COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS
FOUR LITTLE SIXES.
Author of 'Only a
Girl,' Four Little Sixes,' &c.
WELLS GARDNER, DARTON, & CO.,
COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS
TWO STORIES FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.
By C. A. JONES.
WELS GARDNER, DARTON & CO.
2, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.
AND 44, VICTORIA STREET, S.W.
ALL THE BOYS AND GIRLS
WHO HAVE BROUGHT MANY SUNNY DAYS INTO MY LIFE.
Non numero horas nslt serenas."
'I keep count of no hours save the sunny ones."
An Old Sundial Mott9.
COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
I. IN THE FOG
II. OUT OF THE FOG
III. AN OLD SOLDIER
IV. MISS MINNIE'S HOME.
V. MISS MINNIE'S SECRET
VI. A YOUNG SOLDIER
IX. NEW YEAR'S DAY
X. THE SURPRISE OF THE EVENING
XI. A LITTLE CLOUD
XII. JIM'S LITTLE BOATS
XIII. THE PRIMROSE WREATH
XV. THE SAILOR GENTLEMAN
XVI. DR. DAVIES
XVII. NEW LEGS FOR BINKIE ... 138
XVII. IN THE COUNTRY 146
XIX. RUMOURS OF WAR 53
XX. THE GIRLS WE LEFT BEHIND US 159
XXI. THE EVE OF THE BATTLE 164
XXII. FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH 170
XXIII. SORROW 176
XXIV. POMPEY ... 182
XXV. A MAIMED SOLDIER .189
XXVL HIP, HIP, HIP, HURRAH 97
FOUR LITTLE SIXES.
L TWO HOMES AND TWO PICTURES 213
II. WE MUST SEE THE SOLDIERS COME HOME 225
III. THE GROWING STUFF 238
IV. WE MUST BE POOR LITTLE CHILDREN 246
V. SEE THE CONQUERING HERO COMES 260
VI. THE HUSH UPON THE HOUSE 275
VII. CHRISTMAS 286
COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
IN THE FOG.
B LEASE can you tell me the way to
Golden Lane ?"
I think we're in Golden Lane now,
but wait a bit and I'll see. Mind where you
tread, whoever you may be; there's a bit of the
street up, and the lantern as was put there has
gone out. I've been on the beat here for ten
years and more, and I never saw anything like
"It wasn't quite so pitch-dark up at the West
End," answered the first speaker, and it was easy
to tell by the sound of the voice that it was a
young girl who was wandering about in the fog.
2 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
On the December day upon which this story
begins, London had been wrapped in fog for
a whole week. There were lights in the shops,
lights in the houses, lights carried by linkboys
in the streets; and yet with it all, folks could
hardly find their way along the thoroughfares,
and no one went out, who by any possible means
could manage to stay at home.
Golden Lane was not very far from St. Paul's
Cathedral, not many minutes' walk from all the
crowd and the bustle of the great city; but even
on bright days it was a dull place-not a shop in
it, only a few tumbledown houses, and three
gas lamps at equal distances from each other,
which on this particular afternoon looked like
small glow-worms, which somehow or another
had got up into mid-air.
The only people in the lane, groping their
way along, were the two we have heard holding
a short conversation. One the young girl, the
other a policeman, who was turning his lantern
IN THE FOG.
about in all directions to try and discover where
he really was.
"You're all right; this is Golden Lane," he
called out. "Wait a bit and I'll come to you
and take you to No. 4-Old Jinks' place, ain't
"Yes! I'm Mary, Mr. Field; don't you know
Mr. Field shouted with laughter.
Bless the girl! as if I could know my own
child in this here fog! Ah! now I see you.
Well, you have grown a great, big lass. I hope
you're a good girl, Mary ?"
Mary did not answer. They were at the
door of No. 4 now. Some one else walking
down the street called out for directions on his
way. Mr. Field and his lantern disappeared, and
a minute later the girl stood in a small, low
room, only lit by the dim light of a tallow
An old man was its sole occupant. Tom Jinks
COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
was very poor, and the room was very poor, and
yet, somehow or another, you might almost have
fancied that the sun was shining in some mys-
terious way in that humble home.
My dear, is it you ? I never expected you in
such weather as this." And as the old man spoke
you knew where the sun came from: it was from
the worn, wrinkled face, which spoke of such joy
"As if I could have stayed away on your
birthday, Grandfather Missus did say perhaps
wouldd be best for me to wait and come another
day, but its not nearly so bad up our way as it is
here, and I did so want to see you. And see here !
I've brought you some flowers-some real beauti-
ful Christmas roses. They came up in a box from
the country this morning, and Miss Minnie gave
them to me for you."
Mary placed the flowers in the old man's hands,
and he bent over them lovingly, and felt each
tiny blossom very carefully and tenderly; and you
IN THE FOG.
could see that the smile that came upon his face
was a smile given to a long-forgotten memory-to
the thought, perhaps, of Christmas roses he had
picked long years ago, when he was a little boy
in his own village home. He could not see the
sweet flowers "Miss Minnie" had sent him on
that winter's day, for "Old Jinks" was quite
"Put them into a glass, Mary," he said, "and
tell Miss Minnie I thank her very much. How is
the poor little lady to-day ? "
"Just as cross as two sticks, and nurse is cross
too, and so is every one in the house, I think. I
suppose it's this horrible fog. I do hate it so. I
wonder how much longer we've to have it ?"
Old Jinks smiled as the girl spoke.
"We've not had much of it yet, my girl-only
a week. I don't know how it is, Mary, but we're
all so given to grumbling at the bad days that
God sees fit to send us, and we forget to count
up the sunny ones; and there are so many more
6 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS
sunny ones than dark ones in our lives. Do you
know, my dear, that I once heard a parson say we
could all of us make sunshine for ourselves ?"
"I should like to know how," said Mary.
I'll tell you, my dear. But hark surely that's
Jim's footstep outside, and that is his knock at
the door; and yet he told me wouldd be impos-
sible for him to get out to-day. Surely I can't be
"Here I am," shouted a cheery young voice;
" got leave, after all; and in the dim light of the
tallow candle a smart little figure in a bright
scarlet jacket might be seen rushing headlong
into the room. It was Mary's brother and old
Jinks' grandson Jim, a drummer-boy in the I6oth
Regiment, and as good a lad as ever wore the
Such a hu ggiir, and a hand-shaking as there
was; such explanations as to how Jim had man-
aged to get leave of absence for the afternoon,
and how he had been lost in the fog, and so
IN THE FOG. 7
arrived about three hours later than he ought
to have done.
Then the trio sat down to tea, and Mary
asked her grandfather to tell them how they
could make dull days into bright ones, a fog
My dear, there ain't one single day of all
your lives that you can't chalk up for your-
selves as a sunny day, if you like it. The
weather may be very bad, your lives may be
very hard, it may even be that God sends
you pain and sickness, and all around you looks
very dark and dreary. But to every one of us,
every day, God gives a chance of doing some
kind action for our neighbours-of sending a
little sunshine into some other life; and then
the reflection of that sunshine comes back to
us, and we count that day as a sunny day,
and thank God for it."
Neither the drummer-boy nor the girl spoke,
for the old man's voice sounded very solemn,
S COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
and they knew that every day of his life he
somehow or another helped those around him.
Suddenly there fell upon the ears of the little
party a short sharp cry.
It's a child," said old Jinks, "some poor little
soul out in the fog."
"It's a dog," exclaimed Jim ; "listen !"
Sure enough there was a very determined
bow-wow-wow, and then again that little strange
cry which they had heard at first.
"Let the poor dog in," said Mary; and Jim
jumped up and went to the door.
"There is a dog," he called out, "and-and
-and-bring a light, Mary. There's something
bundled up on the doorstep, and I think it's
a child. Hullo, you I what do you want ?"
"Please we're so hungry," said a small plaintive
voice; and by this time Mary had taken the
candle to the door, and the bundle on the door-
step was disclosed to view.
"Grandfather," screamed boy and girl with
IN THE FOG. 9
one voice, "it is a dog, but it's two children
"Bring them in," said old Jinks; "we couldn't
turn a dog out on such a night as this, much
less two children."
OUT OF THE FOG.
