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E. PI. I)DU TON A\ NDI) COM P'ANY,
39, \\ IS'I TW VINTV-THIRI) 'TIRIEl'T.
All my Nethews and Nieces, and especially
To my God-Son,
I DEDICATE THIS STORY,
Written in fulfilment of an
I. BREAKING UP I
II. A GLIMPSE AT THE PAST 6
III. A HEARTLESS SEPARATION. 9
IV. ALONE AND FRIENDLESS 19
V. GOOD SAMARITANS 25
VI. BEGINNING THE WORLD 3
VII. MR. BUTTON AND HIS MASTER 43
VIII. A TERRIBLE SACRIFICE 48
IX. SYMPATHY 54
X. TRIED IN THE FIRE 60
XI. WHO WAS IT? 71
XII. A NOBLE DEED 78
XIII. THE DISCOVERY 86
XIV. A FRIEND IN NEED. 90
XV. NEW OCCUPATIONS 98
XVI. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 109
XVII WRECKED AGAIN 14
XVIII. SOMETHING SPLENDID! 123
XIX. THE SHOW AND THE SHOWMAN 129
XX. ENTRAPPED 35
XXI. THE ACCIDENT 146
XXII. THE FLIGHT 155
XXIII. WAIFS AND STRAYS 16
XXIV. VIOLETS 166
XXV. TWICE SAVED 172
XXVI. A LAST MEETING 178
XXVII. THE RETURN 83
XXVIII. LOST AND FOUND 188
XXIX. FATHER AND SON 195
TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
HERE had been for the past week a great
deal of merry din going on in Mr. Jones's
Select Academy for Young Gentlemen."
It was the beginning of the summer vacation,
and the boys had been packing up their several
belongings with a deal of noise and fuss.
Whilst they were thus engaged, peals of
laughter and snatches of songs resounded through
the house. One of the merry youths had composed
a much admired couplet-
This time to-morrow where shall I be ?
Out of captivity-Free fellows, free !"
and his companions had chimed in with all the force
of their young lungs. In the midst of their applause
a warning voice had whispered Cave !" and at the
same moment Miss Lizzie Jones, the master's sister,
2 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
had appeared at the door of the dormitory, and had
there and then given them a long lecture on their
gross ingratitude to herself and to her brother; but
no sooner was she heard descending the stairs than
the boys were as merry as ever, and even repeated
the obnoxious couplet, although in a lower key,
while they made grimaces towards the open door
and receding figure, performances somewhat difficult
to commend upon the score either of good taste or
of refined manners.
Miss Lizzie Jones was by no means a favourite
with the boys; they used to describe her in one
graphic phrase as "a stingy old beggar." To some
extent the epithet was thoroughly deserved: she
was stingy, but she was not a beggar." Nor was
Miss Lizzie by any means old, having only attained
her thirtieth year on her last birthday; the boys,
however, had not exaggerated when they described
her as "stingy." She was miserly to the last
degree; her greatest pleasure was to save and hoard
everything-even board and fuel were economised as
much as she dared. Sometimes, indeed, when the
dinner of the boys was unusually small, murmurs
would go round the table of "writing home that a
fellow couldn't get enough to eat;" and then Mr.
Jones, who was ruled by his sister with a rod of iron,
would give her an imploring look, and at the follow-
ing supper-time some delicacy would appear, when
Miss Lizzie's voice would be heard telling the boys,
in an injured tone, that it grieved her indeed to see
BREAKING UP. 3
their ungentlemanly conduct at dinner, when acci-
dentally-quite accidentally-the butcher had not
sent the weight of meat that had been ordered, and
the usual (with a stress upon the word) abundance
had not been forthcoming." But these speeches
had been so frequent, that the boys had ceased to
believe in their genuineness.
The vacation began on the Ioth of July, but it
was a week later before all the boys had dispersed;
and now on this sweet glowing summer's day, the
last cab had wheeled up to the door, the last black
trunk and empty play-box (to be filled with cakes
and pots of jam on its return) were hoisted on the
top, and the last homeward-bound boy was about
His face was eager and excited, and he could
hardly wait to shake hands with Mr. Jones and Miss
Lizzie, so impatient was he. Just before he was
driven off, however, a sudden thought seemed to
"I say, Forbes! Is Forbes there, Mr. Jones?"
At the name a slight, pale, blue-eyed lad, came
forward. He had been standing behind Miss Lizzie,
trying both to keep down the tears which would
well up to his eyes, and to hide his quivering lips.
"Oh, there you are Shake hands again, you dear
old fellow! and oh, I say! I do wish you were going
off somewhere, too "
Forbes said nothing, for he felt that his voice
would betray him if he spoke; but he squeezed his
4 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
friend's hand and tried his best to smile. It was
a woeful-looking smile to see, and his companion's
merry face became grave for a moment as he looked
at him; but Miss Lizzie was there: she pulled
Forbes away and cried out to the other, "Come,
come! you'll be late for your train. Drive on!"
nodding to the man on the box. So the driver
cracked his whip, and in a cloud of dust the cab
Forbes," said Mr. Jones, with a nervous look at
his sister, "you had better go into the garden for
an hour; but when you hear me ring the bell come
to my study, I've something to say to you."
"Yes, sir," answered the boy, glad enough to
escape all eyes just then, for he felt that he could
no longer restrain his tears. So off he ran to the
rambling, old-fashioned garden, and climbed into his
favourite nook. The largest bough of an old laurel
tree made a famous seat, and this was the favourite
retreat and hiding-place of Master Eddy when he
wished to be alone.
Poor little lad I he felt very sad and very lonely.
He had bravely kept back the tears from his eyes
and the sob from his voice during the whole of the
past week, and now he felt that he could control
himself no longer. So he put one arm round the
trunk of the tree to hold on by, and then, thoroughly
broken down, cried bitterly, laying his hot cheek
against the cool dark leaves. He could not help
thinking how delightful it would have been if he,
BREAKING UP. 5
too, had been packing during the last few days, to
go to a loving home, there to meet Father and
Mother, Brothers and Sisters, like the rest of his
companions. But he was far, very far away from
his father; and as he thought how far, the sobs
came thick and fast. It was now nearly two years
since Mr. Forbes had brought him home from India,
and had left him at this school before returning
across the ocean to the far-off East, the land of the
( 6 )
A GLIMPSE AT THE PAST.
SITTLE FORBES'S mother had died
when he was quite a baby, and he had
never had any brothers or sisters. Not
that he had felt the loss of any other love as
long as he was with his father; for he had been
the fondest and best of parents, and his little
son loved him passionately and devotedly.
They had been so happy, so very happy together
for ten years, and during that time Eddy had never
been parted from his father night or day. But the
boy grew delicate, and when he reached his tenth
year the doctor said that it was absolutely necessary
he should be sent to England in order to save his
life. So his father had taken him Home, and had
left him at Mr. Jones's school, which a friend had
highly recommended to him.
Mr. Forbes had promised his little son that he
would come back for him in two years, and that
then they two would live together again; and the
boy had clung to this hope through all his school
trials and sorrows. As long as his companions were
A GLIMPSE AT THE PAST. 7
with him he did not feel so intensely sad ; but it was
a sore grief to him to see them all start for their homes
at holiday-time, and to be utterly left alone I
Still, this Half he hoped would be the last; for
he expected his father Home before next Christ-
mas; and, as he thought of this, the tears began to
dry in his eyes, and a smile crept over the sad little
In the meantime he always had one faithful com-
panion. His father had given him their big black
retriever for his very own, and had even put a
collar on him with his, Eddy's, name in full. This
dog had been with them for years in India, and the
boy looked upon him as one of his oldest friends.
Great were the objections raised by Miss Lizzie
Jones when she. saw this unusual parlour-boarder;
but Mr. Forbes had blandly persuaded her to take
a different view of the subject, by allowing a sum
for the dog which would have been nearly large
enough to have fed another scholar; so anxious was
he that the wishes of his boy should be gratified.
And Mr. Forbes had not been mistaken when he
had thought Bounce would be a comfort to Eddy.
He could have given him nothing which would have
helped to cheer the poor boy as the faithful, affec-
tionate animal did.
"Oh, Bounce! Bouncel" cried he, as the dog
burst from under the clustering branches of green,
barking joyfully at having discovered his young
master: "nothing is so bad as long as I have you!
8 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
And, after all, it won't be very long now before we
Bounce wagged his tail as if he understood all
about it, and began to lick one of Eddy's dangling
feet, as they hung just within his reach. Just then
the bell rang, and the boy sprang from the bough,
ran across the garden, and hastened upstairs to wash
away the traces of his late grief; for he was a brave
little fellow, and would not for worlds that any one
should know he had been so weak as to cry. As
he dipped his tear-stained face into the basin he
wondered what Mr. Jones could have to say to him.
He had heard that he and his sister were going to
the seaside for the holidays; could it be-oh, could
it be!-that he was to go with them ? What fun
that would be! But such pleasure as that was
something too good to be true! Perhaps Mr. Jones
was going to give him a scolding ? Not that he knew
of anything wrong that he had done ; only these last
few weeks he had remarked that Miss Lizzie had
been particularly stern to him; more so, even, than to
the other boys, and his "helps" of meat and pudding
had been the smallest of all: yet he had not the
slightest idea of how he had annoyed or offended her.
In the midst of all these thoughts the bell rang
again-sharply and impatiently. So he threw down
the towel with which he had been trying to rub out
the marks of his tears, and then sprang downstairs
three steps at a time, arriving in a breathless state
at the study door.
A HEARTLESS SEPARATION.
HEN Eddy entered the room, the thought
S struck him how very, very grave Mr.
Jones and his sister looked. The latter sat
at the window with some work in her hands,
her lips pursed up in her hardest and most
determined manner; and Mr. Jones stood
fidgetting, first on one leg and then on the other,
looking nervous, grave, and miserable.
"Ahem !" he began, clearing his throat; "sit
down, my boy; sit down, Forbes."
Eddy took a chair; his heart beginning to beat a
little at the solemnity of Mr. Jones's manner.
"Now tell me, my lad, have you any friends or
relatives in England ?" the schoolmaster asked.
"No, sir, I think not," Eddy replied, wonder-
"Fiddlesticks !" snapped Miss Lizzie, with an
angry click of her needle; "you must have some.
Where are your mother's relatives ? "
"Father married mother in India. I don't know
where my mother's relations are."
Io TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Well, well," resumed Mr. Jones, anyhow, your
father must have some. Think, now!"
"No, sir. I've often heard Father say he was an
only child, and that I had no uncles or aunts, except
-oh, how stupid of me !-there's my old grand-aunt,
Sarah Moide. She lives in London, sir."
"There, I knew he had said Miss Lizzie.
"Do you know her address, Forbes ? asked Mr.
"Oh, yes, I know It's Io Harley Street. Father
took me to see her just before he left me at school.
She's an old, old lady, and hates children-especially
boys; and she wouldn't have me for the holidays
when Father asked her. She said she wouldn't so
much mind if I'd only been a girl," added Eddy
"Now, Forbes," said Mr. Jones, "I must just
explain to you how matters are. I am really very
Pooh, pooh! broke in Miss Lizzie, in a hard
tone, throwing her work down and coming over to
them. "You'd much better let me speak to the boy.
The fact is, Forbes, that your father hasn't paid any
of your school-bills for the last nine months; and
we can't afford to keep you for nothing." And the
tone of her voice, as she spoke, was very hard.
"My Father hasn't paid?" said Eddy, scarcely
believing he heard aright.
No, he hasn't paid; and has not even answered
our letters asking him for payment. And it's my
A HEARTLESS SElPARATIONI I
belief he doesn't intend paying at all; and-and-
in short, you and your dog, that eats as much as two
boys," she added indignantly, "had better just take
yourselves off to that aunt you speak of. Mr. Jones
and I are going to Brighton to-morrow, and this
house will be shut up after that. So you'd better
start by the twelve o'clock train."
Eddy looked perfectly confused and amazed, as
indeed he was.
