sally alluded to was
a wild, young, Irish girl, who had been engaged in the
capacity of housemaid at Hillside for a year past,
and was in the habit of amusing Polly, for hours
together on a wet day, with all sorts of absurd and
ridiculous stories delivered impromptu out of her own
"Tell me some of them, Poppet," said Jack, for he
immensely enjoyed hearing them secondhand from
Polly, who believed what Sally told her with all a
child's credulous faith.
"But perhaps, Jacko, it will make you too fright-
ened to go ?" said Polly feelingly.
"Oh no, I'll try and be brave," promised Jack
Well, then, Jacko, Sally says that at the Sunday
school if the boys don't know their lessons and
things," with an expressive look at her brother, Mr.
Lane puts them flat against the wall, and runs his
nose right through their bodies."
GOOD RESOLUTIONS. 39
Jack gave a roar of laughter.
"Don't you believe it?" asked Polly, somewhat
relieved at his mirth.
"No, Polly Hopkins, I don't quite."
Sally told me though, Jack; I thought myself
that the bone must be very strong."
"Very strong, indeed. But did she tell you any-
thing else, pet ?"
Yes, Jack, she told me even a worse story about
Mr. Lane's nose, but maybe it's not true either,"
said Polly, grown bold now from her brother's
Do tell me," urged Jack, trying to look grave.
"Well, once there was one boy there that was
very bad, he said he wouldn't learn his collect, so Mr.
Lane gave a great szuff at him," here Polly per-
formed the part in pantomime with her own soft,
little, puttified nasal organ, and snuffed the poor
little boy right up into his own head;" Polly's eyes
opened as wide as they possibly could, and that
boy has been living quite inside Mr. Lane's brain
Jack at this account nearly choked himself laugh-
"Then you don't believe that story either, Jacko ? "
asked the child in an inquiring voice, when her
brother's mirth had slightly abated. Well, Jacko,
40 DOGGED JACK.
now one thinks over it," went on Polly in her funny,
little, old-fashioned way, it is not a very likely thing
because I never saw a boy tiny enough to go up
a nose, not even as big a nose as Mr. Lane's. Did
you, Jacko? "
"Never!" answered Jack, kissing her. "Now run
away like a good little girlie, for it's quite time for
me to get up and dress."
Notwithstanding her brother's comforting assur-
ances, however, Polly still felt nervous when she saw
him departing to Mr. Lane's.
She ran after him down the avenue and pulled his
face down to her own to give him another farewell
kiss and caution. "Jack dear," she whispered confi-
dentially, "I'd be very polite to him, you know, for
fear the stories migkt be true, and, Jacko, do sit at
the other end of the table; it's just as well not to go
too near it."
That evening, her precious Jack having returned
safely to her, unspiked and unsniffed, Polly astounded
the unlucky Sally, whom nurse had sent to fetch her
"I won't go with you, you bad girl!" thundered
forth Polly rebelliously.
"Why, Miss Polly ?" asked the astonished girl, for
between her and the child there had been always
a warm affection.
Because you told me lies," said Polly, with em-
GOOD RESOLUTIONS. 41
phasis; "it's not a word true about Mr. Lane's nose.
Jack says it isn't, and I'll never be put to bed any
more by you."
0 Miss Polly said Sally, I only told you those
stories for fun."
"Lies is lies !" quoth Polly dogmatically, with her
usual disregard of grammar, "so you may send nurse,
for I won't ever go with you."
Nor could Polly be persuaded to overlook the
unfortunate Sally's offences for several days!
( 42 )
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLACE.
Cuckoo, cherry tree,
Catch a bird and give it to me ;
Let the tree be high or low,
Let it hail, rain, or snow."
ACK was true to his word, and kept his pro-
mise to his father faithfully.
He had now been working with Mr. Lane
for some months, and that gentleman was loud in
his praises of his intelligence and diligence.
One day he asked Jack how it was that he had
been so idle as he had heard in former days. Jack
hung his head blushing; but he had become very
free and unreserved in his intercourse with Mr. Lane,
who took a warm and kindly interest in., the boy;
so he replied, though a little shyly-
"I don't think it was quite all my own fault, please,
"Whose fault was it then ? asked Mr. Lane.
"I don't know. Nobody's, I suppose; but I would
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLACE. 43
like to tell you a little about it-about how it was
that I never knew my lessons well."
"Do, Jack-I would like to know extremely; for I
have always found you obedient and industrious."
"Well, sir, first of all the school is three miles off
from Hillside. I had to leave home before nine, and
even with fast walking I was never in school before
ten. That was all very well, because one feels fresh
enough in the morning. We had from twelve to
half-past one to eat our lunch and for playtime. I'm
very fond of cricket and foot-ball, and, of course," said
Jack in an apologetic tone, "a fellow doesn't like not
to play when all the rest are having fun. School
broke up at half-past four, and by the time I got
home I was tired, I can tell you. What with the
double walk, which made six miles altogether, and
the running about at the games, I used to feel so
tired and sleepy in the evenings that I often went
right off to sleep over my books. That was how I
never knew my lessons well; then I used to have to
do impositions before I was allowed to go home, and
that often made me an hour later."
"But, my'boy, if you had abstained from the
games sometimes, or got up to work for an hour
or two before breakfast, would not that have helped
"I'm sure it would, sir, still I'm so azwfully fond of
44 DOGGED 7ACK.
cricket-I often thought of getting up early; only my
bones used to ache and I felt so sleepy."
"You learn your lessons very correctly for me,
Jack; I must not scold you for by-gone days, at all
events," said Mr. Lane kindly.
"Oh, but, sir, you make everything so clear and
easy for me," cried Jack gratefully; "the master at
school never had time to explain anything, there were
so many boys; and even when I used to beg him to
if I had a very difficult task to learn, somehow his
explanations were cloudy-like, and they only con-
fused me more. You can't think, Mr. Lane, how easy
it is for me now that you explain the day's lesson
beforehand; it takes only ka( the time to learn what
one understands, besides it's so muck more interest-
ing. I used to detest my lessons; but now I quite
"And you are so diligent and attentive, Jack, that
it is a pleasure to me to teach you."
"It's very good of you, sir, to say so, and to take
so much trouble about me. I often thought of ask-
ing father to explain my lessons, still I did not quite
like-I was afraid; because he used to be always
down on me then," said Jack bluntly.
"I am sure he was grieved at your idleness at that
time. Is he not pleased with you now ?"
