• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The ferryman's boy
 Hugh Delany, and the message he...
 Robin and Guy
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: The ferryman's boy, and other stories
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055312/00001
 Material Information
Title: The ferryman's boy, and other stories
Physical Description: 4, 115, 8 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Temple, Crona
Rackham, Arthur, 1867-1939 ( Illustrator )
Thomas Nelson & Son ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Son
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
Publication Date: 1887
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1887   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1887   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1887
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Crona Temple.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Added illustrated t.p.; other illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
General Note: 4 of 7 ill. monogrammed "AR", possibly the initials of Arthur Rackham, cf. Hudson, D. Arthur Rackham, p. 166, note.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055312
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238418
notis - ALH8921
oclc - 13831596

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Plate
    Half Title
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    List of Illustrations
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The ferryman's boy
        Chapter I: Kilmard ferry
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
        Chapter II: Across the sands
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
        Chapter III: A child's foot-prints
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
        Chapter IV: Saved
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
    Hugh Delany, and the message he heard
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Robin and Guy
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Advertising
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text
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The Baldwin Library
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hb ,/uznp up hzer ', you canl peh/z behicnZd ;iie."
PL-g- 39.








THE FERRYMAN'S BOY.






- . .




















"Just clouds, and nothing more."
Page 31.




Cbomas 1Relson anO Sons,
LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK.












THE



FERRYMAN'S BOY


tub tber stores.



By

CR ONA TEMPLE.














To oonbn :
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
1887.


























^nnt ents.





I. KILMARD FERRY, .. ... .. ... .. 9

II. ACROSS THE SANDS, ... 27

III. A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS, ... 44

IV. SAVED, ... ... 60





HUGH DELANY, AND THE MESSAGE HE HEARD, ... ... 74

ROBIN AND GUY, ... ... ... ... ... 98




























ITctist of 1 tt1sutrations. .


-^-



"JUMP UP HERE; YOU CAN PERCH BEHIND ME," ... Frontispiece

"JUST CLOUDS, AND NOTHING MORE," ... ... ignette

CALL RIGHT!" ... ... ... 11

"SAY A PRAYER TO WHOM ? ... ... ... 17

AY; BUT WHERE ARE THEY?" ... .. ... ... 23

'IT'S LONG WAYS OFF FROM HERE," ... ... .. 29

CYOU ARE RIGHT, SANDY, ... ... ... ... 49














THE FERRYMAN'S BOY.



I.
KILMA RD FERR Y

FAR away, down in the wilds of Western
Ireland, lived old Michael Farran. Every-
body called him old; but he was as straight
as a dart, his eye as keen as a falcon's, and
his great wide hand still strong enough to
manage his oar in the rough seas which now
and then thundered into Kilmard Bay.
He kept the ferry-boat crossing the narrow
strait of water where the hills ran close to
the shore, before the "inner lough," as the
country folk called it, widened out into the
landlocked harbour beyond. Few nights




10 KILMARD FERRY.

were too wild and dark for Michael to ven-
ture over the ferry, if any were brave enough
to demand the service of his boat. He lived
in a cottage close to the water's edge, with
no companion save "wee Sandy," a delicate
lad of some twelve years old.
There was some mystery about Sandy,
so the neighbours thought; for none knew
exactly who he was, nor whence he came.
He called the old ferryman his grandfather;
but nobody knew that Michael had had son
or daughter, so Sandy's claim to kinship
was generally disallowed. The truth was
simply this: Sandy was a stray waif whom
old Michael Farran had taken home to his
lonely hearth out of pure charity, but being
backward in self-praise-a rare trait in an
Irishman's character-he allowed the neigh-
bours to wonder and speculate over the
matter to their hearts' content.
A good deed brings its own reward, as an
old proverb says; and truly Michael Farran









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KILMARD FERRY. 13

was rewarded over and over again for his
kindness to the orphan boy. He loved to
see the slender figure waiting on the rocks
as his boat drew near to the landing-place;
he loved to hear the fresh young voice cry,
All right," as the rope was made fast to
the ring, and Sandy's eager hands were
stretched out for their burden of parcels
or spars. And then at night, wasn't it a
real comfort to have the boy to talk to, to
know that he was sitting in the shadow on
the other side of the leaping fire-light, listen-
ing "with all his ears" to the old man's
stories of past days, and ready to put in his
question, or response, or admiring exclama-
tion, just at the very right time!
Wee Sandy had never been a burden, but
a downright pleasure. Yet the old ferry-
man looked anxiously sometimes at the
child's pale face, and felt uneasily that his
cottage was but a rude shelter for so delicate
a creature.
(67) 2





14 KILMARD FERRY.

No one had talked of schooling for Sandy.
In those desolate mountains schools are few
and far between, and the laws which have
lately been made about education had not
penetrated to those remote regions. Farran
himself had learned to scrawl his name and
to spell through a printed page with infinite
labour; but even that learning had been
well-nigh forgotten in his old age, and, as
far as he could see, had been of very little
use to him during life. Why, then, should
he trouble himself and Sandy about such
things?
There was a chapel in the town seven
miles away-a chapel with great bare walls
dotted with rude pictures, and adorned with
a high altar decked with lace. Now and
then on Sundays the old ferryman had taken
the boy there, and taught him to repeat a
little Latin prayer and cross himself before
the image of the Virgin. And this was all
that Sandy knew, excepting such wisdom






KILMARD FERRY. 15

as he had picked up from the sky and the
sea and the hills.
One night, during the month of October,
the weather was unusually stormy. The
waving of a lantern on the opposite shore
summoned the ferry-boat, and Michael ac-
cordingly set forth. The white flecks of
foam flew high on the gale, looking almost
like birds in the fading light, and the surf
on the bar at the mouth of the bay had
taken that deep awful sound which betokened
a severe storm.
"Don't go," entreated Sandy, clinging to
his old friend's arm.
"Don't go, is it? Nay, boy, it's no worse
nor what I've weathered many a time and
often. See how the boat is tearing to be
off! She loves a bit of a bluster, so she does,
the brave thing! Run in, ahaska,* run
back to the fire and say a prayer for me,
Sandy, if you can mind the words."
My darling.





16 KILMARD FERRY.

A prayer ? "
But old Michael was gone; it was no use
to question him now. The boat had slipped
out into the darkness, dashing and splashing
on her accustomed voyage. Michael was
gone, and the boy slowly entered the cottage
and sat down by the fire.
Say a prayer! how could he do that?
There was no painted image of our Lady
here, with her gilded crown and star-
spangled dress,-not even a picture before
which to kneel. Say a prayer! to whom?
to what?
Sandy gazed round him in dismay.
Michael was in danger, maybe, and he could
do nothing-nothing; he couldn't even ask
any one to take care of him, because there
was nobody to ask. "1But if the chapel
Lady were here," murmured the boy in his
grief,-" if the pretty Lady were here, and
I could say my 'Ave' to her, I can't see
how she could help to save my grand-daddy,













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KILMARD FERRY. 19

for sure she isn't really alive at all, at all.
Oh, woe's me!" and he wrung his hands
with a gesture of despair.
The winds rushed shrieking past the
cottage, tearing up towards the mountain
glens, and the waves roared louder and
louder upon Kilmard Bar. Would the little
boat be able to trace her way from the
farther shore ?
Unable to rest, Sandy wandered down to
the jutting promontory of rock forming the
miniature harbour where the ferry-boat was
accustomed to ride. Sheltering himself as
well as he could behind the cliff, the poor
child peered through the growing darkness
for some sign of his old friend's return.
And it was then that, for the first time in
his short life, a sense of desolation over-
powered him,-a desolation so complete and
terrifying that, covering his face with his
thin fingers, he sobbed and cried aloud.
Alone and in the darkness,-storm around





20 KILMARD FERRY.

him, and, it might be, death very nigh to
him, and he a poor, weak, helpless child,
who could not even say a prayer!
But the feeling of helplessness fled as
quickly as it had come, when, amidst the
roar of the gale, he caught old Michael's
loud "Hallo!" and saw the bow of the
boat coming safely through the foam.
"Safe and sound, Sandy lad. Run up
to the house with ye; ye'll be fair perished
standing there like a skart* on the rocks."
And Sandy ran home at the old man's
cheery bidding, and forgot, for a time, that
he had been terrified and lonely and de-
spairing.
But the remembrance of his trouble re-
turned as he sat in the firelight, listening to
the raging of the storm as the winds and
waves beat in their fury on the cliffs at
Kilmard Head. He crept close to the
ferryman's side, and laid his little hand on
Cormorant.






