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THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
Stop here Jack," she sad.
( Frontisiece. save J44
BOY WHO WONDERED;
JACK AND MINNCHEN.
MRS. GEORGE GLADSTONE,
UTs and Downs of ne Old Maid's Life.*
WITS COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS.
CASSELL, BETTER, AND GALPIN,
LONDON, PARIS, AND NEW YORK.
Jack and his Grandmother *0. ... ... ... 7
Frau Pctermann's Home ... ..... ... ... 16
Old Margaret ... .,. ... ... ... ... 26
The Edelmann Family .. ... ... ... ..o. 33
Minnchen's Birthday ,,. ... ... ... ... 40
The Trip to the Mountains ... ...... ... 48
Old Margaret loses her Temper .. .. .. 55
CHAPTER V]I I.
Minnchen makes an Appointment ... ,,. 63
Minnohen goes to Church... .... ...* ... 6
Pastor Brauns' Treat ... ... ... *** *** 77
Old Margaret Dies ... ... ... .. ... ... 8
Harvest Time ... ... ... ... ... ... 100
Winter .. ... ... ... ... .. 107
Jack's Sorrow ... ... .. *.. ... 116
What happened to Dolly ... ... ... ... .. 122
Christmas Eve ... ... ... ... .. ... 127
Sickness ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 134
Convalescence ... ... ... ... ... ... 143
The End ... ... ... ... ... ... .. 151
THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
JACK AND HIS GRANDMOTHER.
AT ten minutes to eight, on the first Sunday
morning in July, an old woman and a little
boy wended their way along the road which
leads to the little church at Hartzburg, one
of the largest places in the upper Hartz.
Pastor Brauns, the minister, had to preach
twice every Sunday in different churches,
and he arranged that the time for the ser-
vices should vary on alternate Sundays, so
that the inhabitants of both districts might
fare alike. Our story opens on the morning
which was appointed for the early service at
Hartzburg, and Jack and his grandmother,
8 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
who lived at Schulenrode, were on their way
It was a pretty walk from the hamlet at
Schulenrode to the church at Hartzburg, and
the old woman, with her young companion,
sauntered slowly along, enjoying the fresh
morning air and bright sunshine. As they
turned out of the narrow lane which brought
them into the high road they came upon a
pretty view of the mountains around, and to
a bubbling stream, which courses by the side
of the Hartzburg road, and makes sweet
music as it runs merrily along, now and then
passing over a little weir.
Jack and his grandmother were just in
time. The clock was striking eight as they
entered the church. The old woman took
her usual place under the gallery, and Jack
went to his own corner, and sat with the
village children, who generally filled the
pews on either side of the pulpit.
The wooden church at Hartzburg is a
primitive little place, with stone floor and
cushionless pews. Its chancel-screen is made
JACK AND HIS GRANDMOTHER.
of carved wood, and two vases of artificial
flowers stand upon it. Its cloth is of plain
blue material, covered with coarse white net.
But though so homely, it is kept in exquisite
order and cleanliness, and the simple adorn-
ments of the church harmonise with the
congregation who gather within its walls.
Pastor Brauns was a kindhearted and
truly Christian man, who was anxious to
teach his people the only way of salvation
through Christ. He entered the pulpit just
after Jack and his grandmother had taken
their places. The service commenced with
singing a German psalm. Every voice
joined in praising God, and it seemed as if
the hearts of the people went with their
After the pastor had read a chapter from
the Bible, and offered up an earnest prayer,
he preached to his congregation upon the
duty of teaching those with whom they
Some of you, my dear people," said he,
"are content to keep this gospel of Jesus
10 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
Christ all to yourselves. I want you to
speak to others about the Saviour whom you
have found, and declare to them how much
Jesus has done for you."
Pastor Brauns looked an old man, though
he only numbered fifty years; but he had
had a difficult and struggling life. His
family was large, his income small, and his
parish wide. He had long distances to walk
in rain and snow in order to visit the sick
and tend his parishioners, and he possessed
by no means a robust frame.
By ten o'clock the service was over.
Jack joined his grandmother at the church
door, and exchanged many greetings with
his friends, for Granny and her boy were
respected and loved, and had a pleasant
word for everyone.
The old women who gathered round the
church door after the service, were generally
dressed alike. They wore stuff gowns, large
cloaks made of print over them, and high
pointed caps with long ribbons. A few of
the younger ones had coloured caps, but
JACK AND IIIS GRANDMOTHER. 11
not Frau Petermann, Jack's grandmother:
she had worn black ever since her husband's
death. Her silk cap fitted tightly round her
head; it came intb a point behind, and six
ends of ribbon fell from it. After morning
church she carefully laid her cloak and cap
in her box, even though she knew they
would be required in the evening, when she
walked out with Jack; but they were too
precious to be allowed to remain in the dust
for even a few hours.
Frau Petermann, like most of the women
in the Hartz district, wore neither cap, nor
bonnet on ordinary occasions, but faced
burning sun and cold winds without any
covering on her head. Sometimes, if it
were pouring hard with rain, she would tie
on a white handkerchief, but this was only
on rare occasions.
Jack and his grandmother did not loiter
on the way home, for the boy had to learn
his lessons for the afternoon school, and they
dined at twelve.
Frau Petermann and her grandson
12 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
always had a treat on Sundays for dinner.
It was the one day in seven when they did
not feed on black bread and goat's milk.
In spite of their small means they managed
to help one who was poorer than they
were. Old Margaret always dined with Frau
Petermann and Jack on Sunday. On the
day of which we write she came in
punctually at twelve o'clock, and the trio
sat down to their meal, having first asked
God to bless their food. Each of them had
a large bowl of beer soup, which was looked
upon as a great luxury, and a thick slice of
black bread in addition.
As they took their soup the conversation
turned upon the morning's sermon. Old Mar-
garet never went to church. We shall learn
in another chapter how she spent her time.
"Jack," said Granny, "we must re-
member what the pastor said. Don't be
ashamed to speak of Jesus at the quarry."
"Oh, Granny," replied the boy, I dare
not speak to the boys, for they'll be sure to
laugh at me."
JACK AND HIS GRANDMOTHER. 13
Never mind," my boy, answered Frau
Petermann, "do not fear the laugh of the
wicked, but try and teach them to pray."
SI will, Granny," answered Jack. I
know that I'm a great coward, but I'll try
and turn over a new leaf from to-day."
Right, Jack," replied his grandmother;
" when you feel like a coward remember the
words which Pastor Brauns read to us from
the Bible. 'Whosoever, therefore, shall be
ashamed of me and of my words, of him also
shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He
cometh in the glory of His Father, with the
holy angels.' "
1 The boys won't care about the Bible,
Granny," answered Jack, sorrowfully.
" They are sure to mock me, and call me
Better to be mocked by them, than sent
away by Jesus," said Frau Petermann.
"Choose the right time for speaking, and
ask God to help you, and you will find the
task an easier one than you imagine, Jack."
"I must go now," said old Margaret,
14 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
rising, and thus interrupting the conversa-
tion. "It's time for me to be off to my
work, or the girl will grow tired of waiting.
I've enjoyed my dinner, and I like to hear
you and Jack talk; but, oh dear, it all seems
so far away from me. I'm too poor and too
miserable to have any dealings with Jesus,
and I work so hard I've no time to be good."
You are wrong to say that, neighbour,"
replied Frau Petermann, "for you can think
about Jesus whilst you mind your geese. I
wish, Margaret, you would believe that
Jesus loves you."
I wish I could, but I can't take it in. I
suppose it'll all come right at last." And
with these words old Margaret nodded her
t2ad and left the cottage.
Jack took out his lessons, and Granny
cleared away tlhe plates and basins, and then
sat down to read her Bible. An hour later
the lad prepared to go to the Sunday-school,
and when he went to kiss GraInny, as was
his wont, he noticed that she had been
JACK AND HIS GRANDMOTHER. 15
What's the matter, Granny ?" asked he,
I'm sure there's something wrong in me,
Jack," replied Frau Petermann, or I
should be able to teach Margaret that Jesus
cares for her. We must pray for her. We
need not go far to carry out Pastor Brauns'
sermon; and if we can lead our neighbours
to seek the Saviour we shall not be keeping
the gospel to ourselves. But Jack, you
must go, or you will be late. I will have
coffee ready by the time that you return,
and then we will walk into the forest and
talk about many things."
FRAU PETERMANN'S HOME.
FRAU PETERMANN and her grandson rented
a small cottage at Schulenrode, which con-
sisted of one good-sized room, a dark cup-
board, where Jack slept, and a sort of out-
house where wood was stowed away, and
Dolly, the goat, lived. The latter had been
purchased about a year ago, and she was
much beloved by her young master, and
followed him about everywhere. In the
winter her milk afforded sustenance for
Granny and Jack, who had to remain at
home for many days together.
This state of things made it needful for
then to economize during the summer
months; unless this was done their winter
prospect was by no means encouraging.
