The Baldwin Library
THE LITTLE SISTERS;
MORRISON AND GIBE, EDINBURGH,
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.
Anb other Stritg for the 0o
BY THE AUTHOR OF
LITTLEE TALES FOR TINY TOTS," &'c.
WILLIAM P. NIMMO AND CO.
THE LITTLE SISTERS, 5
HAPPY DAYS, 53
KITTY's CHRISTMAS, 83
WILFUL JOHNNY, 10I
"OH nurse, what a long time you take
to do my hair! I shall never be ready
in time; it is half-past five now, and
they come at six: do please be quick!"
said Ellen Periton, as she sat before
a looking-glass with a pink dressing-
gown over her, having her hair twisted
round nurse's fingers into long, stiff
curls. It was Christmas time, and
there was going to be a large chil-
dren's party in the house that evening.
"But you are so impatient, Miss
Ellen," said nurse; how can I curl
"your hair when you twist your head
about in that way? Miss Mabel doesn't
give me one half the trouble you do
over her hair."
8 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
"You're always telling me about
Mabel's goodness," answered Ellen,
crossly. "I'm sure I shall soon quite
"For shame, Miss Ellen," said nurse,
"how can you talk in that way! I'm
sure I only wish you were half such a
"I wish you wouldn't pull my hair
so, nurse," said Ellen, speaking very
crossly, as she pulled away her head
and made nurse spoil a curl, so that
she had to do it over again.
"Miss Ellen, if you are not enough
to try any one's patience!" said nurse.
"If you are so troublesome I shall
just speak to your mama or Miss
Kate about you."
"I don't care," answered Ellen, as
she put on a naughty sulky little
At this moment the bedroom door
opened, and Ellen's eldest sister, Kate,
who was eighteen, came into the room,
OR, JEALOUSY. 9
leading by the hand little Mabel, who
was eight years old. As I have told
you the ages of Ellen's sisters, perhaps
you would like to know that Ellen
herself was twelve; so she came between
Oh, Miss Kate, you do look nice!"
exclaimed nurse, as they came in.
"That pink suits you splendidly, Miss,
and how lovely Annie has done your
"I am glad you like it, nurse," said
Kate, "but what do you say to my little
pet; doesn't she look sweet ?"
"That she does, Miss," answered
nurse, "but it's no good trying to make
Miss Ellen look fit to be seen, for she
does nothing but fidget and grumble
while I am doing her hair; and when it
is done, it is sure to be spoilt almost
directly, for she is such a tom-boy. I
wish you would speak to her, Miss
Kate, for nothing that I say will she
io THE LITTLE SISTERS;
"Ah," thought Ellen, "even Kate
likes Mabel much better than me. I'm
sure I can't see anything so very
wonderful in Mabel!"
Ellen's hair was done at last, and
she was dressed for the evening in a
white muslin frock, trimmed with blue,
and a blue sash, exactly like Mabel's;
but somehow she did not look so nice
in it as Mabel did. I suppose it was
because she was growing very fast, and
so was rather awkward looking. As
Ellen looked in the glass she saw this,
and thought to herself that nurse did
not take the same trouble to make her
look nice as she did Mabel.
They went down to the drawing-room
to wait for their guests, who now began
After they had had some tea, they
all went into the dining-room to dance
and have games.
They were soon very merry and
noisy. Mrs Periton played a polka for
OR, JEALOUSY. 11
them to begin with, and several other
dances. Then they played Blind
Man's buff," and became very excited
in the games.
Ellen was not in a good temper. I can't
exactly tell how it was that she should
have been so on the evening of such a
merry party, but very likely it was
because her mama had been dis-
pleased with her in the afternoon for
being cross to Mabel, and nurse had
scolded her afterwards for being trouble-
She soon began to notice that Mabel
was being admired by every one. A
wicked little feeling of jealousy was
growing in Ellen's heart, and I am sorry
to say that she did not try to check
it; so she made herself miserable by
noticing and thinking over every little
thing about Mabel that was really too
small to notice, if she had not allowed
this wicked feeling to grow as she
12 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
When the children were tired of
playing "Blind Man's Buff," mama
said they had better have a game at
"Family Coach," and she would tell
the story. They were delighted at this
idea, and were soon all seated on chairs
in a large circle, and Kate took a pencil
and paper, and went round to each one
to put down what part of the Family
Coach" she would be. When they
were all settled, mama began her
story. Perhaps you would like to hear
it, that you may know what sort of one
to tell when you are asked to play at
the Family Coach."
OR, JEALOUSY. 13
"ONCE upon a time there was an old
When she said this, Kate had to get
up and turn round, for she was the old
"And an old lady."
The old lady was one of the other
children, so she had to get up and turn
"This old gentleman and old lady
wanted to go to London, and as there
were no trains in those days, they de-
cided to travel by the Family Coach."
When Family Coach" was said,
everybody had to get up and change
"Well, so one fine morning they
14 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
started on their journey with four
horses. One was a grey horse, one was
a white horse, one was a black horse, and
one was a brown horse. They took
their little puppy dog with them, because,
as he always barked furiously at
strangers, and tried to bite them, the
old gentleman and the old lady both
thought it would be safer, as it might
prevent any robbers coming too near
As soon as the old gentleman was
seated comfortably in the Family Coach,
and had told the driver to go on, he
began to read his newspaper, and the
old lady sat herself down on the red
cushion and went to sleep. They had
driven on for some time, when suddenly
the "Family Coach" stopped, and fell
forward. The puppy dog immediately
began to bark very loud.
"What is the matter?" shouted the
old gentleman to the driver.
"Oh! oh! oh!" screamed the old lady.
OR, JEALOUSY. 15
This part made all the children shout
"The two front wheels have come off,
sir," answered the driver.
The Family Coach had to stop then,
for the front wheels to be mended.
Presently the driver cracked his whip,
and they drove on; but they had not
gone far when the traces snapped, and
the grey horse and the white horse both
This caused the Family Coach to stop
again, so the old gentleman and the old
lady went to an inn to have some re-
freshments. The puppy dog stayed in
the Family Coach to take care of the
carpet bag and the portmanteau. When
they went back again to the Family
Coach, the old gentleman found to his
dismay, that his portmanteau was gone,
and the old lady found, to her great
grief, that her darling little puppy dog
was also gone. They asked at the inn
if anything had been seen of the puppy
16 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
dog or the portmanteau, but nobody
could tell them anything, so they had
to get into the Family Coach again, and
continue their journey without their
portmanteau or puppy dog.
Presently they came to a large forest,
and it began to grow very dark. The
black horse grew rather troublesome, and
kicked at having to go the way it was
The oldgentleman became very nervous,
as it was getting dark, and they had still
some distance to go.
Mama, you never say anything
about the brown horse, and that is
what I am," said Ellen, in a peevish
"But I have not finished yet,"
answered Mrs Periton, there are
several things which I have not men-
tioned yet, so you must not interrupt
"Puppy dog is said very often,"
thought Ellen to herself. Mabel was
OR, JEALOUSY. 17
the puppy dog, so Ellen chose to think
that this was done on purpose. She
did not say anything more then, and
her mama went on-
Presently the Family Coach came to
a dead stop, and the old gentleman and
the old lady both felt very frightened,
for there was no puppy dog to bark now,
and the pistol was in the portmanteau,
which was gone."