KILMARD FERRY. 21

the sea-stained corduroy sleeve. "Grand-
daddy," he said, "there was nobody a-nigh
when I wanted to pray."
Michael Farran turned round to gaze at
the child, wondering for the moment what
he meant. He had quite forgotten his own
remark as he left the shore.
"There was nobody," Sandy repeated.
"Tell me, grand-daddy, what is the use of
saying prayers?"
The old ferryman shook his puzzled head.
This was a question beside and beyond his
experience. He could have told when the
tide would fall, when the wedges of wild
geese would be coming from the north; he
could have reckoned the possible number
of grouse on the moorland above his house,
or pointed out the haunts of the shy seals
basking in the sun: but Sandy's question
was unanswerable. How was he to explain
things which only priests could understand ?
"We are poor mortal creatures, Sandy,"





22 KILMARD FERRY.

he said slowly, "and, ye see, if we didn't ax
the Virgin, and the Lord, and the blessed
saints to have an eye to us now and again,
we'd find ourselves lost in trouble, I
doubt."
"Ay; but where are they, the blessed
saints, and the Lord?" persisted the boy,
his great eyes fixed eagerly on Michael's
wrinkled face.
"Why, in heaven, of course! where else
would they be ? Sandy, my boy, it's to
school I must be sending ye, or ye'll grow
up like the black heathens in Ingy."
I'd like to be going to school," the child
said thoughtfully, for there is such a power
of things that I want to know."
The old ferryman watched him uneasily
for a minute. He had heard of children
growing too wise to live: was wee Sandy
"getting delicate," and therefore talking in
this unusual fashion?
"You'll know plenty, no fear," he said,







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KILMARD FERRY. 25

somewhat illogically. "Turn the praties,
lad; they are burning black as sticks."
So Sandy knelt down and attended to
the potatoes which were piled upon the
hearthstone, surrounded by embers from the
peat fire. But even as he turned them, and
pinched them to see if they were ready for
supper, his thoughts were running on those
unknown things which seemed so mysterious
and far off:
The October storm died away, and the
inky sea grew calm and blue again in the
autumn sunshine; but Sandy never quite for-
got the trouble which had vexed him in that
wild lonely hour. Did the Virgin and the
Lord and the blessed saints travel round the
country in the night-time doing good to
people? or was heaven somewhere close to
the chapel in the town, and were those
pretty images the models of the living beings
who were somewhere out of sight?
There was not much use in asking Michael





26 KILMARD FERRY.

about it, for he only put him off with a laugh,
or bade him "be happy on earth without
wanting to go to heaven before his time,"
telling him that such things were not fit for
young heads; all he had to do was to be
gay like the curlews and the sea-pyes on the
shore.
"I think I'd like to go and have a sight
of heaven," murmured Sandy to himself.
"I'd step up, still and silent, and take a
look at the blessed ones, and come away
again without ever their knowing. But
where's the road to it ? I'll never, never
find it, for it's long ways off from here."











II.

ACROSS THE SANDS.

"IT'S long ways off from here." The echo
of the words clung to him, and often during
the wintry weather which followed that
stormy October, Sandy pondered over the
thoughts which troubled him.
One evening he had climbed the height
behind the house to look after the few goats
belonging to the ferryman. As he reached
the great pile of gray rocks which crowned
the steep heather slopes, he paused to look
out to the westward, fairly startled by the
scene before him.
The sun was setting, and although Sandy
was accustomed to the glorious sunsets of
the western coasts, he had never seen such





28 ACROSS THE SANDS.

a stretch of vivid colour before. Glowing
crimson spread like curtains to the right and
left; flames of orange and flecks of gold
spangled the sky; and just where the sun
had sunk there was a lake-like stretch of
calmest, softest radiance-so calm, so soft
that Sandy caught his breath with a sort of
awe as his eyes gazed across that gorgeous
portal to the peace and purity beyond.
Heaven, of which he had heard, must
surely be there, beyond that distant glory;
and if the Lord and his young mother and
the blessed saints lived in heaven, perhaps
-perhaps he might see them cross that
shining floor, or stand between those glow-
ing gates.
He threw himself upon the heather,
stretching his arms upon the cold rock at
his side, watching, eager and trembling, for
some sign of life in that land of beauty.
But the purple clouds rolled closer; the
glowing colours paled; the mimic cliffs of







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ACROSS THE SAN.)S. 81

gold melted into gray wreaths of moisture;
the gates of pearl fell together and veiled
the beauty from his sight.
Was all that wonderful light "just clouds,
and nothing more Sandy sighed, as his
forehead sank upon the stone. He should
never, never find the gates of heaven, he
knew. How silly he had been to fancy
such things about clouds!
And then, shivering, he rose and turned
to drive his goats from the hill.
His bare feet splashed through the little
pools of peat-water, and sank by turns into
the rich brown earth and the tufts of moss
which studded the surface of the bog; and
he sprang after the nimble creatures, who
were loath to quit their pasturage, almost
as nimble as they. Boylike, he forgot his
yearning and his wondering as he turned
" Pegg" and Teaser" and old Joe down
the familiar track which led to the shore.
Old Joe was the oldest, the shaggiest,





82 ACROSS THE SANDS.

and the wisest goat that ever nibbled an ivy
shoot, and he looked at Sandy with little
keen eyes as the boy approached to order
him home. Sandy laid his hand. upon his
horn, and half leaning upon him, half leading
him, they descended the hill together.
Michael Farran was on the other side of
the ferry, as Sandy saw in a moment by the
absence of the boat from her moorings. He
drove the goats into their shelter, piled fresh
turf upon the fire, and proceeded to prepare
the supper.
The peasants of the far west live upon
simple fare-a pile of potatoes, smoking hot,
with a roll of fresh butter or a toasted her-
ring, is breakfast, dinner, and tea for most
of them; varied, particularly in the spring
and early summer, by porridge, stir-about,"
as they term it, and big bowls of butter-
milk. The cookery of the ferry-house,
therefore, was no very heavy task, and
Sandy hung the black pot upon the crook,





ACROSS THE SANDS. 8a

and stirred the flame beneath it in a quiet
matter-of-fact way that showed how accus-
tomed he was to the work.
Presently a clatter of hoofs outside upon
the stony road made him start to his feet in
dismay. Here, doubtless, were passengers
for the ferry, and Michael and the boat were
not to be had. It was getting late and
dark, and the travellers would be vexed at
the delay.
He opened the door, and by the fading
light he saw the tall figure of a man who
had dismounted, and was holding his horse
by the bridle.
"Is this the ferry-Kilmard Ferry?"
said a clear kindly voice.
"It is, your honour," replied Sandy,
timidly retreating within the shelter of his
own threshold, and pulling his forelock in a
respectful obeisance to the gentleman--"it
is, your honour; but Michael-he's on the
far side."