But," he began, in a hesitating voice, suppose
Aunt Moide won't have me, what shall I do then ? "
"That's no concern of ours; we don't keep boys
here for nothing. If your father is so dishonest and
But at these words Eddy sprang from his seat
with reddened cheeks and indignant, furious eyes.
"My Father dishonourable How dare you ?"-
But his voice was choked, and he could get no
Both dishonest and dishonourable," repeated
Miss Lizzie coldly-" that is, unless, indeed, the case
is hopeless, and the man is dead."
Hush-hush I said her brother warningly.
At these cruel words Eddy had grown pale as
death. For a moment he tottered unsteadily, and
everything seemed to go miles and miles away, until
he could see nothing; and with on'e wild cry, Oh,
Father Father he fell to the ground.
When Eddy came back to consciousness, the
first thing he saw was Mr. Jones stooping over him,
12 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
trying to force some water between his lips, while
Miss Lizzie was rubbing his hands as hard as she
could. They both looked frightened, and seemed
much relieved when Eddy opened his eyes and
asked, in a weak voice, What was the matter? "
"Nothing, my boy," answered Mr. Jones kindly;
"only you got a fright and fainted. But it's all
right now. Lizzie," turning to his sister, "I won't
keep you here any longer; I daresay you would
like to set about your packing. Just leave Forbes
So Miss Lizzie Jones went out of the room, look-
ing rather glad to have a pretext for going.
When she was gone, Mr. Jones lifted Eddy to a sofa
and threw a rug over him, making him as comfort-
able as he could. Then he closed the door furtively,
listening for a moment to ascertain that his sister
was really out of the way. Having decided that
matter to his satisfaction, he proceeded to unlock a
cupboard, and took out a glass, decanter, and a box of
biscuits. Then, drawing his chair over close to the
sofa, he raised Eddy up, and made him drink a little
sherry and eat some sweet biscuits. Eddy felt and
looked grateful for his kindness; but by this time
his memory of what had just passed came back, and
he said, while the tears rose to his eyes-
"Oh, Mr. Jones! you don't really think that-
that Father ?"-
No, no, no! emphatically broke in his master.
" I don't: really, Forbes, I do not. I think that Mr.
A HEARTLESS SEPARATION. 13
Forbes has perhaps got into some commercial diffi-
culties, or something of that sort," added Mr. Jones
vaguely; and that it will all turn out right in the
end. But you see, Forbes, my sister is apt to be a
little suspicious; and, indeed, we have had, in our
younger days, a hard struggle. Once, we had two
lads from India for four years, and supplied them
with clothing and pocket-money, according to their
father's direction, and we have never been paid a
fraction of their bills. So we both determined we
would never let bills run beyond six months again;
for, indeed, we can't afford it."
But, Mr. Jones, if Father was for a time unable to
send money, wouldn't he write all the same ? "
"No; he might not. He might expect every
month to be able to do so, and this would make the
delay. So look here, Forbes, don't you make your-
self unhappy for nothing. Bad news travels fast,
and if anything had happened to your father, depend
upon it we should have heard of it. I'm sure it will
all turn out right in the end. You will go up to
London to-morrow, to your aunt; and very likely
we shall have heard from your father before the
holidays are over, and you will only have had a nice
Eddy said nothing; Mr. Jones's words cheered
him up somewhat. Still he could not but feel
uneasy and miserable about his father.
"Now, Forbes," said Mr. Jones, "you had better
try and get some sleep; and if you feel better after
14 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
dinner, pack up your clothes for your journey to-
That night Eddy could not sleep at all. Even
his prayers were broken by the one thought that
would keep coming into his mind. His dear father,
who was in his eyes the best and noblest man in
the world, had been called "dishonest" and "dis-
honourable!" This one idea rankled in his mind,
and in the darkness of the night the hot flush of
indignation rose to the son's brow. Oh, how he
longed to vindicate that father's name! How he
longed to be a man, with money to pay this debt!
"It must be paid-it must be paid," he thought,
while tossing on his hot pillow. "Even should
father not come home for years, there must not be
a single being in the world who can have cause to
say such things." And then he began to turn about
in his mind how the school-bills could be paid.
Surely his aunt would advance the money! But
no, he could not be certain of that. He had often
heard that she was very close as to money matters.
Could he do anything to pay them ? Could he not
work and earn the money? He was but a little
lad-not yet twelve years of age-and in his small
experience of life this idea seemed quite feasible.
He knew very small lads did earn a good deal
of money sometimes, in shops; and if he lived
with Aunt Sarah he could save up all this money.
He had not the least idea of how much was owed,
but thought it likely to be about ten or fifteen
A HEARTLESS SEPARATION. 15
pounds; and having decided this matter to his
satisfaction he fell asleep. Not for long, however,
for the first gleams of early sun shining into his
room awoke him; and again the same idea re-
turned, how he could clear his dear father's charac-
ter and pay this debt.
Suddenly a thought seemed to strike him, and
he hurriedly got up and dressed himself in his
second-best suit, and then packed a carpet-bag
with a few changes of linen, his Bible, and a pic-
ture of his father. All the rest of his clothes, and
a few books he possessed, with a handsome desk
his father had given him, he put together on his
bed, and then crept downstairs. It was still only
six in the morning, but Mr. Jones's gardener and
general man-servant was already at his work. Joe
White was a great friend of Eddy's and of Bounce;
the latter, indeed, was very much indebted to him,
for, as Miss Lizzie did not allow the dog into the
house, he was in the sole care of this man, who
gave him a comfortable bed of straw in the corner
of the outhouse which he himself inhabited, and
insisted in the kitchen on having a good dinner of
bones to bring to his charge.
"White," said Eddy to him, as he was cleaning
down the steps leading to the garden, please
come up to the dormitory ; I want to tell you
"Why, young sir," said the man, "can't you
speak here as well as there?"
16 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Oh no, White! It's something very particular.
Besides, I want to show you some things."
"Why, whatever is up now ? cried the man,
scratching his head in a puzzled way.
"Oh, White, do come! do help me! you're the
only person I can ask!" And so saying, he took
the man's hand pleadingly.
Well, well, youngster-go along."
The two went upstairs to the great empty dormi-
tory, with its rows of little white beds; and Eddy
made the man sit down, and straightway told him
all his trouble.
"And now, White," he concluded, "I want you
to try and sell all these things down in the town,
and my silver watch too. I want you to go and
sell them at once, and bring me the money. It may
help to pay my bill-maybe even pay it all," said
the boy, with a hopeful look at the array on the bed.
For a long time the man refused, "fearing," he
said, "the mistress would be angry."
"Come, now," said Eddy, smiling, "you know
she won't when the money is for herself; at which
White gave a broad grin.
At last he consented to do as Eddy wished, with
the further inducement of five shillings for his
trouble, and bundling all the articles together he
The town was not half-a-mile off, and Eddy
pressed his face against the bars of the school
entrance-gate, watching for his return.
A HEARTLESS SEPARATION. 17
He had a long time to wait, and it was nearly
half-past eight when White at last appeared, looking
well satisfied with himself.
"Well, well ?" asked Eddy eagerly; "how much
did you get ?"
"Patience, patience, Master Forbes!" said White,
sitting down on the door-step, and mopping his hot
face. Presently he pulled out of his pocket a dirty
little holland bag, and counted out six pounds fifteen
"There, sir; that's the most I could get: pretty
hard it was to make them pay it, too, and hardly
any shops were open. But I wouldn't leave till they
gave me that much."
"Oh!" said Eddy, his hopes a little fallen, for
he had expected more. However, thank you very
much, White; and there's your own five shillings."
"Thank you, sir. If you'd keep it yourself, I
wouldn't take it: but I suppose I may as well have
it as Miss Lizzie; and the wages here are not too
After breakfast Eddy gave the money to Mr.
Jones, asking how far it would go towards his bill.
Mr. Jones stared in amazement at the lad having
so much, until he told him how he had come
"Indeed, my lad, I couldn't take"-
"Now, brother," said Miss Lizzie, as she crossed
the room, "if it will satisfy Forbes, we will take it
as part payment."
18 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
How much will Father owe then, Miss Lizzie ?"
asked the lad.
Fifty-five pounds, Forbes."
Eddy gave a gasp, and looked hopeless.
But, my boy," exclaimed Mr. Jones, "you've
taken nothing for your journey."
True enough, he had not thought of that.
"It's just eight shillings and sixpence, second-
class to London, and you'll want a shilling for a
cab," and Miss Lizzie pushed over half-a-sovereign
to the lad.
"Nonsense!" broke in Mr. Jones, roused to
indignation at last. He'll want to pay for his dog,
and to have a few shillings in his purse. There, you
must have a sovereign, Forbes-I insist on it "
And so, with the look of a person who has just
done a very generous action, Miss Lizzie walked in
stately fashion from the room.
( 19 )
S ALONE AND FRIENDLESS.
OON after mid-day Eddy found himself
S whizzing away in the train to London,
his small carpet-bag on the seat beside him,
and Bounce crouching at his feet, panting
violently with heat and excitement; his red
tongue hanging down as he watched his
master. Eddy had bought a large bag of buns, as
being a cake most likely to be appreciated by his
friend, and employed his time alternately taking a
bite himself and then throwing a bit to his dog.
At length, near five in the afternoon, porters
shouted out, "Euston I Euston!" and Eddy and
Bounce jumped out, glad to be released after sit-
ting so long.
"Cab, sir? cab, cab ?" cried a lot of men, whilst
Eddy, with one hand holding Bounce by the collar,
and the other employed with his carpet-bag, stood
flushed and confused outside the station.
I want a Hansom."
"All right!" and he and his bag were taken pos-
session of. Where to ?"
20 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
io Harley Street."
They soon arrived at the house, and the cabman
knocked and knocked, but no one answered the
Can't wait here all day," he grumbled. "Here,
young master, you jump out and pay me, for I've
another fare waiting."
So Eddy and his baggage were set on the door-
step, and just at the moment that the cab drove off
the door was opened by a man-servant.
Is aunt-is Mrs. Moide at home ? "
The man stared. "That's not the party that owns
this house ; it's Mr. Thompson."
"Why," said Eddy, feeling rather frightened, "this
is No. IO, isn't it ?"
"That it is, sure enough."
"But my aunt, Sarah Moide, lived here."
"Moide! Moide!" said the servant musingly.
Oh, to be sure That's the old lady that had the
house before master took it."
"And where is she now ? "
"Dead been dead these six months !"
Then hearing himself called, the man suddenly
shut the door.
Shut the door, and left Eddy standing there in the
evening light-alone in great London-ALONE and
Shut out thus from what he had supposed to be
his aunt's house-from the only spot he could think
of as a home, or at least as a refuge, until his father
ALONE AND FRIENDLESS. 21
either wrote or came for him, Eddy felt so stunned
and bewildered that he was almost unable to think.
How long he stood like this-horror and amaze-
ment filling his mind-he never afterwards could
remember; but the first thing that roused him was
the fading light, for the evening had begun to
darken. He now sat down on the steps to count
what money he had left, and to try to think what he
could do, and where he could go.
His heart was filled with sad and fearful fore-
bodihgs as to what would become of him, and he put
up a thought of prayer to ask God to take care of
him. Just then he felt something hot and wet touch
his hand. He had actually forgotten one friend-a
dear and faithful one-poor, patient Bounce, who
crouched in front of him, and who grieved that his
young master had for such a long time taken no
notice of him.
Dear, dear old Bounce to be sure I have at least
you-the best of friends after father and he jumped
down and hugged his dog, who answered his caresses
by many a fond, excited lick, and thumped his tail
vigorously on the hard stone steps, his spirits cheer-
ing up in sympathy with those of his young master.
Now, Bounce, we must count our money-there,
down !-quiet, old fellow I "
And Eddy took out his purse and counted his
money, Bounce watching the operation with interest,
cocking his ears, and examining each piece Eddy put
down, with the air of a judge who knows all about it
22 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Oh, Bounce, we have very little! said Eddy,
with a sigh. Only just six shillings and six-
But Bounce, on hearing himself addressed,
thumped his tail more vigorously still, and gave a
sudden lick at his young master's hand, which said,
as plainly as a dog could say, "Why, it isn't much,
to be sure; but cheer up, and take courage. What-
ever comes, remember we two are together."