The outside of Frau Petermann's cottage
appeared very poor and looked shabby, but
the inside was always clean, and although
the furniture was scanty, and only made of
FRAtJ PETERMANN'S HOME. 17
common wood, Jack managed to keep it
mended, and Granny's arm chair, with its
cushion, gave a comfortable air to the sitting
The hamlet of Schulenrode lies at the
foot of the castle hill or Burg-berg. It con-
sists of a cluster of some twenty houses,
where very poor, hard-working German
peasants live. Here stand the oldest houses
in this district, and many centuries before
our time wooden cottages were built on
this spot, and inhabited by strong able-
bodied men, with blue eyes and sandy hair,
whose features may be traced in the fair-
complexioned children who run about in our
day. These men belonged to the Saxon
tribes, and worshipped their own gods. Very
little is known about them up to the eighth
century, when Charlemagne commenced
warring with these Hartz Saxons, and broke
their idols to atoms.
He built a school at Schulenrode, and
endeavoured to establish Christianity on the
spot. A few of the old grandmothers of this
I1 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
district point out the site of the building,
and narrate legendary stories which have
been handed down from father to son for
Frau Petermann had a famous one about
a spring which runs through Schulenrode,
and supplies the inhabitants with pure water.
Jack was never weary of hearing about it,
and rarely passed it on Sunday evening in
the summer time without saying, Granny,
I should like to hear about the spring."
These words made Frau Petermann stop
in the midst of her walk, beside the road, in
front of the spring, and reply, "I don't
wonder that you like to hear my story, Jack,
for this is a very marvellous spring, and its
waters were once supposed to possess healing
powers. When the people who lived here
served their idols, they pretended that it had
been visited by one of their gods, and that
because of this its waters would cure any
sort of lameness. Men and women came from
long distances on their crutches, and always
managed to leave them behind on the banks,
JACK AND GRANNY AT THE SPRING
oage I i
FRAU PETERMANN'S IOME. 19
for as soon as they stepped into the water
their limbs became strong and quite straight.
At last, so many crutches were left behind
that a brewer collected them and carried them
away to his brewery, and employed them to
light the fire'that brewed his beer. From
that moment the stream lost its healing
power, and it has never returned."
It cannot be a true story, Granny," was
Jack's usual reply; but I like to hear it.
If the people had known about Jesus in
those days how they would have loved Him.
Did they really believe that their gods would
help them, and that the waters would heal
"Yes, dear," replied Frau Petermann,
' It was a mistaken faith, and it was for want
of knowing better. But what was more
sad than this, was that these people used to
burn their children cn their heathen altars."
Oh, Granny, how dreadful!" answered
Jack. I wish they had known about
Jesus. They wanted a real angel to step
down into the pool before it could heal them.
20 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
It seems impossible for people to believe in
"To you, my boy, it does," answered
Frau Petermann; but not to these poor
creatures, who were ignorant about the
Saviour having died on the cross. Lad,
we ought to be more thankful than we are
to know that we have a living, loving God
Jack and his grandmother were not very
rich; in fact, they were very poor. Frau
Petermann had a rough, hard life, like all
the other women in the Hartz district. She
worked from five o'clock in thle morning
until six o'clock in the evening during the
summer months, and was rarely seen with-
out a large basket, shaped like a pannier,
strapped on her back, and thus laden she
went up to the mountains every day. Some-
times she filled her basket with grass, which
she cut and piled up very high, and then
carried her load down into the villages
around to sell. Sometimes she filled it with
wood or fruit, for cherries are abundant,
FRAU PETERMANN'S HOME. 21
and wild strawberries plentiful. Bilberries,
too, Frau Petermann had a good sale for;
when stewed they are a favourite dish with
the Germans, and as there are numbers
of visitors frequenting Hartzburg during
the summer months, there is no lack of
Gathering fruit, cutting grass, carrying
heavy baskets of wood, and stooping for
many hours in a burning hot sun made
Granny Petermann a prematurely old
woman. With her utmost endeavours she
could only earn from ninepence to one
shilling a day, and this, with Jack's weekly
stipend, which amounted to three shillings,
was all they had to keep house with during
the summer, and to save out of for cold
winter days, when no work was to be had,
and the snow lay deep upon the ground.
We must now explain how Jack earned
About a mile from Schulenrode, through
the Radau valley, so named from the river
which rushes along over stones and mosses,
22 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
is a large quarry. The stone which is
obtained from them is used for paving and
macadamising roads, and is sent in large
quantities by the railway to the principal
towns of Northern Germany. Some of the
men sit in huts by the road-side, squaring
the paving stones. They work with a tlick
glove over the right hand, and can earn
one shilling and ninepence a day.
Children break up the fragments of stone,
which are used as macadam, and there are
trucks standing about the quarries, which
have to be filled during the day.
Jack was one among a number of boys
who were engaged in breaking up the
fragments of stone, and he and several
others united together to fill one truck.
These trucks go on two wheels, and are very
originally constructed. They have a stout
pole running through them that projects
about six feet behind, and the boy or man
who pulls the truck along by its shafts, lets
it tilt backwards on to the pole, and scrape
along the roads when the impetus becomes
FRAU PETERMANN'S HOME. 23
too great. Unfortunately, the road from the
quarries into Hartzburg is down-hill, and
Sthe trucks, when full, run alone, and some-
times move so quickly that the men and boys
strain their arms and hands in trying to
keep them to a moderate pace.
Jack was not very strong, and he felt this
hard straining work, for sometimes he had
not strength enough to stop the truck when
it was his turn to wheel it, and he often came
home to Granny looking so pale and worn
that she was made quite unhappy by the
sight of his wan face.
Jack usually sat at the cottage door after
working hours, with Dolly by his side. He
loved his books, and never wearied of reading
aloud to his grandmother, who was always
pleased to listen to her boy. Sometimes they
strolled "under the oak trees," on the very
hot, long, summer evenings, for it was cool
beneath the shade of their green leaves.
Unter den Eichen," or under the oak
trees, is the favourite resort of the Hartzburg
people; it is a long shady walk, at the en-
24 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
trance to the Radau valley; the river of that
name adds to the beauty of this spot, and a
mimic waterfall and charming fountain, have
been constructed. The grass is very green;
the paths are wide, and well kept; pleasant
alcoves, with comfortable seats, are scattered
about; and a good band of music plays for
several hours every morning and evening.
The families around gather here in large
numbers, the women knit, the men read
their papers, smoke their pipes or cigars,
and chat, whilst the young ones play on the
green and dance to the music.
Jack and Frau Petermann enjoyed meeting
their acquaintances, and Granny always com-
pleted her winter stockings under the oak
trees. Jack usually stretched himself on the
grass, for he was too tired to play, and Dolly
nibbled by his side. The goat had many
admirers, her hair was so long, and silky,
and white, and some of the village children
could not forbear envying their friend Jack,
and wishing that they had a pretty companion
of their own as beautiful as Dolly.
FRAU PETERMANN'S HOME. 25
Granny and her boy never remained, up
late, for they began their day so early; but
they always thanked God together before they
separated at night for the mercies he had
sent them, and asked strength of Him for
the future. Frau Petermann's prayers were
simple but heartfelt, and since Pastor Brauns'
sermon she had added this petition: "My
God, help me to teach old Margaret to love
Jesus, and don't let Jack and me be ashamed
to confess Him before men."
OLD Margaret must have a chapter to herself.
There were some in the village who thought
this aged woman wanting in sense. It was
not so; she had been a respectable servant
once, but sickness had obliged her to leave
her situation, and for the last ten years she
had earned a bare subsistence. Thus poverty
and care had somewhat dulled her perceptions.
During the summer the money she gained
by taking care of the geese supplied her with
common necessaries, and how she lived in the
winter she hardly knew herself. Frau Peter-
mann was her only true friend besides Sally,
who took her place on Sunday at dinner-time.
Old Margaret was not a woman to make
many acquaintances; her temper was so
irritable that often she did not speak civilly
to anyone who crossed her path; conse-
quently, those neighbours who might have
OLD MARGARET. 27
given her an occasional dinner contented
themselves by paying her a weekly pittance
for taking care of their geese.
When our story opens old Margaret lived
in a kind of shed, which stood in the corner
of a field bordering on the Hartz forest.
The poles which formed it were covered with
the bark of the fir tree; the shape of it was
conical; in fact, it had been left there by a
charcoal-burner. He knew the old woman,
and pitied her hard life; he thought that his
quaint-like dwelling would be far preferable
to the out-house where she had hitherto lived,
so he gave her his hut, and the furniture in
it, when better and richer days dawned upon
him. HIe had laid some thick boards over
the grass, and double-lined the sides of his
hut, or it would not lave proved a sufficient
protection when the winter snows fell.
Margaret thankfully removed to her new
home, and really was very grateful to the
kind charcoal-burner. The hut stood in a
sheltered nook, being protected by the castle
hill, and she always burned a wood fire when
28 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
her day's work was over. She did not mind
about the air creeping through the crevices
in summer, but she dreaded the cold weather,
when for days together she cowered over her
wood fire, not daring to face the bleak wind,
and barely existing on a scanty supply of
Old Margaret drove the geese, as we have
said, in summer; the remainder of the year
she sold cut grass, went errands for the
neighbours, weeded in the fields, or chopped
wood in the forest.
