Lucy Miller's good work

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Material Information

Title:
Lucy Miller's good work
Series Title:
"Little Dot" series
Physical Description:
64, 16 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Knight ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication:
London
Manufacturer:
Knight
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Salvation -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Charity -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Migrant labor   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Benevolence -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Gratitude -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Baldwin -- 1891
Genre:
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by the author of "Ursula's promise," "Travelling sixpence," etc.
General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002233373
notis - ALH3781
oclc - 182576549
System ID:
UF00079972:00001


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Lost and RBisemed,


Lightbearers and Beacons.


Little Lottie.


The Dog of St. Bernard.


Isaac Goidd the Wlaggoner.


Uncle Rupert's Stories for


Boys.


Dreaitming and Doing.


MJaany Way s of Being Useful


Rachel Rihiers.


The Book of Books.


Springfield Stories.


Little Dot.


John Thompson's Nursery.


Two Ways to begin Life.


Ethel RBipon.


Little Gooseberry.


Fanny Ashley.


The kGamekeeper's Daughter,


Pred Kenny.


Old tfunm.phrey's Study Table


Jennyf's Waterproof.


The 1Holy Well.


The Travelling Sixpence.


The Three Flowers.


=-


Lessons out of School.


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THE HAPPY RESOLVE.







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LuCY


MILLER'S


GooD


WORK,


BY TIE AU' IHOR


"URSULAS


PROMISE,"


" TRAVELLING


SIXPENCE,"


EK c.


THE RELIGIOUS TRACT


56, PATERNOSTER Row;


SOCIETY :


65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;


AND 164, PICCADILLY.


OF


_ 11__(_1 _1_


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CONTEj1\T$.


NEW-COMERS

POOR CHARLIE

A BRIGHT IDEA

SPECIAL PLEADING

BETTER DAYS .

WORK REWARDED


PAGE
5

I5

25

36

46

56


CHAP.
I.

II.

III.



V.

VI.














LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.




CHAPTER I.

A Pw-*Om ers.

SSUNNY-FACED little girl was Lucy
Miller; one of the children whom
the aged like to look on, and for
whom they whisper, God bless you,"-one
of the children whose gentle, unselfish
character wins love from schoolmates and
playfellows, who gives comfort and help to
father and mother, and brightness to the
home, no matter if it is rich or poor.
The prettiest cottage in the village of
Brookfield belonged to the Millers; and
the garden, with the roses and pinks and






LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.


climbing honeysuckle, was Lucy's chief
care when school-hours were over. She
would get up early in the morning too,
when some young folks are so fond of
lingering in bed, and begin her task of
weeding and raking, or tying up the plants
which a rough night wind had injured; and
besides this, there was fruit to be gathered,
and taken to one of the large houses, where
it was gladly bought.
In this way Lucy could help her father
and mother to keep up their tidy home, by
earning a few shillings weekly; and you
may be sure that she was far happier than
a girl who thought only of herself, and
nothing at all of the hard-working parents
who had done everything for her in her
helpless infancy.
One of her pleasantest day-dreams was
of the time when school-days would be
over, and she could begin to work in
earnest. Already she had a hope that she
might get employed in the Squire's family,
for the lady constantly visited the village
school, and had before now taken one of
the best scholars to be trained for service
in her own house.






NEW-COMERS.


Havin
Miller's


told


you


character,


thus much


need


hardly


of Lucy


say


that


was a child


who,


though


not quite


twelve
God,


If it had


years


old,


and begun


had given


to


not been


serve


so, she


her heart


Him
could


e
r


lived so happily in her home, have


to


earnestly.
lot have
yielded


prompt


obedience,


have


resisted


well the temptations


which


in early years, for without


beset
he hell


us even
) of the


Holy Spirit we can


do nothing that is right


and pleasing in God's sight.
I do not tell you, however, that this little


girl was


faultless ;


there


were


times


when


evil temper would
word broke from


rise, when


her lips, when


an impatient


she felt it


hard to
to evil.
which


be good, and so very easy to yield
These are part of the struggles by


we are to


grow


more


pleasing


to


God,
more
loved


more


like His


Zonformed to


Son,


our Lord


own dear children,


ie image
Jesus C


of His be-
hrist; and,


strivi ig as Lucy Miller strove, praying as
she brayed for pardon of every sin, and for
the Holy Spirit's grace to do better, it is
certain that every day she must grow more


pleasing


to her heavenly


Father,


she


such


so


who,





8 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

looking down, saw each battle, each victory
over self and self-seeking.
I must now tell you a little about Brook
field, the village where Lucy had been born,
where her good mother had spent her own
childhood, and her father had lived from a
youth. It was a pretty place enough,
standing on a sloping hill-side, with a view
over miles of green meadows to the peaceful
view beyond-too pretty, so Mrs. Miller
often said, to be so godless and unchristian
a place; for surely in the midst of the
beauties of nature men's hearts ought to
rise to Him who made all and who
gave all.
There was an old church there, but few
indeed were those who gathered within its
walls when Sunday came. There was a
tiny chapel too, which some good man had
built, believing that many souls might be
helped heavenward by those simple services
and the plain teaching of divine truths;
but only a scanty sprinkling of the Brook-
field people could ever be seen there, the
greater number of them passing over
Sunday as if it was in nowise different from
any other of the days of the week.





NEW-COMERS. 9
In her own little way, Lucy tried to
imitate her good mother; and when Mrs.
Miller would seek to persuade some one or
other of the careless women round her to
join her in the public worship of God, Lucy
would coax some of the children to the
small Sunday- school which had been
started, hoping that there they might be
won, by the kindness of the teachers, to
learn the way to be truly happy and good.
In very few cases, however, would they be
persuaded by her, and even those who did
would only go for once, or at most twice,
and then tire of the trouble of learning and
listening, which was distasteful after their
habitual custom of idling the hours away.
There came, however, to Brookfield,
during the summer in which Lucy was
twelve years old, a family who were soon
noticed, even in that humble village, for
their excessive poverty; it showed itself
in their threadbare garments, in the wan
faces of father and mother, and three
sickly-looking young children, and in their
dwelling in a cottage so dilapidated and
miserable that it had long been left as
unfit for use.





I0 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

Lucy Miller's heart had warmed to them
from the day when as she tied up her roses
and carnations one fine evening, two tiny
pallid faces were pressed against the
palings, which she knew were strange in
Brookfield.
It was not a difficult matter to draw the
little creatures into conversation, and she
soon learnt that their name was Parsons
-Charlie and Nellie Parsons, that they
lived in the lane leading in the direction
of the distant town, and that they came
from London because their father had
found work to do in these parts.
A few strawberries dropped into each
grimy little hand brought a smile to the
children's faces, and then they scampered
away homeward to tell their news to their
mother.
Lucy, too, was full of the meeting when
she sat down in the kitchen to rest after
her work in the garden. Oh, mother,
they looked so poor, so hungry," she said;
" and they are so young-only four and
five years old, they told me. They live in
Long Lane, too; it must be that damp
cottage with all the windows broken, which





NEW-COMERS.


has been empty so
the one there."


"It is
beings,"
must be


long, for


not a fit place


remarked


there


for any


Mrs. Miller.


some mistake about it,


is only


human
" There
[ should


think, Lucy; but I shall


have to go to the


town to-morrow, and I'll go by the way


Long


Lane, and I shall see


in a minute if


there are any signs of life about the place.
I should be sorry for any one to live there,
however poor."


On the morrow, Lucy eagerly waited
her mother's return. She always liked


for
to


hear what had been seen and done in those


rare visits to the town, which,


with


compared


Brookfield, seemed quite a large


important


place; but on this occasion


her anxiety was respecting the broken-down
cottage in Long Lane, and the two sickly


children


who she believed


were


living


there.


" Well,


mother," she exclaimed,


as Mrs.


Miller came up to the gate.


them ?
Yes,
Miller.


"Did you see


Is it all true ?"


true


enough,"


answered


Mrs.


"Before I came up to the place


saw that the door was open, and there were


of


and
all


II




12 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

signs of life about; and as I got quite near
one of the most miserable, ragged little
creatures I ever saw ran out to look at me.
I made free to ask if the mother was in,
but they said no; and it turned out that
botl the parents are working at the hay-
making, and the children shift for them-
selves meanwhile. I had put a good piece
of our home-made cake in my bag on the
chance of seeing them; dear! they were
pleased to be sure."
"Oh, mother, that was good of you,"
said Lucy. "You never told me you
thought of that."
"Well, no, child," and a smile passed
over the kindly face; "it is as well not to
speak of every little good-natured idea that
comes into one's mind; the next thing
would be beginning to make much of it,
and take pride in oneself. 'Let not the
left hand know what the right hand doeth,'
seems to have a very clear meaning, to my
mind, and ought to keep us from making
a show of what we do for others. After
all, it is little enough, Lucy; and God has
done so much for us."
"That is what I have been thinking of





NEW-COMERS.


