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 Title Page
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV






Group Title: sleigh ride
Title: Sleigh ride
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Title: Sleigh ride
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Alden, Joseph
Publisher: Derby and Miller
Place of Publication: Auburn, NY
Publication Date: 1850
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Chapter I
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Chapter II
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Chapter III
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Chapter IV
        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
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
Full Text








SLEIGH-RIDE.
LY JOSEPH ALEN, D.D. J

AUBURN, N. .
DERBY AND MILLER,
1 1850.













&


Eored acomiolag to Act of C(gress, In the year 1847,
BY GYIs8 C& STEDMAN,

l ta Clerk's O e of tho d rict Court of the f'it d BMats
the Sulthern Ditrict of New York.







; -s


.4,.


:::~
sr
~



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r








*


THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


CHAPTER I.

rPH APPROACHING NEW-YEAR DAY-THE ILL-NATUR
-OT--THE RUMARKS Or *X. ADAM-CONXVBSATJO
R8SPECTING THE SLEIGH-RIDB.

W ILL there be any school New-Yewr
day, Mr. Adams said a tow-h.ad
urchin, who well knew that New-Year day
-is always given as a holiday.
-"No" replied Mr. Adams, with great gopd-
nature. He made a distinction between i.
peninent and needle questions. Impertiant
questions he always rebuked, but nedlhe


1.






THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


questions he was quite indulgent to. He
wished to encourage his pupils to ask useful
questions, and hence did not refuse to answer
such as were not strictly necessary. Still, it
was not well in his pupils to disturb him, by
asking questions, the answers to which they
already knew. Children should not ask their
parents unnecessary questions.
Mr. Adams's reply gave great joy to those
present, as was apparent from the sparkling
eyes, and the knowing looks, which were ex-
changed among them. True, they knew the
fact just as well before, and some, if not all
had made their arrangements'* view of it.;
still there was something very pleasant in the
statement of it by the teacher.
Time passed on, but rather slowly, as the






TRN LSIG0H-RID&.


pupils thought, till the last daypf the yea
ame.
"I wonder if he won't let out school sooner
than usual, this afternoon ?" said one.
"No: he will keep us in till dark," said an
ill-natured boy.
No one took any notice of the remark.
There was ies study in the afternoon of the
last day of the year, than there might have
been. Mr. Adams made some allowance for
the excitement of his pupils, in view of the
aning holiday; and passed over some de-
fciencies in recitations, which, on another oc-
casion, would have obliged the delinquent to
remain, and repeat the recitation, after the'
school had been disissed.
The last class had speljd, and the books
** \ *>






THE BLEIOH-RIDE.


had been "put away," and all sat with folded
hands, and with eyes fixed on the teacher
"This is the last day of the year," said Mr.
Adams, in a solemn and yet affectionate man-
ner.
We knew that before," said the above-mon-
tioned ill-natured boy, 1h an under tone.
He did not intend to be heard by Mr. Adams.
But l Adams dd hear him, possessing as he
used to say, "sharp ears." He fixed his eye
.upon him without speaking a word. The boy
attempted at first to "look back," as he wold
have phrased it; but his eye soon quailed be-
fore that of the teacher, and be looked down
upon the floor. There was, perfect stillness in
the room. He stole a glance at some of his
friends, as he called them, and attempted to
smile. It was a miserable attempt, and be


































SHe fied his eye upon him without speaking a wold.
PIJB T






TMN Stle6-aIM


fulnd nothing which looked like sympathy,
in the Axed eye, and immerable lip of all
present His ace began to grow red, and he
turned from side to side, as though he had
just discovered that he was sitting in an un-
comfortable position.
"Harry, you may be excused," said Mr.
Adams.
He arose, very' quickly,- and was about to
withdraw, glad at the prospect of getting out
of the range of so many disapproving eyes.
"You may take your slate and books with
you," said the tea&er, in a calm, yet decided
voice.
"Am I not coming to school any more?"
"Not to me. I have borne with your per-
verseness for a long time, and I see no prospect
of your reformation. You neither do your-


A _






10 TsE s RIM -RIBs.

sel nor others, any good by coming. I am
truly sovy, but I have done for you all that I
can."
Harry was very slow in getting his slate and
books, and still longer in securing them under
his arm. It was a little doubtful, whether he
meant to be as long as he could in obeying the
teacher, or whether he felt bad about leaving
the school. The doubt was soon removed.
He burst into tears, and laying his books and
slate upon the desk, sat down, and covering
his face with his hands, wept aloud.
SThe kind-hearted teacherwwas moved: a tear
stood in his eye. "If," said i "you can make
up your mind to be a good boy, and conform
cheerfully to the regulations of the school, you
may remain."






