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ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
No. 1122 CHESTNUT STREET.
Nos. 8 & 10 BIBLE HOUSE, ASTOR PLACE.
Enteed according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by the
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
ALLIE MOORE sat by the window
in a bright, cheerful room. She was
knitting a pretty sacque of scarlet
and white wool, and singing a little
"Allie," said her mother's voice
from the next room, "Mrs. Carter
is in the parlour. I wish you would
come and watch the baby a few
minutes. It is not quite warm
enough for him in there."
Allie's brow clouded. She stopped
singing and went on knitting very
6 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
"That is too bad," she half whis-
pered. "I did so want to finish up
this front to-night."
"Allie," said her mother, again.
"Yes, ma'am, in half a minute,"
and her fingers flew faster, dropping
a stitch or two in the effort to finish
the row before she laid it down.
"Allie, I am going now. Come,"
repeated Mrs. Moore, and the door
closed. The little girl knit half a
dozen more stitches.
"I don't see why Jane can't
watch Frankie, just as well as I,"
she thought. "I never can do any
thing I like." Allie knew Jane had
gone out, but when persons are out
of temper they do not always stop to
think what they are saying. A loud
scream from Frankie startled her at
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 7
length, she threw down her needles,
not seeing in her haste that the
wool was wound around her cuff
button. As she turned away, the
knitting was pulled after her, and
one needle fell out. She did not stop
to pick it up, though impatient tears
came into her eyes as she saw it
ravel. Allie found that the baby
had crawled to the grate, attracted
by the bright fire, and laid his hand
on the hot fender. She took him up
and did her best to soothe him, but
though the burn was not very serious,
it was painful enough to make him
cry loudly and bitterly, and Mrs.
Moore ran up to find out the cause
of his trouble. She did not say
much to Allie, who was too sorry to
go away when the child whom she
8 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
really loved so dearly was suffering
through her fault. When the little
hand was bound up and the baby
had fairly sobbed himself to sleep,
Mrs. Moore asked how it happened.
Allie's face crimsoned with shame,
but she was always truthful, and
did not attempt to excuse herself.
"I just stopped a minute to knit a
few more stitches, mamma, and I
heard Frankie scream: I threw down
my work as quick as I could, but he
had got to the grate and had taken
hold of the fender. My wool caught
on my ruff button, and the needle
fell out. The stitches are all dropped,"
she added, sorrowfully.
"Whose fault is it, Allie ?" asked her
mother, gravely. "It may seem a very
small thing to stop long enough to do
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 9
a few more stitches; but every time
you indulge your habit of procrasti-
nation you strengthen it little by
little. Frankie might have been
very badly burned through your
delay. I fear now the poor little
fellow's hand will be very painful for
a day or two. I know you love him
dearly, Allie, and that you are sorry
enough now; but it need not have
happened you know, my dear, if you
had come at once; and you would
not have spoiled your work. Bring
the sacque to me, and I will see what
I can do for it."
Her mother's kindness touched
Allie more than sharp reproof would
have done. By the time the sacque
was put right again Jane had
returned. The gas was lighted and
10 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
Allie went back to her knitting, but
all interest in her work was driven
out by the feeling of self-reproach.
"I did mean to try," she thought,
"to get over this way of putting off
what I had to do; but it did not
seem any harm to wait a minute
that time." But Allie had to learn
that delaying a minute or two,
when there is really something
which should be done, may make a
vast difference. She did remember
for a day or two, whenever she saw
the little burned hand,that she had
been to blame; but she soon lost the
impression and fell back into the old
"The sleighing is very fine," ob-
served Mr. Moore, a week after
Frankie's accident, as they sat at
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 11
breakfast one morning. "It would be
pleasant to go out to the Grove for
a day. What do you say, mother?"
Allie's eyes sparkled: she looked
eagerly at her mother to see if possi-
ble what she thought, before she
"I should like it very much,"
replied Mrs. Moore. "We could
take the children,-at least Allie
and Frankie could go. How much
Russell would enjoy it, too! It is a
pity he must lose it."
"I wish he were here," said Allie.
"It would be double fun."
Russell was a year older than Allie.
They were very fond of each other.
