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BY THE AUTHOR OF
"THE TRAVELLING SIXPENCE," "LOST AND
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
56, PATERNOSTER Row, 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD,
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
A MISCHIEVOUS BOY 5
TROUBLE AT HOME 13
"A FRIEND IN NEED 22
"A NEW ACQUAINTANCE. 31
"A HAPPY ENDING 43
LILLIE'S DREAM 53
A MISCHIEVOUS BOY.
cried a good-natured work-
ing man, as he finished his
S dinner quietly under the
"hedge where he was sit-
ting until it was time to
go to work again.
The child he had been watching and
laughing at was a sturdy little fellow of
perhaps six years, dressed in cap, toy-
sword, and drum, as a mimic soldier,
whose mother now appeared at the
6 Soldier Sam.
porch of a cottage looking round for
"Sam, Sam! have done with that non-
sense, and come in to your dinner! she
said, somewhat sharply, as she heard the
sound of his drum and caught sight of
him; but Master Sam was not disposed
to receive orders, and the result was a
small scuffle, in which he was captured
and carried to the cottage-gate strug-
gling with all his might.
Giles Stevens laughed again, and
shook his head. "Best leave the young-
ster alone, Mrs. Perry; he's a born
soldier, it's plain to see, and you will
never get it out of him, try how you
Mrs. Perry sighed, and shook her
head; but it was with a troubled glance
she looked down at Sam's angry face
and strong kicking legs, as she set him
down in the path which led to the door
of her little house. "He's got to mind
what I say to him, Mr. Stevens, any
A Mischievous Boy. 7
way," she answered. "Go in to your
It was a tidy room, but poor, and
there was not too much food on the
table for the pale thin mother and her
two children, Sam and Ally; but their
rosy cheeks and strong limbs told of
health, although bread, milk, and vege-
tables were their chief support.
"I'll soon grow big enough to be a
soldier," said Sam, drumming on the
table with the spoon and fork he held.
"Mother, how old was father when he
Mrs. Perry's sad face grew a shade
sadder. "Your father was a man full-
grown before he took to soldiering,
Sam; I've told you so times enough."
"Well, I shall be one as soon as
ever they will take me. Shall you not
like to see me in my red coat, Ally ?"
No," said Ally, watching her mo-
ther's face as she answered; "don't talk
so, Sam,-mother don't like it."
8 Soldier Sam.
"Liking, or not liking, is little use,
Ally," said Mrs. Perry, rising with a
hopeless air; and she dropped a few
tears when she set about washing up
the plates and cleared the kitchen.
Alice helped as well as she could;
she was nearly nine years old, and a
handy little thing for her age; but she
eyed her mother gravely all the time,
and at last as Sam's drumming was
again heard from the garden, she asked,
"Mother, does it hurt you when Sam
talks of being a soldier ?"
Mrs. Perry started, and gazed at the
child for a moment, then pausing in
her work, she said, "Alice, I'll tell you
something I think you're old enough
to understand now. It was turning
soldier that changed your father from
a steady hard-working man to one that
nearly broke my heart before he died;
and though Sam is little more than a
baby, whenever I see him dressed up
like that, as his poor father loved to
A Mischievous Boy. 9
have him, I feel as if it would be easier
to lay him in his coffin now he is young
than to see him grow up to disobey his
mother, and leave home."
Alice Perry looked thoughtful for
some time after that. It was only six
months since her poor father died, who
had lain so long a helpless invalid,
until at last he grew worse and went
off quite suddenly. It seemed as if she
could see him again lying on his bed
and laughing at Sam in his soldier's
dress which he had once given the child
in the time of his health, and then calling
him close he would say, That's right,
Sam, be father's boy, and go with the
red-coats when you're big enough." All
this Alice thought of now, and it seemed
as if a light had dawned upon much
which she could never understand,-
upon her mother's tears, upon her often
saying, "God forbid, John, that the boy
should take that into his head!"
The kitchen clock had struck. one
Io Soldier Sam.
before quiet' little Alice had spoken
.again; and then, as her mother took up
her sewing and sat down by the win-
dow, she followed her and said, But,
mother, can't soldiers be good at all ?"
Yes, Alice; no matter where we
are or what we do, we can all serve
God if we ask Him to help us. But
you couldn't understand, dear, how easy
folks go wrong when they're tempted
by bad companions; and a soldier's life
is full of danger, and I can't bear to
think of it for my Sam. There, don't
worry your head about it, child. Ask
God to take care of Sam, and me, and
all of us, and then we shall do well."
Five minutes after Alice went out
into the little slip of ground before the
cottage to look for her brother, and
there she found him shooting at the old
tabby cat as she tried to hide among the
rows of peas and beans which grew
there. "Sam, you are trampling over
the beds; come off!" cried Alice.
A Mischievous Boy. I
"I shan't,"replied Sam, rudely. "There,
I shall hit her now; ready, present,
fire!" and this time Sam's aim was good,
and he hit poor old "Tip" on her nose,
as he intended.
"Leave off, do, Sam!" cried Alice,
seizing his arm. "You're a naughty,
But Sam shook himself free, and
started off to discover more possible
mischief, while Alice retired to the door
step to watch him, and think of what
her mother had told her.
I know now why mother used to cry
so when father said bad words, though
she seemed very sorry when he died.