"Yes, sir, he is. I promised him I'd work hard
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLA CE. 45
with you, and even if you hadn't been so kind to
me and didn't explain my lessons, I'd have worked
hard all the same, to keep my promise and please
"Then your father asked you to promise to work
well just before you came to me ? "
Not exactly; he didn't ask me, I promised of my-
self. It was one evening," said Jack confidentially,
" father suddenly got so awfduly kind."
"Don't say awful so frequently; Jack, I'm sure
there's nothing awful about kindness, so it's quite in-
"Very well, sir, but father did get so kind,-he
pulled me right over to him," said Jack proudly; he
doesn't generally touch me; of course he pets Polly,
but she's a girl; then he said he did not like parting
with me, he had intended that I should go to a
boarding school, but instead of that I was to come
to you and not leave home; altogether it made me so
happy that I promised father I'd work hard."
When Jack got home that day, Polly ran to meet
him at the door, with her face full of eagerness and
"0 Jack! what do you think? Father says we
may have Florinda and Adolphus Brown to spend
next Saturday with us. And father said I might
choose what we would have for a treat that day. So
46 DOGGED TACK.
I thought whatever would Jack like. At last I chose
we'd have a goose and fig pudding for dinner, and
a feast in the hay-loft. O Jack! was that right,
shall you like that quite best ?"
Splendid !" was the rejoinder ; "you couldn't have
wished anything jollier, young woman."
"Oh, I am glad you think so !" cried the child,
clapping her hands with glee. "I do love a feast in
the hay-loft. Father says, though, that we're not to
get up or down without Bailey with us."
"All serene! and see here, Poppets, what games
shall we play? I vote we settle all that before-
"I'd like Hide-and-Seek," said Polly, "and Friar's
Ground, don't you know, for a change."
"Capital, and look here, Poll, we'll have ghost
through the house in the evening; we'll try and get
"0 Jacko! Sally does make such a frightening
ghost, she roars just like a real, true ghost. May I
keep with you when she's ghost ?"
Of course you may, pet, but come along now and
get ready for dinner."
The children had many another consultation before
Saturday. But when at last the eventful day arrived,
they had arranged such a programme as was quite
to their satisfaction.
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLACE. 47
At a little past ten o'clock in the morning of the
day in question, both children were at the road gate
looking out for their young companions, who arrived
shortly afterwards, and were greeted somewhat
"Ahem, my dear Mary, don't tumble my collar
so," was Master Adolphus' request, as Polly threw
her arms round his neck in her demonstrative
"Bother your collar!" was Jack's somewhat rude
remark; "don't be always so particular, or it's no
"I wish you wouldn't call me Mary, please Adol-
phus," said Polly pleadingly; "nobody ever does but
nurse, and then it's only when I've been naughty."
"You should never be naughty, my dear Polly,"
said Florinda with a silly titter, and smoothing out
the flounces of her showy silk frock carefully.
Of course I shouldn't," snapped Polly sharply,
"nobody should-thinking a lot of your clothes is
naughty, for one thing."
Florinda tossed her head and giggled. Don't
be jealous, Polly; perhaps your papa will buy
you a silk dress when you're bigger. 1 have two
now. The other's such a beauty-pale blue with
white lace on the body; mamma says I look lovely
48 DOGGED 7ACK.
"Oh, you silly, to be so conceited about clothes,"
said Polly scornfully.
Just then Jack came over to make peace, and
whispered something to his little sister about visi-
tors and politeness," for Jack was a thorough little
When the children had gone in to shake hands
with Mr. Gilbert, and say a few words to him, they
came out again and set to playing Hide-and-Seek"
As Polly usually managed to have a quarrel
with Florinda, and as she was a great favourite of
Adolphus's, Jack decided that they two should
hide and seek together, while he took Florinda with
"You see it would not be fair if Polly and I went
together, because we both of us know the place so
well," explained Jack good-naturedly to his young
Polly," said Adolphus, when the children had
played all sorts of games for some hours, and had at
length come back again to the favourite Hide-and-
Seek, "can't you think of some place they'd never
find us in, now it is our turn ?"
Polly shook her head. "Jack knows every place
I know, I'm afraid."
Adolphus looked round and hurried Polly in all
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLACE. 49
directions, but they could not see any place that had
not been hidden in before.
"I have it!" exclaimed Adolphus at last trium-
"Where ? where?"
"Up in the Portugal laurels in the short avenue,"
was the answer. Come, run, Polly, I'll help you up,
and they'll never tliznk of looking for us in a
"0 Adolphus! what a splendid idea!" cried
Polly; "Jack and I often climb trees, but we never
think of going up one for a hiding-place; they'll
never guess where we are."
So the two chose the thickest clump, and up they
clambered into it, Adolphus going first, and pulling
Polly after him.
"Cuckoo!" shouted Adolphus, as they settled
themselves comfortably in a thick fork of the tree,
where the dense foliage completely hid them from
view of any one on the ground underneath.
Cuckoo !" cried Polly in her shrill little treble.
"They're down somewhere in the short avenue,
Florinda; I know by the sound," cried Jack.
Suppose you go by the rose garden and I'll go
down the avenue," said Florinda, "then we're sure to
catch them between us."
"All right! and before the words were well out of
50. DOGGED JACK.
his mouth, Jack was off. Down he ran through the
rose garden, scanning every possible nook that could
be made into a hiding-place as he went. When he
came to the end, he turned down the little path that
ran through the laurel hedge leading into the bottom
of the avenue. Another shrill "cuckoo!" he heard
quite near, and at the same time some one in the
avenue running. Jack mended his pace, and turn-
ing the corner rushed violently into the arms of-
"I thought you were Adolphus," he exclaimed
"And I thought you were Adolphus," gasped
"Wherever can they be-the sound certainly comes
from about here. Have you looked in all the places
in the rose garden ?"
"Did you look well down through the avenue ?
under the laurels, for instance ?"
"I think I did, but do you come back with me,
Jack; for you know all the nooks best."
As they stood in this spot talking for a few minutes,
they were right under the branch where their young
companions were concealed. Polly could see the
blue ribbon round Jack's hat as she peeped through
the leaves, and she felt as if she could hardly breathe
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLA CE. 51
"Do let us 'cuckoo' again," she whispered to her
friend, as the other two walked off up the avenue.
"Not yet, Polly; wait till they get to the top."