Just now he was at school about
twenty miles from Allansville, where
Allie lived; and she greatly missed
12 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
him. "When may we go, papa?" she
"To-morrow, I think," said Mr.
Moore, "if you can be ready in time.
Recollect, no late members admitted,"
he added, laughing.
"No danger," exclaimed Allie. "I
shall be sure to be ready in time for
this;" and she danced away to school
very gay and happy at the prospect
of her holiday. The next morning
proved crisp and bright. The air
was not too cold, but clear and brac-
ing; and Allie was in high spirits.
"I will be here with the sleigh about
a quarter-past nine," said Mr. Moore.
"Be sure you're ready, Allie."
"Sure, papa," was the reply. "But
it is only eight o'clock now," she
thought, "and it will seem so long.
i[TIiE Afoore's iEsaon.
I t a c s
" I'll just- rln oer and watch thc boys." p. 13,
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 13
I'll just run over and watch the boys
coasting a few minutes, to shorten
the time." There was a high hill
opposite the house, and every boy in
Allansville who could find any thing
to answer the purpose of a sled, was
flying over the smooth frozen sur-
face; thinking nothing of toiling up
again to the hill-top for another start.
Allie became very much interested,
feeling all the time that she ought to
go home and prepare for her day's
pleasure; but staying "just a minute
longer," until the school-bell rang
for ten minutes before nine, and the
children dispersed. Allie had had
several rides herself, for she was a
great favourite, and could manage a
sled as well as any boy. But though
the exercise had given her very rosy
14 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
cheeks, her dress was not at all im-
proved,-her hair was half down on
her shoulders, her net in her pocket,
her collar hanging by one pin, and
a quarter of a yard of trimming
ripped off her dress.
"How I shall have to hurry," she
said to herself; "and how I do look!
Papa said 'a quarter-past nine.' I
guess there'll be plenty of time after
all. It won't take long to fix my hair."
A boy was entering the gate as she
reached it. Allie was running past
him; but as he laid his hand on the
bell-handle, she asked him what he
"Here's a note for Mrs. Moore."
"Oh, never mind; I'll give it to
her. She is my mother; and I am
just going in," said Allie.
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 15
"All right, that's first-rate. I
guess I'll catch that train back," the
messenger returned, as he ran slid-
ing out of sight. Allie scarcely heard
him. Her attention was attracted by
some snow-birds, and she stopped to,
watch them. Her hands felt cold, and
she slid them into her sacque-pockets..
The note went with them. As she at
length opened the door and went in,
her mother exclaimed, "Allie, where
have you been? You will certainly
not be ready. You must change your
dress, and wrap up warmly for so long
a ride; you should not delay so. Make
haste, my dear." And forgetting en-
tirely the note snugly hidden in her
pocket, Allie hurried up-stairs to
dress with great expedition. Jane
was just fastening her dress as her
16 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
father drove to the door, and, hastily
-slipping on hat, sacque, and cloak,
she snatched her muff and ran down-
stairs. She was soon warmly tucked
in beside her mother, and enjoying
the rapid motion, the merry bells,
and the anticipation of her pleasant
day. The Grove was a beautiful
place, about fourteen miles from
Allansville. A brother of Mrs. Moore
lived there, and Allie dearly loved to
go on a visit to her cousins, Sue,
Nell, and Jamie. There were no
such pleasures anywhere as those to
be found in the summer rambles,-
the boating, fishing, and riding, the
autumn nutting, or winter sliding
and skating, with these merry, good-
tempered friends. Allie and her
brother spent many a vacation week
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 17
there, without a thought of home-
sickness, perfectly happy in the
attractions the Grove offered. This
time they were to remain all night
and return next morning. They had
a charming ride.. Every thing was
beautifully frosted, and glittered like
silver in the sunlight. Allie could
hardly keep her seat in her delight;
but, as every time she bounded up
to point out something particularly
pretty, she pulled the robes off from
her mother and Frankie, who was
curled down in her lap, she was
obliged at length to sit still and
enjoy the beauty.
They reached the Grove in good
time and met a hearty welcome, as
they were sure of doing; and it was
not long before Allie and her cousins
18 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
were at the height of their enjoy-
ment with sleds and skates. They
were almost sorry to hear the dinner
bell ring, but found themselves quite
hungry enough to appreciate the
good things Aunt Joe had provided,
and which always tasted better there
than anywhere else.