"That everlasting puppy dog again,"
thought Ellen, as Mabel spun round
laughing merrily, and jumped back into
her seat again.
"The old lady sank back on the red
cushion and went into hysterics, and the
old gentleman shouted to the driver to
know what was the matter.
"The brown horse has fallen down
and broken a leg," answered the driver.
This was a bad misfortune, and now
what was to be done with this brown
horse? It must be left behind. That
was the only thing that could be done."
18 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
When are you going to say Family
Coach again, mama ?" asked Mabel.
"All in good time," answered mama.
Well, after they had got rid of the
brown horse, they continued their jour-
ney. The driver had to give the black
horse a good crack with his whip to
keep him steady. They had gone on
quietly for some way, when they were
suddenly startled by a man's voice at
The old lady fainted this time, for
the terror was more than she could
"What do you want ?" shouted the
"Your purse and watch," answered
"Here's my carpet bag," said the old
gentleman; and he opened the window
and threw out the carpet bag. He was
so frightened that he did not know
what else to do; so the man rode away
with the carpet bag, which was never
OR, JEALOUSY. 19
seen more by the old gentleman. At
last they came to the end of their jour-
ney, and the old gentleman said,-
Well,. my dear old lady, it's a wonder
that we're safe here, after our many
adventures. First the front wheels came
off, then the traces broke. The grey
horse and the white horse tumbled down.
The puppy dog, and the portmanteau
with the pistol in it, were stolen. The
black horse was troublesome, and the
brown horse broke a leg. The carpet
bag was given to a robber, who broke
the window, and bruised the poor,
frightened driver. The whip is broken,
and with the exception of your hysterics
and fainting, my dear old lady, you and
I, and the red cushion have come safe,
after all, in the Family Coacz."
"Is that all?" said the children,
when it was done.
"Yes, don't you like it ?" asked
"We like it very much indeed,"
20 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
answered many little voices, "and we
hope that some day you will tell it us
OR, JEALOUSY. 21
" WHAT a pretty fairy-like little
creature your sister Mabel is!" was
said to Ellen at supper, by a young
friend of hers, Mary Davis, who was
sitting next to her.
"Yes," said Ellen, turning away to
hide a hot flush that came over her face.
"I wish I had a little sister," con-
"Perhaps you would not wish it if
you had one," answered Ellen, shortly.
"Do you really think so?" asked
Mary, rather surprised at Ellen's tone.
"Very likely," said Ellen. "Will you
pull this cracker with me?" she added,
as she held up a pretty silver one.
22 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
Mary did not say anything more, as
she saw that Ellen did not seem to like
it, though she thought it rather odd; so
they talked about other things.
After supper they all went back again
to the drawing-room, to play games till
they were fetched away. Ellen met
Mabel on the stairs, as she was running
up for something, and was going to
pass her without speaking, but Mabel
stopped and said, "Oh, Ellen, isn't this
a happy evening! I have been enjoy-
ing myself so very much; haven't you ?"
"No, not a bit," said Ellen.
"Haven't you really?" said Mabel,
opening her eyes wide, and looking very
I told you I hadn't, and of course I
mean what I say," answered Ellen crossly.
"I am so sorry," continued Mabel. "I
thought you would enjoy it as much as
"You thought wrong then," replied
Ellen, turning away.
"OR, JEALOUSY. 23
Mabel could not enjoy herself any
more tiat evening, after she had found
out that Ellen was not enjoying herself,
and she felt unhappy because Ellen had
seemed cross to her, and she did not
know what she had done.
Her young friends noticed that she
was not so bright and merry as she had
been the rest of the evening, and they
asked her if she was tired.
No," she answered, and then looked
at Ellen, thinking that Ellen seemed
very tired, and that perhaps she had a
Mabel watched Ellen for some time,
who was sitting by herself on the sofa,
while all the other children were play-
ing merrily. She longed to ask her
sister if anything was the matter, but she
felt afraid that Ellen might not like it.
At last she could not bear it any
longer, so she watched for a chance to
speak to Ellen alone, and ask her what
24 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
Presently she saw her get up and go
towards the door, so she followed her
out of the room.
Ellen ran up stairs as fast as she
could, but Mabel ran as fast, and
"What is the matter, dear Nellie?"
she said; "are you tired, or have you
got a headache? Do tell me."
No, nothing is the matter with me,"
answered Ellen, trying to get away from
Mabel, who was holding her dress tightly.
"I wish you wouldn't follow me about
in this way. Can't I come out of the
room without something being the
matter ? What a plague you are!"
she added, making another attempt to
get away from Mabel's hold.
Oh, please don't be angry with me,
dear Ellen. I really didn't mean to
tease you," said Mabel, as the tears
started to her eyes.
"Well, don't do it then! cried Ellen,
OR, JEALOUSY. 25
very crossly; and she pushed Mabel
I shall go and ask mama to come
and see you, Ellen dear," said Mabel,
"because I know you don't feel well; do
"Yes, I'm quite well, I tell you,"
answered Ellen; "do get away, you
tiresome child," and as she said this she
gave Mabel a harder push.
This time Mabel went in a way that
Ellen did not expect; for she fell down
the stairs from the top to the bottom of
the flight. She gave one scream as she
fell, but when she was at the bottom she
did not cry or move.
Ellen was now frightened at what she
had done, and ran down the stairs to see
if Mabel was hurt.
"Are you hurt, Mabel ?" she said,
softly, but she had no answer, and
Mabel lay quite still, looking as if she
was dead. Ellen was terrified, and she
26 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
"Mabel, Mabel, dear Mabel! I've
killed you, I know I have! Oh, dear
Mabel, speak to me once more, and
forgive me. What shall I do!"
OR, JEALOUS Y. 27
THE next day, and for many days after,
the doctor's carriage was at the door of
Captain Periton's house. A rag was
tied round the knocker of the door to
prevent any one making a noise at the
front door, for some one was very ill in
the house. Can you guess who it was ?
Little Mabel lay in bed, in a dark
room, dangerously ill from the effects of
the fall down-stairs the evening before.
She lay so quiet now, that at first sight
you could hardly tell whether she was
alive or dead, for her face, which was
generally so bright and merry looking,
lay pale and still on the pillow. She
was hardly expected to live.
Where was Ellen ? She was shut up
28 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
in her own room, feeling more miserable
than I can tell you. She was quite ill
with grief and misery, and she had not
eaten a bit of food all day.
If dearest Mabel would only just get
better this once," she thought, I would
never, never be unkind to her again.
Oh, what shall I do! I know she will
die," and as these sad thoughts came
through Ellen's mind, she cried bitterly,
till her head ached violently.
When she heard the doctor's step on
the stair, she opened her door quietly
and went a little way down the passage,
hoping that she might hear what he
would say about Mabel. She saw him
go into the room, and the door was shut
She then went back to her own bed-
room, and stood at the door watching
for him to come out, that she might ask
him what he thought of Mabel.
Presently the door opened, but it was
only Kate. Her eyes were very red, as
OR, JEALOUSY. 29
if she had been crying. She did not
notice Ellen, but went towards her own
In a moment Ellen was standing
almost breathless by her side.
"Tell me, Kate, tell me-oh, do please
tell me, is Mabel going to die?" asked
Ellen, eagerly, as she caught hold of
"I don't know, dear," answered Kate,
gently, as she looked with pity at Ellen,
whose face shewed great misery.