Mother looks so sad, and gets so pale and
thin over that sewing, and is so afraid
lest she should not get enough to keep
us. Well, I will help her as much as
ever I can;" and with that resolve Ally
thought of a long seam which she could
do, but had left because she was tired
of it, and went bravely in and did every
12 Soldier Sam.
stitch of it before tea. When she saw a
smile flit over her mother's face, I need
not say that she was well repaid for her
little act of love and sacrifice, and that
it helped her to make many more such,
because she felt that God's voice in her
heart always whispered words of love
and encouragement when she tried to do
well for the sake of pleasing Him; and
many a time when Sam was tiresome
and cross, or when the troubles of home
seemed very heavy, little Alice Perry
found help to be patient from that habit,
which she had happily learned so young,
of looking simply to her heavenly Fa-
TROUBLE AT HOME.
ix years had passed over the
little village of Dewbury.
Many of the oldest inhabi-
tants had been carried to the
churchyard, many of the lads
had grown to manhood and
gone out in the world in dif-
ferent ways; but Mrs. Perry still lived
in the cottage on the turnpike-road with
her two children, Alice and Sam.
Sam was now a fine boy of twelve or
thirteen years. "Soldier Sam," as every
one -called him, had the flashing eyes
and black curly hair of his father in his
best days-some of that father's spirit
and daring, too, which had given poor
Mrs. Perry many an anxious day and
14 Soldier Sam.
sleepless night during those six years of
his early boyhood.
It had been hard work to keep him to
the village school,' for Sam was lazy
over his books; he left all the plodding
to Alice, who had grown each day more
of a comfort and help to her mother.
But the worst was now, that while many
of the Dewbury boys as young as he
were helping to keep themselves by
doing jobs of work, Sam Perry was not
one of these. As a tiny boy he had
been too idle to begin to earn a few
halfpence by frightening the birds from
the fields or orchards with a clapper, as
Farmer Robson proposed to him; and
since then he might have been put to
any of the tradesfolks round about, many
of whom had given him a trial for his
mother's sake, but none could put up
with his careless ways. Meanwhile Mrs.
Perry and Alice sewed hard, and washed
and ironed, to keep their little home
together, talking anxiously of Sam and
Trouble at iHome. 15
trying to excuse the faults which they
were forced to see in him.
When his mother spoke to the boy
seriously, he would promise to be all she
wished, and really try for a day or two,
but then he was off with a set of idle
companions, and home and those in it
were for the time forgotten.
"I'm going to be a soldier, mother,
and I can't do anything else," he would
say, whistling lightly as Mrs. Perry tried
to make him see that if he was so easily
led astray, it was one of the last callings
suited to him.
"Well, Alice, we can only be patient
with the boy, and ask God to manage it
all," his mother would say. I used to
trouble about it day and night awhile
ago, but I've come to feel lately as if in
some way all would be right with Sam,
unlikely as it seems now."
"Oh yes, mother!" said Alice, as
cheerfully as she could. Boys do take
all sorts of notions into their heads, but
16 Soldier Satn.
they settle down quite differently after-
wards. Mrs. Lucas was saying so only
yesterday: her son Mike, who lives
over in Eastonbury, you know, mother,
was once as mad after soldiering as our
Sam, but he took to carpentering, after
all; and see how comfortable and well-
to-do he is now."
About six weeks after this con-
versation, Sam came in one evening
looking ill; he had "got a bit of a chill,"
he said, for he had been over to bathe
in the river. "Oh yes, his clothes were
mostly dry now," he answered to his
mother's anxious questions; however,
he would go to bed and get to sleep if
The news soon went round Dewbury
that "Soldier Sam" was down with
rheumatic fever, and the neighbours who
went in to offer help came back shaking
their heads and wiping their eyes as
they described the lad's sufferings and
Mrs. Perry's grief. Ah! it was a terri-
Trouble at Home. 17
ble thing to the mother to hear him cry-
ing out from his pain of body, but still
worse to judge of the misery of his heart
from his angry murmurings against God.
Alice often said to her mother after-
wards, in talking of that sad time, that it
seemed as if they must have starved but
for the kindness of their poor neigh-
bours; one and all felt pity for the
family who were so tried both by sick-
ness and poverty, for attending upon
Sam took up the hours they needed for
their work. When Mrs. Perry sat think-
ing during the night, her mind was bur-
dened with care : there were little debts
running up at the butcher's and baker's,
and there would be a doctor's bill.
There was the shop in Eastonbury, for
which she had done needlework since
her husband died, threatening to take
some one in her place if she could not
get done what they needed, and Alice
grew thin; and her heart seemed ready
to break under its weight of grief
18- Soldier Sam.
And so she sat one night watching
Sam, who slept uneasily, wondering
what would become of them all, until at
last she took to pacing softly about the
room murmuring prayers for help; and
then stopping before the little table in
the window she took from it her well-
worn Bible, and turned over the leaves,
wishing some message of peace or help
might come to her through that. She
had opened it at the Book of Psalms,
and one verse caught her eye directly,
and caused her to sit and ponder over
it: "Thou hast dealt well with Thy
servant;" and it seemed at first as if her
poor aching heart must cry out in its
pain, No, no; Thou hast not dealt well
with me-life is too hard." Bitter tears
coursed down her cheeks, and the
struggle to trust and believe was very
difficult. On one hand, there were her
trials and anxieties pressing heavily; on
the other, God's infinite kindness and
love during past years; but faith con-
Trouble at Home. 19
quered, and slipping gently down on her
knees, the poor weary woman sobbed
out the sacred words, "' Thou hast dealt
well with Thy servant, O Lord !' Yes,
even though I am poor and needy and
troubled, Thou wilt bring all right; in
Thy own good time the clouds will pass
away and help will come; meanwhile, I
will trust in Thy goodness."