13


all day," replied the child. I've you and
father and my nice home, and plenty to
eat, and good clothes to wear; while those
poor little things look so hungry and so
very miserable. I should like to help them,
mother, if I knew how."
It isn't as if we were rich," said Mrs.
Miller, thoughtfully; "though we have
food and to spare, your father works hard
out-doors, while I'm working at home to
keep things together; and we're glad even
of your help by tending the fruit and
flowers, and getting them fit to sell. Still,
though we may be dependent on our own
toil, that is no reason for not helping those
that are poorer than ourselves; and if you
can do anything for those children in Long
Lane, child, I shall be glad to let you. I
must find out a bit about the parents before
you go after them at all; but meanwhile,
as you are handy with your needle, you
might take that print frock you've grown
out of, and make something to cover them,
-they're well nigh in rags now."
Lucy Miller was not fond of sewing-it
was her most disagreeable task at the
village school; and even the necessary




14 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
repairs of her own clothing was so dis-
tasteful that it had been the most common
cause of her mother's displeasure.
At the thought of altering that lilac print
frock, and making from it two little gar-
ments for these tiny ragged creatures, her
face clouded over, but happily she remem-
bered who has said, "Inasmuch as ye do
it unto the least of these, ye do it unto
Me;" and driving far from her heart the
feeling of vexation, she quickly agreed,
and begged her mother's help in beginning
the task.
No small self-denial was this for a girl
of twelve years, as my young readers
may imagine,-for Lucy's leisure was brief
indeed when her gardening cares were over.
But she found that a good deal may be
accomplished, even if only a few moments
are used, by diligent fingers; and the
thought of the pleasure she should bring
upon those two sad childish faces quickened
her speed when sometimes it was nearly
flagging.











CHAPTER II.

fsoor iharlie.

Mrs. Miller found


opportunity
Brookfield


of inquiring


people,


as to


any good


among


the


what they


knew of the


inhabitants of the


cottage


Long Lane, Lucy learned that
children was ill. The news ha


one of the
d come to


by means of Nellie'
which peered through


was busy


among


h


s little


anxious


the palings,
er flowers


as
one


morning early.
"Where is your brother?" she asked,
having seen them together before.


" He


can't


get


up, he's sick," answered


the child.
Oh, I am very sorry," said Lucy, kindly.


"Is your mother taking care of him ?"
"Mother's out, and father's out,


and


there's only me," was the response.


" Char-


lie's crying too, and


I thought


you'd


BEFORE


in


her
face,
she


give





16 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

me some of those," and Nellie Parsons
pointed to the strawberry bed.
"Yes, I will; I am sure I may, but I
want to tell my mother first;" and Lucy
ran into the cottage, and quickly returned
to the garden with Mrs. Miller following.
"Tell me what is the matter with your
little brother," she said kindly; but the child
was shy, and, hanging down her head, only
muttered some unintelligible words, and
kept her eye fixed on the small basket
which Lucy was rapidly filling with fruit.
"Shall I come home with you, and see
him ?" continued Mrs. Miller; and this
time the little girl smiled as if the idea was
welcome.
"Let me go too," said Lucy; but her
mother would not grant this request, feeling
that if the child was really ill, it might be
fever or other contagious sickness.
With Nellie as guide, Mrs. Miller went
to the cottage, and pushing open the door,
found a wretched state of things indeed.
Theie was scarcely an article of furniture
in the room, the damp chill of the place
was of itself enough to cause illness, and
down on a small mattress in the corner




POOR CHARLIE. 17

there lay the sick boy, his tangled hair
falling over his flushed face, and his arms
tossed out on the torn piece of blanket
which covered him.
He looked up as Nellie ran to him with
the little basket of strawberries; but at
the sight of a stranger following he began
to cry, partly from shyness, and partly
from weariness and pain.
Don't cry! said the kind woman,
coming forward. "Your little sister has
brought something nice for you; and I
have walked with her on purpose to see
you.)
After some persuasion, Charlie turned
his head round from the wall; and being
coaxed into eating one strawberry, another
and another followed until they were nearly
gone, and he began pressing the rest on
Nellie.
There was something touching in the
love of these young children, and in the
kind of protecting tenderness which the
girl displayed for her brother just one
year younger; doubtless, the strawberries
were tempting enough, but Nellie would
not touch one of them.
c 64





8I LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

Mother left me some bread and a drop
of milk," she said. You can't eat bread
when you're so sick, Charlie."
Mrs. Miller looked round the dirty deso-
late room with a sorrowful face,-it was
so unfit to be the home of little children.
She judged by the boy's appearance, that
the damp of the place and insufficient food
were the chief cause of his illness, and that
it was not of an infectious kind which could
be carried to her own Lucy; so she lingered
awhile to make him as comfortable as
circumstances would permit, and finally
left with a promise of returning in a few
hours to see if he was better.
Lucy's mind was brimming over with
plans for aiding the poor family in the
cottage, when her mother had described
its emptiness and misery; her fingers flew
over the stitches which were yet wanting
to complete the little frock she had con-
trived for Nellie; and there was time left
to pick some fresh fruit for the sick boy
before, to her great joy, she was allowed to
go and see him.
Mother 1 may I take a book of pictures,
too ?" she said. "I remember when I




POOR CHARLIE. 19

was ill in bed, about three years ago,
nothing amused me but books; and I
dare say poor Charlie Parsons has never
seen many books."
"No, indeed; judging by the look of
things!" exclaimed Mrs. Miller. "I ex-
pect the child is as ignorant as a little
heathen, Lucy. But if you like to take a
book, and show him the pictures, I've
nothing to say against it, I'm sure."
The little girl ran to her own neatly-kept
shelf, where were a goodly row of prettily
covered books, most of which had been
gained as prizes from both day and Sunday
schools. It was not a very easy matter to
make a selection; but at last she chose
one which had been her delight in very
early days when she was no older than
Charlie Parsons, and with her volume of
Bible Stories, she tripped happily down
Long Lane by her mother's side, talking
all the while.
A sun-burnt woman stood in the cottage
doorway this time, a poor, weary, sad-faced
creature, who, after exchanging some words
with Nellie, came a step or two forward,
and spoke a few awkward thanks to Mrs.




20 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

Miller for being kind to her sick boy. "He
seems worse and worse," she said, awk-
wardly leading the way to the mattress in
the corner whereon Charlie was tossing to
and fro.
At the sight of his visitor of the morning
he paused in his fretful cry to smile a little;
and when Lucy knelt down on the floor
beside him, and began talking pleasantly,
and tempting him to eat from the contents
of the basket on her arm, he soon forgot
his shyness, and was quite ready to be
amused with pictures or anything else.
Mrs. Miller meanwhile was listening to
the mother's sad story-the story of want
and misery so pitiably common as we pass
through life. It seemed that they had not
always been so poorly off, though obliged
to toil for daily bread; but from illness,
loss of work, and a long series of misfor-
tunes, they had sunk to the rough life of
those who pass from hay-making to har-
vesting and hop-gathering, having no settled
home, and existing they scarce knew how
through the hardships of winter.
Just a simple word or two about God's
help and care fell apparently on unaccus-





POOR CHARLIE.


tomed ears, for Mrs. Parsons only shook
her head despondingly, and talked of her
"ill luck," as compared with the "good
luck" of other people. "Prayer's naught
to me," she added; "it's for gentlefolks."
Nor could Mrs. Miller turn her from this
conviction.
Lucy was finding the ignorance of the
children much what her mother had antici-
pated. God," Christ," heaven," which
words were spoken in connection with th&
pictures, only brought forth a puzzled stare,
yet little Charlie's eyes were fixed eagerly
on Christ with the children of old gathered
round Him; and as the story was told of
the goodness of the Saviour of the world,
he sighed, and it seemed as if the small
wistful face expressed the wish, which has
come to so many of us, that there lived
some one now as gentle and as kind.
"He lives in heaven now," Lucy was
explaining as her mother and Mrs. Parsons
ceased speaking, and turned to the group
in the corner; "but He sees us all, you,
Charlie and Nellie, and me, and every one
of us, and He is sorry for us when we are
ill or sad."


21






LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.