Eddy really did begin to feel a little more cheer-
ful, and dreadfully hungry into the bargain. Taking
his small bag in his hand, he started off to look for
a confectioner's ; there were no shops very near, so
he walked on until he came to a fine, large street,
which was Oxford Street, although Eddy did not
then know the name. Here he soon found the sort
of shop he wanted; but for some time he was
puzzled as to what he should select. Having
little money, he was determined to make it last as
long as he could Bounce had already begun to
sniff about him, for he, too, was hungry, and in want
of his dinner. At last Eddy decided on a large two-
penny roll for Bounce and a smaller one for himself,
and having asked leave to eat it in the shop, he sat
down to his frugal dinner.
He had never in his life had such a poor meal
before; but appetite gave him Spartan sauce, and
he thought he had never tasted such sweet bread.
When he was leaving he asked the shopwoman if
she could direct him to some cheap lodgings, and
ALONE AND FRIENDLESS. 23
she gave him an address a few streets off; they were
the cheapest she knew.
Eddy had no difficulty in finding out the street,
and on arriving at the house he knocked. It was
a gloomy-looking building, five stories high, with
dirty windows, in one of which was a card, with
" Lodgings written on it.
An untidy woman came to the door-as cross-
looking as she was untidy-and Eddy's heart sank
as he saw her.
"Well, what do you want ? she asked shortly.
I want lodgings," said Eddy, in rather a falter-
ing voice; "very cheap lodgings-one small bed-
room will do for me."
"Umph!" grunted the woman; "I've a small
room on the third story: but I don't care to take in
young gentlemen that have run away from school-
as you have, I expect." And she eyed him sharply.
I have not run away from school! said Eddy
Well, well-would you like to see the room ? "
"Perhaps you had better tell me how much it
costs first," said Eddy prudently.
"The least I can let it for will be eight shillings
a-week," she answered; "and I generally get ten."
"Eight shillings a-week!" exclaimed the boy,
opening his eyes. "Oh, that's a great deal too
much I could not possibly give that-in fact, I
wanted it by the night."
Well, then, you'll have to go somewhere else.
24 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
So off with you!" And she roughly pushed him
from the door.
Downcast and disappointed, Eddy walked away.
It was plain that he could not afford such lodgings
as those, with only six shillings in his pocket.
How dreadfully dear rooms are he thought
to himself. He had hoped to have found much
cheaper lodgings; and now he really .id not know
what he should do for the night. Darkness was fast
coming on, and it would be dreadful if he had to be
in the streets all night At the thought of this he
quickened his pace, and threaded street after street,
eagerly looking out for some place to suit him. It
was nearly ten o'clock at night, when he came to
a poor-looking, but quiet and respectable street.
There were a great many small shops-greengrocers,
and so forth, in it-and in one of these, by the light
of the street lamp, he espied, Lodgings for Single
Men," written up.
( 25 )
oNTERING the shop through hampers
and piles of vegetables, Eddy saw a
l smart, tidy-looking woman behind the
"If you please," he asked a little timidly,
"how much are your lodgings for single
The woman stared at him in astonishment at
"Why, sir, they're not such as you would take."
That depends on how much they cost," answered
As the boy spoke, a tall man with fair hair and
blue eyes, but very penetrating, came forward: he
was a good deal older than the woman, although
evidently her husband. After a kind look he said,
"Come, wife, let the lad see the beds, for he looks
tired out. Is this your dog, sir? "
"Yes," said Eddy; "I hope you won't object to
my having him with me, for he's the only friend I
have now;" and at these words his voice trembled
26 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Poor lad poor lad !" said the man after another
of those penetrating glances : "You shall have your
dog with you, and welcome."
"Really, Mr. Garth," chimed in the young wife,
"it's very plain that you don't wash the stairs, nor
the boards of the rooms above either, else you'd not
be quite so free with your leave and license! Say-
ing which she looked with a disapproving expression
at the dog's dusty paws.
"Come, wife, you've the best of all hearts yourself,
especially for travellers, so you'll just show this lad
where he can sleep."
Softened by her husband's praise, the little woman
lit a candle by the gas-jet over the counter, and
asked Eddy if he'd be pleased to step up."
They went up some narrow, uncarpeted, but very
clean stairs, and the woman showed Eddy into a
low-roofed but good-sized room. It was uncarpeted,
but the boards were white from constant scrubbing.
Standing out from the wall were five narrow beds,
with a space of about two feet between them, and a
dressing-table stood at one end of the room, with
two large basins and a can of water.
"Now," said the woman, I let these beds at
threepence a-night, and take in none but respectable
men. Four of the beds are let to-night for some
mechanics who have come to work at a row of
houses near here. They are decent, respectable
men; but their families live at the other end of the
town. Would you like the fifth bed, sir ?"
GOOD SAMARITANS. 27
Eddy looked aghast at the idea of having four
strange men for his sleeping companions. When the
woman perceived this, she said, in a kindly tone,
But perhaps, sir, you object to company ?"
"Well, indeed," answered Eddy, "I would rather
have a room to myself, if ever so small: but I
suppose I have no choice ?"
"Oh yes! I have a single room. But I didn't
show it to you because I thought you wanted
something cheap. We ask generally fivepence
for our small room; but you can have it at four-
Mr. Garth then showed Eddy a tiny room not
much bigger than a large cupboard. This, too, was
furnished in the most meagre way; and the small
iron bed was covered by a light brown quilt.
This will do nicely, thank you," said Eddy; "and
will just suit me. May I have my dog to lie on the
"Well," said the woman good-naturedly, "I sup-
pose you may, and even must, since Mr. Garth has
said it. We don't supply candles, so I'll light the
gas just outside your door, and you can turn it off
before you get into bed."
But Mrs. Garth was better than her word. In a
minute she returned with an armful of hay, which
she put in a corner of the room for Bounce, and
bidding Eddy "good-night," she left him.
Oh, how tired Eddy felt! how footsore and
weary I Yet though he was worn out with anxiety
2S TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
and fatigue, he did not forget to kneel down and
pray. He had given his promise to his father to do
so always, morning and evening. And Eddy's
prayers were not like those of many boys and girls,
for he really thought about and minded his prayers
when he said them. Now he prayed earnestly for
guidance and help. And as he did so all fear left
his heart; and although his earthly father was far
away, he felt that he had still near him his Heavenly
Father, who always saw and cared for him, and who
would watch over him as he slept in this strange
place all through the long dark night! Then with a
smile on his pale, tired face, Eddy fell fast asleep,
and Bounce snored in the corner.
It was late next morning when Eddy awoke. The
sun was shining right into the little curtainless
He found Bounce sitting on the floor as close as
he could get to his master's bed and with his nose
just resting upon it, for the faithful dog had left
his own comfortable corner as soon as the light had
dawned, and had since then been watching over
Eddy's slumber like a patient sentinel.
As soon, however, as the boy opened his eyes,
Bounce put his two great black paws on the pillow,
and began a series of short barks in joy at seeing
him awake once more.
When Eddy had dressed himself and plunged
his curly hasd into a basin of fresh water, he felt
his spirits greatly revived from the depression of
GOOD SAMARITANS. 29
the previous evening, and was ready for almost any
adventure. He then sat down on the side of his
little bed to think over what he had better do. He
was indeed in quite a cheerful state of mind. By
nature he was a brave lad-courageous and enduring,
and but for his anxiety about his father, would have
enjoyed being free from Miss Lizzie's cross looks
and sour temper.
Whatever he did, one thing it was plain he could
not do-and that was, return to Mr. Jones. For
Mr. Jones and his sister, Eddy knew, were to have
started for the seaside a few hours after his own
train left, and their address he did not know; neither
of them had thought of giving it to him. As for
the school, he knew, it would now be shut up for
six weeks. Even his friend White was dismissed
until the return of the master. And even supposing
he could find out where Mr. Jones was, he proudly
thought he would not do so. He would not return
to people who had so slandered his dear father in
saying such things of him! Nor would he swell
his father's debt. He was determined to work-yes
to work and so support himself until his father came
home to England. He would give him no occasion
to be ashamed of his son.
Eddy's greatest ambition was for his father to be
pleased with him. And as he thought all this, he
took a well-worn letter from his pocket and kissed
it; then read it for the hundredth time. It was his
dear father's parting letter of loving advice, written
30 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
to him on leaving him at school, a year and a half
before; and it ran thus:-
MY DARLING BOY,-
"Don't fret for me more than you can
help; I shall not love you less because I am so far
away. Take care that you are truthful, upright, and
honourable; let me be proud of you when I come
back. Remember to say your prayers morning and
evening, and let nothing induce you to forget them;
Then, Eddy, read a few verses in your Bible every
day. Trust your Heavenly Father in all things,
and be sure that He will support you in all your
trials. Keep a warm place in your heart for me,
my darling. I promise to come home for you in
two years.-Your loving father,
Often had Eddyread and re-read this letter, till
it looked quite worn and yellow. It w.as the only
one he had ever had from his father, for Mr. Forbes
had thought it would only unsettle him, and bring
back their separation more strongly, if he wrote to
his boy often. Eddy, however, knew his address,
and determined to write and tell his father all that
The first thing that he must do now was evidently
to look out for some work, though he was rather
puzzled as to what he should be able to do.
Just as he was thinking all this over, there was a
knock at the door, and in walked Mr. Garth.
GOOD SAMARITANS. 31
"Well, lad," he said kindly, how have you slept?
Why, you look a different man this morning I "
I have slept very well, thank you," replied Eddy.
"And now I think I and my dog must go out and
look for our breakfasts."
." Well," said the man, I don't mean to be inter-
fering, as you will at once understand, but I would
advise you very strongly to return to your friends.
It is plain you are a gentleman's son, and these are
not the places for such as you."
"Indeed," said Eddy, "I wish I had friends to
return to." Whereupon he told the good-natured
greengrocer all his troubles.
Mr. Garth was astonished at the strange, the
almost incredible story. Still he could not but
believe the lad, for truth was written in every line
of his face.
"Why, sir, it is strange, indeed! very strange!
But the best thing you can do is to write to your
father at once."
"That," replied the boy, "is the very thing I
intend to do."
"And you know of no reason why your father has
not answered your master's letters ?"
"None," said Eddy, with a choking in his voice;
"unless-unless Father's ill. Oh!" he asked ear-
nestly, bursting into tears, do you think he is
"No, no! that I don't, my lad! There, don't cry
so. What I think is, that maybe your father has
32 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
run short of money: the best of us may do that,
"Then," said Eddy, through his tears, "if that's
the case, Father will send them money as soon as
"To be sure-to be sure! And now you just
write to him. Let me see, he would have your
letter in six weeks, I think, and you would hear in
another six. But how are you going to live in the
I must work," said Eddy bravely, throwing back
his curly head; I must work. What do you think
I could do ?"
"Well, that's not easy to find out. You see,
you're only young yet for work; and it's hard to
get a place for lads of your age. If you could get a
situation as an errand-boy, now "
"The very thing," said Eddy gladly. "I must
try and look out for some one who wants a boy for
"Well, lad, you must be careful of your money.
What are you going to buy for your breakfast ?"
Eddy told him what he had had the day before
for his dinner, and said he supposed that that was the
" cheapest thing he could get."
The man gave a long whistle. "What! a glass of
water and a piece of dry bread. Poor boy! that is
very scant fare I'm not rich myself, but we do
better than that; you just come with me."
The good man took Eddy downstairs with him
GOOD SAMARITANS. 33
into the little back room, where tidy little Mrs. Garth
was stooping over a large pot on the fire, while a
couple of bowls and spoons were laid out for break-
"Come, wife, I want you to give the lad a penny-
worth of boiled rice in a bowl, and something to
The little woman, bestowing a bright look on
Eddy, took another bowl out of a cupboard, and
filled all three with the rice, steaming hot, and white
as new-fallen snow.