84 ACROSS THE SANDS.

Michael ?"
"Ay, your honour will know old Michael
the ferryman ?"
"No; I don't know him yet,"-the
gentleman's voice sounded as though he
were smiling,-" but we don't want Michael
to-night, or at least we don't want to cross
the ferry."
Sandy retreated a little further, wondering
what it was that they did want. His slight
figure in its tattered jacket, his bare feet
treading nervously one upon the other, and
his pale wistful face were plainly visible in
the ruddy fire-light. But the darkness with-
out almost hid the strangers from his view.
We can cross the strand, can we not "
the kindly voice went on. "Is there any
danger of missing the way? We want to
reach Drumdough."
Drumdough was the name of a shooting-
box belonging to a rich "Englisher," a deso-
late place built on the spur of land which





ACROSS THE SANLS. 35

ran out some seven or eight miles beyond
Kilmard. The highroad to this place fol-
lowed a devious course up hill and down
dale, winding round loughs, dipping through
water-courses, and leading the traveller fully
four miles further than a straighter, "more
sensible" road would have done. Conse-
quently most people planned their journeys
according to the tide, and chose to cross
the sweep of firm white sand which at low
water stretched from the ferry-house almost
to Drumdough itself.
None knew those sands better than the
ferryman's boy; none knew better than he
how fast the waves came tumbling in when
once the tide had turned, covering the whole
stretch of shore with dancing, leaping water.
He stepped outside the door, and stood for
a minute silently, his face turned westward.
Well, my lad, can't you answer ? What
is the matter ?"
The voice had a note of impatience in its





36 ACROSS THE SANDS.

tone now, and the horses were champing
their bits uneasily.
I was just listening," said Sandy simply
-"just listening to the bar. Yes, your
honour, there will be time to get across, if
ye ride pretty smart, and keep straight."
"But it will be dark; we shall not see
the way," said some one who had not spoken
before-some one who had a thin, querulous
way of speaking, and a little hard cough
that made itself heard every now and
again.
We will take this lad as a guide, if he
will come," answered the gentleman who
had spoken first.-" My boy, will you show
us the way to Drumdough? you know it
well enough, I suppose?"
"That do I," said Sandy; "but when
Michael comes, he will be wondering where
I be," he added doubtfully.
"Well, put us in the right direction, at
any rate," the gentleman said, and he





ACROSS THE SANDS. 87

mounted his horse as he spoke; "we have
no time to lose."
Once out of the glow of the peat-fire,
Sandy could see what the strangers looked
like. He had never beheld them before,
he was certain; it was seldom that such
"quality came to Kilmard. The first was
a tall, broad-shouldered man, mounted on a
powerful gray horse; his companion was a
lad, not very much older than Sandy, seem-
ingly. He appeared weary, and Sandy
could see, even by the faint light, how
listlessly he rode, and how his head sunk
forward in sickness or fatigue.
The horses picked their way amongst the
big granite boulders strewing the shore; but
the sea-weed-covered stones were slippery,
and the gentleman sprang to the ground
again, and carefully led the boy's horse,
giving his own to Sandy's charge. Sandy
could hear him talking cheerfully as he
stepped along, bidding him take courage;





88 ACROSS THE SANDS.

that there remained but a canter across
smooth sand between them and rest.
Only three miles or so to Drumdough,
Alan, and then we shall forget all our
troubles while Sir John laughs at our fine
ideas of exploring. Why, how many
times have we lost our way to -day,
Alan ? "
"We shall lose it again on this dreary
waste," the boy said in a fretful tone; "and
how are we to get on fast with this urchin
running at our heels?"
"There will be moonlight presently, and
then we shall want no guide. There, Alan!
that is the last stone; here we are on the
safe sand.-Now, my lad, just hold his head,
will you? while I mount."
"This way, your honour," cried Sandy,
as the gentleman gave his horse the rein
and started at a sharp trot after his com-
panion; "this way. There is a channel of
water nine feet deep between this and





ACROSS THE SANDS. 39

Drumdough, and it is right fornenst* you
there."
"A channel of water nine feet deep!
Alan! Alan! This way! Keep to the
left, Alan, and wait for us."
Sandy held the gentleman's stirrup, and
his feet flew easily over the sand; he was
accustomed to running, and he kept up
famously for a time. Presently they reached
the channel of which he had spoken, but
here it was wider and shallower, and quite
easy to ford. Sandy stooped to turn his
tattered trowsers above his knees: it might
be that the water would not reach higher
than that; and what if it did? he was well
used to a wetting.
The gentleman saw what he was about,
and stopped him. "Jump up here," he
said; "you can perch behind me. So.-
Now, Alan, don't go riding off into the
darkness; let us keep together, and if you
Before.





40 ACROSS THE SANDS.

tumble into some hole I shall be at hand to
fish you out."
They forded the water, and put their
horses to good speed on the strand beyond;
Sandy keeping his seat behind the gentle-
man's saddle, and calling out directions now
and then as he judged by signs known only
to himself where the right road lay.
It was very dark now. A sea-mist came
in with the turning tide, and Sandy could
no longer distinguish the spark of red light
from the distant lighthouse on the island;
nor could he see the dim outline of Kilmard
Head against the south-west sky.
Presently he asked the gentleman to stop
a bit, "that he might hearken to the bar."
What do you mean by that?" demanded
Alan; you said you were listening to the
bar before."
"Hark," replied Sandy, "that's the bar,
that is; that noise like rocks rolling in
thunder time. It's the tide on the bar;





ACROSS THE SANDS. 41

and presently it will be coming up here fast
-fast. You must keep straight on, sir;
and you will be at Drumdough in a short
enough while. I'll go back now, please, sir,
or the water will be up, and I shall have to
go round by the shore."
"Don't let him go," cried Alan; "we
shall never find the way in this fog. It is
not so easy to keep 'straight on' when one
can't see the horses' ears. Don't let him go,
Mr. Lanyon."
Can't you stay with us, my lad ? asked
Mr. Lanyon gravely. "I really think we
could not do without you; besides, you
yourself would be in some danger, out on
these miles of sand in this darkness.
Come with us to Drumdough, and I will
have you sent back in a dog-cart by the
road. You would reach home nearly as
soon, and it would be the safer plan for us
all."
Sandy did not immediately reply; but





42 ACROSS THE SANDS.

the gentleman felt his little figure tremble
as he leaned against him.
"Shall we go on now ?" he said kindly.
"Have you listened to the bar enough for
this time ?"
"I don't know," said the poor child, in
tones that shook with the fear that had
come upon him. "I cannot see the way.
The tide is rising; the tide is rising fast."
But we are nearly at home now," Mr.
Lanyon urged. "The tide can't be here
for some time yet; and even if it did reach
us, we have nothing to do but ride straight
away from it to the shore, and a scramble
up the rocks and a long ride round is the
worst that can befall us."
But," said Sandy, "I don't know where
we are." His words sank away in a sob.
The poor child was too frail a support for
those two strangers to have leaned on in
their need. The excitement and the novelty
which had made the little peasant boy forget





ACROSS THE SANDS. 43

himself were over now, and he was utterly
frightened and helpless.
"We will ride for the shore at once," Mr.
Lanyon said. "Never mind, my lad, you
have done your best. We ought not to
have ventured here so late.-The old adage
comes true sometimes, Alan,' The longest
way round is the shortest way home.' Now
for the shore."
"Ah," cried Sandy sharply, as the horses
moved forward, "remember the channel!
It comes round under Carrickbeg in a great
twist; if we fall into it there, we shall all
be drowned."











III.