"Sorry for Charlie ?" said the small
owner of the name.
'.' Yes; and He loves you very much,"
answered the elder girl, into whose face
both children glanced up ; but then a little
confusion came over her as she perceived
that Mrs. Parsons was gazing at her won-
deringly; and laying down her book she
went to her mother's side, saying, "I will
leave it for you and Nellie to look at after
I am gone, and I'll tell you more stories
when I come again."
"And I'm sure I'm thankful to you for
looking in," said the poor worn mother.
"It goes hard with me to leave him; but
we can't starve, and I must work while
there's work to be done, for it's soon enough
over."
"Couldn't you get a better lodging?"
asked Mrs. Miller.
Mrs. Parsons shook her head,-it was
plain that the tumble-down cottage in
Long Lane was all that they could afford.
Lucy could talk of little else that evening.
She had seen many of the Brookfield people
careless about religion and forgetful of God;
but she was too young to have met with


22






POOR CHARLIE. 23
such utter ignorance of His very name as
that which existed in these children, and it
shocked her.
"I am sure they had never heard of
God, mother," she explained. Charlie
said, 'Who is He?' and Nellie only opened
her eyes wider than before. Doesn't Mrs.
Parsons know, either ?"
"Perhaps-I cannot tell," answered Mrs.
Miller. "She may have been taught in
her childhood, and grown careless and
forgetful in all her troubles; or she may
indeed never have known much more than
her own little girl and boy. However, it
is very certain that they have not come in
our way by chance. Perhaps God means
us to put a few better thoughts into their
minds, Lucy; and even by a picture or
two, and just what you can tell them about
it, the little creatures may get to under-
stand there's some one great and good who
loves them. I wouldn't be troubled too
much, dear, by finding them so ignorant.
I've heard of many such; and it is a blessed
work to do for God, if they can be taught
to give a prayer and a thought for Him."
Oh, mother, I do not think of it quite






24 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

like that-something to do for God," and
Lucy's eyes sparkled. Perhaps had she
been able to look back at the scene she
had left, she might have seen that the
work had begun, for the little boy still
gazed at the pictured face of Christ, and
whispered now and then, "He lives in
heaven, and He loves Charlie-poor little
Charlie!"






25






CHAPTER III.

t uriqht Tdea,
T was a difficult matter for Lucy Miller
now to give her mind to lessons or
her work as a little gardener. Had
she only followed her own inclinations, she
would have been constantly at the Parsons'
cottage ; and certainly her feet sped quickly
along the lane to reach it, as soon as she
felt that her small round of duty was
done.
The children there were not one whit
less eager for her appearance, for where
hunger and poverty make themselves felt,
older persons than Charlie and Nellie look
almost impatiently for the one friend who
brings help and kindness. First of all,
Lucy's basket would be opened; and
though her mother, being a thrifty woman,
was able to contrive some economical
dinner for the little creatures at small





26 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

cost, I must tell you that Lucy herself
gladly dispensed with many indulgences
(such as cakes and sweets, for which pence
used to be exchanged on the way to school),
for the sake of giving some treat to those
who had known none of the little treats
and pleasures of happier childhood.
But when the basket had been opened,
and some of its contents tasted, Charlie
would turn to the picture-book asking for
"a story."
It was now that Lucy found the value
of all she had learned from early infancy.
She could tell the little wondering listeners
of Christ as the Babe of Bethlehem; she
could describe to them that He-as a child
on earth-had not been rich or great, but
so very, very poor. She was able to
describe to them the miracles He had
wrought, the kindness He had lavished
upon all men, and particularly upon the
sorrowful and upon sinners. She could
repeat to them His gracious words; she
could tell them how He loved little
children; and last of all she would come
to the story of His cruel sufferings and
shameful death. At this point Charlie







A BRIGHT IDEA.


would cry, and


Nellie look troubled;


they were cheered by


that first glad


up out
heaven.


of the


Easter
grave


hearing how,


Sunday,
and went


It was only by slow degrees that


Lucy


made
Christ


had but


them acquainted
's life and death,


with
of


the story of


course.


a few spare hours; and


She


besides,


to such very


ignorant little learners, it


not by one word or one story that a truth
becomes fixed in the heart.


But Mrs. Miller had


pleasant thought


put


that in all


work was being done;
two young children ur


.fore her the
this God's


that to make
understand that


these
there


was a heaven


live for ever
Saviour who


above


by-and-by ;


where


they might


that there was a


had died for their sins, and


so g
this
for al


a


ined


them


Saviour love
1 their griefs


admittance


there;


that


i them, and was sorry
and sufferings,-all was


doing something for God,
bring forth fruit by-and-by.


which


might


And here I must tell you that Lucy had


dreamed


many day-dreams


of being


useful woman in the time to come.


1


but
upon
rose


to


He


back


is


She


27





28 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

had sat listlessly over a heap of stockings
which needed mending, and, like many
another girl of her age, forgotten the duty
of the moment in imagining herself visiting
the sick, braving great dangers in some
grand work, leaving home and country to
lead little heathen children to Christ. Oh!
I could not tell you half the bright visions
which came to her at such moments,-but
many of you will guess them quite easily.
But notwithstanding the faults of child-
hood, this little girl had a real love for
God, a true desire to be guided by the
Holy Spirit day by day; and so when she
found Charlie and Nellie Parsons so near
to her, and saw that she might help them
in so many ways, she never knelt down at
night or morning without saying, "Oh,
my God, I thank Thee for giving me
something to do for Thee."
With the help of better food little Charlie
was getting pretty well again, and by-and-
by was running about with his sister, as
when they first made their appearance in
Brookfield. But the haymakers' work was
over, and their parents would be moving
off again, according to their usual habit.






A BRIGHT IDEA. 29

This troubled Mrs. Miller almost as
much as it troubled Lucy. "It seems a
miserable, shiftless sort of way," she said
to her husband; I can't myself see but
what some more respectable course might
be found for them. I wonder now if some
of the gentlemen round about the country
could take Parsons on as gardener, for he
learned gardening when he was a boy, and
kept to it for many years. Once get them
settled down in Brookfield, we might see
to the children a little; and who knows
but the parents might become steady, God-
fearing people ?"
Miller shook his head doubtfully. "There's
few gentlemen would take on a man who
has been wandering about and getting his
living anyhow. I dare say he couldn't find
a friend to speak up as to his being even
honest and sober."
"I think he is, father," interrupted Lucy,
eagerly. "He came in once when I was
talking to Charlie, and he spoke so nicely
and seemed so fond of his little boy. He
wouldn't be that if he was a bad drinking
man."
"Well, no, you are in the right there,





'30 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
child," replied Miller. "All the same, I
don't know a gentleman who would not
want a better sort of character-unless,
indeed, it was Mr. Severn at Stoke."
Now Stoke was the name of a large
country house some two miles from Brook-
field, belonging to the richest gentleman in
the county-a place which assumed some-
thing of the character of a palace in the
eyes of the simple folk round about. But
if Mr. Severn was rich, he was equally
benevolent; no tale of sorrow had ever
been told to him in vain, no poor creature
had ever been turned from his door
unhelped.
"Yes, Mr. Severn might-if any one
made bold to ask him," was Mrs. Miller's
response. "And as for gardening work, it
would seem there must always be plenty
about a place like Stoke."
Lucy said nothing, but there was an
expression on her face which caused her
mother to exclaim, "What are you thinking
of, child ?"
"I was thinking I wish Mr. Severn knew
about Parsons, for he is such a good, kind
gentleman, I am sure he would give him






A BRIGHT


'`


work


of some


kind.


And


oh,


mother,


should
here in
good a


be so very glad
Brookfield, and
nd happy."


if they all stayed
learned to be very


" Well, well-you should be off to Stoke,


and beg


for your new friends," said


Miller,


laughing a little.


but


" I don't know how it is,


lately, whenever I come in from work,


mother always


says, Lucy has


gone to the


children


in Long Lane."


" Oh, father, I haven't been there so very


often !"
flowers


she cried.


" I have seen to the


and the fruit, and all


the other


things just
call 'play' t


the same; it is only in what I


ime


have


been


after Charlie


and Nellie."
I'm not complaining, child," said Miller,


kindly.
forbid


" I was only joking a little.
that ever I should grudge


showing a kindness


who need


God
your


to any poor creatures


it."


The conversation


turned


on other sub-


jects; bi
thoughts.


it not


so was it with


She could


but busy


Lucy's


her mind


with delightful


pictures in


Mr. and Mrs. Parsons


children dwelling


which she
and their


happily and contentedly


saw
two


IDEA.





32 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
in one of the neatest cottages of Brookfield,
or one of the pretty gardeners' lodges at
Stoke.
"Mother," she said, when they were
alone together next morning, "I have been
thinking a great deal,-and I've asked
God to help me if it was right,-and-oh,
do you think I really may do what father
said last night ?"
"What father said last night !" repeated
Mrs. Miller, who had well-nigh forgotten
the subject which had taken hold of her
child's imagination. What do you mean,
Lucy, for it seems to me he said a good
many things ?"
"I mean about poor Parsons and Mr.
Severn," continued the little girl. "Don't
you remember, mother, that when we were
saying that there must be plenty of work
about Stoke, and how nice it would be if
this man got work there, father said I had
better go to Mr. Severn and beg for him ?"
"Oh, that was your father's joking way,
as you might be sure," replied Mrs. Miller.
"It would not be very easy for a child of
your age to go to Stoke, and ask to see
such a gentleman as Mr. Severn."