THBE LBIOH-RIDB.


"I will, sir," said Harry, and his remark was
followed by still louder sobbing.
"This is the last day of the year," said Mr.
Adams. "God, in his great mercy, has pre-
served our lives through another year. We
ought to be thankful for his mercies, and peai-
tent for our sins. BefoJe we sleep to-night, we
ought to review the mercies of the pdlt'year,
and render to God earnest thanksgiving *br
them alL We ought also to review our sins, and
earnestly implore forgiveness foi the same.
God has preserved us; but all are not here that
began the year with us. There was a lii
rosy-cheeked gitwho sat on that seat, at the
commencement of the year, who is not here.
I walked by the graveyard this morning, and
saw the hillock of snow that rests upon the
grave of Mary."






THE 8LIIOGH-IDE.


Tears filled his eyes, and those of many of
his auditors, as he paused for a moment.
"She was taken, and you were left. You are
spared to repent of your sins, and to believe in
the Iord Jesus Christ. Begin the day, to-mor-
row, with God. You are expecting a happy
day. God wishes you to be happy. Be happy
in remembering your Creator in the days of
ydbr youth, in imitating Him who went about
doing good."
Prayer wat offered, and the school was dis-
missed. There were not the usual noisy
anifestations of joy: they retired in stillness.
Some few shouts were heard, when some dis-
tance was gained from the school-house. A
group was also seen to stop at a distance, and
discuss matters which had usually been dis-
cussed at the door.






THE 8LIGH-RIDE.


"Do you think there is any danger of a
thaw to-night?" said Alfred Somerville to Mor-
ton, who with their sisters composed the group
alluded to above.
"No," said Morton, "I don't see how it can
thaw. It is as clear as a bell, and as cold as
ice, and a good dal colder."
"What time must we be ready ?" said Mary,
who had been told to make the inquiry by her
sister Emily.
We ought to start by three o'clAk, I should
think," said Morton.
"We ought to start by one o'clock," said
sane.
"So that we can get home before dark," said
her brother.
"No, it wouldn't be a sleigh-ride at all, if i
were all done in daylight. As the day Is ao







THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


very long, I should rather have it partly by
moonlight."
"Mother said," said Malvina, "that we had
better start so as to get there just about sunset,
and then we can stay an hour or two, and come
home in the night, and get home early."
S" We need not start befotol three o'clock,
then," said Emily.
Three o'clock was thus agreed upon, by
general consent, as the hour of starting on their
long anticipated sleigh-ride.
They then separated, and pursued their re-
spective ways homeward, after the interchange
.of sundry charges, on the part of the girls, to
"be sure, and be ready by the time."













CHAPTER II.


IMPATIENCE REPROVED-A VISIT OF BENEVOLBNCI-
THE TIME PASSES PLEASANTLY.

TMHE sleigh-ride had formed the theme of
conversation, and anxiety, for several weeks
previous to the close of the year. Snow fell
early in December, and the sleighing prom-
ised to continue fine: though, when the sun
put on a particularly bright face, be did not
always shine on particularly bright faces; for a
fear was awakened in some bosoms that the
snow might all be melted, and thus the anti-
cipated sleigh-ride would prove a failure. At
first there was a plan on foot to embrace in t6






THE SLEIGH-AIDE.


ride nearly all the members of the school; but
owing to the unwillingness of some of the
parents, and the jealousy of others, that com-
prehensive scheme was laid aside, and various
other ones proposed and discussed. Difficulties
were found to lie in the way of most of them,
and the only one which at last seemed likely
to be accomplished, was one that included only
the Riverses and Somervilles. It was finally
arranged, that Mr. Rivers's hired man should
take his sleigh and horses, and drive the young
Riverses and Somervilles to a village, about
seven miles distant, where a favorite aunt of
the Somervilles resided. After making her a
short visit, they were to return. The time of
starting, and of returning, was arranged as
stated above.
New-Year morning came. The sun did not






THB ULUIGH-RIDE.


forget to ne at his appointed time. It was as
cold as the most inveterate sleigh-rider could
desire. Morton was out early, and was de-
lighted with the crackling sound which the
snow made under his feet. There was no dan-
ger of a thaw, and very little prospect of wind
or clouds.
"Oh dear! I do wish you would get out of
the way," said Jane.
I wish you would not rush on so, as if the
house was on ire," said Morton.
These words were exchanged as Mortoa,
coming in from his observations on the state
of the snow and the weather, was run against
and nearly overturned by his sister, in her haste
to get some article of dress which she was to
wear during the ride.






THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


Mother," said Jane, "Morton has been
making my nose bleed."
True enough her nose did bleed, in conse-
quence of her having brought it into forcible
contact with Morton's shoulder
"How did it happen, my son?" said Mrs.
Rivers, coming into the room this moment:
she saw thaf Jane's nose was bleeding, and
that Morton was laughing.
"I was coming in at the door, or had just
entered, when she came running as if the
house was on fire, and butted her nose and
face right against my shoulder. I didn't know
but that the old sheep had got into the house,
at first."
Jane saw the folly of being angry, and she
laughed with him.
"My daughter, why did you say Morton






tax BL3!Gu-RieU.


made your nose bleed, when you did it your-
self '
"I was frightened, and didn't know what I
said. I am sorry for it. He was not to blame."
"She will break her neck instead of her nose
some day, if she keeps on driving so furiously,"
said Morton.
I wish you could irn to Ib more gentle
in your movements. You would accomplish
quite as much, and be a great deal happier."
Do you think it will be swelled?" said
Jane, speaking of her nose, as she bathed it in
cold water.
"I should think it would, for my shogler is
swelled, I'm pretty sure."
"Moiher, do you thik it will be swelledT'
amd Iue.





THR BLEIGH-KIDE.


I don't know: look up, and let me me it
How does it feel?"
"It feels as large as a cucumber," said she,
drawing her fingers over it. "I shall look like
a perfect fright."
As Morton saw that she was about to cry,
and not wishing to see or hear any crying on
a happy New-Year day, he said, "I can't. see
Jany signs of its swelling. If it should swell, it
will go down before it is time to go."
A long looking the glass convinced Jane that
her nose retained its usual proportions Having
satisfied herself as to that important fact, she
very cheerfully proceeded to assist her mother
in getting breakfast.
The first part of the day passed very pleas-
antly. Morton was occupied in assisting his
father in arranging some accounts, and the






THE BLEIGH-RIDE. 81

girls in "getting ready." When they had
made all the preparation they could think of,
and had tried on their things many times, there
remained an hour or two before dinner. The
clock was consulted very often and earnestly;
but it ticked on unmoved, and manifested not
the slightest disposition to hasten its footsteps,
or rather its fingers, for their accommodation.
They were obliged to hive recourse to their.
mother,
Mother, what shall we do to pass iway the
time?" said Jane. "It never will be dinner
time."
"Are you very hungry 7"
"No, ma'am, I am not hungry at all; bet"-
"You are impatient to have the time c6me,
for your expected ride?"
"Yes, ma'am."






THE *LEIGH-RIDE.


"It is natural that you should feel excited
about it, and perhaps it is natural that you
should be tempted to beia little impatient; but
the question is, ought you to yield to the temp-
tation ?"
"Do you think it is wrong, mother 7"
"Yes, I do think it is wrong to wish the
time to pass away more swiftly than it does.
It was not given us to waste or to undervalue.
Suppose your father was to give you a new
silk dress, and you were to throw it away:
would that be treating him well ?"
"Oh no, ma'am."
"Is it treating your heavenly Father well, to
wishto throw away the time that he gave you
for the most important of all purposes?"
"No, ma'am. But I can't help feeling im-
patient."






THU ILUIGH-RIDB.


"Did you feel impatient, when you were
busily occupied just now 7"
"No, ma'am."
You would not feel impatient, if you had
something fully to occupy your attention?"
No, ma'am."
"Conside then, what there is be done: what
duty there is for you to do. If you make the
inquiry in a proper spiristyou will be sure to
find something to do which will occupy your
attentih, aqd remove your impatience.It may
be true that you cannot help feeling impatient
if you remain doing nothing; but that does
not excuse you, unless one neglect of duty
can atone for another."
"I don't exactly see how I am to blame for
what I can't help."
"Suppose a little girl is told to stay in the






THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


parlor and read her book. She runs out into
the kitchen, and jumps into a tub of water
there. Her mother tells her not to-wet her
feet, but she says, I can't help it:' would she
be to blame ?"
Yes, ma'am."
"Why so? she can't help wetting her feet,
so long as she stands in the tub."
"She had no business to get in the tub."
"Very true. You cannot help feeling im-
patient if you sit down, or stand about, or do
nothing; but you have no business to sit down,
and stand about, and do nothing. Your duty
is to occupy yourself, and then you can help
fedlin1pipatient. I have dwelt thus long upon
this matter, because I wish to put an end to
the excushich I hear you make use of very
often, *I can't help it.' Whenever it is said