' OME on," said Jim, "don't be frightened;"
and with a kind of protecting tender-
ness the little soldier-boy took the
eldest child by the hand, and Mary held out her
arms to receive the sleeping bundle of rags
from its strange-looking young nurse; the dog
brought up the rear.
"The funniest little girl you ever saw, Grand-
father," whispered Jim to old Jinks; "not more
than five or six years old, I should think, and
carrying a baby most as big as herself; and oh,
such a dog! We wouldn't have him in the regi-
ment if we were paid for it."
Meanwhile the little girl's hungry eyes had
OUT OF THE FOG.
lighted upon the tea-table, and the small black
hands were laid trustingly upon the old man's
knees, and the childish voice piped out, "Please
we're so hungry."
"Give them something to eat at once," said
old Jinks. "Where do you come from, my dear ?"
Out of the fog."
I know that; but where do you live ?"
The child did not answer; her eyes were
eagerly fixed upon Mary, who was cutting a
slice of bread and butter. Give it to me quick,"
she said; "Binkie is starving."
"Is your name Binkie ?"
"No, it ain't; that's Binkie," and she pointed
to the baby in Mary's arms, who was beginning
to cry piteously.
Come to me, my beauty," said the little one,
"come and have some food, and Pepper shall
have some too."
The poor pale little creature held out its arms,
and Pepper gave a bark of satisfaction, and the
12 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
little girl sat on the floor with the baby on her
lap, and divided the bread and butter between
"Don't you want any yourself, little girl ?"
"P'raps when they've had enough I'll have a
bit, but I must see to them first," and the child
drew herself up with a little air of import-
ance, which was at once very comical and very
Binkie and Pepper were satisfied at last, and
the little girl still sat on the floor rocking the
baby to sleep, and singing to it in a low crooning
voice, for all the world over like a little old
"Nice birthday presents for you, Grandfather,"
laughed Jim. "What are you going to do with
I can't send them back to-night, Jim," an-
swered the old man. "'Tain't a polite thing to
return what is given you; and, my children," and
OUT OF THE FOG. 13
the old man's voice sunk into a low, awed whisper,
"maybe the angels led them here this evening,
that I might score up a sunny day for myself by
taking the poor little things out of the fog, and
giving them a night's shelter."
Jim turned his head away and brushed the
sleeve of his red jacket across his eyes, and Mary
gave her grandfather a hearty kiss and said,
"There never was any one like you."
"Only a great many people ever so much
.better, my dear," was the quiet answer. But
now I must try and find out something about
my little friends. If there's any one fretting
about them at home, we must try and let them
know that they are safe. Little one, what is your
Elsie what ?"
"Elsie nothink-only Elsie."
Where do you live ?"
Nowheres now." Then looking round the
14 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
room and into old Jinks' face, Elsie said in a
grave, solemn voice, which sent Jim and Mary
off into a fit of laughter-
I likes this house. Binkie and Pepper and
me will live here now."
So you shall, my dear, leastways for to-night;
but where did you live this morning? where do
you come from ?"
Out of the fog," repeated the child. Granny
is dead, and this morning they took her away
out of the cellar, and they was going to put
Binkie and me into the workhouse, and they
wouldn't have let Pepper come with us; so I
just brought them both away all through the
fog, so that nobody saw us come, or the perlice
would have been after us."
"Have you no father nor mother ?"
"No, I never had none--only Granny."
And is Binkie your sister ?"
For the first time Elsie laughed a merry,
childish laugh, as she answered-
OUT OF THE FOG. Ti
Binkie's a boy."
"Well, is he your brother ? "
"No; he is my little boy."
What relation are you to him ?"
No laugh this time as Elsie answered gravely-
I'm his little mother. I've been his mother
for a long time now."
How old are you, little one ?"
"I don't know. I thinks I'm very old. I
daresay I'm near a hundred years old."
Even old Jinks could not maintain his gravity
now, and poor Elsie saw them all laughing, and
began to sob as though her little heart would
break. They tried to comfort her, but it was of
no use. She cried herself to sleep at last, and
hugged Binkie more tightly to her, and laid her
poor weary little head upon Pepper's body. The
dog took it very quietly. It was evidently not
the first time he had been made a pillow of. He
watched his charges jealously for some little
time, growled when any one approached them,
i6 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
and at last he too closed his eyes and feil into
a sound sleep.
Jim and Mary had to leave their grandfather
very early, for the boy insisted upon taking his
sister back to Kensington before he found his
own way to Wellington Barracks.
Each of them promised to come again some
time in Christmas week to see what the old man
had done with his birthday presents.
AN OLD SOLDIER.
AR on into the night old Jinks sat before
the dying embers of the fire, thinking
of his strange little guests, and wonder-
ing what he should do with them when morning
Down deep in the old man's heart was a strange
love for all little children, for everything that was
feeble and helpless. He had once been a brave
soldier; he had fought the Queen's battles in
many a land, and next to his Bible and Prayer-
book, his greatest earthly treasure was a Crimean
medal with three clasps, which told its own tale
of bravery, and hardship, and suffering.
Jinks thought very much of his past life on
IS COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS
that December night, of the old home of his
childhood, of the distant lands into which he had
gone, of the comrades who had fought and fallen
by his side, and then came the sweet memory of
his young wife and of his eldest boy, George,
Jim and Mary's father. The mother and son
were lying now in their quiet graves in the
country churchyard of a little village in Kent,
and the old soldier could give humble and hearty
thanks that they were at rest, life's battle over
for them, the victory, he humbly hoped,-won.
There was another of whom he thought on that
night-his youngest boy, Harry, the wild, hand-
some lad, ten years George's junior, who had
broken his mother's heart, and had brought dis-
grace upon them all. He had been convicted of
robbery, and sentenced to five years' imprison-
ment. When the five years were at an end, poor
old Jinks was all alone in the world; his wife, and
his eldest boy, and his young daughter-in-law
were dead, and kind friends had got Jim and
AN OLD SOLDIER. 19
Mary into a school, where they were being trained,
the one for a soldier, the other for a servant.
The old man, whose sight was failing, stood at
the prison door to welcome his boy, and to take
him home with him to the poor room in Golden
Lane where he was living his lonely life.
Harry stayed with his father for three months,
then very suddenly he left him, and Jinks felt
that his boy would never again settle down into
the quiet home life.
Eight years had passed away since the summer
evening when he left the prison, and no tidings
of him had ever reached old Jinks.
He would not leave the house in Golden Lane.
Maybe some day God will send him back to
me," he used to say, "and he will come and look
for me here;" and so he waited and watched and
prayed for the wanderer's return.
The tears rolled down his furrowed cheeks as
he listened to the children's gentle breathing in
the corner of the room, and thought of his own
20 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
boy, homeless and friendless. Then he got up and
groped his way to where the little ones were
lying, and he lifted them up in his arms, not
without sundry growls from Pepper, and laid
them on his own bed, whither of course the
faithful dog thought it necessary to follow them;
and he sat up in his chair again, and his head
began to nod, and he was soon fast asleep.
He was awakened in the morning by a sound in
the room; somebodywas evidentlylightingthefire.
Hullo !" he said, starting up, "who's there ?"
"Hush! you'll wake Binkie, and he's asleep so
beautiful. I'm a-lighting your fire for you, and
I'll put the kettle on and make your breakfast.
You'll let us stay with you, won't you ? We'll be
so good. Binkie don't make no noise when he's
well; he can't talk yet, though he is such a big
boy, nor walk neither. He ain't strong, but he'll
get ever so much better in this beautiful place;"
and Elsie got up and climbed upon old Jinks'
knee and kissed his forehead.
AN OLD SOLDIER.
"You are blind, ain't you ? I knowed a blind
old man once, and he gave me a penny for
leading him down the street. I'll lead you for
nothing if you'll let us stay here."
I dare say most people would have said it was
a very silly thing to do. I dare say most people
would have thought the old soldier, who had
nothing in the world but his pension to live
upon, quite mad to do what he did do on that
December morning. He took Elsie's little hands
in his, and said very solemnly, "God helping
me, little one, I will keep you here until I can
do better for you and Binkie."
"And Pepper!" said Elsie eagerly; "we couldn't
get on without Pepper; he takes care of Binkie
when I'm out."