As soon as they were a good way off, leave was
given, and Polly shrieked loudly, half-mad with the
success of their safe shelter. Down tore the two
wildly, It is here, it must be here," they said to one
another, and again and again they vainly made their
search. But although they lifted the heavy branches
and sought through the densest part of the hedge
until their faces were scratched with the twigs, not a
sign could they see of them. Not once did either
Jack or Florinda think of looking up into the trees.
At last they gave the avenue up in despair; and
came reluctantly to the conclusion that they must
have been mistaken in the sound, and that it had
come from some other part of the grounds.
The two children had been in hiding now for
nearly twenty minutes, and Polly began to get tired
and cramped with being so long in the same position.
I'd like to get down now, please, Adolphus; sup-
pose we get down softly while they're away, and
we'll keep it a secret where we've been ?"
"Just wait a little, Polly dear, let us puzzle them a
little bit longer."
"0 Adolphus! I'm so hungry, do you think it's
near one? We're to have dinner at one."
52 DOGGED JA CK.
"Can't be far from it. But I say, Polly, how
would you have felt if you'd been, like Moses, up
in a mountain for forty days with nothing to eat?"
said Adolphus, who had had a lesson on this subject
the Sunday previous.
Do you believe that ?" asked Polly scornfully,
who was rather inclined to free-thinking ever since
the discovery of Sally's deception having been
practised on her.
Certainly I do, why, it's in the Bible !" said Adol-
phus, who was very orthodox, and perfectly scandalised
at Polly's scepticism.
"Oh, I didn't know it was in the Bible," apologised
Polly, "but anyhow you know, Adolphus, he must
have brought up lots of food in his pockets, I expect."
As this was a view of the question that Adolphus
had never considered, lhe was not quite prepared with
an answer, so he only looked puzzled.
Just then the gong sounded. Clang, clang, clang,
"Hurrah! dinner!" cried Polly, "let's get down
now, at all events."
But when they came to do so, they found it a
matter that was easier said than done, and began to
learn that it is far more difficult to descend a tree
than to climb it in the first instance. When Polly
parted the branches and saw what a height they were
A CAPITAL HIDING-PLACE. 53
from the ground, she positively refused to budge, and
began to cry.
Nor was Adolphus much braver, for he could only
get down a very little lower, and there he stuck, afraid
to venture to the next branch, which was rather a
Oh, call for Jack," begged Polly, now fairly sob-
bing with fright; what shall we do if we never can get
down any more, and have to be starved to death ?"
Halloa, Jack, Florinda, Jack," yelled Adolphus
at the top of his voice. The other children soon
came flying down the avenue, and guided by the
voices, looked up the tree and soon perceived their
friends' dilemma. At first they couldn't help
laughing and making fun of their "capital hiding-
But when Jack saw Polly's distress, he grew grave
in an instant. "Don't be frightened, Poppets, I'll be
with you in a moment and help you down. Why, what
a muffyou are, Adolphus, not to be able to get down;
you shouldn't have brought Polly so high, though."
But when Jack had scaled the tree, he could not
persuade either of the children to come down, so he
called to Florinda to tell Bailey to come and bring a
ladder. In a few minutes Bailey came, his weather-
beaten good-natured face smiling with amusement.
He soon fixed the ladder against the tree, and on
54 DOGGED JACK.
reaching Polly took her in his arms, and in one
minute she was safe on the ground.
"Don't you get up so high in trees again, Missy,"
"I don't think I'll ever climb in one again; at least,"
added Polly, as a saving clause, "certainly not with-
Here Sally appeared clanging the gong again
"Master says the goose will be cold," she called
out, running down to them.
And wasn't that goose and fig pudding good!
( 55 )
Speak speak I thou fearful guest!"
OLLY'S dinner was declared a decided suc-
cess, and all the children did full justice
to it. Without the slightest regard to
any rules for the good of digestion, they all sallied
forth as soon as they had demolished the fig pud-
ding, and set to romping and playing games out
of doors again.
As the days had grown short, however, nurse
came out to tell them that Bailey was ready to
see them into the loft, where she would bring them
their tea, it being now five o'clock.
So they all adjourned to the farmyard, where
Bailey stood by a ladder against the stable, ready
to help .them into the loft. Jack and Adolphus
went first, and then came Florinda and Polly,
Bailey helping them in the ascent. It was a fine
big loft, half full of hay, and in the delight of diving
56 DOGGED JACK.
into its sweet-scented depths, making "houses" and
"nests" in it, even Florinda--having first pinned
up her smart frock-forgot all about her grandeur,
and almost became unaffected. Soon they heard
nurse's voice below, and all pressed to the door
of the loft to see what she had brought for their
"Go back, go back all of you," besought Bailey,
as he took the heavy tray from nurse, and climbed
up the ladder. Then he deposited the treasure
securely and firmly on a big bank of hay, and
telling the children he would come back to take
them down in an hour, and charging them not to
go near the door, or venture on the ladder until then,
he went off to his work.
But as I do not doubt that all my young readers
would like to know what the feast consisted of, I
must describe its glories.
In the centre was a fine big cake, full of raisins and
citron, and ornamented with frosted sugar and pink
comfits in cook's very best style. Then there was
a dish full of the rosiest apples you ever saw, and
another full of a mixture of nuts, grapes, and
"crackers." Instead of "tea" there was a big jug
full of warm creamy milk from Sukey," the
Oh, what a jolly tray !" cried Adolphus.
THE GHOST! 57
"And isn't it fun having tea up here in the hay,
instead of just in a room on a common table, like
every day ? said Polly.
All the children declared it was twice as nice, and
that Polly had chosen the thing of all others they
enjoyed most, in asking for a feast in the loft.
And to see the rapid rate at which the cake dis-
appeared, one would have thought these were four
unfortunate children who had had nothing to eat
from breakfast-time-but, as Jack remarked, taking
a huge bite out of an apple as he did so, "there's
nothing like fun and games to make a fellow hungry."
When at last even this trayful of good things was
demolished, the children made a cosy nest in the
hay and sat all close together to pull the crackers.
This excitement, however, did not last very long,
for nurse had only sent two crackers for each, and
when they were all finished the children felt chilly
and uncomfortable at the gathering darkness, and
began to long for Bailey to come and take them
"I vote we get down by ourselves," said Adolphus,
as he looked at the ladder pensively.