"But what does Dr Davison say ?
Tell me, Kate, oh do, do tell me !" cried
Ellen, almost screaming in her eager-
"Come to my room with me, dear,"
said Kate, kindly, as she saw that Ellen
ought to be comforted.
"Now, please," said Ellen, as soon as
the door was shut.
"Dr Davison says," began Kate,
"that she may live through this illness,
30 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
"But what? "Ellen interrupted, eagerly,
as Kate hesitated.
"She will never be able to walk again,"
"Never ?" said Ellen.
No, dear; but it is God's will,"
answered Kate, as she put her arm
gently round Ellen's waist.
"But why never ?" asked Ellen; "not
if she got quite well and strong ?"
"She never can be quite well and
strong again," said Kate, for her spine
"Oh, Kate! will God ever forgive
me?" said Ellen, as she laid her head
down on Kate's shoulder and sobbed
"Pray to Him, dear Ellen, and He
will comfort you," answered Kate, "for
He never refuses to forgive those who
are truly sorry."
"But I am so very, very wicked,"
added Ellen. "I was angry with dear
Mabel, because she was better than me,
OR, JEALOUSY. 31
and now I have either killed her or made
her life miserable."
"Her life need not be miserable, for
we can all do our best to make it a
happy one to her," said Kate; "don't
you think so, dear ?"
"I will try," answered Ellen, "but I
can never make up for the harm that I
have done her. Do you think that she
can ever forgive me?"
"I am quite sure she will," said Kate,
"but you will pray to God to forgive
you, and to help you to make her life
happy, if He spares her."
"Yes, indeed I will," answered Ellen.
,' I hope I shall never be unkind to her
32 THE LITTLE SISTERS:
A YEAR and a half has passed since
the events of the last chapter.
Mabel lies on the sofa in a pretty
bright room, which is her own special
sitting-room. By her side is a little
rtud table, on which stands a vase full
of beautiful flowers. A book lies open
on her lap, but she is not reading now.
She is lying back with her eyes shut and
Oh, how I long to run about again
once more," she thought; the time does
seem so long, lying here every day and
all day long. I remember being so
happy once, when I could play just like
other children, and do what I like. Oh
dear, I am so tired !"
OR, JEALOUSY. 33
She felt hot tears coming at the
thoughts of the happy days that had
been before she was ill. She opened
her eyes and fixed them on the beauti-
fil flowers which were on the table.
"I know I ought not to grumble,"
was the next thought that came into
her mind, "when everybody is so kind
to me, and tries to make me happy.
Dear Ellen, she is always so very kind
to me. Oh, how delicious these flowers
are which she brought me!"
At this moment the door opened, and
Ellen came into the room.
"I am very sorry, darling Mabel, to
have been away from you so long," she
said, "but mama wanted me for some-
"Where have you been?" asked
I have been helping mama in the
garden," answered Ellen. "And do
you know, Mabel, your bed of lilies is
getting on so beautifully, and papa says
34 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
that there will be a lot of lilies in it next
spring. Are you not glad?"
"Yes, I am very glad," said Mabel.
"It is so kind of you to take care of
my sweet lilies. I'm glad you've come
now. I was feeling very lonely."
"Well, you shall not be lonely any
more to-day," said Ellen, kissing her.
I'm afraid I am very selfish in always
wanting some one to be with me," said
Mabel, but I do try not to be."
You selfish, Mabel! I'm sure you
are not a bit," said Ellen. "Look, I
have brought you some more pictures
for your scrap-book," and she sat down
by Mabel's side, and opened a large
piece of paper full of pictures.
"Oh, how pretty, how beautiful!"
cried Mabel, as she opened the paper and
found some very bright coloured scraps,
of birds, and flowers, and butterflies.
I have got a treat for you this after-
noon," said Ellen, as soon as Mabel had
done admiring the pictures.
OR, JEALOUSY. 35
"What is it ?" asked Mabel.
"I would rather not tell you till the
afternoon," answered Ellen; "do you
think you can possibly wait till then ?"
"I will try," said Mabel; "but I shall
be longing for the time to come."
"I dare say you will," said Ellen,
laughing. "I think it is nearly dinner
time, so you will not have very long to
wait. Let us stick some pictures into
the scrap book to amuse ourselves and
pass the time."
So they amused themselves very
happily till one o'clock, when the dinner
After dinner was over, Ellen came
into Mabel's sitting-room with a large
shady hat, and some shawls.
"Now, Mabel," she said, "you must
have on this hat and a shawl, and then
you will see what will happen."
When Mabel was dressed, her papa
came in and took her up in his arms,
and carried her out into the garden.
36 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
He took her over the lawn to a shady
place which had been prepared for her.
A soft little bed had been got ready
for her by Ellen, with pillows and a
shawl over them.
A feast of cherries, strawberries, and
cream was laid out on a little table
which was covered with a white cloth,
and a beautiful bunch of garden flowers
stood in a vase in the middle. There
were some camp chairs put for papa and
mama, Ellen and Kate. So altogether
it looked very pleasant and tempting.
How very lovely, how beautiful, how
delicious!" cried Mabel, delighted. "Oh,
how kind everybody is to me!"
"I am very glad you like it, my
darling," answered her mama, as she
kissed her little girl.
"I am so happy," said Mabel. "This
morning I thought I was rather un-
happy, but I'm sure I am not, with such
a dear kind papa and mama and
OR, JEALOUSY. 37
After this, when the warm, sunny
weather settled in, little treats were often
prepared for Mabel out of doors, and she
often had her little sofa wheeled into the
garden, that she might enjoy the fresh
air, and the sweet smell of the flowers.
Ellen was always by her side, trying
to amuse her, for she always felt as if
she could never make up for the sad
consequences of having once been jealous
of this darling little sister.
38 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
IT is Christmas time again. Twelfth
night has come round once more, and
there is going to be another large chil-
dren's party at Captain Periton's house,
but it is not to be of a kind in which
Mabel cannot join.
There is not going to be dancing or
any noisy games, but it is to be a very
happy evening for all that.
The children came at six o'clock as
before, and had some tea. Then they
played at some quiet games with picture
cards. At eight o'clock they were all
taken into a dark room, and told to sit
on chairs which had been arranged for
them in rows. Mabel's papa carried her
in his arms, and put her into a comfort-
OR, JEALOUSY. 39
able seat which had been prepared for
Uncle Henry had very kmrny brought
his magic lantern to shew to the chil-
dren, and so there was loud cheering and
clapping of hands when the first picture
appeared on the sheet.
It was a picture of a bull running after
a little girl in a scarlet cloak. The bull
was looking very savage, and the little
girl seemed to be terrified, and was run-
ning with her arms stretched as if to
some one, and her hat blown off.
Then there was another picture of a
little boy stealing raspberry jam out of
a great big pot, and his mama coming
in and catching him at it, just as it is
running down over his black velvet coat,
and he has spilt some on a clean white
"What a greedy little boy!" ex-
claimed the children.
Then there was one of a dentist pulling
out a boy's tooth. He seemed to be
40 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
pulling out a great many, by the way he
kept on putting his pincers in and out
of the unfortunate boy's mouth.