"May we go now, mamma?" asked
Susie, when the dessert was nearly
over. "We can put our pears in our
pockets to eat by and by, when we
get hungry. Here is a fine one for
you, Allie." The children were soon
wrapped up again, and Allie took up
her pear to drop it in her pocket;
but as she put it in, her hand
encountered the forgotten note. She
drew it out, looking very much
startled. "What is the matter,
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 19
Allie? *What have you there?" in-
quired her mother, laughing at her
surprised expression, which changed
to one of mortification as she said,-
"It is a note for you, mamma. A
boy gave it to me this morning. I
had been to watch the coasting, and
took the note at the door. I just
stopped a moment to see some snow-
birds; and then, when I went in, you
called me; and I was in such a
hurry I forgot all about it."
"The old excuse for the old fault,
Allie," said her mother, as she
opened the envelope, which seemed
to have been very hastily directed.
Mrs. Moore turned very pale as
she read, and her husband went
to her. "What is it?" he asked,
anxiously. Mrs. Moore's hand trem-
20 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
bled so much she could hardly hold
the paper as she gave it to him. He
hurriedly glanced over the few lines,
and exclaimed, "Allie, this is too
much! Oh, how cold you be so
"Papa! What is it?" asked Allie,
frightened, and crying.
"Pray do not stop a moment," en-
treated Mrs. Moore; "we must go
at once." And as Mr. Moore hast-
ened out to see about the sleigh, she
informed them that Russell had that
morning been run over and danger-
ously injured by a pair of runaway
horses. Mr. Clarke, the principal of
the school, begged his mother to
come immediately to him. "I do not
telegraph," he wrote, "as I am told
the wires are down between here and
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 21
Allansville, but as the train is just
about to leave here, you will receive
this by the bearer sooner than in any
other way." Bitterly now did Allie
regret the fault she had so heedlessly
indulged. Poor Russell was suffer-
ing, perhaps dying; it might be even
now dead! While her thoughtless-
ness and procrastination had been
the means of almost doubling the
distance they must travel before
they could reach him. She had
been carelessly enjoying herself,
while he, if living at all, was long-
ing for his mother's face and her
She was roused from her miser-
able reflections by her aunt's voice
saying to her mother, "You had
better leave the children here, Kate,
22 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
and send Jane to Frankie. We will
take the best care of them; and you
may be obliged to stay a long time
Oh, mamma, let me go with you;
let me go to Russell," sobbed Allie.
"Don't leave me here. It is all my
fault, and I can't bear it! Take me
with you; please, mamma!" Mrs.
Moore did not answer at once,
though she rapidly continued her
preparations for departure.
"Thank you," she said at length.
"If you will keep Frankie, I shall be
very glad, and shall feel quite safe
about him. Jane shall come to-
night if possible. He will be per-
fectly contented with her. Allie, try
to compose yourself, my dear. I
think you may at least go home
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 23
with me. I will see about your going
to Russell afterwards."
The sleigh came to the door again.
A sorrowful kiss to Frankie and her
cousins,-who hardly knew whether
most to pity or to blame her,-and
Allie was on the way home. A very dif-
ferent ride that was from the pleasant
one in the morning. Allie's bitter
tears of self-reproach could not
shorten the long distance they must
go. Every mile seemed three. Her
father and mother scarcely said a
word. They were too anxious and
sorrowful for conversation. Occa-
sionally they spoke of Russell, but
that was all. No reproaches which
could have been heaped on Allie
would have made her feel the evil of
her fault as deeply as this silence to-
24 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
wards herself. Her parents knew
she suffered enough in her anxiety
for her brother, and left her to learn
the lesson her own sad thoughts must
teach her. Before they had gone half
way, a thick blinding snow-storm
came on, and they were obliged to
drive very slowly.
"I fear we shall be too late for
the train," said Mr. Moore, as they
reached home at last, chilled and
weary. Btt chilliness and fatigue
were not thought of. They stopped
only long enough to give directions
to Jane about going to Frankie, and
to tell the servants of their sad
errand; then they drove to the sta-
tion. Allie begged so hard to be
allowed to go to her brother that
Mrs. Moore could not refuse. The
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 25
train had been so delayed by the
storm that they were in time to take
it, and the silent ride continued.
