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DD & COUMAN SOUTHWDAR BR IG RO
NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT
DELIVER US FROM EVIL.'
WESLEYAN CONFERENCE OFFICE,
2, CASTLE-STREET, CITY-ROAD
AND 66, PATERNOSTER-ROW.
BATMAN BROTHERS AND LLLT,
RATTON HOUSE, FARRINGDON ROAD
LITTLE DICK. 7
TEMPTATION . 16
NED'S Loss . 25
RESOLUTION .. .. 30
ROSY AT WORK 48
LEAVING HOME ... . 58
A TRUE FRIEND .66
IN HOSPITAL. . . 75
NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
_ _t _
NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
B LACK your boots, Sir, black your boots?
Shine 'em up first-rate, Sir. Only ten
The man addressed hastened on, paying no
heed to the boy, who, foot-block in hand, pressed
close beside him.
'Black 'em for eight cents, Sir. Come, that's
cheap when they're so bad as that. They'll
take a deal of scraping before the brush can
The man glanced down at his feet, and no-
ticing for the first time that his boots were
covered with the mud which lay on the streets,
8 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'Well, you may brush them off. I've been
through some very deep mud.'
'Your boots tell that story,' said the boy,
'but they won't tell it long ;' and in a twinkling
the foot-block was on the sidewalk in a retired
corner, and he was brushing away with an energy
which soon brought a bright polish on the dull
'There, Sir, that's handsome, ain't it ?' asked
the boy, surveying his work with a very pleased air.
Yes, you have done very well,' was the reply.
And tossing down a ten-cent piece, the man
'Look here, Mister, this ain't right,' said the
boy; but the customer. went on his way, not
Slaving heard his call.
He sprang up to stop him, but as he had his
implements to gather together, the man was
already at some distance from him.
'I say,' said the boy, gaining his side at last,
after elbowing his way with some difficulty
through the crowd which thronged the street,
'I say, Mister, you gave me too much.'
'I gave you ten cents, did I not? Certainly
I did,-that is ten cents,' he said, pointing to
the money in the boy's outstretched hand.
LITTLE DICK. 9
'But I told you I 'd do it for eight.'
'So you did. It seems to me that you are a
pretty honest fellow.'
'I am honest,' said the boy, lifting his head
and looking full into the eyes which were search-
ing his face. 'And I don't ever mean to be
anything else while my name is Ned Dolan.'
'From whom did you learn such a good
lesson ? From your father ?'
'No. I never knew my father and mother.
They both died when I was a baby.'
'Who brought you up ?'
'Nobody. I came up of myself, I guess;
nobody else had much to do with it.'
'Then where did you learn to be so strictly
'I learned it from- He hesitated, his lips
quivered, and the muscles of his face worked
strongly. -'Never mind that,' he said, recovering
himself; 'only I did learn it, and here's your
'They were fairly earned,' said his customer.
'Keep them, and I hope that you may always
be as honest as you are now.'
'I'll try for it, any way,' said Ned, in a low
voice, as he retraced his steps. 'I '11 never let
10 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
her see me do a mean thing, nor a oad one,
neither, if I can help it;' and as he spoke he
glanced up toward the far-off sky.
He was a rough-looking boy. His shoes were
sadly in want of a little of the care and attention
which he bestowed on the boots of his patrons ;
and the patches which ornamented them on
either side, and on toe and heel, had evidently
been sewn there by his own hand, which was
not that of a master-workman. His clothes
were as worn and patched as his shoes, and the
old hat which covered his head was so stained
and weather-beaten that its original colour was
quite lost in a variety of dull shades.
There were no dull shades, however, in the
face which looked out from beneath the slouched
rim of the old hat. It was a face which showed
its nationality in every line and feature. Brim-
ful of Irish wit and fun, with a mass of dark
curly hair clustering over the rather low fore-
head, and a pair of clear, grey eyes, through
which the large, generous heart within looked
out on all with whom he had to do.
The evening was fast closing in, and Edward
Dolan, thinking that it was of no avail to wait
for further custom, turned his face homeward.
LITTLE DICK. 11
*This is as poor a day as ever I had,' he said
to himself as he walked on, still on the watch
for another opportunity to earn a few cents.
'Only one pair! It's too muddy to-day. I
suppose they think the next step they take will
make them as bad as ever. Well, this'll get
supper for me and Dick, any way.'
He had a long walk before him, and felt
quite ready for his frugal supper by the time he
reached home. He had stopped on his way at a
bakery to buy a loaf of bread.
'There's a penny or two in my pocket,' he
said as he left the shop. 'I '11 just run in and
get my mug, and I'll get a pennyworth of milk
for me, and a bit of cheese for Dick.'
He had reached the entrance to an alley lead-
ing from the street to a rear house, which he
entered, and, passing up two flights of rickety
stairs, came to a small room directly under the
slope of the broken roof. There was a little
window with two panes of greenish glass,
through which the light was supposed to enter;
but the room never boasted more than a twilight
brightness, and now it was entirely dark. But
the boy had no difficulty in finding what he
wanted. He went unhesitatingly to a certain
12 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
corner, and, taking from a small shelf a brown
earthen mug, was passing out again, when a
slight rustle and sound of scratching made him
'0 Dick, is that you, little man? Wait a bit,
I '11 be back in a minute.'
The little feet seemed to scamper away into
the darkness, and Ned went out again. He soon
returned, and, striking a light, disclosed the
proportions of as small a room as ever was
called by the name of home. It was a mere
nook beneath the peak of the roof, through
whose rents and holes he could study the stars
as he lay on his bed, which occupied the main
part of the floor. The bed and a wooden stool
formed the furniture of the apartment; the shelf
from which he had taken the mug for his milk
being amply sufficient for his stock of table
utensils, which consisted of the mug in question
and a broken plate.
He stood still with his head a little on one
side, as if listening, after he had lighted his
candle; but hearing no sound, called 'Dick
Then he listened again, but there was no re-
sponse; and going to the side of the room he
LITTLE DICK. 13
bent down, and putting his mouth close to a hole
in the wall, gave a sharp whistle. In a moment
there came again that sound of tiny feet scamper-
ing along with the utmost speed; but this time
it was not over the floor, but in the wall; and
the next instant a bright-eyed mouse peeped out
cautiously from the hole.
'Hallo, Dick!' said Ned; and as he spoke,
the mouse darted forward and ran into his hand,
which he had stretched out toward it.
'Well, little man, where have you been all
day?' asked the boy, in a fondling; tender tone.
'I came near coming home without any supper
for either of us. Are you hungry? Come, let's
have something to eat. I've bought a penny-
worth of cheese for you.'
The tiny creature looked up in his face as if it
understood every word he spoke, and when he
produced from his pocket a morsel of cheese,
which he laid on his knee, it established itself
comfortably beside the rich repast, and proceeded
to make the most of its opportunities, pausing
every now and then to look up at its master, or
- to raise its head in answer to the caressing hard
which stroked it gently.
The boy made his supper of a generous half
14 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
of the loaf which he had bought, and his penny-
worth of milk; eating his plain fare with as
keen a relish as that with which the mouse
enjoyed its cheese.
'What! Are you through already?' he ex-
claimed, as his companion ceased its nibbling
and turned its head away from the remains of
its supper. 'Why, I never saw you so soon
satisfied before! you must have had a good
feast somewhere. Why didn't you bring me
home something nice, you little rogue ?'
The 'rogue' gave a sharp squeal as the boy
ended his sentence by pulling one of its velvet
ears, and he snapped at his fingers in pretended
'No biting, Dick; not even in play. There,
now, go to sleep.'
He lifted the mouse in his hand, and dropped
him into the outer pocket of his jacket, where
the little fellow curled himself up and lay as
quiet as possible. Edward sat for a few mo-
ments longer on the stool, and then, rising, he
placed his mug on the shelf again beside the
remainder of his loaf, and throwing himself
upon the bed, lay there wide awake, thinking.
'It does seem queer,' he said to himself, after
LITTLE DICK, 15
he had lain quiet a long while; 'it does seem
queer that there's never been anybody to look
after me, that's a fact. Bringing up! That
man must have meant teaching, I suppose;
being took care of, too, I should think: but I
never had as much bringing us as I've given to
Dick here ;'-and he laid his hand gently on the
pocket which contained his pet-' except what I
got from the little thing up there above the
stars, God bless her I' he added. And yet I've
got up somehow, till here I am, fifteen year old:
and I've come up pretty fair. I've got a home,
and gets enough to eat most times, and I've got
good friends. There's Mrs. Conroy below'
stairs, and Rosy; and then here's dear old Dick.
I wonder how it's all come about! Margery
would say God took care of' me; I suppose He
He lay looking up through the broken roof to
the sky, as content and peaceful as if he had all
that could make life comfortable and happy,
until weariness overcame his wakefulness, and
he fell asleep.
THE sound of a step upon the creaking, broken
stairs roused Ned from his slumber, and
raising his head he called out, Who's there?'
'Joe Turner,' was the reply; 'are you alone ?'
'Yes, come in.' And Ned sprang up and
struck a light.
'Been to bed already?' said his visitor, in a
tone of surprise. 'It's only just after ten
'I dare say; but I was tired and lonesome, so
I thought I couldn't do better than go to sleep.'
'Why didn't you come up to my place?
There's a lot of fellows having a good time up
there now. Let's go up.'
'No, we'd best stay where we are,' said Ned,
seating himself on the bed, in order to leave the
stool for the visitor.
'Seems to me you're rather shy of us in these
days,' said Joe. 'You haven't been there this
long while; the fellows are all talking about it:
what's the matter with you?'
'Nothing; only I think I 'm best off at home.'
'What, shut up in this little den, with never a
body to speak to ? It's mean of you, Ned, to
cut all your old friends.'
'I don't cut them,' replied Ned, warmly. 'I 'm
always ready to do them a good turn, and you
'I don't deny that: you're a right good fellow
if you are a bit queer; and the rest of the boys
are just as willing to do you a good turn.
That's what I've come to see you about. We 've
heard of a first-rate job, and we mean to give
you a share in it.'
He bent his head close to Ned's and whispered
a few words in his ear. The boy listened at-
tentively, but as soon as Joe had finished what
he had to say, he answered quietly,-
'I can't join.'
'Because I've made up my mind, never to
have anything to do with such work.'