THU SLZIUH-BIDE.


truly, it is because you are neglecting at the
time some duty, or it is because you have for-
merlyneglected some duty: in either case it is
no excuse."
"What shall we do said Malvina, who
was conscious of having shared with Jane her
feelings of restlessness, though she had given
no expression to them.
"I should like to have you go and visit Mr.
Sickels. He is sick, you know, and in want.
I wish you to take him some things,' and a
visit from the youbg is always acceptable to
the aged: you will do him good, and will in
consequence-get good by going."
Well, mother, we will go, won't we, Mal-
vina?"
"Certainly."
Mrs. Rivers then gave them the articles she
4






26 THE SLEIGH-RIDE.
wished to send to Mr. Sickels, and they set out
on their errand of benevolence. They had no
great distance to go. The rich and the poor,
the happy and the miserable, often live near
each other. They knocked at the sick man's
door, but no voice bade them come in.
"Perhaps he is dead!" said Jane, in a tone
of alarm. "Let us go home."
The dead cannot harm us," said her cooler
sister. "It is more probable that he is asleep,
or perhaps he is too ill to speak loud enough
for us to hear."
She then raised the latch, and entered.
L On ,a bed in the corner of the room, the in-

valid lay in a deep sleep. The fre had nearly
gone out on the hearth, and the covering of
the bed was very Scanty. Malvina laid her
hand on the pale face of the sleeper: it son-


































They knocked at the rich man's door, but no voiee bede
them conm in." Pae .






THE BLIOGH-RIDE. 29

vinced her he was suffering from the cold,
though now happily unconscious of suffering.
No person was in the house except the sick
man.
Malvina thought it not best to awaken him.
She went softly to the fireplace, and endeav-
ored without noise to rekindle the fire. Some
difficulty was found in so doing, and the noise
made by ap attempt to split some small pieces
of wood for kindling, awoke him. "
"You attend to the fire, Jane," said Mal-
viua, "and I will see if he wants anything."
"Where is Elsie 7" said the sick man.
"1 do not know," replied Malvina, "we just
came in: we knocked at the door, but did not
hear anybody, so we came in. Mother sent
us to bring you some things which she thought
you might want."






THU BLEIGH-RIDR.


"I thank her and you." A deep sigh fol-
lowed this remark, and the old man closed his
eyes, and was silent for some time. Malvina
employed herself in taking the things which
she had brought out of the basket, and placing
them on the table.
"My own daughter has gone and left me,
and those who are no kin to me come to take
care of me !"
Malvina knew not what reply to make to
the remark. She asked him if she should not
make him a cup of tea.
"Yes, do: I feel very faint. I have not
eaten anything since yesterday noon."
"Have you not had any breakfast?" aid
Jane, who had got the fire well burning, and
was now standing by the bedside, with hIr
warm heart deeply pitying the poor sufr.






THE ILKIGH-RIDE.


"No. I awoke this morning, and Elsie was
moving round, and I asked her if my breakfast
was nearly ready, but she said it would not
be ready in some time, and told me to go to
sleep again: I closed my eyes and fell asleep,
and did not awake till you came in."
Jane ran out to the well and got a pail
of water, and filled the tea-kettle, and trimmed
the fire, while Malvina toasted some bread.
Preparations for the old man's breakfast were
thus speedily made. The materials, .it must
be remembered, they had brought with them.
Elsie, his daughter, was about twenty years
old. Her mother had died while she was an
infant, and thus she had no mother to care for
her. She was brought up by the woman hired
byt h'father to keep house for him, and when
she was old enough to do the work, the task






THE SLBIG-RIIDE.


of housekeeping devolved upon her. Her father
had been confined to the house since the latter
part of Autumn, and she found the confine-
ment and labor of attending upon him, espe-
cially after he was confined to his bed, by no
means pleasant. She had never been taught
to fear God, and had never experienced the
sweet and softening influences which a mother's
presence diffuses in a family. She had little
affection-for her father, who in infancy had left
her to the care of hirelings; and had recently
become attached to an idle and vicious young
man, and had gone with him, on the New-
Year day, to a neighboring township to be
married!
Mr. Sickels partook of the food provided for
him by the kindne of the girls, and va re-
frud~d.






THE BLBIOGH-ID.