We must now explain what driving the
geese means, and in order to do this we will
speak of the habits of the people who live in
the district of the Hartz.
Many of the inhabitants keep cows and
geese in small out-houses adjoining their
cottages, which they send out every day
to feed. The cows are collected thus. Soon
after six o'clock in the morning a woman or
the cowherd blows a horn, which is the signal
for every one who keeps cows to open their
gate and turn them out. The cows stand in
OLD MARGARET. 29
the road until their companions join them;
they usually wear a wooden collar round their
necks, with a bell suspended to it. The dis-
tant sound of the bells steals sweetly on the
ears of those who are wandering on the
mountains, or resting beneath the shade of
the fir trees.
Jack and Granny liked to be on the castle
hill when the cows were feeding in the plain
below; the music of the bells soothed them,
though it sometimes made them almost sad.
The old woman wandered away imperceptibly
in her chat with her grandson, when she
heard the distant sounds, into higher regions,
and spoke to him of the beautiful music he
would hear when the great multitude round
God's throne shouted, Alleluia: for the
Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."
The cowherd who takes charge of the cattle
has two dogs with him; he collects the cows
from the lower end of the village, and they
increase in numbers as he moves slowly on
towards the mountains, and very often more
than one hundred are committed to his
30 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
charge. They are small, brown animals,
and have usually very long horns.
Later on, the calves are collected in the
same manner; they have a smaller and less
musical bell fastened round their necks.
Soon after eight o'clock the geese are
gathered into a large flock from the different
houses, and old Margaret took charge of
them in the days of which we write. She
wore a short dress made of grey material,
and had a small shawl pinned over her
shoulders if the weather were cold or wet.
On fine days she had no covering on her
head. She twisted her hair into a knot
behind, and braided it in front; as it was
very thin, it did not afford her much pro-
tection when the sun shone brightly, and
sometimes she tied a second handkerchief
over her head, which partially shielded her
from intense heat or extreme wet.
The geese remained all day on the Hartz-
burg common. When once old Margaret
had driven them there she was able to lay
aside her long thin stick, with its handker-
OLD MARGARET. 31
chief lash, and take to her knitting. If any
of the geese turned restive, woe be to the
poor birds, for Margaret's temper soon waxed
hot, and a short thick stick which she carried,
as well as her long pole, descended upon
Old Margaret was always grumbling, and
if Sally could spare five minutes during the
day for gossip, she had to listen to her moans
and groans; but she was such a good-hearted
girl that she patiently bore with the irritable
old woman, and tried to brighten her lot by
telling her the various incidents of her own
Frau Petermann longed to influence
Margaret for good, she felt that if she
could induce her to cast her cares on Jesus
she would endure her hard life and its many
privations more bravely; but Margaret had
an idea that, because she lived without
quarrelling and fighting, God had no fault
to find with her, and it would come all right
at last. Granny could not persuade her that,
as she sat on the Hartzburg common and
32 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
watched her geese and knit her stockings,
she might be holding communion with God,
and getting strength from Him to fulfil her
daily duties to His honour and His glory.
THE EDELMANN FAMILY.
A PRETTY little cottage at Hartzburg had
been empty for some time, but had found a
tenant at last, and a few days before our
story commences the family had settled in.
It consisted of a man, his wife, and daughter
Herr Edelmann took a long lease of this
cottage, which was built of wood, and was
situated on the high road. The front door
was entered by a pretty little garden; the
kitchen faced it, and was only used for cook-
ing purposes, for the family room was next
to it. There was a best parlour up-stairs,
only used on Sundays and gala occasions.
It had three windows in it, two of which
looked towards the castle hill and the line of
the Hartz mountains, and the third into the
high road. The parlour had a clean floor,
with a square of carpet in the centre. In one
corner stood an iron stove on a slab of stone,
34 THE BOY WHO WONDERED..
which had two long flues; it was about four
feet high, and contained three shelves shut
in by iron gates. Here Frau Edelmann
kept her plates warm when she had a party
in the winter, and in summer it served her
for a store cupboard.
There were three wooden tables in this
best parlour, an antique chest of drawers,
an old-fashioned sofa, and a small mirror
between the windows. The walls were hung
with engravings in black wooden frames,
and some of the subjects which they repre-
sented were very quaint, and spoke of many
The family sitting-room had only one
large table in it, an iron stove, wooden
chairs, and a brick floor.
Just across the little garden were the dairy
and the cowhouse, and behind them lay the
kitchen garden, which occupied the greater
part of Herr Edelmann's time.
Minnchen was a girl of eleven years of
age, a smiling, round-faced, bright-eyed,
rosy-cheeked damsel, who was always busy,
THE EDELMANN FAMILY. 35
ever ready to help her mother, and proud of
being able to assist in domestic work. She
longed for the day to come when she would
be allowed to churn the butter and milk the
cows, for her mother considered that she
was only old enough to sweep and clean the
rooms when we first make ler acquaintance.
When Minnchen acted the part of a little
servant she wore a short brown frock, with a
black and white jacket, blue apron, and grey
knitted stockings. It was amusing to see her
make her mother's bedroom tidy, or sweep
out the best parlour; she used a queer old
broom for the purpose and a large bird's
wing, which served as her dusting brush.
She wore wooden shoes in the kitchen, but
when she swept the best parlour she took
them off and paddled about in her stockings.
As soon as the day's work was done in
summer she put on a light-coloured print
dress, plaited her hair up neatly, and pinned
on a bright-coloured check shawl over her
Frau Edelmann and her little daughter
36 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
were very industrious; the mother taught
her child to value time, and to take care of
the golden minutes, and Minnchen profited
by the good example set her. Herr and
Frau Edelmann were very proud of their
only child, but did not spoil her by over-
much indulgence, and the little damsel was
obedient and attentive to them, and very
loving and tender in disposition though way-
ward in temper.
Her father was a quiet, hardworking man,
who, like her mother, was never idle. He
rose early every morning to clean out the
cowhouse, milk his cows, and cut the
vegetables in his garden, which he sold to
the inmates of the bathing establishments
that were full of visitors during the months
of June, July, and August.
Although the Edelmanns were a happy
family in themselves, there was one thing
that was needed to complete their joy:
they wanted Jesus to be in their midst.
They did not care about God; they did not
acknowledge His daily care; they never
TIE EDELMANN FAMILY. 37
prayed for His blessing to rest upon them.
There was no difference made in their home
between the Sunday and the working days,
and neither Herr Edelmann, nor his wife,
nor Minnchen had ever been summoned to
God's house by the sound of the bell.
On Sunday morning Minnchen made haste
to finish her work, and her mother and father
were even quicker than usual, so that by
twelve o'clock the duties of the day were
completed, and they were attired in their
best clothes, ready to receive company or go
out for the afternoon. If friends came to
visit them during the long summer days they
dined at noon, and as soon as dinner was
over they adjourned to the large tree in front
of the door, where comfortable seats were
placed: the husbands usually smoked, and
their wives and daughters knitted stockings
while they chatted merrily together and
drank their coffee. As soon as the heat of
the afternoon was passed they walked to one
of the caf6s on the top of the mountains,
where they supped, and returned home in
88 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
the cool of the evening singing, not hymns
of praise to God, but jovial songs.
In the winter, instead of the supper on the
mountains, they danced or played at some
game in the best parlour, and often fre-
quented the theatre, for even Hartzburg has
its small theatre, which is a place of frequent
resort for the richer as well as the poorer of
its inhabitants and visitors.
Of course Herr Edelrnann sent his cows to
pasture with the great drove, and Minnchen
very much enjoyed opening the gate and
driving them out into the road every morn-
ing. In the summer evenings slie sat under
the great tree in the garden, waiting to catch
the tinkling of the bells which broke the
stillness around. The little girl could not
understand how the animals knew their way
home, and so persistently refused to go one
step beyond their own gate.
Minnchen soon made friends with the
village children, and she and Jack began to
nod to one another, and exchange a few
words of greeting. Dolly excited the little
THE EDELMANN FAMILY. S9
girl's admiration, and after some weeks she
ventured to stroke her silky hair. Then she
watched the tidy old lady whom Jack
always accompanied on Sunday to church,
though it never entered into her head that
she ought to be going there too, and that it
was God's day, to be devoted to His service.
As soon as she had seen Frau Petermann
and her boy pass the gate she resumed her
occupation, which had been disturbed for a
moment in order to give Jack a nod.
The days between July and August passed
quickly along, haymaking was over by the
last week in July, the harvest commenced
the first week in August, the fruit ripened,
and Hartzburg was full of visitors who had
come to spend the summer months among
"MINNCHEN'S birthday is on Wednesday,"
said Herr Edelmann to his wife, "what treat
shall we give her ? We cannot have a party
just now, so I think we had better go to the
mountains after dinner and spend the re-
mainder of the day. What do you say to
this plan, my child ?"
Oh, father," replied Minnchen, "I should
like to go out with you and mother, but there
is one boy I shall want to have with me.
His name is Jack, and he has a goat called
Dolly, and I should like to invite Jack and
Dolly to dine here."