A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

LOST on the sands! the thick sea-fog sur-
rounding them like a wall; the rugged shore
far off and invisible; that deep channel of
water sweeping somewhere across the strand,
an outlet of the river at Carrickbeg; the
little guide faint-hearted and despairing;-
and, filling the air like muffled funeral drums,
the echo of the tide upon the bar.
Another sound came on the raw, heavy
air-a sharp sound, like the rustle of ripe
corn. It was the north-west wind awaken-
ing on the wide Atlantic and striking against
the seamed and splintered cliffs which lifted
their mighty heads on the other side of the
bay. That rising gale would soon disperse






A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 45

the fog-cloud; but not until the wide sands
should be covered deep with foam-flecked
water.
Mr. Lanyon, the gentleman who had
refused until now to believe in danger, felt
almost as helpless as poor Sandy. But it
was only for a moment. In weakness he
knew where to seek for strength, in dark-
ness he knew where to look for light; and
before his feet the way was speedily made
plain.
Courage! he cried once more. "Alan,
this is a real adventure. Let us trust to
our horses' instinct; they say animals have
a sort of sixth sense to guide them in times
like this. Come."
So they moved forward, slowly now, Mr.
Lanyon talking cheerily. He evidently was
anxious to keep up Alan's spirits; anxious
also lest that cold fog should aggravate the
constant cough, or the long fatigue should
prove too much for his companion's strength.
(67) 4





46 A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

"I say, my lad," he cried presently,
"what's your name ?
"Sandy, sir."
"Sandy what ?"
"Only Sandy, your honour. I live with
old Michael Farran. He is my grand-
daddy."
"Oh! Well, Sandy, how far do you
suppose we are now from Drumdough ?"
But the mention of Michael, and the re-
membrance of his home, were too much for
Sandy's fortitude: he sobbed as he buried
his face in Mr. Lanyon's rough riding-coat,
and he spoke not a word.
Hallo !" called out Alan. "Here are
our own tracks again. We have been riding
in a circle, I declare!"
"Hold on, Sandy," Mr. Lanyon said; "I
am going to dismount."
The fog was lifting a little, and some
faint glimmer of the shrouded moonlight
enabled them to see the trampled patch of





A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 47

sand where they had paused ten minutes
ago that Sandy might listen to the noise of
the sea. There could be no doubt about it
-they had returned to the same spot!
These English horses are not accustomed
to being lost on the sands, evidently," said
Mr. Lanyon. They have no notion where
Drumdough may be, and they know very
little about Drumdough when they reach it.
Ah!" he cried, patting his horse's neck,
"what is the use of being so handsome and
highly bred now ? Why, the shaggiest hill
pony here would be more useful than you!"
Sandy had scrambled down from his high
perch, and he was walking slowly to and
fro, listening to the wild shore-sounds, peer-
ing through the mist, trying to recover some
clew to the way which they ought to take.
Suddenly there came to him the remem-
brance of his grandfather's words on the
night of the October storm,-" If we don't
ask the Blessed Virgin to help us now and





48 A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

then, we shall find ourselves lost in trouble."
Trouble had overtaken them surely enough.
Could the English gentleman say a prayer?
And if he could, would there be anybody
nigh in the darkness to hear and to answer?
"Please, sir," he said, coming close to
Mr. Lanyon's elbow, and speaking very low
-" please, sir, 'tis lost that we are. Maybe,
if ye'd ask the Blessed Mary and the saints,
they would send help to us-they would
come-they are somewhere-grand-daddy
said--"
He stopped, hesitating and stammering.
The subject was too mysterious and vague
for him to approach in words.
Mr. Lanyon laid his hand on the boy's
shoulder. "You are right, Sandy," he said
gently. "We will ask the Lord to send us
help. The Lord, whom both Mary and the
saints loved and followed,-he can always
hear, for he is everywhere."
Then leaning against his horse's neck, he


















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A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 51

removed his hat, and glancing up towards
the leaden sky, he said,-
O Lord Jesus, we cannot help ourselves;
do thou help us. Thou hast promised an
answer to those that call upon thee. The
Lord on high is mightier than the noise of
many waters; yea, than the mighty waves
of the sea. Deliver us now, we beseech
thee, that we may praise thy great and
terrible name; for it is holy."
The earnest words ceased. Alan had
ridden away some few paces impatiently;
for although he had learned many things,
and studied many books, his soul was almost
as dark and dead as that of the bare-footed
peasant boy standing at his side.
As for Sandy, he held his breath with
awe. He had heard the prayer-no mys-
terious Latin jargon, but straight, hearty,
simple words that he himself might have
uttered. The prayer had been made, but
when would the answer come? Only the





52 A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

wild shriek of a sea mew mingled with
the thunder of the tide; only the fog-
wreaths darkened the stretches of the
sky.
Much is written and more is said about
the heathen in lands far away. But there
are few who realize that there are hearts as
lost and hard in these islands as in Africa;
that there is ignorance almost as deep in
Ireland as in India; ay, that in London
itself, so rich and vast and grand, there are
hundreds who live and die without ever
hearing the name of God excepting it is
sullied by foul oaths. And this stain upon
our country will never be removed until the
rich and the educated remember that it is
not enough to give their money to missions"
-that their time and their personal efforts
are also needed to lighten the darkness
which lies about their doors. Self-sacrifice
and loving-kindness are more precious than
silver and gold; and the cry of lost ones






A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 53

in our own land should be the most bitter
in our ears.
"Come here," called Alan through the
mist. "Come here, and see if this is not a
track that may be going right."
They hurried forward, and Sandy flung
himself upon his knees to examine closely
the marks to which Alan pointed.
Yes; they were foot-marks sure enough-
the foot-marks of a child, printed lightly on
the sand by shoeless little feet.
"Somebody has been by here," he said
slowly; "but maybe it was but Margy or
Kattorn searching for barniahs."*
"Maybe it was somebody going towards
Drumdough," said Mr. Lanyon. "At any
rate we will follow the track for a bit; any-
thing is better than staying here until the
tide comes up."
So they followed the foot-prints; Sandy
running forward, stooping to the track like
Shell-fish.





54 A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

a hound after a hare. It was difficult, even
for his sharp eyes, to trace it in the darkness.
On and on the marks of the tiny feet
went, in a line too straight to have been
made by any desultory wanderings after
shell-fish.
"It will bring us right, it will!" cried
Sandy gleefully. "It was just wee Gracie
making for home, so it was. God bless
her!"
"And who is wee Gracie? "
"Ye don't live at Drumdough, sir, or
your honour would know Johnnie Dunlevy's
daughter Gracie," answered Sandy in dep-
recating tones. "Her married sister lives
over our way, and it's to see her Gracie has
been coming, sure."
Here and there the sand was wet, and it
became difficult to trace the spots where
those light feet had trodden. But Mr.
Lanyon and Sandy were patient and careful,
and the track was soon found again. Alan






A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 55

followed silently. He was very weary, poor
lad. The long ride had been too much for
his strength as well as for his temper. He
and Mr. Lanyon had left Drumdough soon
after mid-day, and it was seven o'clock now.
"We must bring a pocket-compass next
time we ride by ourselves in this region,
Alan," Mr. Lanyon remarked.
It will be a very long time before I care
to go exploring again," was the reply. I
wish with all my heart that we had never
come to this wretched hole of a place," he
added petulantly. "I shall beg my father
to let us go home at once."
Mr. Lanyon was too wise to argue the
point now. He turned to Sandy, who was
running at his side, looking more like a dog
than ever as he stooped half double in the
mist.
"The Lord sent us help very soon, you
see, my boy," he said.
Sandy started. His poor little anxious