Pepper may stay also, so long as he behaves
"He always does behave hisself; he's the best
dog alive;" and Elsie jumped down and began
to busy herself getting the breakfast ready; and
22 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS
when one of the neighbours looked in an hour
later to see how old Jinks was getting on, and
to remark that the fog was as thick as ever,
she could hardly believe the evidence of her
senses when she saw him sitting up at breakfast,
a little, thin, pale, weird-like looking child upon
his knee, and another queer-looking little creature
in a short scarlet petticoat and long golden hair
and blue eyes, and neither shoes nor stockings
upon her grimy feet, flitting about the room as
though she had lived there all her life. Last,
but not least, Pepper had a whole chair to
himself, and actually barked at Mrs. Smith's
Of course Jinks had to explain matters, and
of course Mrs. Smith looked very much aston-
ished, and asked when he was going to send
the poor things away. Whereupon Elsie set up
a cry, in which Binkie joined for company's sake,
and the old soldier said-
"I think they must stay here until I can do
AN OLD SOLDIER. 23
better for them, Mrs. Smith. They came to me
out of the fog, to bring me a little bit of sun-
shine, and I can't send them away, so long as 1
can give them a bit of a crust."
"Binkie can't eat crustie," put in Elsie; "he
must have all the crumb."
Mrs. Smith took no heed of the interruption.
"Well, Mr. Jinks, of course you knows your
own affairs best, but they'll be a rare trouble to
you. Why, the poor things have hardly got a
rag to their backs."
For all answer, the old man opened a little
box which stood on a shelf, and counting a
few shillings out of it, he said-
"I have always kept a little money by me
against the time when my boy should come
home. Will you take this and buy some clothes
for the little ones; and if you'd be so good as
to give them a good wash, it might be as well;
and you'll oblige me by keeping a shilling for
24 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Upon which Mrs. Smith smiled and said she
would do her best. She went to a shop and
bought some ready-made clothing, and then she
proceeded to give the children such a bath as
they had probably never had in all their lives;
and I am sorry to have to say that they did not
enjoy the process at all; neither did Pepper, who
came in for his share, at the end.
But when tea-time arrived, and the children
sat down in their new clothes, Elsie said in a
little voice that trembled with gladness-
I'se so happy, and so are Binkie and Pepper,
only they can't speak and say so."
I'm glad you are, my dear," said old Jinks,
"and so am I;" and he muttered softly, I thank
Thee, Father, for this bright sunny day."
And yet the fog in the streets was thicker than
( 25 )
MISS MINNIE'S HOME.
NTO the fog again, dear children, or
rather out of the fog into a warm bright
nursery in a large house in Kensington
Gardens. There is a roaring fire in the grate,
and the gas is lit because of the darkness outside.
It is morning yet-only eleven o'clock-and the
floor is strewn with costly toys; dolls which
wind up and walk about with stately tread;
horses which run round the room with prancing
step; frogs which take wonderful leaps; and an
express train making its way along the soft
carpet, not quite at express speed perhaps, but
still very safely and steadily. Then there is a
great rocking-horse in one corner of the room,
26 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
. and a three-storied doll's house in another; and
there are bright pictures on the walls, and there
are two canaries in a beautiful cage-canaries
that generally sing all the morning long, but just
now their little heads are safely tucked under
their wings: they have gone to roost, mistaking
the foggy day for the darkness of night.
The only occupants of the room are two little
girls. One of these little girls is about seven
years old-the daintiest little maiden you ever
saw, with blue eyes and bright brown hair, and
rosy cheeks that are always breaking out into
dimples. The child's name is Lilian Grey, com-
monly known as Lily; and every one loves Lily,
and every one thinks her the sweetest little thing
in the world. But on this dark morning there
are no dimples to be seen; the little forehead is
puckered up into a frown, and Lily takes up first
one toy, then another, and throws each of them
down again, utterly heedless as to whether or not
it gets broken in the fall.
MISS MINNIE'S HOME. 27
"Oh, how I hate the fog! How nasty it is how.
stupid everything is! I am tired of it all. I'm
as miserable as miserable, and I almost wish Miss
Gordon could come through the fog, and that I
might have my lessons."
"I thought you hated lessons," said a small
voice from a little couch by the fire.
"So I do, but anything is better than this;
it's so horrid not being able to go out, isn't it,
"It's all the same to me," answered Minnie,
with a sigh; "you know I couldn't go out if it
were quite fine, because of my cough."
The dimples came into Lily's face now, and
she went up and put her hand lovingly upon her
little sister's dark hair and said-
"Poor Minnie I forgot; you have to lie here
"Yes, I have; and sometimes I'm very tired,
and very, very misable."
And again Lilv said, Poor Minnie," and kissed
28 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
the little wan cheek, which was nearly as white
as the pillow upon which it rested.
Minnie Grey had been a cripple from her birth.
The doctor had said that perhaps she might out-
grow the weakness; but now at five years old she
was no better than she had been at two, and the
hope that their darling would ever be strong was
fast dying out of her father's and mother's heart.
The poor little girl suffered very much at
times, and was very impatient; but, on the
whole, she was very good and gentle, and
every one in the house, from Mr. Grey down to
the little page-boy, tried to please Miss Minnie"
in every way they could possibly think of.
There was a new baby-brother only five weeks
old in the room downstairs, and nurse was en-
gaged with him, and the little undernurse, who
was the children's special favourite, had gone
into the kitchen to see about Minnie's luncheon;
so the children were left alone for a short time.
Let us have a game," said Lily at last. '* Cleo-
MISS MINNIE'S HOME.
patra shall be going a journey by the train, and
she'll be late, like that lady we saw when we
went to Folkestone; and she'll run, and be very
angry, and scold the porters, and lose the train
at last. Won't that be fun, Minnie ?"
"Yes," answered Minnie languidly; "but don't
make too much noise, please, Lily; it makes my
head ache so."
The train was wound up; Cleopatra, the most
beautiful of all the dolls, was put into motion,
but did not go quite fast enough to please Lily.
She gave her a poke which sent her against the
engine. There was a fatal collision; Cleopatra's
nose and one of her arms were broken right off.
"Oh you naughty, naughty girl!" cried Min-
nie; "you is always so rough."
"I'm not," answered Lily. "It wasn't my fault,
it was Cleopatra's; she is so stupid and clumsy."
Then she sat on the floor and began to cry,
and Minnie sobbed piteously; and during this
miserable state of affairs the little nursemaid
30 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
entered the room with Minnie's luncheon tempt-
ingly spread out on a tray.
"What is the matter, young ladies? "
"Cleopatra is dreadfully hurt," answered Lily;
"run over by the engine as she was trying to
catch the train."
"It was all Lily's fault," put in Minnie; "she
pushed her." Then began a sharp quarrel, which
Mary found it very hard to set right. She
managed to restore peace at last, and to coax
the poor little invalid into eating some of the
nice jelly cook had sent up to her, and she pro-
mised that if they were good children she would
tell them a story.
Now Mary had a collection of very nice stories
indeed, and Lily and Minnie were never tired of
listening to them; so poor Cleopatra was laid
carefully upon her own beautiful bed, with a
promise that as soon as the fog cleared away
she should be taken to the doll doctor's and
provided with a new nose and arm, and the
MISS MINNIE'S HOME. 31
little girls proceeded to settle themselves com-
fortably, the one in her small arm-chair, the
other on her couch, to listen to Mary's story.
Perhaps you would like to hear the story also;
would you ? Well, you see, it might weary
you, for you know it already. Mary is old
Jinks' Mary, and the story she told Lily and
Minnie was the story of little Elsie and her
companions, coming out of the fog into the
room in Golden Lane, and she told them
what her grandfather had said about making
sunshine for ourselves by doing good to others.
The little maidens said it was the very prettiest
story Mary had ever told them, and Minnie was
particularly interested in Binkie; for Mary had
said that although Binkie was a big boy of two
or three years old, his limbs seemed very weak,
and he could not walk.
"Poor Binkie she said. "Do you think it
would be nice if I sent him my very best toy ?
Wouldn't it be pleasing him, and making the sun-
52 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
shine come to me ? Couldn't you take it now at
once, Mary ?"
Mary explained that she was very busy, and
that it would be quite impossible for her to go
to Golden Lane on that day.
"Well, then, you'll go to-morrow."