'0, come, Ned, that's all cant,' said Joe, per-
18 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
suasively. 'You don't mean to keep on at boot-
blacking all your life, do you ?'
'No; I mean to look out for a place as soon as
I can get decent clothes to put on; but no one
will take me now, looking as I do.'
'Come, then, I'11 tell you what we '11 do. If
you'll join us we'll make you captain of the
band; and you shall have a double share of all
we make. You needn't do a stroke of work if
you don't choose; but you've got the best head
in our set, and we want you to plan the business
all out. We'll do the work. You can buy
clothes out of your profits, and then you can
get a respectable place.'
It was a tempting offer, and for a moment
Ned weighed it in his mind, but not for long.
'I can't do it,' he said, after a little thought.
'It's a cheating business, and I won't do it.'
He spoke so firmly that Joe Turner's quick
temper flashed up at once.
'You've done worse yourself many a time,'
he said angrily. 'I tell you what it is, if you
don't join us we'll give you up entirely, the
whole lot of us. We'll never call you friend
Ned did not doubt him; and the thought of
being thus renounced made him hesitate. They
were a lawless, wicked company, this set of
boys, of whom Turner was the leading spirit;
but they were the only friends he had had for
years, and it would be hard to be shunned, as he
knew he should be if he refused. More than
once he had opposed them in their dishonest
schemes, and he suspected that this proposition
was a sort of test, and that they had determined,
if he rejected an offer so profitable to himself, to
throw him off entirely. If he had had father or
mother, sister or brother, or even one single
friend of his own age, to whom he could have
turned for sympathy and love, the struggle
might not have been so hard. But his lonely
heart clung to these old companions, and the
test was a severe one.
He sat with his elbows resting on his knees,
and his hands supporting his chin, thinking,
until Joe said contemptuously,-
'You don't calculate to turn pious, I suppose ?'
He could have said nothing which would have
told more effectively against his own interest.
Ned raised his head with a start.
'To turn pious,' he said to himself. 'He
means by that to be true and honest.'
20 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'Yes,' he said aloud, in a determined voice;
'if you mean turn fair and honest, I've done
it already, and I never mean to go back from it,'
'Nonsense! That's some of the stuff you
heard from that chit of a girl--
Ned sprang to his feet and caught him by the
'If you ever dare to speak her name, I'll
thrash you!' he said, furiously. 'I don't know
how you ever heard of her, and I don't care to
know; but if ever you dare to speak of her
again, so sure as my name 's Ned Dolan I'll- '
'Come, come,' gasped Turner, for Ned's angry
hand almost choked him; let go my collar. I
didn't know you'd take it so hard. I'11 take it
Ned released his hold and sat down again.
Joe stood up at a little distance from him. Ned
was twice as powerful as he, and he had no
desire to receive the punishment with which he
had been threatened. But he was very unwilling
to give up his point. The whole clique of boys
to which they both belonged had always depended
upon Ned's wit and foresight to plan out all
their enterprises, and although, as he had sus-
pected, they had arranged this new undertak-
ing in order to ascertain once for all whether
he would rejoin them, they really needed his
'Well, Ned,' said Joe, breaking the silence,
'we'll leave it as it is. I'm sorry I vexed you,
and we won't call the matter ended here. If
you feel like coming up to morrow night and
just talking it over, come. I'll have the boys
all there, and we'll have a good time. If you
don't choose to join you needn't, but you can
come up, and we'll have one of our jolly old
times. Shake hands, and let's be friends
Ned took the proffered hand readily. It was
no wish of his to quarrel with Turner or any
of his old companions. His warm Irish heart
having scarce any one else to love turned very
fondly toward these former friends, and he was
more than willing to forgive and forget, what-
ever his determination might be with regard to
becoming the captain of the company. Joe left
him, and he threw himself upon the bed once
more, and lay listening to the sound of his
visitor's heavy boots as they creaked down the
stairs. When all was still, he closed his eyes
and tried to sleep. For a long while the effort
22 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
was a vain one, but at length his thoughts grew
more and more indistinct, until finally they were
lost in dreams.
He had been lying quiet for some time, when
a face peeped in at him from the stairs, watched
him closely for a few minutes, and then, seem-
ingly satisfied that he was fast asleep, Joe Turner
came into the room. He had taken off the thick
boots which had made so much noise as he went
down the stairs, and now, passing the bed, he
went to the corner beneath the shelf where Ned
had placed his foot-block, and, opening it very
softly, felt for its contents. Everything was in
its place; and, lifting it from the floor, Joe
moved across the little room again, carrying it
in his hand. It took but an instant to reach
the stairs, which he descended noiselessly, and,
passing out into the alley, made his way to the
spot where he had left his boots. In another
moment they were on his feet, and he was
running swiftly down the street, carrying with
him Ned's only means of support. Perhaps the
wicked triumph in his face would have been
even deeper than it was had he known that the
boy was that night penniless.
'He's caught now,' he said to himself, as he
ran on at his utmost speed. 'He must come
back to us or starve.'
But Joe Turner did not remember that there
is One in heaven Who makes all things work
together for good to them that love God.'
A little more than a year before this, Edward
Dolan had first heard the story of the love of
Jesus for toiling, sinful human souls. It had
been told him by a child whose young heart,
itself overflowing with love for her Lord and
for this friendless boy, whom she longed to
bring to His feet, had told the tale with such
earnestness and such simple, childlike faith
that its truth struck home to his heart. And
when, a few weeks later, the little one was lifted
over the rough places of earth, where her totter-
ing feet might have tripped and stumbled, and
placed safely in one of the flower-bordered paths
in the garden of the Lord, He Who had kept
that fair garden above did not forget to tend
and cherish the tiny seed which the hand of His
child had dropped into that field, in which the
weeds had grown so thick and rank that there
was scarcely room for the springing plant to
rear its trembling head.
Little by little the weeds had been removed
24 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
day by day that darkened heart had been light-
ened by another and another silver ray of love
and faith, until now it was ready to give up the
friends to whom it had clung for years, if to
keep them it must yield to sin.
As Ned composed himself to rest after Joe
Turner's visit, he had glanced up at the stars
above him, and whispered, 'Margery and Mar-
gery's Jesus will be enough for me.' And it was
that thought which had eased him of his trouble,
and his lonely longing for some one to love him
when the friends of his boyhood turned their
faces from him.
T HE patter of Dick's little feet scampering
over the bare floor roused Ned very early
the next morning. Only a faint glimmer of
light entered his room, but he rose at once; for
it would be none too early for his first customers
by the time he reached his stand on the steps of
the Astor House. It did not require much time
to prepare for his walk, and, having given Dick
a breakfast of the remnant of cheese which he
had laid away the night before, Ned went to the
corner where he had placed his foot-block.
SWhere have I put the thing?' he said,
glancing uneasily around. 'I left it there, I 'm
sure. Who could take it ?'
Again and again he looked around the unfur-
nished room, his face growing more anxious
every moment. Suddenly it brightened.
26 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'Maybe Mrs. Conroy might have wanted it,
and come in softly for fear of waking me.'
He ran hurriedly down the stairs, paused for
an instant at a door on the lower floor, and,
hearing some one stirring within, knocked. A
woman opened the door, and, when she saw who
was there, moved aside at once to let him pass her.
'Come in, Ned,' she said, cordially, 'come in
and warm you at the fire. I 've only just lighted
it ; but it 's burning up real good. Why, what's
come to you, boy ? she asked, as she caught a
fuller view of his pale face.
Have you borrowed my blacking and things,
Mrs. Conroy ?' asked Ned. You or Rosy?'
Surely, no. Leastways I never did the like,
and it would be a quare thing for Rosy to do.
Is it gone then ? '
'Yes, and I know it was there last night.'
'Well, well, but that's bad Rosy, child, you
don't know any tidings of Ned's block,-surely ? '
'No, mother,' said a little girl, coming from an
inner room. Have you lost it, Ned ?'
'It's gone,' said the boy ; and I haven't got
the first cent to buy another.'
'How has it gone? Did a thief take it?'
NEED'S LOSS. 27
'It must have been a thief. Somebody must
have took it in the night. If ever I catch him,
I '11 teach him what it is to rob a fellow of all
he's got,' he answered angrily.
'There, there, Neddie, don't you mind,' said
Mrs. Conroy, kindly. Come in and take a bite
with us, and maybe it'll turn up somehow. Set
a place for him, Rosy, when you put on the
plates. We'll see to him the day.'
'I 've got breakfast upstairs,' said Ned, who
knew very well that the Conroys had hard work
to find food enough for themselves, there being
four children beside Rosy to provide for. 'And
I must try what I can do about my things.
Maybe I might search them out. I can't let
them go so easy.'
But no inquiries, no amount of searching,
were of any avail. Ned finally gave up the
quest in despair, and wandered about the streets
during the remainder of the day looking for em-
ployment, only to return at evening tired out,
hungry, and penniless.
As he entered the alley which led to his home,
Rosy Conroy met him. She saw at a glance
that he had been utterly unsuccessful.
'You haven't found it, Ned ?'
28 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
No, not a sign of it! and he passed on.
She watched him anxiously for a moment,
then ran quickly after him, gaining his side just
as he reached the stairs.
'Ned, may I come up in your room for a
He did not want her there. He was thoroughly
worn-out, discouraged, and at war with the
world. Every man's hand seemed against him,
and he felt as if it were no more than fair that
he should lift his hand against every man in his
turn. But the little upturned face had such a
coaxing look in it that he could not resist. So
he answered, not very cordially,-
'Well, you may come.'
Rosy noticed his unusual tone; but she had a
reason for her request, so she slipped her hand
into his, and went with him up the trembling,
unsteady stairs, knowing all the while that she
was not quite welcome. There was no cheery
whistle for little Dick this evening. Ned pushed
his one stool toward Rosy, telling her rather
gruffly to sit down, and, folding his arms across
his breast, began to pace restlessly up and down
'You ought to have two stools, Ned,' said
NED'S LOSS. 29
Rosy, wishing to break the unpleasant silence,
and doubtful as to the best manner of address-
ing him in his present mood.