Next morning Mrs. Perrysaid," Things
seem dark now, Ally; but, please God,
they'll mend by-and-by."
"Oh, mother, mother! they don't look
like mending !" said Alice. "Mr. Smith,
at the baker's, looked quite cross at me
when I went for a loaf, and asked me
how long you were going to be till you
paid up what is owing; and when I
went into Eastonbury, Miss Frazer said
if we couldn't get all the work done,
instead of part, she'd find some one else
this very week instead of us."
"We must try and sew a bit harder,
dear, and finish the rest; and as for Mr
20 Soldier Sam.
Smith and the others, if they will only
wait until Sam is well again, I shall pay
them every one, if I sell all my things to
"But, mother, what shall we do ?"
"Leave it to God, child; He will
show us when the time comes."
"Oh, but, mother, you don't always
feel so!" said Alice. "You know how
troubled you are very often, and I can't
help wondering how we shall live."
Mrs. Perry drew the poor child's head
down on her lap, as she had often done
when Alice was younger. "See here,
dear; I know I have often mistrusted
our good God, and felt as if He had for-
gotten me, but I am not going to do it
again. It seemed last night, Alice, as if
He was speaking to me with His soft,
kind voice-the same as He spoke to all
the poor troubled mothers who came to
Him when, He was a man on earth; and
somehow it seems quite clear in my
mind that He is going to help us
Trouble at Home. 21
through, though I don't see how. Per-
haps Sam is going to be better."
Yes, mother; Mr. Adams said he
hoped the worst was past. But then
there's all the things to be paid for, and
the medicine he's had, and he won't do
much to help us even when he is well;
and, oh, mother, I'm tired of it all!"
And here Alice burst into a fit of crying,
from which all her mother's comfort
could not rouse her until Sam woke up,
and she had to go and attend to him.
A FRIEND IN NEED.
OOR Mrs. Perry is look-
ing quite worn out, and
Alice is as thin as can be.
I'm right sorry for that
woman; it would have been
a mercy if it had pleased
God to take the boy, for
he'll never be any use to her."
That was what Mrs. Stevens said to
her husband Giles, whom we once saw
laughing at the little mimic soldier as he
sat eating his dinner on a turned-up
wheelbarrow under the hedge in Dew-
bury turnpike-road, and who was getting
to look an old man since that time.
He's getting well, is he, then ?"
"Yes, but he'll never have the right
A Friend in Need. 23
use of his feet. One leg's drawn up so,
that Mr. Adams says he will have to
"use a crutch."
Old Giles lifted up both hands in
dismay. "Poor lad, poor lad! Then
it's all up with the soldiering; and it's
been the one thought of his life since he
was no higher than the table. I must
go and tell his poor mother I'm sorry
for her; for though she'd always set her
mind against it, it would have been
better than to have the boy on her
hands for good and all."
And off went Giles across the fields
to Mrs. Perry's cottage to talk over
their troubles with them.
Eh, neighbour, but it's bad news my
missis has been a-telling me about your
lad," said the old man, as he greeted
the widow woman. "And can't the
doctors do anything for him ?"
"I fear not, Mr. Stevens. They say
he'll never be fit for much, and of course
it almost breaks his heart to think he's
24 Soldier Sam.
never to be a soldier after all the talk
Old Giles shook his head slowly.
"I'm sorry for him, Mrs. Perry, and I'm
sorry for you. It's a hard matter to
have a big lad on your hands like that."
By this time they were in the room
where Sam lay mourning over his
trouble; and when he saw the old man
enter he said angrily, "You've brought
him just to see I'm good-for-nothing, I
suppose. You might let me be, mother."
"Oh, Sam, dear, don't talk so !" said
poor Mrs. Perry, bending over the bed,
and smoothing his dark curls with her
hand. "Giles knew your father when
he was as young as you, and he's been a
good friend to us. I thought maybe he
would cheer you up a bit."
"No one can cheer me," said Sam;
but he turned round, nevertheless, and
gave the old man a reluctant greeting.
Dear me, here's a bad job! here's a
bad job !" sighed out old Giles, putting
A Friend in Need. 25
a hand on each knee, and gazing earn-
estly at the invalid boy. But keep up
your heart, lad; God's done it, and He
knows best. You can be His soldier
now, if you can't fight for the Queen
Sam turned his face to the wall, for
he could not bear to hear his sorrow
spoken of. And presently the old man
took his leave, and Mrs. Perry sat down
by the boy's side, and sewed away as
fast as her fingers would fly, only gazing
for an instant now and then at Alice
bending over her work at the window.
"Mother, do you think we can get
done in time for me to go into the town
to-night ?" the tired girl said presently.
I don't think so, Alice; but I -shall
sit up and finish, and then you can start
first thing in the morning with the lot."
"But, mother, we want the money
"Yes, I know;" and Mrs. Perry
sighed, for there was not a penny in
26 Soldier Sam.
the house, and only -a piece of stale
bread and a small cup of milk for Sam.
Not a sound was heard for a time but
the needles flying through the calico, and
Sam's moans and sobs.
Dear boy don't grieve so," said his
mother. "I know 'tis hard, but it's
God's will, Sam, and He loves you."
"Loves me !" said the boy, angrily.