"Who is Jack ?" asked Herr Edelmann.
"I can tell you," replied his wife; he is
the grandson of Frau Petermann, a tidy and
respectable old woman, who often comes to
sell me wild strawberries and bilberries. I
like her very much, and I know that Jack is
a nice well-behaved boy, for he is always so
MINNCHEN'S BIRTHDDAT. 41
kind to his grandmother, and takes such good
care of her."
"Where do they live?"
"At Schulenrode. Jack told me so,"
answered Minnchen; he works at the quar-
How came you to know this boy, Minn-
chen ? asked her father.
I've seen him on Sunday with his grand-
mother, and have often spoken to him in
the evening, for lie always passes here after
his work is done, and sometimes looks so
tired, that I am quite sorry for him," said
You may invite the lad to spend your
birthday here," replied Herr Edelmann. "' I
see you have found a companion after your
own heart in Jack, but I think he had better
leave his goat at home."
No, no; please father, as it is my birth-
day, do let Dolly come, she is so beautiful
and so well-behaved."
Herr Edelmann smiled. The goat may be
included in your invitation, Minnchen, as you
42 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
wish it so much," he answered; they may
come to dine here, and after we have drank
our coffee we will walk up to the Molken-
haus, and have our supper there. Dolly will
enjoy nibbling the fresh grass on the top of
the mountain, while you children have a
game of play."
Minnchen clapped her hands with delight,
and danced round the room in glee. In the
midst of her rejoicings a knock came at the
front door, and Frau Petermann entered with
a basket of freshly-gathered bilberries, which
Frau Edelmann had ordered her to bring the
As soon as Minnchen recognized the old
lady, she called out: "Jack's to come on
Frau Petermann looked as if she did not
quite understand what Minnchen said, so her
mother hastened to explain that her little
daughter wished to have Jack and his goat to
spend the birthday with her, if his grand-
mother would consent to the arrangement.
Granny was only too glad to say "Yes." It
MINNCHEN'S BIRTHDAY. 43
was such a new thing for her boy to have a
treat, and she thanked Frau Edelmann for
her kindness, and promised that Jack should
have a half-holiday, and leave the quarry in
time for dinner.
That evening, Minnchen waited impatiently
for Jack to return home from work, and
could not help going into the road many
times to see if he were coining. As soon as
she spied him walking slowly along, and
looking very tired, she ran to meet him,
and screamed out, Jack, you are to spend
my birthday here, and go to the mountains,
and have supper, and Dolly, too."
Jack's pale face flushed rosy red, and his
eyes brightened with delight, for he had
never been invited out to dine before. He had
had the Sunday school treat to look forward
to once a year, but not a dinner in the middle
of the day at a strange house, and one which,
compared with his grandmother's, seemed so
Frau Petermann and her grandson had a
new topic to discuss that evening. How they
44 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
hoped the weather would be fine for the birtih-
day outing. Jack asked Granny if she
thought his clothes would do, and Granny
replied, Yes, for the Edelmanns know you
are a poor boy."
What can I give Minnchen for a birth-
day present ? asked Jack.
"You must rise early," said Granny,
"and go to the mountains, and gather a
plate-full of fresh strawberries." So the
matter was arranged.
Jack received his invitation on Saturday,
and he could not keep his thoughts from
wandering many times on the Sunday.
Monday and Tuesday dragged slowly
along, and Wednesday, the important birth-
day, arrived at last. Jack was up and dressed
by four o'clock. He knelt in prayer to God,
and did not omit to thank Him for his new
friend, for the boy had a habit of talking to
his Heavenly Father about every event of
hlis life; and could not live without commend-
ing himself to the keeping of Jesus. He
then unfastened Dolly, and bid her come with
MINNCHEN S BIRTHDAY. 45
him to the mountains to find strawberries for
Jack was home again by five o'clock with
a tempting plate of fruit, which Frau Peter-
mann promised to take to his little friend, and
away he went to work at the quarry. He
thought the hours between six and twelve
would never pass away, he so longed to com-
mence his half holiday.
A happier couple never trod the Schulen-
rode road than Jack and Dolly on Minnchen's
birthday. The goat appeared to catch some
of her master's pleasure, for she gambolled
and frollicked round him, and would not run
quietly by his side.
Dinner was just ready when they reached
their destination, and Minnchen was waiting
for her visitors at the gate. Dolly was tied
to the great tree in front, and the children
entered the house. A few minutes later Jack
and Minnchen with Frau Edelmann and her
husband were seated round the table. Jack
had never eaten such a dinner before in his
life; the sou was rich, the boiled beef tender,
46 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
the roast pork had delicious crackling, and
a plum pudding crowned the feast. Frau
Edelmann cut him a large slice of it, and told
him to eat it all.
The boy would fain have put half into his
pocket for Granny, but she -had cautioned him
not to ask for anything, but to take all that
was given to him without making a remark.
As soon as dinner was over, Minnchen took
Jack into the best parlour to show him her
birthday table, which had been set out early
in the morning.
In the centre of it a beautiful cake was
placed, which had been sent to her by her
Uncle from Hanover. It was covered with
iced sugar, and ornamented with little figures.
Jack thought it must be a wedding cake, for
he had once seen one like it in the pastry-
cook's shop at Hartzburg.
The table was literally covered with pre-
sents. Minnchen's mother gave her a new
dress; her father an enormous doll; and her
uncles and aunts from long distances had not
forgotten her. Jack's strawberries were there
MINNCHEN'S BIRTHDAY. 47
too, and a nosegay of wild flowers, which
Frau Petermann had gathered.
Eleven small candles stood at equal dis-
tances round the table, and Minnchen lighted
them all to show her friend that she had com-
pleted her eleventh birthday, whilst a twelfth,
which was much larger, remained unlighted
and proclaimed the year on which she had
When the children had duly admired the
many pretty presents, they sat down to look
at the picture books which had been given;
by tlih time they had examined the coloured
prints, and passed their opinion upon them,
they heard Frau Edelmann call them to
come and take their coffee, and then start
away for the excursion.
Minnchen called back, "We are coming
in a moment, mother;" so the books were
carefully laid on the table, and the children
went back to the usual sitting-room, and
having each drunk a cup of coffee, Dolly was
unfastened and the little party were soon
passing under the oak trees.
THE TRIP TO THE MOUNTAINS.
"HAVE you ever been up to the Molken-
haus, Jack?" asked Herr Edelmann, as
they walked along the road.
Yes, sir, many times," replied the boy;
some of the best strawberries lie close by
the dairy, and the bilberries grow thickly in
the adjoining wood."
Then you had better be our guide," said
Minnchen's father, kindly; "for I am not
quite sure that I know the nearest way.
How long will ittake to walk there ?"
"About an hour, sir," answered Jack,
"if we go up all the short cuts, along where
the cows sometimes go."
It was a beautiful walk through the Radau
valley to the border of the Hartz forest, and
in about twenty minutes the outside paling
which runs round it, was reached. This
fence is placed to guard the cattle in the
THE TRIP TO THE MOUNTAINS. 49
villages from the inroads of the wild boar.
Jack opened the gate, and when Herr
Edelmann, his wife, Minnchen, and Dolly
had passed through he closed it carefully
The day was intensely hot, but the foilage
of the pines afforded cool shade nearly the
whole length of the walk. The little party
did not hurry along, and it was nearly a
hour and a half before the Molken-haus was
reached. Here is a very large dairy, and it
is a great place for making Hartz cheeses.
A farmer resides in a house close to the
dairy during the summer, and he furnishes
dinner, coffee, or supper to the many pe-
destrians who pass this way on their road
to the Brocken, the highest mountain in the
Hartz, as well as to the inhabitants and
visitors at the various villages round, who
enjoy an occasional walk, or ride on a mule
as far as this point.
As soon as the dairy was reached, Herr
Edelmann selected a table, round which were
placed several chairs. Frau Edelmann took
50 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
one, Minnchen a second, and as soon as Jack
had tethered Dolly to a tree he came and
sat down by his little friend's side. When
Herr Edelmann had ordered fresh milk, he
lighted his long pipe and occupied the chair
next to his wife, and Jack and Minnchen
being left to themselves, began to converse.
In the course of the conversation Jack told
the little maiden about his daily work, his
kind old grandmother, that they were very
poor, and that Dolly had been bought the
last summer with some money that Granny
had saved during harvest time; and he also
said that, if it had not been for the supply of
milk she afforded them in the intense cold of
the last winter, poor Granny would only have
had black bread and snow water to exist on.
After the children had drained their cups
empty twice, they sauntered along to the
Monkscliff, which is about five minutes'
walk from the Molken-haus. Here they
enjoyed an exquisite scene. The atmosphere
was extremely clear, and the dark outline of
the trees was finely marked against the blue
THE TRIP TO THE MOUNTAINS. 51
sky. The grasshoppers were chirping in a
little field to the right of where the children
stood, and they listened for a moment to
their loud singing, which intermingled with
the distant sound of the cow bells. After-
wards they moved on to a little rock, and
looked down into the Ecker valley, which
lay in a deep gorge, and the river of that
name ran chattering and bubbling through
Jack and Minnchen were evidently im-
pressed by the scene, for they scarcely spoke
to one another for several minutes.