"To-morrow the children will have gone away
from Grandfather's, Miss Minnie; at least, I hope
so. He is going to take them to a big house
where they will be taken care of, as soon as ever
the fog clears off."
I hope the fog won't clear off, then, 'cause I
want Binkie to have my best toy," answered
Minnie; and when Mary had gone to the other
side of the room, the little girl called her sister
to her side and whispered-
"To-morrow, Lily, we'll make a sunny day
for our two selves; I know how."
How, Minnie ? Do tell me."
Couldn't tell till to-morrow," answered Minnie,
shaking her little head wisely; "it's a secet till
( 33 )
MISS MINNIE'S SECRET.
HE next morning the fog had cleared
off just a very little bit, enough to
allow Miss Gordon to get from her
own home to Kensington Palace Gardens to
give Lily her two hours' lessons. 'Lily grumbled
considerably when she heard that her governess
had arrived, for wonderful news had come by
the morning post to Mary. Old Jinks had written,
or rather Mrs. Smith wrote for him, to say that he
could not find it in his heart to turn\the little
ones out of doors or to take them to "the
house," so they must stay on with him for a
bit, and he would do his best for them. He
wanted Mary to write a line to say how she
.4 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
got home, as he had heard of so many accidents
in the fog.
"Oh, I'm so glad about it," said Minnie.
"Now, Lily, I'll tell you my secet."
And Lily was preparing to hear the grand
"secet," when lo! a bell sounded which announced
Miss Gordon's arrival.
"Bother I exclaimed Lily.
"It doesn't matter, dear," said Minnie; "you've
got to do the secet, and you couldn't do it till
So Lily went downstairs to her lessons, and
nurse carried Minnie into her mother's room-
for Mrs. Grey had a very bad attack of neuralgia,
-to lie upon the bed with her, and to look at
baby having his bath.
Mrs. Grey listened to the story of the children
in the fog with great interest, and said that when
she got strong again she would go down and see
Mary's grandfather, and perhaps,if the weather'got
warm and bright, she would take Minnie with her.
MISS MINNIE'S SECRET.
"It's not far away where old Mr. Jinks lives, is
it, mother?" asked the child.
No, dear, not at all far."
It's close by father's office, isn't it? "
Yes; he passes Golden Lane every morning."
There was a little more talk, a little more
admiration of the new baby-brother, and then, as
Mrs. Grey was not at all strong, nurse was afraid
she would be tired, so she carried Minnie upstairs
again, and gave her into Mary's charge. Then
came Lily all smiles and dimples from her
lessons, and then the children's dinner. After
dinner was over, Mary always put the guard
upon the grate and gave the little girls very
special instructions to be quite good, and went
downstairs for a short time, to wash up the nursery
"Now then," said Lily, as the door closed, and
the distant clatter of dishes and plates was heard
down the staircase-" now then, here's the 'por-
tunity for your secret, Minnie."
36 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Minnie's dark eyes were sparkling, and her
little pale face was all in a glow.
"It's the biggest secet we ever had, Lily, and
you must do it. You must go out into the fog
and get us some sunshine."
Lily's smiles vanished, and she looked hope-
lessly out of the window. Nothing was to be
seen but the dim, faint outline of the opposite
"I can't go out in the fog," she answered dis-
creetly; I don't think it would be quite safe."
"Don't be such a coward, Lily. Miss Gordon
came quite safe."
"But I couldn't go out alone; mother would
"No, she wouldn't; she said this morning she
liked us to do kind fings and to make the sun
shine, and this secet is a very kind fing. 'Sides,
Lily, the angels will take care of you in the fog,
just as they took care of Elsie and Binkie; it
was ever so much darker on that day, than it is
MISS MINNIE'S SECRET. 37
now. I wish I could walk, I shouldn't be one
"Well, Minnie, tell me quickly what it is."
But Minnie was not to be hurried.
"What do you fink are our best toys, Lily ?"
"Now that Cleopatra's nose and arm are
broken, after the rocking-horse and the doll's
house, I think Edith and Scamper are the best."
"So do I. You can't carry the rocking-horse
nor the doll's house, can you ? but you can carry
Edith and Scamper quite easy."
Oh, yes, of course I can; but why won't you
tell me the secret, Minnie dear ?"
"I'm just coming to it. It's not far to where
old Mr. Jinks lives in Golden Lane; mother said
it was not; it's quite close to father's office, and
you've been there many times in the carriage.
It's round two corners and up a street. So now
here's the secet. You must put on your hat and
your jacket very quick, and you must take Edith
and Scamper, and you must run very fast to Mr.
38 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Jinks' house, and give Edith to Elsie from you,
and Scamper to Binkie from me, and then you
must come home in five minutes, and bring the
sunshine with you; and you will bring it, 'cause
we'll have done a kindling, Lily, and we'll be ever
"I don't mind giving up Edith and Scamper
one bit," said poor Lily with a sigh, but I might
not be able to find the way to Golden Lane."
Oh, yes, you will; the angels will show you
which way to go. Ask God to let the angels lead
you, and I'll ask Him for you all the time you
Lily was ashamed to say how really frightened
she was; so she put on her hat and jacket, and
took Edith and Scamper in her arms to receive
Minnie's farewell kiss, and then promising to be
back in five minutes, she ran quickly downstairs
and stood in the hail.
Here her courage again failed her; she longed
for one of the servants to come up and ask where
MISS MINNIE'S SECRET.
she was going; but she knew they were all at
dinner; and then the thought came to her that
Minnie was asking God to let the angels show
her the way to Mr. Jinks' house, and she knew
her little sister was so anxious to do this kind
fing;" so she opened the door and went out into
the darkness, running as fast as she could, turning
two corners in obedience to Minnie's injunctions,
and congratulating herself that, this accomplished,
she must be very near Golden Lane.
Meanwhile Minnie alone in the nursery thought
that never had five minutes appeared so long.
Surely it must be more than that since Lily went
away. There was a footstep on the staircase. Oh,
joy! she had come back again. The door opened
and in came Mary.
"Miss Minnie, how pale you do look! Where
is Miss Lily ? "
"0 Mary! she'll be back deckly; she's gone
on a secret "
Gone where ? "
40 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
"I'll tell you, but it's a secet, and you mustn't
tell any one else. She's gone to Mr. Jinks' house
to take Edith and Scamper to Elsie and Binkie.
Mary, Mary, why do you look like so ? She's gone
to do a kind fing, like the old blind man talked
about, and you told us about, and she'll bring the
sunshine back with her, Mary; you know she will."
0 Miss Minnie! what have you done? what
have I done? what will missis say ?" cried poor
Mary in an agony of terror, and the next minute
she was in Mrs. Grey's room telling her story, in
such a rambling, incoherent way, that it was very
difficult to understand what she meant. One
thing, however, was quite certain; poor little
Lily was out in the streets in the fog, and must
Oh, what a wretched afternoon that was in
the house in Kensington Palace Gardens. How
anxious every one was! How white Mr. Grey
looked when, in obedience to a telegram sent
to his office, he came home to. try and cheer
MISS MINNIE'S SECRET.
up his wife, after having given notice to the
police of the missing child How poor little
Minnie cried, and asked God to bring Lily
safely home! and how she blamed herself, and
said she would never have a secet again, no,
never, without first asking father or mother, or
nurse or Mary, if she might have it! Never
were hours so weary as those hours that Lily
was away from her home. Four o'clock, five
o'clock, six o'clock sounded from the neigh-
bouring church-clock, and yet no tidings of
the missing child. The hall-door stood open,
the servants were congregated there, and Mr.
Grey spent his time running up to his
wife's room, and then down again to look out
again into the still, calm night. The fog had
quite cleared away now, and the stars were
shining brightly in the grey sky.
Suddenly there was a murmur of applause; it
would have been a cheer, except for the thought
of the kind mistress who was ill upstairs.
42 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Here she is," said the butler, and Mr. Grey
flew to his wife's room. She is coming," was
all he said, and the next minute he was down
again to receive his sleeping child into his arms,
and to carry her up and lay her on the bed
beside her mother.
The policeman in the meantime was telling the
servants the story of how Lily had been found.