" Laying me here, good-for-nothing, for
you and Alice to keep me! I can't bear
it, mother. Let's go away where no one
Mrs. Perry looked aghast for a mo-
ment. To be in any place where no one
knew them seemed terrible to her who
had spent her whole life in Dewbury.
"What good would that be to you,
Sam ?" she asked.
"It's the only thing I'd care for
now," said Sam. I can't live here and
hobble about on a crutch, and have all
the fellows laughing, and saying, There
goes Soldier Sam!'"
A Friend in Need. 27
Any reply his mother might have
made was cut short by a step approach-
ing the door, and Alice calling out that
"Mrs. Willis is coming."
Mrs. Perry's face brightened as this
kind friend appeared in the little room
with that pleasant voice and smile which
all the poor round Dewbury loved.
"Mine is only a hasty visit to-day,"
she said. "I had some beef-tea to
bring Sam, and I thought a few gro-
ceries would come in handily."
Mrs. Perry thanked the lady in a few
words: the chief thanks went up to God,
whose hand she recognized in every
instance of human help.
"And, Sam, I would have brought
you some books to read if I had known
you were so much better," added good
Mrs. Willis. "Would it not amuse you
to read a bit ?"
Sam said he thought it would; for
their visitor's presence seemed to exer-
cise a charm even over him; and when
28 Soldier Sam.
she bade him good-bye she said, I am
going to send you the life of a soldier,
Sam; one who was brave and strong,
but who was also something far nobler
and better-a true soldier of Jesus
As Sam sipped his beef-tea, he seemed
brighter and more inclined to talk.
"I hope Mrs. Willis will send her
book pretty soon; I think it would
amuse me a bit."
The mother sighed, and a little prayer
went up to God that Sam might indeed
be taught from above, and take up the
battle against sin and self, and be what
God would have him. But she did not
speak of her wish then; she only said-
Sam, would you like very much to
go away from here ?"
The boy's dark eyes glistened with
something of their old brightness as he
said, "Oh, mother, yes-anywhere for a
change. I'd like to go to the sea;
perhaps I might get better there; at any
SA Friend in Need. 29
rate I should be happier. Let's .go,
mother, and leave this stupid village."
"Sam, father is buried here, and
mother loves it," put in Alice.
Never mind, Ally; that matters
little if we have God with us, and He
will be quite close wherever we go," said
"Then will you, mother ?" questioned
Sam, eagerly; and she told him yes,
that she was going to give up the cot-
tage and sell the furniture to pay off
every debt, and then they should be free
to go anywhere. Of the pain it gave
herself Mrs. Perry said nothing.
A month later and the little cottage
was empty, the furniture sold, and the
widow and her boy and girl about to
leave their native place for a little fish-
ing town about forty miles distant, where
Sam would be near the sea, which he
fancied was to make him well, and
where she hoped to earn money by
washing and plain sewing, as she had
30 Soldier Sam.
done in Dewbury. A little sum was in
Mrs. Perry's pocket to take them on
their way; but the future looked all
dark to her, excepting for God's love
Poor woman, God speed her!" said
the neighbours who watched the cart
which was taking them to the town, until
it was lost from sight. It's a heavy
trouble for her to have that boy on her
hands like this. What would his father
have said if he'd lived to see 'Soldier
Sam' a cripple !"
And then they went back into their
cottages to talk and work, while the
travellers were getting farther and far-
ther from the old house and friends they
would never see again.
A NEW ACQUAINTANCE.
H, mother, isn't it strange
and lonely here?" said
Alice Perry as she looked
round the two little rooms
which were now to be
Never mind, child, it's
a healthy place; and they say there is a
good chance of work here, and plenty
of visitors all summer time who want
washing done. Don't be down-hearted,
child-I want you to help me to trust in
God when my faith fails me."
"Me! oh, mother, you know I can't do
that!" said Alice, with quick tears filling
her eyes. I do want to love God; but
when we are so troubled to get along
32 Soldier Sam.
and work isn't paid for, and food is so
scarce, I forget that He can alter it all,
if it is good for us."
"Well, we must try and trust every-
thing to Him now; and if He will only
bring Sam to be patient and love Christ,
I could be willing to bear all the rest,
Ally glanced at Sam, who was sitting
out on the shingle, a few yards from the
cottage, with a happy look on his face
once again. She could believe that he
might get stronger and better, but it
seemed too much to think of her brother
turning to God, whom he had forgotten
since his early childhood.
In about a week after the Perrys set-
tled at Wearmouth. They were fortunate
enough to get washing and ironing for a
large family, who were visiting the place;
and though Alice was rather apt to grow
careful and think of what was to be done
when winter came, and Wearmouth was
empty again, she tried to listen to her
A Niew Acquainlance. 33
mother, who counselled trusting God
day by day.
Meanwhile Sam limped down with his
crutch to the shingle every morning, and
lay there the greater part of the day,
flinging pebbles into the sea, watching
the children making sand-castles, or
sometimes reading a little in the book
Mrs. Willis had given him at parting;
but Sam found it very uninteresting to
his mind, so he shut the book pretty soon,
and amused himself in picturing what his
life might have been if he had kept well
and strong, until the thoughts generally
brought some bitter tears, which he
brushed away impatiently lest any one
should notice him.
Many of the visitors looked kindly at
the boy; many bade him good morning,
and would have drawn him on to con-
versation, but Sam grew surly, and
plainly showed he wished to have nothing
to say to anybody.