"I shouldn't like to be that boy at
all; should you, Mabel ?" said Ellen.
"No, indeed, I should not," answered
Mabel, "but I wish he would scream."
At this moment another tooth came
out, and Uncle Henry made a scream;
it sounded so exactly as if it came from
the boy, that it made all the children
start, but Mabel soon found out that it
was Uncle Henry.
Then came a picture of a little boy
being flogged in school by the master,
who was looking very angry, and all the
other school boys sitting in their seats
staring at him.
"What has that little boy done?"
asked one little girl.
"I suppose he has been naughty, or
perhaps said his lesson badly," answered
There were a great many more pictures,
OR, JEALOUSY. 41
and some of them were very funny. To
add to the fun, Uncle Henry made up
ridiculous little stories about them, which
made the children laugh a great deal.
After the magic lantern was over,
the children all went back to the draw-
ing-room. Uncle Henry then sang some
comic songs, and Mrs Periton played
some very pretty music to them.
"How beautiful that is," said Mabel,
as her mama, who had a lovely voice,
sang a very pretty song. Oh, do please
sing it again, dear mama."
Yes, I will, certainly, if you like it
so much, my darling," answered her
Mabel was very fond of music indeed,
and she liked really pretty songs and
pieces much better than comic songs, but
the other children looked rather dis-
appointed at Mabel's choice, for they
nearly all liked the comic songs best.
Mabel saw this directly, so she said at
42 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
"No, never mind now, dear mama.
May we have another comic song ?"
So Uncle Henry sang some more very
funny songs, to the children's great
delight, and they all joined in the
When the evening was over, the chil-
dren said that they had enjoyed the
evening very much indeed, and Mabel
thanked them for being contented with
giving up dancing and merry games for
her sake, but they all declared that they
had been quite as happy without.
OR, JEALOUSY. 43
THE winter proved to be a very cold
one, and the ground was covered with
snow for many days together.
Mabel seemed to be losing strength
instead of gaining it, and Dr Davison
said that she was very fragile indeed,
and must have the greatest care taken
of her. She was never left alone, for
Ellen, as usual, was always by her side,
watching with eagerness for a chance of
doing some little thing for her.
Ellen loved Mabel very, very dearly
now, and she felt it the interest and joy
of her young life, to tend and watch her
little weakly sister. She would never
leave Mabel to go out to tea when she
was asked, or to any pleasure which
44 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
would take her away from her little
One evening Mabel said to her,
" Dear Ellen, how very kind you are to
me. I'm sure I do not deserve it, for I
am often very cross and fretful."
Don't talk like that, darling Mabel,"
answered Ellen. "I am sure you are
the sweetest and most patient little girl
that ever was. I know that if I was
always ill, I should not be a bit patient."
"Do not say that, dear Nellie," said
Mabel, as she put her little, thin white
hand into Ellen's more robust one.
"I love you so much," continued
Ellen did not speak, but as she
squeezed Mabel's hand, she thought to
"How little I deserve to be loved,
especially by her."
"Ellen," said Mabel again, after a
short silence, I want to tell you some-
OR, JEALOUSY. 45
"What is it, darling?" answered
"I don't think," said Mabel, "that I
shall be lying on this sofa very much
"Why! do you really think that you
will get well soon ?" asked Ellen, as her
whole face brightened with a flush of joy.
No, dear Ellen, don't you understand
me?" asked Mabel, softly.
O Mabel, Mabel, you can't mean-
no, you can't mean that you think you
are going to die." As Ellen said this,
she put her head down on Mabel's lap,
and sobbed bitterly.
"I did not mean to make you un-
happy, darling," said Mabel, when she
saw Ellen's grief. "I am not unhappy,"
she continued, as she stroked Ellen's hair
"But, Mabel, you are not going to
die. Who told you that you were?
What makes you think so ?" cried Ellen,
as she looked eagerly at Mabel.
46 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
"I know I am," said Mabel, gently,
"but please don't be unhappy, because
I am so happy."
"If you die, it is I that have killed
you. You are happy, no doubt, to think
that the life which I have made miserable
may soon be over. But Mabel, dear
Mabel, you are quite wrong; you are
not going to die!" said Ellen, and then
she laid her head down again, and cried
as if her heart would break.
"Ellen, how can you say that my life
is miserable?" said Mabel. I am sure
it is a very happy one, and everybody is
so kind to me. I often think it seems
a selfish life, because I cannot do any-
thing for other people, and you all do so
much for me."
"Nonsense, Mabel; how can you, when
you are ill?" replied Ellen. "I only wish
that I was as good as you are."
Their little conversation was inter-
rupted by Mrs Periton coming into the
OR, JEALOUSY. 47
"It is time now for my darling to go
to bed. Has she had a happy day?"
she said, as she went towards the sofa
and put her hand on Mabel's forehead.
"Your head is very hot, dear," she
added, as she felt it. "Is it aching at
"A little wee bit," answered Mabel;
"not much, dear mama."
Mabel's bedroom led out of her sitting-
room, that she might have no stairs to
mount, and Ellen always slept in the
same room to take care of her.
Mabel was soon very comfortable in
bed, and Ellen sat by her side stroking
her hand till she fell asleep.
48 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
THREE weeks have passed, and now
Mabel lies always in her little bed.
Ellen is sitting by her side reading to
her. She is now even too weak to go
to her sitting-room. Dr Davison says
that she cannot live long.
Ellen tried hard not to let her little
suffering sister see her own grief, so she
was always as bright as she could be
before Mabel, though sometimes it was
hard, for, as I said before, Ellen loved
Mabel now, very much indeed, and could
not bear the thought of parting with her.
One morning she saw that Mabel had
fallen into a quiet sleep while she had
been reading to her, so she stopped, and
went on reading to herself.
OR, JEALOUSY. 49
At the end of half an hour Mabel
"I have had such a nice sleep, dear.
Ellen," she said.
"Have you, darling? I am very glad,"
answered Ellen; "but you must have
something now before you talk."
After Mabel had had a little refresh-
ment, she began,
"Ellen, shall you be very sorry when
I die ?"
"Yes," Ellen answered, as she turned
away to hide the tears that started to
"But I shall be so happy," said
I know you will, dearest Mabel," re-
plied Ellen, "but--" She could not
say any more, for her voice trembled,
and she did not want Mabel to find out
that she was crying.
"I have had such a beautiful dream,"
continued Mabel. "I dreamt that two
angels carried me up to heaven, and you
50 THE LITTLE SISTERS;
gave me a beautiful wreath of lilies, and
I took it with me."
Ellen could not keep in her tears any
longer, though she tried very hard, so
she turned round and threw her arms
round Mabel's neck, and cried silently.
She stopped herself as soon as she
could, and set to work to tidy Mabel's
room and make her quite comfortable,
as the doctor was expected during the
At four o'clock there was a ring at
the front door bell. It was the doctor.
He went straight up to Mabel's room, and
stayed there for some time.
As soon as he came out, Ellen ran to
him and begged him to tell her how he
thought Mabel was.
Not any better, but very weak, I am
afraid," was all that he said.
Ellen returned to Mabel's room feel-
ing very sad, and found her lying back
Her mama soon came into the room,
OR, JEALOUSY. 51
and said she was going to stay with
Mabel, and not leave her at all that
night; so she sent Ellen down-stairs to
have some tea, and told her that she had
better sleep with Kate.