56 A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

heart was so fixed upon tracing the foot-
marks, that he had forgotten his awe-struck
imaginings that the gentleman's prayer
would bring a wonderful sign from the
heaven that was hidden somewhere beyond
the sea-fog and the night.
"Did you hear anything?" he whispered
in a voice which was almost drowned by
the thunder of the rising tide. "Did your
honour see aught strange ?"
"Are we not being guided across the
sand ? and is not that what we asked the
Lord to do for us?" replied Mr. Lanyon
gently. Ten minutes ago we were unable
even to ride in a straight line; we did not
know where to turn nor what to do. Now
we are getting on at a rate that must soon
bring us to firm land, at least."
The child did not speak. He scarcely
understood the strange gentleman's meaning.
How could it be that the Lord sent help,
when they were but following wee Gracie's






A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 57

steps? Was this all that would come in-
stead of the celestial answer he had looked
for ? Perhaps the prayer had not been
uttered loudly enough; how, indeed, could
the gentleman's calm voice have reached
the heaven which must be so far away?
"And here we are at Johnnie Dunlevy's
wrack," Sandy suddenly called out, as the
horses' hoofs struck sharply against stones.
"Johnnie Dunlevy's what?" demanded
Alan.
"His wrack, sir. They fixes stones in
rows out here for the wrack to grow on,
regular. We don't do it in our place, be-
cause the sea is too rough with us; but here
it's quiet enough water, and the wrack grows
wonderful."
Sea-weed, Alan," explained Mr. Lanyon.
"They make a kind of plantation of it on
these coasts; they use it for manure, and
for making kelp.* What kelp is I will
A soda obtained from burning sea-weed to ashes.





58 A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS.

show you some time when we are not quite
so hungry as at this moment. Alan, don't
you feel as though you could eat six loaves?
-I say, Sandy, how much further have we
to go?"
"Drumdough is just there before us.
Can't your honour see the spinks* against
the sky? Wee Gracie brought us right
after all. Good luck to her!"
A great hill rose above the house at
Drumdough, and now, as Sandy said, they
could see the outline of its rugged brow in
the pale light which the moon was beginning
to shed through the mist.
Presently they reached the high-water
line, and then Sandy guided them to a cart-
road which led direct to the house. Here
the boy stopped.
"Straight on, your honour; and safe
home to ye," he said, as he turned away.
But Mr. Lanyon caught his arm. Why,
Cliffs.





A CHILD'S FOOT-PRINTS. 59

child, do you mean to go home all by your-
self ? he said, in utter astonishment.
"Go home my lone, is it?" said Sandy
simply. Why for no? I know the road
on the land well enough. It was the bare
sands that dazed me, like, in the dark."
"Nonsense, boy. Come in and have
some supper; and if I know anything of
Sir John Kynaston, he will take care that
you do not suffer for your services to us
to-night."












IV.

SA VED.

SIR JOHN KYNASTON was an Englishman
who had lately bought the "big house" at
Drumdough. This was his first visit to his
new possession, and he had brought with
him Alan, his only child, and Alan's tutor,
Mr. Lanyon.
He had been very anxious that evening
as the twilight came on. Alan and Mr.
Lanyon had been out for many hours, and
he guessed they must have lost their way.
He sent two or three people to look for
them, and he himself walked up to the hill
behind the house, and looked over the wide
scene of rock and moorland that lay spread
out like a gigantic map.


*





SAVED. 61

There were tiny lakes glittering gray in
the dusk; there were narrow gorges over-
grown with tangle of heather and fern;
those black lines were water-courses that
had been forced through the dark earth;
and here and there were patches of smooth
ground, where the wild grass and the bog-
bean grew rankly above the treacherous soil
-soil so soft and watery that even the fleet
footsteps of a hare had sunk in heavily as
they flew over its surface.
Surely, surely Mr. Lanyon would never
have attempted to ride over such a country
as this.
Sir John's anxiety increased as the sea-
fog rolled in and the black night fell. He
returned to the house in a state of wild un-
easiness. But he could do nothing-that
was the worst of it.
The searchers whom he had sent out did
not share their master's fears in any great
degree; in fact, one or two of them laughed
(67) 5





62 SAVED.

in their light-hearted fashion, thinking what
a fuss the "skeery Englishers" made over a
thing not worth the speaking of. A great
strong man, and a well-grown lad like Sir
John's son, what harm could have come to
them-letting alone the strength of the
horses!
Therefore it was that these worthy re-
tainers were not in the least surprised when
a long whistle sounded from the shore, and
after it a "Hallo!" which surely came
from Saxon lungs. The wanderers were
returning at last.
Sir John disliked anything approaching
to "fuss," and few eyes would have been
sharp enough to have seen any traces of his
late anxiety upon his face as he welcomed
his son.
Sandy shrank back amongst the grooms
and other servants. He felt dreadfully shy,
and wished heartily that he had turned into
Johnnie Dunlevy's and asked for a bit of






SAVED. 63

supper before beginning his long tramp back
to the ferry. Wee Gracie and her parents
would have been pleasanter company than
this crowd of strange folk; besides, he was
longing to get back to Michael.
But Mr. Lanyon was as good as his pro-
mise. A few words to Sir John were all
that were needed, and Sandy was led to the
kitchen, and set down before such dainties
as he had never before beheld or tasted.
" Eat your fill, my wean,"" said the cook, a
woman of the neighbourhood, kind of speech
and warm of heart,-" eat away; the brown
pony will whisk you home brisk as a butter-
fly: but it is cruel cold, and you are starved,
sure, already."
But Sandy was too shy to eat; besides,
he did not like to taste all those unknown
things. How was he to know whether
they were good or bad? He was sincerely
glad when the brown pony and the low-
Child.





64 SAVED.

backed "jaunting-car" were ready to take
him home.
The ferryman had been fully as frightened
as Sir John Kynaston. His "wee Sandy"
was as precious to him as ever the heir of
the Kynastons could be to the baronet.
He searched the hillside and the shore,
and walked over to the nearest neighbours'
houses to seek for tidings of the boy; and
then he closed his cottage-door, and went
down to his boat riding at anchor on the
filling tide.
He felt easier there; he could watch and
wait better, sitting on the accustomed seat,
listening to the lapping of the water around
the keel, and straining eyes and ears for
sign or sound of Sandy. The house was
lonesome: here he had some sort of com-
pany, if it was only the companionship of
the old boat that had been linked to his life
so long.
Michael sat there for the best part of an





SAVED. 65

hour. He lifted his hat: the dark mist
filled his gray hair with drops of moisture,
and lay upon his withered cheeks like tears;
but he scarcely felt it. He was thinking of
his little lad, wondering what had chanced
to him, fancying he heard his calling voice
in every sigh of the breeze that swept across
the bay.
Presently the thought occurred to him
that Sandy might have slipped on the weed-
grown rocks which surrounded the landing-
place, and that he might even now be lying
with the deep water of the ferry washing
amongst his curly hair. Michael started
up: while such a thing was possible could
he sit idly there ?
But even as he sprang from his boat to
the shore the rattle of wheels upon the road
made itself heard; and before he reached
his cottage, Sandy had jumped off the little
car, and was standing in the glow of the
firelight unhurt at home.





66 SAVED.

Silently the old ferryman listened to his
story. Some people might have thought
that he had never been anxious, that he
was not glad now; but Sandy knew better.
Sandy could tell that the quiver in the
voice, the heavy hand laid upon his shoulder,
meant more than spoken words; he did not
think Michael cold or unkind.
"I was fairly frighted, grand- daddy,"
he said. I wish it had been yourself that
had been there."
"'Tis dangersome, in faith," the old man
answered; "those sea-fogs would puzzle the
keenest eyes that ever saw; and the channel
would easy be the death of ye, forby the
holes by the rocks on the farther side."
But you would have easy found the way."
"I'm not so certain sure of that, laddie;
I've been lost on the hills and on the shore
above once in my time."
And did you say a prayer then ?" the
boy asked in a low tone.