Oh no!" cried Jack earnestly, I promised father
"Pooh! he'd never know anything about it," was
58 DOGGED JACK.
"What a mean boy you must be to want to do
it just because father don't see you, when you'd be
afraid to do it if he did !" said Polly, red and in-
"I tell you who's afraid-Jack is," said Adolphus;
"he's afraid to go down the ladder without his nursey
to take care of him,"-very scornfully.
Jack's face assumed its most dogged look at this
taunt. "I'll not go down," he said very determinedly,
"but it's not because I'm afraid. Who was in a funk
up the tree ? I soon ran up and down it again,
although it was double the height of that ladder
there! No, I'm not afraid; but I'd be ashamed to
break my promise-it's just mean-as Polly says."
"Well, anyhow, I didn't promise," said Adolphus,
as he groped his way cautiously down.
But when he got to the bottom he found Bailey
there, just going up.
"You shouldn't have come down without me, sir;
master said none o' ye was to," and Bailey shook his
When the children returned to the house they
found the hall lighted up, and nurse ready to take
off their coats and cloaks.
"I hope none of you got down without Bailey's
help," said Mr. Gilbert, as he opened the door of the
sitting-room and looked out at the young troop.
THE GHOST! 59
"I didn't," cried Polly and Jack in the same
breath. "We did not, indeed," said Florinda, rather
"Nor you, Adolphus ?" asked Mr. Gilbert, as that
young gentleman did not reply with the others.
No, sir," said the boy, as he stooped down, pre-
tending to be busy with his boot.
Polly and Jack looked at each other, both very
much shocked at this reply. Florinda, seeing the
expression of their faces, coloured with mortification
As the door closed again, Polly came up to Adol-
phus, Who's a coward nozv? she asked, her little
form seeming to swell with scorn.
"Never mind, Poll," said Jack, generous to his
abashed and fallen enemy, and pulling the child
away as he spoke.
"Don't let us waste the whole evening," said
Florinda sharply, anxious to change the subject
and divert attention from Adolphus; "if we are to
play'ghost,' let us begin. See-there is the moon
rising, just nice dim light enough for a good
"Yes, do come along," said Adolphus, trying not
to look ashamed of himself, mamma said she'd send
for us at half-past eight."
"Well, I'll go and coax Sally to play with us, it's
60 DOGGED A CK.
twice as much fun with her," and Jack ran off to the
Sally proved amenable, as she generally was to
all the children's requests, and soon the fun waxed
loud and boisterous.
The only drawback was that it was found impos-
sible to frighten Sally even the least bit in the
Whenever it was either of the boy's turn to be
ghost, and no matter how horribly they groaned and
moaned, still Sally would snatch up the "ghost" in
her strong arms, laughing immoderately, and kiss the
would-be terror-inspiring floury face, an indignity the
mortified ghost" would resent with most unghostlike
kicks and remonstrances.
"Now, Sally, how can you expect the others to
feel me like a ghost when you go on like that ?" Jack
would ask, as Sally would mount the "ghost" on her
But notwithstanding the badness of Sally's beha-
viour, she was very much missed when cook came up
to bid her lay the supper table in the dining-room;
all the fun seemed to die out of the game at her
"I never saw such a girl," said Jack, as all the
children collected together at the nursery window
through which the light of the moon shone brightest.
THE GHOST! 61
"I'd give anything to make her frightened by a
"I know a way to make a ghost that would put
Sally in a real fright," said Adolphus. "I saw it
done once, it did make me feel queer, although I knew
who the fellow was, and he just did it in the room
Oh, how is it done ? do show us! do tell us!" cried
the three children breathlessly.
It's done with whisky and salt in a saucer. If Jack
will get me the things I can show you in a minute."
Jack hesitated a moment, then he said-
"I don't know if nurse has any whisky; I don't
think she'd give it me if she had."
Oh yes, she has some," cried Polly, "I saw some in
the cupboard yesterday, and I'm sure she'd give you
some, Jack, if you say it's only to make fun with, do go."
Oh, do go, do, please, go," besought Florinda and
Thus urged, and longing also to amaze (if such
a thing were possible) the dauntless Sally, Jack
departed on his errand.
He had good need of all his eloquence to persuade
nurse to give him what he asked for; she could not
think what the children could want such a thing
as whisky for, but at last he was successful in his
entreaties, and returned with all that was needed.
62 DOGGED JA CK.
"I'm not sure that we ought to do this," said he,
as he handed the things to Adolphus.
"Fiddlesticks! I'll take all the blame, and I'll be
the ghost. Shall I show you first what a splendid
ghost it makes?" asked Adolphus.
Do, there's no harm in my seeing it; Polly mustn't,
though," said Jack thoughtfully. "She is so nervous
that she would not sleep all night afterwards."
"And I don't care to see it, either," said Florinda;
" suppose you boys go into another room and leave
Polly and me by the nursery fire ? You can come
and tell us how the fun has gone off afterwards."
Accordingly this arrangement was agreed on, and
the two boys adjourned to Jack's room.
"Jacko," whispered Polly, holding her brother by
the jacket as he was leaving the room, I hope if you
do it, that it won't make a practical joke; you know
father is vexed sometimes when you do funny
"All right, little-woman," said Jack, kissing her
hurriedly, and running off to Adolphus.
When the latter had shut the door, he poured some
whisky into the saucer which he first half filled with
salt, and then, folding himself up in the sheet, he set
fire to the spirit and held the saucer before his face.
Even our plucky Jack was surprised and partly
horrified at the result! Seen through the flames of
THE GHOST! 63
the spirit, Adolphus' face looked grey and ghastly,
and Jack would hardly have recognized him, the
effect was so horrible.
"Isn't that a jolly ghost ?" asked Adolphus as he
noticed his friend's amazed expression.
"I never saw anything to equal it," answered Jack
with emphasis; "I do think that it would frighten
"Suppose we try if it would ?" said Adolphus,
setting aside the saucer and unwinding himself from
"I'm almost afraid it would frighten her too much,
I would not wish that."
"Fiddlesticks! I've tried it on numbers of people.
Let me dress you up now, and do you go down the
back stairs and stand at the pantry door. I can go
round, and if Sally is not there, I can easily make
some excuse to get her to enter the pantry at the
But it took Adolphus a long time to persuade Jack
to do what he wanted.
Why can't you be the ghost yourself, as you first
suggested ?" he asked.
"Oh-ah-you see it might frighten her too much
if I were the ghost. She is not so much used to my
face, but she cannot help recognizing you whom she
sees every day."