"The little lady turned into the church in the
next square some time early in the afternoon;
somebody must have been a coming out, and she
slipped in, and when the door was shut wasn'tt
likely she could open it again; it's an uncommon
stiff handle. No one went into the church again
until the verger went to light up for evening
service, and there was the poor little soul lying
upon the ground fast asleep, a hugging her doll
and her horse. Then he ran and fetched me, and
glad enough I was to bring her safe home."
When Lily could tell her own story the next
morning, it was very like the policeman's.
MISS MINNIE'S SECRET. 43
"I was not very frightened," she said, "because
I thought of God and the angels, and there
was one picture in the window of the church
of an Angel leading a little child, and I liked
to look at it."
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Grey could find it in their
hearts to punish their little girls; it was punish-
ment enough for them to know that their thought-
lessness caused their mother to be very seriously
ill for many days-so ill, that they were not
allowed to go into her room; and when at last
she was able to speak to them, she told them
that although it was right for little children to
do all the kind things they could, and to make
others happy, it was better still never to do what
they knew their fathers and mothers would not
like. The best sunshine in a little child's life is the
sunshine that comes from obedience, for obedience
is the lesson that the life of the Holy Child Jesus
teaches to all Christian children.
( 44 )
A YOUNG SOLDIER.
OU like soldiers, don't you, my young
readers ? I don't know how it is, but I
don't think I ever met an English boy
or girl yet, who did not like to listen to stories
about those brave men who fight for their Queen
and their country, and never thinking of them-
selves, lay down their lives so willingly rather
than sacrifice one iota of England's honour and
Well, we have seen old soldier Jinks in his
home, seen what a loving old heart he has, and
how tender he is to all young and helpless
things; and now I want you to come with me to
A YOUNG SOLDIER.
see a soldier-boy in his home, to pay just a short
visit to Jim, in Wellington Barracks.
I think I told you before that Jim was a very
good boy-a boy who understood his duty not
only to the Queen of England but to the Great
King of all the earth. If you could have asked
the soldier-boy what his motto was, he might
have answered in all truth, "Fear God and
honour the Queen." He feared God, that is, he
loved Him so well, that he feared to displease
Him, and that very love and fear made all
other duties come easily to him. There were
a great many temptations in his life-there
are a great many temptations in all our lives.
Just as a soldier fights against the enemy, we
must fight against the world, the flesh, and the
Well, on the evening of that foggy day when
poor little Lily was shut up in the church, a
group of lads stood in a corner of a room in
Wellington Barracks, the gaslight falling upon
46 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
their eager young faces as in low tones they
discussed some evidently important question.
Jim was not amongst them; he was sitting
at the table laughing heartily over some book
he was reading. He did not notice that the
others were looking at him, and were evidently
Trust to chance and to the fact of his being
asleep," said one boy.
It won't do," said another; "he's a very light
sleeper; better to get him on our side. Tell him
that if he does not help us, it's because he's a
coward. The little chap won't like that; he prides
himself upon his pluck."
A little more talk and then Jim was called
to the consultation. You saw when he got
up that he was very much smaller than any
of them-such a little, fair, delicate-looking
fellow, that they called him "Baby" in the
His face flushed up now as he joined his
A YOUNG SOLDIER.
companions, as though he felt that some trouble
was in store for him.
Tom Taylor, a dark boy with a bad expression
upon his young face, signed to the others to be
silent whilst he spoke.
"Baby," he said in his softest tones, "although
we do call you Baby, and you're the youngest
and smallest of us all, we know that you are a
brave little chap, not a bit of a coward."
Again "Baby's" face flushed, but this time it
was not with fear, but with pleasure. What could
make Taylor so kind to him? He generally
bullied him so.
"All soldiers should be brave," he answered
simply. "My grandfather was very brave; he
has the Crimean medal and three clasps."
"Well then, Baby, just because we know you
to have such a lot of pluck, we are going to trust
you, although you are so young. The truth is,
we are going to have a lark in our room to-night.
We want some beer and stuff brought us, and we
4a COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
want you to go and get it for us. I am sure you
will be good-natured and do it."
"I can't," answered Jim; "it's against rules;
it would be wrong."
I told you he was a coward," said another
boy. And you may be sure that he's a sneak
as well; he'll tell upon us now. You've stopped
our fun by letting him into it, Taylor."
"Hold your tongue, do," said Taylor in a
whisper. "I know him well. If we put him on his
honour, he'd rather be torn to pieces than peach."
Jim was walking away to his book again when
Taylor's voice called him back.
"We've got leave from head-quarters, Baby;
never mind where from exactly, but you under-
stand it's all right. Of course, if you won't help us,
you can't be made to; but you can promise never
to tell that you ever heard a word about it from
any of us."
"But if you've got leave where's the harm ?"
answered poor Jim simply.
A YOUNG SOLDIER. 49
"Never mind whether there's harm or not.
Swear that you will not tell; show that you are a
fellow to be trusted, and do not let us think you
I willnot swear, but I promise," said Jim ; "and
you know, Taylor, that I never break my word."
Taylor did know it, and was satisfied, and Jim
went back to his book in peace, and read for the
remainder of the evening.
It was night in Wellington Barracks, the first
clear starlight night that there had been for more
than a week, and the sweet bright stars, which
holy men have called the watchful eyes of God,
shone upon our soldier-boy as he lay in his little
bed, fast asleep.
The others had generally laughed at him when
he knelt down and said his evening prayers and
read a few verses out of his father's old, well-worn
Bible, but on this night they had been particularly
quiet, and he had almost forgotten the promise
they had made him give them.
so COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Far on into the night he awoke, to see Taylor
and his friends sitting on one of the beds playing
cards and drinking beer, and he heard them using
language which called the hot blood of indigna-
tion to his face. He started up and looked around
him with a puzzled, bewildered air.
The others saw him, and bade him lie down and
go to sleep and remember his promise.
He tried to obey them, and covered his head
with the bed-clothes; but the jests grew louder,
the language more profane, and, brave and fear-
less as a little soldier should be, Baby jumped
up and stood amongst them.
It is wrong to say such words," he said ; "it's
breaking the third commandment, that the chap-
lain told us about on Sunday."
It is, is it ?" said Taylor, and a sharp blow
sent the little fellow reeling back.
Once more he stepped to the front.
"God will be very angry with you if you swear,"
he said; "please, please don't."
A YOUNG SOLDIER. 51
"There's a door slamming," shouted Taylor;
"to bed, my boys."
Every one of them but Taylor himself darted
off instantly. He held Jim firmly by the shoulders
until the handle turned in the door, then he
jumped into his own bed, which had been the
scene of the revels, and left the poor little fellow
standing there to confront the officer, whose
quarters were near at hand, and who had come
to inquire into the cause of the disturbance.
"Jinks, what is the meaning of this ?" he
said, taking up the lantern, which had fallen
on the floor, and looking carefully round the
Nothing was to be seen but the cards and the
jug of beer, or rather the jug which had held the
beer; nothing to be heard but the sound of six
boys either breathing very heavily or snoring
Jim did not speak, and Captain Prescott re-
peated his inquiry.
52 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
What is the meaning of this ? what have you
"Who has been playing cards and drinking
beer with you ?"
"I have not been playing cards nor drinking
Who has, then ?"
No answer, and Captain Prescott ordered the
poor little soldier into bed, and told him he
should appear before the colonel in the morn-
Of course he did appear there; of course all
the boys in that room did, and they every one of
them denied all knowledge of the cards and the
beer, and Captain Prescott said that every one of
them but Jim was fast asleep when he entered
And Jim, poor lad only repeated that he had
neither played nor drank, and would not utter
one syllable more; and so he was ordered into
A YOUNG SOLDIER. 53
solitary confinement for a week, and Christmas
Day would be past and gone before he was free.
He cried very bitterly, little soldier though he
was, and hero though he could have been in a
righteous cause, when the key turned upon him
and he was alone in his cell.
And then, just a little gleam of December
sunshine came in through the small window,
and something of a smile was upon poor Jim's
face as he thought of his grandfather, and
I've tried to do right, and not to be a sneak,
and perhaps even here I can score up a sunny
( 54- )
E have left our friends in Golden Lane
for a long time, and now we go back
to them, not in a fog, but in bright
clear, frosty weather, to see how it fares with
them. The neighbours, who were inclined to
think old Jinks mad, when they first heard that
he meant to keep the children with him, cannot
deny the fact that he is looking ever so much
brighter and better for the new interest in his
life; it is quite a sight to see the party start for
a long walk, the old soldier carrying Binkie in
his arms, Elsie leading him by the hand, and
Pepper bringing up the rear.