"There," said Mr. Garth to his wife, with admira-
tion, "that is boiled rice!" And then he added to
Eddy, It's none of your yellow, hard-looking stuff
when she cooks it !"
Now, Mr. Garth," said his wife, blushing at the
praise bestowed; "how absurd you are !"
Before she sat down to her own breakfast she
made up a good dish of scraps for Bounce, who
wagged his tail as he watched her movements. But
more eloquently was she thanked by the grateful
look of Eddy's blue, boyish eyes, as she busied her-
self kindly with the dog.
"Now, young master, what do you think of that ?"
asked Garth, as the first spoonful went to the lad's
"Think!" replied Eddy, in a glad tone; "why,
I never tasted anything so good before !" and Mr.
Garth looked at his wife with a broad smile on his
34 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
In this pleasant way the breakfast-time passed;
then Mrs. Garth went to her household duties, and
her husband to attend to his shop.
The first thing Eddy did was to go out and buy
a sheet of foreign paper, an envelope, and a stamp
for India, and Mr. Garth having supplied him with
pen and ink, he wrote to his father, telling him
all that had happened, and begged him to write at
once to him at the General Post Office, to be called
This concluded, Eddy started off with his friend
Bounce to look for work, first writing the name of
the street in which he had found a temporary home
on a slip of paper.
8 35 )
BEGINNING THE WORLD.
T was a fine bright day when Eddy began
his search with a cheerful, courageous
heart. For some hours his spirits kept
up, but when evening came on, and he had
found nothing to suit him, he began to feel
rather hopeless and depressed. He had
walked some miles, and felt quite tired out;
his eyes ached, looking out eagerly for the shops
where an errand-boy might be needed. He had
seen only two with the usual "Wanted, an Errand-
boy," pasted up in the window.
In one of these they asked him if he knew the
streets well, and as he was obliged to answer that he
did not, they would have nothing more to say to
him. The other shop was a poor-looking grocer's,
where they offered him two shillings a-week, and
were willing to take him. Eddy had asked for half-
an-hour to think over the offer; but he quickly saw
that it would be impossible for him to support him-
self on such a sum. If he remained with the Garths
(and being such kind people he was most anxious to
36 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
do so), he would have to pay sixpence for his room
and his breakfast every day, which alone would
come to three-and-sixpence a-week !
In the dusk of the evening Eddy, tired and
dispirited, sat on the steps of the old church of St.
Martin's, Trafalgar Square. His little face, always
pale-for he was a delicate boy-was paler than
usual, and the blue eyes looked sad and wistful.
He began to think what would become of him if
he could not get work. Perhaps he would die some
day of hunger, and never, never see his father again!
How dreadful! oh, how dreadful If he could only
support himself until Christmas for he felt sure his
father would by that time come home for him: he
had such a firm, absolute faith in his father's love.
That father had never broken a promise to him in
all his life; and though now such wide, cruel seas
divided them, Eddy felt as certain as that the sun
would rise to-morrow that at the promised time he
should see his father once more. At least if-if that
precious father were alive As the possibility of
his death came across the poor boy's mind, he hid
his face in his hands, and burst into tears that
trickled through the childish fingers.
Oh I it must not, could not be, that he was dead !
If his father had been ill he would have written to
him, he was sure of that. Even now, if he could but
get some work to support himself till Christmas.
. Suddenly, in the midst of his sad thoughts, a
line of his father's letter came into his mind, Trust
BEGINNING THE WORLD. 37
your Heavenly Father in all things." At the same
moment a little sparrow hopped near him, chirping
merrily, and cocking his knowing little head on one
side, on the look-out for a stray crumb. A sudden
joy leapt up in Eddy's lonely heart. His Father in
heaven knew all about his troubles; not even a little
bird could be lost or starved without His caring for
it. And in the middle of the noisy street Eddy's
prayer went up with confidence and certainty of
being helped, "Dear Heavenly Father, send me
some work to do I "
When he took his hands from his face it was no
longer sad, but bright and cheerful, his doubts were
gone, and he felt he should be helped. He did not
feel surprised therefore when, on walking a little
further, and raising his eyes, he saw a white card in
a bookseller's shop near him.
"The sparrow was sent on purpose to remind
me," thought Eddy, as he looked up at the card.
When he drew near, the words, Wanted, an
Errand-boy," came out more and more distinctly
on the whiteness of the card. With a beating heart,
and leaving Bounce outside, Eddy went into the
Ring-a-ting! sharply rang out the shop-bell, as
Eddy let go the door, and with a flushed face
Behind the counter stood the bookseller himself.
He was a short, somewhat thin man, with grey hair,
shaggy black eyebrows, and bright grey eyes, the
38 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
expression of which was both piercing and suspi-
"Please, sir," began Eddy, in a timid voice,
"should I do to be your errand-boy? "
The man gave him a searching glance. It seemed
the result was satisfactory, for some of the sharpness
went out of his face as he noticed the lad's frank and
"You look rather young for my business. How
old are you ? "
"I shall be twelve at Christmas, "replied Eddy,
drawing himself up and trying to look as tall as
Humph Do you know the streets well ?"
The same dreadful question which had dashed
all his hopes before! Eddy's countenance fell as
he heard it; but he looked up candidly and implor-
ingly at his questioner.
I do not know the streets at all, because I was
only once in London before I came up yesterday;
but if you'll only try me, sir, I'll learn them quickly,
and do my very best."
The boy's tone was earnest, and probably the
bookseller knew the value of a willing spirit, for he
said, "Well, well! if you'll really have your eyes
open you would know them soon enough; perhaps
I might try you. You come from the country?"
This last in a tone of questioning.
"Yes, sir; I came up from Derbyshire."
"Very good; very good. Perhaps you'll know
BEGINNING THE WORLD. 39
less of wickedness than the town lads. Anyhow,
I'll try you for a week. Can you read writing
"I think so, sir."
"Here, then, read me these."
So -saying, he laid before Eddy some parcels of
books with different addresses.
Eddy having read the names and streets correctly,
the bookseller was satisfied. He then asked him a
few more questions, and told him to come next day
to begin his trial-week. Eddy was to have his
dinner on the premises with the apprentice, and to
remain from nine in the morning until seven in the
evening, and his wages were to be five shillings a
week. How delighted Eddy was at his success at
last! Five shillings a-week, besides his dinner every
day He could keep Bounce and himself easily on
that, and be able to retain his little bedroom.
"How proud father will be," he thought, "when
he comes home and finds me actually able to
support myself! "
One thing now alone distressed him, and that was
lest he should forget all that he had learnt at school,
and for which his father had paid so much money.
Eddy knew very well that his station in life required
him to be well educated, and that the office of errand-
boy was quite beneath that station. He knew this;
but he knew, too, that for the next few months he
must work, if he would keep out of debt; and he
felt what his father had told him was true-that no
40 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
work is really beneath any one, provided only that
it is done honestly and uprightly. Eddy had learnt
that to tell lies, or to do anything wicked, is the
only thing a gentleman ought to be ashamed of.
And as he had brought a few of his books in his
bag, he determined to learn something in the way
of lessons every day, that even if he was unable
to make much advance in his studies, he would at
least forget nothing of what he had already learnt.
While Eddy was making these good resolutions
he was speeding as fast as he could through the
streets, back to his kind friends the Garths. All
his fatigue seemed to vanish now that he had been
successful, and he was longing to tell the good news
to his new-found friends.
With panting breath and cheerful face he arrived
at the little shop, and told Mr. Garth all his exploits.
"Very good! very good well done!" said the
big man kindly, laying his hand on Eddy's shoulder.
" And now, my boy, you must stay with my wife
and me; we will look upon you as a kind of son
until Mr. Forbes comes home. You see we have no
young ones ourselves, and to have you here is a
pleasure to us both."
Eddy wished for nothing better, and felt very thank-
ful to have some one to take an interest in him in
the great city, where most people seem to be caring
only for themselves.
Taking Mr. Garth's horny hand into both his own,
he thanked him earnestly.
BEGINNING THE WORLD. 41
And now," said the old man," run into the kitchen
and tell my wife the good news."
Eddy found Mrs. Garth busy preparing tea, and
cutting slices of bread and butter. She was as glad
as her husband to hear what he had to tell, and ex-
pressed the same hope as to Eddy's remaining with
them. The two had evidently talked the matter
over in his absence.
"And now, sir," she said, "you had better have
your tea always with us; we have it about seven, for
that saves supper, which we cannot afford."
Eddy demurred at first, but at last agreed that he
should do so, paying a trifle every week to her for
Next morning Mrs. Garth took Eddy into the
shop, after their early breakfast, and gave him a
lesson in sweeping. "For," she said," you may be
sure that's the very first thing they will set you to
Many a merry laugh they had over it, whilst Mr.
Garth stood in the doorway with a smile on his face.
Eddy soon learned how to sweep, and then started
for the shop, amid the kind wishes of the Garths,
who impressed upon him that he was to be sure
always to inquire his way of policemen in preference
to other people, advice which Eddy promised to
It was fortunate that Mrs. Garth had given him
the lesson in sweeping, for the first thing he was set
to do on his arrival was to sweep out the shop; and
42 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
he did it very well and quickly. Then began the
errand-running. Mr. Arrowsmith gave him some
packages of books to leave at different addresses,
and a parcels' book, in which they were to be signed
for as delivered. Eddy kept his eyes open for the
names of the various turnings; and as he had a good
memory, and a faculty for locality, he soon got used
to the streets. He found also that Mr. Garth's advice
wa'sfvery good and useful, for the police generally
directed him to the different places in a clear and
MR. BUTTON AND HIS MASTER.
HE name of the bookseller's apprentice
was William Button-or Billy Button,
as he was usually called. He was a long,
lanky, pale-faced youth of about sixteen. His
mother had paid Mr. Arrowsmith a premium
for taking him, but the unfortunate young
man was almost too stupid to learn anything.
He had outgrown his strength, and it seemed as if
he had outgrown his brains too. His fear of Mr
Arrowsmith was great, for he was intensely nervous;
he was, in fact, afraid of every one, but especially
of the sharp and clever bookseller. Eddy and he,
when dinner-time had come, and they were together
in the back parlour, took furtive glances at one
another over their meal, and they had half finished
it before the silence was broken between them.
At last Eddy said, How do you like being an
Billy gave a frightened look at the half-open door,
and said, in a loud tone, Oh, very much very
much indeed So kind of Mr. Arrowsmith to give
44 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
me such a capital opportunity of learning the busi-
ness! And then he added, in a low whisper, Oh,
I say he's awfully sharp-awfully sharp it's per-
fectly dreadful to be with him all day !"
At this sudden change in his voice and sentiments
Eddy burst into a hearty peal of laughter. This
alarmed poor Billy Button dreadfully, and he held
up his knife and shook it at Eddy warningly.
\ Hush hush Oh, don't laugh he'll hear-he'll
guess Oh, promise me you won't tell what I said "
His face was so frightened, his eyes nearly jumping
out of his head with nervousness, that Eddy pitying
the young man's evident alarm and terror, finished
his dinner in silence.
At length this first day passed, and by the time
six o'clock came he felt tired and glad enough to get
Bounce welcomed his young master with delight,
and jumped round him in ecstasy, for this was the
first time they had ever been separated. It seemed
as if the poor dog would almost go mad with joy;
and when at last he was induced to stop leaping and
barking, and Eddy sat down to his tea, the faithful
brute lay near him under the table, with his great
black head resting affectionately on his young
master's knee, and the loving brown eyes turned up
to watch Eddy's face.
As for the Garths, they were never tired of asking
and hearing how he had got on in his new work, and
of all the journeys he had made with books.
MR. BUTTON AND HIS MASTER. 45
Eddy's trial-week quickly passed. He had striven
hard to be diligent in his duties, but as the day grew
nearer when it was to be decided if he were to be kept
on or not, he could not help feeling rather nervous.