But there was one person at Wear-
34 Soldicr Sam.
mouth who was not going to be repulsed,
and this was a little boy of about five
years-a fisherman's child-who sat
down about a yard from Sam, looking
at him with grave, wondering eyes.
"Come, young one-clear off!" the
lad would say: "what are you here
"Come to look at you," replied the tiny
visitor; and nothing seemed to drive him
away, so that at last Sam had to make
the best of it, and begin to talk to
the little fellow. In time they became
quite friendly, and Bobby seemed never
happy unless he was at Sam's side.
"Tell me a tale," was the frequent re-
quest; and though at first Sam refused
impatiently, there was something in
little Bobby's evident affection which led
him afterwards to tell the child many
simple tales he had himself heard years
before from his mother, in the old
cottage at Dewbury.
At last Sam's stock was at an end,
A New Acquaintance. 35
and in despair he bethought himself one
day of the history of Daniel, and told it
to Bobby, to his great delight. "I never
knew that," said the little child. I
knew about God, though He is up in the
sky; He takes care of Bobby and of
"Yes," said Sam; "and He took care
of Daniel, and kept the lions from hurting
him. I can't tell you any more stories
to-day, Bobby. Run and tell Alice to
fetch me in, for I don't want to stay out
The child trotted off, and presently
Alice came to help Sam back to the
cottage, and Bobby went to his own home
to ponder over what he had been told,
until he pounced upon his friend next
morning with a request for more Bible
From that time it was useless for Sam
to put the little fellow off with tales of
giants, or fairies, or shipwrecks, such as
he had charmed him with at first:
36 Soldier Sam.
nothing satisfied little Bobby but the
Scripture stories of the Old and New
Testaments, which Sam told.
And what did he think of, as he re-
peated the familiar histories to the
delighted child ? Well, often enough
he thought what a trouble all this was,
and how he really would get rid of his
companion; but that idea vanished at
the first trustful glance of Bobby's earn-
est eyes. Then he would begin to wish
he could love and believe those stories
as simply as the little one who listened
to him; and thus Sam's heart was soft-
ening towards God, against whom he
had murmured and rebelled.
Mrs. Perry and Alice knew nothing
of all this: what they did know was,
that Sam was kinder and happier, and
seldom complained. They wondered
often at his liking for Bobby, he who
had always scouted the children of Dew-
bury if they came near him. However,
they asked no questions, but were glad
A New Acquaintance. 37
to see a change in mind and body, which
helped them to work and toil with
courage and hope. Some of the ladies
and gentlemen who strolled about the
shingle would say what a nice interest-
ing pair they made. The crippled lad,
with his dark eyes and hair, lying on an
old shawl under the shelter of some fish-
ing-boats, and the tiny sun-burnt child in
his cotton frock and pinafore, who was
always by his side. Sometimes they
drew near to listen to what the stories
were about, which pleased Bobby; but
Sam turned silent, and his secrets re-
mained between himself and his little
So summer passed, and just at its
close the child grew -ill. Whether he
had got cold or not his mother could
not tell; but Bobby gradually wasted
into a little weak shadow of his former
sturdy self, and could hardly walk from
his home to the shingle. But they
carried him down to Sam's side, where
38 Soldier Sam.
he lay nestling in the folds of the old
shawl listening to the stories he loved
Bobby will see God soon, Bobby is
going to Him," he said one day; and
Sam felt a thrill of pain pass through
his heart, which made him say, some-
what sharply, "Don't talk nonsense,
Bobby, or I won't tell you any more
tales;" and then the little fellow said no
more, but only seemed to cling closer- to
his friend, as if the thought of parting
was in his mind.
Weeks passed by,-the autumn wind
began to tell that the pleasant days of
summer were ended, and a few gales
had warned the people of Wearmouth
of the weather they might prepare to
Sam was forced to give up his place
on the shingle and look at the tossing,
moaning waves from the window of
their little room; but there was some-
thing he missed more, and that was
SA New Acquaintance. 39
Bobby, for the child was very ill now in
his own bed at home.
One day a hurried step came up the
stairs to the room where Mrs. Perry and
Alice were sewing, while Sam lay on a
bed they had made him by the window,
gazing. out as usual with a thoughtful
look on his face. It was. Bobby's
mother, looking white and scared.
He's going fast, my poor little lad!
and all his talk is for Sam. Couldn't he
come?" she added, glancing at Mrs.
Mrs. Perry looked from Sam to the
window. It was a rough, wild day for
him; but the lad never hesitated.
"Of course I'll come to him, poor
Bobby! Mother, give me your arm and
a crutch, and I shall manage."
So with difficulty and some pain Sam
reached the cottage where Bobby lay
dying; and if he needed reward he had
it in the child's grasp of his hand and
40 Soldier Sam.
Oh, I am really going to God!" he
gasped. Don't be angry with me for
saying it, Sam. Tell me about Him
again,-about Jesus who died on the
cross to save sinners." .
Sam's face flushed hotly. Should he
humble himself to tell tales of Christ to
the child-he who had tried to make his
mother believe that all his faith in the
Saviour had been put away as a foolish
fancy ? There was a struggle; but
Bobby's wistful glance decided it, and
with a great lump in his throat, and a
choking voice, Sam began, with his
mother and the child's mother crying
softly together at the foot of the
Their tears came from different causes
though: the dying child's mother wept
that her little one was going from her
to God; Mrs. Perry's tears were of joy
and thankfulness, for as she heard the
sweet and sorrowful story of the death
of Jesus drop from Sam's lips it seemed
A New Acqzazntance. 41
as if God was giving her boy back to
her once more.