64 DOGGED A CK.
This was not Adolphus' real reason, but the fact
was, that he was one of those persons who are fond
enough of playing tricks and jokes through the agency
of others, but who take good care to keep out of all
danger and risk of blame themselves.
His argument, however, had, as he intended it
should, more weight with Jack than any other he could
Jack's sole objection was the fear of alarming
Sally too much, but when his friend repeatedly
assured him that, though she would, no doubt, get
a start just for a moment, yet she would then be
quite sure to recognize him, and the whole matter
would end in a laugh, Jack consented to personate
The disguise did not take long to accomplish; and
then Adolphus opened the green baize door at the
head of the back stairs, and leaving Jack, descended
the front ones himself and entered the kitchen.
There he saw Sally busy at a table making some
preparations for supper.
"Sally," he asked in a most innocent voice, "would
you please give me a glass of water ?"
"Yes, sir, I'll fetch a tumbler in a moment,"
answered the girl, leaving her work and going to-
wards the pantry.
"Won't you sit down, Master Brown," said cook,
THE GHOST! 65
in her best company voice, dusting a chair with her
checked apron as she spoke.
But the words were hardly out of her mouth when
a piercing shriek, that long haunted all ears who
heard it, rang through the house, and immediately
a dull thud was heard as of a person falling.
"Heaven preserve us! cried cook, pale with fright,
"what zas come to the girl ?"
In one minute all the household, except the little
girls, were in the pantry, terror in every face.
Sally lay on the ground in a dead swoon, her
plump rosy cheeks drawn and grey, and a stream
of blood trickling from a wound in her forehead.
"O Sally, Sally! have I killed you? oh, dear, dear
Sally! it was only me-it was only me!" shrieked
Jack in an agony of remorse, as he pushed his way
through them all, and flung himself down beside the
death-like figure, taking her hand in his.
"What is it all about? how has the girl been
hurt ?" asked Mr. Gilbert in his sternest voice, look-
ing around him for an answer.
At first no one replied. Nurse began to busy her-
self trying to restore the poor maid, and sent Jack off
to fetch some things from her room.
Then Adolphus spoke.
Please, Mr. Gilbert, Jack dressed himself up like a
ghost, and had burning whisky in a saucer before his
66 DOGGED RACK.
face. He came down the back stairs to the pantry
door,-he would do it, though I was afraid it would
frighten Sally too much," said the cowardly boy, as
he saw the terribly severe look Mr. Gilbert's face
For a few minutes there was a dead silence, and
then Mr. Gilbert spoke.
"Go home at once, Adolphus, take your sister
with you, and beg your father to come to us
instantly. Cook, do you go upstairs and tell Miss
Polly that she is to go to bed at once, and that I
forbid her to leave her room. Come back, then, and
help nurse to carry this unfortunate girl to bed."
IN TERRIBLE SUSPENSE.
We sinned-we sin, is that a dream ?
We wake-there is no voice nor stir."
-E. B. Browning.
NOTWITHSTANDING all that Dr. Brown
could do, it was hours before Sally became
conscious. When at last the restoratives
were effectual, the poor girl fell into a high fever and
The doctor pronounced her life to be in the
greatest danger, owing to the terrible shock her
nerves had sustained, and he almost feared that her
intellect would never totally recover.
The wound in the forehead was caused by her
falling against the stone stairs. It had to be sewn
up, and although she had been a little weakened
by loss of blood from it, yet in itself it was not of
much consequence. The fright it was that caused
all the danger.
For many days there was no improvement, and
68 DOGGED JACK.
during all this time Jack's feelings may be more
easily understood than described.
Often, in the dark lonely hours of the night, would
the boy rise from his sleepless bed and steal to the
door of the room where Sally lay tossing about in
that restless fever, and talking incessantly.
Nobody knew when Jack was near, for he felt too
miserable to bear even the words of pity that would
have been given him by the servants who took it
in turn to watch Sally.
As for his father, Jack scarcely ever saw him;
and when he did, his father never addressed him or
took the smallest notice of him in any way.
On the morning after Sally's seizure, Mr. Gilbert
had sent nurse to tell Jack that he was to have all
his meals in his own room, and was forbidden to
enter any of the sitting rooms. He was told, however,
that he was to attend Mr. Lane's instructions as
usual, and that he was free to go out of the house
whenever he wished.
But although Jack could see that his father had
never been so angry with him as he was now, and
although all late kind feelings were at an end, and
the estrangement was worse than ever between them,
yet Jack was so intensely miserable on Sally's ac-
count, that even his father's displeasure was almost
IV TERRIBLE SUSPENSE. 69
Nor had this interruption to their late happi-
ness the power to raise the old dogged feeling of
injustice in Jack's breast. He felt in himself so
guilty, so full of keen remorse and anguish, that
his father's anger against him was felt to be only
Still, if a few words of explanation had taken
place between the two, if Mr. Gilbert had known
how strongly his boy had been urged and led into
this miserable affair, how loth he had at first been
to act in it, and how he had had the thought to fear
the very catastrophe which had happened, until
repeatedly assured by Adolphus that Sally would
be sure to recognize him, Mr. Gilbert would most
certainly have relaxed in his feelings of severity.
Doubtless, if he had known all this, his sternness
would have melted into pity and sympathy for Jack,
and turned to scorn for Adolphus' falsehoods. The
unfortunate thing was, that there should have been
always such reserve between these two so nearly
connected, that whenever any trouble or misde-
meanour occurred, no confidence was either sought
Not one word had been spoken by either of them
as to the late dreadful occurrence.
Jack saw, as he supposed, that his father knew all
about the matter, but he himself was of too generous
70 DOGGED JACK.
a nature to dream even of making his own guilt
seem less at the expense of his friend.
Unluckily, however, for the boy, he had of old
been too fond of practical jokes, a taste acquired
amongst his schoolfellows, and which seems inherent
and natural to many boy natures. His father, on
the contrary, had a constitutional dislike to them,
and his anger was increased tenfold by believing
what Adolphus told him, and imagining that Jack
had been warned not to indulge in this late
He felt very acutely also that it was most un-
grateful of Jack to have resorted to practices which
he knew he held in detestation, at the very time
that so much indulgence was being granted to him
"Jack," asked Polly, one evening as she stole up to
her brother's room softly, and came across to where
the boy was poring over his books in the waning
light, "what's an idiot ?"
Jack looked up with an abstracted air, putting
his finger on the page before him to mark his
A what, dear ?"