Mabel hardly moved for hours through
the night, but lay so still that her mama
thought she was asleep.
About one o'clock she moved, and
looked at her mama, then feebly
stretching out her little hand, she said,
"Dear mama, will you kiss me?"
Her mama stooped down and kissed
her fondly, and then held her trembling
hand. Presently she spoke again very
"Dear papa, and Nelly, and Kate, I
want them." Then she shut her eyes.
Her mother saw that her little life
was nearly at an end, so she called
Mabel's father and sisters, that they
might kiss her.
Mabel smiled at them as they sobbed
round her bed, and said sweetly,
52 THE LITTLE SISTERS.
Good bye. I shall see you all soon.
Ellen, dear Ellen, where are my lilies?"
These were the last words she spoke.
She died so quietly that her mama
could hardly tell the exact minute that
her darling went to rest. She knelt by
the bedside till morning, when all was
over, trying to think more of Mabel's
happiness than her own grief.
Ellen's sorrow was very great, for
though she had known for some weeks
past that Mabel could not live long, she
had hardly expected to lose her so soon.
She made a wreath of lilies which
were picked from Mabel's own garden,
and laid it on the body of her little
sister as she lay on the bed, looking only
as if she were in a sweet sleep.
"GOOD NEWS! good news!" cried Helen
Merton, as she rushed into the room where
her sisters were sitting one morning.
"Ah! you can't guess," said Helen,
jumping about, and clapping her hands.
"Do tell us; oh, do," cried little Eva,
running up to her sister.
"No; you must try to guess first,"
Helen answered, still laughing.
How you do tease. You might just
as well tell us; you know we can't guess,"
said Annie, rather crossly.
"But do just try. Just one guess each,
and if nobody can guess, then I'll tell you."
"How tiresome you are, Helen," said
Annie. "I daresay it is nothing much
56 HAPPY DAYS.
"So you think," answered Helen.
"Well, we will begin at the youngest,
and see who can guess right. Charlie,
what do you say ?"
"I guess," said Charlie, turning up his
large blue eyes in a very funny way, "I
guess that we've each got a new toy,
and mine is a ball-a very big one
indeed. I should like that."
"No, that is not right," said Helen.
"I guess," said Eva, "that we are
going out to tea with Milly and Rose."
"No; you are quite wrong," said
Going out to tea with Milly and Rose
was one of the greatest delights that
Eva could think of, as they were two
little girls that she was very fond of, and
she always had such great fun when she
went to tea with them.
"You ought to guess right, Ada," said
Helen, because it is something that papa
hopes will do you good.
"I'm sure I can't guess," said Ada,
HAPPY DA YS. 57
"unless it is that we have got our pony
"No, that is not it; but I will tell
you now," said Helen. "Mama has had
a letter from Aunt Caroline, to ask for
us all to go and stay with her in the
country for a fortnight, and mama says
we may go. Isn't that splendid!"
"How lovely!" cried Eva.
"How jolly, jolly, jolly!" said Charlie,
jumping off his chair, and marching
round the room.
"But when are we going ?" asked Ada.
"The day after to-morrow," answered
Helen, "and to-morrow we are to pack
all our things. Won't it be fun ?"
"Hip-hip-Hurrah," shouted Charlie,
and then the others joined in and sang
for a quarter of an hour-
We are so very happy,
We don't know what to do!"
58 HAPPY DAYS.
THURSDAY morning came, which was
the day that they were to start, and
very happy the children all felt when
they looked out of their windows that
morning, and saw the sun shining
The place that they were going to
was seven miles off, and they were to go
all the way in an omnibus with their
papa. He was not going to stay there
with them, but was coming home again
the next day.
There was only one thing they did not
like, and that was having to say good
bye to dear mama; and as they drove
HAPPY DAYS. 59
away they waved their handkerchiefs to
her as she stood on the door step.
But they soon became merry, for it was
a bright and sunny day, and the way
that they had to go was a very pretty
one, and they were greatly excited at
the thought of so soon seeing their two
dear little cousins, and their kind Aunt
Caroline, who they always called Aunt
Carry, and their funny Uncle Edmund,
who always played such nice games with
them whenever they went to see him, or
he came to see them.
Eva was looking out of the window of
the omnibus, and so she was the first to
see the house, which she knew very well,
as she had stayed there some time ago
with Helen and Annie. It was a very
pretty house with roses growing over it,
so it was called Rose Cottage; but it
was a bigger house than most cottages.
In front there was a large garden with
plenty of beautiful trees and flowers in
it, and behind was a very nice fruit
60 HAPPY DAYS.
garden. Eva also saw her two little
cousins, May and Daisy, standing at the
garden gate watching for them, and she
saw them run back to tell their mama
that the omnibus was coming.
When they got out at the gate, Uncle
Edmund came down the gravel path to
meet them, followed by his two little
girls, who were rather shy, as they had
not seen their uncle and cousins for some
time; but Uncle Edmund soon made
that straight, for he never allowed any
one to be shy long.
Helen and Eva were soon very merry
with May and Daisy; but Annie stayed
by her papa, for she was rather tired, as
she had been ill and was not quite
After they had had their dinner, they
all went out in the garden together to
play hide and seek, and all sorts of
When they were tired of playing, they
sat down on the grass under the trees,
HAPPY DAYS. 61
and Eva noticed all at once that Charlie
was not with them; and then they re-
membered that he had not been playing
the last game with them.
I dare say he is tired and gone into
the house," said Annie, "he is quite safe;
never mind him now."
I'd better just go and see if he is all
right," said Helen, jumping up.
"Let us go," said May.
"No, I can't. I'm too tired," said
"I will go with Helen, then, and
Daisy shall stay with you. You will not
mind that. Or would you rather go in
as you are tired ?" asked May.
"No, I will wait till you come back,"
answered Annie, "but don't be very long,
"Not longer than we can help," said
Helen, "but do let us come at once, for
fear he should be in mischief. I am
really afraid that he may be, for he
nearly always is when he can get a
62 HAPPY DAYS.
chance;" and as she said this, she ran
off with her cousin May to look for
HAPPY DA YS. 63
THEY hunted everywhere in the garden
for Charlie, and called him, but they
could not see him anywhere. They
went into the house, but he was not
Could he be in the fruit garden?"
asked Helen. I dare say he has found
his way there. You've no idea what a
monkey he is."
"We had better go and see, then,"
said May, laughing. I don't quite
know where else we can look, if he is
not there. He might be in the yard,
playing with the chickens. We will
look there first, as we are so close to it."
64 HAPPY DA YS.
So they ran into the yard and looked
everywhere, but no Charlie could they
find. Then they went to the fruit
garden, and walked all round it, admir-
ing the tempting fruit at the same time.
They were beginning to think that he
could not be there, when suddenly Helen
spied him. Where do you think he was ?
He was sitting very comfortably under
a large red-currant bush, stuffing currants
into his mouth as fast as he could.
As soon as he saw Helen and May, he
looked frightened, for he had a little
feeling that he ought not to be there;
but I do not think he could have known
how wrong it was.
Oh, Charlie, Charlie, you very
naughty little boy!" cried Helen, when
she saw what he was doing.