"Please, Sam, ask Him to come for
me,-ask Him to take care of me all the
way to heaven," came next from the
little lips. "Say a prayer, dear Sam!
I try to pray, but I can't remember the
But Sam's head bent low then, down
by little Bobby's wasted hands, and he
"Oh, Bobby, I haven't prayed to
God since I was as little as you; I can't
now,-indeed I can't. You don't know
how bad I've been. Pray for me, dear
Bobby, and I'll be different all my life."
There was a puzzled, dreamy look in
the dark eyes, as if he did not under-
stand, but seemed only to know Sam
was in some trouble. "Don't cry, dear
Sam !" he said, touching the lad with his
tiny hand. "You are so good to tell
me about Jesus, and He loves you,-oh,
I wish I could remember my prayer
42 Soldier Sam.
I said in the mornings and nights
There was a moment's hush, and then
Mrs. Perry knelt down by the bedside
close by Sam, and prayed for all in simple
earnest words; but her boy knew what
was meant by her touch upon his bent
head, and that she was blessing and
thanking God for an answer to some
request she had often urged before
A HAPPY ENDING.
SOT many days after that
scene in the fisherman's
cottage, little Bobby's
body was laid to rest,
Sand his soul was in the keep-
i ing of the Good Shepherd.
Most of the Wearmouth people mourned
for and missed the little one, but none
felt just as Sam did. He had looked
shyly at his mother ever since that
prayer by Bobby's bedside. It was
as if there was something he longed
to say to her, and yet pride or awk-
wardness kept it from coming out.
And Mrs. Perry's heart was yearning
over her boy. She seemed to know
that he was longing to get back to God;
44 Soldier Sam.
that in his heart there was a strange
stirring of good desires and resolves,
against which no evil spirit would make
war, and so she prayed for him more
than ever, and waited until God showed
her the time to speak.
She had not long to wait, for on the
day week of Bobby's funeral Sam him-
self began to talk of the child, when he
and his mother were alone together; and
in a nervous, hurried way he added,
" Poor little fellow I can't forget how
he looked when I said I didn't know
how to pray. Oh, mother, I wish with
all my heart I had never left off."
"My boy, God, who gives you that
wish, is ready to hear you again. He
knows how you have forgotten Him.
He loves you, Sam."
It seems as if He could not,-I have
been so bad; and yet I more than half
believe He does; I more than half
believe He will forgive me and make
me better, mother. I tried to think
A Happy Ending. 45
there was not a God, or a heaven, or a
hell: it seemed fine and manly, and
other fellows said it; but, mother, in my
heart I knew different all the time.
And then when we came here, and poor
Bobby would often come after me, and,
do what I would, he wasn't to be driven
away, but got me into telling him Bible
stories, I believed more and more, in
spite of all my trying not, until I grew so
miserable I could scarcely bear it. Oh,
mother, it is just as if the poor little
boy was to bring me right again."
"Thank God for bringing us here,"
said Mrs. Perry; and then Alice came
in, and no more was said, although the
mother and her boy could think of
nothing but that of which they had
The tiny congregation in the house of
God at Wearmouth were surprised upon
the next Sunday to hear the limping
step of Sam Perry come up the aisle
after his mother and Alice, and still more
46 Soldier Sam.
surprised by his quiet conduct during
the service and sermon; for the lad had
made no secret of his bad conduct,-
laughing at any one who had tried to
lead him to do right, or who, in their
pity for his ill health and useless state,
had spoken some simple word about
God's holy will.
After that time, whenever Sam was
well enough, and the winds were not too
rough, he was always by his mother's
side, so that every one ceased to wonder,
excepting, indeed, if he was not there.
By degrees as he listened to the prayers
which were offered up; as he heard
God's Word preached from time to time,
the boy's heart opened to receive again
the good seed which had once been cast
there to wither from evil influence and
neglect, but which now was sprung up
into the sweet flowers of faith and
All through that winter the Perrys
were very happy, though many a time
A Hafpy Ending. 4 7
want pressed upon them, and they knew
not where the morrow's meat was to
come from. God always, in one way or
other, sent help. And soon Sam found
little ways of usefulness which turned
to account : either making neat boat-
baskets, or drying sea-weed to arrange
on card, and many such trifles, which all
turned into money when visitors and
summer came; and if ever the thought
of his weak health and lameness cast a
shadow on his face, his mother's looks
chased it all away. So the winter
passed, and the sun shone out over
Wearmouth, and once more Sam came
out upon the shingle. The old short
surly manner was gone now, for the
love of Christ was in his heart, and had
softened all his hardness. Visitors to
the little fishing village got to be in-
terested in him, and some few drew from
him his history, and cheered him with
many marks of kindness.
But Sam's love was all for the chil-
48 Soldier Sam.
dren for Bobby's sake--little Bobby,
whose short grave was all grown over
with the tall grass by that time; and
many of them grew to love standing
round him to hear of Christ who loved
little children, and died to save them
from their sins; and in after years there
were not a few who remembered the
crippled lad who had put the first
thought of God into their hearts.
A quiet, dull life some would say for
a boy who had ever been the flower of
his native village; noted for his strength,
his spirit, his courage; but it was a life
he would not have changed, because he
had found that peace which the world
can neither give nor take away. And so
Sam found his life-work in conquering
his own nature, and in rooting out the
evil of his own heart by the help of God's
Holy Spirit. He was spared to see
his dear parent pass from earth blessing
God for the comfort of a good son, and
then he died-died in still early life.