'Everything ought to be changed from what
it is,' said the boy. 'It's a mean, miserable
world !' he went on angrily. 'It's no use for a
fellow to try to do right and live decent. He 'll
just get pushed down and down as fast as he
tries to rise up, and he may as well give in at
once, and stop all this striving and toiling for
something better. I 'm sick of it all. Last
He paused suddenly, and strode on for some
moments without speaking.
SWhat about last night, Ned ?'
SNo matter; you 'd best not know it.'
Rosy sat still for some time, looking at him.
Then she rose from her seat, and knelt down
beside the bed. It was not the first time that
she had knelt upon that garret-floor. These two
young wayfarers had begun their Christian life
together. Hand in hand they had struggled on
during the past year ; often slipping back, often
stumbling, but ever aiding one another as best
they might in their difficult journey. And one
of Rosy's greatest pleasures had been to say her
30 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
evening prayer in Ned's quiet little room, where
she could see the stars shining down upon her,
and to talk to him of all her trials and perplex-
ities. His happy, light-hearted disposition made
him look at everything in such a bright light
that the spirit was infectious, and a talk with
Ned always cheered her when she was a little
sad or wearied.
But in this strangely-different mood in which
she found him to-night she must be the helper,
and she felt that he needed assistance sorely.
What could she do? He answered her so
roughly that she was almost afraid to speak to
him ; and yet she dared not leave him, for there
was a great fear at Rosy's heart. And so she
had knelt down beside the bed to ask God to be-
friend him; and Ned stood still to listen, as she
said, tremulously,-' Lead us not into tempta-
tion, but deliver us from evil,' and then broke
down completely, and hid her face on the bed.
That was more than Ned could stand, even in
his present temper. He sat down and lifted her
on his knee.
'Rosy,' he said, after a moment's silence,
'what made you say that ? '
'I couldn't help it, Ned. You ain't angry with
NED'S LOSS. 31
me-are you ? she asked, lifting her tearful face
'No; but I want to know what made you say
just those words, and not the rest.'
'Because I thought you needed just those,'
said Rosy. 'Because it seemed as if you was
almost ready to stop trying to be good. And
then, when you said something about last night,
I thought, maybe- '
'Well, Rosy ?'
'Mother told me Joe Turner was here for a
long while last night, and I was afraid that he
was trying to coax you back. And when you
said you might as well give over trying, I was
so frightened lest you'd go back, that I had to
ask Jesus to help you. 0, Neddie, Neddie, don't
go into temptation !'
'Lead us not,' replied Ned, thoughtfully. 'I
wonder what that means ? God never leads any
one into sin, I suppose. Do you know what it
means, Rosy ? '
I guess it means something like this,' said
Rosy. I never thought much about it's saying
" lead;" but you know Jesus goes before us, and
leads us like a shepherd leads his sheep, and I
suppose it means, Please don't lead us into any
32 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
place where there 'll be so much temptation that
we can't help sinning. Don't you believe that's
it, Ned ?'
Humph,' said Ned, if that's what it means,
it takes a fellow to be pretty careful where he
goes after making that prayer, if he don't want
to stop the answer to it.'
And you don't want to stop the answer-do
you, Ned? You want Jesus to be with you;
and you won't go where He don't lead, will you?'
'You 've got it, Rosy 'exclaimed Ned. 'That's
always been the biggest bother to me ever since
I first set out to do right, and began to say that
prayer every day. I never could tell what it
meant, and so I never took much comfort in
saying it ; but now I like it a heap better. It's
been a real plague to me all day, just because I
didn't understand it rightly. I'11 tell you how
it was. Joe'Turner came up here last night,
and he was trying to coax me back, as you call
it. Well, to be honest with you, I have got a kind
of a longing after the old fellows; and some-
times I do get dreadful lonesome up here, and I
hanker after them some, for they was all good
friends to me, if they wasn't so good to others.
But when Joe first came up, he wanted me to
NED'S LOSS. 33
do something that I wouldn't do because it
wasn't honest; so he tried to win me by telling
me that I should be the captain of the company,
and needn't do any cheating work if I didn't
choose. Now I do like to be first man first-rate,
and he a'rost caught me there ; but in a minute
I saw what would come of it, and I told him
" No." He was real mad, and said that all the
fellows would cut me,-and I know they will,-
but I stuck to it, and he went away, telling me
to come up there to-night to a frolic, and talk it
Well, this morning I jumped up as spry as
you please, and I said the prayer, Lead us not
into temptation," and all. I've been in tempta-
tion all day long. I 've had many a chance to
snatch a bit to eat, without being caught: I
could have stolen a good coat this morning, and
no one would have been the wiser; and here
was this big temptation to go up to Joe's, where
they will have a hot supper and plenty of fun,
tugging and dragging at me all the time. And
it was a real hard one, too, Rosy, for I do love
some of the fellows right well-I do so ; and
it's hard to give them up, and have them cut
me, as I know they will.'
34 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
The boy's voice trembled as he spoke the last
words, and Rosy crept nearer to him, and drew
her arm a little closer about his neck.
'I 'd a'most made up my mind to go when
you met me,' he went on, after a pause. 'I felt
as if God hadn't paid any heed to me, but had
led me right into temptation, when I'd been
doing my best to keep out of it, and I felt as if
I didn't much care if 1 did do wrong. I guess
one reason why I was so cross to you was, be-
cause I was trying to make up my mind to do
what I knew was bad. I never remembered
that I was walking right into the road which
He led me out of last night. I do believe He
was leading me the other way all the time, only
I would not follow, until He sent you to show
me that I was running ahead on my own hook. I
wonder why He let my block be stole from me,
Rosy ? '
SMaybe it was to see whether you'd do right,
when it was so hard to do it,' said Rosy, softly.
Maybe it was. But I tell you, Rosy, I ain't
going to let the want of a blacking-box keep
me from holding on to Him. I've been a poor,
mean kind of a fellow to-day, but I do believe
He 'll help me to get round again.'
NED'S LOSS. / 35
'And you won't say again that it's no use to
try to be good, Ned ?'
'No, I won't say it, and I'11 try not to think
it. And I'll promise not to go up to Joe's.
Only, Rosy, I can't promise not to think about
the fellows some ; for, even if they are bad,
they 're all the friends I 've got.'
'There's mother and me, Neddie.'
SYes, I know it, and you're first-rate, too;
but I can't help kind of holding on to the boys
in my heart. But I'm glad there's you and
your mother, and my little Dick.'
They had had a long talk, and now Rosy bade
him good-night and slipped away.
After she had gone, Ned went to call his
mouse from his hiding-place. As he sat down
upon his stool, his hand touched something
which lay upon the floor, and lifting it, he found
a large slice of bread wrapped in paper. He knew
whose delicate thoughtfulness had left it there,
and there was something very like tears in his
eyes when he whistled for Dick to come and
share his unexpected supper.
' ED, mother says come down to breakfast!'
l' called Rosy Conroy's voice the next
There was no door to the garret, and Ned heard
the voice very plainly. But he did not answer.
'She 'll think I'm gone out,' he said to himself.
But Rosy knew him better than he supposed,
and, after calling once more, she mounted the
'Ned, didn't you hear me ?' she asked, coming
into the room. 'Mother wants you to come
down to breakfast.'
'It's pretty early for breakfast,' said Ned.
'It's only just daylight.'
Well, it isn't ready yet ; but she was afraid
you 'd slip out. Come down to our house and
wait till it's ready.'
'No, I'm going out, Rosy. Tell your mother
I'm very thankful to her, but I guess I'll go
ahead as quick as I can.'
Now, Ned, I know just what that means, and
I think you'll be real unkind to go away hungry
rather than take your breakfast from us.
Mother 'll be just as mad as she can be."
'And that won't be much to be afraid of,' said
Ned, laughing. 'No, no, Rosy. I can't do it.
You 've got hard enough work getting along
without me coming and eating your scant fare.
I'11 do better to-day than I did yesterday. I
wouldn't wonder if it was my cross face that
made everybody so shy of me.'
'It isn't hard for us to get along now, Ned.
My brother Will is working steady, and father is
doing very well with his peddling. We have
plenty ; I wish you'd come.'
Ned had another objection ready, but was pre-
vented from giving it utterance by the appear-
ance upon the field of Rosy's mother, who,
thinking from the child's long absence that her
mission had been unsuccessful, had come to aid
'What are you biding up here in the cold for ? '
she said, looking in from the stairs. 'Come
38 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
away down, and get a sup of coffee and a morsel
of bread to warm you. Run along, Rosy, and
mind the twins, for they 're both onaisy the morn.
Lend me the loan of your shoulder to lean upon,
Ned, till I get me down these bad stairs, for I 'm
a bit stiff with the rheumatiz the day.'
What are you at now ? asked Mrs. Conroy,
as, having aided her down, the boy would have
I must go out early and try to find a job, Mrs.
There's no good-bye said yet a bit,' said Mrs.
Conroy. Do you think I'11 let you turn hungry
from my door, when you 've had scarce a ha'porth
to eat since yester morn ? Go in and tend one
of them babies, while I see to get the break-
Thus urged, Ned yielded, to Rosy's great joy
and the delight of her little brother and sister,
for he was a general favourite.
All through the meal Rosy watched Ned with
great interest. There was something in his
manner which puzzled her. It was not harsh
and sharp as it had been on the previous even-
ing, but it was very grave and composed-very
different from his usual merry, cheery way ; and
more than once she saw him look around the
table, letting his gaze rest first on one face and
then on another with a strangely earnest, longing
expression in his eyes. She wanted to call him
aside and ask him if he were in trouble, but she
did not quite like to do that; so when he left
them all to try once more to find something to
do, she followed him out of the house, thinking
that he might perhaps say something which
would make it easy for her to ask the question.
He said nothing until they reached the street,
and she bade him good-bye. Then he turned
'Rosy, will you come up in my garret, and
have another talk, when I come home to-night ?
I've got something to tell you.'
'Tell me now, Neddie.'
SNo, I want to think a bit about it first. I '11
tell you to-night.'
SIt isn't anything bad, is it, Ned ?'
No,' said the boy, thoughtfully. It's nothing
bad ; I hope it '11 be something good.'
And he walked away with that serious look
still resting on his face, leaving Rosy to wonder
what this something good' could be, which
made him so quiet and grave.
40 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
When Ned returned, he found Rosy sitting on
the lower step of the staircase, waiting for him.