At last Jack heaved a deep sigh, and
turning to his little companion, said, "I
wonder-" and there he stopped.
"What do you wonder, Jack?" asked
The boy coloured. I forgot," he an-
swered. I am always saying my thoughts
out loud to Granny. I forgot she is not
But won't you tell me ?" said Minnchen,
half pouting. Remember, it is my birth-
52 THE BOY WHO WONDERED,
day, and every one ought to do what I bid
them. Now, Jack, what were you going to
"I wonder," answered the boy, timidly,
I wonder if heaven will look like this, and
if there will be trees there, and rivers, and
cows, and grasshoppers ?"
"Is that all you wonder at, Jack?" said
Minnchen, looking much disappointed. I
never think about heaven; it would make me
so miserable. I don't like people to die."
Oh, Minnchen, do not say that," an-
swered Jack, looking very grave. Would
you not like to go to Jesus, who loves you?"
'"No," said Minnchen, stoutly; I've
plenty of people to love me here, and I
never like to think about anything that
makes me unhappy. Mother says she is
miserable if she talks about religion, and I
feel just the same; so please, Jack, as it's
my birthday, let us laugh instead of being
sad. The cows are coming home, and after
we have looked at them we will take Dolly
for a run."
THE TRIP TO THE MOUNTAINS. 53
Jack turned in the direction to which
Minnchen pointed, and saw the forty cows
which belonged to the farmer coming slowly
up the hill. Minnchen and Jack waited for
them and followed them into the large cow
house, and watched them being milked.
By this time many people, tempted by
the beautiful evening, had strolled up from
different directions, and the chairs and tables
under the trees were almost all occupied.
Herr Edelmann ordered supper as soon as
Jack and Minnchen appeared; and while it
was being prepared they joined several other
children in a round game, and Dolly was
left in peace and quietness.
So the evening wore on until eight o'clock
came. Then Herr Edelmann and his wife,
the children and Dolly, prepared to walk
home. Jack took leave of his kind friends
at the corner of the lane that turned up to
Schulenrode, and reached his grandmother's
cottage soon after nine o'clock. When he
had put Dolly to bed he narrated every
detail of the day's enjoyment to Frau
54 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
Petermann. Nor was a description of the
wonderful dinner which he had eaten for-
gotten among the other particulars. He
also mentioned the conversation which he
had held with Minnchen in the Monkscliff;
and when he kissed Granny and said "good
night," he whispered, "I must try and
not keep the gospel all to myself, but tell
Minnchen about it. She has not been
taught to honour the Saviour. I hope I
shan't be a coward."
OLD MARGARET LOSES HER TEMPER.
"OH, Granny," cried Jack, running home
to Frau Petermann a few evenings later, I
have just seen Minnchen, and she says that
her father is very angry with old Margaret,
for she has nearly beaten one of his geese to
I did not know that Herr Edelmann
sent his geese on to the common," said
He has only done so for a few days,
Granny," answered Jack; "and now he
will never trust old Margaret with them
again, for he declares that she is a wicked
old woman. Minnchen took me into the
kitchen to see the poor goose, and its wing
is broken and its eye hurt. Frau Edelmann
wrapped it up in flannel, and laid it in front
of the kitchen fire."
I am sorry to hear of this," said Frau
56 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
Petermann. Poor old Margaret does not
improve in temper as she grows older. If
she trusted in Christ she would be different.
I must go and see her, and try and make her
peace with Herr Edelmann before to-morrow
morning. Dear me, I am so grieved to hear
your story, Jack. Go and feed Dolly whilst
I step over and see Margaret, and hear
how all this came about."
Granny walked up the road and reached
the old woman's hut in a few minutes. She
found her sitting with her head in her hand,
and seemingly buried in thought.
Well, Margaret," said Frau Edelmann,
"how are you?"
Don't ask me how I am," answered the
old woman, sharply. I know what you've
come about. Herr Edelmann declared that
all the village should hear that I am a
wicked old woman, and not fit to be trusted
with the care of the geese. He said that he
would try and take away my customers, and
that he would never let his geese be driven
by me again."
OLD MARtGATRET LOSES HER TEMPER. 57
Frau Petermann sat down on a wooden
stool, and asked this question quietly:
" Margaret, can I help you ? I came to see
how I could make peace for you with Herr
Edelmann. Tell me how all this trouble
came about. I did not know that Herr
Edelmann allowed his geese to go on to the
common until a few minutes ago."
It was only last week that he stopped
me at his gate, and told me that he wished
his geese to run with the others. He cau-
tioned me to treat them kindly, and said
that he had not allowed them to be under my
charge before because he thought I did not
always keep my temper, though he always
felt that the common and the large pond
were better for them than being shut up in
the yard all day."
Well, what then ?"
All went on very well until to-day, when
the goose that is hurt would persist in stray-
ing away from the others. I kept my temper
all the way down the road, and as soon as I
got them safely on to the common it per-
58 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
sisted in running close under the hedge,
instead of keeping with the flock. At last I
grew so angry that I gave it a good knock.
I struck it harder than I expected."
Oh, Margaret, it's the old story, your
temper getting the better of you," said Frau
"Well, I suppose it is, but I really was
very sorry for what I had done, and I got
Sally to mind the flock whilst I carried the
poor bird home. You have no idea how
angry Herr Edelmann was. He called me
bad names, and would not give me time to
speak, though I wanted to tell him that I
would try and save up to buy him another
bird in its place; but he went on so awful
at me that I grew angry, and declared he
might take his geese out himself, and that I
wished I had killed the lot. This made him
still more angry, and he said that I was a
wicked old woman, and he would let everyone
know my true character. I've been here
longer than he has; he dare not take away
my means of living."
MARGARET AND HER GEESE.
-:-.~M .~ ;~ eaeilllE~i401~
OLD MARGARET LOSES HER TEMPER. 59
Oh, Margaret, I'm very sorry to hear
this history," said Frau Petermann; "you
know what you have met with before, be-
cause of your temper. If you loved Jesus,
you would be kind to the dumb animals
which God has made."
Don't preach to-day, Frau Petermann,"
said old Margaret, crossly, I've enough to
bear without that."
But, Margaret, just answer me this
question. Were you right to let your temper
conquer you?" asked Granny, kindly.
I tell you I was sorry. It was Herr
Edelmann who made me cross again."
"Herr Edelmann might have been less
violent, perhaps," said Frau Petermann;
"( but put yourself in his place, and imagine
that hle had hurt one of your geese. What
would you have said?"
Old Margaret was silent.
"Now, come with me, and beg Herr
Edelmann's pardon," continued Granny,
"and before we go we will ask God to
help us to say the right thing to him."
60 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
I go and beg his pardon, after he called
me such bad names! Never!" answered
Margaret. I had rather die of starvation
than ask him to forgive me."
Oh, Margaret, what am I to do ?" said
Frau Petermann, almost crying. How is
it that I cannot teach you something about
that gospel which tells us to bear and to
forbear, and to forgive as we hope to be
Old Margaret looked almost ashamed of
herself, and answered more quietly, You
are very good to come to me, neighbour, and
I know you mean to be kind, but I can't
have anything to do with your religion. I
shall come straight at last. God will not
expect much from an ignorant old woman
Margaret, your excuses will avail nothing
when you stand before God. He will not be
satisfied unless you give yourself to Him.
You are withholding from your heavenly
Father that which He has a right to claim
from you, for you are not your own, but
OLD MARGARET LOSES HER TEMPER. 61
have been bought with the precious blood of
Christ; and yet you refuse to follow Him."
"You are beyond me now, Frau Peter-
mann. It's no use talking to me, as I've
told you many times; leave me to go my
own way. I'm sure I'm obliged to you for
all that you've done. As for Herr Edel-
mann, he must go his way, and I'll go mine;
he won't find it so easy to run me down."
Frau Petermann left old Margaret's house
with a heavy heart, and went to Minnchen's
parents, whom she entreated not to make the
matter public, telling them that old Margaret
had no other means of subsistence but that
which she earned with her own hands.
Herr Edelmann was not an unkind man,
though very irritable; he readily promised
all that Frau Petermann asked, and Granny
walked back again to old Margaret to tell her
the good news, and then she returned home
feeling much fatigued.
Jack and his grandmother chatted over
the events of the evening, and before they
separated for the night Frau Petermann
62 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
prayed for Margaret, and besought God to
induce her to accept the gospel of Christ.
The next morning Margaret passed along
the road driving her geese as usual. In
spite of her pretended unconcern, she was
very glad to go by Herr Edelmann's house
without seeing him. As she sat at her
knitting on the common that day, while
her geese were feeding, she could not help
thinking that there must be something very
wonderful about God and Christ if her love
to them could make Granny Petermann take
so much trouble on her behalf.
Frau Petermann had gained a step when
she made old Margaret thus think within
MINNCHEN MAKES AN APPOINTMENT.