May burst out laughing, and then
tried to look grave, but she could not
manage it very well, so she said,
"Well, never mind now, Helen; don't
scold him. He did not know it was
HAPPY DAYS. 65
naughty. I'm sure he won't do it again;
will you, Charlie?"
"No," said Charlie, looking as if he
was very glad to get out of a scolding.
"But, Charlie," said Helen, "do you
know that you have been doing some-
thing very wicked. You've been steal-
ing, you have really. Are you not
ashamed of yourself? How could you,
Helen could not help giving him this
little tiny scolding, for as she was his
eldest sister, she felt ashamed of him, as
he had behaved badly on the very first
day of his visit, and she did not want to
tell her papa about it. Charlie put up
his face for a cry, but May could not
bear to see him cry, so she took him up
in her arms and playfully called him a
You a rogue," said Charlie, putting
his little fat hands one on each side of
May's face, and looking at her with a
very roguish look.
66 HAPP Y DA YS.
May laughed and kissed him, for she
could not help liking him, and thinking
him a very jolly little boy, though he
had been naughty.
I like you," said Charlie, putting his
little head on one side, and looking at
her very gravely.
"I'm glad to hear it," said May.
"May spoils you, Charlie," said Helen,
trying to look grave.
"She don't," said Charlie, in a very
snappish voice. "You are jolly," he
added, turning to May again.
"But I do not like you to speak to
dear Helen so crossly," said May; "give
her a kiss, like a good little boy."
Charlie did as May told him, but not
as if he cared a bit about it, and then
he asked May if he might have one
"gooberry," just one.
"Oh, no," said May, "not one, after
being naughty. I'm sure you have had
plenty for to-day."
Charlie pouted and looked cross.
.tHAPPY DA YS. 67
"I thought you were nice," he said at
last to May.
"Not quite so nice as a gooseberry;
am I, Charlie ?" said May, laughing.
"Don't know," said Charlie, gravely.
By this time they were in the garden,
and the others came running to meet
"Where was he ?" they all cried.
I knew he was safe," said Annie.
"But you don't know that he was all
safe," said May.
"Was he ?" asked Eva.
"Ah!" said May. "You may guess
where we found him."
"No," said Charlie; "don't tell."
"We'll guess," said Eva.
"In the house," said Annie.
"In the stable," said Eva.
"In the yard," said Annie.
"In the shrubbery," said Daisy.
68 HAPPY DA YS.
"In the summerhouse," said Eva.
"No; everything but the right. Can't
you think of anywhere else ? I think I
should have guessed before now," said
May, "for he shews signs of where he
"Oh!" cried Eva, "I see red; can he
have been in the fruit garden.
"Yes," said May; "we found him
under a currant bush, stuffing."
"How naughty!" said Annie.
"Don't tell papa, will you, Annie?"
said Helen, "because Charlie did not
know how naughty it was, and I have
given him a little scolding, so I hope he
will not do it again."
It was tea time now, so they all ran
in, and made a very good tea, after their
first day in the country.
HAPPY DAYS. 69
THE next morning they had to say
good-bye to their dear papa, as he was
obliged to go home. They did not like
it, and they begged him to stay, but he
could not; but after he was gone they
were soon quite happy again, playing
with their cousins, and they had another
very merry day.
One day Uncle Edmund told them at
breakfast time, that he was going to
take them to the beach, which was
about two miles from Rose Cottage, to
spend the day. They were going to
take their dinner with them in a large
basket, and come back in time for a six
70 HAPPY DAYS.
Eva and Charlie had never seen the
sea before, so they were very much de-
lighted indeed, and wondered a good
deal what it was like.
At ten o'clock they were all packed
into the carriage, and drove away, feeling
When they came to the beach, Charlie
could hardly speak for wonder, when he
saw the great blue sea lying before him,
and the waves splashing against the
shore. They all set to work to collect
shells, and filled their little baskets which
they had brought on purpose; and then
they played with the waves, and had
great fun running away from them when
they went too near. Presently Helen
came running up, saying,
"I've found such a beautiful, large
cave. Do come and see it, uncle. I
think it goes in for some way, as it looks
very dark inside, like a tunnel."
"We'd better wait till after dinner, I
think," said Uncle Edmund, "as I am
HAPPY DAYS. 71
busy helping to lay it out, and you can
help too, Helen; everybody must do
something who wants to have any dinner."
After dinner they went to see the cave,
and found that it went in for a long way.
Charlie felt frightened at the dark, and
asked, "Do goblins live here ?"
"There are no such things as goblins,
Charlie," said Aunt Carry.
"Ar'n't there ?" said Charlie, opening
his eyes very wide. "Then nursie tells
stories, for she tells me about them
sometimes, and says they will come
down the chimney, and get on my bed,
if I don't go to sleep."
"Does she ?" said Aunt Carry, looking
shocked; "then she ought not to, for
there are no such things. Mind you
never believe it again, Charlie."
"How horribly cross she must be,"
"She is," said Eva; "I'm sure I often
wish she would go away."
Charlie was not afraid now to go into
72 HAPPY DA YS.
the cave, so they all went in, and found
some very curious seaweeds for May,
who was collecting them.
They were so busy that they did not
see how fast the water was coming up,
and were very much frightened when a
wave dashed in. Charles screamed and
"We shall be downed! Oh, please,
Uncle Eddie, dear Uncle Eddie, don't
let us be downed!" and he clung to
Uncle Edmund with all his might.
"Don't be afraid, my little man," he
answered. "We shall be able to run
out as the wave goes back."
"But it won't go'back, will it?" said
Charlie, looking with terror at the bub-
bling water, which was so near to them.
"Oh, yes," said Uncle Edmund; "but
don't be afraid. I will carry you through
Uncle Edmund took little Charlie up
in his arms, and they all prepared to
run, directly the water went back.
HAPPY DAYS. 73
"Now!" said Uncle Edmund, and then
they ran with all their might to be out
of the way of the water.
At half-past four they all started to
go back again, and they sang songs as
they went along.
They were sorry that the day was
over, for in spite of their fright, they had
been very happy indeed. But they had
more happy days to come, for every day
in the country was happy to them, and
soon it would be May's birthday, which
was to be a very happy one.
74 HAPPY DAYS.
" MANY happy returns of the day," were
the words which greeted May on all
sides when she came down to breakfast
on the twentieth of May, which was her
birthday. She was ten years old. This
day had been looked forward to by all
the children with the greatest delight,
for they were going to have some great
May hardly knew where to look, and
she felt quite shy when she found herself
among so many happy loving faces, all
wishing her many happy returns of her
birthday, and doing everything for her,
HAPPY DA YS. 75
as if she were indeed a queen; and
SDaisy, who managed to give her the first
kiss, put a wreath of pink and white
May on her head.
She had plenty of nice birthday
presents. Her papa and mama gave
her a beautiful paint-box and a draw-
ing-book, as she was very fond of draw-
ing and painting, and did both very
nicely. Daisy gave her a case of pencils
to draw with, and a piece of Indian-
rubber. Helen gave her a book, Annie
a bottle of scent, and Eva a very pretty
needle-book. Charlie gave her a bunch
of cowslips which he had himself picked
for her the evening before.
After breakfast they began to make
preparations for their party, for their
guests were coming in the afternoon.