"An idiot ?" repeated Polly impatiently. I want
to know what it is, because I heard Dr. Brown tell-
ing father that he has no doubt when Sally wakes
IN TERRIBLE SUSPENSE. 71
up from that heavy sleep she's been in so long, that
she'll be an idiot."
As no reply was given, Polly stood on her tip-toes
to look at her brother's face.
The unfortunate Jack looked as if he were turned
to stone ; his face had a set immovable expression,
and his brown sparkling eyes were filled with a dull
look of horror. To all Polly's inquiries he returned
no reply; twice, indeed, he opened his mouth as if to
speak, but no sound came from the parched lips.
At last the child comprehended that it was
something in her words that had shocked him so
"Jacko, Jacko, oh, my Jacko," she whispered
tenderly, stealing her little arms round his neck and
pressing her warm soft cheek to his cold one, "don't
mind what Dr. Brown says. I'm sure he's all wrong.
Don't you remember when I'd chicken-pox, and he
said it was small-pox ? he's just an old duffer. I've
heard you often say he was, yourself, Jacko, so what
he says now is just more of his dufferness."
But Jack could not speak for some time, and his
little sister's reasurring words were incapable now
of conveying comfort to him.
After a while his voice came back to him.
Polly," he said softly, but oh, in what a sad
hopeless voice! "go downstairs; I'll say good-night
72 DOGGED 7ACK.
to you now. Don't come back again this evening
to me, I want to be alone.'t
"Very well, Jacko," said the little one meekly.
"I'll go away, if you'd rather," and then giving her
brother one long embrace, she slid from his arms
and crept downstairs.
As soon as she had gone, Jack locked the door.
He scarcely knew, indeed, what he was doing, but
felt one consuming desire to be alone,-to be alone
and think over these horrible tidings.
But he was incapable of any clear or discriminat-
ing thoughts at present. His little sister's ignorant
words had raised a tumult of confusion and dismay
in his mind, and they seemed to beat into his brain
with new and overwhelming agony every second.
The most dreadful feeling was that this fate, at the
thought of which the boy grew sick and shud-
dering, was every moment drawing nearer to his
victim, whilst he, alas! was powerless to avert or
The whole affair seemed now like an engrossing
and resistless nightmare. Oh I how the unhappy boy
longed to wake up and find it all a dream!
As he walked up and down his room he staggered,
and when some sharp knock against the wall or
furniture would recall him to himself, it was but to
make him more sensible of his mental anguish.
IN TERRIBLE SUSPENSE. 73
Oh! that he had never played this senseless and,
as he now saw, cowardly and cruel trick!
Oh! if he could but live over again that one even-
ing of his life, that evening the results of which were
now to poison all his future days, how differently
would he act!
But, alas! his regrets and his anguish were all now
Poor, poor Jack! he was having a bitter lesson
taught him, a lesson, nevertheless, which each one
of us must learn sooner or later, one that ought to
teach us, even though with an iron rod, wisdom and
He had to learn that nothing can undo the Past,
nothing can atone for the Past. No! were we to weep
even tears of blood, yet we could not blot out one
page, nor turn back one leaf, of the Book of Time.
However our weak hands may beat the air in
passionate remorse or vain regret, yet still the Past
is; and will yet live an undying life in the memory
of our conscience. Yes, and if we are wise, we will
give thanks continually to a merciful God who has
ordained that our sins can never die to us in this
world who has ordained that they shall ever
live to us, ever scourge and chasten us, and so
make us hasten in our way along the Heavenly
74 DOGGED JACK.
What could be better for the future safety of the
traveller, than that the pitfalls into which he has
already fallen should be continually lighted up,
even though with a fearful distinctness, that for all
time to come he may guard his trembling feet from
their dreaded brink! But our poor boy's pain was
too new-too new, and sore, and raw, for him to feel
any comfort in such reflections as these latter.
All he was capable of feeling was a consuming
sorrow for the evil he had occasioned a bitter
remorse at not having obeyed his father's well-
He had been repeatedly forbidden to play prac-
tical jokes of any kind-and now all this misery
was come on him in consequence of his wilful
disobedience. There lay the sting that smarted !
At last he stopped in his aimless pacing from
sheer exhaustion, and threw himself on his face
on the bed. In after days he could never be sure
if he had fainted or only slept the heavy torpor-like
sleep that sorrow brings.
Whichever it was, he did not rouse from it until
the middle of the night. The faint light of the stars
came in through the unshuttered windows, and made
the objects in the room partly visible.
Jack rose, giddy and chilled, and all the force of
his grief came upon him as his senses returned.
r r-LU ". Tu I''
-, .. ,
, _. -- __ ____'
IN TERRIBLE SUSPENSE. 75
Suddenly the thought flashed upon him, that by
this time Sally must have wakened-that her fate
must be known. Quickly he stole across the room,
and softly unlocked the door, although his body
trembled in every fibre with apprehension.
From the door of his own room he could see the
glimmer of the candle flickering into the passage
from the room where Sally lay.
Not a sound was heard-all was silent and still
Jack crept gently along the passage close to the
wall on which no light shone.
As he drew nearer and nearer, and knew that
now in one moment he could see her, that poor
creature whom he had so terribly wronged, every
pulse in his body seemed to throb with painful
excitement. One more step brought him within
view of Sally. All the restless fever and delirium
had left her, and she lay back on the pillows
perfectly still and motionless.
Jack would almost have thought her dead, so pale
and quiet she lay, but for the slight heaving of the
bedclothes over her chest.
She was, in truth, in the deep sleep which so often
takes place from exhaustion afterlong-continued fever.
Jack gazed on her as if he could never take his
eyes off her face, and something of the calm of that
76 DOGGED JA CK.
sleeping form seemed to transfer itself to his agitated
Suddenly in the midst of his contemplation, a low
sound roused him from his reverie.
It did not come from Sally, for he could see that
she had not moved a muscle. But on looking
around for the cause, he saw dear old nurse on
her knees by the bed, her figure half hidden by
its curtains. She was evidently praying earnestly,
and for what, Jack could well guess.
There was an imploring expression on the worn
and lined face, and her grey hair was disordered from
close and long watching.
A great comfort was breathed into Jack's heart
as he saw her.
After all there was something he could do for Sally !
Why, oh, why had he not thought of this before !