' MOTHER," said Minnchen, entering the
kitchen one Saturday morning, "I was
talking to Jack last night about the church
and the Sunday school. He says that he
likes attending them both, because he hears
about Jesus, and that it does not make
him sad, but much happier. May I go
to church with Frau Petermann next
If you care about it, you may," replied
Minncllen's mother; but I do not think
that either the church or the Sunday school
are much in your way. You will have to
sit very still, and hear about grave things
which will not interest you much. There is
plenty of time for you to think about religion
when you grow older."
But, mother, Jack says nobody ought to
put off loving Jesus, for that children are his
S4 THE BOY WHO WONDERED
lambs, and II: calls himself the Good Shep-
herd, and is unhappy if his little lambs do
not love him."
Frau Edelmann did not know how to
answer Minnchen; so, by way of getting
rid of more questions, she said, Child,
you may go to church if you like, but mind,
if you are tired or cross when you return
home, it is your own fault and not mine.
You must sit still."
Minnchen was satisfied; she waited at
the gate for Jack to come past at least half
an hour before there was any probability of
his appearing after his day's work was over,
and he had deposited his truck of stones in
As soon as the little maiden saw her play-
fellow in the distance she ran to meet him,
and seized him by the hand, saying, "Jack,
mother says I may go with you and Frau
Petermann to church on Sunday; but she
does not believe that I shall like it one bit,
for 1 shall have to sit so still, and I am
never still at home. Mother thinks, too,
MINNCHEN MAKES AN APPOINTMENT. 65
that there is plenty of time for me to learn
about Jesus when I grow older."
"Granny does not say that to me,"
answered Jack. She only teaches me to
love the Saviour early. She says that when
people get old they do not care to love him
any more than when they are young. Old
Margaret always tells Granny that she is
too tired to think about religion after a hard
But Jack, Margaret is really wicked; she
killed our goose," said Minnchen, gravely.
Are you always good ?" asked Jack.
"No, not quite always," replied truthful
Minnchen. But that has nothing to do
with Jesus, for father and mother look after
me and scold me, and they forgive me if I
say tliat I am sorry."
But don't you know, Minnchen, that
you make God very sorry when you are
naughty; just as sorry, Granny says, as I
make her if I am disobedient ?"
I don't believe that, Jack. God does
not care about children being naughty; it's
66 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
only those who are going to die, and old
people who need be good."
Your mother must have made a mistake,
Minnchen, for Granny and Pastor Brauns
say that God cares just as much about little
children loving Him and being good as He
does about grown up people. I wish you
would come with me to the Sunday-school
as well as to church."
I cannot promise to do that, Jack; but
I will go to church with you, if you will call
for me. Is the service at eight o'clock or
ten, to-morrow ?"
"Ten," said Jack. "I shall not forget
you, and you'll be sure to be ready. Why,
Minnchen, you've never been inside the
Hartzburg church since you've been here."
Never, Jack. Don't you understand
why ? Mother never goes, and then we
always have friends on Sundays, or go out;
but I shall not forget you. Surely those
are the cow-bells in the distance. The cows
are coming home earlier than usual, are
MINNCWEN MAKES AN APPOINTMENT. 67
No," said Jack. We've been talking
here so long. How pretty the bells sound,
Minnchen. I can't think why they some-
times make me feel inclined to cry.
Because you are silly, Jack, and tired.
I know you work too hard. But see, the
cows have turned the corner; I must open
the gates. I-ow I should like to be the
cowllerd :o drive them." So saying,
Minnchen left her companion.
Jack followed her, but did not remain
until the cows passed. He called out Good
bye," and went slowly home to Schulenrode.
The boy could not explain the reason to
himself, but as soon as he turned the corner
towards his home the tears would come. He
hardly understood whether it was the sound
of the bells, or the sweet calm still evening,
or his own sense of weariness that made him
so sad. Jack had been growing more and
more tired of late; he felt the strain of
wheeling his truck home every night. He
had been unusually depressed all that day,
and he could not helD thinking that some
68 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
morning he might wake up and feel too ill
to do any more work. If it were not for
Granny and Dolly," thought he, I should
not mind getting out of this hard life and
living with Jesus, for there is no aching in
heaven, the Bible says."
He dragged his steps slowly home. The
goat, hearing his footsteps, bounded out to
meet her master; andl Granny c lled from
the door, Jack, I've such a treat for
supper !" His sad thoughts soon gave
way to brighter ones, and when Granny
brought out a delicious Hartz cheese which
she had bought for her boy, Jack thought it
was pleasant to be so loved, and he forgot
that half-an-hour before he had wanted to
After supper Jack told Granny that
Minnchen was going with them to church
next morning, and Frau Petermann ex-
pressed her pleasure, and added, I hope,
Jack, Pastor Brauns will say some truth
from God's Book, which will sink deep into
the little maiden's heart."
MINNCHEN GOES TO CHURCH.
MIJNNCHEN was dressed in her Sunday frock,
eagerly watching for Jack and Frau
Petermann, long before the time came for
the service to begin; but she was looking
forward to a new pleasure, and although she
had been warned many times by her mother
that she would grow weary and sleepy long
before the sermon was finished, she pro-
tested stoutly that she would enjoy going to
The moment that she caught sight of
Jack and his grandmother turning the
corner of the road which led from Schulen-
rode she flew out of the gate and ran to
Granny smiled at the impetuous child
who, with a hasty Good morning," took
hold of her grandson's hand, and said,
"Jack, here I am. I told you I'd be ready
70 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
for you. I'm going to be very good, and sit
very still. Jack told me you would be very
angry if I did not behave myself," she
added, looking up laughingly into Frau
Granny smiled pleasantly back. She
would have found it hard to withstand that
merry look, even if she had been so inclined.
Minnchen tried to walk to church, but
found it a difficult feat to accomplish, for
she could not help skipping a few steps in
advance every now and then in spite of
Jack's efforts to hold her back, and induce
her to move along as steadily as he thought
Minnchen followed Granny, and sat down
by her side, while Jack took his seat among
the Sunday-school children. She glanced
over at the little girls, and when she saw
them so well behaved she tried to compose
her limbs into quietness. She listened
attentively to Pastor Brauns' sermon. He
told his congregation about Christ healing
the sick; but though she was interested for
MINNCHEN GOES TO CHURCH. 71
the moment, she did not apply the words
of Jesus to herself, nor Pastor Brauns'
remarks on the need that everyone had to
be healed of their sin. The thought, as
she sat and heard him preach, that it was
like a pretty story, to hear what this good
Christ did, and if she had been sick of
course she would like to have been cured;
but she was quite well; she had no aches
and pains, she hardly remembered ever to
have had a headache. Her mother was
quite right: what was the use of her wor-
rying herself about religion now? There
was plenty of time when she was quite
grown up. It certainly was rather dry stuff
to listen to for such a long time; it could
not be meant for children, but only for old
people, and those who were likely to die."
Jack joined Minnchen at the church door,
and the children walked home together in
advance of Frau Petermann. The boy was
very anxious to hear how Minnchen liked
the service, and that he was not altogether
satisfied with her answers we shall see later.
72 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
"How do you like church, Minnchen ?"
P Pretty well," answered his companion.
," I enjoyed hearing the stories Pastor Brauns
told about sick people being made well; but
when he got so serious about Christ I did not
care to listen. I'm too young and strong to
But, Minnchen, supposing that you were
to be very ill, would you not like to have a
doctor to cure you. Granny says there are
other things which need curing besides sick-
ness. She has often told me that our hearts
are hard and wicked, and our sins many,
and that we want curing; and you heard
Pastor Brauns say that the young ones in
his congregation wanted healing as well as
those who are old."
Of course he must say that, Jack,"
answered Minnchen; "because pastors al-
ways speak seriously, and ought to do so.
Mother says they are brought up to preach
Oh, Minnchen, that's not right; we all
MINNCHEN GOES TO CHURCH. 73
ought to love Jesus, and we all want healing.
I often ask Jesus to cure me and give me a
I don't a bit believe you need ask that,
Jack. You are always fancying that you
are doing wrong, and you are never
naughty. I do not think that what the
pastor said to-day was meant for you."
Indeed, indeed it was," replied Jack,
earnestly. I wish I could make you think,
dear Minnchen, that you do need healing."
Minnchen shook her head and did not
answer. By this time the children had
reached Frau Edelmann's garden gate, and
the little girl ran in quickly after bidding
Jack a hasty good-bye, for she saw an old
friend's face looking out of window.
Jack turned back to await his grand-
mother, who saw that her boy looked
troubled; so she asked no questions.
Old Margaret came in almost as soon as
they reached home; and after dinner was
over Jack learnt his lessons for the afternoon
school. No mention was made of Minnchen
74 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
until Granny and her boy walked out, as
was their wont every Sunday evening.
They turned their steps towards a shady
seat which was placed at one of the
entrances into the Hartz forest. Here they
sat down, and could catch the distant sounds
of the band, which was playing under the
oak trees, where the great mass of the
Hartzburg people were congregated, and
then Jack told Granny of his conversation
with Minnchen, and how she prided herself
on her youth and health. And he added,
" I can't help thinking there are as many
young as old who sleep in the cemetery."
Yes, dear," answered Frau Petermann;
" death claims all ages as its own."