SAVED. 67

Old Michael moved uneasily; he did not
like Sandy to talk about such things.
"Did you, grand-daddy?" he persisted.
"You know you bade me say a prayer that
coarse night at the ferry, and then I didn't
know how."
It's nonsense ye're talking, Sandy," the
ferryman said; "sure and sure ye know
'Pater noster' and 'Ave Maria,' and all
them such things. Ye're not a pagan al-
together; so you're not, Sandy."
"But the gentleman didn't say such
prayers as that; he spoke words plain and
straight, like as we're saying now."
Well ?"
"He asked the Lord to help us; and he
said the Lord was stronger than the sea
and the noisy tide; and he said-"
"Well ?" said Michael once more.
"He said that answers were promised
to prayers. So I waited. But there. was
Stormy.




68 SAVED.

nothing to hear; and after a bit we found
Gracie Dunlevy's tracks on the sand, and
then he said-the gentleman said as that
was the sort of an answer that the Lord
had sent."
Sandy had turned his face to the firelight,
and his voice was wistful and low. He was
not half satisfied about that answer, which
seemed to him so plain and easy. Surely
the Lord from heaven would have shown
that he heard, in some more wonderful
manner than that.
But Michael was struck by the story.
The answer seemed to him clear and speedy.
Deep lines of thought gathered on his aged
forehead. What if that other world was
drawing nigh to him? what if the time
should come when he would long to learn
other prayers than the parrot-like repetitions
of an unknown tongue?
Presently Sandy's questioning eyes were
brought back from the fire. Grand-daddy,





SAVED. 69

it was Gracie that made the track; it wasn't
the Lord at all, at all."
Michael's words came gravely and slowly
in response.
"'Twas help that the gentleman asked,
not a miracle, lad; don't ye see? "
Yes, Sandy saw at last. Dimly and un-
certainly some idea of the truth came to his
poor little ignorant heart-some glimpse of
the goodness of the Great Father who hath
ordered all things beforehand, who hath
loved us from the foundation of the world.
Only a very vague idea, and very imperfect
glimpse, for Sandy knew so little of what
most "Christian children hear at their
mothers' knees or in the Sunday school;
but still a little ray of the "light that lighteth
every man" found its way to the child who
longed so much to know something of the
land that is very far off.
Mr. Lanyon came over and over again
to the ferry-house. The first time he came




70 SAVED.

to bring Sandy certain bright coins which
Sir John Kynaston sent, and after that he
came because he was deeply interested in
Michael and his charge.
The English tutor was still a very young
man, but he had learned many of the lessons
which God has set for us in this school-
house" of our lives. He had learned that
we must think for each other, care for each
other, work for each other; that our happi-
ness is not contained within ourselves alone,
but depends upon the love which shines,
first from above, and is then "shed abroad"
upon others, for love cannot but shine.
The old ferryman and his little Sandy
were different indeed from the cultivated
Cambridge scholar; but they were human
souls, groping in the darkness-they were
children of the great God, souls for whom
Christ had died.
And so Mr. Lanyon came often to the
cottage under the hill. He sat by the peat-





SAVED. 71

fire, or he took an oar in the ferry-boat.
He won his way straight to Michael's old
withered heart; and as for Sandy, he had
fairly opened a new world to the lad.
He talked of such rare and wonderful
things when he came;-of the land beyond
death, the death which was creeping up
close for Michael; of the Lord who had
trod the world that he might show men
what it was to be holy and true and pure;
of the fight that Christ had fought, of the
death that Christ had died, that men might
be safe for ever and ever.
And Sandy listened, until his eyes grew
soft, and the wistfulness died away in a
great content; and old Michael listened and
sighed, and salt drops, which did not come
from the sea, were clinging on his eye-
lashes.
The big house at Drumdough was empty
again before the new year. Sir John and
all his party had gone back to England, and





72 SAVED.

Mr. Lanyon came no more to the ferryman's
cottage. He promised Michael when he
left that he would return before long, if all
went well. "And I shall come down to
the ferry the very first thing," he added.
"Ay, sir, and maybe ye'll find me, and
maybe ye'll not. I'm old, ye see-old; but
if I'm not here, ye'll just ask after the wee
boy ?"
"That I will--I will look after Sandy,"
and the hand-grasp which closed on Michael's
fingers spoke more eloquently than words.
"And meanwhile you will not forget what
we have talked of ?"
"Sir, does the light forget to follow the
sunshining ? or the thirsty cattle forget the
way to the springs? I'm dark enough; I'm
bad enough-an old, worn-out man; but I'll
hold on firm to the words ye've said, and
Sandy will mind me of them when my head
grows dim."
Poor little Sandy-rich Sandy now-no





SAVED. 73

longer yearning for a glimpse of the bright-
ness and the beauty which he could never
find, but content to wait; content to learn
in God's own lesson-house, until the full
day shall break and the earth-shadows flee
away; content to pray the simple prayers,
he had learned from the English stranger
until the time shall come when prayer shall
be needed no longer, in the land where all
hearts shall be satisfied.












HUGH DELANY,

Slnb tbe eIIessage be 1bearb,



THE brilliant sunshine of a summer after-
noon was beating down on the city of
Dublin, making the pavements hot and
tiring to walk upon, filling dingy offices with
a light that illuminated all the particles of
dust in the air, and made the clerks on their
high stools more and more sleepy as the
hours wore on.
The river Liffey, often dull and dirty
enough, now lay like a band of silver in the
sun; and the water, which danced and
throbbed and dimpled along the quays and
amongst the shipping, might have been





HUGH DELANY. 75

taken for molten gold, to judge of it by its
present appearance.
A steamer heavily laden, and crowded
from stem to stern, was slowly leaving her
moorings. She, too, looked her best in the
gleaming light, and the foam fell away like
lace from her paddles and lay white in her
wake. She was the Gypsy Queen, bound
for the port of Bristol.
On the quay a gentleman leaned over the
low parapet, watching the scene, and listen-
ing to the voices of the sailors, as the sounds
came, softened by the distance, across the
water. His eye fell presently upon a group
of men standing close together in a dark
silent mass, a little way beyond him. They
were staring, as he himself had done, at the
moving steamer; a dull look, almost as of
despair, was on their faces. There might
have been some two hundred of them-
reapers, evidently, on their way to seek for
work in the English harvest-fields. Each





76 HUGH DELANY.

man carried a bundle tied up in a hand-
kerchief, and their sickles, bound about with
straw, were upon their shoulders.
They stood there dumbly, with a sort of
blank, wondering dismay in their eyes, such
as often succeeds to the excitement of an Irish
peasant's useless struggle for his own way.
The gentleman's name was Delaroche,
and he reckoned himself an Irishman, al-
though his family had come from France
not very long ago. He was one who spent
his time and his wealth in trying "to do his
duty." But "duty" had a very wide mean-
ing for him: it was just the meaning of our
Saviour Christ when he said, "All things
whatsoever ye would that men should do to
you, do ye even so to them; for this is the
law. "
He sauntered towards the reapers, his
hands deep in his pockets, and his kindly
glance roving from face to face as he ap-
proached them.