A Happy Ending. 49
but not before he had won some souls to
Christ, and left behind him the memory
of acts of love and kindness done for
Soldier Sam was buried in a still
corner where few strangers would notice
the simple stone which marks the spot;
but the Wearmouth people, who knew
and loved him, often go there in quiet
moments and will say, Thank God
that he came amongst us."
['hiistian Charity .
F RIGHT source of everlasting love i
To Thee our souls we raise:
And to Thy sovereign bounty rear
A monument of praise.
Thy mercy gilds the path of life
With every cheering ray;
Kindly restrains the rising tear,
Or wipes that tear away.
What shall we render, bounteous Lord
For all the grace we see?
Alas! the goodness worms can yield
Extendeth not to Thee.
To tents of woe, to beds of pain,
We cheerfully repair,
And, with the gift Thy hand bestows,
Relieve the mourner's care.
The widow's heart shall sing for joy,
The orphan's breast shall glow;
Thus streams of mercy from our God,
Through human channels flow.
So passing through the vale of tears,
Our useful light will shine;
And others learn to glorify
Our Father's name Divine,
HERE was a small tumble-
down cottage, built on the
far side of Ashurst Com-
mon-a wretched place,
with no other house near
it. Broken bits of wood
and crockery lay outside;
and the windows were choked up with
dirt and cobwebs, with many a pane
broken, and stuffed with paper and rags
to keep out the draught.
On a small mattress in one corner of
the front room a little boy of some seven
years was lying, his tangled hair nearly
covering his face, his eyes bright with
fever, his small wasted hands hot and
54 Lillie's Dream.
burning, while he moaned and wailed
constantly from weariness and pain.
Charlie Benson and his sister Lillie were
all alone in the miserable place they
"Charlie, Charlie, don't cry; I can't
bear to hear you!" said the girl. Father
will be home soon, and maybe he'll bring
some money, and then I'll get you some-
thing nice to eat;" but though she tried
to cheer her sick brother, Lillie was far
from expecting any such good fortune;
for their father's return was the time for
rough words and frequent blows and
terrible curses, which made the children
cower down together on the little mattress
in fear of him.
It had not always been so. Lillie,
who was ten years old, could remember
better than Charlie the time when their
mother was alive, and then the tumble-
down cottage had been as trim and clean
as hands could make it; but since her
death their father had taken to drink
Lillie's Dream. 55
and idle ways, and the children knew
what it was to go for days with nothing
but hard dry crusts for their food. At
times their father would have fits of
kindness, and would go on steadily with
his work, and make things more com-
fortable; but it never lasted long, and
Lillie had got so used to dirt and wretch-
edness, blows and hunger, that she had
given up hoping for anything different.
But all this had brought on poor
Charlie's illness; and though the doctor
had given him medicine, and said that
nothing particular ailed him, he did not
get any better, but seemed weaker and
thinner as days passed on. At last even
his father grew anxious, and bitterly re-
proached himself that he had spent so
much of his money in drink, instead of
buying the children proper food.
Next day, instead of lying late in bed,
the man got up and lighted the fire, and
meant to get some breakfast, but he
found the cupboard empty,-all but a
56 Lillie's Dream.
dry hard piece of bread, which he knew
the sick boy could not eat. He searched
in his pockets, but not a coin was left;
and then, in his sudden repentance, he
seized his best coat, and going down into
the town sold it for what he could get,
and with the money brought home bread,
tea, sugar, and butter, to the great joy
and surprise of the children.
"Oh, father, it is nice!" cried Lillie;
"perhaps Charlie will get better now,-
the doctor said he wanted food more
"Will it be like this always, father ?"
asked Charlie. Are you going to leave
off coming home cross, and beating us ?"
.and the tears stood in John Benson's
eyes as he told Lillie and Charlie that
he really meant to give up his bad com-
panions, and make them happy once
He was not at heart a'bad man, he
did love his children; but he was weak,
and easily persuaded to do wrong.
Lillie's Dream. 57
Before he started for work he went to
the little mattress and kissed Charlie-
a thing he had not done for many a
day,-and then he saw how hot and
feverish the boy was.
"Strawberries are plentiful now," he
said; I'll get home early, Charlie, and
bring you a few. You may look out for
me by seven o'clock."
All the long hot summer's day the
sick child talked of nothing but the
strawberries. "Oh, Lillie, how I wish it
was night,-you don't think father will
forget, do you dear ? Only fancy I shall
have strawberries !-won't they be cool
and nice ?"
Then he would lie down and sleep
for awhile, or ask Lillie to sing to him
some of the hymns they had at Sunday
school; but over and over again came
the old wish for his father and evening;
and when the sun had set, he sat up on
the mattress, and listened eagerly for the
sound of steps.
58 Lillie's Dream.
Seven o'clock struck-they counted
the strokes as they rung out from
Ashurst church-tower,-eight o'clock-
nine o'clock-but still no father. Poor
Charlie's face, which had been crimson
from excitement, grew very white and
weary; and at last he fell into an uneasy
sleep, with one arm round Lillie's neck,
while she sang over and over again in a
dreamy voice, "I think when I read
the sweet story of old," which was the
sick child's great favourite.