Let us go home through the cemetery,"
said Jack, the walk up there will be
beautiful this evening. Oh, Granny, if
Minnchen would but love Jesus I should
be so glad."
You must pray for your little friend,
Jack," answered Frau Petermann; we can
all pray. If we are to walk home by the
MINNCHEN GOES TO CHURCH. 75
cemetery we must start at once. See, the
sun is already beginning to set. Let us
Jack helped his grandmother to rise from
her seat, and took hold of her hand. They
turned in the direction of the oak trees, but
before they came to the band they veered off
to the right, up a narrow pathway, which was
the most direct way to the cemetery.
It was prettily situated on a sloping hill
side; the roses were blooming on several of
the graves, and immortelle garlands hung upon
many headstones. Here and there were tiny
gardens, filled with sweet flowers, which
spoke of love and care lavished by the living
ones over the dust of those with whom they
had once associated. There were the graves
of little children, young men and maidens,
those in middle life, and the aged.
Jack and Granny lingered at the cemetery
for some time, it was so calm and peaceful;
there was scarcely a sound to be heard, for
the birds were hushed to rest, the cows were
home, the geese were housed, the railway did
76 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
not come near enough for its whistle to be
heard, and no horse's hoof disturbed the
profound stillness of that evening.
Granny and Jack silently pressed each
others' hands, and Granny said, impressively,
" Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.
My boy, may you and I, and all whom we
love, and God's great family, be found in
Jesus at last."
PASTOR BRAUNS' TREAT.
" JACK, I hope you are invited to Pastor
Brauns' treat," said Minnchen, a few days
later to her friend. The pastor has been to
see mother, and ask her to allow me to go
with him, and all the children in the village
about my age to drink tea in the Radau
valley near the waterfall, and we are to have
music in the evening, and march home with
our coloured lanterns.
Minnchen was so eager that it took Jack
some moments to understand all she said, for
he was not so quick at comprehension as his
friend. She was growing impatient, when
lie replied, Yes, Minnchen, the pastor has
invited all the boys and girls who work in the
quarry, and are as old as I am."
"That's capital, Jack," answered Minn-
cllen; we are to start at three o'clock from
the place where the band plays, under the
78 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
Jack, you had better come and dine
here," called out Frau Edelmann, from the
kitchen window, who had overheard the
conversation, which passed between the chil-
dren, then you and Minnchen can go to-
The day was glorious, and Pastor Brauns
was waiting with his wife to receive his little
guests under the oak trees. They formed
themselves into a long line, and walked
quietly through the Radau valley, past the
quarries, and came at last to the Radau
Pastor Brauns did not linger at the little
restaurant which supplies coffee and provi-
sions to the many visitors who come here to
while away an hour or more in the beautiful
summer evenings beneath the shady trees
which overhang the road side, and commands
a pretty view of the waterfall that comes
dashing and splashing down the mountain
side. He conducted the children to a sloping
green bank opposite to it, up through a little
bit of pine forest, and then he bade them sit
PASTOR BRAUNS' TREAT. 79
down on the ground, for he wanted to say a
few words to them.
There was a little bustle before the children
were seated; each of them wanted to sit
beside his or her most intimate friend. They
formed a pleasing group at last, and ranged
themselves in a circle round the good pastor,
who asked them to listen to him attentively.
He then gave out.a pretty hymn, which ran
"Like a ship in full sail, so buoyant and free,
Like the clouds which overshadow the land and the
Dear children, uncertain may here be your stay,
The Saviour may call you, and you must obey.
"The florets are pretty, so fragrant in spring,
When birds in the branches so lovingly sing;
Their blosoms may wither, the frost of a night
Their beauty may tarnish, their sweetness may
SAnd this is the lesson, dear children, for you,
To build your best hopes on foundations more true,
Beyond earthly tempests, in regions more pure,
Where safe with the Saviour the rest is secure."
The children sang these verses softly, and
their voices echoed sweetly to those who were
80 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
walking along the road. As soon as the last
notes died away, Pastor Brauns addressed his
little flock thus:
My dear children,-I have not brought
you here to-day to lecture you, nor to preach
a sermon, but because I want to give you a
little pleasure. We may ask God to smile
upon us as we are sitting here, and we may
pray to Him to keep us, in all our enjoyment,
from doing or saying that which will meet
with our Heavenly Father's disapprobation.
Remember, dear little ones, that the hymn
which we have just sung applies to us all. In
the midst of life we are in death; we know
not what a day may bring forth. This time
last year we sang this hymn, and in the
twelve months, three who were the merriest
and gayest amongst us have gone to their
rest. You may see their graves in the ceme-
tery. Who can tell how many will pass
away in the next year? If you love Jesus,
my children, it does not matter how soon He
calls you home. You will be able to say, like
little Samuel, Speak, Lord, for thy servant
PASTOR BRAUNS' TREAT. 81
heareth.' Children, I love to see you here.
I enjoy having you gathered round me, and
if one word that I have said to-day falls
on an attentive ear, and on a spirit which
has hitherto refused to love Jesus, I shall
be indeed thankful. And now let us pray
God to help us and bless us."
Pastor Brauns allowed a few minutes to
elapse before he rang his bell, which was a
signal to the landlord at the restaurant that
he wished coffee to be served. Then the
clatter of the little voices began, but they
were hushed in eager expectation as the
children watched the large cans of coffee
and great baskets of cake being carried
up through the pine forest.
Jack and Minnchen sat side by side. The
latter had listened to Pastor Brauns, and
Jack hoped that she would remember his
words: but she was so full of excitement that
the impression passed away with the sound
of the bell; and she was almost cross with
Jack because he sat so still.
There was plenty of cake consumed that
32 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
afternoon, for the children were very hungry
after their walk. By the time that the meal
was over it was nearly six o'clock.
"You may run about until I ring the
;)ell, said the kind pastor. I expect you to
;ttend to mhy summons, and return at once to
Ihis spot when I call you."
Then the games began. The whole forest
round echoed with the young voices of the
children The cows appeared to be aston-
ished as they passed along the road, and
their bells were lost in the merry shouts of
laughter; even the pine trees would have
expressed their wonderment had they been
able to speak. There were screams all round
them, and merry faces peeped out from their
grim old trunks playing at hide and seek.
Some of the boys chased the beautiful but-
terflies, others captured the enormous grass-
hoppers which chirped loudly, and jumped
'farther and farther away from their young
pursuers. A few of the quieter children
gathered sweet wild flowers, which they wove
into garlands, and placed on their heads, for
PASTOR BRAUNS' TREAT. 83
the little girls wore no hats nor bonnets; their
hair was neatly plaited, and only a few of
them had a bright-coloured handkerchief
pinned over their heads.
Jack and Minnchen were among the quiet
ones, for Jack was too tired to run, and
Minnchen wished him to make her a garland
About eight o'clock Pastor Brauns rang the
bell, and in a quarter of an hour his little flock
were gathered round him. Each of them
had a large slice of cake, and afterwards they
prepared to descend to the restaurant, where
the band was now playing, and many of the
parents of the children waiting to receive
Pleasant greetings were exchanged between
Pastor Brauns and his people, Frau Edel-
mann was there, but not her husband; he was
too deeply engaged in business, and Granny
Petermann did not go, for she was too weary
with her day's work to walk so far.
Minnchen and Jack received a present of
a coloured lantern from Frau Edelmann; they
84 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
were sold at the restaurant for twopence or
threepence, or hired for one penny. Jack's
was a great beauty; it was made of green and
gold paper, and Minnchen's was variegated.
Both of them looked smart when lighted up.
The lanterns were suspended on a long
stick by means of a little bit of string, so that
the children could lift them high enough over
their heads, for them to be seen by all who
were there. By the time that they were
lighted, the band struck up a lively tune, and
in a few minutes the fountain was illumi-
nated, and presented a bright red appearance.
As the colour gradually faded away, it looked
still more beautiful. The water seemed turned
into snow, and the trees appeared to be
covered with frost; and as the last faint
streaks of colour died out, all became dark
round the fountain, and only the splashing of
the water was heard, and the outline of the
pines were visible against the clear sky.
The band then marched into the road, and
played merrily while the children, lanterns in
lihnd, formed into line, and kept time to the
PASTOR BRAUNS' TREAT. 85
music. Their coloured lights looked very
pretty, and voices, laughter, and merriment
were heard all along thle Radau valley. When
the quarries were reached, there appeared
brilliant red, green, blue, and yellow lights.
A loud hurrah came from the children, and
those who had their hands unoccupied clapped
vigorously. At length the oak trees were
in sight, and as soon as the band reached
the fountain it ceased playing, and Pastor
Brauns mounted on the raised platform
usually occupied by the musicians, and
addressed a few last words to his people.
Then he wished them good-night, and the
company dispersed after one more hearty
clap and slout.
Jack bade adieu to Minnchen at the corner
of the road tlat turned to Schulenrode, and
was soon at home and in bed, dreaming of
coffee and cake, the red lights, a storm on
the ocean, and Minnchen drowning.
OLD MARGARET DIES.