There is no denying that Elsie is a very pretty
little girl, and although poor Binkie's limbs still
hang down very helplessly, and his poor little
face is very thin and pale, a little smile comes
over it sometimes, and Elsie finds out, although
no one else does, that he is really beginning to
It is on Christmas Eve that we again visit
Golden Lane. Mrs. Smith, who has grown quite
fond of Elsie, is in the room reading a letter
from Mary. A wonderful letter it is, very long
and very full of news. It tells all about Miss
Lily going out in the fog to take the doll and
the horse to Elsie and Binkie, and about her
being found in the church, and about Mrs. Grey
having been so ill, and then the best part of the
letter comes last, which is quite the correct thing,
and shows that Mary was well up in the art of
letter-writing; there is a post-office order enclosed
for Grandfather from "Missus" to buy a Chris-
mas dinner for the party. And then comes some-
56 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
thing better still: Miss Minnie oan't be happy
until she has seen Binkie, and given Scamper
into his own hands, and Miss Lily wants to see
both the children; and so on New Year's Day
they are all to go to Kensington Palace Gardens
to tea, and Jim is to go also; and Mary is so
happy and excited over it all, that I am sorry
to say the remainder of her letter was very
indistinct, and it took Mrs. Smith quite half an
hour to make out that she sent her love to
her grandfather and to Mrs. Smith, and kisses
to the children.
"I tell you what we'll do, my dears," said old
Jinks,-he always spoke as though Binkie under-
stood what he said, and Elsie always answered for
Binkie,-" I'll tell you what we'll do: we'll just
go and get our money and buy our dinner for
to-morrow, and then we'll go into. the Cathedral
for a bit, and on to the Barracks to see Jim.
I don't understand not hearing from the lad."
"Yes, we'll go and see Jim," answered Elsie.
" Binkie loves Jim very much, don't he ?" Where-
upon Binkie, being violently jerked by his "little
mother," gave a kind of grunt, which Elsie inter-
preted as, "Yes, Binkie does love Jim;" and
Pepper barked, and of course that meant that
Pepper loved him too.
What a happy morning it was to the old
soldier and to Elsie I and I have no doubt that
Binkie and Pepper enjoyed it also in their way.
What a leg of pork they bought, and what
plums and raisins for a pudding, which Mrs.
Smith had promised to make; and of course
she, and her big son, were to dine with old Jinks.
And then what oranges they went in for, "real
beauties," Elsie remarked, "that would do Binkie a
power of good." Then they took all their purchases
home, and went where old Jinks had gone every
day since Elsie had been there to lead him-to
St. Paul's Cathedral to morning service.
There had been a difficulty about Pepper at
first. Elsie could not understand why he was
5& COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
not allowed to enter the holy building, but at
last she listened to reason, and gave him a good
talking to, and he was as obedient as a lamb,
and waited outside upon the steps until his
friends came out again.
Old Jinks used to sit in the Cathedral long
after the service was over, and there it was that
little Elsie first heard about the Father in
heaven Who made her, and the love of the
Saviour Who died for her.
The old man had taken both the children to a
neighboring church, two evenings after they
came to him out of the fog, and had them
baptized; for Elsie had told him that Grannie
had been going to take them to a church to get
the water put upon them, but she had never done
it, and Binkie never had had a name. That was
her name for him, because he used to bink (I
presume Elsie meant blink) his eyes. She didn't
mind what he was called, she said patronisingly; so
old Jinks with a little tremble in his voice said-
"We'll call him Harry, I think."
"All right," answered Elsie, "but I'll always
call him Binkie, its shorter and better than
Harry, and prettier too."
And now the old soldier used to tell the child
that the angels were always watching round her
and round Binkie, and she listened eagerly to all
he taught her, and she used to love to look at the
painted windows which told the story of God's
Love and of man's Redemption.
Sometimes she would use a bad word which
she had brought away out of her old life, but the
grieved look on her old friend's face, and the
gentle voice which told her that God and the
angels did not love little children who used bad
language, stopped her in a minute.
The walk from St. Paul's along the Thames
Embankment and through the Park to the
Barracks was very enjoyable, and old Jinks'
face was all over smiles when he asked for his
60 o COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Locked up," was the answer; "won't be out
Locked up What for ?" and two great tears
rolled down the old cheeks from the poor sight-
The soldier told the story as he had heard it,
and when it was finished, old Jinks thanked him
civilly, and turning away he said to Elsie-
"It shan't spoil our Christmas, my dears. My
Jim would never tell a lie, and I don't think he'd
ever drink or play cards. It's hard for him to be
locked up just now, but the lad is a good lad, and
he'll think of the Life of Suffering that began for
his sake more than eighteen hundred years ago
come to-morrow ; and there'll be a bit of sunshine
through all the suffering, because I feel sure that
my lad is in the right."
He did not let the thought of Jim spoil the
real, true Christmas joy. He went to church with
the children, and joined in the services heartily,
and he told stories of his soldier days to Bill
Smith and his mother, and Elsie was very happy,
and Binkie smiled and crowed, and Pepper
barked, and old Jinks scored that Christmas Day
as a happy day, although Jim was shut up for
doing what a soldier ought to be ashamed of
doing-telling a lie.
And Jim himself in all his loneliness was not
unhappy, for he knew that he had done nothing
of which a young soldier need be ashamed; and
God knew it, and the angels knew it, and some
day perhaps the truth would be found out.
Just one word about Christmas Day in Ken-
sington Palace Gardens. It was a very happy
day, of course. Mrs. Grey came down to the
drawing-room, and Lily went to church with her
father and her brother Reggie, who had come
home for the holidays, and Minnie listened to
her mother's voice as she told her the sweet
story of old, about Jesus born on that day in
There was a very happy evening of games and
62 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
talk, and a new Cleopatra, much more stately and
dignified than the young lady who had been
knocked down by the engine, walked about the
drawing-room, and said something that was sup-
posed to be "Papa" and Mamma."
One word more about the two little girls. On
Christmas Eve they had given their mother some
money they had been saving up for a long time,
and asked her to buy some warm clothes for
Elsie and Binkie. "And you'll keep it a secet,"
said Minnie, "but there's no harm if you know
it." And Mrs. Grey kissed her little girls, and
knew that they had learnt the lesson of trust and
obedience she had wished to teach them.
( 63 )
OW, during the days that followed
Christmas Day, old Jinks prayed for
his soldier-boy! How he counted the
days to that Tuesday when Jim was to be free,
and when, surely, he would either come to
Golden Lane or write and say how he was.
He don't know that I know it," mused the
old man, and I am glad he don't. It would make
it harder for him to bear, if he thought that
Mary or me was fretting about it. No, I won't
fret ; I'll try to bear it patient, and see God's own
sun shining through the dark cloud. I wonder
whether he'll come to Mrs. Grey's party on New
64 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Year's Day ? I don't know what the poor little
lass will say if her brother don't turn up. Well,
we must wait and see what happens. May be we
could call round there on our way to Kensington,
if we don't see nor hear nothing of him before
He asked Elsie what she thought about it, and
the little girl, who had been very much impressed
with Jim's bright scarlet jacket on the only even-
ing on which she had ever seen him, said-
"He's sure to be quite safe. Binkie and me
asked God to keep him safe when we said our
Why, little woman, Binkie can't say his
Oh, yes, he can. I joins his hands and makes
him look up, and God knows that he can't speak,
and God hears Binkie's prayers."
Old Jinks turned away to hide his tears. Elsie's
faith made him ashamed of his want of faith.
I'll leave the boy in God's hands, Elsie," he
said, my boy Jim, I mean, and I know it will
be all right."
And Elsie only stroked the old man's hand
lovingly and said-
"I'se so happy, Mr. Jinks."
The next day, however, the child stood before
her old friend sobbing as though her little heart
"What is it, my dear? Do tell me what it is.
Are you ill? Is Binkie ill ?"
"No, I'se quite well, and Binkie's quite well,
but it's-it's-it's Pepper! He's gone away; he's
been gone away for a long, long time.'
"My dear, I don't think any one would steal
Pepper. I think he'll come home soon."