4Why had he wasted all these precious hours in which
he could have helped Sally by wrestling in prayer
for her reason, with a Father full of pity and loving-
Quick as thought Jack sped back to his own room,
new hope, new strength filling all his sorrow-wearied
frame. Down by the window seat he flung himself
on his knees, but for the first few minutes no suitable
frame of words would rise to his mind.
"Oh, help! help! help! blessed Lord Jesus!" he
IN TERRIBLE SUSPENSE. 77
cried, with all his soul poured out in earnestness
By and by he became more calm, although his
entreaties were as urgent as at first. He had been
praying for some minutes when he felt a light touch
on his shoulder, and turning round he saw nurse by
"Darling boy! dear Master Jack, our prayers have
been heard and answered. To the Lord's name be
all the praise added the old woman devoutly.
Sally has wakened, then; she is not-I mean-
she has," gasped Jack, all his senses reeling with
joy and relief.
"She has wakened; her life and her reason are
spared," replied nurse. "The first thing she asked me
was-What was it I saw, nurse ? the next thing was,
How long have I been ill? and after that nothing
would do her but I should fetch you straight away
to her; so come now, Master Jack; but you must not
stay more than two minutes, for she is very weak
and cannot bear excitement."
In another minute Jack was by her bedside.
"Master Jack," said Sally in a low, weak voice, but
turning on him the same bright look of intelligence
she had ever worn, "I tuk the liberty of sending' for
ye, for I do be afear'd you're grievin', and I want to
tell you I'll be as well as ever I was."
78 DOGGED JACK.
"0 Sally, Sally can you ever forgive me ?" asked
the boy in a broken voice, the tears running down
"Sure, an' dear heart, there's nothing' to forgive,"
answered Sally, taking his hand in her thin one, and
stroking it with her other. Isn't it myself that's
fond of a bit of fun? Troth and it's ashamed of
myself entirely I am, to have been so mane as to
let on I was frightened, Master Jack !" said the
good-natured girl, a twinkle of irrepressible humour
coming into her eyes as she spoke.
"Come now, that's enough," said practical English
nurse, blowing her nose, however, with unnecessary
vehemence as she spoke. And taking Jack good-
humouredly by the shoulder, she marched him with
scant ceremony out of the room.
AN UNFORTUNATE VALENTINE.
"To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I, a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine."
N spite of all Dr. Brown's gloomy forebodings,
Sally's brain was not permanently injured
by Jack's unlucky trick.
A fortnight after the fever left her she was able to
sit up in her own room, and from that time she went
on steadily improving.
Jack felt deeply grateful to God for this merciful
issue of her illness, and the feelings of humility
which were born in his heart from this gratitude
made his behaviour to his father meek and concilia-
Mr. Gilbert, however, did not again alter in the
coldness and harshness of his manner to Jack, for he
feared that it was his late leniency and indulgence
8o DOGGED 7ACK.
which had tempted his son to act against his wishes
in the matter of the trick.
Nevertheless, he often wondered much at the soft-
ness of Jack's manner, so used had the boy been
formerly to cover his feelings with an appearance of
fierce hardness whenever he had been in disgrace.
Little did he know of the deep reverential grati-
tude which now filled Jack's heart, or that he was
using his whole energies to subdue all that would be
displeasing to his Heavenly Father, as a token of
Polly's bright gayness of spirit once more flagged
as she noted the cloud on her father's face when-
ever he spoke to her brother; but to them both she
was still the same object of complete love and
One day, however, the poor child's feelings were
deeply hurt by the unconscious Jack.
It was near St. Valentine's day, and shortly before
her father had given her a bright new shilling.
This shilling, or "silver penny" as Polly called it,
was a great pleasure and amusement to her, and with
it she played sundry games of marketing and shop-
One day, however, the thought struck her that
she held the means of giving Jack a great pleasure.
She had never before possessed any money, so,
AN UNFORTUVNA TE VALE ATINE. 8
although Jack always sent her a pretty valentine,
she had never sent him one.
Accordingly she coaxed nurse to take her down
to the village of Crosslin, and there, at the most
magnificent shop in the place,-which was grocer's,
haberdasher's, stationer's, and fancy shop in one-
Polly purchased the most splendid valentine to be
had for the enormous sum of one shilling!
Vainly did nurse remonstrate and urge the child
to be content with a sixpenny one, that she might
still possess a "silver penny" to play market with,
but Polly would not be turned from her purpose.
No valentine would she choose but one that should
cost her entire fortune. With none would she be
satisfied but with this wonder of beauties, containing
folds of worked paper, and a large bunch of artificial
flowers tied with blue ribbon in the centre!
So in great triumph the child carried home her
treasure, clasping the pasteboard box, which con-
tained it, close to her beating and delighted heart.
With what anxiety did she watch nurse address it
that evening, and with how many injunctions as to
carefulness did she overwhelm the Hillside post-boy
next morning when he took charge of the precious
That night, Polly could scarcely sleep from excite-
ment, and when on the following morning the letters
82 DOGGED A CK.
arrived, three valentines for herself, and one,'her
own-bought treasure for Jack, the little girl could
scarcely breathe from anxiety to observe all Jack's
Unluckily, however, Polly possessed a scrap-book,
and as contributions to that unfortunately half-empty
book, Jack was in the habit of handing over all his
Christmas cards, valentines, and any gay picture he
became possessed of.
Accordingly, when he opened his parcel, never for
one moment dreaming that Polly had sent it to him,
he hardly looked at it himself, but simply handed it
across the table to her.
Instead of the rhapsodies she expected to hear
from his lips, Jack coolly said (and the sound of his
voice was rather satirical too), "Holloa, Polly, here's a
grand affair for your scrap-book, old girl."
Polly could hardly speak from horror and amaze-
ment. Was it possible that he could thus calmly think
of parting, at once, without even admiring or extol-
ling its beauties, with that superlatively magnificent
valentine! Was it possible that he could seriously
contemplate committing anything so absolutely
suicidal to his own interests!
Swiftly the deep flushes of mortification spread
over the baby face, and the great blue eyes filled
with tears of wounded love. Jack, however, fancied
AN UNFORTUNATE VALENTINE. 83
her backwardness in accepting his offer arose simply
from her wish not to deprive him of the valentine,
and so proceeded to make matters even worse by
remarks more galling.