HUGH DELANY. 77

"Well, boys, what ails you? "
The cheery salutation made them all look
up, and a dozen voices replied to the
question,-
"We've come to go to England in yond
boat; and the captain, he took three hun-
dred of us, and then he'd take no more at
all !"
"Because he could carry no more, I
suppose," Mr. Delaroche said. "But, my
poor lads, you will have to wait for the next
steamer, then."
"Ay, sir, just that. And the next
steamer is next week; and what will happen
till us between this and then, do ye allow?"
The last speaker was a tall young fellow,
as straight as a dart. He wore a dark-blue
knitted jersey, which set off the depth and
breadth of his mighty shoulders. His eyes
were dark-blue also, and the long lashes
curled upwards from them in the way that
is so rare and so beautiful. A very Irish
(67) 6




78 HUGH DELANY.

Antinotis was he, and Mr. Delaroche glanced
at him in undisguised admiration. There
was impatience as well as despair in his
words. He had come from the far west
across the whole island, and at that minute
he had just three shillings in his pocket.
How was he to subsist, here in this strange,
unfriendly city ? How was he to live until
he could reach the English fields, where his
sickle was to win money enough to pay the
rent, and to buy the old mother the warm
winter shawl that he had set his heart on
seeing her wear?
It is easy to talk, it is," said another,
sinking wearily down on a log of wood as he
spoke, and propping up his forehead with
his hands and his elbows with his knees.
His attitude was eloquent, if his speech was
not.
He had a wife and many little children at
home; he had been ill, and things had gone
hardly with him that year. The cow had





HUGH DELANY. 79

been sold, and he owed a large sum of money
for the meal on which the family had lived
during the spring and early summer. How
could he wait in Dublin idle for a whole
week ? If he went back to his home in
Kildare, it must be to just bid the wife and
the children take their way to the union.
He was not strong yet; his illness had
made his nerves strangely sensitive. As he
sat there, he could not keep the big tears
from dripping through his fingers into the
thick dust of the quay.
Mr. Delaroche looked at him, and then
round at his comrades, guessing their sad
histories for himself as he looked.
"My boys," he said (it is usual in Ireland
to call even gray-haired men thus, in kindly
fashion)--"my boys, I was reading about
you in a printed book this morning."
About us!" cried the tall man from the
west; "about us! Surely, sir, it's mistaken
ye are."





80 HUGH DELANY.

No, I am not mistaken-yourselves,
and none else; and, if you like, I'll prove it
to you."
"Then it is a queer book, so it is, that
would talk about poor folks like us."
"Queer indeed!" echoed a chorus of
muttering voices, while many a sad face
brightened into amused curiosity, as Mr.
Delaroche's friendly tones won a way to
their hearts.
"It was only this morning that I was
reading in my book," said he; "and I came
to a place in the pages where it bids a rich
man, when he wants to make a dinner or a
supper-a rich man, mind; that's ime-not
to call his friends and his own kith and kin,
who would be certain to ask him to their
feasts some time, and so make him due re-
turn, but to call the poor folk, the strangers,
and the sorrowful; and that means you."
Undisguised amazement was upon the
listening faces now. Perhaps not one in all





HUGH DELANY. 81

the little crowd had the least idea that the
book he spoke of was the Bible.
"And now to prove it," Mr. Delaroche
went on briskly. It is getting late in the
day, and I'll be bound it is many an. hour
since some of you have broken your fast;
so I will bid you to my dinner now. Here,
you-what is your name ?" he asked, laying
his hand on the stalwart arm of the blue-
eyed Kerry man.
"Hughie Delany, your honour," was the
answer, given with a touch of the hat, and
a smile reflecting the brightness of Mr.
Delaroche's own glance.
"Well then, Hughie, choose you out six
men to come with me to the eating-houses
yonder, and order our feast. We shall have
to divide into shares, I think," he added,
"for it would be a big eating-house that
could take us all."
The six men were quickly singled out,
and they went with Mr. Delaroche to order





82 HUGH DELANY.

the best of what was to be had, apportion-
ing to each house as many as it could
provide for.
"While the potatoes are boiling, maybe
you would like to hear a little reading from
my book," Mr. Delaroche said, seating him-
self on the parapet of the quay, and drawing
forth his pocket Testament.
They gathered round him, making a
wide circle that all might hear. "Surely,"
they said; "surely they would admire
to listen to anything his honour would
read."
I told you of the orders that my book
gave me," Mr. Delaroche began; "now I
will read you a story of another man, a far
richer and grander man than I, and how
his guests treated him."
He turned to the fourteenth chapter of
St. Luke, and read of the great supper
which was spread, and of the indifferent,
discourteous guests, who all with one con-





HUGH DELANY. 83

sent excused themselves from coming to
partake of it.
"Bad manners to them!" ejaculated
Hugh Delany, who had been listening with
eagerness to the story. "But they were
the ungrateful hearts! I'd like to see the
land, or the cows, or the wife who would
make me forget your goodness till us this
day itself, sir."
His last words were spoken almost in a
whisper; they were more the overflowing of
Hugh's own feelings than a boast of his
gratitude to Mr. Delaroche.
What wonder that the whole of them
were forbidden to taste at the last," said
another of the reapers. "I'll be bound that
when they thought on the good things they
had missed, and on the condescension of yon
great lord, they'd have given the very ears
off from their heads to be let in."
Then Mr. Delaroche in his simple speech,
which had the rich soft roll of their own





84 HUGH DELANY.

talk, explained the parable; and the inter-
ested and excited men listened to the story,
not as they would to a sermon spoken down
to their understanding, but as to a new and
wonderful tale told by one heart to another.
"And so," said Mr. Delaroche in conclu-
sion, the great lord is just a kind of picture
of God above; and the feast means the
goodness, and the glory, and the happiness
of heaven; the guests who were bidden are
you, and I, and all mankind."
"None ever came to bid me," muttered
Hugh very low. Mr. Delaroche heard the
words.
"You are wrong there," he said. "The
Lord is too just to overlook one. He sends
his message to all. Some get it dinned into
their ears all their lives long; some don't
hear it until they are old. To some, the
message is faint, and not very clear to be
understood; others get it straight and plain,
iust as you -are hearing it now."





HUGH DELANY. 85

He paused; a movement and a murmur
ran through the circle of men, as a breeze
passes over the rustling corn.
The Lord of the feast is using me as his
messenger to each one of you. He bids me
say that he loves you well, and that he has
laid up treasure, rest, and deep content for
all who will like to come. Only be willing,
and he will make the way plain."
The men gazed at him doubtfully. "Trea-
sure, rest, and deep content." Such words
were scarcely for them!
"We must ask him to fit us for his
beautiful home," went on Mr. Delaroche
gently; "for what would you and I do if
we were to find ourselves in heaven with all
our sins and faults clinging to us still?
What kind of a figure should we show
amongst all the holy saints and angels ?
We must ask the Lord to give us a better
nature, that will cover us like a silken robe,
and be fit to wear when we reach his feet.




86 HUGH DELANY.

We are ignorant and guilty, but the Lord's
love will wash us clean and white. Ask
him, and see how the answer will come!"
"'Tisn't possible for us all to be as you
are, sir," said one of the men presently;
"we are poor, and have to be working."
Of course you have to be working! All
men should work; God meant them to
work. Shame on those folk, say I, who,
just because they happen to be rich, sit
idly down to enjoy themselves! That is not
the way to get to the heavenly supper. God
put us on the earth to work and to learn-
to work at our daily tasks, and to learn how
noble and blessed it is to do right. So just
work on, whether it is at digging and
delving, or steering a fishing-smack through
a gale-whatever work comes to hand do it,
and try to do it well. But don't let us do
as did the ungrateful guests in the story-
namely, set our daily work up as an excuse
for staying away. Don't let our bits of





HUGH DELANY. 87

ground, or our cattle, or our firesides make
us forget the message the Lord has sent to
us,' To be present in his kingdom at his
feast.'"
Very thoughtful faces gazed down at the
Liffey water as Mr. Delaroche closed his
book. Most of his hearers were Roman
Catholics, and words like these they had
never before heard. Their religion, such
as they had, was a blind obedience to a
hard rule. And the few who were nomi-
nally Protestants knew very little of the
truths of that Bible which their forefathers
had claimed the right to read. The idea
of a God who loved them, who wished them
to be good and pure, who invited them to
his home, and who would fit them to be
there-all this was utterly strange to their
ears.
To some it was merely strange; to others
it came with a sense of rest and of beauty;
to a few of those poor fellows standing





88 HUGH DELANY.

there it was as a draught of the water of
life.
Mr. Delaroche left them to the hearty
meal provided in the various eating-houses
along the quay, and he busied himself in
inquiring amongst the ships if there might
be any vessel bound for Bristol that could
take his new friends across the sea. He
was successful, for he found a brig "in
ballast," which was to leave by the early
tide, and the captain, after much parley,
consented to give the reapers a passage.
I shall charge them something over the
usual fare, for it's likely enough I shall lose
by the job," he said ungraciously.
"Charge what is right; I will pay the
whole sum in advance if you will be good
enough to reckon it up," Mr. Delaroche
responded. And if you will allow them to
come on board at once I shall be glad; it
will be better than letting them scatter
themselves through the streets."