Allie grew faint at the thought of
news they might hear, as the engine-
bell rang and the train moved slowly
into the depot. She could scarcely
rise from her seat, though her mother
was already at the door, and her
father called to her to come quickly.
They drove vapidly to the academy.
How still it seemed when the door
was opened! Allie had been there
before to see her brother, when there
were the usual sounds of school-boy
play-hours. Now the same boys
were gathered into quiet groups near
the stair-way, whispering together.
"Here are Moore's father and mo-
ther," announced the nearest group,
26 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
as the silent party entered the hall.
"Call Mr. Clarke, some one."
"Where is Russell?" asked Mr.
Moore, quickly. "Can we go to him
at once ?"
"I don't know, sir," replied the
boy addressed. "I'm afraid he is
Allie burst into tears. The boys
looked at her with deep sympathy,
whispering to each other that it was
"They said he must be kept quiet.
They wouldn't let any one go in to
see him, sir," said the first boy.
A door in the upper hall opened
softly, and the principal came quickly
down. He shook Mr. Moore's hand
in silence, and led the way to a par-
lour close by. Mrs. Moore never
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 27
removed her eyes from his pale anx-
ious face. "Let me go to him," she
"In a moment, madam," hesitated
Mr. Clarke. "I must tell you first,
he is unconscious, and would not
know you. I hoped you would have
reached here before, as I sent you
word so early this morning, and the
messenger returned in the train
which passes the one by which he
went to Allansville, saying he had
delivered the note to your daughter.
I hoped you would have come by the
next train. Russell has been calling
for you all day; and the continual dis-
appointment at not seeing you has
greatly increased the fever occasioned
by his sufferings. For the last hour
he has recognized no one, and the
28 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
physicians are very anxious. The
doctor thinks it best that you should
go in one by one: Mrs. Moore at
"Let me go too, mamma," cried
Allie; but her mother motioned her
back without a word. Allie's cheeks
burned like coals of fire, and her
hands were as cold as ice. She
clung to her father, too wretched to
cry, saying, "Papa, papa, what shall
He took her in his arms; but the
sight of his agonized face was such a
reproach, that Allie felt more mise-
rable than ever. Mr. Clarke's words
rung in her ears.
"He has called for you all day;
and the continual disappointment at
not seeing you has greatly increased
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 29
the fever occasioned by his suffer-
"It is my fault! all my fault!" she
repeated again and again to herself.
" Oh, if I had only gone in directly
and given the note to mamma! Or
if I had not put off and put off going
in to get ready, till the very last min-
ute, I should not have met the boy.
Jane would have taken the note, and
mamma would have known in time!
All day poor Russell has been want-
ing her, and I might have helped it.
If he should not get well- "
But Allie could not bear that
thought. She covered her eyes
and shuddered. Her father kissed
her as he said, "I cannot reproach
you now, Allie. You have a sad
lesson, poor child! God help us,"
30 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
he added, earnestly. Allie's whole
heart echoed the prayer.
"Papa," she said, after a while,
"it was such a little thing! Even
if I had not stopped to look at the
snow-birds, I should have had the
note in my hand when I went
in, and should have given it to
"It is too late to remember that
now, Allie; only let it be a warning to
you all your life, whenever you have
any duty, however small it may be,
before you, to do it promptly. Learn
to be careful in little things."
The door opened again, and the
doctor asked Mr. Moore if he would
"Don't leave me here; let me go
too, papa!" cried Allie.
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 31
"Can it do any harm?" asked Mr.
"I think not," was the answer;
"he can hardly be disturbed by any
The words had a very hopeless
sound; but Allie could not find cour-
age to ask the question trembling on
her lips, if Russell were really dying.
She clung to her father's hand
as they entered the shaded room.
Russell lay motionless and ghastly
white; the pillow was stained with
blood, for a short time before he had
torn the bandage from a wound on
his forehead, and the doctor had
been dressing it again. Mrs. Moore,
almost as white and motionless, was
kneeling beside him,/her eyes fixed
on his face. Allie grew sick and
32 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
faint. There was no sound, save an
occasional direction from the doctor,
who sat with one hand on the
patient's pulse, the other holding his
watch. A weight like lead fell on
Allie's heart. She felt sure her
brother was dying.