A BRIGHT IDEA. 33
"No, not easy," said Lucy, reflectively;
"but yet-oh, mother! every one says he is
so very kind that I don't think he would
be angry with me."
"I don't say he would, dear; indeed, I
suppose Mr. Severn could not be very
angry with any one except for some just
cause; for he is a true gentleman, and
better still, a Christian. All the same,
Lucy, you would feel very frightened when
you fairly stood before him in one of his
grand rooms; and what could you say?
for we do not know that Parsons is to be
trusted, though we hope so."
I should say how poor he was, mother,
and how by one thing and another, and
chiefly through the want of a friend to stand
by him, he had got down to such a wretched
way of life. And then, mother, I should
tell Mr. Severn about Charlie and Nellie-
how small and starved and miserable they
were; and then I should try and say how
much we wanted to teach them about God
and good things, and how we were afraid
that, if they went on in their wild roving
life, they would never remember the, few
things we have told them about Christ and
D 66






34 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
heaven. Oh! I can't believe that Mr.
Severn would refuse to help them."
Mrs. Miller hesitated. Like Lucy, she
felt that the master of Stoke would almost
certainly befriend this poor family, and yet
she felt a repugnance, wnich she could
hardly explain, to her child becoming the
petitioner.
It seems taking such a liberty," she
said at last. "A little girl, just the child
of homely working-folk, venturing to go
and ask to see Mr. Severn. I can't bear
the idea of it, Lucy; and yet 'tis hard to
hold you back from doing a service to
these poor creatures."
"Mother, may I ask my teacher what
she thinks ? She is always so wise and
kind."
"Ah, do," answered Mrs. Miller, desiring
to be relieved of the entire responsibility
in the matter ; Miss Wynne would
understand better than we do the ways
of gentlefolks, and I expect she knows
Mr. Severn. Ask her next Sunday after-
noon, Lucy."
"Oh, mother! and this only Tuesday.
Please let me go and ask to see Miss





A BRIGHT IDEA. 35

Wynne this afternoon; she has told all
her class that she is a friend, and we need
never be afraid to run to her in a difficulty.
And this is a real difficulty, mother; for
even you don't seem quite sure about what
I ought to do"





36





CHAPTER IV.

Special Pleading.
RS. MILLER could not gainsay this
J statement, and she therefore agreed
to Lucy's proposal of visiting the
lady who for some time had been her
Sunday-school teacher; indeed, she felt
almost the impatience of a girl in waiting
to hear the result.
Well, child she exclaimed, when
Lucy returned from her visit. But the
bright glad look upon her child's face was
almost sufficient answer, even had she not
cried, "Oh, mother, Miss Wynne was so
kind She says I had better go to Stoke,
and first of all she will write and ask Mr.
Severn to be so kind as to see me."
That is something gained, to be sure,"
answered Mrs. Miller. "I must own I
shouldn't like to have you turned from the
door by the servants saying their master




SPECIAL PLEADING. 37

was not able to see you. But tell me what
Miss Wynne thought of this plan of yours."
Well, mother, she let me tell her right
out what was in my mind, and then she
asked me several questions, especially as
to whether I'd prayed to God about it.
And last of all she said I had better go to
Stoke, and she would write to Mr. Severn,
begging him to see me to-morrow afternoon
-being Wednesday, and half-holiday."
"To-morrow !" exclaimed Mrs. Miller.
"Well, then, I must get your clean print
frock ironed to-night, and my work forward,
so that I may walk to Stoke with you."
Oh, mother, will you really go with
me ? That will make it so much easier,
for I am just a little afraid," said Lucy.
" It seems as if I must sit down now, and
think over and over what I had better say;
but Miss Wynne told me to leave it all to
the Holy Spirit, and He would put the
right words into my heart when the time
came. I'll water my flowers as usual,
and I dare say Nellie and Charlie will
come round and watch me through the
palings, as they did that first night I ever
saw them; and then I shall keep thinking






38 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
how happy perhaps I'm going to make
them, and so the time will pass, and I
shan't get frightened in thinking about
what is to happen to-morrow."
Lucy's programme proved pretty correct;
and while busy with her pinks and car-
nations, her two small favourites made
their appearance, in expectation of one of
their favourite stories. She told them of
Christ's death,-they never seemed to
weary of it; and, as if following up some
idea in her own mind, she tried to explain
that though we are not asked to lay down
our lives for others, we must every one of
us try and help to serve those who need it.
I cannot tell you that these two tiny un-
trained children at all took in the lesson,
and besides she was not a very experienced
teacher. But it seemed a comfort to herself
to reflect that on the morrow she-in her
own little way-was going to lay aside
fear and selfish considerations, to serve
others if she could.
"We're going away on Saturday," said
Nellie, gravely. "There'll be no more
work for father and mother after Saturday,
so we're obliged to go away."





SPECIAL PLEADING. 39

"How should you like to live in Brookfield
always ?" Lucy asked them. "Wouldn't it
be nice to have a pretty cottage instead of
the one in Long Lane, and a garden and
flowers, and clean frocks and pinafores ?"
The children's eyes seemed to express
that such a condition would indeed be
"nice," but to them most certainly un-
attainable.
When bed-time came, the prospect before
her seemed one which would quite destroy
all Lucy's chances of sleep. "I must do
what Miss Wynne told me," she reflected;
"I must keep saying, '0 God, help me;'
and try to remember that as He is every-
where, He will be at Stoke with me. Mr.
Severn is a good, kind man who loves God,
so I need not be afraid."
She had recourse to these thoughts many
a time before her eyes closed in sleep.
When she awoke it was later than her
usual hour, and her mother stood by her
bed, saying, "Well, child, it will be a fine
day for Stoke-unless you have altered
your mind."
"I haven't done that, mother," Lucy
answered. What does father say ?"





4.0 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

"Not much, dear-it isn't his way to
have many words about a thing, as you
know. But I can tell his mind almost as
well as he could himself, and I feel pretty
certain he thinks you in the right."
"Mother, I'm sure I must be," said
Lucy, earnestly. "It isn't as though it
was for myself I wanted anything; and
surely for others we ought not to be afraid
to ask even a great favour. Miss Wynne
was telling me last night that she is certain
we don't think enough of Christ's example
-of how He gave up all, and never once
pleased Himself. She thinks that people
are apt to make excuses, as if the Bible
did not mean exactly what it says in verses
such as 'Whatsoever you would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them.'
I am sure, mother dear, that if you and
father were like Charlie's parents, I should
like to have you helped, even by a little
girl, to some happier way of life."
"There's one thing which troubles me
even now," said Mrs. Miller, "and that is
the fear of you coming home quite dis-
appointed. Thanks to Miss Wynne, I've
no doubt of Mr. Severn letting you see





SPECIAL PLEADING.


41


him, and tell your story ; but if he says he
has no work for Parsons, and so all you've


done


is no use, how can you bear


that,


Lucy ?"
The child's


face clouded over;


the first idea that anything


but


it was
success


could
make.


follow


the effort


she


was going


"Oh, mother, mother!"


she exclaimed,


and the tears


thought


fill


of that!


:d her
I only


eyes,


"I


never


thought that if


once I ventured up to Stoke, and saw Mr.


Severn, all would be
for the poor Parsons.
he has nothing for-


as happy as could be
If he does say that
-" and here her voice


completely failed her, and she hid her face
on Mrs. Miller's shoulder.


"Dear, dear!"


fairly


distressed


cried the good mother,
at the effect of words


which she had only spoken as a


against an
don't give


unproven


difficulty.


way like this, when


safeguard
Lucy,
you have


been feeling so brave-almost as brave as


a young soldier. It c
mind that such a thing


nly came into my
might be as disap-


pointment, and you would do well to be
ready for it. Take heart, child, and hope


to





42 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

for the best,-it's all that any of us can
do."
Lucy smiled a little, and tried to dismiss
her fear; but it was not a very successful
attempt, and during the hours which had
to pass before the visit to Stoke she wished
more than once that she had never thought
of this great effort to be made for the
benefit of her friends in the broken-down
cottage of Long Lane.
It was a pretty walk from Brookfield to
Mr. Severn's estate, leading.along the river
banks, with their willows drooping down-
ward to the stream, and so on until the
road was reached in which they saw the
splendid avenue of elms leading up to the
house. The grandeur of the place im-
pressed Lucy now as it had never done
so fully on other occasions, and she put
her hand within her mother's with a
sudden fear.
",Oh, I wonder if I can," she gasped;
'I wonder if I shall be able to say a word."
However she felt that retreat was not
possible, as by this time Miss Wynne's
note must have reached the master of
Stoke; so she controlled herself as best








though


her heart


43

throbbed


wildly as she heard the clanging of the bell
which would presently result in their ad-
mittance.


" Mr.