They were going to have tea laid in
the summer-house, and a table outside
as well, as there would not be room for
them all inside; so they wanted to
decorate the summer-house, and make
76 HAPPY DAYS.
it look very grand, and also the dining-
room, which had been turned out for a
dance in the evening.
So the morning passed, and the after-
noon till four o'clock, when their little
friends began to arrive. They had some
games in the garden, and Uncle Edward
played with them, till mama called them
to come to tea.
The tea looked very pretty. Every
dish was decorated with flowers, and on
each plate was some beautiful little
flower which the children were to wear
at the dance. In the middle of one of
the tables was a great big birthday cake,
and the top of it was sugared. There
were flowers all round it on the dish, and
ten lighted candles stood on the table
round it, which meant that May had
lived ten bright years.
After they had sat down to tea the
candles were put out, as their light was
not wanted out of doors; so they were
to be lighted again at supper time.
HAPPY DAYS. 77
After tea they had one more good game,
and then they went in-doors.
They were very eager to begin dancing,
and Aunt Carry's fingers had hard work
to play for them.
May's papa had prepared another treat
for her and her friends, which they knew
In the middle of the evening he called
them all into another room, and made
them sit down on rows of chairs which
had been ready placed.
What is going to happen? do tell
us;" they begged, but the only answer
that they could get was, "You'll soon
They had to sit still and wonder for
five minutes, which seemed much longer
At last a man came in, who was
dressed very smartly, and stood in front
of them, behind a table, and told them
that he was going to shew them a little
78 HAPPY DA YS.
Then there was a shout of delight!
He shewed them some very funny
tricks. First he pretended to swallow
a knife, and then after making a great
many odd faces, as if it hurt him very
much, he found it in his shoe. He then
made all sorts of things come out of a
gentleman's hat, tin cups, shavings, and
all sorts of treasures, which he threw
among the children, to their great de-
light. He put a little red ball into a
box, and made it fly away and then
come back again. He did several other
odd things which made the children
open their eyes very wide indeed.
After this they had supper, and then
one more dance to finish up the day: and
every one said it had been a very happy
HAPPY DA YS. 79
A NEW JOY.
THE happy fortnight was over now, all
but one day, and the children were ex-
pecting their papa, who was coming to
fetch them. They were looking forward
to seeing their dear papa and mama, but
not to leaving the country. They all
felt very sad about this, but it was no
good to think too much about it till
the day came; so they made up their
minds to enjoy themselves at Rose
Cottage as much as possible, and Uncle
Edmund and Aunt Carry, May and
Daisy, all tried to make their last day a
very pleasant one. In the morning they
each had a splendid ride on the dear,
little brown pony, which had been given
80 HAPPY DA YS.
to May and Daisy by their kind papa, a
After dinner they went into the garden
to watch for papa, who was coming in
"I see him," said Charlie, who was
standing on one of the bars of the gate,
and leaning over.
"That isn't papa," said Eva, laughing,
for the man whom Charlie saw was the
gardener coming down the road ; but as
he was not close, I suppose Charlie could
not see him quite distinctly.
I wish we were going to stay here
another month," said Eva; "the town
will seem so horrid and dreary after
being in this beautiful country."
"I can't bear to think of it," said
Annie; "how quickly this fortnight has
I'm sure we can't bear to think of
it either," said May, "but I hope that
you will come out again some time."
"Here is a cab coming," said Helen;
HAPPY DAYS. 81
"I wonder if papa is in that ?" No; the
cab passed on.
Soon there was another, and this time
the children saw papa peep out of it.
When he got out at the garden gate he
had a very loving welcome, for they were
all very glad to see him.
After he had seen Uncle Edmund and
Aunt Carry, they all went into a beauti-
ful wood which was close to the house,
for they were going to have tea there, as
it was a very hot day.
"Well, my pets," said papa, when
they were sitting down to tea, I think
you are all looking better for being in
I wish we lived in the country, papa,"
said Helen; "we have enjoyed ourselves
so very much while we have been here."
Hum," said papa.
"You look funny, papa," said Eva.
Do I ?" said papa, "how very odd."
"You are funny," said Ellen; "what
makes you funny?"
82 HAPPY DA YS.
"Ah!" said papa.
"What is it?" said Annie, "do tell
us what makes you so funny."
"Well," said papa, "I'm thinking
about Willis's Cottage."
0 papa! they all cried, "really and
truly are we going there ?"
"I didn't say so," said papa.
But are we?" said Eva.
Yes," said papa; "I have taken it
for three months, and so you will meet
mama there to-morrow. I hope that
May and Daisy will not be very un-
happy at having you so close to them."
What delight there was now! The
children could hardly believe it, for it
really seemed too good to be true.
The next morning they all went to
the cottage, which was about half a
mile from Rose Cottage, and found dear
mama there to meet them. We will
now leave them in the country for three
IT was Christmas eve. There had been
no snow, but a hard frost, which made it
bitterly cold. Few people thought very
much about that to-day, for they were
busy preparing for their Christmas Day.
The shops were all gaily decorated with
holly and evergreens, and many good
things were to be seen in the windows.
In the booksellers' shops there were all
sorts of nice books and pictures, and
Christmas cards, to tempt people to
come and buy. In the toyshops there
was everything pretty and funny in the
shape of toys, ornaments, sweets, and
various little knick-knacks, which were all
meant to be bought for Christmas pre-
sents. Every shop in the town of Burton
looked bright and tempting, and many
86 KITTY' S CHRISTMAS.
people were spending their money on
this Christmas Eve, in buying presents
for their friends, and various things, to
give pleasure and amusement to each
other; besides luxuries, which many of
them could not afford to indulge in at
any other time.
Little Kitty Martyn stood outside a
pastrycook's shop, looking, with longing
eyes, at all the nice things which were
inside. She had had nothing all day,
except a dry crust of bread. No wonder
she looked ill and hungry.
She stood there for some time, watch-
ing the people as they went in and out
of the shop. She saw several grand
ladies go in, and the little girl could not
help wishing that she had money to buy
things, if it was only just one penny to
get something to eat. She saw many
little girls and boys going in to buy
sweets and cakes of all sorts, and she
thought to herself that it seemed hard
they should all have money to buy nice
KITTY'S CHRISTMAS. 87
things, when she had none, even to buy
bread to eat. She gazed wistfully at
the faces of the people who went in,
hoping that she might see a kind-looking
person, whom she would not be afraid to
ask to give her a penny; but, no! all
the people seemed hurried and busy,
and took no notice of her, so she was
too timid to ask any one. Most of the
people pushed roughly by her, and some-
times spoke unkindly to her, and a
policeman asked her what she was doing
at the shop window, and told her to go
about her business.
Poor little Kitty felt ready to cry
with cold and hunger. Presently she
saw a young lady going into the shop,
leading a very little child, who was most
likely going to buy something for Christ-
mas. Before they went into the shop,
they stopped to look at the things in
the window, and Kitty was amused by
watching the little one's delight, as she
stretched up her tiny hands to point out
88 KITTY'S CHRISTMAS.
all the things that she thought were
beautiful. When they had gone into
the shop, Kitty saw a penny lying on
the pavement, just where the little child
had been standing. For a moment Kitty
thought she would keep it. "The young
lady will not know where the little one
dropped it," she thought, "so I may as
well keep it to buy something to eat,
for I'm sure I want it more than she
This was her first thought, but a second
and a better one followed, "No, I can't
keep it, because mother told me that
the good God is always watching us;
and I remember her telling me, too, that
the best way of getting anything we
wanted was to ask Him, because He
loves us, so I shall ask Him now to give
me something to eat. I shall take back
the penny to the little girl at once, be-
cause God may be angry with me if I
It was not much that this little girl
KITTY'S CHRISTMAS. 89
knew about God, but what she did know
about Him she acted upon.