"You 're there, are you ?' he said, with a
pleased look. 'I thought you wouldn't be far
off. Run in and tell your mother you won't be
home to tea; I want you to have supper with
O, that will be nice! won't it, Ned? I'd like
You go and tell your mother then, while I
run out on an errand. I '11 be back in a minute.'
He went up for his mug, and by the time that
Rosy was fairly seated again had returned with
it full of milk.
'Come up, now,' he said, as she rose to meet
him. 'I suppose you'd just as lief share the
one cup, wouldn't you ?'
'0, yes,' said Rosy, very willingly. 'I'd like
it all the better.'
A tallow candle, fastened upright in a raw
potato, afforded them as much light as they
thought necessary, and they had a very cosy little
supper, eating bread and butter off the same
plate, and drinking milk out of the same cup.
Ned chatted very pleasantly, but Rosy could not
rid herself of the impression she had received in
the morning that something was wrong, and
much as she had enjoyed the anticipation of
taking tea with him, she was very glad when the
simple meal was over.
'Now he'll tell me all about it,' she thought,
when Ned rose to place his cup and plate on the
But when he came back he sat down beside
her, and, leaning his head on his hand, seemed to
give himself up to his thoughts. Rosy wanted
to ask him what he meant to talk about, but feel-
ing too shy to come directly to the point she
broke the ice by saying, rather timidly,-
Did you earn much to-day, Ned ?'
The boy started as if he had suddenly awakened
from sleep. 'What did you say, Rosy ? I believe
I was thinking.'
'I asked you if you earned much to-day.'
'I did pretty well. I went up to the Hudson
River Station, and got one or two jobs carrying
bags; and a lady gave me a paying errand. It
was quite queer how that came about, too. I
saw her standing there, after the cars came in,
looking around kind of flurried like, and says I
to her, Want a boy, Ma'am ? She looked at
me so earnest and says she, Can I trust you ?
42 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
Are you an honest boy ?" Before I had time to
answer, somebody from behind me speaks up
and says, -" I '11 answer for him, Madam; you can
trust him." I turned round, and there was a
man whose boots I blacked the day before I lost
my block. He paid me too much, and I went
after him with the money. He seemed right
pleased that day, and when I looked at him as he
spoke to the lady, says he, I 'm glad to do such
an honest fellow a service," and he went off.
The lady, she gave me a letter and fifty cents,
and told me to carry the letter to the street that
was wrote down on it, and to give it to the
gentleman whose name was there too. So I went
down as quick as I could, and found the gentle-
man, and he gave me twenty-five cents. I told
him the lady had paid me, but he said I was to
keep it just the same, because I'd made such
'It's always best to be honest and fair, isn't it,
Yes,' said Ned, slowly relapsing into thought-
fulness once more. It is always best.'
tIosy saw that it was of no use to try to find out
what she wanted to know by any roundabout
course, so she said boldly,-
'You told me you wanted to have a talk with
me to-night, Ned. What is it about ?'
'Come here, and I'11 tell you, Rosy.'
He was sitting on the floor beside the low
window, and she went to him, and curled herself
up beside him.
'I wanted to tell you something that I've been
thinking of for a good while, and that I made up
my mind to last night.'
He put his arm around her, for he knew that
his next words would pain her.
'I 'm going away from here, Rosy.'
'Going away from this house !' she exclaimed.
SWhy, Ned! what takes you away ? I can't let
you go, you're such a great help to me. And-
and-ain't I a little bit of a help to you some-
times, Ned ?'
'You're a help to me very often, Rosy. Last
night you was a great, great help, for you caught
hold of me and dragged me back when I'd most
slipped into a very bad place. And you helped
me to make up my mind to go away.'
'I don't know what you mean, Ned,' said
Rosy, with a little sob. 'I never meant you to
leave me, I'm sure.'
'I '11 tell you how you did it. You taught me
44 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
what that prayer meant, and I prayed it last
night as hard as I could; and then I saw I
couldn't stay here any longer, 'cause just as long
as I stayed I kept God from answering me. You
saw how bad off I was last night, and it won't
be any better till I go away from this.'
'But why will it be better in any other house,
Ned ? The boys will go after you wherever
'Not if I go out of New York.'
'Out of New York!' and the little girl lifted
a very startled face to his. '0 Ned !'
'Don't try to stop me, Rosy,' he said, in a
somewhat husky voice. 'It's been hard work to
make up my mind to leave all I have in the world;
but there 's no help for it. I thought at first
that I would stay and fight it out, for it seemed
kind of mean to run away from the temptation;
but I believe it's best to go, after all. If I was
sure of always feeling so set against it as I do
now, I might risk staying here; but I don't
always feel so, and I don't dare trust myself
when I 'm a bit discouraged and out of heart.
If I could get a good place and find steady
work I might get along; but I've done all I
could in that way, and here I am yet. There's
nothing else to be done. After what you said
last night, I'm sure you wouldn't ask me to stay
where you know I would be hard tempted.
Would you ?'
'Where will you go ?' she asked, without
replying to his question.
'Down south. They say there's plenty of
That was more than Rosy could bear. She
straightened herself up, looked into his face for
a moment, and then, with a loud sob, laid her
head down upon his knee.
Rosy, Rosy, don't do so !' pleaded poor Ned,
scarcely able to command his own voice. It's
been such hard work to fight it out, and now
you're going to break me down again.'
He lifted her up, and, resting her head against
his shoulder, tried to soothe her, and by-and-by
her tears ceased.
SIt won't be for so very long, Rosy,' he said,
by way of comfort.
SBut you '11 get a fever or some other dreadful
sickness, and die there, Ned.'
'I guess God will bring me safe home. Don't
you remember what comes after Lead us not
into temptation "? '
46 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'" Deliver us from evil,"' whispered Rosy.
'And if He can do one He can do the other,
said the boy. 'Can't He ? '
'Yes. For Thine is the kingdom, and the
power, and the glory,"' said the little girl, in a
steadier voice. But, 0, Ned and the red lips
quivered piteously again, 'I '11 be all alone.
There'll be nobody to help me to be good. I
can't talk to anybody else like I can to you,
'cause nobody else seems to have just my troubles
but you. And-and--somebody else will have
this dear old garret, and I can't come up here
where it's so still and so near God's sky to say
my prayers. It '11 be so much harder to be good.'
" For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,"'
said the boy, quietly.
Rosy raised her head. Ned,' she said, softly,
'I never heard you talk as you do to-night. You
seem kind of different.'
'I feel different, Rosy. Ever since I made up
my mind real strong and hearty to go away I
have felt different. It's more than a year that
we 've been trying to do right and to love Jesus
Christ, but it seems as if I never knew how it
all was till last night. I can't tell what I mean,
but I feel older and stronger,-more like a man.
And Jesus Christ doesn't seem to be far away in
heaven, but right here in my old garret. It
seems as if I could stand up beside Him, shoulder
to shoulder, just like as if He was my older
brother and would see me safe through every
trouble. I 've got very near to Him somehow.'
'Yes, Ned ; you've got very near,' said little
Rosy, looking up into his face.
The face was rather paler than usual, but there
was a strength and power in it which even her
young eyes saw. She rose gently from her seat
beside him, kissed him good-night, and stole
ROSY AT WORK.
ABOUT noon the next day a sergeant of police,
standing in the doorway of the station,
noticed a little girl, who, after passing the
building once or twice, stopped before the
'Do you want anything, child?' he asked,
wondering what brought her there.
'If you please, Sir, I want Mr. Policeman
Hardy. Is he here ?'
'Yes, he is here, as it happens. He doesn't
belong to the police now; he is a man of
'That's the right one, Sir.'
'You '11 find him inside. Go in.'
He held the door open for her, and she passed
into a large room. A knot of policemen sat
around the stove, all listening intently to a
ROSY AT WORK. 49
story which a man sitting in the centre of the
group was relating.
'Hardy,' said the sergeant, 'here is a visitor
Mr. Hardy was sitting with his back toward
the door. He turned to the little girl, who,
rather startled to find herself among so many
strangers, had drawn back near the door.
'If you please it's Mr. Policeman Hardy I
wanted to see,' she said. 'I think he isn't here.'
SMy name is Hardy ; and it seems to me that
I know that face, although I cannot recall your
'My name is Rosy Conroy, Sir. If you please
I want the policeman who was so kind to Mar-
gery Bray when she was sick. The voice sounds
like, but you don't look the same.'
'Ah, I remember,' said Mr. Hardy. 'This is
the child whom I used to see in Margery's room.
Do you know me any better now ?'
He raised his cap from his head, smiling as he
did so, to reassure her, for she looked frightened
'0, yes,' she said, recognizing his smile at
once. 'It's the same. Only that big whisker
on your lip makes you look different.'
50 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
Such a hearty peal of laughter broke from
the knot of men around the stove that Rosy
shrank back abashed, and her cheeks blushed
Never mind,' said Mr. Hardy, kindly. 'Come
here, and tell me what you wanted with me, my
But Rosy's courage, which had been wound
up to the highest pitch to undertake the task of
seeking him out, was now fast failing her, and
she whispered timidly,-
'If you please I don't want anything for my-
self, it's for Ned. And-and-there's so many
men here, I don't like it;' and her lips began
to tremble as if she were on the verge of tears.
'Then we will go out into the street and talk
there. I am going home, and if you live where
you did, you can walk down with me.'
Yes, I live in the same place,' said Rosy,
very much relieved by the prospect of an escape.
Mr. Hardy turned away to speak a few words
to his companions, and, coming again to her
'Now I am ready ; shall we go ?'
She slipped her hand confidingly into his, and
they passed out into the street.
ROSY AT WORK. 51
'I am very glad to see you again,' said the
policeman, as they walked on together. 'How
are you all getting along this winter ?'
'We are doing very nicely, now,' said Rosy.
'We had a pretty hard time first. My brother
didn't work much, and father sprained his foot
so he couldn't peddle his wares for a while, and
it was rather hard to manage. But brother Will
works steady now, and father is all well again,
so we are a good deal better off. But Ned is
very bad off, Mr. Hardy.'
'Ned? You spoke of him in the office. Is
he the boy that Margery took such an interest
Yes, and he does have such a poor time. He
tries real hard to do right, and everything seems
to go against him. That's why I came to you,
Mr. Hardy. He wants to go away, and I thought
maybe you'd take him with you.'