At last the time arrived, and Mr. Arrowsmith
called him into the sitting-room. When Billy Button
heard the summons he looked as scared as if it were
he who was to go through the ordeal. He was
settling and dusting some book-shelves, and he
turned round to Eddy when Mr. Arrowsmith had
closed the shop-door.
Oh, I say, Forbes!" (for the silly young fellow
could never begin a sentence otherwise than with
"Oh, I say ") Oh, I say, Forbes! I do pity you !
Oh, you have to go into his room all alone Oh, he
is so sharp I"
Nervous as Eddy felt, he could not but be amused;
and he threw back his curly head as lie walked very
bravely into the lion's den. There Mr. Arrowsmith
was seated at the table with two bright half-crowns
on the cloth in front of him ; but his interview with
Eddy was short and to the point.
If you go on as you have begun, you'll suit me,
lad. But you must continue to do as you have this
week, and work with a will. There's your money.
I'm very well pleased with you."
Eddy's face lit up with pleasure, for Mr. Arrow-
smith was not a man of many words, and those he
indulged in usually were, to use Billy Button's
expression, very "sharp."
46 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Eddy felt that a few words of praise from such a
man were all the more valuable.
"Thank you, sir," he said, lifting his blue eyes
fearlessly. I am very glad to have pleased you;
and I hope to do better even, for I am beginning to
know the streets. Thank you for the money, too,"
as he took the half-crowns off the table.
"Tat, tut, lad I You've earned them; no need
And the fact that Eddy really had earned this
money by his own exertions-the very first money
gained by himself-made him very proud and happy.
He thought he had never seen before such bright and
pretty coins, and felt almost a man as he put his
wages in his purse.
Eddy was getting on very well in his work as
errand-boy. He had now been six weeks with Mr.
Arrowsmith, and during that time the latter had
made no complaint about him. Indeed, he had had
no cause, for the lad had really striven his best
to please him, and had been very diligent in his
As for Billy Button, he was as nervous as ever,
and, if possible, more stupid. He had a profound
admiration for Eddy's brightness and quickness, and
seemed to have become attached to his young com-
panion. His terror of Mr. Arrowsmith was, however,
greater than ever : this was owing, in a measure, to
the young man's weak condition of body. Every
day he looked more lanky, more white in the
MR. BUTTON AND HIS MASTER. 47
face, and every day he seemed slower and more
awkward in his movements.
Poor Billy Button! He would have been only
too happy if his duties as apprentice to Mr. Arrow-
smith were at an end. For his daily, hourly terrors
of that gentleman were great indeed.
But Billy had an affectionate heart, and he knew
that his poor mother, who was a widow, had striven
and worked hard to be able to pay the premium for
his entrance into Mr. Arrowsmith's employment. It
was the great wish of her heart that her son, who
was her only child, should eventually become a
bookseller, as his father had been before him; and,
notwithstanding all the shocks of nerves that Billy
endured for her sake, he bore his sufferings patiently
and without complaint.
The advent of Eddy, who was in some sort a com-
fort and a companion to him, pleased him greatly.
Eddy himself had all this time been living with
the Garths, and the good couple had become much
attached to the lad. Ie was so bright and cheery,
that he made quite a sunshine in their home," they
would say to the neighbours round when speaking
And Eddy returned their honest affection with all
his heart; he was beginning to feel that he almost
belonged to them : except for one daily-growing
anxiety, he was almost happy in his new life.
And this was his trouble. Every day he noticed
that his dear doggie was growing thinner !
( 48 )
A TERRIBLE SACRIFICE.
DDY looked upon Bounce as a friend,
almost forgetting he was only a dog.
/ '' and the idea that this dear friend was
suffering from hunger was. the cause of acute
pain to him.
With every penny he could spare he bought
rolls for his poor dog, but, alas! Eddy's
pennies were few, after he had paid for absolute
necessities; and Bounce's appetite was large and
It was not wonderful, therefore, that the dog
should get thin and out of health. His only meal in
the day was one scanty plate of scraps, and he was
always chained up-an arrangement which was
absolutely necessary in busy London.
Eddy was loth to tell his kind friends about his
trouble, for he well knew that they gave the dog all
that they could afford, and he more than suspected
that they themselves had of late been poorer than
they were before. Mrs. Garth often lamented, in his
hearing, the scarcity of customers. She really
A TERRIBLE SACRIFICE. 49
believed," he had heard her say, "that people had
left off eating vegetables."
The case being such, Eddy had taken counsel in
his own breast, and had come to a decision as to
what he would do. On the following Saturday when
Mr. Arrowsmith paid him, he would ask for an
additional shilling to be added to his wages; with
this he could buy meat for his dog. But if the
bookseller refused his request, there was but one
remedy for the case-he must sell Bounce !
Yes, there was no other plan; and as Eddy
thought of it a lump came into his throat. But he
was an unselfish boy, and he could not bear to see
his favourite half starved. Better that he himself
should suffer, than that the faithful dumb brute
should ; and perhaps-oh, perhaps !-he would get
the additional shilling.
And the very next Saturday he determined to put
a bold face on the matter and to ask for higher
wages. With some little trepidation he went into
Mr. Arrowsmith's room to be paid, and spoke on the
If you please, sir, I should be glad if you could
make my wages six shillings a-week instead of five;
for by Friday my money is all spent."
Billy Button, who was near, opened his mouth,
and left it in the shape of a round O, struck with
astonishment at his friend's courage and daring.
But the bookseller's face grew dark with displeasure.
Ho, ho! this is what your gratitude comes to,
so TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
is it? So it was only a case of the new broom
sweeping clean. You're dissatisfied pretty soon."
"No, sir! no, indeed!" Eddy protested. "But "-
I don't want any of your buts, boy !" broke in
Mr. Arrowsmith sharply. If you're not satisfied
with your place as it is (for I'll not give you a penny
more), you can leave."
"I don't wish to leave, sir."
Then take your money, and let me hear no more."
Without a word, seeing that words were useless,
Eddy took his wages up, and left the shop.
And thus his one hope of keeping his dear dog
was dashed to the ground. Bounce must go-there
was no help for it. Eddy felt cold with grief at the
thought, but he did not for one moment flinch in his
"He must go, and that this very afternoon," he
thought, while the trembling boyish lips were tightly
closed. Saturday was the only day that Eddy had
a few hours to himself. The book-shop closed on
this day at three in the afternoon.
When he arrived home he went straight to the
yard and untied his dog. Mrs. Garth made no
remark at his doing so, for he was in the habit of
taking Bounce for a run on Saturdays. But as he
passed through the kitchen to go out again she only
said, "You'll be back to tea, lad ? "
Eddy nodded, for he could not speak just then,
and went out into the streets.
He had often seen men and boys standing at the
1%-.t E188C.~ ~ I-i-~
A TERRIBLE SACRIFICE. 51
corner of Oxford Street with dogs for sale, and he
now slowly turned his steps that way, and stationed
himself in the same place. There was a great noise
of cabs and carriages passing, but Eddy hardly saw
or heard anything, so absorbed was he in his grief.
Yet as he looked at his dog that lay crouched at
his feet (for the poor brute was weak and easily
tired), he could not regret his resolve; he felt sure
if he did not soon sell him to some one able to care
for and feed him, they would be parted in a more
cruel way by death.
He had not stood there long when a carriage
stopped opposite him, and a sweet voice addressed
him, Do you wish to sell your dog ?"
Eddy looked up at the speaker. What a pretty
lady, and what a kind face !
"Yes," he answered ; and then went on impulsively,
"I do wish you would buy him I I love him dearly
-he is so good and faithful-and you look as if you
would treat him well I "
The lady smiled.
Yes, I would indeed; but he does not seem to be
in good health : he is very thin."
"Ah! said Eddy, his voice faltering, and the tears
standing in his eyes; he is half starved. I have not
enough money to feed him well, and that is the
reason I wish to sell him."
Poor doggie I said the lady, patting the woolly
black head. Then turning to Eddy she asked how
much he wanted for the dog.
52 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
"I don't know. I only wanted a home for him.
Wiil you give me your word of honour," said Eddy,
schoolboy fashion, your solemn word of honour,
that you will feed him well and treat him kindly ?"
The lady looked at the earnest face of the boy,
which was pale with intense feeling.
"I hardly like to take him from you," she said
Oh, as for that, I must sell him; I cannot let him
starve before my eyes. I would rather you had him
than any one else."
"In that case I will take him, and give you two
And you will promise me what I asked ? "
I promise you faithfully, on my word of honour,"
said the lady, smiling, to take the very best care of
Eddy gave a sigh of relief; and then the coach-
man tied the dog on the box beside him.
But the collar is yours : I must give that back
to you !"
No, no Please don't take it off Father put it
on I Keep it on Bounce implored the boy.
Then Bounce is his name ? asked the lady.
Eddy nodded; for the sight of his dog already
tied, and going away from him, was terrible to his
young heart, and he could not speak. As for Bounce,
he struggled and howled dismally, as if he knew
what was coming.
"Drive on!" said Eddy wildly, holding his hands
A TERRIBLE SACRIFICE. 53
tight over his ears. Drive on-quick, quick! Oh, I
can't bear it! "
And before the coachman had time to seat himself
Eddy took to his heels and ran away as hard as
he could, for he felt the temptation to take his dog
back was getting too strong for him.
"Dear me!" said the lady, as she inspected her
new purchase on her arrival at home. I am so
sorry for the poor boy. Why, there's a name on
the collar! 'Edward Forbes.' Forbes! Edward
Forbes she repeated. "Why, surely I've heard
my father mention that name often ? "
( 54 )
HEN Eddy arrived home in the evening,
after selling his dog, he was very pale.
He told the Garths briefly what he had done,
and begged them not to say anything on the
subject; but at tea the poor boy could eat
S little: he felt as if every morsel would choke
him. He was too miserable to cry, but before the
meal was over he left the table, saying he was tired
and would go to bed.
The Garths respected his desire for silence, nor
did they offer to comfort him in words. But the
good couple followed him with pitying, tender eyes;
and the poor boy felt that their silent sympathy
was as much as he could bear.
When he had left the kitchen and gone up to his
little bed-chamber their eyes met, and Mrs. Garth
brushed away a tear with the back of her hand as
she said, "Ah, husband the poor lad feels it sorely,
this parting with his dog."
"God help him! indeed, he does!" answered Mr.
Garth, with a sigh. He was as fond of that dumb
brute as if it had been a human being."
"My heart knits itself every day more to the
lad. He is thoroughly unselfish; and he is so brave,
"That he is, wife. I wish we had a son like him.
But God knows best, and I fear we shall soon not
have enough to keep ourselves and the lad. Times
are hard; perhaps it is as well he parted with the
dog at once."
"Ay, ay! but I can't bear to see the child so
"No, nor I either: still food is food, and we
haven't too much of it."
As for Eddy, when he found himself alone in his
room, he sat on the edge of his bed, but made no
attempt to undress.' Somehow this parting with
his dog seemed as if it had wrenched away some of
his bright hopes of meeting with his father, and
almost loosened the tie between them.
He sat silently for an hour, with a dull, heavy
pain at his heart. At last rousing himself, he began
to prepare for bed, but his eyes fell on the hay in
the corner, and great sobs broke from his lips,
which gathered strength till the tears came thick
"Oh, Bounce! Bounce! my own doggie!" broke
from the poor little pale lips that had restrained
themselves so long and so bravely. Soon the first
violence of his grief passed, but tears still coursed
56 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
down his face, and seemed to be a relief, and the
unnatural whiteness of the young cheeks gave place
to a deep flush of red. At last he fell asleep; but
the still wet lashes and occasional broken sob showed
that even in slumber his grief hovered over him,
until finally he became perfectly unconscious in
deep and profound slumber. He did not hear Mrs.
Garth come up and open his door softly. For some
moments she stood at his bedside with the candle
shaded from his eyes.
The marks' of tears were still on the boyish face,
and his curls were wet as they lay on the pillow; one
little brown hand was thrown negligently on the
patchwork quilt, whilst the other was tucked under
the flushed cheek in childhood's favourite attitude.