"I wish," said he, "that my daughter was
like you: she has gone off, and left me"
"Perhap," said Malvina, he has gone but
a little way, and will be back soon."
"I don't know where she is gone. I am
a poor miserable creature, with nobody to care
for me. It won't be any matter, how soon
I die."
"Are you a Christian said Malvina, with
difficulty summoning resolution enough to ask
the question.
"No, I am not what some folks call a Chri-
tian; but I have in the main tried to do what
was right, and I hope God will have mercy on
me when I die.'
Malvina did not feel competent to convert
with him in regard to his erroneous views.
Sbe expressed the hope that he might bh






THE BLEIOH-RIDE.


better soon; and putting things in order a
well as she could, told him that her mother
would send over again before night, to see
that he did not suffer. The girls then re-
turned home. The time had passed rapidly,
and pleasantly; for though scenes of suffer-
ing be painful, the exercise of sympathy is
always in itself pleasant. They were so much
interested in the case of Mr. S., that they
made a statement of it to their mother, before
they thought to inquire what time it was,
and how near the hour of departure had ap-
proached.
"Mother, must not Elsie be a very wicked
girl, to go off and leave her father so?" said
Jane.
"She certainly is not a very good grl, but
you are to remember what a defetive eda-







Ts uzlIGWO-RIDm.


don she has had. In nothing more ought we
to remember who has made us to differ, than
in respect to the influences that are exerted
upon our childhood and youth. Is it certain
that you would have been a better girl than
she, if you had been placed in her circum-
stances T'
"I don't think I should," said Malvina.
"Nor I," said Jane.
"Do you know what time it is said Mrs.
Rivers.
It is almost dinner-time, is it not ?"
"We dined some time ago."
"ls it possible!" said Jane.
She went and looked at the clock, and found
that they had just time enough to eat their
dinners, and get ready for their ride. They






O TE SLIINB-4I=.o

had time enough and none to spare. Just a
they were completely ready, the leigh drove
1 up; and with light and happy hearts, they
seated themselves on the pile. of buffalo skinr
whion had been provided for their comfort.




















CHAPTER III.


TIME SAEI-ID--TB3 VI AT AUNT SOMUtVILL''b
-PROPOSITIONS UISPRCTING THE BRTURN.

VQHE righ topped at Mr. Somervilles.
A Emily mad Mary were ready, and had
been, for several hours. Not having had any
employment, they became rather impatient at
the apparent slow pa of the hours.
Sevealew strigs of bells were added to the
outfit of the hoes, by Alfred; and the buffalo
skin were tucked in closely around the girls,
till they declared they should roast. The whip
wa cracked by the driver, in a very knowing
manner, and the horses set off at a brisk trot,
making a great jingling with their bell., calling






THE 8LEIGH-RIDE.


to the windows nearly all the inhabitants of the
village, to see what was passing in such state
and splendor.
Away they went,--over the hills and across
the plains. The faster the horses went, the
faster the girls talked. The merry laugh was
often heard above the jingling of the bells, and
occasionally a scream, half terror, and half de-
light, as the sleigh inclined in assing a snow
bank, as if it intended to spill them out into
the snow. They were oon at their journey's
end-quite too soon. They all affirmed that it
was impossible that they hadrrived there,-
there must be some mistake. The hou, how-
ever, at which they were to stop, looked pre-
cisely as it was expected to look; and ere they
reached it, the face of Emily's aunt was at the
window, to see who it was that was entering




































p.


a AWKY SOY w
PAus 38.






THu SLBIOGH-RIl


the village with so much eclat. It was not
near unset, the time they had expected to ar-
rive. The driver, guessing at their wishes
drove straight by the house, and through the
village, and' farther, till the sun was fairly set,
and the shadows of evening began to gather on
the horizon. He then returned to the place
where they were to make their brief visit, and
arrived there just as it was getting dark.
"I knew it was you," said Mrs. Somerville,
"when you passed."
"Where did you think were going r" said
Mary.
"I thought you wished to have a longer ride,
and meant to drive through the street, and back
again. You have been some distance "
SYes, ma'am," said Emily, "we have had a
delightful time."






THR SLEIGHBRIDR.