"Do take it, Polly Hopkins, really I don't care one
bit about it. I'd rather not keep the gaudy thing;
indeed, I don't want it," he assured her over and over
But just at this point in affairs the children's voices
roused Mr. Gilbert from his newspaper. Polly had
taken her father into her confidence about her
purchase; so he at once perceived how matters
In one moment he had made a sign to Jack, who
quickly understood him, and immediately tried to
atone for his unfortunate mistake and to soothe the
"Polly," he began, after a few seconds spent in
wildly racking his brains as to the best way of pro-
ceeding, did you really think I was in earnest about
giving you this valentine ? Didn't you know I
only offered it to you for a joke ? Why," went on
Jack, taking the object in question up tenderly
and placing it close to his plate, "I would not part
with such a beauty even to you, Polly. I never got
such a splendid valentine in my life, so you see it's
not very likely I would part with it!"
84 DOGGED JACK.
But to all Jack's blandishments Polly answered
not one word; and as soon as she saw him run down
the avenue with his school books on his back, she
flew to the nursery.and threw herself into her faithful
old nurse's arms.
Poor nurse could not think what was the matter,
for at first Polly was unable to speak from sobs.
At last her grief found words.
"Jack wanted to give me back my own present!
The beautiful valentine that I buyed for him with
my silver penny! Then daddy made a naughty
wink at him, and then Jack tried to pretend it was all
a joke! But I knowed it was not. Oh, he did want
to give me back my own present that I buyed him!"
And it was a full hour before nurse could calm
little Polly, or abate her bitter grief as to the wrong
her beloved Jack had done her!
( 85 )
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds, or like the stream
That smiling left the mountain's brow,
As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet, ere it reach the plain below,
Breaks into floods that part for ever."
^- T was a long trial to Jack to find, that as the
weeks and months passed by, it still seemed
as if his father could not banish from his
mind the recollection of his misconduct, but con-
tinued to treat him with the same severity and cold-
ness of manner as when his fault was fresh.
The humility and meekness of the boy's manner
had at length given way under this continued strain
of silent blame, and although he still observed the
same diligence in his studies, the old dogged look had
come back, and the old icy reserve in his manner.
It was sad to see these two, between whom all
the laws of nature and God pointed out that there
should have been the fullest confidence and love,
again estranged in this unnatural way.
86 DOGGED JACK.
Sally in the meantime had completely recovered
from her illness, her cheeks were now as ruddy, and
her frame as robust, as of old.
This was a deep source of consolation to Jack;
but notwithstanding the joy it gave him, he men-
tally determined that no temptation, however great,
would he allow to prevail over him, so as to induce
him ever again to play another practical joke. If only
Mr. Gilbert had known a part of what was in his
boy's mind, how pleased he would have been!
Jack, indeed, had had an awful lesson of the danger
of foolish and thoughtless pranks-a lesson that to
his *dying day he never forgot.
Mr. Lane had been most kind and sympathising
all through Jack's trouble, and the boy had begun
to look upon the young clergyman almost with the
affection of a younger brother.
One day in early summer, now many months
since Sally's illness, Mr. Lane remarked on Jack's
To his great surprise the boy suddenly burst into
The young tutor, as wise as he was kind, seeing
at a glance that his pupil was not in a fit state for
lessons, quietly put away the books, and waiting
until Jack had regained his composure, challenged
him to a game of cricket. Jack brightened up at
A GAIN ESTRANGED. 87
the very word, and eagerly snatched up his straw
There was a bit of common near Mr. Lane's
house, where he often indulged the boy's love of
field games, and now his kindness was soon re-
warded by the sparkle which came to Jack's eyes,
and the hearty ring of laughter to his voice.
"And now, Jack," said Mr. Lane, as after an
hour's play they both threw themselves on the
grass to rest, I want you to tell me why it is you
are so out of spirits of late. I notice that you be-
come more gloomy every day."
Jack's colour rose and flooded all over his face.
0 Mr. Lane! I am ashamed of myself-I never
cried before another fellow before; I don't know
what you must have thought of me for being such
a baby. I think the reason was that I was awake
nearly all night; I felt quite giddy all the morning
But, Jack, what should keep you awake ? said
Mr. Lane with a sigh.
I was thinking," answered Jack a little confusedly
and plucking at the grass as he spoke.
"Won't you tell me what you were thinking
about, my boy?" laying his hand on the lad's
"You are so good to me always," answered Jack
88 DOGGED JACK.
gratefully, "I never had any one,. except Polly, care
so much about any of my troubles."
"Prove you think so now by taking me into your
confidence," laughed the young tutor, pushing back
his curly dark hair from a face that was nearly as
boyish-looking and brown as Jack's own.
"It makes me feel miserable," said Jack, his lips
trembling and looking ashamed of the emotion he
felt he displayed, "that father never seems to forgive
me. It is all as bad now as ever between us, and we
were becoming-becoming-why, almost friends!"
said Jack, with an emphasis on the last word, as if
such relation between father and son was a most
astounding and extraordinary fact.
"Jack," asked Mr. Lane quietly, "did you ever
explain to your father how you were led into that
trick ? did you ever even ask him to forgive you ?"
"No! I don't ever remember explaining anything
to father when I've been in trouble, and I never
asked him to forgive me in my life."
"How has that been, my boy?"
"I don't know. I have thought sometimes of
asking father's forgiveness, only he looks so sternly
at me, it quite makes my heart beat, so that I can-
not say what I want."
There was silence between the two for some time.
Mr. Lane was looking away towards the horizon,
AGAIN ESTRANGED. 89
but there had come into his sensitive face a look
of pain and sorrow, and it seemed as if his thoughts
were now far off.
"Mr. Lane," said Jack suddenly and hotly, "I've
been thinking lately that it isn't fair of father; I
know I did what was wrong, but so do other fellows
too. One can't always be good. Still I've worked
hard these months past to please him, and not
done one thing that he disapproves of, and all to
get him to forgive me. Now, he's just as hard on
me as in the beginning, and I don't think I'll stand
it any longer; some day I'll just tell him straight
out that I've tried hard enough to be good, but
that I see there's no pleasing him, and I'll tell him
I won't stay at home any longer to be scowled at,
that I won't!" cried the boy excitedly, jumping
up -and stamping his foot with impatience and
Mr. Lane took his eyes from the distant landscape
and looked upon Jack. As his face turned towards
the boy, Jack saw that it had grown very white,
and the look on it was one of such keen but
hopeless remorse, that the very pain on it seemed
to enter straight' into Jack's heart.
"My boy," began Mr. Lane, and oh, the sadness
of his voice as he spoke! I have often thought I
should like to tell you of a sorrow of mine. It is