'Then he is a good sort of a boy, is he,
He's the very best kind,' said Rosy, fervently.
'He's just as dear and good as he can be.'
'He has a brave defender at any rate,' said her
friend, with an amused look.
I can't bear to have him go,' said Rosy, with
52 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
a quiver in her voice. But he says he must, to
keep out of temptation.'
'Why is it more safe for him to go south than
to remain here, Rosy ? '
'Because he's got bad friends here, Mr. Hardy.'
And she went on to tell him of all Ned's diffi-
cuties and trials, drawing such a vivid picture of
the boy's many troubles, and his earnestness in
striving to do right in spite of them all, that Mr.
Hardy's sympathies were reached at once.
'And did he send you to me ?' he asked, when
she had told her story.
'No, Sir. I came of myself. Mother seemed
to think he'd have as bad a time away as he has
here, and I thought if you would take him with
you, maybe you could help him a little. For
Margery's sake,' she added softly.
For Margery's sake,' he repeated in the same
tone. 'I would do much for her sake. And it
is for the same reason that you- are so willing to
help Ned ?'
'I do. love to do anything that I 'm sure she 'd
like; to help along anything she tried to do;
and you know, Mr. Hardy, how much she wanted
Ned to be a good boy. But I like to help Ned
for his own sake, too, for I love him dearly.'
ROSY AT WORK. 53
'How did you happen to know that I was
going away, Rosy ?'
'It happened in a strange way. I was on the
corner of Fourteenth Street and Broadway yester-
day, taking care of my blind father. There were
two policemen standing there, and one of them
said to the other, John Hardy is going
south." I listened then, for I remembered the
name so well, and right away I thought may-
be you'd take Ned with you, and I made up
my mind I 'd find you out and ask you. I knew
the station you belonged to, so I went there
first. Don't you think you could possibly take
'I suppose he might be of use if he is a
bright boy. I will see.'
'He's as bright as a dollar,' said Rosy, who
was determined that nothing should prevent
her desire. 'Shall I tell him you '11 take him,
'Not quite so fast, my child. I must see him
first. Can you send him to my house to-night ?'
Yes, Sir ; I'11 see him at six o'clock, and I'11
tell him to go over there.'
They had reached the corner of the street in
which Rosy lived, and here they parted, each for
54 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
their own home. Mr. Hardy walked on, thinking
very seriously after Rosy left him. The little
girl, whose story of the love of Christ had so
won Ned's heart, had led this strong man also
into the same blessed service. She had not done
much,-nothing more than any little Christian
child may do ; but he had watched her day by
day as she trod the path in which God had seen
it best to set her childish feet, and her simple
faith and trust and love had brought him to
Jesus. Rosy had sought out the one of all
others who would be most ready to aid her
desire. There was a deep, solemn gladness in
John Hardy's heart, as he thought of taking
up the work which the child's dying hand had
Six o'clock and seven came and passed, but no
Ned appeared. Mr. Hardy had an appointment
at the police-station at half-past seven, and he
was leaving the house, having given a message
for Ned to wait for him if he should arrive
before his return, when the boy ran up the steps.
'Is this Ned Dolan ?'
'Yes, Sir,' said Ned, recognizing him at once.
'Am I late, Sir? I didn't get home till nigh
seven, and I had to clean up a bit.'
ROSY AT WORK. 55
'I have an appointment at half-past seven,
but if you can walk along with me, that will do
Ned glanced down at his forlorn clothes.
'I ain't fit to be seen in the street with you,'
he said, hesitatingly.
'Never mind that. You have made yourself
look as well as you could, I don't doubt. Come.'
They walked on together, talking as they went,
and by the time they reached the station every-
thing had been arranged, and John Hardy was
master of Edward Dolan's heart. His ready
understanding of the boy's trials and his needs,
his kindly sympathy, and his hearty promise of
such aid as he could give, were enough to win
any heart; and Edward Dolan's, aching for just
such support, and yearning for just such com-
fort, opened its doors to him at once.
But they had reached their destination, and it
was time for him to leave his new friend. Mr.
Hardy had told him that he would let him know
as soon as possible the result of his application,
of the success of which he had no doubt, and
Ned was in the act of parting from him when a
policeman came out upon the steps.
'Have you been walking in the street with
56 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
that beggarly-looking fellow, Hardy?' said
Almost involuntarily the boy turned back.
John Hardy saw the quick colour rush over his
face, and laying his hand on his shoulder he
'Why should I not walk with him ? He is my
'It was a very simple thing to say, then and
there ; but a few weeks afterwards he heard
those words repeated in a way which brought
the tears into his eyes, and a warm glow of
grateful love into his heart.
John Hardy had obtained an appointment as
surveyor of a large tract of land belonging to a
South Carolinian planter, and he was to start on
his journey in about a fortnight's time. He was
not at all sure that he should need Ned's ser-
vices, for the boy was too ignorant to assist him
in his work, and he had already engaged all the
aid which he required. But Rosy's earnestness,
and above all the plea which she had urged,
'For Margery's sake,' made him wish to do all
that he could for the friendless boy; and when
he saw Ned, his hearty, manly determination to
give up all that he valued on earth for the sake
ROSY AT WORK. 57
of the right, induced him to resolve at once to
give him all the help which it was in his power
to bestow; and he had promised, with scarcely
a moment's hesitation, to take him with him on
his expedition, in case he could obtain a situation
I.. I .I ..
ON a warm spring morning, two weeks after
Rosy's visit to Mr: Hardy, Ned Dolan stood
in his little garret room, with his elbow resting
on the shelf which held his small stock of
crockery, gazing thoughtfully down upon the
floor. He was no longer dressed in the old,
patched clothes which he had worn for so many
months, and the suit of grey cloth in which he
now appeared made quite a different looking
boy of him. He seemed taller and more manly
in this new dress, and the earnest, serious face,
looked nearer twenty than fifteen years old. He
had been standing there for a long time, when a
slight rustling sound close beside him roused
him from his reverie.
SAh, little Dick,' he said, glancing down at his
pet, who had disturbed him, have you come to
LEAVING HOME. 59
say good-bye? There's no one will miss me
like you, Dickie. Night and morning you'll
watch for me, and I won't come; you'll want
me sorely, I know, little man. Rosy'll miss me
too, and Mother Conroy will give me many a
kind thought. But they've got other people to
love, and you and I were all alone together,
Dick, in this great wide world ; all alone to-
He stooped down to take the little creature in
his hand, but Dick turned his head on one side,
pricked up his ears, and then rushed frantically
back to his hole.
He hears something,' said Ned to himself,
and the next moment he caught the sound of
'May I come in, fine gentleman ? said Rosy
'To be sure you may. Come, and let's have
our last talk in the old garret.'
But Rosy looked more like having a last cry
than a last talk. She had tried to speak very
lightly when she asked permission to come in ;
but when she saw Ned standing there, looking
as if he were ready to start off at once, her
courage broke down, and running to him she
60 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
clasped her arms around his neck, sobbing
'O0 Neddie, Neddie! I can't bear to let you
Ned tried to answer her, but something in his
throat seemed to choke him, and with a boyish
feeling that tears were weak and foolish, he
waited to recover himself a little before he said,-
'There, Rosy, don't take it so hard; listen to
me. I want to ask you to do something for
me. Will you take a bit of trouble for your old
'I 'd take a whole heap of trouble for you,
Ned; you know I would,' said Rosy, lifting her
head from his shoulder.
Well, you know, Rosy, when rich folks think
they're going to die, and sometimes I believe
when they don't think so, they write out a paper
telling the folks that are left behind what they
want done with their money and things. Now I
ain't going to die that I know of, but I'm going
away, and if I haven't got any money to leave
behind, I've got something I love a heap better,
and that's my little Dick. May I leave him to
you, Rosy ? Will you take care of him for me ?'
'Yes, if he will let me, Ned.'
LEAVING IOME. 61
'I guess he'll let you, after a while. And if
he shouldn't you can put something beside his
hole for him to eat. But it ain't only the feed-
ing of him, Rosy. I'm so afraid somebody'll
hire this garret that'll catch him maybe. If
anybody should come into it, would you beg for
him and get them to leave him quiet ? I can't
bear to think of anybody touching him.'
I 'l1 do all I possibly can,' said Rosy,
'That's a nice girl! Won't the little man be
glad to see me when I get back ? '
'Do you feel very sure you'll get back,
Neddie ? asked the little girl, rather doubtfully.
'Why, yes, I guess so, Rosy. I feel pretty com-
fortable about it. God has took very good care of
me all along, you know, and I guess He '11 keep
on. I don't think He'd have made it all so easy
for me, ever since I first began to think of it, if
He'd meant any harm to come of it. He's
made it very straight and plain for me-Him
and you together.'
'Me, Ned ? I haven't done anything.'
'Didn't you go to Mr. Hardy and get him to
take me with him ? I tell you, Rosy, you did
more than you thought for that time. He 's the
62 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
best friend a poor, lone fellow ever had; and if
I get a chance to pay him, won't I take hold of
it with a will! I 'll never forget the way he
spoke up for me when that man sneered at my
looks. Why, if I'd been his own brother he
couldn't have spoke more hearty; and laying
his hand on my ragged shoulder too, as ready as
if I'd been rigged up as fine as himself He's
a good one, I tell you; and it was all your
doing, Rosy, that I got in with him. Whatever
put it into your head to go to him ? '
'I don't know, Ned, I 'm sure. It seemed to
come to me all of a sudden.'
The boy made no reply, but sat quiet for so
long that Rosy broke the silence by saying,-
'What are you thinking of, Ned ?'
'I was thinking whether it wasn't God that
put that notion into your mind. It was strange
you should remember Mr. Hardy's name, when
you hadn't seen him for a year: and then it was
a queer thing that you should happen to hit
upon the very time when he was at the station.
It seems somehow as if it was all got ready for
'Yes ; it does seem so.'
'I guess it is God working it all the way
LEAVING HOME. 63
through,' said the boy, thoughtfully. Deliver
us from evil." I believe He's going to answer
our prayer,-all of it, Rosy. And not for me
only, either,' he went on, drawing the child
closer to him ; 'I believe it will be answered for
you just as much. I don't think you need to be
so much afraid of doing wrong when I'm gone
as you was the other day. I don't wonder you
feel so, 'cause I know how good it is to talk to
a body who feels just like you do ; but then, it
was God Who gave us to each other, so that
either one could be a help for the other, and I
guess He 'll make it up to us somehow. We
don't see how, now; but He does, and so we'll
leave it to Him.'