"Many people wants Pepper," answered Elsie
indignantly; "many people thinks he's a beau-
tiful dog, and he catches rats so beautiful! 0
Pepper! dear Pepper! do come back to Elsie
and to Binkie."
Poor old Jinks was sorely puzzled, and did not
66 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
know what to do under the circumstances. From
the description he had heard of Pepper, he hardly
thought any one would steal him for his beauty,
and of his rat-catching powers of course he knew
"I wish I could see, my dear; I would go out
and look for him; but indeed, Elsie, I think he'll
come back; I think he'll be back by tea-time.
If you'll be a good, quiet little girl till then, I'll
give you a penny to buy a cake for Binkie."
The bribe proved successful, and the issue
shewed that old Jinks' conjectures were quite
right. Elsie, still looking very mournful, but
having dried up her tears and washed her face,
went out into the next street to buy the cake,
and on her return there was Pepper sitting up at
the table as though he wanted his tea very badly.
Elsie hugged him and scolded him by turns,
and ended by giving him a small piece of Binkie's
cake. Not a morsel did she eat herself; she would
have gone without food all day rather than that
Binkie should have wanted for anything. There
was something very beautiful in the little child's
love for the poor, weak, suffering boy.
I am sorry to say that Pepper did not profit
by the scolding he received; the next day and
the next he absented himself for a much longer
time, and only came home quite late in the
night, and Elsie was obliged to beat him. On
the last day of the old year he seemed to have
mended his manners a little. He went out with
his friends for their morning walk, and waited
patiently on the Cathedral steps during service;
then, contrary to his usual custom, he trotted on
in front of old Jinks and Elsie, and they were
obliged to follow him.
"Where are we going, my dear ? said the old
man at last.
"I don't know, Mr. Jinks. Pepper is taking us
quite a new way; I have never been here before.
Pepper! Pepper! we want to go home."
But Pepper walked doggedly on, neither turn-
68 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
ing to the right nor the left, as though he was
quite determined to have his own way in the
All of a sudden Elsie stopped, and old Jinks
felt the little hand he held tremble violently.
"Pepper Pepper!" shouted the small shrill
childish voice, "don't go there! oh, please
don't go there !"
Where is he going, my child !"
"Oh, we've come to the old place where we
used to live with Granny, and the perlice will be
No, no, they will not. I will not let any one
hurt my little maid. I will tell the police that
she and Binkie and Pepper all belong to me."
But again came the ringing cry, "Pepper! 0
What is it, my little maid ? where is he
"Down the street as fast as he can run, and
there's Bill Stokes a going to shy a stone at him.
He was always trying to kill him, he was. Mr.
Jinks, do stand quite quiet there, and take care
of Binkie until I come back. I must run after
Pepper. I don't care if the perlice do take me."
The next minute Elsie was running down the
narrow, dirty street, at full speed, and the old
soldier, in obedience to her commands, stood
quite still at the corner.
Very soon he was surrounded by a small crowd,
evidently old acquaintances of Binkie's.
Well, I never To think that the little chap
should come back here again! I say, Binkie,
where's Elsie ? "
Elsie has gone down the street after her dog,'
answered old Jinks quietly. I think I hear her
Yes; up came Elsie carrying the refractory
Pepper in her arms, and with a crowd of slat-
ternly women at her heels.
They were all talking at once, and all asking
questions, and they stared at the old soldier, and
70 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
kissed Binkie, and said that they should not have
known him for the same child.
"We lives in a beautiful house," said Elsie
proudly; "we'se going to live there always, along
of Mr. Jinks."
Mr. Jinks being thus introduced by name,
thought he had better speak; so in his quiet
cheery way, he told the inquisitive crowd how
the two children and the dog had come to him
out of the fog, and how he meant to keep them
with him until he could do better for them.
And then each of the slatternly women spoke
in turn. It would take a very long time to tell
you all they said, for they contradicted each
other a good deal, and the stories they told were
all somewhat different; but this was what old
Jinks heard about his "birthday presents," as Jim
always called them.
The old woman, who had died a fortnight
before, was really Elsie's grandmother. The
child's parents had both died when she was quite
a baby. The little one must now be about seven
Binkie had come to the old woman one night
about two years ago, brought there by his mother,
a poor weak thing, the wife of a sailor who worked
at the docks. She had walked a long way, she
said, and she was going to the workhouse in-
firmary; but the father had promised to pay for
the child's keep, and Elsie's grandmother said she
would take it, and do the best she could for it.
The poor woman went to the infirmary and
died there, and once only in all those two years
the father had been to see his boy, and had paid
a little money for him. He had been again that
very week, to find the old woman dead, and
Elsie and Binkie gone, no one knew where.
Pepper was his dog, and, strange to say, Pepper
had been seen by the neighbours two or three
times after the sailor's visit to Baldwin Street.
"And the child has no name then ?" said old
72 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
"Elsie's grandmother's name was White," was
the answer, "but we never knowed what the poor
soul's name was as died in the house."
"Wait a bit," said one woman. "There's an old
Prayer-book as she left the night she brought
Binkie to old Granny. There's writing in it. I'll
go and fetch it."
She went and brought the book back, and
between them, with a good deal of trouble, they
spelt the name. "Hester Reed, her book," was
all that was written there.
The gentleman had better have it, hadn't he ?
Its Binkie's by rights."
"Thank you," said old Jinks; I think I'll take
it. If so be we should ever come across the boy's
father, it might be a help to us; and if he ever
should come here again, will you tell him that
Tom Jinks, 4 Golden Lane, will do his best for his
The old man put the book into his pocket; the
women gazed upon him admiringly, and begged
him to come and see them again some day. Bill
Stokes was threatened with imprisonment for
life if he ever dared to molest Pepper again, and
Elsie and Binkie were violently kissed and then
suffered to go their way.
That night old Jinks thanked God more
earnestly than ever, for the sunshine that had
come into his old life.
Pepper ceased his wanderings for a time; a
wholesome dread of Bill Stokes had evidently
proved more efficacious than poor Elsie's scold-
ings and whippings.
( 7i )
NEW YEAR'S DAY.
i JiT would be difficult to decide whether
'-r1 the little girls in their luxurious home
in Kensington Palace Gardens, or Elsie
in the poor room in Golden Lane, was the
most excited at the thought of the New Year's
There was to be tea in the servants' hall and a
Christmas tree in the study, and there was a
beautiful warm greatcoat for old Jinks, and a
whole suit of clothes for Elsie and Binkie; and
Pepper had received a special invitation, and
there was a red collar with bells for him. Then
there were Edith and Scamper to be hung up
NEW YEAR'S DAY.
on the tree, besides sundry other things, and
Reggie and Lily were to do it all, and Minnie's
couch was to be brought down into the library,
that she might have her share in the arrange-
I believe Lily was anxious to begin work at
seven o'clock, and was with difficulty prevailed
upon to wait until after breakfast.
"It's a real sunny day, isn't it ?" said little
Minnie; "ever so much better than when we
have presents given to us. It's better to give
than to get, isn't it, Lily ?"
"Yes, darling. I think God loves us best when
we give away things to poor little children who
have got no toys and no warm clothes. The
clothes are bought out of our chocolate money.
Minnie, do you remember how we saved it up for
Christmas, and thought what a feast we should
have ? And now this is better than a feast, isn't
And Minnie only said "Yes in her little, quiet
76 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
way, but the smile on her face told how happy
In Golden Lane the bustle and excitement
took a different form. Mrs. Smith had made a
large red bow to be pinned at the top of Binkie's
frock, and Elsie remarked that such a bow could
only be worn by a very clean boy; so early in the
morning Binkie had a special wash, which he
much resented. By two o'clock he was as black as
a coal; so the performance had to be repeated.
He kicked and screamed, but for once in her life
Elsie was deaf to her darling's cries.
"It's no good ; you must be clean for the ladies,
Binkie," she said quite sternly; and at last the
poor little fellow seemed to realise the import-
ance of the occasion, and allowed his face to be
scrubbed, until, as Elsie remarked with intense
satisfaction, "it shone so, you could most see
your own face in it."
Then Pepper had to be combed, and was nearly
as troublesome as Binkie had been ; and last of all
NEW YEAR'S DAY.
a flower, a real Christmas rose, upon which Elsie
had spent the one penny she owned in the world,
had to be pinned into old Jinks' button-hole.