( WIFE, four of my geese are dead," said
Herr Edelmann, coming into the kitchen
before breakfast. Old Margaret has had
a hand in it, I know. She shall be punished
as she deserves."
Minnchen and her mother left their work,
and accompanied Herr Edelmann into the
yard, where the four geese lay dead. He
had found them extended on the ground in
the cowhouse, quite stiff and cold.
But, father," said Minnchen, "you lock
the cowhouse door every evening; how could
Margaret get in ?"
"Where there's a will there's a way,"
replied Herr Edelmann. She could get
through this hole, Minnchen," and he
pointed to a trap-door. "It's not large
enough for the cows to come out of, but
large enough for old Margaret to enter by.
OLD MARGARET DIES. 87
This time she will not get over me. I shall
wait for the passing of the geese, and as soon
as I hear them I shall go to the gate, to be
ready to give her a bit of my mind."
The quacking of the geese announced the
approach of old Margaret. She came along
the road very slowly, seemingly guiding her
birds as usual, but within was burning fever,
for she was really ill in body and mind. She
had caught a violent cold one evening, when
she was overtaken by a heavy storm on the
mountains, whither slie had gone to fetch her
wood, and this soon told on her weary frame.
She had gone on with her work, each day
growing weaker and weaker, and as she
walked down the Hartzburg road on this
morning she muttered to herself, I must
give in, I can't drive my geese any more.
Sally must take my place to-morrow. She
will soon meet me this morning, I hope. I
asked her to come as early as possible."
Herr Edelmann stood at his gate, and
watched Margaret coming up the road. As
soon as she drew near enough to hear his
88 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
voice, he thundered out: "You wicked old
woman, look at my geese lying dead. How
dare you kill them! The police shall hear
of this, and you shall spend a few days in
prison, and see how you will like it."
What do you mean, Ierr Edel-
mann?" asked Margaret, looking very
much frightened. "I have not hurt your
geese, except that one; and since then I
have tried to be kinder to the birds."
You won't come over me," said Herr
Edelmann, angrily; you may expect to see
the police on the Hartzburg common to take
you to jail to-morrow."
What do you mean, sir? Pray tell me;
I've never done any harm to your geese."
"You shall hear later," said Herr Edel-
mann, turning away into his garden, and
going on with his work.
There had been no witnesses to this con-
versation except Sally, who appeared in sight
when Herr Edelmann came to the gate, and
Minnchen and her mother, who stood under
the tree in the garden.
OLD MARGARET DIES. 89
As soon as the geese had passed, Frau
Edelmann joined her husband in the kitchen
garden. He was busy weeding up some
strange-looking green weed, which he threw
on the pa hway.
Husband, I am not quite sure that old
Margaret has had a hand in this business,"
said Minnchen's mother; "she appeared to
me to be more surprised than guilty."
SI don't agree with you, wife. If ever I
saw a guilty woman it was old Margaret; she
looked quite livid. I shall give notice to the
police to-day as I return from Brunswick,
for I am not going to overlook her wrong-
doing a second time."
But, father, she is such an old woman,"
Old in years and in sin too,my child. But
we will not talk about her any more. Carry
that weed to the yard, Minnchen, and give
it to the geese. I cannot understand why it
spreads so. I threw a large quantity away
last night, and it appears to have grown
again. However, the geese enjoy it."
90 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
Minnchen was busy cleaning for the next
two hours, and her mother was churning
fresh butter to send to Brunswick, so they
did not observe that the geese looked very
strange. One of them was lying panting,
and another, seemingly in great pain, with a
large green weed hanging out of its beak.
Minnchen was the first to discover the
fact, and her exclamations brought her father
and mother to her side directly.
"What has happened, Minnchen?" they
Oh, look, look," cried she.
Then they noticed the state of the geese.
"They have eaten some poison," said Herr
Edelmann. Drive the other four into the
cowhouse, wife; they seem healthy enough;
but we shall lose two more. It must be the
green weed that has killed them."
"'And the weed killed those four last
night," exclaimed Minnchen. I saw them
enjoying it just before I drove them in for
the night. Old Margaret did not kill them ;
I am so glad for Jack's sake."
OLD MARGARET DIES. 91
So that is your reason for wishing her
well!" said her father. Wife, we shall
have to be saving; it's no joke to lose six
geese in twenty-four hours. I must make
peace with Margaret. Watch for her return
home, will you, and tell her that the police
will not be informed. I am sorry I spoke so
harshly to her. But it's getting late; I shall
lose my train if I do not start at once."
There was a great bustle to get the baskets
ready, and Minnchen and her mother had to
help to carry the butter down to the station.
On their return home they met a friend who
had come from some distance to spend the
day, so that old Margaret was quite forgotten.
It was not until the next morning that Frau
Edelmann said, Dear me, I forgot all about
Margaret. I meant to have told her that she
was innocent, but I'll meet her at the gate.
Do you know, husband, that our old friend
said, yesterday, she had known of many
geese being poisoned by that green weed."
We must now see how old Margaret fared
after she left Herr Edelmann. She was very
92 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
angry at being so falsely accused, but she felt
almost too weak and ill to contend. As soon
as she reached the Hartzburg common she
cowered down in fear and trembling, for one
thing remained painfully vivid to her heated
brain, and that was, a policeman would come
to fetch her. It was a fearful day for the old
woman; she shivered if a stranger crossed the
common, and a sigh of relief escaped her as
the footsteps passed by. So the day wore
wearily on. Sally helped her home to her
hut; she almost carried her in, and laid her
on her wretched bed. The kind-hearted girl
had resolved to spend the night with her aged
friend, for she felt assured that she was very
ill. When morning broke Margaret was
rambling, and the gaunt spectre which
haunted her dreams was-a policeman.
Go, go!" she screamed; "I have not
hurt the birds. Once, only once, I hit one."
When the world began to stir, Sally went
to fetch Frau Petermann, and the latter took
up her post by the beside, and awaited the
coming of the doctor, who had been sum-
OLD IMARGARET DIES. 93
moned. He shook his head when lie saw his
patient, and said, I can do nothing for her.
She is past human help. You ought to have
sent for me before."
Herr Edelmann stood at the gate, watching
for the geese to come the next morning. He
was anxious to atone to Margaret for falsely
accusing her. "Where's Margaret?" he
asked of Sally, as she passed with her
"Very ill," replied she; "so ill, that I
don't believe she will ever get up again."
SI am sorry to hear that," replied Herr
Edelmann; I wanted to see her."
"' She has been feeling ill for several days;
but last night she was so much worse that I
did not leave her, and now Frau Petermann
is there, and the doctor thinks she will never
get up again."
"Wife, I wish you would go and see
Margaret some time to-day," said Herr
Edelmann. She is not driving her
geese, and Sally believes she is very ill.
The doctor thinks she cannot get better.
94 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
I wish I had not said what I did to her
So do I, husband," answered Frau
Edelmann. Poor old creature, she has
had a rough life, I imagine, and enough to
endure without having any false accusations
hurled at her head."
"Take her some nourishment, wife, and
mind you tell her that I ask her forgiveness,
and am very grieved to have been so unkind
I will do my best, husband," replied
Frau Edelmann; "and as soon as I have
finished churning I will go and see her."
It was afternoon before Minnchen and her
mother started away to visit old Margaret.
They carried a fresh loaf, a pot of butter, and
a few new-laid eggs with them, to tempt the
invalid's appetite, also a bottle of home-
made wine. The door of old Margaret's
hut was opened by Granny Petermann, who
looked astonished when she recognized who
were the visitors.
The sick woman lay on her miserable bed,
OLD MARGARET DIES. 95
and appeared to be wandering in mind. She
kept starting up and saying, Is he coming ?
I have not killed the geese."
"She has been saying this to me many
times," said Granny to Frau Edelmann. I
can't understand what she means."
Frau Edelmann did, and informed Granny
of what her husband had threatened. Is
she very ill ?" she asked.
Very ill, indeed," replied Granny. The
doctor thinks she will not live through the
What brought her illness on?"
Exposure to intense heat, and getting
very wet. She came down from the moun-
tain in a heavy thunderstorm, and has daily
grown more and more ill from the cold which
she took. Fever has been almost hourly
increasing, and now she does not know
Can she take any nourishment ?"
Nothing," replied Granny. Oh, would
that she had made her peace with Jesus. She
wants the friend who never fails, Frau Edel-
96 THE BOY WHO WONDERED.
mann. She has always delayed acknowledg-
ing Him. Now I fear it is too late. She
has no longer any sense left."
Go home, Minnchen," said Frau Edel-
mann. "Get your father his coffee, and you
may come back later, with Jack, who, I
suppose, will be here as soon as he returns
from work. I shall remain with Frau
Old Margaret moaned uneasily, and no
change for the better took place as hour after
hour passed. Minnchen met Jack on his
return, and told him what her mother had
said; afterwards the children walked towards
the poor woman's hut, chatting as they went
"Jack, you are very sad this evening,"
said his companion. Do you like old
I think I do," replied Jack; I shall
miss her if she dies. I am so sorry for her.
If she loved Jesus I should not mind so
much, for heaven would be far better than
her hard life; but she has always put away