Mrs. Garth sighed as she looked at him.
"Poor lad! he has cried himself to sleep. A
brave boy not to give in to his grief until he was
alone; he'll make a fine man some of these days.
I trust his father will turn up; though we'll be sorry
to part with him," she thought. And then she
smoothed away the wet curls from the hot forehead
gently, and bent her lips down to kiss him.
God bless him !" she said softly, in a whisper.
Softly as the words were said, and though so
gentle the action, it roused Eddy. He had not had
a kiss for many a long day, nor felt such a loving
touch, and a glad smile overspread the innocent
"Oh, Mrs. Garth!" was all he said. But he
raised himself and threw his arms round her neck;
and she, setting the candle down on a chair, took
the lonely boy to her bosom, and held him there in
a long embrace. It was as much happiness to her
to give this loving comfort as it was to Eddy to
receive it, for she loved children dearly, and had
often longed for one of her own.
She soothed the curly head on her breast, and
softly whispered all the fond endearing words to
him, that spring as naturally to a kind-hearted
woman's lips as the flowers from their mother earth.
And the poor boy, who was yet but a child, and
needed a child's nourishment of love, drank in the
love for which he had such sore need thirstily.
Soothed and comforted, she laid him back again
on the pillow, with a contented bright smile on
his face, and settled him comfortably with deft
womanly hands. *
Eddy drew a deep sigh-a sigh expressing plainly
the relief her caresses had given him.
And now, dear, do you think you can sleep ?"
she asked, still smoothing his hair fondly.
"Oh yes said Eddy. "I am so happy: I shall
sleep well now."
"That's right." And Mrs. Garth, as she took up
her candle to go, smiled, pleased with the success
of her efforts at comforting him.
"Oh, Mrs. Garth!" he said, calling her back as
she was about to leave the room.
She came back and stood over him.
58 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
"What is it, my lad ? "
"I'm so comfortable I I'm so very comfortable !"
And he gave a little kick of delight under the
clothes. And then, unable to restrain his feel-
ings, he started up and gave her another boyish
But although the kindness and motherliness of
Mrs. Garth comforted him so much that night, when
Eddy woke next morning he felt a sad weight at
At first he could not remember what his trouble
was; but soon the fact that he had indeed sold his
dog came back to his mind, and his sorrow seemed
to recover new force. He could not but think, too,
his father far, far away; and wonder how much
longer it would be before he would return to Eng-
land. Perhaps he was ill! or worse-dead I And
poor Eddy's heart seemed to burst with horror at
the dreadful thought.
He threw himself on his knees, and buried his
head in his hands, while he repeated his morning
prayer. It was a real outpouring of his heart. Oh,
Father in heaven, send my father back to me!" cried
he, aloud. "I feel as if I should die without him!
but if I could only believe he would return to me
safe, I. could bear everything else patiently !" And
then, as if the thought crossed him that perhaps he
was asking too much, the poor boy added, with a
sobbing voice, And yet, Jesus, make me love only
what is Thy will, and live only for Thee And he
rose up and went downstairs refreshed and comforted
in all his sorrow.
It was Sunday, and this was the day of all others
that he and his four-footed friend were accustomed
to spend much time together. After Eddy had
attended morning service, and had come back to his
early dinner, he and Bounce used to set off for an
afternoon ramble till tea-time; and this was the
pleasantest time of all the poor child's hardworking
week. It was his only recreation, and it was with
joyous delight he would send Bounce into the
Serpentine and watch his great black head appear
over the water steering for land again. Then, too,
Bounce unmistakably enjoyed himself as well as his
master, until tired out at last, Eddy would return
home in time to a comfortable tea with the Garths,
and then to church in the evening.
This Sunday, the first he had ever spent without
Bounce, seemed almost the saddest and most trying
day that his master had ever known. But he was to
know days sadder still.
( 0 )
TRIED IN THE FIRE.
S DDY returned to his work next day at
M*r. Arrowsmith's, glad enough to get
back to an occupation which helped to
wean his thoughts from the sad subject of his
now lost friend.
He entered the small closet which was
devoted to the use of Billy Button and him-
self, and he was about to hang his hat on its accus-
tomed peg, when he saw Billy washing and scrubbing
his hands with unwonted vigour in the corner of the
room. Billy himself did not hear his footsteps until
he was quite near him, and then he gave such a start
as nearly overturned the small washstand.
"Oh, I say, Forbes I why do you come in creeping
like that, giving a fellow such a fright ? he asked
"Your nerves seem in a bad way to-day!" re-
turned Eddy, inclined in his own bad spirits to be
satirical. I didn't come in more quietly than usual."
And then Eddy stood watching the apprentice in
silence for some moments.
TRIED IN THE FIRE. 61
"Why, Billy," he said at last, "what have you
been doing to that water? it looks as black as
But when Eddy uttered the last word, Billy
Button gave him a great dig in the side with his
Hush, hush I don't speak so loud! It is ink!"
"And what's the harm of mentioning that, I
should like to know? Eddy asked in a whisper.
But before Billy could conclude his sentence
Mr. Arrowsmith's voice rang out, clear and sharp,
-" Are you two going to idle there all day ?"
Billy Button snatched his hands out of the basin,
trembling, and growing visibly whiter; and Eddy
hurried into the shop, thinking to himself that the
unfortunate apprentice was certainly growing more
nervous than ever.
A day or two after this Eddy remarked that there
was a curious, but decided change in the bookseller's
manner to him. It seemed as if Mr. Arrowsmith
was always watching him distrustfully, and with
more than his ordinary suspicion. Whenever Eddy
was waiting to be despatched on another errand he
was in the habit, when not set to do anything, of
walking about the shop to look at the books, for he
was fond of reading, and often longed to handle the
attractive-looking volumes in their bright bindings.
There was one-oh, how many times he had wished
that it was his own It was a splendid volume of
62 TRUE UNDFR TRIAL.
"Robinson Crusoe," bound in morocco and full of
pictures; and he had often stationed himself near
it, gazing at it with longing eyes.
But the last few days this delightful book had
disappeared. Eddy concluded it had been sold,
and gave a sigh of relief when he saw its empty
place, the sight of it had been so tantalising.
Mr. Arrowsmith used to be pleased with Eddy's
delight and admiration of the books; but of late,
when Eddy loitered near them, he had been sur-
prised at the suspicious glances that were directed
after him. Once, when Eddy had bent over some
to read the titles, he was startled at his master's
words and manner.
"What are you doing there at those books ?
Leave things alone that don't belong to you!"
And Mr. Arrowsmith suddenly came behind him,
and pushed him away roughly.
"Sir !" said Eddy, astonished, I was not touch-
ing them; only reading the titles. I did not know
it was any harm."
If you did not touch them you were remarkably
near them I Mr. Arrowsmith sharply replied.
At this Eddy drew himself up proudly, and had
kept quite aloof from the rows of the books after-
wards. But he could not help feeling greatly hurt
at his master's manner to him, and it occasioned
him true sorrow. He often wondered what was the
reason for it; but always came to the same con-
clusion-that it must be on account of his having
TRIED IN THE FIRE. 63
asked for his wages to be raised. He now regretted
having done so, since making the request had been
quite useless, and only appeared to have raised dis-
pleasure and suspicion in Mr. Arrowsmith's mind
Poor Eddy He knew not of the troubles hang-
ing over him, soon to break upon his innocent young
One Friday evening, as Eddy was preparing to go
home, he was surprised at Mr. Arrowsmith calling
him into his private room, for he was not usually
paid his wages until the next day, Saturday. The
bookseller wore his sharpest and most severe ex-
pression, and Eddy's heart failed him a little as he
noted it, although he had no idea of having
displeased him in any way.
With great solemnity of manner Mr. Arrowsmith
shut the door, and then seated himself in his large
chair, motioning Eddy to come and stand in front
For a few moments he gazed at the little lad
before him in silence, with a look so scrutinising and
suspicious that the sensitive colour came and went
in Eddy's face, and he involuntarily turned away his
"Ay!" and Mr. Arrowsmith spoke at last: "you
may well redden, and turn your eyes from me!"
At this Eddy turned quickly to him.
"I don't know what you mean, sir! There is no
reason why I should not look at you !" And the
64 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
boy's tone was impetuous. But as he spoke, Mr.
Arrowsmith's face darkened still more.
"Come, come I" he said; "I want no lies. It
will be your best policy to confess at once."
Confess what, sir ?" asked Eddy, his blue eyes
opening wide with astonishment.
"Confess what you have done with the parcel
containing 'Robinson Crusoe,' which William Button
gave to you to leave at Mr. Palmer's, No. 9 Ebury
Street, last Monday!" said his master, emphatically.
"Did he?" said Eddy, puzzled for a moment.
"Well, if he gave it me, of course I left it. But let
me think a moment, sir. Why, no; I remember
now. I have not been to Mr. Palmer's since I left
the Dictionary, fully three weeks ago."
Mr. Arrowsmith gazed at him sharply.
"Well, what have you done with the book ?"
I never had it, sir. I am sure of that. I should
remember if I had gone to Ebury Street."
Now, Forbes," said the bookseller, settling him-
self in his chair, "just listen to me. Mr. Palmer
bought that book from me last Saturday; I gave it
to William Button to make up on that day. But on
Wednesday morning Mr. Palmer called here to ask
me why I had not sent his book. Now of Button's
honesty I have not a doubt. He is a son of my
oldest friend, and though very dull and stupid, I
have as much faith in his word and honesty as I
have in my own. You are a perfect stranger to me.
I have often seen you looking at that very book I
TRIED IN THE FIRE. 6;
feel sure that-clever, well-educated boy, as you
certainly are-you have simply taken it as a loan, to
read it, and that you are afraid to confess so to me.
This was wrong, very wrong; but I might be in-
duced to forgive it."
But, indeed, Mr. Arrowsmith," broke in Eddy,
"I never saw the book since it was in the shop I
haven't got it, and never touched it, sir "
"How dare you tell me such a lie? I repeat, once
more, I may forgive you; only, however, on condi-
tion that you confess your fault. Tell me frankly,"
repeated Mr. Arrowsmith, his voice softening: con-
fess it openly, and for this once I will overlook it.
You have hitherto been a good lad, useful, and smart;
and I don't wish to part with you for the first mis-
take, though a serious one."
"But, indeed-indeed, sir, I cannot confess it I
know nothing about it! answered Eddy earnestly.
Mr. Arrowsmith rose, and going to the door called
Button, who came in, looking whiter than ever, and
the picture of fright, for his master's expression was
not pleasant to behold.
"Button," said Mr. Arrowsmith, what day did
you give Forbes the book for Mr. Palmer ?"
On Monday, sir," faltered Billy.
"Indeed, Button, you are under a mistake," said
Eddy. You gave me no book for Ebury Street."
"Do you remember giving it to him ? asked the
66 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Do you remember it perfectly? "
"Now, lad," said Mr. Arrowsmith, turning to Eddy,
"you hear what he says. I will give you one more
chance. Confess you took it, and I will forgive
you. I will not even ask you to return the book;
but if you will not speak up honestly, I dismiss you
from my service at once. I do not know that I will
not even give you into custody." Then placing his
watch on the table, he added, I give you just five
minutes to decide."
"Forbes! O Forbes!" pleaded Billy Button,
coming over to him; "do say you took it-oh, do!
and there will be nothing more about it: master has
promised And Billy clasped his hands in entreaty,
while tears were in his eyes.
Silence I said Mr. Arrowsmith ; return to the
Billy Button left the room, looking imploringly at
Eddy as he went out.
Terribly long did those five minutes seem to
Eddy. He saw the perilous position he was in at
once. The impossibility of clearing himself! the
shame the disgrace and oh more terrible than
all, that threat of the bookseller's that he might give
him into the hands of the police Why not con-
fess," as Mr. Arrowsmith called it, and be free from
dismissal and disgrace? But as this temptation
came into his mind his father's words, BE SURE YOU
ARE TRUTHFUL," came to his recollection, and a
TRIED IN THE FIRE. 67
flush of shame dyed Eddy's face, as he thought of to
what he had been tempted-the telling a deliberate
lie! What would Father think ? what would Father
say? Why he knew! He would say that, besides
being wicked, it was cowardly; and Eddy himself
hated cowards. Even if he were cast into prison,
and his father should come home and find him
there, accused of theft, then his son could still lift
his eyes to his face, and tell him he was innocent,
and punished just because he would not tell a lie.