"And you, my dear," said the old man, "what
is there for you ?"
Nuffing," answered Elsie, nuffing to show;
only, Mr. Jinks, I'se got the seeing of you and of
Binkie, and that's the best part."
And old Jinks felt then that whatever little
Elsie's future troubles might be, however hard
her life, that "best part" would be hers always,
and many a sunny day would the little one score
up for herself.
They were all ready at last. Mrs. Smith stood
on the door-step to wish them good-bye and a
pleasant evening, and a safe return, and the little
party started off to walk to Wellington Barracks
and then to take the underground railway to
Kensington Palace Gardens. Even Binkie looked
pleased, and smiled and crowed as his eye fell
upon his brilliant red bow.
78 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Once again they stood at the barrack gates,
and once again old Jinks asked to see his boy.
There he is," said the soldier he spoke to ; "he
sees you, and he's coming to speak to you."
Sure enough there he was, a paler, thinner,
sadder-looking boy than the Jim who had been
so merry and bright on his grandfather's birth-
day, but with it all he did not look unhappy; and
when the old man grasped his hand and said,
"Are you coming with us, my lad ?" he answered
without hesitation, "No, I'm not allowed out, and
shan't be for a few days more. Grandfather, I've
been locked up for a week, and I'm not to go out
of barracks for another week. I was accused of
playing cards and drinking beer. I didn't do it,
and I said so, and then I was accused of telling a
lie, but you believe me, don't you ?"
"Yes, my lad, but it has been very hard for
you, and it's hard that you can't come with us
now. I don't know what Mary will say."
"Yes, it's a bit hard, but it would have been
NEW YEAR'S DAY. 79
harder if I had done the wrong and then told
the lie. Don't tell Mary about it to-night; I must
tell her when I see her; but it would fret her
so to hear about it. Only say I can't get out of
"All right, my little soldier If you're brave
and true in all things now, Jim, you'll serve your
Queen and your country as you ought to do,
wherever you may be sent. But tell me, lad,
how it was they came to accuse you of such
"Please, Grandfather, don't ask me;" and for
the first time Jim turned away to hide his
Elsie stood by, unusually quiet and silent; only
when old Jinks said they must be going, she said
in an injured tone-
"You said that night in the fog that Pepper
was an ugly dog, and he ain't; he's beautiful
to-day-he's been combed."
Jim condescended to pat him on the head,
So COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
and to say that he might do well enough for
Golden Lane, only he would never do for the
army, that was all; and with this admission it is
hoped Elsie was satisfied.
Next came the excitement of the train. There
was a good deal of demur about Pepper being
allowed to travel in a third-class carriage; but
being holiday time, the guard said he would
overlook him, but he was never to expect to
ride in a train again in any other place than
the guard's van, and on payment of his proper
I don't think I can possibly describe the arrival
in Kensington Palace Gardens, Mary's delight,
and Elsie's wonder, and Lily's graciousness, as
she received her guests.
Poor Mary she did not know the disappoint-
ment that was in store for her in Jim's absence;
she felt sure he would arrive soon, and then her
happiness would be complete.
There was to be tea at once in the servants'
NEW YEAR'S DAY. 81
hall, and then every one was to assemble in the
A message came down from the nursery,
"Might Miss Minnie see Binkie at once?" So
Binkie was carried upstairs in Mary's arms and
deposited upon the little girl's couch, and it was
pretty to see Minnie stroke the -pale face and
Poor little baby I poor little man! he looks
very white, veryfin."
When he had been there a few minutes, Mary
tried to take him up and carry him downstairs
again, but Binkie would not move, he clung to
Minnie, and raised his great dark eyes to her
piteously, as though entreating her protection;
and the end of it was, that Mary was obliged
to go down without him, and nurse came up
with Miss Minnie's tea and some milk for Binkie,
who was only seen again sitting by Minnie's side
in the library.
But before that time the great God of heaven
82 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
had heard a little prayer, and a little vow, made
by a little girl, and it was this-
0 God! Binkie is a poor little boy, and he's
ill, and I'm a rich little girl, and I'm ill. Please
teach me to be kind to Binkie, and to go without
nicefings, like chocolate, so that I may send him
nicefings. And, please, I'll never be impatient
again, and I'll try not to be cross when the pain
And so it was that even a little boy like Binkie
had his little bit of work to do in the world.
( 83 )
THE SURPRISE OF THE EVENING.
S-,'T was a pleasant sight to look upon that
i':.: i library in Kensington Palace Gardens
on the New Year's evening of which I
am telling you.
There were Mr. and Mrs. Grey, so kind, and
courteous, and gentle to their guests; and there
were a great many other guests, besides our
friends from Golden Lane. There were the but-
ler's nieces, and the coachman's wife and children,
and cook's nephews, and I can't tell you who
besides; then there was Master Reggie, a fine
young fellow of sixteen, home for the holidays;
then there was Lily, flitting hither and thither
like a little fairy, and Minnie on her couch, with
84 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
Binkie by her side ; and old Jinks was made to
sit in an arm-chair, and Mr. Grey had a long
talk with him about the army. And then quite
suddenly a. curtain at the upper end of the
room was drawn on one side, and there was
the Christmas tree with all its host of tapers,
and sweets, and crackers, and coloured lamps,
and in one corner of the room was a large table
covered with a cloth, and there all the presents
Well, they were given away, and such screams
and shouts of delight you never heard; only in
the midst of it all old Jinks fancied he heard
just a little sob, and somehow or another he felt
sure it came from Mary.
"What is it, my dear ?" he said, going up into
the corner where he had last heard her laughing
and talking with Elsie.
0 grandfather dear grandfather I is it
Is what true, my dear ?"
THE SURPRISE OF THE EVENING.
Little Elsie says that our Jim has been locked
Yes; poor Elsie had all unconsciously given
Mary all this great pain.
Jim's name had been called out to receive some
present, and the little one had said-
"Ain't you glad he's not shut up no more?"
and Mary had asked more about it, and the child
told her the little she knew, and kept on, begging
her not to cry, for Jim was out of prison now.
The old man put his arm round her very ten-
derly, and they went out into the hall together,
and Mary listened to the true story, and was a
little comforted; but, poor child, all the pleasure
of the evening was gone now. Oh, how she
wished that they would all go away The bright-
ness of the dazzling Christmas tree, the merry
laughter of the children, all seemed such a
mockery now, when Jim-her Jim-was in dis-
grace, kept away on that New Year's evening
because he was accused of wrong-doing.
86 COUNT UP THE SUNNY DAYS.
The hours wore quickly on. The children were
beginning to get a little tired, and every one was
thinking that it was nearly time to go home.
Binkie had fallen fast asleep on Minnie's couch.
Pepper, at once delighted and mystified by the
sound of his new collar, had ensconced himself
upon the hearth-rug-and there came a ring at
the hall bell. It was not at all an unusual sound
at that house; there had been a great many rings
during the evening, but when that particular ring
came there was a lull in the conversation, a kind
of pause of expectation.
The butler went to the door, and came back
again looking somewhat mysterious.
"Who is wanted, Sims ?" asked his master.
"I beg your pardon, sir; I was looking for
She went upstairs five minutes ago," said
cook. "I don't think she looked well, and I saw
her put her hand to her head."
She was crying 'cause Jim was shut up," said
THE SURPRISE OF THE EVENING.
Elsie. Poor Jim! I'se so sorry that he can't have
his beautiful things, and Mary was sorry too."
Mrs. Grey looked bewildered, and old Jinks
explained what the child meant.
The lad has been unjustly accused and pun-
ished, ma'am," he said. I did not mean to let
my girl know it to-night, but little Elsie came
with me to the barracks to see him, and heard
all about it, and told poor Mary."
Meanwhile Mr. Grey had gone out into the
hall, and as the old man was speaking he came
back and laid his hand kindly on his shoulder.
"Jinks," he said, "there have been a good
many surprises from the Christmas tree this
evening, but the greatest surprise of all, is out-
side the door now. Will you come and find out
what it is ?"
He took the old man kindly by the hand and
led him out of the room, to where, standing in
the light of the lamp, was a slight young figure
in a scarlet jacket, looking half shy, half joyful,