Severn ?"


said the man, in answer


to Mrs. Miller's inquiry.
he can see you, but I'll


done
mothc


"' I


ask ;"


so, he presently returned


and


child


follow


don't think
and having
to bid the


him


to the


library.
"So this is the little


girl


whom


Wynne sent to see me,-sit down, my
dear," was the kindly greeting; and at the
first glimpse of Mr. Severn's face Lucy's
courage revived, and stepping up to him
she began her story at once, a little after
the fashion of repeating a school lesson.


If you please, sir, I hope you'll
my boldness," she said. "As I kn


are very


poor man who has not a friend
world-not one, I really think."


pardon
ow you


"That is surely not quite true," said


Severn,


quietly ;


but seeing


her puzzled


look he added,


"I should think you are a


very good friend, if you have come here to
ask help for him."


SPECIAL PLEADING


she could,


Miss


good, I want you to be good to a


in all the


Mr.


3r





44 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
"Oh, I can't be any one's friend because
I'm not rich and great," said Lucy. "But
I am so sorry for them all; and his poor
little children are so very ignorant, that
unless they have a different sort of life,
they can never learn what is good and
right, I'm afraid."
She paused a moment, and looked ap-
pealingly at the grave, kindly face before her.
"I see you have taken to special
pleading," said Mr. Severn. "You don't
understand what that is, I dare say, yet.
But now answer me a few questions about
these poor creatures."
It was not a difficult matter to under-
stand the history of Lucy's poor friends,
and she had the satisfaction of seeing pity
for them in the expression of Mr. Severn's
face. He turned to inquire a few par-
ticulars of Mrs. Miller, and then looking
kindly at the child, told her she had done
well to come to him.
I will give this poor fellow a fair chance
of work," he said. We can employ him
here, if not in gardening, in some. other
way. And as for you, my little girl,-well,
tell me how you came to be so brave."






SPECIAL PLEADING. 45

"Oh, sir, I'm not very brave," said Lucy,
smiling and blushing; indeed, I was afraid,
especially just when mother had rung the
bell. But I wanted to help Charlie and
Nellie's parents; and as I knew you were
rich and kind, I thought I ought to come
when father and mother said I might."
"Well, then, you may go home and send
this man to me. We will find them a tidy
cottage in Brookfield, for I have none empty
here; and if he is steady and trustworthy,
I will be a good friend to him. God bless
you, child; and His blessing will rest on
you, I feel sure, for what you have done
to-day."
"Thank you, sir," said Lucy, curtseying
and looking radiantly happy; and as soon
as she found herself out in the elm avenue,
she skipped round her mother with delight,
saying, Oh, I am so happy I never, never
was so happy before,-I never knew how
nice it is to help others, and all the nicer
when it has been a little hard "






46





CHAPTER V.

tjettsr tcays,
L-_ UCY felt shy about taking the news to
the cottage in Long Lane; and after
a brief consultation, it was decided
that Parsons should not know exactly how
his good fortune had reached him.
I'll step in, and tell him that I've heard
that Mr. Severn of Stoke Park has work
for him if he likes to go for it," said Mrs.
Miller. And this she did ; but in some
way the truth came out, and Lucy's head
might have been almost turned by the
gratitude poured forth, if she had not striven
earnestly to remember that, after all, the
kind impulse had been put into her heart
by God, and that all the good was His in al-
lowingher to do another little work for Him.
"It seems as if it could not be true,"
said the poor woman, in whom hope had
well-nigh been crushed out by years of





BETTER DAYS.


sorrow.


" It is as if the days were


47

coming


back when we had a good roof to shelter


us, and food in plenty.


dren's sake


I'm


It's for the chil-


so thankful,-the hardest


thing of all has been to see them many and


many a time cry for the
for them."


food I


hadn't


"It is God you must thank," Mrs.


would
tunity.


Miller


say, whenever she saw an oppor-


"I'd like


to think,


that now and then you


gave


1n


Him, and said a prayer."
Ah, I'm not religious," was


"but


/Irs. Parsons,
i thought to

the answer;


I'm thankful all the same."


And if Lucy was a little discouraged
that there was no warmer feeling to God


in the hearts


of these people, her mother


bade her hope on, and


better


pray for something


by-and-by.


" It may come suddenly"'


she said,


it may be months and years in coming;
God has a different way for all of us.


"or
for
But


His promise doesn't change,


Lucy; and


you ask Him


for what


is good


and right,


He is sure to grant it in the end."


It was not difficult to find


the Parsons,


a house


for


for the humblest little place


got





48 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

Brookfield contained was better than the
dilapidated dwelling in Long Lane. By
Mr. Severn's kind help, the few necessaries
they must have were purchased; and Lucy
Miller and her mother had the delight of
seeing their poor friends in a comfortable
home by the day when Parsons was to
begin his service at Stoke Park.
All this had not, however, taken place
unobserved by the Brookfield people, most
of whom uplifted their voices in condemna-
tion of the Millers. Taking up with a
set of low haymaking folks," they said;
"people who tramp the country, and lay
hands on all they can find. I wouldn't let
a child of mine be with those two wretched
little creatures, as you let Lucy be, Mrs.
Miller; you'll be sorry for it when it's too
late."
Or perhaps it was, I can't imagine what
Mr. Severn is thinking of-taking on a man
whom no one knows anything about, when
there are ever so many decent fellows
would be glad to get employed at Stoke.
'Tis said too, Mrs. Miller, that your Lucy
went and begged work for Parsons. I
wonder she could be so bold, and she but





BETTER DAYS. 49

twelve years of age, and to a gentleman
like Mr. Severn."
At first the Millers were disposed to
resent all this rather warmly; but feeling
that it would soon be forgotten in some
fresher news, and that at any rate their
motives had been those of kindness to the
poor friendless family, they said little in
the way of excuse or explanation, trusting
that time would show that they had made
no mistake in what had been done.
"And now, mother, may I ask Mrs.
Parsons to let the little children go to
school," said Lucy, on the evening when
the cottage in Long Lane was deserted.
"They would be so much happier learning
a little, than roaming about by themselves;
but I forgot that their mother will be with
them now."
"Yes, I'm glad to say," replied Mrs.
Miller. It's bad when a woman has to go
out to work, and leave two babies like that
to care for themselves. Still, I dare say
we can persuade her to send them to
school."
Mrs. Parsons was easily persuaded -
gratitude to those who had taken pity on
Eati





50 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

her children would have moved her to do
even a harder thing to please them; so
Charlie and Nellie might have been seen
the next Monday morning trotting towards
the village school, under Lucy Miller's
care, in pinafores which her busy fingers
had made, and with smiling, well-washed
faces.
Just as easy, too, it proved to get them
among the other tiny ones who were
gathered together on Sundays to listen to
the stories which were not quite strange,
because Lucy had told them before,-
stories of those who were God's servants
in the olden time before Christ came into
the world, stories of that dear Saviour and
His work for sinners. There, too, they
learned the simple hymns which children
love; and when they tried to sing them
over to their mother, she remembered the
days when she too had learned such hymns,
when she too had learned about God, al-
though in the troubles of life she seemed
to have forgotten Him.
Thus, then, things went on during the
first few weeks in which Parsons was
employed at Stoke Park; and as he was




BETTER DAYS. 51

proving himself to be both sober and in-
dustrious, the Brookfield people ceased to
busy themselves with gloomy predictions
that he would "come to no good." if
they said nothing in his favour, they did
not distrust him as at first.
The change which came over him and
his wife had something to do with this
better impression. They had certainly
looked a miserable couple when first they
appeared in Long Lane; but now they
were fast gaining a healthy colour; and as
the woman had now leisure to work for
herself and her children, she was beginning
to get decent clothing together, and in this
both Mrs. Miller and Lucy were ready
helpers.
"Oh, mother, how fortunate it was that
I saw little Nellie and Charlie with their
poor pale faces looking in at me as I was
gardening," the little girl would say. "I
suppose God brought them all here on
purpose for us to help them ?"
"Yes, indeed, it seems very plain that it
was His doing,-it couldn't happen by
chance," replied Mrs. Miller. "I wish I
could see both Parsons and his wife thinking





52 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

more of God's goodness, Lucy. They are
grateful enough to us; but it is as if they
couldn't look higher."
Perhaps they will by-and-by, mother,"
said the child, hopefully. One day, when
Nellie was singing a hymn they often learn
at the Sunday school, I saw Mrs. Parsons
look sad, and presently she said to me,
'Ah, I used to love those things when
I was a child. I'd be glad if I could care
for them now.' That shows she does
know a little about what is right, mother!"
"Yes, poor soul !" and Mrs. Miller looked
thoughtful, for her kind heart could not be
satisfied by helping these people in temporal
things, without leading them also to trust
in God, and make His will the rule of their
lives.
Lucy had now less need to spend her
leisure time in looking after little Nellie
and Charlie, and indeed her garden work
took up many hours. But she did not
forget her young favourites; and every
morning saw her walking with them to the
school, and taking them under her protec-
tion again when lessons were done.
It was on one such day that she found