It would make that father proud and happy! He
would clasp him to his breast and thank God for
keeping his boy ; while if he confessed to a crime
he had not committed, how could he ever look his
father in the face again ? Just as Eddy had come to
this point in his thoughts he heard Mr. Arrowsmith's
voice, and started as he heard it, buried as he was in
his own reflections.
The voice of the bookseller was sterner than ever.
" Once more, will you confess ? "
"No, sir; I cannot tell a lie!" And the candid
eyes looked up straight at the face lowering in its
The look of those eyes, so frank and fearless,
staggered for a moment the master's belief in the
boy's guilt, and the suspicious look changed to a
At last a thought seemed to strike him. Perhaps
the bby had sold the book-sold it at some second-
hand book-shop! It was a valuable book. Another
68 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
thought! was there not a way to almost prove if the
boy had done so or not ?
"Put everything you have got in your pockets on
Eddy took out, and laid on the table, some string,
a penny top, a soiled handkerchief, a catapult, a
knife with two broken blades, and a purse consider-
ably the worse for wear.
Now Eddy had not thought it prudent to carry
about him all the money he had received for Bounce,
so he had put by thirty shillings, and had kept four
half-crowns in his purse. These large pieces of silver
consequently bulged out the small purse consider-
ably. Mr. Arrowsmith took them out, one by one,
and placed them on the table.
Now, lad," he said, his voice rising wrathfully,
"I find you are even worse than I had taken you
for,-a liar, as well as a thief l You told me last
week that you never had any money on Friday, and
on Friday I find ten shillings in your purse !"
But, sir, that is money I got for my dog."
What dog ?"
Why, sir, don't you remember the big New-
foundland I had with me when you engaged
But the words were hardly out of his lips when
Eddy suddenly remembered that he had left Bounce
outside, fearing that a dog with him would not look
You had no dog with you. Did you ever hear
TRIED IN THE FIRE. 69
that liars should have good memories ?" almost
roared Mr. Arrowsmith.
"Indeed, sir," said poor Eddy, tears rising in his
eyes at the remembrance, he was, I assure you, out-
side the shop that day, and last week I sold him for
"A likely story, indeed! An errand-boy have a
dog worth two pounds No, sir; don't perjure
yourself further. It's plain to me that you have sold
my book; and I am glad I found out I had a thief
in my shop before further thefts were committed.
Now take up your things and let me never see
your face again. You may think yourself fortunate
that I don't send for the police," and Mr. Arrow-
smith's face darkened still more.
"Certainly, sir, I'll go!" returned Eddy proudly,
and a little scornfully. I'm not going to ask to
stay with people who call me a liar and a thief!"
And with a heightened colour and head thrown
back he walked out of the room, through the shop,
and into the street, his heart throbbing and beating
as though it would burst.
He had not gone far, however, when he heard run-
ning footsteps and panting breath behind him, and
a voice called out, "Forbes!" Eddy turned, and
found Billy Button behind, crying now in earnest.
"O Forbes! Forbes!" he said, "are you sent
Yes," said Eddy, his voice trembling.
"Oh, I say I'm so sorry Look here, Forbes!
70 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
take this-oh, do take this! And Billy forced into
his hand a sovereign. "It's all I have-I wish it
was more! Oh, do take it! You may be out of a
place for ever so long !"
Eddy would not hear of it, but thanked him
heartily, assuring him that he had plenty of money
at home, and some kind friends.
Have you, though ? said Billy, opening his little
round eyes. I'm so glad of that 0 Forbes!"
and here he begun to whimper afresh, shake hands
with me before you go."
Eddy put out his two brown hands, and Billy
grasped and held them.
"Thanks, old fellow !" said Eddy; but Billy, with
a great sob in his voice, turned away suddenly, and
ran off as hard as he could.
( 71 )
WHO WAS IT .?
S- the lad walked through the streets that
evening he felt almost too confused with
the suddenness of his dismissal to remem-
ber how it had all come about. His principal
feeling was one of anger against his accuser,
and a bitter sense that a wicked injustice had
been done to him. So wrapped up was he in
his thoughts, that twice finding himself in streets he
was unaccustomed to, he looked up, through eyes
half blinded by tears, to find that he had turned out
of his well-known route homewards into places where
he had never been before.
He was obliged, therefore, to ask his way, and
retrace his steps so often that it was long past his
usual hour when at last he reached home.
He found his friend Mrs. Garth at the door of
her shop, with one arm a-kimbo, and her hand
shading her eyes as she gazed up the quiet street
where lingered the last rays of the setting sun, to-
wards the corner where Eddy usually came in sight.
"Why, dear lad, how late you are to-night! she
72 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
said, as he came up. And then, seeing his face so
grave, and the traces of tears on his cheeks, Why,
what's the matter? what have you been fretting
0 Mrs. Garth! I'm turned away! I've lost
my situation !"
"Lost your situation'! turned away!" she re-
peated in amazement; then seeing the poor lad
look so miserable, she added, her kind heart prompt-
ing her, "Well, well! I wonder the bookseller could
be so foolish. He's lost a good, faithful, smart
messenger, that I'll warrant him. And as for you,
why, there's as good fish in the sea as ever was
caught yet, so cheer you up!" and she put her hand
affectionately on his shoulder.
"0 Mrs. Garth! it's the reason for which I
am turned away that's so dreadful!" began Eddy
"Not a reason will I hear till you've had your
tea. I've made a nice hot cake to-night, and already
it's overdone;" and with gentle force she pushed
Eddy before her into the kitchen.
Mrs. Garth was as good as her word, for she
refused to let him tell them anything of his troubles
until he had had a good tea. And what with her
love and kindness to him, and the influence of the
smoking cake, which tasted as good as it looked,
and was to Eddy a rare treat, he began to feel his
wounded feelings a little on the mend.
Tea over, Mr. Garth asked Eddy to begin at the
WHO WAS IT? 73
beginning, and tell them how it had all come about;
and his anger having cooled, Eddy, in going over
the case to them, felt much of his confusion of mind
as to the circumstances disappear, and began to see
that the book having vanished in such an unaccount-
able manner (for, of course, Billy Button had been
mistaken in thinking he had given it to him) had
really lent a great deal of probability to Mr. Arrow-
smith's notion of his having stolen it. But as he be-
gan to feel cooler his staunch friend Mrs. Garth waxed
hotter and fiercer in her wrath ; nor could her calm,
wise husband, who usually had so much influence
over her, do anything to appease her.
"I say he had no right to suspect our Eddy! I'd
like to bring an action against the impudent old
rascal for saying such things !" she repeated, her
eyes flashing with indignation.
Well, yes," assented her husband, "it was rude
of him; but then, you see, books can't walk."
"O Mr. Garth !" burst in Eddy, a hot flush
dyeing his face, do you believe me guilty of such
But the smile which went over the old man's face
as the boy spoke reassured Eddy, at once and for
ever, on that subject.
"No, no! indeed, my lad, I think you behaved
bravely-nobly-in a temptation very sore and diffi-
cult; and I honour you for your truthfulness and
I don't know another lad that would have had
74 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
his pluck!" chimed in his wife excitedly. "There
he was, the poor lamb! offered on the one hand to
continue in his place, and on the other dismissal,
and perhaps imprisonment-because he would not
tell a lie!" And overcome with her admiration and
sympathy, good Mrs. Garth darted to Eddy, and
caught him to her breast.
"Indeed," said Eddy, blushing, as soon as he was
released, "I don't much care, now that you two-
my best, my only friends-do not believe me guilty.
But tell me, Mr. Garth, what do you think can have
become of the book ? "
"I think that apprentice took it," put in Mrs.
Oh no!" said Eddy warmly. "I'm sure he
didn't. He is good and honest, although very
And then he told them how Billy Button had
run after him and wanted him to accept money,
lest, being out of place, he should come to want.
"But if he's so good, why did he say he had
given you the book when he had not done so ?"
asked Mrs. Garth in her practical way.
"I'm quite sure," said Eddy, "that he thought he
had done so. I suppose he made it up into a parcel,
and imagined he had then given it to me. He is
very forgetful and stupid."
"Why did you not speak to him about it when
he ran after you ?" demanded Mrs. Garth.
"The fact is, I felt so confused with it all that I
WHO WAS IT? 75
had not thought all the circumstances out clearly,
until I began to tell them to you now," replied
"Now, Mr. Garth," asked his wife, turning to him,
as he sat silent in his chair, what do you think of
it all ? "
"This was how it was, in my opinion," said Mr.
Garth slowly. "Button put up the book in a parcel,
thinking he had given it to Eddy, but in reality
leaving it on the counter. And when no one was
in the way-you two maybe at dinner-some one
just popped into the shop and stole it."
Eddy opened his eyes wide.
"Why, I never thought of that! and now I do
remember. One day-I dare say it might have
been Monday, only I never remember days exactly
-when Billy and I had finished dinner, we came
into the shop together, and there we found such a
queer-looking man, and he had a carpet-bag too.
He asked for a map of England, but we had none."
"And was Mr. Arrowsmith not in the shop then ?"
asked Mrs. Garth breathlessly.
"No; he was having his after-dinner sleep in his
"Well, then, that explains it all!" said Mrs.
Garth exultingly. Of course, he took the book,
and put it in his carpet bag; it's all as plain as print
-isn't it, husband ?"
Certainly it looks like it," said Mr. Garth ; "it
looks remarkably like it."
76 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Now that I think it all over, I feel almost sure
he must have taken it; but, you see, it would be
impossible to prove that he did so," said Eddy.
And so they talked and wondered, decided and
undecided. What had become of the book which
had gone in such a mysterious way ? As for Eddy,
under these good friends' influence, he became a
little cheered up. For, as they said, although it was
hard to be blamed when one was innocent, yet how
much more dreadful it would have been were he
Still it grieved the boy's affectionate heart that
Mr. Arrowsmith, who had hitherto been kind to him,
should think so badly of him now, and Eddy would
have given a great deal to be able to clear himself
in his late master's eyes.
This, however, was hopeless, and our brave boy
prepared himself to endure his hard lot with patience
and courage. All next day, and the following day,
and for two weeks, Eddy went about looking for work,
but none could he find. How thankful all this time
did he feel that he was possessed of a little money;
that he was not obliged to be a burden on his poor
friends, whom, he could plainly see, were daily be-
coming poorer. Yet, as much as they could, they
hid the state of their affairs from the lad, and he
had great difficulty in inducing them to accept a
few shillings for his board. Now that he was out of
work they could not bear to take money from him,
they said, but often entreated him to buy himself
WHO WAS IT? 77
a few articles of apparel, boots, and such-like, which
he was beginning to need very much. Eddy, how-
ever, was determined that he would go to no expense
until he was sure of some employment, and steadily
resisted all their kind entreaties.
The poor couple had begun to look upon and care
for Eddy, almost as if he were their own son; and
as for Eddy, he returned their affection with his
( 78 )
A NOBLE DEED.
WO or three weeks after Eddy had been
dismissed from Mr. Arrowsmith's, he had
t/ l gone to bed one evening almost imme-
diately after tea, for he had walked many
miles that day, and was quite tired out.
It was a close, hot night, in the beginning
of September, and when Eddy got up to his
little bedroom he found it almost too warm to
breathe. Instead of shutting his door, as he gene-
rally did, he set it wide open.
He was so thoroughly wearied out, that no sooner
had his head touched the pillow than he fell into a
profound sleep. He must have slept for some hours,
when, on awaking, he was startled to hear people
talking in an undertone, apparently quite near him.