HUGH DELANY. 89

The captain's manner softened consider-
ably at this speech. "Tenants of yours I
suppose, sir "
"No, but I am interested in them;" and
Mr. Delaroche paid the passage-money and
bid him good-day.
The captain would have been much more
astonished than he already was had he
known that the gentleman had never seen
the party of reapers until two or three hours
ago. It is so usual to give up our whole
hearts to our worldly greeds and pleasures,
that it becomes hard for us to understand a
nature like Mr. Delaroche's; hard to under-
stand that the highest happiness is to do
good, asking for nothing again but the
reward which Christ has promised to his
faithful servants.
The brig sailed out of Dublin Bay with
the first streaks of the dawn, following,
although very slowly, in the wake of the
Gypsy Queen. The throng of reapers dark-





90 HUGH DELANY.

ened her deck; they were rejoicing, every
man of them, at this stroke of good fortune;
but only one or two were thinking gratefully
of the friend who had helped them in their
need.
Brian," Hugh Delany said to a comrade
who stood near him at the ship's side,-
"Brian, d'ye think he was a man at all?"
"The good gentleman? Faith, Hughie,
we will never see e'er a one like him again;
but a man he was, surely. Why, what else
could ye take him to be ?"
He said God sent him with that mes-
sage to us," Hughie went on in his awe-
struck tone; "and I thought, maybe-" he
stopped, hesitating nervously; thoughts such
as his were just then are hard to utter.
At last he said, "I mean to accept that
invitation any way."
Ye mean to get to heaven? Ah, well!
'tis a weary and woful way, and a hard climb
that same !"





HUGH DELANY. 91

"Ay is it. But, Brian, don't ye mind
how he said,' Be willing to go, and the way
will be made plain'?"
Brian lifted his head and looked his com-
panion full in the face.
"It is my clear opinion ye are a bit
touched in the brains, Hughie man," he said.
"What's making ye draw your breath so
hard, and colour up and stammer like that ?"
Hugh passed his rough, toil-worn hand
across his forehead. "I think I am a bit
dazed," he said. Is it not enough to throw
a man out of his bearings to have his heart
stirred and his head filled with thoughts
like yon ?"
"Thoughts like what ?"
"Don't be bothering me, Brian! It
seems to me I've been a poor, wandering,
stumbling sort of lad, with my bread to earn,
and only the old woman at home to look to
me; and now I've heard that the Lord in
heaven cares about me, and has sent me a





92 HUGH DELANY.

message, and, please God, I mean to make
out the truth of it somehow."
He turned away and walked to the other
side of the deck; his heart was too full for
more talk just then. But all that day,
while the sunshine streamed over the little
crisping waves, and all that night when the
sweet summer moon rode through the sil-
vered sky, Hugh Delany pondered over the
"message" that had gone so deeply to his
soul.
People think the old words are out of date
now. In these hurrying, "practical times
scoffers smile, and "wise men ignore what
St. Paul wrote eighteen hundred years since.
But it is true, and will be true while the
world lasts-' The word of God is quick and
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder
of soul and spirit......and is a discerner of
the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hugh Delany felt that night feelings that





HUGH DELANY. 93

proved that these words were true, although
he had never read them nor heard of them in
all his life.
For days afterwards, when his sickle was
cutting through pale gold of the corn, and
when he rested his tired limbs in the shadow
of the English oaks, he pondered and won-
dered still.
He was willing to accept the invitation to
the great feast which the Master has spread
in the glorious land where there are "trea-
sure, and rest, and deep content." Ay, he
was willing to go; but how should he find
the way '
He thought of the thatched cabin on the
Kerry hills, and of the bright salt-water
where his boat lay rocking on the tide.
His life in Ireland was very lonely and
ignorant. His priest would bid him ease
his soul by confession, and never mind for
more. His mother would tell him he was
the "best boy in all Glenderry, and why
(67) 7





94 HUGH DELANY.

should he be vexing about such things?"
His companions would stare at him as Brian
had done, and say he had gone demented.
He was no scholar; books were of no use
to him. Ah, if he could only see again the
strange gentleman of Dublin quay! How
else should he ever hear about "the way "?
The harvest was gathered, and Hugh
returned with his handful of hard-earned
silver, his sickle blunted and worn, and the
brightest and thickest shawl that ever was
seen in Kerry for his mother. He had wan-
dered far and worked hard since he left his
home; but it was not the distance nor the
work that had changed him, that had deep-
ened the look in the dark-blue eyes, and
softened his rough manner into gentleness.
His mother noticed the alteration, and
marvelled at it. Hughie had ever been
good to her; she had always been fondly
proud of him--of his tall, strong frame, of
his bonny face, and his cheery voice and





HUGH DELANY. 95

laughter. A year ago she could not have
told how anything on earth could have
"mended" her Hughie; but now she knew
he was better and dearer, kinder and truer
than of old. Perhaps the change had not
been wrought by anything on earth!"
The winter winds were awaking on the
Kerry hills, and the big billows came thun-
dering on to the shelving shore. Hugh's
sickle would be of no more use for many a
day, and the weather was too rough for fish-
ing. The potatoes were all dug and stored,
and peat-stacks were built firm and square
close by the cottage-door. There was no
more work to be done now.
But in his idle hours, as in his busy ones,
he kept longing and waiting for some token
to guide him, for some word to direct him,
to the feet of the Lord. Sometimes his
patience and his hope failed him. I'm not
worth caring about," he thought sadly,
"else the Lord would have answered me





96 HUGH DELANY.

when I begged him sore to send me a glint
of light."
But one day, when the storm-rack was
flying across the sky, and the great plain of
the ocean was white with foam, there, with
no man near him, in the solitude of that
wild scene, the truth came to him.
He had longed for one to teach him, while
God himself had been teaching him; he had
prayed for some one to tell him how to love
and serve God, and now he knew that he
did love the good and great Father who
had given him the simple daily work on the
Kerry hills, and who had stooped from
heaven to send him a message.
How plain it appeared to him now!
What matter if the bread was scanty and
hard to earn; was he not going to the King's
great feast? What matter if his neighbours
wrangled, or laughed at him, and marvelled
at his new notions; had he not a depth of
joy with which no one could intermeddle ?






HUGH DELANY. 97

If only Mr. Delaroche could have heard
how his kindly deed and his brave words
had borne fruit. The knowledge would
have brightened his life, and given him fresh
courage to bear witness for his Master.
Perhaps the day will come when he will
know it.
And, meanwhile, on the uplands where
the heather grows tall, and along the shore
where the drift weed lies in glistening
wreaths, Hugh Delany works and waits;
looking beyond the trials and the treasures
of this life to that country where the Master
"who loves him" has bidden him to the
feast.




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