BETTER DAYS. 53
trouble in the children's home-the father
was ill, and their mother looked pale and
frightened, for on his health everything
seemed to depend.
Lucy's kind little heart felt all the sym-
pathy that could be desired, and she ran
to her mother with the bad news, begging
her to come to Mrs. Parsons and comfort
her in her trouble.
"Ah, I thought it was all too good to
last," said the poor woman, who seemed
suddenly to have fallen back into her old
despondency; "just as we were getting on
a little, and making things a bit comfortable
round us, this misfortune comes; and now
William will lose a good place, and what
we can do God only knows."
"Do not despair," said Mrs. Miller. "You
say well that God knows. He will take
care of you, and raise up your husband to
health again, if it is best for you. As for
losing a good place, I cannot believe that
such a kind master as Mr. Severn, will not
wait for him; and after all it may be only
a short illness,-what is it ?"
"A kind of a chill, so the doctor says;,
and Mrs. Parsons began to cry dismally;






54 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
"but he must be very ill, for he has been
wandering in his head all night."
It proved indeed that Parsons was
seriously ill; and some days and nights
ensued which were bad enough to justify
the poor wife's alarms. Nor could she take
any comfort in calling upon God to help
her. "No, no, God will have nothing to
do with me," she reiterated. I've quite
forgotten Him, and turned from Him
these many years, and now He'll turn
from me."
It was very terrible to see her in this
state of mind; and when at last she con-
sented to see the minister, whom Mrs.
Miller spoke of as one of the "kindest
friends any one could need," nothing that
he could say seemed to have any power
over her.
If William gets well I'll think of being
religious," she answered. "While he's like
this, I feel too cast down to turn my
mind to anything but what is to become
of us."
But when, in a few days, her husband's
ailment changed for the better, Mrs. Par-
sons seemed but little inclined to remember






BETTER DAYS. 55
this half-promise; she was cheered and
thankful also to see him at all improved,
but she scarcely realized how much this
might be due to the prayers which others
had offered for her in her great sorrow;
and yet doubtless, like every other sorrow,
it was sent for the purpose of drawing her
to God.





56




CHAPTER VI.

Wtor! Rewarded
T I ILLIAM PARSONS was up and out
again after his short, sharp illness,
and so the cloud which shadowed
his home had passed away. Once more,
he went to his daily work; once more
little Charlie and Nellie ran merrily to
school; once more their mother's face was
content, but she was as careless as ever
about her soul.
But upon her husband a change had
fallen; and one evening after his return he
said, gravely, "I'm thinking, Mary, it's
not without cause that all our trouble has
come. While I lay ill it seemed in my
mind that we had not got God on our side;
we'd forgotten Him alike in our troubles
and in the blessings He's given us lately."
There was a pause, and then he added,
"There's many a thing I'd like to make
out; but I couldn't speak so free to the





WORK REWARDED. 57

minister as to some one that's not so far
above a working-man. Now, there's that
child who has been as much a friend to us
as any grown person. She seems to have
learned a good deal at school; I should
fancy she could make many a thing plain
to such as me."
"There's little doubt of that," said Mrs.
Parsons; "she's as sensible as a woman,
and yet there's plenty of play in her like
in other children. I expect there's not
many things in the Bible she doesn't know.
I've heard her tell stories out of it to the
little ones which seemed as if she knew it
off most by heart."
"I'll ask her a thing or two," said
Parsons; for not being a scholar I can't
make out how a man is to turn over a new
leaf, and be religious. Yet it came plainly
before me when I lay ill, that it was what
I ought to do. I was afraid to die then,
Mary; downright afraid, though like many
another man, I've laughed at the thought
of death. I remembered every word I'd
ever heard about God; it seemed as if I
felt I might soon have to stand before
Him; and I said to myself, that if He'd





58 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.
only spare my life, I'd make the rest of it
a different thing."
"Well, somewhat the same thought was
in my mind," said Mrs. Parsons. "' I'll try
and be religious if William gets better,'
was what I said to Mrs. Miller; but I've
not given it a thought since, and I don't
know what we ought to do."
This was how it happened that on Lucy
Miller's next visit to her friends, she was
surprised by the unexpected request to
read them a little out of the Bible which
her mother had given Mrs. Parsons some
time before; and while she read, she could
not but notice the deep attention of her
listeners. This took place again and again,
until it was an established custom that
after school-hours, and before night quite
closed in, Lucy should go to the cottage to
read a little.
At first she felt rather shy about
answering the questions which Parsons put
to her; but it was true that she had been
well taught from her early childhood, and
thus the plain, simple way of salvation was
as well understood by her as by many of
twice her years.






REWARDED.


59


"There is not very much for you to do,"


she would say


again


and again.


"' Being


religious' as you call it, really means that


you are going to think very much of


God,


and try to do


what


He has commanded,


and love Him for His goodness.
of all, we must be very sorry for


But, first
our sins,


and believe


that they


are forgiven


because Christ took them away by shedding


for us.


you quite right in
so often, and from
teach us right."


"Well, it sounds
would say slowly.


Indeed, I am telling
this, for I have heard it
those who know how to


easy


enough," Parsons


"And yet-we've


only


got to believe, you say, and nothing to do ?"
"Nothing to do except believe, and love
God, and ask the help of the Holy Spirit
to make you avoid all that would displease


Him,"
text :


persisted


Lucy.


' God so loved


" Listen


to this


the world that He


sent His only begotten Son, that whoso-
ever believeth in Him should not perish, but


have everlasting


life."


"'Notperish!'" repeated Parsons.


"Well,


that was what troubled me sorely while I


was lying


ill, not only dying and leaving


His blood


us


WORK






LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.


Mary and the little
would come after. I
might be at death,
end of things, like I
unthinking man is a
there was everlastint
I was fairly afraid.
-just read it once
and when she had do
if lost in thought eve
her leave and went
Oh, mother," she
said before, "I feel
how to answer him


e ones, but of what
'or lying looking as it
I felt it was not the
and many a foolish,
pt to say. I felt as if
T misery beyond, and
' Whosoever believeth '
again, Miss Lucy;"
>ne so, he remained as
n after the child took
home.
said then, as she had
as if I didn't know
what he wants to be


told; how I wish he would ask some one
older and wiser."
Well, it might be better in some ways,"
remarked Mrs. Miller ; "still, Lucy, it's a
happy thing for even a child to say a word
for God. And then, after all, the way of
salvation isn't hard or difficult ; it is meant
for children and simple folk, as well as for
the clever and great; and, thank God!
you have learned already what will make
us safe and happy in this world and the
next."
It would be pleasant to see Mr. and


6o





WORK REWARDED.


Mrs. Parsons really Christians, wouldn't it,
mother ?" replied Lucy. I think they
will be, for we have all prayed so much for
it, and God has promised to answer our
prayers if they are right."
"Yes; He will answer us-in His own
time," said Mrs. Miller. "And it seems
to me, Lucy, that you must just go on as
you do now, reading God's Word to these
people, and leaving all the rest to Him.
Ah, child, many's the time you've envied
the missionaries their work in foreign
lands, and wished you were a woman to
go and help them; but it is a little bit
of a missionary's work He is giving you
now, so be patient and thankful."
Even older people than Lucy Miller
find "patience" hard to practise; and as
weeks went by, and no special fruit sprang
from her daily reading to Parsons, she
grew so weary that many a time, if she
had yielded to her feelings, she would have
made some excuse and given it up. This,
however, her conscience would not allow
her to do. Have you not promised to
serve God ?" it whispered. Have you not
thought and dreamed over ways of pleasing





62 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

Him, and leading others to love Him; and
will you weary of this little trouble-this
easy task of reading His Holy Word to
one who cannot read for himself?"
As these thoughts pressed on her, Lucy
resolved to persevere. Nevertheless, it was
a little wearying to a child to answer the
same questions so often, and go over
ground again and again, which, to one
taught as she had been, seemed so easy;
and thus it was indeed a happy evening
when Parsons greeted her with words she
had never heard from him before.
"It's all clear now," he said, suddenly;
" as clear as noon-day to me. All you've
read and all you've told me seems easy to
believe, and I'll be a Christian from this
day. I and Mary too, for she sees as I do
that it's the safe and only happy way for
us. Ah, child, it was a blessed day which
brought us to Brookfield with our little
ones-! We had sunk down and down by
reason of trouble, and no one seemed to
care, no one held out a hand to help us
till Charlie told us that you had spoken
kindly to him, and Nellie fetched you to
see him ill on his little bed. And so from





WORK


REWARDED.


one thing to another, though


you are


a child, yo
helping us
God bless


u've been a good


for this world and
you, Miss Lucy 1


friend


to


us,


the next.