She then said the little prayer that
her mother had taught her, which was
the Lord's Prayer,-the best prayer she
could use, as in it we can ask God for
anything we need,-and she found that
some of the words were exactly what
she wanted, "Give us this day our daily
bread," and "Lead us not into tempta-
tion." After she had said her little
prayer, she went into the shop, and gave
the penny to the young lady, saying,
Little miss, I thinks you dropped this
here penny just now, when you was look-
ing in at the window."
The little child looked astonished,
for she had just had another penny
given to her to make up for the one she
had lost. The young lady, who was buy-
ing some things, turned round, and said,
Thank you, little girl, it was quite
right of you to bring it back. What is
your name ?"
90 KITTY'S CHRISTMAS.
"Kitty Martyn, please Miss," answered
You look hungry," said the young
"Yes, I am very hungry, Miss. I
have had nothing all day but a dry
crust of bread early this morning,"
"Where do you live?" asked the
young lady, who was called Miss
"I lives at number 3 Berry Lane,
please Miss; me and father lives there,"
Have you no mother ?" asked Miss
"No, Miss; mother died two months
agone, and father and Will goes out to
work all day," replied Kitty.
Poor child!" said Miss Lynton.
"Here is threepence for you to buy
something to eat; and if you call at the
Vicarage at seven o'clock this evening,
I may find something else for you."
KITTY'S CHRISTMAS. 91
"Oh, thank you, thank you, Miss,"
said Kitty, as tears of joy and gratitude
started to her eyes.
She bought three penny buns, and
when she had eaten one, she quickly
made her way down the street towards
Her home was indeed a contrast to
those of many of the people in the
little town. She had gone down two
streets, and came to a third, which was
more dirty and dingy looking than
either of the others. She went into a
house at the further end of the street,
and when she had entered, she went up
the rickety stairs, but with a lighter
step than she had come down in the
morning. There was nothing cheerful
to welcome her home on this Christmas
eve, when she reached the little garret
where she lived. The room was almost
She had kept her other two buns to
give to her brother Willie when he came
92 KITTY'S CHRISTMAS.
home from work, for he was kind to her,
and she was very fond of Him. Her
father seldom came home till late, for
he was not a good man or a kind father,
as he liked to spend his evening with
bad companions in the streets, or at the
public house, while his two children sat
in the cold garret nearly starved.
As soon as Kitty heard her brother's
step on the stairs, she ran to the door of
the room to open it for him, and when
she saw him she jumped into his arms
and kissed him.
"Why, Kitty pet, you look more
cheerful to-night," said Will, as he sat
himself down on the floor by the empty
grate, and pulled Kitty down beside
"Yes, I feels rather happy, Will,"
answered Kitty, "because a young lady
has been kind to me, and given me
some money to buy food. She gave me
three pennies, so I bought some buns,
and here be two for you, Will, as there
KITTY'S CHRISTMAS. 93
is only a little bit of bread in the house,
which father will want for his supper
when he comes back."
"You be a dear little maid," said
Will; I do feel mighty hungry now."
"Here they be, then," said Kitty, as
she drew them out of her pocket, and
gave them to her brother. "I have
something more nice to tell you," said
Kitty, as soon as Will had finished
eating his buns, which he seemed to
enjoy very much.
"Tell me all about it, then," answered
"It's not much to tell," replied Kitty;
"it's only that the kind lady who gave
me the threepence, spoke very kindly
to me, and told me to go to her house
to-night at seven o'clock, and perhaps
she would find something more for me;
so I hope she will give us something to
eat to-morrow, as it is Christmas day.
Everybody in the street looked so happy
to-day, and I was feeling cold and
94 KITTY'S CHRISTMAS.
hungry. I be now," continued Kitty,
shivering as she spoke.
We have something to be thankful
for to-day," said Will, gravely.
"God is very kind to us; isn't he,
Will?" said Little Kitty. "I prayed
the little prayer that mother taught me,
because I was hungry and wanted some-
thing to eat, and then directly after I
think God must have told the young
lady to be kind to me."
"I am glad you remembered it,
Kitty," replied Will, "and now I will
tell you the thing that I have to be
thankful for to day. God has saved
my life and father's, while several other
men working with us have been killed."
"Oh, Will, do tell me all about it,"
said Kitty, eagerly.
"You know down at the quarries,
where we blows the rocks ?" said Will.
"Yes," answered Kitty.
"Well," continued Will, "to-day, just
as there was going to be a blow-up,
KITTY'S CHRISTMAS. 95
four of the men was close to it, and
they could not get away in time, so
three of them was killed on the spot,
and one was terrible hurt. What would
you have done, Kitty, if we had both
been killed ?"
Oh, I don't know," answered Kitty;
"it's too dreadful to think of."
"I expects it be time now for you to
go and see your young lady," said Will;
"shall I come with you ?"
Yes, do," said Kitty.
So they started off together, down the
long, dark street. At last they came to
the Vicarage where Miss Lynton lived,
and when they had rung the bell, a
servant opened the door, and shewed
them into a little room. They sat there
for some little while, so they had time
to thiik; and as they heard a good
deal of noise and merriment, they won-
dered how many children lived in the
house, and what they were like, for there
seemed to be a good many young ones.
96 KITTY'S CHRISTMAS.
Presently Miss Lynton came into the
room, looking, as Will and Kitty thought,
perfectly lovely, in her evening dress.
Kitty felt rather shy at first, but when
Miss Lynton spoke kindly to her, she
was not afraid, and began to tell her
about her brother, who had come with
her, and hoped that Miss Lynton would
not mind her coming.
I have found some clothes for you,
which I hope will keep you warm this
cold weather," said Miss Lynton, as she
shewed a bundle of clothes which were
on a table in the room.
"Thank you, miss; oh, thank you, miss,"
said Kitty, looking very delighted.
"We be very much obliged to you,
miss," added Will. "Her clothes is very
"I hope I shall see you at church
to-morrow morning in your new clothes,"
said Miss Lynton. "I suppose you
know what day it is," she continued.
"Yes, miss," answered Will. "It is
KITTY'S CHRISTMAS. 97
Christmas day. Mother used to teach
us all about that."
"I am glad you know about it," re-
plied Miss Lynton. "It is a blessed
thought for those that are poor to re-
member, that the King of kings suffered
cold, and hunger, and poverty, and can
feel for them."
"Yes, miss, it be indeed," answered
Will. "I have tried to think of that
sometimes when I have felt miserable."
"I am sorry that I cannot talk to
you longer to-night," said Miss Lynton,
"but you may come and see me again
on Thursday evening, at seven o'clock.
What did you do with the money I
gave you this afternoon ?" she continued,
turning to Kitty.
"I bought three buns, please, miss,
for me and Will, because we was so
very hungry," answered Kitty.
"Haven't you had anything else to-
day ?" asked Miss Lynton.
"Yes, miss; we had a crust of bread