How could it be that father was so
late ? Lillie asked herself as time went
on, and still he did not come; surely he
had not forgotten his promise, surely he
was not with his bad friends so soon
again? And as she thought about it
and puzzled over it, at last poor little
anxious Lillie fell into a troubled sleep
herself; and this is what she dreamed
while she lay there with Charlie's arm
about her neck, and his hot breath on
Lillie's Dream. 59
It seemed to her that they were alone
together in that wretched room, when
some one with a gentle pitying face came
and looked at them, and his glance was
so kind that Lillie did not feel at all
afraid, but asked him to make Charlie
well, and told him all her troubles from
beginning to end. It seemed to her
that the gentle visitor listened with his
face growing sweeter and more pitiful
as she talked; and when she had quite
told all, he touched her with his hand,
and said, "Lillie, you want your father
to be a better man, and give up his bad
ways and love God, don't you ? "
Then it seemed to her that she had
said, Yes, she wished it more than any-
thing in the world-more even than for
Charlie to get well, if that was possible;"
and when she said so, the stranger
smiled, and stretched out his arms as if
to take Charlie; and when Lillie shook
her'head, and clung to her little brother,
the kind voice said, Give me Charlie;
60 Lillie's Dream.
I can take more care of him than you.
I will make him happy, and safe, and
well; but he must go with me, and so I
will give you your great wish."
Just at this point Lillie woke up
suddenly at the noisy entrance of her
father, whose unsteady step and low-
muttered oath, as he struck his foot
against a chair, were enough to keep
her silent, and even Charlie drew closer
to her with a frightened whisper, saying,
"Oh dear, then he hasn't brought the
The two poor children cried quietly for
a long time from disappointment, until
Charlie slept again; but Lillie lay awake
thinking of her dream, feeling as if it
would have been almost worth parting
with Charlie for any one to come and
look as kindly on her as that stranger.
Morning came. John Benson woke
up when the sun was high and bright,
to reproach himself bitterly for his last
night's relapse, and for his unkindness
Lillie's Dream. 61
to Charlie. He crossed over to the
mattress to tell the boy he was sorry;
but both children seemed asleep, and
he went out quietly, bought strawberries,
and came back to see Lillie bending
over Charlie, and trying in vain to wake
Oh, father, have you really brought
the strawberries ? I'm so glad," she
cried. He wanted them. so badly yes-
terday; and though he wasn't cross a
bit, he sobbed so when you didn't bring
them. Charlie, Charlie! wake up! the
strawberries have come, Charlie! Oh,
why don't he answer?" she added, turning
to her father, "and he's cold too,-not
burning and hot as he was last night."
Then an awful terror entered John
Benson's heart. With a great effort he
knelt down on the floor by the mattress,
and then with a cry he fell upon his
face by the child's side,-little Charlie
Years have gone by. Lillie Benson
62 Lillie's Dream.
is a great girl now, keeping a clean tidy
home, in which you would scarcely re-
cognize the tumble-down cottage where
you first saw he* She is happy too, for
the solemn promise her father made to
God by the side of the dead boy has
been sacredly kept, and he has been a
steady, respectable Christian man ever
since; for that terrible punishment awoke
him to a sense of his own state, and
kept him safe amidst temptation ever
Well, then, might Lillie be happy,-
for she knew Charlie was safe with the
Saviour who loves little children; and
though she never speaks of it, she hides
deep in her heart the memory of that
dream of long before, for she always
believes it was sent to teach her, that
only by the sorrow of her brother's death
could her great wish have been granted;
and her father brought back from sin
and misery to God.
LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, BARTHOLOMEW CLOSBI
]^^hs Eittle )-at" .-eri s,
NEW SIXPENNY BOOKS.
Printed in Large type, with Coloured Frontisfeces.
x8mo., clot boards. 6d. Uniform witi this volum4.
i. The Book of Books: The Story of the
2. Springfield Stories.
3. Little Dot.
4. yohn Thompson's Nursery, & other Stories.
5. Two Ways to Begin Lifc.
6. Ethel Ripon; or, Beware of Idle Words.
7. Little Gooseberry, and other Stories.
8. Fanny Ashley, and other Stories.
9. The Gamekeeper's Daughter.
So. Fred Kenny; or, Out in the World.
I 1. Old Humphrey's Study-Table.
12. Jenny's Waterproof, and Nelly's Home.
13. The Holy Well: an Irish Story. *
14. The Travelling Sixpence.
x5. The Three Flowers; or, Which is Best?
16. Lost and Rescued.
17. Light-bearers and Beacons.
18. Little Lottie; or, The Wonderful Clock.
19. The Dog of St. Bernard, & other Stories
20. Isaac Gould, the Waggoner.
21. Uncle Rupert's Stories for Boys.
22. Dreaming and Doing, and other Stories.
23. Many Ways of Being Useful
24. Rachel Rivers; or, What a Child may Do.
25. Lessons Out of School.
26. Setma, the Turkish Captive.
27. Show your Colours, and other Stories.
28. True and False Friendship.
29. Always Too Late, and other Stories.
30. Soldier Sam.
3 School Pictures Drawn from Life.
32. Stephen Grattan's Faith.
33. David the Scholar: a Scotch Story.
34. Tired of Home.
35. Setting out for Heaven.
36. The Stolen Money, and other Stories.
37. Helen's Stewardship.
38. Pat Riley's Friends.
39. Olive Crowhurst: a Story for Girls.
40. The White Feather.
LoHDON : TnH RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIEry, PAT7-rs-TrI Row.