Killer,


and


reward you, as I'm sure He will."
I can assure you that Lucy felt any little
trouble rewarded then, and she hurried
away to give the good news to her mother.
"Oh, mother, mother, how happy it is to


work


for God !" she cried; and after all


it is so easy.


I will try all my life long


do good to every one for His sake.


to


I will


ask Him that this-my first little work for


Him-may only be the
things He will let me dc


beginning of other


And


then she


ran away to her own small bedroom, for
there were feelings in her heart then which
she could not pour out to any ear but that
of our Father in heaven.


So my little story ends; and


all I


]I


to add is that should any one visit


have
the


village of Brookfield, it would be impossible


to recognize in the respectable


ing William and Mary
miserable tramping par


hard-work-


Parsons the
ents of little


once
half-


starved Charlie and Nellie.


When


the children are in


bed at night,


63


only





64 LUCY MILLER'S GOOD WORK.

you may see the father sitting down in the
tidy parlour of the home his own industry
has gained, while his wife talks cheerfully
over the events of the day. Or at other
times-as in our picture-she will read to
him from Scripture some of the passages
which reached him first from the lips of
little Lucy Miller, whose good work has
been, as she hoped and prayed, only the
beginning of the service she rendered to
God, whom she had early chosen for her
Guide and for her Friend.


LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, E.C.






L I S


OF


ATTRAI

to


E


4%83~


People.


PUBLISHED BY


JIE RELeIGIOUT WTICI OCIEWY,


56,


PATERNOSTER ROW,


LONDON,


s'a


x


_ ~_~I~ __~~I_


__


. 7 0 P


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30 School
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32 Stephen Grattan's Faith.
the Author of Christie
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33
34
35
36


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Setting out for Heaven.
The Stolen Money, and other
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37 Helen's Stewardship,
38 Pat Rilev's Frienc's.
39 Olive Crowhurst. A
Girls.
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Story for


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~NLITTfJE
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41 Steenie Alloway's Adventures.
42 Angel's Christmas. By Mrs. WALTON.
43 Cottage Life; its Lights and Shadows.
44 The Raven's Feather.


45 Aunt Milly's Diamonds, and
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46 My Lady's Prize, and Effie's
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47 How the Golden Eagle was
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48 Emily's Trouble, and what it
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49 Adopted Son, and other Stories
50 Till the Sugar Melts. By lM.
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51 Story of a Geranium; or, The
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52 The Flying Postman.
53 The Money in the Milk.
54 Cowslip Ball, and other Stories.
55 Little Model, and other Stories.
56 Mary Stfton. By the Author
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57 Tales from over the Sea.
58 Lisetta and the Brigands; or,
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59 Bessie Graham.
60 In his Father's Arms. A Sea-
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61 Cosmo and his Marmoset.
62 Talks with Uncle Morris.
63 The Patched Frock.
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65 T.ucy Miller's Good Work.
66 Little Andy's Legacy.
67 How the Gold Medal was Won,
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68 Master Charles's Chair, and
How it was Filled.
G9 Little Kittiwake; or, The
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70 Squire Bentley's Treat.
71 Jessie's Visit to the Sunny Bank
72 Amy's Secret. By LuvY BYER-
LEY.
73 The Children in the Valley.
74 Florence and her Friends.
,w 75 The Two lRoses.
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77 Six China Teacups.
78 His Own Enemy.
79 Three Firm Friends.
80 Empty Jam pot.
81 Patty and Brownie; or, The
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82 Two Weeks with the Greys.
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84 My Brother and I.
85 The Ble sed Palm.
86 Hubert's Temptation.
87 Pretty Miss Violet.
88 The Queen's Oak.
89 Story of a Yellow Rose. Told
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90 The Blacksmith's Daughter.
91 Daisy's Trust. By E. S.PRAITT
92 The Runaways.
93 Jack Silverleigh's Temptation.
94 May Lynwood.
95 Tom's Bennie. By M. E. Roius
96 The Captain of the School.
97 Miss Pris.
98 The Story he was Told.
99 Gerty's Triumph.
100 l'he Missing Jug.
101 Granny's Dariing.
102 Grateful Peter's New Year's
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103 A True Story of Long Ago.
104 The Little Midshipman.
105 How Arthur Found out the
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106 The Pilgrim Boy, and other
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107 Mabel's White Kitten.
108 Keziah Taylor's Donkey.
109 Sallie, a Little Sister. By
EDITH CORNFORTH.
110 Willie Wills' Wings. By
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____~~Y ~~ ~__le~M___ __I


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Bible Pictupes fop oup Petgs


Part I. OLD


Part II.


With
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Child of the Toy-stall.
Is. cloth.
Nobody Loves Me.
/ i1s. cloth.
Olive's Story; or, Life
at Ravenscliffe. 2s.6d.
cloth, gilt edges.
A Peep ]Behind the
.Scenes. Imp. 16mo.
3s. 6d. cloth, gilt
edges
Poppie's Presents.
Crown 8vo. Is. cloth.
Saved at Sea. A Light-
house Story. ls.cloth.
Nq Shadows. Scenes in the
Life of an Old Arm-
\~\ Chair. Imp. i6mo.
1 4s. cloth, gilt edges.
Taken or Left. Crown
8vo. is. cloth.
Was I Right? 3s. 6d.
cloth, gilt edges.
Our Gracious Queen:
Pictures and Stories
from Her Majesty's
Life. With many En-
S/ cravings. New and
Revised Edition. is.
Reduce i from CHIS FlES OLD Of GAN." cloth boards.







-BOOKSE IN LARkE TYPE


FOR YOUNG


Each in


READERS.


very large type with Engravings. Small 4to. Is. with pretty
coloured covers, or Is. 6d. cloth boards, gilt edges.


When Jesus was Here among Men.
Waterworth. Large type. With illustrations,
The Name above every Name. I
Waterworth. Large type. With illustrations.
Stories of Bible Children. A Sunda
Little Children. By Mrs. E. M. Waterworth.
Listening to Jesus A Sunday Book fc
By Mrs. E. M. Waterworth.
Sunday Afternoons at Rose Cottag
with Mamma. By Mrs. E. M. Waterworth.
Blessings for the Little Ones.


Walking with Jesus.
The Three Brave Pr


3y


By Mrs. E. M.
Mrs. E. M.


Ly Book


for


very


>r the Little Ones.


'e.


Bible Talks


A Sunday Book for Children.
inches, and other Bible Stories.


The Beautiful House and its
Frances M. Savill.
Readings with the Little Ones.


Seven


Pillars.


By


By Agnes Giberne.


The Children's King, and other Readings for the Young.


Picture Stories for Children,
opening, and with letterpress in
attractively bound in cloth boards.


With a picture on every
large type. Crown 8vo. Is.


Picture Book for Children. With a picture on
opening, and with letterpress in large type, well printed.
8vo. Is. attractively bound in cloth.


SIXPENCE EACH.


THE R0OYAL


PICTURE BOOKS.


The First of a New Series of Picture Books for very Little Children. A
Picture on every page; the Letterpress in very large type, and in
words of one and two syllables. Engravings by the best Artists.
Imperial i6mo. 6d, each in cloth.


1.-Our Queen,


and other pictures.


2.-Charlie


and his


Pet, and other pictures.


3.-Little Kittens, and other pictures.
4.-Mamma's Darling, and other pictures.


every
Crown


- -- I~-- -- ---~---








FOURPfINNY





IN CLOTH BOARDS.

Each with Illustra-


tion.


Well printed,


and tastefully bound
in cloth boards, and

blocked with coloured
inks. 4d. each.


1. Short and Sweet.
2. I Never Thought of it.
3. Father's Joy, and other Stories.
4. A Sprig of Holly.
5. Barbara's Revenge.
6. Shrimp.
7. Edith's Second Thought, and
other Stories.
8. Jack and Shag.
9. ihePrincess in the Castle,and
other Stories. With many
Engravings.
10. Andy and his Book ; or, the
Orphan Friends.
11. Jessie's Roses, and other
Stories.
12. The Villa e Shoemaker.
13. The Message of the BIlls, and
other Stories.
14. The Lily of the Valley, and
other Stories.
15. Tony the Tramp; or, Good for
Nothing. By Mary E. Ropes.
16. Made Clear at Last ; or, The
Story of a Ten-Pound Note.
By Mary E. Ropes, Author
of Tony the Tramp," etc.
17. Chrissy's Glad News; or, A
Little Child shall lead them.
_ ... .__________


18. Lily's Adventure.
19. Made on Purpose. A Story of
Rus ian Life. By Salem
Hall.
20. The White Rosebud, and the
Birthday Present.
21. Carl's Secret.
22. Made a Man of.
23. Winnie's Golden Key ; or,
The Right of Way. By J.
Saxby.
24. Trapped on the Rocks; or,
Only a Word.
25. Susie Wood's Charge. By
Mary E. Ropes.
26. Fisherman Niels. By Mrs. G.
Gladstone.
27. Katy's Resolution.
28. Watchman Halfdan, and his
Little Granddaughter. By
Mrs. George Gladstone.
29. In Golden London. By Mary
E. Ropes.
30. Sprats Alive Oh! By Harriette
E. Burch.
31. The Lady Elfrida's Escape.
By Alice King.
32. Job and Viper. By Mrs.
Cooper.