"Were you not cold ?"
"I began to feel cold just as we turned to
come back here."
A blazing fire, a cheering supper table, and
the benevolent heart of Aunt Somerville, soon
made them warm and happy. They had just
finished supper, when Mrs. Somerville was sent
for to visit a sick woman.
"I can't tell when I shall be back, my dears.
I hope I may be spared before it is time for
you to go home. But if not, goodbye. I am
greatly obliged to you all for this visit, and hope
you will repeat it many times."
Will any one say, Was it not strange that she
should leave her company in that manner?
The person she was called to visit, was ex-
tremely poor; and few persons were willing to
undertake the very unpleasant task of watching






THE LEOIGH-RIDE.


with her. Mrs. Somerville remembered the
words of the Lord Jesus, the poor ye have with
you always," and she made it her business to
attend to them in a way which she thought
would be pleasing to Him. She gave liberally
of her substance, and found but little or no self-
denial was necessary for that. She gave her
personal services, and though this often required
great sacrifices of convenience and pleasure, yet
she felt assured that she never lost anything
by it: yes, even in the self-denying and painful
labors among the extremely poor, she still felt
the truth of the declaration in the Bible, "it is
more blessed to give than to receive."
It happened that on the occasion of which we
were speaking, she was detained till morning.
Her guests were therefore obliged to spend the
evening by themselves, and to return home,






THE SLEIGH-RIDZ.


without bidding adieu on their departure. Th
first was accomplished sucossfully: of the lat,
the return, we will speak by-and-by.
What time do you wish to start for home "
said the driver, as he came in, after they had
finished their supper, and had seated themselves
in a semi-circle around the blazing hearth; for
in those days sensible people were too sociable
to have close stoves.
"Not till midnight," answered Jane. But as
she did not speak from authority, he did not
pay any regard to her remark, but waited till
some one else should reply. Those who suffer
themselves to form the habit of speaking ex-
travagantly, must often have the mortification
of having their remarks unheeded.
"What time must we go said Emily to
Malina.






TH1 8LZIGH-RIIDZ.


aI dm't know. We must not be out late."
"Let us stay as long as we can. Aunt will
be home by-and-by."
"Ten o'clock will not be late to be out," said
the driver. I you start at nine, I'll have
you home so that you can be in bed at ten."
All readily acquiesced in that proposition, and
were disposed to be quite grateful to him for
his kindness in giving them such a long visit,
and such a comparatively late ride. They had
the idea, whosee derived I know not,) that a
sleigh-ride late at night must be more pleasant
than one in the evening.
"Denning is very obliging," said Alfred, al-
luding to the proposition above noticed.
"He does seem to be better natured than
common," said Morton.
The fact was that Denning had been down







THE BLEIGH-RIDS.


to the tavern, and found a set there who were
congenial to his taste, as was the whiskey
which was dealt out at the bar. He wished
to remain, therefore, as long as he could. Like
many others, he wished to. claim merit for
pleasing others when his sole object was to
please himself. He had not been long in the
employment of Mr. Rivers, and his character
and habits were not well known to him. Had
he known that he was in the habit of tasting
intoxicating drinks, he would t have trusted
his horses, much less his children in his hands.


9.












CHAPTER IV.


"ARD RIDIN -f DIUNIMN DRIVER-TBIH OVR-
TURN.

OW late is it?" said Morton to Emily,
who wore her mother's watch.
"It is just seven o'clock," said she.
"We have two good long hours i stay,"
said Mary.
"What shall V do 1 said Jane.
"Let us play at something," said Mary.
This proposition was very well received, but
there was a good deal of difficulty in deciding
what game they should play. Several were
tried, "blindfold" among the number; but it
was soon discontinued, as it led to a rather






THE BLEIGB-RIDZ.


rude treatment of the furniture of the room,
and Aunt Somerville was quite a particular
woman, in regard to the condition of every-
thing in her house. You never saw a chair
out of place, nor a stray cebweb reaching
down its long arm from an obscure corner; nor
did a feather, or stick, or straw, ever manage to
conceal itself in any part of the carpet so as to
escape her observation. She was near-sighted,
to be sure, but she always put on her specta-
cles when she had swept and dusted a room,
and made a thorough inspection. If a stray
spot of dust,-a spider or fly had congratulated
himself on an escape, he was convinced of his
folly now. It would even seem as Af the old
pss understood that she must.have every hair
in place before she made her appearaoe befor





TH ILK IOH-RIDO.


her mistress. Her cat was always the smooth-
est cat in the village.
"Aunt would not be pleased at all," aid
Emily, proceeding to put the roop in order, "if
she were to see this. She loves to see young
folks happy, and loves to see her house neat
too."
Al gave her their assistance, and the room
quickly resumed its usual spruceness. Aunt
Somerville would, lowevpr, have detected some
slight deficiencies; but she was not there, and
they sat down to devise some better way of
passing the remainder of the evening.
Let us have a story," said Morton, glancing
at-Emily.
Very well" said Emily, "it is Morton's turn
to tell oe.
Mweton's turn I" aid Jane, he would only






THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


state a sum from the arithmCtic, if he were to
undertake it."
Morton felt rather vexed to have such a low
estimate set upon his story-telling powers in the
presence of Emily. Story-telling was not, in
truth, his forte.
"Perhaps, Miss Emily will tell us the re-
mainder of the story about the squirrel: 1 don't
think she told us the whole of it." said Morton.
"0 yes," said Malvia, "let us hear the rest
of the story you told us last fall, on Manton
Hill. I remember it as well as if it were yester-
day."
All present seconded the motion so earnestly,
that Emily could not refuse.
"Where did I leave offer" aid she.
"You told us," said Jane, "how the men came
and cut down the woods in which the tree







THE BLEIGH-RIDE.


stood, in which Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel lived
with their children; and how frightened they
were, and how they expected to have Weir'*
house cut down, and how the men let that tree
stand for Lbade, so that they were not hurt.
Now tell us what happened to them after-
wards."
"They continued to inhabit the chestnut tree,
though they kept pretty close for some weeks,
till they had got fairly over their fright. They
never went out to take the air, except at night,
till an owl made a snatch at one of the young
squirrels, and came very near carrying it off.
Then they changed their habit, and made
their excursions by daylight. They found that
they could creep under the fallen trees without
observation, till they reached the forest, which
till remained standing. They there found







THE 8LEIGH-RIDE.


seeral of their neighbors who had been cut
out of house and home by the choppers. They
had, procured such habitations as they could
find, and some of them were by no means as
comfortable ones as those they had lokt.
"One pleasant afternoon, as Mrs. Squirrel was
sitting by the knot-hole that served them as a
window, and was engaged in picking the meat
from a walnut, which had proved too hard-
shelled for the tooth of one of her children, she
said to Mr. Squirrel, who was reclining on some
sweet-scenled leaves near her, 'Husband, I
rather like what has been done around us, after
all. It gives us a much wider prospect, cer-
tuinly. Before, we could see nothing but the
trees around us; now we can see ever so far.
We can see what is going on in the world.'
"' And the world can see us more easily,' said






THE SLEIGH-RIDE. 53

her husband,' and then we are gone squirrels.
The other day, when the dog saw you, and set
up such a barking at the foot of the tree, I ex-
pected that we should be discovered, though I
did'nt say anything about it.'
"'That was a very impudent dog. I don't
see what dogs were made for.'
"' We have lost all our neighbors: they have
all been driven off.'
"'I'm not sorry for that: some of them
lived quite too near us, and I'm glad they are
a little farther off. Some of them .1 pity, and
some of them I don't There was Mrs. Bllaik
Squirrel-I don't pity her. She always con-
tended that her house was better than mine.
I wonder what she says now: I am told they
are obliged to life in an old rotten log. I'm
glad, too, that Mrs. Chip Squirrel has gone with





4 THE BLEIGO-RIDB.

her. She always used to disturb me in the
morning by her racket. She has to live in a
cellar, I am told. I guess they both wish they
were in my place now. I had no idea that
our tree was so large as it appears to be. I
think it is the most genteel residence there is
in the whole valley.'
"'It was very comfortable before it became
so much exposed.'
"'I don't think that is any objection at all.
We have only to take care and not let any one
see us descend the tree, and once at the bottom,
we can go in any direction under the prostrate
trees, with perfect safety. In fact, they have
made a sort of covered way for us. If you will
see to the children, I will run out now, and see
some of my old neighbors, for a while.'
"So saying, she brushed her hair, and washed





THBE aLZIOB-IDE.


her hands and feet, and was ready in a mo-
ment to set out.
"' Take a good look in every direction, before
you venture down,' said Mr. Squirrel.
"'Never fear for me,' replied Mrs. Squirrel;
'I can take care of myself, I guess.'
Mr. Squirrel scratched his ear with his hind
foot, merely adding, 'I wouldn't go to Black
Squirrel's, if I were you.'
"'You take good care of the babies,' said
she;' that is all you have to do.'
"Away she ran, with the purpose of calling
on Mrs. Black Squirrel, in her rotten log, and of
mortifying her pride. This, she persuaded her-
self, would be quite a praiseworthy act. She
did not perceive she was cherishing, in her own
bosom, that which she so strongly disapproved
in others.






THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


"She had not been gone long, before Mr.
Squirrel heard a crackling among the dry
leaves and branches below. He looked out and
saw several men passing along, who stopped
every now and then, and looked, and pointed at
various parts of the fallow. It was plain to
him, that something was going forward. He
felt very anxious about his wife. and was sorry
that he had not exerted his influence, and if
necessary, his authority, to keep her at home.
The men went to the windward extremity of
the fallow, and one of them stooped down with
his face to the ground, and remained there for a
minute or two. Pretty soon, a small column of
smoke arose frgm that spot; when the blaze
shot up, and the flames began to spread, and
there was a great roaring and crackling of fire,
and the smoke rolled off in great volumes, and






THE SLIGOH-AIDR. 07
alnmot hid the sun from view, Mr. Squirrel weD
knew what was going forward. He ran to the
top of the tree, and screamed with all his might,
for his wife to come home; but whether she
heard him or not he never knew. The flames
came sweeping on, and soon surrounded the
tree. The tree itself came very near burning.
The young squirrels were dreadfully frightened,
and Mr. Squirrel had almost as much as he
could do, to keep one of the little ones from
jumping out of the window into the flames.
The tide of fire at length flowed by, leaving a
a clear blackened surface. Men came with
some water, and put opt the fire that had
kindled a little upon the trunk of the tree.
Night came, but no Mrs. Squipel. .en the
young ones were asleep, Mr. Squirrel went in





86 THE SLEIGH-RIDZ.
search of her.. Going to Mrs. Black Squirrel's, he
found she had been there, but they had quar-
relled, and separated before the smoke began to
ascend. He then went to all the neighbors, but
could hear nothing of her, and concluded that
she had started to come home when she left
Mrs. Black Squirrel's, and was overtaken, and
destroyed by the tide of fire. Day after day
passed, and no Mrs. Squirrel came. What be-
came of her, was never known. Mr. Squirrel
mourned for her truly, but finally resolved, as
soon as the children got old enough to get their
own living, to consort himself by securing
another Mrs. Squirrel, which he found no dif-
iculty whatever in doCkg."
Is that the end of it'" said Jane.
hat is all that was told me."





THE LEIOGH-RIDE.


"I wish I knew what became of Mrs. Squir-
iel," said Jane.
"And of the young ones," said Malvina.
"And how Mr. Squirrel got along with his
new wife," said Morton.
"You can each of you finish the history to
suit yourselves," said Emily. Some effort was
made to induce her to continue it, making it
up as she went along: but in vain.
A little after nine o'clock, Denning came .o
the door with the horses and sleigh, and they
took their places. -The whip was then applied
and the horses soon pushed to their Wtmot
speed.
"Oh, this is delightful," said Jane. "I nme
1rde as fast as I wished to,.before."
"It is fine," said Mary.
Several miles were gone over in this manaw,






THE SLEIGH-RIDE.


when Morton became apprehensive that the
horses would be injured, and spoke to the driver
about it. A sharp angry reply he received, pre-
vented any rther interference on his part.
On they went till the wearied animals slackened
their pace. Denning began to ply .the whip
very furiously, and to utter profane words.
Emily was frightened, and asked Morton to re-
quest him to desist. He did so, but received an
abusive reply. Morton then saw that he was
very drunk. As he rose to inflict a still heavier
blow on the horses, Morton gave him a violent
push, which threw him out of the sleigh. He
then seized the reins, and called on the horses to
stop, which they were very ready to do. On
looking back, he saw Denning rise from the
sow-bank, and ,sake himself, and then at-
tempt to run towa&ds the sleigh. Morton


































As he woe to indiet a in heavier blow on the bseM,
Norton gave him a violet puh, which three bhi ot of the
ilei." PAi i .






THE 8LXIGH-RIDE.


waited till he came near, when he drove on
leisurely, leaving him to walk home the best
way he could. Morton drove with great caution
and confidence, and cheerfulness was well re-
stored before they reached home.
"Don't go into the yard," said Emily, "just
stop in the street while we get out."
But Morton was too gallant for that, he must
drive up to the door-stone. By attempting to do
so, one runner struck a log that lay partly burid
in the snow, and over went the sleigh, throwing
them into the deep soft snow, their feet usurp-
ing the place properly belonging to the head.
There was some screaming at first, but they
were soon pulled out of the snow-bank, and no
one was found to be hurt at all. Then laugh-
ing succeeded, and it was unanimously resolved
that it was a most delightful ending to the ex-,.
-A






04 THE 8LBIEO-RIDE.
cursion. The sleigh was righted, and Malvina
and Jane rode home. The horses were taken
care of by Morton and his father, and all were
soon in bed; but all were not asleep till long
after ten o'clock.




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