"If the fever can be overcome," she
heard the physician, who had entered
with them, say to her father, "there is
hope; though he will probably suffer
from his injuries for a long time. This
stupor is alarming in the extreme."
The hours passed on without any
visible change; kind Mrs. Clarke came
and took Allie away, and made her
drink a cup of tea and eat a cracker.
She would take nothing more. Then
she persuaded her to go to bed, pro-
mising to call her if Russell should be
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 33
worse. It was long, however, before
she slept; but she was so exhausted,
that her sleep was sound when it
came. She woke early, and started
up with the dim consciousness of be-
ing in a strange place, and of some-
thing very painful having occurred.
Suddenly recollection returned; and
hastily dressing, she crept to the
door of her brother's room, which
stood ajar. The haggard faces of
her father and mother, who sat one
on each side of the bed, had not much
comfort for her. Russell still lay in
that heavy stupor: Allie crept in
trembling, and knelt down beside her
mother, with bitter tears of sorrow
"Mamma, don't hate me!" she
whispered. Her mother's answer
34 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
was a pitying kiss, as she put her
arms around Allie, and drew her
"My poor child, you will never for-
get this lesson."
"Is he no better, mamma?" asked
Allie, as soon as she could speak
"The doctor has been trying other
remedies; but there is no change
yet," was the reply, in so weary and
sad a voice that it was a fresh
reproach to Allie. She felt very
thankful when Mrs. Clarke came
and persuaded her mother to take
some refreshment, and lie down on a
lounge in the room, while Mr. Moore
still sat beside the bed.
It was a long sorrowful day for
all those tired watchers, who could
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 35
do nothing but watch. Allie felt that
if there were any thing she might
do for her brother, it would be the
greatest relief; but there was nothing,
except to sit by him as long at a time
as they would let her, and wait and
hope in vain for some sign of return-
ing consciousness. It was not till
late in the afternoon that the heavy
lids unclosed for a moment, as he
looked vacantly at them. Mrs. Moore
'left her seat and bent over him, lay-
ing her hand gently on his. He
looked up again, almost seemed
to smile, and whispered "mother."
Allie could not speak for thankfulness
and joy. Russell held his mother's
hand, and closed his eyes again. The
physician-whose face was now
bright with joyful hope-motioned
36 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
them all away, and all but Mrs. Moore
went into the hall with him.
"Russell is asleep now," he said,
as he softly closed the door. "He
must be kept perfectly quiet. His
mother would hardly wish to leave
him at present; and it will be best
for him to see her when he wakes.
He will require the closest care for a
long time; and I am sure he will
have it," he added, "with plenty of
waiting on from this anxious little
watcher," looking at Allie, with a
"Oh, if he only knew," thought
Allie, with hot tears falling on her
hands, "he would not say that; but
of course he does; of course they
must all know why we did not come
sooner. I don't deserve to have any
ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON. 37
one kind to me. But I will try to
do better; indeed I will."
And Allie did try earnestly and
watchfully, from that day, to over-
come the fault which would, but for
God's mercy, have been the cause of
a deep, life-long sorrow to her parents
and of wretchedness to herself. It
was a long time before Russell could
be removed to his home, and many
months before he was able to go
about, as he used to do,-without
crutches; but Allie proved a most
patient, willing nurse through the
tedious recovery and convalescence.
She learned many a useful lesson of
patience and promptness in that
darkened room; and she was a very
great relief and comfort to her mother,
who felt now that she could depend
38 ALLIE MOORE'S LESSON.
upon her readiness and kindness;
though she was so distrustful of
herself that she was all the more
watchful. Russell once said that it
was worth while to have wanted his
mother all that painful day, for the
sake of gaining so gentle, loving, and
devoted a sister. Only this once,
though, he referred to it. None of
them ever reproached Allie with her
old fault, or the sorrow and anxiety she
had caused by yielding to it that
unhappy day: and for the kind-
ness of this silence, Allie was very
grateful. She could never forget it
herself; and her charity towards the
faults of others was increased by the
recollection of her own sad experience.