C







M HEAP BOOKS

FOR

SSchool Rewards, etc.


Threepenny _Reward Books.
A Series of 24mlo. Books fo- the Young. With Covers printed,
back and front, in Colours, on silver ground. Eack book in cKear type,
Switch/ a Froznispiece Eng ravin g.
1 Phil Harvey's Fortune. 13 Trixie and Her Cousin.
2 His Little Hetty. 14 Kitty's Concertina.
3 Jock the Shrimper. 15 In Father's Place.
4 My Master's Business. [Found 16 Hilda and Her Pet.
5 How Charlie was Lost and 17 The Way to Win.
6 Bessie Morton's Legacy. 18 The Story of Nika.
7 Johan's Christmas Eve. 19 Addie's Children.
8 Johnny's Dream. 20 How Tom Gaitied the Victory.
9 Old Bagnall's Ricks. 21 Gaspard's Promise.
10 Widow Martin's Son. 22 Lucy of the Hall.
11 The Soldier's Legacy. 23 The Oatcake Man.
12 The Flat Iron. 24 Squat and his Friends.
Twopenny Reward Books.
Each conttainiing 48 fager of clearly -'ri'nted Letter-,/ress, in sim le
lang uage for Children. With numerous Eng ravings, and in attractive
coloured Covers. 2d. each.
1 Children's Stories. 13 The Round Robin.
2 Little Stories. 14 Elsie in the Snow.
3 Pretty Stories. 15 Mabel's Mistake.
4 Pretty Stories. 16 The Jackdaw's Christmas Tree
5 A Mother's Stories. 17 Angel Rosie.
6 A Sister's Stories. -18 Faithful Andrew.
7 A Friend's Stories. 19 Tim's Little Garden.
8 Pleasant Stories. 20 Between Sickle and Scythe.
9 Simple Stories. 21 Freddie's New Home.
10 True Stories. 22 Kit and his Violin.
11 Useful Stories. 23 Flip, Mish, and Another.
12 Facewell Stories. 24 Jenny Wren's Mite.
Aunt Mary's Packet of Aunt Mary's Pretty Pages
Picture Stories for Little People.
Eack Packet contains Twelve Books with Glazed Covers, in Gold. Full
of Pictures. Crown 8vo. is. the Packet.
New Penny Story-Books.
A New Series of Twelve attractively got-up Reward Books, each com-
,prising 32 pages, with Cover in Colours, and Illustration. Is. the Packet
11_prising _______________________





I


4.
5.

6.
7.
8.

9.

10.

11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.

18.
19.
20.
21.

22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.

30.
31.
32.

33.
34.
35.
jK


`-I


Coloured Frontispiece and Wood Engravings.
Attractively bound with Medallion on side.
Pessie Mason's Victories. 36. The (;able House.
Dame Buckle and her Pet 37. The Dangerous Guest. A
Johnny. Story of 1745. By trances
Tiger Jack. By Mrs. Prosser. Browne.
Alice Benson's Trials. 38. Fruits of Bible I ands. By
Charlie Scott ; or, There's Mary K. Martin.
Time Enough. 39. May's Cousin. By Author of
The Peacock Butterfly. "Reuben Touchett's Grand-
Where a Penny went to. daughter.'
The Young Folks of Hazel- 40. Billy the Acorn Gatherer. By
brook. Florence E. Butrch.
Miss Grey's Text; and How 41. The Banished Family, and the
it was Learned. Bohemian Confessor.
Basil; or, Honesty and In- 42. The Golden Street; or, The
dustry. Fisherman's Orphans.
Ben Holt's Good Name. 43. The First of the African Dia-
Lisa Baillie's Journal. monds. By Frances Browne.
Northcliffe Boys. 44. The Royal Banner; or,
The Little Orange Sellers. Dragged in the Dust.
Georgie's Prayer. 45. Brave Archie.
Saddle's Service. 46. There's a Friend for Little
Nils' Revenge. Tale of Swe- Children. ByCharlotteMason.
dish Life. 47. Michael the Young Miner.
Harry Blake's Trouble. 48. Bob's Trials and Tests. By
Cousin Jack's Adventures. Mary E. Ropes.
Hungering and Thirsting. 49. Tim Peglar's Secret ; or, The
The China Cup; or, Ellen's Wonderful Egg.
Trial. 50. Under the Snow.
How Tilly found a Friend. 51 The Lost Baby. A Story of
Charity's Birthday Text. the Floods. By Emma Leslie.
The Rescue. 52. Squirrel; or, Back from a Far
Little Nellie's Days in India. Country. By F. E. Burch.
The Young Hop-Pickers. 53. Rescued from the Burning
Motherless Bairns. Ship.
George \Vayland. 54. James Barton's Pleasure Boat.
The Cinnamon Island and its 55. Bennie, the Little Singer.
Captives. 56. Reuben Minton's SerVice.
Caleb Gaye's Success. 57. Heartsease. By T. M. Hig-
Dark Days of December. ginson.
The Big House and the Little 58. The Broken Strap; or. Her
House; or,The Two Dreams. Great Reward. By Florence
Tim and his Friends. E. Burch.
Ned the Barge-boy. 59. Missionary Rapbbits.
Ragged Robin. By Mary E. 60. Hilda; or, The Golden Age.
Ropis. By Emma Leslie. 10


- ~--


_----~-~-~-~-~-- --- --- --------------C-- -------- -- -------1~~---rr711---I- ----lrr----






AN ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE for


( irls.


SPENNL I ONTi LE
.ONE; PENt rT MONTHLY.


D6oT.


.-.- /








j BABY'S DREAMS.
a'nx ary, 188. Hi
BAY RAS 87 J


PENNY



"Parents in search of a Mon-
thly Magazine for infants will
not find a better than 'Our Little
Dots.' "-English Churchman.
Just what children will
like. "-Chur ch Sund'ay School
Magazine.
Good pictures and reading."
Spectator.
Delightful."-Ecclesiastical
Gazette.


A valuable little magazine, which is just the thing for the small folk
of the family-full of engravings, little tales in large type and small words,
the Little Dots' could wish for nothing better. "-Somerset County
Herald.


OURf LITTLE IDOTS'


The Yearly


Volume of


" OUR LITTLE DOTS.
Full of Pretty Pictures and Little Stories


in Large Type,
oured boards ;


is. 6d. attractive


2s. neat cloth ;


col-


2s. 6d.


handsome cloth gilt.


- I --L --- ----I -- ---~--- I L1. _


I


f


Itit t i


Oo~s


an




















IL


I~i i~
-:r ..--) .+ II g
I; t~ a -r~



dbJfli~


From OUR LITTLE DOTS.


^^-r.
*~ i *':*'-'





ONE PENNY MONTHLY.







".1 AND

.'"'IB JUVENILE INSmIRUCTOR.

A pretty little illustrated periodical,
S----especially noticeable for the Editoi's
sensiLle practice of giving children credit for
being able to understand something better than
mere jingle s and childish things."-The Daily
SNews.
i A perfect treasury of interesting articles
and poetical pieces."- Booksellcr.
As charming as ever."-Ecclesiastical
SGazei//C.


FOR BoYS & GIRLS. % HILD'S 0I
THE

gHILD'Ig gOyMPANION
AND
Juvenile Instructor Annual.
It is full of nice pictures and interesting
reading for young folks, with a coloured frontispiece.
Is. 6d. attractive colcured boards; 2s. neat cloih ; 2s. 6d.
b handsome cloth, full gilt.
LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDCLE STREET, ALDEREGATE, E.C.































-~ --






I,----
S.,-
/Pj!---


SINS -


I--


Till the Sugar Melts.

SThe Story of a GeraUniu~m.

The Flying Postman.

The Money in the Milk.

SThe Cowslip Ball.

The Little Model.

1Mary Sefton,

Tales from over the Sea.

Lisetta acnd the Brigands.

SBessie Graham,.

SIn his Father's Arms.

SCosmno and his Marmoset.

Talks with UTtcle Morris.

SHerbert and his Sister.

Lucy Miller's Good Work.

Little Andy's Legacy.

How the Gold JMedal was Won,

and The Young Drovers.

'IMaster Charles's Chair.

SLittle Kittiwake.

Squire Bentley's Treat,

Jessie's Visit to. the Sunny
S Bank.

Amy's Secret.

The Children in the Valley.


I-


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