His fears vanished, however, when his senses came
back more fully, and he became aware that the
voices were those of Mr. and Mrs. Garth. He
remembered, then, that he had left his door open,
and that their bedroom was next to his. They,
too, most probably feeling the heat, had set their
A NOBLE DEED. 79
door open, and this was the reason he heard them
But when Eddy perceived the subject of their
conversation, it completely roused him, and he sat
up in his little bed, rubbing his eyes, and listening
Mr. Garth was evidently comforting his wife, and
was trying to persuade her to go to sleep.
"I tell you, husband, I can't go to sleep; I have
not slept since we came to bed. And when I think
it's the last night we shall have a bed to sleep
on "- Here her voice broke down in sobs.
Come, come now, dear wife! please God, 'twill
not be so bad as that! All we owe for our rent
is five pounds, and I have three pounds ten; so
the worst the bailiffs can do is to sell up to thirty
Oh, but the disgrace I What will the neighbours
say ? We, who have always held up our heads re-
spectably, and never were in debt before! "
"That is the worst of it." (And here Eddy heard
the old man heave a deep sigh.) "I'm afraid, too,
our neighbours will fight shy of our shop when they
And the tradespeople we owe to," resumed Mrs.
Garth; "though they don't mind giving us credit
now, yet if there's a sale in the house they'll come
down for their money too."
"Well, well, wife! God's will be done!" said Mr.
Garth solemnly; but Eddy could hear that his
So TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
voice was husky. His wife, also, evidently noticed
it, and though she was willing to complain whilst
he was cheerful, as soon as his spirits gave way her
unselfishness showed itself.
"Ay, that's true, husband: nothing will happen
to us that He does not know of. And at all events
we have one another; and so now let us try to sleep,
and leave events in God's hands."
"There's my own brave wife!" said her husband.
After this there was no more talking ; and
soon Eddy heard them breathe heavily and regu-
larly: worn out with their troubles, at length they
had forgotten them in sleep. But it was a long
time before Eddy laid down again; the harvest-
moon was shining, making everything light, almost
like day, and it lighted up the earnest, childish face,
with its expression of deep concern and anxiety.
How dreadful all this was that he had heard He
had but a confused notion of what bailiffs were-
some terrible kind of policemen, who took people
to prison if they were not able to pay their debts.
This was Eddy's idea; and he shuddered as he
thought of the danger his friends were in. Suddenly
he clasped his hands: Oh, thank God I sold
Bounce! I'm so glad now!" And then he jumped
out of his bed, and carried his carpet-bag over to
the window. With hands trembling in their eager-
ness he took out of it a little pasteboard box, tied
round with a piece of string. In the box were two
gold pieces-a sovereign and a half-just the sum
A NOBLE DEED. 81
wanted to make up the rent! And as he thought
of this, Eddy's bare feet performed a sort of war-
dance on the boarded floor.
But his first joy over, he began to think of the
difficulties,-how he could persuade the good couple
to make use of his money; and then, even should
he succeed in this, he would have nothing left to
pay them weekly for his support : and in the present
state of their affairs it was quite impossible to the
boy's generous and unselfish heart that he should
remain to be a burden upon them. Long the
little figure stood thus, meditating and motionless,
with elbow leaning on the low window-sill, and
the small brown hand outstretched with the two
gold pieces in its open palm, whilst the sweet, pale
face, with its great earnest eyes, was turned up to
the star-lit sky. Suddenly a look of pain went over
the sensitive mouth, and the lips quivered. But it
was only for a moment, and then a look of resolution
stamped itself all over the young face.
"Yes," whispered Eddy to himself, "there is only
one thing that I can do to make them take the
money, and avoid being any further expense to
them"-and here he drew a deep sigh-" I must
When Eddy had thus come to the decision to
leave the Garths, he set to work speedily to carry it
into effect. Creeping about as softly as he could,
he put together the few things he possessed and
82 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
Then he took a sheet of paper, and kneeling down
by the little rough dressing-table he wrote in pencil a
few lines of farewell to his kind friends. The letter
"DEAR MR. AND MRS. GARTH,
"I hope you will not be angry with me,
but I heard you talking of your troubles to-night.
I was not listening, but my door was open and that
is how I heard it all. I am so very, very sorry
about it. And now, dear friends, I must bid you
good-bye. I am going to get some work, please God-
far away, so you must not look for me. Don't think
it ungrateful of me to go, for I have a most particular
reason for doing so, only I cannot tell you what it is.
And don't think I don't love you; it is because I
love you both so much that I know I should stay
if I saw you again. I enclose 1, Ios. in this, as I
have quite enough without it, and shall soon get
work. Please do not fret or feel anxious about me
for God will take care of me always, and when Father
comes home we will come and see you.
"Your very affectionate friend,
Poor, noble little Eddy I He imagined in his
innocence that this letter was very deep and pro-
found, and that his friends could not possibly guess
from it his real reason for leaving their sheltering
roof. In fact, he hoped they would think he went
away entirely on his own account, to find work.
A NOBLE DEED. 83
When he had finished his letter he folded up the
money in it, and then threw himself, in his clothes,
on the bed, for it was yet night. He slept but little,
so fearful was he that the Garths would be up before
him, and he should lose his chance of stealing away
unseen that morning. He knew how important it
was they should accept his money on that particular
day. His sleep was, therefore, very broken; and
every hour that passed he heard the bells chime out
in the stillness.
At last four o'clock struck. It was twilight: but
Eddy crept noiselessly from his room, his carpet-bag
grasped in one hand, while the other held the
precious money. As he passed the Garths' bedroom
door all was still.
When he reached the kitchen he placed his letter
in the middle of the table, that there might be no
chance of its being overlooked.
He did not venture to put on his boots until he
reached the street door, and was ready to pull back
the bolts. How his heart beat as he drew them!
The first glided smoothly back into its place, but the
next was stiff. Eddy gave it a little shake. No
use; it would not come. If he gave it a great pull
the noise would be heard all over the house. So for
a moment he paused: then, summoning up all his
strength, and all his courage, he gave a vigorous tug,
and open flew the door! But at the same moment
he heard Mrs. Garth's voice say distinctly, Why,
84 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
there's some one at the door, husband I Do get up
and see !"
Eddy remained to hear no more, but sprang out
into the streets, not even waiting to pull the door
He ran as hard as he could, down lanes and
streets, till at last he relaxed his pace for sheer want
of breath. As he did so a thought suddenly flashed
through his mind-he had completely forgotten his
bag! He remembered he had laid it beside him at
the door, when using both hands to draw the bolt,
and his fright at hearing Mrs. Garth had put all
thoughts of his bag out of his head.
How unfortunate I he was literally destitute now!
Possessed of absolutely nothing but his shabby
purse, containing one solitary sixpence! He had
calculated that, if he failed at first to get work, he
should still have a few books and articles of clothing
that he could sell. But now all he had was gone !
He could not return for his bag; Mr. Garth must be
up and dressed. As he thought of how very desti-
tute he was, his courage sank.
Sitting down on the nearest door-step to think, he
remembered how he had seated himself on another
door-step, nearly two months before, at the house he
thought was his aunt's. Then, indeed, he was not
quite alone, for he had Bounce. Now he was not
only more destitute, but desolate as well; and he
longed for his dog. If he could only feel his woolly
A NOBLE DEED. 85
head on his knee now, and see those faithful brown
eyes With Bounce at his side, he felt as if he
could face anything. But alas! alas! poor Bounce
was far away-he did not even know where-and in
all probability he would never see him again. And
Eddy's head sank into his hands, and the poor little
heart felt as if it would burst with grief. He was
now so utterly, utterly lonely His great, generous
nature, had prompted him to this sudden determina-
tion to leave his kind friends the Garths; and he had
scarcely thought, at first, how it would affect him-
self, so wrapped up had he been in unselfish thoughts
for their good.
But now that he had actually separated himself
from their loving protection he felt his fate was very,
very bitter; and even his courage quailed.
For a long time he sat on the steps. At first when
he had come down it was little more than twilight;
but now the sun was rising, and streaks of crimson
and gold were overspreading the sky. As Eddy
saw that daybreak had come, he thought it advisable
to go further from the Garths, for he felt sure that
they would seek him in every direction. Kneeling,
therefore, on the step, he repeated the Our Father,"
very slowly, with quivering lips and a great sense of
loneliness. Then started to face the world once
( 86 )
N THE DISCOVERY.
HILST he was thus going further and
further from them, his friends were griev-
ing sorely at his absence. Mrs. Garth had
heard the bolt of the door being shot back,
and had roused her husband, fearing that
robbers might be breaking into the house.
Down Mr. Garth had gone, armed with a poker.
He found no one; but he was amazed to see the
door wide open. Evidently the robbers had fled,
and there, too, was their booty for in the uncertain
light he saw a bag lying at the door.
Stooping down to examine it more closely, he
found, to his surprise, that it was Eddy's.
This, therefore, was no robbers' work, for they
could not have stolen the lad's clothes and books out
of his room without his hearing them.
Aghast at the discovery he had made, Mr. Garth
shut the door, and taking the bag in his hands, he
went up to his wife to tell her what he had found.
"Whatever is the boy going to do with all his
THE DISCOVERY. 87
things ? she ejaculated, turning them over in aston-
And then they went together to Eddy's little
room beside their own. But no Eddy was to be
seen, nor anything belonging to him. The room
was left even more tidy than usual, and the bed
was made: however, as Eddy always left his room
so, in order to give as little trouble as he could to
Mrs. Garth, this caused them no alarm.
"I tell you what it is, wife," said Mr. Garth, at
last; "that lad heard us talking last night, and he
just intended to go off early and sell his bits of
things to help us."
Maybe so, husband; but why should the boy
leave his bag and go off, without shutting the door ?"
Mr. Garth shook his head ; he did not know what
to say to this.
Neither of them thought for a moment that Eddy
had left them entirely, nor anticipated that he would
not be back to breakfast.
But when Mrs. Garth came down to light the
kitchen fire, the first thing that struck her on open-
ing the shutters was the white patch in the middle
of the table. When she saw it was a letter, and,
moreover, in Eddy's handwriting, her heart sank
Why should the child write to us when he lives
in the same house?" she thought, as she took it
into her hands.
Hastily breaking open the envelope, the two gold
88 TRUE UNDER TRIAL.
pieces fell out; but she read the letter twice over
before she could understand it all. When at last
she did comprehend its meaning, and saw through
poor Eddy's innocent little manoeuvre saw the
generous, unselfish love of the lad-a great flush
came to her face, and her motherly breast heaved
Husband husband she cried wildly.
And when Mr. Garth heard her agitated voice he
"Read that! read that! she cried, holding the
letter to him. He's run away from us, not because
of getting work to do, but he heard what we said
in the night, and he thinks he's a burden. Oh, my
poor boy! my poor child!" And overcome with
emotion, she threw her apron over her head and
Mr. Garth read and re-read the letter. He began
to speak twice, but was not able to go on, and the
big horny hands shook as they held the written
paper. At last he said, "Wife, I fear greatly it is
as you say. But let us go in search of him at
At this suggestion the poor woman ceased her
sobs, and jumped up with energy. Locking up
their home, they went out in opposite directions
in search of their little favourite.
Mrs. Garth, who had not even waited to put on
her bonnet, ran along the streets just as she was,
calling Eddy loudly by name, alas! without suc-
THIE DISCOVERY. 89
cess. Eddy was far out of hearing. The people
stared at her as she ran along, wildly looking up
and down the streets. Now and then she stopped
and asked if they had seen a blue-eyed, curly-headed
lad, pass that way. Some said one thing and some
another; and at last she gave up her fruitless
task, and returned home exhausted, tired, and with
Her husband stood at the door; but one look
at his sorrowful face, in which disappointment was
written, was enough to tell her that he also had
failed in his search.
"Wife," said he, as she came up, taking her by
the hand, "come and have some breakfast; the
bailiffs will be here in an hour. I think we will
take our boy's gift, and make use of it. It's no
good to him now."
"As you like," said his wife. But the thought of
poor Eddy wandering, and alone, was more bitter
to her now than even her own great troubles.