SNed,' said Rosy, after a little pause, during
which her face caught something of the peace
which rested on his, I think you've grown such
a great deal in these last few days.'
'Do you ?' Ned replied, rather surprised by
the sudden change in the conversation. 'I sup-
pose my new clothes make me look taller.'
'I don't mean that; but you seem so much
stronger and wiser. You've got away up above
me. I don't mean you've got away from me
any ; but I used to feel as if we were exactly
64 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
alike, as if I could help you almost as much as
you helped me ; but now you seem to have gone
farther than me,-not parted from me, but higher
up,-so that I must reach up my hand to catch
hold of yoflrs. I don't mind it, Ned,' she added,
thinking she saw a shade upon his face. Ilike
it. It will make it easier for me to keep right ;
for I '11 be all the time feeling that you will go
too far beyond me if I am not careful. Only,
Neddie,' and a feeble attempt at a smile quivered
over her lips, don't go on too fast, for I 'm only
a little girl, and I 'm all alone.'
'I can never leave you behind, Rosy,' said
the boy. 'I only wish you knew how much
that little hand, that you say reaches up to mine,
has done to lead -me where I am,-God bless it!'
and he took it in his own rough, strong hand,
and kissed it. 'I '11 think of you every night
and morning, and all day long; and it'll be a
great strength for me to know that you '11 think
of me and pray for me, as I will for you. We
can help each other yet, Rosy.'
'Ned, Ned!' called Mrs. Conroy's voice from
below. 'The master is here.'
The last moment had come. Rosy put her
arms round his neck and kissed him. For a
LEAVING HOME. 65
moment he stood there, returning her caress,
then he gently unclasped the clinging arms, and
going to the stairs, said,-
'Can you give me two minutes, Mr. Hardy ?'
'Yes; I will give you five, if you will make it
up by walking the faster to the train.'
'I can do that, Sir.'
He came back to where Rosy stood. She
knew very well why he had asked for those two
minutes, and, without a word, she knelt down
upon the floor. The boy knelt beside her. His
voice was low, but clear and distinct, as he gave
himself and her into the tender care and keeping
of the God who had led and blessed them for
the past year. Rosy's, trembling hand grew
steady in his close, strong clasp, and her sinking
heart gained courage as she listened to his trust-
ful words. He ended his short prayer with that
petition, whose full, deep meaning he had so
lately learned ; and, rising from his knees, he
bent to give her the last kiss.
Ned,' she whispered, as his face touched hers,
SI felt as if I was like a little lost child when I
said good-bye before ; but now I feel as if you
had lifted me right up and laid me safe in Jesus'
A TRUE FRIEND.
IT was more than two months since John
Hardy and Edward Dolan left New York ;
and probably Rosy Conroy would scarcely have
recognized her old friend, if she had seen him as
he stood in the entrance to their tent, one June
morning, waiting for Hardy, who had left him to
give some orders with regard to the horses. His
face was bronzed with exposure to the hot,
southern sun, and the roving, careless kind of
life they led,-living on the game which their
own skill must procure, and sleeping in tents
or wherever they could find shelter from the
dangerous night-damps,-had given him a manly,
independent air, quite different from his former
Those few weeks had been the happiest of
Ned's life. John Hardy had taken great pains
to teach him what it was necessary for him to
A TRUE FRIEND. 67
know; experience had taught him still more,
and he was already of great use to his friend in
the work which he had engaged to perform. A
new feeling of self-respect and honest pride was
growing up in the boy's heart, side by side with
the warmest affection for the man who had been
so ready to aid him, and Ned was always on the
watch for any opportunity to show him how fully
all his kindness was felt and appreciated. They
had been constantly together during these two
months, and a close friendship had sprung up
between them; for John Hardy could not resist
the boy's hearty, grateful love for him, and he
had come to look upon and treat him more like
a younger brother than an inferior.
Now, Ned,' said his friend as he rejoined him,
'we must be in the saddle as soon as possible. I
mean to examine that tract of land bordering
the precipice-road to-day. It is a dangerous road
to be on after daylight, and as evening falls
very early among these pines, we must make the
most of our time.'
A long ride through a heavy pine forest lay
before them, but at length they reached the
ground to be surveyed. The land was very
marshy, and thickly wooded; the road being a
68 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
mere bridle-path, which fairly merited the name
of the precipice-road, for the ground on the
farther side sloped for hundreds of feet, with an
almost perpendicular fall toward a rushing torrent
which flowed at its base. Even with such day-
light as could pierce through the dark, overhang-
ing masses of foliage, it was a perilous path to
travel ; and more than once their horses, slipping
on some loosened stone or some treacherous tuft
of moss, had nearly cost them a fall over the
rocks. Finally, however, the dangerous road
was traversed and their destination reached.
As they dismounted, and Ned turned to Mr.
Hardy for further orders, he noticed that he was
very pale, and that when he spoke to him he put
his hand to his head, as if trying to collect
'Are you sick, Sir ?' asked Ned.
'No, I am not sick. A little dizzy, that is all.
This southern sun is rather too much for me. I
am glad that our work is about finished. Another
day here will complete my survey.'
It was not the first time that the heat had
overcome him, and Ned was very uneasy, watch-
ing him carefully for some time. But after a
while the colour came into his face, and he seemed
A TRUE FRIEND. 69
so well that the boy forgot his fears for a time.
Again and again during the day, however, he
noticed that sudden paleness overspread Mr.
Hardy's face, but he declared himself quite well,
and the work went on as usual, Mr. Hardy direct-
ing the labour of the two men who aided them
with all his usual energy and spirit, and laughing
gaily at Ned's anxiety on his account.
'It is time for us to turn our faces homeward
already,' he said, some time before sunset. 'It
will be dark on the road two hours before night
really falls ;' and calling his party together, they
all returned to the spot where they had tethered
The two workmen took the lead, being more
familiar with the path, and Mr. Hardy followed,
Ned bringing up the rear. Their horses had
carried them safely over nearly all the most
perilous part of the path, and they had but a
short distance to travel before they would come
upon a piece of road where they might ride two
abreast. But between them and this safer road
lay the most dangerous spot of all,-a narrow
ledge of rock, which they must pass in order
to reach their forest home. Just as they gained
this ledge Ned noticed that Mr. Hardy's reins
70 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
seemed to hang on his horse's neck, and, wonder-
ing that he should ride so carelessly in such a
place, he called to him,-
'Is it quite safe, Mr. Hardy, to let your reins
lie so loosely ? '
There was no answer given ; and riding quickly
forward, he called in a louder tone, startled by
Mr. Hardy, take care, Sir Prince will surely
Still he did not reply, and as Ned's horse bore
him still closer to him he saw that his head had
sunk upon his breast, and that he began to sway
from side to side with every motion of his horse.
Another step would bring Prince upon that
narrow ledge of rock. Ned tried to stop him,
but the horse, missing the guiding hand which
had brought him safely thus far, began to grow
uneasy. Ned's voice had startled him, and when
the boy again called out, Stand, Prince stand !'
instead of obeying the order, he made a spring
forward upon the path.
Mr. Hardy !' shouted Ned, as he saw him reel
in the saddle, 'Mr. Hardy, rouse up rouse
His cry, sharp with terror, was not in vain.
A TRUE FRIEND. 71
Mr. Hardy raised his head in a dull, half-stupefied
way, and as Ned again shouted to him, saw his
danger, and tried to grasp the rein. But it was
too late. His quick movement startled his
already restive horse. Prince reared suddenly on
his hind feet. In another moment John Hardy
would have been dashed down the frightful
precipice upon the jagged rocks beneath. But
there was a loving, grateful heart close beside
him. As he slid from the saddle a strong arm
seized him, and held him back from that awful
For one instant they looked into one another's
faces, but only for an instant, for the terrified
horses were plunging and struggling upon the
narrow pathway, both struggling to gain a foot-
hold where only one could stand. Now, it was
Ned's life which hung by a thread. Another
furious plunge, and Prince, rearing again,
staggered forward upon Ned's horse, and the two
fell together, with the boy beneath them.
The heavy stupor which had benumbed John
Hardy's faculties had been quite dispelled by this
terrible excitement, and his voice rang out loud
and clear as he shouted for help to the men, who
had turned to see what had detained their master.
72 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
Prince had regained his feet, and Hardy had
succeeded in dragging Ned from beneath his
own horse; but the boy's face was fearfully
cut and bruised by the hoofs of the struggling
horses, and his right arm lay crushed and
shattered at his side. He was quite conscious,
however, and as the men, who had made all
speed to reach him, gained his side, he tottered
to his feet and tried to stand, leaning upon
'Didn't you know it was death to try to pass
a horse on that ledge ?' said one of the men, as
he ran forward to aid him.
Yes,' said Ned, and the poor marred face was
beautiful even in its disfigurement, as he lifted
it to John Hardy. 'Yes, I knew that it might
be death, but the fall would have killed him, and
-he is my friend.'
He tried to grasp John's hand, but a deathy
faintness seized him, and, staggering forward,
he fell senseless into his supporting arms.
Ther&ewere great tears in John Hardy's eyes
as he bent over the white face which lay upon
his arm, and his voice trembled like the voice of
a woman, as he said,-
'Lift him tenderly, very tenderly, men. God
A TRUE FRIEND. 73
grant he may not have given his life for
The men lifted Ned in their arms, Hardy being
quite unable to aid them, for Prince, in his
frantic efforts to rise, had stepped upon his
foot, injuring it severely ; and it was only with
great pain and difficulty that he could make his
way over the stony path. On and on they walked
until at length they reached the wider road.
There the party halted, and Ned was laid upon a
bed of moss ; while one of the men, mounting
his horse, rode off at full speed for help, and the
other returned to the ledge to bring up the two
horses which had been left behind.
It seemed to Hardy that an age passed before
the man came back with the waggon for which
he had been sent; but at last he heard the
welcome sound of wheels, and his messenger
appeared. But, even when they arrived at the
nearest inn, no good medical aid could be obtained,
and when day after day passed on without pro-
ducing any improvement in Ned, he resolved to
carry him to a hospital, situated many miles
distant from the place to which he had been
borne. It was a great risk to run, but it was a
choice of evils, for Hardy felt sure that no aid
74 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
which he could procure in that unsettled part of
the country could help him, and so his determin-
ation was taken ; and once taken, was carried
out without delay.
' ELIVERED from evil! Delivered from
D evil! '
Those words, repeated over and over, had been
sounding for hours through hospital ward. They
came from the pale lips of a boy, who lay with
bandaged head and face upon one of the beds,
wholly unconscious of all that passed around him.
It was a pleasant, airy room. Long and com-
paratively narrow, with windows reaching nearly
to the floor, from which the weary eyes of the
sick could gaze out upon a broad lawn, dotted
here and there with bright flowers, and, looking
still farther, could catch the white gleam of the
waters of the bay. The grounds around the
building were laid out in fields, enclosed by
rough fences, over which blooming vines twined
luxuriantly, bordering each field of grain or
other produce with gaily-painted flowers. A sick
76 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
man, condemned to long weeks and months of
pain and weakness, could not have chosen a
lovelier spot in which to spend the tedious days
of convalescence ; but its comforts and beauties
were, as yet, quite unknown to Edward Dolan.
For more than a week he had lain upon that bed,
moaning with pain, or, when quieted by opiates,
repeating the words, 'Delivered from evil !'
And during all those days John Hardy had
watched over him with a brother's care and
Day after day, and night after night, he had
sat beside the boy, his anxiety retarding his own
recovery, unwilling to leave him even for a
moment. And through all those weary days
Ned had not once known him. Sometimes the
dark-grey eyes, so dull now, would fasten them-
selves on his face with a curious, searching look,
as if they sought to read something there; but
they always closed again without brightening
into intelligence, or wandered away to fall upon
some equally unrecognized object. His shattered
arm had been amputated at the shoulder, and
John Hardy's heart failed him as he looked for-
ward to the moment when, if his life were spared,
which was now a very doubtful question, he
IN HOSPITAL. 77
must learn that he was helpless and dependent.
That his life should be as happy and as bright as
his care and his love could make it, he was fully
resolved; but he dreaded the hour when the
active, manly boy should be told that he must
look to any other hand than his own for his
maintenance and support.
He was leaning back in his chair in the window
at the head of Ned's bed one evening, enjoying
the sweet scent of the roses, which was wafted
up from the garden, when the surgeon entered
the ward. Passing slowly down the long line of
beds, pausing at each to give a kind word of
advice or encouragement to every patient, he at
length reached the two friends.
Mr. Hardy, how is your foot to-day ?' he
asked. Shall I examine it ?'
He knelt on one knee beside the chair on which
the injured foot was raised, and, gently re-
moving the bandages, looked at it with a very
'You ought not to be here,' he said. 'I wish
that you would go over to the opposite ward.
This incessant watching is all against your own
recovery. I will send you word immediately of
any change in him.'
78 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'What do you think of him to-day ?' asked
Hardy, as if he had not heard the surgeon's
There was no improvement when I saw him
three hours ago. It is an almost hopeless case ;
yet his youth and strong constitution may possi-
bly carry him through.'
He turned toward Ned as he spoke, and laid
his hand upon his head.
Why, what is this ?' he said quickly, but in a
low voice. His forehead is cool and moist!'
The boy stirred as the hand touched him, and,
opening his eyes, lifted them to the doctor's face
with a bright, intelligent look.
'I am a stranger to him; let him see you,'
said the surgeon to John Hardy, stepping from
between him and the bed.
Shall I speak to him ?'
Ned gave a little start at the sound of that
voice, and tried to turn his head toward it.
Hardy rose and bent over him, so that, without
moving, the boy could look into his face.
Do you know who I am, Ned ?'
He need scarcely have asked the question, for
the glad light shining in those sunken eyes told
how well he knew him.
IN HOSPITAL. 79
'Yes, you are my friend. The horse did not
throw you ? '
No, Ned. You saved my life.'
'God heard me. I have been asking Him to
deliver you from evil. It has been a long, long
day. I am so very tired.'
'The day is passed now. Close your eyes and
try to sleep. I will sit here beside you.'
'Well, that will be good,' said Ned, in the
easy, satisfied tone of a little child, contentedly
sinking to rest in its mother's arms.
The surgeon left them together, and approach-
ing a table in the centre of the room knocked
gently upon it.
Boys,' he said, when he had thus engaged
the attention of all in the ward, I want perfect
quiet here. The noble fellow who saved Mr.
Hardy's life is on the road to recovery. He has
fallen asleep, and it is of all things necessary
that he should not be roughly wakened. I leave
him to your care.'
'Ay, ay, Sir,' was the gently spoken answer
which passed down the length of the room, and
the surgeon left the ward quite sure that no care-
less laughter or loud jesting would be suffered
to disturb the sleeper.
80 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
It was a strange sight to see those rough men,
many of them totally unused to a sick-room,
moving about on tiptoe, or, where they were
crippled, asking the support of some strong arm
to aid them, lest the sound of their crutches on
the bare floor might waken the boy. Conversa-
tion was carried on in the lowest tones, and the
whole ward, occupied by nearly forty men, was
as quiet as if the lives of all within it had de-
pended on its stillness. They had all heard the
story of Ned's bravery, and had watched the
anxious face of Mr. Hardy as he sat beside him
day after day; and their hearts had been so
touched that more than one earnest prayer for
the boy's life had been breathed by lips that had
never spoken to him.
It was a great surprise to Ned to find, on
awakening from his long, refreshing sleep, that
he was not, as he had supposed, still lying where
he had fallen ; and to hear from John Hardy
that more than a week had passed since the
accident took place. He received the news very
quietly, seeming quite content to lie there with-
out asking any questions, gazing dreamily out
through the open windows upon the green lawn
and the waving branches of the trees, or resting
IN HOSPITAL. 81
with closed eyes in a sort of half-doze, hour after
Asthe long weeks rolled slowly away, Ned gained
strength steadily, but slowly ; and the process of
recovery was very long and tedious. Through
all these days Ned had not spoken once of his
loss. It seemed scarcely possible that he had not
noticed it, and yet it was almost as strange if,
knowing the fact, he was so indifferent to it as
to let it pass without a word to his nearest
friend. More than once Mr. Hardy had been
on the point of speaking, but the fear that the
boy felt it too deeply to mention it deterred
him. The difficulty was solved for him by Ned
He had been lying very quiet for some time
one morning, when he suddenly made a slight
movement, and then, with a little laugh, said:
' I'm always forgetting that the old right hand
is not here any longer. I tried to put it out just
now to reach that glass of water. Will you give
me a drink ?'
Mr. Hardy handed him the glass, and when he
had satisfied his thirst replaced it on the stand,
and, bending over him, said in a low voice, that
he might not be heard by those around, 'Ned, I
82 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
was afraid you felt your loss too bitterly to bear
the thought of it.'
'Bitterly!' repeated Ned. 'When I gave it
for you! For the man who laid his true hand
on me, and owned me for his friend when I was
poor and forlorn Bitterly Why, I 'm the
proudest boy in all the land !'
And he looked it as he raised himself on his
pillows and gazed with that glad, triumphant
smile into John Hardy's face.
God bless you, boy!' was all that he found
voice to say.
'I think it was a bit strange,' said Ned, after
a silence of some minutes, 'that that prayer of
mine should have been answered as it was. Don't
you think so ? '
What prayer ? '
'Perhaps I ought to say the two prayers,-
"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from evil." God let you answer the one for
me; and then He gave me the chance to save
'I don't see that I had much to do with it,
You took me right out of the way of tempta-
tion. Rose Conroy had a good share in it, by
IN HOSPITAL. 83
searching you out and asking you to take me ;
but then you did bring me along, and ever since
you've been on guard over me. You know you
have; don't go to deny it. I'd be right dis-
appointed to think I'd been mistaken all this
time, and that you hadn't been taking care that
I shouldn't be led off into wrong-doing.'
'I didn't know you had such sharp eyes, Ned.
I imagine that you have watched over me quite
as closely as I have over you. You are right. I
have tried to guard you from temptation, so far
as I could. But that was very little to do. All
the soldiers in Christ's army must stand by one
another if they mean that the final victory shall
SYes, I know,' said Ned. 'I suppose all good
people would say that, but then they haven't all
got the right way of doing it, like you have. It's
such a nice thing to* think of, that He's let us
kind of work for one another so. I've asked
Him so many, many times to deliver you from
evil, but it never came into my head that He'd
put the chance right before me, and let me be
the one to save you.'
'I never understood that petition in this sense,'
said Hardy, thoughtfully. 'I always looked at
84 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
it as a mere continuance of lead us not into
temptation ;" but you seem to take it as referring
to bodily evil.'
'Why yes, Sir; that's the way I took it. I
don't know but I'm wrong; but it seemed to strike
my mind when I was talking to Rosy of leaving
home, that if we said that to God real earnest,
I would be safe enough. But, then, I remember,
too, that when she was saying afterward that
she was afraid to be left without me, lest she'd
find it harder to do right, those same words
seemed the very ones to say, and so I put her in
mind of them. Maybe it means any kind of evil,
whichever seems the nearest to us at the time. I
guess God will answer them just the same if we
say them real hearty, whether we're asking Him
to save our best friend when he's in danger of
being killed, or to take care of a little fearsome
child who's frightened to think that there '11 be
no one near to .help her when she's tempted to
sin. I think He '11 hear it either way. I haven't
been serving Him very long, but I've found
already that He's mighty ready at answering;
and He don't seem to mind much about the
words, if we only want the thing we're praying
for real bad.'
IN HOSPITAL. 85
'Yes, Ned ; the earnest wish of our hearts is
the real prayer. That is all He asks of us.'
'The earnest wish, and the hearty working it
out for ourselves as much as we can,' said Ned.
'A great deal has to be left to Him, but I think
He's very likely to let us help things along our-
selves; to fix them so, that if we've a mind to
we can do a part of the work. I don't believe
He means us to ask for a thing, and then sit
down and idle away the time till it comes. Do
No; the busy brain and the willing heart
must go with the pleading lips. Sometimes,
Ned, even the strong right hand must be sacri-
Yes,' said the boy, with a smile. 'But let it
go, so that He only answers the prayer.'
T HE weather had become oppressively warm.
The leaves of the trees hung motionless in
the still, hot air, and the flowers drooped their
heads, wilting under the burning rays of the
sun. Toward evening a slight breeze generally
sprang up, bringing a little relief from the ex-
ceeding heat, and the nights were comparatively
cool ; but all daylong the fierce rays of the sun
beat down relentlessly, and the air was so lifeless
that the mere effort to breathe it was wearisome.
The warm weather told painfully upon Ned.
He bore it very patiently ; but Mr. Hardy saw
that his strength was waning and his appetite
failing, and was quick to notice that his own
pleasant or playful words were answered by a
quiet smile instead of a jest or merry retort, and
that Ned became every day more grave and.
He was himself far from strong. His foot
was almost well, but he had grown very pale
and thin, and he leaned heavily upon his cane
when he walked. He was not really much
gayer in heart than Ned ; but the effort to keep
up for the boy's sake was an advantage to him.
He had conceived a plan of which he had not
yet spoken to Ned, fearing that he might not be
able to accomplish it ; but his mind was set
upon it, and at length it was carried through.
He came into the ward one morning, and
crossing the floor with an unusually quick step,
said : 'I have good news for you, Ned. Guess
what it is.'
Ned was sitting in the window in a cushioned
chair, trying to catch a breath of air, if such a
thing were possible. He looked up at his friend,
noticing as he did so that the thin face was far
brighter than he had seen it in many days ; buif
his own face did not catch the reflection, and
his voice was dull and spiritless as he replied,-
I don't know, I 'm sure, unless it is that it is
cooler somewhere else than here.'
'Poor fellow, this intolerable heat has ex-
hausted you. But you have made a good guess,
after all. It is cooler somewhere else than here.
88 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
and you and I are to go to that somewhere. We
are going home. What! Isn't even this enough
to cheer you up, Ned ?' he said in rather a dis-
appointed tone. What is it, my boy ? Don't
you feel equal to the journey ?'
'Yes, Sir, I think I could stand the journey
very well. But I am better here.'
He paused a moment, and the pale lips were
set firmly together to still their trembling. Then
he said steadily. 'I am glad you are going, it
will do you good. You have worn yourself out
'What do you mean when you say that you
are better here, Ned ?'
'I have no place to go to in New York. There
is no such thing as home for me. Mother
Conroy and Rosy would always be glad to see
me; but they are poor, and I cannot let them
take care of me. I will stay here till I am
strong again, and then we will see what is best
to be done.'
'I can tell you now what is best. Mother
Conroy is very kind to you, I know ; but it is
another mother who has to do with this ques-
tion. I never want to hear you say again that
there is no such thing for you as home. From
this time forward you and I are to be as one
man. My strength is your strength, my home
is your home, my mother is your mother. Do
you understand what I mean ?'
It was no wonder that he asked the question,
Ned had raised his head with a look of such
bewildered amazement; and he sat gazing at
him without attempting the slightest reply.
Are you content to come home now, Ned ?'
Then he tried to answer; but the words
would not come, and putting his arm around
John Hardy's neck, he laid his head down upon
his breast and cried like a little child.
Mr. Hardy let him lie there until he grew
quiet again, and then, as Ned lifted his head
from its resting-place, and dashed the tears from
his face, he said,-
'Would you like to see your marching-orders ?
Many tedious hours, since they had been in
hospital together, had-been whiled away in study.
Ned was not a very learned man yet, but he had
become a fair reader, and he had no difficulty in
deciphering the clear, round hand in which the
letter handed to him was written. He had re-
ceived many loving, grateful messages from Mr.
90 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
Hardy's mother, and he knew, as soon as his
eye fell on the paragraph pointed out, that he
should find something pleasant there. He read
it slowly, dwelling on each word with a sort of
hungry delight :-
'I am waiting,-I was about to write impa-
tiently; but I cannot say that, when God has
been so merciful to me and mine,-I am
waiting with what patience I can gather for
the coming of my two dear sons. To the elder
I need not speak of the tender care and love
which shall minister to all his wants ; and to
my younger boy, to him who has dared and
suffered so much for us, I will only say, Come to
Another letter came for Ned that afternoon.
It was written in a large and exceedingly
crooked hand; but he welcomed it none the less
for that, for it was some little time since he had
received any word from Rosy Conroy. 'My
own dear Neddie,' was written in large letters
at the head of the sheet, and the rest of the sen-
tences were quite guiltless of capitals, and ran
on, without comma or period, from the address
to the signature. This is what Ned made out
of it, after some study :-
MY OWN DEAR NEDDIE:
'I have had another letter from that good,
kind Mr. Hardy. He says you are coming home.
O, I'm so glad, I don't know what to do I
just keep singing all the time because I'm so
glad. I can't help it. Mrs. Hardy comes to see
us sometimes. She's just as nice as she can be.
She says you are going to live with her, and be
her boy. It will be a good thing. Neddie, dear,
you won't let them take you quite away from
us, will you? They're so much grander than
we are. They have a whole floor, in a nice brick
house. I suppose they are quite rich, but they
can't love you any better than we do. I don't
believe anybody wants to see you so much as I
do, my brave, good Neddie. I'd just like to
give you my two hands, instead of the one
that was cut off. You mustn't think I feel bad
about your going there, because I don't ; only I
had to cry a little bit. Don't tell Mr. Hardy.
Dick is well. The landlord has put lumber in
the garret. Nobody lives there yet. Dick is
getting quite nice. He lets me come almost
92 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
close to him. Good-bye, dear Neddie. Do love
me always the same as you used to.
Very much your dear Rosy CONRoY.'
'She needn't be afraid,' was all that Ned said,
after reading the letter ; but if Rosy had heard
him say it, she would have felt very safe.
It was quite surprising to see how much
Ned gained in the two or three days which
intervened before his journey. Every hour as
it passed seemed to bring him strength both of
body and of mind, in spite of the continued heat.
It is wonderful!' said the surgeon to Mr.
Hardy, as they stood together talking of the boy,
on the day fixed upon for their departure. I
am really astonished '
But Mr. Hardy was less at a loss to account
for the change.
'I believe you have been playing old soldier,'
said the surgeon, as he aided the nurse, who had
supported Ned from the ward, to place him in
the carriage which was to bear him to the boat.
'I have half a mind, now, to order you back
All right, Sir,' replied Ned, looking up with a
smile into the face of the man who had tended
him like a father for weeks and months. 'I
will obey any order that you give me.'
"Very well, here is my positive order. Let
Mr. Hardy go home without you,' he said, with
'I can only give a half-obedience to that com-
mand,' said Ned. 'My feet may stand on these
walks, but my heart will go with him. It isn't
in my keeping any longer; I gave it into his
The surgeon laughed, and bidding him a
hearty good-bye, assisted Mr. Hardy into the
carriage, and closed the door.
'Ned,' said Mr. Hardy, when they had been
riding some minutes, you can take your last
look at the hospital. It will be out of sight in
The boy raised himself to look out of the
window, and when he leaned back, having
passed beyond the view of the hospital walls,
his friend said,-
We've left the place for good, Ned, and from
this time our relations change. I am no longer
Mr. Hardy to you.'
'What then, Sir?'
'John. We are brothers now. There is no
94 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
longer any Mr. or Mrs. Hardy; you have only
mother and John.'
Mother and John !' There was a world of
comfort and enjoyment in the tone in which the
words were repeated; and then he laid his head
down upon John's shoulder, and the drive to
the boat was taken in silence.
Neddie, don't the other hand look so lone-
Rosy Conroy's round, dimpled hand was lying
on Ned's empty coat-sleeve, and her usually
laughing black eyes were lifted to his face with
a very pitiful look. She had that morning re-
ceived a note from Mr. Hardy, telling her that
Ned had reached home on the previous evening,
and that he wanted to see her. She had gone
joyfully to him, but the change in his appearance
had startled her greatly. He was very much
altered. The long, thin face, deeply scarred on
cheek and temple, had nothing in it to remind
her of the Ned who left her five months before,
except the bright grey eyes and the pleasant
smile ; and the broad .lioulders had become bent
and stooping, like the shoulders of a feeble old
man. And then, that empty sleeve! She could
hardly realize that it was the same boy, until he
put his arm around her and said, in his old gay
'Don't take it so hard, Rosy. It don't give
me the heart-ache to think of it. The doctor
says I will grow stronger and stouter every day
now. I shall soon be like myself again. And I
shall he as happy as a king here. Only think
how rich I am with a mother and a brother, and
this dear little sister There comes mother, now.'
The door opened as he spoke, and Mrs Hardy
came in, followed by her son. The pale, deli-
cate face, surrounded by the close widow's cap,
was always very gentle in its expression, but it
seemed to Rosy that its look softened even more
as she bent over Ned's lounge.
Do you want anything, my boy ?' she asked,
stroking back from his forehead a stray lock of
No, indeed I wouldn't have anything changed
for the world. I'm as content and as happy as
a fellow can possibly be. Sit down beside me,
mother. Here, John, come and sit at the foot
of the lounge. 0, isn't this good ?' he said,
drawing a long breath of complete satisfaction
when they were both seated.
96 NED DOLAN'S GARRET.
'Don't you wish Dick was here, Ned ?' asked
'Yes; I would like to see the little man. But
I'll go over as soon as I can. I'll have to go
to see him, I suppose, he'd never be content any-
where but in the old garret. How things have
changed! How different everything was with
me last spring! Then I had nothing, and now
I've got everything.'
'Yes,' said Rosy; 'I 'm so glad for you. It is
very strange. You was in such a bad way then,
and now it has all come round so good. 'T was
God did it-wasn't it, Ned ? What a great deal
He can do !'
'Yes,' said Ned; He can do a great deal.
Sometimes it seems to me as if it couldn't all be
as it is ; as if I couldn't be so different and feel
so different from what I used to ; like it was
a dream, and couldn't last. But when I get
troubled that way I always take comfort again
in thinking that it is His doing, not mine ; and
if He could make the change, He can carry i
through. For Thine is the kingdom, and the
power, and the glory," he added, in a tone of
quiet trust and confidence.
HAYMAN BROS. & LILLY, FARRINGDON ROAD, E.C.